One Year in California Today

June 17th, 2010, I moved to San Diego, California. After one year here are 365 days worth of distinction and discovery.

Don’t confuse the spotlight with the sunlight.

The most profound distinction of the year for me. My business partner and dear friend Sandy helped me see I was burying my gifts under a rock because I confused being in the spotlight with bringing the sunlight. She said the gifts light the path and the sunlight brightens the world. If you are an introvert like me and dislike the spotlight, this distinction will change your life. Let me know if this rocks your world like it rocked mine.

You can’t pay bills with vapor money.

Another Sandy-ism. If it’s coming but it isn’t here yet, it’s vapor money. Don’t be seduced by vapor net worth. Pie in the sky is usually just pie in the sky. If you don’t have real money you don’t have money at all.

It takes courage to trust your intuition.

The mind is a powerful master if not directed to serve. It diverts me away from my intuitive knowing. I trusted my intuition on many occasions this past year. Most of the time good emerged. I trusted my intuition above my analysis. I trusted myself!

Friends and family matter most.

I could acquire all the riches, fame, and fortune yet if I don’t have people who love me and care about me, I will never truly be wealthy. My net worth increased because my relationship worth appreciated. I have amazing family and friends I love.

Bless every dollar.

When my business was dead and my back was against the wall, an unannounced gift showed up in my PayPal account. I blessed that $247. Money started to come and it continues to flow ever since. Bless whatever money shows up no matter how little. Every dollar matters and has the energy to trigger a windfall.

Get in the river and go with the tide.

This has been one of the most difficult yet liberating and life changing shifts of my year. I repeatedly jumped into the river without knowing where it was going (like putting my business on hold for 3 weeks to help a friend). I let the tide take me. I gave up control. It’s been quite a ride.

I stopped clinging to the rocks.

Clinging is resistance. Resistance creates tension. Tension forces me to make decisions under stress and duress. Resistance is futile. I decided to let go and let the river take me. This is the adventure of life. Hard to do. The trip is worth it.

Don’t mess with Mother Nature.

The Law of the Farm is the iron law of nature. I cannot shortcut a crop. My harvest shows up because I nurtured my fields through real world summers and winters. My bounty reflects my care. I care a lot.

I only want to work with people I can hug.

Enough said.

Who can I love and serve for money today?

I keep these words above my desk. I love and serve, and people reward me with their money. It’s a complete loop. I will never be poor if I love and serve.

How much is my emotional capital worth?

A fortune. Emotional capital may be more valuable assets than money and

investments. I’ve learned how to convert emotional capital into shelter, food, money and other tangible things I need to live. Take stock of your emotional capital. It’s worth more than you think.

I will silence my biggest and harshest critic – me.

When I stop the self-criticism, I open to self-appreciation, worthiness and good fortune. I’m doing that more now.

Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.

I find a reason for everything that happens.

No house, no car, no boat, no problem.

I was “homeless” for nine months but I never was without a home because I have great friends and family who love me. Relationship capital is the greatest wealth. I’m rich beyond measure. I took a picture of all my possessions; they all fit up against half of one wall in one room. I learned how to live simply and simply, live.

Life is the most captivating movie of all.

You can’t make this stuff up. Fact is stranger than fiction.

Even an urban dude can learn to garden and compost.

I learned how delicious fresh hen eggs taste, and how to compost my leftovers to create more fertile ground for the next planting. This is very Zen and a great metaphor for fertile living off the land.

Ask for help as if my life depends upon it.

It does. It’s been valuable learning for me that asking for help is a gift I give to those I ask. I get what I want, and you get to give it to me. We both win. Asking is a big breakthrough for me. I’ve usually been the askee, not the asker. I’m digging asking.

It takes more courage to be myself and live life on my terms than any other act.

It takes courage to go into a burning building. It takes even more courage to go into the burning building inside myself. I got singed but I came out a better man.

Slow down and look around.

Rushing is pathological. I can’t enjoy the train ride if I don’t stop and look at what’s whizzing by me. Cali dudes know how to slow down…a new perspective for a Jersey guy who is used to things speeding up!

I wanna give all my secrets away.

I am inspired by this song to give all my wisdom and secrets away. If I die tomorrow, would I want to leave with my music still inside me?

What happens, happens.

Everything is just an event or experience. What I think about what happens is irrelevant to what happens. It’s a story I tell myself to attach meaning to what happens. How I respond is what matters.

It’s not personal.

Wait a second. I say in The NEW Game of Business, “It’s not JUST business; it’s personal.” Now I’m saying it’s not personal. Whassup? What’s up is the little hinge that opens the big door of happiness. Business is now personal. That’s different than taking things personally. One of my biggest challenges is not to take what people say personally. I am still working to transcend this. If good diagnosis is half the cure, awareness is half the key to transformation. I’m doing better, thank you!

I’m learning a new language: Venutian.

You’ve perhaps heard that Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Sandy is teaching me the most difficult foreign language for a Martian to learn. I intend to become fluent in Venutian in this lifetime!

Perspective – use it or lose it.

Nothing is as good as it feels or as bad as it seems. It’s easy to say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” it’s not so easy to not sweat the small stuff. I get better perspective when I don’t take things personally. It’s not always about me. I’m better at keeping my perspective. I keep in mind there’s a higher ground with a better view.

Adaptability – the one predictor of living long.

There is NO proven characteristic that predicts longevity. The one that comes closest is adaptability. If I don’t flex and bend with the winds of life, I will break when a strong gust blows my way. Resilience and bounce back ability are essential. It’s not a matter of if the wind blows. It’s only a matter of when and how strongly. Be adaptable. Be flexible. Be like a tree.

Righteousness kills.

Being right strokes my ego. Being happy feeds my soul. Righteousness is fear talking. Happiness is the language of love. I’m choosing happiness over righteousness.

Imperfect action beats perfect inaction.

I first created this mantra for myself 15 years ago to combat my pathological perfectionism. I still chant this mantra every day. I tell myself to “take imperfect action” then measure and modify because… imperfect action beats perfect inaction.

Eliminating clutter is the best weight loss program I’ve ever done.

I can’t prove this, but I suggest you try it yourself. I lost 20 pounds and 2 inches off my waist in 45 days when I sold and gave away everything I owned last year. One year later, I am 15 pounds lighter and my waist is two inches thinner. The only “weight loss” program I did was eliminating clutter and getting rid of all my possessions. While I don’t recommend selling everything, I heartily endorse the “clutter free weight loss” program. Let me know how it goes.

It’s a confidence boost knowing I can earn money without relying on someone else to pay me a salary.

When I was down to my last dollar, I found a way to exchange my products and services for money. If you lost your job or your business tanked, how would you start again? If you don’t have a business or source of income other than your salary, I encourage you to start something NOW! It’s likely a matter of “when” not if something changes. Don’t wait for the change to shock you. Innovate and find your next thing now.

Take what you need when you need it. Give what you can when you got it.

I found out we all need help, and we all need to help. Offer it when you can, accept it when you must.

Play someone else’s game.

In May I put my business on hold to help my friend Larry Benet launch his Speakers and Authors Networking Group conference. Immersing myself in his business completely changed my business. I took one full month to build my network and expand my circle of influence. I am now one phone call away from reaching anyone on the planet to get whatever I want or need. Step away from your game long enough to disengage. Join someone else’s team for a while. When you get back to yours, you’ll play a whole new game.

Life can change in 21 days. Twice!

My life transformed from May 1 – May 21 when I put my business on hold to work with Larry. Everything changed again from May 23 – June 13, when a small financial blessing triggered a windfall of money. Yes, life can change in 21 days. Twice. And with very little time in between.


I listened to my intuition. I didn’t let my mind override my heart. I trusted the message only my inner knowing could hear. I listened to what other people said and what they encouraged me to do. I listened with a beginner’s mind. Not easy but really worth it. Trying listening with your ears, eyes, heart and soul. Your life will change right before your very ears.

I stopped defending and protecting my beliefs, principles and point of view.

The world of possibility has opened up to me. Even if I’m convinced my belief, principle or point of view is “right” I ask, “Is it BEST?” My view is still limited. Someone else might have a better idea. Seeing other views expands the range of possibilities and adds dimension. What are you defending and protecting that if you stopped, would unlock something that might be better for you?

Beware of systemic abuse, especially self-abuse.

I discovered that when not restrained, my ego wants to put my idea of the way things ought to be above everything, even the feelings of others. This is “systemic abuse” – I let my mind rule and put my thinking above someone’s feelings and well being. This happens every day in some way. I will devote an entire chapter of my book to systemic abuse in business and life because it’s that prevalent and that destructive. Worse still is systemic self-abuse: the continual criticism and tearing down of me by me. I’ve been told I can be heard scolding myself in the shower. That’s UGLY!

I’m all in this game to eliminate systemic abuse. Nothing matters more than loving and serving people. Not money, fame, success, rules or your idea of the way things ought to be. When given the choice to obey the rules (even your own) or to love and serve, LOVE and SERVE! Put your soul and role above your goal. Do your soul setting and role setting before you do your goal setting. Let me know how it works.

Life keeps going then one day it stops. Enjoy today.

My nephew passed away in December 2010 too young at 46 with too much life left to go. He left behind a beautiful wife, 3 gorgeous kids under 8 years old and my broken-hearted brother and sister-in-law who live with the unbearable pain of losing a child. Once again I was jolted into remembering to be kind, relish every day, and be present in every moment. My game is to fill my day with love, serve and deliver. If I love, serve and deliver, I will have a great life. More than likely, the money will come. If it doesn’t, I still have a great life.

My learning continues.
Like life, it’s a work in progress.

Thanks for sharing my journey.
Please share yours with me.

You’re a player.
You CAN change YOUR game.

I’ll meet you on the field.


P/S ~ To fulfill my promise to myself and my peeps who love and supported me this year, I will come out from under the rock and let you know about what’s going on in my life and my work. I’m thrilled to see fields of plenty and exciting to share my bounty with you.

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