Dying to be Impressed

Dying to be Impressed

World Class.

That’s exactly how I’d describe my recent dinner at O Ya (a new sushi place in New York City) a couple weeks ago. One of the only dinners I can recently remember that left me feeling utterly impressed and entirely exhausted.

I was exhausted because every round of the 18 course meal was its own little tasting universe. A two hour adventure for my tastebuds filled with unique flavors, textures, cool chills and slow mouth-watering burns artfully crafted for the eye and stomach. It was the most mentally exhausted I’ve ever been after a meal…and boy was I impressed. I won’t ever forget this meal or the service.

Oh and by the way, it wasn’t cheap…but entirely worth it. I bet there are at least 100 restaurants in the Flatiron district of Manhattan within two blocks of O Ya where we could’ve gotten stuffed. It wasn’t about money and I hope to do it again for the same expensive price. By the way, If you love the Sush (my short for sushi) check out the gallery and try not drooling on your keyboard.

Back to the experience. This is exactly what happens when you impress your audience. Your value goes up. You control more of the “ask” in the relationship.

People, clients, your boss, your closest friends. They’re all dying to be impressed.

Maybe a restaurant isn’t enough and you’d like a more real world example of someone (much more important than me)…dying to be impressed.

Enter Kevin Durant.


The twenty seven year old NBA Superstar and mega free agent. Teams throughout the league came to his calling for services that would almost certainly cost them more than $30 million a year. The ironic thing about this story in my mind is everyone thought he’d stay in OKC (Oklahoma City). Every talk radio show and press I read had him staying put. EVERYONE. Apparently, everyone I just mentioned included OKC, their ownership, executives, coaches and team, because why on earth would Kevin leave a team one game (arguably one shot) away from beating the Golden State Warriors and heading to the NBA Finals?

He wasn’t impressed.

Who did impress him? The team that sent him packing in 2016. The team with the NBA record 73 regular season wins and already has three all-star level talents. They were dying to impress KD…and they did!

They went to so many lengths as to have four of their key players, their nucleus, show up arm-in-arm to meet with KD in the Hamptons (across the country from the “Golden State” of California) on New York’s coast. The logo (Jerry West) was also there from the GS Warriors management to help cement the deal.

They sold (and impressed the hell out of) Kevin Durant. He’s now a Golden State Warrior.

Thunder fans burned his jersey, the rest of the league cries foul, and a “super team” is formed yet again.  Whose fault is that? I blame Golden State for taking it upon themselves to leave no doubt. The rest of the teams came in second. Also interesting to note, it had nothing to do with money. He was going to get paid everywhere.

Just when you think you’ve got it whipped. Give the extra hour. Never forget the proverbial “icing on the cake” for every time you’re faced with an opportunity. The world is bombarded with mediocre pitches all day every day. Be great.  Take a risk and impress the hell out of someone.

Kevin Durant was the ultimate “buyer” in this high stakes buy-sell relationship. But all that said, I don’t care if you’re selling a car, a suit, a house, an architecture plan, an idea, or yourself.

Remember, the person on the other end is dying to be impressed.

Will you?


We Get What We Must Have

Want vs. MUST

I’m publishing this post from 36,000 ft, flying back home from a recent visit to New York City.  As per my usual travel cadence, I spend the time coming home recapping the visit and reflecting on where I stand with my goals.

It wasn’t until this year I started viewing my goals a little differently, and it’s been extremely successful.

Want vs. Must

I’ve heard this probably 20+ times when listening to Tony Robbins, but it wasn’t until I put it (my goals) in writing, when I started to see massive change.

Here’s exactly how it happened for me and how it can happen for you.

  1. Sit down in a quiet place where you can be brutally honest with your feelings.  You have to be REAL & it’s only about YOU.
  2. Grab a pen and begin to be unreasonable with what you want… (no MUST have).  100% Honest.
  3. Make a list and read it frequently.  I try to read mine weekly.

The title of my list started as, “What do I really want.”  The problem with this title is it wasn’t committed enough.  Wants are nice, but they don’t change behavior.  My list now is titled, “My MUST Haves!”

Below is my exact list.  I’ve removed a couple highly personal elements of my list, but don’t let that stop your list.  The key here is NOT to compare your list.  Do NOT try and keep up with the Joneses.  Own your must haves.  Get honest and get in motion the lifestyle you want to live.

My MUST Haves:

  1. I must make a great income.  $______________/yr+  Why? Because it will provide our family with tremendous opportunities and freedom to explore and live without a “job.”  This income will provide tremendous freedom to explore all the experiences we’re looking for.
  2. I must be passionate about the work I’m doing, but not feel handcuffed to it.  I want to work from anywhere and anytime I feel the need.  I don’t want a job.  I want to own and manage a business and its outputs.  I’ve learned I have the talents to do such a thing and I’ve learned others whom I consider equally or even less talented have been successful in doing so.  Make it happen today!
  3. I must live on a golf course in a nice but not extravagant home.  Why? Because I want my neighbors to be right or left of me and not on all sides of me.  Because I want to play a couple holes at night if we find the time.  It’s my ideal scene in the evening.
  4. I must create multiple sources of income for our family through business ownership and other businesses (i.e. rental properties/etc).  Why?  Because I want the freedom for my wife to stay at home (if she even wants to).  Because when we can create enough passive income, we can limit our tax liability and continue to earn money without directly working for it.
  5. I must travel and explore all that this great country has to offer.  Mountains and lakes, oceans and cities.  I want to eat great food, drink great wine and relax in beautiful surroundings.  I want to travel multiple times per year with the family and invest in experiences and not empty things that clutter a house
  6. I must be on the attack and not on my heels.  I want to be aggressive in pursuing this lifestyle design and all that it can provide our family.  What is the alternative?  There isn’t one.  Make it happen.
  7. I want to live comfortably knowing we’re contributing to our future and our son’s future with consistently maxing out retirement contributions and never taking on too much debt (except debt paid by others).  We contribute here first, or we contribute to owning more assets that provide us monthly cash flow to continue our path to financial freedom.  More experiences and less stuff.
  8. I MUST continue to push to get better physically, spiritually and intellectually.  Continue to dive into new books, thoughts, blogs, and readings.  Continue to learn and expand my relationships.   Remain consistently unsatisfied.

ACTION ITEM: Get serious and get it in writing.   Don’t think in terms of, “want to have” think in absolutes and “must haves!”

We get our Musts!


Get To vs. Have To

Last week’s adventure proved a very telling story when forming perspective.  I invite you to join along.

Get To vs. Have To

I Get to….


I Have to….

I headed to New York City last week on business.  A trip I’ve made many, many times.  I left Wednesday morning and as customary for any time I leave, there is a slight feeling of loneliness and abandonment (from my wife).  I hate it.  Every time.  I’m sure she wouldn’t believe me telling you this, but sometimes I selfishly feel like it’s harder on me.  At least she gets to be there with our son Landon.  Sorry honey.

I’m wishing I was there.  I’m missing putting my son to bed.  I’m remorseful of her doing all the work on her own.  None of this is easy, and deserves a hero’s thank you to my wife or any wife who has a similar challenge.

This is where I personally have to make a choice.  Put yourself in my shoes and tell me how this feels.  Same exact scenario: entirely different mindset.


I HAVE TO go to New York.  I HAVE TO go there, to meet some people to hopefully advance our team’s opportunities and all along, I’m away from my family (which I love).  I HAVE TO deal with a day of travel there and a day of travel back.  The traffic is horrendous and it takes forever to get anywhere on time.  The people are usually less than pleasant.  I HAVE TO stay in a hotel where I know no one and try to find my way around this mega city.  I HAVE TO make these few days go fast. Who wants to deal with this?

Lets take a look at the other perspective.


I GET TO got to New York City.  I GET TO go there to: meet terrific new people, work with Fortune 100 brands, try new and fabulous food, experience a vibrant city culture (albeit for a few days) and have a blast doing it.  I GET TO be at an exclusive Samsung event where I will be one of only a few hundred people to see their newest devices before they hit stores.  I GET TO be in New York City, the center of the media universe.  I GET TO scope out all the cool places I can take my wife this fall when we make the trip together.  Thanks to technology, I GET TO FaceTime my wife and son every night and at least for a few moments pretend I’m in the same room they are.  I GET TO make the most of this opportunity, because when I do, I know it will pay off.  Who wouldn’t want this?

You may be wondering, where did this come from?  The answer: Thomas Edison.

I heard this story a couple weeks ago while listening to a podcast.  One night while retiring home to his family the brilliant inventor was interrupted by an urgent guest banging at his door.  His factory and research lab was ablaze and couldn’t be stopped by fire departments in the surrounding 8 communities.  His inventions destroyed.  His life’s work in the factory would vanish in the form of smoke and ash.  What did Thomas do?  Would he panic?  Would he burst into tears because his life’s work was certainly destroyed?

He said the following,

Come along quickly kids.  You won’t ever see a fire like this again in your life!

The facts of the matter were as follows according to Mr. Edison.  The factory needed cleaning anyway.  There were numerous piles of scrap and debris that would no longer be a nuisance.  Furthermore, the fire was like no other fire ever witnessed.  The unique blend of chemicals and scientific compounds made for a six story inferno with some of the most lively colors a fire could ever produce.  He wasn’t going to stop the fire, why not make the most of it while it burned.


Working on your perspective and mindset is like bathing.  You don’t have to do it every day, but those around you sure appreciate it when you do.

ACTION ITEM: Next time you’re on the “Woe is me” train, consider your Get to vs. Have to mindset.  If you’re still stuck, imagine someone else who would desperately love to have the same opportunity.



Blog bonus: here are a few shots I took from the Samsung Unpacked Event in NYC


JK Shin. President & CEO of Samsung












Samsung unveils Galaxy S6 Edge+ & Note5


Hands on device display











Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay


Samsung Note5 Up Close