Category Archives: Relationships


The surprising person who will get you a new job.

This morning, I tweeted that “If you are up this early, we needed to be connected on LinkedIN.” I’ve done that a few times lately and think that you and I should connect. Here’s my profile. Let’s do it!

Someone responded “I’m old enough to remember when you were supposed to actually know someone before you linked to them in LinkedIn.”

That’s a good point and maybe it was true a few years ago. The problem is that some people still believe that.

The reality, as discussed by many people notably Malcolm Gladwell, is that your next job is likely to come from someone you don’t know well.

We tend to think our closest friends will help us network. We tend to think our best friends and family members are the greatest sources of relational opportunities. They’re not though. Strangers are going to provide you a lot more connections to new jobs than your inner circle. Why?

Because your inner circle tends to travel in the same situations you do. They work similar jobs. They live in your town. They bump into roughly the same opportunities you do.

People on the edges though, people you might only know from the Internet, they tend to see things you don’t. They know companies you don’t. They have conversations and connections you don’t. The wide circle has more connections than the tight.

The reason I wrote 25% of my book Do Over about relationships is that they are the original job hack. You’ll get more jobs via a friendship than any other thing. (You can pick up a copy today for only $11. What are you waiting for?)

I hope you’ll connect as often as you can with as many people as you can on LinkedIN. Again, here’s my info if you want to connect to me.

You just might be surprised by who helps you get your next job.



100 Words: The gift & danger of friends.

Image via Joe Tokay.

Whether you’re 14 or 44, the company you keep, determines the heights that you will peak.

We understood this as teens. Peer pressure was a thing, your mom didn’t want you to hang out with “that kid.” But your mom doesn’t know who you hang out at work with and the stakes are higher because now you’re an adult and the years are shorter.

The friends you give your calendar to are vitamins or poisons. The best bring out the best in you, the worst tell you that your worst is best.

Also, be careful around people who own ferrets.


How to run 4 miles when you really don’t want to.

If I ate queso as often as I tweeted about it, I would be dead.

They’d serve it at my funeral with a fountain in one final nod to the melted cheese dream that put me in the grave, but it would be game over for me.

In order to eat queso, I have to work out.

Is that the weirdest reason ever to exercise? Surely no one in the history of mankind has told a trainer, “My motivation for hitting the gym is cheese, glorious cheese.”



Traveling makes exercise difficult so I have to plan ahead. I have to pack my workout clothes. I have to pack my sneakers. I have to pre-select a time in my schedule when I can fit in some time on the hotel fitness center.

Calling two old treadmills and seven barbells in a closet does not a “fitness center” make, but hotels are creative with their words.

Three weeks ago I planned to run three miles in Houston, Texas. I got everything ready before hand and was laser focused on running three miles. A little voice inside my heads said, “Why don’t you run 4?” But like most times in my life I was quickly able to shut the positive voice up. (The negative voice in my head? I tend to hold open mic nights for that guy and listen and listen and listen.)

Read More


Stop trying to make everyone like you.

The reason we argue with the critics and ignore the people who like us is simple:

We want everyone to like us.

We want a 100% approval rating.

I’m here to tell you, it’s not coming.

Not because you’re dumb.

Not because you’re lazy.

Not because you just haven’t tried hard enough.

You’ll never have 100% support for your dream.

The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can start having fun with the people who do support it.

I want 100% approval sometimes. When someone tweets, “I used to like you more a few years ago,” I want to prove to them that I’m still a good person. When someone says, “I miss the funny you,” I want to call them on the phone and ask where our comedic sensibilities parted ways. When someone I’d never met walked up to Jenny and I recently at a farmer’s market and said something really ugly to me based on who they thought I was, I wanted sweep his leg Cobra Kai style.

But karate is never the answer and for all I know, that dude knew the crane kick.

I want 100% approval but then I remember something.

Your ability to do awesome things is proportional to your willingness to be criticized by people who don’t understand them.

The end.


Stop saying, “I had to ask!”

“I had to ask!”

No, you didn’t.

You wanted to ask and there’s a big difference between those two things. In Do Over, I spend 25% of the book talking about the importance of relationships. Why? Because relationships often get you the first gig. Someone will take a chance on you because they know you and trust you. Someone will give you an opportunity your skills might not have earned yet because of a friendship. And phrases like “I had to ask” tend to wear away at relationships.

If you say, “I had to ask,” it removes the responsibility from you. Some outside force made you ask. Your hands were tied, there was nothing you could do except ask.

So you did and the person you asked for a favor said no. You responded to his/her no with “I had to ask!” Or, instead you said, “Well, there’s no harm in asking,” only that’s not true either.

There can be harm in asking. Maybe the person you asked feels used. You barely know them and have jumped gigantic intimacy levels by overreaching with your favor request. Maybe they felt manipulated by the ask. Maybe they’ve now quietly moved you from, “People who are my friends” to “People who just want favors” bucket.

Don’t kid yourself. There’s harm in asking, especially if you do it the wrong way with the wrong person.

Does that mean you shouldn’t ask anyone for anything? Of course not. Your friends want to help you. They’re excited to help you. The time you’ve invested in that relationship completely changes the request.

Asking is hard but it’s not complicated. Here’s a simple way to remember the right way to do it:

Ask friends for favors. Ask strangers for friendship.


A simple truth about writing a book.

Authors write books.

Readers make them bestsellers.

That’s one of the scary things about writing.

You spend a year of your life saying no to other things. Things that might be guaranteed to work. Things that might have been easier. Things that might have made more sense to people on the outside.


Because you have an idea you believe in. So you take this very limited thing you have, time, and you give it to the idea.

Statistically speaking, I’ll get 73 years on this planet, barring a run in with a bear. To give one of those 73 years to an unproven idea was intimidating.

Will people read it?

Will people identify with it?

Will people be encouraged by it, challenged by it, emboldened by it?

These are the questions that keep you up at night as an author.

I wrote Do Over  because I needed it. I went through the largest career transition I’ve ever experienced and I needed it. But that’s certainly no guarantee that other people will too.

There’s no guarantee that college seniors will recognize graduation as the Do Over it is.

There’s no guarantee that Parent’s Magazine will name it their “Mom Must Read.”

There’s no guarantee that Bloomberg BusinessWeek will feature it as part of their
“Master’s Class.”

Although all of these things happened in the last few weeks, when you start writing, nothing is guaranteed.

But the thing you never try, always fails.

So you try.

You write.

You paint.

You apply to new jobs.

You open a business.

You go back to school even though everyone else seems so young.

You sacrifice that rarest of gifts, time, for something you believe in.

And then you hope. Because writers don’t make books successful, readers do. Business owners don’t make businesses successful, customers do. Musicians don’t make albums successful, listeners do.

Do Over is a success because you made it so.

You bought it for yourself. You bought it for a friend. You bought it for a son or daughter who bumped into the 20s and didn’t know what to do next.

You put it on all these bestseller lists.


Thank you!

And if you haven’t bought Do Over yet, I dare you to take a look at it.

I dare you to crack open the first few pages and see what thousands and thousands of other people have already discovered.

I dare you to launch your next dream, from the pages of a book I wrote for you and book I wrote for me.

Here’s where you can buy a copy. Here’s to dreaming. Here’s to trying. Here’s to your Do Over.
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Family Christian