Category Archives: Uncategorized

Uncategorized

Do you have a terrified Cinderella rug I could buy?

Cinderella

Designer:
I’m making the designs for that new Cinderella rug. Are we doing the standard smile?

Client:
No, I’ve got a new idea. I don’t want a smile. I want a slightly concerned frown. Like one of those moments on the Bachelor when the guy says something really dumb and the contestants are trying to pretend he didn’t? I want Cinderella’s mouth to say, “What did I get myself into? I barely know this guy. I decided to marry him after one dance? Who does that? That’s how marriages start on the Jersey Shore. I only know two things about this guy: He’s good at dancing and he has my shoe. Is this really who I want raising my children?” Can you make the smile look like that?

Designer:
I think so. We call it the “old turkey” in the design industry. It’s the look you make when you smell old turkey in your fridge and you can’t remember when you bought it. You really want a turkey sandwich but you’re perched on the razor’s edge of food poisoning. Is the turkey still good? Does turkey always smell this gross and you’ve just never noticed? You’d call your wife and ask her but she’s super tired of you calling her in the middle of the day with turkey-related questions, so instead you just scrunch up your face and say “ehhhhh.”

Client:
Perfect. And for the eyes, I want her cutting them to the side trying to get the attention of a friend who can save her from a bad date. She met the guy on Tinder and he’s committed a significant amount of “Face Fraud.”

Designer:
What’s that?

Client:
Face Fraud is when you use a photo from 5 years or older as your profile pic. You find your best photo and post it regardless of if it looks like you anymore. Anyway, she’s on this date with this guy from Tinder and she regrets it. The guy didn’t mention how many ferrets he owns and he owns a lot. He won’t stop talking about them and keeps saying, “They really don’t smell once you get to know them.” But that’s a lie. And she knows it, Cinderella knows it. She just saw Belle walk into the bar and she’s hoping that if she can cut her eyes and express enough panic/terror in them, Belle will come over and help her escape the date. But Belle is busy talking to a cup and a plate so it’s a real challenge. She’s cutting those eyes, just hoping. Can you do that look?

Designer:
Definitely.

Client:
Great. This is going to be one amazing rug.

Tweet this please:

HustleUncategorized

If you have time to binge watch TV, you have time to hustle.

Everyone I know is busy.

We have too many emails, too many meetings and too many commitments.

I haven’t met anyone in the last 5 years who said, “I just have too much free time.”

We are all too busy.

But just as we gripe about our bloated calendars, we discuss the TV shows we are watching.

Not just watching, binge watching.

That used to be a bad word. In the 80s, “binge” had a negative reputation indicating something unhealthy.

The word binge was whispered about people who had no self-control. “Did you hear about Tim and the Rolos? It’s just terrible. He binged on the whole bag like they were peanuts. But they’re not. They’re chewy caramels covered in milk chocolate. Dark if you’re fancy and think you’re better than everyone. He binged!”

Now, that word is a product benefit used to sell shows and movies and cable sign ups.

Binge

I’m OK with that. I like TV. I love Netflix. It’s one of my favorite apps on my iPhone.

What I’m not OK with is us pretending we’re busy and then binge watching things.

Please stop telling me you’re too busy to hustle on a dream and then tell me about how you binge watched Making a Murderer.

When our words betray our actions, we miss the simple truth about time:

1. You have more time than you think.
2. You make time for things that matter.

Time is funny that way. If we really want to find it, we usually can.

You don’t get to use both B words in your life. You can’t say you’re too busy and at the same time give in to the binge.

It’s one or the other.

Watch a show. Watch a thousand shows, just don’t tell me you’re too busy to hustle on your dreams.

There’s always enough time for the things we care about.

HustleUncategorized

3 reasons to give someone a book this Christmas.

Books

Do you know when I realized I was an adult?

When I got luggage for Christmas and was excited.

I got a new suitcase and was thrilled/depressed. I was thrilled because it had a tri-fold department that would keep my shirts from getting wrinkled when I flew. I was depressed because I cared whether shirts got wrinkled.

I like luggage and was glad to get that gift, but do you know what makes an even better present?

A book.

Do you know why? You’re about to because here comes a list of reasons:

1. Books are passports.
When you give someone a book, you give them much more than just a collection of ink and paper. You give them a passport to a different world. You give them the keys to a whole new kingdom. You give them an invitation to a new way of looking at things. A tie is just a tie. A blender is just a blender. A book is never just a book. When Brian Jones gave me “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” in 1999 he gave me a survival kit for the corporate world I was about to enter. I never forgot it and to this day I still give copies of the book to other people.

2. Books are personal.
I used to think “it’s the thought that counts” was just a phrase grandmothers said to make you feel better about the terrible homemade gifts they got from grandchildren who were bad at glitter infused crafts. Now I know it’s true. When you give someone a book, it’s always personal. It always has thought behind it. In a sea of 3 million possibilities you picked out one book for one friend. It’s especially personal if it’s a book you already read and loved.

3. Books are for now and later.
My favorite thing about books is that they tend to find you at the exact moment you need them most. Have you ever had that experience? A friend gives you a book and you don’t read it right away. You read a few pages but it doesn’t hit you. So you put it on a shelf and forget it even exists. Later that month or year, something in your life changes and the book almost jumps off the shelf. You pick it up a second time and it’s like it was written just for you. When you give someone a book, it’s like you’ve given them a time capsule to open later.

I think about books as gifts because I’ve written some that didn’t make good gifts. If you gave someone my book, “Quitter,” it felt like you were saying, “Hey, here’s a book about quitting a terrible job, like the one you have. Loser.” You couldn’t give that one to people.

Do Over is just the opposite. It’s a book about learning to love your job. It’s funny and personal and helpful. It makes a great gift for:

A stay at home mom curious about doing something new. Parents Magazine named it the “Mom must read of the month.”

Someone in their 20s who wants a guide to navigating the ever changing world of careers.

A military member about to transition into or out of the armed services. (You talk about a big Do Over

, entering civilian life is a gigantic transition.)

Anyone who wants to add more meaning (and fun) to a job. We’re all going to spend 40-60 hours of each week for 40-60 years of our lives working, shouldn’t we invest in them?

In summary, Do Over is a bright, yellow surfboard for anyone surfing the career waves.

Give a friend, a family member or yourself a copy this Christmas.

But regardless of which book you buy this year, I challenge you to buy one for one friend.

Books are big gifts that look small on the outside.

Give big.

Uncategorized

The complete list of things that smell better than Christmas Trees.

The complete list of things that smell better than Christmas Trees.

1. Nothing

That’s right, nothing.

Nothing smells better than Christmas Trees.

Apple pie? Nope.

Fresh cut grass? Not even close.

Clean laundry? You’re kidding me.

Smells that remind you of chores aren’t amazing.

Neither is any smell that is supposed to mimic the beach. Call it “night time seashore,” “Ocean Escape,” “Craig goes to the sea.” I don’t care what the name is, beach themed smells never deliver.

But Christmas Trees always deliver the goods.

You light a candle that smells like a Christmas Tree and you’re no longer a stressed out mom bouncing between 19 different Christmas commitments with two screaming kids and a runny nose that just won’t quit outside of Cleveland, Ohio. One smell of that candle and you’re on the coast of Maine at Christmas time, carrying back your fresh cut tree through knee deep snow on a horse drawn carriage.
candle1

 

That’s the #1 reason you should buy a Hope Candle from Thistle Farms today.

The #2 reason? Your candle will help women escape trafficking, prostitution and addiction.

#3? Because Thistle Farms has been helping women for 18 years and has such high quality products that Whole Foods carries them.

#4? Seriously? You still need reasons? The Maine thing didn’t do it? Because it’s awesome to help people and if we sell 5,000 candles we can get them a new candle making machine. If they can make more candles, they can create more jobs, which will help get women off the waiting list for the two year residential rehab program Thistle Farms offers.

Christmas Trees smell fantastic and that’s what this candle smells like.

Buy one today for yourself.

Buy one as a gift!

We’ve sold about 2,500 and I don’t want you to miss this chance to be part of something fun.

Buy one here!

Uncategorized

Dear perfect Elf on the Shelf parents, an open letter.

Dear perfect Elf on the Shelf people,

stop it.

Seriously, quit it.

You’re making the rest of us parents look horrible.

It’s only December 8th and do you know what our Elf did last night? I’ll show you:

Elf on Shelf

That’s right. He’s in a freezer. Why? Because when our Elf on the Shelf iPhone “hide the elf” alarm went off, we were out of ideas. Let’s pause for a second. That’s right, we had to set a freaking alarm to remind ourselves to hide this thing. We are the worst parents.

So Jenny and I decided, “Let’s put him in the freezer. That’s a thing. We’ll make him hold a popsicle. That’s whimsical or something. Whatever.”

I think he’s sitting on a loaf of bread or maybe some ham. I don’t know. I don’t care. The day before that I made him sit on a bunch of copies of Do Over. (Product placement!) The day before that he hid in a jar. Why? Because jars are easy for me to open. Don’t judge me. You don’t know my life.

Then I get online and see photos of your elf. You’ve built a trapeze with the elf hanging from the roof of your house with some sort of homemade jet pack. The day after that he’s driven your car into the front yard and left some clever message spelled out with Skittles. You’re making the rest of us parents, who hide the elf in the Christmas tree 9 times in December, look bad. Plus, you’re not showing all of your elf days online, just the greatest hits. (That’s the photographic equivalent of putting the song “Christmas Shoes” on repeat.)

And don’t tell me you got that photo in one take. You didn’t. You took at least 10 photos of that scene, I guarantee it. You tried 5 filters before you found the perfect one.

Do you understand what that means? We’ve become Elf on the Shelf paparazzi. You also never show the after photo. The one where there are ants all over your counter because you left a trail of powdered sugar footprints when the Elf had a powdered sugar snowball fight with a teddy bear named “Prickles.”

I think next year Jenny and I are going to have to move houses because we’ve run out of ideas. This is our 8th year. If this is your first, I totally give you a free pass. Have at it. But if you and your spouse are holding brainstorming meetings in November for elf planning, we’ve got a problem.

It’s exhausting.

Please stop,

Jon

p.s. If this is you, please sign this petition by forwarding this or sharing it on Facebook or tweeting it or doing anything you can to get it into the hands of perfect Elf on the Shelf people. They must be told.

Uncategorized

How to connect with top mentors without inviting them to coffee.

(I don’t do many guest posts these days, but for years, I’ve loved getting to know the author of this one. I shared the stage with Lewis Howes at World Domination Summit and asked him to write about this topic because I’ve watched him do an amazing job of connecting with mentors. He’s also built a massive podcast with 9 million downloads in part because he’s so great at connecting with people. For more great stuff from Lewis, check out his book “The School of Greatness.”)

lewis lights

How to connect with top mentors without inviting them to coffee. By Lewis Howes

My most valuable business asset, aside from my ability to hustle, is my network. I can pick up the phone and call any number of friends and powerful experts in a wide range of topics asking for advice and I know it will be exactly what I need to get results.

This is priceless.

But about 8 years ago I couldn’t pick up the phone and call one person who I trusted for business advice. I knew football coaches, previous teammates and ex-girlfriends and that was about it. So, if you don’t feel like you have much of a network currently, don’t worry. There’s hope.

Coincidentally, it was my girlfriend at the time who introduced me to one of my first business mentors, when I was a washed up football player recovering from surgery, and clueless about what to do with my career. She knew an inventor who had just moved back to Columbus, Ohio, where I was living at the time, and she arranged a meeting between us.

I showed up in jeans and a ripped off tee shirt with an attitude like I had it all figured out. Thankfully, I was able to tell pretty quickly that this inventor, Chris Hawker, was really smart and a good guy. I could see I might have a chance to learn something from him if I played my cards right. So I started asking him a lot of questions, really listened to the answers, and at the end of our conversation, I asked him if I could work for him.

He said no. But I said I’d follow up anyway.

I followed up with him every week for months until he finally said I could come work for free around his office (and my desk was a closet in his kitchen). I worked for him for a number of months, eventually making $500 a month, sitting in that closet making phone calls and going to trade shows with him. But in exchange, I got to go on a walk with him once a day where I could ask him any question I wanted.

This experience was priceless.

Chris is still my good friend, mentor, and business partner to this day. He taught me so much more than how to run a business or come up with a good product idea. He taught me that to develop a powerful, mutually supportive relationship with a mentor, you have to be willing to give way more than you ask.

Lewis-book-mockup2In fact, don’t ask for anything.

Just offer to be of meaningful service, in any capacity that will help the mentor in achieving what is important to them. (This could be as simple as showing them how to set up a Twitter cover image that doesn’t look terrible.)

Offer to work for free.

Say yes to anything.

Hustle hard.

Show them you are grateful and willing to learn.

Keep your word.

Skip coffee meetings and go straight to offering a potential mentor whatever you can that will aid them in their own business. Be patient and before you know it, you’ll have a much bigger network. It’s worth the work, I promise.