Are You Addicted to Hustle Porn?

Your hustle porn addiction is ruining your chances for fulfillment.

Many social media influencers, like Gary Vee and Grant Cardone, advocate that a passion for your work allows you to put in the hundred hour week, which is the only way to success in business.

Granted, hard work is essential for progress, but what if you’re not passionate about your work? Can you make the living you want AND have a fulfilling life?

I think about the doctors, lawyers, accountants, sanitary workers, pharmaceutical sales people, dental hygienist, etc. that may not love their daily tasks. Still, when they disconnect with a book, an affinity group, a vacation outside of work, they find true joy… even while reminiscing in their daily routine.

Balance in life does not come from an even distribution of work and non-work. It comes from focusing intensely on the task of the moment. This can be optimizing a spreadsheet, planting a garden, or playing with your kids.

Make the time for each of these activities and block out the distracting noise.

This is the path to fulfillment.

My Admiration for Practicers of the Craft

Infrastructure jobs are dangerous, and we don’t give the workers enough love.

There’s a power line crew installing new poles in my street. It’s impressive to watch.

They park on the swale of a busy street protected by half a dozen little, orange cones. Next, they jump into a 2 SF bucket and proceed to work with high voltage wires 30 feet in the air.

These folks come from all backgrounds and all geographies to do this work in my little town. They probably have interesting stories, but we rarely get to interact with them. The same goes for road crews, high rise window washers, and many others that make our modern life seamless, beautiful, and easy to navigate.

The front office is the beneficiary of their hard work.

So long as everything works the way it should, guests don’t have a reason to complain about the facility.

Upon realizing this, I’m taking every opportunity to thank a technician, engineer, and construction worker.

I’m Still Hopeful

Top 10 for this decade…

We’re off to a rocky start, but I’m excited for what the 20s will bring. Not sure it will all come to fruition, but I’m hopeful.

  1. Publicly available self-driving cars
  2. Organ transplants from our own stem cells
  3. Private recreational space flight
  4. Exponential cost reduction in private renewable energy sources
  5. Widespread popular return to love and collaboration
  6. Tipping point for impact investing
  7. My first 10 books published
  8. Nanotech making everything better
  9. Psychedelics widely accepted as a highly effective treatment for mental health challenges and performance enhancement
  10. Awareness and reversal of the widening wealth gap – because the poor get wealthier not the wealthy getting poorer

The Distraction Economy


Nobody cares what you have to say…

…until they do.

Our customers, guests, investors, employees, etc. are bombarded with distractions every second of every day. Your best line of defense is to learn to play a good offense.

This starts with learning the basics of copywriting.

Learn to write good headlines, captivating email subjects, and engaging first sentences. Their purpose is to bring your reader to the heart of your message.

The most productive leaders in the next decade will captivate their audiences with great copy.

A Basic Biz. Dev. Playbook

Deal sourcing is simple.

And difficult.

I’m always excited to talk to aspiring deal makers on BiggerPockets, universities, and anywhere else. There’s so much ambition and excitement. They just need the simple playbook.

The best part is that this applies to any business development role.

It all starts with relationships.

Top three deal sources:

  • Brokers: intermediaries that work with owners to shop an opportunity
  • Owners: direct sources of new opportunities
  • Centers of Influence: people that may come across an opportunity in their day-to-day, but it’s not a focus

Like anything, success in this depends on consistent, deliberate activity.

Rethink “The After” for Your Customer


Everyone loves to play. The anticipation is exciting. The event itself has so many wonderful touch points. But, the after is best done by someone else.

Special events are always a lot of work to prepare, which is still fun. The event itself is a blast, but the clean up is tough.

I’m finding myself leaning more toward doing special events at a hotel or restaurant. I allocate more of the cost to the convenience of someone else cleaning up than anything else.

We all have other areas of life where the after is too much work.

Our reputation as a service provider depends heavily on making “the after” easy for our customer. Think weddings, corporate events, concerts, investments, employee onboarding, etc.

Revenue is Everything

Revenue drives business. Demand drives revenue. Therefore, demand drives business.

Seems pretty simple, but we get so caught up in our day-to-day that we forget this basic principle.

Demand for hotel rooms in any given market is determined by factors way outside our control. Consequently, we must position our hotel to attract the segment of that demand that fits our offering best.

For example, there’s X demand for upscale full service hotels. You get your fair share (x1) by pricing competitively, but you can also influence those potential guests with proactive measures, like great TripAdvisor reviews, advertising in the right places, and building strategic partnerships, among other strategies.

Investors should push the operator or deal sponsor to explain how they intend to get their fair share or better. It’s more than a supply and demand analysis. It’s all part of a comprehensive business plan.

Build a Reputation for Good Business

Your success in the arena is impacted by the other players.

A prospective customer is the player we focus most of our energy toward. They are the recipients of our marketing messages, cold calls, and relationship-building tactics. However, we overlook our competitors and colleagues at our peril.

We can take one of three approaches to interacting with competitors and colleagues.

  1. Ignore them and focus exclusively on our customer
  2. Engage with them to steal their slice of the pie
  3. Engage with them to increase the pie for everyone

In my experience, people are more likely to help than hurt you, professionally. In fact, those that seek to hurt you may win in the short run, but they are always grinding because their reputation doesn’t consistently yield new business.

Seek to become a center of influence within your field. Opportunity comes to those that provide thought leadership.

How to React to Market Uncertainty

Core plus deals are boring…

…but cash flow is super sexy.

Geopolitical risk is front and center for most investors, right now. Various South and Central American countries are experiencing distress, and of course, there’s the tremendous uncertainty COVID-19.

I continue to target value add opportunities, but I’ve increased attention on fundamental deal-level performance. I’m also targeting locations with multiple demand drivers and supply / demand moats.

Cash flow, basis, and conservative leverage are more important than ever.

Four Essential Affirmations

I’m smart; I’m a hard worker; it’s ok to make mistakes; and it’s good to try hard things.

My five year old recites these affirmations every morning when I drop him off at school.

Seeing it written reminds me of Jack Handy, but this is a powerful gift that I only discovered much later in life.

We have 45,000-60,000 thoughts per day. Ninety-five percent are repetive.

An untrained mind very easily defaults to mostly (85%) negative thoughts.

We learn through repetition. Therefore, a set of uplifting affirmations delivered on a consistent basis rewires your brain in that direction.

These were originally designed to empower a new, frightened kindergartner. They quickly became my go-to mantra in regular daily meditation.