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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Help others get what they want

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Having the mindset of helping, rather than selling is important for any business. Zig Ziglar said it well when he said, “If you can dream it then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.”

They key component of success is HELPING. This past weekend, I was attending a trade show and met a man who understood this. He was selling large mixing equipment for commercial kitchens. I was interested in a mixer that could blend spices and other ingredients. He knew exactly what we needed and pointed us towards a machine called a Ribbon Blender. But to my surprise he never tried to sell me the machine. He told me I was better off going on Ebay and finding one used for a few thousand dollars, as opposed to $45k from him.

I don’t know if he was the owner or just a sales rep, but this man from Munson equipment noticed that we were just a small company, and rather than trying to get us to purchase a machine we couldn’t afford, he helped us out by telling us we were better off buying from somebody else. He also took the time to show us the exact machine we would need. As a result, Munson equipment has more than likely earned my business in the future, when we are ready to purchase large equipment new.

But beware of helping only out of the desire to get what you want. People can tell when you are genuine. If you don’t feel genuine and honest in the line of work you are in, it may be time to find a new job, one where you truly believe in what you are selling and can sincerely help people fill a need.


Take a break for crying out loud

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I’ve never understood the workaholic mentality. It’s though working 50-70 hours a weeks is a badge of honor for some people, but I see it as misplaced priorities. Even if you love what you do for a living, truly love it, nobody should be working that much on a regular basis. There is a time and maybe even a season for it, but it should never be the norm.

Everybody needs time off from work to rejuvenate, recuperate, and refresh (RR&R) the mind. We all need a bit of RR&R. The frequency in which we need RR&R may be different for everybody, but we all need it! Vayner Media is known for it’s unlimited vacation days policy because they know that everybody has different needs in terms of RR&R. One person might only need a total of one week off a year to get the rest the need from work, others might require 3-4.

If you are not used to this mindset you might see it as sucking away productive time, but I would venture to say you are likely to have more productive hours if you get plenty of RR&R, or rather just the right amount. It’s not a system to be abused, it’s put there in order to make team members more productive, not less. Burn out will only lead to frustration and lower productivity, but if a person is given the ability to re-charge and refresh as needed, they are going to have more productive hours when they are at work.

All this to say, taking some time off is good! This past weekend after a trade show in Las Vegas I stayed an extra day so I could get some rock climbing in at Red Rocks Canyon. It was just the refreshment I needed after a very busy month. For me, breathing mountain air soothes the soul, calms the nerves, and helps me rejuvenate so I can get more done, and I didn’t feel the least bit guilty for taking an extra day for myself.

Here are a few photos from my day on the rock:

Summit of Solar Slab in Red Rocks Canyon.

Summit of Solar Slab in Red Rocks Canyon.


About half way up Solar Slab, pitch 3 or 4 in climbers terminology.

About half way up Solar Slab, pitch 3 or 4 in climbers terminology.


Climbing high!

Climbing high!


Moon Rise in Red Rocks Canyon

Moon Rise in Red Rocks Canyon

A Beard for a Baby – National Adoption Month

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Many of you might know from a post I made back in late May about being a part of A Beard for a Baby. With November being National Adoption Month (along with No Shave November and Movember) I thought it was fitting to make one last plea for sponsors. I’m still looking for seven sponsors myself at $60 per person (or whatever you can give). My friends The Hoffman’s are raising funds to help cover their international adoption costs. You can read more about it on the A Beard for a Baby blog.

Beard Growth Tracker

My beard around June 1st (left) vs Nov 1 (right).

So, please take a moment to sponsor my beard.
Just go here, and donate via PayPal, be sure to put my name in the “Who’s beard are you supporting” box.

I was also recently featured as a “beard of the week.” So, check that out too.

Just label it with a YUCK FACE

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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are in foods everywhere, but you would never know it because there are no labeling requirements for manufacturers stating that they must let consumers know what is really in the food they are eating.

California recently tried to pass a law that would require GMO foods to be labeled, and Washington state is currently trying to pass Initiative 522. California’s Prop 37 was defeated as a result of a last minute propaganda push by food giant Monsanto and other large food manufacturers.

I find it ridiculous that we require food manufacturers to PAY to disclose clean ingredients, i.e. Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Kosher, etc. THIS is what is causing our food prices to rise:  not requiring labeling for GMO foods. The only price increase for manufacturers would be a change in the packaging, which is minimal compared to the annual fees clean food producers have to pay to get certifications.

I’m proposing a couple of easy changes in the food-manufacturing world that would help reduce the cost of clean foods for everybody.

  1. Stop requiring food manufacturers to pay to make the organic claim. Notice I didn’t say stop charging the farmers to get their certification. There does have to be some checks in place to ensure the product is clean, but if a food manufacturer buying ingredients from organic farmers wants to make the organic claim on the package, they should be able to without paying to do so.
  2. Start requiring manufacturers using GMOs in their foods to use one of the following icons on the package, so consumers know what they are really getting
    Yuck Face - GM

    The poison control yuck face….this should be required on all products containing GMO’s.

    Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.22.18 AM

    An alternative GMO labeling requirement…the skull and crossbones.

The new awareness would help drive an increase in the demand for clean food, thus driving down the overall cost to consumers. It’s simple economies of scale.

The reason why there is so much push back from major food manufacturers is they don’t have a large line of organic products in their mix. They are afraid of losing busin ess to smaller companies that provide clean foods.

I will say this, though… these changes and requirements can’t be made overnight. Whole Foods is requiring the labeling of GMOs in all foods on their shelf by 2018. They reason they gave a deadline so far in the future was to give vendors/manufacturers time to source non-GMO ingredients and to make the appropriate changes, so they aren’t required to get the mark of death on their product (via a shelf tag).

Considering there is a lack of organic farming, there would have to be a reasonable timeline given so farmers could make the transition to organic to meet the new demand. It’s a needed change. It just won’t be made overnight.

I’m constantly frustrated as a food manufacturer that we are being penalized for providing clean, organic, non-GMO products to the market, and yet companies that are poisoning us are going unchecked and un-penalized. It’s high time we make a change, before we all get cancer and die from the food we are eating.