The BEER Technique

New Managers frequently find that they need to learn a new set of skills as what got them there won’t help them move to the next level. A friend of mine taught me this technique and I’ve found it invaluable in dealing with professional, and personal situations.

If I’m having issues with someone, I don’t let it fester, I take them for a BEER.

Behavior- Review with the person what their behavior

“Bob, I wanted to talk with you about how you handled that customer yesterday….

Effects- Review with them the effects of this behavior.

……when we yell at customers it causes a lot of work for everyone, and drives away business…

Expectations – Talk about what your expectations of their behavior in the future.

…in the future my expectations are that you’ll manage the situation in a professional manner….

Review- Have them respond back to you what you discussed, and review with them in the future as necessary. This is an important step as it reinforces the discussion and lets them know you’ll be reviewng their future behaviors.

…I’ll be following up with you in a few days to review any new situations, just to make sure we’re on the same page, can you recap this conversation?”

What do you think of this technique?

 

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35-36

My Goals for 35-36:

BHAG Consigliere for 3 Friends – Fail- Not for lack of trying. The idea was that I’d help three of my friends achieve a goal that they’d otherwise find extremely difficult. I found that if it’s important to them they’ll make it happen. Once I realized this was probably a wash I focused just on helping friends be awesome at what they wanted to be awesome at. Not that I don’t normally try to do that, but I focused on being very forward learning on it.

Run a 100 Mile Ultra marathon- Fail- Per my previous post, I didn’t achieve this. My second individual race and fourth overall. It was a good learning experience. If I hadn’t run this race I wouldn’t have known as much as I *think* I know now. It taught me a lot about the longer distances, and I’ve been training my ass off in preparation for next year.

 

Learn to scuba dive – Pass- Completed my final dive in early August. Still looking forward to doing the next thing, which is diving with sharks.

 

Visit Australia- Fail- Didn’t make it out there this year, although this year is looking very promising.

 

Become proficient in CSS, Python, JS, HTML- Pass- My skills have gotten seriously rusty in the last six months and I’m certainly not a professional, but I can get by on simple things and find the answer to complex things now. I’ve finally gotten past how to architect things and tie them all together, which was always my sticking point.

 

Pitch an Angel/VC investor- Pass- I was really only focused on presenting a business plan to a large group of people. Which makes me really, really nervous. I pitched a crazy business idea at StartUp Weekend after we rolled snake eyes during our market research. Gutterdrip will always hold a special place in my heart ;o)

Day Job

Things went well here this year. Continued to grow my people and give them a safe place to expand their skills. Through no small amount of help and good words from friends was promoted to a much larger role. Interesting things are also coming with recent changes in ownership.

Tampa Bay Investment Alliance

Had an awesome year but had to bow out of this group. While I loved meeting with very smart people every month. In the end investing in stocks, etc is a bet that they can return more than you can yourself. With plans for this year being what they are I decided to continue to focus and put more wood behind fewer arrows.

Not My Day Job

For the most part, things went well here this year as well. Without getting into details, new product launches were well recieved and I expect this evergreen content/IP to generate money for quite some time. I have stopped doing the minor amounts of effort for this, and won’t be doing any more for several groups. More wood behind fewer arrows.

Additionally, I had a failure in this area and learned a lot. I used what I had learned from Mindbottling, and I think that stopped my losses from being much larger.

Running

Performance Data

VDOT- Last Year – 35

VDOT-May- 39

34-35- 310.2 Miles

36-35- 960.8 Miles- not counting the run I’m doing tonight ;o)

I’ve done a lot more running this year and believe I’m a significantly improved runner. I’ve worked on nutrition, mental, time on feet and many other things. Also, starting the end of January I’ve been doing the Maffetone training method which focuses on low heart rate training. I also do leg strengthening excercises and strectches during my downtime. I also attended a Cross-Fit Endurance course this year, which taught me some very interesting things about injury prevention, form, and foot turnover. I spend at least ⅓ of my training time running Florida hills (aka bridges), and try to spend at least ⅓ on trails or on the beach to strengthen my legs. Myofascial release has helped for the big adhesions and I believe it’s kept me injury free since january. My IT band really hammered me in the middle of the year and I thought it might take running from me.

I raced twice this year, Ragnar Keys, and Long Haul 100. Ragnar Keys was fun, and I learned a lot from Long Haul. I also paced for a friend at Croom Fool’s Run, which was a good learning experience. With 4 races under my belt now I’m not as nervous at the starts.

I have also switched from being vegan to keto, which is a high fat, low carbohydrate based diet. I did it for health reasons, as well as hopefully performance improvement at ultra distances. I’m in ketosis now, but not yet keto adapted. Planning on trying it for 90 days to see how my body adapts to it, but so far, it’s been very, very interesting.

Vicki

Wow, what can I say. She’s an amazing woman and it’s been an amazing year for us. We’ve made some big decisions about things and will be doing some of those things this year. I love her more than the moon, and that’s saying a lot. =)

Tyler

He’s grown so much this year. Learning to read, being awesome to young kids in his Montessori class, helping in the garden, and floored me by comparing one of Dali’s paintings to Van Goh. He’s a little adult now, and I’m in awe of him as he grows into the man he will become. Certainly looking forward to taking him to Colorado soon. Nothing else scares the crap out of me so much but gives me so much pleasure.

Cool things this year:

  • Solomon’s Castle with Tyler
  • Ragnar Key West
  • Startup Weekend
  • Long Haul 100
  • Making several new, awesome, friends
  • Glaser museum
  • Went to Silicon Valley for the first and second time!
  • Received my Product Management Certification!
  • Lot’s of Geek Breakfast’s in St. Pete!
  • Had drinks with Adeo Ressi (even though everyone else hates him lol)
  • Made a custom treasure map for my son and had him lead the adventure to find it in Weedon Island.
  • Started a garden. Taught tyler about how we get our food and what goes into it.
  • Had my nails painted pink by Vicki ;)
  • Sang Jewel while in a friends dollhouse it was a par-tay!
  • Helped a friend learn to run. Now he can smoke me =)
  • Took Tyler to legoland
  • Whiteboard wall!
  • With the help of many others, post it noted all of a coworker’s office!
  • Survived the Mayan apocalypse
  • Tyler lost his first tooth!
  • Helped Ty learn how to use tools
  • Went to Ashville with Vicki!
  • Ran, mostly solo, a 45 mile practice run before my big race. Was an amazing experience.
  • St. Anthony’s Family festival bouncy house with Tyler  was amazing
  • Halloween with Tyler!
  • Tyler’s first baseball game!
  • Tylers first day of real school

Books I read this year:

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

The Cool Impossible

Endurance Training and Racing

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving

Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyab

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time)

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life

Power Speed ENDURANCE: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

Mastery

The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup (Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons

Guards Guards! (Terry Pratchett)

 

Our time  this planet is short, and I will make the most of what I have left. It’s going to be an awesome year!

 

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The Pufferfish

I was recently having a conversation with someone about the impact of their plan for their SaaS product. It was a relatively small impact when framed the way they were looking at it, but didn’t include a very holistic view of things. The solution to this is the Pufferfish. The execution of the Pufferfish is as follows*:

  1. State the decision, and the delta from the desired state for a small use case. “Well Bob, if you do that, it will cost you $10,000 to implement this for existing customers in this location this year…” 
  2. Expand to include total existing universe “…but for all the other locations it will be the same, so that’s $70,000 a year for your existing customers however….”
  3. Expand to the expected three year universe “…given your projected growth rate you’ll add another three locations a year. That means that you’ll have sixteen locations in three years, for a total of $160,000 a year in three years…”
  4. Now talk about sales and impact to margin…. “and your margin is 10% Bob. That means that you would have to do $1.6 million in business to just cover this in three years. But really, this decision will negate $4.6 million in sales over that time. That’s a lot of cheddar Bob. The right decision is to get this right the first time, isn’t it?”

It’s worked for me several times. Why? I think it’s a mental buffer overflow. You’ve thrown a lot of numbers around and they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a very bad idea. This tactic obviously needs to be used judiciously to prevent them from becoming desensitized to it, but it can be hugely instrumental in select cases.

What do you think of the pufferfish?

blowfish

*All example numbers are completely fictional and used for illustrative purposes only.

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Couch to DNF- Long Haul 2013

Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.” - Marcus Aurelius


TLDR: Little mistakes add up, more DSSS and listening.

To start: I am in charge of my training and racing. All responsibility falls on my shoulders for any failures that I have. My crew and friends were awesome and I couldn’t have asked for better help.

I DNF’d the longhaul 100 during lap 4, at around mile 50 because of sharp pain/locking up on the outside of my left knee. This was after ~26 miles of pain in my right knee and thigh from my normal IT band issues. A lot of little things went wrong during the run that ended up adding up to little things. Many of these little things were either told to me, or easily forseeable.

Starting with the last thing first:
My left knee didn’t want me to bend it any more. I’d been using it to compensate for my right leg issues and I’d let my legs get cold.

My legs got cold because:

  1.  I included low cut socks (which allows blister inducing rubs) along with my regular socks. These socks were intended for emergency purposes during rain/muddy situations.
  2. I did not have enough of these and keep them separated/clearly well enough.
  3. I did not review the race plan I’d written up with everyone prior to the race so my crew didn’t understand what I was talking about
    1. The time for review is not when the clock is ticking.

All of this led to 20+ minutes of downtime trying to change socks.

 I had to change socks because I got a rock in my inside sock. I do long runs with two pairs of socks; injinis on the inside and swiftwick olefin compression socks on the outside. I got a rock on my inside sock because:
  1. I didn’t bring my trail gaiters:
    1. I didn’t bring my trail gaiters because the pair I’d brought required you to glue something to your shoe to work. I have three pairs of shoes for running, so I’d only have gaiters for one pair of shoes.
    2. I didn’t bring them as well because I didn’t see the point; all the trails I’d run on did not have many rocks, only sand

My form sucked. This trail was barely a trail at many points and required running in ruts:

  1. My preparation for this run was 99% on streets that were wide enough to accomodate my running form
    1. Because I train at night and there are no trails that are open/safe trails at night where I live
      1. Training mostly at night limits where I can run

My form also sucked because I didn’t have a solid water plan down.

  1. A very small fraction of this was because of last minute changes to the course route.
  2. I should have used mapmyrun to determine distance and back into water
    1. I need to quit being such a sissy about running without water
  3. I was distracted by thinking about water (and the brown color of my urine).
    1. Would have been better to carry my wasp backpack with 40 ounces than constantly be thinking about it.
    2. I eventually got this worked out, but by then my IT band was bothering me.
My IT band sucked because I used bad form and I didn’t do enough core exercises after injuring it in early November:
  1. My running coach told me repeatedly to work on my core strength
    1. I missed on my MED
      1. By missing on MED, I mean I just basically said “I’m not going to do that”
    2. I had multiple chances to get it fixed via exercise and massage
    3. I was warned two weeks before (right after Ragnar) that it was ridiculously tight
    4. Foam rolling reduces the pain from it, but doesn’t resolve root cause
I took tylenol during the race instead of ibuprofin:
  1. I don’t take painkillers/anti inflammatories during training at all
  2. I’m 50/50 on this being a real issue. Given the water problems I was having, and the reactions people have had to ibuprofin on long runs on their kidneys, I am not sure how this may have impacted me.
    1. Ibuprofin may have helped my knee from locking up.
I raced during my taper…
  1. and I ran fast. Two days later my right leg was really not happy with me. Dum dum dum dum dum.
I did not reevaluate my goals after getting injured…
  1. 100 miles was already a big stretch goal. Should have worked it down to the 100k or something similar.
    1. I acknowledge that I probably won’t ever do this, but I want to acknowledge that it’s a flaw. Running represents the one place where I can be as agressive and Type A as I want.
I did not effectively use pacers:
  1. I only had 1 pacer planned for this run; Adam was scheduled to come out during lap 6/7.
  2. I believe pacers would have helped me keep in a good frame of mind during the heat of the day, which is when I don’t like running the most
I am overly reliant on my GPS and my ipod during runs.
  1. I took them off during the end to save the batteries for later in the race. Mentally this caused me to freak out a little because I could not effectively evaluate my pace.
    1. I probably need to do some trail runs without GPS and ipod so I’m used to this.
What went right:
  1. Mentally dealing with bad things happening hit the wall HARD at about mile 38. I was supposed to get my headlamp at 3 and the sun was starting to set. There are some deeeeeeeep swampy parts near the trail on this run.
    1. This is about where I hit it last time. I thought that I would be able to fuel my way through this (I ate a lot more this time).
    2. I had read an article about Mike Morton’s run on LH100 last year where he had a big spill and that he just had to work on the problems that he was having.
    3. I had walked through a mental framework for how I’d deal with this before the run and did it:
      1. What’s wrong?
      2. Ok, so how do I feel about that?
      3. So, how would someone else feel about that?
      4. So you’re no different than them, right?
      5. So eat a gel, turn on Stairway to Heaven, have yourself a good cry for your sad pathetic situation, and start fucking running when they start jamming out.
      6. I really think that by acknowledging that things were screwed up and utilizing Parkinson’s law help me mentally get turned around more quickly than I would have otherwise.
        1. It’s the pity party MED.
  2. Feet!
    1. No blisters. No black toe nails. Just my same ugly ugly hooves. Considering I lost almost all because of the last one this is a major freaking win.20130121_114930
    2. I need to do more DSSS on this, as right now it’s very complicated and sometimes I have problems with sand mixing with the vaseline. I’m sure the big guys are able to deal with more feet I can currently.
  1. Friction areas
    1. There was blood last time. No blood this time.
  2. Soreness
    1. With the exception of my knees, I wasn’t and am not sore at all really. I credit this to the following:
      1. Scott Jurek’s anti inflammatory smoothie from Eat and Run
      2. Zensah compression tights- help me run below my lactate threshold and reduce DOMS
      3. Better physical fitness- running way below my lactate threshold.
        1. Running below your lactate threshold lets you fuel more on fat, which reduces damage to your cell walls
          1. See “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” for more information
      4. 5 minute ice bath once I got home. Cold shower the day after.
        1. This really, really, sucks but seems to be the best thing I can do after a run.
  3. I was much faster, which is to be expected with some experience and training. Still a victory nonetheless.
 I’d already planned on making significant changes to my training for this year, and I believe that this failure has highlighted things better than sucking through the next 50 miles would have. Success makes you blind to the things that could have gone wrong.
I will be listening to my running coach more, as well as combining LHRT and CFE to improve my core strength and move my anaerobic and aerobic thresholds. I’ll peel back into the CFE after I use the DSSS.
General outline will include:
  1. More trail running without gps and ipod (maybe HR monitor only)
  2. More core work
  3. Better logistics planning and race prep
  4. More Pacers
  5. More pacing – I need to have more experience on seeing runners that are deep in the suck. If I can get my speed up I should be able to pace someone on a run.

 

I plan to update and edit this for easier reading when I don’t have a garden that needs weeding and a child waiting on me.

 

Ted

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34-35

Every year, on my birthday, I think about what I’ve done in the previous year and what I’d like to do in the next year. This was an awesome year for me, and it will be hard to beat. There were a lot of awesome adventures. I think that in transparency there is honesty, and I’d like to hold myself more accountable publically….this post is to motivate myself to do better next year.

I focused on doing things that I was afraid of, or that people told me were hard/impossible to do. Getting out of my comfort zone. My hit rate wasn’t as important as number of times at bat. I took the approach that if I wasn’t failing I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
― Ernest Hemingway

The point of all this is I’m trying to better myself. I changed a lot from 33-34, and I believe I was a better person this year because of those changes. I believe I’m a better me than I was a year ago, and this year every day I’m going to work to make this true next year as well. I almost have a trend ;)

 

Thank You Friends!

I had an awesome year thanks to very awesome friends. I have concrete evidence that the quality of your life is reflected in the quality of your friends. I couldn’t have done these things without all of you Vicki Bell, Josh Green, Christian Brink, Hal Logan, Jon Baker, Adam Dimuzio, Courtney Perigo, Jonathan Bush, Jeannine Lyons, Connie Hunt, Rob Mazur, Antonio Vaughn, Eric Cobb, Kathryn Thompson, Rob Farrington, Amanda Grelock, Paul Nakata, Dad, Mike, Glen and many others.

You’ve been great to me, if I haven’t been awesome to you, let me know and we’ll fix that =)

 

In no particular order, here’s what I did this year:

Personal

  • Made a flag/coat of arms AKA “Tedsylvania”
  • Claimed a small island in the name of Tedsylvania
  • Camped, explored and snorkled the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson
  • Made first World Record attempt
    • Still working on getting Guiness Book of World Records to confirm this. (Bucket List Attempt)
  • Started learning to cook (this never really ends, right?)
  • Became a vegetarian
  • Made up new term- Adventure vegan
  • Became the world’s first adventure vegan ;)
    • Recieved many weird looks.
  • Ate a bat in Lutz with Terry Hartup
  • Discovered quinoa, setan, tempeh, acai and kale
  • Explored NYC for the first time with Vicki Bell
  • Visited Empire State Building
    • Bucket List
  • Signed my credit card as “Bad Motherfucker”.
    • No one has called me on it.
  • Drank 21 year old Scotch
    • Bucket List
  • Kayaking in Crystal River
  • Grew an epic beard
  • Snorkeling with Manatees
  • Safari in Africa
    • Saw lions at the kill
      • Bucket List
    • Freaking cheetas!
    • Ate crocodile and ostrich
    • Drank where Hemingway drank
    • Amazed at the snows of Kilamanjaro
      • Bucket list
    • Visited my fifth continent!
      • Visiting all 7 is on my Bucket List
  • Returned to The Fairy Castle of Tedsylvania!
  • Started running – Couldn’t run half a mile
  • Ran my first event Ragnar Relay Florida Keys 2012!
  • Ran my first solo event- Keys 100 Ultra Marathon (50 Mile Ultra Marathon)
    • Added to and Checked off Bucket List this year
  • Lost about 32 lbs.
  • My team took second place in Startup Weekend Tampa (Splik.it)
  • Went to my first professional baseball game ever.
  • Got tossed out of a bar and almost in a brawl.
  • Pranked a friend on vacation.
  • Zombies Are Everywhere
    • Coordinated internationally distributed team to create a product from an idea in less than 10 hours of effort.
    • Started the funding process on Kickstarter.
  • Started to learn programming via Code Academy
    • 737 points, 515 lessons and 35 achievements so far
    • Javascript, HTML, CSS. Soon Python
  • Applied to be an Astronaut Candidate
    • Leaving the planet is a Bucket List item
  • Created no small amount of miscellaneous mischeif and mayhem
  • Focused on sharpening the saw

 

Tyler

I’m thankful every day for my little clone. He’s sneaky, mischevious, impish, and clever. I love him for being very much like me of course. He’s in a very awesome stage; big enough to do things on his own, but still young enough that I’m not so uncool he can’t hang out with me. It’s going so fast. I love him to pieces.

Here are a few of the many things we did this year:

  • Swim lessons!
  • Self dressing!
  • Exploring the trails on several parks and finding out of the way secret places
  • Rockets!
  • Movie nights
  • Robot Cake for his birthday thanks to (KathyLovesCake)
  • Ginormous pancakes
  • Airheads
  • Fall Festival at Hunsader Farms
  • Easter Egg hunt
  • Water Slides
  • Thumbs Wars
  • Hide and Go Seek
  • Mohawk!
  • Rock, Paper, and Scissors
  • Secretly singing silly songs in the car together
  • Reading books (and mostly paying attention!)
  • Camping trip with all of the kids
    • Making smores
    • Watching stars!
  • The beach, the beach, the beach

 

Books I read this year:

  1. Design for Hackers
  2. Made to Stick
  3. The Black Swan
  4. Steve jobs
  5. A Wise Man’s Fear
  6. The Lean Startup
  7. Design Patterns
  8. The Pragmatic Programmer
  9. Waltzing with Bears
  10. Peak
  11. Emotional Equations
  12. Stick to Comics Monkey Brain!
  13. Rule #1
  14. Power Foods
  15. Clean Start
  16. Heavy Hitter Selling
  17. How to Win Friends and Influence People (again)
  18. Three Feet From Gold
  19. Outliers
  20. Clean Food
  21. Engine 2 Diet

Work

Day Job:

What a team! What results! Not sure what else I can share publically =)

 

Not My Day Job:

My longtail bets are working out swimmingly, and I continue to profit from being a smartass. I’ve also spent some time working on a new project that may soon go viral.

Kanji-A-Day.com- My first SaaS product still performs very well with almost no work. My funnel feeders (Organic Google, RSS feeds,free email) have grown substantially on their own. I’ve only done a little split testing with conversion pages and have significantly improved conversions. Some customers are completing their fourth year as paying subscribers. I have a simple idea that should drive even more revenue with very little work. Win.

Tampa Bay Investment Alliance (aka the investment club) is chugging along and I feel that I’m becoming a much better investor after talking through so many investment opportunities. I’m looking forward to another profitable year picking investments with people who are much smarter than I.

Writing it all down, it seems like a lot for a year. I hope I can continue the momentum and continue to have a very interesting life. Thank you all again for being a part of this awesome adventure!

 

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