Really Steve Jobs? A TGiving Gift

Really Steve Jobs? Did you really have to smack me upside the head with a baseball bat…or more accurately, this quote?”…
…“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Damnit. I’ve been sedentary for too long. Yes, I’ve been mentoring mentors and others….but not aggressively reaching out to do this on a full time basis- serving many, on schedule, following up as though it’s a business and not a hobby.
I was stuck. Can you relate?
“Nanny nanny, billie goat…. neener neener, you are in the same space of the people that you mentor”, as the message I received from Steve Jobs and myself.
So, 9 hours of reflection and planning and the Illuminator, author of Illuminate: Harnessing The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, has Illuminated and offers that to you as a Thanksgiving-akah gift. If you, as an emerging entrepreneur or on who is in process and finds yourself a bit ‘stuck’, where an Illumination just might be the boost to get you back on track, email me and I will gift you a ‘second look’. (be sure to put Illuminate in the subject box so I dont toss you in the trash).
Can I help? Who knows? My track record over the last 34 years has been sufficient to command a pretty fat fee per day from clients. Your Illumination is free….until Dec 6 when my schedule will go ballistic.
If you are ‘feeling’ this, then do this.
Ask yourself if you are producing your desired result./
What are you not facing that you are kinda, sorta…ok, freaking DEFINITELY ready to face with the guidance of the the ‘CHIEF ILLUMINATION OFFICER’?
I will look for your email.
Please, not after 12/3/13.
RIP Steve Jobs…but daaaang, that hurt (so gooooood!)
Now, I will Pass it On.



Have you ever had a rush of gratitude just swarm up from within…and have it sustain? Well, having just returned from Bulgaria- where I addressed 1200 emerging entrepreneurs- Im consumed with gratitude.
See, since I was a kid, I’ve always been an entrepreneur. From selling cans of soda out of a garbage can filled with ice (at little league games) to creating and selling software and associated hardware packages, and from shoveling show, mowing lawns to packaging and selling music programs to hospitals….and much in between….I’ve enjoyed the joys and challenges of being an entrepreneur. So, it was fantastic last week being with so many budding entrepreneurs from all parts of the former Soviet Republic- countries I’d only heard about- all whom were under the oppressive regime of the Communist. There was simply no way to create a business, a better life for self and family…unless in the dangerous underground.
Then the iron curtain lifted and the rush of opportunity created, for some, a rush to entrepreneurship.
These people were like sponges. They listened with their whole being. They watched me carefully as I spoke and when Katya was translating my words into Russian. They were HUNGRY! They were appreciateive. They were present and they were processing.
Now, some of these people were already earning 5 figures per month. Not too shabby. And they were the ones coming up to me with a translator, asking questions and taking notes. They were humble, hungry and happy…and it was contagious. Since being with them, I’ve been traveling in France. Everywhere I go, I am focused on seeing what entrepreneurs have created. Stores, shops, restaurants… so many were started by the courageous entrepreneur who just wanted more.
In fact, the amazing restaurant that where we ate the other night, one of the top restaurants in the world, Troisgros, is owned by chef Michel. He is a perfect example of the business owner who is constantly moving things forward, growing, creating and expanding. This takes a ton of work and courage at first. Then it takes courage and capital…all raised from previous bouts of care, courage and action.
I love the spirit of the entrepreneur. There are some of us who believe that if the USA doesn’t create 20million new entrepreneurial jobs by the year 2020, we’re screwed. Yes, done with. Kaput.
So, with this in mind, my business partner, Ishwari Jay and I have created a webinar that is laden with many of the business skills that we’ve discovered, created, learned, taught and applied in our own businesses.
You are invited to attend by signing up at

Near Death and Gratitude

How cool is that! I almost died!
Sound masochistic? Probably. But not without explanation.
You see I had a car accident the other day which literally totaled my car beyond any usefulness. I can’t imagine it ever being fixed again because it looks damaged beyond repair.
So, you can imagine that after surviving an accident such as this I would feel ecstatic, right? I mean, come on, most people would probably say, “wow,am I lucky to be alive!”. I believe they would, as I did many years ago following a severe car accident and injury, declare and feel a deep sense of gratitude for having been spared- followed by deep gratitude for just about every little miracle they see on the daily basis; hummingbirds eating nectar, children interacting With love and joy as well as Business challenges that we get to confront and solve. I mean I was high on the fact that I survived, dodged a bullet and lived to face another day!
Well, I just had another such accident and… I don’t feel a sense of euphoric gratitude. I don’t feel that my life has change significantly in the areas of appreciation, gratitude and feeling amazingly blessed.
Why would I say this? The answer is simple. I already live a life in deep gratitude. That’s the point! I ALREADY Live such a life of gratitude. You see, the last time I felt that massive gratitude was because I wasn’t in such appreciation, I wasn’t awake, aware, conscious and alert to the magnificent beauty abundance available to us on a daily basis, I WASN’T awake and aware of the “daily gifts” of this lifetime.
So, I use this recent experience as a report card. This report card tells me that I am living in integrity of my value – my value of gratitude.
And I ask you: are you in a state of deep gratitude every morning and every night? Are you taking inventory on a regular basis of that which you are, indeed, grateful for?
If the answer is not a simple, YES, Then you may do well to do the following;
1. Make a list of 20 things that, in general, you are grateful for right now.
2. Next, add five things that you are grateful for that have happened in the last two weeks.
3. Think of three people in your life right now that if, for any reason, they were not around that you would feel a huge loss, a huge void. And with this information play out in your mind how you would express your your deepest gratitude and love toward that person.
Ive found this the best way to access and press my”emotional reset button” and its, in part, the reason Im not totally in a different ‘state’ after my car wreck. Happily it didnt take a ‘near death’ stint to drive (pun intended) Gratitude.

TRAPPED: Its Better To Be A 3 Legged Coyote than a 4 Legged Fur Coat

My dear friend Joe Tye sent these thoughts recently……

A coyote caught in a trap will gnaw off its leg in order to escape. It instinctively knows that it’s better to be a three-legged coyote than a four-legged fur coat. It’s willing to go through (relatively) short-term pain in order to gain its long-term freedom.

Contrast the coyote with the monkey. According to a traditional Indian fable, a monkey can be caught by leaving a banana inside a large clay pot that has a very narrow opening at the top. The monkey grabs the banana and struggles to extricate it from the pot as his captors approach. The banana will not fit through the narrow top while wrapped in the monkey’s clenched fist. Now the monkey has a choice, doesn’t he? He can let go of the banana and escape (hungry but free), or he can hang on to the banana and hope against hope to keep both the banana and his freedom. The monkey takes the second approach, clutching the banana as he attempts to run off, dragging the pot behind. He is, of course, quickly captured.

So many people react to the traps that hold them back just as the monkey did. They envision a goal – financial independence, entrepreneurial success, spiritual equanimity – as being “out there” in front of them somewhere. But they are trapped and either unwilling or unable to, like the coyote, go through the painful process of chewing off a paw (changing spending habits, ending an abusive relationship, qutting drinking) so they can escape to a better future. They cling to their “banana” and wonder why they’re stuck, why they can’t seem to move toward the future they say they wish to create.

Though I’ve never tried this personally, I’ve read that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will instantly jump out. If, on the other hand, you put the frog into tepid water and gradually turn up the heat to the boiling point, the frog will relax into a fatal stupor. Perhaps that’s how we get stuck in our own little traps: we grow so accustomed to the pain that it becomes tolerable, even comfortable, when compared to the risk of making a leap into the unknown.

The keys to escape the traps of life might be simple common sense, but the locks are rarely easy to open. We become so used to our traps, so comfortable in them, that we hardly recognize them for what they are. And we end up sleeping with the frogs.

Some lizards are equipped with a break-away tail; if they are caught in the beak of a predator, they yank so hard that the tail comes off and they can run away, diminished in stature but still alive and free. And before long, they grow a new tail. Perhaps that’s an even more apt metaphor than the coyote, because once we escape from our traps, we can usually grow back whatever we’ve lost – in fact, more often than not, it will be stronger than the original.

Sign up for Joe Tye’s Spark Plug and he will send you some awesome original thought.

Aint A Gonna Let ‘Em

There are some pretty bad guys out there. Some people are just plain bad. We’ve had a few experiences lately and have, for some reason, attracted (?) them into our lives. It’s easy to become guarded, cynical and negative….seemingly with good reason.
My dear friend, Mitch, moved his business and all his ‘stuff’ to live here in San Diego, Ca. Thinking that his contract with the people who leased him his yacht was to be honored, he optimistically and excitedly moved….only to find out that these people were some of the ‘bad guys’.
As easy as it was to become cynical, Mitch kept his wits about him. Sure, he was concerned because he was, technically, homeless (though someone like him, who has so much relationship capital will NEVER be without a roof over his head).
The saga continues in this ordeal and, overall, it’s turning out to be a positive turn of events. We found a great deal on another boat and he will probably be my marina ‘neighbor’. How cool will that be. Then we can both support one another as the ‘bad guys’ try to dislodge our bliss.

‘Learn’ your way out of harms way

I’ve learned from mentors that when we have financial challenges in business, the best solution is to sell our way out of it.
That thought stayed with me while I was recently in Africa. Why? Because my entire being was consumed with their obvious and ever present challenge of poverty, deep deep poverty which, in South Africa, is in large part the result of the genocidal practice of apartheid. This poverty appears to be insurmountable. How does a nation that has so many poor, so many unemployed and so much resultant crime, pull itself out of this downward spiral? I kept hearing my mentor’s voice in my mind saying, “sell your way out.” How does a nation ‘sell’ when it’s population is so largely unemployed and impoverished? Then it hit me, EDUCATION! Education is the only possible solution. Educate the citizens, young and old, in ways that will make them productive in a system that creates and sells goods and services… and then sell the hell out of it.
I could hear my mentor saying about this huge challenge, “educate and TRAIN your way out of it…. and then sell, sell, sell your way out of it.”
In my next blog entry I will tell you about the work I did with an amazing, I mean AMAZING school in Africa developed by Dr. Taddy Blecher, which I believe will change the course of South Africa’s history for years to come because they are doing just that.
However, for now, I want to remind us all that with regard to any challenge that we face today that we must indeed ‘educate’ our way out of it. Learn what is causing the challenge, what contributes to it, what it affects and the implications of not taking action and get to work.
It’s the Face It, Follow It, Fix it model from Illuminate: Harnessing The Positive Power of Negative Thinking.

PS. To my dear friends who came up to me at after a speech in Pittsburgh last week, I remind you that you cannot HAVE more until you BECOME more….so keep learning, keep sharpening up your skills and I promise you that you will contribute more and have all that your heart desires.

No Gift Card Needed

I received and opened up a gift today, one that was totally unexpected, one that had no box, wrapping or bow….and, while it was presented to me at this holiday season, it was not at a gift exchange, per se.
Let me explain.
A new friend invited me to attend her mastermind group. Hmmm, I thought. While it would be nice to meet friends of a friend, I certainly wouldnt want to interfere with their process. Maybe I’d feel like an outsider, or bored, or worse yet…get drunk with testosterone and want to fix everything! (Yeah, good luck on that one!)
Well, that small voice said, ‘go for it, yes it involves getting up very early, going out into the unseasonably cold and rainy San Diego weather but just go for it’- and I did- and therein was the gift.
These women were amazing! Alive, vibrant, open, supportive, clearly on a quest for personal and professional development with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurial action. I was blown away. An amazing gift to feel the mutual concern, the daring and bold accountability to and from one another…and the collaborative process sans ego.
My mind was stretched, my heart opened.
At this time of holiday ‘gift giving’ I would offer this to you, gentle reader: LOOK PAST THE WRAPPING AND TANGIBLES AND OPEN THOSE INTANGIBLE GIFTS THAT SURROUND US TODAY AND EVERYDAY.
While it was not at a gift exchange that I was presented this treasure… I am committed to be sure to reciprocate today, tomorrow and forever…and, dare I say, become a consummate ‘re-gifter’.
Happy Holidays.