Aug 15, 2023

What I'm Up To - Vol. 73

Here's what I've been up to since Volume 72...

What I'm Up To

Volume 73

Hey friends,

Here’s what I’ve been up to since Vol. 72

1. Once More to the Lake

Our trip for the week of July 4th was probably our last. My father-in-law, Milt is relocating to Austin later this summer. So we put the lake cottage up for sale. Austin was in the midst of an unwelcome streak--28 triple-digit days and counting. So Franklin Lake’s chilly mornings and cool afternoons were a welcome departure.

We rented a party barge for sunset cruises and played Farkle most evenings. We also prepped the home for new owners. Wendy and her dad claimed a few personal items and had a junk hauler clean out the garage. The one item they couldn't take was Milt's old van.

Decades ago, Milt bought a used Ram utility van for $250, got it running, and drove it all over the state. For about seven years, it’s haunted the lake cottage garage. Wendy found someone who offered to buy it for, you guessed it, $250. They brought a flatbed to haul it off but their winch died. I told them the van was indestructible and that I’d started the engine about five years prior. They gave it a try. Sure enough, the engine turned over with a puff of blue smoke and they drove it onto the flatbed.

"Built Ram Tough" is more than just a slogan. It's a fact.

Milt has been going to Franklin Lake for 75 years. Wendy her whole life. Wendy went for a final swim before returning home. Definitely the end of an era for the Wilkinson clan. The day before my birthday, we did a double closing, selling the cottage and, with the help of a 1031 tax-deferred exchange, closing on a 4-plex.

2. Books, Beers, Biscuits, and Birthdays

I got to attend a mastermind for 24 bestselling business authors in Nashville courtesy of Donald Miller and Rory Vaden. Ramit Sethi shared how his Netflix show started from a random email. Amy Porterfield admitted that selling a $27 hardcover was harder than selling a $2,000 online course. Mike Michalowicz walked us through licensing models. Michael Bungay Stanier facilitated a session on best and worst tactics. And Rory gave a presentation on the sales required to hit various bestseller lists and some best practices. It was pretty much heaven for a book geek. I even got to see some Nashville pals–Tim, Matt, and Chad– new and old.

Donald Miller's house includes this amazing event space!

I flew home, took a nap, and joined the neighborhood dads for my first Austin FC game and pub crawl. Go Verde! The following week, I interviewed Seth Godin, celebrated our 24th anniversary at Odd Duck, met friends at Meanwhile Brewing for my 54th birthday, and visited with author Michael Bungay Stanier who was in town. Fastword to the last week of July, we closed on our 4-plex, did our traditional birthday burpees, ate at Olamaie for my birthday, and then returned to Olamaie to dine with my former publisher, Ray Bard and his new bride, Celeste.

Normally, I’d be socially exhausted but I’m really trying to change my mindset. I read a post on social that went something like this: “Family, Health, Sleep, Work, Friends. Choose three – you don’t get to have them all.” It riled me up. I don’t believe success in some areas is mutually exclusive of success in others. I do believe we all make tradeoffs. For me, I’ve failed to prioritize my friend time. Now, I’m trying to be a bit more purposeful about saying “yes” more often. I will also admit to taking a lot of naps this month. So be it.

3. What I’m Listening To

Longtime friend and speaker extraordinaire, Nikki Miller joined our ONE Thing team as co-host of our podcast. I’m thrilled to be in business with her. You can get to know her on her first episode (Apple, Spotify). While in Maui for the BetterLife conference, Brandon Turner interviewed Wendy and me for his BetterLife podcast. I rarely listen to my own interviews but this was a worthy exception since Gus made a cameo at the 1:10 minute mark! (Apple, Spotify)

My EA, Carly, and I sat for a podcast interview for The Founder and Force Multiplier podcast (Apple, Spotify). We’re approaching four years working together and I couldn’t be happier with our partnership. Finally, KW launched a new podcast on business- and wealth-building for people of color. It’s called The Color of Money (Apple, Spotify).

4. What I’m Reading

If I sacrificed one thing in July, it was reading time. I enjoyed The Old Woman with the Knife by South Korean author Gu Byeong-mo. It’s the tale of an aging assassin, Hornclaw, and her dog, Deadweight, in the twilight of her career. I also loved The Song of Significance by Seth Godin. It’s a short read but loaded with insights. Call it a manifesto for a new kind of workplace. Finally, after watching Silo on Apple, I was inspired to complete the book trilogy by Hugh Howey. I read the first book, WOOL, years ago. This month, I read the prequel, SHIFT, which fills in a lot of blanks about the world and why everyone is living in an underground silo. Not as strong as WOOL, but entertaining.

5. What I’m Watching

For my birthday, the whole family took in Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning. The last hour is terrific but it was too long for me at 2 hours and 40 minutes. They could have cut 30 minutes of Tom Cruise sprinting from location to location and no one would have noticed. He really runs a lot in this movie!

I watched the first two seasons of Broadchurch (Amazon Prime) at the lake. It’s a dark story but the cast is divine. Wendy and I laughed and cried our way through the second season of The Bear (Hulu). Hurrah for a show where we can root for everyone. I love all the characters but Jamie Lee Curtis steals the show.

Finally, I wrapped up the final season of Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime). John Krasinski kept me watching despite the plodding pace. Stanley Tucci got me to try Citadel (Amazon Prime) but it’s a flashy mess of a spy show.

That’s it for this month. Please reply back and let me know what you’re up to!

Be well, do good deeds, and eat tacos!


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