Gus turned 18 in June. Me taking three deep breaths to digest what I just wrote. He’ll be a senior next year. So this could be the last 12 months he’ll be living with us. May need to curl up on the couch now. Crazy how clearly I can remember the first time we dropped him off at school. We’re crazy proud of the man he’s become. He reads 75+ books a year, rows five times a week, fearlessly engages in public speaking, helps anyone and everyone, and even does his own laundry. Can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.
2. Produktive Advance
This summer has been a scorcher. Austin averaged 93 degrees in June with a high of 108. Luckily, I wasn’t in Austin that day. I was in Scottsdale, AZ with our Produktive team where it was a breezy 111 degrees! So much for escaping the heat! And, yes, it was a dry heat. Just like an air fryer.
It was great to bring our remote team together. We played two rounds of golf, took yoga and cooking classes, reset our five-year goals, and experienced our own Core Values workshop. Like everyone else, we’ve had turnover post-COVID. But we’ve also benefited from a huge influx of talent, with eight new team members joining us in the past ten months. I also got to record an episode of The One Thing podcast with our new hosts, Sarah and Chris. The episode was about fostering a relationship with your goals.
3. Ups and Downs
Between the recent Supreme Court decision and revelations from the January 6th hearings, one might wonder about the future of our republic. I hope we look back on this decade in much the same way we do the '60s. Lots of anger and conflict as the country settles on a new identity and inches forward. Followed by a decade of classic rock, bad haircuts, and hopefully, a lot more citizens electing to vote.
On the bright side, Wendy was a keynote for the InvestHer conference. She returned rejuvenated and reading a book on apartment syndication. I forecast an acquisition in our future. After some delays, I successfully launched my new project, The Twenty Percenter. And Wendy and I went on a half dozen delightful dates.
4. What I’m Reading
I finally read The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham after skimming it twice. The big takeaway is we need more purposeful thinking time. Running a successful business is all about great decisions. When you make bad ones, you pay the “stupid tax.”
Some of my other takeaways:
1. Work from facts and check your assumptions.
2. Your culture is ultimately what you tolerate.
3. Ignore symptoms (ex. lagging sales) and focus on root causes (ex. poor value proposition.)
4. Examine the downside. Can you survive the worst possible outcome?
5. It’s not that you have the wrong answer. You’re asking the wrong question.
I also read Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility. Mandel penned Station Eleven, which I’ve shared here before (both the HBO series and the novel). Mandel’s latest is about time travel. It’s a short, lyrical read.
5. What I’m Watching
Wendy and I loved the first season of Bosch Legacy (Prime). It’s basically Bosch season 7. If you enjoyed the original show, add it to your list. We also binged the second season of Hacks (HBO). Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder pick up right where they left off. The episode on the cruise ship ranks among the funniest, most uncomfortable things I’ve seen. And the final episode was close to perfect. Endings are hard. They stuck the landing.
For movies, I caught The Contractor with Chris Pine on my flight home from Scottsdale. I give it 4 out of 5 stars for a plane movie (which is 3 out of 5 on the ground.) Speaking of planes, we watched both Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick. The first held up surprisingly well. The latter is a must-see on the big screen.
On a lark, we watched The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent with Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal. Bizarre and hilarious. Cage basically plays a campy version of himself and gets drawn into a CIA intrigue. I also watched Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. I’m a Marvel fan. And Dr. Strange and the Scarlet Witch are two of my favorite characters. Still, I thought director Sam Raimi infused it with too much of his Evil Dead horror franchise. Meh.
That’s it for this month. Please reply back and let me know what you’re up to!