Apr 7, 2023

What I'm Up To - Vol. 69

Here’s what I’ve bee up to since Vol. 68…

1. On the Home Front

I’m happy to report that Wendy’s recovery from hip replacement surgery is going great. She shed the walker and cane within 72 hours of surgery. She quickly progressed from rehab with a physical therapist to modified workouts with our trainer. Just yesterday she took two long walks with friends and racked up 20,000 steps! She’s inspiring folks who have held off surgery out of fear for the recovery process. So far she’s referred five friends and colleagues to her surgeon to explore a knee or hip replacement.

Early in the month, we visited Better Ranch for a weekend. While we missed the bluebonnets, the ranch was green and lush after lots of rain. We hunted for sheds and hid a few for our friends' kids who were visiting the following week. It’s nice to have my workout partner back!

This year we missed our annual neighborhood Oscar party as the hosts fell ill. Gus ended up inviting a bunch of friends over to make pizzas and play games. I will miss the laughter from the upstairs playroom when he’s gone!

We broke out Klask for the occasion. It was a hit.

Finally, our old babysitter, PJ, dropped by for a visit. PJ watched the kids for us and eventually worked on our real estate team. We couldn’t have picked a better human to watch over our kids!

PJ and the kids, circa 201

PJ and Gus in 2023!

2. Meanwhile, Back at Work

I delivered two keynotes around The ONE Thing in March. Western Alliance Bank had me deliver the message to about 200 executive leaders in Scottdale just days before the SVB collapse. I can’t help but wonder what that event would have been like after the bank scare. Jersey Mike’s invited me to Disney in Orlando for their annual convention. I was most impressed with the company and the culture. The founder, Peter Cancro, bought the original location, Mike’s Subs, when he was just 17. It’s all he’s ever done! Talk about a ONE Thing story!

Gary and I recording a special episode of The ONE Thing Podcast.

We spend a lot of time prepping for the 10th anniversary of The ONE Thing this month. Gary and I went into the studio and recorded a special podcast on the lessons learned over the past decade. The pod will drop on 4/17 on The ONE Thing Podcast. We’ll also host a special webinar on 4/11 with some special guests. You can register here if you’d like to join the fun.

We’re hard at work creating an audiobook for the recently updated Your First Home. I have a newfound appreciation for the voice actors that narrate most books. Reading for production is incredibly challenging. The producer stopped me any time my tone or enunciation was off. Which is to say, he stopped me about 100 times over the course of two hours. I emerged after two hours in the studio braindead and hoarse. And I only managed 19 pages! Here’s hoping all those years reading to the kids pays off and I get better. At my current pace, the project will require 28 more hours of reading!

Trying to stay positive as I stumble on my own words.

Finally, a heads-up to my friends in Chicago and Maui. I’ll be speaking at the Midwest Real Estate Summit in Chicago on May 6th and 7th. And Wendy and I will deliver a keynote at Brandon Turner’s Maui REI Summit in Maui May 22-23. Hawaii is the only state I haven’t visited and I’m excited to check it off! Even if you can’t make the event, let me know. I managed to grab dinner with my pal, Ken Posek, when I was in Orlando for the Jersey Mike’s convention. Dinners with friends sure make work travel easier!

3. What I’m Reading

I thoroughly enjoyed Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. While he mined much of the same research we did for The ONE Thing, he’s a great storyteller and I enjoyed the fresh perspective. The Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield ranks among the best historical fiction I’ve ever read. Pressfield expertly retells the story of the 300 Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae. I’ve already started gifting copies to my friends. I also enjoyed Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane, another in the “Kenzie and Gennaro” series. I also read The Harvey MacKay Rolodex Network Builder for research. I turned it into one of the most popular articles yet for The TwentyPercenter newsletter, “The Timeless Truths of the Database.”

Finally, Wendy pointed me to this excellent NY Times article on the challenges of converting vacant office buildings into housing.

4. What I’m Watching

This month we wrapped up The Drive to Survive, Season 5 and The Last of Us (HBO Max). There is nothing remarkable about the latest season of the Formula 1 show other than the fact that Wendy continues to be an ardent fan. Who is this woman? The Last of Us was surprising and spectacular TV. The third episode probably will win a gaggle of awards. We also enjoyed The English (Amazon) with Emily Blunt. The real story unfolds slowly like a good mystery. The cinematography is epic.

While Wendy was convalescing from surgery, I finished the first season of Better Call Saul (Netflix). The Breaking Bad prequel has been on my list for a while. Michael McKean kinda stole the show for me as Chuck. Lenny, you’ve come a long way from Laverne and Shirley!

To prep for the Oscars, we watched The Fabelmans and The Banshees of Isherin. I loved Spielberg’s autobiographical tale. Michelle Williams shines as the mom, and the David Lynch cameo at the end was perfect. We prioritized “the Banshees” because we’re planning a trip to Ireland for Gus’s graduation this summer.  I found the film both slow and sad, albeit with a collection of Oscar-worthy performances. Finally, Gus asked me to take him to see John Wick, Chapter 4, which we loved. I thought it was the best of the series. The gun-fu film clocks in at almost three hours but we didn’t notice.

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!