Jul 7, 2023

What I'm Up To - Vol. 72

Here's what I've been up to since Volume 71...

What I'm Up To Volume 72

Hey friends,

Here’s what I’ve been up to since Vol. 71

1. Six Years!

This month marks six years of doing this little newsletter. Thanks to my long-time readers. For the rest, I thought I’d share the origin story. After The ONE Thing came out, our world grew. We launched new companies, I started traveling and speaking, and my inbox was flooded with offers. I struggled to keep my focus. My coach, Glen Neely, and I came up with a core professional duty that would serve all our growing interests. That ended up being my networking habit. Wednesdays, I started reserving an hour in the morning to meet talented folks for coffee and make them a part of my network. As an introvert, this was a real challenge. But I made it a core part of my routine. After a year, Glenn applauded me for making these connections happen and asked, “So what are you doing to stay connected? One coffee doesn’t make a relationship.” The answer was nada. So I made a commitment to write this newsletter to stay in touch with the people I meet. Over the years, the connections I’ve maintained here have become business partners, helped fill key positions, and led to many more professional opportunities. Nevertheless, I maintain the biggest benefit has been reflection. Every month, I scroll through my calendar and photos to remind myself where I’ve traveled and what I’ve done. This has sparked many an insight and more than a few smiles.

2. Highlights from June

We had the extended family in Austin for Gus’s high school graduation. While I was sad my dad couldn’t be there to see it, I loved that my father-in-law was. When Milt was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer, his goal was to see Gus get his diploma. Well done, Grandpa Milt.  

Gus was a founding member of the Acton Academy West high school. At graduation, the founders, Joey and Jayme Bynum, announced a new award in his honor. The Gus Papasan Compass Award will now be awarded to one graduating senior who most upheld and led the culture at the school. Definitely a proud parent moment for us. Unfortunately, while Milt was with us he fell ill and needed to stay with us longer than expected. We had planned to go to Ireland the following week as a graduation gift but postponed it to let him recover completely before going home. It also became evident that he really shouldn’t be living on his own anymore. We talked it over with him and he agreed to move to assisted living in Austin later this summer. Moving Milt to Austin triggered some other decisions. If Milt is no longer in Minnesota, the odds were low that we’d keep going each summer. So we decided to sell the lake cottage. It’s a good real estate investing story. Milt inherited the lot from his parents, built out a basement, and moved a house on top to make it a two-story walkout. He deeded it to us when he got cancer. We renovated it and started Airbnbing it during COVID. Now, we’re selling it through 1031 exchange to buy a four-plex. That new multifamily will likely generate enough cash flow to cover most of the cost of Milt’s assisted living. We’re selling the cottage to an investor who plans to Airbnb it, so I guess we can still go visit. Eighteen years of investing came together and served us well. Some other highlights include hosting Gene Rivers for dinner when he was in town to teach. I originally got to know Gene when we interviewed him for The Millionaire Real Estate Investor. We’ve definitely looked to him and Rebecca as role models over the years. I taught three different classes at work and enjoyed catching up with Meg Daday and many other KW friends. I spent some time at the ranch for Father’s Day and am happy to report that the sunflower field we planted is coming in. After many misfires, my pal Juanpablo and I did a mini-pub crawn on Juneteenth. Meanwhile Brewing is a new fav spot for suds and socials. And finally, Wendy flew to New Hampshire for a long weekend with her gal pals.

3. What I’m Reading

I kicked off the month interviewing Will Guidara for the ONE Thing Podcast (Apple/Spotify). Will wrote an excellent book, Unreasonable Hospitality, about his time co-founding and managing what became the #1 restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park. If you work in a service business or are curious about the elite restaurant world, it’s a great read. I also finished W1nning by Tim Grover, which is all about his time being a personal trainer for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Lots of insights into the mindset of a champion. My friend, Kim, recommended Be Your Future Self Now by Benjamin Hardy. It’s a quick, easy read about identifying and realizing your dreams. For fiction, I enjoyed G-Man by Steven Hunter. Hunter shares another Bob Lee Swagger tale where Swagger tries to solve a mystery involving his grandfather who joins the FBI to hunt Depression-era bank robbers including Baby Face Nelson. Hunter was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and does an excellent job making the early years of the FBI come to life. I also finished Courage is Calling by the prolific and talented Ryan Holiday. Inspiring, to say the least. Finally, I finished the most recent Harry Hole detective novel, Killing Moon by Jo Nesbo.

4. What I’m Watching

For Father’s Day, I talked the family into watching “Extraction 2(Netflix), a top-notch action movie with Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor.) With another “Mission Impossible” hitting theaters, I won’t dub it the best action movie of the year just yet. While Wendy was away, I took the boys to see “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” It picks up right where “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” left off and is truly fantastic. For series, I finished the final season of “Better Call Saul” (Netflix). Bob Odenkirk owns the character. Loved all six seasons. As a Dennis Lehane fan, I was intrigued to see he did the screenplay for the Apple+ series, “Black Bird.” Paul Walter Hauser gives a chilling portrayal of the real-life, childlike serial killer Larry Hall. Ever since Apple hired away Richard Plepler from HBO in 2020, their shows have taken on the award-winning quality that HBO was known for.We also finished the first season of “Silo” (Apple+) which is based on one of my favorite SciFi books, Wool by Hugh Howey. Rebecca Ferguson stars as Jules. Our whole family loved the book and think the show nails the characters and story. I would certainly add both the book and the show to your lists. Finally, I watched the third season of “CB Strike” (HBO). Holliday Grainger is the best part of the series. Otherwise, it feels like a BBC-wannabee. 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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