why would you go to mars?

Legacy, Abandonment & Giving Up

Mars One is a non-profit organization with the goal to establish a permanent human settlement… on Mars. In 2018, they are sending their first unmanned mission, and in 2024 they are planning on sending 4 people every year. Even more, they are now running a contest to identify the first 4 people to send. This is what the mini-documentary above explores.

What is so fascinating to me is the WHY? behind each person’s explanation. Of the people interviewed in the documentary, you hear a spectrum of reasoning. One person wants to leave a legacy, another it’s a further exploration of freedom, and yet another is ready to throw in the towel on the current situation on planet earth. The gravity of this situation is so intense because this opportunity to go to Mars is a ONE-WAY ticket. These people will never return.

When asked if people who are willing to do this are “crazy”, one contestant responded in the following manner…

“Define crazy. Crazy is the unfamiliar. Crazy is the different person. What is crazy for people?
For me… my sister is crazy for having her dream to be to have kids and have a husband and grow up and die.”

We all have a unique set of influences that formulate our decision-making and rationale. I think a good way to understand what yours is about is to ask yourself the question… Why or why not would you make the decision to go to Mars and never return?


If your conclusion is to go to Mars, you can apply to be one of the Mars One Astronauts HERE

mars one astronauts

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you’ll never make it

I was speaking to a group of aspiring entrepreneurs at a local university in Southern California recently, and a specific insight seemed to resonate with the group (and with me) above everything else. Q&A has the power to bring up ideas or concepts that you haven’t thought about in a long time and this was one I wanted to share…

You will never make it. You will never arrive at the point where you have it all figured out, and the sooner you can wrap your head around this the better.

It’s easy for all of us to put others on a pedestal. We wonder about the secret combination of inputs that cause people to be wildly successful. We idealize and romanticize about getting to a place where our businesses magically run themselves. I know when I was starting KK intl. there was always this underlying notion that if we could just make it to the next milestone — i.e. If we could be sold in that one great retailer — the rest would follow suit.

As with almost everything, it’s the same with life as it is in business. The best thing we can do is to realize the beauty in the process and understand that even those milestones we will reach come with a whole new set of challenges. As we embrace the minor victories and celebrate the fact that we have greater challenges (because my goodness we’ve actually grown our business!) we will be able to give grace to ourselves and to see others in a new lens.

No one has it all figured out. We are all just improving in incremental steps, that hopefully add up to something meaningful.

{The above photo is from an Instagram post that illustrates
this same point in a different way}


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the hustle is real

the hustle is real

An Imperative Lesson for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

I was recently having dinner with a group of friends and at different points in the night multiple people asked me this: “How long were you working at KK intl. before you started getting paid?” These individuals are starting a new business and were wanting to learn more about my experience founding a brand.

My response to their question… the hustle is real. I don’t talk about it often because people generally just want to hear about the successes. The reality is that for 2 years I was a full-time college student and 3 years after that I worked as a server at a restaurant 5 nights a week, while I was also working full-time to make this dream a reality. I didn’t get a day off and I didn’t get paid anything from the organization, none of us did.

Now, this won’t come as a surprise for any entrepreneurs out there, but it’s an imperative lesson for anyone interested in starting something. The timeline looks different for every person and every business, but the one constant is that it will test you to your furthest limits. That’s what you are signing up for.

Takeaway: There are no overnight success stories. As a result, you are going to have to be willing to sacrifice an awful lot (more than you are most likely thinking right now even) to get to the point of where you start to get paid to pursue your dream.

But don’t lose heart. It is possible.

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dear leaders, it’s ok to hurt

Kohl Crecelius Dominican Republic

Be Human, Not A Hero

We’ve all had those epiphanic moments in our lives. The ones that bring an undeniable clarity to a situation and prove to change the way you think moving forward. You know that your reality has changed the instant it strikes.

I want to share with you a lesson I learned while spending 6 days in a Dominican hospital…

While in college I spent a summer volunteering with an international aid organization in the Dominican Republic. I worked with Haitian refugees tutoring children in english and math, as well as putting on extracurricular activities. It was extremely challenging for me on nearly every level, but the worst had yet to come.

Near the end of my trip I got sick. Very sick. I’ll spare most of the details, but I had consumed an incredible number of parasites (the most the hospital had ever seen in one person) and I also had a serious bacteria infection in my arm. Either one of these issues could have been life-threatening, but both of them together gave reason to consider an emergency airlift back to the states.

Many things during those days were a blur. I was sick and hurting. I was in the most vulnerable state I have ever been in, but I didn’t want others to know. Selfishly, I wanted to be strong and present an image of confidence and put-togetherness. I wanted people to return home “wowed” by how stoic I was in the face of this terrifying situation. I didn’t want others to have to go out of their way to help me because I thought I could deal with it.

As a leader, I had built in my head this idea that the best leaders are those that don’t need anyone else. They are the ones who stand alone and bear incomprehensible burdens with the great strength only they possess. And here I was, unable to get to the bathroom without having someone help me, nor bathe myself. I was broken.

Through all of this, I learned that it’s ok to hurt. I learned that it takes strength to show others that you are hurting as well and to lean on them for help. No one thought less of me when I didn’t have the energy to engage in conversation or to be a warm or welcoming host in my hospital room.

I wanted to be strong for others, instead of letting them be strong for me. It can be hard to embrace love and care, but for your sake I hope you are able to learn this lesson sooner than I and under better circumstances. There is a time to be strong and there is a time to be human.

Ultimately, I believe that people want to follow humans, not heroes.

it's ok to hurt

This is me in the hospital with my (future) wife who was by my side. So that came out of it as well. 🙂

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inspiration is a chain reaction

I read 4 books over the Christmas break from work. That’s nearly as many books as I had read the previous 6 months (that is to say I’m not a voracious reader (although I have always loved vocabulary, hence the use of the word “voracious”)). <— Yes, that was a parenthesis inside a parenthesis. #inception

I’m not trying to boast at how intelligent I must be now after reading these 4 books, in fact it’s quite the opposite. I had no intention of doing that prior to leaving the office. That is, until I read a short post by Donald Miller. I’ve only spent a little bit of time with Don (I did learn that’s what he goes by) and I like to think in my head we are close friends, but the reality is I follow along on his social media, newsletters, etc.

Anyway, right before the holidays he shared a short post telling of the inspiration provided by his friend Michael Hyatt to not only view the end of the year as a time of relaxation, but a time to get ahead for the year to come. I don’t know what else to say, other than that it struck me. I ordered 3 books from Amazon, grabbed another off the shelf and enjoyed quiet mornings drinking coffee and devouring some great books on leadership and marketing.

Now I want to do what I can to offer that same sense of inspiration leading into this beautiful new year, because inspiration is a chain reaction. I want to share briefly about the books I read as they might jumpstart your journey or offer a starting point for you…

1) Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite, by Paul Arden

Super quick read chalked full of 1 to 2 page stories of people who revolutionized culture by going against the grain, inspirational quotes, and good design. A great book for skimming through prior to going to be sleep.

Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite by Paul Arden

2) The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly

The story is written as a fictional narrative about a company that is turned around due to the executive team building a culture that focuses on the dreams of their employees. This book is great if you are wanting to think about how to build a great company culture. Quick read.

The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly

3) Zag, by Marty Neumeier

The author lays out the importance of knowing when to ZAG when the rest of your competitors are “zigging”. He lays out a 17-step process for how to identify your positioning as a business and how to differentiate yourself uniquely. It sounds like a lot of steps, but this book is actually extremely digestible and an easy read.

Zag by Marty Neumeier

4) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni

This was the favorite book I read. Extremely practical look at leadership, team structure, and managing an executive staff. It’s easy to pass off team dysfunctions as a necessary part of work. This book instead addresses those dysfunctions head on and offers ways to put them to rest in order to create a unified team that is results driven. Great read.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

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