Category Archives: personal experience

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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travel diary: tofino, bc

I’d heard a lot of great things about Tofino, BC – a small town located on the western coast of Vancouver Island in Canada. It was first put on my radar due to some coverage of pretty epic surf in the North Pacific. When I learned a close college friend was getting married there, it became the perfect excuse to visit this mythical place.
It truly did not disappoint. The surf was great, but only ended up being one of the many highlights in this town of 1,500 people. The coffee, food and views were all breathtaking. It was the perfect marriage of all the things I love, a blend of my California life and my Pacific Northwest heritage. Needless to say, I hope to go back in the future.

A few spots we loved…

Tofino Coffee Company
Live to Surf
Tofino Brewing Co.
*Every viewpoint on the road driving there



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travel diary: joshua tree national park (year 3)

Every year my friends and I head to the desert to celebrate my birthday in Joshua Tree National Park. Each time we have stayed at a different campsite and explored new areas of the park. I cherish this tradition and I hope these photos give you a window into understanding why.



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travel diary: big sur, ca

Amy and I celebrated 6 years (SIX YEARS!) of marriage the end of August and we generally like to commemorate our anniversaries with a trip, because why not? This year we flew up to San Francisco, rented a car and drove the awe-inspiring Highway 1 the entire way home to Newport Beach, CA.

I had driven this glorious stretch of coastal roads just once before in the the opposite direction, but it was a first for my wife. Thanks to suggestions from a lot of really great friends (and some random Facebook commentators) we had plenty to do and see. A few of the highlights:

I highly recommend a visit to the area if you’ve never been.












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travel diary: amsterdam

Amsterdam was magical. Having come from the hustle and bustle of Paris, Amsterdam served as a necessary respite and a great end to our trip. Our accommodations were perhaps the highlight of our stay. We used airbnb to book a houseboat, floating on the canals of an awesome neighborhood.

If you know me, you know that I love bikes, therefore, I was in heaven in Amsterdam. We almost exclusively traveled on two wheels during our stay and it was a fantastic way to see the city. I had heard about it often, but the intricacy of their road network for bikes was phenomenal. So fun.

All in all, a definite 4 thumbs up from my wife and I. Hope you get a chance to visit someday!

travel diary: amsterdam

travel diary: amsterdam


travel diary: holland

travel diary: holland

travel diary: amsterdam

travel diary: holland

travel diary: holland


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