Run it back

Run it back

This phrase is typically used to say you want a rematch with the same team. Recently I’ve been hearing athletes use this phrase while practicing. There was an Instagram post of Tom Brady using this exact phrase as the caption of a picture of him working out with his receivers.

It got me thinking about using this type of mentality in other aspects of your life. We should be running it back when we’re working on our next speech, leading our team, or developing a new business or product. It’s time to break the stereotype that everything needs to be perfect the first time. Athletes know this to be true. Tom Brady and Lebron James weren’t great at their first practice. We shouldn’t be expect to be great for the first attempt at a speech or writing. It’s not about the first attempt. It’s about improving.

That’s the goal of this blog. It’s not about perfection. It’s about improving every day.

Should you participate

Should you participate

I guess the first answer is that it depends. I’m going to assume what you’re participating in doesn’t involve any illegal activities. If it does, then you should probably not participate.

I’m talking about is participating professionally and personally. Participating at work, participating in development outside of work, or participating in events with family and friends. I have a confession. I love saying “No” to things. It’s so much easier to stay home and not participate than it is to go to that meetup, write that speech, take that course, or meet a new friend.

For a number of years in my life, I said no to a lot of the opportunities in my life. It really hindered my professional and personal life. After my father passed away, I realized how big a mistake that’s been in my life.

I’m better at saying ‘yes’ to new experiences but I’m far from perfect. Usually, I’ve found that saying ‘yes’ has never lead me into an experience I regretted.  Almost every time I’m surprised by the outcome.

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Build a Trail: Is There to Much Focus on Themes?

This past week, I’ve started to feel like the themes are taking over this blog. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing about these topics but it’s beginning to feel like I’m holding back. Instead seeing where my morning pages take my, I’m on focused on getting to the finish line. That’s allowed me to complete a lot of posts but are they the type of stuff I want to write. I don’t think so.

I think these themes will still be the focus of this blog but I’m not going to continue with the set schedule each week. Instead I’m going to see where each day takes me and maybe I can discover something in the process. 

Less Than 30 Days

It’s finally November which means it’s less than thirty days to complete my goal of publishing a blog post everyday. I know I’m still a few posts behind so I’ll need some double post days to complete my goal that I started on December 1, 2014.

Build a Trail: Standing in Front of NO

What’s a side hustle?

My definition of a side hustle is any side project/work where your goal is to one day generate income.

I’ve been talking about side hustles for years and how I need to start one to diversify my income. The problem is I’ve always had an excuse about why now wasn’t the right time to start.

I had a lot of NOs in my life.

NO idea

NO experience 

NO free time

NO extra money to invest

For awhile my wife and i kept thinking we should wait to have children. We wanted to wait until we were ready. Until we had the right jobs, made a certain amount of money, saved a certain amount of money, and completed graduate school. 

One day my wife’s mother said something to us that is relevant to starting anything important in your life. 

There will never be the RIGHT time to have children.

I could argue this point a little and I’m sure most of you could as well. If you’re dirt broke with no place to live then having a child is not the best idea. 

The point is that you’ll never have the perfect moment you’re seeking. There will always be a NO standing in your way. It doesn’t matter if it’s about making a big family decision, like having kids, starting a side hustle or business, or taking that trip to Europe you’ve been planning all your life.

Are you letting NO stand in your way?

Build a Trail: What Projects can I add to my Trail?

Projects I’m planning to start, this year, to build my trail.
1) Create Pittsburgh Marathon Charity Runner Team for a local charity.

2) Focus my data science research on projects that I can add to my GitHub profile. I want my projects to speak for me instead of my resume.

3) Present a speech every week.

I’ve written about this in my Speech of the Week blog series. This goal, and a number of these goals, are inspired by Seth Godin’s blog post, Graduate school for the unemployed college student. My goal is to create, practice, perform, and review a speech every week until the end of the year.
– When will I perform my next speech?
October 16: Dawn Patrol Toastmasters Club.
– Next Speech?
Oct 23: PNC PREP Speaks

Here are a few other goals Seth recommends and my thoughts on how I’ll achieve them.

1) Run a project for a non-profit.
I think I could relate this to the charity run I’m planning to organize.  Early next year, I’d like to continue working with FreeCodeCamp and get involved with helping nonprofits with their technology issues.

2) Teach myself to program in Python, R, JavaScript, HTML, and SQL.
My focus at the moment is on my Data Science research which means I’m working with a lot of Python, R, and SQL.  Similar to the goal of running a project for a non-profit, next year I’d like to get back involved in FreeCodeCamp to improve my JavaScript knowledge.

3) Start, run, and grow an online community
I really want to focus and achieve this goal. I’m not sure what type of community to create.  I’ve started thinking I should create a community of people who are interested in improving their public speaking skills. A place online where people would be free to upload videos of their speeches to get feedback and connect with other like-minded people who want to improve their public speaking.

4) Give a speech a week at a local organization
I’ve discussed this in my above speech every week goal.  I’m completing this in 2015.

5) Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry I care about.
This is what I’m doing here on with Must Love Data Mondays. By the end of 2015, I’ll have completed my first year of writing a daily blog post.

6) Learn a foreign language fluently.
Started using DuoLingo to learn Italian. I’m going to get my wife to start using the app because my goal is to one day, Speak Italian With my Wife While We’re Drinking Wine in Italy (future blog post).

7) Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
I’m thinking about three data science projects I want to create.  I’d like them to be about the city of Pittsburgh but there will be more on this towards the end of the year.

8) Self publish a book
There are three books I’ve been thinking about for the past few years.  1. My novella 2. Dad’s Life Lessons 3. Complete Zig Ziglar’s advice to write a book about how to be successful.  This is how Zig wrote his famous book, See You at The Top.

9)Run a marathon
I’ve done one before and I’m planning to complete my second as a charity runner in 2016.

Building a Trail

Building a Trail

I’ve written about Building a Trail a number of times in the past. Two of them are here and here. This blog is about building a trail. It is my a place to show my work. I found this concept while reading Seth Godin’s post, “Are you willing to build a trail?”.

I’ve decided to write a weekly blog post about my journey to build a trail of work. I want this trail to speak for me and replace my resume. It will be a place people can and will look to see the type of work I’ve accomplished and the work I’m interested in accomplishing in the future.

Through these posts I’ll be talking about my projects, goals, side hustles, learning opportunities, and anything else I think would have a positive impact in my life.

It’s not easy to build a trail. It’s much easier to do and say nothing. Easy isn’t the way I want to live my life. That’s why I wake up before 5am, write, code,  run in the snow, dance at weddings, try any type of food, and help my wife teach our kids to use their imagination.

Happy building.