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Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Reduce Your Stress in 2 Minutes a Day

Bill Rielly had it all: a degree from West Point, an executive position at Microsoft, strong faith, a great family life and plenty of money. He even got along well with his in-laws! So why did he have so much stress and anxiety that he could barely sleep at night? I have worked with Bill for several years now and we both believe his experience could be useful for other capable, driven individuals.

At one time no level of success seemed enough for Bill. He learned at West Point that the way to solve problems was to persevere through any pain. But this approach didn’t seem to work with reducing his stress. When he finished his second marathon a few minutes slower than his goal, he felt he had failed. So to make things “right” he ran another marathon just five weeks later. His body rejected this idea, and he finished anhour slower than before. Finally, his wife convinced him to figure out what was really driving his stress. He spent the next several years searching for ways to find more joy in the journey. In the process he found five tools. Each was ordinary enough but together they proved life-changing and enabled his later success as an Apple executive.

Breathing. He started small by taking three deep breaths each time he sat down at his desk. He found it helped him relax. After three breaths became a habit, he expanded to a few minutes a day. He found he was more patient, calmer, more in the moment. Now he does 30 minutes a day. It restores his perspective while enabling him to take a fresh look at a question or problem and come up with new solutions. Deep breathing exercises have been part of yoga practices for thousands of years, but recentresearch done at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital document the positive impact deep breathing has on your body’s ability to deal with stress.

Meditating. When Bill first heard about meditation, he figured it was for hippies. But he was surprised to find meditators he recognized: Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Marc Benioff and Russell Simmons among them. Encouraged, he started with a minute a day. His meditation consisted of “body scanning” which involved focusing his mind and energy on each section of the body from head to toe. Recent research at Harvard has shown meditating for as little as 8 weeks can actually increase the grey matter in the parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and learning. In other words, the meditators had increased their emotional control and brain power!

Listening. Bill found if he concentrated on listening to other people the way he focused when he meditated his interaction immediately became richer. The other person could feel he was listening, almost physically. And when they knew he was listening they formed a bond with him faster. Life almost immediately felt richer and more meaningful. As professor Graham Bodie has empirically noted, listening is the quintessential positive interpersonal communication behavior.

Questioning. This tool isn’t about asking other people questions, it’s about questioning the thoughts your mind creates. Just because your mind creates a thought doesn’t make it true. Bill got in the habit of asking himself “Is that thought true?” And if he wasn’t absolutely certain it was, he just let it go. He said: “Thank your mind for coming up with the thought and move on. I found this liberating because it gave me an outlet for negative thoughts, a relief valve I didn’t have before.” The technique of questioning your thoughts has been popularized by Byron Katie who advocates what she calls “the great undoing.” Her experience and research show there is power in acknowledging rather than repressing negative thoughts. Instead of trying to ignore something we believe to be true, questioning allows us to see our thoughts “face to face” so to speak and to discredit them because they are untrue.

Purpose. Bill committed to living with purpose. Not so much his life’s purpose. It was easier than that. He committed to purposefully doing whatever he was doing. To be doing it and only it. If he decided to watch TV he really watched it. If he was having a meal he took the time to enjoy the meal. There is research to support Bill’s experience. In “A Pace Not Dictated by Electrons: An Empirical Study of Work Without Email” Gloria Mark and Armand Cardello cite evidence to suggest knowledge workers check email as much as 36 times an hour. The result is increased stress. Giving each activity your undivided attention ensures you’re in the moment and fully living that experience.

An important key for Bill in all of this was starting small—very small. It’s important because you can’t take on stress in a stressful way. Often we try to bring about change through sheer effort and we put all of our energy into a new initiative. But you can’t beat stress using the same techniques that created the stress in the first place.

Instead, the key is to do less than you feel you want to. If you feel like breathing for two minutes, do it for just one minute. If you are up for a day of really listening to people deeply, do it for the next meeting only. Leave yourself eager to try it again. What you want is to develop a sustainable habit: a stress-free approach to reducing your stress.

More like this? Get a free excerpt from Greg’s upcoming book, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by subscribing here.

 

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Can Angela and Tim Create Apple 3.0 — Or Not?

by Steve Tappin -

 

 

Since the sad passing of the visionary Steve Jobs, Apple seems to be losing its magic. Today it made a bold and eye-catching appointment by poaching Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of Burberry.

For me this raises three fundamental questions:

  • Can she really make an impact?
  • What does this mean for CEO Tim Cook and can they work successfully together?
  • What does this mean for the future of Apple?

From my work as a CEO confidant and author of ‘The Secrets of CEOs’, I have met with thousands of different business leaders. I realized that there was not one way of being a CEO but seven different types in the Western world. Each typically has different motives, strengths and challenges.

Steve Jobs was a corporate entrepreneur. He was driven by the obsession and love that he had for his products, and his personal mission to put a dent in the universe. He achieved this through relentless determination, and the support of his trusted lieutenants.

Angela Ahrendts and Tim Cook are both very different characters from both Steve Jobs and each other, and have different CEO types. It is important to understand these types and that Angela and Tim will have different ways of working:

Tim Cook

Tim came from a logistics background and is a professional manager operator:

 

Angela Ahrendts

Angela is a combination of two types of CEO, which we typically don’t see in one individual leader:

Angela is unique in drawing on her strengths to put both customers and people at the heart of a business. At Burberry she was able to create value on a global basis, by focusing the Burberry brand in on the millennials and creating a connected culture that also joined employees together.

In addition to her CEO type, she has a reputation for being an outstanding personal leader with strong values and beliefs. She is global in outlook and able to blend well with different cultures. Her experience of harnessing beauty and style from the fashion industry could be invaluable.

In some ways Angela and Tim can complement each other. She is likely to bring a fresh customer, brand and leadership focus to Apple, assuming they can work well together. An obvious tension is that she is clearly a potential CEO succession candidate and is likely to have strong views that will challenge traditional Apple conventions. So it will be critical for them to build trust – which is a strength of hers – and for Tim to work with her to harness her contribution rather than exert his authority.

How Could They Best Work Together?

 

 

 

They have the potential to build a close partnership. However the technological breakthroughs and new product categories that Apple fans crave are not likely to be their particular strength. They’ll need to rely on harnessing the guardians of innovation, especially Jony Ive, to invent the pioneering products and technology thatTim can mass-produce and Angela can market.

The key will be to create a close-knit fellowship where each of them can harness their strengths. This will give them the best chance of adding value together as they find the key to positioning Apple within a global multi-channel customer world.

What Could Be The Future For Apple?

I can see three scenarios for Apple.

Dream Scenario: Apple 3.0

“Apple 2.0″ saw the return of Steve Jobs and the amazing home run of the iPod, iPhone & iPad. It became the most valuable company in the world because it created breakthrough innovative products which were simply and beautifully designed, operating within connected ecosystems that positively impacted many of our lives. Apple also created flagship cool retail environments where we could get a physical taste of the Apple experience.

In Apple 3.0, TimAngela and Jony work in fellowship and rediscover the old Apple cool and excitement. They find breakthroughs in products and services, with new categories such as TVs and watches, and again dream up things we never even knew we needed… not just cheap plastic color iPhones. Together they innovate the next generation of cool customer experiences, with Angela helping to bridge the digital and technological world with the latest real-world developments in music and fashion. As the Apple brand evolves, it finds a way to be both aspirational and accessible in the emerging markets. Apple goes on to be the outstanding company of the next decade and create the most value by far again.

Second Scenario: Apple The Customer Experience Company

Steve Jobs’s “reality distortion field” fades and Apple stops being the product-breakthrough company that its diehard fans fell in love with. Instead, we see decent products and services, that are then beautifully packaged and styled and integrated into great customer experiences.

A bit like a Virgin, the company takes a solid product offering that is the same or slightly better than the competition, and then adds sizzle.

In this situation, Angela is best placed to be the CEO who makes this future real. Maybe most of the value of the company is sustained. However, in the long-term, the risk is that Apple fans see this aas too much style and not enough substance.

Third Scenario: Apple Becomes Just Another Company

Not my preference but we see slippage and erosion of the brand. Management isn’t able to work together and there are boardroom battles and churn at the top. The leadership team is never able to recapture or reinvent the Jobs gene and magic. Apple gradually gets incremental while SamsungGoogleTencent et al gradually overtake them.

People are so emotionally attached to Apple that nothing but the dream scenario will do for most investors and fans of the company. However, the arrival of Angela Ahrendts increases the chances of that dream scenario Apple 3.0 happening, as well as other valuable futures for Apple too.

Steve Jobs is a tough act to follow for any CEO, and Tim and Angela have their work cut out. However, I believe that this appointment is one of Tim Cook’s best decisions so far, and definitely increases the chances of success.

Good luck Angela.

 

 

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3 Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs Who Failed

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A wise little green man named Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

While that’s great advice it’s sometimes easier said than done. Every new entrepreneur needs an education on how to start a small business. With a business administration degree or small business training, you could soon be running your own successful venture. But starting up your own business is both thrilling and terrifying. Before these three business owners earned their millions, failure was a stepping stone to success.

Gambling Saved FedEx

As an undergrad at Yale, Fred Smith’s idea for FedEx earned him a ‘C’ on his paper because it wasn’t “practical”. But Smith didn’t give up and founded Federal Express in the early 1970s. The business struggled. In 1973, FedEx handled a whopping total of (wait for it) 186 packages. Close to bankruptcy, Smith took the remainder of FedEx’s money ($5,000), boarded a plane and flew to sin city Las Vegas. By playing blackjack, Smith made $27,000 which was just enough to pay a fuel bill and operate for another week. Smith was able to acquire more investor money and last year, FedEx made over $400 million.

Steve Jobs Got Fired from Apple and Then Rescued It

College dropout Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 and was fired from Apple in 1985. A power struggle between Jobs and then-CEO John Sculley resulted in a failed boardroom coup and Jobs’ forced resignation from the company. He moved on to work with NeXT and Pixar while Apple released a wave of new products. While the product line was initially popular, consumers were still buying PC computers. Apple’s response of launching too many computer models and its poor marketing strategy failed miserably. Sales dropped and the company blew through two more CEOs. Jobs returned in 1997 and refocused Apple, leading to the global launch of the first iPod.

Mickey Mouse Was a Bad Idea (Or So People Thought)

Once upon a time, someone fired Walt Disney because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”. Disney started his own animation company and went bankrupt a few years later. He and his brother took their talents to Hollywood where Disney was told Mickey Mouse was a terrible idea as the image of a mouse onscreen would frighten women. To add to his troubles, he lost his popular character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit when Universal Studios snatched up the rights and secretly hired his animation staff. Ironically, Mickey Mouse surpassed Oswald in popularity and legacy. But the 1939 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pulled the Walt Disney Company out of bankruptcy and ushered in Disney’s golden age of animation.

Knowing how to start and run a business successfully requires education, such as small business training or a business degree. But the important thing to remember is never let the fear of failure keep you from reaching your dreams.

Kyla Ross is an aspiring entrepreneur and a career training and education blogger for Ashworth College. To learn more about business careers, visit http://www.ashworthcollege.edu.

 

 

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How Female CEOs Can ‘Lead with Impact’

deboramcl3 Ways to Set Yourself Apart from the Competition

A record number of women are Fortune 500 CEOs.

Women are launching businesses at 1.5 times the national average.

There are now 8.2 million American women running their own companies.

“The numbers are notable,” says executive and business coach Debora McLaughlin, author of “The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People, Performance and Profits,” (www.TheRenegadeLeader.com).

“From 1997 to 2011, the number of U.S. women-owned businesses increased by 50 percent,” McLaughlin says. “And in 2011, the median compensation for female CEOs was 13 percent more than for male CEOs,” according to NerdWallet Financial Markets.

According to Catalyst, a non-profit organization, as of Jan. 1, there were 21 women running Fortune 500 companies, including IBM and PepsiCo, That’s up from seven in 2002-2003. Among the Fortune 1000 companies, there are twice as many, including the CEOs of Neiman Marcus Group, Cracker Barrel and Dun & Bradstreet.

“Nonetheless, business women still face hurdles,” McLaughlin notes. “Keep in mind, while 21 are Fortune 500 CEOs — a record high – that’s only 4.25 percent of the total and the figures hold for Fortune 1000 companies, less than 5 percent have a female at the helm.”

A recipient of the 2012-13 Women of the Year award presented by the National Association of Professional Women, McLaughlin watches the financial trends. While women are launching more businesses, they have an upward climb; studies show that women-owned companies are less likely to hit the $1 million mark and are more likely to fail.

“To claim, own and keep the keys to the corner office, women executives need to be seen, heard and to lead with greater influence and impact,” McLaughlin says. She offers three key tips:

• Develop your personal brand: Let people get to know you, your core story of experiences and how they relate to your drive and vision. As Steve Jobs said, “connect the dots,” then use transparent communication to share your story. People make better connections with people who tell a great story, and they’re most interested in the story behind the person at the top. Transparency encourages greater communication, team building and leadership.

• Develop and use your personal network. Find a mentor and be a mentor; seek out other women at your level; and accept the strength, ideas and energy your connections have to offer. It is no longer necessary to blaze trails alone, and women have more power than they may realize. According to a Dow Jones report, startups with five or more female executives have a 61 percent success rate. It goes further and says that odds of success “increase with more female executives at the VP and Director levels.”

• Stand for something; position yourself as a strong thought leader. It’s not easy being at the top. Women tend to distrust powerful women, and men may view women as weak or too collaborative and sensitive. Take a firm stand on something you care about deeply and rally the organization around that objective. You will gain the respect of your peers, customers and stakeholders.

As the numbers clearly demonstrate, business is changing. Women account for 73 percent to 85 percent of consumer decisions in the United States, which gives female CEOs yet another advantage — insight into their customers’ values, McLaughlin says.

About Debora McLaughlin

Debora McLaughlin, best-selling author of “The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People, Performance and Profits;” the forthcoming book, “A League of Her Own,” and CEO of The Renegade Leader Coaching and Consulting Group combines her experience as certified executive coach and as a top sales performer in New York City and Boston to help CEOs, business leaders and organizations achieve accelerated results.

 

 

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Turn Passion Into Productivity

Turn Passion Into Productivity
Lessons from Five First Time Entrepreneurs Who Capitalized on Creativity

We’ve all heard the success stories of legendary people like Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey. Mark Zuckerberg, once a Harvard drop out, is now a household name. But what about the little people- mere mortals who turned an idea into an enterprise?

Thanks to websites such as Amazon, Etsy and Ebay, as well as infinite resources for small business owners, the chance to own your own company is more possible than ever. The growth of social media has only encouraged the growth of small businesses, offering affordable marketing that’s been proven to pay off. From online teddy bear boutiques to fast paced food trucks, the time to be an entrepreneur seems to be now.

So what are you passionate about? Tea? Landscaping? Watches? Instead of pushing paper for the rest of your life, turn your hobby, interest, or obsession into a profitable business- just like these entrepreneurs did. Learn five vital lessons from first time entrepreneurs that turned passion into productivity.

Turn Everyday Frustration Into Opportunity
Joi Sumpton, Founder of the Step-n-Wash

Joi Sumpton’s life changed in a Barnes and Nobles bathroom. Tired of having to hold her kids up to public restroom sinks, Sumpton was struck with a brilliant idea. What if she didn’t have to? A few sketches, brilliant product development, personal investment and a year later, Joi has launched a successful business out of mere frustration.

Her innovative product, a retracting step stool for public bathrooms, has made life a little easier for parents and guardians everywhere. The Step-n-Wash website states that “thousands of businesses” have installed the Step-n-Wash to increase the safety and hygiene in their public restrooms. Joi’s experience shows that with some imagination, simple, everyday hassles can be transformed into opportunity.

Make It A Family Affair
Ashley Schoenith, Creator of Ice Milk Aprons

Tallahassee native Ashley Schoenith started Ice Milk Aprons with one intention- to spend more time with her grandmother. Inspired by her seamstress grandmother’s love for cooking and entertaining, Ashley decided that aprons were the way to go. After long weekends of brainstorming, fabric selection and sewing, Ashley successfully launched Ice Milk Aprons in 2008.

Unfortunately, Ashley’s grandmother passed away before the launch, but Ashley is still inspired by her. According to the Ice Milk Aprons website, Ashley hopes that families will “pass down traditions” with the use of her sleek, sophisticated aprons. Ice Milk Aprons are available online, and in various stores in Atlanta, where Ashley and her husband reside.

Find New Functions for Existing Products
Fred Meyers, Queensboro.com

For New York native Fred Meyers, the start of The Queensboro Shirt Company wasn’t about fashion- it was about function. A huge fan of Lacoste polo shirts, Fred wondered if there was a way that the same comfort could be achieved minus the alligator patch. After graduating from business school, Fred decided to go into the custom shirt business full-time.

As the first company to offer custom embroidered shirts in small quantities, Queensboro has continued to be a key player in the corporate apparel business. For over twenty years, Fred has focused on top-notch customer service and high-quality products to gain customers in a competitive market. Living up to it’s reputation of outstanding customer service, Queensboro.com promises that customers won’t find “a company that will work harder to make you happy,”.

Fulfill Needs in a Highly Specific Market
Julia Erickson, Aaron Ingley, Barre Nutrition Bars

For ballet dancers Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingley, the start of Barre Nutrition Bars came from their own need. Julia was tired of scrambling for heavy snacks that weren’t nutritious. She decided to make her own energy bar, and from some mere kitchen ingredients, Barre was born.

After signing on her partner and fellow dancer Aaron, the two have taken the ballet world by storm. The pair are dedicated to providing a light, yet filling and highly nutritious snack for their fellow dancers. On their website, realfoodbarre.com, they explain that “Dancers do eat,” and discuss the benefits to their vegan friendly, no sugar power bars.

Think Way, Way, Way Outside The Box
Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper

Bryan Silverman, Duke University student and Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2012, found a market in an unexpected place: the bathroom. In an interview with Business Insider, Bryan revealed that when his brother first pitched him the idea, he “pooh-poohed it”. Luckily, he came to his senses and realized the potential for toilet paper marketing.

Hoping to revitalize traditional marketing, Bryan and his brother, Jordan, started Star Toilet Paper in 2010. The Eco-friendly, easy to read toilet paper is safe to use, and offers a creative alternative for businesses to offer coupons, promotions, and ads. The trend is already catching on for Star Toilet Paper, acquiring them clients such as Allstate, Pita Pit, and Smoothie King.

Citations:

Melissa Weidenborner is a content creation specialist and freelance writer currently working in SEO and Social Media. In her spare time, she blogs about vintage goods, food, lifestyle and online marketing. Follow her adventures on Twitter @vintageandnerdy.

 

 

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Four Industries That Benefit From Video Content Sharing

Video is a great way to get word out about your company and draw in customers. With video, potential customers/clients can actually interact with your content and have it explained to them in a way that’s engaging, fun and informative. Because video is an eye-catching feature on web pages or mobile applications, it’s very successful in advertising.

Digital video management software helps companies create, edit, upload and monetize video content. Companies such as VMIX offer a video management system that works well for businesses in various industries. Here are three examples of the many fields that a quality video management platform can revolutionize.

1) Non-Profits

The main purpose of video when it comes to the non-profit sector is to grow awareness and a sense of community by driving people to participate. Once people realize the value of the service that a non-profit provides, it is much easier to raise the funds necessary to keep the venture alive.

A full service video platform allows non-profits to reach supporters and add new ones to the mix. Video can help organizations recognize sponsors and define the mission of the group; they can also urge volunteers to join together for the purpose of the organization. Editing, publishing and video creation are simple with one platform. Non-profits can also publish their audio and image files to further enhance websites and mobile applications.

2) Educators

The role of video management for educators is similar to that of non-profits in that they aim to educate clients. With video, it is easy to appeal to 21st century learners and keep them engaged. What’s more, video can convey complex ideas and concepts in a way that words alone can’t do as well.

Educators have the same ease of video manipulation and publishing, with the added benefits of student-faculty interaction, one-on-one video tutorials, pre-recorded lecture sessions and much more. Students can even collaborate using web cams, and any videos that are shared online can be used as helpful, informative, archival material for future students and courses.

3) Agencies/Marketers

Agencies and marketers are offered an unparalleled opportunity for branding and networking with video. Professionals can syndicate their messages, thus cementing brand consciousness, with video channels on social networking sites.

It’s easy to run your own ad content with VMIX video platforms, too. You can increase awareness of—and interest in—products and services with vivid videos and promotional specials. If you are marketing for a business that has a storefront, video makes it easy to also create the luxury, comfort and/or informative environment that the store has become known for. SEO (or search engine optimization) can even be used with video platforms in order to keep abreast of search engine results and increase awareness of your company in the public eye.

Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about media. You can learn more about Digital Video Management Software at http://www.vmix.com/

 

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If You Really Love Them, Kick Them to the Curb!

I just had drinks with my ex last night.  We ended up talking about life, our kids, their friends…

One of our best (kid) friends with very liberal and “understanding” parents, was an all-league athlete and scholar in high school, and could have been a male model like his dad, but he gained about 75 extra pounds.  He now is 24 years old, and after being fired from a retail store (which is really hard to do) started a business promoting raves.  That doesn’t apparently make much of an income, and is about as healthy a lifestyle as being a rock musician, and he is now unemployed and living with his parents.

Steve Jobs was put up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college, and was fired from the very company he founded.  I think that there is no one on earth that is not impacted by his accomplishments.

My eldest daughter was the valedictorian at a very prestigious high school, has a black belt in karate, speaks a few languages, could pose for the cover of Vogue, and can’t get out of a lease that is killing her at her private Jesuit University of San Diego so her mother or I have to bail her out again at the age of 22?

Jerry West was terribly abused as a child, beaten with a belt buckle and ended up having to purchase and carry a pistol under his bed to keep his father from beating his sister with an axe handle.  He was a hall of fame player, and a hall of fame coach in basketball.

Charlie Sheen.   Say no more.

My wife survived cancer when she was 14.  She is now the Vice President and Director of a corporate travel management entity that is part of a global operation in 37 countries and employs well over 6000 people.

They say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  I truly believe that.  When talking about my daughters and the possibility that their mom might lose her health insurance, I was struck simultaneously by a “dad’s” protectionism (I need to help out somehow) and my own dad’s reality; you’re 22 years old; get a freeking job and you’ll have your own health insurance.

My ex (being the ever extraordinarily codependent enabling mother) countered with “well things are tougher now.”

Really?  Things are tougher than when I grew up with the shadow of the great depression? My father had to drop out of Cal Berkeley when he was 23 to get a job to help support his parents.   Things are tougher than when I had to live with people like Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter as presidents?  They are tougher than fighting my way to and home from school every day?  Tougher than going to sleep fearing that the air raid siren was going to go off any second because Khrushchev stopped pounding his shoes on the podium of the United Nations and  grabbed the red button?

I grew up in the days when one had a paper route at the age of 10.  I canvassed the neighborhood dropping flyers to get weekend jobs gardening.  I had my first real job at a chemical factory after school when I was old enough to drive there.  In college I took wedding photographs on weekend days, and worked in the processing plant at night.  Things are tougher now?

There are certain things that we can do to, and for our children.  Gary Radnich said it well today; perhaps the kindest thing we could ever do for a child is kick them to the curb (lovingly) and make them fend for themselves.  I have a dear friend that had to literally do that to his eldest son.  He was addicted to several things, couldn’t maintain any semblance of a work life, and came begging to his dad to give him “one last chance.”  He said no.  He meant it.  He literally gave him a sleeping bag and showed him the door.

Several months later, after he had hit his “bottom” or catharsis or whatever you call it, the kid came back cleaned up on his own, and is now the number one salesperson at his dad’s construction company, and the heir apparent to the family business.

Spare the rod, spoil the child?  Killing with kindness?  You figure it out.

 

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