Friday, December 28, 2018

MLW's Baby Steps...

I have really enjoyed the Major League Wrestling product since its return last year. The matches are booked well, the talent is strong and improving, and they brought Tony Schiavone back which is just great. On July 7th, 1996 Tony gave us, "you can go to hell Hogan, straight to hell," the night Hulk turned heel and started the nWo (That's for you Travis). Court Bauer has not been afraid to sign and develop some of the top wrestlers in the game. 

"Filthy" Tom Lawlor is one of those guys. An MMA fighter, Lawlor is booked that way, and plays the part well. He should because it's exactly who he is. If Lawlor didn't get paid to fight he'd be doing it for free. The UFC veteran brings honesty and toughness to the ring every time out. I would like to see him wrestle matches that aren't always street fights of some kind. He is a very capable wrestler and showcasing those skills would go a long way to developing him.

Salina DeLaRenta is beautiful and easy to boo. She is easily the top female manager in the sport today. Her promos are strong, and she interferes just enough to get her guys over. Salina brings the threat constantly and she has an evil stare that makes your toes curl. Low-Ki has done yeoman's work as the champion and working with Selina in Promocionas Dorado has been equally strong. The veteran is the unquestioned leader in the ring, and has cemented his grip on the MLW World Championship. He defends the title against Tom Lawlor on February 2nd which is the culmination of a feud that has gone for more than seven months. It's sure to be a great match, and it has been built beautifully. One thing though, there is no need to say that Low-Ki is undefeated in MLW for fourteen years. When they discussed it on the broadcast it was uncomfortable. We know MLW was dormant for more than a decade, so please don't tell us that. Or, have Low-Ki say it, and have it thrown back in his face instead. Looks minor league.

Rush is awesome. This guy needs to be in front of more people. He is a supremely gifted wrestler, and brings personality, character, and charisma to the ring. El Toro Blanco is an immediate contender for the Championship, and it's already been announced that he'll face LA Park in New York City April 4th in the Main Event. It hasn't been announced yet, but I won't be surprised if this show is live. If that's the case I hope they're more prepared for it than they were in Miami. No pun, but it felt rushed to me. There was no need to do it, and the location's sound was poor at best. MLW has been maticulous about many things and the live broadcast has to be one of them...

Teddy Hart is great, and so is the Hart Foundation. Hart is a terrific athlete, and the new MLW Middleweight Champion. The middleweight division is deep with Kotto Brazil, Dezmond Xavier, Dragon Lee, MJF, DJZ, and the injured Marko Stunt give Hart plenty of contenders for the belt going into 2019.

MLW has had hiccups ,but they're not afraid to take risks, and shows a lot of creativity. They're going in the right direction, and more patience in 2019 would be beneficial for a company that did a lot of great things in 2018.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

WWE Can't Help Themselves...

Full disclosure, it's been months since I've watched Raw or Smackdown. I've seen most of the pay per views and have felt no need to watch the shows. I watch the PPV's and have missed nothing. There is no need to watch the weekly show. Last night's Smackdown Live is exactly why. The so-called WWE Universe was promised changes and we got The MIz and Shane as a team, which is awful especially when there are decent teams on SDL getting no love. Not to mention Shane stinks in the ring apart from his predictable spots.
Then AJ Styles is so upset he attacked Vince McMahon. I know folks who were shocked and don't know why. Styles did this a couple years ago to Shane setting up their Mania match. Why WWE? Are you not taking the rise of Indie Wrestling seriously? Vince has survived so many attacks he probably believes he's invincible and it's hard to argue that thinking. However, the Indie thing is legit and in five years if they aren't careful it won't matter how many NXT's there are.
The reason WWE has continued as the big fish for so long is primarily their massive scale. Nobody in wrestling has been able to compete, and the WWE has looked invulnerable.
If the WWE continues with these story lines their ratings will continue to slip, and attendance will decline at the live shows. That is when the sharks circle. In any sport you only hear of competition when the major league is struggling, and WWE isn't. They make money and their stock price recently was at an all time high. Yet they aren't flourishing to the people who matter the most...the fans.
I've enjoyed WWF/WWE most of my life, but I would rather watch, write, and cover wrestling that may miss spots, or not cut the best promos because the matches are exciting, and the effort is there. I hear fans always say, when Trips takes over it'll be great. We shall see because I don't think NXT is perfect either, but at least WWE would have some fresh ideas, and it would be an improvement at this point. Vince McMahon belongs on the pro wrestling Mt. Rushmore. He's one of the greatest promoter's of all time, and has built his brand to be virtually impenetrable, but if more fans like me stop watching...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Andy Brown vs. Chris Bey | Phase VI

Why I Changed on Women's Wrestling...

My buddy always likes to say that I hate women's wrestling. First, I never hated it, or wished it would go away. I always said that I didn't care if it went away. The reason was because it wasn't very good. Women's wrestling in the 90's and 2000's was more of a sex show than a wrestling match. Pillow fights, and lingerie matches happened far too often. In my opinion they denigrated what the women like Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Wendy Richter, Sherri Martel, and Madusa Miceli/Alundra Blaze had done before.
I'm coming to the understanding that wrestling is less sport than it was in 1985 when I discovered it. I don't necessarily like it, but I get it. Women's wrestling was so far out there that for me it was unwatchable. Then Stephanie McMahon spoke of a women's revolution. I yawned and said, "who cares, it'll be the same old thing."
What I didn't know was how much better the talent was in the pipeline. It isn't just WWE either. Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Ember Moon, Shayna Baszler, Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, and Ronda Rousey. These athletes have all helped bring the toughness, and physicality into women's wrestling. Instead of it being about boobs and bottoms it's more about slams and submissions. We see good wrestling moves, transitions, and power. The aerial game is evolving too as more women take to the skies as part of their offensive game plan.
This is the best talent overall (WWE, Indies) women's wrestling has ever had. Their matches are headlining shows and rightfully so because the women are far more interesting than the men are especially in WWE. I love the heat they build with strong promos, and even better matches that rarely disappoint. I'm a fan of women's wrestling now, and I am very excited for it's future.

Monday, November 26, 2018


First you jump....then you RUN!

You will not get many opportunities to make the jump and do what you love to do. I did it and still struggle with coming to grips. The issue for me is defining what work is. For me it was always going to a place, clock in, and get to work before the boss says anything. Sound familiar? Now it's up to me.
I don't have motivation issues. My issue is upstairs in my head. Trying to tell myself that watching wrestling videos is work because I'm researching an article and not screwing around. When I had days off from my job this was what I did. Trust me I love doing this, but it's not work. Setting up the store, writing posts, none of it is work, but I've also made no money.
This wasn't one of the problems I anticipated, and maybe classifying it as that is an overstatement. However, it has brought unnecessary anxiety and I have enough of that right now. Worrying about what you're doing and whether or not it's acceptable as work is fruitless.

Where is the fix? You run with it. Run until you can't run anymore,. Until your last breath is exhausted. I spoke to a friend last week who drives for Uber, and has some small investments. He was considering taking a job in another state because he wanted the comfort of a regular job. My advice was simple; You're already working on your own. You are paying your bills and doing good for yourself. I also said that you work for yourself now, and there is no set schedule with a nagging boss who sets unrealistic expectations.
I told him that this is something you may never have again. Making the jump and running isn't an opportunity you will always take, so when it's there go for it. You can always go and get a job. Now I try to enjoy it each day. I'm sure it will get easier, but right now I think of what I said to my friend that this is the time. First you jump....then RUN!


Gary Vaynerchuk's Life Advice Will Change Your Life (MUST WATCH) | Gary ...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Matt Riddle - King of Bros

NXT’s King of Bros, Matt Riddle, looked the part of a king in dispatching tough Luke Menzies in his NXT debut. The former Evolve champion and NXT newcomer came to the ring with chants of bro from the Full Sail crowd and a star was born. Sometimes the lights are too bright even in NXT for some wrestlers and they go back to the independent ranks sometimes never to be seen on the big stage again.
Matt Riddle is different. He was comfortable and relaxed with the spotlight. He stood on the turnbuckles and soaked in the adulation like a drug. Speaking of…. I first saw Riddle in the Ultimate Fighter and I rooted for him to win because his carefree attitude was infectious. The future King of Bros always smiled and was happy to be there. His UFC career ended after a couple positive marijuana tests.
Riddle has found significant success in pro wrestling in a short time prior to signing with NXT. He was the Evolve champion, WWN champion, and one half of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla tag champs with Jeff Cobb when they were known as the Chosen Bros. Riddle won the Evolve strap with a win over current NXTUK grappler Zach Sabre Jr at Evolve 102. He held the belt for 121 days before losing to Shane Strickland at Evolve 108.
After a dustup with Kassius Ohno last week, Riddle has been booked with Ohno at NXT 478. Ohno will be good opposition for the youngster. He is strong and agile for a guy who looks like he spends more time on the couch than in the wrestling ring. It’s a good matchup for Riddle. The 32 year old billed from Las Vegas certainly could make a run at either one of the NXT belts in the near future.
There are plenty of great options for the bro after Kassius Ohno. The NXT talent pool is deep and Tomasso Ciampa’s belt has a huge target on it. Riddle has the makings of a giant superstar. After a lot of seasoning in NXT he could make a run in WWE. The athleticism is there to be able to compete with bigger guys the way two-time WWE champion AJ Styles does as well as current champ Daniel Bryan.
The threat of the submission makes him dangerous against wrestlers of any size, so he is capable of winning a title from anyone. Riddle is green on the mike, but he has the raw skills, and the in ring skill is there. He is an exciting prospect that will be fun to watch going in 2019.

Armchair Promoter opens tomorrow...

Armchair Promoter goes live tomorrow. It’s exciting and terrifying. What if nobody goes there? I ask myself that question often. I know that I should change the thought with something positive, but that’s what inspires me, the possibility that nobody shows up. If nobody shows up then we’ll change the plan to get there. We’ll find a way. There has been way too much time, work, and love that has gone into this company.
Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic, Think and Grow Rich “If the thing you wish to do is right, and you believe in it, go ahead and do it! Put your dream across, and never mind what “they” say if you meet with temporary defeat, for “they,” perhaps, do not know that EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT SUCCESS.”
There have been wins and losses because very little has gone the way we expected. Some of it bad, but some of it has been good. Since my head is clearing from the Walmart responsibility there are ideas that have come from the ether that I didn’t anticipate. We’ve also had to fire an artist because they weren’t meeting expectations and it was someone we expected to be a part of our future. Our video guy bailed out after the first meeting. Both of them told me several times they were 100% committed.
We have changed the plan more than once. Don’t be afraid to operate fluidly. Here’s the thing if it’s been a month and we haven’t made a sale that’s ok because I know we will continue to produce content, develop ideas, work hard, and follow the process to build our business.
I’m happy there are people I know that don’t expect this to work, and they’re the same ones who tell me how proud and happy they are for me. I could care less. The people I push for are the people that I know support me and this company. Not the ones who anticipate my failure.
My girlfriend who kept pushing me when I got nervous and gives me all the time I need to work. It’s her and the friends of mine that check in that I know are rooting for us. I get inspiration from the people that believe in me. They’re the reason Armchair Promoter is opening up tomorrow, and I am grateful for those people.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lou Thesz vs. Verne Gagne

The Midnight Rockers vs Buddy Rose & Doug Sommers (09/02/1986)

Pro Wrestling is Real

My first exposure to pro wrestling was in the early 80’s when I came across the AWA. I was turning the dial to find something to watch on one of the five channels and there it was, the American Wrestling Association. If my memory serves Jerry Blackwell was wrestling one of Sheik Adnan Al Cassie’s guys. With Blackwell the match was far from fast and furious, but entertaining enough to continue watching. As I said we had five channels, so the content in those days was a bit light.
 I had never watched a sport like this before, but I was enamored. The discovery remained a secret for a few weeks until I broke the news to my mother who is also a sports fan.

Our conversation went as follows,
Me: I found a new sport on TV.
Mom: What’s that?
Me: Professional wrestling (smiling).
Mom: You know it’s fake right?
Me: (no longer smiling) what do you mean it’s fake.
Mom: It’s fake. They know who’s gonna win.

Long time wrestling fans have heard the words, “you know it’s fake” more times than we care to count. It was a moment in my childhood I’d like to have different. Mom could’ve waited before telling me right. Did she have to smash me immediately? I don’t think so. She had no trouble stretching out the Santa Claus charade. I digress. After watching it sparingly upon the “fake” news, I was invited to attend live matches with a family friend. They were at the Showboat Sports Pavilion where the AWA filmed their TV.
Four weeks of shows were shot that week. Similar to the way some indies shoot their TV today. I was enjoying the wrestling and I walked over to the heel locker room where Doug Sommers was standing outside. He was watching the proceedings sipping from a cup that we’ll assume was water. Still not convinced wrestling was fake I said hello to him and his exact words were, “get out of here”.
I remember going that night, but the only memory that stuck about my first wrestling show was the interaction with Summers. He did his job because after that I hated him. How could he say that to me? I was just an innocent kid who wanted to say hi. I wanted that Mean Joe Green moment. Maybe he would’ve thrown me a towel.
Nope, he said, “get out of here”. Message sent. When the Midnight Rockers chased him and Buddy Rose for the AWA tag belts I was invested because I wanted Sommers to lose. I was sitting two feet from the television when the Midnight Rockers got the belts, and I jumped for joy all over the living room. It was a euphoric feeling, and one I’ve experienced on several occasions when my favorites have won.
I am not always happy with pro wrestling, but that is what a sport does. There are times you really enjoy it and times when you threaten to boycott. I think pro wrestling fans are the ones who have it right. We invest our time, energy, and emotions just like any other fan.
Mom was wrong,
Pro wrestling is real.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Hulk Hogan Signs with WWF

When Hogan went to the World Wrestling Federation it changed the sport, and was the beginning of the end for the AWA and the territories. Hulk Hogan became THE MAN! He was the headliner and the main eventer. I saw the headlines and watched the matches. That could have been the AWA. They could have sold out the old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis with Hogan as the main event. Other wrestlers would have been drawn to the AWA and the Hulkster would have had a laundry list of challengers for the belt.
One of the reasons the WWF was able to poach so much talent was because they had Hogan. The buzz was real. Folks wanted to be a part of what was happening.
Even Gagne himself could have gotten in the ring with Hogan. Instead Gagne chose not to make him champion and then let him walk. Multiple times he booked Hogan to win only to have the title taken away at a later date. Gagne blamed Hogan saying he was too greedy, and wanted too much from royalties. Hogan is a businessman. He saw the writing on the wall and believed in the potential he had.
Verne Gagne had a very big ego and that is what I believe was the actual issue. The reason Verne Gagne started the AWA in the first place was so he could be the champion. I don’t think Gagne wanted anyone to be bigger than him, and he knew Hogan would be. The fact Hogan isn’t a traditional wrestler played a role, but the fans loved him. They pay the bills, not tradition.
Was Hulk Hogan trying to cash in on his fame. ABSOLUTELY! Why wouldn’t he. The guy was so over and would have made a great title run in the AWA.
Hulk Hogan going to the WWF and Vince McMahon changed wrestling as we knew it with Rock N Wrestling, Wrestlemania, Saturday Night’s Main Event, and so on. Hulk Hogan was the main event. If you told someone you were watching wrestling they asked who Hulk was fighting.
The Chairman saw what Hogan brought to the table and capitalized on it. Something Verne Gagne and the AWA failed to do.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I am Scared

When I was preparing to leave my job I was worried about a million different things. My girlfriend could tell I was worried and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t know if she would get where I was coming from. She had never started a business. I was wrong.
She said, “Yes I understand. When I was walking and staying in shelters with my kids. It was also scary going to different houses trying to eat and sleep. We were cold and had no place to go”. I felt small. She went on to tell me her ex-husband would kick her and the babies out of the house. They would be forced to wander the streets trying to survive until he let them come back. Damn! Why was I scared?
 It gave me perspective.
You never know where the wisdom will come from. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

When Do You Know???

A friend asked me “When did you know it was wrestling you were going to do?”
 “I didn’t,” I said.
That was the truth and to be honest I still don’t. I know that this is where I’m starting, and this is where all my energy is focused. I don’t know if this is the business I will be in for the rest of my life. That was my hang up so often when I wanted to start a company. I would spend so much valuable time trying to decide if this was the business to run and would eventually talk myself out of it.
Pro wrestling was certainly not it. I am a fan of the sport and have been since I was a kid. When I was 12 I had my own wrestling promotion with the old AWA action figures. The matches were booked and my mom let me put posters on the wall when the Super cards were scheduled. However, when my moms friends questioned why I was playing with “toys” the World Wrestling Alliance closed it’s doors.
Then I discovered Champions of the Galaxy which is a wrestling card game that lets you start your own promotion. So I did. I kept it to myself because I was over 40 for crying out loud. Who does this when they’re over 40. Like my buddy said to me, “Do it because you think it’s cool.” SO I did. I didn’t worry what people thought.
It sprung from the simple action of playing a card game. I loved the creativity and I have found the more I play the more my imaginative mind works. It keeps the creative juices flowing. If you had told me that five years ago I would’ve laughed in your face. Now I understand the value.
My business began with the idea to create my own game edition and has now evolved into much more. The point with the mini bio is that if you have an idea to sell one picture frame then sell it. Put it on eBay or Shopify. Then when you sell that find another one to sell. The first step is truly where it all begins. It doesn’t matter where you start  as long as you do.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Fritz von Erich vs Scientific Bobby Brown 1950's Buffalo professional wr...

Lou Thesz vs. Buddy Rogers

People Don't Care....Get Over it.

When I started Fight CLL in 2010 I thought my friends and family would think the cause was great (wife had leukemia), and since it was so close they would all get behind us. Nope…not really….and it’s unfortunate. We want our idea to inspire those closest to us so we can start a family empire and all will raise their hands in victory. Maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I always got upset when I would talk to people and they would tell me what a great idea I had, and they were happy for me.
Then I ask if they want to help and you get the collection of excuses. People are excited and supportive as long as they don’t have to do anything. Many folks have busy lives, but many settle. I thought since I was starting a wrestling company that people I know that enjoy wrestling would want to get involved. Nope…not really…and it’s unfortunate. For them it is. I think these guys have settled for working in a job they hate.
It doesn’t matter to me anymore if people don’t want to get involved. The people I want to be part of Armchair Promoter are with us and I like our team. Don’t take it personally. They can be happy for you and not want to help. I have friends who don’t like wrestling, but they’re happy for me.
Now some people are willing to help when you get to the position of needing help. They don’t necessarily want to help you set up the whole thing, but will help you move things forward. Those people are valuable. Don’t ignore the resource just because they weren’t interested in the start. Are you interested in every idea immediately?
I start chopping and remember what Jim Rohn said, “Success isn’t something you pursue, it’s something you attract by the person you become.”


Monday, November 5, 2018

Billy Corgan's 20 Year Plan for the NWA

In Ten Pounds of Gold #13 Billy Corgan answered critics and said he has a twenty year plan for the National Wrestling Alliance. Pundits have asked why the Smashing Pumpkins front man purchased the National Wrestling Alliance last year. If you watch Ten Pounds of Gold you see why. Corgan loves wrestling and he has a bitter pill to swallow with Impact Wrestling and how he was sent away.
I think he wants to prove he's a legitimate wrestling guy and not some rock star who wants a toy to play with. Ten Pounds of Gold proves otherwise.

Corgan said that wrestling returning to the wild west is what's best for fans. He wants to see wrestlers from all promotions competing on other shows. Including WWE. With what we've seen in 2018 I don't think it's far fetched with Impact vs Lethal reports and Cody vs Aldis 1 & 2. Another is the show itself.

The documentary series Ten Pounds of Gold is very well done. It's a series about the championship, the man who holds it, and the title defenses. It takes you back to what happens in the ring which is the place we all became fans. We became fans from watching the matches. Too many promotions build their stories outside of the ring with drama that has nothing to do with wrestling.

The NWA is trying things and taking risks. They're trying unconventional models, and I think it's good. They are highlighting the tremendous history of the NWA World's Heavyweight Championship and it's relevance on the big stage. This is all well and good, but not without some drawbacks.

Seeing the "worlds" champ defending the title in high school gyms and Theaters doesn't make the belt look important. You expect the worlds champion defending the title in a larger venue than that. The level of competition isn't real strong with a couple exceptions.

Nick Aldis certainly looks the part of heavyweight champ and his in ring skill is strong. The quality of his competition improved when he faced Cody at All In. Aldis is using this title run as a stepping stone. He could end up on NXT or even WWE in the next couple years, and age is still on his side.
The NWA worlds heavyweight title is going to be a stepping stone for the immediate future as they regain their footing. Is it possible? Now I believe it is.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ambrose Heel Turn was a Classic

A real good heel turn is tough in the internet age. Wrestling fans watch for them and try to sniff them out months before they happen. Guilty. Internet spoilers give you so much advance storyline that you know when the turn is coming before the promoter does. The Ambrose heel turn is top 2 behind Hulk Hogan’s and I don’t know how that one will ever be topped. This was close.
Here’s why. We knew it was coming and still got fooled. I was waiting for this turn before Dean got hurt. Then Roman comes out. Leukemia! WTF! The Shield with a nice moment on the ramp and I looked at Dean and said, “well he isn’t turning heel tonight.” Boom!
 Didn’t see it coming…. AT ALL. Not on Roman’s night. If we honestly believed that in our hearts, then we don’t know Vince McMahon. He worked with Eric Bischoff, after Bischoff tried to destroy his company. I remember the Monday Night Wars. It was Roman’s night? How stupid are we? Vincent Kennedy McMahon has been stunned, hit with chairs, frogsplashed, punched, and busted open. Do you think he cared about Roman’s night? For McMahon it was perfect and Ambrose delivered.
The only clue I had was when the victory hugs continued a little long, but then it happened. Dirty Deeds. Down goes Rollins. What made the turn incredible was how much heat Ambrose was getting and he had the audacity to walk through the crowd. Fantastic! The surprise and the delivery were outstanding. Now let’s see what happens. Will the WWE Universe come back and cheer for him or will the heat continue?

Friday, November 2, 2018

How to be an

When I was getting ready to leave Walmart I had different ideas of what it would be like to work for yourself. The first two weeks I learned that you have to re-learn everything. At least from the standpoint of my workday. When I was at the store I had a routine. I always knew what I had to do. Despite the fact I've been planning this and know what my plan is I sit at my desk and ask "where do I start? Then I go through this freak out moment and think "WHAT THE F*** HAVE I DONE!" I don't know where to begin and I stress out. OK, freak out is fair. My heart pounds and I worry.
The positive self talk begins and I do my best to fight the demons away for as long as possible. In those situations I just put my head down and chop. I just keep chopping. You have to love the process of building.
Once I'm moving at a normal clip again there was another thing I didn't expect. As I work blogging, making videos, researching wrestling, and such I have to tell myself what I'm doing is work. What I do now is what I always did on my days off. I never considered it work. I've caught myself thinking I was goofing off the last few hours reading and writing about wrestling. The thoughts and feelings are so different than I expected. I know the routine will come as they develop. It's a different experience that is taking more adjustment than I expected.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Impact vs Lethal

The report today by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is that Impact champion Johnny Impact will face Ring of Honor champion Jay Lethal in a title vs title match leads me to believe more than ever that something is brewing among Impact, ROH, and the NWA. The Cody vs Aldis matchups, Aries on ROH shows, and now this.
If this is a legitimate title vs title match and Jay Lethal starts showing up in the Impact arena it’s a good thing. This is eerily similar to what they tried in the early 80’s to combat the WWF onslaught and talent raid. The AWA of Verne Gagne, Dallas’ Jack Adkisson (Fritz Von Erich), Memphis’ Jerry Jarrett , and Jim Crockett of WCW and NWA shared talent and even held joint cards like SuperClash, but there was constant strife between the promoters which meant that real unity never materialized.
These three are the biggest indies, and if they can work together it’s great for the sport. Many wrestling fans including myself have complained about lack of options, but that is changing. I want to see these three and others work together to bring fans more choices to go to live matches, and watch on television, and give some of the great talent on these rosters a chance to shine.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Death of The Territories by Tim Hornbaker

Death of the Territories by Tim Hornbaker might be his best work yet. The book carefully narrated the first world war of wrestling between the WWF and everybody else. Every wrestling fan knows about the Monday Night Wars. The years 1996-1998 changed wrestling forever, but the war in the 70’s and early 80’s was the first one.
The book carefully details the plan. Vince McMahon Jr. was on a mission to make his promotion a national brand. He began to buy up television rights in what were off limit territories at the time, so he could set up his own live dates. Once he put his product on television he would book live shows. The television set up the live gate. These moves by McMahon allowed the WWF to expand across the United States.
The territories tried to match the expansion of the WWF, but most didn’t have the desire or the money to compete. They were unable to fend off the WWF because they spent more time fighting each other than the enemy. A mistake the book shines light on is the fact that the territories didn’t bother to shore up their own product.
It didn’t make sense for these smaller promotions to try and expand because there was no way they could compete. The WWF didn’t win every city. Some cities were very loyal to the territory and didn’t support the WWF. McMahon bailed out of certain cities, so it’s certainly logical that stronger territories could have survived with proper leadership. However, many times instead of the territory building that area stronger they would go to a WWF city.
These territories would have been able to survive by focusing on their own product. They didn’t spend time with the current fans, and decided to focus on obtaining new ones. This type of action caused the loyal one’s to look elsewhere.
Yet I believe the WWE is much like the NWA was then. They gobbled up everyone and there has been little to no competition. Until now. The indies are growing. The ALL IN pay per view was a perfect example that the WWE isn’t the only fish in the sea anymore and that’s a very good thing. The independent scene should all buy copies of this book and study what not to do if you want to beat the WWE or at least compete.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys wrestling history or who knows nothing beyond the WWE. It’s a great read.

Ed "Strangler" Lewis and Richard Dick Shikat June 9, 1932 professional ...

Monday, October 29, 2018

Walmart is done now...

I posted last week that I left my company. I didn't do it the way I wanted, or the way I would advise someone to. My intent was to make the transition as smooth as possible, and did the exact opposite. I love my team, enjoy the work, and the people I work with, but it was time. However, I was also very comfortable and the job was no longer challenging and exciting like it used to be. I was ready to make the jump.

My notice was given in August and I didn't tell my team until the day before I went on vacation. The people on my team were not very happy with me. When I came back from vacation it was like I was already gone. One of my associates said as much to me. She was upset because I had confided in her before and I knew I could trust her. That is true. Unfortunately saying goodbye has never been a strength of mine and this time was no different. 

There were two things I hadn't returned; the blue vest and my radio charger. What I couldn't understand was that I couldn't get the store out of my head. While I lay awake last night, or rather early this morning I realized I hadn't ended it at the store. I had people to say goodbye to even if it was going to be difficult. Even if Brian Ronovech might be uncomfortable or sad he had to do it. 

I grabbed the stuff and took care of the unfinished business. I walked the store and said hello to as many people as I could. There was no way to move forward until I had gone back. When I walked out again this morning I felt so much relief. The people that mattered the most were there. Working at a job for a long time is like a relationship that can be tough to end, but like many relationships it was time.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

October 24, 2018 I made the Jump...

It is finally done. I gave a two month's notice to my job and now I have made the jump. The business I've wanted to start since I was a child is happening. No, I didn't expect to sell pro wrestling merchandise. However, if you had asked me in my teens when my wall was covered in wrestling posters if this is what I would want to do with my life , and you would've likely gotten a resounding YES! SO many emotions went into this. Telling my team was difficult, leaving a store I enjoyed working in, and leaving a company that helped me rebuild my life was much tougher than I expected.
Walmart was very good to me.
 I made some friends there and learned valuable lessons in retail, production, efficiency, and leadership. There are no regrets. I needed to leave and my team needed a new voice. It always seemed to me that the day you start your own venture would be a day you give the middle finger to the man and walk proudly out and this feeling of relief would swarm over you. I certainly had the relief of it being over at Walmart, but there is an added intensity now because it is up to me and me alone.
It's what you always wanted Rono.
 I tell myself that and it motivates me because I've always believed I could do this and now I'll find out if I'm full of shit about building businesses or if I really can do it. 
Even if I suck at building companies and should work for someone else at least I know. It will be a bitter pill to swallow, but it'll be out of my system. Starting a company isn't even about not working for someone else it's about seeing if I can do it too.
I know now that I was willing to leave my job to try this. I'm ready.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Don't Wait for Opportunity to Knock...

You've heard the phrase, when opportunity knocks you have to take it. Here's the problem...opportunity ain't knockin. Nope. There's nobody coming. If you're sitting on the couch waiting for opportunity to come to your door you'll be disappointed. Opportunities are seized. Opportunities come when you are already opening doors.

You have to be moving for something to happen in your life. People want everything handed to them. They don't want to do the hard work with the risk of no return. In order to get what you want you have to be willing to do things that may not work, fit, or just plain bad ideas.

We all go through this. I always wanted the end result without the process. Just put me on top of the mountain, so I can show off. There was no desire on my part to actually climb the mountain. That's when I realized what I was doing wasn't working. The reason it wasn't working is because I wasn't working.

It's that simple. You have to do it now. There can be no shortcuts. Instead of spending the weekend binging on television and video games read the books. Do the research. A friend of mine wants to start a business but he spends his free time watching videos on social media instead of researching the business he wants to run. He's waiting for opportunity to knock.

Monday, September 3, 2018

How to get Your Business License...

As I approach getting my license my initial thought was to use an outside source to handle the particulars. I'm not going to say who I intended to use, but I will just say it would've been way over priced. Many of you may know that, and the value they create is saving time.

Let me tell you that it doesn't save that much time because it isn't that difficult. It is certainly easier than it used to be and you can find the information you need on your states website. In Nevada I needed to file a fictitious firm name which is $20, get an Employee Identification number (EIN) which is free, register with the Nevada Tax department, and the business license which is $200.

The company I was going to use would have cost me nearly $800. Some of the charges were for items on the list that are free, and require ZERO special skills. MY point in this post is to tell you that even though it may be intimidating and seem difficult it really isn't. Google will get you where you need to go. That is exactly what I did and it is going to save me a lot of money.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Burn Your Ship...Telling Your Family about the Jump

I have started telling my friends and family about my jump. It feels different for me. A great friend of mine texted me last night and asked how I was doing. He hadn't heard from me in awhile so I made sure I responded quick. Not always a strength of mine. He checked in because in the past you never knew what pile of shit I would step in. It was either money issues, losing jobs, or whatever.

 I told him that I was leaving my job to start a business. He was very happy to hear it which made me happy. Once you put yourself out there and make a commitment to do a business, or a project nobody wants to turn around and say you didn't do it.

I certainly don't want to be that guy. I didn't tell family until I was sure I was ready to do it. Now that we have several cards designed and a game book written I feel comfortable taking that step. It's funny that I gave my job notice before I had told many family members.

The more pressure you put on yourself to make the jump work the better. If you are serious about starting a business put yourself out there because it makes your more focused. At least it should. Unless your word means nothing and then nobody will believe you anyway. There is an old story sometimes equated to Alexander the Great that he invaded a country and ordered his army to burn the ships. He said that either we win the battle and leave on their ships or we perish.
That's a story that has helped shape decisions I have made that have worked for me. Even small decisions. Leave yourself no choice but to succeed.


Friday, August 24, 2018

The jump has begun....

I enjoy watching ski jumping. I have always admired their courage to go so fast and jump so high. When I was a kid I just sat in awe and their ability and still do today. The ski jumpers jump doesn't beging when they get airborne. It begins all the way back when they were preparing to go airborne. They get ready mentally, look at the jump, get into position and go down the jump. There are probably steps I missed but you get the point. The jump isn't the result. It's where you land that matters.... Everything goes into preparing for it. The process of jumping is where the biggest obstacles happen because once you jump, you jump.

I have told my boss and I know when my last day is. I am in prep mode now. The pieces are being put together as I get ready to go down the ramp. That is how I feel. It's an emotional day but this is just a step in the process, another hurdle to overcome. There wasn't a moment of elation like Leo on Titanic. In fact I cried this morning, but I think I was tired. The mental preparation isn't done even after giving my two month notice. All the steps and disciplines need to be followed in order to get the next process of entrepreneurship off on the right track.

I am doing my best to just stay focused and not get caught up in the hoopla of it. Not telling everybody as if I was already Jeff Bezos because I am not. I need to be humble and it's not always easy.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

So.....I'm jumping!

I have been working on Honor Battle since January and now I hope Tom Filsinger loves it half as much as I do. In October I  am leaving my job to set out on my own. My online store is being built to sell wrestling games, and other merchandise. My company is called Armchair Promoter giving fans of wrestling the chance to run their own wrestling promotion.

Champions of the Galaxy was how I got started when they were black and white. Over the course of a couple moves, maturity, and marriage not necessarily in that order the game was gone. The reason I was intrigued by COTG in the first place was to create your own promotion. When I was young I had the old AWA action figures and created my own promotion. I had notebooks and signs with the matches of my pay per view on it. I loved it.

My mom hated it. She didn't know why a kid my age played with toys and her friends would ask her why she let me play with toys. Mom told me every time these encounters happened to maybe guilt me into stopping. It worked. I figured I was too old. I was early in high school. For years it bothered me thinking I was real immature then to play with wrestling toys, GASP! in high school where all teenagers do everything right.

Then after divorce and now in my early forties I bought, GASP! Champions of the Galaxy and loved it. I just didn't really tell anyone. I was way too old to play some wrestling game. Then I read Tom Filsinger's book. He talked about creativity and made me realize that when I was in high school and now at 45 I am just expressing creativity. That made me feel amazing. It gave me the freedom I needed to create my own addition and a store.

This is not the business I expected to own, but it's the perfect one. I want this game and future wrestling games to teach people how to tell stories in different ways. It doesn't have to be in the typical format like a book, movie, or television show. I want parents and kids to know that creativity is our future. It is what turns the world and we need to inspire one another to create and tell stories.

I discovered When to Jump by Mike Lewis and sat in Barnes and Noble and read the first fifty pages. I knew when I walked out that I needed to jump. As I read the stories about jumpers some were inspiring and some I had done already in my career. Regardless it was people who had the same fears and concerns I did. Now I'm ready.

Tomorrow I am telling my boss that I'm leaving in October. He knows this is coming, but maybe he didn't take me seriously. We shall see. I hope he doesn't remember that I told him I would stay until January, but I really can't wait. It's time to move.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Don't stress the Future..

One night when I was in retail I stayed awake stressing out how I where I was going to put my team in the morning. I needed to focus on making sure thegrocery freight was stocked to the floor. However, I knew I was going to be short staffed and I wanted to think of a viable strategy to maximize the efficiency of the team and be sure they got a win for the day...unfortunately my brain decided to do this in the middle of the night well before my alarm would go off.

I laid awake pondering what to do and who would go where. My sleep was over at that point as my mind rattled back and forth. I got up eventually, dressed and went to work. When I got there I gathered my team to tell them my brilliant, sleep deprived strategy. Then my store manager said he needed my entire team to go and zone (organize) the back to school section in the store. We didn't even start our day in grocery. It was the first day of school and that was the focus.

All of my dwelling and strategizing was pointless. It did me no good to try and figure out what to do. This doesn't mean I shouldn't have a basic plan in place for the morning, but to stress all night about it was silly.

You never know what the day will hold and what surprises will be in store for you so it's just a waste of time. There are certainly times when you will worry about the future. However, you have no control over what is going to happen. Figure out what you have control over and focus on that. Everything else is bullshit.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

You wanna be a Wrestling Promoter?

That's the tagline for Armchair Promoter. That is the name of the pro wrestling game company I'm creating. Honor Battle is the first release. The name Armchair Promoter fits exactly what we're looking for. The game is designed to allow the player to create their own wrestling promotion. When the website is complete the player will be able to design and create their own promotion and stock their roster with current wrestlers or one's they created from scratch.

The Shopify store is under construction and it's a work in progress. We are recruiting another artist or two to help with the demand for wrestlers to draw. It's a demanding schedule, but I know we can do it.

We are a team of three now as my buddy and wrestling rainman Travis has jumped on board. I'm very happy to have his passion and expertise. The scouting reports are done by Travis and I while Cassie brings these wrestlers to life and she's pretty damn good at it.

This is an exciting time for us. We have worked hard and I'm proud of everyone.

DO more than you're Paid for...

I talk to people all the time that complain about how much money they make. They don't think they get paid enough. What they don't realize is they make the exact amount of money they want. If you want your pay to improve then your work needs to exceed your pay. Rarely does someone fall into a great paying career without a lot of hard work.

 How many hard workers have you met who make a lot of money? Probably the same amount I have. None. Jim Rohn said, "do more than you get paid for to make an investment in your future." Some people discover well paying careers, but if the work isn't there they won't make that money anymore. The higher your pay the greater the expectation. So many lazy people believe if they got paid more they would work harder and that simply isn't the case.
 In Las Vegas I meet people between jobs. Especially in construction where they have layoffs. The hard worker finds a spot quick. Rarely does the good worker get laid off or fired.

If you read this and think you're underpaid then you need to change jobs or work harder to increase your pay. It sounds simple because it is. Hard work leads to more pay. Period.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

When the Muse Strikes...

It is wonderful. When characters that you didn't see coming arrive then it's a wonder all its own. Stephen King, in his book, On Writing, A memoir of the craft said that it would happen, and that characters would do things you don't expect. I thought that was hogwash until it happened in my work. Then it was freaking awesome!
This type of inspiration also happens in non-fiction work. I have had an idea to write about, but it ended up going somewhere I never expected. Tonight I was working on Honor Battle and I wrote a couple characters in, or should I say a couple characters showed up. I'm laughing and getting excited as I watched what was happening in front of me. If you don't write fiction you won't get it and it will sound like garbage.
The author writes what he sees. I was writing this laughing, and I clapped because I was so happy to see these guys. If you read the book you'll know.
You're writing a scene and you're not always sure what's going on because it's foggy. The picture isn't clear. You mess with the antenna (dated myself) trying to get the picture right. Slowly but surely it clears up and you see what's happening.
Then you write what you see. As the story unfolds you transcribe it as quickly as you can because things are happening so fast.
I love writing the most for these moments, and they can't be forced. When it happens don't try to change anything. Just go with it. When you rewrite and if you hate them take it out. When the muse is there you need to go. Don't turn the muse away. She can stay away awhile if you reject her enough. OK, I'm really not that Pollyanna about the muse. I do think she's real. The muse responds to work and curse words. Truly believe that.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

I'm Learning a New Skill...

Since I have a new friend who speaks mostly Spanish I started texting in her language. I thought it would be easier. She appreciates it very much. It was good in another way. This was a great opportunity for me to learn a new language. Learning a new language is something I've talked about for years. Jim Rohn talks extensively about learning new skills. A new language certainly is that.
The good thing about the Spanish language is that it's become more necessary (insert political opinion here). I really am enjoying it. One of my five strengths according to the strengths finder is that I am a learner. It's true, I love to learn new things, but I'm not looking to be an expert. Just be able to have a conversation and not sound like an idiot.
I still sound like an idiot with Spanish, but so far it's been fun.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Title Doesn't Matter...

Because once you establish who the leaders are their title becomes irrelevant. Recently at my store my title changed and I had to change my badge backer. The backer has my title on it. My title changed for some reason so I had to change that. I didn't care because it wouldn't change anything for me at the store.
One of my peers whose title changed too was upset about it. I told him it didn't matter what the backer said. They would get the same people to do the same jobs regardless of what their badge backer says.
I gave a speech to employees at a large insurance company about being a leader wherever you are. I explained to the team that regardless of what your position is your leadership can shine through. My mother never had a big grand title during her career, but you best believe everyone knew who ran the office.
Early in my career the title was so important. I wanted to be able to tell people what my title was. What I did for a living so they'd be impressed by how great I was. It needed to sound flashy and important. After a few terminations for poor performance I realized that my work would matter more than a title.
Keep your focus on producing high quality work, not on what your job title is.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Wonder of Adele...

When I first heard Adele sing she sounded different to me. I've never listed a female singer as an all time favorite of mine. Not because they were women just because it hadn't happened. Adele kicked the door down with her soulful sultry tone that goes right inside. She could sing me the phone book and I'd listen.
Now I'm a big fan of Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac. Anyway the point is that Adele is amazing. I'm posting this because I'm listening to her album 21 right now. Just switched to 19.
Enjoy your day with great music!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

How do You Chop down a Tree?

One chop at a time. Many times you feel as if you will never climb out of the pile. You will never get from under the work you have. Whatever it is? Keep chopping. Rarely does something change immediately. It takes time. The bigger the tree the longer it's going to take to chop it down.
Each day you move forward. Find small gains. When I lost weight I rated myself in five pound increments and sometimes less. If I was down two pounds I was happy. I knew I had to keep chopping.
When you are in a situation that seems insurmountable with you to start at the beginning. Almost every swing gets the same result, so the key is to chop as many times as you can. If that's in the small details of a project or working all the freight from the backroom. It could also be if you're seeking promotion and wonder if it will ever happen.
You just have to keep going. Many times you have to keep chopping even when others say they don't want you to.
 Find the small things you do that work and keep doing it. Sometimes we try to change it up when routine helps more than anything.
Once you find the groove the tree will begin to go down. As you get closer you'll find that second wind you didn't think you had and down goes the tree.
Project finished. Backroom clean. Promotion earned.

Friday, February 9, 2018

What Would You say?

If you could tell your 19 year old self one thing what would it be? If you were able to go back in time and tell yourself, in your final teenage year, one thing, what would it be? At my store they asked veterans to provide pictures from their service years. My picture is when I was 19 years old.
So it made me think. I looked at the picture and said, "Boy what I would say to you."
What would I say to 19 year old Brian?
The obvious is to tell me to save money. That's easy. I would also want to tell him to never trust someone who says they won't cheat on you again. That however needs to come from life experience as does saving money. I was told both of those things when I was 19.
Both of those are mistakes I've made. 
Most things in life you figure out or you don't. Remember I have one thing I can say. Since almost everything is life experience I think the best advice is,
"do your best not to make the same mistake twice because you will get many chances to do it."
I know that sounds cliche. Here's why it isn't. I could tell myself Jim Rohn quote, or tell me all the mistakes I made. That was strange to write. Anyway I don't believe anyone's hand should be held, so I would let myself make the mistakes. Just don't make a habit of making the same mistake twice. The less you do that the better your life will be. That means you're learning, and growing.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What is the Leadership Balance?

It's when you are approachable, friendly, and take care of your associates, but always put the business first.

Always think of what's best for the business when ever you make your leadership decisions.

Here's what I mean. My manager is very friendly. We've bought coffees, lunches, and he will choose me whenever a big project needs to be done. In my time in the store he is by far the best leader I've had. I can joke with him, and he never loses his cool under pressure. As well as we get along and as much as he trusts me if my performance dipped he wouldn't hesitate to let me know. I'm just as apt for an ass chewing as anyone else who reports to him. In some ways more so because the expectation is higher.
You want that in a leader. My team knows that about me too. I will joke with them, but if we don't produce at the level I expect they will know. I won't hesitate to change my narrative.
Every decision you make should always come back to what's best for the business. If you lead a department then it's what's best for the department. Sounds overly simplistic, but you would be shocked how many leaders put everything else first. They worry about feelings, help, gossip, breaks, and anything accept the business. Some of those things matter, but they shouldn't impact your decision.
Recently I had to tell my team their hours were getting cut. Some of them were glad, but most weren't. So I did consider their feelings before I told them, but it didn't change that I was going to. Our company recently restructured the senior managers at the store level affecting thousands of jobs. It was the right decision for the business. We had way too many chiefs and bureaucracy infested everything. Decisions never got made. If they worried about feelings it never would've happened. I've been on both sides and neither are fun, but it's the way business operates sometime.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

One of My Favorite Quotes of Jim Rohn's is....

"Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better,
Don't wish for less problems, wish for more skills,
Don't wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom."

On the ESPN Bad Boys documentary about the Detroit Pistons from the eighties they were interviewing Michael Jordan about those teams. The Pistons brutalized Jordan. They were able to get away with much more physical play than they are now. Detroit routinely knocked Jordan to the ground every chance they got making his life miserable.
After another playoff loss to the Pistons what did Michael do? Did he say the officiating needed to get better? Did he want rules changed? Were his teammates to blame?
Jordan said, and I paraphrase, "I needed to get as strong as I could so I could absorb as much punishment as possible and continue to play at a high level." How cool is that? He said that he needed to get better. He didn't ask for it to be easier. Jordan didn't tell the media how unfair everything was. No, Jordan said that HE needed to get better.

What do you do when it gets difficult? Do you ask for easier, or less work? Are you complaining about the lack of help you get everyday?

That's what 97% of people say. Instead of making a way they stand around bitching about what's not happening. What they forgot is the other thing that's not happening is them working. All the time spent trying to find someone to bail you out is time not working.
Look at the situation and find out why things aren't going right. Every solution to a problem begins by looking in the mirror. Once you know what you need to improve then attack the problem. Asking for it to be easier won't help you handle these situations in the future. Attack the impossible with vigor and enthusiasm. The problem isn't as bad as it usually seems.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Washington Capitals Hockey - It's Pure Hell...

Yes Cubs fans I get it. Trust me we heard about it. Forever. A hundred some odd years since you won a pennant, or a world series, whatever it was. Who cares. Thank goodness it's over so we don't have to listen to them complain. One of my best friend's Joe is a White Sox fan and I think his hatred of the Cubs rubbed off on me. When they won in 2016 I thought, good now they'll shut up.
After losing for the second straight year to the Penguins, and since we still haven't reached the Eastern Conference finals in the Great Eight era it's hard to get excited anymore. The regular season means nothing to me. I don't worry about it at all anymore because winning the Cup is all that matters. In fact I don't want a high seed. The Capitals won the dreaded President's trophy for the second year in a row. The Presidents Trophy is accursed to the NHL team with the most points at the end of the regular season. This team is the top seed in the playoffs. It's an albatross. The Capitals have won it three times in the Great Eight era.

 3 trophies, 0 Cups.

When a hockey fan says, "hey congrats on winning the presidents trophy," they're saying, "hey your team isn't winning the cup. Haha asshole!". Maybe that's just me. I'm sick of complaining about this team. I have loved this hockey club since I was a kid. When Dale Hunter scored the overtime and series winner against Flyers goalie Ron Hextall I was hooked. Thanks Dale. Thanks for making me think so many times that this year is different.
I said that a couple years ago to a Caps fan they day we started a second round series with the Lightning. I said to a Caps fan buddy, "I don't want to say it, but this team just feels different."
 We got swept 4-0. I was wrong.
Here's a real slap in the face courtesy of the Hockey News magazine. They offered a free team pin if you bought a subscription. They were real nice. I was ready to buy it and I looked for the Capitals and we weren't on the list to choose from. Then I saw the fine print. Stanley Cup winning teams only. Ouch. I leaned back from the computer and said, "that's bullshit!"
I was pissed off. Really, Hockey News? A free gift only if your team has won a Cup. Sonofabitch.  I'm truly wondering if I'll ever see us win the Stanley Cup. It's the only pro team championship I really care about. These next couple months I'll be writing about dealing with this team. The Washington Capitals are a great source of anguish. I'm waiting for another Dale Hunter moment. If the Vegas Golden Knights win it before us....

Monday, February 5, 2018

Britannia on Amazon Prime...

I watched the beginning of this show last night. I've talked about Man in the High Castle before and this is the second Prime original I've watched. I only saw the first ten minutes and it was a great study in story set up. Spoiler: It begins with four men bound by the hands above their heads to a rope.
The general of the roman army (I think) refers to the men as traitors. Then three of the men start talking about how terrible Britannia is because of the druids and all this wacky, spooky stuff that happens (Hmmm really?). One of the men doesn't speak and the general notices. The general said that instead of killing all four of them he will let one of them slit the other three's throats. Three of the men beg for the knife. He unties the man who doesn't speak, and he kills the other three and is allowed to come back to the army. Then it's "on to Britannia", when the killer (is that what I call him? I don't know.) walks out covered in blood.
The opening scene itself is great because the traitors tell us about Britannia. Then we see the quiet guy. Then he murders (Is it murder or self defense) the other three. Now I want to know who this guy is who killed the other three. DO I like him or hate him? I don't know yet. That's how you grab a reader or viewer in the beginning. Right now, Britannia and, the killer murderer guy are really interesting. We'll see. My attention span for any scripted shows is slim.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

My Super Bowl Boycott...

At least that's what I planned on discussing. This is the first time I have intentionally missed the Super Bowl. When the league decided not to take any type of stand about the players disrespecting the country they play in then I won't watch. It's my protest. You may not agree and that's fine.

Anyway that was my intent. I would rather use this as a lesson about being organized when it come's to personal things. I've never kept files or records, anything. My ex-wife did all of it, but let's just say I haven't learned anything.
For the last several days I have tried to file my tax return. Unfortunately I don't remember the password for my sign in so I couldn't sign in. Today I used another email and everything was fine until I had to provide the AGI from last year. It's the adjusted gross income from your previous tax return.
Of course I didn't have that either. Now I took a guess at the five digit pin. We'll see if it's right. If not I'm going to have to find another way. It goes to show you that no matter what progress you've made in other areas you can always improve in others. Even one's you don't think about much.

The lesson here is to keep files either in a cabinet or on your computer. If you don't something this simple can become a giant headache.Trust me I've learned my lesson, and I'm still not watching the game.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Dreaded PANIC BUTTON.....

I have worked for many managers who love to hit the panic button. Our life in retail is like that. Things are going normally, and then the market manager (boooo) comes into the store to tour (retail lingo for walk around and find all the problems). They get upset and then our manager runs right over to the panic button and gives it a push. Then hell breaks loose. It was bad enough, but pushing the panic button doesn't fix anything. It makes it worse.
Now the associates are freaking out and worried. The stress level is high. People are snapping at one another, so now the problem is magnified.

You must always be the picture of control. That doesn't mean you have to be calm. Hey, if you just got your ass chewed who wants to be calm? It is entirely possible to be angry and in control. I've done it many times. Your team is waiting to see how you react and they will react accordingly. That is when your leadership will stand out.

No matter what happened you have to take a step back and analyze the situation. Of course there are times when you need to make a quick decision, but usually things went off the rails way before that. Don't waste time trying to figure out who did it. Fix it first then worry about why it's wrong.

I remember we had a real bad inventory and the store managers kept the exhausted management team there for hours after it was over so they could figure out what happened, and how to fix it. It was pointless because they weren't going to come up with the solution right then. They were beaten and tired, so it made no sense trying to figure it out. He panicked.

Before you may any decisions get a handle on what's going on then map out the plan to fix it. There is no need to hit that dreaded panic button.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Your Appearance Sets the Standard...

I was speaking to a friend today and I was telling her one of the major reasons I wear a necktie to work. It's not a job requirement, but I told her that if I walk out the door in a tie then I've started by setting my standard high. I go to work casual and my work suffers.
When you dress nice you feel good. You're ready to take on the day. It affects your mood, and your actions. Anytime I meet an associate who's appearance is poor can be a direct reflection of their work. There are special situations, but my experience has shown it is.

Don't start your day lowering your standard. When I walk out the door in the power tie feeling and looking like a champ it puts me in the right frame of mind. You don't have to wear a tie or business suit, but if your clothes are wrinkled, don't match, or you hair is messy it says a lot about where your head is at. Make sure your day starts right. Set the standard for your day in the morning so you spend the day trying to meet that standard instead of giving up before coffee.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thoughts on Thursday....

  • I really hope WWE isn't splitting up Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens already. I hope it's a smoke screen.
  • I'm enjoying WWE without Enzo. I think the cruiserweight division needs to go byebye with him. The division and 205live isn't working.
  • CNBC I love you so much, but I am so tired of hearing about Bitcoin.
  • Real glad I boycotted the NFL. I was a Redskins fan and I think Alex Smith is terrible. It still made me mad when I heard about it.
  • This YouTube music is so great.
  • If you haven't listened to Janis Joplin then you're missing out. The more I listen to her the better I think she is.
  • I feel the same way about my favorite band of all time Tool. Listening to them right now.
  • When the the muse hits your writing and everything begins to unfold it is truly magical. I used to laugh or cringe when writers said that, but now I agree. I believe in the muse. I've seen stories unfold when there seemed to be no way. The muse is real. She is real.
  • My friend Jerry and I sat for a couple of hours the other night and we discussed the books he had purchased. It was so exciting to see his enthusiasm for the written word. I met him five years ago and he didn't read at all. Now he's a sponge. He told me he feels so much more prepared for life when he's actively reading. Couldn't agree more buddy.
  • My uncle and writing mentor Keith likes where my book is at right now story wise. I was so pleased because his opinion matters most to me when it comes to writing.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Out of the Stone Age...

I decided to purchase YouTube Red ($9.99/mo. no ads, commercials and you can close the screen without shutting it off) recently and came upon YouTube Music. When I look up a song I go there anyway so I downloaded it. I was so excited when I saw how it organizes the music you pick, and how it knows what songs, or artists I've chosen before. There were full albums I could download from all my favorite artists and bands. Amid my joy and happiness I realized something...

I was the last person to find this out.

I walked out of the cave and threw my club in the lake. It was time to come out of the stone age. That was honestly how it felt. Like I was the last person to understand technology. I know I'm not, but I study business. I know what artificial intelligence is. Trust me if you listen to CNBC's Jim Cramer more than five minutes you've heard of Nvidia. What was wrong with me?

I was excited about it and still am. I certainly forgot how nice it is to listen to music when I write. Now I want to check out the other music platforms. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Stop Selling Your Problems...

I know people at work that spend so much time trying to convince other co-workers, and management about all the problems they have doing there job that they don't have time to do it. It doesn't make any sense to operate this way. You are responsible for how you operate in life. Looking in the mirror is the best way to get to the root of the problem. It's you.
You are the one who can fix any problem you have in the workplace. Why? Because you created it. If management is upset with you they have a reason. I've never met a great worker who believes management is out to get them. If it seems that way because you're probably not doing your job. There are bad managers who have agendas, create conflicts, and lie. I understand that.
When you have "leadership" like this you have to find the solution. Looking for the solution or expecting help from a manager like this will never happen. You have to figure it out. Back up your work with photos, emails, or any other proof. I've had these conversations with people and the excuse is usually "I shouldn't have to do all that" and that's true. There are a lot of things in life you shouldn't have to do. Unfortunately that isn't the way it works.
The person that says that, isn't doing the work. That's why they won't do it. If you have problems at work you have to let them see. What will happen is when you work harder the people take notice. I've experienced even the people who were against you before now become your supporters. Hard work fixes problems. It's cliche' but it's true.
When you stop making excuses, and trying to convince everyone about your problems it's amazing what the results will be. You will see a stark contrast to how management treats you. When you understand that your manager isn't paid to be your friend.
They get paid to encourage you to produce. Period. Whatever that encouragement entails.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rousey goes to WWE...

When I found out about Rhonda Rousey going to WWE I didn't like it. I'm not a fan. However, I watched her segment at the end of the women's royal rumble match, and it certainly raised my intrigue. To Rousey's credit she looked genuinely excited and wasn't there just to cash a check.
Rousey's meteoric UFC rise ended after two brutal knockouts to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes.
 It would be great for Rousey to remain in WWE. It would be good for the former UFC champ to get her confidence back. Feel good about herself again. With the training she would get I believe she would be a superstar in wrestling.
She isn't going back to UFC at least not anytime soon. Similar to the way Brock did.

Two bad knockouts and the movie roles dry up quick. It's a sad truth, but that's Hollywood. Right now I'm fascinated by her. We'll see. I'm reserving my right to a mulligan because women's wrestling has let me down before.

As for the women's rumble match itself I thought it was good even though everyone knew Asuka was going to win. Oh well. She'll get the belt at Mania. I like any match with her in it. She is proof that you can be must see TV without saying a word. Incredible charisma and ring skill.

The triple threat match with Brock Lesnar, Braun Stroman, and 500 year old Kane was better than expected. Not because of Kane who is gassed after every minute of action. I like the chemistry between Brock and Braun. They will collide at Mania for the belt I hope, I hope, I hope. This is a good way for Brock to ride off into the sunset and put Braun completely over. Then they'll give the belt to Reigns a month later. Sorry, sorry, sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke @ Wrestlemania...

Wrestling fans get nervous about the Royal Rumble. It's the third biggest pay per view of the year, and the winner heads to Wrestlemania with a shot at the title. Shinsuke Nakamura and the polarizing Roman Reigns ended up at the end with Shinsuke eliminating Reigns. I'm happy with this finish. Shinsuke vs AJ is a terrific match for the WWE title. They had a classic match several years ago in Japan, so having this match in New Orleans will be great.

If this is a sign of how Wrestlemania will be booked this year then it may be one of the best. I'm still unsure what the other matches are which is good. I'm a fan of the mystery. The less I can put together the more I enjoy it.
I won't get to see the rest of the pay per view tonight live, but I'm very happy I got to see the royal rumble match. I'm picking Shinsuke to win the championship in a classic.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

What's Your Excuse?

I was watching a documentary on ESPN Classic about a basketball team from Morningside High School and how their lives are 25 years later. This team won the state championship the year before, but lost the next. What's interesting is what happened to these superstar players. The first two players they spoke to had excuses about why things didn't work out. The second player blamed everything on all the coaches he had. Nothing was his fault.
That was where I stopped watching. It made me think of times when I made excuses or blamed someone else for mistakes I made. Is that you? Has your life worked out the way you wanted it to? If not, why? Are there any patterns? Do you make excuses anytime something doesn't go your way? Is it always someone else's fault?

Jim Rohn said the day you reach full maturity is the day you take 100% responsibility for your life. That means no excuses. If something goes wrong fix it. Where you are today is because of you. Nobody else. The decisions you make put you exactly where you want to be. You say, "hey not me bucko". I say ya, you, bucko because if you didn't want to be where you are you would've made different decisions.
Once you decide that you will own your life and say that no matter what happens I'm responsible for it. Darren Hardy said, "if it's to be it's up to me." That is a very true axiom. It is up to you. You're the only one who can make your life work. You're the one who opens the doors of opportunity.
That happens when the excuses end and the responsibility begins.

Look at yourself and say, no more excuses. Don't be like the others who blame everyone else for their problems. Take responsibility. Accept what happens. Move forward.

Friday, January 26, 2018

How do you deal with Writers Block?

I am sitting here asking myself the same question. What do I write about? Many times I have something I read about or happened at work that sparks an idea, but today, nothing. I don't have anything. I'm not really sure if there is a cure for writer's block. Is writer's block even real? I've always believed it was an excuse not to write. Trust me there are challenging days like today, but you can come up with something if you just get creative.

Even if the idea doesn't just jump out at you all you need to do is just start hitting the keys and wait for the muse to sprinkle his or her magic on your work.
I don't know how your muse work so please forgive me muses if I insulted you in any way. I know when I used to write about cancer it could be very difficult especially if there wasn't any news, or breakthroughs. Today was more challenging. Two times I had work written down that I deleted and these were two different posts. More like two different poops.
So this is the result of not being able to think of anything today. I just posted about having writer's block. The point is that even if you have nothing to write about you can still just go and have fun with it.
If you're working on fiction and the story you're working on has you stumped try writing something else just for the hell of it. My book is going well but I was a little burnt with it the other day. I wrote a short about a slasher killer. The difference is the short was from his perspective. it's been fun to work on. A nice change from the book.
What was cool is that after I worked on that in the morning it opened my creative door and I wrote a bunch of pages on my book. It looked like it was going to be an unproductive day and turned out great. If you feel blocked on what you're currently working on, but have another idea then write it. At the very least just brainstorm it. Get that bad boy out of your head. A helpful tip.

So much for having writer's block. Thanks Muse.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Key to being a Leader...

The key to being a leader is that you have to be willing to look like a fool in the beginning in order to become a genius at the end. As a leader you have to be willing to take risks that may make people wonder about your sanity. As a leader you need to be willing to have patience before making a rushed decision when other people think you're a fool for not acting. 
Those are just two examples of looking like a fool to others when you operate in a way that may be viewed as unconventional or the ever popular term, outside the box. There are times in your leadership when you will try something new and it doesn't work, or even fails miserably. 

When I became the backroom support manager at my store I decided to put all the pallets of returned merchandise in front of one of our bay doors, so we wouldn't have to stop unloading the truck. We have a conveyor line that has to be separated in order to move these pallets. It was terribly inefficient when you're under a time crunch.
Moving the pallets in front of the other door just made sense. The truck that picked up the returns now could pull in and I would help load the pallets on. Before I did that they would stop unloading the truck to get all these return pallets ready thus adding nearly an hour to our time. 
My other manager for that shift thought I was a fool for doing that. He didn't use the term fool. My word, not his. You get my point. After it worked he acknowledged that it was indeed a good decision. Now I was a genius. Take that Kyle!

If the same decision keeps being made, and it isn't working, then it's obvious something different has to be done. That isn't risky. The real risk is to continue doing the same thing. I don't understand why doing something different many times is considered revolutionary. I think it's because so often we get caught up in the routine of life. 
There is a big difference between routine and process, but they get used the same way. Routine is what you do every day. It is usually mundane and boring. Process on the other hand is exciting. A caterpillar doesn't go through the routine of becoming a butterfly. No, it goes through the process of becoming a butterfly. Metamorphosis is a process, and process means change. It means moving. You don't say we're in the routine of moving forward you say we're in the process of moving forward. 

No matter what someone thinks of your decision you need to own it. Accept the fact it may not work. Then just don't do it again. Develop the habit of trying something new everyday. You're leadership will improve when you're willing to risk becoming a genius.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How do you Set Goals?

You start with goals that will make you stretch. Don't settle for arcane, vanilla goals like "make more money". I don't know many folks who don't want to make more money, so it's really not a goal. Now if your goal is to be a millionaire by the time you're 40 is more specific. Jim Rohn said to make becoming a millionaire one of your goals for who you'll become in the process.
I agree that you want goals that push you. Some goals should push you harder than you ever expected. However I also think some goals should be easier. You want goals that are small to give you that feeling of success even if they're easy. A little progress forward is still progress.
There is a great deal of benefit to positively reinforcing yourself. When you begin achieving your smaller goals you naturally will begin progressing to achieve the more challenging one's.

Setting the goal is the first step. The second is to have your goals where you can see them. Rohn said to keep the list of goals with you at all times. Sales legend Jeffrey Gitomer goes a different direction. In his classic, The Sales Bible, he writes that once you set a goal write it on a post-it note and put it on your bathroom mirror. Read the goals allowed when you see them. Then when you achieve the goal, put it on your bedroom mirror so you can review your accomplishment before you leave. Read THOSE aloud too.
As much as I love Gitomer, when I first read that I thought it was silly. Then after several years of thinking that I tried it. I wrote my goals and post it's and stuck them to my mirror. Why? First because what I did, nothing, wasn't working very well. Secondly, because I really didn't know what my goals were. I could certainly rattle them off, but now I see them several times a day. They nag at me every time.
It's so simple yet so valuable. Now instead of rattling some off I know exactly what they are.
Here's how it can work. The other day I ripped the note off that said 100 PUSH UPS, and crumpled it into the trash. Actually it landed next to the trash. After sitting down I felt like a failure for setting that goal and giving up before trying. I went back into the bathroom, picked up the note, uncrumpled it, and put it back on the mirror.

Then I did some push ups. That's how it works.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What is Elon Musk's "compensation plan"?

I'm not sure that's what I would call it. I am a fan of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. As I said in my post the other day I believe he will take Tesla to new heights. I believe the electric car will take more market share every year. Many major car manufacturers either have an electric car, a prototype, or are thinking about it. When more competition arrives it will make Tesla a better car company.
Dealbook's Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a great piece about Musk's new compensation plan. Sorkin writes that Musk only receives, but doesn't cash $37,000 a year which is the minimum allowed under California state law.
Becky Quick debated with Sorkin this morning on Squawk Box sais, and I paraphrase that productivity should be tied into it, and that market cap isn't the best way to determine success. I agree with her. I believe Tesla's biggest issue has been meeting productivity goals. They will do that as technology improves and they obtain more efficiency.
I am so interested to watch what happens with Elon Musk and Tesla. It will be eminently fascinating.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Future of Twitter?

I enjoy using Twitter for news and I'm not alone. Many other professionals do as well. I've spoken to millennials who literally only go on Twitter to see what's going on in the world. When Facebook announced recently they were changing their popular news feed to less world news thus trying to build more social interactions with family and friends I was happy.
I think this is great for Facebook. Whether or not, or rather, how much of this move was publicity remains to be seen, but I think it's a good one. Facebook was cool for me when you saw what was up with people you care about. My frustration began when I literally wondered if I had friends because everything that went through my feed was news, or one of my "liked" pages. I keep Facebook strictly so I can get a hold of my family, friends, and my old Navy shipmates. They're old, I'm not.
Facebook should be for socializing with people because that's what I think it's for. That was the original intention when The Facebook arrived on the Harvard campus.
As far as Twitter goes I love it for them. Twitter is figuring things out. They are a news corporation, and the people who get news from Facebook many may switch to Twitter, or just use it more often. I'm a stockholder in Twitter, and a believer in the product so I hope I'm right. Now that Facebook is changing direction this gives Twitter the chance to step into the void to become a social media staple like Facebook, or Instagram. I don't think Twitter is there yet, but I think they will be.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

On Writing by Stephen King

This is the best book about writing I have ever read. I was a big fan of King's work anyway, so it was natural I would read On Writing A Memoir of the Craft. King helped me immensely with my storytelling and not feeling the need to control every aspect of my story. He also helped me see how characters truly become real in your work. They develop their own personalities many times without your permission. There have been times when I have leaned back after writing a character and think, "Well he's an asshole," I didn't expect that. It was King who said that to me in his memoir and helped me see the beauty in it.
He also talks about not deciding the end and being a control freak. Once again this helped me immensely by coming up with a plot and then letting the characters tell the story. These are just a couple of examples of why this book is great. King also gives the reader some autobiographical content about his life growing with a single mom and brother. Some of the stories had me laughing so hard like the one about poison ivy. I won't ruin it. If you want to write I would get this book. Thank you Stephen!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Work Harder on Yourself....

Jim Rohn said, "Work harder on yourself than you do on your job." I think this quote is poignant and true. I had a friend who worked very hard on her job. She was a terrific worker and one of the best in her position. She had worked for our company 11 years. After the hard work and ups and downs she got the promotion she had always wanted. When she got the position she rocked. This young lady worked days off, extra hours whatever she could do to improve. She worked very hard on her job.....
Four month's after the promotion she had always wanted she was fired for showing up to work intoxicated. The drinking problem that had been obvious for years reared it's ugly head again, and this time there was nothing she could do. This woman had been warned before.
At work a rock star, at home a disaster. She didn't work on herself. What you do outside of the office will always come back to you. I remember when I was in the Navy you heard the stories about guys who were about to retire and then pop positive on a pee test. Goodbye. No retirement package, no thank you, adios. That simple.
If you raise hell outside of work regardless of what it is that will come home to roost. It doesn't mean you can't have fun. Stop that. Just know when to do it. Develop the discipline not to operate in an area that causes great problems in others. The discipline developed outside of work will result in better performance at work.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Start Up Mindset...

When you are starting a business while continuing to work your regular job is very difficult. I haven't even gotten to the hard parts yet, so we'll just have to see what happens. Today was my first day back to work after an exceedingly long vacation. It was eleven days. I got so much done on it though. I wrote more than I expected I would on this blog, and my book. Had multiple business meetings so as of now everything is moving forward as planned, so it was great.
For me I find it difficult to work as hard on my business when I'm working. I know that's the eternal conundrum for the budding entrepreneur is whether or not to quit their job. In my case it's knowing when to leave, and not hanging myself out to dry.
I've heard Mark Cuban on Shark Tank tell guests all the time not to do anything but their business. Quit the job and go for it. That's easy to say when it's not your job, or your bills to pay. It's also easy to say when you did it like Cuban did.
However I do agree. I learned during this time off that I'm ready to go for it. All honesty though I'm terrified to leave my job. I'd love to sit on the soapbox and say I've got the resignation typed and ready to submit, but I don't. My job is very demanding and requires a lot of hours which isn't beneficial to a successful start up. So I know the answer. Let's see how long it takes to pull the trigger.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nobody thinks YOU can do it...

That's what you will think when you tell your family and friends about starting a business, writing a book, creating a website, or whatever it is that you want to do. When you tell people about your big idea the reaction will be less than enthusiastic. Some will say it's a good idea, and some will do nothing but poke holes in the idea to the point you second guess.
When you get excited about a project it's difficult not tell people you care about. Don't let yourself get caught up in the reactions of whether or not they like it. Listen to what they say whether it's good or bad and find what you can glean from it. Jim Rohn said if you have an idea tell ten people this way ten people hear it, and you get to hear it ten more times. You can bet the story you tell changes each time.
Always keep in mind who you're talking to when you share ideas. This makes a difference in the response sometimes. In my experience negative people won't support anything you do no matter what it is. You have to keep in mind not all ideas are good and sometimes the point a negative person makes could keep you from losing money, or other things so it's not always bad. You should hear both.
I used to tell people about every idea I came up with. Their opinions would make or break what I did. Sometimes, or rather most of the time the ideas just weren't good enough. Unfortunately I had the reputation of never finishing anything which to be honest was fair. Now I don't tell anyone until I'm ready to do a project. I make my best effort to nitpick the idea as much as I can, and that I've answered the questions the naysayers may have. This way their issues have little or no affect on me.
Here's the thing; you can do it!
For example, just because a person may read a lot of books doesn't mean they know about publishing, whether you can write a book or whether a book idea will even work.
Stay focused on your work. Have the faith that you will make it happen. It really is that simple.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Don't Apologize...

Don't apologize for being motivated, inspired, and pushing your team to be the best. I've had times where I expect my associates to arrive fired up, excited, and ready to kick ass. Then I see them and they're complaining about being tired, a fight with the spouse, or the inability to get the kids to do their homework. The last thing they motivated. That's where you come in. Everyone on your team has a job. I believe that associates on your team should be able to do aspects of the job better than you. In some cases significantly better.
Alabama football coach Bear Bryant was asked about rumors that some coaches on his staff knew more about football than he did, the legends responded, "I hope they do otherwise I don't need em." I agree with that. I want people on my team to be better in certain areas of the job than I am. One reason is they do it more than I do, so their experience should allow them to improve. At least that's the plan.
The job of inspiring your team is yours. It's great on those rare days when everyone on the team is excited and ready to work, but most of the time it's the example above. That's where you come in. The morale of any team always goes back up to the top. It goes up to the associates immediate supervisor, and if they aren't the problem it goes to the next one. Even if morale on a larger scale is poor you can maintain morale on your team's level.
Morale isn't always good. Sometimes the morale is too high bordering on overconfidence which can lead to inefficiency. In those cases you have to bring morale down. A wake up call if you will. They won't like it, but don't apologize for trying to bring out their best. You set the standard on where your team is at, so you are always the one it starts with. Even if your team is overconfident than likely you are in some way. The team's status is always a good indication of where you are at in your leadership at the time.
Remember if you have bad eggs on the team it's your job to move them off your team if they are affecting the whole. Don't blame bad performers on your struggles if you're doing nothing to fix it.
A great book to learn about where you are in your leadership is The Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. You're at different levels at different times in your leadership and he teaches the importance of understanding that. If your team needs a boost, a kick, a high five, or a hug it starts with you. The leader is the driver of the team. Your team's actions are ALWAYS a direct reflection of you.