Hobo Entrepreneurship is For Everyone

I just had the opportunity….no wait….the privilege of listening to the premiere of Hobo Entrepreneur Show by Keith Nerdin. There are very few podcasts out there that catch the grittiness human life and combine it with the dream of something greater. Keith looks introspectively at his journey from childhood cookie salesman to lawnmower, to an array of dozens of other ventures all the while describing his nomadic nature with such an honesty that it makes me want to pack my knapsack and see where my journey will lead. The art of storytelling combined with a well polished approach make this a podcast worth bookmarking. 

On Nom Nom

Little known fact about me. Before I got my Business degree, before I had two (soon to be three) beautiful children, even before I truly started being a designer, I went to Culinary school. I braved the harsh critiques of professional chefs and received a degree in Baking and Patisserie. 

I wasn’t your typical culinary student. For the most part culinary school is where dreams go to die. The students are often grizzled, tattooed, chain-smokers who are on their ninth career change. They do have one thing in common, however. They believe food to be the end-all-be-all, singularly most important facet of society. 

Why is food so important?

As a kid, I grew up in your run-of-the-mill, blue collar house. We did not eat at the table. The TV was our social dinner companion. But twice every year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, my immediate and extended family would gather at my grandparents for a full out smorgasbord. We would spend two days cooking, baking, and preparing enough food to feed some smaller countries. We would then spend the holiday with every table, coffee table, end table, stereo cabinet, TV top, counter top, and even the occasional chair piled with every food imaginable. So what did I learn from these events?

Food is experience.

Have you ever decided to break the norm and gone to a new restaurant? If you haven’t lately, I highly encourage you to try. Food should be an experience. Food should break beyond the bounds of a can or plastic wrap and into the surreal imagination of freshly prepared creativity. Stepping into a new restaurant should be like stepping into a new world, where the chefs are the creators, the waiters are the facilitators and the food is packed with emotion, memories and new revelations. 

Food is relationship.

One thing my mid-west farmer’s daughter of a grandma understood was that food was more than just eating. It was an opportunity to connect with the person across the table. It was a means by which we form lasting relationships through sharing our passions, dreams, laughs, tears over a meal. It irritates me to no end when I enter a restaurant and see people silently eating their meal together. This is a time to connect! Share what you like or don’t like about the food in front of you. Let that spurn deeper conversation. 

My Culinary career was a flop but I never lost my passion for food.

If you ask my wife, she will tell you that I never get more excited than when I get to cook for other people. I spend hours preparing, thinking about and developing the perfect meal. I then like to sit back and listen to people talk about the flavors. When I burn the chicken or under bake the pie I still use it as a talking point to learn what my visitors like and don’t like. I guess it is the plight of a designer, we’re always trying to design something that creates an experience, tells a story. 

Food makes a beautiful story. It is a symphony of flavors that speak louder than words.  

You Are What You Tweet.

Social media has introduced the world to open table communication, allowing for people to state opinions, jokes, thoughts without the typical filters, social appropriateness or visual cues of traditional face-to-face communication. It has given us an opportunity to discuss subjects that traditionally would be only discussed with people chosen by the discussion leader. Now our conversations are public.

Damn Emotions.

I began blogging at the turn of the millennia. I found that I enjoyed writing stories, expressing emotions and penning my day-to-day on the vast landscape that was the Internet. I quickly deciphered that what I wrote directly correlated to what I was interested in, how I acted in real life and what I dreamed about. However, without the assistance of body cues, visual expressions, vocal tones or personal knowledge my words were often misunderstood, misinterpreted.

And NO emoticons did not help. They are a poor substitution for actual real life emotions.

 At first, I was distraught. I did not want to offend or hurt people because of miscommunication. I wanted them to understand my heart behind my words. So I changed the way I wrote. I stayed politically correct. I stopped trolling Facebook conversations waiting to add my witty banter. I began to write what I thought people wanted to read. Ultimately I began to write CRAP. 

Don’t lose who you are for the sake of your digital crowd. 

Listen folks. I did not grow up in a perfect-white-picket-fence family. My family was backwoods Irish decedents that had a deep love for family and a deeper disdain for being politically correct. When someone had something to say, they said it—It didn’t matter if it was hurtful, off-color, or just plain wrong. They said it. Then my family would argue until they came to agreement (even if it was to agree to disagree). We didn’t hold grudges, stop talking to each other or let our emotions get in the way of our relationships.

So here’s the thing. The Internet gives us an unfiltered ability to speak our minds, so if you have something to say, say it. People will choose how to take your opinion. In a standard conversation they could just walk away. So why is it that we feel the need to remain in Internet conversations that bother us or offend us? Why do we feel the need to make a public spectacle of our disagreements? If you don’t like it, walk away. 

What I am NOT saying. 

This is very important. The Internet is not a place to publicly bash, hurt, embarrass or mistreat people. I have been guilty of any/all of the above. My mouth gets me in trouble on a daily basis so it goes without saying that my Internet discussions will do the same. But here’s the thing. Listen closely.

If you know me, you know I care about my friends and family deeply and passionately.

So take my comments with a grain of salt and take the time to talk to me face to face when I hurt you. The Internet is not the place for this conversation. No emoticons will display my guilt, hurt, and sadness at hurting you. Words will be misunderstood, miscategorized and misshaped to whatever the hurtee is feeling. 

Don’t use the Internet as your personal podium of hurting others. This is the one thing I love about my family. We’ve had some big fights. I remember when I decided to move away after high school. 2,200 miles away to be exact. This was unacceptable to my family. We got in a knock-down, dragged-out fight that only rednecks could perfect. But we didn’t do it publicly. We didn’t invite over the neighbors, family members, or peanut galleries to come witness our fight. We fought behind closed doors, made up behind closed doors and then loved each other publicly. 

Here’s a couple rules I try to live by on the internet. NOTE:  I’ve broken every rule at one time or another: 

1. Don’t be crude. Crudeness is not humor (I broke this one recently and really regret it).

2. Don’t be a dick. I learned this one long before Wheaton made it law. Oh, and I continue to learn it. Every. Single. Day.

3. Don’t bash people. You can disagree. You can vehemently disagree. But don’t turn it into insult.

4. Don’t forget that those words were written by a person. This is the first thing we forget as an Internet culture. We disconnect the humanity from the digital. Those words are a direct outpouring of a person’s heart, mind, conscience.

5. Don’t lose yourself. While still following the first four rules, don’t lose sight of who you are. If who you are is an annoying political spectator, then fine. Be that. If people don’t like it they can mute, unfollow, or defriend.

6. Speak from the heart. This one is tricky. Our “mind” and our “heart” are two very different things. I am of course speaking symbolically here, so stay with me. Our mind is full of emotions, reactions, and opinions. These are a jumbled mess of icky-ness. Our heart filters these to give us a sense of identity, truth and general purpose. Take time to speak from the heart, instead of the barfing your mind into a blog post. People will see the difference.

7. Learn to say I’m sorry. You’re going to offend someone online. You’re going to post an inappropriate meme, say something that is more stupid than funny, indirectly insult someone. Learn to find that person (preferably face-to-face, if possible) and say you’re sorry.

8. Don’t take Internet Shenanigans personally. This is the Internet. Its words on a screen. In a way, its not real life. It is our made up connections with one another that play out in circles, friend requests, or followers.

9. Stop being so serious. “Don’t take life so seriously, you’ll never make it out alive.” Smile more. Laugh more. Share things that are funny (not crude), inspiring, joyful, happy. I am often surprised at how serious and adamant people get in social threads. You’re looking at little pieces of computer code that translated what someone typed or posted. Learn to develop a digital Rhino skin. Let the stupidity of the Internet roll off you.

10. Go for a walk. Learn to disconnect from the digital realm. If you’re getting super offended, angry, upset at what people are writing on the web, then maybe you need to go for a walk. Go enjoy nature, family, friends, real life.

You Are What You Tweet. Your digital persona is a direct representation of who you are. Choose your friends wisely. Learn to love more, troll less.

Dreaming.

Sometimes you have to give yourself room to dream. To put away the negative voices, the can’ts, the won’ts, the have nots and the if onlys. Dream as if there was nothing holding you back. Because those things holding you back, the things saying you can’t are often dreams themselves. Apparitions of self doubt, fear and comparison. 

Even if yours dreams are nothing special, put them out there. Lay them on the table and see what they are worth. They may be something small or insignificant but when they are placed next to someone else’s dream they fit like a piece of a larger puzzle. 

The worst thing someone ever told me, when I described my dreams, was, “Well,” He shakes his head. “you have a lot of work to do.” 

For years I felt defeated. I felt I couldn’t amount to anything. But you know what the truth is? I do. I do have a lot of work to do. A crap ton of work. And it starts now. It starts with dreaming

The Thing About Disappointment

The thing about disappointment is its disappointing. And you can’t stop it from coming wave after wave until the tide finally draws away leaving you wrung out. 

I’ve Made a Terrible Mistake

There is nothing worse (nothing) then hurting someone I love. 

The worst part is knowing that no matter what you do or say, you can never take back that moment. Forgiveness may occur but it is not the same as that moment never happening in the first place. 

I’m not perfect. Heck, most of the time I am far from good. But one thing I know is I love my friends and family deeply. To hurt them is the worst offense. 

And it happened. I made a comment that I should never have said. I didnt know that it would hurt my friend but I should have known that it was better to not say it at all. 

The line between humor and disrespect is fine and hard to discern. 


Here’s what I am learning:

Learn to temper your tongue. Speak words that add to life not subtract. 

Live for others. Living for yourself will only end in loneliness. Living for others means you always have someone to love. 

Be Better. Never settle for “This is just me” or “If people don’t like me, its their fault”. If people don’t like you then there is probably a reason. You can always improve. Love more, listen more, speak less, keep you opinion to yourself, share your encouragement. 

I made a mistake. I wish I could take it back. I’m sorry. i will be better. I will love stronger, speak softer and live more for others.

Mystery…Don’t You Ever Stop Being Mysterious

There are few things in life as wonderful as mystery. We as humanity have spent most of our meager existence exploring, conquering, discovering and explaining. To a point when things become less interesting. Definitions become standard, explanations expected.

Exploration is not about the discovery but rather the path to discovery.


Instead of seeking to solve the problem, rather spend time basking in the mystery the problem presents. Swim through the dark waters knowing full well you don’t know everything that hides beneath the surface. Float through empty space without end or dimension, measure or limits. Battle forces unseen, knowing not their weakness but reveling in their skill. 

Mystery, don’t you ever stop being mysterious. 

“Nothing is more fatal to the progress of the human mind than to presume that our views of science are ultimate, that our triumphs are complete, that there are no mysteries in nature and there are no new worlds to conquer.”
Humphry Davy, quoted in Brian Cox’s fantastic speech on why science is necessary for democracy. Also see this indispensable read on how ignorance drives science. (via explore-blog)

(via explore-blog)

“That moment when what you thought was a dream is crushed and you have to go reevaluate your dreams.”

Legacy…And Other Things We Tell Ourselves

It was 4th grade. I was 10 years old. Her name was Lauren. A strawberry blonde with an infectious smile. I thought I was in love. 

I greased my hair back with LA Looks Mega Hold Gel (Yes, they still make this stuff 20 years later.) and put on my favorite t-shirt. You know the one. Three wolves howling at the moon. In case you were wondering, I found one at a gas station and decided to indulge myself:

image

Oh yes, I was ready to impress the apple of my eye.

Yeah, I chickened out. 

It was during a game of dodgeball. I got out quickly so I could spend my time creepily watching Lauren as only a ten year old could. Then it happened. A ball flew from the hand of a fellow 10 year old that I hated, Chad. The ball seemed to fly in slow motion until it finally bounced off Lauren’s back while she tried to run away. She smiled her infectious smile and ran over to sit next to me, waiting to be called back in.

Lauren I…..

That was it. That’s all that ever escaped my lips. Then she was called back in and all my courage dissipated. 

She moved at the end of the school year.  I didn’t actually think of her again until I saw an article stating an NBA player was getting married to….Lauren! Wha…whoa. We connected briefly on Facebook to which her first comment was…

Oh ya! I remember you. You use to wear those wolf shirts right?

That was it. What do you say? Um…yes? Thank you for remembering the last thing I ever wanted anyone to remember.

Our legacy is not made up of what is important to us, but what is important to everyone else.  

My legacy with my fourth grade crush never moved past a horrible wolf shirt into relationship. 

Luckily my wife loves my nerdiness. ‘Cuz Im a one man wolf pack. 

image

“Sometimes getting closer to doing what you love feels like you’re walking away from doing what you love.”

Q

dougwaltman asked:

How do you keep your hair so awesome?

A

Murrays black people pomade, and a genuine babershop. 

On Timing

We as a species as obsessed with time. It quite literally drives the majority of our actions. We work our chosen careers relentlessly so as to create some sort of happiness before we die. Go go go! Our homes are filled with items to speed up convenience. Cars are innovated with speed and efficiency in mind. Clocks are typically a major component of smart phones, tablets, and computers. Time has become our theme, ticking away like a dying sun.

What if this wasn’t what it was all about? What if we got it all wrong? 

Here’s what I think. We have allowed our obsession with time to muddle our creativity, influence and truth.

If time isn’t the pressing issue, if we choose to remove it from the equation, then what is this all about?

Relationships

Our lives should not be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days or years but rather but how often we loved, how deeply we connected, how much we cared. Rather than halting the inevitable ending what if we focused on the immediate, choosing to share our moments with those we love. What if we learned to slow down, have patience, and choose to look at people through a glass of goodwill?

Time makes us selfish. We covet our minutes, hoard our hours and fill our days with the pursuit of money, things, titles, prestige, and fame. What if we chose rather to rewrite our story? What if we chose the selfless pursuit of community? What if we counted the people we love rather than the minutes passing by?

I am thinking the Shorn and if it doesn’t go well the Chin-Muffler. And if Sara leaves me over it, the Hyneman.

“And he found someone who understands the ticking, and the western man’s need to cry…”
— Damien Rice