Encouraging Millennial Workforce

Boss
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Last time I discussed how to build a great team with millennials and how some of the old “best practices” just don’t work in the new world. Now, I’d like to turn your attention to a subject of appreciation and encouragement, something that was essentially nonexistent when I started working (beyond token employee awards and the corporate ladder system, neither of which will do you much good with millennials in SMB):

The millennial language of appreciation is deep in encouragement, reinforcement and ultimately improving your team even if doesn’t directly benefit you financially.

Now that I’ve lost like 94% of my audience, yes, I acknowledge that the subject of employee empowerment that doesn’t directly feed the bottom line is somewhat taboo in business. And as alien as it may seem, you’re not going to get incredible employees from another planet, so you may as well just drop to your knees and thank whichever deity you believe in for giving you people you can develop into what you need them to be.

And for the sake of statistics, these are not your ordinary folks – you’re lucky if even 10% of your workforce has any bit of a genius and hustler mentality. The other 90% of your staff, that you have to hack, manage, provide alarm clocks and constant reminders and encouragement to do the basic parts of their job… I’ll cover that in another post. But for now, let’s focus on your geniuses.

Unicorn Millennials

If you’ve somehow managed to find these unicorns that speak your language while still having an open mind to be plugged into all the new technologies and trends, your old school appreciation language is not going to work. I mean that sincerely, I could fill up two books with all the ways I’ve failed to motivate and build up people over the years, and they would probably be word-for-word identical with what you can read in any business book: focus on corporate ladders, title, status, raises, promotions, written notes, perks.

Meanwhile your average millennial employee is more concerned about not having to fuss about their attire, being able to listen to their music as loud as they want to at work and they don’t care if you have them working out of an Amazon box – they care that they can do work somewhere outside of the “office” entirely.

Good luck reconciling all that. I will in another post. I know, I know, I’m teasing you but I want you to understand that I have been through this whole thing too and everything you’ve ever had work with grownups is going to backfire (sometimes horribly) with the new generation.

The reason I bring this up is simple: the new generation is magnitudes better than we are or ever were. The really good ones just don’t have the patience to play the game by the current rules which is why they’ll end up getting nowhere… but that too is for another day.

Geniuses

I want you to pay attention to the following, read it as many times as necessary for it to sink in:

When you have incredible people you can’t help them by cheering them on in what they are already doing, their ego doesn’t value your encouragement. It doesn’t need it. They they already know how to get moving.

They are doing it because they love to. It’s their passion.

You can help them, you can encourage them, you can build them up – but there is only one thing that they will value because nobody has done it for them before: push them past the point where they would ordinarily give up.

Your opinion, your cheerleading, your encouragement, your input, your work ethic, your contribution, your ____, should only show up when they have reached their limit. And working with them to get them past what they thought was the limit of their capabilities.

Pushing them past that point, through whichever means you have at your disposal, is how you’ll get great employees from the next generation. Treasure them, value them, build them up and build a mission together with them. Win-win.

It really is that simple and that time consuming. Yes, it’s gonna take time, money, research, effort – everything you thought you were going to worry less about by hiring people in the first place! And if you’re stupid, this is a great time to stop reading. If you aren’t, you have probably figured out what the payback is: These people aren’t going to be going on to another job at a different company: they will run the next company. The more you can teach them, the more value you’ll get out of them, the more aggressively you commit yourself to getting them to the next level the faster they will get your business and all your other employees above the typical corporate malaise and mediocrity.

Building A Millennial Team

Boss
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No matter what you’re doing in business, you are going to need great people to run it. And I’ve been fortunate to have some great people over the years but inevitably they were almost always surrounded by shit. At the time, though, I didn’t know that: Do great people make their coworkers look like shit or are some people just exceptional? If you don’t know the answer to that question, read along, chances are you’ve made the same mistakes I have and I urge you to fire everyone, today.

Mistake 1: Hire slow, fire fast

You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, entire books have been written about it – and it doesn’t work with millennials. We’re dealing with a self-absorbed generation that has been cultivating their “personal brand” since adolescence and every aspect of their life is on-demand. If you’re thinking the person you’re interviewing is the person that’s going to show up for work, you’re sadly mistaken. What’s worse, they are impressive at faking it, so if you run a business with any bit of wiggle room they’ll find a way to do nothing of any value while pretending to be hard workers.

Mistake 2: Hire for potential, train for greatness

Another bit of common sense passed down to you by people that didn’t plan for their retirement and are still working like it’s the age of personal responsibility: for every self starter you find there will be hundreds of people only interested in taking a shortcut.

Hire the best. If you can’t hire the best, outsource to someone that will have a contract dictating their level of responsibility because, son, parenting is hard.

Mistake 3: Promote from within

Worst, fucking, mistake.. ever. If you have an opening in your company and an existing employee isn’t already doing that job, you don’t have an internal candidate.

Let me say that using smaller words because it’s important and it fooled me too: If you suddenly have a workload that requires a skill set, one of your employees has already started doing that job. If they have, and they are good at it, just pay them more. The end.

If you need to qualify, train, motivate, or do anything other than adjust their salary.. repeat after me: you don’t have anyone to promote. At best you have an incompetent person about to make a mess that will take you forever to clean up.

Instead…

Hire professionals. I know, they cost more, you can’t afford it, the time is not right for the high salary person, budget – make any f’n excuse you want I’m just a blog post I’ll hear you out – but mark my words, you will have to clean up the work of an amateur and that’s going to be a lot more expensive.

Care about the people that you hire. Or fire them. If you run a business that doesn’t give a crap about it’s personnel, if you don’t want them to do the best job they possibly can, if you hate people… they’ll hate your business and your clients too. Flown lately? I know this is gonna make some of you cry but the sooner you accept the Word of Vlad, the better it will be for you: You now run a millennial daycare.

Build up the people you hire. I always looked at career development through the clown mirror I saw myself through: just throw more money at the problem. Truth is, for almost everyone more money is not the solution. Nobody is sitting there at their desk trying to solve a problem and thinking “I’d be much happier doing this if I only got an extra $3.50/hr for doing it” – no. You need to talk to your m’f’n people and find out what they are into. Figure out what sort of weird shit they like. What’s their favorite soda. What their hobbies are. Then mold your training, your flex time, your approach against that. Got an employee banging a girl in Miami every weekend and got a big project? Trade him a day on a weekend he’s not down there for a 3 day weekend and see how quickly the morale improves. If you’re paying people to do a job, pay for something that is going to make them better at their job.

Mind your own f’n business. I know a lot of you are religious, so you do your thing and let the god judge them. I used to have a hangup about drugs but I overcame my fear of needles but the thing that matters to me the most is whether we do our job and take care of the client. I’m as interested in your drug cocktail as I am in your pornhub playlists, if you can do the job and do it well, what you do to yourself is between you and Jesus.

IMG_0057Watch what you say. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. And when you do say it, ask them what they heard. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being tortured by me on the phone or a webinar or in person, you know that I will repeat the same f’n thing 3 times. I’m not senile or a pothead, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Yet, I still make mistakes. I have an amazing branding person. She is in my office a dozen times a day doing A/B tests on me and checking if we’re taking all the marketing and service stuff in the right direction. I used to say “I don’t care” to people for the longest time but they heard “Vlad doesn’t give a shit”. Then I started saying “You do you” which apparently means “Go fuck yourself.” – what I meant to say is “I pay you a lot of money because I trust your judgement and expertise, you’re better at this job than I am and while I appreciate you keeping me on top of everything, the decisions on these issues are in your domain because you spend your entire day thinking about it and I’m just here to tell you I really don’t like the color orange.”

Now, if you’re not cool with that person, you’re never going to make that point. If you are, you put it on a tshirt.

Team. As much as you have to love all of your work children, none of them (or you for that matter) come ahead of the team. If you run a company that has a bunch of disposable mouth breathers, you need to fire them right now. The rest you have to drill the following into constantly, repeatedly, and thoroughly: This company has a mission and everyone here has a vital and critical role in it’s success. If anyone is not here 100%, leave. I am not going to fire you, but I will make this place a living hell for you and all these other people that depend on you doing an incredible job will beat you around the clock. If you’re lucky, the wusses will leave without causing any more damage (hint: they probably already caused a ton of it, you’ll find the surprises later). The people that are left behind will take an even greater ownership in the business, do more for your clients, take responsibility for issues and make sure that whenever you get a lazy/dumb slob they get pushed out swiftly. Here is the thing though: you have to build the team. Not just hold a weekly meeting or a lunch, you need to know the mfers, you need to know how to talk to them, how to motivate them and how to break up fights among them. You have to give them the tools to work with each other as well as they work with you.

Here is the thing: all of this stuff is simple. It just takes a ton of time and hard work that you have to do yourself. Yeah, it’s no coincidence that people can’t build great companies but a dozen “coaches” pop up every day. So, you have a choice. Or if you’re smart, you know you really have one option.

Here we go with 2018

Boss
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Here we go with 2018!

Hard to believe it’s been about 10 months since I wrote my last actual blog post. And what a frustrating, insane, motivating, and incredible ten months it’s been.

Feels like a lifetime ago.

Long story short, over the past year I’ve changed just about everything about my tech business and the team that makes it alive.

Over the next year, I look forward to taking you through the journey of where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m heading.

Where I’m heading is simple: Before I turn 40 later next year, I will retire from ExchangeDefender/ Own Web Now Corp. Of course, retirement for someone that works 80+ hours a week looks different but one of the blessings of everything I’ve been through this year is that it’s reignited my passion for everything I do across my multiple companies.

Look forward to sharing it with you.

Happy New Year!

-Vlad

PHP 7.1 with Apache on CentOS 7.x

Linux, Open Source, System Admin
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Back in the long long ago you could roll out LAMP with a single yum command. In 2017, distro game has hardly kept up with the evolution in PHP and still comes with PHP 5.4 – to go to 7 in RHEL/CetOS 7 you have to do some surgery.

First remove all the php packages. Then let this rip.

yum install epel-release yum-utils

rpm -Uvh http://rpms.remirepo.net/enterprise/remi-release-7.rpm

yum-config-manager –enable remi-php71

yum install -y php71-php-pecl-memcached php71-php-mysql php71-php-xml php71-php-cli php

That’s all, just restart httpd and hack your /etc/php.ini (needs explicit definition for the time zone)

Universal Basic Income & Robots

Boss, IT Business
1 Comment

You may have noticed Bill Gates, Elon Musk and tons of other technology executives talking about the reality in which we will need far less humans for basic tasks like retail, manufacturing, driving and so on – tons of jobs will be going away. Their solution: tax companies that leverage robots and kiosks in order to provide a basic income for folks that won’t be able to find employment. Two thoughts on this:

Between Bob & Robot, I’m gonna hire a robot. 100% of the time.

I don’t even know Bobby!

But here is what a robot will not do: Take personal time. Not show up for work. Show up for work stoned. Show up for work angry, hungry, sleepy, horny, bloated, sad. Robot won’t quit without notice. Robot won’t get into a fist fight with another robot. Robot won’t get too drunk at lunch, throw up on my couch and proceed to throw up and clog a community sink. Robot won’t come to work at 11pm and bang another robot, under the security camera. Robot won’t masturbate at work at 3am to Tumblr pissing videos.

Yes, it happened. All of it. F’n humans.

So no disrespect Bobby, but I’ll take a robot over you every damn day. At worst, the robot will just be there on time not doing any work – already better than 50% of the folks walking around.

Those that are seeking a massive tax as a deterrent to robots removing them from the job market.. sorry, but it’s not going to work and that brings me to the second point.

Why is this something tech CEO community is concerned with?

Well, who do you think will be building, programming and managing those robots? Not Bobby the truck driver or Bobby the manufacturing simpleton. Sorry, it’s going to be Bahrat (Bobby) Patel from whereever the IT labor is cheap and $1000 a month goes a long way. It’s the tech companies that are going to be bringing the next massive forced obsolescence of labor – much like they have for the past 4 decades.

But why are they talking about taxes all of a sudden? Since when are a bunch of billionaires from California concerned about the rust belt?

My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that they are seizing the political climate in which half the country is almost religiously devout to the notion of lower taxes and not paying those lazy people to sit on their ass and collect welfare! Danggumit! Get a job!

Tech companies can quickly focus on developing robots and disrupting industries with minimal government interference and obstruction until it’s too late for people to understand their jobs just got jacked.

They are talking about a basic income, literally free money handed to you for the sole reason that you were born in the right place at the right time, because they know the current political climate will not allow it to be discussed, debated or have their agenda impacted.

It’s not the cost that has kept robots at bay – it’s the social norms. When supermarkets and warehouse stores came out with self checkout lines people hated them. To this day I age discriminate when I’m buying groceries at Target – If you look like you’re under 20 I am waiting in the longer line that has an older person working the register. You know why? Someone that’s over 15 knows what vegetables are and doesn’t have to play the fucking Pictionary game in the checkout line for 10 minutes trying to figure out the difference between garlic and white onion.

You’ll soon see self driving cars. And centrally managed 18 wheeler trucks. And farming. And, and, and until whichever industry you or your clients depend on to make a profit gets rid of enough humans for you to realize that you might never have a job again.

That’s depressing. But by talking about taxes enough people will get upset about a side argument without considering the big picture.

Adventures in Juicing

Food
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As a software company we have the usual assortment of software/IT people. During our first staff meeting this year we talked about goals, both personal and professional, and as usual lots of people wanted to lose weight.

Cue the endless stream of unsustainable fad diets. But you can do pretty much anything for a month, right? I decided to play along and do the dumbest one possible – juicing. You just drink juice. Only juice. All day along.

j1I did extensive research and after about 10 seconds of scrolling down the Amazon search results picked the first cheap 4-star reviewed juicer. I paid $40 because I figured I would eventually throw a porkchop into it. That and I was not about to take my chances with my wife’s 16 gear, 8000rpm multifunction transformer of a blender. Pretty sure she loves that thing more than us.

Juicing, compared to regular cooking, is like wanting chicken for dinner and starting with slaughtering a live chicken in the middle of your kitchen. Blood and feathers anywhere. Except blood and feathers are easier to clean up – god help you if you spill beat juice somewhere – tattoo removal is easier.  Once you bring your veggies from the market you have to clean them and put them away (or they will get spoiled) – and it goes downhill from there when you actually start juicing. The prep basically involves cutting, pealing, dicing, measuring and grinding the crap out of everything you want to put in. And unless you’re looking for 10 minutes of setup and cleanup to make an 8oz cup of juice it also involves two large bowls for staging and juice. Which you have to clean up pretty much immediately or the stench will permanently bond itself to whatever surface it touches or gets poured into.

I’m kidding. It’s worse.

I really wanted to hate it

So I juiced for like 3 days before the WDW Marathon weekend and figured if I could run a marathon after a few days of no solid food this might be a nice thing to mix in to pre-race tapers. Much to my surprise, I saw no noticeable drop off in energy either leading into or during the race.

Then I went out to celebrate the marathon and got plastered. Oops.

After the marathon, I decided to give it a shot and actually do some research, try a few recipes, mix it up a bit. I won’t bore you with the details but it’s not what I expected. Here are two main takeaways.

0. You can improve anything with berries and citrus. The base for virtually every juice recipe is a cucumber and either spinach or kale – when juiced, among the most disgusting things you can ever drink. It’s like drinking lemon pledge after cleaning up a murder scene and just squeezing the bounty towel right into your cup. But toss in a few strawberries, blackberries or an orange in and it’s amazing.
0. It kills your cravings. Not in a traditional fad diet sense, where you just lose the willingness to live entirely. More like “I’d like to go to a burger joint… but I’m not really craving a burger”

To be honest, I really wanted to hate it but it doesn’t feel or have the effects of a typical crushed reduced calorie diet where you spend the whole day cravings a snickers while eating celery sticks. It’s just a nice cold drink every few hours and it’s very refreshing. In my experience there was no low energy, no cravings, no disgusting stuff. Except for the beet juice, it will turn your poop purple. But because it didn’t feel act like a diet, it didn’t feel like something I was trying to survive for a few hours or days.

Money-wise over the course of 2 weeks I’ve spent less than $80. Cheapest and the best fruits and veggies are at the farmers market – they tend to be the best and freshest too but that means you have to wash and ziplock them immediately. For run of the mill GMO frankenfruits, Walmart actually tends to do the cheapest by far (huge bag of apples or oranges for $5) but it’s a trade off since they are covered in pesticides you’ll spend more time pealing it.

nakedchickenAll in all, not something I’ll continue doing full time but I think I’ll be sticking with it for at least one meal/snack a day for the craving benefits alone. Cause nobody needs to live life craving a Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa, a taco that features a shell made of fried “chicken” breast at 11pm. Or at any hour for that matter.

How My Facebook Would Battle Fake News

Social Media
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Nobody is exactly happy with the mess of the election season but instead of facing our own stupidity head on, and accepting some responsibility for lack of interest or need to stay informed, most are lashing out at Facebook and it’s implication in the spread of “fake news.”

I have some bad news, there is no such thing as fake news: just people too stupid and gullible enough to fail for anything. Don’t for a second think that Facebook or Twitter are interested in the least bit in solving this nonexistent problem: Insane biased coverage drives the user engagement, keeps them coming back, makes them comment and get into heated debates with complete strangers. You’re expecting a public corporation, one that makes money off your attention, to minimize or eliminate your own addiction? Child please.

There is such a thing as fact based news. But good news is like a kale vegan restaurant – bland and disappointing in every way. You don’t need a PhD in economics or behavioral psychology to figure out why McDonalds serves borderline poison to billions while your health obsessed juice bar is run by a dirty hippie and can barely make rent.

We don’t want what is good for us. We want an experience.

So Mark, give me a billion and I’ll not just fix the PR nightmare Facebook is facing as the defacto pimp of manipulative conspiracy theories to the weak minded GED holders, I’ll make some $ for Facebook and keep people and crazy web sites even more glued into Facebook. Let’s face it, you know you cannot do a damn thing about fake news and any bit of censorship is just going to hurt your image until DC decides to regulate you: big media companies are already pissed off at you taking away their ad revenue. Let’s also agree on the fact that you don’t want fake news off Facebook, I get it, it’s a symbiosis – they need the eyeballs that Facebook delivers and you need their nonsense for those eyeballs to share with their echo chamber.

What I propose is a realtime news service, just like PBS. Just hosted and delivered in a millennial short attention span format. By a comedian. Who happens to be ridiculously attractive. And ethnically / culturally similar to them. We’ll have a frat bro, an old person, a barbie, etc.

Report facts. Not opinions of facts. Not responses to facts. Not round table discussions and interviews about facts. Just facts and the BS checker – turn it into a game show. “Trump says the AF1 is $4 billion? BS Checker says…. “

Person X said Y at Z. Turns out, it’s complex. Here is the true part. Here is the lie. Here is the stuff to put it into some context. Insert joke. Get a meme backgrop. Next.

Naturally, fake news sites now have to respond to the fact. But Facebook maintains credibility and mirrors what it’s user base is thinking – all the feels – like, love, sad, angry – users react to the facts instead of reacting to someone interpreting the fact in order to keep them tuned in.

What’s the outcome? Opinions, beliefs, values, thoughts and interpretations are separate from the actual fact. It’s almost like school but it’s fun. And it’s short. And it’s engaging and it prompts you for your response. Everything that Facebook is and everything people love about it.

With one additional benefit: Users don’t have to think. Like at all. Just click, laugh, OK, next. And isn’t that why everyone is on Facebook in the first place? Then the thousand left and right oped troll sites attach to the very same video – on which we can now sell ads, bam you get your billion back in a heartbeat. Call me.

Why we CANNOT get along

Misc
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I know, I know, we’re not supposed to talk about politics on Vladville and I’m certainly far from qualified to do so but… it’s what I do. Honestly, it’s about the only thing I do these days – talk to people. And since I don’t have an agenda or risk of losing sponsors or advertisers, I’m going to share with you as succinctly as I can why we won’t move together as one, why people will not get over their victory/loss and why people seem to only be violently honest online while peacefully mild mannered in person when you meet them.

First part is easy – we’re not coming together anytime soon because there is no money to be made on the difficult task of explaining complex problems we have on this round globe of ours. So CNN, Fox, MSNBC, multitude of web sites and yes, your friends on Facebook, will keep on sharing and feeding the flameworthy content that will keep you angry and engaged even if you swore off it like a crackhead quitting crack.

Second part is more complex but give me a moment to elaborate:

We had two flawed candidates. When we judge each other on the choices we’ve made, we don’t judge on the ideological choice that we made for the candidate that least repulsed us otherwise – we tend to associate blame and anger towards how the others could blindly dismiss the criminal tendencies of their candidate to consider them for the highest office in our land and our representative to the world.

Here is how this looks from someone that liked Hillary, if such a beast even exists (skip to the next paragraph if you’re a Trump supporter): We look at you not as a voter who supported some ideas that Trump espoused to because the media has done it’s job in portraying Trump as someone without morals or ideology – instead he is a candidate who boasts about his sexual assaults, cheats on his wifes, cheats on small businesses and has a long history of fraud, narcissism. Hillary voters look at Trump folks not as people who may have wanted a stronger stance on immigration, less regulations or typically conservative values but see them as racist, xenophobes who voted in Hitler.

From the standpoint of someone that voted for Trump (if you’re a Hillary supporter jump to the next paragraph) the election was between the least qualified, least polished candidate to ever run for a president and 15 other flavors of the crap that has failed them for decades. When it came to a general election it was not even a contest between two people because Hillary was  portrayed by the media and the FBI as a criminal who probably didn’t even deserve to be out of prison much less a white house. Trump supporters are horrified people would even consider such corruption to exist, much less rule over them.

So what are we left with?  We are passing judgement on one another, not as Americans, but as people who were foolish enough to  cast a vote for a flawed candidate that the media did it’s best to destroy. We are not interested in why someone voted a certain way, we angrily demand an explanation for why we excuse and (by insane proxy) support the vilest of the behavior we associate with the other side.

Now we’re supposed to come together as one nation? Well who or what is going to bring us together? Not our politicians, they thrive in a word of conflict where we don’t see each others as Americans but as polar ideological opposites. Not the media, god forbid you stop clicking or stop tuning in for your daily dose of hate and outrage. Not our social media which benefits when we keep our arguments and relationships virtual and click, click, click. There is no medium, outside of personal relationships, where we see the common ground with the fellow man, in which we can once again see good among us. Which makes me cringe for what kind of tragedy will put us together again.

Personally, I work with people all over the world, of all sorts of races and ideologies and still have faith in the things that make us similar will always be bigger than those than drive us apart. With this brief venture into politics that I do not wish to repeat often I implore you to remember that we, as people, tend to be good and tend to all want the best for our children. If we are at odds over how that gets done at times that’s more of a reason to work together instead of isolating ourselves apart. As I mentioned to someone that asked how I managed to run a business in this difficult time with all the hatred and divisiveness I simply said: “You deal with people because you believe they will do a good job. If I only worked with people who saw the world the way I do, I’d be a lonely & homeless. Things that unite us in business is a pursuit of success, not the battles that lead us to ruin.”

Do likewise gents. Do likewise. Find the common ground.

The Millennial Bust

Work Ethic
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Disclaimer: This is not a post about politics. I am not attempting to convince you to vote for one candidate or issue over another. Nor do I want this to be seen as a criticism of a candidate – this is a lesson about awareness and selling yourself during a job interview.

FullSizeRenderI went to a political rally with about as open of a mind as I possibly could have. I was excited to get my ticket and to drive across town to see what this whole movement was about. There is a difference between how things are edited and presented on screen and seeing it live.

I was very excited to talk to like minded folks from where I parked. I loved the small talk walking up to the hangar. The guys trying to hawk gear were hilarious and the supporters were honestly excited to see a guy that was going to help our country with serious problems we are facing. I spoke to a stay at home mom, an AC repairman, few retirees, an accountant – folks from all ways and means, some that even brought their kids to see what could be the next president of the United States.

Energy in the airplane hangar was remarkable. People were talking, cheering, high fiving, dancing. Then the huge boom of the jet, even an hour after the event was supposed to start, sent another huge roar through the crowd. The jet pulled up right next to the stage and I don’t care how much you love or hate someone, it takes a lot not to get excited.

Then he started talking…

Everyone that has ever been either side of the job interview table will tell you that it’s nothing more than a sales job. Tell me what you can do for this company. What sort of benefits do you offer? Tell me how your skills are relevant for this position. What are my advancement opportunities? Tell me about your ambitions, aspirations and future goals. How will my performance be measured and compensated?

“Look at this crooked media, they are so crooked”… and people started walking towards the exit.

“Look at this hangar full of people, we were going to just hold it in there but too many of you showed up so now we’re out here too!”… and people started walking towards the exit.

“Our politicians are crooked!”… and people started walking towards the exit.

The steady stream of people walking out not even 15 minutes into the speech made me constantly look over to see if they were being escorted or kicked out.. what sort of trouble could that many people cause?

“Hillary is so crooked.. Media is crooked.. Congress is crooked”… and people started walking towards the exit.

I stood there. I waited. We are going to make America great again. How?

I waited for another 20 minutes as the insult comic festival continued.

Then, like more than half of the crowd by that point, I too headed for the exit.

Millennial Attitude

There he was. A billionaire who poorly prepared for the job feeling entitled he could do it because we need to change things up.

He blamed the media, his opponent, his own party and everyone else for how poorly he was being treated. Without an ounce of accountability or humility.

He presented no ideas on how to solve any of the problems we are facing. Just whining. Misdirecting. Rambling and not getting to the point.

He lost half the people that were excited to give him a chance.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly the same attitude I got from every millennial failure I’ve ever had the displeasure of working with: no accountability, no ideas, no work ethic, no pride – constant misdirection, whining about unfairness, excuses, and plenty of blame to pass on to others without any concrete ideas on how to solve the problem.

I am not here to offer you political advice. Vote your conscience.

Just remember that the interview is a sales process – it looks for accountability, for humility, for ideas, for character, for leadership and taking charge no matter how small or how big of a job you’re asking people to trust you with.

If half the people interviewing leave the room before you’ve made your point.. you’re probably not getting that job.

40oz of Determination

Boss, IT Business, Uncategorized
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Over the past few years I’ve dedicated much of my words on Vladville towards calling out the BS I saw as a threat to many people I do business with. As with all fraud, it all comes apart given the time. And with most of my nemesis long gone to mediocre jobs, prison or being a tricycle BBQ “chefs” – combined with my time taken up by new business ventures – I wanted to offer this eulogy.

It’s hard to sell people mediocrity unless you can convince them that everything they are doing and everything they have ever done is wrong.

But once you’re able to appeal to someone’s emotional insecurities, instead of their rational mind that can do basic math, there is no limit to the number of clichés you can string together to slowly bleed them dry with consulting, books, groups, seminars that push the notion of accepting inadequacy with a hint of who to blame for it all.

As one of the most miserable business failures recently said in a video (paraphrased): “I’ve never been happier than I am now and it’s because I’ve stopped trying to make money.”

oldenglish

This, in a nutshell, is the mentality that drives business failures insane: They try so hard to deny the proven value of hard work, discipline, accountability, cost savings, tradeoffs and long hours and their fantasy world inevitably always leads them to failure. Of course they feel this enormous relief when they stop trying to scam people and can finally be honest with themselves: next time I’ll try harder.

The Only Proven Repeatable Success Story

Hard work.

Unless you play poker or are remarkably good looking with terrible morals, there are no shortcuts.

Nobody is going to write a book about this. You won’t see a New York Times Bestseller “How I Became Wealthy By Working Myself To Death” at the airport. It’s not fancy. It’s not glamorous. There is no “MTV Cubes” show with Robin Leach fawning over someone’s business book bookshelf or papers on their work desk. It’s not a fantasy – it’s reality – one that people so desperately want to escape from.
Why? Because they are building nothing. Because they have no passion for what they can accomplish. Because they, ultimately, do not believe in it. If you don’t believe what you’re dedicating your limited time on this earth is valuable and worthwhile then it’s going to fail. Sorry. Don’t like the truth, go buy a Subway franchise.

But never, ever, put down the value of hard work. I hereby humbly submit this eulogy to all those who thought they could cheat and fraud their way to the top, may the hotel bars give you some peace that you never found in convincing people they don’t need to dedicate every ounce of effort towards realizing their dreams.

To hard work and people that actually do stuff. I salute you.

P.S. While I’m sure a scammer is born every day, I’ll dedicate more of my time on this blog towards things I’m actually doing these days. But if you ever need a WWVD just ask them how working less is going to make you more successful and enjoy the fantasy.