Starting next quarter I am going to fundamentally change the format of this newsletter, but before I do that I wanted to write one last traditional post. I also want to make sure for those that do not have time to read this entire post, I at least have a chance to express my gratitude for sticking with me through these seven plus years. I usually leave life experience for the end of this newsletter, but in the context of this one I feel having it up front is appropriate. This month I made the cover of Club Solutions with the rest of the Active Sports Clubs leadership team.
For those of you that have been with me since the start, you will remember I began Live Life Love back in 2007 to ensure I did not lose sight of my passion for wellness as my career was pulling me in another direction. In 2011, I unabashedly asked for help to stay the course as my position at SBT Group was moved offshore to France. In 2015, through a long road of grinding and hustling, humbling experiences, and late nights, I have now arrived at my proverbial 10,000 hours. I am a sought out expert in the area of workplace wellness and proud of where I sit today.
One thing I have realized along the way is I do not make a good Napolean Hill, Jim Rohn… or even a Matt Foley for that matter. While I have a pretty solid track record as a marketer, in sales I bat about average. As my good friend and past interviewee Jeff Atkinson put it, “you are living an extraordinary life, and you can talk circles around bull$h!t, but I still don’t know what you DO… or WHY?” Funny Jeff, and fair play. I have gotten this far basically mumbling to myself and taking you all along for the ride. It is time to take this project to a different level. Serendipitously the three things I know best are clearly tenets of successful employee wellness programs: strategic communication, foundational physical & psychological well-being, and technology. The “why” is easy for me to answer: I get off on seeing people thrive and flourish and want to spend the rest of my life finding ways to do this that scale. The “do” is still a work in progress but I am heading in the right direction and moving quicker each year — in large part from the opportunity you have given me to check-in with you once every three months.
I committed back in 2007 to seeing this through to the end, and I am a man of my word; however I don’t have much more to share in the line of general anecdotes. In this area you are better served by someone else. Although spirituality is clearly a key part of wellness, it is also sacred and personal so as a practice guideline I shy away from open discourse in this area. However, in developing my own concept of spirituality, one thing that is clear for my personal growth is that the pursuit of maximizing meaningful experience has continued to give me greater context. Similar to an artist broadening their palette to create, I have benefited from having an expanding repertoire of concepts to pull from while innovating new ideas. This quarter is no exception and I was quite fortunate to learn from the following two brilliant individuals.
This quarter’s health and wellness interview is with James Pshock who is the president and founder of Bravo Wellness. James is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner, a committee member of HERO, and a thought leader in the area of workplace wellness. My interview with James Pshock on the topic of workplace wellness can be found here.
This quarter’s entrepreneurial interview is with Dr. Chris Bingham who is an award-winning professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Kenan-Flager Business School at the University of North Carolina. He received his PhD in strategy, organizations and entrepreneurship from Stanford University. My interview with Dr. Chris Bingham about fostering innovation can be found here.
Contribution this quarter came in the form of a couple random acts of kindness. Someone I do not really know reached out to a general audience asking for support in his effort to Spin4Kids …exercise for a good cause …I obliged; it made his day. I was also moved deeply by the story of Kayla Mueller. I’m not going to go too deep into her story here, you can read about her by using the link I’ve provided. I will simply say the world needs more people like Kayla, and we need to talk more about people like Kayla, and consume less manufactured news. The world already has more Kaylas than most of us believe, yet these exceptional people are only heralded during tragedy, in contrast to hooligans whose actions seem to be promulgated constantly through every media channel confusing eager minds that notoriety is somehow on par with legacy. In honor of Kayla I donated to Kayla’s Hands.
When I switch to the new format any personal updates will likely be few and far between, so in closing I’d like to vaunt that over the next 12 months Anna and I will be proudly welcoming a new son into this world, and I will also finally finish my PhD. I owe so much to the people that read this: my friends, my family, my colleagues. I am not delusional. I am at where I am today because I asked for and received help. A special thanks to those that have hung around this far but have little personal interest in wellness and/or entrepreneurship. Thanks so much for being a part of the ride up until now. For those of you that stay with me I stay committed to bringing you awesome content from remarkable thought leaders and will continue to keep my blog updated regarding contribution and life experience for those of you who might want to check-in from time to time to see how that is still going (or better yet, who want to join along on an adventure or two).
I hope your 2015 is off to an epic start and that you continue to flourish throughout the year.