Kingston Bar & Grill, Wednesday September 16th

Kingston Bar and Grill

Dive Bar Networking took a little time off, but we are back at it again. We’ll be meeting at the famous or infamous, Kingston Bar & Grill. Don’t worry it is definitely a dive bar which is fully packed during every home Timbers match. I started to set the event date for the week prior, but luckily thought to check the Timbers schedule.

I might suggest wearing a hard hat because during a visit last year a light fixture fell from the ceiling and narrowly missed me which of course was call for celebration. I had another beer! I am confident the odds are slim for anything  falling from the ceiling on the 16th, but should it happen at least you’ve been warned.

 hard hat

It has been a long time since we’ve gathered. I look forward to catching up with old friends and looking forward to seeing many new faces. If you are wondering why the Kingston, well it is close to my new office on NW 23rd Place and I started this so I get to pick.

Bring a friend or grab a stranger, either way come have a good time.

5 – 7 p.m.

2021 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205




Why I Walk for NAMI

I walk for the young man I met when I used to feed the homeless on Sundays outside the Blanchet House.

After several weeks of providing sack lunches, prayers and occasional hugs for those waiting for hot meals inside the Blanchet House, I spotted a face which seemed familiar, but somehow radically different than I had recalled from past weeks. I don’t recall his name, but he was in his early 20s. His clothes where still disheveled and his hair a mess, but his face had new marked clarity. His mouth no longer bore a crusty finish and his eyes sparkled clear where prior they seemed covered in a foggy film.

I was so taken aback by his appearance I had to speak with him to make sure he was indeed the fellow I had tried to engage the week before. As we began to visit, I discovered he had a mental disorder and had got off his “meds”, but through the help of someone he was back on his medications. In the previous weeks I couldn’t carry on any kind of conversation with him as he appeared to be lost in his own world.  During our visit I learned he used to work at Home Depot, but lost his job due to his condition. He had been on the streets living in and out of deplorable hotels for the past two years. He sadly relayed that being back on his medications had one bad effect. He was now keenly aware of the sad state of his life. He now went to sleep to the sounds of rats running in the walls and daily faced the fears of the plight he “awoke” to. To help me understand, he asked me to imagine I had gone to a party and gotten really drunk only to wake up in the gutter with no seeming way out. He said, “It’s a bit what it is like when I get back on my meds.”

As we parted that day, I encouraged him to have faith and to keep taking his medications. However, I knew if I was in his shoes I would most likely want to stop taking my medications, so I could escape the world I had reentered.

So in short I walk for all the people like the young man I met that day. No one should have to awake to a world so cold, un-caring, un-understanding, and un-helpful. We has individuals, people, communities, cities, states and a nation should and can do better.

NAMI is caring understanding and helpful. NAMI helps individuals, families, communities, states and our nation. NAMI can and is doing better.

Support My NAMI Walk

NAMI Website

Life’s Rules

I recently had the opportunity to spend seven hours in my car with the legendary motivational speaker and world renowned life coach, Tony Robbins. (Books on CDs are a wonderful thing.) If you’ve seen the movie Shallow Hal, you’ll recall the scene where Jack Black’s character bumps into Tony Robbins. During their brief encounter Tony implants Jack with the idea that he’ll only see the inner beauty of women. As a result Tony’s implanted idea, Jack’s mind shifts. He begins to see the world in a completely new way and thus he experiences the world in a new way.

During my car ride with Tony, he also planted a notion in my head which has caused me to view the world in a new way. He explained to me that I have pre-established rules which greatly influence my life. Most of my life is governed by very vague rules which allow lots of room for exception and acceptance which in itself is not a bad thing. The rules regarding my social acceptance and tolerance are pretty good, but the rules I had around my health were a perfect example for getting an outcome I didn’t desire and not understanding why I kept getting an outcome I didn’t desire.

Tony used two of his friends to illustrate how having different rules impact the outcome on their lives. He described one friend of being very physically fit and the other one not in the best of physical health. I could fully empathize with the unhealthy friend he described. He had asked both what rules they each had regarding their health. The less than healthy friend said, “I should eat right. I should exercise. I should avoid fatty foods. I should drink plenty of water. I should not sit on the couch so much. I should eat more fruits and vegetables.” When he asked his healthy friend what her rules around her health were she replied, “I must only eat foods which are good for me. I must exercise every day. I must never do anything that will harm my body.”

It became clear to me at that moment my life was full of should and not many musts. There is nothing wrong with should rules in one’s life, but having only should rules allowed me  too much latitude in their adherence. By having such loose rules I rarely experienced personal pain in letting myself down and more importantly rarely accomplished any uncommon result. I had resigned myself to the notion that I lacked self discipline as if it were something one is born with or without. The truth I discovered is discipline is a simple matter of setting the correct rules for my life.

I now try to be aware of the rules of my life. Additionally, I have begun resetting those life rules which affect an area in which I want to see a break through change. For example, the rules I now have around my health are simple. I must be consciously aware of anything I digest and consider its effect on my body. I must exercise every day. I still have a bunch of should rules too but my must rules are the ones I feel tremendous pain and guilt if I disregard.

So how do should and must rules impact us and our customers? If you can acknowledge you already have a bunch of rules that you are aware of and unaware of I think you can see how they may be affecting our customers, co-workers, families and ourselves. By becoming aware of your rules you can quickly and efficiently reset them to achieve better results.

What are your rules regarding teammates? How do your rules affect your ability to coach and be coached? What rules do you have regarding your customers? How might you adjust them to provide even better service? What result in your life would you like to change? What rules in your life need to be more tightly defined?

“Small changes can make huge destination differences.”  ~ Sean Covey

Blue Strawberries and Burgers

Burger King’s slogan “Have it your way,” which the company introduced in the 1970s, should be the mantra of any business interested in reaching the purchasing power of anyone under 50. 

Take me for example, I recently turned 44. I consider myself fairly normal for my age, some may challenge that assumption, but we’ll save that for another article.

I have cable television, high speed internet at home and work, own a lap top, use a smart phone, listen to a MP3 player and I have a WII which I watch movies via Netflix. I grew up with fast food, cable TV, the dawn of the personal computer and cell phones. I have become accustom to and expect choices. I demand ease of use and instant gratification. I am unconcerned with the time constraints of those who provide me goods and services because I haven’t known a world without a 7/11 or Taco Bell open 24-hours to meet my late night cravings.

If you believe I am used to having choices now, imagine what my 12-year-old daughter, Sophia, will be like in 2022 (not that far off). She has access to all the things I’ve grown up with and more.  She uses an I-touch and snaps pictures of anything that catches her eye. If she isn’t pleased with the result then she manipulates the image to one which she likes. This is how she produced the image of a beautifully detailed blue strawberry against a shimmering white back drop from the picture she took of a red strawberry laying on a black marble counter top.

Still not convinced? Consider the conversation my 10-year-old son, Michael, and I had the other day while riding in the car. I was wondering aloud about some obscure question I was pondering. Michael looked at me with a dead serious expression and said, “Why don’t you just ask the G-man?” I looked back and said, “You mean, God?” He replied, “No, Google! I am sure they have the answer.”

The only constant is change. To be a relevant viable option to customers in our world of today and tomorrow is to constantly challenge the way we deliver our goods and services. We must be increasingly personal, convenient and available. I know I want it my way.  I am more confident my kids – and our customers – want it their way, too.

What are you doing to keep pace with customers? How easy is it to do business with you and your teams? What constraints can be lifted to give customers more choices? If we aren’t answering these questions, then our competitors will because customers expect it.