The ancient poet Virgil once said, “Fortune sides with him who dares.” I can’t help but imagine he was talking about playing video games.
The risks were high in the 80’s: constant risk of radiation poisoning from sitting inches away from a 13’ Zenith, or the threat of carpel tunnel after gripping a controller for hours on end; not to mention the pure hazard of passing out after emptying your lungs into the bottom of a video game cartridge.
I haven’t owned a video game in nearly two decades, but the result of my blistering obsession as a child has finally paid off! I didn’t realize it until now, but one game in particular shaped my entire view on business and my career: Frogger.
On the surface, it’s a very simple game. Cross the street or stream and don’t croak. Hidden in the simplicity is a valuable business lesson: the path to success is never a straight line. Often times it’s riddled with decisions moving you laterally, and even backwards, to find the right path forward.
Gone are the days of blazing a trail down the straight and narrow path. The key to Frogger, and in business, is to think strategically, tactically and with purpose.
Today, the corporate ladder has been pushed over, cut to pieces and tossed into the river. Only to float back and forth like the very logs I mastered as a child in this simple game. In order to win, you have to move laterally, patiently waiting until the right opportunity presents itself. It’s important to remember, timing is everything. Stay put too long and get washed away. Jump too early and sink. (Are we still talking about video games?)
Unlike Frogger, you can’t just re-start the game each time you make a mistake, bouncing back unscathed with no sign of failure. The stakes are much higher here, in real life. But remember, the controller is in your hands — game on!
Nowadays, our Government is recommending you create a “social media will, ” and appoint someone you trust to assume your social media responsibilities after you’re a gonner as, ironically, your “online executor.” This confidant would be responsible for closing out email accounts, social media accounts, blogs and any other online presence you can’t manage from six-feet under.
Your estate, your trusts, your personal belongings will come and go… but your social media presence will last forever. It’s time to think about what happens to your friends, followers and connections after you kick the bucket.
To give you a better idea, I’ve decided to share my social media will with you:
I hereby give, devise and bequeath my social media responsibilities in the following fashion:
To my future wife, I leave to you my Pinterest account. Please pin the decorations from the funeral to my board. Do not tell any of my friends I had a Pinterest account.
To my best friend, I leave to you my Facebook account. Please deactivate my account immediately. After three months have passed, re-activate my account and “poke” every single one of my friends to freak them out.
To my mother, I leave to you my Twitter account. Because you have no idea what it is and hearing you mispronounce the twittersphere nomenclature is worth the risk of losing all my followers.
To my father, I leave to you my Foursquare account. Please continually check me into the funeral home until I become mayor. I’m assuming this will only take three check-ins.
To my colleague, I leave to you my LinkedIn account. Please change my occupation to Professional Ghost. Only send connection requests on October 31 and change my profile pic to Slimer from Ghostbusters.
On this sixteenth day of May, 2012, in the County of Orange, I hereby sign this document and declare it to be my last social media will. If this will is not followed, I will haunt you.
What would you include in your Social Media Will? Do you trust anyone enough to handle your online presence?
I have gone 27 years without having a cup of coffee. Let me repeat that. I have gone my entire life without having a single cup of coffee. Some say I have no idea what I am missing, while others shake my hand in awe.
In a business world surrounded by the continual consumption of this caffeinated companion I have stood strong. It’s been my thing. An icebreaker. Something that sets me a part from the rest.
Frankly, I enjoy waking up in the morning without being completely dependent on a substance. I like not having to wait in line at coffee shops behind hipsters and housewives ordering the double chi la mocha ya ta. AND I hear coffee is a gateway beverage.
But, in the name of science, and blog material, I have decided to sacrifice my body and my 27 years of coffee sobriety to bring you information most of you can’t even recall… The first cup of coffee:
6:34 a.m. – Out the door. Anxious to stop by the first Starbucks I see.
6:35 a.m. – Stopping by the first Starbucks I see.
6:38 a.m. – Almost to the front of the line. I am the only one in the store that is not known by name.
6:39 a.m. – I ask the cashier what she recommends for my first cup of coffee. Down side, she laughed in my face. Plus side, I got my first cup coffee (a Pumpkin Spice Latte) on the house.
6:44 a.m. – First sip. Too hot. Try again later.
6:50 a.m. – Second sip. Still pretty hot, but I muster a full swig. The warmth of a thousand fires fills my chest. The taste of fall dances on my tongue as I take another drink. Awful aftertaste.
7:01 a.m. – Get to the office. Notice as I walk through the halls instead of waiving hello I lift my coffee cup and nod instead. I’m that guy. I hate me.
7:03 a.m. – The only way to keep the aftertaste away is to keep drinking. It’s a viscous cycle. Touché Starbucks.
7:36 a.m. – Ripping through my emails like a honey badger. Scratching items off my to-do list before others even pull theirs out. Cant tell if it’s the coffee, or placebo. Don’t care. Gotta work.
7:38 a.m. – First. Cup. Finished.
7:39 a.m. – Bathroom break.
7:58 a.m. – I’m having an outer body experience. Can’t believe I have been missing out on this mystic brew for 27 years.
8:02 a.m. – Bathroom break.
10:22 a.m. – Still powering through my work at unheard of levels. Still don’t know if it is the coffee or placebo. Still don’t care.
11:30 a.m. – Buyers remorse. Had to pee more times before lunch then an entire normal day.
5:40 p.m. – Leaving the office with two days of work completed in one. Don’t remember half the day, I think I blacked out.
Remember when the work day started at 9 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m.? When we use to punch our time cards and work our fingers to the bone until the whistle blew? I certainly don’t, and unless you worked the Ford factory line back in 1932 you probably don’t either.
Times have changed, and the modern workforce is not for the weak minded. Today’s 9 to 5 doesn’t come with a new time schedule; it comes with a new mentality. The ability to shut your mind off as you shut your office door is nearly impossible. In a world where we walk around with our entire office strapped to our hips and our inability to go 30 seconds without a smart phone, it seems like we’re on the job around the clock.
Gone are the days of consideration before and after typical work hours… and here to stay is the complete social contact anarchy that has become the norm. There is a creeping blur between work and our personal lives. From getting Facebook friend requests from co-workers, to happy hour with the staff, the way we look at our professional careers has forever changed.
It’s important to draw the line between work and play… and to assist in giving you the night off, I’m giving away two sets of tickets to 9 to 5: The Musical performing at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts from May 10 – 15. All you have to do is leave me comment below and you’ll be entered to win the grand prize of four tickets or a second set of two tickets to see this new musical comedy direct from Broadway.
Please post your comment by May 5th for your chance to win! Winners will be selected via random.org.
Never win anything? Click here to purchase tickets on your own.
America’s fifth largest county is split in two. Divided by the symbolic ideals that have riddled the most famous rivalries of all time… Hatfields vs. McCoys, Edward vs. Jacob, Charlie Sheen vs. the world. Qualms that pale in comparison to that which looms over our beloved OC… North County vs. South County.
This social squabble and regional rift has forced each one of Orange County’s 3,000,000 inhabitants to find allegiance in one of two camps. It is not a rivalry of violence, but more so conflict of convenience.
South County-ans refuse to drive north of Irvine, unless they are on their way to South Coast Plaza, it’s just a fact. While North County-ites rarely pass south of Tustin without hyperventilating, unless they take the toll road.
Why is that?
We are a great County… owner of the state’s lowest unemployment rate of any metropolitan area. We’ve survived a bankruptcy, awful TV shows and even Octomom… produced a President, sports championships and the Happiest Place on Earth. Accomplishments not of a contentious county, but of a unified region. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the labels of North and South to exist.
Where does your allegiance lie? Is this unhealthy contention or just a harmless brotherly rivalry?
By all definitions I am defined as a member of Generation Y. I am lumped into one giant pot labeled “Millennials” and forced to fend for myself amidst the other 70 million of my kind. We begrudgingly entered the workforce amidst the most volatile economic state since the great depression, only to be faced with short opportunities and long unemployment lines. So, as a self sufficient, eager Gen Y-er , what did I do? I quit my generation.
Somewhere between listening to my Teddy Ruxpin and setting up my Facebook account I realized I didn’t like being a Millennial. The sense of entitlement and starvation for attention wasn’t a brand I wanted to be a part of. Suddenly our opinions are limited to 140 characters or less, and popularity is quantitatively measured by numbers of “friends.”
Don’t get me wrong… I drive a Prius and can set your company up with a dynamic social media strategy with the best of them, but I knew businesses wouldn’t take a kid seriously who’s never scrubbed the black ink off his hands from reading the newspaper.
Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are doing the hiring these days. Wouldn’t you want to appeal to those generations? Until that changes, I will continue to wear a suit every day, use the telephone instead of an email from time to time and write hand written notes when thanking people. It may be unconventional by Gen Y standards, but to a Boomer… it’s a breath of fresh air.
These aren’t the facts… they are just the Princeples.
It’s Wednesday afternoon but the aftertaste of Monday still lingers. You curse the spreadsheet gods and vow to declare war on the next person who refers today as “Hump Day.” Then, without warning, a calendar request pops up entitled “Wine-thirty.”
Yup, it’s office happy hour. With no hesitation you immediately check the invitee list, scanning for the typical landmines… Touchy McGraberston from accounting is not on the list, that’s good. That hussy Heather from Marketing also failed to make the cut, promising. Your boss was invited, but he never goes out, so you’re in the clear… you accept.
Before you loosen that tie and slam down tequila shots, there are a few rules of the office happy hour one should follow:
Arrive late - Punctuality is very important in the workplace. That rule, however, does not apply for happy hour. By arriving late you’re able to survey the scene and assess the situation. Not to mention you completely avoid the awkward conversations while you wait for everyone else to arrive.
Order from the bar - There is no worse feeling then being stuck at a table dividing the tab 13 ways. Order from the bar to avoid this mess and you can be in and out of happy hour quicker then Charlie Sheen at rehab.
NO shots - Nothing good can come from shots. Before you know it you’re standing on some table with your tie wrapped around your head doing your best Christopher Walken impression… and that’s not good for anyone.
Order food - Take advantage of the happy hour specials and grab something to soak up the alcohol. Try not to share… you always want to make sure there is someone more drunk than you.
Know your limits - You certainly don’t want to be classified as the office lush. Be smart and know how much you can handle. Don’t go toe to toe with the office intern with an iron liver, you will lose.
Be smart - Use the happy hour as an extended opportunity to climb the office ladder. People tend to let their guards down in social settings. Use this opening and get to know your colleagues. The best business is done in bars and on the golf course… fact.
Have an out - Always have an excuse or reason for leaving. My personal favorite is “I have to go make dinner for my family.” You come off as caring, considerate and people won’t question you.
These aren’t the facts… they are just the Princeples.