Archive | October 2005

balance

Since my last post, I’ve really been on a roller coaster ride. On one hand, things have been really good, the business is moving along, and for the most part my mom feels fine, but on the other hand there’s some scary stuff out there. But I guess really that’s the way life is. There’s always some “scary stuff” potentially just around the bend, and it’s really amazing how much more weight the scary stuff seems to carry. It’s definitely true that my mom has a mammoth hill to climb to full recovery and in fact if you look at the statistics, you’d say that the survival rate doesn’t look good. But none of that matters anymore. We’re not looking at the scary stuff, we’re not giving it any weight. And the only stat I know is that Laurie Putt’s survival rate is 100%. Because I believe that beating a disease within the body isn’t about statistics, miracle drugs, or miracle doctors. It’s not out of your control. It’s all within you, it’s all inside you, and it can ultimately be freed by you. I don’t think we’ve figured out how to do this yet (obviously), but I know it is possible to heal yourself. It just makes sense that just as you can wiggle your toes by thinking it, you can heal yourself by thinking it (focusing on the right thing). It bothers me that people put so much weight in modern medicine to “save them.” There definitely is some amazing stuff that can be accomplished by some pills and surgeries, but none of that can heal you unless you allow it.

For those of you who have met my dad, you know he is a pretty loud, easy going, yet stubborn guy who will rarely take no for an answer. He’s been known to fight with the airlines, hotel chains, rental car agencies, and just about anyone else who has ever given him poor customer service and tried to charge him for it. So it was no surprise last year when he faced off with a deadly case of necrotizing pancreatitis, he blew right through it. If you don’t know anything about the pancreas (why would you?), it’s extremely sensitive and pretty much any problems with it are deadly. Pancreatic cancer has a near 0% survival rate, pancreatitis is usually no big deal if treated properly, but necrotizing pancreatitis (when the pancreas’ enzymes begin digesting itself) is almost always deadly. That’s what my dad developed last August. He went from eating a business lunch in Austin, TX on a tuesday, to riding in an ambulance on tuesday evening, to breaking out of the hospital in a haze-fighting with doctors and nurses (it wasn’t my dad, it was some effects of the pancreatitis affecting his brain) , to being found in an alley near his hotel (4 miles from the hospital), to needing life saving surgery (they decided not to), to getting back on the phone complaining about service a week later. Needless to say, it was an agonizing week for my family. He was fine, he was crazy, he was going to die, he was fine. So I know that his stubbornness ultimately pulled him through (with the help of some good doctors). And I know only one other person in this world more stubborn than my dad, my mom.

The survival rate for laurie putt is 100%.
If you know anyone who is currently fighting cancer, you can order them the shirt I’ve created for my mom to wear to her treatments. Zazzle.com is ana amazing website that lets you create a t-shirt with ease. Check her’s out here (she ordered the pink version, but you can get any color)

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reaching

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My mom, my sister, and I at my sister’s wedding in June.

it’s amazing how life can change with a few words. My mom has been fighting breast cancer for over a year now. It’s a subject I haven’t talked about much because her wishes have been for everyone to remain positive and live their lives normally. And quite frankly, being out of town it’s been pretty easy to do just that. I’ve just sort of pushed it into the back of my head, feeling that she would be fine in time. I never really knew her condition, other than it wasn’t your run of the mill cancer. She’s been undergoing chemo for a year now, as well as focused on the healing of herself within. She’s a believer that life is a journey chosen by ourselves, and we’re meant to learn some key lessons throughout it. If we miss an opportunity to learn a lesson, it simply returns on a slightly more aggressive scale. So for example, problems with trust first start as issues with your friends in grade school. You’re unable to learn the lesson there, so it comes back in your teenage years as jealousy with your girlfriend. IF you miss it there, it comes back as problems with your wife. The lesson is coming because you requested it, you’re destined to learn it. My mom believes this breast cancer is an aggressive lesson coming back to be learned. She believes her body has the power to heal, to refresh itself, and she’s working to do just that.

I was shattered to my knees this morning when I heard that my mom’s cancer had spread to her brain. It took me so long to simply write that sentence above. It scares the hell out of me. My mom and I have relied on each other for so long. It was just her and I sinceI was about 10. We had some incredibly hard times, but we healed each other and learned great lessons about the world. She’s so strong, and so scared. Quite frankly, I would do anything to help her heal. She’s so strong, so smart, so loving, and the world to me. She’s in hospital now for the first time since she gave birth to me. She hates hospitals. I want to be with her, but she insists that my sister and I continue on with our lives as she works on healing. She knows this is her journey, and hers to fix. Currently she is in Houston at the Burzynski Clinic, an alternative treatment center. Traditional medicine can’t help my mom at this time, it’s time for her to heal herself (along with some help from Burzynski). I’m in one of those nightmares where everything around me seems so empty. Yesterday I was obsessing over my business, frustrated with the way things were going, with how someone didn’t respond to me or something has not been finished. Now, I could care less. Ignorance is truly bliss. I’m staying away from google…I know there are bad stories and articles about the Burzynski clinic and his treatment strategies. I’m staying away from time frames, statistics, and percentages. I’m focusing on my mom. She’s too important, too loved, and too strong to go anywhere. I believe in the power of good thoughts.

Please have a good thought, prayer, meditation, or send positive intentions my mom’s way today. And please pass this on to others who can do the same.

Back in the haze

My mood is a very predictable thing. Although I’m usually very optimistic, and excited about my business ventures, I always have periods of doubt or as I like to call it: the haze. The haze for me means lack of direction, a shortage of that “can do,” and “opportunity everywhere,” state of mind. When I’m in the haze my creative spirit dries up, my broad shoulders weaken, and usually everything within my company comes to a screeching halt. And despite having 3 members on board with this company I’m currently working on, this haze is the same as all the others.
I’m a firm believer in the power of intention. I won’t get into how or why I think it works, but I do believe in it. And I truly believe that if you believe (sorry for over using the word) in receiving something you ask for (I don’t mean believe like you believe the White Sox are going to win the world series, I mean believe like you know where you are sitting right here and right now with all your mind and body), you will get it. The real beauty of this mindset is that as things you asked for start coming to fruition, you ask for more and more, and receive more and more.
But when I’m in the haze, I don’t ask for anything-actually I can’t even think of things I want. It’s like trying to suck that pesky ice cube off the bottom of a McDonald’s cup, you know it’s there because you can hear it rattling, but no matter how much you shake and pound it won’t drop into your mouth. That’s how my brain feels in the haze. I know there are thoughts rattling around because they were overflowing last week, but now it’s just a teasing blur. The whole point of this post is an attempt to learn how to quickly crawl out of the haze. I have learned a few things that always seem to happen when “in the haze.”

  • Frustration: I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and stuck. I quickly go into action, aggressively reaching out to others I’ve never spoken to before in hopes they can provide an answer or some guidance. This ultimately is how I’ve made most of my best connections over the last 6 months
  • Beating myself up: The haze usually comes (interestingly enough) during a period of exercise neglect. When I miss a few days of exercise, I beat myself up about it. And as I beat myself up about it, my body and spirit gets beat down, thus making it harder for me to wake up and exercise in the first place, which then encourages more beating. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • I reach out for a schedule: It’s funny how much I hate being told what to do and when, yet I yearn for a solid schedule of exercise, work, and fun. In a time of haze, I seek out what seems o be a fix: the ultimate, organized schedule. The funny thing is once the schedule pulls me out of the haze, it begins to fall apart.

I’m starting to think that the haze is a result of trying to hard instead of believing and allowing. It’s like scolding yourself for not going to sleep, and then trying to force it. Everyone knows the more you think about falling asleep, the more you beat yourself up for not doing it, the harder it is. It’s only in the moment of letting go, that sleep comes without any trouble. So here are my goals for exiting the haze:

  • Deep breath, release- it doesn’t have to happen all at once, believe and allow
  • exercise, not to prevent the beating up, but to keep the juices flowing
  • connect with 5 people I’ve never spoken to
  • enjoy the haze- it’s part of who I am, and it’s my body telling me to take a step back and reconnect with what’s important
  • meditate

Life’s about the journey, not the destination. The haze isn’t too bad, actually. It’s a change of scenery.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich: On greed and speed

I read a fantastic blog post today on iwillteachyoutoberich.com

As an entrepreneur, people often assume I’m doing this for the money. They think I’m going for the quickest way to the biggest buck, oh how wrong they are. If I were pursuing this path for money, I would’ve left a long time ago. I graduated from OSU last December, but most of my friends graduated the June before that. They all have secured themselves decent jobs, that pay them decent money in a very stress free 9-5 kind of way. I on the other hand have scraped to get by on my way to starting 3 companies, one of which paid me just enough to get by, one that cost me money, and one that has yet to pay me a dime (although it’s coming). If money was the ultimate driver for entrepreneurs, I would’ve been out of here a long time ago. But as he touches on in the article above, being an entrepreneur is not about getting rich quick, it’s about creating value in something you believe in. I went after Engenius Motors ( the second company that cost me money) because I KNEW that my advanced internet understanding could be packaged and offered to everyday people as a hassle free way to sell a car for more money. Ultimately that flopped due to some major laws I came up against. When I worked on Enviar (my first company that actually made money) I knew that my love of gadgets, and openess to international commerce offered entrepreneurs abroad access to the latest, and greatest tech toys at even better prices. I’ll admit this first company was created more about the money, but as I developed more partnerships worldwide I began to see the big picture. Bottom line, being an entrepreneur is not about getting rich. I have so many friends who “will open their own businesses,” and the first thing they go to is “we can make a ton of money.” And I know right there, they are no entrepreneurs. Entrpreneurs are driven by the need to create value, by the need to make something better, by the need to share their passion. The money? That follows the passion. What are you passionate about?

Advanced Email Filters

Brad Feld, a blog I read regularly, has a great post about a growing problem, information and email overload. We have for the most part successfully eliminated spam from our inbox lives. In gmail I receive maybe 5 pieces of spam a week, which is nothing compared to the hundreds I see added in my spam folder throughout the week. But we are now reaching a point where email is a necessary form of communication, and some people are getting close to 500 pieces a day. That’s impossible to work through, and it’s highly unlikely they’re ALL important. As Brad discusses in his post, we can adapt some of the features used to effectively eliminate spam to put them to use on filtering emails on a more prioritized basis, thus making our inboxes smart.

Via Brad Feld:
“Now – if we could turn these same spam elimination systems – which work automatically in the background (e.g. I use Postini and spam simply disappears – I never think about it anymore) – into “email prioritization systems” (e.g. spam has priority=null, email from Amy or my mother has priority=immediate, email from my partners has priority=high) where the priorities are automatically tuned by my pci based on my behavior things become more interesting. Finally – add one more layer of abstraction – my pci knows when I am ready to received different priorities and presents them to me only when I’m ready”

From his comments section I found a cool little company called clearcontext, which is working towards this sort of solution for outlook. I think I’ll just wait for google to integrate that into gmail. I’ve moved out of the outlook world, and I’d prefer to stay out. In fact I’ve emailed google many times about basically offering their gmail product as competition to outlook for corporate customers. Please google, please…hey the advertising pays for itself.

“Great companies aren’t born, they’re grown”

Via 37 signals:

“Apple started in a garage. Dell started in a dorm room. Starbucks started with a single store. Nike started out of a car trunk. Crate & Barrel started with a single store without budget for displays so they used shipping crates and barrels to display their products. Anthony Maglica started making Mag Lights in his garage. Google started as a thesis. eBay and Amazon share similar stories. Great companies need to grow into great companies. They need room to make mistakes. They need room to go unnoticed for a while. They’re just like people. Be ambitious, but grow into it.”

I’ve always loved working on my business at Cup O Joe. It’s a place where I can really focus, yet revel in the excitement of going after my own dreams. Some people look at my daily routine of working in my “office,” (cup o joe) as a sad scene. They see me as a college boy who just won’t get a real job. I bet some of those guys above got the same reactions from some of their peers- “what are you doing?” I’m going after my dreams.