May 26, 2008


I thought it was about time to explain "Fire and Motion."

First and foremost, it's important that you know and understand that I stole this phrase. I actually stole it from someone who...ummm....stole it. My source was an article in Inc. magazine – the columnist "borrowed it" from the military.

Why did I do it? Because I LOVE IT!

“Fire and Motion” is a military tactic that has been adopted by business professionals. (Since I'm now a card-carrying "business professional" I thought it was OK to beat this new-found phrase like a toy drum.)

Here is an excerpt from the magazine that helps explain it:

“You're firing because your enemy has to take cover. He can't fire back at you when he's cowering behind a wall. But firing is not enough. You also have to move forward, or you won't make any progress. Moving forward brings you closer to the enemy. And closer enemies are easier to hit. You need both -- fire and motion -- to accomplish anything.

“Successful business strategies are based on fire and motion, too... the successful company is always the one setting the agenda and forcing competitors to match it.”


That is exactly what we want to do with e-Partners in Giving. (I had some nice metaphorical examples on how we are going to do this – e.g. "bullets" being our partners – but you NEVER know who might stumble on to this blog. I would hate to show our hand just to provide some "spice" to the blog.)

I hope you can forgive me for stealing this philosophy...actually, I hope you steal it from me and apply it to some aspect of your life.


I don't play the lottery until I feel like it's worth my while – somewhere around $32 million. (I guess you could say that $25-30 million just isn't enough for
a "call to action.")

Well, I'm now ready to apply that same idiotic rational
to the gas crisis.

As I passed the gas station on my morning run today, I determined that $3.87 a gallon was my "call to action." (For half a second, I actually considered waiting until it hit $4.)

Your question: Wait for what?

I'm breaking out the bike.

If it's possible, I'm hanging up the truck keys and pedaling my way around Funkytown. (Explanation on "possible"....not 36 miles away away from the house...not a meeting or event where I have to be "fresh"...not the lumber yard to pick up a stack of 2x4s.)

I'm actually excited about this....1) It is healthy; 2) It will help us save money, and 3) I should have AWESOME stories to tell in future blogs.

g g g

I don't care if you're a real estate
agent, college admissions officer, or a stay-at-home mom, this is a
must-read book.

It's a very quick read about "a
personal lesson in extreme

Here is a snippet:

"Love is the ultimate motivation of
the Extreme Leader: love of
something or someone; love
of a cause; love of a principle; love
of the people you work with
and the customers you serve; love of
the future you and yours can create together; love of the business you conduct together every day..."

"Without the calling and commitment of your heart, there's no good
reason for you take a stand, to take a risk, to do what it takes to
change your world for the better..."


The book opened my eyes to something else. I've always thought
about the best compliment I could possibly receive. I've gone back
and forth between several: funny, motivating, and sexy.

Those three are now OUT! There is a new undisputed champion of
compliments: Audacious!

DEFINITION: A bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints.

You might be like me....I've always applied a negative connotation to "audacious." The author, Steve Farber, describes two different types of audacity, though, ego-inspired and love-inspired.

Ego-inspired: "Audacity that is just a pain in the ass."

Love-inspired: "Courageous and bold and filled with valor. It's the kind of audacity that's required to change the world for the better."

I hope it goes without saying...I prefer the latter.

Buy the book! Check it out from the library! Download it to your IPod!

It will be worth it!

g g g

Speaking of a solid read...Gene Wojciechowsk did a GREAT job on this column about my brother-in-law.

May 19, 2008


I have started my third week as CEO/President of e-Partners in Giving, which means I'm now an expert on working from home. (The latter statement is kind of a reach, but I have learned A LOT in a short amount of time about working out of the house.)

I wanted to share a few of my newly-found secrets/advice for anyone who might travel down this same path:

It completely changes your mind-set. When you're firing off an e-mail wearing just your socks OR you're barefooted it just doesn't feel right. I'm not saying to have to slip into your Kenneth Cole Oxfords or your Jimmy Choo stilettos...I put on my Redwings or my Asics. (It doesn't matter what else I'm wearing – or not wearing for that matter ... it's all about the shoes.)

For the first couple of days on my new job, I had an uneasy feeling at the end of the day – kind of like I had just worked in a cave or mine shaft for eight hours. On Day 3, I opened the blinds and my office came alive. I was able to see the sun shining, birds flying by the window, the neighbor's dog urinating on my fence. What a difference!

3. SET ASIDE TIME FOR LUNCH (and a lunch-time "activity")
I'm talking about AT LEAST 30 minutes – that's whether you meet someone for a bite to eat OR walk 20 feet to the kitchen to warm-up leftovers. DON'T make yourself a sandwich and eat it at your computer, firing off that e-mail that could easily wait until you digest your ham and cheese.

Regarding a lunch "activity"... if I stay at the house and eat lunch, I like doing something non-work related before I get back to the grind. Whether it's something low-key like reading the newspaper OR banging out some mindless housework (i.e. dishes, sweep the floor, change out the laundry.) One thing I WON'T do in the middle of the day: Turn on the TV! (I'm afraid TNT will be in the first 15 minutes of the "Indiana Jones" trilogy and my day will be shot.)

Another "activity" of choice ... I do something with the dog – throw the frisbee, practice his tricks, walk him around the block. (I feel sorry for him sometimes...I sit there and bang on my computer all day or talk on my cell phone and he just stares at me. I can tell what he's thinking, too. "HEY! I'm tired of licking my own butt...let's play!")

BTW: Another thing I WON'T do in the middle of the (I save this little addiction for the evening....turn on the Rangers and start typing.)

Make sure you have one thing on your To Do list that entails you getting in your car and driving away from your house. This is VERY important – especially for human contact. (Even if that contact is the high school kid working the drive thru window at Sonic when you swing in for a Java Chiller....

YOU (inserting your straw into your Java Chiller): "So...have you guys been pretty busy today?"
DRIVE THRU GUY (looking confused): "Ummm...I don't know...." 
YOU: "Sometimes when I come here..."
DRIVE THRU GUY (interrupting): "Sir, did you need anything else?"
YOU (taking a long tug on the straw): "Nope...this delicious Chiller is all I need....Have you ever had one?"
DRIVE THRU GUY (being somewhat firm): "Sir....there are four cars behind you...ummmm...would you mind leaving?"

Seriously, get out of the house once a day – even if it's for 15 minutes. Schedule a lunch with a friend, swing by the post office, pick up office supplies at Staples, set-up a satellite office in the public library for a couple of hours. 

The two days I've failed to take this advice....I've wanted to stab myself in the temple with the closest pen.

Whether it's before my day gets started (which I prefer) or after I've "punched the time clock to go home," I HAVE to do something physical – run, do several sets of push-ups and sit-ups, curl some canned goods...SOMETHING! It helps me mentally stay focused and keeps me from feeling like a fatty-patty.

Before this adventure started, I planned on drawing a definitive line in the sand between work and home. Well....that's not realistic – or practical for that matter. Here are a couple mind-sets that have changed over the last two weeks (I've also compared these examples to things I used to do in my "past life"):

BEFORE: The dog HAS to be outside during the "work day."
NOW: That dog isn't bothering me laying on the floor licking himself. Hell, if he wants a little love...I take 23 seconds and pet him.
PAST LIFE: I spent a lot more than 23 seconds just shooting the bull with c0-workers.

BEFORE: No laundry or dishes while I'm "at work."
NOW: If I need clean underwear, I'm going to change out the laundry. If I need a clean fork, I'm going to run the dishwasher.
PAST LIFE: Stupid meetings....I would rather sort dirty laundry or scrub crusty eggs off the skillet than sit in those daily doses of pointlessness. Those chores take A LOT less time and I don't want to jump in front of the closest bus when I'm finished.

Before I finally say "Stop!" at the end of the day, I map out what I have on my plate the next day. I write projects – big and small – on my dry-erase board and I make sure all my meetings or conference calls are on my iCalendar. If I'm waiting on an e-mail or returned phone call, I'll fire off a "Just Touching Base" e-mail to make sure I'm not waiting two days in a row. (The e-mail would say something like, "I didn't hear back from you today, but I wanted to reinforce the importance of us visiting as soon as possible.")

I'm testing several other things (I'll keep you posted):
• Lighting a candle: Helps with the man-and-dog smell that can surface from time to time AND it provides a little Zen to the office.
•  Daily devotional/prayer: This is something that has taken a back seat since I started working out of the house. Getting back on track with this is VERY important to me.
• Lunch with friends: One a week is going to be a MUST. (Please re-read No. 4 if necessary.)

That's it...THE END! (I have to do that or I would just keep writing and writing.)

May 11, 2008


Please watch and I'll explain....

I've had a lot of people ask me about my first week "on the job." Here are several of my standard responses:

• "It was great...a lot different, but great."

• "Busy – the week flew by."

• "To be honest with's hard to STOP working!"

I think a lot of people assumed that getting started every morning would be the hardest part of working from home. 


When you're a card-carrying, due-paying, certified and licensed workaholic it's the END of the day that's hard. 

When you do "clock out?"

There were several times last week – probably around 6 or 6:30 in the evening – when I consciously pushed myself away from the desk and said, "Stop!" (Not that I ran out of things to do – or really even wanted to quit for the day – but if I hadn't stopped right then, I might have pushed until 9 or 10 o'clock that night.)

One of those days, I made myself go outside and mow the yard. (Now I will admit..I checked my e-mail and phone messages between the front and back yard, but that's not really working, right?) After I got done with the yard, took a quick shower, and grabbed a bite to eat, I snuck in another hour of work – mainly laying out my game plan for the next day. 

Some people might think that's sadistic, but remember: Card-carrying, due-paying, certified and licensed workaholic. 

It's important that you know and understand that I am not bragging in any shape, form or fashion – it's a sickness and I'm trying to jump on a wagon that I haven't ridden since I was probably 10 years old (that's when I started cleaning my Dad's office every weekend).

As long as I'm alive, I will work hard. My parents did too good a job to ever change that.

But this new endeavor gives me a tremendous opportunity to treat my sickness – flexibility being the primary antidote. 

If I want to go for a run or bike ride at 10 a.m....I need to DO IT!

If the Rangers are playing an afternoon game in Arlington...GO!

If we start drinking beer and telling big stories at my Mom and Dad's house one Sunday evening...STAY THE NIGHT and drive into Fort Worth the next morning!

(WOW! I would have to play some serious "ketchup" if I went to a 3-hour Ranger game...DANG IT...NO....STOP....WORK TO LIVE, DON'T LIVE TO WORK....COME ON, DREW....YOU CAN DO IT!)

Seriously, without compromising e-Partners in Giving – and anyone associated with this company (mainly my partner and our investors) – I have to embrace my current situation and continue to improve my quality of life. I have to keep reminding myself that's one of the reasons I'm doing what I'm doing.

(BTW: This blog helps me do that. It's a tremendous way to finish off a day "at the office" – write a few paragraphs, Google a little "spice," and then call it a day.)


May 7, 2008


Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson): We follow orders, son. We Follow order or people die. It's that simple. Are we clear?

Lt. James Kaffee (Tom Cruise): Yes sir.

Jessep: Are we clear?

Kaffee: Crystal.

Why would I reach deep into the movie quote book to kickoff my latest post? Because that's exactly what I want to be -- CRYSTAL CLEAR! (Not to mention it's fun to use Google and see if you can find just the right "spice" for your blog.)

This is what I want to be "crystal clear" about: I'm going to work my butt off to make e-Partners in Giving successful. I am passionate and excited about what we're about to do, and I plan on bringing those two characteristics to work with me EVERY day until we reach the summit. 

FYI: Once we get to the summit, we're going even higher!

I realize my excerpt from "A Few Good Men" was a little unnecessary, because if you're reading this blog, you're probably standing proudly in my corner. You might even be one of my friends or family members who said, "If anyone can do can!" 

I'm going to take a break from "the point" of this post...

You have no idea how much those before mentioned comments have meant to me. They gave me a sense of calm confidence and instilled an unmeasurable amount of gratitude. I am humbled beyond words. 

One of these comments actually catapulted towards the cliff, and helped me decide to take the leap of faith. My buddy asked me, "When have you never stepped up to the plate and hit one over the wall?" 

He was right, and now here we go! (Thanks, Nick!)

Soooo (that's how you get back to "the point").....I wanted to share a little tune with everyone. (I also wanted to push my blogging skills to the limit.) Press play on the attached video and listen to the song. The video isn't stellar...that doesn't's ALL about the song.

SONG: "Stumbling on the Edge of Greatness"
ARTIST: Josh Grider
PREMISE: "...a song that anyone who’s ever chased a dream can identify with." (He's singing about a musician in a band, but every time I listen to it I hear about a former newspaper copy editor/coach/marketing guy who had a crazy idea and decided to turn it into a business.)

BTW: Comments are welcomed! Don't be afraid to "love the blog."

May 5, 2008


There was an overwhelming curiosity surrounding my first day as President / CEO of e-Partners in Giving. Here are some of the questions that highlighted my "first day on the job." (BTW: I sincerely appreciated EVERY phone call and e-mail that I received over the course of the day checking on me.): 

* (At 10:30 a.m) "Are you still in bed?"

* (After missing a phone call) "Were you getting your sweat pants out of the dryer?"

* "How was Day No. 1 of working in your boxers?"

* Q: "What was the first thing you did today?" A: "I got out of bed."

* "What time did you start drinking?"

* "Have you ever seen the movie, 'Funny Farm' with Chevy Chase? " (That is going to be a blog in itself – if you haven't seen it...Chevy Chase moves to the country to write the Great American Novel, but does EVERYTHING but that. I'm also going to incorporate a little 'I Am Legend' - a guy and his dog are the only ones alive after a plague wipes out mankind. Needless to say, there were times today when I wished Gus -- my dog -- could talk back.)

* "How many naps did you take today?"

* Q: "Are you mad about the possibility of bad weather today?" A: "No. Why?" Q: "Because of your tee time." 

I will say this...working for yourself -- without having to "clock in" and "clock out" -- is going to take some time to get used to. 

One thing I DID do today, I constantly reminded myself why I did took this leap of faith. Take away the fact that I truly believe in the business model we have set-up. Remove the fact that e-Partners has the unbelievable potential to be very strong brand. Throw out the tremendous opportunity we are providing people to give back. 

This adventure was about me taking control of my life. I've always been a firm believer that if you're not happy with what you're doing -- DO SOMETHING ELSE! Not only are you killing your passion for life, but you're hurting the organization/company/product that you are working for.

I don't really like to talk like this...but if e-Partners fails, I still hope I inspired someone in an unhappy/unfulfilling situation to make a radical change in their life.

This morning I hopped out of bed around 6:30 a.m., showered, got dressed, made a pot of coffee and went to work -- just like I've done...for as long as I can remember. The difference: I felt more liberated and alive than I EVER have before.

Thanks for everyone's support on this amazing adventure!



May 3, 2008


It’s not easy to define the word “adventure.”

As I pedaled my mountain bike up 3,000 feet over 12 miles during my recent trip to Colorado – legs and lungs yearning for a quiet vacation on a tropical beach – I wrestled with my own definition.

When I was screaming down the backside of the mountain – dropping 3,000 feet in 5 miles – I had a pretty good grasp on what I thought an adventure might be.

When you aren’t 100 percent sure what’s coming around the next corner, whether that’s on the side of a mountain or walking down a strange street, you are in the midst of an adventure.

If you apply that definition to my 100-mile bike ride in Colorado, I experienced the adventure of a lifetime.

Here’s the breakdown: Along with a good buddy of mine from TCU, I rode approximately 100 miles over four days through the mountains of the Centennial State. (Once again, that’s Colorado for those not familiar with obscure state mottos.) It was a hut-to-hut ride that was highlighted by single-track excursions, nasty climbs, and “hold-on-to-your-hat” descents.

We topped out at 9,300 feet. We battled sand, wind, and altitude. There was a little blood, a lot of sweat, and maybe one tear when the adventure was finally over.

I kept a crude journal that helped keep the adventure in perspective.

After the first day of riding, I wrote, “Adventure…challenge…pushing your own physical limits.”

If I only knew what the next three days entailed. (I should have had an idea – before the adventure started, I had to fill out a search and rescue permit just in case they had to air-lift my mangled body off the mountain.)

I took a couple of spills my first day on the bike – hence the blood. I was acclimating myself with the climbs and new pair of cleated shoes. (For all of my non-bike-riding friends…imagine having your foot duct taped to the pedal of a bike. Now, when you’re in the wrong gear on the side of a mountain – which literally keeps your pedals from moving – you have to separate your taped foot from the pedal in order to catch yourself. If you don’t you bust your tail.)

Five miles into the ride, I didn’t get my foot separated a couple of times and I honestly thought filling out my search and rescue permit was the smartest thing I had done all morning. (I wish I could say that these “wipe-outs” were worthy of the highlight reel, but I was just falling over.)
As the day progressed, I got more comfortable and finished extremely strong – a 1.5-mile climb described in our directions as “nastiness.” The altitude tested my intestinal fortitude, but I made it to the first hut in one piece.

All part of the adventure.
I was loving it!
g g g

At the start of Day No. 2, I was extremely confident. At the end of the day, I wrote the following phrase in my journal, “Hell came early!”

I was introduced to “hike-a-bike,” which is a stretch of the trail that is un-rideable. You literally have to get off your bike and push it. My first “hike-a-bike” was half a mile, straight up the side of a canyon. (If I failed to mention the rocky terrain, you would miss some of the color from the experience.)

Other highlights from Day 2: By our own stupidity, we got a little lost. It wouldn’t have been too bad if it weren’t for the poison ivy and the fact we generated our own “hike-a-bike.” We probably took a 3.5-mile detour, with half of it off of our bikes, through the poison ivy capital of Colorado.
(Needless to say, I was anticipating a trip to the 24-hour clinic after the ride. At this point of the trip it would have entailed stitches and a steroid shot to combat the poison ivy.)

As you read this on your computer – the air conditioning sending cold chills down your spine from time to time – this might not sound like fun.
I was having the time of my life.
I was pushing my body harder and longer than I ever thought possible; I was in the middle of some of the most beautiful country in the world, and I didn’t know what was going to be thrown at me next – a true adventure!

g g g

Day No. 3: Best riding of the trip, by far – that was with a ¾-mile “hike-a-bike.” (Please re-read the previous “hike-a-bike” paragraph and add another quarter mile of hell.) The third day was mostly single-track and a lot of rolling terrain.

Besides getting a lot more confident and aggressive with my riding, I learned a couple of lessons – trust your instincts and live in the moment. The “trust your instinct” lesson was from another minor detour and the “live in the moment” lesson was generated by the 6-mile descent to the hut. (I had to do everything in my power to not think about riding the same 6 miles uphill the very next morning.)

One of the highlights of the day was when I bathed naked in an irrigation stream after the ride. (It was my first bath/shower in 48 hours. That is the only reason I mention it.)

That night, my buddy and I sat on the porch of the hut (clothes back on) watching the sun race behind one of the canyon walls. That’s when I started to get philosophical. I started thinking about my life – specifically where I’d been, where I am now, and mostly about where I’m going. I think the endorphins from the ride – plus the cold water from the irrigation stream – gave my brain a jump-start.
With my mind going 100 mph, it was hard to fall asleep that night.

g g g

Day No. 4: “I wish I had gotten a better night’s sleep!”
This was the 3,000-foot climb in 12 miles. It was a little more extreme than that, because during that 12-mile stretch, we went downhill for the most parts of mile seven, eight, and nine.

Once we started up for good, I referred to it as the “NeverEnding Incline.” (If you sing that with the tune from the movie “The NeverEnding Story,” it makes the time go by faster.)
As mentioned before, it was a grind going up, but we were shot out of a gun on the way down – 3,000 feet in 5 miles. As I raced down into the canyon, my main focus was the extreme drop-off within arm’s reach, but I also thought about how to make everyone understand this part of the adventure.
Three thousand feet in 5 miles: Take two Sears Towers and stack them on top of each other, connect approximately 25 of those old-school metal slides together – some long, some short, and some curved. Then pour gravel, sand, and dirt from 500 dump trucks down those slides.
Now, it’s time to balance on two wheels and point those handle bars towards the bottom.

The instructions we were given read, “Have fun, be careful, and hang on to your hat.”

We finished Day 4 at the Gateway Resort, where a hot shower, a real bed, and a decent dinner was waiting for us. (The dinner aspect would have been a lot more extreme if we hadn’t eaten so well on the trip…brats the first night, BBQ chicken on Day 2, and cheese burgers in Hut No. 3.)
Reacquainting ourselves with world news – especially Sportcenter – was huge as well.

g g g

Day No. 5: We were done. We had the option of a different kind of adventure on the fifth day – kayaking, tubing, white-water rafting – but exhaustion had crept in during the night. The real bed, ESPN, and our looming journey back home kept us close to our bungalow. We had a great breakfast before we were shuttled back to our cars.

As I drove down the highway out of Fruita, the small Colorado town where the adventure started, I could see the mountains and canyons we had just conquered.
A sense of pride and fulfillment overtook me.
Was it the hardest thing I had ever done? No…the marathon still holds that distinction.
Was it the most exciting thing I had ever accomplished? No…loading everything up and moving to Oregon for a year packed a lot more excitement.
I wasn’t chased by a bear or mountain lion. I didn’t swim a raging river that was miraculously infested by piranhas. I wasn’t forced to battle a forest fire with nothing more than my water bottles.
It was still an adventure, though. One I will never forget.
I boldly did something I never thought of doing, and I quenched my passion for something new and different.
The only remaining question: What’s next?

g g g

Epilogue: There is not a doubt in my mind that my current adventure – e-Partners in Giving – is going to make my other adventurous endeavors (this bike ride, moving to Oregon, running marathons, coaching football, etc.) look like trips to a petting zoo.

As I re-read the final segment of my "column," I couldn't help but smile.
I can't wait until I can re-write these words in regards to e-Partners, "As I drove down the highway...I could see the mountains and canyons we had just conquered. A sense of pride and fulfillment overtook me...I boldly did something I never thought of doing, and I quenched my passion for something new and different."

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