August 25, 2008


I’ve always been told that I would be a good salesman. I’m not exactly sure why … I think it has to do with the fact that I am 100 percent certified in the art of BS.

The more I think about it, though … I guess I have successfully “sold” things in my lifetime.

• As a recruiter for the TCU football team, I “sold” a tremendous school, the chance to get a great education, a winning head coach, and a quality program.

• When I was dating, I had to “sell” myself. (Thank goodness Tanya purchased all of that stock, because the quality “selling points” were somewhat subjective.)

• When I worked in the newspaper industry, I constantly had to “sell” a story idea and/or designs to my editors.

With that experience – plus my certification in bull sh** – I never would have imagined the anxiety and apprehension that was waiting for me when it was time to start selling for e-Partners in Giving.

I think it had to do a lot with this statement:
“I don’t want to screw it up.”

So, I put a lot of pressure on myself.

I bought books on selling techniques.

I Googled “selling tips.”

I wrote out detailed dialogue for conversations.

(Note: You have to read it with the most stereotypical robot voice you can muster to get the full effect.)

“Hi. My name is Drew Myers.
I am the president and CEO of e-Partners in Giving.
We are a brand new company…blah, blah, blah.”

I would wake up in the middle of the night – constantly thinking, “It has to be perfect.”

I wouldn’t eat, because I was too busy pacing around the office/house “practicing.”

I was a mess.

Then I received some of the best advice of my life.
It came from our Director of Giving, Stefanie.

I had asked if we could meet over lunch so she could hear my speech, and I don’t know if it was the robot voice or the apprehension spilling out of my eyes, but she said the most profound statement in the world at that moment.

“What are you so worried about?
Just be yourself – be Drew!”

It was like she gave me my life back with two simple words that I’ve known and tried to live by for 99.9 percent of my life: “BE DREW!”

Now, I simply remind myself every morning to simply be myself and attack the day.

Stefanie’s advice has become a lot more relevant lately, because I’ve seen this statement on more than one occasion: “You need to be branding yourself.”

I guess the market saturation of blogs, social networking sites, and online professional networks has made “Brand U” a hot topic.

Here is my brand: What you see is what you get! (You can brand a cliché, right?)

I feel like it’s more important to be authentic than something or someone you're not. (That includes posting pictures of myself with my mouth wide open – that’s how I’ve taken pictures since junior high. That’s me. That’s me “being Drew.”)

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite books. (The page has been “dog-eared” for years): “Be natural! The only way to be somebody is to be yourself. Trying to wear another’s personality is as unnatural as trying to wear his teeth, and just as nauseating. A comical, obnoxious sham!”

What’s ironic about that statement: I’ve been called obnoxious MANY times in my life.

Just think how obnoxious I would have been if I wasn’t being myself.


(No. 34 Serve on the board – or as an advisor – for a non-profit organization)

I am discussing this potential opportunity with the executive director of
Frog House, which is TCU’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

e-Partners in Giving has submitted a proposal to Frog House in order to take part in its efforts for the 2008-09 school year. We have a meeting later this week to finalize the partnership, which includes a possible advisory position for me with their fundraising team.

I sat in on an orientation Saturday, and I was blown away by Habitat for Humanity as an organization and the TCU students in charge of the project.

A representative from Habitat came to the meeting and reinforced that “Habitat for Humanity is NOT a ‘hand out’ to these families. It’s a hand up.”

I love that!

I’ve had several “blog readers” share how they are giving back – through donations or volunteering. I want to keep hearing about ALL these efforts.
Not only does it warm my heart, I firmly believe that sharing these stories helps motivate others to give back.

• Donna Biasatti, a friend who works at TCU, is volunteering at Cook Children’s Medical Center.

• My sister, Susan, told me this weekend that she wants to be a part of our Habitat for Humanity Build build.

• Coach Gary Patterson and his wife Kelsey donated 150 brand new
T-shirts to Presbyterian Nigh Shelter through Coach Patterson’s foundation.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 20, 2008


A few months ago, I posted "Our Story," which gave a general overview of e-Partners in Giving. I thought I would share Part II to that story. This is content directly from our web site and one of the first glimpses behind the e-Partners' curtain:

“How did you 
come up with that idea?” told by President/CEO of e-Partners in Giving, Drew Myers

I love it when people ask me that question, because I LOVE telling this story.

It was the spring of 2007, and I was camping by myself just south of Fort Worth.

I was working in the Athletics Department at Texas Christian University at the time, and I just needed to get away and clear my head. I woke up in the middle of the night and had a random thought about my boss and his son, who was about to celebrate his first birthday.

“When is his birthday?” I whispered to myself. “It should be coming up pretty soon. I don’t want to get him a toy he’s going play with once, or buy him a book that someone might read to him once or twice.”

At this point of the story, I would like to say: I have NO IDEA why I was thinking about this at 3 a.m. in the middle of the woods.
Back to my late-night thoughts:

“I really wish I could donate to a scholarship fund in his name,” I thought to myself. And with that one thought, a business idea was born. Over the next several hours, the idea began to come alive. “This is bigger than just accepting donations for a little kid’s birthday party,” I thought to myself. “What about weddings? Graduations? Funerals?”

That’s when my idea started to get legs, especially regarding memorial donations. There would be a solid market for the other occasions, but collecting donations for funerals could be HUGE. 

I probably fell back asleep around 5:30 a.m. – a good 2.5-hour brainstorming session within the confines of my tent – but a few hours later, I jumped up and rummaged through the trashcan at my campsite. I was feverously searching for the obituaries that ran in the newspaper the day before. 

Once I found the section, I spread out the paper on the tailgate of my truck and circled each memorial request with a pen. “In lieu of flowers, the family requests…” I don’t remember how many I circled that day, what I DO remember is the fact most of them listed the address of the non-profit organization OR didn’t list any contact information at all.

“People are still writing checks to these charities?” I thought to myself. “I can’t remember the last time I wrote a check to anyone.”

Now, the seed was firmly planted.

A couple of weeks later – during a conversation with my mom – my idea received a kick-start and began to grow into what it is today. I told her my idea and she told me that she had three checks, sitting by her computer, just waiting for her to go online and look up the address. 

“Then I have to address the envelope, find a stamp, and put it in the mail,” she said. 

My response: “What if you could go to one web site, make the donations using a debit or credit card and be done with it?” 

Of course she said that would be awesome and e-Partners in Giving was off and running.

Over the last year and a half, we have put together a business plan that focuses on convenience and security – not just for the person making the donation, but also for the person or family requesting the donation. We have put together a solid team that lives and breathes the ideals of our corporate character.

We are excited about changing the world –
one donation at a time.

NOTE: We have received a lot of guidance and help during the course of this start-up endeavor – every ounce of it appreciated more than we can express on this web site. A whole-hearted “thank you” only begins to capture our sincere gratitude. There is NO WAY that e-Partners in Giving would be where it is today with your help. (This note is directed to anyone, who is thinking, “Is he talking to me?”)


“Life is not measured by its duration, but rather by its donation. We are not measured by the distance we travel, but by the difference we make.”

NOTE: This was sent to me by my business partner; she heard it at the funeral of former State Representative Buddy West. I'm not sure the origin of the quote, but it is GREAT!

August 18, 2008


Here is a quick rundown of recent activity on "My List":

MARK IT OFF (tasks completed)

• No. 32 
(Inspire someone else to do 101 things)
I'm keeping a running list of people who say that I helped push them off the ledge and tackle this project. I'm also listing my favorite task from each list.

• No. 71
I've had a lot of people ask me about the compost bin. Three things inspired me to put this on my list and complete it so quickly:

1. I wanted to prove – mostly to myself – that I could be "handy" with a circular saw and nail gun.

2. Tanya has done a great job with our flower beds and I thought I could do my part – supplying the compost.

3. For the last few months, Tanya and I have done an admirable job recycling. Now, we're trying to keep our total trash output to one bag a week. Putting our biodegradable scraps in the compost bin should help out considerably. (If we could just find an alternative use for ALL the plastic bags we throw away – newspaper, Zip-lock, etc.)

ON MY WAY (tasks started)

• No. 80 
(Eat a hot dog & drink a beer 
I went to the Rangers-Rays game on Sunday night (Aug. 17th); I didn't think the Ballpark in Arlington was going to be a problem before 2011, but I figured that I had to start somewhere. Thirteen more ballparks to go.

• No. 27
(Accumulate 1,000 volunteer hours)
I'm only at seven, but this number will continue to grow steadily over time.

ON THE HORIZON (upcoming tasks)

• Signed up for No. 43 
(Participate in “Yoga Flow in the Japanese Garden”)
Classes start on Sept. 11th

• No. 45
Men's Fraternity held at McKinney Memorial Bible Church, starting Sept. 24th. Focus of 16-session study: Winning at Work and Home

August 16, 2008


Have you ever been asked to define the word “integrity?”

Think about it for a second.

Tough, isn’t it?

Actually, it’s probably more frustrating than anything, because you know exactly what it is. Applying an actual definition is a different story, though.

When you finally do come up with something – which you will – I would be curious to compare it to the definition provided by 10 other people. I’m pretty positive that there would be no duplications.

All of the answers would be correct, but all definitely different.

Look it up in Webster’s or – more differences.

This isn’t the only word that falls into this vocabulary labyrinth – what about “character” or “values?”

Some people even have trouble with “love” and “freedom.”

I would like to make a formal case for the word “marketing.”

Disagree? Define it.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia’s defintion:

“Marketing is an ongoing process of planning and executing the marketing mix …blah, blah, blah.”

Not the way I would have gone, but the entire post is correct, nonetheless. How did it compare to your definition?

That’s what I love about Wikipedia – there is almost an overload of information. By the time you scroll to the bottom of a subject, I bet you could say, “See…I was right!”

In regards to “marketing,” I did just that.

My definition of “marketing” falls under the header “The Four New Ps.”

Here it is…

“Personalization: It is here referred customization of products and services… this concept is further extended with emerging social media and advanced algorithms…. blah, blah, blah.”

I would have probably put it in laymen’s terms:

“It BETTER have MY name or picture on it.”

I definitely would have moved it closer to the top of the page. In my opinion, this is the key to marketing in today’s world – put the customer in the product.

Maybe this will help explain:

When you’re selling home security….it’s not about seeing a stereotypical suburbia house being protected – I want to see MY house being kept safe and secure.

If your marketing campaign is designed to associate sharing a bucket of chicken with quality family time…don’t show me some happy, fictitious family sitting around some random dining room table – show MY family throwing back some drumsticks at MY parents' house.

I was recently introduced to two marketing campaigns that applied this principle. Both used sports teams that I hold close to my heart and made me pay attention to what they were selling.

XM Satellite Radio
(Major League Baseball package)
Campaign: “Every Team. Every Game.”

Personalized Marketing: “Bobble Yourself” (Build your own bobble head wearing your favorite team’s uniform.)

TCU Athletics
(2008 football season tickets)
Campaign: “Get With The Program”

Personalized Marketing: Picture of me suited up for the Horned Frogs, ready to run out of the tunnel in Amon G. Carter Stadium.

I wanted to share them with you:

don't forget to click "Play" on the next screen

These two campaigns put ME in the product, and I LOVED it!

One more quick question: How would you define “vanity.”

August 13, 2008


When I made my "101 List," I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't let it consume my blog. I saw flashes of my posts constantly focusing on logistical issues, like....

.... how am I going to visit 58 national parks – one located in American Samoa – by May 2011?

... how am I going to bank roll this little project? 
(I thinking it will end up costing me $100,000.)

.... when am I going to have time to work?

I definitely want to keep everyone updated on my progress, but do you really care that I only have a one-month window each spring to accomplish No. 13 – riding with storm chasers? (Or that fact it's going to cost me $2,600.)

Anyway....I thought I would go ahead and break that little promise to myself right out of the gate. I have two reasons for already blogging about "The List":

1) I marked off my first task.

2) I have some small nuggets of advice for anyone thinking about making the radical leap and making a list of their own. I've already heard whispers that some of my friends and family members are considering it, which is AWESOME, but heed my warnings.

(BTW: If you DO lay out 101 things to do in 1001 days, please forward me a copy of your list and confirm that I was your inspiration....I would LOVE to keep my momentum going a scratch No. 32 off my "List")

(in honor of the Michael Phelps whipping tail in Beijing)

Scratch it off – No. 51 is no more! (For those that haven't memorized my list...that was: "Participate in a wine tasting.") Last night, Tanya and I attended one in Dallas.

Here is an actual conversation before we went:

FRIEND: "Are you guys crashing it?"

ME: "No."

FRIEND:  "Did somebody invite you after they read your list?"

ME: "I think it's just a coincidence." 

FRIEND: "Oh...I thought they felt sorry for you because you hadn't accomplished anything on your list yet?"

WELL NOW I HAVE....AND THERE IS NO STOPPING ME! (Still only 14 American League ballparks, one Fathead, and a $1 million to go!)

Here are a few highlights from my wine-tasting experience:

• Paul, the leader of the wine tasting (pictured right), referred to himself – in all seriousness – as the "Wine Master." (Love it! Love it! Love it!)

• I tried 14 different wines – some were awesome, while others tasted like astringent. 

• I learned there are certain wines that actually go well with turkey. (Again ... astringent.)

• I learned Ritz crackers cleanse your pallet between "tastes."

• I learned that you actually don't spit out the wine in buckets if you don't like it. There is a bucket, but it's for pouring out wine you don't prefer and/or emptying your glass after you wash it with water.

• I learned that "flabby" is actually an appropriate description for wine. (FYI: Lacks acidity.)

• I purchased a nice bottle of Dos Rojos – the Wine Master described it as "a wine that will put hair on your knuckles." 

Here is a little preface to my advice: I'm sticking to my guns on my list. Even though I've second-guessed myself about 136 times over the last week. I refuse to change and/or amend my original list. are some things EVERY potential "list maker" should think about:

• You are only dealing with so many seasons
If you make your list "official" in the next couple of weeks, you only have two summers for those dream vacations. On a positive note, if you have a lot of activities that involve the snow, you'll have three winters to get those tasks done.

• Money talks and... better be paying attention. A trip to Italy, Australia, and South Africa by 2011 sounds awesome, but if you have to exhaust your children's college fund in order to do it ... not so awesome. Keep in mind that doing really cool things costs a lot of money, too. 
(e.g. Riding in a hot air balloon: $175; Skydiving: $295; Buying a round of drinks for an entire bar: Who knows ... priceless, I guess.)

• Embrace life's simple pleasures
I kind of wish I had more things like No. 47 ("Order a double scoop of ice cream") or No. 58 ("Let my dog play in the ocean.") Just take that hind site for what it's worth. (To help you understand, re-read the first two bullet points.)

• "Giving Back"
I love the tasks that fall under this header on my "List." I definitely stretched myself in this area, but I think that's why I love it so much. I encourage you to put some emphasis on the causes in this world that tug at your heart strings.

"...With My Wife"
I'm really glad I created this category, but I'm excited that Tanya is going to share A LOT more than those seven tasks. My advice: Include your spouse. I really think you'll enjoy your "List" a lot more.

• More focus on "Spiritual Life"
I wish I had more tasks under this category. I think I got too caught up in the "big ticket items," forgetting that any task listed under that header ARE the most important. Like I said, though, I'm sticking to my guns. I unveiled the list to the world, and I'm going to do every last task on it. This is something I am going to do, though – I'm dedicating my entire "List" to Jesus Christ. I'm treating it like a gigantic thank you note to Him for allowing me to truly live an adventurous and amazing life.

Here are three Bible verses that exemplify this journey of 101 tasks in 1001 days:

Brothers, I do not consider myself 
yet to have taken hold of it. 
But one thing I do: 
Forgetting what is behind 
and straining toward what is ahead, 
I press on toward the goal to win the prize 
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

g g g

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.

– Psalm 36: 8-10

g g g

So I commend the enjoyment of life, 
because nothing is better for a man under the sun 
than to eat and drink and be glad. 
Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days 
of the life God has given him under the sun.
– Ecclesiastes 8:14-16

August 8, 2008


When I was training for my first marathon, I told anyone and everyone exactly what I was doing. Any opportunity I had – whether they really cared or not – I was shooting off my mouth about my plans to run 26.2 miles.

"I'm running a marathon in February."

"I'm training for my first marathon."

"I ran 12 miles today – getting ready for next month's Cowtown Marathon."

I know a lot of people simply thought I was bragging and/or full of myself, but that wasn't the case at all. (Not in this instance, at least.)

I was telling people in order to keep leverage on myself – I felt like the more people I told, the bigger idiot I would appear to be if I didn't actually follow through and do it.

"I HAVE to keep going," I would tell myself on those brutal 18-mile training runs. "I've already told half of Fort Worth that I was going to run this thing!"

The purpose of this blog post is to apply that same leverage.

I was recently introduced to a phenomenal activity that focuses on living life to the fullest. (At least that’s how I perceived it.)

It's a very simple concept: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

When I first read about the project, I was intrigued – but definitely not sold. I started looking at other people's lists and realized that a lot of them had done it wrong – or at least missed the point of the exercise.

You see, there are very specific rules:

• Tasks must be specific

• No ambiguity in the wording

• The result must be measurable OR clearly defined

• Tasks must be realistic, but also must be stretching (requiring some amount of effort to accomplish)

This is what I mean when I say people were doing it wrong:

"I want to be more disciplined" (Ummm....How exactly do you measure that?)

"Mop" (Yes, that is very realistic. Stretching? Not so much)

"Love my job" (Again, is that actually measurable?)

"Find a new smell" (My all-time favorite.)

There were some people who created complex equations – completely ignoring the instructions to make the tasks "clearly defined":

"Go to church for eight straight Sundays, twice, three times a year." (Huh?)

"Drink only one soda a week for three consecutive weeks, six times." (Ummm...the SAT just called and they want their math problem back.)

Even though I turned into the "task snob" – and was somewhat disappointed with the rest of society – I started falling in love with the whole idea. I looked at the list as a road map to a 143-week, hold-on-to-your-hat adventure.

The instruction to “stretch yourself” made me smile.

I started making a list (just to test the waters) – No. 1, 2, 3..

The questions started to swirl: “Will I actually be able to do that.”

No. 12, 13, 14…

“Is that really ‘stretching’ myself?”

No. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30….

“Is it supposed to be this difficult?”

No. 55, 56…

“Am I really going to do this?”

No. 89, 90, 91…

“Why can't I sleep?”

No. 100…

“Are there enough hours in the day to actually pull off that task?”

No. 101

There was no turning back. My list was done.

I challenged myself on some tasks. (No. 85 Meet the President of the United States).

I also slipped in a few simple pleasures that many of us take for granted (No. 47 Order a double scoop of ice cream).

I'm happy with my list and I'm excited about the amazing possibilities between now and May 4, 2011.

Now it's time to apply the leverage…

August 3, 2008


When I started volunteering in the football office at Blinn College, I was immediately given a very important title: "Coach." 

I didn't have to sign a piece of paper, making it official. I didn't have to fill out a registration form or apply for a special card to carry in my wallet. 

In a blink, I was "Coach Myers." 

Even though I felt like an impostor with a whistle for a while, every time someone referred to me as "Coach," it made me smile the biggest smile. That title was a constant reminder of the wild and crazy ride I took in order to accomplish that dream. I loved it.

As time passed, I felt less and less like an poser, because I began to grow in my new profession. I started to realize there was so much more that went along with that title. The responsibility. The organization. The student-athletes. The passion. The caring. The game.

I loved all of that more than the title itself.

When I walked away from TCU to launch e-Partners in Giving last May, I had a flash of deja vu. The first day I sat down in my home office, the titles "president" and "CEO" were firmly attached to my name. special ceremony. No application form. 

And just like my first day on the football field, I felt like a complete phony. 

But just like it did at Blinn, the awkwardness started to fade. Now, I feel more comfortable referring to myself as "president" and "CEO." All it took was the appreciation of the day-to-day responsibility and a constant reminder of the consequences.

I also think about all the people who are relying on me, and how I refuse to let them down.

I recently saw this Q&A feature in Inc. Magazine:

Q: What are the skills I need to become a CEO in more than a name?

There were three pieces of advice from the answer that stood out to me and inspired me to take action.

A: "Start the transition by taking down from your wall those framed employee-appreciation awards. CEOs seek validation from profits and happy customers, not from a proud boss."

Action: I took down my "Teammate of the Month" certificate given to me for my "outstanding performance" in the TCU Athletics Department.

A: "Hang in its place a poster board in which you've inscribed a single word: strategy. 'If you can do only one thing, set and maintain a strategy for the company,' says Matt Bowen, president and CEO of Aloft Group."

Action: I did just that. Now, hanging on the wall, is a framed "STRATEGY" with Bowen's comments written above it. I also added two quotes by Emerson and a homeless man I met while living in Oregon. (You have to read it to completely understand.)

A: "Next to that strategy poster, hang a second sign of equal size that reads people...You have to hire the right people, and then create an environment in which they can thrive."

Action: I did that, too. Hanging just below my "Strategy" sign is my "People" sign. Accompanying the 200-point reminder is two more quotes. I called on Henry Ford and Vince Lombardi to drive home the point.

The article concluded by saying: "Strategy and people are the concerns of leadership. And that's what you are now: a leader."

Maybe "Coach Myers" hasn't hung up his whistle and retired. The game has simply changed. 

(Finishing up the metaphorical comparison: What do you think my web developer or lawyer would do if I told them to drop and give me 25 push-ups?) 



A good friend of mine recently started a unique and touching series on her blog. It's called "A Month of Gratitude." They are quick notes about things in her life that she is grateful for. On her first post, she described the project as "an attitude of humble gratefulness for the good, and often under-appreciated, people and things in my life."

In her first three days, she wrote about her husband, her son, and someone who smashed into her car.

Even though you don't know her, I encourage you to visit the blog:  Life With the Schroeders


Big Brothers Big Sisters: I have been matched with an incredible young man named Anthony. He is 12 years old and lives here in Fort Worth. In the last two weeks, we have gone to the movies, played tennis, and gone to the water park. One of my daily prayers is that I can be a positive influence in his life.

The WARM Place: Twice a month, I am serving as a house parent for this Fort Worth-based organization. The WARM Place provides grief support services for children and their families who have experienced the loss of a significant relationship through death. 

Presbyterian Night Shelter: Still need specific items for the dispensary, including vitamins, foot powder, razors, deodorant, and antibiotic ointment.  The shelter also needs school supplies, underwear (all sizes), socks (all sizes), and 10 infant pack-and-plays.


"God’s definition of success 
is really one of significance – 
the significant difference our lives can make 
in the lives of others. 
This significance doesn’t show up 
in win-loss records, long resumes, 
or the trophies gathering dust on our mantels. 
It’s found in the hearts and lives of those 
we’ve come across who are in some way 
better because of the way we lived." 

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