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pain-full feedback

From the outside, things look great.
On the inside, it’s like standing beneath a waterfall.

Photo By Breather

Exhilarating + Overwhelming!

By year 2, I am learning that:

  • Running a business is NOT like running a project – and doing so is detrimental.
  • The older we get as a company, the harder one has to work to communicate; the brand, the vision, the values…
  • Feedback is harder to swallow now, than it was at the beginning. The ultimate paradox is knowing which feedback to embrace vs. reject.
    – – For example, during our last review, our advisors are telling us that our company name (Cast & Crew) is really a problem and it causes a lot of confusion. They say it does a lousy job of explaining what we do – and this is a hinderance. We’ve heard this before, actually, since day one.

My primary job description is to provide clarity – and it seems like a fail when my own branding is a source of confusion.

I am writing this out loud because, to be honest, the conflict that surrounds the name Cast & Crew is driving me nuts!

We chose the name because it explains HOW we work. The contention is that the name should, to some extent, describe WHAT we do.

As we grow, our name seems to be a poignant reminder of our failure to be better communicators – and this is a source of pain.

I have no answers right now.

So… yeah! Onward!

photo credit: Jose Murillo

Thank you Jon!

So July 21st was my son’s birthday, he turned 5 years old.

It was an absolutely perfect day. I took the day off, had breakfast with my boy, and prepared for the insane party (with 30+ kids and their parents).

Tobi's 5th Birthday

My wife throws pretty awesome parties – check out her pinterest pins.

Meanwhile in other parts of the internet, things were completely falling apart for Cast & Crew.

Our newest client’s website was a disaster – seriously, everything that could go wrong with their ecommerce site, was going wrong.

Also, at the time of this writing, we have several projects that are wrapping up – and as you might know, this is when you REALLY have to stay on top of things.

With all of this going on, I did not once open my computer to deal with work.

Yes, I had to chime in over text and read the occasional email while grilling some delicious chicken.

But my partner Jonathan took care of everything!

He granted me the opportunity to be present on this important day for my family – and for this I am eternally grateful!

Thank you Jon. I love you much!

tough stough.

On June 13th 2015, I completed my 3rd ToughMudder challenge.

I have to tell ya – it was the most difficult one yet! I was honestly trying to be in the best shape of any other year – but alas – I felt like a failure almost halfway through.

BUT – I learned more about teamwork at this event more than at any other time in my life.

I learned what it is like to receive empathy.

I mean, pure, true, unfiltered, nonjudgemental, care and concern from people who love you enough to (literally) lift you up from the mud (repeatedly) and genuinely want you to succeed and not quit!

It was humbling.

I am grateful.

And because of my teammates, I was able to finish – strong.

I want to show more empathy:

the ability to be able to understand and share the feelings of another

but I learned this weekend that it is also empowering/refreshing to receive it…

Empathy is perfect when it is reciprocated.

That said, here is the part where I humblebrag on facebook…

Nothing pretty…


I am at a tech conference in Boston this week. The first day was *exteremely* disappointing.

Also dealing with a completely botched Airbnb situation which now essentially has me sleeping on a futon.

Before starting day two, I decided that I need to go sit and clear my head and do some meditation and prayer. And this is the best place I can find.

This day has to be better than yesterday.

I am taking time away from pressing work and time away from the family. I hope that I can make some connections or learn something to make this investment of time and money worth it.

Boston is beautiful, but I can’t find a beautiful place to sit and clear my head. Just the end of the bay with rocks and moss and trash…

So I’ll sit here and give thanks… and get up, and get back to the grind.

(Sorry there is no positive or motivational point to this post – just venting!)