Friday, April 21, 2017

The Perfect Workday: Febreze and The Liberal Redneck

The Perfect Workday: Febreze and The Liberal Redneck: I have a confession…wait…no…well, yes…I did steal a Z off the Chapel Hill Pizza Hut roof in 1973. But, it was a for a good cause! It was Pa...

Febreze and The Liberal Redneck

I have a confession…wait…no…well, yes…I did steal a Z off the Chapel Hill Pizza Hut roof in 1973. But, it was a for a good cause! It was Paul Zuerner’s birthday and, well, he’s a good guy.

(Sorry, I digress)

My confession is that I absolutely LOVE the new Febreze commercials. “I love youuuuu, but sometimes you stinnnnnk!” Go to the bottom of this blog and you should be able to click on and see it. Whoever the singer is, she’s wonderful.

Now, here comes a wild connection. If you have never checked out the comedian, Trae Crowder, The Liberal Redneck, he deserves your attention. I’ll go ahead and offer a disclaimer about his language (pretty heavy-duty), but this is a very smart guy with an ability to articulate some important points in a dramatic way. See the link below.

Today, I was listening to one of his rants recorded last fall after the election. He was talking about being at Thanksgiving lunch/dinner with relatives who voted the opposite of you. His best point was, “Just love’em, know they are wrong and just love’em.”

Immediately, I thought of the Febreze commercial! “I love youuuuuu, but sometimes you stinnnnnk!” Maybe that’s the best way to get back on solid ground with some folks.

At a time when polarization is the name of the game in our society we need to start thinking of ways to pull ourselves together. Humor can be a great way to do that. 

Remember, y’all….I love youuuuuu, and sometimes I stinnnnnk!!!

Wait…that’s not right.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Bad Things, Good People

Just received an email from a guy I’ve known for a number of years….here’s how the second paragraph started….”About six weeks ago I received the shocking news that I have stage 4 lung cancer. It’s inoperable and incurable.”  

This is a really, really good guy…we’ve helped each other in a variety of ways in business and, to some degree, in life….I immediately realized it was one of those moments in which I wanted to reach out and tell the people I love that I love them…

Whatever time you are reading this, pick up your phone and call someone; sit down with your laptop, pad or phone and text someone; walk in the next room where they are, get their attention if they are sitting near you, tap them on the shoulder and wake them up if they are lying next to you…and tell them you care about them.


This ride doesn’t last long and, to be honest, we don’t know when it will stop. We spend too much time focused on the little things as the big things ease on by us.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CHICKENS??!!! WHAT THE %@#&??!!!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”  Mark Twain

The rooster that alarm-clocked me this morning reminded me; Key West has the highest WHAT THE %@#&! factor of any place I’ve ever been. 

Oh, you’ll see/hear/taste/smell/feel some surprising things in New York, Tijuana, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Munich, London and Chapel Hill. But, for sheer volume of WHAT THE %@#&!, you’ve got to come to Key West. It is a wonderful microcosm of 21st Century America.

A friend of mine has been a solid, well-respected businessman in this area for 30+ years and, to him, all this stuff is like the stop sign at the end of your street; you see it and note it, but after you move past, it’s gone. He said, “The tourists love this stuff, but the locals think, ‘Just get rid of it.’” He also realizes, though, the value of the tourists.

Last night I leaned against a lamppost on Duval Street (WHAT THE %@#&! Central) and watched people’s reactions as they walked past one of the drag queen shows. As you can imagine, facial expressions ranged from horror to delight; from surprise to nothing-special. I wanted to be close enough to hear comments and the range was what you’d expect. “Wonderful!” “Godless!” “OMG!” (Literally, “O...M...G!”) and “Oh, My God!” “I loved that dress!” “Why do they do that?” And, the night’s winner, “What would their mother say?!!!”

Obviously, the comments are based on what’s normal for those folks…and, what they think normal should be for the rest of us. (see the Mark Twain quote above)

In Wednesday’s Raleigh News and Observer, writer J. Peder Zane talks about how the media is increasingly seen as an “enemy of the people,” as the president put it. And, while Zane certainly does not agree he does offer that the frequently left-leaning focus of the press is not supporting America’s claim to be the world’s free speech leader.

He says, “I know I’m right, but concede they have reasons for their beliefs. Most of them, however, don’t give my views the same credit.

Zane’s first sentence is how I see Key West, Duval Street and a lot of what is going on on our national stage. Unfortunately, lots of Americans seem to fit in the second sentence.

In all honesty, I like the WHAT THE %@#&! factor of life. So, the message I always get from Key West is, “Fun is the focus and don’t take yourself too seriously.” 

What if we looked at what is going on in America now in the same way? I mean…hey…you’re saying/thinking WHAT THE %@#&! every time you turn on the news or read a newspaper, anyway…right? 

(and head for Key West the first chance you get!)



If you know someone who might appreciate this, please pass it on.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pants on Fire!

The last couple of days I’ve been working like my pants are on fire. At 8 am tomorrow I’m heading out for a 12-13 day biz/vacation and…let me stop right here for a second…my neighbors know I’m heading out and they are all armed, so if you want to come to The Tree House and snoop around please wear bullet-proof armor.

Now, as  I was saying, the last couple of days I’ve been working like crazy to get a lot of things done because I knew I’d be heading out pretty soon. I’ve got a To-Do List on a big flip chart beside the front door, am packing (HA! flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts except for biz days), loading the car, and reaching out to contractors to make sure things get done.

This is a well-known phenomenon, working to get ready to relax. We do a better job of planning with To-Do Lists, focusing on what’s really important, anticipating challenges that might arise and creating contingency plans, and creating partnerships so things get covered when we are gone.

Think about it; we don’t spend a lot of time pondering what we should do when a vacation is coming—we just jump up and do it! And, in most cases, when it’s time to leave I’m betting 80% of folks are standing at the door thinking, “Screw it, if I forgot something it’ll be here when I get back!” The other 20% worries about it during the vacation. 

Here’s my question: What if we spent one day a week working like we are going on vacation the next day? I wonder what we could accomplish?

I have no idea when you might be reading this…what if you looked at the next 2 hours as pre-vacation? What could you get done?


Please share if you know someone who could use this.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

It Ain't Worked Out.....

This morning on CBS Sunday Morning designer Betsey Johnson said, "It will all work out in the end. And, if it ain't worked out, it ain't the end."

Not a bad thought with which to start the week.

Know someone who needs it? Share.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Orange Heads and Shrimp Feet

“Good morning, class! Today we’re going to explore a couple of new, exciting and useful words.”

“HEY!!! TOMMY, PUT THAT PHONE IN YOUR BACKPACK!!”

(Tommy) “But, Mr. Collins! The world is going down the tubes! Carolina lost last night and we have Duke coming into Chapel Hill on Tuesday! And, the smartest people in the world, accountants and movie stars, can’t even get a simple envelope exchange done right! And, worst of all, someone from Clemson is president of the United States!!!”

“Tommy, I’m a little lost on that last one.”

(Tommy) “The orange bobble head guy!!!! I’m telling you, the world is horrible and hateful and we’re all gonna die!!!”

“Oh. Well, Tommy thank you for that current events update. In fact, you’ve led us to our lesson today.”

“Class, Tommy has exhibited a wonderful example of paranoia. It’s a medical condition characterized by delusions of persecution and a fear of impending doom.”

“Today, let’s look at two words, neologism and pronoia.

Neoligism means a new word of phrase, which pronoia is. Pronoia is defined as the opposite state of mind to paranoia. It means having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person, that life wants you to succeed and will help you.”

“Some people believe the world—life—is set up to help them have the life they want and be the person they want to be. Not without work, you understand, but they believe life is on our sides.”

“Tommy, what would you think about that?”

(Tommy) “I hate Clemson.”

“Fine. Tommy please go see Nurse Comer about your meds.”

“Class, what would your day and your life be like if you assumed, every morning when you get up, that things were going to work out your way? You would know that you’d do your part to create the life you want, but you’d also understand there are no forces out there that are automatically or naturally against you. That life wants you to succeed and will help you.”

(Carol) “Mr. Collins, Tommy just took off his shoes and it smells like shrimp back here.”


“Thank you, Carol. I’m sure life has a wonderfully positive reason for offering this experience. Class dismissed!!”

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