Cycling shoes as a deciding factor for a next job? It sort of happened before…

3 riders on tour

These three led from first part of day until maybe four miles from end. Anyone else feel that sense of impending doom when *everybody* looks like they’re gunning for you?

The last couple weeks– including appreciation of a four day 4th of July holiday– have been a period of joy, energy, and appreciation of upcoming changes. Watching team and individual efforts from the Tour de France– and raising my personal mileage as result– has been an inspirational fact. When you talk about goal setting, surviving climbs that are 20 degree walls at the very end of 200-plus kilometer rides has *got* to beat making 20 cold calls or two hours of phoning potential clients.

The coverage has been excellent, including how several well-known riders had ‘cracked’ on climbs in the Pyrenees or Alps. ‘Crack’ doesn’t mean out of the race, more that a rider ‘lost their form’ and wound up back in the pack (peloton) instead of on the lead. Some of the climbs have legendary dimensions akin to the baddest bull in the rodeo: You may not want to ride it, but when the day comes, your options are ride or go home.

Last Friday morning, I had the misfortune to ‘crack’ my laptop on the well-known ‘Blue Screen of Death’. While not as painful as a high-speed, 26 bike pile up at the Tour, getting a bad drive replaced had me seriously worried about all the information I might lose, and it sure hampered my ability to follow up leads by sending samples and resumes for several days. After giving the unit to a techie, I blew off the rest of the morning to ride eighteen glorious miles in 90 degree heat, and gained a small but significant positive by discovering a new pair of Nikes fit superbly in my Miyata’s ancient rat trap pedals. The knowledge of how my pedaling efficiency had increased probably won’t affect my ability to illuminate work experiences to an interviewer, but it was a useful physical fact for every future ride.

A long ago physical fact stuck in my mind though, about walking with a ‘funny’ stride for the second interview that became my first job out of college. One seldom knows what extra factor makes the difference to a recruiter, but telling that VP about my funky walk as a result of thighs rubbed raw by cotton shorts during a 15k road race *did* get me the job. What he really wanted to know was, could I walk in anywhere and talk well enough to get results for the twenty cold call situation the regional rep position was predicated on. When I finished telling him all the things I’d done wrong as training, beyond wearing those shorts that created uncomfortable ‘strawberries’, he just said, “Okay, good story. Let’s get lunch.”

My Nike’s and well-rounded thighs might not earn the You’re Our Man! response I’d appreciate hearing right now regarding new employment, but stranger things have happened…

About the Tour: There are 21 ‘stages’ that can be won before one rider– probably Chris Froome, who has worn the maillot jeune (yellow jersey) most of the Tour– sips champagne on the Champs Elysee in Paris Sunday. It’s legitimate that recognition for best Under-25 rider, best Climber-Man of Mountains, team time trials, and frequent extra points for ‘sprinters’ who get to certain points first makes it something besides an all or nothing race. It makes a difference to be thought the best at something– Salesman of the Quarter anyone?– even if being a good domestique brings a decent level of respect in the cycling world.

The featured TV picture above shows three riders who are about to be swallowed by the main group (peloton) after 217 km. of substantial effort, having broken away even before the first kilometer marker, and leading this particular stage the entire time. Many of us know the feeling: You bust it day after day, doing as many of the small and necessary steps as possible, and hopefully you have the ability to dig deeper for special or difficult moments that come up. Froome seems to have that working well, for these three, that’s not how it worked out.


Dad’s Sneakers Have Cut Their Last Lawn, His Watch & Ring Go Onward, But the Pen was Personal

dadssneakers-penIt’s 90-plus degrees in Charlotte, and the humidity is brutal, so I’m glad to have done all the yard work yesterday. At post-church donuts and juice today, I smiled while telling a couple youngsters that my Dad always said, “There’s no reason for me to worry how hot it is when I have four boys to cut the lawn.” He said the same thing about shoveling snow from the sidewalk and 150 ft. of driveway, but that’s a truth I didn’t bother to impart.

Being the only brother Dad’s size, I’ve made it a habit to wear something of his on a daily basis the last four years. I like his hounds tooth jacket, sometimes it’s a pair of well-stretched socks, often it’s one of many primarily green tee shirts. Mom didn’t think Dad looked good in green, so while he didn’t have green dress shirts, he loaded up on the tees.

His sneakers fit in my rat traps for cycling, and everyone has a pair of beaters to do the lawn with, so they got used at both work and play. Three weeks ago the toes came un-stitched while doing garden maintenance for the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s group), and I brought a fistful of dirt into the house, so post-lawn cutting, Fathers Day became a good time to retire them, and some Adidas have stepped into the work role.

There will probably be ten million memories shared about fathers today. I was fortunate to have Waldo Francis Shorkey in my life until just after my 56th birthday, and I was grateful when Mom gave me his ring, and my brother Mike found the band on his watch too small for his wrist.

The pen, ahhh! that was truly special. Once he was unable to handle bigger pieces of wood to make secretaries and such (a blue ribbon in the Florida State Fair) we gave him a drill press to make smaller projects, and on vacation in Tampa, I asked him to make one with me. It took me three hours over two days to create the curved, slightly fatter grip I desired, sand it with five progressively finer grains, then polish and wax it.

At the end, Dad stated, “Glenn, you’re the worst I ever worked with!  Ryan (my youngest nephew) would have done two pens in that time.” My answer: “I’ve never done anything like this before Dad, and all I wanted was to work on something with you and have a great souvenir of the event. I got what I wanted.”

As proud of that pen as I was, I must have lost it by letting a customer sign with it when I was working at Belk. Yes, dammit! for stupidity, but the memory of making will never fade either.

dads pen

Trump as Ozymandias in ‘WATCHMEN’: Iffy Tactics for Hero to Maximum Bad Guy


Its almost certain that I’m zeroed in on DTs attempt to grind US (my opinion, shared by many in lots of places in the world) into shambles through weird and vindictive methods. It seemed so reasonable (an inaccurate word for DT, but…) while catching ‘WATCHMEN’, a movie about superhero types.

Without going into entire story, the most gifted of the group financially & brain-wise, Ozymandias, offers the world FREE ENERGY as a result of his efforts in technology with another group member, Dr. Manhattan, who is an all-powerful, well, energy being (*serious* lab accident). It turns out, these major new plants are actually meant to blow up, killing many many millions. What this character wants, is to draw the world–specifically Russia-US which are teetering towards mutual destruction (movie is set in Vietnam era, includ. Nixon)– into a shared hate of ONE PERSON: the blue energy being.

Rich rich hero-type and, well, all-powerful, freaky blue energy-being, logically understand killing maybe 100 million in order to back away from mutually assured destruction of world is better choice.

Beyond the moral negative that a wave of his hand splat! and bloody scattering in the snow of an exceptionally vocal WATCHMAN– who insisted the world needs to know rich brain guy actually did unbelievable deed– the plan works out.

My premise: DT gets the hots for things from watching stuff on TV. He didn’t want to always just be the TV Fired Guy, and he proved he was better than a mess of other Repubs (shudder, Cruz). He must have seen this movie too, and wants the whooole world to know he’s going to do something amazing to them. All he needs is blue being’s cooperation for how to duplicate his energy, and after tweaking negatively, BOOM! the world becomes the world he sees as better.

Long way for the punch line, but destroying tens of millions of lives most of us know because he’s able to, just so more people know he’s The Bomb, that’s the same reasoning of that super-hero who ends up as maximum bad guy. In this explanation, Blue Power (Repubs) is given to ultimately evil-doer, who does worst kind of dirt to people everywhere, and they haven’t got a chance of stopping the big hits from coming.

Admit to Satisfaction with a Manly-Man, Sweat of the Brow, 50-hr. week of Effort


This week was alllll about the physical effort, and while I’m satisfied about doing the deeds, equally important was getting paid, because economics-based changes from previous time priorities/activities is what I’m about right now. I’m committed to similar full-time effort– with likely overtime– for several more weeks; I’m also aware of the beating considerations coming for that creaky left liability of a knee…and workers comp. And y’know, there’s that uncool tug at the top of spine thing at times, too…

This week was alllll about the physical effort, and doing the necessary deeds included a 3rd floor walk-up because the elevator wasn’t inspected. A $50 tip definitely counted.

On a Sunday full of rain, yardwork has been eliminated from To Do list, ditto washing my silver Hyundai, Bullitt2. I’m thinking of a cigar after late dinner of shrimp in red sauce on linguine, because yeah, that affirms a level of reward for a Manly-Man ‘by the sweat of your brow’ 50 hour week of effort. All the gurus say rewards are important—believe it.

Monday and Tuesday were definitely an up-close and personal view of how the moving industry works, eleven hour days of pack and lift and unpack. Job #1 was pack-moving parts of home for senior community move, #2 was a full truckload (a sweet 85 degrees), and we took pride in beating the time-crunch boss had regarding a trip to Vegas. Trust me, getting OFF the street level work as soon as possible is my Real Deal, and I’m sure boss (Scott) doesn’t want to be loading/unloading in June-July-Aug. any more than I do.

Two network events worked well mid-week, especially a FOCUS (Fellowship of Communities Uniting Seniors) luncheon Wed. While somewhat touchie-feelie for my taste– and speaker wound up leaving minimal time to chat with others because everyone ate first– I got that ONE CONTACT that makes networking events worth attending. After quick table-by-table introductions at very end, lady comes over and, because I’d mentioned ‘my 2nd book becoming a speeding bullet of a movie’ as part of the jabber session, she’d recognized my name as someone her buddy always talks about having written a book. Small world! Attagirl! for Brittany Kearney for a full house on her home turf at Golden Living.

Chris and I wound up with significant windshield time at end of week, driving to far end of 74 *twice*: Leland was a 413 mi. round trip— using my Hyundai– to unload a lady whose stuff came on truck from the CT end of this operation. The ELEVATOR hadn’t been inspected in new place, which required carrying everything up to 3rd floor. Nice people, $50 tip worked fine, but I was glad that was the last real hump for the week.

Friday was literally getting paid for just being there. We picked up four boxed sofas in High Point on a NAVIS contract, and super-friendly shipping manager literally ran them onto our truck, we strapped them in and headed to Wilmington. Toughest part of whole operation was finding the factory for pickup, because the address was wrong. Nothing spectacular about the 3 1/2 hours of NC scenery, but in Wilmington, Chris had those boxes on the dock in no time flat, and we were back in truck for 4 hr. drive back. Easy peazy, and all on overtime rate. Hello again, Newcastles…

Overall, with OT and tips, it was a $800+/wk., and it’s been a while since I hit even that kind of number with a real estate check. Yep, I’m liking the prospect of regular paychecks again A LOT. I’m also excited about attending the Queens Cup Steeplechases next Saturday, a favorite, high quality social event where I am 5-for-5 having a great time over the years.

Does any of this concern DT and North Korea vs. my own economic persistence?

Not a bit.

Loading up on Karma Doesn’t Mean You Get the $500,000 Listing (but…)

author-sunr providYesterday I did a speaking engagement at a senior community that went very well for everyone, served up a third sauce and meatballs dinner for Charlotte Fire Department Station #14 crew, made a contribution to an autism walk, and today I’ll be clearing tables and schmoozing for maybe five hours with the crowd (we served almost 700 last year) that figures to attend my Men’s Club group’s annual fish fry. (Ed. Note: Stopping to pet the doggie, who probably wants to be let out.)

Which actually means nothing to the Universe in my pursuit of the $500,000 listing that would make me feel 90% better than having three much smaller potential buyers just getting into the credit application process, BUT…that doesn’t mean I’m backing off doing good.

It’s not that I wouldn’t luuuuuv to enjoy some anticipation of a commission check that would come with having such a house listed-sold-moving towards a closing date. The reality is, small moments of Goodness don’t usually translate into paychecks—SERVICE does. One of those smaller buyers just had a third child arrive, and they’re going to need a place with more room to raise a family. Two others survived those rough years of recession, when just staying close to paying bills was a legitimate goal, and those ooops! moments when they dipped under water because of a hospital bill or unfortunate decision are still part of their financial picture.

Getting a chunk of $500k, yes, that would improve my personal situation significantly. Getting on the phone, following up with, touching those who might become clients—or who KNOW OTHERS that might have need of my expertise– that counts a lot more than being nice to the dog though.

Last night, I met ‘the brother’ (fire fighters are clearly a brotherhood) at #14 who is a successful ten-year realtor, and there is essentially one of those in every station, even if most aren’t at his level. If I’m lucky, the guys who agreed my meatballs were moist and delicious might speak well of me when home buying comes up at the next block party, because I *know* Eric won’t miss any opportunities from up close.

The Truth has always been that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Those little old ladies who said my 40-minute talk was very interesting don’t have any houses to sell. Having recently written a Value Proposition I was proud of because it accurately reflected who I am and what I do, being True to those core values means walking the talk. It wouldn’t *HURT* if the Universe was paying attention, but…

When there’s a *Working* Engineer on it, That = Results


Chef Chris at Oyster Roast, another great community event. (Monthly mtgs. 1st Fri.)

I have to give a small, generic, shout out to the efforts of a couple guys from my men’s group. After over a year of knowing the disposal in our school kitchen was absolutely shot– and repairs would cost $1,000s— three guys whipped the whole kitchen at St. Gabriel into significantly higher productive shape.

The guy who handled everything but the disposal, Seth, was hired help, and he got several other faulty elements (a second oven was big news, unkink a gas line), and all those fryers we’ll be firing up for our annual Fish Fry on March 10th tested-operational. Last year Men’s Club served almost 700 parishioners and others between 4:30-8:00, when almost everyone is gone. Fryers check was important, the oven appreciated, but that disposal represented an expensive choke point.

Kurt and Pete getting down with a $350 repair kit (that manufacturer sent Kurt for free) required taking the element apart down to its guts, and rebuilding from bearings up. Although neither guy really expects or needs kudos, I still feel– as a journalist, in these more often petty times if you will– its legit to point out simple above-and-beyond deeds.  Trimming chicken and talking at the Men’s Shelter yesterday, Pete made it sound like he barely held a wrench, just read some of the complex directions, which Kurt, lynch pin do-er engineer on the project, was often a step ahead of.

Our organization, St. Gabriel Men’s Club (SGMC) has a legacy of doing good, beyond our post-Thanksgiving sale of Christmas Trees and this upcoming fish fry, which is actually our biggest one-day community event. The fact that kitchen is *100%* righteous for this event, that a couple someones you’d given a gnarly, long-term negative situation to, and gotten a REALLY great result from them, that’s still worth pointing out.

Same idea: Open house for new six-unit Hospice opening at Southminster. Not only was hors d’oeuvres cuisine of roast beef-small rye breads, or seared ahi on cucumber (plus) and desserts delightful, its actually fare available to residents. Everyone from the wine server to tour guide, white-coated others, and the bus driver back to car at far side of the impressive Southminster complex, could articulate their part of that community’s mission. As a networking event attitude, having extra time to talk with/learn about people, I told him about Charlotte Bridge Home, because he’s ex-military.

Your Personal ‘Value Proposition’ Gives Purpose to Actions


As part of on-going Keller Williams training classes, yesterday I was asked to articulate my Value Proposition, that specific-personal rationale I bring to the challenges of my chosen career. I’ve said it often along the way, sharing it with potential clients, friends, and others now feels right.

People have often labeled me “a good talker,” and therefore a natural salesperson. Beyond a lot of jobs like scholastic fundraising or real estate negotiator for outdoor advertising (billboard leases) industry, I always qualified that as ‘really really good communicator’, because a core belief is that my interview-writing skills are a God-given Strength as well.

Nobody ever said I lacked skills in digging for facts while writing sports-business pieces-blogs, or in getting things done sales-wise. People like and trust me, and that includes when I’m focused and direct, like when I had 40 minutes to nail things down with a teacher about fundraising, or getting the cooperation of members during a Junior Chamber of Commerce project.

Doing the significant amount of Q&A necessary with real estate isn’t about interrogation, it’s 100% about developing the best possible understanding of what’s important to a client.

Two special areas of concentration for me are senior communities and fire fighters-veterans, because I feel that while people often give lip service to their importance, they don’t get any extra solid payoff on that. At one point, fire fighters helped my Dad and gave me another Christmas with him, and that alone makes me want to do more for them. Monthly spaghetti dinners is my thing, and nobody disses my meatballs.

SENIOR COMMUNITIES are a big deal for me: The Tampa, FL realtor and transition teams that made Mom’s move to Charlotte in 2015 almost totally stress-free set the standard for my personal effort when I got into real estate. The electronic signing of documents from 600 miles away, getting every receipt for things sold or donated, and her coming back from a trip to NY and having an apartment with all her furniture in place and pictures on the wall was, in a word, outstanding. I believe that her happiness– and the smooth completion of 101 other factors for us, the family– is what everyone wants for their parents.

People like and trust me, and that includes when I’m focused and direct, like when I had 40 minutes to nail things down with a teacher about fundraising

Buying or selling a home is stressful, and there are a lot of sometimes complex parts. As one sales guru—I think Zig Ziglar—says, “If you get others what they want, you’ll inevitably get what you want.” Enlightened self-interest is a legitimate economic goal, being of service the key. I get better with every experience and transaction, and I *know* I’m in the right place, a career that can challenge me for the next 10-12-15 years.

You should want my help on managing the important project that buying/selling a home constitutes.