Tag Archives: gary vaynerchuk

Thursday Thoughts

Read at your own peril:

  • When a “farmer’s tan” becomes all the rage in fashion, I’ll be on the cover of Esquire. People were literally alarmed at the beach a few weeks back and my daughter got a case of the giggles like I’ve never seen before. It’s that bad … or good.


  • I’m way late to the party, but I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”. A must read for those wanting to explore their creative side more. Too many quotes to add here but just know that I’m creating things like this on Instagram as a result. Scary, I know.



  • Speaking of inspiration, I’m still all in on Gary Vaynerchuk and vow to one day work for him in some capacity. He lit a fire under this mid 40’s dude like I didn’t think was possible. I’m also creating things like this on Instagram as a result.


  • I have many book ideas rolling around in my head and they range from a “An Illustrated guide to what not to do when gardening” to “How Joe Pye Weed changed my life” to “How to survive deer and shit soil”. Would you read any of those?


  • I’m negotiating with my daughter to dispose of her swingset/playground so I can install a large and fenced in vegetable/fruit garden. On one hand, It’s killing me to end that era as I remember pushing her for hours on end just based on her smile and remember teaching both kids how to jump off a swing in style. On the other hand, this could be epic and I could teach her all about growing your own and how to tend to a garden that bears food. On the other hand part II, do I have the time for such a venture? #GardenProblems

Discovering Gary Vaynerchuk

I’m feeling all sorts of salty and fired up today so enjoy the ride because even I don’t know where it’s going.

I despise so called “gurus” and “life coaches” and the like. I see right through their bullshit and know it is all about them cashing in on your weakness and their “special empowerment package now on sale for only $99.99”. While I’m entertained by their ability to sell their spiel passionately, I can’t buy in. You can tell me again and again that I need to believe in myself but it is only me who can do a damn thing about it. I already know that and don’t require the reminder thank you.

But then I discovered Gary Vaynerchuk. Dude … wow.

Check that, I didn’t discover him, my wife pushed me to give him a listen. That woman is ahead of the curve like no one else I know. She was on to Pinterest before all of you, she knew that The Weekend was going to hit it big before I even knew who they were and of course she married this prize before all the other ladies even had a shot. Big ups to her.

Like everything else on my to-do list in life, I procrastinated and put off giving him a shot for another day and then another day. Rinse and repeat. But on my way home from work last week, I was in a shitty mood and desperate for someone to smack me upside the head so I could wake up and get my head on straight. I never speak of my “day job” here and don’t plan to now, but just know I’m in a bit of a work midlife crisis. It’s no one’s fault but my own, but some times I need to be reminded of that.

I kid you not, within 1 minute of listening to this podcast …

Gary Vaynerchuk works harder than you do

… I was completely smitten with this guy. It was immediate and it was really f’n powerful. It’s as if he was talking directly to me through Bluetooth and had some serious intel on my backstory. There was no BS and he was as direct as humanly possible. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a Jersey guy, right around my age and curses like a sailor. I could relate to all he was spewing and he had me. I was like a red-bulled 13 year old when I got home from work that night.

“Gary said this and then he said this and I’m totally like, amen brother and then he described this kind of person who is me to a tee and I’m like I can do that and I’m ready to change and work harder and be awesome and I need to go on Instagram more and never sleep too.”

Since last Friday, I’ve consumed endless YouTube videos of his daily show, talks at conferences,etc. I listen to him on my headphones while weeding. And you know what, I’ve never weeded with more passion. The energy is palpable as is his way of looking at the world. I feel inspired and angry at the same time. Angry in a good way. Angry at myself for not pushing harder in life. Angry for not being more passionate in what I believe in and not taking more chances.

While he may be an entrepreneur and smart as a whip businessman, his themes extend to all parts of life. Self evaluation and awareness trump all else. Empathy is the key to life. Run with your strengths and don’t worry about your weaknesses. Bet on yourself. And my personal favorite, work harder than everyone else and once you get to where you want to go, exhibit endless amounts of patience. Others may have shared these same tenets, but some how his delivery makes it seem more authentic. He’s done it and can back it up. No BS pictures of yachts and Dom on Instagram. I implore you to try him out if you haven’t already.

Can I sustain this? Who knows. Maybe it is just a temporary jolt. Either way, I’m enjoying the ride and desperate for it to manifest itself into my life in all sorts of ways. I don’t even know if I used the word “manifest” right in that last sentence but guess what, I don’t friggin care, I went for it and I’m proud of even attempting to use the word “manifest”. Thanks Gary Vee.

Where is this going today? Am I angling to suddenly become an entrepreneur? Am I quitting my day job to join the hustle? Do I have a killer business idea? I don’t have the answer to any of these questions yet but I feel inspired, inspired in a way I’ve never felt before. I want to push my limits. I want to try things and fail and learn from them. I want to set ridiculous goals. I want to be more angry as a means to be more real.

But more than anything else, I want to push this blog/venture further than it has gone before. Do I know what that means yet? A bit. I’ve been doing this for over six years. Other than with my marriage, I’ve never been this committed and able to sustain anything this long in my life. That tells me something. I love writing, taking photos, playing in the dirt, making you laugh, being all high brow and low brow at the same time. Now we see if we can push it even further. Again, exploit the strengths and ignore the weaknesses.

With all that in mind, allow me to tell you why this photo sparked something as I was uploading it to my laptop today.

daffodil 4

A pretty flower, right? Surely. But you know what, I have given this and its brethren very little notice since they bloomed a few days ago. Because this is what I really see when I walk out my front door right now.

daffodil 5

All of the blooms face away from view and truthfully, the ten or so blooms don’t really make that much of an impact. Give it another few days and their inevitable decline will commence. And guess what? I’ll leave the foliage up all spring since it feeds the bulbs for what I hope will be an even bigger flower show next spring. But I won’t show you that foliage because it isn’t pretty. Amazing how the camera will avoid that area and keep it out of view. I can’t help but feel like I’m not keeping it real.

The point here? Gardening is f’n hard. It really is and I’m finding it harder and harder to sell others on how to make it easy. I can enjoy these daffodils for their brief show but ultimately, I envision them multiplying in years to come and me coming up with a combo that makes them truly pop. But that will take time and tinkering and you know what, I will love every second of it. That is where the fun comes in, that is where the payoff comes from. Then I can take a killer photo of that combo and really feel proud of what I’ve accomplished. Full effort and patience.

You will never see me push “5 low maintenance plants” or “ten steps for the perfect garden” because they don’t exist. That is horseshit marketing of the finest degree. More than ever, I want to stress the necessary work and time and effort that is required. I want to tell you to ignore those fleeting blooms on a plant that only last one week (contrary to what you are sold) and enjoy the texture that same plant has to offer for 20+ weeks following. I want to show you what failed and do my best to determine why. I’m in the planning stage (yes, planning) of how to utilize my Go Pro camera for near daily (a bit of a hedge) videos of the grind. I think you will like it.

One last one …

Sure the blooms on my Serviceberry are a welcome sign right now.


serviceberry 3

But if I ‘m keeping it real, the more important and honest question here is where did I go wrong or how do I determine why the shrub/tree truly looks like this.

serviceberry 2

Those bare branches are hard to hide each year.

More of that to come …