November 8, 2019

1. Best Article I’ve Read All Week: Matt Eagan’s article on modern parenting is both moving and insightful. Read it.

2. Unlocking Travel Deals: I start vacation travel planning on Google Flights. If you keep an open mind as to a destination you can unlock amazing airfare deals (like $200 RT to Europe kind of deals). For example you can search flights to Europe in February and then click on Flexible dates.

3. The Future of Conferences: Jim and Tyson from Maximum Lawyer just announced a 2 day Zapier workshop. These specific, technical, and productive workshops are the future of conferences. Conferences are great for ideas but where the rubber meets the road is implementation.

4. The Goal After The Goal: Setting a goal and then setting a goal after a goal is a way to keep going.

5. Radical Self Candor – I just finished speaking to the Minnesota State Bar Association. The have a wonderful conference facility. My only ask was that they record my talk so I can watch it back. I most recently watched a talk I gave in Park City and was mortified at the amount of pacing that I did. Watching myself speak is an awful mirror being held up to my face. But my goal is to get better – and this week I didn’t pace.

November 1, 2019

1. Managing By Energy: Imagining my day as if it were a cell phone battery has been life altering. Some apps drain my battery fast. Other times, I need to be recharged. There’s no reason to treat our days any different than we treat our cell phone batteries.

2. Thing I’m Loving: Rockin’ Green Platinum Powder. I work out a lot and my clothes used to stink. No longer. I first soak them in my bathtub with some Rockin Green Powder and then wash. My workout clothes now smell like unicorns.

3. Other Thing I’m Loving: Lume Deodorant! It’s full body deodorant and it’s awesome. Lasts 72 hours. This is the thing you never knew you needed but you need.

4. Song I’m Listening To: Sunshower by Chris Cornell. This song is November.

5. Software You Need For You Business: Filevine – Filevine started as plaintiff case management software and has grown to being just fantastic project management software. If your business – big or small – has projects you should look at Filevine. It is highly and easily customizable to meet your needs.

October 25, 2019

1. Two Cents On Marketing: Be authentically yourself. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Not everyone is going to like you. And that’s okay. You don’t need everyone to like you.

2. The Single Piece of Content That Terrified Me To Post: I wrote this post in 2008 arguing for the legality of same-sex marriages in Connecticut. I sat on the post for weeks. And thought the sky was going to fall when I posted it. The lesson here: risks don’t look so risky in time. Take a risk today.

3. Darkness: I love dark chocolate and the new dark mode on iOS.

4. Words To Live By: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” – John Wesley

5. Food Hack(s) I Love: Chobani Greek Yogurt with grape nuts. And if I want dessert Chobani with dark chocolate chips.

October 18, 2019

1. The Truth About Entrepreneurship: “What got to me was the discovery that to truly be relevant, to sell yourself and your brand, you need to dive far deeper internally than you ever have before. Nobody tells you when you build a startup that what you know about yourself is not enough. Every insecurity and fear surfaced when building my company. To stay relevant, being clear, grounded, and present became essential. To be successful (in the way many of us want to be), I had to become visible. To become visible, I had to be authentic. To be authentic, I had to dig deeper into who I am than I ever have before.” – Erin Levine, Writing About Self Love And Building A Start Up (read the whole article)

2. Best Software I’ve Added All Year: Acuity Scheduling (affiliate link). Scheduling takes up so much time. This eliminates that wasted time. Added bonus is I schedule more things like lunches.

3. Coolest Thing About New Mac OS: iPad pairs as a second screen using Airplay. This works really well. Check it out.

4. Core Values I’m Loving: Check out the Zappos core values if you are looking for a starting point to work on core values for your team. “Do More With Less” is essential for growing firms.

5. What I’m Working On: Being more aware of gender issues and being a better man. Currently reading The Little #MeToo Book For Men.

October 11, 2019

1. My Test For Saying Yes To A Commitment: How would I feel if I had to do this tomorrow? Before committing to anything that’s the question I ask myself. Because if I commit, someday that tomorrow will come. This helps me focus my efforts. Before I commit to speaking to a bar association I imagine the materials are do tomorrow – I imagine I’m getting on the plane tomorrow and it focuses everything. Try it.

2. Everything Is As It Should Be: One of the things I’ve been working on is acceptance. This week I had to run a quick errand to a store. As I was approaching the checkout line a woman showed up with a large box of returns. There was 1 cashier working. And I had to get to work. I reminded myself of this. And thought maybe this delay is saving me from some peril.

3. Because This Week Could Use Some Hunter S. Thompson: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!”

4. Business Book Recommendation: Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits! by Greg Crabtree. The best book I have read about small business finance. It’s a must read if you have or are thinking about having a business.

5. Guilty Pleasure: Candy Corn. Bad for my health. Bad for my teeth. And pure joy.

October 4, 2019

1.The Tough Parts Will Be More Tough Than You Think: Nobody thinks starting a business will be easy. The thing that no one or nothing prepares you for is how tough the tough parts will be. Be grateful that it is tough. That’s a barrier to entry for your competition.

2. Prepare For The Tough Parts: You must listen, read, and engage with people and content that will prepare you for the tough parts. The good news is for whatever you are doing there is an abundance of free or low cost advice. Consider buying yourself an Audible subscription or getting audiobooks from your local library.

3.When Things Get Tough: Don’t deviate from what you know works. For example, if you know planning meetings work – do planning meanings. Don’t skip planning meetings because things are on fire. Double down on planning meetings when things are on fire.

4.When It’s Tough Go Harder: There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself. Every business has a moment. When it’s your moment you can either watch it pass you by or you can go get it. If you really want it – go harder, work more, and double down.

5. Learn From The Tough Parts: You are losing if you aren’t reflecting on what hurts. “Things that hurt, instruct” if you are smart. If you are smart things that hurt will fuel your growth.

@ryanmckeen

September 13, 2019

1. My Business Tipping Point: For years I was overwhelmed by the phone. I could get nothing done besides phone calls. Then I decided that almost all of my calls will be scheduled. The result was I was able to get important work done without being overwhelmed by a phone ringing constantly and having to play telephone tag.

2. Looking For Topics To Write About: Check out Answer The Public. A cool tool for finding out what’s on people’s minds.

3. Thing I’m Not Sad About: The Red Sox season. Last year they were one of the all-time great teams. It is hard to sustain anything. And this season makes clear just how amazing last season was. I’m okay with it.

4. A Work Hack I Can’t Live Without: I’ve found that starting projects myself and then hiring experts on Upwork to help me when I’m stuck is a highly cost effective and efficient thing to do. I did a spreadsheet and had difficulty formatting one portion of it. So I hired out the formatting.

I think it’s because it’s easier to hire for a task than a complete project. Project management is actually hard and requires an investment of time to execute on properly.

5. Rainy Day: Yesterday, it rained. It was refreshing. Rainy days just feel slower. And there’s less pressure to do anything.

September 6, 2019

1. Writing for an Audience: The first step in creating content is to define the intended audience for your piece of content. All of the content that I produce is for an audience of 2 – my kids. I want them to know my story. And the best way I can do this is share my thoughts as they happen.

2. Quote On My Mind: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward”. – Steve Jobs

3. Related Quote On My Mind: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!” – Hunter S Thompson

4. Baseball: I can’t recall a year where I have seen, heard, or discussed less baseball than this. It feels like Major League Baseball has gone dark.

5. Thought on Bravery: Bravery is the voice that tells you to keep going when it feels like you’ll never get there.

August 30, 2019

1.Parenting – The great joy of parenting is getting to watch a person unfold.

2.Thing I Did This Week – Sat under a tree in a chair for an hour. My phone was nowhere near me. I watched the birds. Listened to the wind. And just sat with my thoughts. I will do this again.

3.The Law – Connecticut adopted a $.10 tax on plastic bags that went into effect on August 1st. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a small law have such a large impact. Every time I’m in a store, I see people carrying bags, or asking not to have their things bagged. Laws do change behavior.

4. Album I’m Listening To: Alice In Chains Unplugged. If you asked me to name the top 10 albums of the 1990s this would rank. Not sure of the other 9. The rawness of this album is haunting.

5. Best Tech I’ve Bought All Year: Air Pods. I don’t leave the house without them. They pair instantly with my phone. And are very comfortable.

August 23, 2019

1.Thing That Is Bringing Me Joy: Milkweed. This spring Allison bought milkweed and monarch caterpillars for our garden. The garden is near our front door. The monarch butterflies bring my family joy as we come and go about our day.

2. New Skill – Trained my brain to listen to audio books at 2.5x. This will allow me to listen to 2.5x more books this year. I’ll take it.

3. Life Philosophy – Everything changes when you stop playing for the next 30 days and start playing for the next 30 years.

4. Best Thing I’ve Bought In The Last 90 Days – These Adams Stackable Adirondack Chairs. They are cheap, comfortable, and easily portable. Our family got a lot of use out of them this summer.

5. Skill I’m Teaching – I’m teaching my 6 year old son to ride a bike. He has the physical ability to do it. Once he starts riding he goes. And then he realizes he is riding – thinks about it – and falls. In learning about riding a bike he’s learning about life. So much of what we do or don’t do is in our heads.

@ryanmckeen