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Yeah, I'm A Dude. And I Watch The Bachelor.

Yeah, I'm A Dude. And I Watch The Bachelor.

Snacks. Drinks. A room full of people huddled around heckling the flat screen TV in the middle of the living room. It got loud on several occasions. We weren't watching a sporting event.

It was The Bachelor premiere.

And no, I wasn't the only guy. Of the 18 people watching the show in our friend's apartment, seven were guys. All husbands, like me, scoring brownie points with our wives.

For many of us guys in the room, this wasn't our first rodeo. In fact, I believe one of us probably won the evening's game of "Bachelor Bingo."

Yeah. I'm a dude. I watch the Bachelor. And I'm okay with that.

Do I like The Bachelor? Like is a strong word. But I do watch it.

The Bachelor premier viewing party for farmer Chris's season.
The Bachelor premier viewing party for farmer Chris's season.

Do I enjoy watching it?

No, not really. At least not at first. On my own terms, if I was just at home sitting by myself, I would probably just be watching reruns of Archer or The West Wing on Netflix.

But I got married. I went from being a bachelor to watching one on TV.

At first, I really did sit through it out of obligation. It was painful at first. I played many games of Angry Birds as I patiently waited for the episode to be over with. Then I started to overhear bits and pieces of the show. I got into it. I can't remember which season it happened but I eventually started keeping up with the "plot."

Now, I can keep up with most any female (that watches the Bachelor) on what's going on in the current season.

It's like a train wreck. You don't really want to keep watching. But you can't not watch it after a certain breaking point. It sucks you in and you can't stop. On the plus side, it will (hopefully) make you feel a lot better about your own life choices.

Fortunately, I've had other husbands in the same boat as me. We support each other in a way. We own it. A few other guys are joining us this season for the first time. They have no idea what they're getting into.

What about this season?

Chris (the bachelor) is a farmer from Iowa and seems like a good guy. He at least appeared to be last season. I think ABC is trying to compensate for the overall d-baggery that was Juan Pablo (nobody liked Juan Pablo...not even the host). It also seems like a ploy to increase the show's reach with a middle America audience using a farmer from the midwest.

The host Chris Harrison still comes across as a creepy/charmer type to me. I sometimes get the impression that he's the kind of guy who would slip something into someone's drink by the end of the night...but it's that level of host that makes the show work. Seriously, if you're looking for a show with a strong moral compass, watching one where one person simultaneously dates 20+ different people and proposes to one of them after a few weeks isn't the one for you.

Also, I'm convinced the first set of roses have to be picked by the producers.

First off, there's no way any bachelor could remember all of those names for the first rose ceremony.

Throw that on top of some of the crazy contestants that somehow get picked week after week and keep the show entertaining. For example, some of those limo entrances and first impressions we saw tonight included:

  • Awkwardly long hugs followed by more conversations specifically about hugs
  • Brining a heart in a small cooler
  • Wearing a pig snout
  • Singing in a pink karaoke machine

Most intentional first impressions like these would throw up a red flag to a normal person in most social situations.

But this is no normal social situation. This is a wine-fueled group date. This is The Bachelor.

A huge weight has been lifted

I've always wanted to open up more and be more transparent on this blog. I feel like I've finally done it. A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I can say it out loud.

I watch The Bachelor.

I know there are other guys out there just like me. Don't worry. We're all in this together.

Until next week...

Back to Blogging in 2015

Back to Blogging in 2015

I haven't blogged in a couple of months at this point. Normally this is the part where most bloggers say that they missed blogging, where they regretted not getting around to posting something new more often. This isn't one of those times for me. This has been the longest stretch that I've gone without blogging but I can't say that I missed it.

Why the break?

It wasn't intentional or planned at all, it just kind of happened. Life happened. Work happened. I got to a point where I was juggling many things and had to build margin somewhere. This blog happened to fall victim to that margin. I had a choice many nights to either spend time reading a new book or writing a new post. I ended up taking a small season of trying to fill up and learn more instead of creating more. I highly recommend anyone doing that from time to time.

What's been going on recently?

October through December were event-filled months but great ones. We picked up a few new interesting clients at DeMoss. The digital end of our work started to grow even more as a result.

We went on a few fall getaway weekends and saw views like this:

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I got to travel to Lambeau Field for the first time and watch the Packers absolutely crush the Bears in a Sunday night game.

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My wife and I hosted Thanksgiving at our home for the first time ever.

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We had to buy a new car. We spent a week traveling in Kentucky for Christmas with the new selfie stick given to me by my aunt for Christmas. I had never taken a selfie in my life until I received that stick. Now, I love using it to take group shots (does that still make them selfies?)

WKU track team reunion (aka my groomsmen and their wives)

Christmas party with my cousins

I even had the opportunity to speak on Pinterest at an event hosted by The Cove. It was one of the smaller events I've attended but probably one of my favorites. Imagine your typical social media conference but take out the buzzwords, the blue oxford shirts and trade show stands. Then host that event in a big lodge in the Appalachian Mountains. In the winter. With a huge fireplace and with less than 100 people there. It was their first year hosting it and have my fingers crossed they invite me back. I loved it.

Pictures from The Cove's blogger retreat with fellow speakers Jon Acuff, Jen Schmidt and Jess Connolly

What can you expect on this blog in 2015?

I've spent a month doing a lot of reading and have learned a lot in that time. You'll probably see more posts on new trends in PR and marketing. I'll write about books I've read recently, new daily routines I've been trying out, and challenges I've faced in work or life.

At the end of the day, this blog will be a place for me to exercise writing skills. Working at a PR firm, I'm having to write increasingly more often. Having a place to practice writing and work out a few of the kinks should help me in what I do in my day job.

The discipline of blogging, not every day but with a consistent pace, should have positive carryover in other parts of my work too.

But enough about me. What other projects, goals or habits are you working on building in 2015?

 

Are We Trying to Harvest Before We Finish Planting Seeds?

Are We Trying to Harvest Before We Finish Planting Seeds?

If you're a young professional, it's easy to get caught up in the young entrepreneurs making it big early. Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, Tom from MySpace...all of these guys found more success in the first decade of their professional lives than most of us could ever dream of.

But that's why they make news. Because it's not normal.

Even beyond the tech prodigies of today, it's easy to play a comparison game with those folks in similar industries as us but seeing a lot of success. When your in your late 20s like me, falling into a comparison trap is easy. We live in a world of instant gratification and having to take years to grind out success appears almost countercultural.

One day as I was having one of those comparison moments, wandering if I had done enough to "make it" and ran across this tweet from @PaulAngone:

Your 20s aren't about what you harvest, but what you plant in the ground. #Millennials

— Paul Angone (@PaulAngone) September 15, 2014

It's easy to want to rush success but some of the most successful people out there didn't strike gold early. They worked hard, stayed disciplined and worked at their craft for a very long time before experiencing what others perceive as an "overnight success."

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy is a great example of years of hard work bearing fruit. His restaurant chain is one of the most successful in the country. He became a billionaire several times over and was one of the most highly regarded businessmen in our lifetime. However, it wasn't until this last week that I realized the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich didn't come about until he was in his early 40s.

HIS FORTIES.

At a time when most of us dream of kicking back and retiring, his dream was just getting started. He had been in the restaurant business for a couple of decades before things really took off. Sure, he became one of the most successful businessmen out there at the time of his passing a few weeks ago, but he was also 93 years old.

93 years is a long time to work on building a lifetime of work. Makes me feel silly when I put pressure on my career at age 27.

Great things take time to come to fruition, not just careers. Financial experts will tell you that it's not a salary that builds wealth but great habits that continue building over a long period of time. In long distance running, you don't get fast overnight but after months (if not years) of long, grueling miles.  Many bloggers will tell you (myself included) that it took years of consistently publishing posts before they retained any sizable audience.

We'll be working for a long time

When contemplating my last job switch, moving from Engauge to DeMoss, I had a phone call with a career mentor of mine asking for his two cents. I was stressing out on what would be the right move. After hearing him out, he finished the call by saying:

No matter what decision you end up making, you're going to be working for a long time. You might as well be enjoying what you do.

It's easy to look at our careers, or even our entire lives, through a narrow scope instead of viewing everything from a bigger picture. We get wrapped up in wondering why everything doesn't happen now.

Achieving anything worthwhile takes time. We should focus on the process (planting) and enjoy it as much as we can. The harvest will come when it's ready.

What seeds are you planting?

I've Learned About One Key Ingredient to Success: Priorities

I've Learned About One Key Ingredient to Success: Priorities

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Priorities. Focus is talked about a lot in the work world. I have even talked about it. But without priorities, you don't know what to focus on.

We lost arguably one of the most successful restaurant owners in US history Monday when Truett Cathy passed away. Putting aside any politics or viewpoints people have that may coincide or clash with the company, we can all agree that he grew a successful business and helped a lot of people along the way. He was quoted as often saying:

“I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing word, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed."

Truett Cathy's priorities helped guide all of his decision making. He wasn't in the chicken business purely to get rich. He got into the chicken business as a way to serve people. Cathy's main focus was to be able to help improve the lives of people in his community. Selling great chicken sandwiches was a way that helped him accomplish that mission.

Even without the billions he made over a lifetime, he would have still been considered a successful person because he always stayed true to his own personal mission. He kept his priorities in order throughout his entire life.

When we establish what our priorities in life are, we will know what to focus on and make better decisions. Does setting your mind to only a few things restrict your lifestyle. Not at all! I would argue that the opposite is true

Focus is liberating.

Our agency founder Mark DeMoss talks about "staying under the umbrella" in his book The Little Red Book of Wisdom. In there, he talks about staying true to your mission no matter the cost or intriguing distraction that comes your way. In the book he's quoted as saying:

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Even Mission Drift, a book I read not long ago, talks about how organizations that stay focused on their one mission are the ones that have the best longevity and success. Neglecting priorities are an easy way to run off course.

Easier said than done

Being completely honest with yourself and nailing down what your priorities are (or at least what you feel they should be) isn't the easiest thing in the world.  I'm still trying to nail what my own goals are in many ways. But I'm learning that setting basic priorities is the easiest way to stay on task.

Determining our priorities is how we establish our own personal metrics of success. Not what most of the world considers success, but what success in life means to us individually.  Success won't look the same to all of us - but knowing what it does look like is a significant first step in the right direction.

What are you focusing on?