2016 BucketlistReally nothing too crazy this year, but still a lot I’d like to do. Not officially on this list but something I’d like to find a way to do is travel to this Brazil this year. it’s not exactly in the plans, but hoping to find a way and make it happen.

  1. Get a job
  2. Attend a trade show or marketing conference
  3. Give a public speech, talk or presentation
  4. Travel internationally
  5. Visit a new state
  6. Go on a trip with Melissa
  7. Travel to a soccer tournament for Brendon
  8. Travel to Arizona to visit my sisters
  9. Spend a day at the beach
  10. Go on a family campout
  11. Go to a zoo or aquarium
  12. Go Snorkeling
  13. Go stand up paddle boarding (lots!)
  14. Go on a family picnic up the canyon (roast marshmallows)
  15. Attend a play or musical
  16. Attend  a cultural festival
  17. Get a gym membership – for the first time in my life
  18. Lose weight – get down to 210 lbs
  19. Stick to a 90-day workout routine
  20. Go mountain biking
  21. Hike Timpanogos Cave
  22. Coach one of my kids’ sports teams
  23. Play on an indoor soccer team (again)
  24. Attend a Real Salt Lake game
  25. Have a water balloon fight
  26. Take the family sledding
  27. Go fishing with my boys
  28. Get off automatic mode on my DSLR
  29. Try a new food or new cuisine
  30. Try a new restaurant
  31. Take Melissa horseback riding
  32. Have a candle lit dinner with Melissa
  33. Help someone move in
  34. Help someone move out
  35. Finish the home office (it flooded again)
  36. Read 4 books
  37. Listen to 12 audiobooks
  38. Write 20 blog posts
  39. Reach 100 total blog followers (82 on Jan 1st)
  40. Gain 93 new Twitter followers (507 on Jan 1st)
  41. Write 2 chapters in a book
  42. Prepare a will

Notably absent from my list this year is to go ice fishing. I tried to add it three years in a row and it just never happened.

Happy 2016 – Hope you can do and achieve all of your goals or Bucket list items this year.

– DJ

2015 Bucketlist Review

2015 Bucketlist ReviewHere’s the summary of my 2015 Bucketlist.

  • Completed 16 of 35
  • Made progress on 5 more
  • Achieved 2 Lifetime Bucketlist items

Overall I did okay, but quite far from all of my original goals. I attribute this to a lack of planning and organizing my time and resources. 2015 was one of my most aggressive annual Bucket lists since starting this custom a few years back. The point isn’t to beat myself up over it – it’s meant to be fun. It’s about adding variety, enjoyment, diversity, richness and accomplishments to my life and those who share it with me.

The 2 Lifelong Bucketlist items were both were amazing experiences.

  1. The first was to attend a live soccer match of Brazilian National Soccer Team (A Seleção). In September I was in Boston for a marketing conference. Brazil played the U.S. in a friendly match. I was lucky enough to attend the game. Although the US struggled, Brazil played splendidly winning the match 4-1.
  2. The second is that I have a few countries to visit on my lifetime list, one of those being Italy. In October I was unexpectedly invited to attend a trade show in Milan, Italy. It was a whirlwind trip, but totally worth it. I worked a lot while there, ate tons of gelato and even got in a little sightseeing.

Over the next few days I’ll finalize and publish my list for 2016.

Happy New Years! Here’s to an Awesome 2016!

It’s Not Business, It’s Just Personal

Ever noticed when a major business win is achieved everyone touts the people and relationships that made it happen. Contrarily, when tough decisions with damaging consequences are made these same people quickly hide behind the proverbial skirt of “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” This phrase is most often said to someone who will be personally affected by the recent decision.

ID-10034799“We’ve decided to buy from another company”

“You weren’t selected for the promotion”

“We won’t be accepting your offer”

“You’re being let go”

“We chosen another candidate for the position”

“Your request was denied”

Businesses aren’t the products or services they sell. Businesses are an intertwined web of employees, vendors and customers. It is the people that make business… well business.

Yes, hard business decisions are constantly being made. The decisions themselves are made by individuals whose personal experiences, opinions and biases go into each and every choice. People’s lives are affected by these so-called business decisions and the ripple effects are far reaching – never downplay that fact.

Celebrate the human element that comprises today’s business environment and stop saying “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” After all, it’s always personal and never just business.



Photo by Photostock


One of the greatest attributes we can have is gratitude. It starts with an expressed thankfulness for fellow co-workers, customers, and the company we work for. It expands to a deep appreciation for friends and family who support us and contribute to our success.

My hope is that these feelings of gratitude can carry far beyond Thanksgiving and the holiday season and become a value and attribute we each exhibit throughout the year.

Thank you for reading and following my blog as I share random thoughts throughout the year.  Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!



Is Hubspot’s Inbound Conference Worth It? Part 2

Inbound_2015 Worth It“Worth it” – is a relative term. For this article the question is, is it worth it for an employer to send marketing people to Inbound?

Here’s why it is worth it:

  • Shows an Invest in Your People
    • Employees want to know they’re working for more than just a paycheck. Companies that invest in their people find those people are more fully invested in the job. What a great opportunity to invest in your people while helping increase their value to the organization.
  • Gain Access to Top Marketing Leaders
    • Your company may not be able to hire a swarm of marketing pros, but Inbound gives your marketing people exposure to some of the best and brightest marketing minds. It’s a way to expand your marketing influencers with fairly limited investment.
  • Demonstrates You Value Marketing
    • No matter what your company does, marketing is important, maybe even crucial to your success. Sending your top marketers to Inbound shows a commitment to marketing and show you’re looking for new ways to market and promote your goods or services. This is beneficial to your employees and your customers.

Tip: Make the Decision Early to Save Money.

  • Early entrance fee starts at $600 and goes up to $1,500 as the conference draws closer. I paid $950 this year. Additionally, hotels fill up fast and that means prices go up. Request that your marketers book their hotel early to save money.

Are you a manager that sent marketing people to Inbound 2015? Let us know if you thought it was worth the investment.

Is Hubspot’s Inbound conference worth it?

GOPR0685_1442470760028_lowLast week Hubspot held its annual marketing conference in Boston, called “Inbound”. Inbound15 reportedly attracted 14,000 attendees, an increase of 40% over last year. The conference focused on the inbound marketing philosophy referring to marketing activities that attracts and draws customers in compared to more traditional push advertising tactics. #Inbound15

The conference consists of daily keynote speakers, bold talks, and breakout sessions. Additionally refuel areas contain power chargers, massage chairs and snacks (and coffee) to help visitors recharge both physically and metaphorically. Lunch is provided daily from a dozen local food trucks offering a wide variety of different cuisines.

This was my first time attending Inbound. Although I’ve participated in committees evaluating marketing automation platforms, I’m not currently a Hubspot customer.

This blog post is a multiple part series addressing the question:

“Is Hubspot’s Inbound conference worth it?”

Throughout the different sessions I took scrupulous notes. Rarely do I take notes specifically on what the presenter shows on their PowerPoint Presentation. If I like the PPT, I simply take a picture of it for future reference. My notes are more thoughts, inspirations, ideas, concepts, key takeaways and action items – relevant to me. The final day of the conference I received an app update for the Inbound15 app. The latest app update wiped out ALL of my session notes. Why do I mention this? Obviously, I’m still bitter for losing all my notes. Inspiration is like lighting – it strikes hard, fast and bright, but is gone in a flash. So unfortunately I have fewer thoughts to share than expected.

Here’s my main takeaway from Inbound15-

Thinking about the job I have now. Now think about 1, 2 or 3 years from now, what is my Keynote speech I want to give? Meaning, what do I want to achieve in the next year that would be Keynote speaker worthy? That’s my goal – to achieve something extraordinary, inspirational, amazing! Something worth sharing with an audience of like-minded professionals that can help then do more and achieve success in their jobs.

This is more than a takeaway. This is my QUEST!

So Hubspot, be ready to slot me into one of your sessions next year, because I’ll have an awesome story to share.

Until then, I’ve gotta go make it happen!

3 Tips for Managing Summer

window outsideSummer is here – warm weather, barbecues, and outdoor activities.

The beautiful thing about living in a state like Utah is the four distinct seasons. We enjoy cold snowy winters, mild springs, hot summers and cool falls. The downside, the joys of summer come and go very quickly.

Working during the summer months can prove challenging. With the kids out of school and late summer nights, there’s so much to do including swimming in pristine pools and retreating to clean mountain air (yeah, it’s a Utah thing). With so many fun things to do in the summer overworking yourself and your team seems… wrong.

So, you need to take the time to enjoy the season.

I’m not talking about personal time off (PTO) for vacations, but that’s important too. Instead I’m referring to the way to be highly productive at work, while enjoying summer.

The key then is to find the right balance between work and play. Yes, I’m still on this quest for balance.

3 Tips for Managing Summer:

  1. Accept it: Instead of fighting the situation, accept the fact that it’s summer. Life may run a little different for a few months. That’s okay – embrace it! That means not becoming frustrated. Enjoy this time of year.
  2. Take Advantage of the Weather: The allure of sunny skies and warm sunshine is tempting. Look for ways to get outside a bit. Examples include:
    • Offsite team lunches – a way to both get out of the office and get people offsite where they’re more inclined to relax a bit.
    • Visit key contacts – Jump in the car and go visit people. This may include top accounts, prospects, partners, or vendors. The extra rays will help boost your Vitamin D levels, while strengthening relationships in ways only possible through face-to-face meetings.
    • Take it Outside – A lot of heat and a little sweat will make you appreciate the refreshing A/C once back in the office. For example, eat your lunch at a park or take your 15-minute break by strolling outdoors.
  3. Switch-up Your Schedule: Instead of the normal 9-5 schedule, mix things up a bit to take advantage of summer weather.  Arrive early, stay focused, get a ton accomplished, and then leave early. You’ll get your work in and still have plenty of time for summer recreation late afternoon and evening. I find a ton can be accomplished from 7-9am, before most people have arrived at work. Another option to consider is requesting a few times during the summer to work 4-ten hour days, allowing for the occasional 3-day weekend.
    • Note: Make sure to clear it with your supervisor first – a good leader will see the wisdom in allowing you to do this, and may even decide to do the same.

Bonus Tip:

Plan for and Enjoy the Weekend: Don’t go to bed Sunday night thinking “Dang, I didn’t do anything all weekend long”. Plan ahead to spend weekends outdoors – enjoying the weather, having fun, being active and spending time with friends and family.

Maximizing summer can make it the best time for both your work life and personal time.

Now, get back to work – then feel free to take off a bit early today!


Photo cred: Idea go

The Work/Life Balance Myth!?

dragons and knightsDragons and unicorns sort of intrigue me. They are merely mythological creatures. They’re not real. Yet, each has created an eternal legacy around itself. Leprechauns, Minotaurs, and even Bigfoot and the Lock Ness Monster fall into this same category. Despite their fabricated nature, their “existence” is very alive and well. They live on and cannot die.


The average full-time hourly employee works 2,080 hours a year; salaried employees generally far exceed the two-thousand hour mark. That’s 250+ days of work (after removing holidays and maybe a few vacation days). Of course, one has to factor back in the various weekend hours for business trips, checking emails, and finishing projects. Yes, as Americans we work… a lot.

At some point over the past several years a new term emerged most often referred to as… Work/Life Balance! It is described in many different ways and can take on many different forms. However, its general essence is understood to be the perfect union of one’s work life and one’s personal life.

Is Work/Life Balance real or another fictitious mythological creature?

The Minotaur is illustrated with the body of a man and the head of a bull. It is very easy to visualize because we know what a human body looks like and we know what a bull’s head looks like. (Oh yeah, in my mind the Minotaur has extra-long horns and wields a wicked sharp ax).

Similarly we know what work looks like, as referenced in the plethora of working hours mentioned about. We also know what our personal lives look like – all the stuff we do after leaving the office. Therefore we should be able to visualize this Work/Life Balance formation.

Somehow it’s not that easy.

Balance suggests equal weight is given to each component, or better stated the two components cannot be in opposition with each other. Furthermore, one’s personal life has to be independently healthy and happy. Same goes for one’s work life.

I’ve had jobs with great flexibility, company culture, and worked with amazing co-workers – but didn’t enjoy the job. The work itself wasn’t engaging or fulfilling. Everyone said it had great balance because it allowed “Life” to thrive even though the work part “suffered”. To me, that’s not balance.

Oppositely I’ve had jobs where I loved the work. However, other challenges around lower than expected earnings, difficult co-workers, or negative company culture caused these jobs to be less than satisfying.

So I get what Work/Life Balance should look like. I can even breakdown and understand the different components that make it possible. However, I’m still left searching to find it.

Will I eventually boldly declare Work/Life Balance’s reality?

Or will I endlessly search for the illusive entity?

If you have found it, let me know.


Image courtesy of saphatthachatf at FreeDigitalPhotos.net