Passion for Beer

8 10 2010

“Ah, beer. The cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson

I moved to San Diego right after college and needed to find a way to make a few bucks while I searched for a career.  With a bit of table-waiting experience under my belt, I was able to land a job at the Karl Strauss Brewing Company in downtown.  Talk about your great times! I made a ton of friends (many of the life-long variety), earned enough money to cover the rent while I searched for a regular job type job, and got deep discounts on some fantastic beer.

Also during that time, I had the extreme honor and pleasure of participating in a beer-tasting with the man himself, Mr. Karl Strauss.  Always dressed in suit and tie, “Uncle Karl” personally led the tasting, describing the brewing process and unique qualities of each of the fine ales and lagers we sampled.  The more he drank the thicker his German accent grew, and by the time we were done I thought I would need a translator.

Although impressed by his ability to put ‘em down, I was primarily enamored by the passion he had for his craft.  Mr. Strauss was literally born on the premises of his father’s brewery.  He was the VP of Production for Pabst and remained with the company for 44 years.  This was not his job, it was his love.  He is not just the name behind the brewery, he is the inspiration.   Beer was in his blood – his profession was his life.

“My life’s work has been brewing and if I had to do it over again, I would pursue the same path, which is to say I have no regrets.” Karl M. Strauss, 1912-2006

Okay, we don’t all get to work at a brewery and talk about beer all day, but there is something you can find to be passionate about at your job.  I will always remember to bring passion to work with me every morning.  Thank you Uncle Karl for the inspiration.  And cheers!  I’ll raise one to you this Oktoberfest.

5K Fun Run

17 09 2010

It is with great pleasure and utter shock that I announce 5,000 views of this blog (and no, that does not count my own visits).  In the blog world that still makes me small potatoes (mmm, hashbrowns…), but that’s 5,000 more views than I had 4 months ago, and it’s an important-sounding number I can use to propel me forward.

I have learned a lot.  You might not be aware of this, but the “Internet” watches everything you do, and provides some fascinating statistics.  I know how many people read my blog every day.  I know which pictures you click on.  I know what links you follow.  I know what website you were looking at before you came to my page and what site you’re leaving me for.

Based on those stats and other observations, here’s what I have learned about You:

  • You love True Blood, Batman, Snoop, and College Football
  • You spend a lot of time looking at your computer on Sunday morning
  • A lot of you are “considering” starting your own blog
  • You love watching videos, especially if they are not too long

Just a short time ago I was a guy that knew very little about social media and the technology that makes it all work.  Here is what I’ve learned about Social Media:

  • Sites like WordPress, Google, Facebook, and YouTube are incredibly powerful tools for spreading your message
  • Technology is helpful, but people that are willing to show you how to use it are much more helpful
  • Without a Social Media platform, you are becoming less and less relevant
  • You don’t need to know everything to participate

This whole project has caused me to examine myself and give serious consideration to my thoughts and actions.  Here’s what I’ve learned about myself:

  • I can turn any situation into a positive by thinking about the lesson I’m learning
  • I would rather try and fail than not try at all
  • Teaching is one of the best ways to realize what you’ve learned
  • I love having an excuse to wear t-shirts on Friday

So after achieving this mini-milestone, here is what you can expect as we move forward:

  • Stories about some really interesting people I know
  • Opportunities for your involvement
  • A blog specifically about the Batman projects we have done
  • Drink recipes (it is Friday after all)

Thank you to everyone for reading.  Special thanks to those of you that have commented publicly or privately.  I will continue to try and make sure it doesn’t suck.


Speaking of milestones, Happy Birthday to my mom – Sandy White.  She turns 60 this week.  We might live thousands of miles apart and not talk as often as we would like, but I think about her all the time.  As a parent and as a professional, I always want to make my mom proud.  I love you Mom!


Great Idea

3 09 2010

I’m writing this thread from 30,000 feet on a flight to St. Louis.  I was inspired by SkyMall Magazine, which is my favorite part of flying.  They’ve got some crazy and awesome stuff in there.  So many cool, useful, and strange ideas.  And I wonder – why didn’t I think of the Digital Camera Swim Mask?  Couldn’t I have come up with the Bigfoot Tree Statue?  Actually, I’m sure that the Peaceful Progression Wake-Up Clock was my idea, but someone beat me to it.  And Lawn Aerating Sandals???  I could have built those in my garage!

You’ve had an idea.  You’ve thought of some invention.  We’ve all had them.  So why are we not all rich inventor types?  Because a great idea is not enough – not by a long shot.  You need product development, marketing, sales, customer service, artwork, meetings, clients, catalogs, employees, websites, strategies, people, associations, trade shows, flights – do I have to keep going?  The idea is only the beginning.

Browsing through the various SkyMall treasures, it made me think of the the great idea that is the reason I am on this plane – and on so many other planes before it.  Made me think of all the things I have seen and learned over the years – how many people I’ve met and how many places I’ve visited.  And this time I’m flying out to win an award, but none of it would have happened without one man and a great idea.

My boss Alan Davis invented something called the CompressT.  It’s a printed t-shirt shaped to look like something – a star, a guitar, a house, a pint of beer, or about 1,000 other things.  Companies, clubs, and groups, use t-shirts to promote their message at events, giveways, concerts, etc.  And shaping them as we do emphasizes the message.  But aside from the product, how did Alan get this idea off the ground?

As a smart entrepreneur, Alan knew that he couldn’t accomplish his goals on his own.  I’ve been in sales and marketing for a long time and that is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.

  • Admit that you don’t know everything
  • Find people to help you
  • Let them use their talents to propel your vision

That’s not just how you develop a product, that’s how you build a culture.


Speaking of great ideas – how great is this?

Full Disclosure

27 08 2010

The blind date is a thing of the past – in personal relationships and in business.  You would not date someone without looking at their Facebook page first.  You would not buy online without investigating the company website.  People, products and services are available to anyone at anytime.  Websites and social media portholes give us complete access to all kinds of information about the people we want to date, work with, or buy from.

Consider this:  You need to choose a dentist.  You go online and search for dentists in your area.  You find two sites:

Dentist #1:  This site has a phone number, a catchy slogan about your smile, and offers some kind of special deal.

Dentist #2:  This site has a picture of the staff, a video tour of the facility, and comments from happy clients.  500 people “Like” them on Facebook.  The main dentist has posted a video.  He looks right into the camera and tells you why he loves his job and why healthy teeth are important.  He cracks a dry joke and has a pleasant demeanor.  He seems like a nice guy that you can trust.

Now, which dentist are you going to choose?

This is the age of transparency.  If you are not forthcoming about yourself, you seem to be hiding something, and are not to be trusted – or at least you will not be trusted nearly as much as someone that puts themselves out there for public view.

Trust is the complete confidence that something is as it appears.  In marketing, in sales, the common approach is to present a pretty picture and make something seem better than it actually is – that approach causes distrust.  How can you avoid it?

Portray yourself honestly, expose your true character – love you or hate you, people know who they are dealing with.  Those that align with you do so with full disclosure, full knowledge, and they participate by choice.  Why should people have to spend so much time trying to figure out the truth?  You are what you are.  Be that.  Show that.

I write this blog to be a resource for my network and to expose my true character.  Sometimes I am serious and sometimes I am silly – and good or bad, I put it all out there publicly.  This video is a little behind the scenes from last week’s photo shoot.  Judge me as you will – I only hope that I can encourage you to reveal yourself.

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