….to say the least!
As many of y’all know, I proposed to Crissy last August while we were on the first ever Club Seacret Escape at the Bahamas Atlantis Paradise Island. It was an amazing vacation to say the least….and it feels like that vacation was forever ago. This year has just absolutely FLOWN by.
From planning a wedding, to growing my Seacret business, to growing our travel concept within Seacret, a trip to Houston at the end of April, to going on my bachelor party in Vegas in June, to my birthday the following weekend after that, Fourth of July weekend, another trip to Denver two weeks later, our wedding the first weekend of August, our honeymoon ten days after that….and it feels like I’ve been on a month long bender.
It only seems fitting that here I am sitting at my laptop while in my garage on Labor Day wanting to recap for all of you my last 365 days, especially the last 90.
Without going into too many details, this past spring we had a scare in my family. After a couple weeks of processing it – I could’ve really rolled up into a big ball and hid out in my house too afraid to take action and people would’ve understood – I decided to take MASSIVE action. This scare really opened my eyes and it reminded me of the reasons why I got into the world of entrepreneurship in the first place. Let me go into just a few of those reasons.
- Tomorrow Is Never Promised. When I was going thru my six month bout with depression in 2010, it was because I felt like my life was slipping out of control. And it wasn’t any fault of my own. I was slaving away at a job that I used to love, I was above-average successful with it, and my confidence up until then was sky high. The recession was putting a damper on my customers, which in turn was affecting the prices I could charge, which effectively was putting a damper on my income. I was working more and more only to make less and less, which put a strain on my personal life – less and less time to spend with my family and loved ones, and less and less money to pay the bills. Disposable income was DWINDLING. As suicidal thoughts were overflowing in my brain, it began to NOT MAKE SENSE to me that anyone would submit themselves day after day wasting their life slaving away doing a job that they don’t like and was causing so much stress and anxiety, sacrificing so much of their life making someone else money. My line of thinking was this: “If I were to die today, was all the hard work worth it?” And the answer was a resounding no. What made more sense to me was identifying my passion and aligning it with a need in the marketplace. That’s what PURPOSE is all about, as well as LEGACY. I wanted to do something that people would remember me for. So on September 30, 2010….at the end of the work day. I grabbed the nearest cardboard box and packed up the shit on my desk, walked out and never returned. I knew I had about 60 days of back commission to live on while I got my head on straight. I used that time thinking and realizing that “I can’t be the only one that this is happening to.” Whatever I was going to do, it was going to help OTHERS. I wanted to use my story to help and inspire others to be the best version of themselves. Tomorrow is never promised….so you might as well use your days chasing that passion and following that dream. Because a joyous self doing something every day that you can MONETIZE even just a little bit, is better than any paycheck no matter how much you bring in a year, no matter how nice your benefit package is. As Steve Jobs once said, “If you find yourself waking up too many days in a row not wanting what you’re about to do that day, it’s time to find something else to do.”
- Life is all about connection, joy, service to others, and love. Nobody ever has laid on their death bed wishing they would’ve worked more in their life. Outside of the one time I celebrated a huge sales month, I don’t have any significant spotlight memories from any place I’ve ever worked at, and I would be willing to bet you don’t either. If you do have those workplace memories, chances are that they involve other PEOPLE and experiences. Most of our most fond memories in life involve other people, our families, and our experiences with them. Life isn’t about some stellar job title or the fact that we have a downtown corner office in some fancy skyscraper. Life isn’t about our material possessions – some fancy car, a big ass house, or whatever other doodads we tend to feel pressured to accumulate. Life is about being around other people. Communicating. Growing. Enriching each others lives. Loving on one another. Not hating on people. Helping others. That’s whats most important. I feel we’ve lost that sense of community, and we need to return to it immediately. The best way we can do that – in my experience and my opinion – is to start reading the Bible. I’ve been reading it non-stop every day for the last 29 months – since my mom was on her deathbed. Not to push my beliefs on my readers, but understanding what Jesus is all about is the quickest way one can understand what life and love is all about, and what truly is important in life.
- If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying. How much of our lives do you think we WASTE by overthinking? By overanalyzing things? By being AFRAID? What if it don’t work? What will others think of me if I fail? I’ll tell you what, friends. Thomas Edison didn’t fail 1000 times when he was making the light bulb. He just found 999 ways that didn’t work. And look what happened. Changed history and the way people all around the world live their lives. Most people think of “failure” as the end of the road, when really people should think of it as a “detour”…but because of that line of thinking, people find themselves not even TRYING to do anything new because in their mind they’ve already FAILED. I found myself regretting soooo much when I snapped out of my depression. All the things, all the ideas I had but was too afraid to act on them. I was too afraid to tell my friends my ideas because I was afraid that they would laugh at them, that they would tell me I was crazy. In fact, they had done just that in the past. If you find yourself with an opportunity in your lap that maybe you don’t know if you can do it or not, or an idea in your head that you might not know what the first step to take is….take Sir Richard Branson’s advice: “Screw It, Let’s Do IT!” I’m going to tell you one thing….the time is going to go by EITHER WAY. You can always find people that have experience in the thing you want to do that will go out of their way to HELP YOU. And if you don’t have those type of people in your life that will help you, that want to see you succeed and be happy…you need to find new people. Sorry for that gut punch, but for real. Audit your circle and find out who is adding value to your life and subtract those who are what I call “takers” or “vampires”. I had to do just that with over 400 people that I considered were good friends but really, they all talked shit and laughed behind my back if they weren’t laughing in my face. And getting back to the time is going to go by either way…..if you have a dream in your heart (God puts those dreams in your heart for a reason by the way), you have to realize that you’re at a crossroads in your life. You have a choice. You can either get busy living or you can continue to get busy dying. If you’re afraid to take action on your dream or a new opportunity to improve you’re life simply because you don’t know the first step, you have to be prepared to ask yourself, “Am I willing to continue to accept my current circumstances of not being entirely happy knowing I’m going to continue to do things that aren’t entirely aligned with my happiness simply because I might be afraid that I’m going to fail?” OR “Am I willing to endure a season of growth, of learning, of humbleness, and possibly even some sacrifice so that I can LEARN what I need to do so that one day I can experience being successful in what I want to accomplish which in turn will make me the most happiest version of myself I can be?” No matter what, don’t put yourself in a position that you will regret that decision.
So getting back to this spring, I made the decision to take some massive action. After two years of being somewhat stagnant in my business, again, outside of my control because of Covid, despite this scare in my family that people would’ve understood if I didn’t do anything….I turned this relatively negative experience around and turned it into a positive. To really communicate to my audience what was truly important in life. To demonstrate to my audience, my team, my friends, and my family that you can either be a WHINER….or you can be a WINNER. That you CAN be the hero in your own comeback story. That life can either affect YOU, or you can choose to affect YOUR LIFE. I was going to figure it out, one way or another. I was learn what I needed to do….and if the answer wasn’t out there….I was going to make my own answer and be comfortable knowing that if that didn’t work, try number 2 would get me closer to the solution. Or maybe try 3, and so on.
So I came home from Houston late April and I started by taking a run with my Seacret business. Thank you to everyone who found it in their hearts to become a customer of mine, try some products, join our travel and lifestyle club with Club Seacret, and/or join our team. Its been an amazing last five months and I cannot thank you enough. And this is just the beginning. We truly will be a company that changes the world and helps improves peoples lives. (We have a couple promotions going on with Seacret currently. Below is a little informational brochure I put together that discusses our current “GetAway” promotion that includes a 6 day/5 night all-inclusive vacation for two to either the Caribbean or Mexico. You can either enroll as an agent for product/club discounts, or as a customer. Or, if you’d simply like to try products and become a customer, visit my Seacret website. $49 gets you an instant 20% off, free shipping at $150. Thank you in advance!)
Then my bachelor party came. We had myself and seven of my good buddies fly into Las Vegas for the weekend, and holy shit was a fun time had. We had such a good time that – after listening to the Bill Burr podcast – I realized that combined with the stories I’ve accumulated in just the last year of wedding planning, add on top of that the stories that I’ve accumulated in the last 31 years of being in the bar and restaurant industry….that I too could do a PODCAST!!! So I immediately went on Amazon, bought myself a podcast microphone, and the next week my shit is on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!!! So look for the Fun, Sun, and Income Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts! Don’t forget to rate, subscribe, and share!
Another accomplishment that I’m very proud of is one that just happened to drop in my lap shortly before my birthday. I had a very spontaneous meeting with my friend John Ruiz who I’ve known for the last handful of years. Up until that point, I had met him thru some of my regulars at Sgt Peppers, and naturally I had been wanting to meet up with him to discuss my business. Because we had had an at length phone call the week before, he wanted to meet up with me in person. I had 100% full intention of simply listening to him and learning about HIS business. What took place in that next 60-90 minutes was probably the most mind blowing business conversation that I’ve had in my life – outside of those I’ve had in eleven years of network marketing. I left that meeting knowing full well that I was going to help John grow HIS business. John has built from scratch an advertising platform here in the Twin Cities metro area of 200 “screens” installed in local businesses where businesses can spread the word about their brand and as John says, “Be Seen!” The name of his business is iVue Digital, and he only places his screens in high traffic areas where exposure is at a maximum. He has screens in bars and restaurants, fitness centers, auto garages, car washes, etc. His clients report back an increase of 25-50% in exposure and qualified leads of customers reporting to them they saw their ad on one of his screens! So if you’re sick of traditional radio/tv advertising….let’s be honest, everyone is streaming tv and music these days so they don’t have to hear/see commercials anymore, then visit here to request a quote from iVue Digital. OR…..if you’re open to being showcased on the Fun, Sun, and Income Podcast….I’m accepting requests to advertise on the show! Visit here to request pricing! Very economical ad space on a growing podcast!
And then LITERALLY the next week after that….I had a random encounter with a gentleman by the name of Steve Rosenthal. Steve is a rep a company called Universal Sports Auctions here in the Twin Cities and they set up silent auction tables in bars and other locations that customers can submit bids on different sports memorabilia and other things. He was interested in setting up a table at Sgt Peppers and I promised him I would set up a meeting, but in talking, I told him about my podcast and what I do outside of bartending…and we instantly began throwing out ideas of how we could work together. And the result is what you see on my silent auction site! We’ll not only be updating this page with new items every single week, but in the coming months we’ll be doing a huge GALA where we can all get together, socialize, submit bids on some really cool stuff, and benefit charity! I’m talking black tie shit here! Super excited for this partnership with Steve and Universal Sports Auctions!
Which brings us to the wedding. Wow. Can you believe this motherfucker is MARRIED??? I have to pinch myself, STILL. It’s been one day short of exactly a month since we said “I do”. Craziness. Outside of our ceremony being moved from outdoors to inside because of the threat of rain, everything was absolutely BEAUTIFUL….including my wife! Thank you to everyone who made it and helped us celebrate on our special day! Thank you to Geri (event coordinator) and Mike Lynch (Head Chef) at The Lost Spur Golf and Event Center for providing an amazing venue and food! Our guests are STILL raving about it! Thank you to Tammy Uhlir from L&M Photography (@lmphotography_uhlir on Instagram) for doing such a great job on photos! Thank you to Blake and Paul at Party Music for providing the party atmosphere with the music! If you need a photographer or a DJ, both Tammy and Party Music have agreed to provide discounts to anyone who reaches out to them and says that Rich Sandera sent ya!!! You will not be disappointed by the value they provide!
And besides the honeymoon….that brings us to today. Labor Day. And although I haven’t had to work today….I’ve been laboring in front of this laptop for the last four of five hours just wrapping things up after what has been quite the whirlwind of events over this last year. But you know what? The time would’ve gone by either way…and it did. I’m just sitting here feeling so blessed about everything. That i’m alive. That I don’t let fear paralyze me. That I’m not afraid to take action. That I will fight for what I believe in. That I will fight for WHO I believe in. That this gorgeous and absolutely beautiful and rockstar of a woman chose me. That she said “I do” to ME. And the only way I know how to say thank you is to bust my ass for her and for everyone in my life that I truly want to “live life full time” with.
Make every day your day, people. And as I’m writing this, I’m recalling a conversation I had with my friend Tia this past weekend – who unfortunately had a relatives life ended much much too soon. Apparently those who knew him well, know that he was infamous for saying “Have No ZERO days”; meaning, Make every day count. Do something. Take one step. Read a page of a book. Do something every single day to move forward, no matter how small that one thing is. Because something is better than nothing. The time is going to go by either way….and later in life when your life is coming to a close, you’re going to look back on those “zero” days and wish you would’ve done SOMETHING with those 24 hours, especially since at that later point of your life you’re going to begging God to give you just one more hour, just one more day. Put yourself in the situation that you’re glad that you did, not regretting that you didn’t.
And as Ferris Bueller once said, “Life Moves Pretty Fast. If you don’t stop and look around once a while, you’re gonna miss it.”