Why Beekeeping is the Next Big Thing

The last couple of years has been filled with trends headed towards self reliance. Instagram feeds are starting to fill up with gardens and chicken coops. People are even diving into the wild world of beekeeping, including myself. In this post I’ll tell you why I got started in beekeeping and share resources with how to get started yourself.

Spouse Peer Pressure

Five years ago my wife said it’d be cool to keep bees in our backyard and told me how fun it would be to have our own honey. We didn’t have a good yard at the time and we forgot about our ‘bee venture’ for a couple years. We moved to Arvada, Colorado a year ago and looked into the city ordinances and found out that the size of our lot would allow two beehives.

Eureka!

My two hives in my backyard.

My two hives in my backyard.

Here are three reasons why we pulled the trigger and got bees.

  • The honey. We’ve tasted organic honey and it is like nothing else. We wanted the experience to keep bees our self and see the process start to finish.
  • The beeswax. You can get quite a bit of beeswax from the hives which can be used for lip balm and hand salve. Ya know, when the world ends and everyone has chapped lips?
  • The experience. I just turned 30, my wife just turned 34. We needed something to get us excited about life and a cool project that would last a long time. Beekeeping seemed good.

The Reality

We’ve had our bees since April of 2014 and I’ve come up with three new reasons why we are keeping bees which quite frankly surprised the heck out of me. These are stacked ranked by importance.

  • To understand God better. I’m religious and in my research of beekeeping I found multiple references  of veteran beekeepers saying that keeping bees has helped them understand God’s plan. In my short months of this hobby I can tell you this is absolutely true and now my primary motivation for this hobby. As I’ve watch the colonies progress and grow the hive, it’s an incredible example that there is something bigger than our little world and that our purpose on Earth is to work together for a greater cause. While we think that our little drop of nectar is a BIG deal that we need to stress over, it’s part of something bigger.
  • Educate my kids. We have small children and I absolutely love showing them the bees and explaining the process. They are a little young to really be interested but they can explain honey production, pollination, and the lifespan of a bee fairly well.
  • Pollination for the garden. Take the last 30 years of Christmas mornings and add them to 5 trips to Baskin Robbins and that amounts to the feeling of seeing my bees land on my flowers for the first time. Not exaggerating. I hope my garden actually produces something this year.

So far, it’s been really rewarding and I haven’t even tasted the honey yet. Ok – a couple times when it spills on my gloves but you get the point. Basically everything you ate today was produced with the help of bees, so keeping them is pretty darn important. And they virtually take up no space, in my case 15 sq ft. tops.

One of my bees on a marigold.

One of my bees on a marigold.

The Investment

Beekeeping is expensive. For the two hives, the actual bees (2 3lb. packages), feeders, bee suits, honey extractor, and tools – I’m in over $1,000. Seems spendy right? Well the cool thing about beekeeping is that while the up front costs can be steep, beekeeping is long term activity that actual pays for itself over time. I met a beekeeper in Boise, ID last week and he told me he started with two hives and now has 1,600. He shared his love and enthusiasm of his bees and how they’ve been beneficial to his farms.

Over time, the bee colonies will grow and you can actually split the hives. So two become four, which become eight and so on. Will I be managing 1,600 hives one day? I sure hope so. That would be absolutely radical.

A frame filled with honey!

A frame filled with honey!

Is Beekeeping Safe?

Yes. Totally safe. No seriously, the bees could care less about you. They are so focused on honey production and contributing to the hive you honestly are a distraction. I’ve been stung 7 times and each time it’s because I’m being an idiot. I don’t have my suit on, I’m in a hurry, or I’m trying to sneak a peek into the hive. Will you get stung? Yeah probably.

My kids have stood inches away from the hive while a couple hundred bees have been flying around working and they’ve been fine. We don’t roll around in the bees or anything but we can have dinner in the back yard and be safe.

Don’t let getting stung deter you from keeping bees. If that’s the hold up, send me a tweet at @adam_buchanan and I’ll convince you otherwise. 

Getting Started 

You ready to go for it? Good. Let’s get you going young Jedi. First off, you can only start keeping bees in the spring. When you buy a new package of bees they need enough time to build up the colony and honey.

You can buy what’s called a ‘nuc’ hive which is more established and you can get away with starting a nuc later in the spring. If you start a hive later in the summer of fall the bees won’t survive, and you honestly won’t find a supplier to get you bees anyway. Next, read books and watch a lot of YouTube. Three books you must read:

Youtube Channels that you must watch:

  • LDS Prepper – This guy is insanely helpful. He has 35+ videos just for beekeeping, his other videos are awesome too.
  • WallsBeeMan – Solid guy and has so much info.
  • FatBeeman – Hilarious guy who always has students in his beeyard. Must watch.
  • Watch the live feed of when I installed my two hives here (32Min). And here is an update I recently did for a friend on twitter here (2Min).

Did you read all those books? And watch hours of YouTube? If so, then you know all about the equipment you need to buy and that attending a beekeeping club in your area is a really good idea. Personally I haven’t attended a club but the local bee shops in Denver have been super helpful.

Have more questions? Hit me up on twitter @adam_buchanan and follow the progress of my bees on Twitter and Instagram at #BuchananBees. I’ve only been doing this a couple months and while I’m not an expert I’m well on my way, and so are you.

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My 2014 Predictions

It’s that time of year that everyone starts talking about next year. 2013 was good, but in my keyboard crystal ball I see some big things happening in 2014.

Let’s have a look.

  • Habeneros. Bacon, jalepenos, and sriracha will be replaced with the fiery orange demon pepper. Companies will boast habeneros in their ingredients and brands by the end of the year will figure out a way to include in their marketing campaigns.
  • Mustaches will be replaced with mullets. For about 3 months. And then go back to mustaches just in time for Movember.
  • Barnes and Noble will go out of business. I wish them well, but their pacemaker is on it’s last battery.
  • Camo will be a fashion statement for about 6 months for the female ages of 11-21. Then it will shift to 80’s hypercolor and anyone selling hypercolor on ebay will make some serious dough.
  • Brands will start deleting some of the social media channels they are currently participating on and hone in on 1-2 channels in an attempt to do them right. Vine will most likely be the first to go, you may even see some companies nix their facebook page to make a statement. Watch for it.
  • Brands will stop paying for paid social ads and will put those dollars towards more compelling marketing initiatives, like building their own communities or creating indepth 1:1 experiences with their customers.
  • There will be a serious digital house cleaning happening in 2014. Consumers, brands, and puppies will delete all out dated digital clutter, unfollow irrelevant content and people, and basically start over fresh. We saw some examples of this in 2013, but in 2014 it will knock you on your butt.
  • Podcasts will soar. Adding an audio element and a voice to content will add a new expectation that we’ll adopt very quickly and become a leading channel of social interaction.
  • Parents will drastically limit the exposure of tablets and smartphones to their children in an attempt to de-clutter their minds and slow the pace of digital reliance and communication. Parents will begin to push their kids outside to go play with sticks and scratch their knees on the pavement.
  • Company acquisitions and mergers will soar. We’re going to see some outrageous and surprising company decisions this year as companies attempt to sustain their positioning in the market. Amazon will most likely purchase Dunkin Donuts.
  • From a sporting goods and outdoor apparel industry perspective (my industry and favorite topic) we’ll see a drastic decline in technology messaging and a stronger focus on fashion and function. Product will be positioned as ‘tried and true’ rather than ‘look at all the crazy stuff this waterproof jacket can do!’. Consumers are getting smarter and tired of hearing the same sales pitch year after year. The youth will also be a massive focus as companies watch parents go light on digital devices and look to the outdoors for alternative activities.
  • Consumers will BECOME part of the Go To Market process. They will learn what that means and begin to have a seat at the boardroom table. I wouldn’t be surprised if 5 companies literally do that next year.
  • The purchases and usage of bicycles will explode. This will be one of the top trends of 2014.
  • Facebook will start it’s own country.
  • Epic will be replaced with the word ‘bodacious’. (I’m really pulling for this one).

Happy New Year kids! Have a bodacious 2014!

There Is No Free Lunch

My father taught us kids a lot of things but the two biggest lessons are:

There Is No Free Lunch and Work Like Balance

To set the scene, my dad had just graduated from college (possibly Masters, possibly Ph.D, he got both, not sure which one, but anyways) and this was a huge milestone. My dad has told me school was not his strong point but that he knew it was important.

His carpenter friend told my dad he would build a custom plaque and asked him what he wanted. My dad requested at the top it said “There Is No Free Lunch” and on the bottom he wanted himself, my mom, and my two oldest sisters walking with the Oregon Mountains (NM mtns) in the background.

For 35+ years this plaque has taken center stage in his office. It is one of our family icons. The quality and subtle nature of this carving is as impressive as how it’s weathered over the years. It hasn’t weathered much and has sustained it’s message.

Let’s step back.

Here is my dad, probably 30+ years old, he has a wife and two daughters and has completed one of the biggest milestones in his life. And to note it wasn’t easy. Lot’s of cheap entertainment, tight budgets, no frills, and lot’s of hard work. At the end of that this carpenter asks what he wants carved into a piece of wood that would be viewed by many for years to come and this is what my dad requests?

What, no fancy graduation gift? No new 32 inch color TV? No brand new cassette player for the family car? Furniture? No request for an Apple IIe to act as the official family computer to play games on?

Sure, maybe those things came. But those things are now gone. And this wooden plaque remains.

The Lesson

My dad was meticulous when it came to mowing the lawn. He didn’t less us kids take shortcuts. Some Saturday mornings weren’t very fun actually. But I think for the 90’s and for my situation, maybe it wasn’t meant to be fun. Maybe I was suppose to learn a couple lessons of hard work and seeing projects through. Maybe I lean on these lessons daily. Yes, actually I do.

There is no free lunch. To think there is free lunch is dangerous. Like Ed Versturs says on the title of his book “No Shortcuts To The Top”. Ed climbed Mt. Everest like a bagillion times with no oxygen and stuff. Sharp guy.

Work Life Balance

Let me set the scene. We had just moved to northern New Mexico. My dad had started a successful consulting firm which was doing quite well. He took a big leap and left a steady paycheck from a university to go out on his own. He says was the best decision ever.

So we move to Northern New Mexico and find ourselves in a used ski swap sale spending close to $1,000 to outfit 4 eager boys for the ski hill. And close to another $1,000 in season ski passes. Oh and times that by 7-8 years, oh and actually add a couple brand new North Face jackets and brand new ski’s in there.

Ok – so looking back my parents probably spent $X amount on us kids to have endless chairlift conversations and produce a handful of ski films (on VHS) that never made it to Warren Miller Entertainment.

My parents are now retired and my dad commented a couple weeks ago, “Ya know, we spent a lot on skiing back in those days. I’d probably have more money in the bank for retirement if we didn’t go skiing , but I’d have less memories with you kids.”

Lesson

Yes. That equation is correct. More money in the bank may equal less memories. At the time I’m sure my mom was nervous of how much my dad spent on us boys to go skiing. She’ll probably never understand the lasting effect that this has had on us sons who are now fathers to 13 kids. She sees us interact with our kids but after my parents die and after my wife and I die; our kids will carry a ‘ski with your kids’ mentality for generations to come. At least I hope so.

I love my kids. I’d rather hang out with them all day. When I get asked to go on a hike or bike ride with my friends I usually hesitate. When are we getting back? How long am I leaving my wife alone? I’m happy to travel for work but honestly it kills me to be away from my family.

My wife and I have our own awesome adventures. The people I follow on Instagram and facebook do such cool stuff. I literally will never have to buy a National Geographic or Outside magazine again. The people I follow post the most rad pictures and stories. I’ll probably never climb Mt. Everest (sounds pretty silly actually) or go skydiving. Or post a crazy video of me skiing fresh powder in Canada. I kinda don’t care though, because I have my family and my virtual weekend junkie social media friends who I can vicariously live through. Image

My daughter and son waving by to me on my bike ride to work the other day. This may not be skydiving with a GoPro but to me this is more exciting. This photo also go like 20 likes on Instagram – I’m so popular it freaks me out sometimes. 

Can’t wait to spoil the hell out of my kids at a ski swap this fall followed by hitting the bunny hill this winter. Even if it means a couple less dollar signs in my retirement account.

Happy Father’s Day.

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Poach Of The Week: Blunt Healthvertising

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This week for Poach of the Week we travel to Northern New Mexico to meet my friend Dr. Josh Vanbuskirk who runs his chiropractic office a little un-concracktional (unconventional, dumb joke, my bad). One day he submitted a business plan and then a couple years later he’s seeing 3x growth and a strong email subscriber list; all because he tells his clients he doesn’t want to see them again.

Overview

Imagine starting your own business in a small town (60K is small IMO) full of professionals who do exactly what you do. Josh could have taken the easy route and done it the easy way, but he knew he could offer this town something the other pro’s couldn’t. Aspirational Actionable Health.

His focus is teaching his clients how to take care of themselves and tells them he doesn’t want to see them again.

I tell them I want to work myself out of a job. If I teach people how to take care of themselves, that to me is worth more than repeat customers who keep their unhealthy habits.

Poach Of The Week
When Josh first started he asked my advice about social media, blogging, and email marketing. I gave him the usual advice but he really wanted to deliver information that people needed in a way they would consume it. Thus began his weekly email.

His email is a no-hype straight forward cut the crap don’t hold back lay it all out email newsletter. Written by Josh himself, he destroys myths and rips apart fad diets. A couple of my favorite titles are A Word On Sick Kids and I Love Seeing Fat People Run.

The Vanbuskirk Brand
At first glance Josh is taking a strong local approach. However, with his email reaching devices all over, he really has a big picture idea to deliver his genius message to people far and wide. He wants to make a difference. And he is.

A couple things I like about his brand:

His website is clean and isn’t mucked up with digital clutter.

Josh performs regular seminars at the local college and Natural Food store.

When you meet with Josh, his excitement for health is contagious. He may not want you back in his office but you’ll want to come back to glean his amazing attitude.

I visited just a couple months after his business started and was amazed when I overheard a conversation at a softball game of two women talking about his unique and effective approach.

Follow Josh

If you want health tips without the sugar coating Josh is your man. After reading a couple of his no-hype articles and watching a couple of his videos, I promise you’ll make the personal trek to New Mexico to see what the big deal is. Josh is humble, cares about people, he dislikes the direction our country’s health is headed and is doing his part to educate and inspire change.

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Poach Of The Week: Forecasting Gear

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This week for Poach Of The Week we look at one of my favorite people in my newsfeed and authority in bringing the news in everything outdoor: Amy Jurries who has dubbed herself The Gearcaster.

Overview

Amy delivers everything from outdoor industry news and the latest in outdoor gear gadgets and actually ‘forecasts’ upcoming gear, thus the name Gearcaster. Perfect. Amy is very active herself, not only are you the first to know about the new SPOT Satellite phone but she gets out and rocks the outdoors. Authentic.

Poach Of The Week

The article that she wrote last week that really caught my eye is about Black Diamond teaming up with an all female design team at BYU. I hadn’t see the article pop up anywhere else and it really struck me that her relationships with brands and companies are top notch. Sidenote: Black Diamond deserves props for pulling their heads out of the sand and teaming up with creative people in their own backyard. Very rare. Very rad.

The Gearcaster Brand

I’m a firm believer that we all have our own brand. This week I got into a couple twitter discussions with some new followers and after a quick scan of their bio’s I quickly changed a couple things on my personal twitter profile to keep my digital hygiene up to par. Amy carries herself like a digital champ. Here are a few things she does that I believe rock the internet house:

  • Her logo was professionally designed and doesn’t change. Ever. She took the time (and possibly money) to get it right up front.
  • She keeps her profile picture the same. Always. I change my profile pic often (probably too often) but when The Gearcaster pops up in my feed it’s consistent and stays steady.
  • There is always value. Amy never rambles. I’ve never seen her post a rant about a recent coffee shop mishap. I’m sure she probably has had difficult experiences in all her travels, but you’d never know it.
  • The articles are unique and exclusive.
  • Active and relevant. As I’m writing this post a new gear review just posted. Awesome.
  • In person, Amy is one of my favorites. She’s easy to talk to and never makes you feel unimportant. She cares. And that goes a long way these days.

Follow Amy

Even if you dislike the outdoors, try following Amy on twitter for a week or two to see what I mean. The other thing that I really enjoy about The Gearcaster is back and forth conversation on twitter. This seems so basic but that is what you get with Amy.

 

 

 

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Mom, my appendix ruptured but I can’t tell you.

Terror struck my little family a couple weeks ago. My little son, a mere 18 months old, had his appendix removed. Days before we went to the hospital his stomach was tight, he was fevering, and he couldn’t goto the bathroom. His eyes would stare directly at us wishing we could find resolve. He was saying:

Mom and Dad, my tummy hurts so bad. I can’t sleep. I don’t know why. I think it might be my appendix.

But we didn’t know what he was telling us. We were just reading his expressions.

As a parent I’m responsible for three little people. It is on my shoulders if those kids eat. And if they sleep in a bed. And if they feel loved. Parents are protectors. We take our job very seriously. We may fill our Facebook and Instagram feed with quirky stories and photos, but there is no doubt we wouldn’t punch someone in the face repeatedly if it meant to protect our young.

As a parent we seek control. My wife and I lost a good portion of control when my son went through this surgery. Our physical strength and will was useless as they wheeled away our son on a hospital bed into the OR. Our souls were ripped to shreds.

Just days before a nurse of 20 years had said she was certain it wasn’t appendicitis. She had never seen this age of a child experience it. I wanted to scream at her after my son turned the corner that evening into surgery. I wanted to call her and express my deep frustration for delaying a resolve.

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It felt like hours and hours until our little man returned. He was sick. I mean, he was really really sick. I cried so hard that night. My vibrant little son was hooked up to so many tubes and monitors. This wasn’t my son, he terrorizes his siblings and throws stuffed animals across the room. But there he was, sleeping while his body repaired.

My wife was so strong through this. She held it together. She stitched the wrecked attitude I carried. She sought resolve. She fought for our son and requested solutions. I was embarrassed on Mother’s Day; how do I express my thanks for such graceful heroics?

After fighting, my son woke up. Just barely. He was still in so much pain. Hours and hours later we got to hold him. I applied Chapstick to his cracked and dried lips. Usually he plays with my Chapstick and removes the cap and eats the balm. For hours I would place my Chapstick tube in his hand hoping he would remember the smooth width and grab hold. It took hours and days but he did.

He watched cartoons. He sat up on his own. He cried. He laughed. We watched Cars 2 for hours and hours. My wife stayed with him every night in that hospital room. No complaints escaped her.

Then one day the doctors cleared him. And then one day he walked and ran and bounced back. For days encouraging words poured through our phones lending support. If you have a friend or family that goes through this experience, call them. Their souls are ripped to shreds and they are getting semi-crappy news from nurses everyday. Do it.

I hope this story comes off confusing, because its how I felt through this experience. People have asked us what were his symptoms, that’s the wrong question. You should be asking did we follow our intuition. My wife followed her intuition, that’s what matters. Symptoms are merely talking points with the doctor. My wife felt something was wrong, and there was. Parents have a sacred intuition, use it.

We learned a lot from this experience. It was rough. Prayer was absolutely critical. We are a lot stronger from this experience, but if I could’ve switched places with my son for him to not have to go through that surgery; I would have.

Early in the experience I called him Miracle Max. He truly is.

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Who Took A Chance On You?

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My amazing daughter and I

I read a jarring post by Sara Lingafelter this morning. I can’t continue on to the next stage in life without paying serious gratitude to those who took a chance on me.

My parents, teachers and librarians who let me spend some of my recess time when I was in the fifth grade camped out in the library playing Oregon Trail on an Apple IIe instead of on the playground. — Sara Lingafelter

Who Took A Chance On Me?

My brother Bevan took a chance on me when he taught me how to play soccer in our backyard. I had zero confidence but wanted to try out for the U-12 soccer team. He fed me mashed bananas with a side of encouragement. He pushed me pretty hard.

I didn’t make the team. So I called Chad King the head coach and asked if I had made the team (knowing I hadn’t made the team) and he took a chance on me when he said I could come out and practice with the team. Chad took a chance on me when he had me play half-back and used my middle name Cooper to cheer me on up and down the field. I almost scored against a U-14 girls team and I’ll never forget how that felt. I may not have succeeded in the traditional sense but I scored big time in the life category. Confidence is everything.

Michelle Fletcher my 6th grade teacher took a chance on me when she encouraged me to further my freestyle skiing career. Back when freestyle meant you skied moguls, not the park and pipe. Michelle wrote me weekly feedback in my journal saying I would one day be an olympian. She looked the other way when I ditched school for fresh powder (and I actually saw her skiing on a school day, our little secret). Just last July my current job brought me to hang out with the US Freestyle ski team to interview them and take photos of training at Mt. Hood. I wasn’t competing but I had no fear walking on to the snow that day.

My brother Spencer took a chance on me when I showed an un-dying interest in rock climbing. Spencer bought me quickdraws, which I still have. He probably spent $70 total in that gear which compared to my stacks of cams, ropes, harnesses, shoes – could have come off insignificant but it was never about the gear. It was all about the extension of confidence through brotherhood.

My brother Ryan took a chance when he invited me to hang out with his friends on Friday nights back when I was in elementary school. This may have jump started my never-ending love for women but it gave me a boost in social skills which I am paid to use everyday.

My parents Bruce and Ruth have never stopped taking chances on me. In so many countless ways. Which is why I’m currently writing a book about them. One instance is my parents letting me move to West Yellowstone, MT for a summer when I was probably way too young. I pull experiences from that summer almost weekly. It was invaluable for them to take that chance on me.

My sister Heather Pack took a chance on me when she helped write an article for my Rainier summit. Heather didn’t hold back and made me work hard for each sentence. Heather is the best and doesn’t let our 14 year age difference get in the way of being great friends.

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My sister Kristi and I – We have the most ridiculous humor

My sister Kristi Cutler took a chance on me when she sent me a pair of pants to climb Mt. Rainier. It was the last piece of gear that I needed and she probably had no idea that I may not have went if I didn’t get those pants. That and many other phone calls of advice, Kristi is such a great mentor to have on my contact list.

My wife Lisa Buchanan took a chance on me when I dazzled her with lies in our first meeting, telling her I was a star-gazing guide and took people mountain biking to remote places and that I’d ‘cut her a deal’ for a private trip. She still takes chances on me daily. I’ll never be able to come close to repaying her for the confidence she instills in me everyday.

Ali Thackeray took a chance on me when she hired me as a Gearhead answering endless gear questions and placing orders. Ali talked to me differently and always made time to deliver criticism is the most enthusiastic and motivating way. Ali is truly a purveyor of genius and will forever be the pioneer of helping me find my own creative intelligence.

Kendall Card took a chance on me when he came across my blog one day and extended an invitation to work with him in an incredible role. Kendall handed me the baton and told me to run. Ever since then I haven’t stopped running. Kendall truly helped me kickoff my career in social media in a way I’ll never forget.

Brandon Stoddard invited me to be part of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. His contagious attitude towards marketing was difficult to resist. Brandon continues to share notes with me to this day and I will forever be grateful for him coming across the classroom and introducing himself. Best colleague ever.

My dad took a HUGE chance on me handing me the keys to his business. It was such an incredible experience working with him on a daily basis. And when he encouraged me to start my own business, which failed, he gave me encouragement until the end. I am so glad I got this opportunity and got to know my dad and how he has built a career which has shaped mineland reclamation for the southwest region of America. It was very humbling and an invaluable experience to help me find my true self and pursue what I am best at.

Gregory Mckewon took a chance on me when he sat down at a networking table at a conference and told me I should move to California. Greg asked tough questions about who I really was and what I really should be doing to contribute to our world. Our 3 minute conversation made me re-think my course and resulted in moving my 8-month pregnant wife and 2 children to Portland, OR (not California).

Scott Trepanier took a chance on me offering me that opportunity in Portland, OR. He challenged me to re-think business. Scott helped me keep a strong pace of momentum that mentors ignited in me years before. To date I have never worked for a more inspiring and motivating individual.

It started in my backyard playing soccer. It’s taking me to Boulder, CO in two weeks. Not sure where it will end. I do know I need to continue the efforts of extending chances to others.

So so so grateful to the people in the above paragraphs.

Who Took A Chance On You?

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This elf on the shelf business

Whoa whoa whoa…what did I sign up for?

My wife bought this book on amazon that’s suppose to keep the kids good for 30 days. But my brother just informed me something about having to do crazy stuff with this thing: every night.

While the kids will be dreaming of sugar plums and strawberry shortcake, ill be up till midnight making random fixtures and recreating scenes from Home Alone. So wait, this smiley elf just sits back while I do all the work? Marshmallow fights and making cookies leaving a mess for the kids to see in the morning? Great influence mister elf. How bout bout we try this:

Take out the garbage
Get a job
Help cut bullets for bettylime
Make me a sandwich
Do the Christmas shopping

Baghhh what’s the use. I mean, no way will any of this happen. He’s not magic, he came from Amazon, not THE Amazon.

So what now, do I Instagram along with fifty umpteen mlogs discussing how to doop our three yr olds in believing in an elf for the next month? Bust that. Why don’t we work on helping them get in the spirit of Christmas?

Nah. That won’t up my twitter follower count and get more visits to this blog. I need to pinterest crazy ideas that seem good at the time and whip out the dslr for some high res documenting of elf mischief. Ill give it a couple days, if the kids like it, we’ll see. But this is the first and last blog post that you’ll see elf, shelf, and drop kick to the rosey cheeks in the same post.

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What Men Really Want For Christmas

Let’s cut the Christmas gift drama. You ladies wanna know what men really want? Here’s a list: 

  • Razors – Those crazy spensive ones. Yeah, the ones for like $30 bucks that we never buy ourselves. Battery operated, voice activated, you got it. 
  • Hat/Hoody Combo – We’re simple humans really. Don’t need much, just something that helps us feel young when we are picking up tortellini and children’s motrin at 10PM at the grocery store. Click this link for some young man looking threads
  • A knife – Yeah ladies a kughnife. We have 12 blades already, let’s make it a bakers dozen. Openly we make fun of Bear Grylls, secretely we want to be him. 
  • Red Rayban wayfarer glasses – Can’t speak for all men here, but I want these.
  • A Wallet – nothing better than a hearty leather wallet. lifespan on these puppies is about 365 days, hmm perfect timing me thinks?
  • A blu-ray – Don’t even need the player, just the disc. Sure we don’t have a device to watch the movie, but when my boys call me up and be like, “Hey do you have inception on blu-ray?” I’m like, “heck yes! 4 ft from where I’m currently sitting homie.” 
  • Soda – caffiene, sugar, carbonation. You got it sister. Diet Coke, ice cold. Where the condensation drips against the glass like a late night rave in an abandoned warehouse in the middle of summer in Waco, TX. And this beverage comes with no strings. No guilt trip. No comments from the in-laws. Just pure sweetness in a can. Red bull also welcome, great stocking stuffa’s
  • Headphones – Nothing dorky like those $400 umpteen dolla Bose-phones. I’m talking style, like Nixon or some skullcandy’s. 
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How to beat Facebook at their own game

Recently Facebook changed the back end of their site showing a drastic decline in engagement for brand pages.

So here is my advice.

Get over it. And quick.

I interviewed the teams from the following companies to see how they are dealing with the changes (actually I didn’t)

Jet blue, Red Bull, Starbucks, Coca Cola, and (aw what the heck) REI.

Me: hey guys, bummer about the recent FB change eh?

Them: hmmm yeah I guess, kinda saw it coming. After all, they have to make money somehow.

Me: How are you altering your FB strategy?

Them: Keep on keeping on. Create the best content out there and focus on generating organic conversation and sharing.

Me: So you aren’t frustrated and writing hate mail to FB?

Them: No. In fact, we gotta get back to work. Stay classy Adam.

Enough said. Just like Timeline. Just like losing Super Fun Wall. We gotta move on and let the puppet master continue to pull the strings.

Not a fun answer but we gotta stay focused and ride the rough wave. And maybe set aside some funds for FB ads. If you use them right you could see some awesome results.

This is what we live for: a challenge. Go for it.

I’d like to thank my faux interviewees, I really appreciate their insight and time.

SIDENOTE: A love letter my wife wrote me when we were dating.

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