Does your Sudoku style match your biz style?

So, since I’m at home with my parents, we start everyone morning with coffee, conversation and a Sudoku race.

Whats a Sudoku race? Well, my dad makes 3 copies of the daily Sudoku from the Chicago Tribune and off we go. We even incorporate handicaps into. I have to give them a 5 minute headstart as I usually win.

First one done gets the glory of screaming out DONE and being named Champion for the day (yes, we are SLIGHTLY competitive here at the Wittenburg house).

Anyhoo, after a week of this i’ve noticed something interesting.

I’ve won the majority of the time and usually it’s well before my parents (even with the handicap) but my style is to get all the “sure” things down and then take a very highly educated guess. This pays off for me 90% of the time. But i “bust” about every 10th game.

My Mom is usually my biggest challenger in terms of she’s most likely to scream out “DONE” before me. However, in her haste she “busts” more than either me or my Dad.

My Dad has not ever said “DONE” 1st. But, he is right 100% of the time. He will not leave that puzzle until it is completely solved and he rarely guesses. He always logically figures it out. But it takes him at least 2x as long as me.

I’m in Marketing.

My Mom is in Real Estate.

My Dad was (before retirement) an Industrial Engineer.

I think our style is pretty indicative of what our careers were?

How about you?

Professional BullRiders

Since the 2011 season is upon us (and by upon us I mean we kick off at Madison Square Garden in 8 days)  I thought I’d give you a few reasons as to why you should check out the Professional Bullriders in a city near you.

1. You can’t find better action in a sporting event

I’ve now worked for every major professional sporting organization and I can honestly say that the PBR is the Toughest Sport on Earth. If you don’t believe me check these out..

It’s only 8 seconds but it seems like a lifetime…

httpv://www.pbr.tv/pbr/console.jsp?catid=78&id=3835

And sometimes it doesn’t even last 8 seconds…

httpv://www.pbr.tv/pbr/console.jsp?catid=59&id=3792

2. It truly is Fun for the Whole Family

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just country music and only bullriding. I took my niece and she danced to hip hop songs for 3 hours straight in the aisles. She’s 6. She didn’t even know bullriding was going on.

And of couse, there’s Flint. He entertains hundreds of thousands a year. If you’ve never seen him, go to YouTube and enter Flint & PBR in the search bar. Lots of great ones to choose from.

3. The riders are the most down to earth athletes I’ve ever met.

The cowboys/riderrs are some of the most down to earth real people you will ever meet. I’ve never seen athletes stick around after every performance to sign and shake hands with fans but they all do. From everyone to a Ty Murray and Cord McCoy who are more of a  household name to fan favorite Brendon Clark, the riders truly care about the sport and the fans and the growth of the PBR.

4. It’s affordable

Tickets start as low as $10 in most markets and we also offer a $99 Family Pack (in most markets) that includes food and beverage. Not bad for 3 hours of entertainment.

So, that’s my shameless PBR plug for 2011. Get all the information you need at pbr.com. Hope to see you there.

Operating in Your FastBall

First, what do I mean by Fastball? Well, since I was a softball pitcher my fastball was my best pitch. I could throw it harder than anyone else in the state. In business I mean, your area of strength. The stuff you are best at and the stuff that comes the most easily to you.

Second, if you haven’t read the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell then you are an idiot.

Well, ok just getting your attention. Your most likely not an idiot but my point is, it’s a good book and he’s basically talking about finding your fastball.

I just read Blink again. What prompted me to read it was a conversation I was having with my mother about real estate. She’s been doing real estate for 25 years and is at the top of her game and I asked her a question and her response was “Well, i just know”.

I totally understood that. Often, at work someone will ask me how i know something about selling tickets or marketing and it’s hard for me to explain. I just know. I’ve been doing it for 15 years. I see things others dont when it comes to selling tickets & marketing sports.

So figure out what your “fastball” is or as Gladwell says “The Power of Thinking WithOut Thinking”. Or if you are just starting out in a career or finding your passion, figure out what you want “fastball” to be (in the book there are examples of everything from an art curator to a baseball player).

The point is get where you are answering “I just knew” to the question “How did you know that?” bc it comes naturally to you.

So, if you are currently a lawyer and your dream job is being a photographer, what are you waiting for?

As we close down 2010 and head into a new year people always want to make changes. Well, real change seldom happens overnight but if you don’t start now, when will you start?

Hiring

I was out with some highschool friends this week and one of them asked me “What do i look for when I’m hiring?”

Answer was simple (and since I’m asked alot I thought I’d share)

First, it depends on the job.

Since I’m in Sports Sales & Marketing, i’m often hiring entry level sales/marketing jobs. For these jobs I mainly look for a person’s desire to learn and to be a part of a team that is about to do something people say can’t be done. Of course, a few years experience helps but I’ll hire someone right out of college or looking for a career change if i like them. They have to want it though. I’ve seen alot of entitlement out of recent graduates and I want people that are hard workers. Smart workers. Diligent workers.

Besides, I’m not 100% certain that Academics aren’t a waste (even though I’m a proud FSU graduate).

Second, if the job is overseeing an area that is not my “fastball of expertise” then i definitely look for experience first. I’m not afraid to hire people smarter than me. In fact, I want people smarter than me. Specifically in areas where I don’t have as much experience but still oversee it. An example of this for me is “research”. Although I like data, i don’t like the boring research, numbers, etc so in that case i have to hire someone with a completely different makeup who likes that and has proven experience.

Of course, there are other small factors but in alot of cases, you can teach the job. What you can’t teach people is personality.

A little good in us all…

So, last night I watched The Town with my parents.

Its a movie about bank robbers. In my opinion, it was a good movie. But, it was a disturbing movie.

The most disturbing thing about the movie is that I found myself really, truly rooting for Ben Afflecks character.

This appalled my parents.

My mom said “But, he shot at police officers”.

My Dad said “But, he’s not a good person”.

All of that is true. Ben Affleck’s character was bad. He was a bank robber. And a murderer.

But, he was also a guy trying to get out of a life he didn’t want. He was trying to make a change. He fell in love. He fell in love with a girl that showed him a different life is possible. And he wanted that life.

My conclusion is that there is a little good in us all.

Even the people that are “bad”.

And there is a little bad in us all.

Even the people that are “good”.

Smoke Alarms

Random thought as I’ve now seen 3 different posts this week on smoke alarm batteries running out.

I truly believe the amount of angst caused by smoke alarm batteries running out (and you know they never run out in the day when it’s convenient. It’s always at night and when you have no replacement batteries) is indirectly proportional to the amount of lives saved from smoke detectors in general.

So, b/c I’m a risk taker and decided to live on the edge in 2011, i’m disarming all my smoke detectors with no batteries. Sure, I risk not detecting fire but I think the chances are slim.

Whose with me?

Christmas Traditions

Things that let me know its Christmas:

Celebrating Jesus birth

Homemade Chocolate meringue pie with homemade crust

Kids enjoying their gifts

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8408VX5LeXA

Cande light Christmas Eve Church service

My grandpa proclaiming this year “the best Christmas ever”

Annual Christmas Wrap Cardboard Tube Fight

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94rLBZyTnHQ

Playing games with the family ( bridge with my grandparents, Christmas charades, some kind of jigsaw puzzle)

48 hour food fest & impending naps

How about you? What are your Christmas traditions?

Worry

Today’s church sermon was on worry. My family worries alot in general. Usually about things we/they can’t change.

Last night my dad (reading a quote from his new dvd on cycling) said “You can’t plough a field by turning it over in your mind”. And that’s what worry is. Just constantly turning things over in your mind.

Not healthy.

I thought the pastor summed it up well.

‘If you are worried about something you CAN change quit worrying and go change it”

So, I guess I’m back to contemplating change.

How about you?

Change

People attack change.  I don’t even think they realize it sometimes. But, they do. You see it all over business. Corporate culture attacks change in the same way one might attack a virus. And in most cases, this is not good. Not good for business and not good forthe people that make up the business.

Today, i am asking myself the following question:

am I embracing change?

b/c if your not embracing change you are just delaying the inevitable. Because there is one thing I know – Change happens regardless. You can sometimes slow it (but it’s often to your own detriment)

Change happens. So get on board or get out of the way.

What do you think?

Twitter Checklist by Jack Dorsey

Disclaimer: None of this list is mine. It’s from the guy that is in Charge of Twitter so it’s WAY better than anything I could write. Follow @jack on Twitter & read this. I think it will make him happy if people start tweeting more effectively so I hoping he’s ok with this post.

Tweet checklist

A pre-flight checklist before you hit the “Tweet” button.

1. Has correct spelling, grammar, & abbreviations
Common and friendly SMS abbreviations are OK. Look to @MargaretAtwood for best practices.

2. Contains a URL
Tweets should be clickable, leading to an image, video, or page describing more.

3. Uses an active voice
Communication that is direct and frank is the simplest to understand (and remember).

4. Uses a friendly and approachable tone
Don’t be bland! But don’t overdo it.

5. Encourages interaction
Encourage the reader to take action immediately. Click a link, view a picture or video, retweet and share, or answer a question (e.g. “What do you use @Square for?”)

6. References other Twitter accounts (if applicable)
Seek out official accounts to link to with @ syntax. If it forms a greater name, make it fit (e.g. “@Jack Dorsey”, “@VirginAmerica Airlines”).

7. Retweetable
Keep Tweets short so people can Retweet them without editing when retweeting with “RT”.