Monday Morning Mojo: 3 in 5 Years!

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Well they did it again. After decades of championship heartbreak, the San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series for the 3rd time in 5 years. If they can pull it off and beat the Kansas City Royals to claim World Series #3 in 5 years I think it will be safe to call it a dynasty.

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As all of us baseball fans know, the Giants started off the season on fire and the team looked like a shoe in to make the post season. But a baseball season is long…162 games. By the end of the season it was another dose of torture, and we were on edge about whether they would even make the playoffs. I have to be honest, as rocky as their season was during the summer months, I was not super optimistic they would make it. Then they barely slid into the playoffs with a few stars, some no name players, some rookies and really just a hodgepodge of guys…I really thought their post season would be over quickly. But then after Thursday night’s win and becoming the National League champs it was very obvious to me why they are on their way to the World Series again. Like all of their games, Thursday night’s game was a nail biter…heck it came right down to the last pitch…or should I say it came down to the 3 run smash over the right field wall to win the game by the most unlikely of hero’s…Travis Ishikawa who committed an error early in the game to give up the first run to the Cardinals. But it wasn’t that…it was how all of the players acted during and after that game…it was what all of the players said after the game during the postgame interviews that struck me and made me think to myself, aahhh…that is how they did it.

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When you watch the Giants closely you can really tell how much they care about each other…I mean really care about each other. All of the players being interviewed after the game talked about family, their faith and their friendships. They all talked about how tight they are and how much they genuinely care about each other and each other’s families…from Bruce Bochy on down. When they hugged each other, it was not just some superficial hug…you could just tell they really love each other and love playing together. Winning isn’t so much about how great one individual is…it is about how great the TEAM is and they are proving it.

Giants

Different circumstances can occur to make up a team, but the making of a great team can mean accepting what you have and working with every teammates’ unique talents. Remember, it was only 4 short years ago when the Giants were called the Misfits. Well, those Misfits brought back home the World Series Trophy. Not every team will look the same aside from their team uniform… sometimes a winning team must consists of a panda, a giraffe, a white shark, a horse, a freak, an angel in the outfield, a beast, and don’t forget the seal!!!!

So how does that help us? When you are looking to win in any area of your life, make sure you are part of the right team…a team that cares…really cares. The kiss of death is being part of the wrong team or a toxic team. Because it does not matter how great you are as an individual…if you are not surrounded by the right team of people…if you are not part of the right culture…if you are not part of a group of people who will put the team before themselves, you will never reach your full potential.

Let’s do this GIANTS!!!!!!


Weekend Wellness: Changes in the Season

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If we lived in an environment where each and every day we had temperatures in the mid 70’s, blue skies dotted with a few clouds here and there, perfectly green hills, a slight breeze and warm nights, every day, every month, every year…would we appreciate it? I’d like to say yes, but is it that we would appreciate it because we have experienced storms, cold days and nights, torrential winds and downright gloomy days? Would we say yes because we have perspective?

Seasons are great metaphors to our life cycles. One day, maybe many, many days, and even months or dare I say years, life is beautifully sunny, no real clouds in the forecast, not even a little drizzle. Then, out of nowhere a hurricane comes in, coupled with a tornado, a snow storm and followed with an earthquake! Our sunny days seem gone forever. All we can do is put on our cold weather gear, batten down the hatches and fight the storm. We can trudge through the snow, and find the safety nets we stored for tumultuous days.

Finally, the storm lifts, but in its wake there’s destruction. Here’s the real life lesson…did the destruction happen because we were careless and naive and didn’t have a safety net in place? Did the destruction happen because of the way we reacted to the storm? Did the chaos and dishevelment occur because we didn’t want to deal with the uncomfortable situation and instead we went into hiding?

Blizzards and unpredictable weather are going to come in and out of our lives constantly. The beauty is the nice calm weather that emerges after the pandemonium. How we appreciate the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, the calm winds and the newness of the day can be embraced because of the changes, because of the contrast of the seasons.


Cool Apps: So Much More Than A Security Camera

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but bad things happen.  Especially when you least expect it. You live in a safe neighborhood, you lock the doors when you leave, and your next door neighbor’s home a lot so you don’t worry too much about something awful happening while you’re away from your house. The unfortunate truth is when you least expect it, that’s when it happens; the stove gets left on, a pipe breaks, or even worse, someone breaks in.

Piper logoThere’s a great and simple solution to prevent this from happening: Piper, a smart, elegant security and home automation system. Starting at $199.00, this little device lets you manage and connect with your home from anywhere using your smartphone. Instillation is super easy. Just plug in the devices and download the app. Connect your wi-fi and your set. You can stream live video of your home at any time and if some unusual movement were to occur, you’ll get notified with a message and recorded video. You can sound Piper’s built-in alarm and take action as necessary.

What really makes Piper different is that not only is it equipped with a built-in video camera, motion and sound detectors, but will also connects you to your homes environment. The device senses the temperature, humidity, standard light and sound of your home. Keeping track of this can help you conserve energy.

Combine Piper with a smart switch and you can automate, schedule, and remotely control lights and appliances directly from the Piper app. Add Door/Window sensors and you can get notified whenever a door or window is opened.
Check out the below video to see how easy and effective Piper can be for you.

Piper Video

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Weekend Wellness: The Potato Sack

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Wellness comes in many forms. In physical activity, nutritional selections and in choices for our mind and soul.

The other morning I came across this short story…this is truly a wellness tip for the soul …enjoy.

A teacher once told each of her students to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to school. For every person they refused to forgive in their life, the students had to choose a potato, write a name and date on it, and put the potato in the plastic bag. Some of their bags were quite heavy.

They were then told to carry this bag with them everywhere for one week, putting it beside their bed at night, on the car seat next to them when driving, next to their desk at school, and even to restaurants.

The hassle of lugging this around with them made it clear what a weight they were carrying spiritually, and how they had to pay attention all the time so they wouldn’t leave the bag in embarrassing places. Naturally the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty smelly slime.

This is a great metaphor for the price we pay for holding on to our pain and heavy negativity. Too often we think forgiveness as a gift to the other person and it really is a gift to ourselves.

Author unknown


Cool Apps: Stop Losing and Start Finding with Tile

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Oh no. You’ve done it again. Lost your keys for the 3rd time this week. Now you’re going to be late to your client meeting.

What is it about those darn keys that make them so hard to keep track of? If only you put them in the same place every time you walk into the house, but like that’s going to happen. Between carrying groceries, getting mauled by the dog and pulled by the kids, it’s a blessing you get through the door in one piece. Once in the door your focus is dinner not where your keys are, until you have to leave again. Then you send out the search party, looking in every basket, under every cushion, around every corner. There has to be a better way.

tileWell, today there is a better way. Tile will save you from losing anything important to you (ie: your keys, or your computer, or your remote, or even your wallet). Tile is a small square that has a wireless connection to your phone. That means anything you connect it to or put next to it can be found from your wireless device.

So how does it work? Download the Tile app onto your phone and specify the item you’d like to connect your Tile to. If you leave that item somewhere, the app will track it down and indicate exactly where you last had it. When you begin looking for your lost item, your phone will track the signal strength of the Tile. As you get closer, the tracking circle on your phone fills in indicating you’re moving in the right direction. Get even closer and Tile’s distinct melody will play until you retrieve your lost item and have it back in safe hands. Pretty cool huh? Even cooler, you can connect up to 8 tiles with one account and you can share your Tile information so anyone looking for the remote can find it easily.

Just think how much this little square can help you stay on top of your most important items.

The app is free to download and each tile is $20.00. Totally worth your peace of mind.

Tile Video

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Monday Morning Mojo: It’s a Messy Life

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My life is a mess. Yep…MY life. Heck, everyone’s life is a mess…that’s life. My question to you is: are you constantly working on cleaning up and “dialing it in” or are you living in your own personal pigsty?

Whenever I talk with people about getting better and winning in any area of life, I remind them that we are all screwed up…we are all a mess. So don’t beat yourself up, and don’t stop moving forward if things aren’t going the way you want…no one is perfect. You need to be committed every day to improving…committed to cleaning up your mess. You can’t be satisfied with the status quo and just accept what life deals you. Life is complicated and can deal you some pretty crappy cards. I see so many people who just wallow in the self-pity of the hand they are dealt. It takes constant attention and hard work.

Metaphorically, imagine you are living in your home, and you never run the vacuum, do the dishes, do the laundry, scrub the bathrooms, mow the lawns…you never clean up. Of course your house will become a filthy pigsty if you don’t maintain it.

Well, life works exactly the same way…no matter how dialed in you think you are, things get messy and you need to constantly be cleaning them up…your job, your relationships, your finances, your health, etc. If you don’t stay on top of stuff and aren’t constantly cleaning up, over time, the mess gets so out of control that you become too overwhelmed and throw your hands in the air. This is not a winning formula, and unfortunately this is what I see a lot of people doing.

So, how do we clean things up…how do we get dialed in to win and stay there? The first thing is to admit to ourselves that things are never going to be perfect. Every day for our entire lives, we must be committed to cleaning up while scrapping and clawing to move forward. We have to accept that there will be hurdles and obstacles along the way. There will be people and situations constantly attempting to throw their mess on us. We simply cannot accept it…we have to clean it up and move forward.

Here is the challenge. First, accept that life is messy and hard. Second, don’t let that stop you. Finally, be committed every day to clean up and get better…EVERYDAY!

 


Weekend Wellness: Autumn

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Crazy weather out right now. It’s nippy at night, hot during the day, then snowing in some regions! Yes, it’s the turn of the season and it’s Fall…nature is letting us know change is coming.

The most obvious change that I notice is that of the leaves on the trees. To me, this symbolizes “letting go”. Many trees have vibrant fresh leaves from Spring through Autumn, then the leaves change colors and fall to the ground. It sounds a little sad writing this, but truly the ritual is so that the tree (or flower) can get ready for something new in a few months’ time; something the plant needs. New growth.

How about you? Is it time for you to let go of something which might have been really great for you a few months ago, but no longer serves you in the same way? Is it time for you to “shed” something no longer necessary so you can make room for something new?

What in your life is taking up space in your head, your body, or your soul that truly would be best left behind? What in your life do you need to make room for but there’s too much clutter to invite it in?

Do you need a new nutrition plan? Are you done with your cycling season and ready to get back to the gym and do functional training? Or, on a deeper level, are you holding on to some anger, some “story” of what’s holding you back so you can’t “grow new leaves”?

We all have a little something in our life which need rebirth and sprucing up. Take a pause this week while you look at the message nature is handing us and relate it to your life. What can you let go of in order to make way for something new, exciting, vibrant and new?


Cool Apps: Stunning Presentations with Sway

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Today we’re bringing you the newest member of the Microsoft’s Office family. Sway, which is the company’s first Microsoft Office program in 10 years, was just released on Wednesday. The program allows users to create slick-looking presentations that can be viewed on any web browser or device.

Sway LogoI know what you’re thinking, “but I already have PowerPoint for that and it works just fine.” I’m telling you right now, the second you see a glimpse of a Sway presentation, you’ll never want to go back. You’ll be using it for everything from listing presentations to thank you notes, that’s right, thank you notes. It’s that simple.

One of the coolest things I found with Sway was that as your building your presentation, Sway automatically arranges your images and text boxes maintaining a presentation-ready format. You could be working on it in the car right before your appointment and even if you don’t get everything completed, as soon as you’re ready, your presentation looks ready too. It even gives you suggestions of a format and color to use based on the images you’ve added and allows you to search online straight from its interface giving you instant resources to vamp up your presentation. You have to check out the video below to see a bit more about how suave Sway really is.

Sway video

Click here to play

As you can see the whole system is super simple and sleek and it’s not even on the market yet. That’s right, we’re bringing it to you before anyone else. Sign up to check out Sway Microsoft in “preview” mode HERE.


Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: A Source of Inspiration

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“Who are you?” Celia, an employee at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, asked me this morning as I made my way through the lobby.

“I’m here attending Summit Conference,” I told her.

“But what do you do?” she inquired, unsatisfied with my response.

“I’m the incoming CEO.”

“Ah!” she exclaimed. “I knew it!” Celia smiled at me and I smiled back, adding a few friendly nods before I continued toward my room. On my way back across the lobby, Celia was still there and stopped me again.

“How old do you think I am?” she asked.

“Seventy five?”

She shook her head, delighted to reveal her age. “I’m 91!” Celia said, beaming.

I was thoroughly shocked. “Wow! How do you do it?” I wanted to know more.

“I always have a positive attitude,” she explained and the answer struck me as both powerful and profound. “And,” she added, “I could tell you have one, too.”

I walked back to Summit Conference feeling renewed and inspired by a woman with almost a century’s worth of wisdom, who some people passed by without even a wave.

Gino and Celia


Monday Morning Mojo: Loyal like a Dog

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In this day and age so many people are looking to make the quick buck…quick fix…the quick/biggest return…especially in the Silicon Valley. They will bounce around from one company/job/thing to another trying to make it happen…there is no loyalty. If someone is willing to pay them a bit more they jump ship…then they do it again and again and again. They are always chasing the next “sweet deal”. It’s not just real estate but really every industry…really everything in life.

In the end it has been my observation that most of those who do that end up missing out on the real big opportunities in business and life…they end up losing in the end because they never create that bond and those longer term relationships that open doors and opportunities in the future that only loyalty can provide. They are so obsessed with the here and now and what’s in it for me today that they lose focus on the long term. Kind of like the difference between a short term investor and a long term investor. 19 out of 20 times the long term investor may not make the most today, but long term, they end up being the winner ten times over.

I often tell people that the reason I have been blessed with the opportunities I have had in my life and business is because I am loyal…loyal like a dog. I owe it to my parents because it was the way I was raised. I am loyal to my Faith, to my Wife and Family, to my Friends, to my Fitness and to my Finances…my F5. When I am committed to something or someone, nothing is going to break that bond. I know, for a fact, it is why I sit in the seat I sit in today professionally and the life I have personally. Yes I worked my butt off, but it was that combined with loyalty that got me here.

Look…I don’t have it all figured out but I am that guy that if you are “one of mine”, you never need to look over your shoulder and wonder if I’ve got your back. You can ask anyone who knows me. I have worked with the same group of people through thick and thin for over a quarter of a century. Along the way there have been trials and tribulations…fights and disagreements. There were also many opportunities presented to me that on the surface looked sweet…a promotion… more money…more perks…blah blah blah. You know what I am talking about. I have to admit there are times that it was pretty tempting, but you know what…I always turned it down because I was loyal to my company, my friends and my relationships. So, here I sit today as President and CEO of Intero and in many ways I think that is why.

So, here is my recommendation. Don’t make decisions based on what is best for today but make decisions on what is best for a life time or a career…don’t be a short term thinker. When you figure out what it is you want to do and where it is you want to work and who it is you want to work with, be loyal like a dog. Don’t get enticed by all those short term perks because in the end, they will never measure up to the opportunities that only come with being loyal like a dog.

Loyal like a dog