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It’s Not Where it Started…It’s Where It’s Going That Matters!

21 Sep

I had this funny feeling this morning as I was driving into work about all the random decisions that we make as individuals and how they impact those closest to us. I was turning off my street onto Central Ave (means nothing to some of you) and I noticed that it is getting cooler outside. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out….but my thought was “I can’t believe I am driving to my office”. For years I would wake up, feed Tanner eat some breakfast and work out of my home office in my PJ’s. I was void of ever having a morning car accident, fighting the morning commute or wondering what kind of mood my co-workers were going to be in. It was all I knew for years, it was great!

Then one amazing evening I sat down and met Stella for what I thought was an interview, she swears to this day she had no idea what we were doing or going to talk about. Yes, this is a concern still for me..ha ha. Even worse was the autobiography she told me was reading, feel free to ask her what book it was. It should make you wonder why I hired her.  But as it turns out it was one of my top 5 best decisions I ever made. In the grander scheme of it all Stella said yes to the job offer (thank GOD). These decisions that we made that day and continue to make have allowed us to hire a bunch of great people such as Eric, Ashley, Elena, Aaron, Michelle, LC and Vinny. They have helped us add value to others people lives because we now make our clients hiring process 10X better and have given a bunch of good people some solid jobs. Our team and their decisions everyday have made my life better. They don’t cause any problems, they get here on time and stay late. They are all usually smiling after they have some coffee. We have dogs running around, food in the fridge and we are being successful and having fun.

 My point is that I am no longer throwing out Aluminum Cans (see previous blogs) I realize how important these decisions that we make everyday are and how they impact everyone’s lives around us. I am still making a significant effort to make sure that everything I do is done with a smile realizing how much we affect everyone around us.

 The coolest part is not so much where it started but where Search Solution Group is going! Thank you to everyone who makes this possible every day


Escape from the office – enjoy TV

19 Jul

Over the years everyone is looking for some balance (thank you Mr. Miyagi). For some people  it’s the gym, sports, cooking classes or just plain walking around the neighborhood. I think I have done all the above except cooking classes just to try to have an escape from the office and the day-to-day of the work week. One of my favorite things has always been watching a good movie or a TV Show. I think this comes from my dad, For the longest time I was addicted to “Lost” and since that TV Show has gone away, my new favorite TV show is “How I Met Your Mother”. In my opinion it’s just a really well done TV show that is well told with a great cast of characters and awesome acting. The best part it’s really really funny.

 This week’s blog is dedicated to one of my favorite people to watch on this TV show – Barney Stinson. Barney you have come a long way since Doogie Howser. Here are some of Barney’s best quotes:

 10. Barney: “Plus, here’s the mini-cherry on top of the regular cherry on top of the sundae of awesomeness that is my life”

 9. First explaining to Marshall about his unique qualities: “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I’m awesome. I’m your bro—I’m Broda!”

 8. Describing the simplicity of running a marathon: “Step one, you start running. There is no step two.”

 7. Barney, reacting to Ted’s new car: “Shotgun for eternity!” 
Robin: “You can’t call shotgun for eternity.” 
Barney: “I call that I can call things.”

 6. Giving his new friend advice on meeting women: “Now remember my three beginner’s tips for picking up chicks: address her by name, isolate her from her friends, subtly put her down.

 5. Justifying his smoking habit: “I am not a smoker. I only smoke in certain situations: post-coital, when I’m with Germans (sometimes those two overlap), coital, birthdays, to annoy my mom, pre-coital, on a sailboat, the day the Mets are mathematically eliminated every year, and, of course—wait for it—’cause Lord knows I have—pregnancy scares.”

 4. When I’m sad, I stop being sad and start being awesome instead.

 3. In my body where the shame gland should be, there is a second AWESOME GLAND!

 2. It’s gonna be legen………wait for it [falls asleep]….[awakes]…..DARY!!

and #1. Barney: My life rocks! Money, suits, and sex? These are tears of joy! I could be cooped up in an apartment, changing some brat’s poopy diaper but instead I’m out in the world being awesome 24/7/365! You let me dodge a bullet, big guy. (kisses fingers & raises them in the air)

Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dad

18 Jun

I spent most of my days as a kid at the ball park or the hockey rink. When I wasn’t there with my parents, I remember playing catch in the middle of our street with my dad or him taking me to the park and hitting me ground balls. I remember my dad laying on the couch watching sports and shooting little plastic balls at me as I pretended to be a goalie in our family room. My dad spent countless hours with me in the backyard teaching me how to hit a golf ball. He was constantly telling me that I do not have to swing hard for it to go far but just let the club do the work for you. Sure enough 20 years later he is right (as always)!!

I also remember all the little life lessons along the way. I am not sure my dad ever really thought I would grow up to be a business owner/recruiter but I think he just Imagewanted me to be a good person and be happy. I am not always sure what it means to be happy especially at work, but I promise you I’m trying. We have done little things in the office recently like having summer hours and the occasional group trip.  One of the things I enjoy doing with my staff is having lunch together. As a kid I always remember sitting down and having dinner as a family.  I can’t remember all the dinner conversations we had as a family, but I do remember being together. So while we still remain a small company I love eating lunch together. Somedays the conversations are funnier or more engaging, but secretly I don’t care, as long as we are all together. I guess it reminds me of growing up with my dad.

 My dad didn’t grow up in a situation to be able to give me investment advice or to talk me thru the financial crisis. That was never his strength and we both know that. But I know my dads strength is people. Talking to them, listening to them and trusting people. He would be the first person to give you his last dollar or the shirt off his back without thinking twice. He loves people, ever since I was a kid I can remember him talking to complete strangers and never judging them. I remember going to hockey practice one cold Buffalo, NY morning around 6am when we stopped at the corner store for something. It took my dad forever to get out of the store all because he was having a conversation with the Hostess food delivery guy….ha. But that’s my dad!!
The way my dad treats people is the best business lesson I have learned from him. It is only fitting that on Father’s Day this year that I acknowledge that and continue everyday to try to treat everybody the way my father would.  It’s easier said than done, but as I get older and things seem to get more complicated in the back of my mind and in my heart I am trying to be more like my dad!
Thank you dad and Happy Fathers Day!!!

Patience: A Lesson from a Dog

20 Apr

I spent  a better part of my day on Thursday thinking about what I was going to write about. Being completely discouraged I decided to leave the office and work out and hope that a good work out might inspire me. Well sure enough the moment Tanner (my faithful lab) Eric and I leave the office I get inspired. What inspired me??????? MORE STUPID PEOPLE WHO DESERVE A PUNCH IN THE NOSE.

 As the three of us step outside on a beautiful and sunny Charlotte evening we notice a dog on a leash running towards us or specifically towards Tanner. This isn’t the first time this has happened. It always seems that the guy who is “vertically” challenged is letting the dog run around and jump on other people and dogs. As much as I wanted to punch him his girlfriend seemed very nice so I held my anger back.  His dog comes running over jumping on us but mostly jumping and sniffing Tanner. Tanner PATIENTLY and calmly stood there. He was poised and majestic, Tanner had the grace of all the Greek Gods put together at this moment. Needless to say I was proud of him for not attacking this dog who is owned by a moron.

 Now Eric, myself and Tanner walk around the corner to drop some mail off. Not 45 seconds later here comes this little scrappy white dog from around the corner barking at Tanner. No leash, no owner just yipping away at Tanner. Wait, here comes the dumb owner trying to get her dog to listen to her. It is not working!! Imagine this scenario…this little leash less dog barking two feet away from a dog five times her size. Finally the owner is able to get her dog, but this is after two to three minutes of Tanner standing there watching all of this. I can only imagine what Tanner is thinking….maybe I should just bite her head off and chew on it as a play toy for a bit. Nope, maybe I should swallow the whole dog and I could have one massive poop later. Nope, Maybe I should take my left paw and just swat this annoying bitch across the street. Nope, Maybe I should bite the owner for being stupid and not training her dog. Nope, Instead I will stand here and  be mature and have PATIENCE for other dogs and pet owners who don’t know better and are irresponsible  and just laugh at them both. He is also probably thinking the sooner I get in the car the sooner I can eat dinner and play. With that being said I love my dog!

 So as the three of us are walking away, I said to Eric. “I wish I had the Patience of my dog”. And there you have it folks, my inspiration for this week’s blog. I wanted to punch and yell at everyone and the whole time Tanner stood there like a mature, confident and intelligent creature. I was so proud of him and the whole time wishing I could do the same all the time. I know this is going to sound strange but as much as I have learned from reading and being around other people, I think Tanner has taught me just as much. Tanner really understands what is important in life (a good belly rub, being around good people, some exercise and the occasional treat ). Now if I can teach him to stop eating other people’s lunches (sorry Lindsay and Elena) I will have made some real progress.

 So for the rest of 2012 I am going to try to be more like my little buddy and if YOU (Stella especially) notice that I am not behaving correctly give me a treat and politely and PATIENTLY remind me please.


Focus “Daniel Son”

27 Jan
Cover of "The Karate Kid (Special Edition...

Cover of The Karate Kid (Special Edition)

Like most of you I have had a really busy week with lots of DISTRACTIONS. However the most distracting thing for me lately has been the Buffalo Sabres. They are horrible, they finally won a game after losing twelve straight games. I even attempted to watch all of them. The news reports are hinting that the Sabres are going to make some big trades and that they are going to fire the GM and the coach and make drastic changes to the lineup. This is exciting to a Sabres fan because we just want to have a winning team, but it has also become a HUGE distraction to me. I caught myself constantly checking ESPN and the Buffalo News for updates this week. I was getting annoyed with the new owner for not doing anything, but I was even more frustrated with myself because I couldn’t stop checking the websites for updates. I felt like a sixty year old guy trying to quit smoking for the hundredth time. Finally I realized that I was becoming unfocused and distracted. I hated the person I was becoming and we all know one of them. I knew I had to change. In every office there is that one person who is distracted by everything and 25 years later after failure after failure finds himself living in a 1 bedroom apartment wondering why he is still working at Best Buy

It is so easy to get distracted, I get it. Before our employers would block certain websites from our work computers, or limit us from personal calls at work. Well all of a sudden we can text our friends, check emails and random websites from our phones (it is kind of awesome). There seems to be a TV every ten feet with either a different sporting event on or a new reality TV show. Distractions are everywhere for us, but how focused are you on your goal or the project in front of you today.  Before I had this beautiful office and amazing team, I used to work from home.  I had TVs, couches, my bed, my dog, friends, food, every imaginable distraction, but I chose to work, to be focused and to be successful. I cannot lecture you on how to be more focused or how to tune out the distractions at this point you just have to choose what is more important and have your eye on the prize!

Much of life really comes down to the Karate Kid (the first Movie of course.). Mr. Miyagi always had good life lessons for Daniel son thru out the movie. The lessons were so good they made 3 more movies, I refuse to count the remake

I have worked alongside a few amazing people in my life and they all have had the eye of the TIGER. I’m not sure how Mr. Miyagi would feel about Daniel son having to fight Rocky Balboa but I’m sure they would both be focused, not distracted and ready to win.

Goodbye 2011! In 2012 I Am Going To….

30 Dec

It is almost over for 2011 and I have to admit that it was great year. It is tough to say that 2011 was better than I expected, but it really was. I won’t bore you with all of the details but feel free to email me and I will share with you the highlights.

The popular conversation around the office, newspapers and TV seems to be “what is your New Year’s Resolution“. I really do like this topic because it gets me thinking about what I can do better or differently. Maybe even do less of something and more of something else or a little less of that and a tad more of this. HOWEVER I got to thinking about how awesome I am at everything I do and decided I will make a list of things that I already do so well.   I want to share with others or just tell you what I am going to do in 2012 to be that much more awesome………………………..

1. I am going to continue to write this blog and hope that people figure out when I am being funny

2. Keep getting people fired up because they were personally offended by what I wrote

3. I am going to let one friend of mine start beating me at golf because it is that pathetic at this point.

4. I am going to keep working harder than the competition to make our business bigger and better.

5. I am going to separate business from personal and realize that they are not the same.

7. I am going to accept people for who they are and let them know that is why I like them.

8. I am not going to sky dive, I am to important to the civilized world.

9. I am going to enjoy life more – and maybe even take a whole week off of work for the first time in 10 years

10. I am going to enjoy having one of my best friends and his family in Charlotte

11. I am going to teach my team how to recruit, source and make intelligent placements

12. I am going to realize that people are looking to me for answers and give them

13. I am going to dance with the devil in the pale moon light

14. I am going to marry the 2nd girl that asks me (timing is everything)

17. I am going to draft Wes Walker next year

18. I am going to try and stop making fun of realtors

19. I am going to branch out

20. I am going to use the term “knuckleheads” more

21. I am going to eat more beef jerky instead of throwing it at Stella

22. I am going to laugh more

23. I am going to start telling people I am bi-polar because it is gaining more popularity

24. I am going to try and wipe that smug look of my face

25.  I am going to see emotional unavailability in others as a formidable challenge for go getter types like me

26. I am going to pretend I am not bored by you

So what are you going to do in 2012?  Feel free to add your own.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading and participating.

What kind of leader are you?

23 Dec

I was driving to a meeting  this week when I turned on ESPN radio just as the Colin Cowherd radio show was about to start. I am not sure if I like him or not, but I am pretty sure that is part of his marketing/branding of himself.  He says just enough to get your attention and get you to agree with him and then just enough to get the other half not to like his thoughts or opinions for that day.

 On this particular morning Colin started off his show talking about coaches and the difference that they can make. I think his point was not that one coach really knew a secret play or had a great trick play, but that certain coaches have higher expectations than others. Colin used an example when he was watching Nick Saban from Alabama yell at one of his wide receivers for dropping a catch in PRACTICE. Colin had remembered that the previous year he was watching another college coach during a practice and how that coach did nothing and did not react to a dropped ball in practice. One year later, one coach is playing for the National Championship and the other Coach is out of work.

 That got me thinking about my expectations here at Search Solution Group and how I can make an impact. I am not a Nick Saban fan, but I do appreciate and respect winning. I am not sure that yelling at one of my employees for not making a call or getting a sale would be the right motivation for my team or an example I want to set on a regular basis. I like to think that the last few years the approach that I have taken is that most situations are teachable and that we can learn from them. Sometimes it is easier to just yell or get made or make people run around a tree (inside joke), but in the office it is so much more challenging. It is so important to me that we are all learning and getting better. For most of us that means making a few mistakes and learning from them.

Sales is so tricky in the recruiting world. No two candidates are the same and no two clients are the same, what works for one might scare the other away. How do you teach that???  How do get a sales person to understand that just because the last ten people said “NO” that you should not take it personally?  All of them are weekly scenarios that we encounter and need to get over to be successful in the sales world. But what I learned from Colin’s radio show is that I need to get better and I need to make sure that I am paying attention to my team. I need to listen, mentor and coach them to success. I am not trying to be Nick Saban and make people cry (Manuel Wright) but I certainly would not mind being lumped into a conversation about Nick Saban and all the success he has had in coaching.