Almost Normal

It almost makes me feel normal, to be sitting at The Morrison Pub with people screaming at almost seemingly regular intervals, over a baseball game. The smell of hot wings fills the room, and the things that remind me that I am anything but normal, are the fact that I am not paying any attention (the TV is behind me) , and when they do scream, I find it a little disturbing, yet somehow relieving, all at the same time. The sum total of this, is that I am anything but normal.

An e-mail comes in. Someone just paid $40 for my 5 Apps in 5 Days, and while I’m sitting here engulfed in my 10″ Samsung tablet, in my Zagg keyboard / case, I reach over and pick up my Google Pixel. With the order confirmation on my tablet screen, I open up the 17Hats app, and quickly add the client in, and assign the workflow that will begin automatically delivering an e-mail a day for 5 days. Each day a different app. Evernote, then Smartsheet, then Nimble, then 17Hats, then ActiveCollab.

Meanwhile the conversations in my Between Wall and Main (BWAM) Slack team are active with notifications showing up on my screens, and I am engaged  in a light-hearted dialogue with someone on Facebook about bread pudding, Halloween candy rations, and a mixed greens salad I just had with goat cheese, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.

For once I don’t feel completely alone! I have people all around me, physically where I am. They’re all strangers to me, but they provide the noise I need. Then all around my in my digital world, I have a seemingly infinite number of people to talk to. This is what I love. This is what I crave.

There it is. A shriek of screams so loud, I had to turn around, and look at the TV, pretending to care.

But I don’t care.

The battery on my tablet is running low. I’ve got it covered. Hang on while I connect my Mophie.

Perfect. It’s charging now. Not the best design though. The tablet doesn’t sit well in the open position, while the charger is plugged in. I’ll make due.

Looks like Chicago is in the lead 3-1. I’m starting to care. Not about the score, but about what it is that gets these people so excited. Is this normal? To be shrieking this loud about people you’ll likely never meet? I love the scene in the movie, A Bronx Tale, where Chazz Palminteri asks the kid, if his father can’t put food on the table, would Mickey Mantle pay for dinner?

I’m writing this while I sit in a noisy pub. Am I a firm of the future? The future is here. It’s now. I am sitting here writing in WordPress and I took a selfie with my camera, which I’ll use in this post, when I publish it later. By then maybe we’ll know who won the game, and I still won’t care. I will walk away with the experience and the satisfaction of knowing that I can do what I do from anywhere. Oh except for one thing…

At 6 pm I get an e-mail from someone, apparently planning for our 6 pm session. I never take sessions at this hour. When I spoke to him  I agreed to make an exception, because he has a day job, and needed to do this in the evening. Only problem is, I didn’t put it on my calendar, because his payment hadn’t come through by the time I went to sleep last night.

It’s way too noisy in here for me to conduct a QuickBooks training session. A lot of other places I could make it work. Zoom has a great mobile app, and when you render a screen share full screen, it works great.

I can do these things, because I’ve played around with all of these systems, and I know how they work, which enables me to figure out where they will work, and where they won’t.

Is it me or does the screaming at the TV seem a little irrational? Maybe it isn’t me, who’s not normal? Maybe it’s everyone else in the pub?

6:30  pm – 4-1 Cubs.

Did I mention that the owner of The Morrison is a close friend, and very much a mentor of mine? It was time for us to talk. He picked up my tab (he always does) and summoned me to the back office for a chat. Marc didn’t have long to stay, as he needed to tend to his mother who is ill. I told him to go handle his affairs, but he insisted that we talk. Marc knows I’m going through a rough patch right now. That was why he told me to come by in the first place. For a burger and a hug! You know how I am always talking about how important it is to be of service, and go help others? Guess where I learned that from? It’s hard for me to find people to talk to when I need help, because so many people are used to leaning on me, when they need help. Marc is one of the people that I go to. I’m a rock for so many others, because Marc, and a handful (not much more) of other people are there for me, when I need it. Marc made sure he made the time for me, even though he has a 90+ year old mother who needs him. We embraced, and we both even cried a bit. We’re going through a lot of the same things. I left him to tend to his mother with the usual feeling I get when I walk away from Marc. It’s all going to be ok. In fact, Marc is the one who always tells me that “the game is rigged.” We can’t fail.

I get a lot of calls from other accounting and bookkeeping professionals, who want help building, growing, and scaling their businesses. I always recommend that we conduct a series of sessions (at least 5 to start). This gives us time for discovery, planning, and implementation. It’s important that we have the consistency and momentum created by regular (weekly) sessions. Then I can recommend, set up, and train on all of the apps. With this, I ensure you get everything you need to grow, scale, and substantially automate your business. I feel confident that I can help anyone succeed, as I have, by using the tools that I’ve learned to use. Of course I can only lead people to the water. I can’t make them drink!

Maybe I am missing the most important part of the success equation?

Maybe it has nothing to do with the apps, and the workflow automation? Maybe it has a lot more to do with the support system. Last night, when I was really struggling with my emotions, I made four phone calls, until I found someone who was available to talk. Remember, I said above, that there are only a handful of people I can do this with. I was almost out of options, but rest assured by this morning I had all of them leaving me messages back assuring me they were there.

Five is all I need. I can always get one of them, and within any 24 hour period I will likely speak to all five – especially when I am struggling. None of them give me financial advice. None of them give me any kind of advice really. Most of the time, we just need another human ear, and voice to remind us that everything is going to be ok. We need to be reminded that the game is rigged. For people like you and me, there is no failing, because we’re fighters. We can fall time and again, but for every five times that we fall, we get up a sixth time.

Marc had closed my tablet, so that I would focus on our conversation. When I got back home, the post was here in a draft, right in WordPress, only now I am accessing it in my browser on my big Samsung 4K monitor. Everything I wrote in his restaurant was here waiting for me to finish. The photo I took was easy to access, right in my browser as well. My new Google Pixel automatically backs up every photo to Google Photos (formerly Picasa). It took 30 seconds to add it here as the featured image on this post.

Facebook reminded me of what I had no idea about, while I was at the restaurant:


I also googled it, because I didn’t remember whom they were playing. Apparently it’s the World Series, game 7? How many games are there? I know there are 9 innings in a game. Are there 9 games in a World Series? I suppose I could Google that, or I could ask my Google Assistant. She seems to know everything. She knew that in current traffic conditions (heavy traffic) it was going to take me 15 minutes to get from my home to The Morrison Pub.

Have you figured out the key to success yet? It’s not about the apps. It isn’t about all of this technology. The real key to success is having an incredible support system. All you need is up to five people (but it really only takes one at a time) who will be there for you unconditionally. Unconditionally means they don’t give a shit, what you did, or said. They are there for you no matter what! In fact they are there for you in spite of what you have done or said. Imagine that?

8:30 pm. Apparently it’s tied 6-6 now. How the hell did that happen? I thought the Cubs would slaughter the Indians for sure.

Somehow this one seems like it can fit into all three columns!


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