When change happens too fast

dead leaves on a tree in autumn

Autumn hit Denver this year faster than ever. The temperature dropped 70 degrees in 12 hours. As a result, most leaves never had a chance to turn their usual bright colors. They went from green to brown and are falling swiftly to the ground.

Business often forces growth in the same way. If the acceleration of growth happens at the speed of a Ferrari, what could go wrong?

A lot.

When quantity increases too fast, quality drops.

The end user’s needs often get lost in the push to get the product out the door.

So instead, slow down and experience the joys of life – both personally and in your business.


Caveat… businesses should be able to adapt to change quickly. An example is the music industry and its slow adjustment to the changes streaming brought to the marketplace.

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Cauterized

match with flame

The older we get, the more cynical and cauterized we can become about life’s experiences.

As we’re hurt, it’s easy to say, “I’ve experienced this before, so it shouldn’t hurt as much this time through.”

Wrong.

If you experience pain, it shows you’re alive.

I’m thankful to be alive.

Sometimes it’s better to fully experience our pain rather than avoiding it. The lessons we learn might stick longer. Our appreciation of life post-pain will be greater. And our ability to empathize with those who are in pain will increase – they know we understand.

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Facing the impossible

cars parked too close in Catania, Italy

It was our last night visiting our son, Ben. He lives in a crowded, noisy, hot city in Sicily, Catania.

We decided to stay in an Airbnb together in the heart of downtown, to give him a break from his normal life.

Problem: there’s literally nowhere to park.

The main parking garage is blocked in by the outdoor market. You can only park there if you arrive before the market stalls are set up or after they are taken down – and the stalls are up for most waking hours.

We finally found a spot, after looking for 20 minutes. Ben stood in the opening so I could drive around the block to access the spot. But then my lack of directional sense meant I could not get back. (A maze of one-way streets conspired against me.)

Ben, who is totally used to living there, was almost as frustrated by the situation as I was.


The moral of the story is, how do I deal with frustration and disappointment?

In this case, things worked out, and afterward, our frustration eventually died down.

(Ben met me in a place I shared via a maps app and then navigated me back to the aforementioned slot, which quite miraculously was still open. )

But a better reaction would have been to just relax and not worry about how long it all was taking. After all, we were on vacation together!

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Matches are Lucifers

Dutch matches package

If you are in Belgium or the Netherlands and need something to start your fire, you reach for … a lucifer.

Yes, “lucifer” is one of the Dutch (or Flemish) words for matches.

English is confusing enough – did you mean match, as in “tennis,” as in “they were made for each other,” or as in, “fire starter?”

Language is important. Even if we speak the same language, we need to strive to be understood. Tuning in to the person or people we’re speaking with, a tactic that some consider to be a basic survival skill, is far more than that – it’s a way to enjoy life by seeking understanding.

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Recycling fears

I’ve never visited a recycling plant. That would make a great school field trip, but at my age, I’d have to take time off of work to enjoy such an outing.

Anyhow, I fear that sometimes stuff I’ve put into the recycling bin ends up in landfills. That’s not just a fear on my part – it’s reality: here’s the link to a related story. In America, a lot of the difficulty comes from political gyrations on the part of our current government.

Another problem comes into play – how manufacturers create their products – many times, materials are mixed, so it’s impossible to properly recycle the package or product. If you look at the plastic bottle above that contained some cold brew coffee, you’ll see that the manufacturer of the coffee was kind enough to point that out.

But how many people would take the time to peel off the label? Maybe 2%, if we’re lucky!

I would love it if manufacturers would employ creative resources (and funds) to come up with easier-to-recycle packages and products. I know that some car manufacturers are moving in that direction (related story), but the rest of the product world has a long way to go.

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Burned out on Christmas music

de-inflated christmas decorations on a front lawn

I’m burned out on Christmas music.

My brother and I used to both get a Christmas CD every year. The variety of interpretations of classic Christmas carols and songs was always interesting.

Until ten years or so ago.

Then stores and parking lots and hospitals and everywhere except your car or home began playing Christmas songs from the day after Thanksgiving onward.

It’s just too much. And there’s no choice.

Their bad = my bad.

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Saying goodbye

My company is moving out of the current office that they’re renting to a building that they’re buying.

It’s financially wise, from what our CFO says.

But I will miss Coverall. Their Colorado office is in our soon-to-be past building.

My dad wore Coveralls. They were one-piece work clothes, kinda like this. (Little did I know that Urban Outfitters sells them now.)

Turns out Coverall is a janitorial service – with a 1-star rating on Google.

I never went into their office, but I have a few days left. Maybe I will.FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Rapid gentrification

restaurant out-of-business sign

I was sad to say goodbye. I didn’t even know they were leaving.

The Baker neighborhood of Denver is rapidly changing. I knew that – but when I tried to find a cheap place to grab a quick lunch on a recent Saturday, I discovered that all the inexpensive non-chain restaurants were now out of business. Every one had shuttered their windows within the last six months.

A small New Mexican restaurant – gone. Famous Pizza – gone. Several other small independent eateries disappeared, all to be replaced by empty storefronts, while their owners await increased rents from more upscale establishments.

I daresay those landlords won’t be looking for tenants who will provide cheap eats.

My tummy is sad.FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

The useless balcony

the traffic on East Belleview Avenue

Across the street from my office is a relatively expensive apartment building.

We’re not talking NYC levels – but the rent is similar for one of those Greenwood Village 2-bedroom apartments to that of a suburban Denver 3-bedroom house.

Yes, there’s location – I could walk to work if I lived there.

But I am not questioning the residents’ decisions to live there – I can understand some of the charms.

Rather I’m questioning the residents who choose to put patio furniture on their small balconies. You see, there’s a steady flow of traffic during all waking hours. Noise and diesel fumes are part of the experience a resident would enjoy by sitting on their balcony for a glass of wine at sunset.

What’s different about watching and listening to waves crashing on the beach? Those sounds also ebb-and-flow. Water flows past your feet, just as compact utility vehicles do along East Belleview Avenue.FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Plan a-h-e-a-d

worn-out street name letters on a sidewalk

Reminder to self… plan ahead.

At one intersection in downtown Denver, what were once beautiful street names are rendered in sunken brass letters.

As you can tell, most of the numbers either got stolen or simply knocked off through wear-and-tear.

The solution would have been for the street-name sign creators to have made the letters about three times deeper, so the surrounding concrete could have more firmly held onto the letters. Or for the letters to be made of a different material that would wear at exactly the same rate as the surrounding concrete.

But they were thinking the concrete was sticky enough and permanent enough to hold the letters in place for years to come.

No.


The obvious analogy is for me and you to build our efforts and things to last.FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail