Let’s Face It – Sometimes Running A Business Is Just Like This

In the event you are NOT and entrepreneur, and want to know how a bad day feels to a business owner who has his entire being engaged in building something great and yet trips up now and then, I happily present THIS:

Hi gang,



Admit it – running a business isn’t always easy.

In fact, there are days, sometimes weeks, where you just feel like you’re getting nut-punched over and over again.  You’re an entrepreneur, so you can always see the forest for the groin, but that just doesn’t stop the pain sometimes.

In the event you are NOT and entrepreneur, and want to know how a bad day feels to a business owner who has his entire being engaged in building something great and yet trips up now and then,  I happily present THIS:

Have a great day!



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GodImSexy Greatest Hits: eBay Announces “FreeBay” – The Completely Free Program

To enhance the recent fee changes that will force sellers to offer free shipping, eBay announced this morning that all sellers must offer their items for sale for free as well.

Hi gang,

I remember writing this post very clearly.  It was during the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst event in 2011. eBay had just announced another round of fee increases but, more importantly, they announced that sellers who offered free shipping would now get a huge bump in search results. It was another move that really frustrated the sellers. It also happened to be April Fool’s Day.

As I wandered through the halls of the conference the day it was posted, more than one person stopped me to tell me how great the post was and that I had really nailed their feelings about the Free Shipping mandates by eBay. It felt great…

…until a high level eBay exec rounded the corner and came right at me.

“Freebay, huh?” he said. “Yeah, that’s REAL funny”. He walked off, unsmiling.

You can read the post in its’ entirety over at Startupnation where it was originally posted.  Just click HERE




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How To Be Rib Punched By An Old Lady At Goodwill

I recall a Firm Rule Of Life: When you’re in a crowded elevator and someone rips one, everybody’s just going to blame the fat guy.

Hi gang,

There is literally nothing better on the planet than being in a Goodwill on 25% Senior Discount Tuesday.


On Tuesdays, Goodwill becomes Florida.  There are elderly people bumping their carts into one another, standing next to each other yet shouting conversations so the whole store can hear, and paying for their merchandise with piles of loose change. It’s Heaven. And by Heaven, I mean it’s Satan’s Anus.

My advice to anyone is to just stay away from Goodwill on Tuesday. But for thrifters, that’s like telling a crack addict to “just lay off the stuff for today, Bob”. Good luck.

Here’s what happened to me on Tuesday at Goodwill.  I am not making a word of this up.

I was standing in front of the DVD’s, just browsing through them for any gems I might spot.  Out of nowhere, this spitfire of an elderly woman was standing right next to me – like literally out of nowhere, like she was a Sith Lord or something.  Not only is she standing next to me – she’s practically standing ON me. That’s right folks – she’s crowding me out. She’s blocking my path to the DVD’s like a defensive guard.

Baffled, I turn to her and say “mam’n, I’ll be done in just a second. You’re standing a little to close to me”

Without the slightest hesitation, she screams “THEY’RE NOT JUST YOURS!!! THEY’RE MINE TOO!!!” loud enough for half the store to hear her.

As I stare at her, I realize that half of the store is looking at us, and I have the sad realization that a big brown man is not going to win the hearts and minds of the Goodwill over an old lady.  I back off.

Here’s the part where it gets nuts.

I spend a few minutes looking at the books, and Crazy Old Lady gives up her DVD search and walks away. I wander back over to the DVD’s and begin looking again.  Just then a Goodwill employee walks over and sets a few more DVD’s on the shelf.  I pick them up, take a look, and set them back down.  Goodwill guy shows up again with more. He sets them on the shelf. I pick them up, take a look, and set them back down. For a third time, the Goodwill guy walks over and sets down a few boxsets. They look pretty interesting.

As I reach my hand out to pick them up, I suddenly hear “No. NO. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” from my right. As I turn my head towards the racket, I am slammed into from the right by, you guessed it, Crazy Old Lady. She flies between me and the DVD’s, knocking my hand away and slamming into my ribs.

“I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THESE FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES!!!!” she hisses at me as she scoops them all up into her arms.

Again, I feel the judgemental stare of the Goodwill, and realize that I am just not going to win this situation.  I recall a Firm Rule Of Life:  When you’re in a crowded elevator and someone rips one, everybody’s just going to blame the fat guy.  I was the fat guy.

“All yours,” I say. I walked out of the Goodwill with my hat in my hand.

Do NOT go to Goodwill on 25% Senior Discount Tuesday.


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Business Travel: Riding In Satan’s Anus

Luckily, it was 72 degrees outside and so inside my car it was only 125 degrees – 145 degrees under the towel.

Hi gang,

Do you remember when you were in college and during winter break you went to a bar where actual grownups were? While you stood in your group of college buddies arguing over the best drink names, do you remember overhearing the table of business people next to yours talking about how they were looking forward to the conference in Orlando next week? One guy would say how he hoped he wouldn’t sit next to a fat guy on the plane and the others would just crack up laughing. Another would say they’re staying at the Embassy Suites, which had an awesome breakfast buffet. Do you remember that twinge of jealously you felt for them? How you could not WAIT to travel somewhere on business someday?

That memory danced across my mind the other day at about 6 am as I stood in the interior hallway of a Super 8 hotel next to a kindly older couple in their underwear. We had all just been roused from our beds by the hotel alarm, which told us to go to the central hallway because there was a funnel cloud spotted nearby. The skinny long-haired guy wearing a Van Halen 1984 t-shirt on the other side of me was clearly worried and, fortunately for me, was puffing away on a cigarette and blowing smoke all over the hallway.

I suppose there was a time when I really enjoyed travelling on business. Visiting new cities and having adventures used to be quite a hobby for me and I was always up for it. In a given month, it was fairly normal for me to drive a convertible in Malibu, watch the fountains at the Bellagio, and help sail a boat in Boston harbor. In fact, I would say that I’ve probably forgotten more travel adventures than many people have experienced in their entire lives, and I am very grateful for that.

Somewhere along the way, the excitement of the journey begin to wear a little thin. I don’t remember specifically – maybe it was the time I flew to Seattle having forgotten my drivers license. Outbound, the Charlotte airport let me through by verifying my identity. Coming back, the Seattle airport waited until I had checked my bag to tell me that I had to wait in a special “this guy looks suspicious” line* until long after my plane had left. And that was just the beginning of that story. Or maybe it was the time that my plane landed in Charlotte after a 5 hour flight and the pilot could not get an answer from the tower for over an hour.

Regardless, the shiny penny of travel has dulled and tarnished over the years.

On my way to the Van Halen chain-smoking guy Super 8 my silver Suburban, which has over 220,000 miles on it, decided to turn on me once again. My heater became stuck on the hottest setting and began relentlessly blowing out piping hot air. I couldn’t stop it and the hot hair was literally burning my leg hair off. So I drove four hours with the windows down and a towel wrapped around my legs.  Luckily, it was 72 degrees outside and so inside my car it was only 125 degrees – 145 degrees under the towel.

Actually, the heater situation was probably a hair worse than what my car did to me the previous business trip, which was to completely lose all power in the middle of a turn.  By all power, I mean the car turned off, the clock died, the power steering stopped – ALL power. That one only cost me a tow to the local repair guy, who literally fixed the car by sliding the battery over 2 inches and pretty much laughed at me as he was doing it. I would have been insulted, but honestly I was too curious to know why the 6 teeth he had didn’t tear into his gums every time he ate a piece of chicken.

I’ve renamed my car Satan’s Anus. It only seems appropriate.



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*If you’d like to read my entire account of that disastrous Seattle trip in all of its’ 3 part glory, start here.