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Exciting Changes, Personal Development and Happiness

By July 12, 2018May 15th, 20192 Comments

Several very exciting changes happening on my work front, which will free up more time for running and creating content. After 3 great years, I have decided to move on from my job at Tillys. It has been a lot of fun working on partnerships with hundreds of brands, including some of my favorites Vans, adidas, Nike, Stance, Volcom, Warner Bros, and more. When I started at Tillys, I knew it was going to be a wild ride. It was my first role as an executive for a large publicly traded company with a Marketing and Creative team of 23 under me when I started in 2015. It was definitely a dive in the deep end and I have learned a lot more about Retail and E-com as VP of Marketing and Innovation. I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me company founder Hezy Shaked and CEO Ed Thomas.

I am going to be running a lot more and going back to the startup world with 2 exciting new business adventures. One of the companies is a running apparel startup called PATH projects. My family and I will continue to live in Irvine, California. More info to follow.

Over the past 3 years I have tried to be a mentor to my team and develop them not only in their careers, but also in their personal lives. Below are a few parting thoughts that I shared with my team about personal development and happiness. Although this is not all directly related to running, I think some of my audience will find this helpful:

  • Learn the basics of speed reading, this skill alone will save you thousands of hours for the rest of your life. Always keep learning. Don’t ever think you’re an expert. Stay hungry.
  • Listen when the other person is talking. Try not to come up with what you’re going to say when it’s just turn, but deeply listen to what the other person is communicating to you and read their body language.
  • One question that can get you very far in life is “How can I help you?” Take initiative even before being asked and provide constant value. Help others without asking for anything in return, overdeliver, great things will happen.
  • Study the basics of negotiating – practice this daily. Always remember, you have much more negotiation power than you think.
  • Many people are afraid of public speaking. Do what fears you. The more you do it, the more it becomes the new norm.
  • Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. This can be practiced daily in many different ways, for example taking cold showers, ice baths, speaking up in meetings instead of staying quiet, taking a leap of faith that might fail.

Tillys launched an AR Augmented Reality window at the Ontario Mills Simon Mall. There were several interactions, a skateboarder doing a wall ride, an octopus and dragon going through the store, several animals attracted a wide audience. Huge success! Campaign was developed by Jon Kubo and Floris Gierman.

  • Teach yourself to delay your gratification and you will get further in life. An example is to force yourself to pay off $400 a month extra in student loans vs going to the bar 3 x a week. Same thing for saving for retirement and many other long term goals.
  • Learn how to take a leap. Sometimes for magic to happen, you have to take a leap of faith. You don’t know if it’s going to work or not, that is the area most people feel uncomfortable, it’s also the area where most growth happens.
  • Whenever you’re scared of something or feel very nervous, that’s typically the area of growth. This is where you should be spending more of your time.
  • When you feel stressed, take 10 deep breaths. Breath in for 8 second, hold 5 seconds, breath out for 8 seconds. Repeat multiple times a day if needed. Whenever you’re feeling down or negative, try to smile or even better laugh out loud. You will instantly feel better. I love the Calm app
  • You are what you eat. There are 2 types of foods on this planet, Healthy Food and Junk Food. Your energy levels are directly impacted by what you eat and drink. To reach optimal performance at work and in your personal life, dialing in your nutrition is key. One of the best articles written about this is “What really is junk food?” by a great author Dr. Phil Maffetone.
  • A few studies have indicated that sugar is more addictive that cocaine. Limit your sugar intake and you will feel better. Don’t believe anything the media or so called health experts tell you about nutrition. The media has been heavily manipulated by advertisers who keep their lights on. Best book that opened my eyes on this topic was “Trust Me I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday.
  • Personal finance is one of the most neglected but important topics to study. Ramit Sethi covers the basics very well with his book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”.
  • Whenever I hire someone I look at the things they have accomplished outside of what was expected from them. Responding to emails and requests requires little effort, creating a project and shipping it in your own free time is what takes effort, courage and dedication.
  • If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your mindset. Whatever you do, do not complain. Read “A Complaint Free World” by Will Bowen for more. This book has helped me a lot in the later stages of a marathon or ultra marathon to push through uncomfortable situations and keeping a positive mind. 

  • You will become like the 5 closest people you surround yourself with. So ask yourself the question, are your goals aligned with the people you spend most of your time with?
  • To enjoy your runs more, slow down. I believe 95% of runners run to fast. Slow down and it will be easier to complete a run and go again next time. Most athletes have a hard time to slow down. I wrote an article about this titled “Overcoming frustrations with low heart rate training
  • Consistency is everything. It’s better to work our 3 x a week consistent for 20 minutes, than 6 days a week for an hour, then getting burned out and not doing it at all. Same counts for many other topics, saving goals, nutrition, meditation, etc.
  • Many of the most successful people I follow meditate daily. It increases happiness, reduces stress, improves concentration, benefits your health, practices self-awareness, and much more. The free Calm app is an easy way to get started for 10 minutes a day.
  • Life is short. Always remember, these are the best days of your life. Too many times we live in the past or overthink the future. Want to be more present? Read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
  • Do less, focus on doing one thing well. Slow down the time and smell the flowers. We are all going to die, time is the one thing you will never get back, so make the most out of every day.
  • Where will you be five years from today?” is the title of one of my favorite books. Live your life on purpose. Write down what you really want to do and what steps will you start taking today to get you there. Less than 1% of American write down and review their goals on an ongoing basis. Increase your chances of succeeding your goals by writing them down and reviewing them consistently on a weekly basis.
  • THINK BIG!!! Remove all boundaries and aim for the moon, you will get much further. The biggest hold back for most people is their own imagination of possibility.
  • Whenever you think you pushed yourself to the limit, you can push yourself further. You can overwrite your mind many times. Acknowledge the limitations your mind has created and you will be able to make significant progress in a short period of time. 



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