Meditation, and making peace with the wandering mind. 

Back in December 2013, I went to a 5-day Vipassana Meditation retreat outside Boston (the IMS in Barre, Mass).

Overall, it was a pretty rough experience for me. I struggled, and to be honest, I’m not sure it’s something I’ll do again in my lifetime.

That said, I learned a lot about meditation in those 5 days, and I took a number of things away with me after the program.

One of the more valuable concepts I took away was this idea of what to do during meditation when you catch your mind wandering.

In breathe meditation, typically, you attempt to focus your mind on your breath for the duration of the exercise… say, for example, focusing on the point of your nose where you can feel the air going in and out with each breath, for 20 minutes or however long.

Inevitably, though, your mind wanders. You start thinking about something, and like Tarzan swinging from vine to vine, a whole series of interconnected thoughts go by before you catch yourself and recognize that your mind has wandered away from your breathe.

In that moment, where you’ve recognized your mind has wandered, it’s easy to get frustrated.

It’s easy to think, “I’m not doing it right,” or maybe just, “Ugh. Damn it.”

What our instructor taught us was, in that moment, that “awakening” or “reflective” moment where we recognize our mind has wandered, we shouldn’t be frustrated.

We should change our relationship with that moment. Instead of thinking of it as a negative thing – a moment of recognizing failure – we should think of it as a positive thing – that that recognition itself is why we’re practicing.

With that frame, it’s a moment in which you can be happy. You’ve recognized your silly little wandering mind going off on it’s own, and then, like a loving parent, can patiently and with a sense of appreciation and humor, redirect it back to your breath.


CLP28: Building Testimonial Guard, with Anton Kraly (Co-Founder, Testimonial Guard)


Hey folks! Been a busy couple months. Excited to be back with another podcast. This week’s episode is a conversation with my friend and business partner, Anton Kraly.

Anton Kraly of Testimonial Guard

Anton is a successful serial entrepreneur, and is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the Drop Shipping, E-Commerce, and Digital Nomad communities. Continue reading…


Jerry Seinfeld on The Sacred Customer Relationship

I’m listening to Alec Baldwin interviewing Jerry Sienfeld on Alec’s “Here’s The Thing” podcast.

(It’s an fantastic show, by the way. Alec is a terrific host with a perfect radio voice and awesome guests. Check it out if you haven’t yet.)

Near the end of the show (~51m), Jerry is telling Alec about the earlier days in his stand-up career. He tells a story about how, about 3 weeks after his first stand-up gig, an older comedian pulled him aside and tells him he’s “got it,” and that he’s destined for greatness.

Alec asks Jerry if any other older comedians ever showed him that kind of support early on, and Jerry runs with it:

You don’t need that. Any self-respecting professionsal comedian… you don’t need that.

You don’t need anyone or anything. You are built for brutality. You have this relationship with the audience that is private, between you and them.

Critics wanna write, people wanna talk. We have our own thing. Nobody can break that.

Once you build that, it can’t be broken by outside forces.

This is the difference between being a comedian who has his own thing, and everybody else in the entertainment field who needs to cooperate to survive.

The comedian… What do I care what somebody writes about my show? What do I care?

So, even doing the series and even knowing I have these other avenues I could pursue…

That’s so pure and so perfect and so good.

It’s not easy. It is a rigorous life to maintain that. I don’t hang out on stage, I’m up here to work. I’m going to work for you, because I respect this relationship, and I want to to keep it.

Because once you have that, you can do what you want.Jerry Seinfeld

I heard this, and the analogy was so perfectly clear. This is Jerry telling us about how important our customer relationships are.

Anything else – press, fundraising, blogs, social media – all that stuff is secondary. The only thing, what’s paramount in our business, is the relationship we have with our customers.

It’s sacred. It can’t be broken by outside forces. And once we have it, we can do what we want.


CLP27: How Ludlow Ventures is Doing VC The Right Way, with Jonathan Triest (Founder, Ludlow Ventures)


This week on Crewlab, we hear from Jonathan Triest of Ludlow Ventures.

Based out of Detroit, Ludlow Ventures is a VC firm that has investments in Product Hunt, AngelList, our friends at Point, and many more.

Jonathan and company pride themselves on running an entity that specializes in “VC Done Right”.

Jonathan Triest - Ludlow Ventures

Jonathan and I dig into the details of his background and how he got started in Venture Capital, and how he started the firm. We also discussed investing and what his overall approach is, including how he finds leads and people to work with.

As this is our first interview with an investor, I can safely say that Jonathan is the coolest, friendliest, and best Venture Capitalist we’ve ever had on Crewlab ;)

Enjoy the episode!

Continue reading…


Remember the things you appreciate in 2015.

Awesome idea for 2015 that I’m adapting from a Reddit “Life Pro Tip” thread.

Basically, by the end of every year, it’s easy to forget about all the awesome things that have happened to you during the year.

Big things – like getting a promotion, reaching a business milestone, or paying off your student loans, and even little things like catching the bus right on time, or hitting all the green lights on your way to work one day… it’s important to take note of these things and reflect on them when they happen!

Important, because it’s easy for us to normalize the good things that happen to us. A raise is only a raise for a few weeks, and then it becomes your salary. Your 50th customer is only exciting until your focus turns to hitting 100 and onward from there.

So the Reddit thread I mentioned suggested making a jar and hand-writing notes every time something awesome or just a little thing that you appreciates happens.

But I’m adapting it a little for 2015.

I’m going to make a private email address. Call it or something, and then email myself little notes every time something I appreciate happens. Big, small, and anywhere in between.

Then – don’t look at it for the entire year. Wait for New Years 2015 > 2016, and go back in there and reflect on all the awesome things that happened during the year.

It’s an amazing way to remember what to appreciate, and is sure to help for the times when you feel down and need a pick-me-up in the future.


CLP26: From Prison Inmate to $3M+ Annual Recurring Revenue, with Frederick Hutson (Co-Founder, CEO – Pigeonly)


Frederick Hutson has one of those stories that just captures you when you hear it.

A born hustler, one of Frederick’s earlier businesses in the marijuana distribution industry landed him a 4+ year sentence in prison in his early 20s, back in 2007.

From inmate to entrepreneur - Frederick Hutson of Pigeonly

Today, just a few years out of prison, Frederick is now the co-founder and CEO of a $3M+/year software business… it’s a twist that grabs you. You can’t help but tune-in, at least a little curious.

That’s Frederick Hutson’s story – my guest on this week’s Crewlab podcast.

Continue reading…


CLP25: Learning from John D. Rockefeller, with Vincent Guidry


We like to mix it up a little bit here on the Crewlab podcast, and for this episode, we’re keeping it fresh with a new take.

This week, I sat down with my buddy Vincent Guidry to talk all things John D. Rockefeller.

John D Rockefeller - Standard Oil

For years now, John D. Rockefeller was one of those historical names that I recognize as important and with great legacy, but I wasn’t 100% sure what he was all about.

Continue reading…