Mike’s Mailbag: A Tale of Tech Titans

Happy Monday Amigos,

Tis’ been a busy couple weeks as I was in Toronto for a wedding and started a new role in Calgary with Goodfood Market – Canada’s only publicly traded meal-kit company. For all those asking me for the “friends and family discount”, there’s a promo code at the end to get you started 🙂

  • The 13 best golf course restaurants in the world by Golf Digest. While the Panorama Dining Room at Cabot is on there, I have never actually eaten dinner there. In all my time there as a caddie and golfer, I opted to save my pennies for frosty patio beverages and gas money for road tripping up the Cabot Trail. Have you tried any of these notable eateries for post round pints? My bucket list just grew…
  • This is an interesting glimpse into where the upscale retail segment of the cannabis industry will go, as led by Fire & Flower – an Edmonton based company. I saw their CEO, Trevor Fencott, speak at the 55North Business Conference earlier this year in Kananaskis and he is very sharp.
  • Could this be the next Suits or Billions? Based on the trailer, it very well could be -> HBO’s Succession
  • Interesting feature on loneliness in Avenue Magazine Calgary. “Some experts suggest the quality of our social relationships is eroding. In modern, industrialized cities, we often live far away from extended family. We’re more likely to live alone, to not have children. We email, text, tweet, Facebook but we don’t talk to strangers. We bank online and order coffee by app and buy groceries from Amazon to be deposited outside our front doors. We live in homes with closed garages and fenced yards, especially in Calgary.”
  • Gary Vee’s take on Jeff Bezos (Amazon) vs. Tim Cook (Apple) as per Bloomberg Technology. Spoiler alert: he’s betting on one of these guys’ every day of the week. You can’t bring up these two without talking about Elon. Here’s an interesting take via Wired on Musk’s trials & tribulations over the past year titled Elon is Broken, And We Have Broken Him.

Song of the Week: Last fall, I was introduced to the Blake Reid Band when they performed on set at the Dave Kelly Live show in Calgary. I was blown away at their sound. The cool part about this band is they wrote and recorded an analog album in a matter of 5 days, inside an abandoned farmhouse, on the beautiful Alberta prairies overlooking the Rocky Mountains. It was for a documentary called “No Roads In“. They posted three songs from the album on their website and if you like country, I think you’ll be a fan!

Quote of the Week: I ran into an Dalhousie friend on the weekend at Cold Garden Brewery. Turns out, she has become quite the photographer and I found a really interesting reflection on her site. This tidbit was right on the money, “Some will talk to you in their free time. Some will free their time to talk to you. Know the difference.” – Megan Cameron (@twelve.poles)

Ps… if you’re interested in trying Goodfood, here is a promo code (valid until Aug 22nd) that will get you $90 off in your first two weeks of meals! Chef quality meals delivered to your doorstep, prepared by you and enjoyed in the comfort of your own home… Does it get any better?

Enjoy!

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: The Mysterious Case of the Peloton

Gooooood Morning,

Let’s get down to it!

  • How do we make sure that the story we’re telling ourselves is in alignment with what actually did happen?” – Oprah Winfrey in conversation to Brene Brown. Ahhhh, the topic of self-narratives and the stories we tell ourselves. I think the rationalized internal dialogue floating around our brains can be both a blessing and a curse. Reason being, at times, we are able to pull ourselves out of a tough situation with a very rationalized, perhaps overly optimistic outcome that gets us over a loss or bad situation. All in all, a positive situation. On the flip side, telling ourselves a false narrative can lead to disillusionment and abdication of personal responsibility for our actions that may have gotten ourselves into the predicament in the first place. If you’re someone with a tendency to over analyze life’s events at times (ie. myself), this video clip is a great “check & balance” to ensure the stories we tell ourselves are in fact truthful.
  • Daryl McDaniels… One of the founding members of Run-D.M.C. and pioneer in the hip-hop industry. I certainly didn’t know much about his upbringing or life in general but this Impact Theory interview goes in depth on it. The story behind Daryl’s fascination with a particular Sarah McLachlan song is quite fascinating to say the least. Two musicians on polar opposite ends of the musical spectrum, yet, Daryl attributes Sarah’s song, “Angel“, as a song that saved his life. This interview is one worth tuning in on. Perhaps one of Run-D.M.C’s most famous songs best sums up mental health… “It’s Tricky“.
  • The title of the article reads “Bloodbath for Canadian Grocers as Consumers Demand Convenience“. The food industry is undergoing massive disruption as startups are challenging an industry traditionally dominated by global behemoths with unrivaled buying power. Equipped with advanced just-in-time (JIT) logistics and supply chain capabilities, nimble business models, an emphasis on freshness, ethical sourcing, convenience, curated experiences, and ability to greater resonate with consumer preferences, food startups of all kinds are making their dent.
  • Any roadbikers or triathletes tuning in? This Fast Company read is for you. All of a sudden it makes sense why those “in” the biking world call the Tour de France a team sport!
  • “The top NHL salary in 2018-19 (in terms of dollars owed, not cap hit) is the $15.9 million John Tavares is set to make in his first year with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tavares is one of 14 NHLers scheduled to make at least $10 million next season and every one of those players is a bona fide star, Subban among them. By comparison, though, the NBA has 134 players scheduled to make at least $10 million in 2018-19—many of whom aren’t even starters—and 74 players will have higher salaries than Tavares in particular.” – Mike Johnston via Sportsnet article. Wow… Now that’s a zinger of a sport stat!

Song of the Week: A few weeks ago, my good pal, Jer, and I were lucky enough to see Brad Paisley live at Stampede. Needless to say, we both forgot how damn good of a musician and entertainer the guy is. Here are a few of my favorites…

Quote of the Week: Training is like sweeping the floor. Just because you’ve done it once, doesn’t mean the floor is clean forever.” Daniele Bolelli

Happy August Long Amigos,

Mike

 

 

Mike’s Mailbag: Overcoming Willpower with a Personal Operating System

Happy Saturday Amigos,

Diving right in…

  • Seth Godin. The man behind the altMBA, The Icarus Deception and engine of thought leadership in the marketing world, personal branding, and education space. What strikes me most about Seth’s outlook on the world is his creativity, originality and willingness to challenge conventional wisdom to the “nth” degree. This Impact Theory interview will plant some really interesting thoughts to ponder about how the evolution of our economy over the past 100 years hasn’t necessarily been reflected in the North American education system. This is definitely worth the watch!
  • I am pretty excited to see how the launch of MINDSET Brain Gym in Toronto unfolds. Being someone interested in mental fitness and the world of mindfulness, I am curious to see if MINDSET takes off like OrangeTheory or stays as a niche concept in an upper class neighbourhood.
  • A growing body of research suggests that our bodies function optimally when we align our eating patterns with our circadian rhythms.” – New York Times article by Anahad O’Connor as featured in the National Post. I’ve been getting my Tim Ferriss on as of late and experimenting with some different ways of fueling my body. Traditionally speaking, I have been terrible at following any sort of strict diet or anything that relies on willpower to succeed. I consistently fall off the bandwagon after 2-3 weeks. However, the combination of actually reading up on nutrition, the willingness to challenge the conventional notion of a proper diet and incorporating more of a systems approach (thanks Scott Adams) rather than goals mentality into how I eat has started to show some early signs of success. Regardless of your nutrition and fitness objectives, if your chosen modifications are not “integrate-able” into your desired lifestyle, it will probably mean falling off the bandwagon early on. Willpower and restriction only go so far. * I’m partly including this for my own accountability purposes as my experimentation with finding a sustainable way of fueling my body and mind evolves.
  • I don’t know about you but I find this clip of Mark Zuckerberg and Dan Stillman being interviewed on CNBC in 2004 rather entertaining. Safe to say Facebook has gained more traction than WesMatch!
  • Has anyone tried Masterclass? I’m curious to try out the online learning platform and learn from some of the best in the biz.

Quote of the Week: I prefer the discipline of knowledge to the anarchy of ignorance.” – David Ogilvy

Song of the Week: Emotionless” – Drake. Hardly a novel find but take note of the lyrics Drake chose…

Have a Great Weekend!

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: Why The Best Things in Life Are Backwards

Top o’ The Morning,

Grab a cup of joe and let’s go!

  • Have you ever thought about how to shorten your refractory period of emotional reactions so that your mood doesn’t turn into your temperament? And subsequently, that temperament turning into your full blown personality? I certainly hadn’t… If you’re struggling to pull yourself out of your own headspace or current reality and into a better one, I can’t recommend this Impact Theory clip of Dr. Joe Dispenza enough. “The best way to predict your future is to create it… not from the known but from the unknown. What thoughts do you want to fire and wire into your brain? … Your brain is no longer a record of the past. Now it’s a map to the future. You can’t wait for success to feel empowered. You can’t wait for your wealth to feel abundant. You can’t wait for your new relationship to feel love or your healing to feel whole. That’s the old model of reality of cause & effect. Waiting for something outside of us to change how we feel inside of us.”  Dr. Joe Dispenza. Let this clip percolate for a few weeks and let me know any reflections or thoughts you have down the road… Here is the whole interview if you’d like to dive in further.
  • A top shelf read courtesy of a regular mainstay of the Mailbag, Mr. Mark Manson. This one titled Why the Best Things in Life Are All Backwards.
  • No Dickheads – What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About Building High Performance Teams by Tess Sloane. Great read on what is arguably the most successful sporting team in the world.
  • Awesome Sportsnet feature on Canada’s best swimmer, Penny Oleksiak. Judging by this video and her new training regime, I would not want to be in the seven other lanes at the 2020 Olympics when Penny is in the water!
  • Zero NHL franchises on Forbes Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises in the world.

Song of the Week: Vino & Vinyl: Vol 15 – Route 19 Blues. If you like the cut of this playlist’s jib, there are 14 others to tune into…

Quote of the Week:“It might help some of you to think of yourself as moist robots and not skin bags full of magic and mastery. If you control the inputs, you can determine the outcomes, give or take some luck.” – Scott Adams

Make it a Great Friday,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: Braving The Wilderness

Gooooood Morning,

Jumping right in…

  • A few months ago, I embarked on a road trip down to Seattle for the World Specialty Coffee Expo. On my way down, I listened to Perennial Seller (mentioned last week). On the way back, I listened to Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging by Brene Brown. Brene is an absolute powerhouse and trailblazer for mankind. I have a ton of respect for her. She dives deeper on the subject of vulnerability, shame, empathy and courage than anyone and is able to articulate her research in a very matter of fact manner. While some gents reading this may have had a spouse or girlfriend send you one of her TED talks in the past and you may have thought “nah, this vulnerability and empathy stuff isn’t for me.” If this is/was you, I’d encourage you to rethink your decision. At one point in time, this was me. Here is a good video to start with: “Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count?“. There’s plenty of material once you get rolling…
  • I’m in the midst of reading a book by Scott Adams. He is a very wise man and in this book, he lists all of the cognitive bias listed on Wikipedia. Scott thinks they are very useful to familiarize oneself with, even if on a very elementary level. Down the road, I’m going to take a deeper dive on the book but will leave you with the interesting list of cognitive bias to chew on…
  • A one-woman band. Multi-instrumentalist. Call these unbelievably talented ladies what you will. They are both incredible artists and play all of the instruments, loop them together, and sing over top. It’s done live and is all kinds of awesome to watch! Like seriously awesome…
  • Leafs / Islanders fan or not, how can you not love Johnny T? Class act and world class athlete. His farewell letter to Long Island after signing with the Leafs via The Players Tribune.
  • Quick clip of Nick Foles, backup QB turned Superbowl hero with a few words on embracing failure in an era of the highlight reel.

Song(s) of the Week: On the subject of cover music, I’m going to test-drive a new once per month feature called Five Cover Friday. 5 songs for the price of 1. Take a listen and then you’ll realize what a steal of a deal this is 🙂

  • Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton live at Austin City Limits (George Jones)
  • Crazy” – Ray LaMontagne (Gnarls Barkley)
  • If I Needed You” – Mumford & Sons (Townes Van Zandt)
  • Bang Bang” – Kaleo (Cher)
  • Take Care” – Florence & The Machine (Drake & Rihanna)

Quote of the Week: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked” – Warren Buffet

Happy Listenin’,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: The Scenic Route to Alaska

Goooooood Morning,

Apologies for missing last Friday, twas’ a busy week so we’ve audibled to Monday morning. Let’s put a little jump in your step to kickstart the week…

  • DISRUPTION Magazine. This is a new, hot off the press Canadian publication and is one of the best reads to get your fix on how disruptive technology is impacting the world we live in. The content is extremely relevant and explained in a way that allows even the non “techie” to digest and comprehend. I would highly recommend tuning in and spreading the word to other friends and colleagues inclined to stay sharp in this realm.
  • Do you have these 5 “super-skills” for the future? According to Fast Company, arming yourself with these will help you thrive in the evolving workforce. Agree or disagree?
  • This next interview is bold, humbling, and revealing. Dr. Michael Gervais is one of the world’s eminent sport psychologists and his recent interview with Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory is raw, rugged and packs a punch. The first time I tuned in, I was hook, line and sinkered. I hit replay and took notes. Michael’s words (and Tom’s) may fall flat on some (you may even flat-out disagree) but to others, his words will strike your heart and mind like a lightning bolt. If you’re seeking growth in any area of your life (personally, professionally, in relationship, etc), this video is worth every second of your time.
  • Love Gary Vee or hate him, I’ve come to realize that he has some pretty insightful things to say. At first, his brashness and tone didn’t really resonate with me. But once I got through some of the smokin’ guns and cliches, I realized he puts out some really solid content. This two-minute clip on rationality in business is one of my favorites.

Coffee of the Week: Interesting look as Bloomberg open the kimono on 5 tricks Starbucks uses to seduce you in their shops. No interior detail is left to chance…

Song of the Week: A great tune to start your Canada Day roadtrips -> “Coming Back” by Scenic Route to Alaska

Quote of the Week: “Sometimes you need life to save you from what you want, so you can get what you need.” – Tim Ferriss

Make it a Great Week,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: The Last Refuge of the Misfit

Gooooooood Morning,

Grab your morning cup of pipin’ hot joe, we’re going to jump right in.

  • In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit” – Anthony Bourdain. We lost a living legend this week. A man who brought people sitting on their couch around the globe through his culinary adventures and cultural curiosity. In a world that strives to be politically correct in all instances (perhaps to a fault), thank you for staying true to yourself and being a misfit in and out of the kitchen. The world will miss your unapologetically brash yet genuine nature. You’ve inspired us all. Rest easy, chef.
    • I would say that the angriest critiques I get from people about shows are when I’m drinking whatever convenient cold beer is available in a particular place, and not drinking the best beer out there. You know, I haven’t made the effort to walk down the street 10 blocks to the microbrewery where they’re making some fucking Mumford and Sons IPA. People get all bent about it. But look, I like cold beer. And I like to have a good time.” – Anthony Bourdain in an entertaining, no holds barred Thrillist interview
    •  A thought provoking reflection and important reminder about the lessons learned from this week’s unfortunate passings via The Globe and Mail
    • One of Anthony’s classic literary gems… His food essay to The New Yorker titled, Don’t Eat Until You Read This.
    • Last but not least, some raw insight into what outsiders might consider “the pinnacle of successin business and how/why things aren’t always so peachy on the inside.
  • Tom Brady. The GOAT. If you haven’t seen the mini-documentary Tom vs. Time, I would highly recommend it. It’s a raw glimpse into Tom’s life off the field and brings to light his unwavering commitment to greatness. If you ask me, watching the weird and wacky things Tom does to prepare himself to shine under the lights is all kinds of awesome.
  • As you might be able to tell based on frequency of articles featured, I am big fan of Mark Manson. His raw, brash, satirical introductory paragraphs can scare off the faint of heart but if you can get past his wild vocabulary, Mark’s insight into the shittier parts of life is refreshingly on point. He dives deep into the parts of life that few other authors and bloggers dare and does so in a very practical manner. Real life isn’t lived through an Instagram filter of glamour and perfection so why should the world of self help articles? Keep on rocking in the free world, Mark. This read, The Four Stages of Life, won’t let you down. And if you care to share what stage of life you’re in (or trying to transition into), let’s grab a coffee and chat about it. Coffee is on me.

Coffee of the Week: If you haven’t been to The Colombian in Edmonton, it is my favorite new shop in the city. The owner, Santiago, is an awesome guy with an even better back story, dating back to his roots and coffee heritage in Colombia. He roasts all of his coffee on-site with his partner in crime and wife, Kristin. They dial in a perfect medium roast every time. Nestled in the heart of Glenora, the best part is, the staff are all super friendly and love helping you pick out a great cup of joe. A sour free zone in more ways than one is my kind of place!

Song of the Week: Feel It Still” – Portugal The Man

Quote of the Week: “The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.” – Paul Angone

Rise & Grind,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: Back in the Saddle

Goooooood Morning,

Long time no talk mis amigos! Tis’ been a while since we last convened on the ‘Bag… Safe to say a lot of life has been lived on both ends. What is shaking in your neck of the woods?

I was recently e-introduced to someone in a semi-professional context as “quite possibly the most interesting 20-something I know”. Now, I don’t know if this is a compliment, a subtle dig, or simply resemblent of the somewhat unique path I’ve taken the last 14 months of my life. I went from suiting up everyday selling energized fracturing solutions to driving across our great nation to moonlight as a caddie at the #1 rated course in Canada (so much so it’s featured in the Lotto 6/49 commercial), while living in an ocean-side trailer with no Wi-Fi or cell reception (“patio” view below). Then one sunny summer morning in early August, my caddie loop was cancelled last minute so I posted up in the local coffee shop to work on my coffee business plan. This particular morning I was working on sourcing the supply of my coffee beans. A few hours into working, in walked a woman from the side door of the cafe that more than caught my eye and long story short, I went and introduced myself to her. Turned out she was from Calgary and on a solo cross Canada adventure of her own. 10 days later, we embarked on a 3-week road trip down the eastern seaboard, into the southern US, then ventured back northwest finishing up in Denver. Less than a month later, I finalized my partnership with a small local roaster in Calgary and started my own coffee company (having written much of my business plan in my Wi-Fi “less” trailer and at the local coffeeshop). What’s the old Steve Jobs adage “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever“? It certainly rang true for me looking backwards…

Fast forward to now, I’m back in Edmonton, my hometown and proudly touted as the City of Champions (even though the wooden sign entering our city from the south hasn’t seen a coat of paint or facelift since Mess’ hoisted the cup back in ’90). Wink wink, nudge nudge, Donny Iveson and council.

There’s no telling the route a rejuvenated Mike’s Mailbag will take in 2018 but I can assure you it will be entertaining, thought provoking, and authentic (even if to a fault). What I’m hoping to do moving forward is take our online community of Mailbag fans, readers and contributors and find ways for us to meet face-to-face in brick n’ mortar environments, from coast to coast (see “Flaked” Trailer here for modern day paradox of community, a-ha moment @ 2:08).

  • The 3 Levels of Self-Awareness by Mark Manson
    • This might be my favorite article of 2018 so far. Whether or not you appreciate Mark’s writing style (apologies in advance for the profanity), he speaks his mind which is rare in the politically correct society we live in. If there’s one skill/character trait that becomes increasingly important as one grows older (in every element of life – personally, professionally, in relationship, etc), self-awareness could very well be at the top.
  • Principles For Success Mini-Series by Ray Dalio
    • Five years ago, the majority of Ray’s following primarily consisted of the finance community at-large. Since amassing an astronomical amount of personal wealth through his hedge-fund, Bridgewater Associates, Ray has found more fulfillment in finding ways to give back and share knowledge rather than continue to solely pursue financial profits. He championed the idea of radical transparency within Bridgewater’s corporate culture (which we’ll surely get into down the road) and prior to becoming one of the largest contemporary influencers on LinkedIn, he published a free downloadable PDF titled Principles. His following has grown exponentially since taking this PDF and transforming it into a full on book. He has since pared down these concepts into an easy to watch mini-series on YouTube. Regardless of age, occupation, interests, I highly recommend taking 30 minutes to tune in.
  • Denzel Washington on Social Media
    • Interesting thoughts on the prevalence of social media by Denzel Washington. More and more media coverage is coming out criticizing the social media engines of Silicon Valley for their intentionally addictive products’ effect on the true well-being of society. It’s easy to believe and get caught up in the hoopla about how “connected” we are as a society in a technological sense but is at the expense of actually being connected to those around us in a real, tangible manner? I’m going to explore this topic in depth in the coming weeks but will simply plant the seed this week.

Song of the Week:Slow Burn” by Kacey Musgraves. Her new album released earlier this spring, Golden Hour, is one of my favorites so far this year.

Java of the Week: This is a new addition and will spotlight favorite shops and entrepreneurs from coast to coast, fun facts + myths, among other things. To kickstart things, “Blinded By The Light… Roast”, might be of interest to you as you wonder why coffee tastes different at different shops you frequent.

Quote of the Week: “If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?” – Jerry Seinfeld

Rise & Grind,

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: You Can’t Multitask Presence

Greetings Muchachos!

Sunday night check-in from Cape Breton after a great week caddying on the links!

  • I spent a lot of my rest day today watching clips from Oprah’s new YouTube series called Master Class. It’s a pretty cool series of interviews where Oprah takes a deep dive with different celebrities on defining moments and lessons learned in their life; many of which have not necessarily been shared publicly before. A clip that really resonated with me was from a Cindy Crawford interview. She said, “you can’t multitask presence”. What an awesome mantra when it comes to being all there when you’re with people close to you!
  • “I’ve often said that I wish people could realize all their dreams, wealth, and fame, so that they could see it’s not where you’re going to find your sense of completion. Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself. Until someone smarter than myself made realize that there is nothing bigger than myself.” – Jim Carrey on his interpretation of the meaning of life.
    Man, this is good stuff. This week at Cabot, I had the privilege of spending 18 holes with a fairly well known TV personality in the sports world and asked him a few questions on his path to where he is now. I’m always curious about the journey people take to get where they are and his story echoed much of the same sentiment as Jim’s.
  • A great read by Mark Manson on what makes people/cities great can also be their downfall in certain contexts or situations. This is an interesting topic and one I’ve been doing some reflecting on as of late.
  • The Rocking Chair test… Have you ever done it? Are you currently sitting in your rocking chair and enjoying the view? I would LOVE to hear your personal reflections and what your view is like if you’re enjoying it right now!

Song of the Week: I’m thinking about carrying a mini speaker in my caddie bib and playing this song anytime my players’ make a birdie putt. Things might get spicy when “SUAVEMENTE” by Elvis Crespo comes on on the 11th green!

Quote of the Week: “Be a fountain, not a drain. Create more, consume less.” – Unknown

Make it a great week!

Mike