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: 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 People’s Champ

Goooooood Morning,

Extending a warm welcome to a few new Mailbag readers this week. Glad to have you aboard! Let’s get right to it…

  • Why swim in red, shark infested waters when you can find blue ocean to do the same? Seems like a pretty obvious theory… But have you ever thought the same notion can be applied in business? While there are some notable exceptions, a lot of successful new businesses and technology startups thrive in blue water, not by entering the dense, dangerous red waters full of top-of-the-chain predators. Great article by Inc. that features a Calgary based business that has since expanded to Edmonton.
  • Building on last week’s introduction to the lesser known perils of social media… At face value, the thought of an app or platform to share photos of one’s life with family and friends is pretty harmless. Heck it’s a great idea and medium to stay connected with one another. But what happens when these apps become more than just a simple platform to share photos? What happens when many users become obsessed with creating the perfect “highlight reel” of their life? Well, as it turns out, it’s having a pretty significant impact on society’s collective headspace. This interesting montage of a world leading brain expert, ex-Silicon Valley engineer and Facebook executive, along with a few other prominent thought leaders paint a pretty interesting and frankly grim picture of its widespread effects. I’ve been pondering the comment about social media’s effect on newer generations ability to achieve medium and long term goals having grown up in a world full of instant gratification. Are there any quotables that stick out for you?
  • This next video is all kinds of awesome and courtesy of a new Mailbag reader, Scott. It captures raw footage of the first time a world class music producer listens to an unknown artist for the first time (in a really cool new online learning platform, Masterclass, if you’re not familiar). The non-verbal reactions between the two musicians’ are really interesting to watch. I was never a huge fan of this song to be honest. That changed after watching this video…

Coffee of the Week: As I try to build more of a community among Mailbag readers, I want to introduce you to a relatively new friend of mine in Toronto with big dreams and an even bigger heart. Cody originally read about my coffee business a while back via a similar weekly note as the Mailbag (my friend Brett’s version, The Beer List), as Cody also shares a love for the freshly roasted good stuff. Low and behold, Cody became the first and only sponsored 4th Line Grind athlete (**apologies for the short term nature of that deal pal) on his quest for qualifying for Ironman Kona. The holy grail of triathlons.

My favorite part of Cody’s story is that he did not grow up an athletic kid. His mantra is “No talent. All hard work.” A few weekends ago, Cody and I did an 85km ride on the David Thompson Highway, west of Nordegg, into the Rockies. We rode together for the first 5km, then he said “Wilkesy, I’m going to pick it up if you want to try and stay with me“. Within 10 seconds, GONE. Not that it’s that hard to lose me on a road bike but I mean he was gone! Uphill, into a stiff Rocky Mountain headwind. I hammered out the remaining 80km solo and proudly waved the flag of a weekend warrior. Cody is racing this weekend at Ironman Eagleland in Cambridge, Maryland. He has a wickedly fun Instagram account, @thefulldiary, that is fun to follow along. He posts some awesome training and race montages on there and often finishes off his weekend training sessions with a token pint (like a true triathlete). We opted for some Freehold Brewing’s Big Chutes Lager post ride if you haven’t tried their suds. A couple great lads Matt and Tavis started this company and proudly tout their awesome branding, Alberta by Choice. Good luck this weekend Cody! Your Mailbag crew will be cheering you on from coast to coast, coffee in hand.

Song of the Week: People’s Champ by The Arkells. I would’ve classified myself as a middle of the road Arkells fan prior to hearing this. Then I watched the music video… What a jam and premise for a tune.

Quote of the Week:Experience is a hard lesson because the teacher gives you the test before you learn the lesson.” – Vern Law

Rise & Grind,

Mike

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Mike’s Mailbag: Unveiling of “The Birdie Whisperer”

Happy Sunday Folks,

First check-in from Inverness and have some pretty exciting things on the docket!

  • As Cabot’s engines start to rev with golfers coming from all over the world to play, I’m super pumped to unveil my caddie brand this summer, “The Birdie Whisperer“…

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  • I am grateful to be welcomed by the very nice folks of Inverness and as such, I take a lot of pride in being the best ambassador of Cabot, the town of Inverness, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and at the end of the day, Canada really, to people coming from all around the world to experience the world-class golf. Yes I am here to carry golfers bags, help them read putts, dial in their distances, find errant drives, but really, I am here to tie all those pieces together and provide a premier golf experience. If you’re heading my way and need a caddie this summer or know someone who does, The Birdie Whisperer is perched and waiting!

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  • Some of you have been asking why I write my Mailbag? How do I find the time? How do I find articles? I had some fun dialing into the “why” at a quaint little European cafe in Old Quebec City on my trek out here. Here’s what came out when pen hit paper: https://mikesmailbag.org/about-me/.
  • This next story is a feel good one… So you know the Telus Cup, the national midget AAA hockey tournament for the top teams in the entire country? The Cape Breton West Islanders WON the tournament a couple weeks ago in Prince George, BC beating a team from Quebec 5-4 in overtime! The team is comprised of kids from multiple small towns and hamlets across Cape Breton Island that drives multiple hours just to go to practice on weeknights, yet alone games! Cape Breton’ers are very proud of their team and rightly so for being crowned the #1 midget AAA hockey team in Canada: http://www.capebretonpost.com/sports/hockey/2017/4/30/history-made–cape-breton-west-wins-telus-cup-championship.html
  • Speaking of high intensity playoff hockey, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share how to tinkle the twine courtesy of the On The Bench guys from Calgary.
  • Last but not least, one of my favorite TV shows, Master of None, came out with season 2. It is an awesome show that brings to life a lot of humor that is lost amongst everyday life and brings a raw perspective on being single, life as a millenial, and misunderstanding of various cultural stereotypes. Aziz Ansari is the lead character and producer of his own show which makes for a light-hearted and hilarious take on life as we know it. Season 2 trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGE-Mw-Yjsk.

Golf Tip/Quip of the Week: I certainly don’t profess to be a golf professional or instructor but I’ve hacked my way around a few courses in my day and this summer, my life revolves around watching/helping people play golf. Many folks aren’t used to be playing links golf with 50+ km/hr winds and frankly, it isn’t easy and takes some getting used to! It’s not for everyone but is a lot of fun when you learn to embrace the game at its grassroots level. When hitting into the wind or into a crosswind, the key is to club up and swing EASIER, not harder. This will help keep your ball flight down and limit the amount of spin on the ball. The time to club down and swing for the fences is when you’re downwind and have ample space to let the ball release after landing.

Song of the Week: You can count on Eric Church being a staple of any top shelf summer playlist and this song pretty much sums up my mantra for the summer here in Cape Breton… “Holdin’ My Own” – Eric Church

Quote of the Week:Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at.” – Jimmy Demaret

Make it a great week!

Wilkesy

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