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: What Does Your Paradise Feel Like?

G’day Mates,

Without further adieu…

  • Billy Bob Thornton, known as Coach Gary Gaines in my world (Friday Night Lights), with a really raw anecdote about his life before he was rich and famous. I don’t know much about Billy or pass any judgment on his personal life. Moral of the story, this clip really resonated with me. More specifically, Billy saying “don’t ever let your dreams die. That’s what keeps an artist alive and keeps people in general going. Sometimes sitting on the floor on Motor Avenue with a powdered doughnut and a cup of rum seems like paradise.”Is this specific situation sitting on the floor what Billy or other people aspire to? No, probably not. But for Billy, he was living his dream and inching his way closer to becoming a successful actor; thus, the journey felt like paradise. For many, myself included, “paradise” does not equate to sunny beaches and suntanning on yachts. It is driving towards a set out goal and having an innate sense of purpose for living. That’s what I’m chasing…

    The road to success, whatever that looks like for you, is not paved with comfort and requires sacrifice. It forces you to “cut the slack” in your life. To dial back to the basics of what your mission requires and ridding yourself of a few comfortable amenities you may have been used to in a past life. The beauty is, in exchange for doing so, an invigorating wave of conviction, clarity, and purpose rush through your soul. An innate feeling that money cannot buy. A feeling that wakes you up in the morning; without an alarm clock.

    “If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice.” – Jay Samit.

  • As many of you know, I’m a terrible reader of paperback books. I absorb and sift through a lot of content; yet, much of it is not through printed press. But this book is different. “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday is a one-page read every morning that translates timeless stoic philosophy into modern day prose. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking to shore up some bad reading habits like myself!
  • This is an amazing 3-minute clip of drone footage of Nova Scotia… Definitely worth checking out if you’ve always wondered why people love the Maritimes!
  • Very positive, thought provoking advertisement by Heineken
  • With the prime summer months on the horizon and the potential for a few long days on the patios, weddings and late nights around the campfire, the next day isn’t always something we look forward to.However, I was given the heads up on a product called RecoverORS by some golfers from Chicago a few weeks ago who had late nights at the pub and early morning tee-times the next day. It is a oral rehydration packet that you stir into water and voila! Order on Amazon, shows up a few days later. For those of you, who like myself may have a few “I ain’t as good as I once was but I’m good once as I ever was” – Toby Keith-esque nights, on the horizon this summer, I’d welcome you to give RecoverORS a try!

Quote of the Week:No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side.” – Jay Samit

Song(s) of the Week: The tuneage is high on vibes right now so I thought I’d share a couple mainstays:

Carpe Diem Amigos,

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

An Open Letter From My Driver’s Seat

Happy Friday Morning Friends!

Super excited to share my my reflection on jumping off the proverbial “corporate cliff” and landing on my feet…

I’m sitting here in my 2002 Acura MDX, atop a large plateau overlooking the Northumberland Strait outside of Inverness, Nova Scotia. My odometer reads 338,814 km and the “Check Engine” light has been on since I left Calgary. It’s 9:29pm on Wednesday night. While I’ve felt more comfortable at many other points of my life, I’ve never felt more “all in” than I do right now. I’m exactly where I need to be.

Full article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-from-my-drivers-seat-mike-wilkes?published=t

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Quote of the Week: “To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” – P.G. Wodehouse

Song of the Week: “Wasting Time” – Frankie Ballard

Cheers,

Mike

 

 

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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Mike’s Mailbag: A Tribute to Larry From Manitoba

What’s Shaking Mailbagger’s!?

Its been a while since we last did this… December 12, 2016 to be exact.

Well, lots of life has happened since then for all of us. Ups, downs and everything in between. As you may know, I left my corporate job on my own accord in March and have set my sights set on the beautiful Inverness skies that paint the backdrop for Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs.

I embarked on my journey bright and early this morning from Calgary and this edition is coming to you from a Motel 6 on the Trans Canada Highway in Brandon, Manitoba. I logged 1,194km today in the Green Gator! Things I learned on my drive: Saskatchewan is exceptionally flat, it is possible to go 4 hours in Canada without cell reception, and that massive agriculture dealerships (John Deere, Massey Ferguson, Case, New Holland) are front and center in every town and city in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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In my 12 hours of driving today, I alternated between podcasts, interviews, and tunes and have pasted links to different episodes I listened to today:

Favorite tracks from shuffle today:

While I haven’t formally written in 5 months, I have been collecting a ton of content in addition to making a lot of notes on topics that interest me. Now that I’m captaining my own ship, I will be creating lots of time to write about some of these things but also sharing some of my travel and caddying adventures from this summer on the East Coast. I don’t have any set frequency or format what’s in store. Just going with the flow and seeing where the tides take my writing…

On a sadder note, we lost a loyal Mailbag reader, Larry Ethier, last week due to a tragic health complication. Larry was a pillar of what was right in the world. He was a husband, father, brother, cousin, Principal, mentor, and friend to many. Genuinely one of the nicest men I’ve ever known. His Celebration of Life service was incredibly inspiring and a humbling learning experience for all in attendance. Larry had an incredible impact on the world, evident of all the enriching stories told by friends, family and colleagues of his 69 years of living. I think a friend, Lorree, summed it up best after the service, “in Larry’s passing, we all learned how to live.

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Larry was big on relationships. Everything from breaking the ice and instantly taking a genuine interest in your life to the more difficult element of maintaining friendships over time and large distance gaps, Larry always led with generosity. His son, Lucas, asked everyone in attendance to honor his dad by reaching out to someone who you’ve been meaning to for a while now but life has got in the way.

My way of honoring Lucas’ ask is after life getting in the way for five months, writing my first Mailbag to you in dedication to the great man Larry was and will continue to live on in legacy.

Quote of the Week: A classic from our friend, Larry.

Good, better, best.
Never let it rest.
Until the good is better.
And, until the better, best.

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Let’s all take a page out of Larry’s book and make our own lives a message to the world about the person we show up as each and every day we’re alive!

Live From Manitoba,

Mike

Mike’s Mailbag: Taking a Page Out of Roosevelt’s Playbook

Top O’ The Morning Muchachos,

As we turn the page on No Bullshit November into December, I couldn’t be more jovial about what the next 30 days have in store! Personally speaking, I had a great November full of intended change (physical fitness) but also forged some unexpected relationships that have had a very positive influence on my life.

Before we kick-off this week’s edition, I’d like to send a big shout out to so many of you who commented on or brought up last week’s Mailbag in conversation. That was a special edition and it was really nice that so many of you tuned in!

  1. This Wall Street Journal article by Scott Adams will be in the mix for top 10 articles of 2016, no doubt (see my 2015 rankings). “To put it bluntly, goals are for losers.” – Scott Adams. If you don’t have a WSJ subscription, just Google “Scott Adams Secrets of Success: Failure” and click on the link in the search results. Google allows you to read all WSJ articles for free!
  2. This next excerpt was shared with me by a special person that entered my life in November. I am grateful for their newfound friendship and these battle tested words of wisdom (as spoken by Theodore Roosevelt) they shared with me, as I am not very well read on my American Presidents.
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  3. I am an active user of social media but if I’m honest, I have a hard time disagreeing with any of the points raised in this rather contrarian perspective by Cal Newport “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend On It.
  4. This new North Face commercial really just makes you want to jump in your vehicle and head west bound…
  5. So you want to go west bound, eh? I think there will be some that opt for a plane ticket to the east coast instead after they see this beautiful video montage of Nova Scotia! Wow…

Song of the Week: The reason I posted this song has nothing to do with yoga, I just think this is a real jazzy Cathy of a tune. “Once a Day (Love Life Remix)” – Michael Franti & Spearhead. Here it is via Spotify and YouTube. Whatever you do, turn it up!

Quote of the Week: “We’re so attached to the identities, relationships, and dreams that have brought us this far. But like a cocoon, when a butterfly emerges the cocoon has served its purpose. It doesn’t mean it’s false – it means it’s served its purpose. And our dreams, our identities, our ambitions, our relationships, they’re often cocoons that lead us to the next. And we get so understandably attached that we get in conflict when it breaks or falls away; we don’t see what it’s opened us to.” – Mark Nepo

Time to Find an Arena!

Mike