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Motivating Your Employees

Posted on February 18, 2013 by Jessica

In the competitive world of retaining the best employees, it is clearly understood that vacation pay, health care and salaries make the top of the perk wish list. As things like bonus cutbacks, raise freezes and fewer stock options become necessary, it is harder to keep employees motivated.

Even though companies go through good times and bad, they still want their employees to know that their job is more than just a paycheck, and they want their people invested in their organization’s future. To do so, they must create the environment and culture that make people want to stay. Below are five economical and surefire ways to keep your employees motivated in 2013.

Flexibility – Time has no price. Along with offering paid vacation time from work, most companies enhance that benefit with some paid time-off or the ability to work from home after a specific amount of time. Things like summer hours, flex-time and 4-day work weeks are all still at the top of the wish list for employees. The cost to the company is very little, but it can help a good workplace suddenly become a great workplace for the employees.

Encouraging Good Health – Even though it may not be realistic for all companies to have a health club or gym, employers can reward their employees who want to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to keep their work and life balance in check. One way to do this is by offering employees gym membership discounts. As well, offer team building events that add an element of social activity mixed with physical activity as an alternative to happy hour. Some ideas might be team bowling, softball games and dodge ball (our team particularly likes hiking). 

Rewards and Acknowledgements – Everyone likes to be rewarded and acknowledged. This can be something as simple as singling out a top performing employee with a coffee gift card, having a happy hour event after work for employees, bestowing your office staff with a massage or tickets to a baseball or football game. This type of gesture encourages camaraderie, helps keep employees motivated, boosts morale and has employees looking forward to the next surprise.

Work Environment – Create a nice work environment around your employees that reflect their personalities and skills. Studies have shown that offices and cubicles are shifting to light interactive spaces with lots of color. These promote positive energy and a nice comfortable area for employees to work in.

Does your office use any of these methods to motivate employees? Which work best for your team? Let us know in the comments below!

Building Office Comradery: The Salsa Contest

Posted on May 5, 2011 by Josh Mc

In a continuing effort to make the office both a fun and productive place to work, yesterday was the second annual Gordian Project salsa contest. The contest had 13 different salsas enter with a range of ingredients such as a grape based sweet salsa, one that featured baby shrimp and many with traditional spices. Everyone brought their salsas in the morning and they were left out all day for the office to enjoy and critique to their hearts content. Many, including myself, elected to skip lunch in order to save room for continued judging of which salsa would get our vote. In the afternoon the votes were emailed in, and today the winner was announced and received a gift card. Here are some great pictures from the event.

Salsa Competition

Salsa Competition 2

Salsa Competition 3

Salsa Competition 4

Salsa Competition 5

Now I say all of this to prove the point that their are many great and cheap ways to promote workplace comradery. The business supplied the gift cards for the winners, but the contest was run by the employees and they individually provided the salsas and chips for the competition. Throughout the office during the day you could hear, "I love salsa day, one of the best days of the year", to which I fully agree. There is just something about hanging out with your co workers and arguing over the range of flavors making up a good salsa, that adds another level to the normal work day. Sure a little extra time is spent visiting the salsa room to continue sampling, but in the grand scheme of things your employees can now boast on their Facebooks and to their friends that their workplace had a salsa contest with real prizes. This alone makes your work environment stand out, while at the same time building up a rapport with your employees that you want them to enjoy coming to work. Think about it, what is something you can do with your employees in the next month that would have the same effect?

There are hundreds of ways to do this, but I would encourage you to try out something as simple as a salsa contest today, your employees with thank you for it.

What about you, what does your office do for comradery?


Three Simple Tips to Make You a Better Manager

Posted on April 13, 2011 by Arianna

When I took the team lead position in customer service, I had no idea what I was going to deal with, or how to even manage a team. Over the last couple of months our employee retention rate had decreased, and the new team in place was now looking to me for guidance.  To be honest, that was pretty scary, considering I had no idea what I was doing. One thing I know is that a good manager is one that knows how to get the best out of his/her employees while keeping them happy. Though I am still in the learning process, including taking self assessment quizzes every so often to see how I am doing and where I can improve, the below phrases have helped me to more successfully manage my team.

One of the best tips I received from my husband while venting to him my frustrations was: Don’t take it personal. If employees call out, if they are unreliable, inefficient and/or always have a bad attitude, there may be other personal issues at hand that are affecting their work. If you stop taking everything as a personal attack, you can start showing compassion, and your hurt or anger can turn into motivation for these types of employees. While demonstrating an open and understanding attitude toward your employees, you will see their attitudes and employee investment change for the better.

When working as a team or managing a team, you meet different types of people. There are those that respond to what is being asked of them and those that regardless of how understanding you try to be, will still be difficult employees. Teamwork is an important key to employee productivity, if one person starts excelling than others will want to do the same; but if that one difficult employee does not carry their own weight, others will start questioning their productivity. When not taking it personal and being understanding does not work, you must nip it in the bud. Sit down with the employee; explain to them how you have been trying to be understanding, but they have not changed the way they work.  Give them new guidelines and draw a line. They can continue being that way elsewhere, but the company and the team needs their full investment. Doing this, will not only stop the problem before it escalates but will show other employee’s that such attitudes will not be tolerated.

During the day we as team leads or managers have to deal with the pressures of the day, not only of managing a team but also of tasks that we have to accomplish. If your day is getting so overwhelming and you just want to give up, don’t give up…instead take a walk. The ability to walk out of the office/building and just be alone with your thoughts can rejuvenate you. Don’t take a cell phone; don’t take a friend, just you… well and maybe your iPod if it helps you relax.

With all the days frustrations the most important thing you can do at the end of your day, is to check your drama at the door. Don’t take it home, and don’t bring it back to work the next day. Each day will have another frustration and if you keep bringing them back you will start piling the drama not only on yourself but on your employees. Their simple questions will turn into annoyances; their error’s will turn into mountains of problems, turning you into a difficult manager - the manager that no one can go to, the quick to anger manager who people keep away from. Your family and employees will thank you for keeping the day’s frustrations outside of your home, and letting each day be a new day.

Though applying these few phrases throughout your day will not single handedly make you a good manager, they are stepping stones that can lead you to becoming a manager that can manage, and can get the best out of his/her employees, while still keeping them happy.

What do you think, are their other tips that you use when managing employees? Make sure to leave them in the comments!



Vanessa’s Variety for the Week of July 2nd, 2010

Posted on July 2, 2010 by Vanessa
  • reminds us that companies are not democracies. It’s a harsh reality if you are employed by an owner that you don’t care for or don’t believe in, but if that isn’t the case than I think it’s important for us non-owners to remember this quote from the article:

    In today's warm, fuzzy, politically correct environment, where conventional wisdom is all about collaboration, fairness and listening to your employees, many small-business owners forget one important thing: They have to execute their battle plans with as few flaws as possible. A company is not a democracy. The only opinion that counts is that of ownership. Have a suggestion box in case someone comes up with a good idea, but don't make it a bible."


  • I liked Business Insider’s tip of the day today:

    "Having recently concluded four years of interviews for a book on the topic of making ideas happen, I can say one thing for sure: Hard work is the single greatest competitive advantage. Ideas don't happen because they are great. The genius is in the execution, aka the "99% perspiration" that has become this site's namesake.  Perspiration implies sweat, self-discipline, and (yes) occasional exhaustion. I think this is what Malcolm Gladwell teaches us in his book Outliers when he proposes that a true mastery of anything requires 10,000 hours of doing it. There are no shortcuts to lasting success."
    -- Scott Belsky, Founder and CEO, Behance


  • Get Elastic posted a great article with some basics for improving your website to increase sales volume.


  • Mashable highlights a study done by inside view about how the World Cup has affected our economy and productivity globally.  In fact there is evidence of this in a Business Insider story posted today:

    FT reported this morning on Brazilian traders who complained about having to work while Brazil played Netherlands:
    "'Nobody is very happy, but we have to work, don’t we?' Pedro Galdi, a trader at the SLW brokerage house, said only half seriously.
    'Our experience of the previous games tells us that it will be quiet. Clients aren’t making transactions when the matches are on,' said Luiz Roberto Monteiro, a trader with Souza Barros brokerage. 'But still, we have to be here.'
    Sure enough, Banco do Brasil (BBAS3.SA) shares have lost steam from yesterday, down nearly 1%.
    And Brazil is up 1-0."

Sales Productivity During World Cup

Kohler is arguably one of the most innovative brands in the home improvement industry. The new Karbon Kitchen faucet has completely transformed the kitchen and more specifically revolutionized the faucet. Meanwhile Kohler seems to effortlessly create bathroom fixtures that are not only sleek but save water, like the Escale toilet.

Tips for Managing eCommerce Development

Posted on June 30, 2010 by josh

I have the fortunate duty of building some amazing solutions for our sites and systems. Being honest and up front in your position, with yourself and others, can play a key role in your success as an IT or Development manager. Here is a short list, not comprehensive, on some things you must do as an IT or Development manager:

Have thick skin

You can't make everyone happy... and you won't. The needs of the organization frequently do not meet the perceived needs of all individuals. But your team has to be able to critique you. Listen, and be honest with yourself. Also, you aren't perfect. You will screw something up. How you respond is likely as important to evaluation of your performance as the initial task. So, don't take criticism personally. Take it in, measure it against the organizational needs, discuss it with your management team, and build on it.

Let your management team know, in advance, if you're...

    • going to be making changes that could affect their teams ability to do their job: If you’re up front, chances are they'll be willing to help you meet a deadline or do some testing if it means that their team will get new tools or increased productivity.


    • going to make changes that may affect how your site gets indexed by search engines: If you make major infrastructural changes to your backend architecture, make it clear that it could have short term drawbacks and make the long terms gains that you're shooting for equally clear. Your team will appreciate your candor.


    • going to make changes that may affect conversion: If you're in eCommerce and you're working on, say, your shopping cart, chances are you're going to see some numbers change on whatever reports you and your team pay attention to. Aside from taking a page from Amazon and making smaller, more easily measured, incremental changes, if you are making changes that you think may have an impact, even slight, mention it to the team.


    • going to be releasing something that is 80% tested: In development, there are lots of good reasons for doing this. On some projects 80% tested or 80% complete, yields 98% of the desired functionality. Frequently, the other 20% is easier to address in the wild with real users. Be honest with your team about this and help them to understand why the additional cost of testing or completing the final 20% may not be as cost effective as releasing. Of course, I am NOT making a recommendation to do this on every project. This technique should only be applied when justified and appropriate and when it meets the needs of your organization (and probably when it doesn't display to the public in some embarrassing way).


  • going to do something that affects their work life... {this list goes on forever}

Understand that everything is a priority, even if it isn't

You don't get to make every decision, but you must be sensitive to other's needs. Do your best to make clear what is prioritized and why. Also, know that the members of your management team are, at least in part, judging your work based on what you've done for them. Toss in a quick feature, or fix an easy bug every now and again. Even if it's not next on your priority list, the human element here can be powerful. It can help you to build a better relationship with others, increase morale for an individual or a team, it can even help to make them look better if it helps them to be more productive. Besides, it may buy you some grace the next time you need it (and you will). These things can't always be measured in dollars and cents, but they can be felt in quality of life.

Be vulnerable, you can't solve every problem and you can't do everything all the time

I know you're amazing. You have tremendous problem-solving skills and you have pulled some rabbits out of some hats in your career. But people don't want to hear about how you're going to get everything done perfectly. It's a lie. You can't. Be honest with yourself and others about how well you'll do with the tasks that lie ahead and the resources you've been given. They need this from you and you need this from them.

Don't speak over people

There are two things to pay attention to here. The first thing is that you need to listen. Before many people finish their sentences you've got it more than half worked out in your head. But, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Even if you disagree with someone because they are requesting something that you believe is technically infeasible, stop coming up with ways to rebut and force yourself to listen. Don't immediately fire off a "NO". Try to understand the need and let them know that you want to understand the need before you help them by working together to design a solution. The second thing you need is to learn to speak to your audience. It's easy for you to say to another techie that a system update caused a legacy service to crash, causing dependent services to also fail. But not everyone is going to understand what you're talking about. It sounds really simple to you. But you have to help them understand why and how it happened. You don't have to use elementary words, but you do have to use words that your audience will understand. Know your audience.

I'd love to hear some additional thoughts from other IT and Development managers out there...


Forty Four Ways to Figure Out if You Are a Good Leader

Posted on January 21, 2010 by Brian

My partner recently sent out a neat article:

11 Business Lessons From The Battlefield

As I read through the lessons I naturally began asking myself “Do I do that?”, “How am I on that one?”, and “I wonder how my managers would rate me on that one.”  So to make things a bit easier, I went ahead and turned the 11 lessons into 44 more specific questions.  Here you go:

Eleven Lessons Become Forty Four Questions

  1. Do I genuinely respect the people who work for me?
  2. Do I help my employees reach their career goals in tangible ways?
  3. Am I more interested in what is best for my employees or what is best for me or the company?
  4. Do I conduct myself in a sober, professional way?
  5. Do I make employees feel degraded or humiliated?
  6. Do I provide relevant, positive reinforcement?
  7. Do I criticize more than I compliment?
  8. Do my employees know who I believe the star performers are?
  9. Do I actively listen to people?
  10. Do I allow employees to choose their own path much of the time?
  11. Do I overrule my employees plan too frequently or without giving them a chance?
  12. Do I bend or give in on nonessential issues or questions?
  13. Do my employees believe I can distinguish between essential and nonessential?
  14. Do I seek clarity on an issue before correcting or reprimanding?
  15. Do I know when and how to give an order?
  16. Am I timid about giving orders?
  17. Am I condescending when giving orders?
  18. Am I direct about what needs to happen when giving orders?
  19. Do I make eye contact when giving orders?
  20. Do I remain cool and firm, without yelling, when giving orders?
  21. Am I passive aggressive when giving orders?
  22. Do I validate grievances when giving orders?
  23. Do I explain why an order is being given?
  24. Am I afraid to insist on a standard?
  25. Am I afraid to tell people what to do?
  26. Am I afraid to demand quality?
  27. Am I a “yeller” or “nice guy freakout yeller”?
  28. Am I meek?  In the “poor leader” way or the “inherit the earth” way?
  29. Do I do an appropriate level of inspection of work?
  30. Do I care about output and results?
  31. Do I allow employees to become lazy and complacent?
  32. Do I care about the unglamorous tasks?
  33. Do I see myself as above the unglamorous tasks?
  34. Am I clear about expectations?
  35. When giving a task, am I clear about what the task is, who has to do it, and by when or clear that my employee needs to identify the task, assign it, and establish a due date with his/her team?
  36. Do I believe everyone gives a crap about my credentials, or should?
  37. Do I give a crap about my credentials?
  38. Have I established a reputation for competence, common sense, and listening?
  39. Once a path is established, do I balance small, firm corrections with steady, disciplined execution?
  40. Do I have a tendency to waffle on initiatives or change direction frequently?
  41. Do my employees have a clear understanding of the paths/initiatives I believe are important?
  42. Do I address problems in a clear, timely manner?
  43. Do I have a tendency to side step problems and let them fester?
  44. And lastly, if I sent these questions to my managers as a survey, would I do anything tangible with the responses?


If you’re interested in more leadership insight from a military perspective, here is a link to the widely distributed 18 Lessons in Leadership by General Colin Powell.


Correcting the Case of the Monday’s

Posted on December 29, 2009 by Arianna

Being happy at work makes the difference between having the case of the Monday blues and having a “Thank God it’s Monday” attitude. According to this article, people fear Monday mornings, and experience anxiety on Sunday nights. Many of us can relate to having Monday blues. Ask anyone what their favorite day of the week is vs. their worst day of the week, you may find that Friday and Monday would be the most common answers. Well, I did my own research and among all my our co-workers at Gordian Project the most common answer for worst day of the week was Monday, and the favorite was actually Saturday. Monday was seen as the worst and most boring day of the week.  Just because the Monday blues is so common does not mean that we have to accept them with open arms. How many of us want our Sundays to be relaxing, looking forward to Monday morning because work can be fun? Here are some tips on how to not only get rid of the Monday blues, but also how to be happy at work on Monday and as many other days as possible too.

Office Space: Case of the Mondays

    1. Show up on time. There is nothing worse to start your day than showing up late.  Once you’re at work give it 100 percent of your attention. Fortunately, many of us have breaks which can help relieve our distractions. If you find yourself zoning out or focusing on other things which are not work related then take your break, but once your break is over it's back to work.


    1. Have a positive attitude. With a positive attitude you will always beat the Monday blues. Being positive not only helps you deal with the day ahead, but will also affect those around you, creating a trickle effect of happiness.


    1. Make Mondays a fun night. Plan a family game night or go to dinner with your spouse. Planning a fun evening will most definitely have you looking forward to Mondays. Just a warning, don’t stay up too late on Monday nights, because then we’ll be faced with having to attack the Tuesday blues!


    1. Take each day as it comes. Focus only on today; don’t worry about tomorrow because you can honestly say you don’t know what tomorrow holds. Every day consists of completing tasks which can also bring little victories that make our days brighter. Don’t forget to celebrate those small accomplishments because celebrating accomplishments will foster a positive attitude.


With this new mind set, positive attitude, and the belief that you can be happy at work, you will notice that come Monday morning when your alarm goes off you will wake up with a smile. It truly doesn’t take much to change the way you start your week; you can be happy at work, and look forward to the beginning of your week without the Monday blues.


The HTC Droid Eris and Business: First Impressions

Posted on December 17, 2009 by Zach

Being the other Verizon customer in the office I thought I would follow up on Trevor's post about the Motorola Droid. I have been a Verizon customer for quite a while, and didn’t really have any complaints. Their coverage is great, and most of my family is on Verizon, but until recently, they did not have a great selection of smart phones, especially if you are not a Blackberry fan. I jumped on the Blackberry bandwagon a couple of years back, picked up a Blackberry Pearl, but recently it was feeling antiquated and it definitely lagged in features compared to many of the phones my friends and coworkers had. I was very close to switching to AT&T simply because of the iPhone and the fact that a refurb could be picked up for $50. I am however very glad that I didn't and instead decided to buy the HTC Droid Eris. The second Droid branded phone from Verizon which definitely has not had the hype of the Motorola Droid, but in my opinion is a great phone for an even better price.

Firstly, Trevor wrote a great post and I agree with all that he said about his phone and the OS. Google Android is a fantastic mobile platform; I am very impressed with how fast it is and with the features and applications available. Because I was running a Blackberry and had all of my data pretty much synced with Google sync, phone setup was literally putting in my Google credentials and letting it sync my contacts, calendar and mail (it took less than five minutes). I literally sat back and asked myself if that was all it took, Google mobile sync is truly amazing. Characteristics like these speak to the business professional and the entrepreneurs that value every minute of every day as they try to chip away at their overwhelming workloads. Thus far I have had very few issues with the phone, as well. I am definitely hooked on touch devices and hope they continue to make more great Android phones. 

I went ahead and put together a little list of upsides and downsides associated to how well the HTC Droid Eris will adapt in a business environment.


  • Slimmer and Lighter than the Motorola Droid (4.23 ounces) (4.45” (L) x 2.19” (W) x .51” (T)) - I really dislike giant heavy phones, one of the reasons I went with the Blackberry Pearl as my last phone. The HTC Droid Eris is practically the same size as my Pearl which is quite amazing.

  • Six Home Screens - HTC has customized the Android OS to include six home screens, that’s three more than the Motorola Droid. This has to be one of my favorite features as I am able to take full advantage of the screen real estate with full screen widgets and program shortcuts.

  • HTC Sense - On top of the home screens HTC has what is called HTC Sense, which sounds like their general customization of the Android OS. The HTC Droid Eris has multi-touch support at least for the browser which is another feature the Motorola droid does not have.

  • Great custom widgets and a good set of default applications.

  • Cost effective - With my Verizon phone credit I was able to pick this phone up for $50, that’s pretty amazing.

  • No physical keyboard - Some would call this a downside and that’s why its listed in both sections. I was concerned about this as I was switching from a Blackberry but I am very impressed with the on screen keyboard and the text prediction. It’s been a very easy transition and I am definitely hooked on touch screens.


  • No Android 2.0… yet - The HTC Eris did not ship with Android 2.0 and some of its new snazzy features like GPS based navigation, multi-touch which is a bit of a downside. I certainly like android 1.5 and all indications point to HTC updating the Eris with Android 2.0 soon.

  • Battery life - Probably my first main issue with the Eris was the battery life, because I had my Google account synced and I was running a lot of applications my battery life was getting drained within a full day. My fix was turning off automatic syncing for my mail and getting a tasks killer. This has seemed to extend my battery life with decent use past 1 day but not much, I still need to charge it every night and I also bought a charger for work just in case.

  • Complexity - Even for someone who is fairly technical, this phone is complex. There are a lot of menus, settings, and notifications in a variety of areas. I feel confident that I have explored the phone thoroughly, but I am sure there are things I have missed.

  • Cases - I ordered my phone a couple of weeks after it came out and I was sorely disappointed with the available case options. Not only was there very little to choose from, but many were overpriced.

  • No physical keyboard - Again some might call this a downside but it wasn't for me, if in doubt try it out.


Below are some pictures check them out...

Picture of HTC Droid Eris Taken with iPhone

Picture of HTC Droid Eris Taken with iPhone

Picture of HTC Droid Eris Taken with iPhone

Oh yea those look kind of crappy because they were taken with an iPhone, here is one with mine:

Image taken with HTC Droid Eris


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Focusing Productivity: The Garden Hose Philosophy Part II

Posted on December 15, 2009 by Sean

Focusing Productivity: The Garden Hose Philosophy Part II

In my last post, I likened our lives’ productivity to that of a garden hose. While I believe that human life is exponentially more important than a garden hose, the metaphor (while imperfect) underlines some striking similarities.

And, if you’ll allow, I’ll continue.

If our lives, like garden hoses, are measured by their output, whether professionally, physically, relationally or spiritually, and we’ve taken care to refine the input, then it follows that the product must be carefully managed as well.

Our lives may be defined by their output, but they are refined by focus.

An unobstructed stream is useful for very little. The amount of water expended will likely drown plants and won’t do much for washing down a muddy fence. Even with pressure at full capacity, the water falls uselessly from the hose. If you’ve ever washed your car (the old-fashioned way) you’ve likely covered a portion of the hose’s opening, either via spray attachment or your finger (the real old-fashioned way.) The stream narrows, allowing for a higher pressure stream to spray further and with more accuracy.

What you’ve done here is focus the hose’s energy. The same amount of water has passed through the mouth of the hose, but because you’ve applied rules, routine and structure, it’s able to spray further and faster than it could have ever done without it. Again, the hose-similarities abound. No matter how much information is retained, the success of its transmission is determined not simply because it is applied, but by how skillfully it is applied. How tightly it has been focused.


  1. No matter her epicurean prowess, a writer will find herself facing a difficult battle if she attempts to write a book about food. The subject is simply too broad, too massive to tackle without applying some filter of focus.

  2. An overwhelming to-do list is likely to never get done. Bouncing between impending tasks de-focuses your energies and limits potential for success.

  3. The Office - The Injury

  4. Despite being technologically similar, you should not straighten your hair with a waffle-iron. Conversely, attempting to beautify your Belgian waffle is ill-advised. The two appliances are specific to their uses. For an appropriate, but not exact example of what happens when cooking utensil meets body part, click here.


What I’m learning is that when much of our day is spent in this “unfocused outpour,” we squander our potential for power and distance. It seems counter-productive, that in order to achieve we must constrain – but it’s proven.

We’re capable of expending vast amounts of energy and intellect, but without directing this potential, we’re wasting time pouring resources onto drowning plants.



Kohler is arguably one of the most innovative brands in the home improvement industry. The new Karbon faucet has completely transformed the kitchen and more specifically revolutionized the kitchen faucet. Meanwhile Kohler seems to effortlessly create bathroom fixtures that are not only sleek but save water, like the Escale toilet.

Focusing Productivity: The Garden Hose Philosophy Part I

Posted on December 9, 2009 by Sean

Our lives are garden hoses, long, coiled conduits whose utilitarian value lies solely in their output. While it is important to closely monitor what comes in to each, a cursory Google search found approximately zero statistics associated with garden hose input, or for that matter, storage capacity. Our lives, like garden hoses, are designed for one use: action.

Focusing Productivity: The Garden Hose Philosophy

It is wildly unimportant to evaluate the amount of water a garden hose can contain. We measure the usefulness of a garden hose by its demonstrated performance and reliability. Our lives are much the same way; while there are dozens of higher-species dynamics at play, our lives are evaluated (professionally, physically, relationally – even spiritually) by what comes FROM them rather than what comes into them. A push and pull, tug-of-war between input and output. Any nurturing or care taken during the inputting stage is done wholly to improve the expected output.



  1. A man diets and exercises (input) to feel and look better (output.)

  2. A woman enrolls in graduate school (input) to increase self-confidence and professional opportunities (output.) – If the learned information does not guide new decisions or bear fruit within her life, she is, by our measure, unsuccessful.

  3. An investor purchases stock in a company (input) because he believes in the success of the company, and the eventual growth and profit of the stock (output.)

The largest, most expensive garden hose is useless unless it reliably and consistently facilitates the output of water. Similarly, a decade of medical school might add a few initials to your name and might even land you a job at your local hospital, but the second you do not perform (output) is probably the same second you’re terminated – hospitals tend to be very serious about output.

So often we pride ourselves in our potential, in our latent intellect - It might be wise to understand that a valuable life isn’t the one that consumes, but the one that gives, produces, and, like a garden hose – pours itself into the world.

Just pouring isn’t enough. This is part 1 of 2 in the Garden Hose series. My next blog will discuss why your output must be refined in order to reach your maximum distance.


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