Friday, April 28, 2006


Interesting fellow…

I am currently interviewing graduates for our annual Bridges alumni magazine. Each year, I find alumni with interesting life stories. Yesterday I had lunch with a retired GM worker-now Mexican resort owner.

Amazing story really, I kept me thinking…what am I doing in Michigan?

In summary, this gentleman got his college degree opened his own business, went bankrupt, then worked at GM for 20 years, took a buyout in the early 90s, started another business, came back to UM-Flint and got another degree, got into acting, traveled to Europe to act, lost his wife, went to Mexico to clear his head, bought some property four hours south of Cancun, came back to Michigan, married a widow, went to Mexico and built a resort.

He has five children, 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His resort is on a peninsula town with only a bridge connecting it to the mainland. He has survived three hurricanes and was a catalyst in rebuilding after Hurricane Wilma. He visits Michigan three months out of the year and lives in Punta Allen, Mexico the other nine.

He is also a licensed piano tuner, notary, cable TV producer and message therapist.

Sitting there green with envy, Shardon Allen told me not to worry about my normalcy. He said I am living my ‘gottabe life’, he is living his ‘wannabe life.’

Check out his resort at

Friday, April 21, 2006


Random thoughts about making yourself valuable…

A very good way to increasing your job security is taking on several projects, doing them well, in time and letting your peers know about them.

There is a fine line between being filled up and over-flowing. I personally like to accept new projects, even when I have a lot on my plate. Like today for example, I was meeting with coworkers regarding our annual 64 page alumni magazine. Two employees were told to drop off the project to focus on another, which left a significant amount of copy to write. I volunteered.

I figure as long as I know I can do it and do it well, why not do it? It sometimes makes work stressful and fast paced, but the rewards outweigh the strain. I get responsibility, I do a good job and people find out. I don’t think anyone is indispensable, but I think many are close. The more responsibility you hold the more valuable you are.

Oh yeah, and self-promotion is a very good thing. Don’t brag or boast, but don’t be modest. In meetings and common conversation let people know what you are working on, how long it is taking and the success you are experiencing…that way you can be a walking resume (and when you check the score of the Detroit Tigers’ game they don’t think you spend all day long on

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Tugged Apart

The last few weeks have been very hectic. Between working 40 plus hours/week at UM-Flint, chairing an event for my church, bartending and planning a beer tasting, I feel like I am being tugged apart.

At UM-Flint, I have been pushing for an alumni bus trip to watch the Pistons for the last few years. Back in December, my boss gave me the green light to plan one. The invite went out via snail mail and e-mail. We sold our tickets and filled a bus. I didn’t go.

The game was scheduled for last Sunday against the Pacers at 1 p.m. The Tuesday before, my preacher asked me to be in church to make a special announcement about the event I am chairing (a broadcast seminar at our church of a big-time leadership conference). To my dismay, I got an all-too-eager co-worker to cover the Pistons trip.

At church, surprisingly my preacher made my announcement, both first and second service. So I wasn’t really needed, but I guess it was good to be in God’s house for three hours. I just wish I wouldn’t have had Pistons tickets.

On the other hand, my Cinco de Mayo beer tasting is going well. I have the place filled already…just need to find some good Mexican beers.

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