All posts in: Life

I had the opportunity to sit with Nashville great Mark Montgomery yesterday for a couple of hours and exchange life stories. For as interesting as he is (read: very), what was most interesting was his straight forward approach to getting the info he wanted/needed from the conversation. An interesting example of this, and the reason for this blog post, was because of a very pointed question he asked…

“As an investor, if I was looking at your company to invest in and saw all the things you were involved in outside of that company, that would scare me. How do you get away with all of it, and why?

 

My answer was simple: “I take my work life as serious as I take my personal life“. At first he looked at me like I was a little full of crap, but then I went on to explain.

Loving What You Do

Most of us have hobbies or things we LOVE to do: gardening, biking, playing music, mentoring, volunteering, mountain climbing… you name it. Because we love these things, and because (for the most part) we don’t get to do them as much as we would like, we can become obsessed with them. We read articles, write reviews, enroll others, buy gadgets and in some cases fundamentally change our lives for these personal life things. That’s pretty serious. I take my job that serious.

I love what I do. I love where I work. I love the people I work with. I take my job as seriously as I take my hobbies. I approach each day like its that one week a year where my friends and I get together to hike into the woods and camp, climb mountains and tell stories by the fire. I love my job. Everything in my life is part of one story. My personal life bleeds into my work life. I believe it should be that way. When you are a well rounded person, you are a better employee, a better friend, a better spouse, a better parent. Don’t believe me? Ask the people I work with. It’s a shame I have to call them “people I work with” because for the most part, these are my greatest friends and people I share most of my personal and professional time with.

Work Life Balance is for Wussies

Some people call what I have explained here “work life balance“. That is such a politically correct way of explaining peoples lives in this world. Why would you not work for a company you believed in? Why would you not love your job? Why would you not work with people you would call family? Work life balance to me says “I know you hate your  job, but if you have hobbies and friends that will make it better.” I know I’m making generalizations and stretching the definition, but whatever. I have no work life balance and I love it. There is no line between where work ends and life begins.

About My Imbalance

I am a founder (or founding member) of many companies, some here in Nashville (Anrovia Design, ShirtsBymail, Podcast Alley, Mevio/PodShow, CarlSays, Checkd.In, Jumpstart Foundry, Change:Healthcare, EVBE, etc). This is my work, and my life. No balance. I love my startups, as a matter of fact I love many startups (Im a mentor for Source Your City and NextGxDx, and others too). I also love being outdoors, gardening, cycling, motorcycling, family time, creating things with my hands, and more. My work life balance is so out of whack, but that IS my balance.

 

I work hard because I play hard.

Work/life balance is for wussies.

I take my work life as serious as my personal life.

Do You?

 

In Summary…

Mark, thanks for the time we spent together. To anyone reading this, I would love to talk to you more about this topic and help you find a way to work as hard as you play. Most importantly, don’t let people tell you about you. You decide who you are, what you love, and what you do… not others. Don’t be afraid to go balls out.

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Lee Turley of the Edison Equation about being a failure. It was a really great, off the cuff kind of interview that really makes you think about what it means to fail as an entrepreneur. Is it bad? Is it good? What did you learn? How were you better because of it? Answers to all these questions help every entrepreneur grow, and failing is a crucial step of entrepreneurship.

From their site:

“Thomas Edison is repeatedly quoted and sited for his perspective on failure. This perspective has seen many packages; “fail fast, succeed fast,” “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Those tag lines are great for movies but failure in reality is both sharp and blunt like the corner of a steel table.”

I rarely do interviews (and this one is kinda low quality due to internet lag), but I hope it explains a little bit about my philosophy on failure and my failures along the way. My wife and brother are starting a new company called evbe (or Everyday Better). Im hard on them. I have failed a lot and it has hurt. Hopefully they can learn from me to not get hurt so bad, but letting them fail is part of their growing experience as well. In the end, their product, and they as entrepreneurs, will be better for it :)

Watch the Video Here

 


If you know me, you know I don’t really do interviews. I don’t really like to be on camera or in the spotlight… I’m more of a behind the scenes get-shit-done type guy. But I make the exceptioin every once in a while, and this time it was for Travis Robertson at PodCamp Nashville 2011.

Enjoy the video (ps, the audio is bad for like a minute but gets better).

Check out the video and story below, a great bit of information from the company I work for, change:healthcare. We recently published our first quarterly HCTI – Healthcare Transparency Index – that shows you some of the trending data we are seeing from our massive data set from all across the US. The gist of it is this: you can shop for everything under the sun but healthcare. You can instantly lookup any Christmas present, car, can of soup, DVD… you name it. But in healthcare that has not been the case until now. change:healthcare works with employers and insurance carriers to show the true cost of medical services, dental services and prescriptions to employees before they have to spend the money. This is freakin’ awesome!

While the government claims to provide pricing for drugs and procedures, those listings only highlight what Medicare and Medicaid are willing to reimburse, not what those services actually cost. Hospitals, doctors and insurance companies provide patients with an itemized bill for care – but only AFTER the fact. The Healthcare Transparency Index, issued today by change:healthcare, is the first to provide healthcare consumers with ongoing trends data about actual healthcare costs – offering insight into critical opportunities for cost savings.

With more than 60 percent of employers in the U.S. expected to offer a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) in 2011 as a way to curb costs, employees and their families will be increasingly accountable for “shopping” and paying for their healthcare – making it more critical than ever for them to understand the costs involved. To be issued quarterly, the inaugural Healthcare Transparency Index includes data derived from more than 1.3 million medical claims, totaling $220 million, from 90,000 individuals across all 50 states over a 12-month period. Key findings include:

  • Prescription drugs offer the highest opportunity for cost savings ($8 million across the HCTI data set), followed by dental, routine primary care physician office visits, psychotherapy, physical therapy and chiropractic. View Chart
  • Costs for commonly prescribed drugs can vary greatly. The following prescription drugs offer the greatest opportunities for cost savings for both brand names and generics – by simply switching pharmacies. In fact, an Abilify consumer could save up to nearly $2,500/yr by making a pharmacy change. View Chart
  • Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, CVS and WalGreens top the list of pharmacy chains with the widest prescription cost discrepancies for both brand name and generic drugs. View Chart

It has been a long time coming, but Amy and I have finally moved to the city! We loved our home outside the city (don’t call it a country home) where we had a huge house on 3 acres and plenty of room to do anything we wanted. But we decided we were more interested in being close to the city. We are now within walking distance to an awesome coffee shop (Drinkhaus), Nashville’s best dessert spot (Cupcake Collection), the farmers market, downtown Nashville (to go honkey-tonkin’) and so much more. I’m not going to lie, it feels amazing to be able to walk out our door and be near everything :)

Contact me if you need our new address or phone number… or if you want to come hang out in the new house/neighborhood.

My New Neighborhood!