Al Pacino – A Game of Inches

A Game of Inches – Al Pacino

I have shamelssly reproduced Al Pacino’s “A game of inches” speech below from his movie “Any Given Sunday”, only because it’s something that should be read or heard by everybody everywhere.  Read and heed, then remember to take action.

Game of Inches – Video:

The YouTube video can be found here

Game of Inches – Speech:

Al Pacino

I don’t know what to say really.
Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today.
Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble.
Inch by inch,  play by play, till we’re finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us
we can fight our way back into the light.
We can climb out of hell.
One inch, at a time.

Now I can’t do it for you. I’m too old. I look around and I see these young faces
and I think, I mean, I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make.
I uh….I pissed away all my money, believe it or not.
I chased off anyone who has ever loved me.
And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know when you get old in life things get taken from you.
That’s, that’s part of life.
But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff.
You find out that life is just a game of inches.
So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small.
I mean one half step too late or to early you don’t quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the fucking difference
between WINNING and LOSING…between LIVING and DYING.

I’ll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch.
And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is.
The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you.
Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.
You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.
That’s football guys.
That’s all it is.
Now, whattaya gonna do?

Sean Connery – Working Class Hero? Great Scot!

Sean Connery – working class hero? Great Scot!

What is a Working Class Hero, and how does Sean Connery fit?

I started writing about the “working class hero” type, but then my wanderings moved me to one of my favorite all-time actors – Sean Connery who was, in fact, a perfect example of a Working Class Hero.

I guess I should provide my definition of Working Class Hero – to me this is somebody who still has their dreams intact (fame, fortune, or whatever) but realizes the need to hold down a job to make ends meet until that fame and fortune comes along.  Working Class Hero…to me…DOES NOT mean giving up on your dreams.  With that in mind, how in the world does this apply to the man who is touted as “The Greatest Living Scot”? Simply because of how he grew up and got his start. Look at a quick synopsis of how he lived and tell me you don’t see some startling similarities between his life and yours.

  • Born in 1930 as Thomas Sean Connery
  • Son of a cleaning woman and a factory worker/truck driver
  • Worked as a milkman
  • Joined the military (Royal Navy) and was later discharged for medical reasons
  • Worked as a truck driver
  • Worked as a lifeguard
  • Worked as a brick layer
  • Worked as an artist’s model
  • Worked as a coffin polisher
  • Bodybuilding was an ongoing passion for him since age 18, competed in the Mr. Universe competition and placed 3rd.
  • Accomplished “Footballer” and was offered the chance to play for Manchester United – he turned it down in favor of acting

Sean Connery - Bodybuilder

I dont’ think it would be wrong to claim that every person reading this blog (hopefully numbering in the bazillions) can look at the above odd jobs and identify with them.  I was never good looking enough to be an artist’s  model and I’ve never polished coffins, but I can certainly identify with somebody who does what it takes to “make ends meet”….you get the idea.

Sean Connery – acting career

It wasn’t until 1957 that he had a credited role in the movie “No Road Back”.  From 1957 to the present time, he has made an incredible number of movies…some flops, mostly at least “very good”, several excellent.  He played the James Bond role in 7 movies, won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for his role in “The Untouchables” (one of my all-time favorites), starred in critically acclaimed moves such as “The Hunt for Red October”, “A Bridge too far”, “Highlander”, and “The Name of the Rose”.  He was knighted in July of 2000 and became Sir Thomas Sean Connery.  He was voted the sexiest man alive in 1989, and then…at age 69, was voted the sexiest man of the century.  His unofficial titles include “The Greatest Living Scot”, and “Scotlands Greatest Living National Treasure”.  As a side note, he turned down the role as “Gandalf” in the Lord of the Rings movies – a role that would have netted him over $400 million dollars or so due to “not understanding the script”.  He later accepted the role in “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in spite of claiming he didn’t understand the script…so in spite of decades of experience even he made mistakes!  Sean Connery quote

Probably the highest praise an actor can achieve…Steven Spielberg said, “There are seven genuine movie stars in the world today, and Sean is one of them”.

Sean Connery – holding down a day job

Back to the “Working Class Hero” designation – here’s a young lad working his ass off at several different jobs while at the same time engaging in bodybuilding and football.  His physical prowess gave him his first foot-in-the-door moments that eventually launched one of the greatest acting careers of all time.  None of that would have happened had he chosen to not work – his work was his springboard for his ultimate success.

Enough with the Bromance – what’s your point?

The point in all of this bromance is simply that holding down a job is honorable and enables you to earn while you work on your dream.  There’s nothing wrong with holding down a day job – it doesn’t mean you are giving up on your dreams.  It does mean you realize your responsibilities, acknowledge them, but still focus on where you want to eventually end up.  Chasing your dreams is tough without money in your pocket.  I say it all the time – “Money equals choices”…and the more choices you have the more you can grow and be successful.


Top 10 Books you should read

Top 10 books you should read

Top 10 Books

$0 to $60K in 90 Days presents a  list of the Top 10 books that are critical to anybody’s self improvement library.

The problem is not that there is no material to read and study, the problem is that there is so much of it!  The amount of material to sort through today on this topic should be accompanied by a surgeon general warning about causing blindness or something – it’s truly overwhelming.  What’s needed is a breakdown of what’s a great read, what’s the purpose, where to get it for the best price, and what to do with it (hint, do  more than just “read” it).  The list below hopefully provides this info in an easy to digest manner.  Enjoy!

The Classics

These books have led the Personal Development revolution and just about any recent book dealing with this subject can be traced back to one of these.  Just about any successful person will tell you that one or more of these books had an impact on their lives.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (1937).  Probably the single most important work in the Personal Development arena and arguably the basis for most of what has followed.  Inspired by a suggestion from the great Scottish American businessman Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill spent most of the rest of his life documenting the philosophies and activities of the rich and successful of his day.  His writings have, to this day and certainly for the foreseeable future, been instrumental in guiding countless numbers of people to ultimate succes…whatever their individual definition of success may be.



As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (1902).  This book is short enough to be read in an hour or so, but is powerful enough to have launched entire self-improvement movements since it was published.  James Allen has put together, in a relatively short amount of space, a book the delves right to the heart of the power behind how a person thinks and how those thoughts shape their lives.


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1937).  This is the classic book of people skills…time tested and proven to be the best of it’s kind.  A must read.  This is number one on most successful people’s list of “must read” books and with good reason.




The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles(1910).  This is a book that many have never heard of yet it pre-dates most of the above.   Published in 1910, it sets the standard and lays the groundwork for many later successful efforts.  In 2006, “The Secret” became insanely popular yet was “old news” for anybody that had read The Science of Getting Rich.


The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (1926).  This fantastic book provides advice and wisdom through a succession of parables that teach the importance of “…a part of all I earned was mine to keep”.  Truly, the Road to Wealth.





Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  This is an essay, not a book and as such you won’t find it specifically unless it’s one of  those “annotated” editions.  My recommendation would be to simply download a copy of it – it’s available all over the internet as well as our own site.  Click here for a copy.  In this essay, Emerson strongly re-itereated his lifelong recurrent themes – namely avoiding conformity and false consistency while also following your own instincts and ideas.  One of his most famous quotes came from this essay: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds“.

The Current

How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins (2005-updated).  This book takes awhile to get through and covers just about every aspect of sales you can imagine…this is the true Sales Bible.  The sections on closing are worth the price.  You do not have to work in Sales to appreciate the value of this book…we all sell something every day.  You might be selling an idea to your boss, or you might be selling the desire to buy that new Mustang to your wife.  This book provides incredible insight into all aspects of “selling”.


Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer(2004).  This small-ish book is a quick read but will become a handy reference and reminder that is easy to carry along with you.  This was my first Gitomer book, and I was immediately hooked by his quick hit tips, “in your face” style of getting his message across, and his focus on NOT doing things that don’t make sense.  Great book…highly recommended (and read his other books too!)



Four hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris(2009).  This gem of a book outlines how the “new rich” live, and how you can…and should…join their ranks.  The author’s story itself is inspiring and the advice he dispenses in his book is well worth the time and money investment.




Seven habit of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey(1990).  If it were a little older, this would certainly fall into the “classics” section.  The information provided in this book will keep you on track towards attainment of your goals and eventual success.  Learn the difference between doing what is urgent and what is necessary.



Bonus offering…book #11:  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  One of the most inspiring books you’ll read. Well written and full of great examples and advice from the man who truly went from rags-to-riches, and so much more.





Well, there you have it.  I have a hard time with lists…especially limiting lists, but I tried.  There are many I left out that I would have loved to include – maybe next time I’ll start by writing the “top 50” or something like that.

I hope you enjoyed the read – best wishes!!

How to find a job that requires neither college nor extensive experience

How to good find a job that requires neither a college degree nor extensive experience.

60kjobsHello again, thanks for checking in.

I’ll get right to the point – if you’re unemployed or “employed but looking”, or maybe you’re in a position where you know you’ll need a job soon and would like to get a jump start on it (exiting the military comes to mind), then you’ll find this post interesting.

Find a job – $5K per month

The site you’re at right now,, is completely focused on detailing jobs that require neither a college degree nor extensive experience.  We believe jobs such as this are numerous and even well known…there’s nothing really secretive going on…it’s just that most don’t realize these jobs are available and lucrative.  If you’re in the market for a $60K per year job…$5K per month…then you’ve come to the right place.

Find a job – couch potatoes need not apply

The first thing to consider is the amount of work you’re willing to put in.  $60K is a respectable annual salary and you’ll be expected to work hard for it.  Nothing on this site will tell you that you can work 10 hours per week and make $60K.  I’m sure there are jobs out there where that is possible, but you won’t find them here.  The jobs we outline will require you to take it seriously, work very diligently, probably work more than 40 hours per week, study, learn, network and connect.  If you can do all of that, and do it well and with focus and ambition, you can land that $60K job.  Do it half-assed, you may still land the job and maybe even be successful, but you might not quite make the $60K mark as quickly as intended.

Find a job – a few to whet your appetite

So what kind of jobs fall into this category?  There are quite a few, you’re undoubtedly familiar with most of them, and they can be obtained just about anywhere.  The ones we have documented so far are:

The ones we are working on run along the lines of Waiter/Waitress, Real Estate Agent, Sales, Plumber, Mechanic, Writer, Webmaster, Truck Driver, Physical Trainer, etc, etc.  All of these, and more, are “works in progress” for us, so be sure to check back from time to time or join our mailing list.

How does one go about getting a job such as this?  Well, the above guides outline the skills needed and provide a 90 day approach to training for, networking for and landing the job, and then excelling in the job and even branching out a bit at times, to attain that $60K ($5K per month) goal.

A quick look at each of the jobs listed below:

UNIX Administrator – this is a job that entails a thorough understanding of not only computers, but UNIX computers, networking and maybe a little scripting thrown in.  Can you do that in 90 days?  Certainly. Will you be the “best” UNIX admin around after 90 days?  No, you’ll be entry level but here’s the fun part…$60K is actually a very realistic expectation for entry level UNIX administrators.

Bartender – we all know what a bartender does.  What’s important is to know what a great bartender does!  There’s far more to just making drinks.  Understanding your customers, making GREAT drinks, making the RIGHT drinks, recommending the BEST drink, etc, etc all go into a great bartender.  To augment your salary and tips, consider starting a Mobile Bartending business as well!

Auto Sales – yeah, we know these guys too.  Erase the slimy “car salesman” image from your mind and consider the income possibilities if you pursue this and become really good at it.  There is a practically unlimited upside to this profession for those that take it seriously and have the best interest of the customer in mind.  Don’t count this out because you’ve had a bad experience…in fact, make that bad experience a motivating force for you to jump in here and do well!

Ok, that’s a little bit of info for you – feel free to look around our site for more.  As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments and success stories.

And as always…enjoy!!


Mobile Bartending – Make some extra money tonight!

Mobile Bartending Guide – Make some extra money tonight!

Mobile Bartending Guide – why mobile?

If you’re a bartender, want to be a bartender, or have ever thought about it, you may want to consider augmenting your income as a Mobile Bartender using the ideas set forth in this quick Mobile Bartending Guide.  As a Mobile Bartender, you will become responsible for marketing your own wares, booking your own events, running your own bar, and making your own money.  Self-made, Self-Paid…not a bad way to go.  Read the below Mobile Bartending Guide for some insights into what is required.  For additional reading on becoming a Bartender, be sure to check out $0 to $60K in 90 Days – Bartender available in Kindle format at Amazon.

First, the money

In keeping with my theme of helping people make at least $60K as a yearly salary ($5K per month), we should see how Mobile Bartending fits into this mold.  First, understand that until you become very successful as a Mobile Bartender, it should be viewed as a side job…augmenting money you’re already making.  Once you become successful as a Mobile Bartender, $5K per month is not a problem.  So lets say you’re already making $24,000 per year and you need to augment that to make another $3K per month with Mobile Bartending.  You can fudge the  numbers a bit to fit your exact situation but we’ll take $3K per month as the target for this article.  $3K per month means $750 per week.  A “typical” Mobile bartending gig can easily net $300 per night for a 3-4 hour event.  Add tips to that amount and you’ll find that two per week will bring in the $750  you need per week to add that $3K per month to your overall income.  Based on the event you are working at, $300 per night may be very, very low – often times you’ll make far more than that.  It’s not unusual for good Mobile Bartenders to make $1,000 on a very good night such as a big birthday party, wedding, or some holidays such as New Years Eve or even St. Patrick’s Day.  As you get more and more immersed in this effort, your marketing efforts should be focused on any upcoming holiday to get the best bookings possible.

Mobile Bartending – what is required?

What is required?  It depends, of course.  Some bartending gigs will only require you to show up and go to work.  Some will require you to bring all the alcohol, bartending tools, etc, etc.  Either way, you need to be prepared so if you intend to take this seriously you should invest in a Mobile Bartending kit.  They can be found on eBay or Amazon or in a number of other places – google it and find one that fits your budget and has the most functionality.  If the gig requires you to bring the alcohol, make sure that is either covered up front you are given an advance – you definitely want to set up some boundaries here as  if you run short  you’ll be blamed.  If you buy too much, you’ll probably end up keeping the extra but also incurring extra cost.  So a Bartending Kit and a smile and some nice clothes are the primary necessities here – the situation will determine what else is needed.  One thing to consider strongly is the number of guests and your ability to keep all the drinks filled.  If the event will be large, consider hiring a bar-back to assist or maybe even another bartender to work with you.  It’ll cause you to lose a bit on the profits, but it will help keep your reputation intact.

Portable Bar - Mobile Bartending Guide

Mobile Bartending – booking engagements

All of the intention in the world doesn’t matter if you’re sitting home on Friday night, not bartending.  You have to be active, aggressive and outgoing to book your gigs.  Get a website, twitter account, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, etc.  Get your name out there and get noticed.  As you get engagements, be sure you get testimonials from folks and get them posted to your website – this is gold.  The more testimonials you have, the better.  If you can get a single one from a local celebrity, that’s a huge plus and will make potential customers much more likely to reach out to you.  In addition to the “Social Networking” aspect, you should also be scouring the want ads, Craigslist, etc for anybody that might be looking for your services.  Also, be sure to make friends with local DJ’s, caterers, event planners, etc. since they are involved in the same types of engagements.

Mobile Bartending – Upping your game with Flair

Yep…flair.  Remember the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail”?  Spinning and throwing bottles?  Well, that’s called Flair and if you get good at that, you can expect your tips to seriously increase – everybody loves to watch and as the night draws on and the drinks add up, it only gets more and more interesting.  This is one skill it makes sense to pay to improve on for Mobile Bartending.

Mobile Bartending – what kind of engagements?

A short list of where your engagements can come from

  • Referrals
  • Repeat Customers
  • Corporate Events
  • Celebrity Events
  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Pool parties
  • Any holiday party
  • New Year’s Eve – I’ve bolded this simply because it’s the “King of Kings” regarding an event to work – set yourself up as the Bartender for a New Year’s Eve party and you’re in good shape.  Also, this can be a good time to raise your rates as you get more popular as the demand for good Bartenders is increased while at the same time most are booked.

Mobile Bartending Guide – summary

So that’s it – go get it.  What other job do you get to work your own hours, party all night long, socialize with people having fun, and get paid very well for it?  Not many jobs like that around – if you have the inclination, go for it.  And as always, I’d love to hear your stories.

For additional reading on Bartending or other jobs that require no college or experience, be sure to check out the rest of our SITE.


No College Experience, no problem – Get Hired

No college, no experience, no problem – Get Hired!

Get Hired without college or experience!

It’s normal these days to feel the need to get a college degree or to have a lot of experience before feeling you are a good fit for a job – in many cases this is absolutely true.  However, there are many jobs that pay well that require neither a college degree nor extensive previous experience.  You can get your foot in the door in these jobs, prove yourself worthy, and run with it to make a career for yourself in a position that pays well doing a job you enjoy.  I would say the primary pre-requisite is “desire”.   With desire, you can get hired


A strong sense of desire will drive you to acheive many things you might otherwise not.  It’s no secret that the primary driving force behind the fantastic book “Think and Grow Rich” is desire.  The stronger your desire, the stronger your actions to achieve.  Strong desire will enable you to overcome minor (and even major) setbacks whereas a weak desire will not push you hard enough at critical times.  So find something to truly desire…desire strongly…then tie whatever actions are needed to obtain that desire into a daily intentional gameplan.  There are numerous ways this can be applied – what I’m discussing here is simply landing a job that you are proud of, that makes good money and you enjoy doing. 

Jack of All TradesWhat do  you want?

That’s a tough question for many to answer.  The first thing that comes to mind is usually things like “happiness”, “one million dollars”, “peace”, “health”, “healthy kids”, etc, etc.  But when you really drill down into this question it becomes a bit muddled.   When you really put pen to paper and describe what you want and are willing to work for…and then exactly what you are willing to do to get it…you tend to stray and the topic gets “no so clear”.  I went through an exercise awhile ago – I believe it was a part of a Tony Robbins exercise – where I was to list 250 things I “wanted”.  No priority, no limitations, no restrictions…just write and write and write.  It’s amazing how hard it is to get that many items on the list.  Sitting there now, you may be thinking you can write down 250 with no problems, but I challenge you to do so…it’s not so easy.  Afterwards, there were more steps…grouping into priorities and then the all-important “what are you willing to do to achieve these” effort.  My point is that it’s one thing to dream up “what you want”, it’s another to actually document them and then write down what you are willing to do to get them.  Jim Rohn said something along the lines of “Affirmation without action is the beginning of delusion”.  I would say this is very similar…wishing without a plan is a sure path to failure. So, decide what you want and how hard you are willing to work to get it.

What kind of job?

Again, this post is about obtaining a job so the hope is that  your desire to do so is strong and you have enough reasons behind this desire to push you through the inevitable obstacles you’ll encounter.   Whether you are currently unemployed, or employed but looking, you should consider what you really want to do.  As an example, my wife used to be a bartender because she genuinely loves dealing with people and it allowed her to get a job pretty much anywhere – I was military at the time so we moved a lot.  As a bartender (no college, no previous experience) my wife was able to do a job she absolutely loved while making some good money.  This can serve as a fairly good sanity check for you – what job can you fit into your living arrangements, enjoy doing, and make enough money at?  A few ideas to share with you follow:


Bartenders usually require no college degree.  Although experience will help land the higher level jobs, there’s nothing wrong with starting as a new bartender and working your way up.  Many bartending jobs come with corporate benefit plans such as insurance and 401k.

UNIX Administrator

IT guys are in high demand and UNIX administrators (my personal background) earn very high entry level pay.  It’s not unusual for an entry level UNIX administrators to make more then $70K per year – this is one of the highest paid entry level positions you’ll find…and guess what.  Often, no college required.

Flight Attendant

Flight Attendants make good money and see the world.  If travel is in  your blood you should seriously consider a position as a flight attendant.  Most of the airlines keep an almost steady supply of hirings for this since it is a high turnover job.  Some people…many in fact…just end up not liking it.  But those that do like it can end up making it a lifelong career with excellent pay and benefits.

Personal Trainer

There are two sides to consider here.  Either you are in great shape and have the personality and drive to become a personal trainer, or maybe you were previously in very bad shape but have changed your life around and can serve as a great example for others.  Either are earning people big money that choose to go this route.


It seems everybody has an unwritten book in them and today’s market makes it easier than ever to get your book into the hands of the public.  The digital book market place is huge, and growing.  You no longer need to find an editor and publisher to get your book published –  you can do it yourself via (for example) Amazon Kindle.  Check it out….very cool!


Got a camera and an eye for the unusual?  Photography can start as a hobby and grow into a career or business for you in your spare time.  There are many different types of photographers and you should explore the different areas to find your niche.

What are you going to do?

There are a few ideas above – there are certainly more to choose from as well but the point is, if you don’t have a college degree or tons of experience, all hope is not lost!  There are still enjoyable and profitable jobs to be had – you just need to make up your mind and pursue what you want relentlessly (just like anything else in life).  On this site, we outline several jobs that fit this category and we will do more as time goes by.  Be sure to check back on occasion to see whats new.

For more info, visit our “Jobs” page at


Bartender Friends

Bartender Friends

If you are fond of the occassional drink, you have undoubtedly encountered a bartender or two in your time.  Yes, this is a post that involves discussion about drinking so if you’re on of those that do not agree with drinking, you might want to skip this post.

Meeting Bartenders around the world

This year marks me and my wife’s 28th anniversary and we are fond of the occassional drink.  In fact, we’ve planned entire vacations around “the best places to drink”.   We’ve tested the waters in most states in our great country, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, London, Barcelona and Dublin as well as too many Caribbean waterholes to mention.  At this point, I think we are qualified to call ourselves experts on drinks, drinking, bars and bartenders.  In fact, I should point out that my wife has also worked as a Bartender in past lives and loved every minute of it.  We seem to have a pretty close connection with the good ones we have come across and I’d like to share a few stories on that subject.

Our Mexico Bartender – perfect and proud

We spent a week in Mexico City and found the people we met were super nice and of course the food was excellent.  We found a few places to order some drinks (surprise!) and one stands out in my mind.  The older gentleman behind the bar greeted us as soon as we walked in and plopped  ourselves front-and-center at the bar.  It was early and the place was pretty empty and he was busily slicing garlic into paper thin sheets.  Between pouring us our drinks and giving us a non-stop monologue of the local color, he continued his garlic slicing.  We managed to get a word in and asked what the garlic was for – he just smiled and told us it would be worth the wait.  So we waited.  And waited…and waited.  About 4 drinks in, he gathered up the considerable number of garlic slices and placed them almost reverently on a grill behind the bar.  The sizzling of the garlic and the smell rising from behind the bar was incredible…he was grilling these little slices of garlic in some kind of saute sauce.  5 minutes later the little slices of garlic had turned into little slices of heaven and we were treated to what was arguably the best bar snack we’d ever had.  Turned out, once the garlic was ready, the locals seems to know somehow and the bar filled up shortly after that.  This particular bartender knew what his customers liked and he provided it in spades.

Jamaica Bartender – yea’ mon!

Jamaica is on the top of our list of favorite places to visit.  The people are wonderful, the country is beautiful and the drinks are great.  The coffee isn’t bad either!  My wife and I got “stuck” once coming back from an anniversary visit.  There are worse places to be stuck, for sure, and we were forced to spend an additional two days in paradise while the airlines figured out the flight schedules.  During this time we found ourselves at one of those beach bars you see in the movies.  Great places to hang out, by the way!  Our Bartender friend on this day was Raul and he was a master.  The bar itself was basically a small hut with the bar running completely around the outside of the small building.  Maybe 8 people to a side and on that day it was packed several deep.  Quick math shows that Raul was serving more than 30 people…probably more like 50 or so.  I say “serving”, but he was also entertaining, gossiping, joking, taking pictures and…I swear…found time to step outside to participate in a goat race to satisfy a patron’s curiousity.  Not  a single customer that I could see voiced the least bit of a complaint.  Even if they had to wait a bit for their drinks (and they never waited long), they were so entertained by Raul that they didn’t mind.  Even during the goat race, which Raul lost by the way, everybody remained in good spirits and cheered him on.  Aspiring…and even seasoned…bartenders could take a lesson from Raul.  Patrons may have to wait for a drink but they don’t have to be bored while they wait.  Keep it lively and entertaing – your patrons will love you for the experience and you’ll be rewarded well.  Raul’s tips jars (more than one) were literally overflowing.

 Dublin – nicest people you’ll ever meet!

I’m not sure what it is about Dublin, but the people there are incredibly nice.  I mean like…just…crazy nice.  They love you.  I’m telling you now, if you have self-esteem issues…go to Dublin, Ireland and you’ll come back with a whole new self-image.  As far as drinking in Dublin, yes, the rumors are true.  There is a pub on every corner.  Actually, no, there are four on each corner.  Sometimes eight.  Loved it!!  We ended up in one and met the bartender, chatted him up and found out that he hosted a pub crawl and, lucky us, we were invited to attend that night.  Long story short, we stayed in that same pub all day and then attended his pub crawl.  I think we were back at his pub by dawn the next morning and if I remember correctly, we stayed there that day also.  I’m sure we made it back to the hotel for showers at some point but I don’t remember that part. I remember the pub, (some of) the pub crawl, the bartender (pubtender?) and then back at the pub the next morning for breakfast and a new day of drinking.  I also remember the bartender and his expertise of his craft.  He knew everything about every beer we asked him about.  He played several musical instruments and led us around town playing his instruments with about 12 or so of us following like he was the Pied Piper.  He knew everything about his beloved city, he had a great sense of humor, a lovely singing voice.  Overall, we were entertained all night by a master bartender, entertainer and historian.  If you are considering bartending as a job or career, or if  you’re already involved, you could do far worse than to emulate our Irish Bartender.

Local Bartenders

You might think that since I go on and on about the international bartenders we encounter that I don’t have anything good to say about the local folks.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We’ve encountered many bartenders in the states that are just as good as the ones outlined above.  At our current watering hole (Mellow Mushroom in Conyers, Georgia), there is a gang of them that keep us entertained and satiated.  They’re a great group and I’d put them against Raul any day!

So there you have it – a few of my thoughts on what makes a great bartender.  If this is your chosen path, take the above as a drinker’s advice on what is desirable in a bartender.  It may or may not fit with your personality or the job description as your boss has set it forth, but if you can take it upon yourself to get to this level it will only serve to make you better and more profitable.

Good luck and as always, Enjoy!!

My Unneccesary Tribute to the Marine Corps

My Unneccesary Tribute to the Marine Corps

Why is this unnecessary?

This is unnecessary simply because the United States Marine Corps doesn’t need me to extend praise – the Marine Corps earns it’s praise on it’s own and most Americans as well as people all around the world are well aware of what a phenomenal organization the Marine Corps is.   To get a sense of what the Marine Corps is and the history, check out the “Marines” website – simply the best military website I’ve ever seen.  I have written a book entitled JJDIDTIEBUCKLE that outlines the 14 leadership traits that Marines are taught – if you’re interested in learning more about the Marine Corps mystique and their leadership capabilities, check out this book.

So why write this if it’s unnecessary?

Simply because I’d like to take the time to outline the reasons behind why I hold the time I served as a United States Marine as some of the most fun, most educational and meaningful times of my life.  I hope to impart to those that read this the benefit of Military service and the importance of the general population in understanding our Military and specifically my beloved Marine Corps.

When I was in High School, my college counselor (Mr. Barnes) happened to be a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and although he was obviously pro-college, he also had a strong bent towards seeing graduates enter into military service since most of the people from my High School didn’t have much of a college transition plan – there simply wasn’t a focus on that.  Most ended up going to a local Community College (God knows where after that), picking up local jobs and never progressing beyond that, or going into the Military. I chose the latter but first I had a conversation with Mr. Barnes – he asked me a lot of questions to figure out what I was looking for to determine the best fit.  Here’s an Air Force retiree telling me to go into the Marine Corps – “…you won’t find a better place for training, comradeship, motivation or travel”.  You can get that in the other services as well, but not as perfect of a package deal as you’ll find in the Marine Corps.  After my final summer fun, off I went.

Fast forward 16 years – Camp Pendleton, California…Alameda, California…29 Palms California…Camp Fuji, Japan…Okinawa, Japan…29 Palms, California (again)…Camp LeJuene, NC…Barcelona, Spain…Marseille, France…up and down the coast of Norway…Iceland…Virginia Beach, VA.  Then out of the Marine Corps and off to work for a company in Atlanta, Ga.

16 years later…

…I was lured out of the Marine Corps by greed…plain and simple.  I had been trained to the point where I was being offered obscene amounts of money compared to what I was making in the Marine Corps – I came very close to tripling my income when I took off the uniform and put on a suit.  From that day to this, I’ve been going head to head with corporate MBA types on a daily basis and I attribute my success in this arena to what the Marine Corps taught me.  I remember a poster from my first duty station at NAS Alameda where I was standing Barracks Duty.  The poster simply read: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”.

United States Marine Corps – If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere

Truer words were never spoken.  In the Marine Corps, you learn to be tough, observant and adaptable.  “Improvise, adapt and overcome”…a common phrase you hear from Marines.  It doesn’t take long for Marines to get to the point where they truly believe there is no obstacle they cannot overcome – this is taught in boot camp and reinforced continually.  The longer you spend in the Marine Corps, the more chances you get to actually experience this and the more you believe it. I spent 16 years in, so I guess I had more than my fair share of this kind of indoctrination.

A few points to take with you

I said earlier I’d like to outline the reasons why I place such a high value on the time I spent in the Marine Corps – in no particular order, I’ve included a few below:

  •  16 years of On the Job training.  Many young folks get out of college after 4, 6, 8 years and have little to no relevant experience.  I think the military does it just the opposite – you get out after a number of years with tons of experience but no college.  I’ve found this to be both a curse and a blessing – fortunately though, I’ve been able to make my experience pay off.
  • No student loans.  I see the tragic story of many of those who are still trying to pay off student loans many, many years after their college tour is complete. The student loan is one of the very, very few types of debts that survive most debt reducing/elimination practices.  The best way to get rid of a student loan is to pay it off
  • Friends.  In the military, a certain type of friendships are formed – they are different from a friendship forged in study halls and college parties.  The friendships I earned over 16 years in the Marine Corps are as strong today as they were when they were formed.
  • Cost.  This would fall under the “Duh” category.  Going to college costs money…lots of it.  Going into the military costs nothing…in fact they pay you for it.  Not well, but you do get paid.
  • Foot in the door.  There is a saying I’ve read that a college degree helps you advance while military experience gets your foot in the door.


College or Military?

This didn’t intend to start out that way, but it seems to be winding up like that.  A quick word on going into college or the military.  First of all, going in the military does not mean you can’t get a college degree – in fact most military careers make it perfectly acceptable and even expected for you to get a degree.  The problem is that many don’t take advantage of this and end up after a long career with no college (this is the plan I was on).  Shame on them – they didn’t take advantage of a good thing.

Hiring the Military

Hiring the Military

A little background

“Perry, if you want to join an organization that will always look out for you, there’s no better place than the Marine Corps”. That’s what my career counselor told me in high school back in 1983. He shared a lot of his impressions with the Corps that I don’t need to go into – most of the armed forces have a dim view of the other forces but Mr. Barnes, a 30 year Air Force retiree, had nothing but positive things to say about the Corps. So I joined, stayed in 16 years, and then was lured out by the promise of big money in Corporate America. Since I got out of the Corps in March of 2000 I have found that most former military function quite well in the civilian sector and are usually a valuable member of any team, or end up being the best managers around.

Once a Marine, always a Marine

USMCBelow I’ll discuss what it’s like having a Marine working alongside you in a civilian job. A few explanations are in order. Marines are Marines, regardless of whether they are still in the Marine Corps. “Once a Marine, always a Marine” as the saying goes. The other armed forces…not so much. I won’t get into why one service is better than the others, or how they produce intrinsically different types of people, but just understand that what I explain below goes for all former military, not just Marines…but applies in varying levels based on the Service as well as the individual. The only term I’ll use is “Marine”, because that’s where my comfort level is and it’s easier to say than “Former Military”.

As a shameless plug, I’ll say now that have a Kindle book available called “JJDIDTIEBUCKLE” which outlines the 14 Marine Corps Leadership traits and how they can be applied to help with your career. There, I said it.  Now go buy it….thanks.

What do you get when you have a Marine working for you?

Marines have a ridiculously strong work ethic. The work ethic of a Marine is grounded in training every Marine receives and then is hardened throughout the time spent in the Corps. As with any organization, there are “slackers”, but for the most part Marines are energetic, hard working, intelligent and resourceful. Give them a direction and turn them loose. You might want to ensure they know the boundaries and limitations of what they are doing, but after that…turn them loose. The job will get done down to the last detail regardless of the obstacles-that’s what Marines have been doing for over 200 years and that’s what they’ll do for you.

Marines, if ambitious, can be a handful. My first job out of the Marine Corps I found myself working for a former Army dog – this was an untenable situation as he and I just didn’t see eye-to-eye. However, he was my manager (for a very short amount of time) so I did what he said. He immediately discovered that my leadership, personality and skills placed me above most of the people on our team and put me in charge of a small group. It didn’t take long before I had his job – not sure where he is these days. So a word of caution here – if you have a Marine in your midst, understand what his/her ambitions are, feed them, and watch them take off…do it right and this Marine can make you a star in the process.

Marines are in it for the team. You’ll find no greater team player than a Marine, but the team and the leader have to stay caught up. A Marine can run a team ragged with long hours, obsessive attention to detail, and a “don’t quit until it’s done” focus. In the Marine Corps, the smallest unit of a Marine organization is the Fire Team – four Marines grouped together to get the job done at any cost. Each Marine pushes the other past the point of exhaustion when necessary, praising or kicking ass as the situation warrants. But in the end, the job is done. In the civilian sector, this can be a bit unnerving and some co-workers (and managers) will have a problem with keeping up.

Marines have character. Don’t get me wrong, Marines have earned their reputations but Marines will generally “do the right thing”.  As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps”.

Marines are taught to see the big picture. This has changed over the years – in the past there was definitely a “shut up and do as you’re told” mentality in all of the Armed Forces. In the past decade or so…maybe more…we have seen leadership and big picture thinking pushed down further and further until even the lowest ranking Marine has the big picture view of what the mission is. The reason for this is obvious – in combat your leader might be killed and it becomes the next guy in line’s responsibility to accomplish the mission. Given this line of thinking, it only makes sense that everybody understands the mission.

Marines are leaders. In the Marine Corps it is not uncommon to see a relatively young Marine in charge of large numbers of other Marines – again, this is taught from day one. And when I say “in charge”, I mean ”in charge”. Watch a young Sergeant work with his platoon of about 40 Marines – see how he keeps them in line, focused and engaged. See how those 40 Marines (that would require at least 8 civilian managers) quickly and completely obey this Sergeant’s every word without question, without hesitation. This is attributable to the discipline of the 40 Marines as well as the leadership of the Sergeant. The point here is that, if you have a Marine in your midst, and if he has shown he is willing to function in a leadership position, you might want to let him run with it. The people that end up working for him might have to get over a little shock at first (he might ask for their boot size, blood type or religious preference) but in the end his team will be “shit hot and built to stay that way”, as we say in the Corps.

So there you have it, a sprinkling of what it’s like to have a Marine either working for you or as a manager – what you can expect. There’s plenty more, trust me-I have barely scratched the surface. I would encourage your to explore your workplace and see what Marines or other former military you have. The chances are you won’t have to look to hard. When you find them, talk with them, listen to their crazy ass stories…only believe about one quarter of them…and then be sure to keep an eye on them. If one or more are working for you, consider talking to them about their ambition – do they want a leadership position? If yes, make it happen and hold on tight.

USMC Eagle Globe and AnchorLastly, I quoted Eleanor Roosevelt above, but it would hurt me to finish without providing my all time favorite quote about the Marine Corps as stated by President Ronald Reagan. “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem”.

Semper Fi,


Leaving the Military for a Civilian Job

Leaving the Military for a Civilian Job

Leaving the Military

I was contacted recently by a Soldier named Brandon (last name omitted) who is considering leaving the military and pursuing a civilian job.  I had posted a comment on a Kiplinger article awhile ago and it caught his interest as my tone was (and is) such that the military safety net is not a good reason to stay in the military.  Love the military, stay in.  Want to make money and provide a better life for your family, get out.  I’ve done both.

First, a few links I think are very useful and I tend to share them with folks who are considering this.

What is below is pretty much the entire “advice” I sent his way.    Some items have been edited but for the most part, this sums up my thoughts about folks who are considering getting out of the Military to pursue a Civilian career.

Leaving the Military: an email to a soldier

Hey Brandon,

8.5 months to ETS…good to hear you’re putting some thought into this and not winging it.  I know a lot of folks get out and and think “now what?”.

I know when I refused my last set of orders (unaccompanied to Okinawa…again), things at my command got interesting.  I was a GySgt at the time (E-7) with some respectable time-in-service and time-in-grade.  I suspect that’s the same thing you’re referring to with your Statement of Declination.  Seems once you take a first very serious step to actually getting out, your value to the military overall instantly decreases.  You become a kind of hero to the radicals and a kind of pariah to the establishment folks.  Ahhh…interesting times.

With 8 months, here’s a few things I’d strongly recommend:
  • Get on Twitter.  It used to only be for geeks or niche hobbyists, but these days everybody is on it and it can truly be a great way to expand your horizons if you use it well.
  • I think I found you on Facebook.  I would advise a very strict “no BS” use of that.  Prospective employers WILL look at your facebook page.  Twitter feed too, for that matter, so keep your posts and info clean and respectable.  If you have a bad history on those already (overly political, foul mouthed, etc, etc) I would recommend starting now to clean it up or maybe even create new accounts.  With 8 months, you have time to create a cleaner history.
  • Same with LinkedIn.  Again, used to be the domain of techie geeks but these days it is widely used.  It’s the very first place I go to check folks out or to look for people.
    • I found 3 Brandon ____’s on LinkedIn, one in Alaska so I’m assuming that’s you.  🙂  I would fully fill out LinkedIn and get your contact lists up. Subscribe to groups that interest you, groups that are based where you intend to settle down, etc, etc.  And interact daily.  Take an hour a day and follow folks, participate in conversations, etc.  No kidding…LinkedIn is a gold mine.  For that matter, let me know where you intend to settle down and what you plan to do and I’ll see if I have contacts that might help as well.
    • Remember that LinkedIn, probably even more than Facebook, is a great way to take advantage of other people’s networks.  You have 50 contacts…each of them may have several hundred contacts and be able to put you in touch with “the right person” to land your job.  Cultivate those 50 contacts – treat them like gold and add to them every chance you get.
  • I would say use the Social Media on a daily basis.  I’ve been reading a lot about “Social Media is the new” type of reports.  Whereas you used to place a resume on, nowadays, your LinkedIn and/or Facebook pages are your resume.  Well, you’ll still need a resume, but consider social media very strong appendices to them.
  • Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of your educational benefits ( I say that, but I’m guilty of not taking a single college course during my 16.5 years in, or since for that matter).  If so, great. If not, you might want to take a look at some quick certifications or trade schools you can get before you get out.  Even some short courses…anything to show prospective employers that you are interested in furthering your education and willing to go the extra mile to do so.
    • I’ll admit…painfully…that a lack of an MBA is now affecting my promotion chances.  Lack of college has never been a problem for me but just recently I’ve kind of risen to a level where an MBA is just expected for promotion.  So, here I am at the top of my game but watching folks with less time and skills than me get promoted because they have their Masters degree, and I have no college at all.  Up to now though, this has never been a hindrance.
  • Attend your Transition Assistance Program.  It might sound like a pain in the butt, but they do offer some good info and contacts.  When I went to mine, I already had a very nice job locked on, but even still I found it valuable.  In fact, I would say that if you can swing it, attend it more than once.

What’s the world like outside of the military?  You’re right to be concerned about the economy and unemployment.  It’s not good, but there are signs it’s getting better.  Bear in mind I got out of the Marine Corps in March of 2000, so right at the peak of the surge and I was an IT guy.  So I had it pretty easy.  Today, it’s a different story.  But, I would say that making the plunge today is still preferable to sticking it out for the long haul and working for substandard pay in substandard conditions and for substandard bosses.  Reserves?  Good idea I think if for no other reason that the continued health care benefits.  However, if you get on at a company that covers you medically it might not be worth the hassle.

 I would add one more thing.  A high level thing, if you will.  One thing that I think military have a leg up on non-military is big picture thinking.  We’re taught to consider the whole battlefield and how every piece affects every other piece.  Civilians, for the most part, don’t get that until later.  I’m talking about strategic vs. tactical thinking.  Anybody and everybody can think tactically.  Do this. Do that. Get this done.  Then do this.  Then this.  That sort of thing.  And tactical thinkers are important to companies as they’re the ones getting the jobs done.  But strategic thinkers are the ones that plan and take everything into account and have the big picture in mind.  These are the guys that make the money.  So, my point is, ensure that in your job search, resume, and interviews and other efforts, keep a strategic mindset for the companies you’re working with.  You can be the guy that mops the floors (tactical) but at the same time you can also be the guy that devises a better floor cleaning process for the entire building or chain of stores that, when implemented, is more efficient and less expensive (strategic).   It appears you are in the Supply related MOS in the Army, so if that’s the case and that’s what you want to do when you get out, you have a LOT of strategic thinking to offer your prospective employers, right?  Army Supply is no small business…it’s huge…and if you have the big picture of how that works, you might be able to use that to influence and enhance what your prospective employer does.

You may have noticed I can be a bit long winded.  I should clarify my point.

 My thing is simply that for the right type of person, the safety net of the military is entirely unnecessary.  If you have the drive to do well, there is ample opportunity out here for you.  Companies will make room for the right guy.  They’ll create a position for you IF they perceive you as valuable.  It helps their company and ensures you don’t end up working for the competition.  Again…IF you are valuable enough.  So, you have to be top of your game.  With 8 months to work with, you have plenty of time to work the grind.  Even from Alaska.

Hope this helps a little, in spite of my rambling.  I’ve send a connection request from LinkedIn and Facebook and would be happy to work with you there as well.

Keep in touch!