GURU Boot Camp Weekend

Friday, July 10, 2009 I flew out to LA for the Guru Boot camp. The traffic to Charlotte Airport wasn’t bad at all. Once I arrived at the parking deck and noticed the huge crowd waiting for the shuttle, I knew there would be a lot of people flying that day. There was a huge line at the security checkpoint. Luckily the security guards were very gentle. Just kidding. The flight went to St. Louis in a smaller plane that I did not have enough room to stand up fully. On the way to LA, I’m not sure where we were flying over but there were tons of huge circles and semicircles. What was the deal with that? The best I could figure was that’s how they were irrigated…but there were so many. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know in the comments. The flight was cool. I had a window seat so I noticed we flew over LA for a long time before getting to the airport. That is a huge city.

The next morning I was down stairs ready for the boot camp at 7:30 am. I was very surprised by the number of people that were there. There were about 425 people there. Around the first break I met Jason and Nandi Moore ( that are students in Eben Pagan’s Ignition program with me. They were very cool. Eben had us play a game called matchmaker all weekend (which I do my best to play always). The way you play is talk to people all weekend, find out what they need, who there customer is, and what people they need to meet and then try to find people to link them with. This was an awesome exercise. It was great to get you focused on the needs of others and providing value to others. I highly recommend doing this everyday. During the first break, I was introduced to Dean Gates. Look him up on He’s a makeup artist and has worked in the movie business for years. He knows tons of people in the industry and is a super cool guy as well. The boot camp was awesome because Eben had us do exercises and actual work while we were there. He had several guest speakers as well. One was a presenter during the Ignition program named Lou D’Alo ( He spoke twice at the boot camp. We ended up sitting next to each other Sunday and he had a lot of great advice. You should definitely check out his site. He’s a really sharp guy with lots of great information!

Later that evening I was able to meet Eben, get my picture, and give him a guitar pick. I talked to him a little more at the pool side party after the event as well. There were so many cool people there. Dean Gates and I talked about movies and film making quite a bit that night as well. Talk about a guy with tons of cool stories!

The next morning we hit the ground running as well. The boot camp started at 9am and I think I left the conference room close to 11pm. We heard from Joe Polish ( on good marketing and positioning. Next Andrea Albright spoke about using video online. Lou D’Alo spoke again after that about busting traffic myths. Rose Cole ( spoke about how she built her online business and that it is all virtual. She had good information about using affiliates and communicating with customers and developing products to meet their specific needs. Laura Roeder ( went on next. She taught us how to use Twitter effectively. She showed us how blogs can help build relationships with people. She did a great job as well. Don Crowthers ( and Stompernet) jumped up and told us some ways to build expert status with Twitter in a few weeks. He was sharp.

After the boot camp I met up with Dean to talk more about filmmaking (lol) and get some food. Not much was open at 11:30pm. The food at the bar in the hotel was good though. After that (about 1:30am) I went up stairs, packed and slept until 3am. Then it was time to get up and prepare for my flight. (Note to self: Do not EVER get a flight that leaves at 5 something am.) The good thing about flying that time in the morning was that in LAX there was ONE person in front of me in the security line. Hehe. This definitely beat the hundreds in Charlotte. It would have been a nice time to sleep if I didn’t have a 4 year old (or so) constantly kicking me and being hyper. Oh well…I’m sure I would have been the same way at that age. J

Over all it was a great trip. I’m glad I made it out there. It would have been nice to stay a few more days. I would have gotten to go to a real Hollywood make up effects workshop and how cool would that have been?

Assassination Tango credits with Geraldine Rojas and Pablo Veron

This is a great dance. It takes place during the credits of “Assassination Tango” with Robert Duvall. This scene is with Geraldine Rojas and Pablo Veron. I saw this film pretty early on in my Tango education. I recommend it. It has some great Milonga scenes. Seeing Paublo Veron doing the secadas behind him reminds me of when I first started attempting them. I nailed my partner in the shin with my hard heel of my shoe. As a tip, I would recommend trying these in socks first. The one step where he reaches in with his left foot and flicks her leg around him was one I must have watched a hundred time until I figured out how to do it. It’s tricky when all you can see is someone’s feet.

Houses falling into the ocean in Ocean Isle, NC

Condemned house in Ocean Isle, NC.
Condemned house in Ocean Isle, NC.

I went down to the beach Father’s Day weekend to visit….. you guessed it my father (and mother as well of course :) ). While I was down there we drove around to see some sites and they showed me where the houses in Ocean Isle, NC are getting claimed by the ocean. There were a lot for sale so if you want a great deal on a house….hehe. Anyway, what’s interesting is that while the ocean is taking the sand from one part of the island it’s depositing more sand to another part of the island. This is a cool concept…buy some land and every year…you get more for free! This picture was taken during very low tide. So low that you could see the oyster shells in the canals(I guess that’s what they’re called???). This was a pretty good message than you can’t really mess with Mother Nature.

It was a great trip though. I got to hang out with my family, but tried to stay in as much as possible. It was HOT!!!

NC Budget Cuts for Community Support

I’m not someone that talks a lot of politics so don’t worry that this blog will do that. This post will be short because I just wanted to list a few resources. After people have contacted there representatives, the budget cuts don’t look as bad as they first were. For example they aren’t going to totally cut Community Support by the end of this month as first mentioned. They will begin phasing it out the first year to completely phase it out the second year. This can be found here on item 122 on page 63. An item two lines down caught my eye as well. Cutting level III and IV funds is significant as well.

Earlier today I watched a video that is located on the lower left hand side of This video is interesting because it’s a public hearing that takes place with many representatives on stage and there are people in the audience that speak for 2 minutes each. They also have ten satellite community college campuses that have speakers. You get a pretty good cross section of people speaking about the proposed cuts. Many teachers speak at this and there are some big cuts for teachers as well. The first part of the video is interesting as well because it shows where them money comes in and where it is spent in simple pie chart views.

I was just looking through the site and found the Senate Bill 202, 6th Edition Engrossed, as passed by North Carolina House of Representatives June 13, 2009 (39 amendments engrossed). Not being an expert in politics (by a long shot) I’ll assume this is the most recent edition.

Hope this helps give some more information from my previous post on Community Support. Thanks!

Self Esteem Lesson

In the mental health field over the years I see and hear a lot of people’s concerns about self esteem. Of course my self esteem wasn’t always the greatest either. While speaking to some folks today about anger management, the topic of self esteem arose. This little lesson popped up in my mind that I’ll share.

Don’t accept second class behavior

Probably around 2004 I heard Eben Pagan say something like, “Don’t accept second class behavior from yourself or anyone else.” This is not an exact quote but close. This quote hit me like a ton of bricks or equally dense material. I had been too much of a “people pleaser” and it was not only was it not helping me, it was hurting me. Don’t get me wrong I truly enjoy helping other but people pleasing can be damaging. After thinking about this quote I realized that it was hurting my self esteem and allowing people to prey on my desire to help people.

Examples of second class behavior

There are many times when we may be a little nicer than we need to be and people take advantage of this. Sometimes they may not do it maliciously but just out of habit. People canceling on plans and not informing you, being late all the time to appointments, not calling when they say, etc… are all examples of second class behavior. The example that comes to mind for me was on a Friday night I was supposed to go out with this girl and she was going to call around 9 and we’d go out. Well 9pm comes and goes. I call and get no answer. Turns out that she didn’t call that night and since I didn’t really find out to late, it limited my plans that night. I live in a small town where they pretty much roll up the sidewalks at 9-10pm.

How should you react to this behavior?

So I thought about what happened that night and how I should handle it. Should I get angry and start arguing or yelling? What would that accomplish? Say I was right, how would that make her feel? Dale Carnegie discusses how no one wins an argument in “How to win friends and influence people.” Should I call and leave mean messages on her voicemail? Again, what would that accomplish? Should I cut contact until she calls me? Well in this case, she called the next day. I would imagine in this case that the person thinks A) I’ll pretend this didn’t happen and he’ll just accept it the way other people do or B) He’ll be mad and he’ll just have to get over it (I’m sure there were many others too…but for simplicity sake J ).

Use the quote

What I did was use the quote from Eben. I stated, “Look, I don’t accept second class behavior from myself or anyone else. I would rather never talk to you again than to accept this type of behavior.” Knowing me, I was probably wordier, but hopefully you get the idea. This worked well for a few reasons I believe.  It shows a firm stance on your rules for yourself and others. It is very difficult to argue because you state that you don’t accept these rules from yourself either. How do you argue this? They can’t argue what you accept. You do or you do not. I threw the second sentence in there from my study of sales. It is a strong negotiation tactic to be able to walk away from the deal. This reminds me of another Eben phrase, “there is no downside.” In this case for me there was no downside. If that was an indication of how I would be treated, then it was not worth my time and effort.

What will the other person say or do?

Some people may be worried about how the other person will react to this. I was lucky in this case because I was at the point where it didn’t matter. If they wanted to treat me in a first class way then that was cool, if not then, “bye!”  Instead of worrying about how they may react, write down some possible reactions. What is the worst that could happen? We already discussed that this would be a hard thing to argue because it’s what you accept from yourself and others. If you’ve accepted a lot of second class behavior in the past and have decided to change, let people know it. If it’s long time friend or family member try this. “I’ve decided to make some changes in my life and I will no longer accept second class behavior from myself or others.” The thing is with this that you MUST live your side of the statement as well. If you say you’ll call someone at 1:30pm then their phone needs to be ringing at 1:30pm (preferably with you on the other end).

Role Play

Don’t worry; you don’t have to dress up like a police officer or a French maid for this part. In mental health I’ve learned how well role playing can help practice a skill before you have to use it in “the real world.” If you are worried about how this may play out on a conversation with a friend, coworker, associate, or member of the opposite sex, meet with someone you feel comfortable around and try it out. If you have fears write them down ahead of time. This can be what you consider to be the worse case scenario. You get you’re friend to be you and give them a script of what you’ll say. You bring up you’re worse case scenario if you feel like it. You could try your side out as well.

Ready for prime time

When you say this a few times you’ll feel more comfortable with it and realize that it is firm and direct but not mean. It just sets up the frame of which you operate. Another example to think of is this. If you have kids (or have seen kids or were a kid) you have noticed that there may be one parent that gives in a little more than the other. This will be the one that the kids ask first for candy or money. Well the one parent set up that frame that they don’t take much off the kids and that they are the authority in the house. Some homes it’s the mother some it’s the father, but it was set up pretty early on usually. I encourage you to try this and notice that it sets up the frame of what you accept and what you don’t. It should help boost you’re self esteem and get you treated with respect. Best of luck to you!