Where are you going? In which direction are you headed? For times like these we better know the right direction to head because there is less room for mistakes to be made before resources run out. I’ve always felt that in order to know which way to go you need to know where you are at this moment. I don’t think we do this enough as people these days. We don’t take the time to really understand where we are and the truth of where we are.

One episode of The Hidden Brain that I have returned to often was first broadcast in January 2018. Lost In Translation: The Power Of Language To Shape How We View The World

The part that caught my attention was when Lera Boroditsky described her work in Australia. Below is an excerpt from what she said.

From the Hidden Brain – BORODITSKY: I had this wonderful opportunity to work with my colleague Alice Gaby in this community called Pormpuraaw in – on Cape York. And what’s cool about languages, like the languages spoken in Pormpuraaw, is that they don’t use words like left and right, and instead, everything is placed in cardinal directions like north, south, east and west. So the way you say hi in Kuuk Thaayorre, one of the languages spoken here, is to say, which way are you heading? And the answer should be, north, northeast in the far distance; how about you?

We all need to be headed in a direction. Knowing your point of origin will make your journey easier I suspect.

If you want to listen to the whole episode here you go!


During a time of great challenge, uncertainty and hardship like we are experiencing now the idea of opportunity might seem a bit incongruous. Really, how can there be opportunity in all of this mess?

  • I better understand fear
  • I see my neighbor differently
  • My family is more important to me
  • I see myself differently
  • There is more time to learn
  • I am trying new things

This list could go on. We have the opportunity to become better humans.


Scrolling through social media yesterday I paused to take in a video compilation of Stephen Curry. The video focused on Curry’s movement on the court when he did not have the ball. He’s fun to watch when he’s dropping bombs outside of the 3 Point line, it is a thing of beauty. Even more beautiful is that movement when he does not have the ball. He never stops and after passIng the ball off he’s gliding to an open spot ready to receive the ball back.

Face it, we all want the ball and right now it feels like the ball is not in our hands with no chance of getting it passed to us. Crazy times. We can just decide to stand around and wait or we can create some movement. Movement can take many forms. It can be working on relationships, learning something new, encouraging others or just catching up on tasks long put off.

Movement might also keep us sane. Even if the ball isn’t in our hands right now it is the movement of this moment that will better our chances to emerge from this time ready to face the next challenges.

This is true for our personal and professional and professional lives. It is a great skill to have.

Enjoy the video!


Most of the definitions for family were rather disappointing when I read them this morning. They were mostly matter of fact descriptions of people grouped by marriage and blood relations. There is the nuclear family, extended family, church family and work family. Leo Tolstoy made a statement in the first sentence of Anna Karenina – ”Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.“

What struck me as a little odd was how little there was about the interactions between family members. This is where my mind has always gone, to the interaction and to a certain extent the level of expectations and the support we get from family members.

Brené Brown has some great insights and this podcast has some that are timely given our current world situation. It is worth a listen if you have not heard this one already. Her language can get a bit earthy but not in this particular episode.

These are her notes for this episode – We have collectively hit weary. This is especially true for the brave folks on the front lines of this pandemic and for the people who love and support them. And, it’s also true for all of us. In this episode, I talk about strategies for falling apart, staying connected + kind, and giving ourselves permission to feel hard things.

Stay safe, stay connected.


March 27, 2020

Yesterday I picked up a couple bottles of beer from a local Craft Brewery I support (see yesterday’s post). That visit left me with a helpless feeling that grew into the evening and one that I woke up with. Helpless because there is no way that I can help that Brewery survive. I do not have the financial resources nor the capacity to consume enough beer to make a difference.

We like to think that one person can make a difference, one person can change things. This really is not true. One person can start things, that is true. But it takes people coming together to change things, to fix things.

Perhaps this is going to be one of the greatest awakenings of our conscious mind, the understanding that world wide recovery will require all of us to come together as friends, family, communities, nations and as humans.

It should be understood, together is hard and there is good together, bad together and meaningless together. We need to start thinking about how we can move forward together. This is the way 😎 !

Community Part 1

I walked into a local craft brewery to buy a couple bottles of brew and to show my support. Only the owner was there.

For the record there was no contact, quite a bit of wiping down. I feel much safer there than in the grocery story.

I asked Craig how he was holding up. He said had to lay off all the staff, his business is down 90% and he spent four hours working on appealing unemployment claims that were denied when the employees filed. He was very grateful I came in. I can’t buy much from him. I am only one person.

It remains to be seen what kind of financial support his small business will receive. I know he has a family. He used to be a full time attorney and for several years has put his heart and soul into the brewery.

I miss the employees too. It is a great group of people all enthusiastic, each bringing a passion to the tap room.

This is a bad time to be shut, the spring is when business starts to pick up in normal times after the winter lull. It’s a great spot with great outdoor seating with a great view. It’s always busy. He said today was dead. He didn’t know why. We both hoped it wasn’t because people were starting to get fatigued.

He was very grateful I came in to support his place. You could see it in his eyes. I said I wanted him to know I care.



Another tough word given the time we are living in. I now realize this is not an easy word. Not at all. First off, true encouragement does not come from a cheerleader on the sidelines. It also should never come in the form of false hope. False hope is after all just false hope.

Encouragement is not a pat on the back or a simple nudge to take the next step. I’m thinking that encouragement is more like making an investment in someone. It is not telling someone “things will get better soon” or “it’s not as bad as it seems.”

There is a certain amount of energy that transfers in the act of encouragement. It is this energy that concerns me at this moment. Encouragement is energy. To be honest I feel that level of energy right now inside myself is running low which means I need encouragement as much as others do. And if we all are running low on this energy as I suspect many of us are then where are we going to find it in ourselves to encourage others? How do we encourage each other when we all are running on empty? And if we are running close to empty now how are we going to make it in a crisis that may last for a very long time?

Here is what I’ve come up with, encouragement starts with belief. Belief is the spark that gets the motor running and once the motor is running the energy starts to flow. It is my belief in myself, my belief in you and your belief in me.

Note – In this time of the virus we are all wrestling with the spiritual, physical, mental and the emotional parts of life. We are all at different places in our respective journeys and all of us will look at these words from a different perspective. These are words all have relevance in the spiritual, physical, mental and the emotional.


This word might just be harder to understand than completing the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle. I woke up this morning with this sense that I wanted my life to have meaning. I wanted my family and friends to know they have meaning. But what does that mean. Do you see my dilemma?

My mother says she feels hot and I need to figure out what she means. Words have different meanings so we need to figure out in which context those words are used.

I started out thinking about how I wanted to live my life out in a meaningful way. When I looked up the definition of meaning the definitions wandered in and out of nuance. It can be related to intent, purpose or significance, other words to explore.

In this time of trouble many will be unable to provide for their families. Does this diminish their meaning in this world?

The greatest philosophers in this world have wrestled with the concept of meaning. If I had to boil it down to one idea it is this, in order for anyone’s life to have meaning they need at least one other person. That is the start of a life that has meaning.

Valuation Skills Course Invitation

March 25, 2020

Note – At the end of this post there is a course update for April 20, 2020 – Also make sure to download the course syllabus.

If you are a Financial Professional and if you have been looking to learn something new and relevant while we all work through the challenges ahead, I might just have something for you.

Business owners are going through some acute pain right now here in the Pacific Northwest and everywhere else in the United States. I am watching several businesses that have had to shut their doors, lay off employees and adapt to give the business a chance to come back at some point. It is not easy to watch and as a small business owner myself I am also facing the loss of income. We are all facing many unknowns.

Announcing a Valuation Skills Course for Financial Professionals

My partner, Peter Viliesis and I know that Business Owner Planning cannot start without first knowing the Value of the Business. If you the Financial Professional can help your business owner clients and prospects understand the role of valuation and how it can help lead to better decisions then you are going to create more successful outcomes.

But you might not know where to start because you have not spent much time in the discipline of valuation. With that in mind we are in the process of developing a short course for you and we are accelerating the rollout because of current events.

The course will consist of several short instructional videos, a 5 to 10 page printable PDF Guide to Valuation and a homework assignment. We are not charging for this, this is our way of paying it forward. It will enhance the course if you purchase one book for less than $20. It is “What’s Your Business Worth?” – Michael Carter.

At the end of the course you will be able to have a conversation with Business Owners about how knowing the value of their business will help them make better decisions in the pursuit of their goals. You will also be able to get them started on the road to better planning.

More information will be sent to you when you sign up. The syllabus is below. Let’s stay in touch. Complete the information below and then look for the course login information in your inbox.

If you were referred by someone please put their name in the message section. This section is also for questions or comments.

Course Update – April 20, 2020

The course is taking on a life of its own and material will be added beyond the scope of what we originally planned. This has given us a chance to learn better how to communicate the content better. It will continue to be delivered in short lessons so you can more easily digest it.

In addition to the lessons there is now a Resource Page.

Some of the course material will be created in response to questions and observations in your feedback to us. This makes the course better. Thank you to those who have already participated in this way.

Peter and I have been asked if we do joint work and the answer is yes. We believe Partnership is the best way to deliver the solutions to business owners, now more than ever.


Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” – This quote is attributed to General Patton and Vince Lombardi. It doesn’t really matter who it came from. In one of our more thoughtful moments I passed this on to Paul to encourage him to get the rest that he needed and so that he might recognize the source of some of his fears while he faced treatment and uncertainty. You might need to sort through the logic for yourself.

The point is, fatigue can amplify problems, make them seem worse than they are and it can heighten fears. In no way should it ever be suggested that the problems are not there. To understand the role fatigue plays in how we perceive the here and now is important.

Understanding fatigue also can give us permission to rest, even in the middle of the day when we think we should be doing something. When we are rested better decisions will result and we are less likely to be frozen by fear.

One final note, there are individuals out there today who cannot get the rest they need. I’m thinking of all of those on the front lines of getting ahead of the virus. All we can do is encourage them as they run the race and in a small way it might offset the effects of fatigue for them.