Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Thoughts on Success – 31 DoBA Day 6

The dawn of a new year brings with it the setting of resolutions and thinking about goals.  Most of these goals and resolutions are centered around two things; losing and getting.  We want to lose weight, clutter and attitude.  We want to get health, wealth and wisdom.  Somewhere during the year we usually end up getting more weight, buying more clutter and being a wise-@$*.  Last year I met some amazing people that gave me some great advice.  One of them was Seth Godin (who is coming to Orange County in March, buy your ticket here today as they sell out fast).  Seth talked about why our current efforts for success are often met with disappointment, especially in the wealth category.

Many people will say, ‘I have chosen (Insert your chosen occupation/business here), how can I succeed?

We should instead say, ‘I want to succeed, what should I do?’

At the beginning of 2009 I found myself owning and running a struggling Real Estate and mortgage company.  The markets had settled but the crash had left me worn out and frustrated.  I kept thinking of new ways to breath life into the business and get things going again.  Finally, I realized that I was asking the wrong questions.  I sat back and asked myself ‘I want to succeed, what should I do?’ and to my surprise the answer was to leave the career I had built over the past 8 years and close my company.

In 2010 I closed my last real estate transaction and am officially ‘retired’ from the industry.  I am not at the pinnacle of my success goals yet, but I finally am making progress up the right trail.  On the last of the 31 DoBA I will share with you some of the projects I’ve been working on along my new path.

Every New Years Day my family and I go down to the beach and meet up with friends to enjoy the day and watch the first sunset of the year.  This year when we got to the beach the tide was lower than I can ever remember seeing it.  My wife I and took the kids out on the rocky tide pools of Laguna Beach and saw countless sea stars, sea urchins, mussels, crabs and all sorts of ocean animal life.  I took the picture below and was reminded of another thing Seth Godin said,

“Just because the tide is out doesn’t mean there is any less water in the ocean.”

The opportunities we need to be successful are out there.  Are you on the right path?

Read 31 DoBA day 1
Read 31 DoBA day 2
Read 31 DoBA day 3
Read 31 DoBA day 4
Read 31 DoBA day 5

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Finding Yoda

In January of this year I read The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.  The book came into my life at a time when I was making some big decisions and has been influential and inspiring.  After each chapter the author challenges the reader to take action.  One challenge is called ‘Finding Yoda’ and the reader is supposed to track down a big player in their industry and ask them a question or two.  If possible to reader should also ask for permission to follow up via email.  This was one of the few exercises in the book that I didn’t do immediately.  It’s taken me a while to actually do it, although I did place a couple phone calls.

Turns out it may be easier to meet some people in person.  The pics below show me meeting three of my Yodas.  Picture one is with Meg Whitman, two is with THE Seth Godin and three is with Chris Brogan.

Meeting Seth was by far the most influential encounter I have had this year.  His direct questioning of my current projects and passions caught me off guard and forced me to think about where I was and where I wanted to be.  His main advice was to pick one project and work on it full force rather than split up your time over many projects.  Set a date and ship, you can always do a version 2.0 later.  Seth responded to an email I sent him and is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Meg Whitman was nice and earthy.  I found her taller than expected but grounded.  We discussed business in California and the need to make the State business friendly so we can keep industry growing and job creation possible.

Chris Brogan was a bit of a surprise.  I didn’t know a ton about him other than following @ChrisBrogan on Twitter.  He discussed business in the modern age with an amazing style of humor, candor and intellect that I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered before.  One major tip that I got from Chris was that your blog posts are a legacy that keeps working after you’ve done the typing.  He had a fancy analogy about commerce, jokes and exchange but the meat of it is that if your posts solve one persons problem there are most likely other people that have that problem and it can help them too.  Next time you get an email from somebody asking for advice in your field answer it in the form of a blog post and then send the person the link.  It’s like you’re messing with Karma because you’re putting all this good information out there and you know it’s going to come back to you someday.

I leave you with a quote from one of Godin’s recent posts titled Heroes and mentors:

“Like a custom made suit, a mentor is a fine thing to have if you can find or afford it. But for the rest of us, heroes will have to do.”

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Living Better

I had a meeting in LA this morning and took the advice from a friend
to check out the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica for lunch.

I’m about to dig into my salmon.

And then write out some goals while enjoying California’s brutal winter.

Tyler Jorgenson

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The Richest Man In Babylon – Intro

I am in the middle of reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. I have heard this book spoken of and recommended for years and recently came across a copy. I am deeply enjoying the simple yet sound principles of financial success.

The following two paragraphs are from freewld.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a book by George Samuel Clason which dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon. Through their experiences in business and managing household finance, the characters in the parables learn simple lessons in financial wisdom. By basing these parables in ancient times, but involving situations that modern people can understand and identify with, the author presents these lessons as timeless wisdom that is as relevant today as it was back then.

The book began in 1926 as a series of informational pamphlets. Banks and insurance companies began to distribute these pamphlets, and the most famous ones were eventually compiled into this book.

Over the next few days I will share my notes and thoughts from each chapter. I am hoping that by writing out my thoughts and sharing the principles the book teaches that not only will I become more committed to the tenants but that others may learn of them also.

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Play Big!

There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling
for a life that is less than what you are capable of living.
Nelson Mandela

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Top 100

During church today the troubled economy came up 643 times. I’m exaggerating, it couldn’t have been more than 625. I know these times are tough and that they try the character of Men but I am confident that we will overcome and appear on the other end better and stronger than before. For the past year I have been working with some friends to create a sustainable financial services company. When other companies are shrinking we have been hiring 3-4 employees per month and look to pick up the pace through ’09. Our goal is to ensure that the company remains agile enough to adjust to market conditions. We believe that in any market there is an opportunity to make money and strive to be prepared for what may come.

One of the few magazines I get is FORTUNE and I enjoy the issue that comes this time of year spotlighting the top 100 places to work in the United States of America. It is my personal goal to have Ascension on this list by 2014. (I was going to say 2012 but according to some that’s going to be a tough year, and I didn’t want to be misunderstood for stating said year.)

We’re working on an updated purpose statement and ‘10 commandments‘ for our firm. I’ll share them when they’re done.

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Completing and Remembering 2008

Completing and Remembering 2008

Last year I shared a document that I borrowed from a friend of mine and it was well received so I thought it would be good to share again.

When you are setting your resolutions remember to set goals that are SMART.

Time Bound

An old adage: “A Goal Not Written is Merely a Wish” comes to mind. Print out this document and prepare to create some great goals so that 2009 can be your best year yet.

Happy New Year!

(and since I always like having a picture in each post. Make it a goal not to be a competitive jerk in 2009.)

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Back in the day I used to be a runner

But it’s been a LONG time since I’ve been able to run a 4:47 mile like I did in College. My hot wife made me do a little run with her while we were in Capitola this past weekend and apparently she thought I did OK so she signed us up for the Disneyland 5k on August 30th. I’m going to have to do a little training, since I don’t want to be too embarrassed by my time having been a runner in High School.
I stepped on the scale on the 4th of July when we had to take our kids to the Dr. and I was down to 178lbs. I was amazed. I had been up to about 215lbs less than a year prior and although we did start eating better I think we pinpointed the weight busting source… a bigger house with 3 active kids. We’re chasing our kids around up and down stairs, around the house and yard and even jumping on the trampoline. Combine all of those extra calories burned with consuming fewer calories and you get a Tyler that is 37 pounds lighter.

Tanya told me while we were running that she didn’t really notice how fat I had gotten before, but now that I’ve thinned up a bit she likes it. One of my co-workers even complimented me today (thanks for making my day April).

So, I guess I’m getting back into running thanks to my wife. I have to admit I’m looking forward to getting back into shape.

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Have you seen the Pyramids?

Gone skydiving? Traveled to Hong Kong? Been on Safari? Helped a stranger for the better?
My beautiful wife rented The Bucket List for us to watch. I’m not much for writing movie reviews, but all in all it was a good flick. It made me think a little bit about my life’s goals and aspirations. In the movie Morgan Freeman’s character has a nice family life (but a stale marriage), a modest job and a traditional home. Somehow he ends up sharing a hospital room with Jack Nicholson’s character (sorry about the Lakers in Game 4 Jack) who is an extremely wealthy man, but with no family ties to speak of. Both characters get to impart a bit of their views to the other through the movie and end up better people in the end.

The first thing I thought of was my amazing family. I have three ridiculously amazing children and a super star wife. If I were left desolate in a shack in Tulsa (the Paris of Oklahoma) but I had my family then life would be alright. The next thing I thought about is that I want to see some stuff while I’m on this earth. I’ve been lucky to chase giraffe in Africa and I am very grateful for my time there… but I want to see Machu Picchu, sing to my wife in Italy, tour the Holy Land and climb Kilimanjaro.

While I was in South Africa I read some words in Afrikaans that have stuck with me.

Gryp Die Dag

Many of you know it’s Latin counterpart, Carpe Diem. Both say the same thing so both are obviously good but Gryp Die Dag, said in a gluteral and milataristic voice full denotes expedient and forceful action. Carpe Diem is so much more poetic and light.

That being said, two questions to think about?

1. What is one thing you feel you MUST do before you kick the bucket?

2. What is the most rewarding thing you can do TODAY?

My thoughts after watching the movie are in line with Baird’s poem:

Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back;

It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track;
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away;
For life is quick in passing.
‘Tis as a single day.

Life your life with a sense of determined urgency. Reap while the sun shines.

Entertain me and leave a comment with your answer to question #1. Maybe there’s a prize for whoever leaves a comment with the most original answer.

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We control the depth and breadth of our lives

I saw this quote hanging on an office wall today:

”We Cannot govern the length of our lives, but we can control the depth and breadth of our lives. We cannot control the weather, but we can control the atmosphere that surrounds us. There is a raise in your future. It becomes effective when you do.” Hank Trisler

I really enjoyed the concepts put forth in this quote. I have long believed that we are the sum of the people we surround ourselves with. The atmosphere around us relates to the people with which we associate, the way in which we communicate, the attitudes we exhibit et cetera. So much of our lives are wasted in the wrong local weather of doubt and fear. We empower ourselves when we create a positive forward thinking, problem solving environment in which to dwell.

Recently I’ve been wanting a ‘raise’. To hear it put that it is there ready for me, as soon as I am effective enough to obtain it was humbling. Today I am empowering myself to be more effective in my goals.
p.s. I included this comic because I found it humorous… not because I think this young lad was being more effective… I mean, I could handle $250 a glass but $500 is just crazy.

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Eastvale Lamborghini

And here I thought Eastvale wasn’t as affluent as other cities. I never saw one of these in Chino.

*sorry, it’s not mine.

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Dr. Randy Pausch – Last Lecture

I rarely read email forwards, but for some reason I watched this video that was forwarded to me today. I’m really glad that I did, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you for being a part of my life.

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What Motivates You?

Pain or Pleasure?

A friend of mine has a great post about motivation. His friend is building a mansion in Santa Barbara as a speculative investment and is considering moving in rather than selling, even though the market is hot enough to sell, so that the mansion will motivate him to achieve greater goals. Deyl asked: Do you think there is anything wrong with a material thing like a house being a motivator to work hard and smart? He has received some great responses so far.

What I find interesting about choice is that all of our choices in life come down to our desire to gain pleasure and our need to avoid pain. Think about it. From the very simple decisions in our lives to the most complex those two factors are at the root of our the choice we make.


Ask a woman why she spends hour(s) every morning applying makeup and doing her hair. The answers are likely to be either because doing so makes her feel pretty (pleasure) or because not doing so may garnish some ridicule (pain).

You can go through any choice and break it down to these two factors. When the light turns red you stop to avoid pain. Even if you are certain no cars are coming you don’t want the pain of having to pay for a ticket and the serious agony of sitting in traffic school. If you give to charity, what is your motivating factor? Is it because you want the pleasure of helping somebody? Do you not want the pain of higher taxes and want the pleasure of a nice write off?

Understanding these two principals is helping me understand what drives me and what influence the decisions I make. I am currently in the middle of a few real estate deals that are generating a bit of stress, but the idea of the payout and the pleasure it will bring motivates me to make the deals work.

Just because we are driven by pleasure and pain doesn’t make us bad people. If the things that we associate pleasure to are being able to contribute back to society then that’s a good thing. If you get pleasure from knowing that you are providing for your family, creating employment, promoting commerce, etc then building a nice house for you and your (6) kids is a great thing. Especially if it’s going to motivate you to take on more ventures that are likely to continue the cycle even more. So, Deyls’ friend, build on and love your home. Enjoy the pleasure that comes from the sense of accomplishment and knowing that you are living in something that you envisioned from a bare lot and a bunch of sticks.

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So often in life we create our own limitations. Interestingly enough our limits are self imposed or conditioned by others who feel inadequate. When we are born we are nearly fearless (the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises are with us from birth) but we learn to fear failure through being teased or ridiculed. I got this little glimpse into my 1 year old daughters limitless perpective on life and loved it. She’s just doing what she sees her 3 year old sister do… so why couldn’t she be able to do the same? Look around you and see if there is somebody that has attained goals you would like to attain and ask yourself if you believe that you can achieve the same levels of success. Too often we don’t give ourselves enough credit, or have enough faith in our own ability to achieve greatness. Raise the bar.

-Posted From My Treo –

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – Hypnosis

I am a big fan of eliminating vices out of our lives. It was great to see articles pop up about Ben Affleck telling Oprah that he had finally quit smoking. An interesting part of all of this is that both he and Matt Damon used hypnosis to help them quit. Affleck mentions that the “guy just sat there and told me nicotine is poison.” Hypnosis allows us to change our neuro associations more rapidly, and so under hypnosis Ben was able to make the changes to his mental perspectives on smoking. What vice in your life could you cut out simply by thinking of it as a painful and negative experience and associating greater pleasure to abstaining? If you’d like more information on how to make changes rapidly, let me know and I’ll post more on the topics of NLP and Hypnosis.

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The Garth Brooks Experience

My lovely wife and I went to the Garth Brooks concert in Los Angeles last night with a couple of our good friends. There was a period in my adolescence that I only listened to Garth and so I own all of his albums and know all of his songs, even the Christmas and obscure ones. Being at his concert was a pretty amazing experience. I haven’t been to many concerts so I am sure I am describing phenomena that are common to stars but I was amazed by the amount of energy that flowed through the Staples Center and directed at Mr. Brooks. We had seats that I really think were underrated. We were in the up stage left corner (any drama geeks reading this know where that is, for the rest of you we were in the back right corner). This location allowed an excellent vantage point to see a lot of what the performers got to see. I was a little overwhelmed when I looked out at the crowd that was cheering so energetically for Garth. To think that one person could generate that much positive attention is impressive. I’m not much of a singer, but I would love to be in front of a crowd like that with people cheering for me. I don’t know why they would but the experience seems worth striving for. The greatest thing for me was to see how genuine Garth appeared to be. I imagine that many performers get to a point where they begin to expect praise from large throngs of fans, but to Mr. Brooks it was as though he was utterly surprised and appreciative every time the crowd went wild for him. In his last of 2 encores he brought up a concession stand worker that had snuck backstage to meet him and had asked him what it was like to be in front of all those people. He brought Alva up and had her stand center stage and experience the view from his perspective. After singing ‘my song’ The River he had her come back to center stage and asked the entire audience to take out their cameras and take their picture. I had seen this amazing display earlier in the night when Garth and Trisha Yearwood were singing and got close to each other. The entire venue went aglow with bursting flash bulbs. Amazing!

After the concert the traffic in our parking structure was at a stand still so I looked up nearby restaurants on google maps on my phone. The closest place was Kiki’s, just a couple blocks away. We headed over by foot in the drizzling rain. When we got close to the corner I spied Kiki’s, a quaint little taco stand that although it had an ‘A’ in the window was most certainly closed. Blasted google maps! We walked back and drove to Clearwood’s Northwood Inn where we threw some peanut shells on the ground.

I hope to one day be able to have the sort of influence upon people that Garth Brooks has. I don’t mean that I want to be a music star, as if that was an option anyway. I feel richly blessed in my life and want to help people live a life full of passion. I want to inspire people. To have people that need a little kick in the pants, a little motivation, some reframing or a new perspective come to me and I want to lead them on a journey to greater personal strength. What Garth did, in taking a little time out to share his experience with Alva the concession worker, was amazing. In those few moments Alva’s entire life may have shifted course. I may be hallucinating this but I see a girl that had poor self esteem that now has something she can hang on to as a reminder that she is of infinite value. I see a girl who will now take charge of the life that she may have been drifting through. How can I make this sort of impact in the lives of people I am lucky enough to be a part of?

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