Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Seth Godin – Low Tide

During his amazing presentation at LinkedOC Seth Godin shared this bit of inspiration with the crowd.

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

If Twitter is a good indicator, it hit a chord with a lot of people.

Consider this quote in relation to today’s economy or job market.  Sometimes it’s a matter of changing where you are looking rather than giving up.  It wouldn’t make much sense to cast your lines from the side of a boat that was beached.  Get the boat back in the water, then go fishing.

Here’s to your success!  Happy fishing!

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The Seth Godin Pyramid

I’m a fan of Seth Godin. To me he is a lot more than a marketer and businessman, he is a thought leader and ‘agent of change’. I had the privilege of meeting him a couple of weeks ago when he spoke here in Southern California. There are a few major points that stuck with me and I’ll post about them separately.

Seth’s new book, Linchpin is about being indispensable. It’s a great read so far and I highly recommend picking up a copy. One thing he covered that stuck with me was a hierarchy of work skills. I’ve outlined them in the hierarchy below.
Taking a look at this hierarchy, where do you fit in? The lower down the list you get the easier it is to be dispensable. Just after returning from Africa I worked at UPS for 2 months. I lifted stuff, and I was easily replaced. If you are on the bottom 4-5 levels of the hierarchy you must take great strides within your company or market to become that one individual that can not be lost. I challenge you to find something that you can do in your work today that will set you apart from the partially cognizant cogs working around you.

Tyler Jorgenson and Seth Godin at the LinkedOC event at the St. Regis in Monarch Beach February 11th 2010


The Man in the Arena

I am excited to see the movie Invictus. In it Nelson Mandela gives Francois Pienaar a copy of the poem of the same title, but in actuality Mandela gave Pienaar a copy of Teddy Roosevelt’s speech The Man in the Arena. The most quoted excerpt is below:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

As I prepare to write resolutions for 2010 I will reflect on the dust and sweat and blood of the last decade. When 1999 came to an end I was in a small apartment (we called them ‘flats’) in South Africa. We weren’t sure if computers were going to crash and all mayhem break lose when Y2K hit, but we all made it through just fine. Over the past decade I have done a lot of things. I returned home to California in 2001, went back to school, bought a restaurant, got married, sold a restaurant, started a career in mortgage banking and real estate, started a family, invested in real estate (won some, lost some), moved a few times, graduated college, started a business or two, closed a business, made good friends, lost loved ones, went on a game show, traveled, and on and on. It’s been a busy decade of my life, and I have learned much.

Sometimes in the arena of life we achieve greatness and are privileged to feel the thunderous applause of the crowd and other times we may stumble and be met with boos and disdain of onlookers. The approval of the crowd is a fickle friend and one who lives his life thus seeking will be met with an empty reward. As I prepare for this next decade I commit to live my life boldly and in the pursuits of worthy causes.

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"The Soul’s Captain"

In light of my post on the poem Invictus I now present another response written about 100 years ago.

“The Soul’s Captain”
by Orson F. Whitney

Art thou in truth? Then what of Him
Who bought thee with His blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood,

Who bore for all our fallen race
What none but Him could bear–
That God who died that man might live
And endless glory share.

Of what avail thy vaunted strength
Apart from His vast might?
Pray that His light may pierce the gloom
That thou mayest see aright.

Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree,
Thou, captain of thy soul! Forsooth,
Who gave that place to thee?

Free will is thine- free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto Him
To whom all souls belong.

Bend to the dust that “head unbowed,”
Small part of life’s great whole,
And see in Him and Him alone,
The captain of thy soul.

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I am the captain of my soul

Merry Christmas! During this wonderful time of year I am reminded of who I have to thank for my unconquerable soul.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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Elevating Your Influence

“Man radiates what he is, and that radiation affects to a greater or less[er] degree every person who comes within that radiation” – David O. McKay

This has long been one of my favorite quotes and is the thought that comes to mind whenever I consider personal development. We’ve all seen the fruits of this concept in our lives, the smiling waitress that cheers up a gloomy table in an instant, the charismatic friend who can change a rooms mood just by being present, and even the ‘Debby Downer’ who can suck the wind out of the fullest of sails in the bat of an eye.

Yesterday I visited the Newport Beach LDS Temple because I felt my own radiation lessening. I needed to reflect, repent and recharge. I had a wonderful experience and felt a renewed focus to live my life in a way where others benefit from being around me. As a mortal man I make mistakes and the past couple of years seem to have had an extra load of trials and tough experiences. I know, however, that these can be a source of growth and learning and that the choice is mine.

A good friend reminded me through his example the proper level of priority Temple worship should be to an LDS businessman. That same friend then shared this video on his blog today.

What a great example of elevating your influence in the world around you!

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Organizing Chaos

“He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of life which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign.”

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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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Life gives to all the choice. You can satisfy yourself with mediocrity if you wish. You can be common, ordinary, dull, colorless, or you can channel your life so that it will be clean, vibrant, useful, progressive, colorful, and rich.”
Spencer W. Kimball

Kimball’s personal motto was ‘Do It!’ I guess the ‘just’ Nike added to it made it a bit more marketable.

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I found this poem in a notebook I kept while I lived in South Africa. I googled it but could not find it online. Here it is as I transcribed it nearly 10 years ago.


While other may tire or quit in despair,
or feel as if failure is too hard to bear –
I will keep going. Put failures aside,
If I can’t keep up, I’ll lengthen my stride.
I’ve made up my mind, Set my mind on a quest,
though many have tried, few gave it their best.
Trying my hardest is what makes me great.
Desire and determination, not fortune and fate.
– Judy Beck

I’m not sure if the grammar is correct, but I really enjoyed the spirit of the poem.

I am the master of my fate, and I am determined to make it great.
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Building vs Tearing Down

This poem came to mind as I was teaching a lesson at church this past Sunday. It seems to be a message that I needed perhaps more than the 25 or so men I was supposed to be teaching.

There are a few versions of this, but all with the same message.

I passed one day through a busy town,
and saw them tearing a building down.
With a “Ho, heave ho!” and a husky yell,
they swung a beam and a side wall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled?
The kind you’d hire if you had to build?”
“No,” he chuckled. “No indeed,
the common laborer is all I need.
I can easily destroy in a day or two,
what builders have taken weeks to do.”

I thought to myself as I went on my way,
which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
strengthening lives by rule and square,
shaping my peers to a well-made plan,
helping them do the best they can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
content with the labor of tearing down?

– Author Unknown

I just read an article where a team had mapped out the most stressful counties in America. The results weren’t surprising, but they were a bit disheartening. In some areas people are just stressed. I’ve been going through some business trials and have been more stressed than I’d like to admit in the recent past. As humans we tend to get short fused when we get stressed. Sadly, it is during these tough times when we should be pulling together as families, communities, congregations and the like that we find people allowing the stresses of life to allow them to feel ok with tearing others down.

I’m sharing this more as a ‘note to self’ than as somebody that has any authority to preach on the subject. A friend of mine shared a the first line of this quote with me while I was in South Africa:

You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.Harold B Lee

So this is my goal, to grow and develop and stand on high ground. To have a fire burning so bright in my soul that I can share that fire with those I have the pleasure of meeting.

Be a builder.

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From the Rock

My Father shared this quote with me a short time back:

John D. Rockefeller said that “These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again.”

Although this wasn’t written about today, it certainly seems relevant.

Another quote from Rockefeller is this poem he penned when he was 86:

I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play-
I dropped the worry on the way-
And God was good to me everyday.

It is my aim to have a similar reflection when I am 86.

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The Curious Quotes From Benjamin Button

We just finished watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I must say I was surprisingly pleased. After seeing the previews I thought it might end up being another Meet Joe Black for Brad Pitt. The movie had a great story line that was able to keep a good pace despite the lack of action and adventure. The tempo of the movie seemed seemed to echo the fact that a story was being told and that a life was being reviewed. Some movies I will forget, this one will remain with me.

Here are some of the highlight quotes that made me:

Think about moving forward

Captain Mike: You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.

Laugh out loud

Dr. Rose: Where’d he come from?
Queenie: My sister’s child. From Lafayette. She had an unfortunate adventure. The poor child, he got the worst of it. Come out white.

Consider the opportunities

Benjamin Button: Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.

Be grateful for the future

Benjamin Button: [Voice over; letter to his daughter] For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

I’ve been told that I don’t watch movies the way that most people do. Generally when I’m watching a good film I am dissecting the psychological motives and emotional underpinnings of the characters. I get involved in the character development and the story line and connect emotionally with the way the events effect the characters. This movie provided a lot of fodder for a guy like me. There was a lot to consider. To avoid writing an exhaustive list I will simply say that I was moved by the main characters desire to experience life and care for those he loved. He seldom considered his financial stature, perhaps because he had a better understanding than most of us that when you’re old all that matters is the sum of the points of views you have gathered and the total of the experiences to which you’ve been privy.


A little learning…

For my birthday my parents got me a subscription to getAbstract.com I love reading business books, self help books, books on psychology, biographies and the like but struggle to make time to dive into 300 page book after 300 page book. I’m excited to be able to read the professional summaries via getAbstract. In school Cliffs Notes were the bane of teachers dashing their hopes that their students would partake of all that the curriculum really offered. It the real world life is a little more about using Cliffs Notes and group prjects. My good friend Phil shared the first four lines of this quote with me yesterday:

“A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir’d at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc’d, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas’d at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o’er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th’ eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But, those attain’d, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen’d way,
Th’ increasing prospects tire our wand’ring eyes,
Hills peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!”
-Alexander Pope
Essay on Criticism

I loves learning and am drinking deep the knowledge that can come from challenging life experiences.

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A country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life

Thomas Jefferson:

“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

As the US stock market has seen a climb in the last month and rumors of the economy ‘bottoming out’ have spread I have begin to see a shift in the attitudes of the citizens of this great nation. You hear it on the news, see it in the papers and it gets talked about in coffee shops. “Things just might be looking up“, they say. “Maybe this is the beginning of a brighter day” is replies the other mocha latte cappuccino with whipped cream and cinnamon drinker.

I am reminded of a story, a parable of sorts, that I often shared with people I taught back when I lived in Africa.

A man is rafting down a river when he loses both of his oars. Drifting down the river he soon hears the rushing sounds of cascading water and the realization that he is heading towards the top of a very large waterfall forces his mind to search for a solution. Unable to swim and left without a means to paddle to the shore he begins to pray to the Almighty for assistance. Just before the man and his vessel tumble over the falls the man notices a tree branch hanging out over just far enough over the river that he can jump and grasp the limb. Leaping, quite literally for his life, he grabs hold of the branch and climbs his way to the safety of dry ground. Upon reaching safety he offers another prayer, “Nevermind the previous prayer God, I figured it out on my own”.

I worry that we are doing that now. We are starting to see a little bit of light at the end of what has been a long and dark tunnel and we think we can get the rest of the way on our own. Like Benjamin Franklin pleaded with the Continental Congress, I beg you (and me) to remember that this branch didn’t reach out to us on it’s own, but to jump high, grab hold and climb to safety while the opportunity is before us. If this really is the bottom of the dip then it is time that we follow Jefferson’s advice and “join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

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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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