June has come to an end, and for the first time in 17 months, I boarded an aircraft for work. It was strange to think about “packing,” not to mention the weight of my toothpaste. The picture above was taken on my way home, and it got me thinking about discovery.

Discovery can mean a lot of different things. For example, the purpose of my trip was to learn new things, think about better ways of working, and hopefully discover a solution that makes us all better than we are today.

When I was a kid, I’d go on vacation…

If you’re preparing for your first season of college basketball (or maybe your second, third, or fourth), here are 4 things that I would tell my younger self:

1. Be yourself, but understand what that means

You were recruited by a coaching staff that appreciated your qualities. At the same time, you’re entering a culture that is bigger than any one person. If you’re a goofy person, be a goofy person, but know when to get serious on the court. The worst thing you can do is try to be someone you’re not. Be yourself but listen and take notes from those around you. …

Back in 2014, my brothers, father, and I took a “man’s trip” to the Porcupine Mountains in Northern Michigan. We hiked a crazy amount of miles, took a frigid swim in Lake Superior, and set up camp in a log cabin near the shore. It was remote, almost creepy, but the perfect locale to just “be.” With no phones, no people, and no distractions, we were forced to just talk and get to know the “adult” versions of people that you thought you knew but really didn’t. We left that trip in that weird state of physical exhaustion, but mental…

I’ve always been a big fan of looking forward to things. So, while I’m stuck in my house and watching snow fall from the sky on Easter (only in Minnesota!), I wanted to share some of the best hikes that I’ve ever done (and would love to hear yours!). While I could include several from outside of North America, I’m going to stick to some of my favorites in the US and Canada. If you can’t be out there right now, there’s no better time to plan your next adventure!

#1. The Grouse Grind: Vancouver, BC

2800 steps at a…

On Friday, Barron’s published an article titled Ad-Spending Collapse Will Be Worse Than in the Financial Crisis, Survey Finds. 390 media buyers, media planners, and brand executives were surveyed, and the following were the 3 bullets that most stood out to me:

1. Nearly a quarter indicated that they had paused all advertising spending through Q2.

2. “The survey found that for the March-June period, digital ad spending is down 33% compared with original plans.”

3. “Least affected will be paid search, but even there spending is expected to fall 30% in the March-April period from previous plans.”

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

With Covid-19 the talk of the world and social distancing the new norm, reading is a powerful outlet, even for a few minutes a day, to take our minds somewhere else and ease any fears or anxieties that might dominate our thoughts. With that, I thought I’d offer a few of my favorite books from the past 6 months or so (in no particular order):

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

By Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara dedicates her life to finding California’s Golden State Killer, who, after more than ten years of committing sexual assaults in Northern California, disappears, only to later re-emerge as a serial…

How many people reading this employ a financial adviser?

It’s a simple question; one that you may have wrestled with as your career progressed. At a certain point, you may have asked yourself:

*Do I want to preserve and grow my hard-earned money?

*Do I have time to manage this myself?

*If I hire someone, how do I know that they can do this better than I can?

*Is it worth it?

The questions could go on and on, but regardless of how many you have, I’d only have one back to you?


I recently heard a speech from Dabo Swinney, Clemson University’s head football coach and arguably the most affable guy in all of college football. To paraphrase, Dabo said, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude. It’s the optimist that changes the world.”

We hear this stuff every day….quotes that inspire, motivate, and challenge us to be better. While the quotes themselves are great, wouldn’t it be nice to understand why Dabo Swinney feels that way? In fact, why should I respect Dabo Swinney in the first place?

Some of you may already know this, but Dabo Swinney…

I love Asics running shoes. For the past ten years or so, I’ve run almost exclusively in Asics, and while they’re not always the most fashionable, they’ve served me well from track sprints to jaunts through the mountains.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a new pair in my favorite model, The GEL-Cumulus. Sitting in my closet are at least five pairs of size 11 GEL-Cumulus shoes. I won’t bore you with the details, but my new size 11 shoes are too small and due to Asics return policy, I couldn’t send them back.

As a runner, this was frustrating…

During my freshman season of college basketball, I was playing in an early season Thanksgiving tournament. At this point, I had three games under my belt as a collegian, and every game was an opportunity for me to gain the trust of my teammates, my coaches, and even myself.

Tournaments like this are a great opportunity for the fans to get a “first look” at teams: Are the veterans improved? How good are the new recruits? Teams are overly scrutinized early in the season because no one, including the team itself, has much of a pulse on how good it…

John Willkom

Ecommerce executive, author, husband, and father. Love a good basketball story: https://amzn.to/2zL66h3

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