Starters® Stories

Beyond ALS Guest Blog Post on Survival

I had the great honor of being invited as a guest blogger for my friend Jose Cofino’s website Beyond ALS. Jose is a true Second Starter, please read his story when you visit the site via this link;


Thank you Jose for asking me! Truly an honor!

By |October 6th, 2014|Blog, Mindsets, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

Improve the Success of Your Goals and Resolutions by 50%

Invest 30 minutes of your time, and you’ll learn the keys to creating more effective goals and resolutions. Take control of your life, achieve the things you want, live the life you want.

Bonus content – 1) why it’s impossible to multi-task, 2) why so many miscommunications occur and how to improve.

Six Keys to Career and Personal Reinvention

By |November 23rd, 2013|Blog, Business, Mindsets, Starters® Stories|1 Comment

Reinvention at the Community Level – Chicago and Sao Paolo

Whether related to personal, professional, global or community challenges – the answer to them is always the same. Constant reinvention.

Excerpt from the article (link below) – “If there’s a “secret sauce” to the world’s most successful cities and region, it is that they are constantly reinventing themselves, adapting not only to new economic realities but also to people’s changing lifestyle and career preferences. Good, inclusive planning – or the “art of what’s possible,” which is what MPC works on each day – is integral.”

By |July 16th, 2013|Blog, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

Tina Brown – Master of Re-Invention

I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you Tina Brown for the inspiration!

Successful reinvention is “all about continuing to ask yourself what you’re best at, and what you want, and then going for that,” she said in a phone interview Monday afternoon from her office at The Daily Beast. “It’s about not being distracted from it, or fearful of it. It has to go with some instinct you’ve not gratified at other times in your life, and it has to come from really deep inside.”

Read more:Tina Brown dives into deep conversation on reinvention, biz, tech – The Denver Post
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By |July 15th, 2013|Blog, Mindsets, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

Make Others Greater Opening – Horseshoes

HORSESHOES (the intro and opening of the new book by Gary Guller and I)


Survival alone doesn’t define us. It’s what we learn from the experience that does.

We stumble. We fall. We risk. We fail.

We rise again.

We innovate. We persevere. We inspire. We conquer.

Such is the human condition. We choose between two paths in each interconnected moment. One path leads upward, forever upward. The other leads to ambivalence. Eventually to mediocrity. Then to irrelevance.

Most of us will never summit Mt. Everest. We’ll not endure the blurry fog of oxygen deprivation in a place holding the ultimate consequence as reward for a misstep.

We’ll not dig our crampons into the base of Hillary Step, with full knowledge that death awaits below us. We’ll not have the realization that those before us who successfully navigated The Step and summited had the benefit of using two hands to secure themselves with. That an already technically difficult climb becomes highly improbable when facing it with only one arm.

We’ll not make an unimaginable sacrifice of ourselves. We’ll not watch others in our journey pass away before us or next to us as a direct consequence of the quest.

But we all climb our own Everest.

The toughest problems we’ve faced and overcome define our capacity of strength. They represent the “edge” – a place we know we can take ourselves without fear of falling hopelessly over.

If our roles never required us to go beyond the “known edge,” this book may be just an interesting and entertaining adventure read.

It’s intended to be much more.

The story of Gary Guller is inspiring and empowering. It’s flawed and imperfect. It’s full of feats and of follies, of passions and of addictions. In its narrative we learn to lift up […]

By |April 20th, 2013|Blog, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

Why 78% of Resolutions Fail

The following is an excerpt from my new book! Now available on, (and coming soon to iBooks). Enjoy, and email me if you’d like to know more about my book or would like sample chapters emailed to you…
Richard Wiseman of the University of Herfordshire led a 700 person study with the goal of learning about their New Year’s resolution strategies. Those pursuing large sweeping changes (quitting smoking, losing weight) had only a 22% success rate.

Those who broke their ‘sweeping change’ goals down (into smaller sub-set goals) increased their odds of success to 32%. By additionally adding the following they increased their odds of success to 50%;

Rewarding themselves when they reached their smaller goals,
Enlisting the support of their friends
Keeping a diary of their progress

Better managing the goal-setting process gets us halfway there, but we can do better. The key to improving beyond 50/50 lies in our ability to break away from accepted thinking and societal norms.

Dr. Martin Seligman first defined the condition called Learned Helplessness on completion of his study conducted in the late 60’s. It’s defines patterned thinking brought on by traumatic life events which causes us to believe that we don’t have complete control over the outcome of situations we encounter.

Seligman created an experiment where animals were exposed to adverse stimulus that they were (at first) unable to escape. He found that eventually the animals stopped trying to escape, even after opportunities were provided to them. When he repeated the experiments with humans, he found a similar result. Over time we also stopped trying to escape, instead surrendering to our own learned helplessness.

Even if you’ve failed in the past, never give up. There’s always a way, you just have to learn to recognize […]

By |January 1st, 2013|Blog, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

When Pain Leads to Addiction – Part II – The Beginning and End of My Addiction

The Opry

Life provides its share of wonderful surprises. One never knows when to expect them. It was 2011 – a remarkably tough year for me. But Bridget was coming to San Diego and I was taking her to The Grand Ol’ Opry. We would be backstage and watching my good friend play piano. She would meet the person she described as her future husband – Dierks Bentley.

I had just finished moving to my new place the day before she arrived, and that day it looked like a bubble-wrap/ masking tape bomb had just exploded. We stayed up until 1 am talking that night, and after just a few hours of sleep were off the airport the next morning. We were on our way to what she later described as the best night of her life… unexpectedly one of the most life-changing one’s of mine.
Growing up in rural Ohio there was not a lot to do, if like me you were not a hunting and fishing enthusiast. To illustrate my point…after moving to California years earlier I went back home to visit my family. One evening I thought I would look for old friends at the neighborhood bar. I was the only guy in the whole place who wasn’t wearing a hunter’s vest and hat there. Twenty-five Elmer Fudd lookalikes and me. I grew up playing basketball and football, camping and hiking. Like many of my friends I also picked up the smoking habit young. Over time I became a tobacco enthusiast and enjoyed it in its various forms. As illogical as it is, I stayed highly active and did cardio-intense workouts while remaining a smoker. A smart person would know that smoking compromises cardio. I […]

By |August 20th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Starters® Stories|1 Comment

Win a Free Travel Mug by Submitting a Post!

Since I began this site in early April the response has been amazing. We recently celebrated our 20,000th page view, registered 11,561 unique new viewers and have well over 100 direct subscribers!

It is time to turn it up a notch. We want more of YOUR stories, and are willing to bribe you:)

Beginning now thru September 9th, submit a POST and we will send you a Second Starters® travel coffee mug!

To submit a POST, simply choose a topic that is fitting to the categories we feature and send your completed POST to I will email you back with any edits and/ or suggestions, or simply post your story under your username in the appropriate category.  Be sure to include your mailing address and the username you would like to be set up under in our system in your email!

Soon after you will receive a branded Second Starters® travel coffee mug in the mail in addition to your unique username/ password for future submissions!

These travel mugs are a $15 value, and are in limited supply – so if you would like one please send your story soon! We will post notification on the site when all the mugs are gone.

Thank you, and I am excited to hear your stories!


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Some Voices Never Change

This past weekend, I had the privilege to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.  I always get quite a charge out of doing this as I’ll get to perform with new artists, current charting artists and the elder statesmen and stateswomen of country music.  And…, there can always be a surprise guest.

True to form, this last Friday night, Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees made an appearance.  He has been working with Opry member, Ricky Skaggs on a recording and performed with Ricky and his band.  In addition to a beautiful rendition of the Civil War era song they recorded together (“When The Roses Bloom Again”), Barry couldn’t leave the stage without singing a couple of his legendary hits.  He sang “Words” and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”.

As soon as he opened his mouth to sing, it was like I was back in 7th grade twirling the radio dial.  Not only did he sing in the same keys, but the tone and timbre of his voice sounded just as it did when these records first came out.  He rightfully received a standing ovation from the full house.  I’ve been lucky to witness many of the Opry “moments”, and this ranks right up there.  Frequently, as we get older, our voice changes.  Singers often have to lower keys to be able to sing the melodies, and their vibratos tend to widen.  Neither of those have yet happened to Barry, and it was a vivid reminder of the emotional impact of a singer and song.

By |July 30th, 2012|Blog, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

From Dance Halls to Radio to Symphony Halls – Second Starters® Stick Together

A brief background on the following story – I moved to Nashville in 1985 to further my career as a musician.  I left Los Angeles after 12 years with professional experiences I could be proud of, and ones that I thought would give me a leg up when I moved into Music City, USA.

Though my intention was to become a studio musician (one that makes a living in recording sessions and not having to go on the road), I quickly found out that would not be happening – at least for awhile.  Plan B – would there be a touring recording artist that I could find employment with?  I’ll start nosing around.

Short answer – Yes!  There was a young artist on MCA Records that I had a couple of connections with, so I gave it a shot.  I learned some of his hits and proceeded down to his manager’s office to audition for him, his manager and producer.  I left the audition feeling pretty good about it, but a week – two weeks – a month – six weeks  went by and I heard nothing.  Then I got the call that I got the job and on the bus I went.

My wife was pregnant with our daughter; she had never lived outside California; we had fought for (and won) sole custody of my stepson and here we were smack dab in the middle of the country in Tennessee.  And – I’m gone for at least a few days a week, if not a couple of weeks at a time.

The artist I was performing with was a fellow named Steve Wariner.  We were the same age, and had some similar experiences in our careers to that […]

By |July 26th, 2012|Blog, Starters® Stories|1 Comment