Life is an interesting, unfolding collection of experiences. Some are shorter than others. We can be born into a family that has many means of opportunities while others have to be scrappy from the very beginning. What I want to think about and discuss today is one of the things we do tend to have a bit more in common: what we can choose to do with our time.

Being digitally connected at all times throws off our senses and perception of time.

Take Elon Musk, for example. He is said to work 42 hours per week at Tesla. Oh, and he also is the CEO of SpaceX. That’s another 40 hours right there. Without being too precise as his work time will fluctuate, for the sake of simplicity with math, that’s like working 2 full time jobs everyday. Take that away and he has less than 8hrs for everything else. He says he likes to sleep 6 to 6.5hrs a night at that, leaving maybe 2hrs or less. That’s daunting. And wouldn’t work for me. Hard pass.

Let’s be clear here. Many of us are not like Elon Musk. Nor, from a philosophical point-of-view, should we want to be. While I admire his tenacity and his drive, we do have to accept we’re all a bit different from a needs perspective. And we prioritize as such. For example, my life’s work is heavily biased towards my children. From an evolutionary standpoint, they are to replace me. Therefore, I feel, it’s important to simply spend time with them to help not only educate and set them up for success, but to also help shape their character with great memories and a positive attitude towards life, regardless of circumstances. In other words, I receive so much joy with spending time with them and it’s worth the cost of time.

This brings me to the point that balance is simply a myth if you think of it in terms of equal time. That’s not rational nor realistic. If your goal is to further your education, you’re likely going to have to work AND spend time educating yourself. If you’re like me and have a family to support, you start to dip into that leisure time. If my objective is to better my economic status, I have to accept that it will be more than just the current economic cost as time is another factor that must be considered. Let me try to provide 2 brief examples.

The first will be a likely approach for many. You do great work and you too want to improve your economic circumstances. You take on some extra projects as a stretch goal. You stay after work to mingle with a few coworkers who have the relationships needed to gain a bit more internal influence. You attend meetings that are outside your scope for better understanding while acquiring broader visibility. These are all great ways to position ourselves. If we think these could be done within the typical work week without any further sacrifice, we’d be naive and grossly mistaken. There’s always a cost. It may not be monetary, and if you’re like me, you’ll have more time than cashflow. If you want to be extraordinarily at what you do, the key word is there in bold. There’s no way around the extra effort needed to propel yourself.

I too have tried to take a new approach. I want to be more visible and more expressive. I often ponder 💭 my own situation as I see others that aren’t necessarily any more intelligent than myself getting ahead, and yet, here I am stuck in time. Do I not reach out enough? Have I taken a wrong turn in my career? Are there self-doubts that I’m not fully aware of limiting my motivation to put myself out there? Am I truly talented to begin with? While I strongly recommend self reflection, there seems to be a more obvious, painful reason why we tend to get stuck. We have this fantasy that we can have it all. Work 8hrs a day. Spend time with friends. Take our spouse out for dinners. Play with our kids after a matinee. One simply cannot have their cake AND eat it too. You’ll have to rarely say yes and just as important, more often say no.

What’s that painful reason I was referring to above? It’s simple. We haven’t made our life and desires a priority. It’s more than just labeling it as being lazy. We have self-medicated by drowning out these desires with a reason in the form of a pain killer tablet. We let our desires to push ourselves to be greater than go adrift. My favorite, the edible, from a professional form, is what we ingest as our way to have our minds continue to be in the matrix of having it all. Often we take the blue pill, staying in contented ignorance. We have the illusion of we will find the time. We’ll make up ground tomorrow. Or, even worst yet, we settle. God or somebody else in always in control. This circumstance followed by that circumstance. So on and so forth until your story finally is coming to a closure and you’re left with regrets of not so much what you have done that you wish you could right, but mostly haunted by what you didn’t do. You didn’t take a chance on you. That, to me, is simply depressing.

Sedona, AZ July 15th, 2019 as I explored this area on a family trip.

Let me make another thing clear. I am certainly NOT the expert here. I just happened to be keenly self-aware to a fault. Life had to rock me not once or twice but many times that has gotten me to the state in which I choose can see the world. Are all situations controllable? Of course not. However, it’s on us to be able to identify where we can have influence. To reiterate, we do have control over our time. It won’t be easy. There will be arguments with the spouse, and isolation from friends. There’s no real balancing here, again, if you think on the terms of equal time. But what you can attempt to balance is your mindset and how you approach spending your time. Better yet, I should stay spending your efforts. Communicate what YOU need and ensure your desires are also front and center. That is where the efforts of balancing is dynamic and can best serve you, your family, and your friends. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself either in constant struggle or choosing to remain oblivious as life is easier this way.

Here’s an overly simplified bulleted list of suggestions that has worked for me that you may find useful:

  • Communicate: State your needs and desires to those around you and attempt to be as clear as possible. Your inner circle of family and friends should want to see you succeed. Help them help you by being vocal of your goals. This will also help you with accountability once you put it out in the open. Also, be prepared to make some accommodations yourself for others as you seesaw life’s needs.
  • Clear Calendars: Plan, plan, and plan. It’s OK not to be productive, especially when planned. In other words, plan time for family and friends. Have time to yourself. To brainstorm. Waste away time on games and/or social media. We all have the need to do some mindless things from time-to-time. If you structure your education, take on a work project, or have an all nighter with friends, it’s much easier when you set that time aside holding yourself accountable. Be weary towards overcommitting. Just make sure to be realistic with your time and have gaps for when life just happens. Personally, I live by the calendar and control my time as we’re only allotted so much. It’s finite, therefore, extremely valuable.
  • Commit: Likely one of the hardest within my list. Don’t say one thing and do another. When you follow the other two steps above, it really forces you to stay on track. Commit to that night out with friends and if work tries to drop another project on your plate, state that you already have plans. No need to state the plans, as it’s not their time nor business. For example, I can work on this first thing Monday morning and have this to you by Monday before EOB (End-of-business), does this work for you? Always negotiate to get the best value of your time. I often put important things on my personal and work calendar to ensure time blocks are never (or rarely, because, life does happen) violated. Just remember when you do have to be flexible and pivot, that is the except and NOT the rule. As a coworker Macey Moore once said to me and I will never forget, “If the organization will fall apart because of my absence during PTO, we need to renegotiate my pay.” Another way to restate, how is someone else’s constant sense of urgency or importance a priority over mine? Like I said above, there’s always a hidden cost. If you stay on top of the other two items, you’re more than likely to feel less guilt when you do inevitably say no. Give yourself permission to say no, please, FFS. Certain individuals seem to have a mutant ability to sift those out who do not control their time and delegate those tasks to them. Don’t be that person.

As I close my thoughts here, I would LOVE to hear from you! Have a different perspective or a tip you can share with the community? Please do so here. Like Google or  Maps, there’s many ways to one destination. Some prefer the streamlined highway with the fastest route, while others may prefer the slower, shorter backroads with an exceptional view. Either way, it’s your life and decision. Whatever you choose to do, just make certain to have the courage to divert when YOU have the need. Besides, the best roadtrips I’ve taken have also been the ones where we took an off-road path or unexpected turn. Your success, however you define it, really may just be around the corner. It’s a journey and one you want to celebrate and remember.

July 15th, 2015 on a family vacation to a destination in Fripp Island, SC in which I have never experienced.

Life in the past few years has changed us all one way or another. Some for better, and others for life lessons.

It’s 8:01 AM on September 4, 2018. I had an iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10 for those who keep calling it a X) and life was per usual. I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, boarding a plane headed to work with Samsung Electronics America. I know. I seemed like a traitor to some using iOS vs. Android, but I like what I like, and my employer isn’t Unicef. I work hard for my money and I will spend it how I choose. I digress. When writing this, I couldn’t recall exactly where I was headed that day. I searched in my iPhone 14 Pro Max (in that Deep Purple if you’re curious, aka, Donatello) that revealed I was headed to work in Tampa, FL. Nothing unusual. Pretty typical time as a Dad of one boy, Knox, and my wife Victoria, who watched him as I traveled roughly 80% of the time. Friday through Monday, I’m on Dad Duty and loved the pace. I loved the chaos of travel, the experiences, and navigating the uncertainty.

Celebrating my 37th Birthday here with my nieces

It’s September 14th, 2019, a day after my 37th Birthday. It literally feels like it was last year. The pandemic and the lockdowns has caused a time warp. I cannot reliably recall years without cross-referencing on my phone the exact timeline. Between my pitstops of work, I had a birthday celebration in Buford, GA with some family and friends. I recall my nieces and my son playing some of the arcade games in the corner as we all scrambled for coins. I was still big on using  Pay then, barely had cash, and you paid by card the traditional way by using a physical card in most circumstances. Life per usual. Chaotic, yet simple and I knew the routine. Not a care in the world as I happily spent my time with family and misstepping along the way.

Now, it’s February of 2020. Do you recall that month with all of the news? The CDC warns that we, the citizens of the United States, should prepare for disruption of the Coronavirus outbreak. Amazon has already caused a massive disruption within Retail. Back in January of 2020, Amazon released their 4th Quarter numbers. Sales were up 21% to $87.4 Billion. Operational cash flow increased 25% to $38.5 Billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $30.7 billion for the trailing twelve months ending in December 31, 2018. Amazon is alive and well. Shopping malls in the United States were already taking a beating and little did it know that this was just the very beginning with their decline in American culture, poor business decisions aside. In other words, we have reached the crest of the rollercoaster ride and there’s a steep decline coming. Change is around the corner.

Also, fresh in the news at this time, we had many other interesting events. Democratic rivals go after frontrunner Sanders in chaotic debate that we all witnessed if you were paying attention. What a 💩 🎥. Trump calls for Sotomayor, Ginsburg recusals on ‘Trump related matters’ which would appear ironic today. Iranian deputy health minister infected with coronavirus news spread less quickly than the virus itself. Former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak dies at 91- an age the average American clearly won’t see as our life expectancy has fallen since this timeline. Stocks continue to struggle after worst two-day drop since 2008 despite many of us living on an economic high. America isn’t unique in it’s battle of immigration as deadly violence escalates over India citizenship law while our very own Supreme Court rules against Mexican family in cross-border shooting case. While we expected Disney + to ramp up, Bob Iger steps down as Disney’s CEO. Crazy news didn’t seem to ever be short in supply, unlike consumer products, chipsets, and soon, baby formula.

It’s February 26th, 2021 around 7:08 PM and having dinner with a good friend. Life was still going well despite so many challenges that we’re all experiencing one way or another. Dozens of Boeing 777 jets with Pratt & Whitney engines have been grounded following an engine failure. Tiger Woods suffered a major wreck as well, meaning, other than being biracial, that’s something else we have in common. Fights and other acts of violence plagued the media. It’s a bit easier to dodge glaring social issues if we have our heads in the sand following solely our own life experiences while simultaneously shuttering the world. We’re all trying to get a footing on what our new normal will be. And after a confrontation with a tree, I too, would have to be working through a new normal. I was broken both physically and emotionally. I am thankful to have two friends, Kristen and Polo, who bluntly had me take my expectations, and discard them. Day-by-day, focus on putting one foot in front of another. That’s the only expectation – to move forward.

I took my Dad to where my brother rests after 10 years

Skip life’s memories like a YouTube ad to this very moment. I’m officially 40yrs old, well into my personal recovery, and optimistic, to a degree. I was tempted to write (in detail) that in February of 2022, Russia, specifically Vladimir Putin, started his war crimes against humanity in Ukraine 🇺🇦. Nuclear ☢️ War now seems in the realm of a significant possibility. The economy, while still doing well despite inflation, is an unknown risk that has us on edge. There’s a political dumpster fire where one party has chosen to strip away rights here in America. And MAGA supporters thrive on vengeance due to their own insecurities of being “replaced.” See white Nationalism. Never, ever, did I think that my daughter would have less rights than my mother here in the United States. It’s my personal right to decide on vaccination as it’s my body. But for ladies, well, it’s my religion that has authority over your choice. How contradicting and hypocritical. There’s certainly a reckoning coming.

I took a major step in my life back in June to leave Samsung Electronics America. It was a safe company (in a sense of knowing the business) and I was comfortable with the devil I danced with repeatedly. An incredible amount of PTO, great benefits, and a sector in which I absolutely loved to work despite it being at odds with my internal belief systems. I had been around so long, I have watched several regimes come in, make minor/major adjustments, leave, rinse and repeat to the point that I have seen a full cycle of the seasons with different leaders. What was new became old, and the old became revived – basically, how the music industry remakes and remasters classic hits. It got to the point where I became the dinosaur within the organization. And we all know what happened to the dinosaurs. They went extinct. With a toxic environment of poor leadership that, instead of volcanic ash, put their inner circle careers in front of contributions to the organization that best served the people and the business, saw an exodus of strong employees. Several era’s had left the remains of bad morale scattered like fossils within the organization that could be carbon dated to direct leadership. It became clear – I had to form an exit strategy or go extinct. The finger pointing and mountain of challenges were daunting. The system of ranking promotional opportunites – really, the lack thereof – was and is unethical in my view. If I had stayed, I would have chosen mediocrity that wouldn’t had best served the organization, nor myself. Besides, we need fresh ideas and faces to take our place over time to sustain organizational vitality. That’s the circle of business life. It was time to go and it had to be on my terms. Either I’m a great employee who just didn’t find my next move OR… or… I’m just not that good and shouldn’t be promoted. When you take time too critically think through your next move and your current state, be honest with yourself. Never put your career in the hands of another. Above all, ALWAYS bet on YOU.

During any of our given careers, there are difficult decisions to be made. I have made the mistake of being more loyal to a company vs. my own career. Mistake 1. We invest and go the extra mile to appease the powers that be. Where was the investment in myself? I hadn’t made the best of choices. With the pandemic and the uncertainly, there is this overwhelming feeling, at times, that one has to always go the extra mile. Daily. Time on and off the clock. We want to feel indispensable in an uncertain environment to put our own fears and insecurities to rest in hopes that they sleep overnight. Some of us were even willing to suppress our own integrity to make it through. It was emotionally exhausting. I would have best served the business and my career by intelligently dictating and owning my time, specifically, carving out my own growth. In other words, we must find a way to grow the business AND ourselves. And when that ceases, that’s a signal it’s time to make a move.

Then there’s the risk of change itself. Our ancestors, who were nomadic in nature, sought change. If the environment was too harsh, they explored more suitable climates. When food sources changed in those climates, for example, meat in summer months where they couldn’t be preserved, adapted to grains and oats. If water became scarce, they would venture out towards lakes and land plentiful with rainfall. How and why that was instilled in them can be argued. Some may have very well been adventuresome while many others changed to survive. One thing that isn’t arguable and plagues our species is our negativity towards change as it signals uncertainly. I had to face my own internal fears and insecurities in this space, and the pandemic certainly accelerated my internal need to adapt and seek shelter. Beforehand, I wasn’t ready nor fully committed to embrace change. Mistake 2. The grass is greener, they say, on the other side. Like the climax in the last scenes of The Croods, we often find ourselves being thrown to the other side by an outside force. That could have been a layoff, creative differences, or a major life circumstance that has created this opportunity. We’re excited, yet terrified, all at once. That is normal. And is should be something – in my view – that we strive to do more often. Make change normal and embrace it. It is an indicator of progress.

I have now become more appreciative of my time. It’s a combination of losing my youngest brother early due to illness, having a life changing auto accident, losing a child, and coming to the conclusion I’m like that battery in your Samsung or iPhone: battery health at 50% capacity remaining. Half life. I’m cognizant that I do have a finite amount of life left. As I once heard from Ryan Seacrest at a UGA graduation ceremony, patience is for those who have time to waste. If your current situation isn’t taking you in the direction in which you want to go, ditch the patience in favor of aggressively pursuing your next move. I’m not saying patience isn’t a virtue. I am, however, saying we can mistakenly use this as an excuse not to proceed forward and make difficult decisions. In other words, make a plan and move. Take action. And do not settle. Or risk going extinct.

As we move into Q4, I would strongly recommend that we take several moments to reflect over the last few years. Soak in your thoughts of what you’ve personally had to adapt to. Embrace your inner fears and insecurities. Accept that you may never get rid of your dark passenger (a Dexter reference, yes, but the point is there are some things one has to learn to live with) – just don’t give them the drivers seat and securely fasten it to the passengers seat. The second request? Make sure to keep in mind of others in your presence. And those who are not that can be affected by your decisions. We don’t know the challenges they face and perhaps there’s some solitude in that thinking when we don’t pause to contemplate that there are others in a similar boat. Continue to communicate and connect, even with those who do not share your views. Life is already challenging as is and one thing that can help us all through tough times is knowing you have options and are never, in a sense, alone. While I wish I didn’t have to experience much of the pain that life has dealt, I do have to acknowledge it is the very thing that forced my evolution and gave me the grit needed to prolong this harsh climate of uncertainty. These experiences helped me to not go extinct. Persist we shall.

The audio podcast

Good Sunday morning! I finally figured out what I needed to do to get audio back up, so problem solved! I appreciate the security measures, so cannot make the argument there.

Nonetheless, this is a few days late out of the gate of what I wanted to post – regardless, it’s here. I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends! Speak to you all soon because it’s time to head downstairs and get started on some leftovers! Yes. During breakfast. It’s always the right time.

Hmm… interesting political posts as of late. We go through the same thing every 4 years. One doesn’t trust the media. Yet from what the media shows them, we classify all of them the same: corrupt and call them clowns. Nobody under the scrutiny will ever be worthy, yourself included. You likely never met the candidate nor know them personally, so it’s hard to say. So do you simply make a choice of no choice? That’s foolish. Use your best judgement with people skills and view their track record. Make an educated decision. Vote. THEN HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. That simple. Don’t trust any of them? Then you take the task. And watch how you’ll be called corrupt and a clown and we’ll see if you have the grit and courage to push forward. I dare those who choose to not fulfill their duty as a citizen to serve. 👏🏽

Where or where do I even start?! FaceBook has been on a tear here recently and we thought it would be a GREAT time to stop and really read/think through the message behind the message. I had a quick opening to have a conversation regarding this very topic with my friend Makua and I think you’ll certainly love the fun banter alongside points made. No editing aside from trimming and getting right to it! Take a listen and would LOVE to hear your feedback whether you agree or disagree alongside any points you think we have missed!

Twitter: Terrance_Blount or Email:

Resources used for this Podcast can be found at the following:

It’s been a crazy year and just when I suspected December would be its normal, calmer month for work – (outside Retail) as all things 2020 – it’s certainly not the case.

I’ll have a whole conversation on this tomorrow but also didn’t want to wait to post as this is pretty important. Rene Ritchie did an exceptional job discussing this a bit. Basically FaceBook is pissed about Apple’s transparency and decided to go the Epic route.

Certainly take a look at Rene’s video here and I’ll certainly be following up with some thoughts tomorrow evening: