The Secret Way Leaders Make People Disappear

Many leaders are finding themselves developing a new skill set.

They’ve become magicians.

Like the movie “The Prestige”, they’ve become very good at making people disappear. In some cases, they don’t even know how they’re doing it and are confused when it happens.

Even though it’s against the strict “Magicians Code”, I’m going to let you in on the secret.  Maybe you can learn something from it.

It’s really easy to make people disappear.


Just ignore them!

  • Clients getting annoying? Ignore their needs.
  • Talented team members monopolizing your schedule? Close your door and don’t return emails.
  • Friends or family taking up too much time? Stop talking to them.
  • Annoyed with pesky investors? Don’t share information with them.

It works for social media connections, mentors, and significant others too.  Almost everything will disappear eventually if you ignore it long enough.

That’s probably not something you should ignore.

Have a good night,


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The Next Generation

Why have kids or a protégé?

Since my youngest child just turned two (he’s a St. Patrick’s Day baby), it got me thinking about him, my daughter, and the whole next generation.

Why do we need them anyway?

  • They cry.
  • They cost money.
  • They cause heartache.

It’s a lot of work and they don’t always care back or provide any sort of monetary benefit.  (Sounds like some protégés too…)

However, there must be some reason millions of kids are brought into the world every year.  People ask me why I wanted kids, and here’s my answer:

The battles we fight will continue. I am getting older.

It gives me comfort knowing someone I watched grow up will help me finish my battle.  I want to believe that what I’m working for every night is special enough to last, and that it will need a caretaker when I am old.  Someone I can trust.  Someone who understands.

If you’re up many nights working late, pushing, pulling, dreaming and learning, you know what I’m talking about.

Even though they may cry, cost money, and hurt our feelings sometimes, they are the future protectors of what we’re working on now.  They are an investment.  They are the future 8pm Warriors of the world.

Here’s to the next generation.




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It’s all around us in so many forms.

  • 55,000,000+ people worldwide
  • 550,000+ US businesses that employ people
  • 10,000,000+ dogs and cats

…just this year.

That’s a lot of heartache, countless broken dreams…so many memories.

Just this weekend, my friend Mr. Trey Cochran lost two friends to a tragic car crash in Bay City, Michigan.

So painful.

Then why am I writing about this sensitive topic?

Because death reminds us of the timer.  It forces us to remember that the people and dreams we have now will come to an end.  This is the day to honor them.  Your work tonight must make a difference.

Not tomorrow.  Not next year.

Do work that matters, and do it with passion.

Have a great night,



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Recipe for an 8pm Relationship

People like to criticize 8pm Warriors for working too hard, too much, too late.  When their relationships go down, they inevitably blame the breakup or divorce on the fact that he or she “worked too much.”  This is irritating.

Have you ever heard of a farmer’s wife leaving the farmer because he worked too much?

Probably not.

Even though most farmers are true 8pm Warriors (some have to milk cows at 8pm and 4am), you won’t hear these common phrases from the farmer’s spouse:

  • “He isn’t spending enough time with me”
  • “All he seems to do is work”
  • “He only cares about his business”

In fact,  it seems downright ludicrous…doesn’t it?

Why is that?

It’s because everyone knows the type of schedule a farmer has, including Mrs. Farmer (or future Mrs. Farmer).  Accurate expectations are set early.

Also Mrs. Farmer is included in the business operations and understands the impact of Mr. Farmer’s work.  She’s not just sitting at home wondering what Mr. Farmer is doing and why.

I believe that everyone needs to feel included (8pm Warrior spouses are no exception).  That’s why I wrote the “Picture Your Porch” piece on Christmas Eve.

As a group we seem to have relationship problems.

I’m no therapist, however I really believe that we can do a better job of setting expectations early in relationships so that we build a meaningful bond based on understanding and inclusion.  It’s important to include our loved ones in our business so that they understand WHY we do things, not just THAT we do them.

Otherwise you should picture an empty porch when you’re old and gray.

Have a family night,



Related thoughts about 8pm Families

Consider the Worst Case

Right now millions of people are without jobs, and many talented 8pm Warriors are losing hope that their hard work and talent is going to lead nowhere.  Even more people still have jobs or own a business, but are struggling to make them work in the current environment…almost just as painful in some cases.

To find comfort, consider the “Worst Case”.

Despite how bad things are right now in your life, things could always be worse.  I almost guarantee it.

  • Don’t like how business is going? You could have a job that you hate.
  • Hate your job? You could have no job.
  • Don’t have a job? You could have no talent.
  • Don’t have talent? You could have no family or friends to help support you.
  • Don’t have any family or friends? You could have poor health.
  • Have bad health? You could be out of time.
  • Dying and out of time? That’s probably the worst case.

There is almost always a worse case, but if you work hard during the day while growing, pushing, and learning at night, nothing can stop you in the long run.


Keep your chin up,


Time for Little Warriors

My daughter turned four yesterday.

I estimate that I spend about one hour a day of quality time with her on weekdays and maybe four hours each day on the weekends.  That means I’ve spent roughly 2700 hours with her during her entire life.  That’s about how many hours I work in 40 weeks.

I wonder if I’m alone.

Probably not.  I ran across the song below the other day.  When I heard it, a sort of embarrassed laugh came out.  Here’s an excerpt:

The Dollar

Mama tells her little man
“your daddy’s got a job
and when he goes to work they pay him for his time”

Well the young boy gets to thinking
and he heads up to his bedroom
and comes running back with a quarter and four dimes
and says “Mama how much time will this buy me?”

“Is it enough to take me fishing or throw a football in the street?”
“If I’m a little short then how much more does daddy need
to spend some time with me?”

Here’s the music video if you’re curious.

Something to think about.

It’s one reason I’m an 8pm Warrior and not a 5pm Warrior…it’s my kid’s bedtime.  Still probably not enough time.

Have a family night,


Settle Down!

Do you ever have family or friends tell you to “settle down” when you get a little too caught up in a discussion?

I do.

I’m a passionate person about nearly every topic.  I take sides.  You probably do too.

Unfortunately, in a world of increasing relativism, it can make people feel uncomfortable (especially during Christmas).  However, in times of deep need, guess which people they want on their side?

That’s right.  The passionate ones.

It’s okay to “tone it down” when asked, but never be ashamed of your nature.  Passion and fire are rare qualities in this world, and will be desperately needed in a world of ever changing technology and gut wrenching challenges.

Have a great night!


Picture Your Porch

Picture yourself sitting on your porch when you’re 70.

Are you sitting alone?

Will anyone care what you did tonight?  Last night?  Last year?

Will you?

For me, one of my biggest fears is that near the end I will feel overwhelming sorrow that no one around me cares about my war stories from these “8pm missions” I fight for every night.

I doubt I’m the only one.  Someone else must feel the same way.

We put our heart and soul into what we do and if we don’t include enough other people in our adventures, we risk being that old guy (or gal) on the porch telling stories to people who don’t remember, don’t know, don’t care.  We could end up lonely because we got so lost in our private war that we let everything, everyone slip away.

It’s Christmas Eve.

Go spend time with family.  Its nights like these when you fill up your porch with more than your colleagues, partners, and clients.  Include others in your battles.  Share your world with the other people you want on your porch.

We sit up every night working, writing, blogging, reading, thinking, dreaming.  But if we don’t share it, don’t include others, we’re destined to be the lonely veterans of a one soldier war.  Picture your porch.

8pm Warriors don’t have to do it alone.

Make it a Merry Christmas.