Death by iPhone

“Aaron Biebert took his own life this morning.”

I was writing an email on my iPhone and forgot to open the garage door before warming up my truck.  No one would have thought it was an accident. It sure makes me think.

Three thoughts on this one:

1)  Are people accidently killing themselves because they are focused on their mobile devices?

 

The other day I left the gas stove burner on for 7 hours.  I sometimes write emails while driving.  I’ve charged my iPad while using it in the Jacuzzi tub.  A bus almost hit me when I walked into the street without looking up from my phone.

Am I going to kill myself one of these times?

Is anyone going to believe it was an accident?

Today, the garage filled up with fumes and I got dizzy.  I opened the doors before passing out.  Next time I might not be so lucky.

2)  Don’t make the same mistake!

 

It’s cold out and I see so many other folks addicted to their smartphones.  I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake.

The life of an 8pm Warrior can be crazy, hectic, and consuming.  We’re like autopilot sleepwalkers sometimes:  exhausted, overwhelmed, and distracted.  We don’t need to add dead to the list.

Maybe we all need to wake up a bit.

3)  Are we telling people who we truly are?

 

When I told others about my brush with death, my wife and a close friend both said they would assume I killed myself.  Yes, 2010 wasn’t a great year for my business and I still ache from it, but I never thought people would make that mistake.  It makes me wonder if my personal goals I discuss here on the blog are taken seriously.  Do I sound like someone who would kill themself?  Do I seem fake or delusional?  Maybe I’m not telling people who I really am.  Are you?

I’m not sure.

All I know is if someone finds me dead, I only want them to ask:  A) Who killed him! or B) How did this accident happen?

Suicide isn’t an option.  My death won’t make anyone’s life better, but my life will. The same goes for your life.

We’ve got families that need us, talents that can help others, differences that can be made.  Some folks might believe their life will never be the same after a major failure. It might be true.  That might end up being a good thing.

If we change our focus from ourselves to the lives of others, we find a new meaning for our lives.

We might find a new legacy to leave.

For any of my fellow warriors out there who have considered suicide, I want you to personally email me at Support@8pmWarrior.com so we can talk.  I’ve been in the dumps too.  I’ve felt worthless.  I’ve wondered about my future.  I’ve discovered that life really isn’t about me at all.  It’s too risky to bet it all on yourself.  That’s why I’m now focused on the lives of others.  I invite you to join me.

My death won’t prompt candle light vigils around the world or make newspaper headlines.  However, as long as I’m living I can still make a difference to someone. Until that changes, I will never take my own life.  Never.

Neither should you.

Have an extrospective night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The New iOS 5 Update for iPhone 4: Download Problems & Greatness

Most of the people in my organization use iPhones and it’s been a disaster of a day.

To save any fellow iWarriors from losing the use of their phone/calendar/email reader and everything else connected to their iPhone, I wanted to give you a quick warning.

If you try to update the iPhone during peak times, you may lose the ability to connect to Apple’s servers and will be stuck in the middle of your update.  For some this may mean lost hours, to others I know, it meant a lost day.

The popularity is crashing the servers.

If you have any patience at all, it might be smart to wait until the dust clears.

If you’re one of those people, you may not want to read about the 200 new features on iOS 5.

It’ll be wonderful, but first you have to get through the disaster.

Sounds like real life sometimes.

Have an great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Steve Jobs: A Profile in Failure and Courage

It is my pleasure to introduce you to this week’s 8pm Warrior of the Week.  He is a college dropout.  He was fired from a company he started in his garage and now he’s fighting the worst kind of cancer.

We’ve all heard of Steve Jobs.  Like him or not, there’s very few people who would disagree that he’s inspiring, creative, and brilliant.

He is also a true 8pm Warrior.

In 2004 he was successfully running both Apple and Pixar (now he sits on Disney’s board) while fighting for his life against Pancreatic Cancer, a disease that claims 95% of victims within 5 years.

That was 7 years ago.

Now Apple is the #2 most valuable company in the world and Barron’s recently declared that Steve Jobs was “without a doubt” the most valuable CEO in the world.  Fortune magazine named him the Smartest CEO in the world.

Success!

However, I think many people (primarily young Warriors) forget about what always preceded his success:  failure.

1) He couldn’t find success in college, so he started a company.

2) He was fired from that company, so he started two more.

3) Some of his products were disasters, so developed new ones such as Macs, Computer Animation, iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

4) Now, his ventures and products are wildly successful, but he has one battle he may not win, Pancreatic Cancer.

Yet, he will no doubt fight on.

Before one of the brightest business stars in history passes from this earth, I wanted to personally recognize him, his struggles, and the 8pm Warrior story we can all learn from.  In some of my darkest moments in business, his story has reminded me of what is possible when you don’t give up doing the work you love.  His story reminds us to press on.

Here’s a timeline:

  • Born & Adopted (1955)
  • Drops out of Reed College after one semester (1972)
  • Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne start Apple (1976)
  • Power struggle leads to his forced exit from Apple (1984), so he starts NeXT (competitor)
  • Creates Pixar Animation Studios (1986)
  • Serves as executive producer of the first computer animated movie “Toy Story” (1995)
  • Apple buys NeXT, Steve returns as CEO of Apple after 13 years (1997)
  • Pancreatic Cancer attempts a hostile takeover (2004)
  • Steve remains as CEO of Pixar until merger with the Walt Disney Company (2006)
  • Jobs undergoes a Liver transplant (2009)
  • Apple becomes the world #2 most valuable company and Barron’s declares that Steve Jobs is “without a doubt” the most valuable CEO in the world. (2011)

Thanks for the inspiration Steve.

Aaron@Biebert

More good reading about Steve Jobs:

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In Defense of a 2-Year-Old Secretariat

While reading Warren Buffett’s letter to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders last week, I came across something very interesting.

Apparently, Warren Buffett just hired 39-year-old Todd Combs as part of his succession plan.  Some are up in arms, saying he “lacks experience” and is too green.  Since Todd and I share the same generation, I was intrigued by the following explanation by the “Oracle of Omaha” himself:

“Our goal was to find a 2-year-old Secretariat, not a 10-year-old Seabiscuit.”
– Warren Buffett

I want to be clear that I have absolutely no problem with experienced people.  In fact, I’m on the lookout for an experienced mentor myself.  I believe that experience may bring additional maturity, strength, and other positive traits to a person.

However, in a time when our world is changing faster than ever before, I want to caution people who focus on “experience” rather than talent and learning ability.

Just look at the last 10 years, as Google went mainstream and some of the most popular marketing tools in the world wove themselves into the fabric our lives:

  • Wikipedia (2001)
  • Linkedin (2003)
  • Facebook (2004)
  • YouTube (2005)
  • Twitter (2006)
  • iPhone (2007)
  • Groupon (2007)
  • Foursquare (2009)

The Attention Age has begun!

With New Media entering the stage, business leaders must deal with 24 hour news cycles and the collective attention span of a world constantly seeking out the next big thing.

Personally, I’m enjoying it.

I’m embracing it.  I’m learning it.  I’m living it.

Whether you’re a “10-year-old Seabiscuit” or a “2-year-old Secretariat”, one thing is for certain:

Experience isn’t as important as it used to be.

We’re all students in these new and exciting times, and the leaders who are best with creativity, learning, and vision will win big.

Todd, I’ll be cheering you on.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Learning on the Fly

(This post is part 2 of a short series on 4 Skills for Healthcare Leaders)

Question:  What do 32,000,000 new patients, FourSquare.com, ICD-10, and Audit MICs (Medicare Integrity Contractors) have in common? 

Answer:  They will all be important to our industry.  They are new.  And they’re knocking at your door.

Increasing shortages of doctors and nurses, social media usage, new regulations, EMR’s, reforms, technology upgrades, and on, and on…and on.  It never seems to stop, and it never will. 

Many people now say that we live in a world of continuous change, and when I see what our partners, suppliers, and government contractors are inventing every year, it seems quite obvious.  Change is no longer something to prepare for; it’s a way of life. 

Our new way of life 

Some people might say that I’m being dramatic.  However, if you look back just a couple years, it is interesting to think that there were no RAC’s, no Healthcare Reform, few EMR’s, no HITECH Act, no Twitter, no iPhones.  Change is now constant, and as developing countries only add innovation and  new technology, times and tools will change even more. 

In the world of continuous change, the only way to ride the wave will be to lead by learning, and learning quickly. 

That’s why it made my Top 4. 

See you tomorrow for the topic of Social Media Savvy.  Have a great day! 

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.