My Life’s Tools # 1: Daily Report

After learning about Six-Sigma process improvement methods in 2009, I committed to focus on the less efficient areas of my life and implement tools and processes to improve them. Now that it’s two years later and I have lots of tools and processes in my complicated life, I’d like to share a few of them with you so you can see what’s going on behind the scenes of this human named Geremy.

Welcome to my toolbox, let me show you one of my tools.*

My Daily Report

My Daily Report!

Every morning the President of the United States receives a President’s Daily Brief, which provides him with intelligence about sensitive national and international situations. With this daily briefing, he is able to stay informed of situations that could impact the US and as a result he can take action using this knowledge. Currently I am not as powerful as Mr. Obama, but since this daily report seems to work pretty well for him, I borrowed the concept.

Every morning I wake up and I have a daily report waiting for me on my printer. This report is prepared by my assistant and sent directly to my printer using the internet printing function. Its function is to give me a one page overview of relevant information that I desire to know and its major sections are as follows:

  • Important quote of the day
  • News Headlines (both local and global)
  • Historical calendar information (for instance, what happened today in 2008, 2009 and 2010?)
  • Important reminders
  • Weather for today and tomorrow

This information is pulled from six different sources and aggregated into one report for me to take with me every morning. Through the use of this report, I am able to stay informed of important information that is specific to my life. It has helped me tremendously and it has put me one step closer to feeling like THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Now I need my own Air Force One Jet.

* If I’m ever a guest on Oprah, this will be the first thing that I say before speaking about my life’s tools!

Work in Progress


When designing t-shirts, it becomes nerve-wracking when you realize that your design will live forever on hundreds of t-shirts.

She Graduated While I Suffered Pt 2

My Sister's Graduation

On Saturday I spent 3 hours of my life (that I will never get back) at my sister’s college graduation. After 4 years of college and hundreds of thousands of dollars, she finally has a Master’s of Psychology/Specialist in Education degree.

In addition to being proud of her for graduating college, I am also proud of myself for getting out of that place alive. During the LONG ceremony, I lost my pulse 9 times and counted to one million 7 times.

The most eventful thing that happened during the ceremony was when a group of people brought [what seemed to be] vuvuzelas to herald a graduate as his name was announced.

While I am extremely excited and happy for my sister as she concludes one chapter of her life and initiates another, my biggest wish is that her doctoral program doesn’t have a graduation so I won’t have to rewrite this same journal entry in three years. Unfortunately, my brother is only 10 years old, which means that I have many more graduations to sit through in my life.

This was quite the feeling of deja-vu!

Overanalysis Leads to Paralysis

Every success that I’ve achieved has been fueled by many learning experiences and shortcomings. One of my most recent learning experiences was a company that I started building in June 2010 called Geremy’s Foods. The company started with a fleeting thought and started to manifest into a full-fledged company after I performed more research and realized a market need. When I noticed the company’s potential I charged full speed ahead!

Geremy's Foods

I immediately decided to dedicate all of my money and resources towards bringing this idea to reality. I started a search for the best packaging designer and I found an immensely talented person to work on the project. Then I commissioned the work of my favorite graphic designer to develop the company’s identity and business cards. I also had my assistant working around the clock researching supplies, materials, FDA guidelines, local and national laws and other relevant information. While this was in-progress, I simultaneously worked on a business plan, organized to get business licenses, ordered materials, researched everything about the food industry, keept an eye on potential competitors, sought people to join my team and looked for new products and line extensions to expand my existing product lineup. Eventually all of this analysis lead to paralysis when minor barriers seemed insurmountable to me. I’d analyzed so much that I talked myself out of going into business before launching the first product.

After I ceased all work on Geremy’s Foods, I had a lot of free time on my hands so I started reading and came upon some important, relevant quotes from thought leaders:

  • “Well done is better than well said” –Benjamin Franklin
  • “Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice” –Wayne Dyer
  • “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” –George W. Carver
  • “Sometimes the window of opportunity is only available briefly. Waiting is not a decision” –John C. Maxwell
  • “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill
  • “You don’t have to be great to start, but you must start to be great” –Zig Ziglar

Geremy's Foods

I took this knowledge and became motivated to use the lessons that I learned to start again. I used a lot of my learnings from Geremy’s Foods to start Peculiar PPL and am very pleased with the outcome. Even better, I haven’t even started 1% of what will be achieved with this company. I am having fun learning and it is all thanks to my temporarily dead project, Geremy’s Foods, and the thousands of dollars that I spent to learn these valuable lessons!

What do you take with you everyday?

This is the first episode of my “Brief Discussions” video journal. During my brief discussions, I will either answer a question or provide a quick update in under 1 minute.

As a follow-up to this video, what do you bring with you everyday as you leave your house?

Peculiar Bands

I now have a colorful medley of these rubberbands on steroids in my possession. One free band has been included with each Peculiar PPL T-Shirt order that has been shipped thus far. When Peculiar PPL moves into its own corporate headquarters in New York City a few years from now, these pictures will be hanging in the lobby:



Chocolate Currency Lesson

Fun Sized Candy!

In March, I was invited to speak at a young girls’ conference on the topic of Money Management. I quickly realized that it would be difficult to hold the attention of the (75) nine to 16 year old girls on a subject as boring as money management, so I had to bring some ammunition. I purchased about 20lbs of candy and spent hours assembling tiny bags for each girl to keep and treat as a form of currency. As homework from the lesson, each girl had to divide their candy into three equal portions– one portion to save for later, one portion to consume and one portion to give to others. Through the use of candy, they were able to understand the principles of managing their money.

As a twist, the girls had to use the portion that was designated for giving to others and use it as an icebreaker to meet other girls in the conference who they didn’t know. Also, since they were instructed to save 1/3 of their candy for later, I told them that they couldn’t leave the building if they didn’t have 1/3 of their candy remaining in their bag at the end of the day. At the end of the conference I stood at the door and checked to see if they had enough candy in their bags to go home, and they all did. I was incredibly proud of them for understanding the lesson and showing enthusiasm for the things that they learned. It was even more gratifying when I noticed that a lot of the girls who didn’t know each other when they entered in the building left as friends (or “besties,” as they called it), all because of the candy that allowed them to meet each other!

Hands-down, one of my best teaching experiences ever!

Sidenote: If money actually tasted like fun-sized snicker bars, I’d be broke all the time!

My Momma!

I took a break from posting journal entries over the weekend in observance of Mother’s day, but now I’m back! Usually I try not to post entries that are geared towards specific holidays, but I would like to make an exception today so I can tell the world about an important lady in my life— my mom! Among the countless other things that she does for me daily, she is especially important because she has made me who I am today!

My Momma

When I graduated from high school, I tried everything to get a job. I applied at every store that had a “Help Wanted” sign, I completed numerous online applications and I even cold-called random businesses offering my help at a minimal cost. I was rejected by every place that I applied to and I became really discouraged. Instead of helping me drown in my sorrows, my mom forced me to be more proactive by drafting a personalized letter to every place where I wanted to work. I spent the next few weeks writing personalized letters and preparing dropping them in the mail. By the end of the month, I’d written over 100 letters and my mom paid for all of the stamps required to mail each letter. Unfortunately, the outcome was the same—rejection and not a single job offer. My mom insisted that I don’t give up because she “didn’t give birth to quitters.”

FX Comp Computer Services

I grew tired of waiting for a job, so I decided to open my own computer servicing business called “FX Comp.” My mom fully financed this business by paying to print business cards, hire a designer to create a logo, register a domain name and purchase web hosting. After fervently marketing for the first 3 months it seemed like the business was a flop, but shortly afterwards I won a bid to become a regional service center for a national warranty company. My business turned into a great success, all thanks to my mom for being my first and only investor. This business showed me that I greatly enjoyed starting and growing businesses instead and as a result, it paved the way for a number of future significant events in my life. This experience taught me to never quit, create opportunities for myself to succeed and to reject rejection.

This is just one minor example that shows why I believe that my mom is the best mom ever. She is 1/2 of the dynamic duo that came together to create me and I wouldn’t be anywhere without her. From paying my high school and college tuition, to forcing me to read books when I wanted to pay Duck Hunt on Nintendo, to disciplining me when I got a B+ in school because I wasn’t living up to my full potential, to encouraging me to pursue my dreams…my mom was there through it all! I’m sure that when she was younger she didn’t think that she’d have a son who writes letters to inanimate objects and creates weird cooking videos, but yet she still decided to keep me when I turned out as peculiar as I did. Thanks, Mom, for allowing my massive 10lb 6 oz body to inhabit your womb for 9 months!

That’s my momma!

More Shirts on the Way Out!

More Shirts on the Way Out!

Running is quite the surreal experience. I began shipping the t-shirt orders yesterday and since then I have been preparing additional shipments to go out. I would like to thank everyone who purchased a shirt thus far and everyone who silently supports the brand. This all started with a fleeting thought and it is very fun to see it manifest into actual products. I feel obligated to make this a special, peculiar experience for all customers, so I put a little extra effort into each package. This will be a very exciting journey!

** Special thanks to my family for tolerating the tons of shipping boxes that are currently infesting my space! **

iMac = iHappy

The iMac

My Macbook Pro has been a staple in my life ever since I purchased it as a birthday gift to myself on August 4, 2007. Since that day, I’ve taken it all over the world and used it as a tool to unleash my creativity by creating hundreds of videos, sorting and editing thousands of pictures, producing a few dozen songs and building many websites. I have a large sentimental connection to this machine, so I can’t imagine myself ever geting rid of it, but unfortunately it has become too slow for me to effectively use as a primary computer.

The iMac's Ports

Apparently Steve Jobs felt my woes all the way in Cupertino and yesterday he released a solution to my problem. The 27″ iMac with the tremendous 3.4GHz Quad-Core i7 processor was unveiled yesterday and I’m convinced that Mr. Jobs created this machine just for me. During lunchtime at work today, I zipped over to the Apple store and picked up my new desktop, which will be used at home and in the lab, while my laptop and iPad will continue to be used while on the go. I’m thrilled at the new purchase and will be working many new projects on it in the very near future!

Welcome, iMac. I think that we’ll get along quite well.