A Peculiar guy named Geremy

CategoryDaily Life

2015 Goals Recap

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In 2014 my dad said, “if it’s too big for you to say, it’ll be too big for you to experience,” so I ended the year by saying some things that I expect to see in 2015.

Those things were:

Now that the year is coming to a close, here’s a status update:

Traveling
I’ve traveled more than ever before and I was blessed to go on 3 international and 15 domestic trips. Of these 18 trips, 14 of them were via private jet. When I did the math, it turned out that ~78% of my trips were via private jet and I narrowly missed my goal by ONE trip! Goal slightly not achieved!

The interesting thing about this is that when I tweeted that I will be traveling via private jet this year, I had no clue how I would make it happen. However, a few weeks after saying the goal, things came together and doors opened. Who knows if it would’ve happened that way if I didn’t go out on a limb and declare it.

Peculiar PPL revenue
I didn’t meet the $1MM goal, but after thinking deeper about this, I realized that I used the wrong metric. The goal of Peculiar PPL isn’t to have massive amount of revenue— it’s to equip and inspire Peculiar PPL through products and eventually services. Therefore, instead of the goal being anchored on money, it should have been anchored on the effectiveness in building a community. I will make this modification for 2016. As of right now, Goal not achieved!

I would like to build Peculiar PPL into a more tight-knit community of the world’s key influencers and change agents. As a part of this, I would like to have more opportunities to bring Peculiar people together to inspire and help one another to positively change the world. I’m working on this through a number of different initiatives. I plan to launch these efforts in the second quarter of 2016.

Tesla Stock
C’mon Tesla! The highest that your stock has reached this year was $286.65. Next year will be the $350/share year…I feel it in my knees! Goal not achieved!

Rap Song
Writing and producing a rap song is so far outside of my comfort zone that I’ve tried to eliminate this goal. However, since the best way for me to grow is to step outside of my comfort zone, I am going to tackle this one and have some fun. Therefore, TOMORROW, December 23rd at 12:00 noon (EST), I will release a rap song. When I release the song, I will also provide an in-depth lyrics analysis (a-la “RapGenius.com”), so people can understand what was said. This is weird. Goal: Pending…

Although the majority of goals weren’t achieved, that won’t stop me from continuing to speak! Big things are happening! As for the other things that happened in 2015 outside of my stated goals, I will have a more formal recap when the year is officially over.

As for my rap song, I wonder if Drake is available to do a feature on short notice…for free!

She Graduated While I Suffered Pt 3

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The Graduation

A few months ago, I spent three hours of my life (that I will never get back) at my sister’s college graduation. After countless years of long classes internships, and commuting to Pennsylvania on a weekly basis, she finally has a Doctorate of Psychology degree!

In addition to me being proud of her for her beginning her reign as the first known doctor in our family tree, I am also proud of myself for enduring through the graduation without feeling like I was being held hostage, like I did during her first and second college graduations.

The most eventful thing that happened during the ceremony was when the child sitting 8 chairs away from me played Pokemon on his gameboy with the audio enabled. I guess that when they say “gotta catch ’em all,” they mean by any means necessary in any available environment.

I’m not only happy for my sister as she concludes her education with the highest degree in her area of study, but I am also incredibly happy that this is the last of her college graduations that I must endure through. Fingers crossed that my brother doesn’t want to become a doctor in his field, so I won’t have four more graduations to sit through.

This was quite the feeling of deja-vu…actually, deja-vu times two!

But, all jokes aside, Steve Jobs once said, “you have to have a crazy passion for what you do because without it you will never put up with what’s necessary for success” and she’s proved this time and time again. From writing a long dissertation (which she won an award for), to interning at various organizations for free in order to meet graduation requirements, to getting barely any sleep as she worked a full-time job and interned while being a full time student, to taking numerous student loans, she somehow remained motivated throughout the years in order to graduate—all because because she was passionate about the field of Psychology. Whoever she Psychologizes is lucky because they’ve got a smart, lucky, dedicated doctor!

My Sistren and I at her Graduation

Congrats Dr. Giselle.

So, Geremy… Where’s Your Jet?!?

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Five years ago, I boldly announced to the world that I will have my own Embraer Phenom Jet in 2015. Now that it we’re in 2015, where’s my jet?!?!?! Well, first let me share some background about what has happened and then I’ll explain the whereabouts of my jet.

In 2010, I was experiencing a traveling nightmare that left me stranded in North Carolina without a flight. While sitting in the uncomfortable airport chair contemplating my fate, the thought of owning my own jet to fly whenever and wherever I wanted crossed my mind. Initially, I thought that this goal was as attainable as a teenager marrying Mariah Carey, but then I saw that Nick Cannon achieved this goal so it proved to me that nothing is impossible.

I researched entry-level jets that only required one pilot (so I would only have to pay one pilot’s salary) and I came across the four-passenger Embraer Phenom 100, at the cost of about $3.5 million dollars. I then factored-in depreciation and assumed that I could get a pre-owned Phenom 100 for around $2 million in 2015. The cost still seemed huge in my mind, but I needed to see it in-person to make the jet seem more attainable.

I came across the company, JetSuite, which sold flights on their brand new Phenom 100 jets and the cheapest route that they had available at the time was Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I sacrificed meals, avoided Starbucks, and started buying “plus” gas rather than premium in order to afford the money that I needed to take the flight. Eventually in early 2011, I confirmed my flight and I went to California for the most exhilarating flight of my life.

The Time I Chartered a Jet

I’ll admit, the flight was short. In fact, the time that it took you to read this far into this entry is about the same time it took me to board the flight and land in Las Vegas, but I didn’t mind because this was was the best $1,073.93 that I spent in my entire life. This experience filled me with hope and it made me feel like owning a private jet was within reach.

When I returned to reality, I immersed myself in the world of planes. One of my good friends is a pilot and he patiently answered every single question that I had about private jets. I would also disappear for hours and while my parents probably thought that I was running amok doing illegal things like smoking crack, I was actually parked at the airport watching planes take-off and land. Each time that I saw a jet, the goal seemed more and more attainable. Eventually, it felt like a common experience to see a private jet around me.

Over the next few years, I took a few additional flights on the Phenom 100 and loved it, but then an eye-opening moment came when I flew on the 6 passenger Cessna Citation CJ3 and I saw how cool it was to have more than 4 seats on a plane. That’s when I convinced myself that I should step-up my goal and get a bigger jet. Even though it was considerably more expensive, I liked the idea of having a plane to carry my entire posse without having to say “the three of you can’t go because I don’t have enough seats.”

I went back to the drawing board and set an even bigger goal to get an even bigger, faster plane! So I repeated the process again. First I mocked-up a photo of what my plane will look like, and then I started looking for ways to fly on bigger planes. I’ve since adjusted my goal to get a 8 passenger Cessna Citation X jet (or the equivalent— like a Hawker 850XP) by 2017 or earlier, and here is what it is likely to look like:

The Future Peculiar Jet

For the time being, I have been flying on larger planes to get used to the idea of traveling on bigger jets (and the expenses associated with it). Soon, this goal will be within arms reach and I will be within inches of buying my own plane. So as of right now, the goal has not been met, but it has been multiplied to a much larger goal that will definitely be reached!

One word of advice that I would like to share with anyone reading this: You shouldn’t be nervous to have a large goal and to share it with others. There will always be naysayers who will poo-poo your dream, but as the saying goes, “It costs nothing to dream and everything not to!”

Reflecting on 29

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As I approach the final hour of the second decade of my life, I wanted to reflect on my life at age 29.  In the past few years, I was been so busy living life that I forgot to enjoy living, so this year I placed a strong emphasis on enjoying the process as well as the outcome of my work.  Now that the age of 29 is coming to a close for me, I can look back and applaud the moments that made this year a memorable year.  These moments include:

Outside of those moments are numerous important things that can’t easily be quantified, such as:

  • The many friendships that I built and strengthened
  • The many business relationships that I established and grew
  • Fun moments that I spent with the teens that I teach, including the moments freestyle rapping in the car while driving them home
  • My growth in mindset and many lessons learned through the challenging times

On my first day of turning 29, my friend told me, “Let this be the [age] that marks the beginning of great opportunities and opened doors. There are only greater things ahead. You haven’t even scraped the tip of the iceberg…” Now, I’m glad to say (and proud to see) that he was right.

As I enter into the age of 30, I can’t wait to see what additional things are in store! Hopefully I finally get that real-life, alive zebra that I’ve wanted since the age of 12! Fingers crossed!

My Social Highlight Reel

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I use social networks in a way that is atypical of many others in my generation. My Instagram is for posting memorable moments that I’d like to remember and share with friends forever. My Twitter is for capturing and sharing succinct fleeting thoughts that would otherwise fade away forever. My Facebook is an aggregator of all of my public data sources so that people who care can find everything in one place.

Although I am very appreciative of those who feel inclined to do so, I don’t pay too much attention to likes, retweets, favorites, or any other statistic that shows the social acceptance of my content. To me, whether something gets 3 likes or 97 likes, it doesn’t change the significance of the moment for me. Often times, the most important thoughts, ideas and moments aren’t generally accepted…at least initially.

My postings are, by a great measure, a distillation of the happiest and most memorable moments of my life that I’d like to remember forever. Behind every photo of a triumphant moment includes lots of opposition, hard work, and sacrifices, but rather than glorify the challenge, I prefer to highlight the outcome. I’m probably the # 1 visitor to my Instagram– not because I’m a narcissist, but because when I am faced with discouragement, my past victories are a great motivator. By no means should anyone assume that photos of me in a private jet, purchasing a rare pair of sneakers or driving a decent car tell the entire story. Behind each blessing are many days (and sometimes months or years) of challenges.

So, as a reminder to anyone reading my site, visiting my Instagram, browsing my Facebook, scrolling through my Flickr, watching my Vimeo or reading my Twitter, you’re only getting a modicum (haha– funny word, modicum) of the entire picture. What you see is my highlight reel of moments that I choose to make public.

Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.

Beware the Bear

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Cabin in the Middle of Nowhere

I love my home, but I was so nervous that bears would infest my yard that I couldn’t enjoy it during the first two weeks of living there. If you’re unfamiliar with bears, allow me to explain—bears are ferociously wild animals whose diets primarily consist of human flesh…specifically the flesh of 25-30 year old human males of Trinidadian descent…or at least that’s people told me.

My place is a modern log cabin situated in the middle of a large wooded lot in a somewhat rural town that no one has ever heard of. In fact, you can probably type my address into Google Maps and it’ll respond with, “Is that even a thing?? Speak English!” To most people, Rural town + log cabin + lots of land = a scene from a scary movie where the black guy is eaten by a bear within the first 15 minutes. As a result, people with generally pure intentions immediately began to caution me of the supposed dangers of being chewed up by local bears who enjoy the sweet and slightly tangy taste of a Geremy.

At first I was able to dismiss all of the negative thoughts relatively easily. I told myself that the likelihood of bears on the property is relatively low, and even if there were any bears, I could outmaneuver them and thanks to my many [fictitious] years of ninja training. But one day I was curious and Googled something along the lines of “what to do when approached by a bear.” Big mistake!! Through a series of interesting internet searches, I found myself reading many stories of bear encounters and none of them ended with the human and bear declaring their everlasting friendship and undying love for each other.

I remember when I invited my mom over to show her my new digs, it was night time and we were carrying a few things inside. Then I heard a noise in the distance that sounded like “whooooaaaaaaaa-wakka-wakka-wakka-whooshh!” I immediately wondered if this was the noise of the bear that everyone was mentioning. Then I heard it again…”whooooaaaaaaaa-wakka-wakka!” She asked, “what’s that noise?” I said “               .” Yeah, I said nothing because I was too busy race walking to the car as quickly as possible. Later in the week I found out that this wakka-wakka ferocious “bear” sound was just the sound of my neighbor’s old air conditioner.

I mistook an air conditioner for a bear!!

After two weeks of minimizing my outdoor time to avoid imaginary bears, enough was enough and I decided not to allow fear to ruin things for me. I’ve seen many instances where people projected their fears and concerns onto others as a way of protecting those who they care about. In some cases, its good to learn from others experiences so that you don’t make the same mistakes, but in most cases I’ve learned that it’s important to discard unfounded fears and not allow them to paralyze you into inaction.

After over half a year in my place, I haven’t seen any signs of wild, rabid animals (besides the occasional overzealous mosquito trying to attack me). Also, I did some solid, non-fear based research to ensure my safety and it turns out that bears don’t like my home as much as I do, so there’s nothing to worry about. I’m happy that I was able to get rid of this bear fear quickly so I could get back to enjoying life in my bear-free home! Now, if I can only figure out how to get these deer to stop walking around my neighborhood like they own the place, that would be splendid!

But then I resigned…

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The last 9 years of my career has been a fun time filled with rainbows and daisies.  I managed an Executive Coaching practice within a company that had some of the smartest, funnest people that I’ve ever met.  I’ve had the pleasure of leading significant projects for top universities and Fortune 100 companies, and I did it with some of the best team members that I could ever ask for.  In fact, the other day I received an email from one of my favorite direct reports that said, “…all my future ‘bosses’ have big shoes to fill because you were the greatest!”  That message made a single tear slowly fall from my left eye, just like in the movies.

But then I resigned…

Elon Musk is famous for saying, “being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death.”  With such a morbid image of the future, why would anyone in their right mind want to pursue this life?!

Well, my momma always told me that I’m a little peculiar!

I’ve got mega-ambitious goals for the future and I am “crazy” enough to know that with dedication, passion, and an insane work ethic, they’re going to be successful. One of my companies, Peculiar Enterprises, has the mission of positively changing the world through peculiar people, and this goal requires a more significant time commitment than the daily 12am to 2am schedule that I’ve had over the past few years.  Basically, I believe that If something is important enough to you, then you’ve a responsibility to do it even if the risk of failure is high!

So even as today is my last day as a full-time employee in a comfortable position at a cool company, I am looking forward to chewing glass and staring into the abyss of death.  Regardless of how much the glass hurts and how the abyss looks, I know that the other end is going to be an even bigger land filled with brighter rainbows and bigger daisies.

Best of all, this journey will be captured in realtime on Geremology.com!

Hey Driver….Take me to my Castle!

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Tesla has a fun (and potentially scary) feature in their cars that allows them to remotely monitor the car’s major systems at all times. At first I thought that they would use this data to analyze my life, so I’d email ownership@teslamotors.com every week to explain any anomalies in my travels. “Dear Tesla, you might have noticed that I drove down my driveway several times with the trunk open yesterday. I did it because my driveway is too long and I got lazy when taking the trash to the curb. Don’t judge me.” This week was the first time that they used the monitoring system to inform me of something that they noticed with my car (and it wasn’t about my trash transportation habits).

It all started with this note:

As part of providing peace of mind and a great ownership experience, Tesla vehicles are equipped with telematics systems to provide remote diagnostics support. We have been notified this vehicle has been remotely diagnosed that the Power Switch and Power Supply would benefit from the latest generation components.

Moments later, they sent a tow truck to pick up my car, along with Enterprise to give me a rental car while my car is serviced. Somehow, I’d misplaced my license and when it was time for me to complete my rental car paperwork they couldn’t give me a car. I asked “even though I can’t prove that I have a license, can’t you just take my word for it?” Apparently I didn’t look trustworthy enough for them to trust me, so I was left without a car.

I called Tesla and said, “we’ve got a problem. I can’t find my license, so I can’t pick up the rental.” The wonderful service advisor paused for a few seconds (probably cursing me out in her head) and then said “okay, give me a few minutes…I’ll figure something out.”

I thought of the possible options that she might suggest:
– Walking
– Riding a bicycle
– Using a rickshaw, but I’d have to provide my own human
– Riding a unicycle
– Scooting on a razor scooter
– Riding a Horse (with a Tesla logo on the side)

Of all of these options, the one that she suggested was so far out of my mind that I didn’t that it was plausible. She said, “ok, we’re going to send you a towncar and a driver will drive you to wherever you need to go.” I said “what about tomorrow?” She said “If you don’t find your license tomorrow, then he’ll drive you tomorrow as well.” What a wonderful punishment for misplacing my license!

For the next 24 hours, I felt like a king. I laid in the backseat and I relaxed while my chariot took me from destination to destination. When I asked him to make a detour and go some somewhere else on my way home, he did it. When I was ready to leave the car, he opened the door for me. When I asked him to drive faster to see if he’d do it, he did it. When I tried to tip him, he said “no– I can’t take your money!” Then I felt guilty. No one man should have all that power!

The next day I got my car back and it drove better, quieter and smoother than ever before. So I planned to email Tesla: “Dear Tesla, Thanks for proactively fixing the issues in my car before they became issues. However, can I ask you a favor? Can I pretend to lose my license so I can keep the limo and driver permanently? I want to feel like royalty forever!”

Fingers crossed that they say yes.

A New Place Called Home

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I spent 29 wonderful years of my life living with my four housemates who I called “Mumsie,” “Pops,” “Sistren” and “Brotherman.” Although I had many opportunities to move out on my own (including when I bought my own house), I realized that it would be a heinous crime to force my family to live Geremy-less. Well, after 350 months of preparation, I believe that they have finally come to terms with a Geremy-less house, so I’ve moved into my own wonderful place that I call home.

My Log Cabin Called Home

After waking up in my last bedroom over 4,000 times over the past 11 years, my mind is still getting adjusted to the idea of waking up in my own place. Over the past 3 weeks of living on my own, there have been instances where I woke up and looked around the room thinking, “where am I….whose house is this?!?” To be fair, with the massive backyard lined with fruit trees, private pool, skylights, heated floors, and high ceilings, it feels like this isn’t really my place, but in reality it is a dream come true. More importantly, my ol’ lady is happy as well because she has a nice private place to park and recharge at night.

Now the only remaining thing that I have to figure out is how my parents got food to magically appear in the refrigerator, the house to magically clean itself, and the dishes to magically wash themselves over the past few years, because somehow this house doesn’t seem have those same superpowers.

The 2014 Trilogy of Stress: Part 3

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Drive to work, do office work, drive to house, do handyman work, drive home, sleep, **repeat everyday for a month**. My full-time job didn’t really allow for several weeks of “apartment reconstruction” vacation time, so I spent every day from 7pm to midnight working on a host of repairs in my recently destroyed apartment. From installing a new toilet to fixing destroyed walls, my to-do list was extensive and expensive! Luckily, with the help of a few good friends who helped me remove trash from the apartment and repaint several bedrooms, I was able to get a lot of work done in record timing. A month and a half later, the place was good to go once again, but I still didn’t have a tenant.

One day, I posted a simple ad on craigslist and within 24 hours I had over 50 people who were eager to view the unit. Since I didn’t a lot of time to show the apartment each day, I scheduled every prospective tenant for either 6:30pm or 6:45pm. Then I spent 6:30-7pm giving tours of the apartment while reciting my speech and carefully crafted choreography.

Most of the apartment showings were relatively mundane, until Sammy. Sammy called me to view the apartment, but couldn’t speak English very well. Somehow he understood the times that I was showing the unit and he came over on his bike…drunk. It was amazing to see how he was able to keep his balance as he rode down the middle of the street with a few cars following behind him—he must have had a lot of practice. He took two steps into the apartment and muttered “itakeit!” I said, “excuse me?” He said, “I like it. I take it.” I was confused about how he decided that he liked the place without even seeing a single bedroom, but I decided to humor him. I gave him an application and told him to bring it back tomorrow with the application fee if he’s serious. He took the application and said “I take it” and stood there. I think that he wanted to move into the place immediately. I said “you need an application to take it! He said “yes. I take it.” I didn’t know what else to say to him. I told him once again to take the application and come back tomorrow.” He finally left, stumbled down the steps, and struggled to get on his bike for about two minutes before he finally mounted it and rode away all zig-zaggily. He then proceeded to call me back everyday at 6:07pm saying “I take it” and nothing else.

After almost two months, I narrowed the list of applicants down to two families that I extensively screened. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get burned with a bad tenant again, so I required more information than ever before. I requested the application, a credit check, a lock of their firstborn child’s hair, a copy of their third and sixth grade report cards, and a single drop of blood. One applicant passed every single test and had highly favorable references so I offered the place to them and they enthusiastically accepted. Finally!!!! I found a new [hopefully wonderful] tenant that ended this trilogy of stress!

Throughout these challenging months, I learned a lot of lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life:

– Difficult situations are inevitable and you can’t control them, but you can control your response to them. Your response to those situations will determine if you’re a winner or a winer.
– In difficult times, we fly our true colors. Otherwise calm people freak out after an accident. Nice people turn ugly when confronted. Braggarts shrink in the face of danger. You’re not made in a crisis…you’re revealed.
– Sometimes it takes stressful situations and adversity to create success.
– It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill, as long as you don’t lose your cow!

I gained more experience and learned more life lessons over those months than any other 8 month period in my life! Although it wasn’t fun to go through challenges in several different areas of life concurrently, I know that I’m a better, stronger person as a result of it (even if it means that I grew a few gray hairs in the process)!

A Peculiar guy named Geremy