A Peculiar guy named Geremy

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Passion Shows!

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Have you ever met someone who was passionate about fruit? So passionate that they treated each piece as if they’re a brain surgeon and successfully slicing fruit was a life or death situation?

During my trip to California last month, I witnessed three inspiring examples of extreme passion: 1) A Burger Joint, 2) A Doctor of Fruit Preparation, and 3) A Massive Museum.

In-N-Out
DELICIOUS In-N-Out

When I landed in Los Angeles, the first and most crucial task was to go to In-N-Out burger and max-out on my daily allotted calories. In-N-Out is a fast food restaurant chain that specializes in a simple menu (burgers, fries, and drinks) prepared with great quality. The only problem that I’ve found is that they haven’t opened a restaurant on the East Coast (please fix this, In-N-Out). Not only is the price ridiculously low for the quality of meal received, but they know how to make an amazing burger, especially compared to the terrible excuses for burgers that I’ve become used to in New Jersey.

I went to In-N-Out nearly every day while in California and each time it was filled with people. Their burger tasted like they took a calf, raised it to be an upstanding citizen of the farm, then sent it to a good university so it can be filled with the hope of a bright future, then humanely killed it so it can be assembled into the finest burger for Geremy’s consumption. Not only was the food great, but every worker seemed like it was their life’s dream to grow up to be an In-N-Out burger technician. In-N-Out was amazing and I was inspired by their passion for burgers.

Joe Mendez’s Fruit Stand
Joe Mendez's Fruit Stand

To balance-out the millions of calories eaten at In-N-Out, I found a stand to buy fruit. This was when I discovered Joe Mendez—a man who cut fruit as if he is an international champion at the game Fruit Ninja. Joe always had a long line at his fruit stand, but when it was finally my turn I realized what all the hype was about.

I was new to the fruit stand scene, so I ordered something simple: “Give me a medium sack of fruit.” I didn’t know if he heard me because he didn’t look at me at all. In fact, Joe never looked at anything besides his fruit ever. Even when he went to his van to get more fruit, he continued to stare at his fruit. This man loves fruits! Since I didn’t use the typical fruit-ordering vernacular, I stood out as a fruit stand newbie and he probably recognized this.

He heard my vague request and immediately went to town. He arranged a symphony of fruits for my “sack” and he sliced them with a level of care and determination that led me to believe that he was a surgeon in a past life. While he was assembling my fruit, he handed me a few slices of mango to eat while waiting. The amazing thing was that even when he handed me the mango, he never stopped chopping the other fruits with his two hands…I think he had a third arm that came out of his back and handed me the mangoes. I don’t know.

Delicious Fruit from Joe Mendez

Before he handed me the bag, he squeezed 3 limes in the bag and poured some red dust on my fruit. I was almost outraged. I thought, “I didn’t ask for red dust and lime!!” Right as I was about to ask him to wash the fairy dust and sour juice from my fruits, he handed the bag to me and said, “Five dollars.” Five dollars for a sack of fruits?!?! This is the deal of the century! I gave him the money and walked back to the car, only slightly annoyed by the two unwanted additions to my otherwise perfect bag of fruits. As soon as I sat in the car, I tasted the first piece of fruit and OHMYGOODNESSITWASAMAZING!

The juxtaposition between the tart taste of the lime juice and red glitter powder with the sweet fruit made my tastebuds quiver with excitement. I don’t curse, but this bag of fruits made me want to use a few expletives. Joe was a wizard of his craft and he knew how to chop a glorious bag of fruits. For comparison, fruits from another stand were purchased and it couldn’t even come near the excellency of Joe’s fruit creations.

Getty Museum
The Getty Villa

Since my stomach remained delighted by the food offerings in LA, I needed to go somewhere that my mind could be delighted as well. I visited the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa, which were both created by a ridiculously rich man named J. Paul Getty who worked in the oil industry but was passionate about art. He loved art so much that he would invite his friends over to see his art, but then his collection grew so large that he bought a separate estate just for it. That estate is the amazing Getty Villa, which can be visited for free…thanks Paul!

Eventually, the massive 64 acre didn’t have enough space for the collection, so a second 110 acre location was opened—complete with waterfalls and a monorail. This second location, the Getty Museum, was also free for the public to visit and is one of the best museums in the United States, if not the world. I visited these two sites and the passion shows in every corner of both estates…lots and lots of passion!

The Getty Museum

This was the second time that I visited the museum. The first visit can be seen in this video clip at the 4 minute 12 second mark.

When I thought back on these three places that inspired me, I realized a few common trends:

Passion Shows – When someone is really passionate about something, you can see it in their work.
Passion Energizes – When I visited all three places, the people working there were filled with energy. It was obvious that they loved with they did and they did what they loved.
Passion Attracts – There were no shortage of people at Joe’s stand, at In-N-Out or at the Getty Museum, even though I didn’t see a single advertisement anywhere for them. Customers and visitors were naturally drawn to these places because of passion and a job well done.
Consistency – Each place consistently delivered excellent results. This made me want to visit more and more.
Focus – They focused on what they did best: Fruit, Burgers, and Art. They didn’t try to be all things to all people.
Not motivated by money – These three experiences were the three most underpriced things that I encountered during my visit. The weren’t motivated by money, but by their passion.

The two biggest lessons that I learned were that I need to have an unwavering pursuit of my passions, and I need to book another trip to LA ASAP!!

View the other photos from my trip to California here.

The Peculiar Future

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Peculiar-Tag

Today marks exactly 5 years from the day that I launched Peculiar PPL. Happy Birthday, Peculiar PPL…you’re finally old enough to go to kindergarten!!

While the brand is called “Peculiar PPL,” the company is called “Peculiar Enterprises, LLC” because the overall mission was always bigger than just creating and selling great products. My vision is to equip and inspire Peculiar people–which are the people who have an unwavering drive to positively affect the world with their unique skills. When these people are empowered, they make a positive change in the world, which benefits everyone.

Here’s a deeper look at the Peculiar Enterprises Strategy as I envisioned it six years ago:

Phase 1: Create a clothing brand to better understand Peculiar people

Peculiar PPL doesn’t seek to be the biggest brand in the world, but I’d like it to be the most important brand in the world. Instead of trying to individually reach all 7+ billion people, I’d like to just appeal to the few million change agents out there. These are the people who move first and then the rest of the world follows. They’re leaders, pioneers, deviants, and independent thinkers. They’re the ones who can massively impact the world in a great way when they’re inspired, motivated, and given the tools and support that they need.

Selling products through Peculiar PPL is my way of reaching trailblazers and understanding their needs via the things that they purchase and their interaction with the brand. A key part of “phase 1” is providing the products that enhance a Peculiar person’s daily life. This is why I started with the # 1 thing that they use every single day of their lives: clothing.

Peculiar Packaging

Instead of trying to create the cheapest shirts, I focused on limited edition, high-quality shirts with inspiring messages on them, packaged in a very unique way…like meat at a supermarket. Then I moved onto other products that Peculiar PPL use frequently, like dress shirts, pens, notebooks, bottles, and cell phone cases. The focus of all of these products is to maximize quality, not minimize costs.

The brand is currently still in Phase 1 where I will continue to create more and more products that will appeal to Peculiar people, enhance their work and inspire them to do more great things. As I continue to learn about Peculiar people, we will eventually enter into Phase 2.

Phase 2: Use the learning from Phase 1 to expand Peculiar Enterprises into other areas

Peculiar Enterprises Strategy.001

The expansion areas include (not in any particular order):
Transportation: Air travel, Auto travel
Food: Restaurants, Cafes, Packaged food products
Business Management: Business consulting, Business finance management, Personal finance management
Knowledge: Seminars, Lectures, Schools, Content creation
Media: Book publishing, Music production, Video production
Real Estate: Interior design, Home construction, Commercial construction
New Ventures: Venture capital, Business incubator
Other Services: Concierge, medical center, Car wash, Delivery service

I’ve got a very unique way of approaching each of these areas, and everything is in the service of Peculiar people. For instance, there will be a “Peculiar Air” private jet service for Peculiar people. Also, there will be buildings across the world where Peculiar people will go to do their work and be effective. Those buildings will include offices for people who are working on important projects or for people who are starting their new ventures, restaurants where they can get healthy food options, studios for people to create content, and libraries filled with resources to teach and inspire. Everything will be created with the unique needs of Peculiar people in mind, and will be unlike anything that exists today.

Phase 3: Help others create products and services to reach Peculiar people

Phases 1 and 2 are there to show that Peculiar people can make a massive impact in the world when they are appropriately served. Phase 3 will be to help large brands focus a percentage of their efforts on helping Peculiar people.

Imagine Apple creating a Certified Peculiar iPad, or Tesla releasing a Certified Peculiar Model III, or Google releasing a Certified Peculiar software suite. The intention of the third phase is to take everything that was learned in Phases 1 and 2 of the plan and sharing it with companies who want to meet the needs of the people who positively impact the world. If other companies don’t want to do this, then it’s fine…Peculiar Enterprises will do it ourselves.

———

So that’s a high-level view of the planned future of the company. It won’t be easy because it has never been successfully completed on a large scale, but my life’s mission is to add value to those who multiply value to others, and those people are Peculiar people.

To celebrate the 5 years of Peculiar PPL (and to reward those who have read this far into this post), I’m announcing two things today:

1) A $5 credit on PeculiarPPL.com, with free shipping.
Every customer can get $5 off each purchase with free shipping on PeculiarPPL.com for the next 5 days (through March 24th) by using the code 5ive. You can use the credit to buy something for $5, or you can buy the t-shirt or bottle that you’ve always wanted. Either way, each person can use the coupon once, so have fun with it and tell all of your friends…you can even buy something and ship it directly to them and seem like the best, most thoughtful friend ever!

2) Launch of the Peculiar PPL Ambassador program
The ambassador program was created to get feedback on future products and to reward those who spread the word about the brand. You can visit TeamPeculiar.com to read all about the program and apply.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the brand along the way! It has been an exciting five years and I’m looking forward to an exciting, Peculiar future. If you want to stay tuned-in to the developments, Like us on Facebook, Add us on Instagram, and Follow us on Twitter!

The Fleas, Cuisine and Seas in Nassau

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Nassau Beach

It was early February when my cousin and I ventured out to Nassau, Bahamas in an attempt to explore more of the world. Our most notable experiences fell into three categories:

1. Dogs living with tiny fleas
Home while Away

After arriving to the estate, our check-in procedures included allowing each dog to sniff our butts for approximately 30 seconds so they can verify that we aren’t bad guys. We passed. After that moment, the dogs stalked us until we pet them. After repeating the process time after time, we memorized the drill—leave the house, pet the dogs, get in the car, drive away.

Luring me in with his friendly look

Luring me in some more

On the third day, I went to read by the pool when all of the dogs gathered around. I pet two of the dogs and then I returned to reading. Thats when I noticed that each dog was viciously gnawing at their skin.

Fleas and stuff

They had fleas. Probably ticks and other Bahamian parasites also.

I ran inside and washed my hands 5 times, then I took a shower, then I considered soaking myself in bleach. The selfish dogs betrayed our trust!

2. Great food and fine cuisine
Breakfast in Nassau

Breakfast in Nassau

Lunch in Nassau

Breakfast in Nassau

Nassau had many great options for quality food. Not only were the foods tasty, but every restaurant provided pepper sauce so spicy that it felt like molten lava charring your esophagus. I enjoy the feeling of charred esophagus in the morning.

3. Jet Skis in the open seas
The Bahamas Islands are known for their great beaches and clear water, so we seized the opportunity to see more of the sea by renting jet skis, or as I like to call them: boatercycles.

Jetsking in Nassau

The last time I rode a boatercycle, I was 17 years old and I almost got devoured by a shark when my boatercycle flipped over. This time, I had one goal: Don’t get eaten by a shark.

Initially, I was the slow-grandpa-driver of the boatercycling world. I rode slowly because I didn’t want to catapult myself into the shark-infested (in my mind) waters. Then after a few moments, I got the hang of things and started to ride like a normal human. Then I decided that I’ll ride as fast as I can.

As soon as I accelerated to the maximum speed, we got the signal that our time was up and had to return to shore. This was probably God’s way of protecting me from a high speed incident that ends with me getting eaten by a random shark.

Note: I’m currently alive, for anyone who is wondering if a shark ate me.

The Nassau Streets

Fair Warning

Nassau Beach

Nassau was very nice and I’m looking forward to future trips to the other Bahamas islands, like the adorable pig island. With all of my recent travels, I can finally agree with the saying, “an investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” These unique experiences expand my mind, give me new ideas, and teach me valuable lessons…like learning to avoid flea infested canines.

Nassau Dock

Frozen in the Riding Position

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How many things can one Geremy get wrong in one trip? Let’s count…

My Ride to Chicago

My Ride to Chicago

It was January and I flew to Chicago for a quick trip. Within seconds of stepping out the jet, the cold air hit me so hard that it reminded me of when I got a C in Biology class and my mom rewarded me for it…with a belt.

Mistake # 1: Visiting Chicago in January

On my way to the hotel, the Uber driver said, “It’s nice and warm outside.” I replied, “but it’s 20 degrees out and it’s snowing!” He said “yes, but it was way colder before! You picked a great time to visit!” A chill ran through my body, as if my brain was giving my body a foretaste of what was to come.

Chicago Streets

The Sofitel Chicago

Chicago Streets

I checked into my hotel and bundled up, then I walked to the bike station to get my transportation for the day. Yes, I chose to use a bicycle to get around…in the snow.
Hey, I never said that I was perfect.

Mistake # 2: Riding a bicycle in the snow, while believing that my skin is impermeable to coldness

I purchased a 24 hour riding pass, hopped on the bike, rode 10 feet, hopped off the bike and returned it to the station. When I looked at myself in my iPhone’s front facing camera, I was purple like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. The cold was far too intense for me so I needed reinforcements.

I got a winter hat, gloves and a scarf, then I hopped back on the bike, ready to ride to my first destination. The wind made my eyes look like I was crying, so I wore some 3D glasses that I found in my pockets. I looked like Frozone from the Incredibles, but my eyes didn’t tear-up anymore, so I was good. After riding for 45 minutes, my body was frozen in the riding position and when I walked it looked like I was getting ready to do a breakdancing move.

Owen & Alchemy

Owen & Alchemy Cashew Juice

Owen & Alchemy Cashew Juice

Owen & Alchemy Sweet Potato Juice

I went to a high-end juice store called Owen + Alchemy. Their juices were sold in glass bottles as if they’re serving a magical elixir to a member of the British royalty. I settled on two drinks: A cashew / honey-nut milk, and a sweet-potato / carrot / apple / cinnamon / ginger / sea-salt juice. The cashew milk was great! As for the sweet potato juice, I have no idea how it tasted because…

Mistake # 3: I forgot the expensive sweet potato juice in my hotel room!

Chicago Faces - Crown Fountain

Ice Skating

The Chicago Bean

After getting these mistakes out of the way, I had a great time! Riding around by bicycle turned out to be a good decision because it was a nice way to see the beauty of the city. Also, the hotel (whose name I couldn’t pronounce) was a beautiful place to stay for 24 hours in a great location.

My Ride to Chicago

My Ride to Chicago

My Ride to Chicago

After the quick trip, I flew back to New Jersey, where the flight attendant had a nice warm demeanor as she handed me a warm towel to clean my hands before presenting me with a warm banana bread and a warm scone with a warm tea on the side. When I asked her about all of the warmth, she told me that I looked like I needed it because I was “…walking as if [I] rode a bike through the snow for 12 hours.”

I wonder what tipped her off?

Geremy’s Peculiar Snaps – Ep. 001

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I’ve had Snapchat for a while now, but I’ve struggled to find its place in my life.

I wasn’t a huge fan of creating content that would disappear in 24 hours, so my account remained unused. But recently I thought about bringing back my “Geremy’s Peculiar Life/Week” video series and realized that Snapchat could be a good medium for it, as long as I released a compilation of my “snaps” on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

So here is the first episode of Geremy’s Peculiar Snaps, which captures my random yells, silly puns, and overall awkwardness as I learn how to use this thing called Snapchat.

The Plight of the Peculiar

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Most of the things I do don’t follow social norms or conventions. It’s boring to do what everyone else does just because it’s the safest and most socially acceptable option. The downside is that when you do things that others are unfamiliar with, many will speak boldly and loudly about how foolish you are for thinking that you might actually succeed.

You want to buy a private jet?! Hahaha! How stupid…just fly in a regular plane like the rest of us. You want to buy an electric car from an unproven company?! The company is going to go bankrupt and your car will break down…just drive a regular car like the rest of us! These aren’t just examples, they are paraphrased statements that have been said to me. While I respect and understand the desire to stick with things that are proven to work well, it’s not what excites me.

It has nothing to do with flaunting possessions. Possessions can disappear in a moment and life isn’t measured by how much you own. Instead, it’s more exciting to pursue things that can enhance the quality of life for myself and others, despite its popularity. The success of the iPod is due, in-part, to a group of “silly” early-adopters who bought a $399 MP3 player instead of the Sandisk Sansa’s and Diamond Rio’s that were cheaper and far more popular at the time.

This is also true for the people who want to invent entirely new ways of doing things. In the late 1800’s, cars were only owned by the wealthy and were quite cumbersome to drive, so people used other less-convenient forms of travel, like railroads and angry horses. Then Henry Ford came along and figured out a better way to enhance people’s lives by introducing the Model T—an easier, more reliable, cheaper car that was in the financial reach of the majority of Americans…and he did it after going bankrupt two times!

Imagine being super excited about bringing a new way of doing things to the world and being discouraged by the negativity of people who try to kill your idea because they don’t understand it. Sometimes it’s exhausting. I look at it this way—a hammer can be used to build houses and it can also be used to destroy them. Too many people use their hammers to destroy houses…not just other people’s houses, but their own also. But imagine how much better the world would be if the people who desire to do great things in unconventional ways can do so without dream killers smashing an idea to shreds before it is even started.

That’s why I started Peculiar PPL. I wanted to start a company that creates products and services for people who desire to make a positive impact on the world using their unique way of thinking and doing. Pioneers (or Peculiar people) are an under-recognized population that is quickly going extinct. Save the Peculiar…the world needs them!

To the trailblazers: If you’re using your uniqueness to make a positive change, don’t let the hammer-wielders sway you from your life’s purpose to make a positive impact. The greatest oak tree was once just a little nut that stood its ground!

 

 

 

 

2015 Geremology.com Awards

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Before we go any further into 2016, I wanted to take a final look back at 2015 in the first annual “Geremology.com Awards.” This online awards ceremony is to recognize stellar and noteworthy things in my life that contributed to a successful year. And the winners are…

Best Purchase
A Personal Assistant Service
In 2012 I signed up for a personal assistant service to complete the tedious tasks that made me want to rip out the tiny strands of hair on my head. Throughout the years, this service has become such an integral part of my life that I would be lost without it. The personal assistant service wins the title for best purchase because it has saved me quite a bit of time and money while allowing me to focus on things that are a better use of my time and efforts.

    A few of my favorite completed tasks:

  • Booked rental cars for every flight I’ve taken, and arranged to have the cars waiting for me plane-side upon landing
  • Found a milk company to deliver fresh glass-bottled milk to my door for the same price as buying milk from the supermarket
  • Tracked down my watch that I lost at the TSA airport security and had it shipped to my house
  • Found a brand new stove for 80% less than the original price
  • Paid my parking ticket after I texted them a picture of it

To get yourself a personal assistant service like mine, check out FancyHands.com

Best Moment
Quitting my job
I enjoyed my job as a Manager of Executive Coaching and accomplished some pretty amazing things for the almost 10 years that I worked there, but the day that I quit was the happiest moment of my year…maybe my decade. It wasn’t due to bad feelings towards anyone or anything, but it was because I was able to start a new chapter of life from scratch. I’ve watched Steve Jobs’ commencement address a few times, but there was one thing he said that didn’t fully resonate with me until I resigned. He said, “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

All my life, I felt like I’ve been following a typical roadmap that just kind of ended. The roadmap went like this:
1) [While in Trinidad] Make it to America so you can go to a good school
2) I made it to America, now work hard in school to make it to a good college
3) I made it to a good college, now work hard to get a good job
4) I made got a good job, now work hard to get a good promotion
5) I got a good promotion, now work hard to make a lot of money to buy a nice house and car
6) I bought a nice house and car, now…

It seemed like everything just slowed down from there. I wasn’t ready to get married and have kids who would repeat the entire process, and I knew that there was more to life. So I took a jump of faith and eliminated the security of a full time job in order to put all of my efforts into the things that would bring me the future that I wanted. This moment became the best moment of my year and it has led me to living a more fulfilled life.

Best Trip
Dubai, UAE

The week before my trip to Dubai was my final week as a full-time employee at my job. I didn’t plan to take a vacation immediately after, but as serendipity would have it, the schedule worked out perfectly. I flew to Dubai, contemplated the next steps of my life and for the first time that I remember, I felt free of the weights and stresses of work and school. I felt like my future was a blank sheet of paper and I had the freedom to create anything that I’d like. Witnessing the massive amount of affluence in Dubai caused me to elevate my entire way of thinking and it was the perfect springboard for the next chapter of life.

Dubai Trip Summary # 1
Dubai Trip Summary # 2
Dubai Trip Summary # 3

Best Creation
The Peculiar PPL Cell Phone Case
"Forever Peculiar" iPhone Case

The Peculiar PPL Cell Phone case has been my favorite creation of the year. It was the first product to have the new Peculiar PPL “Reaching for the Stars” logo on it, it was a new product category for Peculiar PPL, it functioned extremely well by preventing my phone from getting multiple scuffs, and it was well-received by the many people who purchased one. In 2016, I plan on releasing a few additional designs, like the one pictured above.

Best Book
Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
In 2015 I read a lot of great books, but my favorite was “Bold” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. My life’s goal is to positively change the world, and the book addressed the ways that this can be done andwhy many more people should have the same desire. Here are a handful of my favorite quotes in the book:

  • “If you want the largest increase in motivation and productivity, then big goals lead to the best outcomes. Big goals significantly outperform small goals, medium-sized goals, and vague goals.”
  • “Either disrupt yourself or be disrupted by someone else.”
  • “The world’s grandest challenges contain the world’s biggest business opportunities.”
  • “Without the right mindset, entrepreneurs have absolutely no chance of success.”

Now it’s time to proceed to 2016 where even more amazing things will continue to happen. Lots and lots of amazing things!

A Peculiar guy named Geremy