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Friday, November 24, 2017

100 Things (Random) I was Thankful For in 2017

There were so many things we are really thankful for this year.  So hard to remember but then, all i have to do is just look at my Dogrunner Instagram daily feeds at

  1.  Daisyland daily run.
  2. 3 days in Salamanca, Spain.
  3. Sam successful tryout for Great Neck Basketball team last Friday.
  4. Mom moving to John & Joyce’s Compassion Home Residence
  5. Arroz Caldo cooked by Myla in November 10
  6. Swimming in Cagliari, Italy
  7. 10 Year Anniversary of Mvoss Creation Promotional & Consulting (MCPC)
  8. The return of Dogrunner and Branding Random Show (#dbrshow)
  9. Agave Bar’s (Best Nacho of Virginia Beach) Wednesday night  
  10. State Election Day November 7
  11. Facebook On This Day Timeline feeds
  12. BizConnect of Hampton Roads
  13. Day trip to Palma de Mallorca (Port Visit)
  14. Where Were We in  ___? Post from my Amazon Photo cloud
  15. 2 Nights at Nimes, France living in a French apartment with best local host.
  16. Swimming and boating at Praia De Benagil, Portugal
  17. Virginia Beach Minority Business Council Convention
  18. Basketball One on One on October 28
  19. Fort Story State Park
  20. Day 31 in Europe at Savona Itally visiting the “other” Sistine Chapel
  21. Las Ramblas
  22. MonDaisy in Daisyland
  23.  When I cooked fried rice, omelet on October 14 & family liked it.
  24. Today’s pancake
  25. Amazon Prime
  26. My 1994 Instagram total postings.
  27. Our 15 Mvoss Creation IntroVideos
  28. Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
  29. Our 250 Mvoss Creation PromoVideos 
  30. Our Last Asian Business Association FusionMeet FusionLunch with MengFei
  31. Road Trip to Montreux, Switzerland & experience 2017 Montreux Jazz Festival
  32. The Adventure Park Virginia Beach Networking
  33. Morning random swim at Daisyland
  34. Mom’s 87th Birthday party
  35. Sam’s Straight “A” student
  36. Return to Navy Chief’s initiation in Little Creek
  37. 4 days in Portugal including Lisbon & Algarve
  38. 30 Day European Car Rental from Sevilla Spain for $400 including drop off to Barcelona
  39. Thriller Movies like Nocturnal AnimalsDon’t Breath, Split with Myla
  40. Feel good Movies like Lion, Gifted with Myla
  41. Swimming at the cool Geneva Lake
  42. Discovering Avignon, France (Day Trip)
  43. Women in Defense Networking
  44. Myla’s Palabok
  45. Google Travel Applications
  46. Day R0ad-Trip to Zurich Switzerland
  47. 8 Day European Cruise with Costa del Sol
  48. 3 Day total trip to Marseille France
  49. 4 Day stay on an AirBnB Beach Villa in Barcelona
  50. Chapters 1 & 2 of my Dissertation being Approved.
  51. 3 Day stay in  Salamanca, Spain
  52. Virginia Beach being voted #1 Best Big Cities to Live in
  53. Italian Night (The Dance) onboard Costa Del Sol in Med Cruise
  54. Swimming all at Barceloneta Beach in Spain last summer
  55. Abanico Fans & other European Souvenirs for 5 Euros
  56. Marites my niece for touring as around Switzerland
  57. Returning back to Grace Church & serving as Photographer
  58. Around 100 crabs caught all summer in our backyard
  59. Killing time at Palacio Real de Madrid,  El Corte Ingles
  60. First Stand Up at Cozy’s Comedy Bar in Hampton Virginia
  61. Being part of Asian Festival 2017
  62. 2nd Comedy act at Cinema Café in Greenbrier Chesapeake, VA
  63. Day trip at Montjuic in Spain
  64. BizConnect Networking at Office Furniture
  65. Books completed like Start with Why, Culture Crossing & Innovate You
  66. 2 nights at Zaragoza, Spain
  67. William & Mary University Procurement Business booth
  68. Mvoss Creation Spring 2017 LineUp
  69. Hoopla, One Click, OverDrive, Zinio and other Library audiobooks
  70. CupidBall social video coverage
  71. Sam’s Basketball team winning in February
  72. BizConnect Networking at Skinny Dip
  73. Flu Graduation dinner at Kappo Ramen
  74. Daily Hope with Rick Warren – my daily live devotional
  75. Return to Marseille France after 2 weeks
  76. The 3,000 miles Road Trip one way from Jerez Spain to Geneva Switzerland
  77. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at auntie’s house in Geneva
  78. The Swan scare with Sam at Lak Leman
  79. Day Trip at Lyon, France
  80. Intermarche and Migros (the alternate to Aldi & Lidl) for groceries in Europe
  81. Sam’s Chorus Band playing at the Sandler Center
  82. Gordon’s Café Machiatto Networking
  83. FusionMeet FusionTalk with Rodica (Romania Experience)
  84. Day #35 in Europe stop in Moscow airport for half day
  85. FusionMeet FusionTalk with Regina (Germany Experience)
  86. WednesDaisy Run
  87. 3 Day in Madrid, Spain
  88. Auntie Lolita’s hosting us in Geneva Switzerland for 6 Days
  89. Karaoke & Pool night at Chromar Apartment in Portugal
  90. Alexa Games family bonding after Dinner
  91. City Bus Tours in Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Sevilla & Marseille
  92. Midnight ice cream & street strolling in Salamanca plaza for 3 midnight in a row
  93. Keynote speaking at Naval Weapons Station
  94. Birthday Lunch with Sam
  95. Shopping at Lidle & Aldi for daily food while in Europe
  96. Swimming at Poetto Beach, Italy
  97. The Flamenco Dance & Dinner Experience in Madrid
  98. Binging Westword (HBO), Night Manager (Amazon) & Black Mirror (Netflix)
  99. Walking the halls of University of Salamanca is like seeing my alma mater University of Santo Tomas
  100. Best fish (sardines) and Paella in Rota beach, Spain

    Monday, November 20, 2017

    11 Books I Recommend for your Winter Days & What I {L}earned from them this Summer & my Fall

    This past summer and fall I have stumbled on 20 books (audio, Kindle and soft/hardbound) on career, culture & commerce (my choice and passion) but only finished reading 11 of them and would like to share them.  But first let me go straight to what I have learned just by reading these 11 books.  Can you figure out what books I am talking about just by reading "what I have Earned and Learned"?

    Here is what I Learned and what I have Earned in these 11 books:
    1. What I learned: As a business owner of promotional and branding company I relate to Steve Jobs focus on simplicity of product and service and Bezo’s resilience diving into territories with courage from the failed Amazon Phone to acquiring Whole Foods, a grocery chain, who’ve seen this coming?
    2. What I learned: Follow your guts to create something new that the community needs not what is already in existence. Zero to One means we start from ground zero (as he did – he was a lawyer and know the educational background on business or marketing) to something he believes and passionate about.
    3. What I learned: All innovation starts with an individual (You or me in this case). To wow our client, boss or customers, we must be truly innovative and transformational. To be creative or innovative, I must create, compete, collaborate and control. I must ask myself, what is it that I am holding back that does not serve my goal – get rid of it.   When aiming, set high-quality goals, take multiple shots until I reach my goal and learn from the experience.
    4. What I learned: I should be aware of what I am thinking like a programmer. Use imagination and remove any constraints on us. Multitasking does not work, it is unproductive so do one thing at a time. Develop a habit by doing something consistent one thing at a time.
    5. What I learned: to succeed in life we must identify our true aim, improve and act on it and never look back on our setbacks and stay focus (chief aim) on our goal as well as to be passionately decisive, set a target date on our goals (chief aim). He gave us a formula for fine-tuning our health, wealth by asking: “What do I really want in my life?”. The “miracle” happens in unexpected ways so don’t expect to accomplish what we want in how we want it, but it will happen “miraculously” if we have a “definite chief aim”.
    6. What I learned: We are not a spectator or just drift like a bird “without wings”. Our main role is to “live forward” and follow our path by exploring our inner talents, and be aware our on “chains” that strangle us like regrets. This is not possible if we do not have a written long-term life plan. It is the only way to live with no regrets. If we missed an opportunity, it has forever gone – look for the next. It forces us to know every day that we have a better future and keeps us balance in different areas of our life.
    7. What I learned: People will not buy our idea or products if we do not tell them why they need it.   It is hard to convince someone even if we have all the facts. Once we communicate why we do it, we do not have to worry about convincing someone or selling our ideas – that is the ultimate point, the same thing in convincing or motivating ourselves in accomplishing our goals. This will also free us in many ways how we do our day to day life, just ask why we do it and move on.
    8. What I learned: I should be aware of all the people’s background why they respond differently than others or myself. I should develop agility and adjust my behavior and expectations as needed so we can communicate better to others.   Understanding culture is the key to success in      my personal life (knowing my friend is where they came from) and business (the multicultural background of my colleagues, clients, and employees) to develop empathy and influence to get our message across and sell our ideas to other culture – globally.
    9. What I learned: We can either bring people down or up like an elevator so is others and we can control how we do it. We must intend to bring people up and not down. We attract what we think and say and we should “fill in” our calendars not others to our calendars; this takes discipline. Don’t allow gossip or idle chat to take over our time. Focus on the Rs: What is Required, what is the Reward and what is the best Return on everything that we do. Selfishness is the opposite of significance, so don’t be selfish if we want to be significant. These habits or growth is not automatic, and it gets better when practicing every day. Share this nugget as you practice them to your mentees, children and it will grow on you. 
    10. What I learned: to keep it short up to 18-minute maximum and simple. I need to have a personal story and be passionate when I conversationally talk about them. I must find a subject that is unique, and I know very much about and paint a clear mental visual experience with the audience.
    11. What I learned: The first wave was between 1985-200 which is the AOL, Microsoft, Cisco, we are now in the second wave of the internet which is the building of Apps from Google and services of social media like Facebook. The third wave integrates seamlessly and pervasively all of these in our lives from financial, education, health, career, transportation, etc. These are tools necessary to transform our lives. We should be mindful and embrace these changes – it is inevitable. The next wave will be the era of cooperation, “if you want to go far, we must go together.”

    Here are the corresponding 11 books where I Learned and how I have Earned  the 11 lessons above:

     1.       The Four by Scott Galloway (November 5).  Learned how the four powerful companies: Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon went through becoming the sustaining company they are today. Google has excellent work ethic and lives to the adage: Don’t Be Evil. Google takes care of their people through many incentives that are hard to match including the 18-month maternity leave policy. Apple is focused on the looks and branding of the iconic logo and media ads to clean and pure, acutely concentrated on the marketing of their products. The book mentioned how Amazon is leading the way in how to diversify and expand their services by being resilient and how Jeff Bezo’s personality affects how the company grows into the multifaceted company. Google started a search engine, and like everyone of this “Four” companies, they started literally in their garage, small and created what people are needing. Although all Four competes with each other in some areas, focusing how to improve themselves against competitors is not their focus like the theme of this next book Zero to One from the founder of Paypal.

    2.      Zero to One by Peter Thiel (October 25). Peter described how he build from nothing to something in his transition as a lawyer to the founder of Paypal as he was supposed to take a very vital job in Court Justice Department as the top student from top law school. Unique insights about how small (zero) can have a significant vision (to one). One curious and unique idea about his book was his contradiction to the notion of competitiveness; he thinks it is unhealthy as proven from Google, instead of competing with other searching engine or Facebook competing against other social media. It does make sense that if you fight and wins, did you win permanently? What happened to the loser who is in the same industry? We need to change the notion of working with our competitors. Also, monopoly is productive as it brings new products that “benefits everybody and sustainable profit to the creator.”

    3.      Innovation You by Jeff Degraff (August). I got hold of this though Hoopla audio under Career section, and so I downloaded and got more than I expected. A useful book on career changes and how to succeed as an entrepreneur and making those decisions. It is not just a book on innovation but how to have an innovative mind and to unlock our unique potential to grow and succeed by providing us easy to follow four step-by-step frameworks based on academic research (not just Degraff’s opinion). 

    4.      Mind Hacking by Sir John Hargrave (November 10). Most of the advice has been heard before in most advice books but not in a fun and modern way as John does who was a computer geek and able to converse in a natural tone & voice as outlined in the following ideas which are a 21 Day program.

    5.     The Miracle of Definite Chief Aim by Mitch Horowitz (June 30). Two years ago I had the privilege to a Facebook friend, read and review Mitch’s 5-star book One Simple Idea discussing the key points and history of most “Self-Help” and books with one simple idea: to live positive in life, the law of attraction, rules of living on how to be rich. The Miracle of Definite Chief Aim is much easier read (I finished the audiobook in two workout run), similar concept but different perspective. 

    6.      Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy (Oct 13). The premise of this book was: We should live every day with a bigger picture, design of my day to day life on how I can achieve that outcome. We must aim to get our full potential by feeling “alive” and know that we deserve to be happy. 

     7.      Start with Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone by Simon Sinek (May 3). I first stumbled Sinek on his inspirational talk on social media and this book has a lot of idea and lessons on how we can inspire others, excite our employees by knowing “Why we do what we do” and communicate clearly. Tell them why first, before you sell it to them.

    8.      Culture Crossing by Michael Landers (April 25). I started digging into the study of culture as it influences business and career when I first hear and met Culture Map author Erin Meyer on how personal culture matters. This book by Landers was much easier read as it has fewer graphs and more variety of different culture based on his actual extensive experience growing up. It has more interesting and instructive stories, insight and self-assessment to evaluate our Cultural Quotient (CQ) which is another book I read. 

    9.      Intentional Living, Choosing a Life that Matters by John C. Maxwell (October).  Maxwell was one of the few books I read on the subject of Leadership, 25 years ago and he never stops bringing in new and applicable ideas on the subject. This book is more personal that is applicable in all segments of our life with the goal of creating a lasting legacy to our business, family, and community by doing everything with high good positive “intentions”. There is a lot of anecdotes and experience shared by Maxwell including about his dad – his mentor and most significant influence on him and practices the Intentional Living. 

    10. Talk Like Ted, The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the 21s Century by Carmine Gallo. (September). The author discusses how we can become a better public speaker and she got her tips and ideas by watching and reviewing several TEDTalk series and what the great presenters have in common. They all have nine qualities: Great emotion or passion, something new, memorable, it is conversational, and they tell a story.
    11.   The Third Wave by Steve Case (September). I remember reading Alvin Toffler back in college, and this is very similar. I finish listening to Steve Case read his book that describes why AOL failed to be the “Facebook” or “Google” of our time when Time Warner took over his America Online. Moreover, these are some lessons learned and how he sees the future.
    Books I did not finish (limit 20 days) but will re-borrow it to finish it. I highly recommend as well.
    12.  E-Myth Mastery by Michael Gerber
    13.  Influencer, The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson
    14.  Decisive by Chip Heath
    15.  Listen by Dale Carnegie Associates (June 20)
    Books I purchased and currently reading and would like to discuss and inivite for our next Books, Business, Branding and Beyond:
     16.  Grit by Angela Duckworth
    17.  Innovators by Walter Isaacson
    18.  Power of the Other, Startling Effect Other People Have on You by Dr. Henry Cloud
    19.  The Idea Book by Fredrick Harren
    20. Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

    There are few reasons why the other ten did not make it to the list – because I did not finish them because I was not excited to read them and I only have 20 days to keep them from Hoopla, Overdrive, RBDigital via my local library.

    First of all, if you are already using those book or library apps, congratulations. You are saving hundreds of dollars for Audible subscription and Kindle purchases. (See my separate blog about how you can use this app). Dates indicate I completed or returned the book.

    The bottom line is I learned & earn something from reading these 11 Career, Commerce & Cultural books which I am passionate about - but doing what I learn is something else, and so I am now holding you accountable that hopefully, you can check up on me on a regular basis if I practice them. I also hope that you use your library benefits and use your tax to borrow these books (I prefer audio, then paper then Kindle) using Hoopla, Overdrive, RBDigital, CloudLibrary, Libby and other similar apps.