Category Archives: MY JOURNEY UPSTREAM

Dad’s Guide on How to Stop Smoking before You Start!

Are you disgusted by cigarette smoke?

Why do people smoke? It makes people smell you from 20 feet away, tarnishes your teeth, blackens your lungs, and puts you at risk for cancer. It doesn’t make sense. People shouldn’t smoke, it’s ‘stupid’….right?

Sometimes it’s easy to judge a person’s WHAT without adequately understanding their WHY.

Smoking….drinking…..drug abuse….self-righteousness anger….binge eating…….all signs and symptoms of a thirsty and burnt-out soul!

Life has a way of steering you toward the worst sources of relief when you are experiencing the worst episodes of agony. Until you have been sorely tested and tried you can never say what you won’t do.  Burnout can lead to some of the most unsavory of habits.

What is burnout?

Here is my definition: Not knowing where to start nor where to end.

My experience in burnout is like the time that you go swimming and for the first time you find yourself having floated to the deep end and feel that first wave of water go over your face, covering your nose, deafening your ears……panic….fear….helplessness….grasping for help….

It’s the stab of fear you get just at that moment when you realize: I’m in over my head…..

How does it happen?

how does a boat capsize? it takes on more water in a manner that it cannot handle.

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul  has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.  False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous  system.”- Seth Keen

The question then is not how do you stimulate a soul that is being overworked, overtaxed, and overwhelmed…

In part 2 of this post I’ll dive into some unconventional techniques that will not only invigorate your freeze-dried soul but also explode your brain cells with new creativity. Until then, take a breath, take a walk, and take a moment to thank God for the problems and the issues you have……it is for your good, REALLY!




God is always on Time…………NOT!

 “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”- John 11:32 

Since when have you known God to be an on time God?

If God were on time I’d still be married, many of my loved ones would still be alive, I wouldn’t be so late on some of my bills, and I would enjoy my job all the time.  The thing is….I lost my marriage, went thru depression, lost more than a few people, am not current on all my bills, and there are days where I get terribly discouraged on my job. NO! GOD DID NOT SHOW UP ON TIME!

 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying ?”- John 11:37

While others will tell you stories of God showing up mightily and saving and delivering at just the right moment, I would challenge them on the assertion that God is on time. God is NEVER on time, rather, God is always ETERNAL!

God will seek, act on, and do what is in harmony with His ETERNAL purpose and our ETERNAL pleasure.

God will deliver you over to what will work out for your infinite , abundant, joyous delight 50,000 years from now, even if He must allow what will feel like infinite evil and pain for the next 50 years of your life on this earth.

  I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices ; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol ; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the path of life ; In Your presence is fullness of joy ; In Your right hand there are pleasures foreverPsalm 16



Starting the Year With the End in Mind

Call it ‘jumping the gun‘ if you want …’s 2am right now on New Year’s Day (2011)….everybody’s gone….the kid is asleep…..I’d really like to have some people over and hang a little bit more but…..the  only thing on my mind right now is New Year’s Day…..2012!

While people across the world are partying, celebrating, visiting/traveling I’m too excited to do anything other than what I’m doing. I’m not ‘working‘ as if I have a deadline early Monday morning or I just trying to squeeze in a little extra  effort to close a sale next week. I’m not being a workaholic or a socially dead busybee. What I am doing right now, writing, is the best leisure I can find to do at this very moment.

Here’s a few reason’s why:

  • I love writing. It is my passion and my craft.
  • I envision great blogging influences such as Everett Bogue, Chris Guillebeau, and Adam Baker sitting at a desk somewhere with a laptop and a glass of earl grey tea some years ago just like I am now. Not for money or selfish ambition but because they love what they do and wanted to pursue it at every free moment to reach people and make a lasting impact. I believe the difference between a blogger and what Seth Godin calls a modern day tribal leader is that while a blogger blogs solely to express themselves, a tribal leader begins with a vision of breaking out of molds, embracing freedom, and leading a boatload of people along with them.

Sean’s advice: “Work now when no one else will, and live the rest of your life like no one  else can.” A secret for those who go from good to great.

I’m more excited about the end of 2011 than the beginning because frankly folks….today is fun, but tomorrow is always more exciting when you have a vision!

So here is a one-word snapshot of my agenda for the year:  INFLUENCE.


How about you? What is it that you could accomplish this year that would bring tears to your eyes?

If you had an unlimited budget and a free schedule, what project would you start to change the lives of people around you and support your family at the same time?

Share your comments and let me know what the end of your year should look like……..

Don’t forget to connect with me on Twitter and Facebook



My Epic Plot for World Domination in 2011

Let’s keep this short and simple. Next year I’m taking over the world. Feel free to stay tuned and witness my evil genius at work as I attempt to conquer, create, and collaborate the most massive launching of McZizzle the world has ever seen!

Your thinking:

“he’s got an ego!!”

“This guy is cocky”

or “I want to takeover too!!!”

Before you judge please allow me to make a quote that may help things to be a little more clearer so you see what I mean:

“The ebb and flow of the Atlantic tides, the drift of the continents, the very position of the sun along its ecliptic. THESE are just a FEW of the things I control in my world!” – Master Chief Urgayle

Confused yet? Here’s the point: world domination, huge influence, epic hero stories to tell my daughter when I’m old and grey…they all begin with dominating one thing…….ME!

yep, that’s the simple truth I deal in.    1. I, Erik, am weak, broken, degenerate-if left alone to myself- and yet 2. I can do all things! (insert mad tyrant genius laugh here, here, and here-pick one!)

So in a few words allow me to give just a few points in my action plan to rule and not be ruled!

  • Give an autopsy to 2010!

Bottom line: I failed in some areas. The good news: this year is dead. i can move on!

I don’t mean failed like failed to put the toilet seat down or the macaroni burned on the stove. I mean big financial no no’s, costly relationships, and failure to respond to opportunities.

To be honest with you, I worried too much, prayed too little, spoke too often, and acted too late.

Therefore, as I have begun my annual review, I realize I can’t look forward til I understand what went wrong.

  • Get the mind and skills of a CEO with the lifestyle of a fisherman

Business is my craft. I want to be skilled and bring value to every project I touch. That doesn’t mean that I want money or popularity or a spot on The Apprentice. I want to count. I enjoy building up companies from the ground, I love systems, and let’s face it, EVERYBODY needs to lead better and that’s what business is really about…charting a course and LEADING people there!

I’m committing to working my way thru the personal MBA Reading list. I’ve already begun and it hasn’t costed me a dime! Thank God for the free library. Say it with me…..FREE!

I’ve also gained some great links to free education from Marc and Angel’s 12 dozen places to educate yourself. A big thank you to those Carnegie Melon Professors who will be teaching me for free next year. BRAVO!

  • De-clutter my life

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity”
-Bruce Lee

That doesn’t sound epic but it is! Simplicity, living on less, being less dependent on stuff frees me up to live the life I’ve always wanted.

I have a goal to do all my work independent of location. That means I want to be able to work from Starbucks at 12pm everyday if I so choose.

  • Parent a revolutionary

My biggest priority and mission is to effectively and lovingly parent my daughter Chloe. Be assured, my Princess is not being raised to go to college, get a good job, marry a boy who wears loafers and has a nice degree. No, far be it from me! I pray that Chloe learn to love, sacrifice, fight, cry, and do something bold with her life.

I’m going to be proactive with time that I spend in growing as a dad. Reading, listening to seminars, and being purposeful to spend time with my baby while she’s still my baby! 15 minutes a week reading parenting materials, nightly devotionals, weekly date-night, and an increased bating average (my bating average is the time I spend in one on one conversation with my daughter. No music, movies, TV, or distractions.)

What’s your bating average?

  • The Ripple Effect

I want this site to be the address of cool. Come here for encouragement, a laugh, and a wake up call!

This blog is a business that I am devoted to and passionate about. I want to find at least 5 blogging buddies to network with and help each other grow. One of my best influences on blogging and building influence is Mars Dorian. I’ve learned how to build my presence and, my favorite advice yet, develop an awesome business card!

If you are interesting in building a presence together and learning to build a business online inbox me on facebook or twitter.

  • Give anonymously and overwhelmingly

about a year ago I made a promise to myself to using the Global Prayer digest to guide my prayers for international missions but now I feel led to go a step further. In 2011 I will select one country to support financially and prayerfully with intensity. Not to say I have abandoned the world, but i want to zoom in and help and learn about one specific region. I’m starting at World Vision’s catalog for giving.

I will be creating  a new category to chronicle some of our other exploits such as traveling, pimp-slapping debt, and creating everything else i can’t find. Subscribe and comment often but most of all…develop your own vision for 2011. Don’t read about it on my blog, do something that you love! If you don’t know what to do then schedule some time for thinking and do it! You have been blessed with one life and only a few moments to live it. Live it on purpose!

If you want to do an annual review I invite you to visit Chris Guillebeau’s site to read How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review Let’s give feedback and  hopefully help each other out in our preparation for next year!

(for all you self employed wannabe guru’s check out Chris’ e-book The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself while you’re there!)

In closing, let’s get going with everything we’ve got. No excuses, no fear, no hesitation……

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.-“Self-Pity” by D.H. Lawrence  (see the context here)

Welcome to my world!!