How to make the most of the global timeout.

Over the past month the world has been introduced to an interesting new term. Social distancing is what the doctors have ordered to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Social distancing means we all go to our own homes and stay there until we are told we have been there long enough.

The Timeout

For some people this is a strange concept. But parents will recognize this as a timeout. It’s a time when you tell your children that they have to stop what they’re doing (cuz they’re about to ruin, the image and the style that you’re used to). For decades we have been sending our kids to their bedroom, the stairs or a faraway corner to give them time to calm the eff down, and think about their actions.

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This woman looks like she is calming the eff down. She also looks like she could use more furniture.

The social distancing ordered by governments, the Center For Disease Control and the World Health Organizations (led by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend and Keith Moon) is really a global timeout for citizens of the world. And it may just be the best thing to ever happen to us.

Time To Think

Just like timeouts for kids, this Global Timeout gives adults time to think about their choices, actions and repercussions. It reminds us that we shouldn’t take our liberties or our opportunities for granted. It reminds us that life is short. And that time is our most precious commodity.

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Taking the WHO’s advice seriously, Tommy is taking a break from playing pinball to think.

The Global Timeout, also known as Wuhan Soloing, is a perfect opportunity to reevaluate and adjust your goals and the action required to attain them. Now is the ideal time to think about your personal life, health, faith, family and friendship.

Career Evaluation

The Global Timeout offers the ideal time to think about your career. Are you on the path you want to be on? Are you making progress towards your goals? Are you as fulfilled as you want to be? And if you are a member of 2 Live Crew, are you as nasty as you wanna be?

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Think about it. There must be higher love.

Getting Down To Business

The Global Timeout is the perfect time for businesses to think about the future. To determine where you want to go, and what you want to become 3 to 5 years down the road. If your business has quieted substantially during this time, see this as an opportunity. The slowdown provides you with time to think. And big results are a result of big thinking. The type of thinking that is hard to do when you are busy with your day to day operations and responsibilities. Or on a ventilator. So remember to keep washing your hands.

Key Takeaway

Social Distancing is a gift. This forced timeout offers an opportunity to think and evaluate your life, your career and your business in a way that you may never have again. Don’t waste it. Make sure that when we reach the end of this period, in a matter of weeks or months, that you emerge from this better, smarter, more focused on your next chapter. Those who take advantage of this opportunity will win. Both at work and at life. Make sure you are one of those people.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

What role will you play in the coronavirus story?

I love a good story. And right now I am in the early chapters of a really interesting new story. Only it is not a book, movie, or TV show. It’s real life. And you are in the story too.

The Coronavirus

The new reality caused by COVID-19 is turning into one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. And we are just getting warmed up. What began as a health problem in Wuhan, China is now impacting all manner of life on my side of the planet in ways that would have been unimaginable a week ago. Unless, of course, I was watching what was happening in Italy a week ago. But I wasn’t. Because sports were still on TV.

War of The World

Remember hearing the story of Orson Wells’ War of The World radio broadcast when we were younger? This feels a lot like that. Only the Aliens are viruses. And what was a fake newscast is really happening.

Shut’n Er Down

Sports of all sorts are cancelled. Schools are closed. Amusement parks, museums and zoos are shut down. Travel is greatly restricted, and will likely restrict even further. And I am not just talking about the economy class seating.

The Upside

Yet within these unprecedented times are amazing opportunities. Opportunities to connect with those closest to you. To slow down. To go for walks, hikes and bike rides. To play games at home. To cook more. To read more. To create more. And in 9 months, I expect to see a global wave of tiny little coronavirus-inspired Earthlings.

Do Good

Today, there are new opportunities to volunteer and contribute. Support the organizations that support those who are most impacted by this pandemic and the economic repercussions.

Build

There are new business opportunities all around us. The new reality means new unmet needs. And unmet needs are the seeds from which businesses grow.

Lead

There will be opportunities to lead. To take actions that help your community. Both in the prevention of the spread of the virus in your community, and in the recovery and return to normalcy after the threat passes.

Key Takeaway

A significant chapter of global, national and personal history is being written right now. Be thoughtful about the role you will play in the story. Keep washing your hands. And be patient. This too shall pass. And we will all have an interesting story to share.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

You have perfected the old way. Now what?

I have spent the last few days speaking to smart people at a giant trade show in Las Vegas. Just as the World Health Organization recommended that we should all hole up in our closets for 2 weeks, I decided to hangout with 100,000 trade show attendees in Sin City. #RollingTheDice

CONEXPO

CONEXPO, the mammoth construction industry show, is the largest trade show in the history of my personal trade show experience. It is like the construction industry’s Super Bowl. Only without the extravagant halftime show. Or football.

Why Are You Here?

My advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry works with CONEXPO in a super secret capacity that I can not disclose. Yet. But as part of our work, yesterday I talked to people about why they come to the show. One particular attendee I talked to had a very simple way of summarizing why he comes. He said:

‘We have the old way of doing things down. We need to find the new way.’ -CONEXPO Attendee

I love this idea.

Out with the old.

It is really easy to master a way of doing things, and think that you can simply repeat that process, technique or approach for the rest of your days. But if you do, you will stop growing. You will stop improving. You will stop learning. And you will forfeit your competitive advantage to those who continue looking for the new way. The better way. The faster, easier and more profitable way.

Grow, Grow, Grow Your Boat.

Always be growing. Technology and innovation are continuously improving. The fact that we can instantly exchange information and cat videos across the globe means that we have unprecedented access to new information and ideas to help you improve virtually everything you can think of. Including your thinking.

New And Improved!

I worked in the advertising industry for 19 years before I started my own agency. But from day one, the technology and applications we implemented at The Weaponry were completely different than those I had previously used. Because we did our homework, and found new, smarter ways to perform our work. And to collaborate with our teammates and partners.

Today, as we close in our 4th birthday, we are challenging assumptions. We are open minded, and ready to advance as soon as the advancements are ready to be taken advantage of. And you should be too.

Key Takeaway

Once you have mastered the old way, start looking for the new way. Always be learning, growing and improving. Embrace change. Put innovation and advancements to work for you. They provide a competitive advantage. And if you don’t utilize them, your competition will.

Oh, and if you see me at CONEXPO, or out enjoying Las Vegas tonight, please stop by and say hi. Or bump my elbow with yours. Or point and smile. Just don’t shake hands. That’s the old way. Before the coronavirus inspired, new, smarter, safer techniques.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

You are luckier than you realize.

I recently discussed my upcoming travel plans with my teenage daughter, Ava. I told her that the next morning I had a flight that left at 5:40am. Her jaw dropped. She looked at me in disbelief. Finally, she said, ‘You are sooo lucky!!!’

I was not sure she understood what I had said. I clarified that my flight left at 5:40, AM. Which is the morning one. She said, ‘I know.’

I asked, ‘What time do you think I need to get up to make a 5:40am flight?’ She ran some quick calculations in her head and confidently replied, ‘4:00am.’ Which both Steve Harvey and Richard Dawson’s surveys said was the number one answer on the board.

I asked, ‘Then why do you think I am so lucky? To which she responded:

‘You are lucky because you get to go on a trip! For work! Dad, you are getting paid to travel! Which means you are killing it! Plus, you love your job. And you won’t be working the entire time. So you’ll get to enjoy some good meals and free time in a fun city. And I have to go to school.’

-Ava Albrecht (14 y/o)
Me and my daughter, Ava, and some Chihuly glass.

From The Mouths of Babes

What a great perspective. When I was planning the launch of my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry I dreamed of the day that a client would pay me to travel for business. Today, we have 3 Weapons traveling to Las Vegas for a week to do important work for one of our great clients. And I am feeling extremely lucky. Like a rabbit with its lucky rabbit’s feet all still attached.

One Last Reminder

As I boarded my flight at 5am, I spotted my friend Mark in line behind me. We greeted each other enthusiastically. He told me that he and his family were headed to Costa Rica for spring break. He continued, ‘I assume you are traveling for business.’ I confirmed that I was. To which he responded, ‘Yeah, but you love your work.’

Indeed I do. Which makes me really lucky.

Key Takeaway.

If you enjoy your work you are lucky. If you get paid to travel you are lucky. If you start a business and attract customers or clients who dig what you do, you are lucky. It is easy to lose sight of your good fortune. Or to take it for granted. So this is a simple reminder that having family and friends to remind your of the good things in your life is lucky too. Have a great day! I hope you kill it!

*If you know someone who could use this reminder, please share it with them.

Now is the time to be bold.

This has been an interesting 2 weeks for our planet. Like the movie Parasite, the coronavirus has come out of nowhere, and messed up plans from Wuhan to Hollywood. As a result, the financial markets have gone totally Tom Petty. From Learning to Fly Into The Great Wide Open, to Free Falling.

In the midst of one of the strongest sustained period of economic growth in American history, suddenly we are dealing with travel restrictions, cancelled national and international events, medical supply shortages and panic at the disco.

The Stock Market

Today, the stock markets are in the toilet. And I couldn’t be more pleased.

Because if you are looking for an amazing financial opportunity, this is it. In bad times, when people are panicking, the table is set for you to dig in and take advantage. If you need a refresher course on this lesson, rent the movie The Big Short or Trading Places tonight.

Be Bold Like Barbecue Sauce

If you have a little money to work with, it is time to be bold. You have to find your chance, and take it, like Steve Winwood. Which means picking up an asset that others have dropped like a bad habit in January. It means doing your homework. Taking action. And having faith, like Tim McGraw. Because nothing is guaranteed. And you could go bust. But there is a very good chance that you will go boom boom pow.

The Mortgage Crisis

During the subprime mortgage crisis from 2007 to 2010, American banks were in major trouble. There were fears that some banks would not survive. And some didn’t. But there was an opportunity with those that did. To take advantage of the opportunity you had to buy into those stocks during the darkest days of uncertainty.

During that time I went dumpster diving, and bought stock in 4 different banks that were in the trash. I bought those stocks for as low as $2 per share. And I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. I swore that if I was ever in such a position again, I would buy far more next time. Because those banks stocks have proven to be the smartest financial investment I ever made. Aside from my decision to start my own advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry.

Key Takeaway

I am not telling you to buy stocks. Or to start your own business. I am simply reminding you that fortune favors the bold. And this is a prime time for the bold. So be bold. Make bold choices. And see what happens next.

Why I am no longer writing The Perfect Agency Project blog.

In 2015, with the enthusiastic support of several former clients, I decided to create my own advertising agency. During the planning process I started this blog to help share my entrepreneurial adventure. I called the blog The Perfect Agency Project. I wanted to write about what I was doing, learning and thinking as I was launching, improving and growing what would become The Weaponry. That way, if I made huge mistakes, and wondered, What was I thinking!?!, I could simply go back and read what I wrote.

I Didn’t See THAT Coming.

However, in an unforeseen turn of events, creating this blog has become as significant to me as creating the business. The simple act of writing about my experiences has taught me even more than I have been able to share with my readers. And the feedback I have received from readers has made it one of the most rewarding elective projects of my life (even better than the 3 inch goatee I grew in college).

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The more I write, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I write. That’s why I decided to  get my virtuouscycle rider license.

Doing Time

Over the past few years I have spent 10 to 15 hours per week writing my blog. I publish new posts every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning. And I have been able to collect, sharpen and share more knowledge and insights than I ever expected. I learned so much about blogging that I wrote posts like, What I have learned about blogging after 200 posts. And 12 things I’ve learned from writing 300 blog posts.

A New Chapter

When I turned 40 years old I made a commitment to start my own advertising agency. I did it by the time I was 42. And as I continue to build and grow The Weaponry, I have added new goals.

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Some of The Weapons, laughing and smiling, as if someone was taking a picture.

I have another startup business that I would like to launch soon. I want to write a book. Ultimately, I hope to write more than one book. But before you can write many books you have to write one. Kind of like, before you become a porn star you have to first have sex, on camera. #pleasedontdothis

Broadening My Horizons

To share my various business experiences, my book writing adventure, and all of the other life lessons, insights and humorous experiences along the way, it is time to expand the scope of this blog. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that I have regularly wandered far from topics related to The Weaponry. In fact, one of the great things about having a personal blog is writing about whatever you want. Like A strange encounter at the Piggly Wiggly. And I find myself wanting to share my broader experiences, learnings and observations.

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I may share more stories, like what I learned on my family’s 2019 Father’s Day hike on Mt. Rainier.

As part of the broadening of the blog I am changing the name of the blog too. It will no longer be called The Perfect Agency Project. (#audiblegasps #CallCNN #WeInterruptThisBlogCast) I also want to make my writings easier to find, by humans and search engines alike.

So I am changing my blog title to… wait for it… The Adam Albrecht Blog. I know, this sounds crazy, like rich Asians. And you will never believe the new URL I will be using. So I will tell you. It is… AdamAlbrecht.blog. (However, theperfectagencyproject.com will still direct you to the blog. Because a rose by any other name may not immediately smell as sweet to Google and Bing.)

The rest of the blog will be totally the same. I will still share what I am learning. I am committed to humorous asides and totally random pop culture references that separate insiders from outsiders. (Use Google as your secret decoder ring for random references.) I will keep hashtag-style commentary. And captions will be written to make you giggle.

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Maybe I’ll share more stories like the time Danica Patrick and I filled a motorhome with 1.2 million ping pong balls. As DP said, ‘That’s a lot of balls!’

Key Takeaway

Thank you to all of you who regularly read my blog. Thank you for the comments, likes, emails, texts, phone calls, proofreading help, and in-person feedback on my writings. I know your time is limited. And I appreciate that you take the time to read my posts. But if you like what I have written in the first 412 posts, you will like what I write over the next 4000. And if you like this blog, I expect you will like the book. Which I look forward to spending more time writing in the year ahead. Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this post. Which is actually not here. Or here. It’s right here.

5 things I do in the first 5 minutes to start my day right.

I am a morning person. I love a new day, a new start, a new opportunity to get better.  Basically, I love everything new. Like Huey Lewis. In fact, I am a self-proclaimed Newdist. And I’m thinking of starting my own colony.

My Morning Routine

I don’t drink coffee. But I do 5 things every morning that help me get the party started right. When I do these 5 simple things before breakfast, I feel like a winner, ready for chicken dinner.

5 Things In 5 Minutes

1.  I wake up before my alarm. 

Waking up before my alarm is one of my favorite things. It makes me feel like I am fully-cooked and ready to rock. It is a sign that I have had a healthy dose of sleep, and that my body and brain are prepared for the day. It is way better than having an alarm clock kicking you in the eardrum.

However, in order to wake up before your alarm you need good sleep. I set my alarm for 6am. But I usually wake up between 5:30am and 5:45am. I think of the early awakening as a lag measure, indicating that I went to bed early enough (usually around 11pm). Which sets me up for success the rest of the day.

2. I smile.

The first thing I do after I awake, while still lying in bed, is smile. I smile a big, broad, toothy smile. And It helps me feel good, right out of the gate. It’s like taking a happy pill. Only there is no pill. I wrote about this habit in the post: Kickstart your day with this powerful and simple habit.

3. I get out of bed before my alarm would have gone off.

Waking up before your alarm in great. When I proactively turn off my alarm it makes me feel like I have defused a bomb. #TheHurtLocker  But the very best thing is getting up and started ahead of schedule. It sets your entire day up for success.

4. I weigh myself.

I weigh myself right away each morning. I do this for a couple of reasons.

  1. I am lightest in the morning, before I put my contacts in.
  2. I have a healthy target weight that I measure myself against. I like to stay at or below 215 pounds, which is how much I weighed when I graduated from high school. So my weigh-in helps me chickity check myself, before I wrickity wreck myself.

This morning I weighed 213 pounds. When I am at or below my target weight, I feel like I am starting my day in a great place. It is proof that my exercise and eating habits are working. And I feel as if I have won a personal challenge within the first few minutes of the day.

However, even when I am over 215 pounds, I take it as a reminder of what I need to do today to be where I want to be tomorrow. The feedback is great for me either way.

5. I drink a glass of water.

I make a point of drinking a tall glass of water right after I weigh myself. It is easy to do. But the impact is significant. It helps me rehydrate. I can tell right away that this sharpens my brain and makes me feel more alert and ready for the day. No caffeine, sugar, taurine or alcohol needed. In fact, I often wonder if the active ingredient in coffee, tea and energy drinks is actually the water itself. #DrEvilPinkyToMouthPose

Key Takeaway

The best way to have a great day is to have a great start. Turn your morning routine into a game of positive actions. By taking these 5 simple steps you will start your day feeling proactive, positive, productive and prepared. All within the first 5 minutes.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this morning idea, please share it with them.