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Whatever happened to “the customer is always right?”


Actually, believe it or not, the customer isn’t always right. Stores and businesses adopt that policy because complaints are a liability, and in the long run it’s more efficient in costs, reputation and time to accommodate complaints in the form of refunds, exchanges, etc. That’s what the dude from Fiverr did a few days ago. I had put in an order for a voiceover for the podcast, and included a recording of myself giving the tone, pace, inflection, etc. that I wanted. Of course, no one can do it as well as I can, but having myself introduce myself is slightly narcissistic,…

Optimism: A Buffer From Reality


For the last week or so, I’ve been reading a book titled Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. The author is a psychologist who studies optimism and pessimism, and whether or not these qualities can be “learned” i.e. become ingrained in our psyche and lifestyle through repetitive practice. One section of the book that stood out to me was how pessimists tend to be more practical, or in tune with reality – while optimists have formed a “buffer” of sorts from reality. What is reality? Well, let’s be honest, it’s not pretty. The world is indifferent to your…

Art is a Barometer of a Society


My wife Sana and I were at a shopping mall in Hanoi, Vietnam the other day… Before I go any further, you need to understand that shopping malls in Vietnam are not at all like shopping malls in the United States, or other underdeveloped countries. The place was a complete madhouse. I mean, kids everywhere. And they are definitely working on those vocal cords, if you know what I mean. At any rate, what I found interesting about our visit to the mall yesterday is that they had all these kids songs blaring in the main P.A. system in the mall.…

From “Stealing” to “Steeling”: A Case Study in Learned Optimism.


To be continued…

Dear Podcast Host, You’re Not the Listener. Sincerely, The Listener


The one thing that every podcast host wants is for other people to listen to their podcast. And obviously, we want the listening experience to be a positive one so that they’ll keep coming back for more. It’s tempting for the podcast host to take the role of the active listener: on the edge of their seat, looking the guest in the eye, nodding and verbally affirming what they say while doing an interview. That’s just good manners when you’re having a conversation, right? But when you the host are affirming what they have to say, perhaps coaching and coaxing…

Man’s Greatest Fear…


…is dying without having really lived. In the fall of 2018, I was going through a pretty rough time. I had recently separated from my wife of 12 years, and she was saying some really nasty things about me. I mean, things that innocent men spend years of their lives in prison if they’re convicted in court. I was all too familiar with the biased court system in the U.S., so I wasn’t about to do or say anything stupid. And because of her unfounded fear of the monster she had created in her mind, she kept my time with…

Turns Out Trumpet Soloist Really Is a Career, Leading Your Audience to Peaceful Moments, Getting Started on Piccolo, and Much More w/ Floris Onstwedder


“Trumpet soloist is an oxymoron”… We’ve heard it before. We even heard it on last week’s show w/ Patrick Oliverio. Well, Floris Onstwedder has something to say about that. At the ripe young age of 26, he’s already done some amazing things as a trumpet soloist. His is a name I expect we’ll be hearing quite a bit in the future. Enjoy the episode! Floris’ website Join The Trumpet Jungle Facebook group Floris Onstwedder is a world-class rising trumpet star. ​Wynton Marsalis recognized Floris’ musical abilities about 15 years ago when he said simply: “You can play, little brother.” Nothing…

The Trumpet DIDN’T Sound…


In 2014, I was given an opportunity to perform Handel’s masterpiece Messiah. One of the most famous pieces in the classical trumpet repertoire is The Trumpet Shall Sound. Well, I’ll allow the title of this episode to tell you how it went, but in spite of the unfortunate outcome of the performance, it set in motion a chain of events that have led me to live a pretty cool life. Key takeaway from this episode: Just take it down an octave.

Going Acapella, The Oxymoronic Career of Trumpet Soloist, Finding Zen in Performance and Much More w/ Patrick Oliverio.


“Average Joe?!” I asked incredulously. “Yes, I…” “Average Joe???!!!” I asked, again stupefied. When it comes to the trumpet, Patrick Oliverio is anything but average. Solo cornetist w/ the Fountain City Brass Band, awarded first place in the graduate division of the 2017 National Trumpet Competition, highly sought-out teacher and performer in the Kansas City metro area. These are but a few of the well-deserved accolades Patrick has earned in his career. When he’s not producing videos of himself performing 6-part ensemble pieces in stairwells using the Acapella app, he writes in his blog on topics such as meditation, parenting…

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