Given my ever present awareness of my kids’ race towards adulthood, not to mention my continued aging and understanding that we are not guaranteed one more day on this earth…I decided I wanted to document all of the key lessons of life that I’d begun teaching my kids, along with those that I’d yet to convey because they were more appropriate at some point in the future, when my kids were a little older.
In the event I were unavailable for pep talks or life lessons best suited for a later time in life, these documented key life lessons, this book, would expose them to positions on love, pain, triumph, competition, passion, defeat, humility, work-ethic and humor in a way that I would not be able to share any longer. Although I was driven by a concern that my kids could go without ever having been exposed to these perspectives, I felt strongly that even if I am to live to 100, I knew I wanted to document some of my core beliefs so that I could give an organized representation of them to my kids in print, for them to take with them when they went on to college and “flew our coop” to start their own lives in adulthood. My hopes are that they’ll reference it periodically, the same way that I periodically still refer to the easy-to-absorb Dale Carnegie books such as “How to Make Friends and Influence People” and “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Key messages of life presented in bite sized, thought provoking, chunks.
As I began writing the words to underpin the life lessons that I wanted to document, I quickly began to feel like these messages could be just as helpful to other parents - new parents, young parents and old parents alike. I also thought that in reading this information, it might not only equip and empower parents to consider key messages they may want to deliver in their own way to their children, but it might also present some interesting perspectives for them to consider for themselves and potentially alter their own approach to life.
There are 57 “life lessons” in this book. Below is the final paragraph of the book’s introduction, along with #57, the final life lesson named “Indescribable Love”.
…”In any event…I know there are many ways you could be spending your time and I’m humbled that you’ve chosen to use a portion of it reading my thoughts. I’m even more hopeful that you find it helpful and conclude that at least one idea that I touch on below has a positive impact on your life, your child’s life, or someone else's life in the world.”
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About the Author
I’ve written business plans, game plans, financial plans, and documented programs for my profession and for non-profit organizations, but I’ve never previously published a book. Among the things I have accomplished in my life, and most importantly relative to the contents within this book, I have contributed to raising two amazing human beingsmy daughter Gabriella and my son William.
I was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, and was raised in multiple towns including Bristol, North Cape May, New Jersey, and Levittown, Pennsylvania. I was born to two loving parents who divorced when I was eight. Both parents were always very involved in my life, and each has been instrumental in making me who I am today. I was primarily raised by a single, working mom from the age of eight until she remarried when I was almost 13. To this day, I’ve been fortunate to maintain great relationships with both of my biological parents and two loving step-parents, all of whom have greatly impacted who I am and how I view the world.
I did well in school and loved sports and spending time with my family. I played organized soccer as a youngster and continued with football, basketball, baseball, and track through high school. I was captain of my football and basketball teams during my senior year in high school and was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to play football at the University of Delaware. I was a business finance major and started as quarterback for Delaware for four years and was named co-captain my senior year. We finished as the number four rated Division 1-AA team in the country my senior year. I’ve since been humbly inducted into my respective high school and college sports hall of fames. I say humbly because my success would not have been possible without my great teammates and coaches.
I’ve been in the enterprise software start-up world for 22-plus years. I’ve had a role in the growth of four software start-up organizations during that time, all of which were either acquired or went public. I thoroughly enjoy having a key role in helping organizations overcome the challenge of figuring out who they are and how best to optimize their business and achieve their goals. Most recently I’d been a ten year ceo and co-owner of ExpenseWatch, Inc., a software organization based just outside of Philadelphia, until deciding to sell the organization in early 2016.
I’ve been married for twenty-two years to a girl I started dating in 1987 when we were both 17. My wife Melissa and I have a daughter, Gabriella (16), and son, William (14), and I’m the proud uncle to nephews Jordan, Justin, and Joey, and my niece Samantha. I’ve coached my daughter’s soccer and basketball teams while also coaching my son’s baseball, basketball, and football teams. I’ve proudly participated on the board of directors of three non-profit organizationstwo of which were as a founding board member.
Enjoying personal activities, friends, family, work, and volunteering is how I spend my time. Enjoying the moment, and those around me, is how I spend my life.
This book was written for my daughter, Gabriella, my son, William, my nephews Jordan, Justin, and Joey, and my niece, Samantha. I’ve also been blessed to have six other children in my life that call me Uncle Bill and who I think of as family. They are Jack, Michael, Christopher, and Jack, Mariella, and Nick. To you all, thank you for your love and for giving me the chance to be a part of your life.
Table of Contents
Reactions to the Book 1
Life Lessons 11
1 Objectives & Goals 12
2 Plan to Execute & Execute the Plan 15
3 Communication - No One Is a Mind Reader 18
4 Life's Obligation What Is My Objective in Life? 21
5 Go All In 23
6 Focus on What You Can Control 27
7 Time Value of Money 30
8 The Relationship between Risk & Return 34
9 Actions to Closure - Move Forward or Move On 37
10 The Mirror Test - Do You Like What You See? 40
11 One True Love or a World of Potential Loves? 42
12 No One Is Perfect-No One 45
13 Macro to Micro - An Organized Way to Think and Communicate 47
14 Stop, Look, Listen - Absorb the World around You 49
15 We Are All Just a Speck 51
16 P4 - Planning, People, Processes, Performance 53
17 Prioritize - Not Enough Time for Everything or Everyone 56
18 Everyone Puts on Pants 58
19 You Can't Tell a Book by Its Cover 61
20 Debt Free = Stress Free 64
21 Carpe Diem or Prepare for Your Future, or Both 66
22 Religion vs. Spirituality 68
23 Just Get It Done - Don't Wait for Someone Else 73
24 Leaders & Followers - The World Needs Both and Each Need the Other 75
25 If-Then-Else Logic - Consider the Ramifications of Your Actions 77
26 What Is the Worst That Can Happen? 79
27 Relationships Are Hard - But Good Ones Are Worth the Effort 81
28 The Grass Is Always Greener - Or Is It? 83
29 Competition Is Good…And Not Everyone Can Win 85
30 Confidence Is Attractive…Humility Is Attractive… Cockiness Is Not 87
31 The Birds & The Bees 90
32 Decision Making: An Organizea Way to Consider Your Options 94
33 Sand through the Hourglass 97
34 Lists - The Second-Best Stress Reducer 100
35 Proactive vs. Reactive 102
36 Our Body Is Just a Shell 104
37 Introductions - Eye Contact & Firm Handshake 106
38 Self-image - No One Can Alter How You Feel about Yourself 108
39 Aligning Expectations 110
40 Balance of Life-Why Don't Daddies Like to Be Home? 113
41 No I in TEAM 117
42 Ask Questions 120
43 Poise in the Pocket 122
44 Accountability 125
45 Multiple Personality Communication 127
46 How Full Is Your Glass? 132
47 Lead or Be Led 134
48 Tate Friends 136
49 Use Your Manners 138
50 Your Body Is an Engine 140
51 Finish What You Start 143
52 Driving No-Nos 145
53 Things Don't Happen to You-They Happen Because of You 147
54 Conversation Eye Contact 149
55 Drugs & Alcohol 151
56 Find Your Own Happiness 153
57 Final Message 154
About the Author 157