Writings by a younger, less handsome man who shares my name

In your most important relationships, what happens when things go wrong?

Do they spiral out of control? Or do they whirl and spin and shake, only to settle firmly where they belong?

Physicists talk of stable and unstable equilibriums, and relationships obey a similar physics.[Image of bowl]

A stable equilibrium is like placing a marble in the bottom of a deep bowl. You can jostle the marble and shake the bowl, but no matter what, the marble will eventually return to where it started, as stable as ever.

An unstable equilibrium is what happens when you turn that bowl upside down and place the marble on top. As soon as you touch the marble or nudge the bowl, the marble careens off the side, onto the table and eventually drops onto the floor.

You can put the marble back on top of the bowl, but it’s precarious. The smallest disruption and it’s on the floor again. The equilibrium is always at risk. Read more…

As I announced earlier this week, I quit a great job at TicketLeap, one of Philadelphia’s most promising young companies, without any idea of what I would do next. I hadn’t even started the search.
Jumping without a parachute
It’s either brave or foolish
, depending on who you ask. It’s also hard to understand, especially for my mother. I think she worries that I’m too proud to move in with her — that she will see me on the news one day holding a sign that says, “Will bring you customers for food.”

So I want to share the story of why I left and why I did it without a parachute. I also want to give you some ammunition in case you find yourself in a similar situation. After all, it’s hard to explain your apparent insanity to everyone you know. It’s also hard to ignore that voice inside your head that will say anything to talk you out of it.

The million dollar question

Before we go any further, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: it seems insane to jump without a parachute, especially in a recession. It seems insane for one simple reason. Read more…

The Internet makes it easy to matter a little bit to a lot of people.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of people will send you an e-mail, read your tweets, look at your photos and think of you over the course of a month.

But how many of those people really matter to you? And how much time do you invest in those relationships?

Something I read today stopped me in my tracks because of how it answers those questions. It’s a quote from an entrepreneur named Rajesh Setty in a new ebook called What Matters Now:

If you are truly enriching someone’s life, they will typically miss you in their past. They think their lives would have been even better if they had met you earlier.

You can tell who really matters to you by looking back and asking yourself, who do I wish had been there sooner? Read more…

I’m excited to announce that I’m a free agent entrepreneur once again.

I decided to leave TicketLeap, one of the best companies in Philadelphia, so I could return to pursuing my own dreams. I left as soon as I knew that my heart was no longer in it — at the peak of my productivity and before it could affect my work. And I did it without a clear plan for what’s next.

Later this week, I’ll be sharing the full story behind my decision on this blog, including my thoughts on what’s next for me. The blog post will be called “Jumping Without a Parachute” and its release will coincide with the blog’s official launch.

I will describe why I had to leave a kick ass job at a kick ass company where I was at the top of my game. I share the critical thing that was missing from my life. I wonder if the same thing might be missing from yours.
Read more…