Reduce Friction (Instead of Cutting Costs)

“There is a limit to how much you can cut, but no limit to how much you can earn.” —Ramit Sethi Wooden swords (bokken) made by Trevor Higgins for Kogen Dojo, a project that required him to invest money in better equipment in order to streamline his process for greater output without sacrificing quality and…

Service is Empathy’s Purpose

As someone who has always struggled to find innate happiness, existential purpose, and a sense of belonging, the discovery of service to others as a path to each of these has been both eye-opening and life changing. As a young kid, I always felt like an outsider. I was bullied daily by older kids at…

Rank is a Symbol (Not a Right)

There is more to rank in martial arts than skill (and loyalty) alone. In martial art competition, rank is important as a means of establishing a level playing field. It is also important as a symbol of who is capable of teaching new students and to what degree. Aside from that, I have often thought…

Your Pain Is Our Pain

On a team, there is no such thing as a personal problem. A team, in the truest sense, is an organically interconnected unit. It is a whole that is greater than its individual parts. Even if there are some redundancies and overlapping skills or responsibilities built into the structure, every piece is crucial to the…

Deliver Your Gift with a Hug and a Smile

It’s not always about your gift. It’s about how you present it to the world. Many years ago, when I was a technician for a large, corporate coffee company, I sat down with my supervisor to discuss a potential promotion. Another technician already had the position I wanted, but I made the case for why…