Monday, November 28, 2016

Carson and Shaun New England Patriot Adventures 2009 to Present

In 2009, when my son Carson was in the 4th grade, we started an annual tradition of attending to Patriot Football games.  This may seem normal for Patriot fans that live in New England, however, Carson and I live in Kennesaw, Georgia.

2016 Season: @ New York Jets, Meadowlands, NJ 
November 27th, 2016 / Carson 11th Grade
Patriots 22 - Jets 17





For the Jets game, Carson picked the game and seats.  We flew up Sunday morning from Atlanta, quickly checked int our Meadowlands Hilton, then took a 2 minute shuttle to the game.  We saw a great game with the Patriots quick down 0-10, battle back to be up 13-10, down 13-17, then 16-17, then recovered a fumble to go up 22-17 (missed two point conversion) to win the game!  Our record improved to 3-4!






 

2015 Season: @ Dolphins, Miami, FL
January 3rd, 2016 / Carson 10th Grade
Patriots 10 - Dolphins 20






For the Dolphins game, we made the last minute decision to keep the annual tradition going, so we bought the tickets two days before the game, and we flew to Miami Sunday morning and flew back Monday morning.  For January, the temperature was 85 degrees with Carson and I baking in the sun.  After the game, we had dinner in Miami Beach and drove through South Beach.  Unfortunately the Patriots lost, moving our record to 2-4














































2014 Season: @ Packers, Green Bay, WI
November 30th, 2014 / Carson 9th Grade
Patriots 21 - Packers 26








For the Green Bay Packers game, we met up with my cousin Alex Weiss who then lived in Milwaukee, my brother Tim from Boston, and my Uncle Marc (Alex's dad) and my cousin Matt (Alex's brother) from Maine in Wisconsin for a full sports weekend.  We even saw a Buck's NBA game on Saturday night.  The Patriots lost and it was freezing cold, but I can confirm that Lambeau Field should be on any NFL fans' bucket list.  With the loss, we moved our record to 2-3.





















































2013 Season: @ Falcons, Atlanta, GA
September 29th, 2013 / Carson 8th Grade
Patriots 30 - Falcons 23







With the Patriots coming to Atlanta this was an easy game for us to get to.  We went with my friend Jeff Betts and his son.  Not only did we get our second win of Patriot experiences, we got a nice steak at Ruth Chris prior to the game.  With the Patriots win, we evened our record at 2-2.

 




































2012 Season: @ Ravens, Baltimore, MD
September 23rd, 2012/ Carson 7th Grade
Patriots 30 - Ravens 31









What a game we saw in Baltimore.  It was a back and forth game, with the Ravens winning on a last second field goal.  The Ravens fans were fantastic and Ravens are the only team to have a band, like high school and college football teams.  The day before, Carson and I toured Inner Harbor including the Aquarium. With the Patriots loss our record moved to 1-2.
 


 














 



























2010 Season: vs. Bills, Foxboxo, MA
September 26th, 2011/ Carson 6th Grade
Patriots 38 - Bills 30









After skipping a year, we started rolling on our annual tradition.  This time we double dipped by attending by brother's 40th Surprise Birthday Party the day before in South Boston.  The Patriots held on to win 38-30, Randy Moss caught two passes each for touchdowns, but was released the next day.  We also got to squeeze in a trip to the New England Aquarium.   With the Patriots winning we evened our record at 1-1. 



























2009 Season - @ Broncos, Denver, CO
October 11th, 2009 / Carson 4th Grade
Patriots 17 - Broncos 20 
Denver, CO
Carson 4th Grade

















This was the trip that started it all.  What a time we had in the freezing cold, where we saw the Patriots lose to the Broncos in overtime.  We ran into my first cousin Marlene Priest from Cape Cod at the game in Denver.  We got to go to the Denver Aquarium too.  With the Patriots losing our record starting off 0-1.
















 











Thank you for letting Carson and I share pictures from our New England Patriot excursions with you.  If you have any comments click below or questions, please email Shaun Priest at shaun@closerq.com.  





Friday, November 25, 2016

Book Review: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

CloserQ readers, we have a management book club at Streamline Health, and we recently read, 'Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead' by Sheryl Sandberg.  This is an interesting choice as the majority of our top leaders are male.  I will admit that I was cautious when I started listening to on Audible, however, as you will see below, Lean In is a fantastic book for ALL leaders.  


Below is an overview of this impactful book, however, I want to start with the story that surprisingly brought tremendous clarity to the ups and downs of my personal career.  When Sheryl was evaluating multiple offers to leave government for the private sector, she interviewed with the then CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt. Sheryl explained the safety and clarity of her other options. Eric responded that only one criterion matters when picking a job, 'fast growth'. Eric explained, when companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. Eric told Sheryl, 'If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.'  Personally, I have worked at both high and no growth companies.  Eric and Sheryl brought clarity, when I reflect on my career, that my experiences at high growth companies are exponentially more fun and challenging, then my time at no growth companies.  When my folks in my network call to get my opinion on jobs they are evaluating, I always tell this story.


Back to an overview of Lean In, Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, she encouraged women to 'sit at the table,' seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In her book, Sandberg digs into complex society issues of woman in the work place, by combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. Sheryl recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of 'having it all.'  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.  Written in 2013, Lean In has create a movement with #LeanIn and www.leanin.org.

Good Reading!  Below is the link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Women-Work-Will-Lead/dp/0385349947


Reader Feedback, please click the ‘comments’ below to give your feedback on 'Lean in'. Shaun Priest aka CloserQ. Have fantastic day.
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Carson Drone Video of Perkins Pond Summer 2016

During the Summer 2016, Carson Priest did an Internship at Blue Skeye Video including piloting and filming with Drones.  This is a video Carson did on Perkins Pond in Sunapee, NH.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review: From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

 
CloserQ readers, we have a management book club at Streamline Health, and we recently read, "From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue" by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin.  Our CFO recommended the book, and what a fantastic recommendation.  'Impossible to Inevitable' offers actionable content for both strategies and tactics to grow revenues.

The book goes through the 7 Ingredients of Hypergrowth and the associated Pain with each step:
 
1.       You're not ready to grow . . . until you Nail A Niche:
a.       To really grow, you can't dilute your strategies; you need define 'where you win', and you need to say 'No'.  Plus, keep your market message simple, aka a 4th grader can understand.
2.       Overnight success is a fairy tale. You're not going to be magically discovered, so you need sustainable systems that Create Predictable Pipeline:
a.       This was one of my favorite parts, that you need to have a multi-prong pipeline growth strategies: direct sales executives, inside sales, specialists, trade shows, SEO / SEM, third party prospectors, etc.  Personally, I have expanded my top of funnel activities. 
3.       Speeding up growth creates more problems than it solves. Things will actually get worse until you Make Sales Scalable:
a.       Keep selling as you continue to grow, and keeping growing your sales team and processes as you grow. 
4.       It's hard to build a big business out of small deals . . . so figure out how to Double Your Deal-size:
a.       As you follow the steps above, you need to find larger deals.  Often your sales energy is similar for $10k as a $100k deals, and simple math tell you that you have to sell 10x as much at $10k.
5.       It'll take years longer than you want . . . don't quit too soon or let a Year Of Hell discourage you. Be prepared to Do The Time:
a.       This is true for both companies and sales executives.  If your sales cycle is a year, you could potentially sell $0 in year one, so don't quit, keep grinding.   Now imagine an Entrepreneur, starting for scratch, could take 7 years to hit hyper-growth, including a year(s) of Hell.
6.       Your employees are renting, not owning their jobs. Embrace Employee Ownership to develop a culture of taking initiative beyond a job description:
a.       As a sales manager, this was helpful on what really motivates employees.  I also enjoyed the stock options math, that 0.1% of $100M is $100k, which is a nice bonus but not life changing. 
7.       If you're an employee, you're letting frustrations stop, not motivate, you. Stop waiting for someone else to fix it, and turn your frustrations to your advantage to Define Your Destiny:
a.       Take advantage of your opportunities, by Learning, Earning, or Moving On.
  
Good Reading!  Below is the link on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Impossible-Inevitable-Hyper-Growth-Companies-Predictable/dp/1119166713?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
 
Reader Feedback, please click the ‘comments’ below to give your feedback on 'Impossible to Inevitable'. Shaun Priest aka CloserQ. Have fantastic day.
 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Maddi Skydiving on June 18th, 2016


Amazing 3 Minute Video of Madison Skydiving at www.skydivegeorgia.com in Cedarstown.  Her Walker crew of Sammy, Maddie, and Rae also jumped out of the plane into the abyss.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Patriots Point - Charleston, South Carolina

For a long weekend in early June 2016, Christine and I went down to Charleston, South Carolina.  Carson was getting dirty and having a blast at Extreme Seal Experience and Madison was working at The Walker School, so we decided to sneak down to Charleston for a few days or Rest and Relaxation.  During our min-vacation, we decided to visit Patriots Point, and found a hidden gem.  We debated even going to see the USS Yorktown because we have been on the USS Midway in San Diego.  Because US Air Craft Carriers are so impressive, we decided to stop in after going to Sullivan's Island Beach.  

We are go glad that we stopped because, the USS Yorktown is amazing and to our surprise, Patriot Point, is so much more with USS Clamagore - Submarine, USS Laffey - Destroyer, 25 Plus Airplanes and Helicopters, Vietnam Experience, and Medal of Honor Museum.   Below are pictures from our trip:


Christine walking down the dock to the USS Yorktown
Shaun in-front of the SH-­‐3G SEA KING Sikorsky
Christine in front of F/A-18A Hornet
Shaun shooting anti-aircraft gun
From the Flight Deck of the USS Yorktown
Christine boarding the Sub


Small Quarters of the Sub
Walking through the Submarine
Christine in front of Destroyer
Christine looking down on Vietnam Experience

Shaun in front of a Vietnam Tank
From the Destroyer with the USS Yorktown in the background

Thank you for letting us share our pictures from our Patriots Point and Charleston excursion with you.  If you have any questions, please email Shaun Priest at shaun@closerq.com