Ruthlessly Executing

Its been almost a month since my last post. It was admittedly a pretty dark one. As you can tell, I default to negative. With the help of some recent feedback, I realize that I need to improve on this negativity. I’m working on it, among all the other things listed below.

So, what am I up to? Its almost been a year now since I was fired. I’m still unemployed with no prospects. However, its been a very interesting past month.

I spent approximately 10 years of my career working with companies that were going through troubled times. I worked as a turnaround advisor, figuring out strategic, operational and financial cures for these sick patients. I also worked as a bankruptcy professional, often times working with insolvent companies close to liquidation. Collectively, it was very difficult work. I was working with people whose backs were pressed up against the wall. I saw lots of firings. I was involved in a lot of conflict, often on a daily basis. Although the work was interesting, it was exhausting.

Looking back over all the deals I was involved with as an advisor, none compare to the difficulty of the personal turnaround I’ve embarked upon over this past month. After my wife and I came back from our vacation escape, we opened the door to our NYC apartment and I decided, it was time for some big changes. That day, we began what has become a monstrous journey of change.

What originally began as a seemingly simple “move to Chicago” in order to get close to my elderly parents and to save tax money has evolved into a flood of changes in all aspects of my life and my wife’s life. Boxing up the apartment by ourselves and making the move has forced us to review the past in great detail. From this analysis, I realized that there were a lot of areas where we needed to improve. Focusing on myself, I identified the following improvements needed attention:

  • Health – I was gaining weight, not eating well and drinking too much
  • Relationships with everyone – my negativity is pushing people away
  • Finances – too much leakage for things that we’re not getting value for
  • Discipline – I’ve stalled out on some good habits including daily exercise
  • Reading – I stopped tackling the WSJ daily and I’m not reading 25 pages a day

Around the time I wrote the last post in June, I was beginning to inventory all the needed changes and was obviously feeling overwhelmed. To cope with the anxiety, I’m focusing only on the few steps in front of me. I’m following Buffett’s great advice on prioritizing ( ) — basically to make a giant list of everything that needs to get done then choosing only the top few items and ruthlessly executing upon only those. Its a muddy track but I’ve got on the blinders and I’m sprinting all-out.


Using this technique, over the past month, my key focus has been on #1 getting my family and possessions set up in Chicago, #2 getting my co-op in NYC fixed up and ready to list, #3 clean up my health. Everything else, including my job search outside of the requirements to meet unemployment insurance, has been put to the side for now. Those will come as #4 and #5 once the top three are executed.

Taking stock of my actions executed over the last month, I’ve:

  • Bought a car
  • Found an apartment in Chicago
  • Moved all our possessions in two U-Haul trips to Chicago
  • Put our “overstock” inventory of possessions in a nearby storage facility in Chicago
  • Hired contractors for major repairs to my co-op to occur this week
  • Have been working my arse off doing every repair / clean up job that I can on my own including repainting the apartment, fixing walls, putting in new blinds, etc.
  • Substituted fast food and fried foods for fruits, veggies, and water
  • Gotten back to a daily running habit
  • Decided to quit drinking indefinitely
  • Waked up increasingly earlier each day > goal to get to 6:45am (I’m a night owl)

Talk about making a dramatic change to life ….

The long hours by myself in New York City painting and repairing our apartment have given me a lot of time for self-reflection. This is a period where I am focusing on making myself a better person. Its a period of going from my cluttered, overly complicated life in NYC and returning to minimalism and simplicity. Its a time to take stock of what’s working and what is not working in my life and to stop doing those things that are impairing me. Its a time to revisit good habits and perhaps develop a few new ones. It feels great to eliminate not only waste but those non-essential aspects of life that offer low payout, no matter how deep of roots they’ve grown in my life.

My goal is to have my apartment in NYC on the market by the end of the month and be back in Chicago with my family focused on career by early August. I’m shooting to maximize my health, hit my ideal weight and feel good. The warm rays of hope are hitting me in the face for a change … and it feels good.

Sun rays
















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