Wednesday, February 01, 2006


How often have you been cheated of SOMETHING GRAND or someone you really wanted just because you turned tail and ran...

…changing your mind, convincing yourself that you really didn’t want it, that dream, in the first place?

Everyday I meet people going through their day:

looking at those with whom they want to be…

daydreaming about that new job…

wishing on that new home…

visualizing on that vacation…

And then there’s the opportunity:

--she’s in the aisle right next to you!

--he’s walking your way!

--you see the listing just like you would have written for your dream home!

--a friend is leaving on a trip to the very vacation hotspot you read hungrily about…and says there’s one seat left!

…and you do nothing…


think to yourself that the one you were dreaming about wasn’t really the one you wanted

…that you need to keep working at that job you’ve been slaving away at for just a little longer

…that it’s not the right time to buy a home right now

…that you just don’t have the time or money to take that trip

…that you’ll take that trip…next…year…

And you know what it all boils down to?


NO WAY, you say!

I really didn’t make my right choice for that perfect mate…I do need to build my reputation first at work…and on and on…

But here’s the clincher: it’s actually a NORMAL reaction…

Everyone is genetically predisposed to running when they should stand and fight…you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have that genetically and behaviorally imprinted into your psyche.

Or, in other words: you’re the black bear and not the grizzly.

There’s only one reason the last recorded grizzly bear was sighted in the wilds of California was 1922, while at this very moment California has one of the largest black bear populations in the world: black bears 90 percent of the time run when confronted with a danger, while grizzlies will likely charge!

Charging a Pomo California Native only armed with a stick bow, is quite different from going after an armed Spaniard or as the last one did, an armed rancher in Northern California: as long as the ball had enough powder behind it and shooter had wits about him to make a good shot, the griz always ended up with the short end of the confrontation.

And back to a human interpretation: governments and institutions love followers and do their best to weed out those that give lip and or start revolutions.

But, do you know where the human equivalent of the grizzly actually does well, not only well, but PHENOMENALLY well?

In business!

Successful CEOs, multi-million dollar sales copywriters, and gawd awfully rich entrepreneurs are those who fought the ingrained urge of flight and do well because of their grizzly tendencies…

Now here’s the beauty of life that I so enjoy about LIFE: it’s all yin and yang, light and dark and while, yes, humans are setup for flight, they also have that OPPOSITE OF COWARDICE genetically ingrained: BRAVERY and COURAGE!

The BRAVERY to realize that a dream can’t be left to others to give them—that only one responsible to YOUR HAPPINESS and JOY is YOU!

The COURAGE to stop complaining about what’s wrong with the scene before you and to MAKE IT THE WORLD YOU DESIRE!

…If you’re poor and broke, you MAKE MONEY!

…If you’re lonely, you MAKE INTRODUCTIONS!

…If you’re bored, you MAKE IT EXCITING!

…If you want to travel, you GET ON THE PLANE!

--What you DON’T do is MAKE EXCUSES!

Take for example my new friend, Myles O’Reilly from Dublin, a man whom I was drawn to immediately, not only for his embracing charm, but a great gift of the Blarney, but also that he had so many life adventures that only hinted at his zest for life

…could it have been that like so many who have learned to appreciate life through the spiritually edifying, yet heart-wrenching, experiences of losing two relatives, murdered by the British Army and Secret Service in their own pub in Belfast (March 7, 1977, or a brother to a couple thugs in Puerto Rico, who killed him for his watch?

…Or, a death of friend that reminded me of the loss of my own cousin in Ecuador, to whom I dedicated in memoriam The Bamboo Chest: 12,000 feet to the ground when his chute didn’t open…

Myles O'Reilly and Robin (yes, the Robin from the Epilogue of The Bamboo Chest)

For whatever reason, it’s the courage and bravery that pushed Myles to not only do missionary work in Goa, India, become a promoter of such musicians as Van Morrison, Donovan, and thrive as the builder and owner of San Francisco’s Best Irish Pub: O’Reilly’s Irish Pub!

But here’s the challenge, you get profoundly successful like Myles and certain boobytraps of taking on new challenges suddenly start appearing bigger and more pronounced than they were when you’re starting from scratch, ones that most would think were removed and destroyed with the first ventures turned to gold: fears of failure mainly…

…will we come in on time?

…will the public clamor for our gift or turn their attentions to something, or someone else?

…or as Myles said, “My, GOD, I’ve just found myself $7 Million in DEBT!!”

I reminded him that Donald Trump was somewhere $1.8 Billion in the hole: the question is good debt, or bad debt?

When I bought a new Dodge Ram 2500, on LEASE of all things—that was BAAAAAAD debt!

Owning many billions worth of real estate for the loan of $1.8 Billion is VERY GOOD debt…

A HIGH CLASS IRISH PUB and RESTAURANT that is PACKED BY 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening for $7 Million is EXCELLENT DEBT!!!

I looked around Myles’ NEW ESTABLISHMENT O’Reilly’s Holy Grail on Polk Street in what used to be the old Mayes House, opened in 1867 and had Jack London as one of its patrons…

There were the stained glass windows Myles had purchased from the church and boarding school, Belcamp College…the Greco on the back wall, and…

The final fact that completely blew me away: EVERYTHING in was what the ORIGINAL MAYES OYSTER HOUSE was REMODELED!

Not one bit, even the ceiling was raised from its original height…

Most importantly, I looked around the bar and the separate dinning room, how packed it was, how many of the people in the bar were actually enjoying an expertly poured drink in wait for their reserved table…it was that packed by 7:30…that I had to pat Myles on the back and say, “$7 Million in debt…CONGRATULATIONS!”

But, I didn’t have to wait until 7:30 p.m. to know that O’Reilly’s Holy Grail is well on its way to becoming one of San Francisco’s MUST VISIT watering-holes and restaurants…

I’ll let you in on a secret, so secret that many aren’t even aware of how and why this works: if you want to know if the chef is worth his or her salt, try their desserts first!

Robin and the GREAT restaurant indicator...

And when it’s a crème brulee (or a Tiramisu at an Italian restaurant) you’ll know in a pinch whether the rest of the food’s going to be good, whether a place DESERVES your REPEAT PATRONAGE…

A well-prepared crème brulee:
  • A fragrance of vanilla and sweetness rises up to your nostrils immediately after you break the burnt sugar
  • The eggs flan is soft, silky and without any grit or lumpiness—if you’ve got one that reminds you of a Mexican custard flan, pay the check and run to do not walk to the nearest exit!
  • The burnt sugar is cold—they caramelized the sugar awhile ago and didn’t have the descency to give you the personal attention any good cook or chef would offer by at least flaming the granulated sugar immediately before serving
  • Finally, a dessert, it's like the ending of a needs to make sense and will color your memory of the whole event long after you're done...

  • So, why the crème brulee to test: it’s too darned easy to make a bad one—and every reason for a bad one, reflects a lack of attention to detail!

    It’s one of the reasons next to being brave and courageous that has led to THE RICH JERK doing MUCH BETTER in sales, and low returns, than The Rich Dummy …something I will go much further into in my next piece…

    Like the song by Tina Turner asks, “What’s love got to do with it?”

    Well, I’m going to tell you...namely what makes people take hold and move from the public norm of taking life like a dinghy in a tossed sea, to moving through all chop like a freighter piloted by a captain headed for TREASURE ISLAND!