A Welcome Amputation

Why don’t I fear cutting my finger nails? Or how about my weird shaped toenails that my loving wife was grossed out by last weekend (apparently seeing them for the first time 🙂 ). Why do I not put off and avoid the act of slicing off part of my own body? I do it about every week or so, no problem.

Hmm… slicing off part of my body. Yes, that is true. I have a hardened plate of keratin protein that grows from the end of my finger, and I use a sharp metal blade to cut and remove.

As a kid I remember being squirmy and squeamish about having my fingernails and especially toe nails cut. Mom did it, until sometime in grade school I think. I was reluctant because I was worried it would hurt. I remember pressure from my toes being squeezed and every once in a while a little clip of the skin, probably because I was moving around too much.

Nowadays though, I rarely mess up, and cut my skin, while trying to trim my nails. Overall though, it is a regular and mundane thing that I do, I expect most other people out there do too, on a regular basis.

Think for a second though, about the nail itself. We are really only removing the very end of it. We cut off the part that used to be very sensitive and attached to the finger, but now has grown out beyond a useful or socially acceptable length. Of course, this size differs from men to women. This same part that we remove though, used to be quite responsive to touch, and would have caused lots of pain to cut, back when it was in the middle of it’s growth cycle.

Fingernails are a fascinating thing. Just like a lot of parts of our body. I am not trying to talk about current cultural differences, or possible prehistoric uses of fingernails as tools. A speech I heard from Wayne Dyer, first connected my mind, from God and divine creation, to our fingernails…

 I think there is a force in the universe that directs everything, and there are no accidents, anywhere. This divine force is what is growing our hair, growing our fingernails, beating our heart, digesting our food, and all of the other incredible mysteries that we look at and take for granted. My showing up on this planet and living for the first 10 years or so of my life in a series of foster homes and orphanages was all perfect. That is how I’ve always looked at it.” – Wayne Dyer

How do they grow? What is the energy behind the mechanism that makes our fingernails longer, only slightly longer, each and every minute, of each and every day, our entire lives?

Simple, and absolutely amazing to me.

Among the millions of other jobs that God has done, forces set in motion, everybody’s fingernails just grow. Crazy.

So why is it, that there are other parts of my life, that are dead, and still attached, that I refuse to cut loose? What am I carrying around, that used to be quite sensitive and part of my very being, that have now grown away from me, beyond usefulness, yet I refuse to remove?

Past regrets of words I’ve said? Past relationships gone wrong? Past activities and mistakes and missteps and anger? Past addictions and embarrassments and failures too? If all these things were illustrated in a sketch, as part of my growing process, just like a fingernail was, when I was a kid, would I like the picture I see?

Remember the Guiness Book of World Records? Remember reading that at the school library, because it was a book, that you could spend time with in class, and not actually have to read? I loved those things. I bought them from the book cart every year. In the Guiness Book of World Records, there would be pictures of the longest fingernails in the world. Suuuuuper long ones. Big, loopy, droopy, coils of old rotten disgusting fingernails.

Crazy thing, is that if you could photograph all my old regrets and past unpretty history, that I carry around every day, it would be a gigantic tangles mess of curly yellowed and bumpy finernail coils!!! GROSSSSS!!!

So as I trimmed my nails this morning. I cut away something un-useful from my body. I cut away something that had no feeling left. I cut away something I didn’t need anymore. It is a simple but important part of our lives as human beings, not going for a Guiness Book of World Records, umm, record.

Lord, help me to see my past and all my mistakes and missed opportunities as part of my grown process. Help me to see that at one time they were important, but now they are not. Help me to want to let go of this tangled mental mess. I want to know that it is okay to cut them off. It won’t hurt. I will feel better when it’s done. Even a little bit at a time, until they are back down and manageable. Help me see that I will move easier, be free-er and more loose and lively in my life, ready to move forward, without these cumbersome coils… In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray 🙂 – Amen!


Aaron Nichols


Motivational Supernova

Just like this empty screen before me today, I gotta set up PROBLEMS in my life, to fix. Without a problem, I like to just sit and drift and daze and listen to Dobie Gray all day long, instead of doing anything else…

Problems are so delicious, so tasty, they invigorate me, they awaken hidden talents. I jump to assist when there is a problem. When things are ‘fine’… it’s harder for me to move my butt. So truly, I live at a low level of motivation and gumption and drive… I don’t really wake up at the crack of dawn, ready to tackle the day. I don’t fill every moment with productive activity, or planned restfulness that rejuvenates in a classically well prepared way.

I hired a housecleaner to come to our little place this week. Our counter tops were too covered in junk mail and randomly left objects for her to really do any good work. She would have had to just make a huge basket-full of crap, for me to sort later, so she could do her work.

Anyway, I stayed up quite late the other night, right before she was scheduled to come, in order that the place was orderly enough, to be professionally ‘cleaned’. Yeah, so what. I had to hire a housecleaner, to get me off my butt and actually do some routine picking up. I could beat myself up about not having a normal habit of daily doing 15 minutes of cleaning. I could also waste mentally energy worrying that I could do this myself and save us the money. I could even look at the fact that my wife will be off of her official work soon, and we could do this together.

Anyway, LOTS of reasons for me to wish I was just ‘naturally’ better at being disciplined and organized and have my life together, you know, now that I am an adult an all that…


35 years old, and I still don’t like doing chores, and housework. Never really have, maybe never will.

BUT! There is a solution. I hire someone to come here, to work on this problem, and that in turn ignites another part of my mentality. I see how far I have let things go, and I choose to get myself to work, in order that they don’t see how messy I normally live. Just like back in my partying days, when hosting parties, I would clean the place up before people got here.

I have an idea that ‘good people’ don’t live in messy houses. Ha! I don’t know where it came from. I have fond memories of my favorite people, like my wonderful grandparents, they have a house that is very clean, everything in it’s place. They have nice decorations and furniture items that are appropriately placed with just the right book or lamp or even a Welcome sign, that I made in preschool sitting on top.

I don’t have that kinda house. Not even close. I have random furniture, the walls are only partially decorated. A couple of them have holes in the sheetrock. One of them, I punched in with my own fist a long time ago, and never fixed… Good people like my grandparents, don’t have walls with holes punched in them… So I must not be a good person… like them… right…

You know, I don’t know where all the self-judgement comes from. I do know that I choose to pay attention to it, a lot of the time. It is probably a habit that I created long ago, and like a lot of habits, I have ironically found it comfortable to fall into, more often than not.

I heard recently about mental momentum. I think it was Ester Hicks/Abraham, talking about it. I notice it now, I can feel that mental momentum building up, sometimes as soon as I wake up. Maybe her message is supposed to help me be aware and realize that I can release that momentum at any time. All habits are either constantly re-created, or possibly re-directed into new ones, so I’m told.

Setting up ‘problems’ that grab my attention is a pretty high-level activity, that I could use more often. I could hire a housecleaner to come, or invite friends to come over more often, if I really wanted to see my home become more regularly in order. I could notice, that just for me and my wife, we are really okay with not having every item in it’s perfect place all the time. We can be comfortable with things a little crazy around here.

The moments where I decide to judge myself on our personal habits, and call them bad, or call myself a bad person, are the only times that pain shows up. Lots of moments happen with the exact same circumstances, or messes around me, and I can be quite happy.

Apart from any situation, apart from any person or particular object or pile of junk, is our well-being. It really exists on a different plane that I usually believe it does. I take an apple, and I take an orange, I mentally create a fruit called applorange that connects the two. I do it all the time.

I unite two things are truly separate and different from one another. I decide that my well being, my state of contentedness, my mental stability, my anger or happiness are welded directly to my circumstances. A bank account balance, my car’s dependability, the cleanliness of my house, or the performance of my team at work, are all factors in the frequency of the spikes in my roller-coaster of daily emotions…

I can keep them connected and keep struggling, or see the disconnect and quit working so hard to tie them together in fraying knots. I can quit deciding daily that ‘because of _________ I am happy, or because of ___________ I am unhappy.”

It could be that simple.

Maybe someday I will experience the truth. I will just be glad that my system is working for me, just as it always has, just as it always will. I will trust myself, I will trust in the God that cradles our universe. I will someday back away from the cliff’s edge. I will see that inviting a housecleaner, and motivating myself to get my place spruced up, is a perfectly acceptable system. It just is.

I can go through the benefits of sharing the money, to someone who is working hard for it. I could talk about how we are busy people, and it is just so nice to start our summer with a home-sweet-home freshness. I could go through more reasons and circumstances that I can sew and thread together again, to explain how this system is generating happiness.

Again I am stuck in old ways.

I can just decide to rejoice and be glad in today. Just because joy exists already. I am recognizing it for what it is. I am inviting it into my being today.

In the last week, I have been thinking so much of family. Last week on Friday, was my beloved cousin’s birthday. Miss You Meg. Wednesday this week, marked 31 years since the day my Dad drowned. Those are days that rocked the foundation of my experience. They are days that remind me of people I miss sooooo much. Days to rejoice, too.

Just for the reasons I said before. These wonderful people didn’t create my happiness. They didn’t make me a good person. They didn’t personally construct my moods, good or bad. They were simply divine souls that I partnered with for beautiful tiny moments. They are ‘gone’ now, from our sight and our touch, but not gone in any other way. They live still along side and throughout, just like always. They see the big picture now.

I can keep staring into the junk piles here and worrying about the little things as long as I want to. I can keep using the minutia of my day to dictate my feelings. My Dad, my cousin Megan, those other ones who have expanded, seem to remind me, that it’s all small stuff.

I can sit back at any time. I can stargaze. I can deeply breathe, and thank God. I can hire the house cleaned every day. I can quit my job. I can invent a new sandwich for lunch today. I can do just about anything here in this place, and none of it, really is tied to how I feel. I can see it switch in a flash, I can pop, from one space to the next instantly. I can love anything, anyone, any circumstance, at any time.

I seem to do that most, in the heat of a problem. I seem to like problems very much. I today, can remind myself that I can love them, always. I like to be at work, solving and playing and crying too, in this world. I hope these words, remind you of something truthful today too.

With Love,


Aaron Nichols


Kid and Rock – It’s like one of them freak thangs…

Throwback Thursday is a facebook ‘thing’ where people post old photos of themselves or others on thursdays. Here’s one for ya:



This picture is exactly why I have not participated yet in my own ‘Throwback Thursday’.

There are lots of these kind of images of me around. I guarantee. I have many pasted into old dusty scrapbooks, many more stored on ancient hard drives too. Most of them remind me of another time in my life. A time when this was more normal, than not.

And so, in interest of moving forward with myself and not returning any time soon to this state of being, I stay away from rehashing and retrieving these kind of old pictures, just so that I can join in the ‘Throwback Thursday’ fun…

Some of these pics, I should probably just throw 🙂

But, as you know, here on this blog, I find it therapeutic to display my junk, my faults and shortcomings. I sometimes see value in expressing the whole story, not just the good parts. This picture right here represents so many things about my life, that back then, when I was a wild 29 year old, were not pretty.

Funny thing though, I am right now living a life, that the guy in this picture would have killed for. I have a loose schedule. I don’t do early mornings. I stay up late all the time. I am at the bar, almost EVERY day. I even am at the bar, for work. I could drink and play Every Day, if I really wanted to. No one is telling me I couldn’t do that right now. In fact, this very morning, while stocking the beer cooler, I dropped a bottle, and the lid got kinked. It started spewing a little pressure. I couldn’t serve it later, so it needed to be drunk. The guy in this picture would have had no problem with sucking it down, at 10:30 a.m. No problemo, whatsoever.

I instead, passed it off to my brother-in-law, and he tasted a bit of it, before throwing it out. Back in the day, I would have called PARTY-FOUL!! ALCOHOL ABUSE!! Drink Up ButterCup!

Hilarious, when I think about it right now 🙂

This one picture paints such a vivid portrait doesn’t it. Everything is poignant. The cheap beer, the cigarette, the classy strip-club tee shirt. Even the tongue-out, devil-horned, red-eyed pose is furiously fired-up! Demonic even. In a fun way though… right?

I don’t know. Demonic is a pretty harsh word. In this picture, I was probably hanging out at Pomona lake with wonderful people, lifelong friends and family. I was only months away from quitting smoking, and I got that tee shirt on a family trip, to visit my cousin and her kids. Demonic, sounds like hellion, but in a bad way. Demonic, is more scary, than fun. I wasn’t a bad guy, I was having FUN DANGITT!!

Oh, maybe for a moment, I was. Maybe even for that whole weekend. I was drunk that whole weekend. Until Monday night that is. See this picture was most likely taken on a Labor Day weekend. They are long. You don’t have to work on Monday. So you get to party hard on Sunday night, and party less hard on Monday, but still some partying… 🙂

Monday Nights, were the worst for me back then. Monday nights, were the times, when I would have agreed that this picture looked Demonic, to me. Monday nights, I sat here in this same living room, on the couch, by myself. I had a pile of things to do, and no energy to do them. I was hungover, yes. Or, maybe still drunk. Or maybe just buzzed again, but really the good times were over. My favorite moments in life, Lake Time, were over.

I sat alone, here in my little junky house. I sat here and shivered, or shook, or both. My body was transitioning from a steady stream of intoxicants into it’s more natural state. I would feel queasy and overstimulated. My mental world would spin, but the room was stagnant and stale with smoke, or another glass of red wine, just one more, before bed.

Monday nights were depressing to me back then. I looked forward into my ‘real life’ and saw things that I didn’t want to see. I noticed that I was by myself. Even if I was dating someone, I usually would have acted like such an ass, that I they didn’t want to be with me, or I didn’t want them near me. I was about to return, to a job I didn’t like, the next day. I had said and done and acted in embarrassing ways for the previous several days. Maybe broken the law, disrespected myself and others. I was a mess.

On those Monday nights, when the party was over, I felt like a Demonic Mess…

The picture here seems to prove it too…

So throwback that photo, throw it back to a place, that I can say was a landmark on my personal journey. It was a stopping point, where I was stuck for many years. Luckily however, I didn’t stay there forever. Luckily for me, I was able to somehow find something more intriguing, more exciting and more interesting to me, than to repeat that moment, over and over and over agian, another time, again, like I had so many times before.

Never will I really understand how that process worked. Even for me. Yet I will say, that instead of it being totally about the quitting of something, like alcohol, it was more about moving into something better. It was about seeing myself in a new fresh place of existing. It was about grabbing a rag, and wiping clean the lens through which I was currently looking at life. New colors appeared. New images, that I hadn’t noticed before. I could see further down the road. I could make out whole areas of life, that I had not ever explored, yet existed right under my nose.

That grimy old rag, was the living pages of God’s word. The book, that isn’t a book at all. It’s like something out of a science fiction movie. It is actually a device, used by God, to drop a nuclear bomb on me. It wiped away all traces of what I knew. I was lost again. I was lonely again. I was scared again. I didn’t like, what had happened, once that rag, had cleaned my lenses. I was mad too. Mad at what I could see now…

I could write paragraphs, and pages, and chapters and books, about all the little moments, that have happened between the snap of that photograph and this very second right now. It has been one crazy, crazy ass ride.

Another throwback Thursday picture, from the same place, at the same lake, on the same weekend, Labor Day, four years later, looks like this:



I like this one better. It was more fun. It was more meaningful and important and life-giving to me, rather than life-taking. I was sober that day. I am sober today. Crazy, crazy life, my friends. What is more wild than that. What is more crazy and insane than the transition from this one picture to the next. Actually living both of those moments, I can tell you, it wasn’t me. Not my intention, not my gumption or boldness or especially not my strength.

I asked Jesus Christ into my life, probably on one of those lonely, hungover Monday nights, probably one time out of many times, and many times to yet come. In that first picture, I can see a demon. He was one heckuva fun one. I will admit that. More fun than I am today. More laughing and more jovial, more friendly and more sociable. I needed things from others back then. I needed the approval of others. I needed to feel loved and to feel lifted up, by the camaraderie of the group. I didn’t have a feeling of self worth without them.

In this second picture, I see angels. I see them lifting me to another level. I see them supporting me, I see a beautiful one, that gave her living life to me, as I gave her mine. I see one who walked with me in my relationship with Christ. I see angels of family there to support me. I see an angel, who stood in second place, for me, who loved my Dad deeply. I see an empty space, packed full of real angels… I didn’t want any of that specialness to be bathed in alcohol that day.

Okay, so maybe not all Throwback Thursdays are bad. I have had good moments in my past, and not good moments too. I’m reminded of an interview I saw with comedian Steve Harvey, on a religious talk show program. I can’t quote him exactly, but he was talking about his un-pretty past. He said something like,  “I know who I used to be, I know who I am now, the thing I finally am starting to understand is that, I gotta learn to be cool with both them cats.’ Yeah, I do too.

It’s hard for me. I straddle and dance between the allure of that old fun life, and the deep rooted and planted feel of this new one. It’s not always easy to remember in the moment, when sometimes I want to take a sip of that accidentally opened beer, or newly invented cocktail that I helped design for our bar. It is hard in those moments to decide how I want to live today.

If however, I just look at these two pictures. From one of my favorite places on earth, with my favorite people on earth. It is all clear again.

God Bless You. I pray that you too invite Jesus Christ into your heart. It will forever and ever be the hardest, and easiest, challenge and thrill of your life, and beyond. See you in heaven my friends 🙂


Aaron Nichols

Planning to Fail

Again this week, I was approached with questions about how a certain group, could somehow attract the involvement of ‘young people,’ and yes they meant, people my age 🙂 They wanted to know if I had any ideas on what would be interesting to young couples and families. They wanted to create an organization of these individuals to get together and have meetings and plan community service type projects that would improve their world and ours. I said in response, “Well, that is the magic question.” If you find out the answer, you will have solved a great issue indeed.”

I started out by saying, ‘again’, because I have had this conversation with various leaders over the last few years, countless times. I used be part of a community organization called Young Professionals of Franklin County. The aim in that group was to do exactly this same thing. Bring together a younger demographic group of people, than the typical local service group has attending. We tried various ways to ‘ignite interest’ and ’empower people to create a difference in their local community’… Okay, I just made those things up, but you get the gist. Overall, we basically failed to do so, and at the end, I was president. 🙁

In this latest conversation, I again heard that there is vigorous desire to ‘get’ people involved. I think therein lies the problem. Whenever we are trying to ‘get’ something from someone, our whole operation is in jeopardy. When someone wants to ‘get’ something from me, I am very hesitant. My subconscious is on alert. What am I about to lose to this person or organization? My time? My money? My limited supply of energy and ideas?

I certainly can envision a group setting of younger folks, who come together regularly and work to make something cool happen. They could involve their own kids, their needs too, they could have fun together doing it. They could have specific detailed agendas on a unique topic, or they could dream big and create community wide projects or events. It all makes sense in the mind… So why does it seem to be such an uphill battle??

Truthfully, I know this is going on in certain places. Some groups do have this cool stuff going on. I have seen it in action. I know that the people talking to me about it, are trying to start something new, or think this will be the solution to a problem of their aging and dwindling church or service group.

Usually part of this conversation, is that we need to find a good time, that isn’t already taken up by other activities. We need to plan meetings or events around the busy-ness of a young family, so they can more easily attend. We need to be aware of all kinds of other commitments, like youth sports stuff, school stuff, working out of town, working in town, church stuff, and recreational stuff. We need to not plan things in opposition to other things going on. We need to make it easier for them… HA!


It’s a broken record. I have heard it all. I have been in meeting after meeting, and the leaders are saying the same things. How can we ‘get’ these people interested…

It’s not going to happen like that, IMHO. I am not going to get involved again, in one of these startups, that is all about ‘getting’ people together and then figuring out a project and then making plans to make it happen. I know, it sounds like a real blast, right? So why am I opting out??

Because for me, we’ve got to get to the rooooot, of the cause. When we notice the power of the problem to be solved, or the difference to make, specifically, then we will become the thing that people attend, instead of attending other things. We’ve got to quit chasing around a convenient time to do something. There isn’t one. We’ve got to quit wondering about what great idea a group of young minds could come up with. They already have their ideas, they already have interests and things they expend time energy and ideas on. We don’t need to get together to invent those. People have their priorities in place, based on their core beliefs about what is important to them, right now, and for the future.

If the core beliefs stay the same, all these little attempts are going to sparkle and fade, without a bunch of luck involved. There are certain things I do now, in my life, that I didn’t used to do. There are things I used to do, that I don’t do now. None of that has to do with the efforts of a community group and a service project. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t.

My core belief system was rocked, it was transformed, and changed over the course of several years. Maybe it is just part of growing up. I know however, specific areas in which my inner stance has shifted, from one belief to another. This is the power of Jesus Christ. This is the power of experiencing suicide by a loved one. This is the power of freeing myself of from personal debt, in so many ways. This is the power of Christian marriage. These things can transform an individual. Individuals with congruent inner stances, can make great things happen together.

Designing a club to be easier, or more lukewarm to appeal to an imaginary group of ‘young people,’ doesn’t appeal to me at all. Actually, for me, I want a specific, detailed problem that I can see where I can individually make a difference today. I want to see something radical, I want something exclusive and with lots of responsibility, not watered down and easy.

I get these things now, at the Brand’N Iron. I feel that we are serving a community cause, by creating a great business, continuing to improve it, providing jobs, cooking food. These are basic important things to the community, that entrepreneurship allows a person to do.

So, Yes, it is possible to get young people engaged. It is possible to do good things in our community. A lot of it is going on right now already, I think it is happening in business.

After throwing around a few of my thoughts on this issue, maybe you want to respond. Maybe you think I’m all wet. Maybe you see another way, that I don’t see. I am truly burned out with idea of sitting in a room and talking things to death until nothing happens. I am however, on fire with the idea, that I can take an idea, take some money, or some elbow grease, or both and create change, for the better, that is immediate, is tiny, or expansive, all within the course of a few hours, or a week, or an instant.

I am now more responsive to seeing the change actually happen and experiencing results, than to sit there and think about the plan to plan to make something happen… maybe.

There! I have ranted on this topic. And I am done. I will go off to my job now, and serve people, and work hard. and probably change a bunch of stuff, without a decision of the board. I hope we aren’t so successful, that someone thinks we need a board to run it.



Aaron Nichols

I figured out how, to have time, for our ‘someday’ stuff…

As my young and skinny brother-in-law Max, was smashed in between our back door and a huge freezer, I had to smile, and ask him to smile for a picture 🙂

2014-05-01 19.36.47He was probably smiling, because he’s just a fun, exuberant guy. I was smiling because we were in the middle of our dinner shift and the printer was spitting out a food order ticket.

I was laughing inside, because we had undertaken another ‘project’ right in the middle of our working evening at the restaurant. I decided it was the perfect time to install a set of casters on our freezer, so it could be moved more easily for cleaning. I once again, threw a big monkey wrench into the middle of an otherwise perfectly smooth moment of work-time.

See, we had just fed the first wave of guests, and there was a little slight lull in the action. At any minute we could have been bombarded by a couple groups or several couples coming in to eat with us all at once.

Perfect time to start a ‘have-to-finish’ project, like installing wheels on the freezer.

See, several months ago, last summer even, when I began working full time at the Brand’N Iron, I would have been terrified to suggest we do something like this in the middle of the dinner shift. Now it is more normal than not.

That is why I was laughing to myself. I was seeing myself in a new understanding. A more developed relationship with my work, with our team. I am a pusher. I will ask too much. I probably ruffle some feathers with these kind of requests. I see something now though, that I didn’t used to see.

In the middle of everything, at the wrong time, is the perfect time to get things done. Starting projects, not when the coast is clear, and we ‘have time’, but whenever a mere moment is created to do so. I see now, that when we are already in some action, it is easier to re-route and begin a new action, or add-on to the existing energy.

If we wait for a ‘perfect time’ and do it later, when we don’t have so much going on, it never gets started at all.

You can tell, I hope, that I am beginning to generalize. You can see, I’m not just talking about installing casters on a deep freeze. I’m not even talking about rearranging the kitchen, swapping the door hinges, creating a new burger recipe, completely changing our Prime Rib cut offerings, inventing our own shredded spicy chicken, sending Chad to pick up another new piece of equipment, remodeling the bar, or redesigning the way our scheduling process works. Yes, these are all little ‘projects’ that we have done, just in the last several weeks, in the middle of doing other projects, and they are specific versions of this idea. Yet, they are only examples of the larger concept at work.

There is never a ‘good time’ to do these things. We never ‘have time’ to get them done. We rarely even, and I mean super rarely, plan ahead, make all the decisions and then execute our steps till the goal is reached. That is soooo far from how we do things.

BUT, we are making progress. Lots of it. We are constantly in a state of change. We are always pushing our own envelope and recreating as we go.

I remember many years ago, in a world far away. I lived in the ’employee’ or even ‘victim’ mentality. I used to be so good at recognizing all the reasons why this kind of operating procedure was wrong. I used to be able to articulate exactly why it was bad reasoning and even bad business, to make these sweeping changes on the fly. Why wouldn’t it be so much smarter to get a group together, of the best minds and people involved. Make decisions and plans together. Then work out ahead of time, the best, most cost effective and easiest steps toward the desired end result. I could see all that in my mind as the ‘right way’ things should be done….


Fast forward to today. I am involved in groups and meetings. I rarely, rarely, see decisions that are real, challenging, changing and creative, being made in this fashion. It just doesn’t happen. To find something a group can agree on, things get watered down, they become palatable to all. With many personalities, tastes, motivations and causes, I haven’t seen radical changes, come from these situations.

Now that I have new experiences, more responsibilities and yes, more skin in the game, I have a new outlook on the way to proceed. Finding the smallest moment to make a decision to start an action, any moment, is the very best time to do it. Lately, I have used the dinner hours, or ‘middle-of-something-else’ times to make things happen. Usually, it is when we have the most help on hand. We already are in work mode. We have all the moving parts at our disposal. And the very best thing about starting a ‘have-to-finish’ project, in the middle of everything else, is that no matter what, it has to get finished.

We are so much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. We have so much more time, energy, talent, skill and smarts than we think we do. The owner mentality, the doer, finds any necessary way to make it happen. I am so thankful, that I have had the opportunity to see this side of business life. I want to be on this Team, that is willing to try things. I want to part of a Crew, that can juke and adjust and dance to different beats. I want to go to work at a place that is willing to expand into more wholeness of itself, even tiny by tiny bit. One caster wheel at a time.

I am glad too, that this place is not filled with people, like I used to be. I couldn’t work with bunches of me, sitting around and telling me, so smartly, how we should be doing things differently. Flapping lips instead of working to make positive change. Sure, it still happens. Sure, I slip back sometimes too. Instead though, of making it normal to be ‘prudent’ and ‘take measures to avoid risk,’ we charge ahead. We try things. We are willing to fail, and get up and try again. We are willing to risk messing up, if it might make things just a little better in the long run.

I was proud to see young Max, squished up against the door. He was willing to try his best to help. His big brother Chad, was down on the floor, fiddling with the threaded studs on those casters. I couldn’t make them work. He did. As the ticket printed, our customers were being taken care of by Kagen. He laid a burger on the grill, dropped a chicken-fried steak down to cook. We were making progress, and handling our business all at once. It was beautiful. I appreciate our people. I appreciate getting to work with them.

No time is a good time. Perfection is an illusion. There is absolutely no way to ‘have time’ for our ‘someday stuff.’ We must make the time. The tiniest chunk of it. Just starting. Just making the first move, is the best move. If somehow I forget to remember this, I will hopefully refer back to this post. I will hopefully get my own message, that NOW, is when everything happens. We Make it all happen, if it is going to happen at all. Just like entrepreneurship itself, that is one scary and deliciously thrilling truth.


Aaron Nichols

Those who thrive do the things others won’t, so that they can continue to do the things others can’t.” – Dusan Djukich