Dreams do come true

A little over ten years ago, around 2006 or so, I was working with my co-founder Christina Wodtke on a product startup centered around PublicSquare, a collaborative publishing platform, a product, business, and relationship that didn’t go anywhere. At the time I was on a Tony Robbins binge. I was reading his books, listening to his audio programs, and implementing his advice. Fun fact: I’ve actually never been to any of his live events.

One thing that really resonated with me, and has stayed with me ever since, was a story about Stephen Spielberg, and how he worked. I’m going to paraphrase from memory here, because even if it turns out I got the whole thing wrong, it’s the story that stayed in my head that mattered. As I recall it, Tony described Spielberg’s way of working as going around sprinkling magic fairy dust on things. His businesses and productions were all running smoothly without him, so he’d just go around, almost unnoticed, and see where he felt called to add his special little extra something. Immediately I knew, this is how I want to work.

A few years later, around 2010, I read an interview in Inc. magazine with Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMs Shoes. No, his name is not Tom. He talked about living on a yacht on the water ouside Los Angeles, and starting each day by meditating, journaling, and doing his spiritual practice. The company staffed with talented people who know what they’re doing, he was free to ruminate on the bigger picture, and he’d just stay in touch with his team daily by phone. Again, I knew, this is how I want to work.

Fast-forward to today, it’s March 2017, and I just relaized, holy shit, this is my reality now! I have a software company generating money and happiness for myself and our many customers all over the world, and a wonderful, talented, committed team doing great work, and I get to start each day meditating, journaling, and doing my spiritual practice.

I just spent 10 days in Austin for SXSW, and I went in with the intention of connecting with a manager for my music career, and came back with something much deeper and more profound: A complete reorientation of how I live my life and how I do my art. And I’m realizing, this is exactly what I do best, and this is exactly what I always dreamt of.

I don’t fancy myself a traditional business leader or CEO. I see myself more as a spiritual leader, like Richard Branson, or perhaps Steve Jobs. I can’t do the day-to-day managerial stuff. I can’t even show up in an office each day. It would never work for me, I’d hate it, and I’d end up creating way too much chaos.

What I can do is exactly what I’m doing. Allow myself the freedom to experince, learn, grow, discover, download, envision, and then take that and create art from it, in the form of businesses, products, strategies, paintings, music, writing, food, events, and everything else.

That’s what I always wanted to do, and now I’m doing it. And I didn’t even notice it.

That’s the power of visions, of dreams, of knowing what you want. One day you might wake up and realize, you created it, and you weren’t even consciously trying.

What do you dream of?

When you want to help someone who is suffering

I see a lot of big-hearted, spiritual, healers, and helpers, who really want to help other people and alleviate their pain.

Here’s how most people go about that in a way that doesn’t work, and how to do it in a way that does…

What’s been your experience? Have you tried this where it worked? Where it didn’t? Let me know in the comments.

The Calvin Show Episode 007: Friend or Foe?

Today’s Calvin Show Episode is … “Friend or Foe?”.

We talk about:

  • Do you have enemies in business?
  • Getting legal threats from Zendesk
  • When to fire someone
  • Is the Universe really your friend? Really?



Post your experiences, thoughts, and any questions you may have in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, and special content only sent to the list. Do it now.

The Calvin Show Episode 004: No News is Good News

In this episode:

  • Why it’s a great idea to stop consuming news
  • What is the actual objective of most mainstream media content?
  • Why comedy can sometimes keep us better informed than normal media
  • How Lady Gaga got famous
  • And we end with … the key to life

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments. I love hearing from you.

Subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.

The Calvin Show Episode 003: Going Home

It’s the holidays, and a lot of us are going home to spend time with the family. Light Ram Dass said: “If you think you’re so enlightened, try spending a week with your family”.

Today you will learn:

  • My commitment to you on this show
  • How to handle the uneasiness of holiday family gatherings
  • How to make a living from passive income
  • What my life was like pre- Simplero
  • The best way to learn a new skill or hobby
  • How to make a delicious holiday cocktail (try this!)


Happy Holidays, see you again soon.

The Calvin Show Episode 002: Victor & Gratitude

On this episode, we meet Victor who after meeting with tragedy has found a new perspective on life. I spoke with him at length this summer, and he graciously agreed to come on the show and share his experiences with you. This is his story…

We talk about:

  • the importance of being grateful for all the little things
  • following through on your word (or not saying said word in the first place if you ain’t gonna follow thru)
  • gaining perspective through life changes

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments. I love hearing from you.

Subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.

The Calvin Show Episode 001: Let’s Do This!

Welcome to “The Calvin Show” reloaded!!

On The Calvin Show I share everything I’ve learned about business, spirituality, life, health, relationships, cocktails, food, and music through a life of experimenting fearlessly, creating a multi-million dollar business, devouring a creative life, and completely redesigning my life from the inside out.

In this episode, I reveal the most important two questions you can ask yourself, as well as answer a couple of great questions from you guys.

You’ll learn:

  • Why everything is exactly how it should be
  • How to make sure your social circle don’t pull you down
  • How take make a profitable and exciting living from your creative genius
  • Why the old Chinese guy didn’t care that his son broke his leg

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments. We love hearing from you.

And make sure you subscribe to the mailing list over on the right, so you get notified of new episodes, AND, you know, there are things we can’t really share on video that you’ll hear about over email only. Do it now.


Creator’s Criticism, or the new MacBook Pros

I haven’t been blogging in a while, but the controversy over the latest MacBook Pro announcement just has me fired up. As a creator of things, I’m frankly appalled at the outrage over the new Macs. When I look at them, I understand and agree with every single one of the decisions I’ve seen Apple make here. I really don’t get why they’re taking so much heat over this.

Personally, I kept hitting refresh on the Apple Store app on my iPad after the keynote, until it was ready to take my order for the biggest and baddest of them. $200 CPU upgrade: Check. $1200 upgrade to 2TB SSD: Check. 4GB graphics: Check. $4,300 plus tax, almost $4,700 including tax.

Would I have liked it to be cheaper? Sure.

Would I have liked it if it had 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB? And would I have paid extra for that? Sure.

Would I have liked an even faster CUP? Sure.

But we live in the real world. In the real world, Intel doesn’t make faster processors, and apparently they can’t handle more than 16GB of RAM without a serious power consumption penalty. Could they offer that to power users anyway? My guess is, yes, but not without serious non-obvious consequences, and possibly challenging changes in other parts of the system.

I for one can’t wait for Apple to eschew Intel entirely and make their own CPUs for Macs, but I’m afraid it might be some ways off. It seems like eventually they’ll have to do it, though, and I’m paying that day comes soon, because clearly it looks like Intel has dropped the ball.

As for the ports, I LOVE that it comes with four absolutely identical ports. My current MacBook Pro has 1 power connector, two USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, an HDMI port, a SD card reader. I very rarely use the Thunderbolt ports. I’ve never used the HDMI port, not even once. I’ve used the SD card reader a handful of times, maybe.

My problem is, when I make music, I need to plug in both an iLok, a eLicenser, and an external SSD hard drive, to have everything. That requires 3 USB-A connections, but my Mac only has two. So with my current Mac, I have to either plug in a USB hub, which I do at my desk. Or I have to juggle the iLok and the eLicenser, which I do when I’m out and about, because it turns out the music software plugins only need the thing plugged in when the plugin loads.

A setup with four identical connectors makes so much more sense to me. Then instead of a 2 + 2 scenario, there’s four. Sure, I need a new cable for my USB hub, and a new cable for my audio interface, and an adapter or two for the licensing dongles, but those are both cheap and easy to find. To my knowledge, there’s no adapter that’ll let me plug an USB-A device into an HDMI port or an SD card reader or a Thunderbolt 2 port. The last one totally might exist, I’ve just never heard of it (or really looked for it).

The new world order where everything’s USB-C, and that connector supports power, USB 2 and 3.1 as well as Thunderbolt 2 and 3, and you can get connectors for everything else … just so much simpler. Stop bitching, everybody! It’s beautiful and clean and simple and easy.

The stories about needing $250-300 worth of dongles are just ridiculous. I bought two tiny USB-C to USB-A adaptors at $11 each. I bought a small USB-A hub with a USB-C connector for when I’m on the road for $18. I also bought a USB-B to USB-C cable for my audio interface for $7, and a USB-B 3.1 to USB-C cable for my current USB hub for $9. I also bought 2 pure USB-C cables, because my 2 TB Samsung portable SSD actually comes with a USB-C connector built-in, for $13 for two cables. A grand total of $69. And I could’ve gotten a way with at least a third less if I wanted.

As for USB-C to lightning, I’ll probably wait till Amazon has their Amazon Basics cables out there. I actually like them better than Apple’s own, and they seem to be more sturdy. Apple’s lightning cables have a tendency to come undone near the lightning connector, and I abhor things like that. I toss them as soon as the outer casing comes undone.

I have a feeling that there’s consideration within Apple of ditching the lightning connector altogether and go with USB-C everywhere. It’s reversible, it’s small, and it’s now universal. I understand there’s a lot of investment into the ecosystem, but it just makes so much sense. When the lightning connector was introduced in September 2012, it would be another 2 years until USB-C was introduced. Apple had to move away from the 30-pin connector, it was just too big and ugly and old. But were they to do it all over again today, it would make so much more sense to go with USB-C. Sure, they have intellectual property rights on the lightning adapter, and that gives them a certain power, but my feeling is the cleanliness and elegance of USB-C everywhere would outweigh that. Okay, I’m talking about things that I know very little about right now, but that’s my hunch.

Bottom line, I’m really excited about getting a new Mac, I’m slightly scared about losing the Esc key because it feels like I’m using it all the time, and I really don’t get the amount of flak that Apple has had to take over the announcement of the most recent upgrade to the MacBook Pro.

Go Apple. I, for one, think you’re still kicking ass. Hope it counts for at least a little.