Celebrate Life

Today's email is more personal than usual, but it has a critical business/life lesson.

On May 23rd, I turned 40.

I remember when I turned 30… I felt like I was running out of time. I hadn't accomplished all I wanted to and that life was "short.

Turning 40 has been the complete opposite for me. I found myself mostly filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life.

This is no doubt due to a lot of my spiritual work, but even objectively, I'm one lucky guy.

Anyone who's had a meeting with me knows how much I love Day.ai.

• Before a meeting, it creates a brief on each participant.

• During the meeting, it takes the most useful notes I've ever read.

• After the meeting, it adds what I learned to my CRM.

10 years ago…

+ I had no kids

+ I wasn't a great husband

+ I had no $ or official business success

+ I was selfish, me-focused, not spiritual

+ I wasn't super healthy

+ I was motivated by FEAR

I think Bill Gates said, "You overestimate what can happen in 1 year, but underestimate 10 years."

I feel that.

Today, that whole list above is the opposite.

It didn't always feel great getting there. It was far from a sure thing. And it took tons of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.

About a year ago, my wife asked me: "So, what do you want to do for your 40th?"

My initial response was unsure, stammering, and demuring. But within a week, I had clarity:


40 years of life, lessons, and love is worth celebrating.

It helped that right around that time, I read the book "Die with Zero" I stole one of my favorite concepts of his, to focus on "memory dividends" vs "financial dividends." When you spend money on experiences, you get the actual experience, AND memories for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! That is more valuable and fulfilling than compounding your capital.

So we had a HUGE celebration: A team event with Gateway X. An intimate dinner. Box at the Cardinals. Huge pool party. A big fancy reception-like dinner with a mystery guest. And we capped it off with a family trip to Turks and Caicos.

At certain points, it did feel a little ridiculous (and I got roasted both formally and informally for how much celebrating we did!)

But all things considered, it absolutely was worth it.

The three biggest highlights for me were:

1) My son surprised me by learning "Dear Theodosia" on the Piano. It's one of my favorite songs, about fatherhood from the play Hamilton. Tears streamed down my eyes as he played it.

2) NELLY - one of my favorite musicians since I was a teenager. It was a life moment to be on stage with him and my wife!

3) Vacation with families - it was a super cool life memory to be together with everyone, all our kids, 3 generations.

Because if you're like me… you're TERRIBLE at celebrating.

For the first 10 years of Ampush, even if great big things happened, I wouldn't let people celebrate or cheer, for fear of a possible slide. It took me a long time to realize that celebrating is an incredibly important part of the human experience!

1) Joy = the energy of celebration.

This is straight from my coach. Try this… close your eyes and just think about a good thing that happened in the last 24 hours. Now… throw your hands up and yell "WOOHOOO!"

What did you feel? Likely a vibe of energy came through you! Positive energy.

The more you celebrate, the more joy you feel! The same is true for your teams.

2) Celebration focuses you on the journey.

I used to hate celebrating because I was so "outcome" focused. I didn't want to be positive, because I was afraid "the job wasn't done." So if I celebrate now, I could still fail and I'd feel really negative about that.

Celebration, like gratitude, emphasizes the process/journey.

When you high-five after a meeting or send a congratulatory note, it's about the work you’re doing and not the outcome.

The more often you do this, the more you’ll actually… "enjoy the journey."

3) Celebration deepens bonds

Teams that win together, stay together. If you never say you're winning though, the team will never feel like it. Even in life, it's easy to get so focused on what you DON'T have, that you forget you’re winning.

Each person who was part of my celebration feels more connected to me and vice versa.

And we have this amazing shared experience we can reflect on and share with others.

On that note, THANK YOU! For being a part of my extended world.

For reading, writing me back, and helping me build this amazing community. WOOOO HOOOO! I feel great just writing that.


PS - In my birthday thank you speech I said “Who you marry is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.” I met my wife as a Kid and started dating at 16. I won the wife lotto. She drove the entire amazing week of birthday celebrations. And I'm so deeply appreciative of her. Thanks, Deepika. I love you.