January 2016. It was curious that my endocrinologist, Dr. Amad, ordered a PET scan. Biopsy is a scary word the first time around, but not the second. Dr Amad took a couple of biopsies of lymph nodes in my neck. He said these could possibly explain the rise in my Thyroglobulin, but he wasn’t convinced. My Dr. referred me to Dr. Amad two years ago, when I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He ordered the PET scan. I asked why. His response chilled me: “Because I can’t look at your lungs with a sonogram.”
Fact 1. Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer actually puts you at higher risk for other cancer.
I didn’t ask, “Why do you want to look at my lungs?” The answer was obvious. One cancer diagnosis didn’t mean I couldn’t have another. Can thyroid cancer spread to the lungs? I learned a thyroid cancer diagnosis actually puts you at a 33% higher risk for other cancers. The PET scan revealed a 2 cm nodule nestled between my trachea, lung, and a major artery. I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. I could still have undiagnosed follicular thyroid cancer, which spreads to the lungs. Three different doctors recommended surgery to remove the mass.
Fact 2. Food for thought on holistic cancer treatment: Studies show that eating a diet consisting of 20% animal protein contributes to cancer growth.
March 2016. While preparing for surgery, I came across some food for thought on holistic cancer treatment, The China Study. An experiment was originally conducted in 1968 by a pair of Indian scientists, TV Madhavan, & C. Gopalan: The effect of dietary protein on carcinogenesis of aflatoxin. Campbell built on their original experiment, replicating their results. Campbell showed that a 20% protein diet promotes cancer growth while a 5% protein diet shut it down. Campbell went on on to participate as a member of the China Study team. Praise for The China Study is impressive:
“The China Study describes a monumental survey of diet and death rates from cancer in more than 2,400 Chinese counties and the equally monumental efforts to explore its significance and implications for nutrition and health.”
~ Frank Rhodes, PhD
President Emeritus, Cornell University.
The China Study is the most convincing evidence yet on preventing heart disease, cancer, and other Western diseases by dietary means.
~ Junshi Chen MD, PhD
Senior Research Professor, Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety – Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The China Study is a well-documented analysis of the fallacies of the modern diet, lifestyle and medicine and the quick fix approach that often fails. The lessons from China provide compelling rationale for a plant based diet to promote health and reduce the risk of the diseases of affluence.
~ Sushma Palmer, PhD
Former Executive Director, Food & Nutrition Board – U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
This research gives me food for thought. There is complexity to eating that extends beyond nutrition. I don’t pretend to understand that complexity. There is a social side, illustrated by this quote from Samuel L Jackson: “How can I trust a man who won’t eat a good old-fashioned American hotdog?” There is a emotional side. We use food as a drug. We use foods to treat ourselves; we treat ourselves to ice cream. Thoracic surgery provided me some clarity, I don’t want to do that again. For now, I’ll have that hotdog, but I don’t need one every day. I bought the China Study. I’m reading it now. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.
I’m trying to give my why form. It might be easier to draw the wind. The best I can do is is offer evidence it exists. I can’t articulate an answer, but I know it is there because I am inspired when I come to work and I am fulfilled when I leave.
I wrote that a few months ago. I finished Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Twice. I look back at the progress I’ve made. I’ve been working on something that I find inspiring. A mantra like Elliot Hulse’s “Becoming the strongest version of yourself.” Or Eric Thomas’ “When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breath, then you will succeed.” The best I’ve got is, “Think into the deep thought.”
It’s not intuitively clear. I suspect the vagueness is just cover for a thought that is still not clearly articulated. The idea is steeped in the idea that deep thought can only happen for a mind that is focused on the present. I ask myself, to what end? For the love of learning falls flat. The truth is because I want to learn. I want to know. It’s really just a fancy, enlightened way to say in my best Forrest Gump voice, “I like to learn a lot”.
Tonight I broke through to the next level of clarity. Tonight I wrote:
“Become a catalyst for change. Others might be intimidated by new knowledge, fear what they don’t understand. But we can calm those fears and discover new understanding because we are willing to soak it in. Because we crave discovery. Think into the deep.”
I’m getting there.
Hume’s turkey like most turkeys lives on a farm. From the turkey’s perspective life is good. There are bad days: the weather might turn cold, the older turkeys might box him out from the best seeds and grass, a fox might get into the coupe. However, the farmer loves his turkey. The farmer keeps the coup, which protects the turkey from the weather. The farmer defends the turkey from the fox. The farmer makes sure the turkey gets enought to eat. The turkey is happy because the farmer loves him.
So, the turkey lives his life, carefree and without much thought for the future. The turkey has no way of knowing, based on his current experience, that one day he will be dinner. That is the problem with knowledge gained by induction, that is the turkey’s dillema. That is the risk of looking to the past as a predictor of what will be.
Bertrand Russell is credited with the idea of the turkey’s dillema in highlighting the holes in David Humes arguments about knowledge gained by induction.
Adapted from The Black Swan, by Nassim Taleb.
Small Business Expo.com is a resource for small business owners. Armchair entrepreneurs can get insight and compare products and services they would need for their business. It is designed to facilitate the starting of home bases business. It provides a recommendation into the services that an entrepreneur should be utilizing.
Why this idea is the best.
Any one who has started a business knows that it is hard. An entrepreneur looking to start their own company basically has three paths. The first is to work in Corporate America for several years to gain experience and then branch out into a niche that they identify. The second is to buy a franchise and the third is to start a home business such as with a network marketing company or other small scale enterprise that they run in addition to their career. This site provides resource to anyone who is interested in traveling any one of these paths.
The founders bring their own expertise from launching their own company. They have provided a framework that other entrepreneurs can build from. The site has four practical categories: Services, Equipments & Supplies, Software and Franchise & Opportunities.
For example, through this site a person can easily search through the services section and find a category for merchant accounts. This one utility would allow any small business to charge for their services in a professional manner that will increase their revenue; charge.com claims the difference can be as high as 400%.
The educational component is invaluable. The website has business podcasts and webinars that would benefit entrepreneurs at all levels. Specifically, the topic of education is marketed as the main benefit of many home based business ideas. I think this would provide perspective that many arm-chair entrepreneurs are looking for and would be interested.
50 coffee meetings. It should stick in your head as a metaphor for networking. For getting outside of your comfort zone. For starting relationships today that won’t pay off for a year. It’s the entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours.”
Anybody who has spent any time with me in person will be tired of this advice because I give it so frequently. It is a piece of actionable advice that if you put into practice starting next week will start paying dividends in the near future. There’s a direct correlation to your future success.
5 / week = 250 / year. Imagine the human progress you could make with 250 short, relationship-focused meetings.
Here’s why it’s critical:
1. Recruiting. Are you looking for great engineers? Talented brand sales people? A smart young marketing exec? If you wait until you need to fill somebody in a roll you’re losing valuable time as an entrepreneur. You should always have a steady stream of “friend of the firm” hanging around your company. You invite them to cocktail parties. You send them update emails. You don’t have budget for them – not yet. But when you do, you’re ready to go.
You don’t have time in your day to always be interviewing. But here’s the oxymoron – you need to ABR (always be recruiting). How do you make that happen? 50 coffee meetings. If you want to read more about hiring at a startup check out: 1. Attitude over Aptitude and also 2. Hire Fast, Fire Fast.
2. Job Hunting. You’re a candidate. You’re thinking about your next big gig. You want the primo role. Hot company. Senior title. Lots of responsibility. The moment a big job is advertised you’re fawked. Why? Cuz there are 20 people who have the exact qualifications as the job spec will suggest. But they don’t have your hustle, your energy. You won’t land the big jobs unless you’re in there shaping the discussion about what the company needs, convincing them that they need you before they’re even ready to hire.
This takes 50 coffee meetings. You know the drill – “informational interview.” Life is an informational interview. Everything you do applies to this lesson. Yet too many people never do it. They sit and wait for job specs to be posted on job boards. Or whatever the equivalent metaphor is for any other parts of their business.
We take action when we need results. We wait until things are urgent & important. That’s not effective.
And one thing is certain – you can’t look for a job remotely. It doesn’t work precisely because it violates the 50 coffee meeting rule.
3. Relations with journalists to drive better coverage of your business long term? 50 coffee meetings. Help them write other stories. One day they’ll write yours.
4. Raising money from angels and VCs some day? 50 coffee meetings. Turn dots into lines. Don’t listen to people who advise you otherwise. They’re wrong.
5. Understanding customer requirement? 50 coffee meetings. “Get out of the office” says Steve Blank.
6. Are You a VC? Get out of your offices and go have coffee meetings. Preferably at startup HQs. Why do they always need to come to you? Increase your deal flow. 50 coffee meetings. Office hours. JFDI.
I know I’m getting repetitive. It is with great intent. Whatever amount you’re getting out and talking with prospects, customers, employees, recruits, competitors, press, investors, potential investors … it’s never enough. (unless you’re a conference ho … then it’s too much )
For almost everybody else I work with I know that a little more dedication to coffee meetings would have a positive impact. Your biz dev discussion that goes nowhere today will plants seeds in somebody’s mind 18 months from now.
Yet most of us resist the coffee meetings seeing them as a distraction from: shipping our release, refining our business plan, working on our new website, etc. You have to do both. Wake up early. Turn coffee into late-night drinks. Never eat lunch alone.
Go on. Get our of your fraking office and make it happen.
Image courtesy of Fotolia.