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Robb Zbierski Instructor
Clearing Out the Stink
by Robb On October 8, 2013

Skunks. They smell funny. I’m not sure what purpose they serve, other than to help promote tomato soup sales in the event of a spraying. We have skunks living somewhere around our house. I know this because I have lost several nights of sleep this summer thanks to their odiferous shenanigans. But lo and behold, those color-confused rodents actually taught me something.

After watching a skunk run across our deck one night, my wife and I decided to start narrowing down the list of places they could be. We got it down to two; under the deck and in the forsythia bushes on the side of our house.

Full Forsythia

If I were looking for a good place to hide, this would be it

We decided to make it a zero-sum game for the skunk and since it’s a lot easier to cut down bushes than a deck, we started with the forsythia. For regular readers, you might know that we just moved into a new (to us) home that has no shortage of items on the Honey-do list. We had spent one of our first weekends clearing out the dead branches in another set of bushes earlier in the summer so I had a pretty good idea of what we were in for.

Halfway There

Halfway There

As I was cutting the bushes down, it started looking a bit scary. The growth was so overbearing that it became obvious the only way to manage these things was a full-on hacking.

The Aftermath

The Aftermath – See the other bushes in the background?


We were a bit nervous about what a barren side of the house was going to look like until I glanced back and saw the other bushes we had cleaned out earlier in the year. They were flourishing. Any Greenthumb will tell you that in order to make sure your plants grow, you need to clear our the dead stuff. If not, it will just choke out the good stuff and you’ll be left with mediocre landscaping.

What does overgrown bushes and a feral skunk have to do with you? Lots. Often times, we find ourselves “overgrown” in life, in relationships, in money, or in projects. We get there because we just “let it be” without actually doing anything; right or wrong. By nature, your brain will run its course and build up lots of unhealthy ideas. And some of those ideas really stink! Just like the farmer who has to methodically manage weeds in his field, you have to manage your thoughts and beliefs. The best way to do that is to clear out the old growth. And then sometimes, you gotta just slash and burn.

One of the best ways to clear your mind is some form of exercise, but lately I’ve been reading a ton. It’s great to let some new opinions and ideas come in and either supplement or replace old thoughts, beliefs and habits you have formed. I’m personally on a mission to complete 13 books this year. What a difference adding this new information has made in my relationships, my career and my overall happiness. If you are looking for suggestions, give me a shout, but start with Roger Seip‘s Train Your Brain For Success! What do YOU do to help control the unruly growth in your life? We’d love to hear your suggestions. Post something in the comments below.

As for the skunk, I think it is still roaming the neighborhood. But fortunately, s/he doesn’t seem to be spending as much time around our place. Unfortunately, though there’s lots of other “old growth” around us. Looks like lots of us have some work to do.

Keeping Things Exciting
by Robb On March 27, 2013

As I’m getting ready to lead a call on living a more exciting life, the weather gave me a perfect opportunity to showcase one of the points we’ll be discussing on the call. Let go of your expectations and let things come to you. Sometimes the outcome may surprise you!

A Big Day On a Tiny Saddle
by Robb On July 18, 2012

Last weekend, Eric Plantenberg and I accomplished one of my big goals for 2012 when we finished the famed Triple Bypass ride in Colorado. For anyone who knows about it, this is one of the toughest one-day rides (that I know of) in America. It’s pitched as 120+ miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing, going over Vail Pass, Loveland Pass and Juniper Pass (and a few others on the way up to each). I can confirm is it marketed properly. I took inspiration for this post from one I read the other day from John Burke over at Trek. He does a big ride in France every year and I got a kick out of his ride report. I did to Clif Bars what he did to oranges, but more on that in a minute.

Continue reading ›

The Power of Owning Your Time
by Robb On June 14, 2012

Not a whole lot to share this week with regards to my use of the 2-Hour Solution. We are out in Bend, OR for Strategic Planning so I cleared my calendar. That being said, I started doing something that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time but in retrospect really helped boost our productivity in the meetings.

I changed the outgoing message on my office phone to reflect my travel plans (go ahead and check it out) and to let people know that the best way to get a hold of me was via my cell. Continue reading ›

Coming Up Short but Still Going Long
by Robb On June 6, 2012

Last week, I gave you an overview as to what the 2-Hour Solution is all about. Hopefully you were able to make sense of that and start to work on the process for yourself. Any realizations yet? I sure have some. But before we get to that, I’ll take you through my first (in a while) 2-Hour Solution.

I made the decision to set aside time on Sunday night to do this. That was tough. It was challenging to go from relaxing weekend mode to business mode and completely block everything out. Continue reading ›

Time Management the Second Time Around
by Robb On May 11, 2012

I experienced a VERY embarrassing few minutes last weekend. At our annual sales meeting the concept of time management came up, and Roger and Eric were reinforcing how effective the 2-Hour Solution was. When asked how often I used it, I replied, “What’s that?” Not good. It’s the basis for our Time Management program. My answer spurred an impromptu 15-minute “refresher” on the concept. The bad news is that about 17 seconds into the description, I realized I DO in fact know what the 2-Hour Solution is all about. Continue reading ›