Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's a....

So, we went in to the doctor's on Wednesday. It was a beautiful, yet warm day. The yards were looking great, great for playing catch with a baseball or ring around the rosey. Looking at the clouds, you could see different shapes start to form here and there - an army man, a doll in a dress, a gun, a teacup, and on and on. The radio was blaring some of the great songs - Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, and some Boys II Men songs. :) I drove to the doctor's office whistling a happy tune. I was as nervous as I had been the entire time of Sheri's pregnancy. I was finally going to know...

The sonogram went well. All is healthy. We made a healthy...

Bay-Bee Boy! :)

Yes, we are having a boy in November (due date of November 12). We're excited. We would have been happy either way. Now we are going to go through our boy's names to come up with a fitting one. We're thinking about (we'd like to stay with MMM theme):

Matthew Michael Maher
Michael Maxwell Maher or Maxwell Michael Maher
Mason Michael Maher
Miles Mason Maher
Matthew Maxwell Maher
Michael Morgan Maher
Michael Maddox Maher
Maddox Miles Maher
Maxwell Mason Maher

Which one do you like? Please comment with your favorite or suggest a different MMM name!

Bay-Bee appreciates your input! :)

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wednesday's the Day!...Feeling Lucky?...

We confirmed our Dr's visit for Wednesday. This is the day we'll find out if you are little Mr. Bay-Bee or little Miss Bay-Bee. :) How cool is that?! Either way, I am excited. Momma is excited. It will be good to "know".

I still don't think either momma or papa know what to expect come November. Momma says she is going to work and plan around it. I made plans to speak at a conference. Are we insane!? :) We have a huge reality check coming with your birthday! Going to be fun.

Today's lesson is about the dog. Yes, Lucky dog is our dog. He's been with the family for 5 years now (longer than you and he'll probably remind you of that). Lucky has housebroken his parents (that's us). He has us trained very well. He'll probably train you well. He runs the household. Sometimes we have to leave events early so we can go home and get Lucky. :) Lucky is a high-spirited Jack Russell Terrier. He's your big brother. You'll have fun with him. He is a funny dog. He'll look at you like he knows what you are saying. He runs faster than a deer - a white blur as he scampers out the mistakenly left-open door. He plays ball with any visitors (you stand there, Lucky goes and chomps on a ball, he throws the ball off your foot, you're playing :). Right now, he's looking at me like, "hey don't say anything bad about me. Bay-Bee doesn't know me". I'm just warning you. He's a smart, crazy dog. Let me tell you a true story about Lucky...

First, Lucky IS lucky. I went to a listing appointment exactly five years ago this month. The owners were very nice people. They were being transferred to Texas (and eventually worked with a real estate agent friend of mine Rodney Shine in Texas) to a military facility. They were happy to have the family together and were going to live on base.

There was only one caveat: they could only take one dog. They owned two dogs. A lap dog Cocker Spaniel who had been with the family for years and Lucky who was just a puppy. When I arrived at the home, the owners had already given Lucky away twice only to have the families return him because he was too hyper-active. The owners said they were sad because they thought they may have to put him down or take him to the pound.

Lucky seemed to know that I provided hope because as I toured the home and the yard he walked right next to me. I said, "Why do you follow me little dog?" :) The owners and I put the paperwork together to put their home on the market and all the while Lucky sat there looking at me with his big brown eyes. I listed the house and called Sheri, "Honey, I'm bringing a dog home." Bless Sheri because she was supportive. The owners even gave me a dog carrier and a couple of chew toys. I could tell you dozens of funny (and some not-so-funny) stories about how Lucky trained us and I have to laugh at the memory of some of them (the obedience class, the chocolate candybar, the running off, the kitchen incidents) but one I want to relay today.

I was working in my home office which has a window to the back yard. I was on the phone watching Lucky out the back window when out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur with a white tail. A rabbit was making the trek across the back of our yard. In a blur, Lucky (on a long leash) took off after the rabbit. I was like, "Oh no, the leash is going to run out and jerk Lucky like never before." I was right. The leash ran out and flipped Lucky upside down. I cringed. It looked like a horse-collar tackle in football ("I think I broke his freaking neck" - Longest Yard).

Remarkably, the leash caught him, but the angle that Lucky flipped made his neck slip out of the collar. Lucky, a little shaken, shook his head and realizing that he was free took off after the rabbit. He was gone in a white flash. I knew better than to chase him down. I put some water and food by the back door and about 30 minutes later, Lucky returned.

Several days later, I was once again working in my home office. I happened to be watching Lucky again. I watched him as he kind of rocked back and forth like a high jumper or long jumper getting ready to jump. He rocked back, forward, back, then took off at full speed. No rabbit, no squirrel, no person walking. At a break-neck pace, he ran until the leash ran out. Upside-down Lucky flips and lands on his back. He rolls over and shakes his head. I am thinking, "What a goofy dog. What the heck is he doing?" He saunters back up to the patio right below my window. I watch him start rocking back and forth again. He takes off at a break neck pace again. Going even faster this time, Lucky runs out of leash. He flips upside down, wiggles his neck a little bit, and slips out of his collar. Flipping over and shaking his head, he realizes that his strategy worked and he was gone like a light. "Son of a gun", I shook MY head and thought what a stupid, brilliant dog I had.

The lesson here: What would you do to free yourself of your personal leashes? What would you do to achieve your goal? Would you step outside of your comfort zones (self-established leash) to explore what else is out there? Or do you live within your leash's limits not knowing or caring about what is out there if you pushed yourself, if you excelled, if you were to stand out? Lucky is an inspiration. He feels no bounds. He set a goal to be free to explore new horizons. He had to go through pain and suffering to shake his leash. Like us, he experienced the pain of going beyond what is comfortable and "what we know". Let Lucky be motivation for you and me to so something today that will astound somebody, will surprise somebody (even ourselves), will be so out of our comfort zone that is painful. Call that potential client. Call that difficult person. Take a walk at break. Take a gym trip. Get to work earlier. Get to each meeting 15 minutes early. Share this blog with friends. :)

Take care and have a great week!

To your success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tiger Woods Out for the Year... Season-ending Knee Surgery...

Hi Bay-Bee! I've had a few people ask me to post this article.

Tiger to have season-ending knee surgery
Tiger Woods walked tenderly out of Torrey Pines with a U.S. Open trophy he was destined to win on a left leg worse than anyone imagined. A group of children called out to him and Woods looked over and waved.

It turned out to be a most symbolic gesture.

So long, Tiger.

See you next year.

Woods revealed Wednesday he has been playing for at least 10 months with a torn ligament in his left knee, and that he suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg two weeks before the U.S. Open. He said he will have season-ending surgery, knocking him out of the final two majors and the Ryder Cup.

"Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee," Woods said on his Web site.

He sure wasn't listening to doctors by playing the U.S. Open, a victory that now looks even more impressive.

Out of competition for two months because of April 15 surgery to clean out cartilage in his left knee, he suffered a double stress fracture in his left tibia two weeks before the U.S. Open.
Hank Haney, his swing coach, was with him in Florida when doctors told Woods the preferred treatment was three weeks on crutches, followed by three weeks of rest.

According to Haney, Woods looked at the doctor and said: "I'm playing the U.S. Open, and I'm going to win."

"And then he started putting on his shoes," Haney recalled. "He looked at me and said, 'Come on, Hank. We'll just putt today.' Every night, I kept thinking there was no chance he's going to play. He had to stop in his tracks for 30 seconds walking from the dining room table to the refrigerator.

"He was not going to miss the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. There just wasn't any discussion."
And it was a U.S. Open that will be talked about for years.

Despite a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a double stress fracture, Woods managed to win a major that required five days of flinching, grimacing and a long list of spectacular shots that have defined his career.

He went 91 holes on a leg that got worse with each day, finally defeating Rocco Mediate on the 19th hole of a playoff.

"When I talk about golf, he doesn't count," Mediate said Monday after the playoff. "He's not normal."

Woods, 32, did not say when he would have surgery, but he canceled a clinic that was scheduled for Tuesday at Comerica Park in Detroit. Haney said the typical recovery is six to eight months. This will be Woods' third surgery in five months on his left knee.

"There will be debate whether he rushed back for the U.S. Open," said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG. "But I don't think there will be any debate that he rushes back from his next surgery. He won't need to. Augusta is in April. And if things go according to plan, he'll be able to play an event or two or three."

Woods first went to Haney toward the end of 2002 to overhaul a violent swing that was putting enormous pressure on his left knee. Haney suspects the pain has been increasing, and Woods stopped hitting balls after his rounds at last year's British Open.

"He's been playing way less than 100 percent for a long, long, time," Haney said. "It has limited him a lot in practice. He's going to come back better than he's ever been."

Woods was already plenty good, with 65 victories that rank third all-time on the PGA Tour, and 14 professional majors that are second only to the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus. This is the 500th week Woods has been ranked No. 1 in the world.

Even in his abbreviated 2008 season, he won five of seven tournaments worldwide. Dating to the discovery of the torn ACL, Woods won nine of 12 tournaments, including two majors, and never finished lower than fifth.

"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy," Woods said. "My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects."

Woods will miss a major for the first time in his career — the British Open next month at Royal Birkdale and the PGA Championship, where Woods is the two-time defending champion, in August at Oakland Hills in Michigan.

"Tiger is an enormous attraction, there's no denying that," Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said. "But the Open Championship has had many exciting finishes which Tiger has not been part of, and I'm sure there will be more. It's very sad. We're very sorry that he's succumbed to the injury and he won't be competing in the Open. We hope he has the speediest recovery."

Woods also will miss the Ryder Cup in September, meaning the ninth player in the U.S. standings will qualify for the team. Coincidentally, Woods had mathematically clinched a spot on the team by winning the U.S. Open.

"We sent him flowers for winning the U.S. Open. Now I wish I had put in a note of condolences," U.S. captain Paul Azinger quipped. "But this is not about Tiger and the Ryder Cup. It's about Tiger getting better and his march to history."

The majors won't miss Woods nearly as much as the PGA Tour — and the networks that televise it — especially in the second year of the FedEx Cup, which Woods won in a landslide last year.
He still might be leading the points race in August leading to the playoffs. Even with Woods no longer playing the rest of the year, he will keep his spot in the playoff events for which he is eligible.

"Tiger is our tour," Kenny Perry said from the Travelers Championship, which starts Thursday at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. "When you lose your star player, it definitely hurts."
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said his concern was for Woods' health and well being.
"We wish him the best toward a speedy recovery," he said.

Woods is private about his health and personal life, never more so than at the just-completed U.S. Open. He didn't say anything about the torn ACL or the stress fractures, and wouldn't say how he was treating it, only that it was more sore as the week went on.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was when the injury first happened.

Woods said he tore the ACL while jogging at home after the British Open last July. He played on, going on a streak that included seven consecutive victories, including Dubai Desert Classic in Europe and his Target World Challenge, an unofficial event.

He did not play overseas late last year for the first time since 2003, hopeful that rest could allow him to play more this year. But the pain intensified through the Masters, where he finished second, and Woods said the cartilage damage developed from the ACL injury.

He bypassed surgery on the torn ligament April 15, hopeful that by cleaning out the cartilage he could make it through the year. What he didn't anticipate were the stress fractures as he tried to get ready for the Memorial.

"The stress fractures that were discovered just prior to the tournament unfortunately prevented me from participating and had a huge impact on the timing for my return," Woods said. "I was determined, though, to do everything and anything in my power to play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which is a course that is close to where I grew up and holds many special memories for me."

Woods won for the eighth time at the public golf course in San Diego — a U.S. Open, a record six times at the Buick Invitational, and a Junior World Championship as a teenager.

He called his U.S. Open victory "probably the best ever."

On Wednesday, he explained why.

Bay-Bee, Tiger Woods is incredible. I explain more in The Tiger Woods of Real Estate post!

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

The Tiger Woods of Real Estate...

Hi Bay-Bee;

Two posts today, but had to deliver this news and discuss.

Last weekend, Tiger Woods won the US Open, a major golf tournament in dramatic style. He sank a 30-ft putt for eagle, a 67-foot putt for eagle and two-hopped a chip in for a birdie, but what was even more impressive is that he did it with immense pain. (See article below.).

Your mom and I drove to Branson during the weekend to check on some properties for clients. As we were driving, I was listening to the golf tourney and we chatted about Tiger. Something you will find out about your Papa is that I am a sports lover. And not just a casual spectator-type of sports lover, but deep, intense analyzer of who does what for what reasons and what would impact what facet of each game or each player. I'm a sports scientist. I've watched as many games and as many different sports as anyone possibly could. I watched them with your grandpa, still watch them with your grandma (especially KU basketball), and will watch many in the future with you.

Nobody in my life has impacted my sports viewing as much as Tiger Woods. No athlete I've ever watched has impressed me or amazed me as much as Tiger Woods. I don't want to miss a minute of his career. Every time I watch he does something incredible. Every time. The eagles, the drives, the hitting a 3-iron out of a fairway bunker to within 6 feet of the hole, and the absolute clutch putts to win or tie events. I never saw Pele play soccer until later in his career. I didn't see Babe Ruth play baseball. I saw Michael Jordan play basketball. I saw Wayne Gretzky play hockey. I just can't imagine anybody epitomizing the word Excellence as well as Tiger Woods. He's not perfect. Nobody is perfect. But he PURSUES PERFECTION CATCHING EXCELLENCE ON THE WAY.

I asked your mom what it would take to be The Tiger Woods of Real Estate. She mentioned practice, being raised from 5 years old to be a real estate agent, positive attitude, etc. We had a discussion and in prying a little deeper we found that Tiger possesses the key ingredients to anybody's success story:

First, he has FOCUS. He's a golfer. Not a golfer and a flight instructor. Not a golfer and basketball player. He's a golfer. His focus is to become the best golfer on the planet. This week was his 500th consecutive week being the #1 -ranked golfer on the PGA Tour. He plays golf. How does one become the Tiger Woods of Real Estate? He or she is a professional real estate agent. He (or she, but let's stick with he) works full-time at real estate. His profession time is spent on RE and his family time is spent on family. You will learn many things, but after you find your passion, I hope you can stay focused. You will have the talent and the smarts to do anything you want. The key is to do what you want with focus.

Second, and this is just as important as focus, he has DRIVE. He wants to leave a legacy of Excellence. He doesn't compete against others. He competes against himself. He has this burning fire of desire, this fuel that drives him to be the best. Not just the best, but the very best, the best anybody has ever seen. He wants to not just beat the competition, but annihilate the competition by taking his game to heights never seen. This inner drive, this quest to be the best is something I hope you feel. Socrates once said (and I am paraphrasing poorly, of course who was there to hear his exact words? :), if you are to be the street sweeper, be the very best street sweeper. if you are to be the senator, be the very best senator. This is the truth and not something that I understood when I was younger. But I definitely get it now. There is a thirst, a hunger inside of me that is like an itch that you can't satisfy. It is a little twinge of discomfort that keeps me up late at night, gets me up in the morning, and invades my thought daily. It's no longer needing a push because this feeling is the big pull. You see Bay-Bee, the thing is that once you have smelled the aroma of Excellence, once you have tasted the air of that atmosphere, you never want to settle for less. It's not about others, it's about maximizing yourself. Your talents, time, thoughts, treasures, and talk funneled for one purpose: to be the best you can be. To Be Excellent.

He has the FOCUS and the DRIVE, but he also puts in the TIME TO IMPROVE.
Practice makes Perfect is a fallacy. If you continue to repeat the mistakes of before over and over again. It becomes even more difficult to learn new habits to re-focus your energies towards Excellence. I'll give you an example.
Fred Haywood is a friend of mine. In his younger days, he was a champion swimmer. The back stroke. He grew up in Southern California and because of his accomplishments, he was asked to participate in a pre-Olympic training event. Fred swam and swam and swam. He worked day and night on the back stroke to prepare for this event.
When Fred showed up at the event, he was introduced to another pretty good swimmer, Mark Spitz (Spitz went on to win seven gold medals at the Olympics). The first time Fred went head-to-head with Spitz, he got smoked. It wasn't even close. Fred spent the day and night practicing. The second day, Fred got smoked again. Fred was depressed. He had spent a lot of time practicing, but he wasn't improving. A coach approached Fred that second day and asked if Fred was enjoying the event.
"No," said Fred.
And then he got the lesson. After asking if Fred was interested in a few pointers and getting a nod of approval, the coach said, "You're all over the place in your lane. You're working twice as hard as everybody else but not getting anywhere. Are you interested in learning a technique that will help you stay straighter and decrease your effort by 50%?"
"YES." said Fred.
The coach said, "Grab those two towels over there."
Fred did.
"Stand up and act like you are doing your back stroke. As you spin your hands behind you I want you to drop the towels. Just go like you are doing one complete stroke."
Fred did it. One towel went 10 feet behind Fred and the other went 5 feet to the left and 5 feet behind Fred.
"That's why you are all over the place. Your hands aren't finishing in the same place. Now, here's what I want you to do: I want you to work on this so that the towels land at your heels. You should snap your arms around so that BOTH towels land at your heels. Take this stack of towels and work on this here on the concrete deck. Try it once."
Fred tried it. He rotated his right arm in front of him and as his arm whipped over head, he snapped his arm down and the towel ended up 3 feet behind him. He rotated his left arm and as he snapped his arm around, the towel ended up 2 feet behind his heels. Fred grabbed two more towels. Snap. Snap. Two towels right behind Fred. Snap. Snap. Two more towels behind Fred.
The next day, Fred beat Mark Spitz in the back stroke. If it weren't for injuries Fred Haywwod would have been an Olympian. He's still an Olympian in my books because his heart is the size of the Earth.
The lesson Fred learned that day was that no matter how hard you practice if you are practicing the wrong thing, it doesn't make a difference. With a small change in technique, practice can mean the difference.
The Tiger Woods of Real Estate would be focused, have drive, and put in the time to improve.
Learn --> Implement --> Screw up --> Learn --> Implement --> Screw Up --> Learn... the beat continues.
To Your Success,
Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Monday, June 16, 2008

39, 13, 1, 1

Hi Bay-Bee!

It's been a busy few days! I turned 39 on June 11. Friday was Friday the 13th (some people have paraskavedekatriaphobia which is the fear of this day), . We drove 3 hours to Branson on Saturday, June 14th which is also Flag Day (as well as Donald Trump's birthday). Then Sunday, June 15 was my first Father's Day. I didn't really celebrate (I'll really celebrate next year! :). Also, on Sunday, your mom felt your first kick. She said it felt like a butterfly flapping its wings. It made me think of the Butterfly Effect.

The Butterfly Effect says that if a butterfly flaps its wings in China that it will cause a thunderstorm in the United States. Essentially, small actions can cause enormous effects. Where you are right now is a result of what you did a day ago, a month ago, a year ago, years ago. The decision to ask him or her out, the decision to go to a party or not, the decision to say no or say yes, the decision to get in the car or not, the ability to say no, focus, how you spend every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year... is important. Every little turn or move in your life has an impact on where you end up. The first step to success is admitting that where you are right now is the result of all the little "butterfly" moves you've made up to this point.

So remember, Bay-Bee, every move counts, every decision determines, and every minute matters.

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's PaPa (Michael)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Now THAT is a Growth Spurt! Happy Birthday to Dad!

Hi Bay-Bee!

You seem to be resting well lately. This week you'll go from 5 inches long to 10 inches long! That's a growth spurt. If dad did that, I'd be almost 12 feet tall! Incredible.

Today is June 11, 2008. Your dad is 39 today! Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday To Dad! Happy Birthday to You! :) How time flies when you are having fun.

Two weeks from today we'll find out if you are Michael Maxwell or Mariah Marie (or another name for a boy or girl). I'm looking forward to it so I can prepare mentally (and around the house) for your arrival. We're very excited for you. Mom isn't sick or tired any more. She's feeling great.

Mom and I are reading a book Healthy Sleeping Habits, Happy Baby. It was given to us by Cynthia Olivarria Kaufman. It's a great book on providing structure for you. It details how consistent scheduling during the day will keep your attitude and energy strong. It's fantastic and definitely supports a lot of my time and energy management theories. I'm looking forward to putting it into play. I know Rob and Lisa Maher (my brother and sister-in-law, your uncle and aunt) did a terrific job of structuring their days for their son (Brady) and daughter (Alyson). Maybe Lisa will be able to help mom and me while we are going through this learning process?

Your mom and I really enjoy reading. Books are a great way to get away. They are a place to learn and expand your knowledge. They are a gateway to improvement and reaching your potential. I hope you enjoy reading. We have plenty of books for you. :) Maybe you'll even read the book I'm writing, The Seven Levels of Communication: From Relationships to Referrals. You won't need the information in it for years, but it will be a good read. I'm going to dedicate it to you and your mom... and my mom and dad of course. One of your grandpa's wishes is that he wished he would have written his memoirs - that is a compilation of works, thoughts, and notes. They would have been spectacular! It would have been great to read his words and hear his thoughts on striving for excellence, pushing for your personal best, overcoming struggles, getting the best from people around you.

Bay-Bee, you are very lucky to have come into this life within the family you are arriving. My mom (your grandma) is extremely intelligent and you will find that much of the family (aunts, uncles, cousins, great-uncles, great-aunts) are fun, witty, smart, clever, POSITIVE, happy, Christian, upbeat, and caring. Sheri's family is one of the most caring and wonderful families on the planet. I'm glad to be part of their constant loving environmentand quite honestly my side of the family could take a lesson from their excellent communication (though we, the Maher side, are working on that). All in all, you're getting it all! :) Not that I'm biased or anything.

And we are very lucky to have you. And Lucky is lucky to have you. :) The family dog is looking forward to having a play mate. He's wagging his tail right now to let you know he his ready to welcome you into the house. He will most likely let you know that you are IN by throwing a racquet ball off your head. :)

Rest now. More later...

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)