Taking Feedback like a Crusader

In light of reviews, new years resolutions, new hairstyles, or whatever new is going on in your life as 2017 is off to a start, I thought I'd share some thoughts on how to take feedback like a champ. These tips are from an original article by The Muse entitled "How to Take Constructive Criticism Like a Champ," but I prefer the term feedback. Keep these tips in mind during your review, or anytime you receive feedback from anyone in your life that your knee-jerk reaction may be unpleasant to at first:


1. Stop your first reaction: In fact, try not to react at all. Give yourself a few seconds to remain calm and process the words being said.

2. Remember the benefit of getting feedback: whether the situation warrants to improve skills, working habits, relationships, etc. 

3. Listen: Now that you're "calm and cool as a cucumber"(as my mother would say. Don't ask where it came from because I don't know) you can receive and process the words being said without going into defense mode by instantly mapping out a plan of rebuttal. 

4. Say thank you: And this is important! If you react badly to feedback, others may not be willing to give you anymore down the road, and as tough as it may be to take sometimes, I think we can all agree that in most instances we can gain something good from it. Also, remember that a lot of times feedback is as difficult to give as it is to take.

5. Ask Questions: Deconstruct the feedback you're receiving by repeating it back to the giver, and ask questions to clarify: "I hear that I need to be writing more detailed emails, could we discuss how I might go about this in the future?"



Story Time with Nery

Coffee in Desolation

It was late spring when we made it to the lake. The drive up US 50 was beautiful as city gently faded into treeline. The hike up was grueling but what I have found is the more difficult the hike, the more peaceful it is. There is something about the quiet that comes with an exhausted mind. The only thought we could hold was taking the next step. But the landscape and views were more than enough to keep us going.

The memory of our father telling us stories of adventure was the spark behind the trip. My brother and I longed to connect with those stories of hardship and danger that we heard as young children. We chose this backcountry hike on a whim; it hit a few peaks and promised some spectacular views, much like the ones from our father’s tales.

As in any multi-day hike, we packed simple foods, weight being more of an issue than flavor, but there is one item I find worth the weight: Coffee. As we neared the first peak our pace quickened until the surprise of snow hit us. Our paced dragged to a crawl. Snowshoes would have been a good idea but being so close to summer, it never crossed our minds. And as we struggled on the snow made the trails fainter and fainter.

Stopping our trek at around 9,000 ft. The more I “adventure” the more I realize that I often find myself wildly unprepared, and at times a bit lost, but this is what adventure is. It’s not the plan we make, nor the ideal experience, but rather the story that comes with every surprise you encounter.

Through these adventures, I haven’t yet run into a problem that good company and a great cup of coffee couldn’t fix. As we drank the warm beverage, our cold bodies sat in silence. But as the reviving nature of the coffee began to do its work, laughter and good conversation followed.

Although we didn’t get as far as we had hoped; we camped near a beautiful snow-covered peak somewhere in Desolation National Forest.



Finding Good in the Bad

There is always some good to every bad situation, objective is to be the person who see's it.
Go out there and seek out all the #positivity in this 3 day weekend, Crusaders. Slide on!

Show Up

Last night while watching a Keanu Reeves movie with a bunch of high schoolers and racking my brain for something to write about for the loop, my boy Keanu threw down some wisdom with the following phrase: "What I've learned from you all is that really one of the most important things in life is showing up."
Consistency is a trait that can be hard to come by. Life gets busy, things get hectic, and when push comes to shove it can be hard to follow through sometimes. But when I stand back and look at my life and think of influential figures that have really shaped who I am today, my first thought isn't my favorite designer or speaker or author. The people that stand out by a mile are the people who consistently chose to show up for me. Regardless of whether they felt they weren't their best self or were too busy or tired, they still showed up and that simple act alone has had a profound impact on my life. 
Simply showing up holds so much weight in the lives of others. I challenge you to show up for the people in yours! Follow through with those commitments. Volunteer somewhere and make a habit of it. Be there for your friends and family, even when it's hard. Write a far-away friend a letter. It may make more of an impact than you know 😊
In other news, HAPPY THURSDAY! Look how close we are to a 🔥 three day weekend:



The Things You Learn From a 3 Year Old

Good Morning Crusaders. We'd first like to inform the company that Marc is no longer with SlideBelts. We appreciate his contributions over his time here, and wish him best in the future.


Recently, while babysitting one of my nephews, we got to play with all of his new toys he
 got for Christmas. He was especially proud to show me his brand new(surprisingly realistic) garbage truck. You see, his dad is an Operations Manager for Waste Management. Even though he doesn’t actually drive the garbage trucks, my nephew has associated every iconic green and dirty truck with his dear old dad.


I stopped picking up pretend garbage outside of lincoln-log houses to ask my nephew “Will you be a garbage man when you grow up?” and to my amusement he replied sorrowfully “No, my daddy says I can’t be, but I reeaaalllllyyy want to be one.” I tried not to laugh as I offered other potential career opportunities, including a fireman or policeman.


Now obviously a dad just wants the absolute best for his son, and I’m sure my nephew’s aspirations will change over the years, but I couldn’t help but feel for the little guy in the same way I do for some adults.


In conducting interviews, I run into people on a daily basis stuck in jobs they aren’t passionate about, and it’s always like a light bulb switches on over their head when you discover what they really are passionate about, whether it’s art or health coaching or their families; you name it I’ve heard it. Running into these people makes me extra grateful that 1. I’m doing what I’m most passionate about, and 2. That I’m in a company that loves to help people discover their passions and strengths, and gives them opportunities to utilize them.

If you’re not doing what you’re most passionate about today, I would encourage you to take a step towards that. Be active in looking for where you can apply your passions here in this company and outside of it. Have conversations with your manager about where you want to be in your review, and if your dream is to drive around a big green truck and pick up people’s garbage, by all means, get going. We’ll support you!



Story Time with Nery

Crowley is one of those magical places; a rare place where the wild still overpowers the developed. He was a young boy making his way west in search of an untamed land and adventure. One of the most memorable ones was the time he met a girl. 

He had been exploring the many naturally occurring hot springs in the area and had been invited to join a group of friends to one nearby named boardwalk. As the sun began to set, they made their way out into the arid desert landscape in search of this hydrothermal activity. We all settled into the warm water; the dark night sky gleamed with the inconsistent light of countless stars. The smell of sage and the wonderful company was what he thought would be the most memorable part of this night, as slowly they all began to leave. 

He hung back from the group waiting for the girl he had just met; in hopes of spending more time with her. As they walked slowly back to the car, the night was going just as he had hoped.

All of a sudden, they hear rapid footsteps approaching them. A large dark figure misses them by a few feet. There was no bravery in the young man's voice nor confidence; he let out what could only be described as a shriek as he asked, "what was that!" They both stood frozen, unsure of what to do as the dark figure circled its way back around. Its deep heavy breathing giving them a clue to what had just attacked. The Bull, now ten feet away, still just a black figure against the night sky, drags its foot across the hardened desert floor. 

They ran. The bull charges behind them, its speed unnatural, as if fueled by their fear. It would criss-cross the path they were running on stumbling over the boards. As it closed in, a heavy thud rang out; in the darkness, the bull had tripped over the boardwalk the two were running on, allowing them time to get away. 

Exhausted from their narrow escape, they sat on the hood of his car laughing late into the night in a little town named Crowley. 


Canine Resolutions

Like most people, I have a few things in mind that I want to focus on with every calendar turn to a new year. Also like most people, I've come to question the idea behind new year's resolutions - why wait until a new year to work on things? Even if I were to succeed with one of my resolutions, does that mean I've failed with my 3 or 4 others?


After thinking it through for the first few days of the new year, I came to a new conclusion the other night: the only resolution I need is to act more like my dogs. (Hopefully I don't lose everyone but Gabby at this point...)


Our two Golden Retrievers, Tucker (named after Kentucky, obviously) and Nolan, are all the things I want to be: they're unconditionally loving, endlessly happy and thankful for everything. Really, what more could you need? If you have those three things, everything else after that is just icing on the cake.


Too often, our human nature is to believe that everything has to be good and all of our needs must be met before we can be kind. Bad days, a fight with a loved one or the stress of bills often dictate our general happiness and kindness towards others. As it turns out, kindness and happiness is actually the foundation for all other things to fall into place. To me, my dogs are the perfect reminder of that on a daily basis.


I could go on and on about all the reasons that dogs are sometimes the only redeeming aspects of humans, but instead I'm going to take this opportunity to share lots of pictures of my dogs and you'll see why I just want to be like them when I grow up:




20-second rule for 2017

Happy Friday Crusaders!


Have you started on your New Years resolution? A common habit that people have a problem with is learning how to start. One of the principals I will be trying this year is the "20-second rule." Yes, that is the same principle from The Happiness Advantage where Shawn Achor discusses the 20-second rule,

“I like to refer to this as the 20-Second Rule, because lowering the barrier to change by just 20 seconds was all it took to help me form a new life habit. In truth, it often takes more than 20 seconds to make a difference-and sometimes it can take much less-but the strategy itself is universally applicable: Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.”


Try it with me this year and let's get the momentum going. Once we get started, it will be easier to keep going and thus success will be easier to achieve.





Story Time With Nery

It was a brisk morning in Southern California. The sun had just begun to peer over the waves as it splashed its colorful display across the sky and water. It was her first day of Dawn Patrol since her last visit to the Pacific. 


With a surfboard in hand, she braved the cold morning with the crucial help of a morning cup of coffee. As she enjoyed the simple aroma of her morning beverage, she set up her spot on the beach and painstakingly put on her wetsuit. 


After a few sips, she was emboldened to brave the morning waters. She walked the fifteen feet towards the water to see what the Pacific had in store for her but, as she neared the water she had no idea of the mistake she had made...Until she turned back towards her newly established post, only to be met with dark black eyes peering at her from a phantasmal white face. 


The bird had descended swiftly, towards her drink. She breaks into a run, attempting to match the speed of this newly-discovered enemy. It was too late. In a blur of feathers, it kicked the cup over, spilling its contents onto the sandy floor then dunking its orange beak into the remaining coffee. 


The bird's cruelty was made fully apparent as it let out its haunting call, resembling laughter. This defeat was a hard one to take, but the day was not a total loss. As she paddled out into the morning waves she joined the chorus of laughter of her new formidable adversaries. 




The Ops Team is Quite Busy Today... they finish up their inventory count and get caught up on orders from vacation. So I'll pretend to be Matt with a sports-inspired meme from the best coach in college basketball to get us all through the day.



Josh - January 2016

Sense of Urgency and Open-Minded Policy
Congrats Josh! This is for all the above & beyond sacrifices you've made for SlideBelts.

  • 1. What is something on your bucket list?
    Go to Camp Nou Stadium
  • 2. Quirkiest nickname you have, and who uses it:
    "Cacheton" which means "fat cheeks". My uncle used to call me that. Is the only nickname I have ever had.
  • 3. What is your favorite family tradition?
    I get together with my parents at Starbucks every Sunday morning. We call it "Starbucks time"
  • 4. What's playing in your car right now?
  • 5. Favorite Dessert:

This Week

C.I.C. Report 01/13/2017

Sales-PGA Tour is around the corner! Finishing the last touches. HR-Reviews season! Finishing the rest of the reviews in the incoming weeks.    Finance-Preparing for SlideBelts investors campaign and finalizing tax return. Creative-Working in PGA Tour booth, come check it out in Unit 4! Start working on Valentine’s day. Operations-Great job with order fulfillment team! Tackling guest service next. We got this! Setting up our new office in unit 4. 

C.I.C. Report 01/6/2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR TEAM!! Finance- Finishing up 2016 finances. Kiosk 2016 season was a success! thank you team! Potentially expanding to more Kiosks for the next holiday season. Pairing with the creative team to work on a finance page for Start Engine. Looking to hire a junior accountant Operations- Nice job team!! Inventory is all taken care of. Going over new warehouse organization and layouts. PGSS meeting this week for digesting the 2016 season. Sales-Preparing for PGA Orlando, which is coming up towards the end of the month. Golf is re-launching with an updated style and look. HR-Working on the wellness Program. Marketing-1.2k social media comments to grind through. Nery joined the Marketing team! Creative-Polishing up company video, and also working on PGA Orlando video. Merchandising Shelves for tradeshows. Preparing for March or April Photo Shoot

C.I.C. Report 12/2/2016

Social Media- 12 Days of Giveaways start Monday.  We delivered custom belts to Huckberry, HOW COOL!  Got caught up on outstanding social media platforms.  Reordered door stickers. Operations- Got 2,200 orders "under our belts." Cayenne and Hickory are back in stock! Winged Gun & Winged Silver buckles are no all Taiwan Buckles. Finance- The kiosk has officially paid for itself, great job kiosk team!  Finished revenue recognition from January through October.  Preparing for tax season.  General- We have a new phone line!  Warehouse Unit 4 floors are getting completed on Sunday. Creative- Replaced imagery on the website for new fresh images!  We have "Gifts" page up for easy gift ideas for guests.  We have a glove giveaway on Monday of next week, let's get those gloves out of here. 

C.I.C. Report 11/8/2016

Wholesale: Larger scale wholesale orders have been coming undone in the cubes, we have to get to the bottom of this!  Marc is gone on a PGA ambassador trip, hold it down for us Marc.  Trail run with EZ-GO for custom buckles.   Operations: LiveChat is up, go chat us up!  Kickstarter backers are still MIA with orders 294 left to go! Financial: Working on even more loans.  Submitted CA/IN/CAN taxes. Creative: Vangaurd site is almost up.  Kiosk Graphics are also almost completed.  Veteran's Day day is live Friday and up through this weekend! Marketing: Updating Pintrest and social media shoppable items.  Made some connections with Style Magazine.  Call with Kenny Thomas for further collaboration.   HR: On-boarding Brenda.  Researching volunteer opportunities for the holidays.  Wrapping up programs and celebrations for the end of the year.

C.I.C. Report 10/28/2016

Wholesale: Getting more PGA ambassador belts ready to ship for more ambassador trips.  Large order for EZ-Go employees.  Moving on from Sales Force. Operations- FBA back in full effect.  Zendesk is back to double digits worth of tickets.  Remember get your Movember profiles set up.  LiveChat is installed, will roll out next week. Finance- Signed contracts with California Competes, almost done!  Finishing up the final clean up of Xero. Marketing- Snapchat Filter for the Kings opening night.  Working to get into different holiday gift guides. HR- Getting ready for end of year reviews.  Preparing for open enrollment in November.  Still churning through interviews. Creative- Focused on getting the kiosk ready to go.  Organizing dropbox even more.  Working on Vanguard product shots to get our newest dropship location ready.  Creating fresh images for the website.