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Tag: Verdant Construction

MJBizCon Las Vegas – 2019

Today I am off on an airplane to magical, mysterious, miserable Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2019 MJBiz Conference. I will be there until Saturday. If you have yet to decode the name, the conference is for people and companies interested in doing business our country’s emerging market, which is currently only legal on a state-by-state basis. This will be my third time at this particular event. The header image above is a photo I took of the line to get badges last year.

I rate my excitement for the trip, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, at about a 3. I’m being generous.

Trade shows are tiring. You spend all day walking around kissing hands and shaking babies, business card to you, business card for me, what do you have, nice booth, hello guy I haven’t seen in a while, what a neat display, oh the Futurola crew went all out again, uh oh avoid that former client. Then, after the show lets out for the day, you go out until all unholy hours of the night doing the real business of the show: making deals, talking about projects, socializing, the whole thing. Add to all this that the show is in Las Vegas and you have a recipe for coming home feeling like a shell of a person for four or five days.

The show comes at a tough time of year for it to occupy most of a week. I’ve got a lot of year-end tasks to worry about, not to mention lining up work for 2020. Squeezing a week’s worth of in-office work into Monday is not the best. I’ve got reports to figure out how to write! I’ve got to make sure my accountant has all the things he needs! I’ve got to do this and that and whatever else! The entire company office will be in Vegas this week (there are two of us). I hope the building doesn’t burn down.

Even worse is that I am not especially interested in the theme of the show. I like being part of my construction company and I am often proud of what we make happen as a small crew. Our work is excellent and we run an honorable, no-bullshit business. However, we service an industry that just doesn’t excite me. There are loads of good people working hard to make something of themselves and I have tons of respect for a lot of them. I am not in any way trying to something negative about the people we work for and with. But, I’d probably be more interested in the booths at a horror movie convention. Just not super hyped on the wacky tabacky and its accoutrements, you know?

The only reason the show gets even a 3 out of 10 is that it is, admittedly and without reservation, nice to see all our vendor friends. You spend a lot of time on the calling and e-mailing people all over and it is good to spend some real face-time with them at least once or twice a year. That part I like.

The rest of it you can have.

Wish me luck! And let’s see if we can make something happen.

Where have I been?

Hi there, The Black Laser friends. It’s been a while. Nearly three years, in fact, if we’re judging by the date on my Donald Trump post directly following this one. And, boy, is that post still unfortunately timely.

But where have I been since January 21, 2017? Here! Everywhere! Lots of changes! In the interest of keeping things brisk, let’s do a nice, vaguely chronological list.

  • I quit my job at Wax and left the industry all together. I loved my crew there, but I was burnt out on the ad industry and needed to change. My energy output was far greater than my energy input.
  • I moved from New York City to San Jose, CA. Similarly, I was pretty burnt on New York City. It’s the most fun place when you are 28 and single, but that gets old and you get married and move out to Queens and, one day, you wake up and think, “What the hell am I schlepping through the fucking snow for?” So we moved. Even better, I moved away without writing a break up letter with the city. Feel free to search for some examples of one of those on the internet.
  • I started a construction company that focuses on greenhouses called Verdant Construction with JJ, his dad John, and an Australian named Jason. I figured that it would be easy to jump head-first into an industry I knew basically nothing about. Whoops!
  • We moved from San Jose, CA to Soquel, CA, which is not too far, but the quality of life near the beach is wildly superior to San Jose.
  • I bought a monster grill that I get to cook on 4 times a week, even through the dead of winter. I haven’t seen snow, or my arch-enemy “the wintry mix,” in nearly three years.
  • I spent a semester at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA taking some basic business classes. I realized that, suddenly!, I was a business man who knew pretty much nothing about business. Whoops again! So I thought to fix that problem without having to learn everything the hardest way: by failing.
  • After whetting my appetite for higher learning at Cabrillo and recognizing that community college was never going to meet my standards, I started an MBA program at the business school at Santa Clara University. Because I was not busy enough working full time and traveling all over the west coast for work. Whoops whoops whoops!
  • Our old cat Henry died. He grew more and more threadbare over his last six months and spent a lot of time sick, barfing much more frequently than even his usual high level. Eventually his motor control gave out and he quickly wound down. Rest in peace, business cat.
  • We got a kitten, Noodle, to keep Baby company. Her name was Dixie at the foster home, and I wanted to call her Cup. Sarah thought Cup o’Noodles which matched the fact that she (the kitten) is a floppy, cross-eyed, little cuddle monster who loves belly rubs. And, it turns out, that Baby didn’t want to company. We hope she warms up to Noodle over the next year.

And that’s pretty much it for me for the last 2.8 years. Many changes, some good, some not great. I’ve been a lot of places, met a lot of characters, and eaten a lot of sketchy burritos. Life is pretty good overall. I’ve got some upcoming projects to share, a strong new theme for 2020 I am getting started on early but won’t share quite yet, and a bit of a bug to exercise the old space bar. So, yeah, hi, I love you. Thanks for reading.