To Him He’s Always Doing Both

james_michenerEver hear something and it just resonates with you? The way a song sounds? The voice of a loved one? Today in a meeting I had a prospect recite a James Michener quote to me. I have never heard it before and to be honest, I haven’t heard of Michener. Well stupid me…the guy was a great American writer. He wrote 40+ books over his career, with his most popular being Tales of the South Pacific, which was later made into a movie. Michener is attributed with many quotes, but the one I love goes like this:

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. ”

Do you make distinction between your work or play? Is your labor your leisure? Is love and your religion synonymous? Lastly, do you leave others to decide whether you are working or playing? As for me, I am, always, doing both.

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Take a Risk…500 Style

If you live in a cave and haven’t heard, Alexander Rossi, a rookie, won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Not only is that a good story in and of itself, but it’s how he won that got me thinking.

With only 3 laps to go, the leaders of the race, Munoz and Newgarden, who had been battling back and forth for 10 laps or so, decided they needed fuel to complete the race. Rossi’s team decided he didn’t. Now, he did go into turn four at under 180mph and seemingly coasted across the victory bricks…but he did it before Munoz could catch him.

Rossi, who at one time in the race was in position 33, had to have this type of conversation with his crew chief.

Rossi – “I’m getting low on fuel, I don’t think I can finish without pitting”

Crew Chief – “The leaders just pitted, if you come in, you have NO chance at all of winning. If you stay out, you have a chance…what do you want to do?”

Rossi – “Screw it, let’s win this thing”

The rest they say is history. Just after crossing the finish line, Rossi’s car died in the back stretch and the first time winner had to be towed to victory lane. Anything can happen in professional sports!

If he would have pitted, he had NO chance to win. None. If he stays out on the track, it can go one of three ways.

  1. He could run out of fuel. No matter, he wasn’t going to win anyway.
  2. He could come in a place other than first.
  3. He could win the race.

With that being said, why not stay out? You have to wonder, why did Munoz and Newgarden pit? If either one of them stays on the track, they might have been drinking milk and cashing a huge in glory as the winner of the greatest spectacle in sports racing. But they did pit, and they did lose.

Here was my epiphany watching those events unfold on Sunday. Playing it safe isn’t always the best choice. If your situation is bleak, like Rossi’s was, the only way to win was to take a chance. Sure, it might backfire and you flame out, but what happens if it works? What happens if by some improbable chance you succeed…well, this happens.

Taking Risk


Want to read what Munoz was thinking after the race, click here:

Want to see a video recap of the race? Fellow SAE brother, Curt Cavin gives you the scoop here:

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3 Ways Pinball Is Like Business

Pinball and BusinessI may or may not own a pinball machine…well ok, I do. I played this particular machine a lot in the year 1988 at the local pizza shop in Franklin Indiana. A favorite past time of mine was to spend lots of quarters on this machine and try to get the high score or in other words, have my name immortalized in the thrones of electronic data. I went to great lengths (and quarters) on getting the high score, only to leave college and move on. What ever happened to that machine? To my score?

Today I was blowing off some steam, trying to get the jackpot back up to over 4M before I attempt another run at the board…and then it hit me. Pinball is a lot like business….three examples.

You have to know the field/rules. 
So often I have people want to play me on my machine. They think they can win. While I am not the greatest (I do hold 3 of the 4 top scores, damn you SKO), I understand how to score. Just like so many entrepreneurs today, they get into the game and think it’s easy. Watch some Shark Tank, or a little of the TV show The Profit, help a friend “run” their business…easy! Wrong. If you don’t know exactly what to expect when you get into the game, either game, you will get crushed by your competition that has experience on their side.

You have to practice. 
I didn’t get the high score on my first try. I didn’t call my shots on the machine until I knew I could make them, or at least look like I knew what I was doing. I often just play to hit the Comet 6 times in a row on a double score clock. In business it is much the same, you have to read. You have to network. You have to try harder and work more if you want to be the best…it doesn’t come “natural”.

There is a score…keep it. This doesn’t necessarily mean profit, but that’s nice. As a matter of fact, profit let’s you do a lot in business. Help others, expand, employ more people, do greater work etc. Can you imagine playing pinball without keeping score? What would be the point? Understand what score is important in your business, and keep it. Not only that, but month after month, year after year, understanding more, practicing often, I believe you will beat your old score and become a Pinball Wizard.

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Remembering The Past, Planning The Future

NYE16Sometimes in life it pays to look backward, like when you’re pulling out of your driveway. In business it’s fun to look back to gain perspective on how far you have come along. Without said perspective, you can easily lose sight of the now, so without further adieu, I give you some past:

Hitler finds out his Facebook page has been removed. A little video we did to get our customer’s Facebook page back…with it’s 50k fans.

Fat Atom Day in the Life.  Who can forget this little gem. Showcasing our new digs in downtown Carmel.

Get Social Carmel. Here me talk about websites that work.

Now on to the future. 2015 was a good year for Fat Atom, our best ever in revenue. We project 2016 to be even better, with a stunning client line up and a great sales funnel, we feel unstoppable in reaching our goal of 2M in revenue. Also, our work keeps getting better and better, check these out:

Our Fall 2015 Demo Reel. Lots of great work for great companies, like Indiana Limestone, Greenwalt CPA and Gripp, Inc. to name a few.

Our revamped website. Making an effort to go more “inbound” we are revamping our website, especially our blog and portfolio sections.

We celebrated our tenth year in business on September 15th, TEN YEARS! I once read that 96% of businesses fail within the first ten years, guess that means we are in the 4% club. Perseverance has always been one of my best traits.

Lastly, we couldn’t do any of this without people. People are the lifeblood of our service based business and we have the best team in the history of the company. Check out our ugly mugs here. Thanks for coming along on our journey with us.


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