How to Handle When You F&*k Up

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If you have been paying any attention to the news over the last few weeks I am sure you have heard about Steve Harvey mistakenly awarding the title of Miss Universe to  Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez and then having to take her crown away and award it to the actual winner, Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.  Ouch. My wife and I caught the very end of the pageant and it was so painful to watch I thought it was a joke.  It wasn’t.

Steve has been ripped constantly for his screw up and I believe that is unfortunate.  Obviously when you make a mistake when millions of people are watching you are going to catch your share of heat but the bottom line is the man made a mistake.  I think we should let him off the hook at this point.

Steve Harvey has handled his mistake with a great deal of humility and humor.  While it isn’t likely that you or I will make a mistake in front of millions of people, we will no doubt make some mistakes. If you are being honest with yourself I am sure there are several times you put your foot in your mouth.  We have all done something embarrassing, humiliating and/or down right stupid.

There are a bunch of things we can learn from how he has handled this mess.  So stop making fun of the man and listen up!

1. Say You Are Sorry

Immediately after his mistake, Steve issued an apology via Twitter. He acknowledged, for the world to see, he made a “huge mistake.” He also apologized to the contestants and the audience as a whole.

As men, when we screw up our initial reaction is to ignore it, pretend it never happened or to figure out a way to blame someone else for the mistake.  This is never a good approach.

Your best (and only) option is to sincerely apologize to whomever you have upset or hurt.   Again the key word here is “sincerely.”

If you have ever been on the other end of someone’s poor choice, poor wording or other douche-like behavior then you understand how meaningful it is when that person expresses concern for you over what happened.  Don’t be prideful.  Just apologize.

2. Keep the But Out of It

When we screw up in a major way we often want to try and explain what led us to that decision or to explain what we “really meant.” Don’t do it.  Saying “I am sorry but…” isn’t going to lead to a quick resolution.

Even if you aren’t totally to blame for what happened (and often blame is rarely 100% on one person) resist the urge to qualify your apology.  If you absolutely feel like you must provide some clarification around your actions, allow for a cooling off period (several hours or days) before doing so.  Again this is not recommended.

3. Forget the Do Over

If you are like me you struggle with two things when making a mistake: 1) forgiving yourself and 2) trying to undo what happened. I am a World Champion in beating myself up over my mistakes.  It is so hard to get out of my head sometimes and I know it costs me in other areas because I am not focused on the important tasks in my life.

I have learned that I must accept whatever has happened and do my best to stop trying to figure out a way to undo my mistake.

If you have sincerely apologized already then replaying it over and over in your head only hurts you.  There is no reason to engage in that kind of punishment.  The embarrassment of screwing up is enough.

4. Embrace the Embarrassment

This one is REALLY tough.

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Paula Patton prefers her men to be vulnerable.

They generally say people who are able to embrace their moments of embarrassment tend to be trusted more with valuable resources than others who do not.  That is what Steve Harvey is doing in the picture I posted at the top of the blog.  He is embracing his embarrassing moment and doing his best to have fun with it.  Doing so shows you are cool with being vulnerable and not only will people trust you more but women think it is totally hot.

When you are able to embrace the situation people will feel safe around you.  If you are a leader, this is the one tip you must master if you want the respect and admiration of your followers.  It is not better to be feared.  To be a real leader you cannot pretend you don’t have any flaws.  You must accept your flaws and mistakes and take the necessary steps to move on.

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Merry Christmas! It’s a Clinkkkkrrrr!

Happy Monday Gentlemen!

I hope like me, many of you have a short week and won’t have to put in a ridiculous number of hours at the office.

I just wanted to give you a heads up that material will be light this next week on the Be a Better Man blog as my family and I are traveling to the East Coast to spend time with family.

In the meantime I wanted to provide some of my favorite clips from some of my favorite Christmas movies (and yes Die Hard is a Christmas movie) as a way for you to pass some time today.  I should be resuming my duties here next Monday but for now I hope you enjoy!











Safe travels to everyone out there and be safe.

Andrew

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How to Score a Second Date

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Happy Hump Day Gentlemen!

I thought we would take a moment to discuss dating in today’s blog. While getting a first date can at times be tricky, the real difficult part in dating women is locking in the second date.  If you need help getting a first date I highly recommend you watch the movie Hitch.  I know it is a romantic comedy but there are worse things you could be doing than watching a movie with my all-time celebrity crush Eva Mendes.

In the movie there are a lot of pointers for not only scoring a first date but getting to the second date.  If you fast forward to the 2:35 mark in the clip below you will find the key to getting a second date.

“It’s your job not to mess it up.”

We often can spend too much time on the first date doing many of the following: wondering if she likes you, is she having a good time, starting at her boobs/butt, not engaging in conversation or being too worried about what to say.  Like Will Smith says, “She is already out with you.  That means she said yes, when she could have said no. That means she made a plan, when she could have just blown you off.  It means it is no longer your job to make her like you.”

And by not messing it up, we mean putting in the work to ensure you get a second date.  As many of you know I am a happily married man which means I obviously had no problem getting a second date with Sharlay.  However, I know many of you are still going to be skeptical wondering if I really have enough experience to be believed.  First, all these come from my very own arsenal of romance and charm. Second, I dated A LOT of women in New York City.  Before I met Sharlay  I would have to say I dated at least 20 different women during the 5 years I was there before her and I met.  That may seem high to some and low to others but I can tell you it was the most women I have ever dated in my previous 31 years combined. I managed to get second and third dates with most of them so I am pretty confident I know what I am talking about.  I mean have you seen my wife?  No way should I have gotten a woman that beautiful!

Follow these steps and I promise you are well on your way.

Make a Plan Dummy

She wants to see you put in some effort to the date.  Prior to the date did she ever mention wanting to try a particular restaurant?  Or perhaps she said she had been dying to check out a new bar.  You can plan on meeting for drinks at said bar and if the night goes well head to that same restaurant for dinner.  Maybe she said she loves mini-golf (not likely I know) or perhaps bowling.  Have a back up option to do something like that after dinner.  If you are able to pull off something that shows you have been listening to her and paying attention she will be impressed I promise.

When Sharlay and I went on our first date I made plans with her to grab dinner.  I made no mention of doing anything afterwards. However, I had also made reservations for a karaoke place that was within walking distance from the restaurant.  The karaoke place was within walking distance to Grand Central Terminal which is where she would be headed after the date to go home.  I was charming enough (according to Sharlay) that I didn’t need the karaoke to seal the second date as she was already on our third date halfway through dinner.  I told you I was good.  It’s not false bravado.

You execute a good plan on a first date and I promise you she is going to say yes to a second date just to see what you can pull off. I cannot overstate how important this step is.

Reasonable Expectations

If you go into a date with reasonable expectations, I personally believe it will make it easier for you to be yourself on the date.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look forward to the date, make a good plan for the date or hold back on the charm.  If you have too high of expectations for a date you can often put too much pressure on yourself.  You want to be loose and carefree on the date.  As Hitch says, “She may not want the whole truth but she does want the real you” so don’t set yourself up for failure.

This can be more challenging when you luck out and manage to score a date with a major hottie but the same rule applies.  I datedBrittney-Palmer-2016-calendar-Hawaiian-style-ali-fashion-0706-3 some truly beautiful women when I was in New York and I am not even sure how it happened most of the time. However, everyone of them turned out to be weird in one way or another.  One of them was super cold and not affectionate at all.  Another one hated going on dates in public and only want to come over to my place or me to hers (which wasn’t terrible if you know what I mean.)  One woman one was super possessive after only two dates and yet another one was such a terrible, awful kisser I just couldn’t take it any more.  The point is they all had their faults and I learned that just because a woman was hot didn’t mean she was going to have what it took for me to stay interested.

I met Sharlay on Match.com so I knew from her photos she was beyond gorgeous but for the most part I didn’t care.  Heading into the date I fully anticipated it would be just another evening with another beautiful woman who had nothing more to offer other than her looks.  Obviously I was wrong, but had I let her looks intimidate on the first date things might not have worked out so well.  As a matter of fact I was so uninterested in how she looked it really opened her eyes to the fact I was a different kind of man than she was used to dating.  It really impressed her that I didn’t fawn over her looks and didn’t get caught staring at her chest.

Curiosity May Have Killed the Cat But It Will Help  You Get…

You are meeting a person for the first time ever and while it probably isn’t the first time you have spoken to her, there should be enough mystery about her, you should have no shortage of questions to ask.  However, this isn’t an interview so don’t grill her to death.

As you guys talk you may find out she loves the same television show or movie as you.  You could ask her who her top three favorite or least favorite characters are in the show.  This is likely to either start a hot debate about the merits of the charters or an instant bonding moment whereby you agree that Janice from the Soprano’s might be the most annoying character of any television show ever created.  Boom. Now you have something in common.

Another easy conversation starter is to ask what was her favorite vacation destination.  Let her talk about it and then ask her “If I were to take a trip to [insert her answer here] what would be the top 3 things I needed to do or see?”  It will show that you already value her opinion and respect her which is never a bad thing.

If she is at all normal these kinds of curious questions will be asked of you in return and before you know it you have been talking non-stop with her throughout the date.  Being able to converse with her is going to win you a lot of brownie points and getting a second date isn’t the only thing you will be getting.

Steer Clear

First dates aren’t the time to be asking about her views on gun control, abortion, Donald Trump, same sex marriage, having kids or the crisis in the Middle East.  Those items (and plenty of others) are sure to derail any chance you have at a second date.

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You may get lucky and find out you agree on all of those issues but chances are you won’t and it likely will end up in a debate or argument that is just not conducive to a romantic evening.  No one wants to hear how smart you think you are.  Leave it at home.

Be a Man

There are a lot of men who are intimidated by being out with a beautiful woman.  Don’t let the fact she is beautiful change the man you are or your expectations of her on a date.  For instance, if you are out on your date and she keeps checking her phone you should call her out on it.  You need to do so in a a self assured way which includes remaining calm and being patient but you should definitely do it.

Before Sharlay and I even went on a date I had to do something similar.  She gave me her number almost right away (I didn’t even need to ask for it) so of course I called her a few days after I received it.  Long story short, she wasn’t so great about returning calls or texts.  Finally, I called one last time and got her voicemail. I left a message simply saying that if she was no longer interested in going on a date that was fine just let me know so I can stop wasting my time.  It may not have been that rude but that was the basic message.  Guess what?  She called me back!

She would later tell me that most guys would hang around forever and try to get her to call them or text them simply because they were so enamored with her beauty (i.e. they really wanted to hook up with her.)  So when I was rather quick to draw the line and call it quits she was surprised and also attracted to me simply because I was standing up for myself.

Throw Out “The Rules”

I hate all the so-called “rules” about when you should call a woman back after the first date.  Don’t listen to those boneheads who suggest you wait 3 days to call her.  Chances are she is a hot commodity (pun intended) so if you wait too long some other dude is going to swoop in and steal her from you.

Whenever you drop her off or part ways make sure you tell her you had a nice time, that she was a lot of fun and that you would like to take her out again.  If you get the appropriate response, ask her what day will work best for her and tell her you will call her in a day or two to finalize plans (and be sure you actually do.)

Now you just have to repeat these steps for date number three.

Until tomorrow, make it a better day!

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Five Steps to Conquering Your Fear

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(I am sharing this article courtesy of Huffington Post)

Editors Note: I came across the below excerpt on Huffington Post a while back and I found it spoke quite a bit to where I am, not only in my career but also in my personal life.  The example of being a photographer is not mine but you can insert whatever it is you are fearful of doing and it will work just the same.  Fear can rob us of a lot of things including happiness, our destiny and over satisfaction with life.  I hope you will find the motivation to tackle at least one of your fears after reading this.

It is certainly true that no matter how positive-minded you try to be, it can be painful when things don’t work out the way you want — when your application isn’t accepted at an elite school, you don’t get the job, your artwork isn’t taken by a gallery, your business doesn’t catch on or you find that you aren’t as talented as you hoped. When this happens, it is going to feel disappointing. It may make you doubt your intelligence, abilities and ideas.

That’s OK. It is a short-lived pain that will go away. It is nothing compared to the fear of failure, which drains your vitality and paralyzes you from taking the actions that bring joy and meaning into your life. So what can you do? Here is an easy-to-implement practice that will allow you to use your fear of failure as a means to take action and explore new things.

1. Identify Your Fear

Find something that you would like to try but have hesitated to do because of your fear of failure. (I want to try working as a professional photographer, but I am afraid that I might not be good enough at it to be successful.)

2. Reverse Your Thinking

Come up with a way that you can fail at it as quickly as possible. (I am going to find a setting where I can take lots of bad pictures and let people see them. I can try at my cousin’s wedding, which is happening next month.)

3. Do It Anyway

Get out there and give it a try. Make mistakes and have fun doing it. Ask others for help and feedback. (While taking pictures at the wedding, I will let people know I am a beginner and ask for comments and suggestions.)

4. Fail Forward

Use your exploratory actions as a means to learn and discover what you need to know. (What parts of taking the wedding photographs were the most or least enjoyable? What pictures did people like or dislike? What came naturally, and what do I need to work on?)

5. Find the Next Challenge

Seek out the next opportunity to do things at the limits of your abilities. (Next time, I will ask to take pictures at a wedding where I get paid for my work.)

Until tomorrow, make it a better day.

Andrew

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Fashion Friday – Sock It To ‘Em

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“The average man doesn’t care about fashion, which is why he will always, only be average.”

I can’t lie.

One of my favorite things about having to dress business professional/casual is the fact I get to wear dress socks almost every day.  I realize that might sound like an unusual statement but I promise it isn’t as strange as it sounds.

I hear a lot from guys who hate having to get dressed up for any occasion: work, weddings, dates, cocktail receptions etc.  The most common complaint is the stress many of them feel having to match their outfit so they look put together.  I get it but the truth is, practice makes perfect.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.  Trust me. I look back on how I used to put myself together only 10 years ago and it wasn’t great.  Once I started to pay attention and put a little effort into it, dressing sharp becomes as easy as riding a bike.

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Soxy Socks! Great company and great concept! Check them out at www.soxy.com

That is why dress socks are the easiest piece of your wardrobe. They don’t have to match anything you are wearing.  If you work in an office environment this is the one piece of clothing you can use to highlight your personality.  When most people meet me they automatically form a particular opinion of me (that I am a total grump, a jerk, unhappy and similar adjectives) and I can’t really blame them.  However, that isn’t really my true personality.  It just takes time for me to really let you in.  Anyway, that isn’t the point of this blog, stop getting me off track!

Colorful, playful and non-matching socks can really put your personality into perspective (although both socks do need to match each other.)  It isn’t even a matter of doing this for others, you do it for yourself.  It sets you apart from the other office drones and makes a statement that you have your shit together. Not only that but it can be a really great conversation starter.

For the last two years I have had to get regular blood work done in an attempt to get my thyroid medication at the right levels.  So every six weeks I am going into get new blood work taken.  I pretty much do this first thing in the morning because I can’t eat or drink before getting the blood drawn.  This means I am usually heading there before I go into the office.  The last time I went in the technician asked to see what kind of socks I had on.  No one has ever asked to see my socks before so I rolled up my pants leg soxy-beast-rangea bit so she could see.  She just laughed and said “You always wear the greatest socks!”  I thanked her of course and said I wasn’t sure anyone ever really noticed.  She laughed and told me that everyone in the lab (its only three people) have talked about my socks.  It certainly made me feel good and who doesn’t like to feel good?

There are plenty of options for you if you want to get some great looking socks.  Several companies such as Happy Socks and Nice Laundry have great socks.  You can usually find some pretty great socks on Gilt.com as well (including reduced prices on Happy Socks.) However, my favorite website and the only place I get socks from these days is Soxy.  These guys do mail order socks like those pictured above.  You can either order just one pack and be done or set up a monthly, bi-monthly or even every third month delivery for socks.  You never get the same pair twice and they are always loaded with great designs.  I get an order every three months and am always happy with what they send me.  I get the most comments and compliments from their socks but you can’t go wrong with the other companies I mentioned above.

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If you want cheaper alternatives I recommend you go to Marshall’s, Nordstrom’s Rack or TJ Maxx.  You can often find Happy Socks and similar brands there for a steeply reduced price.  It doesn’t matter how you do it, you should just do it.  Don’t limit your sock skills to the workplace either.  Be sure to rock those socks wherever you go!!

Until next week, make it a better day!

Andrew

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