What I’ve Learned From Working with Difficult People

February 16, 2021 in Personal Development

This post is a change of pace from what I’d typically write. I’m usually very positive and upbeat, and I’ll do my best to keep it that way. However, I will share what I wrote down during my reflection time today because I believe it may actually add value to many of you who regularly read my blog. (Thanks for that, by the way!)

The day I’m writing this in the morning after what I consider to be the most difficult day of running PodMatch.

Not due to any problems with the software, or with the members, in fact, everything is going very well in that regard, and we’re growing faster than anticipated.

Instead, it was my organic outreach to potential leads that got me down.

Before I jump into that, I want to share that I know I cannot control what comes my way or what happens to me, I can only control my response. Often, that is easier said than done. And this is one of those days that I struggled to do this.

Every day I email people that I’ve selected that I think would be a good fit to join PodMatch. I’m not always right about these people fitting, but I at least want to offer an invitation to them.

Occasionally I’ll receive a response from someone cussing me out. Others share that they are beyond angry that I’d dare even to email them. (No, I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic, I’ve heard exactly that.)

But yesterday was a new record of this sort of response…

A substantial portion of the people I reached out to responded harshly or pridefully. And it really got me down. Here I am the next morning, still thinking about all of this.

This morning as I’m sitting here writing this, still hurt from the conversations of yesterday, I’m reflecting and wondering people can be so rude and mean, then a quote came to my mind:

Hurting people hurt people.

The truth is, it’s been a rough past 12 months for most people globally. People are hurting as their lifestyles and businesses have changed. And I’m seeing that people are starting to take it out on each other.

Additionally, there’s a second problem that the world has created during this time. And in my mind, it’s the real pandemic that we’re facing.

It’s called entitlement.

Media, movies, and social media have lied to you by telling you that life is all about you. The truth is, it’s never been about you, and it never will be. (I know that’s a hard pill to swallow)

People believe they deserve more than they do and are more important than they are, so they view and treat others as less than.

This is no way to live life. If I’m describing you, you’re either already an angry, bitter person, or you’re on your way to becoming that.

(If you’re not sure if I’m describing you, here’s a quick test to find out if reading the last 3 paragraphs made you angry, then yes, I’m talking about you.)

Hurting people hurt people, and I’ve found that hurting people are normally entitled, people.

I’ve done my best not to take getting cussed out. Personally, I’ve done my best not to get offended when someone tells me how PodMatch is the worst service they’ve ever seen, but it’s not always easy.

The hardest part isn’t me getting attacked like that. It actually knows that the person emailing me saying these things is in a lot of pain themselves.

Empathy is the answer.

Learning to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes is a practice that is becoming more and more important.

Before you email someone, think about how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end before saying something.


The difference in sending the following two emails is minimal from a effort standpoint. (Please note: this was an email that I received from someone, with, in fact, more cuss words in it.)

“F*** off you stupid piece of s*** I don’t need your service or ‘kindness. Don’t you ever email me again or waste my time like this.”

OR what could have just as easily been said would be this:

“Hey, thanks for reaching out; I’m not interested at this time and super busy right now, so I won’t be able to respond again. Thanks!”

Again, minimal difference regarding the effort needing to go into these emails, but the second email is the one you’d like to receive as a response.

Or how about a 3rd option, the one your momma taught you:

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

I’ve decided to be empathetic toward others; even when I receive these mean, harsh emails, I respond kindly. Not because I want to win them over, but because I believe love is the only answer.

Quick side note: you should listen to this episode if you’re enjoying this blog post!

Yesterday, responding in love was difficult for me. And today, I feel that carrying over.

I know this post is random and not one I’d usually write, but I couldn’t get it out of my head today. Yesterday was a bad day for me, which is a way for me to process what I was dealing with. And I realize that it may actually help some people. That’s why I decided to share it.

Hurting people hurt people.

If you’re struggling right now, you’re not alone. My best advice to you is to begin spreading love, not hate. When you’re kind to people, you feel better.

Don’t be entitled. We all started from nothing. If we’re further along in our journey, let’s help others get to where we are right now. The day you feel like you’re worth more than someone else is the day you begin falling from your success.

Be empathetic. Remember, you’re not the only one hurting. Treat someone the way you’d like to be treated. Love people for who they are, not for what they do.

As I conclude this post, I’m picking myself up. I‘ll continue to serve the world as I feel called to do. Making sure there’s love in every email, text, and call that I’m part of.


My takeaway is to remember to love people. Love everyone, they’re hurting, their lost, they just need to be loved. I think back to the Bible verse that I’ve based my entire identity upon, “Love God and love people.” This is what I’m going to do today! Love those that God places in my path.

Thanks for listening to me vent!

Today is My Last Day in a Corporate 9-5 Job

December 7, 2020 in Personal Development

Today is bittersweet for me.

For the last 15 years I’ve been working a 9-5 corporate job in the aerospace industry. I remember when I started, the company was a smaller private company and when I left, it was public and part of a multi-billion dollar organization. I started as a part time receiving clerk and worked my way up to senior leadership during those years.

Today is bittersweet for me because today was my last day at that company. Three months ago I told the CEO that I would be leaving before the end of the year to pursue my SaaS startup (PodMatch) full time… And here we are.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Ah, Alex must have hated his job!”

Although I know that many people hate their jobs, that wasn’t the case for me. I loved the aerospace industry and the company I was working for. It was a great career, I was considered “extremely accomplished’ for my age especially. But, again, here we are.

As I’ve been telling people, I’ve received mixed responses. Some people think I’m crazy, some are very worried about me. On the flipside, some people are beyond excited about what I’m doing.

Here’s what I’ve learned through all of this:

Some of you may already be aware of this, but every year on my birthday, I pray and ask God to give me a word/theme for the year. My year for the 32nd year of my life is CHANGE. When I first picked this word, I was nervous, unsure of where it would lead. Because of this, I wrote down these words that are worth sharing in this post:

“Good things are supposed to happen to me through these changes in my life.”

Some days I believed these words, some days they even inspired me. Some days they made me scared, but regardless, I’ve never let fear stop me – And that is why I am where I am today.

No one knows what will happen. When you step into the unknown, it’s just that, unknown. All you can do is take hold of fear, and pursue great instead of good, even when it means sacrificing the good. Take calculated risks when you can calculate, and when you can’t, trust yourself and have faith.

Get your people in your corner:

  • I spent time in prayer and felt peace from God to make this transition.
  • My wife supports me through this as we’re now both full time with PodMatch and Creating a Brand.
  • Many of you have supported us as well. (I’m thankful to have so many great people believing in us!)

I’m optimistic about the future. The one thing I know is that this will make me a better leader, friend and servant of others as a result of these changes in my life.

For the memories, here is a picture of the building that I took after concluding my exit interview with HR:

Here I am now, at the end of my last day, looking forward to the future that’s in front of me with a smile on my face! Thankful for what equipped me to take on the future.

What’s holding you back from the future you desire? I challenge you to take a step to make a change to overcome that fear today.

5 Simple Ways to Begin Taking Control of Your Time Today

August 13, 2020 in Personal Development

“Can you believe we’re already halfway through summer here in Florida?” said one of my coworkers just last week. I immediately felt uneasy; not because I hadn’t realized it was ‘already fall’ but because why “already?” I thought to myself, “Isn’t it the same amount of days and time that it was last year? How did it sneak up on you? …Man you need to learn to begin taking control of your time! ”

Comments regarding how fast time is passing have always irked me. Every year is the same amount of time, right? So how does it pass us by quicker and quicker?

Related Post: Two Things You Can Do Today To Better Discover Your Purpose

Many people feel that life is passing them by. This is something that I’ve been pondering a lot lately. Why does life seem to be so quick for some people? Because the truth is, time is always the same… 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 (or 366) days in a year. That’s it, it’s always the same.

Although my perspective has always been accurate, recently someone, we’ll call him Bob, challenged my thinking about how quick time seems to pass us by. Which in turn has inspired me to write this blog post today.

As I was having a conversation about time with Bob, he said the following to me:

“Life feels shorter to people each year because it is getting shorter.”

As you can imagine as soon as I heard this my facial expression could only be described as visual confusion. (Similar to Obi Wan as he learned about the clones.)

Anyway, back on track here. Bob went on to explain, that every year represents a percentage of your life. Every year the year you’re in represents a smaller percentage of your life. – LIGHT-BULB! Here’s what this means:

Example: From ages 1 to 2 you’ve lived 100% longer. From 2 to 3 you’ve lived 33% longer. Now, once you go from 20 to 21, the percentage has dropped significantly. And once you hit 60, it’s drops even more significantly.

So, my mindset changed…

Every year does get shorter when you base it upon the overall percentage of your life lived.

With that said, although Bob was right as to the reason people say things like, “Can you believe it’s fall?” or “This year has flown by, hasn’t it?” The fact is, every year is still 365 days, no matter how long you’ve been alive.

Just because every year feels like less time and when you look at the percentage of your life, it is, doesn’t mean we have to let life pass us by. (This is my big point, you ready???)

We all know that “time fly’s” but you have the option of being the pilot or a passenger. Which will you be?

After leaving my conversation with Bob conversation, I decided to write this post. So after the longest lead up ever, I want to share with you 5 ways to take control of your time so it doesn’t feel like life is passing you by. I’ll position this by answering a popular question.

How do I begin taking control of my time?

  • Keep a calendar.
  • Write in a daily journal.
  • Focus on the most important tasks
  • Prioritize what you love.
  • Live in the moment, not in the future.

I’ve found that these 5 points I’m sharing today have been what have helped me take control of my life and time more than anything else.

#1. Keep a calendar.

Easily the main reason that life seems to pass you by is because you’re not in control of your time. Keeping a calendar (budgeting your time) leads to control, not bondage.

My favorite book, the Bible, summarizes this beautifully:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalms 90:12

#2. Write in a daily journal

I write every single day. In multiple places. I have a daily checklist, which I hand write with the most important things I need to accomplish that day. It normally ends up having 15 things on it, half of which repeat every day, but I still write them out. I write in my notes on my phone. A few months ago I began to journal about my previous day and the day that I’m starting. A simple way to get control of you time is to document it – this gives you clarity!

#3. Focus on the most important tasks

Continuously identify the most important tasks in your life. If you’re growing a business or getting your fitness to the next level, or even growing a relationship with someone, focus on those things! Stop spending your time on the things that don’t matter. (F.O.C.U.S. = Follow One Course Until Successful)

#4. Prioritize what you love

Stop wasting time on what you don’t love. What are you passionate about? Spend your time on that! Delegate the rest. Ask yourself this question, and get serious with the answer: Am I REALLY enjoying my life?

#5. Live in the moment, not in the future

So many of us live with our heads in the clouds. We’re not happy with where we are today, we’re looking ahead at some distant future that we desire. Here’s the deal, the grass is always greener. You’ll chase this feeling your entire life. The best way to turn this around is to learn to be thankful for where you are today, no matter where you are, or what you have. Be thankful, express gratitude!

Remember, time fly’s but you’re the pilot. It’s time for you to begin taking control of your time today!

Are You REALLY Enjoying Your Life?

April 30, 2020 in Personal Development

Many of us are quick to answer the question “Are you really enjoying your life?” with a “Yes.” But if you really stop to think about it, is it really true?

In 2013 I found myself stressed beyond belief. The business that I was a partial owner in was not doing well. We were struggling to outdo the competition. It kept me up at night.

Deep down I knew we were doing the right thing and giving it 110% every single day, but I couldn’t keep myself from stressing about it.

In 2014 I hit my breaking point. I was ready to get out of the business. I no longer wanted to be involved in this because it was consuming my life. Not to mention, I was getting emails 24/7 (on my phone) and the sales I was generating were never enough for me.

Toward the end of 2015 came across this passage of scripture,

There is nothing better for a person than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand.

After reading it, I immediately paused. I PAUSED. This was the first time in many years that I had even taken a second to think about my life and my business.

I started asking myself some big questions:

  • When was the last time I took a break to enjoy life?
  • When was the last time I stopped being “busy” to serve other people?
  • Do I enjoy the work I’m in or do I hate it?

In this moment, I had a paradigm shift.

I was defining myself by the wrong things in life… My work didn’t need to be my identity. I needed to give it all I had, but then leave it at the office. I needed breaks to enjoy life and to help others enjoy their lives more.

My life completely changed at this moment. All of my stress was gone, I didn’t take work so seriously and I actually started ENJOYING the job again. Instead of dreading Monday’s, I looked forward to them.

It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but things did change for the better all around.

Years later, the business ended up doing better than it ever had in previous years and we received an incredible offer to sell it.

The only thing that changed was my mindset about my job and my life. I started enjoying it more than ever before and logging those moments.


CALL TO ACTION:

If you’re serious about living your best life and want to answer my original question, “Are You REALLY Enjoying Your Life?” with a resounding, YES. the below episode of the Creating a Brand podcast is for you.

Uncovering Your Cloud Nine Life with Jordan Gross

Uncovering Your Cloud Nine Life with Jordan Gross