Shout-out: Jocko and Leif. (Extreme Ownership- How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win)

Hello all! Our Saturday morning shout-outs highlight a post/article/book/other that I’ve come across lately that deserves exactly that: a ‘shout-out.’ The goal here is to hopefully introduce my readers to other authors or bloggers that have had an impact on me, my writing, and my life.   This week’s shout-out is the best thing I’ve read in the last 5 years, if not ever: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition) by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (both retired SEALs).   For some perspective on my feelings regarding this book: I have given it as a gift to friends, relatives, and employees alike. In fact, it is the literature we use at our business to read, describe, and discuss the culture we have implemented and aspire to in the future. All of our team members have been provided with a copy and I’ve read through and discussed […]

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#ParentingIsHard – Adventures from gymnastics

I love a good story, especially when I see one play out in front of my very own eyes. This is one such story…   We started Clara in gymnastics about 2 months ago and my 2.75 year-old daughter absolutely loves this stuff. Mom and I are on board as well because not only is it fun for the family, but Clara can also build strength, confidence, and relationships. And the cherry on top: there are about a dozen other families also present that have toddlers; each of whom can go rogue at a moments notice.   Clara’s age group has a ‘parent participation’ class where either mom or I will stretch alongside our little amig(a)s and walk with them as the navigate the week’s obstacle course. The week in question, Monica was assisting while I took the opportunity to watch and knock out some business matters. Win-win.   There […]

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Mike’s very real (now very public) 2018 goals

2018 objective: To actually write down tangible and somewhat attainable goals for the most important aspects of my life. Nothing is off limits… And with the article below, I’ve achieved my first goal of 2018 (actually writing them down).   You are required to do it for most regular jobs and studies show we are more successful when we do it in any aspects of our regular lives… Also, all the other kids (fellow financial bloggers) are doing it, so I’ll also hop aboard this train – and in doing so I think I’ll be better for it. I’ve been thinking about ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ for a little while leading up to this new year but it was a post by Mustard Seed Money that actually sparked me to write my 2018 goals down and to share them with you (thanks, MSM). And to you – my loyal and amazing […]

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Beyond the burnout and why I haven’t posted in 3 months

Man, we had a good thing going back there. There were the 5-am workouts, the 9-5, the family, our new business, and over 100 posts without a serious break. For about 9 months I had this thing rocking on all cylinders, was saying things like “Sleep is for the weak,” getting a ton of things done, and actually being a good husband/dad (unconfirmed reports). I bet you can guess what happened in October, though???   And although it pains me to admit this weakness, a weakness it was: I. Burnt. Out.    For me, burnout looked like sleeping in until 6, the regular 9-5, all family time after work, and 15-30 minutes on the business in the evenings. For workouts, I would squeeze 12 minutes of running into my day either picking up Clara from school or literally running to the drugstore. I did 100 burpees for time. I repped […]

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The car, the casino, and ‘Cub’ – THE infamous bachelor-party tale.

It all started innocently enough (don’t they all??). There was an 18-hole golf course in the morning, a group of some great friends, current relatives, and future relatives. We had some harmless bar-hopping from the course back to our eventual conclusion for the evening – a small rural town that had everything we needed – great Italian food, a few adult beverages, a semi-private basement-housed casino, and a hotel. Great company and great times were all I asked for. It turned out that I got that… plus the story below.     I’m giving our main character the alias of ‘Jim’ from here on out. I do this because it’s common and I can use ‘James’, ‘Jimmy’, or ‘Jim’ depending on what the situation calls for. In any case, it’s not his real name. More on present-day James later, but for now we’ll travel back to 2010-2011.   Old Jimmy […]

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Well… We bought a dental practice!!! (“The Project”)

You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait. He’s not a dentist…?”   Correct you are. My wife, on the other hand – 100% Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).   I’m writing this article in June of 2017, and as we near our closing date (June 30, 2017) on “the practice” (hereinafter referred to as Monfredi Family Dental – I’ve read so many documents written by lawyers lately…), I cannot wait to share much of what we’ve been through in the past 7-ish months (we started the process for buying this practice in December 2016).   I’ve heard some people that I have great respect for say recently, “…Getting an MBA can be a huge waste of time and money. You should just start a business. At least that way you have a chance to make your money back…”   Well… We indirectly took them up on that offer.   And, although […]

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Pinkeye is contagious – …a MikedUp Blog PSA

How to Live 'Happily Ever After' and Work With your Spouse

We faced this conjunctivitis dragon in the past. She went down. Hard. And the fight was pretty weak if I do say so myself… Where this past experience had the dragon flying solo and targeting only Clara – without backup and the cover of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), this time was much different.   Maybe we were riding high over the last battle’s landslide victory, or perhaps we had just become too complacent to keep up our preventative protocols… In an honest moment, the conjunctivitis dragon would admit that she had employed a great number of war-fighters to target our entire family in the hopes of complete destruction. We were surprised and completely overwhelmed. Whatever the case, it was the perfect storm of destruction.   The TL:DR (too long didn’t read) version of the story below is that pinkeye is a mother. She’s contagious and she’s unrelenting, especially when […]

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My mother-in-law: a budding naturalist

This title (budding naturalist) is a play on words and if you give me a few paragraphs, we’ll get there. More than that, I think you may enjoy this one… I know I did.     In order to protect the identity of the innocent, I won’t name the individual (Barb – my mother-in-law) that this true story is referring to.   In the span of 6 weeks, Barb’s son, husband, and father-in-law had all undergone surgeries of different types on different areas of the body. All were relatively involved and had a decent amount of time required for recovery. By itself, one surgery for a loved one can put some strain on the other individuals in the family. But adding 2 more? I think we can classify that as a crisis.   The other important thing to remember as this story unfolds is the fact that Barb is admirably pushing herself […]

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MikedUp Blog’s 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

Hi, Team!   Well… Year 1 flew by. Whether you’re new to the site or one of our long-time (can I say this yet?) readers, I want to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!” Seriously. You guys rock.   The feedback, questions, and comments I’ve gotten from many of you make this experience worthwhile. Here are a few examples:   A friend I worked with years ago messaged me out of the blue to say that budgeting saved her marriage and that reading my financial articles brings back so many great memories of their re-kindling. Multiple readers have reached out to me for help with their personal finances and fitness. Seriously! This has been a phenomenal experience! I am working with one individual that is halfway through paying off 33% worth of their annual salary in credit card debt. Another was in search of a routine and some motivation to build muscle… […]

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Tomorrow isn’t promised – get up and choose ACTION

We are not guaranteed today nor promised tomorrow, and once today is gone – the time is spent and there’s no turning back to change events or choices. With something so precious – today, now, this moment right here – we owe it to ourselves to live this moment to the fullest. We need to live. With time’s incredible value in my mind, how could I choose to waste it? I can’t. I won’t. I choose to live life to the fullest and I hope you’ll join me.   When deciding what things are most important in life, there are very few that slot in above you own health. How do we prepare ourselves to be our healthiest version? By eating well, exercising, and taking care of our bodies.   Here, we’ll focus on taking care of ourselves by choosing ACTION over the alternative.     So many times I’ve heard others […]

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