Getting Clients – Under promise and over deliver

West Village, downtown NYC

Few years back, got this assignment that involved about 20 separate deals. That was the high water mark for coin in a month for me. This month, thought I might beat that record and it’s close.

Been putting in about 15 hour days trying to get everything accomplished in time. After the dismal past two years where I was living just enough for the city, this’s a welcome relief.

Friend of mine recently asked me how I get my clients. Told her that I subscribed to Giuliani’s mantra of under-promising and over delivering. That is say, never took on something that I knew I couldn’t do and do well and never gave a price or a deadline that I knew I couldn’t make.

When y’do zero advertising and rely on word-of-mouth to pay the bill, your reputation for getting the job done’s paramount.

On a related point, always find that I’m more productive all of round when I’m firing on all cylinders. Something about working like crazy makes you keep working like crazy, don’tcha think?

Back to the grind.

Location: in fronta papers
Mood: sick
Music: father works some days for fourteen hours
YASYCTAI: Under promise, over deliver. (always/2 pts)

business personal

Eat what you kill

Gated Apartment downtown NYC

Been all sortsa busy these days.

My biggest client that went away just came back with a staggering amount of work for me to do. The only issue’s that everything’s due in three weeks. But when your life is eat what you kill, y’gotta hustle when y’can.

It’s funny but the last time I wrote about taking every gig that comes in was almost exactly a year ago.  October-December’s usually my busiest time of year so the hustle begins again.

So early last Friday, was down in the West Village at places where handbags cost more than my mortgage. Came back that night and needed to unwind so I cooked up some Greek Kotopoulo Skorthato. It reminds me of my childhood cause I grew up with a lotta Greeks.

Usually my year begins in September but this year, Fall came late. Feels like the year – and everything else – is starting again.

Speakinga which, just found out that my 20 year high school reunion just happened. 20 years.

Didn’t know anyone there really, and I had all of that work, so never bothered going. Being a nobody in high school’s fine, I think. Being a nobody 20 years later’d be a lot worse.

There was this girl named Grace that made my life a living hell when I was a kid. Found out later, her family life was pretty bad. When I heard Plato’s saying, Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, I thought of her.

Wonder if she ever found any peace or just continued to be hard and mean.

As for me, well, I got my pad. I got my people. I got my poison. Got everything I wanted.

Also got deadlines so catch you Wednesday?

Gated Apartment downtown NYC

Location: Brooklyn
Mood: busy
Music: You got your time to find your voice
YASYCTAI: Get it while the getting’s good. (time/1 pt)


Embracing the Randomness

Picture (c)  downtown NYC
“I’m warning you! If you fall off that eggplant, you’ll be squashed for sure!”

Last night, met up with my friend Ben – who writes Conceived and Composed, that clever pic above is his – and my other buddy, PB.

Got together to down some rum and $0.10 wings downtown. Always tell myself to limit myself to a half dozen. Never happens. We chatted about photography and life: re the former, I picked up a new shooter; re the latter, work is heating up, finally.

Am at an age now where I think I’m able to ride out most storms. The stuff that’s been going on with the Rutgers kid committing suicide got to me, like all the stories do – depression is something I think most insomniacs have dealt with and the response has been the It’s Gets Better campaign, which I’ve always believed was the case. Because it does get better.

Anywho, after stuffing ourselves with wings and booze, we discovered that a relative’s of Ben’s owns the local banh mi shop so we had to stop in there too after our greasefest. Piggies we are.

Unlike a lotta places in the world where people gotta do the terrible things to just survive, here we get randomness to enjoy. But only if we decide to do it.


Installment two of my dating/relationship This Modern Love column on Techorati is up today.

Speakinga which, gonna have to change my posting schedule to Monday and Wednesday for this here blog so I’m not super swamped. See you Monday, yeah?

Location: home, trying to get work done
Mood: hungry
Music: I’m surrounded you know, it’s all around me
YASYCTAI: Embrace the randomness. (3 hrs/1 pt)


Dodging the Bullet in NYC – Part 2

The recent tornadoes in Queens knocked down the tree in front of my parents home. No one was hurt, thankfully, but they weren’t able to pull out their car for a while and that made them a bit stir crazy.

Her: The city finally came and got rid of the tree!

Me: That’s great, mom. So what’d you do then?

Her:  I was so excited, I hopped into the car and drove out. (pause) Then I realized I didn’t have any place to be so I just pulled the car back into the driveway.


Imagine what your life would be if you got everything you ever wanted.

See this doesn’t work with a ten-year old. Cause he doesn’t know what his life’d be like if he did get everything he always wanted. But we’re not ten, yeah?

Think about all the times that y’wished and prayed that things were different – you probably can’t even remember all the times.

Getting back to my buddy, the girl he dated was attractive but she’s the reason I got the phrase Attractive goes away but dirtbag is forever. Said earlier that he dodged a bullet by not ending up with her. The thing’s that we all know this; all of us. Except him.

I don’t blame him. At some point he’ll realize it for himself and that’s just the thing about these types of tornadoes. No one else can come and clean it up and put things away for you y’gotta do it yourself.
Location: wrasslin in midtown
Mood: content
Music: This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof
YASYCTAI: Make that call you’ve been dreading. (10 mins/1 pt)

business personal

(Randomly Meeting) This Modern Love

School in Manhattan

Just started a series on Technorati called (Randomly Meeting) This Modern Love. It’s essentially a relationship column that goes in a bit deeper to a number of things from this blog.

Do me a favour – read it, comment, and tell people about it? Hoping that it’ll be picked up for the whole year. Let’s see how it goes.

Gotta change my posting schedule slightly cause of it. Haven’t figured out what yet but you’ll be the first to know.


Her: What do you think?

Me: We’ll have to see what the judge says. But we’re right – that means something.

Was in court again yesterday for a client.

The thing with an argument is that y’get all positional – you don’t want to win so much as y’want the other guy to lose. And sometimes y’take what you can. It’s hard breaking through when someone’s locked into their position. Logic just takes a back seat to angry.

Luckily though, the client was able to shake off her angry. We won. And by “won” I mean that she got what she wanted in the first place.

Her: It’s good, yes?

Me: It’s better than good. (patting her on back) See? I told you you’d be happy.

Celebrated my first win with a donut. It wasn’t whole wheat but, eh. Sometimes y’take what you can.

Location: Yest., a court in Queens
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’m tired and unwilling
YASYCTAI: Read my Technorati article! (5 mins/0 pts)


Nightlife in NY

Who’s got oysters?!

nightlife, nyc, new york city, hudson terrace, rooftop


Him: Free rum?
Me: I don’t think I can make it.
Him: Free rum at 6:30 and you can’t make it? Who are you?

Met up with some friends at the Hudson Terrace last week. Think that’s why I love NYC – you can be sitting down in front of a court pleading one second and then drinking a nice aged rum with a slice of orange at an open air, open bar the next.

Him: I dunno, not my thing.
Me: Please, you’re single in the big city, on a roof deck, drinking some free rum. The world’s your oyster. (turning to friends) Who’s got oysters?! (we all raise our hands and he laughs and does the same)

This one fella kept shoving people aside to get to the bar, me included. Wanted to get in his face but since I’m not a child, decided against it. But this’s not to say I didn’t entertain myself.

He leaned in to ask the girl sitting next to me to dance and she did. Sitting back down, he went to get them drinks.

Me: He’ll ask you to marry you tonight, you know.
Her: (laughing) What makes you say that?
Me: He seems the type. Kinda pushy. Brave when he’s drunk; dull otherwise. So what’s your deal?
Her: I’m here from Toronto.
Me: Wow, your American is excellent.

We chatted for a bit and when the guy came back, he scowled at me but handed her her drink.

Me: I just saved you from a night of boring.
Her: (nodding) You did, you did.
Me: (turning to her redheaded friend standing in front of us) Hey Red, I’m going home to see my lovely fiancee, why don’t you take my seat before Mr. Dull takes my seat and annoys your friend all night.
Her: (laughing) You got it, mister.

Never a dull moment if you don’t want it here.

Location: the office
Mood: insanely busy
Music: my God, just confess, you want it, you want it, you’re just like the rest
YASYCTAI: Take up the invitations. (180 mins/1 pt)

dating personal

Dodging the Bullet in NYC – Part 1

Night outside Lincoln Center with an advertisement

Him: Do you believe in karma?

Me: Nope – not at all. It goes against everything Christians believe in AND history has shown us that rarely do people get what we deserve.

Him: My mom does, and she’s more Catholic than me.

Me: Then (with all due respect) she doesn’t read the Bible enough. Ecclesiastes 9:11. God is not an insurance agency.

There was a time that I thought I’d be marrying this one girl. Didn’t happen, obviously. Realize now that it was such a good thing it didn’t happen – we’dve made each other just miserable. Miserable.

Thought about Caligirl recently. Heard through the grapevine a while ago that she’s having a kid.

Thought about all of this because my buddy with the map problem just found out his ex is marrying someone else.

Me: You always dwell on what you don’t have. It must be tiring for you. You should stop, don’t you think?

Him: She gets a guy who loves her I guess. He knows about indiscretions

Me: (laughing) You want to be him? With a scumbag wife? We laugh at him. I laugh at him. She was banging you while engaged to him. That’s who you wanna emulate?
As an old dude, lemme tell you this: there’re countless times in your life y’gonna think that you’re dying. And one day, you’re gonna be right.

For the most part, though, you’re turning into something better.

For the most part, you’re dodging a bullet.

Silhouettes outside Lincoln Center with an advertisement

Cars’re honking outside my apartment like crazy. Found out Madonna’s shooting something in the hood.

It’s cool the first time; annoying the 20th.

Just want some peace and quiet to write. Earplugs it is. Stupid Madonna…

Location: home
Mood: annoyed
Music: wait in driving rain For the bus that never came
YASYCTAI: Ride it out, it’ll get better. It always does. Except once. (time/2 pts)


Comfortable shoes

Time Square Subway nyc


Me: When I can’t sleep, I look at the clock and hope it’s close to the time I gotta wake up. This means I got some sleep.
Her: Not me, I hope that it’s early yet, this means I can sleep some more.
Me: That’s a major difference between the two of us; you know you’ll probably fall back asleep. I know I won’t.

Been running around the city like crazy these days. In court again, but not for myself. Clients. It’s interesting because most lawyers never go to court. Figure it’s about time I did. Like most things you find as an adult, it’s a lotta Hurry up and wait.

The grandeur of being a lawyer’s a lot less when you see 100 of them crammed into a small courtroom yelling at each other.

One of the main things I’ve learned is to invest in more comfortable shoes.

That’s probably true for most occupations, actually.

Location: my new brown (p)leather chair
Mood: busy
Music: We get ever so hot (Whether we like it or not)
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Taking the punches

Location: waiting for meetings
Mood: accomplished
Music: I’m all choked up and you’re ok.

Lennon downtown, nyc

Me: (gripping seat) Watch that car, watch that car! (later) It’s a red light, it’s a red light! Slow down! (still later, exiting car) You’ve really gotta be more careful.

Him: (relaxed) You worry too much.

It’s been 23 years since my father taught me how to drive. It appears we’ve changed roles.

HG and I have been seeing a buncha relatives these days. Here’s another conversation between HG and one about her finger.

Her: It hurts.

Him: Yeah, I know what you mean. When I was 10, my cousin slammed a door into my toe. It was all black and blue and then my nail fell off. Believe me, that hurt like hell – I mean, that is some pain. I can still remember it to this day. (thinking) Oh, and when I was 20, I got hit with a grenade.

That guy’s one tough fella. Which is pretty much the opposite of me.

But at the very least, know how to throw a punch. It amazes me how many people – guys in particular, simply don’t. The chance of me getting into a fight now at 37’s pretty slim. But still, surprised it’s not something people pick up. Then again taking a punch’s probably more important.

Check that, taking a punch’s definitely more important.

YASYCTAI: Learn to take the punches. (time/2 pts)

business personal

What’s for sale?

It the cynical side of me wondering what’s for sale

PBR for far less than $40 in NYC

Here in NYC, wealthy hipsters drink PBR as an ironic statement of aspiring to the working class. Sensing a marketing windfall, the makers of the drink have decided to package the decidedly inexpensive brew as a luxury beer in China. How high end? $40 a bottle high end.

Silly Chinese – sophisticated Americans would never fall for such bald marketing.

Unless, of course, you consider that the exact same thing takes place here with Stella Artois.

It’s far closer to Miller beer than craft Belgiam lager in Europe, where it’s anecdotally considered cheap brew. In fact, it’s considered discount beer in France, called wife beater in the UK, and barely breaks 10% of beer consumption in its native Belgium.

Here, however, their marketing team went with the slogan Perfection has its price for much of the 2000s and we lapped it up. Quite literally.

Which is not to say that I’m not a sucker for slick marketing myself.

Just a month ago, said that the developers of the NYC mosque were wrong to build so close to ground zero but that it’s their right. Found that there’s already a mosque in the area and it’s been there for some 40 years with no outrage for the past nine.

This reminded me of that Stone Temple Pilots lyric that goes, What’s real and what’s for sale?

Consider what’s real with outspoken critic of the proposed mosque, Rick Lazio, who’s hoping to be our next governor. Perhaps that it’s an election year and he’s trailing the Democratic front runner in the race for governor by some 60%. It’s his outrage that seems to be for sale.

Since changed my mind about the mosque. After all, changing one’s mind in light of new information is never a bad thing. What is a bad thing is using a national tragedy for personal gain, at the expense of the national discourse. For that, despite being one of maybe two moderate conservatives in NYC, he’ll never get my vote. Ever.

Cheap beer in fancy packaging is also probably a bad thing. Then again, Stella Artois is doing quite well around the world. Regardless of geography, it seems it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s for sale – whether that be $40 beer in China or a mosque downtown.

Location: a wrestling mat
Mood: sore
Music: One time a thing occurred to me
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