Bits and Pieces

Hi All –

I haven’t posted in the past few months and wanted to provide an update. I had spread myself a little too thin and need to truly focus on my primary business and growing. One decision I made was to transfer ownership of another startup I owned to a family member. The lesson to me was I cannot run two companies at once and truly push them both forward to their maximum potential. This doesn’t mean I will not start other ventures, only that I need to ensure my primary company and passion stays healthy and continues to prosper.

This lesson can also be applied to our personal lives and relationships. Projects, sports, television, and our smartphones are a compelling distraction from our primary source of happiness – our self development, family and friends – they deserve our primary focus.

So on to things that I’ve been doing.

  • The Good
    • I was award a patent on my neti pot design and it is now for sale on Amazon. Yeah for me! If there is enough interest, I will post on the patent process and how to get your product prototyped and into production.
    • My Federal Contracting Business, A2 Federal, Inc., continues to grow by partnering and pursuing prime opportunities.
    • I completed and was approved by the Veterans Administration for certification as a Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business.
    • I’ve completed the submission process for 8a certification. I will provide information on the process on a future post.
  • The Bad
    • I couldn’t run two companies and transferred ownership to a family member.

As always, continue to move forward everyday both professionally and personally!

With Love and Respect,



How to Move Your Business Forward

Moving your Federal Contracting business forward is the meat and potatoes of your business success; so your business strategy and the actions you take to gain business and grow are how you gain momentum. So how do you go about it?

The answer is somewhat simplistic — you need a road map on where you want to go, and the type of map depends on where you are in your business’ life cycle: startup or established business.

Startup. If you are launching your business, you need to have the underpinnings of your business established such type of corporation, necessary licences, tax id, registration in Systems for Award Management, email account, and company bank account. They also may include a company logo, business cards, letterhead, corporate policies, company website, and a capabilities statement. If the company is earning revenue, you will need to obtain an accounting and payroll service. My advice is to contract these services out. Why? Because your number 1 goal is to grow your business and doing anything else is a distraction. This is true regardless of where you are in your business life cycle.

One item new companies should focus on is their social network. Who is already in the business space that could help bootstrap your business? Your social network can lead to subcontracting opportunities, teaming agreements, and could even provide your company with a facility clearance.

Once you have these in place, your road map will be the same as an established business. Note: If your just starting out, review the previous posts: The Basics; How to Compete for Federal Contracts; and How to Certify Your Veteran-Owned Small Business

Established business. Developing your road map involves understanding the “why” of your business. Simon Sinek provides a wonderful lecture on TED.

“Why? How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t.” Simon Sinek. ”

Once you have your why you do what you do, then you can focus on your road map. If your why is to protect the US from cyber attacks, then your road map will be aligned to this tenant and should drive your pipeline and your business model. The realities of the market place can influence where in the market our companies try to gain work but if we can tie our why to those adjacent markets, it will still resonate with our customers and other like-minded individuals. Knowing your why can bring pinpoint focus to your business model. For example, a model of your road map based on your why might look something like this:

Knowing your why can provide a laser focus to your business

Really take a hard look at this road map. Can you apply something similar to your business? Following this model can help drive your business forward and starting from why will help discriminate your business from your competitors. As you go through each element of the road map, you will build velocity and synergy.

As always, keep taking action every day.

With love and respect,


Secrets to Launch Your Federal Small Business

So you’ve started your veteran owned small business and you’re trying to generate revenue, but despite your best efforts it seems you just can’t move forward. This blog will help you gain insight on how to gain traction to generate income and build your skills to succeed.

Large federal contractors have a host of resources available to them such as business development teams comprised of marketing experts, capture managers, proposal managers, pricing strategists, price to win analysts, and a slew of other resources to help them write technically compliant and compelling proposals. As a small business, you are probably responsible for all of these roles. So how can you possibly gain enough traction to write a winning proposal?

To help your eventual success, here are a few things you can do to help increase your chances. Before you jump into you writing a proposal, you will need to develop knowledge to understand what is required to write a competitive proposal.

Team. As referenced in previous posts, teaming with more experience companies is a great way to launch your company, learn about proposal development, and generate revenue. Connect with successful companies that have already developed and honed their skill to understand the competitive environment; understand the customer hot button issues and mission needs; how to price competitively; develop a strong outline; and write technically compliant and compelling proposals. This is a invaluable way to obtain mentorship and launch your business.

Work for someone else. Another way to build your bona fides, is to take a job at a federal contracting company. Take on as many responsibilities as you can to build your knowledge base regarding federal contracting. The lessons you will learn from working for someone else will build a solid base for you to use when you launch your own business.

Find a partner. In your personal life and in business, relationships are everything! Finding the right partner who shares your desire to stab Lish a winning team can give you the force multiplier to get going. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. You and your business partner will need to establish what roles each of you are the strongest at and then divide and conquer the tasks to move your business forward. having a good partner will also keep you motivated during Those times when your motivation is low and you need someone to push you to keep going.

Know and except that things will fail. One of the most important lessons you can learn is that things will fail. Understanding this secret to success will keep you going. As with any worthwhile endeavor, you need to prepare to fail, fail again, and fail yet again until you finally succeed! This is the secret: persistence is the key to success. With few exceptions, this is the only true way to succeed.

Remember to take action every day! You can do this! No matter how small the task may seem to be, taking action will keep you and your business moving forward.

With Love and Respect,

GaryMake it Happen on a blackboard

Making Choices

Hi All –

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I wanted to share one more blog before the end of the year.  This blog is all about decisions and how they affect every element of our lives.  Big decisions, little decisions, life changing decisions – our choices have brought us to this  moment in our lives.  Do you have the love, physical, spiritual, and emotional health to be your best self?  If not, how did you get to your present life situation?  Did you choose your life; was it chosen for you; or did you simply drift through life, letting the currents of time and in-the-moment situations bring you to where you are today?  Weather it was one way or a combination, the truth is you were and are responsible.  No decision or allowing someone else make the decision all circles back to you!  Until we take full responsibility for our lives and the decision we’ve made, we have set ourselves up as victims.

Coming to the realization that you are in control of your life feels liberating and a bit frightening but it give life such depth and richness it is the best gift possible.   The ability to accept responsibility for every aspect of our lives and to make decisions is live altering.  Why?  Because at this very moment you can make a decision and take action to move your life forward to a future of your making.  You can decide where to live, what to do, who to love, how you’ll respond to thoughts, words, and the actions – whether your own or someone else’s.  You possess your own power and nothing can stand in your way.  You won’t apologize for your choices; it is your life to live and the choices are yours to make.  You are responsible and free to be your authentic self.  What a gift!

So what is the downside to owning your decisions and your life?  Things will fail and not go according to your wishes.  For all you that think that you must know every detail and the situation must be perfect before you make a decision – you’ll be stuck!  There are few perfect moments or plans and if you wait until you have one, you’ll likely never move forward by making a decision.  Please know that failing is normal; life isn’t always perfect.  Once you accept failing is something everyone has to experience, you can be better prepared emotionally to address it.  You may be so prepare that you have a backup plan and hopefully a backup to the backup!  Move and flow with life and you’ll learn lessons that will help you make better decisions. It’s all ok.

Here’s wishing you all a Happy and Joyous New Year and as always take action!

With Love and Respect,





Six Simple Steps to Achieving your Dreams

Now that the New Year is quickly approaching, I wanted to share six simple strategies to help you to live the life of your dreams.  These strategies will help get you started quickly, and we’ll help you achieve momentum and the velocity needed to keep you moving forward.

If you have an idea of what you would like to do, whether writing a novel, getting healthy, developing an invention, starting a business, and etc., here is how to start:

  1. Write down your goal in detail. What will it look like? How you will it feel when it is completed? Use as much detail as possible; it doesn’t matter how impossible it may seem right now, just write it down.
  2. List two or three initial steps to get started on your goal.
  3. Post what you want to do and the list to your bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, the steering wheel of your car, your computer screen or any other place you frequently see.
  4. Every day for at least 30 minutes take action until you complete the initial steps.
  5. Pat yourself on the back. You are now moving forward.
  6. Now make a new list of two or three additional steps you will need to take and begin the process again.

These simple steps can be life altering. As you begin to make progress, you goal will become reality almost as if by magic.  Now that you’ve started be forewarned that there will be set backs, and the ever present danger of inactivity.  Remember this:  Inactivity is the enemy and the killer of dreams.  Action is the warrior spirit that makes dreams come true.  At times, inactivity may win a battle but you must never surrender to it if you want to win the war.  The other danger is perfection.  Perfection works side-by-side with inactivity and gives it its strength. Nothing will ever be perfect, and if you wait for the perfect time, the perfect solution, the perfect amount of knowledge, or the perfect anything, you will never begin or never finish.  The project will become overwhelming if you let perfection stand in your way.

We write down our goals to help bring clarity and to provide a tangible reality to something that until you write it down only exists in your imagination.  The process of putting words to paper is the start of the magical process of turning fantasy into reality. The more detail you use, the more your mind will see it as a real possibility.  For example if you desire to buy your dream house, put as much detail into how it will look, how each room will be furnish, how it will feel, and smell.  Then you need to write down how you will feel once you’ve achieved the goal.  Write it as if it has already become reality.

Making a list of only two or three steps helps us to psychologically ease into our goal.  It keeps the initial steps simple and achievable which will provide a boost to your willpower.

The posted list is the gently nagging reminder that you have work to do; we all need a little something to drive us to action.  Consider the posted lists as your personal muse that is inspiring you to do something greater than yourself.

Why 30 minutes?  Because once again, anyone can find 30 minutes to change your life!  This daily 30 minutes will help you accomplish things that you never would have dreamed possible and will spur you on to achieve other goals.

Anytime that you achieve a goal, treat yourself to a internal high five.  You’ve accomplished something and that is to be congratulated.  Soon you will soon find that your attitude about life and your life itself is changing.  That you suddenly understand that you have the power to change your life and the lives of those around you.

The next list of steps will continue to help make your dreams come true.  And once you’ve started, you will be compelled to continue your work.

Do not forget that what one person has done, so can you!  And you will have set backs, but your work must continue.  Be true to the possibilities of your life because you only have this life to live, so make it count!  As always, take action and be grateful for each and every day.

With Love and Respect,



Never Trust a Rudderless Ship to Take you to Your Heart’s Desire

Destiny is manifested by one’s true purpose, thoughts and actions — not by doing what other believe you should do; what you’ve been taught, or through following someone else’s dreams. Are you living the life that was assigned to you or living a life you have chosen? For many of us, choosing our work, usually by working for someone else has never been a true choice. It is through circumstances or the beliefs and/or personnel fears of others (family, friends, or lack of self-awareness) influenced our choices, thereby placing us into our professions. A sort of benign ignorance of what we really want – work that is attuned to our inner desires that provides inspiration and fulfillment.

“There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny” (Pressfield, 2002, The War of Art, Kindle Version). As I’ve said before, I am a fan of Stephen Pressfield’s book, “The Art of War” as it clearly describes self-sabotage and how to fight against it. Whatever is keeping you from your life’s purpose needs to be identified and understood. It is only by knowing your enemy that you can defeat it. Procrastination, the subtle sabotage by family and friends, sex, alcohol, fear and other diversions that keep you from your life’s purpose are all forms of self-sabotage or as Pressfield labels it – resistance.

For those that have discovered that the daily pursuit of a business goal is more than just a vehicle of making a living, it is part of the self-realization, that spark of inspiration, that we can — with all our being — take control for our lives and responsibility for how we intend to live it. This is the sometimes underlying, sometimes overt overarching theme by which we try to live each minute of every day…when either with the weight of a hammer or the subtleness of a whisper, resistance takes us from our chosen path. The thing is, once you’ve awaken to the possibility of living your life based on your self-chosen path, you cannot help but return to it. There is no other choice.

We have to be constantly vigilant of when we move away from our path either willingly or from benign neglect. Our very lives depend upon it. To seek out like-minded people can help you keep moving forward whether your work is launching a business, writing a book, or getting healthy. Reading book’s such as Stephen Pressfield’s War of Art, listening to Podcasts, and other content can help keep you focused as long as keep working on your goals each and every day. For those who feel they must know every detail and learn as much as they can before they pursue their destiny – you, my friends, are rolling in self-sabotage. The time to take action is now for we cannot afford to waste time. Too much of our lives have been wasted out of loving ignorance. So let there be an urgency in starting our work; then, once you have started, slow down and methodically do your work each and every day. As long as you are on your path, the sense of urgency is no longer needed – just keep walking.

With Love and Respect,


The Reason Why I want to be an Inspiration

I want to be an inspiration to people. Perhaps this is an egotistical pursuit but if I succeed, I will feel that I’ve done something worthwhile with my life. Does the reason why really matter? How many of us live our lives by just getting by each day? I’m not talking just financially but emotionally too. Do you truly feel alive? Life can be so much more than getting a job, getting married, having a family, and then retiring, and our ultimate demise. The question to ask ourselves is: do we have true and meaningful relationships with our family, friends and ourselves or are we just drifting through life, living a role that we’ve been assigned? The problem is that most of us don’t realize our full potential. Often times it starts with our parents, who although their desire is to protect us, have taught us to be cautious and to timidly live lives of mediocrity. It’s time to break this pattern. The difference between each of us is an illusion. Although it’s been said many times before, what one man has done another can do. The truth is we are mirrors of each other; the difference that we believe exists between us is just an illusion.

Each and everyone of us has a story to tell. The trick is what we do with that story. Are we the hero of our own lives or are we the victim of somebody else’s choices? What we do with our life matters – it’s not just about ourselves – but the generations that follow, our kids and our grand kids or those who we have inspired. If we come from generations of abuse, whether it is from physical or mental abuse, or a pervasive multi-generational belief that was passed down – saying we are not good enough.  It is time to break the cycle and it starts with each of us. We can change the lives of future generations – our children and our children’s  children and perhaps others.

Yes I want to inspire others and ultimately I want to inspire myself. I sincerely hope you do too. That is my wish for you.

As always take action and show gratitude each and every day.

With love and respect,


Learning Social Media

i’ve been dabbling in using social media since starting my blog. I started with a Twitter account and tentatively posted a few tweets. The main purpose was to advertise my blog so that I could get the word out to entrepreneurs and service disabled veterans.

I also found that Twitter was a good way to receive valuable information on government contracting, entrepreneurship, and other items of interest.

I use word press for my blog and it automatically allows you to post to social media such as Twitter, Facebook,  and Google plus.

I’ve recently kicked up my social media campaign (no pun intended) with the launch of my kick starter project. Being a neophyte, I wasn’t all that sure how to use Twitter or other social media tools.

After a short amount of research I learned that you could promote certain tweets.  I set a budget of $250 and set a limit of $20 a day. The result was I received a few more followers and my first troll. Actually it was another Twitter account user who tweeted for me to stop spamming. I was a bit embarrassed for this was certainly not the desired effect of the Twitter campaign.  My desire was to let folks know about what I think is a good product and to put the word out about my kick starter campaign.

I also started and Google ad words account. I set another budget of $100 with a limit of $20 a day. Google didn’t place is a small ad when somebody does a Google search for a Neti pot. I’m not certain how effective the campaign is been but I wanted to give my kick starter campaign the best chance for success.

Yesterday I decided to post my first YouTube video. It is an update to my Netti pot design and the show how the heating element works.  Please let me know what you think.

I’m still learning how to use social media but I think it’s a valuable tool. I also believe that podcasts have tremendous potential to reach people, but I’ll leave that for sometime in the future.  I hope this blog helps you to learn how to use social media and helping you to achieve your dreams and goals.

As always take action each and every day and be grateful.

With love and respect,


Can Failure be Success?

Look. The future isn’t guaranteed. We don’t know if we will succeed or even if we will be alive tomorrow. But what we can do is try to live our dreams each and every day. We can only do this by taking action. 

When we take action, we are proving to ourselves that life is more than just a monotonous series of day to day events. When we strive to live our dreams or live up to our potential, our lives become more meaningful. We begin to take joy in the very act of trying to achieve something. This is how we become more fulfilled. 

 This is one reason I started this blog. I wanted to share my enthusiasm and experiences – not just for the readers of the blog, but for myself too.
We can no longer wait to live our own dreams. Most of us have spent way too long trying to live the dreams of others. If you’re working as an employee, then you’re helping someone else achieve their dreams not your own. If fears holding you back from taking action, then you’re living out of fear not for yourself.  Get in touch with yourself. Be aware of the underlying perceptions that are holding you back. Is it another person or yourself?Stay alert!  You are responsible for what ever happens.  Be the hero of your own life.

What ever is in your heart to achieve, do something to make it come true today. Whether you want to write a novel, start a business, get fit, or do something to better yourself, realize you only have a certain amount of time on this earth to make a difference in your own life and those of others. As it has been said, what one man has done, another man can do.

Just to be alive is something special; do not waste this time you’ve been given. Find a way to feel the urgency to get something done. This is your life were talking about!

As you know, I’ve launched a kick starter campaign for a Neti pot that I’ve developed. I might not be successful but that’s alright, because I’ve tried. And in doing so, it’s added value and meaning to my life. Kick Starter Campaign

Stop living someone else’s dream.  Live yours as if your life depends on it…because it does. 
Here’s to all of us that try.

Remember to take action each and every day and be grateful.

With love and respect,


How to Relieve Allergies, Breathe Easy, Sleep Better, and Not Worry about Naegleria fowleri

Hi All –

I hope this post finds everyone healthy and happy.

Have you ever used a neti pot? Neti pots were used as an ayurvedic yoga tradition in ancient India for nasal irrigation, In the past few year neti pots gained popularity in the United States after they were featured on the Oprah Winfrey show by Dr. Oz as a natural and health alternative for allergy and nasal infection sufferers.

I was a firm believer in the benefits of using a neti pot and like millions of neti pot users, I used warm tap water.  it was easy to get a perfect water temperature using tap water and the neti pot was very effective at helping me breath freely by cleaning pollens and pollutants from my nasal passages. An added benefit was It helped me sleep better at night by reducing congestion and also snoring.  But then in 2011, the evening news reported that two people had died from using tap water contaminated by the “brain-eating” amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri.

If this scared you like it did me, then it also ultimately resulted in not using a neti pot at all.  At first, I would either boil tap water or heat distilled water using my kitchen stove.  It was just too inconvenience to boil tap water or heat distilled water in the kitchen, transport it to the bathroom, let it cool down (sometime too long so the water became uncomfortably cool), and finally mixing it with neti pot salt. This was enough of an inconvenience that I stopped using my neti pot. Although not optimal, I once again began to using over-the-counter medicines which made my thinking foggy.  There had to be a better solution.

I came up with this prototype that warms distilled water to a perfect temperature right in the bathroom. I love it!  No more boiling tap water or heating distilled water in the kitchen.  I’m back to breathing easier and sleeping better thanks to a simple innovation.


As far as I know, this is the only neti pot designed to be used with a heating element.  The neti pot is ceramic and the water is heated to close to body temperature in 4 to 5 minutes.  It then keeps the water perfectly warm.

I’m asking for suggestion on what to name the device, suggested improvements, and colors.

I will be starting a Kick Starter campaign soon, and accepting pre-orders once I establish a sales price.  I would truly love to send you one of the first production models and hear your comments.

If you know anyone who suffers from allergies, nasal infections, snoring, or who like me stopped using a neti pot because of the inconvenience, then please let them know.

As I always say, take action every day and be grateful!

With Love and Respect,