Reviewin’ Dollar Shave Club

I guess it’s about time I weigh in on my initial thoughts on Dollar Shave Club. Recall, for I Love Don Week, I joined the club and my first set of four razors arrived on July 10th and I started right away. Some people (namely K.C.) said they aren’t quite as good as the Gillette Fusion 5s I’d been using. I replace those about every four months.

K.C., and some others, said they use their Dollar Shave Club razors for about a week before changing. I am still using the same blades I installed on day-1.  We’re on day-30, if anyone’s counting.

I shave at night. I have a complex pre-shave ritual, and I gotta tell ya …when I’m done shaving, my face is smoooooooth and doesn’t feel like I’m scraping sandpaper across my face at all.

It’s all about the pre-shave ritual. Regular readers might remember after participating in No-Shave November last year, I treated myself to a straight razor shave from The Barber Pole in Birmingham. That shave from a barber taught me one thing – I’ve been destroying my face my entire life. No wonder I had so many breakouts, dry skin, and random irritation.

If you care to know how I’ve managed to keep the same Dollar Shave Club blade for an entire month (and I’m prepared to go another week), and how I’ve gone more than six months without a shaving cut, irritation, or adult acne, here’s the (my) ideal shave routine.

  1. Use about a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage it vigorously on the area you’ll be shaving. Massage it in. Take a good minute or two. Pretend someone is going to check that you didn’t miss any spots and that each pore and each hair follicle needs to be covered.
  2. 49473-honey-mango-shaving-creamSoak a washcloth in the hottest water you can stand and then press it against your cheeks, upper lip, chin, and neck (everywhere you’re about to shave). Leave it there for at least 30 seconds each time.
  3. Repeat step two at least two more times – I’ve been going four times. This will really soften the stubble.
  4. Then apply your shave cream (I’m using Trader Joe’s Honey Mango Shave Cream – it’s delightful).

Then, shave. Slowly. Start under the nose and work out towards the sideburns. Short strokes going over every surface once or twice before a looooong stroke over a larger area. Feel it with your fingers to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

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Post shaving, it’s time for cold-water rinse. A thorough rinse to the point you can’t feel any shave cream slipperiness and then use a good, cooling face wash (I use Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash) and lather up, and rinse off, with cold, cold water.

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Finally, when done, use some Vitamin E oil (I use Trader Joe’s little bottle) on the spots you know you might typically get red bumps, acne, or irritation.

You do this and I promise you, you’ll use a blade a month, you’ll get your daily meditation out of the way and enjoy the me-time (it takes about 12 minutes), and your face will never be the same.

I Won’t Complain!

7db895312950fe2cff968b845e69a8d6_400x400Of the following things, what is the hardest thing?

  1. Stop complaining about anything, ever.
  2. Write 300 or more words on a topic.
  3. Pick up the phone and call a stranger and ask for their time/money?

Each of my readers will have a different answer. Each of the items on the above list is difficult. The difference? The fear and anxiety are different with each.

I used to call myself a “writer” and then I stopped writing. Yesterday, a co-worker caught me Blogging and said, “I used to write a Blog and had about 3,000 monthly views.” She made me feel “less than.”  I thought, “I never had 3,000 monthly views,” but then again, I don’t have to say, “I used to write,” or, “I used to have a Blog.”

I still write. I have about a dozen people who read my Blog entries. Why don’t I have more? Every day I see some Facebook link or article that promises I can make, “$1,000 monthly writing a Blog.”

Fear?  Self doubt? Or perhaps I haven’t found that million dollar idea that makes my soul burn to keep writing. When I do, I’ll write until my fingers fall off and the world will want to read what I write.

I love this quote pointed out by super writer and coach, Rochelle Melander:

In his book, The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch wrote this about complaining:
If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out… Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.
Over the years (maybe currently), I’ve had co-workers that, I believe, make themselves feel better only by complaining.
Fear of failure won’t get you anywhere. Fear of rejection won’t either. Complaining about what you haven’t done and blaming someone for your current state won’t fix things.
Tomorrow, in my journal, I’m going to list everything I could be complaining about, and then I’ll flip it a challenge or a goal.
Complaint: I can’t lose weight because my workload is crushing me, I have no time to workout, and society is built around white flour and fattening foods.
Complaint: Why is everything so expensive? Ugh. Seems like every time I save a little money, it suddenly isn’t enough to buy the stuff I want.
Goal: Create an exercise and weight loss plan, write it down, schedule it, and lose weight.
Goal: Save $$$ every month, ask a finance expert what to do with even a modest amount of extra income, and leave a portion available to buy that thing. Oh, and start selling the hundreds of things I don’t use, wear, or want that sits around my house collecting dust.
So maybe complaining is good …for creating change and an action plan.

I Love Don Week, Recap

At work, we set goals, we launch initiatives, we have budgets and we work to make them happen. After a time, we review and assess performance. I Love Don Week should be treated the same. Let’s look at the good and the bad and next year, make it even better.

My Dollar Shave Club razors and shave butter arrived today. Hooray. Can’t wait to shave in the morning.

I received the following items, too:

  • brandybigBlack iPhone charging cord
  • A new desk
  • Barsmith Old Fashioned mix
  • Tickets (from my sister in law) to Cedar Point for her whole family and mine and it turned out to be the best day ever at Cedar Point – no lines. Seriously. No. Lines.
  • Patriotic Detroit Tigers T-shirt
  • Loud dress socks
  • (2) outdoor chairs and outdoor lights
  • Hosted a small gathering at my house (I like having people over, what can I say?)
  • Lusty Claw Bourbon (from my co-workers)
  • Dinner of my choice on my birthday

I gotta say, with the trip to Cedar Point, the amazing Saturday evening hosting friends, and then the strolling, progressive series of birthday meetings that started my day at work on Tuesday, bookended with a quick happy hour with more co-workers, only to arrive home to homemade Chick-Fil-A (my daughter found the secret sauce recipe online and, shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone) …hard to imagine a week could be much better and end much better.

The only thing I might say could be better is more random gifts from random people, which is really on me. I should’ve posted a more comprehensive list. So that’s something I’ll do next year. Also, because I pretty much stole the entire concept from my brother-in-law (a week devoted to himself prior to his birthday), I might as well steal his idea of having I Love Don Week t-shirts.

So, next year, let’s keep doing what we’re doing, people. Gifts. Over-the-top recognition and praise. And …next year, we’re making and selling t-shirts.

If you have other ideas on how to improve I Love Don Week, please leave a comment. No idea is a bad idea. Green light thinking.

Thank you, everyone, for playing along with my birthday madness.

 

 

Let’s Talk About My Underwear

Do you ever think we live in a world where we dwell on the importance of things that aren’t really important? I’m about to Blog about two competing underwear brands, and I’ve Blogged about pillows and headphones, and I get obsessed with these things.  I can’t help but think of my father, father-in-law, their fathers, and their fathers before them. Somehow the “greatest generation” and generations previous to them without fancy generational names managed to raise families, hold jobs, and build the world and they didn’t have space-age memory foam mattresses to sleep on, their pillows had feathers and they slept on them for decades at a time, and their underwear was white and tight. That’s all there was. If you came across a time machine and zapped yourself back to 1972, I’m pretty sure you would only find white underwear.

Why underwear? Mainly to protect our good clothes from the worst part of our body. That’s all underwear is and was ever invented for. It’s a liner that goes under our clothes that protects our “outer” garments.

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Then models in the 80s looked hunky in underwear, someone thought boxers was a good idea, Victoria shared her secret with the world, and now we’re obsessed.

Well, I’m obsessed, anyway.

This Blog is going to compare my Costco-bought cotton Hanes, my Tommy John‘s that someone bought for me, and Frigo Revolutionwear Coolmax Stretch Collection. I got for free as a promotional giveaway.

*** If my father-in-law knew I just wrote that last sentence, he might ask for his daughter’s hand back and force our divorce ***

Hanes Boxer Briefs from Costco – I think even Clint Eastwood’s cowboy characters weren’t savage enough to deny the boxer-brief is far superior to a classic flowing boxer or tight mini briefs. We all use electricity and we don’t kill our own food, so some level of evolution is acceptable. They’re cotton. They’re soft. The boxer-brief design means they go down the leg a little bit. You can get 12 in a pack so laundry only gets to be desperate every two weeks(ish). But if you happen to be doing something that makes you sweat, you’re going to feel like you’re wearing a crotch sweater. Going to back to my thought on why underwear exists in the first place (to protect your outer wear), the Hanes boxer brief serves its purpose and doesn’t cost very much.  If you’re playing a vigorous sport (which nobody really does after age 25), wear a supporter. For less than $30, you’ll have underwear covered for years (I think my current collection of Hanes might be 8 years old or more). Hanes Boxer Briefs from Costco, Walmart, or Target are ‘good enough’ and your life will be just fine. And I think even my 77-year-old father-in-law and my 90-year-old neighbor would wear them.

boxersFrigo Revolutionwear – If I didn’t already own a pair of Tommy John underwear, I would be declaring this the best pair of underwear I’ve ever worn (even if I think their nut-sack flap …my word …doesn’t do anything). Frigo underwear is why old dudes look at us young dudes (I’m not quite 44 years old so I’m still going to categorize myself as “young” so shut up) and laugh and call us soft. This underwear is so high-tech, the website has a “how to wear” tutorial, boasts the personal-fit technology, and guarantees you’ll love them or they will refund your money. Underwear. We’re talking about underwear. Just watch this video!!! Wow!!!

All laughter aside, and if you can refrain from thinking of my hairy Dad-bod stuffed in those, these Frigos are a very comfortable pair of underwear. This next part is difficult to write, but I’m ashamed to admit the Frigo Zone (TM) Netted Pouch doesn’t seem to do much. It’s supposed to hug and hold the you-know-whats, and there are straps and buttons to adjust it to my unique needs, but I think if I cut that netted pouch out, I’d still love the Frigo Revolutionwear. What I really like, and I won’t be wording this right, is the silicone (might be rubber) piping around the bottom of the legs that hold the underwear in place so the legs don’t ride up as you move around throughout the day. When I first saw this rubber strip, I thought it would pull the hair on my legs like crazy, but it didn’t.

Bottom line, I would probably buy another pair, but the $36 price tag (per pair) will make it something I ask for on Father’s Days, birthdays, and Christmas when you ask for non-essentials like $36 underwear. Oh, and I will almost definitely order a Frigo Coolmax T-Shirt because I’ve suddenly become obsessed with my t-shirt collection and widdling it down to just under 20 shirts, and fewer logos. But, here too ….$48 price tag = special occasion.

Now we come to the life-changing underwear – the Tommy John Second Skin Boxer Brief. I don’t know where the human race is headed, but if the human race (the men, at least) were to all at once make a 100% transition to Tommy John Second Skin Boxer briefs, there would be no more war, no arguing, and the Pope could retire because he wouldn’t have to campaign for peace, love, forgiveness, and mercy. I regret only having one pair because I’m only amazed once every couple of weeks on laundry day. This underwear is so incredible, on normal ho-hum days, I move it aside and wear Hanes from Costco because I feel like I should only break out the Tommy Johns on special occasions or when I have a big meeting, interview, or sales pitch. Even men 70+ who might grumble and ask, “isn’t it just underwear, whadda hell does it matter about my  underwear, that’sa problem with the, what do they call them, Manila …no …Millenables …they worry so much about their underwear and mattresses, they oughtta worry about getting a job and saving. I fought in two wars.”

Ah, old people. Imagine how much better they’d have fought in those wars with underwear like Tommy John. Just sayin’.

What’s so great, you ask?  Basically, if you’ve read this far you might go back to the beginning to remember I said for decades and decades cotton briefs were enough. Hey, we once lived without microwaves and we had ice chests instead of Freon powered refrigerators. We read books by candlelight.

We evolved and when you wear Tommy John underwear you will notice a difference. It’s like walking around all day in cheap shoes versus well crafted, well-designed shoes. You notice at the end of the day. It’s like wearing a Columbia parka in the middle of February in Michigan and realizing the technology rated to -40 is working. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, and if you spring for the $37 Second Skins, you’ll notice. It’s like it’s not even there, and yet it’s totally there.

In conclusion, upgrading your underwear is wholly unnecessary and my religion and faith tell me if I have $30+ to spend on a single pair of underwear, I really should be giving more to charity. However, my American consumerism compels me, at times, to spend money on things I don’t need and if your American consumerism flares up, these high-end underwear options are as good as any. We wear underwear every day, keep the same pairs around for years and years, so why not do it in style and feel great if the option’s available.

If I was a real Blog, I would offer you a discount code or “free pair” if you share this Blog, but nope …I just like write.

Thanks for reading.

Early to Bed, Early To Rise…

I think I need marriage counseling. No, not really, but I wonder – am I the only guy on earth who operates at his peak when he gets to bed around 10:00 p.m. and then wakes at 5:00 a.m. with a solid seven hours of sleep? Am I the only guy who does it in a house full of teenagers and an educator wife enjoying the summer off?

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Why do I point that out? Because when I go to bed at 10, nobody else is even close to being ready for bed. It’s like I’m the child.

It’s a lonely life. Albeit, it’s an optimized and energized day with the good sleep habits, but it certainly makes me feel like I’m avoiding the family. If you know me, that’s the furthest thing from the truth as can be. If I won the lottery and didn’t need to get up for work, I’d absolutely stay up late and sleep in.

Does this early to bed, early to rise, and all the health, wealth, and wisdom that comes with it come at a cost?

I guess it’s about what I do with the time I have between work and bedtime. Gotta approach it with gusto and passion. I gotta pretend when I get outta work and head home, that each day is as exciting as the first days of my marriage or the first days after my children were born when I couldn’t wait to come home and hold those little babies in my arms.

I should (we should) attack everything that way, shouldn’t we? If I took on my to-do list at work as-if it was my first week on the job, wouldn’t I do more and get more out of work? Wouldn’t people marvel at my passion? Then, when the day ends, I could leave work at work and race home with joy.

If we have to do things, we should do them with joy.

I’m Good at (and I like) What I Do!

radio

If you have a business and thought about using audio (radio) to build your company, you should call me. For the third time in the past 6 months, a new client has called to say, “Don, we need to trim back on our radio a little bit because we can’t keep up.”

One medical practice is booked through the end of July and last week, even tho they weren’t on-air and nothing was running, people called, and when asked, “where did you hear about us,” they said, “on the radio.”

That’s the power of radio/audio branding.

Another client called me Thursday, an HVAC company that put their faith in me and launched a rather large, 4-station branding campaign (with a modest and understated call-to-action) combined with some well executed digital, and he, too, wondered if we could “back off” because he needs to hire another seller and a few installers because they, “are having a hard time keeping up and the phone is ringing off the hook.”

I keep reading articles about how advertisers are returning to the “mass media” becuase as we’ve walked down the road of one-to-one digital marketing, we’re missing the “spill” and the unintended target. Just because you say, “I’m after a Male between the ages of 35 and 54” (which is me), what about my wife who has a say in every purchase I make? Wouldn’t you want to be whispering in her ear, too? Even if quite by accident?

Sorry. Was drifting into another topic. For now, let’s focus on these two things:

  1. I love what I do (sell advertising).
  2. I’m good at what I do.

If you’ve even thought about “trying radio” or doing something different and big with your advertising, we should talk. Leave a comment. Find me on any social media and let’s start a conversation.