Crippled CEO Blog #102:
I’m currently in Las Vegas (which is why this is coming a day late — my third ever late blog post!).
It took a lot to get me here.
Traveling for me is… a thing. Airlines destroy, damage, or lose my chair entirely on 8 out of 10 flights. The process of getting me on and off the plane is often embarrassing and degrading. The flight itself, because of the seats, my physiology, and my inability to adjust my position, is unbearably painful. The last time I flew was a same day trip to Ohio and back in 2019 to shoot a commercial with UFC Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Two hours in, as I’m doing Lamaze style breathing techniques to try to get through the pain, I swore off flying forever — at least like that.
But it’s not just the flight. Once arriving, you need transportation. Wheelchair accessible Uber isn’t a thing in most places. And accessible taxis are harder to find than a vaccinated person at a kava bar. You can rent a wheelchair accessible van, but it has to be done months out, and the price would make your eyes sweat.
And then there’s the hotel. From getting in/out of bed to the restrooms, they’re really not equipped for me.
I haven’t been on a non-business trip for over a decade. One, because I don’t like being away from work, but also because of all the difficulties above.
I did this one because a) I had someone I really wanted to go with, b) there was an amazing UFC card that I wanted to attend, c) Vegas is the only city I know of that has hotels that have the kind of lift I use at home installed, and d) Vegas is also the only city I know of with a plethora of accessible taxis. The roster for the trip ended up changing, and reason a) ended up going away, but I’m stubborn, and the last 8 weeks have been a bit rough for me, so I decided I was pressing ahead regardless.
The only problem you didn’t see solved in that list above was flying. Vegas might be accessible, but I still had to get there.
And that, finally, actually brings me to the point of this.
Thanks for hanging in there.
You’ve heard me repeat ad nauseam that the people you allow into your life, the people closest to you, have an incalculable impact on who you are. Who you choose to talk to/be around regularly is literally the most important decision you make and we don’t take it seriously enough.
You’ve also heard me repeat that doing the right thing is always the right thing, and I don’t just mean that from a moral point of view — I think doing the right thing is also the correct long term strategic move for having a happy, successful life. Doing the right thing also includes the other life principle that I’m obsessed with: always do what you say you will. This sounds easy and obvious, but it gets tough when something goes wrong. In both my personal life and in business, I’ve chosen to keep promises to people who have hurt me, mistreated me, or proactively sought to cheat or screw me. This is made even more difficult because people will advise you to do otherwise, to break your word, and part of you STRONGLY agrees with them (“They don’t deserve it!”). Keeping promises in these cases goes against our human nature. You have to make the decision ahead of time that this is a rule you follow, because if you do it on a case by case basis, you’ll falter.
But what does any of this have to do with Vegas?
The people closest to you shape the person you become, but if you’re a person who has consistently done the right thing, the word spreads, and I’ve found that acquaintances you barely know can and will go above and beyond, bending over backwards in unbelievable ways, to do even more for you than some of your closest friends and family will. Being an exceptionally good human isn’t just altruism.
The arrangements to fly me to Vegas, get my chair to Vegas, and a ton of other details were taken care of by someone I barely knew — Joseph. It took him dozens of hours of work to coordinate and he did it for free. When I asked him why, he said, “I know the kind of person you are, and you deserve it.”
Once I arrived, a guy I had only met once, Jim Walter, the manager of Stipe Miocic, called in a favor and got us a reservation for the very next evening at a restaurant booked out months. It took him multiple phone calls and a flurry of emails — some actual work. He barely knows me. I didn’t ask. I can’t benefit his life in any way. He just offered. Why? Same kind of reason. When we had worked together previously, I did the right thing in spots other people may not have, and I consistently did what I said I would.
We live a long time, and the word about who you are spreads. Especially with how connected we all are now, you can’t fool people for long. And you can’t be a “good person” without making these decisions about who you are and how you act before the situation arises, because the “right” choice often isn’t the natural one. And if you’re striving to be “uncommon among uncommon people,” then most are going to think you’re crazy for sticking to your principles in the situations where it matters the most. But you should. Because it’s the right thing to do.
(Your mom is the right thing to do. Send a text to 484848 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to this blog every week.)