For the past decade, the oil and gas industry has been preparing for the “great crew change.” Well, for those of you unaware, if you’re still waiting or preparing, you … Continue reading The New Crew
On August 31st, 2019 in the early afternoon, seven people tragically lost their lives, dozens of others injured, and the families of those victims, and the community as a whole traumatized and impacted forever. Over the past few months, the oil and gas community has come together unlike any other time in its history, as a result of the Permian Basin being such a significant source of oil and gas drilling and exploration, and the home and frequent destination to so many in the O&G family.
Virtually every industry association, local and state governments, first responders, community leaders and activists, will gather on January 16th, 2020 at La Hacienda Event Center joining together for what undoubtedly will be a time of hope and healing. The evening will begin by hosting a donor-sponsored Boots & Black Tie benefit dinner for 500+, followed by a Hope & Healing community concert featuring Rick Trevino, and Clay Walker for thousands. All proceeds from the dinner and concert will be donated to the Odessa Community Foundation’s August 31 Fund, a 501c3 Odessa-based non-profit, formed by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce and benefiting the families of seven deceased, and 25 injured.
Shelby Landgraf, and Jay Hendricks from CBS7 news will emcee the dinner and concert, and Dan & Ashley Henderson, and Toby & Sondra Eoff are chairing the event. The benefit dinner is being promoted by numerous industry and trade associations, and the Hope & Healing community concert is being promoted via radio, television, billboards, and social media. The expectation is that the impact from the evening events will have an immediate and lasting impact for the victims and their families, the community, and industry as a whole.
Please join us in participating by sponsoring a table, donating valuable silent and live auction items, and contributing financially through personal and corporate monetary donations. Attached you’ll find a donation form, with the details on sponsorship opportunities, and options on how to give generously.
We are incredibly humbled to have the support of so many people, who by coming together will make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many, and demonstrate that together, we are…Basin Strong.
Special thanks to Toby & Sondra Eoff for their generosity, owners of the new Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Downtown Odessa, TX, and Honorary Chairs of the Basin Strong Hope & Healing dinner and concert.
To sponsor the dinner, or buy tickets to the concert, go to www.basinstrong.com.
Last year, OTC set an attendance record with nearly 110,000 O&G professionals from around the world; the most since 1982. More than 4,500 rigs were running that year, and by … Continue reading Last Rig Standing
After selling DOYLES in June of 2012, I had a choice. Stay on with the company that acquired us, have a big title, a nice salary, stock that vested over … Continue reading Hard to be a Hustler
When I was five years old, my Dad took my Mother and I to Jamaica. It was my first trip anywhere, and it was paradise. My Dad wore a gold … Continue reading Bottoms Up – Why Oil is Going to $150
I’ve joked about entrepreneurialism being a disease, a curse, and possibly even an addiction. It’s no joke. It is involuntary, and wreaks havoc on your body and mind. At times, being an entrepreneur makes it difficult to be in the moment, or maintain a healthy work-life balance. It requires that you take risks, which often times include those closest to you taking the same risks, whether they agreed to or not. Entrepreneurs are innovators, problem solvers, have a high need for achievement, but most of all…are change junkies. I absolutely love challenging the status quo, and exposing complacency. I love to disrupt rhythms to find a rhyme or riddle for that matter. Change is the catalyst to solving any problem, no matter the size, scope, or genre. But change has a price, and it’s too high for most to consider. For me, fear remains a constant reminder of my past and potential failures, but my disease is what drives me to change, grow, and repeat. Life is collection of experiences, not things. Without change, your collection will remain small.
Recently, I’ve been quite discouraged. My income is hemorrhaging, I’m lacking in creativity, I’ve got writers block (fun to say that,) and many of my most recent deals have gone South. But…I feel alive, and as crazy as it sounds, it’s times like these that require a tremendous amount of focus, determination, and work. And I don’t mean mental masturbation…I mean get on the phone, get in front of the right people, ask for the order kind of work. With cash reserves diminishing, that time is here for me and my house.
As I prepare to change my situation, I challenge you to do the same. Let’s be change junkies together! I promise, we’ll live to tell about it.
From the time we are young, most of us are taught to be kind, considerate, respectful of others, and above all honest. In school, we learn to be punctual, responsible, and that there is a direct link between application and results. Sport teaches us the value of working together as a team. College attempts to prepare us for adulthood by introducing accounting, ethics, psychology, sociology, and politics. For a lot of us, our first job teaches us something much different.
My first “real” job was with a shipping company; I was 18. For two weeks I received on the job training. I learned how to operate the computer systems, drive a forklift, dock safety, and the company history. My first day on the dock however, I learned about unions. Over the next two months, I quickly became one of the most efficient workers on my shift. The union workers hated me, and gave me hell. I was cursed, threatened, forced to pay dues, and bullied. I quit not long after a friend of mine was forced to defend himself in a fist fight. He was unharmed. I wasn’t sure if I’d be as lucky.
Since that first “real world” experience, I’ve had many more, and have learned that business is mostly a dog eat dog world, driven by the fear of many, and the greed of few. Where secrecy, silos, and perception reign; and the arrogance and ego of men is celebrated and glamorized. Where nothing is personal, just business.
Imagine this year’s best selling books with the following titles:
- The Top Rung: How to Deceive your Way to the Top Through Bribery and Manipulation
- Bankruptcy as a Business Plan: How to Make and Keep Millions you Don’t Deserve
- Lawsuits for Hire: Let’s Hope they Settle
Last night, I watched a documentary on Enron. It reminded me how hypnotizing greed can be. It can make even the most scenical of skeptics surrender to it’s charm, and I am no exception. Ten years ago, I got caught up in a Nigerian scam. It involved a bogus multi-million dollar contract from a major oil company, $10,000 in cash concealed in two first class dopp kits, a Nigerian chief, and a Montblanc pen. The story is quite incredible, and ends with me escaping in the middle of the night from my hotel in Warri to avoid being kidnapped. Perhaps I’ll spend a couple of hours one day inventorying the events of my Nigerian nightmare, but I mainly wanted to make it known that I’m no stranger to greed. The deal reeked like a dead fish, and I sank my teeth in.
On more than one occassion, I’ve described greed as the gremlin that crawls up your back, looks you in the eye and tells you that you deserve more. Like the line in the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, when the young actor asks his nemisis what his number is, and he says “more.” More is never enough.
I’m no politician, nor am I the next Robin Hood, but I think there may be something magical about repressing greed. I’ve never experienced or heard of anyone on their death bed wishing they had time to earn more, get more, or spend more. Sure, I want nice things for my family, and myself, but not at any cost.
So to all the other conservative liberals, and capitalistic democrats out there…give generously, do the right thing, and hang on to your soul; you may need your ticket punched some day.
At 21, I was the president of a company that I helped take public. We had a couple of hundred employees, several offices, and not unlike most Internet companies, no earnings. A year later, I decided to buy my first home. The purchase price was much more than I could afford, and it took three mortgages to get the deal done. I had five cars that all had notes, and a lifestyle I could not afford. There are probably posters still floating around with my face on them, and the caption, “Live the American Dream; Spend More Than You Make.” Needless to say, less than three years later, I was broke. All of my cars were repossessed, and I narrowly avoided foreclosure. Over the next several years, I painfully managed to pay off all my creditors and become debt free. Thank you Dave Ramsey.
More than a decade later, I found myself in a similar situation for a much different reason. I bet it all on a company that I knew would be successful. However, my lack of experience, and market conditions, put me in a very compromising situation. I owed millions, and the economic vacuum that existed within our company would not allow us to pay down debt, and make money simultaneously. I had two options; sell the business, or file bankruptcy. Each had it’s advantages, and although there were two options, I had only one choice.
Being an entrepreneur, and being a good money manager are two very different things. The former requires vision, dreaming big, and action. The latter requires discipline, determination, and a plan. However, both require math, as does just about every aspect of our lives. I have to work very hard to stay disciplined in my spending, however, in order for us to rebuild America together, we must develop and maintain healthy personal and professional budgets. It doesn’t mean we can’t have what we want, but it may mean we have to wait. Waiting isn’t so bad.
Today was the last day of the last job I will ever have. I remain serially unemployable. For the past four months, I’ve wrestled with whether or not I should attempt to stick it out for the entirety of my three-year employment agreement, or surrender to the freedom that comes with being, once again, an entrepreneur. My decision to leave was illogical, unwise, risky, and perfectly liberating.
I’m thankful for the time I had the privilege to lead an incredible team of people who bled yellow and black. You know who you are, and I sincerely thank you. Keep doing the right thing!
Although I don’t have a definitive plan going forward, it should not surprise anyone that it will involve a big dream, a team of talented people, and a purpose and goal of doing something that can only be done together. It’s not what you do, but who you are that matters most.