The D10 Houston
Partner at Insgroup
Creator, The Midlife Male Podcast
I cannot possibly work out as much as my wife is baking, so when this quarantine is over, I'm either going to be 250 lbs from overeating, or 150 lbs from overtraining. It helps to have a sense of humor about everything, and as the late, great Warren Zevon said “Enjoy every sandwich.”
Like many of us, I started off 2020 with big plans and aspirations. I was named 2020 Power Broker by Risk and Insurance Magazine for the Hospitality and Consumer Products Goods industry. My firm, INSGROUP, had cracked the Top 100 list of largest independent agencies in the U.S. We added another 30 people to our team, bringing our total to 184. We leased an additional floor of office space.
But things change. Even being in the risk management business, nobody could have really prepared or planned for this. It was unimaginable at the onset of the year. In particular, the hospitality industry--where I have more than 100 clients--has been devastated. It's been extremely challenging working to help them survive and prepare to come back and thrive when this finally passes. I've seen so much resilience, perseverance, unbelievable grit, determination and character in so many entrepreneurs and risk takers over the last 10-12 weeks that I have no doubt we will come back better and stronger than before.
So basically I’m spending much of my time revising, reducing, extending, renegotiating and in some cases canceling coverage that is no longer needed. Only now I can do it wearing workout clothes all day, sitting in my backyard and growing out a ridiculous beard.
On the personal side, we got a puppy. I figured the most responsible thing I could possibly do in a time of unprecedented global uncertainty and challenge is to add to our family yet another mouth to feed. Roxy the Labradoodle has joined Riley the Shichon, and the struggle for dominance has begun. She’s very cute. We’d been wanting another dog for a while now, when I say “we,” I mean the boys and I. My wife Kate, not so much. Sometimes asking for forgiveness rather than permission works out.
I still wake up at 6, even though our office is closed. I prefer and have always had the ability to work remotely anyway. I take my Epsom salt bath, meditate, write my plan/intention for the day, have my coffee, email and leave messages for clients and colleagues.
The most disruptive aspect is not having restaurants, studios and gyms open. None of this is an excuse to not eat well and stay fit. Nor are these “inconveniences” comparable to what many in the world are dealing with right now and for the foreseeable future. What affects me most is that my friends, clients and industries that I love are being hurt and devastated; I wish there was more that I could do, give, or say to help them.
I’m spending as much time as I can with my family. I'm making some killer playlists, practicing guitar and training the new pup. I have been recording new podcasts, doing some IGTV interviews and appearances, building more awareness for The Midlife Male and for the CPG brands that I'm working with and investing in. Most importantly, I'm controlling what I can control. I’ve started walking our dogs every morning. It's been a great time to put on an audio book or podcast, tune out some of the other noise and start the day on a positive note.
There is always opportunity during challenging times. Having to eat at home “forces” us to all sit together and actually talk. I was never a home workout guy before this, choosing to work out in studios and in gyms. However, I've realized that I've come to love working out at home and quite frankly living in workout clothes pretty much all day long. There are more workouts, fitness challenges and free online health content than ever. It’s awesome to see the generosity of the health and wellness community.
A new piece of equipment seems to be arriving daily and we're almost completely stocked with everything we need now. I'm fortunate that being in Houston we have the property, and the backyard to do this. The pull up bar was drilled into the side of the house. The rowing machine can be rolled out from the garage, barbells, kettlebells, parallettes, TRX straps hang from my basketball goal, med balls and all of the toys that make me happy are now here at the house. Yes, I’ve gone a little overboard.
This time has also given me an opportunity to train with my wife and my boys, which is something we were rarely able to do because of our schedules. The quality time together as a family is the greatest positive. The relationship, closeness and appreciation for one another that my boys have developed through this experience and all the time that they have had to spend together has been incredible to see as a father.
From a fitness perspective I haven't felt this good in a long time. It's actually nice to train without a goal, dial back some of the competitive aspect of things and train just for life, sustainability and longevity.
Businesses need professionals. They need solid advice, services, action plans and products that will help them right now and in the future. Call them. Offer what you have. Be a resource, empathetic, advocate, friend and of value. I’m not so much analyzing businesses right now as people. Who’s rising up? Who has the right attitude? Who’s a team player? Who’s a blamer and a complainer and who just gets to work and solves problems?
Draw a line down the center of the page and when this shit’s over go back and see who’s on which side.
I wrote about this earlier in the year on my blog “Do less with more focus,” and this has really been a time to embrace that philosophy.
When everything is taken away from you, you have a unique opportunity to determine exactly what it is that you want to bring back into your life. We actually have more choices now than before.
As somebody who is relatively introverted by nature and was kind of the outlier to attending social situations, networking, galas, school functions , etc. as none of those things particularly pleased me as much as staying home, cooking dinner and relaxing with my family all that pressure has been removed. All that fear of missing out, gone. We can now selectively choose what it is we want to reclaim.
So if I could share one message to the other members of The D10 community. It would be to use this time to improve yourselves, to work on determining what it is that's really important to you, and what is truly essential in your life.
Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be around? Because all of these options and choices are still available. When you're faced with a situation where change is inevitable or forced, it presents an incredible opportunity to drill down on your own hopes, dreams, desires and goals.
I know that The D10 community will continue to grow and thrive and that we will find opportunities to work together, to compete together and to raise money for an incredible cause. I'm confident that philanthropy and athleticism will be greater supported than ever before and that people's willingness to give back however they can will increase despite the hardships endured.
I wish you all good health, longevity, sustainability, prosperity and most of all, peace and happiness.
Check out or subscribe to Greg's Midlife Male podcast here.