This Is How I Met Mark Zuckerberg.

This whole experience was very surreal.

I still remember the very moment when I was sitting at my desk- roommates huddled over me, watching me sign-up for a Facebook account in college. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated with its impact and the power of connecting people. For over 10 years, I’ve been in the digital marketing space. Naturally, following the story of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg has been something I’ve observed very closely. It’s part of my job. Facebook is in part, how I have a job.

Fast-forward to last Friday.

If you follow Mark Zuckerberg online, you may notice he has recently started a series called Q&A With Mark. It’s a way for the public to ask Mark any question about Facebook. The way it works is anyone can submit a question on his Timeline or Q&A Facebook page. Questions come in from all around the world. His team picks the most popular questions and most interesting questions that are asked.

I posted this question…

It wasn’t an overly complex question. But it was something I genuinely wanted to know the answer to. Messenger as a platform could have incredibly impacts on how we communicate. If adoption is strong, our email inbox may never look the same. I posted the question with no expectations. In fact, I’ve posted a few questions before- and never received a response.

The next day I received this message…

WHAAAATTTTT!? I was so excited. Now, I know the message carefully said “could potentially.” Either way I thought this was awesome. Even the chance of my question being asked to Mark was something I thought was cool. I recorded a video and sent it to Facebook.

And then I got this message…


Holy moly. Is this really happening? I was beyond excited. This was a geeky dream come true.

But after about 5-minutes I did have a moment of realization that this could be fake. What if someone was making this up? I told myself that until I spoke with Facebook on the phone and had the confirmation emails, there is a likelihood this could be something Dateline NBC would chronicle.

But it was real.

And the trip was booked! My wife and I agreed- with her busy work schedule, it would be hard for her to come with me as my guest. Instead I took one of my business partners at Edgehill Capital, Eric Hazen. Facebook had everything planned out and coordinated. Car service transportation, travel, food. Even after checking-in they had a swag bag full of goodies in my hotel room.

When I arrived at Facebook, they gave me a name badge.

We got there a few hours before the event so we could eat lunch and get a tour of the offices. Turns out, Facebook flew in 3 other people as well just for the event (from New York and Texas). We had lunch with the PR/Communication teams and shared our stories and get to know each other.

This is one of the cafeterias at Facebook. Pretty normal to have the Nyan Cat scrolling back and forth in LED right?! Annnnd all the food and drink at Facebook for employees is free.

What is dangerous is they have a bakery that’s also unlimited + free that serves fresh cookies, ice cream, cakes, etc. If this was at my office it would not work. This would just be trouble for me! They say that when people start working at Facebook, you have to be careful not to get the “Facebook 15.”

We then went on a tour of the complex. It’s huge. So big many employees use bikes to get from building to building.

The Facebook main campus has almost everything you need. They intentionally put many things on campus because their offices are located in a very remote area. It takes 10-20 minutes to get to any food options or restaurants. Their offices have multiple food options (all of which are unlimited and free), dentist, doctors, bike shop, wood shop, bakery/ice cream and more.

Their offices are so big- you can take a shuttle from building to building…

This is the very first Instagram ever taken:

It was Mark’s birthday, so they had cupcakes out for everyone:

After the tour was over they took us to the room where the Q&A session was being held. This was fun- they reserved a seat for me!

This is what the room looked like:

And this is what it looked like from my seat:

And then the time came for the event. Was I nervous? Hell yes! It was a very weird set of emotions watching him walk into the room and being literally feet away from me. I thought to myself about what this meant. Facebook is a platform that has literally changed my life. I wouldn’t have my career without it. And so many amazing opportunities, connections, people I’ve met, incredible stories I’ve shared …all have been possible because of Facebook. And it’s been incredible to watch closely and follow Mark Zuckerberg in his maturation. I’ve always admired his dedication and ability to stay on-vision with the platform.

I took many deep breaths in those first few minutes. I rarely get nervous. And I’ve given presentations in front of thousands of people before on stages/conferences. But my heart was beating out of my chest. This was a totally different experience.

It was his birthday- and this was special to see. Mainly because I was able to see in person a more personal side to him as he described what it meant to him. He is 31 now. And Facebook after their IPO has evolved to a very sophisticated company. Here is a short clip of what I recorded him saying after we sang him Happy Birthday:

The event started and I was one of the last people to ask a question. Everything went well- I didn’t trip over my words that much (i was really worried!). In fact, when I got up to ask my question- I was more excited than nervous to have this opportunity. Here is a recording of the entire Q&A Session. If you jump to the 0:48 min mark, you can see me asking my question :) (P.S. that’s me in the blue shirt, far right corner)

After the Q&A session, Mark hurried out of the room (even though a ton of people tried to corner him and take a picture with him). Facebook had not mentioned that we would get to meet Mark. So it was at this point I thought if that is the end of this experience, that’s ok- this was incredible! However that wasn’t the case. Facebook PR took us over to the new offices they just built and gave us a tour of the space. They surprised us at the end telling us that we were going to have the opportunity to meet Mark and take a photo with him. He came by and we briefly chatted about where we were from and what we thought of the new office. And that was that. Such an incredible experience. I can’t say enough for how well thought out the entire trip front-to-back was.

Thank you Facebook for a day I’ll never forget! I came home impressed + inspired + motivated.

Consistency is often overlooked- but it’s your secret to success.

Consistently scoring 20+ points in a game.

Consistently working out each day and eating right.

Consistently being prepared for your meetings.

Consistently researching and staying ahead.

Consistently showing up, no matter the convenience or the challenge.

Consistently making time.

Consistently doing the work.

Consistently performing.

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

I’ve found consistency is the hardest thing to master. But the mere concept- obsessing over this is where your focus should be. I didn’t learn this early enough if my life or career- but it’s evident this trait, in almost all aspects of life sets others apart from the rest. We see flashes of greatness and one hit wonders. But consistency what is most highly regarded. No matter your goal or vision- it you just did ‘x’ or repeated ‘y’ consistently, you would see success. The greatest leaders I’ve met and the most successful people I know fundamentally are masters at consistency.

However, it’s the initial break through- forming the needed behaviors (a collection of habits) to be successful is hard. Really hard. The mere thought of it can be stifling.

Why is it hard? Being consistent is more than doing hard work. More than obsessing with the idea of your goal. And it’s more than preaching over and over about that great idea you have. Or showing casually showing interest in something.

It requires commitment.
Time-management skills.
And self-discipline.

Got a goal you want to achieve? A skill you want to learn or master?

…what have you sacrificed to get the time you need to achieve it? Do you really need to watch that game/TV show? Give 1 thing up and use that time as your ‘homework’ time.

…are you full committed? Really? Say it out-loud in the mirror each day or write it down that you are all-in. Make it real. Make yourself accountable.

…do you have reminders or mnemonic devices you can put in place to keep you accountable? Markup your calendar. Put post-its on your bathroom mirror. Give yourself ‘minor punishments’ for not following through (like not watching a TV show, or forcing yourself to work late).

…how do you know you’re on your way to achieving your goals? Set lead and lag indicators. Act on those. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the thought of how your going to achieve your BEHAG.

Far to often, we all are looking for that silver-bullet. The easy button. We want a shortcut. But it all starts and ends with consistency. And that’s not easy. It’s a multi-dimensional complex concept you must obsess with. Excellence is not a single act or moment in time- it’s a series of habits. It’s a path of perseverance.

The “2-of-3 rule” for people and their jobs.

We are in the process of hiring at Digital Evolution Group, so I’ve been sitting in a lot of job interviews. I’ve been listening to people share their stories about their job history and what they do and don’t like about their current position. Now, I won’t attempt to claim I’ve performed hours of research or have extensive experience in analyzing people and their careers (cause i haven’t) …but through some of my own (late night) self-assessments …i’ve reached my own conclusion about people and their jobs, which can be summed up as the “2-of-3 rule”.

My theory behind the “2-of-3 rule” is simple…

As long as a person is happy with 2 of the 3 criteria (listed below), …they will be comfortable and satisfied with their job. However, if things change, in which only 1 of 3 things are being met from these criteria, then a person will leave their job or have extreme dissatisfaction with their career (and over time, eventually will leave).

Here are the 3 criteria for my “2-of-3 rule”:

#1.) Money you earn.
Are you getting paid enough? Every one has an opinion on this. You might be getting paid well, or you might not. Again, this is only 1 of the factors in the 3 part equation.

#2.) People you work with.
Do you enjoy who you work with? Do you really value the people you have to interact with every day (this includes your clients or customers).

#3.) The work you are doing.
Is the work you do each day something that you truly love? Are you a 5PM clock-watcher because you can’t stand what it is you do for work?

Given those 3 criteria, you can test it with different scenarios. I’m willing to bet that if you are satisfied with 2-of-3 of the criteria, you’ll stick with your job (and if you are happy with all 3, then you’re in a great place). Only when you get knocked down to 1-of-3 will you jump ship.

Some examples with the rule applied:

  • You might not be making much money, but if you really love your job and the people you’re working with…
  • If you making a ton of money and love the work you’re doing, it can be just enough to avoid and deal with the annoying people you work with…
    Try it yourself.


I can’t explain why my “2-of-3 rule” works (i think it applies to everyone). It forces you to break-down the root elements of how satisfied you are with your job.

I could be wrong. Am I? What say you?

Give yourself a chance, by giving yourself a chance.

I noticed while flying on Frontier Airlines to Boston, every time our airline hostess spoke on the intercom, she would announce and preface everything with, “I’ve got great news” or she would say things like “Guess what, I have something fantastic to tell you”. What she was announcing was standard, the basic safety prompts that are required, like “We are about to take-off so turn off your cellphone” or things like “We are serving drinks now.” But it was amazing to me, just observing the power when she used a simple, positive phrase first …how much of a difference it made. It got my attention.

So it got me to thinking.

I sit in a lot of meetings and situations that required me to present ideas or plans. Within the past year, I made a deliberate effort to remove from my vocabulary and phrases of uncertainty like “I’m not sure if you’ll think this is a good idea…” or “you might not like this idea but…”

…there’s something to be said about giving yourself a chance, by first giving yourself a chance.

Take those same phrases and replace them with ones like, “I have this great idea to tell you” or “I have this great story to tell you.” Or more subtle, “I have something you should consider.”

…see the difference?

Give yourself a chance. Don’t sell yourself short. If you’re leading the conversation with uncertainty, you may think you’re coming across as being humble, but you’re more than likely doing yourself a disservice. Speak with confidence when you are telling a story or presenting an idea. If the way you present your thoughts are uncertain, why should anyone rally behind your idea? In short speak with conviction and enthusiasm, it makes all the difference.

(btw, i couldn’t stop laughing at the Jack Donaghy photo when I found it- i felt it was appropriate for the blog post)