Do you Believe in Prosperity?

I believe in prosperity.

I believe that there is a natural, repeatable, regenerative process to learning, growth, accomplishment...and ultimately, PROSPERITY - the capacity to produce a surplus.

Not once, as in building a business and selling it or cashing out stock options or whatever.

I mean over, and over, and over, and over again....forever.

Nature here on earth has been regenerating itself for billions of years, not 10 consecutive quarters or a few high growth decades. but over 4 billion years.

This is not a fluke.

Humans are as much nature as all the elements, plants, and animals on this earth.

We are subject to the exact same laws and conditions of nature that they are.

The stock market, the government, our school system and all that stuff...these elements are not THE law. They are devices constructed by people who came from a belief in scarcity.

Nature is THE law, it's abundant, and it's interdependent.

It always has been, and it always will be.

There is an observable, repeatable, learnable process called prosperity, and we can all choose to learn to observe it, participate it in it and harness it.

It's a choice.

You can take your chances at the game of zero-sum scarcity.  

You can try to work around Mother Nature and force your will upon her.  

You can try to be independent or dependent or codependent, but none of these are sustainable.

Each comes from a belief in scarcity that pits you against others - and remember YOU are nature, so really our belief in scarcity pits you against nature.

And the consequences of fighting Mother Nature are never pretty.

Everyone, just before they leave this earth comes to a realization that their lifelong fight against nature was a complete waste of time, and that they had everything they needed all along to experience love, satisfaction, and accomplishment.

If you choose to follow my blog, to work with me, or to join my tribe, you should know that I assume you share my belief in prosperity.


Meat Grinder

My sister sent me a blog article this week that told the story of a teacher who shadowed a couple of high school students for a day.

She didn't just observe, she DID EVERYTHING they did.  Attended class, took notes and even a couple of tests.

She begins by sharing her epiphany;

"I have made a terrible mistake."  

And proceeds to share three take aways from her very short attempt to do what she had been asking her students to do for 14 years.

Take away #1 - Students sit waaay too much, and sitting is exhuastiiiiiinnnnngggg.

Take away #2 - High school 'learning' is a passive experience where students spend 90% of their time listening to teachers talk.

Take away #3 - Students feel a bit like a nuisance - teacher frustration makes students feel like an unworthy burden.

Now, I want to commend the principal that suggested she try 'being' a student for a couple of days.  And I want to commend her genuine empathy and willingness to be accountable.

Obviously it generated an awareness and a commitment to redesign the learning process.


The observation project was designed to answer the wrong question; 

"What is it like to be a high school student, and how can we 'do' high school better?"

My challenge to her, and yes she is getting a link to this post, is that she shadow some high school students later in life; like in the work place, at the doctor's office, in the kitchen with their children, in the car with their spouse, at the soccer field, at the mall, at the gym, at the grocery store, at the bank.

Our education claims to exist to 'prepare our children for the real world'.

Great idea!

So let's go see what the REAL WORLD ADULT CHALLENGES ARE, and design high school for THAT.

With regards to preparing children for success in life; making adjustments to time sitting, participation, and attitudes toward students is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.  

Too little, too late.

Do you really want your children to be as unprepared as you were or to have to continually struggle to break your habits and self limitations?

If you love your children, don't subject them to the same meat grinder you went through and expect a different result.

The article I am referring to can be found here by the way.


The Wisdom of Animals

Animal school.jpg

Thinking that humans got smarter at school, the animals decided to create a school for their children as well.

The curriculum consisted of running, climbing, flying and swimming, and all the animals took all the subjects. 

The duck was good in swimming, better than his instructor, and he made passing grades in flying, but was practically hopeless in running.

He was made to stay after school and drop his swimming class in order to practice running. He kept this up until he was only average in swimming. But, average is acceptable, so nobody worried about that but the duck. 

The eagle was considered a problem pupil and was disciplined severely. He beat all the others to the top of the tree in the climbing class, but he had used his own way of getting there. 

The rabbit started out at the top of his class in running, but had a nervous breakdown and had to drop out of school on account of so much makeup work in swimming. 

The squirrel led the climbing class, but his flying teacher made him start his flying lessons from the ground instead of the top of the tree, and he developed charley horses from overexertion at the takeoff and began getting C's in climbing and D's in running. 

The practical prairie dogs apprenticed their offsprings to a badger when the school authorities refused to add digging to the curriculum. 

At the end of the year, an eel that could swim well, run, climb, and fly a little was made valedictorian.  

I tweaked the first sentence of this essay* to remind us that while humans are in fact more intelligent than animals, we are fools to ignore the simple wisdom of nature that is hidden in plain sight.

My two cents: If your child is struggling in a subject, don't be a slave to tradition.  It is impossible to reach your potential by trying to play someone else's game.  I know of no place in the real world that rewards academic excellence, except academia itself.

*printed in The Instructor, April. 1968


Some people will seemingly pay any price to preserve the past.

Mr. Wiki tells me that this little red car is the current record holder for the highest price paid at auction for a vintage auto - $38,115,00.00

Now I'm not a car guy, but it seems to me that as cool as this car may be, nearly everyone has moved on.

On to air bags, blue tooth, batteries, air conditioning, and adjustable seats.

Leaving this model behind didn't mean the end of fast cars, Ferrari, or fun.

Sustainability is the basis upon which we build the future, but should not be confused WITH the future.

It's time to revisit and regenerate a lot of assumptions and institutions that are past their primes.

The very mentality of sustainability promotes anxiety because it's about halting a loss.  

This has nothing to do with creating more and frankly it's selfish.

From Washington DC, to the board room, to our schools, our medical system, and our neighborhoods, our society is overwhelming consumed with sustaining what WAS at the expense of what could be.

And what 's MOST disturbing to me is the fact that the ELITE, the ones who already have more than enough, have an astonishing ability to turn a blind eye to the fact that they are further impoverishing those who do not.

Throughout history, when mankind has surmounted great odds, the elite have always showed the way.

It's clear that the elite are content to throw up their hands as if to say "it's out of my hands", "it's company policy", "I wish I could help....sorry".

Like it or not, it's up to you and me to be the Re-Generation.

To learn how click here.

Honne and tatemae

Japanese words that describe the contrast between truth and appearance of truth. When the gap between hone and tatemae becomes too wide in a society, cooperation decays and skepticism and tranquilized distrust grow.

The breakdown that we see in the world today is due to the gap of who we say we are and who we really are.

80% of the workforce is working in a job that they don’t like or for a company whose values they don’t respect, and working desperately to disguise the fact that they are treading water.

By working in that job they are literally compromising their identity.

It’s easy to look at Washington, Wallstreet, and Madison Ave and blame them, but a powerful path to personal wholeness is to close the gap at home.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We were at out daughter's year end school event last week.

As the teachers announced each child's name they recognized their unique character traits and shared what each child believes they want to be when they grow up.

The answers were discouragingly, but not surprisingly, very predictable; fireman, doctor, veterinarian etc.

When we ask our children what they want to "be" when they grow up we make two extremely damaging mistakes.

First, we tell them, implicitly of course, that they aren't YET sufficient.  They must first go to many more years of school, to get a degree and skills so that they can then be "grown up".

Whatever the heck that means.

Second, we limit the scope of their vision to preexisting roles and teach them to think outside in, instead of inside out.

We teach them to look outside of themselves for commodity jobs to compete for in order to 'matter' as a grown up.

Especially in this new age, it is imperative to figure out WHY we are here, and to embrace and leverage our personal eccentricities.

Yes, we need skills, that's a given.

But armed with who I am, what I care deeply about, and a mastery of how I operate; I am equipped to serve and prosper in an infinite variety of ways that do not require that I get chosen for some preexisting role. 

The next time you are tempted to ask a young child 'what are you going to be when you grow up?'

Instead ask; "What do you think your purpose is for being here?"

Unpolluted by adult baggage, children answer this profound question as easily as telling you their name.

Our job as parents and teachers is to support them in manifesting their unique answer in the service of others.

This is the greatest way to guarantee that they, and our society, will prosper in the future.

R U Insubordinate?


  1. disobedient or rebellious: refusing to obey orders or submit to authority

It sounds bad when you put it like that.  

And that's just how 'authority' wants you to feel.  

They want you to feel badly for being different and for not being willing to subordinate your intention for their agenda.  

I'm not talking 'rebel without a cause' insubordinate, that's just another form of subordination.


All remarkable people are insubordinate.  

They feel an internal pressure to manifest their intention, and a profound unwillingness to compromise it.  This sharpens their focus, and accelerates their decision making.

Does this manifest my intention?  Yes or No?  Fit / No Fit?

Which makes it possible for them to accomplish more...

and draws more and more attention to them...

brining more and more opportunities to choose.

They get waaaaaay more "No's" than the average bear, which gets them waaaaaay more "Yes's".

In the tribal economy, if you want to stand out, and if you want to prosper, you'll increase your odds and your velocity by finding your powerful cause and 'rebelling' against anything that does not support it.

Subordinating to your survival concern

We humans managed to prevail for thousands of years before supermarkets, Gore -Tex and climate control despite our small teeth, our furless bodies and our relatively slow feet.

How the f%$k did we pull THAT off?

The answer is simple but not trivial.

We coordinated interdependently as a tribe.  We didn't just 'help' each other.  We had roles, there was a cycle and a sequence that we worked with not against.


And we did all this out of a collective intention to survive.

But once the threat of not surviving abated we lost touch with our natural biologically embedded tribal contribution and this powerful natural process.

Fast forward to today and you find that our ability to coordinate together and to see the cycle and sequence of tribal prosperity is poor at best.

We may have lost our way, but we didn't lose our biologically embedded survival concerns which when properly coordinated create tribal prosperity.

And there's the rub.  

Our biological survival concerns (there are four by the way), the ones that enabled us to pull off a species survival stunt of Houdini proportions, control the reigns of our actions and our words.

But instead of serving us, they lead us into self serving and self sabotaging behavior.

Without even knowing it, we spend enormous amounts of our time serving the anxious needs of our ancient biological survival concerns.

And without a collective tribal intention, and without personal control, they have us, instead of vice versa.  

We are subordinating to a biological program that we didn't even know, that we didn't know we even had!

The key to prosperity is to take back control of this process and to harness it.

An Ultimate Tribal Tool

I just completed my second Square Space website.

The day that Toby LaVigne can build websites is truly a dark day for web developers and a great day for anyone wanting to build their Tribal Signature™.

Granted, this is a simple site, but I built it in a fraction of the time and money that it took to create my last 5 versions.

I highly, highly recommend this powerful tool!

Check out my day job site @ Tribal Equity

The Remarkable Economy

Def. a conversation for the implementation of technology to increase effectiveness. The industrial economy was about the effective coordination of resources.

The remarkable economy is about the effective coordination of human action.

Business success in this economy is about designing, building and scaling powerful human experiences.

The recession is about our failure to sustain growth using the technologies of the last economy and our delay in adopting the new technology.


I’ve been doing some of my writing in the library of a nearby college. It’s fascinating to watch the students studying, reading, and researching.

It’s also horrifying because I know intimately the environment they face after graduation, and I understand the ‘real world’ limitations of their attempts to prepare for it.

The true definition of learning is to change behavior.

My observation is that there are two big problems with their approach to learning and preparing for the real world.

  1. The information they are trying to download
  2. The mechanism they are using to download it

Students are essentially trying to download information when they really need to be downloading an operating system.  Workers that get jobs for just ‘knowing’ information or a skill are at the highest risk for replacement.

Secondly, the students spend an inordinate amount of time interacting with a book or a computer screen when the real world mechanism is human interaction.  Workers that excel at coordinating the actions of others are at the lowest risk for replacement.

For real world success we need to upgrade our humanware to increase our ability to effectively coordinate the actions of others.

Mutual Negotiation

The traditional path was to get a job. You got a job by fitting the requirements of some employer, typically through a one-sided negotiation with no real shared intention.

Success came from jumping through hoops defined by the employer.

In this relationship the employee has little to no powerful alternatives because their market identity is that of ‘employee’ of someone else's brand.

The remarkable path is to be a powerful solution to some market’s specific problem.

In this world you form an alliance based upon a shared intention, and success comes from working together to manifest the shared intention.

The ‘partners’ increase their power to the extent that they manifest the intention.


What’s your app?

The remarkable economy employment relationship will continually morph toward virtual and temporary engagements to accomplish specific projects. There will be fewer and fewer ‘permanent jobs’ and more and more ‘temporary project alliances’.

One of the keys to individual and organizational prosperity will be the ability to quickly connect and disband.

Today the hiring and firing process is long, painful and risky.

We will all be far more effective when we become known for a powerful offer; our App.

An App is short for application - the quality of being usable for a particular purpose or in a special way.

The more clear and powerful your app;

...the greater your demand will be

…the more quickly you will be found

…the higher the odds of negotiating successful alliances

You can think of remarkable people as having the most powerful apps.

The internet is making it increasingly easy to find the best performers in any niche.

Time to turn yourself into an app.

Prosperity and choice

The most prosperous get to 'choice' the most quickly. Google users, Apple buyers, and Facebook fans don’t spend a lot of time deciding whether to use the product or service.

Their reputations preceded them and they got the buyers to choose quickly.

When you stop and think about it, we spend a lot of time trying to get people to choose.

And the reason is ALWAYS that;

…the value to risk ratio is not clear

…the path to purchasing and or implementation is too difficult

…sufficient trust has not been established

This is easy to see when we are the consumer, but much more difficult when we are the seller.

Technopeasants, the new coal miners

There are so many offers to earn a ‘high tech degree’ today. I fear that the takers are not aware of the choice they are making.

I’m not knocking the professions they're pursuing; they’re all necessary services as far as I can see.

My fear is that they think they are getting long-term employment because of the knowledge and skills they are developing.

Once they get settled into their new jobs they are going to be faced with the REAL challenge in any organization, coordinating the actions of others.

The path to becoming valuable isn’t a degree, it’s an ability to get people to stop what they are doing, listen to what you have to say and create a new future together.

Not being able to do this is a free ride to techno-peasanthood and the high tech coal mine.


…are everywhere. Their pie is shrinking, so out of desperation they beg borrow and steal to preserve their own share.

People are acting like they're on a deserted island with a one-month’s supply of food remaining.

They’re looking in instead of looking out.

They have unprecendented access to information and each other.

They have the ability to create an entirely new world…literally at their fingertips!

Everywhere I look I see organizations and individuals that could dramatically increase their value and their traffic by serving others.

And I see the same individuals serving themselves first.

Filling the not quite full water glass

Can someone please explain to me why restaurants insist on refilling water glasses that aren’t even close to empty…AND all the way to the top?! Were customers complaining that they weren’t getting enough water?

Of all the things that restaurants could universally do to improve service why has this practice become THE in thing to do?

It does nothing to differentiate the restaurant, most of the water goes to waste, and it takes time away from much higher value activities.

The object of great service is to be invisible in the experience.  Repeated trips to the table interrupt the experience.

Look to see where you are trying to improve situations that don’t need your attention and stop it!

Then ask yourself, ‘given my intention to be remarkable, what is the next most powerful thing I can do?’

Then do that instead and let me enjoy my dinner without having to dodge a water pitcher every time I take a sip.

Affluent poverty

There is a lot of political talk about the ‘haves and the have nots’, the 1%ers, 99%ers, and other nonsense. Yes, there are problems that correlate with income, but for the most part (and we should always focus on ‘the most part’) nearly EVERYONE is suffering from a poverty of purpose.

Income and wealth immunize no one from the awful feelings of anxiety, despair and cynicism that are so widespread today.

The only antidote for anxiety is contribution from a place of inspired purpose.

Poverty isn’t just for the poor.