Don’t be afraid to build it, then don’t be afraid to shape it

Photo by Author — Mike Goldberg

Last week I took a break from writing my book to take a quick vacation to Los Angeles to see some friends and collect my thoughts. The timing was perfect. It forced me to zoom out and see the book from a different perspective.

These 2 big lessons came into play:

I said from the beginning I didn’t want to write an autobiography.

For one thing, I’m kind of modest and don’t really feel an autobiography is warranted (at this point.) More importantly, I look at everything I do in terms of the value an audience can receive from it…


Our reality is based on our story. What if we got the story wrong?

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

I look in the mirror this morning and I like what I see. The man in the mirror gives me a smile and a wink. I feel good in his presence. He makes me feel happy.

It took me a long time to be able to feel that way about myself.

There was a time when I didn’t have the confidence I have now. I didn’t look at the world and see all the possibilities in front of me. Instead, all I saw were limitations. Back then, when I looked in the mirror I’d think about the person I’d never…


These magic moments happen all the time. It’s what you do with them that matters.

Photo by Author

Ever meet the exact right person at the exact right moment?

This is something that has happened to me more times than I can count. A collection of those stories would make a fascinating book. In fact, I had always wanted to do just that — write a book, but I had no idea how to even begin, so I shelved the idea.

And then I met Nicolas Cole.

In late 2019, I was in LA for a friend’s birthday.

While there, I called my best friend Craig Clemens and we set up some time to hang. He was on…


The creative struggle is fraught with doubt. Keep shipping

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill

The answer, I have found, is straightforward:

“Keep shipping.”

There’s so much I’ve got to tell you, and I will, as it comes together.

I’ve been writing a book for a while now. I’ve been hesitant to say that, because I’ve had a hard time accepting that I’m really writing it. It’s so easy to hit eject and play it off that I wasn’t actually writing — just… playing around.

No. I’m writing.

It’s coming along like pretty much every crazy accomplishment in my life. I’m flailing, and throwing wild shit…


The outcome could be far greater than you can imagine

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

“Uncertainty is a confident place to be.
It is the need for certainty that leads to atrocity”
-Neil Strauss

Think about that for a moment. What does that mean to you?

To me, it kind of reaffirms the way I’ve grown to see life. We don’t know what is going to happen, and I’m OK with that.

The fear that’s generated by uncertainty is what leads some people to desire authoritarianism.

The personal cost is the abdication of personal power. Without personal power, we don’t have to take responsibility for our lives. …


Your tribe is not always who you think it is

Photo by Ryan Clark on Unsplash

When I was 17, I made one of the dumber decisions of my life.

I decided to join the school soccer team.

I was on an upswing that summer — I found a path forward out of my funk, thanks mostly to my friend Ken who had moved up to the Bay Area the year before. The one message he communicated to me was clear: If I was going to change the direction of my life, I would have to do something drastic.

Showing up to practice that day wasn’t an act of bravado — it was an act of…


This took a turn even I wasn’t expecting

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

June is Pride month — a celebration of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and courage of the LGBT community.

It also brings out the absolute worst in hateful people who get triggered by this very idea.

Traditionally, I tend to lay low and avoid jumping into heated discussions. I don’t like to make enemies, and I question the idea that any good could come out of it.

That all changed this month.

After seeing the hate and vitriol directed at the gay community, I decided I could not be a bystander any longer. I needed to get involved.

For the record…


Many answers may already be right in front of you.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

I met Jim at a real estate investment mixer in town. He approached me right away and asked me all about myself, then worked my interests into the conversation from that point forward. Any time I’d see him, he’d mention my favorite band.

It seemed like he was working from a textbook on how to build rapport, but I was willing to forgive his try-hard approach. Maybe he was just socially awkward. And it wouldn’t be long before he’d present his ask.

It came like clockwork. “Hey, we’re having a meeting on Tuesday, and I’d like you to come. We’ll…


It actually has nothing to do with religion, but a crisis of identity

Photo by Margaux Bellott on Unsplash

It never fails.

Pride month is a celebration of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and courage of the LGBT community.

It also brings out the absolute worst in people who misuse religion to spread hate and fear. The ones who persecute and marginalize this community, continue to persecute and marginalize while denying that any such sort of hatred even exists.

Nowhere was it more apparent to me than a recent Facebook post about raising the Pride flag above City Hall in Charleston, SC. The hatred and vitriol from the misguided faithful demonstrate that these divisions continue to exist.

But they’ve also…


The ones on the inside are actually on the outside

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

“The only true currency you have in this bankrupt world is what you tell someone when you’re uncool.”

The line is from “Almost Famous” — one of my favorite movies, for many reasons.

One is for the rock and roll story itself, and the warmth and honesty in the way Cameron Crowe told the story. The band was fictional, but the characters were very real.

The other reason it resonates with me is because I’ve felt like William Miller before — finding myself totally outside my element in what seemed like another world. And when you try to anchor yourself…

Mike Goldberg

Traveler. Real estate investor. Storyteller. I talk about personal growth, emotional intelligence, and seizing opportunities.

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