Make Your Own Reality

Filming season one of our reality series, Pond Stars, almost killed me. The reasons why are numerous, but also irrelevant. I would, and hopefully will, do it again in a heartbeat! Who wouldn’t want the incredible opportunity to share their passion with the world?! What I won’t do however is let it almost kill me again! And since I doubt my personality is going to all of the sudden mellow and my patience level increase it’s up to me to figure things out if I hope to survive the next meat grinder of reality television.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine (like a guy as outspoken as me has any secrets anyway.) I love to figure stuff out! I’m maniacal on devising better ways, more efficient ways, of doing things. I stay up at night thinking about stuff like the logistics of how to get the garbage cans to the curb better! So it should come as no surprise that I have devised an entire game plan for attacking a season two of Pond Stars, if indeed our efforts earn us one. Whenever I do anything I haven’t done or tried before, the Holy Grail for me is to find someone who’s done what I want to do so I can learn from them. When I do find that guy I’m like a vampire sucking every bit of knowledge I can get out of them. If I have to buy them dinner in the process so be it!

“Tanked” is a show that is about two New Yorkers who work out of Vegas creating the most over-the-top custom Aquariums the world has ever seen. It’s a cool show and I’ve always felt an affinity with the founder and owner, Wayde King. As a kid growing up, much like me, he got lost in his passion for all things aquatic. I knew I wanted to connect with him and pick his brain about his experiences filming his series. It took me a little while but once I was finally able to meet with Wayde we really hit it off. He offered to take me under his wing and show me the ropes the same way Paul Sr. (Ironically an Aquascape pond owner) of Orange County Choppers had done for him when he was entering the business. Wow! Wayde truly has been a great and generous ally to me ever since.

As I write this I’m on a plane with my fellow Pond Stars and some of my top managers on my way to Vegas to visit and learn from the team at Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM). Additionally, I have some of our most talented Certified Aquascape Contractors meeting us there as well. Because Wayde has given so generously to me, it will truly be my pleasure to give him an Aquascape pond. It won’t be filmed for an episode of Pond Stars or even Tanked. It will be a small token of my appreciation for the advice and support he’s given me. Besides, it will be a hell of a lot of fun working with these characters to boot!

Far, far too often people reinvent the wheel trying to be successful. Not me! That’s my little “secret.” I seek out individuals who are wiser, more experienced or have simply already accomplished something I’m trying to do and I learn all they are willing to share. More often than not when people tell me about an invention idea they have, a business concept that’s a “can’t miss,” or just a new way of doing something I always ask them if they have talked to someone who has done it or something like it before. 99% of the time they haven’t. I wonder if there’s any correlation that only 1% of the time the people I’ve talked with actually accomplish what they set out to. Hmm?!

I want to succeed at everything I do. I can’t imagine anyone saying or feeling any different about that than me. How I go about doing just that isn’t rocket science. If you don’t have mentors, if you’re not being coached by someone who has been there and done that before, do whatever it takes to find those people and listen to what they tell you! By doing that, you might just find you will end up making your own reality!