The Rabbit Hole

20 Under 40 20_3“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

As finish one calendar year and get set to embark on a brand new one, this famous quote from the classic 19th century story about a young girl who dove into a rabbit hole chasing the white rabbit should give us all pause for thought. The reasons?

We are much different today than we were in December of 2016. As much as some people loathe the thought of change, we’ve all done it whether we liked it or not. If Alice can theorize that we are different people over the course of just one single day, imagine the change over 365 days. The events (happy, sad, and everything in between) alter our perspective; people both new and established impact our thinking and challenge us; and the opportunities for growth and resilience occurred daily whether we recognized them or not and the results and consequences changed us.

This has been a year of tremendous transition for me personally and professionally. In the last year, my wife Barb has joined my practice and works side by side with me; I’ve added two new substantial partnerships that has enhanced my work and ability to serve my clients; and my granddaughter was born and that has forever altered my view of the world. To say I’m the same today would be, well…. mad.

My dog Captain Jack relentlessly seeks out rabbit holes, likely with a different purpose than Alice. He understands that somewhere in that hole is opportunity. He may not know where the path will lead him, what (or whom) he will find along the way, and what potential obstacles lay in wait, but he does know one thing; he’s moving forward to find out.

It’s time to boldly dive into our own rabbit hole. Let’s start by exploring what the quote at the beginning means for you:

Stop focusing on closed holes. Too many people allow past failures and missteps to keep them from jumping into a new rabbit hole we affectionately call “next year.” Instead of ruminating on what could have been and constantly looking back, accept the change and seek out new adventures in front of you with the same zeal that Alice had in chasing the rabbit.

Additionally, focusing on the “good old days” gets stale and stops one from trying anything new. If there’s one thing we are learning, the world may be turning at the same speed, but innovation, knowledge, and change are racing like no other time in history. You need to hang on!
Honor the struggle. You won’t go through a full year without being tested physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. Each of these are tools in the journey that help us grow and achieve resilience. Instead of avoiding them, we can accept (there’s that word again) and honor them as part of what builds us into better humans.

Honoring the struggle wards off low self-esteem because it gives credence to perseverance rather than lack of worth.

Seek out new points of view. We seem to be losing the ability to hear different and new points of view without making judgments on people. We see a Mad Hatter in our way and we dismiss them without learning more.

Holding fast to our own beliefs and only keeping company with those that agree with us is a recipe for stagnation and decline. There are many different characters that are ahead in our rabbit hole; there’s an opportunity there to improve ourselves if we allow it.

Allow time for a tea party. Life balance can get most out of balance for entrepreneurs. The reasons are many, yet the control always lies with the boss. The best way to assure that this next rabbit hole is a successful dig is to make sure you’re mentally and physically able to sustain the journey.

Poor life balance leads to high levels of stress and low levels of mental and physical health. If you want your tomorrow to be better, then save some time everyday to enjoy what you have and take care of yourself.

Fear is the real Queen of Hearts. In the story, the Queen of Hearts is constantly trying to lop off someone’s head. In our stories, fear is constantly trying to sever our spirits. It’s easy to say to not allow fear to drive our decisions and actions, however in practice we are human. Fear is innately in us to keep us safe from things that will harm us, like being burned in a fire. We’ve acquiesced to this wicked queen to allow us to fear what others might think. Having a healthy balance of the “good” fear is necessary for survival. Eschewing the fear that keeps you from unleashing your potential will allow you to consume more tarts along your way.

January is the best month to plan your journey into a new rabbit hole. Who will go with you, what will you take, and most importantly, will you be accepting of whatever comes your way? There’s a lot of uncertainty and there within it lies your adventure and your journey that will change you every day along the route.

Sounds mad, doesn’t it? Good. Because we’re all mad here…

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

WEBINAR: Improving Your Cyber Security

Join me and my guest Kip Boyle for a FREE webinar on improving your cyber security. Kip is a nationally recognized expert on the topic and will share ways you can dramatically improve your protection to avoid and mitigate cyber attacks.

Time: TODAY at 11:00 am PST / 2:00 PM EST

Duration: 30 minutes

All registrants can join live and/or get the recording.


kip-cyber-security-seattleKip Boyle is a 20-year information security expert and is the founder and CEO of Cyber Risk Opportunities.   He is a former Chief Information Security Officer for both technology and financial services companies and was a cyber-security consultant at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).  Kip led the global IT risk management program for a $9 billion logistics company and was the Wide Area Network Security Director for the F-22 Raptor program.  He has participated in several cyber security war game exercises and has worked closely with various government agencies including the FBI.

Kip is a retired US Air Force officer and serves on the board of directors of the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN).   He’s been quoted in Entrepreneur magazine and Chief Executive magazine. Kip is the co-author of Chapter 68, Outsourcing Security Functions, in The Computer Security Handbook.  He earned his BS in Computer Information Systems from the University of Tampa and MS in Management from Troy State University and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Seattle University.


© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. Al Rights Reserved

Extra Points: It’s a Wonderful Life

it_s_a_wonderful_life_-_no_man_is_a_failure_that_has_friendsThis Week’s Focus Point: It’s A Wonderful Life

My favorite movie. Period.

Something about James Stewart’s portrayal of George Bailey in Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie touches my heart and spirit every year. Obviously, I’m not the only one as it has become a bedrock of watched Christmas movies, even though it was considered a box office flop back in 1946.

Here’s the thing for me…the poignant part for me is how fragile life really is. I wonder how each one of us, if we actually got the gift George Bailey received, would look at our lives differently. So many humans get wrapped up in “what ifs” and “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” statements of regrets. We all just simply don’t know how our life would change if even one of those things happened. Barb and I were talking about this recently when we were visiting the Santa Train near the city we once lived. Had we not taken a bold and risky move to buy a franchise opportunity in 1993, we may have never left that city. If that had happened, our lives would be so different. One daughter would never have met my son-in-law and given us the beautiful granddaughter we have. Our youngest daughter wouldn’t be thriving in the corporate position she holds today. The friends we’ve made, the positions we’ve held, and the experiences we’ve had would all be gone and replaced by something else. While the “something else” may not have been bad, we wouldn’t trade any of what we have now for all the money in the world. You might say the same thing.

As we close in on the end of another calendar year, it’s always good to remember what kind of a life we’ve actually had. When Lou Gehrig exclaimed to a packed Yankee Stadium over 70 years ago that he was the “luckiest man on the face of the earth,” I have no doubt he meant it. That’s because when I echo those statements today, I truly believe that it’s been a wonderful life for me. And I can’t wait to see how the saga continues…

What about you?

Quote of the Week:

“No man is a failure that has friends.”

~ Clarence Oddbody (George Bailey’s Guardian Angel)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: The Present

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This holiday season always makes us think of presents. The act of exchanging gifts with family and friends starts ramping up around Halloween these days and goes all the way through Christmas. Today, I’d like to talk about a different kind of present and a different kind of gift.

Barb and I are fortunate to get regular photo updates of our granddaughter. One of the most recent shows her looking right into the camera and flashing a beautiful smile, which for her is a newfound and growing skill! I quickly turned it into the wallpaper for my lock screen on my phone, so I see it often. It dawned on me that infants like my granddaughter live totally in the “present.” And what a “gift” that is. She isn’t ruminating on past failures or calamities; nor is she obsessed with worries about the future and what might or never occur. She’s living completely in enjoying and making the most of her present. For that matter, so are both my dogs. Captain Jack and Bella almost always wear that same impish grin.

Somewhere along the way, we humans lose that gift and start focusing on the past and future. While utilizing the past for lessons learned and cherished events is good, dwelling and living in the past is not. While eager to find opportunity and enjoying the future is good; being filled with anxiety and fear is not.

Here’s my holiday gift to you (actually I’m keeping and sharing from my granddaughter): Live in the present more. The past holds many experiences both good and bad and nothing can change what happened. You can’t write the future in your head because it’s likely to turn out differently than you planned. Be cognizant of where you are today becasue it will soon be the past. We only come around this way once, so make sure your present is truly a gift to yourself and others.

Quote of the Week:

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”

~ Harry S. Truman

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at or (360) 271-1592.

7 Questions Non-Profit Directors & Trustees Need to Be Able to Answer

58842029-Dan+Weedin+Unleashed-43 copyAre you a non or for profit board member or trustee? If so, you’ve got tremendous liability for property, people, and growth. Here are 7 questions for Board of Directors or Trustees for any organization:

1. What’s the plan if we have an active shooter at our location or event?

2. What’s the plan if we suffer a cyber attack and personal information of people is compromised or important information lost or stolen?

3. What’s the plan in the event of a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit?

4. What’s the plan to evacuate and protect people and property if our building is on fire?

5. What’s the plan if we have a natural disaster that blocks transportation and halts communication?

6. Are we doing everything possible to safeguard our employees, volunteers, and those we serve?

7. Am I willing to accept the liability and financial consequences of not being fully compliant and prepared for a crisis?

I have a longer list of questions that revolve around your fiduciary and leadership responsibility as a broad member for either a non-profit or for-profit board of directors. By completing this exercise, you will learn how your organization grades out.

It doesn’t matter the size of your organization, any one calamity like those listed above can destroy a non-profit and damage your reputation. As you begin strategizing an planning 2018, are you sure that your organization is fully ready and prepared to deal with a crisis?

If you have any doubts or concerns, let’s schedule a time to talk.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: The Impossible

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past Saturday I boarded The Santa Train with my granddaughter and family on a 105-year old train in a rural gem in our area. As we traveled the rails back at a brisk 20 MPH, I wondered about what it was like traveling on a train even more than 100 years ago just to get someplace. I thought about soldiers heading out to war, businessmen on travel, and families off to visit families or move to a new place. I tried to put myself in their place and the thought of people traveling on airplanes, communicating instantly with anyone in the world on their watches, and dropping into a Starbucks for a caramel brûlée latte to begin a ride home in a vehicle that plays music and has heated seats.

Impossible to imagine.

I the started pondering the next 100 years. What would we deem impossible? Frankly when I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, the Internet, digital music, and video calls like FaceTime and Skype were impossible to imagine. The fact that this is only 40 years ago, what does the future hold? The impossible is what’s ahead. Sadly, too many people allow the impossible to dictate their lives.

Like I wrote in my book, Unleashed Leadership, people are apt to build “invisible fences” around their lives. Due to fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of what others might think, they choose to eschew trying for the impossible. As we have seen over the past hundred plus years, humans can create artificial intelligence, fly to the moon, and exterminate diseases like polio.

Nothing is impossible unless you just don’t try. To live unleashed, tear down that invisible fence. Captain Jack can’t be fenced in and neither should you.

Go be possible.

Quote of the Week:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at or (360) 271-1592.

Shrimp Tank Podcast with Erin Jones

Our latest Shrimp Tank podcast episode featured our guest, Erin Jones.

Erin Jones has been involved in and around schools for the past 26 years. She has taught in a variety of environments, from predominantly Black to predominantly White to some of the most diverse communities in the nation. Erin received an award as the Most Innovative Foreign Language Teacher in 2007, while working at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma and was the Washington State Milken Educator of the Year in 2008, while teaching at Rogers High School in Spokane. She received recognition at the White House in March of 2013 as a “Champion of Change” and was Washington State PTA’s “Outstanding Educator” in 2015.

After serving as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, Erin worked as an executive for two State Superintendents. Erin left the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction 5 years ago to work in college-access at the school district level. She left her job to run as a candidate for State Superintendent and was the first Black woman to run for any state office in Washington state, a race she lost by a mere 1%. Erin has given TED Talks which can be found on YouTube.  A few samples of her TED Talks are “Passion for Change” at and “Be A Bridge” at

Erin has two children in college, one who works full-time and plays rugby, and a husband, James, who is a teacher in North Thurston School District.

Listen to the PODCAST


© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved