Happy Birthday T-Bone!

My younger brother, Tom, turns 23 today, and in lieu of a fancy present I am writing him a note on this blog. I hope it's not too embarrassing for him. :::big smile and a wink:::

First, a little context

Tom just graduated from UCLA with big dreams of playing football in the NFL. He signed with an agent, but got injured during the first event of his 49ers tryout. I believe that dream is still possible. But instead of waiting around, letting the circumstances get him down, or furiously treading water to stay afloat while looking for an entry-level office job, my brother took the road less traveled.

Tom is starting his own company for an idea he is passionate about (which I can't wait to share when the time is right). Through his alumni network he found incredible business partners. He filed paperwork to get a business license and become incorporated as an LLC. He has a business plan, a break-even analysis, a logo and sample products in production from manufacturers in LA and China.

I am blown away, more every day, by how real it is. It is not just talk. It is the ultimate pre-emptive strike against the woes so eloquently described by Pamela Slim in Escape from Cubicle Nation (a must-read for other entrepreneurial office-dwellers).

With that, my Happy Birthday note

T-Bone, I am so ridiculously, incredibly, unbelievably proud of you. Your optimism, spirit and drive are amazing. Your attitude toward life is inspiring. You had an idea and you went for it. You did not let a single fear hold you back. You built relationships with people who want to help you. You make people laugh. All the time. The qualities that make you great at football - strength, speed, discipline, instinct and the ability to quickly process information - will serve you very well in business. You are smart as a whip. You make me proud to be a Blake.