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Saturday, September 18, 2010

En Fuego!

So there I was. The dreaded networking event. I’ve said it before that I’m not a command-the-room-kind-of-guy. I’m definitely the get-to-know-you-kind-of-guy. I like to sit down with you and have a drink and bond with you in a beneath-the-surface conversation. Anyway there I was and guess what? I was on fire; en fuego; I couldn’t be stopped. To my tipsy surprise, I mingled and networked like I never have before. Maybe it was the Mad Men-esque Old Fashioned I slipped into, or maybe it was the contemporary grind and ascension mode I’m test driving. Whatever it was, tonight I was ON!

Okay kiddies, grab a cappuccino and sober up…have I got news for you! In the highly anticipated NBA supplier bash, there was much merriment and one very jawdropping incident. As the business glitterati assembled at a Downtown Los Angeles the mood was festive. The usual suspects were there. The mayor, council members, business wanna-bees and D-list celebrities. As people snatched their mini NBA signature gift bags replete with basketball textured notebooks, I literally bumped into Susan (last name deleted to protect the slightly innocent) a teacher’s assistant whom I had longingly stalked since my days at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. She’s now a bigwig at a (company name deleted until I get the account) mutual fund broker.

Maybe I’m just being romantic in my description, but she’s got this elegant, yet quietly wild look going for her. Clad with a Hermes (hey that’s Hermes with an “M”) bag and big Jackie O scarf she’s got this “I’m the woman who has it all” signature look down pat. She’s stunning. Really, if Grace Kelly and Gregory Peck were to have a love child the result would be this woman. I felt like I needed to find a bartender and channel my inner Don Draper.

Then it happened.

After exchanging pleasantries, she noted something was different. The modified goatee? The new impeccably tailored sport coat? “Nah,” I told her. “I got back in touch with Mr. Workout.”

That’s when the Old Fashioned kicked in and carried me towards Zen. I recalled my pep-talk from a workout mentor, Vern Jeffery…”You’ve reallocated your priorities Michael. That shift has rippling consequences and it impacts every aspect of your life including your physical health. You watch, once you like how you appear in the mirror, you’ll be rolling forward in your personal and professional life.”

As the haze lifted a bit, she handed me her card and said “I’ll set up a meeting with the marketing director.”

Now the slimmer, sleeker Media Guy is evolving with my new workout regimen. How did I get to that point 30 pounds ago?

I recently emerged from what only could be defined as a “regretful bout with alcohol and barbeque” I ate and drank stress away while wobbling in my Ferragamos. To the utter gasp of friends and colleagues (and the delight of Arrogant Bob in accounting) I was a mess.

With a new balance and the proper stacking of priorities, the Media Guy being en fuego isn’t the shocking experience it was in March when I needed a new secret identity.