Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve!

Have a Safe and Happy New Year's Eve!!!

We are heading to a New Year's Eve family party tonight.  My oldest son's best friend's family is throwing a party for families at their house.  It should be a lot of fun.  We will stay as long as our little ones can last.  I imagine it will be a madhouse filled with the laughter of children and the festive conversations of adults.

I look forward to tonight and the New Year.

Stay safe and have fun!

- Jason Atchley, Consultant

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mistakes Happen - Get over it

Mistakes.  They happen.  To all of us.  There is not a single person on this planet that has not made a mistake.  There is not a single person who has not experienced failure as a result of a mistake they made.  It is not a question of if we are going to make a mistake but instead when and how many.  That said, it seems strange to say that making mistakes is not really a problem or issue.  It happens so frequently and is so common that it is simply a part of life.  No, the problem I see too often is how people respond to making mistakes.  Some people are able to easily forget and move on.  While others have a particularly difficult time in forgetting, or more precisely, forgiving themselves.  As a result, these people will harm themselves, hold themselves back because they cannot forgive themselves for making a mistake.  

 I see it in executives, lawyers, doctors, moms, dads,  brothers and sisters.  I see it in several of my clients, friends and family.  You HAVE to forgive yourself.  You deserve it.  You deserve to have good things in life.  You do not deserve failure and ruin just because you made a mistake.

 Believe in you.  Believe in your good qualities.  Truly successful people are not people who have not failed.  No, they are people who refused to give up after they failed.  They are people who refused to let a mistake define them, to characterize them or to stop them.  They learn from it and move on.

Refuse to be defined by your failures.  Instead, define yourself by your successes, by your ability to overcome your mistakes and to forge ahead despite past mistakes.  MAKE YOUR FUTURE.  Do not let others, or worse, YOURSELF, define your future by your mistakes.  MAKE IT ABOUT THE GOOD PART OF YOU.  Find that part of you.  Build from it.  Make it who you are.

I forgive you.  Do you forgive yourself?

Until the next time,

Jason Atchley, Strategy Consultant

More Links

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and am wishing everyone a Happy NEW YEAR!!!

- Jason Atchley, Strategy Consultant

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas!

NYC and MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I love taking my wife to NYC for the weekend.  It is the most magical place around the Christmas holidays.  It is when NYC shines the most!


Until the next time,

Jason Atchley

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dubai - Abu Dhabi

I recently returned from Abu Dhabi and Dubai where I was working with two different clients.  I helped negotiate and close two deals in excess of $10 million dollars.  It was a business development trip.  It is one of my strengths and one of the areas of consulting I love the most.  I love the challenge of being brought in to close a deal.

As for the UAE, it is an exciting world over there.  There is such excitement and optimism in the air.  The clients are eager and willing.  It is a wonderful nation and an admirable people.  I enjoyed my time in the UAE, my flights on Etihad and the stops in NYC!  Etihad is an amazing airline.  If you are looking for a carrier to take you to the UAE, I give them my highest recommendation.

Here are some pictures of my trip:

The plane:

My seat for the trip:

My hotel:

Me  hard at work in the lounge on the plane during the flight:

view outside from the hotel during breakfast:

some sort of bird's nest monument on the beach:

Doing business over a traditional Arab meal:

The mall and Palace in Abu Dhabi:

I am scheduled to return at the beginning of next year.  I look forward to it.

Until the next time,


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Links - Jason Atchley, Consultant

Change Management

It is painful to change.  There I said it.  Part of it is actually learning how to act a different way or how to do something new but the other part is the most difficult about it.  When you change something, yourself, your habits, the way you do something, you are, in effect, admitting failure.  You are admitting that the way you did something was wrong.  You are acknowledging that all the time you invested in how you were doing it was wasted.  It can be a difficult thing to come to grips with.  It can be humbling.  It can also be difficult to comprehend.

I will give you an example.  Mack Brown is the head coach of the Texas Longhorns Football team.  He has had an unparalleled run of success.  He has won more games over the last ten years than any other coach.  But this past season he lost 7 games while only winning 5.  He had a losing record for the first time in over 20 years and the first time ever during his tenure at Texas.  The problem that led to the losing season was pinned by many on his offensive coordinator.  This wasnt the first time.  People had complained for years that the OC was holding back Mack's teams and if he would only remove his friend and hire a competent OC then the Horns would win conference championship after championship.  Mack refused.  He had already spent greater than 10 years coaching with his friend and they had experienced a lot of success.  He then went on to win a National Championship with his friend at OC.  He felt validated for all the criticism that has been previously levied against him and his friend.  Unfortunately for Mack and his friend, the team suffered through sluggish offensive performances for 4 out of the next 5 seasons.  The calls for Mack's friend to be terminated grew louder and louder.  They made it back to the National Championship game but lost.  Mack felt validated again.  Then this season happened and the offense was the worst it had ever been.  Mack had no choice.  He HAD to change.  He fired his friend.

Why did it take Mack so long to see his friend was the problem?  That his friend was not the great OC  Mack believed him to be.  To do so required Mack to admit that he was wrong, that all that he had invested over the last 20 years was wrong, that the people who had been calling for his friend's head were right.  It was too difficult for Mack.  He was blinded by his refusal to admit his own mistake, that he had been mistaken all this time and that change needed to be made.  He refused to see it until he could no longer turn a blind eye to it.  He had to see it this time.  There was no choice.  The pain of staying the same had finally outweighed the pain of the change.  And that is why Mack finally made the decision to let his friend go.  It was more painful to keep him than to move in a new direction.   Mack could not stand to see his team suffer through another season like this.  If another season like that happened again without change, Mack would be looking for a new job too.  No, Mack had no choice.  His desire to win finally overtook his desire to be right.  He made the correct change.

Dont wait until you are in a crisis to affect change in your life or organization.  Evaluate yourself.  Invest in winning not being right.  Invest in doing the right thing not your thing.  Do it now before you experience crisis.  Make the changes that are necessary to win, to be successful.

My motto is I want to actually be right, not just think I am right.  I want to actually win, not just think I am winning.  I do not fear change.  I embrace it.  I am not invested in being "right" I am invested in winning.  I want to win.  I want to do whatever it takes to make it happen.  I am not stubborn about how something gets done, I am stubborn about getting it done.

Until the next time,


Thursday, December 9, 2010


Sometimes it is so difficult to take that next step.  To find the strength to try something you are afraid of.  To try something you are afraid to fail at.  Some people are so afraid of failing, they never even try.  They think it is better to never try so they never fail.

What kind of sense does that make?  If this applies to you, stop and think about it.  Is it really better to never fail and never get to play?  to never try?  to never get in the game of life?  to never live?  Because that is what you are choosing.  You are so afraid to fail, you cease living life.  While you may not experience failure, you will never experience winning.  Is it really worth that?  To give up any chance of success to avoid the possibility of failure, no matter how remote?  to not ever have success, joy, triumph, so you can avoid one instance of failure?

The reality is success or failure are irrelevant.  They are nothing more than a product of your efforts.  The focus should always be on the process, your efforts, and doing your best.  Because in the end, you cant control success or failure but you can control your effort, how hard you work and how much of yourself you give to the task.  The reality is if you do your best, work your hardest, you will succeed most of the time.  But once again, success or failure is irrelevant in life.  It is the attempt, the trying, the living with your all, your soul, your being, that counts.  That is where you make your mark and demonstrate what you are worth.  It is how to live life and to experience the best part of life: trying, being involved, playing the game.

Do not be one of those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.  One of the critics who sits on the sidelines and points out how the doer of deeds could have done them better.  Be one of those people on the field of play.  Who spends himself in a worthy cause, regardless of victory or defeat.  Be one of those people who knows the great joys of triumph and the great sorrows of defeat.  But knows that by investing himself in such an endeavor, regardless of outcome, that he has lived life on this earth and he has dared to make a difference, dared to be great.

Do not be afraid to fail.  Do not even give it second thought.  Focus on the process.  Focus on stepping to the free throw line, left foot, right foot, bounce the ball three times, spin the ball in your hands, catch it, stick out your tongue, snap your wrist.....the ball will take care of the rest.

Until the next time,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Good morning!

Another day, another grind!

Make it happen today!  Best of luck to all the management consultants out there!

Until the next time,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Have you ever felt like life wasnt real?  Like you were sleepwalking through life?  Perpetually in a daze, a haze almost.  Fighting against the realities of life and not embracing the choices in front of you.  What to do now?

FLUSH IT!  Flush it all.  Forget about it.  Dont focus on it.  Dont fret about it.  Dont regret it.  Dont waste another single moment.  GET ON WITH LIVING YOUR LIFE!  Do it now.  Embrace everything in your life.  Find joy in your life.  Realize how fortunate you are.  Do not dwell on the past.  It no longer exists.  It is gone.  Learn from it and make sure it never happens again.  Fight for your life.  CONNECT!  Plug into the world.  Get involved.  Make a difference!  Make the world a better place.  FIND JOY and HOPE in everything you do.  It is never too late.  Get out of the fog and plug into the world.  Do it.  Do not delay.  It seems scary.  It seems like it is hard to do.  But it is just a choice.  A choice to change your life for the better.

Get back in the game and out of the stands.  Stop watching the world pass you by.  A lot of people today preoccupy themselves by surfing the internet over and over again, washing themselves away with the sweet, warm glow of the internet.  It is addictive and numbing.  It is America's new addiction.  UNPLUG YOURSELF from Facebook, TMZ, etc and PLUG yourself back into the real world!  Do not let yourself sink!!!

I have never told this story to anyone.  This past summer, I went swimming in a lake with my daughter.  She wanted me to help her swim out to an island.  I thought better of it but I saw another Dad do it and figured I could do it too.  I put her on my back and began swimming across the roughly 40-50 feet of deep water.  I was doing the breast stroke.  Her weight was pushing me down.  I kept coming up after each stroke to get air.  About half way across, I started to tire.  I was not getting enough air.  I started swimming faster.  I had to get my daughter to the other side.  I could not allow her to get hurt, to die.  She was starting to get scared.  I started going under.  I started pulling her hands off my neck.  She grabbed tighter.  She said "Daddy Im getting scared."  I pulled her from my neck, took one last gasp of air, shouted to her in a desperate but firm and deep voice "SWIM TO SHORE" and pushed her toward the island as hard as I could.  I had to make sure she was ok.  My arms were exhausted.  I had swallowed water.  I was going under.  But I HAD to make sure she was ok.  I pushed her as hard as I could.  She started swimming.  I went under.  I thought to myself.  It is amazing that it is exactly like they say...drowning is quieter than you would expect...and I started sinking...thoughts of my other children on the shore, my wife with them, my mom back at her house all went through my head, and I decided I was not going to let myself sink.  I could not do that to them.  I would not let myself die in this lake.  I began to thrash about and claw myself back up to the top.  It was hard.  My arms and legs were exhausted.  I did not have enough air in my body.  I had water in my lungs.  The world was blacking out.  But I could not stand the thought of not making it, of letting my family down.  I refused to just let myself sink.  I REFUSED TO LET MYSELF SINK.  I reached the top.  I saw my daughter climb out of the water onto the shore.  I swam as hard and as fast as I could.  I reached shore.  I could not stand up.  I was beyond exhausted.  I looked at my daughter and realized I should have died.  That I should not be seeing her again.  It was like I was born again.  That I had been given a second chance at life.  That the glimpse was over and that my new life was starting.  I hugged her.  We cried together.  I told her how much I loved her and that I would die for her to make sure she was ok.  It was very emotional.  It was an awakening.  I found out in that moment what we all wonder about ourselves: would i be brave enough to make it?  YES!  would i sacrifice myself to save my child?  YES!  would i let myself sink?  NO! or would i refuse and climb back to the top? YES!!!   I know for certain now that I will not sink again.  I will climb to the top.  I will take care of my children.  I will fight for my life.

Do it now.  FIGHT!  Scratch, claw, thrash, whatever you have to do.  Get back to the top.  Do not let yourself sink.

Until the next time,


Monday, December 6, 2010

The City

I love this time of year in the City!

Stay warm and safe!


Monday, Monday...

Good morning Austin, Texas!

I had a fantastic weekend!  I am truly blessed.  I went on a date with my drop dead beautiful wife on Friday night.  We had coffee and just walked and talked around the shops.  The Christmas lights were beautiful and the night was just what I needed to reset for the weekend!

Saturday I took my two oldest sons to the Lake Travis playoff game.  We had a great time.  The game was played at UT's stadium so I took the kids to several of my old haunts on campus including the bench where I proposed to their mother.  We had a great Father-Son day!

Saturday night we watched Christmas movies as a family and spent the entire night just being together.

Sunday was church followed by NFL, playing catch with the football, a little work, a wonderful pot roast my wife made for dinner and ended the day spending time with the kids and Bren.

I put the kids to bed with a Far, Far, Far, Far, Far away story about the Land of Not So Far away invading and then watched Dexter with Bren.  I like the way it makes her squirm.  She is adorable.

I woke up this morning, got my kids dressed, took them to school, came back home, had a GREAT Crossfit workout, got dressed and now am headed to NYC for the week to work with a client on corporate restructuring!

I am humbled by all the blessings in my life.  I am thankful to God for the good fortune he has bestowed upon me and my family.

Until the next time,

Jason Atchley, Consultant

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Have a Blessed Day!

Great, great message this morning!  I am off to NYC this week to work with some of my favorite clients!

Have a blessed week!

Until the next time,


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lake Travis Playoff!

I am taking my two oldest boys to the Lake Travis playoff football game at Royal Memorial Stadium!

We are excited!

I head out to NYC on Monday for work next week with a very important client.


Until the next time,

Jason Atchley

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Another successful week comes to a close.  I had a very rewarding week working with my clients and spending quality time with my family.  I am ready to kick off the Christmas Holiday season this weekend and spend time with my wife and kids.

I am looking forward to taking my wife out on a date tonight, doing a little shopping tomorrow and taking my two oldest sons to the Lake Travis football playoff game tomorrow!

I will also be volunteering for Goodwill on Sunday as part of my commitment to giving back this year!

Make it a great weekend!

Until the next time,

Jason Atchley

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here it is!

Here is the Christmas tree:

I think I may need more lights!  ;-)

Speaking of things I love, I love my career.  I love helping my clients and am blessed to work with such successful and forward looking executives.  I am working with a longtime client today on some issues relating to property management.  I have found that I am often able to spot employee issues that the client is blind to due to my distance and perspective on the situation.  A company has to be efficient in this economy and more often than not, there is dead weight that is bringing down productivity and hurting the bottom line.  Hopefully we can identify what to do for this client and find an acceptable solution that will make the client more profitable and all the employees at the company more productive.

Until the next time,

Jason Atchley

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wonderful evening...

We decorated our tree while watching A Christmas Story, eating sugar cookies and having a great time!  My oldest son played Christmas songs on his violin and then he fell asleep under the tree with just the lights on the tree.  The whole evening was beautiful.

Until the next time,



We picked out a beautiful Virginia pine Christmas tree and will decorate it tonight.  The kids are really excited about decorating the tree.  We will watch Christmas movies, eat Christmas cookies and have a great time together.

It was a very productive meeting with my client this morning.  We were able to resolve a few issues and set a meeting in a few weeks wherein we will address the remaining issues.  It is a real pleasure to work with a progressive client who is intent on doing what is right and best for the company.

Christmas lights here I come!

Until the next time,


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas trees

Tomorrow we will continue one of my favorite traditions - going to the Elgin Christmas Tree farm and get our tree!  The kids are very excited and so am I.  This is my favorite time of the year and look forward to it each year.  Last year, we had a 12' tall tree with over 1500 white lights on it.  The year before it was 13'.  I cant wait to see which tree we get tomorrow!

The kids loved the far, far, far away story this evening.  It was about giants and how being different doesnt mean there is something bad or wrong with you.  The kids saved the day and giggled about being princesses and princes and fighting the bad guys!  I love my kids and love being a father.

I have an important meeting in the morning with a new client.  It is an interesting and challenging problem.  I am looking forward to working on solving it.

Have a nice evening!

Until the next time,


So it begins...

Hello, my name is Jason Atchley.  This is my first venture into the world of blogging.  Let me tell you a few things about myself that I consider important to understanding my view on the world.  I am a father, husband and son.    I am the father of five beautiful, wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 princess.  I am married to the most beautiful woman to ever walk the Earth.  I have an amazing Mother who loves me like no other, a sister who inspires me daily and a brother who is always there when I need him.  I am truly blessed to have such a tremendous family.  It provides the solid foundation for the rest of my life.  FAMILY FIRST!

We have a 150lb Bullmastiff, a hamster and 4 fish.  There is never a dull moment in our household!

I am also an avid Texas Longhorns fan and a Dallas Cowboys fan.  Yes, this season has been a difficult one for me.  ;-)

I have a strong faith in God, which helped me get through this football season, and do my best to instill that belief in my family.

I am a huge believer in nutrition and fitness.  I recently lost 30 pounds primarily due to changing my diet.  I rarely eat 1. red meat, 2. sugar, 3. bread, 4. sodas or 5. fried foods.  I enjoy Crossfit and other similar type body weight high intensity exercises.

After all of that, you know Family, God, Health, I absolutely love my career.  I am a strategy and management consultant.  I am essentially a problem solver.  I always joke that I am Wolf from Pulp Fiction.  I fix problems.  It is what I love to do, whether it is for my kids, my wife, my Mom, my sister or my clients.  I find that I am absolutely compelled to fix things.  I enjoy jumping into the middle of a situation, getting my bearings quickly and figuring out how to solve the problem my client has encountered.

It is time to put my 5 little ones to bed.  I think I will tell them a far, far, far away story tonight.

Until the next time,