The Journey continues #252

The Journey continues #252

The Journey continues

In blog #251 I talked about the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. In this blog I want to talk about how the Journey continues.

After almost 19 years I am no longer a Zappos employee. I had many great adventures and experiences and with great people. If you have been following me for awhile you would know how important people are in any business. This was the formula for my success. Shhh…tell everyone, it works! I got to travel to many different corners of the Earth. I learned that people from all over have the same wants, emotions, desires, ambitions and I always had great interactions with people all over the world. Why? Because if you treat people with respect and show kindness it comes back to you. Trust me this works too.

I am going to miss my team and the daily interactions with Kathy, Dee, Scott and Paun but I still chat with them even today so it’s okay. We built a great business and friendships over the years and that will always be special to me. There are way too many other people to mention but hopefully I can thank you over a nice BBQ. Steak Night is alive and well and always on Friday nights.

Zappos started with an idea that Nick Swinmurn had back in 1998, and he made it come to life in 1999. Goes to show you what you can do if you set your mind to it. He had the good fortune to partner up with Tony Hsieh. Tony was brilliant. I still remember that interview like it was yesterday. I walked away thinking “Damn he’s smart, I need to take my leap of faith on this one. And I’m glad I did. Fred finally got me to take my leap. So many great memories.

A job does not define who I am though. One of my favorite quotes that Tony used to say from Maya Angelou was “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. I can only hope that my legacy is that I made people feel happy, content, satisfied, valued, appreciated, and loved. That makes me feel happy knowing I tried my best. This goes for all people I worked with and the Vendor community as well.

On a more personal note, I got a call in October of 2020 from my daughter and son in law. She asked me if I was sitting down. I started thinking “omg what is going on” as she was pregnant with her first child. “We are having a boy and he will be born end of February or first week in March. I was so happy for her and Jon. “We are naming him after you, his name will be Michael John Hoeksema.” I was stunned then overwhelmed with emotion. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. What an honor. My daughter and I have always been super close, but this took the cake. I composed myself after awhile and told her how much this meant to me. We visited them in April, one month after he was born as Diane went over early to help them out. It was such an amazing trip for me. I’m a grandpa now and have a namesake to boot, life is good…

Yes we got a Covid puppy. But that’s not really why. We had wanted a puppy for years and always said maybe later it’s not the right time. Truth is “when is the right time?” so we went to a local breeder in Las Vegas called Mystical Poodles and put our name in. Funny thing is later that month my friend Kristin and her husband Joey told me they were trying to get a poodle from them too but there was a waiting list now. I called Mystical Poodle s to see if they could get theirs shortly after we got ours so we could experience the puppy thing together. It all worked out fine. They decided to get a Standard poodle and name her Franki. Teddy was our new mini-chocolate poodle, and he would arrive to our house the end of January. He would be 8 weeks old. He has been such a joy for me and always makes me laugh. He’s a character. He favors Linda because she plays a lot with him and let’s be honest she’s way more awesome than me lol. I enjoy taking him for walks and teaching him tricks. He sleeps by my side of the bed too.

In 2008, I had been single for 3 years and was tired of the single life. I was trying different dating web-sites and met a lot of different people. I could probably write a blog about those adventures too lol. My favorite was when you would see the profile and a person would show up for the date that didn’t look anything like the profile. I met Linda in June and I was about to give it a break. One more I said to myself. I talked to her awhile over the phone and she asked me to come to LA and meet her in person. She too had stories of people who were interesting to say the least. We met at the “Little Door” in Hollywood. We hit it off immediately. I wouldn’t say “Love at first sight” for either of us but at least we looked like our profiles. We had a world-wind romance and she has been with me in my adventures every step of the way. I have to say she is the best part of me. I am so fortunate. I am a very wealthy man in the fact I have her love.

Since 2008 she has always been my rock, my biggest supporter. She is my biggest cheerleader when I am enjoying success and has the greatest hugs when I have had disappointments. I have had some of the greatest moments in this crazy last month with the outpouring of love and affection from all my friends, co-workers, partners in the footwear industry and others that have made me so happy, I thank you all. It means a lot to me.

With this being said, I am taking a break from writing my blog until I get my inspiration on how to move it forward. I have some ideas so it won’t be too long. My intention in the beginning was to share my experiences to help others in the industry deal with their own versions of this crazy retail world. Stay tuned…

…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career. 

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