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Written by Ron Sklar -

Time really is on their side: The Rolling Stones -- featuring Mick Jagger and Keith Richards -- managed to survive for decades against the most impossible odds, roadblocks and dead ends. In the beginning, they were gunning the gas; now they’re coasting on cruise control, but they’re still in motion. However, like actual rolling stones, they’ve powered through and tossed aside every obstacle in their very determined way, with the heft and thrust of a fully stocked Brinks truck. The Rolling Stones were many things, but above all, they were a business not to be fucked with. When you step...

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Written by Ron Sklar -

“I leave my stuff all around the house, like every guy,” says Cully Pratt, regarding the spark that inspired his custom, handmade Cully Pepper Trays. Each tray is carved from wood, and then an image of the customer’s choosing is superimposed on its flat surface (burned or painted). This touch makes it more than just another knicknack; it becomes both meaningful and useful -- it gathers your personal belongings instead of gathering dust. Now you know what to buy for the guy who loses everything. “It’s an everyday pocket-dump tray that is rugged and looks tough,” he says. “You can...

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Written by Ron Sklar -

Remember learning the rule “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing?” Kim Scott calls bullshit on that. As a faculty member at Apple University and a former longtime director at Google, she learned all about happy, productive workplaces, and what makes them the land of pure imagination. Her own startup, Candor, Inc., is building the mothership for excellent communication in business. The idea: to get everyone moving in the same direction -- and keep them moving. The rules of this game are so simple and logical that, of course, they sound revolutionary and daring. The key: feedback. And that’s...

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Written by Ron Sklar -

When shit got real for attorney Brian Cuban, he preferred not to wrap it up neatly with a common and often overused phrase. “I don’t like the term rock bottom,” he says, “because people associate it with death or accidentally killing someone in an auto accident or going to jail. I don’t think you need to hit rock bottom in order to recover. Rock bottom is whatever gets you sober. I prefer the term recovery tipping point.” Still, what led to Brian’s own tipping point was dramatic enough; in fact, no TV movie-of-the-week could hold it all: failed marriages, psychiatric...

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Written by Ron Sklar -

Being diagnosed with adult attention deficit disorder (ADD) came as a surprise to Mark Bradford, a Hollywood native and first-degree black belt. At first, the ADD was no big. Mark was always active since Day One, which meant that he barely noticed anything wrong. His childhood was uber-athletic, including participation in baseball, basketball, and Okinawan karate. He began his career in law enforcement, learning -- and then eventually teaching -- defensive tactics. He eventually wound up in working in Army corrections. “Being in the prison system, the ability to protect yourself is a big thing,” he says. “So wherever I...

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