Nothing Ordinary Tom
Why sell gear? I want people to experience nothing ordinary. It isn’t confined to kitchens & baths & wherever spaces. It’s so much more pervasive, like a mission statement for life. It summons us to be and move and strive.
Be around the light bringers,
The magic makers, the world shifters.
The game shakers
They challenge you, break you open,
Uplift and expand you.
They don’t let you play small with your life.
These heartbeats are your people.
These people are your tribe.
Nothing ordinary lives in these people. They are not models. Just regular people who have this light. They inspire me so I just had to share their stories with you.
The Nothing Ordinary collection is made up of comfort-driven gear to live in. The kind of stuff you can’t wait to get home from work to slip on. Gear you definitely want to spend your weekends in.
He’s a 35-year-old divorced dad of 2 little Cubs’ fans and a very proud & active uncle to two nieces and a nephew. He also owns and operates 2 technology companies.
Tom was picked to model for our Nothing Ordinary store because of his honesty and bravery. He can relentlessly focus and carry the weight of the world unlike anyone I have every known. He is in constant pursuit of betterment and of understanding himself. He opens my mind to ideas and complexities and helps me understand the world better.
Here is Tom in his own words – in his full, unedited interview:
Q. Describe the most recent picture you’ve taken on your iphone?
A. Who uses iPhones?The last thing I recorded on my phone was a video of Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc doing freestyle rap together at a concert hosted by the organizers of the conference I attended. It’s a flash to the past – what was cool then is retro now – made fun of, but respected. Every memory we create always leaves a trail of crumbs behind because we can be reminded of those moments at any point, if not today, then tomorrow, and when we are it takes us back to a place we used to be. A different, but not necessarily worse, version of who we were. Those moments formed us – this moment I captured reminded me of that.
Q. What questions do you dislike being asked? (those are the softballs to get you warmed up)
A. I absolutely hate being asked “how are you?” – the answer is so complex. I’m an entrepreneur and a single father. In any given moment, I can be simultaneously killing it in one area of life and completely failing in another. How we feel and how we act don’t always have to be in alignment – the courage to be vulnerable is a difficult thing to summon on occasion, but I think 99 times out of 100 the people who ask this question don’t have any real interest in really knowing the answer. It’s superficial, in the end, and I prefer to leave superficial nonsense exactly where I found it. I don’t have time for it.
Q. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received from someone?
A. That they couldn’t imagine life without me in it.
Q. What do you do for exercise?Describe 1 or 2 things in your exercise training routine that’s the key to your success.
A. I do a lot of different things. I am a stretch person – meaning I set training goals that are probably ridiculous to most, but make me feel extremely accomplished. As an example, I will do an hour of bike in the morning, followed by weights, and then later that day, go swim, followed by a run. My own versions of a bi-, tri- or decathlon. Sometimes I just need to be physically exhausted to help my brain rest. The biggest key to my success is to keep my workouts intense enough that they never have to be long. That allows me to be more consistent because “I don’t have time” can never be a real excuse.
Q. How do you set goals? Do you set Goals? Do you like goals?
A. I don’t know how to not set goals. But, I probably don’t in the way most people do. I’m not one to say “I want to do x by y” – I have 7 different businesses I want to build, cultural transformation I’d like to introduce, books I want to write, and charity I want to enable. If I don’t overwhelm myself with what I want to accomplish, I get complacent. When I stretch and set bold vision – I act, move and make progress. The only pitfall is reminding myself I can’t do it all in one day.
Q. Who’s been your most powerful mentor in life? Why?
A. I honestly feel like I’ve always been missing this. The idea of having a singular model for showing me how to live, picking me up when down, and connecting intimately on the intracacies of life. It’s not to say I don’t have mentors or role models. I do. I just don’t know that I have one that stands out in a powerful way if I cast it in mentorship. Most of what I think about in this context are all the people who showed me what NOT to do – what NOT to be – etc.
Q. Do you have a favorite saying or motto that drives your daily inspiration?
A. I have many. Currently – it goes something like this: This is who I am, even if you’ll crucify me for it. In other words, be me. Be you. Be authentic. Stop bending, and start moving. At the end of the day, there is always a silver lining if we are brave enough to look for it.
Q. What do you love to practice? Why?
A. I practice conversations. It helps me be more confident in the moment.
Q. What do you find funny?
A. Stupid people? Probably shouldn’t write that, should I ….
Hm – I tend to like the non “PC” stuff – make people uncomfortable – because, well – why not? Say the thing no one else will and remind us all that we’re human. In other words – lighten up a bit.
Q. How do you want the world to be different because you lived in it?
A. I want to offer the world perspective. There is always someone smarter than us, better than us, worse off than us. So many people get trapped in the circle of life and repeat the past over and over and over again. Based on how, and where, I grew up – I have a lot of interest in driving talented people in a direction where they realize that living with intention is all it takes to open the door to forward motion.
A quote from Frederick Douglas that sums up a part of my passion for how I intend to live and how I’d prefer to impact the world.
“It is easier to build strong children, than repair broken men.” All of our children can be offered a hand up in a compounding way to transform not only themselves, but all of the world that exists around them.
Q. What are you passionate about? Why?
A. Ideas, improvement, my kids, Cubs baseball, and finding peace with myself in knowing that I did everything possible to become the best version I’m capable of being.
Why – I have no idea, I think I was born this way. If it’s not nature, it was a fucked up cruel aspect of my childhood that pushed me to the fringe and made me an outlier to the way most people live life and perceive the world.
Q. What does #NothingOrdinary mean to you? (not related to Karr Bick because clearly we rock the #NothingOrdinary..hehehehe I like to make funnies)
A. Not everyone is willing to assume the burden, follow the light, do the hard work, make an impact, sacrifice today in favor of tomorrow, or endure and find courage when life gets hard. Too many people are comfortable milking a system, taking advantage of those that give, and almost everyone wants to shortcut life and the hard truths that exist. Where did not only the willingness, but the desire, to do hard work go?
Maybe I’m a bit cranky these days, but I become less impressed with the general conglomerate of humanity around me because I think if everyone were a bit more capable of delaying gratification for a bit, the world would be a far better place. Said another way – ordinary people do not decide to become extraordinary, ordinary people decide to do extraordinary things.
Q. What should have Jenny asked you?
A. * Who, in your world, is the unsung hero?
* If you were going to die tomorrow, what would you immediately do differently?
* What is the most important way you think we could change the world?
* If you could push the next generation in a certain direction – what would it be?
* What about your life is different than you had imagined
Q. What is your super power? (Mine is the unfiltered mouth, which is also my kryptonite for example)
A. I think that I am usually able to process everything happening to come up with the best conclusion / best alternative / see the big picture and paint a picture for a better way of doing things. I can influence, through vision, better than most.
Q. If you feel comfortable…..give us some General info like age, marital status , what you do for a living and how many people are in your family
I’m 35, divorced, own and operate two technology companies, and I have 2 sons – 2 nieces – and a nephew that I take pride in and care for.