Teddy Roosevelt and Overcoming Depression

Ken Burns has done it again. The King of PBS documentary programing has produced another historic series worth anyone’s time who value’s United States history. The Roosevelts ranks with Burns other classic creations which include Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks, and others. I’ve enjoyed watching it this week and encourage those who have missed it to look for it on-demand or DVD in the future. It tells the biographical story of America’s 26th President Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and FDR’s wife and cousin Eleanor Roosevelt (who had the fortuitous opportunity to maintain her maiden name after marrying). I’ve read several biographies on Theodore Roosevelt and consider him a true American Hero.

In two years in the west Roosevelt worked relentlessly to escape depression.

In two years in the west Roosevelt worked relentlessly to escape depression.

A statement in the second episode of the program struck home and I felt was worth sharing for those like me, and like Teddy Roosevelt who have faced great disappointment or tragedy that led them to despair and depression. Unknowingly, in my own experience, I have done as TR did and am repeating the rewards. While my rewards are not on the scale of what he did I can’t help but believe in his and mine own and many others stories there are lessons to be learned.


On Valentine’s Day, February 14th (my birthday), in 1884 Roosevelt’s first wife and his mother died in the same house on the same day. Alice Lee died only two days after giving birth to Roosevelt’s oldest child, Alice. Alice Lee and Theodore had been married four years and a loving couple since their youth. Roosevelt, though only 26 years old, was already making a name for himself in the New York State legislature. His wife’s death devastated him. He wrote that “…the light has gone out of my life.” He was so incapable of dealing with the grief he ordered those around him to never speak Alice Lee’s name ever again. If he ever did himself, its unknown to historians.

Rather than wallow in despair and depression the energetic TR decided to dramatically change his life. He decided to get busy. Roosevelt left the legislature and left the East Coast. He took himself to the Badlands in Dakota Territory and set out to be a Cowboy, Sheriff, rancher, and big game hunter. He did all those things, and mastered them, having never even attempted being such an outdoorsman at any time prior to the death of Alice Lee. Roosevelt was a New Yorker and raised in privilege. and he had been a weak, sickly child. But his depression from losing the love of his life was so impactful that he escaped that life in favor of a hard life in one of the hardest environments in the country.

During the snowiest winter on record in 1886 nearly all of Roosevelt’s cattle herd perished. Shortly thereafter Roosevelt left the Dakota’s and returned to the East Coast politics and considerably more adventures. His frenetic manner continued until his death in January 1919. As was mentioned in the PBS program Roosevelt said “Action” is the road away from despair and depression. And he fearlessly pursued every challenge ever presented to him. He even sought out those challenges. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”- TR

In all my life I’d never faced serious depression like I did nearly one year ago. I was devastated and found merely getting through each and every day very difficult. But I pushed through it. At the start of 2014 while at the height of my lethargy I made two statements that have carried me to a place I now know is the pinnacle of great things to come. I said my 9 year old company, Total Broadcasting Service, would have its best year ever and that by the end of the year I would be debt free.

For the first time I hired a business coach, knowing I needed the direction and guidance for my business while my personal life was in disarray. He helped steer me into the things I wanted to do. The coach also asked me every week to do something “courageous”. With each passing week I found my focus easier to come by and my ability to do the hard things, ask the tough questions, make sales appointments, close sales and even volunteer my time became easier and easier.

I also became a voracious reader of books, mostly self-help books. I’ve read more books in the first 9 months of 2014 than any year in my life. I always knew reading was important and beneficial, but I never MADE the time for it, outside of my daily viewing of the Sports page. Each day I fill my mind with good ideas and motivational thoughts from authors who are accomplished in one way or another, one field or another. And I’m a better man for it.

I find myself exhausted at the end of most days. But unlike the time of my worst depression my exhaustion is not caused by emotional energies being spent worrying about what has happened or what might happen. My exhaustion is a good exhaustion earned by “action” and exertion.  I wake at 5:30am and seldom pull the plug on my day’s efforts before 8pm. And when I pull the plug…I’m done.

The good results of my relentless drive were immediate, but not dramatic. I could chart greater income for my company. And I could definitely know my hurt heart and emotional challenges were easing as I focused more and more on what needs to be done right now at this very moment.

The gradual improvement in all things in my life has recently turned into a tidal wave of good fortune. Not even through September Total Broadcasting Service is exploding past our previous revenue records. My home is neater and in good repair and could be argued in better shape and appearance than at any time in my 11 years of living here. 247881_129703920442554_4713491_n I’ve given considerable volunteer time to a great organization called Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County and even applied to be on the non-profit’s Board of Directors, something I expect to be officially named to in a matter of days. My family is happier and healthier because of my efforts. And I now look forward to a future that once scared me, but that I now know holds great promise and opportunity.

Challenges remain in front of me and my despair returns for short periods now and again, but through action, diligent, non-stop daily effort I have followed the example set by Theodore Roosevelt and made my life better. Time will tell if my achievements can be comparatively similar to the ball of energy that was TR. But I honestly expect great things, and that’s half the battle. I would counsel anyone in despair or depression to dive into your work if its work you love. I would advise them to focus on helping others. When you help others you forget about your own troubles and become a problem solver.

Lastly, I honestly belief God see’s our good work and rewards us. He may not reward us right away. But the rewards are coming. I promise.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

Why All Businesses Should Have a YouTube Channel


Online advertising is available in many forms. But few are as effective and inexpensive and convenient as having a YouTube video, or better yet, videos. Click the link below for a very good article we strongly endorse.

Why All Businesses Should Have a YouTube Channel.

Total Broadcasting Service produces affordable, effective videos for small business. We specialize in serving those in the real estate or in the automotive industries. Call us.

Call us for effective, affordable marketing

Call us for effective, affordable marketing


Online Video Marketing Strategy- Video

We came across this new video that contains great information on how to maximize your marketing using video. What’s particularly exciting about this is that our company, Total Broadcasting Service, practices ALL the tips suggested in this video. Isn’t it nice to get validation.

Anyway, like coaching your kids in baseball sometimes hearing how to swing a level bat with power is heard better from someone else. I’ll never forget my daughter’s enthusiasm for telling me some new techniques her new coach had shared with her. Did I say, “I’ve been telling and showing you the same thing all season”? No, I just smiled and said, “Good honey, I’m glad you found that helpful.”

Hopefully, you’ll have the same enthusiasm for your videos and video marketing after watching this video blog that my daughter had over her new batting swing.


Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

The Swings of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Why aren’t there More of Them?

“Imitation is the best form of flattery” –Charles Caleb Colton

Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb

Babe Ruth with Ty Cobb

In the annals of sports the names Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth carry weight. Their accomplishments and fame extending far beyond the baseball diamond. Cobb was considered the best who ever played the game. And then came Ruth. Ruth is generally recognized as the greatest athlete of the 20th Century (or at least Top 3). Both Cobb and Ruth were well-rounded in their baseball skills. Cobb could run the bases like no one before, or since. Ruth was a record-setting pitcher before being moved to the outfield in order to better take advantage of his hitting. Ruth and Cobb made their names as hitters.

What has always fascinated and bewildered me is that in spite of their prolific accomplishments at the plate Ruth and Cobb had no imitators. Since their time as icons of baseball in the early 20th Century no one else has come along emulating some of Ruth and Cobb’s unique styles. I see this a lot in life. People come along in various fields and do something different from what everyone else is doing and they accomplish great things. And…then…nothing. No one follows the Master. No one imitates that which well accomplished people perform and subsequently continue with similar success. I’ve often wondered why that is.

Ruth’s batting stance featured him standing in the batters box with his spindly little legs and feet together, holding the bat very low, his hands at about waist level. He then stepped into the pitch, raised his bat and unleashed a powerful swing using his entire body for greater force. His follow through left his body twisted in such contortion that he resembled a human barber’s pole.

Babe Ruth

Several aspects of this stance and swing have never been duplicated. And yet when he finished playing Ruth’s 714 career home runs were so overwhelming that 2nd place on the career home run list was Lou Gehrig with less than half Ruth’s total.

Because of the age in which Cobb played video and photo’s of his “style” are much more rare. But what is certain is that Cobb swung the bat with a split grip. He says it gave him better control of the bat, as you would expect by simple analysis and the laws of leverage. Instead of holding the bat during his swing with his hands near the bat’s base, side-by-side with each other or slightly overlapped like all other hitters, Cobb gripped the bat with one hand NEAR the base and the other 3-5 inches higher on the handle.

Ty Cobb with a split grip

He retired with 4189 hits in 24 seasons. In 500 more career games Pete Rose finally surpassed Cobb’s total, finishing with 4256. Rose and Cobb are the only ball players to ever exceed 3800 hits. Still, do you ever see a hitter swinging the bat with Cobb’s split grip? I watch a lot of baseball. I don’t see it.

For thirteen years I worked in sales for a 30-year-old company in Bellevue, WA before starting my company Total Broadcasting Service. I’m proud to say I led all the company’s 40+ person sales staff in annual sales for the last seven years of my employ. With all humility I set every sales record the company recorded and outsold whomever was in second place usually by 15-20%. My success wasn’t based on longevity as most of the company’s top sellers were with the company before I began in 1992. It wasn’t based on any kind of favoritism. Nobody would EVER have accused my Sales Manager or General Manager of grantingme any favors. My success came from a presentation style and from a manner in which I managed my accounts that was unlike anyone else. I always tried to share my methods with others. But few were interested, and none adopted them. It perplexes me to this day.

Many if not most of my sales accomplishments with my company and the one I worked for previously are done over the phone, inside-sales. The less knowledgeable would call it telemarketing. The profession is held by some in similar esteem as that of lawyers, politicians, and professional thieves. That might be an exaggeration. But the point is, recruiting people to the industry has been a constant challenge in the 20 years in which I’ve been employed in it. This in spite of a life and lifestyle which is the envy of many. But do as I do? Seemingly the answer is “not me”.

Are there a lot of Pablo Picasso imitators out there?

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Oil on Canvas (244 ...

His Cubist style of painting was radical and became beloved; and he is renowned as THE painter of the 20th Century. Yes, some have attempted Cubist stylings. But they’re rare compared to other forms of abstract paintings. What about Steve Jobs? His over-emphasis on style contributed to Apple computer pricing far exceeding that of a computer with the more popular Window’s operating system. But that specific emphasis on style and appearance spreading to Apple’s other hardware products is a major reason Apple is now the richest company in the world. Any yet…do any other computer manufacturers place ANY emphasis on their hardware’s style and appearance? Not really.

And before I hear from detractors, I don’t equate me or my accomplishments with those of Ruth, Cobb, Picasso or Jobs. I’m merely relating personal experiences and observations that are first hand.

I could go on and on. It’s true that a “Master’s” uniqueness is part of what makes them special. But in measured accomplishments where a success approach is capable of being emulated it should be. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery. But all things considered, we should be flattering our most successful people more often. Is there someone in your field who far exceeds the accomplishments of the masses? My advice is to find out what they do and how they do it and copy or imitate as much as you possibly can.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Lead your industry with video. Call us.

Seven Tips for Marketing a Business with Video | Entrepreneur.com

Here is an article that speaks to the need for you to have video in your marketing plans and how you might do it best.

Seven Tips for Marketing a Business with Video | Entrepreneur.com.

Thanks to Woodinville Florists for this article.

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