What Neil Armstrong taught me while in L.A.

We all have lies we tell ourselves. I uncovered a big one on my first trip to Califronia.


In early January I took my first trip west of the Rockies. There were all kinds of first:

  1. First time to California
  2. First Airbnb experience
  3. Using Uber to escape traffic
  4. Saw San Diego and L.A.
  5. Rented a convertible Mustang.
  6. Stayed on Mission Beach in SD
  7. Insane sky line view of LA
  8. $5 fresh sushi
  9. My wife is hot (not a first)

I was looking forward to seeing Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

I’ve never been a People magazine kind’ve guy. Anytime a reality show is on TV my head immediately begins to hurt and I want to die.

However, something about the Hollywood sign, the walk of fame, the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, Chinese Theatre and all of the places you grew up hearing about had me excited.

We drove by the OJ’s old house, Justin Beibers subdivision and every other actor you could possibly think of. We saw Universal, NBC and CBS.

…of all the places we went to…

This stuck out more than anything.


All of those places had one thing in common. Gas stations.

They were right next to incredibly ordinary gas stations. Just like the small Alabama town I grew up in. Beverly Hills has a Chevron and a Jack in the Box. They had laundry mats and bus stops.

Guess who else has a Jack in the Box and a Chevron?

The place you live.

The Point: Don’t idolize people. They are just regular dude’s that pump gas and eat fast food like you and me. Examine what they do and how they do it. Pick out the good parts and try them yourselves. But realize that they fart, have warts and nasty breath just like you.

That was an insanely refreshing thought. It killed the fantasy I had created. That fantasy said:

1. You don’t live in Silicon Valley
2. You don’t have the connections he does
3. You don’t really know what you’re doing
4. Your parents aren’t wealthy

It doesn’t matter where you live or who you grew up next to. Most of the amazing people out there grew up just like you.

Exhibit A: Neil Armstrong

What he did? First person to walk on the moon.

Where he came from? Wapakoneta, OH. Population 9.867. Ever heard of that town? Didn’t think so.

What his dad did: Auditor for the state government.


Just a regular dude cooking a pizza. I’ve cooked 100’s of pizzas.

No more excuses.