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Opinion Editorials

Why California’s population is packing their bags for Texas

While Texas is not the only state opening their arms to California refugees, the taker mentality of California and similar states is cause families to leave everything behind in frustration.



texas versus california homes

texas versus california homes

One example of the taker mentality: California

The false foundational premises of TakerNation’s ideological belief system are numerous. However, there’s one that unfailingly, as in every single time, gets ’em in the end. It says they’ll always have ProducerNation to plunder. This is why Takers often appear slightly  irritated. On one hand they despise Producers for being individuals, taking responsibility for themselves, earning their own way, and not having a feeling of entitlement. On the other hand, they realize their ideology dies on the vine without wealth. They can’t create wealth themselves, but they need it. See, without the ability to plunder the wealth of ProducerNation, TakerNation dies of malnourishment. The most recent and glaring example of this is now happening in real time in California, my native state.

There’s another false premise which has always lead them to trust in Producers generating wealth without end. They think you and I don’t alter our behavior due to agendas they’ve passed into law. For example, they believe the 30-something couple with two kids and one on the way, who both work, will ignore their ever shrinking take-home pay. Yet, Californians are leaving in droves for states who view bona fide Producers not as sheep to fleece, but as families who wanna be left alone to live their lives the way they see fit. Many fleeing the so-called Golden State are taking jobs with ’em. This baffles Takers no end. “After all we’ve done to make everything in life completely fair, they leave?!”

California’s ProducerNation is relocating

As I write this in my home office, I can see out my front picture window. It’s 80° with blue skies and a superb ocean breeze. Kids are picnicking with their moms a couple blocks away at the park. I can drive to a gorgeous beach in under 25 minutes. It rains just 8-12 inches yearly. Yet with all that and much, much more, people are making the choice to leave. They’re turning their lives upside down in the process, and they know this before they go. They leave family. They leave friends, some lifelong. They leave everything.

Why? Cuz they’re sick and tired and beyond angry at TakerNation leaders legally confiscating their hard earned money. They’re tired of being fleeced by TakerNation employees who think they should be paid high wages for showing up and not screwin’ things up most days. They’re sick and tired of courts allowing — no, wrong word — helping the tenants in their residential rental properties get away with non-payment of rent. They’re sick and tired of having worked their butts off so the entitled can whine incessantly about them not doing their fair share. They’re sick and tired of their kids being indoctrinated in California’s public schools.

Essentially, they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. They’re good folk. They mind their own business. They teach their children OldSchool American core values — the ones by which they’ve always lived.

Then it happens. Let’s talk about the Porters.

The Porters’ favorite cousin, Sharon, comes to visit from a place like Texas. One night over a couple beers, they tire of hearing her rhapsodize about how good they have it, living in SoCal and all. They begin to rant. The cousin is caught off guard by the reality she begins to hear. “You paid over $5,000 in state income taxes?!” “Your house payment is how much?!!” “Excuse me, but for this?” And so on, and so forth, into the night. Fast forward to the following morning.

There’s been a good night’s sleep, kinda sorta, and fresh coffee. They’re enjoying the cool early summer morning weather, as they resume last night’s conversation.

That’s when the bovine refuse hits the spinning metal blades, big time. Our hard working, law abiding SoCal 30-somethings discover that cousin Sharon lives in a 4,000 square foot home she bought earlier this year in a great San Antonio neighborhood, for around $290,000. In SoCal’s neck of the woods, that much gets you a small, not so well located, old home. How old? At least 30.  Sharon’s monthly payment? Just under $1,900 a month including taxes and insurance. Since the Porter’s make over $90,000 between them, they could swing that without much trouble.

See where this is headed?

The Porter’s will be completely relocated into either San Antonio, or maybe Austin, in time to have an eight foot tree in their new family room by Christmas. California will only be fodder for stories they tell at family gatherings. California, the state blueprint for TakerNation, will have lost another household, the children they’ll have, and 30-50 years of their productive lives. Instead, they’ll be contributing to the vibrant ProducerNation that is Texas.

Multiply this by the thousands who’ve already left California, plus the, who knows how many families who’ll surely do so in the future, and you can see how the TakerNation script plays out. California is losing its best and brightest. Meanwhile those who come here illegally or from other states lookin’ for California’s famous (infamous?) welfare gig, are multiplying like freakin’ rabbits in spring time. Take a moment and play ‘Final Jeopardy’ with me.

Considering the two trends — Takers movin’ in while Producers racin’ for the exits — what would your prediction be for California’s economy in the next few years?

Remember the false premise. Takers believe in their heart of hearts that Producers and the wealth they create will forever be available to pillage. Takers, like goldfish, are repeatedly surprised when they find out Producers will take their wealth creation where they’re treated well, not like involuntary daily blood donors. Goldfish? You know. We put ’em in a bowl of water with a small plastic castle in the middle. Every three seconds they swim around and the castle comes into view. “Oh, wow! A castle!!”

Every time a Taker in California hears of someone they know having moved outa state, they’re shocked. They’ll say something like, “Boy, didn’t see that comin’.”

That’s their version of “Hey, look! It’s a castle!”

Jeff Brown specializes in real estate investment for retirement, has practiced real estate for over 40 years and is a veteran of over 200 tax deferred exchanges, many multi-state. Brown is a second generation broker and works daily with the third generation. With CCIM training and decades of hands on experience, Brown's expertise is highly sought after, some of which he shares on his real estate investing blog.

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  1. Roland Estrada

    July 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    One way to take care of a BIG chunk of California’s debt, is to figure out a way to take us into some form of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would allow us in theory to trash all the public sector union contracts. Hopefully, then we could move every single public sector worker over to Social Security, even cops and firefighters.
    Yes I know I’m speaking sacrilege here. But who in the private sector gets to retire at 55 years of age with a pension worth 90% of their salary? I’ll tell you who, NOBODY.  Public sector unions are KILLING us, period!! 
    If you want a job in the public sector, great. Take the job because you want it, not because you get a cushy pension and benefits. If you don’t want the job then get out. I’m sure someone will take the job just to earn the money. 

  2. MacSac

    July 6, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Seems like though it’s native-born Californians that are moving out. Lots of Indian computer engineers are certainly moving in. With typical starting salary of 100K+, they bid up the home prices. UCLA really is University of Californians Lost AmongAsians.
    Maybe when enough people move out, not the 90k household income gardeners and the nannies though, just the people whose skillsets are a mismatch to the good paying jobs, the rest of California can just be open space for the start-up coders to decompress.
    Well, Texas, apparently, isn’t too friendly to folks of other shades.

  3. whybother

    September 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    MacSac, have you even been to Texas?  I will tell you this about Dallas, Texas, there are a lot of IT people and coders in Dallas because a lot of companies are moving to Texas.  Also,  I have brown skin but I was never asked if I was my child’s nanny in Texas while I was asked on multiple occasions if I was my child’s nanny in Silicon Valley.   I miss the extra $200/paycheck I used to receive when I worked in Texas where there is no income tax.  The weather may not be that great but $200 x 26 pays for a nice vacation or two.  I grew up in California and came back to California kicking and screaming.  AFter being back for a couple of years my husband has taken his rose colored glasses of and decided that we need to get the heck out of California.  After all the taxes (propert tax over $6000 and income tax) my child school says the average parent donates and average of $1600 per student!  Can you say WTF!  Where does all that money go.  Oh yeah that is right this is the taker state.  Well take from me no more free-loaders ‘cuz I am out of here to lower taxes and better educational system.

  4. TheSophist

    July 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Really great points, Jeff, but…

    It’d be one thing if most of those moving to Texas from California, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and other TakerStates would adopt the mindset and philosophy of Texans. Sadly, far too many of them keep the same old Social Justice Warrior mentality while enjoying the benefits of Old School American Values.

    Look at Austin as the shining example of people trying their damnedest to transform it into a mini California or mini Illinois. Houston and Dallas creep ever so slowly towards the Statist model.

    Where will they flee next, once they’ve done to Texas what they’ve already done to Colorado and Oregon and Washington?

    At some point, Texans are not going to be so welcoming to economic refugees who do not embrace the ProducerNation values….

    • Tom

      July 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      It is why I call them locusts. They have come close to stripping the taker states, now they attack the producer states. North Carolina is full of them…

  5. Darth Phoenix

    November 6, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Austin is tired of Californians toxify our city and politics for the last decade or more.

    It used to be Hippies,Cowboys and gays living in peace. Not it’s whiny SJW’s from Cali to no end.

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Opinion Editorials

Minimalism doesn’t have to happen overnight

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Minimalism doesn’t have to mean throwing out everything this instant – you can get similar benefits from starting on smaller spaces.



Minimal desk with laptop, cup, books, and plant.

Minimalism. This trend has reared its head in many forms, from Instagram-worthy shots of near empty homes to Marie Kondo making a splash on Netflix with Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in 2019. If you’re anything like me, the concept of minimalism is tempting, but the execution seems out of reach. Paring down a closet to fit into a single basket or getting rid of beloved objects can sometimes seem too difficult, and I get it! Luckily, minimalism doesn’t have to be quite so extreme.

#1. Digitally

Not ready to purge your home yet? That’s fine! Start on your digital devices. Chances are, there are plenty of easy ways to clean up the storage space on your computer or phone. When it comes to low stakes minimalism, try clearing out your email inbox or deleting apps you no longer use. It’ll increase your storage space and make upkeep much more manageable on a daily basis.

It’s also worth taking a look through your photos. With our phones so readily available, plenty of us have pictures that we don’t really need. Clearing out the excess and subpar pictures will also have the added bonus of making your good pictures easily accessible!

Now, if this task seems more daunting, consider starting by simply deleting duplicate photos. You know the ones, where someone snaps a dozen pics of the same group pose? Pick your favorite (whittle it down if you have to) and delete the rest! It’s an easy way to get started with minimizing your digital photo collection.

#2. Slowly

Minimalism doesn’t have to happen all at once. If you’re hesitant about taking the plunge, try dipping your toe in the water first. There’s no shame in taking your time with this process. For instance, rather than immediately emptying your wardrobe, start small by just removing articles of clothing that are not wearable anymore. Things that are damaged, for instance, or just don’t fit.

Another way to start slow is to set a number. Take a look at your bookshelf and resolve to get rid of just two books. This way, you can hold yourself accountable for minimizing while not pushing too far. Besides, chances are, you do have two books on your shelf that are just collecting dust.

Finally, it’s also possible to take things slow by doing them over time. Observe your closet over the course of six months, for instance, to see if there are articles of clothing that remain unworn. Keep an eye on your kitchen supplies to get a feel for what you’re using and what you’re not. Sure, that egg separator you got for your wedding looks useful, but if you haven’t picked it up, it probably has to go.

#3. Somewhat

Sometimes, minimalism is pitched as all or nothing (pun intended), but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just because I want to purge my closet doesn’t mean I’m beholden to purging my kitchen too. And that’s okay!

Instead of getting overwhelmed by everything that needs to be reduced, just pick one aspect of your life to declutter. Clear out your wardrobe and hang onto your books. Cut down on decorations but keep your clothes. Maybe even minimize a few aspects of your life while holding onto one or two.

Or, don’t go too extreme in any direction and work to cut down on the stuff in your life in general. Minimizing doesn’t have to mean getting rid of everything – it can mean simply stepping back. For instance, you can minimize just by avoiding buying more things. Or maybe you set a maximum number of clothes you want, which means purchasing a new shirt might mean getting rid of an old one.

The point is, there are plenty of ways to start on the minimalist lifestyle without pushing yourself too far outside your comfort zone. So, what are you waiting for? Try decluttering your life soon!

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Opinion Editorials

Why tech talent is in the process of abandoning Austin

(AUSTIN TECH) There is no single reason Austin tech talent is packing their bags, but a handful of factors have collided to create a tenuous situation.



austin tech talent leaving

“Nothing’s keeping me here” is a phrase we keep hearing around town. Being in the center of the tech space, we’ve been able to keep my finger on the pulse, and what we thought was primarily housing that is driving folks out of town turns out to be far more insurmountable than we could have ever imagined.

A perfect storm is brewing as the housing market collides with a dramatically transformed workforce that has become accustomed to working remotely and shifted priorities.

Last time Austin was bleeding talent, the year was 2011 and most investments were focused on early stage startups and there weren’t enough open roles that were senior level, so we started losing people to competitive markets. In response, we built a massive employment hub (the Austin Digital Jobs Group (ADJ)) and volunteered hundreds of hours to help make Austin a magnet for high quality employers.

This time around, we expressed to the Group of over 55K members that we were frustrated that people were confiding in us that they were leaving (or considering it). Some are even people that we all imagined to be part of the very fabric of Austin tech. We feel helpless this time.

Many of these talented people said that the soaring housing prices in Austin had them eyeballing smaller towns in Texas, or worse, their hometowns outside of the state. There are only so many times you can try to buy a house, get rejected, or get outbid on 22 homes before you start looking at other places. Only so many people will accept a billion percent rent increase at renewal time before thinking that going back home to Louisiana’s lookin’ pretty good.

This week, Austin CultureMap reported that Austin now ranks number two among the most overvalued home markets in America.

Tesla is getting ready to open their Gigafactory, Oracle is moving their headquarters to Austin, and Samsung is currently trying to get buy-in from city officials in Taylor so they can build their mega plant near Austin. Home investors and firms from all over are salivating.

It all feels both exciting, yet overwhelming when you’re going to buy a house here, only to get outbid by $150K over asking price from an investor in California. It’s been demoralizing for so many.

Because we also own a massive real estate publication, we’re firmly in touch with that sector, and brokers in Austin are telling us that the summer was out of control and overheated, but they’re already seeing that hyper-activity slow a bit.

Housing alone isn’t enough of a reason for an entire sector to be packing up or dreaming of leaving. So what gives?

At last count, a thread in ADJ on this topic is at 806 comments, and I personally received several hundred more via direct message with people in tech explaining why they’re leaving or considering leaving.

There are challenges within the city limits of Austin that have bubbled over like crime and separately, the contentious issue of houselessness – it’s an ongoing and very serious issue that has people leaving downtown, but not necessarily leaving the surrounding areas.

So if housing isn’t the exclusive driving force, how has that problem combined with the employment market shifts? How has the job market changed in such a way that talent is ready to hit the eject button on this town? It boils down to a changing talent pool, fractures in the hiring process, a shift in priorities, and a lingering brokenness in the entire process that is exacerbating all other conditions.

Let’s dig into that further.

Because of the global pandemic, remote work has become a staple in the tech industry, teams adjusted and realized the office is more of a luxury than a requirement, and many large brands swear that they’ll never require their employees to come into the office again.

For that reason, tech workers’ expectations have been forever changed. Fully remote options will drive the market for years to come, and hybrid options or flex work hours will also be how large tech firms attract and retain talent – ping pong tables and chill vibes will be less of an appealing sales pitch.

The pandemic has also shifted the talent pool to include everyone in America – if all workers are remote, employers no longer have to look just to the local workforce. This talent pool expansion is a double-edged sword – if an Austin tech company can look to Nebraska for workers, then remote workers can look outside of Austin to other budding tech hubs, potentially shifting the entire environment. That’s the main driver for Austin brands continuing to hire in Austin, lest the entire ecosystem fail.

All that said, a disconnect in the job market in Austin tech remains. Holdouts from attitudes and old systems of the past linger on.

A theme we continue to hear from high quality candidates is that employers have increasingly unrealistic expectations. You already know the stereotype of job listings that say they’re entry level but require a decade of work experience. But as budgets tightened in the face of uncertainty, Austin tech companies are becoming phenomenally great at hiring someone to do three jobs that pay less than one. One of our Group members asserted that employers are looking for turnkey employees. It used to be that employer job descriptions were a realistic wish list and that if you hit over 60% of them, you might get an interview. Now people believe that the requirements are becoming unrealistic and if you meet less than 100% of them, there is zero chance of an interview. Many have complained that hiring managers and recruiters continue to not be aligned, slowing the process repeatedly.

The timing of the acceleration of unrealistic expectations has locals feeling like the pandemic created conditions that allowed for employers to take advantage of job seekers who must be desperate since the world is upside down. I don’t personally believe this has anything to do with the pandemic, rather it is a continuation of an ongoing trend.

If you think this is an exaggeration, just this week a job seeker let me know that a recruiter sent them a job description that required the “ability to code in any language.” WTF. The recruiter was serious. Try telling me this isn’t out of control and I will laugh right in your face, friend.

Another serious point of contention in Austin is that salary levels are not increasing anywhere near the skyrocketing living expenses.

Many believe the salary levels are a decade old and simply can’t keep up with the market conditions in Austin and while we’ll leave the “you are a remote worker, you shouldn’t earn as much since you moved to a less expensive locale” debate to another day, we will firmly assert that this problem will hold back the tech innovation and the overall economy in Austin.

In that massive thread in our Group, one member asked, “So I guess a question is: do we accept the idea that Austin is now only for those making 6 figures??”

What is so disheartening about the salary conditions is that changing this couldn’t possibly be done overnight – it requires time and structural changes, and the bigger a company is, the slower it is to turn the proverbial ship.

Meanwhile, numerous people retired early during the pandemic, or began freelancing or consulting full time. Many of these people aren’t likely to return to the workforce under current conditions, and they feel like they have less roots in Austin – they can live anywhere now. See how remote work has caused a ripple effect?

Do you remember when some tech executives in Austin reluctantly sent employees home as the pandemic hit, flippantly warning that it wouldn’t be a coronacation!? Bad behaviors like this and other employee treatment during the pandemic haven’t and will not be forgotten – the memories will remain as fresh as the time you got shoved by that bully in elementary school. You may have forgiven, but you’ll never forget. Trust has been broken.

Trust was also broken during the pandemic when people lost what they believed to be stable jobs. It has created a certain trepidation in the marketplace.

The pandemic has forever altered all of our lives as individuals. Thousands died from COVID-19, and those of us left behind lost loved ones. We were all sent home with no job security. Many of us became homeschool teachers and somehow also had to keep up with our careers. We were forced to share spaces with our partners, our children, our parents, our family.

Some would think all of this is a recipe for resentment, but in the majority of cases, what has happened is a serious shift in priorities to favor the family, to appreciate quality time, to find solace in more quiet time and a less full calendar.

People tell us they don’t intend on going out for drinks after work when they’re called back into the office – it turns out we actually like our kids or partners now that we’ve gotten to know them, or that we value our newfound connection to old hobbies. The priorities aren’t fleeting – this pandemic has changed us.

Because of this fundamental change in who we are, ongoing problems in the employment market are now magnified.

“Isms” still plague the hiring process. Ageism continues to be a very serious problem in Austin tech, for example. People tell us that they’re still experiencing sexism, racism, ableism, and every other sort of discrimination. In 2021. It’s unbelievable. You can say all of that is simply perception, but in this scenario, perception truly is reality. And because our priorities have shifted, our giveashitters are pretty low when it comes to tolerating bad actors.

That same shift has also lowered tolerance levels for burnout. One member in the Group pointed out that after the market crash in 2008, resource levels were depleted – and here we are in 2021, they haven’t been restored. People were burned out before the pandemic, and now they’re moving to the country to work remotely and begin healing this burnout that is coming to a head.

It’s difficult to deal with ghosting (be it computer-aided or overworked recruiters) when you’re already burned out and thinking you’re the only one. It’s giving this sector a terrible reputation that is spreading.

Resources aren’t the only factor here that is stuck in 2008. Companies were so used to getting a flood of applications for every single job listing, their ATS (applicant tracking system) filters were implemented accordingly. The volume of applications has dropped, yet the filters remain overly restrictive. They put their ATS on auto-pilot once upon a time, and it remains that way, yet they continue to reach out to us in confusion, asking us where all the applicants are.

In the eyes of tech talent, the hiring process has deteriorated. Simultaneously, in the eyes of companies hiring, the process has been improved. Enhanced.

The disconnect here is not in the unrealistic expectations previously outlined, or the rising opacity in salaries, but in the actual mechanics of the hiring process. Even smaller companies have added additional rounds of interviews and ridiculous red tape in what is an effort in vain to compete with the Googles of the world. There’s a lot of what I would call “playing office” going on, with non-technical hiring managers hiring for technical roles, or unrelated staff being roped into panel interviews to weigh in on whether or not someone is a “culture fit.”

The process has become lengthy and demanding with endless personality tests, whiteboard tests, Zoom calls, questionnaires, more phone and video calls, aptitude tests, and so forth. Most people have come to accept these as hoops to jump through, but the practice of having job seekers do extensive unpaid projects as part of their job application is creating deep resentment and a growing resistance. No one expects to shake a hand and get a job today, but doing a 12 hour assignment that is due in 24 hours is unreasonable, especially unpaid and with no promise of their intellectual property being protected.

It started off as a way to aide candidates into demonstrating their true skills and it was simple. But over time, the practice has “evolved.” It feels to some like every Austin tech recruiter and hiring manager went to some evil underground conference a few years ago and were brainwashed into thinking that if they ALL assign abusive tasks, no one in the sector will notice because they’ll just accept that it’s “how things are done now.” But that’s not happening and the overly complicated process combined with other market factors is driving seriously qualified tech talent out of Austin.

The hiring process has continued to degrade and for no good reason. We actually built ADJ in a way that would directly connect hiring manager and job seeker, promoting the concept of simplifying the hiring process. Yet here we are.

The final nail in the coffin is that candidates and employers are blaming each other for a power imbalance, and thinking that their situation is unique. A feeling of isolation is growing due to peoples’ inability to openly discuss this process – both hiring folks and job seekers.

The bottom line is that numerous market conditions have converged to create a scenario where people are tired and simply won’t settle anymore. Expectations have changed. And we have changed as people.

We will inevitably get hate mail because of this editorial and folks will say that the very publication of this piece will push people out of town, but we would argue that if no one makes an effort to diagnose the growing illness, it will metastasize.

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Opinion Editorials

Coping tactics for exhausted working parents living with pandemic life side effects

(EDITORIAL) Exhausted working parents have been forced into wearing too many hats by the pandemic – here are some coping tactics that can help.



exhausted parents

The last 18 months have been undeniably difficult for many people, but families have encountered some of the more exhausting side effects of the pandemic – from isolation affecting small children to an inability to rest effectively. HBR’s Daisy Dowling has some tips to help anyone, but especially working family members, start to find some value in themselves again after being wiped out for so long.

Dowling’s first technique involves making a list of all of the positive things you have done for your job or your family. It’s an expansive list, to be sure – she mentions things like cooking for your family each day and keeping your cool in Zoom meetings in which coworkers are being annoying. Keeping a tally of your accomplishments in the last year and a half may give you a much-needed confidence boost.

It’s also a good way to check in on things like special skills and job experience for your resume, though Dowling warns against using your more official hiring documents as a lens for this activity.

Another step is more of a spiritual one: It involves labeling each distinct phase of the pandemic – Dowling encourages the reader to be “serious or flippant, basic or unique” at their discretion – and separating them with lines, saving your current phase for last. This is a less-active, arguably less-productive task than the last one, but it can help you close a lot of mental doors (or tabs, if you prefer) and allow you to move on to the next “phase” of this collective experience.

Finding your “point of control” is another notion posited by Dowling, and it centers around figuring out what you can actually control in your life. For most of us, there isn’t much that fits this description; Dowling assures that this is fine, and that finding any point (no matter how small) where you feel entirely in control is sufficient.

Possible contenders include anything from your wake-up routine to the shape in which you keep your house.

You don’t need to focus on work or your family for this exercise, either. As important as those two arenas are, finding your point of control should involve your desires and nothing else. In this case, it’s all about you – and, if your familial pandemic experience has been anything like everyone else’s, you could probably use some you time.

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, Dowling recommends taking some time to focus on your career – and nothing else.

Even if it’s just a tiny chunk of time per week (she mentions that 15 minutes or so is fine), part of reintegrating into the workforce involves conscious planning and thought about your job. It’s hard to wear the parent hat, the employee hat, and the at-home-personality hat all at once; this is your chance to take off all but one of them for a while.

Finally, using your experience to mentor or tutor a colleague or prospective employee can do wonders for your self-esteem, especially because it can help remind you about your true skill set and how much you actually know about your job. Nothing makes your expertise more apparent than working with someone who needs things broken down into basic components, and you’re doing your field a service along the way.

Dowling concludes by acknowledging that not all of these techniques will work for everyone, but the key is trying for now. “Whatever the case, you’ve just taken a critical, proactive step forward,” she says of anyone who has attempted something on this list. “You’re finding new ways to be a committed professional, a loving parent, and yourself at the same time.”

Even if you aren’t a parent, take a shot at some of these techniques – you may find yourself coming out of a pit you didn’t even know you were occupying.

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