RIP Kobe.

Thanks for the example and inspiration.

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” -Kobe Bryant

Kobe (and his eldest daughter and seven others) died yesterday in a helicopter crash.

Here’s what I appreciate most about his 41 years on earth:

* Committed fully to excellence

* Learned humility through pain

* Embraced the role of dad

* Reinvented himself after basketball

I got to meet Kobe a few months ago. My friend and I were sitting outside the Starbucks at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Kobe swung in and out, kindly smiling and waving off the on-lookers. Imagine how people have gawked for years!

My friend said, “Kobe!” He smiled and waved and kept walking. “Kobe! I love your children’s books. Your courage to self-publish and put such good work out into the world is a gift!”

Kobe slowed, turned around, and came back. He shook our hands and stood with us for a couple minutes, grateful for genuine support and affirmation of projects he’s poured himself into.

No matter what Kobe did, he did it all the way. His relentless pursuit of excellence is an incredible example.

Today, I wake up and I get back to work. Courageously leaning into a better future in pursuit of my dreams. And I thank the Black Mamba for a glimpse of a life committed to courage and excellence.