Through our Reflections series we share nuggets of wisdom from our ongoing research for the Holstee Membership as well as personal experiences that have changed how we see the world.
September 28, 2017

Wait till you see the flowers by the pool.

September 2015 was a big month for us.

I was about to get married, Dave was turning 30, and our third co-founder, Fabian, was about to start a new project after eight years of working with us on Holstee.

So at the very last minute, we decided to go on a combo bachelor-birthday-send-off weekend trip. We booked the only place we could find that was near nature and had availability that night. We borrowed a car and made our way north up Route 28 out of New York City.

When we arrived at the bungalow we’d booked, we looked around. Without saying anything, we knew exactly what one another was thinking: “Well this place is a complete dump.

There was old rusted furniture spread right side up and upside down across the lawn. Inside, the dishes in the cupboards were dirty. There were cobwebs throughout the bedroom. And it seemed like nothing had been fixed or tended to for the better part of the decade.

But it had been a long drive and we just wanted to relax.

We put our bags down, made some tea (that’s the Persian in us ;-) and enjoyed it while sitting on the grass outside.

Once we settled and came to terms with the fact that we would be spending the night here, we remembered that the listing had advertised a shared pool.

We decided to do a bit of exploring. We went through a rusted chain-link fence and saw a swimming pool about the size of six bath tubs. It was full of algae, half-covered in a plastic tarp and half-covered in fallen leaves.

But that wasn’t all.

The entire area was overtaken by wild flowers growing in, around and through the wire fence. At that hour, the late afternoon sun hit them perfectly, illuminating their beauty. It was incredible.

The three of us felt lost in time and space as we explored the area and appreciated the intricacies of the wild flowers.

It was unlike anything we had ever seen before.

Later that evening, we sat outside under the biggest, brightest, fullest, bluest moon we had ever seen. (We later learned it was a once-every-15-years super moon!)

Sitting by a fire we made under the moonlight, the three of us reflected on life over the last eight years and talked about what the next eight might entail.

“What if eight years from now, we all have kids of our own? What if we took a last-minute drive up north with them and ended up in a place like this? How would we react? How would we want our kids to react?”

Would we have left after seeing the unkempt property? Would our kids have cried, having been disappointed by the pool?

The three of us often think back to the beauty of those flowers. They remind us not to be so distracted by what is bad that we miss what is beautiful.

We hope that when we do have kids of our own, one day they will be pulling us by the hand... “just wait till you see the flowers by the pool..."

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Appreciating even the smallest moments is part of living a life of Gratitude — a theme we cover every November through our Holstee Membership →

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January 07, 2018

Life goals.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for having them. But it's possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that's really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” - Seth Godin I was recently reflecting on what success looks like in my life. If I were to die in a week, a year, or a few decades, what would it take for me to be able to say, “Well, I did it — I accomplished everything I wanted. I lived a...


October 17, 2017


These days, I am finding myself wrapped up in the news — devastating tragedies, one after another.

My mind is filled with questions. Why would someone do this? How could it be possible? Why does it keep happening? What can be done now? The questions don’t seem to end.

I recently reached a point at which I was



October 03, 2017

Sandwich of the future.

I love sandwiches — both making and eating them. So when I heard that there was a famous man in Syracuse, Sicily, who makes just a few dozen sandwiches a day and has a constant line out the door, my interest peaked.

Turns out he doesn’t just make sandwiches but he



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