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Nick Failla: So Little Time



Nick Failla introduces you to a jeweler who has turned personal tragedy into a beacon of hope.


[dropcap cap=H]ave 30 seconds … to meet Andy Koehn? He’s a fellow jeweler and single dad who has taken tragedy, looked it in the eye then kicked it in the teeth! [/dropcap]


In 2006 Andy’s wife, Laura, learned that she had Stage IV breast cancer. It was a battle she would ultimately lose three years later, leaving behind four wonderful children, a loving husband and an invaluable gift to us all: Thirty Seconds.

Those of you who know Andy and his family will not be surprised to find that they would take a journey diagnosed to end in tragedy and turn it into a timeless expedition that would yield comfort and direction for all in need.


It started with Andy searching for a way to better cope with Laura’s cancer fight and subsequent death. During their battle the fact that life is truly short became clear to Andy: In the blink of an eye their past was gone, and their future was short.

Andy began to crumble. He became lost in his frustration, self-pity and confusion. Then he was struck with the reality that every moment, every “Thirty Seconds,” spent wasted on things other than squeezing every ounce of good from the time we do have is foolish, empty and irresponsible.

Andy began to do one of the things he does very well: write. So he wrote and wrote and wrote. He wrote a letter to help his children better cope with their feelings, it was a very special letter that would become a book called Some Days. The message captured was simple: “Some days the world behaves like we want it to, some days it doesn’t. All we can do is accept it and be thankful for the time we do have.”

Soon the blog, “Thirty Seconds,” was born, and readership exploded. It quickly became evident that a great many people were hungry to find ways to deal with the pain brought on by their own set of unexpected circumstances and that sharing was often the best medicine. Thirty Seconds had become a place of hope, laughter and wisdom.

More than just a blog, Thirty Seconds is a walking-around tool to remind us to live our lives as best we can, because whether you live to be 30 or 95, it seems like about 30 seconds when we near the end. Thirty Seconds reminds us that life is short, and we owe it to ourselves and the world to follow that little voice that pulls or pushes us in certain directions.

What’s next for Andy and Thirty Seconds? The Pay It Forward Heroes foundation. Andy has created a foundation that will be supported by a line of jewelry created to raise money for those in need and doubles as a symbol to remind us how precious time is.


He looks at it like this, Thirty Seconds makes us think, and the Pay It Forward Heroes foundation asks us to act.

To learn more about Thirty Seconds, visit

Want to become part of the Thirty Seconds club or learn more on how to raise funds for the charity dearest to you? Contact Andy at [email protected].

Nick Failla is president of Premier Consulting Innovations, a training, consulting and fulfillment company. E-mail him at [email protected].

[span class=note]This story is from the May 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]



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