Thursday, October 29, 2015

You Can't Always See It...

Last night was the last game of my oldest daughter's senior soccer season.  It was an awesome game, really.  The contest was tied 0-0 after regulation (and only soccer fans know how exciting that can be).  The game went into overtime and the opposing team (Hiland) put in a goal with an incredible, turn around shot. 

It was just an incredible play.  Game over.  Season over. 

After the contest I was talking to another parent about how the girls played.  It's cliche to say, but they played hard.  As a matter of fact, I felt like this was the best they had played (from beginning to end) all season long.

"But they won't be able to see that right now," I said.  He agreed.  It's hard to see the positives in that moment.

That reminds of the journey many of us are on right now.  We are putting in the work.  We are embracing the hustle.  You are trying to build something, piece by piece by showing up each day. 

And then, suddenly, we have a setback.  It's so frustrating in that moment!  We want to scream or cry (or yell at a ref).  But what we need to remember is how far we have come.

So just remember, it's hard to see the path you are on, while you are on it.

Take a breath and can't always see it from here.   But push ahead, keep battling...the view will be better from the top.

P.S.  Congrats to the Lady Redskins on a great season.  You kept battling to the very end.  Proud of you.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Create Your Super Support Team

If you are going to try anything worthwhile in life, there will be stumbles.  If you are really reaching, there are going to be days that you feel like someone kicked you in the gut.  It's part of the journey.  Don't get me wrong, you SHOULD work toward your goal.  But you do need to know that it is not going to be all "rainbows and unicorns" along the way.  There will be setbacks.  There will be challenges.

It's important to know that in advance.  That way, they don't surprise you (more than they should) during the journey.  It's also nice to know, "it's not just me."  Tough things happen to good people on their way to success.

So what do you do on those days?  What do you do when you know you have a long way to go...but you don't feel like taking the next step?

On these days it's really critical to have a great support system in place.  That support system should consist of more than one person.  That way, if they are having a tough day, you have other people for support!  In addition, I find it's good to have more than more personality to lift me up.  You might need the:

The Listener:  This person will just let you vent, talk out ideas, develop your thoughts out loud.  They might be the person that asks insightful questions to keep you going.  Or they might be the person who "pushes back" on your idea to make you really think it through.

The Supporter:  This is the person that has your matter what.  You don't need a lot of these folks (they can be a crutch).  But it's good to have at least one.  Think...Mom.

The Encourager:  This role should be filled by the "Captain Positive" in your life.  You will hear things like "you got this" from this person.  Sometimes you need a dose of this just to get you to the next step.

The Kick in the Ass-er:  And yes you need someone who will give you the tough love.  You need that person that holds you accountable.  This role will say "You said you were going to call X.  Why haven't you?"  Or they might be the one that pushes and says, "It's ok...but you can do better."  You may not want to hear it all the time...but its essential that you do.

Some people can fill all these roles at different times.  But make sure you have each of these positions filled...and continue to fill them on the journey.

Then, in a moment of strength, be these for someone else too.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Updated Reading List 10/14/2015

My goal to read 50 books has been a daunting one.  But I must say, it has been HUGELY impactful to me as a business owner and a person.  On the other hand, when you read this many, it's hard to keep track!  So here is a list...and what I think of them.  More to come!

Start by Jon Acuff:  Great book to start off the new year!  I like Jon's style and it's a great motivator if you want to get yourself going!  Love the line "Punch Fear in the Face!"  (Side note:  Since I wrote this I saw Jon speak...awesome.  If you get a chance you should see him!  He has a new book called Do Over!)

Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf:  Not a bad read.  Ties bible lessons to science on happiness and productivity.

The Self Made Billionaire Effect by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen:  Not bad but probably my least favorite so far this year.

Transform by Jeff Haden:  Really liked this one.  Lots of Jeff's best stuff in one place.  Great book to read one chapter per day.  Jeff was also nice enough to spend some time on my web show! 

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz:  Love this one!  Several times I felt like he was following me around!  :)  Highly recommend this one for anyone who has a business.  This has really changed the way we account in ours.  Mike was also a great guest on Delivering Marketing Joy! 

What To Do When It's Your Turn by Seth Godin:  Really good reminder that it's always our turn to step up and make a difference.  Quick read...great one to share!

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish:  This was a good one but I should not have gotten it on audio.  This would have been better as an actual book.  Great things to make me think...but would have gotten more out of it if I could see the references.

Pumpkin Plan: by Mike Michalowicz.  This is another great book for those trying to figure out how to grow your business.  "The riches are in the niches."  I really like Mike's books.  Recommend for sure!

Mastering Monday:  by John Beckett.  This is a good reminder that Monday does not stink if your work (and your life) have a purpose.

New Rules of Sales and Service:  by David Meerman Scott.  If you are not a believer that you can make a huge difference in your business by "giving first," read this one.  He lays out a great case for being a content leader.

The Automatic Customer:  by John Warrillow.  This is another game changer for me this year.  This one opened my mind that nearly any business can be a "subscription business."  I am getting ready to launch a new business and the idea came from this book!  Love it.

Duct Tape Selling: by John Jantsch.  The beginning of this and New Rules were similar.  But I liked that the 2nd half dug into the "how" a little more.  Good one.

Invisible Selling Machine: by Ryan Deiss.  It's a quick read for sure.  But if you want to become a real pro in email marketing, this has some weight.  I use Infusionsoft and I am going through this book to make sure I am setting sequences better.

Train Your Brain For Success: by Roger Seip.  Love the tips in here on how to read faster and remember more.  Once you get through that, good tips on being more successful in life.

SCRUM:  The Art of Doing Twice The Work in Half the Time:  by Jeff Sutherland.  Scrum is a concept created in software development.  If you are getting ready to create a new company or launch a new project, this is a great read first!

Awesomely Simple: by John Spence.  So many times in business, we over think.  We over analyze.  In reality, business success is simple.  This book highlights the down and dirty truth about success in business.

The Undefeated Mind: by Alex Lickerman.  If you are struggling with any issues in life, this book is a great resource to show you how to be resilient.  Dark at times...but shows real life examples on how to overcome.

The Power of Money: Several Speakers.  I thought this was a book but was actually a compilation of teachers.  There are always nuggets of wisdom in any book (and this one had them) but it was not what I expected.

Mastermind Dinners: Jayson Gaignard.  This one was definitely short and sweet.  Jason takes networking to the next level by curating Mastermind Dinners.  Interesting concept for sure.

Nail It Then Scale It: by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom.  Real similarities to the Scrum concept.  The book says the way we create businesses is broken.  I enjoyed this one.  It's on my mind as I ready to launch a new project.

It Takes More Than A Big Smile, A Good Idea and a Twitter Account: by Wes Schaeffer.  This has some real nuggets.  It's a compilation of blog posts from Wes.  Great for sales professionals and sales managers.

Procrastinate on Purpose: by Rory Vaden.  I really liked this one.  Good for anyone that is trying to "manage time."  Not easy!  Good insights in this one!  

The Talent Code: by Daniel Coyle.  Coyle studies the "talent hotbeds" of the world and discovers that the secret is not in their DNA, it's in a chemical inside our brains called Myelin.  Really interesting stuff about how to get better at ANYTHING.  Really.

The 10X Rule:  by Grant Cardone.  I had actually read this before.  But this is a no nonsense kick in the pants kind of book.  Need a reminder to work harder?  Here it is.  You are not thinking big enough or working hard enough.  Grant reminds you!

The Art of Social Media: by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.  Want to know some real no b.s. tips and tactics for doing social better?  This is a good one and a quick read.  Recommended.

Bold:  by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.  I will say that this one started slow.  But I was really glad I stuck with this one because that last 2/3 of the book really got me thinking!  I love that!

Creativity, Inc.  by Ed Catmull.  From the very beginnings of his career to running Pixar and Disney Animation.  Some great lessons here, especially on managing creative companies.

 Relentless (From Good to Great to Unstoppable) by Tim Grover.  Not bad.  Good if you need a kick in the pants and motivation.  Got a bit repetitive after a while.  But some interesting stories from the trainer of Kobe and Michael!

Difference by Bernadette Jiwa.  Short and sweet.  I liked this one.  Reminds you that if you want to be a succesful business need to strive to make a difference!

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson.  This one was a struggle for me.  I bought it thinking it was a business book...but it was history.  Great if you are into that...but not what I was expecting or looking for.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.  I liked this one (though sometimes it was a little dark).  But it talked about the many challenges a CEO faces...with no sugar coating.  Good insights into growing a company.

Brandscaping by Andrew Davis:  This was an interesting take on how to grow your business by creating great brand partnerships.  Interesting for sure.

 Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.  If you want to write better, but want a book that is read-able, I think this might be a good solution for you.  We are all creating content.  Ann just gives us ways to do it better.

I WILL by Thomas Rainer:  Very simple concept for Christians that remind us if we want a better church, we need to be a part of the solution.

The Virgin Way by Richard Branson.  Branson is such a cool cat.  He spins a great yarn about his experiences, and I think, gives great insights along the way if you are paying attention.  What a great entrepreneur to look up too!

The Real Life MBA by Jack and Suzy Welch.  This one was very tactical.  I liked it because it dug right in.  I changed my company's goal structure based on this book.

The Purple Goldfish by Stan Phelps.  If you want your company to stand out, you can do it with that Little Something Extra.  Stan does a great job with examples that everyone in your company can relate too.

If You're Not First, You're Last by Grant Cardone.  Grant Cardone is the perfect antidote for apathy.  I think this is a great kind of book to listen to each morning to give you a kick in the pants.  You have to go get it!  Grant reminds you!

Learn Spanish with Paul Noble:  This audio book was a total departure...but really interesting.  Great way to learn.  I am hardly fluent...but better!

I am in the middle of reading 3 more right more will be added to the list soon!  Please let me know if you have questions!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Be Intentional Toward Goals

Where are you going?  What are you doing to get there?  These are very simple questions for sure.  But most people that struggle at reaching toward their goals, struggle with these questions.  If you ask them, "what are your goals?" they have a hard time telling you.  That is why I am such a big proponent of writing your goals down.

They tell you (and your mind) where you are going.

But that is only the first step of course.  After you have the goals on paper, do you have them in a place you can see them?  You should.  This, quite simply, reminds you where you are going each day. 

Now...what are you DOING to get there?

So many of us say that we "want to start a business," or maybe we "want to save money."  And we do.  But without some sort of intentional, consistent action toward it, will anything happen. 

So be intentional each day about your goals.  Do something (even if it is tiny) in moving your toward your goal.

Start today.

Monday, October 5, 2015

3 Ways to Think For Yourself

One of the things I value most in people is…original thinking.  This feels very rare these days.  I even respect people who I disagree with, when I know for sure that they have created that opinion on their own.  I don’t value those that parrot opinions of others.  As I said to a friend once (who happened to be regurgitating a Fox News opinion) “If I want Glenn Becks’ opinion, I will watch his show.  What do YOU think?”

I bring this up because of the recent trend of people posting the Facebook charging message.  It seemed like thousands of people copy and pasted some ridiculous non-sense about Facebook.  In order to help, here are 3 Ways to Think for Yourself.

Listen to Multiple Sources:  If you are a person that wants to be well-versed on politics, make sure you spend at least some time listening to both sides of the argument.  Very few people agree with EVERYTHING a politician or broadcaster says, so it really helps to hear any discussion from lots of sides.  Then you can REALLY consider and decide for your self.

Read:  I find that reading multiple books from lots of different authors and perspectives really gives you a healthy base to form an opinion. 

Think: Spend some time on it.  Meditate.  Let your opinions roll around in your head while you work out.  Turn the music off.  Really consider.  I find this is the best way to really find out what I think…or come up with a solution to a problem I am facing.  Maybe this sounds simple.  It is.  But I am not sure everyone is doing it.

If you think that a list of tips on how to “think for yourself” is ironic, great!  You are right!  Feel free to employ the secret, hidden tip number 4…ignore this and think how you want.