Monday, November 30, 2015

Looking for a Reason

If you wake up every day and spend any time on social media (or media in general), you may have noticed an epidemic.  It's an epidemic of controversies.  Nearly every day, it seems, a group in the United States is totally up in arms about some new offense.

Someone (or something) has wronged them and they will be heard!

These urgent issues are lapped up by a 24 hour media starving for stories and become "the" trending topic.  Then, as is the case with this attention, it goes through the cycle and goes away.

But it's not the media's fault.  We have a choice.  Stop looking for a reason to be offended.

We all know that person that seems to have a political agenda, a personal vendetta or simply want to complain each day.  They have a weekly (or sometimes daily) issue that they find offensive.  They share posts and information and support their anger (whether it is factual or not).  They light gas to the fire of negativity.

They are the kind of person that is annoyed if they can't find something to be pissed about.

Turn those people off.  Hide them.  Cut them out of your life.  Stop looking for a reason to be mad all the time.

Start looking for a reason to be grateful.  You will be pleased with what you discover.

Want to keep up all the time?  Make sure to join our VIP List!  Our VIP's get an email with the latest content...and other special offers as well.  Join here.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Second Coat

My youngest daughter has had a bright pink room for several years now.  And when I say "bright pink," I mean the room is glowing.  Super bright.  For me, it's been a lot to take.  But she liked it.  So I went along.

Recently, however, she decided she wanted to lose the neon pink and go back to white.  That's the good news.  The bad news, of course, is that we needed to paint.  That's never something I look forward to!

In laying on the first coat of white, you will likely not be surprised, that no matter how heavy we put it on, the pink kept showing through.  That bright pink paint was just not going to go away easy!  We brushed and rolled and sweated...and at the end we knew we still needed to add another coat.  In a way it was frustrating to have done so much, but still have so much to do.  But we needed to add a second coat.

That's how it is, sometimes, when starting a new project or goal.  We lay on a heavy dose of sweat.  We push and pull and struggle.  And at the end of a huge amount of effort, we see there is SO much left to do!  It can be overwhelming.

But remember, in that moment, that you have only laid the foundation.  That part of the journey is not supposed to look finished...yet.  It is that base level of effort and progress that will create a bright and shiny future.

You just need to add a second coat.

Want to keep up all the time?  Make sure to join our VIP List!  Our VIP's get an email with the latest content...and other special offers as well.  Join here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Creating Your Christmas List

 My wife recently asked me to make a "Christmas list" for the family.  As you probably know, this is simply the act of putting your wishes for gifts on paper, so that family has some idea of what to get you...that you might actually like.

Seems simple enough...but it's not always. 

I think that's because we are often not that great at articulating what we want in our life.  In addition, when creating these lists, we want to "be reasonable" so that our relatives can afford the items we desire.  I mean, I would love a boat.  But I don't think I will put that on my list. 

But what about our "Christmas list" (or we can call it "Wish List" if you want) for ourselves?  Do you spend the same amount of time thinking about what you want to provide for yourself in the coming year?  What do you want to create? 

You should.  And here are some Do's and Don'ts when creating your own "Christmas List."

1.  Do give it some thought.  You should spend more time on this than you do telling the relatives you want "running socks."

2.  Do write it down.  Most people don't write their goals and desires down.  You should.

3.  Do share them with those that you love.  Those who love you most in life will probably want you to reach your goals...and they might help.  In addition, you never know the person who might hold the key to helping you.

4.  Do revisit it regularly.   If you are actively chasing your dreams...they will change.  You might attain them.  You might realize they don't matter.  Keep the list updated.

5.  Don't be reasonable.  When you set up your life "wish list," stop playing small.  This is where you want to be put the Boat.  Then create a plan to go get it.

This is a great time of year to be introspective.  But remember to do so while looking forward.  Don't spend a ton of time lamenting what you have not accomplished.  Stay focused on where you want to go.

Happy Holidays.  May this season be a great one for you and yours!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Right Reason

When I was in high school (oh those many years ago), my Senior English Teacher, Fran Nelson, said something that stuck with me.  She told me (and everyone in her class) that whatever the reason that got you to go (and stay) in college, was the right reason. 

She said, "People get hung up on the 'right' reason to go to a school, but that's never what keeps you there!  If you need to go to a school that is close to a mall, then that's the right reason.  Whatever gets you to go to college is the right reason."

It's one of the wisest things I have heard about human behavior in all these years.

When you are setting goals, starting projects, beginning exercise routines, quitting smoking, starting a business or picking a college, there is no wrong reason.  There is only your reason.  Stop worrying about why you SHOULD be doing something.  Instead, start focusing on why you REALLY want to do it.  What's the real reason?

Whatever the real reason is that gets you to do the right the right reason.

11 Things To Lift Your Spirits

This time of year can be tough on people.  The days are getting shorter.  The holidays are nearly upon us.   The weather, at least where I live, is getting colder.  And the news continues to show you the very worst the world has to offer.  If you pay attention, you can literally see people getting grumpier. 

So what to do? 

Well I am no psychologist, but here are some activities to get more "positive."  This is a short list, really.  But maybe it will get your juices flowing so you can figure out what gets you excited.

1.  Find a new book to read.  Pick one that either lifts you up or makes you laugh.

2.  Send out 3 Thank You Cards a Day.  Gratitude will make you feel's biology.

3.  Get more involved in church.  (Join a church).

4.  Join a Non-Profit.  Helping others is a great mood-lifter.

5.  Read inspirational articles.  Good in means good out.  Do this at the beginning and end of the day.

6.  Exercise. 

7.  Start a new hobby.

8.  Start a new business.

9.  Start writing a blog.

10.  Call one person in your life and tell them how much they mean to you.  Do this once a day and you will be amazed.

11.  Create a Positivity Buddy.  Set up someone you call once a week.  Share wins and losses.  Hold each other accountable...but lift each other up.

So that's a short list.  Maybe one of these will work for you...or someone you know.  Maybe it will just get you thinking.  But don't wait for something to happen. 

Go.  Do. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

On My Way To #50Books

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.  People have asked me all year, "Where do you find the time?"  That is one of the lessons I have learned.  We all have time.  Maybe you don't have time to read 50 books (maybe).  But you probably have time to read more than you do.  It's your call.

Here is my list so far.  Getting close to 50!

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 Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michaelowicz.  This is a no nonsense book for people interested in being an entrepreneur.  

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!

Make Me by Lee Child:  I know.  I know.  This is the one fiction book of the bunch!  I promised to read things that made me better.  Reading these make me want to be like Jack Reacher...and that is better.  :)

So You Want to Start a Brewery by Tony Magee.  This was a really interesting book that tells the tale of how Lagunitas Brewery got started...and succeeded.  It was weird, interesting and cool.  I have a feeling Tony is too.

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge.  If you want to create a sales process born in today's business environment, this book is a good place to start.  Great, process driven sales book.

Customer Development for Entrepreneurs by Mike Fishbein.  I think this book would be really good for someone who has never started a company, but wants to.  Great short read for beginning entrepreneurs.  Not great for experienced business builders.

Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi.  I really liked this (and not because Joe was nice enough to do my show!).  All joking aside, Joe is the master at Content Marketing and he shares his playbook here.  I highly recommend this one.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  This is one that I would like my daughters to read.  The concepts of the Compound Effect are simple...but powerful.  Oh, and I said simple...not easy.  I liked this one.

How To Brew by John Palmer.  If you want to learn a LOT about homebrewing, and how to do it right, then this is a great book for you.  Hopefully the beer I brew will be better for it!  :)

So that puts me at 47 books so far for the year.  Now it's time to find some new ones.  Suggestions welcome. 

Want to keep up all the time?  Make sure to join our VIP List!  Our VIP's get an email with the latest content...and other special offers as well.  Join here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What Your Kind Words Can Do

One of the people that inspire me in business is Seth Godin.  He is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, blogger and original thinker.  I read his blog every day.  It's one of the ways I put "good into my head" as I start the day. 

So back in March of this year, when Mark Graham invited me to sit in on the PromoKitchen podcast with Seth, I was more than elated.  Though I was nervous to chat with him, Seth could not have been more gracious.  He had plenty of insightful things to say in the podcast (you can check that out here) and I enjoyed the process thoroughly.

But that was not the most impactful part of it for me.

Just before the podcast went live, Seth told me "I really like the web show (Delivering Marketing Joy) you are doing.  Keep it up.  In 3 years, you will be glad you did."

What!?  Seth likes my web show?  He even went on to tell me about a specific show with Ted Rubin that he had I knew he had actually watched it.  I was blown away.

As you might imagine, that meant the world to me.  It's worth noting, that at the time of that conversation, I did not have my next show lined up.  Now, nearly 9 months later, because of his encouragement, we still have not missed a show.

What does this mean to you?  Simple.  Seth Godin took 2 seconds from his day to offer me a positive word.  It cost him nothing.  But that affirmation drove me to continue down a road that he knew I should be on. 

It cost him little...but meant the world to me.

What could you today to encourage someone? it.

Oh...and thanks Seth!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Growth Begins...

One of the things I love about setting the goal of running a half-marathon (or a marathon) is that the person who is setting the goal CAN'T accomplish it.  The person setting the goal aspires to run that far.  But they can't get up and do it right now.  That's the point of setting the goal.

If you want to make your new goal happen, you have to change (both mentally and physically) into the person that CAN.  You have to work each day to move closer to that new person.  You have to grow into that person.  You need to change.

Many days you will be sore.  Often (even during training) your brain will try and sabatoge you.  It will scream at you "stop!" or "why are we doing this?"  But in overcoming the soreness in your muscles and the voices in your head, you move toward becoming the person that can run 3 miles (or 13 or 26 or...).  You realize that YOU CAN.

As Paul Kiewiet once said to me, "Growth starts just outside of your comfort zone."

Those words ring true to me whenever I am trying something new.  I am not the person that can do this...yet.  But just like in training to become a marathoner, I can get there.  It will be hard.  At times it will be painful.  But I CAN.

If we overcome the tired muscles and the voices in our head, we become THAT person.  We transform into the person that made it happen.

Time to hit the road today...and train.

Want to keep up all the time?  Make sure to join our VIP List!  Our VIP's get an email with the latest content...and other special offers as well.  Join here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Have an Open Mind

If you want to have a full, educated, interesting life, you need an open mind.  You need to be open to experiences that make you uncomfortable.  You simply don't know what you don't know.

If you start these experiences with thoughts (or words) like:

Yeah but,

I won't,

I can't,


It won't,


(or things like this)

You don't have an open mind.  You should change that.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Early Hustle

In the beginning of any endeavor a lot of activity is going on behind the scenes.  There is a lot of activity, and often, a lot of money goes out the door.  You are spending hours working on things that will lay the foundation for future success.  It can be an exciting time. 

On the other hand, it is also the time when friends, family and outsiders will see a ton of movement with no initial pay-off.  They will see you spending a ton of time on your "project" with no reward.  You are probably not getting paid (or at least not much).  You are not gaining attention yet.  From the outside world's perspective, you are wasting a lot of time.

And some of them will tell you so.

Don't get me wrong.  Many of these folks are well-intentioned.  Some of them just want to see you more.  But make no mistake, they don't get it.

Not every project will work.  There will be times that you spend a lot of time and energy on something that fails.  But nothing really cool was ever created without laying the proper foundation first. 

So relish in the early times.  Continue the hustle.  The long term rewards will be plentiful.