Early To Rise

 

I read a great book this weekend called “Early to Rise” by Andy Traub.  I would highly recommend it if you have a desire to make a positive change in your life and the lives of those around you.

If you are like me I get frustrated with not having enough time to read, think, dream, create, and just be still.  I sometimes feel that I have so many ideas that are stuck in my head because of the inability to have the time to flush them out and ship them to the world.  Andy teaches us in this book how sacred the early mornings can be to really allow us the time to expand our minds and our influence on the world!

Andy takes you through a 30 day process to teach you how to rise earlier in the morning and what to do in the morning that can impact your life like you never thought was possible!  The book is available on amazon for your kindle.  Check it out and I am sure you will also feel the excitement and freedom I did when I realized that the time to create, think, dream, and ship ideas to the world has been sitting there right underneath my nose!  It took Andy’s work through this book to “awaken” the gift of early mornings.

Thanks Andy!

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Spectators and Players

In life, you can choose to be a spectator or a player. Which one are you?

I talk with a lot of  people who have elaborate plans for their future. They tell me about their great ideas and the things that they want to do. Most of the time, these plans remain just that, plans! I refer to this stage as “getting ready to get ready”.

The common theme when I talk with these types of people is that they always have something to say about those in their field that are out doing things. They remind me of spectators watching an event take place. These people are riddled with opinions including things like: “Why didn’t he do this?” or “Why didn’t she see that?” They tend to think that they understand the game quite well from there vantage point.

Spectators Everywhere

I tend to find that there are a lot more spectators than there are players on the field these days. The reality of the situation is this: the players, people partaking in the event, are the ones making the difference. These people are training to win and are willing to take a position in front of the spectators, put on their best performance, take any criticism they receive, and build on it.

There are always going to be spectators. Not all spectators are bad, they are a necessity for the game to take place. However, if you find yourself thinking like a player but acting like a spectator, that’s when problems arise.

Which one are you?

Are you a player or are you a spectator? Are you willing to put your best foot forward and take action even though you may not have all the details worked out? Players are constantly training and improving so when it comes time to hit the field they are ready. Players understand that regardless of how well trained they are, during the performance unforeseeable things can take place and require adaptation. The more the player trains the better he or she will be at handling the unforeseeable circumstances.

The spectator has a pretty cushy job. He gets to sit in a spot way up high where he can see it all, snack on some popcorn, and proclaim his opinion to all those around him.

If you desire to be a player, lose the mindset and work ethic of a spectator.

A coach once told me, “Players make plays, players win games.”

Communicating Well in a Busy World

How do you focus on communicating well while running your life?

Email is a wonderful form of communication and it makes our lives a lot easier. When we use email, are we communicating well? Most of the time, the answer is probably not.

Email is simply one of many methods we can use to communicate with our family and friends. In a world that is bombarded with emails daily, picking up the phone or talking in person can make all the difference.

When coordinating with others, make sure you always reach out via phone or in-person when possible. This provides the personal touch and clear communication that will catapult you into success. Emails can be used to outline the conversation and clarify any outstanding details.

Sometimes sending an email is the only form of communication available to you. When this is the case, there are a few best practices to follow.

Best Practices When Sending E-mails

As with all written messages, be careful not to use that language that may be taken as potentially offensive. Research has proven that a substantial percentage of human communication is delivered through body language and tone-of-voice. Make sure that the email you are sending is communicated clearly and concisely explaining the subject matter.

A great rule of thumb is to read your message aloud before you hit send. Check your punctuation, spelling, and that the person or persons you are sending the email to are correct.

Never assume that someone has read your email, simply because you sent it. Remember, other people are busy too. A follow-up email or call as a gentle reminder can be helpful in getting the response you hope for.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Just because you send an email into cyberspace doesn’t mean it’s off your radar to follow up. Be sure to have a reminder for yourself in place, in the event you don’t hear back from your contact.

Finally, remember that if what you are communicating is truly important and requires immediate action on behalf of another person, sending an email is not your best bet. Reach out to have a conversation face-to-face or pick up the phone and give the person a ring.

Communicating well in a busy world is one of the most important and undervalued parts of life. How will you choose to communicate today?

Why Finish?

You will never achieve your goals if you can’t finish what you start. 

You have been hearing these phrases since you were a kid: “Finish your meal, finish your homework, finish the race, and so on…”

Why is there all this focus on finishing?

Average vs. Abundance

The difference between an average life and an abundant life deals with the discipline of finishing. Finishing allows you to receive a reward for your work. If you finish your meal you are no longer hungry. If you finish your homework you can receive a grade. You see, the ability to finish is the key to success, significance and fulfillment. Anyone can start, but it takes a special person to finish.

Why then, don’t we finish? Often times, the task seems too big. How do you eat an elephant? By taking small bites! Success in any endeavor can be found in the little steps and small details. We get stuck thinking we need to complete the entire thing in one sitting. Instead, make the routine your reward!

You can’t just do it once, either. We refer to this phenomenon as “One-in-a-row”. You need to make the commitment and have the discipline to do it over and over and over again until it is finished. Then you find something new to finish!

Three D’s

We recommending living by the 3 D’s:

  1. Do it
  2. Delegate it
  3. Dump it.

Make your decision and commit right then and there. If you commit to doing it, set a timeline and time allotment to finish it.

False Summits

False Summits exist in the business world and your personal life. Do you know what to do when you encounter one?

What is a False Summit?

In the world of mountaineering there is a concept known as a “false summit”. This occurs when a climber arrives at a peak that appears to be the pinnacle of the mountain, but upon reaching it realizes the summit is higher than expected. This effect has been shown to have significant psychological effects on climbers – dashing their hopes and even resulting in failure.

Your False Summits

Have you ever reached a false summit? Maybe you thought you had reached the top only to realize you still had a long way to go. You might have achieved a goal that was set a little too low to result in any tangible reward, only to realize it once you got there. False summits exist everywhere in the entrepreneurial world as well as our personal lives! The only real way to combat this and eliminate the detrimental effects of false summits is to change your perspective!

If the climber’s sole purpose and only goal when climbing the mountain is to reach the top, he or she is going to experience grave disappointment when encountering a false summit. The climb will be physically demanding and mentally taxing. If the climber puts all their hope into the peak they are climbing being the final destination; they are going to struggle with the reality that it’s not. Also, they won’t have any memories or good experiences to fall back on because they were solely focused on reaching what turned out to be a false goal.

Enjoying The Climb

However, if the climber is approaching the mountain with the goal of reaching the top while enjoying the climb the conundrum of the false summit disappears! If a climber is determined to reach the top while also enjoying the climb, cherishing every experience and the progress made along the way, the entire perspective changes once they encounter a false summit. Instead of becoming disheartened he or she will be elated that there is more to climb!

None of us will ever reach the ultimate, final peak on our journey to success. If you have one ultimate goal in your mind that you think is going to mark the end of your journey once you achieve it, you’re wrong! If your vision is aligned with what you truly desire in life then you’re going to fall in love with the climb. Success is found in the climb, not the destination. When you are in love with the climb you’re going to start to desire every peak to BE a false summit! That means there’s more fun to be had on the journey!

Keep Climbing!

Work vs. Hustle

You can recapture the joy in your business and life by learning the difference between “working” and “hustling”. 

I love basketball. I started playing when I was a child and continued through college. The game has always been a passion of mine. Even though my playing days are over I still hold a tremendous appreciation for the nuances of the game. Extraordinary games of basketball always showcase great coaching, teamwork, and talent. To this day, it’s hard for me to turn away from a collegiate matchup between two historic powerhouses.

One of the things you’ll notice about the big-time games is the amount of hustle that each team displays. Whether it’s sprinting down the court or diving on the floor for loose balls, the amount of hustle displayed is unbelievable. Watching an entire team execute on their goals with high levels of hustle is a beautiful thing.

“Hustle” has been a buzzword in the entrepreneurial business world for a while now. What exactly does it mean? What is “hustle”? How does it differ from “work”? The basketball players are all “working” to achieve a common goal, but are they all “hustling”, too?

In basketball, the word “hustle” is most commonly used to describe a play of extraordinary effort. If a player goes the extra mile they are commended for great “hustle”. However, ask any great player about “hustle” and they rarely even acknowledge it. Usually, the response will be along the lines of “I’m just doing my job”. You see, the player doesn’t view the extra effort as extraordinary at all. To the outside world, it appears as an obvious case of exceptional effort; something that can be pointed to and labeled as “hustle”. To the player, it’s merely a by-product of the love of the game.

At some point in our lives, all of us have had to “work”. It may have been doing chores as a child, or studying for a class you weren’t particularly interested in during your schooling. You might have not developed and possessed your vision, yet. If you did, the acts of work you were performing may not have been aligned with your vision. Ultimately, your vision dictates the difference between working and hustling. You know when you’re “working”. Whatever it is you are doing isn’t aligned with your vision and odds are it’s taxing you! When you’re “working” you are busy with tasks, but never actually getting anything done. When you’re “hustling” you are executing and able to accomplish things that matter and contribute to your success. You are energized and every time you execute on something it gives you a boost to continue to pursue your vision.

So, are you “working” or are you “hustling”? If all your effort and time is devoted to an ultimate goal and aligned with your vision, then you’re “hustling”. If people are starting to take notice of your extraordinary effort and results, you’re “hustling”. If you’re not focused and are simply completing task after task, you’re “working”.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

– Abraham Lincoln 

Understand the nuances of this concept. The basketball player doesn’t have to think about giving extra effort before he or she jumps into the stands for the ball. In their mind, anyone in that same position would do the exact same thing. You can’t continue to waste your time “working” and just start calling it “hustling”. Everything you do day in and day out has to be aligned with your vision. You’re wasting your life if you don’t.

Stop working. Start hustling.