Book Quote of the Week – 013

“Treating success as an option is one of the major reasons why more people don’t create it for themselves – and why most people don’t even get close to living up to their full potential… 

If you don’t consider it your duty to live up to your potential, then you simply won’t. If it doesn’t become an ethical issue for you, then you won’t feel obligated and driven to fulfill your capacity.”

– Grant Cardone

Alarm Clock Discipline

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Everyone wants to know:
“How can I be successful?”
“What do I need to do to be the best at what I do?”
“How do I get an edge to beat our my competition?”
What’s the answer? Well, there’s an entire industry built on telling you the answer. There are so many resources available to answer your questions.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Think and Grow Rich

How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

The list is endless. There are many more I’ve included in my Reading List, check them out HERE. Or check out the 2,275 books that come up in Amazon when you search “How to be successful” HERE.
But it doesn’t matter how much you know or how much you’ve read if you don’t act.  There are many things that you need to do and things that need to come together for you to be successful, but I know that one thing you need to be successful is discipline. Today I have been thinking about something I call Alarm Clock Discipline.
The more I read, the more I see thoughts and ideas overlapping with different authors. Recently I’ve had three different resources that have made me think about this topic.
In October I wrote a post about The Slight Edge. In that post I wrote:
Out of all the great things that I have learned from this book, there is one concept that stands out more than the others. “The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they are also just as easy not to do.” This concept is hit on throughout the book. It’s the simple, little habits that you do every day that lead to success. The simple, little habits that are easy to do, but just as easy not to do. This phrase runs through my head every single morning now if I want it to or not. I set my alarm for 5am. When it goes off I have two choices. I can slide out of bed, put on my running shoes and go for my morning run. Or I can hit the snooze button, curl up in bed and fall back asleep. I’ve really done both quite a few times in my life. I’m pretty disciplined so getting up early to run or workout usually isn’t a big deal. But I’m not as disciplined in going to bed at a good hour. So some mornings when the alarm goes off at 5am and I’ve only been in bed for a few hours it’s pretty easy to justify skipping the workout that morning and usually hitting the snooze two or three more times after that. But now each morning when my alarm goes off, before I have the opportunity to realize how tired I am, the words, “Easy to do. Easy not to do.” are running through my head. That’s motivation enough to get me going.
Jeff talks about the “little things” a lot. If I hit the snooze and skip my run it likely isn’t going to kill me or have a drastic impact on my health. But the compound effect is always working. It’s either working for us or against us. So as I get out of bed for my workout those actions are compounding with all the other times I take those positive actions. That one workout might not have much of an impact on my health, but compounding them all together will. Just like when I hit the snooze, that action compounds with all the other times I take those actions and works against me.
Basketball is a big part of life in our family and Alarm Clock Discipline is a big deal when we are getting teenagers up at 5:00am for a workout. As would be expected with kids, some days are easier than others, but over the past five years I’m proud to say that Tia and Daxon have put hundreds of hours into working on their game before most kids their age would even consider being out of bed.
I recently sent them the following video to watch from PGS Basketball: 5 Ways to Build Mental Toughness.
Number one on the list: Wake Up Early & Get Out of Bed
I love in this video when he says that by “hitting snooze you are giving into your feelings. When you give into your feelings you will never be special at anything.”
I don’t care if you do or don’t like the sport of basketball. Take five minutes to watch this video, it’s worth your time.
The most recent resource that got me thinking about this topic again was a book that I just finished by Jacko Willing and Leif Babin. The book is Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win
In the book they say that discipline starts every day when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. The moment the alarm clock goes off is the first test and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is simple. When the alarm clock goes off do you get up out of bed or do you lie there in comfort and fall back asleep.
They go on the explain that if you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win, you pass the test. If you are mentally weak at that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, whichever decision you make will translate into more significant and substantial elements of your life.
My favorite quote in this book is, “Discipline is the difference between being good and being exceptional.”
How do you become successful? There are many answers to that question. But having Alarm Clock Discipline is a good place to start.
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Book Quote of the Week – 011

“If you want to create a company that is fun to work for, where productivity and creativity are high, and that you are actually glad to lead, you must create a culture of communication.”

– Dave Ramsey

Equal is Unfair

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I have my own personal thoughts and feelings when it comes to politics, but I usually don’t express them publicly too much because the debates that can arise from them can drive me crazy and there’s usually no way of coming out ahead. But Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins and Aaron Brook got me thinking about something I decided is worth spending some time reflecting on.  The authors share a number of ideas that I would tend to agree with and I can imagine could start some heated debates, but I’ll leave it to you to read the book and decide if you agree or disagree with their opinions.
Until six months ago I’ve lived my entire life in Alberta, Canada. In my mind it was the greatest province in the country for an entrepreneur. Not everything was perfect there but it was pretty dang good. But last year a new government was voted in and with many of the initiatives they have been implementing I feel they are anti-business and anti-entrepreneurship.
I was invited to a meeting with a number of other business owner and the new Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci. There have been many more hot topics since this meeting, but at the time the hot topic was the governments proposal to hike minimum wage to $15/hour (In 2015 it was raised from $10.20/hour to $11.20/hour). The frustration came from the minister’s ignorance to the facts. Not all businesses are highly profitable. Not all businesses have high profit margins. As business owners sat in that meeting and told the minister if minimum wage was to raise to $15/hour they would have to raise their prices he told us that a minimum wage increase would not raise prices. He also told us that a hike in minimum wage would not increase unemployment.  When I listen to the business owners state the opposite I tend to believe them, but we will have to wait and see the outcome.
Many of the business people at this meeting were restaurant owners who typically hire minimum wage workers. I have never been involved in the restaurant business, but today I found this on Reference.com
Profit margins are typically low for restaurants in general and especially for restaurants owned by individual franchisees. The average profit margin for the restaurant industry overall is 2.4 percent, as of 2013. The margin is down from 3.2 percent in 2009. The average franchised restaurant location makes a profit of less than $50,000 per year as of 2013. Opening a franchised restaurant with an established brand sometimes costs as much as $500,000.
Many who support such a hike argue against the “greedy business owners.” However, if I were a franchise owner that invested $500,000 to open by business and I was making less than $50,000 per year, such a significant minimum wage hike would be very tough to swallow.
Here are some ideas shared in Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality on this topic. Again, I’m not trying to create a debate here, these are just my thoughts. But it’s a good book to read if you are interested in this topic or any of the other inequality topics that seem to be on the rise.
  • A government mandated minimum wage prevents people from deciding for themselves what pay to accept. If a person cannot find an employer that will hire them at the minimum wage level, they are legally barred from accepting a lower paying job.
  • A raise in minimum wage will raise the pay of some workers but stop others from working all together.
  • The biggest victims of a minimum wage increase are the lowest skilled workers. When minimum wage increases, higher skilled workers will now compete for jobs that previously we too low paying.
  • It hurts businesses
    • Many will hire fewer employees. We already see many fast food restaurants automating their services to reduce the number of employees needed so that they can stay in business.
    • Many will reduce perks and benefits
    • Some will simply have to go out of business
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Have you read the book? Thoughts?

Fortune

Book Quote of the Week – 009

“The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything.”

Malcolm Gladwell

Books You Should Read

Business Books

 

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a number of people asking me for suggested books to read. There are a lot of great books that I’ve read and there area always new great ones being published.

I refer most people to my Reading List if they are looking for a book to read. My Reading List is the list of all the books I’ve read split up into different sections. It also has my top must read and currently reading lists. If you are interested in any of the books on my list just click on the title and it will take you to the Amazon page where you can learn more about the book and order it for yourself.

But there are two books that I have suggested in the past couple weeks that I’ll point out.  The first one was one that made me think a little more than normal. The reason was because of the person who asked. It was my 14 year old son who came into my office and asked if I had a book he could read. It made me sit back and think about the books that I’ve read that I would really like my son to learn something from. I’ve had him read books such as The Compound Effect and The Richest Man in Babylon. This time I thought the book that would be great for him to learn from at this time in his life was The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure. So if you are looking for a book that will help you to learn how to take massive action to achieve your goals, it’s definitely a book you need to read.

Another book that I suggested to someone yesterday was Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. This is a true story that will grab your attention and you won’t want to put it down!

A New York Times bestseller: “[Red Notice] does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books” (Fortune).

If you are like me and travel a lot, take advantage of your travel time and listen to your books on audio.  For a free trial of Audible and two free audio books, click the link below:

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Book Quote of the Week – 007

“The most crucial things to know about success — in order to have it and keep it — are the following:

1. Success is important.

2. Success is your duty.

3. There is no shortage of success.”

– Grant Cardone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obsessed

Daily Success Habits

Road to Success Highway Sign

When Jeff Olson talks about success habits in The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness he often says, “they are easy to do, but they are easy not to do as well.”

I recently read Think and Grow Rich again and decided to take on Napoleon Hills challenge of writing down my goals and reading them twice per day, once first thing in the morning and once just before going to sleep. Really, it’s a pretty simple way to get your mind continually focused on your goals, it’s easy to do.

Over the past week I’ve had some late nights and early mornings. That’s no excuse and I still have all my good intentions, but as I look back there are times that I have simply forgot to do this. Easy to do… Easy not to do.

As I hurried to get the kids off to school this morning and realized I had forgot about reading my goals over this morning I started to reflect on it. How important are these goals to me? How bad do I want to achieve them? If I can’t take the simple step of reading over my goals twice per day am I really going to do the other things that are going to help me achieve those goals?
To be successful we need to create our success habits which we do day in and day out regardless of what they are. As Darren Hardy teaches in The Compound Effect, it’s the small, daily habits that create big results. Figure out today what those small daily habits need to be and don’t cheat yourself, make sure you are doing them every single day. They will help you find success.


 

Learning

The Aladdin Factor – Go For It!

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Cold calls can be tough. Yes, there are some of you out there that it’s no big deal and you don’t even think twice about it, but for a lot of people, including me, cold calls can be tough. Just the thought of the call begins a narrative of stories in your mind. Who do I ask for when I call? What if they say no? What will I say?
Maybe it’s easier to just not make the call and save yourself the stress and embarrassment, right?  Well, not in the life of an entrepreneur or someone in any type of sales position.
I recently was in this position while I was trying to make some major decisions for one of our companies. I had thought through some scenarios and the idea came to me that there might be an opportunity to collaborate with one of our competitors to create a win-win for both of us. But my thoughts tried to sabotage the idea. “I don’t even know who to talk to. Do I just call their toll free number and ask for the boss? What if they think it’s a dumb idea?”
Any time that I’m in a situation like this I think of a book that really changed my life as an entrepreneur. The Aladdin Factor by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. The principle they teach that I find most helpful in this type of situation is to basically not care what the other side thinks of you when, if the worse scenario in your mind happens, nothing in your life changes.
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If you make the call and get a NO. Nothing has changed in your life. You didn’t have whatever you were asking for before. You asked and you don’t have it now. So nothing has changed by asking, so who cares. Sure, if you don’t have “it” right now, you. still don’t have “it” if you don’t ask and nothing has changed in that situation either. But if you don’t ask at all, you are not giving the opportunity for a YES. So go ahead and make that call.
Back. to my story. I made the call and told the lady who answered that I didn’t know who I should ask for but explained why I was calling.  Turns out that it was a great action to take. The deal we are working to put together is nothing like I had imagined when I was first making the call.  In fact it is significantly different.  But in the end it’s looking like it will be better for both of us and I’m having an opportunity to work with some great business people that I would have never known if I didn’t make the call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anticipation

Basketball Season is Underway!

As I’ve always said, this blog is about my life as a father and husband and not only business. So this post is more related to the things I really love, my family and supporting them in what they do.

 

Our family really enjoys this time of year. The kids are back in full swing of basketball mode and we are doing our best to follow them around to get to all their events. All of my kids are attending American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, Arizona. Daxon’s season has just got underway (8th grade) and they are 1-1. I’ll have some game tape for him that I’ll share soon.

 

I have the opportunity to help coach Tia’s team. She’s a junior this year and has started out strong. Her stats can be tracked on MaxPreps HERE

 

This past weekend we played in the Holiday Hoops women’s Basketball Tournament in Phoenix and Tia was named to the All Tournament All-Star Team. Our first game was probably her best where she had 29 points, she was 7 for 9 from behind the three point line, had 16 rebounds and 8 steals.

 

It’s going to be a fun year watching both Tia and Daxon, we are really looking forward to it!

 

 

 

 

Fail and Learn

Failure is such a common word when people talk about entrepreneurship. We hear things like, fail fast or fail often. It’s a known thing, all business don’t succeed. Things happen that are out of the entrepreneurs control. A good idea doesn’t work out because of an outside force or situation. Or a business fails because it was a bad idea from the beginning. Maybe it was a good idea but it was poorly executed. Whatever the matter, some businesses fail.
As an entrepreneur I am well aware that failure is part of business. But a lot of entrepreneurs think like I have, that failure is something that happens with other people’s businesses. Sometimes, as hard as it might be, failure is the best option, or the only option. I have operated in situations with the attitude that failure is not an option and in the long run it was a mistake. In those situations I believe that if I would have allowed myself to fail I would have been able to pivot and get back on track a lot sooner than I had by trying to keep something going that should have failed sooner.
The most important part of failure is the lessons learned. I hope that the future will show that I have learned from my mistakes and moving forward can be a better entrepreneur because of it.

Your Team Needs Intentional and Effective Communication

dave_ramsey_entreleadershipOne of the things that I have prided myself with in my company is our team communication. It would make me proud to hear someone else from our team talking to a new employee or a potential employee and tell them how great our team communication is.

But the other day I received a call from one of our team members that had some concerns. His concerns had caused some problems between him and another team member. The problem is that as we discussed the situation I came to realize that the entire situation was created because of some poor communication from me.

In Dave Ramsey’s book,EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches he says, “One of the hallmarks of winning companies is they are very intentional and effective at communication.”

For the success of a company and a team we must always be reminding ourselves about the importance of intentional and effective communication.

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