Whatever The Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve

It was thought that running a mile in under 4-minutes was physically impossible for any human being. Until, at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Stadium in 1954, Roger Bannister completed four laps in 3:59.4. The photo of an exhausted Bannister with his eyes closed and mouth opened appeared on the front page of newspapers around the world, a testament of what humankind could achieve.

 As important as anything, Bannister broke a psychological barrier with this run. This once believed impossible record only lasted for 46 days before Australian runner John Landy shaved 1.5 seconds off of his time. By the end of 1957, 16 runners had logged sub-4-minute miles. Since that time more than 1,400 runners have broken the 4 minute mile and the current record stands at 3:43.13. An impossible task until Bannister changed that belief.

Similar to the impossible 4-minute mile, breaking the 2-hour marathon (26.2 miles) was another barrier that seemed would never happen. In fact, researchers in Australia crunched marathon world records over the past 60 years and concluded that there was a 10 percent likelihood that the two-hour mark would fall by 2032, and just a 5 percent chance it would happen by 2024.

Last week, on October 12, 2019 Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest 26.2 miles ever and broke through the seemingly impossible barrier of two hours with a time of 1:59:40. That is an incredible sub-4:34 mile pace for the entire distance. 

Just like when Bannister broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, Kipchoge has inspired a new generation to push their limits with what is possible.

“It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954. I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours, and I can tell people that no human is limited,” Kipchoge said. “I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill

Believe

To live the life you truly desire, the first step is to break through the psychological barriers that are holding you back. You have to believe that you can get there. 

Kipchoge believed he could break the two-hour barrier. Before the event he said, “Many ideologies [have] been going that no human will break the two-hour mark but personally, I have dared to try. I am doing it to make history.” After the race he said, “there was no point that I doubted myself.”

Look around. You’re biggest dreams, the life you really want is not the 4-minute mile or the 2-hour marathon. Most likely, there’s already someone that is living that life. You don’t need to wait for someone to break through that psychological barrier before you can achieve it. That barrier has already been broken.

Your first step to achieving your goals is believing you can do it.

Barriers

Where do you really want to be? What are your big goals? Identify the real and the imagined barriers that are holding you back. It’s time to break through those barriers and reach your true potential! Stop believing your own lies.

Not knowing how to do it. Not seeing the path. Thinking it’s impossible. These are all excuses that you’ve told yourself. Kipchoge figured out how to run a sub-2 hour marathon, you can figure out how to achieve the life you want.

Your Path

Once you really believe you can achieve your goals you need to give yourself a path to follow so you’ll be able to reach the goals you previously thought were impossible.

In May of 2017, Kipchoge came up just shy of the two-hour mark during Nike’s Breaking2 project, finishing with a time of 2:00:25. After missing the mark by less than half a minute, he created the path he needed to follow to accomplish the goal a little more than two years later. This included his training and preparation all the way through to the pace setters and water delivery during the run.

Planning is key to your success. Figure out how you’re going to reach your ultimate goals and follow that plan. But be flexible so you can adjust quickly and make decisions when road blocks appear.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Stephen R. Covey


Persist Until You Succeed

If at times you get knocked off your path it doesn’t mean it’s over. Adjust and figure out how to get back on the path again. Brian Tracy said, “Your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action and the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!”

The first step in your journey is to see in your mind what it is that you really want and to truly believe you are capable of achieving it. The mind is a powerful force and when you use it to create the life and the outcomes you desire, amazing things will happen.

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He’s actually inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives and we can do more than we think we can do.

Patrick Sang – Eliud Kipchoge’s Coach
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A Man Is What He Thinks About All Day Long

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The amount of information that we are exposed to on a daily basis is amazing. 

It comes through social media, television, radio, books, and the list could go on and on.  It’s great how much access we have in this day and age to information, but it is potentially dangerous as well.  I want to look at the potential impact information can have on our lives.

I’ve talked previously about the importance of being powerful creators of our own lives. As we walk through this process it will demonstrate why it is so important that we are intentional about it.

You get in life what you create.

Create > Life

This is why you see people from all different backgrounds, countries and races doing amazing things in the world, regardless of where they start out. We’ve seen people rise up out of poverty, from having absolutely nothing and becoming extremely successful and wealthy. At the same time we’ve seen people who would be considered privileged, create amazing things in their own lives. 

On the other hand, we’ve watched people on both ends of the same spectrum create un-powerful lives and end up even worse off than they began.

The things that you expect in your life are the things you create. What you expect to happen, drives your creative capacity.

Expect > Create > Life

But now, taking one more step back, where do your expectations come from?

You expect what you think about.

Think > Expect > Create > Life

Life is a result of what we think about. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “There is a deep tendency in human nature to become precisely like that which you habitually imagine yourself to be.”

This philosophy spurred the writing of books such as Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Magic of Thinking Big, and others.

But if you go another level deeper, what is it that influences your thoughts?

It’s the things you allow yourself to hear and see. The inputs that you are exposed to

Inputs > Think > Expect > Create > Life

This is why it’s so important to be conscious of the things you allow yourself to be exposed to. 

In such a fast paced, chaotic world, all of the different media outlets are fighting for your attention. 

Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a news station that just reports on the good things that happen? The happy, feel-good stories? It’s because they would go broke. It’s the stories of fear, tragedy and disaster that catch our attention. 

Your brain’s job is to keep you alive, not make you happy and the media understands this. That’s why they don’t use the happy, feel good stories to grab your attention. It’s the tragic, shocking stories that get your attention. It’s the same reason traffic comes to a halt as people rubber-neck to see an accident, but at other times those same people don’t think twice about looking at the most beautiful sunset they would have ever experienced as they are making their commute home.

When you look at the path of how the inputs in our lives impact our thoughts, which impact our expectations, our expectations turn into our creations which results in our life you can understand why it’s so important to pay attention to the inputs we allow into our lives.

When you look at the path of how the inputs in our lives impact our thoughts, which impact our expectations, our expectations turn into our creations which results in our life you can understand why it’s so important to pay attention to the inputs we allow into our lives.

You have to protect your mind. You have to be vigilant about what you expose yourself to because every single input matters.

So what does this mean to you? How do you do it?

You have to consciously choose what you are going to allow yourself to be exposed to.  According to a Nielsen Report, US adults watch 5:04 of TV per day on average (35.5 hours/week, slightly more than 77 days per year). It’s time to cut back. Make a choice as to what you are going to give your attention to. Are you going to focus on the good or the bad? The things you can’t do anything about, or the things you can impact?

The first time I trained for a marathon I did all of my training on a treadmill and my routine was to watch the news while I ran. I knew about everything going on. Politics, the markets, the wars and all the other dark, dirty and fearsome content. But then one day I decided I didn’t need to know all of it and continue to fill my mind with all of the garbage and I quit watching the news. The result?

  • Not watching the news didn’t limit my capacity.
  • It didn’t end or cause the start of any war.
  • I wasn’t uninformed because the things I needed to know came to me in different forms.
  • It drove my parents crazy when they said something to me about something in the news and I had no idea what they were talking about. 
  • It cleared my mind!

A number of years ago I listened to Darren Hardy speak on this topic and the following are his thoughts combined with my own on how to best manage the inputs you let into your life.

Selective Listening

Be specific about the things you let in. You don’t have to give it all your attention, just the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that impact you and your family and ignore the rest.

Remember, what you give your attention to becomes your reality. Focus your attention on what is good – ideas, knowledge, talents and skills

Low Information Diet

Limit your intake. Filter your news so you’re only getting the things that are important to you. Do not over-consume!

Mind Your E2E Ratio

Your E2E Ratio is a concept from Brian Tracy, which stands for Entertainment to Education Ratio. Recognize how much of your time is focused on Entertainment vs Education. One study stated that 95% of people spend their extra time on entertainment, while 5% (the successful) spent their extra time focused on education.

Feed Your Mind

As you feed your mind with high quality content, your thoughts and ideas become more powerful. 

I enjoy good music, but I rarely listen to it. I prefer to spend any time I can listening to books or podcasts online. 

For example, last week I wrote the article, Dealing With Negative People. This morning at the gym, with TV’s on every wall broadcasting news stations and ESPN, I had my headphones in listening to, “Talking to Crazy,” a book that someone suggested to me after reading my article.

Separate yourself from the average. Use your extra time to fill your mind with positive and inspirational material.

When we are fully aware of the impact the things we allow as inputs have on our lives we can be more conscious and selective to ensure we are letting only the best things in. Be intentional in all you do and live the life you most desire.

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Dealing With Negative People

We all have to deal with negative people at some point. How do you deal with it?

You need to be conscious of the impact it has on you. I can recall when I’ve been around the negative energy and attitude of someone and the next thing I know I’m unloading negativity onto someone else.

Just stay away from negative people. Eliminate them from your life. Who cares what they think… Right?

It’s really not quite that easy, so then what?

Some people are chronically negative. They are always complaining. Finding the bad in everything. The Eeyore’s of the world.

With others it may be out of character but something has triggered them to be in a mood.

A while ago I wrote, “The Crowd’s Chanting ‘Airball’… You’re Thinking, ‘NEXT!’ I talked about how you have to deal with negativity by moving on. I used a Tweet from Gary Vaynerchuk as an example where he said “I just don’t give a @$%& about what anybody thinks about me, because they don’t know who the *&^% I am inside.” 

But here’s the thing. The context of that article was talking about the impact of your own negative self-talk and the negative feedback from social media. Sometimes the “I don’t care” attitude and brushing them off might be the answer, but not all the time.

When you consciously prepare for something before it happens, you are better able to deal with it when you’re actually in the situation because you can stop yourself from reacting based on emotions.

 When you have to deal with negative people, keep these four points in mind:

Decide Your Response and Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Sucked In

You always have the choice to decide your response. In Man’s search for MeaningViktor E. Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

It doesn’t matter how negative, nasty or degrading someone is to you. You are always the one choosing how you respond. Don’t let your emotions dictate your reaction and suck you into their negativity. 

Don’t Let Their Problem Become Your Problem

Often, when someone is spewing their negativity onto you, it really has nothing to do with you at all. But they want someone on their side. They want someone to agree with them or just listen to them on whatever it is they are ranting about. 

It’s not your job to justify their negativity, fix their problem or take it upon yourself. Don’t allow yourself to become everyone’s problem solver and become infected with their negativity.

Hold Your Tongue

This one can be a challenge. There will be times that it’s not just a negative person you are dealing with. Sometimes they will be attacking you, someone you love, your thoughts or your goals. 

When this happens you need to stand up for yourself, right? Will it really change anything if you do?  You might feel like you have to justify your thoughts or actions, but you don’t. 

“In life, it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong.”

Don’t Let Them Change Your Path

If someone tells you that your dreams are unrealistic, should you change them? As you read that I’m sure you thought to yourself, “of course not.” But are you sure? Have you ever been excited about something only to share it with someone and you were deflated after you saw their response? Maybe they even laughed at it or told you that you’re crazy.

 I’m blessed with the most supportive wife in the world. From day one, I’ve been able to come to her with any of my crazy dreams and she’s automatically by biggest supporter and cheerleader. 

Recently we were discussing some of our business ideas and activities and she made a comment that crushed me. For the first time in my life I felt like I didn’t have her support in something that I was excited about. I began questioning myself. What am I thinking? Why did I think I could or should do this? But I was able to gather myself and remember the thought and preparation I had put into the idea before beginning it, and I knew it was the right thing.

Luckily I also soon realized that I misinterpreted her comment and she’s still my number one supporter!

When you know you’re on the right path, don’t let the negativity of someone else change it. 

Our attitudes are a choice that we have. Just as someone’s negative attitude or personality can have an impact on others, your positive attitude and excitement can have an impact on others as well.

Everyone is dealing with some kind of challenge. Be the light in their life!

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How to Increase Your Productivity

When I sit down to write an article, or as I’m planning an upcoming mastermind call, the topics usually come to me because of conversations I’ve had throughout that week.

On our mastermind call yesterday, one of the things we discussed was how to keep focused and work efficiently towards your goals. I received a comment from someone that said they work much more efficiently and are better at getting things done as deadlines approach. This comment reminded me of a post I had written back in April of 2013. Today, I want to share that information again.

The following is portions of my post from April 18, 2013:

Last night, my daughter, Tia, finished practicing piano and was sitting at the table looking very stressed. My wife, Tamara, asked her what was stressing her out. From there the floodgates opened up and out came all of the things she had to get done in the next few days with some tight deadlines: French test, write a paper abut her experience in Africa, create a video to use at the piano recital, prepare her presentation for the Rotary Club, basketball practice, and…

That was when Tamara stepped in. She told Tia to make a list of all the things she needed to get done and the deadline for each one. She also needed to figure out which ones she could have help on and who could help her.

This made me think about Zig Ziglar and his “Day Before Vacation” teachings, which he asks:

  1. As a general rule, on the day before you go on vacation, do you get two or three times as much work done as you normally get done in a day?
  2. If you can learn why you are that much more productive on the day before vacation, and then repeat that process on a daily basis without working any longer or harder, does it make sense that you will be more valuable to yourself, your family, your company, and society in general?
  3. On the night before the day before vacation, do you take a sheet of paper and say to yourself, “Now tomorrow I’ve got to do…,” and then make a list of things you must do?… In it’s simplest form, that’s goal setting and it’s critical. Next, did you organize your must-do list in the order of importance and accept responsibility for completing those tasks?

The day before we leave on a vacation, Tamara and I both have our to-do lists. On that day, both work related and non-work related things get completed efficiently. This all happens because we have deadlines and we need to focus to get those things done.

This is what Tia will experience over the next few days. Her French test, the Rotary presentation, piano recital and all the other things coming up are going to happen if she’s ready or not. So she needs to focus and prioritize to ensure she does well at all of them.

Going back to Zig and his day before vacation example, he says “On the way to work the next day your self-talk was upbeat and centered on what you were going to get done. You arrived at work on time so you were punctual. You immediately started to work, making you a self-starter. You were highly motivated and optimistic that you were going to finish every task you had set for yourself. You were enthusiastic about your work and decisively moved from one task to the next, making good choices as you did so, even if the next job on the list was disagreeable.”

I love this example related to unpleasant tasks. “An ol’ boy down home said it best, “Friend, if you’ve got to swallow a frog, you just don’t want to look at the sucker too long. He aint gonna get no purtier! As a matter of fact, the longer you look, the uglier he gets.” That’s the way unpleasant tasks are.”

“As you move from task to task, if someone tried to interrupt and talk about last night’s television program or last night’s game, you disciplined yourself to stay on task and not be distracted from your job… Since there was no “tomorrow” for you on each job, you persisted until you completed each one… and momentum built with the completion of each task… Perhaps the most exciting part of this vacation scenario is the fact that your co-workers instinctively picked up the pace [as well].”

If this approach works so well on the day before vacation, or the days before a test or a presentation, won’t it work just as well every day?

A big part of this is in your planning. When you plan and track things, the odds of their happening go up substantially. If we plan our months, weeks and days we will be more productive and balanced.

Tia spent the evening writing about her experiences in Africa. She made her list and prioritized it. When Tamara told her to pause and to make a list to prioritize, it relieved a lot of the stress in the situation.

Plan your time efficiently, and act upon your plans so that you don’t spend your time reacting to what is happening to you.

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Surround Yourself With Greatness

You’ve probably heard the Jim Rohn quote before, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

How true is this statement? If it’s true, what areas of your life does it impact?

It is true, and it impacts every aspect of your life. Your level of wealth, your happiness, aspirations and goals, health and physical condition, relationships and attitudes. I could keep going. 

We want our kids to hang out with good friends that will be positive influences on them. In Surround Yourself With Greatness, Chad Lewis says, “It is vital to surround ourselves with good friends as it is for a fish to live in water, especially in our teenage years. It is critically important to our lives, our future, our health, and our safety to be around positive influences, people who don’t tempt us but rather help us make good decisions. A friend who sees the good in us and encourages us to be our best self is worth more than his weight in pure gold.”

It’s no different in our adult lives. It is vital that we surround ourselves with the right people.

“He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

Proverbs 13:20

 If the people you spend the most time with have a negative outlook on life, focus on the bad, are always blaming others for their difficulties and are generally just negative, how do you expect to be happy and have a positive approach to life? 

Look at the people around you. Are they more successful than you? Are they doing and working towards the things that you want in your life? What direction are they going? Where are they going to be in twenty years? Is it the direction you want to be going? They are either pulling you up, or dragging you down. Which is it?

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said, “Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind… We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment.” 

The people around you can elevate you as much as they bring you down. I have a business partner that always has huge goals and aspirations and always has an incredibly positive attitude towards life and the future. Sometimes when I’m faced with difficulties and things just aren’t working out, I’ll go meet with him just for the pep talk. I know that just by spending time with him and talking with him I’ll leave with a positive attitude ready and excited to take on the world!

Who do you want to be? What goals do you have? 

Are you getting closer to your goals or do you seem to keep running into obstacles that are holding you back?

Now, who are the five people that you currently spend the most time with? Do these people match who you want to be in the future?

Who are the top five people who embody the qualities you desire, or have done the things you are aspiring towards? How can you increase your contact with them?

You want those you spend time with to encourage and support you. You want them to help you achieve your goals. If you’re always the smartest, strongest, richest, whatever-est person in your group, you are in the wrong group. You need someone to motivate and inspire you to get better. To make you think bigger and believe it is possible. 

It’s amazing the impact people can have in your life through their example, encouragement and belief in you. Just be honest with yourself as you look around and recognize if your relationships are empowering you and helping you to achieve your dreams.

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Overcome Your Fears to Gain Confidence

Fear and confidence is a topic that seems to continue coming up as I speak with clients. It came up a number of times last week at our mastermind event in Arizona, so I talked about it more on my weekly mastermind video call. Since then, I’ve continued to have a number of people bring it up so I want to continue the conversation here.

“One of the best ways to overcome fear of any kind is to habituate yourself to it.”

Darren Hardy

What Darren Hardy’s suggesting is that you face your fear head-on and bombard yourself with it until you don’t fear it any longer. 

When the average person fears speaking in public more than death, how does the military take young teenage kids and create brave soldiers out of them? How do they take soldiers into SEAL training and make ultimate warriors out of them?

When bullets start flying, what is it that makes these men and women run towards the battle rather than run away?

During bootcamp or SEAL BUD/S training they are put through endless fear, pressure and stress at extreme levels until their fear turns into confidence.

Have you ever heard of Hell Week? 

In Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, he gives a glimpse of Hell Week:

It was night three into the infamous Hell Week of SEAL training. The students, in camouflage fatigues, were soaked to the bone and covered in gritty sand that chafed them until they were raw and bleeding They shivered from the cold ocean water and cool wind of the Southern California night. The students moved with the aches and pains as only those who have suffered through seventy-two hours straight of nearly nonstop physical exertion can. Exhausted, over the previous three days they had slept for less than one hour total. Since Hell Week had begun, dozens of them had quit. Others had become sick or injured and were pulled from training. When this class had started Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (known as BUD/S) – the SEAL basic training course – several weeks before, nearly two hundred determined young men had eagerly begun. All dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL, prepared for years, and came to BUD/S with every intention of graduating. And yet within the first forty-eight hours of Hell Week, most of those young men had surrendered to the brutal challenge, rung the bell three times – the signal for DOR, or drop on request – and walked away from their dream of becoming a SEAL. They quit.

I’m told that about 80% of those who start BUD/S do not finish. But those who do know that they are the elite. They’ve been through hell and back and survived. There’s nothing they can’t handle.

If you can train your brain to run towards bullets and bombs in battle, think how easy it can be to train yourself to run towards the stage to speak, or to make a prospect call, or to approach a group of strangers that you want to introduce yourself to.

As I reflected on my own life and thought about fears that I’ve had that I was able to turn into confidence, I thought back to my senior year in high school. I seemed to have followed in my older brothers footsteps in a lot of things as I was growing up. When he was in Rexburg ID going to college he started to rodeo. He started as a bareback rider and then took up roping and later steer wrestling. Soon, I was into the rodeo scene as well and was traveling the high school rodeo circuit as a calf roper and team roper. But as I watched him in the steer wrestling (bulldogging), I knew that was something I wanted to do someday.

If you’re not familiar with steer wrestling, I’ll explain what it is. I’ve heard a number of rodeo announcers compare it to getting into the back up a truck, having someone drive it down the road at 30mph and then you jump out of the back onto a passing mailbox. Maybe it’s not quite the same, but it gives you an idea.

In steer wrestling you have a steer in a chute that you let out and give a head start. You also have another cowboy (called the hazer) on a horse that is on the right side of the steer and his job is just to make the steer run straight. The steer wrestler is on his horse on the left side of the steer. After giving the steer a head start the steer wrestler chases the steer down going as fast as the horse can run.  As the horse runs past the steer, the steer wrestler jumps off of the horse, grabbing the horns of the steer. He then digs his feet into the ground to slow the steer down and without getting into the techniques, he wrestles the steer to the ground. 

At least that is how it’s supposed to happen. I’ve seen steers outrun the cowboys. I’ve seen the cowboys miss and land on their butts at 30mph and all sorts of other wrecks. I’ve seen the cowboy hit the ground as his horse stumbled and then as the horse fell it landed on his head. Well, I didn’t actually see that but that’s what they told me happened once I regained consciousness. But really, the scary part is the fact that you are riding a horse which is running as fast as it can and you jump off of it onto the horns of a steer.

I remember calling my brother and telling him that I’d like him to teach me how to steer wrestle. He said he would love to and the next time they were doing it he would let me know and I could come and watch. 

“Well, it’s a little more complicated than that,” I told him. “I actually entered the steer wrestling in a rodeo next weekend. So I need you to teach me before Friday!”

Do the thing you fear over and over again, until you train your brain that it’s no longer something to be feared.

Darren Hardy

To make a long story short, the next day we were at the practice pen and I was ready to learn. As my brother was talking me through the process he told me something that I was well aware of. He told me that when you first start out, the actual process of jumping off of the horse onto the steer was the scariest part. But he also told me that from all the people he had watch learn to steer wrestle, those that took multiple attempts but never actually jumped struggled the most. Every time they tried but did not jump, it was twice as scary the next time. Some of them ended up riding past the steer multiple times and finally decided they were done and never tried it again.

But he had a solution for this, he told me. He said that if my nerves got to me and I rode by the first steer, it was ok. Nothing to worry about. But that meant that no matter what I had to jump off on my second attempt to prevent the fear from building up. He also told me that it wouldn’t be a problem because they had a way to make sure I jumped.

If I rode past the first steer without jumping, on my second attempt the hazer, riding on the opposite side, would have a rope which would be tied around my waste. If I made the jump, great! But if I didn’t make the jump and was going to ride by, he would pull me off the horse. 

With my heart pounding out of my chest and enough adrenaline to stop a freight train, I started chasing down my first steer. As scary as it was, there was no way my brother was going to put a rope around my waste and pull me off of my horse. I jumped my very first steer, plus a number of others that night. 

It wasn’t after that one night that I began to feel confident in the process. But the more I did it, the more confident I became. But the fear part never disappeared 100%, but it changed to excitement and energy. Even once I was steer wrestling at the professional level, there were many times I had my heart pounding out of my chest. But every time I jumped, the fear became less and less and my confidence grew.

Oh, and by the way, I won second place at that first rodeo!

My confidence comes from my vision… I am a big believer that if you have a clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris)

So, if you have a fear of speaking, what should you do? Speak! Wherever you can. Find opportunities to speak and in spite of your fears, do it. If you have fears of calling prospects. Call them. Whatever your fears are, face them and do them so much that you become confident doing them.

Even when everything is going terrible, andI have no reason to be confident, I just decide to be

Derek Sivers (Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris)

I know that you can have fears that are much different than the fear of speaking or the fear of jumping off of a horse at full speed. The fear of hurting your family financially if you fail would be an example. But that is when finding a coach, a mentor or a mastermind comes in useful. Through these resources you can strategize, plan, role-play, etc. until you know how to proceed with a much lower level of risk and a higher level of confidence.

Overcome the fears that are holding you back from achieving your dreams!

Leave a comment below about something that you once feared but overcame it with action and it’s no longer a fear.

Want More Profit In Your Business?

Know Your Math

I was recently working through some marketing strategies with one of my coaching clients and we got onto the topic of pricing. She really wanted to make a push to increase her sales in the short term and wanted to decrease her prices and have a sale as a promotion. 

I told her that I didn’t think that it was a good idea. There are better ways in which you can offer your customers more value with different strategies such as bundling. But first I wanted to walk her through the numbers to show her why I didn’t think a sale was her best option. 

Unfortunately I haven’t always seen it this way and have made similar mistakes with my own companies in the past. But now that I’ve worked through the numbers and see the math, I definitely focus on other marketing strategies.

I’ll spend some time in other articles to talk about different strategies, but for now I’m going to walk through the steps I showed her that explain why I don’t like the idea of using a sale to add value to your customers.

The real key to success in marketing is to offer more value than your competition. Prospects will pay twice the price if they believe they’re receiving four times more value. Unfortunately, most businesses in a vain attempt to increase their value begin to offer discounts, and that often destroys their margins. 

Would you believe me that in some businesses if they discount their price by a mere 10%, they now have to sell 50% more just to break even?

Let’s look at an example:

If you sell a widget for $100, and you have a 30% profit margin, you make $30 for every widget you sell. That means your cost basis for that widget is $70. If you discount that widget by 10% and sell it for $90 instead of $100, your cost basis is still $70. Now you are only making $20 in profit instead of $30.

For this business to make $1,000 in profit selling their widgets at $100 each, they would need to sell 33.3 widgets ($30 X 33.3 widgets = $1,000). But by discounting their price 10%, now they need to sell 50 widgets ($20 X 50 widgets = $1,000). They now have to sell 50% more widgets just to get back to their original profit margin. (33.3 X 1.5 = 50).

But consider this… when was the last time you saw a business offer a measly 10% discount? Most of the time they offer 20% to 40% discounts… and wonder why they are going broke. And to add even more bad news on top of this already bleak scenario, did you know that the latest research shows that discounting doesn’t actually impact a prospect’s buying decision unless that discount is for 40% or more?

So what about increasing prices?

Most small businesses have NEVER raised their prices. That’s because they don’t know the facts when it comes to increasing their pricing. They’re scared to death that ANY price increase, no matter how small, will lead to a mass exodus of all their customers. But is that really true?

Let’s use the same scenario as before. You are selling your widget for $100 and decide to increase that price by 10% to $110. Will that small increase REALLY lead to a loss of customers? Honestly, I believe a few will leave, but they are most likely your biggest price shoppers that show NO loyalty or patronage to your business anyway. They are the ones that beat you down on price every chance they get, and the moment you begin to make a decent profit, they will leave you in a heartbeat for the next business willing to accept a financial beat down. But even though there will be some customer attrition… to what extent? Let’s look at the numbers.

Their business is now making an additional $10 per widget… All of which is pure profit. Right there, that’s a 33% profit increase. For their business to make $1,000 in profit selling the widgets at $100 each, they needed to sell 33.3 widgets. But now, by increasing the price 10%, they only need to sell 25 widgets.

That means just to BREAK EVEN, they would need to LOSE 25% of your customers over a measly 10% price increase… and that simply ISN’T going to happen!

Want to know the closely guarded secret that successful businesses don’t want you to know?

STOP Discounting!!! Instead, innovate your business so you offer more value than your competition and increase your prices.

Of course, if we were working together we would need to perform a thorough price analysis on your business and determine the most lucrative price increase for you, but this is definitely a strategy I strongly recommend to all of my small business clients to help them increase their revenue. There simply is no FASTER or EASIER way to generate additional revenue. 

After working through these numbers my client made the decision to increase her prices rather than have a sale and decrease them. So far, along with some other marketing strategies we applied, it is proving to be the exact thing she needed to do for her business.

Once you know and understand these and the other marketing strategies I teach, it’s just a matter of getting it all implemented in a timely and efficient manner to watch your business explode!

Watch the Video: “Everything You’ve Learned About Generating Leads & Growing Your Business Is Wrong!”

jeff@jeffheggie.com

The One Funnel Away Challenge Is BACK!

You’ve probably heard all the buzz about the One Funnel Away Challenge by now…

(…you know, the crazy, intense challenge where you have 30 days to build and launch your online funnel, while having Russell Brunson, Julie Stoian, and Stephen Larsen as your coaches?)  

Word is spreading about how awesome this Challenge is, and thousands of entrepreneurs have been a waiting list for it to open back up, so they can join the next one.
Well, after months of waiting, it’s finally back!

The Challenge officially kicks off September 2, but you can join right now!  The registration deadline is September 1 9pm ET!

Crazy part is, for a huge 30 day Challenge with 3 top-notch marketing trainers, it’s just $100 for the WHOLE Challenge!  Sooooo, it’s pretty much a no-brainer deal…

If you’re the type of person who wants an online business, but you struggle to get it off the ground…

Or you hate the business you’ve built…

Or you struggle with the actual implementation part…

Then this Challenge FORCES you to bite the bullet and get your first (or next) funnel built.  

They go through everything in detail, so even if you’re a newbie and have never built a funnel before, this would be an appropriate Challenge for you to do…


You can check out the details of the Challenge here → http://bit.ly/OneFAChallenge

Don’t Give Up On Your Goals

Take a moment and look at your life. The year 2020 is 125 days away. Let that sink in. Is this where you thought you would be in 2020?

When you were a little kid, what did 2020 look like in your mind?

 When you were a young adult, what were you going to do with your life by 2020?

What about January 1, 2019? What were you going to accomplish this year?

Many people take a good, hard look at their lives at the end of each year and set their big hairy audacious goals for the coming year, and then they forget about them for eleven and a half months.

Let’s stop right now and take a look at this. If you have been focused and taking massive actions on your 2019 goals, congratulations. Keep it up. I hope you achieve everything you desire. 

For everyone else, I want you to look back on the past eight months. What were those goals and desires? What’s held you back from achieving them? Are you even trying to achieve them still?

Now reset. Get your butt back in gear.

Do you realize what is possible in 125 days? Yea, it would be nice if you could just continue off the momentum of the past 240 days, but if they haven’t been as productive as they should have been, don’t give up on the year. 

Why do people give up on their goals?

Why is it that someone can get so excited about the goals they want to achieve and then just give up on them?

If you’ve ever been one who set some goals but eventually gave up on them, maybe by recognizing some of these reasons that people quit on their goals will help you the next time to follow all the way thought.

This is by no means the full list of why people give up on their goals, but these are the most common reasons that I’ve seen.

They Care Too Much About What Other People Think

Have you ever been so excited about something that you just can’t wait to tell someone about it? You think it’s an awesome idea and you just can’t wait to share it because you know everyone else will feel the same way as you do. Then with all of your excitement you tell someone and they respond with something like:

“That’s a stupid idea… You could never do that… Yea right, quit dreaming…”

That’s tough. It hurts, it’s deflating. But you can’t let the thoughts or comments from others defeat you. If you believe in something and you really desire it, you have to be ready to deal with negative feedback in a way that won’t throw you off course of discourage you.

Check out Richie Norton’s book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid if you need some encouragement with your “stupid” ideas.

Failure and Discouragement

If you set your goals and you’re working hard to achieve them, does that make you immune to failure? Of course not. When you are working hard towards your goals but you fail, it’s tough. Maybe you’re discouraged. Maybe even embarrassed.

 At this point many people tell themselves they gave it their best and it just wasn’t good enough.  It’s over.

But it’s not over. All that you did was figured out a way that it wasn’t going to work. Keep your head high and get back to work.

It’s Too Hard

Some people get discouraged when they start to work on their goal and realize that it’s going to be a lot harder than they thought it would be. It’s going to take some work.
When it gets hard some people give up just because they lack the discipline to see it through. Some just don’t want it bad enough.

Focus on your goal and create that burning desire that will help you get through every obstacle and keep you excited when things get tough.

Self Doubt

Mindset is everything.

If you want to achieve your goals, you have to have a belief in yourself that you can do it.

You have to be able to kick the self-doubt thoughts out of your mind. 

You will be amazed at what you can accomplish if you just believe in yourself.

“In order for the transformation of ideas into things to work, a certain amount of belief is required; a certain mindset that lets you know in your heart that you can, and will, achieve what you set out to do.”

– Napoleon Hill


For the next 125 days, get control over these four things that can stop you or make you give up on your goals. 

Maybe you’re starting from scratch. Who cares. Just start. 

In 125 days the year 2020 is going to be here whether you get back on track with your goals or not. On that day are you going to wish you had continued working on your goals or are you going to be proud because you worked so hard on your goals whether you achieved them or not?

Join one of our calls with a FREE trial membership to our Inner Circle Mastermind HERE to learn how to set and stick to your goals while being accountable to other like-minded high achievers.

Are You Making a Good First Impression?

I just checked my DM’s (direct messages) on Instagram and had one that had a message similar to others that I usually get four or five times per week. This is what it said:

“Can you give me a shoutout to help me build my followers?”

Simple question. I took a look at their profile and yes, if I were to give them a shoutout they probably would gain some new followers from it. 

But these DM’s actually frustrate me so much!

Who are you? 

You’re not even following me! (This one really boils my blood)

Why would I want to promote you to my followers when I know nothing about you?

What do I get out of it?

Side Note: Read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk if you want to learn how to use social media for your business or as an influencer.

When I read a message like this I just quickly delete it. I move and forget about them.

 There’s a lesson away from social media to learn from this. What can we learn from this to make good first impressions in person?

Have you ever met someone for the first time and then the remainder of the conversation was only about them?

Have you ever met someone for the first time and then the remainder of the conversation was their sales pitch focused 100% on their product with zero part of the conversation about your needs?

So what’s the similarity?

A lot of times it’s hitting delete and forgetting about them, the same as a DM.

Of course you can’t always develop a long term relationship with someone before you try to sell or create business. But how you make your first impression will definitely have an impact on the final outcome.

So let’s explore how you can make a good first impression.

Be Genuine

First off, be genuine. Everyone knows when you are a fake. 

If you come across as fake on insincere you’re not going to have any better results than my friend above on Instagram.

It’s Not All About You

Put the focus on them, not on you. Build the relationship around what you understand about them and their needs and wants, not around you. 

As Dale Carnegie says in How to Win Friends & Influence People:“…the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.”

LISTEN

 Oh no, what was their name? Have you ever been two sentences into a conversation and realize you’ve already forgot their name, which was given to you less than 30 seconds ago?

From the introduction, listen to what they are saying. Too often people are so focused on figuring out what they are going to say next they don’t really hear what the other person is saying. Listen with an intent to really learn from what they are saying. What are their wants? What are their needs? What are they excited about?

 If you truly put the effort into listening, you will learn a lot about a person. 

What Can You Do?

“The past is gone. The present is NOW, NOW, NOW! The only place we can help to create value is in the future.”

Dan Sullivan


Make a difference by helping. Listen for ways you can add value and help them achieve the things they are excited about in the future.  

You will make a much better first impression if you remember these things the next time you meet someone. Remember, make the conversation about them, not you.

Lets take another look at my friend on Instagram. Rather than randomly asking me to give him a shoutout, if he had followed me and spent some time engaging with me and finding ways he could have added value to me, I likely would have been happy to help him out at some point in the future. But instead… Delete & Forget…

Exclusive Inner Circle Mastermind

A Mastermind is a group of like-minded individuals all working together to elevate their game – to make more money, to gain more freedom and achieve the life they’ve always dreamed of.

A Mastermind is the fastest way to get yourself and your business to the next level!

I’m excited about our Elite Performance Mastermind coming up on September 6 in Gilbert AZ! There are still some seats available for this event, so if you are interested you need to hurry and register. This is an event you do not want to miss out on!

But I have had some people reach out to me about other upcoming mastermind events because they can’t make it to our September 6 event. So I’ve decided that today would be a great time to introduce our Inner Circle Mastermind!

The Exclusive Inner Circle Mastermind is for entrepreneurs, businesswomen and businessmen who are looking to: (1) Create Change, (2) Experience Breakthrough Results, (3) Become Powerful Leaders, and (4) Network With Elite Individuals!

Here’s Just A Portion Of What You Will Get As A Member of The Inner Circle Mastermind:

  • Weekly LIVE video calls with high impact, valuable content.
  • Exclusive training and the success habits, capabilities and tools that have allowed the successful to achieve all their goals and desires
  • Spotlight events where we help individuals work through their struggles and barriers as a group and help to point them in the direction of success
  • Guest speaking events from successful entrepreneurs and influencers
  • Instant access to The Inner Circle private Facebook Mastermind where you’ll be able to network and learn from like-minded entrepreneurs who are all elevating each other to the next level
  • Plus So Much More…

Hurry and join our Inner Circle Mastermind during our introductory special! Click below for more details!

How To Read With a Purpose

Back in my days as a banker I spent one year working at a branch that was a pretty good daily commute. Those daily commutes were when I discovered my love for self-education. I remember listening to a Tony Robbins CD and he said when he was first getting started he read 700 books. I wasn’t a reader but I remember thinking, “If 700 books can get Tony Robbins to where he is, I’m going to read 700 books.” I’ve been an avid reader ever since.

 I often think about how I will maximize my benefits of reading. What are the best habits and practices I need to have to get the most out of what I read?


What Am I Reading and Why Am I Reading It?

When I first began reading it was just a race to 700. I was focused on reading books on leadership, management and a variety of different business topic. But I’d finish one, put it on the shelf and start the next one. My thought was that if I can even retain a little from each book, if I read a lot of books, that’s a lot of new knowledge. Looking back I jumped around from topic to topic. Some of the first books I read were: Secrets of Power NegotiatingGood to GreatRaving Fans, and Man’s search For Meaning. I usually chose the books I read because they were mentioned in another book I was reading or someone suggested it. A lot of the time that is how I still choose books today, but I have more intent and focus on what I’m choosing to read now. 

When I added Audible to my tools, that really gave me the ability to get through some books. I spend a lot of time on the road and whenever I’m in my truck I have an audio book playing. 

Now, when I choose a book to read, I look for something that is applicable to me at the time. A book that I feel will help me in what I’m dealing with in business or life at that moment. I no longer read just to get on to the next book. I read with an intent to learn and apply what I learn in my life.

Learn Less, Study More…

Darren Hardy is an author I enjoy learning from. I remember him saying that we need to “learn less and study more. Learning is not the problem; lack of real study and implementation is.” I spend a lot of time taking about and reviewing things I’ve read with my brother-in-law, Sheldon. He studies Darren Hardy’s work a lot and he brought this topic up with me shortly after I had read it. He made me realize that this is something that would be beneficial to me. After our conversation I made some changes to my reading habits. 

I take more time going through a book now to study the content and learn it better. If I find a book I really like, right after I finish reading it I’ll often turn to page one and start over. 

I’ll often finish a book and then get it on Audible so I can listen to it as well. Or, if I first listed to it on Audible I’ll listen to it again and/or also get the hard copy to read. 

Rather than flying through books now, I spend more time studying what I’m reading. That way, rather than hoping I’ll retain a little from each book, I feel that I can retain a lot more.

Highlight, Mark, Dog Ear

I take pride in my home library. In fact, when I started to use Audible I would often still buy the hard copy of the book so it would be in my library. As my library grew, those books were by pride and joy. I don’t lend my books out because I don’t want them to disappear like the neighbor’s borrowed tools. I keep them in good condition, organized exactly how I want them. I use to want every book in perfect shape. No markings, no dog eared pages. But I have found so much value in learning and accepting the fact that to get the most out of my books I need to mark them up, write in the margins, bend some corners, etc. When I read I have my ruler, my pen and my highlighter with me.  They are just as important as having the book.

I find by marking things in the book I remember them better. But I also find that it helps me to find things a lot easier. I’ll often be on a call or in a coaching session when something pops into my mind from something I’ve read. My library is behind my desk and it’s usually quite easy for me to jump up, grab the book and quickly find what I’m looking for. 

When it comes to using Audible it’s easy to clip a note in the app and then I’ll add my own notes to the clip. 

When I read a quote that I like I’ll often add it to my blog as well. At JeffHeggie.com each Tuesday I post my “Book Quote of the Week.” I also add many of them to my Instagram page, www.instagram.com/entrepreneur.next.door/

Teach What You Learn

One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. 

I find that when I read with the intent of teaching I am able to learn the subject matter a lot better. So as you read, whether you are going to have to teach it or not, read it as if you will have to teach it. Learn it well. Learn it good enough to teach it. You’ll find that you’ll know it better, be able to apply what you’ve learned better and you’ll find yourself referring to it more often in conversations. 

We had something we called our Education Plan at Kodiak Mountain Stone. We would ask one of our team members to read a specific book and then we would have a team meeting where they would teach what they had learned from the book and how it would be applicable to us in our business and personal lives. The conversations and things that would come out of those meetings were amazing. But it was always the team member that lead the meeting that got the most out of it.

A while ago I read the book Expert Secrets, by Russell Brunson. It was a great book and I loved what I learned from it. I’m preparing for a Mastermind Event coming up soon and knew there were a few things in the book that I wanted to review for it so I could include them in what I would be teaching. As I was going through the chapters that I wanted to review, I was seeing things in a completely different way. The fact that I was going to be teaching some of the concepts and they were a lot more applicable to my current situation, I was understanding things even better. So rather than just review what I was going to need for the Mastermind, I turned to the front of the book and started to read it all again.

Application

Knowledge is useless if you don’t do anything with it. The sooner you can take the things you learn from your reading and apply them to an area of your life, the better you will understand and remember your new knowledge.

Hopefully these are some practices that can help you to get the most out of your reading. Give them a try. I’d love to hear what you think. Send me your comments in the form below!

You can check out my reading list HERE

Thanks

Sundayspiration

Proud father moment…

Today I was inspired as I was reading a post my daughter had put on Facebook. She shared some powerful words and thoughts and I just wanted to share them here.

h a p p y s a b b a t h !

Sundayspiration (a word I made up.. definition: inspiration on a sunday to give you that extra BOOST we all need for the week!) 

We wake up every morning with a BRAND NEW DAY! A day that you get to decide what you’re going to do, who you are going to inspire and what you want to accomplish. 

Do you let your days control you, or do you control your day? Do you just go with the flow, or do you demand a great day? What is your mindset when you walk out the door? Honestly take time to think about your thoughts! Are they negative or positive? 

I am a firm believer that YOU make your happy life. No matter what consists in your day YOU decide how it is going to affect you. What you decide influences how you influence others. Choose your actions wisely. What frame of mind are you leaving your co-workers, friends, spouse, and kids in when you leave the room? Are you helping them make their happy life? Or are you damaging them because you cant get your happy life? 

Take time to evaluate your emotions and mental state every day. Are you living your happy life, or are you just living?

I say “C H O O S E H A P P Y! Choose happy everyday.”

Tia Heggie https://www.facebook.com/tia.heggie

The Crowd’s Chanting ‘Airball’… You’re Thinking, ‘NEXT!’

One of the most difficult things I deal with in coaching high school basketball is getting the players to buy into the “Next Mentality.” It’s not much different between boys teams, girls teams, the star players or the bench warmers. When they screw up, it’s hard for them to forget about it. It’s not just with screw up’s either, it might just be a missed shot, botched defensive assignment or something else. With some players, if they miss a shot, it’s over. You’re not going to see them take another shot. They’re not going to take the chance of missing again. 

Over the years I’ve improved at coaching the “Next Mentality,” but I know that I’m far from perfect because I had a player going into their third year of playing for me that had to have a refresher last week. If I’ve done my job right, each player on my team should know their role. They should know their assignments. They know the shots they should take as well as the shots they shouldn’t take. So if they are playing their role and doing the things they are supposed to, but a shot doesn’t drop… WHO CARES?! That does not mean you stop shooting or fulfilling your role. But most important, it does not mean you dwell on it and keep beating yourself up over it. It’s over, you’re not going to change it, NEXT! Then the next time down the floor, when you get that same shot that you just missed, there’s no hesitation, you confidently shoot it again. You’re not even thinking about that last shot that you missed. Maybe you make it, maybe you miss it. Either way… NEXT!

I was recently having a conversation with someone who wanted to grow their brand online but they were beginning to fear putting their thoughts out there because on a few of their posts they had some haters add some really negative comments. The first time it happened they were devastated. They couldn’t get it off of their mind and began wondering if they should just throw in the towel. They didn’t know the person, but the comment stung.

When they asked me my opinion on whether or not they should keep going I asked them to tell me again why they were doing it. When we talked about their purpose and their why, the actions they had been taking were a good fit for what their goals are. So my suggestion to them was, “Next!” 

I explained to them that if they were the best shooter on my basketball team and they shot an airball in a game, I wouldn’t want them to stop shooting for the rest of the game just because the opposing fans were chanting ‘airball’.

Look at the biggest influencers out there today. GaryVee puts out insane amounts of content. Does he only get positive, supportive feedback and comments? Of course not. But if he quit creating content after his first hater made a negative comment would he have 6.4M followers on Instagram (@garyvee), 1.9M followers on Twitter (@garyvee), 3.2M followers on Facebook (Facebook.com/gary/), plus the millions more following his other channels? No he wouldn’t. So why did he keep going?

Well, on Twitter he told us exactly why: “I just done give a @%#$ about what anybody thinks about me, because they don’t know who the @%#$ I am inside.”

So why do you spend your time stressed about a negative comment from someone who doesn’t even know you. There’s too much to get done in this life to spend time valuing someone else’s negative opinion. Fulfill your role.  Take your shot. If it was a good shot and you miss, don’t worry about what anyone else says or thinks.  You’re not going to change it. Don’t dwell on it or waste your time thinking about it. Just be ready to keep shooting! NEXT!

Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been at it for a while. If you are willing to play full out and push yourself to amplify the performance of your business and your life you need to join us for our ELITE PERFORMANCE MASTERMIND! We guarantee incredible results, but only register for this event if you are willing to take what you learn and implement massive action to achieve your goals!

Seven Levels Deep

Most people live life as it happens. Reacting to the things around them day by day. But real fulfillment in life comes when we are living a life on purpose.

Once you discover your WHY, you are better able to align your beliefs with every choice and action you take, in order to find greater fulfillment in all that you do.

You’ll be able to make more intentional choices for your business, your career and your life. You’ll be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.

Never again should you have to play the lottery and act on gut decisions that are made for reasons you don’t really understand. From now on, you will work with purpose, on purpose. From now on, you’ll start with WHY.

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talk, Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action, was probably the first time I really started to think about our WHY in business. He said, “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.” 

Sinek’s 2009 TEDx Talk and his book, Start With Why, got many people thinking about their leadership and the ‘why’ of their businesses.

To live a fulfilled life, we also need to know our own personal ‘why.’

Why is it that you do what you do?

Why is it that you want more success? Why do you want to achieve more? Most people really don’t know these answers, even if they think they do. They know on the surface. They’ve thought about it. But when you can anchor it in your heart with feeling and emotions there will be no stopping you!

I was recently training with Dean Graziosi and he introduced me to The Seven Levels Deep tool. The best way to explain how it works is to tell you about my experience going through the process as if Dean was taking me through it.

Dean (Level 1):  “What is important to you about becoming successful?

Jeff: I’ve thought a lot about what success is to me, so this was a quick answer. “Becoming successful is important to me because I want to support my family and give them opportunities and experiences in life.”

Dean (Level 2):” Why is it important to you to support your family and give them these opportunities and experiences?”

Jeff:” I have experiences from growing up that really stand out to me. Great memories that are anchored in my mind. Our family trip to Disneyland in 1984. Trips to the lake in Montana. My parents at all my events whether it was hockey, basketball, football, rodeo or something else, they were there. That is what success has meant to me.  I want to have the means to cover our regular living expenses (i.e. support them), plus have enough to create opportunities and experiences that are special for our familyl, which other families may not have the opportunity to experience.” 

Dean (Level 3): “Great! To you, success means that you will have the means to provide for your family and create great experiences with them. Plus, you will be there for them. WHY?”

Jeff:a’ I want to be able to create those special experiences and opportunities so that my family has great memories of the time we spent together and the things that we did.”

Dean (Level 4): “Ok, Jeff, that’s great. Now you know that you want to provide for your family and give them special opportunities and experiences, and you want to do this so that they have great memories of the time they’ve spent together. But why?”

Jeff: “I want them to see me as a good provider. I want them to see me as a father that has taken care of them. A father that has created great opportunities and memories for them. I want them to remember the unique and special things they were able to do and feel that they are fortunate and special by being a part of our family. I want them to remember that I was always there for them and wanted to be a part of their lives. That I was there because I wanted to be, not because I felt obligated to be.”

At this point I thought I had figured it out. I’ve always looked at success in my life as being able to provide for and create special experiences for my family.  But I’ve figured it out. I want them to feel special and proud for being a part of our family. I want them to remember how important family was to me and how I worked hard but was there when they needed me.

Dean (Level 5): a’That’s great that you’re figuring this out Jeff, but we have only gone through Level 4, we have more to go. Lets go deeper. Why do you want them to remember the unique and special things your family is fortunate enough to do. Why is it that you want them to feel special and proud for being a part of your family?” 

Jeff: “I want them to love me, appreciate me, and be proud of me. I want them to look at their father as a success. In reflection I don’t want them to remember the times that I couldn’t provide as much as I wanted to or when I wasn’t there for them. I want them to love me and the things I did. I want them to tell their posterity about the things we did, the time we were able to spend together and the experiences we shared as a family or their experiences with just them and their father.”

Dean (Level 6): “Why?”

Jeff: As I thought more about it I replied, “II wanted my children to find success and I wanted to do everything in my power to help them find it. I want them to feel like I helped them find the opportunities they need to find success. I want them to have choices in their lives, to be able to go after their dreams and goals knowing they have the support of their parents behind them.”

Dean (Level 7): “Great! But that is only six. I have one more time to ask you.” He reviewed everything I had said and then asked, “why do you want your kids to have these choices?”

Jeff: As I started to think of this I thought of the different businesses I’ve run in my life. The things that made me want to be an entrepreneur. I thought about how often I noticed growing up that even though I had two other brothers who were just as busy as me with all their activities and sporting events, I always had one of my parents there to support me and I noticed this wasn’t the case with a lot of the kids. I want to be able to do that for my kids. I want to be in control. I want to live the way I want to live. I want to do the things I chose to do. I want to go to my kids assemblies, coach them and be there for them. I don’t want to have to ask for permission.” I want to be in control of my life, that is my why!”

Knowing my why helps me when I’m making decisions. It helps me when I’m having a difficult day. It helps me to keep my focus. Knowing what I want for my family, that I want my children to have choices and for them to know their parents are always there for them, and I’m in control of my life are the things that will make me jump out of bed ready to break through barriers each day.

So what is it that you want to do? 

Make more money? Learn a new skill? Overcome a fear?

WHY?

Go Seven-Levels deep with this and find your true why. Then use the power in than knowledge to make an impact and achieve the highest goals you have in your life!

The Greatest Teacher

How do you perform under pressure? How do you perform under emotional pressure? When something goes wrong, you’ve failed, how do you react?

As a basketball coach I have to admit that I have had experiences when things were not going right and things got emotional, and I didn’t respond in the best way. If a referee makes a bad call in a basketball game that has a negative impact on my team at a key point in the game, will it make things better for us if I lose my mind on the ref? Is there a chance if I scream and yell that maybe he will apologize and change his call? Of course not.

But on the other hand what negative could come from it? To begin with, that negative emotion is absorbed by my team. I’m showing my team, through my actions, what is acceptable. The referee isn’t going to be looking to give me any breaks or do me any favors going forward, maybe even beyond this one game. 

I’m not writing this to talk about basketball referees and how you should react if they make a call you don’t agree with. What I want to look at is how we can take all of our experiences, both good and bad, and learn from them so that when we face a similar circumstance in the future we will be prepared to deal with it in the best possible way. 

Whether we are in a team environment or as an individual we can look at both our good and bad experiences and learn from them. In both cases there are emotions tied to the experience that we need to be able to work around. In a positive outcome we may be flooded with positive emotions that give us the false belief that everything went right and we don’t have to think anymore about it. In a negative outcome you may feel that nothing went right and you don’t even want to think about it anymore. But the reality is that we have much to learn from both outcomes that can transform our futures.

As an individual, as a family, as a business or as a team this is an exercise that could have a major impact on your future outcomes. 

After an event, either positive or negative, take the time to learn from it. Capture what the situation was, what are the facts? What about it wasn’t great and could get better? What worked? Strategize about how to make sure it happens for the better next time. 

Dan Sullivan talks about “The Greatest Teacher”  in his podcast INSIDE Strategic Coach. He suggests making three small boxes on a piece of paper to work through the situation:

  1. What Worked – This should open the flood gates and allow everyone to appreciate the there were things that worked
  2. What Needs to Improve – Here you can identify the problems, the things that didn’t work, so that you can improve on them for the future
  3. Strategies for the Future – This will make you alert to all situations in the future. You may not have an identical situation, but by going through this exercise you will be aware of how you can apply this experience to others situations in the future 

Dan says that by going through this process you can create a positive momentum for the future and not be bogged down by the past. 

In my basketball example I have two opportunities to go through this. First I could sit down with my assistant coaches and have a discussion and secondly I could go through the process with my team. This would allow us to look at the situation and the outcome. It would allow us as coaches and as a team to strategies on how we would react to a similar situation in the future which will hopefully bring us a better outcome.

Today in the entrepreneurial world failure is often looked at almost as a badge of honor. We hear the quotes: 

“Fail Fast”

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again”

“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success”

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something”

The last quote in this list is key because for anything good to come out of failure, we have to learn from our mistakes. Otherwise, failure is just failure. 

As I have mentioned earlier, this is an exercise that should be used after both successful and unsuccessful outcomes so that we can learn from each of them. But this is an exercise that will allow us to look at our failures to learn from them so that we can be successful in the future. 

“Your experience when you’re having intense [positive or negative] emotions is the greatest teacher you can possibly have. Channel it and you’ll always come up with amazing breakthroughs.”

– Dan Sullivan

If you’d like to learn more about our mastermind groups where as a collective group we help each other learn from our combined experiences click the button below:

You Are Your Word

I want you to take a minute and put yourself in the shoes of a contractor, or take this situation and apply it to your own situation.

You need an answer from a customer for a project. When you receive that answer you will be dispatching a crew for the job. It’s an important job that you need to get right. The sooner you can get the information from the customer, the better. The customer has told you that they would have the information to you before the end of the day. So in the mean time you are holding back on scheduling your crews for other jobs and they are on standby waiting for the information from the customer. The end of the day comes, but the answer doesn’t. 

How is this for you?

Now flip the situation around. Have you ever been that customer? Have you ever told someone that you’d do something and didn’t. You got busy, unexpected things came up, you forgot. Maybe you had a valid reason. Maybe you didn’t. 

What did you do?

I recently had a conversation with a couple who were having an issue with someone not performing as they thought they should be. They told me that in one of their discussions one of them had said, “If Jeff was in this situation, I guarantee this person would be performing.”

Why is it that people act different around different people? Why is it that some can get results out of people but others can’t? Why is it that when you tell some people that you’ll do something, there’s no way you wouldn’t do that thing but there are other people  that you can say you’ll do something for but if it doesn’t get done it’s not that big of a deal?
Who you are being, the words you use and the actions you take have an impact on the people around you. I want to talk about your word, as in what you say you are going to do. Being responsible with your word is more than a commitment, it’s a matter of integrity. When you are integral with your word you are creating a relationship that will make the other side act in a certain way. The experience they will have of you will have an impact on them now and in the future.

Too many people are sloppy when giving their word and it creates problems or distrust. I’ve heard Brandon Craig say, “You are your word. You are either a person who can be counted on, or you are a person who cannot be counted on.” Which one are you? Which one do you want to be? Which one can create more powerful relationships?
Without integrity, nothing works. Without integrity, nobody knows what is really going to happen. With integrity you have the possibility of performance. With integrity you can create agreements. With integrity you can create action. With integrity you can create results.

You must be careful and sensitive in giving your word. If you are serious about being a person of integrity, you will think very carefully before giving your word. When people know that you have integrity with your word and you will do exactly what you say, it creates an expectation on their side. It creates a powerful relationship and they will want to show they are integral as well. This is when you will see results and the things that were said would happen, do happen.

However, there will be times that something occurs that is going to prevent you from keeping your word. Does this mean you lose all your integrity? No, you can honor your word and keep your integrity. To honor your word, as soon as you know you won’t be keeping your word, you need to let everyone know who is counting on you that you cannot keep your word and clean up any mess that you’ve caused. When you do this, you can honor your word despite not keeping your word, and you have maintained your integrity.

Lets look at an example. If I give my word to a customer that I’m going to have some information to them by 3:00, I’m going to do everything in my power to have it to them by, or before 3:00. But if there’s a situation outside of my control that is going to prevent this from happening, as soon as I’m aware that I will not be able to keep my commitment I will contact them to let them know and create a new agreement, while also cleaning up any mess that I’ve caused by not keeping my word.

In Michael Jensen’s article, Integrity: Without It Nothing Workshe explains the fear of acknowledging that you will not be keeping your word and why many do not honor their word when they know they won’t be keeping it:

“When maintaining your integrity (i.e., acknowledging that you are not going to keep your word and cleaning up the mess that results) appears to you as a threat to be avoided (like it was when you were a child) rather than simply a challenge to be dealt with, you will find it difficult to maintain your integrity. When not keeping their word, most people choose the apparent short-term gain of hiding that they will not keep their word. Thus out of fear we are blinded to (and therefore mistakenly forfeit) the power and respect that accrues from acknowledging that one will not keep ones word or that one has not kept one’s word.”

Keeping your word is obviously the best case scenario, but as Michael Jensen explains, “by honoring your word you maintain a certain power and respect.” By honoring your word when it cannot be kept, a surprising level of trust emerges. Jensen concluded by saying, “Honoring one’s word is truly an amazing phenomenon… As with the Law of Gravity, the end result is guaranteed.”

Don’t be sloppy with your word. If you do not fully intend on doing something, don’t say you will. Have integrity with your word and if you cannot keep your word, honor it. This isn’t always easy to do and I’m the first to admit that I am far from perfect with this, but as we keep this in mind and focus on it we will get better and better and soon be known as someone who has integrity with their word.

Idea Broker

Making a 22 hour drive from Southern Alberta to Arizona gives me plenty of time to think, and listen to audio books. Fortunately, this time I’m not alone on the trip so my wife has shared the driving, which gives me time to work and write.

While I was in Canada we were spending time with family and I had a chance to visit with a nephew who had asked me to suggest some good books for him to read. We were talking about the different books and he shared a few with me that he had enjoyed that I hadn’t read yet. One of them was Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. So this is one of the books I have been listening to on my trip home.

There are many intriguing thoughts and stories in this book, but something that really caught my attention was in his chapter on Innovation when he talked about Innovation Brokers or Idea Brokers. The reason this was so interesting to me is because I have been spending a lot of time recently preparing for an upcoming Mastermind Group, and the ideas he shared help to explain how and why a mastermind group works so well.  

In his book, Duhigg refers to the work of Ronald Burt in a 2004 study he conducted. Burt conducted a study with a large number of managers in a company and found that ideas that were classified as creative came from people who were particularly talented at taking concepts from one division of the company and explaining them to employees in other departments. Burt explained that people connected across groups are more familiar with alternative ways of thinking and behaving. “This is not creativity born of genius, it’s creativity as an import, export business.”

As I listened to this and the rest of the book I decided to do a little more research on Burt’s ideas. On this topic, when people seek out insights from people in different fields, different organizations or of different mindsets, Burt refers to it as “brokerage.” He explains how this can lead to better ideas, improving processes and more. He says, “if you’re charged with innovation, you need to branch out and build brokerage.” “It’s essential. The new ideas we come up with come from the places where we vary. A person who only knows about the variations in what they do will get better at what they’re doing, but will always come to the same place.”

This is exactly where the power of a mastermind group comes from. I recently wrote a post High Performance Mastermind Group, and explained a challenge I had dealt with for some time which I had not found a solution to. But when I had an opportunity to sit with a group of entrepreneurs who were all in very different industries than me, we quickly found a solution to my problem as a group because the others in the group looked at my situation differently and had been through their own challenges in their industries.

Joining a mastermind group allows you to look at each other’s problems and challenges from different perspectives, industries and life experiences. But it also gives you an opportunity to discover things that are holding you back that you were not even aware of. It allows you to be more innovative in your business, your life and your thinking in general. 

Join our Elite Performance Mastermind and prepare yourself to take your life and your business to the next level! You will be with an elite group of individuals, from different industries, backgrounds and different areas of the country that will be able to share their brilliance and knowledge with the group while you do the same for them. I’ll also be sharing some powerful tools you can use to give yourself the power to create the future you’ve been dreaming about.

If you don’t own or run your own business, don’t count yourself out. Whatever it is you do, you will do it better after joining this mastermind. You’ll think different. You’ll network. You’ll have the tools to be successful.

Be your best entrepreneur. Be the best manager. Be the best employee. Be the best YOU.