Book Quote of the Week 112

“If you are going to have a great team, there should be no excuses and no finger-pointing when somebody else on your team is not perfect.” – Coach K.

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Book Quote of the Week 104

High performers can do almost anything they set their heart and their mind to. But not every mountain is worth the climb. What differentiates high performers from others is their critical eye in figuring out what is going to be meaningful to their life experience. They spend more of their time doing things that they find meaningful, and this makes them happy.

Brendon Burchard

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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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

Books You Should Read

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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).

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On Fire

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A couple of weeks ago I had a friend suggest that I read the book On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary. It’s a great book that I didn’t want to put down. I was amazed and inspired by O’Leary’s story which really makes the reader think and reflect on their own lives and what drives them.

When John O’Leary was nine years old he was nearly killed in a devastating house fire that he had caused. With burns on 100% of his body he should not have survived. He tells his unimaginable story and the impact others had on him that gave him the desire to fight for his life.

We all have our challenges in life, some are a lot tougher than others. How we face those challenges and the decisions we make will direct the outcome of your life. Some just want to give up and quit rather than face their problem.

Read On Fire. O’Leary helps us to see that we can choose our path and decide the direction of our life regardless of the challenges we face.

Reading List

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Passionate

How to Set Goals and Achieve Your Dreams

I have read Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich, many times and have listened to the audio book even more. A friend saw me reading my well worn and well marked-up copy and asked why I’m reading it again.  This was a great question. If I’ve read the book before, why read it again? Did I forget everything that was in it? Do I forget everything each time I read it? Is that why I read it the third, fourth… tenth time? No, to me Think and Grow Rich is a book that I seem to gain some new insight from each and every time I read it. The book was written about what Napoleon Hill personally learned from the 500+ most successful men and women of his time. The valuable information within the pages of this book is something that I know I can continue to learn from throughout the rest of my life.
But another reason I re-read this book is because it helps me to refocus. Hill teaches that for one to succeed they must possess a definite purpose; the knowledge of what they want, and a burning desire to achieve it.  What brought me back to read Think and Grow Rich again was a chapter I recently read in The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Oslon.
Chapter 16 in The Slight Edge is titled  “3 Steps to Your Dreams.” In this chapter Olson shares some of the same ideas that Napoleon Hill uses in his teaching. These two men have studied the most successful people of their times. If you have some dreams and goals that you want to achieve, it is well worth your time to learn from these two men. Of course you will learn much more by reading their entire books, but here I’m going to outline some of their thoughts that I think you will find very valuable in helping you achieve your dreams.
The Slight Edge
In The Slight Edge Olsen outlines three steps in achieving your goals. (1) Write it down; (2) Look at it every day; (3) Start with a plan.
Write It Down
 
  • He teaches that our most critical skill is envisioning and by writing down a specific goal or dream we can begin that process of seeing it in our mind as a reality.
  • When we write down our goal we need to be specific with the what and why behind it. In great detail, what is our goal and why is it so important to us?
  • As it is said, goals are dreams with a deadline. So we also need to add the when. When are you going to achieve this goal by?
  • Write your dreams down; be vivid and very specific; give them a timeline. With this information you have taken a giant step in the process of making your dreams a realization.
Look At It Every Day
 
  • You need to constantly be reminding yourself of where you are going and keeping your focus on your destination. Life has too many distractions and this will help you to stay on your path.
  • This will also trigger the subconscious mind to help you recognize the opportunities in life that cross your path that will help you to reach your target.
Start with a Plan
 
  • Simply come up with a plan to get you started. Olson recognizes that it’s probably not the plan that will help you to get to the end, but you need a plan to start the ball rolling. Writing your plan down and reading it every day as you sit and wait for the world to serve you won’t work. You need a plan and you need to act on this plan.
  • “People make the mistake that they can’t start until they have the perfect plan. There is no perfect plan.” – Jeff Olson
Think & Grow Rich
There’s a lot from Think and Grow Rich that could build upon what Olson has taught. But I’m just going to refer to a small section in the chapter on Desire where Hill states, “The method by which desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent consists of six definite, practical steps.” These six steps that he outlines will help us to achieve all of our dreams and goals.
  1. Be very specific and fix in your mind exactly what you want.
  2. Determine exactly what you are willing to do or give to achieve this dream you desire.
  3. Establish a definite date by which you will achieve your goal.
  4. Create a definite plan and begin at once.
  5. Take the above information and write a clear, concise statement of what you desire, the time frame by which you will achieve it, what you intend to do and give in return to achieve such a goal, and the clear plans you intend to act upon.
  6. Finally, read this written statement aloud, twice daily.
We’ve all heard it before. We all have the same number of hours in a day but it’s what we do with those hours that determines our future. Both Olson and Hill have studied the most successful achievers to come up with these steps. If you’re not where you want to be, maybe it’s time to give this a try!
If you really want to get on your path to success, read, study and apply what is taught in Think and Grow Rich and The Slight Edge.

Prompt: Dream

DESIRE – Think and Grow Rich

Desire —  a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
Desire is a key component in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, which teaches us what we need to do to be successful.
Many people desire many different things of which they never achieve. This is where we can learn a lot from what Hill teaches us. Just desiring something will not bring it to us. We all desire to be successful, but that is not enough.
Dominating Desire
If you really want to succeed at something it must become your dominating desire, your obsession.  You need to focus on your goal so much that it’s always in the forefront of your mind and you will recognize things that come into your life that will help you to make it happen.
Your Plan
But a burning desire is not enough. Desiring something will not make it automatically happen. You have to have a definite plan of action and you have to be committed to execute that plan until you succeed, no matter how long it takes and how many obstacles stand in your way.
Too often people have a desire and even a plan, but when they don’t see immediate results they give up or quite. Achievement will come when you have a burning desire with definite plans, backed with the persistence to keep going until you succeed.
Set your goal.
Develop your plan.
Don’t let failure or time lessen your focus and obsession.
Keep going until you achieve your goal
Think and Grow Rich is a book that you can learn something new from every time you read it or listen to it. If you haven’t read it, you need to read it soon. If you have read it, it’s probably time to read it again.
You can find a collection of Hill’s different books HERE

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Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

As I have been spending some time studying new books and reviewing others that we have previously used in our Kodiak Mountain Stone Education Plan I have enjoyed learning new things and refreshing my mind with things I have been taught in the past. Tonight I was reviewing my notes from a book that I loved and we had used in one of our education meetings in the past, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

Thou Shall Prosper is a well written book giving a practical approach to making money and creating wealth based on the principles of ancient Jewish wisdom. Lapin outlines his ten commandments of making money that Jews have used for centuries to be successful in business and finance. Whatever your faith or background, you will be able to benefit from the thoughts and ideas outlined in this book. He teaches that a person’s quest for profit and wealth is inherently moral. In our world today there’s often a negative view toward people who are trying to get ahead and make money. Just try telling someone that you’re learning what it takes to be rich, to be a multi-millionaire and watch how they react. Some will be positive and supportive but many, if not most, will look at you as greedy, selfish and maybe crazy. But the fact is that you cannot make money without benefiting other people. He says, “the only real way to achieve wealth is to attend diligently to the needs of others and to conduct oneself in an honourable and trustworthy fashion.”

The Second Commandment
Extend the Network of Your Connectedness to Many People

Today I’m going to focus on The Second Commandment where Lapin teaches the importance of networking and our replationships with people. He teaches that you need to meet a lot of people from all different areas of life. He also explains that cities offer the most opportunity for making wealth. It makes sense that you have a better chance of succeeding in business or with wealth if you go to where people are. You can have the best business in town with 100% of market share, but if there are only 500 people in your town and they are your entire market, well, you see your limitations.

Our company, Kodiak Mountain Stone, is a perfect example of this for me. We started Kodiak Mountain Stone in Cardston, Alberta, Canada and continue to have our head office located there. The support we have had from the community for our business has exceeded my expectations and I’m grateful for such tremendous support. But Cardston is a community with a population under 4,000 people. To grow our company we had to extend our reach far beyond the boundaries of Cardston. When you look at some of the cities we sell in now, if we have a very small market share of that community it could be much larger than 100% market share of Cardston. You have to be where your customers are.

As you look to expand your network you will be successful if you focus more on building genuine relationships rather than looking for people that can do something for you.

“On the face of it, this book’s Second Commandment advises you to build genuine and sincere relationships with as many people as possible with no thought of reward. Beneath the surface, it informs you that, paradoxically, reward will follow in proportion to the lack of self-interest you projected while forming the relationships in the first place.”

At Kodiak Mountain Stone I’ve stressed to my team that people want to do business with other people who they like and trust. In Thou Shall Prosper we are taught that if we succeed in business it will be because people like us. Everyone has a choice who they deal with and it’s through your actions that people will decide if they want to deal with you, and your business, or not.

Thou Shall Prosper shares a great perspective on building wealth and money. Daniel Lapin shares some excellent insight on the topic. This is a great book that I would recommend reading but I would also recommend re-reading it, making notes and reviewing them often. The ideas shared in this book will help you in your business and professional lives.

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Prompt: Trust Millions

The Power of Broke

What is broke? It’s having an empty wallet, nothing in the bank account. It’s having nothing. Yes, that is right, but broke is a lot more than that because broke is also a mindset. Broke is an attitude. Broke is a spirit.

Daymond John’s book, The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage takes you through a journey where you can see entrepreneurs that have been broke financially, spiritually, mentally and in most cases all of the above. But they have figured out how to take advantage of their situation, put in the work, efforts and smarts to succeed.Daymond John is the perfect person to write this book. He could have just used his owner personal story alone to teach us The Power of Broke. Daymond went from having nothing, to building his company, FUBU, into a six billion dollar brand and then on today to be a best selling author, fashion and business guru, motivational speaker and celebrity. Many will recognize Daymond from the ABC hit show, Shark Tank. But in addition to helping us learn from his story he uses many other stories of entrepreneurs to show us how they’ve done it too.

The Power of Broke shows us how often entrepreneurs become tremendously creative when they are in their deepest state of desperation. When their backs are up against the wall and there are seemingly no options left, they figure things out. Daymond shows that in many of these stories if it were not for the deep state of desperation with no options left, they probably would not have found the creativity to find the solutions they needed. In fact, if they were not in such a broken state, if they had the money to move forward they probably wouldn’t have seen the same success they have. They wouldn’t have made decisions in the same way. They wouldn’t have been forced to be creative.

The Power of Broke is a book that I’ll add to my suggested reading list. I enjoyed learning from the stories he shared and I found it to be a source of motivation and inspiration.

Entrepreneur Next Door

One of the reasons I loved The Power of Broke is that I love to hear the success stories of entrepreneurs. I love to hear the struggles they have overcome to succeed and in this book Daymond shares some great, motivating stories. If you love stories like these too, check out our podcast, Entrepreneur Next Door. At Entrepreneur Next Door we interview the everyday entrepreneurs and share their stories. Our hope is that our podcast will help promote the businesses of our guests but more importantly will also help to inspire and motivate our listeners when they hear these great stories. If you are like me and love to hear how other entrepreneurs have done it, check us out at Entrepreneur Next Door but also make sure to grab a copy of The Power of Broke and learn from the stories Daymond tells us about.

If you’re an entrepreneur that would like to apply to be on the Entrepreneur Next Door podcast, click HERE to submit your application!

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The Slight Edge

I have a lot of books that I love because I’ve learned so much from them. Whether it’s business or just everyday life I’m able to apply things I’ve learned. Many of them I will read multiple times because I want to absorb more of the information. The ones that I really love I have both the physical book and the audio book. As I sit at my desk writing this I can look at my book shelves and pick out so many great books that I could refer to people, but there are a few that stand out to me as their own group. Some that for whatever reason have just meant a little more to me. Books like Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends & Influence People and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. They are the Must Read books that I suggest when people ask what books they should read. A while ago a book fell into my possession by accident. I hadn’t hear of the book before and I wasn’t in a big rush to read it. But when I finished the book I was reading at the time this book was still sitting on the edge of my desk and I decided to read it. Turns out, this book jumped into my Must Read list.
The book is The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson. As they state on slightedge.org, “The Slight Edge isn’t just another personal development book. It’s an entirely new way of thinking; a way of processing information that enables you to make the SIMPLE daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire.”

In the book, Jeff talks about the ripple-effect, the long-term impact that your everyday decisions and actions have on your life and others. He focuses on seven areas where the slight edge can make a transformational difference — health, happiness, relationships, personal development, finances, career and impact.  Many of the things that I’ve learned in this book remind me of things taught by Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect, another book that I love. The Slight Edge is published by SUCCESS, so there is a link between the two.
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.
It’s the simple, daily disciplines, little productive actions repeated consistently over time, that add up to the difference between failure and success.
You have complete control over the direction your life will take. The Slight Edge is a great book to help you get on track to use the power of compounding to catapult your life in the right direction.

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