Category

Advice

own your willpower

How to Own Your Willpower (Why You Don’t Eat Pizza at 6AM)

By | Advice, Lists, Routines | No Comments
Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to Own Your Willpower (Why You Don’t Eat Pizza at 6AM)

When was the last time you woke up and crushed a cocktail and pizza at 6AM? I’m serious —and here’s why I’m asking you this: because most likely that’s never happened except during freshman year of College.

(Damn, OK…that was just me.)

And here’s the reason I’m sharing this with you:

Willpower is not an unlimited resource, and decision fatigue is a real thing.

This is why hitting the gym, meditating, and doing all of those little habits you and I know are good, like really good for us are much easier first thing in the morning when we’re operating at a full charge.

Because by 8:00PM, we’ve made hundreds, if not thousands of decisions, been bombarded with stimulus and can’t pick between standard marinara sauce at the store and spicy marinara.

(Pro tip: always pick spicy.)

And one of the keys to high performance in your life, business, career, personal life is protecting and leveraging your willpower to ensure you are making your biggest decisions, at the right times, to create exponential results.

Especially during COVID-19 where all of us are now working from home and doing laundry and watching your favorite Netflix show are one click away.

Because guess what? At the end of the day our lives are nothing but a compounding of all our choices and decisions: most small, some medium, and sure —some massive.

In this post, we’re going to dive into owning your willpower and protecting your ability to make decisions from a place of abundance, not scarcity, so you can save your clearest energy for the things that matter.

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Automate, Automate, Automate

The first step to owning your willpower is to become obsessed with the art and science of automation.

Said simply, automation is creating built-in systems and processes that make repeatable behaviors or decisions automatic.

No matter who you are, there are places in your life where you are making the same unnecessary decisions every day that are draining your most precious resources: willpower, time, energy and attention.

For example:

You dress every day —buy the same outfit, shirt, pants, etc 7 times instead of only having one.

You eat every single day —outsource your lunch meals to a local service and you’ve saved yourself hours.

You workout every day —have your training gear ready to go every single morning without thinking about it.

Sure, you may not be the next GQ model on Instagram, but you’re going to have precious energy for the things that actually matter.

The more you can automate the inconsequential decisions of your life that don’t move the needle —the more you have left over for the things that really matter.

Like, you know, improving your finances, growing your revenue, creating your content, connecting with the people you love and being an all around high performer.

ACTION: Determine at least one recurring decision you’re making that will now be automatic.

Step 2: Protect Your Prime Time

With a fully charged willpower battery, the morning is going to be your prime time to do your hardest, most effective work. Including time to work on your personal growth, hammer our your creative work or do your most strategic thinking.

When I teach and train clients, I have them start with a 90 minute focused block of time (or the equivalent in Pomodoro’s) to generate states of performance and flow, while tackling their most mentally demanding work.

Research done by Steven Kotler at the Flow Genome Project states this is the fastest way to tap into a flow state on a daily basis: a time block of total concentration where distractions are not accessible to you.

As he says, if you’re not willing to close the door to your office and tell people you’re doing focused work, then don’t expect to create high level results.

Everyone who does this reports not only massive performance increases, but getting to the end of their day with deep satisfaction.

ACTION: Start your day off with at least 30, 60, or 90 minutes of undistracted work.

3. Harness the Vegan Principle.

A Vegan walks into a restaurant, scans the menu —and typically knows exactly what he or she wants within a few minutes while everyone else obsesses over which dish they’re going to get.

While others waste precious resources analyzing and living in indecision, the vegan has already moved on to bigger and better things.

They’re not wasting time, energy or precious mental bandwidth.

Why does this matter?

Indecision is a momentum killer —and yet so many people live in this place 24/7, being taken for a joyride by the paradox of choice.

When faced with too many options, we do nothing.

The Vegan is able to make a fast decision because they’re clear about their values and principles —and doesn’t even see or notice 80% of the menu.

When you’re clear about your life and what you stand for, you delete tons of options, make fast decisions and live in a state of constant momentum.

ACTION: Filter all of your decisions based on your North Star vision.

4. Seek compelling environments.

Another way to protect your willpower is to enter environments that are aligned with your targets —and do the heavy lifting for you.

Now, with COVID-19, this has become harder to replicate —but ask yourself a question:

Will you do more focused and creative work in your kitchen, or in a room that you’ve converted into an office that has your goals easily accessible and compels you to do your best work?

Take a moment to reflect on your current environments —and how you can align them with your end goal.

These include where and how you workout, do your best work, engage with your family and core relationships, study and more.

Even small changes like cleaning out your office, pasting your North Star vision in front of your computer, putting up a relic of inspiration that reminds you of what you’re doing —can be enough to shift you in a powerful way.

ACTION: Curate your environments and make one shift to make them more powerful today.

Own Your Willpower, Own Your Life

One of the tragic parts of being in the trenches coaching people to do what they really want, including to start their entrepreneurial dream, launch a platform and pursue their goals is seeing someone engage in the Rollercoaster Effect.

The Rollercoaster Effect goes like this:

One gets inspired by a new goal, target or vision —and declares they’re “all in.”

And they are…for a few weeks. But then adversity hits or the high of starting has faded —and after a couple rough days, they quit the whole thing.

A couple months go by, and they remember what they wanted, so they start again.

And then the cycle repeats itself over and over again.

The lesson here is simple: consistency matters more than intensity.

It is better to workout every day for 15 minutes than to run a half-marathon one Saturday a month.

It is better to work on your business every day for two focused hours than having an 8 hour marathon once every few weeks.

Consistency builds character and trains you to overcome resistance, fear, doubt and overwhelm.

Willpower Resources

Here are some of my favorite resources to help you own your willpower and ensure you bring what matters to you to life.

The 1% Rule —reverse engineer your goals.

RescueTime —free app to track your time online.

2020 Masterclass —this will help you get clear on priorities.

Which of these connected with you? I’d love to hear it!

Work From Home (Without Losing Your Mind) During COVID-19

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Lists | No Comments
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Work From Home (Without Losing Your Mind) During COVID-19

NOTE: On the Academy podcast, I did an entire audio episode of working from home. The content is similar, but not exactly the same and we go deeper. 

In a world where you’re working from home and there’s the allure of your couch and a cold cocktail —how do you get anything done?

On one side, you got all the people “shaming” motivation these days —saying things like:

“You should do nothing.”
“Now is the time to unplug.”
“Don’t acquire a new skill now.”

On the other side, you have those who are “shaming” unplugging right now —saying things like:

“You need to grind 24/7.”
“It’s time to monetize everything.”
“Work like you life depends on it.”

So, who the hell is right?

Well, I’d say neither, or to some degree —both.

Here’s why:

Right now, the most important thing you and I can do is to create emotional freedom and use this time wisely.

During the last 9 years of intensely studying what makes people tick, what truly creates emotional freedom, fulfillment and everything in between, it’s going to come from one of two places:

1. Making meaningful progress on what matters to us.

2. Developing the inner ‘game’ that creates fulfillment.

In other words, the best thing you can do for yourself, the people you care about, your mental sanity and your future self is to:

Delete 70% of the noise, focus on the few things that matter, make progress every single day —and then double on the practices and rituals designed to give you emotional freedom, time to think, reflect, disconnect and “be.”

But in a world of distraction, kids, home-schooling and sensationalist news media, this is not only a tough task —it can seem daunting. Which is why unless you make a conscious effort every single day, it likely won’t come to life.

I’ve curated 7 ways you can overcome procrastination as you work from home, creating emotional freedom along the way and using this time to grow in multiple avenues.

Whether that’s re-connecting with your vision, finishing a creative work or asking the tough questions we only tend to ask when things get hard: this can be your time.

Let’s dive in and find out how to work from home without losing your mind during COVID-19.

Step 1: Airplane Mode = Freedom

Right now, the most crucial piece of real estate isn’t found in Laguna Beach, your bank account, or anywhere else —it’s your emotional sanity: the six inches between your ears including thoughts, feelings, emotions, narratives, and inner chatter.

Which means ensuring you start the day on your terms is not optional or can be left to happenstance. It must be deliberate, intentional, thought out. Otherwise, the chaos will win. It will engulf you and spit you out at the bottom of the abyss of anxiety.

So, how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to you?

Commit to starting the day on “Airplane Mode” for anywhere from 15 to 120 minutes —choose what works for you.

This alone will allow you to step into the morning on your terms, process any emotions, and not be beholden to someone else’s stress, anxiety or agenda.

ACTION: Choose a length of time to start your day unplugged on Airplane mode: start small.

work from home

Step 2: Craft Your Morning Ritual

So, what do you do during the unplugged time on ‘Airplane Mode’? You do all of the things you used to say you didn’t have time for now that you’re home and don’t have a commute:

You train your body.
You deepen your spirit.
You expand your mind.
You take time to reflect.
You ask the tough questions.
You listen to inspired content.

There are millions of morning routines —keep it simple. The one I teach in most of my programs is called “Daily 3”: where you work on your mind, body and spirit, including:

  • Mind: study, read, learn and expand your mind with content that makes you think in possibility and growth.

  • Body: emotions are trapped in the body, often unconscious. Move your body every single day and challenge yourself with intensity.

  • Spirit: reflection, meditation, quiet time: this is when you sharpen your mental awareness and tap into your higher self.

If you don’t carve out the time and space for a morning ritual, the day will get away from you. Choose one, by hyper intentional and remember: even if it improves your emotional state 10%, isn’t that worth it to you?

ACTION: Commit to a morning ritual that expands your mind, trains your body and deepens your spirit.

work from home

Step 3: Identify Your Priorities

What are your top 3 priorities right now?

If you are unable to rattle off the answer quickly, we’ve got some work to do. Today, less is more: with all of my clients, programs and my own work —I have taught the value of identifying 3 priorities or what we’ll refer to as your “Big 3.”

NOTE: We cover all of of this inside the Make 2020 Everything Changed Masterclass, yours free with high definition video and audio here.

Whether that’s a project you want to finish, diving into your own self-care, growing your business or re-connecting with your loved ones —you should only have 1, 2 or 3 priorities right now.

When you know what is most important, you’re able to make fast decisions. You don’t sit in procrastination all day. You don’t ponder aimlessly, wandering towards the time it’s acceptable to have a cocktail (note: that time is now all the time.)

But most importantly: you delete a ton off your plate. Old obligations, projects, expired commitments. This is the season to let go of them and fully exhale.

As the brilliant author David Brooks says:

“Seasons of suffering kick us in the ass. They are the foghorns that blast us out of our complacency and warn us we are headed for the wrong life.”

When you know your priorities —there’s no space left for overwhelm or distraction.

ACTION: Identify your 1, 2 or 3 priorities during this season: be specific and clear.

work from home

Step 4: Ditch Your “To Do” List

There’s a stark difference between a prioritized life and a “to do” list, busy life, full of 19 tasks that make you feel productive but aren’t. Given the priorities above —it’s time to get rid of your “to do” list as you work from home.

Instead, brain dump all the possible actions you could do given your Big 3 priorities above, and then highlight the most important that give you leverage.

Remember: the most important is the real needle-moving work that is usually less urgent, but has the highest long-term leverage.

tommy baker 1% ruleIt is not email, social media, or useless tasks that make you “feel” like you’re getting stuff done but are hollow victories. It is not keeping up with everyone else’s agenda or posts. It’s usually the actions you have some resistance towards, because they are meaningful.

Using the Pomodoro method I detailed in The 1% Rule, time-block this action step and watch how this sets the tone for the day.

ACTION: Given your priorities, ask: what is the most important action I can take today towards the (specific) priority?

work from home

Step 5: Recover Wisely

Scrolling Instagram, watching political news gossip or arguing with someone online is not recovery. When you work from home, productive recovery can seem impossible when cheap entertainment and empty distraction are three steps away.

Tons of people in the spiritual realm are telling people to “be” during this time and  are likely spending 4.5 hours a day connected virtually to things that don’t really matter. They are getting lost in conspiracy theories, arguing with their third cousin about the news and creating more anxiety.

To balance out the work you’ve done above —recover in ways that fuel your mindset, your peace, your connection and gasp, fun.

How? Seek what Abraham Maslow, one of the pioneers of psychology, called “being” practices.

This can be a walk outside if you’re able to go out, reading a great book, attempting to play the guitar even though you’re terrible (raising my hand!), a hot bath, taking a nap, unplugged connection with others, watching a sunset, etc.

ACTION: Make a list of your favorite “recovery” practices and things you love doing. Integrate them into your day.

work from home

Step 6: Set Boundaries On Inputs

The Average American worker checks email 88 times a day.

Yeah, that’s asinine —and I get why: email is laced with the dopamine that comes from “checking” it to see what could possibly be there.

Except that’s akin to playing Russian roulette and hoping you don’t stop at the bullet —in this case, an angry email, someone demanding something of you, an invoice that is due and triggers scarcity.

Instead, set strict rules and boundaries around email, social media and empty distraction to protect your mental real estate.

Personally during this crisis, my earliest time I allow myself to check email is 9:00 AM —but I am finding myself push this back to 11 or 12 by doing the work that matters and makes me feel my best.

Even though I run an online business with clients who may need help and guidance —I don’t come online to interact until a certain time and then only do so in time-blocks.

Remember: setting boundaries is the highest form of respect you can have for yourself, your goals, future self and those you care about.

Without rules and boundaries, we say yes to anything and everything —and get caught in the insanity of media that never ends.

ACTION: Set simple, hard rules on your inputs, and commit to them for the next 30 days.

work from home

Step 7: Celebrate Like You Mean It

Last, and maybe most important: celebrate your “small” wins along the way every single day.

This practice has been peer-reviewed countless times and backed by research to shift your attention from what’s not working…to what is.

Remember: you and I are the worst people on the planet to recognize our own growth. We can often have grown leaps and bounds and still think we’re stuck. We’ve lost 13 pounds, grew our business 40%, finally stuck to our meditation habit and barely celebrate ourselves.

In my programs like The Arena experience —every Friday, we are celebrating at least 10 wins.

Remember: a small win contains the same ingredients of success as the massive ones and your brain can’t tell the difference.

Even in your most chaotic, stressful days, if you cannot find 3-5 wins —you’re not looking hard enough.

ACTION: Celebrate at least 3 wins every single day and fully own them.

work from home

Work From Home (Without Losing Your Mind) During COVID-19

Lastly, please remember:

This is about progress, not perfection.

Celebrate the small victories along the way.

Have fun, be weird, and when it’s time to unplug —do it.

I share these with you because I’m in the midst of all of this with you.

I have my doubts, my fears, and goddamn do I feel for my generation who have now been dealt two once-in-a-lifetime crisis —it brings me to tears thinking about those who are not as blessed as I am.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Robert Greene, who I had the pleasure of spending over an hour with on the Resist Average Academy podcast recently.

“Become the curator of life. Edit, leave out the junk. But when you find something worth keeping, treasure it.”

Now is the time to reflect, to curate, to make progress on what matters —because when we come out of this, you will be proud of yourself for doing so.

Work From Home (Without Losing Your Mind) Resources

During this time, we need all the help we can get. This is a list I sent to my clients inside my programs, but I wanted to share it with you too.

They are the tools I am using on a daily basis to grow, expand and maintain a sense of calm as I work from home during these times.

Audible, the world’s best audiobook platform (sign up here for a free copy of The 1% Rule.)

Brain.FM, one of my favorite tools for focused work.

Skill Share, a place to acquire skills, explore your creativity and learn from some of the best. (This link gives you two free months of premium membership.)

Marinara Timer, a simple online browser that allows you to track your focused work.

If you have any questions on using this time wisely, avoiding procrastination or what to do with your time right now, post to comments below!

be an entrepreneur

Want to Be An Entrepreneur? Stop Thinking Like An Employee.

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Lists | No Comments
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Want to Be An Entrepreneur? Stop Thinking Like An Employee.

I’d annihilated the interview, all four rounds of it —feeling more and more momentum every step of the way. I knew I was a shoe in. The splashy job with the nice salary was all but mine. When the phone rang from the CEO —I knew it was a matter of details, logistics, all that jazz.

And that’s when he told me:

“Tommy, I don’t know how to say this: you’re the best candidate we’ve ever had, and you’re an impressive young man —but we consider you unemployable. In other words, we think you’ll leave us.”

Wait, what the hell just happened? At that moment, I didn’t know how to react. Was this a compliment, or a total diss? As I hung up the phone, I had one of those moments where you realize something is going to be fundamentally different for the rest of your life.

Right there, I knew for the rest of my life I would never work for someone else, that it was up to me to make it happen —and I was 100% responsible. And listen: in an entrepreneurial, do-it-yourself culture —there is nothing wrong working for someone else.

(The biggest secret in the entrepreneurial space is we sometimes dream of being to clock off on Fridays, forget about our businesses and always know exactly what we’re going to get paid.)

Buuuuuut —I’m a firm believer in approaching life entrepreneurially, meaning, taking command and control of You, Inc.

Why?

Because everyone is one swift decision away from being left on the street —and no company is loyal to anyone.

(Keep thinking yours is loyal until they don’t impress random strangers, errr shareholders enough —and to maximize earnings they leave you on the street, choosing them over their employees, being escorted out by big Rick from security. You’re welcome for the Christmas bonus, Big Rick.)

Plus, in a changing economy and the way we’re quickly moving towards a remote, freelance, project-based workforce —you can’t not take ownership. Those who wait to adapt will be left behind. Those who take command will have more options, freedom and opportunity.

When I work with those transitioning from being an employee to a full blown business owner —we don’t start from the outside in (marketing, strategy, tactics, sales, etc.) Instead: we start from the inside out. Because often, new entrepreneurs carry a worn-out employee mindset, leaving them stuck in performance, lacking results and wondering why it’s not happening for them.

Let’s dive in.

1. Employees save, entrepreneurs create.

The employee model is about saving because income is relatively fixed —while entrepreneurs create and produce in possibility. This saving mindset is more than simply income: it permeates every decision an employee tends to make. When resources are fixed, you’re more prone to hold on to what you have.

For example: you want to invest $10,000 in your business, or go to Maui for 10 days—the employee mindset will find ways to cut back and create a 9 month plan where an entrepreneur can find ways to create more value in the marketplace and potentially have it tomorrow, a few days from now, or next month.

Because of this mindset, entrepreneurs are able to collapse the time, distance, space and effort between where they are today —and what their goals are.

2. Employees focus on time and effort, entrepreneurs on results.

In a time and effort economy —you’re mostly paid on the fixed inputs of, you guessed it: time and effort. While the benefit here is you typically still get paid regardless of the result, it’s a huge price to pay.

When you transition into an entrepreneurial mindset, you must leave the land of time and effort behind —and operate in a results economy. You get paid for your result, not how long you tried something, or the 7 failures it took you to get there.

For example: it takes an employee 25 hours to complete a project within the organization —but it takes the same entrepreneur 5 hours to do so. Who wins here? Of course, the entrepreneur: they got the result in 5 hours, and now have 20 hours left over to either produce more results, or take time off.

For many of the entrepreneurs I teach and coach —we train their performance in a way where they are lethally focused for 4 hours a day doing the needle-moving, revenue-generating work most avoid. Because of this, they often “clock out” at 2 or 3PM and get to hang with their family the rest of the day.

be an entrepreneur
3. Employees build their lives around their work —entrepreneurs build their work around their lives.

Because the traditional employee model requires 40-50 hours a week at a fixed location (with time and effort) —this takes up their best days and times —while an entrepreneur has the freedom to build a business around their lifestyle and values.

In a results economy, the time when you complete the result doesn’t matter: what matters is the outcome.

For example, the Average American worker is productive 1.8 hours in an 8 hour workday. An entrepreneur can put in 4 lethally focused hours as described above, and be done by 12PM. The employee isn’t driven to do the same, because they’d have another 5 hours left.

4. Employees operate in constraint, entrepreneurs in abundance.

Last, and most importantly —as an employee, no matter how incredible you work for the next 12 months and make the company profit, you’re capped:

Capped in income.
Capped in bonuses.
Capped in performance.

Often —there are limits, there are hierarchies, there are bosses and meetings —and in many cases, it is not a purely performance driven culture. The big issues I see here are:

You can hit a Grand Slam, and your income goes up 5%.

You’re bound to a certain level of performance due to hierarchies.

Public companies value shareholders over employees.It takes decades to accumulate sustainable wealth.

Alternatively —in an entrepreneurial model, you can increase your income 10X year to year if you do it right. There are no caps. There are no bizarre hierarchies where you need to taper down your performance because your boss will be insulted and look bad.

Before You Choose To Be An Entrepreneur, Think Like One

So, is it all sunshine and puppies in the entrepreneurial world? Of course not —with all of these benefits, there are risks. If you don’t get a result with your work, you don’t get paid. If you don’t “feel” like showing up, no one is going to hold you accountable. The challenges will be plenty.

And last: there is nothing wrong with being an employee —if this is in line with your values, you find meaning and some autonomy in your work. But I believe having an employee mindset is the path to average:

Average thinking, average execution, average lifestyle.

But when you have the mindset of a creator, a producer, a problem solver (even within an organization):

You become the leader.
You become the linchpin.
You become the rockstar.
You become the indensable.

Which one of these connected with you? I’d love to hear about it, or if you want to be featured on the Academy podcast —ask a question here!

MAKE YOUR FIRST 6 FIGURES with Mike Zeller | VLOG #005 |

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, VLOG | No Comments
Reading Time: 2 minutes

MAKE YOUR FIRST 6 FIGURES with Mike Zeller | VLOG #005

How do you make your first 6 figures?

Let’s face it —being a coach, thought leader, entrepreneur or creator isn’t always easy.

(Despite what the motivational Instagram quotes may tell you, to make your first six figures is going to be a challenge.)

And many times, you’re not seeing the traction and results you dreamed of or were told were possible.

(The sad reality is that 80% or more of those in the space will have to fold up shop in the next year.)

I’ve been there, and usually, it is not a matter of your ability to impact someone’s life.

On the newest VLOG, I welcome a special guest, friend, and two-time Resist Average Academy podcast alumni —Mike Zeller, where you’ll discover:

» The 4 Pillars required for six figures
» Why your MINDSET is always the starting point
» How to develop expertise in your niche
» Why low ticket sales are much harder
» Why you must fall in love with sales and marketing
» How to develop a powerful tribe and support system

…and so much more.

This is the topic of the latest Resist Average VLOG, which you can watch here:

MAKE YOUR FIRST 6 FIGURES with Mike Zeller | VLOG #005

So, what are the specific ways Mike Zeller and I shared on how you can make your first 6 figures?

1: Six Figure Mindset

Everything starts with the way you think about yourself, your offering and the possibility of your business. I learned this from my conversation with billionaire Naveen Jain —and how his mindset was the foundational building block to his success.

2: Leveling Up Your Expertise

The pursuit of expertise is what’s going to differentiate you in any crowded marketplace —because most people are unwilling to go deeper.

Get laser focused on your specific expertise to make you invaluable, and leading to your first 6 figures.

3: Marketing & Sales

You can have the best brand, product or service — but if you don’t have the marketing skills to go with it, you’re doomed.

4: The Right Tribe

Last, to make your first 6 figures will require you to hang out with a tribe that lifts you up and is making you think bigger and bolder. Your environment is your catalyst for growth or an anchor for stagnation.

MAKE YOUR FIRST 6 FIGURES with Mike Zeller | VLOG #005

So, there you have it. If you liked this episode, please subscribe on YouTube and leave me some comments.

Furthermore, let me know what you want me to address and I’ll create an episode on that topic!

your 2019 mid year check in Tommy baker

Your 2019 Mid Year Check In

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship
Reading Time: 8 minutes

NOTE: I also did an audio training podcast of this blog post, which you can access above.

Your 2019 Mid Year Check In

We were coming back on a 12 hour flight from Europe and I was doing some thinking, reflecting and planning —and that’s when it hit me:

We’re already 50% done with 2019.

I couldn’t believe it —and that’s precisely then I booked an appointment with myself for 3 hours titled 2019 Mid Year Check In.

(Creative, right? I need to work on that.)

And you can and should do the same: because with 50% of the year done, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Remember: if you don’t pause and take a moment to reflect on your biggest wins, challenges, the big audacious goals from the start of the year while taking inventory —you’re going to wake up in December wondering what happened to the year.

For most people, they don’t even remember their big targets from the start of the year: tripling their revenue, finally quitting their job, cultivating the relationship of their dreams, etc. Because of this, they’re unwilling to pause and reflect. Usually, because they feel guilt over not moving forward and don’t need the reminder.

In this blog post, I’ll help you through the process of creating your own 2019 Mid Year Check In —so you can finish the year with clarity, growth and endless momentum.

Are you ready?

Step 1: Identifying Your Biggest Win(s)

On the path of ambition and growth, we rarely spend time reflecting on what has gone right.

The first step for your 2019 Mid Year Check In is to identify your biggest win to date and own it with everything you’ve got.

This is not a time to play small or minimize the success you’ve chosen. Whatever this was for you and in any area of your life —I want you to deeply and authentically celebrate yourself.

Once you’ve identified the biggest win, challenge yourself to find at least 10 others during the first half of 2019. It’s not about the size or scope of them, it’s about what they mean to you. All change and growth requires courage —sometimes it’s the small moves that lead to the big ones.

For me personally, the biggest win was writing and formally launching The Leap Of Your Life. It was an intense project and I’m proud of the work. Instead of focusing on how I wanted more book sales, I’m going to own the art of creating and the courage to put my work out there.

I want you to do the same, no matter what your win(s) were.

2019 mid year check inStep 2: Identifying Your Biggest Challenge

Armed with the energy of your biggest win, it’s time to flip the script and identify the biggest challenge you’ve experienced to date. Often when we experience adversity, we tend to avoid it —instead of seeing it as an opportunity for learning and growth.

Whether you went through relationship issues, an unexpected career change or a launch that didn’t go well: this is the time to identify it and then extract a lesson from it.

For example:

My biggest challenge was I had committed to launching a podcast —and still haven’t released one episode.

The lesson I learned is not to get caught up in the logistics and overcomplicating the process. Instead, I need to commit to recording my first 10 episodes.

Another example:

My biggest challenge was falling off my morning routine after the first couple months. I started strong, but then faded —and then I started to feel guilty and beat myself up.

The lesson I learned is that with any habit change there is going to be slip-ups and times where things go haywire —but tomorrow is a new day. The following week is a new chance to get right back on track.

Hopefully, you see the power in taking your challenge out of your head and putting it onto paper while extracting a lesson.

Because when you do this, you supercharge your growth and learning while re-wiring your mind to see the positive in the challenge.

To finish, you’re going to ask yourself a simple question:

Knowing what you know now —what are you committed to changing for the rest of 2019 in regards to your biggest challenge?

Now that you’ve identified your biggest win and challenge, it’s time to take inventory.

Step 3: Taking Non-Emotional Inventory

We have over 50,000 thoughts every single day.

We check email over 88 times every work day.

We’re in an endless barrage of stimulus and noise.

The next step  in your 2019 Mid Year Check In is to push the pause button on life and take non-emotional inventory. As it sounds —you’re going to separate your emotions with your current life circumstances.

Specifically, you’re going to sit down and see where you find yourself in the following areas of life:

Healthy & Vitality.

This includes your daily energy, vitality and progress with how you look, feel and perform.

Business & Income.

This includes your career growth, promotion(s), sales and revenue and creative endeavors.

Relationships & Social.

This includes your closest relationships, family, kids, social circle and virtual communities.

Spiritual & Purpose.

This includes your deeper connection with life’s meaning, your purpose and spiritual path.

The best way to do this is to simply list 3 or 4 bullet points for each —making them as specific as you can.

Tommy baker 1% ruleFor example, in business and income:

• Revenue to date is $85,000

• Launched a brand new course.

• Invested in my first team member.

• Feeling lost in regards to marketing.

The bullet points are a way to achieve clarity and get a real pulse on where you are today. In the above, there are metrics, markers and also identifying a challenge. When I do this, I try to write the bullets in a way that a stranger could get a clear picture of where I’m at in every part of life.

Step 4: Crafting Your Targets For 2019

Now, you’re going to fast forward 6 months by asking a simple question:

What must happen by December 31, 2019 for you to feel this year was a massive success?

Again, this is when you create the space to formulate a vision for the rest of the year. Keep it specific, simple and tangible —with goal setting, too many people are trying to do too much. Limit yourself to 3 big targets or what I call in The 1% Rule big rocks.

For example:

• I’d need to launch and sell a new program.

• I’d need to take the vacation with my partner.

• I’d need to complete a morning routine 5 days a week.

Remember: you can accomplish an entire year’s worth of results in the next 6 months. In fact, if you do it right: you can create a few year’s worth of results if you’re clear, focused and disciplined towards your ambitions.

Step 5: Plan Your Quarterly Targets

Take a moment to reflect back on Step 4 and ensure the targets are exciting, motivating and bold enough for you. This is not about some unrealistic, impossible dream: it’s about choosing 3 big targets that would really make you look back proudly at 2019.

With these in hand, it’s time to reverse engineer them and break them down into targets for the next quarter. Q3 is July, August and September —so ask yourself:

Based on Step 4, where would I need to be by the end of September?

Then, fill in the blanks by being as specific as you can.

Here’s an example using the targets above:

• I’d need to launch and sell a new program.

Q3 Target: By September, I’d need to have all assets ready for launch and start marketing.

• I’d need to take the vacation with my partner.

Q3 Target: By September, the trip will be booked, paid for and blocked off the schedule.

• I’d need to complete a morning routine 5 days a week.

Q3 Target: By September, I’d be on track with 5 days a week using a habit tracking app on my smartphone.

If the above seems simple —that’s a great thing. With goal setting, most people overcomplicate the process, have zero clarity and then use it as an excuse to not move forward. These targets are now to be reviewed every single morning as your morning ritual.

Step 6: Schedule Your Learning & Fun

We’re almost done with your 2019 Mid Year Check In —and now it’s time to strategically schedule in your learning and fun. The reason we do this is because what doesn’t get scheduled in advance, won’t get done.

And two of the most important things to schedule in advance are your personal learning —including skill acquisition, growth, seminars, masterminds, events, etc and your fun time: time off, hobbies, fun events and more.

For learning —review your targets above and ask yourself:

• What is the one skill I can sharpen during the rest of 2019 that will amplify my value in the marketplace?

For example: copywriting, podcasting, speaking, video, digital marketing, email copywriting, management, training and coaching, etc.

• What is the one event or seminar that is aligned with my targets and ambitions that will put me in the right mindset and momentum?

For example: live events, masterminds, programs, training, networking opportunities, incubators, etc.

• What is the one course, program or book(s) I need to invest my time, energy, money and attention into to act as a catalyst towards my targets?

For example: digital courses, study material, online programs and learning, books, etc.

Don’t underestimate how crucial this is: leaders are learnersnot dabblers. They are specific and don’t leave space for guesswork.

When I review the rest of my 2019, I see I’m going to two workshops, one big event —have 20 books I’m committed to reading and two core skills I’m working on. I want you to do the same, although keep it simple.

Then, you’re going do to the same for your fun time. This can include a vacation, weekend trips, adventure, hobbies and “you” time.

For example, here are some of mine for the rest of 2019:

• I’m going to get my mountain bike repaired and hit the trails at least once a week.

• I will plan to visit at least 2 places sights in Arizona with local road trips.

• I’m committed to 3 brand new hikes on mountains I’ve never been on.

Again: the more specific you can get here, the higher chance you’re going to execute and follow through.

Tommy baker resist averageStep 7: Review & Execute Your 2019 Mid Year Check In

Remember: if you complete your 2019 Mid Year Check In —you will be part of a tiny percentage of people who are committed to their goals and ambitions.

Because countless people say they want incredible results, but will never take the time to go through the 6 steps detailed above.

The above should take you anywhere from 45 minutes to a couple hours at most. What I do is rent a conference room out at my local co-working space, book an appointment with myself on the calendar and have at it.

2019 Is Still Yours. Own It.

There you have it: a step by step process to reflect on where you’ve come from in 2019 and where you’re headed.

Because even if this year has been challenging, hard and full of adversity —you still create one year’s worth of results in the next 6 months.

The question then, becomes:

Will you?

I’d love to see it happen —and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below and I’ll tackle them.

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 | Tommy Baker

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, VLOG | No Comments
Reading Time: 2 minutes

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 |

Let’s face it: our lives are a compounding of endless choices and decisions —that can lead to radically different places.

Often, when you’re looking to create transformation —it can feel daunting to make bold decisions towards your dreams.

During the last half decade of being in the trenches helping others collapse their vision and bring their ambitions to life, I’ve compiled some powerful tools to help you make bigger and bolder decisions.

This is the topic of the latest Resist Average VLOG, which you can watch here:

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 |

So, what are the ways you can step into your vision today?

1: Go To Your Future Self

Here, you seek wisdom from the version of yourself who has already accomplished your biggest dreams and desires.

What would they do in the same circumstances? Do that.

2: Use Reverse Visualization

Reverse visualization is one of my favorite tools, which I revealed in the Leap Of Your Life.

Similar to the first, you’re going to future pace and imagine a future where you didn’t make the decision you’re about to and examine the consequences.

3: Lead With the Heart

Often, our intuition knows exactly what to do, but we talk ourselves out of it. Emerson called this the blessed impulse, and it comes from one place: your heart.

4: Choose Abundance

Making decisions out of scarcity only attracts more scarcity. Instead, make bold decisions from a place of abundance and watch what happens to your growth and results.

5: Create Powerful Energy

Last, be careful to examine the emotional states and environments when you’re making big decisions.

If you’re exhausted, drained and scattered —it can seem impossible to make the decision you know you must make.

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 |

So, there you have it. If you liked this episode, please subscribe on YouTube and leave me some comments.

Furthermore, let me know what you want me to address and I’ll create an episode on that topic!

Tommy baker resist average

Making, Marketing and Managing: How To Own Your Day

By | Entrepreneurship, Masterclass | No Comments
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Making, Marketing and Managing: How To Own Your Day

The alarm clock buzzes —you’re praying it’s not real. You wake up and the phone resembles a Christmas tree of notifications: pings, whistles, and pop-ups galore.

Hello, cortisol. You quickly check email to ensure there are no massive fires —and instantly feel overwhelmed. Another day, another challenge for you as an entrepreneur or high performer. Predictably, starting the day this way will lead to scattered results, exhaustion and a heavy dose of burnout.

But it doesn’t have to. In this post, Making, Marketing and Managing: How to Own Your Day —I’m going to share one of my favorite concepts in regards to setting your day up for fulfillment and powerful results. As a side note, I did not invent this, I originally heard this from James Altucher —but is a framework I’ve been using for years and have taught my clients.

Although this post will focus on entrepreneurs (or those aspiring to be) —it could apply to nearly everyone who wants to take control back of their time, maximize their productivity and move the needle forward in both life and business.

Before we dig in, let’s examine why this matters and the cost of not implementing it.

Cognitive Load and Early Mornings

The research is clear: willpower is highest in the morning —and so is our cognitive and physical energy. We’ve (hopefully) spent the evening recharging and recovering, as well as digesting the prior day’s experience and releasing any pressing anxiety.

Most people will feel and perform their best in the morning —which is why it’s crucial to know what to focus on. Daniel Pink’s book When is a fascinating read about the importance of aligning our most important work with our highest cognitive load. In fact, he detailed research in hospitals where one is most likely to have surgery complications in the afternoon, or the “trough” of our cognitive energy.

So, what does this mean for you and why should you care?

Too often in a world of morning routines and power hours, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: people wasting their greatest mental and physical capacity on the least important tasks. In other words, if you’re getting fired up to check email and Instagram —you’re doing it wrong.

This is where the making, marketing, and managing system comes in. Before we dive into the specifics —let’s take a moment to define these:

Making

Making is whatever you do creatively —you could make content, brainstorm a strategic plan, a blog post, the vision for the next quarter or work on your craft. Typically, making requires the highest cognitive load of the three M’s and is done first to maximize quality output and set the tone for a fulfilled day.

For example: if you’re a writer, making may be to write 1,000 words when your energy is the highest —otherwise, it may not get done.

Marketing

Marketing, as a business owner and entrepreneur —is anything related to lead generation, traffic, attracting potential clients and guiding customers through the sales process. This is a vast world but think of activities designed to bring in current or future revenue to your business.

For example: if you’re an entrepreneur, you may spend the middle part of your day strategically planning and launching a marketing campaign.

Managing

Last, managing is the simple act of organization, processes, and systems to build the foundation for your business. It’s the busywork that isn’t urgent —but still has to be done. This includes things like email, calendar updates, invoicing, etc.

For example: as a business owner, you may spend the tail end of the day closing open loops and finishing off tasks such as email, scheduling and urgent but unimportant work.

Now —wouldn’t it make sense to start the day with the activity that not only requires the highest cognitive load but also differentiates you in the marketplace to produce quality output and results? I certainly think so.

But in coaching thousands of people, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: they tend to scatter themselves too thin and leave the scraps for their most important work. Caught in a cycle of being busy, they have a lot to do —but don’t get the most important work done.

Predictably, this leads to a lack of results and fulfillment. It can lead to closing up shop or thinking you’re not capable. If you’re reading this…I don’t want this for you. The fact you’re here means you’re meant for something bold and powerful —and I want you to stand out in the marketplace.

Let’s dive into each of these and the best practices for how to set them up to own your day. Along the way, I’ll be sharing my personal routine(s) to give you ideas on what to do with yours.

making marketing managingEarly Morning: Making, Making, Making

Neil Gaiman delivered one of the best commencement speeches of all time in 2012 to the University of the Arts. Summed up three words, his core theme was simple —yet powerful:

Make good art.

From the speech itself, he expands:

“And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art. Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art.”

It’s a powerful reminder of the work we do. Now, you may be saying: “Tommy…I’m not creative, nor do I make art” —both of which are untrue. If you’re an entrepreneur, you are making art every day. Maybe your art looks different than mine, or Neil’s: it doesn’t matter.

The early mornings are for making your art. Again —this is the work which is important and fulfilling, and usually not urgent. Your art could be mapping out your digital course, or create the copywriting for a sales page —or brainstorm the vision of the company for the next quarter.

For me, my making time is all about writing. Because I’ve identified it’s a skill I want to improve it, it makes my business better —and it makes me feel fulfilled and on purpose, it has to happen. Every single day.

How To Maximize Your Making Time

Making is less about the quantity of the time spent and more about the quality: your level of focus, boundaries and discipline in doing your work. This is when preparation and choosing the right environment are crucial to your success.

Here are a few ways to maximize your making time:

Prepare in advance. Set the stage for when and where you’re going to do your making work —otherwise, it won’t happen. Make it as easy as possible.

Choose the right environment. The best makers have specific environments where they do their best work. Don’t take this lightly: environment plays a huge factor in your success here.

Set a tangible metric or target. I prefer the minimum threshold target —for example, as a writer I choose 1,000 words as my target when I’m writing a book or longer form blogs and essays such as this.

Create ruthless boundaries. Last, set yourself up for success with boundaries: disconnect from the world, tell your assistant and clients you’re unavailable and don’t let any outside noise derail you.

Using this process, you’ll feel fulfilled knowing you did the most important and creatively fulfilling first and set the tone for your day.

Middle Of the Day: Marketing, Sales and Cash

With your creative work done, now you’ll shift your focus towards the marketing of your business. Ideally, this is done when your cognitive load and willpower are still high —because this will require your creativity.

Marketing is a vast field, but these are the revenue-generating, traffic-creating, trib-building actions that really move the needle to grow your business. This could be anything from mapping out your next funnel, reviewing metrics and pivoting on a campaign —or moving the sales process along.

Again, the key here is to ensure these activities are connected to either growing your exposure to people that don’t know who you are or moving those who know you into the next stage of your pipeline.

What this looks like for your business is different, but during the marketing portion of my day I may be editing a sales letter, sending out an email newsletter, reviewing paid traffic, brainstorming and implementing new campaigns or even doing a live video on Facebook to galvanize my audience.

Often, small business owners don’t focus on this until they realize they need revenue —and it’s too late. By spending chunks of focused time on marketing every day, you’ll be cultivating a crucial skill for getting your message out into the world.

As Academy guest Dean Graziosi has said: marketing is oxygen —when you don’t have it, it’s too late.

How To Maximize Your Marketing Time

You’re fired up to market, you’re ready to go —now what? It’s easy to fall into a trap of “random” marketing…which leads to random results. Here’s how to maximize your marketing time:

Review the bigger picture. Look at your targets, where you’re going this year and quarter —and ensure you’re in alignment. What are the non-negotiable marketing projects that must be done?

Break down each part of the project. Launching a new lead generation funnel can seem daunting, right? There’s the up-front work: creating ads and assets, then there’s the fulfillment piece of landing pages and copywriting and finally, the systems and infrastructure. Break each part down and attack these step by step during your marketing time.

Fastest path to cash. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to experience ebbs and flows of cash flow…on the regular. Especially when you’re starting out. One of the keys I always focus on in marketing is what I call FPC: the fastest path to cash. What can you insert during your marketing that collapses the time to getting paid, while still working on your bigger picture projects?

You know you’re doing marketing right when you’re growing your audience, your email list, the platform you’re using —and converting more people to create more revenue and sales. Simple, I know…but many people have no system and don’t dedicate portions of their day to real marketing efforts.

Now that you’ve completed your marketing phase, it’s time to finish with managing your life and business to close out a successful, productive day.

making marketing managingEnd Of the Day: Managing and Closing Open Loops

You’ve done the creative work that drives you and makes your brand, product or service unmistakable. You’ve done the marketing work to get your work out into the world and produce cash flow.

Now what? You’ll finish your day closing open loops with small to medium tasks that are urgent, yet not crucially important (unless too much time passes.) These are email, communication, meetings, social media, etc.

If you have team members, they’ve likely been doing some of this work along the way —but if not, now is your chance to close as many loops as you can and make all the decisions that tend to come with managing.

How To Maximize Your Managing Time

Even though managing comes last, there are ways to ensure you’re maximizing your time, making clear decisions —and setting yourself up for success the next day to repeat the cycle we’ve detailed above.

Chunk out your email responses. The average worker checks their email 88 times a day —leading to scattered focus and terrible results. Instead, batch this time out and commit to checking 5 times or less in your day.

Use an auto-responder during the day. No one ever built an enduring business by getting great at email. Communicate with people to set expectations —when I’m writing a book, I set up an auto-responder to let people know I won’t be responding back anytime soon.

Make quick decisions to ensure clarity. Indecision is a dreamkiller and stops momentum, even with the little things. In your managing time, make fast decisions and move on.

Set a cut-off time when done is done. Because managing can become a habit hole, set strict boundaries so you don’t bring your work home with you.

Own Your Day, Own Your Life

Here’s the truth: your ability to prioritize, create and manage your time as an entrepreneur, freelancer, small business owner or even an employee will dictate your ability to create momentum, results and financial opportunities.

Don’t take this lightly: we all have 168 hours in a week —and by using this system, you’ll get more done in less time.

Isn’t that why we’re here? When I coach and train entrepreneurs, I see this is often not the case and they’re always overwhelmed.

Personally, I often do a day’s worth of creative work, marketing efforts and managing before 2PM every day. It’s not always easy, but if you’re committed —you’ll get it done. Because the alternative is you lose momentum, you make zero progress and your dreams don’t come to life.

What did you get out of this and what are you committed to doing? Post to comments and tag me on social media!

Resources, Notes & More

Below you can find several resources mentioned or quoted directly in the post above to help deepen your understanding of the making, marketing and managing method.

James Altucher Online. Note: I couldn’t find a specific post where he mentions this, but I’m convinced I heard it from him first. https://jamesaltucher.com/

Willpower is a finite resource.
https://www.mcmaster.ca/opr/html/opr/media/main/NewsReleases/Exercisestudy.htm

Larks, owls and third birds.

When: Larks, Owls, and ‘Third Birds’

When: Hospital of Doom

When: Hospital of Doom

Neil Gaiman: Keynote Address 2012
https://www.uarts.edu/neil-gaiman-keynote-address-2012

Cal Newport, Deep Work on the Academy posdcast. Ep. 94 | Master Your Craft and Embrace Deep Work with Cal Newport

The Leap Of Your Life: Decoding The Pillars with Tommy Baker

By | Advice, Books, Masterclass | No Comments
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Leap Of Your Life: Decoding The Pillars with Tommy Baker

There’s a leap in your life you must take, but you’ve been waiting. Every day you put it off —fear starts to win a little more and talk you out of it. Until one day, it’s gone. There is no more enthusiasm. There is no more spark. Another desire, another dream has faded.

The Leap of Your Life: How to Redefine Risk, Quit Waiting For ‘Someday,’ and Live Boldly is my brand new book about making bold decisions and never looking back.

Because launch day is right around the corner, I wanted to create a special training video to help answer a few questions and deep dive into the material. These questions include:

Who is this book for and why should I care?

What makes the Leap of Your Life different?

What can I expect inside the pages of the Leap?

And here’s the deal: I get it. No one needs another book. But this book was created after an obsessive 7.5 year quest to discover the truth about how to create transformation in your life —and stop waiting.

The Leap Of Your Life: Training Video

During this 20 minute training video —I go deep into who this book is for, why it matters and distill some of the key principles and tactics to bring your leap to life.

This book was written for one reason and one reason only: to wake you up. 

Because we all need reminders, or else we slide into a life of mediocrity, stagnation and ultimately —a life we can’t wait to escape from, instead of a life we can’t wait to wake up for.

Make no mistake: you deserve to live a bold, inspiring and thriving life full of purpose, meaning, and adventure.

The Leap Of Your Life: Order Your Copy Now!

The Leap Of Your Life is officially out and available at all major retailers —and now is the best time to order so you can start living the life you truly want…not the one others want for you.

You can order the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound or Books-A-Million now.

leap of your life Tommy baker

 

Tommy Baker Resist Average

Are You Surviving, Comfortable or Thriving?

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship | No Comments
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Are You Surviving, Comfortable or Thriving?

After being in the trenches coaching thousands of people to get clear, focused and build momentum in their lives —I’ve noticed there are three possible stages you can find yourself in at any given moment: survival, comfort or thriving.

And in each of these stages, you’re going to have completely different mindsets, obstacles and ways of operating in your life. The problem, however —is each stage requires a specific prescription to breakthrough (or, if you’re thriving…to not lose your momentum.)

In this post, you’re going to discover which stage you’re currently in, what the key markers of being in it are from an internal and external view —and what you can do to make sure you break free.

Because you’re not meant to simply survive life, or be in a stage of comfort. You’re here to thrive and make sure you get to the end of this experience with a smile on your face —knowing you truly lived. Because when you’re thriving, life opens up for you and will provide a level of meaning and fulfillment that can’t be matched.

And you and I are designed to be in that place.

The Survival Stage

The markers of being in a survival stage are glaring: endless alarms, putting out fires and always in a frantic state of overwhelm. The feeling of burnout has become your new normal — and there never seems to be enough.

There’s never enough time, certainly not enough money or resources —and some of the dialogue happening here is short-sighted: “trying” to make it through the day, or at best, the current week so you can finally take a moment to exhale.

In survival, finances come and go and never last: there is always a drama designed to pull you back down. For example, you may have had tons of urgency to bring in money to make your monthly bills, when somehow you come across a larger sum of cash you didn’t previously have.

In survival, you’re attracting chaos: this is when an unexpected medical bill comes, or something seemingly “out of nowhere.”

Survival is exhausting, debilitating and makes you question yourself all the time. It leaves you scattered, some times broken and wondering if you’re ever going to make it out.

In survival, thinking about a big vision or setting targets and goals can actually do more harm than good: because you’re not in a state of being able to truly expand your mind. In one of my books, I call this the Homeless Paradox: you and I can pull up to our nearest street corner and tell someone in need the best wisdom on the planet —and it won’t strike a chord. Why? Because they’re thinking about their next sandwich and how they’re going to make it through the evening storm.

But it’s not all bad news: survival creates tremendous urgency (which comfort doesn’t) and can be a catalyst to get out once and for all.

survival, comfort, thrivingHow to Get Out of Survival

So, how do you get out? In survival mode, you must take a moment to examine the tremendous cost and pain being in this stage is causing you. Because often, it has become people’s identitythey don’t even feel comfortable in any other place, even if they say they want to get out of survival.

Step 1: Examine the cost of your life of being in survival: the exhaustion, stress and never feeling like it’s enough.

Step 2: Use Reverse Visualization (a technique I shared in the Leap Of Your Life) to amplify the future pain of regret to do something now.

Step 3: Set extremely short term goals (30 days or less) —and make incremental wins. Make them so small, yet important. This is how you’re going to build momentum.

Step 4: Train yourself away from scarcity thinking at least once a day. Practice habits of abundance, create a short morning routine —any space and time for “you” is helping you shift from scarcity to abundance. Stop saying you don’t have enough and remember: your circumstances are not who you are.

Because if you persist long enough with these steps, you’ll rise above the insanity of survival and come face to face with your next stage: the comfortable life.

Let’s examine what that looks and feels like.

The Comfortable Stage

“Things are…uh, good.”
“I’m fine. Everything is OK.”
“We should be grateful for what we have.”

Facepalm. This is often the language of a comfortable life: you’re no longer in a state of endless survival, and the 24/7 drama has been replaced by a feeling of comfort. Make no mistake, this is where around 75% of people are —and often wind up spending their entire lives in this place.

Now, if this is what you desire and what you authentically want: more power to you. Own it, and don’t waste your energy aspiring for more. But often, comfortable is not too comfortable. When we examine this stage a little closer —we see a ton of discomfort.

Specifically, in this stage —there’s something missing. The enthusiasm and life force for life has waned. Things seem dull, lacking color. There is nothing pulling you on the horizon, and if it does —it only lasts a little while. You’re finding yourself “stuck” but not knowing what to do. In this stage, lacking clarity, momentum and enthusiasm for something bigger and bolder is the status quo. You’re lacking a meaningful and purposeful challenge for your life.

The comfortable stage is by far the hardest to leave. Because you don’t have the buzzing alarms of survival —it’s hard to create urgency and focus for the next level. You’ve achieved a little bit —and because of this, you now have something to lose. Making bold decisions and taking on risks here seems irresponsible because of this. Especially because you’ve experienced survival —and never want to go back.

As I showed above with the language, “good”, “fine” and “OK” are markers of a comfortable life. Often, the technique of fake gratitude is used here: you talk yourself into saying you should be grateful, but deep down it doesn’t feel right. Something’s off and missing. In your quiet moments, you’re desperate for something new.

survival comfort thrivingHow to Get Out of Comfort

In my work with clients, this is often the stage they find themselves in. Long ago, I stopped working with clients in survival: I do deep and transformative work, and those in survival usually can’t grasp the concepts and mindsets required because of the endless urgency and lack of space.

If you’re in the comfortable stage, here’s how you can get out:

Step 1: Get radically honest and transparent about your life. Take inventory and allow the real feelings to come out.

Step 2: Examine the cost of not moving forward —and staying down this path. Again, the tool of Reverse Visualization is a great way to leverage future regret to make a decision right here, right now.

Step 3: Take on a mighty mission or challenge. In comfort, you’re able to think in bigger time horizons than survival: this is where setting aggressive, meaningful targets is crucial to leave your comfort zone. Find something that drives you…and scares you at the same time.

Step 4: Seek guidance and help from a mentor or coach. Again, leaving comfort is difficult —and going it alone may work for a little while…until it doesn’t. I’ve seen this play out many, may times: find a mentor, coach or program that won’t let you slide back into mediocrity and playing small.

Remember: comfort isn’t quite so comfortable.

Do you really want to spend your life in this stage —with no deeper purpose and meaning? Because the pain of untapped potential leads to destructive habits in your life.

The comfortable life loves to watch others play out their dreams on the television sets, the sports arenas and the Hollywood films. Because deep down, those in comfort know they’re meant for something bigger —but they’re stuck.

The next best thing is to watch someone else do it, but it never lasts. After the thrill of the football game is over —you’re left with yourself.

The Thriving Stage

The holy grail. The thriving stage is where you and I are designed to be: living this experience of life full tilt, full of incredible moments of meaning, purpose, inspiration and stepping into our highest selves.

Make no mistake: this is the life everyone deeply desires. It’s when you’re off the sidelines chasing impossible dreams…and making them real. It’s when you’re seeking the challenge — instead of it coming to find you. It’s when you push yourself every single day: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Thriving doesn’t mean things are easy —you don’t want things to be easy. You want to be challenged, to brush up against your emotional edges and create transformation. In this stage, you think bold and big: setting 10-year visions is easy, and you tap deep into the rituals of morning routines, creating space, working on your skills and finding new ways to maximize every moment.

Does being in thriving mean you let loose and do nothing? Not at all. Because in a thriving stage, your desire to grow is much bigger than your desire to stay comfortable. In a state of thriving, you’ve achieved a baseline of results but also know there’s plenty more in the tank.

survival comfort thrivingWhat Does Thriving Look and Feel Like?

When you’re thriving physically, no challenge is too big. You seek to push your body to new limits, in different ways —maybe it’s tackling a big race, the adventure of a mountain or even a deep yoga and spiritual practice.

When you’re thrving in your purpose and business, you’ve moved from selfish desires to selfless endeavors. Now, it’s not only about you: it’s about impact, service and touching lives. You’re pulled by what Tony Robbins calls a ‘magnificent obsession’ —a vivid picture of the future you can touch and feel.

When you’re thriving in your relationships, you’re constantly pouring into them. Your intimate relationship is connected and on fire, and people are always asking you for advice. You have a powerful social circle of inspired people who hold you to your greatest self. Most importantly, you have an incredible and inspired relationship with the person in the mirror.

Once you’ve experienced a state of thriving, you never want to retreat back to comfort —or worse, survival. But no matter where you find yourself today: we’ve all experienced thriving, which means you can get it back. When I surveyed my audience in a live webinar about what it feels like to thrive, they said:

Freedom, flow, presence, growth, fun, play, relax, abundance, energy, enthusiasm, intention and power.

You deserve to be in a state of thriving, but it’s not going to magically happen. It’s going to be a state of life of your choosing and creating. Every single day, you must start again. When you’re thriving, you love this challenge —it’s become who you are.

One Shift To Get To The Next Level

During this post, we went through the three common stages of life. This has been the best way for me to teach and help people identify where they currently find themselves…and what to do about it.

Make sure you identify which stage you’re in and at least one action step you can complete in the next 24 hours to create momentum towards the next stage. Or, if you’re thriving —to ensure you stay there and never retreat.

The Leap Of Your Life is Nearly Out!

If this post connected with you, then my brand new book, The Leap of Your Life: How to Redefine Risk, Quit Waiting For ‘Someday,’ and Live Boldly is definitely for you. This book is designed to get you clear on your next bold decision, stop putting your dreams off —and live in a state of thriving.

You can grab it now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble today and make sure you never, ever wake up with a sinking feeling of regret.

tommy baker coaching

7 Excuses Getting in the Way of Taking the Leap of Your Life

By | Advice | No Comments
Reading Time: 7 minutes

7 Excuses Getting in the Way of Taking the Leap of Your Life

You had the insight, the breakthrough —the moment of undeniable clarity. In the precise moment of this emotional state, you have 100% certainty you must do it. There is no wavering. There is no space left for doubt, fear and uncertainty: it feels right to you, and you’re all in.

Whether your insight was around a career move, a tough conversation you must have, a bold adventure, finally hiring a mentor or coach —or another radical shift of your life:

You knew exactly what you had to do.

This is the moment of undeniable clarity way too many people hope, pray and wish for —and it often comes during the random, quiet moments of life.

You feel inspired, enthusiastic and capable of bringing it to life.

But then, something else happens: time starts to pass, your enthusiasm starts to fade —and you lose the original emotional state you were in. With time passing, so does your belief, clarity, and possibility in making it real.

Until one day, it’s gone.

In this post, I’m going to reveal 7 common excuses that get in the way of taking the leap of your life —the bold decision in front of you. Because if you don’t heed the call: you may never get it back.

And to me, the great tragedy of this is knowing we’re all one radical decision away from a life we can’t wait to wake up, feeling deeply on purpose, fulfilled and achieving the results we’ve only dreamed of.

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #1: It’s not the right time.

“It’s not the right time, Tommy.”

I hear this all the time —from people who understand they’re going down the wrong path and are destined to wake up in a painful crisis if they stay on it. Or, people will come to me for coaching and use this as a convenient excuse to not invest in their dreams.

But guess what? Believing this means fear is winning: using time as a convenient way to let you off the hook and rob you of your dreams. Because it will never be the right time and you will never feel ready.

You’re not supposed to feel ready, that’s the entire point of making a bold decision into the unknown.

Remember: this is a radical decision, it’s not what you’re choosing to have for breakfast tomorrow morning. When you recognize fear is using the “right” time as an excuse —you can acknowledge her and take the next step anyway.

The right time is the moment you make a committed decision and go all in on the leap of your life.

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #2: I don’t know the “how.”

You had a bold moment of clarity, a vision deep within your mind, body and spirit —and for a moment, you were all in. As time passed, you started to notice the distance in what we call “the gap”: your current reality versus your leap’s vision.

And then you focused on the “how” —and ceased all momentum. As I wrote in a previous book: the how is where dreams go to die. When people and clients tell me they don’t know the “how” —I simply say: you’re not supposed to.

Here’s the truth: if you knew every step of the how, it would tell me one of two things: one, you’re either playing small —or you’re on someone else’s path.

Instead, focus on the what (the leap of your life), the why (your emotional reason for making it real) and then taking the first step. As you go on, the how starts to reveal itself in magical ways.

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #3: What if I fail?

The fear of failure will hold countless people back from taking the leap of their lives —and yet is a broken mindset rooted in scarcity. Because here’s the raw truth: the greatest failure is staying exactly where you are right now.

Please read that as many times as needed to strike the emotional chord inside of you that knows it’s time to make the change you’ve been putting off.

Because if you’re having a desire to change —you don’t want things to stay the same. This is what the leap of your life is all about: radical transformation. By using the fear of failure as an excuse —you automatically fail. You’ve already lost.

This is not a cliche, this is real life: the greatest risk is not taking one. The greatest failure is waking up 8 years down the line knowing you missed your shot. The biggest pain you’ll ever feel is the one of deep-rooted regret:

You had an opportunity to radically shift your life, to step into the boldest version of yourself —but you let a little fear win. You let your doubts win. This fear will keep you stuck time and time again and there’s only one way to overcome it: go all in and never look back.

Burn the boats, get rid of Plan B, C & D…and do it now.

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #4: What will they think?

The below is an actual excerpt from the book, The Leap Of Your life around the topic of caring what others think in regards to your bold dreams:

Do you want the secret? No matter what you do in life, you’re going to be judged. You can stay stuck the rest of your life, and you’ll be judged. You can take the bold leap, and you’ll be judged.

If you speak up, you’ll be judged. If you stay quiet, you’ll be judged. It’s part of life, and it’s never going to go away. Once you recognize this, the stranglehold judgment has on you will begin to loosen.

However, there is one judgment that matters: it’s the judgment from the person looking back at you in the mirror every single day. That does carry weight because we have to live with ourselves every single day. We take ourselves everywhere. For the rest of our lives.

Here, if we avoid the leap — we must live with the fact that we’re going to judge ourselves the rest of our lives for not making the decision we knew was right. Yes, we can rationalize and compartmentalize it as much as we want. But it won’t go away.

So the question is: will you stay stuck in fear of other’s judging you —and ultimately judge and resent yourself?

Once you recognize this, you experience an inner freedom like never before.

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #5: Things are good where I am

“But Tommy, I should be grateful I have a steady job and career —and I don’t want to lose it..things are good.”

This is what I call ‘fake’ gratitude: something in life is causing you pain, stress, and anxiety —and you know it must change. But we use a plastic, manufactured form of gratitude to keep us from getting radically honest.

When I work with clients, we delete “good”, “fine” and “okay” from their vocabulary. Because most times, good is not good. Fine isn’t really fine: it’s one step away from mediocre —and is proof of complacency at best and hopelessness for a better future at worst.

If you find yourself saying things are good, take a moment to get honest: are they really that good? Allow yourself to go deep into the real feelings you’re experiencing without judgment, blame or any excuses.

Because the way I see it: you’re not here for good. You’re here for riveting, on fire and powerful. You’re here to be amazed at all the possibility life has to offer.

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #6: Sure, you did it. But how can I?

“Yeah, of course they did it —they don’t have kids, they’re not struggling, they have all the skills they need to make their dreams come true.”

Here’s the truth: you and I will always find creative ways of propping other people up and making them extraordinary with talents, skills, and circumstances we tell ourselves we don’t have.

One of my mentors (and someone who was featured in the Leap of Your Life) —is Lisa Nichols, and she has a brilliant line about this:

“You want to make me extraordinary because it lets you off the hook.”

Because here’s what I know to be true: there are people who have done it with worse circumstances than you right now.

They’ve done it with less money, more stress —and a more troubled past. They’ve done it with zero skill, a crippling environment and a host of reasons not to do it.

But they did it anyway. Will you?

Leap Of Your Life Excuse #7: I don’t know what I want.

The last common excuse for not taking the leap of your life is when you tell yourself:

“I don’t know what I want.”

“I have no idea what my purpose is.”

“I need to discover what I really want to do next.”

And I’m here to tell you, based on the last 7 years of being in-the-trenches with people from all over the world and helping them create clarity and breakthroughs:

It’s not true.

Because if you were right here, in front of me —I could get you to a level of clarity where you know your next step and what you desire.

However, declaring this takes tremendous courage and vulnerability: something most of us are trained to run away from and do anything to avoid.

Am I convinced you know every step of your vision? No, not at all: as I mentioned earlier —you don’t need that level of clarity.

All you need to know is your next step, and a general sense of your North Star vision…and to give yourself permission to be honest.

It’s Your Time…Order the Leap Now!

Tommy baker the leap of your lifeI share these excuses with you for one reason: I used to believe all of these, too. And because I did: I woke up scattered, stuck and losing belief in myself. I found myself going down the wrong path, with the wrong people.

Until I woke up on a New Year’s Eve night and experienced a moment of knowing this was it.

If any of these connected with you —my brand new book, The Leap of Your Life: How to Redefine Risk, Quit Waiting For ‘Someday,’ and Live Boldly is for you.

Order now at Barnes & Noble, your local bookstore, or here on Amazon and ensure you step into the boldest version of yourself and stop waiting to make the move calling you.

Post any questions or feedback to comments!