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Advice

Ditch The Runway, It’s Time To Fly

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ditch The Runway, It’s Time To Fly

There’s time we should all be spending on the runway of life: accumulating knowledge, wisdom, practice and repetition. This is where we put our preparation in: the pre-flight checklist, the security measures, the analysis of weather patterns.

And then we start to accelerate. This is where momentum grows, and we’re gathering all the tools we’ll need along our path.

But at some point, if we don’t take off —we will either be forced to abort our dreams or be involved in a fiery crash of epic proportions.

Neither is enticing, and yet how often do we spend our entire lives on the tarmac and runway of our dreams:

Chasing the next certification.
Chasing someone else’s permission.
Chasing a ‘someday’ moment in the future.
Chasing society’s approval to give us the nod to fly.

We’ve all been there, and it never seems to be enough. Once we cross off one checkpoint, we add another.

There has to be a better way —or else our dreams will stay grounded forever.

The Best Time To Start Was Yesterday

We’re on the runway, gaining speed, about to take off —and then we stop. We tell ourselves things like:

“I need more time to research.”
“I need another degree, or certification.”
“I’ll do it when life slows down and I have space.”

And so we start to believe these narratives —and we convince ourselves that one day we’ll make it happen.

Except we won’t, because one day and someday are illusions cut from the cloth of fear and procrastination.

And if we aren’t careful, we’ll live our entire lives on the runway.

We’ll watch other planes with more courage and tenacity take off on their dreams, while we stay safely cradled on the ground as the days, months and years pass by.

So the best time for you to start was yesterday.

Regardless of your current skill level —everything we set out to do will require more work, persistence and overcoming obstacles.

So you might as well start now.

Or else, you’ll get stuck in paralysis by analysis much like I did when picking up a new sport recently.

I Wanted All The Gear Before I Started

Recently, I moved into a new home in Arizona, gloriously tucked away in the mountains with unlimited access to some of the best trails around.

So I chose to pick up Mountain Biking —not really a big think in New York or CT, so I was completely new.

And yet, I found myself on the runway: finding a (used) bike, getting all the gear and spending countless hours studying how to get started.

But I wasn’t actually getting started.

Because I can read all the reviews on the latest gear, but everything will pale in comparison to getting out on the trail and having a split second near-collision with a cactus as I fall in a blaze of glory.

This is what most of us do with our dreams: we waste all our time and energy on preparation —when nothing could prepare us for being in the game.

And then we simply miss out on what really matters:

Experiencing the thrill and gift of life that only comes when we’re flying high above the clouds on our unique voyage:

We’re chasing our dreams, living our truths and taking the call to adventure we all deeply crave.

Not for anyone else, but for the Man or Woman in the mirror.

This unquenchable thrill for life can’t be found in blueprints, spreadsheets and P&L statements.

It happens when we take off, and never look back.

What Are You Waiting For?

Is there a time to harness skills, experience life and gain a level of competency?

Of course.

But way too often this becomes a crutch, a convenient excuse to keep our dreams grounded.

(And a brilliant one at that, because we don’t have face the raw and vulnerable feeling of putting ourselves out there.)

So, what are you waiting for?

Because I know one thing to be true:

Regret will gnaw at our spirits, until one day it has consumed every part of our lives.

You won’t regret giving it a shot.
You won’t regret taking a chance.
You won’t regret betting on you.

But you will regret staying grounded, living a life for other people who don’t have to pay the price of your decisions.

It’s time to pull that throttle back.

It’s time to fly.

Because on the other side of lifting off is a life you can’t imagine.

(NOTE: This metaphor is not my own, I simply expanded on it —thank you to the incredible Liz Gilbert.)

The PayPal Effect (How To Get Anyone’s Attention)

By | Advice
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The PayPal Effect (How To Get Anyone’s Attention)

Can I, Uh…Pick Your Brain?

Every week through the glorious DM (direct message) on social media —I get a variation of the following:

Can I meet you for coffee?
Could I pick your brain for 30 minutes?
I’m in town. I’d love to connect!

And listen, I’m not trying to make myself look cool or popular —my platform isn’t even that big. 

But these messages always come, and while I’d love to meet with people:

I’m very clear about my priorities, goals and outcomes on where I place my most valuable resource: money time.

And you should too.

But what if you’re on the other side?

What if you’ve got something powerful to share with someone?

The great news about social media is you’re a few seconds away from connecting with nearly anyone in the world.

The bad news is: they’re being hit up constantly, and standing out can seem impossible.

Welcome to the PayPal effect, one of my trusted secrets for skipping the line, getting noticed and connecting with people who can give you life shifting advice.

But first, let’s understand what’s in the way and why it matters.

Understanding The Dilemma

Ask nearly anyone these days how they’re doing, and you’ll get a universal response:

I’m so busy.
I’m beyond stressed.
I’m trying to keep up.

Busyness is now #trending, and if you’re not busy —you’re essentially worthless.

But the people who you are trying to reach are truly busy. I don’t mean they’re better than others —but to experience some type of success means they’re at least somewhat intentional about how they use their time.

(Please don’t send me newspaper clippings from Tucker in Idaho who made $1.7 million in lotto winnings and plays Xbox all day to counteract this point.)

Often, these people are being pulled in endless directions —and it’s important for you not only to recognize this…

…but explicitly call it out in any communication. This shows you get it and aren’t someone who’s simply cold messaging them to get them to shout you out.

If you want to stand out even more, be hyper specific about their current busyness and intensity, saying things like:

“I know you’re slammed and just released a new…”
“Congrats on the ____. I know you must have no time, but..”

The first step is all about putting yourself in their shoes, to create instant rapport.

Get. To. The. Point!

I’m a rambler. If you’ve ever listened to the Resist Average Academy podcast —you (may) realize this.

But when you’re reaching out to someone of influence, don’t write a 2,750 word thesis or else you’ll get lost in the noise.

Even if it’s amazing.

Do whatever you can to minimize the word count and get straight to the point. In this case, less is always more.

Instead of telling them your life story with a vague and confusing request (I want to connect…), tell them outright what you want or how you’re looking to help.

The equation to follow is:

Connect with how busy they are + show you care (reference a deeper cut of their material) + be explicit and specific in the shortest amount of words = success!

Recently, when I was asking for endorsements for a book, I put “endorsement request” in the email line.

Why?

So they (or their assistant) knows exactly what the email is about —without the usual fluff.

The PayPal Effect

And now to the clincher: the PayPal effect. When finishing off your communication, the PayPal effect goes like this:

Since you have so much going on and I deeply respect your time —shoot me your PayPal email and I’ll send you a token of my appreciation.

Now, you may be thinking:

This entire thing was about buying people’s time, Tommy!??!

Not really. The PayPal effect works because 99% of people aren’t willing to do it —and it’s not really about the money.

It’s about not being someone who feels entitled to someone else’s time.
It’s about going above and beyond —and truly placing yourself in their shoes.
It’s about respecting yourself enough —knowing you’ll value the interaction more.

And so, yes —the PayPal Effect is all about getting noticed, and skipping the free line where most people are doing anything to get noticed.

But curiously enough, sometimes it doesn’t cost you anything.

Some (Unexpected) Observations

I’ve used the PayPal effect several times to grab people’s attention, get 45 minutes with someone who doesn’t have an opening on their calendar for 6 months —and get access to some incredible people.

I’ve used it to get life shifting advice before, during and after a conference.

The value of these moments were truly in the thousands, or tens of thousands and radically created a shift in my life and business.

Could I have done it without the PayPal effect?

Sure, but it’d likely take 10X the work, persistence and follow up —for the same result.

However, I’ve also noticed some interesting and surprising observations around the PayPal effect, including:

Sometimes asking is enough. I’ve had a lot of people give me their time without giving me their PayPal.

The amount is somewhat irrelevant. Okay, $7 won’t get you too far —but often $200 will get you very far.

People are often surprised when you’re willing to do this. You are remembered instantly, and it will come back to you.

So, What Now?

I remember being at an event in San Diego where Grant Cardone was speaking and he told a story of a kid in the lobby who asked for 15 minutes of his time —offering $1,000.

If you know Grant, you understand he didn’t need the $1K. But, it was besides the point and he took it anyway.

What Grant understood is money and value psychology:

If he took the kid’s money, he’d hang on to every single word Grant said and take his advice 110%. If he didn’t, there would be less chance the kid would take action on his advice.

Remember, if you and I don’t pay —we rarely pay attention.

This, my friends, is the hidden benefit of the PayPal effect: you’re paying to pay attention —and create a radical shift.

For this reason, every penny is worth it.

33 Lessons From 33 Cycles Around The Sun

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Lists, Routines
Reading Time: 6 minutes

33 Lessons From 33 Cycles Around The Sun (Yearly Birthday Post)

Ahhhh, another ride around this beautiful, crazy, intense path we called life.

Birthdays for me (and likely you too) are deeply reflective.

Instead of crushing tequila, I’d much rather go on a hike and spend time thinking about the past 364 days.

Where I learned.

Where I fell short.

Where I created.

It’s a time to look back and ask some deep questions about where we are in life, what we’ve learned…

…and what truly matters.

Every year, I share some lessons —and here are 33 lessons from my time here.

I share these with you in hopes you will obtain some value, much like the intention I set with the Resist Average Academy podcast.

1. Sometimes the greatest form of knowledge and wisdom is forgetting what you (think) you know.

In other words: what got us here, won’t get us there. Letting go is hard, yet essential to get to the next level of growth and awareness.

2. We are all on a quest back to self love, appreciation and owning every part of ourselves.

This is how simple it all really is, and I’m always reminded of this core human driver.

3. The greatest quest we’ll ever go on is our own Hero’s journey —the jagged, uneven path to center, to return our gifts.

If you know every step of your path, it’s likely been created by someone else. Your path is yours, own it.

4. Life’s greatest moments are often not manufactured, and are more about allowing.

Take a step back and reflect on life’s greatest moments. Did you manufacture them with blueprints and spreadsheets, or did you allow them?

5. There is incredible power in contrast, the storms in our lives allow the beautiful sunset to taste that much sweeter.

The other day I was hiking in Arizona where we get 350+ days of sunshine a year, and there was an intense storm.

I looked up and thought: damn, that’s beautiful.

It was a reminder there is power in the contrast, and no matter what you’re going through —it will pass.

6. Urgency, and our mortality are beautiful motivators to remember the essential and go all in.

I call this the Cemetery Principle: remembering our own mortality is the best way to slice through the noise and make powerful decisions.

Because the truth is: it is a matter of life or death.

Once you get clear, there are countless ways to find time for what matters.

7. Waiting for an external result to feel fulfilled and at peace with ourselves will never, ever work out.

Start with your foundation, developing your inner power —or else you’ll achieve success and with a hollow and empty feeling.

8. The greatest communication skill is radical honesty —it releases the number one killer of relationships: assumptions.

Think about how assumptions have destroyed prior relationships —often, all we needed to do was have a real, transparent conversation.

9. The secret is you already have everything you need, and yet there’s always more to experience and grow from.

This is a beautiful paradox and makes our lives invigorating.

10. You know you’ve found your calling when you can’t not do it.

can’t not do what I do. If I had all the money, I’d still do it. If I had all the time, I’d still do it.

11. Our heads often block the most powerful parts of who we are: our hearts.

So many of the people I coach and consult with are stuck in their heads.

(I’ve been there, too.)

And yet, our heads take us away from what really matters: the deepest part of who we are.

12. Intuition will always trump logic, whiteboards and blueprints. Learn to listen to it.

Always trust the internal voice which always knows what to do.

It’s pure wisdom.

13. Go to the places that inspire you, and bring you to tears. Disconnect from the noise, to reconnect to what really matters.

Start here on your path to personal growth. For me, it’s nature —I literally packed my bags and moved cross country because it inspires me so much.

These days, I’m outside in nature 5-6 times per week and I always receive a gift.

What’s your inspiration?

14. Change something, anything! Don’t place yourself in a rigid box. Think you’re an introvert? Go to improv. Hate dancing? Sign up for Salsa.

I’m not a fan of personality tests. I believe they put you and I in boxes —keeping us stuck and rigid.

15. Every time you leave someone, ask yourself —if this was our last communication, would I be proud of how I showed up?

I use this often when speaking to parents or family.

16. The ego is always in the way of learning, growth, peace, acceptance —learn to dissolve it.

The first rule of all my programs is simple:

Drop the ego.

Without this, transformation is a pipe dream.

17. You are much more powerful than you give yourself credit for. And deep down, you know it. This scares you.

However, you’ve ignored the truth of who you are, we all have.

It’s time to get back into it and allow it back into the world.

18. There’s never a “right” time for anything. Dent the quantum field and create it now —book the trip, ask them out, launch the business and live out loud.

“When the kids are a little older.”

“When life slows down and I’m less busy.”

“When I have the money, I’ll invest in myself.

These are all excuses our minds use to keep us stuck, comfortable and playing small.

19. Distraction is a source of un-faced pain —usually in the form of lacking alignment with our purpose and vision.

The times in my life I was most lost, disconnected from purpose and lacking clarity were the times I was all in on fantasy sports, message boards, random entertainment, etc.

Distraction is a feedback mechanism.

20. Be yourself, and don’t apologize. I can be a very intense guy…for years, I tried to dim it —and then I presented myself.

Just be you. 

I’m intense, why would I fight it?

21. On that note, have way more fun. No one gets out of alive. Everyone’s naked anyway 😉

And yes, be yourself but also have a lot of fun along the way.

I’ve been practicing this more often and learning to spend time playing has nourished my spirit and creativity.

22. Fall in love with giving. You can give right now, even if you can’t pay your bills.

I call this the 2-for-1 principle: when you grab a protein bar at the gas station, get two. When you grab water, or drinks, or snacks, grab two. Then hand them out to people in need.

23. Positive psychology is (largely) ineffective. Your “bad” emotions aren’t —they’re a feedback mechanism. Let them be.

You’re human, act like it.

Don’t judge yourself for feeling sad, angry or triggered. Learn to understand your emotions instead of labeling them —and find ways to release them.

24. Clarity is a daily practice, and takes time. Don’t force it, but don’t use it as an excuse to not get started.

Every day, re-affirm your vision for at least 10 minutes.

25. If you wanted it bad enough, you’d find the time, money and energy. Seriously —this has never held a willing person back.

Just saying. A lot of people tell me they don’t have the time and energy. I’ve been broke, with overdrafts on all my accounts.

I still moved forward, because I was willing.

26. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and owned who you are? Do it today.

Tell yourself the truth: you are more powerful than you give yourself credit for.

27. Look up more than you look down. There are no answers in our phones, they all come from the curiosity and willingness to look up.

Be curious! Experience the zest of being alive. Ditch the phone for a weekend, take an adventure…live out loud.

28. Your breakdown can become your greatest breakthrough. Or, it can become your identity that you take to the grave.

Your choice —because playing the victim card leaves us power-less to change. It feels great for a minute, until it doesn’t anymore.

29. Don’t normalize extraordinary. Your heart is a miracle. Your brain is a mystery. This moment has magic.

To quote one of my favorite books, The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman: there are no ordinary moments.

30. Don’t settle in relationships. Be patient and wait for someone that lights your world on fire.

I didn’t settle, and yet I was tempted to. Nourish the relationship with yourself, and watch what happens.

31. Fall in love with pain —it is the greatest focuser, and suffering because of it is always optional.

Pain is part of life and becomes a great focuser —suffering is the avoidance of pain.

32. Sprint until you can’t anymore. Smile deeper than you ever have. Cry louder so everyone can hear you. Raise the volume on your life!

Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up!

33. There are no ordinary moments (thanks, Dan Millman.)

As I reflect back on this year…

I want to say thank you to anyone who I’ve come in contact with —who supported me, challenged me and allowed me to be my best self.

Because today, everything changes again.

Thank you for being here, and here’s to the next.

31 Simple Ways To Level Up Your Business And Life, Create More Results…and Have More Fun

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Lists, Routines
Reading Time: 7 minutes

31 Simple Ways To Level Up Your Business And Life, Create More Results…and Have More Fun

Do you want to level up? Let’s define what that means first: for me, it means to live with more fulfillment and results across all the areas of life.

One of the ways I define success on the Resist Average Academy podcast is simple: creating a life I can’t wait to wake up for.

Does this mean every day is full of puppies and sunshine? Well, sunshine maybe (I do live in Arizona.)

But not always.

It means I’m excited to face both the opportunities and challenges along the way.

All while having an absolute blast through it all, and you can do the same.

1. Start and end your day on Airplane Mode — you don’t need to check Instagram for the 37th time.

This is my number one tip when people ask me the easiest habit with the most benefit.

Starting your day on Airplane Mode will give you insane levels of focus, peace and results.

2. Take 5 minutes every single day to reaffirm your vision and remind yourself of where you’re going.

This is your compass, your North Star. Without tuning in to your vision every single day, other people’s agendas and priorities will get in the way.

3. Clap when you wake up, especially if you’re not a morning person — this will anchor excitement to start your day.

I used to do this every day (my fiancee would kill me right now.)

But why did I?

I wanted to anchor in the habit of being a morning person —and while it took time, it worked.

4. Spend 20 minutes in the morning doing something you love and that increases a skill with focused work.

Without turning your phone on or checking email —spend time on the most important project of your business and life.

5. Have some type of routine…there’s a hundred options — pick one and stick with it.

The masters have routines, allowing them to save precious bandwidth and energy on the stuff that truly matters.

6. Say a simple “thank you” and remember over 100,000 die every day.

You woke up today, you’re playing with house money.

Remember —we’re on a spinning rock circling another big fiery rock, rotating around a massive cluster of rocks.

You’re here: embrace the miracle.

7. Do one new thing every single day. Take a different route home, send the message when you normally wouldn’t — break a pattern.

While routines and habits are powerful —Jesse  —, entrepreneur and New York Times Bestseller also taught me they can get us in a rut.

Once in a while, break the pattern and do something you’ve never done.

8. Everytime you look in the mirror, hold space. Tell yourself how powerful you are and condition yourself for self appreciation.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

If it’s anything except someone who has greatness inside of them —you’ve got work to do.

(I call this the Cool Runnings effect, because I love that part in the movie.)

9. Change your work environment from time to time, we all need need scenery — go to a completely different part of town, or outside.

Don’t tell me you can’t. For my freelancers, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs: change your environment, and try something new.

This will spark your creativity, inspiration and perspective.

10. Spend several time blocks during your day with your phone off and unavailable. You’ll start to cultivate a rare and powerful focus.

Focus, focus, focus. There is no shortage of dreamers out there, but in a world of endless noise —focus becomes your competitive advantage.

11. There’s some stuff in your business or life you simply hate doing. Delegate cleaning your place, scheduling appointments or anything that crushes your energy.

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. Delegate the non-essential, and protect your most valuable resource liike your life depends on it.

Because it does.

12. Affirmations are largely ineffective — if you want to believe something, write it down 500 times.

I do this exercise at least once a week. If you follow me on social media, there is no doubt you have seen this.

13. Be honest with yourself — and don’t believe your excuses. Give yourself permission to tell yourself what you really want out of this life.

Do you buy your own bullshit? I don’t, and it’s why I not only surround myself with real friends (not enablers) but practice radical honesty with myself.

I encourage you to do the same.

14. Don’t buy anyone’s version of success — or else you’ll chase something that you never wanted, which is a sinking feeling.

Spend time defining and re-fining your definition of success —and ensure it’s based on what you really want.

For example, cars do absolutely nothing for me. I will never own a fleet of sports cars, because they don’t move the needle for me.

15. Add playing your favorite song to your morning routine. Rock out for a moment, and bonus points for air guitar.

Have more fun —be willing to look dumb, and feel alive while doing so.

16. Read ten pages every single morning. If you don’t touch a book the rest of the day, you’ve got 18 books read for the year and are in the 2%.

Ten pages. You have the time, and you know it.

This simple trick can lead you to read 15-20 books a year —enough to start to become an expert and thought leader in your field, or on your path to personal mastery.

17. Question everything and allow space for a new perspective, but don’t be a cynic. Cynics don’t allow space, they’ve already decided to see the worst…don’t be this person.

There’s a razor’s edge between these two —but you can feel a cynics energy from a mile away.

Be willing to question everything, but for the right reasons.

18. Listen to the hits of wisdom you get every single day — the trip, the business idea, the book…and execute like your hair’s on fire or else you’ll forget.

Your intuition is one of the most powerful sources of wisdom you’ll ever find. Learn to trust it, honor it and listen to it —even if it doesn’t make sense.

Especially if it doesn’t make sense.

19. Spend time learning something you’re terrible at every week. Guitar, salsa dancing, boxing, sharing a message on video…embrace being a beginner.

I love this one. I love being new. Why? Because it’s fun, and teaches you and I countless lessons.

20. Find creative ways to tell the person you love how much you appreciate them. A little effort, goes a long way.

Post it notes, flowers, random gifts —these go a long way to creating a lifetime of connection.

21. You already know the answer. Stop searching for the answer in other people’s content…create 80% of the time, and consume 20% of the time.

I get it —you’re consuming my content. But the truth is, I’m here to help you share the wisdom you have, too.

22. It’s never the right time to hire a coach to help unleash the most powerful version of who you are and set you on a powerful track. Instead of the vacation, invest in making your real life so awesome, it feels like one.

I believe there is no faster, more efficient and powerful way to transform our lives than to hire a coach.

We all have blind spots, including this guy.

Often, people are afraid to invest in themselves for the wrong reasons.

23. It’s never too late, but in life we have windows. Recognize your window, and take the leap that’s been calling you. What’s the worst that could happen?

You and I have windows of opportunity that come and go —and once the door closes, it’s gone forever.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Ask him or her out —okay, you feel the burn of a little rejection, but at least you know.

Quit the job and start the business —okay, you failed and then found a brand new opportunity.

Click recored and ship your message —okay, no one showed up, but you overcame resistance.

BONUS #1: There’s always another dead end job, stop being so grateful for the thing that’s sucking your spirit.

24. Don’t make daily passion a precursor to create. Understand creating and executing creates those feelings.

It’s time to break this cycle once and for all.

Want clarity? Execute.

Want motivation? Execute.

Want energy? Execute.

25. Consistency is everything and more important than intensity. Do something 7 days a week for 15 minutes, instead of 3 days a week for one hour.

Every single day, I write at least 500 words. When I’m in book writing mode, the bar is set at 2,000 words.

When I say every day —it includes Sundays, holidays, vacations and Tuesdays.

26. Book the trip. Ask him or her out. Talk to that stranger. Launch your business now. Regret fucking sucks.

Come on!

We all need a wake up call.

What are you waiting for?

BONUS #2: Fall in love with rejection…and understand for every ‘no’, there’s an incredible yes waiting.

27. Environment matters 10X more than most people believe. Ultimately, it’ll determine the rate of your growth.

If you want to transform your life with the least amount of friction —shift your environment.

28. Smile, it looks good on you.

Seriously, right now: smiling creates positive energy all around.

29. It’s too late to create space when you’re burned out. Bulletproof yourself by creating space every single day.

White space is essential, no matter who you are.

Create it in advance, or it will be created for you.

(Here’s a snapshot of mine, and no one can schedule anything here without approval.)

30. Make your daily, human interactions less robotic — they’re transactions, but they don’t have to be transactional. Be remembered.

Be that person who makes someone’s day. Tell the grocery store clerk how awesome she is at what she does, and you will be remembered.

BONUS #3: Be the leader in any interaction, people are waiting for someone to give them permission.

31. You can have a down hour, a down day, a down week. But don’t ever give up on yourself.

Please, don’t give up.

We all have moments where we want to give in, but allow yourself some grace and keep going.

Which of these resonated?

Pick a few, and commit to them for the next 30 days, and watch what happens.

I’d love to hear what connected in the comments, and if you have anything else to add.

17 Reasons Why You’re Afraid To Invest In Yourself

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Lists
Reading Time: 5 minutes

17 Reasons Why You’re Afraid To Invest In Yourself

I still remember the moment. I’d gone on an intensive training on a whim, and my world had been ripped open.

And then they offered me the yearlong program —I was all in.

Except for one problem: the ticket price was $20,000.

Shit.

I had no frame of reference for this, and I had $757 in my checking account —and still hadn’t paid rent.

And yet, I was being called to do it.

The decision didn’t make any sense, I committed and doubled down.

It was one of the most powerful moments of my life and it had very little to do with the program.

(Although that was awesome, too.)

It had to do with the fact that I was telling myself I was worth that kind of cash.

Since then, I’ve invested over $200,000 in programs, coaches, seminars, live events and more.

The truth is simple: I would not be who I am today without investing in myself.

Here are 17 reasons you’re afraid to invest in yourself, and why it’s keeping you stuck.

1. You don’t believe you’re worth it.

Plain and simple: before that moment, I didn’t believe I was worth it. Putting that amount of money down was liberating: I chose myself, and I backed up my belief with cash.

There is no better way to declare you’re worth it.

2. You don’t trust yourself.

Often, once we trust someone else to assist us in our goals —we must be able to trust ourselves. Trust ourselves to follow through, get uncomfortable and grow.

3. You’re not truly ready.

Until you invest in yourself, you’re not truly ready. I’m not saying it has to be $20K, but if you aren’t willing to invest…

It’s simply not important enough for you.

4. You’re waiting to “have the money.”

This is the most common excuse I hear, and I’ve used it too. And yet: not having the money is exactly why you should invest in yourself.

What you’ve been doing is clearly not working. I recognized this, and knew I had to write a new financial story.

PRO TIP: Making the same decisions will lead to the same results. 

 

5. You love dreaming, but not doing.

In a hyped up, motivational YouTube world —information is cheap.

And it’s free.

People love consuming free information and dreaming about their business, but they don’t love what comes after: the hard work.

6. You don’t want to be on the hook.

Once you invest in yourself, your dreams are on the line. You’re on the hook. There is nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide, and your excuses are no longer valid.

For many, this can be daunting.

7. You’re not willing to be resourceful.

If it’s important enough, we can all find the money. We can make it work somehow, someway.

But most people would rather spend the money on a leather jacket or Cancun vacation.

As awesome as those are, they won’t transform your life.

8. You want to stay the same.

Sounds crazy, right? Wrong. Most people want to stay the same. They fear stepping into their power.

Marianne Williamson said it best:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”

9. Your dreams haven’t become non-negotiable.

I was talking to JJ Virgin the other day, and she told me about the time she invested in a $100,000 mastermind.

She didn’t even know what it was, and had no means to do it: and yet, she ran to the back of the room, signed up and it changed her life forever.

Why? Her dreams were non-negotiable. They were binary. There was no chance they wouldn’t happen.

PRO TIP: Take yourself five years down the line. What is the cost of staying the same?

 

10. You’re letting fear win.

You’re afraid of putting money down and not taking action.
You’re afraid of declaring your dreams to someone else.
You’re afraid of being held accountable to your vision.
You’re afraid of achieving success and changing your life.

These fears are always out there.

11. You’re waiting for the “right” time.

So often, I’ll have discussions with people out one of my programs, and they’ll say the timing isn’t right.

Here’s the deal: the timing will never be right, you make it right.

Life won’t get less busy, the kids won’t be less intense, your bills aren’t going to disappear.

12. You’re not ready to be challenged.

The best coaching is a heavy mix of support and challenge. I push my clients and I tell them the truth: I point out where they’re playing small and listening to the bullshit voices in their head.

And I expect the same when I invest in myself. We all have blind spots, and I want people to show me mine.

13. You want to roll solo.

Good luck with this one. Can you do it? Maybe. But it may take 8 years, instead of 2.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to pay the heavy burden of opportunity cost.

14. You’re not being honest with yourself.

We’re masters at not looking in the mirror. Often, I’ll speak to potential clients and they’ll sugarcoat their problems.

This lack of honesty serves a purpose: it makes them avoid making powerful decisions to transform.

Without getting radically honest, you won’t feel compelled to change and will continue to slide into mediocrity.

 

PRO TIP: Take honest inventory of how your circumstances are impacting every part of your life.

15. You’re entitled and want it free.

This is a charged word, but it’s true: people feel they deserve free coaching, mentoring and time from others.

A few months back, I received a message from someone who wanted two hours of my time.

I quoted them $750, and they came back with a rude message —because they “knew” me, they wanted it free (or discounted.)

What they fail to recognize is they wouldn’t do anything with free advice.

16. You want to keep playing small.

Investing in yourself is a bold declaration of trust, faith and belief in who you are and what you’re creating.

But it’s also a shift from playing small to playing much bigger —and not everyone is ready to play big.

17. You have a bad relationship with money.

We all have stories and beliefs around money —but people who avoid investing in themselves have a scarcity mindset.

They don’t understand money is energy, and energy is what makes this planet go round.

They don’t get that the same energy they invested is the energy that will come back to them 5 times over.

One Can and Will Change You

When I came home from the seminar, I was a changed person.

But I was also scared and nervous.

Six weeks after investing the $20,000 I didn’t have —we launched a new program in my fitness business.

We made $50,000 in one day.

If you had told me this would happen before, I’d call you insane, crazy and delusional.

And there is the beautiful lesson: investing in yourself is the fastest path to transformation and creating a radically different life.

Which one of these resonated with you? I’d love to hear it.

19 Simple Ways To Find More Time (Even If You Feel Slammed)

By | Advice, Lists
Reading Time: 5 minutes

19 Simple Ways To Find More Time (Even If You Feel Slammed)

“I don’t have enough time.”

Really?

I sat there with a client and part of what I do is challenge people —to think bolder, and bigger.

For the next 25 minutes, we took inventory of all the places they were spreading their time across…

…and realized that whenever we tell ourselves we don’t have enough time, what it really means is:

I’m not clear around my priorities.
I’m not committed enough to my vision.
I care more about instant gratification than making my dreams come true.

Because, often —we find the 62 minutes scrolling on Instagram, the 1.5 hours spend listening to sports radio, the 17 minutes getting caught up on YouTube.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But my original mentor, Dr. John Demartini taught me a powerful lesson:

If you don’t fill your day with high priority action steps, you’re going to fill them with things that don’t matter.

Here are 19 ways to create more time, achieve more clarity and ensure you’re focusing on what really matters:

1. Create a life philosophy. When you live by a philosophy, you know exactly what to say YES to or what to say NO to.

This is a key to all high performers and high achievers. Start with one sentence to define who you are and what you stand for.

2. Identify your priorities. I love doing this in quarterly increments — and identifying the top priorities for the upcoming quarter to make quick decisions.

What are your non-negotiable pillars this quarter? These are the do-or-die activities and action steps that must be done, no matter what.

3. If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a HELL NO! You’ve heard this before, but overcommitting to things you don’t want to do is a crusher.

You always know when you don’t want to do something. You say yes for approval, or because you feel guilty saying no.

James Altucher wrote a book about this, called The Power Of No. Once you know your priorities, saying no becomes much easier.

Another way to make better decisions is to imagine the commitment was happening tomorrow.

Would you still say yes?

PRO TIP: If you were making your dream income, would you still say yes?

4. Create time. Yes, you can expand and create time by using practices such as meditation, walking in nature and sensory deprivation.

Time is an illusion. Remember this —often, I’ll coach my clients to spend more time in meditation and they’ll say that’s impossible.

But once they engage in the practice, they realize how presence creates more time in their day.

5. Delete 25% of your calendar and tasks for this week. You can do it, and you know it.

Now, don’t wait. This is a weekly practice for me, and there’s always something we can discard. Creating space is always the first step towards clarity,

6. Make faster decisions. We ‘lose’ so much time going back and forth with decisions — even small ones.

Leaders make fast decisions. Even when choosing what to eat, or what hotel to book on your trip —decision fatigue is real.

Choose something, and figure out the details later.

7. Start your day on Airplane mode. Do all of my lists have this? Pretty much, and for a reason: you’ll be more calm, and present.

My number one instant ‘hack’ for clarity, no matter who you are. You don’t need to check email, Instagram or your texts. This is a surefire way to start your day on someone else’s terms.

PRO TIP: Start your first 30 minutes for yourself. Watch what happens.

8. Identify your daily big rock. I use this in my programs, where we identify the ONE THING that is not urgent, yet crucial to moving the needle forward. Do this before anything else.

What is your one thing? This book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan changed the game for me and countless people.

This is not email, it’s not social media, or customer service.

It’s the one thing that creates a domino effect with everything else you do.

9. Plan your week, every week. Sit down on a Sunday, put pen to paper — and craft your week with clarity.

The amateur skips this, and wakes up Monday with no plan, no priorities and simply “winging it.”

(I’ve tried that, trust me.)

Instead, spend 25-40 minutes planning your week and you’ll never be the same.

10. Take inventory. Most won’t do this because they’ll realize they’re spending 75 minutes a day scrolling IG, another 90 minutes listening to sports gossip and then watching a TV show.

Why do massive brands close shop for a day and take inventory? Because knowing where you are matters. This is the same for our lives: take inventory of every area of your life and split it up into two buckets:

What’s serving you and what’s not serving you.

11. Create a new story. “I don’t have enough time” is scarcity driven. For example: I create time for the priorities in my life that are connected with my vision.

Examine your language with time, we all do this. Often, I feel overwhelmed with communication from texts and emails.

I always make sure to shift my language from being a victim of time to being a master of time and in control.

12. Track your usage. Moment for your iPhone will scare the shit out of you, and RescueTime will track your internet behaviors. If you don’t track, you can’t improve.

Track, track, track. I’ve sent RescueTime to hundreds of entrepreneurs.

Few use it, because they’re now on the hook and can see how much time they’re wasting on social media.

(It’s not pretty.)

13. Fill your day with high priority, intentional items. You won’t have any space left for the time vampires.

Show me a blank calendar, and I’ll show you a lot of wasted time and energy. When you fill your day with what truly matters, the non-essential fades away.

14. Delegate, automate, streamline and delete. Every single week, find stuff to release off your plate.

“But I don’t have a team, Tommy.” Cool story. There has never been access to cheap labor online who can do the stuff you don’t like doing for $10-$20 an hour.

PRO TIP: If you value your time, then you become a master at delegation.

15. Read Seneca, On The Shortness Of Life. This will wake you up to live with deeper urgency and purpose.

This text will change your life, if you let it. I read it once per quarter and it becomes required reading if you want to work with me.

16. Release the pressure of communication. You don’t have to respond to every single email within the hour…let go.

This is getting out of hand. There’s an unwritten rule that if we don’t respond to someone within a couple days, that something is wrong.

Let go of this pressure. I’ve recently added an autoresponder that tells people when they’re going to hear from me (if at all.)

17. Breathe. Even 5 deep breaths with a box breathing style will relax you.

Slow down. Especially when life feels stressful or you’re having one of those days.

18. Add ‘whitespace’ to your calendar. These are periods where you’re free to do anything — but they’re on the calendar.

For me, every single day from 3:30-5:30 is my white space. My day starts at 4:00AM on most days, and this is my time to recharge

You can’t book a podcast with me and my assistant won’t put any phone calls during that time.

What do I do? Anything. Grab a massage, take a walk in nature, nap (whoa, you nap!?) or read a great book.

19. Protect your prime time. For most, this is the morning period — and getting up 45 minutes earlier means 5+ hours of extra time for your week.

We all have a ‘prime’ time, and for many it’s the morning. Even if you committed to 45 minutes, you could truly create something special in 6 months.

Pick one and watch what happens.

No matter how busy you believe you are, there are small action steps you can take to add more time to your day.

Pick one of the above and implement it today (and tomorrow…and the next day.)

Which one did you pick, and why? I’d love to hear it in comments.

24 Reasons Why You Haven’t Launched Your Platform

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Lists, Routines
Reading Time: 7 minutes

What’s taking so long?

Often, I find myself in conversations with people who want to launch a platform, and yet aren’t doing anything. Or, they start and get excited —only for everything to fade after a few weeks.

(I call this the rollercoaster syndrome, where nothing lasts and you wind up with a bag over your head.)

Here’s what I know to be true:

If you’re reading this, you have a message. And in 2018, if you have a message, you must launch your platform.

Every minute you put it off, is a minute someone out there misses out on your magic.

The intention of this post is to give you the much needed motivation and inspiration to start, and also to get rid of all your excuses.

(I’ve been there, and mine sound great on paper. But paper doesn’t do anything.)

Here are 24 reasons why you haven’t launched your platform, and how to use them as leverage to launch now:

1. Waiting for the “right time” to start. Every day you wait is a selfish decision —because people are waiting.

Next month. Next season. Next year.

Notice a common theme here?

Here’s the truth: your life (likely) won’t get less busy, the kids won’t get easier and a bundle of cash won’t fall from the heavens.

The best time to start was yesterday. And the second best time? Right here, right now.

2. You believe clarity is a destination —instead of an evolution and daily process.

Clarity is overrated. There, I said it (life coaches are going to start coming after me in 3.7 seconds.)

While clarity can be important, too often people wait to take action under the guise of clarity.

Want to create clarity?

Ship 100 episodes, posts or pieces of content with your platform.

3. You’re doing it for the wrong reasons and haven’t developed an unshakeable why.

Oddly enough, if you start your platform with only the intention (and pressure) to monetize, you’re likely to give up long before the results pour in.

What is your why? At the Academy, we believe one message, on one day, can change one life.

4. You only create when “you feel like it” and wait for motivation to strike.

The amateur sits around waiting for a bolt of inspirational lightning to fall from the heavens, and then they start. The professional understands emotional states are fleeting: like the tides, they come and go.

Instead, learn to slice through this by taking consistent action in the face of doubt, and insecurities. This will build an unshakable level of confidence few have.

PRO TIP: Learn to love leaning in when you don’t feel like it. 

 

5. You believe the market is saturated and everything has been said way too many times.

“Tommy, the market seems to be so saturated, and it’s too late.”

Here’s the truth: unless you’re building rocket ships to Mars, almost any market will be saturated. There’s nearly 5 billion people connected online —deal with it.

However, if you take the mindset of mastering your craft and playing the long game —you’ll notice the market isn’t saturated.

6. You aren’t willing to invest and bet on yourself over and over again.

Launching your platform and building your dream business is not about taking one leap.

It’s about having the courage and audacity to make bold decisions over and over in the face of fear, and executing anyway.

7. You’re making it about you instead of living in the hearts and minds of the people you’re looking to serve.

Your platform isn’t about you.

It’s about people out .there who are waiting to hear your message and be impacted through your craft.

Everytime you feel resistance, think about those who are struggling and could use a moment of clarity from your brand, product, service or content.

PRO TIP: Dig deep into the hearts and minds of your core audience when you’re stuck.

 

8. Your expectations are higher than your commitments —and you feel entitled to results.

I wrote about this in The 1% Rule, but often we have sky high expectations:

We quit our corporate gig, and expect to double our income in three months.

We launch our platform, and expect to have a five figure sponsor in 8 weeks.

We start a new physical training program, and expect to be beach ready in a month.

And yet —our commitments don’t match these expectations. In this case, we can either lower our expectations or raise our commitments.

9. You want the lifestyle of an entrepreneur or thought leader —but you don’t want the hard work.

Freedom. Flexibility. Travel. Spruced up Instagram pictures.

Often, people want the lifestyle of an entrepreneur or thought leader, but don’t want to put in the work behind the scenes.

Become the linchpin by pursuing mastery of your craft in a world looking only to get noticed.

10. You haven’t become your number one raving fan —so how could you expect others to?

Often, I have my clients read their work and re-watch their videos or podcasts.

And it’s painful, but I have them do this because if they’re not their own number one fan, it’s impossible to expect others to be.

11. You’re trying too hard to be like someone else. The reason your message is unique is because it’s you.

Don’t be intense because Gary Vaynerchuk is.

Don’t be energetic because Tony Robbins is.

Don’t be a total nerd because Tim Ferris is.

While modeling others has value, you can often create a persona that isn’t truly who you are.

Instead, find what makes you, you…this is why people will connect with you.

12. You haven’t identified a “must have” skill — and there’s no proof you’re working on it daily.

In a world telling us to bet on our passion, skill acquisition can be forgotten. And yet, what really makes you and I valuable in the marketplace is the acquisition of skills.

What’s yours? For me, I have an umbrella of communication which is broken down into: writing, copywriting and video/speaking.

I work on these daily, and this is what separates you and I in a crowded marketplace.

13. You haven’t picked ONE place where people can find you — the pillar of your content.

I was coaching a new client who was ready to explode online, and they told me they’d set up 7 accounts.

I told them to delete six of them, and be ruthless about their focus on it.

Why?

Because there’s value in picking one platform to build your base around. For me, it was the podcast: I’m a deep, intense person and I know if someone listens to a few episodes and sticks with me —they’re my people.

PRO TIP: Your pillar platform is the one you love the most and where your audience is.

 

14. You’re trying to everywhere at once way too early —and then wondering why there’s no traction.

This is related to the prior one, but let’s face it: we all have limited bandwidth every day. People will see Gary Vee, or Lewis Howes and take on the pressure of being everywhere at once.

But if you’re everywhere too early, you’re nowhere.

15. You’re not taking at least three hours a week to take inventory of your business and course correct.

Hustle, grind, hustle grind.

What’s missing from this equation? Reflection, slowing down and creating space to think about problems and find creative solutions.

White space is your friend. Sometimes, too much action without purpose will leave you and I burning out and ready to quit.

16. You’re not obsessed. Interested won’t get you there —and you’ll fold quickly.

Obsessed. This is what it takes. Most people are interested, and when you’re interested —you fold when adversity strikes.

17. You have no systems, structure, processes around anything…”winging it” only lasts so long.

Winging it. This is where most entrepreneurs or solopreneurs earning less than $200K a year operate at. They usually do it all, and even bringing up the words systems and processes leaves them flustered.

In your business, find ways to automate, delegate and systemize the things you find yourself doing over and over.

There’s amazing software, freelancers, virtual assistants and much more help available to help you clear things off your plate.

18. You’re trying too hard to be someone else. There are 7 billion, unique people here. They want to hear from you — be yourself.

What makes you, you? For me, I’m an intense guy by nature.

I’m deep…sometimes too deep. I’m passionate. I love alternative rock. I’m awkward when I’m too dressed up.

Case in point: allow your uniqueness to shine, both in what you perceive as powerful, and the stuff that makes you unique.

19. You’re not willing to launch and fail countless times.

I’d pushed a webinar for three weeks, and two people showed up.

One was my grandmother.

And yet, I pushed and delivered 90 minutes of training because I was willing to celebrate the win of putting myself out there instead of the (perceived) failure of no one showing up.

20. You (still) believe having a website and a business card mean anything.

I know, you’re reading this on a website. But here’s the truth: I’ve spent $50,000 on websites and never made a return on them.

At some point, having a home base is important. But no one is going to show up simply because you have one.

If you’re going to have a business card, make it unique.

21. You’re waiting to be “discovered” instead of being so damn good they can’t ignore you.

Oprah isn’t ringing your cell phone.

Dr. Oz won’t be dropping you an email.

Lewis Howes won’t DM you to be on the show.

While these can happen, they only happen when you commit to mastery and instead of wanting to be “discovered”…you discover yourself. 

Instead of waiting to be discovered, discover yourself.

22. You haven’t become accountable to the person in the mirror. In other words, you’re a shitty boss.

Ouch. I know, it hurts. But it’s often true: we have bosses, co-workers and people to report to because they ensure we follow through.

For the newly minted entrepreneur, they realize they’re not great at self accountability.

PRO TIP: Raise your personal standards and become impeccable with your word.

 

23. You’re constantly shipping-stopping-shipping — and you never harness momentum.

The rollercoaster syndrome is extremely common, and it goes like this:

Get hyped on motivational caffeine, and go guns blazing for two weeks. You’re posting everywhere and relentless with how you ship your message.

And then, it stops —nothing. Weeks go by, and you repeat the cycle. This is a surefire way to never gain momentum and always feel stuck.

24. You minimize your expertise, because it’s yours — yet people all over the world are amazed by it.

JJ Virgin was an expert in nutrition, but she was such an expert —she’d forgotten what was familiar to her was life changing to someone else.

Often, what we’re skilled and known for becomes boring to us, and we forget the level of value we’re able to provide others.

Where are you holding back?

Here’s the truth: I wanted to start my podcast 6 months before I did, and I got lost in the technical component which was a mask for fear.

Resistance will always be there, and that’s a great thing.

Which one of these connected with you, and what are you committed to doing about it?

If you’re looking for clarity in every part of your life and business, grab the free Academy Action guide with 12 pages of in depth material designed to get you radically clear…and eradicate excuses.

Why Letting Go Will Change Your Life

By | Advice
Reading Time: 1 minute

Let’s face it, we’ve all held on for way too long…

Maybe it was a relationship, a stepping stone in our career that became a prison or a way of being that we simply started to think it was who we were.

In this post, I’ll address why we have so much trouble letting go and how to surrender and trust to the transformative power of change, taking us to places we could have never imagined.

The Day I Broke Off A Part Of Myself

I walked into my office that morning, and it looked like a jail cell.

Where pictures once adorned the space, it was empty…and the walls were bare.

This square, windowless box was a place where I had poured my heart and energy out for what seemed like decades.

It was a place where:

I crafted huge visions.

I had brutally tough conversations.

I had life changing insights with others.

I could retreat and collect myself.

Furthermore, it felt like family, as odd as that may sound — I’d spent so many holidays, weekends, sunday mornings and late nights there.

This was the last time I’d be here and I let it out…uncontrollable emotions, knowing I had moved on from this little room in this massive gym and community I had created, yet I had let go of.

Who We Believe Ourselves To Be

Time is a powerful force and compounds the effect something has on our lives simply by building layers.

Every few months, another layer is built, and another.

These layers begin to become our identity or who we believe ourselves to be.

Our identity is tightly wrapped around things like our ethnicity, our work, our hobbies, our friends and family, our habits, choices, where we live, our life experience, our possessions, etc.

These layers build and build, and once we’ve crossed a threshold — it becomes very tough let go, almost impossible.

We’ve all known that couple who have been off and on for what seems like years, consuming endless time and energy for both parties and worst of all, never allowing themselves the gift of moving on.

Time Increases Comfort

Holding on to the pillars of our life is easy because it’s comfortable, it’s what we know, what we believe to be true.

I remember one of my favorite lyrics back when I was younger was:

It’s the not knowing that kills you.

And many times, when we’re on the verge of losing something or contemplating a transition, we default to a negative mindset that says:

What we have right now is better than whatever may be coming.

And the reason we believe this to be true is simple…we know what we have know, we can feel it, see it, sense it — yet what’s coming is a complete mystery and we lack trust as to what’s waiting for us.

Self Worth And Identity

When making any change, or big decisions, we ultimately go back to our own self worth which is closely tied to our identity.

For example, when I was letting go of my fitness business, I had a really high self worth with was closely associated with the identities of:

Being a business owner, having my own fitness sanctuary, running a business at a young age when my friends were doing shit they hated, having a staff of 10 people.

My self worth was tied to the above, because it had become part of my identity.

So, naturally, getting rid of any of the above would have an impact on how I felt about myself.

Death And Transformation

The universe has a funny way of making sure the things that are supposed to happen, ultimately happen.

That’s why we can look at situations in our past where we simply knew it was time to move on and let go, yet we resisted.

We knew it was time to quit the business, yet we plunked down another $25,000 because we wanted to believe in it.

We knew our relationship was over with and that the trust or spark couldn’t be regained, yet we got back together for the 7th time because, well, it had been 3.5 years.

We knew it was time to move on from our current social circle, yet we stayed in touch because we felt guilty for moving on.

And yet — a week, a month, a year or a decade later, the forces that had initially pulled us to leave and let go came back stronger, more forceful and more intense, like waves becoming tsunamis.

Who Am I?

Once you’ve released a part of your life that has consumed so much time, energy and space, you’ll begin to seek some answers to life’s endless questions.

I remember the day I woke up after parting with my fitness business, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I didn’t know what to do.

I had nowhere to be at 6:00AM, I had nothing to work on…

It felt like a death, like a divorce, like a part of me had died…which is part of any huge transformation involving our identity.

It’s the realization that we are not who we think we are, that hurts.

We realize we aren’t our gender, our income, our name, where we grew up, our relationships…

…we’re not defined by these things, yet they become our mental constructs.

So when we move on from one, or it gets pulled away — we go back to these everlasting questions:

Who am I?

What am I here for?

The Gap

It’s of utmost importance to spend time alone once a part of your life has been transformed, changed, extracted — whatever you want to call it.

It’s tempting to fill our days with non stop action, avoiding the painful realization that things are different and seeking to numb those feelings of loss.

Yet, no matter how much you run around, you can’t escape the feelings and those need to pass through you.

That is why when you leave your executive job after a decade, it’s notwise to jump right back into a new project …instead, taking time to create space and creating experiences that allow you to connect to who you really are, are crucial.

Shifting Our Imagination

By far, the most important benefit of letting go is the creation and freeing up of time, energy, physical and mental space and the ability to allow something new and powerful to come in.

Because we become so focused on what isn’t anymore, it can constrict our ability to be open to new experiences, people, places and perspectives once our energy is no longer consumed by something.

This, too, can be uncomfortable …yet many times we can’t even imagine what our new reality may look like.

But then we fast forward 6 months, a year, 3 years and realize that there was a perfect order all along, and that we could have never imagined where we are today.

We simply weren’t capable of dreaming or believing or seeing this new reality, and that can’t be learned or trained, it has to be trusted and surrendered to.

Surrendering means giving up control and completely detaching from the way you think things should be, or even could be.

Last Words

Look around your life and start to become aware of something you’ve been clinging on to that is no longer serving you.

Maybe it’s a small thing, such as a habit, or a way of being, or being involved in a social circle that you know isn’t for you.

Become aware of it and then have the courage to let go…because you’ll never imagine what’s on the other side.

For more insights, lessons and practical action steps to create you’ve been dreaming of, listen to the Resist Average Academy on iTunesStitcher or Web.

Overnight Success Is A Liar (And Why This Helps You)

By | Advice
Reading Time: 1 minute

They somehow came out of nowhere, didn’t they?

Right place at the right time, a matter of luck, a brilliant stroke of serendipity.

Whether it’s an athlete taking the world by storm or the latest hit smash hit single, the myth of the overnight success lies rampant in our culture.

You can thank our instant gratification culture for this phenomenon.

We’ve fallen in love with the overnight success, creating impossible pressure on ourselves, leading to endless frustration and the comparison game.

I’m here to let you know there’s another way, a deeper story that can empower you.

Once we examine these success, it becomes clear that the imagined straight line to success is a facade and this is great news for you.

Let’s dig in.

The Iceberg Effect

I’ve always loved Icebergs, dating back to high school when I didn’t pay attention in Earth Science class.

They were just so massive in size and scope, yet — you could only see a fraction of them above water.

Only 1/8th of these monumental forces of nature are above water, yet the force below stretches miles.

And hence, this metaphor:

The foundation is deep underwater, a dormant, unmovable, and unseen force.

Success, once examined deeply — is the same.

Think of the visible part of the Iceberg as one person’s external signs of success:

Singing the tune on stage, publishing a bestselling book, landing their biggest acting role yet.

Yet below this visible part lies another story, which almost always includes:

Years of failures, challenges, obstacles, doubts, intense focus, practicing mastery, showing up to do the work with zero signs of progress and so much more.

It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.

Which brings us to our first element of an overnight success: perseverance.

Perseverance, The Drive To Keep Going When Nothing Works

I remember being a kid and going to Warped Tour every single year, my version of the ideal Summer Vacation.

Don’t ask me how 95 degree heat, a bunch of teenage kids and terrible acoustics was my dream, but it was a ton of fun.

A small, unknown band was there playing their hearts out to 150 kids on a tiny side stage and they were called Fall Out Boy.

Their energy was palpable, even if they hardly knew how to play their instruments.

Four years later, after slugging around touring in vans, sleeping on floors, perfecting their craft is when the hit “Sugar, We’re Going Down” was released and everything changed, seemingly overnight.

What they had was perseverance, the first trait I noticed amongst everyone I studied.

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

Perseverance is the continued action taken in the face of obstacle, challenge, lack of results that is deeply tied to a core belief that you’re going to make it.

Action Step: Ask yourself if you are willing to drown out the voices of doubt within your head and others in pursuit of what you want and acknowledge obstacles as tests to see how bad you truly want it.

The “I’m In This For Real” Long Game

Internet and social media has made creating an app and selling it for millions (or a billion, like Instagram) the new American dream.

This type of pressure leads people to scramble and hop from one startup to another, in hopes of hitting it big — yet never truly following through to completion.

I’ve never played Angry Birds, yet they are showing up everywhere.

It dawned on me the other day when I was looking for a movie to watch and I asked myself in disbelief…

“There’s an Angry Birds movie?”

I was stunned, but once I examined Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, I learned the power of the Long Game.

Rovio had developed 51 other games during a span of 8 years with meandering levels of success, being on the verge of bankruptcy before Angry Birds.

Tim Ferriss and his seminal work Four Hour Workweek was turned down by 26 publishers before one said yes.

There’s a part of success that innately rewards those who play the long game, instead of the dabblers looking to get in and out.

Action Step: Dig deep into the why behind what you’re doing and write down all the benefits you’re looking to achieve.

Singles Aren’t Sexy, But They Rack Up Wins

If you’ve ever been to a ballgame where a Grand Slam happened, you know what that’s like.

There’s nothing more crowd-roaring, exhilarating and powerful than a Grand Slam in baseball.

Yet, would you want to be known only as a Grand Slam hitter and more importantly, do Grand Slams help you win?

Amongst all teams, the average for a Grand Slam comes down to about 1 every 1,300 at bats.

Yet, the quiet player who goes 2 for 4 with a couple singles and drive in some runs consistently is the real winner.

Consistent singles lead to players on base, which lead to runs and many more wins.

Because, as we know, the Grand Slam Slugger is going to strike out, and strikeout hard — time and time again.

What I’ve noticed from studying overnight successes is they are committed to consistency and the concept of Kaizen — daily singles that lead to major wins.

Action Step: Set yourself up for consistency in the face of doubts and daily feelings. Use a morning routine or system to keep you on track.

Last Words

Next time you see someone “make it” out of nowhere, do yourself a favor and dig deep into their story.

More often than not you’ll find components of the above which you can use to fuel your own story and your passion for what you’re striving for.

These will inspire you instead of labeling them as lucky or dimming your own light.

Using perseverance, the long game approach and hitting singles — you’ll rack up momentum and set yourself up for achieving your wildest dreams.

27 Ways To Create Space And Level Up Your Life

By | Advice
Reading Time: 1 minute

A lthough New Year’s seems like it just happened, we’re 5 months into 2016 already.

Days blend in and weeks pass by and you keep telling yourself..

“Wow, time flies, I can’t believe it’s already [insert month]”.

As you get older, time seems to go even faster.

Most times you don’t even realize it’s happening and have zero capability to be present which means even if you’re getting awesome results, you don’t feel quite as fulfilled as you think you should be.

There never seems to be enough time, it always feels slightly out of your grasp and just past your ability to hold on to it.

I’ll have you consider the reason you feel this way:

You’re not taking time and space to slow down, look around, reflect and appreciate on a daily basis.

Time is an illusion, and in this post I’m going to share ways to be more present, feel more fulfilled and live a life that doesn’t seem to be running away from you.

I’m Not Spiritual

I recently had an amazing conversation with a serial entrepreneur and one of the things they mentioned was how their most dramatic breakthroughs came when he was able to create space and achieve perspective.

In fact, they blocked time out of their day in which they were virtually unreachable with the tag being “reflection”.

“I’m not spiritual”…is the first thing I hear when I mention these practices to others.

I, too, used to say this years ago when thinking about some of these tools.

Most people will see something about meditation, yoga, creating space, slowing down and immediately use this excuse that it won’t work for them by labeling it.

The issue at hand is our definition of what is or isn’t spiritual.

To me, being spiritual can be any activity that connects you to yourself..that’s it.

It doesn’t have to be a particular practice, a retreat in India or something religious.

Creating space is one of the most important tools we have at our disposal in a world that is hyper connected and never seems to stop.

Why We Need To Create Space

Creating space is all about creating a gap between yourself and your environment.

This gap does a few things, such as:

  • Perspective. When you create space, you can step outside your usual reactive thinking and make a better decision based in clarity, usually with less emotion involved.
  • Agency. Consider how most of us operate…we’re in the world, something happens, we automatically respond instead of choosing how to respond.
  • Truth. By creating the gap, we open ourselves up to our own wisdom and intuition which many times is distracted by our daily environment, thoughts, people, gossip, TV and the countless stimulus that enters our world.

In Cal Newport’s fantastic book Deep Work, he mentions how the greats would create environments in which they were able to spend long times in isolation for their deepest, most creative work.

He quotes Carl Jung’s solitude tower in Zurich where he would spend months on end working on his craft in simplicity:

At Bollingen I am in the midst of my true life, I am most deeply myself — Carl Jung

Creating space, I’d argue — is simply a skill that requires practice turned into a habit.

In this post, I’m going to share 27 ways to create space in your life starting today.

Well played, Arizona.

27 Ways To Create Space

1. Nature. Spend time in nature, ideally alone with no phone or distractions. This can be a hike, walk, sprint, outdoor workout or a simply an easy walk where you are focused on being present and enjoying your surroundings.

2. Meditation. Daily meditation is a nonnegotiable and part of my morning routine. Do it laying down, seated, whatever — just “be” for a few minutes, there is no right or wrong way to do it and it must be done daily if you’re going to see any type of results.

3. Training. Physical training is a way to create space, moving your body through space is very primal and energizing as well as bringing clarity to your life. High intensity is a great way to connect with your deeper self or what Mark Divine calls “Warrior Spirit”.

4. Deep conversation. Turn your phone off and be 100% present with someone. Actually listen to each word they say without thinking of what you’re going to respond with, look into their eyes. Time will pass and you’ll be re-energized with the human need for deep connection.

5. Pattern interrupt. Feeling unfocused and sluggish? Perform a pattern interrupt such as an intense physical activity (say, 10 burpees) or a quick dip in the pool or ocean, or simply walking around your office 3 times and getting some blood flow.

It’s actually hollow…just kidding.

6. Deep breathing. Take 10 deep breaths in any stressful situation or just to re-set your mind. The best way to do this is to inhale for at least 5 seconds, hold for at least 5 seconds and then release 5 seconds and hold at the bottom the same way. Do this 10 times, in particular, when you’ve experienced a deep rush of emotion.

7. Driving. Just get in your car and drive around, ideally with the windows down and just being, breathing and being spontaneous. You don’t need to be going anywhere in particular.

8. Journal. Journaling in the morning is an amazing way of creating space. Write some stuff down, how you’re feeling, your frustrations or even simply what you’re going through. Empty your mind and detach from any judgement you have on what you’re writing.

9. Rock out. Turn up your favorite music and dance, play, get pumped up, get moving and act like nobody’s watching. Play air guitar, sing, move your body. Live music is awesome for this, of course.

10. Take a bath. I’ve recently done these almost every day. There’s something about sitting there with some candles and some relaxing music that allows the stress of the day to melt away, chill out and re-set your body and system.

11. Walk barefoot in nature. This technique is a way to “ground” yourself and feel your skin on the Earth. Something special happens when you do this and it’s a great way to connect with our source. This is an excellent practice in the morning and while you’re in nature.

12. Take a yoga class. Yoga is for everybody and it’s a practice that can forge your mind, body and spirit in many ways. If you’re like me and you’ve been used to intense strength training and conditioning, yoga will challenge you in a very real way. I guarantee you will feel better every single time you go.

13. Find a meditation group. The other day I went to an amazing meditation class. I went in scattered and stressed and left feeling present, fulfilled and alive. The power of having a group and a guided teacher was way more powerful than trying to do it by myself. Environment is important.

14. Take a solo trip. Travel somewhere alone, “unplug” and disconnect. I did this when I went to Costa Rica and it was absolutely amazing. In fact, most travel is an amazing way to create space and the #1 self development tool.

15. Get some healing or bodywork done. Massage, energy work, acupuncture — anything in this field can be super beneficial for your mind and body. Not only is the physical regeneration an important aspect of this but simply allowing yourself to receive healing from someone else.

16. Use a cold water plunge pool. Get into very cold water and force yourself to stay in for as long as you can. There is something powerful about how your body responds to this stimulus and how it makes you feel after as well as challenging your mind to slow down and accept what is happening. A daily practice can also involve ending with a super cold shower every morning or taking an icebath.

Wim Hof, if you’re hardcore.

17. Have amazing sex. As a primal, evolutionary practice, having great sex is a way to create space. Understanding and having awareness of your sexual energy and how that affects your moods and even decisions is just as important as anything else.

18. Visualize. Sit down, clear everything off and start to intensely visualize parts of your life. Maybe it’s the way your body looks at the beach, or who you want to wake up next to or any other goals. Feel them, see them, be in the moment with them.

19. Read. Reading a book with no distractions is an excellent way to create space. The best type of books are what I call “higher order” thinking, something in the realm of the spiritual, growth, “thinking” type of texts.

20. Be social. Being social, like hosting or being part of a dinner party is an amazing way to re-charge yourself. Of course, it’s all about being around the right people. A better challenge is for everyone to put their cell phones in the middle of the table so there’s no distraction.

21. Floating. If you want to spend the most efficient time in solitude and truly let your body rest in both mind, body and spirit, find a floating or sensory deprivation tank. You’ll be in a tank with no sense of time or worry and reach deeper brain waves such as Theta and Delta.

Going interstellar, bro.

22. Improv. Find a local comedy club and challenge yourself to an improv class — even if you don’t consider yourself funny. Improv forces you to live in the present and take the attention off yourself and will reinvigorate you.

23. Send encouragement messages. There is something about shifting the attention from your life to lifting others up that changes the person who is giving (and receiving) to a new state. The key is to be authentic and tell people how you really feel, everyone needs a push.

24. Wake up 15 minutes earlier. If you’re used to rushing out of your place like it’s on fire every morning, simply wake up and allow yourself to be for 15 minutes, or do something you love. Whatever it is, protect this time and remember it’s nourishing your mind, body and spirit.

25. Dissolve your thoughts. Our thoughts, feelings, moods and emotions are ever changing. By using tools such as Byron Katie’s fantastic Loving What Is, we can let our thoughts go and reframe them as powerful tools to discover that they are not who we really are.

26. Yell, or do something primal. Yelling, roaring, jumping or simply connecting to your primal self will make people think you’re nuts — and that’s awesome.

27. Ask yourself a better question. In the most challenging, stressful period(s) of life, ask yourself: how is right now serving me? Write down 25–50 benefits and see all your tension dissolve.

What’s next?

There’s two keys to making this work:

Picking something you love — is first. It doesn’t matter how amazing it makes me feel, it has to be important to you.

Second, be consistent with this practice. I want to emphasize that word…practice.

In our digital age, we’ve trained our bodies and minds with non-stop phone checking, email and scattered thoughts.

While creating space will balance this out and lead to deeper thought, more connection and next level creativity, it will take some practice to get back and your mind will resist these practices.

Remember: you’re the most important person in your life and all the above is designed to help you show up in the world with more presence, power and ability to give.

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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