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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!

top books entrepreneurs

Top Books For Entrepreneurs In 2019 (So Far)

By | Books, Entrepreneurship, Lists
Reading Time: 6 minutes

NOTE: This blog post was also a podcast on the Resist Average Academy, which you can access on this page.

Top Books For Entrepreneurs In 2019

With 2019 nearly halfway over —it’s time to take a moment and reflect on the best books of the year to this point.

Specifically, I’m going to be talking in the context of entrepreneurship, personal growth, self development, habit formation and other similar niches.

Typically, I read at least two books per week —although this year I slowed down since I released The Leap Of Your Life in April and needed a break after way-too-many Barnes and Nobles afternoons and endless Amazon orders.

But now I’m back full force and stronger than ever.

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing the title, key themes —as well as who would benefit from diving into each book and what I found to be particularly unique or valuable.

NOTE: I am only showcasing books that were published in 2019.

Remember: if you commit to reading ten pages a day, that can add up to 12-20 books per year —making you an unstoppable force of perspective and expertise.

Let’s get started.

Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport

top books entrepreneurs

Cal Newport is one of my favorite authors, and I always love reading his work. He’s been on the podcast of course, and Deep Work radically changed the way I approached my work and writing on a daily basis.

I knew I’d love his latest —Digital Minimalism. After reading the first couple chapters, I started to have a disdain for my phone. I noticed how much social media was consuming my life and stopping me from creative work. I even told Taylor I was going on a hard break for a while.

There is no doubt this book is a wake up call to our hyper distracted, over-stimulated world of life and business. It showcases research and real world tactical tools to help fight the battle against the world’s biggest companies to re-claim your most important asset: attention. As someone who runs an online business, it can be easy to talk myself into saying I am doing work, and then scrolling incessantly with no purpose.

Like anything, social media is a tool. And much like Law of Diminishing Returns states: more is not more. At some point, it goes from a way to create and connect to a source of distraction. For this, Cal Newport recommends taking a 30 day digital fast.

While I haven’t completed the 30 Day prescription inside of Digital Minimalism, I’ve introduced new rules and principles —including shut down principles and of course, lots of Airplane mode.

Who Should Read Digital Minimalism?

Any business owner who feels overwhelmed with the endless demands of technology, email and social media —and who is ready to make some real changes.

The 5AM Club, Robin Sharma

I read this book on my yearly Europe trip and it was the perfect dose of storytelling, personal development and the pursuit of mastery. I consider Robin Sharma a personal mentor, even though we haven’t worked together yet. I’m drawn to himbecause of his message and commitment to authentic leadership.

The 5AM Club is something I’ve been living for years —I personally call it Beating Sunrise: waking up early, taking command of your day and ensuring you create the emotional states most people are waiting for.

This book is jam packed with incredible quotes and really drives the waking up early point home —time and time again. One key thing to mention is the reviews on this book were completely mixed: some loved it, like me —and others couldn’t stand the storytelling.

I personally found the storytelling fun, light-hearted and refreshing after reading (and writing) so many to-the-point personal development books over the years. I commend Robin for thinking outside of the box and always pushing his boundaries of creativity and growth.

Specifically, I love his principles of intense periods of focus and structure combined with play, fun and adventure. This is similar to a protocol I share in my coaching with the underlying theme that freedom is found in structure, routines and discipline.

Who Should Read The 5AM Club?

If you want a powerful reason to wake up before sunrise and set the tone for your day told through a fun narrative —you’ll love The 5AM Club.

Free To Focus, Michael Hyatt

top books entrepreneurs

As you can tell, I read and discuss a ton of books on focus and productivity —because I truly believe we must keep the importance of focus top of mind. Like any skill, the more I read about why it matters so much, the more likely I am to follow through and be reminded on my day to day.

Reading Michael Hyatt’s latest work was eerie —I’d just released my 7-12 Formula Course around focus and lots of his principles were exactly the same as mine. However, I did find some new tactics and perspectives I hadn’t discovered yet in Free To Focus.

Hyatt’s no-fluff, easygoing writing style made this book a breeze to read in two days —with a repeat the week after. The core theme of the book is one I’m constantly discussing: real productivity is not about doing more, to do more. It’s about doing less, to create more results, freedom and exponential results in life and business.

I loved how he starts the process with Stopping. Meaning, it can become impossible to focus when we’re running 100 MPH with no direction. It reminds me of slowing down, to later speed up. Once you stop and reflect, then you’re going to find the hidden needle movers in your life and business that really move the needle.

Who Should Read Free to Focus?

If you’re tired of the old model of productivity and spending most of your time on tasks that may or may not grow your business —dive in.

 

Flip the Script, Oren Klaff

top books entrepreneurs

I’ve read countless books on sales, negotiations, influence and persuasion. It’s been a while since a book stood out as a refreshing take, and that’s exactly what happened with Oren Klaff’s Flip the Script. Klaff took the world by storm with his previous book, Pitch Anything, and this one is a must have for 2019.

I read the first sentence and I was hooked.

Why? Because the landscape has changed, and pressure selling doesn’t work anymore. The days of false scarcity and leverage are gone, because now consumers have all of the leverage they need through Google, reviews and countless courses.

The truth is: none of us have a problem with sales, when it’s something we desire and in alignment with our values, goals and mission. Klaff’s prescription is a way to ensure you’re seen, heard and connected with the people who are the right fit: for me, this means my dream clients.

Who Should Read Flip the Script?

If you’re selling a brand, product or service and tired of the old ways of negotiation and want to find your dream clients the right way.

Ultralearning, Scott Young

top books entrepreneurs 2019The last book on the Top Books of 2019 for entrepreneurs is Ultralearning by Scott Young. I came across Scott’s work after reading Atomic Habits by James Clear in 2018, one of the best books on habit formation and why 90% of goal setting processes don’t work.

What I’ve noticed in the space of entrepreneurship is a focus on purpose and passion, but not on skill acquisition. If you follow me on the podcast or on social media, you’ve also seen me transition from speaking about those, and instead, addressing your ability to acquire valuable skills.

Enter Ultralarning. The reason I loved this book is because a lot of us think we know how to learn. But school didn’t teach us how to learn efficiently and to hard-wire skills for life. Often, it taught us to dump our brains with a ton of information and then repeat them on tests.

Scott was also on the podcast, which I’ll link to once the episode is live.

Who Should Ultralearning?

If you’re wanting to be more efficient with your ability to acquire key skills for your career or as an entrepreneur —this will help get you there faster.

Top Books In 2019 Links

Here are the links for you to grab these books:

Final Words and I’d Love To Hear Yours!

Well, there you have it.

As I said earlier in the post and often on the podcast —reading can create massive transformation in your life. Whether you’re consuming written texts or audiobooks, there is nothing better to tap into perspective, growth and wisdom.

What has been your top books for entrepreneurs in 2019? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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

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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 entrepreneur

27 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Stuck

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Reading Time: 9 minutes

27 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Stuck

Entrepreneurship is the ultimate game: one where you’re on the frontlines of steering your own ship, doing meaningful work of your choosing —and if you do it right, creating a level of financial prosperity and lifestyle freedom most only dream about.

But it doesn’t always work out that way.

I’m constantly having conversations with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and side hustlers who can’t seem to breakthrough —and are now asking themselves the following questions:

Is this really for me?
Am I capable of doing this?
Why can’t I seem to create their results?

And at some point or another, we’ve all been there. During my ten-year entrepreneurial career —I’ve been there more times than I can count.

But I’m still here, and I’m not going away anytime soon. In fact, I see these challenges and moments of adversity as opportunities to shift perspective and create new results.

Because on the other side of the challenge is what I consider the ultimate success: a life and business you can’t wait to wake up for.

In this post, I’m going to share 27 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Stuck —and what to do about it. For each one, I’ll add some context and an action step to help you breakthrough.

Let’s get started.

entrepreneur Tommy baker

1. You’ve got too much on your plate —make deletion a daily exercise.

As your own boss, it can seem impossible to say “no” or prioritize what really matters, so you do it all —until you wake up overwhelmed, exhausted and spinning your wheels. This is when the art and science of deletion and creating space becomes non-negotiable.

ACTION: Delete one thing off your plate right now. Don’t overthink it.

2. You’ve got Plan B’s and C’s —instead of being 100% all in.

You’ve got a marketing agency, a coaching business, do personal training on the side and also have a YouTube channel. Come on! This is not something special: this is holding on to life rafts and not going all in on your one thing. This takes courage, but will pay off.

ACTION: Identify what is holding you back from going all in.

3. You’re not great at being your own boss and lack self accountability.

You do realize there’s a purpose to corporate offices, endless meetings and going to lunch with coworkers you can’t stand, right? OK, maybe that’s only me. It’s all about accountability, and for many entrepreneurs —they don’t have much of their own.

ACTION: Work on this every day this week —choose a time to wake up (mine is 4:30) and don’t break it.

4. You work from home and wonder why you’re distracted and scattered.

Doing creative and purposeful work in the same place you watch Netflix and hang with the family is a terrible idea. People will argue with me about this, but I am adamant: working from home is robbing you of your results and growth.

ACTION: Find a coworking space, get an office or go to a quiet coffee shop.

5. You’re not owning your value and expertise —and charging enough.

As a freshly minted entrepreneur, it’s easy to not own your value and charge less under the guise of wanting to create momentum and case studies. But remember: what you’re an expert at is something others are blown away by —and we’re often the last to acknowledge the value of our expertise.

ACTION: The thing you’re an expert at has the potential to change lives, when will you own this?

6. You’re going after $20 or $47 customers instead of higher ticket ones.

Related to the above —it can be tempting to start a low ticket subscription model as a creator and entrepreneur. But make no mistake: marketing to the masses is 20X harder than marketing to the few in front of you. You need numbers and marketing prowess to hit the many.

ACTION: It’s tempting to fish for the bottom when you’re staring, but going after this market is HARD work for little payoff.

7. You’re believing you have to be on every social media platform.

Exhale, you don’t. I teach and train others under the model of picking a pillar platform —consider this where 90% of your effort should go. For me, it’s the Academy podcast. Commit to your pillar platform for at least 18 months, and then start branching out.

ACTION: Pick one pillar platform —where your people are already hanging out.

8. You’re not ruthless with saying ‘no’ and creating boundaries.

There’s nothing worse than someone reaching out to ‘connect’ and finding yourself at Starbucks as they blather on about randomness —and then try to pitch you something. Because entrepreneurs get paid on results, and not time invested —they must be extra diligent about what they’re saying “yes” to.

ACTION: This week, create boundaries and protect “you” time.

9. You love your brand, product or service but not the marketing of it.

You can have the best coaching program. You can have the best personal training facility. You can have the best software —but if you’re not getting it in front of people every day, you’re going to lose. Most entrepreneurs wait until they’re in dire straits to finally fall in love with marketing and sales. Don’t be that guy or gal.

ACTION: Study marketing, influence, sales and persuasion this week.

10. You’re surrounded by B- and C players who won’t demand excellence of you.

Does this person amplify my belief, clarity and possibility —or do they diminish it? This simple question is one of my favorites for identifying the right tribe of people to support my mission. Be careful who’s around you, because their mindset will become yours in due time.

ACTION: Take an inventory of your tribe —and get radically honest if they’re truly helping you.

11. You’re “rolling solo” instead of investing in yourself through coaching and mentoring.

When you invest in yourself and your business —you’re writing your dreams a check. You’re pouring your attention and energy into yourself. Nothing will replace this. Every entrepreneur must work with someone —whether it’s a virtual course or program or a 1-1 mentor. The stakes are too high not to.

ACTION: Invest in a course, mentor, product —something that helps you with your blind spots.

12. You’re unable to navigate the emotional stress that comes with entrepreneurship.

All transformation is emotional. I’ve said this on the podcast and in my books countless times. Leaving your comfort zone requires you to brush up against your emotional edges —and face fear, doubt, uncertainty and stress.

Whether it’s launching and shipping your product or hiring your first employee, entrepreneurship is the arena where you get to face yourself head on.

ACTION: Journal when you’re going through a tough time, this is a great practice for emotional intelligence.

13. You’re playing the comparison game to everyone’s highlight reels.

Comparison can either crush your momentum or fuel you to see other’s success as proof that yours is possible too. But be careful, because subconscious comparison can lead to self-sabotage, despair and feeling more stuck than ever.

ACTION: Stop doing this and understand they’re going through hardships like you are.

14. You don’t know who you’re speaking to —so you speak to everyone.

You’re not for everyone. Southwest Airlines is not for everyone. Apple is not for everyone. Starbucks, even with 28,000 locations —is not for everyone. Be for someone. Stand for something. Be bold, audacious and specific. Otherwise, you will get lost in a sea of mayhem and uncertainty.

ACTION: Who are you speaking to, what are their aspirations? Where do they hang out? What keeps them up at night? Drill, drill, drill.

15. You haven’t fallen in love with your sales process and made bold offers.

“But Tommy, I don’t want to come across that way.” A health coach was telling me the reasons why she couldn’t pitch her services —until I asked her about where she got her certification, knowing it cost her a tuition of $8,000 and inquired about the sales process.

“What? There wasn’t one…it was amazing!” And that’s my point —when you’re aligned in the people you’re serving, there seems to be no sales process. They want what you’ve got and it can help them, so there’s a value exchange. The drama around sales is killing most entrepreneur’s potential.

ACTION: You’re already selling every single day —get rid of the drama and fall in love with sales.

16. You think marketing means posting on social media.

I’m looking at you, thought leaders and coaches. You spend 90% of your time on social media and say you’re “working.” Marketing is not social media, it’s systems, processes, referrals, email marketing, landing pages, sales pages, VSL’s, offline marketing, upsells, sales conversations, etc.

ACTION: Social media is 10% of marketing —what is the other 90% you’re neglecting?

17. You’re consuming way too much —instead of creating.

If you’re not starting the morning on your terms and doing your most important creative work —you’re going to lose. Aim to keep your creation at 75% and consumption at 25%, not the other way around.

ACTION: Don’t consume anything until you’ve created every single morning.

18. You believe you’re “one big break” away or waiting to be discovered.

This illusion holds so many people back from doing the messy work in front of them —with the hopes that one introduction or call will change everything for them. It won’t, and is a lazy way to play in the game of life and business.

Oprah is done building careers, and the Today Show doesn’t need you. Instead, be the linchpin and create your own empire.

ACTION: Seek mastery, play the long game and understand everything takes reps.

19. You don’t believe in calendars and think free time equals freedom.

I’ve drilled this down a ton on the blog and in my podcasts —and even created a course based on the concept. You can grab 7-12 Formula: One Year’s Worth of Results right here —and ensure you get the real freedom most business owners are only dreaming of.

ACTIONS: If you’re not using a calendar, you’re already losing.

20. You’re waiting to feel ‘inspired’ to create —so you lack consistency.

I wrote most of my books at 4:30AM in the morning in an empty downtown Phoenix office. Most of my posts are written under less than ideal circumstances —but I’ve trained myself to execute regardless of how I feel. You must do the same, otherwise you will always be held hostage by your “feelings and moods.

ACTION: Be the person who creates when they’re exhausted, uninspired and swirling in self doubt.

21. You haven’t sold yourself on your brand, product or service.

Start with one sale, one fan, one admirer, one consumer: you. If you don’t love your content, brand, product or service —something is missing and you can never expect someone else to. Watch your videos, use your software, take the nutritional supplements you’re selling others.

ACTION: Sell yourself first. Be your number one fan. Fall in love with what you have to offer.

22. You’re not working on your money mindset and make decisions from scarcity.

We all have a money mindset: stories, beliefs and narratives passed down from family, relationships and culture. None of them are inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’: they’re either fueling our growth or holding us back. For many entrepreneurs, including myself —they must make the shift from scarcity to abundance when it comes to their money mindset.

ACTION: Identify the money mindsets and patterns holding you back from your dream income.

23. You’re not identifying and acquiring key skills on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.

Without acquiring valuable skillsets in your business as an entrepreneur —you will stay stuck. Skill acquisition is not random, it’s not dabbling and done only when you feel like it. It must be identified, prioritized and scheduled —or else. I wrote about this in both of my books: The 1% Rule and the Leap Of Your Life.

ACTION: Identify and block out the core skill you’re working on this week —if it’s not scheduled, it won’t happen.

24. You’re wasting your most precious energy and attention on the small, random tasks that don’t matter.

There’s tons of people who create a powerful morning routine to achieve peak clarity and energy —and then scroll on social media. The truth is only 20% of your efforts are going to lead to 80% of your results. The key is doing less, while achieving more and to stop being busy…being busy.

ACTION: Define ‘winning’ the day and do the ONE thing that moves your business forward.

25. You’re not training your mind, body and spirit every single day and creating peak states.

As entrepreneurs, our emotional state will determine our consistency and follow through. We must have powerful routines —in the morning, sprinkled through the day and to close out the evening to ensure we’re finely tuned.

ACTION: Spend at least 45 minutes before sunrise working on yourself. This is the time the champions rise.

26. You’re not shipping and launching before you feel ready.

It will never feel complete, and you’ll always want to tweak some things. But perfectionism is fear disguised —and will always hold you back. Standards matter, but at some point: you’ve got to put yourself out there and ship.

ACTION: 80% is good enough —ship, ship, ship and then ship more.

27. You don’t have an unbreakable, unshakeable, emotional ‘why.’

The last one may be the most important: getting clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. Because the road of being an entrepreneur means sacrifice: early mornings, late nights, emotional battles, questioning your path and getting to know yourself. Without your why, you will fold.

ACTION: Dig deep on your why through meditation, visualization or journaling.

27 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Stuck

I wrote this list in hopes of helping you out as a creator, entrepreneur and business owner.

I’ve personally experienced every part of this list —and have learned valuable lessons. I wouldn’t trade what I get to do for the world, even if it can be daunting and tough at times.

If you want more help, make sure to grab the Integration Experience audio training on the front page of the site, or one of my books where I expand on the above and give you real world, tactical tools to use.

I’m curious: which connected with you most and what are you committed to doing about it?

Tommy baker momentum 1% rule

44 Undeniable Ways to Build Momentum, Get Off The Sidelines and 10X Your Results

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Reading Time: 11 minutes

44 Undeniable Ways to Build Momentum, Get Off The Sidelines and 10X Your Results

Momentum, we’ve all felt it.

When we have it, we’re on top of the world —laser focused, on fire and getting our most important work done on the regular with less friction. We’re experiencing more peak emotional states and all of life seems to come together with more flow, fun and peace.

But how often do we actually live in this place? For myself and my clients —we aim to manufacture and create these periods of momentum as much as possible.

Here’s what I’ve experienced:

Many people wait for an external reason to feel in momentum, but don’t do what the masters do: they create momentum every single day. Instead of waiting, hoping and praying for something to happen —they make it happen.

In this post, I wanted to share the 44 ways I’ve found to build insane levels of momentum, get off the sidelines and create internal levels of fulfillment —with the achievement to match.

1. Do it now —every moment you wait is one where fear takes a grip on your dreams.

Waiting on the bold decision you know you must make and giving in to fear, doubt and uncertainty is a surefire way to drain all of your momentum. What are you waiting for?

2. Visualize yourself in 3 years and nothing has changed. Take yourself through your day —how does that feel?

This technique is one of my favorites to create urgency and use future regret today. Be intentional and take yourself through every moment of the day.

3. Take yourself one year from today and you’ve had the best year of your life. What is the one thing you had to do?

On the flip side, part of momentum is being pulled by what we do want. Often, we attempt to stack 19 bold moves when all we needed was the catalyst to create the domino effect we’ve been waiting for.

4. Break your vision into the next quarter —set 90 day targets that are vivid, specific and measurable.

It’s hard to create momentum when you can’t see your targets. I’m all about big visions —but then chunk those down to the next 90 days for higher levels of urgency. We do this in The Integration Experience audio training.

5. Dream big, start small. Break everything down to the 1% in front of you and create progress.

Once you have your 90 day targets —identify the core processes and action steps to bring these to life. Smaller is better as complication leads to avoidance. This system is detailed in The 1% Rule.

Tommy baker momentum the 1% rule6. Get off the couch, stop consuming —and start creating.

You won’t create momentum binge watching Netflix for the third straight day. You won’t create momentum watching a 24 year old live out his dreams on the field of play. Consuming the right information can be powerful —but what are you creating? Do more of that.

7. Fall in love with structure, routine and discipline. These create freedom —and the peace of mind of knowing you’re on track.

The more you can stack your day with your high priority actions, set ruthless boundaries and double down on your discipline —the more freedom you’ll have.

8. You don’t need another ‘system’ or ‘hack’ for getting your important work done: you need to make it a non-negotiable commitment.

People are obsessed with productivity systems —but they miss out on the most important part: tapping into their why. When you do this, you’ll never need motivation again.

9. Be willing to execute on your vision regardless of thoughts, feelings, emotions and moods —otherwise, you’ll lose.

The amateur waits to feel like it to move their dreams and desires forward. Unfortunately, this will never last and create powerful results. The professional executes regardless…knowing this creates the feelings most are sitting on the sidelines waiting for.

10. Passion, enthusiasm and positive energy are incredible —but without skill acquisition, you’re just another talker.

These ingredients are the launchpad to get started, but they’re not enough. Tons of people get excited, then do nothing. There are many people living purposefully who are still stuck. Identify the core skillsets you’ll need to amplify your value to the marketplace.

11. Own the first hour of your day and stay on Airplane Mode. Don’t stop until your “ONE” thing is done.

If you’re not willing to do this —you’ve already lost. Your attention is your most prized asset: own it, nourish it and protect it with everything you’ve got.

Tommy baker 1% rule12. Take non-emotional inventory of your life —look at the data and treat it as a scoreboard of where you find yourself today. What are you gonna do about it?

The first step of transformation is getting clear about where you are —without emotions. Why? Because emotions create narratives that aren’t always based on data and facts. Get clear and be willing to own where you are…even if it sucks.

13. Stop telling yourself you don’t have time —this is scarcity thinking and a terrible place to operate from.

Tons of people discuss financial abundance mindsets, and yet operate in complete time scarcity. Creating from this place means you’re always scattered and never grounded.

14. You can give value, but if you’re not willing to openly receive —you won’t be compensated at your worth.

Trust me, I’m a relentless giver. What I realized was giving without receiving leaves you broke, exhausted and wondering why it’s not working. Be open to receive and own your worth.

15. Stop doing $12/hour tasks in your business —unless you want to drain energy for the important work.

For my solopreneurs, business owners and entrepreneurs: quit it. You’re doing the work because you can…which is a terrible framework to operate from. If you’re doing all the remedial work in your business, you’re going to wake up hating it one day —there is too much talent available for cheap for you to keep doing this.

16. Stop waiting to feel ‘ready.’ You won’t ever feel ready to invest in yourself, launch the platform or hire your first employee.

You’re not where you want to be in your business because you haven’t made the key here. You aren’t where you want to be in your growth and results, because you’re unwilling to invest in yourself. Stop waiting! Momentum is bred from owning a powerful challenge in our lives.

17. Create ruthless levels of urgency and compress your goals by 75%. Urgency drives focus and focus drives execution.

If you think it’s going to take a year, guess what? It’s going to take a year —or you may never do it. Your current capacity and mindset are extending your goals and targets out because fear is winning. Compress the timeframe and start today.

18. Stop hanging out with people who gave up on their dreams telling you to do the same.

You know you’re in the wrong tribe when you declare your dreams and desires and they call you crazy, lost, to “get real” and stop playing around. Find a new tribe and never look back.

19. ‘Hustle’ is overrated —if you do it right, you can create a day’s worth of production before noon every single day.

If you’re working 16 hours a day, you’re doing it wrong. I love the enthusiasm behind intensity, and I’m someone who seems to hustle. But there’s a difference between hustle for the sake of hustle and purposeful work. I teach a system where before Noon you can create a week’s worth of growth and results.

Tommy baker resist average academy20. Free time is not freedom, and open space on a calendar leads to mindless priorities. Fill your day with what matters.

“But Tommy, I’m a free bird, a free spirit…I started my business to have complete control of my calendar.” This is why you’re stuck: free time is not freedom. Free time is anxiety, stress, scrolling social media and focusing on how much distance you have between where you are now and your big targets. Until one day, you quit.

21. On that note, if it’s not on your calendar —it doesn’t matter to you. Schedule it and commit.

Not much else to say here. I always get pushback on this —from people who tell me they don’t need a calendar. Again…this is why you’re not maximizing your potential and spending all of your time and energy on useless busywork.

22. Celebrate 7 wins every single day. Focus on your growth instead of how far you’ve got to go.

I don’t care if you had the hardest day of the month: find the wins. This trains your awareness to focus on what’s working instead of the challenges. Pull out your journal every day and identify the places you stepped into your courage and owned your value.

23. Make fast decisions —based on who you’re becoming. Indecision is a dreamkiller and leads to paralysis analysis.

If you want to kill your momentum, obsess over research, paralysis analysis and overthinking. You already know what to do…now do it. Start with the small things that are consuming your mental real estate —and build your muscle to make fast, powerful decisions and deal with the consequences.

24. Ship before you’re ready. Launch before it’s done. Say what needs to be said —do it now. Or else you’ll live in regret.

Newsflash: you will never feel ready to make a bold move. It will never feel like the perfect time. Instead, create these by stepping into it now.

25. Stop creating problems you haven’t earned the right to have. You don’t need to figure out how to ‘scale’ —you need a sale.

“But Tommy, I want to make sure I have a strategy too monetize.” WTF!? Someone once told me this about a YouTube project and commitment —yet hadn’t made two videos. They were stuck in a problem they frankly hadn’t earned the right to have —which is common. Earn your challenges…in this case, they had to ship 100 videos.

26. Your worst case scenarios are bullshit. There is ALWAYS another dead end job waiting for you.

Stop clinging on to the things that are causing you pain —simply because they’re known. There’s always a crappy job with a boss you hate, a toxic relationship, an environment you can’t wait to escape from. Fall in love with the unknown and honor your desires.

27. On that note, fear is your compass. What terrifies you is exactly what you should pursue.

Fear, resistance and doubt are all feedback mechanisms to let you know you must take the next step.

28. No one is going to discover you. Oprah isn’t going to build your career. Are you willing to discover yourself?

Our culture’s obsession with the overnight success and being discovered on Starbucks is killing so many people’s ambitions and willingness to execute. No one’s going to discover you. Oprah is done building careers. And when you look closely enough: you realize overnight successes took a decade of consistency.

Tommy baker resist average29. There are no shortcuts to mastery. 10,000 hours are 10,000 hours. Want it, or don’t even start.

Your obsession with shortcuts is why you’re not succeeding. Everyone can get started. Anyone can sign up for a marathon,  launch a business and declare their book. But what happens next? There is no substitute for reps, reps and more reps.

30. If you’re not willing to put money on the line, you don’t want it bad enough. Plain and simple.

It’s not the money itself —it’s what the money does: command our attention, focus, and priorities. You better be putting something on the line.

31. No decision happens in a vacuum. By saying “yes” to a crappy opportunity, client or relationship —you say no to the life changing ones.

You said yes to the client that’s completely out of alignment —you’re saying no to someone who is. Trust me, every time I go against my instinct on this…I beat myself up later. Once you have clarity on your North Star vision, make decisions in 100% alignment with serving it.

32. If you were serious about your goals, there would be real world proof of you moving forward on them every single day.

Just being honest here: this is a wake-up call for the talkers. There’s way too many people talking a big game, yet doing nothing and wondering why they can’t seem to create momentum.

33. Distraction is usually an avoidance mechanism for the pain of untapped potential —the average American watches 34 hours a week of TV.

The 34-hour number is astonishing —that’s a full time job going to distraction. I’m not saying don’t consume entertainment —but don’t become a slave to it. Social media, like anything…is a tool. You can use it to grow, or stay stuck. When you seek distraction, be aware of what’s really  happening.

34. “I’ve spent a lot of time on this” is a terrible excuse to keep going. Sometimes quitting is the best option.

You hate law school, yet stay with it because you’ve invested a ton of time. You hate your current job, but choose to keep going because it’s been 5 years. Are you serious? This is a terrible way to stay anchored and wake up a life we can’t wait to escape from.

35. Your ability to manage your emotional resilience will dictate your capacity to grow and expand.

All change is emotional. Leaving the safe havens of your comfort zone means you’ll be brushing up with your emotional edges —learn to navigate these. Consider this a crucial practice on the path to your biggest dreams.

36. If you think success means eradicating problems, you’re in the wrong game. The most successful have bigger and bolder problems to be challenged with.

The bigger you grow, the bigger problems you’ll have: this is the game of life. Whats separates the intern from the CEO is the level of problems they deal with —as Dean Graziosi said on the podcast: seek bigger problems.

37. On that note, a comfortable life is one where there’s no pending challenge on the horizon that you’re being pulled by. This is when life becomes grey and dull.

There is nothing worse than being shackled by the comfortable life with no exciting challenge on the horizon. This is the hardest place to create from, and where momentum feels like a pipe dream.

38. As you grow and achieve results, you need MORE accountability —not less. Your blind spots get smaller as you succeed…but 10X more costly.

“Tommy, I’m all good now.” If you say this after you’ve experienced growth and success —you’re going to lose. The master understands their blind spots get smaller (and thus, harder to see) as they grow. At the same time, they become more costly.

39. Death is the greatest motivator and focuser on the planet. If you’re lacking urgency, go to your cemetery and soak in the energy.

It shocks me how many are unwilling to face this beautiful part of our existence. Death wakes you up and compels you and I to drop the bullshit excuses in the way. It reminds us what really matters.

Tommy baker momentum40. On that note, don’t wait for a crisis to compel you to change. It’s a great place to transform from —but also the most painful.

The on-your-knees moment is a great place to change from, but don’t wait for. Refer back to #2 on this list to visualize yourself in a place of crisis —and choose something new today.

41. Do it now, do it now, do it now! Move cross country. Take a chance. Pack the family in the RV. Book the trip. There may not be another chance. There may never be tomorrow.

Please, please, please —do it now. The adventure you want to take, the podcast you want to launch —the conversation with your children you want to have. Be willing to live courageously even when it doesn’t make sense. It’s your time…right here, right now.

42. Lower the bar on gratitude. You do realize you have the ability to see, to feel, to experience the gift of life —and your ‘problems’ are what others would write a BLANK check for.

Your heart is beating. You’re able to take the next breath. You can likely walk, see, touch and experience this incredible life. You likely live in a country where you can express yourself. Momentum comes from a deep place of gratitude —always start here.

43. If you’re not tapping into your vision once a day, it doesn’t matter enough to you.

If you have time for Instagram —I hope you have time for your dreams. Even for 5 minutes a day: tap into the future vision of your life. The experience, the feelings, what surrounds you. This becomes your compass to guide you through the day.

44. There is no loss in going for it. Be willing to dare and the world will open up the doors you can’t see right now. But it won’t happen when you have one foot in and one foot out.

When you have 4 escape plans —you’re not all in. When you have Plan B’s and C’s and D’s…you’re one step away from quitting and moving on. Be willing to put everything on the line. You will never regret playing full tilt. You will never look back thinking you went after your desires with too much intensity. It’s time to triple down, cut off the escape plans —and go all in on you.

44 Undeniable Ways to Build Momentum, Get Off The Sidelines and 10X Your Results

Well, there you have it: some of my biggest ways to create momentum and take ownership of our lives. Because you are here to thrive and create the life of your dreams: whatever that means for you.

Remember: putting yourself out there on the path of growth will demand tremendous courage —but that’s exactly what we’re here for.

Which one connected with you? Comment, share and like this post if it resonated with you!

Tommy baker resist average

Making, Marketing and Managing: How To Own Your Day

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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

Tommy Baker Resist Average

Are You Surviving, Comfortable or Thriving?

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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.