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Entrepreneurship

Make Money During Quarantine

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Reading Time: 1 minute

How To Make Money During Quarantine

You need to make ends meet, and you’re looking for ways to make money during a stressful quarantine season.

Maybe you lost your job.
Maybe you lost your gig.
Maybe you lost your client.

(I’ve been there countless times —over and over.)

But now what?

I wanted to shoot this video after coaching people during the last few months on identifying, acquiring and marketing the skills they already have.

What I noticed during this time was they were believing 3 Myths that were holding them back:

1. No one is spending money right now.

TRUTH: People are spending tons of money right now for the same skills you currently have.

2. You need to build skills for 3-6 months.

TRUTH: You have an “above average” skill right now that you can use to make income.

3. You must have a fancy website or funnel.

TRUTH: You need to be creative and websites don’t mean anything.

I chose to email five friends and ask them what they had spent money on during season.

Here’s what they told me:

Copywriting.
Graphic design.
Research assistant.
Website creation.
Online learning.
Digital courses.
Health & fitness.
Meal plans/recipes.
At home workouts.
Virtual lessons.
Skill training.
Online hobbies.
Coaching/mentoring.
Books and media.
Programming.
Social media help.
Project management.
Content creation.
Spiritual counseling.

In this video, I will take you through a step-by-step process I’ve used on countless clients and in my courses, seminars and books to help you monetize during this season.

Video: 7 Steps To Monetize Right Now

Make Money During Quarantine Resources

If you have any questions about this, feel free to drop a line into comments below!

The Big Lie Of Hustle Culture

By | Advice, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Lists, Video | No Comments
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The Big Lie Of Hustle Culture

With enough nose-to-the-pavement, whatever-it-takes, caffeinated mornings —you’re destined to be a rousing success, right?

Well, not quite —because while hustle and work ethic are important, they are only one part of your long-term success equation.

Here’s the truth:

We all know “hustle” and work ethic are valuable:

They get us up in the morning.
They get us to step into courage.
They get us to make bold moves.

But there comes a point when “more” is not “more”:

More is less growth.
More is less results.
More is less fulfillment.

In this video, I’m going to teach you a simple framework to avoid the “dark” side of hustle —burnout, exhaustion, overwhelm.

The Big Lie Of Hustle Culture

The Big Lie Of Hustle Culture

If you need help with any of the above —including your “Big 3” priorities, re-aligning your North Star vision or creating a blueprint for your goals, check out the free 2020 Masterclass which is my one day seminar compressed to less than 45 minutes.

I want to hear from you —what did you get from this video and how can it apply to your life ad business?

Post to comments below!

7 Ways To Be Productive During Quarantine

By | Advice, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Lists, Video | No Comments
Reading Time: 1 minute

7 Ways To Be Productive During Quarantine

How can you be productive during quarantine when you’re working from home —and the couch and a cold cocktail are steps away?

Before we dive in —I want to be clear:

Productivity is not about getting more “random” tasks done:

This is about your vision.
This is about your dreams.
This is about your freedom.

Remember:

You can have a productive, fulfilling, creative quarantine season —or you can watch the Kardashians while crushing a pint of ice cream.

Ultimately, you and I are the ones who are responsible.

In the latest video, I’ll show you how.

7 Ways To Be Productive During Quarantine

If you need help with any of the above —including your “Big 3” priorities, re-aligning your North Star vision or creating a blueprint for your goals, check out the free 2020 Masterclass which is my one day seminar compressed to less than 45 minutes.

I want to hear from you —what did you get from this and how are you staying productive during these times?

Post to comments below!

Distraction Robbed Your Dreams (During COVID-19)

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Oh, the progress you’d make if you weren’t involved in mask politics, conspiracies and bickering over current events.

(Facepalm, this is getting embarrassing.)

I posted this yesterday after my friend Seth asked me:

What are you seeing as the biggest issue with people right now?

And it was simple:

Distraction is robbing people of growth.
Distraction is robbing people of progress.
Distraction is robbing people of meaning.

And ultimately —distraction is leading to emotional anxiety, total confusion and the loss of agency.

The truth is:

There has never been a more important time to focus on what matters —and protect your mental real estate.

So, how do you do this?

1. Get clear on specific priorities for the rest of 2020.

I call this the “Big 3” —three clear, vivid, detailed priorities. Essentialism is the pursuit of less, not more.

2. Take inventory of what’s stealing your attention.

Make a list of everything that makes you feel worse —scrolling, binging on television at night, etc and then start deleting.

3. Start every morning on Airplane mode.

At least 30 minutes, but push for 60, 90 or 120. This sends a message to the world —you are in control of the 6 inches of real estate between your ears.

4. Complete a morning ritual to set the tone for the day.

You won’t “drift” or “stumble” your way to clarity or momentum, but you can create it. Even if you feel 10% better —isn’t that worth your time and energy? Any morning routine can work…if you work it.

5. Focus on one needle-mover —could be business, creative, etc.

Progress is more motivating than money, accolades or praise. Write the chapter. Create the sales page. Make an offer. Get rejected. Make a bold pitch! Put yourself out there.

6. Leave the cult of “busy” —and instead be prioritized.

We live in a culture that wears “busy” like a badge of honor and yet has never been more stuck. I don’t let my clients use this word, rather, we seek to live a prioritized life.

7. Delete apps off your phone, go greyscale, banish notifications.

You have to go to the extremes —Taylor and I bought a lockbox to put our phones in that is inaccessible. Make it unavailable. You don’t need to check email upon waking up.

8. Pick up old hobbies to replace screen time.

Remember that thing you used to love doing and said you had no time for? Now is the time to pick up the guitar, re-kindle your love of cooking, read literary greats, watch the documentary that inspires you.

9. Surround yourself with people who are lifting you up.

The naysayers, critics and trolls love times of chaos —it’s their time to enroll others. Don’t let them get to you. Rise up. Be the leader. Be a role model. Be a voice of reason, an example to someone else.

I share these with you —because here’s what I’m seeing:

This “great pause” is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to break the cycle of our daily lives —and get clear.

It is a chance to reflect.
It is a chance to get clear.
It is a chance to be honest.

And so many are wasting it away, giving their mental real estate to Zuck’s algorithms, to misinformation and pseudo-influencers and hacks who live in their parent’s basement and got a “download” about the end of the world.

(I wish I was kidding.)

Personally, when I was living in denial and fear —which is knowing you’re living a life that isn’t for you but choosing to stay in it every single day:

I devoured Fantasy Football news.
I crushed sports talk radio all day.
I watched 20 hours of TV weekly.

Is there anything wrong with those?

No —but I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I was out of alignment and clearly things were not “working.”

Distraction isn’t about getting more “done” —it’s about your physical, mental and emotional sanity.

I’d say that’s pretty important right now, wouldn’t you?

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

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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

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

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 |

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

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

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

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

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 |

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

1: Go To Your Future Self

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

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

2: Use Reverse Visualization

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

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

3: Lead With the Heart

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

4: Choose Abundance

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

5: Create Powerful Energy

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

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

5 WAYS TO MAKE BOLD DECISIONS | VLOG #004 |

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

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