The Big Lie Of Hustle Culture

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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!

tommy baker resist average

44 Ways To Live and Die With Regret

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44 Ways To Live and Die With Regret

Regret will eat you alive.

We’ve all felt it, the sinking feeling of “what could have been” —the decision that felt uncomfortable at the time and yet we knew was right for us.

We tend to regret the actions, choices and decisions we didn’t make.

In this post, I’ll share 44 ways to live and die with regret —so you can avoid these along your path.

1. Choose the path someone else —including society, family and friends have laid out for you instead of what you really want.

As the brilliant Joseph Campbell once said —if you can see every step of your path, it may not be yours. Spend the time and work most want to avoid through distraction to answer the ultimate question without apology —what do you really want?

2. Put everything off until “someday” when life gets less hectic, when you have more money, time, and energy.

There will never be an abundance of time and energy waiting for you to start the dream. This is not to say there aren’t more convenient seasons —but as Lisa Nichols once said: your commitment and convenience can’t live on the same block.

3. Seek approval from those around you —and check off societies boxes to be accepted when asked what you do.

For a a while, yours truly was on a one-way path to Wall Street despite having zero interest in the industry —and to be honest, questioning its entire moral compass. And yet, I found myself with a job offer at a wealth management firm after a successful internship. Hello, approval.

4. Never question anything or take time to face the questions —why am I here, what is the purpose of this, what is the meaning of life?

An 80-year longitudinal Harvard study on fulfillment found that the desire to wrestle with the questions above —and seek answers —directly led to a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

5. Fill your life with distraction and noise. Obsess over current events, political gossip, sports radio so as to never have time with yourself.

When I was most lost in life, I could receive every player on the Indianapolis Colt’s roster —including height, college, position and jersey number. There is nothing wrong with sports, Netflix or even news. But when we use it to fill a void inside of us, we always lose. Distraction soothes the pain of untapped potential.

6. Chase the illusion of safety and security —a life of comfort that is easily digestible, yet would sicken the version of yourself who had dreams, a vision inside of them.

As David Kekich one said —the incredible writer of the Kekich Credo’s —security is he lowest form of happiness. Instead, choose growth, freedom, the part of you who craves novelty, adventure, the thrill of being alive.

7. Avoid listening to your gut feeling or intuition and instead always choose the safe, logical and rational path at every mile marker.

You already know what to do. You already have the clarity you need. The question is simple —are you willing to listen when it doesn’t make sense?

tommy baker resist average8. Believe that an employer has your best interests in mind; that they will take care of you and not leave you on the side of the road.

Most of us learn this the hard way —no employer is ever loyal to us. The days of relying on an employer for our financial security are long gone. Especially for those in public companies who value shareholders over their own employees —you must become your own economy. Learn skills that make you self-reliant and give you options.

9. Chase down someone else’s version of success —without ever defining what success looks and feels like for yourself.

The first question on the Academy podcast has universally been —what is your definition of success in life and business? I ask this because without a guiding compass, we may chase the default definition that society has laid out for us at the expense of what we actually want.

10. Believe in your excuses and allow the smallest part of yourself to always stop you from action; telling you that you’re not “ready”.

We tell ourselves stories or narratives —that shape our worldview. Excuses can take control of the steering wheel if we allow them too. You’re not good enough. You don’t have enough degrees. You aren’t from this country, so how could you succeed?

11. Live in the world of ego —wanting to be right, having a fixed mindset, seeing other’s success as a reason why you can’t do it.

The number one rule of all my coaching programs is simple —drop the ego. This isn’t easy and it’s why most people say they want to change, but never do.

12. Trade your freedom for a paycheck your entire life instead of crafting a life on your terms.

There is nothing wrong with being an employee —and there are some deeply fulfilled and inspired people who work for others. This isn’t about that, rather, it is about a conscious and intentional choice to discover what you authentically desire and then crafting a life and business around that.

13. Not telling someone how you feel when you’re with them. Avoiding eye contact for one second past uncomfortable.

Allow your human-ness to shine. Say what needs to be said. There is nothing more liberating than squaring off with the emotions of our lives and putting it all out on the table.

tommy baker resist average14. Thinking you need another degree, certification, training or more education to start —and waiting for permission.

This is why I wrote the Leap Of Your Life —I’d talk to talented, skilled people who had bold aspirations but were in a never-ending holding pattern. On a long enough timeline, fear will always win and regret will be guaranteed.

15. Avoid the inner work of creating a rock solid relationship with the only person you’ll be with your entire life.

A client was struggling with this concept the other day —and I advised them to text themselves every single day for the next 90 days with a message of appreciation or write their future selves an email. We so freely give our love to others —but what about the person in the mirror?

16. Never question your beliefs, narratives and hard-wired perspectives.

The unexamined life isn’t worth living is what Aristotle said. What he meant is living in ignorance isn’t living it all —and questioning our beliefs, rules and hard-wired perspectives is the path to liberation.

17. Believe there is a mythical oasis of “arrival” —always missing the present for some far-off, distant future.

I hate to break it to you —but there is no “arrival” moment where all of the parts that make you human, the awkwardness, the messiness, the emotions —will be gone. Don’t get me wrong, your vision will fundamentally change you from the inside out, but you will still have blind spots. We all do.

18. Always move the “goalpost” of your goals back —arriving at a target, goal or dream you wanted never taking time to celebrate.

When people tell me this —I shudder. Sure, you may be an achievement machine, but this is how you live in lack for your entire life. You are always focused on the gap between “here” and “there”. I don’t know about you, but I’m pitching a tent at the goal post and having the time of my life. Music, cold beers, you name it.

19. Operate under the model of doing more so you can “be” more instead of ”being” more so you can “do” with intention, peace, clarity.

Who are you when you’re not doing, grinding, hustling? This is the ultimate question for my ambitious folk; which I am certainly a part of. However, when we tap into our “being”, we release the dark side of achievement and instead operate from a place of alignment.

20. Wait until rock bottom to change a part of your life that isn’t working.

Rock bottom is a powerful place to compel change, but it’s also excruciating. Use the tool of reverse visualization I detailed in the Leap Of Your Life to use your imagination to create urgency now.

21. Living in denial of reality —avoiding looking in the mirror and being honest with yourself about where you’re at.

Denial is choosing a life that you don’t want —day after day after day without anything changing. We’ve all been there, and it leaves us emotionally hollow, robbed of our agency to make a new choice and the sinking feeling of regret.

tommy baker resist average22. Letting FOPO —fear of what other people think—drive your decisions and choices.

The unavoidable reality is you and I will be judged if we play small and never do anything —or if we put ourselves out there, shine our light and gifts and aim to reach out innate potential. Judgement is part of the human experience, so why not do you fully?

23. Forget that you can choose a radically different life experience right now. It is never too late.

I’ve worked with people in their late 60’s starting a new dream. It is never too late —as long as you are open, ready and willing. Use past regret to make a new choice.

24. Think enough achievement and external markers of success will fill the void of untapped potential.

There is no doubt achievement and progress can create emotional freedom —but not always. Especially when one is not aligned, say, chasing a career for external reward so as to be fulfilled “one day.” As I’ve always said —fulfillment attracts achievement, but not always the other way around.

25. Label yourself inside of personality boxes —creative or logical, introverted or extroverted.

I don’t believe in personality tests. Besides the shoddy science and gross simplifications, I believe they put is in boxes that become prisons. We label ourselves shy, uncertain, creative or not —and these dictate our lives. Case in point, for 27 years I never thought I was creative. Now, I use the word every day.

26. Watching television for an entire lifetime —wasting hours a day on escapism instead of living a life that you want to be a part of.

I’ve always found it curious that we design our homes facing the television and we give it our most prized resources, which are time, energy and attention. If you could know everything there is to know about Game of Thrones or build a thriving life, which would you choose?

27. Living vicariously through 24-year old gladiators on Sundays, Hollywood stars and entrepreneurs on social media.

On that note, use others to inspire you. Watch documentaries to lift you up. But at some point, we must ask ourselves —are we watching other’s dreams as inspiration or to vicariously live through their highs and lows so as to fill a void in our lives?

28. Living in the past, being addicted to drama, gossip, how someone wronged you, even the victimhood of trauma.

We all have trauma. We all have hurt. We all have sadness. And if you’re there, my heart goes out to you. Allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to grieve. But remember —staying there for an entire life and playing the victim card is tempting but robs you of your true power.

29. Staying stuck to your comfort zone —instead of choosing to get uncomfortable every single day to feel alive.

The ego and our comfort zones are the best of friends. They use one another to stay stuck and keep us exactly where we are today —even if it’s not what we want. At best, they rob us of potential. At worst, they destroy our dreams and keep us in misery.

tommy baker resist average30. Never owning your worth and value. Not putting yourself out there for that dream opportunity.

What do you have to lose? What would you do if you weren’t afraid? What’s really the worst that could happen —you get a door slammed in your face, you get mocked on Twitter and someone leaves a passive aggressive comment on your Facebook wall? It’s not as bad as you think.

31. Waiting to be “discovered” —instead of doing what Steve Martin said which is to be “so damn good they can’t ignore you.”

No one’s finding you at Starbucks anymore and writing you a million dollar check. Instead of waiting for someone to fund your dream —take ownership. Study a craft. Acquire skills, fall on your face. Endure the messiness of growth.

32. Letting social media algorithms, misinformation, fake news and 24/7 stimulus rob you of your peace.

I’ll be honest —this one saddens me. I am seeing talented, skilled and good people who are being taken on a carnival ride by social media, fake news and conspiracy theories. And let me be clear here —I’m certainly not immune. But please, for the sake of your future self —tread carefully here. Limit your inputs and protect your peace like your life depends on it. Because it may.

33. Not understanding there are windows of opportunity in life —when we know it’s time. When we miss these, they may never come back.

There may not be another chance. When I met my now fiancee, I didn’t have a second opportunity. We crossed a road, I had 11 seconds —and then she’d be gone. I share this with you because our ego can talk us into avoiding an uncomfortable move today with the hopes that tomorrow there will be another one —but windows of opportunity close and we may never know what could have been.

34. Going to Law School because it’s “next.” Getting married because everyone else does. Having kids because you’re 33. What do you want?

You don’t have to follow a path that screams validation and approval. You don’t have to do what all of your college buddies are doing. You don’t have to complete any of the “mile markers” on the marathon of a standard life. Now, if you want these things —go all in. But take a moment and reflect. What do you want? There are countless paths to a fulfilling life.

35. Forgetting the truth of your capability and the power you have inside of you —and never letting it come to life fully.

Capability is an emergent property. What this means is simple —it comes out when the conditions allow it to. It’s your performance when you’re on deadline. It’s your physical tenacity when someone you love is in danger. Which means we must create conditions of capability, otherwise, we never maximize it.

36. Never thinking about death, mortality, how you want to live the “dash” between your birthdate and when you are no longer here.

The dash is all we have —what will you do with that real estate? Mortality is not a bad thing —it is part of life, as natural as life. I have a wristband and hat in front of me that both say 86,400. Why? Because today may be it. When we face off with this truth, we remember what matters. We say what we need to say. We leave it all out on the field of play.

Tommy baker leap of your life

37. Not having a life philosophy; a set of principles that guide you and ensure you stay on course with who you want to be.

For years, I’d carry around a set of principles in my wallet. I posted them on my car. I wasn’t living them every day, but I was striving. As I grew, it allowed me to identify a life philosophy, a North Star on who I want to be. We should all do this work, as it pays off in droves.

38. Not making the bold leap before you’re ready —letting the ego tell you to wait until it’s a better time.

The ego will come up with a litany of excuses that make no rational sense and yet sound like undeniable truth. I’m here to tell you a simple fact: your audacious move will never feel perfect. There is no “right” time. Life will not get less busy anytime soon. What are you waiting for? Regret stings.

tommy baker resist average39. Thinking growth is linear and giving up in a deep valley before your next breakthrough —not knowing what was waiting for you.

Growth is a hot mess on a Saturday night after four tequila shots. All of these curated, 18-minute TED talks are actually doing you a disservice. Your path will have countless dips, peaks, valleys, rock-bottoms, riveting highs, mountaintops. This is the truth; growth is messy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is flat out lying to you and should not be trusted.

40. Spending your whole life working towards an oasis in the future and then realizing you missed the best times of your entire life.

You will never be as free as you are right here, right now. Sounds crazy, right? Well, the truth is, all we have is the moment in front of us. Most successful artists, creators and entrepreneurs look back at when they started and say it was the best time of their lives. Don’t miss right here, right now.

41. Being resistant to change; evolution; the expiration of relationships, old friends, what “used” to be and forgetting we live in a natural world.

Change is constant —and yet we resist it. We will lose people; relationships will expire. We will shift identities, we will change what we value and who we are. Embrace change, seek it, and don’t lament it. Be open, ready and willing.

42. Obsessing over current events instead of living your life. There has always been chaos, war, unrest.

Especially in a society soaked in misinformation, this is dangerous. I am not saying to not be informed, but imagine the growth you could crate in your life without an incessant ned to check news, updates and current events 24/7?

43. Not seeking what makes you feel alive, present, plunged into the “deep” now and building a life and business around that.

When was the last time you felt fully alive? When do you feel most engaged? What would you do if you had unlimited resources? I am writing this on a Saturday morning at 5:50AM. No one is telling me to be here, but I choose to be. Find that for yourself.

44. Waiting and not recognizing the 86,400 seconds in a day may be your last so you might as well jump off the cliff into the deep end.

Today is all we have is not a cliche posted by a pseudo-influencer on Instagram, it’s real life. The moment you own this fully, you step into the present moment and leave it all out on the field. Say what needs to be said. Take a chance! Change one thing you’ve been putting off.

44 Ways To Live and Die With Regret Resources & Links

Here are some of the best resources to help ensure you do not live and die with regret:

Regret can be a bitter pill to swallow —we’ve all experienced it in the past.

But it can also be hopeful and ensure we make new decisions and choices today.

Personally —moments of regret have woken me up to get uncomfortable, to stop drifting through life and actually get to know what I want and who I am.

Which one of these connected with you? Post to comments!

7 Ways To Be Productive During Quarantine

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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.


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!

49 Ways To Stop Procrastination

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Reading Time: 12 minutes

49 Ways To Stop Procrastination

You’ve done a morning ritual. You’ve had your dose of caffeine. You’re ready to start working and then it hits you —procrastination takes over and lures you into doing something else. Next thing you notice and the day is gone and you made zero progress.

We’ve all been there, and here’s the deal: procrastination isn’t simply about getting another task crossed off your list —it could be robbing you of your dreams, fulfillment and the progress.

Because guess what the number one motivator for our lives is?

It’s not money.
It’s not accolades.
It’s not Instagram follows.

It’s progress —in life, business and the overall trajectory of our goals.

Let’s dive into the 49 ways you can stop procrastination —and start creating the undeniable momentum that comes with progress.

1. Get clear on your North Star Vision.

If you’re not clear on where you’re going and why it matters to you —most “tactics” and “hacks” will never work. Start here and be willing to go deep. Because when you aim for nothing, you’re guaranteed to hit it. If you want help with this, take my free 2020 Masterclass.

2. Compress all deadlines by 50%.

Do you really need 6 months to finish that project? We often give ourselves too much time —and wait until the last second to get it done. Instead, compress the deadlines you have by 50% and watch the magic happen. We are all disciplined when our back is up against the wall.

3. Break up your vision into “3 Big Rocks.”

I wrote about this in The 1% Rule —but take your grand vision and break it down to three big rocks during the next 90 days. These should stretch you enough to compel urgency, but not be overwhelming. Then, delete what is unnecessary.

4. Have multiple levels of accountability.

You think your “free” accountability group with your poker buddies is enough? I’m being serious —have at least three levels of accountability and make sure one is paid. Everyone in the world needs accountability, even those who have created various levels of success. We all have blind spots, and they are costly.

5. Tap into your future self every day.

I always ask people —you have time to check email and Instagram, but not check in with your future self? Every morning, I connect with my 45-year old self and I get clear on how I can collapse who I am today with how they show up. This simple exercise creates massive clarity and urgency.

tommy baker procrastination6. Set outcomes but obsess over processes.

Running a 26.2 mile race is an outcome —buying a marathon training plan, putting in 15 miles a week, having a gallon of water a day are all processes. Set outcomes, but then obsess over the process.

7. Be prepared for when motivation is gone.

Any goal, endeavor or project —will have several moments of what I call “the valley”. Motivation is long-gone and the novelty has worn off. Make sure you prepare in advance for this —otherwise procrastination will take over.

8. Start every morning on Airplane mode.

This is non-negotiable —would you rather start the day on your terms or based on Zuck’s algorithm? Take control back and send the world a message: your dreams matter. Your mental health matters. Your focus matters. Your purpose matters.

9. Make distractions unavailable.

You know the whole thing about the best way to avoid eating ice cream is to not have it in the house? Same goes with the phone —find ways to create friction. When I enter my office, I leave the phone in another room and Taylor and I purchased a lockbox for it.  Yes, you have to go to these extremes.

10. Identify what “winning” the day looks like.

When I ask people what winning their day looks like —they often pause, hesitate and ramble. Instead, get clear on a few small, yet important markers of success for the day. Be specific, vivid and detailed. Own the day, own the week, own the year and eventually you’ll wake up to a thriving life where others are asking you what the “secret” is.

11. More structure equals more freedom.

Freedom is the opposite of structure, right? Not quite —having structure allows for freedom. Frontload your day as much as you can and dose high levels of structure early so you can experience freedom and peace of mind later.

tommy baker12. Do not check email before a certain time in the morning.

Unless you work in customer service —do not check your email. My personal rule is 9:00AM but I often go until 11:00 or 12:00PM. I often find that my ability to focus after checking email is compromised and I’m in the hamster wheel of small tasks.

13. Choose to leave the cult of “busy”.

Everyone’s busy —from executives to stay-at-home parents to your college roommate who still lives in their parent’s basement. However, is busy the end goal for you and how you define a successful life? Not for me. Stop using the word entirely and seek to live a prioritized life.

14. Delete one thing off your plate daily.

We’re quick to add things into our lives —but slow to delete. Make this a daily process by asking yourself: what is no longer serving me? By having less on your plate, you’re able to avoid procrastination and get the needle movers done. Less is always more.

15. Be willing to say “no” —even to opportunities.

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes —and we often give away our “yes” to things that don’t matter. I see this with entrepreneurs all the time who hop on any new opportunity talking about all the upside and then wake up three months later and it never came to life. Own your “no” and don’t apologize for it.

tommy baker podcast16. Track your time —and review trends.

Like Seneca said in his brilliant ‘On The Shortness Of Life’ —people will value and track their finances, but then give their time freely to what doesn’t matter. Instead, track your time. I use RescueTime —which is free —and it spits out daily and weekly reports on productivity.

17. Work in sprint-recovery-sprint cycles.

Research states that an ideal block of time is a 52-minute sprint. The Pomodoro method which is an all-time favorite for me works on 25-minute cycles of focus with a 5-minute break —repeated four times. Harness the power of short, intense bursts where no one is able to distract you and then recover wisely.

18. Embrace ‘white space’ and recovery.

Remember —productivity is not about squeezing out every last second of your workday. It is about being intentional and doing less —but ensuring you do what matters. Recover wisely and introduce white space before you need it. Self-care is not optional.

19. Aim for four good hours.

If you’re doing truly focused work —research states you will top off at about four hours. I know what you’re thinking —only four hours!? You will be amazed at how much you can create in that time when you do it right. Chris Bailey, a productivity expert who was on the Academy, once compared his 90-hour weeks with 20-hour weeks and realized he barely got anymore done during the former.

20. Do the emotional work hiding under procrastination.

Procrastination is a symptom of a deeper issue —it can be a lack of clarity, belief or fear of success and what other people think. If you wanted to start a podcast and you’re still looking for equipment six months later, it’s not about the surface area tactics. It’s an emotional issue. Ask yourself —what are you afraid of?

21. Have a morning ritual —but use it wisely.

You woke up early, listened to affirmations, wrote down your vision, trained your body and aligned your chakras —and now you’re on social media!? I posted this once as a joke, but it’s true. Your morning ritual is designed to help you do your most important work in the least amount of time. Protect this time wisely.

22. Identify your “One” thing by doing a brain dump.

This is taken from the One Thing —the brilliant book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan who was on the podcast. Make a brain dump of all the things you “could” do —and then identify the one thing you must do, or what they call your ‘success’ list.

tommy baker23. Leave the time + effort economy and seek results.

The time and effort economy operates under the myth that more time and effort equals more results. Meaning —if it takes you 6 hours to do something, that will lead to better results than 45 minutes. However, that is not true —what matters is the result. Value that first and watch what happens.

24. Value consistency over intensity.

You want to write a book in a week, record six podcast episodes in one day —and build an empire overnight? I love the enthusiasm, however, consistency will always pay off more than intensity. A daily practice is more valuable than a once in a while blitz of intensity.

25. Review your week every Sunday.

Every Sunday —unplug from the world and review your week. Ask yourself what your biggest wins and challenges were. Take an inventory of what’s most relevant and then look forward to the next week. What does winning the week look like for you? Drifting into a new week is never a recipe for anything except overwhelm and feeling lost.

26. Embrace the process as the end; not a means to an end.

If you can’t love the daily work in pursuit of your dream, what’s the point? I used to see the process as a means to an end; the end being more money, growth, success, results. And sure, those are nice —but the process is where you will spend 95% of your time. How can you love the ride? When you do, you get there faster and with way more fun.

27. Honor divine timing and detach.

You didn’t expect the phrase ‘divine timing’ to be associated with procrastination —right? Well, I’m not your typical productivity hacker spewing off the best tools for your focus. I believe in doing your best work and then letting go. Timing is a real thing and you can’t “out-hustle” your way to it. Sometimes, working harder means you’re pushing what you want away. Do your best work; and then eject into the void.

28. Have B-O-U-N-D-A-R-I-E-S.

You know that person who calls you and chews your ear off for an hour and sends you into a tailspin around politics and family drama? Yeah, it’s time to set some boundaries. Hold your ground. Close the door. Tell your family that Mom or Dad are unavailable for the next hour. Don’t answer every text the moment you receive it. Let people miss you as Seth Godin says.

tommy baker29. Put yourself out there once a day.

You know that action step you’re procrastinating on? Yeah, that one —lean in and do it now. Put yourself out there. Make the bold pitch. Raise the proposal price by 50%. This energy, regardless of outcome —moves mountains. Make the bold leap and do it now.

30. Dose play, adventure and “fun” time.

Insert these into your calendar and protect them —they are as important to beating procrastination as anything else. More work until your eyeballs bleed is not the answer. Get outside —hike, play, walk the dogs and unplug. Read a novel, learn how to cook or hit a local Improv class. Watch what this does to your creativity and peace.

31. Move your body daily.

Physical activity is non-negotiable —it is like taking a shower. Moving your body leads to clarity. We can all relate to the time we went to the gym agonizing over a problem and left with a simple solution. Train for vitality, energy and purpose. Change it up. Do yoga, then sprint, CrossFit and a long walk.

32. Make a decision —even if it’s the wrong one.

What Tommy —the wrong decision!? Yes. I am here to tell you that indecision and paralysis analysis is worse than the wrong decision. Because decisions compel momentum and progress —even if that is taking one step back to take two steps forward. What is one decision you’re putting off right now?

33. Master the basics —rest, hydration, clean eating.

It’s hard to be productive and inspired when you’re exhausted and dehydrated. Master the basics. Take care of your body and mind. Drink more water than you think you need. Recover, sleep, and take a nap if you need it.

34. Celebrate your wins every day.

In my programs —we celebrate wins every Friday. I personally write down 5-10 wins before noon. Why? Because this shifts our attention towards what is working and compels us to do more of it. It releases overwhelm and discouragement.

35. Invest in yourself through coaching and programs.

When you pay —you pay attention. It is worth it every single time. We have all the “free” information we could ever use and it’s actually keeping us stuck. Put yourself on the line. Write your dreams a check —whether it’s $1 or $10,000. This creates an internal shift; you cross the threshold between interested and committed.

36. Burn all of your productivity books and ask a simple question.

Not literally —but at some point you do not need more tools, hacks and systems to end procrastination. You need to answer one question. Take yourself three years down the line and procrastination is still a problem. Nothing has changed —how does it feel like to wake up in three years with no progress?

tommy baker37. Lower the bar to get started.

Activation energy is the barrier to start —think of the resistance you have over writing 1,000 words. Instead, commit to 100 words. Minimize the quota to get started —and watch the magic happen.

38. Honor the season of life and business you’re in.

We treat our bodies like machines —and expect to be firing on all cylinders all the time. Understand we operate in cycles, as does nature. Winter is time to hibernate and rest. Spring is time to come out and bloom. Summer is the fire season —and Fall is time to show gratitude and let go of what no longer serves you. Keep these in mind. Note —they do not literally follow the timeline of seasons, although they can. I spent five years in a Spring and Summer cycle; then had to take three months of Winter.

39. Stop beating yourself up.

The Average American worker is productive 1.8 to 2.1 hours a day. Think about that! If you have a “bad” day and spend four hours on Reddit, that’s okay. Learn the lesson and move on. Tomorrow is a new day.

40. Seek essentialism —less is more.

Essentialism, the book by Greg McKeown —is all about identifying the few things that matter. Embrace this minimalist approach to work so you can void the trap of success that most people do. They realize at each level of “success” they are more busy, not less.

41. On that note, define success for yourself.

What does it look and feel like to you? Personally, I am not interested in having a 500-person organization. I don’t want a full calendar of meetings every single day. I don’t want to be enslaved by an inbox. I don’t want to micro-manage people. Get clear on your version of success and paint a picture of your “perfect” day. Otherwise, you may wake up having achieved someone else’s version of success.

42. Do one thing every day for the purity of it.

In other words, not every hobby or activity needs to be monetized. I recently enrolled in a Creative Writing MFA —two years of rigorous work and twenty hours a week and a hefty tuition. Will that make me more money? Doubtful. Does it matter? No! Because I love it and it makes me feel alive. Isn’t that enough?

43. Hang out with people who lift you up.

If you hang out with naysayers, critics and trolls who waste their time —do you expect to be any different? People who respect their time will respect yours too.. Procrastination is hard when you’re surrounded by people who inspire and motivate you to be your best self.

44. Stop multitasking —it doesn’t work.

I know we all think we can text while we drive, scour Amazon during a phone call and keep 19 tabs open. We can’t. Eventually, our attention and focus plummets and we have no willpower left. Delete multitasking and catch yourself when you’re doing it. Cal Newport does great work in this space and was featured on the Academy podcast.

45. Set up environments for your success.

Now that we’re all working from home —cultivate a space of focus, work and bring your vision to life. Clean up your office. Make it yours. Put reminders on the wall; buy a whiteboard. Set it up to inspire your best work. Put a sign on the door.

46. Batch activities when possible.

Personally —it’s hard for me to go from a coaching session, webinar or podcast and back into writing mode. Once I start teaching, it’s game over. What I do now is batch as much as I can —three hours of straight coaching instead of scattered sessions throughout the week.

47. Deepen your why until it makes you emotional.

Ultimately —we do what matters to us. Why does your work, dreams and goals matter to you? Don’t skim the surface —go deep. Personally, my mission is fueled by helping others get out of the pain of untapped potential that riddled my life for years. When I connect to this mission —procrastination is less of an issue.

48. Take the attention off you —who needs you right now?

When clients tell me they’re procrastinating over a video or piece of content —I tell them they’re being selfish. I’ve done the same and instead, I ask a question: who will miss out by avoiding what has to be done? Close your eyes. Think of that person.

49. Understand the real cost of procrastination.

It’s not about getting more done —it’s waking up at 77 drenched in regret. You never started the side hustle. You never committed to the business. You never tapped into a deeper purpose. You traded dreams of security —the illusion of safety over a state of thriving. Read this from the Leap Of Your Life.

49 Ways To Stop Procrastination Resources

This season of COVID-19 can be the most stressful, anxious filled and one where you spent countless hours bickering about mask politics and going down conspiratorial rabbit holes. And if that breathes life into you, then more power to you.

But for most, it doesn’t —and I am seeing a lot of talented people lose the battle of focus and be addicted to stimulus and current events that make them feel less empowered and in control. Which is why stopping procrastination isn’t about a hack; it’s life or death.

If any of this connected with you —let me know. Take the 2020 Masterclass —the same content from my Scottsdale intensive seminar compressed to 40 minutes with a done-for-you workbook and HD video and audio. Oh, and it’s free.

Which of these is most important to you? Post to comments!

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?

own your willpower

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

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

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

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

(Damn, OK…that was just me.)

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

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

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

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

(Pro tip: always pick spicy.)

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

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

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

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

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Automate, Automate, Automate

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

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Protect Your Prime Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Harness the Vegan Principle.

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

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

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

Why does this matter?

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

When faced with too many options, we do nothing.

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

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

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

4. Seek compelling environments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Own Your Willpower, Own Your Life

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

The Rollercoaster Effect goes like this:

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

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

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

And then the cycle repeats itself over and over again.

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

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

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

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

Willpower Resources

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

The 1% Rule —reverse engineer your goals.

RescueTime —free app to track your time online.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.


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.

Tommy baker entrepreneur

27 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Stuck

By | Entrepreneurship, Lists, Uncategorized | No Comments
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?