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33 Lessons From 33 Cycles Around The Sun

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

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

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

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

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

Where I learned.

Where I fell short.

Where I created.

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

…and what truly matters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a beautiful paradox and makes our lives invigorating.

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

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

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

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

(I’ve been there, too.)

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

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

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

It’s pure wisdom.

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

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

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

What’s your inspiration?

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

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

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

I use this often when speaking to parents or family.

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

The first rule of all my programs is simple:

Drop the ego.

Without this, transformation is a pipe dream.

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

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

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

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

“When the kids are a little older.”

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

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

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

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

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

Distraction is a feedback mechanism.

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

Just be you. 

I’m intense, why would I fight it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re human, act like it.

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

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

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

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

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

I still moved forward, because I was willing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As I reflect back on this year…

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

Because today, everything changes again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But not always.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But why did I?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re here: embrace the miracle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This will spark your creativity, inspiration and perspective.

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

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

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

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

Because it does.

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

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

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

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

I encourage you to do the same.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Especially if it doesn’t make sense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We all have blind spots, including this guy.

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

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

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

What’s the worst that could happen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want clarity? Execute.

Want motivation? Execute.

Want energy? Execute.

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

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

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

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

Come on!

We all need a wake up call.

What are you waiting for?

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

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

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

28. Smile, it looks good on you.

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

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

White space is essential, no matter who you are.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please, don’t give up.

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

Which of these resonated?

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

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

17 Reasons Why You’re Afraid To Invest In Yourself

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

17 Reasons Why You’re Afraid To Invest In Yourself

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

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

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

Shit.

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

And yet, I was being called to do it.

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

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

(Although that was awesome, too.)

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

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

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

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

1. You don’t believe you’re worth it.

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

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

2. You don’t trust yourself.

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

3. You’re not truly ready.

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

It’s simply not important enough for you.

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

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

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

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

 

5. You love dreaming, but not doing.

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

And it’s free.

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

6. You don’t want to be on the hook.

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

For many, this can be daunting.

7. You’re not willing to be resourceful.

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

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

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

8. You want to stay the same.

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

Marianne Williamson said it best:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

10. You’re letting fear win.

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

These fears are always out there.

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

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

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

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

12. You’re not ready to be challenged.

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

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

13. You want to roll solo.

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

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

14. You’re not being honest with yourself.

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

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

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

 

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

15. You’re entitled and want it free.

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

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

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

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

16. You want to keep playing small.

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

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

17. You have a bad relationship with money.

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

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

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

One Can and Will Change You

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

But I was also scared and nervous.

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

We made $50,000 in one day.

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

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

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

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

By | Advice, Lists
Reading Time: 5 minutes

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

“I don’t have enough time.”

Really?

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

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

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

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

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

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would you still say yes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose something, and figure out the details later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(I’ve tried that, trust me.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(It’s not pretty.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick one and watch what happens.

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

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

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

24 Reasons Why You Haven’t Launched Your Platform

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

What’s taking so long?

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

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

Here’s what I know to be true:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next month. Next season. Next year.

Notice a common theme here?

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

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

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

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

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

Want to create clarity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your platform isn’t about you.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freedom. Flexibility. Travel. Spruced up Instagram pictures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t be intense because Gary Vaynerchuk is.

Don’t be energetic because Tony Robbins is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Hustle, grind, hustle grind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One was my grandmother.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oprah isn’t ringing your cell phone.

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

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

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

Instead of waiting to be discovered, discover yourself.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where are you holding back?

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

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

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

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

27 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started In Entrepreneurship

By | Entrepreneurship, Lists
Reading Time: 7 minutes

27 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started In Business, Life And Entrepreneurship…

What a ride. I’ve always said —there are few things out there designed to test your sanity and resilience than starting your own business and taking the entrepreneurship leap.

When I look back, I can now see how little I knew, how naive I’ve been, and how many failures I’ve been a part of.

But I can also see powerful growth, incredible results and a lifetime of lessons I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I’d figured I’d package these together and share them with you.

We’ve got no time to waste, so let’s hop in.

1. Free time means freedom. No, it doesn’t. It means insanity, anxiety and lack of direction.

I remember quitting my corporate job in a blaze of glory.  And then, I woke up the next day with no plans, no structure and nowhere to be. That’s when it hit me: free time is not freedom.

Often, unscheduled free time leads to getting in our own head about what’s not working.

2. The ‘high’ of starting out will last. Give it a few months, and it’ll be replaced with the ‘low’ of time passing with little results.

Everyone’s inspired when they first set out on their own —that’s the easy part.

However, passion will fade and be replaced by a shrinking bank account and endless reminders you’re running out of time to make your dream a reality.

(And don’t tell anyone, but newly minted entrepreneurs start to miss their bi-weekly bank deposits.)

3. You don’t have to niche down early on. Niching down when you’re new is tremendous pressure, and you may miss your audience completely.

You don’t have to sell comic book tote bags on day one. Sure, there is power in niching down eventually —but what I’ve found to be true is it paralyzes people.

As much as I love whiteboards and brainstorming, the most direct clarity you’ll achieve is by executing.

4. You’re not one funnel away. You’re not one anything away. Most things won’t work, a few will…for a little while.

…away from what, exactly? I assume from sitting on the beach in Mexico sipping a sugar laden drink and releasing all worries to the world.

This mindset assumes there’s some type of endgame —but there’s not.

5. You need a website, business card or business plan. If they make you feel better, they’re worth it. But they’re far from essential.

I’ve spent $50,000 on websites with minimal return. Often, people wait to give themselves permission until they have one of these to become ‘official.’

The problem is, there’s always something else you need to become official. How about you simply choose it instead?

PRO TIP: If you do have one of these, make it unique and different.

6. Living on purpose is easy, and you’ll always be on fire. You won’t, and some days it’s really hard.

Some days, you’re going to wish you didn’t have a dream. You’re going to wish you could simply get in line, follow orders and live the normal life.

7. You’ll feel like you have it figured out when you [insert big outcome.] No, you won’t.

Newsflash: you’ll never feel like you have it figured out. Each level of success or breakthrough will bring a new perspective, and often —more questions.

8. Passion is everything. No, it’s simply a spark to get going —skill acquisition makes you invaluable.

Passion is cheap, and can be found everywhere. Trust me, I love passion and pour myself a double every morning, but the mistake of thinking it’s enough leaves people stuck.

Instead, be ruthless with skill acquisition —this is what makes you valuable in the marketplace.

9. You have to be on every platform: blog, podcast, social media, email, etc. Not true, pick one pillar platform and dedicate yourself to it for 18 months.

Stop trying to be omnipresent early on. Instead, pick the platform that lights you up and where you can find the people you want to serve.

For me, that was the Academy podcast —because I know if someone listens to an episode and stays with us, they’re my people.

10. There’s a right time to hire someone. There isn’t, and most people won’t not because of the money, but because now they’re only left to do the essential (and that’s scary.)

One of the most difficult decisions for entrepreneurs who start to grow is their first hire. They’ll do anything and anything to avoid it.

The essential, however —are those 2-3 things you do better than anyone else and provide the most value to the marketplace.

11. Managing your emotions is a crucial skill in business, particularly as an entrepreneur.

Without a doubt, the number one skill any entrepreneur must become proficient with is the ability to manage his or her’s emotional state.

Otherwise, life and business will seem like an endless rollercoaster you can’t wait to get off.

12. Focused time to do the non-urgent, yet vitally important work is non-negotiable.

We’ve all had those days where we’re consumed with busywork, and doing a lot. Yet, we get to the end of the day and feel empty and unfulfilled.

Why? Because deep down, we know we didn’t move our lives and businesses forward in a meaningful way. This was a key topic and chapter in The 1% Rule.

13. “Grabbing coffee” usually goes nowhere and leads to someone trying to get something from you or a colossal waste of time.

Every week, I get tasked for coffee or to connect. I used to say yes, until I realized it often led to nothing of value on either side —and if I respect you enough to agree to this, I respect your time too.

(PRO TIP: Ask anyone who requests this what the objective is, and keep it to 25 minutes.)

14. With whatever you’re selling, you’re the first one one the hook. If you don’t see, and own your value…no one else will.

It starts with you. If you can’t rise above the self criticism and see the value of your work, do you think others will?

15. Early on, you’re going to have to be willing to work with people who are not even close to your target demographic. It’s okay, serve them powerfully and put in the reps.

During my entrepreneurial career, I’ve served people from all walks of life  —and taken on clients I would have never worked with today.

That’s fine, and will happen. The question is: are you willing to drop the ego and serve them powerfully?

16. You’re going to need an outlet to connect with people on the same path —specifically, to share challenges, vent and come up with solutions.

Even if all you had was a weekly meeting with 3-4 peers in your industry to discuss challenges, it would be a massive benefit to your sanity.

(PRO TIP: Your intimate relationship is NOT the place for this.)

17. This game is a (minimum) ten year commitment. If you don’t have ten years, don’t play.

The person who plays the short game is always looking for the next best thing. Why? Focus across a long period of time isn’t sexy.

18. The way you communicate your brand, product or service is as important (or sometimes more) important than the actual thing.

Seth Godin has taught me a lot of lessons, but this one really hits me. You must become obsessed .with being the best at what you do. But that’s only half of the game, you must also become obsessed how to get what you do in people’s hands.

19. You’re going to feel alone, a lot. Even in crowded rooms. Deal with it.

It’s part of the process few people talk about. In my post, The 6 Untold Secrets Of Entrepreneurs, I spoke of the challenges of solitude involved with what we do.

20. Everyone around you isn’t doing as amazing as it seems and most are trying to figure it out, too.

Protect your energy and your mindset when on social media. Yes, people are doing big things, but so are you. Don’t fall into the endless cycle of the comparison trap.

21. Only 10% of feedback, from the right people in the right context is valuable. Learn how to ask for it and discard 90%.

As you grow, it becomes inevitable you will have critics and negative feedback. Go check out the top books of all time and you’ll see a laundry list of one star reviews.

It’s okay, and remember: there’s a stark difference between valuable feedback and criticism.

(PRO TIP: as you grow in the marketplace, the critics WILL come.)

22. Every week, find one new task to delete. Space comes at a premium, and there’s always things we don’t need to be doing.

Delete, delete, delete. We’re always adding more to our plate, which I refer to as The Closet Principle. Meaning, for most of us —we wear 20% of the items in our closet 80% of the time.

23. Sharpening communication skills leads to results no matter what you do or who you are. Learn to ask better questions, listen with presence and influence.

Nothing will be more valuable than the skill of communication. While often people think this is speaking on stages or being great on video, that’s only half the battle.

Work on your empathy, body language and listening skills —and you’ll never be the same.

24. Taking time to ‘think’ and disconnect is not only great for your soul, it’s where you get life changing insights.

Thinking is a lost art in a hyper, scattered and always connected digital world. Swipe right, but not the usual kind —put your plane on Airplane mode.

25. Environment, where you live, work, train, and who you associate with becomes your anchor or catalyst. Choose wisely.

The fastest way to change your life is to change your environment. We all know which environment is no longer serving the person we want to be.

The faster you shift it, the more you’ll accelerate your results.

26. The best time to hire a coach or mentor was yesterday. Especially if you don’t have the cash…do it now.

I understand not everyone will put $25,000 on the line when they have $750 in their account and haven’t paid rent for the month.

I get it —but there’s a big opportunity cost to waiting. The moment you invest in the program, coach or mentor, you’re telling the world you’re worth it.

27. Your purpose can and will evolve, that’s part of the journey.

You don’t have to figure it all out today. Let the pressure off, and instead remember your purpose is in a constant evolution as you grow.

Resources Mentioned

What a ride it’s been, and I love being able to be the student in this game we call life. Hopefully, some of these will resonate with you on your path.

Here’s a few resources I mentioned:

What do you have to add? Let’s hear it in the comments!

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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