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The 6 Untold Secrets Of Entrepreneurs

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

Entrepreneurship is the coolest kid in class and you can’t spend much time in the business world without being exposed to it in some shape, way or form.

These days, everyone’s an entrepreneur — including your broke cousin living on your couch reselling cheap electronics on eBay.

Largely seen as a status symbol of people living passionate lives and breaking free of the corporate prison — rarely do the hard truths of entrepreneurship make it to the light.

The truth is most entrepreneurs are dying to tell someone their struggles, yet remain silent for fear of being judged, looking like a fraud or hell, simply self preservation.

In a world of nonstop Instagram I’ll Teach You How To Make Six Figures Instantly it’s important to look at the other side.

In this post, I’ll share 6 secrets most entrepreneurs won’t tell you and how they may help you be realistic with your expectations on your own journey, plus an action step to deal with each.

There’s a sense that they can’t talk about it, that it’s a weakness or a shame or something. (inc. magazine).

How Entrepreneurship Became Cool

I’ve always felt the entrepreneurship label should be earned, not self annointed.

Meaning, if someone wants to introduce me as an entrepreneur, that’s cool — but even after launching my brick and mortar fitness business, it felt odd to call myself an entrepreneur.

There’s no secret the rise of entrepreneurship has been meteoric since the 70’s — according to the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship nonprofit, every month of the year welcomes 530,000 new business owners.

I remember the day I forced myself to get fired from my corporate job because I simply didn’t have the balls to face the music if I had quit…

And damn, that felt amazing — free, abundant and just the right of exhilarating liberation.

These days, with large personalities like Gary VaynerchukGrant CardoneJames Altucher and countless others, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur…it’s the new American dream.

And that’s fantastic, in so many ways — for people’s creativity, fulfillment and our economy.

As awesome as it all is, here’s what’s really happening.

We’re On A Nonstop Rollercoaster

Entrepreneurs base a lot of their self worth on the current state of their business, which is always fluctuating.

This happens at a micro and micro level — meaning, day to day fluctuations have a severe impact on our moods, emotions and how we feel about ourselves.

Brad Hart, investor and strategist, explains:

One day you’re king kong, next you’re one of those kong chew toys. One day you’re the windshield, the next you’re the bug.

Since emotional states are highly transient to begin with, coupled with the fact that a new, urgent problem can come up at any moment — many of those who surround entrepreneurs can can fall victim to these never ending emotional storms.

Sometimes, when you’re deciding on filling your gas tank or grabbing food the rest of the day — you don’t know whether to cry or laugh.

Asking an entrepreneur how their day is going is a truly loaded question and we’re conditioned to tell others we’re fine — many times, because we feel they won’t even understand.

Furthermore, it’s almost as if we don’t want to rock that boat — I’ve always wondered if it’s fair to even do so.

Tim Askew, a CEO who wrote the article “The Peculiar Loneliness of Entrepreneurship” expands:

They truly cannot understand the unique frisson of terror that many of us wake to every day as we rise to try to methodically slay our individual business dragons. And even if they could understand, is it really fair to burden them with our existential anxiety?

ACTION STEP: If you’re experiencing rollercoaster emotions, start to take planned breaks to separate yourself from your business in your daily and weekly schedule.

We Can Never Truly Shut Our Minds Off

I did my best, I truly did…meditation, fitness, walks in nature — yet it never fully worked.

Hell, I even spent an hour a week in a sensory deprivation tank, floating in tens of thousands of pounds of epsom salt in a futuristic, egg shaped bathtub.

As entrepreneurs, especially those who run teams and have full time employees whose livelihood depends on them, it’s a 24 hour mental whirlwind.

Our minds are always thinking…

What if our sales drop and I can’t make payroll?

What if we lose our biggest client and we’re late on rent?

What if a competitor opens up a few feet away or Facebook changes the algorithm?

It’s an exhausting process that can eat away at your mental and physical energy every single day.

I asked my buddy Kolby Kay, who runs The Healthy Primate and seems to launch a new business every week, to describe a typical day:

Scared, angry, frustrated, excited, happy, anxious — that’s all before lunch. This is hard and you have to know going in that you are going to be broke, tired, hungry and alone.

Yet when it all clicks and you can help someone, build something and make your first dollar — that entrepreneurial high carries you, at least past lunch.

ACTION STEP: Find your outlet, whether it’s a fitness session, walking in nature, journaling or being social — make this you time non-negotiable.

We Often Question It All

In closed doors conversations with almost any creator I know, they question what they’re doing all the time.

Especially those who have their back up against the wall or in the startup phase where belief is the only thing driving you forward, the doubts are ever present.

This questioning can wreak havoc on you for countless reasons, including feelings of being labeled a failure or not as dedicated to your craft as you’d like others to think.

Even once markers of success are achieved, entrepreneurs suffer from high levels of imposter syndrome — or the fear of getting found out.

Admitting to others that you do question your path and business model is absolutely normal and should be shared openly, instead of simply faking that you have unlimited courage and conviction.

ACTION STEP: Acknowledge that everyone questions their life path at times and don’t beat yourself up about it, discuss it openly with people you trust or in a mastermind setting.

We’re Lonely

There was a point when I was building my fitness business that I simply let all social connections slide that didn’t serve the direct goal of business growth.

Hell, even the ones that may have grown my business I didn’t pay attention to because I was so laser focused.

This wasn’t a grand plan, it started with a slow drip, declining invitations — then becoming my new norm.

I’d pride myself on working on the business on early mornings, sundays, weekends, national holidays — grinding away on a new marketing plan or working the financials.

Which means…long periods of isolation, which are never good for the psyche.

At some point, I came to the realization that more was not better…the proverbial glass of water was full and spilling over.

Part of this was simply finding it difficult to connect with people in my current social circle who I could open to about the frustrations of managing a team, having competitors open up 10 feet away and other intricate business stressors.

ACTION STEP: Do at least two social activities a week and have a group of like minded people you can share both strategy and frustrations with.

We Fantasize About Your 9–5

I’ll admit this openly: I often fantasize about doing some of the work my friends are doing.

I quickly come back to the realization that I value freedom and independence too much, but the thought still crosses my mind.

Sure, they may not be enthralled by it and are being micromanaged with endless office politics, but there’s something alluring about being able to clock in, and clock out — knowing the livelihood of the business is on someone else’s mind.

While 9–5ers may be fantasizing about the entrepreneurial freedom of being able to travel and work remotely, many entrepreneurs look at steady paychecks, less time and energy investment and AMEX expense accounts as a pretty sweet deal.

ACTION STEP: The grass isn’t always greener and there is nothing right or wrong about your chosen path as long as it’s important to you. Make a list of 50 benefits of what you’re doing right now.

We’re Often Seen As Unemployable

After I moved on from my brick and mortar fitness business, I had already started building a new business in the online space.

Yet, I wanted to test out the waters and see what was out there.

As Gary Vaynerchuk says, there is no shame being a #2, #3, #11 or #117 of an amazing organization.

In other words — once you’ve been #1 you understand that it’s a ton of pressure.

I started to look for employment in various firms, always making sure they were either startups or had a sense of entrepreneurial spirit within their core values.

I’d have these unbelievable, riveting conversations, often with CEO’s or close to — yet never hear a call back.

One day, after applying to run digital marketing and sales for a startup in Orange County, California — I had developed a pretty cool relationship with the COO.

He basically said…

Tommy, you’re a perfect fit…yet, our team thinks you’re unemployable. What we mean is that we don’t see you staying here longer than 12–18 months before you run off and start your own deal again.

I was blown away…yes, it was an amazing compliment but at the same time it was a stark reality:

I was in too deep, and I may never get out.

If you survive on your own for too long, you become unemployable. Well, maybe you can jump into something else entrepreneurial, like somebody else’s startup. But normal employers won’t want you — Tim Berry

ACTION STEP: It may be too late for you, seriously. However, if you are looking for an opportunity use your current network and be okay asking for help, honing on organizations who value your entrepreneurial skillset.

So, What Now?

Entrepreneurship is an amazing, riveting world that has provided me with endless experiences, skills and learning that will last me a lifetime.

I’ve been able to do everything from marketing, HR, staffing, leadership, client services, events and everything in between — helping me understand life at a deeper level than any other alternative.

And the freedom, there is nothing like setting your own schedule and creating on your own — that is priceless.

Yet, it’s important to be real and honest in a world where everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and the dream has never been sold more aggressively.

Talking openly about our struggles outside of own circles is the first step to being real about our own challenges and creating a culture of honesty, support and helping others do the same.

26 Lessons From Thrive 2016

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

If you want to live an extraordinary life, then you’re going to have to do the things most people simply aren’t willing to do.

Obvious, right?

Yet, so often — we tend to expect extraordinary results while engaging in average thinking and behaviors.

Achieving an average life is simple: follow the norm, do the bare minimum and spend your time complaining about why it’s not working out.

Here are 19 ways to stay average, feel stuck, and never reach your potential.

1. Wake up at the same time as everyone else does, and start your work at 9:00 AM.

No one has any time anymore — we’re all busy in an information overload, Instagram obsessed digital era.

Yet, the successful are up and at them early — understanding by simply waking up 60 minutes early every single day, you’ve created 7 more hours to your week.

2. Do the bare minimum — enough not to get noticed and never cause a stir.

The average escapes standing out — good or bad, by simply doing the bare minimum every single day.

This mindset is the exact roadblock in the way of them achieving any type of success, or getting noticed for a new and exciting opportunity.

3. Believe everyone is out to get you, and play the victim card as often as possible.

Playing the victim card in life is an easy out. It’s the fastest, most acceptable way to let ourselves off the hook from, you know — doing the real work.

It’s also accepted. But no matter what you’ve been through, there’s always someone who achieved greatness with much worse odds.

Ditch the victim card, once and for all.

4. Wait to “feel” like doing something before getting executing.

The average love to wait until they feel like doing something in order to execute.

High performers understand this is a surefire way to stay stuck, never see any progress — and ensure nothing changes. Instead, they know execution is the pre-cursor to those feelings.

5. Always search for the easiest path possible — looking for a shortcut to any result.

The average love the path of least resistance — it’s encoded in their DNA, while high performers love a great challenge.

The easy path, taking a shortcut — these are all missed opportunities to sharpen our minds and face resistance head on.

6. Never take personal responsibility and accountability, but blame others.

For the average, nothing is ever their fault. They’re the fastest to blame someone else — and will go to great lengths to convince themselves they’re right.

7. Gossip about the people around you, your boss, the ex that did you wrong 14 years ago.

The average love spending their time talking about people. It makes them feel better about their circumstances, however fleeting.

Specifically, they love talking about what person did them wrong, and why they’re the ones to blame for their lack of success or results.

8. Put yourself in rooms of average achievers — so you feel right at home.

The average won’t be found in uncomfortable rooms of world class achievers and those who challenge them to bring out nothing but their absolute best.

Why? Because this is a vulnerable state — and a stark reminder of what they haven’t done.

9. Consume useless information in the realms of celebrity news, sports gossip, and politics.

When you’ve decided to give up on thinking and acting big — you revert to the most consumable information available.

This includes anything in the realms of celebrity news, sports gossip, politics and more.

10. Never take action on what you really want — or get honest with yourself in the first place.

The average have all the ideas, yet nothing to show for it. They know what it takes to be successful, build a lean body, thriving relationship and achieve all their dreams.

Yet, it’s all a fantasy — because they never had the audacity to get started.

11. Bicker, complain and feel entitled when someone else gets the chance and achieves a win.

When the average see someone else win, they bicker and complain — instead of acknowledging their success.

It’s always because they knew someone, or had a special connection, or some other reason than the truth: they chose to go above and beyond.

12. Eat crappy foods, get high off sugar and wreck all of the mental and physical bandwidth available to you.

When asked about the most important habit for people to build their entrepreneurial dreams — mogul Richard Branson simply said “exercise.”

The average place a low value on their physical body, and instead chase pleasure with food that winds up making them feel tired, sluggish and repeats the endless cycle of feeling stuck.

13. Be a starter, but never finish. Allow circumstances to always get in the way, and make countless excuses.

Average people love starting. They love the dance party, motivational Red Bull seminar and declaring their dreams.

But they never finish — and often fold at the first sign of challenge and adversity.

14. Spend your precious time bringing others down — finding ways to spread negativity and criticism.

Average people love bringing other’s down — and spreading negativity in regards to how they achieved success.

They’ll find any way to discredit their hard work, grit and persistence — and rarely celebrate the accomplishments and wins of those in their circle.

15. Avoid tough conversations with others that must be had — and most importantly, with the person in the mirror.

The average don’t like to engage in tough conversations. They tend to avoid, distract or make excuses for these — because they’re afraid of what they may find.

Most importantly, they’re unwilling to have the honest conversations with themselves.

16. Instead of answering life’s toughest questions — distract yourself as soon as they come up and drown them out with noise.

Those who experience extraordinary success and results are usually growth mindset oriented — and never stop learning.

Part of this is the personal journey of discovery and always being humble enough to be the student.

17. Follow the herd constantly, instead of trusting your inner voice and guidance.

The average follow the herd, and adopt a mentality of seeking answer’s and guidance outside of themselves.

They don’t trust their own voice, and rarely spend time cultivating it through deep inner work, challenging conversations and experiences.

18. Let others define success for you, and live a life that someone else wanted for you — your parents, your social circle, society.

The average haven’t defined success for their lives — and often wind up stuck in no man’s land. There’s no clarity, passion or drive.

Life feels mundane in this place and they are one step from resigned.

19. Fall in love with (perceived) security and always take the ‘safe’ path — even though part of you is screaming not to.

For the average, the secure and safe path is what they’re seeking —and they live in a world of complacency.

The extraordinary know life is to be lived — and the adventure is what gives us the thrill of being alive.

Do you want to be average or extraordinary?

If these behaviors light you up — more power to you.

But here’s the truth:

A lot of people “want” to be extraordinary — until it’s time to do what extraordinary people do.

There’s a reason only 5% of people achieve any of their dreams, goals, and desires.

Because the rest aren’t willing to go above and beyond and do what’s required to live an extraordinary life.

5 Questions To Step Into Your Daily Power

By | Writing
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Q uestions are the most powerful tool we can use to increase abundance, outlook, achievement, and ultimately the level of fulfillment that we experience every day in our life. To quote Tony Robbins, John Demartini and other transformational leaders…

The quality of your life is based on the quality of the questions.

Many times, our own self-talk is limited, to say the least.

It’s limited in our beliefs, our reality of what we’re able to experience and largely influenced by childhood experiences from parents, teachers and anchoring experiences which taught us to dream a little less.

It Starts With Awareness

You wake up from a deep slumber and out of nowhere, thoughts start rushing to your mind with the speed and intensity of a freight train.

“How can I get through this day?”

“How can I afford to pay my bills?”

“Why are they getting the results that I’m not?”

“How can I get as fast as possible to Friday?”

“Why can’t I find my dream partner?

Notice the words I’ve italicized — they all share a common theme, forcing our mindsets to constrict and not expand.

If you study any type of science, any type of biology, any type of developmental psychology, you will understand that the purpose of life is growth.

If all of our questions are going directly against that purpose, then we’re doing ourselves a massive disservice, and it’s no wonder why most of us feel stuck.

As a student of NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, I’ve been fascinated with how the language we use on ourselves and others shapes our reality.

Below, we’ll go through 5 questions designed to open up your mind, leave your old self behind and craft a mindset designed to achieve any result you’d like.

What am I grateful for today?

This is the first question that I ask myself in the morning and teach all my clients to do exactly the same.

When we’re in deep, authentic gratitude — there is simply no space for stress, frustration or victim games.

Upon waking, most people immediately shift into a high stress mode, thinking of what’s missing, what they don’t have, what urgent, yet unimportant tasks have to be done.

What we focus on expands, which fills our headspace the rest of the day and is exactly why we can’t be present in a conversation a few hours later or at dinner with the family at night.

Use this question as a reminder that your biggest stressor in life is someone else’s dream luxury.

Who can I create value for today?

Life is all about creating value for other people — whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, this is an essential question to ask.

Shifting your attention away from yourself and instead on serving others is how you create impact, fulfillment and ultimately — financial abundance.

Adding value can be anything — going above and beyond for a co-worker, grabbing someone a coffee, a random act of kindness, helping an elderly person with the groceries or simply caring a little deeper.

As one of my good friends likes to eloquently say:

Give a shit.

In a world where few people actually care, you’ll feel more fulfilled and connect with a part of you designed to be part of a collective.

What is one action step I can do to move forward today?

What I see in most people who don’t move forward with something they want is a lack of trust in themselves to achieve completion.

As humans, we need constant proof that they are moving forward and inching closer — even a little sign of progress is powerful.

What this question opens up is the power of Kaizen — the Japanese concept of steady, continuous improvement focused on playing the long game.

In a world of instant gratification and social media, the long game truly wins and can set us up for a day full of success, simply by taking a simple action every day.

The key word is simple; launching your bestseller tomorrow is highly unlikely.

However, blocking out 30 minutes of undistracted writing time on your outline is very realistic.

Or maybe you want to be a public speaker and get paid $10,000 for a speech.

Today’s step may be to research a local Toastmaster’s club or attend your first meeting.

How do I want to be remembered?

This is a deeper, legacy-based question — because in the day to day to day life, we forget that life is fleeting and this experience will be over soon.

Steve Jobs harnessed this reminder, saying:

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

So, how do you want to remembered?

List those traits out and answer the question, then consciously choose to operate in that way…today.

The purpose of this question is to dream bigger — have the audacity to know you can pull it off, while understanding you can work towards that at this very moment.

Did I give everything I had today?

Reflection is an important part of growth because many times we go through life at a mile a minute, and never really spend time reflecting.

That’s why I teach my Sunday Reflection to countless people — because celebrating our wins and setting the path for the next week is of utmost importance.

Asking this question at the end of the day is powerful and knowing that if you showed up with full intention and effort, despite the outcome — is what truly matters.

In other words, it’s a practice of detachment and allows you to let go and surrender at the end of the day.

The Question Challenge

Asking the right questions, like anything else — takes practice and is like working a muscle in the gym.

Imagine if you could train yourself to think abundantly in every situation, so much so that it became your standard way of operating.

To do this, write down 20 questions that open up your vision, abundance, creativity and possibility every single day for the next 7 days and see how this begins to shift your worldview.

You’ll become more creative, resourceful, fun to be around and oh yeah — way less stressed.

We cling to celebrity stories and shocking break-ups.

We get high off sports teams victories and get crushed at losses.

We identify with political campaigns and a us vs. them mentality.

…all because we’re filling a void that must be filled.

A universal law states that nature will fill a vacuum, so where there’s space — something will go in.

If your life’s purpose can’t be identified, or you’re simply going through the motions — something is going to fill it and the lowest denominator are things like sports, gossip, reality TV and politics because you need to feel like you’re living a dream, even if it’s someone else’s.

Wherever You Are, Be There

I was in Sedona with my girlfriend recently and we were in the beginning stages of our awesome relationship.

Sedona is a spiritual mecca of sorts — a work of beauty and a place where people go to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unplug or do some type of adventure or retreat.

We’re sitting at a quaint, typical Sedona wine bar — full of culture and glorious people watching, and of course, some deep conversation.

The wine is flowing and we’re having an absolute blast.

Out of nowhere, a table of 15 people roar, hands flailing in the air — many stand up and everyone’s looking in our direction.

“We’re cool, but not that cool…”, I thought — wondering what this could be.

We both turn around and there’s a tiny, low definition television playing a March Madness basketball game, you know — where 19 year olds are playing out their dreams.

We glance for a second, shrug — and go back to our conversation.

To me, this was a fantastic sign of having a deeper connection and a mindset alignment with someone but it also taught me a valuable lesson on purpose.

It was shocking to me how much energy was created in that moment towards a 19 year old kid living out his dream thousands of miles away.

Breaking Free From The Matrix

This post may sound like it’s coming from judgement, but it’s not.

See, like many others, I used to live the life above — spending countless hours consuming information with stuff that really didn’t fucking matter.

I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with sports, hell, I’ve learned some amazing lessons from athletes as I grew up about work ethic, passion and being a pro.

But if you ask yourself the question others aren’t willing to, such as:

Is consuming this information serving me, i.e. getting me closer to what I want or not serving me, i.e. getting me furtheraway to what I want?

If you answer truthfully and the answer is no, then you’ve got to make a decision.

We talk a lot about the nutrition we fuel our bodies with but rarely mention the information that you know, shapes our brains.

It’s no surprise that we live in a culture based on fear — because even if we’re not consciously consuming it, this information is rewiring our brains to operate from that place.

First Steps

It begins with a choice of understanding that you can create a new reality for yourself right now — this moment.

Here are 3 powerful practical exercises that can move you towards your deeper purpose and help you live a more inspired life on a daily basis.

Create a vision and visualize every last detail.

Wake up 10 years from now in 2026 and imagine you’ve achieved your wildest dreams, don’t hold back. Imagine what it’s like to wake up in this place, who you’re with, what you’re thinking and doing and the environment that surrounds you. Write everything down that comes to mind without judgement or feelings of “I can’t do that…”

Write a letter to yourself.

Write yourself a letter from the place above. Imagine telling the you right now all the lessons, experiences, opportunities, hardships that you encountered along the way and how fulfilling it feels to have lived your vision out loud.

Take one tiny step, and then another.

Every single day, take one action that moves you closer to the above. If you’ve crafted a vision (which puts you in the 5%) then you have a dot on the map you can move towards, which is 100x more powerful than winging it and all it takes is one step to build massive amounts of momentum.

The 30 Day Challenge

I’ll admit it, the above isn’t easy.

It wasn’t until I was moving apartments that I looked at my TV on the ground and thought to myself…

Should I even hang that up?

I didn’t — and the next 9 months were the most immersive, rewarding and chock full of learning that I had ever experienced.

So, if you’re ready — I urge you to take the 30 day challenge which entails no TV for 30 days.

It’s going to be hard at first but once you go a week without and see who you’re becoming — you’ll never look back.

The Uninspired Life Of Television

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

J oe is sitting on the edge of his seat as the clock counts down for the last few seconds and the team he’s a devoted fan of has one last chance to kick a game-tying field goal. His palms are sweating, heart racing a mile a minute and he’s pacing around the room, living in that moment between anxiousness and excitement.

The team lines up to for the kick and he stares intensely and with extreme focus as the ball is snapped and the kick is up in the air in what seems like slow motion.

As the football goes through the uprights, he roars in delight — feeling free, powerful and on top of the world — his favorite team won.

His wife notices and plays along, smiling, a few high fives but deep down thinks to herself:

Wow, I haven’t seen that passion for life in years and years.

Inspiration Through Pixels

Joe’s story is quite common and most people can relate to an instance similar to the above.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with viewing sports — but the question becomes:

Do you live vicariously through sports, celebrities and politics?

Many of us feel a lack on a day to day basis, we’ve been conditioned that certain things will make us happy — jobs, cars, relationships, you know — external objects.

And we work our asses off for these things while experiencing the true joys of life on the side, almost a byproduct of our striving to accumulate the above.

This constant pursuit of the external is so imbedded as the fabric of our culture that we bypass and willfully ignore practices, insights and the journey of going within.

After years and years, we get there and then realize, wow — it feels good for moments, but overall, it’s a fleeting feeling.

It’s not what we expected … and that can crush us, leading to questions such as:

This is what I gave up everything for?

Let’s look at why this happens.

Happiness, Defined

Aristotle described the two types of happiness:

 Momentary happiness, experienced through a large sum of cash, a cold beer, headed to a vacation, sex, adventure, etc.

→ Long term happiness, experienced through pursuing a chief aim in line with one’s values, contribution, working on oneself, longevity.

There’s clear distinctions between these two and most people spend their days trying to fill their cup with momentary happiness because of what it does to our brains.

Long term happiness is that deep fulfillment that wakes us up inspired and grounded with a sense that we’re contributing to this experience called life.

The former is the hollow feeling of knowing that can’t last, leaving us to cling on to the feeling and rationalize why we don’t feel as good as we thought we would.

So we get back to the point of living through other people’s dreams.

We internalize a sports team or an athlete’s journey, their own Hero’s Journey and make it our own because we lack that passion, fire and pursuit of what Napoleon Hill called a chief aim in our own lives.

We cling to celebrity stories and shocking break-ups.

We get high off sports teams victories and get crushed at losses.

We identify with political campaigns and a us vs. them mentality.

…all because we’re filling a void that must be filled.

A universal law states that nature will fill a vacuum, so where there’s space — something will go in.

If your life’s purpose can’t be identified, or you’re simply going through the motions — something is going to fill it and the lowest denominator are things like sports, gossip, reality TV and politics because you need to feel like you’re living a dream, even if it’s someone else’s.

Wherever You Are, Be There

I was in Sedona with my girlfriend recently and we were in the beginning stages of our awesome relationship.

Sedona is a spiritual mecca of sorts — a work of beauty and a place where people go to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unplug or do some type of adventure or retreat.

We’re sitting at a quaint, typical Sedona wine bar — full of culture and glorious people watching, and of course, some deep conversation.

The wine is flowing and we’re having an absolute blast.

Out of nowhere, a table of 15 people roar, hands flailing in the air — many stand up and everyone’s looking in our direction.

“We’re cool, but not that cool…”, I thought — wondering what this could be.

We both turn around and there’s a tiny, low definition television playing a March Madness basketball game, you know — where 19 year olds are playing out their dreams.

We glance for a second, shrug — and go back to our conversation.

To me, this was a fantastic sign of having a deeper connection and a mindset alignment with someone but it also taught me a valuable lesson on purpose.

It was shocking to me how much energy was created in that moment towards a 19 year old kid living out his dream thousands of miles away.

Breaking Free From The Matrix

This post may sound like it’s coming from judgement, but it’s not.

See, like many others, I used to live the life above — spending countless hours consuming information with stuff that really didn’t fucking matter.

I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with sports, hell, I’ve learned some amazing lessons from athletes as I grew up about work ethic, passion and being a pro.

But if you ask yourself the question others aren’t willing to, such as:

Is consuming this information serving me, i.e. getting me closer to what I want or not serving me, i.e. getting me furtheraway to what I want?

If you answer truthfully and the answer is no, then you’ve got to make a decision.

We talk a lot about the nutrition we fuel our bodies with but rarely mention the information that you know, shapes our brains.

It’s no surprise that we live in a culture based on fear — because even if we’re not consciously consuming it, this information is rewiring our brains to operate from that place.

First Steps

It begins with a choice of understanding that you can create a new reality for yourself right now — this moment.

Here are 3 powerful practical exercises that can move you towards your deeper purpose and help you live a more inspired life on a daily basis.

Create a vision and visualize every last detail.

Wake up 10 years from now in 2026 and imagine you’ve achieved your wildest dreams, don’t hold back. Imagine what it’s like to wake up in this place, who you’re with, what you’re thinking and doing and the environment that surrounds you. Write everything down that comes to mind without judgement or feelings of “I can’t do that…”

Write a letter to yourself.

Write yourself a letter from the place above. Imagine telling the you right now all the lessons, experiences, opportunities, hardships that you encountered along the way and how fulfilling it feels to have lived your vision out loud.

Take one tiny step, and then another.

Every single day, take one action that moves you closer to the above. If you’ve crafted a vision (which puts you in the 5%) then you have a dot on the map you can move towards, which is 100x more powerful than winging it and all it takes is one step to build massive amounts of momentum.

The 30 Day Challenge

I’ll admit it, the above isn’t easy.

It wasn’t until I was moving apartments that I looked at my TV on the ground and thought to myself…

Should I even hang that up?

I didn’t — and the next 9 months were the most immersive, rewarding and chock full of learning that I had ever experienced.

So, if you’re ready — I urge you to take the 30 day challenge which entails no TV for 30 days.

It’s going to be hard at first but once you go a week without and see who you’re becoming — you’ll never look back.

The Time I Got Asked If I Had Drugs For Lunch

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A couple years ago, I met up with an old friend. It was one of those meet ups where you know better, but you follow through for nostalgic reasons. In the past 4–5 years, my circle of “friends” has gone from pretty large, to medium, to now relatively small.

Maybe it was Drake who so eloquently stated, “I got a small circle, I’m not with different crews” — yep, that just happened.

Looking back at a time when I had a larger circle, I’m not sure how many I would actually categorize as “real” friends.

My requirements for a friend these days are quite rigorous, and just because we had a connection in the past doesn’t mean much anymore.

You can call it changing, growing or simply:

Raising your fucking standards.

Environment Matters

As I stated above, what I look for in connections, friendships and even one-time associations (or as Fight Club calls them, single serving friends) has grown exponentially.

If you don’t fit the bill, I’m out — and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way but rather, in a way that I respect my time and your time enough to not waste it.

There’s a universal law that states that nature abhors a vacuum — simply put, if you don’t your life with positive, inspiring people that push you to grow then it’ll be filled with whatever’s left.

Usually that’s going to be the lowest common denominator, which are negative, scarcity-minded, gossip practicing people.

Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter how driven or passionate you are…environment matters.

I can take the most positive, uplifting person and insert them in a room with 99 negative, pissed off people.

The first day, week or couple months they may be the same person — but check back in a year and there is no doubt they would have taken on other’s energy, worldview and habits.

Redefining Friendship

We all need to be hanging around people who challenge, support, inspire, question and connect with us on deeper levels.

From a biological standpoint, we understand we are primed for growth at the union of support and challenge.

Having a circle that supports what you do and lifts you up is important.

Even more so, having those that hold you accountable and see your potential so intensely and vividly that they’ll ask the tough questions…that’s power.

Demanding our friends call us out is the ultimate sign of respect and ultimately — love.

This means if I told someone that I would launch a new business or get a certain guest on my Podcast and it hasn’t happened — I want them to ask me why.

And I know they won’t believe my excuses or stories.

We have each other’s backs, in a very real way — that’s rare these days.

Go To Your Inspiration

Going to a bar to watch a sports game with a bunch of dudes to complain about relationships, work and life just doesn’t cut it for me…at all.

If that’s your cup of tea right, it’s all good, but ask yourself:

Does this serve me?

Years ago, I found out I can’t fake that anymore.

Instead, I’ll crush a hike in nature with someone who I can have an open discussion about aspirations, current challenges or roadblocks.

Or we’ll experience an event together and talk about spirituality, business, how it can be applied to our lives.

Maybe we’ll hit an an intense workout and get on a whiteboard and ask tough questions about where we’re going in life and see if we can find some new perspective.

Dude, What Drug Are You On?

Let’s get back to the meet up with the old friend, whom I met for lunch.

I’m always hesitant with these meetings, because talking about the past and reliving the glory days is something I’m over.

I’ve got too much to be excited about right now and I much rather talk about that.

I decided to do it because I had been working so hard on myself and my business and told my mentor I’d say yes to more social outings.

I carved out time in my schedule and decided to make it happen.

We’re sitting down, ordering food and catching up, the usual. We described what we were both doing, current projects, future plans, etc.

Without judging, let’s just say he didn’t have a ton going on in his life and seemed stuck in the prior decade.

And that’s fine too — we can’t expect everyone to be at that point all the time, everyone’s on a journey.

I got asked about what I’m doing, and I naturally lit up, spoke louder, got excited, animated, that’s the norm for me.

When you talk about something you love, you see an uptick in energy and enthusiasm no matter who you are and for me it’s like rocket fuel.

That’s what happens when you live in power, are inspired and know that the only limit on your expansion is yourself.

Halfway through the conversation as I’m detailing what I am doing he stops me and asks…

“Dude, hold on…are you on something? On some sort of drug right now?”

He was absolutely dead serious.

I was stopped halfway through a sentence and wasn’t sure how to answer.

“Uh…no, what are you talking about? I’m pumped about what I do”.

There was an awkward pause, a few moments of silence and it completely killed the conversation from that point on.

He was either so used to people who have such low energy or don’t care about anything that when I lit up it completely startled and shocked him.

To me, it was a splash of cold water in the face to wake me up to never hang out with people like that again.

Cutting The Cord

I was on a coaching call the other day and we basically agreed that…

Everyone is starving for connection.

However, we are ultimately left unfulfilled with most connections because they lack depth and conviction.

As hard as it may sound, if your network and circle are lacking right now you simply need to start cutting the cord.

Once you start create new pockets of space and energy for new people to come in, plus putting yourself in environments where they are — you’ll naturally attract them into your life.

One by one, you’ll start building up a new circle.

It takes a little time, patience and vulnerability — but trust me, it’s worth it.

I look at my circle right now and it’s full of incredible conversations, connections and those that inspire me when I’m on 3 hours sleep.

You can have that too.

Last Words

Look at your life right now.

Is there any area in which you could raise your standards or quality of your relationships?

Remember: you have the power to choose who you surround yourself with every single day.

Choose wisely.

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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