I’m Baaaaaack

For those of you asking…where did you go?

Here I am. Back on the blog.

I took a few months off to evaluate the direction of a few things in my life and this blog was one of them. To be completely candid with any of you readers, I wanted to know if it would be missed. Spending 50+ hours a week running a national media agency, trying to be a good dad & husband, time with friends, etc. All hours need to be evaluated.

Again, would the blog be missed?

If it wasn’t, or no one brought it up in 90 days, I knew a couple things. One of them was I wasn’t really impacting the lives of my tribe. In all reality, there wasn’t really a tribe if there was no appetite for consuming the content. Removing emotion from these findings was going to be key.  My Ego wanted the work to continue, but we all know Ego can be quite the adversary.

Secondly, I needed to recommit. Commit to continued ideation and thought sharing. Commit to pushing myself into new thoughts/ideas/strategies. Commit to sharing the ideas and impacting lives of my readers. In the end, that’s what it is about. Impact. Even if it is just one person.

I have this fear deeply ingrained in our office culture. We are a tight knit group, and If we part ways with a team member, or visa versa, my biggest fear is the following day…everyone moves on. They’re not missed. You need a team, a culture, a product that if removed…there is a void.  Otherwise, you didn’t have anything to begin with and the end is near.

On another related topic, I had a friend tell me I should start A Keen Mind podcast. Can you imagine listening to episodes of my boyish voice?!? Still evaluating that idea. To be totally honest…I’m really in love with it, because i think my talents are better suited for audio and storytelling than writing. That, and one of my favorite “jobs” would be sports talk radio host. Why not do it on my won, with the format I choose?

I actually considered turning the primary driver of the blog into podcast form. However, as I’ve said before in learnings from Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby), if it isn’t a “HELL YES”, then the answer is “No.” I’m still evaluating.

PS – If any of you have strong feelings on this topic, please share honestly with me. Good or bad.

In the downtime I also took the time to consume some new content. A couple pieces specifically impacting my current mindset are:

  • As a Man Thinketh (audiobook) – 55 minutes of simple, yet, deep thinking
  • The Joe Rogan Experience – This guy’s commitment to his show, his craft, and the litany of guests/topics is energizing. I’m listening every morning to 5-10 minutes. Here is a link to some of his simple genius
  • All things Chris Sacca. If you don’t know who he is, get introduced on this Tim Ferriss Show episode.

Trusted old partners I continue to consume on a daily basis are still in play. Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris, we haven’t met yet (YET!), but you continue to mentor and mold my day-to-day thoughts and actions. I also continue to listen to Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph about 1-2x per week as well.

A phrase you’ll hear me use around the office frequently with our team is “PLAY OFFENSE” – take the fight to the enemy. That’s what I’m here to do with A Keen Mind.

Play offense.



Living Life’s Contradictions

I believe, life is meant to be lived on both sides of the coin, not the extremely narrow margin on the rim…never tipping one way, or the other.

For goodness sakes…please try BOTH. Now!

How could one day, I act one way, and then, a short time later, be on the entire other side of the spectrum? Because I believe life is about managing both sides of a situation, learning from it, growing as a person, and living as a contradiction the entire time.

My life is one big contradiction.

Some people have a BIG problem with this. Like it was once written: a person can only stand for one thing, or act only one way for their entire life. I know what that sounds like…BORING.

Curious as to what I’m thinking about?  Here are the contradictions I’m living at this very moment.

  1. Money – I’m traditionally a very frugal person. I’m an investor, a saver, playing the long game. However, how do you know how many turns on this earth you get? None of us know. That being said, every so often I’ll spend money like a teenager with my first paycheck in hand. New Jeans – Yup.  New Sneakers – yup. New Johnston and Murphy – why not.  Anything else I can find in that 24 hr period. Contradiction. Yin and Yang. Stretch and reflex. Contradiction.
  2. Work-Life Balance – I’m not about finding 50/50 balance in the often talked about, seldom lived, zen world of “work-life balance”. I think “balance” is whatever makes a person happy. For me, that’s a few weeks in a row of being really into work. I mean INTO it, thinking about it in the morning, on the weekends, at night, etc. Studying it. Burying myself in the business and thinking about it. I love it. Conversely, a couple times a year I love just unplugging for a few days to clear the body and brain. No connection. No pitches or P&Ls. Stretch and Reflex. Contradiction. Balance so it seems, for me.
  3. Management – I’ve always believed a leader must lead from the front, and yet, can’t ever be afraid to jump in and “push the broom” so the saying goes. Alternatively, spend too much time in the details or “pushing the broom” and others can’t grow. Challenges in delegating show themselves like a bad skin rash. Contradiction…do both!  When and where it makes sense. Many aren’t comfortable with this grey advice.  I’m sorry. It’s reality. If there was a leadership equations for the 100’s of personalities out there, we’d of figured it out by now.
  4. Tortoise and Hare – There are places in my life I can think very long term and exercise tremendous patience. There are MANY others where I’m consistently impatient (ask my better half)…like REALLY impatient. Focusing every day on what can be moved, improved or accomplished now. Many small wins, compounded over time (Slight Edge Principles) is how the game is won. Consistently balancing the tight-wire of when to push, and when to pause and let be. Contradiction.  Be patient but also be ready to SPEED UP!!! FASTER FASTER.
  5. Time – I believe in investing in others. Investing in their hopes, dreams, causes, and helping think through troubles. Knowing that somewhere in the world, the good deed will come back my way and bear fruit because I’ve sure needed the help! Somehow. Someway.  Alternatively, and admittedly so (The Right Selfish), I can get very selfish with my time. Focusing much of my energy internally to audit my thoughts, feelings, and current path in life. It is a “Give and Keep” tug of war. Contradiction.

I believe humans need and thrive in some element of change and/or newness. Stay status quo and insurmountable boredom takes over. Ask any client who has fired an agency because, “they’re happy, but wanted to see something new” – that’s called losing!

Structure is good, but boredom is without a doubt the enemy of Thriving. Thriving is the key to happiness. This is why I live the contradiction. Balancing what works or normal on one hand, while not being afraid to cut ties and try something entirely opposite on the other. Why not?

That is balance for me.

It might not work for you or anyone else for that matter.  But that’s the point.

Find your balance.

ACTION ITEM: Find and embrace your contradictions. Balance ensues and you’ll grow in the process.

What Story Are You Committed To?

What story are you committed to telling yourself?

You know, the one about why you are exactly where you are today.  Maybe a better ask is understanding the question,”How did I end up here?”

  • Whose fault is that?
  • Who do you have to thank?
  • What stands, or stood in your way?

I’d like to tell you a story about a guy I know

He grew up in a pretty small town, fewer than 5,000 people. A place many would consider the “middle of no where.” As if that wasn’t enough, he grew up across the street from a prison with 1,500+ criminal offenders. Not exactly the place you think about for the “perfect childhood”or the playground across the street.

His parents worked very hard. His Mom commuted about 40 minutes each way to work for the government. Its a job she started early in her 20’s and one she would retire doing 35+ years later. Imagine 30+ years of that commute. Every day. No easy outs.

His Dad was a school teacher. Not exactly raking in the Benjamins and splashing 100’s on the table during vacations. That said, for the first 10-12 years of this child’s life his dad worked 5-6 days a week to supplement his family’s income in addition to his career as a teacher.  Doing the math, his Dad worked 70 hours a week or more.

As he grew up he was a good student, but never a genius. Maybe a bit of a daydreamer, and more than anything he loved doodling during class.

He went off to college and eventually into the real world of working, but not before interning for nine months. Nine months of working (for free) and didn’t earn one penny of income while in school. What a bad break to not make a single dollar.

He started working the day after college graduation making $24,000/yr. Doesn’t sound like much…

I wonder what ever happened to him…with a story like this?

Maybe you’d like another version?

I grew up in small town (Anamosa, IA) in the middle of no where, across the street from a prison (Anamosa State Penitentiary). It’s a really beautiful structure if you ever get the chance to see it. It resembles a castle, or you could swear it was used as the backdrop in Shawshank Redemption. My parents live there to this day and we have 24/7 surveillance and security. Even a couple snipers. Pretty tough to beat, unless you’re the president.

My parents worked so hard to give my sister and I the childhood we had. We were so rich with opportunity. Anything we wanted to try, they made available as a result of their hard work and dedication. I’m sure we heard no from time to time, but I don’t remember it.

My Dad worked those two jobs for all those years because he was unreasonable in the pursuit of giving my Mom, my sister and I a life we could make the most of. He sold the drywall business when we got to be a little older and when he hit 55, he retired as well. What a dream come true!

My Mom worked for 35+ years and is also retired. She earned every bit of it. If she wasn’t working, she was shuffling one of us two kids around somewhere, and I can’t ever remember her complaining about it for a second. Even when we were brats (maybe too often).

I was never the smartest guy in school, and I’m still not, but I continue to learn. Most importantly I’m learning to ask better questions. I also continue to sketch and doodle because that’s partially what I do for a career. I think it’s safe to say that part will never leave me.

I’m extremely thankful for my internship experience having worked those nine months for free because that experience got me my first real job and that first adult paycheck. That’s when things got real and I really started learning what business and selling was really about. Looking back, I made every penny back, and then some.

Long story long. My story isn’t worthy of a 10 minute local news piece, but that’s not the point. The point is all about mindset. I will always be a guy from a small town, and I’m also not afraid to walk the streets of Manhattan to compete for opportunity.

Are you without?  Is life happening to you?

Or, are you Grateful?

ACTION ITEM: Everyone is living out the story they’re committed to this very moment. Your story —->Your Life

What’s happening in your life today, is a direct result of mindset, and the story you’re committed to.

Change your story, change the outcomes!

What if We Lived in a Trailer?


I asked this question to my wife a few months back.

What if we lived in a trailer?
Imagine the look on her face…

Odd question I know, and in no means do I mean to offend anyone. It’s just that…I’ve never lived in a trailer. That said, I can promise you one thing, I’m not afraid of it either.

There comes a point when you have to realize something.

What are you afraid to lose?

I came to the following conclusion. If I have my wife, and my son, we’ll figure it out from there. What else is there to really worry about?

  • House?
  • Car?
  • Vacations?
  • Clothing?
  • Stuff?

I won’t lie one bit. I like to have nice things as much as the next guy, but reading stoic philosophy led me to a better understanding of how to see things for what they really are and nothing more. As Ryan Holiday puts it in his book The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Filet Mignon – Aged animal carcass
Great Wine – Old grapes
A beautiful car – transportation

If you’re worried about what your “friends” will think, I’ll give you the obvious answer.

They’re probably not really your friends. Move on.

By all means have fun. Experience all life has to offer and don’t feel one bit of guilt. But don’t get over committed to an empty and endless pursuit of more.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to take a chance or two along the way. The fear of losing your expensive car lease needs to be reevaluated.

This feeling of freedom will provide you all the energy and clear vision you need to achieve your goals.

ACTION ITEM: It’s ok to be afraid, but don’t be afraid of losing the wrong stuff.

Words of Encouragement

Words of Encouragement

You know that moment when you need a bit of encouragement?

Just a little morsel to curb your appetite for quitting…or maybe my own.

I received a few of them this year and I’d love to share them with you. I’m doing this for a couple reasons. The first is because I wanted the tribe to see what it means to tell someone how you or what you’re doing is POSITIVELY impacting someone else’s life.  The second (to be totally candid) is selfish. I wanted to get them down so I couldn’t lose them and could resort back to these notes in a time of need.

The first bit of encouragement came in response to a Christmas Thank You I sent out to all Keen Mind subscribers.  I was blown away by the response.

It sure has been a wonderful year and I am quite impressed with the evolution of your blog!  You continue to push the envelope and provide relevant topics that stretch the mind of your followers.  The straight-forward no bullshit approach to address real life situations and how one can make an impact is why you have such a solid group behind you.  Keep doing what you’re doing and continually find a way to make this even better!

On a personal note I just wanted to say “thank you.”  We’ve had multiple discussions about our careers and by now you probably understand that I look up to you.  I’ve always been motivated and passionate about succeeding but needed to find a way to put my stamp on things.  The world didn’t know the real “me” but your success and swagger drove me to figure out how to elevate my game.

Over the past few years I’ve done a much better job of that simply by buckling down and focusing on the “essential” things that will help me fulfill my true potential.  That means admitting that I didn’t communicate well enough, had no “brand”, and lacked executive presence.  I jointed Toastmasters and attended a few Communication Skills trainings that helped me gain a lot of confidence.  I eliminated the so called “comfort zone” by putting myself in the best possible situations to be seen, heard, and respected in a whole different way – regardless if I was ready or not.  “Act as if” has been a big part of my 360, something that I didn’t just adopt from the movie Boiler Room but I what also I read in your blogs and can see in your eyes.

I refused to fail and not contribute at the level that I know I could.  Although I’m not where I want to be I am a hell of a lot closer than I was two years ago.  You’ve helped me get to this point and will help me get to where I want to be.  So again, thank you for inspiring me to be better.  Your blogs, our conversations, and the audiobooks you recommend all are paying dividends.  Take care and I hope you enjoy the holidays with your family!

This is THE BEST!

I can tell you this is a different person than a couple years ago.  I can feel the surge in confidence just in this writing.

Here is another from a peer of mine who recently took over ownership of a restaurant.  A massive step in the direction of his goals. Ownership is awesome, but what he’s doing here is what really made my day.

Zac, I took a leap. We had our first staff meeting since I bought the business a couple weeks ago. I let them know we were going to build on the previous “family culture” and develop a “goal-oriented family culture”.

Meaning, to work at the restaurant and accomplish my goal of building other restaurants in small towns with our culture, I need a staff who understands what it means to set and accomplish realistic and measurable goals.

So, everyone was tasked with coming up with a goal to accomplish by April/May. We’re writing the goals ON the hallway wall in the back of the restaurant so everyone can see them!!! I have been blessed to see this idea start so well. Attached is a picture of our guest entrance in the back. (Kept private for the team members and their goals)

Goal setting, for team members of a restaurant…FANTASTIC.

Lastly this one was a very quick one, but it was from an old client of mine.  One whose respect I hoped to earn over the years and I admire the way he goes about his day.  It was a simple note he dropped me on LinkedIn one day.

I’m following your daily stuff with action

I’m doing all if it

I just love it !!!

ACTION ITEM: I’m really trying to get better at executing a thought of kindness when it enters my head.  I bet I think of 10 cool, yet simple things I can do for people on a weekly basis.  I bet I act on one.  As with most of my posts and recommendations.  Action wins!


Either Way Discipline Wins

Either Way Discipline WinsEveryday we’re presented with choices.

Everyday, our discipline wins!

The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is which discipline wins the moment or the day.

You see, in every decision there are usually two options. To do, or not to do. In each option there is a discipline awaiting victory and the other, defeat.

Action vs. Inaction

My decision to read 20 pages from a book tonight won over that moment’s discipline.  The other option was 20 minutes of television, viewing meaningless basketball games I don’t care about(something I don’t mind from time to time), but still a discipline.

My decision to stay inside on the couch, instead of venturing out in the snow to get to they gym is a win for my discipline of contentment (or laziness if you want to call it that).

A person in an unhappy work environment, with no hope to even look for something else…any opportunity, is letting their discipline for complacency win.

With every action, even inaction, the discipline grows stronger.

The person committed to studying their craft nightly after work (from 7pm-10pm) in the hopes of one day taking their talents to the next level, is feeding their discipline. One day it will pay off. But I’d bet it already is, you just can’t see radical change due to the consistent incremental growth.

Discipline always win. The trouble, or beauty is disciplines are like a muscle and get stronger with use.

Show me a successful person and I’ll immediately want to know about the disciplines making them tick. I can PROMISE you there are 5-10 things they do on a daily or weekly basis without question. These disciplines are so ingrained in them and they’ve created so much momentum they’ve become part of their everyday life.


You can start a new discipline tomorrow. The bad news is, it is going to be struggle right away. But you already knew that didn’t you?  It’s why you’ve chosen not to start in the first place. Well, there’s always tomorrow, but you’ll already be a day behind the guy who started yesterday.

Your discipline is winning!

Four Inefficiencies I Plan on Attacking

Four Inefficiencies

Four Inefficiencies

After some recent reflection, I put together a short list of four specific elements in my life I can greatly improve heading into 2016.  I use the word “greatly” because I’m not looking for simply one step up on the staircase of improvement.  I need to make big strides.

Why share? Because I believe it breeds accountability.

As I’ve written many times, I think getting to this point of awareness is not only healthy, it is entirely necessary.


  1. Attending Church.  My wife and I set a goal to become members of a church in 2015.  We did this and now I’ve got to take it to the next level. This next level not only means attending at least 3x per month, but also getting involved with groups within the church. This may sound ridiculous to some, but it’s true.  When I go to church, I feel better.  Selfishly, who doesn’t want to feel better?
  2. Serving the Community. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with a room of 6th graders last week.  Many of the young boys in the class were without fathers when they went home that day from school. Odd thing, this school was within 10 miles of where I live and I’d never once been on the street let alone within a mile of the place. I hope to be back in that exact classroom in 2016 to spend time with those young men.
  3. Appreciation. I have a motor that is frequently set in GO MODE. In 2015 I took the time to become more grateful for all that has been given to me and my family. I have to remember to downshift into neutral and do this more often in 2016. My goal is to reflect every Sunday.
  4. Open my Ears. I’d really like to spend more time listening in 2016 to what I’d consider “mentors” in my life.  I don’t care if it is coffee, lunch, a beer after work, or a round of golf. I need to spend time with those who have walked the walk.

I set a reminder on my calendar on Sunday nights to review this list. Do me a favor and if you’re reading this, let technology be the guide. Don’t over think it.

ACTION ITEM: When considering your list, try not to focus on the “weaknesses” that are related to your talents or abilities. As I’ve written before, this could be a tremendous waste of time as the upside for the investment is likely limited. Instead, think about effort inefficiencies. These have a simple yes/no fix.


Leadership Lessons From Kirk Ferentz

It was the cold, blustery winter of 2014.

We just got handled by Tennessee in our bowl game and the University of Iowa football season came skidding to a disappointing 7-6 finish. It felt like every big game we needed to win, we didn’t. The future was bleak. Our mindset as a Hawkeye community was poor (my version of speaking for every Hawkeye fan).

Words I’d use to label our 2014 play were: boring, slow, close to the vest, predictable, tight and unimaginative. Not fun words when describing your football team (or anything in life for that matter).

Coming into this year, I looked at our schedule and said, we’re maybe…8-4. Even the national pundits would tell you this isn’t a GREAT year for Iowa football looking at our schedule (no matter how you want to argue it now).

I thought this was it for Captain Kirk. Goodbye Kirk Ferentz…we’ve had fun.

I loved this guy, but we’d gotten stale. My support was wearing thin. This past August, in my mind, it was likely time for a last straw…or resort to a change in leadership. Little did I know, it wouldn’t be a new face in Iowa City. Instead, it would be a rebirth of a terrific career.

Some will argue the change came from desperation. Others will say it is the result of wise leadership. I could argue both, but does it really matter? Action happened. That’s the key. It is ALWAYS the key. Take action. History is marked and defined with leadership and victory being molded in times of desperation.

Below is a list of life lessons I’ve learned from Kirk’s experience and the 2015 season that I’ll never forget.

  1. Ruthless Self Audit: After the underwhelming 2014 season, the Captain sat down with his staff in January 2015 and got brutally honest.  They spent time specifically outlining what they were, what they were not, and where they needed to go. All facets of their team (insert business for correlation) were evaluated for any angle for improvements. Looking in the mirror isn’t easy. No one says it will be. However, looking in the mirror and being honest is 100% necessary.
  2. See What’s in Front of You: In January, the staff named C.J. Beathard the starting QB for the upcoming 2015 season. Bouncing the two-year starter Jake Rudock. One of the first words you could use to describe coach Ferentz is “loyal”, but this move had to be made and he knew it. The offense is more explosive. C.J. can drive the ball down the field and the team needed a jolt of energy. He got it.
  3. Never Forget What Got You There: I’ve had friends argue nothing changed. To an extent they’re right. We still run the ball first. We play sound defense. We’re a team first, not “me” first unit. It’s who we’ve always been including trips to two Orange Bowls, wins against: LSU, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, and Georgia Tech. But I think this is really key. We didn’t change everything. We made minor adjustments and tweaks to “better” the process.
  4. Don’t be Afraid to Dream Big: Coming off a 7-6 season the thought wasn’t simply to “get better”, although that is a common theme of the program and my blog. They wanted more. They were wiling to earn more as a unit and did so by thinking big. (Side note – I would’ve never guessed they would be sitting at 10-0, but who the hell did?)
  5. Common Thread: The entire team read and took ownership of the principles in the book, The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness I encourage you to read it. Two things stand out to me between this year and last. Mind you, I’m not an analyst, but play along. Number one: explosive plays. Last year, we were last or near the bottom of the B1G Conference. This year, we’re at the top. Number two: turnovers. Always turnovers. This year, we’re taking the ball away. While last year, we were giving it away like candy on Halloween.
  6. Listen to the Troops: The kids (I call 20-year-old, 250 lb. ripped athletes) wanted to try an alternative uniform. Something sexy.  Something bold. Two things you wouldn’t find in the list of “top 20 words to describe Kirk Ferentz”. But the staff spoke up. They asked the coach to get out of his comfort zone. Last weekend, we experienced the new “Blackout” uniforms. P.S. – I thought they were average at best, and if I would’ve been invited to the design meeting we would’ve really crushed it with the good folks at Nike. Maybe next time. No charge!

If these things don’t speak to change, I don’t know what does.

I once read a story about one of the best facial plastic surgeons in the world.

What do you think of when you think of facial plastics? Peeling someone’s face off? Me too! Yikes. However, this doctor would do no more than 6-8 “minor” adjustments and would only move facial tissue mere millimeters to “unlock the beauty” the patient was seeking. The result from all of his patients post-surgery is a resounding “turn back the clock” feeling of 10+ years. How is this possible? Shouldn’t my face be frozen?

The key to this surgeon’s success isn’t radical reconstruction. He won’t do that and has never believed in it. The key is making minor tweaks, but making them flawlessly.

I’m sorry for thinking it was the end coach, or for feeling like you were on your way out. Thank you for being willing to accept and implement change (even if it’s been minor). I know I won’t want to change when I’m a 60-year-old man. It will serve as a lesson to me, and I hope to all reading this. I’m also aware we won’t win forever.  But right now we’re 10-0.

Even in the toughest of times, when victory seems unattainable, positive changes can be made.


Pick-up this shirt at RAYGUN shirts.



We Get What We Must Have

Want vs. MUST

I’m publishing this post from 36,000 ft, flying back home from a recent visit to New York City.  As per my usual travel cadence, I spend the time coming home recapping the visit and reflecting on where I stand with my goals.

It wasn’t until this year I started viewing my goals a little differently, and it’s been extremely successful.

Want vs. Must

I’ve heard this probably 20+ times when listening to Tony Robbins, but it wasn’t until I put it (my goals) in writing, when I started to see massive change.

Here’s exactly how it happened for me and how it can happen for you.

  1. Sit down in a quiet place where you can be brutally honest with your feelings.  You have to be REAL & it’s only about YOU.
  2. Grab a pen and begin to be unreasonable with what you want… (no MUST have).  100% Honest.
  3. Make a list and read it frequently.  I try to read mine weekly.

The title of my list started as, “What do I really want.”  The problem with this title is it wasn’t committed enough.  Wants are nice, but they don’t change behavior.  My list now is titled, “My MUST Haves!”

Below is my exact list.  I’ve removed a couple highly personal elements of my list, but don’t let that stop your list.  The key here is NOT to compare your list.  Do NOT try and keep up with the Joneses.  Own your must haves.  Get honest and get in motion the lifestyle you want to live.

My MUST Haves:

  1. I must make a great income.  $______________/yr+  Why? Because it will provide our family with tremendous opportunities and freedom to explore and live without a “job.”  This income will provide tremendous freedom to explore all the experiences we’re looking for.
  2. I must be passionate about the work I’m doing, but not feel handcuffed to it.  I want to work from anywhere and anytime I feel the need.  I don’t want a job.  I want to own and manage a business and its outputs.  I’ve learned I have the talents to do such a thing and I’ve learned others whom I consider equally or even less talented have been successful in doing so.  Make it happen today!
  3. I must live on a golf course in a nice but not extravagant home.  Why? Because I want my neighbors to be right or left of me and not on all sides of me.  Because I want to play a couple holes at night if we find the time.  It’s my ideal scene in the evening.
  4. I must create multiple sources of income for our family through business ownership and other businesses (i.e. rental properties/etc).  Why?  Because I want the freedom for my wife to stay at home (if she even wants to).  Because when we can create enough passive income, we can limit our tax liability and continue to earn money without directly working for it.
  5. I must travel and explore all that this great country has to offer.  Mountains and lakes, oceans and cities.  I want to eat great food, drink great wine and relax in beautiful surroundings.  I want to travel multiple times per year with the family and invest in experiences and not empty things that clutter a house
  6. I must be on the attack and not on my heels.  I want to be aggressive in pursuing this lifestyle design and all that it can provide our family.  What is the alternative?  There isn’t one.  Make it happen.
  7. I want to live comfortably knowing we’re contributing to our future and our son’s future with consistently maxing out retirement contributions and never taking on too much debt (except debt paid by others).  We contribute here first, or we contribute to owning more assets that provide us monthly cash flow to continue our path to financial freedom.  More experiences and less stuff.
  8. I MUST continue to push to get better physically, spiritually and intellectually.  Continue to dive into new books, thoughts, blogs, and readings.  Continue to learn and expand my relationships.   Remain consistently unsatisfied.

ACTION ITEM: Get serious and get it in writing.   Don’t think in terms of, “want to have” think in absolutes and “must haves!”

We get our Musts!


31 Days of Challenging Questions: Day 14

DAY 14: What books must I read this year?

Day 14

ACTION ITEM: “The only difference between where you are today, and where you’ll be a year from today, are the books you read and the people you meet” – Charles “Tremendous” Jones.  I made it a point to get a little out of my comfort zone and read some books potentially contrary to what I believe this year.  Reading more of the same will only get me where I’m at.