When Do You Figure It All Out?

When do you have it figured out?

When do you have it figured out?

When I was younger, I’d meet business professionals and business owners and I’d ask myself, “I wonder when they figured it all out?” I found myself wanting to know what they knew.  When did it click?

I paid very close attention to their success (or perceived success in my mind) and wondered exactly how they got where they were and if the path was repeatable.  What did they do?  Who did they know?  What books did they read?  How did they choose to spend their time?

Now looking back on my foolish and much younger self, I found the answer to the question.

When do you figure it all out?


The answers is never!  You never have it truly figured out.  Those that say they do are either completely satisfied with everything they’ve ever achieved, or they’re naive to the competition lurking in the weeds waiting to snatch up their precious market share because they’re still hungry.

The more I spend time with other high achievers, the more I learn about their quest to learn more and to deliver a better solution, no matter their craft.  What also stood out to me is the overwhelming number of people who say they didn’t have all the answers when they began.  They really didn’t have any answers, but they started and they learned.

Their lives are filled with the same fears and lack of understanding mine is, but they attack the fear. They take a chance and understand the worst that can happen is they start over.  Following the likes of Grant Cardone and Tony Robbins has taught me many things.  First off, they successfully attack opportunities with massive action.

Massive, determined action

Massive, determined action

Secondly, they successfully embrace the culture of continued learning and new challenges.  They thrive in uncertainty and most are ok with failing as long as they learn something in the process.

Contrast this with the average or mediocre (I hope every time you hear these words your body shakes with disdain).  Challenges cause the mediocre pain, fear, and drive the person to quit.  They live in the comfortable middle where the only challenge that exists is figuring out what label to put on their boredom.  These people have it figured out!

Are you trying to figure it out today for yourself?

Wonderful.  My advice to you is to stop figuring and simply START.  Start your path in a direction and see where it takes you, but 100% don’t be afraid of the ninth step when you haven’t taken the first.



Start Today. Not Tomorrow

ACTION ITEM: The more you start, the more comfortable you will be operating in the unknown and uncertain waters of achievement.  Start.  Start today and stop trying to figure it out!

Winning is a Necessity

Winning is extremely important to the human psyche and biology.  The people who get what they want in life know how to win.  This can not be overlooked or overstated.

I believe the people who know how to win are likely happier in pursuit of their life goals.  I think most would agree with this statement.  So then, why is it most people don’t know how to win?  Or better yet, why isn’t the art of winning taught more in schools and post graduate education?  Maybe it is, we’re just not paying attention?


I’m not sure, maybe we should ask Charlie Sheen.  Sadly, I don’t think answers like Tiger Blood, or Adonis DNA are what we’re looking for so we’ll have to dig a little deeper.  Thanks for the inspiration Chuck.

Lets first take a look at what a “WIN” does for us mentally

  • Confidence – think about the last time you won anything and try to get back into those feelings for a moment.  How did you feel?  Awesome is a pretty popular response.  Who doesn’t want to feel more awesome?  Winning is foundational to a higher level of confidence.  More confidence typically yields more victory.
  • Winning Effect – Author John Coats in his book The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind tells us animals involved in a fight who were victorious, were more likely to win their next fight.  Which brings me to my next and extremely important point.
  • Momentum – I always say, “Momentum is much easier to steer than to start.”  Life can be hard.  Some know this more than others.  This is exactly why winning, and winning often is so important to each of us.  Winning consistently creates what I call “life momentum.”
  • Limitless – Have you ever won enough? I know I haven’t.  Author Grant Cardone describes this in his book The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by stating, “There is no shortage of success, nor are there limits to the amount of success one can achieve!”  Read this again if you’re looking to get amp’d up.  He’s right.  I frequently listen to the 10X Audiobook when I need to get it going or feel like I’ve achieved “enough” for a while.
  • Attitude – People like to associate with a winner.  It’s more fun, it’s positive, and it’s likely uplifting.  Legendary coach Bear Bryan said, “Winning isn’t everything, but it sure beats anything that comes in second!”  I LOVE THAT ATTITUDE.

I won’t go there in this post, but if you do a little more research you’ll easily see that winning doesn’t only affect our mental game but our biological makeup as well.  Dr. Coats offers a unique perspective into the testosterone levels of successful, young, male stock traders during times of financial boom.

The million dollar question remains, “How do I win more often?”

  1. Stay Hungry – Winners come from all walks of life.  What they all have in common is an unquenchable thirst for victory and nothing will stop them in their pursuit.
  2. Stay Focused – Elite athletes have a state of mind referred to as “the zone” and when they’re in it nothing can stop them.  The zone is a state of complete focus and freedom.  Mastery is at work with the athlete because they’re not spending time thinking, they’re only reacting to what’s in front of them.
  3. Attention to Detail – The US Navy SEALs are famous for their mindset and training regimen.  Their world class team members preach attention to detail every day, in every drill, and every exercise they compete.
  4. Drill – In order to learn how to win an individual must be willing to practice at a high level for a great deal of time.  Mediocre practice will yield mediocre results.  Winners sweat the small stuff and sweat if often.  Earlier I used the word “mastery” when referring to focus in point two.  In Malcolm Gladwells book Outliers he states it takes 10,000 hours to be an “expert” in a topic or field.  10,000 hours.  Most people work around 40 hours per week.  That equates to nearly 5 years of drills.  Are you spending 8 hours a day getting better?  I know I’m not, so for most it’s going to take 10+ years to mastery.
  5. Speed Bumps – Failure will happen and it should if you’re taking chances.  Accept failure as a speed bump and not a impassable chasm.  Life will go on.  Learn from it and learn quickly so you can get back to winning again.  Just don’t fail making the same mistake over and over.


 ACTION ITEM: Get out and get winning.  You need to be winning often.  Life is a contact sport and no records were set from the sidelines.




One Million Isn’t Your Goal

When I was 23, I wrote on a dollar bill “#1 of $1,000,000” and was naive enough to think this is what it would take to make it in the world.  If I could get here, I would be doing the right thing.  If you don’t believe me, here it is still framed in my office.  I still use it as motivation, but in a very different light.

$1 Million Goal

$1 Million Goal

Nine years later, I reflect back and laugh at the ignorance of my younger self.  If I had one million dollars right now, would I have the world by the balls?


Money will not be the sole driver to anyone’s success and truth be told, why only one million?  The efforts required to reach ten million aren’t really that different from one million.  Yes, it is ten times the amount but most people that make ten times their peers don’t work 10x harder.  There isn’t enough time in the day.  If you’re ONLY interested in the money, set a bigger goal!

However, the more important viewpoint isn’t to focus on the number because inevitably when you hit it, then what?  Please don’t tell me you’ll buy stuff.  You’ll end up just as unfulfilled, but with stuff.  People spend their whole lives working for the man only to end up retired at 65 with nothing to do and no ideas of where to start.  Want to know what boredom looks like?  This is it.  It is followed by unhappiness.  Even the guys in Grumpy Old Men had fishing as a hobby!

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 7.17.42 PM

The secret then, as Tim Ferris teaches in “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)“, isn’t to delay life’s treasures forever, but to embrace them along the way.  Enjoy mastering your craft at the same time you’re enjoying and living life to the fullest.

Daniel Pink expounds on this topic as well in this terrific video, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motives Us”.  I promise you it’s worth the ten minutes.

People aren’t only looking for one million dollars.  They’re looking for autonomy and mastery.  They’re looking to be themselves and to enjoy their craft.  People want to be challenged and contribute.  It won’t take too many companies like Google to see that success and achievement run a parallel path to people enjoying what they do.

Can you still have the goal of making money?  I really believe the answer is a resounding yes.  There is nothing wrong with making money.  There is nothing wrong with making a ton or a little money.  It is a resource.  Some value it more than others.  I do wish people understood it better, but that is a completely different conversation.

Where do you go from here?

ACTION ITEM:  Follow the List Below

  1. Do set a goal for your income.  It’s important to you and your family.  Take actions to fulfill the goal then 10X it.
  2. Also set a goal for autonomy.  Where would you like to have more freedom?  Or, what do you need to do to earn more freedom?
  3. Seek out a new challenge.  Learn a new language, plan a vacation, start a blog, etc. Successful people love a new challenge.  Seek and destroy!