Counting Your Currency

There are two types of currency being traded in our lives.

MONEY

Cheddar, coin, dough, green, cash, Benjamin’s.  Pretty obvious right?.  I spent the first decade of my career working to accumulate this currency.  I counted it, I helped make it, created it, I saved it and every day I search to find better ways to invest it and grow it for my family’s future.
I don’t think money is a bad thing or the pursuit of money is a bad thing.  I think money is a great tool and every day I learn it is actually more of a resource.  Have I been greedy in pursuit of money?  Maybe?  When I was younger money was a way to keep score and I’m an achiever.  I like to see the scoreboard.  Today I still like to make money, I just frame it as a tool/resource to open up more doors and experiences in my life.  However, money alone will not bring happiness, but if I can choose between being poor and happy and financially comfortable and happy I’ll choose the latter.
Any ideas on the second type of currency you traded today?
Any guesses?

TIME

Time is the most valuable currency we own and the crazy thing is we each get the same amount to use every single day.  I’m sure you’ve heard this, so I won’t belabor the point.  Actually I will, I would like to drive it home like an ice pick into the icy side of a frozen mountain pass.
Everything changed for me on July 30th 2014.  This was the day my son was born.  I’ve learned so much in the three months since then I can’t even believe it took me this long to understand it.  Today everything revolves around the question, “What is the best use of every second of my time?”  Where can I get the most time with my son?  Where can I get the most time with my wife and family?  How can I maximize my time to spend with cherished friends?

Where can I invest my best strengths and talents to generate the biggest return for everyone involved?  Everything I think about now revolves around time investment and return.  This is much different than simple bottom line return (scoreboard & money).

What I encourage you to do is think about the relationship of money, freedom, and time in your life.  Have you earned enough money to have the freedom should you choose to exercise it RIGHT NOW?  Can you leave what you are doing this very second to be with your family if needed or pursue another opportunity?  Can you take that vacation you’ve been talking about to create a lifetime of memories?  If not, it’s time to start thinking about how your currency is being spent or find ways to make more money today to get closer to freedom.

Whatever you choose, don’t be a cheapskate.  No one likes a cheapskate!

Your resources(time and money) are in constant competition for your willpower and your goals.  I’m asking you to consider more “experiences” instead of things.  I’m asking you to save a little now for the overwhelming pleasure to pursue freedom if you choose later.

The iconic Steve Jobs says it perfectly.

Steve Jobs - Experiences Quote

Steve Jobs – Experiences Quote

ACTION ITEM: If you’re not happy with the track you life is on I’ll ask you to evaluate to simple resources.  How are you spending/wasting money?  How are you investing/wasting time?

 

 

Let Me Tell You Why I Suck

Who hasn’t seen the iconic film Tommy Boy?

If you have, you’ll remember Tommy’s line, “Let me tell you why I suck,” as he explains his inadequate sales approach to a waitress while attempting to order some chicken wings.

While I’m not one to jump on the negative bus and complain about why I’m not getting what I think I deserve, I think there is something extremely valuable about the exercise of understanding specifically what we are not.  I believe it is a life saver!!

I’m a HUGE Gary Vaynerchuk fan.  Gary says in his book: Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion we must understand how to cash in on our passions.  In one of Gary’s hundreds of YouTube videos he also preaches we learn to know what we ARE NOT.  He claims (and I believe him)to only be good at a few things and leaves the rest to the talents of others.

LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I’M NOT:

  1. Interviewer: I’ve learned I’m not a great interviewer.  It’s not that I can’t ask questions, or I can’t listen to people.  My challenge is I end up selling them on how great an opportunity I believe is in front of them and challenging them to take it.  I rarely interview a new candidate on a 1st interview.  I’ve yet to meet the person who is a great interviewer, or talent fox, but I’m not losing sleep over this one anymore.
  2. Dictator Leadership: I’m not a manager in a way of dictating activity or action.  I have zero interest in hovering over someone like a child to ensure they do something 50 times in a day.  Some managers get things done this way.  I will never be this guy.  If you are this guy, don’t fight it.  Embrace your style, just be fair doing it.
  3. The Details: BORING!  I don’t have a lot of interest in specifically how work gets done on the extremely minute detail to detail level.  I need to understand the project and see what I’m going to get in the end.  I’m a big thinker.  The more time I spend “in the weeds” of the conversation the less happy I am.
  4. Great at All Things: The competitive, Type A, side of me wants to get better at my weaknesses and work on them.  But, in reality the time invested in my weaknesses when measured against my absolute strengths leaves a tremendous amount of opportunity cost on the table.  If you like math think about it this way.  If I spend 5 hours on a task where I’m only 50% as good as a talented individual I’m only getting a 2.5 hr return on my investment.  NOT GOOD.  If however, I invested 5 hours of my time on a task or project where I’m 3x (300%) better than others, I’ve now conquered 15 hours of achievement.  PS – I’m likely 10x happier in the second scenario as well.

Understanding what you are not, may feel hurtful and negative at the time.  It’s not.  Be honest and it will open your eyes.  I encourage you to take a step back from yourself and your ego (most of us have a one) and “let it go” like Elsa says.  To me personally, it was a tremendously eye opening experience and amazingly uplifting.  It’s also allowed me to say NO to many more things and focus my time and efforts.

Time is the only resource we all have the same amount of.  Why then are some ridiculously successful while others struggle solving someone else’s problems?

Words of Wisdom - from Gary V (it says 2012 but does it really matter?)

Words of Wisdom – from Gary V

ACTION ITEM: Please take a step back and find out what you are not and stop involving yourself in these activities IMMEDIATELY.  You will be less “busy” and more focused on the activities where you can make a massive impact

 

 

 

Be Brief. Be Brilliant. Be Gone.

Brilliant Planning

Be Brief. Be Brilliant. Be Gone.

This is something I learned from a colleague about seven or eight years ago and I’ll never forget it.  I had to share it with the tribe as I believe in my soul it will help you.

I want you to think back to your last client meeting, big project presentation, or conference call.  What was the first thing to go completely haywire?

I’m not even going to guess, I’m going to tell you it was everyone’s collective attention span.  It’s the reason I’ve learned to keep my blog posts to around 400 words or less.  People don’t have the focus to remain engaged for a duration much longer than this.

Be Brief. Be Brilliant. Be Gone.

There is genius in these words.  Today’s supercharged social economy has us glued to our smart phones alerting us with: snaps, score alerts, texts, insta-awesome photos, and god forbid email.

Here’s how I think this will help you in your career.  Your clients and teammates are busy.  Real busy.  This must be understood and respected.

Ways to be more brief:

  1. Show up with a plan.  A really well thought out plan with execution as the focus.
  2. Get to the point.
  3. Use powerful visuals to represent your story/case/value proposition. People believe what they see and not what they hear(I believe this with all of my heart).
  4. Solve a problem.  Have a clear understanding of the challenge at hand.

Ways to be more brilliant:

  1. Rehearse.
  2. Deliver your story with more passion (by rehearsing).
  3. Hold the team and work to very high standards.  Don’t show up with average.
  4. See your pitch from the client eyes first.  Where would they find fault in your offering?
  5. Show you care.

Lastly, be gone:

  1. Give them something to say yes, or possibly more importantly “NO” to.
  2. Ask for immediate feedback.
  3. Don’t linger.  Move along.

Be Brief.  Be Brilliant.  Be Gone. With more wins in your pocket!

ACTION ITEM: Please consider these tips for your next client meeting and/or pitch.  Your client or team is begging you to do this, but maybe they haven’t told you yet.