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.

~Zac

 

Find Your Confidence Triggers

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If you’ve ever done any reading on the topic of triggers or behavior, you’ll note that most often times the word “trigger” is linked directly to negative thoughts or actions.  Negative triggers may cause a person to:

  • Light up a cigarette
  • Grab an alcoholic drink
  • Cause panic or fear
  • Lose our temper
  • Devour an entire tub of ice cream

Whether you know it or won’t admit it, we all have negative triggers in our lives and we live them out daily.  I had many triggers (built up over time) that caused my brain to want chewing tobacco. I’m not proud of it, but I broke them down and got rid of them.

But what about the other side of the trigger?

The positivity triggers that put you at your highest level of confidence? Tony Robbins calls this level of confidence being in a “peak state”. Your peak state is the place where all is right, you’re in a flow, confidence is high, and you’re in full-on CRUSH MODE.

Why do you want to get here?

The answer should be obvious.  It’s where you are at your best.  You’re the most intelligent, the funniest, the most witty, the sharpest, the most confident, and the best version of you is on FULL display.  Arthur Ashe described it best and most simply.

Loose body, tight mind

Can you be in a peak state all of the time? No. You  simply can’t. Tight body, tight mind is much more prevalent today. This state is labeled: ANXIETY. This is what we want to avoid. That’s exactly why you need to identify the positivity triggers to bring you back when you’re struggling or when you’re anxious.

Think of a great scorer in basketball.

The game started and they missed their first 3-4 shots.  What is the single most important thing they can do in game to adjust?

Get to the free throw line immediately. Why? Many reasons really.

  1. Its an unobstructed view of the basket.  No defense = easier chance of conversion.
  2. All great scorers and free throw shooters have a rhythm or cadence at the line to prepare for the foul shots.  This cadence allows them to get back into flow immediately.
  3. Most important. Great shooters need to see the ball go in. They need the confidence boost. It only takes one bucket to drop as a shooter to know the rest of them are ALL going in.

I’m a much better basketball player (or at least I was) than I am a golfer.  But they’re not that much different.  What does a struggling golfer attempt to find first when they’re lost with their swing? Tempo. They’re not trying to hit a 230 yd three iron with a 5 yd draw.  They have a wedge in hand and they’re exclusively focused on a couple mechanics and tempo, tempo, tempo. Finding confidence in the swing.

So how can this look in our daily lives?

I can only speak for me and give you insight into a few of my positivity triggers.  Side note – a couple of them may sound a bit weird (I don’t care).  Find something that works…for YOU!

  1. Clothing – There is a shirt maker in Richmond, VA I love called Ledbury (Ledbury.com).  They make limited run dress shirts and their slim fit sizing fits me nearly perfectly (15.5″ neck of course if you’re thinking of gifting me one).  One may argue they’re a touch expensive, but expense is rather relative when I think of all the money I’ve made wearing these shirts.  Why do I love them?  Because they make me look good (sorry, I’m a vain person) and feel good. My confidence levels flow at a high level because I’m not worried or focused on what I’m wearing.  Big meeting, speaking engagement, pitch, guess what I’m wearing?  Ledbury.
  2. Soap – Call me crazy, but hear me out first.  Have you ever stayed in a really nice hotel and used a great (and likely scented) soap?  If yes, how did you feel coming out of that shower?  AWESOME.  Guess what I’ve done? I buy more of it and keep it handy for a BIG day or special occasions.  Once again.  How do you think I feel?  Awesome.  This isn’t a smell thing, its a state thing.  A personal favorite I picked up from W Hotels is Bliss Lemon and Sage 
  3. Morning Videos – Almost every day of the working week (Monday through Friday) I start my day at home with a locked in mindset on success. Where do I go? Youtube.  I make it a point every morning to reset my mind on my goals and a successful mindset.  If you want the specifics, I’ll watch videos from: Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, Eric Thomas, Brendon Burchard, Robert Kiyosoki, stoic philosophy and the list goes on.  Motivation is fleeting and I believe the mind needs to be fed just as the body needs nutrition.  News flash folks, the morning news isn’t nutritious brain food.
  4. Personal Audio/Video – I keep a few files saved when I need a reminder just how abundant my life is with my wife and son. There are 3-4 very personal videos and audio files I have saved on my phone that I listen to when I’m faced with a tough scenario, business decision, or life throws me a curve ball.  A coupe of them bring tears to my eyes almost immediately and I find that’s about all a grown man needs to get back to center.  No problem to big. No scenario too daunting. I have all that I need.
  5. 10 Minute Meditation – If you’ve followed the blog you know my growing embrace for the Eastern practice of meditation. Ten minutes of alone time and some practiced breathing can reset my mind, body, nervous system and overall well being.

I truly hope these ideas help you. I hope you become aware of what makes you the happiest and most confident version of yourself. Pay attention to what may work for others, but know you are unique.

It has to work for YOU.  That’s all that matters.

ACTION ITEM: Spend the next few days surrounding yourself with a list of positive triggers. I know you’ll be much closer to achieving what’s in front of you when you consistently operate at the highest level.

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!

 

What Stands In the Way of Massive 2015 Success?

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Image Courtesy of: http://fitnesskinektions.com/road-block/

We’re at a crucial point in 2015.

We’re at the decision point where New Year’s resolutions and BIG goals for the year are at the mercy of becoming extinct. We’re only a little over one month into the year, but that’s all it takes to set a person back on the path to a mediocre lifestyle and redundant boredom.

Kind of sad isn’t it?

All it takes is 30 days of inactivity or lack of focus to set our hopes and dreams back into the basement.  I believe the key to obtaining what you want is very simple, and sometimes painfully easy if you will follow three steps.

These three steps require two equal parts of commitment: honest reflection and simple straightforward answers. Here is an exercise I challenge you to go through with your goals.  I use it for every goal I set.

1. What is the goal? – Is this specific?
2. Why do I want to achieve it? – Do I have a burning desire to achieve it?  If your honest answer is no, the chances of you pursuing it through thick and thin are extremely slim.

PAUSE. If you have specific answers to questions one and two, the third question and resulting answers should be painfully easy to answer. IF…if you’re willing to get to the simplest answer possible.   No bullshit.

3. What is standing in your way of achieving this goal?
Stopsign_sing

 

 

 

 

 

Rewind back to this statement, “IF…if you’re willing to get to the simplest answer possible.   No bullshit.”  This answer to this question is what keeps people from getting what they want.  They’re not brutally honest and in search of the simple answer.  Simple answers yield simple action plans.

Instead what do most people do?

We lie to ourselves.  We tend make our hurdles, struggles, or challenges bigger than they really are.  We worry about hundreds of things that could happen.  Tony Robbins says most people really struggle to see things exactly as they are.  Instead most see them worse than they really are.   Seeing things as they really are allow us to see the path to achievement much easier.  No Bullshit.  No one’s fault but our own.

  • Where do I want to go?
  • What’s keeping me from getting there?

Once the dirt, lies, and pain of failure are washed away, a roadmap to your goal will appear.

Are you committed to follow it?

Action Item: I spent about an hour this weekend reviewing my targets for 2015 and doing a brutal self assessment of where I stood.  Side note: Honesty doesn’t require a personal mental beating.  I challenge you to review your goals and reset the roadmap if you’re off course.  There is too much year left not to make an enormous impact and CRUSH IT!

The Quality of Your Life = The Quality of Your Questions

questions

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Voltaire

The inspiration for writing this post is actually a Tony Robbins quote I came across a few times now in my recent readings.  It’s an extremely valuable statement because it shapes the lives we lead every day.   If we don’t change our questions, and direction, we are likely to end up where we are going.

So that we may better understand the two directions available to each of us, lets look at conflicting lifestyles and frame both viewpoints with the questions each asks.

Let me tell you about the “wanters.”

Life happens to these people.  Here is what their questions sound like:

  • Why me?
  • Why can’t I do this?
  • Why does my boss hate me?
  • Why can’t my parents just be wealthy and leave me a big inheritance?
  • How is it I never have enough time?
  • Why does he get a raise, and I never make any more money?
  • What can I do to be more lucky?
  • Why do I have to learn this?
  • How can I provide as little effort as possible and still get paid?

A strong “victim” pattern exists to the style and direction of these questions.  There is little to no control.  Please read through each of these questions again and take a deep breath.  I’ve asked these questions too.  It doesn’t make us bad people, we were just ignorant to what else was out there.

The cure for ignorance is curiosity.

That said, what questions can you ask to get more out of your life, career, or business starting today?  Here are some I’ve learned over the years.  Ask, and a better life awaits you.

  • Why not me?
  • Why not now?
  • What more can I learn?  (What don’t I know, that I should know)
  • How can I provide more value to differentiate myself, my product or my company?
  • What can I learn from his/her success?
  • What does success look like?
  • What more can I do to help?
  • What do I want from life?
  • What can I say “NO” to?

What did you notice?

There is a strong pattern of “ownership” in this question pattern.  I could keep going, but instead I found this wonderful link on Forbes.  35 Questions That Will Change Your Life.   There are categories and I found the “Self Awareness” grouping the most insightful.  I really encourage you to dive into the list when you’re done reading.  There will be a couple “frying pan to the face” moments with at least two questions you read.  That’s what we’re looking for!

I ask three questions to myself and my wife frequently to evaluate who we are,  where we are, and where we’re going.  Life moves fast, and believe it or not people and goals change over the years.  Use these three question to reset your course, or provide better direction along your journey.

Three Powerful Questions For a Lifetime of Fulfillment:

  1. What are my world-class talents? (can’t have more than three) – WHO AM I?
  2. What achievements make me really happy, fulfilled, or satisfied? – WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING?
  3. What do I really want from life? – WHY?

The questions aren’t the hard part.  It’s the brutal honesty required in the answers and actions that sets believers apart from achievers.  Side note, if you really want a ton of money to buy expensive clothes and drive a Ferrari, be honest.  Do NOT lie about who you are or what you want.  It will either slow you down immensely or set you back.  Be honest and own it.

“Change the questions you ask yourself and change the direction of your life” – Tony Robbins

ACTION ITEM:  For me the art of asking the right questions is an acquired skill.  Skills are developed over time.  Personally I feel I’m a few levels away from my black belt in asking the right questions so I continue to practice.  Every day I try and change the angle of a conversation with a  better question.  Think first, then ask and don’t forget to listen.

Two of My Favorite Questions for Leaders

The more I read, the more I learn about the highest achievers asking better questions than the rest of their peers.  So I continued to think about my favorite questions to ask, and I had to share with the group as these two questions have helped my career a great deal.

Question 1 – What does success look like?

Here are the reasons I love this question:

  1. It gets to the root of what your client is really looking to achieve.  Be specific.  How much? By when? What will you feel like when you get there?
  2. If you don’t know what success is, how on Earth can you come back in the future to discuss other ventures?
  3. I’ll admit, sometimes my version of success didn’t align with my client’s version.  Here’s a tip – their version is more important. 
  4. Understanding what success looks like may open up other opportunities to your relationship.
  5. Case studies sell.  Understanding what success is will help you with the before and after story for your case study.
  6. Success can be losing weight, hitting a revenue target, reducing production time, or growing market share.  Whatever it is can provide a strong point of focus for an entire team.  When the entire team knows what success is, there is a much higher likelihood of achievement.

Lastly, here are a couple versions of how I would ask this question:

  • If we were to partner up on “said agreement”, can you please tell me what success looks like three months down the road?
  • What does success look like for someone in your shoes?
  • Six months down the road, tell me what a successful partnership looks like in your eyes?

Question 2 – What more can I do for you?

Here are the reasons I love this question:

  1. Asking it with sincerity means you care.  If you care, your chances for winning go up exponentially and your relationship will thrive.
  2. It shows you’re not just a hired gun.  Don’t get me wrong, doing your job/task is super important.  Asking what more can be done is CRUSHING IT with your client.
  3. If you were a personal trainer and asked this question, it means you believe in your client outside of your 45-60 minute paid sessions.  It means you’ll be there for them for the long run.
  4. In the example above, I asked you to be specific.  In this example, I recommend being generic.  Don’t lead the witness to their problems or challenges.  Sometimes there could be a great deal of fear involved.  Let them tell you.  Respect and empathy will be earned by listening genuinely.
  5. Ask those you work with.  Note, I didn’t say “work for you.” Chances are they make your life better.  What can you do to make their lives better?

There is only one recommendation I can think of in regard to this question.  Do it frequently and do it with sincerity.

While reading Tony Robbin’s Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!, I came upon chapter 8.  Very telling for this post.  By the way, if you’re looking for a book to crush in 2015, the principles Tony teaches WILL help you.

Questions Are The Answer

Questions are the Answer

ACTION ITEM: I’d love it if you started using these two questions to your benefit this week.  I’d place a sizable bet, you’ll be encountered with the opportunity to ask one or both of these in the very near future.  Make the most of it!

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?

Never.

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

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!

The WHY Behind A Keen Mind

starting-with-why

I started this blog 10 months ago for a reason.

Do you know what this reason is?

Start With Why

I just finished reading a great book as part of a mastermind group.  The book is Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. This book, by Simon Sinek, outlines the very simple, yet difficult statement, “People don’t buy what they do, they buy why you do it.”  The illustration above is a simple outline of this principle.  A principle he calls, “The Golden Circle.”  It is a principle I’ll never forget.

If you’re a subscriber, I hope you find my “WHY” in line with my content.  If you’re new to A KEEN MIND, welcome!  Here is what’s in store for you when you subscribe.

Why: I believe in strategies helping people to establish a positive mindset and more achievement in their lives.  Whether the goal happens to be: a raise, a promotion, a calmer more centered mind, or more security with their bank account.  I believe in the continued pursuit of achievement and learning and will share my journey with my tribe.

How: I will consistently deliver content, not withholding my own faults and challenges with my readers.  I will share openly and honestly my strategies to create trust in the tribe, in hopes the tribe will grow and share on its own.

What: My content will start as a blog.  In the future, I do not know where it will go, but it will always be grounded in serving my WHY.

My starting goal was simple.  Help one person achieve their pursuit.

ONE PERSON.  I thrive in hearing about a reader that gets what they were looking for (I save every email).  I love hearing about the content I’m sharing.  How it changed the way the reader or others around them think and feel.

I accomplished my goal.  It’s time for a much bigger goal!

My New Goal: Help 10,000 people.

If you think I’m a little nuts, thank you!  I LOVE IT.  Better question is how the hell am I going to achieve this?  The answer is astonishingly simple.

One post at a time.

It only takes one well written strategy, posted here, shared by one of you, to catch fire and change hundreds of lives.  The tribe will grow, and I will continue to focus on my WHY!

ACTION ITEM: I’ve got to write my next post!

Losers React, Winners Anticipate

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 9.11.24 PM

Tony Robbins – zackeeney.com

Which one are you?

This extremely powerful advice was shared by the one and only Tony Robbins.  I just heard this on the Tim Ferris Show Podcast and had to dive into more detail.  My addictive personality is really tuned into Tony right now and I loved the simplicity and realness in this statement.

Losers react, winners anticipate.

Maybe we don’t want to be called a loser (who does), so lets put this into a different context I’ve written about before.  Very simple question.

Do things happen to you, or because of you?

There is a great deal of shared value in the bolded statement and question above.  But, instead of casting a shadow of name calling and labeling, lets look deeper into each action and see how it makes you feel.  Better yet, lets paint a real world scenario for us to live and accurately depict two sides of the same story.  What this does to a person emotionally is very eye opening.

THE STORY – You have a client.  A client with high expectations of your work and your results.  You have an upcoming meeting scheduled with the client in 48 hours.  Both of you are aware of the date, time and location. How does this scenario play out with losers and winners?

LOSER (Reacts):

  1. Lacks preparation and insight (knowledge)
  2. Spends no time looking for solutions and ideas prior to the meeting
  3. Your relationship resembles more of a punching bag than a resource
  4. You leave with tons of work to do because you showed up with zero plans
  5. Never asks the questions: How can we provide more? How can we do better?
  6. Likely all of this is the client’s fault, certainly it can’t be you. This client can’t be pleased!
  7. The client controls the entire agenda (you have zero control)
  8. No matter what, you can’t get what you want out of the relationship
  9. How do I get all the bad clients?

WINNER (Anticipates):

  1. Prepares for multiple angles and directions the meeting can go
  2. Delivers fresh new ideas to the client without their asking
  3. The client places a great deal of value and trust in your relationship
  4. You leave with a plan and likely some (if not most) of the work already done
  5. Asks the questions: What more can we be providing? How else can we help you?
  6. The winner frequently demands more of himself and those around him
  7. You call the client, with a plan (and a great deal of control)
  8. Get what you want on your terms
  9. Loves the challenge and opportunity the client presents and can’t wait for the next opportunity

 Now the million dollar question. How did each scenario make you feel?

The loser feels like a weak-minded loser.  A weak, unenergized, unorganized, negative person.  To me, it is exhausting and draining just reading through the scenario.  IT SUCKS!  But yet we see it every day.

Contrast this with the feelings of reading about the optimistic winner.  An energized, enthusiastic, go-getter and nothing can stand in his way.  He creates his own luck.  This is invigorating.  My eyebrows lift in excitement as I was making my way through the list.  This guy is BADASS!

ACTION ITEM: Anticipating can be a learned skill.  The only investment needed to obtain this skill is focused time and energy.  If you can think about it, you can anticipate it and create it.

Quotation-Vince-Lombardi-Jr--losing-winning-sports-habit-Meetville-Quotes-203885

Halftime Adjustments for 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 3.50.20 PM We’re about a week away from June 30, which is also the halfway mark of 2014.

Pretty hard to believe isn’t it?  

It’s almost time for the 4th of July and it’s a really great time for reflection.  If you haven’t gone back and looked at your 2014 goals, now is the time.  Every all-time great coach understood the art of making halftime adjustments to win.  This should be no different for you or I. I’m a glass half full kind of guy, and there is half of the year left to achieve my goals.  If you don’t have goals written down, do it soon!  You have the rest of 2014 to achieve them. Good goals follow the acronym S.M.A.R.T.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Results-Focused
  • Timely

In order to help the audience, I’m going to share with you some of my personal goals and precisely where I stand.  Although I may not share with you the exact number (for personal privacy reasons), I will tell you what I’m doing about each of them.

  1. Debt Reduction Goal – My wife and I had the goal to have zero debt (with the exception of our house) by August 1, 2014.  I can tell you we will accomplish this goal by the beginning of July.  This feels fantastic!  It provides a tremendous amount of freedom and flexibility for us to attack all that life has to offer without fear.
  2. Savings Goal – Along with our debt reduction goal, we have a goal to maintain growth in our savings to hopefully build a house some day.  I can tell you we’re about 70% along the way to our goal today.  Maintaining our current plans should put us in a position to achieve the goal by September or October of 2014.
  3. Vacation Goal (Unplug Time) – Our goal was to take a great vacation before the baby arrives in August.  Beth and I spent five days in San Francisco this spring and it was AWESOME.  At the end of this post, there are a few quick pics to document our visit.  We relaxed, walked a TON, and enjoyed each other’s company without phone calls, emails, and interruption.  I highly encourage you to do this in 2014 if you haven’t already.
  4. Income Goal – I have a goal to increase my income 35% in 2014.  I thought about this a great deal a few months back and I’ve had to reevaluate where I’m spending my time and who I’m spending it with.  I had NO chance of hitting my target.  I will tell you I got angry with myself and had to reflect on what I was doing to positively impact this goal.  I can tell you I’ve seen a great deal of change after a serious self evaluation and I’m excited to see where 2014 ends up.  More to come on this at year-end!
  5. Volunteer Goal – I set a goal to volunteer three times in 2014 at places where I’ve never done ANYTHING for in the past.  This would cause me to get uncomfortable, meet new people, and help with others.  This next statement is extremely selfish, but it is the truth.  When I volunteer, I feel really great afterwards.  I need to get my ass in gear on this one.  I’ve got six months left to make good on this promise.
  6. Daily Focus/Meditation Goal – This year I committed to spending a focused amount of time daily clearing my mind and more recently practicing meditation.  It’s something I picked up early in 2014 and something I’ve fallen in love with.  The goal is to spend 20 to 30 minutes focused on relaxation and transforming my thoughts.  The challenge in this goal is the word DAILY.  I’m going to work harder on the daily focus of this goal because I can literally feel the results in my efforts when I remain diligent in the process.

I hope you enjoyed my look at a few of the goals I’m attacking in 2014.  I hope this will give you the energy and excitement you need to tackle your goals.  It’s extremely helpful for me to share these goals publicly for accountability.

ACTION ITEM: Take a moment to review your 2014 goals.  If you don’t have them, work some time into your schedule to get them written down.  Next, it’s truthful reflection time.  What’s keeping you from attaining the goal?  Lastly, here is a link to Tony Robbins goal setting workbook.  It’s fantastic.

San Fran Pics:

Zac & Beth visit Google World Headquarters

Zac & Beth visit Google World Headquarters

San Francisco Selfie

San Francisco Selfie

View from our patio

View from our patio

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge