One day, I looked in the mirror and finally admitted that I didn’t have the discipline I needed to reach the next stage of my journey as an entrepreneur. This was holding back my personal growth and development which in turn held back my business.
That was a truth that hurt and I hid it for a long while.
I wrestled for 10 years, all year round. I competed at the national level representing Team New Jersey. I learned what it takes to break through to new stages of life.
But that was years ago and I somehow got soft.
I needed to change that.
I picked up a book called “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. If you don’t know him, he’s a super badass who has done the impossible over and over. He’s the essence of personal growth and development.
He said, “If you have any mental toughness, any fraction of self-discipline; the ability to not want to do it, but still do it; if you can get through to doing things that you hate to do: on the other side is greatness.”
The ability to do what you need to do even when you don’t feel like doing it.
The emotional mind is very powerful. It can easily hold back your ownpersonal growth and development.
It’s the biological side of us that makes us “feel”.
It’s 5am, the alarm goes off and you no longer “feel” like getting up.
But the day before, you decided it had to happen because you needed that extra time in the day. Perfect logical sense. But emotions can easily break logic when we don’t have discipline. Bye Bye,personal growth and development.
One Key to Personal Growth and Development
The difference between living the life we truly want to live and the life that we are willing to put up with can easily boil down to discipline.
Are there other factors, yes, of course, but without discipline, you got nothing.
James Clear wrote the book Atomic Habits. Great read if you haven’t read it yet. He said:
“When scientists analyze people who appear to have tremendous self-control, it turns out those individuals aren’t all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, “disciplined” people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control. In other words, they spend less time in tempting situations. Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”
He talks about habits and how to start with the least amount of friction so you can create new flows in your life and not bail out on them because they are too much.
A simple example is a daily planner I share with all the entrepreneurs in my Brand Accelerator.
I made this for myself for 2 reasons and it’s created a huge shift in my results.
There were too many mornings where I sat down at 5am with my coffee to start working and I would either feel like I wasn’t sure what I wanted to work and just start picking away at things, or I just hammered away at stuff I thought was needed. At the end of the day, I crossed a lot off my “to-do” list and felt like I got a lot done.
But then I would look back at the month or year and realize that all the tasks I didn’t add up to real progress. I just did a bunch of shit and painfully learned what not to do.
Two, it’s a simple one-page document that makes it easy to use each morning as a non-negotiable part of my routine. It forces me to work on things that actually matter.
Since using this, my business’s monthly revenue has quadrupled. No exaggeration. But my business revenue would not grow without thepersonal growth and development I was able to achieve through this process.
If you just sit down and start working you can either feel lost and unsure or you just do things that you like but don’t really matter to the critical path of your business. I see this happen to business owners ALL the time.
I know for a fact that some of you reading this will say, “not me Adam, I always know exactly what I need to do.”
Trust me I said that too. It doesn’t work, not if you’re going to build a real business.
The reality is that success in business and life is a pragmatic formula based on Universal Laws. It’s not just theory and philosophy.
Add up 2 + 2 and you always get 4. It’s a mathematical law.
Discipline is part of that equation because it drivespersonal growth and development which drives business growth.
Don’t justify your emotional responses. Don’t make excuses.
I have found through my own experience and others, nothing can ever improve in your life if you are not willing to be brutally honest about where you are now and why. That’s wherepersonal growth and development starts, with the honest truth about yourself.
No matter what you want to do in your life, there is a price you have to pay to get there.
That’s not just money. It’s sacrifice, early mornings, late nights, travel, learning new skills, and doing things you aren’t comfortable with.
Without discipline, you’re inner voice and subconscious influence will rule you like a puppet master. You won’t achievepersonal growth and development and your business won’t thrive because of it.
With discipline and self-awareness, you can break through to new versions of yourself which will open the door for your business to thrive.
For years I never developed a real sense of self. But once I finally hit a new low I had nothing else to blame but myself.
Why wasn’t I living the life I wanted? Why couldn’t I figure out the secret that others seemed to have unlocked? Was I lacking a clear sense of self?
Creating the life you want, in my opinion, means that you spend time with your family the way you want, you earn money the way you want, you travel the way you want and so on. This is why I love entrepreneurship, you create money how you want and shape the life you desire.
I knew all the business strategies and tactics, heck, I helped create strategies for some of the biggest brands in the world while working at WebMD as Director of Strategic Marketing. Yet, I was still stuck trying to create the life I wanted.
I tried it all and spent at least $100k before I finally took a hard look in the mirror at myself and realized I was in my way.
It was the last possible roadblock.
Imagine a dog that you bring into your house as a puppy. The dog is domesticated. Meaning it is trained to live by certain rules you teach it.
As children, it’s no different. We are told many stories – what is right, what is wrong, what we are good at, what we are bad at, what is pretty, what is not, how business and life works, how it does not work. The list goes on.
The stories that run through your brain over and over makeup what you believe and can hold you back from doing what you were born to do, forcing you to behave differently on a subconscious level.
For example, let’s say you have a new computer and it’s in perfect condition to do what it was made to do. But then you get a computer virus. Because of that virus, the computer can no longer operate as it was intended.
Despite what the truth is the only thing that matters is what you believe to be true. That is where your energy will go to create that reality.
So, it was time to dig in and develop a sense of self that would allow me to become aware of what stories programmed me and how to change those stories so I developed a new improved sense of self and get new results in my life.
Only when you develop a sense of self and become aware of the stories that dictate your actions can you start to make changes.
I believe that creating the life you want is 80% mental programming and 20% strategy.
At the time of writing this, I have done over 220+ interviews for the Change Creator Podcast. There are many conversations where I talk to experts about creating your dream life, developing a better sense of self, and mastering the mind.
I want to share a collection of favorites to help give you great inputs from other experts who will inspire you with great perspectives so you can begin to develop a sense of self and begin shaping the life you want.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, this type of work is required at every stage of success.
These are in no particular order. Take the time to listen carefully and understand the powerful advice they share. This is key to reshaping your world.
In this collection of interviews, we explore the self as part of the journey towards transformation and success in our lives. Each interview offers a different part of the puzzle with each expert sharing their best advice to help listeners shift their perspective so they can become the next version of themselves.
Listen closely and you’ll hear common threads that will start to click and make a difference in your life.
When you start playing any of the interviews it will make a link to the show notes available.
If you find this collection inspirational, pay it forward to someone you know who could benefit too.
I have found it can be like a maze where you sometimes think you found the path but it’s just a trick. That short-lived burst of joy that dies quickly.
After 40 years of life, I have personally found that we all are easily led further away from real happiness and are teased more and more with tricks.
I know it’s uncomfortable to admit but it’s a result of how we are told to live our lives. We do things that take us further and further away from who we truly are as a human being.
There is a growing misalignment between our inner and outer world. Like the classic example of working the dreaded 9-5 just to put food on the table. Rationalizing that it’s the right thing to do, maybe even convincing ourselves it’s the only thing we can do.
We tend to yearn for something more meaningful. More raw life.
We have options if we choose to see them and are willing to pursue them. Sometimes we become blind to them and other times we are just too afraid to change because it’s hard.⠀⠀
The truth is that the more you align your true inner desires to your actions the more happiness you will find. But first, you have to lift the veil and allow yourself to see who you really are and what you really desire.⠀⠀⠀⠀
When I started Change Creator it was an extension of who I am, my core beliefs. I’ve never felt such alignment in my life since the day I met my wife.
Most of us are afraid we won’t make money. But, money is all around us and abundant for the taking. Money is not the roadblock, how we think about ourselves and our personal power. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
When you start opening your mind to finding your truth, that alignment between your inner subconscious world and the outer conscious world you will start to feel true happiness. The more our outer world dictates how we live, the less happiness we will feel. ⠀⠀
So, take more time to listen to your inner self. What does it say?
As entrepreneurs, we all face challenges with anxiety, stress and mental blocks that hold us back! But what if we can overcome them? We spoke with expert, Mandy Barbee, who has over 15 years of leadership experience and is certified in clinical hypnotherapy, neurolinguistics, and the mind-body connection.
Mandy Barbee, MA Economics & CCHT, founder of Palladium Mind, is a transformation and healing expert who has helped hundreds of clients across the globe to overcome anxiousness and thrive in business, health, and life. By combining the power of imagery with their innate capabilities, she empowers men and women to regain a positive sense of control, transcend struggle, and enjoy everything more.
Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by Otter.ca; there may be errors.)
Adam G. Force 0:11 Hey, what’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. This is your host Adam for syrette Change Creator. I’m excited to be here today because I love talking about the mind and how we behave and why we do things and our mental blocks and all that good stuff. And today we have a treat for you. We’re going to be talking to someone by the name of Mandy Barbie. She’s the founder of palladium mind. So we’re going to cover a number of topics here. She’s actually a she helps people in transformation and healing right? So she works with a lot of clients all around the world. And they she basically focuses on like how to overcome anxiety and different stressors and get over certain mental blocks in your life so that you can really start to thrive thrive not only in your business, But in life in general. So she has some unique insights that she’s going to be talking to us about today that I think will be really great takeaways that will help you on your journey as an entrepreneur. So excited to jump into that with Mandy today. If you guys missed the last episode of the Change Creator podcast, definitely go back we spoke to Ken Casals. He’s a very sharp guy. He was on the Forbes 30. Under 30. We talked about growing leads and revenue faster for e commerce. And there are some interesting considerations from you know what’s going on in the world today, but also just from his extensive experience working with a lot of clients and running a lot of different campaigns and stuff like that. So if you have an e commerce company, definitely something to check out. And even if you don’t, there’s a lot of great conversations just about growing leads and revenue, right? So don’t want to miss that one. And guys, one of the things that we have been focused on I know, we’ve had a lot of people come up to us and they’re obviously trying to go digital and they’re kind of stressing it. which totally get that. But you know, we are programmed the captivate method is we’re all we’re focused on digital, right? So the captivate method program is really about helping people get more, to really build trust with their audience, get more leads and get consistent sales. And we do this through strategic storytelling. So we really supercharge the business and marketing with storytelling, but we also set up these systems the right way. So you guys can have that that basically a sales loop, right? So if this is something that’s going to help you because you want to get digital and get your revenue channels up on the digital side, this could be a great program for you. We do look for early stage entrepreneurs who at least have their product that maybe made a sale or two at least, right? Because we’re not doing product development, but the community offers lots of live coaching and all that kind of stuff. So it’s a very powerful program. If you’re interested, it sounds like something that can help you right now. Go to Change Creator calm and you’ll see in the navigation menu or the header. It says Join captivate, you’ll be able to get on a waitlist and within a very short period of time, after you get a couple emails and updates, you’ll get an opportunity to join our masterclass to learn more about how this can help you. And then from there you can make your decision as if this is the right community for you or not, but really exciting stuff. It’s proven it works. We use these strategies all the time, not only for ourselves, but to help other clients scale their businesses all the time. So alright guys just wanted to make mention of that during this time with this pandemic, because I realized how important I mean digital is always important, but more than ever now we’re just seeing a whole influx of people who are looking for that kind of support so I would jump on it get in there check it out, and you can always reach out go to our contact page reach out if you have questions or you know, there’s a chat bot or whatever on there that you could talk to us. Alright guys, without further ado, let’s jump into it. Don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes. And yeah, let’s talk to a man Hey, show
Unknown Speaker 3:57 me that he
Adam G. Force 4:01 Hey, Mandy, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show today. How are you? I am so good. Adam, thank you so much for having me. You’re very welcome. excited to talk with you based on all the incredible expertise you have. It’s a space that I always like to get involved in. So why don’t we just open the door a little bit with, you know, what is going on today with you? Not today specifically, but just present time. And give us a little bit of that background. So I like to get like what’s going on now and then we can kind of work our way into how you got here.
Mandy Barbee 4:37 Yeah, absolutely. So right now today in my world, I were hunkered down in Seattle, Washington, doing some social distancing here. And yeah, I get to work from my home office, and I’m serving clients all over the United States and one international client through my coaching and hypnotherapy practice. displayed in mind, currently, what’s going on, it’s very exciting to me is something that’s been a long time in the works, which is not a plug, it’s just something I’m extremely passionate about is the very first opportunity that I have ever felt alignment to share something virtual, a resource that will actually create healing with people where they don’t have to dip that toe in the water of one to one in person or, or virtual work. So it’s something it’s a product that I’ve been ruminating on and steeping on for the last like five years. And it’s finally coming to fruition in April. So that’s very exciting.
Adam G. Force 5:43 Very cool. Congratulations. So thank you. I you know, for me, one of the things that’s so important and why I really wanted to have this conversation with you is that you have an expertise in helping people overcome struggle by understanding and Managing, you know, the anxiety and fear, fear based decision making. And then when it comes to us being entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, who are, you know, on our own and doing these things? There’s a lot of that, right? There’s a lot of ups and downs and stressors that can really trigger a lot of anxiety and fear. And so, you know, one thing we always talk about is how, you know, when we make decisions from those places that are our timing from going from point A to point B gets much longer because we make lots of bad decisions. And I want to help people understand, you know, how to think about that and how to start managing it. So can you just like talk a little bit about, you know, how you work with people in general right now, just to give us some background on what you’re doing, and how, like some of the key things that you’re working with people on?
Mandy Barbee 6:56 Oh, yes, that’s such a great setup. The I’m a way that I work with people. This, this work that I do falls under it could be described in a lot of ways. And I think the best way to understand it is it’s working with imagery. So a couple key points are that anything happening automatically, in your experience, anything that’s automated, in your experience, by your body or by your mind is governed by your subconscious. So subconscious problems can’t be analyzed away. We can bring unconscious issues to light to awareness, but even if you do, you can’t like troubleshoot a feeling away. There needs to be an experience. I love it. You’re laughing beautiful. Can you relate to that? Oh, yeah,
Adam G. Force 7:51 I mean, you have these experiences and I just like that, use the word troubleshoot, like Oh, let me you know, it’s just it’s it’s a funny way of putting it I actually just say, I typed down I quoted you on that one, you can troubleshoot and experience.
Mandy Barbee 8:05 Yeah, you can troubleshoot a feeling away. Like even if this is the this is the awareness that I had like years into doing this work with people. And I will describe the work in just a moment. I want to bring that clarity too. So we’re all like kind of speaking the same language. But the awareness that I had was people like I don’t know what this anxiety is from, I don’t know what is causing it. I don’t know. And this is a huge point of frustration. And it’s also can make a feeling or a sense of failure. result in that person’s experience depending on how we relate to not knowing something, what we feel or decide about the fact that we don’t know the reason. It can either be scary or it can be defeating, and that’s totally relatable, but in, in in the big scheme, even If you do know because often people will learn most the time when I work with people, we discover the root just knowing it doesn’t change it. And that is something beautiful that I want to add took me like I said, years of working with people one on one to notice this huge frustration that we bring a loading to the situation with burden of Oh my God, I don’t know why, and then we find out and we still have to find a way of resolving it. So I think that that bit, that little nugget of information can bring a lot of grace like okay, so So knowing it isn’t going to make you feel better. What will
Adam G. Force 9:39 Mm hmm. And well, I mean, at least I guess if you can, like you have these conversations, you get to the root of what’s causing because like I always say like, if you don’t know a mistake that you’re making, right, you think you’re doing everything great just like having clarity on your business. Like if you think you have clarity and you don’t know the mistakes you’re making, well, you can’t get around them and fix them if you’re not even aware. So at least The first step it sounds like is like, well, what is the source of this anxiety? It’s easy to say I’m stressed because of money, and I’m Chef. But there’s probably other things that go far deeper that causes ongoing, you know, stressors or trigger you into behaviors that create these, this anxiety, right? So if we can understand what they are, then I guess you could start at least taking the next steps to manage that.
Mandy Barbee 10:26 I think that’s such a beautiful like uncovering that you just made about. We say when we say it’s just an opportunity, even for listeners in this very moment, to think like if there’s something that’s Top of Mind like, it’s money, I’m stressed about money, or I’m stressed about that, that one hiring decision or the firing decision that I’m contemplating or making that leap. It’s like you’ve identified it, that’s good. But then what’s the reason why that is causing so much distress,
Adam G. Force 10:57 right? And I mean, so like, what Like, what do people how do you start figuring that out?
Mandy Barbee 11:05 Yeah. Is it magic sauce? Oh, I can totally I’ll share as much as I possibly can. This is my area of genius or geek out. Yeah. Well, I think this would be a perfect time to do it best I can in describing exactly what I do and how I do it. So we can open that up. And others can benefit and command the resources that they are governing. So we use the very mechanisms in the body and in the mind and in the person in the awareness that are creating the problem automatically, to shift it. So if you want to operate at the level where change needs to happen in the subconscious, that’s the feeling body. So it’s not the intellect or the logical part. I’m pointing up right to my neocortex right now right to the temple. Not that frontal lobe. It’s the feeling body, the instinctual primal awareness, the instincts and intuition you could say, and how you in how you work with that is actually so simple, because imagery is the language of the subconscious. Oh, that isn’t that amazing? Yeah, we can talk problem with imagery. imagery. You haven’t heard
Adam G. Force 12:28 of the subconscious? No, I have not heard that concept. That imagery is the language of the subconscious. Can you can you tell us a little bit more about that? Like why that is?
Mandy Barbee 12:40 Yes. There’s, I say, I usually hold up three fingers and I’m doing that right now. There’s imagery, hormones and emotions. There may be more I’ve often asked myself this, but these are the languages of the subconscious. These are the shovelers of automatic creation. reactions. And so, like in dreams, for instance, this is a best way to describe it when we’re processing at night in a certain brainwave pattern. And we’re becoming aware of our unconscious information when we remember our dreams. Dreams are primarily an imagery. But there’s other aspects of imagery that also show up, we have an internal sense, we have an internal set of senses, that replicates the sensory experience we have in the outside world. So our perception gets repeated on the inside so the body mind can store it. I hope this is making sense because basically, if we, if we hear a sound, the way that we’re able to recall the sound later is because we have an internal sense of sound. Yeah. So you could imagine someone gently brushing a hand against your hand or you could remember sandpaper, how it feels. We have these internal sensory ways of storing information as well. And so that is the matter By which subconscious information is stored and organized. It’s also how it’s recalled.
Adam G. Force 14:06 Yeah. Okay, so, so now Okay, can we talk I want to talk about like, so this is helpful just to get that like depth of understanding. And I think a lot of times, you know, people and I’m going to ask a general question because I want to see just how you feel about it that when we are entrepreneurs, and we are exploring the unknown, we’re solving problems. The people that really are held back from finding success in what they do, it doesn’t matter how great of an expert they are, if they aren’t making it, it tends to be because of mindset blocks. Is that a fair statement?
Mandy Barbee 14:49 I am, like I would love to add to hear it because we talked a little bit before this call as well. And you mentioned mindset there too. And I think that mindset is one of those words when people say it, they might mean, sometimes different things. Okay. I would love to hear what you can you describe mindset, and then I’ll also butt up against that.
Adam G. Force 15:07 Yeah. So if I’m relating it to what you’re talking about. So if I was it’s the subconscious, so the subconscious conscious dictating how we feel how we respond. And a simple example would be around money, right? So everyone talks about money blocks, and it’s about well, what did your parents teach you about money? What were the stories you heard about money? And how do those affect the way you behave around money? And you know, it creates the feelings you have about it. So, you know, I always say, if you hate money, you’re probably not going to have much right if you’re not, if you’re not, if you think it’s a really hard thing to get, then you’re probably going to always make yourself work 100 hours a week in order to get money. Right. So it’s like, yeah, these are the types of exactly that I see with entrepreneurs. Including myself, we all have these things. And I’m like, for example, I read a book by Bruce Lipton called the Biology of Belief and dives into a lot of these types of things because I’m always hunting for how do I improve myself? How do I strengthen my mindset, but like a great example was like, Okay, if you had a CD playing old school, right, you got a CD playing a song and you’re like, I really want to change the song. Just thinking about it like saying, don’t eat those donuts, and I’m gonna be on a diet like it just saying it doesn’t do anything. You have to literally go there and reprogram it by putting a new CD and so how do we do that in our brain?
Mandy Barbee 16:39 Yes. I love that book, Adam. And I tell people you can listen to it in three hours on Audible on a Sunday morning. It’s good if you’re able super so good. He’s just a beautiful humans. How do you reprogram it? Yeah, and and do I agree about this? This, you know, experience of struggle being a lot mindset as you described it 100% were in alignment and understanding there, okay. How do we reprogram it? There’s working with imagery, you know, working with imagery is something that it’s let me pause there. I want to say something different. Okay. We reprogram it. When I was thinking of when I work with people, what’s really important to me to convey is that sometimes because I do practice hypnotherapy, people come in and actually Bruce Lipton, Dr. Bruce Lipton also mentions hypnosis at the end of the Biology of Belief, which is so interesting, just this tiny little word. Yeah, but I do practice it with therapy. It’s because it was a way that I was trained to utilize imagery with others. The imagery isn’t proprietary to any modality You’re using imagery all the time. Sometimes we can use it for good. Or we could use it for evil because we could use imagery to make ourselves spun up and imagine really terrible things. Or we can use imagery. Sometimes it feels spontaneously, or automatically without choice to put ourselves into what Tony Robbins would say, a beautiful state, that we can command our state, by the way that we direct our attention and the imagery that we call in this, you can see that there’s this interesting interplay that I think about all the time between conscious control and direction, and the allowing of our subconscious to play as well. And so I do people come into hypnotherapy a lot and they find me through through hypnotherapy quite frequently, and we always start with debunking this idea that there’s any form of transfer of control. Because I’m only going to help that person steer their own imagery in a relaxed state, I can’t install imagery. I can’t actually reprogram they, in a state of relaxation can access the subconscious and imagery arises naturally when we flip out of analytical mindset. Yeah, yeah. So
Adam G. Force 19:24 does that answer? It does so I have questions, of course. So you are talking about being in a state of theta, right? Is that your, your relaxed state.
Mandy Barbee 19:35 Theta is the data is one of those relaxed states and I, I tend to, I really work with people in alpha, which is a very, it’s a very wakeful, but alert state where imagery is natural. And so theta and delta are generally in a state of like deeper sleep. Like they’re either sleep light dreaming sleep or deeper sleep, and we’re definitely in a waking state. Just relax critical mind. Got it.
Adam G. Force 20:08 And when you talk about using imagery, just so everybody listening understands, like we’re not talking about necessarily, or maybe you are. So you can tell me like holding up a tangible image. So you see something in front of you, it’s more about creating the images in your your mind, right, like thinking about certain images. Exactly. Okay. Okay, and so, like thinking about certain images. I mean, does this come through like the, I guess one of the processes I’ve always been curious about, and it’s like, well, does this really work? And how do I know it works is like, you would obviously work with someone through this image process, which I’m not super familiar with, but does it relate to things like affirmations? Like what it was like, Is that another process or is it tied to it?
Mandy Barbee 20:58 Yeah. I’ll go back one tiny step and then take you all the way through like a spectrum of options. Because this is also like a point of passion for me is sharing with people the spectrum of tools that other people are giving them so that they understand where everything fits. Almost like like a care team, like your whole medical team working together, you can start to go Okay, wait a second, I see what’s going on here and why, and then this one, and then I’m getting a suggestion for this from somebody else. And you can kind of begin to govern your own experience even more powerfully. There’s a conscious piece and there’s an unconscious piece and the conscious piece like every person, every client, every human that I interact with, I want us all to be building awareness because in that awareness, other things become possible, just like you said earlier. Yeah. When you become aware of the problem, suddenly you can think about solving it. This when you work in a relaxed state of awareness that is one of the easiest tools for solving a feeling problem or an automatic problem. And that’s what we’re talking about here. So when we drop into a relaxed state of mind, it affirmation is one way of imagining something that’s not true now, or that we perceive is not true now, but we’re putting ourselves in the experience of being true by writing the affirmation or speaking the affirmation. I see this. Does that jive?
Adam G. Force 22:27 Yeah. For you? Yeah, I’m good. Okay.
Mandy Barbee 22:29 I think that that’s one way that I describe affirmation, because it’s one thing to go. What? Already reveal myself Harry Potter. I must not tell lies. I must not tell anybody I must write total dork moment. But if we write the affirmation over and over and over again, surely we could eventually maybe have a chance of brainwashing ourselves. But if you if you actually engage emotionally with the affirmation That you’re saying, You’re basically dressed, rehearsing the emotional experience and giving your nervous system the opportunity to taste what life is like, when that’s true. And you’re making it true right now.
Adam G. Force 23:16 I love that. Yeah. So okay, so cuz that’s something I picked up on through this process is like, you don’t just sit there and say something in your mind. Right? And you you want to, I learned that the most and I think you’re saying the same thing. The most important part of that is to not just say it and think it, but to actually feel it to actually emotionally feel what it’s like, when you’re saying that. Like that. That affirmation. So yeah, just mentioned jolting the nervous system and starting because now if you can feel it, like when you said I guess what life is like, right, and I think that that hit me, I’m like, Yes. Okay. So that’s probably the most important part of that process, right?
Mandy Barbee 23:59 Yes. Yes, and let’s take it a step further. So an affirmation is this one part of utilizing our decision making process which is conscious, to step into an emotional experience of something new, being true. And affirmation is not the primary tool that I use in my practice, but it’s what I will send people away to do at home because it’s support. It’s like this beautiful foundation or a brick road that you’re building underneath all the change work that we’re going to do the transformation work that you can do with imagery with a person one on one. And so, with imagery like on top, if we stack these resources, we’re bringing consciousness to bear we want the decision we want the decision making process on board with what we’re doing. We’re not trying to go ahead or without the rest of the person’s good decision making on board right then affirmations can support change work and in very light situations with enough rapid And consistency, they can and will change problems. But a lot of times when there’s real deep fears, I don’t mean deep like long ago or deep down or dark. I just mean, if it’s really emotionally charged. It’s really hard to step into the experience of those words even being true. We need something else to shift. And you can make shift happen like like that. I mean, practically like that when you’re working directly with the problem state via an interface such as imagery. So imagery allows, like an like an, like a translator between conscious awareness and unconscious problem within the body. So suddenly, they have a means of talking. Got it?
Adam G. Force 25:46 Yeah, I love that. That’s interesting. And so can you I guess I’m curious. Now that we’re kind of talking about the imagery, we talked about the affirmations like, how long is A process like this usually taking place before we can start seeing shifts in, I guess I want to say the reality that we’re manifesting.
Mandy Barbee 26:13 Mm hmm. This is this is one of the most fun parts of my job. But I get to tell you that when you do this type of when you do this type of you have this type of conversation within yourself. Yeah, using this language where suddenly I’ll say, it feels like sometimes when you’re trying to problem solve a feeling. It can be like one person speaking one language screaming at another person speaking another language and the other person screaming back with anxiety. And the conscious mind is screaming back with problem solving. They’re both just screaming each other and nobody’s understanding anything. Right? And it’s like, Can we just get a translator in here? And then you have a translator and they don’t even have a beef. Like Okay, cool. It’s like a handshake and it’s done. But communication got to happen. Right? And that is that fast. And not only is it that fast it’s that when you have that conversation, you’ve actually resolved the reason for the feeling. The feeling is only coming to deliver information. The problem is its language isn’t being heard or understood. Because we get so used to listening with our conscious mind, right or no longer those children just in worlds where reality and dreams can mix and we’re like, with our playmates, you know,
Adam G. Force 27:38 yeah, yeah. Okay. So I guess I’m curious. So I mean, because I guess it’s, it’s different for everybody, right? It’s not like you can say, oh, in a month, I’m gonna be a millionaire because I overcame my fear of money. Or like, you know, whatever it might be. You know, even like Tony Robbins, we interviewed him and he was like, you know, I’ve worked with all these big times. CEOs, professional athletes, all these guys, and no matter what level you’re at, he said that, you know, when someone’s trying to go to the next level of success like to move into a new version of themselves and a new version of their life 80% of the time, there’s a psychological block holding them back that he just helps them get around. And that’s all it is.
Mandy Barbee 28:22 Yeah, this is the exact This is the nature of my work is I help people shift the block, we help people resolve the block, right. And I can speak to and if anybody’s still listening after all of this technical communication, please. I feel like I just been on overload delivering so much tech information, but I really, I really love talking about this stuff out of them. So you don’t know how much I appreciate you just sharing this time with me and I really admire the work that you’re doing. Thank you.
Adam G. Force 28:57 No, I mean I love I love getting into these conversations I just think they’re so important. Because you know, entrepreneurship in my mind is about creating a life. And it’s, it’s there is no work life balance. It’s just about this harmony of how do you live your life? How do you spend your time? And I think there’s so many unnecessary stressors from past. You know, what do you call it conditioning that we’re not aware of. And I just give you example of how important this mindset stuff is. We had I was at a summit not long ago, and it’s about 40 people in a mastermind that we’re in, you know, one that you have to pay a big bill to be heard of. And so you’re already paying a lot of money over $20,000 to be part of this mastermind. And we got a room of 40 people. So a guy goes up and he presents about money mindset. This is what his program what he helps people with, right is just money mindset. And so it’s a $5,000 program for to be part of this. And then he had a small discount for people in the room. But at the end of the day 50% of the room right there on the spot, opened up their phones and bought that these are these are multiple high like six figure seven figure entrepreneurs. And they are without even thinking about it. Half that room bought that program because money mindset was just so important to the process of getting to that next stage. So what the reason I’m sharing this is that the work you do is probably one of the most important parts of becoming successful in building the life that we want.
Mandy Barbee 30:32 Wow, he really just honored me I see it that way too. And it’s one of the greatest joys of me finding my purpose is that I really think that like when you when you scrape away the scum and then you scrape away the pain you get all the way down to bare metal, like what I get to work with people is on the foundation, and when the foundation is rock solid, you can’t stop a person and it’s not hard. It’s not long to get there. Even Though that is so counterintuitive, because we can struggle against these things, for as long as we have memory, right, I see this stuff shift so fast. And it’s not a magic button. You know, and I know that you know that it’s not a magic button. That’s not what I’m saying. But your question was, interestingly, your question was like, how long does it take? Yeah, and I have worked well, my background in the military. And I also have background in manufacturing in a regulated, regulated industries, two of them. So we’re like precision and quality and root cause analysis, and resolution, the five why’s like it’s gotta be dialed in. Yeah. And I bring that to bear with this really soft, compassionate type of work to help people resolve some of the darkest stuff where we’ve got guilt or shame or whatever, and anxiety where it’s like, we’re breaking our heads against it. So to help people be able to shift those things. Where there’s a lot of belief sometimes stacked against ourselves. It is such an honor. Yeah. And so I have worked really hard my entire obsession is in creating a being able to provide something where there is an expectation that within this window, you can expect that a normal bell curve of results are going to be you can have a resolution not like in, you know, 19 days, it’s like a timer, it just goes off and you’re done. But it’s like, you know, there’s a range and if you follow the process, you can shift and a lifelong problem in weeks. I love
Adam G. Force 32:39 that. Yeah, I love that. And it’s because it’s funny you could see people they’ll spend all the money in the world on like, a course for a marketing strategy on Pinterest or all this other stuff and they end up missing the nurturing of the most important part important part of their success which is cultivating the mindset because and the reason is Say that is what everything we’ve been talking about. But the other part of it is, you know, right now you are not the person that you need to be to get where you want to go. So you have to literally become different versions of yourself to continue to grow into that, that future that you have a vision for, right?
Mandy Barbee 33:23 Yes, yes. Yes. And when when you were speaking about when you were just talking, what came to mind was when, when you with what you said was, we’re buying the strategies where it will pay for the marketing will invest in the equipment, right, but we’re less likely sometimes to pour into ourselves. Yes. And what came to mind was the creator and that’s this is your podcasts, you know, it’s it’s the Change Creator who’s creating the change, it’s the creator and so we have to nourish ourselves first because we are the consciousness That’s bringing all of this about. Exactly, exactly. I think it’s a good note to, to wrap up on I did want to just ask them, who you typically work with, right? Who is your, I guess primary, your perfect customer, if you will? Yeah, I, I am. I have a huge smile on my face right now because I have never really resonated with like with gender specific work. And I really believe strongly in the universality of this resource and want to be available to the human race. That being said, You know, I do have issues that I work very specifically and I can share a little bit about my practice if I actually work with 50 by 55% of my practice has been served has served men and 45% has been women. I work I have worked with people across 25 different countries. I can serve people as long as they should Share at this point in time, English as a common language, very percent because when you’re relaxed, it’s even harder to do that translation and maintain relaxation even if you’re multilingual. And my truly, my focus issue is on helping people resolve anxiety because I have walked that road, and it is possible to resolve anxiety and cease managing it. So I’m just really I’m really psyched about helping people to heal anxiety and no longer cope with it. Okay,
Adam G. Force 35:35 great. Well, why don’t we give a shout out where people can learn more about what you’re doing and find you?
Mandy Barbee 35:45 Yes, Adam is I’ll tell you right now then beautiful I am on Instagram. I’m a little I have a little bit of an Instagram addiction. lol and my handle is my palladium mind because my company is palladium mind play is one of the elements on the periodic table in the Platinum group. So that’s p ALADM. Mind and my website’s palladium mind calm and there’s a giveaway for accessing your alpha state at palladium mine forward slash change creators. Got it.
Adam G. Force 36:18 Okay, great. And we’ll put that in the show notes for everybody to check out. Mandy, thank you so much for your time and sharing your expertise. Inspire it was inspiring and very helpful. Thank you so much, Adam.
Unknown Speaker 36:34 That’s all for this episode. Your next step is to join the Change Creator revolution by downloading our interactive digital magazine app for premium content, exclusive interviews, and more ways to stay on top of your game available now on iTunes and Google Play or visit Change Creator mag Comm. We’ll see you next time where money and meaning intersect right here at the Change Creator podcast.
Check out these other great episodes you might like!
Michael O’Brien’s last bad day was July 11, 2001. He found himself on his bike, hurtling down a New Mexico road and into the path of an SUV travelling at 40 miles per hour when his life took a turn for the better.
I remember the sound of me hitting his grill…the thud I made as I came to the asphalt below, the screech of his brakes.
Wanting to make the best of the situation, Michael promised himself that if he survived, he’d stop trying to chase happiness. He even had the wherewithal to throw in a bit of humor and asked the EMTs who were working on saving his life, “Hey, how’s my bike?”
Until that day, Michael saw his role in life as that of playing Superman. He was the leader. He was playing Superman at work, he was playing Superman at home, and he felt he had to have all the answers. He suffered from what he calls comparisonitis — the fixation on comparing what one has to what others have. And it was taking its toll. He was chasing some sort of ideal on a hamster wheel and getting nowhere and finally made a shift where he realized he could live by his own script and not by the script he thought society wanted him to live by. He began living his life with much more awareness. He made a concerted effort to do purposeful work that was meaningful and to do it with gratitude and a connection to others.
If you can worry yourself sick, why can’t you think yourself well?
Michael put a lot of faith in the belief that if he lived his life this way, there’d be a positive downstream impact on his success. He started the day after his accident: He wheeled himself to a quiet spot in the hospital and practiced mindfulness. He he made a point of fostering his gratitude every evening by listing all the things he was grateful for. And he focused on looking at what was good in the world as a way to look forward to and embrace tomorrow and fuel his recovery.
Not for Everyone
Michael is quick to point out that his strategy — his collection of rituals — is not for everyone. Often, we try to follow what successful celebrities or businesspeople adopt as their strategy. They do very well for themselves and so we assume that in order for us to become successful, we simply need to follow in their footsteps. But what works for them won’t necessarily work for us. Michael cites Tony Robbins as an example: Robbins, a successful life coach and motivational speaker, swears by a morning jump into a frigid plunge pool. But if you’re not a morning person and detest cold water, you’ll soon realize this is bogus (and not at all enjoyable) and that it’s not helping you move forward. And that’s the point. We all need to find our own things that help us move forward.
No More Bad Days
When Michael O’Brien refers to July 11, 2001, as his last bad day, he in no way means that life has been perfect since then. His goal, and his wish for all of us, is to be able to quickly rebound from the bad moments life throws at us. And as entrepreneurs, we’re going to have a lot of bad moments. His focus is to keep a bad moment from gaining any more fuel than it should so that it doesn’t turn into a bad day. The result: no more bad days. That’s not to say his life hasn’t had any challenging moments. But by not giving them any more energy than they deserve, he prevents the day from getting hijacked. Because, he warns, once that first day gets hijacked by a bad event, the next day gets hijacked, too. And before you know it, you’re in a pattern of bad days.
This premise reflects the work Michael does with his clients. He discusses with them ways in which they can become resilient in business so that they know how to respond quickly when those challenging moments happen. He stresses that how people respond to stressors is everything and so hopefully, with the help of some coping strategies, the intensity with which they respond is reduced over time, as is the number of times they are triggered.
Michael shared with us that he has learned a lot from his accident and the way in which it has transformed his life. He has started asking potential partners about their values. He is now much more focused on what their passion is and what they stand for as opposed to whether or not they can help him and his business get to the next level. He stresses that this is a critical part of being an entrepreneur. He adds that as entrepreneurs, we have self doubt creep in from time to time — whether our business is worth $50,000 or $500,000. And it’s good to have a team of like-minded people around you cheering you on.
At the end of the day, as entrepreneurs, we all have the same issues: the self doubt, the incorrect assumptions, and making stuff up in our storytelling that doesn’t serve us well. Michael’s goal for himself and for others is to take a collective deep breath, look at the big picture, and begin to appreciate what each new day brings.
You can read more about preventing bad moments from turning into bad days in Michael’s new book, My Last Bad Day Shift and at michaelobrienshift.com.
Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by Otter.ai; there may be errors.)
Adam Force 0:12 What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. If you missed last week’s episode, it was with Ethan Beute. He’s done a lot of amazing work and we talked about rehumanizing your online business. Really a good one. So if you guys want to check that out, swing back over. We’re on Spotify, SoundCloud, all those spots, iTunes, you name it. And this week, we are going to be talking with Michael O’Brien. And he’s an inspirational speaker and he does a lot of corporate coaching. He had this really crazy experience — a life altering event — that completely shattered his worldview. And he’s going to walk us through it, and it just changed the way he lived his life. He’s actually the author of a book that was very popular called “Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows.” He also has written the best-seller, “My Last Bad Day.”
Okay, and so he is on a mission right now to help 1 million people have their last bad day. So lots of really inspirational insights here and good tidbits on improving your life and making sure that you have your last bad day. So yeah, so stay tuned for that, it’s an exciting discussion with Michael. One update that we have is regarding the Captivate Method. So the doors have been closed for the Captivate Method, but we plan on reopening them now in October. So that is the goal; we’ll get a more specific day. We are aiming for October 1, but you know how these things go. So let’s just say October, 2019, the Captivate Method will be open, and we’re going to start getting people into the new format. So hopefully, that all takes place as planned.
And we’ll keep you guys updated about those things. I think that just about covers it for today, guys. We’ll keep the intro short and sweet. You know how to reach us at changecreator.com. Hit the contact, let us know if you have anything you want to talk about or get involved in. We’re always looking for contributors, guys. We’re looking for contributors for this site and if you have a passion, you’re an activist, your business owner — there’s a lot of things going on the world — share your passion. This is a great platform for you to get involved. There’s an application there for you to do that. Alright guys, let’s dive into this chat with Michael.
Announcer 2:25 Okay, show me the heat.
Adam Force 2:30 Hey, Michael. Welcome to the Change Creator podcast show. How you doing today?
Michael O’Brien 2:34 Good, Adam. Good to be with you, man. I’m totally pumped for our conversation.
Adam Force 2:37 Yeah, no, I appreciate you taking some time to chat. You know, it sounds like you have a really great story and lots of good experience. So we’ll dig into it. But tell me just a little bit. I like to just hear off the bat. You know, what is going on in your world today? What’s the latest? What’s the greatest?
Michael O’Brien 2:55 So with the latest and greatest? I’m pretty stoked for the next two weeks. Because the next week, I’m going to be with a client down in Miami for their sales meeting, doing a couple of keynotes, doing a little facilitation and hosting. But then the week after, I get to go up to Nova Scotia, for a week long bike ride through Nova Scotia for basically Multiple Sclerosis care, a great organization called Can Do MS. They’re based in Colorado and I’ve raised money for them. And they do some excellent work for people dealing with multiple sclerosis current day versus like looking for new treatments. So it’s like in the moment, and so we’re going to ride around, you know, the northern part of the world, all in an effort to change people’s lives, which is pretty cool.
Adam Force 3:44 Yeah, that sounds pretty fun. How long is…how many miles is this bike ride supposed to be?
Michael O’Brien 3:50 So it’s…we’re going to ride for six days. It’s going to be like 60 miles a day. And you know, so the good news is like we ride a lot. We eat a lot. Now, we might have a might have a beer or two and then we sleep a lot. But you know, going up there in, you know, in the fall, it’s going to just be absolutely beautiful. I just can’t wait. It’s one part of the world I haven’t ridden my bike in. So totally stoked. I can’t wait to get up there.
Adam Force 4:18 That sounds like a lot of fun. I just saw something in the news. I was talking to my wife and I was like, Man, this guy, he broke the record for running 100 consecutive miles and guess what his average mile pace was for 100 miles of running.
Michael O’Brien 4:36 I’m gonna guess so I think it’s going to be a little crazy so I’m going to say like like a seven minute mile.
Adam Force 4:43 6.47
Michael O’Brien 4:45 Wow. That’s nuts. Because like as a former, you know, I used to run before my accident which we’ll touch upon and so that is kick ass man like holy cow.
Adam Force 4:58 I couldn’t believe it. So Anyway, that was a jaw dropper. And when you talked about the doing some…I mean 60 miles a day on a bike is a lot in my world, like I’m not doing that. But a good way to keep in shape, that’s for sure.
Michael O’Brien 5:10 It’s a good way to keep in shape and you know, the cookies and the treats — you have a little bit less guilt as they touch your lips, you know, if you’ve ridden 60 miles so, but it’s really like it’s a great, great group of people and their attitude — I mean, it’s called Can Do MS — it’s just one of abundance. So you get that really cool vibe just being around them. And you think and you can do so much more than you think you can when you’re around them. And that has a beautiful way of just cascading or rippling into other aspects of your life.
Adam Force 5:42 Yeah, yeah. Awesome. So I’d like to give everybody a little background just so they know, you know, where you’re coming from and stuff and you know, you have a story that kind of led you to where you are now in your life. I’d like to just have you kind of walk us through that, you know, in a couple minutes or so, if you can do that background that would be great.
Michael O’Brien 6:03 Yeah, I’d love to share because it’s, you know, seminal to like who I am today. So, I’ll take your listeners back to July 11 2001. I had what I call my last bad day. I was out in New Mexico, riding my bike. I was out there for a corporate meeting sort of sales and marketing type of thing. Like a summit you fly out on Monday fly back on Friday. In between, they try to torture you with PowerPoint. And I thought, Adam, I was going to be the smartest guy in the world. I was going to bring my bike out, get some exercise, avoid the hotel gym. And unfortunately, and also fortunately, later, fortunately, I came around a bend on my fourth lap at a two mile loop. I was going to do about 10 loops for 20 miles before the meeting began. I came around the bend on my bike and an SUV, a Ford Explorer, white Ford Explorer, was coming right at me had crossed into my lane fully.
It was going about 40 miles an hour based on what the police estimate. And I had nowhere to go. And I didn’t have enough time to go anywhere either. Plus I was looking at it, I was like, Oh, he’s going to move, he’s going to see me, he’s going to move, he’s going to see me. And he never saw me and he, unfortunately, never moved. And I remember the sound of me hitting his grill into the windshield. You know, the thud I made as it came to the asphalt below, the screech of his brakes. I remember all that. And I was knocked unconscious. And when the EMTs arrived, they start trying to save my life, and I did I asked them the question that only another cyclist can really appreciate. I asked them, hey, how’s my bike? You know, because I was trying to cut the tension in the situation with a little humor, because I knew my life was in question just based on how they were reacting to, you know, my state of health and I was in the worst pain of my life.
To make a long story short, when they put me on that helicopter to take me to Albuquerque to the trauma center, I promised myself if I lived, I would stop chasing happiness. Because before that period of time, I was playing Superman at work. I thought I had to have all the answers because I was the leader. I was playing Superman at home because I thought as the provider and the dad and the husband, I had to have all the answers. And I was pouring a whole bunch of stress inside. I suffered from “comparisonitis” — like what I had versus what everyone else had. And I always felt I didn’t have enough so I just kept on chasing on that hamster wheel.
And I caught some things every now and again that made me happy but then like any great finish line to poofs and goes away and that was back to chasing. So I knew in that moment that I had to change the way I lived if I was going to have the life I wanted to have so I made that commitment that was gonna stop chasing happiness when they put me on the helicopter and long story short…and you know, I’m, you know not to ruin the end of the story: I live in the end. And I finally had a shift where I realized that I could live life by a different script and not by the script I thought society wanted me to live by.
Adam Force 9:17 Yeah, that’s powerful. I mean, sometimes these experiences can really jolt your perspective and how you see and live your life. And it reminded me of a time somebody told me I was talking about something about, you know, I want this and I want that and he’s like, well, you have to, you have to realize that if you feel that way, that’s the person you are that wants these things, when you get it, you’re still going to be the person that wants. And you’re always going to be in the cycle of wanting no matter what you get. Like, oh, man, okay, and so you mentioned you know, you were in some kind of cycle there of chasing happiness and things like that. So, tell me a little bit you know, from this event, how–what kind of changes did you start making?
Michael O’Brien 10:00 Well, I knew I had to get clear on my priorities, you know, because a lot of it was sort of chasing those external merit badges in terms of, well, I’ll be happy when I get to the next level. And, you know, I see a lot with even entrepreneurs like, Well, once I get this done, then I’ll be happy, or once I get this, you know, like, once I get a TEDx talk, then I will be a successful speaker. You know, you can name 100 different things, Adam. So, one, I first realized that if I was going to get my body healthy, I had to get my mind right, you know, because we often talk about how we worry ourselves sick.
Adam Force 10:39 Yeah.
Michael O’Brien 10:39 Well, in a moment of aha, sort of like my big shift, I was like, Well, if you can worry yourself sick, why can’t you think yourself well? And my big goal at that point in time was I wanted to try to get back to some level of normalcy, and to get back home and out of the hospital. So I knew I had to start shifting my mindset. And that was the really the beginning part of like having more of a mindfulness practice, which I didn’t even know what it was back in 2001. Like, you know, we forget, like a lot of this mindfulness work, meditation, gratitude, being courageous, being vulnerable, all that is relatively new on the scene, thanks to social media.
It’s one of the good byproducts because some of those messages get to be spread pretty quickly. But back then I just knew in my gut, if you will, that I had to get my head right. I had to get my mindset, right. And also, I had to get really focused on what I wanted my purpose to be. And back then I just made a commitment. You know, I’m going to let go of all the titles, I’m going to let go of all the chasing of material possessions. And I want to be the best father and husband and version I could be, which I know sounds somewhat cliche and a little Pollyanna-ish, but really for me, if I could show up that way and sort of fulfill that, get closer to being the best I could be in those areas, then I knew the rest of the success of my life would flow naturally from that.
So I began doing different morning rituals, different evening rituals, but also just trying to live life with much more awareness as opposed to just sort of aimlessly going through life on the hamster wheel, just grinding it out before we knew anything about grinding it out, right? Because we didn’t, we didn’t call it hustling, grinding it back then. But I just knew that I needed to do purposeful work that was meaningful, and do it with gratitude and connection with others. If I showed up that way, if my “how” was right, then I would have the downstream impact that would be successful, you know, and I just…I put a lot of faith in that.
Adam Force 12:47 Yeah. So there’s a lot there. And I’m curious, were there certain routines that worked well for you?
Michael O’Brien 12:58 Yeah, there’s two that were very fabulous. One was–and I remember, the very next day I got up out of my bed early in the hospital, I scooted myself into my wheelchair and I willed myself to a quiet place in the hospital. And I had like all my CDs because I was rocking a Sony Discman back then; there was no iPod yet. So, you know, now everyone’s music is on their phone or through Spotify. But I had about 10 CDs and I had my disc man and I used that time one just to get quiet. So that was the beginning of my mindfulness practice where I just sat in quiet and connected with my breath. And really started to think through how I wanted to show up in the day.
So it really was about my intentionality, which I didn’t call it that back then. We sort of call it being intentional now, but I really wanted to frame out how I wanted to show up with my physical rehab, with my occupational rehab, and then with all the visitors that would come, and just energetically for myself. So that was a routine that I would spend the first five minutes just doing that. I spent some time, about 5-10 minutes, just connecting with my breath. And then I would put on the soundtrack of my recovery, which was Depeche Mode’s Violator album, which is still one of my favorites. And I would just get in and sort of connect with my music, and that would fire me up, and I would start moving my body.
So it was a whole ritual to get my mind set for the day, but also my body set for the day. And it was a really good way to sort of frame it out. And then at night, before I hit the pillow, I developed a gratitude practice because in my condition, it was so easy to fixate on all the things I couldn’t do anymore, all the things I didn’t have, all my pains, all my aches, the scars, all the problems of my accident and how it was going to impact my life. So I spent time just listing out what I was grateful for. And it’s so simple, but not enough people do it even today to really help, you know, balance out because we’re so hardwired to look at what’s wrong in the world, it gave me a chance to look for what’s good in the world. And that helped me build into the next day. And then I developed that mantra creating better tomorrow’s as a way to sort of fuel my recovery.
Adam Force 15:25 Yeah, yeah. I don’t think a majority of people, you know, have these types of practices and, you know, everybody, you know, start talking about morning rituals or evening rituals. And after enough research, you know, and talking to some of these people around the world, like the Arianna Huffingtons and Tony Robbins, all these things, it’s like you find out that — in my perspective where I’ve come to conclusion is — you don’t have to wake up at 4 a.m. if that’s not good for you, right? Working within the best hours for yourself and finding a routine that is grounded in certain principles, but it’s for you. It’s tailored for you. You know what I mean?
Michael O’Brien 16:07 Absolutely, I think, yeah, I think a lot of times we go to celebrity too frequently to say, oh, wow, Tony and Ariana or Seth or fill in the blank — those guys are so super successful. I’ll do exactly what they do. And then we’ll do like Tony’s like ice, you know, ice plunge in the morning. You know, and we do that for a couple days and we’re like, this is bogus, like, how does he even do it? And so, yes, totally sucks. And that’s not to, you know, throw shade on Tony, obviously a wicked successful, but like they’re doing things that help them move forward. And we got to find the things that help us move forward. So my practice is my practice. And I offer it up to people and my clients as an example of what you can do. But what I try to share is like, you know, there are no hacks, there are no shortcuts. If the hacks and shortcuts were really things that were working, they wouldn’t be known as shortcuts and hacks. They would just be standard practices.
Adam Force 17:11 Yeah.
Michael O’Brien 17:12 So find the things that work for you to give your day some structure to allow you to rebound from those bad moments. Because whatever we’re doing, especially as an entrepreneur, we’re going to have bad moments. And my big thing coming off of my recovery is, I don’t want a bad moment to gain any more fuel than it should so it doesn’t turn into a bad day.
Adam Force 17:34 Exactly.
Michael O’Brien 17:35 And that’s why I sort of labeled my July 11 2001 as my last bad day and I haven’t had a bad day since, but I certainly have had challenging moments, bad moments, but I never want to give them any more energy than they deserve. Because if I do, then the whole day can get hijacked. And you know this Adam, one day gets hijacked, the next day gets hijacked. And now you’re on this pattern of bad days, over and over again. And then you can’t do the work you’re meant to do to help change the world and change people in a really magical way.
Adam Force 18:07 Yeah, it becomes like, as you focus on these things, you start just manifesting it every day. So you’re right. It’s kind of like, how you respond to things is really the bulk of what matters. So, you know, every even just as an example, outside of business, you know, if my wife and I get in an argument, it doesn’t last. We won’t be mad at for more than like an hour. Because after that, we’re like, okay, like I’m done putting energy into this. Still love you, let’s move forward. And that’s it. Like, we don’t want to carry any kind of resentment or, you know, just like the stress of being angry. Like, it’s just so ridiculous when you really get down to it. And I’ve learned that even with business, if you are focusing on things that aren’t working for your business, and you’re stressing and waking up in cold sweats and panicking about the money and all these things, not only are you when you focus on the wrong things like that, you are going to constantly perpetuate those things to get worse.
Michael O’Brien 19:05 Yeah, and you’re gonna, it’s what you’re talking about is really sort of forcing your way through life and your business. And nothing really good happens when we’re trying to force our way through it. Like you’re just clenching our teeth, you know, and not really enjoying our work because the other people that we serve, we can pick up on that, right, we can pick up on your vibe we can pick up on your energy. And so when we’re stuck in that loop, that negative, you know, self narrative, sometimes it sort of shows up that way, then it’s really hard to be present with the people that you need to be present with, and create the change that you’re really looking to create.
Adam Force 19:43 100% Yeah. And so tell me a little bit about the work you’re doing right now today with clients.
Michael O’Brien 19:52 With a lot of my work, I really try to help them focus on how to become more resilient because hey, here in 2019, we need more resilience, we need more courage. And we also need more communities. So we talk about — and I share with them — ways that they can be resilient in business. So when those bad moments or challenging moments happen, how do they respond quickly, much like you just mentioned, Adam. Like when you and your wife fight, that’s a bad moment, you don’t still last any longer than it needs to. So these things are going to happen. What I work with my clients on, it’s like, those moments are going to happen, how you respond to them is everything.
Adam Force 20:32 Yep.
Michael O’Brien 20:32 So when you do respond, the intensity isn’t as strong and the number of times you are triggered, hopefully, that’s reduced over time. So we work on that, but we also work on really understanding like who’s in your peloton. So, as a cyclist, I love to use cycling metaphors. So a peloton is a group of cyclists in a bike race. Much like the Tour de France, all those brightly clad guys racing down the roads of France are called the peloton. They need a whole bunch of trust and collaboration and communication and leadership to go down the road as fast and as safe as possible.
And we need it, too, as entrepreneurs or just as human beings, like who’s in your tribe? Who are you riding with if we’re going to use the peloton reference, so I really help people understand like, Who are you riding with? Who’s around you? And what roles do they play because not everyone on your personal board of directors or in your peloton serves the same role. Some people aren’t going to be there for you in a crisis. Some will be there to challenge your thinking and get you outside your comfort zone. But let’s be aware about who we’re spending our time with because life and running a business is not a solo endeavor. So you need the right people around you to bring out all its beauty and all your success.
Adam Force 21:50 Well, and so what are some of the, I guess, ideas around making…like what happens when you don’t have like…have you ever…I don’t know about you, but, like, I’ve started a couple companies and there has been times where you know, you’re in a position where you need help or you think you need help because you’re probably doing too — much more than you should be — to start your business because you don’t know what you’re doing. And then you bring people on board who are offering like, Hey, I’ll help and be part of this, it’s cool and all that stuff. And you start kind of getting stuck with this team that actually may not be serving you, may not be serving the business and in the end, you know, you’re going to have to figure out a way to maybe separate yourself. So I’m curious if you have any thoughts for people in their early stages on how to think about you know, getting involved with the right people?
Michael O’Brien 22:41 I love this question because gosh, it happened to me frequently. Probably more frequently than I care to admit but I’m sharing this with you now. It’s really the first time I’ve done it really publicly. In the beginning, even after all the work that I’ve done on myself coming out of my accident, when I was an entrepreneur, I got caught in comparing my beginning to a whole bunch of other people’s middle. And I was like, I want to be where they are. And I want to be there right now. And so there’s all these people coming to you saying, Hey, I’ll help you, I’ll help you, I’ll help you. Oh, it’s only a $19.97 program or, you know, a $97 course. And I’ll do this freelance work, and you’re like, oh, wow, if I just take that course, or if I get that person to help me, they’ll, introduce me to the next level and, it’s just a different version of chasing happiness.
And I did that, you know, a number of times. What I learned along the way after my first, I’d say year, year and a half, is I started asking people who were potential partners about their values. And I really wanted to tap into like, Okay, what do you value and how do you look at a partnership with a prospective business client, and I wanted to see how they were sort of hardwired, if you will. If their orientation was at least similar to mine that we look like we wanted to work together because we believed in each other’s work.
And it was more than just Hey, dollar signs, you know, dollar signs from me like, Oh, this person is going to help me get to the next level and dollar signs from them like, oh, here’s a new client. I wanted to have much more of a intimate passionate partnership where I believed in them and what they stood for and they saw the value in what I stood for as a way to get more cohesiveness with my peloton, so I would have more trust and with more trust you can do so much more good out there in the world.
Adam Force 24:42 Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And I think everybody gets a little taste to this experience. And a lot of times you might find you know, I really like the people that are here. But you have to come to this like hard realization, like, are they right for actually making progress in the business right now especially at that particular phase in the business, right? So interesting, and I think a tough situation for a lot of people because you know, you can always…it’s so easy to get desperate and just want extra hands and so you’ll take on anybody that’s a willing spirit. Right?
Michael O’Brien 25:18 Absolutely. And I think a lot of times when the person is a good person, but doesn’t necessarily deliver the value prop that really will serve both parties, well, that’s tough because we don’t want to be a jerk. We want you know, we want to be kind. We want to be caring. But really, when we can separate that type of partnerships to say, hey, like, as a person, I love you to death. But from a work perspective, where I’m going and where you’re going, it’s not the same place. What that does, it frees us up to go into different partnerships. It also frees them up to explore different partnerships that fit them better. So there’s a lot of care…it’s tough to have the conversation. There’s no doubt about it. It’s a tough conversation to have. But it’s a vital one to have for really both parties.
Adam Force 26:12 Yeah.
Michael O’Brien 26:13 So, both parties can be surrounded by the type of people that can bring out their best but yeah, there’s no doubt about it. Like this aspect of being an entrepreneur is so critical. And you know, to avoid chasing those shiny objects and have those partnerships that will do right by you and can help shine a mirror in front of you when you need to, you know, have some awareness and can push you outside your comfort zone when they see that your work has even more value than sometimes, you know, what you see in your work, right? So because every now and again, we get a little self doubt that pops up as an entrepreneur. So it’s good to have these types of partners around us.
Adam Force 26:58 A little self doubt?
Michael O’Brien 27:00 Yeah, so a lot of self doubt, like I was inside before we got on. Before we got on the call Adam, I sent an email to someone. I was doing a reference check on a potential partner. I was checking out their values. And the email I wrote to my friend was like, yeah, I’m having a little self doubt, because the price tag to work with this person is a little steep. And in the early days, I got burnt by some price tags that were a little steep thinking it would be like, oh, they’re going to take me to the Promised Land of entrepreneurship. And so I emailed her, I was like, yeah, little self doubt, price tag, you know, am I going to replicate something I did years ago. And, you know, it’s good to get to this point where you can be open about that and say, Okay, this is what I’m dealing with. And, you know, after we get done talking, I’ll spend some, you know, more time to sort of processing it and then ultimately making a decision if I want to work with this person or not.
Adam Force 27:58 Yeah, and you kind of over time after really as you get experience in your space, I feel like you start learning where you need coaching and support. And we all need mentors, right? We all need people that have experience that can push us out of our comfort zone and stuff like that. But finding and vetting the people who have bad advice versus good advice, it becomes a little bit of a craft. And the more you know about your space, you’ll start knowing like, are they saying things that are logical here that makes sense and that I can trust them? And here’s that word again, trust like it comes down to Can I trust that one, their focus is what I need and that they can actually deliver on what they’re promising. Right?
Michael O’Brien 28:38 Absolutely. And I love to check them out, too like, just what they’re putting out there in the social space, right? So is it aligned to their marketing? Is it authentic? Are people making comments about their work and comments that are positive or maybe less so? Because that, you know if we’re going to develop a partnership with someone, we got to have that trust and a lot of the breadcrumbs we leave behind on social media gives us a good indication of like who this person is. And I think it’s a wise business practice just to do your due diligence on that before you broker a partnership. Maybe it’s easy to start, but a little bit harder to break.
Adam Force 29:25 Yeah. I mean, and we’ve gone through, you know, the courses and all those things. And you know, we’ve done even we have partnerships and mentors up to like 20, it can be, you know, $20,000 we’ve put in to get coaching and as you get more experience, it gets more expensive when you’re pushing into the next level of of what you’re doing. So you really do need to kind of like have a keen eye and do your due diligence. I think that’s a good way to put is really do that due diligence.
Michael O’Brien 29:49 Yeah, and I would say at all levels, you know. Even so, as a new entrepreneur, I remember my thinking is like I just want to get to the next level. I was fortunate last year to be in a pretty high level mastermind and the price tag was very similar to what you just referenced. And what was fascinating to me — and I knew this intellectually, but I didn’t necessarily understand it emotionally until I went for the first weekend. So all these, all these entrepreneurs were high level, like, like, let’s call it a million dollars plus. And they had their version of self doubt, because they were trying to get to the next level. And it was, so it’s like, oh, wow, like the self doubt — that part doesn’t necessarily go away, right? So you gotta be dealing with it. But, you know, goes back to that old adage: next level, next devil — that we’re always working with our self narrative, so we can get past it to serve more people, regardless of where we may be. If we have a $50,000 business or a $500,000 business. We all experience some of the same things. And we also experience the question mark of Who should we partner with? And spending some extra time on where we need partnership and who we do it with is just, yeah, it’s a sound business practice for any entrepreneur that wants to last over time.
Adam Force 31:17 Yeah. And you’re right, that self doubt. I mean, I one thing that Tony Robbins that stands out to me that he told us was like, he’s like, I work with all these people, all these professionals in different spaces, you know, they’re multi million dollar people. And anytime someone was stuck, and they’re trying to get to a next level in their life, or their business, whatever it might be, he said, 80% of the time, it was a psychological block that he had to help him get past. So they’re holding themselves back. It was not about the tactics, the strategy. It was just this psychological barrier, which is obviously self doubt is one of those types of barriers that I think is like, fundamentally consistent across the board, no matter where you are in your life.
Michael O’Brien 31:56 Absolutely. You know, I don’t really do a lot of work with entrepreneurs, as far as coaching them, most of my coaching is with corporate executives who have reached some of the highest levels in their company. And it’s all mindset as well, right? It’s all the self doubt. So here they are, they got these big corporate jobs, you think that they’re all that and a bag of chips. And at the end of the day, we all have the same issues, the, you know, the self doubt, the limiting beliefs, the incorrect interpretations or assumptions, making stuff up in our storytelling that doesn’t serve us well. We all have it, regardless of what level and when we realize that it’s like, wow, we’re all pretty human. And you can take like a collective exhale, and say, Okay, all right. So now what? Let’s get to work. And let’s try to figure it out and make iterations upon iterations or take a step closer to mastery. You know, appreciate the gift that each day really brings. Yeah, try to maximize it and then the next day we try to do a little bit better. And then, you know, you follow suit day after day.
Adam Force 33:06 Yeah, hundred percent. And it’s amazing because you can get into these conversations with coaches and other people that might be helping you out. And sometimes it’s just an experience or the way you might have heard something, I say this all the time, like, you might have heard someone, say, a certain make a certain point or share an idea. And you’re like, Okay, yeah, I get it. And then you hear someone else say it, but in a different perspective that’s right for you at that time. And it all of a sudden, a light bulb goes off and you’re like, Oh, now I really get it. You know, and it’s like, you have these moments of clarity.
Michael O’Brien 33:38 Absolutely. Well, there’s, I think there’s a belief in the advertising world that you have to hear a marketing message six or seven times it could even be higher, because there’s so much noise out in the marketplace now, but same thing in terms of sometimes advice, you know, as a parent, you know, I’ve told my kids like x y&z probably 1000 times and then someone they might hear from a YouTube influencer. And they’re like, Oh my god, Dad, I heard this amazing thing from so and so. And I’m like, Oh, really? What is it? And they’re like, well, we I should do this. And I it takes all my effort, Adam to be like, Oh, yeah, I think that’s really good advice even though like I’ve told you that 1000 times before. You know, it’s just, you know, as a parent, it’s, you know, it’s humbling at times because you tell your kids, all these different things, and sometimes they finally pick up on the lesson when they hear from outside or or a teacher or someone like that.
Adam Force 34:36 Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Well, Michael, listen, we’re going to wrap up here in a second, but I want to do two things. One, tell us about your latest book real quick what that is, so people, you know, who are interested can check that out and then tell us where people can just learn more about what you’re doing.
Michael O’Brien 34:51 Yeah, absolutely. So the new book is called My Last Bad Day Shift. And it’s all to help the reader prevent bad moments from turning into bad days and in it, I give real practical advice. Once I get done reading and it’s a short read it was a number one new release on Amazon’s quick reads and then in multiple sections within Amazon like work life balance and work life stress, all that. You know, practical tips in the morning, during work, and in the evening to help us manage our day so we have more energy in our days. So that’s I think it’s a great compliment or a companion piece to my memoir, and people get to learn a little bit more of my about my personal story, but the tips make it magical in my opinion, and then where to find more about me is my website, which is michaelobrienshift.com. And there you can find like my social media channels and sign up for my blog posts and all that good stuff like that. So yeah, so that’s the best place to start.
Adam Force 35:55 Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Michael. Appreciate your time today.
Michael O’Brien 35:59 Thanks, man. Thanks for having me on.
Adam Force 36:00 Alright, have a good one.
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We all feel lost from time to time and we’reb overwhelmed by fears, challenges, and changes. That’s why we must create our life’s mission to do whatever it’s necessary in order to improve ourselves and boost our well-being. This is the only way in which you can become the person you’ve always desired to be.
All the self-improvement tips presented below cover all main areas of one’s life, from career to health and personal development. Self-improvement is a lifelong journey so buckle up for the ride!
1. Develop a Reading Habit
Through reading, you will boost your knowledge base. Moreover, books will develop your vocabulary by exposing you to new words and expressions. Keeping a reading habit will maintain your brain healthy and it will help it grow. You should look at reading as you would to regular exercise, only that, in this case, there are other kinds of “muscles” involved. Even your memory is improved through this particular habit.
According to research, brain function and memory might decline with age. Due to regular reading, we could prevent these problems, or, at least, we could slow them from progressing. Keep your mind sharp with all sorts of books, from self-development ones to fiction and business readings. Make time in your busy schedule to read at least 20 minutes per day.
Feel free to experiment with different kinds of meditation techniques. All of them focus on pretty much the same idea: expanding your consciousness. As long as you meditate on a daily or regular basis, you will soon benefit from this practice in all the ways you can think of: mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It is known to alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress. Moreover, it lowers bad cholesterol, regulates blood pressure, and improves sleep.
3. Establish SMART Goals
Another way in which you can improve yourself is by setting realistic, achievable, time-manageable, measurable, and specific objectives. Keep in mind different time frames. In other words, you should consider daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly goals. Write all of them down and keep track of your progress.
Also, don’t forget that success isn’t measured by how many goals you manage to obtain but by the journey you embark on in order to make those goals happen. This journey is truly enlightening and it will make you stronger and wiser. Once you’ve established your objectives, they will become your purpose on which you will focus all year round. They help you remain on the right track.
Unfortunately, many people are demotivated by the obstacles they’re facing in their way of achieving their goals. If you’re in pursuit of a big accomplishment, you shouldn’t ignore potential impediments but instead, you should focus more on visualizing your victory. The real issue here is that most people tend to let their fear of failure as well as the forthcoming challenges cloud their judgment and overtake their dreams.
Don’t create any more barriers in the way of your success. Envision it as detailed as you possibly can and try to feel as you would feel once you’ve accomplished your goals. Imagine those close to you standing nearby and supporting you with all their hearts. How does it feel and how does it look to have achieved your dreams?
5. Measure Your Progress and Celebrate Each Small Victory
An essential part of the process of reaching a goal is keeping track of your progress. Measure your improvement and celebrate each accomplished milestone. This will keep you motivated and prepared to face any issue that might appear along the way. According to experts, we tend to have a boosted drive to reach what we desire when the motivation comes from within rather than from another person or from an external factor.
By doing so, you can significantly improve your overall performance in so many meaningful ways. Makes sure that, through your actions, you’re offering value to others, in both their personal and professional lives. For all these reasons, doing process analysis is of crucial importance.
Stop wasting your time, which is the most precious resource you have. Invest your time in meaningful things and activities that bring you close to your desired goals. Use it wisely and by that I mean you shouldn’t waste all your free time watching TV or binge-watching movies. It is essential to create effective time-management strategies and find a balance between working hours and spare time.
One action that seems to work for most people is to spend a few minutes in the morning to establish your daily tasks, those things you want to accomplish each day. Then, come up with a clear and well-structured plan to make sure those milestones are reached. Schedule your time properly and follow your priorities.
7. Learn New Skills and Abilities
We all have hectic schedules that don’t allow us to dedicate time to all the things we would like to do. For instance, one great self-improvement method is learning something new, developing a new skill but not many of us have the time or energy to do that. Although work takes a lot of our time, dedicating minutes or hours to develop new abilities provide us with so many benefits.
In today’s ever-changing world, we must keep ourselves updated with all the technology and innovations that surround us. The entire world is moving forward so why shouldn’t you do the same? There are plenty of skills that can improve your life immensely: new languages, drawing, horseback riding, photography, writing, playing a musical instrument, etc.
8. Engage in Daily/Regular Workouts
Respect your body because a healthy body hosts a healthy mind. Besides eating whole foods and avoiding junk food, you should also engage in daily workout sessions. Nowadays, people spend a lot of time sitting down because of their office jobs. The human body wasn’t created for a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to move as much as you can.
Outdoor exercises are essential for a healthy and well-balanced life. On the other hand, most people think that going to the gym for one hour a day compensates all those long hours spent on a chair, in front of a computer. Well, they are wrong. For that reason, you should set an hourly reminder that motivates you to take a short break from work and stand up or do some easy stretching exercises. Walking is also useful.
9. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Daily workouts go hand in hand with a healthy eating habit. You should focus on consuming foods that are safe for your health. Avoid eating processed foods or harmful substances. Try not to develop any vices such as smoking or heavy drinking.
Listen to your body because that’s the way to discover what suits it best in terms of exercises, needs, and nourishment. Consuming plenty of veggies and fruits is a good way to start. Besides whole foods, some people also need supplements like minerals and vitamins but you should take these only after receiving your doctor’s approval.
10. Practice Self-Care
For some of you, the concept of taking care of yourself might sound a bit indulgent. Believe it, it is not! In fact, it is of crucial importance for your overall well-being. If you work too much, you will become exhausted and stressed out, both of which can be toxic and harmful for your body.
I understand that sometimes, you need to work hard and boost your productivity. However, it’s also essential to rest while taking care or even pampering yourself. Here are some of the best things you can do in this regard:
Avoid toxic people;
Challenge your brain;
Take an occasional nap;
Find a new hobby and work with your hands;
Buy new books; etc.
11. Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
I’ve talked a bit about mindfulness when I mentioned meditation as a successful technique to quiet your mind. Through mindfulness, you can bring your entire attention to here and now. Accept the present moment without judging it. Let your mind wander without trying to stop it. For now, don’t try to adjust your thoughts. It is well-known that mindfulness lowers stress and might increase happiness.
Besides mindfulness meditation, you should also practice mindful listening. This can truly help you bond with people at a whole new and more profound level. It also increases empathy and you retain information a lot easier and quicker.
Gratitude is also something everyone should practice on a regular basis. Spend some moments at the end of each day thinking about the things that went well and the facts that you’re appreciative of. You may also start a gratitude journal where you write down at least 3 things that you’re grateful for, every day.
Here’s some inspirational content to motivate you:
Surrounding yourself with positive people has a great effect on your well-being. Keep your distance from toxic people, from those that don’t support your ideals or those who tend to bring you down. As a matter of fact, you should apply this rule in your digital presence as well as your real life.
Positive people will encourage you to continue your journey towards achieving your dreams. Their energy will vibrate so strong that it can even change your view of the world. Negative thoughts have a way to slip into your mind and make you see things in an unclear way.
13. Be Kind and Giving
For a meaningful life, you should definitely be kind to everyone around you. Also, you should be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with patience and empathy and behave well with others, just the way you want them to treat you. Working on one’s self-improvement is something an individual must do on a daily basis. This isn’t an objective you can abandon and then revisit only from time to time.
Become aware of both your strengths and weaknesses and focus more on those areas that need improvement. Develop some small practices and make them a habit by doing them every day. Once these activities turn into habits, try to create new ones.
14. Think Outside the Box
If you want extraordinary things to happen, you must break free of your comfort zone. Do something every day that challenges you. Only by doing things that might make you a tad uncomfortable, you will become a better version of yourself. Embrace change and don’t be afraid of unpredictable things. Look at the wider perspective, question almost everything, and set your creativity free.
Another way to think outside the box is by constantly changing your working space, engaging in regular brainstorming sessions, and changing your routine. Be spontaneous and accept any problem that arises by looking at it from a different angle. After all, problems are nothing else than opportunities in disguise.
15. Try New Hobbies
Start a new hobby. I, for one, love to play the piano and learn new languages such as German, Spanish, Italian, and French. Another thing that I discovered recently is working with flowers and creating beautiful floral arrangements. So, as you can see, there are plenty of potential hobbies out there that you can choose from.
Think about the things you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time for them. Discover your true passion and do anything you can to get better at it. Maybe it’s drawing, painting, hiking, or even fitness. Hobbies complete us and make us well-rounded people.
16. Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
The only person you should compare yourself with is you. Stay focused on your goals and on your path without minding too much what others do. To become better at what you do you should always compare your present self to the way you were one month or one year ago.
Don’t worry that much about what others think or say about you. You’d be surprised to know that most people worry about others or their own problems so that they don’t find any spare time to judge you. Focusing on others’ opinions might stop you from becoming better at what you do.
17. Find a Mentor
You will face many challenges in both your career and your personal life. Therefore, you will need someone you can trust who’s more experienced than you to guide you and what better person could do that than a mentor?! Good mentors will inspire and support you but they will also have the courage to criticize you.
Here’s what you have to do to find the right mentor for you:
Study that person – see what he does and how he or she manages all sorts of situations;
Ask the question but not from the very start – don’t ask someone to mentor you right from the very first meeting because it can be overwhelming and there’s an increased chance you may receive a negative answer;
Allow your relationship with your mentor evolve organically, naturally;
Ask your mentor all you need to know without being demanding;
Ask him or her for honest feedback and learn from it.
18. Create Milestones
Achieving a big goal might be tricky. Therefore, you should split your objectives into smaller milestones because it is easier to accomplish them, one step at a time. Milestones will help you become disciplined, more organized, and better focused. So, dividing big goals into smaller individual tasks will help you achieve your purposes easily and quickly.
This method works also as a motivational factor because, after each accomplished milestone, you will receive a new boost of confidence and self-improvement.
19. Accept Failure
You shouldn’t just accept failure. In fact, you should see it as a new opportunity to grow and learn. See it as a valuable lesson. Looking at the things you couldn’t reach as failures will only make you perceive yourself as a hopeless victim. Therefore, instead of helping yourself, you will always wait for somebody else to save you which is a counterproductive approach.
Instead, you should always stand on your own, embrace every life situation with acceptance and courage while also face your failures and learn from them. Don’t let your unsuccessful endeavors darken all your other accomplishments. See what your mistakes were and try to fix them because failure is nothing else than the realistic path towards success.
20. Be Open to Change and Embrace Challenge
Change is inevitable. During your lifetime, expect to go through all sorts of situations because life doesn’t stay still. There’s a constant evolution and all of us must experience these transformations. Although most of us like familiar things while being reluctant to change, we must surpass this uncomfortable feeling and face all the ups and downs we’ll encounter.
Embracing challenges brings plenty of opportunities. People who’re willing to do this have higher chances of being successful because they see opportunities in places and situations in which other individuals only see impenetrable obstacles. Challenge yourself but don’t forget to rely on practical and realistic goals.
21. Prioritize and Delegate
Not all tasks need to be performed right away. Establish your priorities first. Begin with the most important or urgent projects and then continue until you reach to less important work. Also, you shouldn’t do everything on your own. Even the most responsible and committed managers and entrepreneurs should know how to delegate.
Delegating tasks comes in handy when you don’t have the necessary skills for those projects or when you have your hands full with too many tasks. This is also a way to show your employees that you appreciate and trust them.
22. Give up Control
Stop being a control freak if you want to be happy. In order to be successful and happy, you need to let go of control. This is an issue that stops many people from living their life stress-free while creating new great memories with their loved ones. Living freely and learning to adapt to ever-changing plans will set you free and make you happier. So, you should do the things that make you happy but without stressing so much, every step of the way.
All humans have fears. That’s completely natural. The most common ones are fear of taking risks, talking in public, and life uncertainties. All these anxieties keep you from growing and make you remain in the same life position over and over again. Those fears of yours are nothing else than reflections of certain areas you need to improve. So, don’t be afraid to address your fears.
23 Self Improvement Tips for Social Entrepreneurs – Wrapping It Up
As a final conclusion, I must say that you, as a social entrepreneur and as a human being, should turn all your fears and limitations into growth opportunities. I cannot guarantee that all of the above tips will help you improve yourself but most of them work for all people. I know for certain they worked like a charm for me. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t expect them to work unless you get up and get started. Without applying them in your daily lifestyle, you won’t see any results.
We want this to be the year that you truly thrive! We couldn’t think of a better person to talk about success, how to take care of yourself and your business and what it really means to thrive in 2020 than Arianna Huffington. As we put away 2019 and look forward to a new year, we are challenging you — the change creators—to:
Take a fresh look at your life, your mission, and your health.
We’ve wanted to interview Arianna Huffington since we launched Change Creator magazine. Not only is she one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 most influential women out there, but she embraces the social entrepreneurial spirit of make money, make a difference beautifully.
(This article first appeared in Issue #7 of Change Creator magazine).
Now with the launch of Thrive Global, Arianna is putting her money, her time and energy where her beliefs are, challenging the status quo of 24/7 workweeks, and burnout. With valuable resources, a global approach, and a fresh perspective on health and wellness Thrive Global is set to permeate our consciousness in 2017.
How to Develop a Mind to Thrive
Today, we see the Arianna Huffington that embraces wellness, that is a staunch advocate for women’s rights, and as someone who challenges the notion of stress, burnout, and the overconfident belief that we can get by on less sleep.
Today, she’s the first to admit that her very definition of success has changed over the years:
“I would say my definition [of success] is less conventional today than it was ten years ago. Now I think the true definition of success should start with: do you feel happy and fulfilled, do you feel like your life has meaning, and are able to spend enough time with the people that you love?”
Even a few short years ago, Arianna defined her life and measured success much differently. We can learn a lot from her experience. How did Arianna’s values change over the years? How did she discover her life’s work? When did she decide to share her hard-fought wisdom with the world? If we want to thrive, we must first understand that there’s more to life than money, power, fame or even doing a job that you love.
A Wake-up Call
If we are going to challenge conventions, we must first look within ourselves and acknowledge that there is a problem worth changing.
“To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for your inner state at any given moment. That means now.” —Eckhart Tolle
For Arianna, this look at her life came from a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye, the result of collapse from total, utter exhaustion.
Here she was growing one of the world’s largest and most influential media companies, as co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, she defined her success as power, influence, and wealth.
Waking up in a pool of her own blood did more than wake up her sensibilities; it started a cultural shift. “This isn’t what success feels like,” she thought. So began her search for what she now calls the third metric of success — finding true wisdom.
More Wisdom. Less Burnout.
With all the technological advancements we have at our disposal, with so many ways to discover our world, learn about what’s going on, why do we lack true wisdom?
As Arianna says, “We are starved of wisdom.” We are running on empty. In our interview with Arianna, she continues on to say, “Thrive Global is a response to the escalating global epidemic of stress and burnout which is costing hundreds of billions of dollars per year in health-care costs, in high turnover, employee disengagement, and productivity. ”
It’s time to redefine our priorities. If we want to embrace true wisdom in our lives, to discover that source of inspiration within all of us, we need to give back to the well, and that starts with taking care of our health.
In the past few issues of Change Creator magazine, you may have noticed a shift in our consciousness, not only in the type of content we’ve been providing you but also in our deliberate efforts to give you valuable personal health and wellness takeaways.
If you don’t take care of you, how are you going to discover those solutions that are vital to changing your world?
What it Means to Thrive
When asked about the role of money in society today and its impact on human behavior, Arianna explained:
“Right now, our society’s definition of success is still largely about money and power. In fact, success, money, and power have practically become synonymous, and are each used as proxies for the others. This might work in the short-term, but eventually, money and power simply by themselves are like a two-legged stool—you can balance on them for a while, but eventually, you’re going to topple over. And more and more people around the world, at all levels of conventional success, are toppling over.”
As we have seen in Arianna’s personal transformation throughout the years, we must learn to define success more holistically. Systems, corporations, and people are “toppling over” because they haven’t embraced the third metric of success.
We are living in a time of great change, yes, but we must not forget that many of us still define our value based on our pay-check, fame, or even influence over others. We have bought into the myth that even when we don’t define our values by money or power, we are living a balanced life: That if we have a job, a career, or a mission that we love, our life is somehow balanced, and we should, therefore, be happy. This is inherently false.
Are We Unbalanced?
Although our society has begun to evolve the definition of success, we’re still missing the mark. If we look at a scale, where we place work on one side and life on the other, we are—by its very definition opposing both sides. Arianna contends that this definition of success also needs to be reexamined and changed: That life and work balance is a myth. We will never achieve work/life balance because they should never be opposing forces in our lives.
For far too long, we have been an unbalanced society, talking about life and work balance as though they shouldn’t mix well together—that in order to have happiness, you are required to be in a constant struggle for resources, time, and priorities.
How many of us—even those of us who love our work—have thought, “My life is out of balance,” because we’ve spent too much time at work, and neglected the rest of our lives.
We’re here to tell you, this does not have to be the way: Stop struggling. Stop wasting time and energy. Stop hoping that this will be the year you spend more time with your family. What about your work? It doesn’t have to take over your life, even if you love it. Remember, the quality of work is more important than the quantity of work. Let’s stop this dichotomy.
“I definitely don’t believe in balance, for too long, we’ve had this notion of balance that not only doesn’t work but is premised on a myth…
The truth – and the basis for Thrive Global – is that work and life, well-being and productivity, are not on opposite sides — so they don’t need to be balanced. They’re on the same side and rise in tandem. Increase one and you increase the other. So there’s nothing to balance; increasing well-being and the productivity that goes along with it is a win-win, for work and life.”
We need to start approaching our lives, our priorities, and our values as a whole; we are not separate parts. Taking care of who we help us be better at everything we do. Arianna is not alone in this thinking; science backs her up:
“Researchers report decrements in sustained performance as a function of fatigue, especially during and following one or more nights of complete sleep loss, or longer periods of reduced or fragmented sleep. Sleep loss appears to result in reduced reaction time, decreased vigilance, perceptual and cognitive distortions, and changes in effect.”
These are not just ideological theories; lack of sleep decreases productivity. When we take care of ourselves, we’ll not only feel better, but our work will be better. So the next time you feel like staying up late to work on a project, skipping your morning workout, or not giving yourself a break, consider this: you are making choices, not just for you, but for our world.
Arianna knows more than anyone how important it is to slow down to do your best work. We asked Arianna, what changes she made in her life when she had her wake-up call. She tells us:
“I made a lot of changes, most of which had to do with sleeping more, slowing down, and making time to disconnect and recharge with things like meditation, hiking, taking breaks. And though this meant working less, it also meant working better. I came to realize that being productive isn’t about the quantity of work, but quality. And that’s the basis for my new company Thrive Global. As the science shows, when we prioritize our well-being, our creativity, well-being, and productivity all go up across the board.”
Make Money and a Difference
“A select few disrupters – the social entrepreneurs – develop, build, and scale their solutions in ways that bring about truly revolutionary change” (Huffington, Forward to Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works)
If we want to scale our efforts up a few notches, and be those social disruptors, we must first define our values and know our work will play a vital role in this world. As Arianna says:
“I think social entrepreneurship is incredibly important and will play a vital part in redefining the role of business in the world, which we urgently need to do. Our world is facing multiple crises and government action alone isn’t going to be enough to meet our challenges.”
How do we define and prioritize our values? First, we acknowledge that to build sustainable, long-term companies, we must take care of our personal resources. If an entrepreneur wants to make a living and a difference, what needs to happen? Arianna explains:
“First, it’s about values. Entrepreneurs—and especially, social entrepreneurs—need to define and prioritize their core values, not only in their business but also in their lives. This is important because they need to launch and grow their business in a way so that their personal resources are as sustainable for the long-term as whatever product or service or technology they’re marketing. It’s like what they say when you get on airplanes: Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.”
Next, we must acknowledge that values can change over time, that the status quo of our society can and will change. Every generation can do things differently. Today, millennials are thinking about their lives differently from previous generations. They aren’t happy to just “find a job,” but also require that job to have meaning or shared values with their lives.
When we understand that the undercurrent of meaning for our lives is changing, we see firsthand the impact of people like Arianna Huffington, who has been advocating these changes in our thinking for many years.
Our Values are Shifting
As we have seen, our values guide us. They help us make tough choices.
Imagine then that you are faced with having to decide between two new jobs. Both positions appear equal, but one role pays more. Easy choice? Take the job that pays more, right? But what if that job paid more but didn’t align with your values, and the other one did. Do you take the lesser paying role whose values are yours, or do you take the job that pays more?
These decisions are what drive us each day. We could justify taking that bigger pay-check. It’s how our society has chosen to reward our hard work; it is one indicator of success that we’re used to.
Or, we could put our lives where our values live, and seek out work that aligns with who we want to be. The great news: we are changing our values. The better news: we might not have to make these kinds of choices, anymore.
If we align our values, do work we believe in, and take care of our greatest resource—ourselves — the money, the influence, the success will come.
7 out of 10 millennials believe their personal values are shared by the organizations they work for.
56% of millennials have ruled out working for a particular organization because of its values, standards, or conduct.
49% of millennials didn’t work on a project because it went against their personal values or ethics, even if the company they worked for behaved in an ethical manner.
Technology has always shaped our lives. It makes the impossible possible and gives us more transparency in our world. This has allowed human empathy to reach further than ever before and now people have a desire to help solve problems around the world.
When we asked Arianna for her thoughts about the role technology has played in the shift towards conscious business, she said:
“Technology is obviously a powerful force in our world today with consequences both good and bad. It’s brought us to an inflection point in history where technology has given us powers that sped up the pace of life and change beyond our capacity to digest it.”
We know that technology is never an inherent problem and it isn’t going away. Why not embrace it? Through technology, we now have a greater sightline into the conditions of humanity.
As Arianna contents, we need to use technology, “to help us serve our best interests… The conscious business will clearly need to harness this technology and innovation to not only come up with new solutions and make them more effective but also to help people integrate them into their lives.”
The Future of Thrive Global
After leaving Huffington Post, we wondered what lessons Arianna learned there that she’s now applying to her work in Thrive Global, and she told us:
“Some things are the same and some things are different. What the companies have in common is a passion, a sense of mission and teams that are incredibly dedicated. But what’s different – what I learned from the launch of HuffPost – is that we’re all more productive when we take the time to recharge.”
The mission of Thrive Global, as Arianna says, is to “change the way we work and live and end the collective delusion that burnout is the necessary price for success. As the latest science shows, our performance actually improves when we make our health and wellbeing a priority.”
Thrive Global promises to…”revolutionize the way we work and live by ending the burnout epidemic with three key components in their action plan for 2017:
Prioritize the wellbeing of employees: Thrive Global is creating employee wellness programs, training, and workshops that help companies improve recruitment and reduce the wasted health-care costs relating to stress and burnout. Uber, SAP, Accenture
The Media Platform: This is the hub of the Thrive Global brand where you will find inspirational stories from other leaders such as Jeff Bezos, Howard Shultz, Danny Bader, even Ashton Kutcher in which they talk about how they thrive. She explains, “The Thrive Journal is designed to be the global hub for the conversation on productivity and well-being. This features not just the latest science, but also commentary by new role models showing how you can be in the arena and be a successful leader without burning out.”
Commerce: There is both a pop-up store and an e-commerce site with products sourced that will help entrepreneurs reduce stress and improve health in their lives. “And third is our e-commerce platform that offers our curated selection of the best well-being technology, products, and services,” Arianna says.
Thrive Global’s main objective right now is expansion: “Since our stress and burnout epidemic is global, Thrive Global was global from day one of launch. I hope our 2017 will include a great acceleration in the global culture shift that’s already happening to roll back this burnout epidemic.”
It’s up to us, the change creators — those brave souls who look inside themselves, discover a global problem, align our values with our lives, and then use whatever means necessary to disrupt norms around the world.
As we move forward, let’s continue to thrive.
If we want to improve the conditions of our world, let’s start with improving our lives. Here are some ways we can do that:
Take Micro Steps for Maximum Impact
What can you do, each month to take better care of yourself? By now, most of us have abandoned our list of “resolutions.” It’s easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day struggles, and commitments. Sure, getting more sleep, becoming more productive, aligning our values — these all sound so good, but how do we get there.
Let’s make this year we make lasting changes. That starts with making small, or as Arianna calls them, “micro-changes” in our lives that will lead to maximum results. And, guess what? We’ve done the planning for you.
Here are 12 little changes you can make in your life each month this year:
12 Months, 12 Small Changes, One Amazing Year: A Guide to Thrive in 2020 (And Beyond)
Inspired by Arianna Huffington & Thrive Global
“Our mission is to change the way we work and live and end the collective delusion that burnout is the necessary price for success. As the latest science shows, our performance actually improves when we make our health and wellbeing a priority.”
Forget about the so-called New Year’s resolutions—likely named as such because they usually only last a little into the New Year. We’ve come up with something far better. We’ve created this list of game-changers with you — the change creators– in mind. Because if you want to have maximum impact in this world, change starts with you.
Here are 12 small things you can do this year to create new and lasting great habits and thrive:
For the first few months of this year, let’s focus on taking care of ourselves, and look inward. If we feel better, and take that time to focus on us this year, we can discover that well of inspiration that resides within us all.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement.
For many of us, the winter months bring endless cloudy days. This lack of sunlight can cause Vitamin D deficiency which drains our libidos and vitality and can make us seasonally depressed. You’ll need to take four times the usual dose in Winter months.
This month, go digital-free for one hour per day. Disconnect your smartphones, your televisions, your computer — everything digital. By doing this every day for one month, you should be able to listen to your own inner wisdom and experience deeper connections with those around you.
If you do this for the month of February, you’ll soon start seeing connections you didn’t notice before because you were too busy staring at that screen. The world is full of wonders; you just have to look up.
Do a weekly brain dump.
Once a week, take 20 minutes to write down everything you want to accomplish for the week ahead. Don’t overthink this; just do it. Simply the act of writing it down will relieve stress and give you more focus for the week ahead. You’re welcome.
Take a self-inventory test.
Why not take a few minutes to get to know yourself better? There are many free online resources and self-inventory tests available. Find one that catches your interest and try it.
Spend 30 minutes or so answering a series of questions on a sliding scale and learn more about your personality. Where does your energy come from? Are you intuitive? Here, you’ll get a lot of free information on who you are.
Meditation isn’t just for seniors or yoga enthusiasts. Many of Steve Jobs’s brilliance came from his meditative moments. Try a deep breathing exercise by focusing on each breath—in and out—right before you sleep or the next time you’re stressed. Start with one minute every day in May and eventually dedicate 15-20 minutes to meditation and being at peace.
By getting out and spending time in nature, you will not only boost your mood, but you will also boost your productivity. This month, make it your micro mission to go for a walk outside once a week. Connect with nature and rejuvenate yourself.
Get in some cardio and feel good about yourself. This month, we want you to get your heart rate pumping. Even a couple of times a week can improve mood and stave off depression. Be sure to set concrete goals. Plan to give your heart a workout at least twice per week for twenty minutes and build up from there. Recruiting a friend to join you for motivation will make it more enjoyable.
We’re not saying you need to get 8 or 9 hours of sleep right away, but that’s where you should be headed. This month, we want you to turn out the lights and go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. While you may find that initially, you just lie awake for those first 15 minutes, over time, you will see a change in your sleeping patterns. Eventually, your body will become accustomed to going to sleep earlier, and your health and productivity will benefit from getting the sleep you need.
Let’s challenge ourselves in the final stretch of the year to give back by focusing on productivity, leadership and our missions.
Improve your productivity by ditching the cell phone by your bed.
Stop trying to answer texts, emails, or just scrolling through Facebook before you go to bed. It will consume your time, and drain you of your sleep.
Each night, make your sleeping area a no-phone zone.
Master your financial well-being.
Before you blow the budget on holiday gifts, why not take charge of your financial health this year? Consider how much more of an impact you’ll have when you take care of this aspect of your life.
Get yourself a plan.
Not all debt is equal. Pay bad debt before good debt.
Turn contentious arguments into civil discussions.
Learn about how to fight fairly and without rancor this month: good for the Thanksgiving table, and the boardroom!
Mind your body language
Don’t argue to win
Be understanding of the other person’s situation
Know the facts
Work towards beneficial outcomes for all involved
Experience art and wonder this month.
Let beauty and wonder inspire you this month as we conclude 2017. “Museums and galleries remain among the few oases that can deliver what has become increasingly rare in our world,” Arianna writes, so why not spend some time touring your local art gallery or museum this month? Some museums offer free admission on certain days of the week.
A Final Thought:
We’d love to hear about your amazing year of micro-steps and big changes! Tell us about the changes you are making in your life.
Disclaimer: All exercise and supplement recommendations should be discussed and approved by your primary care physician.
Sleep Your Way to the Top
Arianna is a dedicated sleep advocate. Her mantra is clear: “Sleep your way to the top.” And it’s more than just a punny catchphrase. She means it: If you want to get to the top of any area of your life, you need to get some sleep. We love this! Not only is she giving us permission to get some (dare we say, much needed) rest, she’s telling us it will get us further ahead in life.
We couldn’t do a feature edition about Arianna if we didn’t talk about sleep. She wrote the book on sleep. The science confirms it: we need to get a better night’s sleep. Gone are the days when we should brag about how little sleep we get, and walk around as working zombies. For you to be your best this year, you got to get some zzz’s.
Here are three quick tips to get you started:
Determine how much sleep you need — Many of us underestimate the amount of actual sleep we need. Usually, that’s between 7-9 hours of actual sleep per night.
Keep a sleep diary. Many of us underestimate the amount of sleep we actually get. How do you feel when you wake up every morning? If you are still groggy, you are not getting enough sleep, even if you’ve been in bed for 8 hours or more.
Great leaders sleep. Give yourself permission to protect your sleep if you want to have maximum impact.
Think of yourself as a thermometer. What temperature of success are you set for and why?
There are so many external variables that contribute to how we think, behave and in turn the level of success we have in our life.
I have always loved to study human behavior and debate my sister who’s a Ph.D. in Psychology. When I interview people for the Change Creator Podcast, I usually like to ask what they were doing before they had their business. The conditions that surround a person – family, friends, location, school, anything you can think of – impacts your perspective and behavior.
Successful people think in similar ways. And unsuccessful people also think in similar ways. The way you think will determine the results you produce.
If you’re not getting the results you desire then you must consider these two things:
What thoughts are holding you back?
What strategies can you implement to recondition your mind so you think like a successful person?
“It’s not what we don’t know that prevents us from succeeding; it’s what we know that just ain’t so that is our greatest obstacle.” ~Josh Billings
Below I outline 4 tips to get out of your own way and create next-level success
1. Forget Instant Gratification
In today’s technological climate we have all adopted a desire for instant gratification. How can I become a millionaire in six months or what can I do to make $5k this month! This is not big picture thinking and holds you back from hitting long-term goals. There are no overnight successes or tricks for fast success. So many people jump from one business opportunity to another thinking if they just get in on the right idea they will explode. That’s like the lottery and is super unlikely to happen. Stop being sidetracked by new opportunities, bells, and whistles or when things get tough. Focus and commitment to a real strategy is an essential step.
2. Understand The Difference Between The Tools and The Toolbox
In Eker’s book, he talks about this and it’s one of the most important lessons to understand. You can share strategies, marketing tips, SaaS programs, and a million other things to two of the same people. One will go and crush it while the other falls flat.
But why would that be?
Well, you can have the best “tools” in the world but if you got a leaky “toolbox” (your mind), you’re in big trouble. The tools are the outer game and the toolbox is the inner game. Like most of us, you probably have bad thought patterns and habits that set your success thermometer to a temperature you’re not happy with.
I always say that if you hate black jelly beans you probably will never have any, right? Well, if you have financially negative thoughts and believe that what your mind tells you is always true, it will be a huge obstacle to reaching the next level of success. If you believe money is the root of all evil, you will never have much of it. You have to learn to not entertain thoughts that do not empower your vision for success.
Training and managing your own mind is the most important skill you could ever learn, in terms of both happiness and success.
3. Become the Person You Need to Be
If you’re just starting a business great if you’re already doing six figures, great. We all are pushing to the next level and have goals we wish to achieve. These insights are essential no matter what your situation is if you want to continue growing your success.
“It’s not enought to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be the right person at the right place and time.” ~T. Harv Eker
That quote is one of my favorites. It begs you to consider who you are. You have to be honest about the answers to that question and some of the others listed below.
How do you think?
What do you believe?
How do you feel about yourself?
What are your habits?
What is your level of confidence?
Can you act in spite of fear, worry or discomfort?
This is like taking a self-inventory which we talk about a lot in our mentor program. Most people don’t want to deal with this stuff, they just want the next overnight success idea or that magical investment. But if you can take this seriously, you will see where you need to start transforming yourself and then you can define the steps you need to take to do it. Again, your toolbox (inner game) is critical to your success. The tools (outer game) will not matter if you have a leaky toolbox.
Think of it as a house. If you have a blueprint for a 900 square foot bungalow made out of straw, then that the house you will get. And it will suck and fall apart which is stressful and requires you to build it over and over. But what if it took some time to learn how to build a new house that is 3,000 square feet and built from steel, wood, and concrete? Now you can change your blueprint and the result will be a new solid house that you truly wanted. But you have to take the time to learn how to build it.
Years ago, I acknowledged some serious thought patterns holding me back and had to create new ones. I had sticky notes all around the house where I would see them the most. My wife thought I was nuts but it was a huge help! Do what you have to do to avoid negative thinking and learn new wealth principles.
So, where do you begin? Well, a good start is to become aware of yourself more. Take notice of your behaviors and thinking. Learn what people at the next level of success do and how they think. Adopt education and action into your daily routine. Think of it as a system that is a well-oiled machine. This will give you consistent growth.
4. Find Your Circle of Support
At the risk of beating a drum, you’ve heard many times before, I’m going to state this anyway because it’s so important. You must take note of who is toxic in your life and stay away! At the same time, you have to surround yourself with people who lift you up.
This might be:
it’s important that they support your big dreams and ideas and push you forward. For example, stay away from people who only see obstacles and find people that focus on opportunities. Negativity is contagious.
At Change Creator we connect with the best and brightest digital entrepreneurs in the business. We have invested thousands of dollars in the right programs and masterminds that have accelerated our growth and helped us see a better path for our business. We have also interviewed the best mentors around the world for Change Creator Magazine. Sure, that’s part of our business but we also learn priceless information and strategies which we share with you!
No matter where you are with your success now, if you want to level up, you will need to push your self to grow more by watering the inner game. Your success can only grow to the extent that you do. That growth is a lifelong process. You cannot change the visible if you don’t change the invisible first.
Are you ready to turn up the temperature on your thermometer? Let us know your best growth secrets in the comments!
Let’s not mince words: in many ways, these are dark times. But I want you to know how to keep hope alive. Right now, the largest migration of human beings is taking placeaccording to the WHO, nearly a billion people, 65 million of whom were forced out of their homes for one reason or another. Growing awareness of long-unresolved disparities in class, race, gender, orientation, income, and other issues have led to a great surge indivisionandintoleranceinmanycountries, so much so that I could link every word this sentence to articles and citations if I really wanted to and still have many hundreds to spare. Overshadowing it all, reports now show thatwe have little more than a decade to address global climate change or risk catastrophic, worldwide ecological collapse.
And…you still have a business to run.
What’s the point?
Given all that’s happening, you could be forgiven for waking up some days and wondering “What’s the point?”
However, it’s important for you not to give up hope. More importantly, it’s important for you not to lose your gumption. That’s the wordRobert Pirsig used to describe that internal feeling of hope, drive, and enthusiasm that is essential to the day to day success of most social entrepreneurs.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world, even the conditions of the part of the world that your enterprise aims to heal and transform, remember the following, in this order
The world that you desire needs what you do.
Take care of yourself so you can do what’s needed.
There is more good news than what gets reported.
Humans have overcome similar challenges before and won
You are an essential part of creating a better world.
Make no mistake, you are an essential component of the world that you want to build. That’s why you launched your social enterprise in the first place. You saw the limitations of today’s corporations, governments, and NGOs and decided to find your own path to helping people in need. Your beneficiaries, whoever and wherever they may be, are waiting for you to help them. Your customers, too, want to be a part of the healing while living their own best lives thanks to your products and services. The “why” of your business is bigger than you are, and so, based on where you say you want to go, you always have the choice: will you keep going?
Take care of yourself first. It matters.
And, if you choose “yes”, then you must start by taking care of yourself, however, that may look for you. General guidelines, as you can expect, are simple and require no special expertise: get sufficient exercise and rest, take breaks and days off, eat well, and connect with your family, partners, and friends as often as you can, the people who lift you up. Many mission-driven entrepreneurs tend to feel guilty for taking days off when there are so many awful things happening elsewhere. However, your rest and rejuvenation are part of the process of transforming the world: you can’t give what you don’t have.
Mental and emotional health is a critical component of your self-care, and key to that is remembering that the news that you see is skewed towards the negative. Whether it’s an inflammatory outrage tweet or the latest “Breaking News” story on a global TV network, today’s news media is geared towards capturing and keeping your attention for the clicks and ratings. They know that fear, danger, and anger sell. They stimulate those responses in the brain to keep you watching,which stimulates anxiety and a tendency to catastrophize. Consume enough of that, and you’ll start to believe that what you see is representative of the actual world. That’s why the first step is to take a break or reduce your news consumption as part of your self-care habits.
There is good news out there and you are a part of it.
When you’ve been disengaged for a little while, the next step is to look for what’s good. It’s easier to find than you might think: sources likeThe Good News Network,Causeartist, the “Good News” sections on such major outlets likeHuffpost and of course, Change Creator provide you with a different side of reality. Nor are these stories only “feel good” or fluff: many of them show the advances people have made against disease, poverty, intolerance, and other challenges that are often presented as insurmountable by mainstream media. This will readjust your worldview in a positive way and help fill up your gumption.
We as humanity have endured, survived and so can you!
One final bit of good news that should help restore your gumption and hope is this: human beings have a track record of successfully confronting major challenges and winning. From inventing agriculture and eradicating hundreds of deadly diseases to landing a man on the moon inside of a decade and coming together to heal the ozone layer, human beings can and will overcome the odds. This is fact, and at the time that we were doing these things, we were just as clueless about the outcome as we are about today’s challenges.
So take heart. These are frightening times, and we don’t know where it’s all headed, but we can choose the desired outcome. We can come together to make it happen. We can try and are trying, and in many more places than we might imagine, succeeding. You’ve already taken the first step towards that brighter world with your social enterprise, and that world needs you. Will you keep going?
This was a really fun conversation. Laura is full of energy and is not afraid to tell you like it is. On top of being an author and speaker, she’s a big-time straight shooter which I personally love. If you’re feeling stuck where you are she’s got advice that will help.
What if success doesn’t equal happiness? Many of us spend our lives pursuing a singular idea of success, one that was created for us by someone else. We give votes to those who shouldn’t even have voices and strive to go faster and faster even as we find ourselves falling further and further behind. We chase gold stars, we check all the boxes, we lean in – and yet we still feel incomplete. When we don’t define success in our own terms, finding our purpose and carving our own path becomes impossible. So how do you break the cycle so that you can live your best life?
With lessons learned over 20 years of interviewing hundreds of nonprofit, corporate, and government leaders, all of whom were in the midst of massive career change, Gassner Otting helps readers discover their greatness and encourages them to forge ahead and become the best versions of themselves.
Get our FULL feature story with Laura in Issue 27 of Change Creator Magazine”
Take the Limitless Challenge: We can set up a personalized page for your audience to take an assessment and learn what is stopping them from becoming limitless, and what they can do about it. http://www.LimitlessAssessment.com
This time of year can be quite stressful. Not only are we leaving another year behind, but we’re also starting off a new one. As entrepreneurs, it can be tempting to take this time to ‘catch up’ on all those lingering projects we’ve wanted to get done all year, but I would caution you against that.
Over the past few years of owning my own business and now as co-founder here at Change Creator, the end of the year brings its own joys and strains.
Today, I snapped at someone in a work meeting.
I had no patience, no time to discuss stuff, I was annoyingly rushed.
You see, that’s what happens at this time of year for me. I have a million little projects that still need to be done. Add to that the holiday strains and stresses (I have an 8-year old) and you’ve got one cranky person. Every year, I tell myself that I’m going to do my best and find time to just ‘chill’ but every year I give in and do way too much and feel that strain.
So this year, I’m stopping this cycle.
And, I’m going to focus on these 6 ways to enjoy the holidays as an entrepreneur and start 2019 as a more refreshed, positive, all-guns-blazing person on a mission!
1. Take some time to meditate.
Today a trusted colleague told me (again) to meditate. It’s something relatively new to my life but has made such a difference. I swear, 10 minutes of meditation is better than a few drinks to focus and relax you. You can meditate anytime, anywhere as long as you can find your center and focus. I will usually go through meditation spurts, followed by my most productive, happy days, then I’ll let the meditation slide for a few days, followed by my most stressed-out, unproductive days.
There’s a connection here people! Meditate = calm, productive, decisive.
Over the holidays, I encourage you (and me) to take a few minutes every day and meditate. It will keep all those busy schedules, family political discussions, and last-minute trips to the mall in perspective.
2. Delegate your holiday tasks too.
I have to admit. I used to be one of those overachievers during the holidays. I used to make homemade gifts, homemade stocking stuffers, and send out cards. I would schedule and host parties and do the whole nine. Well, I’ve decided that none of these efforts brought me any more joy than what I do now.
Over the past few years, I’ve streamlined my holiday efforts and found joy in what really matters, getting some downtime and eating copious amounts of food with friends and family.
I stopped doing all the cooking and shopping too. This year, I delegate. Everyone wants to be included and it’s not that tough to let people help.
I also do a lot of online shopping.
Just like in business, we can’t to it all on our own. If you are going to enjoy the holidays, you don’t want to be rushed off your feet planning and doing it all on your own. Delegate to friends, family, or just simplify. You’ll thank me for that when you get time to enjoy that third eggnog too!
3. Don’t start anything new from now until the new year.
Okay, folks. Finish whatever you need to this week and then done. Don’t start a new project, don’t try to get a jump on next year’s plans. Take this time to complete something, but stop there.
If you have a free day, that’s okay.
You don’t need to extend any extra effort to tackle those big, new projects. Guess what? It will all be waiting for you when you get back.
4. Unplug for (at least) one day!
I realize not everyone celebrates “Christmas” and that’s okay. But just because you don’t officially celebrate the holidays, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the one day of the year that most people don’t work.
Unplug for one day. Please.
Don’t check your emails.
Don’t send any emails.
Don’t schedule posts or do some Facebook campaigns.
Unplug and enjoy!
5. Give yourself and your crew a break!
Our employees work really hard for us all year. Please, let’s not be those owners who demand work get done all year round. I’ve worked for many clients that think that Dec. 31 is a perfectly suitable deliverable deadline.
I will never be that employer. Our crew needs time to refresh and relax too.
My “knife-in-the-back” experience had a positive side in that it led me to experience an epiphany. Congrats, you say – so what?
I agree, so what, people experience their epiphany every day. Wikipedia says an epiphany (from the ancient Greek epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of a sudden and striking realization.
To have an epiphany is common, not exceptional. You all know this and you all know it can apply to any facet of your life.
We experience these striking realizations when obfuscation by the universe conveniently clears and you see a pathway open up with pristine clarity. A clarity that could engender exhilaration to agony.
This story of my epiphany was related to career or at least the rest of my career. Wikipedia says “career is a person’s course or progress through life”. Although it’s arguable I don’t have a career as such any longer. I have to fess-up and declare that I’m 63.
Prior to my career epiphany, I had been CEO of a startup for 2+ years, starting when it was a concept and taking it to production in Azure and securing revenue from a couple of marquee customers.
I was pretty happy with the progress, although progress is rarely as fast as shareholders want.
Those 2 years were full speed and some. You know what it’s like when you start at the start – you’re working with the outline of an idea and you have to confirm product/market fit, raise capital, build the thing and then sell it.
Actually, it’s fun, in a way that people who haven’t done a startup might not appreciate.
Anyway, I’m 2 years plus in and suddenly the vibe changes. When you’ve been around for a while you get to be alert to what might otherwise seem like very subtle, even imperceptible changes.
The New Guy
The subtle changes started when the shareholders introduced me to this new guy they felt could really assist with the rate of progress. It didn’t take long for the new guy to start convening meetings (not always with me present), giving presentations, suggesting strategies and sharing his thoughts on the new business model he felt was essential for growth. Now the red lights were flashing.
At a Board meeting where I wasn’t advised the new guy would be presenting, I got to hear about his brilliant new strategy for the business. A full 57 slides of unrelenting banality.
So, now it’s clear. The “new guy” will be replacing me as CEO. This is classic “knife in the back” (KITB) stuff. It’s also typically the work of cowards. A collusion of cowards spruiking falsehoods.
Ironically the KITB is actually a kind of twisted backhanded compliment – a test to see if you’re perceptive enough to know what’s happening. If you figure it out then you’re actually politically adept, if not, well you’re clearly a loser.
I thought there’s no way I’ll lie down for this, particularly as I had formed the view that this “new guy” was totally out of his depth and knew next to nothing about the realities of life in a SaaS startup.
So, here we all are in the “strategy meeting” and the new guy is explaining his brilliant new vision, except his brilliant vision could be likened to a large bucket of caca.
I thought, “Are these Directors really swallowing this crap and believing the polyana picture pitched by the new guy?”.
Oh fuck. They really are. They’ve taken his bait – hook, line and sinker.
Seeing a Golden Opportunity
So in the course of about 2 weeks the scene has gone from me confronting shareholders to ask whether the new guy is, in fact, my replacement, which initially received a resounding “oh no Greg, we value you far too much to do that”, to a couple of weeks later “well, we feel it’s for the best and thought you could move to more of a part-time administrative role”.
Now, in case you may be thinking that I would ride off quietly into the sunset, I can assure the reader I didn’t. Given I’d experienced the pain of a KITB, I thought it only fair that I too should reciprocate and inflict pain.
Having been headhunted away from my previous CEO role, where I was happy, with a great team and a supportive Board, I had formed a view that the very least they could do was fully pay out my contract, rather than just give the minimum notice period of 3 months. After all, there was a clear moral obligation in my view. They’d headhunted me, so they were morally obligated to do the right thing, particularly after the KITB way they executed the change of CEO.
The conclusion of this sorry saga came with a confirmation by the key investor that they’d agreed to my request, although agreement came with a couple of caveats, which I thought were fine. By this time I just wanted to be out of the team, from which I had been unceremoniously benched.
I began to feel that this just might be a golden opportunity. A clean break, fresh air, new perspectives.
And a decision to fly away for a total change of scenery for about six weeks turned out in hindsight to be pure brilliance.
There’s no doubt been many people who’ve written about the cathartic release that overseas travel can initiate. In my case landing in Vienna in the early part of summer and then heading to southern Austria, on to Slovenia and ending up on the Croatian coast really did the trick.
If I’d have stayed in Sydney it’s quite possible my epiphany may not have exploded into my consciousness the way it did when I was sitting at a bar overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
That obfuscation by the universe I mentioned previously, dissipated sublimely as I was finishing my third margarita, watching the sunset lingeringly on a balmy Balkan evening.
Making a Real Change
That bar, that blissful evening, those scrumptious margaritas ended up being a potent recipe that sponsored a realization that I’d been gifted a wonderful and once-off opportunity to make a change for the better.
No longer would I pitch my talents to a group of investors who were seeking a CEO they could slaughter at their whim.
My vision at the Croatian bar was that I could help so many people in my community to crystalize their hopes for a future that they design and control. So many people in my community harbor dreams about creating and owning their future and I was the person who could set them up for success.
I saw with total clarity that my 63 years of experience actually had tremendous value to people who needed guidance and support for their entrepreneurial journey. And of course, there are so many ways to plan your journey, so many motivations and countless options.
Since that epiphanous moment in Croatia, I’ve taken many steps towards realizing my vision. When people ask me about the countless questions I know I must eventually answer, I say, “I know I don’t have all the answers today, I don’t even know all the questions today. I focus on taking a step forward each and every day, just like the Chinese proverb that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
I like to think of the entrepreneurs I help as heroes and that they are on a heroic journey. The classical myth of the hero, setting forth from her known world to venture into the unknown world where she’ll slay the beast and return to her world as a hero.
I’m with her on that journey, helping her realize the heroes dream.
In the few months since the evening at the Croation bar, I’ve formed a not-for-profit called SEVENmile Venture Lab in my hometown of Manly, a harbor/seaside village that’s about a 20-minute ferry ride from Sydney.
I now have two co-founders who share my vision and together we’ve created a sizable wave of support. I can’t call it a tsunami just yet. Our community has embraced my vision to bring social and economic resilience to the regions we serve by educating and up-skilling people with a focus on the creation of new enterprises by women and men who want or need to design their future, young adults (16-25 years), migrants and the over 50s.
I’ve secured premises from our local Council and sponsors are circling as the word spreads that SEVENmile was devised around social resilience, diversity and inclusion.
When I tell the story of how I came to start SEVENmile Venture Lab, people lean forward and engage with excitement. That’s a very cool reward in itself, sensing that my humble vision can actually influence such a strong reaction.
SEVENmile will encourage and guide entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds to venture into unknown territory, just like I’m doing with SEVENmile.
Rick is a Chief not because of his many high-ranking titles, but because of his ability to bring out the best in others—and in himself—using the choices he developed in his Power Compass, a road-tested sustainable growth model he created over the course of his successful career, and which he
shares in this book and continues to use with his clients.
Rick has been in demand for the past ten years as a confidential adviser to many of today’s most senior executives and is extensively connected within the global business and leadership communities. Rick continues to serve senior executives by offering broad business experience in six specific areas: customers, competitors, costs, capital, communities, and culture. Rick helps senior leaders ask the right questions.
The world is rapidly changing around us and we all play a part in the future that is created. In this article, you’ll explore great tips for living a happier and healthier life that is more intentional.
According to the World Health Organization, 13 million deaths annually and nearly a quarter of all disease worldwide are due to environmental causes that could be completely avoided.
The conditions of our environment play a substantial role in the well-being of humanity and all life on earth.
While it’s easy to feel like our part individually is insignificant it’s important to remember that we’re all part of a bigger system. We are nature.
Taking care of nature is the same as taking care of ourselves.
Health issues such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke can all be triggered by poor environmental conditions.
Business is one major tool people use today to help create large-scale positive change. But we can’t stop there or rely only on business. Part of living an impact lifestyle means to live consciously. This means we need to become aware of small daily actions and make smart decisions. This can be tough sometimes because it’s like breaking old addictions.
Here are some steps you can take to start living a more conscious impact lifestyle today.
The Food We Eat
Food is an everyday necessity of life. It’s also a business. How those businesses operate matters and so do the choices we make. Every dollar we spend is like a vote for the world we live in.
Opting for local, healthy, environmentally responsible food helps promote both personal health and overall health of the community.
Production, processing, packaging, and transportation of food is highly dependent on the use of fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers. These can greatly harm our health and the health of the environment.
Today, if you walk through a grocery store and just take a moment to look around a notice how much plastic surrounds you, it will blow your mind.
Sustainable food systems operate in a cycle of sustainable production and support. Farmers can make their food more sustainable by limiting pesticide use and treating their animals humanely and responsibly. Consumers can select food produced close to home and reduce the impact of our food system on the environment by lessening the distance food travels from farm to table.
When buying food consider these tips:
Buy local produce.
Buy fairtrade products
Buy “B-corp” certified products
Support and preserve rural communities.
Don’t use a plastic bag for every single fruit and vetable you purchase. Wash your produce at home.
Eat less beef and other animal products (Beef is a leading cause of deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution)
Avoid products in plastic containers; look for paper and glass which are biodegradable or recyclable.
Never buy plastic water bottles (25% is tap water in a bottle anyway)
Only buy eggs that are “Certified Humane”
Buy organic to avoid supporting the use of pesticides and toxins
Look for items locally grown
Buy fish that is sustainably caught and not overfished (see www.fishpeopleseafood.com)
It’s exciting to see the shared economy become more popular. This includes programs like Zipcar, shared bicycles stations in big cities, and even Uber.
Pollutants released by vehicles greatly increase air pollution levels and have been linked to adverse health effects, including premature mortality, cardiac symptoms, exacerbation of asthma symptoms, and diminished lung function. Have noticed that more and more people now have allergies or asthma?
To minimize the damaging impact of our current transportation choices, try adopting more sustainable methods of travel when possible. With hundreds of millions of cars on the road in the US alone we are growing rapidly.
According to the Bureau of Transportation 77 percent of people drive alone still. And at the same time production is booming. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, there were over 72 million cars produced in 2016 globally. As of May 2018, 29 million cars have been produced so far.
Watch this TED Talk from Bill Ford (grandson of Henry Ford), talk about the future and gridlock.
Sustainable homes are not only better for the planet, but offer opportunity for saving some cash. These solutions might require a little investment up front but you’ll make it back over time in savings.
Tips for saving energy:
Consider solar roof panels that look great – https://www.tesla.com/solarroof
Make sure your home is well-insulated to conserve energy and spend less on heat and air conditioning.
Use a programmable thermostat to time your heat and air conditioning for when you are in your home. These can shut off while you are away, saving both energy and money.
Weatherproof your home. Caulk, seal, or weather strip outside openings to prevent air leaks.
Conserve water by installing aerating and low-flow faucets and showerheads.
Choose garden plants that don’t have a high demand for water.
Looking for a major upgrade? Tankless and on-demand water heaters can save up to 30% of energy compared to standard natural gas tank heaters.
There are many stages in a product’s life cycle, and each one can negatively affect the environment if not managed correctly. Companies may adopt poor practices because it’s cheaper and each year they need to show an increase in the bottom line.
In response to destructive practices William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart published Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, encapsulating a journey of discovery about materials as biological or technical nutrients and their use periods and evolution. They created a framework for quality assessment and innovation: the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program.
The Cradle to Cradle Certification process spans over five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.
Before making a purchase, consider the full impact of the product’s material, manufacturing method, and usage. Know the full extent of what you’re supporting. Products can tie to deforestation, pollution, child labor and other challenges none of us likely would choose to support if we knew about it.
To convert raw (or recycled) materials into a product, elements are processed, shaped, and manipulated. These steps consume energy and deplete nonrenewable natural resources. For example, plastic products are made from petroleum, a finite resource.
All the plastic ever made is still here today and will likely never go away. Maybe in a 1,000 years if we’re lucky. It’s filling our oceans, poisoning our food and killing eco-systems. About 8 million tons of plastic trash land in our oceans each year.
Additionally, many products affect the environment throughout their useful life. Using these items responsibly can reduce their environmental impact. Any equipment with a plug requires electricity to operate. To prevent wasting energy, turn equipment off when not in use. At the end of a product’s useful life, consider what parts may be reused and how to dispose of the product or its components responsibly. Plastics, glass, paper, and other materials may be recycled. Many manufacturers will take products at the end of their lifecycle. Check with vendors in your area for specifics on disposal practices.
Some tips to save money and the planet:
Save your plastic bags and reuse them
Shop with reusable bags
Look for 30% or greater post-consumer recycled content
Buy 100% recycled paper towels and other paper products
Never buy plastic plates, forks, knives or cups
Only buy soap that does not use palm oil or sources it sustainably such as Dr. Bronners. (Palm oil is a major drive of deforestation)
Look for products made of biobased content (composed of biological products such as plant materials)
Avoid animal-based products
Look for b-corp certified Look for fairtrade certified
Buy products that have minimal life cycle costs
Buy products that have minimal risk of toxic/hazardous chemicals
Look for products that are durable or have a long product life
Ask yourself if what you’re about to buy is necessary
Electronics impact the environment and human health. Fabricating and shipping electronics use water and energy, and often create industrial waste. The disposal of electronics results in a massive amount of waste going into landfills. Toxins, commonly found in electronics, can leak into the soil or release into the air through burning.
Each year our planet generates about 50 million tons of electronic waste. This includes everything ranging from batteries to mobile phones and children’s toys. Here’s the thing, while this material may have been tossed away that does not mean they’re not without value. Actually, the United Nations estimated the total worth of all that e-waste at $55 billion, thanks largely to the trace amounts of gold, silver, and other metals they contain. The problem, though, is getting them out.
There are specialized centers that can safely dispose of these products to avoid toxic leakage and may be able to recycle some of the material. Many manufacturers will also take old products to recycle their parts.
Only through management over the entire life cycle of electronics can we mitigate the overall negative effects on our soil, water, air, and health.
Check for special programs in your area to recycle:
Old laptops or phones.
Printers, keyboards, and other computer accessories.
Nearly every human on this planet has a dream. Yet as we all know, some dreams come true while others don’t. Why do certain goals seem to come to fruition, sometimes with the aid of what can be described as luck, serendipity, even a touch of magic? Maybe the magic touch isn’t magic at all, but rather setting an intention, putting our goals out into our community and working hard — even when we’re not certain we’re on the right path.
Future State CEO Shannon Adkins’ LinkedIn profile touts her as a “keynote speaker.”
But Adkins recently admitted — during her keynote address at a Bay Area B Corp Leadership Development event — that it was her first time filling that role.
Sometimes, she told the audience, you have to tout first and achieve later — especially when it comes to “outrageous statements” about the future of business, the world or humanity. But of course, she knew she wasn’t telling her audience anything new.
“This is this group of people who make outrageous and ridiculous declarations of futures that no one else thinks are possible, and then build coalition and then take action and then extraordinary things happen,” she told the B Corp crowd.
She’s long heard from others that they “couldn’t possibly do that” — the outrageous, the unusual, the unexpected — for one reason or another. So Adkins suggests adopting another mindset that makes the outrageous accessible to everyone: achieving big goals isn’t luck and it isn’t magic.
“How many people in this room have been told, ‘Well, yeah, but you’re just lucky. You have magical powers, like something extraordinary happens when you’re around’? But having it be personality-based or having it be luck-based or having it be leadership-based makes it not accessible for everyone else to really see themselves inside our outrageous futures,” she says.
So just how do we go about making outrageous ideas reality? Here are Adkins’ five steps.
1. Speak the future.
“What’s really important is that you speak that future even if you have absolutely no evidence that it’s possible. Right? So I don’t have any evidence … I mean, I’m not a scientist, I don’t have any evidence, but it’s possible in my own brain. For example, I don’t know that it’s possible to reverse climate change by 2050, but I’m all in. You know, I’m gonna take that pledge, I’m gonna take that commitment and I’m gonna do what I can to do that. So speak that future, even without clarity on exactly how that’s going to happen.”
2. Share widely and boldly.
“Share your crazy dreams, your visions for reality with everyone — and not just with people that you think can help you. So not just with the one person that you know has a connection to that particular point of contact or one person that’s an expert in that industry.
“Recognize that you won’t always know who’s going to be the person who’s going to be able to connect you to that future, to that reality. So you have to share it wildly and widely.”
3. Take action.
“It’s not enough to say what you want; you have to take action as well. My personal experience is that I take action consistent with the commitment, but it isn’t usually that action that leads to the outcome.
“Take action consistent with results that align the universe for that outcome to show up and to be available in your life.”
4. Ask for help.
“Be willing to tell people about your outrageous dreams — your ridiculous hopes and dreams. Ask for help frequently. Build your coalition. Rally your community. Know that the people in your life, they want your dreams to come true for you. So it’s an honor and a gift to give people the opportunity to help make those dreams a reality.”
5. Say yes.
“Say yes, even if you have absolutely no idea what you’re going to say in front of a room of people. When I was asked to be the CEO of Future State, I didn’t have the on-paper qualifications. And in looking back through that, I don’t think I’ve actually ever had the qualifications for any job I’ve ever done, in my entire life!
“And maybe none of us do. Maybe that’s the thing, right? This illusion that there’s a formula to success and it looks something like work hard, put in the time, and eventually, someone will notice that you’re ready and they’ll give it to you. But you really have to sort of demonstrate and prove these moments along the way.”
(This article, written by Rebecca Brown is used with permission from Cause Artist. It was published in full here.)
Over the decades, travel has become a multibillion-dollar industry. It keeps growing and becoming more accommodating, and we now find that plane tickets are cheaper, that there are travel agencies at every corner, that tourism is booming, and that all you really need to go somewhere these days is some money and a bit of free time.
As an interpreter, I travel more than an average person for the sake of work. And honestly? It’s all made so easy for me. I hardly have to plan anything on my own, and going from one end of the world to the other is no fuss at all. But comfort and convenience have their price, and it goes well beyond money.
The fact that I travel so much has actually made me think: how am I impacting the planet? And how can I make it better? While these are only my musings, they are based on research and experience, and if you want your own vacations and work trips to be more sustainable, read on.
1) Start with the Culture
If you ask your parents, they might remind you of a time when traveling somewhere meant having to learn at least a smattering of that country’s language. If you wanted to know how to ask for directions, or book a hotel room, or find a good restaurant, you had to know a few phrases.
Now? Everything is in English, and not only do you never have to inconvenience yourself to learn something new, you can even find all your favorite chain brands – from McDonald’s in the middle of the square in Milano, to a huge Starbucks at pretty much every corner in Beijing.
Being a green traveler isn’t just about the environment, it’s also about our impact on the culture of the place we’re going to. It’s about the fact that a beach in Barbados and one in Cancun look almost exactly the same because even when we go to a whole new place, we seem only to want to find familiar things and never get out of our comfort zone.
Sure, you’ll visit six museums in a day when you go to Rome, but you won’t remember any of them. Sustainable travel simply means mindful travel. It’s about paying respect to the place you’re going to, it’s about exploring and learning, not simply going to a Sephora in Paris and claiming you’ve seen France.
2) Get a Green Car
Solar-powered cars are a great way to lower your carbon footprint, and the prices are definitely getting lower as the world tries its best to find more energy-saving solutions. Since I can’t always afford to rent a green car, I also try taking the train instead of flying whenever I can. It’s slower, but unless I’m in a big rush, I actually don’t mind that at all. You get to see more of the country that way, and chugging along in a train is always better than flying in my opinion. Better for my health, and better for the environment.
When I fly for work, I try to be quick and efficient, but when I travel for my own soul, I prefer adventure. I want my vacations to be memorable and important, and so far, my favorite trip ever was walking the Camino de Santiago. It was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, and since I took the French Way (the longest route, basically) I got to learn so much about each little village, each little spot I visited.
I’m already planning to do it all over again next year, but even if you don’t think you’re up to such a long trip, I urge you to try similar options. You can actually go to pretty much any big city (Amsterdam is one of the best options), download a map of it, and then walk your way through it as much as you can. Don’t use cars or even public transport, simply get a good pair of shoes and see where your heart takes you. You might see fewer things, but the places that you do see, you’ll actually remember.
Always be aware of the impact you’re leaving on a culture. Instead of going to big places that are congested with tourists, try traveling locally, or try exploring a country that has never crossed your mind before. Be a mindful sustainable traveler.
As work stress increases each year, more people are asking: is there any way to quiet the mind? Here are some quick tips to help you figure out how to quiet the mind.
Four Unusual Mindfulness Meditation Exercises
A well-established way to quiet your mind is by developing a mindfulness practice. Here are five meditations you can incorporate into your day-to-day life.
1. The Leaf Meditation
One way of overcoming the egoic mind is to focus on the complexity of something outside of yourself. Take a leaf and hold it in your hand, set a timer for five minutes and give the leaf your full attention. This will help to slow down your racing thoughts.
2. Five minutes of mindful eating
Your lunch break at work can be an ideal opportunity to practice mindfulness. Mindful eating helps strengthen the mind-body connection and take your mind off negative thoughts. All you need to do is train your brain to pay full attention to your eating experience. Concentrate your focus on what you are eating and the sensations you notice. Pay attention to where your mind wanders from moment to moment.
3. Short breath break
This is an effective way to settle mind chatter, especially when you do not have the time for a full meditation practice. If you are having a busy day at work and feel yourself becoming overwhelmed by stress, this could help with quieting your mind. You can take a short breath anytime you feel the need to take your awareness away from stressful thoughts. You just need to bring your attention to your breathing and noting how it affects the rest of your body.
4. Five Senses Exercise
This is another exercise that allows you to quiet the mind chatter that could be diverting your focus at work. You do not have to go anywhere special for this meditation practice. Just take a moment to notice three things you are currently experiencing through each of your five senses.
Four Quick Breathing Exercises
1. Abdominal Breathing
This is an excellent exercise for introverts. Try this before heading into a meeting or social event to keep your mind peaceful. Set a timer for ten minutes. Sit comfortably and place your right hand over your chest and your left on your belly. Take deep breaths inflating from your diaphragm. You’ll know you’re doing it correctly when only your left-hand moves with your breath.
2. Alternate Nostril Breathing
If you practice yoga, this exercise will be familiar to you. This is a way to calm and balance both sides of your brain. Sit comfortably and press your right thumb against your right nostril and take a deep inhale through your left. When your lungs are full, press your right ring finger against your left nostril and gently exhale through your right nostril. For the next breath, reverse the pattern and inhale through your right nostril and exhaling through the left. Keep alternating like this for five minutes of deep breathing.
3. Balanced Breathing
This balanced breathing exercise can help reduce anxiety and tame the monkey mind. You can start by inhaling for a five count, then exhaling for a five count. Make sure you are breathing through your nose. As you become more adept at this breathing practice, you can build up to a 12 count. As you progress in your balanced breathing practice, you will notice an increased focus, reduced stress, and peace of thought that extends to your day-to-day life.
4. Progressive Relaxation
This exercise is ideal after a high-stress day. It helps you to reestablish a strong mind-body connection by aligning what you’re thinking and feeling. Close your eyes and sit comfortably. Progressively turn your attention to each muscle group, starting with your forehead and working down to your toes. Focus on each muscle group for five seconds before moving down to the next. Keep your breathing slow and deep as you feel for stress in different parts of your body. When you find a particularly tight muscle group, take a deep breath while paying attention to the tension and then gently exhale as you relax.
Ten Tips for Your Pre-bed Routines
For most people, a quiet mind is most critical just before bedtime. Improving the quality of your sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being. Will your thoughts be focused at work? Will you stick to your diet? Will you maintain your calm under stress? All these things are influenced by sleep quality. So how do you quiet your mind for sleep?
Avoid electronic screens after sunset.
Create a to-do list for the next day.
Take a mindful bath.
Read fiction (but not in bed).
Live by candlelight in the evenings.
Sleep in a dark, cool room.
Set an alarm based on sleeping in 90-minute cycles.
Try to sleep and wake at the same time each day.
Place your alarm somewhere far from the bed.
Do not lie awake in bed for more than 20 minutes.
Why a Quiet Mind Works for Entrepreneurs
While many of us embrace our busy minds, full of ideas, and strategies, quieting your mind can be good at times to be able to focus. Stepping away from your daily schedule and busy mind can really help you propel your personal and business growth.
We all are given the same 24 hours each day. How to manage time is a big topic for hustlers and entrepreneurs. Whether you are just starting out or scaling your 6-figure business into a 7, or 8-figure business, time management is key to your success. Right?
While we can all agree that time management is important, listing tasks to do, busy work, and other time wasters don’t add up to as much as you think they do.
The key to improving your time management skills is to know what you should be focusing on. Your focus should be based on your long terms goals. You can avoid distractions, beat procrastination, and increase your productivity. How do you mange time and really seize the day? By focusing on your most important tasks, and finding time for what really matters in your life and your business.
1. Identify Your Most Important Activity
“If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.” (Lakota Proverb)
People set goals for all sorts of things. Right now you probably have a pile of unfinished tasks on your to-do list. But how many of them do you finish each day?
It is common knowledge that your goals must be specific and measurable so that you don’t waste time. However, you must also take the extra step and identify your primary goal. What will be the focus of your time management efforts?
With this goal in mind, you should then list the activities that will move you closer to your goal. Then you should pick the single most important activity, your MIA, and focus on that. But when is the best time to work on your MIA?
2. Maximize Your Mornings
After you figure out your MIA, you need to make time for it as early in your day as possible. According to cognitive scientists, for most people, the most productive time is the first two hours after waking up. You may not feel like you’re a morning person, but your brain chemistry likely says differently.
Most people squander this morning productivity boost by wasting time on light activities. Reading a newspaper, watching television, or catching up on social media. Cutting out these distractions will help you reclaim a productive slice of your life. Instead, you could use this valuable time at the beginning of the day to do deep work.
There is another benefit of using an early work session to start your day. There are likely to be fewer distractions. Mostly because the people who would distract you are procrastinating this early.
3. Stop Making To-Do Lists
If you ask for time-management tips, one of the most common pieces of advice you will hear is to create a to-do list. The problem is that most to-do items are really just a waste of time:
No duration information
When recording tasks on a traditional to-do list, there is often no way to track duration. You cannot see at a glance which activities will take a couple hours and which will take a few minutes.
They encourage busy-work
Each day, you look at your task list and try to pick an activity to work on. Most of the time you will likely pick the one that seems like the lightest work. The path of least resistance. The problem is this is usually not the activity that is the most important.
To-do lists are stressful
How does it feel to carry around an ever-growing list of work tasks that you have not done? Effective time management should not be punishing. You already do a lot of hard work so you need a time management tool that empowers you.
Create Time Blocks Instead
All the successful people I know run their day from a calendar, not a to-do list. That is because if there is something important to be done then it should be scheduled. It may seem like a minor change, moving from a to-do list to a calendar. But, using a calendar forces you to consider the time it will take to finish a given task. Give yourself enough space to meet your goals and deadlines. This will free your mind and increase your productivity. Follow these four steps and plan when to work:
Schedule time blocks for the everyday things first
What goal is valuable to you? Whatever it is, break it down into the basic actions that you must do each week. Then put these actions in your calendar. If it’s something you need to do every day, set it as a recurring event. No matter how big your goals are, they can be broken down into daily activities that will move you forward.
Save early morning time blocks for your most important activities
We all set our schedules with the best intentions. But, no matter how much we attempt to manage our days, surprises always pop up. Sometimes it seems like as you plan more work, interruptions become more likely. When you plan a time block for the afternoon, it becomes more likely that some other priority will arise. It will seem awfully important, it often will be, and this will divert your attention.
Never cancel on your goals
It is important that you treat every time block as if it were an appointment with someone important. We all hate time wasters when we meet them in daily life. Don’t be that person to yourself. Sometimes something unavoidable comes up. The proper response is quite obvious. You would not casually blow off an important meeting. Instead, you would reschedule. Keep this same discipline for your calendar and respect your time. If you keep practicing, time blocking will become a well-honed time management skill.
Are You Listening? Would you even finish reading this article? Most people have a hard time actually listening, all they do is “hear” you might ask, so what’s the difference?
The Difference Between Literal Listening and Just ‘Hearing’
The fact that these are words with different spelling isn’t really the problem, neither is the definition too. But there’s something to learn from this if you take your time to read through.
While anyone without a hearing problem can easily hear a sound or hear people talking or even someone talking to them directly, it has a lot of difference from the word “listen” listening requires discipline.
In as much as this might not make much sense to you yet, or probably you think you know what I’m talking about, I want you to “listen” (read). Yes we all know your attention might be far away when someone is talking to you and you’re probably thinking of something else, it means you’re not listening or participating in the conversation – But what if you’re engaged and still not actually listening?
I hear you say, how’s that possible if I’m engaged? Well, that’s exactly the point of this article (listen).
Are you really listening? Or just listening…?
I see a lot of entrepreneurs in the skill and craft industry repeating this mistake all the time when they are engaged in a conversation with a client, they are there, they aren’t carried away by thoughts of strawberries and escapades in the Caribbeans, yet they aren’t truly listening.
I’ll give you a very understandable example.
Some time ago, I hired a web developer to help me work on a web design project – after much chat and calls, I sent him the code sample of what I had already created from scratch, all he needed to do at this point was to add a few touches and functionalities to make the backend fully ready to access.
After two days, this person called me that he was done and with so much excitement, I clicked on the link he shared with me in order to view the completed project.
And…… to my greatest surprise, I was seeing a totally different design far from what I created and sent to him for fine-tuning. It wasn’t even a modified version, it was a total new whack design altogether.
My heart broke, I was disappointed. What just happened? The dude wasn’t listening, he was busy trying to satisfy his own ego.
You see, listening makes you pay attention to details, it helps you understand what a person (whether client or not) is saying or describing – In my own case, I never requested that I needed a new design, he was supposed to only fine tune and add few functions. Maybe add or remove some colors etc…
No, he wanted to show me he could do better or whatever point he was trying to prove by his actions. Well, just as you must have thought, I actually scrapped the design and told him to go back to my own design. Why? I wasn’t trying to glorify my work and condemn his.
But what he didn’t realize is, there’s a psychology behind my design and it was done in that way so as to appeal to a certain gender and group of people.
He wasn’t listening. It made him do the job twice and I eventually stopped working with him after he was done.
Not listening can cost you more than you ever bargained for, you could lose your reputation or credibility. A skilled worker who isn’t listening to details of a project would end up satisfying his/her own desires rather than the meeting with the needs/requirements of the project’s owner.
What not listening can really cost you…
And this can make you even lose money and become indebted if care isn’t taken (or depending on the kind of project). Because you might have spent a huge amount of cash doing the wrong thing while trying to impress yourself instead of following protocols.
Yes, most service providers in most cases do actually impress themselves thinking they’re impressing the customer. If you want to maintain a good working balance with your customers, do more than just hear, “listen” in on what you are being told to do.
Some Tips on How to Be a Better Listener
Always go along with a notepad if necessary and take down phrases that are mostly repeated, this could be a key factor.
List out a set of vital questions and points that you might be having a hard time understanding so that you can become clear on what the customer really want out of the final product.
Don’t build your conclusion(s) based on the assumption that you do actually understand what your prospective client has said, ask questions to confirm if they truly mean what you think you are hearing…
Be curious, there’s nothing wrong with being curious to know more about your customers’ intention, goals and the long-term overall reason for engaging in the project they have contracted to you.
I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to share more information with you if they discover you are being genuinely interested.
Building a business that thrives, a business that quickly adapts to new changes when the industry takes a new turn requires literal listening, (that is, paying close attention to details) than focusing on the next bank alert, or figuring out a smart response to their last question. Listening is a skill that can be developed over time, but the first step is to recognize that you might need to improve this area of your development.
Lisa Chau is a Ted-Ed lesson creator who has been published over 100 times in Forbes, US News & World Report as well as Huffington Post on TABLES: Technology – Academia – Business – Leadership – Entrepreneurship – Strategy. She was a featured guest on National Public Radio’s Baltimore Midday Talk with Dan Roderick, speaking on millennials and digital strategy. A few years ago, she organized and hosted the “How to Build a Strong Start-Up” conference at Columbia University.
We spoke with Lisa about her experience at this boot camp for entrepreneurs:
What brought you Club Getaway this month?
I was thrilled to be invited to participate in Survive and Thrive’s inaugural boot camp for mission-driven entrepreneurs. My interest in startups kicked into high gear when I worked at the Tuck School of Business at my alma mater, Dartmouth College. There, I met alumnus, Alejandro Crawford, who helps build bottom-up innovation and forge risk-aware strategy. We’ve worked together on many projects since the meeting, including co-teaching an MBA entrepreneurship class at The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
More recently, I spent almost two years with Potentis Capital, whose mission is to build socially responsible businesses, as well as generate jobs and economic growth on local and national levels. I worked with portfolio company Watertree Health’s President Shane Power and his team to exceed the organization’s 2016 social responsibility goals by saving cardholders $120 million on prescription costs and donating $1.3 million to nonprofit Make-A-Wish®. Additionally, we raised enough money to fund over 2 million meals for 15 regional food bank partners.
Mission-driven entrepreneurship is integral to what I do, so a boot camp designed just for entrepreneurs is a natural match for me.
What did you find most valuable about your experience?
Although I always advise people to diversify their networks, I enjoyed meeting like-minded entrepreneurs in an extremely supportive environment. The endless hours and unique journey of startup life can be very isolating. It was comforting to be surrounded by others who understand the many challenges of growing a business. We just relate easily.
The Survive and Thrive boot camp offered me a community which I will work to maintain beyond our time at Camp Getaway – In friendship and in business. I’ve already exchanged correspondence with Recurrent Capital Founder and President Ethan Einwohner, whose unbridled enthusiasm led our “Stay Green” team to victory during the branding workshop led by Laney Silverman.
I have a long list of other founders I will email, including Quantum Media Group’s Ari Zoldan, Club Getaway’s David Schreiber, Cewebity’s Jameson Bennett, Fearless Talent’s Francesca Burack, and Motivating the Masses’ Susie Carder. WishPoints’ Grace Lee and I are currently discussing ways we can support one another.
Were you surprised by anything?
I attend a lot of networking events, hackathons and business talks. More than 80% of the time, I never have a problem getting a seat near the front of the room. People usually cluster in the center of the room. When I sauntered into the Boat House for Jesse Itzler’s keynote, the audience had taken up all the seats in the front third of the room. Guests were committed to learning as much as possible over the course of the weekend. The anticipation was palpable even before Jesse took the stage. I loved it. There’s something energizing about being surrounded by sheer ambition. We were ready for a great talk and Jesse delivered – He has an amazing presence, singular journey and sense of humor. He is definitely a different brownie!
The next morning, I was surprised I didn’t fall while walking on one wire between trees in the aerial park! I was sleep-deprived, cold and had a painful pinched nerve in my shoulder. But I had to push through – As Jesse insisted: We need to push past our limits. When you think you’re at your limit, you’re only 40% done. You can do more. Reach into your reserve tank… “It’s where the gold is.”
While I waited for my turn on the cables, my brain reminded me of the entrepreneur motto: Be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
(At the same time, I was trying to avoid the other motto: Fail fast, fail often.)
How was this conference different from what you’ve experienced before?
When I signed up for the boot camp, I expected lots of panels in the traditional sit and talk format, but surrounded by trees. This was different in that we bonded and learned by engaging in team activities in the air, on land and in the water.
People didn’t just proclaim leadership, they owned it.
During the teamwork and leadership mastermind session, @EnergeticPhD Cynthia McKee and Managing Director at Voyager HQ John Matson volunteered to brave the cold waters of Leonard Pond, not once but twice, to collect balloons. Meanwhile, I stayed dry on land and flexed my mental acuity to solve a riddle before our rival team could beat us.
The scaling and globalization mastermind session was superbly led by mentor Desiree Reid. She observed how participants interacted with one another and provided detailed, insightful feedback on each individual activity rather than simply throwing out generic comments. Then, she connected the activities to relevant overarching business concepts. She was wonderful. With over 20 years of experience launching and growing brands, including work with beauty and health giants such as Revlon, Avon, and Estée Lauder, Desiree has been featured in Essence and Allure magazines as a notable business leader.
What’s next for you?
I just began writing a business book. I will also offer related consultancy services with the mission of empowering executives in the design of their careers to cultivate meaningful connections & opportunities across their lifetimes.
I’d love to find a complementary business development role based in Manhattan that would also broaden my work with startups internationally. I’ve been to Amsterdam twice and the region is particularly interesting because of its rapidly growing entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Lisa Update: June 2018
After speaking at Microsoft in February and leading mentor sessions at South by Southwest in March, Lisa was invited to join Lampix, where intelligent tabletop augmented reality is powered on blockchain with PIX tokens. She manages community and PR within the marketing department headed by Sirius Satellite veteran Gordon Meyer.
As of April, Lisa officially became an advisor for fellow Dartmouth alumna Joan Ai’s startup Prepared Child, which is a social impact vehicle part of the NYU Steinhardt Edtech Incubator as well as the Dartmouth Founders Project and Pledge 1%.
In the early 1970s, the American rock climber would be hard-pressed to find gear of any quality. In fact, he or she would probably have had to turn to Europe, where the nascent sport was more popular and companies were manufacturing equipment for it. “There were probably 250 climbers in the country,” Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard recalled with a chuckle in a recent interview with NPR.
But even if that climber chose to buy gear from Europe, it would likely have been low-quality, made of soft iron, the kind of equipment you use once and toss. Chouinard and his friends, following in the footsteps of transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Muir, believed they should climb the mountains but leave no trace behind. Pitons should not be used once and left wedged into rock. Discarded lengths of rope should not be left on the forest floor.
The same problem applied to sporting clothes. At that time, and especially for men, activewear consisted largely of sweatshirts and matching sweatpants. There were no clothes that made sense for people doing intense, outdoor activities.
Chouinard never wanted to be a businessman. “This was in the 60s, and businessmen were all greaseballs in the 60s,” Chouinard said at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2016. “We didn’t respect business. In fact, they were the enemy.” But he did have an innate sense that he could improve the tools he was using. “It’s just I have this knack that every time I look at a product I look at it and think, ‘well, I could make something better than that. It could be better,’” he said during an interview with NPR. This is exactly what Chouinard and his friends did. When they went climbing, they would return with ideas about how to improve their tools.
Soon, Chouinard realized that he could not avoid the obvious solution: build better equipment, make better clothes. So with that in mind, Chouinard got some books on blacksmithing and began to forge the gear that he and his friends wanted to use themselves. Soon, he was selling his pitons for a dollar and a half each, far more expensive than the European equivalent, but made to last. “I just happened to be a craftsman. Every time I looked at a piece of equipment I had an idea of how to make it better,” Chouinard said during a lecture at UCLA.
Soon, expansion happened. After a trip to the United Kingdom, where Chouinard saw a rugby-style shirt that seemed to fit the needs of climbers, he began importing sporting clothes and then designed and produced them himself. That was how Patagonia was born.
From there, Chouinard’s fledgling company began manufacturing a broad line of clothing meant specifically for sportspeople. Or more accurately, they began making clothes that Chouinard and his friends wanted to use themselves when they climbed and hiked and surfed. In reflecting on this time, Chouinard recalled trying to put himself in the shoes of his customer, hoping to come up with products that people didn’t yet know they wanted or needed.
The Uncharacteristic Entrepreneur
“If I get an idea, I immediately take a step forward and see how that feels. If it feels good, I take another step. If it feels bad, I take a step back,” Chouinard told NPR. This has been Chouinard’s approach since the start. At the beginning of Patagonia, he was neither an expert in manufacturing nor in apparel. In fact, Chouinard has no formal business training at all. He was simply a passionate sportsman–a person who just wanted to be outdoors and have clothes that made sense.
Chouinard is quick to admit that his not having the traditional background in running a major retail company has had positive and negative effects. “[I was] trying create a business that we wanted to come to work in. All of us. So that’s what we did,” he said in a talk at the Commonwealth Club of California. In all likelihood, that unfamiliarity with business and his wish to build something new helped Patagonia avoid some common traps fledgling companies fall into.
On the other hand, the same unfamiliarity led to some difficult situations, most notably in the 1980s, when about a decade after Patagonia’s founding, the company ran into trouble. “The market wanted our products, so we were growing 50% a year. But you can’t grow a business with 50% growth year after year on retained earnings. At some point, you’re going to crash,” Chouinard said at the Commonwealth Club of California. From the perspective of the long-term health of the company, Chouinard knew that such rapid growth was not sustainable.
For Chouinard, the goal was not simply growth. In fact, the way he saw it, the faster his business grew, the faster it would die. It was about making a change, about using environmentally friendly material and teaching people that you don’t throw out things, you repair them. Chouinard’s vision was that Patagonia would commit to owning one of its products forever. If something no longer fit, they would help sell it for you; if it broke, they would fix it; if it was really spent, they would recycle it.
At an early stage, Chouinard and Patagonia conducted studies on which materials were the friendliest for the environment (they were surprised to learn that 25% of all agricultural pesticides are used for cotton production) and adjusted their production accordingly. In light of what they found out about cotton, Patagonia started using 100% organic cotton in 1996. Chouinard wanted something lasting so that Patagonia could have an impact and exist far into the future. The same was so for the materials they used. After commissioning a study, they realized the impact of the cotton they were using. For Chouinard, such high growth would not take them to his goal.
To keep the company on track, Chouinard actually slowed growth, which with the addition of a recession, led to a critical moment for Patagonia. Chouinard didn’t know if the company would make it. Banks stopped lending the company money and revenues became tight. But with some tough decisions, including management level staff layoffs and an improved growth program that looked toward the future, Patagonia made it through. For Chouinard, there are two types of growth: that which leads to you being stronger and that which leads to you being fatter. Of course, he wanted the former.
In an interview with NPR, Chouinard reflected on entrepreneurship:
“One of my favorite quotes is:
‘If you want to understand entrepreneurship, study the juvenile delinquent because they’re saying this sucks and I want to do it my own way.’ That’s what the entrepreneur does. They just say, ‘This is wrong and I’m going to do it this other way,’ and that’s the fun part of a business. I love breaking the rules.”
It seems one rule that Chouinard has tried particularly hard to break is our modern consumer mannerisms. What is essential for Chouinard is that Patagonia offers a lifetime guarantee. In fact, it seems that the Patagonia mantra should be one of Chouinard’s core beliefs, which is to own very few but very good things.
Indeed, in a world where there exists an abundance of cheap clothing made with questionable materials by people in poor conditions–and our global problems are only growing–it seems we need more companies that share Chouinard and Patagonia’s mission.
Chouinard has never been interested in coming out with a cheap line of clothes. That is evident if you take a look at Patagonia’s online catalog. Despite Patagonia’s price points, Chouinard’s goal is not to reduce prices and appeal to a mass customer base like other retail stores. For him, good quality clothes which are made from responsible materials simply cost more. And we, as good consumers, should prioritize buying less but buying responsibly. That, Chouinard believes, will help us approach some of the daunting problems we face, which seems an idea that deserves reflection.
Patagonia Mission Statement
Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Wise words for the young entrepreneur
There is no doubt that Patagonia has a compelling story. What is now a company with reportedly over $600 million in revenue was started by Chouinard and his buddies because they wanted better sporting equipment.
Their impact on how we purchase and consume clothing and how clothing material is sourced is significant, perhaps even paradigm-shifting. But also worth discussing are the things we can learn from Chouinard’s approach to business.
Many have considered Chouinard’s style of managing his employees and a huge corporation as eccentric. In fact, many might have laughed at his company directive to hit the waves when the surf was up, or at his annual six-month vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But no one can argue with the outcomes, both in business but also in environmental impact and employee welfare.
In the early days of Patagonia, the company pioneered on-site childcare, flex-work based on a trust policy, paid maternity and other leave, coverage of healthcare premiums, and generous employee development programs. These benefits, of course, are still not entirely common in 2017, over forty years later.
What’s more, Chouinard took an unusual approach to staff his company. Most companies, as he points out, are strongly top-down. There are rigid corporate structures in place and hierarchies that determine how a company will operate. Patagonia, on the other hand, hired a bunch of young and independent people, and then left them alone. Chouinard recently mentioned that psychologists have come to study how the company manages to function so efficiently with this approach. Chouinard seems to bask in his unusual tactics. He doesn’t care when his employees work, so long as they get the job done.
For young entrepreneurs, Chouinard also gives some on-point advice. “If you want to be successful in business,” he recently said to NPR, “you don’t go up against Coca-Cola. They’ll kill you. You just do it differently. You figure out something that no one else has thought of and you do it in a totally different way. So, breaking the rules means you have to be creative.”
Above all, what seems to drive Chouinard the most is the wish for a simpler life. This can be seen in his approach to business, his slowing the growth of his own company, and his encouraging customers not to buy his products but to repair, reuse, and recycle. Chouinard brings us a lot: wisdom about business, the environment, and how we as consumers should strive to better ourselves in a world that is being taxed by our needs and wants.
But perhaps most poignant are his words about life, which he recently said in an NPR interview:
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life because everything pulls you to be more and more complex. I think what I have learned from fly-fishing is that if we have to–either we’re forced or we decide to–go to a simpler life, it’s not going to be an impoverished life; it’s going to be really rich.”
Gary Vaynerchuk continues to storm stages around the world not just building his personal brand but to impact people’s lives by helping them understand the incredible time they live in right now.
Change Creator has said it before and I’m going to say it again now, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur…if you’re willing to go all-in.
In this one hour video, Vaynerchuk passionately shares his insights around two key components for success:
Facebook & Instagram
The Essential Foundation
While he hates to talk about the nontangible mindset factor he makes it clear that it is the essential foundation for long-term success.
“Too many of you are about to take fucking notes right now and think it’s about a Facebook ad, but if your foundation isn’t right you have no shot at long-term success.” ~Gary Vaynerchuk
He explains that so many people are in the “excuse business.” I could not agree more and it’s a huge challenge for people.
It reminds me of an interview I did with the founder of Addicted 2 Success, Joel Brown, I brought this very topic up to hear his perspective.
At the time I had many conversations with people who told me they wanted to start a business of their dreams or make a change they desire in their life but said the didn’t have time because they are busy with family, kids, whatever it was.
I asked Joel if those life situations were reasonable or excuses.
His answer was:
‘Unfortunately, those people are making excuses and the sad truth is not that they don’t have time, it’s that they aren’t willing to make the time.” ~Joel Brown
The hard truth Vaynerchuk shares is bold, honest and unfortunately, spot on – a lot of things can happen in life but the world just doesn’t give a shit.
So what has worked for Gary?
Well, simply put he states what worked for him is – optimism, gratitude and overall, a positive mindset.
Black and White
From Vaynerchuck’s perspective, life is black or white – you can be on the offense or the defense.
It’s a really simple way of putting it but sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to put it. You can walk through life creating reasons “why not” or you can walk through life creating reason “why yes.”
Sounds simple, right?
These perspectives are easy to understand but most will not consciously put in the effort to shift their thinking.
The problem is that you are deeply conditioned through all the years of your life. They way you think now is not something you just flip the switch on and change. You have to work hard at it.
The optimistic outlook he talks about is important and fundamental to long-term success because it will shape how you make decisions and the results you get.
Most of what Vaynerchuk has shared in 2017 was based on a USA perspective but during this talk, he shares fresh insights. While everyone tends to lean their marketing towards the USA as the biggest market he has found that Australia and New Zealand have a market with a 20%-40% higher consumption rate.
Nobody wants the new technology to come along and change everything we know. A lot of people hate change. I’m sure you have heard a member of an older generation say things about how it used to be or that kids today have lost the ability to connect in person.
Vaynerchuk makes the point that you can sit around and judge kids for being on the phone and not connecting the way people used to but at the end of the day, nobody cares. If you don’t adjust you will be totally left behind.
The world is being lived through the smartphone today and that is the reality.
Years ago it was newspapers, Tv, and radio. Today its blogs, video, and podcasts. It’s the same idea but people are putting their attention in a different place.
Anything you want to do in life today as an entrepreneur requires a person’s attention – written word, audio, video. You must figure out where the people you want to share it with are and then you have to share the content.
We have all heard the hype of video. So does that mean you should become a video master? Not necessarily.
Vaynerchuk stresses that you have to be self-aware, who are you and what are you good at? Do what you’re good at!
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram have massive audiences and the ad product is deeply underpriced right now. But it won’t be forever.
Vaynerchuk states that if you do not spend 2018 obsessing over how to succeed on Facebook and Instagram you will lose.
When Vaynerchuk was building his father’s liquor store google AdWords came out he has one big regret that offers a powerful inight. He bought every wine term for five cents a click and was getting customers for 40 to 80 cents which was worth $10-$15 to him. A huge win! But his regret was that he built his father’s company to a $60 million company but feels if he was smart he would be built it to a $250 million company. Why? He goes on to explain, at that time if he was smart he should have taken all his energy and money out of print, radio, and direct marketing and gone all in with AdWords.
From 2002-2008 guess who did go all in on that platform? Amazon!
Another great example he explains is the company called, Wish. A few years ago a few former Google engineers started the company and all they did was run Facebook ads. They were the biggest Facebook advertisers for the last five years and have exploded!
shopping app called wish – biggest facebook advertising in last five years
Nothing Lasts Forever
It’s important to understand that this opportunity could turn into a regret if you don’t take action because it will not last forever.
He estimates that you have about another 12-18 months before change happens. The biggest companies in the world are not spending enough money on these platforms. However, Vaynerchuk explains, once big brands like Mercedez Benz, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola get their act together moves their budget from old traditional marketing over to Facebook, you will no longer be able to spend $4 on a CPM (cost per thousand). It will become $86 for a CPM.
Facebook and Instagram are marketplaces. If you want to promote in their feeds you have to pay to play.
At the same time, as years go by people will get so tired of seeing ad that it will be hard and harder to get them to click and that will jack the price too.
This is a micro-moment – it will pass – you can act on it or look back later with regret.
While Vaynerchuk believes if you’re not spending 65% of your cash on Facebook and Instagram you’re leaving money on the table but he makes a few key points as to back that up with three key points before people go ham on these platforms:
The creative and copy matter – if they suck you will lose
Start with small budgets, test the creative and copy and then invest more on the winners.
You have to be the practitioner to be successful – learn it yourself, don’t pass the work off to someone esle.
Context is key – make your ad relevant such as localization – speak to specific people
It’s a science my friends, and you have to run tests.
Vaynerchuk shares a lot in this video and we tackle some of the key points here.
Being a successful entrepreneur is a skill set. You need to get yourself in the right place mentally and it takes a lot of work. Not just work, but smart work.
As we always say, the number of hours you work doesn’t matter as much as the quality of those hours.
Knowing what to do is far different than taking action and executing.
We love Dr. Muhammad Yunus around here so much – he really is the Godfather of Social Enterprise. His insights, lessons, and tips are timeless. That’s why we had to share our best Muhammad Yunus quotes with you today!
Get inspired. Get out there and change the world.
While technology is important, it’s what we do with it that truly matters.
We prepare our students for jobs and careers, but we don’t teach them to think as individuals about what kind of world they would create.
Civilization has given us enormous successes: going to the moon, technology. But then this is the civilisation that took us to debt, environmental crisis, every single crisis. We need a civilization where we say goodbye to these things.
Health care can be made more affordable for the poor without requiring major new scientific developments, just the smart application of current technologies. We have seen a $25 incubator and diagnostic instruments that are built tough, cheap, and reusable for the developing world.
Unprecedented technological capabilities combined with unlimited human creativity have given us tremendous power to take on intractable problems like poverty, unemployment, disease, and environmental degradation. Our challenge is to translate this extraordinary potential into meaningful change.
Listen to our exclusive interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Issue 13 cover story, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
Soon we saw that money going to women brought much more benefit to the family than money going to the men. So we changed our policy and gave a high priority to women. As a result, now 96% of our four million borrowers in Grameen Bank are women. —
When a destitute mother starts earning an income, her dreams of success invariably center around her children. A woman’s second priority is the household. She wants to buy utensils, build a stronger roof, or find a bed for herself and her family. A man has an entirely different set of priorities. When a destitute father earns extra income, he focuses more attention on himself. Thus money entering a household through a woman brings more benefits to the family as a whole. (From Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty)
UN studies conducted in more than forty developing countries show that the birth rate falls as women gain equality… I believe income-earning opportunities that empower poor women … will have more impact on curbing population growth that the current system of “encouraging” family planning practices through intimidation tactics. Family planning should be left to the family. (From Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty.)
In Bangladesh, if a woman, even a rich woman, wants to borrow money from a bank, the manager will ask her, ‘Did you discuss this with your husband?’ And if she answers, ‘Yes,’ the manager will say, ‘Is he supportive of your proposal?’ If the answer is still, ‘Yes,’ he will say, ‘Would you please bring your husband along so that we can discuss it with him?’ But no manager would ever ask a prospective male borrower whether he has discussed the idea of a loan. (From Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty.)
I believe that we can create a poverty-free world because poverty is not created by poor people. It has been created and sustained by the economic and social systems that we have designed for ourselves; the institutions and concepts that make up that system; the policies that we pursue.”
I think, social business is the most logical thing to do. If we had done that, we could reduce all the problems we have.
The current financial crisis makes it very clears that the system that we have isn’t really working, and this is the right time for us to undo things and build them in a new way.
Whenever I see a problem, I immediately go and create a company. That’s what I did all my life.
All people are entrepreneurs, but many don’t have the opportunity to find that out.
All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves we were all self-employed . . . finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began . . . As civilization came we suppressed it. We became labor because they stamped us, ‘You are labor.’ We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.
I’m encouraging young people to become social business entrepreneurs and contribute to the world, rather than just making money. Making money is no fun. Contributing to and changing the world is a lot more fun.
The challenge I set before anyone who condemns private-sector business is this: If you are a socially conscious person, why don’t you run your business in a way that will help achieve social objectives?
Business money is limitless.
Capitalism has been interpreted as an exclusively profit-centric human engagement. Some have been saying to bring people and planet into the picture. This can be a good change, but it is still not fully operationalized. Are you putting people, planet and profit at the same level?
Human beings are extremely creative and resilient, especially when they are operating within an institutional framework that encourages and supports their actions.
Each of us has much more hidden inside us than we have had a chance to explore. Unless we create an environment that enables us to discover the limits of our potential, we will never know what we have inside of us.
To me, the poor are like Bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a six-inch deep flower pot, you get a perfect replica of the tallest tree, but it is only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted; only the soil-base you provided was inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong with their seeds. Only society never gave them a base to grow on.
I try to kind of enlightened my frustration and agony by coming to the conclusion that I may not be useful as an economist but I m still a basic human being.
My greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of people. Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see.
Capitalism has been interpreted as an exclusively profit-centric human engagement. Some have been saying to bring people and planet into the picture. This can be a good change, but it is still not fully operationalized. Are you putting people, planet and profit at the same level?
If you’ve struggled for years to have sufficiency in the following aspects of life; time, enough money to start a business, maybe you complain about the government not doing enough, or lack of family support then you’ll need to understand one truth about life. You probably came here looking for tips to achieve your goals — we’ll get to that.
For now, I really want you to know this:
Nothing will ever be enough, nothing will ever be sufficient unless you do one thing right…
“Place Value On What You Already Have“
That’s the only way you can put to good use what you have.
If you think time will increase to 30 hours per day so that you can have enough time to work on something, or that your earnings will magically increase overnight so that you can fund an idea you have and launch in grand style.
Well, your dreams may never come true.
Maximize the results you desire by doing this one thing.
Learn to start using the little you have to maximize the results you desire.
As the world advances, our days get busier and we have less time or your finances may suffer but those things will never change in your favor simply because you simply wish it or pray for it.
You’ll have to keep pushing against the wind.
You’ll have to learn how to use the little you have to your advantage — Because if you think about it, every other person who is doing great and achieving so much doesn’t have extra hours added to their day, nor did many of them have sufficient funding. Their success was dependent on how they were able to use the resources they had at the time.
I used to think that if I earned more money then my time will be freed up and that I would be able to make time for other important things in my life such as family, health, and spiritual well-being.
I was wrong!
I worked hard and increased my income within a few years. I bought myself some cool gadgets, acquired luxuries and traveled to great places.
But it had a seriously negative impact on my health, relationships (both family and friends) and also drew me away from building my spiritual life.
And if you talk to individuals who are now minimalist, they’ll likely tell you the same thing – that happiness doesn’t come from doing more. It comes from accomplishing those small things that give us a chance to spend quality time with our loved ones and take good care of ourselves.
I have found that sometimes the more you want and accomplish, the more cluttered your life may gradually become. Before you realize how deep you’ve gone down a rabbit hole chasing more luxuries and “stuff”, you may find that you’ve broken a lot of relationships, damaged your health, and even your state of happiness.
This is not to discourage you to dream big or aim higher.
While you are aspiring for great things, it’s important to be mindful of how you go about it.
Nothing will ever be enough, but you can make the best of what you have in order to get the results you want.
In order to make that a reality for you, I’ll share a few practical tips that helped me utilize what I already had and propelled me towards my goals in no time and still maintain that life balance we all strive for.
Nothing beats the fact that you take into consideration what matters most in your life and cut out what doesn’t.
Prioritizing what matters and what doesn’t in your life will help you determine the principal reason(s) why you are doing this and helps you stay aligned with it.
When you prioritize, it helps you set principles, this way you can stick to a game plan rather than sacrificing your happiness along the line.
2. Find your tribe.
We just can’t go it alone, try to mingle with people, find your tribe, get as much help as you can get so that you can ease the burden and cut down the amount of time you spend on what you are working on.
Before now, I’ll have a stretch of sleepless nights, because I thought I was the only one who could get it right. I saw myself as the only capable person, it had a serious effect on my health. I spent approximately 30 days in the hospital bed. (I almost died)
When I left the hospital and came back to check on how far I’d gone, I noticed I was still the same place I started off. Nothing was practically done. I learned my lesson, I had to get more hands. I realized there is great power in collective efforts.
3. Use what you already have. (Even if it’s not much.)
There’s always this feeling of displeasure in our little treasure. We feel what we have isn’t enough to begin the journey, or sometimes we don’t even realize that it’s more than enough to finish off.
Mostly in relation to money, we just want to make it BIG and start out big. But that’s not a very great way to accomplish anything ever. Put what you have in and ride out. Most things can be bootstrapped.
If you just get out and start doing something, you could be surprised at how much you can accomplish without a lot of money. You can start a blog for very little money. You can start an online store, or even start a consulting business. There are many ways to bootstrap and get going.
Do an inventory of the resources you actually have:
Your friends and family
Your online network
Free online resources and course
Books (You can learn a lot about business from books!)
Local business resources (many of free)
Online business resources
Here are two books to get you started:
4. Practice gratitude. (Always)
Gratitude is the best way to keep our hopes alive, it helps us to be grateful for where we are, what we have and don’t have (yet) while we hope to accomplish them as we work towards our ultimate goal(s).
Gratitude will let you appreciate the people in your life who contribute to your growth (whether they spill negative or positive energy). Being grateful shows that you have a deep insight that no one else understands. It just brings out the brighter side of you and energizes your soul.
I’ve had more accomplishments since I started doing these things, it has helped me live a better life that is meaningful to me and those I care about. it has helped me understand what it means to truly place value on what we have, who we are and stay focused until success is finally achieved.
Some Final Thoughts
By doing an inventory of the resources you actually have, you will find that you are far ahead of the game. Look around at your life. Who can help you? Surround yourself with those that propel your ideas and help you achieve greatness.
There is a lot of advice out there to help you grow a business, even start a business, but here is my advice to you:
Be thankful for where you are today.
Write down your goals every day. Be clear and specific. Start where you are and keep going.
We all seem to be in a race in life and put a ton of pressure on ourselves. But there is no race. There is no right or wrong. Everyone has their own clock which plays out just the way it supposed to. Don’t judge your life based on others.
As Shetty mentioned, Jk Rowling, who wrote Harry Potter, was rejected by publishers until age 32! Jack Ma didn’t even start Ali Baba until he was 35. Morgan Freeman didn’t get his big break until he was 52 years old.
One of the most important lessons is to be patient and do what you love.
If you want to create a meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling life, you should work on using your passion to make a difference in the lives of others.
This is sound advice not only from Shetty, but also from people such as Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, the Dali Lama and so many more great thinkers. It’s up to each of us individually to listen and act on their wisdom.
One of my favorite books that I found really inspiring was called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
If you’re interested, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s a must for anyone!
Whether you like it or not, what you put into this world, you will get out. Yes, there are many factors that determine success, wealth, and health, but what if you could harness the energy of the universe for your life? If you want to attract those things in life like health and wealth, you need to understand “The Law of Attraction.”
Here is a short definition of this universal law:
The law of attraction is the attractive, magnetic power of the Universe that draws similar energies together. It manifests through the power of creation, everywhere and in many ways. Even the law of gravity is part of the law of attraction. This law attracts thoughts, ideas, people, situations, and circumstances.
The law of attraction manifests through your thoughts, by drawing to you thoughts and ideas of a similar kind, people who think like you, and also corresponding situations and circumstances. It is the law and power that brings together people of similar interests, who unite into various groups, such as political groups, sports teams, sports fans, fraternities, etc.
This law is all about energy — our energy plus the energy we want to attract in the universe. If you think of this energy as powerful as gravity, you will begin to understand the significance of this law. Manifesting what you want in this world begins with how you think because your thoughts are powerful. Your thoughts lead to your actions in this world.
While there have been many celebrity endorsements of the Law of Attraction, namely Oprah, Will Smith, Jay Z, and Kanye — there have been several skeptics as well. There are many who believe that the universe will continue to do what the universe does, whether or not we have a positive attitude or change our thinking.
Without the action behind our thinking, the law of attraction cannot work. We must not only believe, we must do. That being said, understanding how these energies work is vital to creating a life that is ready for wealth. That’s why these books below are such great starting points.
Start your journey to wealth and prosperity here, with my best Law of Attraction books:
While this might be one of the more mainstream books on The Law of Attraction, it is still worth a quick read through. Based on the popular movie of the same name, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne takes you through the journey the film tries to, only this time in print. Full of inspirational quotes, insights, and testimonials, this is a good place to begin your journey learning about the laws of the universe.
Still confused about how you can apply the Law of Attraction in your life? You might want to start here with this book by Katherine Hurst that gives you step by step instructions on how to start manifesting more of what you want in this life. Reviews for this book are generally positive and it gets an overall rating of 3.79 stars on Goodreads.
Katherine Hurts has personally helped millions of her followers around the world learn more about the Law of Attraction and knows first-hand the kinds of questions people have. There are plenty of practical exercises you can do in this book as well, so if you want to take your knowledge beyond intellect, here is a good way to start.
Dr. Wayne Dyer is a leading author, speaker, and self-help guru that has helped many people take control of their lives and make changes that matter to them. In this, one of his cornerstone books on intention, he explores a variety of gurus, mentors, and teachers to create his own theories on intention. There are seven types of energy fields, or intention, or attraction that Dyer discusses: creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansion, abundance, and receptivity.
This is a book that allows you to more fully explore how you can harness these energies for your life. The Power of Intention walks you through the barriers that you are still clinging to, those barriers that are literally blocking powerful energy from your life and existence. One of those energies or the power of intention responds to appreciation, as Dyer explains:
“Meditate on appreciation. Cherish the energy that you share with all living beings now and in the future, and even those who have lived before you. Feel the surge of that life force that allows you to think, sleep, move about, digest, and even meditate. The power of intention responds to your appreciation of it. The life force that’s in your body is key to what you desire.”
We’ve talked about this before, that to be wealthy, you have to have a wealth mindset. This is one of the classic Law of Attraction books (mentioned in the Secret movie) that has stuck around for generations because the principles never get old.
Here is a real reader quote:
This book has changed my life. It has inspired ideas and plans in me that I never thought existed. It changed the way I saw the world, and actually worked to draw me nearer to my dreams as a result of the way the world works. I recommend everyone who is inspired to do more in their lives to read this, as it is a life-changing book.
If you want to attract wealth into your life, this is a good book to read as a starting point and guideline. Yes, the wealth discussed in this book is all about money, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use these principles to attract all kind of riches into your life as well. A foundational read, one that shouldn’t be glossed over!
This little book (under 30 pages) was written anonymously in 1926 and still is one of the most popular manifestos around. This is the kind of book you’ll find passed from family member to family member, across generations. The truths revealed inside still ring true.
In less than one hour total reading time, you can begin to make your dreams come true. You’ll be inspired to start writing lists of what you want to accomplish and then taking those ‘ideas’ and making them a reality. The plan set out in this book is simple and effective. I can strongly recommend this to anyone that wants to dream big and make shit happen in their lives! It’s one of my favorites for sure.
The first of the experiments begin with you asking for a tangible item within a certain time frame. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? What does this prove? That you can manipulate and control the laws of the universe, that you can literally will what you want into your life. As you begin to prove this to yourself within these experiments, you’ll squeeze that inner critic right out of your life.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. That’s the beauty of this book. You can really criticize what you haven’t experienced for yourself. Out of all the books I recommend on this list, I think this might be the most powerful because you are literally experimenting and testing these theories in your life.
And isn’t that the real power in all of this — you want to change your life, get started.
Reasons Why Manifestations Don’t Work
If, after reading all of these books, your manifestations are not working, it’s time to continue the education. Stop by the I Am a Change Creator group to discuss what could possibly be holding you back. Our community of change creators is there to help you!
One of our dedicated I Am A Change Creator members Jennifer Yense just happens to be a Law of Attraction coach! Yes, you can hire someone to help you manifest more in your life. Watch her video to learn more!
Thank you for reading my best Law of Attraction book picks! Now it’s time to start testing these theories out in your life and getting shit done.
Do you have any selections you’d like to add to the list? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
This article was written by Leo Babauta and appeared on Zen Habits.
Imagine having a mind that clings to nothing — it doesn’t get attached, it doesn’t need things to be a certain way, it doesn’t need people to behave in particular ways. It’s a mind at home everywhere, because it doesn’t need to be anywhere in particular.
How it Would Put Our Challenges at Ease
If someone irritates you, it’s because you are attached to a particular way you want them to behave, and when you don’t get that way, you are unhappy. If your mind didn’t cling to what you wanted, you would be fine with how they were acting. In fact, you might have compassion for them, as you could see they are suffering.
If you are stuck in traffic, or a long line somewhere, you can become bothered when you want your life to be different (to not have traffic or a long line). Your mind is clinging to how it wants things and doesn’t like not getting its way.
When someone is upset with you, you can become defensive or angry that they’re acting that way, because you’re clinging to wishing they would treat you a certain way. If you let go of clinging, it wouldn’t excuse their bad behavior — nor would you have to allow yourself to be abused. But you would not have to be upset, you would just protect yourself by not allowing yourself to be abused (if necessary). And again, you might have to understand for their suffering.
Every difficulty is caused by this clinging: stress when you’re overwhelmed, procrastination when you don’t want to work on something difficult or do uncomfortable exercise, loneliness, shutting your heart down in an argument, overeating, bad financial habits, and much more.
Let’s look at how we’d react in one situation, if we could have a mind of no clinging. Then let’s look at how we might start to develop that no-clinging mind.
Quick Example: Dealing with a Difficult Situation without Attachment
Let’s say you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs, and you really want to help them. But you’re stressed about how to help them, about them going down this path, and about whether you’re even able to help.
The stress is caused by clinging — how you want them to behave, wanting things to turn out the way you want them to turn out. You have a loving intention, but at the same time, your clinging is causing you some suffering.
Their drug addiction is also caused by clinging. They ran to drugs to get away from their difficulties, which were caused by clinging. They enjoyed the high and found it to be a comfort from their difficulties, and clung to that feeling. Over time, that clinging hardened to addiction, and their clinging causes them to stay addicted. They are suffering, and we can see that and have a genuine wish for it to end (without clinging to needing that outcome to happen).
So seeing all of this, you start to let go. You don’t need them to be a certain way, you just love them. You just show up for them, with acceptance and compassion. You open your heart to them, without needing things to change.
And you offer help, of course. You share ideas for seeking counseling, for meditation, for drug addiction strategies and treatment centers. But you are not attached to them actually doing those things — they are offered lovingly, as a gift.
This is one way a non-clinging mind might deal with a difficult situation. There are many others, but you can see that this non-clinging can be tremendously helpful in any situation.
7 Tips to Develop a Mind Without Attachment
I’m not going to pretend that I never cling, nor that it’s easy to develop a mind that clings to nothing. This is something I’m still working on, and I’m not attached to having it develop overnight (or ever getting there, really). To the extent that we practice, it is helpful.
So here’s how I would practice:
Start by just noticing when you are clinging. It’s hard to see at first, but once you start to see, you can notice it all the time. When you don’t like the way your food tastes, that’s clinging. When you need to have your coffee, that’s clinging. When you overeat, procrastinate, get frustrated, lash out, run to your favorite distractions, shut someone out … those are ways of clinging. Just start noticing, without judgment.
Notice how it feels when you’re clinging. What do you notice about your mind? What do you notice about the sensations in your body? Get curious, and start to fine-tune your attention so that you can notice the smallest details.
Practice daily meditation, in the morning, for 5-10 minutes for at least a month. Extend it to 10-15 minutes after a month. Notice when you are putting off meditation (clinging to wanting to check your phone), or when you are wanting to get up from your seat before meditation is over, or when you are clinging to anything during the meditation.
Practice letting go. It’s a kind of relaxing of the tightening of your mind and body. It’s a relaxing of your grasp on how you want things to be. It’s easier when you don’t care that much, so practice in easier situations at first. It’s saying to yourself, “I don’t need things to be my way. I don’t need them to be anyway. I’m content either way because no matter what happens, the universe is freaking amazing.”
Notice the self-centeredness of clinging. When you are clinging to something, it’s because you are at the center of your universe. You want things to go your way, to meet your desires (or avoid your aversions), to be the way you like it. This is when we put ourselves at the center of everything. This is not judgmental, but just a noticing of perspective.
Expand your perspective beyond your self-focused view, to get out of the clinging. See the other person’s perspective, understand that they are suffering, understand that in their suffering and clinging, you are alike, you are connected. See that you and all others are interconnected, affecting each other, supporting each other, and to the extent that you can wish for an end to others’ suffering, it benefits you as well. Expand your heart to wish for an end to the clinging and suffering of others, and not worry so much about your own desires and self-protection. This is a helpful thing when it comes to clinging because when we expand, we no longer need things to be our way.
See the beauty in everything, the immense, profound awesomeness in every little thing. When we cling to things being one way, we ignore the amazingness of the things around us, because if we saw that amazingness, we wouldn’t need things to be one way. All ways are incredible, in their own way. Appreciating that is helpful.
This won’t get you all the way, but it gets you a lot closer.
The real way to develop a mind that clings to nothing is to first, continue to let go. Moment after moment, notice the clinging and then let go. Over and over again.
And then to expand yourself beyond your narrow perspective, to see the interconnectedness of all things, to appreciate the beauty in all around us, to not see yourself as separate from everything else but a part of it all, in it together, and fall deeply in love with that fact.
He’s known to be a comedian and radio show host but Joe Rogan has become a modern day philosopher dropping some nice pearls of wisdom worth noting.
We all want to find happiness but how do you really do that?
Our culture today has put a lot of focus on money and material goods. But we have all probably heard the saying, “money can’t buy happiness.” It can surely make life more comfortable but that’s a bit different.
There have been many studies, such as the 75 year study Harvard did, to understand happiness and in this video Joe shares some very sound insights that align to those studies.
We live in a high paced world and I never really understood where we were racing to but that’s another story.
Work hard. Climb the ladder of success. People flaunt their big houses on cribs and fancy cars which make us wish we had those things. They are nice things to have but only part of the story behind happiness. Actually, happiness can be found with or without those things. But those things can never bring you authentic happiness.
Someone once told me that if you’re a person who “wants” things then you will never be fulfilled. You will always be a person that wants things and that ongoing thirst is like a quick high that goes away and leaves you looking for the next fix. There is no fulfillment.
There’s more to happiness and that’s where the inner-game and relationships come into play.
“You have to find out what actually makes you happy and it’s not having all your ducks in a row on paper. It’s improvement in the way you manage your mind. It’s improvement in the way you manage your emotions.” ~Joe Rogan
So many successful people meditate and have learned to master their mind. When you can learn to be happy with who you are, the life you have, the relationships you have, and stop wanting more things, you will begin to find happiness.
Nobody wants to do nothing with their life. We all tend to think and dream about bigger things for ourselves.
I’m pretty sure that years ago they would say things like, “as technology gets better we will be able to free up our time and have 3 day work weeks.”
Yet, instead we now work more hours per week and the average household income has gone down.
“From 1973 to 2016, net productivity rose 73.7 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 12.5 percent over 43 years (after adjusting for inflation). This means that although Americans are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have primarily accrued to those at the top and to corporate profits, especially in recent years.” (source)
When you work full time and you have a spouse or family with little ones bouncing around than doing any extracurricular work can be near impossible.
Have you ever had goals to do something but when you finally get time you’re burnt out?
I mean, you have to turn things off at some point to let your brain catch up, right? Beer, wine, maybe a joint, then Netflix and Chill. I know I’ve passed up the gym a few times because I needed to recharge.
Time is an important consideration and should be taken very seriously. The reason being is that it’s the one thing you can’t get more of even if you wanted to.
There are 168 hours in a week and you are awake for 112 of those hours if you sleep 8 hours per night. How we spend that time will determine the life we create.
Sometimes, when you want to make a transition in your life you have to make time. This could mean stretching your waking hours or it could mean looking at how you spend your current time and making some changes so you can work towards your goals.
A fun exercise is to get a small notebook or use your phone and track how you spend your time for one standard week. This is not an attempt to make a lame point about watching too much Tv. Everything is good in moderation. It just helps to take a quick inventory and see if what you think in your mind is the same as the reality. Might sound odd but as humans, our perception of something could be very different than the reality.
Now you can see where you might change things up. Spend a little less time here or there and do something else.
Source of Motivation
Philadelphia was home to my wife and me for 6 years and during that time I worked in New York City. It was a big trip that cost me about 4 hours of time traveling each day.
Despite really liking WebMD, I knew it wasn’t the kind of work I wanted to be tied to for the rest of my life. I wanted to do something more fulfilling and on my own time. I hated being on someone else’s schedule.
People change their life paths all the time. Why couldn’t I? I always thought about it but never really did anything because I was comfortable with my job. It was solid. But this time was different. I was getting older and realized that if I didn’t start changing how I spend my time, I’ll never be able to change my life trajectory or course to become who I really wanted to be.
The pain of not doing something was now far greater than the pain of doing something.
The author Steven Pressfield has a great line in his book, The War of Art, which I think gets at the core of motivation. Pressfield states:
“At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”
I left the house around 645am. I got home usually around 7 pm.
Once I got home at night I usually went to the gym with my wife. The evening is not usually my best time for work. I start to lose focus. The morning was my best time. So, I decided to stretch my waking hours and woke up at 4 am each morning to give myself 2 hours each morning to pursue something I wanted.
Aside from feeling crazy, it was f*cking hard. I was not used to being up that early and by 2 pm my eyes would feel like 30-pound dumbbells.
At the same time, the pain of not doing something was still worse.
I had to schedule my motivation. You cannot wake up and say, “man I hope I get time to do XXXX today.”
Whether you’re starting a business or learning piano or doing anything else there are some fundamental realities to face.
Your current daily pattern in life is what gives you the current results you have. You’ll need to change the pattern to get different results, somewhat like an algorithm. It will not be easy because your behaviors are habits and in some cases even addictions. New ideas always sound nice in discussion or on paper but when it comes time to physically act on them your old habits or addiction could easily overpower you.
You have to be willing to put time into pursuing what you desire. Remember why you want to do it in the first place for a little motivation.
You have to have the discipline to pursue the new pattern.
You have to be consistent to break old habits.
That recipe will allow you to make progress every week towards a new goal. It’s inevitable.
Making The Transition
Sometimes, when you’re unhappy with your job or work you obviously want to change your life. But what happens when you’ve worked in a category for several years and that’s where all your experience is already? It’s hard to escape that because you won’t make as much money and basically have to start over.
Everything starts somewhere.
You have to spend your valuable time a bit differently and in the beginning, for a few months, it will be really hard. It’s like have two overlapping focuses. You can call it a side hobby but if your goal is a life change, such as how you earn a living, then it’s more serious than that. You’re out to learn, create and earn.
It always helps to do a deep self-inventory to understand yourself and find out how you can use the skills you have in a way that leans into your new direction. This will help expedite the process.
It would be nice if we could just focus our full day of waking hours on the thing we really want to spend time on. Anyone can do it but if we are not already on that track we have to slowly and consciously make an effort to transition how we spend our time. There will be a period of overlap between old and new.
There are many new habits you can adopt to start making a transition. I personally got a lot of value out of volunteer work and those early mornings spent building online businesses.
Today, there are new models for business and life while technology is creating opportunities that never existed before.
There is no better time to become a purpose-driven entrepreneur.
Life. It’s saturated in mystery. The more you learn the more you realize how little we, as a species, really know.
But right now, we’re living during some very exciting times. Does every generation say that?
Regardless, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is happening as you read this. And, whether you know it or not, it will affect you.
This is the revolution of artificially-intelligent robots, self-driving cars, blockchain technology, neuro-technological brain enhancements, genetic editing.
The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed.
This matters because it’s creating a tremendous amount of opportunity that never existed before. Opportunity for people just like you to design whatever life you desire.
But what will you do?
You were born.
You are here now.
You are part of it all.
“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.” Neil deGrasse Tyson
So, yeah, you matter!
The decisions you make and actions you take, they all matter.
But how can you matter in a good way? To have purpose in this little life.
For Starters, Give Yourself Permission to Matter
I hate writing stuff like that because it always comes off as fluff BS. But it has to be said. Here’s why. Birth is like a lottery, who the hell knows what culture, area of the world or family you will be born into.
If someone is born into a bad situation where year after year they’re neglected mentally and physically they will deeply struggle to see their self-value. They can still be successful, hyperactivity fills the void, but at the same time that person can be completely destroyed inside due to lack of self-value.
You have to see the bigger picture and acknowledge that nobody can replace you. You are part of something bigger and you do matter. Nobody can take that from you.
Just give yourself permission to matter so you can take action and you’re already on a new trajectory.
Tap Into Your Story
If you want to have a meaningful life you have to get to know yourself. I’m talking about inner exploration.
It’s essential to understand your own life story to start uncovering your path or purpose. Whatever you want to call it. The idea is to get on the right track so you can do something meaningful.
A process we use for this in our mentorship program is called self-inventory. We break down the story into key motivational factors and life pillars.
Below is a quick example of the life pillars.
How you interpret the events of your life impacts how you see yourself and the world around you.
Not only is it meant to help you reflect on your life and develop a positive and meaningful life story but it also helps you understand what is most important to you. It’s a guiding light.
Are you on the right track?
Foster Great Relationships
This requires a full book to really cover the topic but let me drop some key insights to demonstrate why it’s so important.
When people have a baby it changes their world. It gives them purpose. They matter to that little bundle of joy who relies on their care. It’s a beautiful thing.
Putting the effort out to create positive relationships not only drives your success in life but you matter to people and it’s the key to your happiness.
Let me back that up. There was a 75 year study by Harvard that found the 1 secret to living a fulfilling life. Can you guess what it was? Duh, it’s good relationships! They make you happier and healthier.
Don’t be shy or lazy. Stay connected, build new relationships. Help others do better in life. Offer your care and services.
Be of value to the people you engage with around you.
Do Work That Matters and Use Your Time Wisely
We interviewed Tony Robbins for Change Creator Magazine and he said something that just stuck in my mind.
“The most sacred gift that you can give, besides your love, is your labor. So find something that you’re here to play for that’s more than just yourself.” Tony Robbins
There is one thing in this world you cannot get more of – time!
How you spend that time is important to your fulfillment and the world.
We have families and bills and sometimes feel stuck doing shit work to manage those things. You’re a rockstar already for taking one on the chin and doing what you got to do, but guess what, if you want, you can still get on a track to wake up pumped to do something that actually matters to you and a lot of others.
Is it easy to make the transition, no. Is it worth it, hell yes!
Remember what I said in the beginning of this article about the fourth revolution and more opportunity than ever? There has never been a better time to create your own unicorn life that gives back to society and makes cash.
Don’t have experience doing what you want to do? Start volunteering on the side, get a side gig, take a new job with a social enterprise playing the space you want to be in. The hard truth is that you usually have to straddle two jobs for a while to make a transition.
You might say, I don’t have any time. Don’t have time…or won’t make time? Do me a favor and track your TV time everyday for 2 weeks and let me know how many hours. Or let me know what time you get up and sleep. I woke up everyday at 330-4am to do side hustle work, then took a train from Philly to New York City for work. Came home at night, went to gym, spent time with my family, and repeated next day.
Ask yourself this question? Are you on the path to become who you want to be 10 years from now?
If you say no, then decide to start making changes now to change your path.
When the pain of not doing something about your life becomes worse than doing something to make a change, you will start your process.
You already matter to the world but what you decide to do every day will determine the way in which you matter to the world and yourself.
The world needs you to spend your time wisely.
I write this article with a lot of passion and honesty. These are things that I have lived and heard from some of the top thinkers in the world.
I’m sharing them now to inspire you to live your truth and find more happiness through the actions you take and the way you see the world.
68% said they want to make a difference in the world
81% said that a successful business needs to have a genuine purpose
78% employer should match their own values
This isn’t news to us at Change Creator as we have seen plenty of data from our own market research that suggests these numbers are much higher? In today’s political and economic environment, it only makes sense that companies and businesses are doing more than just making a profit.
But what if your company does not align with your values?
But what if the company you work for does not align with your values and you, like so many others decide that this is vital? There are many ways you can begin to implement a social impact model in your company or better yet, why not start your own purpose-driven business?
Before you tell your boss to take your job and shove it, evaluate your situation. That starts with you. I can’t tell you how many people have reached out to us for our mentorship program with a lot of really passionate ideas, but no clear direction on how their values align with their business idea. Before you commit to anything, you are going to have to do the hard work of looking inward and evaluating your values.
What do I need to do before I start my own purpose-driven business?
This is not a question I can answer in one blog, but let’s dig in anyway, shall we? There are a lot of things you can before you take that big leap. We all love a good side hustle, don’t we?
If you are working for a soul-sucking company that does not align with your values, don’t quit (just yet). Take this time to do prepare yourself and your life to take that giant leap. You don’t want to go into any business unprepared.
There are many things you could be doing to get started.
Write down your goals — think big, long-term, and short-term goals.
Make a list of all your financials and assets.
Make a list of all your resources — think friends, family, time, skills. It all counts.
Brainstorm some ideas. What are you passionate about? What do you read about? Start with what drives you, the mission will come.
Tell everyone you know what you are doing. Now is really the time to test and validate your idea in the real world, and by that I mean anywhere that isn’t inside your own head.
That’s not a huge list, right? But these things take time. The most important thing to do before you start is to plan. Plan where you want to go, how you want to get there and figure out the resources you’ll need to do it.
If you are struggling with the transition from employee to boss, or just want some help clarifying your social impact business idea, we can help. If you want to talk just stop by here and set something up.
Have you ever looked or read about millionaires and thought about how they live and how they do their jobs?
Is there anything different that they do from “normal” people?
Is there something that we can learn from them?
Let me share with you one specific thing that everyone else does, but not the successful people. And if you want to become one, you must stop doing it.
Once you read this article, you will understand the difference in the mind set. You have to get rid of it as soon as possible; seriously, it can only cause harm to you.
So what is that? Believe it or not, it is COMPLAINING!
One of the golden rules Shark Tank cast member, Robert Herjavec, believes led him to success, as opposed to just working hard and having an idea, was that his dad taught him to not complain, no matter what, even in the worst of situations.
Seriously, it’s not likely that you’ll see many extremely successful people moping around complaining. Sure, they are successful millionaires; why would they complain? But here is something to think about: do they no complain because they are successful millionaires, or do they become millionaires because they don’t complain? What comes first?
Well, this is no longer a dilemma. In a book by T. Harv Eker “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” published February, 2015, the author identifies a seemingly harmless daily habit average people engage in that the rich refuse to: complain! He was researching the concept of the “Millionaire Mind” and a collection of “mental attitudes that facilitate wealth,” and complaining was one of the primary habits that requires change in the mindset.
“When you complain, you’re focusing on what is wrong with your life — and what you focus on tends to expand.” (T. Harv Eker)
His point is that successful people don’t spend too much time on failures. They fail (of course), learn the lesson from it and move on.
There’s no point in spending a vast amount of your energy thinking about “what if” scenarios. Past is in the past, and you should keep looking ahead. And to be honest, it makes sense. We live in a time where there are plenty of problems to complain about. On a global level, we live in a time where the unemployment rate is high, or some big corporation decided to move its operations off-shore, or there is global warming coming up, or there is major increase in population.
On a local level, you might have even more problems: no customers, company operational problems, liquidity, or change in the need of your market. (I am sure you can think of a large list of them.) But even on individual level, there is always something wrong, or that can done better: not enough time, hard to find the right partner, or not sure how you will survive until the end of the month. Seriously, I can build a large list of problems that we can all complain about.
Now comes the key concept – try to replace the word “Problem” with the word “Opportunity”. This switch in the mindset changes everything. The high unemployment rate is the perfect opportunity to start a service-oriented company and find good available employees. The challenge of global warming is full opportunity to find a solutions that can help improve the planet (and allow you to make a living while doing so). Are you starting to get the point? Can you find a solution for some of the operational problems or the new opportunity in the market?
And even on an individual level, looking at the problems as opportunities gives you a different perspective. Can you now reflect on all your problems, and try to look at them as opportunities? If so, what changed from 15 minutes ago? Has this new “way of thinking” given you a new perspective in life? I truly hope so. Now, how can this change your life?
Next time, when you think of complaining about something, think about this article, and stop. Reflect on what the problem is, and try to think of it as opportunity – what opportunities can emerge in order to solve your problem? Are there many other people who have the same problem? Can your solution help others as well?
If so, congratulations, you have a potential for good business. You have the power to actively observe the environment around you, and try to find problems that can be translated to opportunities. That is the “millionaire mindset” that you should pursue. If you look closely enough, you will notice many opportunities.
Now, sit down for a second, and give it some thought – what problems in your surrounding environment are worth your commitment, energy and devotion in order to solve them? Maybe something in healthcare, infrastructure, education or renewable energy? Will it make the world a better place to live, and does it have a market? That is the power of active observation.
But why stop here? Let’s take it a step further. In addition to your problems, have you thought about hearing other people’s complaints? People are a great source of information. Think about actively listening for other people’s complaints. What problems do they need solved?
They will complain a lot – and it is up to you whether you will join them, or start looking at them as opportunities for new solutions. Here is a quick, 4-step guide you should have in mind during conversations in order to actively listen for problems. The process should not take more than 30 seconds:
Actively listen to what other people complain about.
For each complaint, quickly try to think about what the problem is (the core of the problem, not a symptom).
If you found the problem, consider if there are many people with the same problem? Is it worth pursuing?
If yes, then you have a problem that needs to be solved. Write it down, and dedicate time to solve it as well as possible. If the solution is good, you have a product/service that satisfies a client’s needs.
If you’ve managed to transform a negative habit of complaining into active observation for problems in your surroundings, or active listening for opportunities from the people near you, you are a step higher on the self-development ladder. Here is my final advice. This requires frequent self-awareness of your thoughts in order to ensure progress and eliminate complaints.
Start keeping a diary, and write down all the complaints and problems that you come up with through your active observing or active listening. What problems have you identified? Write them down; one of those can be the next million dollar idea. This is what makes successful people different.
Ask several different people and you might get a lot of variation in the answers.
Maybe the better question is: What kind of entrepreneur do you want to become?
Every time I interview someone I have the honor of learning from them just as you would any mentor. The more I talk to a wide range of amazing people the more I find a common and consistent message.
Great entrepreneurs are on a mission and they play for something bigger than themselves.
The motivation they have is not spawned by the idea of money. No, it’s from something bigger, a cause or a mission in their life that they become obsessed with. Money is only the means to pursuing the mission.
Nothing or nobody can derail them from pursuing it. Their vision is clear and desire strong.
Passion is an important part of the equation but to succeed in scaling an idea and creating a good lifestyle you also must know your competency and market.
“aside from your love, your labor is the most sacred give you can give, so find something that you’re here to play for that’s bigger than yourself”
People like Sasha Fisher, who was featured in issue #11 of Change Creator Magazine, will leave you in awe with her story of great leadership at Spark Microgrants.
Sasha Fisher moved to East Africa in July 2010 to develop the Spark MicroGrants model. Her previous experiences in South Sudan, South Africa, India, and Uganda have led to her passion for community-led development. Spark has designed a novel approach for launching communities facing poverty into action and has partnered with 150 villages across Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Spark strengthens the fundamental vitals each village needs to succeed, building the base infrastructure for families to discuss, deliberate and make local progress. Spark takes each village through a six-month facilitation process where families set village goals, brainstorm projects to reach one goal and plan a project. Each village opens a community bank account and receives an $8,000 seed grant to launch their project into reality. The six-month process is outlined below.
Now, as you might already know, marketing expert, author, and brand ambassador, Guy Kawasaki is no stranger to the startup world.
We had the honor to talk with him on a range of topics and what we got in return was an overflowing amount of priceless strategies that will help any entrepreneur step up their game.
One of my favorite quotes from Guy is:
“Great companies start because the founders want to change the world… not make a fast buck. Call me a romantic, but I think entrepreneurs should try to change the world.”
What decisions are you making? How do you know you are making good decisions?
Understanding why you want to make a difference and the internal and external options you have right now to make it happen can show you what you can do today to get on the path to bringing your vision to life or narrowing down what it is exactly.
However, it’s one thing to say I want to change my life—or the world—and another to follow through with it. Life happens no matter what we do. And if we don’t bring consciousness to our decision making, we will forever live based on external stimuli and internal patterns we don’t recognize as they are playing out in our daily lives.
Daniel Kahneman, arguably one of the most important contemporary psychologists, demonstrates clearly how we like to think of ourselves as rational in our decision making while the truth is that we are subject to many biases in his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.
As Change Creators, we can’t afford to ignore the intricacies of our decision making.
The Twin Sister of Decision
When Ilaina Rabbat and Roshan Paul decided to build Amani Institute, they were both working at Ashoka. They used their vacation time to do initial sensing, spent nights working on the concept, connections and strategies, hosted meet-ups to come up with a name and logo and finally moved to Nairobi, Kenya to start building the Institute on the ground.
In the process, they had to make a million different decisions. Literally.
The most important one, however, was to commit to making it happen.
Commitment is the twin sister of decision.
Your fears, internal and external options, your strengths and interests, and real or perceived opportunity costs all color the decisions you are making. What makes them count, however, is your commitment.
The Visible and Invisible Leap of Faith
Decisions don’t have to be literal leaps of faith.
Roshan and Ilaina didn’t immediately quit their jobs to start their social enterprise; they took time to prepare the ground. The visible leap of faith—relocating, starting the program, and such—was preceded by an invisible one that was the commitment to creating an answer to a problem they perceived: the lack of the equivalent to a medical training school for people who want to build careers of meaning and impact.
For some people, it helps to publicly say they want to run a marathon to actually follow through with it.
But others experience a sudden lack of energy after sharing with someone that they want to write a book, for example, or want to tackle a difficult problem in the world.
Sometimes, sharing your invisible leap of faith too early and with too many people can also take energy out of it as you get confronted with everyone’s opinions about your decision.
Ground yourself before you make it public.
A compass for decisions:
1. The Cause
When I asked Tosh Juma, who is launching Nairobi Design Institute, an Impact Design Academy in Kenya, what he thinks when he hears “decision making,” his answer was fast as lightning: “The cause.”
If you are aligned with something that is bigger than you, your fears, and your shortcomings, you will figure things out.
Sometimes, that means continuing with your job and moonlighting your idea.
Sometimes the “cause” is not a specific social change topic but just the commitment to doing work that is impactful.
Or it means figuring out that you actually are not a social entrepreneur but rather an intrapreneur, and there is nothing wrong with that if it still furthers the cause you are committed to.
2. Fears, Values, and Happiness
Double-check your story to see if your decision is disguising a fear that you can actually face.
In my last column, we spoke about a fear practice you could develop to make sure you are familiar with your fears and build courage to face them.
For example, one of our alumni decided to build a career working in the nonprofit sector but realized that she would really have more impact in her previous company that wanted her back.
She faced her fears of falling into old patterns and negotiated a new role that allows her to innovate from within and create cultural impact through a very large media company in Europe.
Her decisions pivoted as she worked through her fears, but the commitment to the cause (creating positive social impact through her work) didn’t change.
What is crucial when we talk about fears and commitment is Peter Senge’s distinction between creative and emotional tension. Your fears can create an emotional tension causing you to lower your vision or giving up altogether in the worst case.
Focusing on your commitment, accepting reality, and remaining open to different ways to making your vision come alive will help you build the ability to remain in creative tension that inspires finding better solutions to achieving your goals.
Sometimes, we think we don’t do something because of a lack of courage.
An interesting reframe of such a situation happened when I ran into an alumnus who remained in his family business instead of starting his own social enterprise as he initially envisioned.
He shared with me that he realized it wasn’t really a lack of courage but a very strong value around family that kept him there. A clash of values doesn’t have to create “either-or” situations for you.
In my last column, I shared the “Third Horizon” framework that can help in such a situation: You can build towards a more significant shift of your work in the future by including small things in your daily or weekly routine that help you build expertise and experience.
Read here for more about how values affect your decisions.
Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert presents some very interesting research on how our beliefs about what makes us happy are often wrong and how that translates into bad decisions.
Watch his TED talk – Why We Make Bad Decisions
Decision-making tools are only as good as you know yourself
There are many tools that can help you with the actual decision making, ranging from flipping a coin to elaborate frameworks that can help you weigh your options. I particularly like these 52 skills on mindtools.com or this great “Beginner’s Guide to Better Decision Making” by James Clear.
Oftentimes, you won’t know all the answers and have to follow your gut instinct, or you are someone who always does that but needs to start being more analytical in how you are making decisions.
In the context of the Inner Journey, this type of self-reflection is crucial to understanding where your strengths and weaknesses lie. And in the context of social change work, this sometimes translates into a matter of life and death of people you are working with, or puts you in an ethical dilemma that you can’t resolve but still have to act on.
Decision fatigue is a reality and can be a serious problem. Taking a hard look at all the decisions you make on a daily basis and seeing which ones you can eliminate can be very helpful. Remember: Habits replace willpower and making decisions requires a lot of willpower!
Community of Practice
Last but not least, a community of practice and support is incredibly important when you are making important decisions.
Join a group of likeminded people such as the Change Creator Facebook Group – I Am A Change Creator, a Fellowship, or make a point of getting your friends together to support you when you are taking the leap.The ones that will pick you up when you get knocked down and encourage you to try again.
As Brene Brown puts it in her talk “Why It Isn’t Your Critics Who Count”:
“yes, it was as terrible as you thought it was, but you were brave, and now let’s go try it again.”
Don’t let noise distract you.
Know who the people are who are also in the arena and keep on building a better world!
Asking for feedback from experienced professionals and friends, finding your blind spots, and checking your assumptions have to become habits if you want to improve your decision making.
You can google decision-making tools, but they are only as good as your ability to self-reflect and your commitment to making change happen.
Understanding why you want to create change and exploring both your internal and external options to making it happen can help you understand what decision you need to make next as a Changemaker.
Expanding your ability to be increative tension instead of letting emotional tension snap you back is crucial to honoring your commitments.
Michael Sandler hosts some of the top authors, life coaches, spiritual leaders and leaders in other spheres of life to give inspirational talks. Two life-threatening experiences inspired Michael to start the show through which he aims to motivate people to live to the fullest of their potential.
The show’s commitment is to motivate you through the advice of these guests to help you shine brightly in all the aspects of life. To this end, they cover different topics depending on the guest’s area of expertise. The ideas you hear are practical and can be applied together to heal you lead a life of purpose.
Psychologist guests will guide you on how to rewire your life to achieve positivity, mental well-being, and happiness. The show also hosts spiritual leaders and experts to share their wisdom on why we are here and what to do about it. You will also get actionable ideas from Law of Attraction experts on how to live the life of your dreams.
If you are seeking to live a life of holistic excellence you need to add this podcast to your playlist.
Gregg acknowledges the impact of the tiny things we do daily in our life.
This is the basis of this motivational, self-help and wellness podcast. Many people are unable to improve their lives because they look at the big change they wish to achieve and it seems too hard.
Gregg removes this hurdle by breaking the change you yearn for into smaller portions.
In each episode, he discusses some self-improvement strategies that you can incorporate into your daily habits to achieve the overall improvement in your life. By doing so, the change seems much more achievable and the listeners are inspired to start the strategy.
As far as self-help inspirational podcasts go, Tiny Leaps Big Changes stands out because the strategies that Gregg shares with you are not anecdotal. For each strategy he discusses, he gives the results of scientific studies that have been carried out about the strategy.
The show provides you with practical strategies that have been tested and proven to work.
In this show, Justin Malik has taken a different approach to podcasting. Rather than interviewing guests, he reads contents by other authors on productivity, minimalism, and self-development. He does this with the permission of the authors.
In each episode, you get to hear inspirational content on strategies you can use to transform your life. His show is a collection of top-quality content that he has sampled and found resourceful in helping you live an optimal life.
Most of the content of the Optimal Living Daily show is from blogs. Justin makes sure to mention the blogs from which he has sourced the content. If you find the content useful, you can follow source for similar content.
Justin does more than just give you amazing content, he also connects you with great authors that you can follow for further tips and ideas.
Get inspired by the best in business, social enterprise, and people on the front lines changing our world for good.
From business leaders such as Guy Kawasaki to Jake Orak, Founder of Ethnotek Bags – a creative social entrepreneur with quite an inspirational story to tell. Intensely curious, Adam asks the questions all of us wish we could. He gets some amazing insights as well!
Learn more than just business models, growth hacks, and productivity tips – get the real deal stories of people like Maggie Doyne, whose compassion to help children become a social enterprise that sustains real change in children’s lives.
“I’ve been listening to the Change Creator podcast off and on since December 2016, when social media from Tonle mentioned your interview with their founder Rachel Faller. Thank you for your recent unedited podcast on authenticity. Though there is discouragement, this episode has bolstered me to pursue the good that can come from producing music that reckons with society’s brokenness and concerts that open people’s minds to new ideas as they meet living composers.”
Chalene Johnson is not your conventional motivational speaker. She is a health and fitness expert and you will detect her seriousness in the self-improvement process the minute you press play on her content. As your virtual life-coach, her energetic yet friendly voice will guide you through the steps that you need to make to improve your life.
In each episode, Chalene walks with you step by step through the challenges that life may through at you. She addresses topics like healthy living, positivity, and self-motivation.
As you follow Chalene step by step through her talks, you will soon start to pinpoint what areas of your life are holding you back. You will also start to realize that the solution to some of your problems is right in front of you.
You cannot listen to the Chalene Show and fail to change your life. At the end of each show, you will have a different perspective on almost everything in your life. You will also get insight into how other people perceive you thus prompting you to change for better.
Gretchen is committed to helping you live a life of happiness daily. She has authored a bestseller on how to make achieve happiness daily – The Happiness Project. There are other books by her that also discuss the pursuit of happiness in detail.
The Happier with Gretchen Show gives more insight into happiness as she interviews various experts on what happiness and how to achieve it. Together with her guests, she also discusses the habits that one can adopt on a daily basis in order to achieve the happiness they desire.
Read Gretchen’s books if you can. If you can’t make sure you listen to this show that will help you live a life of satisfaction day by day.
Whichever area of your life you wish to improve, you can always use a little inspiration to get you going.
These podcasts are just a sample of the great podcasts that you can easily access online for your self-improvement.
Utilize them to set your personal short term and long term goals and strategize on how to achieve the goals and dig up for even more.
Whatever it might be, we have deep rooted patterns in our lives and creating new habits take hard work.
The steps themselves might be deceptively simple: pick one habit, keep it small to start with, and remember to do it every day.
But it’s not always so easy — there are a number of forces that can stand in the way:
People in our lives create resistance to the habit.
Our environment itself creates resistance (i.e. Internet distractions get in the way of writing).
A crisis or other disruption comes into our life unexpectedly.
All of that is difficult … but there’s one obstacle that gets in the way more than any other.
Our biggest obstacle is ourselves.
I’m guessing you’re not so surprised by this. We have seen ourselves give up on habits many times, because:
We are busy.
We procrastinate because we’re tired or just don’t feel like it.
We get distracted by our addictions.
We are afraid of failure.
We don’t like the discomfort of the task.
We are our own biggest obstacle to the new habits we want to create in our lives.
The biggest reason is because we come up with all kinds of objections.
And then we listen to those objections.
We object to waking up early to write, because we’re tired. Tiredness is a big objection of ours.
We object to doing yoga or exercising, because it’s hard and we don’t feel like it right now. We’d rather check our phones. Procrastination because distraction is easier than discomfort is another major way we deal with our objections.
We object to the difficult studying, because it makes us feel like losers to not know what we’re doing. This feeling of uncertainty is another huge objection.
We object to the daily practice, because it feels restricting. It feels useless somehow, to practice but not get anywhere. It’s not working.
We object to discomfort, uncertainty, being overwhelmed, having to do something regularly, not being able to comfort and reward ourselves whenever we want.
How do we overcome these objections? How do we overcome the obstacles of ourselves? Let’s investigate a few ideas.
Overcoming Our Own Objections
There might not be just one answer to this obstacle. People respond differently depending on how they respond to expectations — their own expectations, and other people’s.
So the right answer for me might not be the right answer for you.
Let’s look at a few different approaches.
Have Answers to the Objections
If we have a set of common objections to sticking to something, then we can pre-plan our answers instead of blindly believing the rationale we usually use.
Here are some common objections, with examples of how you might plan to answer them:
I’m tired (or don’t feel like it). Answer: Just do a little bit of it. You don’t have to do it for very long … if you can do one minute (or write one paragraph), you can call that a win for today.
Why should I put myself through this. Answer: This is a gift to yourself. Doing this habit is a loving way to make your life better, and always putting it off is a harmful habit. See the deliciousness in this experience!
You deserve a break/treat. Answer: Take a break right after you do it for a minute. Or … let this be your treat!
I’ll do it in a minute (or “One won’t hurt). Answer: You know that rationale is a lie. Don’t listen to the lies you tell yourself when you’re tired or afraid. Instead, tell yourself that doing the habit for one minute won’t hurt. Or putting off doing something you’re trying to quit (cigarettes, for example) won’t hurt.
This is scary/sucks because I don’t know what I’m doing. Answer: Yep, the uncertainty is scary! And yet, everything good in your life has come because you pushed into uncertainty. So see it as something to savor, this uncertainty, because it is the ground where you learn, grow, and get better. Learn to relish in it.
This is hard, I’ll do it later. Answer: Do a small dose of the hard stuff now, then go to your favorite distraction after. Switch up the order and things get a lot better in your life.
Of course, the answers above won’t necessarily be the best ones for you … so figure out what answers work for you.
Set Up Your Environment
If having answers to your objections doesn’t work, you might set up your environment to be more conducive to habit success, when you’re feeling good and optimistic.
Clear away distractions. Make it hard to get to them.
Make your best option the most convenient option. Put out the healthy snacks where you can see them, and make yourself have to drive to the store to get the unhealthy stuff.
Tell others in your house/office that you’re not going to do something (not go on Facebook, not eat candy) … and if they catch you doing it, you owe them $50.
Get others to join you in a challenge.
Put reminders or inspiration everywhere.
Make your Instagram or Twitter feed only filled with inspiration, not distractions.
Ask others to encourage you on your goal every time they see you.
Set up your yoga mat, meditation cushion, writing space, or sewing area so that it’s easy to dive into your new habit.
Again, what works for one person won’t work for others, so experiment!
Find the Freedom
Some people really don’t work well with restrictions or being told they have to do something over and over. If that’s you, then find the freedom in the activity.
Why eat broccoli and kale? If you make it something your mom is telling you to do, you might hate it. But if you find the deliciousness in fresh, healthy, whole food, maybe it can seem like a wonderful choice. If you think about the freedom it gives you to be healthy, strong, fit and able to do all kinds of outdoor activities, then kale becomes a beautiful empowering leaf.
Why give up cigarettes? Instead of thinking of this as a restrictive thing, think of it as freedom from the burden of having to buy cigarettes, financial freedom, freedom from being tied to a burdensome habit for the rest of your life, freedom from getting super sick from smoking (which will absolutely suck for you and your loved ones).
Why sit down every day to write your book? Think of it as freedom from procrastination and distraction, freedom to express yourself, freedom to finally create when you’ve been running from it for so long.
Find the deliciousness, the treat, the freedom, the fun. And soon you’ll be not your own biggest obstacle, but your own biggest supporter.
No matter how busy I would get, I had a very tough time saying no to people.
Little did I know, that mastering that one skill would change my life. Seems trivial right? It’s a huge factor as you’ll see when I break it down in this article.
Pursuing work as an entrepreneur can be even more tricky after being in the traditional 9am-5pm role because you need to make your own schedule. There are so many choices to make on how to spend your time to be most effective.
If you’re the kind of person who has an activist-spirit or is already pursuing social business than you probably have a high level of empathy. Something that is very powerful in business actually because it’s so important to understand things from the someone else’s perspective. However, while being a very good thing, it can also be a bit of a curse that you need to be very aware of because you always want to help others.
I noticed this the most during my entrepreneur years the most. I would always be networking and meeting new people. As that happened opportunities would come up to work with them.
At the early phase of a business you likely don’t have a ton of cash flow.
You bootstrap and do everything yourself which means you don’t have an assistant.
You’re just a person following their passion and trying to figure things out.
The one thing you can trade since you don’t have a lot of money is your time. Write an article for someone, build their website, make a video…etc. Whatever skill you might have that can help them out.
But the habit of saying yes to everything has huge downsides that I outline below.
But first, why do we say yes?
Why am I a “yes” addict?
As technology continues to boom and connect us in every way possible we lead high paced stressful lives with infinite choices.
We are taught to help others, be kind, bring value to their lives. This is what gets you a return in life.
You don’t want to let someone down or destroy an important relationship.
You want to be helpful and positive. No, is seen as unhelpful and negative, right?
It the book, The Power of a Positive No, William Ury states:
“Saying no has always been important, but perhaps never as essential a skill as it is today.”
Ury even says that “whether and how we say No determines the very quality of our lives.”
His whole thing is about learning to say No in a positive way that still gets the yes.
Mahatma Gandhi once said:
“A “no” uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a `Yes’ merely uttered to please or what is worse, to avoid trouble.”
It’s exciting to connect with people who show interest in what you’re doing. Maybe you can help each other out? Out of excitement we might rush into decisions, giving into negative emotions such as fear and guilt.
I was always open to a mutually beneficial partnership because it meant progress to me. But, that usually meant carving out some of my limited time to make it happen.
When you do this a few times, you suddenly realize you’re over committed and basically delaying your progress more than anything because you’re spending less and less time on the things that truly matter to your personal goals.
When you become spread too thin and overcommitted, you start having shallow relationships.
You tap into that limited time inventory and start paying less attention to the most important people in your life, business or personal.
Maybe the work you promised someone in your professional life is being delayed. Maybe your quality is suffering because you’re scrambling to get things done based on a super busy schedule. Now, that relationship starts to erode because they are unhappy with your work and attention to them.
I have built so many connections as I interview tons of social entrepreneurs and connect with people in the industry. It’s very hard to keep up with everyone and most times you cannot. I wish it wasn’t the case but you have to keep your attention focused. People don’t want your half baked attention. They want to feel like you give a shit. They want you to listen and provide your undivided attention to them.
Focus is an art itself. Learning how to keep your attention narrow and avoid constant distraction is important. Practices like meditation help this a lot. It has for me.
As you have read so far, there are very good reasons for learning how to empower your life by saying no.
Your time is limited and you can’t buy more of it, so it’s value is very high. You must use it wisely.
When you’re focused and you know what your priorities are you can intelligently determine when to say yes or no.
When you say no you leave room for a better yes.
You say yes to giving your goals precedence.
You say yes to quality time with family and friends.
You say yes to take care of your health – mental and physical.
You say yes to very important opportunities that surface. Things that are important to you.
Success in life requires key pillars – health, wealth and strong relationships. Not just one of the three. I have interviewed people such as Tony Robbins and Arianna Huffington who will tell you this very thing.
I can appreciate the macho hype about living the “grind” to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to put in your time to do great work but how you allocate that time is very important.
All work does not lead to success. You need your personal health and strong relationship – friends and family. This is holistic and keeps you in a good state of mind for better work success.
If you want to learn more about how to say no and still get a yes, then definitely check out the book, The Power of a Positive No, by William Ury. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Tony Robbins, the unconventional social entrepreneur.
With one knock on the door on, Thanksgiving Day, his life changed and his mission to give back started. Now, as a coach, author, businessman, and philanthropist he has changed millions of lives.
He could have retired at the age of 26, but he realized there is much more to life than money. In 2016 he personally provided 59 million meals to people in the USA and matched 100 million more through his partnership with Feeding America to honor those who helped his family during tough times.