I saw this thread from @bbourque on Twiter the other day and thought it was fantastic. It oulined the 21 Principles from the Y-Combinator Startup Playbook. These are the principles they use to help ensure the success of their investments and every entrepreneur can use them. Check them out below and ask how you can use them in your business.
We've all been there. Those times when it feels like we just have too much to do. Our minds feel "cloudy" and are swirling with everything that needs to get done. We feel overwhelmed and struggle to keep up.
No matter who you are, you have had times when it seems like there is too much on your plate and you cannot get out from under it. With running multiple businesses and juggling family life and racing Ironman, I definitely feel overwhelmed at different times.
Many years ago, I learned how to deal with this and help myself to get back on track and the solution is really quite simple: Stop and write down what needs done.
It really is that easy. When you feel like you cannot keep up or remember everything you have to do, if you just keep trying to tackle it by "remembering as you go," you will find that it almost makes things worse.
Instead, stop and go to a quiet place with a notepad and spend 20-30 mins doing a brain dump of everything swirling around in your mind. Once you have cleared everything out, you will find you feel much better. Then you can go to work prioritizing and putting a to do list together to help you get everything done.
In doing this, you will find clarity and be much more productive. Use this simple technique to make a difference in your success!
Humans are emotional beings. We cannot escape the impact our emotions have in our lives, but we can learn to recognize when emotions are clouding our judgement or keeping us from recognizing the truth.
As entrepreneurs, it is very important for us to understand how to use emotion, but also how to recognize when it is leading us down the wrong path or to bad decisions. This is part of emotional inteliigence. Remember, emotions are always there and driving our actions and decisions - so it is best that we go to work in becoming masters at recognizing and using them to our advantage. The most important thing is not to allow our emotions drive us into making double standards or justifying things that are not right, just because we want a certain outcome.
You see a lot of examples of this, especially in places like politics. For example, as I write this, there is another political scandal going on, this time with President Joe Biden having taken classified documents and stored them in places like his garage when he was a Vice President. The law says he cannot do that. But, many people and pundits that are "on his side" are finding ways to justify it or play it down while at the same time saying Donald Trump should go to jail for the same things. Donald Trump was President when he took documents and had the power to declassify, which a VP does not, but it is not clear yet if he did. Either way, if they broke the law in handling documents, the response should be the same and they should both be prosecuted according to the law, President or not. But emotion gets in the way. When it is "your guy or gal," it is OK and people find a way to justify bad behavior. This is creating a double standard or avoiding the truth. A spade is a spade.
This happens in business all the time whether it is with how some employees are treated or when leaders justify breaking rules and principles to succeed.
So, what is the answer for entrepreneurs when we operate in a world like this?
First, we must know and understand our principles. What are yours? Have you ever really thought about them? Have you written them down? What are the lines that you will not cross for anything - not for money, power, fame, success, etc? We must know our principles and stand for them and on them.
Second, we must learn to recognize when emotions are taking over and clouding our logic and stop this from happening. This is not easy, but just about everyone has had times where they know emotions got the best of them. It is at these times that we can reflect and understand how this happened and prepare ourselves not to let it happen again or at least the same way. It is a constant lifelong work in progress, but if we keep rooted in principles, it is much easier because they guide us. When you get really good, you learn to stop, ask, and choose. When you feel emotion taking over, you can stop yourself in the moment and ask yourself, "Is this the action or reaction I want to have in this situation? Does it align with my principles?" Then you can choose to move forward to change the action or reaction you were going to have to the best one for the situation.
Third and lastly, recognize those around you who do not operate with integrity and principles and remove them from your world. This will take away temptation, but also help you find the those that are true to themselves and better for your life anyway.
As stated prior, emotions will always be a part of our lives and drive us. There are times where it makes great sense to use them to help in life and business and there are times where we must keep them in check. Learning how to do this for yourself will be one of the best things you can do to help your success.
Don't Die Before You are Dead
Let's face it. A lot of people give up on life and never reach their potential. They get beaten down by adversity, failure, and even by the prisons they create in their own mind.
In short, they die before they are dead.
You've seen people like this before - they become walking shells of their former self and no longer seem to have purpose or drive in life. They seek comfort and any time they have a chance to break out or break through from the chains holding them down, they shy away from the opportunity. It truly is a vicious cycle that can drag people down to the depths of depravity. Many can never escape it.
But this state can be broken and people can once again find themselves, their purpose, meaning, and drive in life. It takes work and a willingness to understand their situation and confront it - but things can change.
The biggest place the battle is won is your mind. What happens to people when they end up in this situation is that they have created habits and subsconcious reactions that keep them in this state. For example, people will create habits of staying away from opportunities or not taking a chance to improve themselves and over time, these become habits. The subconscious mind then supports these habits by creating the reactions that keep them in force. So, for example, if someone is given an opporunity to find new meaning and purpose, their subsconcious will create a response that keeps them from taking action on it. It may be fear, worry, or doubt, but it re-enforces the thinking of not wanting to change the status quo - and thus keeps people trapped.
The only way out of this is to take back control and not let yourself be run by programming that you did not actually choose to have. And of course, it is easier said then done.
So, what does someone do to breakout?
First, they have to come to grips with where things are and decide they want to change it. From there, it is all about replacing the bad habits with good habits and retraining the subsconcious. It all comes down to recognizing those times where you have the opportunity to break out and your subsconcious tries to reel you back in and in those moments having the courage to push forward and through. This is incredibly hard the first few times, but gets easier as time goes on. Once you start to do this, you start to recognize the ways your mind is literally sabotaging you and can begin to choose the thoughts you want to have.
Racing Ironman taught me how to do this well as there are many times, especially after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, that I am deep into my marathon and my mind starts to challenge me. It wants me to quit because, especially if I am going at a faster pace than normal, it thinks I am going to hurt myself or not make it. It is in these moments where I know I must push through and in doing so, I increase my self-imposed limitation levels - until the next time I hit them where I have to do it again and so on. The first time was the hardest, but now I have seen the amazing benefits of powering through and that is what has allowed me to get better and better each race climbing the ranks to be top in the world.
We must overcome the limitations we put on ourselves and never allow ourselves to die before we are dead!
My Motto for 2023
Each year I choose a motto to live by. It is something that embodies how I want my year to go, but is short and to the point.
Each day, I read this motto as part of my perrsonal growth routine and I look at all the areas I can work it into my daily life.
This year, I wanted to get back to basics and I asked myself, "What really matters and where should I focus myself?" In thinking through this I arrived at the following:
Sound Mind, Sound Body, Do Great Work
If I do those 3 things, I know I will have the year I want, but what do they mean?
Sound mind means to grow myself in knowledge and spiritually. Sound body means to take care of myself physically, but also with how I eat and to limit or remove stressors on the body such as sugar and alcohol. Good rest and a regular schedule are also needed for both a sound mind and a sound body.
Do "great" work is a distinction. Don't just do good work. Ensure that the work you do is great and you are your best for it. It means that I will have to strive and focus to be at the top of my game in all my endeavors to achieve greatness. And it also means that I must help others that work with me to play at their best levels as well.
Have you thought of a motto for how you want your year to go? If not, take some time and do so. Write it down and start each day reading it as part of your personal growth routine. You will be surprised at how it will impact you!
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