If you are sport fan like me, you've no doubt gotten pretty excited when you favorite team is "on a roll." You know what I mean. They seem to have it all going well for them. They are scoring at will. Everything the other team tries doesn't seem work. In short, your team has all the momentum.
This is very easy to see in sports and it's also amazing to watch the changes in momentum in the course of a single game.
Entrepreneurship is the same. We go through and ebb and flow of momentum on a daily, weekly, or even annual basis. Many entrepreneurs fail to notice these momentum swings as they are so mired in the business and day to day. Because of this, they are missing out on one of their biggest secret weapons - taking advantage of and fostering momentum throughout their organization to help them be more successful.
Momentum is contagious. Even watching a sports game on television, you can feel it. You can feel it happening, the energy around it, the good feelings, the excitement, and so on. Think about how you feel when your team is on a roll. Think about how strong and powerful they seem and how you tap into that. They are like a soaring eagle.
It's the same thing in your business. When you business gets on a roll and has momentum, it's up to you as the leader tap into it and foster the energy and excitement throughout the organization. Momentum is contagious, as long as people are aware and have the ability to tap into it. It's your job as a leader to help spread momentum throughout your organization and make it known. The more engaged people are into momentum to longer last and more successful it will be.
Conversely, when you feel momentum slowing down, you need to do everything in your power as a leader to regain or find the next opportunity for momentum. You should always be on the lookout for your next momentum driver or inspiration.
If you make it a point to foster momentum in your organization on a consistent basis, you'll tap into a secret weapon that many entrepreneurs miss and find yourself and your business more successful.
Get out there and get momentum!
The other day it snowed a lot overnight. Aside from waking up to a cold morning and taking in the sight of the fresh fallen snow on the trees and all around, I didn't think too much of it. I had to get to work.
About mid-day, my daughter came into my office and ask if she could go play outside in the snow. I said, "Of course" and we got her all bundled up to go outside. My office has a big window that faces out onto the front of our acreage and I could see my daughter playing and having a blast with her sled and other things in the snow - by herself. She was having a great time.
I was in the middle of wrapping up some things for the day and could have done more. There is always more to do, right?
But, instead, I decided to play. I threw my winter clothes on and surprised her outside. For the next hour, we did sled races, built snowmen, ran around with the dog - basically, all the fun you could have. I forgot about any work, but towards the end watching her and the dog run around, a was struck by inspiration. I had been working on solving a business problem earlier in the day and couldn't quite get it right.
But, by just taking some time to play and get away from things for a bit, the answer became very clear. It was almost too easy.
We often forget how important it is for us to take time away, even during the day, and give our minds a break. More importantly, we often forget how important it is for us to play and have fun in our lives - and how that can translate to even more success.
Make sure you take time to play and give yourself and your mind a break - daily if you can do it. You'll have less stress, give your mind a break, and most importantly, find that playing will help you be more successful and prosperous in all areas of your life. I wouldn't trade those moments with my kiddo for anything!
As we get into the end of the year and the holidays, I think we all welcome some real downtime. A break from it all. A break from the pandemic, a break from the rigorous day to day to keep business going, and a break from social media, the news - the bombardment of life.
This year will offer us a good opportunity to take that break, even if it is for just a few days or so. And when that time comes, it's always nice to lose yourself in a good book.
With that said, here are 3 of my favorites to enjoy during your break.
Top Fiction Book
I have really enjoyed delving into the James Rollins Sigma Force series of books this year. If I had to describe them, they are part Indiana Jones, part Jason born. And they are also "faction," and this is what I love most about James - he meticulously researches to find truth from history and science and builds an awesome story around it. I am always amazed at how much of the things in his books are true. So, not only are the stories/adventures page turners, I get to learn things as well. His latest book is called the Last Odyssey and is the book I started with before going back and starting the series from the beginning. The nice thing about the Last Odyssey is that you don't need to read the series to understand what is going on, so it is a great place to start. But, if you want to start from the first book, pick up Sandstorm. The "opening scene" of the book is awesome.
Top Non-Fiction Book
My top non-fiction book for the year is The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather. It is about the man who volunteered to go into the Auschwitz death camp and bring it down from the inside. I have mentioned this book before, not just because of how amazing the story is and how well written the book is, but because of what you will learn about what really happened in the Nazi death camps and get a healthy dose of reality and lessons for life. This book is not for the faint of heart, but is a must read.
Top Book to Make You Think
My top book for making your thinking and looking at society in a different way is The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad. I admit, I recently started this book, but it is already incredible. It is all about how easily common sense can be destroyed by "idea pathogens" in our live and what we can do about it. It really helps you to better understand reason and become a better independent thinker. Dr. Gad Saad is one of the top behavioral science and marketing thinkers of our time.
Anything can be learned. I'm serious. Anything.
If you want to be a rocket scientist, you can learn to be one. If you want to learn how to pilot a plane, you can learn how. If you want to learn how to be a better entrepreneur, you can do that too.
So, then, why if anything can learned, do so few reach their goals, dreams, or new heights to which they aspire?
One word, Desire. They lack the desire, the will, to do what it takes to learn the things they need to learn to reach the goal. They don't want it bad enough and thus are not willing to put in the time, effort, sacrifice needed to learn. Anything can be learned - we just really don't want to learn it.
I'm reminded of a great quote by Robert Heinlein, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
He's right - specialization is for insects. We can and should learn to be much more than we are today. All it takes is a little desire, will, discipline, and commitment.
Look at your life and ask, "Is this it? Is this all I am destined for?" I think you know the answer. You have so much capability and personal power waiting to be unleashed. Don't waste it or the time you have.
Anything can learned, so get learning, and put it into action!
Decision making is one of the most important skills you can develop for your success. Not only will making good decisions help you in business, but in all areas of life.
But how do you know you are making good decisions? Here is how.
First, in order to make a good decision, you have to understand that emotions can will affect it. That is OK. But you need to recognize the emotions that are impacting the decision and decide if they are useful or detracting to making the best decision in the moment. For example, is fear driving the decision? If so, is it truly warranted or is the fear unfounded and not to the level the emotional reaction is giving?
Second, see all sides. Take the time to see the different sides of the decision and their impacts - look at things objectively and understand the potential benefits and consequences.
Third, seek advice if warranted. Don't go it alone. Ask those your trust for their thoughts or for things you may be missing. This is a check and balance to make sure you've looked at all sides and that you are not letting emotions run the outcome.
Fourth, take your time, sleep on things if you must - but don't overanalyze. Once you've gathered the information and seen all sides, you'll have a pretty good idea or inkling of which way to go. Don't procrastinate on it.
Lastly, stick to your principles and own it. As a final check, make sure that you are not violating your principles and values in the decision you make. The own it. Take responsibility and see it through.
If you follow the advice above, you'll be able to make smart decisions and boost your success!
Motivation is important to success. In order for you to do the things you need to do to succeed and get off your butt and make them happen - you have to be motivated.
But, contrary to popular believe motivation does not come from watching a video or a speech or some sort of external source. These things can energize and create a feeling of motivation that is short lived, but lasting motivation, the motivation that is needed to really succeed and do it consistently, come from one place.
The only way to consistently succeed and keep going in spite of all the challenges put in your way is to motivate yourself. But, how do you do that?
It's simple. You make the choice every day. You make the choice every day that you are not going to be stopped. You make the choice every day that you are in control of your own destiny (aside from God). You make the choice to keep going and overcome. You make the choice to reach your dream and live it, breath it, love it, and all that comes with it.
When you make the choice, you wake up with a purpose, a mission. You know where you want to go and you figure out and take steps to get there. Because you know the reward that waits for you. And when you do this, you don't need outside motivation. You don't need a speech or a video, because all the motivation you need came from the choice that you made. The choice to be great and reach your goal or dream.
So make your choice, let it motivate you, and go after what you want today!
The habits we have in our lives shape us, our lives, and our success. I once asked Zig Ziglar's son, Tom Ziglar, "What is the fastest way to success?" His answer was, "The fastest path to success is to replace a bad habit with a good habit." It's that simple. You pick a bad habit, replace it with a good habit, and then cement. You can then move on to the next. Think about if you did this multiple times in the course of a year - where would you be? You'd be in a completely different place that you are today.
So, with all that said, here are 3 habits you can start doing today that will make a major difference in your life.
You've no doubt heard about the power of writing things down and journaling. Many of the most successful people in their fields do this every day. Why? Because it works. When you write things down and get your thoughts out of you on paper - it helps you to crystalize them and get them in order so they aren't just bouncing around in your head. Taking 5-10 mins a day to write your thoughts down will help you be better organized, know what to prioritize, help you to know yourself better, and help you be more successful. My favorite tool for helping someone do this is the 5 Minute Journal. It makes it easy by giving you the structure, so you don't even have to think. And it takes 5 minutes to do each day! Click Here to Get a Copy!
This is an easy. Start going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. Set your times and adhere to them, even on weekends if you can. Studies have shown that your quality of sleep directly affects your energy levels and mental capacity. By going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, you create a habit of consistency for your body and its sleep rhythms that will help you be more rested, have more energy, and be more alert and on your game each day.
Commit to Personal Growth
You know this one, but it bears repeating because you can do it today. They say you are the sum of the 5 people you hang out with. I like to take that further by saying you are not just the sum of those you hang out with, but of the books you read and the things you put into your mind. And if you don't take the time to put anything into it, you cannot learn, grow, and get better. If you want to increase your success levels, you must grow yourself. Start small - pick one new book to read a quarter. Then maybe one per month, and go from there. Listen to podcasts like the Misfit Entrepreneur or take courses on things like Udemy. Whatever you do, commit to a personal growth plan. As Jim Rohn said, "Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you rich!"
There is just no substitute for great customer service and taking care of people. I was recently reminded of this when dealing with a provider in one of my businesses. They lost their relationship with me because of how poorly they treated me.
The company offered a service I use to help manage my business and then one stopped access to it for the business. I checked and everything was up to date, there had been no issues or anything that we could find. I then got a cryptic message saying they had suspended service and to get service back up, I needed to provide more detail about my business.
I thought this was odd, so I got on the phone with their support and discussed why they needed the detail they needed. They were less than helpful and would not give me a good answer. Instead, they said that in order to re-instate services, I would need to provide the requested details. They told that if I did so, in 24 hours things would be resolved and that it would be restored. I obliged and gave them the detail they asked.
3 days later I got a message back from them stating they needed even more detail and wanted things that didn't even make sense for the services they were providing. At that point, I was done. They were rude, not forthcoming, and did not live up to their promise in that if I provided what they originally wanted, things would be re-instated.
This company lost a long-time customer simply because of their service and the way they treated me and my business. It today's age, it can month's to find a customer and seconds to lose one. It is much easier and less costly to keep a customer and care for them than it is to lose them. This company forgot that rule.
In any business, customers are your lifeblood and you should love them and do everything you can to take care of them. It's a simple lesson that gets forgotten more and more - There is no substitute for great service, period!
The Halloween season wouldn't be complete without a post about skeletons!
But the skeletons I want to talk about today are different. They are your business' skeletons.
Business skeletons? What are those?
Your business skeletons are the things that you know have needed fixed or done in your business for a long time, but you have not gotten around to or keep putting off because you can continue operating with them the way they are. They might a lack of processes or not being buttoned up legally or in accounting. They could be keeping a line of business that should be removed. They could also be something that is embarrassing and to confront it would bring it to light.
Business skeletons exist in a lot of different ways and if not dealt with will eventually cause issues and come out. It's best to confront them head on now, than to wait til later.
What kind of issues can they cause? Well, let's say you've built a nice business, but have been lax in your contracting with clients and thus have no consistency or even records of contracts in some cases. If you have a problem with a client you have nothing to go back - no clear set of rules for your relationship. Or worse yet, maybe you go to sell the business, but have no record of contracts with your clients - the buyer would definitely red flag that and your value would probably not be what you expect.
Another example is not delegating and creating processes with systems for others to follow. As your business grows, you will reach a breaking point and could get crushed under the weight of tasks that fall only to you making you a giant bottleneck and limiting the growth of the business.
Every business has skeletons. The key is to admit it and fix them long before they can become an issue. Yes, they are often things we don't want to deal with or don't seem as important as the day to day in the business - until they are. Deal with them now and you'll find it much easier to grow, scale, and succeed!
A friend of mine sent me the video above. It won an Oscar for Best Animation. And as I watched it, it made me think about an old adage I used to talk about, called R.A.K.
It stands for Random Act of Kindness. As you watch, think about how you can incorporate R.A.K. into your life daily and make a difference - Because YOU CAN.
What a world it would be if we all practiced R.A.K daily!
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