We are going into the final month of 2022 and with any year there are things we wanted to do, but did not get to or that we stopped pursuing. Why? Maybe we took on too much or maybe we got scared or overwhelmed. Or maybe we just didn't believe these things were possible.
Here's my challenge to you going into year end and for 2023....
THINK BIGGER AND FACE YOUR CHALLENGES!
People overestimate what they can do in a week and underestimate what they can do in a year. I want you to think bigger about what you are capable of. I want you to challenge yourself and what you think is possible. I want you realize that there are much bigger possibilities for you, that you have more potential than you know.
It's time to throw off the mindset and habits that have shackled you and kept you at the levels you are at and change your mindset and habits to go to where you want to go. You can do this in 3 simple steps.
First, pick one bad habit you want to change. Decide the habit you want to have instead and then go to work and replace it over the next month. Once you've done this once, you can do it over and over again replacing bad habits with good ones. Imagine where you will be in a year.
Second, pick one thing that you have not thought was possible for you and go to work until you've made it a reality. Prove to yourself it is possible. Do not quit. As with habits, once you've done this once, you will be able to do it over and over.
Third, face your demons. You know what your biggest inner struggles are and what needs to be done to overcome them. Typically, it means change and humans hate change - but it must be done. It may mean giving something up or starting something new. Either way, embrace change and do what is needed to face the things you know you need to and work through them before the new year begins. Throw the albatross off your back, forgive yourself if needed, and move forward.
You have one month before the New Year. Think bigger, make the changes you know you need to make, and be stronger than ever!
I have always like the Stoic philosophy because it is about individual responsibility and choice - and the ability to endure. Stoicism is a pursuit of self-mastery and wisdom. Many of history's greatest minds including people like George Washington sought out the philosophy and studied it. It is also interesting how many of the same philosophies exist in the Bible, especially in Proverbs.
We would all do well to follow some of the Stoic philosophy in our lives. Here are 10 quotes to make you think from top Stoics.
Settle on the type of person you want to be and stick to it, whether alone or in company.
Man conquers the world by conquering himself.
We begin to lose our hesitation to do immoral things when we lose our hesitation to speak of them. - Musonius Rufus
The mob is the mother of tyrants... - Diogenes
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
No great thing is created suddenly. - Epictetus
Hang on to your youthful enthusiasms, you will be able to use them better when you are older. - Seneca
I love Parkinson's Law. It is the ultimate time management lesson - if you heed it and do the opposite.
Parkinson's Law states that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This means that whatever the work that needs to be done, it will take the time allotted for it. So, if you have something that needs to be done in 3 weeks, it will take you 3 weeks to do it. It's the perfect definition of procrastination.
Once you understand Parkinson's Law, it will teach you how to mazmimize your time. The way to do so is to schedule your work with deadlines shorter than the time alotted for completion. This will allow you to be exponentially more effective and get more done in less time. For example, if you have 3 weeks to get something done, schedule it to be completed in 1 week and then go to work. It forces you to have to be more efficient and productive with your time.
Just imagine how much more you can get done if you are focused and cutting the time down to accomplish things by 50% or better. Where could you be 1 month from now? Two months? A year?
Right now, there is a little less than 2 months to the end of year. What if you started applying this principle today? How strong could you finish the year? You may even be able to accomplish goals you didn't think were going to be possible. This is how you finish the year strong and keep getting stronger. Make it your mission to defeat Parkinson's Law and watch how much your success improves!
As an entrepreneur, it is hard to succeed without having a great team. Depending on your business, your team may be large or small or even outsourced, but it is still a team nonetheless. And ensuring that your team is working in the best way possible is critical.
But, how do you know that your team is functioning at maximum effectiveness? Over the years, I've found that there are 3 signs of a great team.
1.) They are respectfully, brutally honest.
Great teams are respectful of each other, but are not afraid to hold each other accountable and be brutally honest with each other. They do this because they care and genuinely want to see everyone on the team and the business succeed.
2.) They are on the same page marching in the same direction.
Great teams operate in lock step, not in silos. They all believe in the mission and vision. They are all in on the goals for the company and are clear on their role in helping to reach them. The work as a unit and ensure that they are meeting and exceeding their responsibilities. They are driven and focused.
3.) They understand the bigger picture.
Great teams not only understand each person's role, but they understand how it fits into the bigger picture. Thus they are hungry to ensure that they do their best as an individual or leader, but also do everything possible to help those around them be their best. The know they are part of creating something great and are dedicated to making it a reality.
When you build a team, whether with employees, partners, or outsourcing, you should do your best to apply these principles and foster them. Let people know you respect them and want their honest feedback. Make sure everyone is on the same page for the mission, vision and goals. Show them the bigger picture and how what they do has a big impact on reaching it. Communicate these things consistently over time and you will build a great team.
No one is perfect. We all develop habits that may not neccessarily be the best for us. This typically happens over time and eventually those bad habits can affect our lives and businesses.
But, the good news is you change things. You can choose to move away from these bad habits and put yourself on an even better path.
Several years ago, I interview Tom Ziglar, Zig Ziglar's son and now the CEO of Ziglar Training. We got into a great discussion about habits in our lives and how they impact us. I asked him, "What is the best way to stop a bad habit?" He paused and then said, "The best way to stop a bad habit is to replace it with a good one." I loved the simplicity of that answer and it makes complete sense. All you have to do is start developing a good habit and stop doing the bad one and the good one will eventually take its place.
Now, sometimes that is easier said than done because, as they say, "Old habits die hard." But, they can die. And creating a new better habit is the first and best step to replacing them. It doesn't mean you won't have to work at it or will not fall prey to the old bad habit, but if you can incrementally get better and increase the new good habit in your life, eventually the old one will fade away.
Imagine if just for one year, you picked bad habits in your life and replaced them with a good ones. Where would you be 1 year from now? How would your life change? How much more successful could you be?
Try it. Start today. Choose the habit you want to replace and choose the new habit you want to replace it with. You'll be amazed where you are even a week from now.
How bad do you want it? How bad do you want to achieve your goal or goals? Do you wake up every day energized and determined to make it? Do have a burning fire inside you that will not let you stop or quit - almost like an obsession of reaching the levels you aspire to?
If you do, you have what you need to reach your goals. The #1 thing that determines whether you will reach your goals is the deep burning desire to reach them. A desire so strong that nothing can quelch it. It is desire that drives you and moves you every day to keep going not stopping until you have achieved the goals you want.
But, how do you get "desire?" Can it be coached? Is it something you just have to have? It's really a little bit of both. Coaching desire is really helping someone or yourself fully understand what you want and gain clarity around it. But, the other piece is that once you are clear on what you want - you cannot stop thinking about what you need to do to get it. You cannot stop working at it and finding ways to make it a reality. You innovate and work through problems. You use adversity to your favor to fuel the fire to reach the goal even more. You have to want it and want it bad. As noted above, in some ways, it becomes an obsession - albeit a healthy one.
If you've ever read Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, he states that the secret of the book is right there for you throughout the book. That secret is to have a "burning desire" for something. If you have a true burning desire, you cannot help but go after what you want. And you will know it if you don't, because you won't wake up each day thinking of every way possible to get it.
What is it you really truly want? Think deep and hard on it. What is the thing that sticks in the back of your mind more than anything else? Better yet, what is it that you know you should be doing and maybe are too scared to step out of the comfort zone and do - but you can't stop thinking about? Figure it out, follow your desire to get it and let it take you to whole new possibilities.
I saw a great thread the other day on Twitter discussing how to be extremely productive and the steps to do so. It was posted by @Copywriting_Dad and I wanted to give you his advice. You can view the tweet at https://twitter.com/Copywriting_Dad/status/1579811799041728512, but here it is below.
1. Start your day early
Fix your schedule to wake up at 5 AM
This'll help you key in 3 hours to day
Adopt a morning routine that’ll keep you motivated during the day
• Set a timer
• Drink a litre of water
• Have a morning walk
• Read a book you've planned
2. Interrupt distractions as they occur
Before you settle for any focused work, modify your environment
• Set timer before undertaking tasks
• Turn off notifications
• Focus on a single task
This'll scale your productivity 2x better
3. Work during your peak hour
Identify when and what get you energized.
During your peak hour;
• Tackle the hardest task.
• Improve the work system
Work on improving the efficiency on undertaking your tasks.
4. Plan before
Spend 20 minutes in your evening to make a list of 3 most important tasks.
• Pick a pen and a paper
• Write down all activities to undertake
• Cancel out the most important to be left with 3+
Have your plan run in 1 day, 100 days and 1000 days.
5. Write a daily to-do-list
Make your to do list short and actionable
• More specific
• Have a sense of urgency
• Simplified with digestible tasks
A to-do list act as a roadmap to task completion.
6. Avoid multitasking
Focus your attention on one goal at a time.
This helps you;
• Get less overwhelmed
• Boost your productivity
Energy flow where is directed.
7. Learn how to build flow state
Finish minute tasks
How to create flow state;
• Pick a task
• Set a timer(50 minutes)
• Aim at short term target
• Get rid of distractions
• Take 10 minutes break
• Repeat until you finish the task
8. Set deadlines
You work 5x faster with deadlines.
If you set a deadline for 4 hours, it'll get done in 4 hours.
• Know what you want to achieve
• Get what you need
• Set aside time
Deadlines help you measure outcome and improve your systems.
9. Learn how to boost your mood
When you feel overwhelmed, do activities to cheer you up
• Take a cold/warm lavender shower
• Prepare a cup of coffee/green tea
• Take breaks and regular walks
• Free dance to your favourite song
What gets you in the mood?
This past weekend, I participated in my last Ironman race of the year. It's been a great year. I was fortunate to compete in the world championships to start the year and had a solid finish. I then built upon that with a top 100 finish at Ironman Alaska. And just this past weekend, I achieved a new personal record at Ironman Indiana. By all accounts it was a great year and improved my overall world ranking over last year.
But, with every race there are great lessons to learn that apply not only to racing, but life and business as well.
I missed qualifying for the World Championships at Indiana by 4 minutes! 4 minutes! If had pushed a little faster on the bike or the run, I would have qualified. I know I set a new personal record for time, but 4 minutes faster is definitely achievable.
Make no mistake, I am very proud and grateful for how well the race went for me, but as I do with every race, I look back and rip it apart to see where I could have done better.
In this case, I found a number of things, but there are 3 lessons that can apply to life and business.
Lesson #1: The Little Things Matter
In a race like Ironman when 4 minutes can be the difference between a qualifying slot for the World Championship and being on the bubble, every little things counts. A faster set of transitions between the disciplines can be a few minutes. A 10 second per mile faster pace on the run can give you all you need. Every little thing you do from your ensuring a consistent strong swim stroke to keeping a steady effort on the bike or a solid pace on the run that doesn't falter can be the difference between you being at Worlds and not. It is the same in life and business. The little things matter. If we don't take care of the little things in business, especially the ones we know we need to do, but don't want make a huge difference. They can be difference between a growing, thriving business and one that stagnates. In life, the little things are just as important. Not apologizing for something you know shouldn't have done or said, can sour a relationship. Not being attentive to the little things in your household can grow into larger problems. The little things matter so don't neglect or procrastinate on them.
Lesson #2: You Can Always Push Further
As I looked back on the race, I saw a few key areas I could have gained my 4 minutes. First, I had my best run time in a race ever, but I know I could have pushed to be 10 -15 seconds per mile faster. Second, I could have had faster transitions between the disciplined changing out of my westsuit and into my bike gear and then from bike gear to run gear. I know what I need to do to improve there. Third, I know I can improve my training so my fitness is even better making it easier to succeed. I realized this once I stepped back and looked at things from the outside. We can always push further and get better in life and business, but the best way to do it is to take a step back and get out of the day to day and look at things from the outside.
Lesson #3: Enjoy the Win, No Matter How Big or Small It is
Initially, after just missing the cut for worlds, I beat myself up a little bit. Really Dave, 4 minutes??? But, I also had my overall finish and race time ever. I made big jumps in improvement each race I've done and I improved my overall ranking to be top 5% in the world. That needs to be celebrated! So, I stopped beating up on myself, gave myself a pat on the back and now I'm back to work and working harder to ensure I make it next time. We must do the same in our lives and business. We should celebrate the wins no matter what size they are and use them as stepping stones to the next level. By all means, have your 5 minute funeral if needed, to get over it, but don't lose site of the good things, lessons to be learned, and improvements that can be made to get even better. Take the time to celebrate the wins and then get back to work!
At some point during your entrepreneur journey you will begin to find some success and with that success finally comes some excess cash. If you are like I was when I started to gain more success and create excess cash, I needed to find a way to invest and make it grow exponentially, but fit that into my day to day alongside building businesses working 80 hours a week.
I started investing in real estate, but I also starting investing in the stock market. Like most newbie investors in the market, I just bought stocks and hoped they went up. Sometimes I made money, more often I didn't. Then I found options and started trading those, but like most people who don't have a true strategy with an edge, I would win and then give my wins back. I ultimately made nothing.
It was at this point that I took a step back and really looked at the markets. It occured to me that if you do what everyone else does, you will get the results of everyone else and most don't make any money. I started asking questions. A lot of questions. One of the questions I asked myself was "How do I put the odds in my favor from the start and not have to sit in front of a screen all day watching markets?" Soon after, I had my big "aha" moment. I realized that most people who buy stocks or options have just a 33% chance of making money because a stock or option can go 3 different ways: Up, Down, or Stay the Same. To put that in perspective, the odds at a blackjack table in a casino are 46.36%. People are literally better off going to the casino than just buying stocks or options.
One I realized this, I asked another question. I asked, "If buying a stock or option gives you a 33% chance of winning, then who has the 67% chance? Because that is who I want to be!" It is the sellers. But, how can you be a seller in the markets? Initially, this was discouraging as to be a seller of stock, you need to either be taking a company to IPO in the markets or be an accredited investor who invests in IPOs. At the time, neither was an option for me. So, I did some investigating and found that there are a few different types of trades where you can be a seller. Those trades are selling cash-secured puts, covered calls, and credit spread trades. Don't worry if you aren't sure what these mean or are because you can learn about them.
Once I educated myself on these types of trades, I doubled down asking how I could improve my odds of winning from 67% to a higher level. Over the course of a few years, I figured out and put together a strategy that allowed me to achieve win rates of over 90% on my trades - and even more important, I found that I could do it in less than 12 minutes a day! How would you like to grow your wealth with 12 minutes or less per day of effort and give yourself an over 90% chance of making money? Most people would jump at that chance.
But, there is a catch. That catch is that the way I trade is not for homeruns. It is small returns day in and day out, week in and week out, etc. that add up to homerun like returns over time. Most people want everything NOW. We have been conditioned for instant gratification and success. People want to to take $1000 and turn it into $1 million overnight. That doesn't happen. Creating consistent income in the markets takes discipline and consistency. But, overtime, it is amazing how you can grow wealth by stacking the odds in your favor and not getting too greedy.
Over a decade ago, I started sharing my strategies and helping other entrepreneurs learn how to put their money to work for them. I created a service called 12 Minute Trading where I teach these strategies and share every trade I do in a weekly newsletter and updates throughout the week. I can honestly say, it is the most comprehensive options selling service in the market place. If you are interested to learn more and get a free trial of the service, you can click here. It gives you a video series and my E-books on trading to help you learn and get started as well as the free trial.
You can also follow the 12 Minute Trading YouTube Channel where myself and top-trading mentor, Doc Severson share education and market commentary each and every week.
Here's to your success and building your wealth!
Mental toughness is critical to success. It plays a role in all areas of our lives. But, what does it mean to be "mentally tough?" And how do you know that you are building mental toughness in your life?
Over the years, I have found that there are 6 signs that someone is mentally tough. Here they are and more importantly, here's you can foster them in your life.
They Ask "How?"
Mentally tough people don't let setbacks, obstacles, or being told "no" get in their way. Instead, they ask "How?" How can something be done? How can the desired result be achieved? By asking "How?" this activates the part of the brain that starts you thinking and looking for other ways to solve a problem...it spurs innovation and creation. The next time you find yourself thinking something cannot be done, ask "How can it be done?" and then start to put your ideas down. You'll find the solution may be right in front of you.
They Understand Logic vs Emotion
99% of people make decisions or react to the things that happen in their lives with emotion. They have emotional responses to just about everything. There is a time and place for emotion, but it can also get your into trouble. Everyone has had a time (or many times) in their life where they reacted out emotion and regretted it later. The mentally tough understand when to seperate emotion and logic and use logic to to help overcome challenges and achieve their goals. For example, maybe there is a time where you gave up on something in your life. I bet if you looked back on it, it was emotion that drove the decision. You may have gotten to a point where "you just could not take it anymore" and you gave in. That is emotion. And every one has those moments, including the mentally tough. The difference is, the mentally tough recognize the emotion in the moment and separate it out. They then look at the situation logically and see how best to manage it based on what they can control, not focusing on what they cannot. They take action and work through - but don't give in unless the logic bears out that it is a fruitless effort. How can you better separate emotion and logic at key moments in your life?
They are Humble, But Believe in Themselves
The mentally tough may sometimes seem to be arrogant or have a higher opinion of themselves. The truth is that they are humble, but they have taken the time to "know thyself" and who they are and believe in themselves, their capabilities, and their potential. And they have built their mental strength up so that what others say or think does not bother them. Most of the time, they have a quiet confidence as they work toward what they want. There is nothing wrong with believing in yourself and charting your own path where others do not think is possible - just make sure to stay humble and be true.
They Keep Going in Spite of Fear
It may be surprising to note that the mentally tough get scared just like anyone else. They question things and have fear come into their lives. But, it should not be surprising that they have the mental fortitude to keep going in spite of the fear, the worry, and the doubts. This is where they separate emotion and logic the most. They recognize the emotional response of fear, but use their logic to work methodically through it and push forward through the fear. The next time you find yourself feeling fear, doubt, or worry - stop and ask yourself "What action can I take now that will help me in getting past this?" Then do it.
They Stand Strong in the Face of Real Adversity
True adversity is different than fear. Fear can come and go on a whim, but real adversity stares in you in the face and can seem insumountable. It takes a lot to overcome real adversity. Storming the beaches of Normandy and defeating the German army on D-Day was real adversity. It took the will to keep going and find a way or make one. The mentally tough do the same. They find the will to keep going in the toughest times in their lives. They will not let themslves give in or give up in the pursuit of their goals and what they want. What is the biggest adversity you face in your life right now? Are you shying away from it and taking it head on and working to overcome it? I can promise that if you choose to take it on and keep going until you get through it, you will be a better stronger person for it.
They are Extremely Disciplined
Mentally stong people are extremely disciplined in their lives and they use the discipline and structure they have created to help them stay mentally strong. In fact, being disciplined gives them the consistency in their day to be more effective and action oriented. It also helps to keep them on the path to success. Additionally, because for many, part of the structure is devoted to their health, it helps to keep them in their best shape physically and mentally to stay at their best. Do you have discipline and structure in your life? Do you hit the ground running each day knowing exactly what you need to do an accomplish for the day or do you find yourself going through days more aimlessly and distracted? In order to be your best, you must be productive. In order to do that, you must have discipline.
If you are looking to improve your mental toughness, take the time start incorporating these 6 traits into your life and before long, you will see the difference they can make.
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