A lot of people ask me how I am able to run multiple businesses, train for Ironman, and have the freedom I am very fortunate to have in life. The answer may surprise you.
The reason I am able to do all that I do and still have capacity to add other things in if I wanted is because of structure.
Structure equals freedom.
What does that mean? It means that I have created a structure in my life and businesses that allows me to be very productive and accomplish more in most days than people do in several. I don't say this to brag because I am no different than anyone else. If I didn't have the structure I have, I would be much less productive. And one of the best ways to fuel your success is through becoming more productive.
Here is what I've figured out over the years and I hope it helps you as well.
First, I figured out that I need to own my time and take control over it. This means that I put the time I need week in and out dedicated to me first. For example, I block out my training time, set my hours for coaching my clients, set times for focus on my Mastermind group, set my specific times for Misfit Entrepreneur interviews and show notes, as well as my personal growth time and any others that I need to focus on consistently each week. In fact, I am writing this blog during my blog writing time. I also put buffers on my day such as no meetings at 6pm are allowed to be scheduled unless I override it. I plug all of this into my Calendly scheduler and block these times in my calendar, so that the only times left for others to get time with me are the ones I allow them to. This is avoids people stealing time from you.
Second, I sit down every Sunday and plan my week out by day with the most important items I need to accomplish for each day in each business and area of my life. The allows me to hit the ground running daily knowing exactly what I need to do.
Third, at the end of each day, I review my daily To Do List to make sure everything has been accomplished and then look at the next day and plan for anything that needs it. I also may add tasks/important items to the day from things that come up during the week that need actioned.
Fourth, at the end of my week, I make a list of my 80/20 for the next week. 20% of what you focus on gives you 80% of your results. I want to make sure I know what those are before the next week begins, so I can have them ready for my Sunday planning.
Lastly, I action the plan like a maniac. This is the most important piece of the structure. If you don't action the plan, it does you no good. From the moment I get up, I am focused and actioning the tasks on my list. I use the fact that I have a plan to redirect me if I get sidetracked because I have my To Do List. So, if I am focusing on something that isn't on the list, I will notice and redirect myself.
Structure equals freedom, but you must action the structure with discipline and consistency for it to work for you. If you put a structure in place that is driving you toward your goals and action it every day - you will be amazed at all you can do and the freedom you can create for yourself.
Each year is a new beginning and represents a golden opportunity to start in new ways. Better ways. But, we need inspiration, not only to start the year, but to keep us going as the year goes on.
Here are 10 inspirational quotes to help you start you year off right and keep you going! Take some time to think on them and what they mean to you and your life.
You've got to let go of who you were, to become who you will be." Janet Fitch
"It's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." Eric Roth
"Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyway." Glennon Doyle Melton
"If you can't do anything about it then let it go. Don't be a prisoner to the things you can't change." Tony Gaskins
"Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't really you." Paulo Coelho
"Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you." David McCullough Jr.
"Some days you just have to create your own sunshine."
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..." Theodore Roosevelt
"All glory comes from daring to begin." Eugene Fitch Ware
"Gratitude changes everything."
I knew the day was coming and I prepared as best as I could for it, but I still had work through it. I'm talking about my final days in one of my longest held businesses. Last year, my business partner and I sold the business. For many years, we kind of operated like co-CEO's, a yin and yang of sorts. But, once the business was bought, I knew that the new owners would only need one of us and my business partner was the founder. We had planned for me to exit at some point over the year following the sale or move to another role and after a lot of discussion and a some soul searching, it was the right move for me to focus on my other ventures, like the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast and my investing education business,
12 Minute Trading.
Of course, I did well on the sale of the business and the new owners took great care of us, but leaving after 15+ years is still hard. Change always is. I love the people there and will continue to keep the great relationships I've had for many years - but it's time to move on.
I've gone through a lot of changes over the years and while this one was more of a planned change, I still have to navigate it and get used to not "being so busy." It's weird for me not to have all the meetings and appointments I'd typically have on my calendar each week. Here is what I've learned about change over the years.
Change = Opportunity
Every big change I've had in my life has resulted in tremendous opportunity - whether it was leaving a well-paid job years ago to take a chance on a little tech company with barely a salary or to start and commit to a weekly podcast, or selling a business. Every time, I found great opportunity in those changes. But, here is the thing - you have to make it happen. Opportunities are all around us and when you open your eyes for them, you will see them. But, most importantly, you have to action them and see them through. It took a lot of hard work, long nights and weekends - and finding the right people along the way, to build our company and get it into a position where it was high value for sale. Find the opportunity and then go at it with everything you've got.
Don't Dwell on It
Change it inevitable. Many times it comes for good reasons, but sometimes if happens for bad. Don't dwell on it. Like one of our Misfit Entrepreneurs, Harma Hartouni says, "5 Minute Funeral." Give it your 5 mins of emotion and then move on. In the end, you can only focus on what you can control and to let a change - especially a negative one - affect you, does no good. Instead pour all that energy and focus into the next chapter for yourself or your business.
Things Happen for a Reason
I truly believe things happen for a reason. This has been proven to me over many years. Each time change happens, it leads to something bigger and better. You may not know what it is immediately, but you will find it. For example, I now have more time to focus on the Misfit Entrepreneur and my investing, which are absolute passions for me. That time will help me to be more available to my students at 12 Minute Trading, give me more time in my own investing, and allow me to better grow the Misfit Entrepreneur so more people around the world can benefit from our message. I'm pretty excited about it.
Planning is Critical
As you navigate change, you will need to plan for what comes next. Whatever it is, sit down and go through everything in your mind. Get it out of your head and on paper. Then organize it and determine what you need to do and plan for it. You have heard before that if your fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning will help you take inventory, find clarity and determine your direction. It won't be perfect. No plan ever is, but it will help you tremendously.
Your Attitude Makes All the Difference
Lastly, as you navigate change, your attitude is very important. If it is poor, it will shut your mind down and you will miss the new opportunities in front of you. If you keep a healthy attitude and perspective, it will help you succeed. And by healthy, I mean not just a positive one, but a logical, realistic one. No matter what, you will have to do the work needed to maximize the opportunity in change, so you must have a positive, but sober attitude of what you need to do. And the best part is that, every day, you get to choose your attitude. So, choose a great one and then go out and make things happen for yourself!
Every year brings new opportunities to entrepreneurs and individuals. And each year, people start out full of hope with goals or aspirations in their minds - but usually by the end of the first couple months of the year, most have given up on things. There is an important reason for this and one that is most important to understand as you approach 2022 so as not to fall into the trap.
The reason most abandon their goals or aspirations is because they have been conditioned to instant gratification. When something doesn't materialize after a little effort, it gets abandoned and people move on. They give up way to easily and way to early. But, that is the lesson.
Remember this, "People overestimate what they can do in a week, but underestimate what they can do in a year."
So, as you go into 2022, the best advice I can give you is to play the long game and realize that all truly great things you accomplish take vigorous, hard work and sacrifice. Set your goals and aspirations high and then do what has to be done, for as long as it has to be done, to get them. Don't stop. Don't quit when you have setbacks. Don't give in to instant gratification. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in a year. You can change your whole life, you may even be able to change the world or some aspect of it.
The other day, I was looking at some personal growth assets to add to my arsenal going into 2022 and I cam across this 10 minute video that has been viewed almost 8 million times. The messages in it are incredible - and what it teaches you may just change your life. I suggest watching it 1x per month.
Good things come to those who wait. But, who has time to wait anymore? I say that as a joke, but it's true right? More and more, it seems that we have very little to no patience. We have been conditioned to expect instant results and most of the time we get them. So, I can't blame people for having little patience these days.
With that said, patience is a lost art in today's world - but those that come back to it an practice it reap great benefits. For example, I recently wrote an article about questioning a business growth strategy that had worked for a long time, but had recently faltered. The article was about how the strategy had worked for years and had issues over the course of about 6 weeks or so and I found myself wondering if I should abandon it. After some diligence and stepping back, I realized that the market for the strategy had acted out of character and now it has come back in line. I had the patience to stay with the strategy and now it is beginning to pay off again.
I literally was worried about a 6-week blip out of many years of success! But that is what we have been conditioned to do. If something doesn't work, many times right away, we abandon it. We can't wait for a browser to load slowly for the for the microwave to finish. But, if we can have patience and perspective and are willing to play the long game, we will be much more successful. I've seen this time and time again with guests on the Misfit Entrepreneur - those that play the long game win. In fact, many times they didn't have the best business or solution, they just outlasted everyone else to become the one on top.
Keep this lesson in mind next time you find yourself losing patience - especially with something proven to be successful. Give it the patience and time it's due and commit to playing the long game and it will pay off for you!
Doubt is a "double edged sword." Used wisely, it can product great results, but used un-wisely, it can destroy a person.
We all have doubts. In fact, it was doubt that crept into my mind on a certain area of one of my businesses that prompted me to write this post.
Let's start with how doubt can destroy you and your success. Doubt is powerful and can consume you. It can eat at you and sit in your mind - almost like a lead weight around your neck. No matter where you go, it's there. When you doubt yourself in area of your life and let it get the most of you, it will affect you negatively. It is very much like a downward spiral if you let the negativity take over. Your doubt feeds the negativity, the negativity affects other areas of your life and things get worse across more of those areas. This can and will adversely impact you.
This is what happens for most people because they don't know how to use doubt in a healthy way.
Used properly, doubt can fuel you. It can make you look inward and learn more about yourself, your character, and gain strength. You can leverage doubt to your advantage. But how do you do so?
The way I use doubt is to face it head on. If I have doubt creeping into my life in some area and I find myself questioning it or myself - I stop and concentrate on where it is coming from and why? Did I change anything major that caused it? Did I step out of character? Am I not be true to my principles and values? If it is any of those things, it is easily corrected by admitting it and righting the ship. But, if it is not one of those things and is just questioning myself or an area of my life, I make sure to gain perspective. For example, my doubt in my one businesses came from questioning one of my strategies I've used in the business successfully for some time. Recently, it has not worked very well and all the adjustments I tried didn't seem to work or made things worse. So, I stepped away and asked, "Has the market really changed that much or is the market for the strategy acting out of character?" It turns out, it was the latter. The market hadn't changed as a whole, it was just going through a weird patch. So, stuck with the strategy and while things are not fully back to normal, they definitely have gotten more in line and strategy is working again.
If I had let doubt win, I may have abandoned the strategy all together which would have been a horrible decision. Instead, I needed perspective and patience and by utilizing both, I was able to overcome my doubt and get back on track.
As I said in the beginning, you can leverage doubt for good or let it negatively impact you. It is choice, but stepping back, gaining clarity on the situation, and finding perspective will allow you to use to to your advantage and succeed at higher levels.
It's incredible that the end of 2021 is almost upon us. And with a final month to go, outside of finishing the year as strong as possible, entrepreneurs also need to do their best to prepare for success in the New Year.
Here are 3 important exercises all entrepreneurs should do before the New Year starts.
Review the Successes and Failures of the Current Year
A great exercise that should be done prior the end of every year is to take time for a serious review of the successes and failures of the current year. This needs to be planned and should have a day or so devoted to it. This is an opportunity to really look at your business, yourself, and your life and be honest with what you are doing well and where you need work. It is an opportunity to identify where you can better yourself in the new year. You put focused time into each area: Business, Yourself, and Your Life. Write down the successes you had over the year and the failures. Ask yourself why had the successes you had and what you can take from them to keep doing. More importantly, ask yourself where you failed and WHY and the write down how you can do better or overcome the failure the next time a similar situation presents itself.
Set Your Goals
I know, I know - everybody tells you to set goals. I am going to as well, but only after you have analyzed your successes and failures. How can you set goals if you don't know where you've been or how you got there? Analyzing your successes and failures in the areas of your life gives you the information you need to better set goals and make them more meaningful so you achieve them. As you set your goals, identify the resources or partners you may need to reach the goals and start reaching out to them to get things setup going into the New Year.
Plan for Your Success
Most people don't like doing tedious work - me included. But it's the tedious work that pays off over time. It is the attention to detail that can make the biggest difference. Once you have written your goals and identified the things you need to help reach them, you must plan for their success. At minimum, you should write what you need to do by month to stay on pace to reach them. Ideally, you should have it broken down by week and look for ways to accelerate reaching the goals so you can accomplish them even faster.
A lot of people know and talk about these 3 things when it comes to success, but very few actually do them. That may be the 4th action - Do it. Put the work in and it will pay off for you. Here's to a great 2022!
My Thanksgiving proclamation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this day, we give thanks. We give thanks to God. We give thanks to free enterprise and the possibility that entrepreneurship brings. And we give thanks to all of those who are with us, support us, and are part of our entrepreneur journey.
On this day, let us celebrate the incredible opportunity and life we have been given. Let us celebrate the ability to create the enterprise and life we desire, for entrepreneurs are a unique group of people that directly shape and change the world. Entrepreneurs have the ability to change lives and make them better and have the opportunity to help others reach their dreams as they reach for theirs.
We entrepreneurs have been given this opportunity and responsibility, not just by our choice to be an entrepreneur, but by our creator who put us on this earth to become the best of ourselves and share it with the world.
For this we must be ever thankful and humble, and we must give every day the best to we have to offer and share with this world. We must never give up or quit in the pursuit of our dreams and we should strive to share entrepreneurship and its benefits with all those around us. Entrepreneurs are what makes the world go. Without entrepreneurs, there are no jobs, no funding for governments, no progress, or no improvement in quality of life. Everything. I mean everything begins with entrepreneurship.
Because of this, we cannot and should not take our responsibility lightly and on this day of thanks, we should unite to as I take and adapt a phrase from George Washington, ”humbly offer our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our business and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually and to bless them with peace and concord, and grant unto entrepreneurs a degree of prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
With God’s help, Entrepreneurship is the answer to much of the problems and challenges in our world, and everyone can tap into this spirit within. May they do so and give thanks for the incredible opportunity that it brings.
So, there you have, my proclamation and solute to you entrepreneurs. Let me close by again saying thank you and expressing my gratitude for your support of the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wish you a wonderful, blessed day with your families and a great start to the holiday season!
Our world is rapidly changing and entrepreneurs must adapt to thrive and stay successful.
The challenge is that much of the old advice that worked for so long doesn't necessarily work nowadays. For example, "hard work" has always been advice to get ahead. Work hard and you will succeed, right? Maybe in some things these days, but I know people that work very hard and they don't get ahead. They are stuck in the same job or role and no matter how hard they work, there is not going to be a drastic change to their life situation - unless they change where and how they work.
The secret to thrive and succeed is to learn to become more productive - to do more with less and continue to expand it. This means that you need to work hard, but more importantly, smart at the right endeavor. You must have a way to create and expand wealth as an individual and as an entrepreneur. A great example of this is that for much of the last century, people were told to save their money and some day they could retire. But, since the early 1970's savers have become losers as the US dollar was taken off the gold standard and the currency has inflated ever since, eroding over 95% of the dollar's buying power. Because of this, saving money can't keep up with the rising costs that will continue, so savings will just continue to erode in value.
I'm not saying that people shouldn't save some money or have some cash on hand. What I am saying is that saving alone is not a good idea. Money is currency and that means it needs to keep moving to grow - it needs to be productive. To do this, it must be invested and used to continuously expand and grow either itself, a business, etc.
Take time to think about how you can be more productive and gain leverage. How can you do more with less? How can you invest to expand and grow? What old ways of thinking don't work any more and need to be cut out of your life or business?
Answer these questions and you'll be on your way to thriving in todays world!
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