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high performer

Giving Your A-Game – What it Takes to be a High Performer

When it comes to labeling common sense and things that happen in an everyday working environment, the Organizational Leadership (OLS) department at Purdue is my standard.

During my studies, I remember thinking “that makes sense” to so many concepts that we learned about. From the importance of the transition period in organizational change, to mentorship, to even something as simple as communication. There was a name for everything.

Since then, I’ve run across a number of topics that have blown me away. I find it amazing that something which originally seemed relatively vague and difficult to comprehend can be simply explained by a label and a quick explanation.

It love it whenever something just clicks into place.

Recently, as I’ve been preparing to be better version of myself in 2019, I’ve been reading several books that I’ve been meaning to in the last few years.

One of those books is Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits. And I have to say I’ve gotten a ton of takeaways from this book. In fact, I wrote about one of those takeaways in the last post.

And in this post, I have one more to share with you. It’s all about realizing if you’re bringing your current project, your current role, heck – even your current relationships, your A-Game.

 

Bringing Your A-Game

Now, a lot of us are familiar with this phrase. If not, bringing one’s A-Game is about giving something you’re working on or participating in your complete effort – your full commitment. It’s a phrase that I’m guessing originally came from the sport world – but it’s used in all kinds of situations.  

In life, we need to think as every day as game day.  You simply can’t achieve your goals with B-effort.

That being the case, not everyone brings their full focus or a great attitude to what they’re working on. And, since most projects consist of more than one person, I think we need to be able to identify what level of commitment people are at when they’re working with us.

So let’s take a look at these various levels or identities.

 

Game Player Identities

There are 5 identities we can give people we know in some aspect of our life. Whether that’s at work, a sports league, a band, or even in an online multiplayer guild situation. When we find something which is important to us, we often want to know that the other people on our team are putting in the same amount of effort – if not more.

When I think of great players in sports, I can’t help but think of all the extra time they put into mastering their craft. And you better believe that the best players at any competitive online game have a team that they regularly train with.

If this is the case, why shouldn’t we hold those that we work with – including ourselves – under the same expectations?

So here ya go:

Dabblers

They have a passing interest in whatever it is that they’re “involved” with. I wouldn’t even call it being “involved”. They’re basically just taking whatever they’re doing for a test drive and not really committing to it. Unfortunately, a good part of their life is probably this way. They don’t take much, if anything, serious.

Novices

Like Dabblers, they have an interest in what they’re doing. But, unlike Dabblers, they actually see themselves eventually mastering whatever it is that they’re doing. They want to commit.

Problem is, they might not do that well with discouragement. And whenever they hit a wall without the proper support, they might just shelve whatever they’re starting on. Be this for simply a later date or when they feel more prepared to take on the task.

 

Amateurs

These folks have more than an interest – they have a passion – in whatever it is that they’re working on. This passion (also known as a Why?) keeps them more committed to long term goals, but they tend to need more external motivation to keep going.

When I think of this group, I like to remember that the first time I heard of Tiger Woods, he was playing as an amateur. Sure, he had what it took to get to the next level, but how many people did he play with that didn’t move on to the pros? Likewise when it comes to college level sports, there’s a lot of external pressure from coaches for individuals to perform.

 

Players (Professionals)

When people become pros, not only do they have to perform on another level, but they are also in charge of themselves and their actions quite a bit more. As long as these folks feel as if they are being fairly compensated for their efforts, then they’ll do fine.

However, they are also highly dependent on set rules and routines.

I think this is one reason why you see a lot of college recruited players fail at playing professional sports. They’re simply not prepared to make the transition. They don’t see the change of the game and their surroundings as fair. A good example of an athlete failing to make this transition is Ryan Leaf. (Even though he’s realized it since then.)

We don’t see this in just sports either. Many people outside of sports have issues with this transition, too.

For example, a lot of military personnel really struggle with life when they get out.

When they’re in their unit, they’re used to a certain way of doing things. They have a certain job that they’re supposed to do to make the machine work.

However, when they are discharged, they simply don’t have the support to make a successful transition to a civilian life.

When players don’t have things go their way, they find it hard to recover at times.

 

High Performers

Finally, we have the pinnacle of performers. The elite players – the GOATs (Greatest of all Time).

What is it about these folks that makes them so successful? Well, for one, they have greater all-around necessity, skill, and team spirit. In fact, not only do they have such a high degree of personal excellence and duty to their team (which makes them the de facto go-to player), but they have this uncanny ability to make everyone around them better.

When you think of these people in sports, we often think of people like Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and for you baseball fans – Babe Ruth. Who do you want to have the last chance to score?

In the working world, people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs come to mind. Who would you want to run your company?

While these individuals might not have an well rounded life, they’re definitely well known for their work – their game. They don’t want to master just one of area of the game – but want to be known for their commitment in mastering the game entirely.

 

Action Steps

Pretty interesting, huh? Just like last post, my recommendation for your next step is to get this book of Brendon’s and read (listen to) it. In the last couple of years Gary V is credited for saying “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless.” In a nutshell, knowing how to be a high performer is knowing how to act on your personal mission.

find your niche

How to Find Your Niche and REALLY Act On It!

 One of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey could be a great subtitle for what I’ve been thinking about lately:

“The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

For the first two years of the reboot of the New Inceptions, I was working on content pretty much daily. Whether it was writing a blog post or working on the AoL Podcast (and becoming an audiophile), I was doing the work that I thought I should be doing to get ahead in this online business world.

As you might have heard on the show itself (or even on other shows I’ve been a guest on recently) I’m starting to see a bit of a shift from entrepreneurs being more interested in “hustling” to being more about “lifestyle design”.

I’ve also noticed that there’s a bit of a formula for those who seem to get it all done but also live life to the fullest.

In this post, I want to touch a little bit about both.

 

Find Your Niche: Home is Where the Heart Is

In the last week or so, I finally released the guide called Uncover Your Personal Mission. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the gist. It helps you find your personal mission and start thinking about what kinds of businesses you would excel in. Your mission is the combination of what you love (your passion), what you’re good at (your process), and how you can provide value to other people (your purpose). I call it the 3 P’s. (Some refer to one’s personal mission as the Sweet Spot.)

In the resource, I give 9 questions per P to help you determine what it is if you don’t already know.

I wish it was something that I had access to when I was going through high school and college. It would have made my time in each more enjoyable and more focused.

Now that this resource is out there, I’ve been hearing more and more people in different podcasts talking about the importance of finding your mission. While they might use different terminology (Determining Your Sweet Spot, Finding Home, “Goldilocks” zone, etc), it’s all hovering around the same concept: How to learn what you’re supposed to as a grown up.

If You Won the Lottery, What Would You Do Differently?

Recently in the US we had a lottery where the winner had the opportunity to win $2 billion dollars.

When I was thinking about buying some tickets, a question came up. If I won, what would I change in my day to day work schedule?

I really couldn’t think of anything. Sure I might hire a team to help me do more, but I’m already starting to get a lot of that support through the Amplify team.

With that in mind, it occurred to me that while my life isn’t perfect, I’m pretty happy in general.

Because, after all, happiness isn’t the result of the obtaining the end goal itself. It’s all about the pursuit of something that you care about.

 

Pursuing Meaning at a High Level

It’s one thing to know what you’re supposed to do, it’s quite another to actually do work on a daily basis that will get you to where you want to be.

This is why one of my favorite thought leaders, Brendon Burchard, researched and released a book called High Performance Habits.

Now a lot of you guys might know Brendon for starting Experts Academy. That’s how I first learned of him myself. But since then, he’s also put a TON of time and effort in studying the habits that the top performers in the world practice regularly.

And believe it or not, one of the things that you don’t necessarily want to focus on is honing your strengths! (Yeah, crazy, huh?)

6 Habits of High Performers

Here are the 6 habits all high achievers should be focusing on:

  1. Seeking clarity
  2. Generating energy
  3. Raising necessity
  4. Increasing productivity
  5. Developing influence
  6. Demonstrating courage.

Now, after reading that list, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might realize that I already write about some of these.

Interestingly, I’ve already talked about clarity in this very post!

However, while finding your personal mission right now is a big help in getting started, it’s something you need to keep track of regularly. Life changes around us, and as that happens, we need to keep the right priorities in front of us. Because they will change.

And just as you should keep track of what’s important to you, it’s also important to develop and track your progress in these other 5 habits.

Sure, you can do it on your own in spreadsheets, but, in the last week or so I’ve learned that Brendon is releasing his own “journal” to help us.

However, it’s not just a journal. In fact, if you’re familiar with the 5 Minute Journal (which has been a favorite of mine for sometime) – it sounds like it builds on it. (I haven’t received mine yet to fully talk about what it is and isn’t.)

 

Action Steps

So guys, I think 2019 and 2020 are going to be years of change. People you’ve known for “hustling” for the last 5 to 10 years are going to start discussing “lifestyle” more often.

The truth is that everyone in this “online entrepreneurial” space has gotten just a wee bit older. They don’t feel the need to grind as much. On top of that, as more Millennials enter this space, “meaning’ is just going to become an ever larger presence.

So do yourself a favor. Find out what your personal mission is and then start executing it with those 6 habits!

 

quality content

Creating Effective Quality Content

When it comes to marketing today, there’s a certain idea all digital marketers have to follow. We have to add value before we get the sale.

What does that mean?

Well, for most, it means that we have to educate our potential clients or customers about what it is that we do or make.

In fact, it can take up to 6 to 8 touches before a prospect becomes a buyer.

Typically, those touches take the form of “content”.

Content can take the form of videos, audio, or even text – like this blog. And it’s usually in the form of an educational format.

In this post, we’re going to look at a few places that we can find ideas for good content in 2018 and beyond.

 

Natural Content vs SEO Driven Content

When we’re thinking about creating content that attracts potential customers, we might be tempted to do a number of things. Most of these fall into three types.

Natural Content Creation

The first type is one where the focus is mainly on what our own individual customers or clients want. As a creative entrepreneur, this is something that seems a bit more natural.

The goal of creating this content is usually to retain and educate the clients, audience, or customers you already have.

 

SEO Driven Content Creation

The second type of content is content that is created specifically for what Google (or other search engines) suggest people are searching for.

Knowing this information allows us to create content specifically based on these search terms or “keywords”.

The end goal of this type of content creation to bring in more people into your sphere of influence.

If you’re not familiar with the term SEO, it simply is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. The idea behind it is that If a particular site has good SEO, the site will rank hire in Google’s search results.

The goal is to appear on the first page of results.

At one point, it was much simpler to understand what would rank a website higher than another in Google. So much so, that if you understood the fairly rudimentary rules, you could start your own solopreneur business or small agency offering it as a service.

In fact, I remember back in 2010, there were several people in my social circle that worked for a couple of startup SEO companies here in Indianapolis.

Today, while SEO still exists and is still useful, it’s getting harder and harder to predict how Google ranks websites. They’re constantly changing what variables make our sites rank higher.

Some of those variables even include traffic on the site, authority of the site, and how quickly the site loads for individuals browsing the site.

 

Hybrid Content Creation

Ideally, since the SEO world has become so hard to predict, the best thing we should do is create content that not only has keywords in it, but also is made to educate your currently existing audience.

The main way to do this is to simply to find out what your audience is asking about, find out what keywords in Google are related to those questions, and then build content based on the results you find.

Doing good SEO work on your site is not the scope of this particular post. However, I have two recommendations for you if you have a WordPress based site.

 

  1. Make sure you have the Yoast SEO Plugin. I personally recommend the premium version because it has some kick butt features (including multiple keywords) and you only have to pay for it once. 
  2. Secondly, when you’re searching for keywords, you can use a free tool within Google Adwords called the Keyword Finder. When you’re searching, there are two columns that everyone should consider. The average monthly volume, and the competition.


Ideally, you want an Average Monthly Volume of 1k – 10k (number of searches a month). If you try anything higher than that, there’s a much higher chance your site won’t be seen in the front of the results. If you use anything less than that, you might be targeting a smaller group of people.

Once you find a keyword that hits that 1k – 10k search sweet spot, then you’ll want to check it’s competition. Ideally, you want a keyword that has low competition. However, from time to time you might have to use a keyword that is marked as a medium. I rarely use those that have high competition.

Here’s a visual of what I’m talking about:

quality content

How to Find Your Audience’s Questions

If you choose to go the natural or hybrid route, you’re creating your content with your audience in mind.

If that’s the case, there are a few places where you can get topic ideas from your audience – directly and indirectly.

  1. Ask them! You can send out a survey to your followers (whether it’s through Messenger, email, or whatever you prefer).
  2. Check out what’s being asked and discussed in Facebook groups or other online forums that are related to your topic. If you think you can go into further detail than what’s covered in the post, go for it. 
  3. See what other thought leaders in your industry are talking about. What are your favorite blogs, podcasts, speakers, and/or authors discussing? They probably have already done the research to find a good topic to discuss. Feel free to add your voice to the conversation!

 

Action Steps

When we’re having to create content on a regular basis for our audiences, we might draw a blank when we’re looking. Once you have an idea of what kind of content type you’re going to be creating (whether it’s natural, SEO focused, or a hybrid of the two), then you just need a spark of inspiration. If anything, this gives you a good excuse to check in with leaders of your industry!

 

patrons only

Patrons Only! – Making Past Seasons of the AoL Podcast “Pay to Listen”

As I mentioned in the last podcast, I’m going to start putting past “seasons” of the podcast behind a Patreon paywall. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to flip the switch until late December… and I’ll only be asking $3/mo to have access. 🙂

It’s a result of a lot of strategic reorganizing I’ve been doing recently.

This week, I’ll be pushing out session 134 with Antonio Smith, and as I said in the last session with Dom Brightmon, it just feels with all that’s going on with New Inceptions and Amplify Indy – I feel like it’s time to actually get over the hurdle of going from strictly FREE to PAID content.

Personally, I feel that $3 is a good number for a monthly patron fee. It surely isn’t going to break the bank, and frankly, one typically can spend more on drive thru food. Since what the show has to offer is comparably more beneficial, I think it’s a fair starting price.

That said, you might be wondering what has taken me so long to pull the trigger on this decision.

Well, I’ve been struggling with what’s called the FREE to PAID hurdle.

This hurdle involves a few questions:

  • How do you make something that starts off free into something you pay for?
  • Will the audience still be there once it goes behind a paywall?
  • What’s the right price point?

In this post, I’ll give you a few of my thoughts after hearing a podcast over Fizzle awhile back.

 

Marketing Plays to Our Buying Habits

When it comes to what we think of the “traditional” offline world of business, NOTHING is free. However, since the mid to late 2000’s, the internet has revolutionized how marketing is done. No longer do we first hear something on a show or commercial on a major network or channel, then determine if we want to buy from there.

Instead, when we hear a name, product, or service we go look to see what’s on the web about said item or person. We look for reviews in Angie’s List. We look to see if they have any other content. Or we go to Amazon to see what others have thought about the item in question.

Usually, the more content this person has out there or the more good reviews they or the product have, the more we pay attention to it.

Eventually, there’s a good change we will buy whatever is being sold.

Podcasts in the past have been a part of this marketing. Inherently we think that most shows are free. But are they?

 

Monetization of Efforts

No content or work is free. It takes resources to produce a good or service. Shows that are on TV are powered by the sponsors of the network through commercials.

Big podcasts are typically sponsored by ads as well.

Heck, even when you look at big channels on YouTube, they’re doing some sort of monetization – even if you can’t tell up front how they’re making an income doing what they do.

When I thought about how I was going to monetize Angles of Lattitude, I originally thought that affiliate marketing was going to be the best way to do it. But as online streaming of podcasts has become more common, we’ve all grown accustomed to skipping past parts of interviews we don’t want to hear – including the pitch at the beginning and end. (For example, I know Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss usually take 5 minutes to get into their conversations!).

Because I’m not a fan of midrolls, I’ve opted not to use them in the show. Yes, I know they’re the only marketing that people don’t always tune out during podcasts – I just personally don’t care for that jump in the conversation.

So trying to think of an alternative to doing midrolls, I thought about how people on Twitch make their income.

And what I found out is that it typically is done through two ways:

  • A handful of large sponsors or
  • many individuals supporting the show through donations. Many times those donations are through a Patreon or a similar service.

After checking with a sample of listeners, it sounded like that last one was something you guys would prefer. A show for the listener powered by the listeners.

 

Action Steps

So there’s my reasoning for getting my account started on Patreon. Again, when you go on there you’ll see that there’s actually 2 categories of support. The first one is for supporters of the show and the the second is more for partners.

Remember, that I’ll be implementing this change before 2019 rolls around. So make sure you binge on shows older than a year before Christmas. I’ll let everyone know through the show when the official landing page is up.

Also, be sure to check out the post from Fizzle called The Hurdle Between Free and Paid if you’re thinking about making something you now offer for free into something you collect money for.

online entrepreneurs

10 Amazing Links for Online Entrepreneurs in 2019

As us creative business owners go down our individual paths, we often find ourselves entrenched in situations that might take our focus off of the bigger picture from time to time. For me, I’ve been neck deep in catching back up with marketing so that I can better help the citizens of Amplify Indy.

So what I do from time to time, is reach out to others to see what new websites they’ve found in their journeys.

In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the best links the we AoL Podcast hosts think can help make an impact on you in 2019. I hope they will help you in the last quarter and well into next year.

 

JC’s

The podcasting world is changing all the time. This podcast keeps me up to date with that world. If you’re a podcaster (or soon will be), keep ahead of how the industry is changing by listening in on this short and to the point podcast.

 

Ok, I admit it, I’m a podcast fanatic. They allow me to listen to new ideas on the go without having to divert all my attention to them (ahem, looking at you Facebook videos!).

This particular show has Joel Comm as one of the hosts. Easily one of the more down to earth personalities in the online business world.

If you’re not familiar with cryptocurrency and want to get started OR you’re wanting to hear the newest of news, this is a pretty good place to get your info from.

 

I’m still pretty new to this community, but from what I can tell, they’re pretty awesome. Especially if you want help automating your marketing or simply want to market more effectively.

Back when I was in the Foundation, I learned the skills of making SaaS products that people want.

Since then, I’ve applied what I’ve learned into helping clients with their marketing. However, I always wondered what would happen if I had fully pursued the path that Dane Maxwell taught in the course.

Tier5 is what I’d imagine would be the result if some of the students of the Foundation got together and made a membership for their clients to use their software. As of this post, they have a little more than a handful of marketing apps which allow their users to automate many marketing tasks.

 

Veronica’s

Success Principles – Jack Canfield is a co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Over his 30 years as a professional, he’s studied, taught, and lived certain principles. In this book we learn what they are and how we can use them in our lives in a practical manner. Even if you’re already successful, it’s an inspiring guide that will help any aspiring person get from where they are to where they want to be.

Female Entrepreneur Association – One of my older resources. Founder Carrie Green has made an online hub with the mission of inspiring and empowering women from around the world to turn their ideas into a reality, build successful businesses and live a life they love.


Every single one of us has the ability to achieve incredible things and life is too short to waste the opportunity to make it happen.

The Intern – In my recently released book Stories of Elders (which you can find out more about it in session 132), I traveled across the country to find out how technology has changed the lives of members of the Greatest Generation.

While Robert De Niro is a Baby Boomer, I think this movie does a good job of portraying the differences of generations, how they work mesh in an high tech entrepreneurial setting, and how we can still all learn from each other.

Harrison’s

Martech: This is fellow Indianapolis citizen’s Doug Karr’s blog. Let’s just say that if you have a question about something on digital marketing or just optimizing your online business, you’re going to find some kind of tips here.

 

Disrupt You!: Jay Samit is actually my mentor. He’s a living legend that has disrupted multiple industries. A ton of takeaways from this book, but my favorite has to be –

“The joy of disruption comes from accepting that we all live in a temporary state.”

With all the opportunities available through technologies, one may ask “where do I start?” A very logical question.

In his book, he explains how most disruptors success stories involve the individuals pivoting their way from failures to success after many attempts. MANY!

That’s right, the chances of you nailing it on the first try are slim to none. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying.

If you want to succeed, make sure you are ready to embrace failure and mistakes. It’s meant to happen so that you can align yourself with the correct solution.

 

Business Rockstars: While it’s not as good as it used to be when my friend Ken Rutkowski owned it, it’s still a great resource. If you want advice from entrepreneurs who have made it to the top, this is definitely a place where you can find what they have to say. Not only that, but it’s a great community too where you can find mentorship and excellent group coaching.

 

Startup Grind: If your thing is to learn from people who have more recently been where you’re at, then you might want to check out the Startup Grind community. This Google owned platform is a valuable resource to get education, inspiration, and connection to other entrepreneurs.


Action Steps

Have something to add to this list? Let us know below!

negative effects of social media

7 Negative Effects of Social Media on Society & the Entrepreneur

In recent episodes of the podcast, I’ve talked about how I’ve started avoiding social media as much as possible.

This is a huge turn around from someone who at one point completely embraced having social experiences online. Even though I’m a Xennial, one of the main reasons I relate with Millennials so much is that I took to social media like a duck to water.

Technology was always easy for me. In fact, I was a online geek before it was cool.

I embraced chat rooms, messaging, blogging, and online purchases way before they were mainstream.

Thing is, since its inception social media has changed into somewhat of a popularity game.

Does popularity equal success?

What I’ve come to find out, for me personally, is that it doesn’t necessarily correlate.

And it might be time for a lot of us struggling entrepreneurs to re-check our own desires before we continue down this path.

 

Designed With You In Mind

There have been a few instances where people who helped start social sites have actually logged off permanently from their own creations.

In the above linked article, it reads…

Former Facebook vice president of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya said that social media is “eroding the core foundations of how people behave” and that he feels “tremendous guilt” about creating tools that are “ripping apart the social fabric.

He adds,

We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded in these short-term signals—hearts, likes, thumbs up—and we conflate that with value, and we conflate it with truth. And instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short-term and that leaves you even more—admit it—vacant and empty before you did it, because then it forces you into this vicious cycle where you’re like “What’s the next thing I need to do now because I need it back?”

In short, those of us who scroll through Facebook regularly are being subjected to material that has an impact on our self-esteem.

You might be wondering how this is actually being done? What are some examples? Well, here’s a few things that we’re being subjected to without really even realizing it:

Ads

When it comes to ads on TV, magazines, and other media, we tend to block it out.

However, we’re programmed to believe that the newest trends are found on social. Therefore, we’re somewhat oblivious to the advertising that is there. Mainly because they’re tuned to relate to our interests, we only see things that we would buy. So whenever we see an ad by our favorite company, thought leader, or celebrity, we’re actually being coerced to think in a specific way: to buy!

Showing Only The Best of Life

Just about everyone who posts on social media only does so when notable things are happening. Just think of family and friends who are known for this. Are their lives really that great? If you’re not around them regularly in person, you might just think so!

Likewise, same thing goes for people who seem they’re on all the time and posting great content. However, this doesn’t mean that that’s how their reality actually is.

Many times these posts are carefully planned and the result is something that has been rehearsed.

 

Keeping Up with the Jones’

Even if we’re not seeing these “fake” posts, we might still feel that our social network is at a higher place than we currently are in life. Many of us who have used social media regularly start to use it as an extension of our identity. That means that all those videos, photos, and mini-novels we’re posting are pieces of ourselves.

If you don’t have all those things posted, then you might feel that you’re not keeping up in appearances. This in itself might just make you feel like you’re not up to par.

 

Need for Attention

When we first make an account on a social media platform, we might have done so to not only see what’s going on in the world, but to also let others know what we’re doing.

However, often times when we post a picture or video and only get a few likes or hearts, we might wonder why – often times feeling rejected.

 

Fake Connections

When many of us first started our accounts on Facebook, it was the norm to only add people you knew or met in real life. In fact, it was downright weird to add people you didn’t know.

Later, when games started showing up, the more friends we invited and added to the game, the more points or credits we might have received.

The problem is that we only knew so many people who played games on Facebook, so many gamers started adding people that they found in those games to play with. (This isn’t anything new – it’s how online gaming normally works.)

As time went on, it became the norm to add more random people based on other things we mutually liked or barely conversed with in some group (if at all!).

If we have a number of these connections, we might feel that it’s necessary to stay in front of these folks – especially if we have a business. Many of them might be potential leads.

But the truth is that many of these “online friends” are adding you for their own purposes. Maybe they simply want you to be part of their audience for their videos and posts. Or maybe they just want to max out their friend count so they appear as if they have a strong following to others.

Either way, don’t put much time into making these people happy if they’re not regularly engaging with you. They’re probably not even paying attention to what you’re posting because they’re too involved with what they’re doing.

 

Knowledge

There are a ton of groups on Facebook which look like they’re a group to foster relationships between like minded people. Unfortunately, these groups are often made with an end goal in mind. Many times that end goal is you buying something from the founder.

However, you might feel that you’re outsmarting the system by soaking in everything they freely post in that group and making the connections yourself.

If this is the case, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice.

Truth is, you’re not an expert like them and there very well could be something that they’re leaving out on purpose to keep you coming back in search of that one piece.

You probably won’t know until you buy that missing piece through their course.

 

Attention Interruptions

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve noticed people filming things on their phone where they should be simply enjoying the moment and soaking it in. Or, maybe they’re on their phone when they should be engaging with those around them.

The thing is that many of us are not fully engaged in our daily lives because we’re too busy documenting our activities to make us look interesting on social media. (For online business owners, it’s even more common!)

However, depriving ourselves of these fulfilling moments will work against us in the long run. We might feel a lower connection with those around us than we wish we did. We might not have many recent epic memories where we’re not holding the phone up in front of us.

If you find yourself wanting to do a better job of chronicling your experiences, then you might consider enjoying the moment first and then before the end, making sure you got a picture of what was going on and everyone involved. That might make more sense then to record the entire thing.

 

Action Steps

So guys, this post was simply about building awareness.

We all need to think about whether income is more important to us than popularity. If so, you don’t have to have a huge audience to make a good monthly income.

In fact, I know of several people who are millionaires that only started building their thought leader following once they were financially successful. JR Rivas (AoL Podcast 104) is one of those guys. Another is Damion Lupo (AoL Podcast 125).

Give it some thought and be more aware of how others are influencing you to think!

fear of change

Avoid Stagnation by Embracing Our Fear of Change

If you’ve been following along in the blog and listening to the podcast, you guys might have realized that in the past year I’ve started being a bit more sporadic in when I’m putting out content.

About a year ago, the podcast went to being released every other week. Then, in the last couple of months, I’ve started posting blog posts roughly every other week as well.

As I’ve ramped down the production in my deliverables, I’ve started working on other projects. Specifically, I’ve started working with Harrison on Amplify here in Indy quite a bit. I’ve been working on becoming a representative for a company I’m looking forward to telling you guys about. And I’ve also been spending some time doing a bit more travel. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve visited Honduras and went to San Diego three times.

When I was delivering content every week, I simply didn’t have the capacity to do any of this.

However, it wasn’t an easy decision. I did this, my mind would try to talk me out of it pretty regularly. I’d find myself asking these questions…

I’ve built a fair amount of momentum with New Inceptions to this point, what if letting up on content delivery has a negative result?

Will the online relationships I’ve built in the last couple of years fall apart?

Maybe Indy isn’t the right place to build an entrepreneurial community?

What would my inspirations think of me who continue to pour out content on a weekly basis?

What if…?

 

These were all things that COULD go wrong. But my reality was that working on New Inceptions like I was, was wrong for me.

I was simply burning myself out and wasn’t fulfilling all that I wanted to do.

So, I had to make a change. Now I have it set that I have two week schedules. I call them ‘A’ and ‘B’ weeks. On A weeks, I’ll continue to release content as before. But on ‘B’ weeks, I’ll be making more of an effort to do things locally, work on other larger projects, or travel.

 

Seeking an Entrepreneurial Community

I’ve always had a belief that the Midwest is full of hard working individuals. Many times, those same individuals are so focused on what they’re doing, that they don’t look around to see what opportunities are passing them by.

One thing that has passed us by is the advent of the online entrepreneurial community.

When I think of the success of the thought leaders that have inspired me, I realize that most of them have had their success in towns that have already established these communities. In fact, I know people who have moved from places without these communities to those like San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland simply due to this access.

It’s much easier to build an audience on the shoulders of others who have already built theirs. And the best way to get access to their audience is to engage with them in the real world.

Working on New Inceptions the way I was… I realized I was isolated. It simply wasn’t going to work. I had to reach out.

Enter Collaborate 317.

When I first started working with those that were in Collaborate 317 last year, I had no idea what kind of impact it’d have on my work.

At the time, I simply wanted to connect with other like minded individuals in the area and feature them on the “Junto Show”. However, when the doors of C317 closed, I had a question come up in my head – what was my mission? What was the mission of the Junto group in the first place? Was it the same as New Inceptions as a whole? Were they same?

As I came to an answer, I started to realize that working with people in real life means just as much to me as engaging with people online – maybe even more so.

 

Discovering My Personal Mission

As I started engaging more and more with people in my area, I realized that much of the knowledge that I had picked up over the years was very valuable to them. When I would discuss with them names I thought were common in the world of entrepreneurship, they’d be like “Who?”.

As large as us online entrepreneurs and thought leaders might think that the industry is, I really believe that we’re way off. In fact, I think it’s like comparing the number of people who have graduated from college to those who haven’t. When you’re in the process of going to and graduating college, you think it’s pretty common. But funny thing is, it’s pretty special that you got through – even today when a lot of jobs require a bachelor’s.

So what I’ve realized that it’s my job too help Harrison and our friend Josh “The Bach” Bach, build an offline community with Amplify. The goal of Amplify is to simply help those who haven’t been connected yet, get connected and see what’s truly available to them in today’s world. Not only do that, but give them the support as they reach up to the next level of their career.

Once we prove our prototype here in Indy, we plan to create chapters all over the world.

 

Why Add this Complexity?

Some might wonder why I’d choose this path instead of just leaving Indy and moving to a city like San Diego

While I really do appreciate the weather there, the places I’ve been are great places to visit, but they’re just not home.

One of the things that I’ve learned about myself is that one of my fundamental beliefs is that anyone is capable of doing anything – provided that their talents allow it.

Sure, it’s easier to join people who already going in the same direction at the same speed, but for me, it’s much more fulfilling to bring others up to speed with me.

Plus since it’s not as saturated here in the Midwest, it allows me to get in on the ground floor and become a founder of the movement. Being able to build a community that I know already works elsewhere is really exciting.

Interestingly, when I think about it… when I’m working with other people in smaller sessions, I really feel that I get the opportunity to improve my skills as a teacher as well as a person.

 

Fear and Stagnation

So as I’m excited for this new part of my journey, I can’t help but think about the problems that we’re working with these founders and entrepreneurs on. The biggest thing I’ve run into is that they’re running into this exact situation that I’m talking about in this post.

They fear the pain of loss more so than wanting to succeed.

But this is totally explainable. Fear and worry can be very important. In our evolution, they’ve kept our ancestors safe. So technically we’re hard wired to be fearful.

The issue is when it comes to exploring new projects or changing our business up a little… we’re not really in a life threatening situation. Even though it might really feel that way.

Living with this fear over a long period of time can in fact cause the opposite of what we want for ourselves. In can cause us to stagnate and stay in place. And what’s potentially worse, it might suck out the joy that we got from our work when we first set out in the first place.

Embrace the Fear of the Unknown


To prevent this, we need to allow ourselves to explore the unknown. We must acknowledge that being uncomfortable with the unknown isn’t forever. We’ll gain experience with whatever we’re doing and learn.

Just like I have with the podcast.

So there’s your choice when you get stuck in a rut: Either stay uncomfortable doing things because that’s the way it’s been done in the past, or embrace the suck of experimenting with things that could be.

 

Action Steps

So what are you doing in your work or business that you feel simply isn’t doing it for you. Did it ever? Or were you just doing what you thought was the right thing to do?

If you feel like you’re in a rut, it’s time to get thinking about what your ideal situation would be. What must you do to get to that point?

As usual, I’d love to engage with you in the comments below. Let’s brainstorm together!