business team

Dirk van Reenen – A Great Challenge Means Great Opportunity – How to Build a Pivot Ready Business Team from Day 1 (AoL 180)

For a lot of business owners, the pandemic has cost them their livelihood. For example, Yelp! recently shared that 55% of the businesses using their platform which closed down due to the pandemic aren’t coming back. What’s a business team to do when you’re looking at those kinds of numbers? How can you avoid having to close down?

The answer, I believe, is all about being able to make a pivot. And this is something we’ve been discussing in great detail on the show.

Unfortunately, for some business teams, pivoting might not be too obvious. Sure, curb service and delivery for some restaurants makes sense, but what if your restaurant wasn’t so much a restaurant, but a bar? What if you’re reliant on a market that’s not doing so great right now such as realty?

Today’s guest, Dirk van Reenen, excels at helping teams focus on the foundations of business and how they scale their businesses in ways that they might not have noticed before. In fact, with the future looking like things will be changing faster and faster, it’s important that all businesses know how to quickly pivot.

So what does that look like? Well, the first thing is all about building the right team – and that’s where today’s conversation takes us.

Listen in as Andy and I learn more about Dirk’s business BERGflow and how it might benefit those of us going through or preparing to go through a hard time.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What’s the path that Dirk followed to eventually starting BERGFlow? 9:45
  • Where did the name BERGFlow come from? 15:20
  • What are some things people need to consider when building a team as a solopreneur? 20:24
  • What challenges does remote work give to a group who’s forming into an effective team? 26:50
  • If a leader finds themselves in a situation where there’s trust issue in the team, how can they get back some of the control in their group? 32:02
  • According to Dirk, what’s the importance of a business team building something worthwhile? 38:54
  • What kind of things is Dirk looking forward to as we move into a different world post-pandemic? 45:40
  • What’s the best advice he’s ever received? 51:40
  • Which three books does he gift or tell others about? 52:11
  • What’s the smallest decision he’s made that has had the largest impact in his life? 54:22
  • What’s one thing all high school students must know? 59:01
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:01:41

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Dirk Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube
Cohost: Andy Dix
Powered By: Kennected
Documentary – Happy – (Flow in BERGfow comes from this documentary)
Rocketfuel – Visionary / Operator (or Integrator) relationship
David Osborn- Dirk’s Mentor
e-myth revisited
Chris Tuff AoL Interview
Think and Grow Rich
The Fish that Ate the Whale
The Road Less Stupid – Keith Cunningham
Loving What Is – Byron Katie

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

How to Navigate the Early Stages of Shift

Adapting to the Shift

Where is the Bottom of This?

What are you doing to Pivot and Move Forward?


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

social influencer

Rohan Kale – So You Want to be a Social Influencer?: A Look at Social Media Marketing in 2020 and Beyond (AoL 179)

Today, more than ever, videos play a large part in social media marketing. If you have a goal of becoming a social influencer, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll need to know how to not only make but produce good quality content to attract people to be part of your audience.

Here’s the catch, though. Not all business owners want to be social influencers. In fact, many business owners might prefer to stay out of that particular limelight because they feel that it would take even more time to make that extra content. Time they could be spending doing what works and less experimenting with new content.

So how does someone who prefers to work their craft and/or work 1 on 1 with their clients, find the time to create and edit this new content?

Well, truth is, they need to bring in someone who has a proven process to attract the right type of audience.

Our guest, Rohan Kale, fits the bill. Personally, I call him more of a social media marketing architect. Not only does he has the process down, but like an architect, hires out the in person work to local videographers.

It’s a really fascinating business model.

In this session, Andy and I learn how he got started in business and what about his approach makes his process a winner today and in the future.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Rohan’s choice to go to business school eventually lead to starting his own business? 14:31
  • When it comes to building a business, is it worth becoming a social influencer first or should it be a focus in fortune? 20:17
  • How can someone increase their lead generation with a limited budget? 22:00
  • How do you shift the thought of online marketing being a gamble to a one where you know it has a given ROI? 25:18
  • What factors should a business owner consider when they’re determining whether to stay localized or go global with their marketing? 26:48
  • For someone who has an in person based business, how does Rohan make his business work from the other side of the world? 29:39
  • What mistakes does Rohan commonly see with those who want to be a social influencer? 31:40
  • What are three tips he’d recommend to those who are looking to expand their reach and influence? 33:10
  • How has the pandemic affected his business? 38:16
  • What is one song, one book, and one film Rohan he’d add to the curriculum in school? 39:53
  • What’s the best advice he’s ever received? 46:25
  • What new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved his life? 47:35
  • What is something people don’t realize is a huge waste of money? 49:14
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 51:33

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Rohan Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
Cohost: Andy Dix
Powered By: Fizzle (Start get started for free today!)
CBS Sunday Morning Story on the Workplace
Pursuit of Happyness (Will Smith)
Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
Bollywood Music videos mentioned by Rohan: Dilko Ko Tumse pyar hua and Yaaron
Malhari – My go to Bollywood music video

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Introduction to Rohan’s Agency

The Basics of Video Marketing

How to Create Your LinkedIn Profile

How to Pivot in Adversity


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

entrepreneurial mindset

Joe Trodden – Dissecting the Entrepreneurial Mindset – Why It Takes More than a Visionary to Achieve Great Things (AoL 172)

When it comes to the entrepreneurial mindset, most of the time we hear topics that the new business owner needs to know. It’s great to know that there’s so much support for folks new to the game. In fact, people like my unofficial mentor Pat Flynn and the crew over at Fizzle have made decent livings on helping these folks. (Which I admire because it’s really hard to grow a reputation in this market segment. The market is already saturated and many folks don’t or can’t pay at this stage in the game.)

However, there is market for entrepreneurs and business owners who have had a bit of success. This is the scaling stage – the stage that Veronica, Andy, myself, and previous cohosts of the show specialize in.

And depending on how they’ve grown the business to this point, the way that they’ll continue to grow is more than likely completely different than what got them to that level of success.

In today’s chat with Joe, Veronica and I are reminded that different personalities can build a business so far. It’s when you bring other complementary personalities to the table that you can obtain true greatness.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Joe find himself working in the mindset space? 10:12
  • What are some of the mental blocks Joe finds himself helping entrepreneurs with? 15:57
  • What major shifts should business owners take to see their business in a new light? 21:30
  • Is there a way for someone who’s had greatness to setup a system of making decisions to keep on that path of success? 30:39
  • What makes Joe excited for this upcoming year? 37:55
  • What one song, one book, and one film would he add to the world’s curriculum? 42:17
  • What’s something about entrepreneurship in the future that he’s excited about? 43:35
  • What message is a disservice to youth? 44:47
  • Is there something which costs under $100 that has changed Joe’s life? 46:12
  • Which decision has he made that’s had the largest impact in his life? 47:05
  • What one thing would he like to do in his life that no one knows about? 48:14
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 50:16

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Joe Sharing about Instructing on Toppa

Joe featured with Joshua Smith of the GSD Mode Podcast

Denise Walsh Interviews Joe

Joe’s interview with Larry Roberts on the Readily Random Podcast


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

deep focus

Profit or Popularity? How Deep Focus Might be the Key to Your Success

Deep focus and work is a topic which is really popular these days. However, it tends to go against the prevailing advice on how to become an online entrepreneur/personality. Personally, I’ve seen a lot of benefit by incorporating it in my schedule. In this post, I’ll share with you how I learned the hard way about the benefits of deep focus as a creator.

Setting the Stage

If you’ve been following the blog and podcast, you’ve probably realized that I’ve cut back on how many of each I publish. For a few months now, I’ve been on a schedule where I post a blog post one week and then the next week, I publish an interview.


But that wasn’t how I did things when I first started my online journey. In fact, I posted a blog post and an interview each week.

Even though I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to do as a new entrepreneur/thought leader, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. But I kept pushing through for two years, believing I was doing what I was supposed to do.

However, towards the end of that two year period, I started hearing and seeing signs that I had to change things up.

And eventually those signs lead to the discovery of the M-6 Business Evolution Plan.

Signs to Change

So what were these signs? Here’s three I can definitely remember:

The Importance of Deep Work and Focus

One of the earliest signs I can recall is hearing Jordan Harbinger’s interview of Cal Newport discussing his book Deep Work. In the interview, they discuss why focusing on your work for long periods of time is the only way to create anything meaningful. The reasoning behind this is because it takes awhile for our brains to snap into the right gear to create. If our days consists a lot of checking email, posting to and checking social media, you’ll never get into this deep work or deep focus state.

I knew I wasn’t getting into that deep state because I was EVERYWHERE!

Profitability vs Popularity

The second sign I remember was when one of our guests mentioned that her coach constantly has to ask her a simple question: Do you want to be profitable or do you want to be popular?

It had never occurred to me that in the online digital space, there was a choice. I thought that the only way to create revenue was to be popular. The more people who knew of you, the more chances you had to make a sale, right?

Apparently, that’s not the total idea.

Even more interesting is that in another interview we had, our guest mentioned how there are plenty of popular people on the web who can barely afford to keep their own business doors open. In fact, there’s way more of them than there are people who have followers and have an income from that following.

Start Where You’re At!

The third big sign was during my research of this whole thing about having a Personal Mission.  This course of interest started when I heard David Anderson share about how important it is to him in his interview in session 92. I knew it was a piece I was missing. Uncover Your Personal Mission is the result of this 6 month study to figure out what my starting point should be. I now fully believe it’s imperative for someone to know where they’re at

Using the Right Road Map

So, it’s interesting how traditional online business advice suggests that you should be everywhere. I think it makes sense in the long run. But the market is so saturated with other entrepreneurs and thought leaders, that we have to realize we don’t have a chance in that game by ourselves. There’s just so much work we can do in a given day.

So what’s that mean for us? What’s our course of action? Well, this is where we need a new road map.

Road maps for entrepreneurs are nothing new. Fizzle has theirs, Pat Flynn has his in Will It Fly?, and then there’s the one featured in the documentary Generation: Freedom.

There’s a lot of good content in each of these. However, I think they get ahead of themselves a little in the beginning stages.

So, let’s look at this new road map:

The M-6 Business Evolution Plan

There are 6 parts of this new plan which can be used simultaneously with the previously mentioned road maps.

However, the main difference is that this particular plan, again, focuses on early growth and sustainability of your business. So, once you get to a certain level of success, then maybe it’s a good time to start “Being Everywhere” as Pat Flynn talked about way back in session 28 of the SPI Podcast. Because, remember, in today’s market, you have to have a team to compete with the other names out there because they probably have teams themselves! 

So, here’s the new plan:

Mastery of Self

The reason that I start with Mastery of Self is because there are a lot of examples of folks who jump into a business idea because the marketing of a specific course said they’d have the potential to make all kinds of money doing that particular business. All they have to do is follow a step by step method.

Problem is, many people get burned out of these half-baked businesses because they didn’t do the inventory on themselves or they didn’t have the right frame of mind starting the business. They might have expected awesome results in a week or month and now it’s way beyond that point.

Mastery of Self is important because not only do we need to figure out who we are, but where we and our skills fit in the world.

From there, as we naturally build on ourselves and our skills, we have the potential for amazing growth.

So, for example, if you didn’t know that you’re good at writing copy, then you wouldn’t know that you should be helping people do that. Without doing what it takes to figure out where you are in relative to everyone else, you might decide that your “calling” is to sell products on Amazon. At that point, any instructions sound like good instructions but they just don’t get you anywhere you want to be.

Monetize Your Natural Talent

Before we even think about hiring anyone else to help, scale in other ways, or saying our expertise is helping people do something, we need to make sure that we can successfully add that value while being paid for it.

If you do the homework on yourself, you already know what you’re naturally inclined to help people do. If you are just starting a business, instead of working for free, start at a monetary number you feel comfortable asking for your services. Then, as you get more clients, you can play with the numbers and find out what’s asking too much or just right for what you’re offering.

Here’s a secret: The longer you do things for free, the more people think you’re A.) Training Perpetually or B.) have a bad service or product.

Also, you’ll want to look into is a book called Win Without Pitching Manifesto. In this book, you’ll learn why it’s important to position yourself in a certain way and how you can successfully do that. If done right, you’ll become the buyer and your clients will have to prove to you why they need your help!

Another thing that makes this whole process even easier is starting to work on a script. It’s ok to use scripts while doing sales meetings/calls/webinars. That’s one of the biggest things that made Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, as good as he was! His team used the script he used to make calls!

Market for Sustainable Business

Let’s say that you have an awesome product and you just happen to be really great with getting the word out there – say a video of yours went viral.

Is that a good thing when you’re first getting started?

I’d personally say that it’s a “Hard no.”.

Why?

Well, let’s say that your offer goes viral. Sure, that might be great in a Kickstarter situation or with a course (which you shouldn’t have at this point…), but if you’re offering a service or real product, you’re simply not going to have the capacity to keep up.

So, you want to find those first 3-5 clients who are ok with a price point that’s been proven. Once you do that, then it should be time to take it to the big market! You should have enough extra money to put into advertising on social media.

Mechanize Your Process to Scale

There’s something to be said about systems when you’re moving to the big market. The better our systems are when we’re working on scaling, the bigger that scaling can get before we have to hire someone to help us manage it.

So, Facebook ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn ads, Google… wherever your clients are, make sure you keep track of all the work you’re doing. What ads work? Which don’t? What audience works? Which doesn’t? Where should you put in pixels in your funnel? How long should your funnel be? Etc. 

Make sure when you’re doing this work that you’re only changing small parts at a time and you keep track of those changes. Changing everything at once doesn’t get you the experimental data you need. For example, if you’re changing an ad, only change the copy, the audience, or the image – NOT ALL THREE!

Also, don’t go overboard with your systems either. There’s a fine line between being creative and creating chaos.

Make Use of Other’s Talents

There’s going to be a point where we can’t do everything in our business anymore. Eventually we’ll have to either hire someone to help as an employee or bring on a contractor.

This is when we have to do what John Maxwell says all the time: “Play to your strengths, and hire help for your weaknesses.”

Just as you know yourself and how you fit into the world, the ideal people that you bring on your team should have that figured out as well. This means, besides them taking over a job you don’t want to do (or have the time to do) anymore, that they also have similar values and are internally motivated to do the job as well as possible. 

You’re not doing yourself or them a favor if you feel like they’re not committed to the vision and mission of the company.

Multiply Your Business

As we continue to scale, this is when we can go out even further. We can find other ways to market ourselves and our team’s talents. 

There might be products that you couldn’t do on your own, but now that you have a small team, you might be able to start a video series on YouTube or a podcast that goes out 3 times a week.

Also, this might be the time to package your skills into a course if you feel the demand is there. That way you can still get paid for your skills, but don’t have to put in the time factor into it.

There’s all kinds of ways to multiply your business. But just so you know, you can’t expect to start here. You have to actually have a proven system of success. I wish I had known that before I started my podcast, but hey, at least you guys understand why only publish one session every other week now! 🙂

Action Steps

As a lot of my posts go, you fall somewhere into this list. You’ll need to figure out where.

Personally, I thought I was going to be a podcaster and be like Pat in a year or so. Well, that’s not going to happen. For one, even when he started his podcast back in 2010, he already had a fairly good number of people following him on his RSS feed for his blog (check this out for numbers at the top!). I didn’t have that when I started my show. Another thing is that there weren’t nearly as many online entrepreneurs in the market. Nearly 10 years later, the market has been completely saturated.

This plan consists of parts of the more traditional way of doing things, true. But, we have to realize that if we don’t start from the foundation of figuring out where we fit in the world, then we really don’t have much to build our future success on. 

We can’t scale from nothing.
So, put in that foundational work if you haven’t. Find out what interests you and how you can add value to others. Again, you can start with the guide if you need help.

vision and mission

Climb Your Mountain: How to Develop Your Own Vision and Mission

I’ve been having a lot of meaningful conversations with new members of the Junto. And it seems like a lot of us who ARE mission driven are because at some point in our working career we asked “Is this all there is to life? Working in the same cubical each day? The same factory? Same ol’ town?”

The truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

 This post (originally posted on July 20th, 2012) answers this specific question. I felt it needed a good polish!


So guys, I saw this post submitted by svrtngr on reddit

“Long story short, I got a full time job through a temp agency. The contract is for six months with the option to be kept on beyond that. At first I was really happy to have a job, but now I feel weird. Odd.

Is this it? Work full-time in a cubicle for long hours and get home too tired to do anything else for fifty/sixty years until you can “retire”?Because I’m not sure if I can handle it. Where does the fun and excitement come from? What else is there?”

Your Mission is Everything

Originally, this post made me upset. The one thing about reddit is that it’s completely anonymous. The advice that he was getting was generalized stuff we’ve all heard before. “You need to get out more and find out what makes you come alive and do that.”

That’s… helpful. But it’s pretty vague.

I personally thought he needed more help. Specifically he needed to work on finding his vision by working on his clarity.

Your Vision leads to Your Mission

I remember when I was in grad school, I realized that not everyone wants to be on top of the same mountain that I wanted to be on top of. At that same time, I realized that not everyone has the desire to climb their own mountain in the first place.

This realization blew me away.

From early on in life, I always knew that I wanted to do something that made an impact for other people through technology.

I just wasn’t sure how I was going to do that. That’s what I hoping to learn in college.

What I learned there, however, is what I didn’t want to do! I wasn’t going to make it as a typical 9 to 5’er. My internal clock doesn’t work that way and I always found my mind wandering anytime I was in a job.

Likewise, svrtngr needed to start from the beginning too.

His first step should be figuring out what he likes to do and learn about. After which, he can build his life and work around the life he sees for himself.

In short, he needs to assess what his Passions and Purpose are. From there, he can devise a Plan and Process.

Our vision is derived from our passion (interests) and purpose (where we fit in the world). We can determine our vision once we figure these other two things out.

From there, you devise a some early goals and and take dumb action. During this initial action sequence, it’s your job to find out what works and what doesn’t.

After repetitive attempts,  that’s where you can start to systematize and define your process!

Don’t Forget About Generational Patterns and the First Agreement

In previous writings, I wrote about the millennial generation being called the “lost generation”. If you believe in the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory, then you’d believe that this generation is the next Hero Generation.

Here’s a bit of an explanation of this theory:

Kind of a disconnect there between those two names, right? One name sounds pretty passive while the other one is getting to work and does what needs to be done.

The reason that many people become part of this particular lost generation is that they’ve been told what they need to do with their lives from day 1. They have allowed the world to program them. They’ve never programmed themselves.

A good part of one of my all time favorite books, The Four Agreements, talks about being yourself. Actually it says, Be Impeccable With Your Word. Essentially, what it’s saying is we need to learn how to be ourselves.

Any actions we are doing is because of who we are. Not because of what the world programs us to be.

What does this mean in real talk?

It means that if we are constantly playing any sort of victim card – from “Oh, I live in a small town so I can’t do big business” to “I’m a certain color of skin, the world is against me.” then you’re probably right.

With that mentality, David Anderson says while it make us feel good in the moment, it will never allow us to amount to much. This mentality will keep us down as long as we continue to let it to.

So let it out and let it go.


Action Steps

So, guys. In essence, how can you get started on your way of doing what you’re supposed to be doing?

First thing – give yourself permission to be great. Cause if you can’t do that, you won’t be. Next, figure out what you like to do in this world. Figure out how you can use it to add value to others.

Next, plan on how you’re going to do that. For me, I really love pulling people out of the Matrix and helping them become better at helping others. How are you going to help people with your skills and interests? (If you think your skills and interests aren’t monetizable – they are. Remember that some of the biggest YouTubers are video game players!)

And then from there, just fine tune what you offer to what the market wants. Not what you’re about – but if there’s a pain, solve the pain for people if you can.

If you guys need additional help with any of this process, I’m going to be releasing an upcoming resource in the Junto: Finding Your Personal Mission: A Quick Guide to Inner Fulfillment. At least right now that’s the running title. In it, I’ll have 27 questions to help you find your passions, purpose, and a potential process – 9 questions for each.

When it’s done, I’ll have it in there as a resource.

Also, as you might know I’m a John Maxwell fan. He wrote a book called Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It. I can’t recommend this book enough. I always suggest this to all my past students and clients struggling with connecting their dreams and businesses.

Anyhow, I hope this helps! You got this guys!

block schedule

How You Can Master Your Time and Productivity with a Block Schedule Including Themes

I recently posted this in the Junto:

block schedule

When you read this, what comes to your mind?

Is it a sense of frustration?

Is it a sense of irritation?

If so, do you have too many tasks and ideas that you’re trying to get to, but keep running out of daylight?

If that describes you, I completely feel where you’re coming from. It used to describe me too.

I always thought it wasn’t fair that others had found the secret to getting their own stuff done.

But after a few mastermind sessions in 2016, I realized that my problem was that I was TOO structured in my scheduling.

This post is all about making sure that you have balance in your schedule while chipping away at those things you really need to be doing in your life – especially if you’re in a day job you don’t like or you’re a super busy college student.

Setting the Guidelines of an Amazing Schedule

Often times when we’re picking the things we want to do, we often feel this battle between what’s right and not right to do. We feel a pull of what our inner self tells us we should be doing vs what the external world is telling us that we should be doing.

Ideally, we’d like everything to be what’s right and we’d like to be self directed. Unfortunately for those of us who have day jobs, we feel that this is an uphill battle we’re not going to win. (Great example of a self limiting belief right there.)

The first thing we need to do in winning back our time is to follow 12 guidelines – and they are:

  1. Know thyself in what makes you feel the most alive – this is your passion and is part of your Mission.
  2. Realize that as long as you’re in the United States (or another free country), your default mission in life is to find out what your personal mission is and fulfill it.
  3. Once you have determined that, you need to commit to yourself that you’ll spend your time fulfilling that mission.
  4. When you’re putting things into your schedule to fulfill said mission, make sure that you have a good and clear understanding of how those tasks are going to help you achieve it. (If you’re working a 9 to 5 – your job should be helping you fulfill that Mission. If it doesn’t, it’s time for a new job.)
  5. Are there any points in your schedule that you dread or fear, ask yourself why you fear them. Don’t dwell on the worst that could happen, but instead, simply sit with them and realize that they have to be done for you to move on.
  6. Realize that any changes you’re making are going to take time to get going if you’re just now starting them. But, here’s the key –  if you keep at it, you’ll start noticing that things are going well for you. Like me, you’ll think “Well, if I hadn’t made this connection or done that, this wouldn’t have happened.” This is the truth. The problem is, you have no idea what will set future motions in place. (This is known as the Law of Momentum.)
  7. If you’re stuck in a rut, you need to realize that you are. Then ask yourself – what do I need to learn to move forward?
  8. Make sure you set aside a time for learning. Learning new things regularly allows for you to constantly move forward. Action is one thing, but taking the same action over and over and expecting different results is… insanity. (Also, don’t burn yourself out thinking that you can find the answers by taking simple repetitive action.)
  9. If you DO find yourself burning out or sucking at something you should be better at, it’s best to notice it and don’t hide from it. This is the universe telling you you need time to rest.
  10. Be precise in making your schedule until you can look at it and you look forward to every event that’s on it.
  11. Make your schedule so that it doesn’t imprison or trap you, but, instead, frees you.
  12. Always remember your schedule is meant to nourish you, so you can relax and enjoy your life. (If you’ve gotten to this point in the list and you still dread getting up in the morning, you should start over at #1.)

 

Key Points to Remember about the Guidelines

Now, from all that you might be thinking, “Well, that’s all good – but I know there’s going to be some things that I don’t like doing even when I’m working towards my Mission”.

And you’d be right – maybe you hate paperwork. Maybe you’d rather be out interacting with folks. Perhaps you’re really into helping people with sales funnels, but you hate having to find clients.

That’s par for the course.

If you want to know you’re still in the right, here are two questions to ask yourself:

  1. Overall, is this week going to be enjoyable? Am I doing what I want to do – for the most part?
  2. What’s the first thing that I can do that would allow me to be me?

The reason that these two questions are important to ask yourself is because, again, we’re working from a mission perspective.

If you feel you’re doing more things that you don’t want or like to do – than you’re not in the right position in life (or at work). Secondly, if you don’t have enough autonomy to do an act that you actually like to start your day and/or week off with a simple win – then there’s probably something wrong there as well.

In other words, do things that get you to your mission. Don’t do them because you think it’s the thing to do. That’s the will of the World forcing you to do something. Other people have no problem telling other people what to do. That’s the way the world works.

Also, don’t avoid things just to avoid them. Sometimes you’ll have to embrace the suck – but it’s so worth it if it’s in alignment with your mission.

For example if you want to become better at copywriting for marketing purposes – go find some great examples of marketing and use it as a guide to craft your own. (Arne has us do this in his FB group growth course student group all the time.)

 

Note to Newbie Time Blockers

Now, if you’ve never time blocked before, then this next part will be a little easier than if you have.

See, I used to be a scheduling Nazi. I had to be very specific in when I did this, this, and that. Otherwise, I didn’t think I was doing a great job in scheduling.

Well, long story short, I realized that I learned to schedule from a Driver-Analytical personality-type person. The thing about Driver-Analytical types of people, they are all about completing tasks. The more, the merrier.

That’s not what I’m about.

I’m more about building relationships. Why? Because from good relationships come opportunities which yield possible income.

So, in the end, depending on your own personality, what takes priority on your calendar might be different than mine.

That said, here’s how to time block with themes.

 

Time Blocking with Interval Themes

Generally speaking, these days I have two types of weeks as a solopreneur. One week (called ‘A weeks’) I focus more on content development – a blog post, a podcast post, and a video in the Junto.

The other week (which I call ‘B weeks’) I focus more on marketing and group development as well as learning.

As you can see, I have two main themes that I use. However, I’ve known people that use 4 themes a month. I also know folks who theme their entire month.

What do these themes consist of?

Well, for me, they’re general guidance of the things that I have to do in a given day. Other folks use them to get better at something, while yet other some people use it as a way to control their overall content building and marketing structure.

 

Interval Themes in Practice – A Step-By-Step Guide:

So let’s look at this from a weekly example – because that’s essentially what I use.

  1. The first thing you want to do is determine what kind of theme you have for that week. Usually you want to do this on Sunday after reflecting on how your previous week went.
  2. Next, you’ll want to set the time that you want to get started on your work. Honestly, I don’t usually get started on my work day until 10am. I don’t finish until 5 or 6. But during that time, I’m usually very focused on the work at hand or, for short breaks, posting in the Junto or building relationships with its members.
  3. When it’s quitting time – it’s quitting time. I learned early from Pat Flynn that you want to be able to turn things off for the night when your loved ones are home. Even when he had a one room apartment, his computer was in a corner and he used his laptop for more personal things.
  4. If you’re more of a task oriented person – I got you! Make sure you plan out time for relaxation and fun. Seriously. If that means throwing date night on your schedule, do it. Fortunately for me and Maria, we’re pretty lackadaisical when it comes to our evenings!

 

The General Structure Of My Daily Schedule

Just an idea of what a typical day might look like. I really don’t have this all laid out in

  1. Morning Routine – Breakfast (no carbs!), workout, a bit of meditating, finding out what’s going on in the world
  2. First item of the day – Something that gives you an easy win. For me, I knock out my emails. Once I do that, I close Mail. I’ll reopen it later – but emails are super distracting throughout the day!
  3. Second item is usually an easy win item as well. These days, it’s posting in the Junto and few other groups.
  4. Then, until lunch, I’m either doing growth related activities (meeting people, meetings, learning) or working on production of content.
  5. After lunch, I’m focused more on finishing said content, mastery, and marketing.

 

Alternative Version for Someone who Doesn’t Own Their Entire Day

So, this is a pretty sucky situation – but a lot of us have to start here. So realize that you’re going to have a bit of a handicap but you’re not alone.

Depending on whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, you’re going to aim to work 2 hours a day on your craft before you go to work or after you come home.

Ideally, the last part of the day should be spent just chilling for at least an hour. Again you’re looking to enjoy your life. So, if I had to decide, I’d go for 2 hours before work. That way when you go to your day job, you have the bonus of having already worked on your craft and not having to dread it coming home.

So, go to bed one hour earlier, then wake up 2 hours earlier. You can really start your day on fire this way. Those first two hours can be focused on heavy amounts of action.

But keep in mind, don’t sacrifice that much to the point of feeling empty. Enjoy each minute you can now. You want to make sure you’re enjoying every single day.

Action Steps

So, there you have it. Again, this is just what has worked for me combined with my new schedule for building the group.

Obviously there’s a huge difference if you have a day job. So if you can find a day job that supports your mission, that’s even better. That’s what’s great about this new sharing economy of ours.

Heck, even Laila started substitute teaching and tutoring before she got completely up to speed with her coaching practice. But what’s great is that those tutoring spots got her some of her clients!

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know below! 🙂

how to stop negative thoughts

Barbara Ireland: How to Stop Negative Thoughts – What We Can Learn from a Near Death Experience (AoL 079)

Society teaches us to look for the negative in situations. Just about everything that is popular today has some sort of conflict. From TV shows, news, and movies – we’re always looking at what is wrong with the world around us. (Heck, I’m pretty sure that’s how Trump got the nomination and won the election – he used the negative for his benefit.)

It’s very uncommon for people to natively want to look for the good in situations. Mainly because we’re not programmed to be like that.

However, as our guest in this session, Barbara Ireland talks about in this session, having that perspective isn’t very useful if you’re trying to do more than just get by or simply survive.

Just like Clay mentioned in session 78, you’re truly wanting to have a great life, then you’re going to have to stop looking for what’s wrong in every situation.

You need to stop thinking negative thoughts.

In this conversation, Laila and I discover what Barbara learned about negative thoughts and breaking out of them… all thanks to the near death experience she had.

As always, thanks for listening, and enjoy the show!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Where did the journey of being an entrepreneur begin for Barbara? 8:27
  • What were her creative influences growing up? 13:11
  • Did she have any mentors growing up? 15:34
  • How she went from being a singer to a writer through having her near death experience? 19:39
  • What made her write her book in the first place? 30:03
  • What are mindloops and her thoughts on positive and negative mentality? 35:07
  • How does she start the process of helping people who are in a funk and become better versions of themselves? 40:54
  • What is delooping? 43:50
  • What are steps of delooping that people tend to struggle with the most? 49:45
  • What are some of Barbara’s techniques in her delooping method? 51:04
  • As an NDE herself, what are Barbara’s impressions of the Netflix show The OA? 1:01:01
  • What are Barbara’s top 3 favorite books? 1:08:50
  • One thing under $100 that changed her life? 1:12:30
  • What was something she believed as a 30 year old and doesn’t today? 1:14:10
  • What is one piece of advice that has changed her mindset the most? 1:15:59
  • Secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:16:24
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

How to Discuss Politics Without Causing a Fight:

Megan Phelps-Roger on why she left the Westboro Baptist Church:

4 Techniques to Deloop from Negative Thoughts:

Song “At Last” Performed by Barbara Ireland:
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Bonus video: Pablo Coelho on CBS Sunday Morning:

barbara ireland
barbara ireland
how to stop negative thoughts
how to stop negative thoughts

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A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!