For General Thoughts. This might include humor and other random topics.

best coaching

Coach Krzyzewski’s Best Coaching Practices for Sports and Business

When many people think of coaches, they automatically think about those who coach in sports. However, those of us who are entrepreneurs know that there’s all kinds of coaches. Back when I first published this post on December 18, 2011, I had recently done a comparison of sports coaches and whether or not their practices transferred well to professional coaches. One such comparison I think transfers well was “Lombardi Time”. Today I think of it as “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”

So, to make sure you’re on time ALL the time when you’re trying to make a good impression – set that clock for 10 minutes ahead!

Another sports coach that we can get a lot of takeaways from is coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke Basketball.

There’s been a number of people through the years who have studied the mindset and habits he forms with his players.

Here are a few that I think are notable.

Coach K’s Practices:

Overall Mindset:

“Why do you play a game? I play a game to see how good we can be.”

Slightly different than the mindset of coach Herm Edwards who responded to this question with the infamous quote “You play to win the game!”. One might think that these are the same thing, but they’re slightly different. Personally I would mix these two quotes into something like “I play a game to see how good we can be in winning the game!!”

Why is this first part of important? Because if your foundation isn’t strong, then winning games becomes almost luck at times. Other times you might try and win by not being completely moral about the way you got there. Many believe that as long as you’re “winning” it doesn’t matter how you get there. Heck, that might as well be a Charlie Sheen quote.

Interestingly, that’s probably why his whole situation was amusing to all of us. It showed us as a society that “winning” is almost cliche. That we all, at one time or another, don’t care how we win – just as long as we do.

On Defense:

A sign prominent in the Duke locker room: NO ONE PENETRATES OUR DEFENSE.

In the world of college basketball, defense is key to winning games. If you build your team based on playing good defense, then you won’t be scored on and you won’t give the opposing time at the line throwing free throws. Defense is more important than offense, it would seem.

“He’s coaching like he’s defending the most precious thing in the world to him, and he does everything with the passion you would as if your were defending the most precious thing in the world to you,” said Steve Wojciechowski, a former Duke player (1995-98) and now a Krzyzewski assistant.

And they are – they are defending the standards of their program. Chances are when they lose games, it’s probably that they were beat by a better team and/or they didn’t play good defense. The Blue Devils place equal stress on keeping opponents off the line. Krzyzewski considers that a “critical” aspect of playing intelligent basketball. His teams practice situations in which they have six fouls and must strive to play tough defense without incurring a seventh that would put the opposition on the line with a one-on-one opportunity.

On Offense:

Duke is known for getting to the foul line on offense, often attacking the basket with dribble penetration. For many teams that they face, this is probably a great concern. But that’s just scratching the surface. Coach K. says, “I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments. Our offense is based on thinking. If you can really think on the court, then you have as much freedom as your abilities will allow you. What you try to do is create roles for your players. Not numbered roles or titled positions, but you try to say, ‘Look, here is where you’re successful, now in this frame of reference you can do whatever the defense allows you, so read the defense.”

In true leadership, this is knowing what the strengths of your players are and putting them in the team accordingly. Put them in a position where their natural abilities let them excel. As a coach/leader, we need to recognize these natural talents early on so we don’t waste time forcing a square peg in a round hole. However, there’s nothing wrong with rounding the edges of the square peg just a bit to help them be more flexible. Just don’t expect them to be as good as a natural in that position.

On Recruiting:

That last point brings up another good one. Back in my LTD days, I remember my upline Greg and the other Diamonds on the team talking about how they got the chance to watch Duke practices on an annual basis. One thing that stuck out to me that Greg mentioned was that the best coaches aren’t necessarily the greatest at coaching. They’re just really great at recruiting. Great coaches find talent that want to get to the next level. It limits the amount of conflict that occurs between the “players” and the coach. “I don’t need to necessarily be a great coach to my players,” said Greg. “I just got really good at picking good talent that make me look good!”

Other Quotes for You to Think About:

Here’s a few handpicked quotes that I think are pertinent to building a winning mindset and positive habits.

“I don’t think we surprise people. We try to out-execute them.”
-Coach K

“Last year, I said I wonder where we’ll put the second banner. We’ve got to find out, don’t we? I’m probably stupid for saying this, but I wonder where a third one might go.”
-Coach K

“The best teams are teams in any sport that lose themselves in the team. The individuals lose their identity. And their identities come about as a result of being in the team first.”
-Coach K

“You can’t defer if you’re the person who’s in the leadership position.”
-Coach K

“I think leadership is never singular. In a good organization, it’s plural.”
-Coach K


Action Steps

Love him or hate him, you gotta admit that Coach K is a great coach. He’s written several books that I’m a fan of. If you want a good book of his that I read a few years back, check out Leading from the Heart. If you liked the quotes, I got them specifically from a book called Coach K’s Little Blue Book. While it’s an older one, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a sports fan and like applying successful principles into your life.

I’m not the biggest of basketball fans, but I really respect Coach K’s philosophy. To me it seems that having the structure that he gives his teams is the number one reason they do so well. I think that any coach that takes some of his style of coaching is setting their players or clients up for success.

If you’re a coach, how could you implement this into how you interact with those you’re working with? If you’re already having success as a coach, what kind of success principles have you been using to get your people to perform as well as they have?

moral compass

Developing a Moral Compass: 21 Standards to Live and Work By

Here we are at the beginning of a New Year. In a lot of blogs across the web regarding business and self development, you’ll be seeing a lot of posts talking about planning your upcoming year.

I’m going to change it up just a bit here. Instead of giving you yet another one of those posts (which I have done my fair share), I wanted to focus more on having a good mindset to start out the new year.

Because, really, when you think about it, planning and reflection shouldn’t just be a particular once a year activity. It should be ongoing.

That being the case, one can talk about doing these things until you’re blue in the face. But if you don’t have the right Attitude or “Lattitude” as the podcast would suggest, you’re not going to be getting too far.

You need a moral compass.

So here’s a post originally from March 20th, 2011. When I first heard the information, it really helped me out of my funk. Not only that, but it was one of those pieces of knowledge that set me on my current trajectory.

I hope it does the same for you!

So here’s a question for you. What’s holding you back? What is the main problem that keeps you from achieving whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve? Have an idea? Ok. Now let’s see if you agree with one of these next sentences. It’s someone else’s fault. Someone else got the promotion. Someone else got first place in the last tournament.

But is that really the reason why or is it that you beat yourself? Through all the conversations I’ve had over the years (including the podcast) it seems that there’s one main reason they’ve failed. Up to a point, they believed that to be successful, you had to work by beating the competition.

What we’ve found is this simply isn’t the case. To be successful in life, you simply have to beat the you of yesterday. That’s really one of the keys of success. A mentality of “If not today, then when?” or “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can accomplish today.”

Back when I was active member of LTD, we had a subscription to a weekly CD called the Continued Education Program (CEP). Many times the topics that were covered relate to business development itself, but more often than not, most of the time it relates to living a successful life in general. (Side note: you can’t be successful in one thing without being able to be successful in another. The rules and laws of success transfer.) One example is a CD I was listening to by Joe Markiewics. In it he talks about something that I think definitely needs to be brought up to the front of my things to write about – Standards to Live By.

In my Freemason studies, one of the things that I’ve also come across is the idea of the ashlar block. At first it starts out as a rough ashlar, but after the work of educated workmen it becomes what is known as a perfect ashlar. In construction, a perfect ashlar is a standardized building block that is then used to build reliable structures with.

So with that said, how does one become a perfect ashlar? How do we become a part of a community in which others can trust them to be valuable part of the community? It all starts with standards. If you want to be successful in life, then I suggest you determine your own standards. With a bit of help from Joe in reminding me, here are standards that I try to live by:

1.) No one person is more important than another, the group as a whole, or the vision of that group.

If one person thinks that they’re better than the next guy and causes problems, then that person can and should be left behind. If you ever get the chance to study a pack of dogs (via Dog Whisperer), notice what happens when one starts acting weird. The others start noticing right away and soon leave it behind. In a pack of wolves who have to hunt to survive, unpredictable behavior can not be tolerated.

2.) No excuses.

If something isn’t done, it’s not done. Period. “Do or do not, there is no try.”

3.) Never complain.

I know that things aren’t fair and they may hurt your feelings, but it’s not for you or me to retaliate in complaining. Just do better next time. Make your reasons to not do something your reasons to do it.

4.) No weak faces.

This means no bad body language. In a sports team, if one member drops the ball repeatedly because their head is not in the game, can they ever be trusted to actually catch it and be a go to guy of the team? All it takes is one person to feel sorry for themselves and the rest of the team falls apart. Don’t lose your poise.

5.) Be unselfish.

There are other people. Make sure they get their share as well.

6.) Positive mental attitude (PMA) at all times.

Learn what to say when you talk to yourself. “I can do this. I just got to figure out how!”

7.) Never talk negatively about somebody behind their back.

Never gossip for gossiping sake or for small talk. If you feel you have to be negative, only be constructive about it and do it in a manner that is not mean or backhanded. State only the facts. Use the sandwich method.

8.) People matter – care about them.

If there’s someone sitting by themselves in a group setting, go be a friend to them. Invite them into your group. Offer to do something for them. (When my mom passed, I got more cards from LTD members than from any other group. I haven’t opened them yet, but I really truly appreciate them!)

9.) Be a giver – go the extra mile.

Be a giver with time, friendship, and money when and where possible.

10.) Be enthusiastic.

Have fun! It brings energy to people you’re with and rewards them in being with you. Never mail it in.

11.) Edify all success.

Promote and congratulate people for all levels of success. People like to be noticed – they probably do the same back to you.

12.) Be committed to people you team up with.

Have each other’s back. Pray for each other when they’re having troubles.

13.) Be honest all the time.

Your word is your worth; your worth is your word.

14.) Personal conduct.

If you wouldn’t do it in front of your family or people you work with, then why do you think you should do it all by yourself? Don’t be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Remember there should never be double standards – ever. You don’t need to give people a reason to be skeptical of you – especially if they’re not a trusting person to begin with.

15.) Take personal responsibility for your decisions and actions.

This is something that is taught to kids early on. Why would it change as an adult? It’s not the alcohols fault you were drunk. It was your fault you were drunk and yours alone.

16.) Be accountable

Especially to those that are important to you. This includes friends and family. (If you’re at all spiritual or religious, don’t forget God.)

17.) Collective responsibility.

Aka Unity with your group. You win together, you lose together. It’s not the failure of one person on the team to fail, it’s the teams. (Example – it’s not the kicker’s fault he missed the last chance field goal, it was the team’s fault for putting him in a position where it was up to him to be the clutch guy. Ask Peyton Manning about this one…)

18.) Preparation

If you don’t prepare to win, you don’t deserve to win.

19.) Pride

Have pride in what you do and who you are. Be proud of your lineage. Be proud of your work ethic.

20.) Never settle for good. Go for the great.

No matter what happens, you have not arrived. Never settle for what you have now because you can always be better. Success only gives you a platform to be a motivator and helper of others. Create a vacuum of inspiration.

21.) Perform to your standards at all times.

So there are my standards. I’ll admit, I don’t live up to them all the time – I’m not perfect. But I don’t go out of my way to break them either. What are some standards that you’ve set in place that work for you and you work towards them?

Action Steps

There have been many times where I thought the rest of the world would profit quite a bit from the things I learned during my time in LTD. Many of the topics that were discussed were very eye opening. This was definitely one of those lessons.

Let me hear from you. What principles do you use regularly in your day to day life? They can be your own or items from this list.

daily routine

The Rule of Five: The Building Blocks of a Leader’s Daily Routine

It’s funny how things change! In this post from October 12th, 2010, I mention going to an LTD Leadership convention. I imagine it was either in Kansas City, MO or Louisville, KY. I’ll tell you, I loved being a part of that group! I was motivation junkie. I was sucking it all in and had been for 4 years straight at that point. It had been over a year since I had graduated, but I had little to show for it – in fact, this was when I was just about to start teaching at Ivy Tech.

At that point, who would have guessed that I would soon become a John Maxwell Team member?

Woah. Life is truly amazing in its twists and turns.

Anyhow, I wanted to share this post after last week’s 100th session of the AoL Podcast. One of the things that I mentioned is that John has this Rule of Five when it comes to learning and filing those things away. Well, as you’ll read below, those 5 steps have helped him write numerous books over the years. However, this does come at a cost – he calls his regular life pretty boring!

I can relate. That’s why I don’t really use social media to share what I’m up to. Because most of the time it’s spent in front of a computer creating content!!

– JC

What a Great Weekend!

Over the weekend I went to an LTD leadership conference – Summit 2010. As usual, the quality of the speakers was great. The two keynote speakers completely blew my mind: Frank Luntz and John C. Maxwell. For those of you who don’t know, Frank is a pollster that has probably been on every prime time and morning news show imaginable. And Dr. Maxwell, well – let’s just call him the guru of leadership. He’s someone that I’ve learned quite a bit from in the last couple of years through my grad work and LTD itself.

One of the things that I share with you guys today was something John pointed out that he does on a daily basis that I thought was really noteworthy. Doing this little thing has lead him to write over 50 books over his career and still gives him more to share. This little thing is called the “Rule of Five”.

Essentially the Rule of Five is a habit you start that consists of 5 different actions that lead you to your goals/dreams. For example, Dr. Maxwell wanted to become an in-demand writer and motivational speaker. Of course, there are multiple ways to do this, but since he’s a great writer, he thought that it’d be better for him to go in as a writer.

Rule of Five:

So, his five things that he does to achieve this are:

  1. Read
  2. File
  3. Think
  4. Ask questions
  5. Write

Doesn’t seem too bad, does it?

Well, there’s a catch. You have to do this everyday. No excuses. Do you want to be a novelist? You will write every day. Do you want to be an painter? You will paint everyday! Simple, right?

As part of his presentation, he said, “your success is determined by your daily agenda.” This is so true, because it is! To accomplish you have to be productive! However, he worked intelligently. You hear so much about people being busy all the time and not successfully going anywhere – it’s typically because they’re not focused in their work.

And since he was there talking about his writing, you can see that he was successful in what he set out to do!

John wasn’t born rich. He didn’t attend a prestigious school or grow up with children of people in power. He got to where he is by doing.

So. Five things a day, everyday. That’s all it takes to fulfill your dream.

Just a note to add here. Since starting work on New Inceptions full time, I started implementing my own Rule of Five. While I started from his, mine varies slightly due to the different content pieces that I’ll make in a given week.

For creating content, mine are:

  1. Explore – Find out what’s going on in the world around me and in the online entrepreneurial/creative industry.
  2. Study – Are there any interesting crossings of the two worlds? What does it mean and how does it apply?
  3. Connect the Dots – Ask those questions! Who needs to know this information? Is this something I need to bring up in future content?
  4. Take Action – Synthesize new content, share, and help others where needed.
  5. Reflect – Ask myself, “Did that have the desired effect I was looking for? What could I have done better?”

Action Steps:

One thing I want to make clear is this: the Rule of Five can be applied to anything that you want to master. What do you want to master?What are you working on that you can break down into 5 steps? Let me know below!

If you want a post about this in John’s own words, you can check one out here! Also, if you haven’t done so yet from session 100, check out this post by John. In this post, besides his Rule of Five, he also talks about his 12 pledges. Now, I can’t say that I have pledges, I do use Joe Markiewics’s 21 Standards to this day, I wouldn’t necessarily call them pledges – although they seem to be very similar.

benefits of video games

Benefits of Video Games: Are they Simply an Escape from Reality?

I’ve had Cam Adair on the AoL podcast a couple of times since I’ve originally written this post back on September 14th, 2010. If you’re not familiar with Cam, he’s founder of the company Game Quitters.

He created Game Quitters to help people get off the addiction of playing video games.

Just like any other addiction, gaming addiction is serious and needs to be dealt with. But for other folks, such as myself, gaming is a way to take a break from our craft and other work of the day.

Some folks watch sports, UFC, or hang out with friends when they’re taking a break. Being an introvert, that wasn’t necessarily my calling when I was younger. Over time, I’ve just learned to game when I have some down time. And I’m not talking little Facebook or phone games – I mean the real deal on a console!

In this old post, I shared why it’s ok to be a gamer as an entrepreneur. Heck, even Elon Musk is a fan of gaming!

Setting the Stage:

“Oh, c’mon!”, I exclaimed as I got shot in the head for the umpteenth time today. “Man, that dude is camping. Can someone take him out?”, I asked as I spawned yet again. “Fine, I’ll get him.”

Today is September 9.14.10 – release day of Halo: Reach. At any one time, there has been 500,000+ gamers on LIVE enjoying they’re brand new toy. Young and old alike, they are definitely enjoying themselves – as I have for the past half day already (I was in a midnight line for it).

Today’s games are so much more than they once were. Obviously, the video game industry is exploding. People of all ages are enjoying them, whether on a computer, game console or the Internet. If asked what people most think about them, there are several one worded responses that a person might use to describe them: Real (Almost). Thrilling. Heart Throbbing. Competitive. Imaginative. Addictive. Yes, all of these words describe the games in the marketplace today, but why is it that it’s becoming more of the social norm?

Studies show different reasons why people play video games. What is it really that makes people so enthralled by these creations, that they don’t mind spending countless hours on them?

Let’s take a look.

Escape from Stress:

This is the reason that most people who aren’t gamers think that those who play actually play. And this might be true for certain game types.

The daily grind can be very daunting and stressful to say the least. A video game, however, can be a place for a player to “lose themselves”. Because, in the games, they feel the bliss and release of being in control. After they hit the power switch, they are in a virtual world that makes sense to them — a place where they can be whoever or whatever they choose without worrying about how they look or act. This and the fact that they don’t have to worry about how any other of their daily lives.

But this isn’t the only reason.

In Search for Social Lives

In days past, people have played various games to interact with people. Be it basketball, golf, or Dungeons & Dragons, games have always given people a way of learning about and getting closer to family, friends or even dates.

To many people who play video games, they are an extension of this. As video games have developed over the years so have their abilities to bring people closer to each other. Xbox LIVE can give a person an opportunity to interact with their team by yelling orders, but it can also give them a medium to just chat and relax with people on the other end – male and female alike.

Basically, gamers today believe that playing video games can be a venue for developing their social lives.

A great example of this is Franz Cavatorta in session 85 who has gotten together with his gamer friends in real life multiple times during vacation and holiday.

Practicing Skills:

In recent years, the U.S. military has taken to using video games to conduct practice campaigns. There are different reasons for this:

1.) To save money
2.) Promote safety
3.) The ability to control all aspects of the campaign.
4.) Keep things simple.

Video games simply provide an advantage over older simulators.

Recently I also saw a video presentation via TED about how gamers could use their skills in solving some of the biggest problems in our world today. Jane McGonigal on how gaming make a better world. This leads into the next section.

Exercising the Brain:

Gamers will also tell you that whatever game they play, they’re brain is being used (alot more than can be said for most TV watchers!).

Be it hand-eye coordination or developing and executing strategy, games offer a way for gamers to practice skills that they might not be able to learn in school or on the job. In a sense they’re building their intuition – their “non-mind” thinking. However, as always, this shouldn’t be confused with being smart. Being smart and having knowledge isn’t the same thing as gaining intuition through experience.

Obviously in the future, with the introduction of Wii Sports, exercising the body might be just as normal as exercising the mind on any given entertainment system.

WARNING: Gaming can be Addictive!

With all of these different points of view of how gaming can be beneficial to your life, it can also be harmful.

Just like anything else in life, if you find yourself playing games too much, you might need to quit cold turkey. For me, I know I can quit when I want to in a given session. True, I don’t stop until I’m at a good stopping point – but I know when to turn it off.

Unfortunately, there are a ton of folks

For whatever reason, if you’re looking to quit your addiction to video games – check out my friend Cam Adair’s first AoL interview or his follow up Silver Edition here.

Wrap Up:

There are multiple reasons why people play video games. While it is still being determined if there are really negative repercussions of playing them to escape reality (and I believe there are), there are other reasons that gamers play them and they will tell you as so if you happen to test them on it. As anyone that normally uses Facebook will tell you, it is perfectly normal for people to develop and maintain relationships online. It is also a place for people to entertain themselves with the added feature of challenges for the mind. In fact, it might help to solve world problems. With the introduction of Wii Sports, video games have also become a way to physically exercise as well.

If you play video games, why do you??


Leveraging LinkedIn for Business: 11 Tips to Get More Social on the “Professional” Platform

Ever since my interview of Mirna Bacun back in session 18, I’ve been a proponent of folks starting groups on LinkedIn if they thought that their clientele would sooner be found on there than on Facebook.

Another reason that you might want to start a group on there is that it has a few more functions than groups on Facebook have these days – including a digest of activity.

There’s other reasons, but you can find out more about that in my interview with Myr here.

In the meantime, everyone that does business online SHOULD have at least a profile on LinkedIn. You never know who’s going to run across your account – and frankly, you can share things over there just as easily as you can on Facebook.

In this post, which was originally posted back on September 30th, 2010, I went over how you can make your account easier to find for those looking to fill a position. Back then, I was still trying to get hired by a startup – so I wrote it in that perspective. Eventually, I did land a position through that old advice – but I think it’s time that this post get’s a bit of an update! – JC

What is LinkedIn, Really?

Since graduating, one thing has definitely been on my mind as I’ve been looking into professional networking: LinkedIn. To those of us not familiar with it, I’ll just say that it’s basically a Facebook for professionals. It has many features that Facebook has except without all the personal clutter that makes Facebook is known for.

Here’s a review of the new LinkedIn User Interface in 2017 by Paul Wilson to get you up to speed if you’ve never made an account on the platform before:

If you’re a professional or business owner and you DON’T have a LinkedIn account, then you might be missing out. Sure, you can make plenty of noise through having your own Facebook Group these days, but if not everyone uses Facebook for business – yet. So having an up-to-date account on LinkedIn pointing to your account on Facebook (if that’s where they can find you most often) might be the best solution.

Tips on Using LinkedIn

That being the case, here are a few things that you want to focus on when getting involved with LinkedIn:

1. Make sure you Create a 100% full Profile.

This includes getting 3 recommendations and a nice (professional) picture for yourself.

2. Use Keywords in your Profile.

For me I try to use terms related to online business development, brand development, and social media consulting. The more often you use particular keywords in your profile, the easier it is for LinkedIn’s search engine to find you. This makes it easier for others to find you if they look for that particular term.

3. Update your Profile Regularly.

Just like other social media platforms, people take interest in you if you post more frequently. One way to do this is by linking your profile to your other social media accounts. That way, whatever you post over there will be seen on LinkedIn. However, if you’re posting super personal information regularly, you might want to reconsider doing this. The best course of action is simply posting native material to LinkedIn.

4. Find and Participate in the Groups You Care About!

Just like groups on Facebook, Groups in LinkedIn can be a great place to meet liked minded individuals that can help you get to where you’re trying to get to in your career.

5. Add anyone you meet in Business and Life

Just like adding people to Facebook, don’t be afraid to ask them to be LinkedIn! Just like in Facebook, the more people you’re connected to, the better off you are in networking. Those are selective in whom they select to be part of their list aren’t doing themselves any favors. (When inviting them on LinkedIn, be sure to use a custom message.)

6. Get familiar with Browsing your Connections’ Connections.

You never know who knows the people you know. As David Anderson said, “You’re only one person away from having everything come true that you want in life.”

7. Start following particular companies that you might enjoy working with.

When you do this it will be announced to people in your network. Answering questions in groups does wonders to get you noticed as well.

8. Don’t be afraid to leave Recommendations for people.

In fact, when you leave recommendations for people – more often than not, they’ll return the favor. This makes you look hella awesome!

9.  Share What You Know

If you know something about a company such as an event or the fact that they’re hiring, let others know!

This is another way of building rapport with members of your network. What goes around, should come around!

10. Use that Search Feature!

On many websites this feature gets overlooked as it tends to be somewhat frustrating to use. Not the case at LinkedIn. Use it to find potential clients or groups that you want to work with.

11. Create Your Own Group

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, having your own group is a great way to develop a following. Myr was ahead of her time when she created her formula – so if building a following on LinkedIn is key to building your business – don’t hesitate and get educated!

Action Steps

With it’s update this past year, LinkedIn is stepping up its game. It functions more and more like Facebook, which, in general, makes it easier for people to navigate. Again, the big difference is that the audiences are completely different. Even though you can do business on Facebook, it’s still the exception and not the norm.

If you haven’t been on LinkedIn for awhile or feel you have to spend a lot of time there to make it worth your while – think again!

2016 year in review

2016 Year in Review: What was Hot and What was Not

As we’re quickly approaching Christmas this weekend and then onto the beginning of a New Year, I thought I’d go ahead and recap the story of where New Inceptions is now including some of our more popular posts and podcast episodes.

If you’re the type that celebrates the holidays, Happy Holidays to you and yours!

We’ll Start with Some Shout Outs:

But before I do, I want to make a shout out to a few people who have really helped New Inceptions grow this past year.

The Team – version 1.0:

This past year, I’ve been able to introduce there was a change of guard for the co-hosts of the Angles of Lattitude Podcast. When I first launched the show, I had a few friends on board as co-hosts that I thought were going to be adding value to the foreseeable future.

Well, life has a tendency to change very quickly. And many times those changes aren’t easy to predict where they’ll take folks. So just to keep you all in the loop of what has happened with my first group of co-hosts, here’s a current update:

  • Jon has graduated college and is now working for J.P. Morgan in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Brian is doing quite well with building lead funnels for medium sized companies.
  • Trin got a promotion at her job, which, I’m sure has given her plenty on her plate.

Thanks to these guys, I had a taste of the refreshing spin that having multiple voices could have on a business oriented podcast.

The Team as of 2016:


Laila Rahmatian

In January of 2016, I brought in Laila Rahmatian to be a co-host of mine. At the time, Laila, like me, had some struggles to embrace her new identity. In fact, in her interview, she mentioned that she still wanted to pursue her engineering career.

Much has changed for her this past year. She has fully embraced her role as The Fitness Astronaut and I’m proud to say that she is really becoming well adjusted with her new profession.

Ginger Kern

Thanks to Cam Adair, I was introduced to Ginger Kern. Ginger, founder of the Traveler’s Mindset, and guest on session 20, quickly became my go to person for anything travel lifestyle related and soon accepted a role as contributor. Her most recent spot was with Cam again in session 62. Look for bigger things from both Ginger and Cam in 2017.

Daniel Postma

One of the sessions Ginger was a co-host for was with Daniel Postma. At the time, I had no idea who he was other than a young serial entrepreneur who had done some pretty interesting things. It was actually during the show, that we realized one of those interesting things had been to shadow Dane Maxwell for month a few years back.

Daniel still continues to amaze me with his quick wit and his ability to just go out and talk to people he’s never met before. He has amazing knack to get to know people really quickly. And I think part of that comes from what Jesse Winton recently said about homeschooler’s having to reach out more to meet people than those of us who have gone a more traditional route.

Clay Green

Finally, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Clay Green in July. Clay was someone that I had come to find out about once I posted my interview with Daniel – Daniel had actually interviewed Clay at one point.

Clay has only done a couple of shows with me, but you can tell that he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in this new year as he has started a tour to connect with those around the country and inspire more people to live a life that isn’t so normal. You can find him via his site here.

Anyhow, a big thanks to these folks for coming on the show and being vital parts of the community.


The Best of New Inceptions – Blog Posts:


How to Start a Business with a Low Budget, Little Technology Access, Hardly Any Time, and No College Education

In my part of the country, the old mindset of “a formal education is the only pathway to success” is pretty prevalent. Many people have a habit of counting themselves out before they give themselves a chance to succeed.

In this post, I wanted to challenge that idea and others by answering the question “What kind of business can I start if I don’t have the money, skills, or technology to get it going?”


Do Yourself a Favor: Practice Just In Time Learning

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve been doing ever since I wanted to start my own business was just listen to the experts regularly and take no action.

One of the primary goals of New Inceptions is to help others who want to start their own creative business finally be able to do so.

One thing that has helped me actually take action is by practicing Just in Time Learning. Barrett Brooks mentioned this quite a bit during his tenure at Fizzle.


Labeling Business Accomplishment: Find Your Place, Your Peers, and GROW Faster!

Another thing I’ve learned that is in relation to listening to experts is that many times those folks are giving advice to people who are readily able to put in the kinds of resources that they themselves place in their businesses. Case in point, Pat Flynn is the real deal when it comes to growing an online business. If it wasn’t for Pat, I wouldn’t have started my new journey after getting out of college.

However, he’s on a level where I just don’t see myself at yet. So I have to search for people who can help me fill in the dots between where he is now (where I want to be) and where I currently am for advice.

You should do the same.


How to Inexpensively Start a Podcast: Equipment and Software

I had the chance to try plenty of things this year. One of which was a new writing style for “How-To” posts. One of those posts was actually the first of a series of posts for how to make a podcast. I felt and continue to feel that podcasting is the number one thing I’m asked about and I felt that I needed to get some of my knowledge out there.

Because I’m continued to be asked about it, I’m currently in talks with some folks to bring my first course to you guys in 2017 which will be a podcasters roundtable on how they produce their shows.


The Best of New Inceptions – Podcast Sessions:


AoL 023: Recognizing the Delusion of Passion: Helping Millennials find True Personal Freedom with Mark Nathan

Not only did Laila and I have the chance to talk with one of my favorite speakers that really influenced me to where I am today, but I also had the opportunity to help him with his book launch!

In this chat, find out more about the book and Mark’s background.


AoL 034: Deadlines, Life Changes, & Learning on the Job at with Steph Crowder

You guys know I love Fizzle and I owe quite a bit to it and it’s community to where New Inceptions is today. Here it from Steph what Fizzle can do for you and why she actually applied to become a member of the team there.


AoL 044: Getting Through Difficult Times and Busting the Myth of Overnight Success with Ashley Zahabian

Ashley is someone that I have to mention. She has a lot of stuff figured out and I think a lot of young Millennials can learn something from her attitude.

In this chat, she talks about how even though she seems like an “overnight success” it’s definitely not the case.


AoL 059: Touring Alaska and Teaching English by Rejecting the Menu with Drew Badger

Drew, like me, is originally from the midwest. But, unlike me, he did the atypical right out college.

He moved to Japan with just an interest and no knowledge of the culture or language in pursuit of something he wanted to find out more about.

Today he finds himself not only teaching English on YouTube, but helping others learn how to reject what they perceive as the bounds of their life.


A Building Year

All in all, 2016 has been a pretty awesome year. Lots of amazing guests on the show and I’ve met tons of folks who inspire me to continue pushing forward.

While I’ve seen great growth this year, we’ve also had a few growing pains. For one, we recently found out that Google wasn’t registering our site correctly most of the year. Apparently for most of the year iTunes wasn’t making it easy to find AND I was getting negative SEO from some bots out of Indonesia.

And two, let’s not forget to mention the email newsletter I started. Lots of mixed reviews from the first test sequence. I think every week was a little more than you all could handle for now. Perhaps once a month is better?


Take Action: How About You?

Before you go, I want to know how your 2016 went. What did you learn and what are you proud of?

Feel free to share one piece (please!) of content that you’re most proud of from this past year.

Make sure you add some words (keywords?) beyond the link so that all readers here can understand why you chose that particular piece.

Looking forward to seeing what all you’ve been up to this year!!


personal freedom

5 Obstacles in Achieving True Personal Freedom

No matter who you are or what you’re doing, those of us who are leading (or trying to lead) passion filled lives and businesses are doing so because we feel that we can be ourselves better than what a boss can prescribe for us. We’re trying to gain our Personal Independence, or as most call it, Personal Freedom. Most people don’t like being bossed around, right? (Obviously there’s an exception. But I have yet to meet that person…!)

Until you have personal freedom, you’re always going to have that as a possibility in your life.

In the last post, I spoke of 4 common problems that people have when trying to start a business. These problems are part of a larger list of obstacles that I want to point out in today’s post. Without overcoming these obstacles through actively working on them, or simply through understanding them, a person can never have true Personal Freedom.


The first thing everyone should be able to maintain at an optimum level is their health – both physical and mental. This is the first level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Due to this, many of us who are thinking about building a business take this part for granted. However, ignoring it can have a very negative impact on everything else we do.

In fact, if a person doesn’t have their sanity or the energy to do the activities that need to be done in a certain day, then they won’t get very far.

For many people this is a daily struggle. These people are living a Caged Life. Combined with the potential of not having shelter (the second level of Maslow’s), these folks might not ever think about starting their own business.

That said, one good thing that comes from having to struggle daily is a natural tenacity for “Hustle”. And, ironically, that’s an important ingredient to building a business.


The third level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is Love and Belonging. Once we have ourselves taken care of, we naturally want to start reaching out to others. Our need to engage with others is part of what it means to be human. We want to feel connected to people who are interested in the same things we are. I like to think of this as a need for us to feel that we have social proof. That we’re not alone.

As mentioned in the 6 Cornerstones eBook, a tribe is a very good thing to have when we’re aiming for higher success – it gives us support for when the going gets tough!

If this is done with authenticity, it gives us a feeling of esteem (Maslow’s fourth level) because we know that people appreciate the true us!

Once we have our health and know our role in our community, you could say that we’re experiencing a Comfortable Life. Life is good, but it’s not great. And funny enough, it’s been said numerous times that Good is, in fact, the enemy of Great. It’s really hard to give up Comfortable for what’s coming next…

Knowledge and Skills

On the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is Self Actualization. This is where we start realizing who we are. That we do have passions, particular strengths, and know where we fit in life. It’s when we have this understanding, that we can master our knowledge and build other skills that will supplement what we already know about ourselves and how we interact with the world.

Because we can always keep learning about ourselves and the world around us, this journey never ends. And if you were looking for a label for someone that’s here…  this is called living a Charged Life.

As a side note, our current school system doesn’t work in our favor when it comes to this obstacle. In fact, it makes it worse. Formal education makes us great soldiers who fit like cogs in a larger machine (society) where we don’t question if we’re in the right place.

So to be free in our knowledge and skill building, we typically have to go outside of the formal school system because it isn’t in their best interest to teach us about who we are as individuals.

One way of gaining more knowledge is by actively going out there and seeing it for yourself. That’s why so many millennials would rather have experiences than having things.


This factor and the next are not necessarily ascending levels like the past three are. But it’s something that I need to discuss in further detail because they’re not discussed hardly at all in formal education in a way that everyone can understand.

As you probably know, the better our finances are, the more options we have in life. What do I mean by this? In our current world, having financial freedom is what gets rid of living a life where you have a boss giving you orders all the time. Obviously, you can buy more expensive things, travel and see the world, but another benefit of having your finances taken care of is that YOU have the ability to help others out in times of need. Have a family member or friend who’s struggling? You don’t have to think twice about helping them out.

What’s interesting is that financial freedom isn’t really as far away as you might think. In fact, it’s  up to you to determine what that means. To me, I think it’s about living the life you want to live while staying within your means. If your cost of living is lower than what your business (or other income) earns you, then you can technically call yourself financially independent.

The whole point of opting for a business versus having a job is becoming financially free. When you’re financially free, you don’t answer for anyone other than yourself and potential clients – but that’s the same even if you have a job.

Just remember, if you don’t tell yourself what to do, the world will gladly put someone next to you will. There’s leaders and followers. Make yourself a leader.

(Just a note: I watched The Wolf of Wall Street over the weekend. Really interesting movie if you can stomach lots of skin, drug use, and swearing. I found it incredible in how quickly he was able to capitalize on penny stocks and quickly start his own firm. In case you already saw it, here’s a list of other movies you can check out as well if you want to learn more about what being an entrepreneur is all about.)

Government – Know the Rules

We should have a clear understanding of how the rules work in our country so that we can know how we can play the game of life within the rules that are set up.

In other words, I like to think of a government as being the entity that makes the rules for it’s people. Which is true, right?

If you think of great sports players, they know how to use the rules to their advantage when needed.

Take Peyton Manning, for example. One of the best, if not the best player that ever played the quarterback position in football.

Up until the past couple of years when they changed the rule, occasionally, he’d hurry his team up to the ball and take the snap as quickly as possible. Why? Because he wanted to get the other team sleeping with too many people on the field.

The other team would get penalized which would in turn gain him a few additional yards… getting him closer to his goal.

Knowing little ins and outs of how the rules work, can really help your game.

Action Steps

So, that about does it! On that last note, if you do have any feedback you’d love to send my way, please do. I’d love to hear it!

As for this post, I wanted to dedicate some time to open up about what personal freedom is all about and let you in on my brain a little bit. These topics are important to me, and I hope you find that they’re cool with you too. My hope is that maybe what I’ve said here will help you prepare for what’s coming… not just in your business (because again I believe it’s the only way to have Financial Freedom) but also help you navigate the waters of life in general.

Supplemental: My Perspective on the Current Political Scene

If you’re not following me on Facebook, you’re missing out on some good postings recently. Currently, the election cycle is in full swing and as many of you know, I’m what many might call a Conservative Libertarian.

In my mind, the simple description of a Conservative Libertarian who believes that the government is in charge of the basics for everyone. These basics are expressed through the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. These are the rulebooks for our government. They say what the government CAN’T do.

Somehow, people have gotten this perspective that they’re about what the government CAN do, which is why they might also think that the rules are out of date. However, when you change the rulebook and what it can do, you’re changing how the game is played.

People generally don’t understand the rules – and again, it’s at the fault of “Formal Education”.

Where Things Stand Currently

Currently, many people rely on the government for one program or another. Typically these are the same people who are stuck in the first few levels of hierarchy of needs. They don’t see past tomorrow because they can’t. So why should they care about what comes after it?

While these programs seem like they’re doing good, they’re actually weakening us as a country. Why would anyone work for something if they’re going to get it for free? Principle? Sure. But for how long?

The problem is that there’s so many people out there that don’t care that what they rely on to get to the next day is coming off the hard work of others. It’s not even that they don’t care. It’s that they’re indifferent to it. They don’t know how things work.

As more and more people take “advantage” of these programs or rely on the government to make big decisions for the people and make everything easier, the more those who have made working for government a career gain more power. Not just power for themselves, but power over you, the individual. This is called Progressivism.

Currently, we have two people who, in their personal history, have shown that they are Statists. A Statist is someone who believes that the state should control either economic and/or social policy to some degree.

One is from Big Money and the other is from Big Government. Many people don’t realize that Big Money folk pay Government members to make legislation that will help them out. The more that these people make laws together, the more the little guy (you and I) get pushed out.

A Growing Oligarchy

As we continue to ask the government for favors because we “deserve it”, we move closer and closer to what’s called an oligarchy. (Here’s one of most referenced videos that describes what that is and more.) The more favors they provide, the more people that need to be in control of those favors. The larger the government (or ruling class) gets.

If the United States ever becomes an oligarchy, we will have became the opposite of what the country was originally founded on. A place where we can never have the opportunity for Personal Freedom. It won’t matter how much you tried to do what you wanted, at this point you have a society which has a specific purpose for you, and you’re going to do that specific job.

So this is why I harp on politics as much as I do. Right now I realize how much we have to lose if the rules are changed completely. While I’m fairly new to this whole personal freedom chase myself, I want to at least have a shot.

With the government adding more and more rules in how people function together, it gets harder and harder for EVERYONE to be more and achieve more in life.