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fear of change

Avoid Stagnation by Embracing Our Fear of Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What if…?

 

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

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

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

 

Seeking an Entrepreneurial Community

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

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

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

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

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

Enter Collaborate 317.

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

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

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

 

Discovering My Personal Mission

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

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

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

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

 

Why Add this Complexity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Fear and Stagnation

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace the Fear of the Unknown


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

Just like I have with the podcast.

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

 

Action Steps

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

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

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

Getting Started on the Web

Getting Started on the Web: Choosing the Right Website Building Platform for Your New Business

When starting an online brand or business you might be wondering one simple question that has a complex answer, “Where do I get started?”

There’s several parts to the answer of this question, but one of them is to start building your presence online in the shape of a website.

Back in the early days of website development and really even today, you had to have some tech prowess to do it on your own. However, I’d say that using digital devices in general takes a little bit of tech “can-do” attitude.

I think what it really breaks down into is this. What level are your own tech abilities? How much are you willing to pay to make up the difference between what you can make on your own vs what you visually see your site doing? The bigger and more functional the website, the more likely you’re going to have to hire some outside help.

Basic Techie Skills Needed:

I think the first thing to consider when you’re wanting to start your own online business is to ask yourself “how techie” am I? Because really, you’re going to be putting content onto something that REALLY is still based off of techie work. The internet is built on nerd power. Period.

Whether you have those techie skills yourself, or you have to hire them out is going to be a big question in what hats you’re going to be wearing in the early formation of your business.

So let’s look at some of the traits I think that you need possess in order to build a website:

Can See the Big Picture:

Have you seen a site that you really want to emulate? Perhaps you’ve seen a few that have different parts that you’d like to include into your own?

Unlike where you might have last worked, it’s up to you to think how you’re going to from nothing to something.

What’s that path look like? Have you created a roadmap for yourself? I’m strictly speaking about your site here.

You have to think with the end in mind. So, know what that ending looks for you.

Got it? Good.

Moving on…

Online Searching Skills:

Now that you have the target in front of you, you’ll have to figure out how to get there. In the world of the modern day entrepreneur, no one is going to tell you exactly what you need next as you’re getting your business off ground. That’s going to be up to you.

Personally, I didn’t have much of a reason to have website creation skills when I was in school. In fact, everything that I have ever learned about doing website stuff, I didn’t know at one time. Most of what I know now about website development I’ve learned as I’ve needed it since I graduated from college in late 2009.

How did I learn all this is such short of time? Well, for one, I had to utilize the skill set that I had going through school. Using Google and YouTube to find answers I had questions for. I also followed Pat Flynn as he built SPI to what it is today. I remember when he was still working on the site when he was holed up into the side of his apartment.

Figure out the Details:

Pat and people like him (including more recently the squad over at Fizzle) have helped me shape my roadmap. However, it’s up to me to figure out how I’m going to get from Point A to Point B. Can I walk? Can I take a car? Or do I need a plane?

As you build your roadmap back from the final target, you’ll need to figure out the mode of transportation that works best for you:

Highly detailed work – Mostly everyone can walk. But it’s going to be slowest option. Details that are at this level are usually reserved for those that are highly analytical and want control over every little piece of their project.

Detailed Work – Why walk when you can drive? This is about as fast as you can go on your own. However, just because you can drive doesn’t necessarily mean you should all the time.

Hire Someone Else – Most people can’t fly a plane – but you need a result faster than you could do it! In this case, you can call in a specialist to do the heavy lifting for you. But it’s going to cost you.

 

What type of “transportation” you’re going to use will be based off the next two traits…

Fortitude:

This trait is essential when working out the details on your own. You must realize that going into a project you’ve never done before will result in something that isn’t perfect. There’s a good chance you’re probably going to break something as you learn how to use it. The thing with software and most hardware, these days, is that you can always reset things if you start going in the wrong direction.

Also, as you learn from past attempts in doing something, you get a larger and larger picture of what it is that you need to do to make something do what you want it to do.

From something as complex as coding all the way up to something as simple as dropping in graphics to your site, all of these things need some amount of “I’ll try again if I screw this up” thinking.

 

Patience:

I think one the of biggest traits that goes hand in hand with fortitude is patience. Not only with the process, but with yourself. If you’ve never been a technical person, you have to give yourself the time to become one… at least to the level that your site is going to need you to be.

 

Take Consistent Action:

As your site starts to take form, you’ll need to keep working on it until it’s done. For me, it took me about a month or so to get New Inceptions exactly where I wanted it to before I started writing.

Likewise, if you’ve never touched the backend of a website, then you’re not going to know what you’re looking at. It’s going to take some time to figure out what you need to know versus what’s just extra. If you’re familiar with Cpanel, most of the things that are in there I haven’t touched. However, there are a few things that I’ve used plenty of times and know what they do.

Your ability to how much you can work on the site initially (and when things come up) along with the other traits listed above are the factors that you need to consider when choosing an actual solution to what you’re going to build your site’s foundation on.

Remember when choosing one of these solutions, you’re essentially going to have on one side a ton of flexibility to other side, a simple solution that you can simply just plug things into and call it a day.

 

Let’s look at some of those solutions real quick.

Website Development Solutions

HTML 5 Website Development:

“From scratch” sites (using HTML 5 , CSS, and PHP). This is definitely highly detailed work. To get a finished result, this is going to take a ton of all of the above traits. You’ll have to learn how to code or learn how to use a program like Dreamweaver (or something else) to do precisely what you have in mind. While this might give you all kinds of flexibility and is the backbone of today’s internet, it’s probably not going to be useful for you – unless your business is making websites for other people. Then you might want to get familiar with some of this.

Wix.com: If you want to use more of a drag and drop approach to building your website, I’d check out Wix. While I wasn’t a big fan of it back in 2008 when it was still using Flash, they’ve moved over to using HTML 5 as their base platform.

I will mention that Wix is a freemium solution, but you’ll have to pay for many of the features that you’d get free in CMS Solutions – such as WordPress.

Here’s the Wix Wikipedia page for more info.

 

Content Management System (CMS) Solutions:

WordPress: Ok, so you’re totally happy with giving up some flexibility so you don’t have to start from scratch. Cool. There’s plenty of solutions that will still give you tons of flexibility. Most of the time what you’ll find out there is in the realm of content management systems. Here’s a list of all the solutions that are out there.

Out of all of these, WordPress is by far and away the most used one out there. This is the option I chose. There are several reasons why:

  • Opensource
  • Flexible
  • Inexpensive
  • There’s information all over the net in how to use it.

That said, you’ll probably have to have a high level of all the previously mentioned traits to be successful at using WordPress. I will say that you’re interested in going down this path, it’ll take a bit of detailed work to get things done. In fact, it might take a month’s worth of time to design, create and master your site. If you have that kind of time, I highly recommend it. If you don’t, you’re in a rush, and have some money to spend, then I’d go to another solution.

 

Squarespace and Kajabi

Squarespace and Kajabi are also popular CMS solutions. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to play with them too much.

Both are much more expensive than WordPress in the long run (especially for business) and they might not have as much flexibility as you like. That said, if you want to get rolling quickly or are already making some kind of income doing what you’re planning to use them for, they might be good solutions for you to “just get on the web”.

For more info on Squarespace, you can check out this Wikipedia entry.

And here’s the entry for Kajabi.

 

Action Steps:

For you to figure out what you want for your website, you’re going to have to have a true conversation with yourself. If money is an issue, I’d go with WordPress and learn what you need to to get a basic site up.

If time is an issue and you want something up, but you don’t have the resources for something custom, I’d go with Kajabi, Wix, or Squarespace. (If you’re in the information industry, I’d go with Kajabi.)

If you’re wanting the cream of the crop, want something custom, or simply don’t have the time to build your own site, then you’re going to hire someone. If you don’t know a developer personally, the best place to do that is over at Upwork.com

If you already have a website up and going, let me know how you made the process in choosing the platform you’re using and some of the pros and cons of using it!

 

Mirna Bacun – How to Use LinkedIn to Build a Community and Make Thousands in Revenue (AoL 018)

If you’re a creator who wants to build awareness, there’s not many better ways than to build an online community on one of the social media platforms. Most creators opt for Facebook because it has the largest footprint. However, does that mean it’s the best? Does it mean it’s the most efficient?

I know for me, I’ve seen plenty of groups on Facebook that are highly engaged. That’s why I started the Junto group there. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started it, so it’s kind of a ghost town. I’m still trying to fix that because, Facebook groups is where it’s at in 2016 when it comes to engaged communities on social media.

Mirna Bacun begs to differ. Through doing her work with her SaaS project, Greenpie, she has found a great way to build communities on LinkedIn.

When she got into The Foundation, she had very little knowledge of entrepreneurship and possibly even worse, little to no connections when it came to building her list of potential clients. So long story short, she decided that LinkedIn was as good as any other place to build a community for her company.

She chose well. In the podcast, she talks about how literally everything she does on LinkedIn is free. Getting on News Feeds, messaging, sending bulletins – all of it.

Besides her background and how she got started as entrepreneur, she also talks about her new course and how you can learn just enough about LinkedIn to get a group going yourself and to make thousands in revenue

So if you’re in need for a community and want to do it in an effective an inexpensive way, then you’ll definitely dig this conversation… and then look for her to release her course in February 2016.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How Myr got into entrepreneurship, and more specifically, in The Foundation.
  • What she got out of The Foundation besides her own company.
  • How she handled and overcame her family skepticism of what she was doing.
  • The founding of her first business, Greenpie
  • How she got into building communities on LinkedIn
  • What the benefits are of building a community on LinkedIn (including free traffic)
  • Why she loves LinkedIn vs Facebook
  • How you can learn what she knows about LinkedIn (she made a course version 2!)
  • How she’s been able to utilize her Yoga teaching methods to help others
  • …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:

My New Mic Setup!

2016-01-14 16.07.49

Equipment:

Audio-Technica AT875R (Amazon Link)
Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB (Amazon Link)
MXL Mics Professional Articulating Desktop Microphone Stand (Amazon Link)
Neewer® Metal Mic Suspension Shock Mount Stand Holder with Integrated Clip Pop Shield Filter (Amazon Link)

Book:

Ask by Ryan Levesque (Amazon Link)

 

Over a year ago, Pat Flynn had mentioned that he could only meditate with a certain piece of equipment called Muse. I’ll share a review of it. If you’re really interested in meditating and for some reason struggle with accomplishing it, Muse might be a good buy for you. You can check him out using it in Episode 2 of the SPI TV show on YouTube.

Also, we talked in detail about The Foundation earlier in the podcast. If you want to find out more about Dane Maxwell and Andy Drish’s program, I’ll have a couple of videos that give you an idea of what it’s all about. I’ll also have a link to their podcast. If anything, I’d say The Foundation is the boot camp to Fizzle’s volunteer program. If you need some strong motivation to get a business going, they’ll make sure of it.

What they’re doing is what I believe New Inceptions can help people do someday.

The Foundation 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!

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Cheers!

Planning a Monthly Calendar

 

Here’s a phrase that I’ve been working on as I’ve been getting better at planning my time in the past year. “If you can show me a person’s calendar, I can tell you their view of their future.”

It came from two older quotes that I hear quite a bit.

“Show me the stubs in a man’s checkbook and I will tell you what kind of man he is.” – G.K. Chesterton

Which I think it’s a play off of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s quote,

“Tell me thy company, and I’ll tell thee what thou art.”

As I’ve come to realize over the years, both of these statements are true. Many times we see people who have to have the newest and the best things having the lowest self esteems. It makes sense, I used to be that way. I just wanted to fill a hole in my life. What I found out was that those who hold on to things and fix them when needed, tend to be happier. I can proudly say I’m part of the second group now.

The second quote, is another way of thinking about the saying “You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.” Again, very true. Whether or not you realize it, you’re being influenced by the attitudes and mindset of those that you’re around the most. This is why support groups and  masterminds are so important.

You are the Schedule that You Keep

It seems to me that those that plan the less, always let their circumstances plan out their day, their week, and maybe even their year. All they ever do is things for the now and the near future… not 5 or 10 years down the line. I think that comes from formal education failing them.

If there is something that formal education of the past is really good at is getting people to be followers. However, it doesn’t really help build leaders.

Even to this day I struggle with making a calendar. For me, every week is the relatively the same. I write my blog post, publish the podcast, do any marketing, and work on any upcoming products. When I’m not actively learning, I’m spending time with Maria. I think other people have similar structures of their week too. When they’re not at work or the gym, they’re hanging out with the family or getting things done around the house.

It really takes a miracle for something new to be added to our calendars.

However, by the end of this post today, I think you’ll have a little more guidance on how you can slowly change your life simply by planning it out month by month, week by week. It’s really helped me move forward in life, I expect it to do the same for you.

In fact, I don’t think I would have ever gotten to where I am today if I didn’t start making a calendar as I previously mentioned in my guide to planning a productive week.

Making a Monthly Calendar

Living a life to your full potential is all about intentionally deciding to live that way. We need to choose what you’re doing each moment. However, most of us are not used to living like that. One of the reason’s that jobs are so appealing, I think, is because we’re used to handing those choices over to someone else. Again, thank you formal education. (Side note: I think it’s important that we give kids options as they’re growing up. The more we do, the more they start thinking what consequences choosing one option over the other will have. Otherwise, they’re not going to know how to choose to do things when they’re older.)

So let’s make a monthly calendar to give ourselves a chance to better ourselves and our lives. How do we do that?

It’s actually fairly simple. You simply add themes, challenges, objectives, major events, and connect those all with the weekly plans that we’ve already talked about.

Let’s start with the important “large stones” first.

Major Events (Events Related to the Rest of the World)

You know what these are, and most people put these on their calendars if they keep them anyway. However, let’s look at what all we should include.

  • Birthdays (Yup. Of course.)
  • Anniversaries (Yes. This one is important.)
  • Weddings (Hey, you’ve probably known for awhile. Just write it down.)
  • Holidays (Any that you’re doing differently than what Google Calendar already does for you)
  • Vacations (You’ll want to do this just to make sure you’re seeing what you need to compress into the few weeks before hand.)
  • Extracurriculars (This might involve moving, adjusting to a new work schedule, having a kid, doc and medical visits, etc. You’ll have to adjust the actual dates based on when these happen.)

Whatever you can think up, you should mark it down. If you have a anniversary that’s going to include vacation time, mark it down. Specifically what it is and how long it’s lasting. Also, realize that if you’re having a kid, then there’s going to be time associated with adjusting with newborn. Likewise with vacation. More than likely you’re not going to do actual work on vacation. Figure out how much time both might take and communicate it with any people who need to know. You don’t need to cause yourself or them any confusion.

Themes, Challenges, and Objectives (Events Related to Your Life, Work, and Study)

Ok, now is the additional stuff that is going to really help you figure out how you’re shaping your own future. Each one of these will be broken down into further pieces, the weekly plans and then each day (again, what we’ve already covered).

  • Themes When you think of a theme, think of the highest level of things you’d like to change. Here at New Inceptions, we categorize themes as The 5 Pillars of Happyness. These Pillars are Relationships, Health, Purpose, Finance, and the Little Things. The first four are pretty easy to understand, the Little Things is anything that makes you happy (travel, shopping, gaming, etc.). So perhaps with relationships, you’d like to get married. Ok, well, we’re going to have to make time to find someone. Come up with strategies to do so, and then come up with times to date. Obviously that’ll come one step at a time, but you see where I’m going. These tend to relate to seasons and years.
  • Challenges and Objectives – These are essentially the same thing. Challenges are done for fun, while objectives are done for work purposes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s one or the other. (Dating would be a good example.) But, say, if you wanted to do a triathlon, that’d be a challenge. An objective would be losing so many pounds. Ideally these relate better with months, while their smaller counterparts, projects and tasks, relate to weeks and days, respectively.

 

Weekly Planning

This is what we’ve already we’ve already learned about (again, here’s the link).

It’s the glue of the month. However, they are simply a reflection of planning projects. Not actually planning meaningful action. Just because you have a theme, challenge, and/or objective identified, doesn’t mean you have the actual time allocated to get it done.

Homework:

How’s your planning going? Have you been using the weekly planning guide? If so, how’s it working for you? I really hope this helps you add another level to your planning. What do you think about monthly or weekly planning? What have you seen as a result since you’ve started implementing it yourself? Would love to hear from you below, on Facebook, or Twitter!

5 Steps to Successful Weekly Planning via Tony Robbins

Weekly planning. It’s something that many of us might not be familiar with. Especially if we’re having to deinstitutionalize ourselves from the academic and/or corporate world. But the thing is that planning is a vital element to be successful in self made career.

So let’s see what Tony has to say on the matter:

“I Don’t Have Enough Time.”

When I was first getting started with LTD, one of the first CDs I ever heard had a Diamond talking about how people have a top few excuses about why they don’t want to start The Business. The number one reason was this phrase.

The CD continued, “There is no bigger killer of dreams than those five words”.

But the truth is, everyone that has ever lived has had the same amount of minutes in a given day and in a given week. Lack of time never stopped Picaso from painting, it never stopped Steve Jobs from creating and building Apple, and it sure hasn’t stopped Tony Robbins from connecting with tens of thousands of people (yearly) from all over the world.

So the question is… how do they do it?

When it comes to time, they have a strategy. Most of us don’t. In fact, I’m still learning to keep an ever more productive calendar and this is why I wanted to share the strategy with you.

The first thing to do is stop telling yourself that busy people are special. They’re not. They simply have found a strategy that works for them. Then they execute, adjust, and execute again.

Most people go into the week with little planning going into what their week looks like. At best, they have a jumbled list of tasks.

I fear, however, that many of us were taught to act this way. From day one in Kindergarten, we’ve been told when it’s time to stop something and then move onto the next task. Those who went to college had even more of this ingrained into our heads.

This is one reason doing something you love is not easy. We’re not used to setting our own schedules.

If you’re wanting to do something on your own, you need to have a strategy, otherwise you’re going to sink back to default which is waiting for someone to tell you to do something.

However, you should realize that the strategy that successful people have is not just for them. You can learn it too.

5 Step Weekly Planning Method

So below you’ll see the overview of the different steps. While we note that many execute, learn, and then execute again, there are 3 other important steps.

1. Commit To Success

2. Be Present

3. Reflect on the Past

4. Plan the Future

5. Fill in the Gaps

So let’s dive in.


1. Commit To Success

It all starts with the Routine

When you’re committing to success, there are two vital parts you need to take note of. First and foremost is the actual point in the week in which you do the planning that we’re going to be laying out here. Personally, I like to do it on Sunday. Sundays have always felt so “Ugh, here comes another week” most of my life that I want to replace that feeling with a “Oh snap. Here’s the stuff I’m looking forward to doing this week!”

However, if Sunday doesn’t look good for you, then perhaps the first thing on Monday might be better?

Either way, you’ll need an hour to do this. (Possibly up to 2 hours if you’re just beginning your journey and aren’t in a groove yet!) Also, make sure you do it before checking emails or any other weekly tasks.

Action Step 1: Write down your planning time and schedule it. That’s the first thing you have to commit to each week. Committing to yourself.


2. Be Present

Building the Framework (Visualizing the Big Picture)

So, as I’ve said plenty of times on NI before, you always want to start with the end in mind, right? When you get there, how will you know? What does success actually look like? Where do you want to be in the next 3 to 10 years? What do you want to be remembered for? Think of these items as your framework for what you’re doing. Without the foundation, whatever you do this week won’t be anchored properly.

In fact, it might help to put this in some sort of visual aide so that you remember quickly it from week to week.

Action Step 2: When meeting with yourself, reconstruct your goals and framework to get there. This first step should be relatively short. 2-5 minutes at most.


3. Reflect on the Past

What Were Your Wins?

First part you can look forward to is celebrating your wins. People rarely take the time to appreciate the things they’ve accomplished before diving into what’s next. Personally, I know I’m horrible with this. Learn how to be proud of things you’ve done. Learn how to give yourself a compliment – a good grade.

Here’s something that was a win for me last week: I was able to edit all of the first AoL podcast using a software I didn’t know much about. Had a awesome Fizzle meeting with Maria and Jon Ridge. Talked about a business opportunity he’s excited about. Also looked into becoming an online tutor. I feel that tutoring and teaching is a great way to connect with people.

Action Step 3a: Take 5 to 10 minutes listing 5 to 10 wins that you had this week.

 

What Did You Learn?

Sometimes a win isn’t actually a win. Sometimes it’s something your learned. What major things did you learn about? Any quotes you want to share? Or how about things that inspired you? Or possibly found out about people you’d like to connect with? You need to keep track of these things!

Something that I learned this past week: It doesn’t matter how many people are signed up for an event. If it’s free, there’s a good chance they’re not going to come. I had 4 other people besides Jon, Maria, and myself listed for the Fizzle Meetup. None of them showed. Would be interested in finding out why.

Action Step 3b: Take 2-5 minutes going through any notes, shares, and ideas from last week. List all the lessons that come to mind.

 

What Didn’t Happen?

Finally, here’s the part that many dread in their day to day life. Funny enough, though, it’s actually what most of us have to deal with when it comes to reviews at our careers and even in school. So the reason we hate it so much is because that’s what we’re used to is bad news in our reviews.

However, we should only care about the things that actually mattered. Don’t worry about the small stuff.

The stuff that went south – did it happen for a good reason (maybe other important things happened?), or was it a bad reason (getting sucked into social media debate that lasted on and off all day long?). What could you have done to avoid it? If you see yourself going down that path again, what can you change?

Something that didn’t go my way last week: I wanted to record another one or two more conversations for the podcast. However, due to weird technological issues, I wasn’t able to get either. Looking forward to recording them in the future. Also wanting to go through some of Pat’s newbie stuff so I can remember how bad he was so I don’t feel so terrible myself!

Action Step 3c: For 2-5 minutes come up with a list of things that didn’t go right and what you can do to improve next time. For bonus points, you can start taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong – even a meteor strike.


4. Plan the Future

Determine Outcomes for the Week

We’ve already looked at where we are by thinking about our goals and developing the framework to get there. We also have quickly looked at the past. Now it’s time to look at what’s coming down the pipeline.

The next step is thinking about our outcomes. Personally, my outcomes come from the Pillars of Happyness.

A good amount of outcomes to do on a weekly basis is probably 5 to 7 items. If you’re thinking of the Relationship Pillar, maybe you could start that new dating site profile. Or if you’re looking at the Health Pillar, perhaps something like getting a gym membership might be a good goal. You get to decide how big or small they are. Whatever they are, make sure that they’re propelling you to your long term goals. So surfing Reddit all day might not necessarily be a great decision.

A big goal for me this week is to get this post out on time. I’ll be having some connectivity related problems this next week and I just want to make sure that before I don’t have access, that I get it posted.

Action Step 4a: For 5 to 10 minutes, make a list of 5 to 7 outcomes that you want to get done for the week.

Schedule Everything You Want to Get Done – Seriously.

This step is one I struggle with. I have issues with scheduling. However, everything I do takes up time in my day. However, while most of us realize this, we typically don’t try to do anything about. I would guess that if you took all of those 5 to 7 outcomes that you just listed that you’d probably need a lot more time in a day then you actually have.

This is the reason we feel that we never have enough time in a day. While we might just make a list, most of us usually underestimate how much time something is going to take. Since everything takes time, we need to assign actual time to those items that matter the most to us.

Action Step 4b: For the next 5 to 15 minutes, look at your 5 to 7 tasks you just listed in Part a. Spread those out throughout your week while doing only 1-3 per day. Now actually reserve the time on your calendar. The key is assigning real time to each task.


5. Fill in the Gaps

Make Room for your Miscellaneous Items for the Week

So you have your outcomes and then broke them apart into smaller manageable daily lists. Next, you have to fill in other stuff. Have a meeting you need to go to? Put that in. Have a mastermind that you’re a part of? Put that in. Taking classes from Fizzle? Get those in there.

By the end of this process, you shouldn’t have any stray lists or tasks in your head or on stickies around your desk.

Also, while you’re at it, you might want to take a little bit of time to touch base with some people this week.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Who can I add value to this week?
  2. Who can help me get done what I have coming up?

Do both of these weekly as I can tell you that you can’t keep all your good ideas in your head. You’ll forget by morning (even if you don’t you’ll definitely forget by the weekend!).

Action Step 5: For the last 5-10 minutes, look at what’s left on your to do list*. Now looking back at your schedule. Think about where you could fit these little tasks and connections in. Schedule all of them!

*A multi platform tool that will help you organize your to-do lists is Trello. You can use Trello on your desktop, laptops, mobiles – whatever.


Bonus Tips

So here’s the deal, even with this strategy, you might have some small questions in getting everything in that you want to get in. So let me see if we can predict those:

Q: Everything keeps taking longer than I expect! What can I do to make better predictions?

A: As Frank Forte would say, “The Analytical in me thinks that if you believe you’ll take an hour to make a blog post, you better schedule it for an hour and a half or two”.

Q: So, I got behind on day one. I had everything planned out just like you said. Now what?

A: Did you have buffer time? If you planned on having a 45-60 minute conversation, did you leave the extra 15 minutes of buffer time? They might have wanted to talk longer.

Q: So, I put in buffer time and I still am not getting everything done I want to. Now what?

A: You’re just going to have to be ok in not getting everything done this week. Nobody’s perfect.

Q: I find that by the time I get to some important tasks in the day, that my energy is giving up to do them. How do I get them done?

A: If you find yourself not having enough energy to get things done (I’m a night owl naturally, I don’t have that problem), you might want to get everything done at the first part of your day. You can even take that another step and do all your important tasks at the beginning of your week.

 

That’s It. There’s my strategy. Now, what are your hacks?

Think I’ve missed anything? Is there anything you’d add or need cleared up? Let me know in the comments below.

11 Ways to Get Things Done That You’re Putting Off!

Life would be so much awesomer if we only did what our hearts and emotions wanted us to do each moment of the day. Unfortunately, there’s lots of little pieces in doing things that many times that we don’t want to do. Just this week I forced myself to learn how to use Logic Pro X for the upcoming podcast. I wanted to do better than what Garageband enables me to do. But Logic Pro looks so scary and detailed in comparison. But you know, if I want to eventually have professional sounding podcasts (which I’m pretty happy with my results thus far), then I know I need to put in the time to learn how to get it done.

So… what did I tell myself?

1. Just Do It!

Now if you can’t get done by simply following Shia’s advice, here are a few more pointers that might help you tackle your own project that you’ve been putting off.

2. Don’t just think about why you need to do this. MEDITATE on it.

Clear your mind and don’t think of anything else but this task. Don’t think about the phone call you’re going to get in a couple minutes. Don’t think about what you have to do with your friends in a few hours. Don’t think about what you’re going to feed the family when you get home.

Mind clear? Now, just take 5 or 10 minutes and think about why you want to do this task that you want to do. What will this task help accomplish? Who is it helping? Dig deeper and find the good that doing this task will be doing in the world. Every little job that is out there is going to mean more than you think it will. Even if it’s doing laundry. Doing the laundry will give you clean clothes so that you won’t be working in dirty ones next week.

3. Knockout the fear.

Chances are the biggest thing that’s keeping you back from what you’re wanting to do is fear. What will happen if I fail at the task? What will happen if someone finds out? What will happen if? Well, have you ever thought about what would happen if you don’t? I’m sure you have. That’s why you’re thinking about doing it in the first place! So embrace fear and just know that it’s part of the process. Hell, even when we learned to ride a bike we had fear. Now we look back on bike riding as one of those things we have to learn to do!

4. Embrace the Suck.

Very similar to fear, is knowing that something that you have to do is going to suck. It’s the elephant in the room. Just like learning a new piece of software or even cleaning out the garage. You know it’s going to be awhile before you see any fruit come of it. So what? Hard things suck, but in the end it will be worth it.

5. Letting Go of Perfection.

Man, I really struggle with this one. In college (and I can almost blame school in general for making me this way), I never wanted to do anything until I knew exactly how to do it. That I didn’t want to turn anything in until it was perfect. The truth is that nothing in life is perfect. Your living condition is never perfect. Your friends and family aren’t perfect. So why would you expect yourself to be? So let go of the fantasy, the ideal, the expectation of yourself. This task before you, it needs to get done. Shoot for the A-.

6. Focus on the Intention, not the Results.

So even if you shot for the A-, you might just completely fail altogether. This happens too. Prepare for the worst case scenario, but don’t expect it. If you fail, think about why you did it in the first place. Was your heart or mind in the right place? Yes? Great! Knowing that is half the battle! However, don’t quit there. Learn from the outcome. What could you have done better to have a better result? Failing is never really failing unless you don’t learn something from it.

7. Do a Little and Stop

Mini-breaks are key. So, let’s say that you have to write up a report for some presentation you’re going to give. Ok, it’s hard enough that you got to make the presentation, right? Well, what’s the best way to do all of this? Storyboarding it! Or if you remember back to high school, write an outline first!

Now, take a break – actually get up and get a drink of water or do some push ups. Actually take a mental break.

Now, go back to your outline and look at the first section – can that be divided even more? Yes? Make your sub points. No? Then write your first paragraph.

Take another break to get free. Go stretch, play with the dog for 5 minutes and come back.

Rinse and repeat. You’ll eventually find yourself in the flow and find that taking a break is actually starting to become annoying.

8. Give Yourself Constraints

This solution is somewhat the same but totally clutch. Totally kills procrastination for me. So you know when you have clean out a room (or the garage in my case) and you keep putting it off? Well, here’s a great way to get it done. Do the work according to a time frame. Do it for 20 minutes (or 10 minutes if it’s on the computer) and then regardless of where you’re at, just come to a complete stop. More than likely you’ll find it hard to do so and keep going until you find a point where you can. Best part is that after the break you take, you’ll find it easier to start because your mind will be like “Oh, I’ve already started on that and it wasn’t so bad!” Every little part helps. If you find yourself needing additional help, ask someone to hold you accountable.

9. Express Gratitude (maybe even in a journal form?)

The job that’s keeping you from doing the stuff you actually enjoy will probably result in great things. In my case, I was putting off learning the software, but now that I got it down, I have a template that I’ll be able to use to get things future podcasts done quicker. Changing things as I go, but at least I’ll have one, two, five sessions out there soon!

Like wise, if you find yourself going to a job you dislike, just appreciate the fact that you have one. You have money to buy food and keep a roof over your head! At least you can even do the job! Can you imagine that if you didn’t have sight how much that might set you back in doing it? Imagine life sucking even more and then try feeling sorry for yourself. That will give you a boost. “Well at least I’m not…” is always a great motivator for myself.

Alternatively, if you’re in a career you love, but you still find it hard to get out of bed, realize that you’re in a gifted position. Sometimes it’s easy to take things for granted, but realize that you could be in a job you hate or weren’t meant for. Go do what you’re great at and learn from it.

Having problems with expressing gratitude regularly? Look into the 5 Minute Journal. Expressing gratitude is no small matter. People who are highly successful use just this one thing to get TONS of things done.

10. Don’t overthink things.

Truth is, we can sit there thinking about doing a task… until we sit there and talk ourselves out of it. Realize that you can over think things. Don’t. Just realize that it might start happening, call it for what it is when you see it and restart your thoughts. “Damnit, I’m over thinking it!” is probably one of my most favorite release phrases I use now.

11. Learn and Grow

Just as I previously mentioned with riding a bike, we all can remember things that we’re glad we did when we were younger. Draw on that feeling to realize that what you’re about to do is going to be worth it. Realize that having this opportunity is a good thing in the end. It’s a learning opportunity. And frankly, spending your time learning is probably one of the best ways to spend your time.

 

How Do You Get ‘Er Done?

Below in the comments, share about how you use any of the above tactics to get things done. Is there any tips that you can give that might help someone break their procrastination? Chime in below with your procrastination hacks!