find your niche

Emily Kelly on Finding Your Niche, Working Remotely, and Mastering Empathetic Writing (AoL 069)

When first starting, many of us have problems with being an entrepreneur in one way or another. Our main issue, many times, is we simply don’t know where we fit. We’re told to “find your niche” and often times, we find it hard because we could do so many things. However, we need to learn what it is that we do well and hire out for things we’d rather not.

Over at Fizzle, for example, Chase and Corbett hired in Steph Crowder to help with customer support back in 2015.

Steph, having worked at a few startups by that point, knew how to interact with clients on a one to one basis. It was something that Chase, who’s the main creative at Fizzle, and Corbett, the business brain, didn’t have the resources to do themselves.

In our interview with Steph in 2016, we learned that she was expecting soon.

They had to get a fill-in for her while she was on maternity leave.

Today’s guest, Emily Kelly, was the hero for Fizzle during that time.

But, just because she was with them temporarily, doesn’t mean she was bad at the position.

In fact, it was part of her new role as as a virtual customer support specialist. She has taken the phrase “find your niche” seriously.

In this interview, we find out about her journey to become a virtual assistant, what she recommends to folks coming right out of college to keep them from getting burnt out at work, and some pointers in putting emotion into writing.

If you’re thinking about about starting your own business, perhaps being a virtual assistant first might just be in the future for you as well.

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What kind of career did she envision as she was going to school? 8:02
  • Which creative influences did she have in her life growing up? 10:52
  • What it was like to have her dad working remotely growing up. 13:15
  • When was the first time Emily had experience with entrepreneurship herself? 14:47
  • What was it like to work at a startup vs where she previously worked? 18:13
  • What advice would she give someone who’s coming out of college so they don’t get burnt out? 21:37
  • Which mindset did Emily utilize while working for a startup? How did she use the advice “Find your niche”? 27:15
  • What is some advice that she’d give someone to get more emotion into their writing? 37:04
  • What are some things to look for when hiring remote help? 39:28
  • 3 Influencers or teachers that have helped Emily get to where she is today. 44:38
  • One gift that she likes giving others. 45:17
  • Something she believed as a 21 year old but doesn’t now and why? 45:46
  • If she could place an ad anywhere in the world cost free, what would it be and where? 46:19
  • Who does Emily think of as a success and why? 48:29
  • What are some ways that someone can improve their customer support? 49:53
  • … 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:

Broke with Billy Corben:

Intro to Deep Work by Cal Newport:

How to Become a Virtual Assistant:

Simon Sinek on the Millennial Question:

Bonus: Simon Sinek followup:

Thank You For Sharing Some Time With Us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Jesse Winton: Making Movies, Millennials, and Learning to Mind the Gap (AoL 066)

People will come up with a million excuses not to do something. But it takes one good one – one why – to actually go and accomplish a big lofty goal.

Case in point – Jesse Winton, had never made a movie before. But yet, his first one, made it national.

Sure, he could have psyched himself out by saying that his goal was unattainable, but instead, he chose to kick those thoughts to the side and go after this goal.

In this session, learn from Jesse how he was able to get his idea off the ground, what his perception of Millennials are when it comes to how they’re viewed, and how he handles discomfort during the middle of a project – aka The Gap.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did his homeschooling background contribute to where he’s at now? 6:01
  • Were his parents supportive of his aspirations? 8:07
  • What kind of specific knowledge or training did he have to get his ‘Targeted’ off the ground? 11:16
  • Jesse’s perception of Millennials vs what others view them as. 15:34
  • How do we convert more Millennials to become creatives? 21:03
  • What sparked Jesse to create the film? 25:07
  • Why Jesse identifies with Libertarians. 28:27
  • Why did Jesse create Wintons Motion Pictures? 33:00
  • What goes into preparing for pitch meetings? 35:34
  • How Jesse went national with his documentary. 31:33
  • Was there any fear in reaching out to influencers? 42:29
  • How did Jesse and his dad find interviewees for the documentary? 46:26
  • How does he handle discomfort that comes up during the middle of a project? 51:57
  • What’s coming next for Jesse? 58:50
  • Who are three influencers that have helped him get to where he is today? 1:01:17
  • Top Favorite Books that he recommends 1:02:22
  • Smallest decision he’s made that has had the largest impact on his life 1:03:18
  • What is one thing that all high school students must know… even if it involves Dane Maxwell. 1:04:08
  • What’s it mean to live a life of abundance? 1:06:14
  • What can people do to live an inspired life? 1:07:15
  • … 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:

Targeted DVD Promo:

Interview with Glenn Beck:

Interview with Perry Atkinson via theDoveTV:

The Gap by Ira Glass:

Jesse’s mad skills on the Fiddle:

making movies

Thank You For Sharing Some Time With Us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

building a long term business

AoL 048: Building a Long Term Business through Relationships, Metrics, and Family with Brandon Northwick

It’s no secret that the way we run our business is based on how we approach the world. Is our business about us helping others with what we think they need help with, without hesitation, or do we see it more as a way of helping others in any way they actually need help? Meaning, we find those problems that they’re actually having and help them there.

To me, this latter method is, I think, how you build true relationships. Not necessarily trying to force what you do on people, but just making yourself available if they need help implementing a particular strategy or tool into their business.

In this rare episode, I dig down into the nuts and bolts of how Brandon Northwick runs his business. I find out how his wife Sara functions in the business, how he uses attraction marketing to get his clients, and how he builds trust with people through that process before getting the sale.

If you’re having problems with closing your service based sales, then you should definitely check out this straight-talk chat.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why you should careful when you using applications like Crowdfire 30:45
  • How do you standardize what people pay you for your services? 34:30
  • Why should people interested in their metrics and when? 36:51
  • How was Brandon’s wife Sara brought into the business world? 38:43
  • What does Sara do in the family business? 40:19
  • How does Brandon’s video strategy enter into his traffic strategy? 41:24
  • What you should do if you feel that your work life isn’t interesting enough to make videos for your business. 43:20
  • How does he generate leads from traffic? 47:09
  • What’s an example of a good opt-in? (The answer is not what you expect!) 49:26
  • What Brandon thinks about having to build trust with a customer before they buy. 52:32
  • How he uses attraction marketing to get his clients. 56:14
  • What kind of people have influenced Brandon’s ability to help people. 57:16
  • What he’s excited for in the future. 58:18
  • Three truths that he would share with others. 1:00:07
  • Three favorite podcasts 1:00:36
  • Something he believed when he was 20 years old, but thinks is bogus now. 1:00:57
  • When he thinks of success, who comes to mind? 1:02:42
  • … 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:

Business for Breakfast – #1 Myth in Building a Lasting Business:


How to Get More Engagement with Social Media

How to Know Where to Sit at a Poker Table (I didn’t know this was a thing…):

Business for Breakfast – Being Guru Centric VS Client Centric:

Thanks for Listening!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

start a low budget business

How to Start a Business with a low budget, little technology access, hardly any time, and no college education

Many times I’m asked, what kind of business can I start if I don’t have the money, skills, or the technology?

The quick answer: Any kind you want.

Many of the folks that I interact with in my daily life on and offline would love to have their own thing and make an income with it. However, for one reason or another, they simply haven’t gotten there yet.

They usually have one to four major obstacles that are getting in their way:

  • Limited Education (might not have gone to college)
  • Limited Access to Technology (they *might* have a laptop)
  • Limited Funding (might be on welfare)
  • Limited Time (they need to make money with the time they spend on what they’re doing)

My goal with this post is to take you through some key points and see if we can come out the end having figured out a solution to these issues while allowing you to properly utilize your skill set. Just a heads up, in this case, we’re going to be utilizing the idea of setting up a car repair shop as the primary example.

College Graduate vs No College

One thing I’ve noticed is there is a pattern when it comes to those who graduated college vs those who haven’t.

Those that have completed college, tend to see more obstacles all at once which makes them less likely to even get started. They believe they don’t have the necessary skills to do precisely what they want to do, so that’s the point? Or, if they’re like me when I first started, they realize the time investment it’s going to take to learn all of these new skills and simply believe they’ll run out of runway before they get off the ground. Just like so many other things, smart people tend to overthink themselves from actually moving forward.

On the other hand, those that haven’t gone to college actually tend to get started, but then soon realize that they don’t have the skills or the funding to follow through on their idea or take it to another level.

I mean, I know several guys who are good with cars. Most of them have been “work at home” repair guys in the past, but realized that it was too much of a hassle to keep going for a prolonged period of time. I’m guessing because the reason they got busy is because word of their good work and super low prices got out and everyone wanted to take advantage of it! Not a bad deal if you didn’t have money coming in before you got started, but after awhile, it just gets old or difficult to keep up.

So, inevitably they want to scale it up a bit. But how do you do that?

They have no extra money to hire anyone. And they don’t have time to learn to shoot and edit video to start a YouTube channel documenting what they’ve done.

So what choice do they have other than continuing to do things they’ve always done?

Both of these examples illustrate people that in the end have maxed out their time. If they had more time, they’d probably use even more of it to do the work themselves.

This isn’t a great solution.

So let’s figure out a solution that takes care of all of these issues at once.

Getting Started

In my FREE eBook, The 6 Cornerstones of a Successful Online Business, one of the things that I discuss is that it’s very important to have a Why.

Based on your background, your Why will differ quite a bit from the next person’s. I mean, it’s true that you might be interested in having the same result, but the reason you’re doing it is going to be your own because everyone has different backgrounds.

So first, you need to find out what your Why is and learn to hold onto it because it’s what will get you through the tough times. 

After you’ve found your Why, the next step is figuring out what you’ve enjoyed doing in the past the most in your past jobs and positions.

Whatever answers this question, that’s what you’re going to want to build your business off of.

Perhaps you like working with people, perhaps you actually do like working on cars. Maybe it’s both, it’s up to you to figure out what industry you want to work in.

Building the Foundation

Once you’ve determined the industry you want to work in, now it’s up to you to think about the type of business you’d like to ideally run. Would you like to have others working for you on a big online platform? Would you like to run a mechanic shop? Own several and just rake in the money? It really depends on what you see for yourself. Each goal is going to have a different approach. To build a proper foundation, you need to know what the finished product looks like.

 

Skill Inventory Check

At this point, if you’ve already read the 6 Cornerstones, you’re probably wondering where this is going because it seems pretty similar. Well, it is. That’s why I made the resource. It’s the general building blocks of a successful online business.

However, this post is more about the freelancing model. One big benefit of using this model is that it helps people earn income quickly.

So that said, this is the part that things start to change a bit.

If you’re wanting to do something online or that you have a fairly long runway, know that getting the 6 Cornerstones will help. But if you’re wanting to do something in the real world or need results yesterday, this hopefully will fill in some gaps.

So let’s stick with the mechanic example. As a mechanic you realize that you’d probably like having a shop, and you’re probably going to like having several guys working for you.

The first thing I’d do is make sure you have some procedures in place in how to do jobs. Luckily with mechanics, those procedures are fairly easy to get ahold of. If they’re not online, then I know that they’re in books in the part stores that have everything down to changing a headlight.

Now, here’s the thing. It’s not going to be up to you to be doing the jobs, What you need to find is someone that can actually do the jobs in the back while you’re out getting new customers. Or, if you REALLY want to be in the back working on things, you’re going to have to find someone that is good at getting the customers in.

You can’t do both in the end, and while I know at the beginning you might have time to do both, you should be more concerned about getting your shop started.

In other words, whatever you’re bad at or don’t want to do, find someone that will help fill in your weaknesses for a price point that you can afford.

Finding Help

Where are places that you can get folks who are looking to do work for cheap and not all the time? If you’re starting an online business, you can get people to help by project at Fiverr.com or at upwork.com if it’s something in depth.

As far as the mechanic shop owner goes, he’ll want to check schools or junior colleges that help mechanics get certified to work for the larger shops. They won’t be able to work all the time because they go to class, but they’ll probably need experience and they’ll probably want paid based on the project, and you can help them with both.

Of course you’ll want to find out what the market wants first, (specially in the car shop case, are you going to be specializing in domestics, imports, or both?) but in the end, you’re going to need help so start with it early based on how much work you got coming in.

 

Getting Paid

Now that we have you in charge of the “shop” and the actual mechanic (or in the online world a programmer or designer), you’ll want to make sure you’re not only covering your overhead (which in this case is charging enough to pay you and your help), but thinking about the future too.

Start off by pricing the work at something lower than most shops, but enough to pay you, your partner, and save a little per job. Eventually you’ll want to have some money to put towards that dream shop, but you want to also have enough money for taxes.

If you’re online and you’re starting a design group, the same holds true. Get enough that you and your partner are paid fairly, and have enough margin so that you can upgrade your technology, or buy better services to make your life easier so can put more enhancements in your sales funnel.

Momentum

As you and your help do more work, two things will happen.

  1. If have good quality, word will get out there on your quality, and you’ll get more customers through referrals. Also, if you’re doing your job, you’re letting more people know about your services just like your first customer.
  2. Your help might either want to go full time, or you might have to find another helper. As a full timer, your help will probably want to be paid more. If you opt to find another helper, you’ll have to put in more time as you get that new person up to speed. This choice is yours – just remember that a experience might just be worth the extra dollar, (or 20) per hour. Everyone has so much time, but there’s plenty of money out there.

Once you have this problem of momentum, this is where the real fun starts. Will you have to find another place to do your work before your dream shop? Do you bring on more part timers? It sounds basic, but it’s how the world works. Don’t over think it.

Checking our Results

Now, just in this mechanic shop example, we were able to come up with a business while dealing with all of the issues that were raised at the beginning.

  1. Limited Education – If you’re not good at something, don’t want to deal with it, OR doing it yourself prohibits your goal, you can always find someone that knows what they’re doing for a price point you can afford. You just have to think outside the box to find them.
  2. Limited Access to Technology – In the car shop sense, you’re not going to have all the greatest and best tools to get the job done. It doesn’t mean that you can’t rent equipment per job or just do the ones that you’re capable of doing at the time.

    If you’re working online, perhaps this means that the only time you’re doing business is through a library computer or via computers that are in a studio. Maybe you do have a laptop. At that point, you can start finding more clients at any time for your developer or designer.
  3. Limited Funding – Mechanic wise, if you’re starting off with $500 or $600, get tools you don’t have that are necessary to do one or two jobs that need to be done all the time. Meaning, do you have the basics for doing the jobs that a Jiffy Lube can do? Start there.

    If you’re doing a job online, use that money to buy software that you and your partner can use to do simple jobs. There’s tons of open source software suites out there. And you’d be surprised on what all is available today that is a good alternative to Photoshop. Same thing can be said about website development. Buy the license on one theme that can be changed to do practically anything you want. Enfold (the theme I use) is a great example.
  4. Limited Time – If you’re only able to spend 20 hours a week doing something, that’s all you need. That averages out to 3 hours a day. Not all of that time has to be equally distributed each day. If you can spend more time than that on a given day, then, by all means do so.

    Spend time doing something you’re good at. Again, I’d strongly recommend finding someone to help out as a helper early on or even a co-founder. It’s a much easier road and 50% of something is always better than 100% of nothing.

Obviously, this is post is heavy in the freelancer model. And that’s for a reason. The freelancer is the one entrepreneur type that can start earning an income the quickest and potentially the highest right away. Other types of business models might have higher returns later, but this is a great place if you need to change your hours into dollars.

If earning income quickly isn’t a necessity for you, then you might have other limitations that you might have to deal with. Maybe if you’re trying to be a thought leader or a teacher, you haven’t quite learned everything you need to know to have as much impact as you’d like. Or perhaps if you’re an artist, you simply haven’t mastered your craft yet.

If you’re thinking of becoming a thought leader, teacher, or mediapreneur, I highly recommend checking out the 6 Cornerstones eBook I spoke of earlier. I believe it will truly help you go the right direction when building something online for the long haul.

That said, best of luck to you as you start this journey. Would love to hear your thoughts below.

ashley zahabian interview

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

When it comes to success, many times we think that people are lucky and that success just happens. Even this past week with the launch of Pokemon Go, we’ve seen something take very little time to become really well known – even by those of us who have put very little time into it if none at all.

However, just like the creator of Pokemon, our guest Ashley Zahabian would tell you that there is no such thing as overnight success. In fact, when it comes to her story, she’s been on the public speaking path for several years already – which is saying a lot for a 21 year old!

In this session, Ginger and I dive into Ashley’s path and find out how an overnight success story is made. Join in as we discuss how she went from living a caged life to a charged one, what she has planned for the next few years, and how she stays consistent in her work.

If you’ve seen this gal on stage, Facebook or YouTube, this is a backstage pass that should give you hope in reaching for your goals and dreams!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why the struggles she’s had over the last several years have helped her become an “overnight” success. 10:39
  • What she’s been able to implement into her entrepreneurial career from what she learned in college. 15:34
  • Ashley’s take on Mr. Wonderful blowing up on Maneesh Sethi on Shark Tank 19:09
  • Why she thinks it’s important to work with your passion. 21:00
  • How she belives that she was able to move from living a Caged life to a Charged life 27:22
  • The feeling of what it was like to become an honest person. 23:34
  • The first thing someone can do to step into a Charged life. 28:37
  • How Ashley stays consistent in her work week. 34:38
  • What gave Ashley the idea to start doing her video series. 38:47
  • Why she doesn’t worry about using clips from movies in her videos on YouTube. 40:45
  • How long Ashley has been doing speaking engagements. 42:10
  • What she would recommend for people to do if they wanted their first speaking gig. 43:34
  • What she imagines that the next 5 years of her career look like. 48:19
  • Three truths that she would share with others. 51:25
  • Three of her favorite influencers in her life. 52:02
  • If she could have high school consume certain information, what would she prescribe. 52:41
  • What she would tell the 13 year old version of herself. 56:50
  • …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 (Update – 5.16.2017):

Hey guys! Thanks for looking for the show note extras for Ashley’s interview. Unfortunately, a lot of her earlier stuff has been taken down. So I’ve gone and added a few other videos for you to enjoy of Ashley at work… including her TEDx talk!

Ashley’s Interview on Addicted 2 Success TV:

Ashley on her Experiences at the Feliciano School of Business:

Believe in Yourself (An Early Speech by Ashley):

Ashley is officially a TEDx presenter!

Ashley on the I Am the Average Podcast:

Ashley Zahabian interview

 

 

Thanks for Listening!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

4 Quick, Simple, and Immediate Steps to Take Action in Your Work

Whether you call it analysis paralysis or overthinking it, why is it that we spend so much time trying to do what we know that we should be doing? Many of us go to workshops, classes, and even big events to get over this issue.

Even when I was in college, I started realizing that I’d think about how I’d want to do something before I actually tried. In retrospect, it probably cost me some good opportunities here and there.

Here are some of the reasons that people might over think something:

  • Worried about what other people might think.
  • Don’t want to start something else that they believe they might fail.
  • Not sure what the next step is.
  • Don’t want to waste time that could be used more productively.
  • Know what many next steps might be.

Do these sound similar to thoughts you’ve had? I know that for me, I’ve struggled with all of them at different points and continue to at times.

Needless to say overthinking things can happen at any level. Let’s look at how we can hack ourselves out of these thoughts that keep us in our comfort zone.

 

Look Beyond Yourself.

This is one that most of us struggle with as teenagers and early 20 year olds. We wonder if we’re good enough to go on the date with the cool guy or the pretty girl. We wonder if we’re good enough to get on the team. We believe that if we aren’t perfect at school or whatever that we take seriously, that other people won’t take us seriously in the future – meaning that we won’t get into that great school or land that awesome first opportunity.

Personally, for me, I lived in this cage for a good part of my life. I think I started caring when I was constantly bullied in school. And I have to say that really made me worry what others thought of me until 2011.

 

Then I was given a task to do: make 100 cold calls a week.

That’s what it took to break me out of my mold.

 

When I was doing those calls, I stopped worrying about what others were going to think of me. What I started to think about was what I was going to be able to do for them.

Here’s the key. When you don’t want to care about what others think of you, you need to realize that you taking action can help others. Sure, it can be people you don’t know with products you believe in (that’s key). But it can also be your friends and family.

By setting the example to do something new, you’re being an example of what’s possible.

However, you might have a deeper issue than that. Sure, you want to be a speaker on a stage sometime, and you realize how many people that would help. But you don’t see yourself as a speaker. In fact, you might have a speech impediment that’s keeping you from getting your message out.

However, it’s still possible for you to become that speaker.

How?

Well, for one, there are some speakers and comedians that have overcome some major hurdles in their lives to do the role that they do. Some of my favorite personalities are those who don’t see their disability as a disability – they see it as a way that sets them apart from the crowd.

One example of a comedian who does this is Josh Blue who has cerebral palsy. (If you want more, he has a special on Netflix.)

Another comedian that I love is Zach Anner – check out his YouTube channel here.

Yet another example is a Christian motivational speaker that you possibly might have heard about is Nick Vujicic who doesn’t have any limbs.

How did these guys get over their hurdles?

  • First off, they realized that doing what they felt they were being called to do was more important than what others might think.
  • They also realized, as we talked about before, that doing this new activity would make a difference in people’s lives.
  • But I think the main thing is that they were able to ask themselves this question: “What’s the worst thing that can happen from this?” and realize that while they might get the occasional heckler, not many bad things can actually happen from doing what they love to do.

Another way that you might be able to get over what others think of you is to simply focus on doing things that you know you have control over that are related to the task that you’re wanting to do.

When I was trying to get over my fear of doing cold calls, I started doing something I knew I could do. Call people that I already knew. That got me used to talking with people.

From there, I would call warm leads that I didn’t know. People that responded to an email that had already been sent.

During that time, I realized that not all those people had actually seen the email. So after a few of those, I realized that essentially I was doing cold calls anyway.

Well from there, I just started cold calling using a line similar to “Hi, this is JC in response to the email that <insert name> showed an interest in. Are they available?” This usually got me past the gatekeeper. From there, if they didn’t know what I was talking about, I just simply said “Oh yeah. Well, basically it was talking about this <insert topic>. Do you know how knowing how to do that would impact your business?

If you’re looking to become a speaker, maybe you can become a member of a nearby Toastmasters group?

 

Get Help From Others

Perhaps your problem isn’t so much the fear of doing something, but you currently don’t have the knowledge to get the task accomplished on your own. You don’t know what to do next. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to get proficient at yet another skill. This is when you ask for some help.

The first thing you can do is simply see what other people in your situation have done. When it comes to New Inceptions, you guys know I usually seek help from Fizzle. If there’s no answer there, I’ll go on over to SPI. If Pat doesn’t have an answer, I’ll check elsewhere.

Chances are that whatever you’re wanting to do, someone has probably already done it and they’ve made their success available on the internet.

That said, John Maxwell regularly talks about knowing your strengths and bringing in people for your weaknesses. Sometimes you have to do that. You have to delegate for others to make the decision.

You already do this in your life. Like me, you probably already have a mechanic for your car. Why is that? Because you don’t know how to fix your car.

Do you have an IT guy to fix your computer? Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. Personally, I’m my own IT guy for the most part.

While I don’t have to pay anyone to do this, there’s a ton of down time when I have to put that hat on. When it comes to the website, while I might be able to figure out how to make it more robust, there’s a big chance that when we do add additional features that I’ll need to hire someone else to work on it.

 

Accomplish 3 – 5 Things Daily

In the last segment, we discussed getting help to do things you don’t know anything about. However, that’s only going to get you so far.

Perhaps you know everything you should be doing, but because you’re busy doing other work, you find yourself not getting to the core work you should be doing.

The fix here is to set priorities by identifying what your objectives are. Ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • What does your ultimate outcome look like?
  • What does success look like along this path?
  • How will you know if you’ve reached a goal?

Now figure out what the process is to accomplish these.

John Maxwell says it’s helpful to have a Rule of 5.

Simply said, if you find yourself trying to do everything, then nothing you do is going to be done well.

To solve this problem (which Chris Ducker calls Superman Syndrome) there’s going to be a time when you have to ask someone to do some of the work you might enjoy doing.

For example, I know I enjoy getting out and doing yard work. I think it comes from all the years that my mom and I did it. However, I realize that as New Inceptions becomes more popular, that I’m not going to be able to do all the work that I need to around the house.  I know that while I do enjoy doing it, I’m going to have to delegate that work to a professional.

Similarly, I’m going to do the same with the editing of my podcast. While I love working on each talk, eventually I’m going to have to hire it out so I can get my main 3 to 5 things done.

 

Daily Practice

As the above segment says, you have to do things daily to reach your goal. It’s not so much that that you have to be perfect at your work (we never are), but you should focus on being “Highly Ok”.

Pick which activity you’re going to do until it gets done. Don’t look back after choosing that activity. Do it until you have a stopping point.

And above all else. Set a hard time limit to get your 3 to 5 tasks done. Give yourself “working hours”.

Unless you’re Gary V., don’t be busy for busy’s sake. Don’t worry about hustling… unless you love the chase. In fact, you might want to consider having an anti-hustle lifestyle.

For even more on Anti-Hustling, check out this episode of the Fizzle Show:

Action Steps

The next time that you find yourself overthinking about a specific subject. Remember that there is a resource (here) that might help you from stopping. Try out the recommendations that I’ve suggested. However, if it doesn’t help – I want you to come back and let me know where it’s failing. I’ll personally help you think of a strategy and then add to this resource about what we did!

Ways to Become More Disciplined

4 Ways to Become More Disciplined

Have you ever struggled to get things done? To finish what you have started before moving on to something else?

Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ve found yourself motivated to do something at one point, do it a few times, and possibly even come to a point where it’s a habit. However, you eventually you lose your ability to muster up the strength to do it again.

You’re definitely not alone. Time and again, I’ve seen this issue in several groups I’ve belonged to in the past. The number one problem that I see people struggle with is consistency. Or really, just the lack of focus. Things get jumbled up in their priorities and they’re really never able to finish what they’ve begun.

Becoming More Disciplined:

The term disciplined has such a negative connotation to it. When I think of the word, I think of someone getting scolded by a coach or parent. Or perhaps a dog getting yelled at for doing their business in the house.

However, the term has two meanings. What I just gave examples for is one definition. The other definition is a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.

In effect, when someone becomes more disciplined, they’re essentially becoming more masterful at something.

Also, I should mention that a 2014 study showed that “engaging in personally interesting activities not only improves performance, but also creates an energized experience that allows people to persist when persisting would otherwise cause them to burn out.”

So instead of thinking of being more disciplined as a bad thing, let’s look at it from a skill building perspective. The more disciplined you are, the better you are at a particular task or type of work that you enjoy doing.

Now that we have that definition, let’s look at the 4 ways of gaining mastery at something.

 

Method #1 – Build Accountability:

There’s a few ways that we can build accountability. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of accountability buddies. These are people who are on the same or similar path to you. You’re both working for the same goal.

In my personal development circles, a group of this kind of person that meets regularly is a Mastermind.

This past year, I’ve been hosting a mastermind that is based on business building. Not only does this group provide a place for people to talk about what they’ve done in the past week, but it also gives them a place to discuss any problems they’re having and help with any decisions they’re having problems with.

Another way of building accountability outside of people that have similar goals in a mastermind is just learn how to celebrate small wins. This was always something I struggled with – especially in college. What I’ve come to realize since then, though, is that the more you celebrate your small wins, the more incentive you’ll have to stay on track in achieving bigger and better things!

If you’re looking for a way of building accountability that isn’t done with other people is to use a journal. In the past, I’ve talked about using The Five Minute Journal. There are similar ones out there. But this is the one that I’d recommend. After going through my first physical one, I’m now waiting on an Android version! 🙂 However if you have an iOS device, you can get that version already.

 

Method #2 – Remove Distractions:

This one is probably one of the hardest ones to deal with in today’s world. We are programmed by the world to want to interact with everything that is shiney, vibrates, makes a notification sound, or is annoying.

How much work could you get done if you could eliminate everything from your life that did those things?

So if you’re really wanting to focus on something, turn off or lower the volume on the TV, listen to music that’s lyrics don’t get you too hyped, and keep away from social media when you’re actually doing work. (If you have trouble with that last one, there’s actually some plugins for your browser that will help you with that.)

If you’re in a position where you’re constantly getting bombarded with emails, here’s a thought: don’t pay attention to them until you’re ready. And when you are ready, check it once and then turn it off for the evening. Personally, I do a couple of things in the morning that I have to do before I ever check my email.

As someone that’s trying to do your own thing, you need to spend unbroken time on your projects. Don’t let email become your new boss.

 

Method #3 – Focus On One Thing

A book that I haven’t had the pleasure of reading yet is called The One Thing, Many of the podcasters and bloggers that I follow love this book. So I have a good understanding of what it’s about.
One of the quotes that I’ve heard a couple of times from it is this:

The path of mastering something is the combination of not only doing the best you can do at it, but also doing it the best it can be done. – Gary Keller

 

The gist here is simple. Don’t try to multitask. No one is really good at it. Get into a zone and focus on using a superpower of yours.

Pat Flynn, who I think talks about the book the most, says that the way he does this is by block scheduling his day. In fact, he did a recent write up that goes step by step in what his schedule looks like right now.

However, just having certain things due each day is only part of the equation. You might be running a little late in a given day. Does that give you permission to stop early?

Nope! It means that you’re staying and getting stuff done until you get it done OR if you have kids that you make time for, you play with them until they go to bed and then you start cranking the midnight oil. Finish Strong!!

 

Method #4 – Be Aware of the Negative, but Don’t Act of It:

I was just listening to a podcast (it might have been this one?) where the guest that was being interviewed said that we shouldn’t spend energy trying to avoid negative in our lives. We are designed to be problem solvers, so, therefore, our brains our naturally looking for things that they can fix. That’s just what we’re made of.

However, there are times when you need to ignore the negative that comes into your life – especially if it doesn’t come in the form of constructive criticism. There are some people out there that their way of building themselves up is by being critical of other people.

These are trolls. Don’t feed them. Don’t let them get to you. They call you “dumb” or “weird”, then they’re probably “weird” themselves. Don’t let the one bad review shadow over all your compliments!

Many people are not going to get ahead today simply because they don’t know how to ignore other’s thoughts. John Cleese explains in this video:

Also, don’t let yourself be your own worst enemy. If you find yourself coming up with more and more excuses on why you can’t do something (it’s not the right time, someone else has more luck than you, or you don’t have the right skill set), FIGURE IT OUT. Actually let that brain do its job of putting the pieces together! Heck, you might even find a way to collaborate with someone who needs your skillset.

 

Action Steps:

Now that you have a few tools that you can use to get more skillful at your work, pick a few to start implementing as soon as possible. Which is one that you can start today? How about in 15 days? Perhaps a month?

For those of you who do use some of the discipline techniques above, what are some of your results of using them? Do you have any suggestions that I missed?