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Motivate Yourself

Question for You, Reader: How do You Motivate Yourself?

So let’s try something. I know that comments are dead. Heck, even Michael O’Neal just recently said that he doesn’t get hardly any comments on his shows anymore. But I want to do this just to try and get some engagement with you on here.

You see, I was just talking to a long time friend of mine and we were having a discussion about what motivates people to get up day in and day out. While I usually spring out of bed in the morning, he dreads having to go to work.

And believe me, out of all people, when I say that I know it can be hard to stay motivated. Because it can. At one point in our lives, we’ve all said to ourselves: “I can’t do this”, “it’s just not worth it”, and “I feel like giving up.” (That’s really just the nature of this entrepreneurial beast we find ourselves on.)

However, let me tell you what my friend and I realized. We thought back to our college days and thought about how many people didn’t make it through school. I mean, statistically speaking, from day one certain professors always said, “Look around you. Only half of you in this room are going to graduate. Only half of those people are going to graduate as an electrical engineer.”

And boy, was he right. Freshman year was horrible. My sophomore year wasn’t that much better. I still remember a ton of my college experiences like they were yesterday – and sucking so hard those first couple of years were definitely downers. I went through clinical depression 3 times in those first two years!! Then in my junior year – I readjusted my game. I changed my major from EE to EE Tech. Had I wanted to stay in that field, I would have gotten the same jobs as EE’s.

As time went on in that new major, the game got easier and easier. By the time I reached grad school, I was doing victory laps. I was so happy then. It was so simple at that time. I had mastered the game! But then… it was time to graduate.

And I wasn’t ready.

I didn’t have a job waiting for me. What I had was time to think. I started thinking about what was going to be the next game. I knew it had to be something that I could passionately work towards mastering. But what?

The focus of my masters was Entrepreneurship – so maybe I should learn more about that? Get some training wheel experience under my belt. Work for a startup or two?

So I did.

And now it’s  approaching 6 years since I graduated. Do I feel like I’ve mastered the game? Haha. Not quite. HOWEVER I will say that I feel like I make a good TA. Hence, the reason I rebooted New Inceptions this past year.

Thank you for being in my class. 🙂

Negative Feelings

Whatever “it” is that we feel like giving up on, be it a project, a goal we’re trying to achieve, or something else – realize that all of those negative feelings are just a test of the game.

I view it as the Universe’s way of “weeding out” who can do what – just like professors do to young students at college and university. (In engineering we had chemistry and physics classes that were notorious for doing this.)

We get these thoughts in our heads and by only overcoming them can we succeed.

When I got my undergrad degree (after 6 long years) I learned that I can succeed in whatever I want to do, I just had to find out how I could overcome those “anti-success” feelings. The same goes for you. Find out what motivates you, and let that be your way out.

What motivates is different from person to person. Maybe it’s a quotation. Maybe it’s a person. Maybe it’s family.

When I was in school, I knew that there were better things to come. And because of that, I worked hard every day cause I knew the payoff was going to be worth it. Was it? Well, not exactly the way that I expected it to. But hey, it did eventually lead me to my wife and best friend, Maria.

Action Steps

Yeah, I know this is a quick entry. But this one isn’t coming from me. It’s not about what I have to say. I really want to hear from you guys. Comment below in what motivates you.

What have you learned over the years that motivates you? That makes you know that all the work that you’re putting into whatever you’re working on will pay off?

There are no wrong answers. Don’t be embarrassed about anything. You could say that I should feel embarrassed by not finishing in the degree that I started in – that I proved the professor right. But I don’t. He was right.

This is simply an exercise to show that there many ways to deal with those negative feelings in our heads.

I look forward to your responses.

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Zephan Blaxberg: Re-Scripting Your Life Through a Year of Purpose (AoL 028)

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business idea

Getting Your Business Idea Ready for Flight: A Short Checklist

As I’m continuing to catch up on some of my reading, one of the books that I find myself liking more and more is Pat Flynn’s Will It Fly?

I talked a little bit about this book in this post.  However, I must admit, I only skimmed over the book at the time because I was going over a couple of others.

I now find myself able to go over it in detail – including all the little activities he’s planned out for us as readers.

It has been a really enjoyable journey refining some of the thoughts I have about New Inceptions and what it’s potential is. (Which, as Donald Trump would say, is ‘UUGE! :))

If you’re just starting your online venture and you’re in the idea generation/clarity phase, I want to give you a few tips that I thought were really useful from the book… and even some that I’ve learned along the way as I’ve refined NI.

1. Write All Your Ideas Down – Yours and Others.

For the longest time, I would keep all my ideas in my head. If I had time, I would attempt to execute some of them, however over time, even the good ones would die.

When I went through The Foundation in 2012, one of the major things they taught was what I call niche product development. (I talk about this briefly in the podcast with Sharlotte Bouniol from last week.) Basically it means that you learn how to find the products you should be making from your audience. (Ryan Levesque also talks about this in his book, Ask).

If you dig so deep that you know a client’s problem more than they know it themselves. They’ll assume that you have the solution already.

In this process, if you tried to remember it all, I don’t believe you’d fully be able to. There’s simply way too much information collected during these interviews to remember all the issues

So I learned to write them down. Ever since, I’ve written ideas down that I’ve gotten from other people as well as those that I’ve thought up on my own.

If, for whatever reason, you feel like you shouldn’t write an idea down, do it anyway. For one, no one is going to see your list. Also, if you don’t know how to achieve everything right away with the idea, you can pack it away until you have a better idea of how to accomplish it. There’s a much more unlikely chance that it will disappear if written down than it would if you were to simply keep it in your head.

2. Don’t Cross Out an Idea Because It Already Exists

In the segment that I’m currently reading in Pat’s book, he talks about how most folks are looking for an idea that other people haven’t found yet. However, from this post, we should remember that this is nearly impossible. In fact, it’s good that it already exists. It will save you the time and resources to recreate the niche!

An example of this is with fast food restaurants and the nearby chain retail stores. Have you ever noticed that these chains all seem to be right on top of each other?

As far as the restaurants go, you’ll always see a Burger King near a McDonald’s, true. But have you ever seen a Burger King without a McDonald’s nearby? Personally, I can’t think of many instances. And there’s a reason for this. For the most part, early on, Burger King let McDonald’s determine all the good spots to set up shop.

Later, if there was good traffic to that particular area, you started to see other restaurants building on top of established chain locations AND even retail spots – such as Target and, later, Walmart. That’s the basis behind suburbs blowing up the way they have – and all of their “strips” looking very similar to the one in the nearby town.

You can read more about this phenomenon here.

Really, you should think of your niche in the same manner. Unless it’s a small niche, the more traffic in your niche the better.

However, that said, if there isn’t much substance to what you’re bringing, you won’t last long. So don’t expect to just succeed overnight. If there is already established traffic, you’ll have to spend some time learning how to tap into it – just like startup restaurants and stores have to in an established shopping area.

3. Do Something You Have Passion (or at least an Interest) In

If you’re going to be chasing money, you can only do that for so long before you burn out. Eventually, if you plan to stay self-employed for the foreseeable future, you’ll want to do something you feel is natural to you.

For me, I’m a catalyst of people – helping them explore what could be.

I’m a teacher.

I like tech, business strategy, leadership, and am a huge fan of self awareness and self improvement. Combine those all together and that’s what I want New Inceptions to reflect.

Ask yourself, what am I naturally interested in? What do I want to study or think about when no one is looking? Can I make that into a business that will support the things I want to do in life?

In the long run, your business has to reflect you, otherwise you’re going to grow tired of it. (Hell, you might even see it as a job that owns you!) However, your products (especially early on) should help people with very niche issues. Eventually you can add on to them and create suites. But start simple at first. Solve one pain at a time.

4. Fine Tune Your Idea

Another exercise that Pat shares in his book is all about starting out focused. In fact, he helps us do this by having us write a page about our business. Then, he has us break that down into a paragraph. Finally having us write a sentence that defines our business.

The sentence I ended up with from this exercise was this:

New Inceptions is a fiercely loyal online virtual resource hub that connects creative entrepreneurs (Renegades) with the insight, tools, motivation, and community to build a successful online business.

I’d highly recommend doing this exercise. I think it’s definitely going to help me get more focused in what I’m doing.

Action Steps

Here we are, already in March of 2016. It’s essentially been a year since I started on this new path. Personally, I’m starting to see some of my seeds from last year start to grow. For one, I’m helping Mark Nathan launch his book on a larger scale. On another, I’m starting the process of building my first product. And, I’m having some good thoughts on what I want to make my Opt-In in the future be. (Cause let’s face it… it’s so VAGUE right now!)

These are all things that I could not have imagined last year. Why? Because I really had no idea what I wanted to do last year. I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted to do. But I was attacking the problem incorrectly. At least for me.

The thing is, you don’t have to do one thing. You can totally do a theme for your site and business.

However, your products or services need to solve specific pains that your customers have.

In this next week, I want you to start thinking of your theme. What kinds of things do you like to do now and in the past? What do you see your ideal future looking like in 5 years?

Next week, we’ll start asking ourselves questions on whether or not the idea that we have is going to get us to where we want to be in the future.

AoL 025: Exploring the Hidden Truth of Vibrant Health with David Sandstrom

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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!

How to Successfully Go Through the Minefield

Recently, I had the chance to listen to Tom Kunz, past president of Century 21, tell a story about a fellow who had the opportunity to have a private golf lesson with a certain professional golfer. There wasn’t much to the story but there was definitely a key part that I remember that went something like this:

“(The man) was out playing golf with the professional golfer. The Pro was watching him, trying to find out how the guy could improve his swing. In doing so, the Pro asked the guy what club he used the least and asked for it. The Man gave him the club and the Pro continued to swing the club as he would with one of his.

The ball flew and landed where he had aimed. He then turned around to the Man and said “Well, we now know it’s not the equipment!”

What Does It Mean?

There are various things we can pull from this story. For instance we could have realized that people are professionals because they can do things that most others can’t do as well. To become a pro, he probably had to put a lot of time into his craft.

The obvious thing I got from this story was that most of the time… it’s not the equipment. It’s not anyone else’s fault that you haven’t succeeded. You are a product of your own choices. The man probably wasn’t great with that club because he hadn’t used it.

Association is Key

Even those two things stick out there’s probably a more important aspect that is probably more important that might escape all of us at first. We might miss the forest for the trees. How? Well, this story reminded me that is association is important. Luckily, the man in the story had decided that he wanted to have help with his golf swing and found someone that had success at the level that he wanted. It would have taken him a lot more time if he had tried finding out the problem himself. Heck, he probably might not have ever tried using the club and would have focused more on just changing his swing on other clubs that he was better at. Now he knew that if he spent more time honing his time on this new tool, he might have more success in the future. Which was the better path to take? Personally, I don’t know. I’m not a golfer. However, the Pro had more experience and gave the man a pro’s perspective.

Once you figure out where you want to go in life, association with those that have been where you want to go is very important. It’s better to get experience from those who have already gone through the minefield so that you don’t have to find out the answers yourself.

Thoughts?

Personally I have gotten to associate with plenty of people who are where I want to be in the future. But I still would love to get more time in with those are more successful than me in topics like internet marketing, passive income, and success.

What are your thoughts in finding association. Is there anything that is key that you would look for when you are looking for people to help you?

I look forward to reading your responses. Have a wonderful week and congratulations to the Boilermakers football team who once again was able to beat Ohio State! Boiler Up. 🙂

Cheers!