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find your niche

How to Find Your Niche and REALLY Act On It!

 One of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey could be a great subtitle for what I’ve been thinking about lately:

“The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

For the first two years of the reboot of the New Inceptions, I was working on content pretty much daily. Whether it was writing a blog post or working on the AoL Podcast (and becoming an audiophile), I was doing the work that I thought I should be doing to get ahead in this online business world.

As you might have heard on the show itself (or even on other shows I’ve been a guest on recently) I’m starting to see a bit of a shift from entrepreneurs being more interested in “hustling” to being more about “lifestyle design”.

I’ve also noticed that there’s a bit of a formula for those who seem to get it all done but also live life to the fullest.

In this post, I want to touch a little bit about both.

 

Find Your Niche: Home is Where the Heart Is

In the last week or so, I finally released the guide called Uncover Your Personal Mission. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the gist. It helps you find your personal mission and start thinking about what kinds of businesses you would excel in. Your mission is the combination of what you love (your passion), what you’re good at (your process), and how you can provide value to other people (your purpose). I call it the 3 P’s. (Some refer to one’s personal mission as the Sweet Spot.)

In the resource, I give 9 questions per P to help you determine what it is if you don’t already know.

I wish it was something that I had access to when I was going through high school and college. It would have made my time in each more enjoyable and more focused.

Now that this resource is out there, I’ve been hearing more and more people in different podcasts talking about the importance of finding your mission. While they might use different terminology (Determining Your Sweet Spot, Finding Home, “Goldilocks” zone, etc), it’s all hovering around the same concept: How to learn what you’re supposed to as a grown up.

If You Won the Lottery, What Would You Do Differently?

Recently in the US we had a lottery where the winner had the opportunity to win $2 billion dollars.

When I was thinking about buying some tickets, a question came up. If I won, what would I change in my day to day work schedule?

I really couldn’t think of anything. Sure I might hire a team to help me do more, but I’m already starting to get a lot of that support through the Amplify team.

With that in mind, it occurred to me that while my life isn’t perfect, I’m pretty happy in general.

Because, after all, happiness isn’t the result of the obtaining the end goal itself. It’s all about the pursuit of something that you care about.

 

Pursuing Meaning at a High Level

It’s one thing to know what you’re supposed to do, it’s quite another to actually do work on a daily basis that will get you to where you want to be.

This is why one of my favorite thought leaders, Brendon Burchard, researched and released a book called High Performance Habits.

Now a lot of you guys might know Brendon for starting Experts Academy. That’s how I first learned of him myself. But since then, he’s also put a TON of time and effort in studying the habits that the top performers in the world practice regularly.

And believe it or not, one of the things that you don’t necessarily want to focus on is honing your strengths! (Yeah, crazy, huh?)

6 Habits of High Performers

Here are the 6 habits all high achievers should be focusing on:

  1. Seeking clarity
  2. Generating energy
  3. Raising necessity
  4. Increasing productivity
  5. Developing influence
  6. Demonstrating courage.

Now, after reading that list, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might realize that I already write about some of these.

Interestingly, I’ve already talked about clarity in this very post!

However, while finding your personal mission right now is a big help in getting started, it’s something you need to keep track of regularly. Life changes around us, and as that happens, we need to keep the right priorities in front of us. Because they will change.

And just as you should keep track of what’s important to you, it’s also important to develop and track your progress in these other 5 habits.

Sure, you can do it on your own in spreadsheets, but, in the last week or so I’ve learned that Brendon is releasing his own “journal” to help us.

However, it’s not just a journal. In fact, if you’re familiar with the 5 Minute Journal (which has been a favorite of mine for sometime) – it sounds like it builds on it. (I haven’t received mine yet to fully talk about what it is and isn’t.)

 

Action Steps

So guys, I think 2019 and 2020 are going to be years of change. People you’ve known for “hustling” for the last 5 to 10 years are going to start discussing “lifestyle” more often.

The truth is that everyone in this “online entrepreneurial” space has gotten just a wee bit older. They don’t feel the need to grind as much. On top of that, as more Millennials enter this space, “meaning’ is just going to become an ever larger presence.

So do yourself a favor. Find out what your personal mission is and then start executing it with those 6 habits!

 

quality content

Creating Effective Quality Content

When it comes to marketing today, there’s a certain idea all digital marketers have to follow. We have to add value before we get the sale.

What does that mean?

Well, for most, it means that we have to educate our potential clients or customers about what it is that we do or make.

In fact, it can take up to 6 to 8 touches before a prospect becomes a buyer.

Typically, those touches take the form of “content”.

Content can take the form of videos, audio, or even text – like this blog. And it’s usually in the form of an educational format.

In this post, we’re going to look at a few places that we can find ideas for good content in 2018 and beyond.

 

Natural Content vs SEO Driven Content

When we’re thinking about creating content that attracts potential customers, we might be tempted to do a number of things. Most of these fall into three types.

Natural Content Creation

The first type is one where the focus is mainly on what our own individual customers or clients want. As a creative entrepreneur, this is something that seems a bit more natural.

The goal of creating this content is usually to retain and educate the clients, audience, or customers you already have.

 

SEO Driven Content Creation

The second type of content is content that is created specifically for what Google (or other search engines) suggest people are searching for.

Knowing this information allows us to create content specifically based on these search terms or “keywords”.

The end goal of this type of content creation to bring in more people into your sphere of influence.

If you’re not familiar with the term SEO, it simply is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. The idea behind it is that If a particular site has good SEO, the site will rank hire in Google’s search results.

The goal is to appear on the first page of results.

At one point, it was much simpler to understand what would rank a website higher than another in Google. So much so, that if you understood the fairly rudimentary rules, you could start your own solopreneur business or small agency offering it as a service.

In fact, I remember back in 2010, there were several people in my social circle that worked for a couple of startup SEO companies here in Indianapolis.

Today, while SEO still exists and is still useful, it’s getting harder and harder to predict how Google ranks websites. They’re constantly changing what variables make our sites rank higher.

Some of those variables even include traffic on the site, authority of the site, and how quickly the site loads for individuals browsing the site.

 

Hybrid Content Creation

Ideally, since the SEO world has become so hard to predict, the best thing we should do is create content that not only has keywords in it, but also is made to educate your currently existing audience.

The main way to do this is to simply to find out what your audience is asking about, find out what keywords in Google are related to those questions, and then build content based on the results you find.

Doing good SEO work on your site is not the scope of this particular post. However, I have two recommendations for you if you have a WordPress based site.

 

  1. Make sure you have the Yoast SEO Plugin. I personally recommend the premium version because it has some kick butt features (including multiple keywords) and you only have to pay for it once. 
  2. Secondly, when you’re searching for keywords, you can use a free tool within Google Adwords called the Keyword Finder. When you’re searching, there are two columns that everyone should consider. The average monthly volume, and the competition.


Ideally, you want an Average Monthly Volume of 1k – 10k (number of searches a month). If you try anything higher than that, there’s a much higher chance your site won’t be seen in the front of the results. If you use anything less than that, you might be targeting a smaller group of people.

Once you find a keyword that hits that 1k – 10k search sweet spot, then you’ll want to check it’s competition. Ideally, you want a keyword that has low competition. However, from time to time you might have to use a keyword that is marked as a medium. I rarely use those that have high competition.

Here’s a visual of what I’m talking about:

quality content

How to Find Your Audience’s Questions

If you choose to go the natural or hybrid route, you’re creating your content with your audience in mind.

If that’s the case, there are a few places where you can get topic ideas from your audience – directly and indirectly.

  1. Ask them! You can send out a survey to your followers (whether it’s through Messenger, email, or whatever you prefer).
  2. Check out what’s being asked and discussed in Facebook groups or other online forums that are related to your topic. If you think you can go into further detail than what’s covered in the post, go for it. 
  3. See what other thought leaders in your industry are talking about. What are your favorite blogs, podcasts, speakers, and/or authors discussing? They probably have already done the research to find a good topic to discuss. Feel free to add your voice to the conversation!

 

Action Steps

When we’re having to create content on a regular basis for our audiences, we might draw a blank when we’re looking. Once you have an idea of what kind of content type you’re going to be creating (whether it’s natural, SEO focused, or a hybrid of the two), then you just need a spark of inspiration. If anything, this gives you a good excuse to check in with leaders of your industry!

 

social innovation

Solving Community Problems through Social Innovation with Harrison Painter (AoL 117)

Having a business is one thing, but starting one that’s on a mission to make an impact in your community is something else. Especially one that focuses on creating Massive Positive Social Impact.

What does that mean exactly?

Well imagine if your sole focus of your business is to amplify purpose driven entrepreneurs, creators, and nonprofit founders in your community. This is what Amplify Indy and it’s creator, Harrison Painter is all about.

By working with Collaborate 317, Harrison has helped start an awesome community through the Amplify Hope Program.

In this interview with Harrison, you’ll learn what it’s all about and what sparked this vision.

It’s our hope that you’ll want to make Massive Positive Social Impact in your area and join us in the Junto on Facebook.

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Harrison originally get into marketing and event promotion? 7:19
  • How did he realize that it was time to leave the traditional job world and strike out on his own? 13:22
  • What made him move to LA with his business? What’s the difference between there and the midwest? 21:00
  • How did Amplify get off the ground? 33:34
  • What are some secrets to launching and marketing an event? 44:07
  • What’s the Amplify Hope Program all about? 47:36
  • What else is Harrison looking forward to in 2018? 55:43
  • What are three favorite movies or documentaries? 1:04:13
  • One gift he likes giving others? 1:06:21
  • What’s a topic people should be talking about hardly anyone is? 1:07:57
  • What was something Harrison believed when he was 30 and now believes was inaccurate? 1:13:46
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:15:27

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

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Harrison reveals the Amplify Hope Challenge:

Dr. Pingnan Shi shares with us the Amplify Youth Program:

Thomas “TAG” Griffin shares with us Hearts in Hand Homeless Outreach

Thank You, Sam Ash from HIH: Homeless Outreach

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!

great leaders

5 Characteristics of a Builder: Why Builders Can Make Great Leaders

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me. As many of you know, Maria and I had a wedding to attend in Honduras. So after the last post, the rest of the week was geared towards getting there while at the same time releasing the last podcast.

That’s why you might have noticed the last podcast was released a couple of days early.

Anyway – as we were there in Honduras, I met several guys (including the groom) who were really wanting to improve life down there. Not only their own, but the lives of their neighbors in their city – San Pedro Sula.

For much of the western world, when we think of Honduras, we think of a place that drug lords have called home to and they have no shortage of violence.

While this used to be the case, I was told by the guys that this really isn’t how they see it.

They see a lot of opportunity for truly building something.

While we were having our fairly deep discussions (especially for a wedding!), I got to thinking.

How can these guys be more of an influence in their own town? Then it came to me.

They can become great builders.

Let’s take a minute to dive into some builder characteristics.

 

1. Builders are Results Oriented

When I’m talking about becoming a builder, I’m not talking about just construction builders. While Honduras definitely does need an updated infrastructure, there’s other jobs that these guys could excel at – in which they CAN make a difference.

When I was speaking with the groomsmen, this is one thing I noticed they all wanted to do.

Not only did they want to make a difference for themselves – but for their countrymen as well.

While they wanted to know the inner workings of our government here in the states, they also wanted to make sure that I knew the results that their work was accomplishing.

The thing about builders of all types is that they’re numbers oriented. I mean, when you think about it, people who are numbers oriented are usually builders of some sort. Engineers are a great example. Local government members can be another.

One thing to note though. These folks might fudge their numbers a little bit. Sometimes it’s not a big deal. Other times it can be a huge issue. So make sure if you’re planning on being a builder, set a good example and always be transparent with your results.

 

2. Builders are Hardly Ever Satisfied

When it comes to builders – the reason they build is because they want some sort of change in the world. But even when that change occurs, there’s a big chance that they’re not going to stop there. If they’re an entrepreneur, there’s going to be another product they’ll want to make. If they’re an engineer, there’s another project they’ll want to work on.

One thing to think about is that builders feel like they have to be productive each day. They feel like those who aren’t naturally productive might have something wrong with them.

But, in reality, there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s simply the fact that everyone is different. While builders are task oriented, those “non-builders” are probably people oriented.

Both are needed in the world.

So instead of worrying about what others are doing, we should be concerned about whether or not we’ve been meeting our own standards.

 

3. Builders are Comfortable with Uncertainty

You’ve heard the saying before “Ready, Aim, Fire!”. Well, a common saying in the online entrepreneurial community is “Ready, Fire, Aim!”. In fact, in my conversation with Andrew O’Brien (founder of the Vetrepreneur Tribe) he said that when starting a business, people need to think about it as a 50 caliber machine gun instead of a sniper rifle.

That said, snipers have to consider the wind when taking shots. In other words, they have their own kind of uncertainty.

So us builders, even though many of us are ok with rushing into uncertainty and finding an answer, it might be best to think things out first from time to time.

 

4. Options are Desirable

When it comes to being successful, many would say that an abundant mindset is key to reaching that success.

Why? Because having an abundant mindset gives you lots of options in any givien situation. On the other hand, a scarcity mindset prevents many of those options from ever presenting themselves.

Successful builders realize that having more options to tackle a problem is better than having just a few.

To a successful builder, there isn’t any one particular right way.

 

5. A Builder’s Drive is Contagious

A final characteristic about builders is that their plans are contagious to others. For one, builders learn more from other builders. But another thing is that when builders get around other builders, they feel like they can do anything.

So if you’re a new builder yourself, ask yourself, “Am I contagious?”

Do people feel that way when they get around you?

If the answer is yes, then you’re going the right direction.

If not, it could be a number of things. So feel free to contact me if you feel you don’t quite have a magnetic personality yet.

 

Action Steps

Anyhow, there’s just a few characteristics of builders. Whether or not you’re looking to improve your local government, start improving your town’s infrastructure or make your business better, these are some things you might want to consider if you feel that things aren’t going the way you’d like.

If that’s the case and you haven’t plugged into a group who supports each other, then you’re invited to join us in the Junto!

survey research

Why Start with a Guess? – Using Survey Research to 10X Your Business

Recently I posted a survey in the Junto of what members would like to get more from the group. I’m already getting promising results which will help me and the other mods help serve the group better.

On September 9th, 2012, I first learned of how important it is to question end users of whatever it is that you’re making. Since then, I’d like to say that I’ve become pretty proficient at it. After that, it was something that I noticed that many successful courses ask their students to do. It was also something that we implemented during my time as an employee at AMS.

The next day, I wrote about what I learned on the drive home from my uncle’s memorial service. And to this day, I think it was one of the most pivotal days in my development as an entrepreneur. 

Enjoy!


Yesterday as I was coming home from a memorial service for my great uncle Paul Arnold, (Detailed write up can be found in Oberlin College’s Archives. He was a really cool guy if you’re into fine art.) Here’s an example of his work:

survey research

“Friends” – One of Paul Arnold’s wood prints

I decided that I’d go ahead and listen to yet another episode of Pat Flynn’s podcast. I knew when I downloaded it, it had to be a rather long drive because it was an around an hour and twenty minutes long. This is MUCH longer than his usual half an hour versions.

Well, the wait and time into the podcast was definitely worth it. I was exposed to another form of passive income – Software as a Service (SaaS).

 

Why Passive Income?

Passive income, I personally believe, is the goal that many who want to live out their passions should strive for. Otherwise, you get stuck working for each dollar and have to rely on faulty systems when we’re in old age. For many of us who are Generation Xers or younger, I fear that we’re not going to have a great retirement plan that our parents have or had. Nor do we have the loyal companies that will give us great pensions that they had as well. Heck, many of our parents aren’t getting what they were promised 30 years ago!!

So basically, the sooner we start building systems that make money on their own or with little to no help by us, the more comfortable life we’ll live when we’re older AND if we do it while we’re young, the better life we’ll live sooner!

 

What I Obtained from the SPI Podcast Interview:

I learned that there is more to passive money on the web outside of “expert space”. There is also space for web applications. Now, the great thing is that the guy who Pat interviewed started these web applications with no ideas and usually little investment money. Also, most of the development of these projects were outsourced. The guy’s name is Dane Maxwell.

The way Dane developed each one of his 7 companies in his first 6 years of business were very brilliant. I’ll let you listen to the interview for his process.

But what I most admired about Dane, is that once he proved the system of developing these companies and setting them into automatic, he wanted to teach others to do the same. (That’s why he landed on Pat’s podcast, I’m sure!!) And that’s what he’s doing with the program that he mentions on the podcast.

 

Adjustments to My Portfolio

I need to get to know Dane better as well as explore the world of online apps. I also need to use the tools that I already have available to figure out his process for myself. While he does have a program that he’s put together to teach others his tips and tricks, I think that stumbling to figure it out will give me more appreciation for it. It really seems that these online apps can be way more profitable than member sites. However, I still plan on continuing with the development of New Inceptions and it’s magazine (yes, there was a digital magazine for NI!) and potentially look into doing a software solution in the future.

So anyhow, thought I’d go ahead and let you all aware of this great podcast episode. You should definitely listen to it if you’ve ever considered ways of making passive income. Especially if you have any technical experience OR think that you’re techie know how is somehow keeping you from creating passive income for yourself.


Since originally posting this post, I ended up signing up for The Foundation. In fact, it wasn’t too long after I had heard this particular interview. Since the course, I’ve been able to use what I’ve learned from it in many ways outside of building a SaaS based company. I’ve also got placed into a huge network of awesome entrepreneurs – some of which have been on the AoL Podcast.

Below, I’d love to hear from you about your use of surveys in figuring out what your tribe or clients want. Have you used them? What kinds of successes have you had with them? Perhaps you tried doing something without proper research beforehand – how’d it turn out?

Also – we’d love to see you in the Junto! If you have any questions about the Foundation – that’d be a great place to ask!

remembering 9 11

Remembering 9/11: Refocusing on the More Important Things

It’s September 12th again. The day after 9/11. How are you feeling? What’s on the top of your mind? Business plans? Getting out of your day job on time? Lots of things going on, I’m sure.

Let’s slow down a little bit. Let me ask you a question.

Did you have the chance to watch any of the memorial services for 9/11 yesterday? Why or why not?

I did – and here’s what I got to share with you.

 

Remembering 9/11

Since the World One Trade Center has been finished, I’ve noticed that every year they read the names of the victims of 9/11. They might have been doing it longer than that, but I didn’t realize it because I was too busy. With college and then with work after I graduated.

Why did I watch? I didn’t lose anyone in the tower. Heck, I don’t know if I knew anyone that was affected by it at the time it happened.

So why did I watch? I guess the simple answer is that I wanted to remember. Remember where I was and what was going through our minds at the time.

 

When I was growing up, before that point, I didn’t know what it was like to be witness of a life changing event.

My mom had always been able to tell me very vividly about her whereabouts for the assassination of JFK. Similarly, she could remember where she was for other “world shattering” events including the Challenger explosion, when she heard of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and others.

While I’m sure everyone here in the United States can remember where they were at in their lives at that point (if they were alive), I know that not everyone gets the chance to reflect on that day. As mentioned, I didn’t for several years.

 

Remembering 9/12

For most folks, 9/11 isn’t a holiday. Nor is it a celebration. However, I believe that it needs to be remembered and reflected on annually. Not because of the event itself. But what happened the day after.

Just as Texans and the rest of America drove to aid the victims of recent hurricane Harley and the upcoming storm Irma this past week, so did people on 9/12. Local fire and police departments as well as everyday people from all corners of the country went to go help as much as they could.

The acts of 9/11 made us come together and act as one.

 

In 2009, Glenn Beck created the 9/12 Project to reflect upon those selfless actions and who we were at that point in history. Because it seemed that we had too easily forgotten those times.

It being Glenn and the polarizing person he was at the time (he has since apologized for his actions during that time), I don’t think he was able to reach those that needed to hear the message.

And, as you can tell from this video, it’s hard to tell if he won any new friends with those that did hear about it.

While I feel that his heart was in the right place, I think the 9/12 Project missed the mark for most people.

 

The Grocery Store Method of Reasoning

However, he did manage to get my attention. My mom followed him quite a bit – however, I tended to focus more on business type stuff at the time.

Upon hearing this message, though, I did start thinking it was necessary to become more involved in my community. I think it was due to this that I eventually became a member of the Freemasons.

However, not everything he said applied to me, and I think this is where a lot of people have hang-ups in today’s world.

Just because someone says something which doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean that other things that they’re talking about are false or that they’re completely unagreeable.

In fact, most people have more things in common than we don’t have – regardless of where they are in life.

Just as if you were getting groceries, it’s your job to NOT take everything you see at face value. Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean you should include it in your thought process.

On that same note, simply because something might not agree with you, it doesn’t mean it’s not true or good for you (just like broccoli!).

It’s up to us to see the context of where the message is coming from. And what’s great is that the more Truth we know, the easier it is for us to make a decision based on the context AND message.

 

Finding Truth in the 9/12 Project – Refocusing on the Important Things

So let’s look real quick on what Glenn said about the 9/12 Project. First, he has 9 key principles that we should follow if we were to be a part of the project. Knowing that he’s a pretty spiritual (and religious) dude, I wasn’t surprised to find references to God.

If we take that into context and actually see what he’s saying AND not take it personal (One of the Four Agreements), what can we pull from his message? What the heck is he really saying?

Let’s take a look.

 

America is good.

Yeah, I’d say so. I mean, again, after seeing us come together for the victims of recent hurricanes – I think we’re good. Now, the government, on the other hand… that’s another story, but I think Americans are good as a people.

 

I believe in God and He is the center of my life.

So here’s my take on religion – it’s not for everybody. Most people that it’s not for – they say that religious types don’t practice what they preach. I don’t personally know BAD Christians. Do they exist? Sure. But there’s bad versions of every group out there.

I think this is where most stereotypes come from. But, because they exist doesn’t necessarily make them “normal”.

So let’s talk straight normal person to normal person here.

Perhaps Glenn could have said “I have a core set of principles and I act on those principles on a consistent basis. My life is based on those principles.” to make it a little more all inclusive.

In that frame, I think many of us would agree that we have core principles which we use to define our lives.

 

I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

Yes, of course. Lying to yourself and others ultimately only screws things up. Truth is pure. While some people might get upset at it, that doesn’t mean it’s any less-true.

Big word of advice – start seeking the Truth. Listen to all sides of the story and make up your own mind – not what one particular media source tells you to think.

 

The Family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

This is another of those points that could have worded a bit better. Instead, it could have read “My spouse and I care for and are responsible for the actions, values, and beliefs of our family. Not the government.”

This I agree with because I don’t think it’s the government’s job to make things “fair”. I’ve never seen the government build up any one group. I’ve only seen them tear down others when one group is crying the loudest. That’s the opposite of being fair in my book.

 

If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

Yes. Totally with that.

 

I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

Totally true. There’s also no guarantee that starting points are the same. And what’s ironic, is that I’ve seen more people go from broke to being wealthy, than I’ve seen middle class becoming wealthy. Gary V is a great example – so are a ton of online business folks – AND people I’ve had on the podcast.

 

I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

Yes – totally agree with this. See above. But I think it’s also our own responsibility to know when to be charitable. That’s not something that society teaches. In fact, I’d say that it teaches the opposite most of the time. Every day people are inundated with the idea that it’s them vs the World. It indirectly promotes the scarcity mindset – not an abundant one.

 

It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

Agree. That’s the whole point of protection of free speech and ability to bear arms. While that allows for some very hate filled rhetoric, it also allows for well intentioned speech at the same time. The reason that we can bear arms is that if Washington ever becomes so removed from the people that it’s us against them (or some other apocalyptic situation), then we have the permission of the founders to have our own militias. If you don’t support Americans keeping firearms, then it comes across that you 100% believe the government is never going to turn on you. Which moves onto…

 

The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

Yes, 100%. Even when it comes to taxes and other “governmental” stuff. We technically should have the power to determine what we’re being taxed. However, Washington thinks they’re better than us, so therefore, they vote things into place that shouldn’t have happened if they were doing their job in the first place.

 

12 Values of the 9/12 Project

Honestly, all the values that he put in the list are those that Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins, or someone similar (I can get you a long list if you really want one!) would have said helped them get to where they are today – especially if they’re God fearing folks.

So, I’ve made it a point to make sure that I have these values as much as possible. However, there might have been a little bit of tweak on some for better wording.

 

The 12 Values

 

After looking at these values, do you believe that anyone who has achieved greatness in their life doesn’t practice them regularly? I mean, when I think of Lewis Howe’s show and the people he’s talked to – all of these words come to mind.

 

Action Steps

After seeing these principles and values of the 9/12 project, I hope you can understand why I feel I need to respect those that we lost on 9/11. We should also appreciate how we came together to deal with it all. Personally, I feel if I can reconnect to those feelings, it helps keep me anchored to who I see myself as.

 

Also, it’s especially touching to see some of the kids of these folks read off the victim’s names. Lots of these folks (some near my age) have made their lives better as a contribution to their lost parent, family member, or friend.

 

I can only think that our true friends and family would want the best for us. And because of that, I think it’s on our shoulders to live up to some certain standards in life. If not those of the 9/12 Project, then something else.

I just think the 9/12 Project is a good place to start. A lot of people can relate to it – even if they don’t care too much for its creator.

What are some key principles and values that you have? Let me know below.

daily routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

– JC

What a Great Weekend!

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

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

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

Rule of Five:

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

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

Doesn’t seem too bad, does it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

For creating content, mine are:

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

Action Steps:

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


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