3 Lies We Keep Believing About Money

1.Having Money, wealth or being rich is Bad (Or Evil)

 

Money – being the physical good- isn’t good or bad. It is just a piece of paper or metal. It is the character of the individual holding it that determines the outcome of its impact. I heard someone once say money is like a microscope, it reveals the Character DNA of the person who has it.

Do people with weak character, no purpose and self esteem issues blow it, waste it and destroy their lives? Yes. It is not the money that caused this to happen – it was their ego running unchecked.

Do people with great character use it to change the lives of others around the world in big, meaningful ways? Yes.

 

2.Money corupts

 

Money, again, isn’t the corrupting agent. Think of how rust works. Iron and oxygen won’t form rust unless water is present. You have to have a corruptible character to be corrupted. What we see play out in the world of politics – for example – is individuals with weak character being exposed in high places. They would have been exposed in low places too.

The second most common lie in this concept is that people with wealth or great income must be responsible since they earned the money. NOPE. A lot of people have gifts that lend them to great financial gain but aren’t responsible whatsoever. How many professional athletes completely blow it? We think “wow they have money and still can’t get their act together?”. They found themselves in wealth and we expect that sound judgement was part of that process – it definitely wasn’t.

At the age of 22 I found myself in the right place at the right time with the right set of skills. It wasn’t me – it was the timing of the economy, demand and opportunity. Growing up in a lower middle class family I had no concept of how to handle more money than what was needed to “get by”. All of the sudden I found myself in the middle of earning in a way I never knew possible and I completely blew it. Everyone was blowing it. Just burning money all over town. I was young and naive and had no depth to my character at that point and I was around a ton of people who, though being older, were no wiser than I was. My income was more than my character could handle.

 

3.Money can solve all our problems

 

During one of my more challenging seasons of life where we were completely broke, I developed this toxic thought process that was purely focused on “my ship coming in”. If I could only get more money, I’d be fine. If we only had more income, all our problems will be solved. When the money comes in, then we will be fine. This lie is especially harmful because it keeps you trapped in waiting – not in taking action. If money is the only solution, then that is what you should focus on, right? No, no, no. Plus like the rap lyric says “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”.

Now, hear me out. Having money is not bad and it certainly does relieve stress, strain and get that monkey off our back. But it isn’t the magic bullet that will solve ALL our problems and shouldn’t be glorified as such.

 

Here is a big takeaway: WE KEEP BEING WARNED ABOUT MONEY. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. IT IS ABOUT OUR CHARACTER. If we focus on building good character internally, positive products come out of that and when we find ourselves with resources (time, talent, treasure) we can then contribute those to the world in a unique way only we can. We will be prepared to handle money or any other resources accordingly and responsibly. Isn’t that what the world needs more of afterall? 

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5 Ways To Help You Go From Hopeless to Hopeful

By: Tamira Eliseo 

At one point or another, life will become overwhelming for each and every one of us. There are so many things that can trigger stress, hopelessness, anxiety and depression. Work, finances, relationships, health etc. can all get difficult to handle at times. Sometimes we even fall into depressive states over what seems like nothing. Making it even harder for us to feel better, how can we help ourselves if we can’t identify what the core problem is? Hopefully this will clear things up a bit, and make you a ton more confident in tackling your depression one day at a time.

1. Try To Identify What’s Weighing On You

When I say try, I mean just give it a shot. I don’t meant overthink things, or keep yourself up at night trying to over analyze your life. That was my number one enemy of progressing towards hopefulness, and the fact is that you are never going to feel better if you treat yourself like a frustrating, 100,000,000 piece puzzle. Try to pinpoint what’s troubling you in the simplest way you can. If it’s rent you are unable to pay this month, if it is a rude neighbor constantly conflicting with you each time you leave your house, if work is piling up and you are feeling overwhelmed, if you need to lose some weight but you’re feeling anything but motivated, if it is something you need to come clean about to a loved one… realize what it is, for what it is. Tell yourself “Work is piling up and I am feeling overwhelmed by it.” Now, ask yourself “How can I make myself feel better about this? How can I resolve this problem?” Come up with a plan that will put your mind at ease, and also resolve the problem that is causing turmoil. Sometimes coming up with a game plan is the exact moment you start feeling better and more in control of your life. Once you have a game plan, put those ideas to action. Instead of, “Oh man, work is piling up… I think I’ll just wait to start everything next week and go from there” make it, “Work is piling up, time to get in there and knock it all out. I’ll feel so relieved when I’m done!”

The best thing you can do if you know what’s upsetting you, and it can be fixed but you are just too fearful to address it- is to address it immediately. Fear will quickly grow into a towering monster so long as you let it feed off of you. Show your fear; and more importantly yourself, that you can do anything. No matter how hard it is, or what the consequences are, YOU CAN DO IT. We are all human and every single one of us has made mistakes and wrong decisions… The simple fact is that not all of us can openly admit to them and bravely look for a resolution. Don’t procrastinate, don’t make any more excuses- just accept it, face it, move on with your life and find a solution. You deserve it.

2. You Can’t Figure Out What’s Weighing On You

If you are unable to see what is truly upsetting you and making you feel hopeless, it’s okay. No need to beat yourself up anymore about it, it’s just time for a change in lifestyle and overall point of view. You are feeling like you are not getting the most out of life anymore, you are not so impressed with the simpler things, you feel as if you’ve hit a plateau, and you are not happy with how things are in general. Now that you’ve addressed the negative, you need to make it your number one goal to de-stress, relax and get back to living a happy life again (AKA- the positive!). Sometimes we don’t always need to figure out what the exact issue is, we just need to go ahead and start the journey to making ourselves feel better physically and mentally, I call it a “negativity cleanse.”

3. The Negativity Cleanse

Whether you know what the underlying problem is or not, this “negativity cleanse” will benefit you and enrich your life. I start by giving all my attention solely to myself. When you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed- you really DO need to focus on yourself, and less on others. It may sound selfish in black and white, but it’s certainly not selfish to give yourself the attention, care and love that you deserve and require in order to heal. This is your health and your happiness, something you are going to live with or without the rest of your life. You simply can’t have other people’s problems piling on top of you while you are trying to pick yourself up off the ground.  

Now focus hard on the things that you love and feel blessed to have or be a part of. Family, a strong relationship with God, friends that support and love you, a job that you truly enjoy, a prayer group that keeps you feeling centered, a job you don’t enjoy but SUPPORTS your family financially, a home or neighborhood you feel totally safe in, a refrigerator with sufficient food in it, a four legged friend to greet you after a hard day, the sun coming out, the stars flickering at night, your two arms, head and two legs! There are so many wonderful things in life that will fuel your mind positively if you just find the time to dwell on them. Think about specific moments that made you smile, ones that made you cry tears of joy, ones that made you laugh, ones that made you confident, ones that made you love. Relive those emotions and feelings. Do this every single day, as many times as you feel necessary. I like to start off my day positively by thinking about these things, and I like to end my day the same way. Sometimes these thoughts just find their way into my head at random times now, driving to the store I’ll suddenly begin to think about how happy I am to be working for such a wonderful company, how happy I am to be able to spend time with my mother once a week, or how happy I am to have flexible hours to spend more time with my family. It may be even more healing for you to write these positive thoughts down into a journal, for you to read and add to every day. Positive thoughts improve and build your skills, boosts your health, enhances your mood, benefits your relationships and improves your work. Nothing negative can come out of thinking positively!

Do things that will exercise and focus your mind, soul, senses and body- things that you enjoy! It doesn’t have to be going for a jog/exercising, but if that’s what helps you feel better, then by all means do it! It can be painting a picture out in your yard listening to all the birds chirping, you could be baking a batch of delicious homemade peanut butter cookies, you could be singing in the shower to your favorite song, you could light some sweet-smelling candles and meditate, you could read an interesting book with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee to sip on, you could sculpt something out of clay, you could go out for a walk with your children in the evening and watch the sun go down… Exercise and use your senses as a tool against depression and hopelessness. Really feel what it’s like to live life. See, feel, smell, hear and taste the many joys that you’ve been missing out on- and completely clear your mind of hearing the alarm clock go off five times, smelling burnt toast in the morning, hearing your partner yell at you for misplacing the keys, squirting toothpaste in your eye, and seeing your car roll down a hill because you forgot the parking brake. Just remember no one is stopping you from relaxing, but you. We all need to take a step away from the chaos of life and work at times to just breathe, smile and smell the roses.

4. Strengthen Your Coping Muscles

Even though hard times tend to brainwash us into thinking that we just don’t the ability or energy to pick ourselves back up, there are in fact ways to boost yourself up and past depression. You can strengthen your coping muscles (or skills), every single day by transitioning your point of view from grey areas to the colorful areas of life. Here are some habits to add or subtract from your daily routine, before you know it- being hopeful and happy will become second nature to you!

Create a Calmer Environment for Yourself

Clear some physical and mental space around your desk and home by sorting papers, tossing all the junk, stowing and organizing supplies, filing, straightening up the living room, making the bed, putting away dishes etc… A large pile of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often times designating a few minutes of work can make a sizeable dent in that pile. Try to get in the habit of being more reliable person than a procrastinator, try not to postpone any task that can be completed in less five minutes. An uncluttered environment will contribute to a more serene mood and shed tons of stress off of you.

Don’t Catastrophize Things

It’s extremely unhealthy to catastrophize situations, or focus on the worst outcome imaginable regardless of it being totally irrational. In example, don’t allow financial concerns about making enough money this month escalate into the result that you’ll soon be homeless and your life is over. Instead of thinking, “We’re never going to be able to pay rent this next month, let’s start packing our stuff up because we’re going to be evicted” think, “Rent is getting closer and closer, maybe I’ll ask if I can stay late a couple hours to cover rent this month. We’ll figure something out and get it taken care of, don’t worry.” Be optimistic always.

Try to Stop Ruminating

So the waiter at the restaurant was incredibly rude to you and your friend, and you regret not saying something rude back to them. Three hours after you’ve already returned from lunch, your blood is still boiling and you’re grinding your teeth at the thought of that waiter’s face. This type of behavior will only keep you feeling upset, depressed and angry for longer. While reflection is a good thing and may help you solve problems or issues, rumination does the exact opposite. Try to redirect your thoughts, focus on something else pleasant or calming. Listen to music, meditate, go for a run, tend to your garden, draw a picture, go outside and play with your pet or children! Replace that negative scenario with positive exercises. You’ll forget all about what made you upset before you know it.

Leave Forecasts to the Weather Channel

Bottom line is that you aren’t a weatherman, and you can’t honestly tell yourself if there’s going to be severe thunderstorms down the line a week or so from now. So why worry yourself? All you can do is be prepared for the unknown obstacles to come, bring an umbrella just in case. Hopeless people will often convince themselves they know what will happen a day, a month, or a year from now. And it’s usually always negative situations that they foresee happening. Instead of getting ahead of yourself, try to stay here in the present. The past is far over and the future hasn’t happened yet. It is much more realistic, you’re less likely to blow things out of proportion, and you’ll feel more in control of your life and stress once you stop creating imaginary situations that are out of your control. Preparing for the future is fine and wise, but do not let it ruin your present.  

Be More Consistent

Even if you don’t want to, try to get into the habit of waking up at a set time each day, eat your meals at the same time every day, exercise at the same times, recite the things you are thankful for each and every morning when you wake up, pray before bedtime, and avoid lazily sitting around on the couch during the day as it prevents you from getting comfortable and getting adequate rest at night. A sense of regularity, structure and productiveness is important for those of us with depressive behavior. It truly helps to have a routine that feels fulfilling rather than wandering around the house feeling lonely and directionless. Find enjoyable hobbies to fill empty time you may have!

Focus on Tasks You’re in Control of and Get Them Done

Rid yourself of all nagging tasks. You don’t need the extra weight, and crossing some chores off your to-do list will make you feel rewarded and accomplished! It really helps to make yourself a list of all those simpler things that need to get done. Like washing the dishes, answering a load of emails, bathing the dog, doing laundry, going to the grocery store, cleaning up and decluttering the house, getting the bills paid, making dinner, whatever needs to be done- write it down and address it! Doing these small exercises will help you become more confident in being able to complete tasks ahead of you and take some of that extra stress off of you immediately.

5. Realizing It’s Only Temporary

When you’re in a pitch black tunnel, it’s very hard to see an end. Especially when there’s no light at the end of it to tell you how much further you’ve got left to go. When you are at that point, you need to open your eyes and realize that this feeling will not last forever. At some point- the tunnel will end, open up and you will see the blue sky, sunshine and white clouds again. One thing my father always told me was that emotions are all temporary. An idea that I had never wrapped my head around before… One feeling will never last forever, even if it seems like it will. That is why it’s so important to be more open and in tune to our emotions and feelings. Happiness, sadness, envy, turmoil, depression, relief, stress, joy, hopelessness, defeat all feed off of each other in order to exist. They are simply just sensations of being alive. Without turmoil, there would be no joy. Without sadness, there would be no happiness. Without depression, there would be no relief. Emotions are not our enemy, they aren’t here to destroy us, break us down or eat away at us- it’s just a matter of learning to understand their purpose. They are beautiful things that really prove to us that we are living, breathing, human beings. Imagine a world where you never felt sad, anxious, scared, happy, loved, excited or overjoyed etc.. The definition of life itself drastically changes. Once you realize that, it’s not so intimidating to be “sad” anymore. It just another temporary sensation, and we know that happiness will soon show itself to us. Depression, anxiety, jealousy, stress and hopelessness will never be able to rule or control you permanently. Period.

4 Ways To Overcome Feeling Defeated

 

Feeling defeated – or depressed – is the dumps. In this life of emotional ups and downs, we all at some point are going to get the blues -some more than others. I know it really affects me big time. I’ve suffered from big highs and low lows my entire life- probably more than the “average” person. If you live in an area where you have seasons of darker weather – rain, snow, etc, it can actually trigger it further. For me living in Southern California actually does a lot for me in this regard – sunshine has such a positive effect on my psyche.

So what if you find yourself feeling defeated? What can you do to help better your situation? I’ve come up with some tactics that always help me recover and get me started moving in a positive direction.

Orchestrate Your Perspective

It always feels the darkest when there seems to be no end, no hope. There are certainly situations that are more dire than others but most of the time what we are feeling is about a temporary situation. It will come and it will go. Everything in life happens in cycles and seasons. I remember what it was like with my first son – he didn’t sleep for 9 months. In those moments of dire sleeplessness I felt swallowed up by the thought that there was no end in sight. It just made me really, really negative. For my second son, we took the perspective that things were going to happen in seasons or waves. Seasons of less sleep, season of more sleep – any issues we encountered were mostly temporary. What a difference that was! We actually enjoyed it lol.

Meditate on an inspirational quote or bible verse

Sometimes we need to take our mind off the present and refocus on something positive. I used to have this desk calendar what had a quote a day. Every day I’d rally around the day’s inspirational quote. I’ve done this with the bible as well. What a game changer this tactic is for me. This mental nourishment shifts our gears and allows us to stop thinking about our own situation and think about other situations and scenarios – it gives our minds something to apply and run with. Plus when you do this early in the day you get it when your mind is most supple and rested and less influenced by other distractions. I can tell you intentionally feeding my mind positive wisdom has def changed my life. Super powerful.

Do something you enjoy – to invoke joy and happiness into your life.

What gives you joy and excites you? Trying a new food? Going to the park? Listening to music? Dancing? Exercise? – Whatever it is, make time to do it. By doing something we truly enjoy and get joy out of we are triggering positive healthy emotions (plus probably dopamine for our brains). Healthy positive emotions are the least draining and most rewarding emotions that directly counteract the feelings of depression. You can’t frown and smile at the same time right?

I love, love, love this tactic. I do it ALL the time. My routine usually involves music – something uplifting and fun, maybe 80’s classic rock or some good modern pop. Spotify even has mood playlists – so it is super easy to dial into what you want. I’ll blast it loud and go for a drive or I will throw it in earbuds and go for a walk. Some days it’s getting out by myself and getting sushi or getting a massage or running errands. Do whatever works for you. And by just getting out and doing something, you will feel a little better.

Do something for someone else

Nothing will shift your emotions and feelings like helping someone else. There is such an aligning of perspective and priorities when you leave a warm house with a full fridge to help feed someone who is sleeping outside in the cold with nothing to eat. Maybe volunteering at your local church, helping at your local shelter, taking a meal to a sick friend- wherever you feel you’d like to plugin. The opportunities are endless – a lot of needs in the world.

My wife loves to cook so for her she really enjoys making meals for people. Giving people a good warm meal while they are going through turbulent times is one way we like to love on them. We do it for others yet it does something so awesome for us to be able to be of service. It gives us a purpose and reminds us to be thankful. Sometimes that is what we need to pull us out of the dumps.

 

All in all, remember you have the power to take action. You don’t control what gets thrown at you in this life but you have full control of how you react and adapt. It isn’t the absence of negative life experiences that make a person positive- it is the daily decisions they make in dealing with those things.

 

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NET OUT: Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain by Ryan Blair

Read This First

  • In good times, weak businesses prosper.

 

The Nothing-To-Lose Mindset

  • There is nothing more dangerous than someone with nothing to lose.

 

Hustlers. Charlatans and Tony Robbins

  • Work your ass off.
  • Don’t give up, ever.
  • When faced with defeat, rise to your feet!- Dr. Dre
  • Keep angling until you find your right angle, then play your angle.
  • Sacrifice.
  • You’ll survive, no matter how bad it is- it isn’t so as bad it could be.
  • Shake off your mistakes, but try not to repeat them.
  • Be grateful- most people don’t even have a dream.
  • Remember that you are not safe. Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  • Go big, have fun. If not, you either quit, die unhappy, or have a midlife crisis and blow your success.

 

Philosophies From The Jail Cell to Boardroom

  • Life is theatre; everyone is an actor- some in the lead, some in the supporting cast.
  • Never ask a question you don’t already have the answer to.
  • If you are unsure of the answer to a question, say, “I don’t know, but I will get you the answer by [day, time, date]
  • The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking down your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, the start working on the first one. – Mark Twain
  • When/if you feel you have failed at something, ask yourself: Why did this happen? What could I have done differently? How can I do it better next time? What changes should I make in my strategies? What can I do to improve my planning and preparation?
  • Postmortem- a process whereby we go back and evaluate our failures to make sure we learned our lessons so we don’t repeat the failures.
  • I suggest keeping a notebook specifically for lessons you learn the hard way.
  • Strive to become a master of action.
  • Always be engaged in the process of selling, networking, expanding, negotiating, researching and exploring.
  • Never express a negative emotion in an email or text message. These types of conversations need to be had in person or over the phone.
  • 24 Hour Rule- if you feel you may respond emotionally to something in business, sleep on it and respond the following day instead.
  • If you have something critical to say, do it in private.

 

Business Model Rules

  • You are a model driven company. Test your assumptions, and revisit your model routinely. Rip the model apart every time you look at it.
  • Create a retention-based sales model; ideally, pay a long-term residual.
  • Know your customer.
  • Be as close to your customers as you can be.
  • Cherry-pick your new markets.
  • Everything else within our company’s structure, needs to be focused first and foremost on creating sales.
  • The best formula for increasing sales: Exposure x Conversion = Results
  • It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin
  • Adaption is the key to survival.
  • Compensation drives behavior.

 

Customer Rules

  • The best way to make your business stand out is to provide customer service at a level that is unmatched by your competitors’ services.
  • Worry about your loyalty to the customer, not your customer’s loyalty to you.
  • How loyal are we being to our customers? What decisions are we making in the short term and long term that might make our customers feel we are disloyal?  How do we treat them in our customer service group? How are we giving more to our most valued customers- the one’s who have been with us the longest, spent the most and given the most feedback? If you take care of your customers first, everything else will fall into place.

 

Strategy Rules

  • An army everywhere is an army nowhere. – Sun Tzu
  • A business needs to have focus.
  • Do one thing and do it well, philosophy.
  • One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows slowly endures. – J.G. Hubbard
  • Things that develop over time are the ones that are more likely to reflect timeless ideas rather than brief trends or flash-in-the-pan popularity.
  • Take the time to make your advantages and unique offerings clear, recognizable, and prominent.

 

Personal Rules

  • Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always try to do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, are great. – Mark Twain
  • Steer clear of people who are too shortsighted to recognize your potential- or too bitter to be willing to encourage it.
  • I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man. -Jay Z
  • I don’t buy stocks, I make stocks.
  • Efforts don’t pay the rent, I deal in results, not efforts. Results pay rent.
  • I make money, it doesn’t make me.
  • It’s a very bad idea to pursue too many good ideas. Make sure to be very selective in the projects you take on.
  • People will give you a reputation; you give yourself character.
  • The only differences between you today and a year from now are the people you know and what you have learned.
  • We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it.

 

Honor Your Deals

  • We don’t have control over the expectations other people have. Someone will always feel you did him wrong. But you do your best to honor your deals, regardless.
  • The lesson here is not to create false expectations or make vague promises with regard ti cash, salary, or equity.
  • I call that making a new deal. If you can’t honor the first deal, make a new one and do whatever it takes to honor it.
  • When you are dealing with investors money, you have to act as if God himself wrote you the check.

 

First Things First

  • That’s the problem, but what is the solution? We need to be solution oriented.
  • The path is all math, meaning there’s an equation that will lead to your answers.
  • Inspect what you expect, follow up on action items; make sure that everyone knows what’s on your mind.
  • Write down a list of everything you believe is critical to the success of your business and then focus on the one item that will save you the most money or generate the most money. Work on the task until it’s completed or until some outside dependency requires you to wait (such as getting a quote from a vendor or the arrival of a shipment), then work on something else and come back to the first when the outside dependency is fulfilled.
  • Sometimes the fastest way forward is to go backward.
  • The more things you say yes to or try to do, the less productive you are.
  • If you say yes to too many seemingly good ideas, then you have one bad idea of a company and a poor management culture.
  • Just say no- if the idea is good enough, it will come back around again.
  • As a CEO you need to be the foremost expert in the multiple variables that drive your business.

 

Watch Your Wallet

  • Compensation drives behavior and sometimes the threat of losing compensation will drive people to action.
  • There are no excuses for that type of error. You must put controls in place to ensure that money isn’t running out the back door while you’re trying so hard to bring it through the front.
  • Watch your wallet, be just as proud of what you do as what you don’t do, and focus on first things first.

 

What’s Driving You?

  • What drives you to become an entrepreneur?
  • Four main drivers that urge an individual toward becoming an entrepreneur: independence, wealth, recognition and fame, and contribution.
  • By generating wealth, you are providing for your own needs, for your family’s needs, and- moving beyond your own immediate considerations- probably creating jobs in your community as well.
  • Old saying about recognition- Babies cry for it, grown men die for it.
  • Where is your passion? What do you absolutely love doing?
  • Take stock of your skills, interests and hobbies. Determine what you are naturally drawn to.
  • Choose a business you would love to do without pay and build something that wakes you up in the middle of the night, something you’re proud of and you can’t stop thinking about.

 

Tap Those Assets

  • It takes approx. ten thousand hours of training and practice to truly master a skill set at a professional level.
  • When it comes to leveraging the assets in your network, many times having access is better than owning.
  • There may be small companies out there that are ripe for purchase, restructuring and re-branding. Keep your eyes open.
  • I have money, but I prefer using other people’s money in building my business. As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly taking all the risk, but when you bring in investors, it spreads the risk and brings complementary talents, skills and experience to the table.

 

Risk and Sacrifice

  • Asses your tolerance for risk, and the tolerance of others around you.
  • First, consider what is at risk. (home, luxury items, etc.)
  • Risk taking is NOT the same as being reckless.
  • Try to avoid personal guarantees.
  • The most important thing is that you know what you’re getting into.
  • Who else is depending on you, and how much risk can they tolerate?
  • Most men die at 21, we just don’t bury them until they’re 60 or 70.- Benjamin Franklin Don’t be someone who lives a life of excuses instead of action.
  • Investment over consumption
  • Take 5% of your gains and reward yourself.
  • An entrepreneur has to ask for what he needs to live- and that means preparing for sacrifices.

 

Million Dollar Mistakes

  • Don’t make wildly optimistic sales forecasts.
  • It pays greatly to be accurate in your projections.
  • Don’t hire people who like your ideas all the time.
  • Don’t focus too much on the competition.
  • Don’t waste your time caring what others think and worrying too much about mistakes, even million-dollar ones.
  • Say what’s on your mind and focus on the solutions.
  • Don’t do your business where you do business. Do not fraternize with your employees, and choose your partners wisely.
  • Don’t allow sales employees to sell you.
  • Not firing fast enough.
  • Don’t get caught up in your company.
  • Don’t under forecast cash needs.
  • Don’t try to do too much at one time.
  • Never write something you wouldn’t want to come back to you.
  • Don’t date the wrong women.
  • Don’t invest in uncoachable entrepreneurs.

 

I Hate Business Plans

  • The best business plan is one built from a business that is already up and running and forecasts the business’s potential growth.
  • Begin your business plan by writing a personal purpose statement in which you outline the philosophies and vision that you want for you and the company you are creating.
  • Make a list of adjectives you would like people to associate with your business, then narrow it down to your top 3 or 4.
  • What is going to make your business plan stand out from the hundreds of other business plans that get pitched to investors each day.
  • What need are you filling that no one else is?
  • What can you do better than anyone else?
  • You need to have an operations plan as well as a plan to raise money.
  • I start with my operational plan and develop that first before moving on to the financial plan.
  • If you are going to submit a plan to me, make sure it is concise.
  • PowerPoint presentation with no more than 15 slides is enough.

 

Launching Your Business

  • Not only do your consumers have to buy your product, but they have to be able to explain and recommend your company to their friends in a way that will be easily understood and remembered.
  • Focus on creating a single solution for a single problem in our society- in the simplest way possible.
  • If you can apply the “sum up your life in 6 words” approach to describing the problem your company will solve for it’s customers, you’re golden.
  • One of the biggest common mistakes new businesses make with their marketing is trying to reach to broadly to capture every possible facet of their industry.

Raising Money

  • No matter the source, you have to be willing to earn it.
  • Tell them the truth.
  • You get paid last, investors get paid first.
  • You build relationships by putting others first. You ruin them by only looking out for yourself. Never forget that, especially with investors.
  • You must offer value.
  • You demonstrate to the investors the lengths to which you will go to to get them a valuable return on their money.
  • Time is their most limited, and most valuable resource.
  • Securing one or two larger investors can open doors to a number of other investors.
  • Offer them equity in your company in exchange for their time.

 

Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching to Investors

  • Turn off your cell phone before the presentation begins, do not wear an earpiece.
  • Dress professionally, business suit or a shirt and tie. Casual wear is never appropriate.
  • Ask for the investment at the end of your presentation.
  • Rehearse a minimum of 10 times before you officially present.
  • Don’t allow your presentation to exceed 30 minutes, allow at least 15 minutes for questions and answers at the end.
  • End the talk by reciting the specific actions that were requested of you.
  • Follow up on everything to which you committed.
  • Don’t interrupt your prospective investor when they are speaking.
  • Answer all of your investor’s questions clearly and concisely. Always ask if it answered their question.
  • Don’t attempt to answer questions if you don’t have an answer. Politely say you do not know, and you will follow up with them on that question.
  • Investment presentation is printed in color and bound professionally.
  • Don’t ever respond with negative emotion to a criticism or lack of interest from a potential investor.

 

Growing, Hiring and Firing

  • Employees need to have a defined job description and a clear set of expectations, but you should also make it clear that time to time they may be called upon to step out of their job descriptions to help with other projects or situations important to the company.
  • People who are over protective or territorial about their job descriptions tend to not be team players.
  • As a CEO, you have to remember that all of these talented, well-compensated people are building your equity and your profits, and that contributes to your compensation.
  • You need to be entrepreneurially minded and create a culture in your company that is also entrepreneurially minded.
  • I want to have as clear a picture as I can of the people I intend to bring on board.
  • Ask yourself a question about each employee. If he/she came to you and said, “I am leaving your company for a new opportunity,” what would your gut reaction be? Would you be devastated that this person’s contribution is irreplaceable, or would you be happy?
  • There are 3 forms of compensation that all employees should earn. First is money, second is recognition, and the third is contribution.
  • Who’s the one person you need to take your company to new heights? Who is your perfect recruit?

 

Cashing Out

  • Founder’s syndrome- when it’s time for one of the founders to move on.
  • Retire while maintaining an interest that continues to earn you money.
  • You must be a good guardian of your investors money.

NET OUT: YES or NO by Jeff Shinabarger

Decisions Change Everything

  • Group decisions into 3 categories: Daily decisions, moments of decision, and transition times.

Daily Decisions

  • Have I prioritized nutrition, taste buds, or expense?

Moments of Tension

  • The further you go in decision making, the greater the problems that present themselves to you.

Transition Times

  • This time gives us both prospective and pain- for example, in the semester you are about to graduate from college and have to determine what you are actually going to do with your life and where you will live. Or the year that you questions whether or not it’s time to quit your day job to fully transition to your dream job.

Take Action

  • What many of us do when we don’t know what to do, is avoid the tough decision.

What is Your Coconut Calling?

  • Change is made more difficult if we don’t have a sense of what we’re made to do and where we’re going.
  • The most terrifying moments of transition come when we are dissatisfied with our current reality yet lack clarity regarding our future direction.
  • We feel stuck and in need of direction.

Finding My Purpose

  • We may find success for a season on a project, but that doesn’t always mean we should give our lives to that cause.
  • “Learn to say no to the good so you can say yes to the best.” – John C. Maxwell

Saying NO to Saying YES

  • More often than not, they choose a calling that improves life for other people. They value this more than making money for themselves. These people have innovative approaches to addressing social issues that plague the places where we live. I love to help them expand, sustain their efforts, dream at new levels and share their stories with others.
  • I am a uniquely creative individual.
  • I need to have the freedom to create and the space in my work life to create.

More Carving

  • I was doing two jobs, and neither was getting the full attention necessary.

Take The Time

  • When you step away from the hustle that makes up daily living and reevaluate the hectic pace, it is common to start seeing things more clearly.
  • Times of transition often naturally give us the opportunity of time, but filled with the fear of the unknown, we quickly move toward any solution in order to fill time, meet the budget and move on.
  • I recommend not trying to figure it out while he was still consumed in his current role.
  • He found energy to pursue this new vision.
  • The more we understand what we should not do, the more a resonant picture emerges of what we ought to do.
  • The process of learning what to say no to only gets us closer to what we ought to say yes to.
  • The only way to find your unique calling is by saying no to those things that are not your calling.
  • If you are doing your best work on the most important things, you will reach your goals.

Moving Forward

  • The fact of the matter is that 100% security is not possible if we are pursuing problem solving in a new way.
  • I had good motives, the people and things that I loved were in support of it and would be served by the calling, the choice lined up with my past story, and I had been given a vision of where my calling and my dreams lined up.
  • Three legitimate options- end consulting and become the executive director, find a different leader to be the full time executive director and become an advisor, or shut it down completely and move in a new direction.
  • In every way possible, leave past partners in a good next place.
  • Three questions guided my choice- What do you love? What wisdom have you been uniquely given? What problem have you been called on to solve?
  • When we identify and prioritize what we love, it brings us life and revives us.

A Lifelong Love

  • You have an idea, but you fail to see the idea through to completion?
  • Excitement does not automatically equate with love.
  • Why? Because temporary passion for something is not the same is love.
  • Those who have a clear connection between their life story and the change they want to make in their world generally preserve past the initial honeymoon stage.
  • In pursuit of a dream, there ought to be a life experience that has shaped the part of your heart driving that dream.
  • When confrontation hits hard, the people who drive through are the ones whos personal story and heart-level connection push them through the challenge.
  • If the idea does not have a direct correlation with our own story, there is a good chance it’s not a true love.
  • Love leads to action. Love leads toward change. Love empowers us to make things different. Love lasts.

I Love Doing Good

  • Am I loving people, or am I loving the idea of doing good?
  • There are things we love and things we want to love for all sorts of reasons.
  • We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
  • What you chose will show what you love.

Love As Competition

  • Do i go to my daughter’s dance recital or to a meeting with a new client? Do I check my email or do I build blocks with my little boy? Do I invest in a new idea or pay of our family credit card bill?

Take Action

  • The quickest path to who you were made to be will be a line toward your true loves. Prioritize your love. Make sure what and whom you love are shown in your daily life.

Seeking God

  • I find it interesting that as we pursue wisdom and justice and right paths, Proverbs 2 tells us that eventually those paths will all lead us to God.
  • True wisdom comes with seeking God.

Life Learned

  • They key is to not be defined by the past but to be formed by it.
  • Eat the fish and spit out the bones.
  • The people who can connect ideas from seemingly disparate places will create what is common for tomorrow. The bringing together of utterly impossible ideas into something that does not now exist is where brilliance emerges. The more informed we are, the greater choices we will make.
  • If I have a limited view of the world, this causes a limited view of what I have potential to create.
  • What is one thing I can take away from what this person is saying?

Live the Learning

  • “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein
  • Seeking, Learning, Applying, Sharing, and Curating the wisdom you possess- that is a life worth living and a decision worth choosing.

Problem Solvers

  • When we as leaders start taking responsibility for problems we see, we turn into leaders of action- in short, problem solvers earning influence.
  • Seek to be known for what only you can contribute to the world.
  • When you prioritize making societal needs known, you simultaneously gain influence. You build a reputation that others respect and admire.
  • If you try to do everything, you accomplish nothing.
  • Be picky.
  • As a leader of problem solving initiative, you must always maintain this view. Where you are going, the big picture. Seeing what others cannot see.
  • “There are many things we can do, but only a few things we are made to do.” – Bob Goff
  • As a problem solver, one of the greatest responsibilities you have is to attract other talented people to your solution and retain them over a long period of time.
  • Real problems will be difficult to solve. Surround yourself with a team that is pursuing those solutions hardest to tackle.

Take Action

  • Making a change starts with being intentional about the story you are sharing with the world.

Explore the Options

  • We often see a very limited perspective of what could be. It is important to consider what all the possible options may be. Try to include the most unreasonable options in your process, because they could cause you to think of new solutions.

Out Of Your Mind

  • Great problem solvers utilize the opportunity of options as a starting point.
  • Look at 4 variables at work in any situation: Time, impact, person and emotion.
  • Given a clean slate, what would we do to live out our vision? Given the hand we’ve been dealt, how should we proceed?

No, Yes and Maybe.

  • If you were to say no to all the options you were currently considering, what would you do then? If you were in a completely different situation with the same problem, what might the solutions look like? Take out the constraints of budgets, timelines and people.
  • Once you have three good options, consider what might happen in each of the choices to see if you are comfortable with the outcomes.

The Mighty Jungle

  • Every decision will open up new opportunities unforeseen at the previous point. Every opportunity creates new challenges to conquer. We are created with the power to choose. We have been given the abilities and knowledge to make wise choices. Given all the options at hand, you have the opportunity to choose your next adventure.

If I Change the World and Lose My Family, I Fail

  • Often it is your family and close friends that get left behind.

Leadership Choices

  • Decisions must be calculated with other people in mind, or before long you will be a person meandering alone instead of a decision maker with influence over a team.
  • While different is better in my mind- it often means more work for other people.
  • There is a fine line between creating results by looking ahead and understanding the speed and pacing of the people who are following us.
  • But the timing and decisions making process negatively affected my team. Every good endeavor is not the best for the people you lead.

Swimming to the Sandbar

  • Fear brings doubt. Fear leads to quitting. When fear drives my decisions, I usually make the wrong decisions.
  • We must beat fear with courage even when we don’t know where it will take us.
  • Potential failure turns big dreamers into non-doers.
  • If you make decisions based on a fear of failure, you might as well take yourself out of the game altogether.
  • We all have failures, the difference with people like you and me is we fail big.
  • Never forget this moment, and don’t let this failure happen again.
  • Without failure we would never succeed. Failure makes us stronger. Failure is where we learn. Even the wisest of leaders will make wrong choices.
  • Decision makers fail often and fail fast because we know that even through failures we gain wisdom and get closer to our calling.

Fear of the Future

  • One hundred percent security does not exist.
  • Decision makers realize that the future is out of our control, and we pursue purpose in spite of the risk.
  • Most of our greatest limitations are within ourselves.
  • Decision makers choose to focus on what we do know and find others to fill the unknown spaces in order to keep moving forward.
  • There is nothing ‘once and for all’ in any decision to change.
  • It starts with us choosing a new way one day and continuing to choose it day after day.