3 Serious Lessons I Learned About Taking Shortcuts When I Cheated My First 5k Race

 

I learned this lesson the hard way when I decided to cheat the Cleveland, Ohio 5k race at Thanksgiving about 10 years ago. (It’s embarrassing to even tell this story but it was quite a learning lesson for me.)

My father is an avid runner and has been his entire life. As for me I didn’t get those genes – I’ll run if my life is in danger or the food is ready. So, as a “bonding” experience I opted to run a yearly race he does at Thanksgiving in Cleveland Ohio called the “5k Turkey Trot”. I showed up completely out of shape. I hadn’t done ANY training for this race – I was overly optimistic and completely unprepared.

I remember staring with my dad and hundreds of others at the starting line. When they said go – we were off. The first half mile was bearable and then it started to get a bit tough. My dad was just cruising and it wasn’t long before I couldn’t see him. Before I knew it, I was already at the back with all the stragglers. I was a straggler.

Halfway into the race my mind started to give up. I found myself justifying speed walking, then justifying regularly walking and then I had the bright idea of taking a shortcut back to the finish line. Haven’t I run enough? Who will know? Who would really care? It’s just a dumb race. I’m not even a runner. (It’s always amazing to me how willing we are to justify our own lies).

So I did it. I took the next side street and headed up toward the finish line. About halfway up the street I turned around and literally about died. People were following me.

I have to say that in that moment I felt like the worst human being in the world. First I had convinced myself to cheat and then I had unknowingly brought innocent people along with me. Could it get any worse?

Yes. I am not proud of my next action and it’s crazy to even think I made this choice as a twenty something “adult”. What did I do when I saw I was misleading others? I ran ahead and hid behind a car. Even typing that makes me feel scuzzy. I-hid-behind-a-car. And when the other runners came around the corner I remember peeking and seeing how bewildered they were that I had “vanished”. Eventually, they ended up running back the way they came and found the course they should have been on.

I’ve thought of this story many, many times and there are 3 lessons that stick out so clearly:

Shortcuts don’t work. They just waste our time and resources.

Not only did I give up on my goal of finishing the race and let people down – I ended up actually getting lost in Cleveland and going further than I would have if I would have just finished the race out. Shortcuts in life, business, relationships all have some kind of appeal in the beginning but in the end we wind up with wasted time, efforts and resources we will never get back.

Our shortcuts hurt other people even if we don’t see it. 

We like to think everyone else is isolated from our decisions. It is one of the great lies we spin. It is not true. Everything we do has an impact on the people closest to us – family, friends, etc. EVERYTHING. Positive and negative. When we opt to take a quick route or shortcut we will effect their lives and it rarely in a positive way.

Shortcuts hurt us even if we don’t want to admit it. 

The emotions I felt from this experience didn’t stay in the race. I felt guilty for a long time because I cheated myself. I felt ashamed and embarrassed because I had quit so easily. I wound up lying to others about it, my results, what happened,etc. because I felt so bad. Negative emotions take a serious toll on us and rob of us joy and energy. This internal damage comes out in our attitude and behavior with others. No one wants to feel like that.

Make sense?

Guess what? I’m going back at it this year – Thanksgiving 2016. No shortcuts, no gimmicks. I’m going to finish it (run,walk, limp, crawl – whatever) and rewrite this chapter. :)

 

4 Amazing Lessons I Learned When I Lost Everything

 

Early on in 2006/2007 I found myself in the middle of the economic boom. Literally in the right place at the right time with the right set of skills. Money came quick and easy and for a 24 year old who grew up in a lower middle class Pastor’s family – I had no clue how to handle it. Everyone was so focused on themselves – buying stuff and having a good time. ( I cringe looking back at what a waste of life that chapter was).

I decided to build my own business in the same niche I was doing well in. So I Invested a ton of money on credit, but I ignored basic business principles and went at it completely over leveraged. As they say, I “bet the farm”. I also had an untouchable ego to boot.

Then the economy tanked and the recession hit.

From there everything just got worse and worse. Business died, payments mounted up, debt collectors started calling, had 2 cars repossessed. On top of that I had no income coming as I wouldn’t even consider getting a job because I couldn’t make what I was making before (stupid). The IRS audited me and I owed a grip of cash with interest that was compounding daily. I was a rock bottom and it felt like when it couldn’t get worse, it did. That year I had married the love of my life and I felt guilty as she was a part of all this struggle even though they were my bad decisions. It was a painful, hopeless and dark season of my life but looking back it was the most valuable thing that has ever happened to me.

Here are the 4 life lessons I learned through all this:

Humility

Going from having everything you want to not having what you need is a very humbling experience. It makes you realize that everyone is an inch away from losing it all. I had gone from what I felt was the top of the mountain to the bottom of the valley- very fast. It completely put my character and ego in check. In fact, my first job after I finally humbled myself to go find any work I could find ( we were so desperate) was making $7 an hour doing construction and I drove 80 miles roundtrip to get to the jobsite each way in a new car with expired registration that was behind on payments.

I love this quote – “From humble beginnings come great things.”

Thankfulness

When you truly have nothing you are thankful for anything. There was a night my wife and I didn’t even have food and no money to buy any. I felt so trapped with no options. As we sat there with no idea what we were going to do, there was a knock on the door. A lady from where my wife was working had just randomly decided to bring us a bag of canned goods and food. This was such a miracle for us. I’ve never been so thankful for a can of salmon in my life! If you are thankful for the little things, your life will be rewarded with constant positive perspective and joy.

It Gave Me A Heart For Those Who Are Struggling

Those who have gone through something identify with those going through that same thing. You can feel the same emotions and understand the same thoughts and struggles. My heart now just breaks for those who are struggling and I’m committed to making a difference. That was not the case before all this happened.

It Taught Me More Than Any Measure Of Success Could

Pain is a great teacher. When we touch a hot stove and get burned, we learn not to not do it again. Successfulness unchecked can falsely prop up our expectations, egos and blind our perspective. The lessons I learned from losing everything has made me a better person, husband, father, businessman, friend and more. Still it took me 8 years to correct all that happened in this season and it was painful for a long time.

In the end I wouldn’t change anything. I’m better today because of it AND I won’t make those mistakes again:)

 

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HOW TO SETUP A WORDPRESS BLOG IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS

How To Setup A WordPress Blog In 10 Minutes or LEss

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Are you passionate ABOUT SOMETHING? DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE? Do you have a story that needs to be told? Do you want to generate passive income for your family?

Starting a blog might be your answer.

Blogs are no longer just for the “professional writer”. They are for the thinker, the designer, the mother, the craftsman, and the teacher.

In 2014, I decided to start blogging and building my personal platform. It’s now become part of my full-time career and it has allowed me to make a living from the things I am most passionate about.

Sadly, I see many people not chase their dream because their either don’t know where to start or the “setup process” is too complex.

But its not. Below I have outlined an easy step-by-step guide to getting a domain, setting up hosting, and installing WordPress in 10 minutes or less.

There are many ways to setup a blog but you will get the most control by using self-hosted WordPress blog. This is what most serious bloggers use. This is what I use here at DalePartridge.com

IMPORTANT: The first step for setting up a blog is buying a domain and setting up hosting. If you are not sure about the difference between hosted and self-hosted WordPress, I found this helpful infographic that explains it well. My verdict… stay away from WordPress.com. It’s limiting and does not allow your blog to scale well.

To Get Started You’ll Need 3 Items:

1. A Credit Card ( Average startup costs can be around $50 – sometimes less and sometimes a little more depending on upgrades)
2. A Domain Name
3. Setup Hosting
4. WordPress
5. A Theme To Install

Step #1: Buying A Domain Name

The domain name of my blog is MovingMountains.co. That’s where people have come to find me on the web. Choosing a good domain can be tough. Your domain can either be your name or a branded domain like MovingMountains.co. Luckily, the hosting company I will recommend in step #2 provides you a free domain when you sign up.

Step #2 Setting Up A Hosting Account.

This is where your blog will “live.” This is a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your blog. It’s far easier than it sounds. Stick with me.

There are a hundreds of hosting services available. However, based on my experience and research, I recommend Bluehost. I believe it is the best option for most people for the following several reasons:

  1. Bluehost is large and well known.
  2. They offer excellent customer service (located in the US).
  3. Their packages are highly affordable and include domain names. Way less work.
  4. Their service provides extremely fast page load times.
  5. Bluehost is very easy to use.

ACTION STEP: Click HERE to buy your domain and signup for hosting with Bluehost. I have provided a visual guide of the steps below. 

BLUEHOST STEP #1

Visit This Link (the same as the one above) and Click “Get Started Now” button.

step1

BLUEHOST STEP #2

Choose your plan.
step2

BLUEHOST STEP #3

Choose your free domain name or bring over your current domain. Both are very easy processes.

bluehost-domain

BLUEHOST STEP #4

Place your order and pay for your plan.

step3

BLUEHOST STEP #5

Once you’ve logged in, you will be taken to your Bluehost dashboard where you can install WordPress (the software that runs your blog) in a few simple clicks.

step4

BLUEHOST STEP #6

Click the the green install button.

step5

BLUEHOST STEP #7

Choose the domain you just registered or the one you brought over.

step6

BLUEHOST STEP #8

Check the “Show advanced options” box and fill in the title, username, and password. Your title will be the name of your blog (mine would be Dale Partridge). The username and password will be what you use to login to the backend of your blog (your WordPress dashboard).

IMPORTANT: Save this information somewhere where you won’t lose it. You will need it for step #10

step7

BLUEHOST STEP #9

Bluehost will install WordPress on your server and let you know when it’s complete.

step8

Click the “View Credentials” button on the top right.
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BLUEHOST STEP #10

Click on “Admin URL” (located below the green box) and enter your WordPress login credentials from step #8. This will take you to your WordPress dashboard. Your WordPress dashboard is where you will do almost everything on your blog. From writing articles to changing design.

step10

step11

FINAL STEP

This is your WordPress Dashboard. You can either begin blogging or upload a new theme for your blog. I would recommend purchasing a new WordPress theme at Themeforest.net. At ThemeForest, in the navigation go to “WordPress” in the upper left section of the page. Then choose your theme type and begin exploring thousands of themes. After purchasing your theme from Themeforest, you will return to your WordPress dashboard and click “Appearance” > Themes > Upload a New Theme. Here you will upload the .zip file of the theme your just purchased.

Lastly, you will then follow your theme’s setup features provided by the person who developed your theme. This is where you will upload your logo, change colors, add pages, and more.

Congratulations! You have officially setup your blog. This is only the beginning of an exciting journey for you. BIG THINGS!

 

 

 

5 Signs You Are Absolutely Taking On More Than You Should

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Being seen as successful is something that drives nearly all human beings.  From birth, we’re taught to take on more, and more responsibility because it’s a way to show the world we have our stuff together.  However, what happens when you’ve found yourself taking on too much?  Are you even aware that you could possibly be taking on too much responsibility, already?

We find ourselves in this position because it’s simply so hard to say “no” to people.  It’s much easier to say “yes” when someone asks us to do something for them, because we don’t want people to think about us as being unreliable, or unable to help them with their problems.  There are a few warning signs you can use, if you’re aware of them, that will help you identify when you’re taking on too much responsibility.

1. Your Little Voice Is Warning You Of Impending Doom

That little voice in your head?  You should probably listen to it.  It’s the voice of reason, and it knows you better than you know yourself.  If you hear the voices in your head telling you that you’re taking on too much, it’s probably time to stop and listen.

Since you know yourself better than anyone else, you need to pay attention to what’s going on around you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.  It may be time to take a step back and analyze your life, to figure out what’s holding you back, what’s actually necessary for you to move forward, and what you’re currently doing that can be dropped without noticing any differences.

2. Short Breaks Just Make You Even More Anxious

One easy way to tell that you’re overwhelmed is when taking short breaks just won’t work to help you relax anymore.  If you’re finding yourself looking for longer, and longer breaks, or wanting to take naps throughout the day, you’re probably overworked — and overwhelmed.  If taking a short, 15 minute break doesn’t help remove your anxiety, you’re taking on too much.

The best way to get around this issue is to make sure that you’re sleeping well at night.  Often, when short breaks throughout the day won’t work to help re-energize you, your sleep schedule is to blame.  It’s easy to give up sleep, though, when you’ve got so much going on.  If this sounds like you, look into how well you’re sleeping at night — as well as your mattress, pillows, and even the blankets you use to sleep with.

3. You’re Starting To Make Mistakes, And Forget Things

After your sleep patterns start to become out of whack, you’re going to notice other physical changes that manifest themselves throughout the day.  When was the last time you found yourself doing something, only to stop halfway through and wonder exactly what it is you started out doing, in the first place?  If you’re overwhelmed, it probably happens more often than you’re realizing.

Making small mistakes in your day to day routines means that you are spending time focusing on too many things, and not enough time on the task at hand.  This can be a dangerous situation, especially when you’re involved in activities such as heavy lifting, driving, or caring for small children.  If you’ve found yourself constantly forgetting, and making mistakes, it’s probably time to take a step back and maybe even consider a vacation.

4. Exercise, Eating Habits, and Hobbies Have Become Forbidden Words

If you look at the life you once lead, do you see things like eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, and actually enjoying a few hobbies every now, and then?  If you used to do those things but have found yourself not being able to find the motivation to enjoy your hobbies, or that your appetite has begun to suffer and you’ve adopted unhealthy eating habits, you’re probably overloaded with too much, right now.

Regular exercise is one of the first things to go when you start finding yourself getting bogged down.  It’s only natural that it happens.  When it comes to your to do list, exercising starts to feel like you’re taking valuable time away from something else that should really be getting done today.  And then it happens.  You tell yourself that you’ll exercise tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

5. Your Family Said So.

The people around you know you and your routines, and will be able to let you know when you’re looking a bit worn down and possibly needing a break.  If your family and friends have begun asking certain questions, digging into what’s going on in your daily life, they are probably starting to become concerned about you.  This is especially true if they’re consistently bringing up your health.

It’s easy to get addicted to making money online, and the thought of finally being able to make all of your dreams come true.  This addiction is something that you have to become aware of, because it works just like any other addiction — robbing you of your health, motivation, and the ability to actually move forward — instead of continuing to dream about what you could achieve.

How To Come Up With Great Ideas For Blog Topics

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When you’re away from your computer it seems like ideas for amazing new blog posts come to you left, and right.  Once you get to sit down to work, though, it’s a completely different story.  Those amazing ideas that were once overwhelming you seem to have completely disappeared.

This is a common problem that happens to just about everybody at some point in time.  The more you struggle with forcing an idea, the worse the problem gets.

The first step is to RELAX. Don’t stress. Just get comfortable – ideas tend to flow when you are unrestricted and peaceful. Find your “zen” place.

Second, there are lot of great online tools that I and other bloggers use to come up with new ideas. You can use these simple tools to help get your creative juices flowing if you happen to find yourself struggling for what to write. Here we go:

GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER

The Adwords Keyword Planner or Google Keyword Planner, whatever you want to call it, is a tool from Google that will help you come up with some ideas to write about on your blog.  You’re also helping set the foundation for your blog to receive increased search traffic by including keywords that people are searching for.

This strategy works to help break through your writer’s block by showing you what people are searching for, related to your blog, and how often they are searching for it each month.  That information gives you an easy way to see the topics you should be covering with your blog, and helps let Google know what your blog is about — helping you tap into your share of that coveted search engine traffic.

All you have to do is write a blog post around the keyword, solving the problem or providing the answers that the searcher is looking for, and let Google take care of the rest. Link is here.

BUZZSUMO

BuzzSumo gives you ideas for blog posts to write about, but also gives your social media marketing campaign a head start.  This tool gathers all of the blog posts and articles related to the keywords you enter and sorts them based on the amount of social shares they’ve received since they were published.

As you read through the results that BuzzSumo returns when you enter your keywords, you’ll start to gather ideas about what you should be covering with your blog posts, and how to write in a way that your audience will respond to.  This makes it a lot easier for you when you actively start promoting your blog on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Link is here.

QUESTION & ANSWER SITES

Sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers are chock full of new blog posts ideas waiting for you to dig through.  These two sites, and others like them, allow users to submit questions that the general public are able to answer.  The answers that other users leave for the original poster are then rated, and sorted by the best answers first.

Having data that’s easily accessed and sorted by outside users gives you both the idea for the problem you need to solve, provided by the question that was originally asked, as well as what other users consider the best answer — giving you an idea how to angle your blog post for the most effect.

FORUMS & SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media platforms, or forums where your customers and readers hang out, you have probably already seen the sheer volume of questions that get asked on a daily basis.  If you’re not already active in the communities where your potential readers and customers are at, you need to find them and get active.  You can search for forums on Google, and communities on Facebook.

When you see the same question coming up on a regular basis, instead of providing a short answer in the group you’re a part of, or on the forum that you’re active in, try providing the complete solution to their problem in the form of a blog post.  This will introduce your blog to a new group of readers, reinforce your message with the reader’s who have already seen you, and give you an increased presence in the communities you’re hanging out in.

ASK YOUR READERS.

If you already have a foundation of readers on your blog, one of the best ways to come up with new topics to cover is simply to ask them what they want to see.  Sites like SurveyMonkey will let you create surveys you can send to your audience to find out exactly what they think, and learn a bit more about who they are.

If you don’t already have a list of email subscribers, or a steady stream of visitors to your blog that would make giving a survey worth your time, there is one more method you can use to figure out what your readers and customers want to see.

CHECK WITH THE READERS OF LARGE BLOGS.

Find the biggest blogs in your market that you can and make a list of them.  This is going to be a wealth of information for you to dig through.  After you’ve gathered a list of say 10, 15, or 20 of the bigger blogs in your niche, start pulling them up one, by one.

Most blogs will have a popular posts section, or widget, that you can use to sort all of the posts on the site by the posts with the highest comment count.  After finding the most popular posts on the blog, read the article and then start looking through the comments.  Pay attention to what the readers are saying and how it relates to the article.

This will help give you a better understanding of exactly who your readers and customers are, and the ability to help better serve up the types of blog topics that they really want to see.

We hope this helps! If you are just starting out blogging and don’t have your very own blog and domain but want to get started, here is a link to my article step by step walkthrough on setting up a blog: How To Setup Your Own Blog In 4 Easy Steps