Category : How To

Health & Fitness How To Personal Development

A Morning Routine for Busy People

I had a very interesting conversation with my nephew recently about “morning routines of successful entrepreneurs.” This is a topic  frequently covered by Tim Ferriss and Lewis Howes on their podcasts, where their guests all had a similar routine that included mental, physical and emotional focus. The routines went something like the following:

  1. Meditate 30-45 minutes
  2. Workout 30-45 minutes
  3. Read news, emails, motivational book 30 minutes
  4. Cook and eat a healthy breakfast 45 minutes
  5. Start your workday

My nephews reaction was  priceless, “that’s great, but I’m not getting up 2 hours before I start my day – how are normal people supposed to do that?”

As a new Dad I certainly have a greater respect for sleep than I ever had before, and getting up 2 hours earlier is not a likely possibility, especially when my day already starts at 5:30am and we still scramble to get out the door to beat the traffic. This scene out of ‘Daddy Daycare’ seems more realistic:

The consensus amongst most people seems to be SURVIVAL and making life as easy as possible (especially if you have kids).

Here are a few ways to start a morning routine for normal people:

Prepare for your next day the night before.

Most mornings are hectic, and by eliminating decisions you will conserve energy and create more time for the micro-routines that you can build on as your grow. Here are a few to start:

  • I fill the tea kettle, put the teabag in the cup
  • Prepare your breakfast in advance – I put my protein powder and banana beside the blender. I choose a protein shake as a quick healthy alternative
  • Pick out your clothes the night before – eliminating choices from my morning makes life so much easier
  • If you have kids, getting everything ready the night before is a must – pack lunches, have clothes laid out, have book bags packed

A simple morning routines that takes less than 5 minutes

The most simple thing to do in order to build a positive routine is to be grateful. Instead of hitting the snooze button on your iPhone – spend those few minutes reflecting on the things you are grateful for. And yes, there’s an App for that – it’s called the “Five Minute Journal App,” which asks you to write down 3 things:

Five Minute Journal App

Five Minute Journal App

  • What are you grateful for today?
  • What would make today great?
  • Daily affirmations

Additional Exercises

While you may not have time for a full-blown workout, try to fit in a few pushups, sit ups and even a minute of planks before you hop in the shower. These simple actions will activate massive changes in your brain and create a chain reaction of chemical releases within your body that will help you perform at a higher level.

While we may not have the freedom to develop the routine of a billionaire entrepreneur, you can take small steps in developing the foundation of a sound morning routine that can grow as you continue in your pursuit of happiness.

 Feature Image Credit from Daddy Daycare, The Telegraph

 

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Health & Fitness How To Personal Development Uncategorized

How to survive a “HELL WEEK” like a Navy SEAL

Could you imagine if the third week of your job was called “HELL WEEK”? I can only imagine the HR nightmare that would be for most businesses, but that’s the case for anyone who wants to become a Navy SEAL.

“Hell Week consists of 5 1/2 days of cold, wet, brutally difficult operational training on fewer than four hours of sleep. Hell Week tests physical endurance, mental toughness, pain and cold tolerance, teamwork, attitude, and your ability to perform work under high physical and mental stress, and sleep deprivation. Above all, it tests determination and desire. On average, only 25% of SEAL candidates make it through Hell Week – the toughest training in the U.S. Military (navyseals.com).”

Why do so few make it?

There is no easy way out! Success is a tough road and only the best can survive. You rarely hear about the internal struggle, see the scars or truly understand how those who survive were able to do so.

This same struggle is true for businesses and entrepreneurs – very few people know about the challenges they endure in order to survive their first few years of business.

What can you learn from surviving “Hell Week”?

Below are two interviews from Navy SEALS who survived “Hell Week” and have gone on to transform lives by helping people live an optimal life; mentally, physically and emotionally. The lessons they share can be applied immediately to your daily life.

20x your potential:

In a recent product launch for 20x your potential, Ramit Sethi   interviewed former Navy SEAL Commander, and founder of SEALFIT, Mark Divine.

To be SEALFIT is to embody the character traits of discipline, drive, determination, service, self mastery, honor, integrity, courage and authentic leadership.

Both SEALFIT and 20x Your Potential, teach you a disciplined approach to focus on all aspects of your growth, specifically your mental state of being. The very first day of 20x Your Potential, you are met with the challenge to do either a 21 minute plank, or 1,000 pushups – sounds impossible right? The course teaches you how to do it. Here is an excerpt from the course:

How to Fall in Love with Pain: The Key to Resiliency and Success (School of Greatness)

In a recent podcast, Lewis Howes interviews former Navy SEAL and Author, Eric Greitens about his new book; “‘Resilience‘ is the characteristic that gets us through the hard stuff – how we process pain in the moment and after.”

Eric is no stranger to this, as he recounts in our conversation Navy SEAL training, his travels around the world photographing war-torn areas, and working with veterans with PTSD.

What you can take from the two examples

  1. Your mental state is paramount – there are a number of techniques you can learn to mentally prepare for success. Be willing to try new things, and practice these mental disciplines consistently. Your state of mind will dictate your ability to succeed
  2. Your physical state can always be improved – once mentally fit, your ability to improve your physical ability will become limitless. You can ‘segment’ your work to overcome any physical limit (i.e. the 21 minute plank challenge – break it down to 21x at 1 minute).
  3. Live a life of service – when your goals are bigger than you, failure is not an option. You will hear both Mark and Eric talk about how they focused on their team, and what it meant for them to succeed in order for those around them to succeed. Failure was never an option. The same applies for you – when you’re chasing a big dream; the reason has to be big enough that failure is not an option.

You are all capable of surviving your version of Hell Week, just take it one step at a time and follow the suggestions of the above leaders as a start.

Inspiration for this article:

 

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How To Personal Development

How to be GREAT at Just About Anything

Have you ever wondered what separates you from some of the greatest athletes, entrepreneurs and world leaders? The answer is simpler than you think...

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” -William Shakspeare

As part of “The Expert in a Year Challenge,” Sam Priestley went from beginner to expert in just one year and broke into the top 250 players in England.

What does this have to do with greatness?

If you pull back the curtain behind any great business, great athlete or great leader, you will notice they all have one thing in common: they CONSISTENTLY FOCUS on the DAILY ACTIVITIES that drive them towards their objectives. Here are a few examples of daily activities that yield results over time:

Simple daily disciplines

  • Want to loose 10 lbs? Stop drinking your calories and exercise for 15 minutes 3x per week.
  • Want better relationships? Learn to listen more.
  • Want to run a marathon? Sign up for a race and start training – today.
  • Want more time? Say “No” to things that are not productive or enjoyable.
  • Want to feel less tired? Go to bed earlier.
  • Want to be smarter, a better leader or build your business? Read more. Read 10 pages each day from the top books in your field.
  • Want to be a better athlete (in any sport)? Practice! Practice! Practice!
  • Want to write a book? Start with an outline and then write a page a day.

This philosophy is best covered by Jeff Olson in “The Slight Edge,” where he “shows you how to create powerful results from the daily activities of your life.”

In his book, he frequently uses the example of weight loss because it is something most people can relate to. If you eat right and exercise regularly you will accomplish your fitness goals, but if you skip workouts – before you know it you haven’t been to the gym in 3 months and you’ve gained 10 lbs.

We often know the things we have to do to achieve a desired result, and in the case of weight loss it is a consistent focus on eating well and exercise – that’s it. There really is no “miracle diet”, just doing the right things day after day and those incremental results compound themselves into something great over time.

How can you achieve greatness?

  1. Have big goals and break them down into immediate measurable actions (you need to know if you’re heading in the right direction or not; adjust accordingly)
  2. Schedule your actions and don’t let anything distract you from completing them.
  3. Stop making excuses. If you come across a roadblock, make conquering it part of your daily actions. Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections before winning the 9th and changing modern history.
  4. Just Do It! Start today no matter what (if you’re stuck, see step #3)

William Shakespeare was right: some achieve greatness – and to be great, all you have to do is be consistent.

Resources that inspired this article:

 

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How To Resources Uncategorized

3 of The Most Influential Entrepreneurs You Must Follow in 2015

Are you having trouble getting motivated in 2015? Looking for inspiration? These 3 authors will get you back to the top of your game in no time.

I thought after I graduated that I was done learning. It was time to hit the grindstone and start a career. What I failed to realize was the learning was just getting started. The more I worked, the more I needed to learn and the more I learned the better I became at my work. As I perfected my craft as a marketer I started to look outside the typical “business books” for inspiration.

I am still a massive fan of your traditional business guru’s like Napoleon Hill, John C Maxwell, Malcolm Gladwell, however I attribute my passion for life-learning to the following 3 authors; Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi and Lewis Howes. These are not your traditional business, or marketing authors, but rather a unique set of individuals who study, interview, dissect, and dig deep into such a broad spectrum of topics and people that forces you to expand your way of thinking.

Below is a brief summary of the value I received from each of these authors. There are NO AFFILIATE links, nor do I receive any compensation from these authors. These are  individuals who have genuinely inspired my personal and career growth.

Tim Ferriss

Tim FerrissI can honestly say this is one of my favorite authors, interviewers and, albeit a stretch, comedians. I have read each of his three books; 4 Hour Work Week, 4 Hour Body and 4 Hour Chef. Tim Ferriss is literally the world’s biggest experiment. He puts his mind and body on the line to disprove myths and constantly seeks perfection and efficiency.

I have to give Tim credit for fueling my fire for learning, which came from The 4 Hour Chef. This book is more about learning, than it is about cooking although I do have to say my skills in the kitchen are much better after reading the book.

He is a talented author, but his best skill has to be his ability to interview. He has one of the highest rated podcasts on iTunes and there are numerous episodes I will listen to again, and again when I need to be inspired. There is one in particular with Tony Robbins and Peter Diamandis that discusses how important it is to think big. In the podcast Tony shares how he will feed 100 million families, how Peter started the X-prize (a $10 Million dollar prize for the first private space flight) without even having the $10 million, and finally how Tony, Peter and Tim are working together to help tackle some of the biggest issues in the world, specifically literacy. It is by far one of the most impactful interviews I have ever listened to, and it will inspire anyone to accomplish anything, both personally and in business.

Connect with Tim Ferriss:

Podcast: http://fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/
Twitter: @tferriss
Instagram: @timferriss 
Facebook: Tim Ferriss
Books:
The 4 Hour Work Week
The 4 Hour Body
The 4 Hour Chef
Blog/Website: The Blog of Tim Ferriss
Best Links: If you want to 10x or 100x your results and impact, this interview with Tony Robbins and Peter Diamandis is a must listen.

Ramit Sethi

Courtesy of I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Courtesy of I Will Teach You To Be Rich

When you see “NO BS”, this guy means it. From his money back guarantees to his email newsletter; Ramit tells you like it is, and in my experience he is right. His emails will make you laugh, and for some you might cry if you don’t have thick skin. The content is bang on and will challenge you to push the envelope to live a truly “Rich life,” which by his definition is totally up to you. For some it is material wealth, for others it might mean “picking up the tab at the bar for friends.” Regardless, whatever you set out to do he has built a multi-million dollar business of training people how to stand out.

I was introduced to Ramit in a webinar he hosted with Tim Ferriss about self-publishing. I rarely sign up for email newsletters, and it is even more rare that I recommend anyone else signup, but this is one you cannot miss. He, like Tim Ferriss, is bold enough to tell you “if you can’t handle the truth in this email than the unsubscribe button is below…no seriously, get out…” I have personally used Ramit’s free material to completely change my career path, and I am a recent grad of his Zero to Launch program, which teaches you how to create an online business. Whether you need a laugh, are looking to change or advance your career, earn an extra part-time income, or start a multi-million dollar online empire this is the guy to get you there.

Connect with Ramit Sethi:

Podcast: Guest on Tim Ferriss’ show; Persuasion and Turning a Blog into a Multi-Million Dollar Business
Twitter: @ramit
Instagram: @ramit
Facebook: Ramit Sethi
Books: I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Courses: Dream Job, Earn1K, Zero To Launch (see the full list here)
Blog/Website: http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/
Best Links:
A collection of Ramit’s best free tools. You must sign up, but I can tell you personally it is better than 99% of the courses you will pay for. Click here to access the tools:
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/insiders-kit/free-tools/ 

Lewis Howes

Image Courtesy of HuffingtonPost

Image Courtesy of HuffingtonPost

“The School of Greatness” is the vehicle Lewis Howes created to help serve over a million people. If that mission alone doesn’t get your attention, maybe his story will?

Lewis has a much different story than the two Ivy League authors above. He has found a way to use his hustle to delivers amazing value. After suffering from a career-ending football injury, Lewis found himself sleeping on his sister’s couch, broke and without a purpose. He, like Tony Robbins, read…and read some more and found that he too could have a positive impact on the people around him and created the “School of Greatness.”

His podcast is filled with interesting guests from all walks of life, each carrying a story of how to find your inner greatness. What amazed me most about Lewis’ podcast was watching his growth over the last year as he passed his 100th episode. That milestone alone (100 podcasts) is a testament to his commitment to helping serve people. The commitment to “service” inspired me to reevaluate how I approached my personal and business relationships. That change in focus has yielded exponential results.

Connect with Lewis Howes:

Podcast/Blog: The School of Greatness
Twitter: @lewishowes
Instagram: @lewishowes
Facebook: Lewis Howes
Books: LinkedIn Influence
Best Links:
Interview with Chalene Johnson (who is also an amazing person to follow):
http://lewishowes.com/podcast/chalene-johnson/

 

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Business Strategy How To Resources Uncategorized

The 3 numbers you need to know to make most business decisions

The 3 numbers you need to know to make most business decisions

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” – Arnold Palmer

Winning isn't everything, but wanting it is - Arnold Palmer

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is – Arnold Palmer

I’m not sure if Arnold Palmer was talking about Golf or Business?

For many what I’m about to explain below may seem too simple, but I promise you, if you have ever owned a business you will get caught up putting out so many fires that having some quick decision making tools will make life easier, and more profitable.

As a business owner you probably ask yourself, what is my ROI on my marketing? Most small businesses don’t have any systems in place to accurately track the necessary data to perform the advanced analysis to really get that answer. Some may have built an excel spreadsheet to track campaign costs, but when the sales people get too busy and don’t report where the leads came from (i.e. Campaign X) there’s now way to calculate the ROI of the recent Trade Show, or Mail Campaign, etc. What’s even better are the companies who implement a CRM like Salesforce.com with all the advanced data capabilities, but end up using it as a way to manage their sales activity (i.e. Met with Jimmy, have a follow up in 3 weeks to talk about the $35 Trillion Project)…I have to give credit to Salesforce.com – when used correctly it has amazing reporting capabilities that can make a marketers lives much easier, but rarely is that the case in a small to medium sized businesses and almost never in a start up!

If you want a quick way to determine if your business is headed in the right direction, or if your marketing investments are worthwhile, here are 3 metrics you can use right away without spending a week on an excel spreadsheet:

Accounting note – these equations are not based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principals – these serve are a guide to help make quick decisions, more comprehensive tools can be found in the links at the bottom

  1. Client Acquisition Cost = Total Marketing Costs / Number of New Clients
  2. Annual Profit per Client = Total Profit / Number of Clients
  3. Life Time Value of a Client = Avg. Annual Profit * Average Life of Client

Now that you have these answers what do they mean?

Simply put if you want to survive than your “Average Profit per Client” must be greater than your “Client Acquisition Costs.” Remember, this is a simple equation for most businesses and if part of your marketing investment goes towards existing clients it may skew this number a bit, however you are making one of the smartest business decisions a business owner can make.

One of the most expensive things in business is acquiring new clients. If you want to really grow your business, more importantly your profits, than focus on the last metric – Life Time Value of a Client. Find ways to over deliver on your product or service. In an upcoming article we will talk about how important the Top 20% of your revenue is, and why it will help guide what your business does going forward.

If you are looking for more advanced metrics, definitions or the real equations to the above, here are some helpful links:

“For Entrepreneurs” has a really in depth explanation with some downloadable spreadsheets:

Client Acquisition Costs:

Annual Profit per Client:

Lifetime Value of a Client:

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