Reading Time: 2 minutes
Do you ever wake up stressed in the middle of the night and struggle to fall back asleep? Your mind starts to race about things that happened yesterday or are due tomorrow and you just can’t shut it off. Asking for a friend. I think most of us have had a night like that. Many of us have more than one. But for me, when I wake up and start to work on the problem, my anxiety goes down. The challenge might still exist, but my focus changes from all of what could happen to what I can do about it. I have shifted to my “circle of influence.” Stephen Covey talks about this concept in his amazing book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Covey explains that everyone has a circle of influence where they have direct control. Inside this circle, they can have a big impact on their day, and ultimately, their life. The challenge is, many of us spend a lot of our time focused outside of that circle. We worry and we fret over the economy, the President, other people’s opinions, and even the weather. These (and so many other things) are outside of our circle of influence. They create stress and worry and (most importantly) we can’t do ANYTHING about them. It’s a waste of time and energy. This is the inspiration for today’s VLOG. There are 3 things that I don’t pay any attention to. They are outside of my circle of influence. That’s why, when people ask me, “what’s the weather supposed to be like tomorrow,” I can honestly say “I have no idea.” I found that the weather forecast was a source of constant frustration for me. That may be silly, but I either didn’t like what was supposed to happen, or it was not what was predicted. Most importantly, I couldn’t do anything about it. So I shut it off. What are those things in your world? What is a source of frustration for you that you can’t do anything about? It might be time to focus on your “circle of influence.” Make sure you never miss an update! Sign up to become a VIP. We send out one email per week to catch you up on all of the content! You can sign up here.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
It seems everywhere I look I am reminded of the classic business and personal development book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This amazing book, written by the late Stephen Covey, changed my life and millions of others as well. The simple but profound lessons are ones that each of us can and should be reminded of every day. It seems voting day is no different. So here are 7 Habits, for your consideration, as you head out to vote today.
- Be Pro-Active: This is the “if it’s to be it’s up to me” chapter in the book. So many people wait for life to happen to them. Covey encourages us to make these things happen ourselves. My favorite concept is focusing on your “Circle of Influence.” This allows you to spend your mental energy on this you have control over…and not what you don’t. So how does this apply to the election? Get educated on each race and each issue. Don’t spend time spreading hate. Learn and be ready to cast your ballot in a way that makes sense to you.
- Begin with the End in Mind: When you start each journey, it’s important to understand where you want to go. It’s not JUST about goal setting, though that’s a part of it. It’s about envisioning the life you want to lead and the person you want to be. So…what kind of leader do you want to have in your community? What kind of programs are important to your city? What do you want your area to look like? Begin with that in mind.
- Put First Things First: Now that you have created the first two, put the most important things at the top of the list. We all know this can be tough as “life gets in the way.” But the most effective people make the most important things the focus. What is most important to you? Honestly ask yourself why.
- Think Win/Win: No matter how smart or how charismatic our leaders are, they need to work with others in order to succeed. The same is more true, in my experience, with government. When selecting your leaders, what is their track record for collaboration? Are they willing to think Win/Win?
- Seek First to Understand/Then To Be Understood: I smile at this because, in this election cycle, we have not seen a lot of Habit 5…right? But the fact is, this is a hard one for strong leaders. I struggle with this one. But the best leaders are able to really deeply listen. Are we voting for and promoting people who do that? Are we, as voters, really willing to listen?
- Synergize: Habit 6 is all about putting collaboration together. From my perspective, this is about understanding that many different people with different priorities are going to get elected to different offices. Hopefully they will be able to work together in office to better each and every community. But as a voter, are you willing to be led by them? Are you willing to work with the other party (what ever that is)?
- Sharpen the Saw: The final habit is one about renewal. It’s about reminding yourself about the first 6 habits on a regular basis. In personal development we understand that the best of us are constantly working to get better. Again…how does this apply? During the craziness of the election we seem to draw very firm lines in the sand about our beliefs. That’s great. But are you willing to take those beliefs out and examine them? Most of us are very comfortable judging others…but are you willing to re-evaluate yourself?
No matter how you vote today (and I hope you notice I didn’t tell you how to), keep these 7 Habits in Mind as you go to the polls. Despite your frustrations or your politics, we are taking part in a grand tradition. Let’s give it the thought and respect it deserves.
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Reading Time: 2 minutes
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer. Have you ever noticed that what you put your attention on grows? It’s true. When you put your focus and time and attention on a specific thing, it tends to show up everywhere. There is plenty of science to back it up. But great thinkers have been telling us this for years. From Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) to Wayne Dyer to Stephen Covey, all of them have told us that what we focus on, we get. Wayne Dyer says it like this, “What you really, really want in life, you tend to get. And what you really, really DON’T want in life, you also tend to get.” Both of them have your concentrated attention. “Once you realize that what you think about expands in your life, you get really careful about what you think about!” Part of it is simply us telling our subconscious brains what is important. For example, you find exactly the new car you want. You take it home, thinking it’s a one of a kind. Then you start to see it (or ones just like it) everywhere! Why? Because your brain knows this car is important…so it points it out. The same is true in your relationships. If you constantly focus on the things you don’t like in your relationships…they will continue to expand. Stephen Covey talks about this in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He tells a husband to stop fixating on the things he doesn’t like in his spouse. Instead, start focusing on the things you love…and then they will expand. In his book “Becoming Supernatural,” Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about this in great detail. He says that most of us spend most of our time and attention (especially the very first part of our day) thinking and stressing and worrying about the past. So those past stresses and worries show up more and more. Is it any wonder that most people live the same day of their lives over and over? So what can we do? How do we break the routine? Let’s take the time to be intentional. Let’s make a mental change on what we put our time and attention on. Instead of focusing (all the time) on what stresses us, what worries us, or what annoys us, let’s spend some time thinking about the opposite. Today let’s think about: What are we grateful for? What excited us? What do we love about our life? What is it that we want to create? How can we be generous and make a difference? If what we think about expands in our life, let’s be intentional about what we focus on. Let’s work to create a life that we want to live! Make sure you never miss an update! It’s a great time to sign up for our VIP newsletter. We send out one email per week with all of the content we create in one place! Sign up today!
Reading Time: 2 minutes
My oldest daughter Skylar just got a puppy. Since she lives with me, I just got a puppy. It’s great. (I talk about it here a bit). Anyone that has ever gotten a puppy knows I am lying. It’s not great. The Lord made puppies cute for a reason. They need to be cute to survive. But here’s the thing…getting a puppy is a long term play. Dogs are amazing. They can fill your heart with love and your life with memories. You just have to be willing to live through the tough start. It reminds me of starting a sales career (or a business for that matter). So here are the ways getting a puppy is like starting a new career in sales. It Starts Fun But: The first day you get a puppy it’s all excitement. As we discussed above, it’s so cute. Everything seems so fun…but trouble is just around the corner. Every thing about owning a puppy is harder than it seems on Day 1. The same is true for sales. It starts off exciting and fast but it gets a lot harder (and less cute) quickly. Getting Up Early: Part of the reason it gets less cute quickly is because of a lack of sleep. Just like a baby, the puppy has no sleeping routine yet. When you start in sales (or in business), you start getting up early quickly. The early bird gets the worm, remember? Patience Is a Virtue: You know what’s hard when things are not going as planned? Patience. But that is exactly what you need in both situations. You need patience because puppies take a while to train. And…you need patience to train new customers too! These new customers will become the lifeblood of your new business. But it takes time. Completely New Habits: If you have old routines, a puppy does not care. (Again…I talk about that here). And you can’t create new success in sales with your same old habits. You have to create new routines. You have to break out of your comfort zone. It’s not up for negotiation. Cleaning Up Messes: It goes without saying that when you have a new puppy, there will be some cleaning up messes. The same is true in sales. You have no relationship. You really have no trust with your prospects (or more to the point, they have no trust in you). So every problem is a big problem. You have to clean up the mess before it stains the relationship forever. There Are No Shortcuts: We all want to get the natural training process to speed up. Whether you want to train a puppy or build a business, we want to skip that part. But it doesn’t work that way. You have to pay the price. You have to spend the time. The bad news with starting a business or a sales career and training a puppy is, it’s tough. There are early mornings and late nights. There are times of frustration. The good news is, you know that if you put in the time and work, it will work. And both puppies and a sales career can help create a fulfilling life! Here’s to success in both!
Reading Time: 2 minutes
“In 5 years you be the same person, except for the people you meet and the books you read.” You have the ability to get smarter. You have the ability to grow. You are NOT the same person you will be…if you choose to read (or listen to) books. You get to choose. But what books? I have already given you a list of books that I recommend for people in sales (and we are all in sales). That got me thinking about the books that I think are foundational. These are the books, that if you haven’t already read, I think you should. These are the books I want my daughters to read. Mindset by Carol Dwek: If you have not read this book, start here. In this book Dr. Carol Dwek explains that there are really only two mindsets; fixed and growth. And your Mindset, can unknowingly determine the overall trajectory of your life. This is powerful and is a must read for anyone that wants to get better…at anything. 7 Habits for Highly Effective People: Yes I recommend this book a lot. That’s because I find myself quoting it all the time, and it’s been years since I read it. There are so many foundational principles in it that can help anyone. If you want to improve, then be pro-active, stay in your circle of influence, and sharpen the saw by reading this book! 🙂 The 5 Second Rule: This is a great book to get you un-stuck. It’s a simple principle…but simple does not always mean easy. And if you are going to get this one, I recommend the audiobook because the author Mel Robbins is awesome on it. The Happiness Equation: I found this one easy to read and a pleasure to learn. Your mind functions better when you feed it “happy.” Author Neil Pasricha explains the “hows” and the “whys” in this great book. Fan of Happy: Okay, you have to give me this one. It’s a book about personal development that I (quite literally) wrote for my daughters. You can check it out here. So those are just a few “foundational” books on personal development that I think everyone (including my daughters) should read. As always, let me know your favorites! And remember, never miss an update by signing up for our VIP newsletter here!