Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Man Who Chases Two Rabbits Catches None

On the June 18, 2010 edition of The American Entrepreneur radio show, Ron Morris talked with Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh.  One topic of conversation was poker and the parallels that Tony drew between it and business (and life).  This is the gist of Tony’s comments…

In poker: if you never lose a hand it probably means you’re not playing enough hands.  If you only play the safe hands, then yes, you won’t lose a lot, but you also won’t win a lot.

In business (and life): you have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

The opposite of these two statements are also true:

In poker: if you play every single hand, you’ll actually, in terms of number of hands, win more than anyone else, but in terms of actual money you make at the end of the night, it’s going to be a lot less and in many cases you’ll end up losing money because you’re playing too many hands.

In business (and life): often times the hardest part is saying no to opportunities, that are still good opportunities, but if you try to do too many things you’re going to end up not doing any of them well.

Ron follows Tony’s comments by mentioning an old Chinese/Russian proverb: the man who chases two rabbits catches none.

What all of this really translates to is how well you manage/spend your time and how focused you are on your goals.  It’s something you’ve all battled with at some point.  What eliminates this problem is a clearly defined vision and a clearly defined focus.  There are a ton of opportunities out there but unless it fits into the life that you want, it’s a waste of your time and energy.  Realize that no matter who you are, you have the same amount of time as everyone else.  That is a resource that is non-renewable.  Can’t get it back.  Won’t get it back.  So you better start doing something meaningful with it.

Take a step back and look at your life from a bird’s-eye view.  Start thinking about your life like a business.  Where do you spend all of your time, energy and resources?  Like a business, you want to get the biggest return on your investment.  Be aware that if you try to do everything, you will likely end up doing everything average.  But also realize that if you don’t do anything, nothing will ever improve and you’ll probably not create any new opportunities in your life.

At some point in your life you will hear someone say that someone got “lucky” or they were at the “right place at the right time” but honestly that’s all a bunch of bullshit coming from someone who probably doesn’t do anything but sleep, go to work and watch television.  Instead, if you focus on doing things right and by maximizing your time, energy and resources you put yourself in the position to be “lucky” or to be at the “right place at the right time”.  Then you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with YOU and how good YOU are at choosing what rabbits to chase.

As a side note, Ron and Tony’s talk centered around Tony’s book Delivering Happiness – which I highly recommend you click on that link, buy it right now and then read it in the next week because it is a phenomenal story that everyone should hear.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

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Creating Your Mindset: Interview with Alwyn Cosgrove

This past weekend I attended the Results Fitness Biz Seminar.  It’s the second time I’ve been to this seminar.  The one thing that never changes no matter what I do or where I’m at is the need for a better mindset.  That’s why the underlying theme to almost all of my posts is mindset.  And it just so happens the first topic Alwyn covered in the seminar was mindset.  Mindset.  Mindset.  Mindset.  Hammer it home.  Why?  Because it is the foundation.  You can’t build a solid house on top of a shaky foundation.  And you can’t build a successful life without the right foundation of your mindset.

I had the chance to sit down with Alwyn at the end of the seminar to pick his brain about what a good mindset is, why is it important and what is the first step to developing your mindset.

Enjoy…

WWC: The first thing you talk about in your business seminars is mindset?  What are characteristics of a good mindset?

AC: It’s really about being positive.  It’s about the basketball story or the soccer story.  And is that the movie that runs.  I remember talking to a lady when I was having chemo and I told her we’re not Superman, we’re Batman, we don’t have super powers.  And you gotta fucking work.  She didn’t realize Batman didn’t have super powers.  This was in ’04 around the time when Batman Begins was coming out.  So I told her, “when we get out of here I’ll go and see it with you.”  And she said, “yeah if I make it that long.”  And honestly, Chad, that never crossed my mind.  I never thought I wasn’t going to make it.  That’s the way you have to think.  And you have to train that.  You have to train it every day.  If you catch yourself saying, I’d take the 3-point shot then you gotta slap yourself and cancel that.  You’re a winner.  It sounds like positive thinking but it’s more than that.  It’s an absolute real belief system in what you’re doing.

WWC: How does mindset play a role in someone’s success?

AC: Because without it everything else that I teach and everything else that you do in your life is built off this negative base.  And we can’t really build anything off of that.

WWC: What is the first step someone should take to changing their mindset?

AC: Plant something positive when your subconscious is the most fertile and the most ready for programming.  The first 15 minutes when you wake up in the morning and the last 15 minutes before you go to sleep.  You’ll understand if you hear a song on the radio first thing in the morning and then it’s stuck in your head all day that’s because your brain was ready to be programmed.  And in the evening before you go to bed, if you watch CSI or Law and Order, you put these negative images in your head.  The last image that goes into your head is that there’s a killer on the loose.  And then you don’t sleep as well.  But if you listen to a personal development CD or read a personal development book you’re planting good things in your brain.  It’s like a garden, so when you plant good things that’s what grows.

WWC: How often do you work on your mindset?

AC: It needs constant training.  It’s like taking a shower.  It doesn’t stay with you.  You have to do it every day.

WWC: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

AC: Keep your fucking hands up!  That was before I went into a fight.  Will that work?  But honestly, I don’t know who said this first – the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.  That was an important one for me to understand.  The other one is that sometimes you gotta jump and the net will appear. You gotta have an absolute positive belief to take action because you’re never gonna be 100% sure.  But the best advice is still probably step in and cover.

You can follow Alwyn on his Facebook page Alwyn Cosgrove Fan Page or learn more about Alwyn at AlwynCosgrove.com, his gym’s site Results Fitness, or through his new book The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

What Are People Learning From You?

“Every man I meet is my superior in some way.  In that, I learn of him.”

That should probably be one of the Ten Commandments.  It’s true, everybody is good at something… some people are good at business, some people are good listeners, some people are good at seizing opportunities and some people are good at sitting on the couch wasting their life in front of a television.  The key is to recognize that you can learn from every one of these people.  First step is to change your mindset.  Don’t just think, “that person is a great listener”, instead think, “why is that person such a great listener?”  When you know the “why” it opens up the doors to possessing those qualities too.  If it’s a quality you want to have, aspire to learn more about how they got so good and then do more of it.  If it’s a quality you don’t want, you still have to recognize how they got so good at it, the only difference is instead of doing more of it, you have to do much, much less of it!

Recognize that if you want to be the best version of yourself, which I can envision no reason why you wouldn’t want to be, then you must constantly learn.  You can learn from everything in your life, it just depends on how you view your world.   See what people do well and see what people don’t do so well.   Why are they so good?  Why do they suck?  That knowledge, in and of itself, is probably worth more than the money you spent on your college degree.   And it’s FREE!  Everyone can do it!  You just have to change your perception of the world around you.   Ohh, and you have to ask lots of “why’s”!

So for every person you interact with today you have to ask yourself the question, “what can I learn from them?”

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

The $10,000 Part Of Your Day

What is the most important part of your day?

Give yourself a few seconds to honestly think about this question.

Does it depend on the day?  The week?  The month?  Or the year?  Is it the part during your big meeting?  Is it the part during your big presentation?  Is it the part during your big date?  Does the most important part of your day change?  Do you even have a most important part of your day?!

If you’re lost here’s your answer:

The most important part of your day is the first 20 minutes after you wake up.

Why?

Because how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day.  Starting your day off right prepares you both mentally and physically to face your challenges with a clear mind.  It also prepares you to be at your best for everything you do and everyone you interact with.  Have you ever noticed that if your day gets off to a bad start, that feeling just seems to fester the rest of the day?  You may feel like your just drifting through the day – you’re less focused and less productive.  Compare that with a day that gets off to a great start.  Big difference, right?

Most people wake up and just start running at 100 mph because that’s what you have to do to get everything done, but you never take stock in what you actually want to accomplish that day.  And you never put yourself in the right mindset to accomplish those things.  You just start going and hope that you get everything you need to get done, done.  But you never do, do you?  And why do you think that is?  I’ll tell you why.  It’s because you never prepared for the day.  You never had a purpose, a goal, or a direction for what the hell you were doing.  You just woke up and started going, but unfortunately you didn’t have a clear vision of where it is that you wanted to end up.  That is a big problem.  It is probably why you often hear people say, “life goes fast!” or “where did the last three years go?” or “I don’t know how I gained all this weight!” or “oh, what I would do to be in my twenties again!”

All of those statements tell me one thing – you never prepared for the days, weeks, months and years of your life and subsequently it all just drifted right by you.  Now you look back in bewilderment as you try to piece together a puzzle that was created in the dark.

How you start has everything to do with how you will finish.  So start your days right.  Wake up 20 minutes earlier and have time to sit in a quiet place and prepare for your day.  Here are five ways you can do this:

  1. Read a positive, thought-provoking quote and then figure out how you will apply it to your life for the day.
  2. Write out your action list for the day then go back and number each item from most important to least important.  Start with number one.
  3. Listen to music and just zone out.  Put on your favorite song that will help you relax then just space out for a little bit.  Let your mind drift and not focus on anything in particular.  It’s sort of like meditation but personal experience has taught me that listening to a good song on repeat does more than sitting in silence.
  4. Read a few pages of a book that will improve your mindset.  I created a short list HERE of recommended books to read.
  5. Write freely.  Open up a word document and just start writing.  Get everything on your mind out on digital paper.  It doesn’t matter what comes out or what it sounds like or how many grammatical errors you make.  Just write.  Done with consistency you will be amazed at how clear your mind will become and how much better you will get at finding solutions to life’s obstacles.

Pick one of those action items and start making a 20-minute, $10,000 investment in yourself today.  It’s an investment that will always have a positive return.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)