Saturday, March 4, 2023

The Personal Development Journey

Personal development is a lifelong journey of self-discovery and growth. It involves developing new skills, expanding your knowledge, and becoming the best version of yourself. There are many paths you can take to pursue personal development, and the options and price levels vary depending on your goals and budget. In this blog post, I'll explore some of the most popular options and their associated costs. Over the last couple of years I have been working hard on ME. Sometimes I think that if I had just stuck it out in college life would be easier. But that's no magic pill either. I believe the book of experience we write along the way counts for something. Here's a few ways you can dive into the world of personal development.

  1. Books and Online Courses

One of the most affordable ways to start your personal development journey is by reading books and taking online courses. Many books on personal development are available for under $20, and online courses can range from free to hundreds of dollars. Websites like Udemy and Coursera offer a variety of courses on personal development topics such as time management, goal setting, and public speaking. These can be less interactive but still effective.

  1. Coaching and Mentoring

If you're looking for a more personalized approach, coaching and mentoring may be the way to go. Coaches and mentors can provide one-on-one guidance, feedback, and support to help you reach your personal development goals. Prices for coaching and mentoring services can vary widely, depending on the experience and qualifications of the coach or mentor. Some coaches may charge as little as $50 per session, while others may charge several hundred dollars per hour. I have paid for some "high ticket" coaching over the past two years and I can tell you that it can open your eyes to a lot of things.

  1. Workshops and Seminars

Workshops and seminars are another popular option for personal development. These events offer the opportunity to learn from experts in a specific field, network with like-minded individuals, and gain new insights and perspectives. Prices for workshops and seminars can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the length of the event, the number of speakers, and the location. I have gained many friends and colleagues at recent events and my network has grown exponentially.

  1. Retreats and Conferences

For those looking for a more immersive personal development experience, retreats and conferences can be an excellent option. These events typically take place over several days or even weeks and offer a variety of workshops, seminars, and activities focused on personal growth and self-discovery. Prices for retreats and conferences can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the location, the amenities, and the caliber of the speakers. If you learn best by DOING, these kinds of events can be very effective.

  1. Higher Education

Finally, pursuing higher education can be an excellent way to develop new skills and expand your knowledge. Whether you're interested in earning a degree or taking individual courses, universities and colleges offer a wide range of options for personal development. Prices for higher education can vary widely, depending on the institution, the degree program, and the type of courses you take. Getting a degree is no guarantee of success but it can certainly open some doors that might otherwise be closed to you.

Personal development is a journey that looks different for everyone. There are many paths you can take to pursue personal growth and development, and the options and prices vary widely. Whether you're just starting out on your journey or you're looking to take your personal development to the next level, there's an option out there for you. So don't be afraid to explore your options, set your goals, and invest in yourself. If I can help you at all, please reach out!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I heard a great quote on a podcast this past week. “For the congregation to bleed, the priest must hemorrhage”. I thought about that as it relates to my recent reentry into the coaching arena, and getting back to being a gatherer of people, a community builder.  I’ve heard it said that if you lead people, your goals need to be exponentially larger than theirs, so that they may grow within your influence. Although I’m not a priest, as the leader of my new coaching group I try to lead from the front and I try to display habits and disciplines that motivate and inspire. If I want people to step out of their comfort zone, I need them to see me doing the same. If I want to help people establish good habits and discipline, I need to display good habits and discipline. Leading by example is not always fun but it’s always rewarding.

One of my closest friends checked in on me last week. “You holding up? Big energy out lately”.  She’s extremely intuitive. She’s on to me. She knows that I am pouring out and finally stepping into my passion of helping people. I’m thankful to have someone like her check on me and make sure that I am keeping it real. Sometimes we get off track in our efforts to stay on track. Funny, how things happen that way. She knew I was “hemorrhaging“ and her instinct was to protect me from myself so to speak. On a side note, get yourself a friend like that.

About a month ago, I posted video stating my intentions to bring on some coaching clients. That has gone quite well. I was even asked to do a presentation on goal setting to a group of local Realtors. I had a blast, and I am looking to do more public speaking. Not too many people strive to get up in front of people on a microphone. For me, I’m quite comfortable with it. And as I’ve mentioned in the past, I feel like I have something more to give. Something to share. When I get done speaking, and someone pops over and shares that I had an impact, made them think, motivated, or inspired them in some way, it does all the same things for me in return. 

One of my clients mentioned to me “Hey it’s really cool that a while back you said you were going to start coaching and now you’re coaching. And then you mentioned that you wanted to do more speaking, and now you are speaking”.  I told him that it was because I asked for it. I had stated my intentions. No one is going to know what you want unless you let them know it. I read a great book by Jennifer Cohen called Bigger, Better, Bolder. It was all about stepping into your “bold”. Ask for what you want or you won’t get it. If I hadn’t put out there into the universe, what my plans were I very likely would still be sitting here thinking about getting into the coaching business and what it would be like to do some public speaking. Be careful what you wish for right? If you want something, get off your ass and ask for it. Let the world know it. Make it happen. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

I also read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. This one opened my eyes a little bit. This book, written by a couple Navy SEALs talks about how basically YOU are responsible for everything in your life. So as I reflected back on my 2022 in the contracting business and apply that mentality to all my frustrations with people in general, I realized that most of that was on me. Whether it be failing to set the proper expectations, check in and manage properly, or just establish accountability, it was all on me. Even though it may have been more convenient to display frustration with others and disappointment with their performance, I am reframing my recollection of 2022 and filing it as entirely my fault. This was a powerful mindset shift because once you adopt that approach you gain a higher level of control. It takes work and discipline.  

Now I’m reading Grant Cardone’s “The 10 X Rule”.  I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I can share that his basic point is that you need to apply 10 times the effort to everything that you’re doing if you want to get the result you are after.  There’s the magic pill right there.  Sounds sexy right? Nope. Just a guy that has several hundred million dollars and his basic path to success is that he just worked 10 times harder than everyone else. Could it really be that simple? I guess we will find out! 

I’ll keep this on the shorter side today. Just wanted to jump up and touch the backboard and make sure everybody was still rocking and rolling. As always, if you’re struggling with something or have an interest in talking about some coaching, I’m available. If I think I can help you, I will. If you need something different, I don’t hesitate to let you know that as well. If you know of a group or organization, that would benefit from me doing a presentation on goals, motivation, mental toughness, or something else, let me know, and I will reach out.  One thing leads to another. After my speaking engagement this past week, I was contacted by someone else and booked for a talk in May. I’m excited about that.  

Thanks to my daughter, I now have a LinkTree  I am easy to reach. 

Go forth and conquer!  If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. 



Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Finish Strong, Start Stronger.


It's that time of year again. The time when we all start to reflect on our past year and think about setting some benchmarks for the coming year. Have you taken any time to review your 2022 goals and see where you stack up? Are there are some boxes you were unable to check? I've probably done more self reflection and personal development work this past year than any other time in my life. Well, there IS that one time I didn't do the term paper and got tossed off the basketball team but that's another blog all together 😩. As we steam toward 2023 I thought I would share a few things that I've been working on to make next year a great year.

I was asked these questions by Mental Toughness Coach Ben Newman:

What are the habits and disciplines over the last 30 days that have been working the best for you?

Take a few minutes to sit and reflect about what you've been up to for the last month or so. What has worked? For me, I committed to doing "The Unrequired" workout every day. I don't have a timeline, I'm just doing it every day. In the process I have had a few days where I did not want to do it. The momentum I have created by pushing through those days has made me stronger mentally. And the work out is making me stronger physically. I'm not riding my bike on 100 miles, I'm not running crazy distance. I'm simply doing the same one hour workout every single day. Sharpening the sword.

What is the biggest area of opportunity in the next 30 days?

How can you best spend your time? If you look out 30 days ahead what do you see? We all have no problem seeing all the challenges, the bumps in the road. But what are the opportunities? What would happen if you poured into that? Are there new relationships to be made? Do you see new business opportunities? Try to identify these opportunities so that you can be in a better position to capitalize on them in the coming 30 days.

What are the habits and disciplines that you have created that can be left behind in 2022?

It's been said that the best way to create change is to do it in small steps. Drop one bad habit at a time. Wholesale change typically ends with us reverting back to the bad habits we have created. What would happen if you changed one thing for the entire year?  Pick one thing, commit to not doing that anymore. I have started a "never do it again list". This isn't something that I would post on social media but it's something that I look at from time to time to remind myself that I'm trying to be better.  Give yourself some grace. If you have 10 things on your list and you accomplish eight of them, are you not in a better place? All too often we look at falling short as failure rather than reframing it as progress.

What habits and disciplines can you take with you into 2023? 

Hey, we ain't all bad! There are some things that you have done well this year. Make note of them. Stack a few more on top. Bring those good habits with you in 2023. Look at it this way, if you let one bad habit go you've got room for one good habit. Take some time to sit by yourself and write a few things down. What has gone well? Be honest. Don't be afraid to pat yourself on the back here. Maybe you've had a great 2022. If so, what are the things you can repeat in 2023? Why re-create the wheel?

We GET to do this. 

I'll leave you with this. I heard a guy speak about the difference between "I have to do this" and "I get to do this". What's on your schedule today? Are you looking at it and saying "I have to go to the grocery store, I have to do the laundry, I have to, I have to, I have to?" What would happen if you change that to "I GET TO"?  It lands differently doesn't it?  You see, we are all only here for a little while. None of us are getting out of here alive. If you adjust your perspective, sprinkle in a little bit of gratitude and reframe from "I have to" "to I get to" you might be surprised at how you feel.  I get to work out today. I get to pick my daughter up at the airport today. I get to see my family on Christmas. I get to do all the things involved with running a contracting business. What do you GET to do?

OK one last thing...

Another good nugget I got this week was "Finish Strong, Start Stronger."  Many people wait until the end of the year to make change. Today is December 21st.  That gives you 10 days to finish strong so that you can start stronger. You'll get a 10 day jump on everybody else and that little piece of mental toughness kicking around in your mind can be fuel that others don't have. Let's not mail it in. Let's keep our foot on the gas, pick a few things that you can knock off the list by year end. Would you take the last half of the last quarter of the football game off? Would you walk off the field with two outs in the ninth inning? Nope. Hammer down, finish strong, start stronger.

Go forth and conquer. 😊👊. I'm WATCHIN' you! 👀

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Keep Your Chin UP.

Ironman Mont Tremblant 2019 was my most recent Ironman race.  Notice I didn't say "last". 👀.  Anyway, I was cleaning up some files on my computer and I came across this write-up I did after the race.  I don't know that I ever posted it anywhere so I thought I would incorporate it into a blog post.  I have also met a ton of new friends since then and I thought someone might get something out of this. I have often said that if you could write down all the thoughts that go through my head on race day it would be interesting.  This is close. Enjoy! 😊

Thank you ALL for the kind words and encouragement regarding my Ironman finish on Sunday.  I was not as prepared for this one as I would have liked due to some nagging injuries, weight and other things such as life in general.  But are we EVER really where we want to be? Perfectly prepared?  Yeah, maybe sometimes.  But I had a choice, I could sit on the sidelines and mope or I could jump in and do it and see what happens.  I have never been afraid to fail and I truly believe you have to be willing to fail if you want to do something great.  Rather than bow out, I chose to try to focus on the positive and I found many positives along the race course and beyond.  I knew I could swim ok…. And I was pretty sure I could get through the bike ride with a respectable time even though I was showing up with ONE 100 mile ride in my holster.  The running? Well, I knew it would be a grind, or a walk… it was both.  I realized out on the trail when I was walking that my chin was on my chest…I pulled it up…. It went back down.  Pulled it up again and said to myself that I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Hey, you’re out here walking… this is what it’s like.  I realized that THESE are the tough people… the one’s out there doing what amounts to a death march.. and doing it late into the night.  I was walking and shuffling my second lap after managing a shuffle for the first 14 miles or so.  LOTS of those people were on their first loop!  How do you have anything but respect for these guys?  Amazing.  Chin went down again…. Pulled it up… looked straight ahead.  Walking… doing the math…. “ Good Lord, I’m gonna be out here forever”…How many miles is a kilometer..? OK… 9K = One 5k plus 4K… and a K is roughly .6… soooo…. how long IS this thing?  42K?… OK.. So… 21Kx2…divided by 4….  Just get me outta town , and then back… and then out … and back…And on and on….. Somebody tell my family I’m fine…I’m just gonna be awhile…Chin back down…. Back up again… Choked up… pissed off…I’m BETTER than THIS!!!  Then here comes a firefighter in full gear… walking…. Then a guy that had an 8 hour bike due to a mechanical…Saw Brian Brewer on the overpass… That guy is something.. he had friends on the bike and the run at the same time and found the ONE spot on the course that he could support both.  By my count he spent at LEAST 8 hours on that bridge.  I saw him a ways out… God, I can’t let BRIAN see me walking…. Shuffle shuffle shuffle…. Get under the bridge…(walk walk walk)…. Pop out from under bridge… shuffle shuffle shuffle “ Hey Brian”…. Could’t keep up the facade….had to walk… and he hollers at me “ Hey 207 in the HOUSE”…. Chin came up….Kept me moving.  And he was there both times I went by.  Thought about Sean Snow and how tough HE is…he kept moving in Ireland with hypothermia…I can do THIS,…Spent some time thinking about friends with challenges… whether it be cancer or some other illness that keeps them from competing… I bet they would LOVE to be out here… keep walking… faster if you can… shuffle… let’s try a shuffle again… shuffle….NOPE… walk walk walk… heel hurts… well, HOW BAD?  I mean.. CAN you RUN?  If so then RUN!…. But it hurts… It hurts so bad… What if I make it worse… how bad IS it?  Maybe it’s just the calf… ok, land flat footed, don’t flex… Damn… walk walk walk…. Where the hell is RICK?? I haven’t seen him all day!….Jesus, I know he was gonna go for it, I hope nothing happened….Chin on chest…. Pull it up Bob, Don’t want someone seeing you like that.  And on and on it went… like that… until I had about 4 to go… and I popped out of the trail onto the main road and there was my training partner Renee… she had come out to scrape me up…knowing I was in a world of hurt.  I can’t tell you how good it feels for someone to “come get you” and not let you give up.  In the weeks leading up to the race she also kept me on track, saying “ you can DO this” …She texted my family and let them know I was moving.  And from there she gave me the strength to get there… I managed to shuffle the last three or so… and if you think you’re gonna WALK past the “shoulder to shoulder” crowd of people at the finish you’re crazy… I managed to ignore the pain, choosing to hear the cheers, see my family and friends, and get across that damn line.  Made it….   

You know, it’s awfully easy to say “respect the game”, “don’t quit”….”Never give up”….but when you actually have to DO IT it is a real moment of truth.  You find out a little bit more about yourself in those moments, that’s for sure.  Anyway, that’s kinda’ how it went on Sunday so I thought I would share.  Those of you that know me well know that it is not so much about the RACE for me as it is all the stuff in between… the stories, the challenges, the training rides/runs….the memories with friends and family that no one can ever take away. I don’t know how long I will do this crazy sport but when someone tells you that you “ inspire” them, well that’s pretty special.  Thanks again for all the messages, notes, comments and kind words.  I’m a lucky guy!

Chin UP guys. 😉


Sunday, December 4, 2022

Changing Our Perspective

They say the Big Man upstairs only gives us as much as we can handle. I know a lot of people spend a good part of their time building their base of faith.  I believe it's more of a private thing and although I don't attend church I respect the fact that everybody has to be at peace with their own faith.  I try to be a good person, a great dad and friend to many.  If that gets me a little closer to the pearly gates then so be it. If they are saving me a chair down in the southern part of town well then I guess there must be a reason.

So when I hear "Jesus take the wheel" I picture someone just letting go, giving up, losing control. There have been times this past year with my business where I have felt like we are driving 70 miles per hour down the road and someone just chucked the steering wheel out the window. Not a good feeling at all. It reminds me of a saying I heard once " the brakes are gone, no sense steering". Where am I going with this? Well, there are a few things I have heard recently that made me think.

Are you a VICTOR or a VICTIM?

You didn't know you had a choice right?  So much of this has to do with mindset.  We have all had bad things happen to us, but are they happening TO us or FOR us? How do we respond? Do we go on the offensive or do we curl up in a ball in a corner and give up? Don't get me wrong, if you get drilled head on by a drunk driver you're probably a victim.  That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about reframing your mindset in a manner that has you taking a different viewpoint of the things that happened to you. Maybe someone stopped contacting you. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise. Maybe you lost your job, and found a better one. Maybe you missed the great deal on the vehicle you wanted to buy and the next week another one popped up that was an even better deal. I've heard it said recently that you get more of what you focus on. Focus on the bad and that's what you'll attract. Manifest, visualize the good over and over and you might be surprised what comes into your life. What do you have going on currently where you can apply this shift in mindset? How can you be the VICTOR, not the VICTIM?

Is it a LOSS or a LESSON? 

So many of my life's lessons have been the expensive kind.  Not sure why that has been the case but it always seems that what I learn comes with a price.  We all make mistakes, it's part of growing up and figuring life out. However, if you take those mistakes and view them as lessons then they at least have some worth. You've heard the definition of insanity right? The process of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Learn from your mistakes, even better, help someone else avoid making the same ones.  That's probably the thing I've enjoyed most about coaching, being able to help someone else avoid some of the pitfalls I have endured.   

I always like to tell a few race stories in my blogs so here's a story about a loss and a lesson. In 2017 I trained hard for a marathon. It was my goal to qualify for Boston. My training partner and I ran the course for our last long run, a 22 miler. So we knew the course exactly. On race day, there was pretty much a monsoon. We ran in full rain gear basically so now I was gonna have to try to run a Boston qualifier wearing a Northface coat. I set that aside and we took off and were hitting our pace even though there were probably 20 to 30 mile per hour winds and a straight downpour along the ocean in Maine. At about the 11 mile mark we came upon a volunteer and he was sending everyone to the right, down a side street. He was motioning people to the right and saying "down there and turn around at the end". I said to my training partner as we were running stride for stride "that's not the course". But everybody was headed that way so we had to make a decision and we went right. At the end of the road there was no orange cone or anything that directed us to turn around and everybody was just kind of turning around at the end of this little side street and running back. We came back out onto the main course and when I hit the 12 mile marker my Garmin watch showed that we had been 12.5 miles. I said "don't worry about it, keep the hammer down and they will figure it out at the end". I needed a three hour and 25 minute finish time to qualify for the Boston Marathon. When I hit 26.2 miles my watch said exactly that, three hours and 25 minutes on the nose. I was just barely hanging onto an eight minute per mile pace so it took me another four minutes to finish the added half mile. The race Director admitted there had been a mistake and said he would do his best to fix it. The Boston Athletic Association denied his request to amend some finish times. We fell into that category.  So I had to run my ass off in a monsoon only to be denied my goal. Not because I didn't run well but because someone else made a mistake. So yes that was a loss. The lesson? Life isn't fair. I kept my chin up ran another marathon three weeks later and try it again but it wasn't meant to be. I went to Boston and cheered my training partner on. I could've played the victim card but I didn't. That doesn't help anybody. My perspective was that I was happy, healthy and able to drop a "325" marathon at age 48. 

So not everything has to be just a plain loss. There's always a lesson in there somewhere. If you peel back the curtain you can usually find the positive in every negative. The choice is yours. 


I've spent a bunch of time over the past year thinking about this one while on my quest for world dominance. 😆. I guess it came to mind during contractor coaching where it seems people in the same business and in the same geographical area would think it was crazy to actually sit down and talk about each other's business. Don't get me wrong, there are networking groups where you can sit and talk about all kinds of stuff but there is only one discipline in each group. That's why I really like the contractor group that I'm a part of. However, it is so vast there are very few people in my geographical area that are a part of it. Outside the group it seems that most people have a scarcity mindset. They don't want to share business practices or beliefs or even share something that might help a competitor. I've always viewed it from an abundance mindset, in other words, a rising tide lifts all boats. I figured if I could help everyone get better then it just levels everyone up overall. I remember when I was busier in the triathlon training world and my friend Rick and I opened up a riding center. We had the option to rent the adjacent space but we didn't know if we would need it. As we were mulling it over a new guy came in and scooped it up. It was Scott Baumann from Iron Legion Strength Company.  We kind of kicked ourselves about it but then moved on. I went over and introduced myself to Scott and asked him about his business. Then I set about getting him some referrals and helping him get going. He told me months later that he was really shocked that I had handled it that way. He said that most people would've been intimidated because we were literally looking for the same clients. I never really gave it any thought in fact I even referred my own mom to him and his staff. He still tells that story today when he speaks to groups about business and life. I hadn't realized it at the time but what seemed natural to me to try to help another person can be unnatural for many others. And the bonus? I got a great friend out of the deal. So help others, be genuinely happy when you see someone succeed. Work to level yourself up and you'll be surprised how people respond. They say the best way to help yourself is to help someone else. I truly believe that. 

Perspective. To me it's all about mindset. I always say that life is about choices. You get to choose your perspective and you get to choose the mindset that you lead with. Are you going to be a victim or a victor? Did you suffer a loss or learn a lesson? Do you operate with a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset? Speaking of choices, you also get to decide if you want to play small or play big. What is that one thing that you've been thinking about doing that you haven't acted on yet? Ever sit there and ask yourself "what would I do if I could do anything?".  I mean literally sit there for 10 minutes and just think about that. Then ask yourself this, "what would have to happen for me to be able to do that?". THEN GO DO IT.  Let me know if I can help. 😉

Go forth and conquer. 👊


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Podcast Insights...

 Over the past year I have gotten into listening to a bunch of different podcasts. Heck, I even started my own. I remember years ago my friend Rick was always listening to a podcast. I just figured he was a nerd or just locked in on getting better at sales. Either way it wasn't anything that interested me because it seemed boring at the time. Maybe I'm just late to the party. The podcast world is a place where you can get more of whatever you're looking for. Whether it be personal development, pure unfiltered entertainment about just about anything, or something very specific. I guess I could credit the podcast arena with connecting me to The Contractor Fight and the many people I've met over the last year from that organization. I think I was out on a walk one day and was scrolling through and probably typed in "contracting" and The Contractor Fight podcast came up and off I went. Next thing I knew I was learning all about how to be a better contractor.  Anyway, it's good stuff and whatever it is you're looking for you can probably find in that area. One of the podcasts I really enjoy is called The School of Greatness. Lewis Howes interviews a guest just about every day and he asks them about their life and talks about the good the bad and the ugly. Today I wanted to share some things that I heard back in February when he was interviewing Matthew McConaughey.  I actually took notes which means I viewed it as important.  If I remember correctly the podcast was framed around happiness and how to improve your life. I got the bullet points from the show but the thoughts that follow are me expanding on each one. 

1.    Eliminate bad people. Not literally of course, because that will probably get you in a lot of trouble. Don't get me wrong, there are some people on that list for me (if you see me headed for the Allagash pulling a wood chipper ...nevermind) but I digress. If you think about it there are probably some people in your life that are not a net positive. I've come across guys like this on the job site from time to time. Have you ever had someone in your life that when you ask them "good morning, how are you today?" They launch into a long diatribe about how terrible their life is? You come away feeling drained and puked on. I learned from that, now I just simply say "hi". I have found as I've gotten older that I just don't have the bandwidth for it. Because we all know that nine days out ten you're gonna get the same response from this person. I called them Eyore's. It's probably not nice but in the interest of protecting my own happiness I have to keep people like that at arms length. It doesn't mean I don't wanna help someone, it just means that I'm not going to continue to pour into a bottomless cup when it's clear someone's general persona is to be negative. Anyway, do what you can to remove these people from your life. It's hard when they are close to you but you need to do it. At a minimum you can filter the input. In other words, you have more control than you think. You can control how you respond to the negativity, and you can control how long you subject yourself to it. Being aware of this kind of behavior from a person is a blessing and a curse. Once you're aware of it it seems more prevalent. So if you know that going in, just frame your conversation around more positive things. Keep pulling the train back onto the track. Most of the time the negative person will tire and go find someone else to puke on. Fair enough!

2.    Eliminate comparison to others.  This is huge. In a world where social media reigns supreme, comparison is the thief of joy. You only have to log onto Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, you name it, to see what everyone else is projecting. You can be whoever (Whoever?WHOMever?  crap..) you want on these platforms. No one ever puts a video of their crying miserable child on Facebook. No one ever says "yeah I did a really shitty job at work today, totally mailed it in, I just wasn't feeling it" And you certainly don't get this one, "yeah I've thrown on 20 pounds over the winter and I hate myself". Instead we get filtered photos of fake happiness and images that represent a life people want versus one that they have. So, using any of this stuff as comparison to where you are at in life is literally fantasyland. Compare yourself to where you were yesterday. Look back at your notes from January, your New Year's resolutions, and see where you are lining up with those. Be accountable to yourself, no one else. Because in the end the only person you have to impress is you.

    Eliminate bad places. Control your environment. Stay out of bars and fast food joints if you are looking to improve your health. Limit your time on social media if you are looking to not be frustrated with everyone else's fake happiness. I turned off the news about a year ago because I just couldn't take it anymore. I flipped it back on during the election season and literally nothing has changed. Both sides still hate one another and no matter who is the president half the country is unhappy. So don't go there, control the inputs. If going somewhere puts you in a bad spot don't go there. Going to camp puts me in a great spot. That's why I'm heading there tomorrow.

4.    Stop overthinking your failures. I could write a whole blog about all the things that haven't gone well in my life. I'm the common denominator. But lately, I've been trying to examine all the ways that I've been successful versus dissecting all my failures. I love a good cliché so here's one. The windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror because we are supposed to be looking forward, not backward. No charge for that one. Lol. But seriously, ask yourself how you can replicate your success versus how you can stop having more failures. Something is only a failure if you don't learn from it or if you quit. In my book, you haven't failed yet if you keep on going. You have just tried a bunch of times. You're just not done yet. When I look back at my Ironman races some of my favorite memories are the ones where I had the biggest screw ups. Where I missed my nutrition plan or got off course. Heck my favorite race memory is probably the one where I was lined up to finish seventh overall in a large Half Ironman. I went the wrong way toward the end of the race. I could blame it on the volunteer but it was really my fault. At the end of the race I had to let the Race Director know that I had gone off course and effectively disqualified myself. But that is not what I think of when I remember that race. I remember the feeling of coming back into the bike transition area and only seeing three or four other bikes. I thought something bad happened, I didn't realize I had basically out biked the field. Out on the run I saw all these 6 foot tall 140 pound guys flying along looking at me like I was lost and I thought maybe I had missed a lap somewhere or something. I hadn't, I was running with the big dogs and having the race of my life. So the best race? Or the worst race?  Only I can decide what shelf to put that book on.

5.    Eliminate instant gratification. This is a big one. Today, if you want something you just go get it. If you want to watch a movie you just flip on Netflix, or VooDoo, Roomba or YooHoo or WHATever. When I was a kid we used to have to go to the video store where they rented VHS tapes. Your big concern was whether or not you rewound the tape before returning it. Now you just press a couple buttons on one of your 27 remote controls and BOOM, you are enjoying your favorite show. We don't have to wait a week to watch the next part of a series, we just binge watch it all in one three week hole of time in our life we will never get back. We can fly anywhere in the country almost instantly, we FaceTime and Zoom and text. If someone doesn't get back to us in .08 seconds we figure they died in a fiery crash somewhere. Yesterday I was sitting at my desk trying to punch out a couple contracts and my phone kept buzzing.  It's all important stuff right? But I found with my diminished ability to focus at age 53 that I kept grabbing my phone and then looking back at my computer trying to figure out where I was. Eventually I put the phone on do not disturb and finished my work at the computer in a very short amount of time. And, everybody lived. Lol.  That makes me think of the acronym FOMO. Fear of missing out. I think that is quite prevalent in our society today. Everybody has to be part of everything or they feel left out. Don't be afraid to unplug. I'll probably unplug this weekend. I think it's gonna rain most of the weekend but I'm gonna throw a log on the fire and sit back and enjoy myself. A little solo time never hurt anyone. Anyway, I think I got off track on this one but my main point was to fight the cravings for instant results with delayed gratification. Save your money, skip that meal out and make something at home, get to bed early, shut the phone off. I'm doing better with this, during the World Series I decided to turn my bedroom TV on and watch as I fell asleep. I had to reenter all my passwords because I hadn't turned the TV on for so long. I guess that was a good thing.

So I'll leave you with this. Are you happy? Are YOU controlling whether you are or are not? Who are you allowing to impact your happiness? What environments make you happy? How could you reframe how you think about your failures? Do you spend any time thinking about your successes? What could you delay today for more enjoyment tomorrow?

Go forth and conquer my friends. Well, don't conquer my friends, they are good people. Just go conquer. 

6.    Work on my grammar. 😆

Crush the Day! I'm out!


NOTE:  You can listen to

MY podcast at

It's called "Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things".  I try to connect with people doing cool things, and people that have done or been through a lot. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Owner's Mind. Do YOU have it?

 I'm back.  I think this is a record.  Doing away with the five year gap between blog posts.  I have lots to say lately I guess. 

When I was kid I was the one looking to shovel your driveway for five bucks after a storm. In High School I needed a way to make some money while playing sports so my dad helped me start a lawn mowing business. We called it Yard Busters.  Luckily we never got sued by the Ghostbusters people. We wrote a letter introducing me and then I spent a Saturday stuffing mailboxes with a friend. By the time I got home I had eight or 10 phone calls and I was off and running. For the rest of that summer I could be found driving around my hometown with a couple of lawnmowers and a Weedwhacker sticking out of the back of my 1977 Chevette. My first piece of "rolling stock" was an old boat trailer my dad and I morphed into a leaf trailer. It was just heavy enough but not too heavy to pull behind the car. Once  had that, I could offer yard cleanups as an expanded offering. I got my friends to work for me for $5/hr and then charge them out at  $7.50/hr. I was printing money. Lol. I learned a lot of early lessons about business with that small operation. I learn how to talk to people, hire people, have tough conversations and how not to manage money. Lol. After high school I wasn't all that interested in college and just wanted to work. The pull of owning my own business never really went away. My dad likes to joke that ever since he helped me start a business I haven't been right since. 😂 Maybe that's where the concept of having an owner's mind came from. And looking back, when I have punched a time clock I have always tried to work like an owner. I've always felt anything worth doing was do it worth doing well. That was probably instilled in me at a young age. Never half ass it. Always go all in. Presentation is everything. Those are some valuable lessons. It really showed me the value of calling your own shots, doing what you want do and not necessarily being tied to punching a time clock if you didn't want to be. It's never been easy, there have been ups and downs and I have questioned my path many times along the way. But I wouldn't change anything, I wouldn't trade that journey for the world. It's made me the business owner I am today. I'm fair, accountable, always trying to do the right thing and I still have a ton to learn.

Owner's Mind. I was having a discussion with someone I respect a great deal last week and this topic came up.  Maybe I was whining about people not wanting to work or something like that.  I can't remember.  But we ended up talking about Owner's Mind and how rare it is to find an employee that has it. I would define someone with an owner's mind as "someone in your employ that conducts themselves as if they owned the business".  If you are a business owner and you find one of these unicorns hire them immediately. 

Here's the catch though. It is exactly this mindset that creates business owners. These people are driven. They are accountable and they are WINNERS. Often times they end up starting their own business. Sometimes this is because they are simply driven to become an entrepreneur but it can also can be due to not being challenged enough in their current environment. Sometimes they just "top out". They've moved all the way up the ladder to the #2 spot and there's nowhere else to go. At that point they have also benefited from working closely with the owner and have essentially been groomed to own their OWN business. There is ONE exception to this.  The Holy Grail of "employee that thinks like an owner" is a former business owner. They are the ones that have already been the business ownership route and decided for whatever reason that it's not for them. They show up with work ethic, accountability and a high level of respect for what it takes to own and operate a business.  They are doers and they can handle a ton of responsibility. 

SO, how do you find these unicorns, keep them challenged and retain them long term? 

1.    Network.  You have to hunt for these people. They are NOT sitting at home on the couch.  And they aren't on Indeed. You have to get out there and let everyone know what you are looking for. Talk to fellow business owners, go to lunch with your biggest competitor, think outside the box. Write a job description and be super specific about what you are looking for. Crush your social media game and brand yourself well. Show your work environment and highlight some projects. SHOW what it's like to be part of your team. Display what you want to attract. Walk the walk. 

2.    Challenge Them.  These are not your infantrymen. They are the officers. They are leaders. If they don't feel challenged they will go somewhere else. They typically need very little direction and will NOT be micro-managed. Consequently, you can outline a task or broad vision and they just go to work carrying it out. Be prepared to tuck your ego in your hip pocket though, often times these folks come up with a better way! Don't be intimidated by them, embrace the fact that you have a legit baller on your staff. Don't mess it up by saying "yeah, hey GEORGE...we kinda have always done it THIS WAY around here...". Be flexible with your processes and procedures, these people bring a lot to the table. Give them the room they need. Show them the way to the top. Our unicorns are movers and shakers and get bored easily. They want to know the distance between where they are and the top. Lay out the process to get them there. Mastery Ladder, Organizational Chart, whatever works, but define it.

3.    Pay Them.  Pay them well. They'll earn it back for you ten-fold. I have routinely paid my key people as much and at times MORE than I have paid myself. I valued what they brought to the table THAT much. I have never felt short changed and cheated by it either. If you do this with the right people you'll end up with someone that feels more like a partner than an employee. They become invested, they believe in the mission and they think like an owner!

Are YOU a unicorn? Owner's Mind is quite literally the reason I ended up becoming a business owner. Any place that I worked I worked like an owner. It served me well most of the time.  It also was the reason I chose to leave a few different situations.  I have moved on due to not being fairly compensated, being micromanaged, and in one situation due to the owner being intimidated by me. So the unicorn life isn't always a bowl of cherries but should you find that you are one, look to either own your own business or work for someone that understands your need for autonomy. You need to be in an environment where you can grow and feel like you have control of your own destiny. The alternative to that is, you guessed it, own your own business. That's where you trade your 9 to 5 job for a 24 seven job. The risks become real but you reap what you sow.I'll take that deal any day. 👊

Go forth and conquer.  But take a minute to think about whether you NEED a unicorn or you ARE a unicorn.  It can save you a few ups and downs along the way!