Atomic Steps

Most people have an audacious goal they’ve wanted to try.

But they have it backward.

Forget the “Big Idea”, it involves too many steps.

Think small. Think right out in front of us.

The first step, the very first one, should be microscopic.

Want to have a big garden? → Take care of a few houseplants this month.

Want to create a podcast? → Record one episode of your podcast today.

Want to create a community for Moms? → Get a few neighborhood friends together for brunch this week.

What is the absolute simplest step we can take to start?

If we aren’t willing to do that, how will we ever be able to achieve our “Big Idea”?

Atomic Steps2024-03-22T12:46:02-04:00

Certainty

There’s one thing we can guarantee with 100% certainty; we will experience bad moments in life.

→ It will suck.

We’ll experience heartbreak, job loss, and even death. It’s inevitable.

The easy choice? Curl up under the blanket, feel sorry for ourselves, and be the victim.

Continue to replay “The world is out to get me” again and again.

Or 

We can make a more difficult, long-lasting choice: We face it head-on. 

We learn from it. We dust ourselves off and we move forward.

It’s crucial to sit with our feelings and consider how we are doing in those moments.  But we can’t wallow in an endless pit of self-pity. We have to be resilient. 

We’ll have tough times. But tough times create resilient people. And resilient people can handle the tough times when they come again.

→ Because they will come again.

We can’t fathom what they will be, but we can be prepared when they happen.

Certainty2024-03-22T12:28:06-04:00

Conditional Approval

Doing anything of relevance is hard.

It takes some time with some level of effort to have the chance to have success.

→ The people who don’t succeed think it’s not possible.

→ The people who do understand that there is a formula.

If we are baking a cake we don’t turn on the oven put in a baking pan and expect a cake to come out.

We have to have the right ingredients, sometimes in the right order, and maybe at the right time.

The conditions have to be set so the cake can take form when it’s time to bake. 

Do you want to become the healthiest you’ve ever been?

  • How do you schedule your day so exercise doesn’t get missed?
  • What is your pantry stocked with when you’re hungry?
  • What time are you going to sleep each night?

All of these boundaries are for our own good.

They help us make decisions.

More importantly, they set the conditions for us to become successful.

Conditional Approval2024-03-22T12:01:58-04:00

2 & 1

As a parent, we must adapt our parenting style often as our kids grow because we can’t possibly know what lies ahead. We have to be malleable and open to change.

However, there is one thing I’ve remained committed to since my son was born.

I will never let him win at sports.

As I’ve told him since he was a toddler, when he beats me he’ll know he has earned it.

Recently, there was a wonderful lesson with that.

We were playing mini-golf and decided to play an 18-hole “match play”. Match Play is a game where the lowest score wins the hole. The person who is up more holes than holes left wins the match.

Since I am right-handed, I turned around to play left-handed to make it more fair.

→ And fair it was.

My son won the first 4 holes. He was 4 up with 14 to play. I was a bit nervous

But, I could tell he tensed up a bit. He was thinking about winning way too early in the match.

As we finished 9 holes, I climbed back to square the match when he muttered in a defeating voice, “I’m going to lose now.”

It’s times like these we get to encounter teachable moments. I grabbed hold of the opportunity.

He and I talked about:

+ Thinking positively

+ Believing in our abilities

+ Playing hard until the end

+ Staying focused on the present

He got some real-time lessons about the importance of a positive mindset on our ability to perform.

Back-to-back hole-in-ones on the final 9 helped me win 2 & 1 but he made it competitive, that’s for sure.

Someday, he’ll beat me, he’s got that competitive fire in him but he has to learn to harness his energy when he’s in the moment.

It’s a lesson we can all learn from.

2 & 12024-03-22T11:48:28-04:00

Ciao

Who are the most insanely legit Bada$$ humans in your life?

It’s hard to argue that Chau Mui isn’t one of those in mine.

Our friendship started almost 5 years ago through a serendipitous meeting at a conference in NYC and it’s evolved into almost weekly calls to talk about business and life.

We support one another in our endeavors.

Even though Chau has incredible experiences like:

  • traveling the globe
  • running amazing events 
  • hosting popular dumpling tours
  • building her female-owned marketing agency

She continues to be open to learning and is incredibly humble in her approach.

She’s inspired me to push the limits of what I think I can do and lean into the unknown.

What are some lessons we can learn from Chau:

  • Be open to exploring new terrain
  • Be open to learning new things
  • Positive thinking always wins

Hang around Bada$$ people as often as you can. 

Some of their magic pixie dust may just rub off on you.

Ciao2024-03-22T11:34:39-04:00

Ask

Remember, you can ask the world for what you want

…or you can sit in silence.

One opens up incredible opportunities you never would’ve imagined.

The other creates fictional stories of why we never get what we want.

It comes down to a choice.

A choice to take control of what we can control.

And then let the universe do its thing.

Ask2024-03-22T11:23:31-04:00

Subscribe

3 years ago today I made a decision. I was going to commit to writing 3 blog articles a week, every week. In that time I’ve published over 460 blog articles and have been humbled by the response.

So, today, I’m sending a special Sunday edition to make an ask for the first time.

Consider subscribing to the blog.

If you’re already a subscriber, thank you! Would you please pass this along to five colleagues, friends, or family members and ask them to subscribe?

It’s totally free and I never sell or spam. I respect the community too much to do that.

→ It’s easy to subscribe. Put your email address in the subscribe box. If you’re reading this in an email, click here to enter your email, check the box and hit “sign up”.

Super simple!

I hope you’ve gained value with this blog whether you’ve read one or many.

I wanted to share my journey on a deeper level so that it might spark someone else to just get started.

I love writing but did it in private for many years, in a journal, trying to expose new ideas and challenge my thinking. If no one read this blog I’d still write it.

It’s about the practice not the outcome. It’s about continuing to test my assumptions and battle the complacency of thinking I know it all.

→ I hope that’s a lesson you’ve learned from this.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making progress and that comes at all different speeds. There is no shot clock or finish line. There’s just the practice of continually improving our lives, whatever that looks like for each of us.

I’m grateful to have you a part of this journey and if there is anything I could do to support yours, I’m just a “reply” away.

Thank you!

just get started,

Brian

Subscribe2024-03-30T15:51:16-04:00

P.E.D.’s

Showing up sets you miles apart from the person you once were.

How you talk to yourself once you do is a leading indicator of the person you will become.

Positive self-talk is the most underrated highly effective natural “performance-enhancing” drug we have available today.

Sometimes the free things are the ones we take for granted the most.

P.E.D.’s2024-02-11T15:17:27-04:00

Qualified vs Certified

Qualified vs Certified 

Can you recognize the differences?

They may have:

  • Read books
  • Taken courses
  • Gotten a degree
  • Studied the “data”

But have they:

  • Stood up for themselves
  • Failed spectacularly 
  • Experimented
  • Taken risks

They may have certifications or letters next to their name but that doesn’t mean they have lived experiences. 

It doesn’t mean they understand what you are going through. 

Be careful who you are taking advice from. 

They may not be qualified to give it.

Qualified vs Certified2024-02-15T11:44:51-04:00

Adversity

Starting is not the hardest part of the journey.

There is 1 glaring obstacle that trumps it.

-> The first sign of adversity.

In any project lifecycle, there can be a lot of excitement around starting something new but there is an elephant graveyard of…

  • 1 chapter rough drafts sitting on a hard drive
  • Podcasts with 3 published episodes from 4 years ago
  • A shelf full of gardening tools for that vegetable garden that never got made.

Why do many stop shortly after starting?

They think it’s a sprint and they get winded when the first hill approaches.

But, it’s a marathon, with dozens of tiny sprints in between. So, you have to be ready.

You have to build a practice, systems, and boundaries around what you want to accomplish.

-> Otherwise, you won’t keep up with it.

Just like when training for a marathon, you need to run, do strength training, change your diet, improve your sleep, etc. There are more factors than just running.

  • You have to add new things to your life and eliminate others.
  • You have to put a plan together that you can count on.
  • You might need help, too.

Adversity will come. It will hit you at some point.

Better to be prepared for the possibility so you have the tools to help you stay the course when the terrain gets challenging.

Adversity2024-02-11T15:01:50-04:00

Show Up

11 people showed up at CrossFit today. 

  • Some lifted heavy, some did lighter 
  • Some went fast and some went slow
  • Some modified the prescribed movements

We all were working within our fitness levels and where we wanted to challenge ourselves. 

11 different ways to complete the same workout.

The 1 thing we all had in common?

We showed up today. 

Even if you’re not feeling it, showing up creates action. 

Action creates mood

Mood builds confidence that we can do the hard things. 

That progress helps us become stronger, mentally and physically. 

Show Up2024-02-11T14:56:00-04:00

Novelist

My 11-year-old is writing his first novel.

Whether he ends up publishing it or it gets shelved for something else, he’s going to gain a tremendous amount of experience from this journey.

“I need experience” is no longer a valid excuse.

You gain experience by doing the thing.

Novelist2024-02-11T14:51:32-04:00

IRL

This year is all about meeting people in real life. “IRL”, as the kids say.

I’ve met so many amazing humans virtually in recent years but my in-person connections were stagnant.

I missed that energy.

I needed to feel it again.

So I’m completely changing that in 2024.

Here’s why you should too:

Energy – We feed off the energy of others. When we are in the presence of amazing humans it excites us, makes us feel empowered and we feel a part of something bigger. It provides the kick in our steps for future growth.

Community – People come in and out of our lives but it’s the ones that we deeply connect with that remain consistent. Why not add more of these people? Why not connect those people with others? Why not create your community?

Ideation – When we get together with others the ideas start flowing. The banter is electric and we feed off each other. Sure you can get that virtually but the energy doesn’t flow through the screen nearly as well as in person.

Raise your quality of life – if you believe you are the average of the 5 friends you hang around with the most then have you audited those folks lately and explored new people that could add value? They are out there if you’re willing to open up to new connections.

Connection is so important in an ever-isolated digital world.

I’d encourage you to get out a get around some more humans.

We are social animals after all.

IRL2024-02-11T14:32:01-04:00

Transformers

Transformation is not made on a whim.

It is the culmination of months and years of deliberate work.

→ A journal prompt here.

→ A therapy session there.

Some days I feel like shit. 

I can ponder why or I can avoid it.

Some days I feel insanely happy. 

I can ponder why or I can avoid it.

Some days of curiosity turn into many days of personal growth.

The person you’ve become isn’t the person you once were.

You’ve transformed into someone with more empathy, kindness, perspective, and bravery than you ever imagined you could.

It didn’t happen overnight.

It wasn’t a spark. 

You had to light a match one day but keep the fire burning through the storm.

It wasn’t easy.

But, looking back.

It was worth every ounce of energy you poured onto the fire to keep it going.

Transformers2024-02-11T14:13:14-04:00

Pain Free

We often think that a pain-free life is a fulfilling life.

It’s not.

A fulfilling life is recognizing pain is inevitable, coping with it when it arrives, and working tirelessly to become better because of it.

→ We start to look for the good in every situation.

→ We start to use gratitude as a tool.

→ We start to eliminate worry.

“The impediment to action creates action, what stands in the way becomes the way.”

Pain is unavoidable but it’s how we handle the pain when it arrives that becomes the defining moment of our lives.

Pain Free2024-02-11T14:09:03-04:00

Nobody

Nobody gets overweight overnight.

Nobody fails at business overnight.

Nobody gets into debt overnight.

But yet people want to:

Get in better shape overnight

Build a business overnight

Get rich overnight

The level of thinking that got you into trouble needs to be what you use to get out of it.

One day at a time.

One decision at a time.

You don’t get out of a hole by making one large leap.

It’s by crawling your way through the sludge over a long period.

It may not be pretty but when you get to the other side you’ll be proud of yourself for seeing it through.

Nobody2024-02-11T14:04:38-04:00

Action Jackson

Do you want to start?

——> Create action 

That creates your mood.

Don’t wait for “the right time” or for “motivation”

——> Create the time

Your mindset will adjust to the things you invest your time into.

You’ll start to see progress

  • that leads to more confidence
  • that leads to more action
  • that leads to more belief in our ability

Action creates Mood

That’s the type of flywheel we want to create.

Action Jackson2024-02-11T13:59:15-04:00

Output

It takes less time than you think.

→ That’s the punchline.

I often hear the same excuses.

“It’s going to take a lot of work”

“I don’t have the time”

“It’s too hard”

All of those are true, in some realm of imagination.

Of course, things are hard at first.

Of course, getting better takes work.

Of course, other things occupy our time.

→ You’re not wrong. You’re unfocused.

It’s not about the outcome of becoming world-class, it’s about setting an achievable output goal when you begin.

My son and his bandmates had their first winter band concert last month.

5 months removed from ever picking up an instrument, reading music, and playing together as a group.

If their goal was to “learn an instrument” they’d either get frustrated or quit because how would they know when they’ve “learned it?”

→ That’s a silly goal but it’s one we set for ourselves often.

I want to get better at ________

I want to improve _________

I want to learn how to _________

Instead, they set a specific goal: Play 3 specific songs by a specific date.

→ They didn’t worry about all of the nonsense of some arbitrary “greatness”

  • They remained focused.
  • They worked tirelessly as a team.
  • They overcame the hurdles of starting.

But, as you will hear in the video. → They accomplished their goal.

They may have wanted to learn an instrument but they didn’t have that as the intention.

That just sort of got in the way of achieving the specific output goal they had in front of them.

Stop overthinking.

Pick a specific target.

Get started.

It may not sound perfect but that was never the goal in the first place.

Output2024-02-11T14:46:45-04:00

Comfort Control

We work our entire lives to live more comfortably.

→ We want a lifestyle free of stress and anxiety.

→ We want to be pampered and protected.

→ We want it better than our parents had it.

  • Climate-controlled housing
  • Massages and manicures
  • Alarm systems
  • Heated seats

It all feels good. 

Ironically, it doesn’t nourish us.

For that, we need discomfort and uncertainty. Sometimes that comes with pain. We need to visit a place we rarely go to get to a place of growth we’ve never been to.

In the deep work, we build a level of connection and confidence within ourselves and the world around us.

It’s in these moments of discomfort that we are our true selves.

We seek comfort but we yearn for growth.

These fall at opposite ends of the spectrum but are vital to balance our lives.

Comfort Control2024-02-11T13:44:00-04:00

Press On

Starting can feel overwhelming and yucky.

The fear of the unknown nips at our heels.

But when we do it, when we build a practice, when we’ve learned how to dance with the devil, it almost becomes impossible to stop the momentum.

→ Because we’ve paved a new path from nothing.

There’s no going back.

This “new you” is YOU.

The only thing to do now is press on ahead.

Press On2024-01-19T07:01:38-04:00

Paper Route

30 years ago I had my first job delivering newspapers for the Press & Sun Bulletin in Endicott, NY.

This was an opportunity to make my own money but what I didn’t realize at the time was the work ethic and life skills I learned along with it.

→ Getting up at 5:30 am every morning, rain or shine, even if I was sick, without my parents waking me.

→ Walking out on the streets alone and behind houses in near darkness

→ Being responsible for collecting money bi-weekly from all of the houses

I had that job for 6 years and took maybe 1-2 weeks of vacation per year.

It was a grind but I never thought about it as a grind.

→ It was what had to be done to get what I wanted.

And that’s what makes me curious about the next generation…what is going to be their “Paper route?”

Where will they learn…

  • Work ethic?
  • Discipline?
  • Being Self-sufficient?
  • Showing up when they don’t feel like it?

The days of the Paper Route are long gone. Soon enough, if we’re not careful, so will our kids’ understanding of work ethic and getting the job done even under the most difficult circumstances.

Paper Route2024-01-19T06:57:10-04:00

Fake It

We must stop using “fake it til you make it.”

Catchy phrasing, wrong mindset.

We aren’t “faking” anything

  • We are living.
  • We are learning.
  • We are adapting.
  • We are transforming.

We aren’t “faking” anything because when would we even know we actually “make it”? When would we turn off “faking it”?

→ The lines are too blurred. 

It’s not how we want to live.

Because it’s not the truth.

We aren’t “faking” anything.

We are being real and true to ourselves. 

We are stepping out onto the ledge with the willingness to take a leap of faith. We are being more true to what we want than we’ve ever been before.

  • Change your mindset.
  • Change your approach.
  • Change your outlook.

Don’t belittle yourself.

→ You’re not “faking” it. 

  • You’re exposed.
  • You’re earning your stripes.
  • You’re as authentic as you’re ever been.

That’s the only way you truly “make it” anyways.

Fake It2024-01-19T06:50:11-04:00

Deadlift

Last year I crested the 400-LB mark for the first time with a 405 LB Deadlift.

→ I followed that up a month later by hitting 425.

The weight isn’t as important as what led me to finally hit it.

→ Mindset.

I imagined the lift before doing it

I focused on hitting it and how it’d feel.

I did not allow negative thoughts to pour in.

I settled in, said a final word of encouragement, and hit it.

Building strength takes time and a lot of work, but even with this work, we need a positive mindset to help us achieve our maximum potential.

They work in tandem, not as lone competitors.

Deadlift2024-01-19T06:44:18-04:00

Pro Tips

How did a PGA Golf Professional become a Top-performing Sales professional?

→ Help.

I didn’t know it while going through it but humility was my ally. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and was open to learning.

→ Jonas Kleiner was my first Sales Manager and taught me about the sales process, cold calling, and “asking” for the business.

→ JT Rimbey taught me all about the power of relationships ( and, I also distinctly remember him telling me I was monotone on a demo -> which changed the entire trajectory of my career)

→ Daniel McCauley gave me insight into how to go deeper into discovery and uncover the real problem behind what the potential client may be saying.

→ Rob Munz taught me all about empathy.

Anyone who accomplishes anything has a team behind them to do it.

From a long-time mentor to a short-lived conversation, all of it molds us into the people we become.

Who has helped shape your life/career the most?

Might be a good time to send them a text and let them know.

Pro Tips2024-01-19T06:36:21-04:00

Everybody Knows The Rules

One bite.

That’s the rule in my house.

When my son was younger he’d cringe at the sign of eating anything that didn’t look like candy and chips.

If it had what appeared to be an ounce of healthy benefit there’d be a tantrum about how he didn’t like it.

But the thing is, he never tried it.

How did he know?

He didn’t. He has created a story in his head just like we all do.

Something looks different, scary, or unknown.

We avoid it like the plague.

So that’s why we added a rule that we agreed upon together.

I won’t force him to eat anything he doesn’t like but he has to try at least one bite.

He’s venturing into uncharted waters but knows he has a lifeboat if he needs it.

He has a chance to explore and discover with minimal risk.

→ The Lesson ←

When you’re trying to start something, maybe the reason you’re struggling is the goal is too big.

Start small. Take one bite. See if you even like it first.

And then go forward based on the knowledge you acquire.

Then do it again tomorrow.

We don’t fear “the thing” as much as we fear the unknown that “the thing” may bring.

Take out the risk.

You might find more things you enjoy after all.

Everybody Knows The Rules2024-01-14T17:11:20-04:00

Seth Godin

The people you think are ungettable are far closer than you think.

All it takes is reaching outside of your “comfort zone” and asking.

Seth Godin is one of my inspirations. I had him on my “Dream List” to talk to on the Just Get Started Podcast.

In my eyes, he was untouchable. He was busy. He had a million other people to deal with besides me.

But, in June 2020, I decided to throw out the story I was telling myself and ask a new question. “What if he said Yes?”

I decided to go for it. (See email screenshot)

The next day, like a kid on Christmas morning, I was overwhelmed when he returned my email and accepted the invite.

→ Moral of the story:

We have no idea what is going to happen, who is going to say yes, or what opportunities might come from the attempt.

What I do know, as the saying goes, “We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.”

Swing the bat. Shoot the ball. Go for broke.

What’s the worst thing that happens?

The risk of rejection pales in comparison to the monumental opportunities that could happen if they accept.

→ Who’s going to send that cold outreach they’ve been meaning to send?

→ Make that call they’ve been meaning to make?

Who’s going to do it today? 

P.S. → I’ve been fortunate that Seth has joined twice on the show. Listen to Seth’s 2nd appearance on the Just Get Started Podcast here → Listen on Spotify / Watch on Youtube)

Seth Godin2024-01-14T11:13:22-04:00

inMotion

I got laid off.

→ But it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

In 2014, after about 8 months into my first full-time sales role, the company was sold and they decided to close the Raleigh office.

It was the first time I experienced the “gut punch” that comes with being told you are no longer needed.

I was out of a job and I felt like a failure. But I was determined to use it as a stepping stone to something better.

I never could have imagined what would happen next.

After some interviews with various companies through my network, it was a random LinkedIn response from a college friend, JT, whom I was reaching out to about interviewing for a company he worked at prior.

Instead, it turned into a coffee.

That coffee was an informal interview at the company where he was the VP of Sales.

That informal interview turned into several interviews the next day with the Founders and CEO.

4 days later I had a job offer. I had found a new home.

It was a pivotal moment in my career.

I spent 4 years at inMotionNow (now Lytho)

<> The Founders, Rob & Mary Beth, become mentors

<> JT taught me more about sales than I could ever repay him for

<> I built lifelong friendships with co-workers and clients

<> I learned the importance of Teamwork and Culture

<> I gained confidence in myself and my abilities

Things always appear bad at the moment.

  • We lost a job.
  • We blew the game.
  • We broke up with someone.

Sometimes things are out of our control. Life is happening.

→ But, what is in our control?

  • Our attitude
  • Our resilience
  • Our perspective
  • Our perseverance

We have no idea what is going to happen. Most of it is random luck and serendipitous moments.

We can be prepared when the luck arrives.

We can be ready for the opportunities.

But, we must start taking control now.

Otherwise, we might be cornered into a decision that doesn’t lead us down the path we ultimately want.

(P.S. – I forgot how far advanced our phone cameras are today. This picture of Rob and me is from 2015!)

inMotion2024-01-14T10:54:28-04:00

Gift Basket

We become incredibly free when we discover that nobody cares about us as much as they care about themselves.

It allows us to come out of our safe space and start living the life we want. 

We can take agency over our decisions without worrying about what others think.

Nobody is watching.

It’s the greatest gift we could receive.

Gift Basket2024-01-14T10:44:15-04:00

24-7-365

How is it already 2024?

The years are a blur.

When looking back we often forget the days ahead will go by just as quickly.

One day leads to the next. Time is an offensive juggernaut we can’t stop.

I was lying in bed thinking about when I was my son’s age, which was 30 years ago.

I thought about all of the experiences and opportunities, the big decisions and the small microscopic ones, and all of the luck that went my way.

→ And then I thought about regret. 

I’m grateful for being right here, right now but it’s hard not to think about how I let fear guide countless decisions.

→ Not trying out for the school basketball team.

→ Not asking the girl to prom I wanted to ask.

→ Not seeking better internships during college.

Fear will turn us into a shell of ourselves. It puts a restraint on how far we go. It’s the rucksack we never asked for but we carry on our back all day long.

We have to be willing to face it head-on and realize that we created this beast.  The dragon guarding the princess is of our creation.

It’s our fairy tale.

But we don’t “slay the dragon” with one glorious attempt.

→ It’s by showing up each day.

→ Being kind to it.

→ Nurturing it.

Letting it know that it doesn’t have to be afraid any longer.

Being in its presence consistently helps you realize the dragon isn’t as dangerous as you’ve imagined in your head.

This is how we learn to tame it.

This is how we can face it head-on.

→ What is one thing you fear? 

What is the smallest, simplest step you can take today to confront the fear?

Start there. 

Then show up again tomorrow.

We won’t get rid of the fear but we can loosen its grip on our reality a live regret-free for the years ahead.

24-7-3652024-01-14T10:36:07-04:00

Larry Hynes

Larry Hynes single-handedly changed the course of my life.

As a young lad with zero confidence, he pulled me aside one day while leaving public speaking class and said, “Brian, you have great pitch and tone, you should be on the radio someday.”

He had a positive, light-hearted approach to teaching and a generous way to give compliments when he saw something in us we didn’t see in ourselves.

I know I wasn’t the only one he had a positive impact on.

Who is your “Larry Hynes”?

What teacher impacted you the most?

Let them know if you can otherwise we’ll pour a little out for the ones, like Mr. Hynes, that are no longer with us.

Larry Hynes2024-01-14T10:24:31-04:00

Lucky 7s

It’s crazy to think I am in year 7 of the Just Get Started Podcast. It’s single-handedly the longest thing I’ve done in my life.

Wild!

If I only was able to provide one lesson from doing it it’d be this…

-> Just friggen do the thing that you want to do.

You have absolutely no rational or logical reasoning that it will work, that you will like it, or that it will be something you do for a long period.

Who cares?

If you want to do it then go do it. Right now. Commit.

Start.

The only thing holding you back is yourself.

That might scare the hell out of us but it should empower us to know that we are in control.

It doesn’t have to be grandiose from Day One.

There doesn’t need to be a “wow” factor.

It doesn’t have to be spectacular.

But move it off the starting line.

Do something.

Because someday, you might look back like I am, and couldn’t have imagined how much starting this would be exactly what you needed for your soul.

Lucky 7s2024-01-14T10:13:53-04:00

Reflection Corner

I want you to sit with 3 questions. Take out some paper and write your responses. They become much more real when you get them out of your head.

  1. What is the thing that you fear most right now and why? I want you to explore the depths. Where do you think it came from and why does it exist in your life?
  2. What would your life look like if the fear didn’t exist? I want you to write a short story about the type of person you’d be without the fear.
  3. What is the worst thing that happens if you have to face the fear? What’s the blowback, struggle, or hurt that you feel you’d have to experience by facing it?

Your answers are not wrong, they’re honest.

Knowing what you now know, is it worth facing that fear?

That’s only a question you are qualified to answer.

Reflection Corner2023-12-20T15:49:57-04:00

Blindspots

What is one blind spot you have?

If you can’t think of one, that’s the first step to personal growth.

You can’t fix something you don’t know is broken.

Having awareness is Step #1

Blindspots2023-11-20T07:49:47-04:00

Therapeutic

Therapy doesn’t have to be defined.

→ Talk to a human in person

→ Talk to a human online

→ Practice meditation

→ Practice journaling

→ Go for a walk

→ Read a book

→ Sit in silence

→ Listen

→ Think

→ Write

→ Rest

It can all work. 

We just have to start doing it.

Therapeutic2023-11-20T07:45:36-04:00

Good

There’s a good chance you aren’t doing the wrong thing but you haven’t invested enough time into doing that thing.

You may not be stuck, you just might have your vehicle in park.

Remember, you are in control if you want to be.

Now, what choice are you going to make?

Good2023-11-20T07:39:46-04:00

Blame Game

We can blame social media, our phones, and the array of streaming platforms that exist.

But, It’s not the tool, it’s the operator.

Distractions have always existed.

When do we blame ourselves?

Blame Game2023-11-20T07:32:45-04:00

When Boys Become Men

Although there are many things you need to consider with divorce, I’ve found that a lot of men put their feelings near the back of the line. This even goes beyond divorce and wedges itself into all areas of our lives.

Why?

Well, we were brought up in a world where we were told to “Be Strong” and “Don’t Cry” and “Suck it up” and all sorts of other macho phrases instilled during our childhood.

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that.

When I learned to lean into my feelings about my marriage and accept it all, it opened up a world I never could’ve imagined.

I began to realize how I could be happy despite the “loss” I had just experienced.

I felt the stress subside.

I could breathe again.

→ I want that for you, too.

I’m not going to tell you to go to therapy, you have to decide that for yourself, but what I will do is encourage some form of “self-therapy” so you’re not punting from your own end zone anymore.

For me, reading was the game changer. It set me on a path to heal.

Do you really want to heal?

Then…

1. Buy this book, “Loving What Is?” by Byron Katie.

2. Read it

3. Answer the four questions using stories from your own life. Actually, write them down, see them on paper, and think about your answers.

This is the start. It’s not the end-all-be-all but it does get you moving on a path toward self-discovery.

Forget about the childhood stigma of “feeling your feelings” not being a manly thing. That needs to stay in the past. It doesn’t serve you any longer.

Focus on how you feel today.

Believe me, you will become stronger because of this.

When Boys Become Men2023-11-20T07:27:50-04:00

Healthy Dose Of Failure

I failed at a business almost before it started.

But that spectacular demise elevated a few key lessons.

For starters, here are the TL;DR

I was tired of the poor food quality that my son’s elementary school was serving for their lunches and had to do something about it. I realized this wasn’t a one-off situation but something all schools were a part of. It was a growing problem and a potential contributor to the rise of childhood obesity and diabetes, among other things.

I sought to find a solution and the options were limited. enter Healthy School Lunches.

The premise: a local subscription business to source high-quality foods so kids could have a healthy lunch.

The problem it was solving: Parents were fed up with the unhealthy lunches provided by schools but also the dilemma of grocery shopping and making lunches for their kids.

Now the lessons:

  1. Timing isn’t always in your control – I had this idea in the winter of 2019 and started it up in February of 2020. You know what came next. I could’ve never imagined that scenario but I also can’t beat myself up for it. With schools shut down for an unforeseen time, it didn’t make sense to push forward. Had it been another time I think we were on to something.
  2. Have your ideal business checklist – you don’t just start a business without sitting back and looking at all the factors of what could be included in the day-to-day, how you’ll grow, etc. What I came to realize was I didn’t want to be tethered to an office every day (in this case it would’ve been a kitchen) or had my growth determined by factors outside my control like weather, farming conditions, etc. You must understand what drives you and aligns with your values and build a business around that.
  3. Don’t bow to Sunk Costs – Just because you’ve spent a lot of time or money doesn’t mean you should keep going with it. Some things are meant to be stopped.
  4. Learn and Pivot – Nothing will be perfect out of the gate and being realistic about where you are at currently could help determine if pivoting the idea to something else would be beneficial. Only you will know that answer but being hard-headed isn’t necessarily the way you want to go.
  5. Seek out those with experience – Don’t go at it alone. Ask people you know who may have knowledge of the space you are getting into. Have them help you see the blindspots. You can’t know everything so utilize those that have done it before you to give you a peak around the corner.

Healthy Kids Lunches didn’t pan out as I originally hoped but those lessons have paved the way for my future endeavors.

→ It’s not a failure if we’re willing to learn from it.

That’s the lesson that might matter the most.

Healthy Dose Of Failure2023-11-20T07:17:40-04:00

In The Distance

I was beating myself up today as I was feeling stuck like my wheels were spinning with no traction.

The negative self-talk was oozing up and ready to spill over.

But, luckily, I caught myself.

As I turned my head left, the framed copy of my first children’s book, “Luke’s 1st Round of Golf” appeared in my peripheral on the wall.

Then, it hit me.

How am I behind? 

→ I’ve been one of the top performers in the organization for the past 5 years.

→ I’ve achieved results with my fitness that I never would’ve imagined.

→ I’ve published 2 children’s books with a 3rd on the way.

→ I’ve recorded over 400 podcast episodes in 6 years.

→ I’ve written 3 blogs a week for the past 30 months.

→ And the pinnacle moment, which I’m most proud of, is I’ve built an amazing relationship with my son.

When you think you haven’t gone that far, take a look back at how far you’ve come. 

It’s a good reminder of how much you’ve grown.

Those memories have no room for negativity.

In The Distance2023-11-20T07:02:52-04:00

Prepare To Win

Nobody gets out of bed and runs a marathon without having run before.

There is always preparation.

→ We must study the course to know where the pitfalls might be.

→ We must focus on our nutrition weeks and months prior.

→ We must condition our bodies to handle the endurance

→ We must enhance our mobility in our legs and hips.

→ We must callus our minds to be ready on race day.

Don’t be fooled by the flowing stride and consistent pace of a runner.

It may look natural but they’ve been preparing for it longer than you can ever imagine.

Anyone who has done anything of relevance prepared for it through small, consistent, thoughtful motion over a long period of time.

There is always preparation to do the hard things.

All the more reason to start preparing today.

Prepare To Win2023-11-20T06:37:10-04:00

Under The Knife

I’m grateful often but recently I got to thinking even deeper.

What if things went wrong?

I was nervous going into surgery in early November. Of course, there was an extremely high probability of success with a septoplasty procedure but I allowed myself to think of the alternative leading up to it.

→ That reflection grounded me.

It reminded me that the good life we have can change on a dime. Things can go wrong. Not only is no day guaranteed, but pain and suffering are almost inevitable at some point. The “when” is always uncertain.

Although I might not be able to control the outcome, I knew going in that I would be grateful to have the opportunity:

→ To live the life that I chose

→ To surround myself with great people

→ To experience things that I never could’ve dreamed of

→ To have a purpose-driven life that energizes me every day.

Gratitude, it just matters.

It’s often the grounding we need to remind us of the precious gifts we are given each day.

Under The Knife2023-11-19T21:28:40-04:00

Positive Perspective

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as a dad is to applaud effort after a job well done.

→ This seems obvious but if you grew up like me you might relate.

It was a different time. Instead of getting praise for a job well done, there was always the question of “What could you have done better?” It’s not that it isn’t important to consider but there is a time and place for it.

We could be “tough” on our kids but what we often forget is the negative ripples that it might create in other areas of their life.

Don’t miss obvious chances to build your kids up. It might feel different than what we experienced as kids but confidence breeds confidence. 

Small wins by them can have a positive impact on future events. They’ve achieved things before. It gives them the belief they can do it again, even if it’s hard.

That’s a much better way to motivate people to be the best version of themselves.

I’m positive of it.

Positive Perspective2023-11-19T21:20:27-04:00

Trumpet Our Growth

Do you know when most people quit?

It’s not before they start. It’s when they have their first brush with resistance.

Off the starting line, we might have momentum but at some point, the quick learning curve flattens out.

We’ve started to plateau.

My son is experiencing this right now with band.

One month into Trumpet and he was loving it. He was excited and energized. Band became his favorite class every day.

Now, he’s frustrated, upset and ready to quit.

When I asked why his answer was simple, “It’s really hard and I can’t get it.”

But it’s not that he couldn’t get it, it’s that he was “plateauing” and he didn’t realize it.

“Plateauing” is a sign that we are on the right path. 

This is not the time to quit. It’s the time to summon the confidence that got us here and climb some more.

So I told him, “When things get hard this is when most people stop.

This isn’t a band lesson, this is a lesson for life.

He’ll run into hard times again and again in almost any pursuit he does.

Keep going.

The growth comes from managing the hard and believing that better days are ahead.

It’s a positive mindset that can shield the negative energy.

So, he’s practicing, again.

He’s focusing on his emotions.

He’s working on one note at a time.

He’s learning that when adversity hits we always have two choices.

→ We can quit

→ We can push through

I’m glad he’s learning to push through.

Because he’s improving, again.

He’s crested the hill he was struggling on and finding new growth because of it.

Trumpet Our Growth2023-11-19T21:14:02-04:00

Cape Fear

Everyone needs a compass, but most of us don’t know how to use it.

Daily decisions that seem small are what cause us to veer off course.

It’s not about making monumental changes but small microscopic alterations in our daily decision-making to change the future narrative.

But why do we have a hard time doing it?

→ FEAR…Fear holds us back.

Fear of Success – This is a confidence issue. We don’t feel we are ever worthy of having what we want and we let the unknown potential “success” stifle our growth.

Fear of Letting Ourselves Down – Trying and failing is hard to deal with and it feels much easier to handle the regret that might come afterward instead of “at the moment” discomfort. Regret can be delayed if we trick ourselves into thinking we might do it at some point.

Fear of Judgment From Others – We put so much stock into what others think about our lives that it can impact the decisions we should be making to live a more enjoyable life.

Fear of Thinking the “Thing” Is Bigger Than It Is – Almost nobody is going to see our initial output but we think the masses are going to scour at it and ridicule us. We think that this is the most important thing to human existence and therefore overthink it.

Fear of Poor Execution – Paralysis by Analysis. If it’s not perfect we won’t put it out. We need to have it formed exactly right before the launch in order to appease others who might see it.

Fear of Rejection – If we put ourselves out into the world we can get rejected because we might act differently from how we think the world perceives us. That causes a rift and might bruise our ego. Acceptance good. Rejection bad. ****That’s how the world tells us we should feel.

Fear of Getting What We Want – Because then we have the responsibility of managing it and committing to it. That puts a lot of fear into us because now we must take action. And with action could come (insert any of the above Fears).

Which one holds you back?

Once we are able to accept ourselves for who we are and understand what gets in our way we can start leading our lives in a direction filled with less stress, anxiety, and fear.

That’s when the journey gets really fun!

Cape Fear2023-11-19T20:59:20-04:00

The Starting Line

I’ve had many people ask me, “How do I start a _______?”

→ But this question is unnecessary until you ask another question first.

“When?”

“When will I start _______?”

If you want to start, making the commitment to begin is the only reasonable next step.

Everything else is a waste of time until you answer that question.

There are so many variables with starting anything that you can’t begin to comprehend the possible approaches.

None of it matters on Day 1.

What matters is that there is a Day 1.

→ Pick a date.

→ Hold yourself accountable.

→ Figure it out on you get started.

Nothing else matters until you start.

The Starting Line2023-11-19T20:53:52-04:00

R & R

Does anyone else struggle with always feeling like they have to be “on”?

I’m working hard on being aware of this.

So, today I took a positive step forward and I’ve come to the conclusion that Mondays have to be my “take it easy” day.

As a single Dad, Mondays are the transition days. So it’s either the first day without my son in a week or it’s the first day getting him back after a week off.

I’ve recognized it’s a tiring day, either way, and I’ve found myself having to push through.

Today I decided I was going to chill. I’m not going to force it. I’m going to take a break from the work.

Being kind to ourselves can show up in many ways. Recognizing where we thrive is valuable and so is understanding when the “pause” button is necessary.

We don’t have to be “on” all the time.

→ Sometimes we need to rest and recharge.

We’ll be better for it tomorrow, too!

R & R2023-11-19T16:08:42-04:00

Short-Term Pain

Workout today or not?

Start that project or delay?

Call that friend or put it off?

We make tough decisions all day long.

Is your decision-making in line with the person you want to become?

When we’re having trouble making decisions this becomes a wonderful question to start with.

They’re not always easy decisions because sometimes they come with short-term discomfort. But, It can prepare us to more closely resemble the person we envision for the future.

→ Short-term pain prepares us for long-term gain.

It’s not easy, but it might be necessary.

Short-Term Pain2023-11-19T16:04:59-04:00

Safe Bet

You’re not where you want to be because you don’t have a clue of where you want to go.

It doesn’t mean you’ll ever get there or that the path can’t change but long-term thinking informs short-term decision making.

If you’re spinning your wheels, get out and smell the roses.

→ The riskiest thing you can do is be safe

Envision the life you want to live up ahead.

That will make it easier to take the next step.

Getting off zero is your goal.

It’s your only goal.

Safe Bet2023-11-19T15:53:05-04:00

Get Light On Your Feet

I love the concept of going into the New Year “light” that Jesse Itzler shared when discussing his plan for the new year.

I think of this not only physically but also mentally.

Here are some things to consider.

Physical:

Blast through your “To-Do” list -> either do it or delete it

Get To Inbox Zero -> Select All and hit “Archive”

Clean Up Your Space -> Clean the garage, organize your office, clean out old clothes, etc

Eliminate “Time Robbers” -> What are those meetings or useless tasks you’re still doing and remove them?

Mental:

Text People You Miss -> Send some texts to people you’ve lost connections with this past year

Forgive People -> Forgive those who’ve wronged you, it’ll lift the weight off your shoulders

Forgive Yourself -> Give yourself some grace and leave it in the past

Get clear on the future -> Sit and think about what you want and where you need to focus your time

What one thing are you going to do to go into the New Year “light”? 

Start today and work the rest of this year to become “light” on your feet going into 2024!

……..

PS – I’m pumped to use Jesse’s Big A## Calendar next year. Go grab one if you want to think BIGGER about 2024!

https://jesseitzler.com/products/calendar-2024

Get Light On Your Feet2023-12-20T16:00:50-04:00

Obi-Wan

Luke Skywalker had Obi Wan Kenobi

Harry Potter had Dumbledore

Neo had Morpheus

Froto had Gandolf

Who is the guide that has always shined the light on the path when you needed it the most?

Throughout my life, no matter what, it’s always been my older brother, Nick.

As much as we bickered and fought as kids, I can’t think of another single human being who is there for me when I need help.

The person who cares deeply about my well-being even though he hides it well (anyone with an older brother knows what I’m talking about )

The person who offers guidance that I understand.

The person that calls me on my bullshit.

I’m grateful my brother and I have a close relationship.

I’m grateful we’ve been able to bond on a deeper level.

I’m grateful that we get to see each other often.

I didn’t ask to have a “guide” on my journey but I’m grateful for the one that showed up.

Obi-Wan2023-11-19T15:37:48-04:00

Keep on keeping on

It’s a long season! You can’t win the Super Bowl after Week 1.

Yet, that’s the thing people are expecting when they start anything.

◾️Their Podcast isn’t a chart-topper after a few episodes

◾️Their self-published book didn’t get bought

◾️They aren’t getting any traction online

Keep at it. Put in the reps. If you’re good enough you’ll make it. 

Otherwise, you’ll learn and adapt.

Either way, you must stay consistent.

Keep on keeping on2023-11-19T15:28:57-04:00

Harvesting

Entrepreneurship is like gardening.

Rarely will you hit on your first harvest. It takes time to feel out the soil, understand the growing seasons, and provide the right amount of sun and water.

There will be many days where you’re like “WTF? What am I even doing?”

And you’ll look at the ground, day after day, and nothing has sprouted out of it.

But, then, almost when you least expect it, the surface is broken and our new life has formed.

It’s only then that we realize that life was forming the entire time.

It was just hidden, underground, waiting until enough consistent care helped it grow bigger and stronger.

Just like your idea. It’s growing from day one and continues to grow with the more effort you put into it even if you don’t see the fruits of that labor right away.

Harvesting2023-11-19T14:55:35-04:00

Parents

Parents, you’re not raising a best friend, you’re raising a high-functioning human who has to sustain themselves in a very big world.

  • Help your kids learn how to connect with others
  • Help your kids become independent thinkers
  • Help your kids explore interesting things
  • Help your kids advocate for themselves
  • Help your kids become self-sufficient
  • Help your kids become decisive
  • Help your kids learn manners

Then, let them be kids.

They’ll amaze you every time.

Parents2023-11-19T14:42:08-04:00

Gametime

If you’re thinking about doing something…stop thinking, go do it!

I have years of regret from sitting on the sidelines.

Get in the game.

And if you feel you aren’t able to, start your own.

Excuses ruin more dreams than failed attempts ever could.

Gametime2023-11-19T14:30:27-04:00

Sleep Deprived

It’s too easy to lose sleep over the things that we lose.

We place blame, rationalize, and tell stories. We tell some wild stories.

None of it is helpful. Whether we have control or not, it is what it is.

That’s the realist part of it. Whatever happened has already happened.

The question is, do we have a choice to change it? 

→ If yes, then do we want to?

→ If yes, then do the work to lead us down that path.

If not, then why worry? It doesn’t mean we can’t be emotional, feel loss or grieve. It just means at some point we have to drop it.

We can’t continue to dwell in imagination.

As painful as it is, we must focus on being realistic.

Real to the moment and what is in front of us and then making good decisions going forward.

There’s no sense in looking back.

Not if it’s going to keep us awake with anxiety and worry. Because that compounds the situation.

Instead, think positively. 

Focus on the next step.

Life will be okay. In time, it always is.

Sleep Deprived2023-11-19T14:24:39-04:00

Happy, because…

Life is so fucking weird.

We have these aspirations and goals for the future and are excited to build toward them and cross the finish line.

Then, we do, and we aren’t happy? Why is that?

→ It’s because we get satisfaction out of the chase, not the capture. 

The scavenger hunt is the exciting thing. Not necessarily collecting all the trinkets for the prize.

We have this idea that we’ll be happy “When…” but that’s not it at all.

It’s “We are happy because…”

Because we are doing this thing, with this person, a part of this team, etc.

That’s how we achieve happier moments, by embracing all that is in front of us and being grateful for it.

When we are happy with what we have we have an abundance of happiness waiting for us at every turn.

Happy, because…2023-11-19T14:14:47-04:00

Party Starter

I was speaking with a friend at a party recently and she said she had a lot of things she wanted to do once the kids were settled into school and their new house was all finished.

I asked, “What’s the one thing that tops the list?”  

→ Her eyes lit up. She brought a smile to her face. And she poured out her idea.

I could see the enthusiasm and excitement in her and the energy lifted her up.

Then I asked, “What’s the one step you can take to get started?”

Because that’s where most great ideas lay to rest.

The energy and excitement are there but we think so far down the line.

The goal seems so far out of reach.

It’s overwhelming.

But the first step isn’t. 

It’s minuscule in the grand scheme of things but it has to happen to get us on our way. There’ll be a thousand tiny steps along the way. Some are more important than others.

→ But that first step. That one that gets you moving. the one right in front of you

That ends up being the only one that matters at this point.

Party Starter2023-11-19T10:52:38-04:00

Attention Graph

Here’s a test: Ready?

“Don’t think about an elephant.”

But, you did, didn’t you?

When we don’t want to think about something, inevitably our attention turns to it.

Our minds are weird in this way.

→ So, let’s use that as an advantage.

Focus the attention away from the challenge.

Repositioning our thoughts in a positive light makes the obstacle easier to navigate.

As an example, something I’ve learned from Jesse Itzler, when you start getting tired repeat to yourself “I don’t get tired.” 

It’s amazing what happens. You’ll have to try it.

You convince yourself you don’t get tired.

It turns out not to be as bad as you think.

→ It’s only bad because you are thinking it’s bad.

Our mind is an incredible deflector if we give ourselves the opportunity to focus on something else.

Attention Graph2023-11-19T10:46:27-04:00

First Of The Month

One Day or Day One?

→ When will you choose to reach deep into the unknown to do something you’ve always wanted to do?

We are either going to regret never doing it or rejoice that we took the leap to try.

The rest are merely excuses delaying the inevitable.

The timing isn’t right.

I have to do more research.

If I save just a bit more money.

These are imaginary barriers we’ve constructed to make us feel that we are doing something.

We are stalling.

Just make a decision.

Are you going to do it or shelve it and never think about it again?

That decision alone will make a thousand other decisions.

But we must make the first one to light the path forward.

First Of The Month2023-11-19T10:20:28-04:00

Happiness Potion

There is no formula for happiness.

It happens when we follow the path of our values, virtues, and vision.

It happens when we let go of things out of our control.

It happens when we take time for ourselves.

It sort of gets in the way.

Happiness Potion2023-09-30T16:23:15-04:00

The Benefits Of Boring Work

Not everything can be fun and exciting. 

Cleaning the house, folding laundry, mowing the lawn, etc. You get the picture.

But there is a benefit in the mundane. 

Grinding through it when it has to get done proves we can be disciplined when we’d rather not do it at all. 

And, in a way, it can help us prioritize what we want more of. 

It can help us to be grateful and cherish the things we enjoy.

So, there is a benefit to the boring work. 

Even if we might not feel as much while we’re doing it.

The Benefits Of Boring Work2023-09-30T16:19:10-04:00

A Fresh Cup

No wonder “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” worked.

When I started Podcasting in 2017 I thought I wanted an “interview-based” show.

What I realized was that I wanted a recorded “coffee chat.”

No longer are the interviews Q&A type shows but more like the type of dialogue you’d find if you overheard two people having a cup of coffee.

Curiosity, Spontaneity, and Respect drive the dialogue forward.

Natural human conversation and connection is the way.

A Fresh Cup2023-11-24T13:25:49-04:00

Billions

Before we have a billion we have to surpass 100 million, a million, 100 thousand, a thousand, a hundred, and ten.

But all of these couldn’t have happened without one.

The first one starts it all. It is the strike of the match that can ignite your life.

I don’t care what the number is for; Money, Downloads, Likes, etc.

It always starts with the first.

Every chapter is hard in its own right but the first one is arguably the hardest.

Because before that there was nothing and it’s extremely hard to start from nothing. It takes courage, confidence, and a sheer will to brace the fear, anxiety, and unknown and try.

A billion of anything sounds cool.

You never have a chance to get there without starting at one.

Billions2023-09-30T15:55:45-04:00

Breaking News

The only reason we are scared to go to therapy is we might realize we’re fucked up.

News Flash: we’re all fucked up one way or another.

Better to find out the reason behind it so we can start working on it.

Breaking News2023-09-30T15:48:45-04:00

Happiest Place

Instead of striving to be happier in the future, why don’t we accept there are happy moments today?

It can’t all be bad.

What is one point of happiness today?

That’s a great place to start.

Happiest Place2023-09-30T15:41:49-04:00

Idea Factory

Ideas can come from anywhere.

It might not be from you.

Some of the best ideas come from people not entrenched in our day-to-day lives.

It’s the people on the edges who tend to come up with unique and creative ideas that help us turn a corner.

Talk to people you respect. Share what you are going through. Listen.

There is a good chance that conversation could be just the spark you need.

Idea Factory2023-09-30T15:36:55-04:00

Swifties

Taylor Swift is showing us:

  • We should do it our way
  • People respect vulnerability
  • As we age we become refined
  • We are more creative in pain than in triumph
  • Time away allows us to view our work from a different perspective

I don’t know about you but I’m enjoying “Taylor’s version” very much.

Swifties2023-09-30T15:32:18-04:00

Don’t Plagiarize

The way they do it is not the way it has to be done.

Grab insight and inspiration, yes.

But, don’t copy.

The only way to do it is by sharing it authentically from our voice.

Anyone can get away with copying for a period of time.

In order to have longevity we must do the work, our work, and adapt our skills over the long haul.

That’s the only way we’ll be proud of our work, too.

Don’t Plagiarize2023-09-30T15:18:24-04:00

Sour Grapes

Have you ever left a job you once loved only to start a new one and believe it’s now the greatest thing in the world?

The same can be said for a relationship that goes sour but the next one happens to be unbelievable.

When these things happen it should give us a slight pause. Are we running toward something or running away from something else?

The honeymoon stage of any new endeavor is excellent but soon enough the same old patterns of the past could repeat if we aren’t willing to pull the curtain back and understand why.

What was the true reason it didn’t work out?

Are we the ones at fault?

If we could do something different what could we have done?

Don’t run away from the past.

It’s ripe with lessons we desperately need to make our future less painful.

Sour Grapes2023-11-08T12:24:33-04:00

Identity Theft

Our identity is going to change well before people take notice. 

And that’s why we get strange looks and odd questions. 

One day we are one thing to someone and then randomly, almost like it’s out of the blue, we become something different. 

To them it happened overnight but we know better. There was a lot of work that went into the transformation. 

We battle the “old guard” daily and work to strip down our prior version to only the parts that serve us any longer. 

The fact that anyone noticed, good or bad, should be a compliment. 

We shed the old skin and have become our new version. 

If anyone should admire it, it should be ourselves.

Identity Theft2023-09-30T14:54:37-04:00

Sedona

I was looking back at a picture from last year and it reminded me of one of the most forgotten lessons we learn again and again in life.
 
We have no clue what is going to happen.
 
I was on a mountain in Sedona, AZ and I met this girl who was hiking simultaneously. She only lived 2 1/2 hours from my home in Raleigh and would come there often because her parents lived there, too.
 
It was a “fairy tale” story.
 
4 days later we were having dinner 1500 miles away in Raleigh. You could’ve written the script right then. Two people fall in love on a mountain, the rest is history.
 
→ But that’s not what happened.
 
We dated for a few months but the long-distance relationship wasn’t to be. It didn’t make sense to keep it going. We had to make mature decisions that were hard to make.
 
And that’s the lesson here.
 
Life moves a mile a minute and we encounter so much that we need to find ways to organize it in our heads. Make some sense of it. Feel like there is some order.
 
Maybe there’s not.
 
Because of that breakup, it made me go back to work on defining what I wanted. It made me get back out and date actively, something I hadn’t done in almost 2 years, and it allowed me to bump into amazing new people and adventures that I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered.
 
We can’t script life. It isn’t a movie. Even if we could, why would we want to?
 
The serendipity of it all makes it more exciting and fruitful in the end.
 
Let’s face it, we think we know what we want but we don’t actually know until it hits us hard.
 
How often do we say, “I never would’ve dreamed that up but I’m glad it happened that way.”
 
So we should stop trying so hard.
 
Throw the script out and let life happen to us.
 
That’s really how you make “movie magic”!
Sedona2023-11-03T08:31:18-04:00

I Got That Feeling

How do you feel after doing the thing you wanted to do?

Energized
Enlightened
Encouraged
Exhausted

When we’ve made an attempt, no matter the outcome, we feel positively about trying the attempt.

We have a burst of energy and feel alive.

So why do we have trouble showing up the next day?

As it gets harder, it will challenge us more. Our identity will start to be tied to that thing.

And it scares the hell out of us.

Because we don’t feel like we are enough.

We just have a very hard time admitting it.

Showing up to exercise.
Sitting down to write that book.
Putting time into your relationship.

What matters most is you show up. First and foremost. Then, the more you do it the more confident you’ll become. You’ll be able to challenge yourself further. You’ll start to believe you are enough.

Because you are.

You just haven’t allowed yourself to admit it yet.

I Got That Feeling2023-09-30T13:55:26-04:00

Pod Starter

I was struggling to start a Podcast for 2 years from 2015-2017.

I let self-limiting beliefs from childhood creep in when I was on the brink of starting.

I kept making excuses.

I never started.

Then, 6 years ago I had an epiphany. What if I Just Get Started ?

If I had the courage to start, maybe I could help others muster up their own to start whatever they wanted.

With that idea and a meaning to grab on to, the Just Get Started Podcast was born in November 2017.

Inspiration can hit us at any time but it’s the execution that matters.

Just Get Started and see where the magic can lead us!

Pod Starter2023-09-30T13:44:13-04:00

Show Me The Goods

Behind every great relationship there is:

  • Open communication
  • Mutual respect
  • Fun

It’s not rocket science. It’s simple.

Treat people the way you expect to be treated.

Show up with a growth mindset and a willingness to open up.

Don’t take life so seriously.

It’s amazing how great a relationship can be when you keep the simple things top of mind.

Show Me The Goods2023-09-30T13:36:25-04:00

Death Eaters

Does it scare you? Thinking about death.

In our storied history, it’s the only thing that is pitching a perfect game.

We can be scared of it or we can embrace it.

Embrace it for what it does for us.

It gives us urgency.
It gives us meaning.
It gives us perspective.

In whatever life we have left to breathe we have a chance to make a difference to those around us, for the future, for those that might need it.

The time is now. The clock is ticking.

What are we waiting for? Permission.

It’s up to us if we want to get out of our seats and head over to the dance floor.

The clock will strike midnight.
The song will come to an end.
We’ll have our last dance.

We don’t need permission to get out onto the dance floor.

We just have to start moving.

Death Eaters2023-09-30T13:27:36-04:00

Off To Work We Go

There are a lot of varying factors that go into the accomplishments of every successful person.

Hard work is a constant across all of their stories.

Tiger Woods wasn’t born to be a great golfer, he worked his ass off.
Dave Chappelle wasn’t born to be a great comedian, he worked his ass off.
Taylor Swift wasn’t born to be a great musician, she worked her ass off.
Elon Musk wasn’t born to be a great entrepreneur, he worked his ass off.

We’re not born with anything.

We must put in the work.

That’s one of the few things we can control to live a better life.

Off To Work We Go2023-09-30T13:28:36-04:00

Spring Back

Go deep to spring into new heights.

One technique that is taught to kids during swimming lessons is to sink to the bottom in order to spring yourself up to the top. 

It sounds counterintuitive but sometimes going deeper gives us leverage. 

The same can be said for handling emotions. 

The mistake we often make is avoiding or distracting ourselves from the feelings we are witnessing. This causes a longer tail of stress and often starts to weigh down other areas of our life. 

Instead, be willing to go deep and feel all the feelings. 

Although difficult, it helps make the suffering short lived. 

We let it out of us and start to accept where we are and where we need to go. 

It doesn’t mean it’s solved, it means it has become manageable. 

When in doubt, don’t flounder near the surface. 

Go deep and propel yourself toward a new way to breathe in life.

Spring Back2023-09-26T20:59:41-04:00

A River Runs Through

There will be times of unease in any relationship where the raging rapids of emotions are flowing heavy and retreating seems like the only viable option. 

But there is another. 

You build a bridge over it. 

Fights are not about winning or losing. They’re not even about compromise. 

It’s about listening. 

It’s about accountability. 

It’s about understanding. 

They are a valuable place for growth if both people are willing to put their ego aside to stop rafting the rapid waters alone and simply build a bridge to connect. 

The river will run rapidly at many points during a relationship but the more bridges that are built the easier it’ll be to connect and communicate. 

The rapids can be scary but standing on the bridge lessens its impact.

A River Runs Through2023-09-26T21:00:08-04:00

Joy Luck Club

Podcasting isn’t for everyone.

But neither is TikTok dances, Pickle ball , or fishing.

Don’t jump on a trend because it is gaining popularity or is the current “water cooler” talk.

Do it because it delivers to you what you need; meaning, challenge, and joy.

That’s how it’ll become consistent in your life well after the crowd has moved on.

Joy Luck Club2023-09-26T20:40:56-04:00

Long Lasting

Just because we liked them doesn’t mean we should be with them.

There are many factors that have to line up for it to even get started, and then you have to have consistent growth as the days pass by.

What you should be focused on is how they treat you, how you treat them, do your values align, and is your life vision tracking.

You can’t force it.

You can’t coerce them.

Know what you are worth and show up with it every day.

And you trust they will, too.

The rest works out as it works out.

Long Lasting2023-09-26T20:35:33-04:00

Climbing The Wall

We don’t know how to get through the maze so we’ll bump into walls, hit dead ends, or overcorrect.

That’s supposed to happen.

Every obstacle builds resilience.

Every new turn gets you further ahead.

Every step forward is a chance to grow and adapt.

As the saying goes, “the only way out is through”.

To survive, we must believe that is true.

Climbing The Wall2023-09-10T14:38:42-04:00

Magic Of Reality

Fiction can be fun but it’s in accepting our reality that we are able to forge a clearer direction.

That can be with relationships, careers, finances, or otherwise.

Are we telling ourselves the entire truth or are we embellishing the story to not hurt ourselves?

The choice is to either hurt a little now or a lot later. Eventually, if we neglect the truth it will come back to bite us.

Acceptance today clears the way for a better tomorrow.

Stop denying the facts. You’re only hurting yourself.

Magic Of Reality2023-10-06T05:29:49-04:00

Bike Ride

In a recent blog by Seth Godin he paints an astoundingly simple visual when referencing people biking by him at a faster rate, “it’s not a bike race, it’s a bike ride. There is no winning, just the riding.”

These are the mental gymnastics we do daily.

Are we doing enough?

Why isn’t it moving fast enough?

Why aren’t we getting more attention?

A better question is “Why does it matter?”

We would be happier by accepting where we are at and relish the fact that we were able to get to this point.

We don’t need a timer.

Sometimes we’ll feel we are going slow and sometimes we’ll feel we are going fast.

Either way, we must be grateful we are on the path we are on.

Many don’t have the luxury to ride the bike they want let alone pedal in the direction they choose.

Bike Ride2023-09-10T13:47:51-04:00

Nudge

A “nudge” might be all we need to help push the boulder in our way to the side.

That happened to me during a CrossFit workout recently.

I had taken off several days and could feel that I hadn’t fully gotten my endurance back. This workout was exhausting for me.

With the time cap a few minutes away, I didn’t think I’d finish. I had hit a mental blockade and resigned myself to the fact that it was okay to slow down and coast into the finish.

And then one of my fellow peers stepped in who had already finished.

He pushed me from one movement to the other. He counted me down. He held me accountable.

I finished in the allotted time.

I was capable of it but I mentally exhausted the effort that I could do it.

And that’s when the support of others is crucial.

They know your best.

They know what you are capable of.

They won’t let you sell yourself short.

We can’t do it all alone. Sometimes the belief in ourselves comes from the belief that others have in us.

We must be open to that encouragement and use that energy to push us farther ahead.

It’s a slight nudge while we are on the swing.

That one small push can be exactly what we need to keep the momentum going.

Nudge2023-09-10T13:35:31-04:00

Close Encounters

Happiness is closer than you think. 

One relationship. 

One decision.

One action. 

What is the next step you need to take to move in that direction?

It may be an uncomfortable one but wouldn’t you rather discomfort today for happiness tomorrow?

Seems like a good trade off to me.

Close Encounters2023-09-10T13:23:27-04:00

Loving What Is

One of the best forms of therapy is reading and reflecting. We are able to sit quietly and ponder a new thought we’d never considered before.

We can go deeper inside ourselves, explore our interpretation, and battle with how it is making us feel.

That “feeling”. The discomfort. The squirminess. The perplexing nature of our thoughts.

That’s how change begins to happen.

Looking for a suggestion? I’d start with Byron Katie’s book, “Loving What Is.

The 4 questions she poses become great journaling prompts to help you begin your healing.

Answer them honestly and watch your world change.

Loving What Is2023-08-06T12:47:32-04:00

Thinking In Decades

What I thought a fulfilled life should look like in 2010:

  • Get married
  • Have a couple of kids
  • Watch sports and relax
  • Play golf on the weekends
  • Attend kids’ sporting events
  • Be employed and make some money

What I’ve discovered it looks like for me:

  • Find a life partner
  • Become financially free
  • Prioritize health and family
  • Live in the present moment
  • Build an amazing relationship with my son
  • Create the life I want instead of waiting for it to happen

Life changes. Circumstances change. Priorities change.

The goalposts always shift.

We should work each day to learn more about ourselves, our needs and wants, and where we get meaning and energy.

When we are secure with who we are we can move with the shifting winds instead of fighting against them

Thinking In Decades2023-08-06T12:38:03-04:00

Trick Shots

Yesterday he thought he was Evil Knievel.

Trying some “trick” on his bike, my son did a full flip over the handlebars and landed flat out face down on the ground.

The bike came crashing down on top of him.

Luckily, he avoided injury.

It was quite a teachable moment.

Lessons learned.

Experience gained.

Wisdom unlocked.

But, today, he got back on his bike.

He didn’t let the fear of that moment overwhelm the love he has for riding his bike.

The stories we make up in our heads determine our level of fear.

Change the narrative and we become stronger and install a more positive perspective on the world.

Trick Shots2023-08-06T12:14:33-04:00

Outcome Goals

When people say they want to write a book what they mean is they want to publish a book.

When people say they want to run a marathon what they mean is they want to finish the marathon.

When people say they want to do something what they generally mean is they want the feeling of completing something.

There is a gap between the act of starting and the glory of finishing.

The gray area is the work.

The people who love the journey, the highs and lows, and the unknown are more likely to reach a pinnacle of achievement.

They prepare daily by showing up and putting in effort.

They realize the reward is in the opportunity to get to do the work.

Outcome goals are important but what are the daily inputs to make it a reality?

Outcome Goals2023-08-06T10:30:06-04:00

The Starting Spectrum

Where are you on the “starting spectrum”?

  • Are you feeling stuck?
  • Are you excited but fearful?
  • Are you thinking about ideas?
  • Are you trying to “find the time”?
  • Are you observing like-minded folks?
  • Are you curious about how to grow and evolve?

If you fall into one or more of these categories then you are in a great spot.

It means you are eager to make a shift in your life.

You are on the cusp of a massive change.

But, what is going to tip you over the edge?

Is there one action you can take today to give yourself a jolt forward?

Lean into that answer and trust the unknown.

It will become clearer once you start.

The Starting Spectrum2023-08-06T10:17:14-04:00

Magellan

Stop focusing on how other people do it.

Explore how you do it.

As a single dad, I have a consistent schedule of the weeks I have my son and the weeks I don’t. 

When I have my son, I prioritize him. When I don’t, I prioritize other things.

I’ve discovered I work better by thinking in “bi-weekly sprints” based on the time I have available. I can’t schedule like my friends who are full-time parents nor like the ones who don’t have kids.

You most likely will do it differently, too.

Analyze your unique situation and find the tools that can help you craft a blueprint to work off of. 

You’ll find it becomes a tremendous way to remove stress, increase enjoyment, and prioritize the life you want.

Magellan2023-08-06T09:57:29-04:00

Blast From The Past

Kids have it so easy today.

Movies streamed instantly.

Millions of songs on Spotify.

Gaming with friends virtually.

But so did we…

We had AOL when our parents had no computers at all.

We had ESPN, MTV, and dozens of channels when our parents had 3.

We could skip songs with our Walkman when our parents had vinyl records.

Every generation thinks they have it harder than the next one.

They feel they struggled mightily and everyone younger is soft and weak.

But we are all the same. We go through hardship and tragedy. We experience pain and sorrow.

We all suffer.

It doesn’t matter what technological advancements happen at what period of time.

We all have our own unique challenges that push us to the edge and make us question our beliefs.

It’s in those moments that we can confidently believe we can get through this.

We know it’s possible to persevere and come out the other end stronger.

That we can survive and advance.

Because the ones that came before us did.

Blast From The Past2023-08-06T09:44:34-04:00

Gary Vee

Before I knew what Entrepreneurship was, Gary Vaynerchuk serendipitously popped up in a Facebook post which was a link to his Inc 500 Keynote Speech.

It was one of the catalyst moments in my life that put me on a different path forward.

That was in 2011.

Fast-forward four years later to 2015 and the momentum had been building even though I was so early in my journey. I had learned a lot and I wanted to share it with others and to give thanks to Gary.

I wrote this blog, titled “What Is The R.O.I. of Gary Vaynerchuk”, 8 years ago. What’s funny is I remember writing this. I remember sharing it and Gary sending me a reply on Twitter. I remember how it energized me even more.

It’s amazing what has unfolded over the past 8 years and I’m excited to see what’s next.

Moral of the Story:

We don’t know where we’ll find a spark of inspiration but we are going to have a better opportunity by venturing out into the unknown and starting. We’ll bump into things by happenstance and call those “serendipitous” moments.

But they are only that way because we’ve opened ourselves up and created the chance for those opportunities to come into our lives.

Get out there and get started.

It’s the only way to create a better life for ourselves.

Gary Vee2023-08-06T09:31:31-04:00

Night Sweats

Have you woken up in the middle of the night, couldn’t fall back to sleep, and are pondering what the fuck you’re doing with your life?

It’s me. Hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.

I think anybody that cares about something meaningful goes through this. 

Like are we doing enough?

I don’t know, really. I don’t have the answer. But I have questions I’m asking myself.   

What is enough? 

Why do I feel I’m always behind?

Is the pressure I’m putting on myself necessary? 

The answers come when we’re willing to sit with these uncomfortable and squirmy questions. 

I don’t have the answer for you. I barely have the answer for myself, yet. 

But the good news is that we are in it together. We all have restless nights and worry that we are not enough. That our life has somehow spun out of control and we aren’t sure what it holds for us next. 

All I can say is that we’ve been here before. This isn’t the first time we’ve dealt with these fears, anxieties, stressors, and mental blockades. 

But this time it may be the first time we finally become aware of why it’s happening…If we’re willing to answer a few simple questions. 

Sit with it for a while. Scribble some notes. Let whatever flows out be what it is. No judgment or editing. 

Just pure emotion. 

You may not be writing yours at 4:23 am because you can’t sleep but I’d challenge you to carve out just 5 minutes today. 

Allow your mind to ponder the reasons why you struggle and where it stems from. Although the answers are difficult to digest they become the start of a new way of thinking. 

They become a catalyst for change. 

They may even help you sleep better tonight, too.

Night Sweats2023-08-05T20:35:23-04:00

Spin Cycle

If you are stuck remember that we are merely 8 billion atoms in a body suit on a spinning rock circling a massive star.

Appreciate that you have the capacity to recognize the feelings you are feeling.

That’s a huge leap forward already.

Now, take a deep breath.

You got this.

Spin Cycle2023-08-05T20:26:21-04:00

Well Read

It can become relatively easy to read people if we focus on the decisions they make.

The words can throw us off course but it’s their actions that paint the brightest picture.

Eye-opening data can come from that observation if we are willing to accept what it’s telling us.

Well Read2023-08-04T16:00:33-04:00

Action Packed

The action of starting ends up being a lot easier when we’ve already started in our minds.

The action is connected to the need to change.

Despite that our confidence may be low and fear is gripping at our ankles, if we have the courage to decide to choose a better path for our life, starting becomes easier.

Simple to imagine, harder to implement.

Why? Because we spend more time thinking about the things that could go wrong instead of believing that we have the chance for it to go right.

Mindset is always the appropriate first step when we are struggling to get started.

The glimmer of hope that we are worthy enough to make the attempt is all the positivity we need to take the leap.

The rest will build from there.

Action Packed2023-08-04T14:45:19-04:00

Suspense Thriller

Despite what we may think, we are incredible storytellers.

We make up stories to fill in the gaps in the unknown.

To paint a picture that doesn’t yet exist through our biases and beliefs.

We make it compelling and exciting and if we think about it long enough we might even believe it is true.

When the future moment becomes the present, how many times does that story live up to the hype of the moment?

That should tell us something.

Maybe our embellishment of the potential outcome is unhelpful and irrational.

It leads us to worry and stress over things that are irrelevant.

It’s a narrative that might choose not to write in the first place.

Suspense Thriller2023-08-03T19:02:38-04:00

Don’t Ignore It

The common phrase is “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

Even better, “Be so aware you can’t ignore yourself.”

When we remove the barriers we can explore our minds at a deeper level to expose all of our insecurities and anxieties. This work becomes useful to avoid the pitfalls of making the same mistakes over and over again.

As Paulo Coelho says, “A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.”

Mistakes will happen but it’s the awareness and reflection of why they happened that allows us to make better decisions when similar situations arise in the future.

We stop ignoring the flashing red lights and begin to forge a new path toward learning about ourselves.

It’s one of the only ways we can become a better version of ourselves.

Don’t Ignore It2023-08-03T18:50:01-04:00

Even The Greats Are Scared

Will Ferrell was sitting in his trailer while filming the iconic movie “Elf” and he said something to the extent of “Where am I going to go from here after this thing flops” (paraphrasing a bit).

Even the people considered the “greats” don’t have it all figured out. They question their decisions. They have fear of how they are going to look to others. They have moments of weakness.

“Elf” didn’t flop, as we now know, but there was no way he could’ve known that then.

He had to put on his yellow tights one leg at a time, walk out of that trailer, and show up as the best performer he could be.

We don’t always know what will happen. That’s part of what makes it exciting.

When it does work out we have the opportunity to look back at all of those low points, the times we doubted ourselves, and realize that it was a part of the process.

It was a part of our growth.

It’s like standing on top of the mountain and seeing all of the hills and valleys we had to climb over to get here.

We gain confidence and conviction with each one.

We believe in ourselves.

The game is set up to separate the ones willing to go past the point of fear, uncertainty, and doubt and progress forward versus those who close up shop and quit at the first sign of adversity.

Showing up because we believe in what we are doing becomes a great tool to lean on during times when we think we aren’t good enough.

Even The Greats Are Scared2023-08-03T18:43:17-04:00
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