Internet of Things

The internet and social media are not bad. They are tools.

The same way a hammer and a chainsaw are. If done right, they are insanely useful.

The question then is how are you using these tools?

→ Are you scrolling mindlessly or acquiring new skills?

→ Are you becoming indoctrinated with ideas that keep you in an echo chamber or are you using the vast knowledge to form your own opinions?

→ Are you becoming anxious and depressed or hopeful and energized?

Like anything else, they are tools. Tools can always have alternative uses.

It’s what we choose to do with them that matters.

Internet of Things2024-05-24T18:46:08-04:00

Accolades 

Our kids don’t care about likes, followers, retweets, or shares.

They want us to show up for them.

They want us to protect them.

They want us to love them.

→ They don’t ask for much.

The least we can do is be present in their presence.

Accolades 2024-04-24T17:20:57-04:00

Father Time

I don’t do CrossFit for the physique. 

I don’t run races for the fresh air.

I don’t do yoga for the “Zen”.

I do it to build a foundational structure for my body as I age. 

Lifespan is important but living a long life confined by physical limitations isn’t appealing. 

Healthspan is more of what I care about. Having a healthy life with the freedom to roam around as I see fit is more of what I’m after.

When we prioritize our health, it opens doors to new adventures and experiences that make life exciting.

Father Time is never late so better to get prepared for his arrival now.

Father Time2024-03-23T16:51:17-04:00

Beware The Tail End

It’s hard to visualize a long life when it’s split into bite-sized days filled with randomness and chaos.

In today’s ever-connected world, we are plugged in as quickly as we rise in the morning.

  • Emails are buzzing
  • Social media apps are fired up
  • Laptops are open for early meetings

By the evening, our brains are fried from putting up with the unnecessary bullshit from the day.

→ We want to decompress and be alone.

That self-care is vital but there is a caveat…

Kids. 

I have an 11-year-old who is my whole world. The years are just melting away.

Just the other day, I was looking back at pictures of his birth and first year. His little giggle, his pudgy face, the peacefulness as he slept.

That’s all come to pass as do many things in life.

I’m grateful for the moments we are experiencing presently but these days are evaporating just as fast.

As a single dad, having him every other week, my time with him is shorter than most.

Quick math…

I have 7 years before college.

That’s only 84 months divided by 2 (since I have him half of the time).

That’s minuscule when you think of it.

In Tim Urban’s famous blog article, “The Tail End”, he articulates that when a child leaves for college they’ve spent about 80% of the time with their parents they’ll get in their life—staggering when you think of it.

→ What’s the lesson here? 

If you have kids, or when you have kids, prioritize them first.

The emails can wait.

The late-night work project can wait.

It all can wait.

Although we must take care of ourselves, our kids need us way more.

All they want is our love and attention.

→ Sit with them when they want to show you something.

→ Be excited when they accomplish something.

→ Show up to every event they take part in.

They’re watching. They care. 

Frankly, almost everything you’d prioritize over them ends up being insignificant.

Don’t risk a great relationship with your kids because we get lost in the day.

Because one day turns into the next and before you know it they are off to college. You’ve spent 80% of the time you’ll ever spend with them. And you’ll never get those precious moments back.

Prioritize them over all else and enjoy the wonderfully beautiful sweet chaos of parenting.

Because remember, time flies.

Beware The Tail End2024-03-23T15:38:03-04:00

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

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

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

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
  • Nir Eyal Profile Headshot

Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal Profile Headshot

Listen On:

APPLE

SPOTIFY

YouTube

iHEART

PODCHASER

Episode 369 welcomes back Nir Eyal, who writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business.

Find Nir Online:

Link to the book, it’s: http://geni.us/indistractable

Indistractable bonus content is here: http://www.nirandfar.com/indistractable/

Indistractable summary article: https://www.nirandfar.com/skill-of-the-future/

Timeboxing article: https://www.nirandfar.com/timeboxing/

Values article: https://www.nirandfar.com/common-values/

Fomo article: https://www.nirandfar.com/fomo/

Wage slavery article: https://www.nirandfar.com/wage-slaves/

My free habit tracker tool: https://www.nirandfar.com/habit-tracker/

My free schedule maker tool: https://www.nirandfar.com/schedule-maker/

List of my top articles: https://www.nirandfar.com/best-articles/

About Nir:

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

Nir co-founded and sold two tech companies since 2003 and was dubbed by The M.I.T. Technology Review as, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.” Bloomberg Businessweek wrote, “Nir Eyal is the habits guy. Want to understand how to get app users to come back again and again? Then Eyal is your man.”

He is the author of two bestselling books, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

Indistractable received critical acclaim, winning the Outstanding Works of Literature Award as well as being named one of the Best Business and Leadership Books of the Year by Amazon and one of the Best Personal Development Books of the Year by Audible. The Globe and Mail called Indistractable, “the best business book of 2019.”

In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Harvard Business Review, Time Magazine, and Psychology Today.

Nir invests in habit-forming products that improve users’ lives. Some of his past investments include Eventbrite (NYSE:EB), Anchor.fm (acquired by Spotify), Kahoot! (KAHOOT-ME.OL), Canva, Homelight, Product Hunt, Marco Polo, Byte Foods, FocusMate, Dynamicare, Wise App, and Sunnyside.

Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.

……..

If you enjoyed this interview you may also like my Just Get Started Podcast Interview with Seth Godin, Author, Blogger, and Founder of Akimbo

Share This Podcast - Choose Your Platform!

Listen To The Podcast

Get The Blog

Review On Apple Podcasts

If you enjoy this episode I’d be grateful if you would leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts, if you believe I’ve earned it.  Thanks for listening!

Nir Eyal2023-10-03T20:01:10-04:00

The Success Trap

We have a hard time getting off the starting line because we haven’t defined what success looks like.

“Success” is often defined in the mainstream as lots of money, a big business, luxury toys, enormous houses, or exotic trips. People who are deemed “successful” may have fame or notoriety.

But is that your definition?

It might be staying healthy and fit.
It might be walking your kids to school.
It might be having the ability to help others.
It might be freedom to live where you want.
It may be doing things that give you ultimate joy.

Success can be a lot of different things.

When we are working off of someone else’s definition we become stuck.

Create your own and notice how your decisions and focus change.

You now have a clearer direction to move in.

It becomes much easier to start that way.

The Success Trap2022-12-10T16:29:34-04:00

Priority Shipping

We have to stop saying we don’t have the time.

We have time.

We don’t have it as a priority.

If we did, we’d accomplish it. It’d be the first thing we check off the list.

Often, the thing that is most important to us might also scare the hell out of us. So, we find reasons not to do it. We push it aside. We say we’ll get it done tomorrow.

Most of the other stuff on our list isn’t of high priority. It can wait.

We have to stop putting our dreams on hold for another day. For the time when we feel ready. We’ll never be fully ready. We’ll always have doubts. We’ll always question the path forward.

We have to start anyways.

Put all of the other shit aside for a moment.

Accept what is truly important and spend time on that, every day, even if it is just for a few moments. Advancing it forward, at a slow speed, adds up over a long time horizon.

But we never move off the starting line if we don’t actually start.

Priority Shipping2022-11-21T21:05:13-04:00
  • Jon Vroman Profile Headshot

Jon Vroman

Jon Vroman Profile Headshot

Listen On:

APPLE

SPOTIFY

YouTube

iHEART

PODCHASER

Episode 275 features Jon Vroman, Founder of Front Row Dads, which has become a diverse group of 230 dads from 12 different countries who share a common bond of choosing to put family first as they grow their businesses.

During the episode, Jon mentions a great resource to pick us is 15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer: Buy it here

Find Jon Online:

Website: https://frontrowdads.com/

Front Row Dads Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/front-row-dads-family-men-with-businesses/id1344850656?mt=2

About Jon:

Jon Vroman founded Front Row Dads because he wanted to win at home and not just at work.

Over the last 5 years, Front Row Dads has become a diverse group of 230 dads from 12 different countries who share a common bond of choosing to put family first as they grow their businesses.

The mission of Front Row Dads is to help men deepen their connection with their children and build a family legacy that they’re proud of.

Outside of the podcast, live events, and online summits, FRD has a highly engaged membership that supports each dad in aligning with his family values and staying committed to the most important people in his life.

Jon has been featured on Today Show and Inc.com for his work in helping others “Live Life In The Front Row™”. He’s been requested to speak for the US Navy, Vitamix, Dove, Keller Williams Realty, Entrepreneurs Organization, and many others.

As the author of the #1 bestselling book, The Front Row Factor, he shares inspiring stories, compelling science, and life strategies that challenge you to explore your values, establish priorities and reconnect to a higher purpose and deeper meaning within your life.

In 2005, Jon founded FrontRowFoundation.org, a charity that helps individuals who are braving life-threatening illnesses, to experience the event of their dreams, from the front row.

……..

If you enjoyed this interview you may also like my Just Get Started Podcast Interview with Seth Godin, Author, Founder and Speaker

Share This Podcast - Choose Your Platform!

Listen To The Podcast

Get The Blog

Review On Apple Podcasts

If you enjoy this episode I’d be grateful if you would leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts, if you believe I’ve earned it.  Thanks for listening!

Jon Vroman2022-08-27T12:38:16-04:00

Bold Strategy

We get so caught up with big and bold. Be seen, be heard, be cheered.

But it’s actually the moments that most people don’t witness that are the most important to a happy life.

It’s reading a book to your kids and giving them a hug and kiss goodnight.

It’s a “how are you doing today?” with a significant other that turns into a long conversation.

It’s being able to sit with ourselves and be stress-free.

Those moments take up the majority of our lives. Those simple, “uneventful” moments almost get forgotten because they are routine.

Maybe we should consider why they are that way and embrace them more. They matter way more than any glorious achievement does.

When we lose people close to us, rarely do we remember their greatest achievements. We remember the small stuff, the little quirks, and the subtle nuance.

We remember the mundane.

Those become the most important memories.

The ones we often take for granted.

Bold Strategy2022-07-13T21:03:04-04:00

Matters of Importance

Most things we deal with on a day-to-day basis do not matter.

They are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

But, to kids, they might be the most important thing in the world.

Showing up for their class event
Reading to them at night
Watching them build something when they ask us to come to observe
Listening to them tell a story

Kids stay present much more than adults so when we show up for them and make them feel heard, seen, or acknowledged it can have a positive long-term effect even if it is hard to see at that moment.

It’s easy to brush away these moments and say “I’ll do it next time” because we are looking at it from our viewpoint. We see it on a grander scale. We think we have time.

Kids observe differently. They take it much harder when the consistent “no” or the “no show” happens. They are focused on the now. They crave our attention. We are their whole world.

It may not be important to us but maybe we should reconsider what is.

Matters of Importance2022-06-14T21:14:14-04:00

If It’s Not Scheduled It Won’t Get Done

When it comes to productivity, there isn’t much better than time blocking. This technique can help keep us on track to complete the work we know we’d like to get done. 

Resistance to these types of activities can help us become distracted, or worse yet, drop the task altogether for a less meaningful but more urgent one. 

We have to be prepared that these things will happen regularly and combat them with specific documentation of when we will get our project done. If it’s not scheduled it almost certainly won’t get done on time. Whatever it might be, chances are it is important to an idea or plan we’ve developed to help us at an unforeseen time in the future. 

Help that future self out by recognizing the important work we must get done today and schedule it on the calendar in advance.  

Then, we must hold ourselves accountable. Turn off the phones, limit the noise, and get focused on the task at hand.

If we don’t, we’ll get down the road and be filled with regret for not finishing and low confidence in our ability to get things done that are important to us. 

By building a great habit of time blocking, we’ll be much more prepared for the road ahead. We’ll be grateful that we stuck through the resistance to complete the project, no matter how small, because we had the foresight that this small step was going to lead us to a grander outcome in the long run.

If It’s Not Scheduled It Won’t Get Done2022-04-11T19:17:19-04:00

Wasted Time

What can be said, but said with less? We sit in meetings, read newsletters, listen to podcasts, etc and the ones that do it best eliminate the filler. They get to the point quickly and articulate the real message that is needed to get across.

How many of us have sat through that hour long scheduled meeting when it really could’ve been completed in 12 minutes? How many times could that meeting have been an email?

We are all aware of the filler around us and complain and scoff when it is wasting our time.

Have we considered how much of that “filler time” we are imposing on ourselves throughout the day without even knowing it?

Staying organized, prioritizing, and eliminating unnecessary tasks can be extremely beneficial to helping us structure a happier and stress free life and remain productive to the things that matter to us most.

When we cut out the filler noise (and tasks) we have all of this extra time to add in so much better stuff to our lives that give us more peace, a sound mind, and a chance to focus on our purpose.

What are you going to cut out of your day today that is filling up your time?

Wasted Time2021-06-25T09:17:22-04:00

Ticking Time

We get 1440 minutes a day. Every day. It never changes. Well, until we have zero. Time is ticking.

When we feel we have so much left we often take it for granted and squander it away. We make some decisions that are questionable even if from the outside they seem so blatantly obvious.

We’ll sit in line at Chick-Fil-A but won’t find time to call a friend and catch up with them

We’ll thumb through Instagram but won’t start the book we’ve wanted to write

We’ll crank out work after hours but are too busy to read a book to our kids

We have all the time to get busy work done but there’s never enough left for the important stuff.

Making the right decisions with our time and prioritizing the critical stuff ultimately leads us in a direction of lifelong fulfillment. That is for certain.

It’s hard to recognize that we are wasting time when we are in the moment and only after we take a 30,000-foot view of the situation we can realize there are areas that can enhance our lives simply by replacing a one-time commitment with another.

Small wins, each day, lead us to the life we’ve always wanted. It’s just hard to see the trees from the forest initially.

Zoom out and the picture becomes much clearer.

Ticking Time2022-03-21T20:46:36-04:00

How Valuable Is Your Time?

priorities

One of the things I’ve pondered recently is how much my time is worth considering the many competing priorities in my life and it always seems to be a balancing act of epic proportions to get everything done I need to get done. However, there are a lot of these items that I either don’t enjoy doing or feel they are repetitive and administrative and it’d be more beneficial to get help to complete them.

As I thought more about this it reminded me of several years ago when I decided to use a lawn care service to cut my yard, trim my hedges, fertilize, etc. I enjoyed doing it every now and then as it was my time to think but as my son was growing older I wanted to spend that 1 ½ hour normally set aside for yard work and spend it with him. So, that’s what prompted me to bring on German and let him do my landscaping.

I am using a similar thought process nowadays in regards to leveraging Virtual Assistants for many of these administrative tasks. I’ve found through sites like Freeeup.com and others like it there are many people looking for work and are offering their services for a fair price. In the past, I wanted to do everything myself as I thought I was “saving” myself money by not freelancing this workout. 

But now I’ve taken a different perspective on the situation and look at the value of my time as it pertains to my work and when the delta between these numbers is in my favor I will often side with the help to get tasks completed.

Here is what I am speaking about.  Let’s use a very simple example and this may be eye-opening if you’ve never done this exercise.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you make $100,000 a year working an average of 40 hours per week. And assuming you take a couple of weeks of vacation, let’s use 2 for easy math, that means you work 50 weeks for the year.

So, 40 hrs/wk x 50 weeks = 2,000 hours of work per year and divided by $100,000 = $50 / hour

That means your time can be equated to being worth $50 an hour. 

So, as an example, you need to get email lists together for a marketing campaign you are doing.  If that would take you 2 hours to complete (or $100 of your time) then you may be better off using a Virtual Assistant at $7-$10 per hour to complete the work while you spend your time using those 2 hours wisely to potentially increase your hourly rate, attract new business, or work on other projects that are important.

Virtual Assistants have become very common nowadays but it’s still something newer I am trying and many people have never even considered it. It’s definitely different handing over control of projects to people you’ve never or barely met but if you look at it as a professional situation and treat it as such you might be surprised at how it turns out.

My advice: 

Find a small project to start with that might take an hour or two and try this out. 

Make sure you give direct and clear details to your VA and I’d put everything in email and have it agreed upon prior to beginning the project.

You might find it works out well for you and frees up all sorts of time that can be valuable both personally and professionally.

Listen To The Podcast

How Valuable Is Your Time?2021-03-19T10:41:51-04:00

When Was The Last Time You Quit?

priorities

When was the last time you quit something?

Like realized it wasn’t fitting into your life and just quit it.

We all want to do more. Workout more. Make a few more calls. Spend more time with family. If you’re not doing more its said that you are falling behind or missing out.

But at what cost?

When was the last time we prioritized our day/week and analyzed the things that are distractions versus the things that are actually helping us grow or are important to us?

I believe this is one of the most ultimate struggles we have inside ourselves. We want to do everything and be everywhere. We stretch ourselves too thin.

Whether it’s wasted activities that are “time robbers” or giving our time to others who simply don’t respect it, there are a lot of applications to this question.

Something I’ve continued to ponder when it comes to prioritizing my time and efforts because I was doing so many things at surface level and feeling like I was just treading water. It wasn’t until I realized that I needed to go deeper into only a few of them and “quit” the others that I started to gain momentum.

By the way, it wasn’t easy, nothing ever is.

So, Here is how I prioritize some things now…

  1. My son
  2. Sleep
  3. Crossfit/Fitness
  4. Nutrition
  5. Full-Time Job
  6. Podcast/Children’s Books

And the list goes on….

There are a lot of balls to juggle and only so much time available. So let’s take a step back so I can share a bit more of how I found time.

For the longest time, my Sundays were filled with NFL Football all day long. As a huge 49ers fan (still disappointed in our Super Bowl loss!) I never missed a game. And I didn’t miss others, either. I played fantasy football, used to bet on games, and wanted to “enjoy” my Sunday. And that’s fine if you choose to do this. But for me, it wasn’t cutting it.

My son was growing, and it was a priority to be there with him and for him.

I started the Just Get Started Podcast and wanted to spend time editing it for the following week.

I also had business ideas I wanted to work on and test out.

And I was getting into CrossFit and had lofty goals of strength and weight gains.

Oh, and another HUGE priority of mine is sleep. I am a firm believer in all of the sleep research out there that you need a minimum of 7 hours per night of actual sleep, not just laying in bed.

So when I started to add it all up it made sense. Remove as much of the Sports/TV that I could while still allowing myself enough to satisfy those “cravings”. And that’s what I did. I only watched my 49ers and occasionally a game or two here and there if they were on a bye or played the primetime game. I also took out almost all TV watching during the week and spend that time with my son before bed and then work on some projects after.

As I’ve built this habit, it’s been amazing how I’ve trimmed even further without even noticing. I don’t have the NFL Sunday Ticket not so I can only watch my 49ers when they are on Primetime slots. I have taken out almost all weekly TV watching as well besides catching a few shows I like to watch like Shark Tank or Westworld. Since these are streamed, I can watch whenever I want so I am in more control.

Again, you may decide to do something different but it first starts with your priority list. What is most important in your life to focus on. Do those things first and if you are running into trouble with time available then you have to look farther down the list to what you are doing that is causing the problem. Although it may be fun or cool to do, you may have to make the sacrifice because, in order to grow and evolve and be fulfilled, you have to be focusing on the things that are most important.

Figure that out and I am confident you’ll free up a lot of wasted time and be much happier each and every day.

Carpe Diem,

Brian

When Was The Last Time You Quit?2021-03-19T10:42:27-04:00
Go to Top