What is your definition of success?

April 24, 2008          Comments (3)

Does it involve making boat loads of money? Does it mean you’ll help millions of people change their life? Will you be famous? Are you considered successful once you have a helicopter and a Gulfstream Jet? Does it mean you’ll have ridiculously huge homes?

Or maybe it involves public service and giving back? Will you be very well respected in your field? Will people look up to you? Will you have a Ferrari 360 Modena and a few other gems in your garage? Maybe, just changing one life forever is good enough for you. Will your kids be proud to have you as a parent? Will you have every toy imaginable? Or does it mean you’ve truly made the world a better place?

What does success really mean to you?

My definition of success is to be truly, sincerely and deeply happy. But that means; I’m wildly successful NOW!?

So that means success has nothing to do with money and everything to do with happiness?! So wouldn’t that mean all you need to do is figure out ways to make yourself as happy as possible and to stop doing things that make you unhappy?

But what does happy and unhappy really mean? I think they are such overused terms these days.

For example, when I reflect back on my days of working in public accounting I say I was miserable. But I wasn’t really miserable. I just wasn’t excited. I also learned that how I made money was really important to me.

I want to do something meaningful and exciting.

But what’s meaningful to me, might not be fulfilling for you. If it’s meaningful to me then it’s going to automatically be exciting. Actually, changing people’s lives for the better is thrilling.

Excitement is the new happiness. And I believe that’s what we’re all really after…an exciting life.

At least, that’s what I’m after.

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GuruGilbert.com is a top 10 blog?

April 21, 2008          Comments (4)

You never know who is watching you. You never know who is paying attention to you. You never know who is thinking about becoming a client. Ever.

That’s one of the infinite reasons you should always give something your all. If you don’t want to give something 100% then don’t do it anymore. Because, clearly, you don’t love it and life is way too short to not love what you do.

Have you ever had a lot of fun doing something half ass? No.

Because you didn’t want to do it in the first place.

But I know you’ve had a blast doing something you are really proud of and believe in.

I happen to love writing. I’d write this blog if no one read it yet amazing things have happened because of this blog and I’m VERY grateful.

I got this email last night from Jess Neill; someone I have never met nor have ever spoken with:

Hi Adam,

My name is Jess Neill and I really enjoy your blog. I’m an advertising student at the University of Georgia, and I’ve gotten a lot out of your posts.

I am working with Ryan Stephens to create a web page on squidoo.com. It will feature our top 10 blogs that speak to generation y and millennial students and young professionals who are interested in marketing, and we have would like to feature you in our top ten blogs.

We hope that through this page we can connect people to new, relevant blogs and help bring more traffic to great blogs. We would love it if you would mention the lens, as this would help us to start connecting like-minded people, but please know that your position on the lens is not contingent on it. We would also love your opinions, and we are starting a discussion section to feature additional blogs that you feel should be represented on our list.

Here is the url: http://www.squidoo.com/top10genyblogs

After the site gets running, the top 10 positions will be voted on by the viewers of the website, but we think that your blog deserves to be on the inaugural list.

Thank you so much for your time. Please email me back with any questions, comments or concerns.

Thanks, Jess!

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iPods, marketing and a great reality show idea for Apple

April 17, 2008          Comments (3)

R.I.P my big old clunky iPod. I’ve had it since my sophomore year of college so I can’t complain. It got me through 2 Greek Gods, lots of workouts and lots of runs. However, I’m pretty pissed I lost all of my music.

Last May, I went to North Carolina and my computer died with all of my music. It really wasn’t a fun thing. However, while I was there, my buddy Ryan, helped me make my current website so that was a very fun thing.

All of my music for the last year, besides the few hundred I’ve downloaded since, was just on my iPod. Last night my iPod took its last breath, according to the geniuses at the Genius bar in the Apple Store.

So, I got myself a new 8GB Black Nano and I’m back in business for $199. I really can’t live without an iPod, it’s crazy.

A few morals:

The 4GB Nano was $149. If you offer a more expensive option of your product/service a lot of people will take you up on it. So offer it, or else you’re just going to leave low hanging fruit on the tree! (Actually, I think it would be appropriate to say apples, in this case.)

Don’t offer too many choices. If I want the Nano then I have two choices. The 4GB or the 8GB. That’s it. When people are faced with too many choices they don’t do anything. KISS. Keep it simple stupid.

When people can’t live without your product or service, you know you’re onto something. That’s what I’m after. I’d like to think my clients really would miss me and my company. Actually, I know they would. That’s what makes it all worth it.

A great reality show idea:

Apple fans are true customer evangelists. They are like a colt and that means there is an already built-in audience.

I’m also going to preface this with the fact that there are reality shows about gyms, airlines, and blowouts. So this would easily work.

Alright. Here it is: The Apple Store on 5th Avenue is open 24/7. So is the Genius bar where people who have any sort of Apple problem go for help.

I’d like to see the types of problems people are having in the middle of the night. I’d also like to see the types of people who are having problems in the middle of the night.

Obviously, they are important enough problems (to them) that they MUST be fixed in the middle of the night. Important means passion. And passion always makes for great reality TV.

(It also makes for a great life.)

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Beach Bum Tanning and the problem with commissioned sales people

April 15, 2008          Comments (0)

So last night I went tanning. Yes. I admit it. I go tanning once in a while. I like it. It feels good. The sun is by far my biggest weakness because when it’s nice out, I hate being inside with a passion.

Besides, I’m not going tanning just to go tanning. I’m going to Florida soon to visit my Nanny and I want to have some sort of base tan considering my color right now… Pretty, pretty, pretty pasty and let’s be honest here; I want to look sexy for all the yentas!

I went to the Beach Bum Tanning on 86th and Lexington which is open 24/7 in case your urge to go tanning is irresistible at 3 A.M. Actually, in college, during my Greek God days that would’ve been very useful and I’m sure it is for those people that work odd hours.

Anyway, every single time I go there it’s like a game. They have cute girls that work there that will try to sell you on anything and everything. I witnessed 3 guys and 2 girls get suckered into buying new packages even though they already had packages. It happens every time I’m there.

“If you renew your package today for only $3800 we’ll throw in 50 extra tans, actually, you’ll be able to tan every single day if you want until you’re 100 years old!!! But you have to do this today because no one else will give you this good of a deal!!!”

If you want to work on your negotiating skills; go there.

As I was watching these people part with their money, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. I found it hilarious what these girls were saying and that not one person challenged the bull secretion that was coming out of their mouths.

Whoop, it’s my turn. I walk up to the counter:

“Hi, what’s your last name?”

“Gilbert is the last name. Adam is the first.”

“Address please.”

I say my address. “What would you like to do today, Adam”

“I’d like to do one of the ‘Diamond’ beds from my package.”

“Umm, well, that package expired March 30th. Would you like to get a new package?”

“Umm, not really. Last time I was here, I believe, back in December, I bought a new package to actually save my sessions from my old package. And when I purchased the new package they specifically said that they’d extend it until June so it wouldn’t expire on me again. That’s the only reason why I bought it. That was the deal that we made.”

“Interesting. I’m surprised they did that for you.”

“To be honest, every time I’m here I feel like I’m playing, ‘let’s make a deal’ with you guys. Why is it always so difficult?”

“It’s our management.”

“Interesting. Listen, I respect the hustle but sometimes it’s just too much. Ya know?”

“Uch (under her breath, sort of), your bed will be ready shortly Adam.” (She knew I wasn’t budging and she was visibly frustrated)

“Thank you.”

I really do respect the hustle. But I’ve witnessed countless people in my years of faking and baking get shaken up, spending a lot more money than they wanted to and buying lotions that they most likely never used. You guys have the product. You have by far the best beds anywhere. But stop shaking people down already!

This is the problem with most commissioned sales people. Their best interest is themselves, not the customer. This is the same problem with most businesses.

They’d rather make $75 today and possibly sever a very profitable relationship than make a lot less money (or maybe no money) today and build a relationship that will reward them with thousands and thousands of dollars later on and extremely loyal customers.

Instant gratification baby. Kind of like tanning every day.

Both, not a good long term strategy!

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Why you shouldn’t hit the snooze button, according to Tiger Woods

April 11, 2008          Comments (7)

I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself. Sometimes, I wonder what the point is. Why can’t I just relax, why can’t I just be content, why do I expect so much from myself?

Tiger’s interview this last week with Scott Van Pelt for the ESPN Sports Center Sunday Conversation was freaking unbelievable! My biggest fear is not realizing my full potential. I really believe that hell would be seeing what you could have accomplished if only you believed in yourself and tried your hardest.

One sequence in particular really hit home with me:

SVP: You have 64 wins on the PGA Tour, a fortune in the bank, how do you fight the human nature that says ‘I’m going to hit the snooze button today, I’m gonna take my foot off the gas, I’m just gonna coast for a while.’ Where does the hunger inside of you come from?

Tiger: I don’t know how you can think any other way.

SVP: There’s no….what would allow you to be satisfied?

Tiger: Hmm – win more.

SVP: So the 64th is…it feels as good, as fulfilling, as the 1st, the 2nd, the 33rd?

Tiger: God yes. Oh yeah.

SVP: So there’s no point when you can sort of put the feet up on a Tuesday afternoon and say ‘Today I’m not going to the gym’.?

Tiger: No. Because the next…that’s…I look at life as: the greatest thing about tomorrow is that I will be better than I am today. And that’s the way I’ve always lived my life. So I have no understanding why people do hit the snooze button because you have a chance to become a better person, become – for me – a better athlete…all the different things you can do to become better for tomorrow. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?

In an ESPN article he had almost the same answer:

“The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today. And that’s how I look at my life. I will be better as a golfer, I will be better as a person, I will be better as a father, I will be a better husband, I will be better as a friend. That’s the beauty of tomorrow. There is no such thing as a setback. The lessons I learn today I will apply tomorrow, and I will be better.”

I believe the point of life, the reason for living, is to always improve, to always get better and ultimately to grow and evolve as a human being.

Oh man. I love this stuff. It really gets me going.

My money is on Tiger this weekend at Augusta.

Hat tip: Adam McFarland (a friend who shares the same outlook on life and is killing it with his business)

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Life is one Giant Placebo

April 9, 2008          Comments (3)

MIT researchers say people given placebos reported that the supposedly more expensive pills were also more effective.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that people given identical pills got greater pain relief from the one they were told cost $2.50 than from one supposedly costing 10 cents.

This is nothing new.

Previous studies have shown that price has a powerful impact on the psychology of consumers. Researchers at Caltech reported in January that expensive wine was experienced as being more pleasant-tasting than identical wine that supposedly cost less.

In an earlier experiment, people given inexpensive energy drinks felt more tired and worked out less than those who received identical energy drinks that cost more.

I think everything we do acts as a placebo whether there are experiments and science to back it up or not.

For example:

When I workout, I feel amazing. I’m not going to go into the scientific reasons of why exercise makes us feel so great. But I wonder. Do I feel terrific because I think I’m supposed to feel terrific?

When I eat crappy food, I usually feel sluggish. I know crappy food is considered crappy food for a reason. But I wonder. Do I feel sluggish because I think I’m supposed to feel crappy?

When I sleep 4 hours and I wake up with a headache is that because I know I’m supposed to get 7-8 hours? I always wanted to test this out because I believe this to be true. If I went to sleep at 4AM and woke up at 8AM (but my clock said noon) I bet I’d feel fine.

When I go to a deli and the guy is wearing gloves, I automatically feel better even though I have no idea what he was doing prior to me being there (like taking money).

When I show up to meeting and the person I’m meeting is wearing a suit, I automatically think they are legit.

When, I buy clothes, or sneakers, or food, or anything for that matter, I convince myself of things. I tell myself a story. And that’s what this is all about.

I drank an energy drink before a workout once, and lifted more weight than I have ever lifted. I never drank an energy drink before a workout again because I don’t like to be addicted to things. I just knew I was able to lift that amount of weight and continued to do so from there on out sans anything, like I usually do.

I think it comes down to mind over matter and the stories we tell ourselves. We’re always going to sell ourselves on people, places and things. It’s how we make sense of the world.

People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.

Even if the products are IDENTICAL!

Here’s the challenge: How can you make it easier for people to sell themselves on your product?

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We’re all in show business…and here’s why!

April 3, 2008          Comments (5)

Some people are in show business more so than others but we’re all in the biz.

For example:

A waiter is in show business. Most people don’t give a crap if your DVR is not working and you’re all pissed off because you can’t record The Real Housewives of New York City. I want my food now and I want it with a smile! (I know – I used to be a waiter!)

A golf caddy is in show business. I can blog all day about my stories but the snotty members didn’t care how late I was up the night before. Service with a smile baby. Oh and I’ll take my 4 iron NOW!

A taxi driver is in show business. He usually has 10 – 25 minutes to earn the highest tip possible. I enjoy talking to taxi drivers because they have great stories. The friendlier he is – the higher his tip is going to be. Most of the time, they are foolishly chatting it up with God knows who. An extra $3 – $5 per trip adds up though no? Now make this light!

A receptionist is in show business. When I go to the doctor’s office and the receptionist treats me like a patient that is suing that’s going to ruin my experience. The doctor can be world renowned but she can single handedly ruin it for the doctor (and me!).

No matter what career, job, or business you’re in, it is always show time. However trivial or boring a transaction might be, you are still making an impression.

My mom, a former English teacher, used to come home absolutely exhausted and I always wondered why. I realized that she was always putting on a show. Every minute of every class she was the star of her own show.

She could either put on a brilliant performance and make the students interested or she could put on a not so brilliant performance and bore the kids to death.

Being the workaholic that she is, she always chose the former. She felt she had a real responsibility to the kids. But it took its toll. She was always exhausted by the end of the day. But the kids loved her and they looked forward to her ‘show’ every day.

No one said show business was easy but as we all know…

There is no business like show business!

[Update: Great conversation over at BrazenCareerist.com!]

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Ask Adam: Nothing seems to make me look “thicker” is there something I am missing?

April 1, 2008          Comments (1)

Dear Adam,

I’ve been subscribed to your mailing list for a while now and have noticed my body is being shaped very nicely, and I appreciate all your tips. I just had one question, which may not have a simple answer. My problem is that I am 6’0 and I have a relatively small frame. My arms are a good size, my chest is a good size, my back is rather a decent size (for my frame) but I still look sort of skinny.

Is there an exercise that I can do that would make me look thicker around the rib area? I’ve tried increasing the size of my chest, my lats and my obliques (somewhat), and nothing seems to make me look “thicker.” Let me know if there is something I could have missed. Thanks a bunch.


Alex, thanks so much for your question and I’m glad you’re enjoying the newsletter and tips.

I always tell my clients it’s all about realizing your body’s full potential. Most girls I know want to have Gisele Bündchen’s body.

Sorry but unless you’re 5’11” there is zero chance your body can look like hers. Besides, it’s all about your confidence. The fact that you take care of yourself and treat your body with the respect it deserves should make you feel like a billion bucks.

Saying you “look sort of skinny” can only be fixed one way. And that’s by gaining weight. To gain weight on your frame you’re going to have to make a big commitment to eating frequently. You want to be eating at least 30 grams of protein per meal and you also want to be eating good complex carbs with each meal 5-6 times per day.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reducing or spot ‘adding’. For example, a lot of clients tell me they want to lose fat in their stomachs. Although crunches are great they are not going to help you to reduce fat in your stomach. The only way to truly lose fat is by burning more calories than you consume.

To lose a pound of weight, you have to shave 500 calories a day from your diet. To gain weight, you have to eat at LEAST 500 calories more than what you normally eat. This is actually the fun part. But remember, you want to be eating quality foods, not crap.

In terms of exercise, I’d focus more on your back and specifically your lats. Developing your lats will give you that great V-taper look where your back appears wide at the top and narrow by the waist.

Also, I’m not sure how many reps you’re doing but you don’t want to be doing more than 12 reps per set. You want to stick to the 8-12 rep range as you’re really trying to add size. And if you can do 12 reps fairly easy, you’re not doing enough weight.

I really believe if you focus on eating a lot of quality foods frequently (every 3-4 hours), developing your lats and really making sure you’re pushing yourself in the weight room you’ll be well on your way to looking thicker!

As always, go hard or go home. If you’re going to spend time in the gym, you might as well kick your own ass or don’t bother going.

Oh and just for the record, I’m not a doctor, but I’m known to work miracles.

If you have a question for me, I’d love to answer it.

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