How to feel like a rock star!

September 26, 2008          Comments (3)

Below is my Daily Inspiration that I wrote for my clients yesterday morning. I write a Daily Inspiration every single morning for my clients. This just happens to be one of them…

One of my idols growing up was Michael Jordan. He says, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

Indeed.

If you don’t expect yourself to stay consistent with your diet and exercise then you won’t. If you don’t expect yourself to get that promotion or to land that new client then you won’t.

If you don’t expect things of yourself before you can do them, then you will never, ever, do them.

In my opinion, expecting things of yourself comes from self confidence. And I believe the best way to gain self confidence is to actually do the things you really want to do.

All of those little promises that you make to yourself (and me). When you really make good on your own word, it feels incredible. And you start to really believe in yourself. You start to really trust yourself.

The feeling of having been lied to by yourself (which we all do) is not a good one. You start thinking you’re a fraud. And that your own word means nothing.

You don’t believe yourself anymore. You don’t trust yourself anymore and you don’t take yourself seriously anymore.

Some people will promise anything to other people and never break their word because they want other people to think they are full of integrity.

Some of those people will never keep their own promises though. How about some personal integrity folks?

Here’s a thought:

Imagine if you kept every promise you made to yourself. Imagine how you’d feel and look.

Imagine where’d you’d be.

So that means…

Really working your butt off at the gym. Not just going through the motions. (If you’re going to spend your precious time there then you might as well get the most out of it!)

Stop snacking on those treats (we both know they aren’t good for you) and you’re only fooling yourself.

Waking up a little earlier.

Eating a little healthier.

And countless other promises we all make to ourselves.

Imagine. Do.

Repeat.

You = feeling like a rockstar.

-A

I’ve been writing a Daily Inspiration every morning for my clients since March of 2007. I wake up and whatever comes to mind I write it. My clients love it. Thankfully!

My program is based on 4 key quotes. I’m a big fan of quotes if you haven’t realized. The idea of having a Daily Inspiration was inspired by this quote. (Actually to be honest, I found this quote way after I started writing the Daily Inspirations but it’s precisely the reason why I write a Daily Inspiration!)

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

The other 3 quotes that my program is based on or I should say that go hand in hand with my program follow:

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard P. Feynman, Nobel Prize – winning physicist

“In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.” – Tom Seaver

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

[Some really nice comments over at BrazenCareerist.com!]



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Would you die for it?

September 22, 2008          Comments (1)

As you know, I was away for the last week. For part of my trip I was in Reno, Nevada at the National Championship Air Races. (Picture Nascar in the sky. Truly unreal.)

Before I arrived there were 3 fatal accidents.

These people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing their airplanes to make them racing machines. And then risk their life actually racing them.

Clearly, when a car has problems it can stop driving. When a plane has a problem it’s a much bigger deal.

I heard at least 5 ‘Mayday’ calls while watching the races.

I wrote an email to my clients as part of my Daily Inspirations to them saying how amazing it was how passionate these people are to obviously risk their life (and give up their life) for something they love and live for.

One of my clients hilariously writes me back, “They are morons!”

Agreed. Albeit passionate morons.

I’m not saying you should die for something. But I do believe living for something is so important.

Whether it’s a charity, a business, a cause, a passion, a movement, a job; something.

I find I am the happiest when I have a mission. Growing up my mission was to excel in school and to make the NBA.

In fact, one of the reasons why I started working out in 5th grade was because I wanted to look more intimidating on the basketball court. Clearly, at 5’ 8” I needed every edge I could get.

(Coincidentally, I also fell in love with working out and being as healthy and fit as I could be. This became one of my missions in life.)

I’ve had many missions. And so have you. Looking back, my most happy and engaging times were when I was pursuing something.

When I was at Ernst & Young, I just felt like I was letting time pass by. I had nothing to struggle for. I had no business at the time. Nada. I was existing as opposed to living.

My mission now (to create the World’s #1 company for helping people stay consistent with their health and fitness goals) is worthwhile in my opinion.

I believe (and know) that when you eat right and exercise consistently you’ll feel incredible. I also believe life is too short to not feel incredible as often as possible.

But as long as it’s worthwhile in my eyes is all that counts. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning.

“What a man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal.” – Victor E. Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning.

[Some nice comments over at Brazen Careerist.com!]



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The 3 things you know (Plus I’ll be away for the next week)

September 9, 2008          Comments (0)

There are 3 things you know:

The things you know. The things you know you don’t know. And the things you don’t know, you don’t know.

I love learning about things I don’t know, I don’t know.

Being exposed to something that is totally foreign to me is awesome. It gets me thinking in totally different ways about things I never thought about and I love that.

I find that when I learn about things I don’t know, I don’t know; I look at the things I do know, with a fresh set of eyes and it’s very refreshing.

One of the things I didn’t know, I didn’t know was about airplane racing. I also didn’t know how big of a deal it is for so many people. Millions and millions of dollars are poured into these hobbies (or really I should say obsessions) by extremely wealthy aviation enthusiasts who love flying and love speed.

My mom (a retired high school English teacher) has an aviation apparel company with my step-father, and part of what they do is travel around the country to different Air-shows selling aviation apparel to these die hard aviation enthusiasts. You probably don’t know what an Air-show is.

That’s okay. I didn’t either.

An Air-show is, well, a show where Aviation enthusiasts go and they watch their favorite planes or helicopters do demonstrations. So like the F-14 Tomcat (made famous in Top Gun) or the F-117 Nighthawk (easily one of the coolest planes on this Earth), or the B -2 Spirit (by far my favorite aircraft) or the CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter and on and on.

It’s fascinating to watch these planes in action and it’s even more remarkable to find out the price tag for some of these planes.

Did you know that the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber plane reportedly costs $2.1 billion as of 1997?!?!? $2.1 billion dollars per plane.

Did you know that an estimated $23 billion was secretly spent for research and development on the B-2 in the 1980’s? That’s our tax dollars at work. But hey – if it keeps our country safe I am all for it!

So tomorrow morning, I’m flying out with my mom and meeting my step-dad in Reno, Nevada for the 45th Reno Air Races and Air Show where they will be a vendor.

Supposedly John Travolta flies in every year on his own Boeing 707 who is obviously a die hard aviation enthusiast.

The show ends on Sunday and then we’re headed to Yosemite National Park which I’m really excited about. I fell in love with the outdoors when I went to Lake Tahoe a few years back. The hiking there is insanely gorgeous and you don’t believe the scenery is real. Words or pictures don’t describe it, at all.

I loved the thoughts I was thinking while there a few years back. And my mom tells me Tahoe is nothing like Yosemite so I’m really pumped.

I always come back from vacations (although this is going to be 80% work) even more fired up and I expect with the scenery I’ll be seeing in Yosemite this time definitely won’t be any different.

The deal with my mom is a free vacation for free work. Done deal.

And as they say in Reno, “Fly Low – Go Fast – Turn Left!”



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Update on MyBodyTutor and some lessons in business for ya

September 5, 2008          Comments (2)

MyBodyTutor, my company that I designed to help people stop making excuses will be re-launching in the next month or so.

For the last 6 months, after some minor bumps in the road, my team of developers and designers has been working really hard on making MBT something really special and we’re almost ready!

See, I’m sort of a hypocrite.

On one hand, I’m a very strong advocate of design and beauty and elegance. Perception is reality. Right now, my website looks like an amateur made it. Because I made it. I’m certainly not a professional when it comes to web design.

I know exactly what I like and exactly what I want and am extremely particular (you can ask Adam and Mike over at PureAdapt who helped design this blog). As someone who used to run a small web development business – dealing with people who know what they want is a gift compared to people who have no idea.

On the other hand, I am very much an advocate of starting small. Very small. (Note – this concept later turned into a magazine column which you can read here.) I don’t like to invest a lot of money upfront without a proven concept. If you can make your business work when your website is a piece of crap like this and people are willing to pay you, then and only then, do you have something you should invest in.

How heavily you invest in your business is only a matter of belief. How much do you believe in what you offer? Money talks.

Like I did here and am doing for MBT. (Although, I didn’t spend nearly as much money on the Ultimate Discount Card website as I am on MyBodyTutor.)

And that’s what I’m doing. I’m spending a fortune on my new website. And I don’t say that word [fortune] lightly. I say it because I believe in what I’m doing 1000%. There is not a doubt in my mind that I can help people reach their health and fitness goals.

So what the hell are we doing?

Well, as Warren Buffet says, we’re building a ‘moat’ around our business and creating a ‘durable competitive advantage’ so when I go up, inevitably, which won’t be for years, against the big guys, I’ll be able to do so.

This custom application that we’re building from the ground up, is going to allow me to scale this business. Meaning it will allow me to take my single health food store and replicate it over and over if you will so we can help more people.

But the key is to not lose what has made MBT so successful. And that’s what we’re working really hard to ensure. That is mission critical.

Don’t get me wrong, MBT is still a tiny, tiny company. But we’re getting there. Slowly but surely. Day in and day out. But consistently. Even if we just accomplish one small thing every day – we’re headed in the right direction and that’s all that counts. (Kind of like my philosophy with MBT!)

And as little patience as I have – I have a lot of patience when it comes to this. MBT is my baby.

To say I’m extremely excited is an extreme understatement.

Stay tuned.



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Are people born with ambition?

September 3, 2008          Comments (6)

I find the topic of ambition really interesting. Whenever I meet other entrepreneurs, I always try to get their take.

Is ambition something you are born with? Or it something you develop over time?

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert had a great blog post about ambition the other day. He calls it the ‘Ambition Defect’ and I can relate to it a lot.

He writes:

“I once worked with a guy who referred to his older brother as the “white sheep of the family.” The older brother was a CEO of a Fortune 500 company while his siblings had no ambitions that extended beyond lunch. That sort of thing makes me wonder about the whole nature versus nurture question. I assume all the kids in this fellow’s family had a similar upbringing, but only one had ambition.

I think ambition is a genetic defect. You can’t have ambition unless you think there is something wrong with the way you are. Ambition is a state of feeling perpetually flawed.

By most objective standards, my career has gone well. By my internal standards, I am in a continuous state of not doing enough.”

For me, it’s about being the best that I can be. It’s about being better today than I was yesterday.

It’s almost as if there is an internal drum beating inside me that keeps me going.

I don’t feel flawed though. However, I do always feel like I’m not doing enough and there are plenty of times where I’ve even wished that the drum would stop because it causes me to put an enormous amount of pressure on myself.

It won’t.

Sometimes that drum gets muted out by external factors. But at the end of the day, that drum is still beating very loud and I just don’t feel right unless I’m moving forward. (Or at least what I think is moving forward.)

I believe people are born with ambition. Either you have it or you don’t. It’s just the way you are wired as a human being.

I also think being ambitious is very different from being motivated.

Do you think people are born with ambition?

Or do you think it’s something that can be nurtured?



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