Episode 118- Pressure And Time

Do you have a movie that no matter how many times it’s on, you have to watch it? Now I can’t say I do this anymore, but there was a time that I watched a lot of television and we watched a ton of movies and we had a different movie channels and the different USA’s and TNT’s and shows and all the ones that were on all the time. And I would spend afternoons and evenings just mindlessly scrolling up and down, just waiting for something to distract me from what I needed to really do. And then it would happen. I’d get to some channel and there would be The Shawshank Redemption and every single time it was like game over. I am not doing anything else for at least the next hour or two hours depending on where in the movie it was. And I would feel guilty and giddy at the same time because I knew I was wasting my time.

But I also knew I was going to enjoy so much watching this movie yet another time. And the amount of time that I’ve quoted that movie or talked about or discussed the scene, I can’t even imagine or count how many times that was. I had to have seen The Shawshank Redemption more than any other movie in my life. So why do I bring this up today? I bring it up because it’s Halloween. Now that’s confusing because The Shawshank Redemption has nothing to do with Halloween. But the reason why I’m bringing it up and associating Halloween with it is because I used it recently to teach our son Nolan a good lesson. And Nolan is twelve and he’s very creative. He loves building stuff. He’s constantly got the glue gun or the heat gun or a blade, there cutting stuff and he’s building little projects and he’s so into it and it’s just amazing to watch.

And he’s always had this creativeness in them. I remember talking about this when he was five and six years old, having had the ability to figure things out because he’s always trying to tweak and build something. Now I’ll go into it in a future episode, but we are on pretty much a full digital detox. So really for the last two months, the kids have had very little screen time, if at all. And I’m not going to go any deeper into that. There’s a whole nother episode or two to come from that. But what’s happened with the digital detox, it’s, it’s forced the kids to be more creative and to be more engaged with their mind. So Nolan loves creating. And last year he created his own Halloween costume. It was a halo guy where he built the helmet himself. He built it where he had lights attached that he could turn on at nighttime.

It was really intense and very imaginative and extremely impressive. And I felt so bad for him because on Halloween night it rained and it was made out of cardboard, but we went out that night  and it got wet. But it was just cool to see him build his own Halloween costume to go through all the struggles instead of just buying something. So this year he upped the game. Now again, he’s doing a halo costume, but this time the stakes are higher. This costume is entirely made out of foam. That needs to be meticulously cut, needs to be customized, it needs to be glued together. There are literally 10 different parts, 10 different steps to this. The helmet he and Elizabeth had been doing for the past month and they’d been following this guy on YouTube, Andrew DFT, and he builds these amazing things out of foam. So obviously that is cut into the digital detox bit, but this process has been about a month.

They’ve been going after this and this has literally been school certain days, full days of building this costume. It’s pretty cool watch because he gets up and he’s like, I’ve got to get lessons three and four done today. And he’s self-driven with it and he’s problem solving. And it’s so frustrating at times because you see him working. It’s quite literally destroying the table with the glue and the heat gun and everything going into it. But it’s so worth it. But there are some really frustrating time that he’s dealing with. I mean there’s times he’s feeling like he’s not going to hit the deadline. There’s times when you hear from the other room just a scream or a squeal when he burns himself with the hot glue gun or when something goes wrong that he wasn’t expecting. And I kind of have to chuckle a little bit, I want to say it, but I’m like, this is awesome.

Like this is life. This is what you’re going to have to deal with and you’re going to have to figure stuff out. And it’s not always going to be easy and it’s going to be challenging and anything worth it is going to be difficult. So I internally love the struggle that he’s going through because it forces him to figure this stuff out and we’re not telling him what to do. He’s not being led, he’s leading. So I can tell you when I come down in the morning, sometimes he’s already working on the costume and there are nights that were like, put it down. We’ve got to get ready for bed. So with the challenge, but it’s amazing to see the focus and how much better he’s getting. And the confidence that comes with accomplishing it and seeing it actually coming together, trying on the helmet and seeing it fits and then adjusting it and then the shoulder pads and the things for the arm and the things around the chest.

And the thing is it looks amazing, but about a week ago he had that moment he had that day that he wanted to quit. He was so frustrated he didn’t think it was going to get done in time. And I wouldn’t say he was about to give up, but I think he really was questioning everything that was going into it and if it would even be able to get it done in time for Halloween. So this is where Shawshank comes in because earlier that day I was messing around on YouTube and I don’t do it very often, but I had recorded some content and then I got stuck in a little bit of a rut, a little bit of inside info when I’m like that I’ll go to YouTube and I’ll look up some clips from some old movies that I either liked or I was inspired by. And I’ll just watch a couple of clips and I can’t tell you how many ideas or content come from doing that.

So I went to YouTube and I typed in Shawshank, because it’s one thing to watch a clip or two to kind of get me out of my mental rut. And if you know the movie Andy who was played by Tim Robbins was wrongly accused of murder, was in jail for over 20 years and then finds a way to escape. So I was watching the clip about when he escaped and what it took an early on in the prison sentence. He was chipping away at the wall because I believe he was carving his initials into the wall and cell and a chunk of the wall fell out. Now you could see the curiosity into frame’s face and Morgan Freeman was his friend Red and he was narrating the movie and he explained how the frame was so into geology and how interesting that was to him. And that hit me because our kids are very into geology and they study rocks when we travel.

They love to pick up the different rocks and to look at them and figure out where they come from and how it happened, how they were formed, all of that. So caught my attention as I was watching the clip and then he said something that got my attention even more. And I thought about Nolan cause I knew how frustrated Nolan was with building this costume. And he goes on to say that geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes. Really. It’s pressure and time. And I immediately thought about Nolan, I immediately thought about his struggles and I wanted to bring this to him because if he could understand this lesson, if we could all understand this lesson, it not only will lead to so much success in the future, but it allows us to fight through the hard stuff that we’re going through in the present.

He needed to go through the pressure and the time to make this happen. And the time was obvious. This is not the type of costume that you can create in an afternoon and to make them understand you’re not just going somewhere and spending $40 and buying a costume that somebody else created that anybody else can have. You are personally creating and building your own costume that you can be proud of because of the effort and the imagination that you put into it. And that’s the time part. But the pressure is twofold. The pressure, first off is the deadline. You can’t procrastinate in a Halloween costume because it needs to be done by Halloween. It’s going to have very little effect if you get this done on November 3rd so that’s the pressure. But at the same time the pressure is doing the work, the quality of the work.

You have a standard that you want to uphold and that’s what stressed him out because at times he felt like it wasn’t good enough. But the point with pressure and time is to embrace it because that’s all it takes to get the job done. And of course after I showed him the clip, it was him and Dylan, their questions weren’t at all about the costume. It was how did he dig that giant hole in the wall? Did he do it at nighttime? Did anybody know he was doing it? And I was like, okay, well watch this movie at some point cause they seen them thrawled by it. And maybe it’s the digital detox that anything that was on the screen would be so enthralling to them. But I think, I hope that the lesson got through and it’s a lesson that I have to hear for myself sometimes too, when I become impatient. And that is if you put in the time and you give it enough pressure, you can get anything done. So we are off to go trick or treating, and if you’re looking for us, no one’s the one with the awesome handmade halo costume. Dylan is an adorable little Spiderman, and Andrew is a teenager, so we’ll figure it out right before we go. I imagine, and I’ll talk to you in November.

Episode 117- The Joy Of A Messy House

The Joy Of A Messy House

Let me tell you a little bit about our house. Our house quite often is a disaster. I work from home, we have three boys, they’re 14, 12 and 8, we homeschool and did I mention that they’re boys? Not only that they’re boys, they’re boys that love to make projects out of cardboard, glue, glue guns, little motors, engines. As we speak, Nolan is making his own Halloween costume which is going to be epic and it’s amazing and it is absolutely a giant mess. 

That being said, it’s an absolute blast to watch them be this creative, really engaged in challenging themselves to do things with a note that it is a great possibility that they are going to fail with the initially what they really wanted. And there’s no doubt that there’s tons of frustration. I’ll be up here my office and I’ll hear a grunt or groan or slam or something because they are so deeply involved in building these things that when it doesn’t work out, the frustration is great. I just love that early on they’re like learning that they’ve got to fail a bunch of times to be able to get it right. 

So why am I doing this topic for podcast today? It comes down to advice that we got from our realtor among all people years ago. Her name is Sherry Tom and she’s here in South Hills of Pittsburgh and her kids are older than our kids, so I am a consummate student when it comes to parents that have kids older than ours that we can learn from. A few years ago, she came by the house because we were thinking about selling and we want her to take a look through and see what she thought just as what needed to get done. We went up never selling the house but we did get some fantastic advice. 

Elizabeth is apologizing to her because the house is a mess right now, the kids have been doing this project over here and she just laugh and start talking about her kids and I believe her oldest just started high school or maybe her second oldest just started high school. She got really emotional and she said her house a little bit to clean right now. We said “what do you mean?” And she said I spent so much time when they were little, making sure the house was clean, making sure everyone was put together and picked up and I looked back and all that and I wish I didn’t do that. I never enjoyed it as much as I should have because I’m telling you, she got a little choked up and she said “I spent way too much time worrying about the house being clean when they were little. I spent way too much time organizing and making sure everything was neat because their kids and kids need to explore, they need to play, they need to create the challenge themselves and I was so focused on everything being so neat that we should have done that so much better.” And she said “now they’re bigger and they’re out of the house and everything’s neat and I really wish it wasn’t because that was so much fun and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have. And if I had to do over again I would not worry so much about the house being clean and neat all the time.”

When she said that I think she was saying it a bit for herself as well. It’s almost like therapy to come and get that out because I don’t think that she had thought about it until we started talking about it. But I’m tell you that it had a great effect on us. Elizabeth and I, as we decided to do this. Because yeah there is cardboard and there’s glue guns and sticks to the table sometimes when they’re doing their crafts. There’s cardboard shards and paperclips, scissors everywhere but one day that’s gonna be gone. One day, it’s all going to be clean and once it’s clean, it means those times are over. Sherry gave us a huge gift by giving us a glimpse into the future if we decide to be the type of parent that chase them around the Windex and harping on them to make sure their room is neat all the time, making sure the papers and pencils are in order. It’s funny because as much as I argues with my dad growing up and as much as he was right about some of the things that I done wrong, he did admit to me that he would do things differently if they were done over again. He said to me “I can remember how many arguments we have, how many nights we argue about me cleaning my room and the ultimatums and the fights and the disagreements.” And he said to me “I wish I would have just closed your door. I really believe our relationship would be so much better if I just let that go and let you be in your own room and you truly do have to pick your battles that the battle that I shouldn’t have picked.” 

I think he is absolutely right because I felt a lack of freedom having somebody on my shoulders every moment to do something like that. He was probably right that it’s his house and it should’ve been clean but as parents, we’re dealing with teenagers and we know teenagers are not fully developed to understand all the stuff that we understand. And to give them the ability to be creative in their own house, a place where they feel safe, a place where they can grow and learn, that’s what we should be doing for our kids. And as we speak right now, they are working on the same projects and I know that area the houses going to be a mess but we’ve learned to see it as a blessing, a blessing that we get to do this together. They get to develop the ability to be creative, not somebody judging them and telling them that they’re not able to do it or that they are not good enough to do it. I can tell you having that freedom and that acceptance that they are creative and they should be doing this is gonna be way more valuable to them in the future than the ability to just follow orders and make sure that everything is clean all the time.

So I want to thank Sherry Tom and I want to thank my dad, even after the fact, for telling me those lessons that they’ve learned and I thought about because what I truly think because of their advice and the advice of others we’re better parents because of it and our kids are more creative as well. Remember you have more than enough time to keep the house neat after they move out. But enjoy this now because it really is special and we’ve got to appreciate it while we got it. 

I look forward to talking to you again tomorrow.

Episode 116- Pretend Like It’s Going To Go Away

I will share with your strategy today that we have used to build our business, to add new opportunities for us and to get rid of complacency, but what’s different about this is it is not a feel-good positive mindset, everything’s going to be great type strategy. Here is what I do mentally to get myself to stay focused and to stay driven and to do my best to not take all this for granted and here it is. Pretend like it’s all going to go away. That’s it. I’m serious, pretend like it’s all going to go away. This is what we did years ago when our photography business kept growing. We have a lot of people singing our praises, a lot of people telling us how great what we’re doing and projecting to the future both possible and I love that. But I also saw a lot more people that were doing more dreaming than they were working. And a lot of people that would give me the advice for the same type of people. It was a lot of talk but very little action and very little success. but they had the dreams where everything was going to be. 

So I found myself getting complacent because everything was going so well. The money was coming in, the jobs were going well, the business was growing, we’re making more money, we’re spending less time, we had to put less effort into it but it was still getting better. There are a lot of people that are struggling right now and they’re doing everything they can to get their business off the ground or to become financially viable. And to hear something like that, they would trade places with it in a heartbeat. I know because I’ve been in all those spots but I’m telling you it’s not a place you want to strive for even if you’re struggling right now. Because until you get your mind right on this, when you’re struggling with money and your business, there’s always someplace to strive to that you can get to. And to me no matter how bad what we were doing, I always loved knowing we can get better at this. 

The problem with doing well is you start to believe it. You start to think you’re better than you actually are and you forget that it is the hard work that actually created the success. And that’s the point that you see people getting complacent and then they lose it. Once they lose it, they try so hard to get all back but they forgot about the work ethic that got them there and they don’t know how to do it again and quite often you see them fail. And I’ve seen this enough to know that we need to protect ourselves from something like this from happening to us. And the beautiful thing about the struggle, the beautiful thing about struggling is that you need checkpoints to get to so you can get to the next level. They’re not false, they’re real checkpoint that you need to get to, to pay the bills, have a certain amount of money in the bank, whatever it would be. The problem with success is, especially when you haven’t had it in the past, you don’t have those checkpoints anymore. When you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before, maybe in a long while, it’s very easy to rest on that. And when you have a business that grows and it gets better and it doesn’t require much more effort, you can be lulled into thinking that it’s never going to change and its only going to get better from here. You see people increase their spending, they increase their lifestyle, they buy the nicer, bigger house because they know the monies coming in now but they stopped to do what got them there. And when it goes away, it’s actually a bigger fall because now there’s so much more to lose. 

So that is why I came up with the strategy, this mental strategy to put on us to make sure that we’re always growing, we’re always innovating and we arere doing our best not to take any this for granted. And the thing we said was pretend like this is all going to go away. Pretend like this is the last year that this business is going to be this successful. When you do that, the change in how you view your business can happen instantaneously. Because if you knew right now that your job or your business or your businesses were going to be gone next year, I can pretty much guarantee that the approach you’re taking right now will be different than if you knew it was going away. We forced ourselves to act that the money wasn’t going to come in so that we can get our money straight now. 

Now deep down I knew it wasn’t going away, we already started to book clients for the upcoming year but we mentally and financially prepared like it wasn’t to be good anymore. Now I know this sounds like a negative mindset possibly to go through to figure this out but it was incredibly valuable because it forced us to get our crap together. It forced us to figure out where our money was going, where we’re putting it, how we’re investing, how we were getting rid of debt. It forced us to say this might be the last great year we have in a while so let’s get our stuff together just in case it all goes away and has to be tighter. Now I can imagine you can see the two benefits that come from this which the first was it made us work harder. It makes us more smarter,  makes us realize we need to keep putting the effort into his business even when it’s going well because it’s going to go away. 

So even though we were successful, we got to act like we were beginners. And the reason why beginners get so much success often is because they try so much harder than the veterans. The beginners aren’t trying to hold on to anything they try to grow. Often, the veterans are just trying to hold on to what they got. So the work part was great but also the money part was great to because there’s no way I’m going out to buy a brand-new car with the money we do have if I think the monies going away next year. So depending on where we were in life either went towards paying off debt, it went towards investing ourselves, all the things to make next year better with the things we did. 

And guess what happens when you do those things and you think that way. It doesn’t go away the next year because you prepared for success for the following year. So just imagine doing this 1, 2, 3 years in a row. Instead of buying crap you don’t need or not working as hard because you’re taking the business for granted, you take the money, make your financial life stronger and you work really hard to make your business better. Now you got more money in the bank. You got more money invested, and invariably, your business is good to be stronger. 

So when you get the next level the next year and the business is now bringing in more money and you got more leeway with your money and you still pretend like it’s going away, I hope you could see how quickly you can elevate your life and your business. But most people spend their money and their time like it’s not going to go away and hint hint, this isn’t just a business tip, it’s a marriage tip as well. How differently would you treat your spouse or significant other if you knew that if you didn’t do better, there going to be gone next year? And so often taking for granted is our downfall and unfortunately, we don’t even see it until it’s too late. So, as we approach the new year, a new decade, how can you use this to your advantage now to prepare for what’s coming up in the future? The question is what are you going to do differently if you knew everything was going away next year? Would you treat your customers differently? Would you make better use of your money and your time? Would you spend less time watching sports and Netflix and more time making sure that it didn’t go away?

I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 115- The Compound Effect Of Generosity

The Compound Effect Of Generosity

So we had an interesting experience at the drive thru of our coffee shop couple weeks ago. I cannot remember where were going, the five of us were on a mini road trip, it was a daytrip that we’re going somewhere, maybe an hour away. We pulled into local drive-thru of the coffee shop because we are lazy like that and we didn’t want to go out of the car. I was driving and Andrew was in the passenger seat next to me and Elizabeth, Nolan and Bill were in the back. The drive thru had a little tip jar and it was a windy day, the wind was blowing all around and the tip jar was open on top. The car in front of us, the driver took a dollar out and put it into the tip jar and we saw it swirling around and the dollar flew out of the tip jar and on to the ground below. We all saw it and I think it was clear that the driver in front of us did not see it as they are reaching in to grab their coffee.

We noticed the dollar sitting on the ground and Andrew got out of the car, open up the passenger side door and he moved around and squeezed between our car and there’s. He squeezed to the side of the building between the car and grab the dollar bill and he put it back into the tip jar. But the thing is, he didn’t tell us why he was getting out of the car. He just got out of the car really quickly. As he is moving over there, I’m thinking “oh my goodness! he can’t take that dollar.” If he takes the dollar, we have to tell him to put that dollar back because it is not yours. 

So, I was very relieved and proud as a parent to see him take the dollar and put it back into the tip jar. He came back in and we made sure we praise them. I love what he did and it was really great to do that in front of his brothers, to be an example like that, an example of honesty because I know when I was a kid if I would see a money fall to the floor, I immediately would have thought that I can grab that money. I don’t know if I would’ve thought to put that back into the tip jar. If you’ve heard some stories from my past and judging by that, you could probably not be too surprised that would’ve done that. So, Elizabeth and I were very proud when he did that. 

But what really interesting was that car pulled ahead and we pulled up to get our coffee and I think it was going to be about $8, maybe a little bit more for the coffees that we ordered. So we pulled up and I went to pay and the woman gave me the coffees and I went to pay her and she said to me “no, that was already covered by the people in front of you.” And were like “Really?” and I was thinking maybe this was like the pay it forward type of things which would be really generous of them. And she said “No. The people saw him pick up the dollar and put it back into the tip jar and they want to reward him for it.” So as a token, they wanted to pay for our order and I got to tell you as parents, we’re always trying to teach our kids lessons. You know we want school to teach them. We want adults to teach them. We wanted to learn right from wrong so he can go on and become great adults. I don’t think lecturing often does a great job of explaining to kids how they should do things. I know I never responded well when I was lectured to, when I was taught at and I was told to be this or told to be a certain way. But I can tell you that our kids learned a big lesson that morning in the drive thru of that coffee shop. Because we didn’t have to say a whole lot. Basically, the world just taught them through actions that generosity and thoughtfulness will get you way more than greed and selfishness. Because Andrew and Nolan and Dylan, all that day, us included saw that it would been very easy to go in there and take the one dollar and nobody else would’ve seen it. It was free money, it was easy money and we could justify that the wind was gonna blow it away anyway, it was going to get lost so might as well grab it and it was no lost to anybody because nobody even knew what they were going to miss out on. I trust that I had a fair share of this situation where I know you can get away with it. And I’ve got away in my life with way more things than I should have. most especially in my youth. But for our kids to see that if you take that dollar, if you go out of your way to go pick that dollar up and go put it back where it is supposed to be, people are watching and people notice but we don’t always know when people are watching. And Andrew had no idea that anybody was watching him when he did that. And not a whole lot of words have to be spoken because if you really think about it, if they noticed you doing something good, people can also notice you doing something bad. When you do bad things, you don’t always get caught, but many times you get seen. So you think you got away with it because you weren’t caught but being seen and not caught can be way worse because that’s how you start to destroy a reputation. And our reputations and our mistakes are really all that we have and when you destroy it, it takes a really long time to get back, if ever.

So, the point for Andrew, I hope that he learns and I hope eventually it really sinks into him, is to protect your reputation by doing the things you should be doing even when you think nobody is looking. Because even though you think somebody might not be looking, there might be somebody that will see what you’re doing. But what was really fun was to see him get rewarded for doing that and how even financially he prospers. Actually, he didn’t prosper, we prosper because we got free coffees. He really didn’t get anything so sorry Andrew. But for our family, he took a dollar that wasn’t his and gave it back and we wound up getting $8 in return. And that truly is a compound effect of generosity and if that lesson was learned in one or all of our kids, that fun day together as a family turned out to be one of the most educational days that they’re going to get in their lives. 

I will be back with you tomorrow.

Episode 114- I’m Bad At Most Things

I’m Bad At Most Things

I got a message from somebody recently and I guess they been following what I been doing for a while and they heard me on some podcasts, they read my book when it came out a couple years ago and I was humbled that they listen to every episode of this podcast. As flattering as it was, the self-depreciating tone and the way that they describe themselves was hard to hear. They went on to say how they can’t do anything right. And this person has some skills in different areas that are really exceptional, but there comparing themselves to so many other people and their getting down on themselves. They’re comparing themselves to me and to other people up there watching and to some friends who’ve been in business for a while. She seemed defeated and almost accepted that she’s not going to be able to do what she wants to do. She said something to the effect that some people seem to have it all figured out and do everything right and there so many things that I don’t do right. 

I started to realize that people of public personas that are not true. I thought about myself and this person that is reading my book. A book that’s been edited and crafted for over a year. A podcast which I do a lot of research and thinking about what would be the best topic and then it’s edited. I’m really careful about the way the message comes out and to make sure it’s a great story and a great lesson and a great take away from it. 

If you like what I’m saying here. I don’t talk this way all day long. If I ramble longer, I repeat myself over and over again, I can delete this and start over again. I can publish it when I want to publish it. I started thinking about all the things that I do wrong or poorly. I just wish people would realize we are all screwed up and that’s totally fine. 

I can’t swim if my life depended on it. I keep wanting to take lessons and get better at it but I almost drowned when I was seven years old and I was frightened of swimming through my entire youth and I’ve never gotten to where I become a good swimmer. My three kids are better swimmers than I am and they would have to save me. Does that sound like somebody who’s got all figured out? Let me give you another one. I love the work that I do and I have an awesome wife and three boys that I love more than anything but I find myself often distracted when I’m with them. I find myself on a hike thinking about another business idea with the companies that were gonna run all the time. I am not balanced in that way. I’m extremely flawed. It was fortunate that we homeschool our kids and I can get away with messing around like that at times and still getting quality time with them, but I still do that all the time. I’ll give an example to that. My kids know when I’m not paying attention and they know when I’m daydreaming or I’m thinking about something. So, we’ll be in the yard, we’ll be doing something and they’ll ask me a question. I’ll give the typical aloof dad type answer of “aha” or whatever  I would say. And they figured out to ask me a question like asking by the time we went to place that we have never been to before and I’ll be do my thing about “aha, yeah” and then they will look at me like “see you not paying any attention. We never even went there” and they start laughing because they know I’m just being aloof. I feel like a terrible dad when I’m doing it but at the same time like that’s life and that is a struggle that constantly have to deal with because my mind is always going on the next idea or thinking about one of my clients in terms how we can help them. I hate to say but sometimes just playing in the sand pit, it just doesn’t stimulate me as much as I would like. And my eight-year-old, on his own, doing his own thing and I’m kind of daydreaming a little bit. I used to feel terrible about it. 

So I constantly try to get better but man, we’re all messed up and don’t even get me started on aspects of the business that could be better that I don’t do well enough. That is set up a giveaway and people opt into an email and I don’t keep up with them nearly as consistently as I should. We are missing opportunities left and right. There are ways to monetize and to grow and use social media, ways that were not even sure of what we’re even doing. I was just being totally honest. We did an external audit of how our businesses run. They would say “how are you even in business right now? How do you even do this?” And I’ll tell you how we do it, we don’t focus on being the best at everything. We ignore or we are bad at so many parts of business that other people would say is essential. But the flipside is this, what we do well, we do really well at. What we do well, we constantly do over and over again and we become better than most anybody else at those things. And by doing a few things well and ignoring everything else, has allowed us to build multiple successful businesses. More importantly, it allows to build these businesses so we can live the life that we want with our family. Because the point of us doing this is not to be as wealthy as possible. The point is to live the life that we desire while helping to the best of the ability, the people who trusted us to work with us. And that’s it. 

So if we do that really well, you build raving fans that talk about you. If you create raving fans that talk about you and refer you for other work, so many other things that every says we have to do, we really don’t have to do. For instance, people try to tag me on Twitter, it’s not even my account. I can’t remember the last time that I went to twitter. So some poor guy with my name on Twitter keeps getting probably tag and stuff and he has no idea what’s going on. That’s fine. Instagram is another one. I could be optimizing that so much more than I do. I hardly ever post there but every says you’ve got to be on Instagram, it’s important, it’s vital to be on Instagram. Now could we be doing better? Sure. Is it vital? No, because were doing fine.

So the point of all this is to realize you don’t need to be great at everything, you don’t need to be great at most things. If you can find those one or two things that not only do you love doing but you become great at, that serves your people wonderfully, that’s all you need. If you want more things that I’m awful at or I screw up constantly, I’d be happy doing more episodes about them because I can fill the airwaves with them. Because I want you to understand that me or nobody else has it all figured out and if it seems like they do, they’re lying. And just because somebody could throw a football farther than everybody else or if they can write the best email that gets converted over and over again or they have a huge number of Instagram followers or they could speak publicly better than you ever could, doesn’t mean that there’s not a thousand things that they don’t do well. 

So just remember that were all bad at most things. The successful ones just find a way to be great at a few and turn that into a life of success and you can do the same. 

I will talk to you tomorrow!

Episode 113- Harvard Material

Harvard Material

I don’t think anything lowered my self-worth and my own belief in myself as a child than labels that were put on me or even the people around me. So I do a lot of coaching, I do mastermind around all this type of stuff and I am just amazed and saddened by how many people are still stuck on labels that were put on them when they were a kid by some adult way back, 20, 30 years ago, maybe even sooner than that. 

I just want to use this as an outlet to rail against that in terms of not only not doing it to people in our lives, especially young and impressionable people that really will believe you when you say it, but even labels that were put on us as children that we still hold onto. Now I had tons of labels put on me when I was a kid, they were essentially never positive. I was labeled not mechanically inclined cause I wasn’t able to fix things when I was young. And guess what, I still don’t fix things very well and I truly believe it’s something that has held me back because I believe what people said about me in the past. if I want to learn how to fix something or use a tool, if I can just put my time and energy into it, I’ll figure it out. But I get stopped because I keep hearing these things in my head even from a long time ago. I was labeled through my youth as not a good student, not a good listener and I never was a good student or a good listener all through high school. 

But it was interesting that once I got away from those voices, I grew up a little bit, how did I go to college for photography which is something I knew nothing about and become a prized student out of nowhere in that realm? How did I all of a sudden become a good student? How did I all of a sudden start being a person that can be taught that? Did I just grow up? Was it a subject I was actually interested in this time? Did somebody just slapped a label on me that fit their agenda but at the same time lowered my belief in myself. But there is a label that I remember slapped on to somebody but it wasn’t me but it still had a tremendous effect on my life and how I viewed myself. 

My brother Steve is a year and half older than me. So obviously as a kid growing up, you look up to your older brothers, your older siblings. Often you want to be like them but at the same time, you find yourself comparing yourself to them. And there’s certainly a reason why younger siblings have a complex often because you’re never going to do most things before the older sibling does. They’re almost always gonna ride the bike before you or hit a home run in Little League before you. How do you keep up with that? How do you top that? And usually you won’t be able to. So I truly believe there’s a reason why siblings act the way they do in terms of even the birth order and Kevin Lehman, who is one of our parenting groomers, he wrote the tremendous lots of books on this, books on the birth order and why kids do what they do. And often, when you have a successful/compliant firstborn, you’re gonna find a rebellious and rambunctious second born. Because at that age, everybody is looking to fit in to their role or pick their own role and when you see that that role is taken by the firstborn, you realize “well I am not going to be that one. So I guess I got to be this one.” And I’m not sure if any of this is conscious but after coaching so many people, I see that is very common. 

It was no different with me. See my brother, when he was in third or fourth grade, academically he was doing really well while I was struggling. And then came a day, actually an evening, I remember clearly and it set the tone for a lot of discord that I felt going forward in our family and even in academics. 

One afternoon, my brother’s teacher talked to my parents and labeled him and said he’s Harvard material. I don’t know if my brother knew what that meant but my parents were pretty excited. I can imagine any parent would be when the teacher says that their kid is Harvard material. But I remember that day, the impact they have in our family in a bunch of different ways and nothing that I remember is positive. For my brother’s standpoint, it’s a heck of a label have to live up to when you’re in third grade. And it’s not like he was striving to get into Harvard. So everything he did from that point on was compared to the Harvard material label. I mean really, how do you live up to that, aside from becoming somebody that goes to Harvard? And from when I can remember, I never remember my brother saying that he even want to go to Harvard. I never remember him complaining about it but I always remembered the label that was put on that and then even as other teachers knowing about it. But I do remember how I felt and I remember thinking while he’s Harvard material, what am I? 

School was never fun for me to begin with, I never enjoyed the process. Even from a young age, I never enjoyed the challenges of academia. I never enjoyed studying the same things that everybody else was studying or taking the same tests that every else was taking. I always kind of just wanted to do my own thing so I knew from the very beginning that I wasn’t really good in school, whatever that meant. But now I have a brother, an older brother who’s smarter than me, that is Harvard material. And I just remember that label coming with a lack of confidence in myself. A lack of belief that I was smart at all in this world that everybody else held so valuable. Not only that, but I had no choice but to be in this world for the next 10 years of my life. I still remember shortly after that, being upstairs, getting ready for bed, me and my brother both brushing our teeth. It was the beginning of the school year. I remember thinking so this is the third grade. After the third grade comes fourth grade and then fifth. I kept rattling on till the 11th grade and 12th grade and then at then I go to college and then my brother said “and then you got to get a job.” I still recall sinking my head down, holding my toothbrush in my hand. I stopped brushing and I just stared in the mirror. I’ve dealt with bouts of depression my life but that was probably the first moment of depression in my life cause I knew even at that age, this was not for me. 

I don’t know if it would’ve been any different if I would had people that lifted me up in the academic world and at a young age built up my confidence and kind of guided me through that and I didn’t. But all I can remember is I’m not Harvard material. I am not labeled as one of the one that fits in here. It is very obvious in the school setting who fits and who doesn’t and often it has to do with the labels that we put on people. And to do that to such a young age is doing such a disservice to the creativity of these kids that were raising. Because taking a test well doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re smarter than the person who can create something differently. Following rules is rewarded by school because that keeps him in line for what they need to do with their job. So someone who is outspoken or creative or thoughtful or is curious will not be labeled as Harvard material but maybe they should be. Because maybe, they’re going to be the one that challenge things in a way that need to be challenged or better yet maybe they shouldn’t be labeled at all. We let these kids grow and we let them be who they are meant to be. 

I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

Episode 112- Going The Extra (261) Mile(s)

Going The Extra (261) Mile(s)

So everybody wants to know the hacks, the quick fix, the shortcuts to success. I don’t because I find that kind of boring. What I find exciting are the challenging situations. The ones were people go the extra mile or more to make something special happen and that’s what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about a guy named Brett Inning and his story about going the extra mile plus and how that catapulted and kickstarted his business. We’re always talking of going the extra mile, doing something above and beyond to really stand out to make a difference to form a connection. Well Brad didn’t just go the extra mile, He went the extra 262 miles. Lemme tell you that story. 

Brad is a Google ad specialist and he had a short conversation with a guy name Aaron online who is also a digital marketing specialist. Aaron lives in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania and Brad is 131 miles away in West Chester Pennsylvania. They are both part of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Choose FI Facebook group and Aaron asked if they want to have a call together to Brad. Brad said “why don’t we do one better, why don’t we meet in person.” and Aaron answered “well I don’t live in Philly and actually closer to Harrisburg” and Brad’s response was “I don’t mind making the drive to make a connection. I recently got a used Prius so I don’t mind miles” 

So last July, Brad drove 4 1/2 hours racking up 261 miles just for a 45 minute face-to-face conversation with Aaron and there was a lot in common because they were both in the same spot in their business, they’re both leaving a job and going into a business on their own. So, for 45 minutes, they talked about how each of them got started. They shared some tips and resources and then they wished each other the best. But it didn’t end there. They kept in touch on a nearly monthly basis from that point out. About six months after they met, Aaron reached out and said he have some good news. He talked to Brad and said he got a good lead for an Adwords client and he love to discuss it. 

So the following week, they had a phone call and he told him about a guy that he has been contracting with for a few months, whose agency was based in LA. Right before our mastermind retreat in Phoenix in February, the three of them had a group called to discuss their current clients to see how Brad might be able to help them. And by the end of that month, he was working on a campaign for the first client. It was a great story but fast forward to the seventh months, he is still working with the first client and he serves four other clients on multi-month projects. Here is such a great part of it all, all in all this work represents over 50% of the revenue from this year. They said it all started from a Facebook comment which led to a conversation in Facebook messenger which led to a long drive in a short face-to-face meeting which led to where he is today. And his Takeaway was it just goes to show that’s important to network online and you never know whether the Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, where you might find a great connection. Most importantly, that there is value in going the extra mile, or in this case the extra 261 miles. And it goes to stress that even with all that, nothing happens overnight. 

They kept in touch together for six months, offering advice, having conversations about business and life. Getting to know each other better. Getting to trust each other. It’s a relationship that keeps on building cause even the past couple weeks, he has not recommended Aaron out to other friends with their agency and even another digital marketing specialist friend who is looking for someone with Aaron’s exact skill set. And having develop that relationship and develop that friendship and putting that time together, he will happily recommend Aaron for anyone looking for SEO or Facebook ads work. He even said that there is a good chance he’s gonna bring on to one of his client projects in the future to outsource some of that work. And we all know in time, everyone has gone through this, is that over time it becomes harder to keep doing things like that as you become more successful and you become more popular. Because people want more of your time, your price goes up. Your demand goes up. There’s more scarcity. 

So as you know we are all about time freedom. We are all about optimizing your time, but this is such a great story for those that are starting out in building something. And that who this is for because I get so many people wanting to know what is the hack? What’s the quick fix? And if you are looking for the hack or the quick fix, you have not optimized your business yet. If you have not optimized your business yet, the absolute best place to grow is through the grassroots building of your business. And I can tell you for us the beginning, the starting of so many of our businesses occurred the same exact way that Brad has built his. It started by going the extra mile. The extra effort going above and beyond what anybody would expect, and we still today want to do that with our current clients. We just take on a lot less of them and as you build the success in the business, the price goes up and the time availability usually goes down, and that is how life of time and money freedom occurs. But if you are struggling, if you are starting out, do not underestimate the value of going the extra miles to build those relationships, to make those connections, to get the ball rolling, to be patient to realize it’s gonna take time and to make something happen from nothing. So kudos to Brad who just celebrated his 27th birthday. So happy birthday and keep going the extra mile and I will talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 111- The Crossroads


Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads? A crossroads between one career and another, a crossroads between the old and the new. I want to tell you about my transition and how it came about and hopefully it might be able to help you if you’re in that spot. 

It was almost 5 years to the day that I’m recording this. Actually, about five years and one month. And I was presented a unique opportunity. I have been a photographer for the beginning for about 20 years up until that point, professionally but 17 years but I have been running my own business with my wife Elizabeth for 10 years. We’ve been self-employed and we built a great business. We were doing high-end weddings. I did a lot of professional sports. I traveled around the country shooting everything the you can imagine. But I was on this personal development age. It was something I wanted differently in my life in my work than what I was getting from shooting. What I found was, I eventually kind of grew tired of being behind the camera and I want to get out where I was involved with people more. I was helping people more, I was having more conversations. I’ve read a bunch of personal development books. I’ve been doing some coaching, I started writing a blog on it. I was trying all sorts of different things on the side of photography just to get my legs underneath me to figure myself out. 

So for 10 years prior, I have been following Dave Ramsey and using his financial advice to get us out of debt. That same amount of time. I’ve also been reading following Seth Godin and I’ve been using his advice to build our business. For a couple years before that, I heard this guy Gary Vaynerchuk and I start consuming his content as well. 

So one afternoon when I was online working, I found an inquiry for a job through some website and it was from the Dave Ramsey organization. They were coming to Pittsburgh to have an event and they were looking for a photographer. So I jumped on it because I really wanted to work for Dave and I wanted to meet him and thank him for everything he done for me. I really didn’t care about making the money from the shoot. I want to do shoot as a thank you and to hand him a handwritten thank you note for everything he had done for me. So I told him I was interested in the job and I know I was getting bid against by bunch of other people, but I bid the lowest price that you can bid,  $250 and I said in the form that I am bidding the lowest price possible cause I just want to thank you by doing the shoot for you. 

About a week later, I get a response back from one of Dave’s people. They say we love your work. We love to work with you. We actually have two events we’d like you do for us. So I was hired and the next thing I know Elizabeth and I are setting up lights in the backdrop of the Benjamin theater in Pittsburgh and we are about to hang out with Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel for the entire evening. I fiercely wrote out a thank you card for him and I couldn’t wait to hand it to him in person. But before we can meet David and take the pictures, a guy named Chris Medford comes up to me, he is the director for Ramsey’s events. Elizabeth and I strike up a conversation with him. He is a really nice guy and he is really interested in what we’re doing, seeing if we needed help with anything. And then we start asking some questions about how they’re doing and he tells about how busy they are because they’re doing this event in New York City and it’s Dave and Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin. That event was a week away and they were scrambling to get everything done. I knew about the event and I want to go but I decided not to because I just got hired to photograph the Pittsburgh Pirates in the playoffs versus San Francisco Giants that same day. So after Chris mentioned the event, I blurted out “Oh yea. I wanted to go to that.” and Chris fully hear me and said “Do you want to go?” I paused and I changed and I said “Yeah I do” And he said I can get you a ticket. I said “Really? That tickets cost $800.” He said “I can get you a VIP ticket. Just reach out to my assistant and her name is Bethany and shall have the ticket waiting for you.” 

So now I’m at a crossroads, and this is the one I was speaking about in the very beginning. My life up until this point has been photography and I am hired to photograph this really big game in Pittsburgh. One of the few playoff games they’ve had in 20 years in Pittsburgh. It is going to be a huge event and something I tremendously look forward to. But on the other hand, I’m being given this fantastic opportunity. A VIP ticket with Dave Ramsey, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk. It wasn’t as dramatic then as it feels right now, but at that moment. It was a crossroads. Am I picking what I’ve done in the past and was going along fine or am I my picking what my future is? I talked to Elizabeth about it and we both agreed my future was in that direction, not in the photography direction, So I accepted the ticket and I turned down the shoot for the Pirates game and I made my way to the conference in New York City for The Business Gets Personal event. 

I went by myself because I didn’t realize when I got there that he actually give us two tickets, one for me and one for Elizabeth. But I only thought that he gave us one as did Elizabeth’s, that is why I was the one who made the trip. So I called her up and let her know. I said “You have a ticket too and obviously she could not get from Pittsburgh to New York City especially with our kids. I called a couple of my friends in New York and nobody can get out last minute so I wind up going by myself. And as I was wandering the hallways of the Rose theater, I heard conversation going on. It was really interesting and I interjected myself right to the conversation. There was these four guys talking and I got involved right away. I figured that I am going to make some friends while in here and I jumped right in. An opportunity happens when you put yourself into it because in that conversation was a guy named Ken Carfagna and Ken and I hit it off right away to the point that we just kept talking about the conference. We’d see each other in between breaks and we struck up an immediate friendship. I got to go the VIP event that evening with Gary and Seth and Dave and I got to drink wine with them in a winetasting contest, got to mingle and asked each of them questions. I got to meet Seth Godin that night, which eventually led to him endorsing my book when it came out two years ago. But what happened after that conference was even more remarkable. Ken and I stayed in touch. Not only that we stay in touch but we had weekly phone calls where we would “mastermind” the ideas we are working on. He was about to publish his book Arctic Land and I was talking about all the different ideas that I was thinking about that I want to build. 

So each week. Him and I masterminded on the phone and he was a former engineer so he loves to take note, I don’t take notes about anything. So he has emails of notes of every conversation that we had, about the topics we discussed and they’re all in the document that he created literally starting the week after that conference. The seeds planted that day, the mastermind that we did, the ideas that we came up with, from that day on, week after week, month after month. Literally all the seeds of everything that I do in business today. I now run a series of masterminds for entrepreneurs and freelancers. I wrote a book called Freelance To Freedom that Seth endorsed, that had stories from that particular event within it and we created a membership and coaching that come off the heels from all that. 

Quite literally, everything in our life turned around with that one decision. And yet understand that this isn’t turned around from things from awful to now they were good. This was actually a hard decision because this is actually deciding to leave from something that is going very good for something could be really great. It would have been very easy to say “No. I need to shoot the game. I need to keep doing what I’m doing. This has been working out all these years. I can’t leave all that experience and time behind.” But leaving all that behind led to every events that’s going on now. It has led to some that keeps growing and getting better and stronger. Even the ideas in the horizon dwarf the potential that I would’ve had if I stayed doing what I’m doing. And on a human and friendship level, Ken and I are best of friends. His wife Teresa and my wife Elizabeth are such close friends and our kids get along. Now we vacation as families together. 

So if you are at a crossroads, this is for you. The advice I can give from my experience is choose what your future is, not what your past was. I mentioned my book and if you’d like to download the audiobook for free. We give it all away. Go to totallifefreedom.com/F2Fbook. You could download the audio version of Freelance to Freedom for free. 

I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

Episode 110- Why I Don’t Use An Online Scheduler

Why I Don’t Use An Online Scheduler

So, I’m just that type of person that pushes back against most cultural norms. Even the most innocuous or sublime, I’m just gonna challenge it just to see why people do it. So the latest for me, I’m gonna annoy some people with this, but I ain’t cool with that. The latest for me is the online scheduling calendar. Now I understand that if you are recording a podcast and you are recording interviews in a schedule that you need something like that. But I think we’re starting to go off the rails a little bit, at least in my world with the online scheduling calendar. And before I dive into exactly why, I want to refer back to Warren Buffett, who was one of the richest men in the world. 

I just love his perspective on business and life and it is so often against the grain. And there is an interview with Buffett and Bill Gates and they’re talking about scheduling and Bill Gates is just laughing about Warren Buffett’s scheduler. Cause Gate has everything planned out and schedule and if not scheduled, it doesn’t happen and Warren Buffett just giggling as he is talking. So then Gates says “Warren, why don’t you pull out your planner?” And he pulls out this normal little black planner with white paper on it and he opens it up to the upcoming week and there is virtually nothing on it. And Gates talks about when Buffett showed him his calendar and Gates had every minute planned impact as we supposed to do things and then Buffett pulled out his calendar and there are days when there’s nothing on it. They showed a week in April on his calendar with there are only three things filled in for the entire week and Buffett taught Gates right then that you control your time and that thinking and sitting and having that freedom might be of a much higher priority than the ultra planned people think it is. 

And Buffett has more money than probably any of us will ever have. And he said I can buy anything I want but the only thing I can’t buy is time so I better be careful with it. And he said when he has blocks of time open like that and people want his time, he can give it to them. But we are in a culture now where people say well if it is not planned, it doesn’t get done. And to see Buffett’s approach years ago was so transformational for me and not only that, it proved to me that I wasn’t crazy for thinking the way that I did because I wanted freedom. I wanted time. And I want one of those long blocks of time so I could do what I want with it in any way that I want. 

So it was hard enough before, but now we bring in the calendars, the online calendars with everybody else’s schedule. To me, it’s lunacy. Because now every day all day long, I and my schedule can be on the whim of what you planned out in your calendar just randomly. So I can’t tell you how many times and no offense to anyone that has done this but I can’t tell you how many time I got a message from somebody and they want to meet up, they want to talk to me. “Hey let’s schedule a call” and then they say here’s my calendar link and I amuse it and I look at the calendar link and there’s like four openings: next Wednesday at 1:30 and 2:30 or next Thursday at 11 or 12. And I just say to myself when did this craziness habit. So now you want to talk to me but I need to rearrange or change or block off or cut apart my days because you only has scheduled yourself for these certain days and now I have to go along with it. Now I know this might sound petty but it is really a huge part as to why time freedom is so valuable and so helpful to what we do. Because it allows me to create my schedule in terms of what I need to get done and now I’m on the whim of other people’s just random schedules.

So my response back usually is I don’t use a calendar because I want freedom and freedom to me is having as much spare time in each individual days I possibly can. So the funny thing happens. Somebody wants me to schedule a phone call a week and a half from now and I’m generally not gonna do that and so often I’ll say “ Do you have time today?” or “Are you open right now?” And you’ll be amazed at how many times they say “yeah, I could talk now”. And I just throw up my hands up in laughter and like why don’t we just do that? Why don’t we just text each other and say hey do want to talk?

The people has gotten themselves so scheduled out that there is not freedom to just do what they want to do. And I know from Warren Buffett, there’s no way that he’s scheduling calls weeks in advance, in the middle the week while he might be doing you know blocked off content time, deep thinking time, whatever. He is not sacrificing that because somebody randomly threw out a date and time for a phone call. We’ve got a be able to value our time way more than that. I do not have a counter set-up for it, if we’re going to talk, let’s just set up a time and do it.

With that, I haven’t mentioned in a while but if you’re looking for a good audiobook to listen to, please go to our website totallifefreedom.com. Go on free audiobook on the right-hand side and download your free copy of Total Life Freedom for you to listen to. I said free a bunch of times there so I apologize for that. So yes you get a free audio copy of the book there. I hope you enjoy it. Please email me, let me know you think about it and I will talk to you tomorrow.

Episode 109- Can You Lose To Someone Who Hasn’t Started Yet?

Can You Lose To Someone Who Hasn”t Started Yet?

I will answer your question, what are you procrastinating on? I asked this because most people move too slow. They overanalyze, they overthink, they over worry, they don’t take action. And the people that are to be successful in this crazy entrepreneurial world are the ones that are going to take consistent and sometimes massive action, not always massive but often massive action. And here’s what I you want to think about as you are overthinking and you’re overanalyzing. Your procrastination is the reason why you’re gonna fail, not the fact that it will be perfect and this right here is the take away immediately that I want you take from this episode. 

I don’t know what day you are listening to this, I don’t know what time you’re listening to this but I want you to write it down. Whether it’s in your phone or piece of paper write down the date and the time that you’re listening to right now. If you are listening, you’ve probably got an idea of something that you want to build. Maybe you’ve already built something you want to build the next thing. Maybe want to write a book. Maybe it’s the course who knows what it is. Well, actually you know what it is. But I you want to write down that day and that time. What’s gonna happen is two weeks from now, you ang gonna still procrastinate. You’re still gonna come up with a reason why is not done, you gonna come up with a good reason of what got in the way so you couldn’t get it done. The kids were sick, the vacation, the house happen. Whatever happened, there’s always a reason.

Let me tell you the sad part that you’re not seeing as you’re procrastinating. Look at that date and time one more time. The next day, after you wrote that down, somebody started doing what you wanted to do. They started with no experience, they started with no connections, they started with an imperfect plan. But unlike you, they started. This particular person didn’t overthink it. They weren’t concerned what their mom was going to say about it. They weren’t even worried if they were going to fail. They knew there was a good chance they’re gonna fail but they knew they were going to do it. So a month after that date, you’re still going to be making excuses. You’re still gonna be procrastinating, you’re gonna still be waiting for perfection. 

But guess what they’re gonna be. They’re gonna one month ahead and they’re gonna make connections and gotten experience and taken some lumps. They’re gonna failed at some things miserably in some cases. But they’re gonna keep going. That person’s not letting fear stop them but unfortunately you will be. Because if you’re waiting for perfection, it’s never gonna happen. So one month is bad enough cause this person actually started catching up to wherever you’re at, maybe even past you. 

But what’s scary is a year from now. A year from now, and trust me I talk to these people, I talked to people that they had the same exact idea right now that they had three years ago. And you would be surprised by how often when they talk about it, their tone of voice is exactly the same. They still think that they’re going to do it. They still think it’s fresh and new and exciting but they’re still stopping themselves, they don’t know why. But this other person, the one that started the day after you wrote that down. They now have a year of experience, it’s very likely they’re making a living at this right now. It’s very likely that they built a network around them of people that are helping them out. And by constant action and constant failure, they learn to overcome the downsides and the hurdles and the mistakes and there are no longer mistakes anymore because they realize I’m getting better each day. 

But you will not be. You will be stuck in the mud doing the same thing you’ve been doing over and over again. And then one day when you get that bite of inspiration again and you actually go after it for that brief period of time before you stop again, you’re going to do some research and you’re gonna see this person that is just absolutely crushing it. And they are known as an expert and they are successful they’re doing all the things that you want to do. It’s going to be that person that started the day after you wrote this down. And this person succeeded not because they had the perfect plan. They succeeded because they took imperfect action consistently. 

I have a friend that messaged me probably twice a year, maybe once a year about photography business they want to build. They’ll go off the radar for a while then they’ll comeback with me with the same questions. They’ll talk about the same dreams. And the last three years, they haven’t done anything to build the business. 

Meanwhile, I’m meeting people that are just inspired by photography. People I know personally that picked up my book and it helped inspire them. I don’t know if it was a direct result but they started shooting. 

People like Becca White who was in Florida and she’s building her business slowly but surely. But she’s doing the work, she’s going to event, she’s going to conferences. People like Andrew Mandy who was challenging himself, he is getting involved in different groups. He’s learning, He’s growing and is constantly looking how to get better. People like Tricia Preuss who is a social media marketer who shows up weekly, shows up often. She’s learning. She’s growing. Again taking the lumps, doing imperfect action consistently. 

If you’re sitting on the fence, people like Becca and Andrew and Tricia, they’re going to lap you. They’re going to do this while you wait. And people like that are not letting fear and procrastination and perfectionism stop them. So go out there, write down that date and be the one that starts tomorrow if you been pausing. Be the one that in a year from now is not looking back saying what if and you’re saying I’m so glad that I did. If you don’t, there’s going be someone who has even started today who is going to be doing better than you are soon.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow!