You have to make the decision now

You are what you are until you decide to become different than you are.  It is a hard thing to change but it can be done.  It just requires you to make a commitment and then do the work necessary to change your circumstances and your life.

I was recently speaking with a friend of mine about the current pandemic that we find ourselves in.  We were talking about how things were going with business, work, and life in general.

One of the things they said they were doing was watching a lot more television.  They  rattled off all of the shows they had watched. It was quite impressive.

I shared with them that I had been working out a lot more.  Instead of working out 60-80 minutes a day, it was more like 90-120 minutes a day of focused workouts.  In addition to more walks around the city where we live.

The conclusion that I have come to and you already know this as well.  We default and become more of who we are even during times of uncertainty, success, failure, and life as a whole.

My mentor explained it to me this way.  He said you have to decide if you are going to be a charitable person or not.  He said the amount of money you have or don’t have doesn’t matter.  You can be charitable when you are making fifty thousand dollars a year or a million dollars a year.

You are either charitable or not.  If you don’t create the habits and mindset to be a charitable person now while the stakes are lower, you definitely won’t do it when the stakes are much higher.

Many people are setting around saying to themselves “When I _______.”  Fill in the blank.

  • make more money, I will invest more
  • make more money I will give more
  • have more time I will volunteer more
  • am not raising kids I will go back to school

I am not sure where you are in journey but you have to decide now, the person you want to be and then do whatever it takes to start implementing the habits and decisions that will make you that person.

There is no “there” out there.  You don’t magically arrive one day. Life is an evolution. You have to continue to evolve, but the first step to evolution is to decide who you want to be.

Who will you have to become?

Most people are spending too much time on what they want to have and not focused enough on what it takes to get it.

So how do you get it? The first step towards any goal is to first set down and set the goal. Most people don’t even do this. They instead wade through life and most of them accomplish things by accident, but if they would have actually planned some things out, they would have, and could have accomplished so much more.

The goal is what you want.

Now that you have determined what you want. You can now focus on the what it is that you need to do to accomplish the goal. Disclaimer here: If you were smart enough to set a goal, good for you, you are in a class all by yourself. The next elite class are the people who actually make a plan and DO what it takes to accomplish their goal.

I always say the hard part is setting a goal, but the even harder part, is the doing to achieve the goal. This is really the great separator between the goal setters and the goal accomplishers.

In the doing phase. You have to determine what are the steps that will allow you to achieve the goal you are wanting to achieve. There are many actions you can take, some will work and some will not. The key here is to try a lot of stuff and figure out quickly what is working and what isn’t working.

Lastly, the final step to achieving your goal, and the one that is really the most important. Who do you have to be or become to accomplish the goal you are setting out to accomplish?

I know for me I wanted to leave a profession that I had spent most of my working adult career in. That was the goal. So what did I have to do? I had to go out and develop the skills to position myself in a new line of work. By focusing on these skills, I was able to develop a new skill set that allowed me to leave one profession and go in to a totally different one and not go backwards in my income or in my influence.

To be able to accomplish this goal. What did I have to become? I had to become fearless. I had to become a more dedicated. I knew I was going to have to sacrifice for a period of time, more than I was currently sacrificing to accomplish the goal.

Remember to do something you have never done, you will have to do something you have never done and you will have to become something that you are currently not.

So what is that you want? To get it what will you have to do? And lastly who will you have to be or become to get it?

To your success and your future.

What’s next?

I think this is a question that many of us ask at different points in our life.  Or at least we should.  I just finished reading an article about what happens to people after they reach a certain milestone in their earnings and their career.  I just have to say that the article was really scary to me, because it is like they were reading my mind.

Anyway this blog is not about me, it is about me sharing ideas and thoughts that I think we all have.  I attempt to tell you everything that I KNOW, NOT everything there is to know.  I believe that we have to keep pouring information into our heads to keep up with all of the information we forget.  That is why the fundamentals are so important.  Be sure you focus on the fundamentals.  I will be releasing a book on fundamentals in the next few months, I look forward to sharing it with you.   It only takes a half-dozen or so fundamentals to lead to success.  Ask a few athletes. Most of them are really good at just a few things, not everything.

So what is next for you and for me?  If I we knew the answer to this we would be doing it I guess.  I have found that I must appreciate everything I have, while I pursue everything I want, everything I want goes back to my goals and they should for you as well.  This is hard, but it sure is worthwhile.  My mentor says most people just live a life, Mr. Rohn said design your life how you want it to be.

40 hours is the starting line

This morning I was listening to the recorded version of the Dave Ramsey show like I do every morning.  In all his wisdom (which is why I listen) he said to someone who called in that they had competing goals.  I believe the caller was asking if her husband should go back to school or they should pay off debt.  I can’t remember the full context of the story.  However, Dave talked about competing goals and gave a few illustrations of what competing goals look like.

Maybe your goal is to grow within your company.  But you also want to spend more time with your family.  We have some competing goals here don’t we.  So what do you do?  Life is full of seasons.  You may be in a season right now where you have to pay now so you can play later.  Nothing in life is forever, seasons come and go. Summer is almost over and it will soon be fall, so seasons constantly change.   

You can’t get ahead by working 40 hours.  The bottom line is 40 hours is basically the starting line.  What you do after that first 40 hours is what will lead to success.  I have seen it, witnessed it, and experienced it.  So what is your goal?  

Yesterday I was talking to a good friend of mine. He likes to play golf, he is a big time golfer and is really good at golf.  However, in our weekly accountability meeting we discussed the fact that he doesn’t have much time for golf right now because his goal is to sacrifice now, so it will pay later.  He made his decision and even though one of his goals is to maintain being really good at golf.  What is more important right now is putting in 60 hours a week in work, training, education, etc. So he can feed his family and prep for his future desires. Which is even more important. After 40 Hours is where his real work begins.

Competing goals.  In the pursuit multiple high priority goals, one is diluted.  You can’t serve two masters. Pick a goal, pursue it, and don’t look back.  I say this many times: The reason I write/blog is for my own accountability.  I have competing goals right now in my life and career.  I have to find more focus, pick a major goal and stick with it.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Just like a baseball player, basketball player, or football player, the more seasons we have the closer we get to greatness.  Athletes during their season don’t do anything else except focus on the goal, which is a championship.  We should do the same.

What is your definition of championship?  Is it a promotion?  If so, it is time to focus on the season you are in or need to be in and pursue that goal.

What is your brand, internally and externally?

I am a trainer by nature and luckily I have been able to turn it into a career.  One of the main reasons I blog is because it allows me to flesh out my thoughts before delivering it.

Personal Branding is something I will be speaking to an audience about in one week.  The topic is branding, but I will be speaking on how to do it effectively via linkedin, which will also lead me to discuss other social media channels as well.  But I will also be discussing how to create a brand in your current job or career.

The title of my presentation is What is your brand, internally and externally? How can you do both of these at the same time.

To create a brand, you first have to identify who and what you want your brand to be. I am attempting to create my brand in business, personal development circles, training arena, and sales world by proclaiming to be the selfdevelopmentaddict.

I am developing a process in which a person can follow everyday to ensure they are living their brand inside and outside the organization.

Here are some questions for you to think about?  Once you identify your brand and what you want it to be, approach each day and ask yourself this when living your brand?

  • How will I live my brand today?  (Your specific actions)
  • How will I show others my brand?
  • How will I practice my brand today?
  • How can I make my brand stronger today?
  • Who can I help today with my brand?
  • At the end of the day, ask yourself, did I do all of the above today?

Now lets take it a step further.  In your current workspace, meaning job or career, place of employment.  What is your brand?  Guess what, YOU HAVE ONE!  Anybody that manages you or works with you knows what your brand is.  Believe me, ask them.  Here are some examples:

Employee #1:  Works hard, but complains about everything.

Employee #2:  Does a good job with the customer and is successful, but annoys management.

Employee #3: Works really hard at finding all the ways something can’t be done.

Employee #4:  Knows their business, but people hate working with them on projects.

Employee #5:  Great attitude, always positive, and does a good job.

Employee #6:  Cares about the organization a lot.

These are some small examples but they are correct.  What if you don’t have a brand at all?  That is probably worse.  However, make sure it is a brand that will get you positive responses versus negative ones.

If you are in a company, and want your brand to be changed or created start showing and living your brand and ask yourself those questions I stated above.

I am looking for some feedback from you on this blog.  What are some other areas you see that address personal branding?  I know it is a wide topic and can go in so many directions, however, my goal is to create an easy “how to” guide that can be a playbook on how to ensure you are creating and living your brand.

Why not think rich

If you have never heard of the classic business book that is on everyones list as the top business book of all times, here is your introduction to it.  Think and Grow Rich was written by Napoleon Hill.  It is a great read and has a lot of great advice in it.  Even though this book is classified as a business book it is really a “thinking book”.  It gets you thinking about you and what you can control, which is your own thinking.

Here is a list of some os the great quotes from the book:

  • “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success”
  • “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”
  • “Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.”
  • “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.”
  • “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.”
  • “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
  • “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
  • “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle…”
  • “The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.”
  • “The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
  • “The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.”
  • “Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought.”
  • “Our minds become magnetized with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds and these magnets attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.”
  • “Fears are nothing more than a state of mind”
  • “Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach”
  • “If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”

How do these quotes inspire you to think differently today?  Please share with me your thoughts.

 

My last 5 book summaries twitter style

Title: The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as told to Napoleon Hill; author Napoleon Hill

  • Having a definite purpose in life and pursuing that purpose with self-discipline and hardwork.  The best BOOK for Success I have ever read

Title: Early Rising; author Benjamin Franklin

  • Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. The habit of getting up early leads to more habits for success.

Title: Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success (Connect with customers to get results); author Colleen Stanley

  • Sale organizations should define who their customers are and only pursue those customers with the approach to serve first and sale second

Title: The Victorious Attitude; author Orison Swett Marden

  • You are what you think about, you think you can’t win, you won’t win. You think you can accomplish anything you will accomplish a lot.

Title: The Sales Advantage (How to Get it, Keep It, and sell more than ever); authors J Oliver Crom and Michael Crom (DC Associates)

  • Rapport, Interest, Solution, Motive, Commitment is the 5 step sales process for Sales Success. Processed selling is for sales professionals

These are all great reads and I have many notes, but the summaries are the gist of what I got from the books.

Brian Willett

10 Ideas on finding time for your Self-Development

John C. Maxwell suggested to me 5 years ago, that I should have an intentional plan for my growth and development.  Up until then, my development consisted of a lot of formal education and intermittent personal development.  I took his suggestion to heart. Since then I have had an intentional plan for my growth and self-development that has paid off time and time again. There is a time and place for focused and committed time for this development, but I have tried to find places and times that are not so conventional to increase my growth and development wherever I can.

Below is a list of everyday activities that I have weaved in personal education and self-development in my life. The tools I use to accomplish this can be books, audio books, purchased seminars, apps, church sermons, cd clubs, blogs, etc.

1.  Mixing physical activity/health and fitness: They are a match made in heaven. Why not listen to a book or a seminar while working out. I feel that this is the ultimate time management activity in my life.  Killing two birds with one stone.

2.  In the shower:  Yes I said in the shower.  Why not, there have been many studies that show a HOT shower does something to stimulate the brain, and many people (myself included) have had great epiphanies in the shower.  Why not encourage that by listening to something of value.  My mentor Jim Rohn would disagree with me on this, he would say, wherever you are be there, but I am looking to maximize my time and my learning.

3.  The Car:  We all have heard turning your car into a mobile classroom.  One hour a day on any subject you can become an expert on this subject within five years.  How much do you drive?

4.  Lunch break:  Many people have an hour for lunch, but even if you don’t.  Why wouldn’t you invest in yourself why you have a sandwich.  Again, that 30 minutes or 1 hour, you may listen or read one great idea, that could change your life.

5.  Cleaning the house:  Yes.  Instead of jamming to Prince.  Listen to an audio book or something that could be motivational, inspirational, or educational.

6.  Yard work:  I hate yard work.  However, when I do yard work it does present me with a set amount of time that I can invest in my own personal development.

7.  Even though I have cut my cable off.  I still watch a few games that are on regular television.  Instead of listing to the commentators though, I turn on YouTube, or pop in one of my cd subscriptions that I have.  I don’t need the commentator telling me what is going on with the game, my eyes can tell me that.

8.  Shopping: If I am on a mission to go purchase something and I go alone.  I will attempt to listen to something that can add value to me.  I won’t be anti social, but if you are in a mall, or even worse at Wal-Mart or something, why wouldn’t you want to drown out the noise in these places (lol).

9.  On the computer:  Some of us probably spend a certain amount of time at our computers throughout the day.  Depending on what you have to do and how much thought you must put into it, have something on in the background.

10. When I am early: This may not make sense to some of you, because you are never early to anything, that is another blog for another day.  Anytime I am early to any kind of appointment or meeting which is most of the time, I squeeze it in.

Some are saying, you are crazy Brian you are ate up with personal development.  Yep, I guess you are right.  But I have a busy lifestyle as well, and I have to be intentional about my growth.  I am not suggesting that I do the above things all of the time, however, I do it wherever I can.  I just know I must be intentional about everything I do and personal development and growth are critical to my success and my career, so I must find a time and a place for it.

Brian Willett

Self Discipline

Andrew Carnegie stated that the greatest and the most essential ingredient to success is Self Discipline. Self discipline is complete control over ones mind which in turn complete control over their actions.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my self-discipline is absent.  I allow life or circumstances to get in my way. Mr. Carnegie goes on and explains that Self Discipline begins with constructive habits in the areas of food, drink, sex, and the use of spare time. When you have self-discipline in these areas it controls everything else.

Food:  There is a correlation between how we feel and what we eat.  I know when I am eating healthier food, I feel better, and I get more accomplished.  You can’t be very productive if you feel bad.  I honestly think the state of the nation with regards to food is kind of scary.  The stuff we put into our mouth that we don’t even know about is absurd.  I know we all make decisions on what we do eat, but what is it doing to us?  I don’t even know.  What I do know is that when I have discipline in the area of food I feel better.  I lost about 35 pounds last year, and that act alone required self-discipline and a lot of it.  I feel so much better since I made the decision to cut calories and watch what I eat.  I also credit that discipline (losing weight) leading me to many other disciplines that I now have in my life.

Drink:  Wow. Having self-discipline in the area of drinking.  I don’t necessarily think about alcohol here either, I think about cokes and other artificially flavored drinks.  What are they doing to us.  Again, a lot of health issues can be attributed to both alcohol and soft drinks.

Sex:  How many times have we seen politicians or prominent figures lack self-discipline in this area and it ruin their careers?  Too many times to count.  That is just prominent people that we hear about.  But what about everyday life where marriages are ruined, finances are ruined, lives are ruined because of lack of discipline with regards to sex. I think we can all agree that self-discipline in this area can be a major contributor to our own success.  I listen to the Dave Ramsey show in the morning when I work out.  He states that the fastest growing addiction online is porn.  He said he has watched it ruin many lives spiritually and financially.

The use of spare time.  How do you spend your spare time?  Are you watching sports or Are you actively engaged in adding value to yourself or to others?  The day can be broken down into 3 eight-hour segments.  (8) work, (8) sleep, (8) recreation.  Most successful people spend closer to 10 hours working, but that is another blog for another day.  Your success is determined by what you do in that recreation time, Lets call it “opportunity time.”  Do you spend it attending school and getting further education?  Do you spend that time reading?  Do you spend it networking?  Do you spend it working part-time on something that can generate income?

I became intentional about spare time about three years ago.  I can honestly say that everything that I have accomplished during the last three years was in direct correlation to that decision I made.  I am now being even more disciplined in how I spend my spare time to increase my success even more.

Self Discipline:  Mr. Carnegie’s teachings on this subject has inspired me even more, and I hope to do the same for you by sharing this information with you.

Brian Willett

Definiteness of Purpose

I have read the famed “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  I am currently reading “The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as Told To Napoleon Hill.”  The 17 principles outlined in this masterpiece is actually the original conversation that Dr. Hill and Mr. Carnegie had, prior to the 20 years of research that Dr. Hill did to create the book “Think and Grow Rich.” The first principle Mr. Carnegie discusses and states must be first on the road to success is “Definiteness of Purpose.”

To be successful in any area of life we all must have a “Definiteness of Purpose”.  We all know this, but it is seldom practiced and I am no different.  Definiteness of Purpose means we must have a clear understanding of what we want and it must be a burning desire and passion for us.  When you have a definiteness of purpose you will not be distracted by anything that takes you away from pursuing this purpose.  It makes me think of Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs and Apple’s definite purpose was to create products that revolutionized the industry and we as consumers didn’t even know we wanted or needed them.  He and Apple did this with the original MAC and how they changed the music industry and cell phone industry up until his death, his legacy lives on with the Apple brand still today.

At times I am pursuing what I think my purpose is, but then I get distracted.  I find myself going down rabbit holes that are not directed to my major purpose.  Is this you?  Maybe it is my own fault?  Yes it is my fault.  I feel like I have clearly defined my major purpose, but maybe it is not clear enough? If it is clear, am I on the right path to fulfilling it?  Not sure, I guess these are all great questions.  Here is what I do know, I am having fun and enjoying life and I have an attitude of gratitude for what I do have, I am truly blessed.

Brian Willett