How Much and How Many?

About three years ago, I was listening to some guy who later became one of the most influential mentors I have had in my life.  I have never met him, I can’t, because he died about two years before I had ever even knew of him. Since then, I have read everything (I think) he ever wrote during his lifetime, I have listened to almost everything he has ever created on video or audio.  Jim Rohn forever changed my philosophy. This morning I am reading his book again just because I know there is one more idea in there that could change my life, my family, and my legacy forever.  If you seek, you will find.  Very rarely does a good idea just hit you, you must seek it out.

When I listened to him that first time he asked this simple question in several different ways, that changed my thinking forever.  It probably sounds more powerful in audio.

  • How many homes can you own?
  • How much money can you make?
  • How many books can you read?
  • How many places can you visit?
  • How generous can you be to others?
  • How many businesses can you own? 

The answer to all of these questions is the same.  As many as you want and as much as you want.  We live in America and this is true in America.  You can do just about whatever you want, it’s up to you.

Pretty simple questions and pretty simple answers. The question for you is what are you going to do with the information?  That is the question I ask myself everyday.

Brian Willett

 

 

The Goal Setting plan that changed my life

This one little exercise allowed me to set goals that I would have never even considered, thanks to my mentor Jim Rohn. And guess what!!! I have accomplished a lot of the little ones already.

Here is your challenge today.  Write down 50-100 things that you want.  ALERT:  WHAT YOU WANT, not what you think you can get.

Example:

  • I want a lake house that is paid for.
  • I want a promotion to….
  • Pay off my car
  • Pay off my student loans
  • Be Vice President of Sales
  • Make $100,000 dollars a year
  • Have X amount of money in my childs college fund
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Have 5 paid for rental properties
  • Complete my Masters degree
  • Go on a cruise

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good start.  Now take your list and put a 1, 3, 5, 10 next to it.  These numbers represent how long you think it will take to accomplish these goals.  Be realistic with your self, but also put a number next to it that will stretch you some.

EX:

  • I want a lake house that is paid for.  (10)
  • I want a promotion to…. (3)
  • Pay off my car (1)
  • Pay off my student loans (1)
  • Be Vice President of Sales (5)
  • Make $100,000 dollars a year (3)
  • Have X amount of money in my childs college fund (5)
  • Lose 20 pounds (1)
  • Have 5 paid for rental properties (5)
  • Complete my Masters degree (3)
  • Take a cruise (1)

Does this make sense to you?  Again I reiterate write down things you want, NOT what you think you can get.  The purpose of this is to expand your thinking, I WANT YOU TO THINK BIG here.  What will happen if you come up a little short?  NOT much.  You will accomplish something.  80% of something is better than 0% of nothing.

Also, use numbers that you think make sense to you.  I used the 1,3,5,10.  But maybe you want to use 6 months, 1 year, 3 year.  However, I challenge you think longterm. Many studies show that the ability to think longterm is a path to success.

Now that you have these goals established, what do you do?  If you are interested in the next step, email me and I will send you the next steps in the process.

 

 

Have some manners

I see it everyday and I am sure you do as well.  I am just as guilty as the next person from time to time.  That is not taking the time to engage and interact with the people you come into contact with.  Think about a given day.  How many people do you interact with?  The people at the place where you get your coffee, the place you get your breakfast, the bank, your favorite lunchtime spot, tire repair center, your local meeting place where you conduct business, where you have dinner, where you have drinks, your colleagues for that matter, etc.

There are lots of times throughout the day that you interact with people and I am guilty as the next person at times being so focused on what I am doing, sending that text, or reading the last email that just came in, that I don’t give the proper attention to a person that they deserve. Giving them your full undivided attention when they are serving you is the minimum, but why not go above that!

1.  Give them your full attention no matter what.

2.  Say Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or some kind of pleasantry.

3.  Ask them how their day is going.

4.  Tell an individual person that they are doing a great job and give an example of why you feel that way.  EX:  Wow, you all are really busy right now, I appreciate how quickly you are completing everyone’s order, thank you.

5.  Give someone a genuine compliment that they may not see in themselves.  This requires you to go above and beyond, but it can make someones day, week, or month.

6.  Always say thank you!

7.  You may not have time for this, but if you do, what a great way to be courteous.  I love asking people to tell me their story.  Yep, I ask it just like that.  How did you start working here, how long have you been here, what do you like most about working here.  Who knows where this conversation will take you, I really just love hearing the stories.

Will you always get a favorable response?  NOPE! But who cares you can only control your actions.  A famous author says that everyone is dealing with something, and the fact that you can change that in one minute with your interactions with someone, is pretty cool.

Most people and I am just as guilty of this from time to time as well, just go through the day not engaging with the people who are serving you.  This is called being average.  If you are reading my blog, I know you don’t want to be average, right?  So be different from everyone else, and go above and beyond to be courteous to others, some of this stuff is just basic manners, but I challenge you to do more, because that is what we should do.

Please share with me any stories of how you did some of this today and what the results were.

Brian Willett

5 Things you must do today for your own success!

1.  Write down the one big thing you must get accomplished today or someone will die.  Not literally, but what if you approached everyday like this?  I must accomplish this one thing or someone will die.  Would you be sure to get it done?

2.  Be sure to reach across the aisle, over the cubicle wall, over the telephone, or up the hall and tell someone that you appreciate the work they do.  This not only makes them appreciative that you noticed, but it will change your posture for the day as well.

3.  Either write it down or say it.  What am I grateful for today?  Having gratitude is a real sign of maturity.  Be grateful for what you have to-day.

4.  See if you can make it through the day without complaining.  I know it is hard, but just try.  Don’t complain about the traffic, instead turn the music up and appreciate the down time you are getting.  Don’t complain about anything.

5.  Read something inspirational.  Maybe it is a quote, maybe it is a chapter in a book, maybe it is a blog.  Whatever it is, just do it.  What you pour into your mind is what will come out of you, so let’s be sure it is something of value.

Nothing too hard today, approach today with these attitudes and recommendations and share with me how your day turns out, I would love to hear.

Make it a great day!

Brian Willett

Are you EAGER?

As a hiring manager potential candidates that want to work for our company ask me “What are you looking for in an employee?”  I have written about this subject a lot, but I have narrowed it down to something that is easy to remember and illustrates exactly what we are looking for when we hire someone.

We are looking for people who are EAGER.  The dictionary describes EAGER a few different ways, but the definition I like best is “very excited and interested: feeling a strong and impatient desire to do something or for something.”

I love acronyms (because it makes it easy to remember) what does an EAGER person who has a strong desire to do something and is very excited and interested look like?

They are:

E  ngaged:  We all know when people get engaged they are committing to each other that they plan on being together and taking the next steps to marriage.  An engaged employee is committed.  That means they are committed to being in the relationship between themselves and the company.  What this should mean is that they will do no harm, speak no harm, be fully committed 100% to the success of the company, and care about where it is going and their involvement in that direction. Sounds kind of like a marriage doesn’t it?

A ction Oriented: An employee that is eager is without a doubt action oriented.  They not only talk, but they put up.  They talk the talk and walk the walk.  They get things done.  They push things forward.  A person who is action oriented looks at a situation and then develops a plan to take action and follows through.

G  oal Oriented:  A person who is eager realizes to be excited and passionate they must set goals and have a desire to achieve those goals.  The kinds of goals they set are personal goals, health goals, and career goals.  Show me a person who isn’t eager and I will show you a person with no goals.  Goals push us to be more so we can become more and accomplish more.  Some people wish for things, and while those people are wishing, the people who are goal oriented and action oriented are achieving.

E  xcellence:  If you are looking to work with my team, you must get up every day and pursue excellence.  Excellence means you are not merely trying to do the minimal, you are trying to do more.  Average people do average work, talk about average things, and watch the clock, keep track of their hours, and count the days.  The ones who pursue excellence look at each day and say, I won’t stop until I accomplish what needs to be accomplished to push us forward and achieve our goals.

R  esourceful:   I love the definition of resourceful on the web. def:  having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.  WOW!  These are the people I want to be around. Resourceful people find ways to get things done, they don’t complain about the wind, the weather, or give all of the excuses, they find a way to make things happen.  And I like how the definition of resourceful states that they find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. Which means these people are solution finders and not fault finders.  WHOA!  Fault finders is a blog topic all within itself.

So are you EAGER?  Please share with me your insights!  What does EAGER look like to you?

Brian Willett

 

4 ways to course correction

Don’t we all give off course sometimes in our life?  It just happens.

Maybe we haven’t made as much time for our family? Maybe we haven’t been to the gym in a few weeks?  Maybe we haven’t been as involved in our church, or in a group or organization we belong to? Maybe we haven’t been investing in our work like we should? Maybe we haven’t finished up the house repairs that we started working on?  Maybe we have loosened the reigns on the kids some.  Maybe we haven’t been watching what we eat as well as we were.  Maybe our budget has gotten out of whack again.  At times we all just get off course.

I don’t know if I have the right answer for what to do when you get off course, I just know what I have to do to get myself back on the right path again.

1.  I have to remember why I made the decision to do one of the above stated commitments that I am no longer following. 

What was the original motivation I felt to begin with. We made one of the above decisions for a reason.  Something was happening in our life at that time that compelled us to make the commitment, we have to remember why it was.  Maybe your tests came back high, maybe you got a raise, now you have nibbled away from the original goal.  You have to remember why.

2.  What am I allowing to get in the way.  

Sometimes things come up, but if we allow them to prevent us from achieving what we had planned to achieve, then we must call them excuses.  Some excuses are real.  Maybe it is an injury, or we have been out-of-town for work. But don’t let your BS excuses become real to you.

3.  I have to just go. 

Once I remember my original why, I have to clear the schedule.  I just have to make myself go.  I just go to the gym, or go to the meeting, or work on the budget.  Sometimes this is hard, but it is worth it once you do it.  Once you find yourself back in the saddle, you will remember how much you appreciate it and you will love the fact that you are back on track.

4.  Re-commit.

Once you are back on the right course, you have to re-commit yourself.  The way I recommit is I have to put in some guard rails.  Maybe it is putting the time and dates in my calendar.  Or having an accountability partner.  If it is an organization, maybe you volunteer and take on a role, then you can’t back out.

These are some of the ways I facilitate a course correction, how do you do it?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Brian Willett

6 Awesome Book’s you have to read

My last 6 reads were awesome!  I have read a lot of great books, but these were all amazing.  What I have discovered through this journey is the more I read the better resource I become, and I can be a better friend, employee, leader, colleague, mentor, etc.

More than Enough; author Dave Ramsey

If you don’t know who Dave Ramsey is, then you must live under a rock or don’t listen to the radio very much.  Dave Ramsey is the financial guy.  Over 25 years ago Dave went broke twice and after that he decided to create a system that helped him get out of debt and on the path to wealth.  This book doesn’t go through all of the steps he teaches in his programs, but it does give a lot of content on how to live a life of contentment.  That is the key to financial success.  How can you be content today with what you have, while you work towards having more.  And then obviously, he says never, never borrow money.

Crush It (Why now is the time to cash in on your passion); author Gary Vaynerchuk

This book was written in 2006 and some of the information was a little dated.  However, Gary is now the expert in the speaking and author world on anything related to social media.  His style is very unique in that he tells it how it is and he will actually use cuss words in his speaking engagements.  Not to say that it is right, but it shows how passionate he really is.  Currently, he has amassed a sizable fortune, but it all started with him being passionate about being passionate about something.  That is the gist of this book.  What are you passionate about, and how can you start to monetize it. Period.

START (Punch fear in the face, escape average, do work that matters); author Jon Acuff

Actually this book was really along the same lines as the above book by Gary Vaynerchuk. Except, Jon Acuff has a very unique and witty writing style that keeps you interested.  He found his passion and monetized it, just like Gary recommends.  Jon was founded by and developed by Dave Ramsey.  So Jon’s style is very similar to Dave’s in that he talks about walking away from whatever one else is doing, because most people are average and you don’t want to be average “do you”.

Never Go Back (10 Things You’ll never do again); author Dr. Henry Cloud

I recently posted a blog on this book.  I found it so inspiring that I had to write about it.  Check out my blog post titled the same as the book.  But just like the title illustrates, we have all learned lessons in our life, and many of these lessons revolved around the 10 things Dr. Cloud talks about.  This book will now be the book I recommend to people who ask me for advice on relationships.  This book is very relational, but so is life.

48 Days to the work you love; author Dan Miller

I went into this book thinking that it would be a road map to figuring out your passion.  Instead it was really a play book on how to find a job/career that you want to really be in.  The author does a great job at providing resources and really a “how to”, to finding a new job, if that is what you are looking for.  It will now be a book I recommend to any one looking to find a new job, his playbook is well done.

The Laws of Lifetime Growth (Always make your future bigger than your past); author Dan Sullivan 

Dr. John C. Maxwell, one of my favorite authors and speakers wrote a book last year titled the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  This was a great read and provided a lot of great tools on how to be intentional about growth and development.  The book by Dan Sullivan, has a little bit different tenor and style to it.  It was more about the mindset and attitude you should have with your growth, your growth is all about your attitude.

Brian Willett

Don’t hit the snooze button

I am the type of person that usually gets up before my alarm clock goes off in the morning.  Actually, most mornings it is well before it goes off.  I have that internal clock now that just knows when it is time to go.  Each morning there a few ways that we all can be woken up.  If you are like me (95% of mornings) you just wake up because you have had enough sleep.  Some people, like children require a parent to wake them up and then lastly, maybe you are woken up by your alarm clock.  I think the alarm sound on my iPhone has to be the most annoying sound on the face of the earth.

Just like we are woken up on a given day, life experiences can sometimes do the same thing.  I recently had this experience personally.  As I mentioned above, I am the guy that gets up well before the alarm goes off.  Alarms to me are loud, frighten me, and are annoying.  Alarms remind me of being in school where we had those fire drills. I can remember walking down the halls and when you would walk by the actual alarm you had to cover your ears because it was so loud.  That is how I think of alarms.  So I would prefer to stay away from alarms.

In a recent experience in my professional life the alarm has gone off to awaken me to some realities of my life.  For the first time in my life, it required the alarm clock to go off instead of me getting up on my own.  I can now hit the snooze button on the alarm, or jump up and get moving.  We have all heard the story of a person that is over weight and lives an unhealthy lifestyle.  Then one day it happens, they get the chest pain, the sweats, the numbness in the arm.  They had many of these signs along the way, but they just kept sleeping, they didn’t change their ways.  So now the alarm has gone off, and they are at the ER about to have a Heart Cath and they find out that they are having a heart attack.  See the Heart Attack is the alarm.  They allowed the alarm to go off, and now it is time to change, because now they must change.

I recently had the alarm go off, (Luckily I can’t die in this situation, physically at least, mentally maybe)  I can hit the snooze button or make the necessary changes so I can get up before the alarm goes off next time. What happens when you hit the snooze button? Well you are usually running behind all day, or even worse, you are actually late to work or wherever else you need to be.  I am going to choose not to hit the snooze button.  See, I am usually up before the alarm goes off, that is how I live my life, this time the alarm has gone off, and I must choose not to hit the snooze button, and get up right now.

Brian Willett

 

Willpower is finite…

I am reading the book “Start” by Jon Acuff.  I am half way through it, and it has me so motivated.  In one of the chapters he focuses on willpower.  I consider myself to have a lot of willpower, but as he states, willpower is finite.

I remember, when I was about 14 my buddy Wes and I was asked by his uncle to dig up these bushes in front of his grandmother’s house.  Most of us have all done some yard work in our life and forgot about it, but this particular job was special (I still remember it.)  I am not sure what kind of bushes these were, but they had deep roots and he wanted us to get all of the roots out as well.  This was one of those July summer days in Louisville that we all are aware of where the temperature during the day gets above 100.  I think we had a shovel, axe, saw, and maybe some other tools, but none of them were the right tools.  There were three bushes across the front of the house.  We worked on these bushes for about 16 hours in two days, as much as I wanted to quit, we never did until the job was done.  I remember this story, because I was mad because I think we ended up splitting $25 between the two of us.  I can still remember going down to that cool basement both days after working on this project and just lying around resting.  This story illustrates how I have alway been a hard worker and had the willpower to get a job done.

The older I have gotten I have realized that willpower is finite.  And depending on the amount of rest you get your willpower will run out.  In his book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg describes how executives tend to have affairs late at night, when there is very little left in the tank so to speak.  So knowing that willpower is finite how can we insure we maximize our willpower.

I know that my willpower is the strongest in the morning, before I get started on anything I know that for me I must get my workout done.  If I put it off until the end of the day I will not get it done, because after a long day of work, I am exhausted and my willpower is depleted.  For me, to get my reading accomplished, it requires me to do two things.  Have a goal for my reading and to do it in the morning. So I have personal goals on what I want to read and how many books I want to read.  Maybe you have a different system, find what works.  Since I started reading in the mornings when my willpower is the strongest I have accomplished more reading than ever before.

My days look like this:  The morning when my willpower is the strongest. I focus on me and my goals.  The best investment I can make is in me, so I must maximize my time and my willpower focused on the thing that gives me the greatest return.  (Also, a better me, makes me a better employee to my company as well.)  I start my day with my workout, because without HEALTH, none of this other stuff matters that much.

The day-to-day routine of life doesn’t require much willpower.  Like waking the children up and cooking breakfast.  This one action doesn’t require all of your willpower. Playing with the children after work.  This one action doesn’t require all of your willpower.  However, when you add all of the actions up on a given day it dissipates your willpower and by the end of the day you won’t have much left.

So to accomplish more, to have more, to get more done, it requires willpower.  If none of this matters to you, you probably wouldn’t have read this blog.  You have to find a way to maximize your finite willpower when you have the most of it.

Brian Willett

Are you willing to do something different?

I have the fortunate opportunity to speak to a lot of people everyday about their personal goals and what they would like to accomplish in their career.   It is one of the coolest things about my job and it is definitely my passion.

When meeting with someone I always ask do you have clearly defined goals in all areas of your life personally as well as professionally.  And as you might guess, everyone says yes.  My follow-up question is what are they?  They blabber through a few of them, but you can tell they aren’t well-defined.  BTW:  I used to be the same way and in some areas of my life, I still might be, but I am deliberate about the big ones, which include career, passion, money, and future. You are crazy if you think there is such a thing called work life balance.  There must be a work life integration and find balance in managing that.  Your career should be your passion and if it is not, then find another career.

So back to goal setting.  Everyone says they goal set.  For example.  My goal today was to  cut the grass. Weren’t you going to do that anyway?  If the answer is yes.  Was it really a goal?  Meaning, if you didn’t cut it today, were you going to cut it tomorrow, the answer is probably yes.  So to me that isn’t a goal.  It is a something you were going to do anyway, it is just a matter of when.  I work with a lot of college graduates.  I like to ask them if graduating from college was a goal for them.  Sure enough they all say yes.  So my follow-up question is, so if something better came along would you have quit college.  The answer is usually no.  Not Graduating college wasn’t an option. So I ask, was it really goal?  No, it is not a goal, you were going to do it anyway.

I am suggesting you create goals that require you to do something that you wouldn’t do other wise.  I met with a person just yesterday.  They would like to make extra money. I said is that goal or a wish?  They said it was a goal. So I said “How much extra money?”, “When would you like to make this money?”, “What would you do with the extra money?”, and then lastly “What are you willing to do differently than you are doing right now to accomplish this goal?”.  SEE this is the magic question.  WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO DIFFERENTLY, to accomplish this goal.  If what you were doing was working to accomplish your goal (that is if you have a goal at all) you would already be making the extra money.  Since you’re not, your program isn’t working, so you must do something differently. A goal is something that requires you to stretch, to reach, to change, to try another way.

Today I woke up and I am going to work.  Guess what that is a crappy goal, I was going to do that anyway.  Create goals that make you stretch.  My mentor says:  Don’t set your goals too low. If you don’t need much, you won’t become much–Jim Rohn.

The point I am making is that A) Set some goals B) Set some goals that require you to do something you wouldn’t do otherwise.  If you make 45K a year and you want to make 55K a year, what are you willing to do differently to make that.  Maybe it will require some extra education, maybe not, maybe you are really good at X and you can do that on the side.  Maybe you deliver pizzas.  I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers I just have some suggestions.   The key here is set some goals that are worthwhile. 

Spend some time setting some goals today.  If you need some worksheets or some help please let me know.  I have a bank of resources that I can send you for free.  These forms changed my life, maybe they can change yours.

Brian Willett