[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL1d36I4t2Q[/youtube]This is this the phrase that I have on my cell phone home page: Imperfect Daily Action. In reminds that small forwards steps are the best way forwards towards any achievement. It also helps me accept my imperfection and not get so down on myself for minor setbacks. Watch the video and let me know what you think.Read More
That number is 168. As in you have 168 hours in every week to stand up and change your life. Watch the video to learn more.Read More
Richard Branson sure is a cool dude. And he’s done some incredible stuff in his life.
He’s also had some stupid, massive failures.
Have you ever heard of Virgin Cola? Their bottles were called “The Pammy” because they were shaped like Pamela Anderson.
Really, Richard? You are the same guy that started Virgin Airlines?
How about Virgin Brides? Yikes. (Yes, that’s him in the picture dressed up as a bride.)
It’s easy to laugh at when he swung and missed, though we all know he’s the man. And a big reason is that he doesn’t let a few whiffs stop him from going balls in the next time. And the next time. And the next time.
How can you have the same go-for-it attitude that he does? Simple. The next time you want to make a change in your life—want to start something new—you Experiment.
Simple: we procrastinate because we don’t want to mess up. We are afraid of not being perfect.
(Want to know the psychological reasons why you procrastinate? Watch the video here.)
See, the purpose of an experiment is to learn. The great thing about it is that the only way you fail in an Experiment is not to conduct it. Because I don’t know about you, but I learn best by doing. There is no substitute for experience.
When someone learns to fly, he reads. Then he Experiments in a flight simulator. Then he Experiments by flying with someone else. Then he is ready to go solo.
Our brain gets freaked out when we want to make a change or try something new—especially if it’s something big.
When you want to make a change, how can you break that change down into the smallest experiment you can?
If you decide you want to run your first marathon, you might then become paralyzed with fear: Do I have the right shoes? Do I run before or after work? Am I ready to commit to running five times a week for the next fifteen weeks?
You don’t have to answer any of these questions. All you have to do is perform an Experiment this next week. Try two Experiments: run once, for 15 minutes before work, and run again for 15 minutes after work. See which one fits best in your schedule. See if you need better shoes. Is it easier to commit to running almost every day for the next four months, or twice over the next week?
This concept works so well that I’ve written a whole book about it, which has become a #1 bestseller in both the Creativity and Business Leadership Training categories. It is a modern business fable, where a business owner—who wants to make changes in his personal and work life—meets a coach, who walks him through these changes through a variety of Experiments.
Take the next project you have. Is it a book? Starting a business? Getting healthy? What is the tiniest step you can take? Do that step. Then evaluate; what worked? What didn’t? What is your next step from there?
What do you think Richard Branson’s next Experiment will be? Virgin Butter? Virgin Flypaper?
Doesn’t really matter, because he’s still the coolest guy in the world. And he’s going to keep Experimenting until he dies. And his Experiments change the world.
I don’t understand people that get that runner’s high. It’s never happened to me. On my best days with my best times, I still can’t wait until I’m done with the entire course. That is exactly how I felt when I made this quick video after running recently. I hate running. But I still encourage people to do it because there is no better test of health than how your body reacts right after a run. Check it out.
(Be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel after watching. You don’t want to miss another chance to see me out of breath and sweaty)
Your ability to focus and properly allocate your time is instrumental to any success that you hope to achieve. However the world, and specifically the internet, is not designed to help you focus. It is design to grab your attention with a compelling headline and suck you away from whatever you are working on to read some trivial piece of information that has nothing to do with your dreams, hopes and fears.
There is no special cure for managing your distractions. There is no special app, no browser plugin, and no list of “The Top 10 Ways To…” that the world can ever give you that will help you be less distraction.
Do not pick up your phone. Do not move your mouse. Do not touch your keyboard. Use this as a simple exercise in concentration. Even I had a hard time doing it. But if you can do it, you’ll start to understand the kind of focus that you will need to get other things done.
Every single one of us on this planet has at least one ‘thing’ on this planet that makes us come alive. We may have discovered it as a kid (like me) . Or it may have taken several decades for us to peel back the layers of your soul enough to get to the heart of it. And some of you reading this still may not know what that magical thing is. To you I say – keep peeling back the layers. One day that magical ‘thing’ will hit you and you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
Why do I bring this up? What many of my friends may not know is that I am a pilot. Right behind my driver’s license I carry an equally important card with me every place I go. It will be in the wallet the day that the air leaves my lungs. That is my pilot’s license. It says that I am allowed to crawl into a small metal machine and escape the surly bonds of earth.
That is my ‘thing’. If you are ever hanging out with me and something with wings passes overhead, whatever we are talking about probably disappears into the background of my brain. I will turn my head. I will look up. Because I know that in that little metal box I will find a kindred soul. He is in heaven just like I would be (or at least he is 2000′ AGL closer to heaven).
I was reminded of ‘my thing’ when I saw the video below earlier in the week, and then again today when Mr. Cliff Shaw shared it. Flying is my thing. When I am there I am in heaven. And when I am not there I wish I was. I share the video below with you and I hope you get a kick out of it. I know that I have some pilot (or pilot-in-training) friends who will say ‘yeah. this!’.
Take 60 seconds and think: What is that ONE thing that gets you excited and makes you drive faster – literally or figuratively?
The title above was one of many gems that came out of this university commencement speech by Jim Carrey.
It is not uncommon to have celebrities speak at commencement ceremonies. This one was special and has some very deep words that you should listen to and put into practice in your own life.
What did you think? Come over to the Facebook Page and let me know what you took away.Read More
I don’t know that I am a thought leader . But I was called one about eight months ago. It is not something I was working on – it just kind of happened. It is not something I am going to brag about in books or put behind my name in every conference presentation. I think that the “status: kind of just developed over time. But my insight may help you to see how to get your thoughts noticed.
If you were to talk to my close friends and family, they would probably tell you that I am “argumentative”. Of course I’ve never seen it that way, and what do they know right? But I do tend to look at conversations and situations from a jaded point of view. Or at least from a point of view that most people do not approach. When people say that “A B C are facts” I’ll tend to challenge them and make the conversation go deeper. When I go to conference after conference and I see experts on stage all saying the same thing about a topic, I tend to start investigating the topic on my own time and see how much of what they say is fact and how much is self-aggrandising speaker hot air. ( I hope other speakers and conference attendees do that about what I say. I might be lying! )
About a year ago I was having drinks with a very smart gentleman named Corey Perlman who is a brilliant social media speaker. We are both members of the National Speakers Association and were both at the same annual conference. (Sidebar: You should look at joining the NSA. There is no better place to network with successful speakers). He said something to me that I’ll never forget:
Patrick – I love the stuff you post online. You are such a contrarian.
“Wow” I thought. Corey is a pretty popular guy in his field so to get a compliment from him felt pretty good. Plus we were a bunch of professional speakers out having drinks and the truth usually comes out when we’ve had a few.
Fast forward to eight months ago. I was approached by one of the editors of Speaker Magazine (the official magazine of the National Speakers Association) who wanted me to write a featured article for one of the sections. Part of the email that encouraged me to write said:
A fellow NSA member, and friend of yours, recommended you as a thought leader on social media and marketing, if that helps sway your opinion one way or another
I’ve got an ego just like everybody else – of course this is going to sway me. That phrase had never been used on me before and it felt great.
Since that initial email the phrase has been used several more times about me – publicly and privately. I run a private Facebook group (click here to apply to join) that helps speakers market themselves better in the world. I’ve received constant praise for my work in that group. I didn’t think I was doing anything special; I’m just helping out a bunch of speakers in a quiet, spam-free environment. And that brings to me how I think YOU can become a thought leader also.
Here are the behaviors that I believe caused someone to call me a “thought leader” status:
Having a Voice – This is the most important step. Too many people in this world “talk about talking”. And few… very few… actually stand up and voice their opinion on a topic. Most people would rather keep their heads down and blend in . Life is safe when you just keep ducking and keep your mouth shut. However if you want to be recognized for your opinion or your accomplishments, you cannot be shy with your voice. When your become a blogger, a speaker, a teacher or a television personality you are going to have to get past your shyness and get on a platform.
Being a contrarian – If you ever hear something in a conversation that sounds stupid or read something on the internet and think “well that just sounds stupid” THEN SAY SO (even if it comes from me). Be tactful about it, but jump on it if it just does not seem right and share your opinion about it. There will be at least one person who will agree with you. But they don’t have the courage to say it. So when you do voice your contrarian opinion you are likely speaking for several people. (This is the reason that it has always annoyed me that Facebook only gives you a LIKE button and not a DISLIKE button.)
Don’t be afraid to call experts out – This is kind of like being a contrarian, but with the addition of addressing specific people that you do not agree with. When several popular experts tend to have the same opinion about a topic, it is time for someone to look at the other side. And if you don’t agree with what an expert says, feel free to call them out on their opinion via video, blogging or social media (or even in person if you get the chance). We tend to believe anybody that stands on stage and speaks. There is a dangerous trend in the world of speakers/experts. They tend to repeat each other. I’ll take social media as an example. All you have to do is go to about two social media conferences and you will like hear everything you’d hear at a future conference. Experts (of which I like to think I am one) tend to parrot each other. They/We will go to conference, see someone say something that appears insightful, and then repeat it to our tribe. This can be dangerous if the original source of the information didn’t have their facts straight.
I’d like to wrap this up with a great quote I heard recently.
You don’t have to be best in the world. You just have to be the best in THEIR (i.e. Your audience) world.
Being a thought leader means being the best you can be for YOUR tribe. If you follow my guidelines above will be on the right path.
We will gladly give our time, attention and money to a person who knows what they are talking about. Or at least thinks they know they are talking about. But self-confidence does not come naturally to a lot people. I think our upbringing drastically affects whether we leave the nest with a ton of self-confidence or very little.
Self-confidence is the ability to believe and display the attitude that you know what you are doing. It is a virtue desired by employers, mates and friends. The world is a beautiful balance of people who have varying levels of self-confidence. The people on one end of the scale are fearful that they are not good enough or don’t know enough to open up and share their wisdom. The people on the extreme other end of the scale of self-confidence are brash, arrogant, and generally unpleasant to be around. If you can find a way to be confident but be just below the extreme, the world will love you and eat you up. They will applaud you and live vicariously through you. And as a bonus – they will pay good money to be around you and learn from you.
Here are the mindsets that you should remember when you are not quite sure of what you are getting ready to tackle – or even if you should be doing it:
Bonus: When you see people that appear “self-confident” and wish you were more like them, remember this: They may have the same fears and insecurities that you do. Fifteen minutes before you saw them they may have been sitting in their car doing self-talk to get up the courage to do what you are seeing them do now. Some of the people that appear confident in public are terribly insecure in private. They are just really good actors, and their desire for accomplishment is greater than their fear of failure.
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I live online. And I am highly engaged in the world of social media. Sometimes it is the first thing I check in the morning for new communications, and the last thing I check at night to see if there has been any new activity in my private groups. If I’m not careful I could easily spend a full day participating in discussions on private Facebook groups. In this podcast I talk about how to be sure that your time is managed well while you are online. If you are running a business and trying to find balance in your world, then this is a great episode to listen to.
Listen to the podcast. Watch the video. And then share your thoughts with me in the comments.Read More
Over my four decades I have come to believe that managing our physical health is one of the best things we can do. It is obviously great for the body. But today I am going to talk to you about why it is great for the mind and soul also. Listen to the podcast. Watch the video. And then share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Do you ever wish you could go back to that very last day in high school and talk to yourself? I wish that all of the time. What you learned in high school does not even come close to preparing you for the real world. There are so many life lessons I’d share with myself. But more importantly I’d lay down a good set of ground rules and beliefs to guide me for the new few decades. It is great when you learn how the world is structured. But sometimes it takes too long to figure out.
I hope this post accelerates your learning curve or the learning curve of a high schooler. Please help me share it.
The link for the video and the podcast of the show are below. We can also be found on Stitcher and Soundcloud.
Take care and stay hungry my friends – Patrick