Don’t pressure yourself out

Are you carrying the world around on your shoulders? Are you starting to tire? Are you ready to throw in the towel and say f*** it? Before you do, let me share a little wisdom with you.

I to was once this person that carried the world around on my shoulders. I was stressed out, or pressured out – whatever the case, I was doing this to myself.

Pressure will weigh you down, it will break you down, it will wipe you out – you don’t want to get to this point – I’ve been there and it sucks ass.

Pressure – the stuff we put on ourselves to perform or deliver can actually be a bad thing…a really bad thing. I’m not saying some pressure isn’t good, but what I am saying is that too much pressure is not good at all. It can make you angry, sad, or push you to the breaking point of depression – this is where it lead me.

What I’ve personally learned over the years is to relax a little, have some fun, and don’t put so much damn pressure on myself. Just be yourself, laugh, screw up once in a while, and do not take yourself to seriously.

Life is too short to put all this pressure on yourself.

When I reflect back on my different careers – racing motorcycles and startups, I found that I always performed better when I was just out doing something I love.

Today, I am happy to say that I wake up without an alarm clock, I work out, I take some time for me (Everyone needs me time), and I enjoy the rest of my day working on startups – all this I do with a smile.

I promise you, you will perform better without putting too much pressure on yourself. Its easier to focus and not second guess yourself when you feel less pressure. Just have fun, enjoy doing something you love, and focus on the experience, not just the results.

Like most problems in life this is another one we create ourselves. Get rid of some of this pressure and start enjoying the ride.

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What about you? 

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Are you about to crack?

 

Start focusing on your strengths

Do you know what your strengths are? Most people don’t so you shouldn’t feel bad.

I was one of those people just a few years ago. You know, one of those people working in areas that I really sucked at only to frustrate the hell out of the people around me.

Yup, that was me, until I decided to become obsessed with knowing and understanding my strengths. I was sick of working in areas that I flat-out wasn’t good at. And for that matter, now looking back, I hated anyways.

You see this all the time….especially with younger people – they are trying to figure out what they are good at. Or, what they want to do with their life. So, what do they do, they try this, try that, they move around, but the question becomes, do they ever take the time to really understand what their strengths are and how to apply them? No.

Try this sometime. Ask your friends if they know what there strengths are. It’s fun to hear their responses – most of the time it’s made up on the spot and complete crap.

After a couple of failures in my life, I became obsessed with understanding my strengths and weaknesses.You screw up a couple of times so bad that it hurts a bunch of people, you will reflect and ask yourself some tough questions.

This lead me to take it upon myself to take every test and assessment I could find. I even hired some professionals that do this for a living. I wanted to better understand myself. What were my strengths? What was I good at? Where should I be focusing my time?

When you find your strengths and embrace and focus on them daily, it will change your life….forever.

Beyond taking the tests and assessments, I went out and spoke to other people about how they found their strengths and how they were applying them – it was inspiring to hear.

If you are interested in learning your strengths, here are three really great assessments that you can take. You can either take them online or you can reach out to the companies for other options.

  1. Strengths based leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. If you buy the book there is an access code in the back to take the test online. The test consists of about 170 questions.
  2. Myers Briggs tests which are always interesting. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
  3. Predictive Index was really great because of the teacher I had. He was very patient and went through everything step by step with me.

John Maxwell, a very well know leader calls this filling in your Gaps, you can read his blog here. Once you understand your strengths you can start filling in your Gaps and start winning.

You can’t win unless you fill in your gaps.

Too often we try and be everything or we focus on things we suck at. Be honest with yourself and let someone fill in the gap.

Today, I focus on my strengths: competition, activator, futuristic, input, and achiever. Outside of these, I fill in the gaps.

Here is why I believe that it is so important to find your strengths and start applying them today:

1. It helps you to focus on what you are good at and stop trying to be something that you’re not.

2. If you suck at Golf, just do it for fun, not as a career or a position.

3. You can’t play every position on the team – you need other players to fill in where you are weak.

4. If you want to win the game, you need to know where you stand.

Keeping in mind the above four points, and applying what you learn should allow you to experience similar results. If you find that you are still struggling, it might be a good idea to reach out to other leaders and discuss how they are applying what they have learned.

I will tell you this as well, this is not an overnight fix.

Once you find your strengths, it will take time to start applying them. You might even find that you are leading in an area in the company that doesn’t fit with you. Maybe your down the wrong career path. You might even be chasing the wrong things. Whatever it is, just remember that anything good takes time.

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How about you? 

Do you know what your strengths are?  Are you focusing on them?

 

Will you pursue your vision until you breathe your last breath?

In my book, short-term expectations and plans aren’t as important as long-term possibilities. Honestly, I don’t really care if some of my plans fall apart. Why? Because what matters is that I stay strong and continue to pursue my vision letting nothing get in the way.

Photo Courtesy of: 123freevectors.com

What matters is that you follow your heart and keep choppin’ wood every day. If you’re one of those people that lets short-term plans affect long-term possibilities you have a problem, and unless you change your thinking, you might  not accomplish much in life.

Things are going to happen to you. Plans are going to fall apart. You will lose at times.

The key is staying positive,  keeping an eye on your vision, and charging forward daily.

A good example is Jobs. He never let short-term stuff affect his vision of making cool shit. The thing I loved about Jobs was how he made gutsy decisions time and time again. He stayed hungry and never gave up…even till his last breath – this inspires me

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

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What about you? 

Will you stay strong pursuing your vision until you breathe your last breath?

 

NIKE: Greatness is not beyond your reach

I’m super impressed with Nike and their ability to reach pretty much everyone – out of all the brands out there, they get it. Watch this video and try to disagree with me.

They recently released this honest and brave statement and call to action under their #findyourgreatness campaign – It features a 12 year old Nathan from London OH. He’s overweight, but still getting after it and it’s down right moving and motivating.

And the thing that impresses me is how they’ve gone from serving a narrow athletic market to serving pretty much everyone: athletes, action sports, males, females, and even overweight 12 year olds.

Personally, I’d love to see Nike stick with Nathan and follow him in his journey to losing weight. Who knows, maybe they will.

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What do you think?

 

Ship Now, what are you waiting for?

If you’re sitting around thinking about this sweet plan about how you are going to take over the world with your product and you keep adding this and changing that, I say stop now and ship that shit – what are you waiting for….seriously?

Don’t be scared, no one is going to know about it for a while anyways – you will have plenty of time to collect feedback and make changes….trust me.

If you don’t ship now, there may be no hope for you or your product. By the time you “think” it’s right, someone will have already beaten you too it – you don’t want this, right?

It’s important that you get your product to market as quickly as possible. The longer you wait the more life and stuff happens. Put everything aside, figure what you need to make it viable, and start shipping. Do it now before I do.

The key is taking your product to market as quickly as possible. Then, after you’ve taken it to market you can collect customer feedback and use it to adjust the customer and product path. Simple stuff. Don’t complicate it.

I’ve dealt with both situations before; taking time to go to market and just shipping. You can probably guess what one always turned out better for me.

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Are you that person who sits around waiting to ship? What’s holding you back? 

 

Get out there and scuff up your shield

As you know, or as you are learning, failure is a very important part of your journey. Yes, I know I’ve blogged a lot about failure lately, but it’s only because of how important failure really is.

All successful entrepreneurs fall at times and then climb their ass right back out of a heap of crap only to be better, stronger, and more ready for the next challenge – I know that this is true for me. How about you?

The key to failing is getting right back up. You can’t stay down long and cry like a little bitch. You have to jump right back up and flaunt it – show off your scars and wounds so that other people can learn from them as well.

What matters in the end is that your shield is scuffed and beaten up because it shows that you were willing to fight. If you come back with a clean and shinny shield that just shows that you’re a pussy.

If you want to help and transform others, don’t talk about your arrival, talk about your journey, your battles, your wounds, and your redemption.

You hear about people with setbacks – I’ve had mine. Setback are awesome! Why? Because they are opportunities for clarity, humility, growth, and wisdom. You learn your strengths and you learn your weaknesses. You learn to ask for help. And you learn who you need to win the fight.

 

Grab a pen and paper and go to work

Sometimes you just have to grab a pen and paper and go to work. I think we’ve become so accustomed to using tools that we have forgotten the value and efficiency of a simple pen and paper.

Simple is always better – that’s a fact.

The best approach to building an idea starts with sitting down with a trusty pen and paper or at a Think Table (Like that plug didn’t ya) and sketching out your thoughts and ideas.

A blank canvas or lots of white space provides this place to think different and generate lots of ideas quickly without any restraints. You can also explore other options and variations without any real risks – you can just throw it all out their and start to visualize something amazing.

While complex technology programs are great for putting the finishing touches on something, they’re not the quickest way to start the ideation process.

Here’s the question: Are you making things to difficult by pulling up another program when you could just be sitting down and starting to explore?

There is a simpler way. Try it. Use it. Go.

 

I enjoy building cool shit and it’s not just because of money

A true entrepreneur who loves building stuff is not in it for the money – this is definitely a by product of building cool stuff, but money is not the primary driver. If it is, then you are not a true entrepreneur.

Every great entrepreneur I know wants several things and making money is not number one.

So, why do we as entrepreneurs do what we do; travel the world, spend time away from our families, sacrifice pretty much everything, and take the risks that others are unwilling to take?

It’s simple really. I’ll give you 8 reasons to start:  

1. We love building cool stuff and watching it turn into something – think of a house starting out as an idea and then becoming a place where a family is built.

2. We love working with other entrepreneurs who share our same passions. There is nothing like a couple of entrepreneurs coming together to brainstorm how they can disrupt an industry or take a crappy product and make it better.

3. We enjoy solving a problem that makes the world a better place.

4. We appreciate the freedom to be creative with no restraints. Everything is a go.

5. We hate when people tell us what to do. Our lives are not conventional.

6. We get fired up when we hit key milestones and make progress against an idea.

7. We want to be challenged or we lose interest and want to move onto other things.

8. We want to constantly be learning new things that stretch our minds and make us grow.

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How about you? 

Why do you as an entrepreneur do what you do?