Will your achieve your goals in 2014? Maybe these can help.

Use some of these to help you achieve your goals in 2014.

  1. The first person you need to change is your self.
  2. Make family first – they are the only thing you really have at the end of the day.
  3. You have to be the one to find a way to win.
  4. Own your crap and fix it. No one else is going to.
  5. Don’t try and be awesome, just be you and work hard daily.
  6. Stop talking about other people. You are just as messed up.
  7. You have nothing to prove to anyone, but you.
  8. Stop holding  yourself back
  9. Stress is real. Deal with it in a way that makes more sense in your mind.
  10. Your always going to have worries they will just be different.
  11. Stop talking about the shitty place you are and start talking more about the place you want to be.
  12. Get out on the field and play the game. You don’t win from inside the building or on the bench.
  13. Stop trying to be a leader and just do your work. Leaders always rise to the top by their actions.
  14. Only have meetings if they have meaning. Meetings suck the life out of you.
  15. Don’t make decisions out of emotions. If you’re emotional walk away and come back later.
  16. Give money away if you have it.
  17. Go volunteer. Do something for someone other than yourself.
  18. Realty check. This isn’t the [ insert name here ] show.
  19. Be nice to people and say thank you.
  20. Be understanding. We all f*** up. We are human, right?
  21. Get yourself some zen mediation. It will change your life.
  22. Ask for serious feedback and think before you respond.
  23. Be a man or woman. They have left the world and now we have a bunch of douchebags.
  24. Be confident
  25. Focus on growth in everything.
  26. Get lots of sleep.
  27. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Why do it? You have enough pressure on yourself.
  28. Exercise. It makes you feel awesome!
  29. Get shit done.
  30. love people.

The Misunderstood Entrepreneur

I think people misunderstand us entrepreneurs.

For that, let me clarify what makes me and pretty much every other entrepreneur in this world do what we do.

When people think about entrepreneurs, they think of people like Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and the like. But, what they forget is that at one point these folks were in the same spot as you; sacrificing, staying up all night coding, spending every last dollar on their dream. Yeah, they didn’t have shit on their way to the top, but they were happy doing something they were passionate about.

You see, people get caught up in the public face and the hype about a company but forget about what’s going on under the hood and the time that’s being put in to get to the top.

They never seem to ask either or take the time to understand. Then….one day, we surprise the hell out of them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘To be great is to be misunderstood

Because I often feel misunderstood (Maybe you do too), I thought I would take a stab at helping others better understand us.

We have a method to our madness. We don’t sit around on our computers all day doing nothing. It may seem like the strangest thing, but every one of us have a process for thinking things through, strategizing, and making decisions. We are process oriented people and think like a builder. Sometimes we don’t even know what we are doing it just comes natural as it’s part of our fabric.

We trust our gut to the end. We’ve spent our lives absorbed in chasing our dreams and for this we are extremely confident when it comes to trusting our instincts and following whatever inspires us the time. We follow what we believe in, not what other people think is right or what society tells us we should do. We may listen to others, but it’s only a trusted few and in the end it’s still going to be our.

You won’t find a more passionate person. This is what we do. There is nothing else…it’s all we know and want. It could be writing code, coming up with the next great product, or changing an entire industry, we love it. It inspires us to go big or go home. It’s ultimately where we feel most comfortable. We feel at home and if you were to ask any of us, we would tell you that there is nothing else we’d rather be doing.

We are quick on our feet. We can process things, come to grips with a situation, and understand complexities very quickly. Stuff that might take you two hours to understand we can take care of in minutes.

Problems are our lifeblood. We enjoy nothing more than seeking out and solving problems. We see every problem as an opportunity worth solving. It’s like it’s a never-ending game or something. We actually get off on it. And once we fully understand the problem, we will bring everything we have to the table to come up with the right solution, business model, decision, whatever it takes.

We have something to prove. It’s not entirely clear as to who, but we have something to prove. Maybe it’s to ourselves, that we really can solve a certain problem and build something out of nothing. Who knows. Regardless, we are all on a pursuit to achieve greatness and we will let nothing stand in our way.

Hardass workers. You will find no one that works harder than us. Yeah, you may work with your hands, but you eventually come home and sit with your families. We lay awake at night thinking about our companies. We wake up in the middle of the night to start working on a thought or an idea. It never stops. It never ends. Our work is our life. It’s obvious really when you consider how passionate we are about what we do and how driven we are for accomplishment.

And just for the sake of knowing, If you ever end up working with one of us, the worst thing you can do is sit on your ass. We hate people who say yes all the time and we are impatient with folks who don’t add value. We surround ourselves with people who can make things happen. If this is you, great. If not, move along. We think this way. Come on board and get to work or get out of our way. Easy as that.

 

Build Cool Shit with Cool People

Make it your personal mission to build cool shit with cool people.

If you’re thinking about  starting a company don’t make it about it be about money, power, success, or the cool factor? These are the wrong reasons to start a company…and if this is all you got, you better be ready to fail.

Yes, you do need drivers as you do in anything, but don’t let these be the reasons why you start a company.

Starting a company is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It’s tougher than any Iron man, fight, school paper, exam, breakup, or fight you’ve ever been in. Starting a company is like getting in the ring with an MMA fighter just to get your ass beat over and over again – the key, getting right back up because anything worth doing is worth fighting for.

Don’t waste another day doing anything other than this. I’ve started several companies for the right reasons and I’ve started companies for the wrongs reasons. What I’ve learned is this simple statement: build cool shit with cool people.

Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made, get out there, find cool people, and get started building cool shit.

If you do this, it will change your life.

Monday morning motivation: Put in the work and make something out of yourself

No, I didn’t grow up in new York or silicon valley, I don’t have an MBA from Stanford or Harvard, and I didn’t come from any money.

My Mom and Dad had my sister when they were 17, my mom cleaned houses, and my dad poured concrete. We lived a simple life and my parents worked for every dollar they had.

What my parents have taught me over the years and I still carry with me today is that if I want something bad enough, I better get my ass out there and find a way to make it happen.

Oh, and don’t be a pussy (This is from Dad). Be tough, take risks, don’t let people push you around, and speak your mind.

Honestly, what my parents taught me at an early age is the foundation for anyone who wants to be happy and successful.

There is something to be said about hard work and some serious hustle.

Are my parents happy and successful today? Yes, but it didn’t come easy. It was the consistent get up work your ass off and hustle that has allowed my parents to be where they are today.

You are no different. If you want something bad enough, then you get out there, work for it, and find a way to make it happen. I don’t care if you have to live in van down by the river, eat ramen noodles for a year, or do the most random crap, there is a way, you just have to find it.

And, if you think you still need a degree from Harvard or come from money, you are full of shit. The truth is, you are lazy and you’re not willing to do what it takes.

Put in the work and make something out of yourself.

Happy Monday!

 

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.

——-

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.

———

How about you? 

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

 

Look For People Not Opportunities

Look for people not opportunities. Why? Because every opportunity is attached to a person. When you think about opportunities where do they come from? People.

Opportunities start with people. They don’t just come floating out of the sky and slap you in the face – you have to go searching for them.

The next time you start searching for an opportunity – one that gives you a nice return, start by searching for a person.

How do I approach opportunities? I look for talented people. For the last 5-6 years, I’ve made it my personal goal to connect and meet with at least 3-5 new people per month. I’m intentional about this and build it into my calendar. I also set aside the time, energy, and money to pre-commit myself to actually making this happen.

Yes, it does require a bunch of my resources,  but the return has always been greater than the actual investment – not short-term, but long.

For me, my long-term strategy and goal is to invest, partner, and build incredible startups. What do I need to do this? People and relationships. I need a network of very talented folks that I can bring in to help me do these things.

Again, if you want to build anything great and of scale, you need people.

And, when push comes to shove, don’t give up on connecting with new people – take the long view and do it right. Relationships — whether it be romantic, friendship, or professional – take a lot of time time to develop. And if you rush them, you end up hurting something that could have had great potential.

Don’t take it from me, go ask around. Anyone successful will tell you that they took time to connect with new people and without them, they would not be where they are today.

——-

How about you? 

Are you making time to connect with new people?