Learning to say the right things to my wife

As I strive to be a better man I’m learning to say the right things to my wife. It’s easy to say the wrong thing – we as men do it all the time, but it becomes WAY more difficult to say the right things.

  1. Every morning I wake up and let my wife know that I love her: Yeah, it sounds simple, but when life starts to happen it becomes easy to forget.
  2. You’re smart, confident, and beautiful: By saying this regularly it builds security, affirmation, and confidence in her. I also tell my son this same thing pretty much daily. The only change is hansome.
  3. I was wrong, I’m sorry, will you forgive me: I want Sarah to know that I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. I want her to see that I’m not to good to say that I’m sorry. And that I always seek forgiveness right away.
  4. So, is this what your saying? I want Sarah to know that I hear her, respect her, and I value what she has to say.
  5. How can I be a better man for you and our family? I want her to know that I’m striving daily to be the man she and our family deserve.
  6. I want to spend more time together. What do we need to do to make this happen? I want Sarah to know that our time together is special to me. And, I want Daniel to see that we love and value one another.
  7. What do you think about this? It’s important to me that I include Sarah in my decisions because everything I do affects her and our family. I never want her to feel like she isn’t a part of what I do.
  8. Can we sit down and go over our family financials? I try to be intentional about how we manage our money as a family. I want us to be secure first and then plan for the lifestyle and future that we want to have.
  9. I’ll take care of this or that so that you don’t have to worry about it. This could mean taking care of our son so she can focus on school or something else. The key is that it shows that I support her dreams and goals.
  10. Call me anytime: I like Sarah to know that I’m always accessible and there for her to talk to. If I’m in a meeting or something I usually will step away and take her call or try to call her right back.

How about you? Are you saying the right things to your wife?

Startups are not a job

Are you making startups a job? They’re not a job (At least they shouldn’t be) they are a lifestyle.

Everything comes down to what’s important to you. What do you really want to achieve? If it’s just money, then you fucked up somewhere. Startups shouldn’t be about making money, they should be about living out a love and passion to change the world. To execute on a vision.  To make a difference. If these are your priorities and reasons for starting companies then money, life, happiness, and all the gifts and joys of life will follow.

Lets be honest, startups are hard work, they take up much of your time and you have to sacrifice things. However, if you’re doing things for the right reasons, it wont feel like much of a sacrifice – it will feel like a gift.

Take a hard look at what you’re doing and why you’re doing it – money, ego, fame, friends, and be honest with yourself. Figure it out. Ask hard questions. And even if the answer becomes a very hard reality…deal with it. Drop everything, shift your priorities, and live the life you were meant to live.

 

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!

 

From the heart

Throwing out some love this morning.

1. Don’t go to college because you think this is the right thing to do. You have no idea what the hell you want to be anyways. If you’re going to do anything, I say travel the world and live out of a backpack meeting people and collecting experiences for a year or two. Work random ass jobs and have fun. Or start building a startup. I could careless, just do something.

2. Don’t try to meet a hot chick just because your friends have hot chicks. Wait for the right girl to come along. Yeah, you should play the field, but don’t settle down till you meet the right one. Find your warrior princess like I did.

3. Your goal shouldn’t be just to graduate. If you’re going to graduate, graduate with something you can use.

4. Don’t get a job find a passion. Jobs are for people who are depressed, divorced, and pissed off. Find a passion and live it out everyday in everything that you do.

5. Get married when your ready. Don’t get married because anyone is forcing you. If your friends are married great, this doesn’t mean you have to follow. Do it when your ready. Who knows, maybe there are some things you want to accomplish first.

6. Houses are a big responsibility and they will tie you down. You have to mow the lawn, take care of the things that breaks, and more importantly, you will feel stuck. It’s not the cool thing to do to own a home.

7. Dogs: Yeah they’re cute and fun to play with, but they are a big responsibility. Everytime you want to go somewhere or travel you have to find someone to watch them. Do you want this hassle and worry? I learned the hard way. I used to have dogs and they quickly became a pain – I no longer have dogs.

8. I have a little boy do any time. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I don’t even have the kid yet. However, don’t force it, let it happen on its own. God knows when your ready.

9. Divorce sucks ass. I don’t believe in it. You make a commitment and you figure the shit out. My wife and I have almost killed each other so many times I can’t even count. But today, she is my cheerleader and I love her with all my heart. Appreciate your wives and tell them how much you love them everyday.

Don’t live the same story everyone else lives and end up depressed and lonely. Game change this shit. Live different. Be different. And enjoy every second you have on this earth.

There it is, from the heart.

 

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?

 

Where you invest your time will determine your destiny

Where are you investing all your time? Might be worth taking a hard look at because where you invest all your time could just be your destiny.

Where do you invest your time

In fact, it is your destiny and you might not even know it. Time is the most valuable asset you got so you better be using it wisely and paying attention to where you spend it.

Here are a few truths to follow: 

1. Whatever it is, if you work hard at it day in and day out you will eventually be good at it. It’s just how things work. Focus, work your tail off, and good things will happen.

2. If you suck at something it’s usually not all the fun, right? I mean, that is why I quit golfing…because I suck at it. I can ride a dirtbike, but Golf, yeah I suck. Now, if I played golf often, I would eventually get good and probably start to love it. It all comes down to where you spend your time.

3. Think of something you’re good at. Do you enjoy it? Well yeah, why wouldn’t you. The key is finding something you enjoy and overtime you will become more and more passionate about it.

4. So, if you are good at something, work hard at it. Invest time. Work harder than anyone else so that you can excel and be the best that you can be.

 

Do work you love

The last few months of working on several startup projects with passionate entrepreneurs has caused me to think about this idea of work. And, how do you find work that you love to do so much that you would do it even if you didn’t get paid? Entrepreneurs, you know exactly what I’m talking about here.

This whole process began when I started working on an old project that I quickly became super passionate about again. I was able to answer the question why am I doing this? The why that sometimes gets clouded with the what and how was clearer than ever before – I love building stuff and things: products, teams, companies, and anything that inspires me to take action.

Are you trying to figure out what kind of work you love to do? Does it feel like a struggle? If so, it should. However, don’t lose hope because what you love to do just might be right around the corner.

Finding work that you love is a struggle for…everyone. I’ve struggled with this, my friends have struggled with this, and pretty much everyone I know struggles with this at some point in their life. In fact, most people fail miserably at this.

Nevertheless, if you at least have a destination in sight, you’re more likely to arrive at a place in which work feels more like something you love than work.

Work has to start with a mindset of knowing that you can love work. If you’re able to do this, you are in the homestretch. And, if you can figure out what work you love, you’re more or less there.

 

Winning requires failure

I know that I’ve talked allot about failure lately, but it is just so real and awesome! People who are afraid to fail don’t end up doing much with their lives. God built us to fail. And God built is to fall. We just have to keep getting back up and thriving everyday to win.

If you think failure isn’t part of winning in life then you are more than a failure, you are an idiot.

Wait a minute, who is this guy saying that failure is awesome. How can failure be seen as awesome? If you honestly have to ask that question, you are not fit for what it takes to win. Winning requires failure.

If I offended you, I’m not sorry. You need to keep your job, play it safe, and do what you do best…working for someone else. There is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is built to push the envelope to the point of literally breaking bones – back in my racing days, if you hadn’t broken a bone you got weird looks like, “You are a racer, no way, shut up!”.

If you’ve decided to keep reading this and you’re not totally pissed off, let’s be honest about something. Failure is brutal and more often than not, it hurts like hell. Some of the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Sometimes it’s even so bad that it takes you to your knees crying and weeping like a little baby – I’ve been there. Not because of physical pain, but more because of mental and emotional pain. It’s cool to man up and cry….I won’t judge you.

In my racing days we used to have a saying, “If you’re not falling down, you’re not going fast”. It’s true. This meant that if you were playing it safe and not pushing the envelope then you probably weren’t winning races. You were losing races. See, the guys and girls who gave it all they had and took changes won the races. And, the races they didn’t win, they went down hard, got back up, and kept riding.

Winning is hard, failing is hard, but it’s just what has to happen if you want to win. You can’t be afraid to push the envelope and get a little nuts. Yeah, you will fail and it will hurt like hell. Just get back up, learn from it, and move on.

In my racing days, I took some bad crashes where I broke bones, messed up organs, and busted up my face. But, it never stopped me from getting right back on the bike and having a good time.

Take some chances, push the envelope, get nuts, and do it now before you end up living some boring ass life.

Have a great week friends!

 

Twists, turns, bumps, and junk. God is preparing you for something great in 2012

Twists, turns, bumps, and junk. It’s the road you’ve been traveling down for some time now. You’re probably ready for it to change. And it is.

Right now, God is preparing you for something great this year and now is not the time to turn around and go back. Don’t do it. Put the car in overdrive and floor it.

Yeah it’s been tough. I get it. I’ve been through some tough stuff too. And you know what? It all happened to prepare me for something bigger and much more awesome than I ever imagined. This same thing is happening to you…right now as you read this. All that crap that you feel like only happens to you, yeah, it happens to everyone. We all go through it. It’s part of this thing we call life. It sucks at times.

Here’s the deal. Everyone’s road has twists, turns, bumps, and junk. We wouldn’t want it any other way….trust me.

Ok, ok, enough of that motivating business. You feel like a beat up pickup truck that just went to hell and back. You’re angry, frustrated and starting to doubt if everything is going to work out. It is…this year.

All those bumps and junk, have just been preparing you for a great year. Put that beat up old pickup truck (or whatever you have) in overdrive and stay at it. Good things are just ahead and God is with you all the way.

 

Your Inner Persistence

Ever since I was youngster, my Dad trained me to be persistent. To never give up. To fight for what I believe in. And to go for it. I’m very thankful he drove these points home and I carry them with me today. Persistence is a big part of my life and it should be a big part of yours as well.

The days of racing and crashing in the first corner and my Dad screaming, “Get up boy and get going, you can fight to the front”, are all part of my inner persistence being developed and honed.

All while he was screaming, I was thinking in my head, “How am I going to fight to the front when I’m in dead last place?”. It’s possible. I won several races by getting right back up and fighting to the front and I have the trophies and stories to prove it.

This inner persistence remains with me today and it’s stronger than ever. It’s what wakes me up everyday to pursue my dreams, my relationships, my companies, my investments, my projects, and all the things I wholeheartedly believe in.

My mentality is this: never give up on anything….no matter what. And, do the things that others aren’t willing to do so that one day you can wake up and appreciate that you did it.

Do the right thing and stay at it. Don’t give up, don’t back down, and don’t take no for answer.

———-

How about you? 

Are you developing your inner persistence?