A Formula For Endless Passion

In late 2012 I was in the midst of an overhaul of my executive team.  It was a very busy time.  Our company was growing rapidly and I had lost my passion somewhere in the midst.

Formula For Passion

I remember one morning in particular very clearly.  It was the morning I discovered the formula for passion.  That morning I fell out of bed late, didn’t have time to shave, arrived at work late and found I had zero motivation to get started.  I had to find a way to break out of that funk.

My company depended on me.  My family depended on me.  I depended on me to produce exceptional results day in and day out.  But that morning, I just couldn’t find the passion I needed to do my best work.

I floundered for a bit doing the typical uninspired tasks. I checked email.  I read the web.  I drank coffee.  Then I suddenly felt worse.  It was 10am.  I’d been at work for 2hrs and had accomplished nothing!  That was when it hit me.  The formula for passion was born.

  1. Find Your Pitfalls – What gets you into a bad mood?  I write a story in my head every day of what my day should be, then life happens.  Waking up late, going to work scruffy, and getting to work late, were not part of my story.  Then the cold stare I received from my boss as I passed his office (which by the way is a horrible leadership method) just stole my inspiration.  These were the shovels that dug the hole I was in.
  2. Find Your Passion – Do something, anything, that makes you feel positive about yourself.  For me, writing a blog post only takes 45 minutes or so but fills me with pride.  It is a short amount of time to spend to achieve a win and change my mindset.  Success begets success.  Do one little thing to achieve a win and you’ll find more passion.
  3. Aim For Impact – When it comes to finding passion, do the most impactful things first.  Tim Ferriss likes to start his day by doing the one thing that, if he accomplishes, means his day was a success.  Even if he accomplishes nothing else, he at least did this one thing so the day is not all bad.  What one thing can you quickly do to feel successful and regain your passion?
  4. Short List – IBM was once world renowned for having the greatest salesforce in corporate America.  The secret to their success?  Low sales quotas.  When you look at a to-do list a mile long, you’ll be discouraged and kill your passion.  This is why I only add 4 to 5 things max to my daily to do list.  Like the IBM Salesforce, you’ll soon find yourself over achieving.
  5. Don’t Get Behind – Nothing sucks up your passion like falling behind.  Think of your passion when you’re in a race.  If you’re up front, you feel like you can win and you’re filled with passion.  When you’re in last place, you feel defeated and can’t seem to muster up the passion needed to compete.  Do the little things every day that create successes for you.  This way you’ll always feel in the lead.

Passion is a funny thing.  You must be intentional in creating and finding passion every day.  It is a slippery downhill slope when you lose your passion.

What tasks create quick successes for you and fuel your passion?

Steve Case AOL Founder Management Advice

“If you really have done a great job as a leader, you should wake up every morning and have nothing to do.”

– Steve Case, Founder of AOL, on the best management advice he ever received.

Don’t Lie To Yourself – It’s Passion You Need

We have buttons for everything these days.  While washing machines are good because they save us time, we often fill that time with unproductive tasks.  Outsourcing everything is a good thing only if you spend the extra time doing something you love and something productive.

Passion

We tell ourselves “I need a break, I need to rest” but the truth is that we need passion.  Stop lying to yourself.  You don’t need a break, you need passion.

Passion is what keeps you up all night without feeling tired.  Passion is what makes you believe you’re a morning person.  Passion is the difference between meaning and doldrums.

Passion is what makes time fly by.  Passion turns tasks into opportunities.  Passion will save your life.

You don’t need to rest, you need passion.

Who Are You Really Hurting?

If you believe in God, you believe he is watching over you.  You believe he is pleased and disappointed by the things you do.  You believe he is in control of what happens in your life.

Who Are You Really Hurting

Even if you don’t believe in God, you have someone, somewhere, who is depending on you.  There is always someone who is invested in you and is either pleased or disappointed.

Pleased or disappointed are the only two outcomes for everything you do.  You’ll either please those who matter most to you, or you’ll disappoint them.

Whether by God or by fate, opportunities are placed before you every day to either please or disappoint.  How about that menu before you?  Gluttony is a sin.  Your spouse and your children want a healthy and fit you, not an overweight sickly you.  The decision about what to order has nothing to do with your own selfish desire.  The decision has 100% to do with pleasing or disappointing those who matter most to you.

Get out of your own way and allow yourself the chance to please those who matter most.  When you do, the results will follow.  Better health, better relationships, better attitude, less stress, more time, all follow when you start pleasing those who matter most to you, and stop disappointing yourself with failures.

Becoming James Bond – Insane Focus

It is almost certainly always a matter of life and death. Resurection is his specialty, but this time I’m not sure he’ll survive. He does survive, of course, as James Bond always does.

James Bond Focus

I admire his level of focus and drive. James Bond is playing in the background as I write most nights. The purpose is two-fold. The movies provide a short mind break that is full of cinematic creativity. The second purpose is inspiration. How can you watch James Bond being James Bond without secretly feeling like your own little 007?

In true benchmarking style, I of course find things in James Bond that interest me. How does he achieve such a high level of awesome? How can I become a secret agent capable of achieving insane results with such style and class?

I’ve set out to boil down what makes James Bond so interesting to men around the world. All the gun fighting and Vesper Martinis aside, how can the average Joe become a low level James Bond? What makes Bond Bond, is his level of focus. Here is how to achieve James Bond style focus.

  1. Disregard Consequences – Would you jump on a moving train? I wouldn’t either, but James Bond would, and does. His mind is set on his target and he will literally do whatever it takes to obtain that target. We too can provide this level of focus to achieving our goals by becoming more like James Bond.
  2. Live It – James Bond doesn’t pretend to be or wish he were James Bond like you and I do, he is James Bond. If you want to be a writer, don’t wish you were a writer, BE A WRITER.
  3. Avoid Waste – Which Bond film was it where he did the laundry and mowed the yard? James Bond lives his lifestyle 100% of the time. If you want to be something, you must be it 100% of the time and avoid everything else. If you want to be a writer, do everything a writer does, nothing else.
  4. Design Your Tasks – James Bond does everything he needs to be James Bond. He exercises because he must be in shape to relentlessly pursue his target. His life literally depends on it. You should do all the tasks you must do to become what you want to be as if your life depended on it. Because your life actually does depend on it. If you’re going to live the life you want, you must do everything that is required of you to obtain that life.

When we watch a Bond Film, what we admire is not the tuxedos and fancy cocktails. What we like is that we see a complete character. We see someone who is James Bond to his core. He never deviates from that character. We see what we can become if we’ll only apply ourselves. We see awesome.

What would life look like if you were the character you wanted to be?

Would You Fund Grey’s Anatomy Doctors Without Leadership?

If Seattle Grace’s most talented and world renowned surgeons couldn’t secure venture capital, what chance do you have? The characters of Grey’s Anatomy are world renowned surgeons, but without leadership, they’re worthless. Leadership is at the foundation of every success.

Leadership Grey's Anatomy
I don’t watch much television for the simple fact that if I’m on the couch, I’m not producing any quality output. I do however, watch a handful of shows, mostly as a way to shut down my mental factory and spend some time relaxing with my wife. I record the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. The CBS Evening News is great to have on while we’re making dinner so I can catch up on the day’s news. I also watch Modern Family because it’s the most creative comedy on the air today.

I watch Grey’s Anatomy because it’s my wife’s favorite. A couple weeks ago however, it appeared the hospital would be shut down unless the world class staff of surgeons could put together $175 million dollars in Venture Capital. I was not surprised to see them turned down.

The first time they were turned down was due to a lack of leadership. As John Maxwell says, “everything rises and falls on leadership.” It doesn’t matter how talented or visionary a team is, without leadership, they have very little chance. This is why:

  1. Direction – Leadership provides direction so that Seattle Grace’s surgeons can focus on their strengths.  Quality leaders place their people into situations where they can flourish.
  2. Focus – Leadership forces those around them to focus their efforts. The doctors on Grey’s Anatomy are constantly pulled in multiple directions. Leadership focuses their finite resources on the projects where they can make the most impact.
  3. Clarity – Leadership provides a clear picture and defines what is a win and what is a loss. Leadership also defines who does what, and when.
  4. Correction – Leadership takes corrective actions to keep Seattle Grace on course. The doctors on Grey’s Anatomy are always chasing ground breaking new projects. While some are great, other’s should be avoided. Leadership is tasked with deciding between the two.
  5. Unattachment – Creatives are often emotionally attached to their work. Mine at Allied Equipment certainly are and I couldn’t be more proud of them. While this emotional attachment plays a critical role in their productivity and drive, it can cloud their judgment. This is where leadership steps in to maintain passion while redirecting focus to more profitable endeavors.

With the leadership of Hunt and Webber, the Grey’s Anatomy cast is able to raise the funds and make a bid for Seattle Grace. (Spoiler Alert if you’re a fan of DVR like me) in the end the Harper Avery foundation steps in and saves the day. Thankfully the hospital stays open and we’re able to watch another episode this week.

While leadership is responsible for success, it can be equally as responsible for failure. What are you doing as a leader to create success?

Do Unto Others – The Golden Rule

It is the Golden Rule.  I’m sure everyone has heard it at least a few times in his or her life.  “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”  This simple little rule is one of the most powerful and influential rules a person can live by.

My wife volunteers at a local school every Tuesday.  As such, it is the one day of the week where I do not eat lunch with my family.  I typically catch up on a missed workout, eat with a group of friends, or just take a nap and enjoy the peace and quiet during this time.  One day, however, was the best lunch I’d had in a while.  I decided to do unto others and I went grocery shopping.

It had been a long week for my wife and I knew the rest of the week looked even busier for her.  So, I decided to do unto others and headed to the grocery store.  Sure I forgot a few things and purchased a few things we already had, but in the end I knew it helped her out and relieved some stress in her life.

Everyone can benefit from the golden rule.  Often times, the “doer” in the “do unto others” often benefits more than the “others.”  It can be simple things such as grocery shopping or making coffee for the office.  For people in a place of leadership, this rule is paramount.  The golden rule will help you to become more influential and relatable to others.  The benefits are immense.

Build Rapport – When you do unto others, you show that you care about them.  There is nothing that makes someone more appealing than a servant’s heart.  When you serve others, you serve the Lord.

Relieves Stress – A stressful work environment is always a leading cause of burnout.  By doing something that will help relieve stress, you make your employees more comfortable.  You make their lives a little easier.

It’s Personal – When you find something to do that is personal, it makes the recipient feel special.  You have to think directly about that person and what would benefit them.  This personal aspect helps you to relate directly with the person you’re helping.

Two-Way Street – As a leader, you are often asking much of your follower.  It is nice, for both of you, to switch the roles for a moment.  It creates a feeling of a two-way street, where you can rely on their help when you need it, and they can rely on yours.

Habitual – Make it a habit to do unto others every day.  The act benefits both people a great deal.  When you make serving others a habit, you add value to your life and theirs.

Servant’s Heart – All leadership is permission based.  You don’t choose those who follow you, they choose you.  Just as Christ served those around him, so too should you serve those around you daily.  It is a constant reminder that we are not here to receive, but to give.

Nothing is more powerful and the act of giving.  In a day and age where time is a finite resource we’re all trying to get more of, giving yours away can be a liberating and thrilling experience.  Try it today; help someone out without the intention or receiving anything in return.

What can you do for someone today?

My Take on The Aerobie AeroPress – Coffee’s Perfect Brew

As a person who stays up until 1 AM every morning, coffee is a big part of my life. As a lover of coffee in search for the perfect cup, I’ve turned to the Aerobie AeroPress. Forgive me if this review rambles on, I’ve enjoyed my Aerobie AeroPress a little too much tonight.

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee

Tim Ferriss reccomends the Aerobie AeroPress as his go to tool for the perfect cup of coffee. He’s done it again and found something great. I decided, if it helped Tim work, I would give it a try.

The Aerobie AeroPress is a prime item on Amazon, and less than $30. I figured at that price it would pay for itself by replacing just 5 cups of Starbucks. I drank so much coffee that it paid for itself the first night.

For a smooth, flavorful, quick cup of coffee or espresso at home, the Aerobie AeroPress can’t be beat. The benefits abound.

  1. Price – for less than $30 you can have the best cup of coffee in your life. Why wouldn’t you purchase one? If you’re a prime member on Amazon like I am, you can have the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker in two days with free shipping.
  2. Single Cup – Don’t waste money on a Keurig. The single cup coffee makers on the market are very popular, expensive, and bulky. Aerobie AeroPress can fit into a cabinet drawer and can make anywhere between 1 & 4 cups of coffee, not to mention espressos.
  3. Quality – I’ve used a drip coffee maker, french press, espresso machine, and the Keurig B60 Special Edition Brewing System, none have been able to eliminate the layer of oil in my coffee. Aerobie AeroPress does just that. Since it only takes a total of 20 seconds to brew a cup, there is no time for the oils to come out.
  4. Quick Brew Time – I just made a cup of coffee in 20 seconds. This is comparable to a Keurig but higher quality and lower price.
  5. Clean-up – The Aerobi AeroPress takes literally seconds to clean up. The air pressure leaves the coffee grounds and filter dry. Simply twist off the strainer and dump the grounds. A quick rinse and back into the drawer it goes.
  6. Versatility – Brewing an espresso or a cup of drip coffee typically requires different machines and different grinds. The Aerobie AeroPress is versatile enough to use one machine and one brew to make either or. Simply changing the concentration of coffee grounds to water means the difference between a world class cup of drip coffee and an espresso Italians around the world would be proud of.

If you enjoy coffee and would like to have the best cup you’ve ever had, you should visit Amazon and purchase the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker. This system was designed by a Stanford engineer and uses air pressure to quickly create a perfect cup of coffee. I’m super excited to share this little gadget with my readers, or maybe I’m just on a caffine high right now.

What are you using to make your perfect brew?

Platform University – Why I Joined

A few weeks ago I signed up for Michael Hyatt’s Platform University.  If you’re a blogger, artist or just an executive itching to become better, you should join me.  Michael Hyatt will teach you how to build an audience exactly the way he did.

Platform-University

Benchmarking for success is a key method to becoming better.  Michael has accomplished much in both the business world and the online realm.  He has created a following that has allowed him to quit his day job and landed him on the NYT Best Seller’s List.

Platform University provides students a behind the scenes look at how he has created the top ranked leadership blog on the web.  He is also giving his audience the tools they need to replicate his success.  I have joined for several reasons.

Corporate Success – Michael Hyatt was the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  Through Platform University, you’ll see how he prefers to work.  Much of the things you’ll learn are things he did earlier in his career to rise to the top.

Hacking The Code – You could spend a decade building your platform like Michael has or you could attend Platform University and let Michael tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t.  Work smarter, not harder; that’s what I’ve chosen to do.

Monetize Your Site – Michael makes a living from his blog that allowed him to leave his CEO position for a more flexible job he can run on his own schedule. In Platform University, you’ll learn how he has done this and how you too can monetize your site without selling your soul.

Peer to Peer – Join like-minded individuals who share common goals on the University Platform Forum.  The forum serves as a way to share ideas and improve on benchmarks.  It also provides an excellent networking opportunity with other creatives.

Resources – The Platform University is young and I have already seen Michael’s work-space  learned how he launched his widely successful Platform book, and the intricacies of how he works with his team to create the content we all devour.  My Evernote looks like me on Thanksgiving, stuffed!  I have stuffed it with countless PDFs and videos Michael has so generously given on the Platform University site.

Priceless Input – Michael and his team will choose sites from the members of Platform University to critique and offer how the member can improve their site to maximize their exposure and create a loyal following.  This type of in- depth service would cost most bloggers more than they could afford.  For a small monthly membership, you now have a chance to have your site critiqued by one of the most influential bloggers on the web.

What are you waiting for?  You can join Platform University here.  This is step one to increasing your site’s traffic, ranking, and finally being able to quit your day job.  Even if you don’t intend to ever leave you day job, like me, you can still benefit immensely.  You’ll learn what made Michael a world-renowned blogger, which is what also made him a world renowned CEO.

What are your hesitations about joining Platform University?