Why Retirement Is A Terrible Idea

Why Retirement is a Terrible Idea

Do you ever daydream about having enough money so that you’d never have to work again? Imagine all the things you wouldn’t have to do anymore: Get up early (unless you want to), commute, endure office politics, be stressed about meeting deadlines, attend countless meetings and often work overtime. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give up all this “bad” stuff in order to enjoy a more rewarding “good” life? Some people think that this is what retirement brings. Our cultural definition of retirement is basically retiring from your career/job and living off your social security and savings until you die. However, research has shown that people who retire have lower life expectancies than those who remain at work. Simply put, the sooner you retire, the sooner you can expect to die. That doesn’t seem very appealing. I’ve personally seen too many people whose health and enthusiasm for life decline after retirement because they stop activities that challenge them.  I, for one, don’t plan on ever retiring. Yes, I’ve been called a workaholic over the years. Yes, my wife and children sometimes wish that I would retire. But, I love working! I love the challenge of growing a business…

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The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect

I’ve chosen The Compound Effect, Jumpstart your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy for my recommended reading this month. Darren’s message is that small, smart choices plus consistency plus time equals a radical difference. Even one small change in your life can make a massive difference on your path to success. This small book could be that change. Summary The Compound Effect is based on the principle that decisions shape your destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default.  This book reviews the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. Darren’s easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire. He provides action steps at the end of each chapter and has worksheets to fill out in the book as well as free online resources to accompany the book in helping you achieve more. If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you want. Bio As a business leader in the personal growth and success industry for more than 20 years, Darren…

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Mindset – Reach Your Potential

Mindset – Reach Your Potential

In Carol S. Dweck’s brilliant book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,  she shows how success in school, work, sports and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment. Some people may already be aware of this profound truth. However, Carol proves through fascinating psychological studies why this is the case. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform not only their lives but your own. All leaders should read this book! Summary In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe talent alone creates success - without effort. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a…

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Watch Your Language

Watch Your Language

We live in a more casual society than our parents and grandparents did. However, I think that it still serves one well to be respectful and have a certain polished, professional manner in the business world. Here are some tips to communicate professionally: 1. Slow down - we are in such a hurry these days that even the pace of our speech has quickened. Take your time when you speak to let each word you say sink in for the listener. This will also show respect to the person you are talking to - that you have time for them and want to communicate to them clearly. 2. Smile - if you smile occasionally when speaking it will add lift to your voice and tone. This is especially important when you are speaking on the phone to show that you are engaged in the conversation. Of course, there are those difficult conversations when smiling would not be appropriate. 3. Avoid filler words - do you say the words, like, so, um, and ah too much? Repeating these words and others like them can convey that you are unsure, nervous or even unintelligent. It might be better to pause than keep…

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HOW TO TURN FAILURE INTO SUCCESS

HOW TO TURN FAILURE INTO SUCCESS

Failure has such a negative stigma, but it can be one of our greatest teachers if we'll just pay attention and learn with an open mind.  The problem is too many people don't.  Or won't.  Here are 10 ways to flip failure from a devastating experience into a powerful advantage. Overcome fear Overcoming the fear of failing is the first step towards success.  Tony Robbins said, "No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying."  Some people are just afraid of change, rejection or embarrassment. Fear locks you in your comfort zone and nothing remarkable usually happens there.  You can only make progress if you take that first step and sometimes that leap of faith.  Confront your fears today! Plan, plan, plan You have a better chance to succeed in life if you have a plan.  Your plans should ideally be specific, measurable and have deadlines attached to them.  Some goals are ongoing, for example, starting each day with affirmations or waking up at a certain time.  If you are working as part of a team, create team goals together with regular follow up meetings/conference calls and…

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Must Read Books (Updated)

Must Read Books (Updated)

* This post is an update to one that I published last year.  Since publishing that original post, I've been featuring books that I believe will make you a better leader, entrepreneur and person, if you'll apply what's inside them. (Scroll down to the bottom to see the books I've added to the list.)   Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to become a more disciplined achiever? Then I cannot stress enough how important it is that you set aside some time every day to read personal/professional development books. I’ve listed some of what I consider ‘must read’ books as a starting place for this discussion.  You may have already read some of these, but if it’s been awhile, then pick them up again. Create a study group or find a reading partner that you can have discussions with. There are too many books to include on this list, so I’ve narrowed it down to a few great classics: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey As a Man Thinketh by James Allen The Magic…

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6 Ways To Embrace Change

6 Ways to Embrace Change

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou Accept change Change is an inevitable part of life and no matter how things are currently, the one constant in life is that things will change.  Personally, we are forever learning, aging, adapting and changing. Why is it that so many of us are instantly repelled by the thought of change?  Embracing change in our lives is a major key to our success and happiness. Analyze change Is the change positive or negative?  How are these changes influencing your path?  Life can become stagnant and we can get too comfortable in our routine and become apathetic if we don’t seek to analyze things and make positive changes along the way.  Sometimes change can “shake things up” for the better.  Co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, said, “ironically, in a changing world, playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do”.  If you perceive the  change as negative, what can you do to  turn it into something positive? Be proactive It is better to initiate change than to let your life progress down a negative path until the change affects you dramatically.…

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Scarcity Vs. Abundance Mindset

Scarcity vs. Abundance Mindset

When you see what others have, is your first reaction to notice what you’re missing or be grateful for what you have?  Does it send you into a spiral of dissatisfaction or push you to achieve more?  Are you happy for your family, friends and colleagues that have bought that new house, got that promotion, gone on their dream vacation, etc? Never Enough Too often we focus on what we lack instead of what we have.  According to researcher Brené Brown, we live in a culture of perceived scarcity, what she calls “our culture of ‘never enough.’” Brown says we start off the morning thinking we didn’t get enough sleep, go through the day thinking we don’t have enough time, and fall asleep thinking that we failed to accomplish enough tasks.  Whatever we have, do, or get, it’s never enough. As we interact with others, we are painfully aware of what we might be missing: looks, smarts, talent, money, creativity—you name it.  Not only are all of these comparisons discouraging, they can distort and potentially bury the individual gifts we have been given. The gratitude lens Regardless of our culture of perceived scarcity or our individual circumstances, we all can…

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7 Ways To Deal With Negativity On Your Team

7 Ways to Deal with Negativity on your Team

“Bad attitudes will ruin your team.” Terry Bradshaw Negativity within a team can cause major morale issues and poor outcomes. Conversely, optimism can create amazing teams and incredible results. Every team deals with both positive and negative situations, so how can you create the maximum amount of positivity and manage the least amount of negativity on your team? Here are seven things to consider: 1. As your team’s leader, set an example of being optimistic and open. This one is listed first because it is a crucial characteristic of being an effective leader. When inevitable challenges occur, try to look at them as learning opportunities. Be sure to include key members of your team to discuss solutions to resolve issues in a positive way and communicate them positively to your team. Make sure to clearly set forth your expectations and positive vision for your team. Foster an environment of open and honest communication. When a team member feels like their voice isn’t being heard, their opinions matter or that they’re in the dark, they can quickly go down the negative road. 2. Look for and recognize the positive. When you do see positive results be sure to praise the team…

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Start – Do Work That Matters

Start – Do Work That Matters

For the month of March, I’m choosing the book Start by Jon Acuff. The subtitle of his book is Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters. Some days, to get where you want, you do have to punch fear in the face! I don’t think that anyone wants to be just average and we all want to do work that matters. I think you'll find plenty of ideas to motivate yourself to Start and to follow through so you can get to the goals you set for yourself. Summary  In this book, Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome. Start gives readers practical, honest, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often. For those of you who have started, are extraordinary and doing work that matters, this book will still benefit you as everyone has peaks and valleys along  their success journey. For others it’s time to Start.   Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters can be purchased HERE.       Bio Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books. For 19 years he’s helped some…

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Start Your Day With The Miracle Morning

Start Your Day With The Miracle Morning

The Book of the Month that I’ve chosen for the month of February is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This is a quick read that promises a huge impact for your life. Hal challenges his readers to get up earlier each morning and focus on 6 key elements to transform their lives and catapult them to to be more productive and achieve incredible success. He teaches how you can achieve this between 6 minutes and 60 minutes each day (optimal time 60 minutes). Thousands of people around the world have joined The Miracle Morning community and committed to create the life they’ve always wanted. I challenge you to read this book by the end of February and in the month of March practice these principles for 30 straight days (or as soon as you are ready). I can’t wait to hear the feedback from everyone as they do this challenge. Will you commit to read and take my challenge? If you have already read this book and are currently doing The Miracle Morning please share how it has impacted your life. Summary Hal did extensive research and personal experimentation with the best practices of personal development and incorporated them…

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8 Ways To Conquer Self-Doubt

8 Ways to Conquer Self-Doubt

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” -William Shakespeare Have you ever been tormented by self-defeating thoughts that go something like this? I can’t do this, what was I thinking? I’m not smart enough or talented enough to do this. I don’t know if I can handle another failure, so I better not try. Feelings like these aren’t uncommon. One particular study done by psychologists showed that 70 percent of people experience feelings of self-doubt and that it runs rampant among high achievers. Self-doubt is that destructive voice that holds you back from getting started, finishing something or seizing those opportunities that are placed before you. How can you push out this persuasive voice and overcome your inner doubting so that you can move forward? Here are a few suggestions: 1. Be quick to stop Don’t let your self-doubts spin out of control by letting the conversation even begin. Instead, as soon as they start, talk back to them in your mind by saying no, I am not going down this road. This will disrupt your thought pattern. Then, immediately do something to engage your mind positively. 2. Know…

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Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

To start off 2017, the Book of the Month that I have chosen is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. This book is written as a leadership fable and is a quick read. Lencioni discusses five components or dysfunctions that keep teams from being effective and proposes some compelling solutions. His message to become a stronger and more impactful leader applies to all leaders of any size team. Over the years, I’ve worked with leaders of teams of all sizes and I’ve seen these dysfunctions cripple what could have been successful teams. I’m confident that reading this book will give you some solid insights to being the best leader that you can be. Summary Kathryn Petersen, a new CEO of a struggling company, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's tale serves as a reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps…

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12 Tips For Setting Goals

12 Tips for Setting Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” -Tony Robbins With the New Year right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2017. Before you set your 2017 goals, I think it’s a great idea to look at the status of your 2016 goals. What goals did you accomplish? Go ahead and pat yourself on the back and acknowledge that you achieved them. If you didn’t achieve some of your goals, then evaluate the reasons why and be honest with yourself. What goals are you rolling into 2017? Who do you know that you can be accountable to for your goals or mentor you if you don’t already have one? What system do you have in place to review and monitor your goals - is this system working or should you consider adopting a different system? Here are some tips to consider when setting your goals: Break your goals into long-term and short-term goals along with action steps to accomplish them; don’t just state the goal. Put deadlines on your goals - I will accomplish this goal by ___________. This will help hold you accountable. Make sure…

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How To Gain Perspective After A Major Challenge

How to Gain Perspective After a Major Challenge

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King Jr. Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian’s lives were changed forever when they were involved in a terrible plane crash in August 2008. For three and a half months, Stephanie slept in a medically induced coma undergoing countless procedures. The 27-year-old mother of four woke up to realize, first of all, that it was a miracle that she was alive and second, that she had burned the majority of her body and was horribly disfigured. Her arms, legs, hands, and face were covered with third- and fourth-degree burns—the worst occurring on her face. Through her personal faith as well as love and support from her family, friends and community, she was able to accept her new life and move forward with strength and hope. This was a completely unexpected event in Stephanie and Christian’s lives. How many of our lives have been touched by tragic circumstances or had a family member or friend go through them? I’m willing to guess almost everyone has. Personally, we lost our son Kenny who died in a car accident five years ago. Was this devastating for our family to go through?…

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Constitution Of The United States Of America

Constitution of The United States of America

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - Declaration of Independence Considering the very important election happening this week in the United States, I want to choose the Constitution of the United States of America as my November Book of the Month. It is the document that serves as the foundation upon which our country was built and operates. (If you want to do more reading about the formation of America, I recommend the book 1776 by David McCullough.) I have no intention of being political on my blog or to endorse a party or any candidates. However, I do want to ask my US readers to realize that they have the right and privilege to vote. I am thankful for the brave Americans who have shed their blood over the years and for those today that are defending our right to live in a land free from tyranny where we do have freedom of speech and the right to vote. My wife and I were blessed to have been born here…

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Coaching A Successful Team

Coaching a Successful Team

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” -John Wooden In 1948, Wooden became the coach of the UCLA Bruins—one of the weakest teams in the Pacific Conference. Setting records that still stand today, his UCLA teams went on an 88 game winning streak, securing 10 NCAA Championships in just 12 years, 7 of them in a row, and amassing 885 victories with just 203 losses. No coach had ever been so successful. But Coach Wooden didn’t count awards, medals, and championships. For him, success was not about winning. To paraphrase his words, success was the peace of mind found when you know you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. Coach Wooden developed a success system called the Pyramid of Success to teach his players on how to not only win on the court, but to win in life. The blocks of Wooden’s pyramid were important attributes that a person must exemplify to “win” or achieve their highest goals. The foundational bottom row included industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation and enthusiasm. Stacked above these basics were upper-tier qualities such as self-control, initiative, skill, confidence and poise. Wooden told his players…

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch For my October Book of the Month selection, I thought I would choose a short book. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book that has wisdom that is timeless. It was a national bestseller in 2008 and as many of you may have read it, I think it is worth picking up and reading again. Randy understood that three of the most important things in life are family, focusing on really living and leaving a legacy of having lived a life that mattered and continues to matter from the impact that you have in this world. I really try to focus on these three things in my life. I would love to hear how this book either impacted you in the past or your thoughts if you re-read or read it this month. Summary A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we…

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The Power Of Events

The Power of Events

Last week I had the great honor to attend and speak at Zija International’s Summit convention. Over the years, I have been to many conventions for companies that I’ve owned as well as other organizations’ events. The incredible energy that I feel from attendees never ceases to amaze me. Why are events so important to attend? By attending the event you are showing your support and setting an example to your team The company will outline their vision and goals for the future Exciting announcements will be made such as new products, technology, sales tools etc. You will be one of the first to get this information and be able to purchase the new products/tools You will receive in-depth sales and product training from corporate leaders and top distributors You will participate in celebrating rank advancements whether your own or your teams You will hear other’s inspiring stories about how the products and business opportunities have blessed their lives You will feel a greater camaraderie with company employees and your team which hopefully leads to greater teamwork, trust and a feeling of “family” You will be motivated, educated and energized to return home to build your business I believe that…

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Malcolm Gladwell Transforms Our Understanding Of Success

Malcolm Gladwell Transforms Our Understanding of Success

Success is not always easy to describe since people have different definitions of what success is, what it looks like and how to achieve it. In the book I’ve chosen for September, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell takes on the subject of success and tells a different story than we’re used to hearing. He is also the author of The Tipping Point which changed the way we understand the world and Blink where he changed the way we think about thinking. I hope you enjoy the book. Please let me know what you think. Summary In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the experiences of their upbringing. He examines how a person's environment, in conjunction with personal drive and motivation, affects his or her possibility and opportunity for success. Along the way he explains the secrets of software…

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