Archive for the ‘Jump Start’ Category

Yesterday, I spent time doing what sparks my inner creative genius to flourish: mowing the grass. I don’t know why it is one of my most creative times, it just is. And yesterday was no exception. I decided I am unofficially going back to school.

Now, I am not going the route of a traditional education at a college or university, I am creating my own eight week sessions on topics I want to learn more about. I recognize the need to learn more and I have the opportunity to chisel out a full load of classes for myself.

Here is the list of classes I am creating for myself (not taking all of these at once):

  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Sales
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Economics
  • Social Media for the Small Business Owner
  • Personal Development
  • Wine/Beer Making
  • Marine Biology
  • Public Speaking
  • Writing
  • Business/Life Coaching
  • Small Group Facilitation

My initial format for my class time will consist of 30 minutes of study, 10 minutes of applying what I learn to my own business or life, and 10 minutes of sharing what I learned either by writing or video blogging (study, apply, and share).  This will be done in 8 week segments with 2 weeks break between sessions.

I may develop an interactive session with these classes where three or four other people all meet together online to share knowledge, ideas, and thoughts. If you have an interest in group learning or want to follow along this learning adventure, sign up to receive updates.



“Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Whenever you watch a baseball game or football game, one thing you will notice: No one player plays all the positions on the team. You won’t find the catcher pitching or playing shortstop. You will also not find, in football, the kicker playing center. Players learn how to play specific positions and become the best they can be in that position. You may have a few players that can play a couple of different positions, but generally speaking most learn to play one position really well.

This concept holds true in the business world as well. Those who learn how to specialize will capitalize on their efforts faster and with more success than those who try to learn how to do everything. When you are able to focus on your specialty, you can bring others along to take care of things that are not.

One of the things that my company has started doing already is delegating out the tasks that others specialize. For example, I could have found out how to submit all our necessary paperwork for forming our corporation and saved a small amount of money. Rather than spend hours trying to make sure I was doing everything right, I hired an attorney to do that work who specializes in business startups. We will continue to do this with other areas as the company grows.

Once you have your specialty defined, you can then pursue excellence in that specific area. Then as your reputation builds as a resource or an expert in that arena, you can begin to expand and broaden your reach as it fits your core purpose.

Identify the area in which you will continue to acquire specialized knowledge, and put into place a plan to increase your knowledge. You will begin to shine as you let your specialty rise to the top.

When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find the ways to do it.”

David J. Schwartz, Ph.D., The Magic of Thinking Big

One of the key components of achieving success in anything that you set out to do is belief. No matter how BIG the goal, the dream, or the task, if you truly believe it can be done, your mind will begin to create solutions and the steps to achieve it.

When you create an environment where belief is allowed to flourish, you will find ideas are abundant. What becomes even more clear are the steps needed to accomplish the goal or dream. Belief has a powerful influence on the creative part of the mind. When that belief is prevalent in several minds working toward a common goal, you see the power of the mastermind.

We must do all we can to take the word impossible out of our vocabulary. Once that word pops up, our minds begin to formulate all the reasons it is so. It shuts down the creative processes that are necessary to succeed. Only when we open ourselves to the possibility and believe it can be so, do we find the creative energies released.

What is your BIG dream? Are you LIVING your dream? Do you believe you can LIVE your dream? Start believing you can and the doors will begin to open.

“I have what I refer to as my top-50 list. At all times, I have a list of 50 people or companies I am eager to do business with. I never wait for the phone to ring to see who just happens to come my way. Instead I work proactively to pursue the people I want to do business with.”

Tory Johnson, Success Magazine, March 2012

The business application to creating a top 50 list is really brilliant and easy to grasp. You target who you want to do business with and focus your energy, talent, and resources to go after that list. Far better than just randomly scattering seeds hoping something will grow.

There is another perspective to this that is also important to grasp. For the college student who is finishing up their degree, creating a top 50 list of companies you would want to work for is a great idea. By creating the list, you begin to investigate each of the potential companies you want to work for and start proactively making yourself marketable for those companies. This list would be just as flexible with names coming and going as you learn more about each one. More than likely, your list will start to become fewer as you begin to really hone in on the ones you like the best.

Creating a top 50 list essentially allows you to narrow your focus. The more you know about those you want to connect with to do business, to work for, or to recruit to your organization, the better results you will have. Begin creating your top 50 list and work that list. It will make a difference.

“Belief #2: There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”

Anthony Robbins, Unlimited Power

So I am reading through Tony Robbins book, Unlimited Power, and I come across this concept that there is no failure, just results. Now my mind is buzzing and thinking back to parts of my life where I saw my self failing or where I failed at something. As I contemplate those times, I am beginning to see that they weren’t failures, just results.

When I think back to high school, the reason I got the grades I received was a direct result of the effort I put into learning the subject matter at hand. The same was true of my grades in college. What I have achieved or not achieved in business is a direct result of my effort.

I like this idea of removing failure out of the equation. It opens up the door to explore the reasons why I didn’t get the results I was expecting and try something different. Things that are working well, keep doing them. Things that are not, dig in and find out why and try something different.

As you start out the week, look for an area of your life where you are not getting the results you want. What is one thing you can do differently to improve your results?  Success is waiting. Go get it!

“It’s important to remain open to new ideas and new information. Being a know-it-all is like shutting the door to great discoveries and opportunities. Keep your door open every day to something new and energizing. Sometimes I wonder what will show up, which is a terrific way to start every day.”

Donald J. Trump, Think Like a Champion

I distinctly remember as a high school student hearing a good friend of mine, Henri “Harry” Oudshoorn, who was 77 years old at the time, express his concern for the people in our local church who were not willing to try anything new. Harry exemplified this notion of being open to new ideas and information. I remember being in his home and noticing the 5-disc CD player he had in his home stereo system. I was still listening to cassettes and he was already making the transition to CDs (we’re talking mid-to-late 80s). Harry had a thirst for what was new.

Knowledge is the currency of success. Over the last century, we have transitioned from being an industrial and manufacturing based nation to a service and information based provider. According to EMC, “the world’s information is doubling every 2 years.” If you are not actively acquiring new knowledge, you are quickly being left behind. Obviously, you won’t be able to keep up with all of that change, but you do need to stay on top of areas that have an interest for you.

As you begin your week, keep your eyes open for something new each day. Thirst for more knowledge that will help you be a more successful leader in today’s world. You never know what will show up when you open the doors everyday to learn something new.

“The oldest of admonitions is ‘Man, know thyself!’ If you market merchandise successfully, you must know the merchandise. The same is true in marketing personal services. You should know all of your weaknesses in order that you may either bridge them or eliminate them entirely. You should know your strength in order that you may call attention to it when selling your services. You can know yourself only through accurate analysis.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

This is the third set of common causes to failure. When you know what causes are particular issues for you, you can begin to take corrective action. You may need to enlist the help of a close friend who will be honest with you about your weaknesses. We often ignore or look past our own failures, and having an objective input may bring to light areas you are overlooking.

Here are the next 5 causes of failure and how you can overcome them.

11. “LACK OF CONTROLLED SEXUAL URGE” – Napoleon considers sexual energy as “the most powerful of all stimuli which move people into action.” When this energy is not directed or channeled in the right direction, it leads to failure. In a day and age where pornography is readily available and sexuality is glorified in music, television, marketing, and movies, this remains a distraction from success. How many “news” (and I use that word loosely) stories do we hear in a given week about some famous person caught up in a web of sexual entanglement?

Self-control is the key to channeling this powerful energy into constructive outlets. Once you begin to control the energy, you can begin to transmute it to accomplish the goals you have set. This powerful energy source could lead you to the next level of success.

12. “UNCONTROLLED DESIRE FOR ‘SOMETHING FOR NOTHING'” – Just this past week, there was a frenzy to buy lottery tickets because the jackpot got to be over $500 million. This notion of getting rich by just purchasing lottery tickets is a sign of this desire getting something for nothing. Gambling is still a success stealer for many people, be it in a casino or even in the stock market.

My personal opinion of why most people don’t make any money in MLM companies is they see it as a get-rich-quick scheme without putting in a lot of effort. They are sold on the idea of starting it part-time and then the money will start to roll in fast. What they don’t realize is the amount of hard work required to build a successful business. Those who are successful at a MLM business put in the hours and the hard work so they can enjoy the income stream later.

Beware of this desire creeping in and causing failure in your journey toward success.

13. “LACK OF A WELL DEFINED POWER OF DECISION” – Indecision is usually the twin to procrastination. Strong leaders and those who succeed have the ability to make decisions promptly and rarely change those decisions. Those who fail to make quick decisions are missing a key element: a well-defined purpose. The reason great leaders can make more rapid decisions is they know where they are going. They know instinctively if something is going to aid them in reaching their goal or not. Know your purpose, and you can start making quicker decisions and stand behind them.

14. “ONE OR MORE OF THE SIX BASIC FEARS” – In a later post, I will share the six basic fears in more detail. The six basic fears he identifies are:

  1. The fear of POVERTY
  2. The fear of CRITICISM
  3. The fear of ILL HEALTH
  4. The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE
  5. The fear of OLD AGE
  6. The fear of DEATH

The first three are usually the lesser of the worries compared to the last three. All six of these fears, when allowed to get a foothold in our lives, keep success far from us. They are the root of some of the other causes of failure as well.  We must learn to identify if these fears are causing us to fail and begin to take steps to overcome these fears.

15. “WRONG SELECTION OF A MATE IN MARRIAGE” – Marriage is the one relationship that should be the most intimate of all relationships. When this relationship is not in harmony, it will hinder success and become a cause of failure. If you are unhappy and stressed at home, this will follow you wherever you go.

The good news is this is a fixable issue, although not painless. Depending on the situation, it may just be a heart to heart talk for an uninterrupted amount of time. You many need to seek the help of a marriage coach or counselor. If both parties are committed to seeing each other succeed in life, this issue should be able to be corrected without having to end in divorce, even though that is a last resort option.

Make the most of your marriage or be very selective in who you choose to marry. This relationship holds a significant amount of leverage on your success or failure. Make it a priority to do your best to make the relationship as strong, supportive, and encouraging as possible.


In the coming weeks, I will be offering an introductory coaching course on the principles of success that we are exploring in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. If you want to make progress toward living a successful life, sign up here to receive updates when we release the details of this course.