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Busy

Busy

Being busy all the time isn’t impressive. It is not a badge of honor. In fact, it is usually the opposite.

When you are busy, here are ten questions to ask yourself:

  1. Trust: Why don’t you trust people enough to delegate your work to them?
  2. Focus: Why do you still try to multitask even though you know it never really works?
  3. Ego: What made you believe that you are the only person capable of doing this work?
  4. Remove: Are you competent enough to know which of your daily tasks are unessential?
  5. Sociotropy: Why is it easier for you to say ‘no’ to your family than say ‘no’ to your co-workers?
  6. Develop: Why haven’t you invested the time and energy to develop and teach people how to do this task?
  7. Automate: Why haven’t you taught yourself how to make technology work for you instead of the opposite?
  8. Prioritize:  Why do you use work as a pacifier while the more important things in your life suffer from neglect?
  9. Complaining: Why does complaining about ‘working so hard’ and ‘working long hours’ give you a dopamine hit?
  10. Perfectionism: Why won’t you give yourself permission to leave the office even when you haven’t reached inbox zero?

Reflection: Which question do you need to ask yourself more consistently?

Thought: Beginners say that busy is better than bored. Experts say that bored is better than busy. Selah.

Reminder: Use work to build skills. Use skills to win money. Use money to buy freedom. Don’t forget the errand.

Corollary: Working hard is not only virtuous, it is essential – and no successful person would ever argue against it. But the ongoing question I keep asking myself is why do people work so hard on their career but won’t put the same amount of effort into their marriage, their kids, their physical health, their spiritual life, their financial wellbeing? I’ll never understand why people give so much energy to their work and then turn into complete slobs the moment they return home? To me, this is the ultimate paradox of American culture.

-MV

Champions

Champions

One of the best ways to grow is to help others grow. To help others improve, you must improve yourself. But helping others is difficult because it requires you to share your insights, products, tools, best-practices, processes, or ideas with them.

Question: Why do most people keep their ideas to themselves?

Answer: Fear of judgment or fear of rejection. Scared of looking stupid or being criticized.

In other words, we get so consumed by those who don’t get it, that we never reach those who do.

Two Sides: Yes, there are many people who don’t understand or even care what we do… So what? On the other hand, there are many people who do. Our goal is never to please everyone or win every possible customer. Our goal is to positively help people as much as we can.

Champions: Stop trying to convince everyone of something or waste time worrying about the opinions of people who just don’t see what you see. Instead, go find those you resonate with. Invest your energy in finding one person who needs your expertise. When you find one, give them your best and watch what happens.

-MV

Support

Support

Something crazy happened recently. Before we discuss, consider these quotes…

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
-Thomas Watson (former CEO of IBM)

“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
-Western Union Internal Memo (1876)

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
-William Thomson (1895)

Today, I have more computers in my home than Watson said were needed in the entire world… I personally do not know one person who doesn’t own a phone. And flying was impossible until it wasn’t.

Interesting Request: The crazy thing that happened was one of the people who told me not to start a company because it is too difficult texted me and asked me if I had a job for him. Perhaps he forgot about that conversation where he tried to tell me I shouldn’t pursue my dreams. But I didn’t forget.

Before POC: Yes, before proof of concept, most will call you insane… After proof of concept most will call you something nicer than insane. But as a friend to someone who has a crazy idea without any proof of concept, why wouldn’t you encourage them? Why would you ever do anything other than support them?

Support (Always Support): There is literally no downside to supporting and encouraging your friends when they are just getting started. If you support them and they fail, they will appreciate that you believed in them. If you support them and they succeed, they will never forget you.

Success: When success comes, people come out of the woodwork to be a part of it. More hands reaching for the pocketbook, and it becomes more difficult to know who to trust. So what do we do? We all go back to the people that believed in us before we were successful. Now we get to return the favor.

Final Thought: “Support your friends before it becomes popular to support them.” -probably Joe Burrow’s naysaying friends from high school

Happy Super Bowl weekend! Let’s go Bengals!

Share

Share

Last night I was in Oxford, Ohio and I had the honor of speaking at an awards ceremony. After the event, we had an audience meet-and-greet and a time for book-signing. It was a fantastic evening, and while I was driving home I came to two conclusions:
 
1: The person who loves your work is correct and the person who doesn’t like your work is correct. 
2: The person who says that everyone will love your work is wrong and the person who says that no one will like your work is wrong. 
 
Reviews:
How can we possibly make sense of the one-star and five-star reviews that every bestselling book on Amazon receives? How could one book possibly get both? Either it’s great or it’s not. How could one speaker be so loved and simultaneously disliked? They are either great or they suck. Which is it? 
 
The best-sold book in the world last year was Atomic Habits. I’ve purchased over fifty copies and have gifted it to a lot of people. I’ve read it 5+ times cover-to-cover. After reading over 500 development books, I can say without a doubt this is one of the best books ever written. Nobody could possibly convince me otherwise. But, look up the Amazon reviews for Atomic Habits… How could over twelve-hundred people give it just one or two stars. How is this possible? 
 
Quantifying Your Assets: 
Not every reviewer is an asset. Not every person in your life is an asset. Not every person in your company is an asset. Not every customer is an asset. Not every audience-member is an asset. 
 
But… 
 
Some people in your life generate an insane ROI. Some customers are the lifeblood of your business. Some of your team-members are world-class talents. And some audience members will dramatically enhance your life.
 
Sharing: 
Some of my presentations are better than others. Some of my ideas are better than others. Some of my emails are better than others. 
 
And…
 
Some of my readers are better than others. Some of my customers are better than others. Some of my audience members are better than others.
 
I never know which ones… Until after I share.
 
Final Thought: If you don’t share you won’t inspire anyone else. When you do, you never know who you might inspire…And all it takes is one.
 
-MV

Freedom

Freedom

Freedom From & Freedom To
 
When I was a missionary in Mozambique we spent time exploring the African bush, which was remarkable, by the way. One of my missionary friends asked the guide how they find water to drink when they are thirsty?
 
Our guide explained how they set-up salt-traps for the baboons.  Where we were in Mozambique, water was scarce but baboons were plentiful, and those in the bush know baboons love salt. So what do the bush-folk do? They put a big lump of salt in a hole and wait for the baboon.  The baboon comes, sticks his hand in the hole and grabs the salt.  The salt makes the baboon’s hand bigger, and the baboon’s hand is now trapped in the hole.  But the baboon loves salt so much that it won’t let go of the salt. So the men who live in the bush come and grab the baboon, throw it in a cage and feed it a bunch of salt. What happens next? The baboon becomes thirsty and they release it knowing it will run directly to the water.  The bush men follow the baboon to the stream, and voila…
 
Today, we are the baboons. The salt is cheap dopamine. 
 
Baboons are addicted to salt.  We are addicted to cheap dopamine.  Addicted in the sense that we refuse to let go of the temporary pleasures even while knowing the addiction creates negative consequences.
 
There is an important lesson we should learn from the baboon, it is called Freedom From & Freedom To:
 
In order to get freedom to, you must get freedom from… Don’t be a baboon.

Examples:

  • [Financial] Freedom to buy whatever you want requires freedom from compulsively buying whatever you want.
  • [Physical] Freedom to enjoy a six-pack (abs) requires freedom from enjoying six-packs (beers).
  • [Psychological] Freedom to enjoy peace of mind requires freedom from consuming anything stealing your peace of mind.  
  • [Relational] Freedom to enjoy people who help you build a better life requires freedom from people who helped you build a bitter life. 
  • [Spiritual] Freedom to worship God requires freedom from worshiping god(s).
  • [Time] Freedom to control your time allocation requires freedom from things controlling your time allocation.    

Everyone wants freedom to.  Few will do the work required to receive freedom from.  
 
Corollary: The next step is freedom from, again.  We don’t have time for that today…we will cover it in a future dialogue.  The cycle looks like this: Freedom From, Freedom To, Freedom From Again…

 

-MV