The Truth About The Entrepreneurial Path

I was talking with a friend recently about the entrepreneurial journey and how it often feels like 2 steps forward and 1 or 2 or 10 steps back.

You make a ton of progress and feel super great and unstoppable in one moment and then completely halted by a massive challenge in the next.

It reminds me of a podcast interview I did with Kent Stewart. Kent is a mountain climber and was telling me about the process for climbing Mt. Everest.

You don't just go straight up the mountain. You acclimate at base camp, then climb up, then come back down to base camp, then climb farther up and climb back down to another base camp and then up the mountain. (I'm sorry if I butchered this explanation, Kent).

What I realized from his story is that they plan to come back down. It's part of the process. It's not a failure, but a way to build up resistance.

I launched a coaching business for entrepreneurs recently which has been great, but I forgot how many setbacks there were with Breakout at the beginning.

It's so important to remind ourselves that it's part of the process and to expect them to show up rather than getting down when they inevitably do.

Check out the full episode with Kent here. He shares some fantastic thoughts on overcoming obstacles and tackling huge goals: https://goo.gl/MiQcJd

Over and Over Again

I've been playing around with the best ways to find complete focus and get in a flow state, which seems to be harder and harder these days.

I can't remember who recommended it (maybe Forrest Walden?) but I started listening to the same song on repeat while I'm working.

The. Same. Song. Over. And. Over.

It sounds terrible at first, but after about a week of doing it, I've found that it is insanely effective. I think it triggers something in your mind that it's time to focus and the lack of changing to other songs keeps you in a great rhythm.

So far, I've done it with a couple songs:
🎼Neon Future - Steve Aoki
🎼Experience - Ludovico Einaudi 
🎼Gold Star Mothers - Hammock
🎼Freedom/The Execution/Bannockburn - Braveheart Soundtrack

Have you tried this before? If so, what what songs do you recommend?

Leadership Is Love?

To lead well is to love well.

Certainly, you can lead massive movements without love. Hitler did it. 

But, you can't have important and valuable lasting impact without caring, generous, forgiving, thoughtful, compassionate love.

3 Things I learned from Tony Robbins this week

This week I attended Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within Event in San Jose, California. As incredible as it was, it’s really challenging to describe exactly what happens at these events. But imagine being in a stadium with 10,000 strangers for 12-14 hours a day with almost no breaks, singing at the top of your lungs, dancing your butt off, building incredible relationships while gaining insanely effective psychological, emotional, spiritual, business and leadership insights. It was an experience I will never forget and am so incredibly grateful for. Here’s a few things I learned that anyone can apply. 

  1. Energy drives everything. Often Tony gets relegated as just motivational hype and positive thinking. I understand why, but it became clear to me that beyond motivation and surface hype is an unrelenting energy source that we rarely fully tap into. I truly believe God has given us energy to use as a tool. Specifically, one tool we can use is our bodies. By simply changing out physiology - our breathing, the position of our head and shoulders, our motion, we immediately change the way we feel. When we change the way we feel, we change our entire lives, what we are capable of, our endurance, our creativity, our ability to solve big problems. I’ve been doing state changing exercises each morning for the last 60 days and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
  2. Our limiting beliefs are deep seated in our subconscious and must be eliminated. I come from a loving, supportive, encouraging family with outstanding parents who love me. I have a wife who believes in me and is constantly encouraging me. I have devoted friends who support me and care about me. Yet, somehow, one of my limiting beliefs was that 'I am not good enough’. Consequently, I never allow myself to celebrate the good work that I’ve done and what I’ve achieved because I think it should be better. I’ve always thought the idea of loving yourself was hippie nonsense, but I’m convinced that loving yourself is foundational to then being able to love other people fully. We spent time rooting out these limiting beliefs and learning how to continue to eliminate them moving forward. 
  3. Progress = Happiness. In any are of our lives, if we aren’t growing, we’re dying. With God, with family, with friends, with business, with finances, we don’t experience the full joy that is available to us when we are not making steps forward. I was challenged this week to think through my life and be really honest about where things are and what I need to do to make them better. Some areas need small incremental shifts to continue to make progress, others need to be overhauled. Where are you making progress that you need to celebrate? Where are you stagnant and need some work? 
 
If you’d like to attend a future event, I’m happy to answer any questions. It’s not for everyone, but I can assure you that you will not return the same. 

Hospitality vs. Service

I've been obsessing and re-reading over parts of Setting the Table by Danny Meyer for the last 8 months. My team is probably sick of hearing me talk about it at this point, but this quote on hospitality vs. service is one of the most important ideas I've read this year:

“Understanding the distinction between service and hospitality has been at the foundation of our success. Service is the technical delivery of a product. Hospitality is how the delivery of that product makes its recipient feel. Service is a monologue—we decide how we want to do things and set our own standards for service. Hospitality, on the other hand, is a dialogue. To be on a guest’s side requires listening to that person with every sense, and following up with a thoughtful, gracious, appropriate response. It takes both great service and great hospitality to rise to the top.”

Being Misunderstood

Being misunderstood and leading go hand in hand. There is rarely an opportunity to explain every reason for every decision to every person on the team. Consequently, opinions are formed and things are said that lack basis or understanding. The response to this seeming injustice is unclear. Seeking to clarify at every turn is futile. Giving up the fight to clearly communicate is lethal. Maybe the only solace is intention. We will get it wrong, oh so wrong, so many times. But, I have to believe that a long term strategy of caring for others and acting in what we believe is in their best interest will trump the bumps in the road along the way. 

Hospitality and Service, a distinction that matters

I recently shared a passage from a book called Setting the Table by Danny Meyer with my team. Danny is a successful restauranteur whose concepts run the gamut from upscale fine dining to burgers and fries at the always packed, Shake Shack. This passage about hospitality vs. service is beautiful, impactful, and I could not agree more...

Understanding the distinction between service and hospitality has been at the foundation of our success. Service is the technical delivery of a product. Hospitality is how the delivery of that product makes its recipient feel. Service is a monologue - we decide how we want to do things and set our own standards for service. Hospitality, on the other hand, is a dialogue. To be on a guest's side requires listening to that person with every sense, and following up with a thoughtful, gracious, appropriate response. It takes both great service and great hospitality to rise to the top.

 

 

Uncomfortable Conversations

I once heard Tim Ferriss say that "A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have." I don't know if that's true, but it seems definitely, very much, certainly true. 

I Was Wrong

Nothing more clearly shows me how often I am wrong than my journal. When I look back over that last few years worth of entries, it's painful to see how many times I was incorrect about decisions and the results of those decisions. But, I don't think the percentage of decisions we get right is necessarily what matters. I think it's the number of decisions we make. Isn't it so much better to look back and see a path full of course corrections than a path of inactivity because we were simply afraid to be wrong?

It's Not Fair

So much of life and business isn't fair.  It's not fair that your team misunderstood what you said despite your best intentions, that a customer left a scathing review about something that never actually happened, that your competitor said that stupid thing they said.

A lot of things happen that just shouldn't. While I don't recommend that we throw up our hands and take whatever comes our way, I'm also not sure the fight for fairness is worth it. It seems far more valuable to focus on our response to the inevitable than to seek its impossible elimination. Fighting for the fair and equal treatment of all humans is a necessary and just endeavor. Fighting for fairness for yourself is, generally, just a waste of time.