The Pursuit of Happiness

happinessLast night I watched the movie Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith. A decent movie if you have some time to sit and watch it.

The main character in the movie had a rough run of luck. He had to endure some very trying circumstance and situations to continue to work hard and get what he wanted out of life. The things he went through will make you very appreciative of what you have. Yet somehow we still find excuses.

At one point in the movie the main character, based off a real person, was talking about the Declaration of Independence. He mentioned the line “and the pursuit of happiness.” He talked about that was all we were promised the right to the “pursuit of” not to actual happiness. He wondered if that was all there was, just the pursuit. He wondered if he would ever find happiness.

But he determined to make his own path to happiness and found a way to do so. We are all given that right. We live in a free and prosperous country where we have ample opportunity. Yet how many of us take advantage of it?

What are you doing to pursue your version of happiness? What do you want from life?

I challenge you to determine that path and the steps you need to take to find happiness.

Posted in Ideas, Personal Development | Tagged , , ,

4 Hour Work Week Review

four-hour-work-week-expanded-and-updated1I completed the 4 hour work week this week. All I can say is “WOW.” It completely blew my mind. It has been sitting on my shelf for I believe almost 2 years.

I bought it based on recommendations from others. They said it was good and I love good books so I picked it up.  Problem is I don’t believe in these work less and get richer schemes that we see too often. Those people make way too much money selling these schemes to people trying to get rich quick. So I never read it.

A few posts ago I told you how I am now using Audible to listen to audio books to and from work. Well they had a special where this book was only $5 to download. I stocked up on a couple books to hold me over as my credits replenish and started listening to it.

It was not what I expected at all. The title is a bit deceiving. I found out this isn’t even the title he wanted, it just tested the best. Why? Because there are too many people out there trying to find ways to make quick cash. That is not what this book is about.

This book is about automation and your ability to be everything to everyone without even being in the country. It is not even about becoming rich, but becoming part of the “new rich.”

Timothy Ferriss takes you step by step in building a business that can be put on automation to replace you current income and allow you the flexibility to take many “mini-retirements” instead of having to wait until you have worked 40 years and are too worried about your money lasting through retirement.

He explains that you can live like a king on your current salary in other countries and places by de-cluttering your life and selling your stuff. Tim takes you through negotiating with suppliers and also with your boss to be able to work from home. The website http://www.4hourworkweek.com/ also provide a ton of great content.

I am not the type of person like Tim Ferriss to take off for a year and travel the world. I am perfectly content to be home and enjoy my family on my terms. But the steps that Tim gives us will allow you the flexibility to do whatever you want.

So I will be implementing Tim’s steps and will keep you posted on the progress. I have already put the first steps in motion and will hopefully have an announcement in the next week or so. Stay tuned.

In the meantime I suggest you read this book and share your thoughts below.

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Working from a Position of Strength

strength

Confidence is a great way to operate. Whether you are dealing with a negotiation for your largest contract yet or arguing with your 13 year old, you must be confident in your position.

I love the term position of strength. I think this is a term that is worth remembering whenever you are dealing with circumstances that involve jockeying for position. I have been in relatively tame positions where I was above my head and was definitely not working from a position of strength. I have been in very strenuous situations that I have that position of strength and was able to prove my point and win.

In each circumstance you want to make sure you are prepared for whatever the situation is going to bring to you. I have had many discussions with people arguing a point that they were not qualified to argue. They obviously read an article that morning or developed their talking points as we went along. It is very difficult to deal with people like that and even harder to prove your point when you are dealing from that position.

You must do your best to make sure that you have searched out opposing views and researched the facts of your situation before you argue or negotiate for what you want. It is not enough to simply show up with an attitude. You must show up with as many weapons and facts at your disposal so you are not caught off guard. This is the only way you will win and look good in doing so.

I am sure most of you know this, but it is worth reinforcing. I enjoy being in a position where I have all the facts and the person I am negotiating or talking with is obviously ill prepared. It shows that you care about the situation and have done your homework. Those people are the ones who get the results they were looking for in the end.

Posted in Business, Ideas, Passion, Personal Development | Tagged , ,

How Do You Use Your Time?

clockThis is something I have been thinking a lot about lately.

As most of you know the reason I started all that I am doing now is because of the death of my dog Athena. She made me think about time and just how precious it is. In the post“I’m too busy” I discuss how precious time is and why we must use it properly  I also discuss my disdain for this phrase and why it is just an excuse.

I am guilty of this too. It is something I have been working on slowly and will continue to do so. Recently I have made two changes to address this. I always complained that I did not have enough time to work out or to read like I would like to. So I made two changes.

I got a subscription to audible and I now listen to audio books during the 45 minute ride to and from work, instead of music or other mindless radio. I have gotten through 5 books in the last 4 weeks.

I also started to go to the gym during my lunch hour instead of eating out and wasting time and money. This also allows me to listen to my books as I run or lift.

The results have been great. I am getting back into shape, I have lost weight, and I have read many books that have been on my “to read” list.

Most recently I am reading “The 4 Hour Work Week;” which is unbelievably good. As a result I will be changing a lot of the ways I do things and what I do. But there will be more of that in future posts.

So how do you use your time? Do you have areas of your life that could be changed and free you up to do things you don’t seem to have time for?

It is worth taking a look at. It is time to stop making excuses and take charge of our lives. In the end you, if you are not happy with how things are only you can change them; no one can do it for you.

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Building Your Personal Brand

personal_brand1In my queue of blog topics to write about, I have had the topic of Branding yourself sitting there for quite a while. I have seen it there and just couldn’t find a place to start.

I had the opportunity to Interview Phil Gerbyshak on my radio show.

In my preparation for the interview I came across his post on entitled “How to Brand Yourself.”

Phil’s an expert in this field and I thought that instead of trying to come up with something on my own, I would use what Phil Wrote.

What follows are the 17 points that Phil brings out in his post.

0. Before you get started, you need to think about what you want to do and be known for
1. Buy your name.com and set up your website/blog there
2. Figure out your top 5 topics/themes/services that you have expertise in and passion about
3. Use http://hootsuite.com for your Twitter account
4. Set up alerts on http://google.com/alerts
5. Subscribe to 10-20 blogs in your niche via RSS at http://google.com/reader
6. Go to http://linkedin.com and upload your resume and fill out your profile to get to 100%
7. Get testimonials from folks you’ve worked with on your LinkedIn profile
8. Set up a monthly newsletter at http://mailchimp.com
9. Create your 90 second commercial
10. Add yourself to every Twitter directory you can find
11. Follow as many people as you can in your niche and/or that use your key words
12. Write a traditional press release
13. Find some local companies and companies in your niche to spotlight on your site.
14. Tweet on topic for at least 30 minutes a day.
15. Dive into your LinkedIn network
16. Keep writing, keep tweeting, keep connecting

To visit Phil’s site click on this link http://www.philgerbyshak.com/ and to view this post in its entirety please visit http://www.philgerbyshak.com/how-to-brand-yourself/.

The mp3 of the interview will be up shortly and I will link to it here. We discuss this post in more detail during the interview. This is really great step-by-step advice and if you are having trouble finding you brand visit Phil’s website for lots of other great tips and ideas.

Posted in Business, Ideas, Passion | Tagged , , ,

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

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I have always been almost obsessed with success and I have always wanted to leave my mark on the world. As a result, I have read thousands of books, articles, and stories about how people found their success.

I have always come away a little let down. Each story seems to end with the person finding success almost by luck or chance. There has never really been a clear, precise answer to how they did it. Just the normal work hard and do your best mantra.

As I mentioned in the previous post I just got done reading The Intelligent Entrepreneur. There were a couple points that really stuck with me, but this story in particular resonated.

Chris Michel had sold his second business for millions and had started traveling the world. He was on a whale watch and they boat had started back to shore. He was inside the boat looking at the various pictures he had taken when he heard someone yelling there were more whales.

He came out of the cabin with his camera ready and just as he walked out one of the orca’s jump out of the water over another orca. Chris was able to snap some pictures and as he looked back at them he realized just how great they were.

In that moment he had an epiphany of sorts and likened this to his entrepreneurial career.

He explained that with that picture he had been prepared to snap the shots that others might not have gotten. He had taken the trip and went on the whale watch. But then he also had a great camera and it was ready to go at a moment’s notice and he was prepared for those shots because of all the things he had done prior to the whale jumping out of the water.

To some degree luck came into this as he had to be in the right place at the right time and in the position to get those shots. But he was ready.

This was the point he made.  All his life he had prepared to be an entrepreneur. He went to the right schools, met the right people, and worked hard to make sure he covered as much ground and as many bases as he could. When his moment came, he recognized it and knocked it out of the park.

He explained this is what life was; being ready for those opportunities.

In that simple explanation it all made sense. That is why it always seems like luck when these people find success, because it partly is.

The part we don’t see is the years and years they took in preparing to be ready for that moment.

So what are you doing to get ready for your moment? Will you be ready when it comes?

If not, start taking steps and actions to set you on the course to make sure you are ready when your opportunity comes. If you are not ready it will fall to someone who is. Don’t give them the chance, make sure you are ready.

I know I plug Gaddis Coaching on here a lot, but this is the exact reason I started Gaddis Coaching. I am passionate about it and its purpose. I know I can help you be ready for these moments and I want to help you be prepared for these moments. Again there is no obligation to get a free one hour consultation. So what do you have to lose?

Posted in Book Reviews, Business, Ideas, Passion, Personal Development | Tagged , , , , ,

The Intelligent Entrepreneur – Book Review

intelligent-entrepreneurI just completed reading The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneur written by Bill Murphy Jr.

Over all it was a great book.  It followed the lives and start-ups of 1998 Harvard Business School Graduates Marc Cendella, www.theladders.com, Marla Malcolm-Beck, www.bluemercury.com, and Chris Michel, www.military.com and Affinity Labs.

Every other chapter in the book switched between the story of the three characters and a chapter on one of the 10 rules.

The rules that Bill Murphy Jr. came up with are

1. Make the commitment
2.  Find a problem, then solve it
3.  Think Big, Think New, Think Again
4.  You can’t do it alone
5.  You must do it alone
6.  Manage risk
7.  Learn to lead
8.  Learn to sell
9.  Persist, persevere, and prevail
10.  Play the game for life

I think for the most part it covered all the ground on becoming an entrepreneur. The stories of the three main characters made the book an easy, interesting read.  I especially enjoyed the story of Chris Michel. He was a career Navy man that had a near tragedy change the course of his life much like me. He went through tremendous hardship getting his business started. In the end he came out on top and really showed genuine interests in his businesses and what he was doing. He wasn’t chasing a buck; he was just living life to its fullest.

I didn’t like how the book chose HBS grads and followed them exclusively. They were able to raise capital and tap contacts almost at ease. The majority of entrepreneurs that are reading the books probably do not have the contacts or possibilities of an HBS grad.

It would have been nice to see how an intelligent entrepreneur can come up from nothing and find a way to make their dream a reality.

In the end I do not believe the fact that he chose to follow HBS grads changes the rules he put forth or the lessons to be learned. It just seems so much easier for an HBS grad that it does for most of us.

Overall I would defiantly recommend the book. The book teaches that anyone can become an intelligent entrepreneur. It also talks about how becoming an entrepreneur is considered risky by most, but in fact it may be less risky then accepting a job with a company. (more on this in a latter post)

I will also be posting on other parts of this book that stuck out to me in the future.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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