Please, Don't Park Your Personality

Many of us park out personalities between 9 and 5 PM.  Especially if we have a regular job.  We often wait until we’re out with friends to let our wings expand and our hearts sing with originality.  Why do we do this?  Safety, I guess.  We are all a little afraid of what might happen when we make a bonfire of our reputation and bring what makes us unique to every conversation, meeting, project and agenda.

The truth is that every one of us has a unique set of gifts and contributions that we are here to deliver to the world.  And if you are hiding your personality and your instincts from everyone, those gifts will remain unwrapped.  There is nobody on this planet who can provide exactly what you provide.  Think about that for a minute or too, or longer if you need to.  Because that is what will make your personal brand stand out, sing and help you celebrate the gift of life.  The gift of who we are.

I’ll have more on this later.  Just wanted to share a few quick thoughts on the subject before I head into my evening with clients at the studio…

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Will the Current Project You're Working on Make a Difference?

Will the Current Project You’re Working on Make a Difference?

“Of course it will.” You think to yourself.  “Why else would I be working on it?”  And then you stop to really think about the question and you realize that it is vital to your on-going success.  Is what I’m working on right now really going to move me toward my goals?  And if not, how can I shift my puruit of this project in a way that will truly help me build my personal brand.
Even if the current project you’re working on right now is monotonous, boring, and difficult to get excited about, how could you change your relationship with it so that it truly began to make a difference for you personally?  Because when you can do that, there is no doubt that it will make s difference to someone else.  Your pursuit of mastery in anything will inspire others, produce productive results, and ultimately help you build your personal brand.  And like it or not, you are a brand, and your development of this bra

nd is essential for your ultimate career success.

Let me give you a simple example I just experienced on the way to the coffee shop this morning…

I’m on my way to EVP after dropping my son off at a summer school science class.  I’m thinking and planning on what I will write this morning and how best I will use the three hours I have before I have to get to the studio and start seeing clients and managing staff people.  I want to be productive and I don’t want to focus on the wrong stuff.  Time is precious and I have lots to do.

The sun is beating down a little hotter than it was yesterday, and it has created a pretty good glare through my windshield.  It feels good.  Mineral Point road has picked up its pace like a marathon runner at about mile 9 when he’s feeling good, like he might beat his personal best today.  Cars whiz past me in the opposite direction, and I’m doing my best to keep up with the flow of traffic myself.  Thoughts are streaming now and I’m looking forward to the writing.
Then, suddenly, a shadow of an old man appears in front of me waving something in the air.  I’m instantly glad I wasn’t reaching for the radio or into my bag in the front seat.  I would have run him down for sure.  Wow, I think.  Is he crossing in the middle of no where?  Actually no, as I apprach him and finish slowing down, I can just now make out that there is in fact a cross walk and he is now groping for the end of the curb so that he can make his way onto the sidewalk.  He has made it!

Here’s the amazing part….

The guy must be about 80 years old and he’s blind.  That cane he was waving was the same one any blind person uses to feel his way around town.  An amazing project itself on any day.  This guy has just crossed one of the busiest streets on the west side of town and in the middle of the morning rush hour (not a big city Chicago style rush hour, but still…).  He found is way to the edge of the street and without the benefit of a traffic light or stop sign, he had the courage to step out into the road because I guess his ears and instincts told him it was OK to do.  Then, he began to wave the cane li

a stop sign for walking people
Image by bradleygee via Flickrke mad in the air and make his way as quickly as an 80-year old guy can to the other side of the street.

His courage astounded me.  Can you imagine?  That’s what I call mastery!

It takes mastery to find your way around town when you can’t see.  And it takes mastery of one’s fear to believe you can actually do it.  This guy inspired me and he’ll never know it.  All he was doing was crossing the street. All he was doing was following through on a mundane project.  Something that was important to him (he needed to get to the other side of the street to get where he was going), and at the same time something that probably for him is routine.  Which means that it is somethign that is easy to take for granted and easy to push aside as unimportant, irrelevant, and not worth pursuing with mastery.  Of course, in this case, the mastery is still important because if he steps out at the wrong time, he’s dead!

Every day there are opportunities for you to ask yourself what you can do to re-invent your work and make it sing.  Forget the words job or task, they’re limiting.  Now, repeat after me, “I am my projects.”  I know, it feels a little silly but I’m trying to make a point.  Will the project you’re working on right now make the world a better place, advance you toward your goals and leave you feeling fulfilled?  If not, it’s time for a gut check.

Start thinking about what you need to do to become the absolute best at what you do.  That is mastery, and when you are consumed with mastery, you are truly living.  And if that is simply crossing the road without getting killed, hey, you are still living.

PS  For an example of a simple, yet fun and good for the world project that I’ve begun myself,
check out the cooking demonstration video series I’ve started on my fitness blog at:

http://tiny.cc/1mEJc

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It's Time…

Enough is enough, it’s time to take back my life, my mission, my goals.  It’s time to undue the clutter that has accumulated in my basement and in the back seat of my car.  Time to clean out the lint trap in the furnace and breath fresher air.  Yes, it is time.

If you have read Deepak Chopra you will know that when you’re talking Quantum Physics, time does not exist.  If you don’t believe this try staring down your clock with the second hand for about a minute.   Then turn away for a few seconds and look back at it.  For a brief moment that second hand will stand still, and you will be living in that fiction in the space between moments where everything in life is happening.  That space we all forget about or never even knew existed.  That time and space in our life that has been gobbled up by PacMan, Dilbert, Wal-Mart and gasoline.

The great irony of life is that though in metaphysical theory time does not exist, in life on earth, time is our most precious asset.  Time spent at dinner with my kids attempting to explain the idea of financial education, inflation, and the benefits of saving for a condo they can live in when they go away to college is precious, fleeting, and unbelievably pure.  Like a golden nugget in the sand that washes up on the shore at your feet and greets you like an old friend.  And the time spent writing about it is even more divine.  The trick is in finding it, putting it in your pocket and holding it carefully until you can store it away and build your wealth.

Attention to this small and enormous detail in life is essential to your survival as a human being.  Living at attention cultivates the intention you need to prevent the thief from coming through your back door at night and steeling your existence, one precious minute at a time.  Leaving the door open to let the fresh cool summer night air in is important, but forgetting to lock that door at night while you’re sleeping is disastrous.  All of your valuable assets, including your time will evaporate in the dry night air.  Stars will shine a little brighter as a result, but they will be borrowing from the future, just as you do when you waste your time.  Just as you do when you let your attention slip and your intention fade away into the night one evening at a time until suddenly you realize that you have no time left to give.  Morning has arrived…

You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to be there.  To smell the scent of the freshly cut grass.  To hear the sounds of cars rushing by on the highway 3 miles away.  To hear, I mean really hear, the water as it trickles into the bathroom sink off your love’s sweet and succulent lips in her preparation for another good night’s rest with that back door shut tight.  You can’t pretend to hear your children dancing in their dreams as they describe to you their thoughts about what a dollar means to them and about how funny Ace Ventura, Pet Detective really is.  You can’t pretend to listen.  Your children and the people who are talking to you will know.  They will sense your distraction and turn away from you like a sunflower at dusk.

How often have you heard yourself say, “When I have the time, I’ll…”  How many more times do you need to hear yourself say it again before you can hear what is garbling out of your mouth?  A failed attempt to take back your life and manage this precious gold.  How many more times will you miss dinner, a baseball game, a piano recital, a spoonful of laughter at the dinner table?  A taste of heaven at the side of the bed, singing sweet hymns and basking in the shadows of your creation.

No one ever promised there would be no sacrifices.  In fact, sacrifice is religion.  A religion of the discipline it takes to honor this truth.  Gandhi said we must become “the change we want to see in the world.”  I have often looked at this quote with irritability because it sounds so corny when I’m not listening.  Tonight I’m listening so closely that I can hear the universe calling my name.  Asking me to step up and take on the responsibility of the change I want to see in the world.

To some extent, I’ve done that.  I’m a living example of what it means to be fit, healthy, and strong, built with plenty of muscle and plenty of vitality and an undying eagerness to share it with the world and inspire you to build the same.  Yet, suddenly I’ve been called to do more, because now I’m listening…

Suddenly my guides speak into my ears and I can hear them as if they were singing at the pulpit.  They are calling me to “be the change I want to see in the world.”  And that change is the challenge I see presented over and over again for not only myself, but for all of you who have come to do your work with me.  The great challenge of life that forces us to wrestle with that irony I mentioned earlier.  That force that puts us on the mat against an opponent that we would have never considered being strong enough to face and now we are.  That opponent who will only be defeated when we can wrestle him to the mat and ask him carefully how and what we each need to do to find the life balance we need to pin him to the ground and rise up in victory.  A victory that will grant us the freedom to claim everything that is ours.  Everything that belongs to us, especially our time and the balance that comes with this mastery, so that we can accomplish everything we need to to fill our own life’s unique mission.  We all have our own mission to fulfill and until tonight, mine was not yet completely clear.

Stay tuned for big changes that will be important for all of us in considering what we need to do to perform the work at hand, and at the same time, reclaim the work we almost left behind…

Do You Have What it Takes to Survive?

Nine out of 10 businesses don’t survive the first 5 years. And for the ones that do, 9 out of 10 of those don’t survive the next 5 years. Do you like those odds? Me neither! But like it nor not, we’re stuck with them. So, here’s what you have to do – Be Passionate!

If you own your own fitness business like I do, you know how challenging they are to run well. You know how tough it can get in the middle of summer when everyone else would rather be outside, ignoring their health and fitness doing everything they can to maximize their summer break.

Here’s the opportunity for you right now…

Take the extra time to stop digging and start planning for the best fall you’ve ever had. And one way you can ensure that is by putting together the same Gold Rush program that I’m going to run this September. I’ve run it before with smashing success. The infrastructure is built and now I’m using some slow time during the summer to plan and ultimately make up for it in September.

In short, the Gold Rush program is offered through NPE and will teach you how to put together a very productive and satisfying public speaking event that will do more than just bring you new clients. It will bring your fitness business to a whole new level.

So, stop moaning about how slow you are and start taking the action you need to make up for it this fall.

Check out the Gold Rush program right now. It’s fantastic!

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PS My post on Tuesday goes into more detail about what I was able to do with my first Gold Rush program and helps you understand even more why this is something you should have in place in your fitness business no matter what…The title is, “It doesn’t matter how much money you make, it’s how much your keep.”

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If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging…

My business coach recommended it was time I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” again. And I have to agree, she was right. It was probably 4-5 years ago since I last read this book and after running my fitness business for the last 5 years, my perspectives have changed dramatically.

I would say that “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” is required reading for anyone who wants to be rich and successful. There is no substitute for a solid financial education. This book, and all of the other books that Robert has written are a great start.

I’ve read all of them and am working my way through again…

Click here for Robert’s Home Page and a good introductory video:

http://www.richdad.com/