Tag Archives: motivation

An assistant, a 5k, and a couple grand

Managing a team is scary. Hiring an assistant is not.

Running a marathon is scary. A 5k today is not.

Leaving a salaried job is scary. Earning some money on the side is not.

Identifying the end-goal is important. It makes the baby-step seem easier. And if you start to worry about how you’re going to get to the end-goal, just identify the next baby step.


Because a few assistants, a few 5ks, and a couple grand on the side add up quickly.

Just come back to it later

That article you need to write. That formula you need to create. The puzzle you’re trying to finish.

Staring at the blank paper or formula bar or scattered puzzle pieces forever won’t get you there.

Putting it down, however, will.

Directing effort

So often, there’s a negative correlation between aiming to please and pleasing.

  • Try to go viral and you won’t.
  • Try to get “likes” and you won’t.
  • Try to be funny and you won’t.

Being truthful, though? That’s always a hit.

Just work

He left his job in finance to do photography. No, not me. Meet Brandon Stanton. He’s the guy behind “Human’s of New York,” a blog and now New York Times Bestselling book.

His advice to everyone, ironically? Just work.

If you have an idea, just work on it.

If you have a dream, just work on it.

If you care, just work.

Waiting until it’s perfectly ready does nothing until you just work.

Just work.

Just a little.


One idea

One blog post. One networking call. One addition to the recipe index.

I’m an ideas guy. For ideas guys like me, it’s easy to get lost. (See Darren Rowse’s talk at minute 24 ish). My head’s already spinning with ideas for the lifeisnoyoke site (and that’s absurd because I just launched a complete redesign).

But looking back on the week’s daily “ones”, I can see that I’m not lost. I’m not just an ideas guy.

I’m getting shit done.




My “Where you want to be”

This job? That job? This project? That project? This marketing tactic or that one?

No worries about that “how I’m going to get there” stuff. I’ve figured out where I want to be.

I want to be an influential leader in the American Health and Wellness Advocacy community.

That’s it.

Notice there’s no “doing verbs” like change or sell or build. That’s all “how you’re going to get there” stuff. That’s all stuff I’m doing, but most of it is getting me “where I want to be.” Anything not getting where I want to be should and will stop.

Want the formula? Fill in the blank: “I want to be a ________ (adjective and title/impact) in the _______ (specific community/niche).”

Some more examples:

  • I want to be a well-respected trial lawyer for personal injury plaintiffs in Illinois.
  • I want to be an innovator for the women’s apparel business in the Midwest.  (Hi, Mom.)
  • I want to be an active, present, and retired grandfather to my family.

Your “where you want to be” can and will change. For a while, mine was a “calculated risk-taking entrepreneur in the road-warrior consultant world.”  Now, it’s “an influential leader in the American Health and Wellness Advocacy community.” Later, it will be different.

But, I like where my “where you want to be” is now.

How about you with yours?

Can we reschedule?

If someone offers to help you, you have two choices:

  1. Take the help now
  2. Decline, defer, or do nothing

This is obvious during interactions with strangers.  A stranger might offer to hold the elevator for you now.  That doesn’t mean you can expect them hold the elevator when you really need it.

It’s less obvious with acquaintances.  An acquaintance might want to do lunch to talk about ideas that could help you and your new business.  That doesn’t mean you can wait a few months to take her up on the offer.  By then, she’s not excited to help you anymore.

It’s even less obvious with close friends.  A close friend might offer to help.  Declining their offer might be insulting to them.  They’re just being a good friend.

So choice two seems pretty crappy, huh?

Take the time to accept offers for help.  Even if it’s not a good time for you, there’s more to lose when you say, “Can we reschedule?”

Joe Mauer and Gardy are Right

Often effort and personal satisfaction don’t correlate with mass reception and / or success.

A blogger’s post that took hours to write and is, to her, life-changing, doesn’t get many views. Yet, the one she whipped up in five minutes goes viral.

A retail clothing store owner’s winter line will have some winners and losers.  But there’s no telling which were studiously chosen and which were last-minute add-ons.

The salesman’s long-term, premier prospect is a high-maintenance bust.  Yet, from someone wanting a quote on a Friday afternoon immediately turns into her biggest account.

Fortunately, the effort and personal satisfaction sometimes pleases the masses and / or is successful.  Even better, though?  Getting up to the plate every single day.

Giving ourselves a chance.

Who’s motivation is it anyway?

How could they?  What could possibly motivate them to act like that?  Happens to everyone.

Being asked to take on a new role at work?  What’s motivating them to ask for the switch?

Being treated poorly at the airport?  What’s motivating them to do this to me?

Being offered free services that normally aren’t free?  What’s their motivation?

Well, who cares about their motivation?  It shouldn’t motivate your decision, reaction, or appreciation.  Right?

[UPDATE] Who’s is embarrassingly spelled wrong.  It should be whose. Thanks, @ERGreenberg.  Sorry, Ms Ocar and Mrs Peterson.   I’m leaving it.