February 2014

jack-nicholson-the-shining

So, as most of my readers know, my blogs have a lot to do with business, working hard, making a life for yourself an most importantly living. All to many times, we get caught up in our day-to-day grind and lose perspective. If you lose perspective for too long, the mind starts to slip and unless you do something about it, you might end up like Jack smashing through doors with an axe trying to kill your wife and child.

Although that may be an extreme example, a life of monotonous mediocrity is really no life at all, or at least to me it’s not. Think of all the movies you have seen with this type of protagonist plot-line, Fight Club, The Shinning, Life of Walter Mitty to name a few, These stories are so commonly told because they relate to so many people.

You see, you don’t need to take a trip around the world, or start a fight club to break out of your daily grind, however, if that is what you want to do, then go for it and I will come with ūüôā Most people simply miss the little things. I know, because I do it too, it’s easy to get caught up in your daily grind, but today I intend to explain how to escape it.

Today, I am up in San Francisco, with a very busy week of clients to see, things to do, and deals to sell. The days can fly by real quick. The funny thing is that my performance across the board is in direct correlation with how I am feeling. If I am in a place of scarcity, I am may very well come off desperate blowing a sale or a potential investor. People have an innate sense for that kind of thing. If you walk in to place to sell anything gleaming with anything else but confidence and a bright smile, the person will know something is up with you automatically, and it will severely hinder your chance of success.

A sale by definition is “a transfer of energy,” and that is my favorite definition because at the end of the day, it’s a performance, and if you blow it, the customer is not going to buy your product or invest in your company. Why? Simple, because no one want to buy or invest in to a person who suck, is sad, desperate or incompetent. What ever your product is doesn’t really matter, nor the company you represent, it is you who they are buying, and if they don’t like you, they probably will not buy or invest.

Here is a great example of what not to do…. Love this movie

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1EyN9xTK94

So, if getting to correct state of mind is imperative,  what you do before and after your performances (aka sale / investment pitch). Coming prepared and making sure that you are in a peak state will change the game. Whether or not you get the investor to invest, the buyer to buy should have no effect on you.

So how does one get there? Well in order to come to the table calm, collected and prepared, you have to take care of your mind, body and soul. For example, if you spend all of your time hustling and making money, you probably don’t worry about what kind of food you are putting in your body. I know this all to well especially when traveling, some days I get going, get caught up in appointments and realize I haven’t eaten anything all day and it’s already 3PM. Not good.

Then what about my body, sometimes after being out all day long driving around the city and using all of my brain power to convince customers and investors to buy me, the last thing I want to go do is shed my suit and tie, and take my ass to the gym. You see where I am going with this?

The hardest thing I have found to do especially when traveling for work is keeping a routine, and of course it is, you are away from your comfort zone and everything you know. It’s ok though, because if you can find out how to manage this routine even while your on the road, then it will become even more reinforced when your back on your home turf. The point is that you can’t afford to get caught up in the hustle, you have to take time for yourself and make sure you are taking care of your body, exercising, eating right and taking small breaks to appreciate where you are.

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Look how beautiful Pacifica is

It can be as simple as taking an afternoon to yourself and enjoying the beauty of the place you’re in. I did it just the other day. Again I’m in San Francisco on business, so there is plenty to see but the city doesn’t calm me, it’s fun to hang out in and catch up with friends, but it doesn’t put me at ease. So what I did was took the afternoon off in Pacifica (That’s a little city in south San Francisco on the beach) and spent some time just watching the waves and taking in the beauty that was surrounding me. I was a little worried because I was really trying to get another deal closed for the week, but knew that if I didn’t give myself some down time, it would hinder my performance.

I also found a Krav Maga Gym in San Francisco, for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a style of hand-to-hand combat / Mixed Martial arts that I have been practicing for almost 2 years. Click here link for an explanation. It beats going to the gym and I go about 4 times a week back at home so to be able to keep that in my routine while traveling up here has been a bonus, usually I’m stuck going to good ol’ 24 hour fitness or if I am lucky finding a boxing or jiu-jitsu gym that will allow me to drop in for a couple of days knowing very well that I am not going to buy a membership or even return there in the near future. ¬†Either way, taking care of my fitness is also crucially important to my sate of mind, so adding that in with my day in Pacifica was healing to my soul.

Then, just like that I closed a deal later that day. Went back to the hotel, got a good nights sleep, woke up at 5 AM to trade on the FOREX market and then closed another deal that day!!! AWESOME, absolutely crushed it this last week, and it’s not just because I am a good sales guy but I attribute much of that success with being able to keep the routine and take care of my mind and body which always comes before making money!.

So here are a couple of tips for what to do to stay in a positive peak state while traveling

1. Get situated – When you arrive, go to google, plan your week, figure out where everything is, the gym, appointments, dry cleaners, post office, basically all of the places that you will need to go through out the week.

2. Pick out some fun things that you want to do in between appointments while you are there. This includes catching up with friends who live where you are traveling and things you are interested in that you can only see or do in that place you are traveling, something you couldn’t do back home. For example, I am going to see Alcatraz on Sunday! I have been to S.F. many times, but have never gone, so I’m doing it!

3. Get to bed early! I am up at 5 AM everyday trading on the FOREX market, I’m not saying you need to get up at 5 am, but I will tell you that I have a huge competitive advantage over any competition simply based on the fact that I have been up using my brain, showered, ready to go with all my shit together for literally hours before I see my first client. It’s a very empowering feeling.

4. Take pictures and Check-in on Facebook РDuh, you want to remember the experience, bottom line is even if you had a bad sales week, at least you got to travel to a new place on the companies dime and saw/experienced some cool stuff so have fun with it!

5. Work-out! You always feel better after you do, not only will your body love you for this but it is a great way to network to meet new people and get out of the hotel room.

6. Eat right, and if possible, never eat alone. A meal is a great opportunity to have someones attention for 30-45 minutes. Also when dealing with clients, they can tell a lot about you by what or where you eat, and vice-versa for them. Never eat alone if you can help it, it a waisted networking opportunity or simply a reason to meet someone new.

7. Check in Back home –¬†Whether your married, have a significant other, or are a single person, checking in with familiar people back home will always raise moral! I do this often for a couple of reasons but mainly to reconnect because hotel rooms can get a little lonely sometimes and it’s important to remember that you are there on a mission and will return home soon, a friends and supporters back home remind us of this.

8. Have Fun.¬†If you leave on a trip and go to a new place and don’t have fun, the only one to blame is yourself. I can find something interesting, exciting or beautiful about any place I have ever been, and I have been to some shitty places. The beauty is in the ey of the beholder. Boring people get bored. You can look at it as a shitty work trip in Wichita or an exciting adventure to a place unknown on a mission to find something cool about. That is¬†up to you, but even I can’t fix a person who doesn’t want to be fixed, and I sure as hell can’t make a person who is hell-bent having a horrible time have fun.

I hope this brightened up your day! Ok now Im off to go explore the city, enough blog writing for today!!!

-Steve

Super-Bowl-48-e1390842398179So as I am watching Super 48 come to a close I can’t help but think what a guy like Payton Manning does from the time after tonight to the pre-season months from now. Most athletes are kind of like Entrepreneurs: they never work in offices, they travel a lot, they are paid for performance not time spent on the job and sometimes things don’t always go down the way you have planned.

I think for a guy like Payton, even though he missed this attempt at another super bowl championship and there will be hours of peyton-manning-ties-nfl-record-with-7-touchdown-passes-in-a-single-gameridiculous commentary on what he could have done differently for weeks on end, this isn’t his first rodeo. In fact, I think that it is any professional football players dream to play and win in the Superbowl just like every entrepreneur myself included wants to build a fortune 500 company take it public and get the BIG money.

Unfortunately that isn’t the reality for most, in fact most players don’t make it to a Super Bowl in their career, and if they do, it doesn’t mean they won. Further more, think how hard it is to actually get in to the NFL, and after that factor in your chances of doing all that more than once. Bottom line, is that Payton has a lot to be happy about even though he didn’t get this one, and much like Entrepreneurs you may only have one big hit in your business life. Most of the entrepreneurs you have heard about in your life time all sound like they just had an idea and hit a home run with it, but that’s about as ridiculous as saying Payton Manning woke up one day we he was 25, decided to play pro football and won multiple super bowls.

To win and succeed, it takes work, time, and practice but one thing it also takes is LOSING. I know what your thinking, how can you win if your losing, well you can’t, but you can’t actually win all the time either. If you did, people would just think you’re cheating. The resilience it takes to get your ass kicked and get back up to do it again is only known by few, athletes and hardcore entrepreneurs fit comfortably in that category.

For me personally, I haven’t had my home run yet, but I’m early on in my career, and to my credit, I have only had one major failure due to the market crash in 2008. One thing I have always devoutly believed in is averages. Remember, and incredible baseball player has an ERA of 300 or better. (a 500 ERA us unheard of) and what this mean is that the best in the league hit 3 out of 10 times and strike or fly out the rest.

Business is very much the same way, and all so many times I see young entrepreneurs get bounced out of the atmosphere on their first attempt at business and it makes me sad because they could be the next Bill Gates, but they are just to scared to look bad, you have to get a thick skin to survive. Much like the Athletes, Entrepreneurs go for broke all the time. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. At the end of the day we go in to it knowing that we my fail every time and never get that 100 million dollar idea, and you know what, it’s no t so bad.

300_77787 dan-fouts marino-smThink about guys like Dan Marino, Warren Moon, and Dan Fouts, these were some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, who are in the hall of fame and know what they have in common, not one has a super bowl championship, and by no means does that mean they failed in life, the stars just simply didn’t align for them to get a super bowl championship under their belts.

I really believe in going the distance. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s ¬†a marathon. I think most people can get lucky once or twice, but to have the type of repeat success that guys like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet have takes skill, wisdom, patience and the ability to take risks. After your 3rd million dollar company you launched, no one can claim the luck card, it’s ¬†habit.

But just like the Sammy Sosa’s, and Ken Griffy Jr’s of the MLB world, you don’t get to lead the league in the most home runs unless you get enough times at bat. So for us entrepreneurs, what we do, and most importantly what were a part of before we hit our “home-run” says a lot about what we are going to do once that train ends. Will our product become out dated, will we get bought out by a competitor, will the technology become out dated. Maybe the government will regulate something that will go against us. So how do we stay on top, stay innovative or on top of our game?

Well a mentor of mine Perry P would tell me the story of the big oak tree and the skinny palm tree. The oak tree would make fun of the skinny palm tree that even a little gust of wind would blow around until one day a monsoon came knocking the oak over and killing it completely. The moral of the story was that in order to survive, you need to learn how to bend and fold in all of life’s situations. Furthermore we need to be prepared for what ever life is going to throw at us.

So this is what I have always done. In my last book I wrote,¬†“The Young¬†Entrepreneurs¬†Guide to Life”¬†¬†I write about 100 entrepreneurs who dropped out or never went to college. Some of the people on that list include folks like, Steve Jobs, David Geffin, Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney to name a few, and I have read these guys biographies, in fact I recommend doing that to any aspiring entrepreneur if in the very least to protect them from throwing in the towel when their first deal doesn’t work out.

success-graph-demetri-martin-squiggly-line-300x215This picture resonated with me when I first saw it because I identified with it. When I got my ass handed to me a couple of times in business it was refreshing to meet very successful people who told me they to had bitten the dust a couple of time before they knocked it out of the park. They encouraged me to always continue on. At the end of the day, if my life is spent pursuing my dreams and trying to make the world a better place never wavering against what I believe my purpose is here on this planet than I successfully lived. Whether or not I have a bunch of money in the bank or cars and shit doesn’t matter to me, how I get there though means the world.

I’m a smart guy and I can sell. I could get a sales job that pays well, work my ass off all week and take home 120K per year. I could get a corporate job as well, do a 9-5 Mon-Fri Gig with benefits and 401K, and during some of my failures in my own entrepreneurial endeavors those jobs starting looking amazing, but when I played the tape out, I could just never bring myself to sitting in a 10X10 ft space 40 hours a week selling some shit I could care less about only having the weekends and small trips away from reality to look forward to. I would always take the path less traveled.

If your Dan Marino, or Steve Jobs, my decision makes perfect sense to you, if your everyone else, you just think we are crazy, and that’s ok, because if everyone thought like we did there would be no one to run our companies or play tight-end as well as all of the other positions that are crucial in winning games or in life for that matter.

The bottom line is to stay in the game as long as possible. The longer you stay in the game, the better the chance to have to win. So if your reading this and thinking of starting your own deal for the first time, good for you. Go out there and fail a couple of time, get it over with, get your ass kicked and back up again, it’s all a part of the process. If your down and out, don’t worry, you’ll get it as long as you stay in the game, just don’t give up, consult those mentors and elders, go in to accumulation mode, learn some new things, bend and fold and most importantly get back in to a positive mental state.

If your on the other end of this and you just won your “super-bowl,” congratulations, you worked hard and deserve it. So celebrate and soak up every awesome moment, but when it’s over, you had better get back to work because there is going to be 1000 more coming to take it from you next year!

Have a great week everyone!!!!

Now For a little Fun…. Enjoy

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn5zytfm9No