You Are Worth a Million Dollars

8039860305_3bfed2d6ba_zIn the audio blog, I answer a listener’s question about couples fighting. 

When I think about what it takes to create freedom in our lives, I get a little sad. If you’re an author, you’re told to make your book free from time to time and cheaper the rest of the time. If you’re a speaker, you’re told you can’t get a $10,000 speaking fee. If you’re a blogger, podcaster, or coach, you’re told to work for free to get testimonials and referrals.

While access and information have become more attainable, the value of what we offer has been driven down. The thinking is that if people can get it for free, why would they pay for it? I have coached, talked to, and witnessed too many dreamers fall victim to this line of thinking. This line of thinking adds to our self-limiting beliefs and keeps many of us from creating the life we truly want to live.

I have coached over 127 hours for free. I have written 400 blog posts on this blog. I have interviewed on over 150 podcast interviews. I have written 150 articles for large websites and blogs. I have spoken at 20 events for free. I have given away enough knowledge that a dreamer can use to create freedom and not have to hire me.

I’m guessing you have a similar story because this is the path we’re conditioned to take. For authors alone, the KDP Select free days have been forced feed as the only way to sell books today. It’s sad and concerning. Through private Facebook messages, email, and other avenues, we are constantly asked advice that we should be charging for.

I don’t have a fancy outline for this post or even a structured thought. I’m writing this to simple tell you that you are worth more—a million dollars even. You may not have a degree or some fancy certification, but you have valuable knowledge through your life experiences. That experience leads you to an understanding that others would pay to learn. That shouldn’t be free. (more…)

Focus on What Will Help You

6602332085_60b6526b99_zIn the audio blog, I answer a four-part question about KDP Select and self-publishing.

I’m a little stressed out. Every time I log onto Facebook, I’m bombarded with ads about how you can “write and publish a #1 best-selling book in eight weeks.” Or, how “you can get a cheat sheet a particular guru used to make seven figures.” The ads make crazy claims, and the sad thing is people buy those programs like they’re going out of style.

When I started building my dream, I was desperate. I wanted to make progress quicker. I figured if I invested money into one of these programs, I would make progress. You know my story so you know I got hustled. The sad truth is that there is a lot of lying happening in the online space.

To be fair, maybe I just picked the wrong programs. There are a lot of good programs out there. But, in general, the ones that we see the most—like through Facebook ads—are the ones that won’t help us. They might work when we reach a certain level, but, in general, they aren’t relevant to where we are in our journey.

In the Middle

I was listening to a conference and the speaker was someone I greatly respect. He has released four New York Times best-selling books, and I have had the pleasure of attending two of his live events. I have heard his story several times, but for some reason, something caught my attention as he was telling it as this event.

He talked about the fact that before he got started with his lifestyle business, he was a consultant at Accenture. If you’re not familiar with the company, watch any major golf event. They are a consulting and strategy company worth $62 billion dollars. The average salary is $93,101 a year.

He left that job to consult, coach and speak. I don’t know what his finances looked like, but I think it’s a fair guess that he had some money and a lot of knowledge from his former job. The point being: he had a good head start. (more…)

Your Attitude Affects Your Dream

5515125157_51d18a3612_zIn the audio version, I answer the question of why I’m not taking coaching clients. 

I have a confession to make: I’m a jerk. Well, not all the time, but I have been acting like a jerk since about February. I’d like to just fix my mistake and put on a good front for you, but I don’t believe in being fake. I would also love help with accountability.

I’ve worked hard to get here. Where, you ask? A lifestyle of complete freedom in my work, health, and relationships. It took almost three years of working 60-hour weeks delivering bread and building this on the side to get here. You would think now that I’m here life is all good, but I’ve made a problem that wasn’t there.

I will always remember where I came from and how hard I worked to get here. When someone who is doing the same thing reaches out to me, I will respond. People have told me I feel approachable and I hope that’s how I come across to you because I am approachable. I love talking to people who are on the hustle.

Lately though, I haven’t lived up to what I’ve put out there. Since I was a guest on Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn, my platform has grown. That appearance brought thousands of new friends here. As you can imagine, many have reached out through email, Facebook messages, and Twitter. I should be happy because this is what I’ve worked so hard for, but I let it go to my head.

Lately, when people have reached out, I’ve gotten irritated. I look at the messages and everything I have on my plate, and feel burdened and stressed. I have allowed my attitude to shift from what I’m blessed with to what I HAVE to do. By making it an attitude of “have to,” I’ve turned away from what got me here.

I’m sorry.

I have seen a lot of heroes I greatly respect become untouchable as they have grown their platform. As they have turned away from their fans, I have gotten a lesson in how not to build. I always want to be here for anyone who’s going through what I went through. I will never forget all the friends who have helped me get here by letting me guest post, allowing me to be on their podcast, buying anything from me, or offering encouraging words. I will NEVER forget where I came from. (more…)

I’m a Recovering Procrastinator

367617959_bd56579250_zThere is an audio version at the end. 

When you’re hustling hard while building your dream on the side, you use every bit of time you have wisely. You get a very limited amount of time to get everything accomplished, and you realize if you’re going to live your dream, you better not mess around during that time. When you are living your dream, however, it can be a different story.

My first days of freedom were in the beginning part of 2013. I could finally get a full eight hours of sleep after working 60 to 80 hours weeks delivering bread for 12 years. I had the blessing of waking up those January mornings knowing I was doing what I love.

The first few days were weird. Most of the time I didn’t know what I should be doing. I went from having NO real free time to having WAY too much. I started each morning writing my fingers off, by midday, I was on the couch watching daytime soap operas. I did get some things accomplished but not as much as when I had my day job.

Over time, I figured out a balance and got more accomplished, but I have to be honest, I still suck. I’m a recovering procrastinator who has to battle for productivity every day. A lot of people say, “I don’t know how you get so much done.” I think, “Really?” If you followed me day-to-day, you would be disappointed.

I’m not writing this post because I have figured out how to beat procrastination. I’m writing this to ask for accountability and let you know we all have the same struggles. While you may think I write a lot and accomplish much, I don’t. I could write a book every week if I stopped slacking.

My wife goes to work, my kids go to school, and I have eight hours to myself during weekdays. Yes, I do have coaching clients. Yes, I do have consulting work, but I could be doing so much more. (more…)

7 Promises to Prove I Love You

44066633_e0ab44de09_zThere is an audio version at the end.

The day we met was the first time in my life that I thought I would have a heart attack. Your beauty was stunning, but your overall presence was too much for me to handle.

We were young, 17 and 18 years old, but I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I had never been the kind of person to believe in love at first sight, but I was head-over-heels in love. I knew I loved you before you ever said a word to me.

You hated me at first, but we got to know each other, and you started to feel the same way. Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life. I’m tearing up as I think about it.

I wish the story ended there, but getting married young had its challenges. We struggled with getting to know each other and communicating. We struggled with money and my weight issues.

We separated and almost went through a divorce. We called it off and found a way back to each other. As we celebrate 17 years of marriage, there are seven promises I need to make to you. These are my vows for the rest of the time we have on this earth together.

1. I promise to put you first

When we said, “I do,” there were vows I made to you. I promised to put you first, but the truth is I haven’t. I reaffirm my promise, but this time I will follow through. I will put your needs above my own. I will give you first place in my heart and life.

2. I promise to remember I’m the problem

A wise counselor told us that if you have a problem with your spouse, the problem is with yourself. I know this but have made it seem like you’re the problem. Instead of making a big deal about things that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, I’ll work through my issues on my own. They aren’t major and aren’t important. (more…)

The No. 1 Reason You Are Existing Instead of Living

13540819134_b4d20caa1e_zThere is an audio version at the end.

I can distinctly remember how I felt the day my dreams died. I was 17 years old, and because of an incredibly difficult upbringing, I was homeless. I tried to be a responsible adult and juggle everything. I went to high school, did my homework, and spent my nights living in shelters, the streets, and friends’ couches.

I knew that I needed income, so I got one job, then two, and then three. Working three jobs, high school, and the craziness of my living situation were too much. When something had to give, it ended being high school. I dropped out. As I walked out of the school, I could feel every dream and plan for my life dying.

I met the woman who would become my wife at one of those jobs; we became husband and wife the day after I turned 18. She wanted me to get my life in order and chase my dream of being a writer. The first thing I did was get my G.E.D.

Life for the next 12 years could be best described as “existing.” I got a string of jobs and eventually started a business. I hated what I did for “work” and it affected every area of my life. As a result, in 2011, we were $180,000 in debt, I was 170 pounds overweight, and we lived in a place that had us fearing for our safety.

In 2011 when everything in my life was falling apart, I decided enough was enough. I needed to vent so I wrote about everything that had happened. When I got all of the thoughts out of my head and onto paper, I realized it was a lot of words.

My No. 1 dream was to be an author and walk into a bookstore and see my book. When I thought of sending my words to a publisher, or putting together an eBook and self-publishing, something stopped me in my tracks. I was fed up, I had big dreams, but there was something stronger holding me back.

The fear I had is typical. The thing that holds most of us back from living our dream life or even taking action is the number one reason we exist in life instead of live. I couldn’t move forward or take action because I was waiting for permission.

Stop Waiting for Permission

Too often in life, we wait for permission to chase big dreams or live the kind of life we want to live. We wait for validation; we wait for someone we respect or love to tell us it’s “OK” to do what we want to do. We hesitate because we listen to our doubt, fear, and self-limiting beliefs and wait for permission to overcome them. (more…)

3 Numbers to Ignore While Building a Dream

11322953266_db29ce0659_zThere is an audio version at the end. 

Everywhere you look in our society, there is a comparison. The way we measure progress is by comparing where we are to where someone else is. There are times when this makes sense, but too often it’s a dream killer.

Getting into the comparison game can lead to depression and your dreams dying. The most important point to understand is that we are all different. Each of us is special and unique, and not designed to be the clone of someone else. We have different dreams and will make them our reality in different ways.

In the online business space—the space I make a living and love talking about—the comparison game is rampant. We are constantly looking at, and judging the numbers someone else has.

The result ends up being people feeling like an imposter because they don’t have a huge following. It stunts people from speaking out or getting their message out in a big way because of a false sense of accomplishment.

Here are three types of numbers you should avoid comparing, or focusing all your attention on while building your dream.

1. Social Media Friends/Followers

I’ve had more offers than I can count from people who want me to hire them to build my social media presence. They tell me to have “authority,” you must have a huge social media following. I call hogwash! (more…)

Your Dream Isn’t That Scary (Recap of My First TEDx Talk)

10985361_812038628881576_1005218760321238611_n-1In the audio version, I answer the question of how I got this opportunity. 

After three weeks of practicing, stressing out, and every emotion you can imagine, I gave a 15-minute TEDx talk at TEDx Monta, Vista. The most surprising part was how quickly it was over.

I read books, watched lots of videos, and talked to other TEDx Speakers. The truth is once you get on stage all that stuff goes out the window. At that point, your practice is what helps you get through the talk without it sounding awkward.

The two things I was not ready for were how bright the lights would be, and having to hold a microphone. The lapel mics weren’t working with the system, so we had to go old school. They say the key to a good talk is your body movement, and with having to hold a microphone, my movements were limited. In the end, it all worked out.

My slides ROCKED! They were designed by Cory Jim from Empowered Presentations. I can’t wait for the video to release, I want you to see them now. Check out my slides: TEDx 4.13.15 widescreen.

The video should be released on TEDx’s YouTube channel within the next 30 days. I’m curious to see how it turns out. Whenever you do something like this, you always remember the 100 things that could have made it better, after you’re done. I kind of hate that feeling.

Touring California

With the talk over, I got to have fun in California. We don’t have a Chipotle’s in Maui, so one of the first things I did was get Chipotles! I have to be honest, I ate there twice, Then, the organizers of the TEDx conference gave me a gift certificate for $20 to Chipotles. I went two more times. Hey, don’t judge me, it’s been 14 months! (more…)

3 Reasons Why We Need to Stop Waiting For Permission

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There is an audio version below.

*As you’re read this, I’m in California give my first TEDx talk at TEDX Monta, Vista. My talk is called, “Stop Waiting for Permission.” This article inspired the talk.*

Maybe it’s the news or negative experiences in our past, but too many of us are skeptical of success. Every time we see a story of someone successful, we analyze it to see what lucky break that person experienced along the way.

There are some who get lucky; there are some that experience a sudden windfall—like an inheritance. In general, however, when you see someone who is experiencing success, there’s a backstory of them busting their butt to get there.

When we are skeptical of success, we can’t get to a place in our mind that allows us to believe it’s possible for us. If we don’t believe in something, we won’t take the necessary steps to change our situation.

The reason too many of us are skeptical is because we’re waiting for permission. We’re waiting for someone or some situation to be in place before we can believe in ourselves and our dreams.

Waiting for permission has held too many of us from the life we truly deserve. Here are three reasons why we need to stop waiting for permission.

1. Life passes us by too quickly

Life is short. I’m well aware that those words have become cliché. They are true, and before we know it, life will pass us by. We only get one life to live and time is the only thing we can never get back.

It’s too easy for us to wake up every day and sleepwalk through our life. When we wait to do something about our goals and dreams, we waste the precious time we have on this earth. We wait for permission and live someone else’s life in the meantime. (more…)

5 Mindset Traps That Keep You Stuck

5199093132_4db5f5dd2d_zThere is an audio version below.

When it comes to creating freedom in your life, the battle starts in your mind. Everyone struggles with doubt, fear, and self-limiting beliefs. Some use them as fuel to do what most people think is impossible. Some, sadly, give into these roadblocks and stay stuck.

Whenever we read something about mindset, we say, “thanks for the reminder.” While we think of this as a reminder, we fail to realize how important mindset is to making significant changes in our life. Mindset strength isn’t a reminder; it’s a daily battle to conquer the most important part of life-change.

Mindset traps keep too many dreamers stuck or defeated from even trying. There are five common, but critical mindset traps all of us need to overcome every day if we’re going to live our dreams and change the world.

1. I have to take on as much as possible

In our society, we wear busyness as a badge of honor. The busier we are, the more important we feel. When someone asks us something, we’re proud to say we’re busy.

Being busy doesn’t help you accomplish your dream. There are a thousand meaningless tasks that can suck your attention yet not help you achieve your goals. Social media alone takes more time than it gives back in ROI. (more…)