A No B.S. Schedule

Brent BaldwinLet me ask you a question. How does your calendar look? Is it chock-a-block with activities things and stuff, carry-overs from previous days, filled with more commitments than you can complete? Beware; busyness will debilitate and distract, it rarely leads to productive results long term.

Busy should never be the objective. Results oriented activities are the goal. Know what you expect to achieve, and be specific going in.

That’s not to say that being busy is completely void of a few benefits (emphasis being on the word “few”).

Being busy can create momentum.

When we stall and become debilitated by the overwhelm life has in such abundance, getting busy with just about anything is better than a self-absorbed wallow or becoming mired in mental muck.

But on the other side, red flags need to wave in your face when momentum, filled with busyness activities, become the norm and not an anomaly. Lot’s of folks just want to be busy so they can tell everyone who will listen how busy they are; I assume this is the result of unfulfilled self-importance.

Five steps to “A No B.S. Schedule.”

1) The first question to ask yourself “Is this going to make me money or move me closer to my goal?” Break everything down into small bits; know where you are and where you want to go. Look at each item on your schedule, critically value its importance. Value judgments, need to be ruthless and without compromise.

2) Get action oriented make your next move count. Start now, not when the stars align or conditions are perfect. Acting NOW is usually the perfect time.

3) Compartmentalize. Work when you work, play when you play, and give when you give, each has its own time and reason. Always give your key business priority.

4) Move the needle every day. When you close your books for the day, know in your heart of hearts that this day was a success. Somedays the needle moves more than others, but to have an impact it has to move (even if only marginally). All progress is progress so when you close your eyes tonight take a moment and celebrate the movement you orchestrated today.

5) Don’t allow the agenda of others to become your responsibility. Also, schedule your philanthropic involvement to enhance life, not to dominate it. When someone says you’re a perfect fit for our board, don’t let your vanity determine your destiny. NO THANKS may be the right answer for everybody.

I am a big fan of philanthropy, giving back, volunteering, and mentoring others. My caution here is don’t become so wrapped up in giving, that you end up giving until there is nothing left to give. I realize that I am speaking to the few and not the masses. I have seen more than one occasion where the spirt has moved intention to overload, overwhelm, and postponement of principal objectives. Results are never pretty.

When it comes to being in the game for the full ride, it’s only going to happen if you have the money, resources, and credibility to stay there. You are only going to have these if you succeed in business and you’re only going to succeed if you make your business the priority that it needs to be.

The best way to do this is to start each day with a No B.S. Schedule.

Business first ~ Think World Class

Is Abundance Finite?

Brent BaldwinSomewhere along the way, we developed an indelible belief that there is only so much prosperity to go around. Sure life may be excellent right now, but sooner or later the tide’s going to shift, the other shoe’s going to drop. Life is hard, and then you die.

If you know what’s good for you, you better prepare for reality and all the lack and deprivation it has to offer. No matter how good things are right now, reality is just around the corner waiting to bite your ass. It’s going to smack you between the eyes like a splintered 2 X 4, brace yourself. The sun is going to rise in the east, and undue hardships are lurking just around the corner. It’s as inevitable as death and taxes. Life is either feast or famine with disproportionate bouts of scarcity and sparse sprinklings of abundance.

There are many euphemism and bits of ill-gotten wisdom throughout our lexicon.

Why? 

These are lessons we learned at the knee of those who influenced our formative years. Social instruction that implied you should just be happy with the little bit you have and don’t push too much. It’s just impolite, rude and bossy. These folks never get ahead, or if they do, no-one likes them After all the important thing is getting along and realizing there is enough for everyone if you’re not too greedy.

Life lessons and parables filled with massive rationalizations that have you expecting so little that failure is not a likely option. Limit the risk and accept the minimum reward; living life safe with your adrenal glands under control at all times.

Abundance is NOT finite, 

I’m 100% convinced that abundance is not finite. It may be a lot of things but finite, is not one of them; regardless of what others line-up to tell you. 

And still from time to time abundance needs to be coaxed, and cajoled from elusive corners and hidden shadows.

The harder I work the luckier I get

Stephen Leacock

 

Abundance needs to be brought into the light and your life with sufficient effort and focused intention. And inevitably abundance will manifest in your life; the goal is to keep the attraction alive.

When?

The characteristics of abundance are such that it shows up without rhyme or reason and rarely on cue. Once it starts to present, its flow is not guaranteed nor should the tap of abundance be expected to be permanently stuck in the open position. That’s just foolishness and magical thinking.

Abundance is only limited by imagination. 

Sustaining an attitude of abundance requires an understanding of what abundance is. My definition is different than yours, and your definition is unique to you and you alone. Attitude is not the only thing you need to attract abundance into your life. 

You need a plan. Five things you can do today.

1) Define what abundance is for you. What does it look like, how will you recognize it? Seems obvious but too often it’s a gut feel and not a physical demarcation that we count on.

2) Understand WHY? Bottom-line if you don’t have a reason to be pissed-off with the way things are right now nothing’s likely to change.

3) Construct the HOW. Step by step. Start at the beginning and resist the temptation to skip the small stuff. Detail, detail, detail, nothing is too small. For big tasks, break them down into little manageable bites.

4) Give every step a timeline. Respect it and live within it. Carve the benchmarks in stone, then make them happen. Getting things done is a linear process, small incremental acts completed on-time, consistently, and with purpose.

5) The TARIFF, cause everything in life has a cost. It comes in many different forms. It can be financial, social, family vocational, or emotional. If you’re not prepared to pay the cost, then fold up your tent and move on.

Abundance is not finite ~ Think World Class

Stop People Pleasing

Brent BaldwinMake no mistake about it, people pleasing is usually not a win. If you’re in this boat you’re not alone, too many live their lives as if they’re here for the exclusive purpose of satisfying others. People pleasers are everywhere. 

Ask yourself: 

“Are the feelings, you get from people pleasing, supporting you or are they undermining your potential?” Be honest, really honest.

Who are you trying to please?

The usual suspects are parents, teachers, bosses, friends, peers, and even strangers. Anyone who has found their way to be the object of your people pleasing talents. The irony, most of these folks don’t even know or realize the effort you’re going through, or that you are even doing it.

Even you, likely can’t articulate your exact motivation at the moment.  More than likely you just want to be liked, to feed your vanity or stroke your ego, or to hide and slide by below the radar. Stop rationalizing your bullshit.

The real question is what are you giving up?

Bottom line, most of those we are trying to please, think they’re right, and that you have come to your senses and recognize their brilliance. Meanwhile, you have lost a bit of your soul; your individualism compromised, your solutions and ideas now destined for the dust bin. Remember you can’t lead from the back of the pack.

If you see yourself as a people pleaser, I implore you to turn the tables and put yourself in the center of your universe.

Why or why not?

Life is delicate and fragile. Uncertainty will regularly blow across your bow. Your life is more important to you than it is to anyone else. Treat it with respect.

Make a rash and brilliant decision to satisfy yourself first. Life is not as bleak as you think it would be if you put your dreams in the cross-hairs and gave them the attention they need.

Habits become ingrained, regardless if they are good habits or bad. Make “you” the priority and with regularity and consistent work looking after your goals first, will become a good habit. The door first opens a crack and then with consistent effort and usually, when you least expect it, swings wide open. Walk right in; they’re waiting for you.

Find a place to be true to you.

Be wise, don’t undermine your strengths, abilities or maybe most importantly your character by putting others first. The urge to please is primitive, probably goes back to safety in numbers or being in the glow we get when we feel accepted.

Do you like me now? ~ Think World Class