13 Lists That You Need to Make Today

13 Lists That You Need to Make Today

Being the “thinking soul” that I am, I love to create and innovate all the time and I’ve found that making lists is the perfect way of making sure that I keep track with all of those ideas.  You can literally make a list for just about anything, but I want to make a list (see what I did there) of things that I think you need to really need to make sure you get down as soon as possible.  Make sure you get an app like Evernote or your standard note taking app or even a regular notebook and starting listing now.

Products/Idea that you want to build eventually

What’s that idea you’ve dreaming about?

Talent to keep my eyes on

Who’s caught your eye lately? Who’s someone you could see yourself working with?

Things to Learn

What’s something you’re interested in learning?

Books to Read

List some books that you’re interested in reading.

Future Business Ideas

What’s that business idea that you keep daydreaming about?

Pending Conversation Agendas

Do you have any important talks or meetings coming up? Create an agenda to be prepared

Short-Term Product Tasks

Once you decide to start working on an idea, what are some things you can do now to improve it?

Long-Term CEO Projects

What are some long term projects that will help move your business forward in the long run?

Short-Term CEO Projects

What are short term projects that will help move your business forward in the long run?

People to “Update”

Who are the people I need to keep in the loop?

CEO Friends

Doesn’t necessarily have to be CEOs.  But who are the people tyou knowing performing at the highest level in their given industry?

Potential Partners

Who are people that you want to work with eventually?

Existing Partners

Who are the people that you’re working with now?

 

Are there any other lists that I’m missing? Comment and share your list ideas below.

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Focus

Focus

Delivering when it matters is essential to taking yourself to the next level.  All the development, the practice, and exercises mean nothing if you can’t deliver when you have to.  Of course, this is a lot harder than it sounds.  There will be times when you short.   There are somepeople who can boast a reputation of making the mark most of the time, there aren’t too many people who make the mark all of the time. In order to improve your percentage in the clutch, you just have to improve your focus.  I truly believe that if you lock yourself 100% to the task at hand, then your chances for missing the mark are slim to none.  Honestly, sometimes it’s all about forgetting about that really really really really really really big circle, and making your mind only see the small bullseye.

As an NBA superstar in the making, I’m all about improving my game.  (I’m still waiting on my call from the Knicks)  You don’t need to be on my magnitude of basketball prowess to know however to know that the most “clutchest” moments are the big threes or fadeaway jumper as many would assume.  It’s the free throws.  Why you ask? Simply because while those shots are great and hard to make, free throws are easy and simple.  The perceived ease is what makes them so difficult.  With the big “three pointer with two defenders in his face with his eyes closed” shot, you could miss and everyone would be like “that was a tough shot, he had to do what he had to do though”.  When you miss your free throws that’s when everyone will start questioning if you really think ball is life.

Here’s what I’ve learned about hitting free throws that I’m confident you can take and apply:

BREATHE!

Breathing helps you regain composure , it helps you stay solid.  You find that breathing 2-3 times before getting the job helps you the job done.  I don’t know the science behind it, but it sure does work.  If you need some extra fire power, pray.   God will give you peace when you need it the most.  He’s what you call a clutch guru.

Don’t focus to much on the technical. Flow!

When it comes time to deliver you can’t be focusing on what you practiced, you have to focusing on flowing. Practicing is when you focus on the technical stuff, that puts your body and mind in a position to produce at will.  Focusing on technical instead of letting your mind reproduce what you’ve already spent time practicing is usually a sure fire recipe for disaster.

Stay focused on the task at hand

If you’ve ever watched a big game that was decided by free throws, you’ll see that if the player isn’t playing at home they’ll do everything in their power to get him out of his rhythm.  They throw up signs, they yell, they talk trash, they boo, they do that clap thing with the clappers because they know that if the player shooting does so much as glance over for a second it’s game over.  That’s why it’s important to focus solely on the task at hand, never give distractions any room in your head to sit down and get cozy.

Financial Guidelines for your 20s

Financial Guidelines for your 20s

 

 

I recently made the move out of my parents after graduating from college.  When you first move out, you want responsibility and the ability to prove that you know what you’re doing.  I was the same way.  One of the biggest responsibilities you’ll have is financially.  Once the paychecks start to roll in, it’s easy to find ways to spend it on things that you don’t really need.  Too easy.  And while there are many lessons to be learned and life, you never want to know what happens when you can’t pay your rent for the month.  So for my guys starting out, here are some guidelines I followed (and am following) to keep myself on track.

Establish a Budget

Forget everything you learned about budgeting and simplify it to a simple science.  Many of us aren’t really good at the whole “make an excel chart with the pie chart with percentages” stuff.  I understand that was me too.  First understand the difference between a want and a need.  It’s really simple actually.  Wants are things that you want but don’t need.  Needs are things that you actually need.  Subtract your needs by the amount you make a month.  And then with the rest of the cash you have left, decide how much you want to spend on whatever.  Taking the time to think about it makes you think a lot more rationally.

Build an Emergency Fund

Most gurus agree that you should have at least 2-3 months of expenses saved up in an emergency fund.  A savings account that you have specifically for emergencies.  Sneakers are not an emergency.  Building an emergency fund will give you the peace of mind that you won’t have to stress about money in case don’t go the way you expected them to.

Focus on Retirement, Now — 401k

Retirement is not something you should be waiting until retirement to think about.  Experts say that you should aim for about 1 million dollars for retirement, however this number really does vary greatly.  What is certain however, is that you need to start saving now.  The power of compound interest deserves a post all in itself and because most regular americans don’t win the lottery or just fall into that much money; it’s a pretty good idea to have time on your side.

Build Credit History

One of my old mentors called credit “a necessary evil.”  I can’t stress enough how true that is.  Credit is necessary because regardless of what you’ve heard from people, you won’t be able to buy everything that you need out of pocket; especially when you’re starting out.  Education, Mortgages, Businesses, and cars are all examples of things that we need credit in order to obtain.  Which is why I listed this; building your credit history has tremendous benefits.

Pay That Debt

I talked about the necessary evil that is credit a couple bullets ago.  But I think that debt is so important I had to make sure I threw this in there. The bible says that the borrower is a slave to the lender; there is no other way to look at. As long as you stay in debt, you will continue to work for the person you’re in debt to.  So as much as it might hurt, just start paying it all back now.  It will be beyond worth it in the future.

#Takeaways from “The Way of the Superior Man”

#Takeaways from “The Way of the Superior Man”

I took the time this week to re-read a classic by David Deida and really thought I should share it. If you haven’t heard of or read this book then you should really consider doing it.  The author addresses a good amount of topics, but pretty much focuses on a man and his personal life & his relationships. I took some of the most important points (to me) out of the book and listed them here, however, I would really encourage to take a look at it if you can.

When discussing something with your girlfriend/wife stay firm in what you what you believe

Don’t change your mind based on your girlfriend/spouse.  Take what she says into account and make a decision based off of that, but don’t let her make all of the decisions.  The consequences of those decisions will be on you regardless of what you choose in the long-run.  Women desire someone that can make decisions.

Purpose>Relationship

Women are attracted to a man that walks in his purpose.  Don’t sacrifice working on your purpose for your girlfriend/spouse or you will lose the one thing that made her attractive to you in the first place.

Never forget your bros

Have a talk with some of your guys once in a while (the book says once a week) about what you’re doing in your life and what you want to, but are afraid of doing.

What do women want?

You girlfriend/spouse doesn’t want to think that you NEED her.  You should be able to handle yourself.  No matter how much she test you, no matter how much she scares you, or no matter how much she tries to move you.  If she tests you and you fail, she will consider you to be weak, which leads to her trusting you less.

Why doesn’t she ever know what she wants to eat?

A girl is rarely ever talking about the topic at hand.  She’s just addressing her current feelings.  If she doesn’t know what she wants, she really doesn’t know.  She just knows what she feels at that actual moment, which could change the very next second.

Focus on the Love

One thing people tend to do in a relationship is tolerate someone.  Tolerating someone always leads to resentment.  Just continue to love one another and and she will open up back up to you.

You always start at Zero

Don’t think your excellent track record will work when she’s upset.  What matters now, is the situation at hand.  Just restore love and happiness into the situation.

Focus on the Love Pt. 2

Hang this one up on your wall or something: Whenever she is in a bad mood, just make the assumption she is not loved.

It’s all on you bro

A girl’s greatest desire in a relationship to feel as though she always being led.  She wants you to be able to do it without her asking or having to figure it out.  Anytime you talk to her and expect her to analyze her mood and situation to the point of being able to fix it, you’re talking to her like one of the guys.  She can do it, but if she’s upset it’s probably not the best way to go about fixing it.

Which one of these do you think you could see yourself putting into practice first?  Let me know in the comments below.

Forming Your Entourage: The 7 People You Need in Your Circle

Forming Your Entourage: The 7 People You Need in Your Circle

Everyone of us has heard at one point or another to “watch who you surround yourself with”.  However, if you’re like myself, you never really paid much attention to it because the people you were with were cool people, and knew how to have a good time.  So why not surround yourself with them right?  Surrounding yourself with people who want to better you isn’t only beneficial, but crucial to your success.  While the quality of people you choose is certainly important, the type of people you choose is equally important.  Rarely, will you find an “all-in-one bestie” that can do it and be it all whenever you need them to be.  Nobody is perfect. Always be mindful of that.  So who are the “necessaries” who should be in your entourage? Let me walk you through it.

Loyal Best Friend

The loyal best friend is the one who allows you to really be yourself.  You don’t have to hide anything, you can open up to them, they’re non-judgmental and they’re usually the ones that are still there when everyone leaves.  If you have more than 2 of these you’re blessed.

The Fearless Adventurer

This person pulls you out of your comfort zone on the regular.  As future leaders, we have to learn quickly that the solutions to all of our problems are usually outside of what we know or are accustomed to.  I personally think that a lot of people lack someone like this; find them quick!

The Brutally Honest Friend

Not too many have someone like this in their life because the culture today tells us that, if someone goes against you and tells you that you’re “wrong” or “no”, they are a hater by definition.  The problem with this is that a lot of times we NEED that. The person that is willing to tell you no or push you in another direction in order to see your succeed is priceless.

The Mentor

This is one of the most crucial aspects of your circle.  In order to learn, you have to do one of two things: learn the hard way, or learn from others that learned the hard way.  Having someone that passionate about seeing your plans come into fruition is must.  If you don’t already have a mentor, get one.  You will never regret it.

The Challenger/Rival

Always have someone that will challenge you to do your best.  If you’re working to be something or working on something, a true friend wouldn’t distract you rather than helping you.  You might not like it at first, and it may annoy you at times but results are results.  You’ll be thanking them for all of it later.

The Informant

The informant keeps you aware of everything going on.  The most important tip I can give about them is to have MANY of them. You need at least one or two for every aspect of your life.  They are your information sources; never neglect these people!!

The Role Model

Ahhhh.. the role model.The role model is the person you look up to.   No matter what you want to do, or what you want to accomplish there is a someone who has done it before, find that person, and learn from them.  Be mindful of who you follow, and how far you want to follow.. All that glitters isn’t gold..

It wise to keep your circle tight, but make sure it is big enough to fit these people into it.  The problem usually is not in the quantity it’s in the quality.  Do you have all of these people in your circle? If not, I would highly suggest you do so. Keep adjusting your circle until you are well rounded!

5 Things You Should Have on you at all Times

5 Things You Should Have on you at all Times

While I don’t believe I’m qualified to tell you what you should have on you at all times or something, there are things I know you should have on you at all times. This isn’t because these are signature pieces that you have to make your stand out or whatever, but they help you accomplish things every day that help you achieve your goals and fit with the Kaizen Mantra. Here are the five things you should have on you at all times.

Wallet

I put this first because I think this is common sense. You literally need your wallet for everything. Most of your key cards should be in your wallet. Driver’s license, Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Insurance Cards, pictures, business cards, and the list goes on. Please don’t walk around with a brick in your pocket, if it starts to get bulky take some time out to purge it of the things you don’t really need.

Journal

Out of everything on this list, this might be the hardest to adopt. Most guys I know aren’t really accepting of the journal idea because when they think journal they think diary. A journal is a great way to get your thoughts out of your brain and get them somewhere where you can really get them down. How many times did you think of an awesome idea and then hate yourself later for not writing it down after you forgot it 10 minutes later? To me a journal has 2 main purposes. Writing down and reflecting all the awesome thoughts and experiences throughout the day and they give you a way to measure your growth throughout the years. Think of it like social media but without the risk of someone seeing all the childish things you posted from 5 years ago.

Phone/Tablet

Now phones are tablets are a touchy subject. While they are EXTREMELY useful when used correctly, they can be EXTREMELY counterproductive when used for the wrong reason. But I’m here to talk about what you should have in your pocket… so we’ll discuss the positives here. A phone/tablet is good to have at all times because they keep you connected (its main purpose), but because of all the apps available to us they become an “all in one” solution. Many of the options I have on this list can be covered using a phone/tablet. Whether you get one or the other is absolutely dependent on personal preference. Many people I know to keep themselves focused use they prefer to keep a phone simply for communication and the tablet for everything else. Just something to think about.

To-Do List/Productivity

We cover productivity on this blog a lot; and for a very good reason too. A man should always be doing something. There’s no way that a man should remain comfortable and doing absolutely nothing. Unless you’re taking the time to relax from working that hard. For this reason, a man should always have his To-do list ready and accessible to reference whenever he needs to figure out “what’s next?” Whether you keep this in your journal or you keep it in your phone on app, always have it ready to add and subtract the tasks that will push you closer to reaching your goals/dreams.

Music/Books

Music is a window to the soul and books are a window to the souls of others. As a musicians I consider it to be my civic duty to always divulge in some new music as much as I can. I personally recommend Spotify, I’ve been satisfied with them for as long as they’ve been around. I love them because you not get access to the music that you love, but it’s great for introducing you to great music that you don’t know of yet. As for books, I believe everyman should have a good book (or at the minimum a blog/news source) ready to go whenever you have some down time or you just feel like absorbing some knowledgeable. I have these two together because while you can carry an actual book or have an iPod, or a Walkman if you into the whole vintage thing; it’s easier to download the apps on your phone or tablet.

Value Her Differences

Value Her Differences

Being in a relationship has taught me so much.  I haven’t mastered every lesson there is, and I’m nowhere near being the perfect boyfriend; but I’ve definitely learned enough to speak on it.  One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is: you and her are not and may never be similar, and that’s okay.  A relationship is dependent on two people being able to trust that the other will accept them for who they are.  As much as we dream about the “perfect” woman, the reality is that you need to see your partner as that perfect woman.  Flaws and all.  When you take into consideration that your partner has different experiences, thoughts, and upbringing; you should naturally expect her to be different.  Her views on the world, philosophy, and ideologies may all be different from what you expect and that’s exactly why you need to value her.  As you continue to rise, you need someone to challenge you.  You need someone to tell you, “you can do better”, “that’s not right”, or “maybe you could do this a little differently”.  Hearing it now maybe hard to hear, but applying it now can only better you.