Some food for thought for bloggers and those who regularly read blogs. I hope my insights and inspiration rate high enough for you to take the time to subscribe to my feedand for you to become a regular participant in this site!
Chris is probably my favorite blogger. He's the one who inspired me to start blogging. Don't necessarily agree with his worldview, but he's definitely going somewhere and it's fun to be part of his success!
I'll never forget growing up and hearing my parents tell me to stay away for this person or that crowd because they were a bad "influence." I've heard it said more recently that if you want to catch a cold, hang out with people who have colds. Well, for some reason, at a certain age (I have yet to determine what exactly) we cease to heed those warnings about bad influences and associations. We hang out with whoever we want and we "associate" with all kinds of media (tv, music, internet) that is nothing but a bad influence. We watch any kind of movie we want without concern for the messages that are taught. We listen to lyrics that pollute the mind. We spend time with people who have nothing good to say and who are always trying to keep us down in order to justify their lack of success.
To be successful in your chosen endeavor, you must consciously control these associations. You must protect your thought process and isolate yourself from those who can do nothing but hurt you. An example in my life is my associations at work. I used to work out of a cubicle every day and in doing so got caught up in all the gossip and negativity that thrives in most work places. Eventually, I was allowed to telecommute and my entire world changed! I now had the ability to shelter myself from all the "water cooler" talk and focus on what is important to get the job done.
Every time you raise your head above the crowd, people are going to throw tomatoes! Don't let this get you down, but also realize that the tomato throwers can't help you get where you want to go. Get yourself around people who have a vested interest in you and your success. Find mentors who are willing to cheer you on and also shoot to you straight about your progress. In my business, I've found mentors who can help me out in all facets of my life. Some provide paid expertise (my lawyer and accountant) while others have taken interest over the years and are willing to share their feedback and insights as a friend.
Entire books have been written on this topic, so I won't do that here. I just want to stress the importance of setting them. Anyone can beat the greatest archer in the world (in archery) when the archer is blindfolded! Is it any wonder that people who don't set goals, don't hit their target?!! While some people go way overboard with their goals and have them set for everything, I think it's important to set some goals in several areas of your life. Some of the goal areas I focus on include: business, work, financial, spiritual, fitness, reading. Here's some of the goals I set at the beginning of 2008:
1. Read the entire Bible
2. Get back in shape running and get to 210 pounds
3. Pay cash for a van to replace my wife's car 4. Place 50 new vending locations 5. Place 3 more (for a total of 6) Houston Highlights locations 6. Bring 50% of our graphic design work in-house 7. Purchase and move into our first house
8. Do 150% to quota for the year at work
As you can see these goals span a wide range of areas of my life and to be honest, I've done much better at some than others. I'll give you a final assessment of how I did in 2008 at the end of the year.
My goals above are all mid-term goals (essentially 1 year or less), but setting short-term and long-term goals are also important. Short-term goals might be goals for a day, a week, or a month. They could be as simple as setting a goal for the number of hours you might read or the number of miles you might walk/run. One of my weekly short-term goals is to post 6 days a week on this blog, as an example. Long-term goals might be for a 3, 5, or 10+ year period of time. They might be to retire by a certain age or to have your house paid off by a certain time frame. In a future post, I'll break down long term goals and how to translate them into short and mid-term goals.
Just got reading the latest blog entry from Mark Cuban titled, The Cure To Our Economic Problems . Love him or hate him, the guy knows his stuff and has proven it with his business success. Other than an occasional expletive, great post!
Just read The 'Trophy Kids Go To Work' from the Wall Street Journal. An interesting read! Though I think the author over generalizes a bit, I've seen this type of behavior in the pizza world. Loyalty and lack of accountability appear to be lacking in many. Simple courtesies like calling if you can't make it in to work appear to be lost on many of them.
I watched an episode of Donnie Deutsch's show, The Big Idea, on TIVO this past weekend. Donnie had Jim Cramer of CNBC's, Mad Money, on to talk about the economy and business conditions over next several years. It was amazing how much gloom and doom was spoken by 2 men who normally are some of the most upbeat on TV. The reality of the recession has hit home and they spent time talking about realistic planning for businesses during tough times like today.