How to Really Use LinkedIn (NOT just to get a job)

Free book included in this post!

social media

With all the social media sites out there it’s hard to keep up with them all. The big question is, which sites should you spend your valuable time on that will actually give you a great return on that investment?

One outlet that has the ability to really help your career and your business is LinkedIn.

I used to think it was just a way to put your resume online when you needed a job. (And a place where total strangers ask to connect and then spam you with their latest sales pitch – YAY! Newsflash – that doesn’t work very well. People need to get to know you. Then they need to see you add value to their lives. Then they may be interested in what you have to sell.)

The good news is that there are lots of ways to use LinkedIn where everyone can benefit. It’s now a site that can help you connect with potential partners, entrepreneurs, customers, employees, and more. Used correctly, it can help you connect with great people, grow your brand, establish you as an expert in your field, and even help you sell your service or product. Of course the best way to do that is to add value and provide a great product or service they have a need for.

You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. — Zig Ziglar

My friend, Mike Montague, co-wrote a book on how to best use LinkedIn. He covers:

  • How to build a winning profile that attracts great connections
  • How to decide who to connect with
  • How often to post on LinkedIn
  • How to prospect for clients
  • How to avoid common LinkedIn mistakes

You can get the ebook in PDF format for free here.

You can listen to my interview with Mike here:

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

14 Questions to Create Your Best Life

Man-Thinking

Are you at a point in your life where something needs to change? Do you feel stuck, maybe even trapped? Are you just drifting through life doing all the things you’re “supposed” to do, but not going after the things you really want to do? Deep down do you feel like you were meant for something more than this? Are you frustrated that you don’t know how to have your breakthrough?

What if I told you the way to start is to turn inward?

I am very big on the idea of asking yourself empowering questions. (It’s a big part of how I coach my clients to create the goals and plans they use to create extraordinary lives.) We ask ourselves questions all the time. For good and bad, our brains come up with answers no matter what we ask.

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

How could I be so stupid?! (You aren’t, but your brain will come up with an answer.)

Why does this always happen to me?! (It doesn’t, but your brain will assume it does and come up with reasons why.)

Why do I constantly fail? (Of course you don’t fail constantly, but your brain will rationalize that for you, too.)

Those types of questions won’t help you get where you want to go. They beat you down and waste your time. They can even become self fulfilling prophecies. Remember what Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

Let’s ask questions that encourage you, lift you up, get you excited, and lead to the results you want. But first we have to get clear on a few things.

Why do you want to change your life?

Because I’m not happy, Greg. Jeez!

Hey, I get that things aren’t where you want them to be. I’m not trying to get down on you, I’m just trying to help you get clear on why you must change. That will keep you going when the journey gets tough.

It all starts with your why – your purpose. Then we can get to what you really want and the obstacles holding you back from starting to get it.

During a recent coaching session I asked my client, “Why do you want to change your life?”

He said he’d have to think about it for a minute. He already knew down deep, but I don’t think he’d ever taken the time to articulate it and bring it to his conscious mind.

After a few moments he said, “Greg, I’m tired of just going through the motions. I’m not sure if I know my purpose. I think if I can figure that out, it will help me make the changes to make my life better.”

That was a start. I then followed up with, “What do you mean by better?”

He replied that he wanted to earn an income to provide for his family so they could live in a better neighborhood with better schools and they would have everything they need.

“Beyond that, Greg, I feel stuck. I don’t know where I’m going next. I don’t feel needed where I work, and my self-confidence is low. I want to find purpose in my life and work so I can love what I do and take care of my family.”

Now, we were getting somewhere. From there I asked him how that would change his life emotionally, relationally, financially and more.

Do you want to be more excited about your career, your spouse, your relationships, your family, and your spiritual development?

Do you want freedom to control your own time, career, vacation, and life? Freedom to travel the world with the people you love?

Do you want to generate abundant amounts of income so you can do everything you’ve ever dreamed of, take care of your family, and give to help others?

How would that make you feel?

Why must you change your life?

Once you’ve figured that out, you can move on to what you want and how to start doing it.

Action steps:

Ask yourself some empowering questions:

  1. What’s your why? (the reason you’re willing to do the work to change your life)
  2. What’s your gift? (talents, skills, abilities to do certain things easier and better than others can)
  3. What’s your purpose? (the reason, or reasons you were put on the planet)
  4. What are you doing when you feel great?
  5. What type of work are you doing when you feel like you’re in the zone or in flow?
  6. What things have you done that you’re passionate about and that bring you joy?
  7. What things have you done that you felt brought meaning to your life?
  8. What are you good, or even great at? (Or what could you become great at?)
  9. What would your dream job entail?
  10. What would a terrific relationship with your spouse look like?
  11. Why do you want to have to change?
  12. What would be bad about staying exactly the way you are?
  13. What would be great if you changed?
  14. What would make the changes worth all the time and effort it’s going to take?

Get your journal out today and answer these questions. Get quiet and still and think deeply. Surface living isn’t getting you what you want. You need to go down deep into yourself to pull out your “why.”

Take at least 30 minutes to answer these questions and write them down.

Magic happens when we write our thoughts down. They become real in a different way than when they are only in our heads.

Make this as real and emotional as you can.

It’s your life and it won’t become what you want by accident.

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

How Do I Find My Passionate Purpose?!

There's more than one way...

two-paths-1024x682

Do you feel stuck? Are you and tired of drifting through life? Do you know this isn’t the life you were born to live? Do you feel like there’s something better out there for you but you’re confused on exactly what that is? Are you frustrated because you know you have something important to share with the world but you can’t quite put your finger on what and how? (Are you tired of me asking you questions? OK, I’ll stop.)

If you’re struggling to find your Passionate Purpose, I get it. I spent years (a lot of money, late nights, and diet mountain dews) trying to figure it out. Along the way I’ve had several different Passionate Purposes. (Yes, you can have more than one and they can change as you grow.)

That’s what I want you to know today. There’s more than one way to find your calling. One way is no more “right” than any other.

Some people are struck by lightning when they’re young, they know why they were born and they pursue their passion for the rest of their lives. (I tend to hate I mean be jealous of those people. My daughter has known she wants to be an actress since she was six. She’s earning her BFA in acting and planning to go to L.A. after that. Her years of hard work and her passion for acting have made her really good. Look for her on TV or in the movies soon!)

Some people are unsure of their purpose, but instead of trying to figure it out they just drift through life. They take the path of least resistance, get a job, go to work, wait for the weekends and 2 weeks off a year and sadly accept that is all life has to offer. You’re not one of those people or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Still others use their feelings of frustration and uneasiness to push them to try a bunch of different ideas until something resonates with them. They keep going with it until their desire builds or burns out.

Maybe you’re like me and you need to spend time searching for your purpose that will lead you to the extraordinary life of your dreams. I spent countless hours thinking introspectively to determine why I was here. I read books, listened to tapes, went to church, attended seminars, watched videos, prayed, kept journals, and did all kinds of exercises.

Then I took action and tried what I thought was a passionate purpose of mine. Sometimes, my desire for it fizzled. Other times, the more I did it, the more excited I got. I took that as a good sign and put more and more effort into it.

That works for me. I put that in the present tense because I continue to work on personal growth in every part of my life. But that’s me, not necessarily you.

You might do best trying a combination of these methods, or something totally different might get you where you want to go. But, don’t give up. Your Passionate Purpose is inside you. Your challenge is to find it and get busy going after it. It’s what can turn your life from boring to bold – from pointless to purpose filled – from everyday to extraordinary. Don’t you want that?

A good starting point is my free ebook – 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose – or my paperback – GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose. These will aid you in turning inward and finding a starting point to an extraordinary life.

Even after you think you know what your Passionate Purpose is, you will still take some detours and hit some speed bumps along the way. You might decide to change your mind and pursue something else.

All of this is OK.

Walk your own path.

Just remember, the alternative is you never try to create the life you’ve dreamed of. You stay stuck, drifing, frustrated, and depressed. (Sounds super fun, right?!)

Some things are the same for all successful people. They know what they want, why they want it, they take consistent action and – even if they stall out for a while – they keep going.

Questions: 1) If you’re stuck, which method(s) will you try to get you started on what you want.

2) What action can you take right away to get you on your path?

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Go Big or Go Home is Wrong

surfer

Sometimes we aim too high, too fast, and then should all over ourselves. You know, I should have gotten more done. I should have been smarter. I should have achieved my goal already.  I should be reading Greg’s blog every week and getting him to coach me. (OK, that last one was a shameless plug.) None of this is helpful.

When we should on ourselves it just leads to discouragement and it makes it harder to reach our goals. Two things happened to me this week that reminded me how destructive all that is.

First, I heard an interview where a world class, female athlete was asked how she accomplished so much. Her reply was awesome.

“I didn’t really have lofty goals when I started. I just wanted to get good enough and make enough money to feed my dog. Once I did that, I set higher goals. Now I set goals I couldn’t have dreamed of before.”

dogwithbread

Yes! She created a goal, achieved it, and then created momentum. She has so much confidence now that her goals are enormous.

She didn’t live by the t-shirt slogan, Go Big or Go Home. She went small, won, went bigger, won, and now she goes LARGE!

Don’t get me wrong. Setting big goals is an awesome thing to do. Just don’t let the size of them paralyze you from taking action. Don’t become discouraged because you don’t change the world in a day.

The second thing that happened to me was a new friend of mine spoke eloquently to me about Grace. He reminded me that we are all flawed. No matter how much we try, we make mistakes. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

And that’s OK.

Give yourself some Grace.

Give your friends and family some Grace.

Take a breath.

Action Steps:

  1. Take your big goal and break it down.
  2. Create smaller goals to get there and action plans for the next year, six months, one month, one week and one day.
  3. Take action every day.
  4. Watch your small steps turn into something BIG.

If you’ve had a tough time or two, budget some time for a pity party if necessary (not for long, though).

Regroup.

Then, GO!

Question for comments: What small goal led to something you didn’t think you could accomplish?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

What Would You Do If It Was Impossible to Fail?

apollo-13-free-movie

You can’t do it. It’s impossible. Can’t be done. There’s just no way. You’re wasting your time.

When you say that, your brain doesn’t even try to come up with options. It just says, “Well, guess I don’t need to think about how to make that happen. I’ll just move on to trying to figure out the next thing they should stuff in our pizza crust. Did you know they stuffed one with hotdogs?! (OK, maybe that’s just my brain.)

If you believe it can’t be done, you will never do it. You will never even try to do it.

But what if?

What if you assume it is possible? What happens then? (Then I can start putting chicken and waffles in my pizza crust? – Greg, what is this obsession with food today? Hey, I haven’t had lunch yet. )

What happens then is you start to imagine how it could be done. Your brain starts a new kind of innovative, inventive, creative and productive thought process.

Hey, what if you could create a self driving, flying car – with a bed – that massages you – and cooks your favorite food? (Greg, enough with the food ideas already! – Sorry.)

You’ve asked your brain to find a solution so it’s working on it.

Remember the Apollo 13 space mission? After the fire and oxygen problems, imagine if the astronauts and engineers had said, there’s just no way we can fix this. Not good.

Instead, they said, “Failure is not an option.” And they figured out a way.

Is there anything recently that caused you to say it can’t be done?

  • A potential customer you don’t think you can land?
  • A new business venture you really want to try but you don’t see how you can make it work?
  • Creating a lasting relationship with someone you might want to spend the rest of your life with?
  • Buying that new house?
  • Taking on a new project?

What would happen if you assume it’s possible, say failure is not an option, and start some imaginative thinking on how to do it?

If you start asking the right questions, you might be shocked by the answers your brain comes up with.

Let me know.

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

STOP Listening!

stop listen

I’ve got some counter culture advice for you. If you want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and create the life of your dreams, it’s time to STOP listening.

Whoa, Greg. That sounds crazy. Everyone I know talks about how important it is to listen. There are seminars, books, videos and courses you can take that will teach you how to be a great listener. Now you’re telling me to stop listening? Have you gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs?

I understand your skepticism (but I think you need to be a bit more politically correct to our friends with mental health special needs). Let me explain.

I’m not saying stop listening to everyone and everything. That WOULD be bozo. I’m saying you need some selective hearing (like when someone asks you to take out the trash compared to when someone calls you to dinner).

Be selective about who and what you listen to. It can support you, encourage you, and build you up, or it can demoralize you and tear you down.

Are you listening to the world or yourself? The world will demand you meet its needs. It will give you all kinds of reasons to do what it tells you. It will result in a never-ending game of When-Then.

The World says when you get enough money, know the right people, earn the right degree, have enough experience – Then you can try and launch your own business/product/service/website

The World says when you get that job, promotion, bonus, or new house – Then you will be happy, respected, and successful.

The World says when you create a real light saber – Then you will become the coolest dad in the universe. (Wait, don’t write that, Greg. Use your inside voice on that one.) Sorry.

When-Then always leaves us wanting more and much less happy than we thought we’d be.

The World will whisper that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. Your job isn’t prestigious or important enough. You don’t do anything significant. You will fail if you try. You’re a fraud. Why would anyone want to work with you? Why would they buy from you? Who are you to write a book, or start a new business, or become a consultant?

The World will tell you, that you don’t really count and you never will.

Man, The World is kind of a jerk. Yup. So why do we listen to it?

Listen to yourself and follow your Passionate Purpose to be happier, more successful, more significant and a better person for all you love. You get to decide what’s important to you and your family. Don’t give that power to anyone else.

Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Are you happy with that answer?

When passion and desire meet you have tremendous power. When you put everything into it – you have more enjoyment and success. Don’t murder your dreams by telling yourself you can’t do what you feel you were born to do.

Living an extraordinary life isn’t just for the special or elite. Everyone can do it, but not everyone will do it.

Decide what you want, why you want it, and start today with some baby steps to get there. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap, but you do have to begin.

Questions for comments: What baby steps can you take today to get started?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Positive Thinking – That Works – Isn’t Lying to Yourself

power-of-positive-thinking.001

 

Because I generally have a positive outlook, I frequently have people ask me, “Greg, you’re not one of those positive thinkers looking at the world through rose colored glasses are you?” Well, yes and no.

I am a positive thinker, but I’m not someone who ignores problems and pretends everything is perfect. That’s not being positive and optimistic. That’s being stupid.

The optimist throws the curtains open and says, “Good morning, God!” The pessimist rolls over and says, “Good god, it’s morning.”

If you are having trouble paying your bills and instead of doing anything to fix the problem you simply think positive and hope your bills get paid, they will eventually come take your car and foreclose on your house.

But that doesn’t mean the only thing you can do is focus on your poor financial situation. There is always more than one reality.

Reality 1: You don’t have enough money coming in.

Reality 2: You have a good job. You have opportunities for advancement. Maybe you can ask for some overtime work, or take on some extra responsibilities and earn a promotion. You have skills to earn extra income. You could start a side business via the Internet. You could cut back on some of your expenses that aren’t necessities, etc.

The reality you focus on will greatly affect your mood, actions and outcome.

Remember, you aren’t lying to yourself or ignoring reality. You are choosing to focus on the reality that will help you the most. And that is key:

  • You get to choose your reality
  • You get to choose your attitude
  • You get to choose how you react
  • You get to choose to be happy

“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are weeds that strangle confidence.”
–Bruce Lee

Research shows that to get the best results you need to focus on the positives three times as much as the negatives.

Action steps:

  1. Pay attention to your thoughts. When you have a negative thought, yell STOP! (If other people are around, you may want to use your inside voice. We don’t want the men in white suits coming to get you with a net.) Replace that negative thought with a realistic positive thought.
  2. Focus on those positive thoughts and take action on them to improve your situation.
  3. Every night write down three new things you are thankful for. They can be something big or little that happened that day, or anything in your life your are grateful for. The trick is to come up with 3 new things each day. (Research shows this simple exercise significantly improves our happiness.)

It’s something all of us can start doing today. When I do it, I move forward and feel better.

Let me know how it works for you.

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

How to Outsource What You Don’t Want to Do – For Almost Nothing!

should-you-outsource-510

Are there things you have to do, but you don’t really want to do? Maybe some things you aren’t great at that need to get done? Are there things that you could do, but aren’t the best use of your time?

Um, Greg, is this a trick question? Does a one-legged duck swim in circles? Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Do I always show up on time for dinner?

Sorry.

Here’s the point. You can outsource almost everything you don’t want to do, everything you aren’t great at, and everything that takes your time away from doing what you are great at – and most of it doesn’t cost very much. Why waste your precious time doing things you don’t like and might not be very good at?

How much more could you get done if you focused most of your time on the things you love to do and do well? At work? At home?

Yes, it costs money. But not as much as you might think, and how much more money could you make focusing on your most important things? And how much is your time worth? You’ve heard it said that time is money. Nope. Time is more valuable than money. You can make more money. No one can make more time. So, how much is your time worth?

As I was writing my book (shameless plug – makes a great Christmas gift – especially for your college educated son living in the basement playing video games all day) I realized I didn’t want to spend the time and effort creating the cover, formatting it for print and digital outlets, and doing the final editing. I also knew I couldn’t do those parts of the book as well, and as quickly, as people who do those sorts of things as their main job.

So, I outsourced all of it!

I used a website called Fiverr. Check it out. (No, I don’t get a kickback if you use them. Although, I’d like to! Hey, Fiverr – help a brother out!) The site has tons of people and organizations from America and all around the world to choose from. Each one’s performance is rated by the users and you can reach out to them before you put down your money to get the job done. All the work is based on $5 gigs. Some jobs take multiple “gigs” to get done.

My front cover was $5. My back and side cover were another $5. A digital 3D photo for my website and Amazon was $5. You get the idea.

I had several people in the business tell me it would cost several hundred dollars to get my book cover created. I did it for $15 plus tax. Sweet.

Here are some other websites that can help you outsource your unwanted tasks:

Peopleperhour
Guru
Upwork
Elance
Fiverr
Toptal
Outsource

As I continue to run my business on helping people and businesses find and pursue their Passionate Purpose I plan to spend my time on what only I can do and what I like to do –  and outsource the things I’m not as good at, don’t like to do, or don’t want to spend my valuable time doing.

Think about all the things you could outsource at home and at work:

  • Video editing
  • Grocery delivery
  • Research
  • Web design
  • Research
  • Graphic design for covers, logos, banners, etc.
  • Creating Power Point slides – Great ones
  • Podcast editing
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Cleaning: It doesn’t have to be a weekly maid. How about once or twice a month? How about only the really tough stuff, like the bathrooms, and the windows?

Have you always wanted a personal assistant like CEOs and celebrities have, but you can’t justify spending the money? Here’s an article listing the The 10 Lowest Cost Virtual Assistant Services.

Do what you love, what needs your touch or voice, and what creates the most for you. Outsource the rest.

Question for comments: What have you outsourced? What has worked well and what hasn’t?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Do You Have the Perfect Idea?

It means nothing, unless...

lightbulb

Have you ever had the perfect idea? What did you do with it? Did it change the world? Did it make you super successful in every meaning of the word? Or, did something else happen?

Last night I had a dream. I came up with a perfect idea. I have a strategy to save these ideas. I keep my phone right next to my bed. When I have an idea in the middle of the night, I record it into my phone. The problem is that when I listen to it in the morning it often sounds like, “Don’t forget to oxenfrter the blktmite and grnxl prkngrp.”

Awesome.

This time it was even worse. I couldn’t wake myself up enough to make the audio note. Instead, I told myself in my dream/wake state to remember this perfect idea…

And I forgot it.
So I can’t act on it.
So it wasn’t a perfect idea.

What perfect ideas have you gotten that you’ve never acted on? No matter how great they were, they are worth precisely nothing because you didn’t act on them.

It’s not too late. If you had a perfect idea – act on it today. The next time you have a perfect idea, or even just a good one:

  1. Write it down (legibly) so you remember it.
  2. Brainstorm ways to implement it and break your ultimate goal down into achievable mini-goals.
  3. Take some form of action – no matter how small – right away!
  4. Take consistent, daily action every day. Make it a ritual.
  5. Don’t stop until your idea is realized.

That’s the only time ideas actually count.

Now excuse me while I try to translate my midnight brilliance from my smart phone. (This isn’t going to end well.)

“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

Questions for comments: What great idea have you not acted on that you could start acting on today?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

 

You Are Exactly Where You Are Supposed To Be

believe

I missed my chance. I made the wrong decision. It’s too late for me. I can never do it now. Haven’t we all told ourselves that at some point? I know I have – too many times.

But I don’t believe that anymore. Here’s what I believe because of what I’ve done and what I’ve seen other people do:

You are right where you’re supposed to be. Every decision, moment, and event in your life has brought you here, reading this in order to do something extraordinary.

Even the tough times and difficult decisions can be used to get us ready for something great. Have you ever looked back on a stressful period of your life and realized you needed to go through that to become the person you are today?

I made the decision to move my family across the country for my job four different times. It wasn’t easy, but we made new friends, were exposed to different cultures and had experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My work experience from being a probation and parole officer, a mental health counselor, a radio talk show host, and someone who has started three small busineses, has lead me to develop the skills and expertise I need to become a professional speaker, author, and coach.

It’s not too late.

Your chance is now.

Take action.

Isn’t that exciting?

It can also be kind of scary. Fear will creep in and tell you that if you take a big leap you might fall flat on your face. You might lose everything, let your family down, and end up eating government cheese, living in a van down by the river.

Wow. That was a quick downward cycle, but I get it. Fear can be paralyzing.

But, what if you don’t have to take the huge leap? What if you can take some baby steps today that lead into big strides? What if the big strides can turn into jumps and then, one day, you take a big leap into the life you’ve always dreamed of?

People do it everyday. Why not you?

You’re reading this for a reason.

Now is your time.

  1. Define your passionate purpose.
  2. Set your big goals.
  3. Break them down to small, attainable, measurable goals.
  4. Take DAILY action on those goals. Make it a DAILY habit. Small, DAILY action is all it takes!
  5. Stay focused on your why and let it motivate you.

Let’s GO!

If you get stuck, email me, check out my book, and/or check out my coaching.

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.