How to Supercharge Your Success

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You figured out your Passionate Purpose. You have a powerful “what,” that you really want. You have a compelling “why” that drives you. You have goals and action plans that support all of that.

Now, what can really supercharge your success?

I love what Steve Martin has to say about it. He was on the Charlie Rose show and was asked his advice for aspiring actors and comedians. Martin’s answer was not what Rose expected.

“Nobody ever takes note of (my advice), because it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is ‘Here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script,’ . . . but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ If somebody’s thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’ people are going to come to you.”

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
–Steve Martin

That’s fantastic advice. Yes, a business plan is important. A marketing plan is important. A million things are important. But the best thing you can do to reach a level of success you’ve only dreamed of is to become so good they can’t ignore you.

What are you doing to become world class at your Passionate Purpose? If that’s not one of your goals, it needs to be.

We should be constantly learning and growing. Now, that doesn’t mean we read a book every night, listen to a podcast everyday and watch a Ted talk every afternoon at lunch. (Remember the problem with information overload we discussed earlier on day 14 Learn Less, More – Know Can Do. )

It means that every day you should be working on your craft, idea, book, business, etc. You should be learning and studying the best ways to be so good they can’t ignore you.

Part of that learning is repetition, repetition, repetition.

Learn the most important things about your Passionate Purpose so well that you don’t even have to think about them anymore. Make them automatic for you.

That allows you to add even more to what you know and do. That allows you to be creative and innovative. It allows you to come up with ideas in your field that no one else has ever done before. Or, it allows you to do them at such a high level that most people can’t keep up with you.

I played basketball in high school. The first year I made the team, I didn’t play my best. I was learning the playbook and there was a lot to learn. I was the point guard, so I needed to know where everyone was supposed to go for each play we ran.

We had a 40 series, a 20 series, plays for zone coverage, plays for man to man coverage, plays for full court press, etc. I was so worried about running the plays correctly, that I couldn’t really “play basketball.”

But, after a year and a summer in the system, I had the plays down cold for my second season. I no longer had to think about the plays. They were automatic. So, I was able to focus on the game. The plays were just the background to the opportunities I saw to pass, set picks, and shoot.

That’s when I became a creative basketball player again. That’s when I became so good coach couldn’t ignore me. That’s when I got some playing time.

How can you do that with your Passionate Purpose?

Action steps:

1) Research through Google, books, podcasts, blogs, videos, and seminars that can help you get the knowledge to improve your skills.

2) Use the Know Can Do method to really master the best techniques, instead of superficially learn a bunch of ideas. Learn Less, More. (See previous post for more.)

3) Use spaced repetition, repetition, repetition to learn it so well it becomes automatic.

4) Use the new techniques in your daily work. Integrate them into your life.

5) Repeat steps 1-4.

6) Bonus step: Teach someone else how to do it.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program. Click here for more details.

How to Think Like the Owner and Score Big

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A large part of how successful you are, or will become, is determined by how you think about yourself. Do you think you can be successful? Do you think you’re smart enough, talented enough, or connected enough? Do you think you deserve to be successful? Do you think as if you’re an employee or as if you’re the owner?

Um, Greg, I am an employee, I’m not the owner.

Maybe…

But, if you want owner salary, benefits, and results – think like the owner.

How?

Have you heard of Richard Montañez? He was a Mexican immigrant who didn’t speak English well. He had trouble figuring out his purpose and dropped out of school. He was a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant in California.

One day he saw a video where the Frito-Lay CEO told all the employees that they should be thinking like owners of the business. They should be looking for ways to improve the company and make it more competitive. Richard took that to heart.

He liked spicy foods. One day, thinking like the owner, inspiration hit.

“I see the corn man adding butter, cheese and chile to the corn and thought what if I add chile to a Cheeto?” He asked himself.

He went home and experimented. His friends and family loved the spicy Cheetos. Richard could have stopped right there, but he didn’t

He kept thinking like an owner. He called the CEO and got an appointment to pitch the executives on his new product. He bought his first tie, got a marketing strategy book from the library, and went for it.

The CEO loved his concoction and “Flaming Hot Cheetos” were born.

Richard is now executive vice president, multicultural sales and community activation, for PepsiCo North America. He serves on several boards, has spoken at the United Nations and has even met presidents.

He says it’s all the result of his Ph.D. (poor, hungry and determined) and thinking like the owner.

No matter where you work, or what you do, no one can stop you from thinking like the owner except you.

Let’s GO!

Questions for comment: What can you do to think like the owner? What new idea or way of doing things could make a big difference?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How To Do Awesome Things

*Special Notice* I’m hosting a FREE webinar – 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose on 7/14/2016. That’s also the date I’m launching my three month personal coaching programs with value and premium pricing and my 40-day online ecoaching course. Stay tuned for details…

Now, on to the video blog post.

We’re so busy all day, every day that we seldom take time to do an extremely important thing – take time to think.

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Trying to be Popular is All Wrong

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We all want to be popular. We want as many people as possible to like us and to love our work. But what if that desire stops us from getting the most out of our talents and turning our ordinary work into spectacular art?

Planning our work so it pleases the largest number of people possible often has us censor ourselves, and usually stops us from doing something amazing. –Greg Knapp

But, Greg, I need people to buy my work. I need to make money.

Absolutely. And you do need to make sure there’s a market for what you’re producing. But, here’s the irony. When we try to make our work popular with everybody we usually end up earning less than when we follow our passion, and do inspired work.

Sure, we’ll be less popular. But the people who love us, really love us. They keep coming back and buying what we have to offer. They tell all their friends about us.

Because we connected with them.

When you do what moves you, you move others and the money will follow. Plus, it’s a lot more fun than trying to do what you think people want!

Pablo Picasso was an excellent artist from a young age. But, did you know he was classically trained and painted landscapes early in his career? He could have stuck with that and made a good living. But he was inspired to experiment and helped create the Cubism movement.

Not everyone liked his abstract paintings. You could say they were “less popular.” But he was doing the work he really cared about and the people who did like them really liked them. In fact, at the time of his death, Picasso’s net worth was estimated to be $50 million. (He was an artist who didn’t have to wait until he died to make money!)

Not bad for being less popular, eh?

Questions for comment: Where have you been pulling back on the type of work you really want to do because you’re worried you will lose customers? Could it be that’s what’s holding you back from bigger success?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Getting Started is the Hardest Part

You have big ideas, big plans, big goals! But, first you have to check your email. Hey, your daughter needs help with her homework. The lawn isn’t going to mow itself, you know. My desk is so disorganized, I won’t be able to get anything done until I fix that. Time to update my LinkedIn profile.

Why do we procrastinate from the things we know will make our lives so much better? Why is it so hard to get started on something we really want to do? What can we do about it?

The first thing to do is make sure this really is something you want to do. Are you procrastinating because this idea/plan/project/goal doesn’t line up with your values? Is it really your Passionate Purpose?

If you know this really is what you want, then why haven’t you started?

Research shows our minds tend to focus on all the difficulties and complexities of a project or task before we start to do it. So, we tend to avoid starting big projects.

Yesterday, my youngest daughter was a perfect example of this. She was having a self-pity party over all the homework, projects, and studying for finals she had to do. She went on for several minutes and even began to cry.

We then acknowledged she had a lot of work to do, but that getting started is the hardest part. We then organized her work, decided what to do when, and came up with a manageable plan. Then we decided she would work on her first project for 15 minutes and take a break. The idea was to just get started, then she would see it wasn’t as hard as she thought.

It worked great! She ended up working much longer on it and didn’t even realize she had gone past her 15 minutes. It dawned on her that it wasn’t as hard as she thought and that she was getting a lot done.

Another great tool to get things started is to use the Zeigarnik effect to your advantage. The Zeigarnik effect is the tendency to remember projects/tasks/goals that you haven’t completed. In fact, research shows your mind keeps coming back to uncompleted tasks. So, once you get started on what you really want to do, your mind has a tendency to keep coming back to it until you complete it.

Isn’t that great? It’s almost like someone designed us to get important things done. Hmm….

I’m using this a lot right now. As I’m ramping up my professional and personal development business I often feel overwhelmed. I have big ideas for my speaking and coaching. I’m working on creating online courses for “Business On Purpose” and “Life On Purpose.” I’m writing my second book. I’m starting to play gigs again with my acoustic guitar.

Each of these ideas will take a lot of work. Many of them will require me to do things I’m not quite sure how to do yet. So, I sometimes find myself doing busywork instead of getting started.

Boo!

But, once I start, I get on a roll.

Yay!

I’ve found the 15 minute trick I used with my daughter works with me as well. Just do it for 15 minutes. I can do anything for 15 minutes. Then I tend to keep going.

Another great technique is to break down the task into smaller bites and just do one bite. Your little successes will lead to big ones.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

You don’t need to know how to do it all before you start. Get started and you’ll learn what you need as you go.

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

The Perfect Idea

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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 – take action right away!

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.)

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

You Become What You Think About

 

Have you noticed that every time you want to change something in your life the change starts with how you think? You can’t do anything until you think about it first.

Take a look around you right now. What do you see? A couch, a chair, walls, furniture, lights, windows?

Someone had to conceive of the couch you’re sitting on before the plans were made, the materials were gathered, and the work was done to make it and ship it to the store where you purchased it. Someone had to dream up the house you’re living in before it was built. I had to think of every word on this blog post in order to write it so you could read it right now.

Everything that gets done in this world begins as a thought. From the first automobile, to manned spaceflight, to the Internet, to cancer treatments, to magnificent symphonies, to Candy Crush to the awful candy – Circus Peanuts, everything had its origins in a thought. (Hey, not all of our thoughts are winners.)

The same holds true for who you are and what you do. Everything you do and everything you are begins as one of your thoughts…

A man is what he thinks about all day long.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

You become what you think about. You become what you think about all day long. You create what you think about all day long. You develop solutions and ideas for what you think about all day long. You only change who you are and what you do, when you change what you think about and how you think about it.

What you think about leads you to who you are, who you will become, what you do, and what you will do.

That sounds fantastic and unbelievable, doesn’t it? Test it to see if it makes sense to you. What have you ever done that didn’t begin with a thought? When have you ever made changes in your life that didn’t begin with a thought?

Obviously we need to take action to make change. But, you can’t act until you have created the thought that leads to the action.

Ninety percent of our thoughts are automatic. We don’t even realize we are thinking them. That’s our biggest problem with making changes. We have to change our thoughts before we can change our behavior.

So what are you thinking about all day long? Are they your original thoughts, or are they thoughts other people put in your head? Are they positive or negative thoughts? Are they helping or hurting you? What do you need to start thinking about that will help you reach your goals? When will I be done asking you questions?

Right now.

Stop reading right now and take some time to think about and answer each of those questions. Write down the answers. It will help change your life.

(While you do that, I’m going to throw away some candy Circus Peanuts that are still in my daughters Halloween bag from last year.)

Glad you’re back. Hope you got some great answers. Remember,whatever you focus on, you will tend to get more of it. Your conscious and subconscious minds will get the message that this is important to you. They will work all day and night to help you with whatever it is you are thinking about. Isn’t that amazing?

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything.

–Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism

You Are Not Average – No One Is, Actually

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Wait a second, I agree that I’m not average, but lots of people are average. Hello, Greg that’s how they come up with average – it’s most people!

That’s the funny thing. Todd Rose has done a bunch of research on this and he’s found that not one person is truly average. The averages are made up of statistical models of measurements of all kinds of people, but not one person really fits all the measurements.

Yet, we still try to fit people into the average box. We base our schools on the average child. We base what college we can get into on how far above average our GPA is and how far beyond average we can score on standardized tests. We get hired for our first job in much the same way.

Why? Does real world success correlate closely with those things?

Not really. There is a ton of data showing the correlation is weak.

In Rose’s book, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness, you learn how to leverage your uniqueness for uncommon achievement and joy.

The ideas in the book help you in your role as a parent, entrepreneur, team leader, and employee.

Listen to my interview with Todd:

 

Here’s Todd giving a Harvard 8×8 talk about his book.

Questions for comments: What is unique about you that has helped or hurt you? How can you leverage it for even more success?

Goofing Off Is Good For You And Your Business

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In a world of hyperfocus and constant busyness, how can goofing off be good for you? That’s just being lazy. I eat people who goof off for breakfast!

Hang on. This isn’t about goofing off all the time and just expecting great things to happen. It’s about giving your brain a break and allowing your subconscious mind and creativity to flourish.

 

We’ve all had it happen to us. Emma Seppala of Stanford just wrote a great article on how scientific research is proving it.

I’m lucky enough to know Dr. Harold Finch. He played a key role as a project director for the Apollo spacecraft program.

He was trying to figure out how to keep the astronauts safe from the dangers of the heat and cold extremes in space. Harold concentrated and focused on the problem. He came up with all kinds of ideas and none of them worked.

One day while he was taking a break and going to eat some great Kansas City barbecue – goofing off – he came up with the solution. The idea just popped into his head. It was brilliant in it’s simplicity and it’s still used in space today.

As Harold was waiting on his lunch he was watching a chicken being cooked on a rotisserie. Hey, didn’t that keep the chicken from being burned on one side and uncooked on the other? Couldn’t we rotate the spacecraft so it would create an even temperature on all sides? Wouldn’t that protect the ship and the astronauts? The Barbecue Roll was born.

Goofing off works!

Here are some ideas on how to goof off with great results.

  • Spend some time focusing on your goal, problem, or project to prime your conscious and subconscious minds.
  • Schedule in 10-15 minute breaks every hour or so to purposefully unfocus.
  • Perform some stretching exercises
  • Do a mindless task and let your mind drift. I work mostly at home so I love to do the dishes, shave, or shower. It’s stuff I have to do anyway and it gives me time to just think in silence.
  • Take a walk. New research shows this really ramps up your creativity.
  • Drive in total silence on the way to and from work and just daydream.
  • Work at creating new experiences in your daily life to give you new ways to look at the same things. Take a different road to work. Eat at a new restaurant. Work with a different team. Visit a new place.

You never know when goofing off might give you a Barbeque Roll moment.