If You’re About to Give Up, Read THIS First!

A young looking pensive while covering his mouth with a clenched hand

You’ve been working really hard and you’re frustrated. All the big ideas, extra hours, sacrifices, and effort you’ve put in have gotten you…what?

Exactly Jack Squat!

Maybe.

But what if you’re this close to a breakthrough? What if that last little bit of work will put you on a path to something that could really change your life?

My first job in talk radio way back in the 90s was not as a talk show host. I was working for minimum wage doing all the grunt work and overnight shifts. I even had to buy time to get a chance to be on the air. Fairly quickly they were “kind” enough to let me provide a show for the station for free, but I still wasn’t getting paid.

YES! I always wanted to work for free! Ok, maybe not. I wasn’t exactly reaching my radio dreams…yet.

Even though my wife’s job and my part time job as a mental health counselor were earning enough to support us, I felt like I was letting her down. I told her I was about to quit the radio dream and get a full time counseling job.

She convinced me to stay at it at least until the end of the year. (She’s awesome.) She said, “Hey, you’re actually pretty good at this.” (Yeah, she’s funny, too.)

About a month later I was offered a full time job as a talk show host on the number one station in town. That was the start of my 21 year career as a radio talk show host including national syndication and stints in Dallas, Kansas City, and Jacksonville. What if I’d given up one month before my big break?

I was reminded of this while I was watching The Voice with my daughter. One of the contestants is married with children. He’s a teacher and sings on the side. He’s been doing it for over a decade without much success. He told his brother he was about to give up on the idea of a singing career – and then he got a spot on The Voice.

What if you’re that close?

Before you give up, do a double check:

1) Remember why you want this. Is that why still strong for you? Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Isn’t is because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do?

2) Review the progress you’ve made so far. You might be surprised at what you’ve already accomplished.

3) Review your plan. What parts are working? What parts aren’t working? What could you change to get better results?

4) Imagine what your life would be like if this started turning around for you? What would change? How would that impact you, and those around you? How would it make you feel?

5) Give yourself some grace. Maybe you just need to slow down and take a bit more time on this. Maybe you’re burning yourself out and expecting too much too soon. Go for smaller successes and then build to bigger things. You’re human, and that’s ok.

6) Email me before you give up and see if I can help you! greg@gregorybknapp.com

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”
– T.F. Hodge

Question for comment: How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?

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.

Let’s GO!

How My Trumpet Can Keep You On Top

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In 5th grade I decided to join the elementary school band and play the trumpet. (Why the trumpet? They let us try all the instruments, but I couldn’t keep my cheeks from puffing out when I tried the trombone. Yup, that’s the kind of thought I put into my instrument of choice.)

In the first week of practice we had auditions. Out of 36 trumpets, I was 33rd chair. (Take that chair 34, 35, and 36!) Let’s just say I was not awesome at this.

All of that changed when our band director handed out the music. We were going to play the theme from Rocky! (Gonna Fly Now) This was in 1978. The movie had only come out two years earlier and I loved that song. And, the trumpets had an amazing part.

I took the sheet music home and started playing it. But I didn’t have the melody. I was playing boring low notes the whole time. I didn’t understand why. (I’ll explain in a minute.) I really didn’t sound very good. It was painful to listen to me.

My mom saw me struggling and got me private lessons. I had a really cool teacher who said my embouchure – the way my mouth was on the trumpet – was all wrong. He showed me what to do and sent me home.

I worked my butt off and the next week my teacher was stunned. He said my embouchure was now “super good” and we could start really learning how to play.

I practiced hard.

Three months later my band had auditions again. This time I jumped from 33rd chair to 3rd chair. I even beat out all but two of the 6th graders who had been playing a year longer than I had. Wow! All the hard practicing was really paying off.

Then, my director asked me to hand in all my music. I didn’t know what was happening. Had I done something wrong? Was I in trouble? Nope, she just wanted to give me the 1st part for every song. I didn’t understand. What did 1st part mean?

I was so new to music that I didn’t realize there were different parts depending on how good you were. The best players played 1st part melody. I had been playing 3rd part harmony. Now I was getting the 1st part for all our songs – and that included the first part to ROCKY!

I rode my bike home as fast as I could and started playing that song, imagining I was running up the steps in Philly. I was playing the melody. I sounded like the theme song! (Well, kinda. I sounded like the simplified 5th grade version of the song, but I was playing the MELODY!)

From there I fell in love with the trumpet and ramped up my practicing. In junior high I was in two bands, practiced in the marching band after school and spent at least another hour practicing at home each day.

In 8th grade I auditioned for the all county band and made 1st chair. That meant I was the best junior high trumpet player in all of Orange County, Florida (Orlando). I thought that was pretty cool.

In fact, I got a little cocky. I let my practice schedule slip. I didn’t work as hard on new songs. I didn’t ask my private teacher to push me as hard.

The next year, as a 9th grader I auditioned for the all county band again – and only made third chair. An 8th grader was second chair! How did I let this happen?

I realized that I had become complacent with my trumpet. I wasn’t looking for new songs and new challenges. I was resting on my accomplishments. While I was doing that, other people were working hard to get better. And they passed me by.

How many of us have done that in some part of our life or work?

Sometimes it’s because we get bored or tired. Other times it’s because we aren’t paying attention to the changes in our business or life. Still other times we aren’t looking for the ways to innovate and change to reach a new level of success.

If we want to fix that, we have to keep looking for the next Rocky Theme Song that gets us excited. That’s what helps drive us to put in the hard work it takes to become the best version of ourselves we can.

Question for comment:

What’s your next Rocky? What’s gonna make you fly now?

(If this post resonated with you, please share it, and my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding and Pursuing Your Purpose, with a friend.)

Three Questions For Your Weekend

Determine your Passionate Purpose, become world class at it, use it to serve others, and enjoy the entire ride.
–Greg Knapp

If you’re struggling to find your Passionate Purpose, or you just want more out of life, I have three questions to ask yourself this weekend.

1) What things have you done that you’re passionate about and bring you joy?

2) What things have you done that you feel have created meaning in your life?

3) What are you good, or even great at? (Or what could you become great at?)

To have this work, you need to spend some real time doing deep thinking. Start with your childhood and slowly work your way to today.

Look at every type of thing you’ve done in every category you can think of. Go DEEP.

Don’t censor yourself, or let other people’s expectations color this exercise. This is all about you.

Action steps:

  • Schedule some time by yourself. Ideally, find a quiet spot that you enjoy.
  • Turn off all electronic devices – yes that means your phone!
  • Pray or meditate on the questions
  • Keep writing answers until you have at least 10 answers to each question.
  • Then come up with 10 more
  • Look for overlapping answers
  • Narrow the answers down to your top 3

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

How to Become an Expert in Your Field

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The best way to become successful is to serve other people. The best way to serve others is to share your expertise with them. So how do you become an expert? You can do it in less time than you think.

1) Determine what you want to be your expertise. It’s easier and faster to become an expert at something you’ve already been working on and that you enjoy doing. If you’re looking to become an expert in something totally new, you can do it; it’s just going to take longer.

This is where I advise finding your Passionate Purpose. Working to become an expert at that will lead you to be more successful, fulfilled, and joyful, than simply looking to become an expert in something you think will make you money.

Don’t get me wrong, making money is great, but it’s super great if you’re making money doing something you’re passionate about. Otherwise, it can turn into a pair of golden handcuffs.

2) Go one step further and determine in what niche you want your expertise.

Whatever field you decide to study, there are countless niches to focus on. Find a niche that matches what you’re passionate about and that you can generate income with. (Remember – everything you love won’t make you money.)

3) Go deeper still and define the market you want to target your expertise to.

Keep this target market in mind as you’re becoming an expert. What do they want to know? What problems can you help them solve? What pain can you take away, and what pleasure can you help provide, with your expertise?

4) Determine the keywords that define your expertise.

Use those keywords to:

  • Set up Google Alerts – this will allow you to receive daily updates on the latest news in your field and niche
  • Search iTunes for related podcasts – listen to the most popular ones
  • Search YouTube for related “how to” videos – watch the most popular ones
  • Search for blogs – read the most popular ones
  • Search for seminars and online courses – use the ones that hit your target the best

5) Read one, best selling book a month on your subject.

It amazes me how many times I hear people brag about not reading books. Why is that now a badge of honor? You can get more out of a great book than you can out of a college course, a seminar, or one video – and for a lot less money.

Read these books to use the knowledge that is in them. I read books in my field as if I’m going to have a final exam.

I read like this:

  • Frist time through I just read the book
  • Second time through I highlight what resonates with me and make notes
  • Third time through I focus on my highlights
  • Fourth time through I start implementing the ideas into my life

If you read one book a month, in just one year you’ll know more about the field than 99% of the people you come in contact with.

Bonus: If you’re a great reader/studier, you can supercharge this be reading one book a week.

6) Start blogging about your quest to become an expert right away.

People love to see how other people do it. They love getting a behind the scenes view to your struggles and your successes. The more honest you are about the obstacles you’ve hit, the better.

Blogging about this will help you improve your writing skills, lock in the new information you’re learning, and build your brand.

Google “how to start a blog.” It’s very easy and cheap to do. For around ten bucks you can buy a domain name, and for another ten a month you can have your site hosted. Use a free theme on WordPress and you’re ready to roll.

7) Use what your learning in the real world.

It’s one thing to know theories, facts, and how to do something. It’s very different to actually do it. Your story of using your expertise in your life will carry more weight with most people than any letters after your name.

Once you’ve completed these seven steps, it’s time to start displaying your expertise. I’ll cover that in my next post.

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

You Are Powerless…Unless

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Greg, I don’t have any power. No one listens to me. My work doesn’t matter. My vote doesn’t matter. Nothing I do really matters. I’m powerless.

Do you ever think thoughts like that? I know I do.

You’re right…unless.

I saw a great speaker at church last Sunday night. He was talking to us about parenting and he said any influence you have with your children is dependent on the relationship you have with them.

That struck a chord with me. When my dad and I were getting along well and had a good father/son relationship, I hung on his every word. I wanted to be like him. When our relationship was strained, I turned to my friends for guidance on how to live and what to do.

The speaker told us how he had a very tough time in school. At 13, he was tall and sickly thin – so thin he couldn’t even play sports. He also had horrible acne with pimples as big as nickels.

Kids can be mean and every day at school was misery. But more mornings than not, his mother would stop him at the door, as he was about to leave, look him in the eye and say, “I know it’s hard for you right now. But I want you to know that I believe in you. I love you. God loves you, and he has big things planned for you.”

Because he had a great relationship with his mother, her words had great influence on him. They carried him through the tough days. Later in life those words rang in his ears as he started to write the first of 24 books. They encouraged him as he preached to 8,000 people on the steps of our nation’s capital.

Her relationship with her son gave her great power and influence with him.

I think it’s the same for every part of our lives. Our power is derived from the relationships we have with people, not from our title or perceived power.

We’ve all seen the boss who has very little influence with his employees because he has a horrible relationship with them. He can fire them, but he can’t get them to do their best for him.

How about the politician who becomes known for corruption and lying? Who wants to continue to volunteer to help her win re-election?

But, when your family, friends, coworkers, and followers know you care about them – when you have invested in deep relationships with them – they are willing to run through brick walls for you.

You matter to them. And they matter to you.

True, caring, deep relationships give you great power and influence.

How can you grow your most important relationships to have more power for good than you’ve ever imagined?

Let’s 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!

How to Help Each Other Succeed

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Motivation is a tricky thing. It waxes and wanes like the moon. Some people claim motivation doesn’t work because it wears off.

Hold on, I eat three (or five) times a day. I guess I should just stop eating. It wears off.
I work out three times a week. I guess I should just stop exercising. It wears off.
I shower every day. I guess I should just stop showering. It wears off.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it? EVERYTHING wears off.

The question is, how do you stay motivated to pursue your Passionate Purpose? A big helper in that is finding an accountability partner. The word “partner,” is important here. This is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship. You are going to motivate each other.

So, find someone you like and trust who is also looking for an accountability partner. It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other AND hold each other accountable, great things happen. Once you find one:

  • Tell each other exactly what you want and why you want it
  • Set a date for when will complete “x”
  • Determine how will you know you’ve done it
  • Schedule a weekly phone call to review the past week’s activities towards your goals
  • If necessary, exchange an accountability email half way through the week
  • Encourage and challenge each other to keep going

To be clear, the content of the call and the email is simple:

1) What did you say you would do this week?

2) What work have you done on that?

3) What went right?

4) What didn’t go so well?

5) What’s holding you back?

6) What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?

7) What can you do to help your partner?

Warning:

As you work on your Passionate Purpose, you will hit plateaus. Expect it and be ready to do the work necessary to break through them.

Fear and doubt will creep in from time to time.

Some of your friends and family may feed your fear and doubt by telling you your wasting your time, or that living an extraordinary life is for the lucky few, not you.

Some will do this because they think they’re protecting you from disappointment. Sadly, some will do this because they’re jealous of your aspirations and achievements.

You will overcome that by leaning on why you want this new life, on your passionate purpose, on your skills, abilities and experience.

You can do it. And there are plenty of people who WANT you to succeed. Lean on them, too.

Let’s 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!

You Need This Drug

drug

Pssst. Come here. I know of a drug that can:

 

  • Add years to your life
  • Reduce risk of heart disease – by 27 percent or more
  • Reduce risk of high blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of stroke – by 22 percent or more
  • Reduce risk of dementia
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s – by more than half
  • Make you happier
  • Decrease your stress
  • Double your chances of staying substance free after treatment
  • Increase your good cholesterol
  • Repair your damaged DNA
  • Help you sleep better
  • Make you happier

You want it?

Oh, and by the way, it also gives you better sex…

It has no side effects…

It doesn’t cost any money…

What is it? It’s called, Purpose – a strong sense of purpose in your life, to be precise.

I’m not making this up. It’s proven in some great research outlined in Victor Stretcher’s book, Life on Purpose. Here are some of the specifics.

On average, people with a strong sense of purpose live longer than those without one. In fact, with just a little stronger sense of purpose, there was a 12 percent reduction in the risk of dying during a 14-year study.

Much of the research uses self-reports on a scale of 1 to 6 to determine the amount of purpose one has in life.

Another two-year study of adults with heart disease found that for every one point increase on the purpose scale there was a 27 percent lower risk in having a heart attack. A four-year study showed every one-point increase in purpose reduced stroke risk by 22 percent.

A seven-year study found that seniors with a low sense of purpose in life were 2.4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than seniors with a strong sense of purpose.

Other analyses found that a lack of purpose is at least as responsible for disease and early death as tobacco, poor diet, inactivity, and stress.

This is clearly the best drug out there, and even though it won’t cost you any money, it does come at a price. You pay for this drug by taking the time and making the effort to find and pursue your Passionate Purpose.

If you find what matters most to you, what you were created to do, what will lead you to a life of meaning and significance, what will lead you to serving others – then you will have earned the best drug ever made.

Are you willing to pay that price?

Let’s GO!

The Danger of Overreacting

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Those who fail to respond to a changing marketplace – fail. In fact, things happen so fast now, that you need to predict the changes in the market place and act before the changes actually occur or it might be too late.

I think that’s true, to a point. We can also overreact with unintended consequences. We can change so quickly and so often that we lose our core audience, customers, clients, or purpose.

You’ve heard of the Titanic, but have you heard of the Eastland? Their connection is a tragic story of overreaction and unintended consequences.

After the Titanic sank, taking 829 passengers and 694 crew members with her, our government sprang into action. Congress passed new laws to make sure the Titanic disaster would never happen again.

The Eastland was mandated to add more lifeboats, rafts (and cranes to lower them into the water) then the boatmakers had planned.

The additional weight made the boat top heavy. As the passengers began embarking for the journey across Lake Michigan, the boat began listing to one side. The sailors compensated by adding water to the ballast tanks on the other side. Once the boat was packed with passengers it began to list to the other side. The sailors couldn’t fix the problem fast enough. The Eastland capsized while still tied up to the dock in the Chicago river.

Overreaction helped cause the death of 841 passengers and 3 crew members. Wow. More passengers died from the overreaction to the Titanic than actually died on the Titanic.

Yes, it was a good reaction to make sure every ship had enough lifeboats for everyone. But, it was an overreaction to force lifeboats that were too heavy on to the Eastland.

Keeping your eyes on trends and changes in your field is very important. But, be careful of the danger of overreaction as well. That can be just as, or more, dangerous than not changing at all.

Let’s 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!

You Can Now Watch My Free Webinar Right Here and Share it With Friends.

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I know you’re busy and it’s hard to schedule your day to attend a webinar. Many of you have asked me if I would post my latest one. Well, here you go. I hope you enjoy it and share it with anyone who will benefit from it.

At the end, I give you all the details on my latest online coaching course and my personal coaching programs.

Here’s a preview of what the Webinar is about:

Most people never find their true calling. Fewer still ever pursue it with success to live the extraordinary life of their dreams.

I don’t say this to dash your hopes. I say it to warn you and to offer some free training so you don’t fail.

I show you:

  • How to overcome the 6 obstacles that stop you from taking action to change your life
  • How to find your calling
  • How to create the mindset you must have to get the life you want
  • How to focus on what’s essential
  • How to stay motivated to make lasting change

Join Premium Personal Coaching with Greg Knapp

Join Value Personal Coaching

Buy the 40 Day Ecoaching Course

Let’s GO!

Three Answers You Should Never Give Yourself

We ask ourselves questions every day and our brain always answers. Sometimes it’s consciously and sometimes it’s unconsciously, but it always answers. Are you asking the right questions and getting the right answers?

“Why does this always happen to me?” “Why am I so stupid?”

Your brain will make up an answer. Do you really want to hear it?

So, start with better questions: “What is my purpose?” “What are my passions?” “How can I start my own business?” “What can I do to serve people that will cause them to line up to give me their money?” “What can I do to make a difference?” “How can I have more freedom in my life?”

What are your questions?

When you ask yourself a question that really matters to you, here are three answers you should never give yourself:

1) “I don’t know.” The correct answer is, “I don’t know…yet, but I know how to find out.” Think about all the things in your business and life you didn’t used to know how to do. Not too long ago I had no idea how to write and publish a book, or how to create a blog, or how to simultaneously post on 3 social media sites, or create an automated email campaign. But, I learned how and you can learn anything you need to know.

It’s never been easier to find out how to do something. Type in “how to _____” into Google or YouTube and we have incredible information at our fingertips. From blogs, books, online courses, videos, podcasts, ebooks, and more, there is a way to find your answers.

2) “I can’t.” The correct answer is “I can figure out how to do it,” or “I can get someone else to do that for me,” or “I can do something similar instead.”

What good has it ever brought you?

3) “I don’t care.” You do care, or you wouldn’t consistently be asking yourself the same question. So why are you using that as your answer when you don’t mean it? Is it fear? Is it a belief that you can’t do it, so acting like you don’t care makes that easier to swallow? You need to figure that out so you can get to the answer you want.

Action Steps:

Start asking yourself questions that will get you what you want. Write them down. Ask yourself these questions every day.

When you get an answer that resonates with you, take action immediately.

Don’t accept the answers: I don’t know. I can’t. I don’t care.

Let’s 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!