Category Archives: Personal Development

Building Personal Growth and Development

The New Year is well underway and here in Charlotte the past week actually feels like winter. The warm Spring-like weather that started the year is a fleeting memory. The beginning of the year is a good time to think warm thoughts of a beach somewhere or the fact that spring is coming. It is also a good time to think about some goals and steps to make 2019 a more productive year.

I am sure many of you have seen your fair share of articles on life hacks and ways to increase productivity to make 2019 the best year of your life on social media, another blog, or an online publication. I think the best way to move through these articles is to focus on some smaller changes that can be made to improve your outlook on life, productivity, and health. I might suggest you check out “Your Future Self”, Fast Company’s series on improvements that can be made, some simple and others more time intensive to improve your life.

These articles are worth exploring since they include topics that are relevant to growth across professional and personal skills. For the entrepreneurial spirit, might I suggest reading “Your 12-month guide to building your side hustle this year” by Lindsay Tigar. Tigar uses this article to highlight some specific monthly calls to action over the next 12 months from building your side hustle. For example, January begins the year long journey with a period of Self-Assessment. The beginning of the year should serve as a time to outline and consider what exactly having a side hustle means for you and how it will affect your loved ones, taxes, and full-time job. Having a side hustle is hard work but by following some self-evaluation during the first three months of the year this will help build the foundation for a new side hustle or improve your existing strategy before heading into April and Q2 with an improved idea and the right attitude to succeed.

The final article, “How to redesign your days to give you back a few extra hours every week” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders outlines what steps to take to get more out of your time during 2019. While this sounds like a lofty concept, the steps to follow are quite simple. Saunders breaks down how to gain time into these categories quitting something, limiting something, pausing something, delegating something, adding something. I have chosen to limit my time on social media while filling that time with the addition of re-reading some of my favorite books to get a new perspective on them. I urge you to take a step back and see if there is an aspect of your life where you could add, delegate, limit, or pause tasks to make your overall week more rewarding and fulfilling.

As 2019 is already two weeks old which is hard to believe. In this New Year, taking a few minutes each day to focus on personal or professional development can reap many benefits. Instead of trying to stick to rigid resolutions see if making a few small changes will help improve your mindfulness and productivity going forward.

Reading List:

Tigar, Lindsay, “Your 12-month guide to building your side hustle this year” Fast Company. Retrieved 14 January 2019 from https://www.fastcompany.com/90279105/your-12-month-guide-to-building-your-side-hustle-this-year.  

Sounders, Elizabeth Grace, “How to redesign your days to give you back a few extra hours every week” Fast Company. Retrieved 14 January 2019 fromhttps://www.fastcompany.com/90280742/how-to-redesign-your-days-to-give-you-back-a-few-extra-hours-every-week.

“Your Future Self” Fast Company. Retrieved 14 January 2019 from https://www.fastcompany.com/section/your-future-self.

-Craig Oliver

WIMS, Inc.

2019 Perspectives



I might be a little late to the game, but I want to start off and wish everyone a Happy New Year! By now most of you will be back to work after what I am sure was some much-needed time with family and friends. Instead of the typical Resolutions or Trends for 2019 I want to share something different with you. A look at some perspectives of what will happen over the next 12-months with a focus on events ranging from local developments with an impact on the Charlotte area to national factors.

Instead of making predictions I want to outline a few important issues which I think will generate news throughout the year and define the year for countless households. These topics are by no means definitive and I think it will be interesting for me to look back at the end of the year to see how this post holds up after a year. Some of these includes events that will create economic impact in Charlotte including the hosting of the NBA All-Star Game. Financial topics are sure to be discussed often and I see student loans as a topic which will continue to impact the purchasing power and economic decisions of millions of Americans.

This is first year that I can remember when I will not be in a traditional classroom. After years of having classes through the winter months and spring I am now entrenched in the working world where January begins an exciting new year. In this aspect it is like how September begins a new and exciting chapter for students and teacher alike. My friends from college have graduated and are either continuing their education and working in research labs or beginning their careers. Not everyone has successfully found a career that uses their degrees and college skills.

The news shares many stories of how as the economy has grown many have been forced to work multiple part time jobs to make ends meet. A great deal of time, discussions, and stress is placed on how to payoff student loans among friends. Education is well worth the investment, but I do see some people left behind suffering from the student loans burden and stuck in situations where they face an uphill battle. I will leave the issue of student loans with the following question: Will this be the year when students loans take more of the headlines like the housing bubble did in 2008?

I want to continue with some trends that I think will be greatly talked about from the media to boardroom from a national perspective. One trend which I have increasingly seen is that people are taking a break from social media to start the year off with a different perspective and away from the clutter and mess of social media. I myself have decided to use social media less this year and allocate some of the time I would spend online away from screens and instead read. This brings up privacy and data security, issues which are increasingly important as 2018 progressed and I can only imagine will stay important into 2019. I will be interested in seeing how tech companies’ stocks will perform into 2019 and what this will mean for the stock market. No market predictions on my end but I imagine investors are in store for another roller coaster ride of a wild year. Some other terms that I think will continue to be in the lexicon include sports betting, increasing marketing for Generation Z, and digital detoxes.

I want to highlight a few local topics from the Charlotte area. Basketball is big in North Carolina and the NBA All-Star game is coming next month with expectations of economic impact that could cross $100 Million. While North Carolina lost out on Amazon to suburbs of Washington, D.C. and New York other important economic news made headlines to end 2018 including IBM’s purchase of Raleigh based Red Hat. November also saw news in Charlotte when Honeywell announced moving its world headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte which will eventually create 750 jobs. Charlotte is a great city to build and grow a company landing on Inc’s 50 Best Places to Start a Company at 22 with an emphasis on fintech growth.

I believe that companies will continue to invest in the Charlotte area as building projects through Uptown Charlotte and across the region continue to show the robust economy from new building to the continued need to build affordable housing for all the new employees moving into the area. Charlotte has a chance to show its new design to the world during the All-Star game and this year will see continued development and investment centered in Uptown Charlotte. Like across the country growth is focusing on major metro areas with access to universities and transportation which I believe will shape future investment in 2019 and beyond.

Growth and volatility are not often said in the same sentence but those are two words which I think are two words which will shape the next 12-months. Issues that have been under the surface for years will continue to impact the purchasing power of Americans including student loans and greater need for affordable housing. At the same time growth at companies and investment in education will continue across Charlotte and the nation. As privacy concerns continue Americans will decide to take control of their data which is one of the most marketable and valuable pieces of information they hold. The place social media has in our culture will likely be shaped by how it is used throughout the year.

The meaning of true friendship

Why friends matter in a digital age

From an audio story by

Wang, Shirley. “My Dad’s Friendship With Charles Barkley.” WBUR Only a Game. Retrieved 18 December 2018 from https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2018/12/14/lin-wang-charles-barkley

            On December 14th, 2018 a story was broadcasted by freelance reporter Shirley Wang on the public radio sports show Only a Game. The story had a unique title, “My Dad’s Friendship With Charles Barkley”,  the heartwarming fourteen minute story took listeners on an unexpected journey about the power of sports and friendship.This story goes beyond the common narrative of sports stars and is a beautiful story of friendship and character with major life lessons.

            This is so much more than a sports story. It is a story about the power and impact people can have on one another through friendship. This is also one of the only sports stories where a cat litter scientist is central to the relationship. At the core of this story there is an unlikely friendship born out of a chance meeting at a Sacramento hotel between Charles Barkley, one of the most recognizable basketball personalities, and Lin Wang, a Chinese-American cat litter scientist and basketball fan.

           After talking for hours during the initial visit the two men exchanged phone numbers and stayed in touch. The relationship grew as Lin visited Charles on the set of his TNT NBA show while visiting Atlanta and exchanged text messages. The two men connected on a range of topics, even though they undoubtedly came from vastly different upbringing.

            Charles Barkley grew up in small town in Alabama and was mainly raised by his mother while Lin grew up in China before immigrating to America to pursue his academic career. The two saw themselves as outsiders who defied the odds to become successful but more importantly men who were valued members of their communities and fathers.

            It was the connection as fathers and family men that became the crucial part of this relationship that defined their special bond and the power relationships can have. When Lin’s daughter Shirley called to speak with Charles a question she had was what could her dad and a former NBA player have in common? It turned out that family was the key to the relationship and that the two shared stories and spoke fondly of the successes of their own children.

            In 2015 Charles Barkley lost his mother, Charcey Glenn, his friend Lin flew across the country to be with his friend during this difficult time and attended her funeral in Leeds, AL. This was no small feat as Lin heard about the news and flew from his Iowa home to Alabama to be with his friend in a time of need.

            Around this same time Lin received some somber news. He had cancer and the prognosis did not look good. Although he waited to tell his friend, he did eventually share the news with Charles who in turn told him that it was nothing to hide and that he should have told him right away. This unlikely correspondence continued through June 2018 when Lin passed away right after his favorite team,the Golden State Warriors, won the NBA title. A funeral service was held the following day among family and friends in Iowa was a 6’ 6” former NBA basketball player who was also in attendance and spoke about his friend Lin. The ability to console each other’s families in the time of need connected Lin and Charles forever.

            The piece of the story that struck me as most genuine is how both men were able to connect and provide necessary friendship during difficult times. Lin and Charles enjoyed the company and friendship they had. The thing to take away from this friendship is that by speaking up and being open to having a conversation the possibilities are endless. I look at the world today and see constant streams of data through social media, news sources, and longform stories. Sometimes the ability to step back and have a conversation, a genuine one in person, with someone will create a lasting bond and a story that will make you a better person and help create strong bonds within your family and friend groups.

Total Human Optimization

The Pursuit of “Total Human Optimization”

Over the past few months I’ve been obsessed with the idea of learning about, and implementing, daily routines and practices to simply get better. The main goal is optimization to be more effective, efficient, productive, and increase stamina to go harder for longer. I’ve always been conscious of needing to do this, but like with many things, it’s always easier said than done.

Then while listening to The Tim Ferriss Show podcast I stumbled upon a guy named Aubrey Marcus who coined a phrase that made it all click. Then this dude shows up on Lewis Howes’ The School of Greatness, then Gary Vee. I start noticing this guy everywhere. Aubrey is the CEO of a health and wellness company called Onnit, and he recently wrote a book called, “Own The Day, Own Your Life.” One of the key tenants he preaches, and the mission of his company, is the pursuit of “Total Human Optimization.”

That whole concept really resonated with me and was a catalyst to start applying some of these things into my life with more consistency. Now I’m FAR from perfect in this regard, and I have a long way to go in this pursuit (not too mention my recent vacation and business traveling made it even tougher) but I’m certainly getting better and better.

If nothing else, it helped me to identity some core exercises to try and make sure I hit the key areas of my life that I want to improve. Things like faith, fitness, mental health, self-study and education, goal setting, hygiene, etc. Note that I didn’t include two of the most important things here as they’re covered in a separate bucket entirely, those being family time and business.

Anyway, the following are things I’ve been trying to do every single day to as Aubrey say, “own my life”.

  • Faith/Spiritual
    • Pray
    • Read a daily devotional
    • Meditate (10-15 minutes) – Here is one of my favorite’s if you’re interested.
  • Physical
  • Mental
    • Duolingo (Spanish Lesson)
    • Read (an actual book)
    • Review my “Statement of Desire” (if you don’t know what this is read “Think and Grow Rich“)
    • Listen to a podcast/audio book during my commute

There’s not much of a better feeling than hitting those perfect days where you fit it all in. And it’s even better when you get into a nice streak. Not only is it empowering but it also helps you to get into that zone that creates momentum and compounds on itself. And I’m sure as I master these I’ll start adding more to the list.

What’s on your daily list to optimize yourself?

Going Streaking Gym Health

We’re Going Streaking! 29 Days Straight in the Gym (and Counting)

Don’t worry, this isn’t a, “you have to go to the gym or else type of post.” I assure you it’s business related. I want to speak more to the journey of becoming a better entrepreneur, the process of leveling up and what is required to make the quantum leap as a business person.

So, I’m currently in the middle of the longest consecutive day streak of going to the gym in my life (my program is below if you’re interested). It’s not like I haven’t been on a solid long-term routine before, there were just always at least one or two rest days each week. This time my whole approach and mindset is different. The actual working out part is important of course, I very much want to get into great physical shape. But it’s equally (or more) about the mental aspect.

As someone hyper focused on continuing to grow and scale multiple businesses, the level of discipline required to do so increases dramatically. For most of my career I’ve been able to get by and thrive with enthusiasm, spontaneity, and shear determination to put in whatever amount of time and effort was required. There comes a time when brute force, a little charm, and some passion doesn’t quite cut it anymore.

To make the jump to the next level you need to be disciplined, thoughtful, proactive, focused, and truly master time management, productivity, and efficiency. Thus, this streak of mine has been more about building up these skill-sets. I wanted to make a substantial commitment to something very difficult and challenging, and yet stick to it nonetheless.

I’m only accountable to myself in this endeavor, so it would be easier to quit, but knowing that and still progressing has been invaluable. Practicing making hard choices over and over again will eventually make them become easier to make, and without even allowing myself to consider the option of not doing it.

It’s not just the gym I’m doing this with either, it’s other subtler things too, like my 21-day streak of taking my Spanish lessons on Duolingo, practicing mindfulness, reading a daily devotional and chapters from books, and even flossing.

These things may appear trivial, but it’s about getting back to the basics and mastering the small things. This will make the bigger, high stakes business decisions of the near future become easier to make. It’s about building more confidence and self-assurance along the way. It’s about focusing more on, being more mindful of, and enjoying the journey along the way.

What kind of daily habits are you building to become a better entrepreneur/professional?

 

My Current Workout Program:

Monday – Chest/Bi Super-set

Tuesday – Back/Tri Super-set

Wednesday – Legs/Abs

Thursday – Shoulders

Friday – Arms/”Guido Pump” Bi/Tri Superset

Saturday – Legs/Abs (All different exercises than Wednesday)

Sunday – Cardio

Daily: Stretch, Push-ups, & Plank. I also do cardio every day as a warm up and cool down too. Yes, I know this hinders my “gainz” a bit all you workout warriors, but personally I find it worth it for the sustainability.

Supplements: Whey Protein, BCAA’s, Creatine (all from MRM), and Topical Magnesium Gel (Absolute Game Changer! Use code: Claire for 15% off).

2018 Call to Action

Happy New Year! I’ll save you the “new year new me/new year new you” talk (even though I’m always a sucker for self-improvement) and get straight to the point. You already know this is going to be your best year yet or you wouldn’t be reading this. And you KNOW it’s going to be my best year yet too. Now for the important part, HOW are we going to do that? This is OUR call to action!

Now I’m not some business guru, I’m still closer to the beginning of my come up, building the foundation of my future empire just like most of you. But I often have people reach out to me beginning with something along the lines of, “I’ve been meaning to reach out to you.” Or “I’ve been following/keeping tabs on you for months now and planning to hit you up.”

The reasons and motivations usually vary, it could be about entrepreneurship, marketing, CRMaugmented reality, blockchain/cryptocurrency, etc. My point in all this is to explicitly say, THIS is your invitation to reach out to me. Don’t wait another 3 months until your life gets less complicated (it won’t) or less busy (it won’t) before doing it. Now is as good a time as any.

It’s obvious we’re all ambitious people grinding our asses off to continue building our businesses and to add more value to our clients and prospects. If there’s a way we can help each other to do just that it’s very much worth at least a conversation.

Further, even if you’re not ready just yet, there’s a good chance I’ll be reaching out to you soon regardless. I will always make sure there’s something valuable tied to it though. But in 2018 I truly want to connect people in a way that helps them grow their businesses and networks. People ask me to make introductions/referrals to professionals in my network often. If it’s a connection that doesn’t make sense to you, you are more than welcome to say no thanks (or ignore it like some do). But keep in mind that on the flip side I’d probably make the intro for you too.

When the dust settles this time next year we’ll all have just got done celebrating the best year of our professional lives and strategizing on how to make 2019 even better. As my boy Tony Robbins says, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats!” I’m ALL IN on 2018 and I know you are too, so let’s get to work already and make it happen!

P.S. I’m always looking for new clients, investors, partners/collaborators, etc. so if there’s someone you think it would make sense for me to talk to please don’t hesitate to answer the call to action!

Be Amazing: The Life of Your Dreams is Waiting

By: Claire Simmons

Every January, millions of people reassess their lives, set new goals, declare their intentions and dive in to be the best versions of themselves. The promise for a fresh start is very compelling and enticing. Yet for all the hustlers and grinders, this is something that needs to happen not just in January, but every month of the year. There’s no need to wait to be amazing.

If you are committed to being a rock star, to becoming financially fearless, to being a leader and to living your dreams every day, then you need to learn how to give yourself an edge up on the competition. You need to focus on creating and maintaining energy all day long. You need to master efficiency so you can maximize the work and the profits in the least amount of time. People who can do this will be successful AND will create a life that is full of purpose, productivity and happiness.

Indulge me for a moment and let’s think about what an Olympic athlete does to prepare for competition. Their training is a 24/7 approach. Every single thing they do propels them to victory. Their sleep, their nutrition, their workouts, their mindset- it’s all calibrated to the nth degree to make them the best for that one chance at victory.

So if these athletes put in all that time and effort into that one chance- why would you, who literally competes for success every single day, not put in that same amount of effort to compete in the game of life? You could savor that triumphant feeling every night and allow your body and your mind to perform at its peak. Your work, your relationships and your mood will exponentially soar and you will conquer your goals every month- and not drop off the way most normal people do at the end of January.

Now let’s get into the call to action. This is the fundamental list for getting your edge, increasing energy and improving efficiency:

Fuel:

If you eat junk, you will feel like junk. Your body is a temple. Treat it as one and you will feel better than you have ever felt. While there is no “one diet fits all” I believe in keeping it simple and eating real foods. What’s real food? A rule of thumb is that it is made of one ingredient. Mix and match them to create an endless amount of variety and most importantly, for you to look and feel your best.

Habits:

A routine is a platform to success. There will inevitably be times to shift the routine, but at your core, learn what makes your body and mind feel and function best. How many hours of sleep do you thrive on? Are you most motivated at morning or night? Cut down on shallow hobbies that take away valuable time and drain brain power. You’ll be amazed at how much time you get back in your day when you become aware of what distractions have become habits. On the flip side, incorporating small but easy habits, such as walking 10 minutes after every meal, reading a few chapters of a motivational book a night, or having an engaging conversation on your drive home will give you an edge over everyone else.

Exercise:

The best exercise is the one that you will do the most often. Simple as that. Find a workout that you enjoy and commit to it. If you’re someone who despises the gym, then just make it a point to move regularly throughout the day. There’s no excuse for excessive sitting and laziness. Of course it’s uncomfortable at times, but if you want to change your mood, shift your energy and get a major rush of feel-good endorphins flowing through your body, then exercise is the number one way to do that.

Mindset:

The mind is so powerful. Most times our bodies give out first, or we stop because we feel tired and burnt-out. Those who strive to be successful know that this is all temporary and can be adjusted by refocusing as often as needed. Strengthen the mind with regular meditation, eliminating distractions when working on an assignment, creating a clean and aesthetically pleasing environment, and readjusting your attitude. If you’re still in a slump- change your environment. Do jumping jacks, get outside, take a mini break and jump back in with a fresh attitude. Fake it until you make it if necessary- get rid of the negative self-talk and tell yourself every day how awesome you are.

Finally, don’t put off living your best life until that “one day” in which all your dreams will magically come true. Don’t you want to be happy and successful every day? That can literally happen right now. Find what you love and weave it into your life immediately. If you commit to making yourself the best version of you; the rest will follow!

 

For more tips and daily motivation, follow @livingyourdreams_claire on Instagram and on Facebook @clairesimmonslivingyourdreams. Her previous WIMS Guide blog post can be found here.

WIMS: WHO is Mike Simmons? Part 1

“Look at what we did. Came a long way from dirty ghetto kids.” Lupe Fiasco

Not many people know much about my background. Aside from a few exceptions, it’s something I’ve mostly kept private. But since the purpose of creating The WIMS Guide is to sporadically document the entrepreneurial journey I’ve been feeling compelled to share the origins of my story lately.

It’s something I’ve thought about doing for years now, but have hesitated due to a combination of self-consciousness and fear. Will people judge or look at me differently? Or perhaps they just won’t even care at all? I’ve finally realized that regardless if it changes the way people think of me or not, if it’s able to help even one person who’s had a similar experience by encouraging and motivating them to keep pursuing their dreams it will be well worth it.

My journey started out growing up in a pretty ghetto neighborhood in Harrisburg, PA (if you’re skeptical and think I’m embellishing Google Earth: 2353 Logan St.) before later making a relatively lateral move to a trailer park in Mechanicsburg. To say I come from a poor and dysfunctional family would be the understatement of the century.

While I had a very rough start, oddly enough three events that seemed like tragedies at the time ended up altering the course of my destiny and changed my life forever. First, I was sent to a boarding school called Milton Hershey School when I was five years old as my mother just couldn’t take care of me on her own (if you’ve never heard of it, it’s fascinating). Soon after that when I was six my father passed away. And then shortly after when I was seven my sister (who I was closer to more than anyone in the world) moved to California.

At the time, each of these events devastated and shook me to my core. I felt helpless, alone, and extremely confused. However, little did I know at the time that they all would be the very best things to happen to me (later to be trumped by getting married and having a baby). Going through all that at such a young age set the tone for the rest of my life by making me stronger, more independent, and extremely hungry to change my life for the better.

Even though most of my childhood was rough I often say that I was blessed to have the “Michael Jordan of Guardian Angels” by the way things turned out. MHS fed me, clothed me, and provided a wonderful well-rounded education along with opportunities I would have never experienced otherwise. Not to mention I hit the jackpot with an incredible set of “house parents” that taught me so much about life and how to be a man. Going there also allowed me to be able to visit my sister in California three times a year which opened my eyes up to an entirely different world, one with infinite possibility.

Despite greatly improved conditions compared to what they could have been, I do still vividly remember many times of going hungry when I was away from school at home. The memory of that feeling, along with that of having to live in the places we did, sticks with me to this day and creates an incredible desire to be successful and never go back to that again.

Being broke all the time made me realize that I wanted to eventually be an entrepreneur so I could have more control over my life. Ever since elementary school I started countless businesses such as selling sports cards, beanie babies, Pokemon, Pogs, and just about anything else I could profit from. Unfortunately, I had to do quite a few things I’m not proud of to get by as well.

Because of these experiences I developed a sense of ambition, drive, and commitment to doing well in school and getting good grades. Well that and the fear of my mother’s wrath if I didn’t. Understanding the importance of good grades was crucial and ended up paying off big time. After graduation, I literally became the first person in my family to attend college. On top of that, it was with a full academic scholarship to the University of Miami, half from “The U” and the rest from MHS. While there I earned my Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Marketing and Finance and a minor in Advertising.

If my story ended there I would still feel extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish given how things began. But fortunately, I was just getting started.

To be continued…

Go F Yourself!

Let me start off by apologizing for the super click-bait-y title, I just couldn’t help myself. Also, FOR those of you who were expecting an epic verbal-lashing style rant I’m sorry to disappoint you too, you’re more than welcome to keep it moving if so (but if you do then you can take the title literally…just kidding). Rather, this is yet another post about personal and professional development/self-improvement.

As The WIMS Guide’s scope suggests, these posts are meant to be about documenting the journey. Thus, I wanted to share some insights with you all as I’ve been experiencing a great period of growth and progress over the past few months after shifting my FOCUS towards a now sacred set of priorities. And you guessed it, they all start with the letter “F.”

These aren’t all going to be FOR everyone, so FEEL FREE to pick and choose the ones that are most applicable to you. Also, if I’ve left any out, whether they begin with “F” or not, please make sure to share them.

FAITH – It truly starts with this above all else FOR me. Praying, reading devotionals, and hearing the word of God regularly has helped me significantly, especially lately. The confidence and reassurance I get allows me to continue to take calculated risks without doubting myself. If you’re one of my atheist FRIENDS, I’m not trying to preach here, the term is relative and you can shift the meaning towards having FAITH in yourself if you prefer. Nonetheless it really sets the tone FOR everything else.

FAMILY & FRIENDS – #2 on my list because this is generally the purpose and reason why you and I hustle and grind our asses off. I don’t mind working 16-hour days (I’m a sicko and actually enjoy it) as much when I at least get to spend a couple hours having dinner and relaxing with my wife before returning to my desk FOR the late shift. Spending quality time with F&F is crucial, even if it’s just on the phone or Skype/FACETIME.

FINANCES – This is what keeps the merry-go-round (aka your business) spinning, so having a handle of your FINANCES is imperative to being a good professional, entrepreneur, and person in general. You don’t need to be rich or well-off FOR this to matter, in FACT it’s even more important to properly plan and budget if money is tight. FROM the business side, it’s all about FACTS, FIGURES, and FORECASTING, because “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker.

FITNESS & FOOD – Wow, what a tremendous difference incorporating FITNESS and a healthy diet into my daily routine has made on my life. I’m not talking about one-off gym sessions, but truly making a commitment to it at least 5 days a week. My energy, passion, and positive attitude lately has shot through the roof and has become borderline annoying to people that aren’t on the same level. I’m not going to dwell on this topic as you know already know the benefits, but I suggest not waiting until the new year, get on it today and get a head start.

FOLLOW UP & FOLLOW THROUGH – FOR those of you in sales (and let’s be honest every single person on earth is selling something whether they know it or not) this is by FAR the most important thing from a professional/business perspective. Now I’ve made incredible progress, but I still struggle with this and strive to improve every single FREAKING day. I get so caught up on the next thing I can tend to slip on closing out the last thing. And that’s even with a great CRM program to help me (btw – if you need to implement one hit me up).

FUN – You just have to take some time to recover and let loose occasionally as burning the candle from both ends will only end in burn out. Some of my personal FAVORITES to keep the theme going: FANTASY FOOTBALL, FILMS, FICTION, etc.

Now believe me, I’m FAR FROM perfect and still struggle with every one of these regularly, so its ok to slip up. The key is not to beat yourself up and let that disappointment or shame linger. Just keep getting back on the wagon and keep F-ing yourself until you get it right. When you see how FAR you’ve come, you’ll be happy you did.

(FULL disclosure: some of the puns and innuendo may have been intentional FOR the sake of FUN)…