As I explained in a prior post (How I Embraced A Simple Mindset That Took Me From Surviving To Thriving) I was stagnant in life. I was letting my life run me VS taking the bull by the horns and living life to the fullest. I believe each of us can live a more rewarding and fulfilling life but you need to have clarity to do so. You need to “ignore the noise” like Russell Wilson (Quarterback of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks) likes to say. You need to tune out the distractions, the naysayers, the negativity. Below are four beliefs or principles that guide my life and help keep my mind clear on the daily.
It’s a HELL YES or a NO
I first heard this phrase from Tim Ferriss (American author, entrepreneur, best known for his book The 4-Hour Workweek) as he explained a story about his friend. Ferriss explained that his friend agreed to take a trip months in advance from the United States to Australia but once the time came to take that trek, he didn’t want to go. He learned that it’s a completely binary decision. It’s either a HELL YES I want to do this or it’s a NO I do not. There’s no in-between. Ferriss said that it’s the “sort of”, “kind of” cool stuff (obviously not a HELL YES but not totally a NO) that piles up. It will weigh down your mind. It will distract you from the “hell yeah, awesome, once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities. I’ve started my business from day one with this exact principle in place. If I can’t go all in, if I can’t be 100% committed, I simply can’t take on the project. For example, I had a client come to me wanting to create an online shop (100+ products). While it would have been a high-priced gig and valuable for me to take on, I would have most likely outsourced a majority of the project. It simply wasn’t a HELL YES in my book and for that reason, I declined. I know that at some point, it would have landed on the back-burner. And to be fair, I don’t believe that’s right for myself or the client. I want my client’s to get me at my best – Every. Damn. Day.
There’s not success or failure – it’s PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT
I listened to a podcast with Jenny Blake (a self proclaimed “pivoting expert”) about 6 months ago and even though she’s not someone I follow regularly, her pivoting mindset has stuck with me vividly. She completely changed the way I looked at my business. I went from thinking in-terms of success VS failure to simply pivot, pivot, pivot. We are subconsciously pivoting each day. Changing up what we eat, what we wear, what we do with our free time. I know those are trivial examples but they apply just the same. I have pivoted my business probably each month (or more) since I started it. I’ve pivoted in the way I explain to others what I do (changing my “pitch”), pivoted in-terms of the type of clients I want to work with (going from general web guy to specializing in web design for fitness professionals), pivoted in the way I generate leads (focusing efforts on Instagram outreach lately which definitely wasn’t the case a few months back). The list could go on forever but my point is that instead of me thinking X is a failure or Y is a failure, I just think about pivoting. If it’s working, keep doing more of it. If it’s not working, learn what I can from the situation and keep pivoting until it it does.
This has been a game-changer for me. When I was younger (and as I grew up), I wanted to get along with everyone I came in contact with. I wanted to please everyone. While that sounds all sunshiney and rosey…it led me to tie my self worth into what others thought of me. It was obsessive, always on my mind. I constantly wondered how I was being perceived. But I’ve learned while on this journey of self discovery that all that “stuff” really doesn’t matter. Does it matter what Joey thinks of what I’m wearing today? Or how I talk? Or the car I drive? Or my career path? No, no, no and no…it simply doesn’t matter one bit. You have to learn to be comfortable in your own skin. You have to accept your strengths, your weaknesses, your high-points, your low-points and everything in between. Once you start loving yourself for exactly who you are, there’s a freedom on the other side. A freedom to be exactly the person you were meant to be all along.
Strengths? Double Down!
This is a concept I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk. I’ve heard him mention on numerous occasions that we should not only focus on our strengths, we should double down on them. This has been my intention since day one of starting my business. Many months before I left the company I was at (for five plus years), I asked myself two simple, yet very important questions:
1) What tasks at work do I enjoy doing the most?
2) Out of those tasks, which bring me the most fulfillment?
The answer was narrowed down to web design, web security and web management. These tasks aligned perfectly with my strengths, what brought me the most fulfillment and were the things I was most passionate about – a beautiful trifecta. Those two questions above put me down a path to reverse-engineer my “perfect job” and the career path ahead.
I know where my North Star is pointing and I wouldn’t be able to get there without a road-map, without these beliefs in place. They guide me on a daily basis. Do you employ the “HELL YES or NO” mantra in your life? Or see areas where it could be useful? Can you think of some ways where you pivot (or could do move of in the future)? What about double downing on what makes you shine and focusing on your strengths? Maybe these beliefs and questions I have shared don’t fully align with your life and how you see the world around you…and that’s perfectly OK! I encourage you to spend that time, dig into yourself and figure out what makes you, YOU. Then compile those together and start living a life in accordance with them. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter/IG (@ct_kaupp)!