Work Hard or Work Smart?

work smart not hard

Several years ago, five to be exact, I had never heard the term “work smart.” I didn’t know the difference between working hard and working smart because working hard was all I knew how to do. If I needed more money the only thing I knew to do was to work more hours. If my current job didn’t allow me to work anymore hours than I was already working then I just had to get a second job. If that wasn’t enough to earn what I needed to earn then I started doing other income producing activities on the side, which took up more time. Trading hours for dollars was common and it’s what I became accustomed to.

Trading hours for dollars was common and it’s what I became accustomed to.

Five years ago I was working a full-time 8-5 job practicing law, running a CrossFit box before and after my full-time job, owned and operated an online fitness apparel company, and was also putting designs on clothing on sites like Zazzle and CafePress to earn some extra income. All of that lead to me working 18 hours a day. So I know what working hard and working a lot is, but working smart was not on my radar.

A lot of people who own businesses or make investments tend to look at the ROI (return on investment) before they put money into something. I was on the other end of the spectrum. I was working so hard because I didn’t have any money to begin with. The only thing I had to invest was my time. It wasn’t until 5 years ago when I was introduced to an opportunity that allowed me to earn a lot more money with a lot less time, which forced me to value my time more. Instead of spending several hours a week on my online apparel business, I decided to close that business; not because it wasn’t successful, it was actually very successful, but I made that decision because at that time I was earning nearly three times that amount with the same amount of time doing something else. I decided to spend my time where I would get the greatest return for my time investment.

When I understood that I began to look at all areas of my life where I was spending income producing time. The next thing on the chopping block was the CrossFit box. I LOVE LOVE LOVE training people! It’s a passion of mine, but I had debt to eliminate and a serious financial hole that I had to climb out of and CrossFit was taking up a lot of time out of my schedule, but wasn’t producing the income I needed. In my first month of this new opportunity I replaced what I made running the CrossFit box and several months later I walked away from training.

A couple months after that I met my wife. We got married and then 11 months later were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Needless to say I didn’t want to spend the majority of my time working and instead wanted to spend it with what mattered the most – my family. So I looked at what was taking up most of my time which was my full-time job. In my first year with my new business opportunity I nearly matched my salary practicing law and in my second year I nearly doubled it. So I didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize my time practicing law was worth less than half of my time building my business. In 2016 I walked away from that too.

I posted this question on social media earlier this week: “Would you rather work 8 hours at $10/hour ($80 in 8 hours) OR work 10 minutes and earn $80? (10 min. vs 8 hours for the same pay)”

Seems pretty simple, right? You’re probably thinking “I’d be a fool to work 7 hours and 50 minutes more than I need” yet people do it every day.

too busyThere are so many opportunities out there that produce a much higher ROI, but people either 1) Don’t know about them; 2) Know about them, but they talk themselves out of it without trying (this is the biggest one); or 3) Think they’re too busy to take on anything else (if this is you and you got to this point of this article then go back and read everything above again because you missed it).

The point of all this is that you don’t have to spend time away from the things you want to do or the people you want to be around and doing so is by your own choosing because now you know there’s an opportunity out there that’ll give you that time freedom – one where you can work smart and not hard. Be different than the “masses” because many times the “m” is silent. 😉

Advertisements

Give Things Up to Go Up – A Simple Exchange

The quality is poor in this picture on the left, but then again so was the quality of my life back then. For YEARS I lived a life where the most common question among my friends wasn't "are we going out tonight" and instead was "where are we going out to drink tonight." It was an every day thing. Getting drunk wasn't ever the goal. We just wanted to get drinks after work. It was just a social thing - what everyone did. It was a formed habit. The topic of conversation each night... gossip, gossip, and more gossip. Until 2013 that's just what I did and then I had a sort of awakening one day. I don't even know how to explain it. I just remember meeting everyone out one night after work and after the gym and when I got to the bar I had a moment where time nearly stood still. I saw people whose marriages were falling apart from constant drinking, I saw people cheating on their significant others, I saw people getting in fights in one corner of the bar, I saw people stumbling around slurring their speech and embarrassing themselves, among many other things. None of these things were commonplace by any means, but I think all of it was happening at once so God could show me that there was no bright future going down the track I was headed down. At that moment I walked out of the bar having not even had time to open up a tab and never turned back. So much time was wasted every day after work for years when I could've been spending time becoming a greater version of myself. I'll never get that time back and I really don't spend time concerned about that time lost. All I can control is the controllables and one controllable in my life is how I spend my time now. If I have spare time now I listen to personal growth and development podcasts. I listen to talks and watch YouTube videos on business. Mariah and I watch videos and read books to grow deeper in our faith. We are committed to growth in all meaningful areas of our lives. This is not a condemnation on drinking or a judgment on anyone who does. I don't think it's wrong or bad to have a glass of wine or a beer, but that's not where I was at back then and the frequency of the social drinking was terrible. I just simply realized that I didn't know anyone's life that was improved from it and knew that nothing in my life was going to get better from continuing that social habit. I was right. When I broke that habit and began spending that wasted time on something meaningful my whole life changed. Look at what has happened since I made those positive changes! I'm married to an AMAZING woman and mother, I now have two BEAUTIFUL children, I have hung out with my man-crush Drew Brees TWICE, I built an incredible business with my wife which provides an awesome residual income stream for our family, and I had the honor of speaking on stage in Dallas Cowboy Stadium at a leadership event in front of 20,000 people! Time is important and is our most valuable resource. Once it's gone it's gone and you'll never get it back. Spend the time you have on this side of the grass wisely. Create meaningful relationships and know that your friends and associations are either stretching you or choking you. Cut bad habits, cut the cable, quit reading and watching the news, and instead spend time doing things that matter. "Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present." Roger Babson #beforeandafter #winning #growtogo #blessed

The quality is poor in this picture on the left, but then again so was the quality of my life back then. For YEARS I lived a life where the most common question among my friends wasn’t “are we going out tonight” and instead was “where are we going out to drink tonight.” It was an every day thing. Getting drunk wasn’t ever the goal. We just wanted to get drinks after work. It was just a social thing – what everyone did. It was a formed habit. The topic of conversation each night… gossip, gossip, and more gossip. Until 2013 that’s just what I did and then I had a sort of awakening one day.

I don’t even know how to explain it. I just remember meeting everyone out one night after work and after the gym and when I got to the bar I had a moment where time nearly stood still. I saw people whose marriages were falling apart from constant drinking, I saw people cheating on their significant others, I saw people getting in fights in one corner of the bar, I saw people stumbling around slurring their speech and embarrassing themselves, among many other things. None of these things were commonplace by any means, but I think all of it was happening at once so God could show me that there was no bright future going down the track I was headed down. At that moment I walked out of the bar having not even had time to open up a tab and never turned back.

So much time was wasted every day after work for years when I could’ve been spending time becoming a greater version of myself. I’ll never get that time back and I really don’t spend time concerned about that time lost. All I can control is the controllables and one controllable in my life is how I spend my time now. If I have spare time now I listen to personal growth and development podcasts. I listen to talks and watch YouTube videos on business. Mariah and I watch videos and read books to grow deeper in our faith. We are committed to growth in all meaningful areas of our lives. It is a simple exchange we chose to make. We have chosen to exchange pouring alcohol into ourselves for the pouring of leadership and personal development into ourselves.

This is not a condemnation on drinking or a judgment on anyone who does. I don’t think it’s wrong or bad to have a glass of wine or a beer, but that’s not where I was at back then and the frequency of the social drinking was terrible. I just simply realized that I didn’t know anyone’s life that was improved from it and knew that nothing in my life was going to get better from continuing that social habit. I was right. When I broke that habit and began spending that wasted time on something meaningful my whole life changed.

Look at what has happened since I made those positive changes! I’m married to an AMAZING woman and mother, I now have two BEAUTIFUL children, I have hung out with my man-crush Drew Brees TWICE, I built an incredible business with my wife which provides an awesome residual income stream for our family, and I had the honor of speaking on stage in Dallas Cowboy Stadium at a leadership event in front of 20,000 people!

Time is important and is our most valuable resource. Once it’s gone it’s gone and you’ll never get it back. Spend the time you have on this side of the grass wisely. Create meaningful relationships and know that your friends and associations are either stretching you or choking you. Cut bad habits, cut the cable, quit reading and watching the news, and instead spend time doing things that matter.

“Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.” – Roger Babson

Your Broke Uncle Joe…

There’s a theme that I’ve heard in many talks and have read in many books that has presented itself in real life to me time and time again. It’s the theme of Broke Uncle Joe. We all have a Broke Uncle Joe. You may call him by another name, but you have one for sure. So who is Broke Uncle Joe?

None of us are perfect. Subconsciously knowing that we aren’t perfect we tend to seek advice from family, friends, co-workers, and others. We do it before making small decisions and even more frequently in larger ones. Some people may even do it because they care what people think of them. Here’s the problem in seeking advice from certain people… you have to be cautious not to take poor advice from people who have good intentions.

Your family members aren’t intentionally going to give you poor advice. They’re going to tell you what they think is best for you even if they have no clue about the subject matter that is involved in the decision. As well-intentioned as their advice may be, if they don’t have knowledge of the subject matter then it may just be poor advice.

So here is where Broke Uncle Joe comes into play…

Let’s say you are thinking about starting a new business. You go tell your Broke Uncle Joe what you’re thinking and he tells you not to do it. In fact, he warns you not to do it. He tells you that it’s a bad idea and that you’d be better off saving your money or spending it on something else. Here’s the thing about Uncle Joe though, he broke. He’s been an employee his entire life and knows nothing about starting a business. He’s resolved to the mindset of work til retirement instead of working for it. He lives paycheck to paycheck and depends on his employer to put food on his table.

So, why should you go to your Broke Uncle Joe and ask him his opinion? You shouldn’t, yet people do it ALL THE TIME except it’s not their uncle. It’s their friends. It’s their co-workers. It’s some of their family members. That’s their Uncle Joe.

Let’s say you are having marital problems. Would you think it’s wise to seek marital advice from a friend who is single or has been divorced multiple times? It doesn’t matter how many people you talk to who are similarly situated. Thomas Carlyle said it perfectly, “I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

Wouldn’t it make much more sense to seek advice from someone who has what you want? If you’re having marital issues, wouldn’t it be wise to seek counsel from someone who has a thriving marriage? If you want to be a millionaire, wouldn’t it make sense to ask millionaires how they became so wealthy instead of asking your Broke Uncle Joe who isn’t?

So keep this all in mind when you seek advice from well-intentioned people.

Quote of the Day – “What Goes In Is What Will Come Out.” (#4)

“Your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions determine your outcome.”

iron sharpens ironIf your thoughts determine your outcome then it would reason that to control your outcome you first must control how you generate your thoughts. What goes in is always what will come out. Our thoughts are generated by what we fill our mind with day to day.

Ever hear the concept that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with? Jim Rohn said it and it’ll be just as true when he said it as it will be long after you’re gone. It relates to the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. This doesn’t just apply to the average of your friends, but to EVERYTHING you choose to surround yourself with.

If you hang around negative unsuccessful people then you too will become negative and unsuccessful. Your income will be the average of their income. So wouldn’t it make sense that if you start hanging out with successful people and millionaires that you too will become successful and have a better chance of becoming a millionaire?

This works the same way with other areas of your life. If you engage in negativity through social media (very easy to do with political or media outlets) then you’ll have a negative mindset. If you “follow” negative pages and filth then that’s what will come out of your mouth and what will consume your thoughts. Your thoughts will become the average of the things you surround yourself and allow in your mind.

“What we tolerate we give permission to exist.”

Just as you fuel your body with food, fuel your mind with positive thoughts. Turn off the news. Unfollow negative and media Facebook and Twitter accounts. Instead follow positive Facebook accounts, listen to motivating podcasts, read books on success and personal growth, and surround yourself with people more successful than you. Iron sharpens iron.

If you have already begun applying some of those actions, I would love your podcast and book suggestions. I’m always looking to grow my repertoire.

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." -Jim Rohn

Quote of the Day – Comparison Is The Thief of Joy (# 2)

“Average people compare themselves to others; successful people compare themselves to their potential.”

Something I’ve noticed over the last several years is that so many people count themselves out of something or tell themselves they can’t do something because they compare themselves to somebody else. People give up on their dreams because of it, which is a pretty depressing thought. I know people who know what they want and know how to get it, but they will tell themselves they can’t do it because they look at the success of some other person and will say something like, “I can’t be successful like them because I’m not as talented as they are” or any number of reasons. They compare themselves to someone else and count themselves out because they don’t believe they’ll be as good at what they want to do as someone else is. They rid themselves of joy and the success they could have in life.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Here’s a perfect example from a personal experience. At the time I was introduced to AdvoCare I was about as lean as I had ever been and didn’t really have any weight to lose. I saw a lot of people having success in AdvoCare and I noticed that nearly all of them lost a considerable amount of weight. So I told myself, “I’ll never be successful in this business because I don’t have a great weight loss story.” I began to count myself out before I even started. I compared myself to others and chalked their success up to some incredible weight loss story. Luckily I broke out of that mindset and decided not to allow comparison to steal my joy. I did what I wanted to do and now I have been able to retire from the practice of law at the age of 35, both my wife and I are work from home parents, we have eliminated six figures of debt, and we have complete time freedom to do what we want and when we want.

So if you want something in life, put your blinders on. Don’t look to your left or right. Focus on the end goal and achieve it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.

comparison is the thief of joy

Don’t Leave Buttprints

sands of timeI know this sounds pretty gloomy, but your life is ending. That’s one thing we all know for sure. Death is inescapable. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately… not necessarily death, but rather the time we have here on earth between conception and the day we breath our last breath. So I’ve been thinking about life actually and the limited time we spend living it. Time is precious, no doubt, and we never know when ours is going to end. We get one chance at life to do whatever we are going to do and with every passing moment we will never get that time back again. Unless you’re Dr. Strange or Superman, you can’t rewind time and have a do-over.

Knowing that my time is limited, I started thinking about how I’ve spent my 35 years on earth so far. I also asked myself, “If I die today, would I be able to look back at my life and be truly satisfied with how I spent my years here?” Right now the answer would be “no” and it may always be no, but that’s what will keep me striving for greatness.

I would love for everyone to be able to answer these questions for themselves:

If I die today, would I be able to look back at my life and be truly satisfied with how I spent my years here?

If the answer to the above question is “yes,” then WHY is it “yes?”
If the answer to the above question is “no,” then what can you do to live a life that you’d be satisfied with?

What kind of legacy to you want to leave?

Do you want to be remembered as a world-class spouse who became an example to other married couples, which strengthen the Sacrament of Marriage?

Do you want to be remembered as a world-class parent who sets the bar for other parents strive to hit?

Tell me if this doesn’t sober you up: Do you want your mark on this earth to be gravestone and some cloudy memories of you, which will die with the people you experienced those memories with?

“You can‘t leave footprints in the sands of time if you‘re sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?”

The question is, what are you going to do with the time you’re given and with the rest of the sand in the hour glass. This is the BEST video that I have found which stresses this point. Take 5 minutes out of your day to watch it:

 

Quote of the Day – Greatness Is A Choice (# 1)

“You have greatness within you. You are designed for greatness, but you are not predestined for greatness. That’s a choice.”

Everyone has greatness within them, but they have to choose to realize it. It’s easy to get caught up in the way of the world and to go with the flow. Being comfortable in your daily routine is easy. Most of us don’t love it, but it’s hard to break out of that comfort zone most of the time, but out of the comfort zone is where you’ll realize your greatness and find success. Becoming great doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice. One of the most influential quotes on greatness I’ve ever heard was by Pope Benedict XVI:

“The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”

How profound is that!? Don’t conform to the ways of the world just to be comfortable only to draw near to the end of your life and realize your potential. Start today! Drink a Spark, break out of your comfort zone, and own this day! “You don’t have to be great to start; but you have to start to be great!”

The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness
greatness is a decision available to everyone

greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline

Greatness is birthed through hardship and testing. It arises choice by choice

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is a matter of conscious choice and discipline