Monday, March 20, 2017


Take some advice from my boy 50 Cent
Everyone is in sales.  Whether you are a parent, teacher, preacher, spouse, doctor, lawyer, coach, banker, personal trainer, barber, real estate agent, or in landscaping - everyone is selling.  It could be a concept, new idea, a product, or service...either way, whoever is the most skilled at listening, communicating, influencing, and delivering value - reaps the most rewards - personally and professionally.  Selling to your kids, spouse, friends, co-worker, potential buyers/customers/consumers all takes a specific set of skills.

Being that I make a living as a salesman to support my family (I've been in medical sales for over 10 years now), I have recently been doing my best to fine tune my craft.  Let's face it, no one likes the feeling of being sold anything.  I don't either.  I try to look at myself as providing value; being more of a consultant than a salesman; a partner in helping someone achieve a goal; and a problem solver.  All of these examples require a great deal of time, experience, and failures. 

For all of you in sales right now (which technically can mean everyone): 

Most of the books I read are personal development books about mastering your mindset, overcoming adversity, leadership, and creating better habits.  I decided recently to delve deeper into the art of selling.  I'm in the process of going ALL-IN on learning from the best minds and authors in this space.  Being a territory manager and sales trainer, I'm very curious at looking at new strategies to help others and myself improve how impactful our sales calls can be.

I'm going to stop right here and make a confession:

I feel that I am somewhat of a hypocrite.  I preach all day about the importance and power of investing in your personal development, which I have committed to with 100% passion and focus.  However, as a salesman, I have not made the topic of SELLING a main discipline that I have studied.  I went through sales training with two Fortune 500 companies; I've read a few books and articles here and there; but I have not committed to this area enough.  For the next few months I am going to attack selling books, podcasts, YouTube videos, and key thought leaders in this field.  I have devoured three books by Grant Cardone recently (click on his name to go to his website).  I'll share my findings in my next post.  He has been thought of by several media outlets as the best sales trainer in the world. 

According to Cardone, there are many amateurs in the selling profession.  Who would Cardone call an amateur?  Someone who doesn't sharpen their ax by learning and applying new ideas in their given field.  Instead, they wake up and keep doing what they've always done - not learning new techniques and skills, but relying on what they used to do and have always done.  "If it worked ten years ago, it will work again," they might say.  This average approach creates average results.

I'm calling myself out right now and need to get better at this.

Would you see a doctor who wasn't trained and experienced in the latest advances in medicine?  Would you select a financial planner who isn't growing their knowledge on the stock market and trading daily?  There is no chance you would pick a real estate agent to help you sell your house if they weren't experts in the current market and up to speed with the latest tools to attract buyers. 

If you are in the sales profession, LET'S GO, and invest in your knowledge, so we can apply new findings and improve our production.

Some great pearls in Conversations that Win the Complex Sale
When you improve your sales, let's face it, YOU FEEL AWESOME!  You'll have more confidence and motivation to try new things and stretch your comfort zone.  This is where personal growth happens, which creates ultimate fulfillment.   I offer these three books that I recently read that might help you learn a few new tricks of the trade and help you improve your sales.  Give these books a try to increase your influence (if you don't like to read...try them in audio book form):  
Below is a video discussing key findings from the Challenger Sale:


In my next post, I'll share a new approach (inspired by three Grant Cardone books I have read) that will give you a framework to INCREASE YOUR SALES; launch the side project that you have always dreampt about making a full time venture; and for all my entrepreneurs, this system will help take your business to the next level.  I'll share examples of how I've applied this framework with Project Rise.

Thanks and have an AWESOME WEEK!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Project Rise Podcast Episode 3: Charly Martin

Remember the Monday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers when at the last second, Seattle Seahawk's Golden Tate made one of the most famous catches in NFL history?  Well, I sat down with the other Seahawk wide-receiver who was in the endzone at the infamous moment - Charly Martin.  His recollection of that iconic play is one for the ages.

Charly was born in Walla Walla, Washington and later moved to Farmington, New Mexico where he completed high school as an excellent all around student-athlete.  Lacking a Division I scholarship though, Charly defied the odds as a record setting All-American at the Division II powerhouse, West Texas A&M.  He offers enlightening insights on what it took to not only make it in the NFL, but to also stay in the league for five years.

In addition, Charly shares what it was like to transition out of the life as a professional athlete, and into a successful career as the Northwest Vice President of Sales at the private aviation company - Wheels Up.

Charly is one of my best friends and I am so proud to call him family.  He is a devoted husband to his lovely wife Courtney, and their studly three year old son, Charles William Martin, V. - Kendra and I are so proud to be Lil C's Godparents.

Charly and my daughter Bellamy...we totally support arranged marriages.
What inspires me most about Charly is his unwavering vision and belief in himself.  These traits are what makes uncommon people uncommon.  His will to overcome adversity, the ability to push himself beyond his limits, and commitment to excellence are what drive him to succeed.     

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend!

Monday, February 27, 2017


My life didn't change until I changed one specific habit. 

Before I share with you what that one habit is, let me give you some context on what drew me to this realization.  It all started over three years ago, when I was working in oncology sales at my previous company.  I was in an account manager role, and it just wasn't the right fit.  The timing was awful.  Due to some practices overseas, we were slapped with a Corporate Integrity Agreement, which forced us to revisit how our sales force was in, no more pay for sales, but in verbal and written tests.  "Someone kill me now and take me out of my misery," is what I thought on a day to day basis.  This role and compensation model made for many restless nights, my blood pressure was in the high 140's, and I was taking medication to try to lower that number and my angst.  I wasn't fulfilling my true potential and thriving at work.  Stressed and looking for ways to get me out of this funk, I tried several things. 

I first thought seeing a counselor would help.  I remember sending one particular counselor an email saying that I needed a "confidence coach," to help me come up with ways to get me through this season in my life.  She really didn't understand what I meant by confidence coach.  I must have done a not so good job of articulating what I was going through and needed.  Regardless, I went to see her for a few sessions and really didn't feel the connection and growth I was looking for.

These signs look familiar?
My next attempt to lower my stress was to take Transcendental Meditation training.  I read all of the benefits that this practice offers and how many celebrities swear by that point, I was looking for anything.  So I ponied up the $750 fee and took the training, which was about 8 sessions in some random tiny house in Kirkland and my instructor must have been pushing 80 years old.  I am a big believer of practicing some type of mindfulness, visualization, and meditation, but this version did not give me the instant gratification I was seeking either.

Feeling stuck and running out of options, my manager sent everyone in our sales team a gift.  This one act if generosity and leadership was the solution I needed.  This one act kick started a movement within my soul.  

This gift was so simple; I had already done it hundreds of times before, but with a different intention and focus.  

This one life changing tactic has so immense power that in ancient times and even in early American history, people in positions of authority outlawed peasants, the lower class, and slaves access to this one skill.  Even to this day, whoever has the most access to this resources and utilizes it's endless power can acquire healthier relationships, wealth, influence, health, and reaching one's true potential - all the things I was looking for. 

This one simple act often times gets overlooked, downplayed, and forgotten as a strategy for optimization.  The most successful people in the world know and use this gift daily.  So, what is this gift?  READING A BOOK.

I've mentioned this before on my blog, but its worth mentioning again.  The book that my manager gifted was called Positive Intelligence, by Shirzad Chamine.  This one piece of literature gave me the tools to identify and overcome negative thought patterns, as well as help me with strategies to improve my mindset, perspective, and ability to execute.  With this knowledge, I had the confidence and mental focus to leave pharmaceutical sales and crack into the highly competitive medical device industry with a Fortune 500 company and market leader.

Once at my new company, I was assigned a mentor named Frankie, who was all about investing in his personal development.  Frankie was very successful throughout his career - being on stage and winning national awards nearly every year.  I wanted what he had and asked him how I could get there.  His answer was NOT to ask insightful questions, handle objections properly, or to "ABC" (Always Be Closing).  Instead he gave me a list of about 25 books that were game changers for him.  He said, if you read these and apply them, the sky is the limit for you.  After seeing the drastic improvement just one book did for me, I started to clap my hands with excitement, thinking of the impact that reading more books would do!

Simple concept with huge payoffs

I attacked that list like a white blood cell engulfing a foreign particle in our blood stream.  I was ALL IN and with each book consumed, I felt stronger and desired more information.  

I made reading and listening to audiobooks a daily habit.  The results of this practice have manifested many wonderful things in my life that would not have possible if I would have gone back to my original habits of watching movies weekly, binging on Netflix and TV; wasting hours dinking around on my phone; spending every minute in my car listening to music, talk radio, or chatting on the phone.  I instead made it a point to take in as much information as I could. 

Everything we could possibly want or need has already been done, and most likely, someone has written about it.

This one habit of going all in on my personal development has changed everything for me: from being Rookie of the Year, back to back Top Performer Awards, creating a blog, being invited to speak to a variety of audiences, and even completing the content  of my first book (it is in the editing process right now, but I can't wait to give you guys more insights later)!  All of these accomplishments could not have been possible without making daily reading a non negotiable with myself.  I'm all about non-fiction books...what about you?  

What are you investing in?

The average CEO reads about 4-5 books per month, which is 50-60 per year.  Conversely, 25-30% of Americans read zero books in a year.  The mean number of books the average American reads is 5 (this number is inflated by the small percentage who read much more).  There is no arguing why the most influential and successful people in business and life read in one month what the average person reads in one year.  

According to Lana Winter-Hebert from, there are many benefits to reading:

• Improves mental stimulation
• Reduces stress
• Increases knowledge
• Expands your vocabulary
• Improves your memory
• Creates stronger analytical thinking skills 
• Improves focus and concentration 
• Improves writing skills

As reported in the Huffington Post:

• Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year (one per week)

• Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day

• Elon Musk is an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said, "I read books."

• Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015

If these icons have enough time to read and make it a priority in their daily lives, we definitely should too.

Marguerite Ward from CNBC Money wrote an eye popping article on what Warren Buffett calls the secret to his success.  Buffett says that he spends about 80 percent of his time each day reading.  He even tries to read up to 500 pages per day!  He says that reading is like compound interest - the earlier and more often you do it, the wealthier you will become!

I usually have one book I'm reading and one I'm listening to in audiobook form at the same time. My goal is to consume and finish 4 books a month.  I just finished the book, TheCircle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, by Mark Batterson.  While I was reading that, I'd listen to Angela Duckworth's book Grit: The Power of Passionand Perseverance in audiobook form (I only have one hour until I'm done!).  I'm now reading Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't, by Jim Collins...its a classic!

While I read and listen to my books, I always keep notes and write down the points that speak to me.  Many of my quotes I list on my social media platforms are inspired by something I read or heard.  These artists, authors, researchers, and creators definitely inspire me to innovate, face my fears, and be my best self.  I want you to feel this crazy force of good and inspiration for yourself!

Big things come in small a book 

  1. Look at your monthly expenses and budget at least $40-$50 per month on books ($10-15 for a physical book, and about $20 for an audiobook) me, it will be the best investment you will ever make!  If you are a manager...add this into your team's budget and let your team expense it.  
    • If you don't have the budget, go to the library, ask your friends to borrow one of their favorites, or check out iTunes and Android apps which offer free books.
    • BookBub offers thousands of free or discounted books...check them out here!
  2. Use your phone, iPad, or other devices to download books to read (Kindle, Nook, etc).  This method is usually cheaper than a hard copy and takes up less space!  For e-book device reviews, check out this article.
  3. Use iTunes to download audiobooks.  This method has changed everything for me.  When I drive, this is my go-to to pass the time (or Podcasts).  Instead of wasting away to music all day, get your mind right!  I also use this method when I work out at the gym or go on a walk/run...your brain is a muscle too!
  4. Pick a consistent time in the day to read.  While getting started, pencil this time into your calendar.  Mornings or evenings are the most common.  I like to read at night when my wife is working in her office or when I jump in bed.  This relaxes my mind and helps me sleep better (two pretty awesome benefits).
    • If you read 15 minutes a day, every day of the year, you'll read twelve 200 page books in one year!
    • A half hour a day would bring your total up to 24 books a year...remember: learners are earners!
  5. Get some friends together and create a book club.  You can do this at work and improve on personal development with members of your team; you can do a book study with a local small group within your church; or you can meet at Starbucks once a month with a few friends and discuss a shared book.  I've done all three of these.  When you go in on something together, it makes it more fun and holds you accountable.  Be a leader and set in motion positive change by getting a few people to learn together.
  6. Download this app: Blinklist.  This app has a digital library of thousands of books and reproduces them in summary form.  You can listen or read the main points of an entire book in just 10-15 minutes!  All of the best selling books and authors in the world are at your disposal.  There is a small fee, but its worth it.  I get great new book suggestions based on my interests, which I love.  With this app, I have read dozens of books that I've always wanted to read, but didn't have enough time to get with this app...the book world is at my fingertips! 
I definitely do not want to go back to that place where I was before I discovered the power of reading consistently.  

My hope is that you channel this same power and apply it to your life.  Be curious...feed that curiosity with knowledge.  Apply that knowledge and reap the rewards....who knows, if you read enough books, you might be a CEO one day.

Here is my book teaser...below is a list of books I reference in my new book coming soon!  I hope this list will help light a fire inside to be your best self.

Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS, by Shirzad Chamine

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

Confidence: How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs and Achieve Your Goals, by Martin Meadows

The End of Stress: Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain, Don Joseph Goewey

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline for Success in Your Life, by Brian Tracy

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, by Grant Cardone

The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy, by Lewis Howes

9 Things Successful People Do Differently, by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Grit: The Power of Passion and Persistence, by Angela Duckworth

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, by Peter Bregman

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, by Shawn Achor

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simply Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy, by Jon Gordon

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, by Ryan Holiday

Successful Advertising. 1885, by Thomas Smith

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath

Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time, by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges

The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times, by Stephen G. Post

Ego Is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday

Tools For Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, by Tim Ferriss

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream, by Paulo Coelho

Make the Bigtime Where You Are, by Frosty Westering

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Project Rise Podcast Episode 2: Mike Isaacson

Project Rise Podcast Episode 2's guest is Mike Isaacson.  Mike is a Wenatchee boy who now lives in Kirkland with his wife, Jodi, and two beautiful girls, Quinn and Eva.

Holdin' it down in Mike's beautiful Kirkland home and office
I first met Mike the summer after high school during the week of the Washington State East-West All-State football game.  We then became teammates at Washington State University.  Mike's outgoing personality, sincere curiosity, and passion for peak performance made the perfect formula for us to connect and be great friends for many years.

Why you should listen?

To say Mike is crushing it would be an understatement.  After being a successful sales rep for several years in the highly competitive spine medical device industry, Mike was promoted to a District Manager at Medtronic at the age of 29, and now is an area Vice President at Ortho Kinematics.

On paper, Mike has all the measurables of success - he has the houses, the cars, and the financial freedom that come with high achievement - but, what I'm most impressed with is his work ethic, passion to serve others, and how he is as a loving husband, father, and devoted friend.  I truly love this guy and I want you to enjoy some of the things that Mike has taught me over our 18 years of friendship.

In this episode, Mike tells powerful stories of overcoming adversity, leadership, investing in your personal development, and examples of being a young entrepreneur.

Take a listen and if you enjoy this episode, share it with a friend.  Thank you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Last Wednesday night while coaching football, I decided to show the high school kids a thing or two.  We reached the end of practice and we were finishing the session up with some competition - a little one-on-one drill.  It's pretty simple, the receivers try to get open by using the technique and tricks that I taught them during their individual session, and the defensive backs are tasked to lock them down.

Our defensive backs coach, Jeffery Solomon (aka, Solo), played for WSU and also in the Arena League for several years.  He is a beast, still under 30 years old, and could strap up and be an impact player at most D-I programs right now.  It's pretty awesome when your coach can dominate the end, kids do what you do, not what you say.  Well, Solo jumped into the one-on-one drills and was balling on these young guys.  Watching this, I got the itch to get in on the competition and dust the old white boy receiver skills off and show them how it's done.

Solo making plays vs. UCLA
In my mind I envisioned myself being like Julian Edleman carving up the Atlanta Falcon's defense in the Super Bowl.  After all, I once was a 4-year starter in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12), "I can take these high school kids," I thought, "I got dang near 20 years of experience on these guys, I got this!"  I didn't have any big deal.  No receiver gloves, no problem!  The fact that I had the Norovirus the weekend before didn't even hold me back either (no food for several biggie!).

My first rep didn't go so well.  I guess I'm not as strong as I used to be.  The second rep, I dropped the ball over the middle...where did my "sure hands" go?  The third rep, the ball got tipped away at the last minute.  I kept jumping in expecting a different result, but instead of being Edleman, I was more like Pee-Wee Herman.  I only caught 3 balls out of 10...are you kidding me?!!  That's it...only 3 balls?...that's a 70% failure rate!

When we finished, I walked to my car, pulled my hood over my head and zipped up my jacket feeling the cold winter wind chill rush all over me.  I don't know what stung worst, the cold, or my lack luster performance.  My legs were wobbly and my ego definitely dropped a few notches.  This type of performance could have put me into official retirement, but this time around, being much older and wiser, I'm approaching this situation differently than when I was my younger immature self.

As I pulled into the driveway when I got home, I had already made the decision to give that drill another try.  I envisioned what cleats and gloves I was going to wear, and even visualized a few routes that I know will work.  I walked into my house excited for the next time.  I knew that my credibility as a coach and an athlete were not defined by that one failure.  I didn't win that day, but I knew that the next time would be better and that I could learn and grow from that experience to attack the next competition with excitement and gratitude.

It's taken me 36 years to have that kind of a mindset.  When I was a student-athlete or even in the professional world of medical sales, I had the opposite mindset.  I felt like I constantly had to "prove" myself, which ended up hindering my performance...with each move or step, I would constantly evaluate myself and picture what others thought of me.  I was constantly comparing.  This mental approach no doubt hindered my ability to compete at peak performance.  For many, past failures exacerbate fears of feature failure.  This cycle creates self doubt and often times anxiety.

These internal fears and anxiety lead people to give up, quit, or avoid being put into similar situations again.  Thus, their true potential is never fully actualized.

Performance anxiety is a real thing, and for some reason, 

Here are some alarming stats:

  • 32% of teens suffer from some form of anxiety - National Institute of Health
  • 85% of collegiate athletic trainers report that anxiety hinders their student-athlete's ability to perform at their best. -
  • 40 million American adults (18.1%) suffer from anxiety. - National Institute of Mental Health 

These are just reported cases covering a broad spectrum.  There just isn't much data on evaluating specific areas and ways to not only cope, but to discuss and find strategies to improve self limiting beliefs as a collective group.

Whether it is being super stressed before taking a test, feeling like a nervous wreck when your supervisor is evaluating you, or feeling anxious before a big game or presentation, we need to acknowledge that being nervous, stressed, and anxious is a natural human emotion that needs to be better addressed.

According to Dr. Heidi Grant, performance psychologist at Columbia University, the brain can hold 5 to 7 thoughts or ideas at one time.  When the brain is in a state of anxiety, it can only hold 2 to 3 concepts.  When we are operating in an anxious state and constantly trying to "prove" ourself, we are living in what Grant calls a "Be Good" mindset.  Individuals with a "Be Good" mindset avoid failure, constantly compare, and seek validation in performance only.  They have the idea that they have to "be good" at something in order to be a good person.  This mindset is definitely part of the anxiety problem.

Does this sound familiar to you or anybody you know, lead, or coach?

While at our national sales meeting in Miami a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Grant lecture in person on this topic.  My pen and note taking skills were working overtime!  I was soaking in her insights and felt like she was talking about me and my former self.

The goal, she says is to have a "Get Better" mindset (Stanford's Dr. Carol Dweck calls it a "Growth" mindset, which if you have followed this blog, you have heard me mention this before).  Instead of focusing on PROVING yourself, try to focus on IMPROVING yourself.  We all are a work in progress and no one is perfect.  Fear of failure is the enemy to creativity and performing at your matter the, socially, athletically, etc.  When your thought process is all about PROGRESS not PERFECTION, what happens is powerful, you will start to perform better.

The best operate with this philosophy...they are not defined by their failure.  What do you think Tom Brady was thinking after he threw that pick 6 and was down 25 points in the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl?  The reason why he is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is that he learns from his mistakes; he uses them to grow; and he expects the best is yet to come.  Other people's opinion's don't matter, just his own and those in his locker room.  Brady fails, thus he succeeds  He succeeds, because he fails.

The Patriots are the personification of PASSION meets PERSEVERANCE.
Most of the entire New England Patriot's roster is full of rejects, misfits, and "failures" who are filled with GRIT.  Someone needs to do a deep study on their model because 7 Super Bowls and 5 rings tells me that Belichick and Brady have this "Get Better" Mindset down to a science.  This example should give you hope that if at first you don't succeed, keep grinding, keep pushing, keep competing, and your day will come...

You are not defined by your failure, 
but how you react and grow from it!

Newly hired Minnesota Gopher Football Coach, PJ Fleck, has mentioned multiple times that he recruits kids that have failed.  He looks for coaches who have failed.  He focuses his whole program around surrounding himself, his staff, and players with individuals who have failed and have GRIT - passion and perseverance.  Talent does not beat skill.  Talent might pass the eye test and win early, but skill is something that is developed over time.  With an insane work ethic, and a thirst to win the war, not just the battle, you will improve your Grit, thus improve your likelihood to achieve your long term goals.

The Mount Rushmore of Performance Psychologists and my their books! 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverence, by Angela Duckworth
9 Things Successful People Do Differently, by Heidi Grant
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

Penn's Angela Duckworth, studied and wrote a book about Grit and the power of passion and perseverance.  Many prominent leaders in business and sports are trying to tap in this new science of understanding grit and how to identify it and coach it.  Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has even brought Duckworth into to speak to his team to change their lens on failure and persevering.

Grant, Duckworth, and Dweck agree...find individuals that have grit, and you'll build a winning culture and team.  This mindset retools how we look at failure.

The statement, "I'm not good," should not be in your vocabulary.  Instead, you should say, "I'm not there yet."  

This philosophy will help lower some of that anxiety.  The threat of a loss will soon lose its crippling power.  When you approach competition and life with a "Get Better" or "Growth" mindset, this approach turns failure into a stepping stone for improvement, instead of being a road block.

Here are some tips to lower anxiety and improve performance with a healthy mindset:
Leaders, Teachers, Coaches, and Parents:

  • Reward the right thing: effort, unselfishness, and perseverance instead of outcomes only
  • Institute the 5-Minute Rule...before any coaching, teaching, or feedback takes place; check in with others on a human level for 5 minutes.  Let them feel that you value them as a person, not just as a cog in the big machine that serves you 
  • When giving feedback, make it more process driven versus result driven (for example a player misses a shot, instead of saying, "Make the shot!" Say, "Balance your feet first, then shoot!  You got this!")

Individuals in Non Supervisor, Manager, or Coaching roles:

  • Develop daily routines - mentally and physically - create your "process"
  • Have multiple level goals all funneling into the same BIG end goal (this will keep you on your path)
  • View yourself as a "work in progress," Rome wasn't built in a day and nor are you
  • Seek self-love outside of one area of your life (you are more than just a sales rep, an athlete, insurance agent, car salesman etc.)
  • Know that you are not perfect (no one is) and use failure to build your knowledge and skill sets
If you take the advice above, you'll be well on your way to being the best version of you. 

I can't wait to apply these tactics next week at my wide receiver's practice.  With my "Get Better" mindset and going all-in on believing and demonstrating GRIT, I'm confident my walk back to my car after a session of competing in one-one-one drills, I'll have my chest out; I'll be walking with swag feeling the wind at my back (healthy mindset) instead of it pushing me back (unhealthy mindset).  I'll keep you posted!  In the meantime, check out this 6 minute video of Dr. Duckworth talking about GRIT.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Project Rise Podcast Episode 1: Brian Hopper

This has been a long time coming.  I've wanted to do a podcast for a while now and I'm pumped to finally have completed my first one!  The premise of the show is to interview ORDINARY PEOPLE DOING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.  I want to learn the strategies, patterns, and habits of people who might not be making the headlines, but are thriving and making  a difference for others.  I have a list of people that I'm excited to share their stories with you.

Because for me...I get more motivation when someone I know, went to school with, or is from my community is dominating...personally and professionally.  That pushes me and gives me the confidence to say, "I can do it too!"  I hope this show will do that for you as well.

Let me say that this is a learning experience and I definitely have a ways to go until this show is racking up listeners on iTunes, but I've shifted my mindset away from perfection and making my creative outlets (blog, videos, and now podcasts) all about connection.

In everything you do.

Is my mic the best? No.  Do I have a perfect interview style?  No.  Is my editing off the charts good?  No.  BUT SO WHAT!  It's all about content and I'll get better in all of those areas over time.

B. Hop and I in his amazing Kirkland office

With that said...I'm excited to introduce you to my first guest on the Project Rise Podcast...Brian Hopper (or B. Hop as I like to call him).  Brain and his wife Nicole founded Hopper Group Real Estate several years ago (check their link out HERE).  To say that Brian and his team are CRUSHING it would be an understatement.  Their personalized, all about the small things, and detailed approach have separated their services from the pack and into a whole new level of buying and selling dream homes for people.

Brian's story will give you the push you might need to finally take the steps necessary to finally pursue your passion.  He also gives great wisdom on finding balance in your life aside from the daily hustle of being a successful entrepreneur.  Take a listen and share it with a friend.  I hope you enjoy and MAKE TODAY THE DAY, WHERE YOU BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOU!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Project Rise SPOTLIGHT: Dabo Swinney

"We won because of LOVE!"
-Dabo Sweeney

Project Rise SPOTLIGHT: Dabo Swinney
What if you made the emotion of LOVE a competitive advantage?  Well, that is what the leader of the Clemson Tiger's and 2017 National Champions did.  As a young boy, Dabo Swinney received his name from his brother who while trying to say "Dat boy," created "Dabo."  Coach Swinney is a breathe of fresh air and has modeled a leadership style and culture within his program that has drawn me into studying his methodology.

Dabo and I have two things in common: 1. We both share the middle name Christopher (his birth first name is William), and 2. We both have the same word of the year (I had no idea about this until his post game speech with Sam Ponder that rocked me): LOVE.

With not much time on the clock and trailing Alabama, Dabo gave some bone chilling advice on how to be clutch:

"Let the light inside you shine brighter than the light that's on you."

Many leaders and coaches believe they need to motivate by fear.  I believe that discipline, hard work, and accountability are definitely needed - but what if we switch up the phrase "tough love" and instead "love tough?"  Dabo has modeled that his entire career.

There is a reason why Dabo is one of the top recruiters in the nation: LOVE for people.

There is a reason he walked on at Alabama and earned a scholarship: LOVE to compete.

There is a reason that after taking a few years off of coaching to sell real estate, he didn't give up his dream of being a head coach: LOVE of the game.

There is a reason he has won Coach of the Year in the ACC and Nationally: LOVE to lead.

Here are my 4 Pillars of Being a LOVING Leader and creating a winning team culture...inspired by Dabo:

  1. Energy - loving energy is contagious.
  2. Vulnerability - take ego out of the equation and big things will happen.
  3. Sacrifice - imagine how far we can go if no one cares who gets the credit?
  4. Trust - we are stronger together - do your job and trust your teammate will do theirs.
How can you incorporate more LOVE into your home, workplace, or team?  Love is the most powerful emotion one can feel and give to others.  Like Dabo displayed, love might be the missing link to creating the environment or outcomes you have been looking for. 

Because in the end, love is as much a choice, as it is a feeling. 

If you didn't see Dabo's post game interview moments after winning the National Championship vs. his alma mater Alabama on the final's one for the ages and a must see.  Oh, and one final thing...I LOVE you guys!