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Post #4 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Buddha's Diet

Today's tool, tip and trick have been inspired by Dan Zigmond, co-author of Buddha's Diet, The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind. I bet you didn't know that Buddha was a skinny guy. Although thin, he tried dieting and didn't like it any more than you do. The instructions he gave his monks over 2,000 years ago were fairly simple and are shared below with a somewhat modern spin. 

Tool: Zero -- Fasting Tracker (before fasting, always consult your doctor). Research shows that it is not just what you eat, but when you eat that is important. Zero, available in the iTunes app store, is an app designed to help you fast. Far different, and much healthier, than starving yourself, intermittent fasting helps you lose weight, decreases risk of certain types of cancer, improves sleep, regulates blood sugar levels, systemic inflammation and regulates aging biomarkers. Check out Zero for more specifics.

Tip: Replace mindless eating with mindful eating -- Many of us mindlessly eat during the day, having breakfast on the go, eating lunch at our desk and driving through fast food with the kids for dinner. All of this, so we can manage our time, keep up with our responsibilities and fill the void in our tummies. If we focus on how we eat, and what we are eating, we will eat slower, eat less and eat healthier.

Trick: Limit eating to a 12 hour window.  Modern times have greatly outpaced our "lizard" bodies. Although our hearts, lungs and many other organs are designed to work 24 hours a day, our metabolism is just not designed to keep that pace. Modern food engineering, just the opposite, is designed to make us want more, more, more. We run our metabolism hard and it affects our weight, health and chemistry.  Although Buddha lived before the age of french fries, doughnuts and potato chips, his teachings helped many people live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life, providing lessons and wisdom many centuries old. Regarding eating, he was specific about his rules of "untimely eating." Buddha cared less about what his monk ate, and more about when they ate it. If you limit your eating to 12 hours and strictly follow this rule you will take much of your "after hours" snacking out of your life. 

If you want to hear more from Dan Zigmond book plus fascinating information about his position as Facebook's Director of Analytics, I interview him on The Nice Guys on Business podcast. The interview is airing soon. For an automatic download of Dan's interview and notification when it comes out, subscribe to The Nice Guys today.

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Post #3 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Google Alerts, Time Management, Found Savings

Tool: Google Alerts. If you want to own your brand and see what the world is saying about you, sign up for Google Alerts. Google will automatically send you an email whenever there are new results for your search. It's also great if you are keeping tabs on news in your industry, news or information about your competition or to stay current with anything else. Although Google walks you through the process step by step, Lifewire can help you here as well.

Tip: Manage Energy, Not Time. If you are like most people today, much of your day is spent in front of the computer. Regardless of the type of work you do, your energy level can drop considerably as your day goes on. Instead of managing your work day by looking at the clock, manage your energy level instead by listening to your body. For example, my brain slows considerably approximately 3pm. I used to fight off the urge to and push through it, getting my work done. For me, I discovered if I take a 15-20 minute break (nap, walk, yoga) instead of downing a cup of coffee, sugary soda or energy drink, I can return to work refreshed, awake and productive, without feeling sluggish later on. Check out this tip and many more at Entrepreneur.com

Trick: Forced Savings, Made Easy. With every deposit you make in the bank, set aside 3-5% (or more) right off the top. Open an account at the same bank and call it your Profit First account. You will never miss the money, it's a small enough that I don't feel it, but big enough to make a dent in any special purchases I want to make down the road. Next month it will 100% finance a great vacation, guilt free! I learned this trick, and other money savings tactics from Mike Michalowicz. Mike was a guest on my Nice Guys on Business podcast (episode #203) several months ago. Mike's advice and more practical tips for building profit are available on his website.

Invest in as much of yourself as you can. You are your own biggest asset by far.
— Warren Buffett

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Post #2 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Elevator Speech, You Time, Networking

Tool: Building your elevator speech does not have to be challenging and the end result does not have to be canned. I recently had Fred Miller on my podcast discussing a No Sweat Elevator Speech and Fred shared an easy to follow elevator speech making template. Click here for a free download of the template.

Tip: Scheduling YOU time is one of the most effective ways to build productivity into your day. For the next 2 days, during your normal work day, add 2 slots of 15 minutes into each day, labeled YOU time. Ground rule: You cannot use this time to work, use technology or multi-task. Walking, napping, exercising, laughing and reading are completely acceptable activities. By adding YOU time to your schedule, you will become more productive, less tired, more patient with the people in your life, and begin to lead a more balanced life, 15 minutes at a time. Next week, see if you can expand to 5 days, adding YOU time to your schedule.

Trick: Networking made easier. If you are like most people, you do not like networking events. I used to find the time I spent networking unproductive. I never knew what to say or what to ask people I met, trying to be spontaneous but at the same time, trying to structured in what I said and did to make the most of this incredibly painful time. Next time, start out your conversations this way. When you approach someone say, "I'm not of fan of networking, can I ask you a question? When you come to events like this, what is your goal?" I think this sets the tone for a conversation that is genuine, open and honest. I have found conversations that begin this way have led to some great discussions about human behavior, personalities and eventually business as well. Build a relationship, the business will come.

People often complain about a lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.
— Zig Ziglar

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What is Your Do-Over Moment?

do-over-moment

If you could go back in time and rewrite your history for just one moment, precisely just one decision, what would it be? As kids playing games, we'd always yell, "Do-over!" when the desired outcome was not quite up to par or when something unexpected skewed results.  So what is your do-over moment? 

Let's establish a ground rule before the onset of determining your do-over moment. Armed with the outcome and knowledge of future events you cannot alter anything but your decision. Simply put, you can only check or uncheck a yes/no box or a do/don't do decision. For example, you cannot pick the winning lottery numbers, but you can decide to play or not play the lottery. But you could go back and decide not to accept a job offer, a marriage proposal or the keys to a car fated to have an accident.

Understanding your do-over moment can help you write a better future from this moment moving forward.

This is not an exercise in futility. Understanding your do-over moment can help you write a better future from this moment moving forward. It's never too late to take action. While we cannot change the past, understanding the consequences of the decisions we have made helps us build better decision making muscle moving forward. 

This exercise also helps you realize the fragile nature of life. Even small decisions can have enormous impact, and that "what ifs" won't create a life of regret, but rather, just the opposite, it will help us understand our huge potential. Go ahead, what is your do-over moment? Share it in the comments below.

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10 Ways To Know If You Have A Winning Job

As seen on HuffPost Career section Jan 2nd, 2017

A good job is hard to come by. A great job is even harder to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization. When you have a winning job your purpose becomes a lot more clear, and you have far more responsibility than punching a clock, following a set of procedures and collecting a paycheck. 

The average person will go through five or more of career changes in their lifetime, and even more individual jobs. Some will be an ugly fit, many of them will be average, and if you are lucky one of them will be the perfect fit for you. 

Finding the perfect match will require patience, hard work and effort. Often, it's a job just to find the perfect job, but when you do, the job will grow, change and mold as much to you as you do to it.

Here are 10 ways to know you have a winning job:

1. You are challenged. When you are challenged, you stay interested and rarely become bored. In theory, getting paid to do an easy job might seem like a nice idea, but challenging jobs keep you sharp, help stretch you to your full potential and help you to become a more confident person.

2. You are empowered.  When you are empowered, you become a more creative problem solver, the quality of the work you do improves and your sense of ownership is increased. You feel like you are part of team, working in unison with others. Not only are you winning but your organization's customers are winning as well. When you are empowered, everybody wins.

A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave.

3. You are rewarded for your creativity. Outside the box thinkers should be rewarded for their creativity. When you display creativity,  you have a vested interest in helping to create new systems and solving problems. When you are creative you have a voice and are encouraged to participate. The reward does not necessarily need to be financial, but rather, just the fact that you are being recognized for your creativity is often times enough to make you feel like you are winning on the job.

4. You are compensated and recognized based upon your performance. Hard work should be noticed and although it's wonderful to feel like you are a part of the team, nothing beats a pat on the back, genuine gratitude and/or compensation for extra effort. That doesn't mean you should be expecting a bonus every time you burn the midnight oil or chip in to do an extra project. Having a winning job means your employer is aware and gives you two thumbs up for a job well done.

5. Your time is your own. Technology is on your side today and often times it's just as easy to do your job from somewhere other than at your desk. A winning job allows you some flexibility where, when and how you get your job done. If this is important to you, set a clear line of expectations with your employer so that you have flexibility on your side.

A winning job allows you flexibility where, when and how you get your job done.

6. You are appreciated for both your efforts and your results. It's not just what you do, but how you do it, and if you have a winning job you are appreciated for not only the results but the methods by which you accomplish your job as well. 

7. Mistakes are not your enemy, but rather, a mark of growth. Mistakes are bound to happen, it's what comes next that really counts. When you have a winning job, you are not admonished when you make a mistake, but rather, encouraged to help resolve the problem and develop new solutions. If you are encouraged to learn from the lessons learned from your mistake, you have a winning job.

8. You are part of a team that values, appreciates and acknowledges you.  The sum is greater than the parts, and being on a team that is properly managed, will help bring out your strengths and allow you to become a more effective employee. When your team appreciates and acknowledges you, you will want to work harder, do a better job and feel more fulfilled.

A great job is hard to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization.

9. Communication is two way, not one. Winning jobs provide an opportunity to have an open, honest conversation with your employer, without fear of losing your job or negative consequences. Job satisfaction increases when you know you are being heard. 

10. You have the freedom to leave anytime, but don't want to. A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave. 

In order for employers that create a winning job, they not only have to understand and work towards the goals of the organization, but they must take into account the goals of its employees as well, cultivating the whole person. Employers that understand their employees have lives outside the company truly have the opportunity to create winning jobs.

In the end, winning jobs create employees that want the best for the organization and its customers, a win for everyone involved.

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