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Post #6 Tools, Tips, Tricks -- What If Today Was Your Last

I had the privilege on interviewing Klyn Elsbury on The Nice Guys podcast this week. Klyn is a survivor, a thriver and a champion entrepreneur that lives with cystic fibrosis. "We all need to be survivors. For everybody that has had that moment in their life where they don't know if they can continue. It might not be a hospital bed, it might not be corporate America. It can be a divorce or it can be a business, it can be watching their children suffer. You just don't know if you want to wake up the next morning. It's that inner voice that tells you, you can do it. It's about finding the inspiration and the everyday attitude that you have (to move forward)." Klyn provided this week's tool, tip and trick. 

Tool - Time is the one thing we can not ever get back. Get Buffer -- "Without buffer, I would be wasting so much of my time. And I live every day like today was my last." Buffer is a way to manage your time spent on social media. Any post that you want to share, Buffer manages those posts and distributes them for you at the best possible time of day. Bottom line, you fill Buffer up and it will keep your feed active and sharing your content and the content of those you respect all day long.

Tip - Engage. "Find the most successful person you know, or the type of person you want to be like, or the entrepreneur you really look up to...get on social media, contact them."  I couldn't agree more. Social media brings us closer than ever to the "rock stars" in our industries. Reach out, connect and engage. They want to help you.

Trick - "I Am _____."  Write on a sheet of paper every morning the words, I am (blank). Who do you need to be to get what needs to be done, done? Get yourself in the right frame of mind by filling in the blank. Examine your schedule for the day and use the events in your day to determine who you need to be today. Share your "I am" messages with yourself throughout your day. "Use it as your mantra to get through all of your challenging moments of the day."

To hear more of my interview with Klyn Elsbury,  subscribe to The Nice Guys podcast. Klyn's episode will automatically download to your phone on air date. Klyn's book "I Am ____:" is available on Amazon.com



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.



Gary Vaynerchuk, The People's Entrepreneur. Interviewed

Gary Vaynerchuk is arguably one of the most successful social entrepreneurs of our digital age. At 41 years old, he has done many things in his professional life that most will never accomplish. He aspires to buy the New York Jets one day, and I bet that goal will come true. He has legions of fanatics, followers and supporters that hang on his every word, tweet, post and vlog.

Often dressed in a hoodie and jeans, he is far from traditional in everything he does. His language, a bit rough around the edge does not reflect the soft edge compassionate and empathetic family man and partner Gary Vee really is. His client list from the full service digital agency he runs, VaynerMedia reads like a who's who of big time Fortune 500 companies. I had a few minutes with Gary as he called me from the road, between a fully packed schedule of meetings, calls and interviews. For the record, he was right on time:

Doug - Do you believe in people from the word “GO” or are you a prove it to me guy?

Gary - Normally from the word go if my intuition says go for it and I am more of a, you lose respect if you don’t do it. From me, you don’t have to earn it. I am much more comfortable and optimistic of where a person is and where they are going, so I am far more believing in people from the word go and then let them prove to me that I was wrong. The truth is I have lost and won that game many times. I think many people who are not optimistic have taken themselves out of potentially fruitful relationships, because they are picky and have too much ego. Who the hell are you, who the fuck are you, that the person has to prove it to you?

When I compete and am building businesses, I want to win, at all costs as long as it’s done the honorable way.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Doug - Gary, has it been like that for you from the beginning or has it evolved over the years?

Gary - I think I am pulling from both sides. Whoever is the athlete of today, when he is on the court and he is the biggest killer when he is on the ice or the court or the field and then as soon as it’s over, will come and babysit your family, that’s who I am. I want to put everybody out of business. I want to win. But do I really want to put them out of business? Of course not, I don’t want people to have pain in real life. When I compete and am building businesses, I want to win, at all costs as long as it’s done the honorable way.

Doug - We all have tapes playing in our head and the tapes tell you to stay down, don’t even fucking try it. How do you stop the tapes from playing in your head?

Gary - You know what, I am a real practical guy. I don’t think it is practical for you to worry about what your parents or your girlfriend or the press or anonymous people are saying. I don’t think it is a smart way to run your life. I hear everybody but I listen to nobody. I respect everybody’s opinion but I just want to go down fighting for the shit that I believe in. I know who I am, I know what I believe in. I know my intent is good. So, (the word) "no" has been drowned out over the last 30 years through good old fashion focus on what I am good at.

I hear everybody but I listen to nobody. I respect everybody’s opinion but I just want to go down fighting for the shit that I believe in.
— Gary Vaynerchuk

Doug - We are raising kids in an everybody wins (and gets a trophy) environment, which is total bullshit. Can you comment about only giving trophies to first place but supporting the strengths of people even when they fuck up?

Gary - Fucking up is not the same as losing. I would call someone coming in second place as not good enough, but it’s not fucking up. To me, it’s very easy to give trophies only to the winner, while still supporting people. You put things into context. You’re not going to be the prettiest, the fastest, the strongest. You need to focus on what you are best at and do as much of that as possible, even if... look,  being a businessman is the thing I decided I was going to be best at. I may not become the ultimate, most successful businessman of all time, but I am surely glad I decided to be a businessman versus a surfer or a cook or a mechanic because this is what comes natural to me and what I love the most.

Tune in to The Nice Guys on Business Podcast for the rest of the interview. Gary answers these questions and more:

  • Gary, what do you suck at?

  • What is the best way to get new customers?

  • How important is body language and how can you hear what people are saying?

The Nice Guys on Business Podcast - subscribe today #iTunes



The Making of an Expert. 7 Ways to Upping Your Value in 2017

How great would it be to be the go-to expert in your field? Admired, applauded and noted as the best of the best. The press calls you when they need a quote from an expert in your industry. You’re so good at what you do, when there is a search of keywords within your expertise, your name and your work are prominently displayed on Google, for all to see. The premiere position, leader and number one reference is YOU. Do you think there is value in being an expert? Absolutely!  If time, patience and consistency are a part of your endgame, you will succeed at becoming an expert in your industry, profession or position.

There is huge value in becoming an expert. You will command attention, earn more money and win the admiration of those around you. Sounds like a pretty good gig. Here are 7 ways  to propel yourself to expert status. I would encourage you to dig in quickly with a good mix of each area below.  Start making your mark right now and watch how life will change for you in the upcoming months and years.

Pick a Lane

When I first started my speaking career, the best piece of advice I got from my speaking coach, Jane Atkinson was to pick a lane. In other words, pick a subject, a message, and a direction with pinpoint accuracy; be as specific as possible. In what subject or industry would you like to be an expert? Write it down, and again, be as specific as possible and be committed to it. If it does not excite you, drop it and move on to another area. If this is not an zone where you can see yourself spending a part of your career talking about, working in and being called upon to share your story, you are going to have an unhappy time building your business. However, this is not a life sentence, nor does this mean things can’t change. Things always evolve and change, but start with something you love, it will make becoming an expert so much more fulfilling.

Write everywhere and anywhere you can on your specific expertise.

Blog, Write and Publish

The rubber hits the road here, because you actually have to do something to become an expert. Start writing. If you don’t already have a website specific to your expertise, it’s time to take action. Wordpress is a solid platform that can host your blog. It only takes a few minutes to set up and once you do, it will be a great placeholder for your content. Wordpress is categorized as a content management system. You can do audio, video, social posting, traditional written word posting and more directly from your Wordpress site. In addition to posting on your own site, take advantage of social sites like LinkedIn’s posting platform, private website guest posting and reputation boosting opportunities like Huffington Post, Fortune, Inc., etc. Write everywhere and anywhere you can on your specific expertise. One additional idea that has worked very well for me -- Take time to write a short ebook, quote other industry experts, and share the ebook with their network as well. This little “trick” has added mileage to help me with SEO, getting noticed by other industry experts and building my network.

Network and Association

You are the sum of the people that you meet, the experiences in your life and the decisions you make. I truly feel like the people you associate with can make or break your reputation and will determine what type of person you become. When you associate with others reputable experts in your industry and you are consistent with your actions (in a positive way), you will develop a great reputation. The key word is consistency. You want to create a stellar reputation as someone that returns calls, responds to emails and messages, tells the truth and is consistently on time for meetings. You want to be approachable, willing to help and likable. Can you become an expert without being all of these things? Maybe. But you are generously shortening the curve when you are honest, trustworthy, dependable, reliable and grateful with others in your network. Sounds like a winning formula for success regardless of your expertise.

The key word is consistency. You want to create a stellar reputation as someone that returns calls, responds to emails and messages, tells the truth and is consistently on time for meetings.

Social Engagement

The key to being successful on social media is understanding engagement is your best tool. Building a Twitter following of tens of thousands of followers but failing to engage is like trying to start a fire with wet wood. Engage on social, communicate with your network and share their wins and victories as well. No matter the social channel you use, make sure that it is a channel likely to be used by others in your industry. If you want to be an expert in a highly visible, artistic industry like wedding planning, for example, if you are not taking advantage of social channels like Instagram or Pinterest, you are likely to be missing out. As the expert, wherever your market is, that’s where you need to be as well. Share your content, share other’s content and engage your network, one at a time, the old fashion way. It’s called social media for a reason, be social. Stop broadcasting your message, stop selling and provide valuable education and information, void of advertisements. Prove to your network why they should want to use you as the go to source for information.

Podcast Exposure

Since 2014, I have hosted a podcast, The Nice Guys on Business Podcast. For nearly 300 episodes I have interview experts in dozens of fields ranging from advertising, politics, business, wellness and more. These experts have come on my podcast to share their message with my audience. The benefit of coming on my podcast is exposure to thousands of people outside their network. My benefit, I’ve shared with my audience hundreds of new perspectives on how to be successful in business. Win-win. Podcast hosts are looking for people to interview. Do a Google search of podcasts in your industry and reach out directly to the hosts of the show requesting an interview. If you don’t have time, hire a podcast placement company like Interview Valet or Interview Connections. Both are experts in the field of podcast guest placement.

Your message needs to be heard, in your voice. Share what you know with anyone and everyone willing to listen.

Speak to Educate

Your message needs to be heard, in your voice. Share what you know with anyone and everyone willing to listen. In the beginning of my speaking career,  I can recall several “speaking engagements” I was fortunate to get, where the audience consisted of a handful of people (or less). If you want to share your message and you want to become an expert, consider any speaking opportunity to practice, a great one. Very rarely would one start by speaking to a roomful of hundreds of people. If professional speaking (getting paid to speak within your expertise) is your goal, practice everywhere you can, no matter the audience size. Have a solid message, share valuable lessons with your audience and be relatable. This is not a time to sell, this is an opportunity to share your message.

Mentor to Give Back

Give back to the community that helps build you. Share your message, your insight and your valuable information with those following you. Look for those that are in need of help and provide assistance without any expectation of return. When you teach others on your way up, many will remember your kindness and generosity. Even when you don’t feel like you are an expert, there are others looking up to you because you are further along in your journey than they are. Help them along the way, assist then to get to where you are and they will share your lessons, victories, struggles and wins with others as well. You are educating the next tier of experts, which in turn, will help elevate you as well.

When you become an expert in your field life gets very exciting. Opportunities open to you that you have previously only dreamed of. Being an expert is a life changing position, one that you will be passionate about. Your experience will take you well beyond average, you will be highly skilled, focused and at the peak of your game. It all starts by taking simple action steps. Expert status is within reach, it’s up to you to take the first step. Make 2017 a great year, make it the year of the expert and up your value.



How to S.T.O.P. Stress Right Now

The next time stress clouds your thinking, heightens your anxiety and has you feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, relief can be an instant away. All that is needed is a bit of space between you and the cause of your stress. These exercises, called nano-therapy, can be done in the middle of your stressful situation, in a meeting, in a crowded space or while you are alone. These action steps will help create a buffer. If you can remember the acronym S.T.O.P., you can ease the moment and and help break the grip of stress.

Smile - Research shows that smiling, even a forced or fake smile, relieves stress. The relationship between body and brain provides evidence when you smile first the brain will follow. Take it one step beyond a smile and laugh at the stressful situation. Laughter increases your heart rate, releases endorphins (natural pain relievers), and has been proven to lead to reductions in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine.  Laughter Therapy

Touch - The magic of being grounded. When feeling stressed, focus for a moment of your feet touching the ground, your body secure, engaged and alive. Being a part of the earth, deepening your roots and feeling a part of the universe has the power to reduce your stress levels. Focus first on your feet touching the ground, your legs connected to your feet and your body stable, sound and rooted. Grounding Yourself

One Breath - No matter where you are, you always have your breath. Take a deep breath and focus on where you feel your breath. Is it in your nose, your mouth, your throat or your chest? As you breath in, think only of they air moving into and out of your body. In addition to reducing stress, scientific studies show taking a deep breath has positive affects on the heart, brain, digestion and immune system.  Breathing

Present - Keep your thoughts in the present moment. Do not dwell on the mistakes you feel you have made in the past; there is nothing you can do to change the past. Stop worrying about the future, you can only live in the present moment; you cannot live in the future. Stress is often caused when you worry about events, past and future, while taking no time to live life fully now. When you live in the present moment, you are provided the opportunity to savor the joys and pleasures life has to offer, right now. The added layer of worrying about the past or future creates another dimension to stress, giving it additional power over you. Stop the cycle and stay in the present moment. The Art of Now

I was reminded of this powerful set of techniques and tools by the creators of the meditation app Buddhify.  Whenever I am faced with a particularly stressful or challenging situation in my life, I have found a tremendous amount of power and relief from a few minutes of meditation. For me, meditation is an incredible way to start and end my day. I would be happy to share any comments you have about reducing stress in your life and would love to share your approach to stress relief with our Nice Guy community. Please add your comments below.