Last week I was sitting in the library I heard an eerie sound. The sound caused me to stop reading - reflect on where I was, and think about where I was going. It’s a sound we all hear every day but mostly we are oblivious to it. It was the sound of the second hand working it’s way around a clock.
Have you ever just stopped and stared at a ticking clock and noticed the secondhand ticking by? Sit quietly in front of a clock and watch the numbers tick over, the hand go around the face of a clock. Or, go outside and watch how quickly the sun moves from the east to the west. I remember being in Maui sitting on the beach at sunset. What started as an empty beach, suddenly filled with locals. They came from everywhere. They came to watch and celebrate the setting of the sun. It sets so fast once it gets near the horizon. As it crested the horizon and disappeared for the day people applauded. Perhaps some of them were reflecting on their day - and thinking 'have I made it a great day?'
The second you just watched on the clock you’ll never get back again. It’s gone… finished …. disappeared forever. We’re so busy taking care of the next thing we quite often don’t stare at the clock and contemplate the fact that we let that second, that minute, that hour getaway from us without an appreciation, contribution, or a feeling in our own hearts and minds that that was time well spent. Was that time well spent?
As the sun sets this afternoon look to the west and think was that a day well spent?
We all carry worries, troubles and Mojo stealing thoughts throughout our day. Quite often we are focused on what might happen or what's happened in the past and we completely fail to enjoy this exact present moment. Most of us are guilty of this at some point in our day. Have you ever sat there and had your mind hijacked by troubling thoughts of something that might have happened some time ago, and it’s actually stealing the Mojo from the moment right now? Maybe it was something that could happen, could be said, or could eventuate in the future but you worry about it now.
I heard a meditation teacher speak recently of this challenge. He said to think about this very moment that you are in, does what is troubling you or stealing your Mojo from the past or the future affect you right now. Right this minute? I’ve been playing with this technique over the last couple of weeks I find it terribly powerful.
Stop immediately and think, right here right now, is anything I'm thinking about effect me at this moment?
I can't explain why it works but it does. It brings a certain amount of calm, clarity and peacefulness to the exact moment you’re in. There's always a lot written about advice to live in the moment. I’ve been exploring this for the last year on the Mojo Radio Show - of finding tangible tools you can use to be in this moment.
As a parent if you're with your children tonight hug them, feel the hug, close your eyes and think ….right now is there anything that I'm thinking of more important than this hug.
If you meet a friend and you embrace, shake their hand, look them in the eye, just for a second and think ….is anything in the past and the future more important right now than what I am currently doing?
If you have trouble sleeping it's also a wonderful tool to help you get to sleep in that the things from the past or the things in the future cannot in any way impact your falling asleep on the pillow at night. Give it a Try!
Last weekend I was sent a message by one of our readers suggesting I watch a movie called Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Netflix. The movie is about a famous sushi restaurant in Japan. It is said to be one of the greatest sushi restaurants in the country and hailed by critics as being the finest. However what was intriguing about the documentary was a comment made by Jiro himself about how his food was anything but complex or complicated. He said “ultimate simplicity leads to purity”.
I have always been a fan of purity in business and particularly in the world of marketing and brand. Simple, clean messages, systems and processes that deliver what you promise to your customer or client.
My challenge for this week is to look at any system or process in your company and work out how you can simplify it, to move you towards the purity of outstanding customer service, clean brand messaging, and delivery of your promise with no compromise.
Look at your own day, your habits, or your rituals and make one step towards simplifying any of those areas to move you towards purity of thought. The last thing a master learns is simplicity.
Looking for your Side HustleSide hustle has become a part of the entrepreneurial vocabulary. It's where you have a full-time job and you start a part-time hustle on the side. There is a lot being written now about the importance of having a safety net if you are deciding to take your passion and make it into a business.
There are different approaches one can take. Some say go for it, be all in, and have no fallback plan. “If you have a fallback plan, then you're planning to fall back”.
The other train of thought is to have a job, start something on the side, do all the prep, gain some momentum, build a client base, before you go all in.
Both approaches have their pros and cons. One thing however, that is common, is that most new business today comes from solving a problem that you have for yourself, your friends like it and buy into it, and then you take it to market. A great example of this is the Jack and Ollie store which was started by a Mum, who like every other Mum, found it inconvenient to go from the highchair to the kitchen every time something was needed when feeding a baby. Why is there not a carryall that I could throw over my highchair that carries everything in one place….and so the business was built.
This is a great example of starting either a business or a side hustle by solving your own problem first. It’s about having the curiosity when faced with problems to say …has anybody else tried to fix this problem? If no, then get after it. If yes, have they done a great job on it and does it truly fix your problem?
Last year I was fortunate enough to spend time with some of the greatest modern day minds on the planet: Tim Ferris, Brian Grazer, James Altucher, Elon Musk, Angela Duckworth, Derek Sivers, Josh Waitzkin, Craig Balentine and so the list goes on. I was fortunate to spend time with people who are at the top of their game and making change in people's lives or the world. How did I do it? Podcasts, books, blogs, and videos put out by people who spend their time deep diving into performance, productivity, health, wealth and happiness. The traces of success are left in the foot prints of others. These people that I spend time with are relentless in their search for clues that we can take on board, ponder, and in some cases, mimic - however there is some advice we can delete from the desktop.
When you think about it this way, it makes even more sense to learn from people who are at the top of their game. My point is that there is so much gold to be found, the question is - will you spend time with people like these, or instead, is your day filled with activity and people who don't take you toward your dreams and aspirations.
Audit your day and work out where and how you can spend time with the world's best. Be brutal with your time as it is your most valuable resource. One call from a doctor and your most valuable resource can be taken from you. Use it wisely.
If the world's best are not adding value or entertaining you, then finish the conversation, delete the blog, video, podcast or take the book back to the library, and move on to your next conversation. I promise you spending 20 minutes a day with the world’s best will change your world. © GB
A company should not manage its own brand by committee. It just doesn't work. Why? Generally you will find that many committees are made up of people with no skill or background in marketing, brand or positioning. They all have an opinion; they all want to offer advice, and what you end up with is:
- Action with no strategy
- No true direction
- No consistent brand tone, clarity or succinct messaging.
Somebody has to own and take responsibility for the brand. This must be somebody who truly understands how marketing and brand works and not just somebody who's read a book about it. Mark Twain once said “If you hold a cat by the tail, you learn things that cannot be learned in any other way.”
Sure you can take input from a variety of sources but ultimately the decision should lie with one single person who truly understands your brand, can see where it's going, what needs to be done and has a solid understanding of how this world of marketing warfare is conducted. They have to understand the rules of engagement.
Too often senior executives sit on committees that are making decisions on the direction and strategy for one of your most valuable assets, your brand, and they would be better off focusing on their own actual strengths that tend to lie elsewhere.“A camel is a horse put together by a committee”.
Why do so many leaders undervalue curiosity? I recently met a chairman of the company who clearly undervalued curiosity, having people around who would challenge the direction of the company, the strategy, and the value placed on the brand. Many leaders feel threatened by people who will not accept the first idea put forward (often their idea), but instead should entertain or ask questions to ensure that the best opportunity is presented for now and into the future. As we leap into 2017, curiosity is one of the great attributes that any leader can foster.
Over the Christmas break I read a terrific book that I highly recommend called A Curious Mind by Hollywood film producer Brian Grazer. It’s a story about Brian’s restless, relentless, and remarkable imagination driven by questions. This book shows you how questions can change not only your life, but also the life of others. Brian Grazer is a super successful movie producer with credits like A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Splash, 8 Mile, and a host of other Academy award nominated films. This is a great book that reminds us that curiosity cures complacency and breaks familiarity.
Don’t be threatened by people who challenge, question, or are curious about the business if it’s coming from the right place, as this surely is where the next great idea can be unlocked.
I watched a member of the audience reply to a keynote speaker “I enjoyed your speech but to be honest, and not to be disrespectful, but there was nothing that I had not heard before”.
This guy was overweight, looking tired, had no clear direction for his business and was struggling to make the next sale. Yet all the instruction giving by the keynote speaker would have made a difference. This guy knew it, but was just not doing anything about it.
I heard it said recently that 'Motivation is not your friend, it goes away. It's discipline and hard work that wins the day'.
My immediate reaction to this guy was, although you know may know it, what you lack is the discipline to do it… to get it done. The discipline to plan your priorities for the following day. The discipline to not eat the lollies on the boardroom table. The discipline to get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to exercise. The discipline to put your phone away out of sight when you get home at night to be with your family. The discipline to not be at the at the mercy of your phone every time it pings or vibrates. The discipline to always carry a book and read to enrich your mind each day.
As was quoted in the movie the Matrix 'there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path'. This guy needs to put on his walking shoes!
Not every day is a Doris Day, and not every day is full of sunshine and roses - there are some days that just go to crap.
On this week's Mojo Radio Show we interviewed Canadian female rugby player, Andrea Burk. It's an inspiring, fun, and bullish show from a lady who knows how to get on top of life. However she also shares some tips - if her day is far from a Doris Day, or when life gets on top of her team, Andrea has a ritual. It is a saying - “Reset, let's go!”.
This ritual is based on not changing what happened but you changing your approach or you're thinking about what happened. When things go pear-shaped, it's time to stop, learn, reset, let go of the past, and commit to a new mindset. Is it easier said than done? Of course.
However with practice in keeping your mind on your priorities, the state of mind you want to live in and by verbally internalising and externalising “Reset, let’s go” I think this is one of the best processes for letting go of what happened, and resetting what’s ahead.
The path does not equal the future. Reset, let's go! ©GB
A senior executive of Google, said of his CEO Sundar Pichai “He is as smart and thoughtful as you can be. He also has this ability to change perspective and look through other people’s eyes. That’s something that you don’t find so much in our world ”. What a wonderful attribute to have one of your senior management say about your leadership style.
When leading innovation in a team or an entire organisation, a leader must have the ability to consider all options equally before facilitating a final decision. Many leaders talk of servant leadership but are then bullish with their own ideas and views, and fail to entertain all possibilities, particularly new ones, before facilitating their chosen direction. This is not new thinking. In fact Aristotle once said “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it ".
If you can manage to consider all points of view without judgement, personal influence, prior conclusions, and/or your own bias towards the outcome, I believe this is the mark of a great leader who can command control of an organisation which truly believes and embraces innovation.