Don't be afraid to disappoint to stay the course

Some weeks are cluttered and hectic and it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Some days you go through the motions on autopilot and feel like nothing gets done.

Where did the time go?

Both of these experiences are symptoms of the same problem.

You have overcommitted yourself. And here’s the crazy thing - you probably didn’t even notice.

Commitments sneak up on us.

Maybe someone asked you to do a simple task, and because you don’t like conflict you said, “yes”. Or maybe you didn’t want to lose a sale. Or you just wanted to go on with the meeting.

Whatever the reason you feel like you can’t go back on your word. Doing so would mean not being in integrity with yourself, or that you might disappoint the other person.

But the truth of the matter is refusing the wrong commitments is an act of service.

You say “no” to rewriting that proposal because your business would be better served by you creating a scalable business offer and on-boarding process.

You say “no” to running that extra report for a client to design a better content delivery system for all of your clients.

You say “no” to doing customer service yourself to build out a support team.

When you are ruthless about the tasks that you commit to you can free yourself up to do deep work. Deep work is necessary to become an expert and a leader in your industry.

Developing the practice of deep work requires space and quiet.

And right now your mind is racing with too many to-dos.

So kill your to-do list. Right now.

Eliminate your responsibilities.

No one who ever “had it all’ actually did everything they were supposed to do.

Should’s and Have-To’s stand in the way of transformation.

It’s why you’re still doing tasks you could have automated (or delegated) months ago.

And why implementing systems is always on the agenda down the road.

Prune your commitments, choose your priorities wisely, and then take action.

One simple step you can take? Stop putting off creating systems

Systems help clear the mind, provide clarity, and build a company that runs itself.

And what could be better than that?

Other than a good cup of coffee and some silence

P.S The book Deep Work by Cal Newport, a fellow MIT grad, explores the topic more thoroughly and is best paired with a reading on the classic, The ONE Thing.


When you’ve set your goals and progress stalls

I’ll be honest with you my clients drive me crazy.

Most of them come to me with very concrete goals: they want to stop working 70 hour weeks and get back to spending quality time with their families, they want to stop being exhausted and worn down juggling too many responsibilities, and of course they want to earn more money.

So, they show up eager to get to the “good part.” After all, I promise results.

They think that means,

>>> Ramping up sales.

>>> Implementing systems

And then nothing happens and progress stalls …

Now this doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the process.

Just that it takes commitment – especially to the parts you want to skip over – and they forget that in order to cure the symptom (plateauing … and endless work days) they need to solve the root cause.

Just like doing simple exercises over and over again if you want to see any results in the gym.

Or how I book is written first word by word until the pages add up to a complete manuscript.

It’s so easy when you start a journey to want to skip the end result. But have patience.

The first step to mastery are the fundamentals.

And, fair warning, the fundamentals can seem boring.

If you have hit a plateau are are seeking to scale, like 99% of the clients I work with, I guarantee that you need some time management.

Of all the skills related to business, why time management?

It all comes down to the question, will you do what you say you’ll do?

If you’ve never, ever, had this issue ( you’re not lying just to get off the hook) then stop reading.

But if you are ready to be host with yourself keeping going.

…….

We all have a million excuses why we don’t do what we say will do.

“I don’t have the time ’cause I’m busy trying to close some prospects”

“There are things only I can do so I’m just so busy all the time”

“I FOROGT”

For anything other than a family emergency you need to reassess. I promise, you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.

Ramit Sethi says, “Show me someone’s calendar and their spending, and I’ll show you their priorities”

And this simple observation rings with so much truth. 

If you keep missing your children’s sports games or auditions, then maybe family isn’t the priority you say it is. 

If you always say you want to work out but never schedule in time to go to the gym, you’re just lying to yourself.

And these lies start to add up. Over time you create a self-image incongruent with how you show up.

So, time management is less about tracking your hours as it is about committing to your values.

And the results speak for themselves. Those who show up consistently win.

Everyone else is relying on chance. 

……

I want you to stop using excuses to justify your lack of progress.

Or blame your limitations on not having the same resources as others.

We all have the same hours in the day, so, why aren’t you achieving your goals?

Set your intentions and master your time.

And if that’s a challenge, seek out somebody can hold you accountable.

If it will help, schedule a mini-session with me.

After all you should not leave your life or your business to chance.

 


Increase Your CEO Factor and Earn More While Avoiding Burn Out

Have you ever asked yourself what your CEO Factor is ... ? How much are value are you creating for the time you put into your business? 

Watch this training to learn more about what you can do to increase your CEO Factor and 3X Results, Without burning out and while living the good life.

Did you go into business to replace your income? Or did you go into business to serve others and be world-class? If so, then this video is for you: 

Don’t Hustle Yourself To Burn Out If Your Business Can’t Scale

Photo by  Kristopher Roller  

“You just have to work harder,” you say to yourself.

But the sales don’t come in.

So you polish your website.

Write a few blog posts.

Maybe email your list (if you have one).

You post more rants to Facebook and LinkedIn even Twitter … for good measure you throw in a few Instagram photos. “See how awesome my life is?,” the photos say. You wish you could believe them yourself.

The bills are piling up, and the mortgage too.  No way you can send your kids to college right now let alone save for retirement. At least it’s still a few years down the line.

So you put your head down and hustle, wondering why others get off so easily.

Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

Success comes more easily when you have the right business model - and the reason you’re breaking a sweat to barely break even is that you do NOT have the right one. Yet.

 

Don’t get invested  if you aren’t committed to finishing the race

Before we proceed let's make sure that you're in the right business to begin with.  Too many of us, seduced by riches, follow the money instead of our hearts. And so we become specialists in businesses that we actually HATE and take on identities that are hard to shake.

“I got good at real estate so that’s what I do, but it’s not WHO I am. Wish I was a coach instead.”

“I’m just known as the ads guy but I’m passionate about so much more …  “

How terrible is that?

I realized early it’s unwise to go into business if you don’t like the people, and as I’ve gotten older that’s only more true. So I made sure not to start businesses if I didn’t like the community I served.

If you’ve launched a business and realized early on you don’t want to be in that industry,  you’re one of the lucky ones. You can just start over without regrets.

But some of us are a bit more invested. I still urge you to consider your options. Don’t just follow the money and get lost along the way, and certainly don’t scale if you don’t love what you do,

Success brings more, and different, challenges. Make sure it’s worth it.

 

To reach the many you must first serve a few -- and charge handsomely for it

If you know you’re in business for the right reasons, great!

You’re still going to struggle to survive where others simply thrive if you don’t wise up about your pricing -- you are charging too little in order to serve many.

But we have to turn that around right now.

You need to charge more and serve fewer clients if you don’t want to starve your business. Try this, if you are charging less than $1,000 try to 10x your rate. If you’re over $1,000 start by doubling it. (This is just a ballpark figure to get my real advice schedule a call)

See how it feels. If it scares you that’s good.

At these rates do you need 100 clients to meet your minimum? No.

At the right rate you might only need 5-10 clients a month, even to break 7-figures in revenue. Seems doable doesn’t it? Now the word hustle takes on another meaning. Yes, you have to say ‘no’ more but you will earn more and can spend time nurturing your client relationships.

“But people NEED my service and if I do what you’re suggesting they won’t be able to afford it!”, you gasp.

Not exactly.

In fact, the opposite is true. If you charge what you’re worth, yes, you might have fewer clients but your business will thrive, and you will actually be able to give more away for FREE to those that need to hear your message. We have a word for this, it’s called “marketing.”

This is how you thrive and serve a mission greater than yourself.

The more successful you are the more charitable you can be without, I remind you, sacrificing your quality of life. Let me rephrase that.

You deserve for the services you provide to others to provide for you as well.

Raise your prices and make it happen.

 

Plan as if you’ll 10x your business next month and then systemize to succeed

Have you mastered 10 clients? Great, it’s time to get you to 100 … without burning out.

The secret here is to systemize your business as you scale. You don’t just wave a magic wand after you hit your desired revenue and take care of it all at once. That just sounds exhausting.

Instead aim to always keep scale in mind.

At least once a month as yourself, “if I 10x the number of clients I serve will my business continue to run smoothly? and will I love my life?” If you get a ‘no’ for either question, figure out what needs to change and fix it.

In this way we are constantly preparing to stress test our business, and checking in to see if it still aligns with our values and it’s the right investment of our limited time and energy.

Step by step, piece by piece you can systemize yourself to success.


I hope you’ve realized the ways your business model is getting in your way, forcing you to hustle yourself to exhaustion without yielding a return on your efforts.

Don’t beat yourself up. Get perspective, decide what to do differently and be patient.

You might not see the results immediately in your bank account, but you should feel them soon enough if you’ve made the right decisions. If you still need some help, be in touch :)

Master Sunrise and Master Your Days

Photo by  Werner Sevenster

I rolled out of bed, the sky still dark and the sun rising ...

Without pause I put on my running shoes and head out the door to jog before the heat began to build and the texan sun would make me break instantly into a sweat.

I come home breathing hard and turn on the fans as I roll out a mat and stretch into downward dog, my body already loose and my muscles warm. My preferred way to do yoga.

Afterwards I look at the clock to adjust if I’ve fallen behind schedule, and meditate briefly. 10 maybe 20 mins, often with a kitten purring in my lap (turns out he really digs the energy!)

And then I meditate on philosophy and go over my aspirations. Setting my intentions for the work day ahead. I’ll have several hours to myself before anyone disturbs my focus ...


Imagine waking up with the sunrise -- not because you HAVE to commute to your office but to enjoy the simple pleasures of life in peace before starting your workday. A good cup of coffee, a moment of silence to read a good book.

Too many entrepreneurs quit their jobs to build a company and add value to others, and gradually get seduced into 100+ hour weeks. Declaring with pride that they work from home while in reality they spend very little time being present with those they love.

They confuse busy with productive, and without structure or deadlines fall into a routine that replicates the sense of stress and responsibility from their old careers. Oddly it just feels right.

Or they find it too easy to sleep in. Getting a slow -- often aimless -- start to the day, before getting distracted by the responsibilities of the afternoon.  And so work slips into the evening and cuts into their plans. They might not notice the overwhelm and burnout yet, but it’s creeping up.

It’s not that there is too much to do. But that most entrepreneurs don’t effectively structure their days. I remember going through both of these experiences myself -- alternating between being overworked, anxious in the evenings and working unconsciously into the weekends. And then sleeping in hoping for some sense of freedom and control.

I thought I loved spontaneity and adventure, and this was the price for freedom. What it meant to be my own boss and work on my own.

It was whole reason I became an entrepreneur (well, part of).

And then someone taught me,

“whether you think you love routine or you don’t, you actually DO.”

Then it dawned on me.

Freedom meant routine, but not any routine, one honestly tailored to my own needs and desires. It wasn’t good enough just to do what others told me to do. With a simple google search you can read about hundreds of routines, and yet none of them will be ideal until you listen and discover what works for you.

A good morning routine is not something you HAVE to do but something you CHOOSE to do. It brings joy, relief, or a sense of peace while naturally positioning you to slip into the flow as the work day starts. You have already accomplished most of what matters to you -- and it takes pressure off of having a perfect afternoon. Allowing you to adapt to demands as they emerge.

 

When you do start designing your morning routine start with these steps:

 

Take a moment to prepare the night before

A good morning routine starts the night before. Planning, whether it be through meditation or journaling, sets you up for success. Encourages you to set up your environment to remove resistance and overcome forgetfulness.

Imagine  deciding to go for a run in the morning and putting your shoes out at the front of the bed with your gym clothes folded, versus leaving them in a pile in the closet. Which will get you out of bed, and which will lead you to hitting the snooze button again and again?

Getting up earlier is easier when you go to sleep earlier, and the body is more responsive to your demands when you are thoughtful of its needs.

 

Process takes precedence over results

Most entrepreneurs recommend meditation claiming it has many instant benefits.

Yet, I have learned as I have dived into meditation that it's not about the results but the process. I may never master meditation, accepting that and proceeding regardless is crucial to  the experience. In fact, it is the experience. Presence is not about perfection.

True masters see themselves as students and so they continue to outperform everyone around them. So whatever you choose as part of routine know that it is the commitment, and NOT the immediate outcome, that matters. As they say, the journey is more valuable than the destination.

 

Focus on your wellbeing

Great entrepreneurs know at the greatest threat to their success is burnout, and so the morning routine is really meant to focus around wellness. So as your day begins you nourished your body, mind and soul. Exercise even if just for a few minutes, eat a nutritious breakfast, take a moment to breathe without feeling the pressure of “being perfect”.

If we go through life feeling like we are always behind, waiting for tomorrow before doing that ONE thing that we know is good for us, we make not live the long healthy lives we strive so desperately for. At some point, we will break emotionally, mentally, or physically.

 

Connect to your loved onES

Whether it’s sharing a meal, or getting in a good laugh, or a kiss and a hug in the morning -- it’s important to take a moment to connect to those we love. To remember why we work so hard (and why we stick to our boundaries when work is over).

Don’t forget these moments are what matter more so than any achievements we hope to accomplish, and they nourish our soul. And if you don't have time to spend with loved ones before you work read out your morning aspirations and make sure to include how you choose to live with those you love whether they are near or far.

 

I'm grateful for my morning routine and it is constantly changing as I change and grow alongside it. It's not perfect and neither am I. 

Remember don't listen to  others but to yourself. What morning routines work for you?

Marketing Yourself Broke

WARNING: Don't market yourself into bankruptcy!!!

Understand the math your business is built on.

 

Let's say you have $10,000 to spend on your business.

You’ve spent the last 6 months building the perfect app. It's revolutionary! You know there's a need for it. You've walked door to door to small businesses and they *all* said they would use it. You asked your friends, and they think it's great.

Time to put that $10k towards marketing, right?

That would be the WORST mistake! Let's do the math ...

So, you think your app is practically done and it won't cost you anymore - but you're going to discover shortly that when it comes to development apps are *never* done.

Here’s some rough numbers based on my experience working with tech-based startups.

  • You need a minimum of $2,000 in dev spend each month. More if you actually attract the users you want, because — surprise! — they will want you to make changes.

  • Then marketing, that's another $2,000 in ad spend each month, because let's be honest nothing really goes viral on it's own.

  • And that $2,000 is just the ad spend. Unless you really want to learn to manage ads yourself, you’ll be hiring an agency (minimum $5,000/mo on top of ad spend), or hire staff more cheaply costing at least $3,000/mo. Word to the wise: don’t hire anyone cheaper than that, or you’ll get amateur service and poor results.

We’re already at *minimum* $7,000 a month. And this minimum will likely grow as your user base (both free and premium) grows. And haven’t even taken into account your income.

Let’s say you have a $12,000/mo burn rate for an app that you are pricing at $12/mo. That's 1,000 users, paying, to be on your app— just to break even on the burn rate!! How realistic is it that you could get to that number with your $10,000?

Usually for startups only 3% of users become paying users ... let's round that up to 5%. You need 20,000 users on your app to cover your expenses. If all that money went to ad spend you'd have to get leads for $0.50.

Good luck with that!

So what am I saying? Am I saying that app-based businesses never work? Of course not! What I am saying is that early on, the numbers for app *only* businesses don’t make sense. Your app should be an add-on to a high ticket service, or something you pursue after you’ve already built a stable, successful service business.

Why? Let's look at this another way:

If you believe that you can add value to your users let's think bigger. Why not find a way to charge them $1,200 for a service RELATED to your app. What's harder -- selling 1,000 people $12/mo service or 10 people a $1,200 service?

If you know what you're doing, the latter is FAR easier. But if you've never sold services the former is more attractive cause strangely it SEEMS easier. But I'll tell you a secret, it's easier to ask for (and get!) $5,000 from someone than it is to get $5 from 1,000 people.

Selling is selling, and it's hard!

Those 10 clients at a high price point keep your company afloat and generate *real* revenue. Then, with that revenue, you can pursue the app of your dreams and leave a larger legacy.

Bottom line is, if you don’t have a sizable income stream *already*, then you're going to go bankrupt chasing users. You’ll turn to investors out of desperation. You're going to give up on the "company" when it fails to meet your needs.

This is my tough love message ❤️

Your startup should be built to serve -- yourself and your clients. Build a business around the service that you want your app to automate. Then you'll be on the right track.

Only after that can you scale.


If you don't want to make this mistake talk to me, founderspath.io/apply