How Do You Start Your Day?

If you follow any self-help advice, you’ve surely found lots of suggestions for morning routines.

How you start your day has a huge effect on how you feel for the entire day. And how productive you are. 

Ideally for most people, preparation for this morning began last night!

Much of what’s been said about morning routines would have you believe everyone should follow a fixed set of rules. I may have even been a little guilty of that myself.

As with most things in life, one size doesn’t fit all. Read on for some unique approaches to starting one’s day. Maybe one of them resonates with you. I think the most important thing is that you have a morning routine. Waking up wondering what you should do first seldom works out well.

Read on for some unique morning routines.

Katie E. Lawrence owns Masterpieces in Progress and is studying Human Sciences at Auburn University. She’s identified six unique morning routines that fly in the face of conventional wisdom from many coaches.

Ed Catmull reads the news over breakfast. I do too, but my breakfast is after 2-3 hours of work and an exercise routine. In his case it’s first thing in the morning. Most coaches recommend no early morning input other than pure inspirational stuff. Apparently it works for him.

Oprah Winfrey spends much more time and energy on spiritual input than many. For her that’s extremely important and beneficial. I too find a spiritual connection very important, though I’m not religious, and have a little more varied approach to mornings.

Mark Cuban reads email as part of his jumping right into business when he wakes up. Very unusual, and again quite different from most recommendations. Works for him!

Mark Sisson reads and works crossword puzzles! Crossword puzzles and reading are very important for me too. I do most tf that sort of thing in the evening. Crossword puzzles are pure recreation for me, though I’m sure there’s some value in the mental exercise.

Most of these routines are quite different from what most coaches would prescribe as ideal. Perhaps one of these ideas resonates with you. Or perhaps you follow convention more. Whatever gives you an energy boost so you can start work with enthusiasm, intention and commitment is what you should do.

The only advice I’ve never heard of is to get up and wonder “What should I do first?”

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most of the articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

My friend, mentor and sales coach, Eric Lofholm, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day and a few holidays. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for the call here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or later in a recording. 

Let’s Talk!

What’s your scheme for getting started in the morning? Conventional, or not so much? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat on the phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

Forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send me your email address and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you went to a networking event and were amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform can give you this kind of exposure to your market – the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value and get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here.  

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market. 

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to eliminate clients’ pain.)

  • Search LinkedIn’s 740 million members for the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people manually, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again! 
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All of these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Newsletter Like This One?

Unity Copywriting can help you with newsletters or other materials to engage your prospects and clients. We help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

Are You Poisoning Your Brain?

Think your IQ is a number you’re born with and that stays with you?

In fact, there are many ways you can improve your brain health, or damage or destroy it. And your IQ increases or decreases with the health of your brain. We’ve often talked about ways you can improve your intelligence, such as positive thinking, positive communication, letting your brain rest. etc.

In this issue, we look at some things many people do that can damage their brains. That lowers their IQs and makes them less effective in life and business.

Shivendra Misra is a dedicated practitioner of Kriya Yoga, and a constant student of the ways people can improve their mindsets and outlooks on life

In this article, he identifies 6 things many people do (or fail to do) that can damage their brains.

Here’s his list:  

  • Sit inactive for too long a period. Get up and move around!
  • Listen to loud music or other loud noise
  • Read unimportant, and/or negative, messages and information on social media, email, etc.
  • Watch “reality” TV – it’s not very real, just empty drama
  • Multi-task – do twice as much as you should, half as well as you should
  • Eat too much sugar

For each of these damaging behaviors, he explains how it damages the brain. He also suggests some ways to avoid the behavior or improve the habit.

In Shivendra’s article, he also offers several links to work done by various researchers to support his suggestions and provide other helpful advice for improving your brain health. If this topic hits home with you, check out Shivendra’s suggestions. Follow some of his links to enhance your understanding of brain health and the impact it can have on your life and business.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most of the articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern.

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

My friend, mentor and sales coach, Eric Lofholm, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day and a few holidays. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for the call here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or later in a recording. 

Let’s Talk!

Do you believe you can improve your brain health and IQ? Do you engage in any of the harmful habits Shivendra mentions? Do you find the potential gains worth forgoing some of the short-term pleasure you may get if you do the harmful behaviors? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat on the phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Do You Know Someone Who’d Like This?

Forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program. 

Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send me your email address and tell me you’d like to subscribe.

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you went to a networking event and were amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform can give you this kind of exposure to your market – the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value and get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here.  

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market. 

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to eliminate clients’ pain.)

  • Search LinkedIn’s 740 million members for the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people manually, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again! 
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All of these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Newsletter Like This One?

Unity Copywriting can help you with newsletters or other materials to engage your prospects and clients. We help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

Should You Tell People About Your Goals?

This week we again visit Dr. Benjamin Hardy, discussing how to make your goals more compelling for you.

Tell people about them! Not to encourage their comments, but to inspire you to strive harder to achieve them.

In keeping with his advice, mine are listed in this article.

Benjamin Hardy holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology. He’s also the author of Personality Isn’t Permanent and several other books exploring personality evolution. He knows what he’s talking about!

Ben makes a strong case for advertising your goals to your network for your own encouragement. It’ll make their pursuit more compelling for you, since it’s human nature to want our actions to align with our words. 

Always remember that others’ opinions of your goals are unimportant to you. That is, unless they come from a coach whose help you’re seeking.

Recently, as I’ve become a little more forthcoming with my goals, I’ve shared some of them with people close to me. 

After listening to Ben Hardy’s exhortation, I believe sharing my goals with all of you could be life-changing for me. I beg your indulgence while I devote this issue to my own self-improvement.

Here are my goals. I read them aloud every night before I go to bed, and rewrite first thing every morning. (Actually, the fourth thing, after a cold shower, 20 oz. water for dehydration, and some wake-up stretches.) The point is I do this before starting the day’s business activities. 

You may find this list interesting, or not. Perhaps the list can offer you a useful pattern, if you haven’t been habitually listing your goals.

My guiding mission: 

To contribute positively to every transaction and relationship I participate in. 

My keystone goal (the one that enables most of the others): 

I earn/receive $20,000/+/month and, by the end of 2021, I accumulate 100 oz. gold/+, with ease. In my life, I accumulate net worth of $5MM/+ w/ease.

In addition, by the end of 2021:

  1. I establish a positive, loving relationship with my daughter Tara, with ease.
  2. I pay off CC debt, with ease.
  3. I write regularly for 3/+ clients, with ease.
  4. I weigh 190#/-, with ease.
  5. I play golf to a  handicap of 15/-, with ease.
  6. I support the LEC* HOA Board in reducing dues to $150/-/month, with ease.
  7. I entertain 1/+ groups of family and friends in LEC*, with ease.

LEC*: La Estancia de Cafayate. The lovely community in northwest Argentina where I make my home.

My 3-year vivid vision:

I’m debt-free!

I live comfortably in my own home, where I easily entertain my family and friends, including my visitors who come to check out my delightful life in Argentina.

When the mood strikes, I explore the local area in my truck. When I want to travel further, I fly to the destination I choose, often with family and friends.

My writing is more enjoyable than ever, since I’m fulfilling the needs of my clients and partners, who pay me well.

I invest a portion of my wealth in assets which offer me security against a financial collapse, additional income, and value to pass along to my heirs.

It’s my hope that this message inspires you to be more intentional about your goal setting and achievement efforts.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. You can search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most of the articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

My friend, mentor and sales coach, Eric Lofholm, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day and a few holidays. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for the call here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or later in a recording. 

Let’s Talk!

Have you defined goals for your life and business? Are they written? Do you revisit them, write them and recite them every day? What do you think of Ben Hardy’s “future self” ideas? This is one of my favorite topics. Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat on the phone.

Do you like The Unity Community?

Do you find value in the articles?

What’s good about it?

What would make it even more valuable for you? 

Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you’d like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else’s. I’ll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.

Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you’d like to chat on the phone or Zoom. 

Get too Much Email?

Today’s issue is going to all my subscribers. If you’re among my monthly subscribers, you’ll receive your next issue on August 2, 2021.

If the monthly schedule suits you better, just reply to this message with the word “MONTHLY” in the message or subject line. If you elect that option, you can still check out the weekly issues at your convenience here. Since your last monthly issue, we’ve discussed:

What’s the Best Investment You Can Make? – Published 28 June 2021.
Do Less To Accomplish More! – Published 21 June 2021
Vulnerability = The Greatest Courage! – Published 14 June 2021

Want to Do More Business?

Suppose you went to a networking event and were amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.

Our Business Accelerator Platform can give you this kind of exposure to your market – the people you want to help!

We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value and get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here.  

When you join Smart Money Network’s Business Accelerator Platform, we:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market. 

(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients’ lives better, it’s rare! Most describe the merchant’s qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to eliminate clients’ pain.)

  • Search LinkedIn’s 740 million members for the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.

(Even if you can find these people manually, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)

  • Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.

(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)

  • Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again! 
  • Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!

All of these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We’re always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.

See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!

Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!

Would You Like to Publish a Newsletter 

Like This One?

Unity Copywriting can help you with newsletters or other materials to engage your prospects and clients. We help you stay top of their minds.  Let’s discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!

What’s the Best Investment You Can Make?

Want to have a better life? Who doesn’t? Maybe a masochist, but most of us strive to improve our lives. I hope you’re among those who do.

The pastimes that occupy many people’s leisure time, and probably some of their ideally productive time, produce nothing more than momentary highs or, when the communication is negative, lows. Unfortunately, the lows probably last longer than the highs! Most of the “relationships” people pursue on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are fleeting and meaningless.

Read on to discover a better way, and the best investment you can make in your future!

Jason Gutierrez has some great ideas for making life better. They all have elements of doing enjoyable things. However, none of them are about spending time doing the things many people do for “enjoyment.”

What’s the most important relationship you can build? The relationship with yourself! When you’ve accomplished that, pursue relationships with those you can collaborate with to mutual benefit.

Searching for the latter of these without the intimate knowledge of who you are will almost surely be futile. Even if you stumble on the right collaborations, you’re likely not to recognize them.Enough words from me! I suggest you check out Jason’s article, where he laments reaching his thirties before discovering the truths he reveals. Many of us can rejoice in learning them much later in life. They have great value whenever you discover them. I hope you find them when you’re 18 years old, or even younger. If you discover them when you’re 70, 80, 90, or 100, great – they’ll improve the rest of your life!

Do Less To Accomplish More!

Want to improve your self-esteem? What better way to do that than to feel productive?

When you feel like you’re accomplishing something valuable, you feel worthy. When you feel worthy, you’re inspired to create more worth.

A true sense of self-worth comes from how valuable you feel. Not what someone else thinks of you. Not how cool or stylish you look. Solely by your own judgment, you must believe you’re adding value. It could be to your own life. Perhaps to a friend’s or a client’s life. Or maybe in a worthy cause. The key is: It must be your personal judgment, unclouded by someone else’s opinion of you.

Read on for a good recipe to generate that feeling of accomplishment.

Hint: It’s not about doing more. Do less!

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Here’s Anthony Yeung with some excellent tips on how to accomplish more in a few hours than most people do in several days.

A quick summary of Anthony’s recommendations:

  • Skip the time-wasters, especially first thing in the morning. Incoming messages are just allowing someone else to control your time. Also, eliminate notifications.
  • Stay focused on important tasks early in the day. He quotes Abraham Lincoln: “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first 6 of them sharpening my axe.”
  • Create bite-sized tasks. Break down big projects into small steps.
  • Prioritize! Then prioritize the priorities!
  • Set time limits to give yourself a sense of urgency.
  • Set a timer. When if rings take a short break, then repeat this process.
  • Batch your tasks to work most efficiently,
  • If you listen to music while you work, keep replaying one song. Anthony explains why.
  • If you like what you’re doing, you’ll be much more productive. “Farm out,” or otherwise eliminate the things you don’t enjoy doing.

This is a quick summary of a long-ish article. It’s worth reading. Or at least skimming for the ideas that resonate with you. Anthony “fleshes them out.”

Vulnerability = The Greatest Courage!

Long-time followers of my writing know that I consider relationships the key to life.

The next question is “What’s the key to relationships?” Author Brené Brown recently added to her string of books on vulnerability with the book we focus on today. Read on for the link to the book, and see how solid relationships require vulnerability.

____________________________________________________________

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; …who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” 

– Quote from Theodore Roosevelt

______________________________________________________________

Many people consider vulnerability to be a sign of weakness. As Teddy Roosevelt tells us in the quotation cited above, it’s anything but! In fact, making yourself vulnerable is perhaps the greatest indication of courage.

Certainly, vulnerability can be at the root of much heartache – fear, grief, disappointment, etc. However, it is also the source of love, belonging, joy, creativity, and other signs of a happy, well-grounded person. Brené Brown has written several books about vulnerability. Her latest is titled Daring Greatly.

Brown examines vulnerability as it relates to parenting, work relationships, and interactions among people on the street and in life. She comments that people often lament the sorry state of customer service. She laments the sorry state of customer behavior!

We’ve all seen the restaurant patron who violently berates a waitress because her steak was not cooked to her liking. Or the guy at the airline counter railing at the agent because he can’t get the seat he wants. And worse, all this is done with no eye contact.

Brown writes, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” Watch a group of, usually young, people sitting in a social situation. More than half of them are likely on their phones, paying no attention whatever to the live friends sitting next to them. While I made this comment about young people, more mature people can certainly be guilty of this as well.

One of her great observations is that a sense of sufficiency, rather than abundance, is the antidote to a scarcity mindset. Even though we strive to improve and do more busness, we must see that where we are is enough for now.

So, if you want more joy and happiness in your life, and better relationships with everyone: 

Step up! 

Dare greatly! 

Be vulnerable!

Read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly!

What Do You Do When Someone “Dumps” On You?

How do you react when someone cuts you off on the highway or gives you the time-honored “single-finger salute”?

You have no control over what that person does or thinks. What you can control is how you react.

David Polly got a great lesson on this from, of all people, a New York City taxi driver. 

So, in addition to the specific lesson he learned, here’s another. Never discount the wisdom of someone doing something that seems mundane or menial. They may be wiser than you give them credit for!

So what was the lesson David learned from the taxi driver?

Faced with Discourtesy? React with Courtesy!

Here’s Michael Thompson telling David’s story. There’s a valuable lesson in it.

Let’s face it! The world is full of people with all sorts of attitudes and mindsets. Many people are reacting to something in their lives. Maybe that guy’s wife left him this morning. Maybe that lady just suffered a million-dollar loss. Or, maybe some people just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, or are naturally belligerent to everyone for no real reason.

Whatever is causing someone to snarl at you or do something to irritate you is their business. Your business is to move on unperturbed and stay focused on what you have to do. And, while you’re at it, smile at the nasty person. Maybe for the first time today, or in their life, they’ll take note of your smile and reconsider their approach!

When someone gets majorly distracted from their focus, research shows that it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus. That’s nearly a half-hour of loss in productivity. Can you afford that several times a day? I can’t. 

Many things can distract us from time to time. We can learn to remove most of those things from our view. Don’t let the actions of others cause a distraction for you.

Smile at them and move on with your day.

Consider often the lesson David Polly learned from his taxi driver!

Stop Procrastinating!

We all know our best work is done in a flow state. For some, like writer Tim Drenning, It can be a slow process getting into flow. 

Probably that reluctance to start is quite common. I find it myself sometimes, though I’ve gotten better at starting.

How about you? If you catch yourself “fiddling” with everything but your work when you have something important to do, you may find Tim’s solution helpful.

Procrastination is one of the biggest thieves of time known to people who usually work  without direct supervision.

Start with Something You’re Not Proud of!

Tim found that, if he lowered his expectations, his resistance to start disappeared. He was struggling to start meeting a high standard rather than to start work.

By lowering his expectations, he found it easy to start. Once he’d completed the initial low-expectation work, he had attained the flow state and could move on to work he’d be proud to sign.

More Ways to Beat Procrastination

Some people may find that, whatever help they found in the lower expectation suggestion, they’re still unhappy with their “starting gait”. If that’s you, try these:

  • Schedule an enjoyable event at a time when you’d like to have your work completed. If you know there’s a social event or a sports activity at a specific time, you’ll be motivated to stay with your work, so it’s done in time for the event.
  • Promise yourself a treat when you’ve completed the job. A cookie, a cup of coffee, or other snack is a great reward to motivate you to reach the point where you’ve earned the reward. You can do this with stages for a longer project. When you’ve written a certain number of paragraphs, a small reward helps you celebrate your progress.
  • When you put out energy, it comes back to you. Think of your flow state as energy you put out to the world. You get it back when someone offers an enthusiastic comment about what you’ve written or offered.
  • Watch people who are in flow state. Musicians, sports figures, and other performers can set a great example, and it’s easy to see their fans give that energy back to them very quickly.

If you’re among the procrastinators of the world, take heart! As with anything you do, the first step in overcoming this obstacle is to recognize the issue. The next step is to seek help rather than just try to beat your way through it. I hope you find the help you need in Ted’s article.

Do You Strive To Give Clients What They Want?

Again I found this week’s interesting content through my connection with my coach and mentor, Benjamin Hardy. Many of you will remember him from previous issues (examples here and here).

Benjamin Hardy holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology. He’s also the author of Personality Isn’t Permanent and several other books exploring personality change. He knows what he’s talking about!

The guy whose work we actually focus on here is Steve Sims. Steve began life dirt poor in East London, the son of a bricklayer. At the age of 17, he began work as a bricklayer’s helper.

Michelangelo’s “David” by Elena Ruggeri on Unsplash

He quickly tired of carrying 80+ hods of bricks up a ladder, so he quit. He got himself to Hong Kong. As a doorman at a bar, he devised ways of making the bar experience exciting and exclusive for the right people, turning away the wrong people, especially those who were already drunk.


That was the beginning of Steve’s founding an elite concierge service, called The Bluefish. He specializes in smiles. His “secret sauce” has two main components:

  • Believe you can do it!
  • Give your clients what they want or need, and more. What they ask for is only a small hint to what they really want!

On this YouTube page, in Steve’s interview by Brendan Carr he tells of arranging a dinner at the Accademia d’Arte museum in Florence, Italy for a wealthy client.

What had the client asked for? A fancy dinner in an exclusive restaurant in Florence. Steve knew that restaurants in Florence aren’t really exclusive. so he contracted with this world-class museum to close and entertain the dinner, at the foot of Michaelangelo’s famous sculpture, “David”.

To top it off he convinced Andrea Bocelli to come in during the dinner and serenade the dinner party.

Many of his other signature events are described on The Bluefish website.

As the interview continues, Steve talks about passion, communication (including the unsocialmess of “social” media, a topic I focused on a couple of years ago).

One of Steve’s quips is “He’s low on IQ and high on I CAN.” Another suggestion is, when you start a conversation with someone who doesn’t know you, especially a powerful person, make it clear very quickly what’s in it for them.

Steve says at one point, in passing, “I consider myself an educated man. School has nothing to do with that.” Many people have focused on the low value of most organized education.

Steve talks about the value of relationships. He likens a relationship to an oak tree. When it’s young, it’s extremely vulnerable to damage. When it matures, it has the strength to weather all sorts of negative influences. Relationships are like that.

This is a rambling, incomplete introduction to a guy who’s deeply impressed me. If you go to his website, I think you’ll get infected with the guy’s brilliance, insights,and enthusiasm. Not to mention his complete political incorrectness!

Be A Leader, Not A Manager!

A leader doesn’t tell people what to do! Does that strike you as a contradiction? Read on.

In these letters, we’ve often examined aspects of what constitutes genuine leadership. Recently I listened to one of the best in-depth looks at this issue I’ve come across.

We’ll learn that the leader’s job is to provide the vision and why that vision is powerful, and what success looks like. Then he or she must get out of the way and let people do their jobs.

People may come back with questions. Of course, those questions must be answered. If they need support, emotionally or functionally, it’s the leader’s job is to provide that. The point though is that the leader doesn’t manage. The leader empowers people to do their work in a supportive environment.

Here’s Ben Hardy, one of my favorite sources for inspiration and great unique ideas, discussing truly great leadership. The idea of leading without managing is one of the cornerstones of modern leadership theory. Sadly, it gets more lip service than true adherence.

Useful background for what I’m about to offer can be found in my several-weeks-ago issue. There we discussed Ben Hardy/Dan Sullivan’s book, Who Not How. Ben refers to it often in today’s video.

Benjamin Hardy holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology. He’s also the author of Personality Isn’t Permanent and several other books exploring personality change. He knows what he’s talking about!

The three things people need to do their jobs are:

  • Competence to do the work, and confidence in their competence.
  • Autonomy – the authority to apply their skills. They must be in control of how they do their jobs.
  • Connectedness – Being connected with team members is highly empowering.

One who takes any of this away is disempowering the worker and stripping them of the important elements they need to carry on effectively. The person guilty of this is trying to be a manager, and is not a leader. “Managing” people is an inefficient way of trying to get anything done. It usually results in the loss of the best talent, and the remaining people are unmotivated.

Ben discusses three stages of human development, a Robert Keegan model. I’ll briefly describe them here. He does a much better job of imparting a full understanding of them than I can do here in a few words,

  • Dependence – The socializing self – taking all sense of identity and direction from others.
  • Independence – Self-authorship – having one’s own goals and pursuing them without relationship with others. The only relationships an independent person engages in are those he or she believes will further his or her goals.
  • Self-transforming stage – two or more people share goals and solutions, neither imposing views on the other, but sharing views to result in the best solution they can see together – the team is better than the sum of the members.

In that third stage, mutual respect and trust are vital. If one party tries to dominate the goals, visions, and outcomes, the effort breaks down.

Be a leader! Don’t be a manager! Learn the psychology behind this here.