Archive | February 2016

Battling Our Own Demons

image from dreamatico.com

image from dreamatico.com

There are times in our lives, in living our dreams, when the demons that hide in the back of our mind and heart come out to try and send us into a spiral of depression and self-doubt. These are the days that our goals in life are the hardest to accomplish. For whatever reason in our past, there is a part of us that feels that we are not worth it, not good enough to have the things in life that we want. We end up taking shocking amounts of time wallowing in that mindset, looking a the life that we have and telling ourselves that this is as good as it gets for us, that this is all we can hope for and expect because of who we are.

The place that these demons come from is different for everyone, but we all have them. Did you hear that? We ALL have them. Every single one of us have those voices in our head that tell us that we don’t deserve a better life, a life where we wake up and look forward to the day rather than try to put off going to bed in hope of delaying having to start another unfulfilling day.

Knowing that everyone we see everyday has those same voices in their head, it is time that we look at the people that are successful, that do have the lives we want and ask ourselves how they do that?  How can they be successful even though they have those same demons in their head as we do in ours? The answer is simple, the answer is “Why?”

I am sure that you have come across this time and time again, and the reason for that is that it is THE most important thing in our lives. Once we have decided on dreams and goals, we end up making a commitment to ourselves to achieve those things, yet in most situations, those goals and dreams end up falling by the wayside when things get tough. The reason that those people we look up to, drive through those hardships is because on their Why. The Why is the reason that we have for achieving the goals that we want to achieve and when willpower fails us and we slip away from the commitment we made to reach our goals, it is the only thing that will pick us up and push us along the rocky path ahead.

The Why is going to be different for everyone out there, but everyone that wants a better life needs one, and needs a truthful and authentic Why in place to see them through those times that the demons are the loudest. For some it is their family, for others social justice, for some a better life or financial freedom.  

We need to take a step back and look at our Why, to truly become one with that Why so that it can carry us through all the setbacks and disappointments that life is going to throw at us.  My wife has written one of her WHYS below.  Maybe it will inspire you to come up with some of yours.  

I have firbo and have been unable to work at a full-time job for years.  Even part-time ones can be hard for me because when I stay still too long my entire body locks up and I cannot move at all without excruciating pain.  I love to teach and learn and I am very passionate about some topics including personal development.  I want others to learn and understand that they can overcome anything and be true to themselves and not be trapped by their illnesses.  Because of this desire to help others, I have dedicated myself to a diet and exercise regime that it very strict.  However, it does help reduce the pain levels and allow me to do things I love again. I can go hiking and I currently have two part-time gigs I do for some additional income as I go around the region teaching and presenting about different lifestyles and helping people grow and embrace our differences instead of fear them.  Because I want to help people do this, it is actually easy for me to turn down foods that are not part of my health diet and when I don’t want to work out one day, I remind myself that if I don’t I might not be able to present at the next event or share my story and help others learn to embrace who they are and what they are unashamedly.  It doesn’t make the workout fun but it does make me get it done.  I am deeply motivated by my desire to help other people so when I think of skipping a day, I remember all of those who might be counting on hearing something from me that helps them and I push through.  It is the people who read our blogs, and who come to my classes that are my why for keeping myself as healthy as I can.  and I am grateful to all of them for their help and motivation in keeping me at my best too.  

~xiaoyi
We hope this helps spark some “why” power for you too.

Mordheim: The Tactical Bubble

image from vitals.lifehacker.com

image from vitals.lifehacker.com

 

As many of you know, I enjoy a lot of video games and have recently been playing one called Mordheim: City of the Damned. This is a computer rendition of an old Games Workshop game and the creators have done a great job of making a fun game that truly captures the brutal feel of the original game. This is the first game in a many years that handed me my head on a platter the first time I played it; it has sucked my soul ever since. I couldn’t just roll through the game like I do so many others and have actually had to learn and create tactics for it so that I can survive the mission and maybe even thrive. Today I wanted to share a tactic that has helped me out to no end, and one that I learned doing SCA Heavy Combat melees.

The tactic is the bubble. In the ruined city of Mordheim, there are many places that are choke points, places that you can control the flow of battle. In this game, if you are not controlling the flow of the fight, then you are likely surrounded and dead, so it is better to learn the best method to utilize these areas. The bubble tactic is simple; arrange your fighters on one side of a choke point where that point opens up into a wider area. You need to place one of your warriors in that hole in such a way as the opposing warriors cannot slip past them, but that you warriors can flank anyone that gets into combat with that warrior. This allows you to create 2 on 1 or even 3 on one fights. Add in an archer behind that can put a few holes into your enemy and you have a wonderful place to murder your adversary.

This tactic works even better in this game than it does in real life since you do not have the ability to column charge the guy plugging the hole and burst past him. I have used this method countless times in the game so far and have found that it can allow a much weaker force to truly decimate a larger force. If you enjoy this game as much as I do, give this a try and reap the rewards!

-Dominic

No Deal!!!

image from www.dreamstime.com

image from www.dreamstime.com

 

How can we hold to our commitments when we are no longer in the moment? A method to help bolster our Why (the reason we decided to do it) so that when the hard times come, we will have that little bit of ammo to help against them so that we don’t let our goals fall by the wayside. Today we are going to learn to refine those commitments ever more to bolster our arsenal even more. This is simple to look at our commitments and then define those things in them that are not an option for us. These are the non-negotiable.

The main  reason to put this into place in that it allows us to reduce the stress of decision making in concerns to our commitments any time one of those decisions come up. Time and time again, we are confronted by small decisions that cause us stress. These are the decisions where are minds will start to cause us issues. We will start negotiating with ourselves and this causes us stress. We will tell ourselves that having that we can have that cookie today, as long as we don’t have any more cookies this week, that we will still be on our diet. I feel this one very keenly on my low carb diet and it is one I face all the time, not just with cookies, but with bread and soda as well. This back and forth that your mind goes through is essentially just working to justify your cheating on your commitment.

If you define something as being completely off the table, then when the possibility comes up, you can already define your answer and save yourself all that time and mental anguish of the decision making process. Let’s take one of my goals for an example from my last post:

*I will create content for this blog at least 5 days every week

*I will NOT skip a day due to it being a holiday.

There we go, a simple non-negotiable that I put in place to bolster my ability to stick to my commitment. Then, when a day off the normal job comes around, or a national holiday like Thanksgiving comes around, if I have not already met my 5 posts for that week, then there is no decision to make. I sit down and I write my content. Now there is no back and forth in my own mind, no trying to find excuses to skip that day, just a simple answer to the problem.

This simple step will increase our ability to hold to our commitments over this next year and stick to them when so many others have fallen off the wagon. When it comes down to it, a good definition of commitment comes from Jim Roan: “Commitment is sticking to a decision even after the mood that you made that decision in have passed.” These little changes of our state of mind are tricks and tactics for ourselves to make sure that we have really committed to our goals.

So taking the goals you have set for yourself, what parts of them are non-negotiable for you?

 

Find Motivation in Being not Doing

image courtesy of: www.zensorium.com

image courtesy of: www.zensorium.com

We are almost two months from the exciting prospects that the new year held for us.  Have we moved into the ideas and goals of the things that we are going to accomplish this year? We create these big, overarching ideas of the changes and the smaller steps we need to do to achieve those steps. This is the point where we commonly get lost. What are those little steps that will create the bigger change? Are the steps that I am laying out actually going to create the change I want, are they too much or too little to achieve my goal? Will I fail in my goal, not because I didn’t plan and stay committed to the change, but that my planning was flawed from the start? What is easy to do, is also easy not to do.  Are you staying on track?

The answer to this plague of questions and doubts is to shift our focus from what we need to Do to achieve our goals, but rather to who we need to Be to achieve our changes. Instead of agonizing over the things that we need to do in order to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves, it is far easier to envision who we want to be and how they would act. What I mean here is that we want to look at our future self and the behaviors that they have after we have achieved our goal. Do we want to lose weight? If so, what exercise habits and eating habit would the slimmer version of us have? Once we have an idea of those habits, all we have to do is take those habits into our selves and live our current lives the way that we see our futures selves living. In this way we have a blueprint to the decisions that we need to make to change our habits into the ones that will create the change that we are looking for.

So a big goal for me this year is to lose at least 10-20lbs. This is a goal that didn’t start at New Years for me, but one that I reaffirmed at that time. So the future, slimmer me make the choice to park farther away and walk. He chooses to drink water instead of soda and refrains from breads and baked goods while limiting sugar intake to a minimum. So now I know exactly the sort of actions that I need to take to achieve my goal. This also helps work into the Non-Negotiable items that we talked about earlier. If the future me doesn’t drink soda, then I guess soda is a non-negotiable and simplifies any decision I have in that regard. It all adds into itself to strengthen and enhance the process to make sure that we achieve our goals.

So what are your goals for the future and how does the future you act while achieving those goals?

 

Bravery in Marketing

Image courtesy fo: http://littleportionhermitage.org

Image courtesy of: http://littleportionhermitage.org

Good day everyone, I hope that you are all having a wonderful one. I have finished my first day of a great class on marketing and prospecting. I wanted to let you all in on some of the great tidbits I learned because they not only work for us in marketing, but it is also a great recipe for our lives in general.

The lesson was on bravery. From the time we are born, our parents do everything they can to protect us, to make sure that we are safe. The lesson that this teaching us is that the world is unsafe and that we need to be not take risks or put ourselves out there because we might get hurt. This is a wonderful lesson to learn when it comes to physical harm and death, but those situations are rare in our lives anymore. Yet our instincts still go overboard to try and assure our survival, going so far as to add dire consequences in our minds for actions that don’t actually have any real consequences, such as talking to strangers.

Here’s the thing, in each of these situations, we did something that took us outside the instinctual safe zone. We pushed past our fears to achieve something. Therefore, the key to making our lives the best that we can have is to reprogram our brains. We need to turn that instinctive wariness into an instinctual drive to push forward into those things that will make our lives better. The best way to make that change is through pain. Our brains are wired to avoid pain at all costs. We are special in that our willpower can overcome our built in programming.

The process of reprogramming can be simple and it is a technique that has been used for many changes in life for people, such as quitting smoking. That process is the inflict pain on ourselves when we don’t step outside our comfort zone. Easiest method is to put a rubber band on your wrist. Then, anytime you do not step out in a situation, you snap the rubber band. Eventually, your brain will program that being timid and not talking to people is a source of pain. This will make it simple and easy to talk to strangers, to get that prospect and to build the lives that we want.

Finally, here is another piece to this puzzle that will help. Change how you look at prospecting people. Do you believe that your product makes people’s lives better? I know that I do for my travel club. As such, if I don’t talk to someone about it, I am actively doing nothing to make their lives better. Doesn’t that make me, at best, apathetic and at worst malicious. That isn’t the person I want to be, so I need to get out there and make people’s lives better!

What habits do you want to form? What method are you going to use to make those changes? I look forward to your comments and trust that your day is getting better already!

~Dominic

Gamify Your Work!

 

Work has always been a trial for me; it has always been something that I did because I had to do it to survive. I never found the joy in work that other people seem to have, the best I ever got about work was to be happy that I had a job, but apathetic to the actual process of work. That is changing as of now.

Just listened to another great lesson from Darren Hardy and it has changed my outlook on work.

I have always been someone who really enjoys games of all sorts, from video games to board games and such. Darren has just taught me how to turn my work into a game and it will change my entire outlook on life. There are several steps to go about this transformation that I will be following:

1: Decide on Major Goals: Best bet is to choose three goals that I want to work on here, three things that I want to achieve and the timeframe that I want to achieve them.

2: Objective: This is the process of deciding what key behaviors in me that I need to change in order to achieve my major goals; it is the plan to get to the goal.

3: Tracking Progress: There has to be a way to track progress, be it marking off each day that I accomplish the tasks that I identified in step 2 to get to my goals or something immediate like moving marbles from one jar to another every time that I complete part of the daily task.

4: Create Rewards: There has to be incentive to actually do the hard things that make the goals happen. This step is creating something that will give me a sense of joy and accomplishment when I succeed at the objective and even bigger rewards when I achieve a goal.

5: Create Consequences: It is natural for humans to put more work into avoiding something that they don’t want them to reach for what they do. This is capitalizing on that concept. Create consequences that you will hold yourself to if you don’t complete your objective.

6: Engage Competition: Darwin tells us that only the strong and most adept survive to propagate the species. This is competition in its most distilled form, but those instincts are still in us and we can use them. I will engage others to compete with me on my objective to increase my drive. I can even compete against myself to beat my previous record to create this incentive.

Now I have a framework to turn my work into fun, but how will this actually work. Xiaoyi and I did this to help me at my insurance job. One of the big things that we are supposed to do is solicit life insurance to our customers. There isn’t immediate incentive to do this like a bonus or anything, but it does add into the profit sharing at the end of the year. I was terrible at doing this and getting those referrals and it was a constant thorn in my side and point of contention between me and those above me. So we created a

1: Goal: Become comfortable with soliciting life insurance and increase my referral rate

2: Objective:  Use embracing failure and get at least 100 people to tell me no to life insurance in

3: Tracking: A checkbox list at my desk. Every time someone tells me “No” they go on the “Death List”

4: Create Rewards: This one takes explanation. I am on a low carb diet to force me into eating healthier. It is working and I have lost 45 pounds since I started. Well, one of my favorite foods is pizza.  Needless to say, pizza is not on my diet. So my reward is that I get to indulge in my favorite pizza once in the next month if I meet my requirements for the objective.

5: Create Consequences:  If I fail, I don’t get to purchase a new video game or spend money on

6: Competition: I have gotten other people in my office to join in trying to get as many people on their “Death List” as they can each month and we’ll pass a trophy around to the person that gets the most each month as a sign of the winner.

This simple game has tripled the number of times during a day that I actually ask people if they want life insurance and has done great things to my referral rate. Now I will take this idea into the work of creating my fortune and watch as my enjoyment and fulfillment in life take off for the stars!

What games can you create to get you through those tasks that you hate? Give me some examples and tell me how they are working out for you. Turn life into the game that it should be!

 

Defrosting the refrigerator of my mind.

Image courtesy of www.canstockphoto.com

Image courtesy of www.canstockphoto.com

 

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

 

Ernst Hemingway is credited with saying  “Defrost the refrigerator,” was the first step in being a successful writer.  I think that perhaps he was not speaking solely of the first step of being a successful writer but the first step of being successful at anything.

It is commonly stated that when Hemingway said this he was referring to the ability to procrastinate.  I too have amazing procrastination skills.  There are some things I do not enjoy doing yet and will put off for amazing amounts of time.  On a day where I need to scrape the cat boxes and do laundry and that is all I have on my “to do” list for the day.  I will do laundry, clean the kitchen, label my cookbook, vacuum the floor, go for a walk, call my in-laws…everything to fill my entire waking time except scrape the cat boxes.

I do this in my mind too.  Dominic and I are working on our fortune and building our own business and brand.  I am completion in a regional competition surrounding one of my passions.  Both of these require defrosting our brains.  For our entire life we have been taught that the path to success is, go to school, get good grades and when you graduate with your degree, you will have the right job with more than enough money waiting for you.  Neither of us found those job offers waiting with our diplomas.  None of our friends did either.  So we have to take steps back and figure out what do we need to do to be where we need to be.

Maybe Hemingway wasn’t actually speaking to procrastination so much as he was speaking to cleaning out the junk to make way for the good stuff.  When you defrost a refrigerator, you have to take everything out of it and look at it and decide what to keep and what to trash as well as taking the time to clear out the ice and frost from the freezer.  Our minds can be a lot like freezers. We acquire many things in our minds and in our fridge.  Things we keep thinking we will use them later but usually, we have some good things we actually will use in there and a whole lot of crap we won’t that we need to just throw out.  

Being successful means that I have had to go through and keep going through all the things I have stored in my mind, like the belief that after college it would all work out somehow.  It turns out that after college, you need to work it out still. Just like I had to work and study and learn to earn my degree, I now have to work and learn to earn my fortune.  In the back of my mind was the bag of twenty-year-old peas that no one will ever eat belief that I was still the white trailer trash I was born as and that I could never rise above that.  And just like that bag of peas in the freezer, I had to decide if I wanted to keep it or throw it out.  I decided to throw it away. I did not want to save that to eat later.  Years ago, I had decided to keep it still though I cannot tell you why.

My brother-in-law is quite happy living as white trailer trash.  He has a trailer that isn’t even in a trailer park and for him, that is as good as he wants to have it.  Dom and I dream bigger.  We have to remove those self-limiting beliefs and replace them with other beliefs.  For me, one of the beliefs I have replaced it with is that I am successful.  And success to me is not trailer-park-trash.  So perhaps the success process actually does begin with defrosting the fridge, not with procrastination but with clearing out all the stuff you have accumulated and are “saving” to make room for what you actually want to have.

Now if you will excuse me, I do need to scrape those litter boxes.  

-xiaoyi

Life’s too short to have bad days!  What are you doing to make today FANTASTIC?

Adventure Through Challenges (formerly known as problems)!

Image courtesy of www.elimoody.com

Image courtesy of www.elimoody.com

Most of us know by this point that challenges, formerly known as problems, are probably the single most constant source of growth that we humans have in our lives. If you don’t by this time, I would suggest you look at the challenges in your life and ask yourself if you truly want to be stuck exactly where you are now, in 5, 10, or 20 years. If the answer is “NO” then I would advise you learn and grow past them. Yet, something that we don’t think about when we are faced with these challenges in our lives is that they are also a great source of adventure.

By this I mean that not only do we learn from the challenges that we face and overcome in our lives, but we can take the opportunity when a challenge arises to look for new and different solutions to the challenge that others have not looked at before, or that we have not looked at the last times we looked at those challenges. This is the source of that adventure, an opportunity to take the challenge and step outside our own comfort zone with it to try and find a way to approach the challenge, or solve the challenge that might work better, or faster, or is just more fun than the standard way of handling the challenge.

Let’s take our source of income as an example here since money is a challenge that everyone faces. Everyone in life needs money to survive in our culture today. The standard and accepted method of solving this challenge is to find a steady job and work every day, all day to make the money needed to live our lives. The lives, I might add, that we are spending working and often wishing for the weekend. That doesn’t sound much like living, it sounds like working. So some of us have decided on a different answer, and that answer is internet marketing. This method allows us to have time and money freedom as well as spend our time “working” actually growing in ourselves and improving the lives of those around us. We have taken a step away from the normal answers and found a better, more rewarding, and more exciting method to solve the major challenge of funding facing people today. For me, part of my answer is the MyLeadsSystemPro, a wonderful place of learning and connection that has shown me a path that I would have never seen.

So what challenges do you face in your day to day lives that you can take a little time, invest a little effort and possibly find a life-changing new way to solve? And if it the new answer isn’t life changing, maybe it is more interesting, or just something different to add a little spice to your life for that short amount of time.

~Dominic

Life’s too short to have bad days! What are YOU doing to make today Fantastic?

 

Facebook Marketing Made Easy

image courtesy of http://www.eci.com/

image courtesy of http://www.eci.com/

The real key to everything I am doing marketing wise is the use of the major social networking programs to find leads. This has been a vital component to how I prospect and how I sell my products. Without a system for using these platforms, I would be far less successful at trying to reach out to those people that are actively looking for what I have. In that regard I have just done additional training on how to use Facebook ads to increase my exposure and to entice people into making connection with me.

The course I took covered everything that could come up in the course of advertising on Facebook from getting your ads approved to making sure that your ad account does not get suspended or shut down. It even goes into how to read the reports that you get from Facebook concerning your ads and who they reached, how effective they were reached and those sorts of things. But the real value of the training was how to create different types of ads that I could use to reach people and how to streamline that process.

The big way to help in that regard is the creation of “Lookalike” audiences for your ads. This is a system that helps me to create additional audiences for my ads that reach beyond the people that I list, find those who share similar interests and passions. This has helped me to reach thousands of people that I had not previously thought to target in my ads at all. Additionally, this training is teaching me how to use “Native Advertising” to increase my exposure on Facebook and make my ads more effective as well. Finally, it is teaching me to create split image ads so that I can really have side by side tests of what ads work the best for me and my audience and which ads are not working.

There are tons more ideas that I learned in this course and the best part about it is:

You can take it as well!!!

Take a look at Facebook Advertising Mastery if you are as interested in this as I am and together, we will go out and find those prospects just waiting for us out there!

 

~Dominic

Life’s too short to have bad days! What are YOU doing to make today fantastic?

 

A Critical Difference and How to Tell Which it is

image courtesy of: http://blog.prepscholar.com/

image courtesy of: http://blog.prepscholar.com/

Hey everyone, I just took another amazing course! This one was all about the actual closing process and dealing with all those objections and everything that we deal with. If you are still stuck on getting to this part, I would suggest looking in MLSP for lead generation help.

This training was all about the difference between what Objections and Conditions. This separation is vital to understand during the sale process and being able to identify them will be the difference between spending all my time talking about my product and actually having that time result in a sale.

So here is that difference:

Objections: These are the things that our prospect brings up that are used as a smoke screen rather than being a real and valid concern. We hear countless objections while we are prospecting people and the vast majorities are just little stumbling blocks that the prospect tosses in their own way. Things like “I don’t have time” and “I don’t know how to sell”. We all know that this is something that can be started and be effective on a part time basis, so that one has no real value. We also know that learning how to sell is part of the process here, so that one is valueless as well. These are both objections and in just a minute, I’ll let you in on a secret of how to get past objections without no work on our part

Conditions: These are the true and valid reasons that people can’t join us on this journey. Things along the lines of literally not having the money for the buy in on the product. Not the guy with an I phone and tablet that says that they don’t have the money, but the single mother of 3 kids that is scrambling to keep them fed. That is a real condition that prevents the person from joining us. These can come is many forms, but they are going to be the deep items that people bring up, and will not be the first excuse they use. These are usually painful for the people to talk about, and understanding them can sometimes be all it takes to turn that condition from a “no” into a “yes” because we did listen.

So now that we know the difference between the two, here is a wonderful way to figure out if the person across the table from you is spouting Objections and a method on how to get to their real Conditions. The secret is simply Silence. After I have pitched the product and they person I am talking to starts to go into the reasons that they can’t buy in, I just stay silent and listen to them. During this time, if I feel that the objection doesn’t even deserve credit, I stay silent and still. If the objection had merit, a slight nod is all it takes. This has the added bonus of making it so that I am actually listening to the other person rather than just waiting for an opportunity to refute their objections. Eventually the person will run out of their objections and fall silent. At this point the key is to Still Stay Silent!

This may seem rude at the outset, but it does something very valuable in the situation. It makes the person talking feel uncomfortable. People do not deal with silence well and this will prompt them into one of three actions, all of which are beneficial to us. The first is the best and that is that the silence will prompt them into actually telling us their Condition. This gets us to a baseline to work from and actually help the other person, something we are trying to do anyhow. The second response is that they will start to refute their own objections. They will start rationalizing why those objections are not that much of a block for them to join us. They are doing our job at this point and all we had to do was have the fortitude to stay silent. Finally, they could start to resell themselves on the product, listing things about it that they found fascinating and exciting. This just pushes their excitement for the product forward and helps out my end of things when I ask them to buy or join in. All three are wonderful reactions and so very easy to illicit. All we have to do is respectfully and engagingly stay silent!