Hustle

If someone calls you a sellout, do this …

If someone ever calls you a sellout for making money from your dream, ask them how long they’ve been refusing a paycheck at work.

Ask them if every two weeks they march into HR and hand back their salary.

Ask them if they cancelled their direct deposit because being financially compensated cheapened their job somehow.

Ask them if they refused their raise last year.

Ask them if they shot blocked their bonus like an angry Mutombo.

Ask them if they turned a cold shoulder to an unexpected sales commission in the hope of keeping their craft pure.

Or just ignore them all together and go back to doing work you care about.

Your choice really.

Getting paid for your art means you get to keep making art. Sellout is a compliment.

P.S. The last 30 Days of Hustle Challenge of 2016 kicks off in a few weeks. Want to start a business? Want to lose a few pounds? Want to write a book? Sign up for the early bird list to make sure you get the best price!

Character

Want to feel better about criticism? Change this word.

I’m embarrassed it took me this long to figure this out.

This is perhaps the simplest idea I’ve ever had about criticism.

When you read it, you will immediately think, “Duh, that’s so obvious. It’s a good thing your grey hair makes you look smart.”

I agree, this idea is going to be very simple. Here it is:

If you want to feel better about the criticism you receive, change the word “review” to “opinion.”

These two words have very different implications, but the waters have been muddied.

A few years ago, Amazon created “Customer reviews” for each product. I love this feature and use it every time I shop. The problem is that the word “review” has a lot of baggage.

Historically speaking, a review was made by someone educated. A movie critic wrote a review. A book critic wrote a review. A newspaper editor wrote a review. Normal folks, like you and I, wrote opinion pieces or letters to the editor.

The word “review” might not have been hallowed, but it did carry weight. On Amazon, when you see the “Editorial review” section, you know that Publisher’s Weekly thought long and hard about the review they gave a book. They spent decades building a reputation and by putting their name on a product have indicated that something significant has occurred.

Then you scroll down a few inches, see “Customer reviews,” and assume the same thing about those reviews as you did the editorial.

Imagine if the label was, “Customer opinions” instead? Would you read it differently? Would you make purchase decisions because of the opinions of strangers? Would an opinion sway you less than a review? I think it would.

Instead of thinking, “Oh no, someone has reviewed what I created and their words must be the final say,” you’d have an easier time saying, “That’s just one person’s opinion.”

Even if you don’t write a book, the belief in the authority of strangers has permeated every part of the Internet. People leaving comments on your blog, responses to your tweets or feedback on your Facebook wall carries more weight than it should.

When you pick a restaurant because a stranger you’ve never met gave you an opinion online, something interesting has happened. Maybe Bill134 hates sushi and gave that sushi restaurant a bad review because they refused to serve a grown man chicken fingers. (I hate going to dinner with Bill134.) That’s not Bill134’s review of the restaurant, that’s Bill134’s opinion.

Criticism is an opinion, not a review.

If you want to get better at handling criticism, call it what it is, an opinion.

Some will be bad. Some will be good. Either way, they’re just opinions.

P.S. Want to love what you do for a living? Read this.

Hustle

How long will your dream take? (100 words)

Your dream is taking too long.

It’s slow and tedious.

Prettier people online are having faster results, bigger wins and they always know the right place to look during a selfie.

Why is your goal taking so long?

Better yet, how long should it take to happen?

Well, I studied journalism in college for four years.

I spent fifteen years writing for corporate America.

All told, it took me 19 years to become a full time writer.

If your dream only takes 15 years to happen, you’re killing me by four.

Don’t sweat the pace.

Fast dreams are fake dreams.

p.s. If you want a simple way to knock out your goals 15 minutes at a time, I dare you to Do Summer with me. The free challenge ends tonight, sign up today.

Hustle

Please stop saying you’re too busy.

Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to look for a new job and then show me your perfectly detailed fantasy football team.

Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to write your novel and then give me intricate plot details about the six shows you’re watching.

Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to update your resume and then update your social media accounts incessantly.

We are a busy people. Our clocks are thin and tired, our schedules full and bloated.

But somehow we find a way to give our time to a host of wonderful distractions.

There is a reason the average 21-year-old has played 10,000 hours of video games.

There is a reason the average American watches 35 hours of television a week according to Nielsen.

There is a reason American companies lose an estimated $6.5 billion during the 15-week fantasy football season.

Time is a squirrely thing. It only goes where you tell it to go. It has no mind of its own. It won’t naturally gravitate to things that matter or work you really care about. It always looks for the easy way out.

Time

This summer, I dare you to rescue some time. Not all of it, just a little. I’m talking about 15 minutes. I don’t care how busy you are, you have 15 minutes hidden somewhere in your day.

I dare you to rescue that tiny amount each day and then watch what happens this summer. That first 15 minutes will grow into 30 and then 45 and then 60. By the end of the summer, you will have worked for 1,500 minutes. You will have 25, on purpose, goal-crushing hours under your belt.

I’m rescuing my time this summer because I love Netflix too much. If I open up the app, it’s all over. I can’t just watch one episode of a TV show. My hours will be swallowed up by show after show after show.

So instead, I’m going to DO Summer.

If you’re with me, sign up to get the free PDF I created to track time. Pick one skill you want to give your 15 minutes to and then get going. It’s not impossible to find time, sometimes all it takes is a piece of paper.

Time won’t find you. You have to find it.

Get started right here.

Skills

Are you ready to DO Summer?

Next to relationships, skills are the most important thing you can have when it comes to chasing a dream. Whether you want to write a book, start a business, like your current job more, or turn a hobby into a job, you need skills. That’s why 25% of my latest book Do Over is dedicated to helping build your skills.

The challenge though is that skills get sharp slowly and dull quickly.

Last summer I introduced the DO Summer Challenge as a way to keep our skills sharp, and over 9,000 of you joined in. This summer, we’re bringing it back. (Sign up here!)

We’re going to work on our skills together. We’re not just going to talk. We’re going to do. We’re not just going to dream. We’re going to do. We’re not just going to wish. We’re going to do.

DO Summer is simple.

1. Pick one skill you want to work on.
It can be a completely new skill or something you used to love that fell behind in the busyness of life. It can be career related like working on your resume or life related like jogging for better health.

2. Work on the skill for 1,500 minutes this summer in easy 15-minute segments. dosummertease
I’ve created a free worksheet that helps you track time in 15-minute chunks. Each time you knock out 15 minutes, color in one of the boxes on the sheet.

3. Share your results each Monday morning online with #DOSummer2016

You’ll be surprised how encouraging having other people cheer you on is. It was so fun to search the hashtag and see the skills everyone was sharpening, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be working on this year.

That’s it. At the end of the summer, if you spend 1,500 minutes on your DO, you will have invested 25 hours in a skill. There’s no telling what positive habits, life changing opportunities and unexpected adventures you can stir up by doing something so simple.

The challenge starts Monday, June 20th and will run until August 5th. (Invite a friend to do it with you if you really want to increase your results!)

To get the worksheet for free sign up below! You’ll also get all of my blog ideas.

Get your free #DOSummer2016 Worksheet

You ready to DO Summer?

You ready to make a small investment in your big dream?

I am.

Relationships

100 Words: The gift & danger of friends.

jonacuffquote
Image via Joe Tokay.

Whether you’re 14 or 44, the company you keep, determines the heights that you will peak.

We understood this as teens. Peer pressure was a thing, your mom didn’t want you to hang out with “that kid.” But your mom doesn’t know who you hang out at work with and the stakes are higher because now you’re an adult and the years are shorter.

The friends you give your calendar to are vitamins or poisons. The best bring out the best in you, the worst tell you that your worst is best.

Also, be careful around people who own ferrets.