Relationships

100 Words: The gift & danger of friends.

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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.

Hustle

The Tattoo Test: How to know if your idea is great.

The people I help have too many ideas.

They never come to me and say, “I don’t have a single goal or idea I want to pursue.”

Instead, the opposite is usually true.

In a world with so many opportunities, it’s difficult to know which one we should pursue.

How do you know the idea you’re working on is great?

There are a thousand ways to answer that question, but here’s a fast one. Ask this:

“Is my idea tattoo worthy?”

Harley-Davidson knows the answer to this question.

Their idea is so remarkable that people get it tattooed on their bodies.

In fact, the book “Building Strong Brands” by David A. Aaker reported that “the most popular tattoo in the United States is the Harley-Davidson symbol.”

Maybe that seems like an extreme way to measure the strength of your idea. I agree, Harley has spent decades becoming tattoo worthy, your idea might be in the early stages.

I know for instance that my 30 Days of Hustle Challenge is not tattoo worthy yet. We’re working with a researcher from the University of Memphis to ensure the content is backed up by scientific data. Thousands of people have used the program to accomplish their goals. The videos we made are a lot of fun, but no one is getting a “30DOH” tattoo yet. Yet.

So let’s scale the question back. Instead, ask this:

“Is my idea sticker worthy?”

That’s an easier question to answer. If you want a great example of someone who figured this out, look no further than Yeti coolers. Right now, thousands of people are buying stickers, t-shirts and hats to let you know which method of keeping ice cold they prefer.

Ten years ago, if a friend told you, “I’m going to put this Igloo sticker on my car to make sure people driving near me know what type of cooler I prefer,” you would have stared at your friend a little bit.

Now, because Yeti has done an amazing job building their idea, we don’t think twice about it. We’re more than happy to put stickers on our cars as symbols of which tribe we belong to. From Yeti to Apple to CrossFit, we like to self identify with brands that “get us.”

It’s easy to brush off the Harley-Davidson tattoo story because the company was founded in 1903. They’ve been consistently telling their story for 113 years. You’d have to be a vampire to compete with that longevity and if you’re eternally dead, tattoos are probably the least of your concerns. Focus on the sun, son!

It can be discouraging when you look at your new idea and think about how young it is. What about Yeti though? Have they spent 100 years building their story? 50 years perhaps? 20 years?

Nope, they were founded in 2006.

They’ve only been around for 10 years and I promise no one was putting stickers on cars the first few years. They’re by no means an overnight success but they’re also not an over century success either.

Want to know if your idea is good? Want to know if your story is compelling? Want to know if your business will draw an audience?

It’s easy.

If your idea is sticker worthy, it’s good. If it’s tattoo worthy, it’s great.

Hustle

10 ways to knock out your goals.

Ask 100 people if they’d like to make significant progress on their goals over the next week and you’ll probably get 100 yeses.  (Actually, you’d probably get 99, thanks to that one jerk dentist who doesn’t prefer Trident gum either.)

Ask those same people, seven days later, if they WERE able to make significant progress on their goals and guess what happens? You get a lot more noes. (Isn’t the plural of the word “no” weird looking?)

Why don’t most people make progress on their goals?

Did those folks change their minds during the week? Probably not.

The intention was still there, but the execution wasn’t. Which leads me to one of the biggest things I’ve learned as I’ve led people through the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge:

The reason most goals fail isn’t a lack of intention, it’s a lack of action.

But the word “action” can be fairly vague, like the life advice, “Just Be Yourself.”

Let’s get specific and practical today.

Here are 10 actions you can take right now to get closer to your goal. I dare you to try one today.

10 ways to knock out your goals

1. Mark some specific times you’re going to hustle on your calendar next week.

2. Identify and write down the triggers that are likely to keep you from your making progress on your goal.

3. Reach out to someone who is ahead of you for a tip on achieving your goal.

4. Figure out how to batch work on your goal to make more progress in chunks.

5. Write down the “why” of your goal to fuel yourself when you need the encouragement.

6. Identify 1-3 things to measure so you know when you are making progress on your goal.

7. Find a person to check in with on your goal for accountability.

8. Rest! Make sure you’re getting enough rest so you don’t burn out chasing your goal.

9. Thank someone who has already helped you make progress on your goal.

10. Perform a diagnosis on your hustle. Identify and stop doing the things that aren’t effective.

Those ten actions are a part of the daily videos you get in the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge, and there are twenty more that go along with it. You also get daily emails, an 8,000-word PDF workbook, access to a private community of supportive people working on their goals and a few more fun surprises.

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Today’s the last day to sign up for the Challenge. Registration closes tonight at midnight.

If you’re ready to move past intention and take action, the 30 Days of Hustle will help you make more progress on your goals than ever before. And the 100% money back guarantee means there’s no risk at all.

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I hope you’ll join the more than 400 people who have already taken action this week to make progress on their goals.

Don’t miss it!

Hustle

The stupid trick companies pull on you all the time.

Do you know why it’s hard to get refunds, rebates and money back guarantees from companies?

Because they’re hoping you’ll give up.

One of the things I learned during my 15-year career in corporate marketing is that the harder you make the refund or rebate process, the less people will actually do it.

Companies don’t need you to make rebate requests via the mail. It’s actually a lot easier for them to manage if it’s all done online. So then why do they make you find a stamp, locate their address, print out a form, fill out the necessary information and mail in your request?

They want you to quit before you finish. Maybe during all the steps you’ll get frustrated and think, “This is stupid. Do I really need the $7? This isn’t worth the hassle.”

That’s why companies make the refund process difficult and the sales process easy. If you want to buy something, there are a million convenient options. You can purchase something with a single click. If you want to return something, the inverse is true.

I hate that.

And since I run my own business, I don’t have to do that. I get to make up my own rules.

So instead of having a complicated refund process for the 30 Days of Hustle Video Challenge, I have Ashley.

This is who gives your money back if you don’t love the course.

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Here’s the whole process:
1. Email Ashley at Acuff.me within 30 days of purchase.
2. Receive your money.

You don’t have to explain yourself, fumble around for a receipt, or gear up for some awkward conversation where I try to talk you out of the money back guarantee.

Why did I make it so easy?

Well, I think you’re going to love the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge.

I think that because it’s awesome and we’ve only had 20 people out of 3,000 ask for a refund. That’s a 99% satisfaction rate for you folks playing along at home.

I think being part of this private group of hustlers is going to really help you knock out your goals.

Most importantly, I don’t want any sort of risk to stand in the way of you giving it a try.

If you’ve got a goal you want to accomplish, try out the course. Registration closes this Friday night at midnight!

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If you don’t love it, email Ashley.

End of story.

What’s the business principle here? It’s simple, build a business that treats people the way you want to be treated.

Don’t trust companies that are quick to take your money and slow to give it back.

And don’t miss the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge.

Sign up here!

Hustle

It only looks like I’m dying in this photo because I am.

A few days ago I ran the Nashville half marathon.

My wife Jenny took this photo above the crowd 100 yards before I crossed the finish line.

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Although I look graceful and full of life, as if you took the wind-like sounds Yanni makes with his piano and transformed them into a human, I was dying inside. Here are the thoughts that went through my head during the last two miles:

1. I hate running so much.
2. Why would anyone ever do this on purpose? Running is for escaping not enjoying.
3. Even while running I can’t help but alliterate.
4. I wish I never signed up for this stupid thing. I paid money for this experience.
5. That sign with Steve Harvey’s face at mile 2 that said, “You only have 1 mile left!” was funny. I see what you did there sign guy.
6. Jogging by people who are calmly drinking coffee while cheering me on kind of makes me want to punch them in the face because I wish I was calmly drinking coffee instead of doing this stupid thing.
7. I have “mouthy knees.” That’s a great name for a punk band, but I wish they would stop talking to me while I was running. I know, you’re sore. I know you’re tired. Shut up.
8. I’m probably going to run out of Eminem songs before I finish.
9. If I was taller this would be so much easier, my gait is garbage. Maybe I’ll hit an early 40s growth spurt. I hope that’s a thing.
10. I can’t wait to tell my friends in the 30 Days of Hustle about this.

The first 9 might be silly, but that last thought is definitely the weirdest.

Throughout the race, I kept thinking about everyone in the 30 Days of Hustle. Why? Because in January, I told everyone in that private community that I was going to finish the half marathon in under 2 hours. My personal record was 2:06, but I felt like I could break it this time.

When Jenny took that photo I was sprinting. I was running as fast as I could across the finish line. I had one final push left in me.

I checked my time after the race and this is what it said:

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I hit my goal by 9 seconds!

That last bit of crazy person sprinting mattered.

But more than that, having friends who dared me to train mattered the most.

It’s taken me about 40 years to learn this, but here’s what I know now:

Goals you chase together always go better.

It’s easier to hit your goals when you have a community of people supporting you.

It’s more fun to hustle on goals with other people.

You save time and grind and frustration when people give you encouragement.

Crossfit works because community works. They didn’t invent new weights or exercises or equipment. They simply tapped into the unbelievable power of community.

The best part is that it’s not too late to knock out your goals in 2016.

For the first time ever I’m launching a round of the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge in May. It begins on May 9th, and registration is only open until Friday night.

The 30 Days of Hustle Challenge is a 30-Day Video Course. In addition to an 8,000 word workbook with activities, 30 daily videos and the 30DOH worksheet, you get an invitation to a private Facebook community.

You get to join hundreds of other people from around the world that aren’t settling for average. You’ll meet people writing books, starting businesses, decluttering their homes, losing weight, finding jobs and chasing dreams.

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Since the beginning of the year over 3,000 people just like you have been going through the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge and have been accomplishing amazing things. The private Facebook community is thriving and the response to the brand new videos I made has been great!

Do what 15,000 other people have done over the past two years and go through the 30 Days of Hustle Challenge. Better yet, pass along the registration link and sign up with a friend!

Too many times we regret in December and we hope in January, and in between we lose sight of our goals. Not this year. This year is going to be awesome because this May we’ll head into the summer with momentum and purpose. Sign up today and join us!

To eliminate any risk, there’s a 30 day money back guarantee. If you don’t absolutely love the course, just email me and I’ll refund your money with no questions asked. (I hate when people make their refund policies more difficult than that.)

Don’t believe the lie that you can only crush goals in January. May is the new January.

(Note: Registration closes on Friday night. Don’t miss it!)

Hustle

The hidden secret of those who hustle well.

What actions come to mind when I say the word “hustle?”

Working harder?

Doing as much as possible?

Getting more done?

Those are all addition activities, where you add more activities and more actions to your life. That is an important part of hustle, but hustle is more than that.

Successful people know hustle is also an act of subtraction. You have to remove things from your life that don’t matter so that you can focus on the things that do.

But in a busy world where more things compete for more of your time than ever before, what are the things you should ignore?

Better yet, what are The 3 Things Successful People Ignore?

That’s the question I’ll be addressing in a free webinar next Wednesday night, May 4th at 7PM Central.

I’ll not only tell you what they are, but I’ll give you practical advice on how to ignore each one.

And if you can’t make the live webinar, I’ll be sending out a replay link to everyone who registered for the event so they can watch it later.

Sign up here to watch live or to receive the replay link.

Hope you join me next week!