Category Archives: Uncategorized

HustleUncategorized

3 simple questions that reveal your big goals.

When it comes to goals, people only have two amounts:

1. None at all.
2. Too many.

People will tell me, “I just don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t have one perfect passion like other people.” They have 0 goals and January, the greatest goal setting month of the year, comes and goes with a whimper.

The second type of people have too many goals. They have 1,000 things they want to do. They have half written books and almost cleaned garages and diets that were half started scattered about every corner of their lives.

The good news is that figuring out a goal for 2017 is not that complicated.

On the piece of paper, I just want you to answer three questions:

1. What do I need to do?
2. What do I want to do?
3. What should I do?

What will go in each category? Well, a need goal is something you have to do or you will be fired. Or divorced or die. For instance, if you’re in the middle of budgeting season at work, you might not want to do your budget for next year, but if you don’t, your employment will come to a very unsurprising conclusion. That’s a need goal.

If your wife has asked you to go to counseling, that’s a need goal. You might not feel like doing all the things that it would take to do that particularly activity, finding a good therapist, checking if your insurance will cover it, being honest to a complete stranger with a beard who is asking you questions while the white noise of a sound machine tries to lull you into vulnerability, etc. but you need to if you want to repair a broken marriage.

If your doctor told you that at 42, you’ve already consumed the amount of bacon an 88-year-old would consume, you probably need to exercise. You may never be one of those smiling psycho paths you see on Instagram who love 4AM work outs and see nipple chafing from a half marathon as a badge of honor, but that’s not really the point. The point is that if you don’t exercise you’re going to die. You need to do it.

Start writing down need goals without judging the quality of them at all yet. We’re not trying to create a perfect list or even a complete list at this point. We’re creating our first list.

Question 2 asks, “What do I want to do?”

This one is tricky becomes it borders on the quicksand like nature of passion, calling, and purpose. I think all of those are great things, I just think when we try to answer those questions sometimes we get stuck and never do anything.

So don’t read “What do I want to do?” as “What’s one thing I want to do?” Or “What’s the most important thing I want to do?” Or “What’s the dream I’ve had since first grade, the one my dying grandmother wrote on a piece of paper and stuffed into my hand on her deathbed, begging me to fulfill as my destiny under the coyote moon some day?”

When I asked this question one December, here are some answers I had:

1. I want to run the Nashville Half Marathon in under 2 hours.
2. I want to make a certain amount of money next year.
3. I want to take 6 weeks of vacation.
4. I want to sleep 7.5 hours each night.

Those are four things I wanted to do, but I didn’t need to do them. If I ran the Nashville Half Marathon in 2 hours and 10 minutes, nothing bad would happen. If I didn’t even run it at all, my life wouldn’t be dramatically impacted. If I only took 5 weeks of vacation that year, I’d still have a pretty good year.

Those are want goals. You might have had them for years or maybe only minutes, but what’s something you want to do?

If you have a hard time coming up with some, try using a time frame to make it easier. What’s something you want to finish this year? This month? If that doesn’t work, reframe the question with the future in mind. That’s how we handle our neighborhood pool.

Our reputation as a family is that we pool hard. If our neighborhood pool is open, you can find us there. Why? Because our house is small. It’s old. None of the kitchen cabinets close. They’re like relaxed fit jeans or sweatpants. They just kind of pucker open, which is convenient in a way because you can see what’s inside them from across the room by looking through the two-inch open gap.

Our friends have nicer houses. I get jealous when I visit them and they have those drawers that close themselves. Have you experienced those? As you slide the drawer shut, it’s like the cabinetry says to you, “I’ll close this last inch for you. You’re busy. I’ve got this for you!” But the downside of our house is balanced out by the upside of our delightful neighborhood pool, unless we don’t go ever.

So on the 17th day in a row in a July when we are tired of dragging that cooler down the stairs one more time and sick of putting sunscreen on our kids, why do we still attend? Because we know that in October we will wish we had. When the pool is closed and the days are dark and the house feels small or as people who don’t live in it tell us, “Charming,” we’ll ask ourselves, “Why do we live in this stupid house? Oh yeah, the pool. I’m glad we went so many times last summer!”

It’s a simple forecasting trick. In July, we ask, “What do we want to be true in October?” And when we have an answer we change the way we behave in July.

So, if you still don’t have something you want to do, ask yourself that question.

What do I want to be true a month from now?

What do I want to be true a week from now?

If that still turns up zero results, ask a friend for help. Ask a coworker or a boss, I guarantee they will have an answer for you. Say, “I’ve been reading this blog by this really tall, really, ‘commanding’ is the word I think I’m looking for author and he says that the future belongs to people who do things. I want to be one of those people. Can you think of something in my life that I could do? Is there a goal I’m missing?”

They’ll have a few ideas, I promise.

If they say, “No, you’re already perfect, but when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell, you don’t know you’re beautiful.” it’s probably time to find new friends.

Also, be careful that you don’t edit your wants right now. It’s tempting to judge them as not good enough or noble enough. Don’t worry that they’re too vain or should be more impressive or aren’t big enough. Fear loves to tell you that you’re being selfish as a way to prevent you from even going through this exercise.

The third question we need to answer is “What should you do?”

A should goal is something you should do if you were a better person. If you were a better mom, you should spend more time with your kids. If you were a better husband, you should not have an epic fight while putting up the Christmas tree. It always looks so peaceful on Facebook, people are hanging popcorn strings and twinkly lights while making out. But then you set up your tree and it’s always a lot more yelly in reality. You should not have that argument.

This question is a little tricky because at first glance it’s not a particularly fun activity. You’re trying to call out these slippery, shame filled ideas out of the shadows. But remember, the goal of this entire exercise is to reduce the number of things you’re trying to do and nothing clogs your ability to hustle like a whole bunch of unidentified should.

The dangerous thing with should is that it will talk you into doing things you really don’t want or need to do. I see this happen in offices when someone thinks at their age they should have a better job or should be making more money. A really talented graphic designer, who loves creating projects will think they should be a manager. They’ll get promoted to creative director because they should progress up the corporate ladder. But months if not weeks in, they’ll realize that managing designers is a lot different than being a designer. They no longer get to do their favorite thing which was designing projects and they might not have the skillset to manage in the first place. They can become bitter micromanagers, desperate to get their hands dirty with design again but afraid there’s no easy path to climb down a ladder without looking lazy or afraid or dumb.

College students pick majors they think they should have as well.

The trick is that I don’t want you to spend a lot of time on this particular question. Write down a few, but know that want and need are a lot more important. If anything, I just want you to get the should goals out of the way.

Three questions, limitless potential.

What do you do next once you have a list of goals?

It depends.

There are three popular options:
1. Do nothing.
2. Try what you always try.
3. Hustle.

If you’ve followed me on any social media for longer than 14 seconds, you know I love queso and I hate options 1 and 2.

I’m a fan of the third option.

Why? Because I’ve seen 5,000 people accomplish amazing things when they hustle.

I’ve seen stay at home moms start big businesses.

I’ve seen people lose weight.

I’ve seen authors finish books.

I’ve seen houses get decluttered.

I’ve seen thousands and thousands of lives change for the better.

We’re on the edge of a new year and I have two options for you:

1. If your goal is business related, take the 90 Days of Business Hustle Course.
2. If your goal is anything else, take the 30 Days of Hustle Course.

The video content is completely different for each course, but the results will be similar.

You will do more than you did in 2016.

You will look back next December and be amazed at what you got done.

You will make more money, write more pages, lose more weight or a million other things.

But only, if you sign up in the next 36 hours.

I’m going to shut both courses down at midnight on Thursday. They’ll be closed for a few months and probably only available twice in 2017.

Most people won’t change anything next year. Don’t be most people.

Swim upstream.

Make big goals. Live big dreams.

Hustle.

Uncategorized

5 ways to survive Christmas Shoes

christmasshoes

If you’re not familiar with the song, “Christmas Shoes,” then enjoy this ornament we have on our tree, give a short thank you prayer to our Lord and Savior and skip this post all together. That’s a pretty charmed life you’re living friend. Savor it.

If, though, you have experienced the melodic tale of the boy who wants to buy shoes for his dying mother because he wants her to look nice when she meets Jesus, I have some good news for you.

Here are the 5 best ways to survive, “Christmas Shoes.”

1. If it comes on the radio while you are riding in a car, don’t forget to tuck your shoulder when you open the door to roll out into the street. If you can, try to time your roll when the car is going slowly and let your back take the brunt of the landing. If you’re driving, this is still valid advice. Your car might ghost ride for a little while, but you can always buy a new one. You can’t always unhear this song.

2. Don’t try to negotiate with it. Much like fear, the Christmas Shoes song cannot be beat with logic or rational thinking. Don’t waste time with questions like, “Where is this kid’s dad? Does he have a dad? Why shoes? Why not a Christmas dress? Why not a delicious bowl of queso? Why not a copy of Do Over (now in paperback!), maybe that kid could help two families at once, his and mine? Has an 8 year old ever successfully purchased a women’s shoe in the history of mankind?”

3. Forget trying to make it an “acquired taste.” This song isn’t like algebra, it doesn’t get better once you get used to it. Don’t think that listening to it on repeat will solve your problems. The only way this song could be worse is if they pandered to the troops too. “Sir, I want to buy these shoes, I just came back from Afghanistan. Bald eagles!”

4. Keep it out of any Christmas playlist. I know what you’re thinking, “Jon, I’ll just hide it in the middle of a 100-song playlist. No one at the party will notice.” They will and so will you when you notice people are leaving your party.

5. Stop being friends with people who say it’s not a bad song. They’re wrong. Those people have terrible judgment and probably prefer unfrosted pop tarts as well. Stop doing life with them.

We’ll get through this friend, I know we will, but it’s going to take a village.

What is your best tip to survive Christmas Shoes?

Uncategorized

What can you do with 1,000 candles?

That’s an interesting question.

If you’re just a random candle collector, the best you can do is probably terrify neighbors. Imagine how weird it would be to live next to someone who lit their house with 1,000 candles. And what if they were all the same scent? “What can I say? I like the smell of clean laundry. A lot. I like that scent a lot.” (There are 7 candle aficionados who just got mad on my email list.)

But I’m not talking about one person owning 1,000 candles, I’m talking about 1,000 of us each buying a candle from Thistle Farms.

For more than 18 years, they’ve helped women escape the bonds of trafficking, prostitution and addiction.

I’ve worked with them for years and starting today, we’re launching a “Stand on New Ground” campaign.

The concept is simple, more candles = more light = more women finding their way home.

I’ll never forget the story one survivor told me about her childhood. Her mom sold her to her drug dealer when she was 12. Can you even begin to think about what that’s like? As a dad of daughters, I will always use my platform to support organizations like this.

The candles are amazing and are such high quality that Whole Foods carries Thistle Farms. (I need to do a whole post on why having a big heart isn’t enough to be a great non-profit, you need big execution and excellence too!)

If you need a gift idea for someone or just want to do something kind for a stranger, buy a candle today.

My goal is to sell 1,000 for them. That feels like a lot but who ever said it was fun to play it safe?

Thanks for being part of this adventure with me. There are a lot of women in Nashville and other parts of the country who will sleep inside tonight instead of under highway passes because you cared. You gave them the chance to stand on new ground.

Buy one here!

Uncategorized

Do you have a terrified Cinderella rug I could buy?

Cinderella

Designer:
I’m making the designs for that new Cinderella rug. Are we doing the standard smile?

Client:
No, I’ve got a new idea. I don’t want a smile. I want a slightly concerned frown. Like one of those moments on the Bachelor when the guy says something really dumb and the contestants are trying to pretend he didn’t? I want Cinderella’s mouth to say, “What did I get myself into? I barely know this guy. I decided to marry him after one dance? Who does that? That’s how marriages start on the Jersey Shore. I only know two things about this guy: He’s good at dancing and he has my shoe. Is this really who I want raising my children?” Can you make the smile look like that?

Designer:
I think so. We call it the “old turkey” in the design industry. It’s the look you make when you smell old turkey in your fridge and you can’t remember when you bought it. You really want a turkey sandwich but you’re perched on the razor’s edge of food poisoning. Is the turkey still good? Does turkey always smell this gross and you’ve just never noticed? You’d call your wife and ask her but she’s super tired of you calling her in the middle of the day with turkey-related questions, so instead you just scrunch up your face and say “ehhhhh.”

Client:
Perfect. And for the eyes, I want her cutting them to the side trying to get the attention of a friend who can save her from a bad date. She met the guy on Tinder and he’s committed a significant amount of “Face Fraud.”

Designer:
What’s that?

Client:
Face Fraud is when you use a photo from 5 years or older as your profile pic. You find your best photo and post it regardless of if it looks like you anymore. Anyway, she’s on this date with this guy from Tinder and she regrets it. The guy didn’t mention how many ferrets he owns and he owns a lot. He won’t stop talking about them and keeps saying, “They really don’t smell once you get to know them.” But that’s a lie. And she knows it, Cinderella knows it. She just saw Belle walk into the bar and she’s hoping that if she can cut her eyes and express enough panic/terror in them, Belle will come over and help her escape the date. But Belle is busy talking to a cup and a plate so it’s a real challenge. She’s cutting those eyes, just hoping. Can you do that look?

Designer:
Definitely.

Client:
Great. This is going to be one amazing rug.

Tweet this please:

HustleUncategorized

If you have time to binge watch TV, you have time to hustle.

Everyone I know is busy.

We have too many emails, too many meetings and too many commitments.

I haven’t met anyone in the last 5 years who said, “I just have too much free time.”

We are all too busy.

But just as we gripe about our bloated calendars, we discuss the TV shows we are watching.

Not just watching, binge watching.

That used to be a bad word. In the 80s, “binge” had a negative reputation indicating something unhealthy.

The word binge was whispered about people who had no self-control. “Did you hear about Tim and the Rolos? It’s just terrible. He binged on the whole bag like they were peanuts. But they’re not. They’re chewy caramels covered in milk chocolate. Dark if you’re fancy and think you’re better than everyone. He binged!”

Now, that word is a product benefit used to sell shows and movies and cable sign ups.

Binge

I’m OK with that. I like TV. I love Netflix. It’s one of my favorite apps on my iPhone.

What I’m not OK with is us pretending we’re busy and then binge watching things.

Please stop telling me you’re too busy to hustle on a dream and then tell me about how you binge watched Making a Murderer.

When our words betray our actions, we miss the simple truth about time:

1. You have more time than you think.
2. You make time for things that matter.

Time is funny that way. If we really want to find it, we usually can.

You don’t get to use both B words in your life. You can’t say you’re too busy and at the same time give in to the binge.

It’s one or the other.

Watch a show. Watch a thousand shows, just don’t tell me you’re too busy to hustle on your dreams.

There’s always enough time for the things we care about.

HustleUncategorized

3 reasons to give someone a book this Christmas.

Books

Do you know when I realized I was an adult?

When I got luggage for Christmas and was excited.

I got a new suitcase and was thrilled/depressed. I was thrilled because it had a tri-fold department that would keep my shirts from getting wrinkled when I flew. I was depressed because I cared whether shirts got wrinkled.

I like luggage and was glad to get that gift, but do you know what makes an even better present?

A book.

Do you know why? You’re about to because here comes a list of reasons:

1. Books are passports.
When you give someone a book, you give them much more than just a collection of ink and paper. You give them a passport to a different world. You give them the keys to a whole new kingdom. You give them an invitation to a new way of looking at things. A tie is just a tie. A blender is just a blender. A book is never just a book. When Brian Jones gave me “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” in 1999 he gave me a survival kit for the corporate world I was about to enter. I never forgot it and to this day I still give copies of the book to other people.

2. Books are personal.
I used to think “it’s the thought that counts” was just a phrase grandmothers said to make you feel better about the terrible homemade gifts they got from grandchildren who were bad at glitter infused crafts. Now I know it’s true. When you give someone a book, it’s always personal. It always has thought behind it. In a sea of 3 million possibilities you picked out one book for one friend. It’s especially personal if it’s a book you already read and loved.

3. Books are for now and later.
My favorite thing about books is that they tend to find you at the exact moment you need them most. Have you ever had that experience? A friend gives you a book and you don’t read it right away. You read a few pages but it doesn’t hit you. So you put it on a shelf and forget it even exists. Later that month or year, something in your life changes and the book almost jumps off the shelf. You pick it up a second time and it’s like it was written just for you. When you give someone a book, it’s like you’ve given them a time capsule to open later.

I think about books as gifts because I’ve written some that didn’t make good gifts. If you gave someone my book, “Quitter,” it felt like you were saying, “Hey, here’s a book about quitting a terrible job, like the one you have. Loser.” You couldn’t give that one to people.

Do Over is just the opposite. It’s a book about learning to love your job. It’s funny and personal and helpful. It makes a great gift for:

A stay at home mom curious about doing something new. Parents Magazine named it the “Mom must read of the month.”

Someone in their 20s who wants a guide to navigating the ever changing world of careers.

A military member about to transition into or out of the armed services. (You talk about a big Do Over

, entering civilian life is a gigantic transition.)

Anyone who wants to add more meaning (and fun) to a job. We’re all going to spend 40-60 hours of each week for 40-60 years of our lives working, shouldn’t we invest in them?

In summary, Do Over is a bright, yellow surfboard for anyone surfing the career waves.

Give a friend, a family member or yourself a copy this Christmas.

But regardless of which book you buy this year, I challenge you to buy one for one friend.

Books are big gifts that look small on the outside.

Give big.