Do Over

2 ways to love your job more in 30 seconds.

I don’t finish books. This is a shame, given my chosen profession of writing books, but there it is.

My shelves are piled high with books I’ve read thirty pages of. Even great books tend to die an early death in the face of the busyness of life. I’d love to think you’ll finish this blog post, but there’s a whole world of awesome things to do, like kite surfing, so let’s not waste any time.

There are two walls that stand between you and doing something you love with your life. The first wall is called attitude and the second is called expectations.

If you want to have a better job today, deal with both of those walls.

I can’t teach you a new skill in the next thirty seconds that your boss will be blown away by. I can’t change your character in the next paragraph. One post of words will not deeply impact your hustle on your dream or fix all your relationships, but if you want to have a better job right this second, that’s possible. All you have to do is choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.

Notice I didn’t say, “Change your attitude.” That could take years. Choosing it, though, takes a handful of seconds. Monday at work, choose to have a good attitude. Choose not to be cynical. Choose not to act like you’re doing them a favor by showing up. Choose not to complain. Choose to cheer for the accomplishments of your coworkers. Choose to treat customers like superstars.

Choose your attitude every day until eventually it chooses you right back.

It’s not about feeling happy or feeling committed to your work or feeling like being a good employee. Feelings are the flightiest things in the world, held to the whimsy of a thousand factors. Feelings will tell you the day is already ruined because you woke up on the wrong side of the bed or had a bad commute that morning. Don’t listen to feelings. Make choices. Today, choose a good attitude. This is the one thing you can do right this minute to actually shock your boss, improve your work relationships and dramatically increase your long-term odds of an awesome career.

The second thing you need to do is to adjust your expectations. What are you expecting your job to do for you? We all carry laundry lists of secret expectations, and when our jobs fail to meet them we fail to enjoy our work.

Do you expect your job to fulfill every creative wish you have? Do you expect work to bend around your dreams and hopes? Do you expect that this will be the last job you have, since changing jobs is such a hassle?

Take three minutes and write down what your expectations are for work. And then, take another three minutes and write down the real ones because you probably just lied to yourself a little bit.

Tom Magliozzi, the late cohost of NPR’s Car Talk show, theorizes that “Happiness Equals Reality Minus Expectations,” but I disagree. If you pull the thread of that thought, what it’s saying is that “The way to be happy is to not have expectations,” but that’s ridiculous. To have an expectation is to have a hope. To have a dream. To have a desire about something you want to happen. Surely, deadening our ability to hope is not the solution to our frustration at work. The trick is not to eliminate your expectations; the trick is to adjust them.

Write them down and then find the right home for them. You may very well have some expectations that belong at your job. You may also have a lot of expectations that belong somewhere else. Like a side job or a hobby or a different job all together. I’ve always wanted to write books of poetry. Was that the right expectation to place on my last boss, Dave Ramsey, a by-the-numbers financial guru? Probably not, but I still mistakenly did it.

When your attitude or expectations get out of whack you create a vicious cycle that cripples most Do Over moments. Your unspoken, unmet expectations give you a bad attitude. Your bad attitude makes you even more unreasonable in demanding that your job meets your expectations. You do enough laps around this circle and work becomes more miserable.

Want a better job right this second? Choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.

Want to take the next step to loving your work? Read my book Do Over. It’s the best $11 investment you’ll ever make in your 40 year career. Buy a copy today.

Hustle

The lesson I learned in the shower.

Recently, I noticed that Jenny purchased a body wash called “Hustle.” I laughed when I saw it because I’ve made a habit of overusing that word.

I stopped laughing though when I saw the yellow callout on the bottle.

“Compare to Old Spice Swagger Body Wash.”

They clearly meant you were supposed to compare the products. They expected you to to analyze the texture, cleanliness and ability of each body wash to make you smell like an 8th grade boy who has run out of Axe Body Spray. In that respect, I assume they are equal.

But what happens when you compare Hustle to Swagger?

Those words are often thrown around together by fake entrepreneurs who love posting watches and yachts they don’t own on Instagram with terrible motivational statements.

Are they really the same? Here’s what I think.

Hustle is quiet.
Swagger is loud.

Hustle is humble.
Swagger is proud.

Hustle believes in work.
Swagger believes in words.

Hustles lives in the future.
Swagger lives in the past.

Hustle competes against itself.
Swagger compares itself to others.

Hustle knows rest is part of creativity.
Swagger thinks rest is for the weak.

Hustle thrives on intention.
Swagger thrives on attention.

Hustle asks strangers for friendship.
Swagger asks strangers for favors.

Hustle is vulnerable enough to hope.
Swagger is too cool to care.

Hustle knows when it’s enough.
Swagger doesn’t even believe in that word.

I could go on and on, but we’ve both got things we need to hustle on today.

Hustle is not the same thing as swagger. Not even close.

Want to learn how to hustle? Read pages 207-262 in my book Do Over.

Don’t have it yet? Let’s fix that today.

Hustle

Bon Jovi was wrong and you probably are, too.

Last week, I asked this simple question on Twitter:

The results were staggering, but not surprising.

We tend to over edit ourselves during the creative process and it’s a colossal mistake. Why?

Because you’re usually the worst judge of things you create.

No one really knows perfectly if what they’ve made is good or not. We’re too close to the project to see it for what it is.

Take Jon Bon Jovi for example.

He didn’t want to put the song “Living on a Prayer” on their album. He didn’t think it was good.

Richie Sambora, his guitar player, convinced him to do it and it ended up being their most popular song of all time.

There are two takeaways from this:

  1. Don’t self edit so harshly, especially during the early stages of a project.
  2. Get you a Richie Sambora. You need someone who can tell you the truth.

You kill good ideas when you expect them to be great too soon.

And once they’re done, you can’t see them for what they really are and need community to tell you.

If you remember that, you’re halfway there …

P.S. I wrote a book about being awesome at what you do. You should read it.

Do Over

The one tool I use everyday.

How have I written 6 books in the last 7 years? (New one comes out this fall!)

Being really tall helps, but more than my amazing height, becoming productive has been a process of learning how to use a few simple tools.

I use Evernote to capture my ideas.

I use a stopwatch app to focus on one thing for 60-120 minutes.

I use a big notepad on a stand to plot out ideas without being chained to my desk.

I use a variety of tools to knock out my day, but the one I use the most is my calendar.

About six years ago I got tired of my years just sort of happening to me. Without a plan, the weeks would just march by one by one without anything really changing. I felt stuck.

During that season, I heard that a young entrepreneur I knew who had started a calendar company. Unlike other calendars, this one was massive. It’s 25″ x 36″ which means I’d have three feet to work out my days. It was beautifully designed. And it was available in both paper and dry erase.

I personally used that calendar for years and years. I recommended it to so many people that eventually it just made sense to partner with my friend and design my own.

We only print 1,000 each year and we’re almost sold out.

Best of all, you can save 20% today. Just enter code “DoOver” at check out.

If you’re ready for a big year, get a big calendar.

Click here to order.

Do Over

I need your help today for a hilarious reason.

A week ago, I announced I was holding a meme contest for the paperback launch of Do Over. (You can buy a copy right here.)

The two winners would receive an awesome stack of books from Penguin.

I thought I’d get a few entries and then ask you to vote on the three best.

That was a dumb expectation.

You sent in hundreds of entries. There are so many amazing Do Over memes that we had to create a quick survey to tally the results.

That’s where you come in.

Will you please take a few minutes and vote on your favorite meme? The survey will be open for 48 hours. (It closes Saturday morning at 10AM Central.)

Here’s the link.

If you made one of these memes, tell your friends to vote for you!

Are you ready for some hilarious memes?

Click here!

Do Over

You’ve only got 14 hours left.

Have you ever dreaded Sunday night because it reminded you that Monday morning was coming?

Have you ever looked at the clock expecting it to be noon and it’s only 10AM because your work day is dragging?

Have you ever felt like one week of vacation wasn’t enough because it took you that long to even shake off work?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s time to read Do Over.

And not someday, today.

Why?

Because I made a 7 part video series you get for free if you order before midnight.

Best of all, it’s only $11 right now.

Enjoying your job is worth $11. (Probably even $15, but let’s not get carried away.)

The free 7 part video series disappears in a few hours.

Don’t miss it and don’t spend another week dreading work.

Order Do Over today and then fill out this form for your free videos.