November 13, 2017

Fear, Worry

If you are worried or afraid of anything, there is something in your mental attitude that needs correction.


Worry and fear are negative emotions that serve no useful purpose. Worse, they are not benign influences on your behavior. Both tend to expand if left unchecked until they crowd out positive emotions and beliefs, taking over your mind and filling it with counterproductive emotions that cause you to doubt your ability to succeed at anything you attempt. Unless you control worry and fear, one day you will discover that they control you.

While the emotions can’t always be corrected with logic or reason, they are always susceptible to action. Act, and even if your actions aren’t entirely appropriate for the situation, the very act of doing something — anything — constructive will have a positive effect on your mind and attitude


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November 5, 2017

Knowing vs. Doing


In 1999 the book "The Knowing - Doing Gap" was published, and in one of the great wasted efforts of writing/publishing, we already knew about the gap, and we continued to do nothing about it, as usual.

Here's the idea, in its earliest known form, by Confucius (551-479 BC):

I hear, and I forget.
I see, and I remember.
I do, and I understand.

The problem is that we simply do not DO what we know to be true. 

Changing our behavior is the Holy Grail of creating a successful life and business. It is so rare that behavior change actually happens that it seems almost non-existent, in fact it seems impossible to almost everyone except the few who find their way to it.

We are the way we are because our actions (our DOing) has created ourselves to be that way. Nothing happens in the universe except by some Action. A body at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by some outside force; a body in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by some outside force. This is Newton's First Law, and it applies to everything in the universe, including you and me.

A couple of hundred years later, Aristotle (384-322 BC) was clear about this:

We are what we repeatedly DO.
Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

It's all about DOing, and the continual DOing. If we want a result, we must Do the actions that will produce the result. This is the Scientific Method. Cause and Effect. It is a universal truth. 

We have known this for thousands of years, and yet we ignore this great truth.

Why?

Behavior change is hard. Changing habits is hard. It is our human nature that we seek our comfort zone. We are lazy. We take the path of least resistance. We like instant gratification. So, basically, we will not change unless we are forced to change by some external force that is stronger than our desire for comfort, stronger than our fear of the unknown. Good luck with that, right? 

It may take a major negative event to create the positive energy to commit to change. In my case, it was personal bankruptcy. It was the final devastation that left me with the knowledge that I just absolutely must change my life, total commitment was needed to find my way back to success. You might even say that bankruptcy was the best thing that happened to me to get me back on the right path, and stay on that path until success was achieved. 

Can you do it? Yes.
Will you do it? Probably not. 

Just writing those words is a painful admission. And yet I prefer to focus on working with the few who will DO what is needed to achieve their goals in Life and Business. Unfortunately, in order to find the few, many others waste their time and mine. But without working with the many, the few can not be found. If you think you are one of the few, call me! I want to help.

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Resources:


The Knowing - Doing Gap (online book, free)

What Got You Here Won't Get You There (book by Marshall Goldsmith, amazon)





October 31, 2017

Meditation on Meditation - Doing The Most Important Thing



There is a billionaire VC who will invest in startups ONLY if the CEO meditates. The VC went through a period of depression and on his path in finding his way back he found meditation. In this story it mentions that 50% of startup CEOs now engage in some form of meditation/mindfulness.

Personal experience with meditation has been a long time coming. I am a child of the Sixties when it was all Peace and Love and Here/Now. Meditation was being discovered and made popular in this group of hippies who were becoming self-aware. I knew of this, but I was also involved in high-pressure business startups, so it seemed that there was never enough time to for anything so frivolous as meditation. And yet all the time I suspected that it was the right thing to do, an important thing to do. Yet it never got done.

Things have changed...

As of this writing, my iPhone's Calm app has recorded 327 consecutive days of use, indicating that I have turned on the app and experienced 10 minutes of a guided breathing meditation. For me, that is an incredible achievement, because I have been doing something I have always wanted to do, and it has taken me so long to do it. It seems there is always something more important than taking a few minutes to do the Most Important Thing.

Meditation has become a habit now, but the process of becoming a habit involved periods of doing and not-doing. Before this streak of 327 days, the previous long streak was 55 days, and of course I was bummed that I missed a day, and thought of having to go through another 55 days to get past my record. Only partly because I wanted to set a new personal best (the competitive me), and partly because I realized 55 days was not enough to establish the habit strongly enough so that I would not miss.

There are a few apps for getting into meditation including Headspace, Calm, and today a new one by startup guru Kevin Rose he calls Oak. It's unimportant which one you use, or if you use any app at all. What's important is making meditation a consistent habit in the lifestyle you are building for yourself.

On the Unbearable Irony of Meditation Apps

Alan Watts - The Art of Meditation - A How-To guide, Pure Alan Watts 90 minutes audio

Monk Gloats Over Yoga Championship - just for the fun of it, an Onion classic

September 23, 2017

EZchecklist™ - how to be happy and productive

This is good advice. Life is about doing what makes you happy, right? The problems occur when we forget this because of all the Other Stuff that seems to take over. If you really want to do the things that make you happy, I recommend making a checklist (not just "a list" as mentioned in the graphic). Then use that checklist, and improve it, every day, to remind you to do the things that really matter.

I've been doing this for about 3 years, and have built an automated Checklist to help build the habits that are the foundation for a happy, productive life. It works for me and also for my clients!

I call it EZchecklist™ and it's available now in beta form, using Google spreadsheets. I'm looking forward to programming it as an app for mobile devices. Meanwhile, the advice below is still valid. You don't need to wait for the finished product to be happy now!

September 4, 2017

One Percent Better Every Day

The last 3 years of my life have been devoted to discovering the secrets of building good habits for myself and to share those secrets with my coaching clients. During that time I discovered James Clear and learned a lot from his writing. The product I've been building helps make success with good habits even easier. This video is a great place to start. This is a Must Watch if you want good habits to work for you.


September 3, 2017

Checklists for software development




The checklist is one of the most high powered productivity tools ever discovered.
Brian Tracy

No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist.
Charlie Munger 

Introduction to Checklists

Big Picture  
   What is a checklist - Wikipedia
   The Checklist Manifesto, How to get things right - in depth, the best book about checklists
   To Do List vs. Checklist - what is the difference?
   Advantages of using checklists - from Quora
   Quotations about checklists from the Checklist Manifesto

Who needs checklists?
   We don't need no stinkin' checklists! - if you're like these guys, you can forget about it.

Origin of checklists
   How the Pilot's Checklist Came About - people have to die before anything changes

Poor Examples of Software Development Checklists

Any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it. (Conway's Law)


Planning
   App Development checklist - from Enola Labs, What to consider before beginning
   20 Things to do before you build an app - from Blue Cloud Solutions, Mobile development

Design
   Usability checklist - from Stay in Tech, Catch common usability problems before user testing

Programming
   This is NOT a checklist; it is a list of Do and Don't, right and wrong, but not a checklist.
   This is a checklist. Not a great one, but you will notice the difference.

Testing
   US Department of Energy software testing checklist

Deployment
   Ultimate Checklist for App Deployment Success - from Stackify (Not app specific)

Build Your Own Checklists

   A checklist for building checklists - of course there is one of these!
   Checklist.com - very basic, free, and worth what you pay for it
   Checkli.com - very basic, free, and worth what you pay for it
   Process Street - better, freemium model, inexpensive
   Google Spreadsheets - free, basic yet very powerful, sharable, recommended


Checklist Secret Sauce by DoubleM

Research. Google for existing checklists to do what you need done. Modify to suit. No ego.
Begin it Now. Any checklist is better than no checklist, if continuously improved with feedback.
Delegate. Every team member has responsibility to create/use/improve checklists.
Manage. Team managers must approve changes, and for adherence to standards.
Reward. Recognition and rewards for excellence in checklist development, use, feedback.
Standardize. Add the following to your checklist for building checklists.
   
   Standard Heading at the top of every checklist 
      Checklist name
      Checklist number (Form number)
      Department
      Responsible Person - Who is the "owner" of this checklist
      Date last updated.
      Link to Change log - (Who made the change, When, What changed, Why)
      Signature of team member Who executed this checklist, When, and for What job.
   
   Sections. Break up the list for readability. Lots of white space.

   Standard Formatting
      Standard font, point size, colors, links, etc.
      Headings for sections. Indent items under sections.
      Keep it short. One line per item.  Maximum of 10 items per section. 
      Action verb to start each item, if possible. See above.
      Graphics, charts, photos. What is that about a picture is worth... how many words?
      Paginate.

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August 31, 2017

ToBeWise™ Android version now available


For all of you who have waited so patiently for the android version of ToBeWise™
here's the link: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=tobewise

Notice the free version (ad supported) and
the ridiculously inexpensive version (extra features and without ads).

What is ToBeWise™ all about, you ask?

How about a collection of the smartest things said by the smartest people in all recorded history. If you think that could help you, then you have the link. What are you waiting for?

But wait, it's more than a collection of wisdom of the ages, it's a system for internalizing it all and making it part of your everyday being. If you're still reading this and have yet to click the link, what are you waiting for?

Here's the link again: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=tobewise

Notice the last line in the graphic above?  It's a GREAT GIFT!

The iOS version is available here: ToBeWiseApp.com

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Both versions of this extraordinary app were built by Raj Sanghvi, the genius founder/CEO of Bitcot.com so if you need an app built, for mobile, or web, or whatever you can imagine, now you know my go to solution.

August 9, 2017

Scaling challenges


Every once in a while I come across something so true, and well written that I just makes sense to copy and paste it without comment, confident that you will get it without me making things worse...  Here's an example, from my favorite newsletter from CBinsights.com.


Scale challenge #1 - A culture of helpful

As we've grown to 130 folks on the team, there are a few things that have become increasingly important and that we've been thinking of a lot.

A common question we now get from the team is what is our biggest risk. We covered it at our recent offsite (slides here) but the big thing boils down to having people who are 4s and 5s on the helpfulness hierarchy.

I learned about this framework in a great essay by Daniel Debow which is linked below.




Scale challenge #2 - A culture of speed

The other thing we're really focused on is speed. As an insurgent company, speed is a killer weapon. A great essay on this topic comes from The First Round Review by Dave Girouard, founder and CEO of Upstart and former President of Google Apps Enterprise.


He writes:




Scale challenge #3 - A culture of intellect & critical thinking

While there is a lot of talk about hiring people with high EQ (definitely important), we also increasingly hire for smarts.

Isht as we scale remains uncertain and smart folks with high intellectual capacity can think critically of how to solve these challenges and know where to focus.

An oldie but goodie from HBR is linked below on this topic.



Scale challenge #4 - Stay humble. Outwork everyone.

And finally, we have to outwork everyone else. Grit, as it's come to be known.

One of my favorite essays on this is by Ray Allen, former NBA star. In his essay entitled "Letter to My Younger Self", Allen writes:

August 1, 2017

Overnight Sensation, 12 years later


When I met Jacqueline Butler 12 years ago she was an unknown but amazing artist with huge talent in what I thought at the time would be an obscure niche market. Today Jackie travels the globe as an international celebrity teacher with a quarter million followers at Petalsweet's Facebook page. At dinner on Sunday, Jackie presented me with her Opus Magnum, a most extraordinary and detailed how to book available in many languages. Check out her awesome book on amazon.
I'm so proud of her I could pop!






June 29, 2017

Michael McCafferty Changes The World...

... by inventing CRM."

That's the headline for the podcast interview with Mitch Russo.
And it's Mitch's headline, which to me seems a bit grandiose, but who am I to judge, right?

I was just writing some code to fill a need, not figuring I was going to change the world, but it does seem to the world was ready for my software. It was unthinkable that it would explode into an industry worth hundreds of billions. It quite boggles my mind when I think of it, so I focus on something else, like "so what"?  What have I done recently?

That's such a good question,
And the answers will revolve around MyChecklist™
so stay tuned for more...

Back to the main topic:
Mitch Russo is doing a series of podcasts about/for entrepreneurs,
and he calls the series "Your First 1,000 Clients."

Important stuff for any entrepreneur, even you, Elon!


Then click the play button, but don't click the big button that says CLICK HERE! 
Look right under that and you'll see the right-arrow Play button.



Click here for the podcast with DoubleM himself. Then click the play button, but don't click the big button that says CLICK HERE! Look right under that and you'll see the right-arrow Play button.