Success Road

Welcome to Success Road Podcast. Today’s episode features Brent Magnussen. Brent is an avid practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, an accomplished cook, a speaker, and the author of the book Roger Up: The Mission Ready Blueprint to Crush the Morning, Own the Day, and Be the Best Version of You

Brent is also one of the board members of the Resilient Warrior Foundation which serves United States veterans, and first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress. This organization provides scholarships to study the art of Brazilian jiu jitsu in the Academy of their choice, anywhere in the United States. Brent is a veteran and also an avid practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu. 

Benefits of Brazillian Jiu-jitsu  

When someone is a member of the military, you are constantly in high stress situations. From the first day an individual arrives at basic training, people are screaming at you at four in the morning to get up and do a bunch of pushups. And they're spraying you with hoses and whatever else. Not to mention the verbal assault you take for a couple of months. As a result, individuals learn very quickly how to deal with stress. Once you’ve been in the military for an extended period of time, you get used to it. Then, when you leave the military, you're no longer in a constant state of stress. Many people have trouble coping with the difference in lifestyles. 

What Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu does is it provides you the opportunity to use stress in a safe environment. This allows the veteran to relearn how to manage stress. When you go through hard situations, you learn how to manage them. This approach transfers over into your work life, into your relationships, and into everything you do. You learn how to become a better person, and you get your confidence back.  

A Real Life Example

Brent mentioned his daughter is nine years old. And when she gets older, she's very likely going to be a smaller person as her Mom is five foot tall. I don't think Emma's going to be much over five foot, four or five foot five, 105 pounds. And God forbid, someone, some guy tries to attack her or hurt her.

Since she has been trained in jiu-jitsu, she's going to know exactly what to do. When she's on her back and having to deal with an aggressive person, she's going to know what to do. When a bully confronts her, she's going to know how to use her words first, because she's going to have that extreme confidence that if it does get physical, it doesn't matter if. 

Establishing A Morning Routine

 Brent came up with the Zero Five Thirty Blueprint. First, he gets up at 5:30. He says the key is getting up at the same time every morning. He says to never use the snooze button. The first thing he does is smile. Then he does a hundred pushups. He smiles because it tricks his body and gives him the right mindset. Then he gets up and makes the bed. Then he drinks sixteen ounces of room temperature water. Next he does some quick diaphragm breathing and goes for a walk. And after his walk, he takes a cold shower. 

In the rest of the podcast, Brent shares more information about Brazillian jiu-jitsu, morning routines, the benefits of water, and more. I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast. Special thanks to Brent for being on Success Road. 

Direct download: sr426.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Today’s episode of Success Road features Eddie Maalouf. Eddie is an entrepreneur and marketer at brilliantmarketers.com 

Eddie’s Personal Story  

In college, Eddie would skip classes and go out start his own businesses on the side. He always had the idea of starting his own business. Once he graduated college, he worked for a fitness company and became the number one salesman. But once he realized he had reached the top spot, he decided to quit his job and work for his father for a flat rate plus 20% of any revenue increases in his father’s business. During that time, Eddie realized like the wonders that marketing actually does for a business. Since then he expanded by starting a team and building an agency.  

How To Push Past Barriers and Limits

Eddie sees three challenges that are common to most businesses. The first challenge is when people are making money, and they're often self employed, and they don't want to hire. They want to see how much they can make without having to hire someone. But then there comes a point where you need to hire someone. 

In some cases, there are people that are ineffective in their company, that aren't doing the job. When you fire them, you notice that your efficiency as a company still stays the same.

Eddie says, “I'd rather own half of a watermelon than an entire grape.” This is why mindset is so important when looking at a business. In order to get to that kind of watermelon point, you have to build the team around you to take care of other things.

The second challenge is marketing. Eddie says the biggest growth in every business that he has seen comes from a really good marketing campaign. So that is usually the bottleneck. And when that campaign works well, it often leads back to the first challenge with hiring. 

The third challenge is that owners need to invest in themselves and their own mindset and personal development.  For example, if all someone’s friends make $10,000 a month and they make 20,000 a month they think they're a success. But you know, if you actually said that at the wrong table at a restaurant, you realize all those people are making a million dollars a month. All of a sudden, that whole mindset that you had your whole life just kind of comes crashing down. 

How To Start Hiring People 

The first step is recognizing where you need employees. When a business owner hires someone to do one or two jobs that take the most time out of your day, you'd be surprised within a month, they probably are doing that job better than the owner, because that is that they do that from nine to five every single day. 

Once Eddie realized this, he became more comfortable hiring and like losing money for a month, knowing that next month, this person on my team is going to be able to generate that revenue back and make even more revenue in the future. 

Eddie says that it is also important to know that not everyone is going to have the same vision as the owner. And they're not going to understand what metrics are important and what standards the business owner has. That’s why it is important to use KPI’s, or key performance indicators, on paper for each position. 

I learned a lot from this interview and I wanted to mention that Eddie’s course is available at brilliantmarketers.com. This program primarily teaches business owners how to learn online advertising. I recommend checking it out. 

Thanks so much for listening to Success Road, and special thanks to Eddie for being a guest. 

 

Direct download: sr425.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Welcome to Success Road. Today’s episode features Brad Hart. Brad is an entrepreneur and author who has a lot of experience building mastermind groups. This episode will focus on how masterminds work as well as the benefits of joining a mastermind. 

What Is A Mastermind? 

Brad says that a mastermind is made up of 8 to 15 people that are seeking clarity and accountability. Masterminds are also about getting the support you need in a trusted environment, which gives you the leverage you need to overcome any challenges, stay engaged in your business, and also achieve your goals. 

The main difference between a mastermind and group coaching is that the facilitator of a mastermind isn't necessarily the guru or the expert. There might be several experts in the group. And there might be multiple solutions that different people are looking for. But generally, a mastermind member comes with the expectation of getting what you came for, but also a whole lot more. Each member learns from the experience and the hot seats of the other people that are in the group. 

Brad says when he runs a mastermind, he loves for them to be intimate, and he wants each member to get at least 10 to 15 minutes on the hot seat. The hot seat gives every member the clarity that they need to make the breakthroughs that they need to move forward in their business. 

Different Levels of Masterminds

There are free masterminds and there are also masterminds that cost six figures a year to participate in the group. Brad encourages everybody to not compare themselves to others, but rather to focus on their own growth. One of the really cool things about mastermind groups is that there are different shapes and sizes. Brad has been a part of 30 now. He has participated in free ones to high-ticket masterminds with well-known entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Neil Strauss, and Tim Ferriss

Just One Word Makes A Big Difference

Whenever Brad talks about the price of masterminds, he looks at it as an investment. He does not look at it as a cost. He says, “It's only a cost if you don't get something out of it.” The reason he joined masterminds is to be connected to the people that can solve the problems that I have. And this mindset propels Brad forward. Brad doesn't look at a mastermind as a one time event. Rather, a mastermind is an ongoing process. Just as you don't shower once and expect it to work forever. You don't brush my teeth once and expect it to work forever. You need to keep intentionally participating in these activities.

The Next Step For Your Journey

Brad recommends that everybody start with his book, 8 Minute Mastermind. He also has a podcast with the same name that you can check out here. Brad is very passionate about masterminds, and I know they can be very beneficial too. I hope you’ll consider joining one or starting one as you move forward. 

 

Thanks to Brad for being on Success Road. 

Direct download: sr424.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

When you’re starting or growing your business, it is extremely helpful to get outside help. Specifically, I’m referring to help in the form of coaching, consulting, masterminds. Of course, you can (and probably should) get some help on regular daily tasks, especially when those tasks need to be done, but take your time and focus away from the most important and revenue driven tasks.

Last week on the podcast, I shared an interview I had with Matt Clark. It was a fantastic interview and gave me some really great takeaways and things to think about. After the interview, he ended up giving me a spontaneous coaching session. I’m going to share that part of the conversation with you, and it picks us right after we ended the official interview. If you didn’t listen to that episode, you’ll definitely want to go back and listen to that conversation first - this episode will make more sense.

After the conversation I had with Matt, I also started working with a business coach, who agreed with what I needed to work on. In order for me to really hone in on what my offer is and how to present it, I needed to get clear on who I wanted to serve. So I started to delve into who my target audience is and create a specific avatar. His name is Anthony. I loosely based him on one of my clients that I absolutely love working with. I’m currently working on my offer - as Matt plainly told me - I’m too cheap and have basically positioned my service as a commodity.

Another aspect that I’m getting help to work on my business - rather than in my business - is through my mastermind group. We’ve been meeting weekly since late March of 2020, and have only missed a couple weeks. We take turns being in the “hot seat” where we can each get help in specific areas where we need improvement or to help us get clarity on what we should be focusing on. It has been very helpful for me to get this extra perspective between my business coach and mastermind group.

Next week on the podcast, I’ll be sharing a conversation with Brad Hart, and we’ll be delving into exactly what a mastermind is, different ways of doing it, and the benefits from these groups. If you think you might be interested in either getting coaching yourself or joining a mastermind group, let me know and I’d love to help you get going with either or both of these. Send me an email, joshua@podcastguymedia.com, and I’ll help you get started.

Direct download: sr423.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Today’s episode of Success Road features Matt Clark. Matt specializes in helping coaches, consultants and advisors get more leads. If you have a small business, you know the importance of finding new customers. This podcast episode provides valuable insights that will help you automate the sales process and find more qualified leads. 

Matt started doing door-to-door sales and transitioned to online marketing. After some experience with online businesses, he realized there was a big need for finding new leads. 

He wasn’t having any success with Facebook and the traditional routes to find new leads. He realized that LinkedIn gave him a platform to be able to just find and connect, and reach out to my ideal clients. He starts conversations and then converts them into customers. 

 

The Key To Sales

Matt says one of the biggest challenges businesses face is “How do you get people interested in what it is that you're doing?” You need a message that's going to capture people and lead them to take action. Then you want to take them through a repeatable sales process. A common approach is to start off with something like a landing page where people can learn about what you do. Then people can see what connects with them and then find out more about how you can help them get results. 

The best part about this approach is that it is evergreen. It doesn’t need to change. When the sales process is streamlined, businesses save yourself tons of time and even have these potential customers watch a video or take a questionnaire before anyone gets on a sales call with them. In addition, this approach provides many opportunities to scale up your business.

 

Finding The Ideal Client

Everything starts with your ideal client. Many business owners say that they have between two and four different potential ideal clients. But it is important to narrow it down to one person. One of the best questions to ask is “Who would you be willing to put time and energy and effort into to get on a phone call with?” Another great question to ask is ”What are the biggest problems you can solve in the easiest way?”  

Matt recommends taking a look at your previous clients. Summarize how it went in words. You might say, “Okay, cool. Well, you know, I've helped five different people. Some of them were in the same industry, some of them weren't. But I really liked working with this person.” And you can start building a model around that person. Ask questions like: 

  • What industry are they in? 
  • What is their job title? 
  • What size company do they have? 
  • What was the big problem that you solved for them? 
  • Do other people have this kind of problem too? 

And you just go and look for you to solve that one problem, and then look for more people with that problem.  

You can connect with Matt via LinkedIn here or reach him directly at connect@thevirtualedge.com. In addition, Matt has invited Success Road listeners to get his 20-minute LinkedIn Profile makeover

 

Direct download: sr422.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Ready to boost your productivity to new heights? Today’s episode features USA Today Bestselling writer, Russell Nohelty. He is not only an author, he also runs three companies. Clearly, Russell has to be very productive. And in this episode, he’s going to share with you how he does it. Best of all, his approach is actually very simple. 

 

The One Thing

Russell uses The One Thing approach which was made popular by author Gary Keller. The One Thing focuses on moving one domino or boulder at a time. If you focus your attention and energy on one specific area, you can move past the one challenge that is in your way. And then once you push that domino over, you create momentum. Then you move on to another domino. Most people don’t have one clear intention. They are just very busy. But being busy does not mean you’re being productive. 

For example, Russell wanted to be a USA Today bestselling author. Not so much for the acclaim, he wanted to have this behind his name so get more clients and reach more readers. It took about two years of pushing all sorts of different boulders and working with people to push that boulder over. But he pushed that boulder down in 2018, and says that it felt great. 

 

Another Important Approach 

Russell uses time blocking during the week to take care of the tasks that are most important. Every block of time is labeled as green time, yellow time, or red time. Green time is when you are working on things that are moving you towards your goal or working with customers. Green time is when you're making money. 

Yellow colored time is focused on activities that are indirectly related to Russell’s income. For example, customer service, shipping something, or doing payroll. Lastly, there’s red time. These activities have no bearing on making money. Some of these things include eating lunch, going to pick up your kids from school, or going to a doctor's appointment. While all of these things have no bearing on making money, these tasks are still essential. 

 

Working During The Right Time

It is very important to work when you are most productive and have high amounts of energy. Russell says that while he doesn't have any kids, he has two dogs that are very, very needy. They want his attention most between about 6 am and 8 am, and 5pm to 7pm. Because of that, he knows that he is most likely to have a problem with distraction during those times. With this knowledge in mind, he does not schedule his green time during those hours. 

For even more info about Russell’s approach, I recommend listening to the podcast. It’s a great interview. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. 

 

A Final Word

 To further connect with Russell check out The Complete Creators blog and podcast. This content helps creators build better businesses and then make the best work of their life. And don’t forget to check out his author website which features his fiction work which focuses on fantasy, sci-fi and supernatural stories.

A special thanks to Russell for being on the show. I hope you are able to use some of these approaches to be more productive on your journey.

Direct download: sr421.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Do you want to scale up your business? Thinking about making that first hire? Today’s episode covers these topics and more. Get ready as JC Hite is going to share his story as well as some really helpful information about how to hire and scale up your business. 

JC Hite started out as an entrepreneur when he was only 14-years-old, and now he leads Hite Digital as Founder and CEO. Hite Digital is all about helping digital marketing agencies scale. They provide SEO, PPC, Facebook, websites, and CRM automation for agencies. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or on Instagram.

 

Scaling Up Your Business

 Before you start scaling up your business, it is important to take the time to consider your goals. One way to figure out your goals is to ask questions like, “What do I really want to do?” The answer to this question is key in the scalability of a business. JC’s goal is to create 1,000 jobs. That goal would give his company the ability to serve about 10,000 clients in total. So 1,000 jobs is the goal. In order to reach that goal, JC says that he knows he has to have some great systems in place. 

It is very helpful to ask questions like: 

  • What’s the endgame? 
  • What do we want to build? 
  • Why does it matter?

And then reverse engineer your goals. But that’s not all you need to consider. There’s another important part of the equation.

 

Even More Than Goals

JC shares that it is also important to consider commitments. For example, what are we committed to in life? There are struggles everywhere. If you have a commitment to something, you’ll do anything for it. You’ll do whatever it takes. 

It’s also important to focus on the big picture, not just the short-term. Our commitments have to be worthy. When you see people like Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King Jr., they were dedicated to one thing. Mother Teresa was committed to helping people. Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to equality. 

I want to grow my team. And whatever the reason for it, they want to grow their team beyond themselves. So how do they get started then being able to transition from working for themselves to Okay, now they're working with other people? How do they make that transition?

 

Learning What You Need To Know

If you are hiring other people and scaling up your business, it is essential to know the skills required for a job. If you don’t know how to do telemarketing, how can you hire a telemarketer? You hire an expert who knows a lot more than you and learn what you need to know to hire for that position. 

Communication is also essential. You must improve how you communicate with other people. This takes time. You don’t want to hurry when making that first hire. Don’t hire out of desperation. 

 

My Personal Story

I’ve heard a lot of stories of people that started some sort of small business as a kid - whether that was a bike repair business, or lawn mowing service, or whatever. I never really did any entrepreneurial things like that growing up. But I did like doing creative things and starting projects. I did do a little subcontract work washing windows for a few months when I was 22 and I looked into some sort of mail-order, work from home thing - from my lack of descriptiveness with this, you can probably tell that it never worked out.

My first stint into entrepreneurship was in 2010 when I landed my first web design client. At the time, I had worked at 2 different churches - almost full-time work for part-time pay. For a couple years, I also worked a full-time job to compensate for the lack of money. But that first web design client gave me the idea that I could create my own business to provide the income I needed while still maintaining a level of freedom - both location and time freedom.

Now, I have moved away from web design and into podcast production, but, 10 years later, I am now fully self-employed.

 

A Final Word

JC highly recommends the book Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey. He even says it’s the very best book available on being an entrepreneur. In fact, every new team member on his team is required to read it. I love the book too, as Dave Ramsey’s principles helped me pay off my first home. 

Direct download: sr420.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 8:18am CST

What is one of the most important things you can do to ensure success? It is also one of the most overlooked areas of our lives: mindset. 

Today’s episode features Kimberly Milousis. Kimberly has a great story and a lot of great advice to share the importance of having the right mindset in our lives. 

A Huge Transition

Kimberly had over 20 years of experience as a CPA working as a senior corporate tax manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Despite having a beautiful office, working with a great staff and earning a six-figure income, she knew something was missing. 

Kimberly and her husband decided to try something different. She left her job not even exactly knowing what her next steps were. She just knew she wanted to do something more. 

Pivoting During Times Of Change

Kimberly found herself pregnant shortly after leaving her job. She decided with her husband that it was a good time to sell their home in Toronto and moved into the country. They decided to flip houses and did that for a while during that time of change. 

While flipping houses, Kimberly had purchased some essential oils to make one of the houses smell better. Kimberly had always maintained an interest in natural health products. As she learned more about the products, she became excited about them. She found a business opportunity when she was not looking for one. 

There's also a mental aspect that Kimberly discovered as she started building her new business: that in order to move forward, you must adjust your mindset.

Moving Past Limiting Beliefs 

In building her business, Kimberly had to let go of her limiting beliefs. Some of these included having her identity attached to her past career as a CPA for over 20 years. It took her a long time to realize that she had gifts to share with the world that were not attached to her job. 

In addition, Kimberly had to get over her fear of rejection. She says,”I just wanted to be liked, I just wanted to be accepted, so the terror of putting myself out there with the possibility that someone could say no, to me was just overwhelming.”

You’re Always Selling Something

The act of selling something is very powerful. There are times when we sell our kids on the idea that going to bed is a good idea. And we’re always selling people on something whether we're making a movie recommendation or recommending a restaurant. Kimberly views sales as an act of service. She is more passionate about helping people than making money.  

A Common Setback And The Solution

We often compare ourselves to other people and what we used to do. But the reality is we are often not making fair comparisons. You might be comparing someone else’s ending with your beginning. You can't compare people that way. Comparison truly kills joy. And it also steals motivation. 

Kimberly feels more abundant in all areas of her life now: her physical health, her emotional health, her relational health, her spiritual health and her financial health. No one piece is more important than the other; they are all important. And it is because they are all pieces of a beautiful tapestry that gets woven together to create abundance in your life. 

An abundance mindset can completely change how you view everything. I would like to challenge you to spend some time asking yourself what kind of mindset you have. And then taking the next steps to improve your mindset. 

A Special Offer For Success Road Listeners

You can learn more about Kimberly’s course here. If you use the discount code “success” you’ll receive 20% off the regular price. 

Special thanks to Kimberly for being on the podcast. 

Direct download: sr419.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Do you enjoy taking personality tests? I do. I love the helpful insights they provide. 

On today’s podcast, we have coach and speaker Kelly Knowles sharing how to understand the Color Code personality test. 

The Color Code was developed by a psychiatrist named Taylor Hartman. Hartman created the Color Code as a way to help his patients get better, faster. One key differentiator with this test is that it delves down into what is your driving core motive. And this driving core motive is something that you were born with, this is your natural state. It is what drives you in your most authentic self. 

 

A Summary Of The Color Code

There are four colors: red, white, blue, and yellow. For reds, their driving core motive is power or doing things. For whites, the driving core motive is peace. They're all about maintaining a steady state, because they want to stay in a state of peace. 

For individuals who are yellow, their driving core motive is fun. They are optimistic, energetic, and they have a really fun spirit. For blues their driving core motive is intimacy or connection. They are the people that feel they are all about quality and value. 

When you start to learn these things about yourself, then you start to be able to pick out and play with this in terms of your relationships with other people. 

 

Digging Deeper Into The Color Code

It is important not to use The Color Code, or any other personality test, to make assumptions; rather, it is a tool to open up communication. While you might have one predominant core driver, you likely have a secondary driver too. 

As human beings, we are complex: it is essential to not use The Color Code as a way to generalize others or ourselves. 

 

Why Habits Are So Important

I really believe our habits make or break achieving our goals. If you wake up in the morning with the best of intentions and you say, today I'm going to do something in about five seconds, I'm going to offer that Murphy's Law is going to kick in and something is going to jump that off base. 

However, if you have some habits built in, if you even have some routine built in, those are actually Something that will give you freedom. And you're going to find that you're going to be able to achieve your goals and make those strategic steps that you need. Even better. 

When habits are used to create freedom, you will see great traction. Instead of habits being about limitations, they are tools that you use to build a better life. 

 

An Important Change

We grew up believing we should minimize our weaknesses, but I believe this isn’t true. First, we should not call them weaknesses. Otherwise we view them as problems. Rather, you can view them as limitations. And it is ideal to maximize your strengths and neutralize your limitations.

There are many tools and services available that we can use to neutralize our limitations. If you are someone who is disorganized, there's technology out there. There are personal assistants out there professional organizers that can help you with that limitation. to neutralize it, so you can go and be your best self. 

 

A Final Word

I encourage you to try taking the Color Code personality test. You can take it free right here. I found it really useful as a way to promote  self-awareness. 

If you enjoy taking the Color Code, Kelly offers a coaching program called Next as well as other coaching programs to help you grow and pursue your dreams. Don’t settle. Keep being intentional so you can keep moving forward every single day. 

Direct download: sr418.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Feeling stressed? Know you’re not alone. We all inevitably have stress in our lives, and we need to manage stress in healthy ways while also staying productive. On today’s podcast, Daria Tsvenger joins us. Daria is a mindset coach and has also studied cognitive neuroscience at Stanford University. Daria has a unique program called The Dream Sprint, a personal growth challenge that people gain clarity and pursue their dreams.

 

The Problem With Stress

Stress is a state in our bodies. It's a primal response that occurs in our brain whenever we face some kind of change. If the changes are sudden, our stress levels rise higher. Our brain wants things to stay the same; stress is the brain’s response to change. Thankfully there is a healthy way to handle stress. 

How To Handle Stress

Resilience is the best way to handle stress. And resilience is like a muscle in your body. When you train a muscle, you do the same activity over and over. So the next time you do the same activity, it is easier for you to do because your muscles are trained. The same concept applies to your mind. The more we process change, the more we develop resilience. 

Moving Past Mental Blocks

We all face mental blocks, things that stop us from doing the things we want to accomplish.

And it might not even be the same challenge that stops us. Daria recommends the “big perspective exercise” where you take into account how long your life actually is. 

 

On average, a human being’s life expectancy is around 80 years, which comes to about 4,000 weeks. Once you are able to realize how many weeks you’ve already been alive, and approximately how many more weeks you have to live, you’ll likely start to see that your time is limited. You know you don’t want to waste your time. This creates urgency and allows you to move past any challenges so you can take action. 

Becoming More Confident

Many people struggle with confidence. But what is confidence really? It is when you're able to keep the promises that you gave to yourself. Every time you break a promise to yourself, you become less confident. So the best thing we can do to move forward is to set micro goals. Micro goals add up and enable us to keep our promises to ourselves. 

Next Steps

Wherever you are today, I want to challenge you to take the next small step that will lead you to where you want to go. Daria’s Dream Sprint program could be a great way to get some support and accountability as you move forward. We all need support and encouragement. Once you have those, you also have hope. And hope is a very powerful thing. That’s why I make this podcast. So I want to encourage you to keep taking intentional small steps as you are on your journey. 

 

Best of luck as you pursue and achieve your goals. Feel free to contact me, Joshua Rivers, if I can help in any way. 

Direct download: sr417.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

I’ve heard the mantra “Leaders are readers” - you probably have, too. The problem is that, if you’re busy like me, you struggle to find time to read as much as you want to or as much as you feel you should.

Today, I’m going to share a couple things I’m doing to help make this easier.

Physical books

There is something special about reading a physical book. You can actually feel the pages. It’s easy to underline, write notes, or dogear pages.

However, physical books take up space. If you have lot of books, a lot of space can be used just in storing books (I have boxes and boxes of books).

eBook/Kindle books

To save physical space, Kindle or other types of eBooks make it easy to store a lot of books in a single device that may be even smaller than a single book. This makes it easy to take a lot of books virtually anywhere.

While you can still take notes, it seems to be a little more cumbersome in my opinion.

Audiobooks

A downfall to both physical books and eBooks is that you can’t do anything else at the same time (well, I guess you can do some exercise like walking on a treadmill or exercise bike).

A lot of the books I “read” are actually audiobooks. I can listen to the books while I’m doing a variety of tasks - mowing, cleaning, driving, etc. I can even speed it up and get through the books a little faster.

A downfall to audiobooks is that it’s easier to get distracted and you don’t get as much out of the books.

Blinkist

While you can miss a lot of the details in books, many times, all you need to do is grasp the main points. A lot of the details just support or prove the main point(s). There is value in getting the details, for sure, but you can make a lot of progress if you take the main point and apply it to your life.

Blinkist is an app that is like Cliffnotes - which you never used to take a shortcut when writing book reports back in school. A benefit of Blinkist, though, is that you can have written summaries and audio summaries, so it’s like a summarized ebook and audiobook in one.

While this doesn’t let you get the depth of going through the full book, you are able to get those important points out of it and have a good foundational basis.

You can check out Blinkist for yourself.

 

Direct download: sr416.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Are you an automator? Do you automate your sales? Do you automate the growth of your following? Are you able to automate for impact? 

Today’s guest is a serious automator, and she would like to show you how how to do it too. Kathryn Jones is a bestselling author, Certified Internet Marketer and the ClickFunnels Dream Car winner. You can connect with her on Instagram or join her Facebook Group Design Hackers Official. You can also pick up Katryn’s book Automate Your Routine, Guarantee Your Results.

 

How We Can Start Automating

Becoming an automator really is a mindset and a lifestyle. The word automation means to set up systems so that things can be done without human control. 

We all have repetitive tasks that we can outsource to other people. We can use software systems to free up our headspace and out time. 

Catherine discovered in her early twenties that she was lacking motivation and will power to get up. By setting up a simple system with a loud alarm clock, she discovered that she could use that tool and suddenly set herself up for success. 

She even applied this principle to eating healthier; instead of having waffles and cinnamon rolls in the house, she would only have egg whites. 

All automation can be simplified to one basic question: 

How can I avoid making the same mistake twice? 

 

Automation Is More Than Apps 

There is more to a system than just an app; barriers are important. The elimination of other possibilities is essential too. When you combine human behavior with essentially computer science coding, right, you're actually able to program your brain. 

If we look at the basics of coding, it's zeros and ones.  A computer will do exactly what you tell it to do. 

So when you're creating your routines, it is important to write out what you want to do as if you are a computer. Break it down, and you literally program your mind. 

With the example of using an alarm clock, she broke it down like this:

  1. Open your eyes
  2. Take two deep breaths
  3. Sit up
  4. Get out of your bed
  5. Leave your room and close the door so you can't go back in there
  6. Walk to the alarm clock
  7. Turn it off
  8. Go into the bathroom
  9. Close the door and shower.

When you eliminate other options, you also get your brain into a regimented routine. 

I highly recommend you listen to this entire episode, as we spoke more about health and routines in the show notes as well as automating your business. Thanks to Kathryn for being a guest on the Success Road Podcast. 

Direct download: sr415.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Are you falling short in meeting your goals? Or maybe you feel like something is just missing. 

On today’s episode, I chat with Roman Marinov about goal setting. Roman is a relationship coach who has been trained in Tony Robbins’ coaching program. He also is offering a free 30% discount on coaching for anyone who mentions Success Road Podcast listeners. Just mention the show to him. 

Why Is Goal Setting Important?

A great example is to think of a plane. A plane needs to know where it's going. It needs to know his destination. Otherwise the plane will waste time, and fuel. It might get lost or even be going in the wrong direction. And that's what goals are for us. Goals are our destinations. That’s why goals are so important.

How To Approach Goal Setting

Roman uses a straightforward framework that consists of a quick meditation. Then he asks individuals to share their goals in four specific categories which include personal, financial, adventure and contribution. This entire process comes from the book Awaken The Giant Within.

 

And so they give Roman those goals, he writes them down. And then the next step is he asks why these goals are important to them. And the next step is getting very, very specific, creating specific action items for each goal and the deadlines. That's the process.

Best Advice For Someone Not Working With A Coach

Roman recommends reading Awaken The Giant Within and following the framework described in the book. The very first step is taking five minutes to write a goal in each category without filtering yourself. For example, if you're working in the financial category of goal, so someone may write “I want to make this specific amount of income.” Following the framework is key, and sticking to it by showing up everyday.  

 

When Goal Setting Isn’t Working

If you’re struggling with achieving goals, Roman recommends focusing is on the future. Believing something will happen and what it will feel like when it happens. This provides a form of motivation. Roman uses visualization in the morning and evening to stay on track. 

Accomplishing Goals With Loved Ones

Roman recommends reading the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, because Covey goes into depth about this topic in the book. 

 

In some cases, putting some of your money at stake can help too. You could tell a friend, “If I don't complete complete this goal by the specific deadline, use this money however you want.” And if you accomplish the goal, you get the money back. That's a pretty easy way to hold yourself accountable.

Your Next Steps

We will all fail at meeting our goals sometimes. We all have to readjust our goals too. This is all just part of the process. You set new goals, and then you create a plan. Whether you are starting a new goal or just need some help with a current goal, Roman offers a free complimentary coaching session for all new clients. In addition, mention Success Road Podcast for a special 30% off discount. 

 

Best of luck as you pursue and achieve your goals. Feel free to contact me, Joshua Rivers, and tell me some of your wins. I’d love to hear them!

Direct download: sr414.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

A key part of productivity is having the ability to focus and to do the deep work. 

Lee Chambers is the guest on today’s episode of the Success Podcast. He is a life coach,  and he is going to talk with us about this specific topic.

Lee looks at how we attach to tasks and how we then carry them out. These two areas intersect with employee productivity and performance in today's society. Here are some key points from this episode. 

 

We have so many different things vying for our attention. 

It’s becoming more and more difficult to follow our biological rhythms and work deeply for periods of time.We face many businesses that get paid to remove our boredom. At the same time, these businesses are also removing our ability to focus on one specific task and carry that out to a really high peak performance level for a long period. The average worker does so many different things today, he or she can't possibly just work really deeply on one task. There are emails pinging here and notifications over there. 

 

How To Start Doing The Deep Work Despite Distractions

It’s a lot like riding a bike. First you get on and you balance the bike. You visualize the path ahead. You start pedaling.  But do you remember what it was like when you first started learning how to ride a bike? The same applies to deep work. A lot of practice is required. You’re not going to get it right when you do it the first time. 

 

You have to set boundaries. No notifications. Your email is closed. Anything that's gonna distract you from the work is not there, and naturally takes a big step to make those intentional decisions. Deep work really starts to become a process of you becoming aware, and then implementing these things into your life. 

 

When Challenges Come Your Way

At some point you’ll face different challenges in your life. They might be health related or financial problems. Whatever the problem, you can turn a threat or challenge into an opportunity to learn. Lee became seriously ill, spending three weeks in hospital and spending six months learning to walk again. His illness was a turning point for him. Lee spent the last five years studying and practising everything he could learn to optimise my mind, body and soul. There will be times when your back is up against the wall. You must decide to take responsibility for your own situation and do what you can do. That’s how you’ll keep growing and learning. 

 

You can connect with Lee Chambers on his website or on Instagram.

Direct download: sr413.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Step into your greatness by taking action with intention and purpose.

Ryan Stanley, a Certified Personal Coach, dives into the driving force behind living life without fear and on your terms. He talks about the impact of stress and anxiety on the mind, the body, and life. Taking steps toward change will make you the creator of your dreams.

Ryan delves into the importance of shifting your mindset, pushing through negative self-talk, and utilizing your time intentionally. He talks about building patience and pushing through the stress to increase your level of success.

 

What you’ll learn:

  • Living on purpose doesn’t happen by accident. 
  • The Doc Brown Theory 
  • The first step to overcoming negative self-talk. 
  • Dealing with the mindset and taking the first step. 
  • Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful: A First Aid Kit for the Emotional Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises of Life

 

Quotes:

In order to get what we want in life in any capacity, it takes intention and it takes purpose.” - Ryan Stanley 

 

More about Ryan M Stanley:

  • Website: https://www.ryanstanley.com/be-patient-be-present-be-joyful
  • Website: https://www.ryanstanley.com/free-ebook 
  • Website: http://teachmetocoach.com 
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rms_ryanstanley/ 
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rmslifecoach/ 
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/RMS_RyanStanley 
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RMS.Life.Coach/ 

 

Recommended Reads:

  • “Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful: A First Aid Kit for the Emotional Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises of Life” By Ryan Stanley
  • “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” By Dr. Joe Dispenza. 

 

Direct download: sr412.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Chris Krimitsos and I talk about the discovery of the self by starting ugly, perfecting your craft, and innovating. We delve into Chris’s book, Start Ugly: A Timeless Tale About Innovation & Change, and discuss the benefits and conflicts of innovation.

I tend to get bogged down with perfectionism, which prevents me from getting started. The philosophy of Start Ugly is to ‘stop thinking and start doing,’ which helps me get started.

Innovators are dreamers who problem solve by probing and implementing ways to improve. Join us today as we delve into the story behind Start Ugly and some current-day innovators.

 

Quotes:

  • “It’s not starts ugly stay ugly; it’s starts ugly and perfectly execute from there.” 
  • “Innovation is always happening whether we like it or not.” 
  • “We all reach a semblance of success, and then we wind up plateauing because we’re afraid to move out of our comfort zone.”

 

Links: 

Direct download: sr411.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Over the past several months, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of changes and, as a result, we have experienced a lot of constraints, both personally and corporately. 

I have witnessed many times where these constraints have led to various creative solutions.

Schools have done parades instead of traditional graduation ceremonies. While this isn’t an ideal solution for the graduates, it was at least a way to celebrate the accomplishments. I live out in the country and a nearby small town had the whole town involved, where there may normally have been less community involvement.

While many small businesses have had to close for a period of time and suffered a lot, other businesses have had to rethink how they can operate while under the legal limitations. My wife and I recently went to a restaurant, and found out we could pay the bill through our phone - no need for a paper check or using the Ziosk machine.

Churches have worked to come up with alternative ways to gather. While many churches utilized streaming services online more - and adapting better ways of doing this - some churches started having parking lot services where everyone stayed in their vehicles. My church is one that did this - we had only online services for a few weeks, and then we started meeting in the parking lot. A few weeks ago, we started having indoor services, but increased sanitation practices and sat in every other pew.

I think about the movie Apollo 13. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m sorry for any spoilers here. When the shuttle experienced an electric malfunction and the CO2 filter stopped working, an extreme situation was created. There was an option to make some modifications, but they were faced with having to connect the proverbial round peg in a square hole. It may have been the other way around, but close enough. The scientists back on earth were gathered and a box of miscellaneous parts were thrown on a table. The leader said, “We have to make this fit into this, using only these parts.” And they only had a very short amount of time before the toxicity level got too high. Spoiler alert - they were able figure it out and save the astronauts.

 

Scientific studies about constraint

So, as I’ve been thinking about this idea of constraints breeding creativity, I found 2 articles, from Inc Magazine and the Harvard Business Review.

The Harvard Business Review article, they conducted a survey and found that individuals, teams, and organizations benefited from a healthy dose of constraints.

The Inc Magazine article said that we actually need constraints to get good at creating something remarkable.

Both articles go on to explain how constraints can help by forcing you to work with less so you can actually begin to see the world differently. They even talk about how new inventions and business practices have been inspired through various constraints.

 

Too much constraint

Both articles do mention that too much constraint can dampen creativity. In other words, there’s a point of diminishing return.

So it’s like chocolate - a little bit is good, but too much isn’t good for you.

 

Creating (or using) constraints to you benefit

Here are some ways you can use constraints:

  1. Limit inputs (time, human resources, funds, materials, etc.)
  2. Enforce specific processes (lean start-up model, agile management, etc.)
  3. Set specific output requirements

These came from the Harvard Business Review article and have a slant toward the business usage of this, but we can apply these to our personal lives as well. Here are some questions to ponder:

  • How can you create a garden when you have little to no yard to work with?
  • How can you declutter and organize your house when it seems like you have more stuff than space? (By the way, I love seeing this type of show, like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.)
  • How can you make your budget work when you lose 25% of your family income?

 

What’s really important here?

Facing constraints really makes you evaluate what is actually important and necessary vs what is nice to have.

When you start prioritizing things and you only have limited resources, it causes you to look at your situation differently.

I remember hearing a lot of examples on Dave Ramsey’s show. Dave would have people call in and do a debt-free scream. With this, they would share their story of how they paid off their debt. They got to the point where they realized the limitations they had to pay the debt and, after evaluating their priorities, they made some changes to actually start paying off the debt. Usually, they would start cutting unnecessary things out of their budget (bye-bye cable company). Sometimes they would sell some things or get a part-time job to bring in a little extra money. But, everytime, it seemed difficult or impossible when they started, but they saw that they would have to make changes, and, over time, made a big difference. And then it usually creates lasting changes and differences in the way they view their money and lives.

 

How can you create and use constraints in your life?

I want to encourage you to really think about this and see what differences you can make in your life.

 

Direct download: sr410.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

I have been concerned about many issues of injustice over the years based on various issues. The most prominent injustice revolves around race and police brutality.

There are a few problems that I’ve realized for myself regarding these.

I don’t follow enough of the news to fully understand the details of the issues. I hope to remedy this going forward.

Even with what I do know, I never really knew how to respond or react properly.

As a Christian, my first priority is to honor God in all I do. So I saw the way people responded across the county, I had a hard time seeing how I could participate in those ways while still honoring God by following the Biblical principles I know to be true.

For one, I ought not act with a spirit of rebellion. For example, injustice by a few against one (George Floyd) is not remedied by injustice by a mob against all. Peaceful protests are great, but the riots and violence taking place across the country are completely anti-Christian.

One thing I do know is that doing nothing isn’t help at all. I’m reminded of the quote, “All that’s needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”

At the same time, I don’t want to just complain about how wrong people are acting and reacting. Rather, I want to be part of a solution that actually helps people and still honors the Biblical principles God wants me to follow.

 

There is a Bible principle that shows that when offences and afflictions come to me personally, I am to take that to God and allow Him to take care of it. Additionally, it is also the responsibility of the government to execute judgment in such cases. It is not my right to execute judgment or revenge for myself.

At the same time, God tells us that when we see injustices take place, as a Christian, we are to take a stand. We are to be a voice for them. We are to help and minister to them.

My pastor, Rick Carter, Jr., took the lead over this last week to create a non-profit organization to address this exact issue. It’s called Solidarity Stand. It’s still in very early stages, but on the website, there is a pledge that can be taken. I’m going to go ahead and read that now.

 

I signed the pledge this morning, and you can also sign the pledge yourself by going to SolidarityStand.org.

Direct download: sr-solidaritystand.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 12:15pm CST

Whenever you are working on developing habits into your life, it’s easy to try to do it all on your own. Especially when you have tried to do it before and failed. You feel a sense of shame because of that failure, so you do it alone for two reasons:

  1. You don’t want others to see you fail again
  2. If you succeed, then you’ll be able to show off that you can do it

The problem with trying to establish new habits on your own is that it’s easier to fail.

Yes, there are some people who have a higher level of self-control and discipline, but we all come across weak points and temptations. Or maybe it’s not a matter of will power and just a matter of trying to remember to do something that you haven’t done before.

First of all, I want to state that we ought to rely on God to help us establish new and better habits into our lives. He’s the One that ultimately gives us the ability to accomplish what we do.

But it’s also wise and helpful to build accountability into our lives.

Let me share some ways that I’m building accountability into my life, and, hopefully, that will give you ideas of what you can do.

I’ve been sharing some things about my personal health, and I’ll use this as an example.

  1. Working with my doctor
    1. Family
    2. Mastermind
  2. Ask people to check on your progress
  3. Tracking my progress
    1. At Risk and Overweight Podcast
    2. Facebook group
  4. Sharing my progress online
Direct download: sr409.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 6:37am CST

We’ve all read different self-help or productivity books, and there are many that talk about a narrow section of a particular topic. I mentioned this as I started this season, and I’m interested in exploring what it could look like to take several of these books and start to put the concepts together to get a more broad view of the topic.

Now, there are many reviews and summaries available that cover the topics, but I’d like to start exploring how these different books intersect - how they fit together, like a puzzle.

I haven’t really started delving into this yet, but I’d like to share how I hope to approach this, and then probably start rolling through this over the upcoming months.

Here are some of the books I have in mind (and a little about each one):

  • The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
    • What is the one thing I can do such that doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
    • Less but better.
  • Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do what We Do in LIfe and Business by Charles DuHigg
    • How habits work (the habit loop) and how to create new habits
  • Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal
    • Opposite of distraction is traction (this blew my mind - I thought it was focus)
  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
    • Develop deep work routines to drastically improve your focus while working
  • Grit:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
    • Grit is about stamina, not intensity
    • Passion is not quite what I thought it was
    • I participated in a 2-month book club on this book
  • Time Management Magic: How to Get More Done Every Day and More from Surviving to Thriving by Lee Cockerell
    • Haven’t listened yet, but I have listened to Lee Cockerell’s podcast and have heard many of the principles he has in the book.
    • Lessons he’s learned and fine-tuned while working as a VP at Disney World as well as in other management positions in the hotel industry
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
    • Get everything out of your head and on paper
    • “Being creative, strategic, and simple present and loving don’t require time - they require space.”

There are probably many other books or resources I could include in this, but these 9 were readily available on my Audible account.

As you can see, they all relate to time management and productivity in some way, but all from different angles and perspectives.

I don’t have a solid plan on how I’m going to tackle this project or how I’m going to share results with you when I do, but I want to at least take the first step and introduce this to you. I also don’t know what it’ll look like when it’s done, but that doesn’t really matter right now.

Maybe you would even be interested in working with me on this - maybe like a virtual book club or something. If so, send me an email: jr@joshuarivers.net, and let me know that you’re interested in this. If I get enough people interested, we’ll get something started.

Also, let me know if there are any other books you think I should add to this list.

I’m going to have links to each of these books in the show notes, in case you want to check them out.

Direct download: sr408.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 9:51am CST

We all operate at lot based on our habits - those things we do with little-to-no thinking.

The problem is that we have many habits that don't support good health.

Formerly a software executive, life and weight-loss coach Elizabeth Sherman joins us on the podcast to share how to build healthy habits into your life.

Elizabeth traveled a lot. Her mother’s breast cancer really took a toll on Elizabeth. Her death spurred her to research how to live her healthiest life. Ultimately, she wanted to find out how to prevent breast cancer. In her research, she found that being overweight contributed in a significant way, not just for cancer, but for a variety of serious health problems.                                                                        

Going through something of a midlife crisis, she was laid off. Her therapist recommended becoming a life coach. She developed a plan for understanding habit forming. First, it was knowledge. Know what you need to do. Second, habits. Create habits that will contribute to the healthy goals you have. Accomplishing her half-marathon goal allowed her to finally see herself as an athlete.

Elizabeth explains the five-band triangle for habits:

  • Environment
  • Creating Habits
  • Skills
  • Beliefs and Values
  • Your Identity

The top band is the environment. You want to “peg” a new habit to something that you’re already doing. She gives an example of physically putting your floss next to your toothbrush if you want to start a new habit of flossing.

The second band is creating habits that then support that environment. Meal planning is an example of this.

The third band are the skills you need to execute those habits. Cooking is one example because cooking skills can support your healthy eating habits.

The bottom band is your identity. Once you identify as a certain kind of person, your identity can inform beliefs and values (the fourth band). All of these support the skills, the habits, and environment.

Elizabeth discusses how to change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts. You have to believe in your own self-worth to start to commit to positive actions.

Episode Topics:

  • Elizabeth shares a story about her mother.
  • Being a vegetarian was all she knew toward eating better.
  • How Elizabeth’s view of habit development has changed.
  • Elizabeth completes a half-marathon and she begins to identify as an athlete.
  • “Pegging” new habits to old ones.
  • Why do some of us pick up some habits more easily?
  • Considering your identity can drive all the change.
  • Uncovering limiting beliefs.
  • It’s easier to examine your family’s belief than your own.

Direct download: sr407.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 7:30am CST

As we explore many areas relating to self-development and self-care, the topics I’m trying to focus most on relate to building habits, productivity, and health. While there is some strategy involved, these are things that can be more related to tactics - specific things to do or not do. There are other things that are more like glue, holding everything together. One of those things is music.

A lot of people listen to and enjoy music, but the truth is that most people don’t really think about how the music is affecting them. So, today, I have Bill Protzman here today to talk about music, specifically in relation to self-care and self-development.

Bill opens by saying that going without music is like going without food. He speaks about feeling suicidal, and how listening to music uncovered wells of emotion.

Bill talks about how many music therapists are formally trained in the nature of the therapeutic relationship. In “vocal psychotherapy,” a therapist helps you unlock things through playing musical instruments and singing. Music care, on the other hand, is self-care using music. And music can be used intuitively to accomplish whatever goal you want. He also talks about the different ways people actually use music, and how those uses actually benefit us. For example, listening to songs about gratitude can actually draw up gratitude in you, which is ultimately a net positive, a reward.

Bill has worked a great deal with the homeless and encourages people to reach out to their local organizations to seek information about how to engage and help the homeless.

           

We also talk about:

  • Why is music important?
  • What’s the difference between music therapy and music care?
  • Music can animate genuine emotion in us.
  • Music also brings you into physical “alignment” with your emotions.
  • The spiritual rewards of allowing music to animate emotions.
  • We understand the power of voices, and we need them.
  • Bill’s books—moral injury and best spiritual practices.

Key quotes:

  • “The sounds around us are a fundamental part of who we are.”
  • “Being isolated from all sound? That would be like starvation.”
  • “Change your awareness, change your life.”
  • “Who wouldn’t want to be appreciated by someone with an elevated consciousness?”
  • “It’s not the person we know, it’s the vibration.”
  • “[The homeless] are facing humanity in the same way that we are.”

 

Connect with Bill Protzmann on his website at www.quest.musiccare.net

Direct download: sr406.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 7:24am CST

2 weeks ago, we looked at what intermittent fasting is and how it can benefit. I also mentioned that it pairs well with the keto diet, which is what we are going to look at today.

As a reminder, I am not a doctor or nutritionist - I’m just a guy trying to figure out how to lose weight safely.

 

What is Keto?

Keto is short for Ketogenic diet. It is a low-carb, high-fat diet that allows ketones to be produced.

From WebMD:

“Ketones are chemicals your liver makes. You produce them when you don't have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. Your liver turns this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends them into your bloodstream.”

So, you are basically drastically reducing the amount of carbs that to take in, neglecting your body the direct sugar it’s looking for. When you do this, your body doesn’t create insulin to process the food, so the body creates ketones from your fat cells to produce the energy it needs. Hence, the ability to burn fat and lose weight.

Just so we’re on the same page, carbs come from things like sugar, flour, fruits, beans, and starchy foods like potatoes and corn.

Things you can eat are like meats, cheese, and many vegetables. There’s actually a good variety of food you can have, it can just be hard to say no to the other foods.

 

How low is low carb?

There are a couple “levels” of the Keto diet:

  • Strict Keto - 20 carbs or less (and almost all carbs come from veggies)
  • Dirty Keto - 50ish carbs or less and it doesn’t matter where the carbs come from

If you’ve never looked into it, the numbers may not mean anything to you.

As a point of reference, if you were to get a Quarter Pounder, large fry, and large drink from McDonalds, that would be 48 carbs. For one meal.

Other examples:

  • 1 cup of cooked pasta or rice - 45g
  • Whole english muffin - 30g
  • Medium potato - 30g
  • 1 cup of corn - 30g
  • A small fruit - 15g
  • 1 cup of milk - 12g
  • 1 corn tortilla - 13g
  • 1 flour tortilla - 98g

This puts a lot into perspective. It can actually be pretty easy to get 400-500 carbs in a day. The Mayo Clinic recommends between 225 and 325 grams a day for the “normal” diet. This is one reason why I and many others have gained weight - eating too much food in general, and especially eating too many carbs.

Since everyone is different, your body will go into Ketosis when you eat between 20 and 50 carbs for 2-3 days. That’s when you start to see the difference in your weight.

 

Benefits of Keto

The obvious benefit of Keto is being able to lose weight pretty quickly. Generally speaking, the lower your carb count, the more you can lose; but that’s obviously not a guarantee. There are too many variables.

I can’t speak for everyone, but my wife and I can attest to having no heartburn while following a keto diet. While we eat normally, we’ll get heartburn and have to take antacids 4-5 days a week. On Keto, it was close to 0 times that we had heartburn in a 3-month period.

Overall, you start to feel better because you’re not having the sugar coursing through your body.

 

A couple warnings

One negative with starting with keto is what’s known as “Keto flu.” The symptoms and severity are different for everyone, but usually include things like headache, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation.

It usually happens about 2-3 days after starting and lasts for a few days. So basically, when you start to get the benefits from keto, your body is also basically going through withdrawal. 

One way to minimize the effects of keto flu is to gradually bring your carbs down so it’s not quite a shock to your body. So start by dropping to 150 carbs the first day, then 100 the second day, and so on.

Once you get past the first week, the symptoms usually go away, and your body starts to get used to the new normal.

Another thing to keep in mind is your blood sugar is you have diabetes. This would definitely be a case where you want to work with a doctor on what you should do.

 

What do I plan on doing with Keto

So, as I mentioned previously, I plan to slowly work into lowering my carbs after I get used to the intermittent fasting. I’ve been mostly consistent with the fasting, so I just started to lower my carbs.

I don’t plan on following a full keto plan most of the time, because that can sometimes be a little harder when no one else in the family is doing keto. I plan to keep my carbs under 100 and then have times where I do 3-5 days of 20-30 carbs. So this might look like being full keto for 3-4 days and then allow upto 100 carbs for 3-4 days. The whole time, though, I plan to keep doing the intermittent fasting.

The big thing for me is that I want to have a plan that I can follow consistently because I’ve tried to start the keto diet full-fledge several times, and I struggle because of the food that’s available in my house.

So, for me, doing a keto diet along with intermittent fasting will compose my eating plan to try to lose weight and get in better health.

This is only half of the equation, though. I still need to work on the exercising part, which I’ll talk about in a future episode.

Direct download: sr405.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 7:48am CST

Perhaps you have heard the terms:

  • ”Inner Critics”
  • “negative self-talk”
  • “Impostor Syndrome”

For many years, our guest today, Michelle Kuei, allowed negative beliefs to rule her life and keep her down. Her story is one of courage, determination, and vulnerability. But more importantly, it is about having the confidence to face fear in everyday life. Facing our own worst enemy, facing our own judgments and harsh criticism.

Today, she works with negative self-talkers as a life coach to discover inner strength and beauty by overcoming the fear of judgments.

Michelle and I discuss how she overcame negative self-talk and her own inner critic and how you can do the same.

Michelle begins by telling listeners her story, which began at age 11 when she was hit by a car. She had complications during the long years of recovery and, in the midst of it all, her family immigrated to New York. In addition to overcoming the physical challenges that her body presented her, she also confronted the challenge of adjusting to a new culture, learning a new language, and making new friends. Her inner critic told her she didn’t meet society’s standards. In her 40s, she decided she no longer wanted to live as her own critic and began a journey of overcoming physical as well as internal challenges, leading her to hike Machu Picchu.

In the second half of the episode, Michelle explains her “three D” rules — determination, discipline, and dedication — and how you can use them to overcome your own challenges and change your life. She also talks about her passion for changing society through education. At the end, you’ll hear about Michelle’s book and podcast and how to connect with her.

 

Key Quotes:

“The emotional challenge is the most challenging portion to overcome.”

“I lived 30 years of my life looking down to myself, being ashamed of my body.”

“One day when I was waking up, I realized that this is not the life that I want to live. I don’t want to live my life feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to be constantly beating up myself over how I look. I’m going to change that.”

“I came home and I realized what worked really well in that moment of time was that single moment of idea that ‘I don’t want to live this life anymore… I want to be different. What do I have to do to make it different?’ And that single idea got me here.”

“That just shows that when you’re determined, you can overcome.”

“With that you had to overcome both the internal and the physical aspects that you were describing.”

“The 3 D rules are determination, discipline, and dedication.”

“Determination: you have to be determined in what you want for your life.”

“Discipline: you have to be able to discipline yourself and keep showing up no matter if it’s the worst hour of your life.”

“Dedication: you have to dedicate your entire life for this to be your passion.”

“One of the things that I believe is that children deserve education regardless of where they are, who they are, and what race or gender they are.”

“My purpose of this life is to use my difference, my appearance, my uniqueness to inspire others.”

“You are not in this alone.”

 

Links:

Michelle’s podcast: Perfectly Normal Podcast

Michelle’s Book: “Perfectly Normal: An Immigrant’s Story Of Making It In America”

Michelle’s Website: https://elevatelifecoaching.org/

Instagram: @elevatelifecoach

Direct download: sr404.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Today, I want to start looking at some aspects of health. I’m going to be sharing some things that I’m specifically working on implementing into my life and how it could be a solution for you.

Now before I get into anything else, I do want to say that I am not a doctor or nutritionist - I am just a guy on a journey to get control of my weight and my health. I’m sharing information that I have found and the results that I’m seeing for myself.

The main focus of this episode will be about intermittent fasting - what it is and how it can benefit.

But first, I want to give you a quick history of my personal relationship with my health:

  • Growing up, I could eat whatever I wanted, and as much as I wanted, with no visible consequences.
  • In my 20’s, my weight would fluctuate between 180 and 195. When I got the upper end, I could fairly easily lose the 10 pounds.
  • Around age 26, it seems like my metabolism switched off. Between 2008 and 2010, I went from 195 to 235 pounds.
  • Since that time, I have periodically tried some diets, bouncing up and down in my weight - mostly up.
  • I peaked last month at 295 - that’s more than 110 pounds in 12 years.

So, not only has my weight affected my clothes and I’ve had to do the “walk of shame” on some theme park rides, but other health risks and problems have gone up significantly:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High risk for diabetes
  • Snoring and sleep apnea - I just did a sleep study and discovered that I stopped breathing almost 300 times
  • Probably more, but these are the highest priorities at the moment

 

Finding a Solution

In February, I went to the doctor, and, for the first time ever, I talked with him about getting my weight under control. Throughout all my other dieting attempts, I never consulted a doctor about it - in fact, I almost never went to the doctor - only if I was really sick and needed a doctor’s note or a prescription.

One diet I had tried before, and had good success while I was on the diet, was the Keto diet. I’m planning on talking about this in a future episode, but it’s basically a low carb diet. My doctor said that it was a good idea to follow that diet, but also for me to try intermittent fasting.

He recommended a book for me to read as I get started: Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. I ordered it right away and began reading it over the next 2-3 weeks.

It has a lot of really great information about intermittent fasting. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the past month, and have been mostly consistent with it, so I want to share some of the things I’ve learned.

 

It’s a Lifestyle, not a Diet

One of the main points of the book is that intermittent fasting needs to be a lifestyle change, not just a diet, which is just a temporary situation. A diet lasts for a month, six months, a year - whatever. And then you revert back to your normal eating habits. The problem is that your normal habits - and my normal habits - are what led to being really overweight and at risk for a lot of issues.

Committing to a forever lifestyle is the key to lasting change.

Now before you start worrying about starving yourself and the long-term effects of starvation…

 

What is Intermittent Fasting?

So intermittent fasting is fasting...intermittently. In other words, it’s having a shorter, specific period where you eat and then not eating (or fasting) for more than 12 hours. And this fasting time does include sleeping.

Many people, myself included, tend to eat late into the evening and then wake up and have breakfast. This leaves maybe a fasting time of 9-10 hours. During this time, your body is working on processing the food that you ate. After about 12 hours, your body is done processing the food, and then starts to work on healing itself.

Also, after 12 hours, your body starts to burn fat for energy, since you don’t have the sugar from your food to draw from.

With intermittent fasting, the point is to take advantage of these self-healing and fat-burning aspects of fasting.

 

Intermittent Fasting Plans

So, there is more than just one way to do intermittent fasting:

  • 5:2 - where you eat regularly for 5 days and fast for 2 days (not consecutive: i.e Wednesday and Sunday)
  • 16:8 - fast for 16 hours and eat during the 8-hour window
  • 18:6 - fast for 18 hours and eat during the 6-hour window
  • OMAD - One Meal a Day, you give yourself a 1-hour window to eat
  • Other variations

I am starting with the 16:8 plan, allowing 16 hours of fasting each day. You can adapt your eating window to your schedule/preference. I chose to have my window be 1pm-9pm.

I’ve been doing this for about a month, and it has been a little difficult, but not as much as I thought it would have been. I’ve always been one to eat breakfast within the first hour or two of waking up, so I started by changing when I first eat during the first week:

  • 8am the first day
  • 9am the second day
  • 10am the third day
  • 11am the fourth day
  • 12pm the fifth day

It hasn’t always been smooth and I’ve allowed myself to adapt my window, like I would start at 12:00 some days and stop early. And many times, I would stop before 9:00 anyway. I’m mainly trying to keep the fasting time at least 16 hours regardless of the specific time, which I think is the most important part of this.

 

What to Eat?

This principle of only eating during your window only restricts when you eat, not what you eat.

Theoretically, you can eat whatever you want to inside your window and still be doing an intermittent fast.

But you do need to remember why you’re doing the fast - in my case, I’m trying to be healthier and lose weight. So, while I can load up on cookies and brownies, it’s not necessarily the best choice. (my daughter has been on a baking kick lately, which has made this harder)

 

It’s not a Religion

Remember, intermittent fasting is not a diet - it’s a lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that it controls your life - it’s supposed to compliment your life.

So, if you have a birthday party - eat the cake and icecream, and get back to eating better tomorrow. If you have family or friends from out of town for the week, go ahead and eat brunch, even if it’s outside your eating window; and then get back to it when they’re gone.

If intermittent fasting becomes such a burden, you’re going to hate it and give up on it.

 

Pairing Intermittent Fasting with Other Habits

One way you can maximize the effectiveness of intermittent fasting is by pairing it with other habits.

For me, I plan to add a Keto diet on top of intermittent fasting. I’m waiting a bit until I get used to the intermittent fasting part before adding this. I’ll be talking about this more in a couple episodes, but the two work really well together when it comes to losing weight.

Another thing that I’m adding is exercise. My doctor wants me to do 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week. I haven’t had a history of exercising, so I’m slowly working on adding this. I’m currently doing 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week, but hope to get up to my doctor’s goal within a month.

 

This is obviously a quick overview of intermittent fasting, but I hope this has given you some great information to help you decide if it might be right for you. It’s ok if it’s not. If it is, however, I would encourage you to check out the book I mentioned earlier, “Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.” (this is an affiliate link, so I’ll get a small percentage if you use it, but it’s no extra cost for you)

Direct download: sr403.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 8:43am CST

We all face failure in our lives.

Sometimes the failure shows up in small doses on a daily basis. Sometimes the failure is bigger and throws our lives into a tailspin.

Stephen Somers joins us to talk about failure and how to apply it to our own lives. He shares his personal story about how he started his career focused on money and material possessions, but as time has passed, he has redefined success by helping people solve problems- problems for which he is not responsible.

Stephen discusses success through the lens of the coronavirus and encourage listeners that if they are finding themselves without work, this is the perfect time to examine and look at other outlets to sharpen skills and branch outside of your comfort zone. He shares some practical questions to ask yourself and expounds on what the answers mean in today’s economy.

In conclusion, Stephen highlights that keys to success are to develop partnerships in order to learn. Also, in order to truly succeed, he emphasizes the importance of helping others.


Key Quotes:

“Success is serving other people and helping them get what they want in life.”

“If you look at it like an experiment, there’s really no such thing as failure.”

“I quickly identified what I’m good at and what I’m not and developed partnerships with people for what aren’t my strengths.”

“There are a lot of companies winning...the are online, people can use at home…”

“People may believe they can’t start a business because they’ve lost a job but more people are home now with Coronavirus and are looking for businesses like a side hustle.”

“The supply chain can’t go down because that is when people really begin to struggle.”

“It’s good to focus on building skills that transcend the situation we’re in.”

“People struggle because they don’t have the power to change.”

“The brain is designed to protect the person.”

“Look at what businesses are succeeding right now? Make a list. What is helping them to survive?”

“You always have to change between the lens of a consumer and the lens of a producer.”

“If I’m never creating anything, that gives me the opportunity to learn how to be a producer.”

Contact Stephen:
Sidehustleheroes.com
Marketplacesuperheroes.com

 

Direct download: sr402.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

When it comes to facing the uncertainty in our world today, there are a lot of people that have given into fear.

At the time of this recording, the whole world has been in upheaval because of the Coronavirus. But even before this, and I’m sure after this is over, there is always something going on somewhere that is causing uncertainty. But we can’t allow ourselves to give into the fear.

I want to take just a couple minutes to share some thoughts about this.

 

You are not in control

If you’re listening to this, then chances are that you like to plan your life and have a certain level of control. But the truth is, that none of us really has control.

God is the only One that control in this world.

Yes, we have free-will and the ability to decide what we want to do, but we don’t get to control the outcomes from those decisions. We don’t have control over other people. We don’t have control over natural forces like storms or diseases.

So, while we like to have control in our lives, we need to learn to trust God. He’s not the cause of the turmoil we’re in, but He has control over it.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

You don’t know the future

This may be obvious, but we don’t have access to see the future or travel through time. While we can follow trends and make educated guesses on how things will turn out, we really can’t know for sure.

The Bible tells us, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow…” While a level of planning and preparation is good and wise, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. In fact, we’re not even guaranteed that we’ll even have a tomorrow.

This can be difficult for those of us that like to make plans and eliminate uncertainties. We like to know what to plan for so we can make everything as smooth as possible. We want to reduce or eliminate risk.

But, when things happen that we didn’t plan for or expect, we see that we really don’t have control.

And it can lead to fear, if we let it.

 

Fear doesn’t come from God

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear…” This is probably a well-known (or at least semi-well-known) verse, but it’s easy for us to forget it. We still find ourselves with various fears.

We may try to rename the fear as ‘worry’ or ‘concern’, but it’s still fear.

It’s not what God has planned for us. God doesn’t want us to live in fear.

The rest of that verse says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

So what does this mean God wants for us?

  • Power
    • force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):--ability, abundance, meaning, might(-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle(-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
    • Through His power, God has given us the ability to do mighty works for Him, including overcoming fear
  • Love
    • This is a sacrificial love that we should show to others
  • Sound mind
    • This gives the idea of having discipline or self-control. We shouldn’t overreact to the circumstances around us.

When we really understand this and trust God, we’ll have a peace that others around won’t understand. Not because we’re being naive or ignorant of what’s going on, but because we’re putting everything in God’s hands instead of in our own limitations.

 

When we live in fear, we won’t be making the best decisions for us or those around us. We’ll be limiting ourselves in our personal growth, and we won’t be able to become the people we ought to be - the people God wants us to be.

But when we turn everything over to God and trust Him, we enable ourselves to operate with power, love, and a sound mind - opening a path to further growth.

 

Please share this with anyone you think needs this information, and I’ll look forward to talking with you next episode. God bless!

 

SuccessRoadPodcast.com

Direct download: sr401.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 5:36am CST

This podcast is finally coming back!

This was my first podcast and I started it back in February 2013 as Quality Living Made Simple. I have taken some time off and made some changes (including the name of the podcast).

In 2018, I shared a short 10-part series called Side Biz Start, documenting a little of my journey having a side business as well as bringing some tips for people wanting to get started with their own side business.

Well, since that time, I left my full-time job and took my side-business full time. There are several lessons that I learned as I made that transition, and maybe I’ll share some of that in the future.

Over the last year, I have wanted to come back to this podcast, but between the learning curve of self-employment, trying to grow the business, and navigate homeschooling and activities with the kids, I just haven’t had the proper time to invest in this podcast.

So it sat.

But, we have an odd schedule for homeschooling, so we are now at a break between school years. I have gotten better at managing the home/work balance. And now I’m ready to devote some time to share some things on this podcast again!

 

So, what are we going to be looking at?

Well, the Success Road podcast is about the journey to reach success – and that means different things to different people.

While I’ll be sharing things that are under the broad topic of self-development, there are a couple areas I really plan to focus on:

  • Productivity/time-management
  • Habits
  • Health

I plan to share these both with interviews with authors or other experts, various forms of case studies, and personal insights and examples.

About every other week, I plan to focus on health. I have struggled with my health and weight for years, but for the first time, I am actually getting help and guidance from my doctor. I have only visited the doctor a handful of times during my 20 years as an adult but am just now working with my doctor and we came up with a plan for me to get back down to a healthy weight. So, I’ll be sharing my own personal progress and insights that I’m learning, as well as bringing on guests to bring additional perspective.

Another thing that has really become interesting to me is with reading books and actually implementing what I’m reading. I have a habit of read a book – actually, usually listening to an audiobook – and mentally making notes of what I can do to improve myself. I may even write a couple quotes down…on a piece of paper that gets lost. I have observed that I have this pattern of inaction, even though I’ve gone through dozens of great books.

Last summer, I was able to be part of an online book club that met about once a week for 30 minutes. We went through two books over a 2-3-month period each. It was great to reach 1-2 chapters a week and then have a time to discuss and reflect over the content. It helped me to start to implement more that I had ever done before.

I also realized during that experience, that I kept thinking about and referencing other books, podcasts, or other resource. And that’s when I got a great idea (well, I think it’s a great idea):

I want to look for and share topics and ideas that are found in multiple resources and bring the different perspectives together. For example, comparing or contrasting ideas in books like Procrastinate on Purpose, The One Thing, and Getting Things Done. Each book focuses on certain aspects of being to accomplish things, so what can we learn from each one individually AND what can we learn by combining the lessons to create a broader view.

I’m not exactly sure how this would look for the podcast, but I do plan on at least sprinkling some of this into some of the episodes.

I hope that you’ll be joining me on this journey, and I welcome your feedback as we go through. Maybe you have a personal story that you want to share as well. Just send me an email, joshua@successroadpodcast.com, and I’ll be happy to talk with you, and maybe even bring you on the podcast!

The first full episode will be released in about 1-2 weeks, so stay tuned for more!

Direct download: sr400.mp3
Category:career -- posted at: 9:05am CST

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