The Filter

My friend Christian runs a blog called The Maverick CEO.  A couple of weeks ago he did a podcast that I really loved with a girl named Debra Trappen.  When I clicked through to her website I ended up finding something REALLY cool that I have found very useful to me when making decisions in business and in life.  If you go to the D11 Consulting website you’ll see the option to enter your email and get a “Define Your Core Values” worksheet. The idea is that if everything you do is aligned with your “core values” then you will be a much happier person.  It makes absolutely no sense to spend time on anything that you don’t really believe in or are not passionate about.  You only live once, and there is no reason to be doing things that you don’t want to be doing or things that don’t help you get to where you want to be. So the worksheet is basically a giant checklist with a bunch of words on it.  You check off the things that you care about or the things that are important to you.  Once you’ve checked off all of the things you care about, you start to narrow down to just 10 words.  Once you’ve narrowed it down, you have your 10 core values. I need to insert a caveat here.  I think I may have used the worksheet a little bit different than it was intended.  I immediately eliminated words like “family” and “spirituality.”  Those words, for me, are a given. Every decision I make is really to better not... read more

Celebrating 1 Year

I may not make 500 words because I don’t have a lot of time.  We have been celebrating the gym being open for 1 year, and I have a 50K race to run tomorrow morning early.  I wanted to try to check in with as many words as possible.  Look at the awesome people in this picture.  I would say 95% of them are all Olive Branch CrossFit athletes if not all of them. I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way but when we had our “Grand Opening” event one year ago I remember being a little bummed out because not a whole lot of local people showed up.  Most of the people that came to our grand opening event were friends of mine and John’s from the local CrossFit community.  I had put a lot of effort into promoting the grand opening event and I honestly thought there would be a ton of local Olive Branch folks there.  Most of the people in this picture are members of our gym.  No effort to promote, just our 1 year celebration. As I stood before this awesome group of people in this picture this morning I immediately felt a huge wave of emotion.  I had them all circle up in the gym.  I looked around from right to left as I got ready to “warm everybody up.”  It hit me that this is exactly what I wanted. I did not know probably 90% of the people in this picture one year ago.  I think we had more people in the gym today than we did at the grand... read more

The Guitar

I bought this guitar when I was 15.  It cost $139.00.  24 years later I still have it, and I still sort of know how to play it.  I carried it to school with me every day.  I played and played and played and played for hours on end every day.  Tom Petty, Bad Company, Skid Row, Boston.  I must have played Free Fallin’, Shooting Star and More than a Feelin’ thousands of times.  It was so cool to learn to play songs and when I learned a new one or a new riff I would play it over and over and over.  I have callouses on my hands now from pullups and deadlifts, but back in the day the tips of the fingers on my left hand looked much worse than my hands do today.  I was dedicated.  I practiced and practiced.  I loved it, and still do. From the time I was 19 years old until about 24 or 25 I played in a band here in Memphis.  We played just about every dive you can think of in this town.  It was great.  Most people go to college and party I partied on stages and ran around jumping and windmilling E chords playing very loud rock and roll.  It truly was amazing.  It was my first experience having a real “wolfpack.”  A group of guys that would literally do anything for each other.  It sounds cheesy, but it was true.  At that stage in our lives, we would have done anything for each other. That’s me on the left. 🙂  So why am I telling you all of this?... read more

A Day of Chill

There was something different about today.  I haven’t figured it out just yet, but I feel like I have been on a different level all day.  I started my day coaching early as usual.  This is a “race week” for me so I did not train today.  That gave me a big break between my 6am class and 8:30 class which is when I usually train.  I have a lot of things going on right now, and a lot of things I need to tick off my todo list.  However, I decided to just take a moment and chill with my favorite album of all time.  When was the last time you just sat down and listened to an entire album?  Hopefully it was recently.  I haven’t fully embraced the idea of meditation just yet, but this is my own little form of meditation.  Sitting down with No Code and just letting my mind wander.  You should try it sometime. Once I was done coaching classes, I got to spend the afternoon with some of the Barbell Shrugged team.  Since I was in a meeting with them the day before I knew everyone was going to be at Barbell Buddha’s house filming some sort of video.  I always love getting to hang out and work with the guys so I cleared my schedule and drove over there.  I stopped at Starbucks on the way and ended up with a free coffee because the machine was broken and I had to wait (Score!). I knew everyone was going to be together, but I didn’t realize they were going to be recording... read more

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing!

I just replied to a text from a good friend of mine that he sent like two days ago.  I have been missing a lot of messages lately.  Either in email, on Facebook (which is becoming more and more overwhelming every day) or text message.  Until recently the message hierarchy of importance has gone like this:  Text Message > Email > Facebook > Phone Call.  Seriously, I hate talking on the phone unless we have something super cool to talk about.  So if you really wanted to make sure I got the message, the best method would be to send me a text.  To a certain degree, this is still sort of true.  However, now text messages, Email and facebook have different levels of importance within themselves.   Facebook I now have Facebook pages and groups to manage and those pages have messages as well as my personal Facebook messages.  Now it seems to be common practice to just tag people on your own page when you want to ask them something so now there are like 5 or 6 different things to pay attention to just within Facebook.  Who has sent you a message?  Who has sent a page a message or who has tagged you in post?  Did I look at all the little red notification bubbles? Email Then there is email which I now have cut down to 3 accounts that I need to check.  I am forwarding a couple of email addresses to my personal email address, but there are a couple of accounts that I still need to access directly and communicate with clients using those addresses.  Fortunately... read more

The Climb

When I was a kid one of my awesome neighbors had a killer magnolia tree in their front yard.  When I was eight or nine years old it was the most epic thing I had ever seen.  I loved to climb this tree.  It seemed that the limbs of this tree were just perfect for us kids to climb.  We all climbed up this tree probably every day we got the chance.  One day I climbed up pretty high in this tree, and either lost my grip or a branch broke when I stepped on it.  I fell down to the ground.  Right on to my back.  It knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.  That was my first real experience with pain that I can remember like it was yesterday.  I remember my friends mom coming outside and comforting me.  I was scared and not really sure what had happened.  Not unlike what we experience as we grow up and as we become adults and get older.  I can point out at least 3 or 4 times in my life when I have fallen out of that tree and had the wind knocked out of me.  Maybe when I quit my first job, got divorced or was rejected by someone when I presented them with an idea I thought was great.  We all get the wind knocked out of us at one time or another.  It’s how we deal with the set back that matters. When I was a kid I could have never climbed another tree again in fear that... read more

Negative Energy

Today I listened to this podcast:  Starting From Nothing:  The Foundation Podcast is a great podcast that features entrepreneurs that basically started from nothing and grew to do millions of dollars of business or more.  This particular episode is with Ari Weinzweig who is the founder of a Deli up in Ann Arbor called Zingerman’s.  This guy is really awesome.  I loved listening to him talk about his business and how he runs his company.  There were a lot of business related nuggets I took away from this podcast, but there were even more nuggets that I took away that I thought could apply to all of our personal lives. The biggest thing was negative energy.  He talked a lot about surrounding yourself with people that encourage you and make you feel like getting things done, making things happen, and then removing or avoiding the people in your life that are always negative and making you feel bad.  This has been a huge thing for me in the last year.  How do you seek out and find people to hang out with that inspire you to be creative and get things done?  More importantly, how do you become that person that other awesome people are attracted to and want to hang out with? How can we make sure that we don’t give off that negative energy that puts people off and keeps us from being productive, creative, inspiring, and all those positive things. We need to be able to take an honest look at ourselves and how we are behaving.  Do we find ourselves complaining about a lot of stuff ?... read more

On Running in the Woods

I have a 50K trail race coming up next week.  I am really excited about it as it will be my longest run since my last 50 Miler back in April.  I had a pretty decent eight mile training run this morning out on the trail that the race will be held on next week.  I really love running through the woods.  It doesn’t matter if I am by myself or with other people.  I usually try to solve some sort of problem while I am out there.  If I am by myself I will think about a problem that might be stumping me or try to think out plans for a project I might be working on.  Today I was by myself for almost all of my run so, for example, I think I managed to plan out a whole new episode of the Barbell Geek podcast.  If there are other people running with me then I usually try to talk about what they are working on or try to tell them about something I have going on to give feedback or get feedback.  No music, no earbuds, just good thought and conversation. Today I ran with a great group of people from my gym.  A number of them were running on trails for the first time ever.  I am always worried about bringing new people out to run on trails for the first time.  I worry that they won’t be prepared and get lost without water, food, or whatever they might need.  Everyone did awesome today though.  No problems at all.  There are a couple of cool... read more

Let Us Enjoy This Fantastic Voyage

One of my new goals that I am trying really hard to work toward is making everything I do fun and enjoyable.    If something is not fun, satisfying, enjoyable, or if I do not get some sort of sense of accomplishment out of it then I am going to try my hardest to not do that thing.  Of course, we all have times when there are things we must do that we really do not like doing.  In those instances I am going to make a point to figure out a way to make it fun. Here I am once again with an idea that I have no clue where I got it from.  I am listening to so many podcasts at this point that I am having trouble keeping up with who I hear say things.  I guess it does not really matter as long as there is a positive change in my life or behavior.  Anyway, the idea is basically that you should try to insert fun into everything you do.  Most of us take ourselves way too seriously most of the time, and when we take ourselves too seriously I feel like it makes it harder for us to make an impact or lasting impression on anyone. A perfect example of this is coaching a CrossFit class.  It can be so easy to get into a routine when coaching classes and forgetting about the experience of the people in that class.  In our gym we have been putting a lot of energy into our “Free Saturday Class.”  We invite anyone and everyone to come workout... read more

The Corporate Exit Strategy and Figuring Out What You Want to Do!

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and he told me that he had just had  “one of those moments” at work  that pushed him closer to the edge of quitting and going out on his own.  We talked about a few options that he might have that would allow him to supplement that “reliable paycheck” that anyone who has been in the corporate world has taken for granted at one time or another.  This conversation reminded me of another conversation that I had with another one of my friends earlier in the week.  This other conversation was with another friend who owns his own business, and had also left a job several years ago to start his own business.  He was telling me how hard it was when he first started (yup, know all about that), and how he just had to keep working no matter what.  You have to know that everything is going to work out.  No matter how hard it is or no matter how bad you think the situation might be, you will eventually make it.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but you just have to force yourself to remain positive. It is a little easier to stay positive though if you know exactly what you want to do, and it also REALLY helps if you are passionate about what you want to do.  Is that easier said than done though?  Maybe and maybe not.  How do you figure out just exactly what it is you are good at or what you love to do? I am not sure where... read more