The Flight Simulator

In my past life, I was a design engineer. I designed products on a sophisticated 3D modeling software and put it through another program that flattens the design with all the sheet metal bend lines calculated (the metal stretches when you bend it, so you have to factor that in). When that’s complete, we put it through a CNC machine where it cuts, punches and embosses. When that’s done, it goes through a series of processes (deburring, bending, welding, etc) until it becomes a part.

Most products we designed had 10-30 parts, not including all the other components that make it work. And, for each production run, we made 100-5000 parts at a time. So, now imagine if one of the parts that was designed had a calculation error and during the final assembly, it doesn’t fit in place. OMG!! Trust me, I’d be the first one to get notified, and when I run out there to verify whose fault it was, everyone is on edge. If the parts are faulty, it has to be scrapped and the labor hours and material cost that was lost gets charged to the department that messed up. Talk about stress.

But us smarty-pants in the engineering department came up with an idea to reduce scrap cost being charged to our department. We built a model shop next to our office and had two incredibly talented builders that simulated everything that would happen in the production. They built every part that we designed one by one and assembled it at the end to ensure everything would fit and function. Brilliant? Yes! Stressful? Not any more.

For our finale of “Will It Fly” (a series dedicated to helping you to test the viability of any business ideas you might have), let’s quickly go over what it means to create a simulator for our business so that we can avoid unnecessary mistakes and costs and help you validate the idea on a small scale so that you can make sure it will work.

Ready? Here we go.

First, let’s be perfectly clear, validation is not someone telling you they would buy, like, read, consume, watch or listen to something you create. Validation is based on certain actions they take. Follow this formula for validation.

Step 1: Get in front of an audience

You have to have access to an audience of people in your market. If you already have it, great! If not, you have to build it yourself. There are many ways to do this. For instance, you can do targeted advertising through Google ads and social media marketing. You can guest post, hang out in forums offering answers, create engagement on groups, crowdfunding platforms…all these examples are listed in the book Will it Fly by Pat Flynn and also in the free companion course.

Step 2: Interact and share your solution

After you’ve discovered who your prospects are, it’s time to interact with those people directly. You’re not quite presenting your solution yet, but you’re really close. The idea here is to start to engage with the people who have signaled interest. All selling starts with the relationship, which means that you have to make sure that you begin by getting the person on the other end to know, like, and trust you. Qualify yourself, be honest about what you’re up to, offer the pitch…don’t ask for payment, just sell the idea for now.

Step 3: Ask for the transaction

Asking for a payment before you build your product might feel weird, but again, if you are honest about this with your prospect, it won’t be an issue. In fact, it’s pretty common to do this…just look at the Kickstarter platform – it gets funded first before it gets built. It’s a common practice. This might be the hardest step in your simulation process, but it’s well worth it. Will people that you engage with that believe in your idea put their wallet where their mouth is? This will be a sure sign that they not only believe it, they are willing to bet on it.

I love how the image above gives you a pilot’s point of view. If you’ve reached this point, “Will it Fly?” is no longer a theoretical question – it’s an opportunity to see your business defy gravity and take off! In the words of the poem High Flight, you’re ready to “slip the surly bonds of Earth and dance the skies.”

I’m so happy to have been your wingman in this process! Here’s a little music to inspire you as you go.

See you around the wild blue yonder!


It’s Not About You

I love that you are still following through with this awesome series called “Will it Fly?” I hope it’s providing the tools you need to navigate the marketplace as you prepare to launch your idea into the world.

Last week, I helped you measure the climate of the market, discover your target audience, find who the top influencers are and even what products are currently being offered in the space.

Hopefully by now, your idea has taken new shape through all the exercises and “homework” we’ve completed. You are doing awesome!

The kicker is this. The most important thing to realize for your business to succeed is: the business is not about you at all. I’m sorry – I know you’re doing so much work, but ultimately it’s all about serving your target customer.

So, let’s dig deeper into understanding your target customer. Let’s get into the mind and emotion of your end-user so that you know exactly what they’re going through and how you can best provide a solution. Let’s call it Your Customer P.L.A.N. which is broken down into four sections:

Problem – Language – Anecdotes – Needs

Problem: A business idea is really just a potential solution to target and solve your customer’s pain or a problem. The better, simpler and faster you can solve it, the more successful your business will become. How do you find out what those pain points are? By asking the right questions. Here they are:

  • What’s something about [topic] that frustrates you?
  • If you had a magic wand and could change anything related to [topic] what would it be?
  • What problems are costing you the most money right now?
  • What’s the most important activity related to [topic] that you do?
  • What related to [topic] takes up the most time?
  • Do you use anything to help you with [topic] already? What do you like about it? What do you wish was better?
  • What’s something related to [topic] that you have to keep doing over and over again?

Language: When I see a little baby staring back at me, I do a high-pitched baby talk to communicate on the same level…using lots of face expressions and such. It’s hilarious if you think about it, but very effective. When you start a business, one of the most important things you can do is understand the language your target customer uses to communicate. What words do they use to share their pains and struggles? How do they describe their dreams and goals? Speaking the same language can help make a connection and build trust.

Anecdotes: An anecdote is a short, interesting story, and they’re some of the most powerful tools you can use in your business…especially when you are marketing and promoting your products. Framing it all within a story can have a massive impact on how well others relate and respond. It reminds me of a guy who was about to go bankrupt, but then one day he found an anecdote and everything changed… his name? Abraham Lincoln. (see – it totally works!)

Needs: In this final part of the P.L.A.N., with all the research you’ve done in mind, create a list of needs that your target customers have. Now remember, there are different levels of need. If your idea is to create and sell healthy smoothies, you could be meeting multiple levels of need, such as:

  • Need for space for hip, young teens to gather
  • Need for meal substitute for weight loss
  • Need for healthier lifestyle
  • Need for nice cold thirst quencher on a hot day

Instead of just choosing a product or business to build at random, now you’ve got something with good research to back it up, increasing the likelihood that you are building something that actually matters. And that’s the PLAN.

Hopefully, your original idea has morphed into something unique by now, and you have more clarity on the direction to take it.

Again, don’t forget to check out the book Will it Fly by Pat Flynn and sign up for your very own companion course for free which I am using for this series. It goes into a lot more detail which will help you even more.

You know what they say: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But in light of Will it Fly, I’m taking it even further: if you fail to plan your PLAN, you’re a failing plane crashing toward your own planned failure.

In other words, Don’t be a Failed Plantain; be a Banana with a Plan-a.


Why And How Should I Create A Market Map?

If you are just tuning in, we’ve been talking all about “Will it Fly?” It’s a series dedicated to helping you do the research for any business ideas you might have to test their viability.

This week, I am going to share some strategies on Market Mapping. It’s basically a way to gather information on what’s already out there and working. The more you know that, the more you can stand out from the crowd. The last thing you want to do is create something that just blends in with the rest – we want to get you noticed.

With this Market Map, you’ll get a bird’s-eye perspective of the surroundings you’ll be entering to help you navigate through it all with knowledge and confidence. This Map will also become a useful guide to refer to as you are developing and growing your idea into a full business.

So, our research will begin with the 3 P’s.

  • Places
  • People
  • Products

Start a new spreadsheet and label the columns “Name” “Web Address” and “Notes.” Let’s get to work.

Places: No matter what business you are looking to start, you’ll need to find out where your future customers hang out online. Not only do you get to search all the websites that are out there dedicated to your idea, but you’ll get to learn more about who they are.

  • Start googling all the keywords surrounding your idea and look up 15+ websites. Enter them in your spreadsheet: the name of the company, the website address and the brief description of what they do and who they serve.
  • After that, search all the blogs that are written out there. For example, a simple way to do a Google search on blogs dedicated to fly fishing would be to enter “blog: fly fishing” in the Google search box.
  • Search the forums that are dedicated to your search. This is where people ask questions, discuss their pain points and offer solutions. Again, you can just enter “forum: fly fishing” in the Google search box.
  • Look for all the social media groups. Join them and look around. These are your people. Engage and learn. Make friends.

People: Now that you know where they are, it’s also important to know who they are and who is already serving them. Find the top dogs in the space, learn how they interact and engage with their audience.

  • Find the influencers on social media. What are they saying? What are they solving? What are they discussing? What are they sharing? Find the accounts with the largest number of followers – what makes them special? Why are they being followed by so many?
  • Search relevant podcasts. They have incredible resources and you can get a transparent look at what they are sharing. Look at the top ranked and rated podcasts related to your niche and find who has been interviewed on shows related to that space.

Products: Find the top products, services and books that are being offered to your audience. In other words, what are people willing to spend their money on right now?

  • Amazon is a great place to start. It’s not only a place to find products but it’s also a sophisticated search engine. You can type in a keyword and it will spit out all the products that are sold in that category. Pay attention to specific products and the price.
  • Also note the books that pop up in your search on Amazon. Keep track of the authors, since they will also be influencers in that niche.
  • Read through the product reviews and solutions to problems.

You should have a pretty good idea by now what’s out there and who’s who in your niche. You should also have a better sense of what’s missing that you can provide that will help you stand out in the crowd. Remember, solve their problem and do it in a unique way. This is your formula for success.

Is this helping you? Is your idea getting more and more solidified through these exercises? I hope so.

We have a few more things to go over until we are ready to launch. Don’t forget to check out the book Will it Fly by Pat Flynn and sign up for your very own companion course for free which I am using for this series.

Let’s keep learning, researching and dreaming!


What’s Your Unfair Advantage?

Did you do the homework from last week? So far for our “Will it Fly” series (focusing on testing any business ideas you might have), we’ve had 2 homework assignments. Looking ahead into our future and looking at our past.

If you look at the result of your homework from last week, you’ll start to piece together what kind of work you like to do and more importantly, what motivates you. Lay out each of your experiences in chronological order so you can look at them all together. Do you notice any patterns? Does anything pop out at you? To help you analyze it even better, try to answer these three questions about what you see:

  • What 1-2 things seem to motivate you the most about the work that you do?
  • How much is the answer that you just gave reflected in what you do now?
  • How can your future business be shaped into one that allows you to enjoy your work and continue to stay motivated?

So, here’s the thing. Before we start diving into your business idea and see if it will work, I think it’s important to know if the business will work for YOU. Does your idea fit into the kind of work that you like to do? Because the reality is: building a business is going to be one of the hardest things you ever do. There’s gonna be the lowest of the low and there’s gonna be the highest of the high…are you ready to stick it out and not give up? Determine if there are any red flags. It’s better to address it now. You want to avoid extreme misalignments between the kind of person you are vs the type of business you’re looking to enter.

Are you getting excited as we start laying out the foundation for your future? Me too.

Before we start diving into the market research to see if your idea will “fly,” we have one more homework assignment. This is crucial to know and will help you solidify your plan. Answer this question: “What are your unfair advantages?” Huh? Let me explain.

According to Lain Ehmann on this Podcast episode (How to Monetize a Hobby Niche), she describes an unfair advantage as a “skill or asset that you have that no one else has, or very few others might have in a specific niche. This is your competitive edge, and whatever that edge may be, it’s your job to use it to your advantage as much as possible as you shape and create your business.”

So, two things for next week:

  • Answer this question, “what are your unfair advantages,” or better yet, “what makes you so special?”
  • If nothing jumps out at you, don’t worry. It can take a while to self-examine or self-reflect on your own gifts, and it doesn’t hurt to ask others. If you need some additional input, here’s the second assignment for next week (this one is optional) – send this email to 10 of your friends/family/colleagues:
    • “Yo, I have a challenge this week to discover a unique trait or skill that I am good at – to find a sort of “superpower” that I possess that can be used to my advantage while building a business. Can you take a minute to reply to this email with what you believe my “superpower” to be? It could be any traits/characteristics that you think are unique to me… that would really help me out. Thanks a bunch.”

Keep me posted on what you’re learning and what you hear back from your friends!

Also, don’t forget to check out the book Will it Fly by Pat Flynn and sign up for your very own companion course for free which I am using for this series.

Hope you’re ready to fly!


How The Past Can Shape The Future Of Your Business

If you are just tuning in, we are doing a series called “Will it Fly” which focuses on testing any business ideas you might have to make sure you don’t waste your time and money before jumping into it. I will help you critically examine the validity of your idea(s), research your market and get to know your future customers. This is based around the book “Will it Fly” by Pat Flynn, one of my favorite digital marketing gurus.

Before we begin discussing the purpose of last week’s homework and working on some next steps, I have a cool story to tell you. You ready for this? Okay, here’s the story…

Andi went through a difficult time in her life through bullying. As she researched available resources to help her through it, she found a ton of information and statistics but nothing that spoke to the emotional stress that she was going through. Through the years, she’s learned so many lessons to help her overcome some of the trauma from bullying and she knew she had to do something to help others as she saw a rise in anxiety, depression and suicide among teenage girls.

Introducing Bloom Foundation. Before the organization was launched to impact the lives of bullied teens, she wanted to know for sure if the idea and the strategy she had was going to work. So, what did she do? She did what anyone would do in that situation, hire BOS Media Group. LOL. But seriously, she hired us and we used the “Will it Fly” curriculum to validate and inspire her idea into fruition. This is what she shared with me to share with you.

Going through Will It Fly with Hanju back in 2017 was a game changer for me! Bloom Foundation was just a little seed of an idea but going through Will It Fly helped me gain clarity and confidence to move forward, and the accountability Hanju offered was so incredibly helpful! I truly don’t think I would have progressed in those early stages of building my business without this course and help from Hanju. I would recommend this to anybody and it’s so exciting that he’s offering this as a series now in 2023! If you’ve had an idea you’re thinking about, I would highly recommend joining this series and seeing if your dreams will fly!


Wow!! I love these types of stories. Thank you so much for sharing Andi!!

Okay, back to you.

The reason why we did the homework last week to document your future goals and dreams was to create a foundation for your business. Before you jump into any business idea, it’s important to know how it might fit into your ideal lifestyle.

But you know what else is important? Your past. “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” –Robert Penn Warren

So here’s your homework for next week. Trust me, all this homework is going to make a big difference and will help guide your decision-making process.


  • On a blank piece of paper answer the following:
    • The What: Write down the first job you ever had. If you haven’t had a job yet, start with anything that you were involved with that required you to consistently show up and contribute.
    • The When: Write down dates of when you had this job.
    • The Good: Write down what you enjoyed about it
    • Favorite Memory: Write down your single favorite memory related to the job.
    • The Bad: Write about what you didn’t like about what you were doing.
    • Grade: Finally, grade your experience (A-F).
  • Once the questions above are complete, ask yourself these 3 questions:
    • What one or two things seem to motivate you the most about the work you do?
    • How much is the answer that you just gave reflected in what you do now?
    • How can your future business be shaped into one that allows you to enjoy your work and continue to stay motivated and thrive?

Are we having fun yet?


Will It Fly?

I used to have a little notepad next to my bed. I wanted to be ready just in case in the middle of the night, I came up with a brilliant idea that could change the world…or…that could make me rich…or…both. The notebook had to be near me because if I didn’t write it down right when the lightbulb went off in my head, I would forget all about it the next morning. My brain resets while I sleep and I lose all my memory. Also, there’s something very powerful about just writing ideas down on paper.

So, then what? What came of all these world-changing pages in my notepad?

Well…nothing. It was just an idea, and it never really progressed beyond that. 

Sound familiar? Well, things are going to change. Today I am introducing a new series called “Will it Fly?” It’s inspired by a book written by Pat Flynn (digital marketing guru) that puts your brilliant business ideas to the test. For the next few weeks, I will help you navigate your thoughts and do the research necessary to see if your idea is valid and something to pursue. And I will also help you develop a game plan to launch it for success. Excited? Not as much as I am.

But before we begin: If you want to go all in, you can purchase the book here, and follow the Companion Course here. They’re both great tools to support you along this journey and include a bunch of downloadable worksheets and videos. 

Here’s your homework for this week. It will actually be super fun to do, and we can make it relevant to any business idea you have right now.


  • Take a piece of paper and fold it in half in both directions so that after you unfold it, it’s divided into four quadrants.
  • Define the 4 most important categories of your life. For example, Pat chose: Family, Professional, Finances, and Health. You can choose your own.
  • Write these 4 categories at the top of each of the four quadrants. 
  • Now, imagine your life 5 years from now. What would you want it to look like? Where would you want to be? How will it fulfill your purpose? Why would it make you happy? Write it out for each quadrant. Don’t think of it as a wish list, but write it down as what your reality will be. Be as specific as you can. (see an example of Pat’s list below). 

Do this exercise and let’s reconnect next week. Can’t wait to show you how it all ties together. 

Looking forward to helping you make your dream a reality through this!


Here’s Your Challenge

Finally, the day you’ve all been waiting for. (Right?) This is the finale of our recent series and there’s a CALL TO ACTION that I’ve been hinting to you about. For those of you reading this for the first time, here’s a quick summary. We’ve been talking about the psychology of success and happiness and I’ve shared some insights on…

And as promised, here’s the challenge… taking all those theoretical concepts and putting them into action!

But before I get into the details, a few thoughts on why you should take on this challenge. If you are like most people, you’ve started many things to get from point A to point B but quit in the process. For example, “I want to lose weight so I will start a diet.” You quit because it got too hard when someone suggested beer/pizza/ice cream night. Another example: “I want to wake up early and start every morning with a good run.” One day it rains and your 5-day streak is broken and now you can’t even remember where your running shoes are. Or, how about this one? “I am going to journal everyday.” But you realized your drawer is full of colorful journals that are 1/4 way filled and the rest are blank pages. You somewhere, somehow, stopped and never went back to finish it.

Most people lack the discipline and willpower to do what they set out to do. Most people don’t do what they say they are going to do. Most people don’t execute consistently. But imagine this: what would it be worth to you if you could create within yourself the following skills to get it done?

  • Discipline
  • Self Worth
  • Fortitude
  • Grit
  • Self Control
  • Self Esteem
  • Confidence

Read those bullet points again and think to yourself, what kind of a person would I be if I had all these skills in my life? Well, you know what these skills will equal? They equal MENTAL TOUGHNESS. I believe if you possess these skills in your life, you will be on your way to living bigger. Guaranteed!

So, here’s the million-dollar question. How do I possess these skills in my life? Answer: Do hard things. What hard things? These specific hard things. For 75 straight days. Follow this program. Zero deviations, zero compromises. You cannot tailor this program to your liking or to your convenience. You have to follow it. And if you miss a day or miss a minute, you have to start over from day 1. Cool? Cool.

The 75 Hard Challenge was created in 2019 by entrepreneur Andy Frisella, a podcaster and CEO of the supplement company 1st Phorm. 75 Hard is not a trendy fitness challenge, but a “transformative mental toughness program.” This will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done and once you complete it, you’ll say to yourself, this is the greatest thing I have ever done. But before you jump in and begin, listen to this podcast describing the program and what you are getting yourself into and once you make your decision to start, go to this page and sign up. There are hundreds and thousands of people doing it with you. You can also hashtag #75hard and hear their stories, their challenges, their questions, and even their answers.

Why are we doing this? Because in order to gain the skills of mental toughness, you have to intentionally put yourself in uncomfortable places. 75 days, 0 deviations, 0 compromises, 100% pure awesomeness. Are you ready? 

75 Hard Challenge:

  • Pick a diet and stick to it. Commit to your diet, whatever that is for you. Building mental discipline. No cheat meals. Eating clean…don’t miss the point. Choose a diet pertaining to your goals. No junk. No alcohol.
  • Drink 1 gallon of water everyday. Health benefits?
  • (2) 45-minute workouts. One has to be outdoors. It’s supposed to be inconvenient. Only did 44 minutes outside? Start over. Conditions won’t be perfect. Do it no matter what especially when no one else is doing it. (Don’t put yourself in danger tho…). This is empowerment. This will help build you. This is what champions are made of. Doing something when no one else is doing it. You can also do both 45-minute sessions outside.
  • Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book everyday. Learn new stuff time, not entertainment time. Not audio, not digital, not coloring, not 5 sentences on each page…lol.
  • Take a progress picture everyday. Not just to show your physical transformation…which is awesome…but so that you don’t forget the little details. The incremental changes you don’t want to overlook. Huge deal. Show your body in your picture. Keep it private. This is just for you. No need to share. 

Okay, are you ready for this? This is not the next thing…this is THE thing. Reply back and let me know you are in!


Do Hard Things

Okay, okay, I get it. If you’ve been following our latest series, it’s filled with a lot of advice that’s easy to say or write about, but a little tougher to live out. 

“The secret sauce of being awesome is Believing.” You’ve got to have confidence, you must believe in yourself, also expect great things, and for heaven sake, get out of suckville…blah blah blah. That all sounds good, but how do you do it? 

How in the world do you gain that confidence? Do you just wake up one day and say, “I got this”? Do you just walk out the front door thinking, “I am awesome”? Do you put on a cape, fly out the window and save the world through the sheer force of your belief?

Well, maybe some of you can. But for me, it takes a lot of convincing. I’ve always struggled with low self-esteem and self-doubt, and in a constant battle in my head trying to overcome my own limiting beliefs… I guess I’ve always been a mess. Something had to change.

Just recently I shared this story about my triumphant and courageous exit from a previous job that almost destroyed my soul (just being over-dramatic here). But what I didn’t share was what happened after. I was starting my career all over in a new place. I had to rebuild a network and establish credibility with people who didn’t know or care about what I had done in the past. Looking back, it was one of the most challenging times of my life. I needed a breakthrough. Bad.

In the midst of feeling sorry for myself, I was helping my brother-in-law find a new office manager for his architectural firm and I came across a resume. Something jumped out at me. Like it was screaming at me. On the Extracurricular section of her resume, she wrote: LA Marathon, Boston Marathon…and immediately I thought to myself: he needs to hire her, because…if she can run a marathon, if she can overcome the agonizing pain of 26.2 miles and if she can withstand the mental and emotional challenges of everything that requires…SHE CAN DO ANYTHING!

And Bingo. That’s just the epiphany I needed for myself. For my own breakthrough, I needed to do hard things. 

I needed to run a marathon.

Mind you, I’d never run more than 3 miles before in my life. But, I printed out the training schedule and followed it everyday. I slowly worked my way up to being able to run 20 miles without stopping. Some runs were in the heat of summer, but I was determined. This was my breakthrough moment, and when the day arrived, I was ready. I couldn’t believe it. 

I remember vividly, March 6, 2005, LA Marathon XX. I’ll never forget getting to mile 20 and thinking there is no possible way I could finish. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Everything hurt. But weirdly, something deep within me didn’t want to give up. So I looked down at my feet and just concentrated on putting my one foot past the other….over and over again until I eventually saw a glimpse of the finish line. Then I remember running past the finish line with both of my hands high in the air, tears streaming down my face, thinking to myself, “I did it! I did it!”

There was still something about this accomplishment that I didn’t quite understand. Yes, it was empowering. And yes, it was a physical and mental victory. And yes, it was a way of overcoming my own doubts and fears. But back to the resume that gave me the original epiphany – what I remember most about that moment was thinking to myself, “I just ran a marathon – I CAN DO ANYTHING!”

How do you gain confidence? How do you learn to believe? How do you expect great things? Do hard things. Keep doing hard things. Keep breaking your own barriers. Keep surprising yourself. For me, since then, I’ve ran (7) full marathons, (2) 200 mile relays and over 50 half marathons. I want to keep doing hard things….I want to be addicted to doing hard things.  

Are you with me? Our series comes to an end next week, and we can’t just end the series without a Call to Action, right? So, I’ll be introducing an awesome challenge that we can all do together. It will help us grow. It will help us out of suckville, it will help us beam with belief and confidence…we are gonna do hard things together. Are you ready?

Can’t wait to share more next week!


The Secret Sauce Of Success

If reading the subject line inspired you to open this email as fast as possible, you probably have just one question burning in your mind: “What is the secret sauce of success??” 

What if I told you the answer could be encapsulated in one word with seven letters? 


Why is believing so important? I am glad you asked. But first, a story.

When I was in high school playing on the golf team, a new superstar joined our team midseason. We lived on the same street and we became awesome friends!! I was still struggling with my game at the time but he wasn’t. He’d been playing since he could walk – his dad was a pro at the golf course that they owned, and he lived, loved, and breathed golf…and on top of that, he was just super talented. 

What intrigued me most about his game wasn’t his ability to hit it long or his perfect follow through or even his incredible good looks. But, what I remember to this very day is his confidence on the course. For instance, a 10-foot putt on the last hole to win the match? No problem. Right in the center of the cup. During our high school tournament on hole number 1, driving a fairway with a lake on the left while our entire team, their entire team, and the coaches were watching, he would blast one out there…right down the middle…long and straight…with so much sureness. Me? On that hole? During that tournament? I put 2 balls in the water.

So, what did he have that I didn’t? Well, for one, he had CONFIDENCE. He believed in himself. He believed that he had the ability to do what was set before him and he believed that he had the ability to do it well.

A renowned behavioral geneticist named Robert Plomin did a study 20 years ago. He took 15,000 sets of twins and followed them from birth into adulthood. In light of their identical DNA, he wanted to take a closer look at the element of confidence. So the twins had been given a standard IQ test at age seven and again at age nine. They were also tested academically in math, writing and science. Then, they were asked to rate how confident they were about each of the subjects. After much cross-referencing by the research team, they were surprised by their finding. 

So, what did they find?

The students’ self-perceived ability was a significant predictor of achievement. It was even more important than their IQ. What? Our perceived ability and our realistic sense of feeling secure actually overrides our IQ. It doesn’t matter how smart you really are…it doesn’t matter how great and talented you are…it’s the fact that you believe in yourself that helps you achieve success. 

So, knowing the importance of “BELIEVE,” how do I learn to start believing in myself? I would love to give you some of my thoughts on how we can achieve the confidence to expand a bit more on our series this month. So, stay tuned. 

If you haven’t been following, we are talking about the mental/psychology of success and happiness. Here are the last two topics that we addressed:

We can be our own biggest cheerleaders or our biggest critics. It’s not just about “thinking positive” – your level of belief is a real thing that is either helping you or hurting you right now. And the difference between the two will make all the difference in the world.

Don’t stop believin!!


When A Joy Becomes A Burden

Let me know if you can relate.

At some point in your entrepreneur journey, or somewhere in your professional career path, you lose the joy of it all. I mean like gone. Like you can barely get out of bed to go to work, and once you get enough courage to get in the shower, you stand still with your head down with the water coming down over your face and you can’t muster up any energy to even give a crap. Maybe not to that extreme, but I think it happens to everyone. And, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. I know this because it happened to me. 

For 15 straight years into my career, everything went right. I was told by Tim (our VP of Human Resources) that in all of his experience, he’s never seen anyone like me advance so rapidly in an organization. I went from an Intro Design Engineer to a Mid Manager to an Upper Managing Position with a nice big office and a personal secretary. That was the dream back then. So, was I ecstatic? No. My wife would say to me, “I think you are slowly dying inside.” And she was right. 

According to Dr. Bhrett McCabe, author of Break Free from Suckville, there are 3 phases that lead you to Suckville. And for reference, Suckville is where people get stuck. For athletes, they stop winning. For creatives, they stop creating. And for all of us, it is a place where we no longer find any joy, motivation nor purpose in what we are doing. So, how did we get here?

Phase 1: Joy. When it was fun. Do you remember when you were learning something new? Learning a sport, learning how to paint, learning a new video game, learning how to build. You couldn’t be stopped. You didn’t mind spending extra hours to figure it out. Especially if you found yourself being good at it. Mastering the skill was exhilarating and the winning was just the icing on the cake. I can do this forever. During this phase, hard work produces proportional results. The pursuit of competence and the mastery in your craft drives your focus.

Phase 2: Job. Then it becomes a job. Good things come to an end. Joy dims. Entitlements begin to foster during this phase. Expectations start to emerge. Over time, the rewards lose their shine. You want more. The relationship you had with your craft while you were learning it changes. Practice becomes a task rather than a training ground to keep improving. Mistakes become magnified. People’s feedback becomes a personal attack. 

Phase 3: Burden. Now, it’s a burden. When does this happen? It occurs when the rewards you receive from doing what you used to love to do no longer outweigh the sacrifices you must make to perform at your best. You start to focus more on the struggles rather than the benefits that it used to bring. What started as fun has broken you down with disappointment, frustration, and exhaustion. Your performances no longer validate your worth. 

But, here’s the good news. Suckville is a temporary place. It’s where you stay for a bit to regroup, refocus and recalibrate. It’s a place where you learn to see from a different perspective, learn to be grateful about the process, and learn to persevere. It’s where you break free, where you understand more of who you are, what you are made of and what you are willing to do to escape. It’s where you reach deep into your soul and say to yourself, I got this. I want to live. I want to find joy again.

For me, it took a courageous decision to write out my resignation and quit at the top of my game knowing it was a game I didn’t want to play anymore. And I started again from the bottom in a new place, in a new role, finding joy in learning..mastering a new skill with exhilaration and focus. That’s where I am today. Am I in fear of phase 2 and phase 3 around the corner? Not as much as before. Seems like it’s easier the second time around. Bring it on, haha. And how will it be different next time around? Well, for one, I am doing a lot of work within. I am learning to be mentally tough and learning to be more aware of and staying in the phase I am in now. 

I would love to hear your story as well. We are all in this together. Right? Email me back. Let’s chat.

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