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Dec

16

2017

Profitable Author Preview-How to Make a Bestseller

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Is there a book in you? In this special edition of the Rare Faith podcast, John Robinson interviews me about my experience as an award-winning, three-time best selling author. Listen in to find out how you can get YOUR book outlined, completed, and successfully marketed. Get specific tips for overcoming obstacles and achieving your book-publishing … Continue reading Profitable Author Preview-How to Make a Bestseller

Dec

5

2017

#36: Monetizing Your Gifts

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Marnie Pehrson interviews me to uncover tips for monetizing your gifts and transforming your talents into income. Marnie was one of my mentors in the beginning, and inspired me to put my message into books. You too have gifts and talents that can be monetized. Listen in to be inspired and encouraged to take the … Continue reading #36: Monetizing Your Gifts

Nov

26

2017

#35 – Producer Power Hour

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This is an archived audio from Garrett White and Garrett B. Gunderson’s radio show where Leslie Householder was a guest, long before Gunderson was a New York Times best-selling author, and long before he and Leslie co-authored the sequel to Jackrabbit Factor, Portal to Genius. Learn about commitment, and getting your mind stretched. Learn more about … Continue reading #35 – Producer Power Hour

Nov

19

2017

#34: How to Achieve More – Succeeding With Your Talents

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Heather Madder and I discuss why some people never succeed big with their talents, and how they can. It takes hope, solutions, and a belief that things can change permanently. Sometimes we feel like, “It’s all on me. I’m the only one responsible. I’m the only one I can depend on.” Sometimes we feel alone … Continue reading #34: How to Achieve More – Succeeding With Your Talents

Nov

14

2017

#33: Reality is Not What You Think

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This is one of my earliest interviews about my book “The Jackrabbit Factor”. If you are frustrated about the way your life is going, this episode highlights points and principles that can change your reality as quickly as you intentionally apply them.

Oct

29

2017

#32: Teaching Children (and yourself) About Money

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Amanda van der Gulik interviews me on how to apply the principles of prosperity while raising a young family, and how to teach children about money. Discover how the lessons can be applied as adults, too for greater abundance. Resources mentioned on the audio: Jackrabbit Factor free download Wealth Principles and Yard Sales Portal to … Continue reading #32: Teaching Children (and yourself) About Money

Oct

17

2017

#31: Knowing Who You Really Are

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Two things can get in the way of your ability to find and fulfill your various life missions: Distractions, and Lack of Resources. But there is one thing that can help you clear the fog: knowing who you really are. Resources mentioned on the audio: The Visual Aid that Changed Everything: tinyurl.com/stickman-video Hidden Treasures book … Continue reading #31: Knowing Who You Really Are

Sep

26

2017

#30: Heaven Wants you to Live your Purpose

If you’re serious about living your purpose, then isn’t it time you learned principles that make it possible? Together with my long-time friend and mentor Marnie Pehrson, we come together to help you believe that what you need is really much closer than you think. Principles discussed on this audio include Polarity, Gestation, Relativity, and … Continue reading #30: Heaven Wants you to Live your Purpose

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Sep

17

2017

#29: Stay at Home Moms Making Money

I was invited to speak at an LDS Homeschooler’s Conference hosted by Celestia Shumway (treeoflifemothering.com), attended by mothers who wanted to stay at home to raise their children but who sometimes struggled to make ends meet financially. In this program, I share more candidly my own struggle to be a stay at home mom and … Continue reading #29: Stay at Home Moms Making Money

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Sep

4

2017

#28: Parenting Principles Preview

Parenting can be hard!  So when difficult behaviors wreak havoc on the family, you might just need a few more tools in the toolbox. Finding the core principles that govern success in any area of life is absolutely key to succeeding in that area, and what you’ll find on this podcast is no exception. This … Continue reading #28: Parenting Principles Preview

Sep

4

2017

#28: Parenting Principles Preview

Parenting can be hard!  So when difficult behaviors wreak havoc on the family, you might just need a few more tools in the toolbox. Finding the core principles that govern success in any area of life is absolutely key to succeeding in that area, and what you’ll find on this podcast is no exception. This … Continue reading #28: Parenting Principles Preview

Aug

15

2017

#27: How to Profit from Your Losses

In this program, I talk about three reasons we have setbacks, and what to do, so that the hidden benefit contained in every adversity can be realized. “Leslie is an absolute awesome teacher and motivational speaker! She is very knowledgable of the subject matter she teaches and is “real”, a trait you don’t often find … Continue reading #27: How to Profit from Your Losses

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Aug

15

2017

#27: How to Profit from Your Losses

In this program, I talk about three reasons we have setbacks, and what to do, so that the hidden benefit contained in every adversity can be realized. Resources mentioned: 12-week Home Study Program: http://www.prosperthefamily.com Jackrabbit Factor free download: http://www.jackrabbitfactor.com Free Report: http://www.portaltogenius.com This program was originally recorded for Hilton-Johnson’s Global Teleclass Summit in 2009.

Jul

29

2017

#26: Mission Impossible – Interview

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A follow-up interview. Christian radio host Marnie Swedberg talks with me on the topic of finding and fulfilling your mission. Discover: Two things that will always try to stop you from finding and fulfilling your mission (and what to do about them). How to adapt to change and unexpected obstacles. One simple truth you can … Continue reading #26: Mission Impossible – Interview

Jul

25

2017

#25: A Leap of Faith

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Christian show host Marnie Swedberg interviews me as we discuss the Laws of Success from the perspective of faith. I reveal the craziest goal I’ve ever set and achieved using these principles. To set and achieve hard goals starts with a decision to do it. You’ve got to take a leap of faith. Contrary to … Continue reading #25: A Leap of Faith

Jul

10

2017

#24: How to Know if You’ll Reach the Goal (podcast)

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Pursuing a big goal can be EXHAUSTING! What makes it even harder, is that nagging voice in the back of your mind that says, “Who are you kidding? What makes you think you can actually pull this off?” Well, there IS one clue that can assure you that your goal really CAN – and WILL … Continue reading #24: How to Know if You’ll Reach the Goal (podcast)

Sep

21

2016

Want to be a Better Social Media Marketer? Listen to These 10 Podcasts

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The last time I went on vacation, Facebook and Instagram announced two big product changes that I was left scrambling to catch up on when I returned.

Know the feeling? If you work in social media marketing, my guess is you know it all too well.

Social media is constantly evolving, making today an exciting time to work in marketing. This can also mean that you sometimes feel as if you’re falling behind on your general social media knowledge and education.

The solution? Podcasts.

In this blog post, we put together a list of 10 podcast episodes that deliver helpful and actionable guidance for social media marketers looking to brush up on their skills in a quick and entertaining way.

10 Amazing Podcasts About Social Media

1) Marketing Smarts: How ‘Dolphin Tale’ Brought 800,000 Visitors a Year to Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In this episode, Kerry O’Shea Gorgone speaks with Chief Marketing Officer of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Bill Potts. They discuss Winter the dolphin, whose story of recovery from losing her tail was chronicled in the movie Dolphin Tale. Thanks to their social media and public relations teams’ relentless work to get Winter’s story shared with local media outlets, she eventually became the star of a hit film (seriously, rent this movie).

In light of the Aquarium’s newfound fame, Potts talks about their strategies for maintaining the momentum of the Dolphin Tale films by investing in social media more than ever. In particular, they’ve experienced a lot of engagement by live streaming video of their animals on Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat. (You can learn how to master Facebook Live with the help of this free guide.)

[Live-streams are] not super-rehearsed. They really are authentic. We focus on the animal, we focus on the story, and we don’t script it. We have an outline of what we want to be reviewed during the live webcast, but we make sure they’re naturally delivered. They’re really not rehearsed. They just happen. We do schedule and plan them, and we do know what’s going to be discussed, but we make it really authentic. It’s a one-take deal.”

Key Takeaways:

  • All organizations have a story to tell, whether it’s about their mission, an individual, or a certain achievement. Give it the direction it needs to garner attention from media.
  • Don’t just talk about yourself: Get others to talk about you on social media and in the press to earn more attention. (Here’s a handy PR guide to help with that.)
  • Live streams should be raw, unscripted, and authentic: You can practice using the technology, but ultimately, remain flexible to allow room for more genuine content. (Check out this live streaming checklist before you get started.)
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with how and where you’re sharing video content. For example, the aquarium turns over their Snapchat to trainers working with animals 1:1 so followers can see how the aquarium helps marine life up close.
  • Learn about your audience and where to reach them: For the aquarium, it’s mothers on Facebook.

Duration: 25:20

2) Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield: How to Get Started with Facebook Live

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

This episode of Amy Porterfield’s marketing podcast features Kim Garst of Boom Social, where they discuss best practices and strategies for using Facebook Live. Main themes of this episode included determining how often to broadcast, apprehension about broadcasting live and making mistakes, and uncertainty about measuring success.

I think the reason live video is so impactful (again, this is my opinion and what I’ve seen through my personal experiences and watching other people) is that people are so attracted to people who are not just real, but people that are relatable. In other words, they can see themselves having that issue.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Consistency is a contributor to successful live streams: Create a regular schedule on Facbeook Live or Periscope to expand your reach after you stop broadcasting live.
  • Carefully choose your broadcast’s headline: Remember, this is an opportunity to grab more attention from followers.
  • Incorporate an offer into pre-outreach for your Facebook Live event. For example, tell followers that you’ll be giving away promo codes, ebooks, or checklists that they can only download if they tune in.
  • Have a strategy to achieve a specific goal for every single broadcast, and don’t just talk for the sake of sharing.
  • Find a way to capture people’s attention while they scroll: Facebook only counts “Views” as users who watched for 10 seconds or more.

Duration: 55:31

3) Social Media Marketing: Content Creation Hacks

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

This episode, hosted by Social Media Examiner Founder and CEO Michael Stelzner, focuses on social media content creation with the help of special guest and social media pro, Nick Westergaard.

In the interview, Westergaard discusses the fact that everyone knows they need to create content, but not everyone knows how to do it most effectively. Many content creators don’t operate with a comprehensive strategy, which can make people object putting in the work to make content pay off. Westergaard mentions the term “checklist marketing,” which he says refers to marketers tackling every new marketing strategy like an item on a to-do list without objectives or strategy in mind.

You have to gamify it a little bit and think about, if you’re creating one thing, how many more things can I create out of this? … By planning one piece of content, I create many.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Try a team approach to social media content creation to both share the workload and curate a diverse array of content — even from colleagues who aren’t marketers.
  • Experiment with user-generated content: Develop a campaign around an event or hashtag so your followers are sharing photos and messages that you can share with your networks.
  • Repurpose content: If you’re writing a blog post or designing an infographic (here are some helpful templates for that), find a way to create smaller pieces of it that can be used as social media posts. Additionally, you can string smaller pieces of content together to create an ebook or guide.
  • Take part in #TBT: Align your older content with current events and re-share it on social media. This takes advantage of nostalgia marketing and re-promotes content you’ve already created.

Duration: 41:08

4) TED Radio Hour: Why Do We Like What We Like?

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In this episode of the TED Talks podcast, host Guy Raz interviews several TED speakers who’ve talked about branding:

  • Filmmaker and Producer of Super Size Me Morgan Spurlock discusses how brands impact our purchasing decisions.
  • Management Advisor and Author Joseph Pine touches on the power of authenticity.
  • Ogilvy & Mather Group’s Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland explores the real versus perceived value of different products.

Their discussions are varied and well worth the full listen, but the overarching theme was how brands’ perception impacts their success (or lack thereof). Pine mentions that customers make choices because they’re bought into the dreams and imagery surrounding big brands, and that once they start using the product, they start to believe the message.

Ubiquity is the death of authenticity.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Take advantage of the opportunity to cultivate and promote what makes your brand unique. There’s always room for bragging on social media — just do it in moderation.
  • Be authentic and real, but don’t say that’s what you’re doing. Consumers want authenticity, not disingenuity.
  • Tell stories with a sense of place to drive greater authenticity: Set the stage when sharing blog posts, updates, and videos on social media so followers can see the kind of activities your organization is up to.
  • A/B test different types of post on social platforms to see how they perform comparatively: Consumers don’t objectively think a product or service is good or bad — branding and marketing messages impact their perception, and that’s in your hands.

Duration: 49:13

5) The Growth Show: Episode 100: Guy Kawasaki’s Unconventional Advice on Growth

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In this episode of The Growth Show, HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar sat down with Canva Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki to discuss Instagram Stories versus Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live video, and organizational growth challenges.

During the discussion, Kawasaki admits that he prefers Instagram to Snapchat due to its superior content discoverability features and analytics options. And when it comes to Facebook Live, he is bought in.

In fact, he mentions that while taking a break from streaming on vacation, his Facebook reach was only 400,000 users, versus the 1 million users he sees when he’s streaming regularly. (Spoiler alert: He also lets listeners in on his secrets to greater engagement during live streams — but you’ll have to listen to find out what they are.)

I don’t want positive, supportive, wonderful, reinforcing engagement on social media. I want any kind of engagement.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Facebook Live drives greater engagement and reach than publishing recorded video or sharing a YouTube link.
  • When you’re streaming live on Facebook, have a second screen (and ideally a teammate) available to see what comments or questions are rolling in from your audience so you can answer them live.
  • Ask your audience questions while you’re streaming live to increase comments, Likes, and followers.
  • Publish regularly and frequently to increase engagement on social media platforms.

Duration: 35:01

6) Hashtagged: Focusing on Creating Content and Community Versus Being an Influencer with Dan Joyce

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In this episode of Hashtagged, host Jordan Powers interviews Dan Joyce, a content creator on Instagram, about the cultivation of vibrant and engaged social media communities. Joyce was one of Instagram’s very first users.

They swap stories about how they started using Instagram first as a creative outlet, and then eventually as a tool for content creation and personal networking. As a professional content creator, Joyce initially began experimenting with Instagram, but it’s since evolved into a powerful network that photographers and other content creators can harness:

[The] platform has provided a breadth of knowledge about photography and content creation in a way that makes big social network a lot smaller … There are so many types of content being shared on Instagram, it’s created its own ecosystem.”

Key Takeaways:

  • You can’t force becoming an influencer or thought leader, even on social media. Share lots of unique and creative content to grow your social network, and followers will come after.
  • Individuals and brands can use Instagram as a more professional portfolio of photographs and Snapchat as a more lighthearted photo log of their day-to-day.
  • Experiment with the types of posts you share on Instagram: Powers found that when his posts are more about content creation than networking, they end up performing better. (Here are 18 photo and video ideas for Instagram to try.)

Duration: 40:18

7) Inbound Marketing Today: 7 Social Media Mistakes Companies Make & How You Can Avoid Them

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

Inbound Marketing Today is hosted by Neil Brown, founder of the Brown Creative Group, and in this episode, he discusses common mistakes businesses are making on social media:

  1. Treating all social media sites as if they’re the same and not changing up how you share content.
  2. Too much automation.
  3. Not posting on social media frequently enough.
  4. Not responding to questions or comments.
  5. Deleting negative posts, comments, and reviews.
  6. Trying to be active on every social media channel.
  7. Not having a lead generation strategy.

You want to use automation to make marketing more efficient, not to appear as a bot. Social media should be social.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Social media is an arm of your customer service team: Aim to be helpful, positive, and delightful to your customers.
  • It’s better for engagement to have a comprehensive strategy for only two social media platforms than to post at random on all platforms.
  • Maintain your voice’s authenticity. You’re a human speaking for an organization, so don’t forget to be real, and connect with people when they seek assistance or give feedback.

Duration: 12:14

8) Social Pros: Why Most Social Media Writing Sucks & How to Fix It

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In this episode of Convince and Convert’s Social Pros, hosts Jay Baer and Adam Brown interview Josh Bernoff — chief troublemaker at Without Bullsh*t — about writing quality content for social media.

Bernoff’s mission is to eliminate convoluted writing from marketing, and he thinks it’s a challenge because we were rewarded for writing long papers when we first learned to write in school. Now, that experience is impacting social media posts, press releases, and blog posts in a detrimental way.

You’re not creating art. You’re creating effective communication, and there’s nothing wrong with doing that simply and directly.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Get to the point. You should aim to say what you mean in the first 2-3 sentences of whatever you’re writing.
  • Adopt Baer’s ROAM content marketing checklist: Who are the readers? What are your objectives? What follow-up action do you want to inspire from the reader? What impression will people have of your organization when they read your content?
  • Always have another set of eyes look over your content, even Facebook captions. Never publish a first draft.

Duration: 53:40

9) #AskGaryVee: YouTube Growth Strategies, Business Risks & VanyerMedia’s New Office

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In his podcast #AskGaryVee, Digital Marketing Expert Gary Vanyerchuk answers questions from his followers (delightfully coined “VanyerPeeps”), and his entertaining responses make it worth the listen. At the beginning of this episode, Vanyerchuk answers questions from a VaynerPeep about strategies for hacking YouTube growth.

Vanyerchuk believes that for all content creation — be it blog, video, or social media — the distribution is more important than the creation, and that those priorities are often the opposite to modern marketers. It’s not enough to write a great blog post, or produce a great YouTube video: it has to be seen and picked up by the right people, and that won’t happen unless you hustle for it.

You have to continue to bring value and produce good content, but you also need people to know about it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Try collaborating with other YouTubers or influencers in your space on social media. If you can’t offer them exposure, what can you offer them in exchange for their partnership? Always offer value.
  • Use targeted hashtags on Instagram to grow your audience there. Do some research to determine which tags are generating the highest levels of engagement.
  • Join forums within your industry communities to develop a network of support that you can reach out to for social sharing, promotion, and participation in your social media campaigns.

Duration: 17:55 (YouTube answer ends at 8:00)

10) Social Media Social Hour: Behind the Data: A Quantitative Look at the Future of Social Media

Click here to listen to this podcast episode

In this episode of Social Media Social Hour, presented by Scoreboard Social and Casual Fridays, host Tyler Anderson interviews CEO of the Social Fresh, Jason Keath, to discuss the outlook of the future of social media. Social Fresh recently conducted a survey of over 500 participants about how brands are measuring, or not measuring, the ROI of their social media strategies.

Anderson and Keath discussed many of the findings in the report, with results often circling back to the outlook that video will continue to dominate social media in terms of engagement and ROI. This episode provides in-depth analysis and conversation without being too lengthy, with lots of helpful tips and actionable next steps for listeners along the way.

No one is seeing a return on what they’re doing on Snapchat right now… but people are passionate about the engagement opportunity.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Prioritize social networks that deliver the greatest ROI: According to the report, those networks are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn (in that order).
  • Instagram is projected to overtake Twitter in terms of popularity and ROI. Keath speculates that it’s because Instagram is less saturated than Twitter, which leads to greater engagement.
  • Get the ball rolling on a video strategy: The number of respondents creating video assets on a monthly basis is growing — it ranked third for assets marketers are creating after images and blog posts.

Duration: 35:10

Are you a social media marketer? What podcasts do you listen to that we missed? Share with us in the comments below.

free social media content calendar template

May

4

2016

How to Tackle Your Most Ambitious Goals: A 5-Step Process From NBA Legend Bill Walton

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For many, goal-setting can feel like a daunting process.

You want to be sure that whatever you’re working towards is measurable, impactful, and challenging enough to keep you on your toes. Trouble is, the planning process is only half the battle. 

When it actually comes time to achieve said goal, it’s easy for things to fall apart. Think back to those New Year’s resolutions you set. Does the phrase grossly overestimated come to mind?

NBA legend Bill Walton, knows the intricacies of both setting and achieving goals all too well. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he was coached by one of the best coaches in history — John Wooden — who was committed to helping him succeed both on and off the court. 

On this week’s episode of The Growth Show, we sat down with Walton to learn more about how Wooden’s influence helped him devise a process for successfully tackling even his most ambitious goals.

How to Hit Your Ambitious Goals: A 5-Step Process

While there are plenty of strategies out there for setting goals, the process of actually hitting those goals can seem like a much more ambiguous path. How do we solidify the path to then hit our goals?

“Ask somebody who is on their way back,” suggests Walton.

Walton is on his way back, so we asked him on your behalf. Let’s take a look at his process below. 

Step 1: Define Your Goal

What’s the key to getting started? “Have a dream,” Walton told us. 

When you have a dream in mind, it becomes much easier to define a measurable goal — or set of goals — to get you there. Once you have a defined goal, you can use it to determine where to devote your focus and what to prioritize. 

Need help defining your goal? This free goal-setting template should make it a bit easier. 

Step 2: Get a Mentor

The next step? “Choose a teacher, a leader, or a coach,” suggests Walton. 

Even the most successful leaders have had mentors along the way. And the words of the ideal mentor will resonate years beyond their physical presence. In fact, if they’ve done their due diligence, you should walk away from the relationship with a toolbox full of lessons to carry with you. 

The hard part? Finding the right person. When searching for a trusted advisor, you want to look for someone who has achieved something that you can learn from. While it’s possible that this person might be a peer, mentors tend to be senior to their mentees. 

If you’re having trouble determining what to look for in a mentor, check out this post on mentorship tips from my colleague Lindsay. 

Step 3: Assemble or Join a Team

Ready to tackle the third step? Walton says you need to, “Join a team and immerse yourself in [that] positive culture.”

Creating a team gives you the advantage of approaching your goal with a diverse perspective. For example, I played on a collegiate hockey team and one of our biggest strengths was knowing how to leverage our unique skills to perform as a strong, cohesive unit.

This type of approach allows everyone to bring something different to the table while encouraging each individual to expand their perspective. Besides the individual growth value, you will be able to hit your goal faster.

Need advice on putting together a team? Here’s a free kit to help you build your inbound team.

Step 4: Sharpen Your Foundation

By now, you’re on the right track. To keep moving forward, Walton suggests that you, “Develop the individual foundation — assuming and understanding that the strength of the team is the strength of the individual.”

In other words, now that you have reinforcement to help you accomplish your goal, you need to leverage it. But this doesn’t mean that you should delegate every task on your own plate. In fact, you’ll benefit from keeping busy yourself: According to Yerkes Dodson Law, increased mental arousal can help you improve your performance.

Instead, lean on your teammates to help you sharpen your breadth of skills. Try to soak up bits of knowledge from each of their areas of expertise to help you devise a well-rounded plan for accomplishing your goal.

Step 5: Be Prepared to Sacrifice and Self-Discipline

Walton’s final tip? “Have the willingness to sacrifice and discipline.”

This one may fall under the category of easier said than done. It can be difficult to get yourself in the zone — especially if it’s 3 p.m. on a Friday — but this is where you can save yourself some serious time. The better you are at finding your “flow,” the easier it will be to enter that space when you need it most.

The other half of this is being comfortable saying “no.” No to leaving work early, no to taking on that extra project, and no to staying up late to watch Netflix. Trust me, learning how and when to say “no” will save you a ton of time and energy. 

The lesson? Define not only your goal, but also the path to achieve said goal. And as you build out that path, don’t hesitate to look for opportunities to pick up support from mentors or teammates — it’ll make all the difference. 

Want more advice on how to hit your goals? Check out the rest of our conversation with Walton on The Growth Show on iTunes.

(P.S. Don’t hesitate to leave a review! We are always looking to hear from listeners.)

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Mar

22

2016

Want a Happier, More Productive Life? Start Making Fewer Decisions

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Think about all the personal and professional choices you make in a day: Eggs or yogurt? Blue shirt or black shirt? Do I spend time on this task now or later? Do I ask for help or dive in? After making hundreds of decisions, it’s no wonder we are exhausted by the end of the day.

So what if I told you there was a way to reduce the amount of decisions you were making? What if I told you that doing so just might make you happier?

In his latest book, The Happiness Equation, best-selling author Neil Pasricha set out to explain why the secret to having everything is to want nothing and do anything. How did he come about this equation? After attempting to count every decision he made in a single day (spoiler alert: it wound up being 285), he started thinking about where he was truly wasting time. A quick breakdown revealed that of those 285 decisions, 75 were gym related, 32 were food related, and 62 were email related … and these three topics covered only half of his mind’s daily work.

After this analysis, Pasricha began to question what leaders were doing differently and how he could make these changes to his own life. To learn more about his pursuit of happiness, we sat down with him on this week’s episode of The Growth Show to talk about his findings. (See full episode below).

Why Successful People Eliminate Decisions

A friend once sent me an article on why the most successful people wear the same thing everyday. While I’m certain this was a stab at the fact that I wear a lot of black, the article indicated a valuable point: By reducing the amount of trivial decisions they make each day, they’re helping to ensure their successive decisions will be good ones.

In fact, research suggests that the more decisions an individual makes in a short period of time, the more each decision decreases in quality. Therefore, a finite amount of space for mental exertion exists before quality takes a hit. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as decision fatigue.

President Obama touched on this concept in an interview with Vanity Fair:

You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make. You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

Am I suggesting you go out and buy 20 gray and blue suits? Not exactly. The key takeaway here is that leaders actually make very few decisions. That’s how they stay productive. And if you can reduce the number of choices you force yourself to make — e.g., what to wear — you’ll be more prepared to adequately address more significant decisions as they arise.

How do you know which decisions to make and which to discard? That’s up next …

A Simple Framework for Making Fewer Decisions

This framework — referred to by Pasricha as the “Just Do It Scribble” — focuses on changing the way you prioritize daily choices using four words: automate, effectuate, regulate, and debate. By using this approach to set priorities, we can both increase the amount of time we have to spend on important decisions and reduce the time spent on trivial tasks. So how does it work?

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1) Automate

“If it’s low in time and low in importance, your goal is to automate,” explains Pasricha.

Don’t have time to pick up the essentials at the grocery store? Try Subscribe & Save — a delivery service powered by Amazon. Having trouble keeping up with your to-do list? Set up IFTTT recipe that saves your iOS reminders to an Evernote checklist. Keep forgetting to write that rent check? Set up an electronic bill pay from your bank account to send static payments.

By automating certain tasks you will be able to focus on the more important decisions at hand.

2) Effectuate

When it comes to tasks that are, “low in time but high in importance,” the decision is simple: Just do it. Whether it’s eating dinner with your kids, picking up your sister from physical therapy, or exchanging pleasantries with colleagues, these tasks are typically worth the time investment.

3) Regulate

Set aside the same time slots for mundane tasks by making a schedule. This might mean checking your calendar on your commute, responding to email for the first 30 minutes of your workday, cleaning your apartment on the same day each week, or putting your lunch together for the following day before bed. When it comes to tasks that are “high in time and low in importance,” the goal is to find a schedule that works for you, get it in one place, and stick to it.

4) Debate

When dealing with tasks that are “high in importance and high in time” — buying a car, moving to a new city, finding a partner, selecting a job — do your due diligence and research. You can do this by making lists of pros/cons, speaking with trusted friends or family members, or simply sleeping on it. These are the decisions that are worth the space in your brain, so take your time with them and have an internal debate.

The takeaway? If you want to reduce the amount of daily decisions you’re making, improve the quality of each one, and start feeling a little happier, take a few moments to re-work how you are prioritizing your time. Often times, happiness is a result of smart choices.

Want more advice on how to structure your daily life? Check out our conversation with Pasricha on The Growth Show on iTunes.

(P.S. Don’t hesitate to leave a review! We are always looking to hear from listeners like you.)

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Mar

17

2016

Why You’re Doing Your To-Do Lists All Wrong (And How to Fix Them)

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We all know that person. The one who runs tons of projects at work, hangs out with family, preserves personal relationships, gets to the gym daily, and still manages to have time to open up that home brew kit.

Would you believe me if I told you that these hyper-productive individuals aren’t actually working 10X more hours?

Charles Duhigg, author and Pulitzer-winning journalist for The New York Times, has spent years investigating what makes some people and teams more productive than others. Duhigg revealed these findings in his latest book titled Smarter Faster Better, which we had an opportunity to discuss with him on this week’s episode of The Growth Show. (Full episode below.)

So what’s the secret to building a happier and more productive team, career, and life? Well, let’s start with a story …

How Hyper-Productive People Manage Their Time

For Duhigg, it all started with an attempt to schedule a conversation with a well-known author. Unfortunately, the author — who was also a Harvard surgeon and writer for The New Yorker — couldn’t find the time to meet with him. That made sense. He’s really busy. However, a later conversation with a mutual friend revealed the truth: The author couldn’t chat because he was taking his kids to a concert and then going on a vacation with his wife.

What kind of wizardry was allowing this guy to make time for his profession, hobbies, and family life — all while dishing out a relaxed persona? What was he doing differently?

In short: A lot.

“They [productive people] govern their own minds in a way most of us don’t. They see these choices that most of us don’t even know are there. They get more done with less stress and waste,” explains Duhigg. But this is just the tip of the iceberg in Duhigg’s explanation of why these types of people are succeeding. (For a deeper dive, check out Duhigg’s interview with The Growth Show.)

In search of some actionable insights, we asked Duhigg to come up with one thing that non-productivity experts could start doing today to work smarter, faster, and better.

His answer? Make better to-do lists … because you are probably doing them all wrong.

The Right Way to Write a To-Do List: A 3-Step Process

Already writing to-do lists? Kudos to you. You’re on the right track. We just might need to switch lanes to get you to your optimal level of productivity.

While there are plenty of strategies and tests out there to help you master to-do list creation, Duhigg’s research-backed approach suggests that we might be looking at them the wrong way.

You see, the way that most people write to-do lists is by starting with low impact, low maintenance tasks, and saving the daunting tasks for last. They want to cross items off the list as soon as possible. Why? Because it makes them feel good (thanks, dopamine!).

As a result, most people put easy items at the top — or even add items they’ve already completed — in hopes of gaining some instant gratification. Psychologists refer to this as using a to-do list for mood repair. And according to an article by Timothy Psychyl in Psychology Today, putting off tough items and saving them for last actually increases the amount of negative feelings we experience later on.

To combat this, Duhigg suggests the following process.

Step 1: Think of your stretch goal for the day.

This could be anything from coming up with a new promotion strategy to organizing your kitchen. Think of the larger picture.

Step 2: Write your goal at the top of your page.

By keeping the stretch goal at the top of the page you never lose sight of your top priority. This helps keep you on track to ensure tasks you are completing are moving you towards the end goal.

Step 3: Break your goal down into actionable/measurable steps.

Large goals can seem intimidating. By breaking them down into small, approachable pieces rather than one big ominous mass, it becomes much easier to make progress.

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To start, try to determine what are you are capable of accomplishing in a particular time frame, and then evaluate how are you going to measure your progress. For example, Charles uses SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) to help set these next steps. (Here’s a helpful template to help you set marketing SMART goals.)

The lesson? If you want to get closer to your stretch goal faster, take an extra minute to re-work your to-do list. This small step could help you not only boost your productivity, but also eliminate that anxious feeling you get when you procrastinate. (These 10 to-do list tools won’t hurt either.)

Want more advice on how to be productive? Check out the rest of our conversation with Duhigg on The Growth Show on iTunes.

(P.S. Don’t hesitate to leave a review! We are always looking to hear from listeners like you.)

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