Time For a Divorce? You Become Who You Surround Yourself With

3477103474 e4e7aca6f9 300x217 Time For a Divorce? You Become Who You Surround Yourself WithYour mom told you in high school, “Billy down the street is bad news.  I don’t want you hanging around with him.”  My response to this one was “Ma, you don’t even know him.”  My parents didn’t even want to hear me complaining when I had to explain cleaning desks in detention for clowning around with “Billy” in class.  I guess our parents had some insight after all.

Reflecting back when I was 22, starting my first real business, I would make continuous progress only to be offset by my old routine of late nights drinking beers with my best buddies.  Don’t get me wrong here, the friends I grew up with are amazing people who I will cherish our memories until the day I die.  The challenge many of us face is that the typical conversation doesn’t change while you are changing.  It sounds something like “My job sucks…I met this hottie at the bar last night…man the Cubs sucked yesterday…did you see American Idol?”

Which Road Will You Take?

2363258975 4c1a659c4b Which Road Will You Take?Jet ski’s, a tornado protruding from the sky, kids covering me in wet sand, barbecues and family fun.  The 4th of July weekend lives up to it’s promises once again.  We have made the near four hour family excursion to my families lake house countless times for many occasions.  And history could not have repeated itself more perfect when my Dad said “we better hit the road early because we’re going to hit the holiday traffic.”

My dad and I hop in his car with my pup and head back to the land of never ending construction and plentiful tollways.  About and hour in, as expected, we come to a dead halt.  The ever-so slow moving holiday parking lot, otherwise known as I-90, was flooded with it’s northbound weekend warrior Chicagoans.

So, I said to my pops, “why don’t you hop off here and we can take highway-12 and bypass some of this traffic.”

Lack of Discipline or Lack of Direction?

080208 uso story 300x206 Lack of Discipline or Lack of Direction?Do you ever feel like you have so much to do and you never get anything done?  Often people approach me diagnosing their challenge being a lack of discipline.  There are days in my life where I just want to go play in the park all day with my dog enjoying the summer sun!  But by getting into a deeper conversation with them, I usually find out that they have no idea where they are going.

For example, many people try to justify hours upon hours spent on Facebook and Twitter trying to generate more business.  Everyone would love to use social media marketing and relationship building for business to bring in more sales, but what does that get you?  What does the end result look like for you?  Let me ask you a more challenging question.  What would you do with your time if no one ever knew about it and you never receive payment for it?

12 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Tattoo on Their Arms

091204d 12 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Tattoo on Their Arms

Entrepreneur Quotes

I have one tattoo.  Who knows, I may plan to get more.  Maybe I will make my body a shrine to all of the great entrepreneur quotes that inspired me along my journey.

The words of many great leaders, constantly ring in my head.  This is the collection of 12 powerful yet simple quotes that shine light on my path.  There are millions of great quotes, but I believe you will find these quite special.

Do I think every entrepreneur should get these quotes inked on their body?  Obviously it’s your choice, but it is better than some of the weird ass tattoos I have seen people stamp on themselves.

This is permanent.  Life is not.  Even if you do not decide to carry these quotes on your body, I recommend to reference them continually to guide you on your journey to success.

Refollow: Arguably the Best Twitter Relationship Management Tool

refollow Refollow: Arguably the Best Twitter Relationship Management Tool

A big concern for people when they first get into Twitter is the time management issue.  The way Twitter has been built allows for virtually any application to be created to enhance your experience.  If you are aggressively networking on Twitter trying to establish your presence, cleaning up non-active Tweeps is very important.  The numbers don’t mean jack.  What matters is how many of your followers actually listen and engage in your conversations.

Recently, I have came across a tool called Refollow, which is arguably the best and most comprehensive follow/relationship management tools out there. Refollow helps you discover, manage, and protect your Twitter social circle.  On the website, you can log it using your Twitter account and it will take you to a page when you can view and sort all of your friends and followers.

2009 06 25 2318 Refollow: Arguably the Best Twitter Relationship Management Tool

The Cliff Notes Version (Refollow allows you to…)

Great New Way to Shorten, Analyze and Promote Links with Su.pr

suprpic Great New Way to Shorten, Analyze and Promote Links with Su.pr Just about everyone in the social networking space uses URL shortening applications.  Now, I know there are tons of sites out there that do this, but this one is a true gem.

Su.pr is a great new application by StumbleUpon (someone who we already know, love and trust) where you can shorten, track and promote your URL’s.  Su.pr is tied to StumbleUpon and your users have to capability to rate and review your posted links.  It also has a time saving feature allowing you to schedule your posts for a later time and date for Facebook and Twitter.  It encumbers many tools that normally multiple sites are needed to accomplish the same results.

You can see the functionality of the interface here: http://su.pr/9rtTZk.

I Wear Basketball Shorts to Work, But My Name Is Not Kobe

Another day on the job.  We do it for the love of the game, right?  Like every youngster, I dreamed of making the League.  “M.J. to B. Will,” I envisioned as I dunked on my plastic door-hung hoop.  Remember those days?

kobe bryant 248x300 I Wear Basketball Shorts to Work, But My Name Is Not Kobe I always remember back to my idols every time I see a basketball game on t.v.  My hoop dreams quickly faded away.  I guess I wasn’t tall enough and I wasn’t fast enough and was just short of the 10,000 hours of practice that it takes for you to become a pro.  Every time I sunk a fade away shot in someones face, my friends called my so called talent, “luck.”  I believed them.  Always thought that “luck” would carry me pretty far though.  If my dreams to make it big will come true, I will have to find another way.

What Inspires You? Do *THAT* Every Morning…

2847067166 7bcf78156c 300x199 What Inspires You?  Do *THAT* Every Morning...What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?  No, really…take a second to reflect what you do in the mornings from when you wake until noon.  Is it a vicious cycle of checking email, feeding your Facebook addiction and Tweeting?  You say, “alright I have so much to do today, and it is going to be a productive day.”  Then four and a half hours later you look at the clock on your computer and see you indulged in a half day of “social networking” and severe anxiousness sets in. Another day wasted, but tomorrow’s another day, right?

21 Books You MUST-Read for Business Success

chaninsd 21 Books You MUST Read for Business SuccessYou may know that I am a avid reader.  I make many book recommendations and love receiving them.  In my personal opinion, self-education is a MUST for any successful entrepreneur.  To sum this up, one of my favorite quotes reads “If we are not growing, we are dying.”

So when I recently visited the blog of one of my favorite books, The Go-Giver, I saw that Channel Insider (value-added reseller’s online trade journal) recently released their list of “21 Must-Read Books for Business Success.” The list of 21 knockout classics, includes several of my favorites:

Good to Great
Blue Ocean Strategy
How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Tipping Point
The E-Myth
7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Join us 6/10/09 for teleconference w/ author Stephen R. Covey)

… and of course, The Go-Giver.

channelinsider 21 Books You MUST Read for Business Success

MY NOTES: 5 Things I Learned from the Go-Giver Tour and XBM

untitled MY NOTES: 5 Things I Learned from the Go Giver Tour and XBMFor those who have been sleeping under a rock, I’ll bring you up to speed.  The Go-Giver Tour was a road trip that went down a just over a month ago, in which 9 entrepreneurs made their way from Chicago to Orlando to attend Extreme Business Makeovers, a annual event hosted by internationally best selling author Bob Burg and his business partner Thom Scott.  The vision of this trip started when 4 out of the box entrepreneurs were touched by the message behind the book the Go-Giver.  They conducted a video application process where they selected five young entrepreneurs to join in the cross country journey to inspire, empower and connect with people through the message of this book.

boys MY NOTES: 5 Things I Learned from the Go Giver Tour and XBM(winners:@davehageman @justinburns @ivanavalos @mikemonty @emanuelavalos)

This was a tremendous learning experience for all of us.  Personally, I built great business/personal relationships with many brilliant entrepreneurs, speakers and authors.  Out of my notebook, here are the top 5 things I learned from the trip: