How To Harness The Awesome Power of Gratitude

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gratitude

There are 3 questions I ask myself every morning before I start my day:

  • What am I excited and pumped about?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What must I accomplish today?

But #2…”what am I grateful for?”  is my favorite and the one that gives me the most energy!

Now a point of caution, when you are counting your blessings. try not to do it by comparing your life with the misfortune of others.

This is often done unconsciously and it doesn’t make you a bad person, but it’s unhealthy and unproductive.

For example: “I’m so lucky i didn’t end up like so and so … or,  I’m so grateful for not being like that guy or that girl!”

Be truly grateful for the things you’ve accomplished without comparison or judgment.

Being grateful is being sincere. When you acknowledge your reality and genuinely give thanks to a higher power, whatever it is you believe in, you are humbling yourself.

You are saying: “I didn’t accomplish or get here my myself”, which means you know you are not alone …and you’ll have company the rest of the journey.

I’m grateful for my parents, my wife, my boys, my brother and sisters and nephews… my friends, my business partners and clients.

I’m grateful for my health, my success and my failures.

I’m grateful for waking up every day, and I’m grateful for things to come.

Being grateful does not mean you accept your limitations, it means you are at peace with yourself now, but always vigilant and ready to evolve and transform.

Being grateful is living in the moment, engaging with the here and the now, and there is nothing more powerful than being present.

Stay focused, lead, and be great!

Happy Thanksgiving!

4 am Type Discipline- Teaching Yourself How To Win in Life and in Business

download (1)

download (1)It’s 4:45 am, I just left my son at swimming practice. It’s dark, humid and not too chilly but that’s not the point.

The point is that you when you get up at 4:00 am to be at pool-side by 4:45 the impact of  is more psychological than anything else.

It’s not the “getting wet” so early, you get over the physical shock after the first 10 laps, -its what happens before you hit the water that messes with your head.

Getting up from your soft warm bed, eating something even if you are not hungry cause you are going to need the calories, and the knowledge that you are about to put in more physical work by 6:30 am than most people do in a whole day are thoughts you’d WANT TO AVOID!

And if the mornings are cold?!  Forget it …It’s just pure pain and suffering!

The prospect of knowing your are going to swim 2-3 miles before the sun comes up is unnerving and mind numbing.

But young swimmers train their minds as much as their bodies, -it’s part of the sport.

I keep telling him it’s going to pay off!

I did it when I was his age. He’s 13.

But he’s now a much stronger and better swimmer than I ever was at his age, he’s been swimming now for 6 years.

Unwavering discipline and laser-like focus is what separates most sports professionals and endurance athletes from the rest of us.

And I keep telling him it’s going to pay off!

But he knows this! -He knows by now he can do things in the pool most professional athletes in other sports can’t do.

I make sure he hears it, because hearing it plus doing it builds a sense of confidence and accomplishment,  I can already see it in his attitude and results.

I tell him all the time:

Papo do you know that almost no one in the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL can do what you do every day …and these are all grown up professionals and well paid athletes!” -He smirks …!

You can’t see the picture when you are in the frame (I forget who said that!)

REMEMBER THIS …No personal or business endeavor feels heroic or even worth while you are going through the daily grind. You must find your reasons.

He’s a teenager so we all know he looks at the world as a teenager should, but learning this kind of discipline at such a young age is life altering, it will forge his character because he’s being challenged every single day he steps on the deck.

You know your facial expressions change when your soul is hurting.

Most endurance sports don’t just test the physical, but the mental and even the spiritual sometimes!

I’ve seen the pain in his face, but his eyes are defiant and focused …I feel a sense of pride, but I also feel challenged. Isn’t that something?

One day he’ll be able to look back at those tough grueling sets from hell his coaches gave him and remember is not how you start the set, but how you finish it …finish strong, if not of body, then of mind …but finish strong, leave it all in the pool EVERY SINGLE PRACTICE!

The same goes with business by the way…!

You don’t have to be a swimmer, a professional athlete or get up at 4 am… but you do have to walk the gauntlet! …And you do have to find a way to challenge yourself if you want to be successful at anything in life and business!

I can relate not only cause I’m a swimmer, but I also get up with him  -and take him to afternoon practices every day, and just like him in the pool, I hone my craft everyday by writing winning copy and creating business strategies and marketing campaigns for my own business projects and clients.

Also like him, I’m in pain when my work doesn’t perform as expected,  -BUT I bask in the glow of success and accomplishment when they do perform and exceed my client’s expectations, and especially when I get paid! :-)

When was the last time you challenged your view of how you do your marketing?

Here are a few similarities between entrepreneurs and professional athletes:
  • Both need to be brave – Which means you know what you need to do and go through even though you are scared shitless! That’s what brave means.
  • Both need to constantly train – Staying on top of your game is critical to your success, learning and growing never stops.
  • Both need to have a coach – Someone you respect, look up to and learn from is essential to being a winner, but most importantly someone that can kick your ass and challenge you.
  • Both need peers to laugh, cry and grow with – Your team mates and business partners are your family, watch their back and they’ll watch yours.
  • Both will experience horrible failures – Both will also experience incredible wins and paydays!
  • Neither has a shortcut to greatness – You pay your dues one way or another, sooner or later, but you pay’em! There’s no quick path to Olympic dreams any more than there are “get rich quick schemes” that actually work.
  • Both need to take risks – The greater risk in life and in business is to risk nothing!

Are you putting yourself out there?

It’s not enough to WANT TO …You’ve got to put relentless action behind THOUGHTS OF SUCCESS!

Can you name one marketing campaign that you are running right now in your business?  How is it performing …?

Are you being coached in a particular area of your life or business?

Tiger, Phelps, Lebron and my son have coaches! -So do Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and I!

Do you think maybe you get one toooo?

My wife is my parenting coach these days by the way…!

I realized that when I caught myself asking her, “Are the boys too young to have watched that movie?” -One look it’s all it took!

Anyway, this my 4:30 am, Thursday morning thought… I’d love to hear yours :-)

Have a Happy Labor Day weekend!

Star Wars and J.J. Abrams Teach Us a Powerful Marketing Lesson!

starwars

starwars

Different, just different …!

The traditional way to build anticipation and interest in the film industry is by showing action-filled clips spaced with climactic moments for what’s to come.

Instead in the new Star Wars ComicCon reel J.J. Abrams decided to tell a story that made us feel like we belonged, that just because we didn’t have a physical part in the making of the “new-old” story, we belong because we relate and we have a personal history with Star Wars.

He did so by giving us a brief but aspirational experience!

Sometimes is tempting and easier to tease people about what’s to come, even if it’s great by the way …But what if you go deeper, what if you link to our need to belong and be part of something greater than ourselves!

Nothing’s changed really, I mean everything’s changed but nothing’s changed …that’s the way you want it to be really! -Mark Hamill

That’s a powerful business and marketing lesson!

See you at the movies in December :-)

How Elon Musk created nearly 1$B in value with a single tweet

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tesla-d_featured

Photo credit: www.pando.com

I absolutely had to write about this event on my own blog and that’s why I totally stole it from Michael Carney ( @pandodaily ) at Pando.

Elon Musk, what can I say? I’m a big fan and student of this guy …How can you not be if you are an entrepreneur?

But I don’t want to talk about him as much as I want to point out AGAIN how Social Media when properly hacked and respected can affect bottom line, real-time, real-life-business metrics like …Let me see Oh! …Revenue!?

So on March 30, 2015 Elon tweets this to his 1.86 M followers:

Major new Tesla product line — not a car — will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30

…and by day’s end Musk’s message had been retweeted more than 4,700 times and favorited another 3,700, while eliciting thousands more responses.

Results:  The electric car maker’s stock to jump nearly 4 percent in just 10 minutes – adding a staggering $900 million to the company’s market cap in just 115 characters.

Read full report here!

But here’s my point:

I know you are not Elon Musk, you don’t have 1.86 M followers on Twitter,  you are not revolutionizing the car industry as we speak, basically replacing NASA with SpaceX,  and the only company that you can be compared to in terms of innovation, disruption and popularity would be Apple. I realize that!

So obviously when this guy tweets or says something, people are on the edge of their seats.

You know what, he’s earned that and you haven’t!

Most of us haven’t!

But that doesn’t mean you should not use Twitter as a primary tool for your personal marketing (branding) or as an integral part of your company’s social media strategy.

Here’s how you can leverage Twitter exactly like Elon Musk did:

Approach your Twitter marketing strategy with these points in mind and in this order-

#1 RESEARCH - Twitter is the most powerful real time research tool on the Web today. Twitter Trends point you in the direction of the conversation and the #hashtag brings the convo feed right to your door step, it’s the modern social SEO. Join or Listen to any conversation, on any topic, any time, any where!

#2 CONNECTING - Twitter dominates in this area as well because assuming you’ve identified who’s genuine and who’s a troll, Twitter allows to instantly connect with like minded peeps in your space or any just about any area of interest to you. Just be YOU and offer something of value, say thank you to someone for following, support someone’s cause, curate kick-ass content, comments and media… And do so without expectation! You can’t do this? -Find life elsewhere!

#3 MARKETING - Twitter can be very deceiving on this end, especially when you don’t get 1 and 2. Twitter ad product is evolving quickly and is better today than it was yesterday. But still I think that Twitter is the best tool to drive one-on-one marketing opportunities as long as you do again, #1 and #2 properly, patiently and consistently. Be human about the engagement and you’ll be fine.

So let’s recap!

Research your market and find out who needs what, Listen, Listen, Listen! Then connect viscerally with people, give a crap about their stuff, especially if it ads value to other people and share it if it does!

You do this enough and you’ve planned your strategy, funnels and content on your end and in essence you’ve been doing the kind of marketing only 1% of people on Twitter actually do!

That kind of goodwill and digital Karma works, it just does!

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for people to check your stuff out, just make sure it’s actually stuff worth checking out.

I almost forgot!

Here’s a video link to that major Tesla product event announcement on that Tweet … Enjoy, its awesome!

Also, if you’d like to learn How To Use Twitter Strategically for your business or personal brand, email me or call me and I’ll show you the right way to use it specifically for your business  :-)

claudio@venmarkmedia.com - 786.303.1500

Take care!

 

The Only 10 Slides You Need To Pitch Your Business

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When was the last time you truly got practical value out of a power point presentation?

And what I mean by practical value, is a concise, clear and brief understanding of the idea being presented in under 20 minutes or less, and that would help you take the next step or make a decision right after the presentation.

When you pitch your business for the first time the only goal is to sell the next encounter or event. Design your pitch strategy with simple goals and add value at every step. Remember you are qualifying your prospects as much as they are qualifying you.

If you’ve been guilty as I have of the 20 to 30 slides, all-over-the-place deck, check this guide out put together by Guy Kawasaki.

The 10 slides are:

the-only-10-slides-you-need-in-a-pitch_54ff86ab42e89

 

Read full post here!

You Don’t Have Time!

you don't have time

you don't have timeThe time I’m referring to is not the time to lose 50 pounds, write that book you’ve been postponing, take a trip to Asia or get that degree you’ve always wanted … No!

These things are great, but often we get to accomplish them at the expense of something else, and are seldom repeated or equaled because of our lack of lifestyle and vision.

You set and do them as goals instead of as a way of life.

I’m referring to the time to do something that changes your options by giant leaps and bounds, and forever!

The time to go from scarcity to abundance and prosperity …the time to design a life where you decide what to do and when to do it without having to pay a negative price for doing so!  -Just because you can!

I don’t understand Claudio …What “time” are you referring to?

I’m talking about the time you need to put in to make exponential changes in your life forever!

To make changes that are so qualitative that they rock every fiber of your being, changes that transform and transcend. 

But before you start thinking about this, here’s what your mind, friends and family may believe and tell you:

-I don’t know how!

-Things are the way they are supposed to be!

-I don’t have time to put in the “time”

-I’m safe, why rock the boat?

-Money and prosperity isn’t everything in life!

-Abundance is relative!

-I’m happy right now!

-I’m comfortable

I know, I know …in the years I’ve been in business, coaching and consulting business owners, I’ve heard it all, these are just a few.

I’ve said and felt ALL these things myself in multiple occasions! I’m a living example for each and every single one of them :-)

But here’s how I deal with these common excuses on my way to a better life:

  • I don’t know how!——Find a way!
  • Things are the way they are supposed to be!——-No they are not, keep striving for better!
  • I don’t have time to put in the “time”——–A classic “excuse” and the main reason why you don’t have time for anything, including the things you really want to do!
  • I’m safe, why rock the boat?——–Rocking the boat is where “true safety” lies silly!
  • Money and prosperity isn’t everything in life!——–You are right …but it sure does help, especially if you care and want to help others!
  • Abundance and prosperity are relative!——–No they are not, they are absolutes …You either have options and freedom or you don’t!
  • I’m happy right now!———The key here is to know when you are delusional, pseudo-content, you don’t care or are in denial. Truly happy people, I’ve noticed, are always in motion, searching, evolving, that’s what makes them happy!
  • I’m comfortable——-So are people that are buried or in a coma
  • A regretful and unhappy life? That won’t happen to me——–Just in case, don’t say that out loud or in public! …instead, start reflecting now!

These were some of my demons, I later came to find out I wasn’t alone …and you know what, neither are you!

Expand Your Vision!

Claudio

 

Why The “Thank God It’s Friday” Syndrome Is Keeping You From Being Wildly Successful!

TGIF Thank God It's Friday

Thank God it's Friday SyndromeThe TGIF mindset may seem to most people like a harmless thing to say, or actually look forward to. We simply hear everyone yelling it, we do the same, and we are now part of that tribe!

Can you picture Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Tim Ferris, Sam Walton, Richard Koch, Jordan, Phelps, Woods … Saying: “Thank God It’s Friday!”?

I mean …even radio stations have a 5 O’clock horn letting you know you are now “FREE”.  You have 2 days to roam the country side, let some steam off and run wild until Monday when you HAVE to come back to your self made prison for the next five days, for what they decide to pay you btw, and this you will do 72% of your God-given time for the rest of your life.

Are you kidding me!!?

This may not be you, but if you desperately look forward to Fridays 5 pm, see Wednesday as “hump day” and Monday is a day from Hell …then my contention is you are not very happy with your chosen business or profession, you may not admit this in public, but you are not a very happy guy or gal.

If you see the weekend as a temporary escape route, a time to unwind, unplug and have a chance to be “YOU” at least for 28% of your time, then I think you may need to re-evaluate your life and ask yourself a simple question: Why Am I Doing This?

The main reason you are not happy is not because you have to do it all over again on Monday, but because you are not in control of your life, someone or something else is …and WE … YOU were not meant to live that way!

If you are aware of this… Good for you! The question then is: “What are you going to do about it …How can you be “YOU” 7 days a week?”

So get busy working on a Plan where you control your time, because if you control your time …you control your life.

If you got upset at reading this, well you probably didn’t read this far … But GOOD if you did get upset! You are supposed to, because there is no hope or cure for those that feel nothing.

My advice is, take some time to think about your time in a different way, try owning it for a change, understand how precious it is, because it’s limited. So how do you want to spend it?

How do you want to spend it doing the things you want, deserve and were meant to be doing!

Take care my friends :-)

I Have a Great Title, Awesome Paycheck and Great Benefits. Then Why Am I So Freaking Unhappy?

hughtrain777

hughtrain777

A friend of mine made this comment to me last week. Great question isn’t it?

A couple of answers came to mind right away.

One is that, you are not stepping up to your purpose. Meaning you are not doing meaningful work, and if you’d like to dig deeper then define what “meaningful” means to you.

The second would be that since we can remember, we’ve been fed the story that the steady 40 hour a week  job in a suit and tie, driving the fifty thousand dollar car, with the average size home and weekends off, with 2 weeks vacation a year, and happy hour drinks with a bunch of friends in the same boat is actually something you can call a LIFE! -of course all of that is a bunch of BS!

If you think that’s success my friend we are in a serious disagreement and you are DELUSIONAL…!

The thing is most people wont admit how miserable and unhappy they are. They compare their lives with someone’s who’s doing far worse than they are, never with someone whom they could aspire to be like.

So that way of thinking keeps them sheltered from the truth… which is that THEY – YOU are living a life without purpose!

There are people out there that make a lot of money, but they have no time. There other’s that have a lot of time, but don’t make enough money. And there is the worse kind… which is where most of us were or still are, which is “we have no time and make no money”. I call that place Middle Class Purgatory!

I always suggest to go back to what’s meaningful to you. Take stock of what lit the fire in you once and try to rekindle that feeling.

There are many ways to make a meaningful living these days… you don’t have to be a millionaire, you just have to know what you want!

There hasn’t been a better time in history than now, where the cost of producing and selling information, advise and specific skills is easier and more scalable than ever!

A book I recommend as a top read on the topic and to get your juices flowing is:

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future - Chris Guilleabeau takes us through real life examples of regular people who are not only making money doing what they love, but have attained financial independence and personal freedom in the process. Great read if you still have doubts about getting something going and finally getting off your butt and start doing what you were meant to do… which believe me, it’s probably not what you are doing right now for someone else!

Make a move soon before you REALLY run out of time… If you need to talk about it, you know how to reach me! :-)

 

Don’t Follow Your Passion, Live it!

Found this awesome piece my Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs” … Enjoy, I sure did!