400 - The Big Secret - Success is About “Being”, Not “Doing”

May 7, 2018

What you do is transient. But what you are…that’s a solid ground for you to build on.

A lot of people deny who they really are (https://www.excellence-expected.com/397) by trying to present themselves as a “professional”. We’re taught to screw up our chances by not letting anyone see the real us (which means they won’t be able to truly know, like, and trust us). 

We keep our actions and thoughts inside our Professional Box, when we would be much more successful by stepping into our Personality Box - who you are right now.

What if you also architected your future Personality Box - who you will become. What would that look like if you were successful? 

It’s a deep question: what does it mean to succeed by being, not by doing? I talk more about this in episode 400 of The 7 Minute Mentor (https://www.excellence-expected.com/7-minute-mentor/). 

Forget What You Want To Do In Life

At the same time as you were taught how to act like a phoney “professional”, you were simultaneously told you need to figure out what you want to do in life.

I can remember being asked what I wanted to do by the careers advisor at school when I was about 14...I’m sure she dished out really useful advice like work in a bank or become a gardener.  At the time I can guarantee I didn’t say I wanted to run my own software business or have a business podcast (it would have been pretty impressive if I had given podcasts didn’t exist when I was 14...Mark-y McFly!). But I was given the instruction to put thought into what I wanted to do.

Right now I’m helping a friend who’s struggling to figure out what he wants to do. Thinking in this way is half his problem. He can chase his tail in circles forever by trying to nail down exactly what he wants to do. I share more about this in my blog post ‘What Do I Want To Do With My Life? - Becoming What You Want to Be Without Knowing What You Want To Do’ (https://www.excellence-expected.com/what-do-i-want-to-do-with-my-life/).

But, you see, what you want to do isn’t really what you want. What you really want is to be certain things.

You’ll never succeed by going for what you want to do, because what you do is transient. What you do moves and shifts like the tide. You can’t rely on it long-term. It can hold you back and keep you caged inside a lifestyle prison (https://www.excellence-expected.com/my-business-my-prison/).

But - what you want to be - that’s solid. You can rely on it. It can guide you through endless problems, pivots and perils. 

Why Focusing on What You Should Do Leads to Failure

You need to keep paying your mortgage, your car payments, and the occasional holiday. That’s okay. Don’t resent your nice lifestyle. You work hard for it.

On the other hand, you feel unfulfilled. In an attempt to fix this, you try to force something that shouldn’t be forced. You rush into a new job, throw together a shoddy new product, or desperately push a new side-hustle.

F*ck that! It’s not what you do next that will guide you.

Forget what you want to do. Focus instead on what you want to be.

Years ago I sat down in front of a Blue Snowball microphone, hit record, and started talking about Batman. I didn’t know what I was doing or why. That became Two Shots to the Head, a podcast all about DC Comics.  I’m absolutely in my element, doing what I’ve enjoyed doing pretty much my whole life...talking about DC Comics! 

I could have never guessed that this hobby-podcast would lead to Excellence Expected (https://www.excellence-expected.com), and then to Podcast Websites (https://podcastwebsites.com/), which resulted in my closing down my design agency, Hacksaw. 

It ultimately culminated in thousands of people watching me speak on stage about a totally different topic than the one I started with! I could have never known any of that.

I didn’t need to. I just did what felt fulfilling at the time.

I was being the person that I wanted to be, and it’s led me further and further along the path to being the person that I want to be.

Stop wasting your time trying to figure out what you want to do! I don’t run Two Shots to the Head anymore, and that’s fine. I don’t mourn it. It turned out to be just a stepping stone (although I am tempted to revive it!). 

Envision What You Will Be When You Are Successful

Every time you start thinking you want a change, stop thinking what you’re going to do. Think instead about how you want to be.

How do you want to live, to feel, to show up to others?

I’m a different person now than I was when I was running Hacksaw. I was unhappy and I didn’t even know it. All I knew was there was a little itch I needed to scratch. I was bored, so I started a podcast talking about my favourite comics. If I had hired someone to calculate exactly what I should have done to replace my income with a more fulfilling business, starting a hobby podcast about comic books would not have been the result!

You never know where things can lead. What you should do. Focus on what you want to become.

If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mrasquith/) - 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.

Reserve your seat (https://www.excellence-expected.com/freecoaching) on the next free coaching session, now.

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel! 

By the way, I’m a big believer in email marketing and in having the best email marketing tool to help you grow your email list. That’s why I use AWeber and I’ve paired up with them to bring you a special offer – just head to excellenceexpected.com/aweber (http://excellence-expected.com/aweber) and use code exex.

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399 - The Other Box You Live In…

May 4, 2018

You live in two boxes: your Professional Box and your Personality Box.

One makes it more likely for people to get to know, like and trust you. The other does not.

And you’ve been told to bring the wrong one to work.

How do you switch to the other box? I talk more about this in podcast episode 399 of The 7 Minute Mentor

Why People Buy

You’ve probably heard “people buy from people”, and that they only buy from people they “know, like, and trust.”

It’s all true. But there’s a problem.

You’ve also been told to bring your Professional Box to work and to leave your Personality Box at home, waiting for the weekend.

If people buy from other people that they know, like, and trust, then how can you expect them to buy from your professional persona? How can they know, like, or trust someone they’ve never truly met?

Friendships in Business

We buy experiences and feelings, not things. And we buy them from people we trust.

If a friend recommends a movie, you check it out. If a friend offers you something to buy, you won’t need a full sales letter to be convinced because you trust them.

Last Christmas I got a great present – a series of old Superman audio stories from the radio. I was given it by an old audience member and friend, Kipper McGee. I’m a huge fan of DC comics, and Kipper knew this about me because he actually knows me.

Many of you also know I’m a DC fanboy. You might also know about my guitar and keyboard playing, or about Pete, my dog. Those of you who’ve listened to me since the beginning might know me even better than some of my “real life” friends. The reason for that is I am the same guy on my podcasts as I am when you meet me face to face.

Kipper and I have done a lot of work together. Imagine if I’d tried to be more “professional” with him… if I only ever stayed in my Professional Box when we met.

Imagine if I told him only about my business and was never open about my unique quirks, beliefs, or opinions. Maybe we would have worked together a little bit, but we would never have built the rapport that turned into a lifetime “business relationship” (which, of course, is actually a friendship).

How You Come Across as Untrustworthy (Even When You’re Not)

If people buy from people they know, like, and trust, they first have to actually get to know you!

You can’t expect to get results by showing up to work like the pushy car salesman, throwing around a lot of “essentially’s” and “basically’s” and trying to blind people with jargon. You can’t dress yourself up in flashy clothes that don’t really suit you, or hide your true opinions and expect people to trust you anyway.

You’ve got to be yourself. Reveal your loves and desires. Be open about your fallacies and foibles. You don’t need to tell people everything, of course, but you can’t distort who you really are by working only inside your Professional Box.

Live in The Box That Makes You Money

Authenticity takes practice.

Luckily, the box that makes you the most money is the same one you’re in when you’re with your family or having fun with your friends. You have all day, every day to practice being you.

Most people leave their Personality Box at home to be picked up at 5 pm or on the weekend.

What they don’t understand is their Personality Box is full of all the things that make them likeable and trustworthy. By leaving it at home, they don’t understand that they’re leaving huge amounts of money on the table.

When you live in your Personality Box all the time, you don’t need to worry about how to present yourself in front of different people or in different situations. When members of my audience meet me they find that I’m the exact same guy they’ve been following all this time. They feel like they know me…because they do.

It’s time to move from your lifestyle prison to a life of fulfilment. Identify what you want to be, notice where you’re being inauthentic, and commit to living 24/7 in your Personality Box from now on.

Accept yourself (with all your flaws) and so will your clients, your business partners, and your audience members. Being uniquely you is the only way to be heard, understood, and trusted.

If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook - 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.

Reserve your seat on the next free coaching session, now.

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

By the way, I’m a big believer in email marketing and in having the best email marketing tool to help you grow your email list. That’s why I use AWeber and I’ve paired up with them to bring you a special offer – just head to excellenceexpected.com/aweber and use code exex.

 

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398 - The World Doesn’t Need More Professionals

May 3, 2018

We’ve been misled into leaving our personalities at the door.

Even though the successful usually grab our hearts and minds by being authentically _themselves_ and wearing their quirks on their sleeve, we are told that it’s “unprofessional” to do that ourselves.

But what does the world really need from you? I tell you exactly what the world needs from you, and why, in episode 398 of The 7 Minute Mentor

The Heroes You Admire

Come up with a list of 3 to 5 people who you most admire. Next, think about how they present themselves. Are they merely professional, or are they something more?

For me, Steve Jobs comes straight to mind. Was he super professional? We know that he experimented with LSD in college. We know he lived in a very minimalist home because he was a huge believer in Zen philosophy. Those are pretty personal details. Did they make him seem unprofessional, or did they only attract people to him and his company?

Elon Musk recently advised his staff to walk out of boring meetings. He added, "It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time." Was that a particularly professional thing to say, or was he simply speaking his mind?

Gary Vaynerchuk is perhaps the best example of how things we think of as “unprofessional” don’t hold you back at all. Gary wears beanies and hoodies. He occasionally slams his foot on the desk to show off his new pair of “kicks”. He swears constantly. And yet, he has a massive following and runs a huge marketing agency.

You will probably find a lot of the people you admire might act in a professional manner, (being consistent, hardworking, honest, and respectful), but the things you love most about them are the quirks and even the flaws that make them uniquely them.

You will also find that your list is full of leaders. I don’t mean they necessarily lead big companies, like the guys on my list. I mean they are leaders in the truest sense of the word.

What it Really Means to Lead

In the book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, Seth Godin laid out why every one of us has a responsibility to lead.

You don’t have to lead from the front. You can lead from behind. You can lead from within. You lead whenever you set an example by being authentically you. The world needs you to step up and lead.

Do You Have Your Voice Yet?

People say that social media has given everyone a voice. That’s not true.

Nothing can give you your voice. You give yourself your voice when you express your true beliefs.

How can you stand out? Speak from the heart. Share your personality by infusing your work with your values, your experiences, your beliefs, even your dark sense of humour!

Other people might have the same tools as you do, but no one else can put them together in your unique way. That unique way is your unique voice. And the world needs you to speak.

Being “Professional” vs Acting in a Professional Manner

Being “professional” means copying other people.

It means hiding your foibles under a pressed, inoffensive tie. It means hiding your beliefs under memorized lines of company policy. It means doing what everyone else does and, as a result, not being noticed.

If you’re obsessed with being professional, you will churn out the same old content, services, and products we have already seen a hundred times. The world doesn’t need that.

But the world does need you to act in a professional manner. It’s very simple.

1. You do what you say you’ll do
1. You do it with integrity
1. You do it well

The world needs more people who act in a professional way, but it is sick of “professionals”.

Your responsibility to yourself, to me, to your kids, your spouse, your parents, to your coworkers, customers, and audience members – your responsibility to the world is to get up and lead. Be who you were meant to be…no…be who you were built to be.

That’s how you break out of your lifestyle prison.

If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook - 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.

Reserve your seat on the next free coaching session, now.

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

By the way, I’m a big believer in email marketing and in having the best email marketing tool to help you grow your email list. That’s why I use AWeber and I’ve paired up with them to bring you a special offer – just head to excellenceexpected.com/aweber and use codem exex

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397 - Don’t Think Outside of It, LIVE Outside of the Box!

May 2, 2018

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘thinking outside of the box’. We use it when we’re trying to challenge ourselves, or others, to be creative. To go against the grain. To just stop being so boring and predictable.

But what if I said that simply ‘thinking’ outside of the box is not good enough. Really, what use are thoughts if you don’t act upon them?

Instead, let’s talk about LIVING outside of the box. More interesting right? And, I have a particular box in mind for you!

I talk more about this in podcast episode 397 of The 7 Minute Mentor

What is Professionalism?

From the age of four we’re taught to present ourselves in a certain way. This carries on throughout our childhood. Social norms may differ depending on our upbringing, but pretty much all of us remember having certain ways to behave drilled into us from an early age.

In business it’s hardly any different. It’s not about being ‘well behaved’ anymore, it’s about being ‘professional’. We must be professional at all times and we must not mix business with our personal lives.

This drives me mad because really…what is professionalism?

Too often professionalism is a box that we’re taught to live in.

We shine our shoes. Wear a tie. Put on a nice suit. And we act a certain way. We act ‘professional’.

As a result, we feel as though we can’t share very much about our personal lives with our ‘friends’ at work.

Can we even truly consider them to be our ‘friends’ if the whole time we are around them we put up our professional shield and hold back on who we really are?

Business is Personal

Business has changed so much in the past decade. Social media exists. With that, more accountability exists.

The environment that we work in now is so much more personal than ever before.

Sometimes aiming to be professional can result in being fake.

Our personality is our Secret Weapon

There is one thing and one thing only that truly sets you apart from others, and that is your personality.

But if we work in an environment where being professional is defined as holding back from showing our personality, then something is really messed up!

My Take on Being ‘Professional’

Professionalism is about turning up on time.

Professionalism is about doing what you say what you’re going to do.

You show respect, integrity and you do a good job.

You should be able to do all of the above, whilst still being true to the person you are. Without having to hold back on showing your personality.

I never hold back from showing my personality. My clients, my team, my podcast listeners, my social media followers…many of them could tell you straight off what comic company I love, the name of my dog, the piece of music that I’m learning on the piano…does my showing my personality make me unprofessional?

You’ll rarely see me in a shirt and tie. It’s baseball caps and t-shirts all the way for me, does this make me unprofessional? Of course it doesn’t.

Get Rid of Your Professional Box and Personal box

Do you currently live life where during the hours of 9am-5pm you are in your ‘professional’ box, and you behave in a certain way? Then, outside of 9am-5pm are in your personal box, and you behave more like yourself? You need to get rid of these two boxes.

I can tell you from first-hand experience, that when I had my first design business it failed because I tried to act ‘professional’. I was never truly myself, I never engaged with clients on a personal level. I was worried that people would think I was a stupid geek.

BUT, the moment I stopped thinking like that. The moment I didn’t just think outside of the ‘professional box’ and I started to actually live outside of the box, everything changed. Good things started to happen. That’s when my confidence boosted. I felt like myself. I was happy. Guess what, I started making money.

In conclusion

Don’t be confused with what ‘professionalism’ is.

Do not think outside of the box, LIVE outside of the box. You do not need to hold back and pretend to be someone that you are not, in order to be professional. If you hold back your personality, you hold back your secret weapon. Why would anyone do that?!

Your personality is going to play a key role in helping you to escape your lifestyle prison. You will need to step outside of the box and let people into your personal life. People do not need to know every nitty gritty detail, but they need to know what makes you tick and why they should like and trust you.

Think about how many times you have been professional and in actual fact you just felt false?

Never again.

If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook - 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.

Reserve your seat on the next free coaching session, now.

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

By the way, I’m a big believer in email marketing and in having the best email marketing tool to help you grow your email list. That’s why I use AWeber and I’ve paired up with them to bring you a special offer – just head to excellenceexpected.com/aweber and use code exex.

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396 - May’s Theme: Beginning to Build Your Lifestyle Prison Escape Plan - Be What You Want to Be

May 1, 2018

Your work doesn’t define you.

Life is not about what you do. It’s not even about what you want to do. If you think too highly of what you do, you can keep yourself trapped in a lifestyle prison.

I talk more about this in episode 396 of The 7 Minute Mentor.

The Lifestyle Prison 

When I was 4 years old I wanted to eat worms. When I was 15 I wanted to be a rockstar.

In my 20s I wanted to make money and by my late 20s, my focus had narrowed to building a design agency. Once I had done that, I wanted to build a software agency and help more people through content.

My point - what you do is transient. It depends on what stage of life you are at.

Could you imagine if I had never let go of my 4-year-old fascination with tasting worms in the garden? When we are young we embrace change and growth more easily.

What if your full potential is as different from you today as you are from your toddler self or adolescent self? What if you never find out because you are not willing to let go of what you currently do?

Your old identity of what you do creates a lifestyle prison that you build around yourself.

The better your lifestyle is, the harder it is to break free from it.

“Good is the enemy of great” – Jim Collins

I have a friend who is living in the nice-but-unfulfilling trap right now. He has built a great lifestyle for himself – a lifestyle many people would be jealous of. It doesn't matter. He hates what he does.

He wants to be a guitar teacher, but the road to get there seems too risky and unknown. He doesn’t see that what we do can be transient.

How to Start Building Your Escape Plan

The first step to breaking out of your lifestyle prison is to forget about what you currently do. Then, even forget what you want to do.

Instead, ask yourself the key to your escape plan: “What do I want to be?”

How do you want to feel? How do you want to live your life? What kind of person do you want to become?

My answer is I want to be happy, I want to be financially free, and I don’t want anyone controlling how I spend my time.

How I do that is not really important. Different people with the same goals would achieve them in very different ways. Also, what you start doing is almost never going to be what you end up doing when you finally develop the life you truly want.

What you do is transient.

By instead defining what you want to be, you have a clear direction to move in and a flexible way to get there.

Getting Out of Your Prison is Easier Than You Think

If you were in a real prison and you wanted to escape, your first step would be defining what you want to be – “free”. Easy enough.

Next, you start working on how to get there. You learn the guard’s routines, you gather the tools you’ll need, and you decide what actions you’ll need to take.

Of course, none of that stuff matters if conditions change.

If you discover tunnelling north-east will actually take you into the break-yard, you change your plan. If you discover the perimeter patrol changed their schedule, you adjust.

Not every prisoner is as lucky as Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption…who spent 19 years in the same cell, tunnelling through the cell wall with a rock hammer…it’s a miracle he never changed cell (and no one removed his poster on the wall covering up the tunnel!).

Nonetheless, the prison analogy makes it perfectly clear…

What you do only serves (or blocks) what you want to be.

How is your life any different?

Luckily, your lifestyle prison is much easier to escape than a real one. Your escape plan has a lot more flexibility (and can be much more enjoyable to execute).

The destination is not as easy to define, though. A convict obviously wants to be free. In life, people usually don’t have such a clear goal. They have to define it for themselves and keep redefining it at every life stage. That’s why they often don’t do it.

Be different. Answer the key question of your escape: What do you want to be?

Everything else is transient.

If you want help with solving your business problems then come along and join me at my free coaching sessions that I run every single Friday live on Facebook - 4pm UK, 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. Together we can define, challenge and conquer your biggest problem.

Reserve your seat on the next free coaching session, now.

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

By the way, I’m a big believer in email marketing and in having the best email marketing tool to help you grow your email list. That’s why I use AWeber and I’ve paired up with them to bring you a special offer – just head to https://www.excellence-expetected.com/aweber and use code exex.

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395 - Takeaways & Action: The Month in Review

April 30, 2018

To escape our lifestyle prison, we first need to create space. April has focussed upon that and today we look back at the month and at the changes you have made so that we can move forward.

Heads up
 
Every Friday I run a free coaching session over on Facebook at 4pm UK time, 11am Eastern and 8am Pacific where I’m there entirely for free to coach you in your business - no strings attached.
 
To access this completely free coaching session, head to excellence-expected.com/freecoaching
 
For a real deep-dive, one-to-one coaching session with me that comes with an actual real-life money-back guarantee, check out my Deep Focus Acceleration Sessions at excellence-expected.com/deepfocus
 
Remember that you can access every single episode of The 7 Minute Mentor at excellence-expected.com/seven
 
The more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

P.s. get your free 90 day AWeber trial right here, with code “ExEx” - excellence-expected.com/aweber
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394 - Want to Be More Productive? Get a New Hobby!

April 27, 2018

"But I don't have the time to do anything else" - focussing on something new is the fuel to your fire, so today I challenge you to spend this weekend doing something that you've always wanted to do!

Heads up
 
Every Friday I run a free coaching session over on Facebook at 4pm UK time, 11am Eastern and 8am Pacific where I’m there entirely for free to coach you in your business - no strings attached.
 
To access this completely free coaching session, head to excellence-expected.com/freecoaching
 
For a real deep-dive, one-to-one coaching session with me that comes with an actual real-life money-back guarantee, check out my Deep Focus Acceleration Sessions at excellence-expected.com/deepfocus
 
Remember that you can access every single episode of The 7 Minute Mentor at excellence-expected.com/seven
 
The more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!
 
P.s. get your free 90 day AWeber trial right here, with code “ExEx” - excellence-expected.com/aweber
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