April 7, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Staying on or getting off track

Whelp, we are 1/4 of the way through 2017, but instead of forgetting about the goals we set for ourselves back at the beginning of the year, just like a business would, now is a great time to take a look back and see how well we are progressing (or not) towards our goals.  If you are on track, let’s keep it that way.  However, it’s quite possible some new goals have popped up or you are finding that some of the goals are taking a lower priority.  Either way, it’s time for the Q1 evaluation and I’m going to do mine here at www.thesimplemansays.com so you can see how my year is shaping up!

Back in January, I wrote a blog post (link here) that included the following goals.  I’ve listed the original goals in order and the statements in BOLD are my Q1 evaluation updates and plans (so just skip to those if you are in a rush ;)):

  • Home:
    1. Cook AT LEAST one meal every 2 weeks for my wife –
      • I started out strong with this one, but found rather quickly that it is actually MORE stressful for my wife when I cook while she is home.  Turns out what makes cooking so stressful for her is handling the childrens’ impatience at this time, so I’ve modified this goal a little bit.  New goal: Help Jessica plan meals early in the day and use the time she’s cooking to spend individual fun time with the kids.
    2. AT LEAST one time per month, coordinate a date night where I set up everything (dinner, movie, sitter, etc.)
      • I lean heavily on my wife for our at-home scheduling.  As a result, I’ve planned ZERO date days for us in the first quarter.  The lack of success with this goal doesn’t indicate it’s lack of importance, just a need for a different approach.  I am a voracious planner when I am on the road and my new plan is to spend some time each night on the road planning, coordinating, and scheduling. 
    3. Once a week, play a board game with each child (read a book to Evelyn – 1 yr)
      • Although it hasn’t been board games, I have been spending more quality time with the kids.  I decided to start coaching (assistant) my son’s baseball team, we’ve used good weather opportunities to jump on the trampoline, and even played Barbies with Claire.  SUCCESS!
    4. Once a week, take each child outside and do something of THEIR choosing.
      • Baseball outside, we’ve taken multiple family walks when Jess has been out of town, backyard fun.  SUCCESS!  Can’t wait for summer to do even more outside!
    5. Connect with 1 close friend or family member VIA PHONE or IN PERSON each week.
      • It might not be hhappening weekly any more, however I have found myself making a conscious mindset shift when it comes time to make social decisions.  Instead of opting for time to myself, I am more consistently choosing social interactions, talking on the phone, or connecting via social media.  The latter isn’t as personal as I’d like, but the attitude shift is positive.
  • GYM:
    1. Abs by May 1 – this means my diet needs to be on point 6 days a week (1 cheat day/meal).  Bye, bye bulking season.
      • Zero weight gain since Jan 1 and I am definitely getting leaner, but my diet has struggled with consistency, mainly trying to battle hunger and cravings.  After trying a few different approaches – I don’t like to call them diets because I’m not looking for a short term strategy, but one I can follow for years to come, the one I’ve settled on is Anabolic Fasting from corygfitness.com.  It’s a combination of Intermittent Fasting (which has always worked well for me) and the Anabolic Diet (high fat, moderate protein, low carb).  So far, I feel great, I’m not hungry or irritable, and the foods I get to eat SQUASH any cravings.  Changing date to June 1. 
    2. 2nd half of the year, focus on strength gains – If PRs for bench, deadlift, squat have decreased, shoot for reclaiming current PRs.  If strength stays steady, 500lb deadlift, 405 squat, 315 bench.
      • I haven’t retested PRs yet, but I have been hitting rep PRs in my training EVERY week … Even during my 1st half of the year fat loss phase.  I my be close to hitting all of these goals by the end of Q2 or Q3! 
    3. Lunge & cardio 3x per week.  Lift 3x per week.  Add 4th day of lifting after cut is over.
      • Currently lifting 4 days per week and just restarted lunging this week.  My legs feel like a BEAST!
  •  Work:
    1. Secure a development project.
      • Pitched my very first development project for a COMPLETELY NEW CLASS a few weeks ago!  More to come on this one in the future months.  
    2. Write for TSMS every day (1-2 posts per week)
      • If you are reading this, you know frequency has been at about 1 post a week (15 posts from Q1).  I’m beginning to feel that is enough for the long form content and am switching my focus to more social media (short form) content in the months to come.  
    3. Do projects for 1 new client.
      • Working towards this.  
    4. Look for 1 new business opportunity that brings value to people’s lives.
      • Nothing on my radar yet, but hoping to find it soon after this Q1 refocus!
  • NEW GOALS:
    1. Add dates – creating a sense of urgency with undoubtedly help me reach my goals faster.  I’m in the process of adding dates to all my goals.
    2. Meditation – I meditate frequently on the road, rarely ever at home.  Interestingly enough it should probably be the opposite.  I’m getting up earlier at home to accomplish this.
    3. Wake your a** up! (as @corygfitness would say – Time to start getting up early again.  Time to create enough time to better plan my days and accomplish my goals.  starting with 5am at home and 4:30am on the road.

Well, there you have it.  My goals.  All laid out.  My progress.  My failures.  My changes.

Do this for yourself and #getafterit!

February 19, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Interested is Interesting

This idea originally appeared in the blog post Out from under the shell (see below), but the events of the past week reminded me of it’s importance.  The gist of the previous post was that we, humans, whether we realize it or not, whether we do it naturally or not, NEED human connection.  When we connect with other human beings, we influence their lives, but the people we connect with also enrich our own lives.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been writing posts for thesimplemansays.com and readership/social media followers have been slowly increasing: 1 follower here, 1 new reader there.  However, it wasn’t until this week, during the launch of the all new F60 MINI Countryman, that I’ve seen such a dramatic increase in followers and readership.  I’ll admit, it was kind of depressing at first.  My first thought was, “sh**!  People are more interested in posts about cars than they are about TSMS blog posts.”

Then it hit me.  I’ve spent the entire week connecting or reconnecting with like-minded people in the MINI community:  Fans, enthusiast, advisors, employees.  The feedback from participants at the event has been outstanding! They are having an absolute blast at the event, partly because of how great the new car is, but mostly because of their experience connecting with the people running the event.

Connecting with all these people and interacting with them on social media has been a blast for me as well, but more importantly, it’s taught me a lesson about social media marketing and growing your brand:

Success isn’t always about the quality of your content (I like to think TSMS produces some good content), but the quality of your connections.  Find people you are interested in and interact with them.  Find groups and other businesses you are interested in and interact with them.  Not only will you have more fun, but they will reward you by being more interested in YOU.

As Dale Carnegie once said, “To be interesting, be interested.”

 

 

Out from under the shell

 

January 23, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Simplicity 0 Comments

Presence: Why “Do I like this person?” is a more important question than “Is this person good at what they do?” in business

This isn’t a post about Christmas.  Check your spelling: PRESENCE.  We’ve been taught over the years that if we want to be successful in our careers, we need to prove to our peers, our bosses, our clients, that we are competent.  And when you ask most people HOW they do this, they will say something like, “Well, I like to show them how knowledgeable I am by asking good questions” or “I like to lead with how long I’ve been doing this job” or “I like to use industry jargon to make myself sound like an expert.”  Although these responses are the typical “competance-builders” we resort to, some new research is pointing us in a different direction (one we’ve known about for quite some time, but seemingly choose to conveniently forget) regarding whether or not this practice is actually critical to business success.

In a recent article, BusinessInsider.com highlighted the research of Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy in her new book, Presence.  Her conclusion: invest your time in getting someone to LIKE & TRUST you, rather than focusing on how successful or competent you are.  According to the BusinessInsider.com article, people generally evaluate competency “only after trust is established. And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire.”  In fact, people who like to get straight down to business without first developing trust and commonality, “generally come off as unapproachable.”

So if your goal is to do more, sell more, or be more successful, stop rushing into business with people! Build relationships instead and save the competency conversation for later.  Plus, you’ll have more fun along the way!

#simplemantools

To check out Cuddy’s 2012 TED talk (*the 2nd most viewed TED talk of ALL TIME!!) click here    

January 13, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Health & Fitness, Life, Simplicity 2 Comments

A look ahead

As I mentioned in a previous post, I make New Year’s resolutions of sorts, but they are typically pretty vague, quickly forgotten, and rarely (dare I say NEVER) written down.  I guess that makes them less like resolutions and more like current thoughts.  This year, though, I’m trying something new and since many of you may have likely done something similar to me or started a new resolution and given up already, I challenge you to do this with me!  Instead of just looking forward and thinking about what you want for 2017, let’s make some goals … TOGETHER.  We are going to write them down, look at them every day, change or modify them as needed, and maybe even add to them as the year progresses.  Regardless, we are going to set our sites on something and #getafterit.

Here are some #simplemantools to help you get started if you’ve never done this before (like me!):

  1. Categorize your broader, long-term goals – Because I’ve never written them down, most of the goals I’ve set (if you can call it that) over the years have been pretty narrow.  Whatever I happen to be thinking about in that moment is what becomes a goal.  Some years it’s a business goal, other years it’s more personal, and years like last year it was something as specific as a goal in the gym.  Narrow goals aren’t bad, but our lives as a whole aren’t vary narrow.  It makes more sense, then, to set a variety of goals in different areas.  For an incredible example of this, check out this Business & Biceps podcast with fitness expert Cory Gregory.  Cory keeps things really simple with 3 categories: Home, Gym, Work, so we are going to start there.
  2. Be “broadly specific” – In other words, don’t just say things like “I want to be a better dad” or “do more special things for my wife.”  Here’s how mine break down:
    • Home:
      1. Cook AT LEAST one meal every 2 weeks for my wife.
      2. AT LEAST one time per month, coordinate a date night where I set up everything (dinner, movie, sitter, etc.)
      3. Once a week, play a board game with each child (read a book to Evelyn – 1 yr)
      4. Once a week, take each child outside and do something of THEIR choosing.
      5. Connect with 1 close friend or family member VIA PHONE or IN PERSON each week.
    • GYM:
      1. Abs by May 1 – this means my diet needs to be on point 6 days a week (1 cheat day/meal).  Bye, bye bulking season.
      2. 2nd half of the year, focus on strength gains – If PRs for bench, deadlift, squat have decreased, shoot for reclaiming current PRs.  If strength stays steady, 500lb deadlift, 405 squat, 315 bench.
      3. Lunge & cardio 3x per week.  Lift 3x per week.  Add 4th day of lifting after cut is over.
    • Work:
      1. Secure a development project.
      2. Write for TSMS every day (1-2 posts per week).
      3. Do projects for 1 new client.
      4. Look for 1 new business opportunity that brings value to people’s lives.
  3. Plan and review daily.
    • Looking at them in the morning will provide focus and a litmus test for your decisions throughout the day.  When faced with choices, ask yourself: “Will this decision help or hinder me from reaching one of my goals?”  Then ACT!!
    • By reviewing them at night, you get an opportunity to see whether you stayed on course, or veered.  Don’t get frustrated if you miss something or even forget about it for weeks or months.  Recognize it, re-focus, and get back to work!

Your turn!  Make your own goals with these #simplemantools and #getafterit

October 26, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

What are you worth?

a-worthThere will be times in life when someone tries to convince you that you are worth less.  Not worthless, but Worth Less.  It might be because they don’t understand your value, or possibly just because they are looking to try to get more for less.  Either way, know what you are worth.  Believe it.  Fight for it.  Then live up to the hype!

October 1, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Career advice: Does WHAT you do or HOW you do it bring happiness?

chicken-or-egg-cropped1-e14083893941561

I was reminded again this week of a phrase that I’ve heard many times throughout my life.  It’s a phrase that is uttered to nearly everyone, especially in the early parts of their career (especially those in careers they aren’t that thrilled about): “It doesn’t matter what you do.  What matters is HOW you do it.”

For years, I heard the advice, but it offered me no consolation.  I toiled away in a career I didn’t love, determined to keep telling myself that if I found something different to do, I’d be able to do my job HOW I was supposed to.   What was this “HOW” anyway?  Was it hard work?  Because I always did that.  Was it long hours?  I did that as well.  Did it mean putting up with frustration and achieving results?  Pretty sure I did plenty of that too.  I had it all wrong, and I didn’t really realize it until I received this email from a participant a few days ago.  *Names and brands have been removed, and I have added the BOLD sections to highlight key phrases.

“Josh,

Thank you for sharing the video, truly appreciate it.  I wanted you to know that the two days spent with you had a significant impact on me. It was not the course material etc. as I am very familiar with the content and techniques. Rather, your level of enthusiasm and passion for what you do had a profound impact on me. Several years back when I was running a large, multipoint … operation, I started consulting on the side because the results combined with the network I had created had opened some doors. I was on my way to doing what I was passionate about which was adding value to others while showing them how to derive greater satisfaction from their chosen profession.  For various reasons I got off track and have not found my way back to that place. You have inspired me to get back to who a really am and to pursue what truly makes me happy. I just wanted to say thank you.”

I thought about those phrases for a moment and realized that I’d been going about my own HOW search the wrong way.  For years, I waited for a job or a position or a career before starting to do things HOW I should have been doing them all along.  Consider this career advice for HOW you should do your job: What “truly makes us happy” as human beings is “adding value to others while showing them how to derive greater satisfaction”  in their own lives.  It doesn’t matter WHAT we do.  Be a janitor.  Dig ditches.  Sell Cars.  Fix things.  Invest money.  But do it with a “level of enthusiasm and passion” that can’t be missed by those around you and you will find fulfillment.   

September 26, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Health & Fitness, Life 0 Comments

Strengths & Weaknesses

I’ve long been a believer that people need to put themselves in positions where they have opportunities to use their strengths.  Effective leaders do this as well. They strategically place team members in positions that suit their strengths.  Too often, however, this results in people neglecting their weaknesses. And neglected weaknesses become liabilities.

My fitness strength?  Pulling motions. Pull-ups, deadlift, rows. ALL DAY!  Pressing, especially Squatting … not so much. It must have been some sort of tortuous trick thought up by the gods to give me legs like tree trunks and an ass like a donkey, without the ability to squat.  I struggle tremendously to generate power out of the bottom position and my butt raises before my chest. So today I worked on weaknesses. Pause back squats to generate better power out of the bottom and paused front squats to work on vertical chest position.

It’ll likely never make you good at your weakness, but improving the weak points will ensure they don’t become liabilities AND they will make your strengths even stronger!

 

June 23, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business 0 Comments

It might not be your fault …

But if your job is to serve, you need to make it your problem.

Own the problems that occur and your customers will pay you with respect and loyalty.

Oh, and they’ll spend more money too.

June 22, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Help me help you

Sometimes people refuse to be helped.

Make the effort to engage them and do your best to figure out what motivates them, but at some point, it’s up to them to buy-in and make any changes.

It’s possible that they won’t engage right now, or they will refuse to commit to any immediate changes, but your words and actions my resound with them at some later date.

All you can do is your best.

Make the effort.

June 20, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Vary the implement

image

I’ve started to incorporate some kettlebell work into my monthly strength routine (mostly barbell and dumbbell work) and the results have been positive. Changing the implement requires you to use new skills but in an instantaneously adaptive way.  The result is new skills added very quickly.

We can use this principle in the business world as well. Challenge your people (or yourself) to learn new skills and then once they’ve proven their proficiency, put them in a slightly different environment and let them figure out how to adapt.  Their skills will progress at an exponential rate because they will be discovering solutions on their own, instead of making changes mandated from above.

June 15, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Red eye

image

I’m a bit of a travel snob. I admit it. No qualms about saying it. So tonight’s red eye flight is unique for me. Ill be awake when I should be sleeping and wanting to sleep tomorrow when I need to be awake.  It’s more a challenge of the mind than anything else, though. Ideally, I like to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but if my college years were any indication, I can certainly function (at a high level even) on far less.  The question really is:  who is more important, my audience? Or my feelings?  Tomorrow, as I try to everyday, I choose my audience.

June 9, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Let go of your ego

Check it at the door like a winter coat at a fine restaurant … Especially when you are trying something new.  Just like the coat, it will only weigh you down. You’ll be uncomfortable.   Not to mention, failures fueled by ego tend to draw even more attention and, because of the added weight and responsibility that you were not likely ready for yet, failures happen more frequently.  Ironically the exact thing you hoped to avoid by flexing your ego, people looking at you judgementally, will be exactly what occurs.

Take it slow.  Start wherever you need to start and begin improving.  Soon enough you’ll be right where your ego wanted you to be in the first place and without all the negative attention.

 

June 8, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business 0 Comments

One step ahead

image

Just answering all your customer’s questions or satisfying all their requests isn’t enough. That is a baseline expectation of a customer.

You have to be one step ahead. Anticipate their needs. Make up for mistakes before they ask for compensation. It’s the only true way to build the kind of bond that will make that customer think twice before giving his/her business to someone else in the future.

June 7, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Unrest

business man with problems and stress in the office

After yesterday’s post, I set out to make sure I got some rest and recovered properly this week.  I finished work, took a nap, worked out, ate a good post workout meal, got myself in bed nice and early … then tossed and turned for 4 hours trying to get to sleep.  It took so long to get to sleep that I skipped my planned workout in the early AM hours.  My attempt to rest and recover ended up netting me the opposite result: tired, mentally and physically fatigued, and sluggish.

FAIL.

But failure is only a bad thing if you you don’t learn.  If you don’t pick yourself up and try again.  It’s only failure if you are knocked down AND stay down.

So get up, make some changes, and try again.  Tinker.  Try a different angle or approach.

A good habit isn’t built in a day, but it can certainly be undermined in one … if you let it.

June 6, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Quote of the day: Stress

“Have a limit as to how much stress you will ALLOW yourself to feel when something goes wrong.  Commit yourself to working as hard as you can up to that allowed stress level.  All you can do is your BEST POSSIBLE work with the materials and resources on hand.”    — Josh Wight

This concept implies the following:

  1. YOU control the amount of stress you feel by choosing how you respond to it.
  2. Not all stress is bad stress.  Even working & thinking put stress on the body.
  3. You can handle stress, each person just has a different threshold.
  4. Your threshold will increase (Resilience) if you practice responding to stress appropriately.

 

June 5, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Health & Fitness, Life 0 Comments

Importance of sleep

Turns out, it’s not just about how hard or how long or how much we work.  What really allows us to progress as humans is recovery … or more importantly, sleep.

You’ve all heard the phrase “I’ll sleep when I die.”  It’s an admirable phrase, meant to infer how much work the person saying it has to do.  Work is important.  Having work with meaning allows us to thrive and in many respects keeps us alive.

What’s missing, however, from work-focused phrases like this one is the concept that when we must work, we might be (dare I say, will be) more productive, stronger, think clearer, or be more creative if we are well rested.

So get some rest … It is Sunday after all.

June 3, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

GAINZ day!

image

If you ask me what day it is, and it happens to be a lifting day, my response is always: GAINZ day!

In the gym, it’s all about dem GAINZ!   Look a little closer at the method for making gains in the gym, however, and you discover a crucial piece of advice that can be applied to both life and business.  The method is called progressive overload.

Progressive overload is defined in the gym by adding more weight to the bar each week, assuming you could handle the demands of the load the week prior.

The  increase in load forces your body to adapt and produce greater gains.

So, if you could handle last week’s responsibilities, or yesterday’s requirements, add more.  Force yourself to be responsible for MORE  and you will see GAINZ in what you can control, what you can influence, as well as a diminishing (or feeling of diminishing) of things you cannot control.

Make today … Everyday … GAINZ day!

June 1, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Read more blogs

Although I love it that you read TheSimpleManSays, I’ve got to agree with famous blogger Seth Godin … you need to read more blogs!!  Not short headlines from social media, or your friend writing about her day (that’s not a blog, that’s a long social media post), but a real, valuable, thought-out, helpful, insightful, educational, and entertaining blog.

Check out this post on Seth’s website for how to follow more blogs (click on his face):  icn.seths.head

May 27, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

If you aren’t already

Learn to be flexible. A rigid plan is good, but not if you break when the plan needs to change. Keep your eyes looking forward and flex. Looking back is just bad resource allocation. It gets you nowhere.

May 25, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life 0 Comments

Forget me not

It’s ok to forget. People make mistakes. But if you want to recover, find a way to make up for it.

This can come in many forms:

“I’m sorry”

Empathetic tone

A bonus gesture

Even an expression of gratitude for patience.

Simple acknowledgement of a mistake.

It’s not enough just to make it right if you want loyalty. Make it right and make up for it.

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