Sometimes You Have To Say No

Focus is hard, and the hardest part of focus is hidden. It’s a secret of sorts. It’s easy to think focus is some scientific formula of strong desire, cans of Red Bull, and late nights. But, I wonder if focus really begins much earlier: saying no to things. Saying no is difficult for lots of …

The Power of Focus

People I look up to have a common characteristic: focus. They have an incredible ability to pick something to move forward, dedicate incredible energy, to it, and drive it to completion. They create. And they finish. They ship their creations. When it comes to focus, my hero is Steve Jobs. Around the time he died, …

Our Best Work

I got an interesting call from our oldest daughter Gabby last night. Gabby is about five weeks into her Freshman year of college and she was struggling with studying. She said that she kept telling herself she’d start in 30 minutes, but after doing that several times, over 4 hours had gone by. I could …

Excellence is Boring

Recently I had lunch with a client. She made a small comment that hit me big, like a right hook to my mind. She said, “Excellence is boring.” She went on: “I just read an article that said people who do great things keep a singular focus. They stick with one idea, building a deep expertise. …

85,519 Reasons To Start

Eighteen years. That’s how long I’ve flirted with the idea of writing a book. I dabbled a little, publishing a few humor articles and co-writing some magazine publications, but did little else. I told myself I didn’t have time to write a book. Five years. That’s how long I spent seriously talking about it. I …

Worrying Less

I was on the terminal train at the Atlanta airport, heading out on a day trip to lead an important client session. I was excited about doing a speech for this client and was thinking about it while riding on the train. I was not really paying attention to anything around me. I was just …

Starting With The Hard Thing

Here’s something I deliberately try to do every day. Start with the hard thing. What do you do when you start work each day? Do you start with the hard thing? The call you are worried about? The task you don’t know out how to start? The tough feedback you need to give? Or, do …

Goals Made Simple

I love goals. I always have. I remember setting cross country mileage goals the summer after 8th grade, when I was just an 85-pound skinny kid. Honestly, I was scared of not succeeding on the freshman cross country team in high school. So I set varying daily goals that rolled up to my overall summer …

Relationships Matter

We hear this all the time, but it’s in the critical moments when relationships roar. In business, it’s the reference or the referral. Even getting a shot in the first place. Many times, winning and losing comes down to the relationship. I’ve been thinking about relationships a lot lately, especially at home. I’m about to …