Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Elaine Kamarck on presidential responsibility:

“Despite of al he trappings of power—the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue, Camp David, Air Force One, never having to sit in a traffic jam (ever!)—the president is in charge of an entity over which he has fairly limited power. This is, of course, exactly the way the Founding Fathers wanted it. And yet, try telling that to the American public or to the world when something goes really wrong. As we have seen, large-scale governmental failure becomes presidential failure, whether the president likes it or not.”

Source: Why Presidents Fail And How They Can Succeed Again


Brad Stulberg and Steve Magnes on how to be passionate:

“Mindfully living with passion starts with realizing that passion in and of itself doesn’t start off as either good or bad; it just is—a powerful emotion rooted in our biology and psychology. It’s not something we magically find, but something that we develop by following our interests and incrementally devoting more of our time and energy to them. The next step to mindfully living with passion is to become aware of its dark side. Only by understanding the pitfalls of obsessive and fear -driven passion—and taking deliberate steps to avoid them—does passion gain the potential to be productive. But avoiding pitfalls is not enough. An equal challenge is bucking current trends that favor instant gratification and instead actively adopting the mastery mind-set: maintaining drive from within; focusing on the process over results; not worrying about being the best but worrying about being the best at getting better; embracing acute failure for chronic gains; practicing patience; and paying full attention to our pursuits.”

Source: The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life

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Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Steve Farber on doing what you love in the service of people:

“It doesn’t matter whether the leaders are in the front or the rear. What matters is the way they are leading the pack. In either case, the leaders are serving other members. The leaders in the front are forging the path, providing direction, and making it easier for others to go where the pack needs to travel. The leaders in the rear are providing support. They are watching over the pack and ensuring that no one is left behind. There might even be some leaders in the middle of the pack because here’s the thing about leaders: they serve others no matter where they find themselves.”

Source: Love is Just Damn Good Business


Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness on how our passion can eventually lead us astray:

“Those who are most focused on reaching some external barometer of success are often the same people who struggle most to enjoy it. That’s because they’ll always crave more. More money. More fame. More medals. More followers.
Researchers have found that regardless of the field, individuals who display obsessive passion are more likely to engage in unethical behavior and are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, and burnout. Their relationship with their passion is likely to erode, and their overall life satisfaction is poor.
They become so obsessed, so focused on and tied to external results, that nothing else matters. It’s not that they are no longer passionate. It’s just that they are no longer passionate about baseball, or energy, or leading a company, or scientific discovery. They become passionate about results, fortune, fame, and winning.”

Source: The Passion Paradox

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Look for these ideas every Thursday on the Leading Blog. Find more ideas on the LeadingThoughts index.

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

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Have you ever had the fantasy of just dropping all your s*** at work, walking out and going as far as humanly possible from all the BS in your life? I know I certainly did. Two years ago, I thought it would be crazy to be doing what I loved while living and traveling on the other side of the world.

It was always a dream of mine, but how many people do we know that actually get to live their dream? My dream was freedom – freedom to travel, freedom to work when and how I wanted to, and freedom to create every detail of my life the way I wanted it to be. I’ve been able to do that and live that – and you can too.

People often say they’re unable to accomplish their dream because of kids, lack of time, lack of money, lack of skill /experience, but all of these are false – it’s just programming that doesn’t let our minds find a way to a solution. If we can open up our minds and see clearly, there are so many ways to what you really want. While it’s true that our responsibilities will create a different road for all of us, freedom is still an option for anyone willing to put the time into investing in themselves.

“People are chasing cash, not happiness. When you chase money, you’re going to lose. You are just going to. Even if you do get the money, you are not going to be happy.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

It starts with being able to see it as a possibility – this starts the shift in focus from can’t happen to at least maybe it could. Often behind our excuses are fear, insecurity, lack of self-worth, and blame but at the end of the day, our life is our own creation. You owe it to yourself not to let past hurts hold you back from the life you dream of living.

You have to put yourself, your happiness, and your dream before your job. I get it, we all need money and enjoy the safety of a paycheck. Some of us really love our career for the validation of a job well done. But even if you love your career, creating something of your own is always more gratifying. This is your time on this earth to experience your life as you and nothing is more fulfilling than that.

Here are 4 great ways to overcome the roadblocks to your freedom:
1. Spend one hour a day on yourself

If you can give eight hours a day to your job, then you can give one hour per day to yourself living the way you want to. If you can spend an hour a day building the life you want, you’ll make tremendous progress. One hour per day is 365 hours per year. And the cool thing is, once you get going, it gets easier and easier and you don’t want to stop! If you’re short on time, just take 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. There is always a way. 

One hour a day is what created the freedom for me starting out. I was working a normal job and my mentor forced me to spend one hour per day doing something – anything – toward my goal. After two weeks, I was pretty shocked by how much progress I had made by that time. My first sixty dollars I made for myself felt like a thousand compared to working for someone else. 

2. Find a mentor

Find five people who have done what you’re setting out to do (or the closest thing to it) and contact them. When you do, remember to give value first before asking for anything. Mentors have a funny way of pushing you to do five times more than you would do on your own.

3. Reaffirm daily what your objective is

Write down your goals and read them every day. Burn your goals into your mind. Filling your brain with thoughts of where you want to be, will get you there faster. Plus, the more you’re thinking about your goals, the more solutions can occur to you. The clearer the essence of your goals, the clearer the solution. 

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do… Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

4. Get help

Whether you need a cheerleading squad or a therapist, getting help is a great idea. It ranges from finding people to help with your mindset and letting go of doubt or insecurity to someone to bounce ideas off of. Personal assistants that help out for a few hours a week can surprisingly be a lot of help! (This can be as little as two hundred dollars a month).

It’s so easy to read this and think we will passively apply these but most people will just forget it tomorrow. You can be the person who takes these steps and lives the kind of life that most people will never experience. And I hope you do. Go and live your best life ever!

Read more: addicted2success.com

We’ve all heard it a thousand times, if you want to be happy in life, follow your passion. Let’s look closer at this advice. The word passion comes from the Latin root word patior, which means “to suffer.” So, when someone tells you to follow your passion, they’re saying you should do something for which you are willing to suffer.

That’s not how passion is used in today’s entrepreneurial landscape. It’s been hijacked and saddled with a new meaning tied to a financial outcome. Frankly, passion has nothing to do with earning a 10x return or building a seven-figure business. That garbage is used to peddle books and programs—it’s not truth.

Here’s the question to ask yourself to see if you’re passionate about what you’re doing: Am I willing to put in the work and never see the fruit? If the answer is no, I hate to break it to you, but that’s not your passion. 

Fear not, though. In this article, I’ll lay out an alternate starting point for whatever it is you want to achieve in life. That said, I don’t want to ignore passion, so let’s first walk down the path of following your passion to see where you might end up.

The Side Hustle Culture

Let’s start with a simple question: Why has “follow your passion” become such a popular mantra in recent years? Part of it is the misconception I mentioned that riches will come if you pursue your passion, but the other piece is employee disengagement. 

Worldwide, we’re showing up to work totally checked out. A Gallup study revealed that 85% of employees are not engaged at work, costing us $7 trillion annually in lost productivity. That’s more than the GDP of all but two countries (US and China).

If you’re showing up to a place you hate every day, one where your gifts, abilities, and potential aren’t being realized, of course you’re going to pursue your passion by starting a side hustle. It’s estimated that 37% of Americans have done just that.

Where Your Passion Might Lead

Side hustles don’t just represent extra income—they represent freedom; the chance to break away from a hated job and pursue a passion full-time. So, let’s say you do that. Statistics paint a grim picture for your chances of long-term success. According to the Small Business Administration, about half of new businesses make it past five years.

If you’ve tethered your identity to the twisted definition of passion that equates success with a certain outcome, your self-worth will take a big hit. You might see yourself as a failure, which isn’t true, but that won’t stop those thoughts from entering your mind. Instead of attaching your identity to your passion, let me suggest a different approach.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Sheryl Sandberg

Find Your Worth Before Your “Why”

What Simon Sinek talked about in his book “Start with Why” is spot on. Before looking at the “what,” you need to figure out the “why.” But there’s a crucial step before that: You must first see yourself as worthy of having a “why.” If your self-worth has cratered after you followed your passion and failed, you might not feel very worthy. That’s why I suggest beginning here and not deferring it to the future.

Let’s keep digging. In order to see yourself as worthy, you need to answer the question: Who am I? Only once you know yourself can you see the worthiness inside you. When I set out to answer that question myself, here were three things that helped:

Doing something challenging
Making time for reflection and visualization
Creating “I am” statements: I am _________________

Let’s walk through each of these steps in a little more detail.

Take Steps to Discover Who You Are

The first step in finding out who you are is doing something challenging. For me, that was CrossFit. I believe that when you do something physically challenging, it opens up the possibility that you can accomplish something mentally challenging, too.

We’re building what Dr. Albert Bandura called “self-efficacy” which is our belief in our own abilities to succeed in challenging situations or accomplish a difficult task. When I do an intense workout and don’t die, it builds my confidence that I can do other difficult things, too.

However, I can’t tap into that belief if I don’t take time to reflect on it. That’s why, after you do something challenging (it doesn’t have to be exercise), you must make time to be silent and visualize yourself achieving something difficult in the future. By doing this, you’re acknowledging and reinforcing the idea that you’re effective and capable.

From there, I find tremendous value in writing “I am” statements such as this one: I am capable of doing hard things.

When you do something challenging, you’re working through the progression that ends here. You move from “I think I can” to “I know I can” to “I can” and finally “I did.” By reflecting on your thoughts, you can recognize this progression, and by verbalizing it with an “I am” statement, you’re making a clear declaration about your identity.

“The man who achieves makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Using Your Gifts to Serve Others

I can say with confidence that these three steps will help you discover who you are, why you’re worthy, and what your “why” is because it worked for me. About a decade ago I was nearly broke, had to short sell our first home, and was diagnosed with postpartum depression after the birth of our fourth child (and my wife was the one who did all the heavy lifting there). In every way, I saw myself as a failure.

As I worked through this process, I discovered new things about myself, rebuilt my self-worth, and found a new “why” which turned out to be helping people find the truth that dwells within them. Now, I’m fueled by passion because I’m rooted in purpose. Instead of focusing on an outcome, I’m focused on using my gifts to help as many people as I can. If you ask me, I’m willing to suffer for that.

What are your thoughts on the above article? Do you agree with the author or not? Share your thoughts and ideas with us below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

Do you have what it takes to turn your passion or expertise into a real online business? Even if you don’t, today we are going to walk through some of the best ways to start making money online, while also showing off your expertise and passion in the process.

1. Create an Online Course or Membership Site

If you have a skill or expertise in something that can help or teach others, then you definitely have something that you could turn into a business. However, thanks to the power of the internet, you don’t need to rent out fancy halls, be a professional speaker, or even try to sell one-on-one consulting or products.

One of the biggest trends lately for people looking to get started with their own brand or business is to launch an online course or membership site. Even more exciting is that there are very low startup costs and little-to-no need for technical or design skills.

Thanks to solutions like Kajabi, anyone can go live with an online course of their own in just hours. This drag and drop solution makes it easy to set up a new site, add video, quiz or text content, set up a members-only area, and start nurturing leads and accepting payments from customers in no time.

Don’t think you have a skill or expertise that people will want to pay to learn? Simply head over to Google and start searching around for businesses similar to yours. I’m sure you will find a ton of experts who are already making some nice money by selling their knowhow and skills to others.

2. Start a Blog and Get a Feel for Content Creation and SEO

Have you thought about starting a website or blog, but are still sitting on the sidelines? Have you also seen articles about top bloggers making millions online? If you have, you are likely overwhelmed with the concept or process of getting started.

The good news is, going live with a website is extremely fast, easy, and often profitable! With WordPress, anyone can go live with a site of their own and start publishing content in just minutes. Just like going live with an online course or membership site, WordPress also requires no technical or design skills.

Once you go live with your site, you are going to need some traffic. Be sure to study up on SEO (search engine optimization) and the best working methods for social media to start bringing traffic to your sites. With all of this in place, you can then start focusing on different monetization methods such as using Google Adsense or affiliate marketing.

3. Make Your First Few Dollars Online with Freelance Writing

Did you know that people are making money from the comfort of their homes, while writing in their free time? It’s true and you don’t even need higher education or an English degree to make it happen.

As we all know, the internet is loaded with websites and blogs – all of which need new content. Sites like Textbroker and FreelanceMyWay allow anyone to sign up for their freelance writing platforms, which allows them to get paid for their writing skills. Best of all, there are no costs involved to get started.

If you enjoy writing about anything, this might be a perfect opportunity for you to start making money online with your own freelance business. The more writing you complete, and the better your reviews and ratings, the more you can earn writing in your spare time.

4. Get Yourself on Fiverr and Work Your Way Up

Maybe you aren’t an expert in your field, a great writer, or simply don’t have an interest in blogging or starting a site. Don’t give up yet, there’s always something new around the corner. For individuals that have an idea or a unique service to provide to others, Fiverr.com might be exactly what you are looking for!

The microjob marketplace has gotten a lot of flack over the years for their super low job rates, and for some of the low quality or spammy jobs on the site – however, there are thousands of great workers on the site that make a ton of money in the process.

We are talking about everything from graphic design, drawing, data entry, singing, transcription, and so much more. The best way to get a real understanding of how it all works, is to simply check out their site and seeing what all the fuss is about.

What Are You Waiting For? Go Make Some Money!

Now that you’ve seen what’s possible when it comes to making money online and starting a business of your own, it’s time to actually get started. The first step is to once again skim through each of the methods above. Then write or map out a plan of attack for how you can create a service or provide value to an audience, then also monetize it as well – after all, we are trying to start a business and not just do charity work!

Lastly, take a look at other big players in your niche market and see what they are doing. Study the competition, put everything into action, and find your own success and fame with an online business.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Read more: addicted2success.com

Success comes in all shapes and sizes. So, when I read about a 13 year old that was solving a major problem in the dog adoption industry, I was intrigued. It turns out that many families often choose the wrong dog for their family and end up giving them up to a shelter.

When a school project came up, this young girl decided she would try to tackle the problem. First, she created a survey that would help potential dog foster parents determine which dog would be a good fit for them. Then, she teamed up with a local shelter who gave her information on the dogs. Finally, she added the survey to a website she built called Dog Do or Dog Don’t. So far, it’s seen success in just a few months by pairing 5 dogs with the perfect home.

Here are 3 important points we can learn about success from this little girl’s innovation:
1. Focus on your why

No matter what we do in life, we need to know why we are doing it. This girl didn’t care about the end result of making money or getting attention from local news channels. She wanted to solve a problem and her why was clearly defined. “I wanted to come up with a way to help get dogs adopted or help people get the right dog for them and their family,” she says on her website. That was her why and it drove her to the success of what she eventually created.

When we have a goal in life, we need to focus on why we want to achieve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being successful in business, raising our family or traveling the world, we need to clarify why. Without passion behind what we are doing, the dedication required to achieve success is hard to come by. Only when we focus on our why will we really be on the path to success.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

2. Define what success looks like

It sounds simple when I say to define success, but oftentimes we don’t. We set goals of working out more or making more money or even adopting more dogs. However, if we don’t define what that actually means, it’s really hard to know when we have hit the success we are working toward.

Success can quickly become like a bully on the playground that draws a line and when you cross it, he draws another line. When that happens, it’s hard to understand what we have achieved and keep moving onto the next goal.

When this survey for the dog adoption was built out, the goal was to adopt a dog to the perfect home. Now that the goal has been achieved, it’s time to set another goal and keep moving forward. By defining success clearly, we can make sure that when we work our plan and hit our goal, we will know it. Then, we can define another goal and work toward that.

3. Do the important work

What I didn’t mention earlier was that this was actually called the “Passion Project” and they were given an hour and a half each week to work on something they were passionate about. She found her topic through research and discovered that about half the dogs at shelters were there because they were the wrong type for the family.

This girl didn’t do this for accolades or attention as she was focused on doing the important work on something she was passionate about. It was only then that she found the problem she could solve and decided it was important to do so.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Real world problems are all around us from financial issues to poverty to famine and much more. Often, we look at a problem and think to ourselves that it’s too big for us to solve or there’s nothing that can be done about it anyway.

This young girl has a lot to teach us about looking at a problem and finding a solution for it. We need to pay attention to the things she has taught us about achieving success by doing the important work which is close to our heart.

What do you think is the most important aspect to success? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more: addicted2success.com