Secret Tool To Help You In The New Year

Secret Tool To Help You In The New Year

Considering it is the holiday season,  I am sure we are all in a reflective mood.

We look back at the last few months, our year and see how we did. 

We are also excited for the future. Excited for the road ahead. The possibilities.

I have a tool that I would like to share with you today. It’s called the Intention Letter. 

9 Lessons On Self-Awareness and Discovering Your Personal Brand with Bobby Umar

9 Lessons On Self-Awareness and Discovering Your Personal Brand with Bobby Umar

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with four-time TEDX world-class speaker Bobby Umar. Bobby writes for the Huffington Post, and considered a thought leader in personal branding, networking and really connecting with others.

Our conversation was wide-ranging and, as you can imagine, amazing. We covered more material than I could possibly cover here - may I recommend checking out the podcast?

Fail Out Of Average

This week, we had the pleasure of having Berni Xiong on the show and I loved her energy from the beginning. What I loved more was the fact that we talked about her failures and how people don’t know how to fail.


I did an old video that got a couple thousand views on the fear of failure. And how failure and success is not this binary notion.

It’s not one or the other. You need one to get to the other. In other words, you need failure to get to success.


Watch Full video >>>> 


Think back to when we were in school, and IF you were to fail, it would be this massive deal. Something is not right with you. You can’t read fast enough. You are not smart enough. It is always something that is lacking in you.


Well, schools base everything on the average student. The average learning speed. It’s how they can manage hundreds and sometimes thousands of new students every year.

Well, what worked In school does not necessarily apply to life. It’s just like coaching entrepreneurs. What works in starting your  business from 0-100k is not whats going to make the business go from 100k to 500k.


Life is about change. That is what this show is about. How do we embrace that change? How do we fearlessly walk into the unknown?


I encourage you to think about your life. Are you measuring against the average person in society?

Because there is that stat floating around saying 85%+ of ppl hate their jobs.

Because the average person is just that....average.

Because the average person it not fulfilled


I am sorry if this is offending certain people, but being average is not cool. Don’t buy in to what others are saying that everyone is going to be around average, so just aim average.


If that is your thinking, well, you probably stopped listening to this show a long time ago.


Average is pathetic. That’s really what average is. And we are going to be average if you eat average food, think average thoughts, and do average things.


It does not take a genius to look around and see that there is a skew of wealth in the world. Why is it that 1% of the world own 99% of the money and resources available to the world?


Successful people follow patterns. They know what works and they break-out of the system of what everyone else is doing.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
— Mark Twain

So think about it? No need to answer my question of the day or anything like that. But seriously take some time and ponder.

When was the last time you really failed at something? Did you tell others about it? Lewis Schiff wrote in his book business brilliant. 7 out of 10 multi-millionaires would say they are successful because failure is what showed them what they were great at.  


Only 2 out of 10 people in the middle class would agree. Well, ask yourself. Do you want to be in the middle class? Do you want to be average?



I am not telling you that you should not be grateful if you are. Or if you happen to be in the middle class.


I am saying – If you want to be great. If being a changemaker or having the ability to make a positive impact in others lives is important to you, you must fail yourself out of average.


I will say it again. You must fail faster. You must fail smarter. You must fail forward to being out of the average.


It was said during the interview. People who fail more have more attempts and is therefore successful by default because they tried more, failed more and the 1 or 2 times they were successful, that’s where it counts.


So don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace Failure. Because you never know what you might learn that will apply into success the next turn around. 

Interview with Penelope Trunk - Unconventional and Uncomprimising

Recently I had the chance to sit down with entrepreneur, author and blogger Penelope Trunk. Known for her blunt honesty and no-bulls*%# advice as well as unconventional wisdom about life, women in entrepreneurial roles and people starting out in their careers.


Before I go on I should say that my conversation with Penelope was both educational and eye-opening. I was surprised to find myself on the opposite side of many subjects. Her advice is blunt, unconventional and even seemingly counter-intuitive. What follows are the main points from our conversation.


Before you dive in....Take a listen to the episode first! 

Listen to Episode | Download Episode (right click "save as") | Stream Episode



Unconventional Advice #1: Social media sites like Facebook are a detriment to authenticity.


When asked if authenticity was on the rise, Penelope pointed out that social media sites such as Facebook generate a certain degree of pressure for users to show their positive and engaging lives, even when they aren't. Because of this bias toward positivity (real or not), users who are not happy tend not to say anything at all, reducing the overall level of authenticity.


Unconventional Advice #2: Writing must be a means to an end - something to sell.


Being a writer means always working toward something you can sell. Penelope has always made money through other avenues and as a result, she believes that writing does not generate sufficient income to support a family.


Unconventional Advice #3: Trying to be remarkable leads to too many trade-offs.


Our society seems focused on being remarkable in our work and daily lives. Penelope believes that no one has a 'greater purpose' in this world.


The truth of the matter is most people are not remarkable, and those who are are people you would not want to be around. The sacrifices that need to be made in order to be remarkable are limited to, as she puts it, "stark raving lunatics."


Social media also pressures people to stand out and try to be remarkable. As a result of all this, there's a pretty big disconnect between the supposed goals that people have and what it takes to reach those goals.


Unconventional Advice #4: The pressure to be remarkable is too great - particularly for women.


The pressure on people to do something remarkable can lead to tremendous disappointment, especially for women in their late 20's, many of whom are considering starting a family. As Penelope puts it 

Everybody has just really basic wants for their world. They want to love and be loved and have a family and have security and have an interesting job.


Unconventional Advice #5: Society has more respect for mainstream, unremarkable people.


By the time people are 40 they have a spouse and children, and very few are millionaires, and even fewer are working the ridiculously long hours most entrepreneurs are forced to work. Once you reach the age of 30, avenues begin to close off.

“nobody wants 30 year olds in entry level jobs - so tons of things are closed off to you.”
— Penelope Trunk

She believes that our society has a great deal of respect for making mainstream decisions because people cannot really function as a 40 year old outside the mainstream.


Unconventional Advice #6: Generally speaking, remarkable people are driven by despicable moral values.


Using examples such as Martha Stewart, Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs, Penelope pointed out that people who do remarkable things are usually found outside the ethical mainstream.


About Jobs she said, "While he was doing all the things he was passionate about he had a kid that he couldn’t support."


When talking about Bill Gates, she explained how he spent much of his time selling something that didn't exist. He didn't know how to build it, but told people it was done. She went on to explain that only a very small percentage of people can sell something that doesn’t exist and that she is one of them.


Moving on to Martha Stewart, Penelope said that she had coached many women entrepreneurs who wanted to be the next Martha Stewart. She believes that to build a brand such as Martha Stewart's you have to give up being a parent, because the demands are simply too great. Sadly they don't take into account the sacrifices that have to be made to achieve those goals.


Unconventional Advice #7: Baby boomers' competitiveness is a key factor in the desire to be remarkable.


Baby boomers are far more competitive than millennials, and as a result, they push their kids to be remarkable, to live outside the mainstream. However Penelope does not believe that most people are comfortable living outside the mainstream. She went on to say that one of the biggest risk factors in divorce is being an entrepreneur.


Unconventional Advice #8: Personal development doesn't take into account families.


At this point in the conversation, Penelope went into what she called a 'tirade' about personal development practitioners. She pointed out that the material assumes that people have one guiding value - one thing that is extremely important to them. Because of this, successful personal development practitioners such as Steve Allen and Kim Seres do not have kids, do not talk about serious relationships, and don’t take care of ageing parents.


She believes they don’t have anything to be responsible for except generating personal development advice for people who don’t have anything else in their life. She concluded by stating definitively that what is needed most is a sense of honesty in creating personal goals, not by looking to people with remarkable lives, but people with stable day-to-day lives and working toward that goal.


Unconventional Advice #9: Entrepreneurship is NOT the key to having it all.


When I pointed out that much of the purpose of my podcast (and this blog) is to show people how they can use entrepreneurship to 'have it all,' Penelope expressed tremendous shock.


She pointed out that entrepreneurs work longer hours than anyone else, and that even people with big jobs can only 'have it all' by having nannies to care for your children.


Of course, nannies require much more income, and the easiest way to build that is by climbing the corporate ladder.


Penelope then went onto explain that the people who get to the top of that ladder fall into a specific personality type - ENTJ. This refers of course to the now famous Myers Briggs Type Indicator, of which there are 16 personality types. ENTJ is sometimes referred to as 'The Executive,' and is thought to be a born leader. She pointed out that only 2% of the world's population are ENTJ, while 100% of Fortune 500 CEOs are of this type.


You can find out your Myer-Briggs score on her site Quistic 


She also cited an article in the New York Times about women entrepreneurs who bring their kids to work, pointing out that all of those women had husbands who funded the company and the day care.


Unconventional Advice #10: Raising multiple children as an entrepreneur is impossible.


When I brought up the example of Jayson Gaignard from Mastermindtalks who is a successful entrepreneur and has a small child, Penelope pointed out that he would not be able to support multiple children with such a business, mainly because the income is only incremental.


She explained that if you work full time, have 2 children and have a lifestyle business, then it isn't really a lifestyle because the business takes away from your family time.


Unconventional Advice #11: You cannot judge the quality of someone's life by what you see on the surface.


On the subject of career advice, Penelope offered this piece of wisdom, "Well people aren’t very honest about what their life is like, right?"


She explained that unknown to most people, Sheryl Sandberg has round-the-clock nannies for each of her children and has them go to her sister's house every night for dinner. Because she doesn't talk about that, many believe that her life is one to aspire to, when in reality, it's quite different than the one publicly on view.


She also stated that she did not know of any family who truly wanted both spouses working when the kids were 12. The reality for her is that people have to show up somewhere and do things they don’t like to do, so they can get paid enough money to support their family.


Unconventional Advice #12: Being a changemaker is 'bulls*%# aspirationalism.'


Penelope's point of view was, as you can imagine, an interesting one for me. When I asked her what the word 'changemaker' meant to her, I received a typically straight-to-the-point reply. I'll let her explain in her own words:

“Bulls*%# asprationalism. What really matters? At the end of your life what matters? Does it matter that somebody thinks you instigate change? I don’t think so. I think it matters if you can create stable fulfilling relationship and have an interesting life, and I think most people don’t require change to have an interesting life.”
— Penelope Trunk

She then went on to ask me if I needed change to create an interesting life, pointing out that you don't need to make change in the world, it happens to you. She finished up by explaining that what people want stability in a world of change.



As you can see, Penelope’s advice is as uncompromising as it is unconventional. Quite often it’s beneficial to talk to people who challenge our deepest beliefs and assumptions. Respectful disagreement and intelligent debate can open your eyes to new insights, or strengthen opinions you already held.


So...What are your thoughts? Agree ? Disagree? 


I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to chat with her, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of the topics we discussed


Let me know in the comment section below! 

1 Story That Will Make You Feel Better About The World

Do you have patience? Do you have any faith in what you are doing?


Right now, I am seriously lacking in both of these departments.  


Part of me is filled with so much excitement because I am launching my goal-setting course on Udemy next week.


But the other half of me is filled with so much frustration.  It is simply taking so much longer than I originally thought.


I wanted to intro this clip of a talk I did earlier this year to a high school. It’s on the topic of having more patience and having more faith.


It is holds up well today because we live in a society where it is typically a go-go-go mentality and as young people we want all these amazing things to happen in our lives and then we get upset when they do not happen immediately.


Public Announcement: Change takes time.


I think we all need this reminder in our lives. To be more patient with others, and to be more patient with the changes that we are trying to see in our life. I hope this video/story is able to serve you.


I will give you guys more information on the Udemy course when it is happening you, you guys probably will have access to that next Monday.


“Another one is having faith and I actually learned about this when I was living in Shanghai. Are you guy’s familiar with a Chinese bamboo tree? Or you have heard of bamboo, right?


The Chinese bamboo trees… there is a weird way that they grow and you have to have faith essentially when you initially plant the seed. 


When you plant the seeds you have to constantly water it, you have to constantly make sure that you know it is getting enough sunlight and you have to do this for 4 years without any result.


It won’t actually break through the ground for four years so you have to do it in good faith that you are doing this on a daily basis. Finally, on the fifth year, it actually breaks through to the ground and in six weeks it’s able to actually grow…


It grows to 90 feet in 6 weeks.


The question now becomes


“Did it grow ninety feet in six week? Or “Did it grow ninety feet in five years?”


The answer is it took FIVE years.


It took all four years of watering and sunlight.

For you to get to your dreams,

-       It is going to take you reading hundred of books,  

-       You are going to do hundreds of homework assignments. (They were high school students after all)

-       You have to talk to the right people

-       You have to nurture your own art.

-       You have to figure what you really want to do

-        You have to set these goals.

-       You have to fail

-       You have to succeed

-       You have to do the 100,000 things before you actually get to what you want


All that time is necessary. That entire five years is necessary.


If you miss like a day of watering or if it did not have enough sunlight, that seed would die and it would just stay in the ground.  (Inc. a picture of bamboo somewhere)


It would never be ninety feet, it would never even be one feet.


You have the have faith when you are pursuing your goals.


If you are going through a tough time right now, it is ok. Whether it is in your relationships, your job, your business, whatever it is, it is ok.


You are exactly where you need to be.


Have patience. Have faith.



We Are Our Habits – (Video plus scientific research)

The other day of filming…

To give you guys up a bit of behind the scenes here, we actually shot the same video (above) earlier, but at the beach…

The camera ran out of battery - we forgot to bring the extra battery.

The sound of crashing waves overpowered my voice  - we forgot to bring a mic 

....solid day of filming right? 

I failed to remember bringing these simple little pieces because I started filming on the go only a few short months ago. In other words, I have not built my habits long enough to be able to facilitate this new behaviour of filming when inspiration strikes. 


How long does it take to build a habit?

Some speculate 21 days, other says it has to be longer. In the latest study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her research team decided to figure out just how long it actually takes to form a habit.

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new behavior or habit for the whole 12-week period and reported each day on whether or not they did the new habit and how automatic the behavior felt.

Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.”

Just to mention before we get to the results, depending on the complexity of the habit, more time is needed to hardwire the new behaviour. (Ex: Drinking a bottle of water is easier than running before dinner) 

At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it without thinking.

The answer?

On average, it takes on average more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes hardwire into your brain, 66 days to be exact. 

And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behaviour, the person, and the circumstances. 

In other words, we all have the wrong expectations of habits. The truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behaviour into your life.


Let's see how far the rabbit hole goes....

How do we actually reverse engineer-building habits though?

Habits are an accumulation of the daily actions that we take. Our actions are an accumulation of our thoughts and our thoughts are an accumulation from our beliefs.


Habits ---> Actions ---> Thoughts ---> Beliefs

We are really creatures of habit if we think about this. We love having various subconscious routines.


“ Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi


 Therefore, if we want to build towards anything and we want have a greater success in our life, we must make sure that we build the right habits to facilitate that type of process. 


Going back to the filming

This morning we were at the beach and we were fascinated with the size of the ocean. What is an ocean anyways?

The ocean is nothing but a multitude of drops and each drop counts towards building that ocean. 

The same can be said about your lives. You are nothing but a multitude of your actions, your thoughts and your beliefs.


Do not be carless with any of your thoughts or actions. They ultimately build up to the whole image and fascination that is your life.


Live with passion, live your dream and live it now! 




PS. Got any feedback? Agree or disagree? I love to know. Comment in the section below and let's have a conversation about habits. 

PPS. Stay tune for my upcoming "Redefining Goal Setting" course... it's going to help you not only crush your goals, but to start operating at high levels of productivity. Subscribe at the bottom for more updates and weekly videos. 


The Flaw of "The Secret"

Greetings from beautiful Porto!


This week, I have been doing some serious pondering and I wanted to talk about the flaw of “The Secret”


Before we jump into this, I want to give you guys just a little background on why I’m writing this. I am here in Portugal because I am doing a talk in Lisbon tomorrow at the NOVA Entrepreneurship Society and, as most you know, I started speaking at the professional level only a few short months ago.


A lot of people have been coming up to me and commenting – saying:


“Well this is an amazing opportunity”

“How did this happen”

“What is your secret?”


This led me to start thinking a lot about the book “The Secret” and if you are not familiar with the book, it’s a novel that came out about nine or ten years ago.


Essentially it talks about the Law of Attraction - “like attracts like.” The author claims that we could start attracting all the things now we want in our lives whether its better relationships or more money or better health.


As long as we “ask” and as long as we “believe” we will “receive” This is the gist of theme throughout the book they present.


A huge flaw on this entire framework is that nowhere in the book does it mention taking any specific action!


This is a huge mistake because I feel a lot of people that are just getting into personal development they ask for what they want they want. Ex : more money, they want to start their businesses, they want better relationships, better health etc…


They believe they can get it and then they just sit and “hope” that it’s going to happen.


Well, the truth about wishful thinking and hoping is that is you are never going to achieve a great result on that alone.


How I got the speaking engagement - I actually went out and I did something about the result I wanted to see in my life (to speak in front of thousands and spread the message of overcoming fear) I realize that taking action is a better alternative than just sitting around hoping that my life will change for the better.


I went out I connected with the right people. I went to different events each week to try to seek out like-minded people. I focused on quality over quantity. I

I did hours and hours of research on my topic to have a deeper understanding of my topic and it’s respective audience.


I did weekly blogs about my journey.  I learned how to craft my messages through videos (Drastic improvements from 1st video) I spend endless hours rehearsing in empty rooms and to my plants before presenting in front of audiences.


And over the course of building all of this, there came an opportunity to speak in Lisbon.


It’s not because I sat in a room and just imagined myself in Portugal with this speaking engagement


So if you have a very specific target or you have a very specific result that you want your life…


Stop sitting around just thinking it is just going to happen or that it will just fall out of the sky for you.


You have to actually go out and take some action.


“Knowing is not enough we must apply, being willing is not enough you must do it” – Bruce Lee


So the new framework should not be “ask, believe, receive”

It should rather be “ask, believe, just do it”  


I dare you to actually take some action on what it is you want to do. Actually take some risk and live for once in your life.


Risk failing and risk putting yourself out there.


Through this, I promise that you will generate a new type of energy in your life that will stir up the pot.


It will stir your body and mind until you start manifesting a different type of result.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Good or bad, I welcome your feedback. 


Live with your passion, live your dream, and live it now!



Extraordinary to Ordinary

Dan Sullivan says "The mind cannot do extra-ordinary things, the mind can do only ordinary things" 

This has always stayed with me when it comes to goal setting and being able to manifest your own desires into reality. We believe it is far too obscure, so we never dare to ask for it. 

If you want to achieve any extraordinary goals, this is a crucial step. You have to make it seem normal to yourself so that you can visualize success in your life and start to believe in the actions necessary for your goals to happen. 

Do you agree? Love to hear your feedback 

Live with passion, live with your dream, and live it NOW! 


Overcoming the Fear of Death


One of the greatest fears that we all share is the infamous “Fear of Death”


That is because it is all unknown. Unlike the Internet, nothing is indexed and through our religion and stories, we attempt to depict what really happens when we finally pass away, but the reality is that no one really knows. 


The Internet is filled with articles and lists of peoples' top regrets as they lay on their deathbed. “Top five regrets, top 10 regrets…” You know the type that I am talking about.


After reading a few, patterns start to emerge. “I wish I had the courage to pursued my dreams, I wish I could have been more honest with myself and with others, I wish I would have tried etc….”


The best imagery I ever heard of this is by Les Brown.


He says “Imagine for a second that you are on your deathbed and surrounding you, instead of your families and friends are these monsters. These monsters are representative of the dreams that you never took action on. As they look at you with their glaring eyes, they yank you up and they ask “Why? Why did you not take action on us? We came to you!”


Powerful image right?


Even Jay-Z says “ I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of not trying” At the end of the end of maybe that is it. Maybe all we have to do is pursue our dreams.


We have to write the books that we were meant to write

We have to sing the songs that we are meant to sing

Create the businesses and cultivate relationships that we were meant to have


There is a beautiful quote from Robin Sharma “ when you are born into this world, everyone around you rejoices while you are crying, make sure to leave this world as you rejoice and everyone around you is crying”

I think the only way to do that is to try to be iconic. Attempt to be Legen-dary 

To really pursue all the things that we want to do. Every last inkling, remaining desire, and mysterious adventure. Any option that left you thinking twice. Take it.

Maybe only then, at the end of our lives we can look fear in the eye, we can look death in the eye and we can say that we put it all out there.

We lived our lives fully and we left the world a better place then when we were here.

Overcoming the fear of death is about living with no regrets. If we can find the courage to do everything that we are meant to do, death will only become the next adventure.  


Question of the day: Do you have a dream that scares you? If so, do you have the courage to share it with us in the comment section below? (I triple dog dare you) 


Live with passion, live your dream, and live it NOW!