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Category Archives: Motivation

Keep first things first

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When pursuing any great endeavor, whether it’s starting a business, or volunteering at a local non-profit, you must remember to keep first thing first.

The first things I’m referring to are not responsibilities related to your work. First things are your family, your friends, your health, and overall sense of well being.

An absent father, mother, husband, wife, is neglecting their primary and most important duties joys in life. I can tell you from experience working 50-60 hours a week on a regular basis is NOT necessary to start a business. Sure, there is a time and a place, but as the norm; well, that should never be the norm for anybody.

Your personal health, family, and even hobbies are ultimately more important than any business you might start or job you might take with a company. If you keep first things first, everything else will just fall into place (see Parkinson’s Law).

Passion and hard work go hand in hand

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One of my passions is running trail races, especially Ultra Marathons! It may be understood, but running 50 miles is no easy task, it requires a lot of dedication to a rigorous training schedule. Even though the actual race day is what I enjoy most, there are many days I struggle to get out the door for a run in the morning. So many times it’s very tempting to just hit snooze, or just flat out turn off the alarm.

There are days I do speed workouts, which I have a love-hate relationships with. Most of the time I just hate them. There are days on the weekends that I run for hours, but would rather be at home with my family. Training to run 50, or 100 miles essentially means you have to run A LOT, and many times you have to run even if you don’t feel like it.

Running a business based on your passion is very similar. You may have heard the saying, “do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”… well that is only a half-truth. Even when you are doing something you love, there will always be a “training” aspect to running the business.

For example, I also have a passion for healthy eating, and fueling my runs and rock climbing adventures with healthy foods, as well as educating others about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Out of that spawned my company, Bearded Brothers. We make delicious organic energy bars, which is not easy to do. We started our business from the ground up; we did the sales calls, we made the bars, we shipped orders, we swept and mopped the floors. There isn’t a single aspect of the business we were not involved in, and there still isn’t. I often still take out my own trash. But all of that served a bigger purpose – helping others to fuel their adventures with healthy organic foods.

Running a business based on your passion isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s going to take a lot of hard word and dedication. Many of the things you will do to serve your ultimate purpose will not be that enjoyable, but knowing that your passion is ultimately what drives you will make those less enjoyable but necessary tasks much easier. Since starting Bearded Brothers four years ago there hasn’t been a single day that I have not been excited about going to work.

I think one thing to remember when starting a business based on your passion is that anything worth doing is going to be hard. Nothing in life worth doing is every easy. So get out there and hustle after your dream – it will be worth every sacrifice you make!

Keep inventing

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In order to grow your business you have to keep inventing. You may have just invented “the next big thing.” But in 10 years that thing might not even be a thing at all anymore.

In order to grow your business and stay alive you have to constantly be inventing new products.

Take Justin’s Nut Butter for example. Justin didn’t just stop with his delicious jars of flavored almond butter. He was the first to launch individual squeeze packs of almond butter, and was the firsts to launch a 100% organic version of the Peanut Butter Cup. Had Justin stayed idle and just settled for selling jars of almond butter, he might not be in business today.

My company, Bearded Brothers has a goal of launching new products every year. This helps us grow our brand, remain a viable business, and meet legitimate customer needs.

So, don’t just settle for awesome. Seek to be SUPER AWESOME!

Day 5 of 30 Days of Blogging!

 

Parkinson’s Law and Impossible Deadlines

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Today my business partner and I decided to pursue an impossible deadline to launch three new products in April of next year. On the surface it sounds like we have plenty of time, but because of deadlines for product submission, timelines for redesigning packaging, and getting the product to our distributor we are up against an extreme challenge.

Despite the seemingly impossible deadline we will get it done. On my way home from work today I was listening to a Podcast where the guest mentioned Parkinson’s Law, which states, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Essentially saying that if you really want to get something done and apply yourself, it will get done.

We have experienced this several times in our entrepreneurial journey, but it’s easy to forget about Parkinson’s Law. So, next time you have a project with a deadline that seems impossible, just remember that work expands to fill the time available to carry the project to completion.

Start before the sun comes up

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Wanting to start a new business, a blog, or a new exercise routine? The best time to get started is before the sun comes up.

Chances are you are a father, a mother, or are working a full time job. Starting a new business, blog, exercise routine, or anything else new will be difficult to do during normal waking hours. If you really want to make your dream become reality, you’re going to have to start getting into the disciplined habit of waking up early.

My alarm goes off at 5 a.m. on most mornings. That is my queue to strap on my running shoes and hit the street, or spend time writing on this blog. I used to tell myself I would rather not wake up that early, so I would just write later today and run during the evening. That never happened, so I had to make a change. If I wanted to be more serious about my race training, and more serious about writing on my blog I was going to have to wake up before the sun comes up – every day.

Why start before the sun comes up? Why not just start in the evening when I’m still awake? The reason is simple. If you haven’t started yet there is a reason. So, get going, tell Siri right now, “wake me up at 5 a.m.”