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Project run America is truly inspiring

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Well, I ended up missing the past two days during my 30 days of blog posting, but I have a good excuse. I was attending the Team Red White & Blue trail running camp at Camp Eagle, in South Texas. I didn’t have internet access and I was spending the better part of the weekend running!

While I was at the camp thought, I had the privilege of hearing the story of Ehredt (of Project Run America), who, “ran 4424 miles alone, from Astoria, OR to Rockland, ME placing 4424 flags, one every mile, for each casualty we endured in Iraq. Then in 2012 he ran 2146 miles and placed the same amount of flags in remembrance of every casualty in Afghanistan. We now have a wall of honor and gratitude stretching 6570 miles across America.”

His story was touching and inspiring. What seamed like a near impossible athletic endeavor was complicated even more by the placing of a flag every mile, with a handwritten name on each one, and lets not forget the logistics of food and arranging for places to stay.

To me, Mike’s story is more than just a story about honoring veterans, it’s a story of perseverance, determination, and overcoming the naysayers that told him it was just a nice idea. Not only did Mike pull off the extremely detailed planning of this grand memorial, but he executed EVERY DAY, no matter how hard it was. Rain didn’t stop him, flat tires on the stroller he pushed didn’t stop him, cold weather didn’t stop him, aches and pains didn’t stop him. No matter what, mike hit the road EVERY day and ran 26-30 miles, without fail.

One of the things that amazed me the most was that Mike never got weary of running those miles each day, every single day he looked forward to them. As an entrepreneur I strive to have that exact same consistent determination – to get up every single day and pursue my passion with the same intensity as the day before, no matter what new challenge lay in my way.

Please, take a few minutes out of your day to watch the video above. It’s truly inspiring. A full length documentary will be coming out later this year and hitting PBS channels across the country.


Focus is purposeful and planned

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November is National Novel Writing Month: although I have no intention of writing a novel, I do aspire to write a book one day. So, rather than spending November working on a great novel, I will focus on writing blog posts every day for the entire month. I have missed two days already, but that was mainly because I spent much of my weekend battling a raging beast that screamed, hit, clawed and jumped about like a lunatic: also known as my teething two-year-old. So, here we go – one month of writing.

Seeing as how my weekend was full of distractions I thought it would be fitting to start with focus. As an entrepreneur focus is one of your biggest allies. As I write this post I am doing so with purpose, planning, and focus. I woke up before everybody else in the house. I attempted to wake up before everybody else in the house (I’m a husband and father of two), I opened up Word and began writing; I have yet to check Twitter, Facebook, or email. Essentially, I planned to be here this morning at this very moment, with little to no distractions so I could write this post.

The same must be true when pursuing important projects in your business. Intentional chunks of time must be set aside in order to get them done. It can be really easy to let the small day-to-day operational things in the business drown them out. Sure, running pay roll, paying bills, reviewing the books, and keeping track of sales are important, but the truly important projects are things that will help your business grow and move forward. It’s those things you must apply focus to.

When you have focus you have true steadfast determination to get a tasks or project accomplished. This determination includes cutting out the fluff: anything that distracts or prevents you from quality work. Some examples include: emails, phone calls, social medial, staff interruptions, unplanned meetings (which should never happen), and a general failure to plan.

I have found the most important method to focus on projects and important tasks is to plan them. I use the KanBan system for work flow/to-do management; I schedule critical components of projects in my calendar, as is it were a scheduled meeting. I will even work remotely at times to avoid random in-office distractions.

Essentially I have found that focus is 100% purposeful. If you find your day constantly filled with distractions it might be time to make some intentional changes that will help you focus and master the art of productivity and getting things done.