I recently listened to an excellent podcast from motivational speaker Brendon Burchard about how to deal with “tough times.” Life in America has historically been good, but I know many people are concerned about things like inflation, rising interest rates, government decisions and, of course, the rising stress levels associated with all of these challenges.

Here some solid suggestions from Brendon on how to deal with these challenges, especially since we don’t always know when they might arise:

  1. Raise Your Ambition Level – This is a key element of being on your “A” game, essentially “showing up!” I believe that when we actually raise our ambition level, we become more focused and benefit from additional clarity. While your competitors or those providing you with this “challenge” are still developing their game plan, you can be one or two steps ahead of them, already having considered numerous “What If?” scenarios. Many challenges come from bureaucrats, and I have found that they hate nothing more than someone who is “prepared for them…”
  2. Reframe Doubt – Brendon emphasizes that we need to overcome pessimism. As he states, “Doubt is calling you to rise, not stopping you!” Everyone has doubts. This is normal, so take a closer look at the situation and consider how you might handle it differently than just having doubts. For example, if you were having success in this situation, what would have to have happened? Trust me. The more you practice this process, the more it will become natural for you and the more you will meet with greater success levels.
  3. Reset Your Habits – Challenges like we are facing today require us to boost our Daily Focus. Just as I wrote in my prior blog, better habits and increased discipline will take you a long way toward achieving your objectives. Again, the best way to overcome bureaucratic obstacles is to succeed in spite of them. That, my friends, will take you to the Next Level!

What challenges are you facing today? Here are my recommendations:

  1. Rest up, if necessary, and then Show Up! Face the challenges head on. You can overcome them!
  2. Doubts are normal. What to do? Think your game plan through and move forward. That’s what progress is all about.
  3. Focus – As Mr. Miyagi said in “The Karate Kid” movies, “Focus, Daniel son, Focus!” This is always good advice and something we should strive to implement.

You will likely find new solutions, refine your processes and make additional, positive improvements. I’ll look forward to seeing you at the finish line!

Let’s take your business to the Next Level!

Are you actually preparing for what’s next? I’m not talking about post Afghanistan, after our summer temperatures abate, or after Apple stock goes over $200/share. I’m talking about your business. Business Coach Brendon Burchard stated that “we are always preparing for something.”

Yet, are your current routines and thinking creating the future that you want in your life and business? Author Dennis Waitley talks about us getting stranded on an island called “Someday Isle,” where the weather is perfect, and we have no challenges in our business or life, that which he actually interprets as “Someday I’ll…”

You know, Someday I’ll: 1.) Get my employees to do all the necessary tasks without being reminded. 2.) Have all of my taxes paid. 3.) Have none of my expenses increasing at an alarming rate… The list goes on.

I’d like to review what I’d explained in a prior blog, released on May 25, 2021:

Several years ago, my Business Coach Dan Sullivan of the Strategic Coach organization offered an excellent idea for everyday use. It’s called the WinStreak®, and it’s available as a free app that you can download on your phone.

It provides a simple, but powerful, way to accumulate more “wins” in your business and life. At the end of each day, you list your three greatest accomplishments for the day. It will also ask you to list the three largest objectives you intend to accomplish tomorrow.

The payoff is that instead of dwelling on the tasks you didn’t do or the items that you didn’t complete, it helps you to focus on what you have done, as well as what plan to achieve tomorrow. I’ve been doing this for at least three years, and it has helped me focus on what really matters.

Along the same line, you can summarize the three best things that happened this past week and, if you had a chance to relive this same week, what would you do differently?

The key is that, as we move forward in business and life, let’s focus on preparing for what’s next. Will we ever know with certainty what is going to unfold as we go through the week? Probably not. However, just the very process of reviewing what went well, and what we can do to make next week even better, will help prepare us for a brighter future.

You, too, can stun the world with the items you discover and the objectives you achieve. However, this will require you making this day, this week, this month an “intense time,” one characterized by proactive thinking about how you can make your outcome even better than you ever imagined. You are going to be operating your business & leading your life anyway. Why not make it more prosperous and enjoyable?

My question for you is this: What one task or achievement, if you accomplished it this year, would generate a genuine sense of accomplishment and extreme momentum to carry you into the future?

Knowing this one thing will keep you off of ‘Someday Isle!”

Let’s take your business to the Next Level!

So often, we get caught up in the throes of responding to various crises in our business. You know, feeling like you are always “on call,” just waiting to put out the next fire… We basically are, as Author Dan Heath suggests, “…downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problem.” So, why do we act in this manner?

I have two suggestions. First, you do not have to act in this very manner. Second, I’ve worked with my Clients to avoid this problem. I’ve taught them to respond, when needed, but, more significantly, start exploring (as Dan Heath describes it) “Upstream,” in effect where the problem started.

Let me provide you with a real-life example. My Client was a distributor of various fruits & vegetables. They would contract with growers, and then market these items after they were “re-packed” into their containers. Historically, they were fairly profitable, but their labor costs were getting out of control… Imagine that!

Regardless of what type of business you are in, you should consider the similarities of their situation with that of your company. Whether you measure your Revenue, Expenses and Profitability on a per box or per bag basis as they did or some other measure, this same thinking is still applicable.

If we know our costs, as we did in this case, and we understand the historical levels of rejected units under normal conditions, we can predict, with some degree of certainty, our expected results & profitability. Remember, if you can measure it, you can understand it. If you can understand it, you can control it, and if you can control it, you can improve it! Looking at these early in the process is what Dan Heath calls “Pre-game measures.”

The next step Heath suggests is to “Align incentives.” With this mind, we reinvented the labor/pay structure completely to include incentives for these workers to produce positive results. Since we had already modeled their Revenue, Production & Costs, we could simultaneously incentivize the workers and boost results on both their productivity and the profitability of the company.

As a direct result of going “Upstream,” several positive things happened. First, the workers involved made more money by being incentivized (And, trust me when I say: not everyone bought into this concept. They left for what they assumed were greener pastures elsewhere…). Next, the increase in productivity levels was astounding, partly as a result of the remaining employees “buy-in” to the new process. Finally, the profitability of the company jumped dramatically from a seven-figure loss to a very healthy profit, as we had predicted!

This is just an example of what can happen when we go “Upstream,” and rather than just “putting out fires,” in this case on the Labor front, actually determine the true source of the problem and then work to preemptively correct it. In stark contrast to their old program, which wasn’t working for either the Company or its Employees, this new incentivized program worked better for both of them. My question for you is this:

“Where, when and how will you go Upstream in your business?”

If you will continually do this, I guarantee that you will continue to expand your future opportunities and profitability results! I urge you to please join me in making the changes we need to in order to succeed and prosper! As we move forward with my Next Level Thinking™ blogs, I’ll continue to focus on the benefits of “Upstream” thinking from Author Dan Heath. If I can assist you in any way on this process, please reach out at or at 209-988-8960.