You can change your life in one day.

Earlier this week I filmed a video with a group of very talented health and wellness coaches. The work was for my client, StayWell, which pioneered corporate wellness programs more than 40 years ago. Today StayWell works with many of best companies in America, where they help improve lives every day. (Unlike Chick-Fil-a, who will not improve my life with a delicious Spicy Chicken Deluxe sandwich on Sundays.)

During the video shoot I heard inspiring story after story of how the coaches had a transformational impact on the lives of those they coached. But there was one particular story that really hit me in my profunditude receptors.

The Story

The last coach of the day told us a story about a man who she coached who had a variety of health and lifestyle issues to address. One of which was that he was an enthusiastic smoker. Which I translate to mean that he really liked standing outside, alone, by a backdoor that no one else uses.

The man knew he should quit. The warning labels on the cigarettes packs that told him that he was going to die if he actually smoked the cigarettes made that clear. But he had not yet summoned the resolve and a master plan to make it happen.

The coach suggested that he try  just one day without cigarettes. It was a pretty small challenge. Much easier than really quitting. The man tried it. And succeeded.

At the end of the day he realized that it had been several decades since he had gone a full day without a cigarette. He was very excited about his big day. And he wondered if he could do it again the next day.

That was 2 years ago. And he hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.

Easy Does It

Too often we think we have to do something monumental to get results. But that is poppycock. All you have to do is start. Do something. Anything. The littlest step in the right direction is progress. It helps you build momentum. Because success builds like a snowball. It always starts small. But as it rolls it can become massive.

It Worked For Me.

I always wanted to start my own advertising agency. But entrepreneurship seemed daunting. Until I broke it down into small, simple steps. Then I simply started taking one small step after another. Today I’m the Founder and CEO of The Weaponry. Which sounds like a pretty cool title. Because when you start your own business you get to give yourself any title you want. The Weaponry now has 2 offices, 17 clients from coast to coast, and more on the way.

Key Takeaway

Big accomplishments start with small steps. So take the smallest, easiest step forward you can. You’ll find that it is so easy that you can’t help but take another step forward. When you do, the next step will reveal itself. When it does, you take that step too. You don’t have to be prepared for the whole journey. You just have to be prepared for the next small step. Knowing and believing this secret is the first and most important step of all.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story, please share it with them.

If you want results do what my son does.

When I first became a parent I was prepared to drop knowledge on my kids. I had prepared a syllabus of over 30 years worth of life lessons. They were sorted into 3 files. The first was labeled Smart Things I Did. The second was labeled Dumb Things I Did That You Should Avoid. And the third file was simply labeled Bill Cosby.

Magnus

What I wasn’t prepared for were are all of the lessons that my children would teach me. My latest lessons have come from my 9-year old son Magnus. Magnus, has taught me a lot about socializing. He has a remarkable ability to make instantaneous friendships anywhere. His social intelligence is as good as the best adults I know. He’s like a little Dale Carnegie on the playground, just winning little friends and influencing little people.

Losing Teeth

But as impressive as Magnus is at socializing, he is world class at losing teeth. It’s an odd thing to be great at, I know. But lately Magnus has lost teeth at a meth addict rate. I think he has lost 8 teeth in the last 2 months. In fact, I don’t know how he actually chews anything anymore. #popsiclesfordinner

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Me and Magnus and all of our hair at the top of the Astoria Column in Astoria, Oregon. 

Talk Is Cheap

However, it is not his quantity of tooth loss that impresses me. It is the style. You know how I know when Magnus has a loose tooth? He puts the tooth in my hand. Before that he doesn’t talk about it, complain about it or brag about it. He says nothing until the tooth is out. Even then he doesn’t really talk about it. He just shows me the results, and smiles an ever toothlessier smile. And every time he surprises me (and the Tooth Fairy) with absolutely no advanced warning, I am more impressed by his ability to quietly take care of business.

The Reminder

I meet people all the time who go on and on, (like Steven Bishop, down in Jamaica, with lots of pretty women), about their big dreams, lofty goals and ambitious plans. But talk doesn’t bring a dream to life. Discussions don’t achieve goals. And ambition doesn’t execute a plan. Talk is the cheapest of all commodities. Action is the the most valuable. And it’s the only currency you can use to buy your goals and dreams.

Key Takeaway

Success requires action. To be successful do more. Talk less. Complain less. Analyze less. And focus on results. Don’t tell the world what you are going to do. Show them what you’ve done. Then, after the work is all done, you can sit back and enjoy the rewards. Just like my son Magnus does.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story, please share it with them.

 

 

400 words on how my Dad taught his kids to be successful without using words.

In 2015 I started The Perfect Agency Project blog when I began planning the launch of my advertising and ideas agency, The Weaponry.  I wanted to share my experience, learnings and insights with others. Today I publish a new post 3 days a week. I enjoy writing this blog because I like sharing what I know. You name a topic and I can write about it. Because I have philosophies on everything. In fact, even my philosophies have philosophies. The wide range of topics I cover include:

My Father

Today is Father’s Day. So naturally I am thinking about my father, Robert Albrecht. He knows so much about so many subjects that he could easily write a great blog and share all of his accumulated wisdom with the word. But he won’t. That’s not his style.

My Dad is not a writer. He is not a philosopher, reflector or pontificator. He would never write a book of Roberts Rules of Order. Although that title sounds like it would be a hit.

My Dad didn’t tell me and my sisters how to be successful, productive or impactful. He showed us.

My Dad is my action hero. Because he is always in motion. He’s a doer. A maker. A baker. A builder. A griller A gardner. A fixer. A shower-upper (meaning he shows up, not that he shows you up). And he’s a see-things-througher. (meaning he completes things, not that he has X-Ray vision).

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My Dad taught me the most important ingredient of successful entrepreneurship: Action.

He is a Can-Do, Will-Do, Did-It, What’s-Next? kind of guy.

He is an early riser. He’s a frick’n workhorse. He makes the most of each day. And he’s really hard to keep up with. I love that about him.

Thank you Dad for being such a great example. You didn’t have to write a blog, a book or a manifesto to teach Heather, Alison, Donielle and I how to be great at life. You showed us. So we get up early. We put in the work. We make and we bake and we do and we don’t complain. We are people of action. Just like you taught us, through your actions, not your words.

I love you Dad. Happy Father’s Day. Thanks for stopping for a moment to read this post.

Why you should be proud of your slow progress.

I love podcasts. I use them as part of my continuing education. Most of what I listen to is somehow related to business. One of the podcasts that I listen to always ends by asking guests what they think separates people who are successful in business from those who fail, or never get started.

I Say

Every time I hear this question I repeatedly shout out, ‘Action!’ as if I was an audience member on The Price Is Right. I believe that action is the most important ingredient to entrepreneurial success. In fact, I wrote about it in the post: The most important ingredient to entrepreneurial success.

Confucius Say

Earlier this week, while writing a post called The one thing you need to have if you want to start a business, I started exploring the philosophies of Confucius. I quickly found out that he wasn’t as hilarious as I always thought he was. It seems that all those funny sayings the my crazy Uncle Jonny attributed to Confucius most likely came from my crazy Uncle Jonny himself.

Actual Confucius philosophy is smart, insightful, and deep. With almost no double entendres referring to your private parts. The Confucius saying that sticks out to me today is:

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. -Confucius

This is another great way to emphasize the importance of action. There will be times when your progress will feel snail-y, or turtle-y, or glacier-y. Sometimes that is just how the process works. But remember, that by simply moving forward a few inches every day a glacier can change the entire landscape.

Key Takeaway

There is a fine line between slow progress and no progress. But that line makes all the difference. Keep moving forward. Keep acting. Keep doing. And you will get a little closer to your goals every day.

If you know someone who could benefit from a little Confucius, please share this story with them.

I found this inspiring JFK quote on the road.

This week my family and I loaded up the old Family Truckster for a road trip across the Lone Star State. We are covering Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Plano, Waco, Austin, San Antonio and more. What I like most about this type of travel are the unexpected gems you discover along the way.

Doing Dallas

While we were in Dallas we decided to see the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It was both interesting and sobering to see where this historic event occurred in 1963. We saw the book depository, although I still don’t know what a book depository is. We saw the route JFK’s motorcade was traveling in his last moments. We saw some grassiness. We saw some knoll. And we saw the JFK Memorial. Which made me think they must not have had many memorial options.

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The JFK Memorial in Dallas. It’s a cement box.

The JFK Quote

We stopped into the JFK Museum store, where I was greeted by a JFK quote I had never heard before. Of course there are plenty of famous JFK quotes:

  • “Ask not what your country can do for you… ask what you can do for your country.”
  • “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
  • “Honey, let’s keep this our little secret…’

But I liked the new-to-me JFK quote better than any of the others.

“Things do not happen. They are made to happen.”  -John F. Kennedy

Making Things Happen

This quote summarizes everything I know about making an impact and achieving great things. It summarizes how you build and maintain a strong network of friends and family. It applies to everything from gardening to creating a new law to building a business from dust. These things don’t just happen. You have to make them happen.

None of the things you want in life will happen on their own. They require energy and action. This is both a warning and an inspiring call to action. It warns us that without action you will get nothing and have nothing. But with action you can have anything you are willing to work for.

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The inspiring JFK quote in the museum store in Dallas.

Key Takeaway

Action is everything. It is the difference between dreaming and doing. If you want something to happen you have to force it to happen. You have to will it to happen through your vision, action and energy. This simple rule applies to friendship, to entrepreneurship and every other ship in between.

Also, do more road tripping. It is the best way to collect dots and connect dots.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story, please share it with them.