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Scenario: "Dude, we must do tons of market research, and invent a "profile" customer. We'll make billions, and roll on dubs. Yay!"

Simply, oh-so-simply, ask your bad-self:

"How much does my fabulous life suck right now?"

 

Granted, you could be some super-happy, carefree, 100% charmed chap that has billions-upon-billions of wealth.

But, your life -- as sweet as it may be, still sucks s.o.m.e.h.o.w.

Now, you could buy something to fulfill the void.

But, what if buying that something only made you 60% happy?

  • Yahoo's Jerry Yang needed his favorite websites in one place.
  • Kinko's Paul Orfalea needed friends' homework copies.
  • Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg needed to track hot college girls.

Ideas prosper when they're built for real-world people, who need those applications (i.e. YOU) -- instead of those built on pure speculation (i.e. target market "Jane").

Six billions people roam the world; there's probably a 99.99999539483028503% chance if you have a use for it yourself, a plethora of folks have a use for it too.

Right now, your fabulous-sexy-self needs that - something - to make your life ridiculously happier.

What would that be?

So, be a little selfish when 'discovering' your ideas.

"Invent fo' me."

 

Posted on June 27

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Scenario: "Dude, I'm the greatest decision-maker in the world. I have no regrets, as just about every one of my frickin' decisions are correct. High-five!"

Think back to your last debate/disagreement/quarrel.

You were oh-so-totally 100% correct, while that other mofo was oh-so-totally wrong. You probably ended the conversation, thinking:

  • "That person really doesn't get it."
  • "I'm sure s/he'll come to her senses, eventually."
  • "Wow, that person is l-o-c-o."

But...but...if Craig thinks he's right, Sally thinks she's right, and Miguel, Tony, Bobby, Miguel, Johnny B., Chrissy, Efrain, and Miguel -- who's wrong? Here's a hint: Unless Johnny B. has hard 100%-objective data on his assertions, he's probably wrong 50% of the time. (As with the other folks.)

Says The Research...

According to psychologist researchers at Psychology Today:

We filter out evidence that contradicts our beliefs, particularly the mistaken idea that the opposite of a true statement must be false.

That's why you rarely hear the coveted three words: "I'm wrong, b!tches." El Conclusion Our brains drive us to make horrifically bad decisions based on horrifically bad insight; that, in turn, corrupts our chances of success. To boost your chances to kick ass, start manipulating your brain with gradual 'check-yo-self'ers. We'll explain.

How Our Brains Suck

According to Jim Collins and his chimps' research, visionary companies start every discussion by first confronting the brutal facts of their realities. But, that's easier said than done. Sure, your rationale might tell you that you just hafta-gotta-need-a confront the facts of your realities before you make wise decisions. But, your subconscious tells you something differently:

  • "Hey, we're not mediocre! We're superstars! High-five!" we blindly tell ourselves.

We humans hate to admit our faults, so we rarely confront the absolute brutal facts of our realities. That's cognitive dissonance at its finenst: The sucker prevents us from kicking really juicy ass -- and instead, drives us toward our usual mediocrities. Remember: If you don't confront your faults/mistakes, you'll repeatedly commit them over, and over...and over -- gradually destroying your potential.

How to Unblind Yo-Self

Start manipulating the unconscious side of your brain:

  • In 30 seconds, admit one mistake that prevented you from being more efficient last week.

Hint: Write/type the sucka down. You'll "un-blind" your brain much quicker. We'll wait. LalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLalaLala. Done? How'd that feel? A little uncomfortable, eh? Not a problem: as with tackling any bad habit, it takes baby steps. Now if you're feeling like an adventurous mofo, start listing out two additional mistakes. The trick to all of this:

Habitually Check Yo-Self

..in increasing amounts. At Trizzy, we started with a frequent routine:

  • Week 1: Admit 1 small mistake everyday.
  • Week 2: Admit 2 mistakes everyday.
  • ...
  • Week 10: Admit 10 mistakes every morning.

Of course, customize the process to your own preference. Try it for 21 straight days, and you'll build an awesome habit that's crazy-hard to break. Once you get in the habit of confronting the absolute brutal realities of your situation -- as Collins's six-year research asserts, you'll make astronomically awesome decisions that will dramatically boost your chances for major @^^%^ success.

Check Yo-Self.

Posted on June 26

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Scenario: "Dude, just do it. You'll win. Yay!"

  1. Imagine staring up a freakish mountain. It's big, it's tall, it's freaky, and it's scary. You don't wanna go up, now -- you don't wanna fail.
  2. Now, imagine starting at a bunny hill. It's small, it's kiddy-like, and it's oh-so-easy-to-accomplish. You could do it with your eyes closed.

Typical Entrepreneur Elemo imagines his workload as if he's staring up some big, freakish, Everest-like mountain. So:

  1. He avoids his work as much as possible.
  2. "It's too scary now! Maybe the workload will scare me less later!" he subconsciously thinks.
  3. That leaves him little room to really kick butt on his work, resulting in mediocrity-after-mediocrity.

Uh-freakin-oh. What to do, what to do?

Reverse your mindset.

Instead of seeing your pile of work as some Everest-colossal-like mountain, tackle your plethora of tasks by completing one, easy, feasible bunny hill. Ask yourself the secret sauce: "What can my badass accomplish in 60 seconds?"

Piles of Work Starts With a Bunny

Freakishly efficient people accomplish their freakish workload by starting with one small, easy, bunny-hill-like, accomplishable thing that they do in minutes. Bite-sized chunks. Easy, simple, and digestible. Why? If you accomplish something in 60 seconds, you build more momentum to accomplish more stuff -- then some more, and some more -- until you're working like a rapid ostrich on crack.

The Power of the First Bite-Sized Chunk

Imagine a big-giant flywheel -- similar to what Jim Collins describes in his bestseller.

  1. Initially, you can barely move the giant flywheel.
  2. But, as you continue to push some more, the increasing momentum makes the flywheel rotate faster -- then faster.
  3. You push some more, and it goes even faster.

Accomplishing your massive tasks works the same way:

  1. At first, you'll see minimal-but-promising results.
  2. But as you complete accomplish an initial task, the follow-up task becomes easier.
  3. You complete that, then the third, fourth, fifth, etc., becomes increasingly oh-so much easier.

After a while, you start seeing yourself leveraging the work momentum you've created to complete task-after-task-after-sexy-task. "Hey, this ain't bad. Oh, no. Let's accomplish something else!" you tell your bad-self. Follow-up work becomes freakishly easier, resulting in a cherished: "@^^, wtf! I'm one productive mofo!" From a 60-second bite-sized start, you prep yourself to become one vigorous, focused, efficient mofo that chases down tasks -- and beats them into utter submission.

The 60-Second Trick: It's Oh-So Magical

Feel like you're procrastinating? If at any point -- in your fabulous life -- you ever feel like an unproductive crazy person, try the trick:

Accomplish something in 60 seconds.


Then, see the resulting magic: You'll accomplish more -- then, increasingly, more. Becoming the efficient mofo you've always wanted to be:

"What can I accomplish in 60 seconds?"

Posted on June 25

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Scenario: "Dude, I'm so nervous. But I'd feel less nervous if I stop thinking about my nerves! Yay!" Remember that sales meeting that demolished you because of your nerves?

  1. You tried your best to be less nervous.
  2. So, you suppressed those feelings.
  3. But, you still ended up sucking, anyway.

Then, you lost the sale, the dream, the yadda. It's a-o-frickin-kay, because it happens to all of us. How can you fix your nervousness when you're experiencing those anxious situations? Simple:

  1. Notice how much you suck right now.
  2. Imagine what would happen if you sucked 10x more.

Congratulate-yo-self. You just boosted your sexy confidence.

Wha?!

Manipulate your brain by tricking the sucker. According to Psychology Today:

If you suffer from shaky hands and sweaty palms, try to make them shake and sweat more. You will notice that they will stop shaking and sweating. If you are able to increase the symptoms, you can control them.

Why Oh Why?

You'll see yourself becoming less nervous because:

  1. You'll release that nervous tension that you've bottled inside of you.
  2. You see the worst-case scenario as: 'Hey-it-ain't-so-bad-if-I-do-so-bad!'

That's reverse psychology at its finest. Whenever you feel like you're sucking, keep this bad-boy in your repository:

I Suck X 10.

 

Posted on June 19

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Scenario: "Dude, I'm working way too many hours. I feel so stressed. Boo!" You'd think working 985094820 hours would stress you. That's not it.

Ask-you-self: How would you define your work?

  • a) Suck-ass
  • b) Kick-ass

The former causes mucho (bad) stress. The latter makes you feel pretty frickin' excited about your work. If you're stressin' on the job, use that as a sign: "I'll seek opportunities where I'll kick some shiny-@^^% ass."

Hours = Schmouthers

Take two folks:

  • a) Bobby B. who works 100 hours. b) Chrissy C. who works 100 hours

Descriptions of those two:

  1. Bobby works as an analyst. He hates his job. He feels resentful of everybody. He thinks his clients are out to destroy his morale.
  2. Chrissy C. works as an analyst. She loves her job. She's set a humongously big goal to create record results for her clients. She loves 'em.

Unsurprisingly:

  • Bobby feels great stress. His productivity drains like a mofo.
  • Chrissy feels super joy. Her productivity boosts like a mofo.

Says The Study...

Alabama Professor Dan Ganster's research on how stress harmed work players explained:

The more that individuals had been exposed to chronic uncontrollable demands in their occupation, the less vigorous were their cardiovascular arousal and sympathetic nervous system responses to each of the challenge tasks Chronically stressed workers took more time to recover to baseline levels.

"What if my work just really sucks @^^%?!"

Two options:

  1. Redefine your work.

    "I'm working for a bad client." No! You're working to build your kick-ass skills for your promising future.
  2. Seek new work.

    Sure, a contract might obligate you to finish some job. If so, fulfill it; then, steer clear of that similar experience in future work. And if some pent-up dictator is controlling what-you-can-and-cannot-do, tell that sucka:
    "Look, Skippy. You can waste my talents on those tasks that destroys my morale, and thus my productivity. Or, you can place me where I'll absolutely rock for the company."

Seek meaningful work.

 

Posted on June 18

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Scenario: "Just never give up, and read a lot of books. Yay!" Say you've haven't reached your goals. You've done all you could:

  • You've put in 98905830432 hours of work.
  • You've talked with industry experts.
  • You've consulted with therapists.
  • You've read a million business books.
  • You've psyched yourself with a gazillion motivational quotes.

And yet: blah. "What in the !@^^ is going on?!" you scream. You tried improving the heck out of your life, but terribly failed. What happened? You tried creating new experiences from scratch, and then wondered why you couldn't create them. Instead, to boost your chances of getting what you really want: Make foreign experiences common/daily familiarities. That is, imagine you already have what you want -- and, what steps you took to get there.

What's Wrong with Conventional Wisdom

You take a 4.0, 1500+ (2250+) SATs, Starcraft-playing, Java-coding, Star Wars-crazy nerdy nerd. We'll call him Sanjaya.

  1. He needs a date to the prom.
  2. He has zero social skills.
  3. He's never held a conversation with a girl.

You're his coach.

How would you help him best succeed? If you're trained under the motivational school of thought, you'd probably draw these bad boys from your arsenal:

  • "Believe in yourself! Believe!"
  • "They'll love you!"
  • "Be real!"
  • "Think happy thoughts!"
  • "You can do it!"

Then, you do the 'logical' thing by giving him books, resources, and websites to help him become more social around girls. "Read them, study them, live them!" you tell him. "Once you become an expert, you'll have no trouble!" Two weeks pass by, and it's the big day:

Sanjaya's gonna ask out classmate Ashley after school.

What'll likely happen? Oh, we don't know:

  1. Sanjaya: Hii, Aaasheely.
  2. Ashley: Hi, Sanjaya.
  3. Sanjaya: Thee phyysiics claass wass interrestinggg, huhhh? Extrraccting ellectroons froom an attoom cannn makke electriicitty, whooo kneew..
  4. Ashley: Yeah.
  5. Sanjaya: I neeever kneeew elleectricciitty wasss everrywheere. Innn faccct, I thiink it's floowwing between yoou andd mee riight noow.
  6. Ashley: Funny.
  7. Sanjaya: Caan-I-asskk-yoouu-ouutt to thee prom?
  8. Ashley, like the player hater that she is: Sorry, dude. No.

You're sitting about ten feet away thinking to yourself, "What the @^^% just happened?" Unfamiliar with the situation, Sanjaya reverted back to his old self -- and, acted from his usual nerdy ways.

Why We've Probably Sucked

We're all similar to Sanjaya: We haven't experienced what we've wanted.

  • We haven't experienced making billions.
  • We haven't experienced working with the world's all stars.
  • We haven't experienced setting record returns ten years straight.
  • We haven't experienced building the most fabulous workplace in the world.

Sure, a good amount of us read business books, attend conferences, bought CDs -- and all the other crap with headlines like: "Become a millionaire in a year by following these 52 steps!" Boo. Like Sanjaya, we thought those would help us -- but, @^^%!

Why Oh Why?

We're trying to create new life-altering experiences from scratch. When we do, we almost always fail. We can't draw on previous experiences, so we do what we know: acting in our usual-old-fashioned ways of doing things.

  • We work the same hours.
  • We surround ourselves with the same people.
  • We do the same work/projects.

We go the same doctors, dentists, barbers, grocery stores, movie theaters, mechanics, yadda, yadda, yadda. We build the same life.

In other words, we're scared s^!t-less of change.

We'd love to be the biggest-baddest-mutha-^^*@&! in the world doing ___________, but that's a foreign concept to us. So, unconsciously, we ultimately revert back to our old-safe-comfortable ways. And, that's why we haven't achieved what we wanted.

How to Get What You Really Want

Manipulate your brain: Un-foreignate foreign experiences. That is, visualize in detail the outcome of what you want -- and what you had to do to get it.

  • What specific steps did you take to get it?
  • What'd you have to complete?
  • What'd you have ignore?
  • Where'd you find help?

The more familiar you are with what you want, the likelier you'll make those visions realities.

How You'll Trick Your Brain

When you visualize the outcome of what you want, you psychologically rewire the unconscious side of brain from:

  1. "Oh crap! I've never experienced this."
  2. "I'm getting the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it."
  3. "Let's revert back to something more comfortable."

to:

  1. "Wait, this seems like a familiar experience I've had."
  2. "And, I rocked it."
  3. "And so, rocking it again will be no thang but a chicken wing on a string."

Result: Ridiculously boosted chances of attaining your elusive goal. You'll ignore unimportant distractions, focus on the most efficient means, and optimize your productivity in achieving what you want.

The Template to Get You Started

  1. Close your ridiculously good-looking eyes.
  2. "In two hours, I will have already achieved: __________."
  3. "I achieved it by doing: _______, and not doing _______."

(Sweet tip: Pull out the Crayola and draw some pictures.) See how productive you'll become in chasing down that goal and freakishly beating it into submission.

Visualize the mofo.

 

Posted on June 15

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Scenario: "Do you feel motivated to work hard? If you do, yay!" Buh-laaah.

What question drives you to seriously kick some major donkey behind and take names?

You probably won't find it with those motivational speakers who sell you books/cds/tapes/manuals/their-mamas. Instead, the question -- simply:

"What result do I want to achieve?"

According to consultant Robert Fritz in a Harvard Business Review article, that question drives you from complacent mode to proactive mode. That is, instead of lounging around waiting for what the world wants you to do, you tap your inner psyche to chase down some ridiculously crazy goal and beat it into submission. That internal motivation drives you to produce ridiculously productive results, and dismiss external distractions that are beyond your control. You start:

  • strengthening your phat future
  • using your time freakishly efficiently
  • producing more value to those around you
  • imprinting a lasting legacy

The Very Fine Line

There's fine line between (1) working hard, and (2) producing results. Conventional wisdom thinks the former automatically translates into the latter. You can work 80 hour work weeks for a client; but, if Hector down the street produces more value to Client Timmy than you -- and he only works 20 hours, guess who will ultimately win. At the end of the day, it's not how hard you work -- the would couldn't care less; it's the results you produce. The more honest you answer it, the more you'll compel yourself to rock every second of your fabulosity.

"What result do I want to achieve?"

 

Posted on June 13

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Scenario: "Dude, let's analyze why we sucked. Then we'll ensure we'll never do it again. Yay!" "Failing forward" drives you to kick more ass because it pushes you toward greatness -- every step of the way. When you embrace mistakes, you seek every opportunity to learn some frickin more. The faster you overcome those mistakes, the more you'll boost your knowledge. Yet, there's:

  1. Badass falls
  2. Lame-o falls

The differences, respectively:

  1. Falling forward 10 feet
  2. Falling forward 1 foot

You can embrace all those mistakes you want, and -- sure, you might learn sumthin-sumthin. But... You'll learn much faster/fuller/awesomer by applying what you learned -- immediately.

How Not to Learn

Take Patty.

  • Patty sells TVs to her tight-knit Morgan Hill community.
  • Wal-Mart came to town months earlier, and she finds her cash gradually dwindling.

"Learn from your mistakes!" she reads from a motivational book. So, she does -- somewhat:

  • "I can't compete against Wal-Mart."
  • "I must provide services where I can beat them indirectly."
  • "I can complement their services."

"I'll apply those lessons when I get the chance, because I have to take care of some business first!" And then when she does get the chance, for some strange-oh-reason -- she instead reverts back to her past:

"I'll continue selling my TVs, since I have a 'good feeling' everything will be okay." she goes. "Besides, I've been successful for the last ten years; I can be successful for the next decade as well."

Ten months later: She's filing for bankruptcy protection. Kaput.

"Wait! But I would've done things differently!"

Consciously, we all think we would; but, most of us probably wouldn't. The psychological effect from that: Humans hate change.

  • We go to the same barbers, eat at the same restaurants, watch movies at the same venues, stay in the same city/town/suburb/state for decades, yadda, yadda, yadda -- because we seek our 'comfort zones' whenever possible.

What's safe for us is good for us, we think.

  • "If it's worked for me in the past, it'll work for me again!"

So when we think we've "learned" from our mistakes, we'll quickly return to our old selves -- resisting change. And, accepting mediocrity. How do you prevent that?

Apply What You've Learned, Immediately

Repeat this !@^^%^ until you've gone loco:

  • "I've really learned crap until I've applied what I've learned."
  • "I've really learned crap until I've applied what I've learned."
  • "I've really learned crap until I've applied what I've learned."

Apply It Good

  1. "Limited cash flow is wrecking my startup!" Start flagging complementary opportunities with shorter sales cycles.
  2. "My productivity ain't helping my future!" Learn one fabulous productivity tip (e.g. from David Allen, Lifehacks.org, etc.), and use it within two minutes.
  3. "We're screwing up our goals! It's why we suck so bad!" Enact this sucka: 'If we don't meet our goals, we forfeit 10% of our salaries to retraining.'

Consciously apply you've learned as soon as you've learned it, and you'll go one frickin' long way in failing forward 9098509482502 feet like the crazed mofo you really are.

Learn. Apply.

 

Posted on June 12

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Scenario: "Let's start doing as many things as we can now, now, now! Yay, yay, yay!" Take Bob.

  1. Bob's an ambitious-gung-ho-type-A entrepreneur.
  2. He has a plethora of tasks he has to fulfill by today.

Like most entrepreneurs, what does he do?

  • a) Create a list of tasks -- then, fulfill 'em.
  • b) Start doing any task immediately.

Consciously, most of us think we'll be more productive if we do the latter. Instead of creating a task list, we tell ourselves:

  • "If I just start on this now, I'll finish my workload quicker!"
  • "It takes hard work. We must be working, now!"

So, we start doing things one-by-one -- thinking we're working oh-so-hard-we-be-the-kings-of-jungle -- but reality tells us we're moving at a snail's pace. Think back to a day where you put in 14 hours, but when bedtime came around -- you told your bad-self:

  • "I still have so many things to do! @^^%!"

Yeah, you be the hard worker -- but you barely alleviated your workload. So, what's the very-oh-so-simple-&-fulfilling solution that will make you rock every day of your fabulous life? Start a task list, then plan your every frickin' working activity based on that list.

[Your Name Here]'s Task List

Today, I will:

  1. Complete urgent email replies by 9:00 a.m.
  2. Recruit 5 solid sales consultants by 10 a.m.
  3. Finish marketing materials for John by 11 a.m.
  4. Complete beta stage of Software Project by 1 p.m.
  5. Set up email system for Client ABC by 3 p.m.
  6. Create mockup 2.0 of online sales page by 5 p.m.
  7. Complete non-urgent email replies by 6 p.m.

(You get the picture.) Yeah, you could go without the times -- but, we wouldn't recommend it since we've been through that route -- and we accomplished 0 (making us a 0; we funny eh). The times (e.g. I will do this by this time..) get your butt in gear to complete stuff by certain times -- boosting your chances of fulfilling those tasks.

  • Tip 1: Give yourself shorter deadlines, and you'll be more productive.
  • Tip 2: The more specific your tasks, the more you'll accomplish.
  • Tip 3: Fill up your list with more stuff, and soar higher.

We guarantee those mutha-!@^^^%&.

How to Order Your Task List

Like we mentioned in a recent article, place your most important tasks first.

  1. Most important tasks = (1) gotta, frickin' hafta to do it by today OR (2) most profitable tasks
  2. Then, list those lesser important tasks at the bottom (i.e. "Stuff I'd like to get done today, but it be aiight if I don't.")

That way, you give yourself sufficient "safety room" to complete stuff that will affect/improve/rock your future most.

Promise Yo-Bad-Self

We 100% absolutely promise you that you'll boost your productivity:

  • "Before I do any work today, I will create my task list first."

Yeah, some email/voicemail/text-message might tempt you to start working-before-creating-your-task-list.

Say NO WAY JOSE!


Trust us; you don't know how much we sucked before we followed that rule. (We'd waste a chunk of our work day doing irrelevant stuff that destroyed productivity.) Before you do any of your work today, get your task list ready, prepped, and good to go. Then, like a juiced-up bald eagle on crack, tear that that mutha-!@^^%& to shreds.

List, then do.


p.s. Amy Winehouse rocks.

Posted on June 11

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Scenario: "Dude, we'll just save the best work for last. Forreal. High-five!"

  1. You have a big project due in about a week.
  2. You haven't started.
  3. You have many other much less important tasks to do.

You have two options:

  • a) Do the most important thing first.
  • b) Finish the many less important tasks first.

If you're seeking to get the most out of your day, what would you do? The former. To be one productive SOB, start doing what's most important first; that leaves you more room to kick more frickin' arse on that important shizzle.

How Our Minds Trick Us

As crazy human people, we tend to think we have 9849830958320 hours to do task A, when reality says we only have a tiny fraction of that. That is, we overestimate the time we have on certain our most important tasks. So, we start procrastinating. Then, some more procrastinating. And, some more. ...until some looming deadline gets our butts in gear. At that point, feeling threatened, we work superficially -- producing shoddy work. Instead of wowing the freak out of our customers, we give them something that just 'works' -- but that's it. Boo.

Why Important Stuff First

When you do your most important tasks first, you give yourself more time to:

  1. Sufficiently complete the tasks.
  2. Refine and perfect the tasks.
  3. Boost more value to those tasks.

Think of the 20/80 rule; that is: 20% of your tasks serves 80% importance to you/business/customers. Completing the crucial 20% first lets you breeze through the rest, knowing -- at the least -- you've already accomplished the bulk of what's most important.

And Then When You're Done...

Do the second most important thing. Then, the third. And, the fourth. And, the yadda.

How do you determine what's most important?

Suggestions:

  1. Profitability.
  2. Urgency. (e.g. by deadlines)
  3. [choose-what's-most-important-to-you-here]

Win.

Freakishly important stuff first.

 

Posted on May 31

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