Monthly Archives: April 2016

It’s Much Easier Than You Think to Live the Life You Want

It may not be “easy”, but not entirely possible.

I recently listened to an episode of The World Wanderers Podcast where the host discussed working at a cafe in a great city that a lot of people would love to live in. She mentioned how, had she not moved to this cool, exciting city, the job she had would have made her feel like a loser. In your hometown working retail after getting an expensive degree seems pretty lame. Up and moving to a destination city and working retail to support the lifestyle seems kind of adventurous.

Back home, she would have dreaded seeing an old friend come in. “Oh, so you’re working here?” In the new city when someone she knew came in the question was more like, “Wow, so you’re living here?”

Just a few days ago I talked to a guy who’s biking across the country and loving it. He spent several months in beautiful Missoula, Montana waiting for the weather to improve so he could continue his journey. He worked at a grocery store while there and it provided everything he needed to live the lifestyle he wanted and get back on the road in time. What would his resume look like when, several years out of college, he had “Grocery bagger” listed? Not great, except when put in the context of, “Spent two years biking across the U.S., paying my way through with odd jobs and blogging about the adventure.”

I thought about this phenomenon more in Mompiche, Ecuador a few weeks ago. We found a little place with a sign for American-style pancakes. A welcome breakfast after days of fruit and cereal. The breakfast nook was run by a twentysomething woman from the Ukraine. She fried up pancakes on a small griddle and served them with coffee for breakfast and lunch in the tiny Bohemian surfing village. She lived in a neat little house right above the pancake joint and spent the rest of the day as she pleased.

Imagine this ambitious young woman back home responding to the common, “So, what do you do?” with, “I make pancakes for a living.” Likely her friends and family would be a little worried and ashamed and think something wrong with her.

Contrast that with the same answer to the same question but with a change in geography. “I moved across the world to a tropical surfing village in Ecuador where I opened my own business.” Wow. What an enviable life, right?

There’s something weird about staying in your hometown. It severely limits the definitions you accept for what makes you successful. Oddly, most of the hometown definitions of success have nothing to do with happiness. They have to do with becoming what everyone in your past expects or desires given who you used to be. It’s a sort of tether to a past self that no longer exists.

When the expectations of back home no longer apply you can ask better questions and make clearer connections. What kind of person do you want to be (vs. what job title do you want)? What kind of people and surroundings do you want to be immersed in (vs. where do you want to work or live)?

Many people would probably love to be the master of their own schedule, be in a beautiful outdoor setting with interesting people from around the world, seriously pursue a hobby with lots of their time, and be challenged in new ways daily. Yet most of those same people would be horrified at the idea of playing guitar on the street for money, flipping pancakes, or doing freelance odd-jobs online, any of which might be the very means to achieve the life described.

Most people have this idea that you have to work a boring job in a boring house in a boring city for a few decades, and then if you play your cards right and all kinds of things totally out of your control (like the stock market or real estate prices) do the right thing, you can have some kind of two week vacation cruise or retire in a place where you enjoy good weather and leisure. The weird thing is, all those “someday” goals are available right now with relatively little difficulty. You can afford to live in a cool bamboo house in a beach town just by making pancakes for lunch and breakfast. You can (as was one guy I met) travel the length of South America living entirely off the cash you make playing guitar outside of restaurants.

I’m not claiming this kind of life is for everyone. Not at all. There is nothing wrong with a 9–5 job and life in the suburbs if that’s what really resonates with you. There’s nothing inherently noble about traveling or working some low wage odd job. The point is that it’s too easy to choose things based on an artificially limited option set. It’s too easy to define your life by stupid things like college majors or giant industry labels or titles that will make Aunt Bessie proud at the family reunion or salary levels.

The last one is especially dangerous.

It’s a weird habit to measure your success in life only by the revenue side of the equation. Who cares if you bring in $100k a year if it only buys you a crappy apartment that you hate in a city that stresses you out with friends that don’t inspire you and a daily existence you mostly daydream about escaping from? Your costs exceed your revenues and you’re actually going backward. You very well could get twice the lifestyle you desire at half the annual income. Like any business, the health of your personal life should be measured using both revenues and costs. On the personal level, neither are just monetary.

Only you can know what kind of life you want. But getting off the conveyor belt of the education system, getting out of the home town expectations trap, and opening your mind to measures of progress beyond salary will give you a much better chance of crafting a life you love.

Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, a year-long entrepreneurial apprenticeship program for young people who want more than college. His company’s mission and his life mission is to help people awaken their dreams and live free.

Is published here with the permission of the author

Isaac Morehouse
Founder & CEO of Praxis (http://www.discoverpraxis.com/)

Re-Post by;
Charles Chambers Wahome
Product Management Consultant

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There’s No Right Time to Hustle

Last week I blogged about been a morning riser. I aslo gave you game changing examples of guys who do. On the other hand my mentor Gary Vaynerchuk an editor at Prsuit posted something that changed my whole perspective  [Am still anEarly riser though]
As posted on April 14 2016on their blog let him explain from here;

As someone who works 18-hour days, a bunch of you ask if I’m a morning person or look for advice on how to make your mornings more productive. Here’s the thing: I think being a “morning person” is such an overrated phrase. Just because you’re up early doesn’t make you more productive than anybody else. Even the idea that the morning is valued more than any other part of the day is insane. Yeah, you might do your best work in the morning, that’s great. But guess what? Some people work best at 3am, 5pm, 11:58pm. It’s just another one of those things you need to be self-aware about.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a morning person. I sleep like a brick and it takes a lot to get me up. And I mean a lot. So, it’s hard for me to wake up from a deep, deep sleep. It sucks and I get why many of you find it hard to become a “morning person.”

Recently though, I have been waking up a lot better because I’ve been working out and eating better (thank you, Mike). I usually wake up around 5-6am to work out for an hour. But even then, it’s hard because it doesn’t always happen—I travel a lot and my calendar gets chaotic and sometimes I just have to get sleep. Outside of taking my phone into the bathroom to poop every morning, there’s no regular routine to my morning schedule.

But, there are two consistent things that help motivate me to get out of bed in the morning. One is very noble and one is very selfish. The noble one is that I’m very aware that people—my loved ones, my business partners, my employees—depend on me to get up and do what I do. For example, I love that I get to create content that serves asyour blueprint to your success. The selfish one is that I want to accomplish things. I want to build the biggest agency of all time. I want to buy the New York Jets. I want to hustle. I want to win.

“Hustling” doesn’t mean waking up at the crack of dawn and exhausting yourself until you collapse. The truth is, it’s not about how much you sleep or don’t sleep. It’s what you do while you’re awake that matters. If you work hard and smart while you’re awake and give it all you’ve got in those hours, then you’re hustling. If I am working on a project or in a meeting or on a phone call in the car, I’m 100% full-throttle on. And don’t get me wrong: I’m the same way when it comes to my downtime. Rest time is for rest.

It’s not about how much you sleep, it’s what you do while you’re awake.
The reality is that there’s no benefit to being a “morning person” and there’s no right or wrong time to deploy your energy against the things that matter the most. Far too many people focus and waste tons of time and energy on the things that don’t map to what they (or their business) want to accomplish. I implore my community to stop worrying about the small things—the minutia that aren’t part of your clouds and dirt. You can hack your morning routine every damn day till you get it right, but in the end, it’s all about how much you can get done while you have the right energy to do it. Morning or night, hustle is putting it all on the line, and that my friends is available to all of us at any damn time of day.

Gary Vaynerchuk
Family first! But after that, businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of The #AskGaryVee Show.
Daily inspiration @ prsuit – Instagram

Repost by
Charles Wahome
Product Management Consultant
Twitter @cc_wahome
Email @bbchambers254@gmail.com

Morning routines to copy from successful people

Asking millionaire and multi-millionaires what they do between the time they wake up and the time they start work could make for an interesting study. They have a routine that preps them for a successful life. In 7-8am traffic you rarely see Big Machines on the road. On the other hand at 4-6/7 the machines on the road are shocking only the kind you see as you pass Show rooms and Dealership yards.

Lifestyle went out to hear from a number of prominent Kenyans regarding their morning routines. Their schedules are as variant as they are interesting.

But there was a bottom line: Waking up early is a key attribute among those that have made a name for themselves.

Besides the ones we interviewed, the reason behind the success of a number of prominent Kenyans is they have strict routines.

Deputy President William Ruto, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya Commercial Bank CEO Joshua Oigara, business magnate Chris Kirubi, former deputy inspector-general of police Grace Kaindi, the late Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo, former minister Njenga Karume and legendary photographer Mohammed “Mo” Amin are some of the people whose morning routines have been documented — with interesting lessons from each.

For Instance, Mr Kilonzo, who died in 2013, is said to have been so strict with his time time that when his son, the current Makueni senator, saw him a minute after their daily appointed meeting time of 7 am, the young Kilonzo would be turned away.

Life coach Jeff Nthiwa, who advises people on how to realise their potential, says that any successful person should wake up early and have a consistent morning ritual.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are employed, you’re running your own business, you are a Class Eight student — it’s for anyone who wants to make a mark on the planet,” he says.

He adds: “Most people who’ve really made it in life are those who are very intentional about the morning hour. Because that time between 4am and 6am is very critical. It actually determines the flow of how your day is going to be.”

Mr Nthiwa, the founder of Nairobi-based Destiny Life Coaching, says people who start their day late may be forced to rush through things, which will be detrimental to their productivity.

“If you have the habit of waking up in a rush, then the day goes in a rush. Throughout the day, everything is rushing to the next hour,” he observes.

Mr Nthiwa notes that a person needs a morning ritual — be it prayer, exercise or meditation — that “keeps your body, mind and spirit in sync and in a state of flow”.

EARLY RISERS

However, there are people who prefer calling themselves “night owls”, the kind that work late into the night and wake up late.

“You cannot work up to 2am and expect to wake up and be in the office and be productive at 8am. So, mostly, you need to understand yourself,” he says.

To explain the importance of waking up early, personal development adviser Wale Akinyemi gave his own example. He sleeps for five hours.

“I wake up at 2.30am. That’s when I go to my study at home. I do work, I pray, I do all those things then I leave home at about 4.15am and reach the office at 4.30am. By the time those people are coming at 9am, I’ve already had a full day. I get two days for the price of one,” he says with a laugh.

On the debate of “early birds” versus “night owls”, Dr Akinyemi, the CEO of PowerTalks Limited, says people are wired differently.

“The Bible says Jesus used to get up well before dawn. So, Jesus was an early riser,” he says.

Lifestyle learnt that traffic jams play a big part in dictating the morning schedule of many city residents and, according to Mr Adams Tuva, who deals with IT products and who is always keen to beat the morning jam, many high achievers reach their offices very early.

“These so-called big vehicles … you will not see many of them on the road after 7am. They are owned by people who run organisations. They try to run against the movements of other people,” he says.

To ensure he avoids traffic, Mr Tuva wakes up at 4am on workdays and is at the desk of his office in Nairobi’s Westlands by 5 am.

“My wake-up philosophy is that God will give you exactly what you give Him in terms of time. God is very fair to everyone … Waking up early keeps you ahead of the pack at all times,” he explains.

DANIEL MOI

Kenya’s second President

 

Mr Moi is legendary for maintaining a morning schedule so strict it inspired many people around him.

As President for 24 years, not once did he report to office later than 6.30am, recalls his long-time press officer Lee Njiru. And, on some days, the President and his staff would be taking breakfast at 3am.

“He used to have appointments even at 6am,” says Mr Njiru, who has worked with Mr Moi for 38 years.

More than a decade after retirement, Mr Moi’s mornings are still busy.

“Under normal circumstances, he does not wake up later than 6am,” Mr Njiru told Lifestyle. 

What keeps Mr Moi up in the morning, Mr Njiru says, are the schools and farms that he helps run.

The schools include Moi Educational Centre in Nairobi, Sunshine Secondary School in Nairobi, Moi Kabarak High School, Sacho High School in Baringo, Kabarak University and Moi Primary School.

“He has to get briefings from the headteachers of all these schools on what is going on in terms of physical expansion, school equipment, teachers, professionalism, missions, visions, and goals. This is not a job which Mzee can delegate,” Mr Njiru says, adding that his boss does not like “mediocrity”.

Mr Moi operates from either his Nairobi or Nakuru offices. When he is in Nairobi, the office is open at 6.30am.

“Although he left the presidency, that does not mean that he has slackened his pace in nation building; because nation building is not only running the public affairs within the government,” notes Mr Njiru.

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EVANS KIDERO

Nairobi Governor

 

The county boss says it has been his tradition to wake up early every morning since leaving college in 1983. On most days, he says, he leaves home by 6am.

“Morning hours present a good, quiet time to work. Between 6am and 9am, there are few or no people in the office,” he says. “Waking up early is a way of maximising what you can do in a day.”

In those morning hours, what takes up his time is “planning, putting ideas together and examining different documents”.

“The key to success is planning. The result you achieve is as good as the plan you lay; and waking up early helps one create a plan. You have the best input in the morning,” says Dr Kidero.

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EZEKIEL KEMBOI

Athlete

 

For the decorated 3,000 metres steeplechase athlete, mornings are about watching news and training.

He is up at 5am each day and then watches international television channels.

“I switch on my TV, go through CNN, BBC, Sky Sports; then get ready for my morning run at 6am sharp,” he says.

On the TV, he is interested in “world headline news and also sports. Just to get ready for the day”.

After acquainting himself with the news, the next item is the morning run, which he does between 6am and 8.30am every day except Sundays.

Starting the day early, he says, “wakes up my mind” and makes him relax.

“That’s why I’ve been doing it for the last 15 years,” says one of the greatest steeplechase athletes in history.

***** 

 

TABITHA KARANJA

Founder, Keroche Breweries

 

Ms Karanja’s day usually starts at 5am and there are three constant features of her morning: exercise, prayer and a little housekeeping.

“I have to do 10-minutes on the treadmill; and then after the treadmill I prepare myself for work. Being a woman, I tidy my room — unlike a man who will just get up and leave,” she says with a chuckle.

But why the treadmill?

“It gives you the energy and makes you ready to start the day,” she says.

And a prayer also comes in handy because she says a divine hand is always welcome in solving worldly problems.

Some days are too demanding for her that she has to forget about having breakfast at home.

“When you have a breakfast meeting, you have to wake up earlier than 5am so that you are in the office by 7am. So, you are to leave your house by 6am so that you get to the office by 7am because of the traffic,” she says.

On a bad morning, the Keroche Breweries CEO says she takes one-and-a-half hours from her house to the company’s Riverside office.

“Actually, it is the same time I use to go to Naivasha (where the company manufactures its products), which is about 100 kilometres away.”

For her, early meetings are the surest way to clear backlog at her workplace.

“I start my meetings early and then fix my day early. Because I am the boss, I can say I’ll only do 20 per cent of my job, but at the end of the month I’ll not have finished what I wanted to achieve,” she says.

*****

 

RABBIT (KENNEDY OMBIMA)

Rapper

If you are one of those people who like their morning meals heavy, with ugali to boot, you have company in the fast-rising rapper.

“Kaka Sungura” considers himself a person with a poor diet, saying he eats heavy in the morning and eats fruits the rest of the day.

He works three days each week — Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday — and on those days he wakes up at 4.30am.

His first activity is watching a movie.

“I’m usually watching some series at any given time. I usually wake up, pray then head straight to the TV. I watch TV for about 30 minutes — that’s until about 5am. Then I shower, make preparations up to 5.30am. By that time, my food has been prepared. I eat in the morning — ugali with some  liver and osuga (traditional vegetables), beef or chicken,” he says.

His working days are packed with meetings, which start from 7.30am.

“On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I’m usually in meetings throughout the day. My meetings end at 10pm,” notes the rapper who also runs an artiste management stable.

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JUDY THONGORI

Lawyer

 

There are hectic mornings when Ms Thongori has to wake up at 3am. The day she spoke to Lifestyle was one of those.

But on ordinary days, the lawyer is up by 5.40am. A sizeable portion of her mornings goes to planning the day with her workers.

“Apart from ensuring that there is breakfast on the table for my family, I ensure that the people who help me at home know what they are going to do for the day. I also ensure that the provisions that are supposed to be in the house are there, or what I need to get in the course of the day. For that, I will have a list as I leave the house, then I leave to drop my daughter at the school bus stop,” she says.

“But when I have work, like when I have to do court preparations because I’m in court at 9am, then I would push my clock backwards. Sometimes it can be more than two hours before, like today. The point is that the only time of the 24 hours that you have that is truly yours, in my view, is the night.”

The Nairobi traffic jams  have a huge bearing on Ms Thongori’s morning programme. “I get to the office about 7.10am. I work for an hour until about 8.10am and because I’m in Westlands, then I have to start driving across to the courts and that takes me about an hour; you know how it is,” she says..

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SIMON GICHARU

Founder, Mount Kenya University

 

Mr Gicharu has nurtured the culture of waking up at around 4am since his days as a student at Murang’a High School and he has never looked back.

“We used to wake up very early in the morning. When you are fresh, your mind concentrates even more when you wake up very early,” he says.

Nowadays, he wakes up at 4.30am, then heads to the gym for a one-hour workout.

“I take a shower then I’m ready to start the day from around 6am,” says Mr Gicharu who is also the chair of the Rural Electrification Authority. He is in the office by 7am and says morning hours provide the best time for work.

“That is the time you strategise. You are able to go through various correspondences, then act. By the time people go to the offices, you have already responded to whatever needs a response,” he says.

******

 

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula. He has been a fitness expert for Men’s Health magazine since 2000, and is co-owner of Early to Rise. Though Craig spends a third of his days elsewhere, he calls Toronto, Canada home.

Recommended: The Obstacle Is the Way

What is your morning routine?

I get up around 3:45am so that I can start writing at 4:00am. Writing articles and books is my number one priority (after petting my dog, Bally, good morning), and on a good day I finish 1,500 words in sixty minutes.

The early morning hours are my most creative and productive, and I refer to them as my “magic time.” Everyone has a “magic time” during the day when they are 3-5 times more productive, efficient, creative, and energetic than they are at any other point in the day.

I encourage everyone to keep a time and energy journal for each day, tracking when you are most creative and productive. You’ll quickly identify your magic time, and then it’s up to you to ruthlessly protect it from others and leverage it so that you get ahead in life.

Once I’m done writing, I meditate, walk Bally the dog, exercise, and have breakfast (or have breakfast and then exercise, depending on the day). If I’m in Denver, I head to our EarlyToRise.com office for marketing meetings and employee coaching. If I’m at home (near Toronto, Canada), I get in two more hours of writing before the team gets to the office.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’ve been getting up this early since 2010.

In the early 2000s I was a personal trainer, starting at 6:00am each morning. When my online business grew to the point that I no longer needed to be a trainer, I started sleeping in until 7:30am. But I quickly realized that sleeping in left me feeling “behind” and anxious, so I started getting up earlier and earlier until I settled into my optimal schedule.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I struggled to make meditation a habit for years, but finally added it a couple of years ago. Another component that has evolved is my email habits. In 2007 email was the first thing I did in the morning. That was foolish and often sidetracked me from important matters.

I then resolved to open my inbox later and later each day, and built up the rituals and willpower to stay out of my inbox until I’ve been awake and working for several hours. I’ve also put in place systems that have resulted in far less email being sent and received (that’s one important tip to fight email addiction: the less you send, the less you receive!). Today I have my system dialed in to protect my magic time and make big progress on my priorities.

What time do you go to sleep?

8:00pm. And I’ve learned to fall asleep quickly wearing an eye mask and earplugs.

I’ve shifted my schedule to make it most conducive to my goals and well-being. Everyone who wants to can get to bed and get up a little bit earlier. After all, there was probably a time in college when you slept in late, and somehow you managed to survive the transition to getting up earlier once you got your first job in the “real world.” If you want to get up earlier, it just requires planning and preparation.

Staying up late seems cool, but if it’s not working for your goals, then you have to draw a line, hunker down, and make an important lifestyle change.

If you’re a writer or an artist and worry that you won’t be as creative, that’s unfounded. You can still be creative early in the day.

There are just as many great authors, artists, and even architects that worked early in the morning (Beethoven, Van Gogh, Hemingway, Maya Angelou, Frank Lloyd Wright, etc.) as there were famous night owls. Two authors who switched from a night owl schedule to writing in the morning are Toni Morrison and Neil Strauss.

If Stephen King can get up and write horror novels in the morning (he works from 9:00am to 1:00pm), then we can get up early and write every morning, too.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

My morning begins at 4:30pm the afternoon before. That is when I do a “brain dump,” writing down all of the work-related thoughts running through my head. This allows me to leave those thoughts behind and separates work time from personal/family time. I encourage everyone to use this exercise. It allows you to be present with your family while not worrying about something from work. It allows you to be the father who is focused on playing catch with his son, not the father looking at his phone while he throws the ball in the general direction of his child.

After the brain dump, I script my next workday, filling in blocks of time with important tasks to finish. Then I unplug, eat dinner, spend time with family and friends, and read a book or magazine before bed. Other things you can do to make your morning easier include preparing your lunch the night before, laying out your work clothes, packing your work bag, and even sleeping in your (clean!) exercise clothes if you want to do that in the morning.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I set an alarm, but it’s not always needed, thanks to the habitual wake-up time I’ve had for years. My body often gets up five minutes before the alarm. I don’t hit the snooze button because I leave the alarm (my phone) fifteen feet away from my bed. That means I must get up and walk across the room to turn it off. By that time I’m awake and no longer tempted to hit snooze. But again, the consistency of going to bed and getting up at the same time (90 percent of the time) makes this easy.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I’m up for about three hours before breakfast. I’m not into the sixteen-hour daily fasting, but I make sure there is a twelve-hour break between dinner and my morning meal.

For breakfast, I have my unique “Bulletproof Cereal” (nicknamed after the Bulletproof Coffeephenomenon). Here’s the strange recipe that I follow due to my love for cereal but my need to avoid gluten.

Craig’s Bulletproof Cereal:

1 teaspoon coconut oil3 ounces walnuts1 banana1 tablespoon almond butter (crunchy, of course!)1 teaspoon honeyOptional: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

It’s high fat and high calorie, but it keeps me full for hours (usually 5-6 hours, from 7:00am to lunchtime).

If I’m at a restaurant for a business meeting, I’ll have four scrambled eggs with spinach and then a bowl of pineapple.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Yes, although the time varies. On my non-lifting days (three days per week), I’ll meditate and then take my dog for a long walk (or go for a solo outdoor walk if I’m traveling for work) and do fifteen minutes of stretching. Then I have breakfast. On the one day per week when I do intervals, I’ll do those immediately after walking the dog (using kettlebells or bodyweight exercises in my garage).

On my lifting days (three days per week), I meditate, walk the dog, eat breakfast, work for two more hours, and then lift either in my garage gym or at a local gym.

Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practise?

I started meditating on January 28th, 2013, and haven’t missed a day since. My average session lasts twenty minutes, and if possible, I time it with the sunrise and meditate on a few pillows in front of an east-facing window. On days where I have an early flight, I’ll meditate for at least five minutes during takeoff. It’s a perfect opportunity to lean back, relax, and breathe deeply. And if I’m lucky, I’ll fall asleep in that position for a quick snooze.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning, or leave it until later in the day?

I don’t check email until I’ve been awake for several hours and have completed major progress on my number one priority. Fortunately, I don’t get a lot of email by design. I send very few emails, and I’ve taught my team to limit the emails they send. It’s much better to have a face-to-face discussion or phone call.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

No. I have never used an app in my life. My phone is a 2010 Blackberry Bold. That’s right, my phone is six years old (in human years) this year. I believe that makes it seventy-two years old in phone years.

I’ve never downloaded an app, and I’m not even sure if my phone can do that! My phone is only for texting and talking, and there are only a handful of very close friends, coaching clients, and family members who have my number.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I check it immediately, but I don’t actually receive email on my phone, so there’s not much to check. But I do send out important morning messages. Each day, before 5:00am, I send out a “PEXT” to my coaching clients.

What’s a PEXT? It’s a nickname for “Pester Texting,” since the coaching message is designed to pester them into action, to motivate them, to help them overcome procrastination, and to focus on what really matters in life.

I send the PEXT while drinking my morning “immunity” drink (see below).

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Writing. I produce several articles each day, including personal development content for EarlyToRise.com, fitness and nutrition content for TTFatLoss.com, and online business-building for InternetIndependence.com. I’m also writing two new books (one on personal development and habit transformation, and the other on exercise for fat loss). In a good day I’ll write about 5,000 words. Later in the morning I have several meetings with team members in our Denver office.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I have a cup of water first, and then within thirty minutes of waking I have my “immunity” drink of vitamin C, glutamine, and a greens powder. It helps me avoid illness while traveling… although I did just recently suffer from my first cold in three years, so it’s not perfect.

After that I consume almost exclusively water for the rest of the day, although I have peppermint tea at breakfast, and a green tea prior to a workout.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

I follow it seven days a week.

By now I know you’re thinking, “Wow, this guy is the opposite of the Dos Equis guy. He is the most boring man in the world. He’s like the Chuck Norris of lame.”

You’re right. But I’m proud of that! Of course, there are usually two nights per week when I get wild and crazy and stay out to 10:00 or 11:00pm: for date night, a basketball game, or a work dinner.

However, the secret to staying high energy is to get up at the same time as normal the next day. That means having a nap and going to bed early the next night. You might be tired the next afternoon, but you will be back to normal the day after.

It’s much better than what I did back in my twenties when I would stay out till 3:00am on weekends and sleep till 11:00am. That would leave me tired and dragging from Sunday through Wednesday. I’d just get back on track when it was time to ruin it all again.

I much prefer my virtuous, boring, and consistent life these days!

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

I spend over one hundred days away from home (Toronto) every year, speaking at events, coaching at Mastermind groups, and working in our Denver office. But it’s easy to adapt a routine when traveling. All you have to do is plan ahead. There are no excuses.

I’ve stuck to this schedule on trips to dozens of countries, including while on holiday in Tuscany, Russia, Nicaragua, and even New York and Las Vegas. You wouldn’t believe some of the elevator rides I’ve had in Vegas when I was going to the gym at 5:00am and others were just going back to their rooms. Ha!

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I never fail. My morning is spiritual to me, and missing my morning routine would be like the Pope missing morning mass. It does not go neglected, period.

It all comes down to planning and preparation. That is how you control your days, own your life, and live perfect days without regret every day.

******

 

Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau is a New York Times bestselling author and modern-day explorer. His new book, Born for This, was released yesterday. When he’s not travelling the world, Chris lives in Portland, Oregon.

Recommended: The Obstacle Is the Way

What is your morning routine?

First things first: I’m on the go to at least twenty countries each year, in addition to traveling more than 100,000 miles domestically. At the moment, I’m kicking off a thirty-city book tour that has me waking up in a different place nearly every day for five weeks. Therefore, sometimes there’s not a routine, or at least the routine varies greatly by time zone.

I was recently in Jakarta, Indonesia, and ended up working a modified night shift for most of the week. I worked on my projects through the night, woke up for “morning coffee” at 2:00pm in the afternoon, and then everything was pushed back from there. It felt a little disorienting because I’d show up at the hotel restaurant for “lunch” around 10:00pm, right before they closed for the night. Then I’d have “dinner” during normal breakfast hours before falling asleep as the sun rose.

However, let’s talk about the normal routine when I’m home in Portland, Oregon, or at least on the road in the United States or Canada. I try to wake up early, usually around 5:30 or 6:00am. I drink two glasses of water right away. I make my first cup of coffee and spend twenty minutes catching up on the news and seeing if anything urgent came into my inbox or social feeds during the night. Then I make a shift—I shower, head to my office by Uber or Lyft while picking up breakfast along the way, and get down to more “real work.”

When I’m writing a book, I try to spend at least two hours every morning working on it. I often have interviews or calls, usually at least 1-2 a day and sometimes more, and typically 1-2 meetings as well. But, as much as possible, I try to reserve 8-11:00am for my own independent work. I drink sparkling water and listen to ambient music while I plow through my list of tasks and projects.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’ve settled into it over the past decade or so. Much of that time has also included a lot of active travel. I had a personal quest to visit every country in the worldfrom 2002-2013, which required a lot of flexibility, but when I’m home I try very hard to keep to the routine.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

The morning routine hasn’t changed much. I’ve actually added more to an evening routine, which I realize is not the focus of this great interview series. At the end of the day I ask myself, “Did today matter?” and journal a few quick notes related to that question. I drink herbal tea and sometimes take melatonin to help with falling asleep.

What time do you go to sleep?

I can be a night owl on occasion, particularly when I’m traveling, but at home I try to be in bed by 10:00pm.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

In addition to the “Did today matter?” journaling prompt, I usually decide what I’m going to wear and pack my laptop bag for the next day. Making decisions about that stuff in the morning takes too much energy that should be reserved for creative work.

Oh, and I also try to identify one small thing that I’ll do when drinking the glasses of water and looking at the news early in the morning. It could be completing a batch of edits, finishing up a group of interview questions like these, or making the initial outline for a talk. I’ve learned that this little touch helps a lot on busy days—by the time I get to the office, I already have something off my plate.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

Yes, I use my phone—and yes, I’m guilty of hitting the snooze button, usually at least once but sometimes more than once. To me, the “no snooze button” movement is kind of like the “no email in the morning” movement: overrated. Snoozers unite!

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I usually eat within an hour, and I try to have a good breakfast every day. At home I pick up a breakfast sandwich from Lovejoy Bakers, a local place I visit almost every day. On the road I’m in hotels, so it’s eggs and coffee. Further afield it might be an Indian or Lebanese breakfast (think labneh, hummus, fava beans, etc.), which is also great.

Oh, I’m also a big believer in coffee. I’ll usually have at least one americano or macchiato, and more often two.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I usually exercise later in the day; sometimes I might do it in the morning, but not often enough to call it a routine. I typically run 3-5 miles and do a few sets of pushups and situps. Once or twice a week I go to a vinyasa yoga class.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning, or leave it until later in the day?

First thing! Well, I don’t spend my whole morning doing email, but I also don’t leave it until later. Long ago I learned a great trick from Chris Brogan: spend a short period of time going through and answering urgent queries, firing off anything important, and deleting junk mail. Next, focus on your creative work for a while, and then return to the rest of the mail.

I love this approach because if I completely ignore email and leave everything for later, I end up getting way behind. Once I get behind, it’s a disaster because people are waiting on things, and it takes hours upon hours to catch up and get back to everyone. By doing a little at first, I’m much more prepared for the day.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

It’s just like the snooze button: guilty as charged. I check it right away.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

Saturday is a regular work day for me. In fact, I love working on Saturdays because a lot of other things slow down and I can catch up. If I send fifty emails on Tuesday morning, I might get back thirty replies before noon, which is great, of course, but also a big challenge as things stack up. On Saturday, though, if I send fifty emails (most of which are usually replies), a lot of them won’t boomerang back into my inbox until Monday morning.

I do mix it up on Sundays, where I try to take half the day off. It’s also the only day of the week when I don’t set an alarm. Most of the time I go for a long-ish run of 6-8 miles and then to brunch. I settle back into a project or two in the afternoon and then a bit of forward planning for the rest of the week.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I think the best way to put it is that some failures are acceptable and others aren’t. If I’ve slept poorly or didn’t hydrate well, it’s a bad omen for the rest of the day. I’ll be distracted and unfocused. On the other hand, if I sleep a bit later than usual, it’s not always a problem. I try to schedule meetings and calls for later in the day in order to keep the morning reserved for the work and writing I do on my own.

It may sound like my life is disruptive because of all the travel, but I love routines. Readers here won’t be surprised when I say that routines help, not hinder, the creative process. I wouldn’t be able to produce regular work in multiple fields without being faithful to my routine more often than not.

Also, as you’ll note from the above, the best routine is your own. I check email in the morning and don’t exercise until later. If everyone else advocates the opposite, good for them. But you should always find what works for you, not for anyone else.

As a random example, I recently heard of someone who had a glass of red wine every morning. That would be a terrible idea for me and many other people, but this person seemed productive and happy. Who’s to say they should leave the cork in the bottle until 5:00pm? Certainly not me.

Our recommended product this week is The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday. We only recommend products that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Check out The Obstacle Is the Way and help support us in bringing you a brand new morning routine every Wednesday!

Wanna live large try and arriving on time and be early. Always.

You got to watch that video. The best or nothing.

ELVIS ONDIEKI *** also ***http://mymorningroutine.com/chris-guillebeau/

This compilation was done by;
Charles Wahome a Product Management & Logistics Consultant

Reach out to him atbbchambers254@gmail.com

Vote Optiven and George Wachiuri on these two links – voting links PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR http://www.kediaawards.com/personality.html#InVvBb2V EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR http://www.kediaawards.com/employer.html#Acxg3z3i and COMPANY OF THE YEAR http://www.kediaawards.com/vote-here.html#LkGejjOE

How To Systemize Your Business: The First Step

What does systemizing your businessreally mean? Lots of people talk about it, and lots of people say they want it, but do they really know what it truly means? Well, in this article I’m going to break it down in terms of what it really means and then explain to you the first step that needs to happen to be well on your way to creating a streamlined, efficient business operation.

Systemizing your business is about taking an objective look at what you currently have in place, what you need to have in place to deliver on your business promises and creating a plan to bridge the gap between the two. The end result is that systemizing your business means that you have to create a logical sequences of events that fit together to form a system, and there will be many different systems in your business that all work independently, but also rely on each other of your business to function as a whole.

Think of systemizing your businessthis way: your business in itself is the “Master System” and within your master system, you are creating core subsystems which may be Marketing, Sales, Product Development, Management, Financial etc. Within each of your core subsystems, are many different processes that will link together and rely on each other to drive the performance of the overall system. So where do you even begin?  The essential first step to systemizing you business is fivefold and I will cover each briefly here:

Identify where your main issues and challenges are in your business.  These are you biggest pain points and likely causing you frustrating to the point of keeping you up at night.  Issues and challenges tend not to be too specific and are more overarching statements.
Now you know where you main issues and challenges lie, you need to prepare a “fix-it” list of everything that isn’t working in your business.  This is a more detailed list that your issues and challenges and should be as specific as possible.

This is where you’ll synthesize the information you’ve collected and “chunk it up”.  Use your main issues and challenges as the headings and put the fix it items under them. By the way, its a given that in any systemization process, you will include the customer lifecycle process to see where it can be streamlined, and tis will be your priority systems for review.

Still in our current state phase,  where you want to focus next is mapping out the customer lifecycle since this is the most important area and the lifeblood of your business.  You want to be able to see exactly what is happening with your customers. So, start from the beginning , maybe with a customer enquiry, through to sale, through to follow up, map out with some sticky notes on a wall, the end to end process of what currently happens in sequence.  Don’t worry about identifying the problem areas as this comes later and can easily distract you from getting a clear picture of where you currently are. 

Next,map out the roles and responsibilities of each person in your business, including yourself as the business owner.  This is essential to clearing up lines of responsibility, accountability and it can help to set expectations later on for who will do what. A good way to approach this is to think about what you do on a daily basis, weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis. If you have employees or contractors working for you, get them to map out their own role in terms what they do and any decisions they make.

You’ve now completed step one of systemizing your business.  This important step of analysing the current state of your business first will set you in good stead for  being clear on what you will need to focus on, and knowing where your main pain points are, having a list of everything that needs fixing, and having mapped out your customer lifecycle will set the foundation for strategic systemization. Because you’ve taken the time to identify what the problems, issues, and current reality is, you’ll be able to much more easily develop solutions that will improve your business and make it more efficient and streamlined. 

Key Points
1. Recognize that every business operation is a process.

A process is a series of steps, from start to finish. When you have outlined a process, you can notice inefficiencies. First, observe the process. Second, think about how to remove wasteful steps. Third, test out your idea.

2. Recognize that most business processes are conceptual.

We live in an era of knowledge management. Your main work is to organize the flow of information in and out of your business. Using technology, you can streamline how to get, store, and send out information.

3. Recognize that a systematic approach is a team effort.

A business is like a team sport. It’s not enough for the business owner to enjoy building and running processes. Everyone has to get involved for things to go well.

4. Recognize that a system is always adaptable.

Systems theory postulates that there are open systems and closed systems. An open system is adaptable to change. A closed system is set, and change is disruptive. So your business has to be flexible in its use of systems.

5. Recognize that systems themselves improve.

If your system depends on software, then the software itself may change. The software might increase its functionality. It might even be replaced by more robust software
Lovely week

Charles Wahome is a Product Management Consultant

Email: bbchambers254@gmail.com
Twitter @cc_wahome

Black Tax a Way of Life

For young Africans supporting extended families, the pressure of finding tuition money adds another brick to their staggering financial burden.

There is a certain anxiety that comes with knowing that your aunt, who raised you for a good part of your adolescent life, might not have money to buy a loaf of bread. Or when you are inundated with “Please call me, need cash pls” SMSes from your close cousin, who used to provide reasons for needing the cash – R35 for 15 minutes at the internet café to submit a job application, perhaps – but no longer bothers with the details.

You convince yourself that the regular tithe you pay to your family is fair and due, and that you can manage. Until your skorokoro breaks down in the middle of a busy intersection on the day you have an important meeting with your boss and new clients – and you remember your manager’s doubtful “Are you sure you can handle this account?” as the tow truck wheels off with your car, and realise that the R1 750 it is going to cost you was to have paid for the petrol to ferry family members to a funeral in Mpumalanga.

Welcome to the world of “black tax” – the extra money that black professionals are coughing up every month to support their extended families. If you are lucky enough to have a job, it is seen as your duty to subsidise relatives who are less well off. 

Take for example Crispin Phiri (26), a candidate attorney at a Johannesburg law firm, believes the term “black tax” is apt.

“Black tax is very real and is an exclusively black experience,” Phiri says. “It’s how most black people are brought up. You are brought up to first look out for your family; you can’t be living in luxury while your family struggles.” 

Phiri lives with his mother and pays his 17-year-old sister’s school fees. “I understand that we are an unequal society and this is the one way of addressing that inequality 

so that the next generation is better off than we were, and can live a life that is fairly more comfortable than ours.”

Society continues to reinforce the past in various ways, Phiri believes. 

“Our entire economy is still built around exclusively white areas, meaning that you have to leave your black area … and be an economic migrant to go somewhere else to work, which is highly problematic for black people.”

Black tax is perpetuated by historical holdovers and societal problems, but education and a shift in perspectives may make a difference – starting with the perception that previous generations were better at saving than the current one is. “The cost of living was lower and many basic services and utilities were free, as opposed to now,” he says. “Also, the rural population helped with saving. Most of the population now is urban.” Young people start work burdened by student debt and simply never achieve an earnings surplus. 

To cover deficits, they take out more loans and get stuck in a cycle of debt that can last their entire lives. The lack of financial education – even for the highly educated – makes matters worse.

“The basic money management skills are often not taught formally and hence many people struggle with personal finances, regardless of their earnings or level of tertiary education. Often, it is those who earn more who are more indebted.” The good news is that money management skills have been made part of the school curriculum. 

The bad news is that the current crop of tertiary students, and the generation preceding them, were not so fortunate.

They can, however, benefit from drives to encourage entrepreneurship. “We need more entrepreneurship opportunities to teach people that a job is not the only way of accumulating wealth,”  “We need to educate people on creating wealth.”

Mwandiambira says that some black families live beyond their means. “This is a result of blacks playing catch-up to their white counterparts who benefited in many instances from apartheid/colonial rule, and still benefit from corporate managers who pay white graduates more. 

Lifestyle observations of black colleagues and their white counterparts suggest a difference in earnings.”

Mosibudi Ratlebjane is the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s social justice fellow at the Mail & Guardian.
http://mg.co.za/article/2015-10-29-how-black-tax-cripples-our-youths-aspirations 

I believe that we should at all times find an equilibrium whereby we should help our people by 

letting them know that what you are giving them is within your means and also if blessings come 

forth or greener pastures you shall adjust accordingly. On the other hand do not hel[p those who 

never “suffered” with youwant to sit at the table with you no matter what.

Charles Chambers Wahome
Product Management Consultant

You! The Only Line Between Present & Future Circumstances

One morning, all the employees in a factory got to work and saw a notice written on the notice board: “Yesterday, the person who had been hindering your promotion in this company passed away. You are invited to join in the funeral.”

Who could it be? They were sad for the death of one of their colleagues. Afterwards, one-by-one they gathered at the grave side, mainly, to know who exactly the man was. ‘Well, at least the man who had been delaying my progress is dead now and I will be able to progress’. These and many more were their thoughts.

One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin but when they looked inside it they were speechless. They stood, shocked, in silence for what they saw. There was a mirror inside the coffin and everyone who looked inside could only see him/herself reflected in the mirror.

There was a sign next to the mirror that read: “There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your progress…It is YOU – your SELF.
You are the only force who could influence your happiness, success and realizations”

Your life does not change when your boss, friend or company changes…..your life changes when YOU change… You go beyond your limiting beliefs as you realize that YOU are the major determining factor of your life. It’s the way YOU face life that makes the difference!

When an egg is broken from the outside…life ends. But if an egg is broken from the inside, life begins. Great things always begin from inside of us and never from the outside.

Get to work now. Begin to change your life from the inside today.

Charles Chambers
Lifestyle & Product Management Consultant
twitter; cc_wahome
Instagram; wealthmogul

Different Types of Clients and How to Deal with Them

Dealing with customers becomes easier if you know what type of personalities they have. It will also help you in your interaction and negotiation. Buzzle gives you information about the different types of clients and how to deal with them.

Rule 1
The customer is always right.

Rule 2
If the customer is ever wrong, re-read Rule 1.
~ Stew Leonard

Every customer wants you to treat him like a king. However, different types of clients have different types of personalities. Hence, utilizing the same behavior while dealing with different types of clients may not impress them.

One  need to understand the personalities of these people before interacting with them. For example, if you are dealing with a ‘perfectionist’, then you cannot deliver shoddy work which lacks in quality.

You will have to understand the expectations of the various types of clients and cater to them. Here are a few types of common client personalities which will help you to deal with them better.

The Whatever Works Client
Client: Why do you want me to fill the briefing form? I don’t have time to do all this clerical work. Use your own imagination

.
You: It would really help us save time if we knew what you are expecting from us.

Client: Look, this is not your first assignment with us. You should come up with an innovative concept for our new range of solar products. I know you will be able to do it easily.

This client allows you to exercise your creative freedom. He is disinterested in any kind of work and expects you to come up with innovative concepts on your own. One benefit of this type of client is that he is not recklessly determined on getting the work done in his own way, and can also pay you well if he likes your work.

Personality Traits
1. He will give you least amount of input which may cause many re-works.

2. He will accord you a lot of creative freedom.

3. He is completely disinterested in the work.

4. He will be unresponsive to your queries.

5. He will always cite lack of time to avoid giving you a briefing.

Dealing With Them

1. You will have to push this client to get him to respond.

2. Help him by providing creative options.

3. Note down cues for work that he gives away in casual conversations.

4. Being on good terms with this client will be highly helpful to you.

5. If you ‘salvage’ him by providing good ideas, he will like it.

6. Have as many interactions as possible with this client.

The Perfectionist Client

Client: I don’t care if you have to re-print the brochure. I already mentioned that I wanted the book to be printed in dark gray CMYK combination and you used just gray instead.

You: But it hardly makes any difference. And I think this option is really making the brochure stand out from the rest.

Client: Oh no, are you going to change the brochure or do I have to change the agency?
Like the character of Sheldon Cooper from ‘The Big Bang Theory’, this type of client thinks that he knows better than you. He likes it when you work according to his ideas and beliefs. He may nit-pick even the smallest of details in the work and crib about them. There are chances that the harsh words of this client can make you lose your confidence.

Personality Traits

1. This client complaints constantly if you do not deliver as he pleases.

2. He expects you to deliver exactly as per his specifications and will suggest many changes.

3. This client is a perfectionist and will be very hard to impress.

4. He will get into every small detail of the work.

5. You will hardly hear any words of appreciation.
Dealing With Him

6. The best way to impress this client is to deliver exactly what he has asked for.

7. Maintain the quality and quantity of work.

8. Detach yourself from the project, to avoid getting hurt by the words of this client.

9. Sometimes he will try to look down upon you, do not get affected by this.

10. Don’t doubt your skills if he does not agree with your work.

11. Practice patience and keep calm while interacting with him.

The Know-it-all Client

Client: I want the design to look dynamic. You can use lots of hard-hitting text with a compelling visual.
You: But that will not serve the purpose in our campaign. We should let the image speak for itself with minimum amount of text.

Client: It will, I have 20 years of business communication experience. I know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
This type of client can be very difficult to deal with as he has a huge ego. He thinks that he knows anything and everything regarding your work. The most irritating habit of this client is that he will try to teach you your own work. However, you need to keep patience and practice tact when dealing with him.

Personality Traits
1. He is always over-confident.

2. He likes to show-off of his intelligence.

3. He is rigid when it comes to new ideas.

4. He tries to throw his weight around.

5. He is often delusioned about the work.

6. Dealing With Him

7. Give him credit for the work.

8. Boost his ego from time to time.
Use keywords like, ‘What an idea!’, ‘We will follow your idea’, ‘You are right’, etc.

9. Carefully suggest changes to his idea, don’t negate him altogether.

10. Compliment him, but never criticize.

11. Sugar coat your words when you have to put across something which he may oppose.

The Tough Taskmaster Client
Client: What do you mean, it’s a national holiday? You will work when I ask you to. Now, have a look at the briefing that I have emailed you.

You: I really do understand that it is an emergency, but I am out of town with my family. Besides, there is no one at the office to respond to this matter now. Can we get additional time till 12 pm tomorrow?

Client: Well, how you manage is your concern. I want the work ready by 9 am sharp tomorrow morning.
Like Miranda Priestly’s character from the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, this client is a highflyer in his career who has a lot of decision-making powers. He is well aware of the ‘power’ he owns. He does not consider if it is a public holiday or the fact that you are out of station, he wants his work completed anyhow.

Personality Traits
1. Exudes a sense of self-confidence.
2. Likes to be in control of situations.
3. Wields power in the workplace.
4. Is a tough taskmaster and you must work as he wants.
5. Makes it a point to threaten you by hiring someone else.

Dealing With Him
1. Be stern while putting your foot down in case you need more time.
2. Do not become a doormat when he starts to say nasty things to you.
3. Try to gain his trust and confidence.
▸ Explain to him if the work requires more time.
4. Stress on the keywords like, ‘quality work’, ‘more impressive options’, ‘innovative ideas’, ‘best solutions’, etc.
5. Try to handle things professionally with this client.

The Unassertive Client
Client: It’s okay, I understand that you were busy yesterday. Can you please complete it in the next two days at least?

You: Good, you understand. I am not sure, but I can definitely try.

Client: Please try to complete it. I have already received a memo because of this. I have an ultimatum of two days for this work.
This type of client usually settles for less than perfect work and does not assert his power or opinion when it comes to work. He prefers to sit and wait for the work to be completed, and does not exert pressure on you to complete the work. However, this should not lead you to deliver shoddy work.

Personality Traits
1. Lacks confidence.
2. Easily extends the deadline for you.
3. Likes and accepts the work easily.
4. Does not give suggestions.
5. Does not get into arguments with you

Dealing With Him
1.  Don’t take advantage of their generous nature.

2. Discipline yourself to meet his deadlines.

3. Treat him well, don’t take him for granted.

4. Encourage him to give his opinions.
5. No matter what, respect him.
6. Do not compromise on quality when delivering to him.

The Friendly Client
Client: You have done a great job with the exhibition display. I must say that everyone liked it.
You: I wish we had more time, I would have been able to add some more design aspects to the structure.

Client: Whatever you rolled out in a matter of few days is highly commendable.

You should thank your stars if you have a friendly client. Not only is he easy to get along, but also values the good work which you deliver. He also encourages you to deliver better quality of work, thus raising the bar of your work.

Personality Traits
1. Appreciates your work.
2. Can extend the deadline if you are delivering quality work.
3. Understands your work pressure.
4. Motivates you to do better every time.
5. Happily makes your payment on time.

Dealing With Him

1. Deliver on time and give many options.

2.▸Suggest new trends in the market.
3. Ask for an advance if you want it.
4. Be friendly and cordial with him.
5. Ask for his inputs wherever necessary.
6. Don’t get too comfortable and deliver repetitive work.

The Shoestring Budget Client
Client: Come on now, I am looking for a five-year contract with you. And you are still not ready to compromise on the prices.

You: It is really not possible for me to cut down on the cost of printing. If I do so, I will have to spend from my pocket. I have already given you a considerable discount on the design.
Client: Well, then perhaps you can give us further discount on the designing aspect, or you can give us a 100% discount on it.

Like the character of Uncle Scrooge from ‘A Christmas Carol’, the shoestring budget client is extremely penny-pinching. He expects you to give him heavy discounts. He thinks that he has done a favor by giving you work, and getting it done at minimal cost is his rightful privilege.

Personality Traits
1. Has a money-pinching attitude.

2. Gets extremely happy at the mention of the word ‘discount’.

3. Looks for ways to get more and pay less.

4. Is an expert at bargaining.

5. May even lead you to pay out of your pocket.

Dealing With Him

1. One way is to hike the cost so that the client will bargain and get it to the actual cost.

2. Include a fixed cost in the contract itself.

3. Mention the limit of the discount in the contract.

4. Withhold the work, citing cash flow problems, and get an advance.

5. Convince him that a discount beyond a certain amount is not possible.

6. Threaten legal action, if payment is not done as per the agreed terms and conditions.

The Unrealistic Dreamer
Client: I want the launch of this product to be a grand one. I want a Hollywood celebrity to attend this program. Hire a football ground if you want, but this product should be the talk of the town.

You: I understand that you want to make a media splash with this launch, but you have to understand that the product is a mechanical product used by a niche technical base. It does not require FMCG kind of publicity.

Client: If you can’t do this, then at least hire a helicopter for the Hollywood celebrity to make an impact.
The unrealistic dreamer is an amusing and curious client. He has elaborate and crazy ideas about different things related to work. Not only does he frustrate you with his bizarre ideas, but he can also take up your valuable time by indulging in long, fruitless discussions.

Personality Traits
1. He is very hyperactive.
2. He has big dreams and aspirations.
3. He is very talkative.
4. He has futuristic ideas, but they are not feasible.
5. He is very curious and takes up a lot of your time.

Dealing With Him
1. Set a time limit for your meeting.
If the meeting is extending, tell him you have another appointment.
2. Give him logical reasoning and bring him back to reality.
3. Tell him that his ideas are good but are not currently workable.
4. Offer him your paid consultancy services for discussing his innovative ‘ideas’.
5. When he digresses, make it a point to bring him back to the topic of work.

The Indecisive Client
Client: I liked the color and the elements of the design, but I am not too sure that it goes with our corporate theme. Wait, I will show it to our team and get back to you.
You: Okay, I will wait for your call.
Client: I consulted many people in our communications’ team. They think that the design is okay, but we need some serious changes in the color, content, and copy.

The indecisive client lacks the confidence to take decisions which will work in the favor of the organization. He consults several people even for the smallest detail, and suggests many changes before giving you a go ahead. Hence, it takes a lot of time to complete tasks.

Personality Traits
1. Does not know which idea or concept will work.
2. Is not confident about the choices he makes.
3. Lacks decision-making capability. Consults others for every small decision.

4. Makes too many changes in the work and takes a long time to respond.

Dealing With Him
1.Give him a limited number of options.

2. Pursue him to see your mails and respond quickly.

3. Boost his confidence by saying that he always makes the right choices.

4. Convince him that too many cooks will spoil the meal.

5. Create an urgency to finish the pending work at your end.

6. Get an official go ahead on the work before finalizing it.
Some of the other types of clients are the ‘Hands-on Client’, the ‘Tough Nut Client’, the ‘Forever Urgent Client’, the ‘Skeptical Client’, the ‘Legally Obsessed Client, the ‘Non-technical Client, etc. Always assess their personalities before dealing with them. This will help you to design an interaction which will work in your favor. Thus increasing your success rate, bigger portfolio

Regards
Charles Wahome
Product Management Consultant

Charles Chambers
Lifestyle & Product Management Consultant
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4 Simple Mantras to Help You Stay Positive and Happy

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” ~Swedish Proverb

Mantra, according to the dictionary:

Any sacred word or syllable used as an object of concentration and embodying some aspect of spiritual power.

Mantra, according to Sirena:

Things I say to myself to help me deal. There are times we all go through that just straight up suck.

During these times, it can be hard to think about anything other than what’s going on. We can become so consumed in our own misery that we often overshadow any glimmer of hope.

And although these times can seem endless while we’re in them, it’s through these crappy times that we learn the most about ourselves and receive some of life’s greatest rewards.

I can only say this after going through some of my own crappy times. You know, experiencing little things like breaking up from an engagement, being unemployed, severing several friendships, wiping through my entire savings, and accumulating way too much debt.

All within the same year.

Yikes.

Through my own experiences of hopelessness, confusion, and doubt, I’ve learned to establish a few simple, but very effective phrases to help me stay positive and to keep things in perspective.

So now, whenever things cross my path that may initially seem unbearable, or if I begin to doubt myself, I just remember and repeat some of the following mantras:

1. Keep your head up and your heart open.

I repeated this phrase to myself over and over again. I trusted myself that if I just kept my head up and my heart open, good things would come into my life. And I’m glad I listened to myself.

I use this phrase both literally and figuratively.

By actually keeping your head up, smiling at people as they walk by, and keeping aware of your surroundings, you may notice something or meet someone that you potentially could have missed had your head been down.

When to use: During a break up, when you feel let down by someone, or when you feel betrayed or mistrust.

2. Go slowly.

With everything. I noticed when I was super-stressed out about things, I had a tendency to run around like a lunatic, doing several things at once, often times having to re-track my steps because I was so distracted that I left several things out.

I found that my projects, errands, and even my conversations with people became very watered down because I was rushing just to finish.

Now, whenever I feel like I’m rushing to just get things done, I slow down my pace, take a deep breath, and take my time with whatever it is I am rushing to do.

When we slow down, we can taste all the flavors in our food and we digest our meals better. We are better communicators when we talk slower, and we become better listeners.

Accidents? They wouldn’t happen as much if we weren’t in such a rush to get somewhere.

It’s quality over quantity.

When to use: When you are in a rush on the highway, when you’re rushing out to get lunch, or walking around the office, when you feel pressure from deadlines, or while you’re annoyed sitting in traffic.

3. Be easy.

Or in other words, don’t sweat the small stuff.

I realized that most of the issues that were giving me anxiety were completely out of my control, and they were usually things that wouldn’t matter five years, five months or even five minutes from the time.

I learned to not get so worked up over the small things, stressing about matters that, in the end, really didn’t make a difference.

So, if you find yourself getting road rage from the guy that cut you off on the highway, let him be. Why get angry and stress yourself out over it? Just be easy.

Did someone on the train bump you as they walked by? Who cares? The cab is packed; it wasn’t her fault. Be easy.

When to use: When it’s 1 AM and you’re wide awake in bed, thinking about the next day’s to do list, when you spill on your new white tank top, or when the copy machine at work jams. Be easy. There are far worse things in life.

4. Let Charles be Charles (swap out my name with yours).

Most of us wear masks. And most of us are afraid to be ourselves, simply out of fear of judgment.

We take jobs we don’t really care for, stay in relationships we don’t genuinely love, and pretend to be someone different for everybody else.

I was there—I stayed in a relationship far longer than I should have and I avoided confronting my sexuality because I was so afraid of being judged.

And I’m telling you, it’s a heck of a lot easier to just be you—whatever that means, whenever, wherever.

While you’re too busy making yourself appear to be someone else, you kill yourself from the inside out. And it can be a long, slow and painful death to your soul.

Bottom line?  Accept yourself for who you are, and just be you.

This was the hardest lesson for me to accept, but the one that has given me the greatest clarity and direction in life.

When to use: Times when you are questioning yourself, when you feel outside pressure to do/be/say/act in a way that is not congruent with your true nature, or when you hold back from doing what you truly want to do because you’re afraid of being judged.

I have a Career that I absolutely love, I am on track to pay off all of my debt by the end of this year, and I have accumulated a solid amount in my savings.

I’ve also re-kindled past friendships and made some awesome new relationships, while becoming grounded and confident in who I am.

These mantras helped me get to this point. Having them has been an effective trick be not afraid to come up with some to help you through.

Charles Chambers
Lifestyle & Product Management Consultant
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Turning Mistakes into Opportunities

A story I got from my Spiritual Mother;

When I started using pens in primary school, I often made mistakes. I would try hard to erase them. Sometimes I used chalk, but it later reappeared. So I
began to use saliva, it worked but only to leave holes in my book. My teachers then used to beat me for being outrageously dirty. But all I tried to do was cover my errors. One day, a kind hearted teacher called me aside. “Anytime you make a mistake, just cross it and move on. Trying to erase it would only damage your book”. “But, I don’t want people to see my mistake and laugh at me”, I protested.
“Trying to erase it will make more people know about your mess, and the stigma is for life.”

HAVE YOU MADE A MISTAKE? “cross it” and move on.That is; take your mistakes to the Cross of Calvary, at the feet of Jesus, leave it there and move. Avoid trying to create more irredeemable errors by trying within your power to erase it.’To err is human so put it in the hands of The Divine One: NOTE:the devil knows our name but he calls us by our sins. God knows our sins but HE calls us by our Names.
In life, Some may walk,others may run.
Remember the Lord gave the tortoise and the horse the same days to reach Noah’s ark. Your journey might be rough and tough but you will definitely get to your destination.
Talk less, listen more. Be prayerful and stay
blessed.

Crossing my Mistakes and moving on in light.
On Friday we cross the topic on problems & mistakes
From
~Vision Bearer ~ Turning Things Better Ministry

Regards
Charles Wahome.
Product Management Consultant

Charles Chambers
Lifestyle & Product Management Consultant
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Part 2 Going Through Problems – Optimistic thinking

In our 3part series we were looking at ways of going through problems.
Part 2 is here with us today.
Optimistic thinking
An optimist sees the glass as half full, while the pessimist sees it as half empty. The optimist sees opportunity, where the pessimist sees potential disaster. The optimist enjoys the smooth sailing, as the pessimist sees only a calm before the storm. Which approach has the advantage under stress? “Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimist as on the pessimist,” says psychologist Martin Seligman(18), “but the optimist weathers them better.”

A long-term research program by Seligman and his associates at the University of Pennsylvania indicates that an optimistic style of thinkinghas health benefits. This approach to life has three general characteristics:

It attributes an unpleasant experience tospecific causes rather than global problems: “I feel fine except for this headache.”It blames problems on externalrather than internal conditions: “I probably got the headache from reading too long without a break; next study session, I’ll remember to stop and stretch every half hour.”It assumes that the causes of pain or illness are unstable or temporary; for example, “I don’t usually have headaches for very long, so I’m sure I’ll feel better soon.”

Seligman believes that an optimistic thinking style can be learned. Specifically, he advises those who feel depressed or helpless to acquire an optimistic outlook by talking to themselves. This self-therapy, says Seligman, should concentrate on the meaning and causes of personal setbacks. For example, if a dieter splurges on a piece of dessert, instead of thinking, “Since I’ve ruined my whole diet, I might as well eat the whole cake!” she or he should think, “Well, I enjoyed that, but I’ll stop with that piece and I know I am strong enough to stick to this diet most of the time.” In essence, Seligman argues that optimism is learned by adopting aconstructive style of thinking, self-assessment and behavioral planning.

psychotherapy technique, known ascognitive restructuring, is based on the constructive reappraisal of stressors. The approach recognizes two especially important factors in determining how people perceive stress: their uncertaintyabout impending events and their sense of control over them. Consequently, two ways people can reduce stress are to reduce their uncertainty about stressful events by finding out as much as they can in advance and to increase their sense of control by learning healthy coping techniques. Cognitive restructuring is especially suitable for people who are having problems with chronic stress.

In general, the work on optimistic thinking and cognitive restructuring attests to the power of the mind to promote health and well-being. When you believe your problems are manageable and controllable, you are more likely to deal with them effectively—which averts the ravages of excessive stress. Consequently, optimistic people have fewer physical symptoms of illness, recover more quickly from certain disorders, are generally healthier and live longer than pessimists do.

You can apply the lesson of reappraisal if, for example, you are worried about giving a speech to a large, forbidding audience. Try imagining your potential critics in some ridiculous situation—say, sitting there in the nude—and they become less intimidating and perhaps more self-conscious than critical. If you are anxious about being shy at a social function you must attend, think about finding someone who is more shy than you and reducing his or her social anxiety by starting a conversation. You can learn to reappraise stressors by engaging the creative skills you already possess and by imagining and planning your life in more positive, constructive ways. 

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Charles Chambers
Lifestyle & Product Management Consultant
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Instagram; wealthmogul