BABL 076: Farissa Knox on Empowering Your Own Career

Farissa Knox gets to wake up every day and do whatever she likes. The benefit to her is the brands she’s choosing to build she is immensely passionate about.

Farissa owns RLM Media, a boutique media buying agency, as well as the app WhatRUWearing, a social application for fashionistas to share their daily clothing choices.

Not thinking entirely about being an entrepreneur, Farissa found herself in 2008 working for a company that was going bankrupt. She immediately started thinking about getting another job when her husband threw out the idea of working with the clients she had been working with previously. Farissa sent out 5 texts while driving in the car with her husband and all 5 confirmed their desire to continue working with this newly minted business owner.

Farissa knew that she’d either have to work like a slave in the business, doing most of the work herself, OR she could bite the bullet and hire people to help her do the work. This decision proved to be the linchpin for her success because she was ultimately committed to the success of a “business” not just her doing the work.

Around the 10:00 mark, Farissa talks about being raised in an entrepreneurial environment, her mom running an in-home daycare and managing everything that went along with that. What her parents gave her was the belief that any dream she put her mind to she could accomplish.

Bouncing back from the down times has been a tremendous learning opportunity for Farissa — figuring out how to make payroll or covering an expense that a client refused to pay for. These situations have forced Farissa to learn, to buckle down and accomplish what she sets out to do. In the long run, her goal is to be acquired by an agency who appreciates the work they do.

Farissa’s love of fashion (and what you’re wearing says about you) led her to create an application that allows women to share what they’re wearing on a daily basis. “We can see what celebrities are wearing every day, but what if you aren’t getting your clothes shipped in from France every day? How do we see what the average women who loves fashion is wearing every day. This was the reason behind WhatRUWearing?

Knox says what people are looking for is an exclusivity around social media experiences where the users they’re around are people like them. When everyone on the app is ‘into’ the same thing, and they don’t have to waste time getting rid of pictures of kids in their feed, they’re far more engaged. High engagement = higher profitability.

The overwhelming source of users for WhatRUWearing has come from campus ambassadors on various college campuses recruiting their friends to use the app. The WhatRUWearing girl loves a great deal, loves how clothes make them feel, but isn’t about the label.

When I asked Farissa how long she went without a paycheck, she said right now she doesn’t pay herself anything right now. Instead, her income is invested back into the company because as she puts it, “I am my own retirement plan.” How freakin’ cool is that?

Books recommended by Farissa:

Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Farissa’s Book

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Love, Sex and Friendship in No Particular Order

 

For more of Farissa, check out: www.FarissaKnox.com
Farissa’s answer to what does building a bigger life mean to you was profound: You can’t build a bigger life by yourself, it’s all about who you surround yourself with #Truth

BABL 075: Setting Goals and Overcoming Obstacles with David Andrews of The 30 Day Sobriety Solution

Dave Andrews is an author, speaker, and transformational coach about to launch a book called the 30 Day Sobriety Solution with co-author Jack Canfield. Dave’s life’s work is about helping other people take possession of their lives, overcome addictions, and achieve their biggest life goals. And on this episode, he gets super real about his drinking habits, the enormous life event that changed his path forever, and how this impactful book came about.

Dave had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol from the time he was in high school and college. In Dave’s own words, he felt better about himself when he was drinking. He thought other people found him more interesting, he fit in better, and a host of other falsehoods that he eventually realized.

Two major events happened for Dave that caused him to change his path. The first was waking up in a hotel room covered in vomit, a room littered with alcohol bottles and food containers, a trail leading from the bathroom to the bed, and the realization that he very well should have died that night but was spared for some reason. This 3 day binge he was on was after 43 days of sobriety which he described as a struggle. He came home to his wife and daughters and vowed to change his ways forever.

The second event was the passing of a close friend of his. A very successful, very talented brain surgeon who struggled with alcoholism unbeknownst to most people. Dave looked up to this person as someone that had everything going for him, a model of someone he could become in sobriety. Then one fateful day, the brain surgeon relapsed and took his own life with a shotgun. Sitting at the funeral and taking in the faces of the family that he left, Dave realized that he himself was not far from this situation. His commitment to remain sober was locked in.

Dave’s sobriety anniversary is August 16th, 2008 and he is now thriving in this new chapter of his life, now 7+ years in the making.

One of the things you’ll notice about Dave in the interview is he is a constant consumer of personal development literature and psychology. Programs from Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Steve Harrison had Dave asking the best questions of himself. Proof, according to Dave, that the quality of your life is the quality of the questions you’re asking yourself.

One of the questions that Dave used over and over again, that ultimately got him his book deal with Jack Canfield is: What would have to happen in order for X to happen? In the case of the 30 Day Sobriety Solution, the question he asked Jack was: What would have to happen for you to agree to writing this book with me?

(Dave tells the story about how he used some guerrilla techniques to get to Jack around the 21:00 mark.)

When I met Dave in February of 2014, he was carrying a bundle of notecards that had every goal written down with a very clearly written description on the front and a photo of what that looked like on the back. He would pull them out daily, read the cards, and visualize what it would be like to achieve each of them. It was profoundly important for me to see someone actually using the strategies that personal success gurus have been touting for years. Dave simply took it to a completely new level.

Dave describes around the 26:00 mark what having those goal notecards did for him. They ultimately activate the Reticular Activating System in your brain which begins to assimilate data you’re seeing, reading, or hearing as if it’s there to help you achieve your goals. One of Dave’s goals was to get a $450,000 book deal for The 30 Day Sobriety Solution, and in the end, Dave and Jack signed a record 7-figure book deal — this is rarely if ever heard of in today’s publishing world.

Setting goals for 2016 is incredibly powerful. According to Dave, just the act of writing the goals down is energy put into the achievement of them. Even if you never looked at them again, there’s tremendous power in the process. Most powerful of your goals is your Breakthrough Goal – this is the goal that, if achieved, would make every other goal you have massively easier.

 

Dave is a part of both mastermind groups and accountability partnerships and counts both of those in the top 5 reasons for his success in the past few years. His mastermind group allows him to bounce ideas off of each of them, gain different perspectives, and often get the nudge to do the things he feels nervous about. His mastermind has come about by attending personal development workshops and seminars and connecting with people that he both looks up to and admires.

Books recommended by Dave:

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Way of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Brian Johnson of Entheos.com

 

To get more of Dave and his work, check out: www.T30D.com

 

BABL 067: Intentional, Energetic Presence with Anese Cavanaugh

Anese Cavanaugh is the author of Contagious Culture, the founder of the IEP Method, and is living an intentional, on-purpose life. THAT is why she’s a featured interview on the Build A Bigger Life Podcast!

At the ripe young age of 14, Anese was scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins, going through some pretty heavy stuff, and had a full body realization that she had total control over how she felt at that moment. That realization has driven her to live a very intentional, passionately detached life doing what she loves to do.

Anese’s career started in kinesiology, working with athletes, but after taping 400 feet she realized this would get very boring. Her advisor moved her to cardiac rehab which frustrated her because she was treating conditions that could’ve been prevented. That career choice moved her to corporate wellness, and eventually to what she’s doing today.

Try as she may to ditch kinesiology as she transitioned to doing more individual coaching, movement kept coming back to her. That has become the Intentional Energetic Process or the IEP Method. IEP is about the energy you bring, how honest you’re being about your present scenario, and how present you are in the moment given these variables.

Anese believes that we are making an impact in every moment of our lives. And HOW we show up is how we make impact. That is a factor of self care, how aware we are, etc. Awareness is both internal and external — internal being the feeling you have at any given moment, and external being how other people experience your energy, intention, etc.

There are four areas where we show up energetically which Anese has identified as:

  • Physical & Environmental Energy
  • Mental Energy
  • Vibrational
  • Relationships

The book Contagious Culture due out by year’s end, is about creating a culture whether we know it or not. Written from the inside out, Anese has focused part of the book on you as the leader, you and your team, and then your culture all together. By the time you’ve gone through the entire book, you’re already showing up differently and making changes in the company.

Books Anese Recommends:

Leadership and Self-Deception (The Arbinger Institute)

Brene Brown — Rising Strong

Byron Katie — The Work

Building A Bigger Life to Anese means building a life that she gets to control every day. But the key for her is to pay it forward and having an impact on the greater good.

Go to AneseCavanaugh.com or ContagiousCulture.com for more goodies from Anese!

BABL 062: Solocast- How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci

Today’s show is on one of my favorite books of the past 5 years. The book is How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci by Michael Gelb.

Michael Gelb is an organizational development consultant, a professional speaker and seminar leader, and a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning and innovative leadership.

Leonardo DaVinci, if you slept through high school, was only the quintessential Renaissance man who was not only the leading artist of his time (you might recall paintings like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper), but he was also an enormously talented inventor, musician, scientist, military engineer, and arguably one of the strongest athletes of his time. He lived in the late 1400’s and early 1500s.

I’ve been fascinated by DaVinci’s work ever since seeing a traveling exhibit at our local science center which featured many of his drawings and some life-size replicas of what he had designed. DaVinci reportedly was a pacifist, yet designed many machines that were used in battle — like our modern day tanks. He designed catapults, pulleys and levers, machine guns with bullets as big as water bottles. But he also designed flying machines, the earliest ideas of a modern automobile, and even dissections of humans.

The science exhibit suggested that DaVinci was so enamored with learning and especially the human body that he would practice dissections (which were completely illegal) by bribing those responsible for the recently deceased into letting him cut them open to diagram what the insides of a human look like. To this day, his drawings of the inner workings of the human body are the first known examples of modern day biological science.

In Gelb’s book, he describes the 7 principles of DaVinci’s genius — not necessarily described by DaVinci, but deducted by Gelb from a wealth of study about the man.

I’m going to give you the 7 principles and do my utmost to pronounce them in my best Italian. (Best being in quotation marks as I only learned Italian for 4 weeks through Duolingo, a language tutorial program owned by Google. But hey, I think Duolingo and a couple weeks in Italy does wonders for a guys dialect).

Principle #1: Curiosite – basically having an insatiable curiosity for learning

Principle #2: Demonstratzione – committing to testing knowledge through experience, not fearing failure or mistakes, but instead learning from them

Principle #3: Sensazione – a continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, to clarify experience.

Principle #4: Sfumato – (which means literally ‘up in smoke’) – it’s a willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty.

Principle #5: Arte/Scienza – developing the balance between art & science, logic and imagination. Essentially, he was a master of whole brain thinking.

Principle #6: Corporalita – The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness & poise

Principle #7: Connessione – recognizing and appreciating the connectedness of all things. He was a master at systems thinking.

 

These 7 principles were at the heart of everything Leonardo DaVinci chose to pursue in life. And we know about most of them because of the volumes and volumes of notes he took in notebooks that are now on display in museums all over the world. Gelb notes in the book that DaVinci’s drive to take notes in journals was proof of principle #1 Curiosity. It is estimated that Leonardo DaVinci left over 7,000 pages of notes and in 1994, Bill Gates bought 18 sheets from his notebooks for a reported $31million. Those are some valuable ideas!

My Build A Bigger Life Challenge for you today on the podcast is this: Are you a journaler? Do you keep daily or weekly pages of your life and ideas?

About 5 years ago I started journaling on a semi-regular basis in moleskine notebooks. I found a package of 4 moleskines at Barnes & Noble, all of the same color and took a permanent marker and made marks on the spine of the notebooks to denote the order in which I wrote in them. I now have a collection of about 18 notebooks that will continue to grow over time. I write everything from my feelings, to ideas, to my net worth and projects I’m working on. It’s fun to go back and read entries from 5 years ago to see what has changed, but the real reason I continue the journaling process is I think someday my kids, grandkids and great grandkids will find it interesting to read what life was like for us. I know the one or two journals notebooks we found of my grandparents is incredibly meaningful to me, thus the reason I’ve been helping my last living grandfather get his memoirs published on Amazon so that all of his family has access to it.

Speaking of DaVinci’s notebooks, Gelb writes, “He carried a notebook with him at all times so that he could jot down ideas, impressions, and observations as they occurred. His notebooks contained jokes and fables, the observations and thoughts of scholars he admired, personal financial records, letters, reflections on domestic problems, philosophical musings and prophecies, plans for inventions, and treatises on anatomy, botany, geology, flight, water, and painting.”

It seems writing down most of your thoughts is pretty freakin’ powerful.

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[A Partial Collection Of My Journals]

One of the most powerful ideas shared in How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci was the 100 Questions List. The exercise Gelb suggests is giving yourself about 60 minutes to write down 100 questions that you’d most like the answer to. The questions can range from Why is the ocean salty to what is my main motivation in life. Literally any question that comes to mind should go on your list until you make it to 100. Then segment the list into the top 10 most important questions on that list. List them in importance from 1-10 and ponder them on a regular basis. The author suggests that the happiest people in the world ask, “What if I could find some way to get paid for doing what I love?” Hmmm… .sounds like they focus on building bigger lives. Curious…

In the Build a Bigger Life Blueprint, one of the tenets is Asking Bigger Questions. You can listen to a solocast on that topic by downloading Episode 43. It was a good one if I do say so myself.

A large part of DaVinci’s notebooks involved what today would be called Mind Mapping. Mind Mapping is a brainstorming process that was first originated by a guy named Tony Buzan. When his book The Mind Map Method first came out I devoured it. I realized that I’d been doing something similar to write content for years. My mindmap for this solocast is posted on the blogsite if you want to see how I do it. Someday soon I’ll record a show about how I create content in record time. It’s a process, a system if you will… something else I learned from Leonardo DaVinci.

There are plenty of apps available today that will help you get started mind-mapping, just google mind mapping apps and an exhaustive list will show up. However, my recommendation is to mind map the way Leonardo did. With a blank sheet of paper, using your right brain to be creative. I’ve found that attempting to mind map digitally just doesn’t work for me, so my normal routine is with either a blank sheet of paper or a white board and different colored markers. The process of mind mapping is simply finding connections with everything you’re writing about. Each connection is an offshoot of the original idea until you have a “map” or spider web of ideas that were sparked from the original subject.

IMG_3072

 

When you look at LDV’s journals, they are full of diagrams, line drawings, and mind maps. Further proof that he believed in combining art and science. Don’t underestimate the power of your creative side and a blank sheet of paper. I write EVERYTHING using mind mapping.

It seems DaVinci tapped into a secret reservoir of knowledge on a regular basis as well. He was an ardent believer in trusting the inner wisdom, what I called the inner knower in the Build A Bigger Life Blueprint. Gelb describes it as the Unconscious Database. In his book he states that neuroscientists estimate your unconscious database outweighs your conscious thoughts ten million to one. I’ve always believed that your brain is the most powerful supercomputer ever designed and it’s literally captured everything you’ve ever heard or read. But much like a computer, there is random access memory, there’s a hard drive, and there’s a garbage can where stuff you never access goes. The best visual representation of it was from the Pixar movie Inside Out. All of those memories that we never access anymore are still there, they’re just down in the basement collecting dust until they’re moved out of RAM and your hard drive.

DaVinci trusted his inner knower, tapped his unconscious database often, and as a result was heralded as a genius. But what if you have the exact same ability and just haven’t been using it? Is that enough motivation for you to spend 15-20 minutes a day in silence pondering the big 10 questions of your life? I sure hope so!

Two of the other big ideas in Gelb’s book about How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci involve affirmations and taking care of your physicality.

Leonardo wrote affirmations in his journals regularly and they were phrases such as:

‘I shall continue.”

‘Obstacles do not bend me.’

‘I never tire of being useful.’

‘Every obstacle is destroyed through rigor.’

 

Some of my favorite affirmations are phrases like:

‘I’m alive, alert, happy, healthy, firm, friendly, cordial, and enthusiastic.’

‘Money comes easily and frequently.’

‘When things get tougher I get better.’

What are the affirmations you’re saying to yourself on a regular basis? My friend and mentor Jack Canfield says affirmations are the mind’s way of releasing the brakes. Until we release the brakes, we’re constantly riding them on the highway of success. So today, journal a few of your favorite affirmations and keep them in front of you daily. Remember that they are always positive in nature, always in the first person, and always a statement of having or being what it is you most desire.

Lastly, and probably most interesting to me is the fact that LDV was one of the greatest athletes of his time. His physicality was incredibly important to him, evidenced by his study of the human body, the sinewy muscles in his drawings, and the obvious obsession he had with his drawing of the Vitruvian Man.

DaVinci called it Corporalita — the idea that cultivating movement, balance, poise, and fitness was incredibly important to achieve everything you set out to achieve. Just a great reminder to take care of yourself, if you want your body and mind to take care of you.

So, without question, I highly recommend the book How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci by Michael Gelb. In the process of building a bigger life, I can think of no greater advice than to pursue curiosity, to demonstrate knowledge through experience, to embrace uncertainty, balance art and science, to be your physical best, and most notably for this Renaissance Man, to journal every thought, experience, and idea while staying attuned to your inner knower.

As they would’ve said in DaVinci’s day, Ciao for now. Here’s to you building a bigger life.
Get your copy of How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci HERE.

BABL 060: Solocast- The Power 100 List

This Build a Bigger Life Solocast hits on the power of your network when it comes to accomplishing your vision of a bigger life.  

If you’re anything like me, and you’re listening to the podcast so I have to believe you’re somewhat like me, you have big projects happening on a regular basis. Maybe you’re working on the next big thing, or a book or video project. Maybe you’re even considering starting a business, getting involved in a charity of some kind, or just planning a major vacation.

I’m going to share with you today an idea that has helped me immensely in the pursuit of my own bigger life. It’s a concept that came to me on a plane one day while flying to a speaking engagement on the West Coast. The idea that I’m referring to hit me like a ton of bricks and I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the idea of using this method ever since. Essentially, as I sat on the airplane, waiting on the tarmac, I began tracing back through the conversations I’d had with various people that led me to the engagement I was heading to. It all funneled back to a contact of mine who has been instrumental in me getting a fairly serious amount of business. That got me wondering where a majority of my business came from and I could trace almost every gig back to a handful of people — many of them people who’d been in my “camp” for some time. In effect, they were people that I would describe as having my back. They were people who liked, loved and respected me.

At this point on the plane ride, I began scribbling in my notebook all of the names of people in my life who liked, loved and respected me. The list grew with each airline mile and I now have a list of nearly 400 people that fit that description. The list continues to grow today and I hope it always does.

For a time in my early 30’s, I was really into studying what the best internet marketers did to build their businesses. One relatively famous marketer I was studying said in an interview that if your house were on fire and you could only take one thing out of your home, it would be your list. Because the mailing list for an internet marketer was like their own gold mine that they had to mine every now and again to make massive amounts of money. It’s part of the reason you’re seeing a proliferation of squeeze pages and enter your name and email boxes on websites. Everyone, it seems, is in the game of grabbing your email for future marketing.

So, my recommendation to you, which I’ll go into greater detail on the podcast is: Begin building your list — what I call the Power 100 List. It’s a list of the 100 people in your life that like, love and respect you. To get the pump primed a bit, consider adding people from these categories to your list: College friends, coworkers, family friends, advisors, mentors, pastors, professors, parents of friends, business peers, networking buddies — literally anyone that comes to mind that you feel would have your back if needed. And keep in mind, the reverse is also true. If you would do the same for others in your network, then put their name on your list. The key to people being on your list is they want YOU to succeed.

My deep dive into my own list got me thinking about networks in general and how effective they are at the rapid transmission of data, information, contacts, and the like. I started to think about it this way — if you were going to do some research to write a paper or put together a talk on something, you’d go to google to do the searching. Whenever I put a search term in google, I will get hundreds of thousands of results in milliseconds. And if you really dug into how that happens (behind all the complicated algorithms used to find it), you’d find one of the largest networks in the world — that being the interconnected computers that are all part of the world wide webs. The more connections there are, the faster the data can be combed from all of them. Since Al Gore invented the interwebs, you have the ability to look up data on your phone in less than a minute which would’ve taken you a year or more to find 25 years ago and 10 years to find 50 years ago. In short, the more connections there are, the more data you have access to, faster.

Similarly, in your brain there are interconnected neural pathways that the neorons travel along. The more interconnected your neural pathways, the faster the neurons travel allowing you to access the information even more readily. So, if you wanted to learn Spanish and you wanted to learn guitar, you’d be better off learning them at the same time to create more neural pathways in your brain, therefore having more connections and an ability to access the information more readily. The guy who competed against IBMs Watson in Jeopardy — his name is Ken Jennings — the guy probably has more neural pathways than just about anybody. Hence his ability to pull information as quickly as he does. The more neural pathways, the faster the information can be obtained.

So, I began to assume that if the more connections on the web meant we could access stuff faster and the more neural pathways in your brain, the faster you could access stuff, I wondered if the more connections we had in our network, the faster we could accomplish what we set out to accomplish. In my talk on Networking, called Networking POWER, I do an example of this called the web of connections. Ultimately, my goal is to show every audience that there is tremendous power in a room of people to help each other get where they want to go. I connect as many people as possible in the room with a ball of yarn, each person within 1 or 2 degrees of what the other person most wants or needs. It’s most effective when someone is looking for a job, an introduction into a company, or wants information about a person or place. It’s astonishing to me how well this works.

So, if you’re asking yourself WHY would I do this? Why would I make a list of the 100 people in my life that like, love and respect me? (Other than the fact that it feels really good to make a list of people who care about you like that), the reasons are many:

Are you trying to find a job?

Wanting to market a product?

Need help getting connections?

Want to build a mastermind group?

Feel like success is just up to you?

I have a perfect example of how I used the Power 100 list to help me with something last year. In early 2014, two partners and I launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a documentary on student loan debt. The name of which is Broke, Busted & Disgusted. You’ve no doubt heard me talk about it on the show. Having never crowdfunded anything before, the most logical thing for me to do was to reach out to my POwer 100 list and ask them for help spreading the word, and help with the crowdfunding campaign. The list responded in a BIG way.

At the end of our 45 day campaign, we had raised $67,000 and almost 90% of the funds raised came directly or indirectly as a result of my Power 100 list coming alongside. They shared the message, they donated, and they supported us in our charge towards raising enough to finish the film. It was an awesome thing to see.

The way I leveraged my Power 100 list was simple — I built the list in a google spreadsheet. And contrary to my story earlier, all 400+ people on my list weren’t listed on the airline flight. I’ve added to the list over time, mainly by having the google docs app on my phone, opening that particular spreadsheet whenever I was moved to, and added someone to the ever-expanding list.

On the spreadsheet are four columns. First name, last name, email address and phone number. Everyone on the list has all four columns filled because you never know when I’ll need to either send them an email or a text message.

As I build the list, I import the list into Mailchimp, which is an email automator and allows you to write one email and send it to your mass list as if you’re sending it to an individual person. Mailchimp is a super simple service to use and allows you to have a list of up to 2000 people for free. It’s literally dead simple.

For the crowdfunding campaign, I sent a simple email that asked them for their support in an incredibly important project I was working on that had the capacity to change lives en masse. One little secret is people will get behind a BIG vision. One of my favorite quotes is: Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logicaldiagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. — Daniel Burnham an American architect.

So whatever your ask of your group, inspire them with a big vision that wants them to jump on board.

And the bottom line of sending out the email is this – ASK. Let me say it again, 3 times: Ask, Ask. Ask.  Jack Canfield once told me if you ask, ask, ask, then you’ll get, get, get. Ask so much you begin to feel like an askhole. It’s a beautiful thing when you ask for what you want and then get it.

Once you’ve built your list to a substantial number, and you know who is going to respond positively, you’ll begin to segment your list based on business deals, outreach to the public, who are the marketers, the connectors, etc. And through segmenting, your asks become that much more powerful.

It has been said that your net worth is determined by your network. So, if you are having a hard time coming up with 100 people in your life that like, love and respect you, perhaps it’s time to do a little more networking. Consider throwing a party for the people that you most want to connect with in life and introduce them to each other. IF you don’t feel like you have the right network, the key is to build it yourself.

Reading books like Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie are a great first step. Throw a Power 100 party or a cool people party and be known as the guy or gal that makes shit happen for your network and your own Power 100 will grow stronger with more connections.

Building a bigger life is about being the architect of your life, imagining the life you most want to live and going for that in big ways. Having people in your corner that have your back is the fastest way to accomplish that.

And as a final word, if you are asking, be also giving at the same time. The law of reciprocity is as powerful as gravity and is working behind the scenes always.
Good luck in your Power 100 List creation, and have fun connecting… I sure do.

BABL 054: Solocast- Finding Your People

Hey life architects, Adam Carroll here with another Build A Bigger Life Solocast, AND a confession to make to you.  

I’m weird. Like super weird. I don’t know what happened to me early on in life that I turned out this way, but I find things cool that some people couldn’t give two rips about. I geek out about financial education, which you’ve probably guessed in listening to this show, I geek out about the power of your subconscious mind — it’s what led me to become a certified hypnotherapist about 12 years ago. I’m obsessed with watches, and writing, juggling, talented piano players (especially those that are too young to do much else), oh and film making — especially documentaries having worked on one for the past year and a half.

Like I said, weird.

But the reality is, you’re weird too. You like stuff that I probably find completely benign. And yet just like my weird stuff, and your weird stuff, there are people out there who like what we like. They would celebrate our weirdness because they have some of the same weird tastes.

Whether you realize it or not, there are people like you, also weird, who don’t hang out in the most normal places. To find them all congregating, you pretty much have to go search them out, but trust me, they’re out there.

I’ll be the first to admit that one of the weird things that I just don’t get is CosPlay. It’s the whole idea that people get dressed up in costumes to portray a character, but not be on stage. It’s a mashup of costume play. Think of that closet that your grandmother had full of outgrown Halloween costumes that you and your cousins used to dress up in. Yeah, just like that but put grown ups in those costumes congregating in a giant convention hall. And when I say gigantic, I mean gigantic. Like tens of thousands of these people might gather at the largest events.  

There are variations of these kind of events like DragonCon and ComicCon — people show up in CosPlay for these events in droves. It’s a genuine thing… And here’s the deal — I’m not passing judgment on these people at all. I don’t get it, but I LOVE IT.

I love that there is a place for people to go to be around other people who geek out on something that the general population might see as weird. If you’re there and you’re rocking CosPlay, you’ve found your people.

My friend Patrick Johnson, a very candid supporter of the CosPlay movement (if we’re calling it that already), said that the last DragonCon he went to changed his life. IT CHANGED HIS LIFE.  Patrick found his people. It just so happened that some of them were borgs and wookies and ninjas — or whatever they were… I just happened to see a samurai sword in one of the pictures.

Finding your people might also be at a place like BaconFest which got it’s start in Des Moines. A couple of bacon fanatics thought it’d be fun to hold a festival in homage to the meat of all meats. It started small with about 400 people, then grew to 4000, then 8,000 — there’s even a mockumentary about BaconFest including the Bacon Queen who reigns over the festivities.

I have no doubt it’s life changing for some. Because they’ve found their people.

For me, my finding my people moment happened at two different events. In September, I attended my first FINCON in Charlotte, NC. FINCON was started by a guy named Philip Taylor, better known at PTMoney. He’s been blogging about financial stuff for the past several years, and in fact left his job as an accountant to pursue financial writing and educating full-time. When the idea struck him that there were other people out there like him, he ran with it creating an event now into it’s 6th year and drawing about 900 people from all over the country.

On day 1, I knew I’d found my people:

Money nerds, investor geeks, ROI fanatics, real estate moguls and moguls in training, Coupon clippers, bloggers, podcasters — every one of them a freedom fighter.  All of them life architects. But they’re all more than that too.. they’re educators, leaders, and weirdos to some. Why, on earth, would anyone pay money to spend a weekend learning from other weirdos about writing stuff online to try and make money? (If that’s what you’re asking, these probably aren’t your people.)

What I found most awesome about this conference was everyone that was there was there to help each other. There was no sense of competition anywhere in the group, yet everyone is pretty much in the same space, doing similar kind of work, attracting similar kinds of clients, web visitors, and podcast listeners. But in the very first evening, it was clear that these were my people.

Similarly, last year when I attended Jack Canfield’s Train The Trainer program, I knew on the first evening that I was surrounded by my people:

Personal development junkies, transformational trainers, fitness gurus, emotional counseling ninjas, and enlightened millionaires.

What they were there for wasn’t as connecting as WHY they were there. Many of them were there, knowingly or not, to find their people.

I heard a bunch of them say they felt like outsiders in their groups of friends. Maybe they had a big vision for their future, maybe they were asking bigger questions than anyone in their circle of friends had ever risked to ask before. Some of them just flat out didn’t fit in unless they stood out, and it was pretty evident there were a bunch of us like that.

Ultimately, this solocast on finding your people is about finding connection with a group of individuals who “get you”. It’s about searching for connection that goes beyond a few similarities and finding the people who celebrate what makes you weird. Because they’re out there. And they’re probably feeling very similar to how you feel on a regular basis.

I’m a work from home solopreneur. I’ve got a small team that I see on a limited basis, though we talk regularly. And sometimes being in the job you are makes you weird… I sometimes feel lonely, I crave connection with humans, sometimes I just need a hug.

And when I do, I go down to 1 Million Cups where all the weird entrepreneur types are on Wednesday morning because they can sympathize with how I’m feeling. I’ll attend the Tech Brew meetup which happens once a week — a bunch of tech geeks geeking out on the latest gadget, app, or business idea. Or, I’ll call a special mastermind meeting with my two mastermind partners who are both phenomenal dudes doing similar things, facing similar challenges, and feeling similar feelings. And I’ll readily admit to it… we hug each other.

Sometimes longer than our wives would like us to. But we’ve found our people.

So my question to you as you build a bigger life today, this week, this month, and for the rest of this year is: Where are your people? Are you reaching out to the weirdos who share your affinity for French cuisine or French bulldogs? Are you spending time with other authors, speakers, single moms, wantrepreneurs or kite-flying afficianados?  And if not, why not?

No group nearby? Create one.

No time? Make some.

Someone out there wants to celebrate weird with you.
Here’s to you building a bigger life.

BABL 051:Cassandra Bodzak on Create A Life That Lights You Up

Cassandra Bodzak is a force to be reckoned with. A peaceful, loving, inspired force that is in the process of building a business helping others light up their lives through mindfulness, healthy eating, and connecting with their soul.

What started out as sharing a recipe-heavy blog with occasional personal stories, Cassandra’s business took on a new life as a coach, a chef, an author, and now a bonafide celebrity. She has certifications as a holistic health coach which led her to Kundalini Yoga, Marianne Williamson, and Gabriel Bernstein — all directing her down a path of helping people find their joy.

Cassandra’s call from the Universe came from ABC when they were looking for people to be on the show The Taste. She had the realization that what she was doing on the show was what she was supposed to do. Not be a TV personality necessarily, but helping people on a grander scale live a grander life.

“Stepping into it” is the advice that Cassandra gives when it comes to pursuing what you feel your calling truly is. Her primary income before blogging was acting, which was an interesting shift for her — making money pretending to be someone else, versus just being herself.

Around the 15:00 mark, Cassandra talks about how to figure out your own meditation process. Hers started on YouTube meditations, then branched into a morning routine where she asks her inner guide what the 3 most important things are for the day. Sometimes you’ll summon a to-do list that is exactly what you had created, and sometimes you’ll go on a complete tangent.

At 20:00, we discuss “holding space” for what your vision of the future looks like. Cassandra describes how she lives in alignment with her values and what she represents. Living 100% in integrity is ultimately what Cassandra “holds space” for on a daily basis. For her, that means doing writing and meditation because it fills her, how she works with her assistant and intern, how she talks to the barista at the local coffee shop. Because you’re living in alignment and holding space, the ‘sprinkles on the cupcake’ are the great opportunities that show up because of the way you’re operating daily.

One of Cassandra’s secrets to success is putting quality food in her body and paying attention to what she says yes and no to socially. Taking care of yourself frees you to build a bigger life, including what you put in your body, your mind, and your entire being.

When I asked Cassandra about whether or not she was pursuing mastery, her answer was perfect. She replied, “I’m in pursuit of mastering my own life.” (34:00). The key is to do the work on yourself first, then turn the inner work into the outer work.

Books Cassandra recommends:

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

 

Bonus Audio:

Cassandra has offered Build A Bigger Life listeners a free 45 minute audio. You can access that Here


If you want more of Cassandra (and who wouldn’t), check out
www.CassandraBodzak.com.