Give a sh## = the secret to success!

Forgive my crass title, but so many people these days cuss to do harm.  I cuss to make points!  (Just ask my students at UT Austin).

The point?  Give a Shit!  Really!  If you do, you will:
1.) get the job
2.) get more responsibility
3.) get a raise
4.) get a promotion
5.) achieve your dreams
As soon as you stop giving a sh##, bad things happen.
Persistence is one of the keys to entrepreneurial success, and that means simply keep on giving a shit. 
Be relentless.

Effort and Leadership – 3 Tips to Motivate your Employees

I am very proud to be able to train in ATA Martial Arts with Chief Master Niblock at his school here in Austin, Texas (Round Rock).  Today, like many other days, Chief Master Niblock gave us not only a great physical workout, but also great lessons in life and character.

[paraphrased] “You have students or employees who don’t give 100% effort, but have you looked in the mirror.  YOU, the leader, need to be giving 100%, or  you can’t expect it from your students.” said Chief Master Niblock.  “It has to be every day.  Nobody wants an employee who only gives 100% on Mondays, so you have to give 100% every day if you expect it in return.”

I was inspired, as I often am when getting to train with such an awesome instructor.  We all need our mentors and people to look up to, and Chief Master Niblock is that to me.   Without further ado, I give you 3 tips to motivate your employees, inspired by Chief Master Niblock.

  1. Lead from the Front  –  You need to be giving 100% effort every day, not just on Mondays!  You cannot and should not expect more from your employees (even in a Startup) than what you are willing to give yourself.  And you need to give this effort “from the front” so that everyone can see you.
  2. You set the Tone – If you are down, or having a bad day, it’s likely they will too.  Somehow, you’ve got to find silver linings, shiny day’s ahead.  Positivity is contagious too… you just have to set the tone.
  3. Be Fanatical about your Vision – Especially for a startup, you have to be absolutely focused on your vision and achieving it.  This means saying ‘no’ to all the distractions that come up, and saying ‘yes’ to anything that might move your vision forward.  Every day, you need to share your vision with the team, loudly, proudly, and with that Positivity.  Your vision will become contagious too.  Suddenly people will start making decisions in an empowered way that will move forward your cause, not just “work for work’s sake”.
Harlan Beverly Training in ATA Martial Arts
Bonus Tip for Investors/Board Members – This tip is for board members and investors…  you need to make sure you consider the Agency Problem.  You cannot expect your startup Management Teams to put forward 100% effort if they are not incentivized to do so.  That means believing in their vision/mission, and making it worthwhile if they succeed.  The trickle down effect of an improperly incentivized management can lead to an entire organization that’s not giving 100% or is giving it to the wrong things.

Better Work Through MORE Willpower.

In business and in life, we all struggle with Willpower.  Willpower, as described in The Willpower Instinct by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, Ph.d, an amazingly awesome book, is both the iWant power (wanting to do/get/be something) and iWont power (wanting to stop doing/getting/being something).  In business, this is usually doing the “hard work” that will actually make a difference.  In Marketing, for example, it means ‘actually talking to customers (some say yick!)’… or stopping  the ‘usual marketing we always do’… or ‘killing that poor product/brand’.  THIS BOOK is the definitive resource for improving your Willpower (both iWant and iWont).   If you want to lose weight, be more productive, be a better person, or whatever you “want”… READ THIS BOOK NOW!  I, for example, WANT to write a non-fiction book about marketing.  Ironically, this book is so rich and filled with examples and real studies, I think I may ‘use’ this book for iWant power, AND ‘use’ this book as a guideline for how to write non-fiction.  I should mention I do not know the author personally… but I would love to do one of Dr. McGonigal’s seminars.

So, what did I get out of this book?  Here’s a few takeaways…  I’ve ordered a physical copy too, so I can better quote the book and use it as a writing reference (since I only read this on Audible so far).

  1. Meditation Increases Willpower.  
    • (the simple kind, where for 5-10min a day, you just relax and ‘not think’, but listen to your breathing)…
    • (also, get enough sleep/and eat healthy.. it increases willpower (really))
  2. Forgiveness Increases Willpower.  
    • (learn to forgive yourself!  based on Scientific research, forgiving your splurge will be MORE impact-full than punishing/blaming yourself!).
  3. Find a way to Motivate Yourself.
    • The Chance of a Random Reward drives Willpower.
    • (give yourself random rewards for successes, think of the goal/future self).
    • (lotto tickets as a reward).
  4. Social Pressure Fuels Willpower (and Weakness).  
    • (stay away from social settings that might make you lose in your willpower goal.  Find mentors or sponsors who support your goal.  Make your goal public.)
  5. Think of your “Future” Self. 
    • (just thinking about your future self leads to greater power for iWant or iWont).
  6. Don’t try to Suppress Thoughts/Cravings. 
    • (when you try ‘not’ to think of something, you end up thinking more of it… when you try to reject bad thoughts, you have them more and worse… in both case you ACT on them more.  Instead, “accept” the thoughts, and then accept that you can control your actions.)
  7. Change iWont into iWant.  
    • (iWant power is easier than iWont.  Dieting does NOT work.  Wanting to eat ‘more’ of healthy foods does!).
Here’s a great video by Dr. McGonigal about Willpower: