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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]Everyone’s got a past.

Everyone’s got a past. It’s dotted with bad decisions and tough choices and one or two memories you wish you could erase forever.

But successful people understand that while their past shapes them, it does not define them. You went through what you went through on purpose, for a purpose. Without all of these milestones, you wouldn’t know what you know today or be who you are today. But if you lay in bed worrying about what you would do if your past suddenly interrupted your present, you’re only accomplishing one thing: losing sleep.

You can not control when or how or if the people and decisions of your past show up in this chapter of your life. But you can control how you respond to it if it happens. When you are confronted with the consequences of the actions of younger, dumber, less experienced you, you have two options:

Hide, avoid, and continue to give it power, or own it.

If you deflect, make excuses, avoid and deny your way through a resurgence of your past, you aren’t saving who you used to be; you’re sabotaging who you are. You’re working so hard to justify your history that you do not see it as an opportunity for future growth. We’ve all messed up. We’ve all gone through difficult situations, some of which were our fault and some of which were not.

And if the mistakes I’ve made in your past resurface, I say, “bring it on.” Here’s an opportunity to show the people who are watching me that I’m human, that I’m imperfect, that I’m accountable, and that I’ve changed. And if they can only focus on the failure instead of the progress, those aren’t my people anyway.

Stop believing the lie that your past is too dark, too bumpy, or too riddled with pain that it can not be redeemed for good. Stop worrying about what’s behind you and keep your eyes forward.

You will be successful because of your past, not in spite of it. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]
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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]99% of the time when I ask people why they aren’t taking steps to follow their dreams, they say they are afraid to fail.

Wait.

If you just said, “that’s not me, though” I’m going to kindly reel you back in.

FEAR AFFECTS EVERY SINGLE PERSON…

ALL OF US.

Fear of failure is one of the biggest reasons so many people don’t do what they were made to do. They’re so concerned about failing that they don’t think about what could happen if they succeed. If you start with your biggest excuse and work backward, you will almost always find that your reasoning is based in fear. Fear of what others will think. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of starting over.

Feeling fear means you’re about to do something big. It means whatever is about to happen is going to determine how your journey continues. When you’re scared, you know that if you do what it is that you’re scared to do, you will be different on the other side. Things will be different, relationships will be different, circumstances will be different. If it weren’t a big deal, you wouldn’t be afraid. But your fear is a physical indicator that you are alive and present and that you’re about to do something big.

If we treat failure as a reset button, it can be a lot less scary. Failure is life’s way of telling us that our idea didn’t work and we need more time. Or more training. Or more patience. Or more grit. If we avoid trying new things because we are afraid to fail, we aren’t allowing ourselves to succeed.

When we talk about facing our fears, we often speak about being brave. But having courage is not the same as being fearless. Being courageous is being afraid and doing it anyway. Everyone can let fear stop them, but the brave ones feel the fear and do it anyway.

This month, let’s feel the fear and do it anyway. Let’s stop worrying about what could happen if we fail, and start getting excited about what will happen when we succeed.

My challenge for you this week: Decide that October is the month where you feel the fear and do it anyway. Identify a major fear you have, write it on a sticky note, and put it on a bathroom mirror. When you identify it and give it a name, it begins to lose it’s power.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]
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All of the available space in my Bible was filled with notes after church service on Sunday. The sermon was about how our actions are almost always originated by fear or love really spoke to me. When I stopped to think about it, it made sense. When people make excuses for following their dreams it is because they’re scared. When people don’t encourage you to be the best that you can be, it’s because they’re afraid of how your success will reflect on them. When we can understand that people do things to hurt us because they are scared, it allows us to have more empathy for them. Instead of seeing them as jealous haters, you see them as individuals who are fearful of something. When we look at them this way, it is easier to show grace and compassion. 

Fear can be such a driving force in our everyday lives. Even when we don’t feel the common physical symptoms that are usually associated with fear, our actions can be fear-based. Sometimes, we act in a way completely unaware that the root of our action is fear. When people tell you you cannot do what you dream of doing, it is not a reflection of your talents or gifts or abilities. It is a reflection of their own insecurities and deep-rooted fears. Do it anyway.

Design the product, start the service, hold the meeting, make the phone call, do whatever it is that scares you. Being courageous does not mean you are not afraid. It means you are afraid and you do it anyway. You will not reach next-level success if you are afraid to take risks. You will not be the business leader or entrepreneur or parent or friend that you need to be if you let fear hold you back. 

You already have everything you need to take the next step towards achieving your goals. Listen carefully to what those naysayers are not saying. You may hear them say you are not good enough, smart enough, or rich enough. But what they’re not saying is that they’re actually worried about how your success will make them feel inferior. They have yet to learn that there is plenty of success to go around and choose to see your success as a threat.

This is your reminder that fear is a liar.

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When a young, eager entrepreneur approached me at a speaking engagement and asked how I got to this point in my career, I looked right at her and said. “I found a mentor.” I think she was expecting me to say that I took a bunch of classes or got some fancy degrees or started public speaking on a street corner and got picked up by an agent. “Finding a mentor helped me get to where I am today in five important ways,” I told her. I explained that:

Mentors point out your weaknesses

Many times, we surround ourselves with people who tell us how great we are. And all this can be great for our self-esteem; it leaves no room for growth. To reach the next level in your career through mentorship, you need to find a mentor who is going to tell you the truth. Someone who will be able to identify your weaknesses and present them to you with grace and courtesy. Successful business leaders don’t hang out with people who tell them what they want to hear. Successful business leaders hang out with people who can carefully and tactfully address their weaknesses and create a plan to work on them.

Mentors build on your strengths

Just like addressing your weaknesses is crucial in getting to the next level, so is building on your strengths. You probably already have a pretty good idea of what your strengths are, but a mentor can help you see them in a new perspective. A mentor’s job is to identify your strengths and continue building on them. When a mentor can identify your strengths and give you ideas and guidance on how to improve upon them, you are next level bound

Mentors teach you something new

One of the most obvious advantages of working with a mentor is learning from their experiences. You will get the most out of your mentorship experience when you acknowledge that there will always be someone who knows more than you do. Being a good listener and being willing and able to learn from their mistakes can be priceless in advancing your career. 

Mentors offer outside perspective 

Sometimes being too close to a problem or decision makes it difficult to come up with a solution. Your mentor can serve as an extra set of eyes and ears on an important issue or decision. When it is time to make an important decision that may impact the trajectory of your career, having a mentor to offer outside perspective is extremely valuable. 

Mentors connect you with people

Chances are, your mentor knows a lot of people who could be instrumental in the next step in your career. Building a professional relationship with a mentor is the link between you and other valuable impact players in your industry. One of the most significant advantages of finding a mentor is stepping into their network and having access to their connections.

This week, my challenge for you is to:

  1. Order SWIM! If you haven’t already
  2. Connect with your mentor and ask them to identify your top 3 strengths and top 3 weaknesses

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Mindset. You can build habits and rituals, and you can connect with the right people, you can find a mentor, and work on being more accountable, but all of this will be for nothing if you do not have the right mindset. We’ve been conditioned from the time we were small that mediocrity equals advancement. We’ve been conditioned to believe that our promotion and our success is based on someone else. We’ve got to switch our mindset.

The difference between where you are now and where you want to be is your mindset. To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. You must become somebody different. This begins with creating a methodology for everything in your sphere of influence. When you have a plan, a method, a go-to game plan, you are unstoppable. You will not panic in the face of conflict. You will not run in the face of fear. You have a methodology, you will use it, and you will rise.

But you cannot move forward, you cannot get to the next level if you do not change your mindset. Once you truly believe that you are in charge of your future, that the next level is a real, tangible place that you are worthy of reaching, you will do the things you’ve always dreamed of.

Stop saying you’ll get serious about self-improvement once you lose the weight, or have a bigger bank account, or a nicer car, or more experience, or more training. Stop wasting time with all that. The only thing you need today to move yourself into the future you’ve always wanted is a different mindset.

Your weekly challenge:

Part One:  Pre-order Walter’s Bond’s newest book, SWIM, today.

Part Two: Replace the word “if” with “when” when talking about your next level. Instead of saying “If I get this speaking engagement” say “when I get this speaking engagement” A simple change of words, but a giant step in changing your mindset.

As I observed the careful precision of that car wash team, I could identify six things that made them work so well together, and that resulted in an impressive final product:

  1. Communication- the team expertly communicated what they were doing, when they were finished, where they noticed a problem, and when they needed help
  2. Chemistry- the whole time they worked, the team smiled and joked around. They were clearly focused on their job, but it was evident they had a strong personal connection and were happy doing what they were doing.
  3. Common Goals- the way the team worked meticulously on their specific part of the car made it clear that everyone was working for the same purpose: to make my car look its best. And it showed. They shared a common goal.
  4. Trust- very little had to be said as they washed, scrubbed and dried my car. Each member of the team trusted that the others were doing their job, and doing their job right. If one needed help, they called out and knew someone would be there to help them.
  5. Accountability- it would have taken me an hour to get my entire car as clean as these guys did in 20 minutes. Each person was accountable for their specific role and executed it with careful precision. Because of their accountability, each area of the car sparkled in the Florida sun.
  6. Commitment- there was a line of cars after mine, but the team didn’t seem rushed. They were efficient and committed to providing top-notch service. They didn’t cut corners or do anything halfway. Their commitment to their service truly impressed me.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are running; if your team doesn’t possess these six traits, they’re not as productive or successful as they could be. This little south Florida carwash killed it when it came to teamwork, and inspired me to make sure I’m bringing these six traits to the teams I’m on.

Your challenge for this week:

Do a careful analysis of your team and pinpoint the traits your team does exceptionally well and the one your team could work on. If your team can master these six traits, they’ll be unstoppable!

I could not order an Uber, make travel plans, figure out that my flight had been moved to the opposite end of the airport, or tell the taxi driver where I needed to go without effective communication. I had to be able to effectively communicate directions and expectations and actively receive the feedback. If my Uber driver got lost, it was probably because of a mix up in communication. If I didn’t know my flight had been moved, it was probably because the change wasn’t communicated effectively. Or maybe I wasn’t listening or paying attention, that’s totally possible too.

Our businesses thrive when everyone communicates. Our companies rise to the next level when leaders pay close attention to how their team members receive feedback and adjust their communication styles appropriately. When businesses suffer, when relationships suffer, the first thing to shut down is communication. Ironically, it’s the one thing we need to focus on to find a solution.

Communication is not just talking; it’s listening. Not just hearing, but listening. My mom used to say the reason we have two ears, and one mouth is because we need to listen twice as much as we speak. When your team is communicating with you, how are you showing them that you are listening?

Action steps to build a team that communicates:

Keep Your Door Open

Keeping your office door open builds trust and is a physical reminder to your team that you are ready and willing to engage in conversation that will get your team to the next level. Model a willingness to listen and watch how your team will follow suit

Create Different Avenues For Communication

Not everyone is comfortable with a face to face conversation, especially if they have an issue or problem. Allow your team to communicate with you (and others) in a way that is most comfortable for them. This could be email, text, phone calls or even a suggestion on a bulletin board in the breakroom.

Follow Up

Sometimes, giving a lot of information all at once can be overwhelming for those who are listening. Get in the habit of following up in writing after a conversation, team meeting or conference call. Break down what was discussed, deadlines, and goals in writing to make sure everyone is on the same page.


Talent (and hours and hours of practice) is what gets balls in hoops. However, chemistry is what puts your teammate in the exact spot that you need him, way before you know you need him there. Chemistry is the way a team works together, the way they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use both to move the team forward. But chemistry does not come with intense trainings or intense video analysis of last week’s game. Chemistry happens when a team respects and values each other, connects on a deeper level, and works together to meet a common goal.

The teams that are coming up on top aren’t necessarily the ones with the most talent. Instead, they’re the teams that focus on team chemistry and connection. Your business is the same way. If you solely focus on profit and productivity and don’t emphasize chemistry, you won’t reach the next level.

If you want to be a business that defies the odds, that breaks the mold, that comes out on top even when the competition is fierce, you have to consistently work to build the culture and chemistry of your team.

Here are three ways you can do that this week:

  1. Connect team members with similar strengths, passions, and interests- When your team can connect on a personal level, it will make it easier for them to connect professionally as well.
  2. Share a meal- Sharing a meal together is a classic way to bring people together. Whether you invite everyone to have lunch together in the breakroom or you host a dinner after work, getting everyone together in a casual atmosphere with good food will help build relationships and improve team chemistry.
  3. Address things that are hurting your team chemistry- if certain people on your team seem to isolate themselves from the rest of the group, or have negative energy that brings others down, address this. Many times, this behavior is based out of fear of being excluded or misunderstood. Open the lines of communication to give everyone a chance to feel included.

You can have the most talented people on your team, but if they don’t work well together, you will limit your potential and make it harder to reach the next level.  

A productive and powerful off season will involve you addressing things that are challenging, that require you to do some serious self-reflecting, identify your weaknesses and inspire you to take risks. But there’s one question you need to be asking yourself to ensure that your off season is taking you in the direction you want to go.

“Will this advance me to the next level?”

If done correctly, your off season will help you strengthen your foundation and identify weaknesses that could be holding you back from success. If, before you made a change or decision regarding your next steps in business, you asked yourself “will this advance me to the next level?” you’d be surprised at how many things you think you need to be doing that aren’t actively pushing you towards the next level. There are three  ways to ensure your off season stays on track and that your focus is consistently on things that will launch you to the next level:

The 1 Page Planning Sheet

This easy to use, single page resource is designed with your off season in mind. The simple yet dynamic layout allows you to write down an visualize your goals, your game plan and the gaps in your life that you will need to eliminate in order to achieve your goals. This page can be tucked away in your planner or posted to your refrigerator, either way, it keeps your mind on the things that will get you to the next level.

Studies show that there is power in writing things down. Writing down your goals and your action steps makes them more tangible and therefore makes you more inclined to work towards them. If you find yourself writing things down on napkins or on the back of cereal boxes, you may want to level up to a more professional and dynamic resource that will allow you to track your progress and hold you accountable. Dreams are just dreams until you write them down, then they become goals.

The Off Season Audio Download

This resource offers insightful and relatable action steps to help push you forward to the next level. This audio download can be played in the car, while you’re working out, or as you make dinner for your family. It takes an in-depth look at the reason an off season is so important, a step by step guide to planning your off season, and the results you can expect from your off season if done correctly. The easy-to-listen-to guide will get you excited for what you can accomplish in your off season, and will inspire you to keep asking yourself “will this advance me to the next level?”

If the answer is no, you’ll learn practical yet powerful ways to let go of the things that aren’t contributing to your success.

The Off Season Training Course

For those serious about maximizing their off season results, the full Off Season Training Course is your next right step. This comprehensive training course comes with a detailed workbook, 24/7 access to exclusive off season videos, a detox plan for your business and so much more. Equipped with this course along with the other two resources mentioned above, you are destined for an off season packed with purpose and power!

Have you planned your off season for this year yet? Have you blocked out a window of time specifically for working on your business, your mental and physical health, and your relationships? If not, you are doing your business a disservice. Decide today to implement an off season into your business plan and when you ask yourself “will this advance me to the next level?” the answer will be 100% yes!

If you’re looking for another feel-good article about easy ways to keep New Year’s Resolutions and a list of the most popular resolutions, this isn’t it. We’re excited about the new year, as you should be because it means limitless options for wealth, success strengthened relationships and reaching the next level. But we are also realistic and know that a significant percentage of goals and commitments made in the excitement of the new year fizzle out by mid-march. Why? Because without a plan, without calculated action steps, without deadlines and accountability, new year’s resolutions are just wishes. So this year, why not decide to be intentional about your growth and success instead of hoping that it happens simply because you said it on January 1st?

One of the ways to ensure that your new year’s resolution sticks and doesn’t fade away once the excitement of the new year is gone is by planning an off season that allows you to plan, analyze, strategize, refocus and recharge. While you may plan to charge full steam ahead into the new year, make sure part of your business plan for 2019 includes an off season. We’ve discussed the many different benefits of the implementing an off season and all the things an off season is not, but one of the biggest moves you can make is implementing the Off Season Training Course into your business plan. If you are going to be intentional about creating a powerful off season, the best way to do it is to completely immerse yourself in the resources, planning pages, workbooks and audio downloads we’ve created to help you maximize your off season results.

Another way to ensure your goals become a reality is by connecting with people who will hold you accountable. Finding a mentor is a powerful way to get a fresh perspective on your ideas and learn new ways to reach the next level. By sharing your dreams and aspirations with someone who is passionate about your success, you are arming yourself with someone who will push you to keep going, even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it. Attend networking events, participate in a mastemind class, or simply seek out the guidance of someone who has “been there, done that” to keep yourself accountable.

One final way to make sure you are next level bound in 2019 is to make sure you put habits and rituals in place that will set you up for success. Decide what your absolutes are and stick with them. What are some things you can commit to doing that will benefit you in the long run? What are some temptations that you know will set you back and what can you do to avoid them? This may mean saying no to happy hour with coworkers to stay committed to your habits or distancing yourself from a less-than-supportive friend who often sidetracks you from your commitments and plans. Let a few trusted friends know about the habits and rituals you’re trying to establish so they can help you stick with it.

January 1st is a great time for fresh starts and new beginnings, and we strongly encourage you to use this new chapter as a time to set big goals. By planning a powerful off season, finding a mentor and establishing habits and rituals that will keep you focused, you can make sure your 2019 starts with purpose!