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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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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]A little louder for the people in the back….

Self-improvement is not selfish.

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” – Albert Einstein

September Self Improvement Series:

Self-improvement is not selfish. Out of all of the lies I wish people would stop believing, this one is at the top of my list. Far too often, we say yes to everyone else and leave nothing for ourselves. We teach and we lead, we guide and we love those around us, but if we don’t do these things for ourselves, we’re doing our families and our businesses a disservice.

When you focus on self-improvement, everyone wins. When you establish healthy habits and rituals, you feel more balanced and in control. When you feel more balanced, you are better equipped to help others find their balance and manage them well.

When you focus on self-improvement, you become a better team player. When you set and reach personal goals, you’re more confident setting and achieving goals as part of a team.

When you focus on self-improvement, you learn more about yourself. Being intentional about stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to discover strengths and passions that you never knew you had. Taking a good hard look at your weaknesses can be uncomfortable, but when you work through them, you’re a changed person on the other side.

When you have a more in-depth understanding of who you are (and your WorkExpression, more on that later), you can walk confidently into any work task or business meeting and know exactly how your strengths can be used to move the company forward.

So, one more time. Self-improvement is not selfish. It’s productive, and it’s hard sometimes, it’s exciting, it’s valuable, it’s necessary, it’s beautiful. It is a lot of things, but it is not selfish.

Let that go. Focus on being the best version of you. And watch everything else fall into place.
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“Let us realize that: the privilege to work is a gift,
the power to work is a blessing,
the love of work is success!”
-David O McKay

All too often we are guilty of assuming people can read our minds. We notice an employee or colleague does something helpful or impressive and we think to ourselves how much we appreciate them, but we rarely vocalize it. I know I’m guilty of this. Labor Day, a day set aside to honor the American worker, is a time to reflect on the hard work the people around you put into their jobs every day. It’s also a time to reflect on how much work you’ve done this year and celebrate your victories and accomplishments.

As a business leader, we need to make our employees feel seen, heard, appreciated and validated. We can do this in a number of ways. Showing gratitude for their labor does not have to be a grand ordeal. Simply popping into their office to let them know you appreciate them can really change their day and shift the culture of the workspace. Employees are much more likely to work hard when they know their efforts are seen and appreciated.

You can take them to lunch, give them a shout on social media, offer time off, or host a team event just to show your appreciation. There are many ways you can let your employees know that they matter. 

Today, maybe you’re celebrating  Labor Day on the beach, or at a backyard picnic with friends. Maybe you’re still in the office, because you’re a hustler and things have to get done. However you are choosing to spend this Labor Day, remember to take time to reflect on all of the hard work you’ve put into your business so far. Use this upcoming week to remind those around you that their contributions to the company matter. That they matter. When we put people above profits, big things happen. 

My challenge for you this week: 

#1: Be intentional about showing gratitude to those around you.
#2: Use today to rest, but hustle hard this week to not only meet your personal and professional goals but crush them. 

In chapter two, one of the main characters, Scotty, finds himself in the middle of the woods with just a canvas bag of supplies. He’s been left there, the sun is setting, and he’s absolutely sure there are bears all around him. Because he has no other option, he uses the tools in his bag to find his way to security and safety. Waiting there for him at the end is his mentor sitting back comfortably, awaiting his arrival.

Scotty’s mentor had given him everything he needed in that tote bag to be successful. But most importantly, he saw something in Scotty that Scotty did not see in himself. It was not until after he was pushed out of his comfort zone that Scotty was able to see his full potential.

I can relate so closely to this part of the book because I’ve had so many mentors in my life who have pushed me out of my comfort zone. They didn’t tell me what to do; they didn’t tell me the things I wanted to hear. They gave me the tools and the resources I need to be successful and then let me do it on my own. This is what it true mentor does.

In business and life, we have to take advantage of the opportunities we have to mentor and be mentored. We must constantly be looking for people who have more experience than we do and strive to learn from their mistakes. We must also always be looking for those who could use a little guidance to get to their next level.

This week, I have three challenges for you.

Number One: Pre-order your copy of Swim

Number Two: Reach out to someone who has been a mentor to you. Thank them for their wisdom, time, energy, and advise and tell them specifically what their contribution had on your life.

Number Three: Look for opportunities to mentor someone new in the game. Without being pushy, offer gentle advice, words of wisdom, or guidance to help someone make their next right step.

As I get ready for 2019 and reflect on 2018, I realize that I was very intentional on preparing my family, and my life, for our personal off season. I took deliberate steps to ensure that the time that all three of my kids were home would be uninterrupted and free of distractions to take advantage of the small chunk of time we had together. I made a list of three things that I consciously did that I feel contributed to the success of our families off season. And then I took it a step further and thought about how I could use the same three steps to make sure my professional off season is just as successful.

Schedule It

One of the first things that I did was figure out and schedule what dates all three of our kids would be home. I put this in our calendar in big red marker and highlighted it. This time was blocked off. Nothing else was going in this window of time. When people would ask me to do things like attend schedule birthday parties, or go golfing,  or anything else during that time, I could confidently look at my calendar and give them a hard no. This time was blocked off and reserved for family time, and nothing else was going in this space. I was more than happy to schedule outings and work meetings and other things before or after this specific block of time, but I was unwilling to compromise my time with my family for other things. As a successful businessman, I live by my calendar. I keep my calendar handy on my phone at all times and look at it multiple times a day. It helps keep me organized and focused. Anything that is important and needs to be remembered goes in my calendar. So my personal off season went there as well.

Busy business leaders live by their calendars. Whether it is an app on their phone or good ol’ fashioned pen to paper, a calendar keeps meetings, deadlines, goals, and important information organized. Your professional off season needs to go in your calendar. Right now. Go write it in there. If you don’t, there is a chance that something ‘“more important” could get scheduled in that space and your off season could be pushed back indefinitely. You can tell a lot by a person by looking at their calendar. Things that are important to you going to your calendar. Your off season needs to be there too.

Warn People

Another thing that I did, almost subconsciously, was warn people about my personal off season. I let the people in my inner circles know that this specific time was going to be spent with the four people I love the most in the world. I let them know that if I didn’t respond to their texts right away, or was a little off the grid, that it was nothing personal and they had nothing to worry about. I was just being present with my family. I learned that by warning people ahead of time that I was going to be unavailable for other activities, that I got a lot fewer interruptions. It also helped to quiet that nagging voice in my head that tempted me to reply to work-emails or return non-urgent phone calls during this time.  It even sparked conversations with friends and acquaintances about the benefits of an off season.

I heard from multiple people over the holidays that printed out the free off season planning page, and they were all impressed at how a single resource could help them take the first step towards a successful off season.  I actually heard from someone over the holiday break that they implemented an off season into their life after listening to our off season audio download. They are excited for 2019 and report that it has changed the trajectory of their life. That is a big deal!

One of the biggest distractions from growth and development during your professional off season is your inner circle. You love these people, care about these people want to spend time with these people. These are your golfing buddies, your family, your neighbors. These people may see your professional off season as a “break’” and unintentionally interfere on this important time. Before you start your off season, tell the people around you. Explain to them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it so that they can give you the creative space you need without interruptions. Warn people ahead of time that you may not answer texts as fast as you normally do, that you may be “off the grid” for a short period of time, but that you’re fine. More than fine, actually. You’re devoting your time and energy on things that will get you to the next level.

Practice Saying No

Believe it or not, even though my off season was scheduled in big bold letters in my calendar and I told people about it, I still got invitations for outside activities during this time. However,  over the years I’ve learned that saying yes to something means saying no to something else.  If I were to say yes to these outside invitations, I would be saying no to fishing trips with my kids, late-night chats by the pool, and other precious memories that I wasn’t willing to give up. So I said no. And I said it often. More often than not, people completely understood my reasoning for my personal off season and respected my boundaries. I saw the power of no reflected in my kids as well. There are a hundred of other things that they could be doing during this window of time when they are not in school, but it made my heart happy to see that they felt confident saying no to those things as well. And not because we were bugging them as their parents, but because we’ve instilled in them the importance of family time and creating memories together.

People understand personal off seasons. They get that you want to step away from work and spend time with your family. However, sometimes they don’t understand a professional off season. They don’t get why you would step away from work, to work on work.  People who don’t intentionally schedule off seasons into their lives typically see any time away from work as a vacation. Help them to understand the benefits of a powerful offseason, but continue to say no. The time you have to focus on your business, to analyze and plan and brainstorm and create and focus on your vision is very limited, and saying no to outside interruptions will help you maximize this time.

My personal off season with my wife and kids meant the world to me we are sad to see them go. But I feel refreshed and ready to get back to work after this priceless family time. As I sit at my computer to jot down my thoughts, I am excited to get back to work. I’m excited to work on the one thing that I am so passionate about: motivating and inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs to get to the next level.

I sincerely hope that your holiday season and personal off season has left you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on 2019. One of my favorite Bible verses talks about how there is a time for everything; a season for building and a season for tearing down. Your season for building up great things and breaking down bad habits is now. I’ve also put together a few off season resources to help you plan a professional off season that will make you feel the same way.

Cheers to more family time, productive off season, and growth and development in 2019 like we’ve never seen before!

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!

 

October was another busy and successful month for the Bonds! We traveled, spent time with loved ones and stayed busy. We’ve been making changes to our lifestyle and committing more time to our physical and spiritual health each morning before we get started on our workday. Our kids are out of the house so we’re removed from a lot of the Halloween festivities, but our family is serious about Thanksgiving and Christmas!

We spent October in Kansas City and San Diego. We mixed business with pleasure as we toured a gorgeous California winery and met a lot of great people who are undoubtedly on the fast track to the next level.

We spoke to business leaders in the real estate and franchising industries, and motivated people to develop clear mission statements, establish healthy habits and rituals, and dove into the importance of building relationships and networking.

Walter channeled his inner athlete as he spent time with the coaches and players of the Cleveland Browns. Walter felt right at home sharing words of wisdom and experience with young, hungry athletes who were focused on growth and continued success.

We were also fortunate to participate in a handful of networking events right in our own backyard, West Palm Beach, and met some inspirational “movers and shakers” who are changing the game in their individual industries.

Another major milestone was the launch of our highly anticipated Next Level: Mastermind Group. We started this intensive training program out strong; connecting business leaders, network marketers, and entrepreneurs together to discuss topics that would help them transform into impact players in their companies. Spots may fill up for November, so if you are interested, get in on it now!

We’re not the kind of family to rush into Christmas preparation and do our best to spend November reflecting on our blessings and fostering an attitude of gratefulness. But you better believe we will be 100% in Christmas mode right after our post-Thanksgiving Day meal nap! Anyone else?

You’ll start 2019 the same way you ended 2018, so join us in making these last few months others-focused, intentional, and next level bound.

 

You’d be surprised at how many entrepreneurs, business leaders, and network marketers can’t recite their company’s mission statement. That’s like an actor getting up on stage without ever seeing a script, or an individual stepping onto a train without looking at a map. It’s a recipe for disaster. A clear and compelling mission statement is the script, the map, the purpose for a company to reach the next level. But a mission statement is not something you throw together on your commute to work one day. To create a solid mission statement that will get your company inspired and re-focused, consider these 5 ways to write a mission statement that moves people.

Less Is More
This is a mission statement, not a company profile or biography. You want your mission statement to be something people can say, remember and recite easily. You want it to wrap up everything your company does into a sentence or two that packs a punch. It will be the filter in which you run every business decision, so it needs to encompass the values and goals of the company in a sentence or two. Here are some examples of powerful, yet short, mission statements:

  • JetBlue: To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
  • Life is Good: To spread the power of optimism.
  • Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
  • Hyatt: “To provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day.”

Even though they are short, you have no question about what they do or who they do it for after reading their statement.

While many companies choose to go the more detailed mission statement route, most never exceed more than 2-3 sentences. Think about the things that are critical for people to understand about your company. Use that. The other stuff can be featured in the vision, on your website or in your logo. Your mission statement is sacred and should be reserved for the values and ideas that your company holds in the highest regard.

Don’t Be Generic
When you are creating your mission statement, make sure that it’s unique to the goals and values of your specific company. If you can plug the name of any company into your mission statement, it’s too generic. Make a list of catch phrases and keywords that are unique to the culture of your business, and see how they can fit into your mission statement. Get creative. This often serves as a customer’s first impression of your company. Stand out.

Ask The Foundational Four
Your mission statement is a statement of purpose. It’s not a fluffy, feel-good sentence that people want to put on a bumper sticker. It’s a confident statement that embodies who your company is. As you create your mission statement, make sure it answers these four foundational questions:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we do?
  • For whom do we do it?
  • Why do we do it?

If your customer base can’t answer these four questions after reading your mission statement, it needs to be revised. Customers should be able to know who you are and what value you add to their lives by reading your mission statement. Interview yourself. Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers. Then play with your answers until you can get all of the answers to flow together. That is your mission statement.

Keep Your Customers In Mind
Why do your customers need your service or product? What is your audience looking for in product or service such as yours? How can you let them know, from the get-go, that you have what they need? Your mission statement is a way for your company to stay focused, but it is also the way your customers understand what they can expect from you. Put the words they want to see up close and personal so that there is no question that your company can give them what they need.

Get Expert Help
Maybe you’re a strong business leader, but the idea of sitting down to write a mission statement gives you the heebie-jeebies. Maybe you are a phenomenal public speaker but getting the right words down on paper is something you struggle with. Or maybe you’ve never created a powerful mission statement before. If this is you, don’t just wing it. Join the Next Level: Personal Development Mastermind Group and get the expert advice you need to create a powerful mission statement that will change the course of your business and your life. Seeking out expert advice could mean the difference between a mediocre mission statement and one that truly embodies your company.

Leave your mission statement in the comments below, and we’ll try to guess your business!

As we prepare for the launch of Walter Bond’s newest initiative, The Personal Development Mastermind Group, we got to thinking about teamwork. About how every successful team is made up of committed individuals who share many of the same qualities but also offer a diverse and fresh perspective. The Walter Bond team is made up of people from all over with different skill sets and experiences, and it’s their individual strengths paired with the common goal that makes everything run smoothly.

Chances are, you are part of several different teams in all areas of your life. Your marriage is a team, your relationship with your friends is a team effort, your relationship with your kids is a team effort. At work, you cycle through many different roles on many different levels and teams that contribute to the success of the company. So how can you be sure you’re adding value to the team you’re on? How can you be sure you’re bringing your A game to the table?

See how you measure up against these 6 characteristics to determine if your team is getting the best version of you:

Show Up
Making an impact on the people that rely on you starts with being present. Be where you say you’ll be when you say you’ll be there. Actually, get there 5 minutes before. Being prompt and present is one way to show your team that you take your roles and responsibilities seriously. And being physically there isn’t enough. Don’t show up only to spend all of your time distracted by your phone or off in la la land thinking about your weekend plans. Be mentally and physically present to give your team the best version of you. In your personal life, showing up means sticking to your commitments. It means sticking around for the hard conversations instead of running away. It means showing the people in your life that they matter just by being there.

Listen
Everyone has been on a team with someone who just won’t stop talking. You can tell that instead of listening to what you’re saying, they are already formulating what they’re going to spout out next. These people are exhausting and take precious time away from the task at hand. Don’t be that person. Instead, use some of these techniques to practice active listening:

  • Make eye contact with the speaker
  • Take notice of your posture (slouching or crossing your arms makes you look defensive or uninterested)
  • Non-verbal gestures like nodding or smiling to let the speaker know you’re comprehending what they are saying
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand, or ask for clarification
  • Recite information back to ensure you got everything right

Be open to feedback and constructive criticism. The reason we have two ears and one mouth is because we should listen twice as much as we speak.

Be Flexible
Naturally, when you get a group of individuals together, there is always going to be some sort of conflict or difference of opinions. This is fine, healthy actually, and often results in healthy dialogue that leads to progress. Being flexible (without being walked on) is a vital trait of a valuable team player. Whether it is with your schedule, the specific process for a task, or the jobs you are assigned, being open-minded and flexible can help the team move ahead. Be willing to compromise and do things differently for the overall benefit of the team. A rigid and uncompromising attitude makes you hard to work with, and honestly, hard to like in general.

Be Others-Focused
This is not the “(your name here) show” This is a team effort, which means everyone’s thoughts and voices and opinions and ideas should have an opportunity to be expressed. Your ideas are not always the best ideas. You shine brightest when you give others the opportunity to shine. Know your strengths and use them with confidence to move towards success, while always pointing out the abilities and strengths of others. Whether it is your spouse, your best friend or your employees, more of them and less of you is a trusted recipe for an uplifted and motivated team.

Positive Attitude
Every day might not be good, but there is good in every day. Find the positive in every situation and refuse to be the gossip, the victim or the naysayer. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything; it simply means choosing to see the good in the people around you. It means showing up in each relationship with the expectation that there will be good that comes from this. Find ways to make others happy. Find ways to see the opportunity instead of the obstacle. Every team needs someone who will boost morale, stay on track and keep an eye on the emotional temperature of the group. That person is often underappreciated but can be the glue that holds it all together.

Gratitude and Accountability
An impact player is accountable for his/her actions. There is no finger pointing or blaming or excuses, only accountability and responsibility. You dropped the ball? Admit it. You messed up big time, own up to it. You said you were going to do something? Do it. Your success or your failure is dependent on you. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You are in control of what you do and how you do it. Welcome to adulthood; where you’re accountable for your actions.

While you’re always responsible for your own actions, there is power in showing gratitude for the efforts of others. A simple thank you goes a long way, especially to someone who believes their work is going unnoticed. You bring your A-game when you walk into every situation just thankful for another opportunity. When you express gratitude to others on your team, the team feels more connected, more valued, more appreciated. Start every day listing three things you are grateful for and watch as you begin to notice more of these things as you interact with your team.

There is no “I” in team, which means this team, this marriage, this friendship, this business partnership, is not about you. But the team does need you. You’re in this relationship or situation for a reason, and the people you’re working with deserve your A-game.

Want to learn more about how to be an effective team player and create effective teams? Click here to learn more about the Personal Development Mastermind Group launching Oct 24th. If you’re serious about getting to the next level and giving your team your best, you won’t want to miss it.