Matthew's Mind

Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.

You’ve heard “Give credit where credit is due”, right?

Well forget it. It’s wrong.

Let me give you something that’s better, that’ll become your recipe for invincibility.

  • If it’s bad/wrong/failed/negative – it’s me. (extreme ownership)
  • If it’s good/right/worked/incremental – it’s us. (collective win)
  • If it’s great/proven/breakthrough/monumental – it’s them. (culture king)

Me, us, them.

When you internalize this “credit formula”, you’re unstoppable.

We’re all about growth.

The next accomplishment, busting through our goals, bigger, better, stronger, higher, faster, louder. More.

I’ll own up to that too. The words, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying” have flowed from  my mouth hundreds of times. And to a large extent, a growth based mindset is vital to success.

But what if the goal itself is wrong?

What if you’re climbing to the top of a 3 foot ladder?

Recently I’ve seen a lot of people charging hard, who haven’t paused to ask themselves WHY enough. Growth is good, success is good, but make sure you’re clear about the reasons why.

Then climb that extension ladder, and leave your 3 footer at home.

This week I was having dinner with my sister

Melinda’s in her early 30’s and was telling us how this is the best decade of her life! In her 20’s, she didn’t have the experiences, perspective or the resources (money and other) to really appreciate life. Now that she’s into her 30’s things are different. Melinda can enjoy herself more, she can put life experiences into perspective, and she can decide what belongs in her life and what doesn’t.

Melinda also shared another insight:

Now in her 30’s, she stopped caring what other people think.

And she’s serious. In an incredibly positive way, I’ve seen Melinda become much more self aware over the last couple years and independently own her decisions, trajectory and impact. From a brother’s perspective, from the outside looking in, it’s a beautiful thing.

We laughed at that comment for awhile, but then I mentioned how he comment fit into a narrative I heard years ago and still believe today.

In your 20’s, you care what other people think.

In your 30’s, you stop caring what they think about you.

In your 40’s, you realize they were never thinking about you to begin with.

The punchline?

The sooner we all get to living our own lives, on our own terms, for our personal reasons, accountable to ourselves – the better we’ll be. In the end, that’s what everyone else is doing. They’re not sitting around, thinking about you. Better we realize it now and feel the freedom and empowerment that brings.

Every couple months my wife forwards me something from the website Shutterfly. We do a lot of photo work there and periodically they send us emails that say “Your memories from this week two years ago…” (here’s the last one).

Then I brace for the unimaginable.  Because opening Alice’s forwarded email, I have the same thought. Every. Single. Time.

I can’t believe that was two years ago!

It seems like yesterday.

Then I smile looking at the pictures, feel a pit in my stomach and move forward into the day. Today that means a morning routine that started at 3:50 am, an hour commuting, finalizing a presentation for a 40 client lunch, confirming tomorrow’s travel details, reviewing a new hire training calendar, 6 scheduled coaching calls, packing for tomorrow’s trip, cancelling a baseball tournament, one child’s swim practice tonight, three children’s bedtime routines (two needing medicine, longer stories there) and countless other duties! That’s not considering the dozens of items happening at home and the boy’s school, while I’m at the office.

All adding up to my thought:

How can the days feel so long, but the years so short?

It doesn’t make sense. But it does. But it doesn’t. And I don’t know what to do about it.

It’s 5:30 am and I’m walking from my car through a parking lot, down an embankment and onto a high school track. And it’s dark. Not like kind of dark, with a few lights sprinkled here and there. But really dark, like you can barely decipher five feet in front of you and you’re merely hoping not to fall.

It’s 5:40 am and I’m through my warm up. I’ve also noticed that somehow, without any lights turned on or sunlight yet, I can see everything much better.

It’s 5:50 am and I’ve ran the first couple intervals. Looking around myself now, still without sunlight, I can see across the entire field and recognize anyone else on the running track with me.

Funny.

You put yourself in situations where you feel completely blind (literally and figuratively). However, somehow you adapt and thrive.

Then the next time … the next morning or situation … you encounter “darkness”, you internally know that you’ll move forward and crush it – never allowing that blind feeling to stop your progress again.

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“Fees are relevant in the absence of value.”

– AE Hall of Fame Producer Trail Hogspete & jon

 

 

If you don’t have enough intentional, strategic value to offer, that’s a problem. In that case, the conversation comes back to a commoditized product and the costs/fees associated with it.

(How much are you asking for that used Toyota Camry?)

Consequently, if you don’t have confidence in the value you provide – start there. It’s really the only place to start … if you want to bust out of the commoditization trap.

Bring more value first, develop a strategic process second and be transparent throughout.

Sounds simple, but it’s not. That’s why people who commit here dominate the competition.

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Pre-kids, I had buddies who loved “Sunday Funday”. Too many drinks (starting early), pools, golf courses, fantasy football and pizza. Life was simpler, and more self-indulgent, then. Post-kids, “Sunday Funday” tends to fade away. Not enough time for all that indulgence. More to think about that just ourselves.

But does it have to? Or can it just evolve?

In our home, that evolution has taken place – which means Sunday celebrations of Faith/blessings, electronics intentionally being put aside, cooking together and whatever brings our core closer. If we’re lucky, maybe even a ball game now and then (Go Royals! #wildcardchase).

So what about your life? Are any “Sunday Fundays” (or other rituals) due for an overhaul?

Old habits die hard. But maybe that death needs to happen to fit your world today (& desired tomorrow). Intentionality is everything.

“I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave,
and the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name.
So when I leave here on this earth, did I take more than I gave?
Did I look out for the people or did I do it all for fame? “

macklemore— from Macklemore’s Glorious

We all think about the first, but what about the second?

What’s your legacy going to be?
Whether it’s family members, friends, clients, colleagues, community members or other people around the country or world…

If you died tomorrow, when’s the last time somebody would mention your name?

Time to give more.

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Anytime a seasoned professional states “I hate _____” (really anything) I’m instantly leery.

And I could be wrong here…

Speaking into the financial world, I know there are instruments available that are just outright horrible for the client. Ponzi schemes, unregulated industries and that overseas easy-money thing your neighbor told you about come to mind. Those might be “hate-able”.

But with regulated financial vehicles that have tens or hundreds of billions of dollars placed into them – my gut says they serve a logical purpose.

So as a client, or an advising professional, we need to discuss:

  1. What’s the person making the statement’s motivation? Short or long term money? Headlines? Notoriety? Website traffic?
  2. How is the advising professional paid?
  3. How could they be right, and everyone else wrong?

Want more? All you have to do is ask me.

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