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Habits, Seven Takeaways

“I am better today, than I was yesterday.”

JIMMY C BLOG
Each day, when I rise, I say my affirmations. Sometimes I say them aloud… sometimes I say them in the shower… sometimes I just write them down… But each day, I’m best, if I begin with my daily affirmations and then prayer time based on each affirmation statement I make, or a specific Psalm I am praying through.

 

My second-to-last affirmation is I am excellent, I am transparent, I am coachable, I am aware – I am better today than I was yesterday.

 

I love this statement, because it is not only what I live by personally, but it is also my “WHY statement” for my existence here on earth. I want others to be the best versions of themselves, through being the best version of myself. I want to grow myself each day, so that I can impact others, so that they can grow themselves and impact others!

 

A big part of this best version of myself that I long to be, is my daily consumption of continuing education in all genres, through multiple senses of intake – listening to audio, reading books and articles, watching videos, etc.

 

Another big part of becoming this best version of myself, is the network I’m always trying to expand and develop, as well as the people I choose to spend my time with.

 

While I could write further about the network I’m working to continue expanding, as well as the people I choose to spend my time with, I suggest that you check out this article I previously wrote on networking, until I address this topic again soon with an article I’m working up that I’m very excited about sharing!

 

However, in today’s article, I want to share seven of my favorite continuing education sources, for you to check out and follow, because I think you will benefit from each in a specific way that can only enhance your growth.

Tim Ferriss

His book, The Four Hour Work Week, put him on the map, leading to other New York Time Best-Selling books in the “Four Hour Series”, such as The Four Hour Body and The Four Hour Chef.
You can buy those books at www.FourHourWorkWeek.com, along with reading some awesome pieces he has written and listening to his podcast (iTunes download link here), that I highly recommend you follow and consume weekly.
When you visit his blog, opt-in with your email address so that you can receive his awesome “Five-Bullet Friday” emails, to learn the five new tricks, tools, apps or tips he is sharing from his experiences in each given week!
I listen to his podcast every Monday and Friday, on my 25-minute commute to the office and my 25-minute commute back to my neighborhood. These episodes are usually 90 to 150 minute in length and quite meaty, but it’s a great learning tool.
My favorite part about Tim is that, even though I don’t agree with some of his viewpoints, is that he will bring on all types of minds from all types of backgrounds, to figure out what he refers to as their “brain hacks to achieve such a high level of success.” These guests include Glenn Beck, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Jon Favreau, Robert Rodriguez, and a plethora of Silicon Valley CEOs, executives and investment bankers.
These “brain hacks” are exposed for you and I to hear and apply in our own lives. Tim also takes phenomenal notes, which he then posts on his blog for you to read after or during listening.

EntreLeadership

This is a podcast born out of financial guru Dave Ramsey’s organization, Ramsey Solutions (formerly The Lampo Group). It’s directly born out of Dave’s book EntreLeadership, which now has a series of educational and networking events that you can attend, from their annual Summit in May, to their annual Performance Series and Masters Series in November.
This podcast (iTunes download link here) has had such an impact on me, that we’ve sent our management team to the Performance Series, my business partner and I are taking our wives with us to the Masters Series, and I’ve even been a guest on the actual podcast!
If you want to hear from the best leaders, both from business (ie. Jack Welch) and from other realms like sports (ie. Mark Cuban) and television (ie. Mike Rowe), to once again steal their “brain hacks of success” and apply them to your own life, than I highly recommend you listen to this show weekly!
I listen on Tuesday of each week, as it’s short enough for me to consume on a car-ride to and from work in one given day.

Darren Hardy

Read his book The Compound Effect (amazon link here) to understand why I love my daily affirmations, and how we all can be more intentional with each action and action plan we put in place, to create massive results in our life.
Also, I highly recommend you subscribe to his SUCCESS magazine, where you not only receive a great monthly set of articles in print (yes, a printed out magazine), but also receive a CD (yes, a CD) with phenomenal audio interviews between Darren and his monthly features from each respective SUCCESS magazine issue. His guests range from entrepreneur to Hollywood celebrities (ie. Magic Johnson, John Maxwell, Jamie Foxx, Ryan Secrest, Martha Stewart, etc..).
For me, this is weekend consumption material, both from a magazine reading and CD listening standpoint.

Tim Keller

This guy is absolutely the best communicator of The Gospel of Jesus Christ that I’ve ever heard or seen. I recently had the pleasure of attending three of his church campuses in Manhattan, to hear a sermon, and it was just as good of an experience as I anticipated.
His sermons are always around 30 minutes, with a unique mix of the truth that lies in The Bible, and secular stories, history or analogies that will resonate with both believers and non-believers in The Bible.
If you’re like me, a faithful follower of Christ and His Gospel, yearning to grow closer in your relationship with Him… OR…  you are a skeptic, atheist or agnostic… Regardless, I highly recommend you check out Tim’s sermon library (click here to check it out).
From a book perspective, this guy has authored so many that I couldn’t list them all. Some of my favorites, however, are The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (amazon link here), Counterfeit Gods (amazon link), Every Good Endeavor (amazon link here), and The Reason For God (amazon link here).

David Platt

Four years ago, my wife and I decided to switch our Birmingham church home from Briarwood Presbyterian to The Church at Brook Hills. While Pastor David Platt was not the reason for the switch, it was pretty rewarding to be lead as a church by this guy, until recently when he left to take the President role over 50,000 churches nationwide, for the International Missions Board (IMB).
His web site Radical.net is based on his New York Times best-selling book Radical. In addition to encouraging you to check out David’s web site, his books (Radical, Follow Me and Counter Culture), I highly recommend his Radical podcast (iTunes download link here).

Dave Ramsey

This guy is a legend when it comes to financial planning and true personal fiduciary responsibility. This is a place where I hope to spend a lot of time developing myself in my 30s, so that I can build a life for my kids that is limitless, while also putting myself in a position to give in an intentional way that impacts many different groups of people through God’s provision.
I’ve recently read his book The Total Money Makeover (amazon link here), but he has many others I have not read, that other people highly suggest to me frequently. I was recently at his Financial Peace Plaza offices in Nashville, only to visit the bookstore and see piles of new books I’m ready to check out and take massive action from reading!
Dave also has a highly successful radio show, which you can listen to through his iTunes podcast (download link here). It’s a daily show, so it’s tough to keep up with, but it’s worth having on your podcasts. His slogan is Live Like No One Else so that you can Live Like No One Else, which I love because that’s the way I want to think when I make decisions as a steward of God’s blessings.

Phil Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger

I’ve read more than 20 books this year, but Phil’s book Eleven Rings and Arnold’s book Total Recall, were two of the funnest and most motivating reads.
I firmly believe that, if you are out to be the best version of yourself, you not only need to learn from educational books and podcasts from people in MULTIPLE realms with MULTIPLE viewpoints [that your religion, culture of political party might not agree with], but you also have to read [auto]biographies from those who have lived incredibly impactful lives.
For me – it’s all about diversity – if I can create a diverse network of people that I surround myself with (age, race, religion, socioeconomic, etc.), and I can consume a set of educational material that comes from a diverse set of experts, I believe it will lead to a personally original approach that can impact a wider audience of people!
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Business, Podcast

Podcast Re-Launch Featuring Best-Selling Author Jon Acuff

TribeCast Logo Image Jon Acuff

 

Click HERE: Download TribeCast On Apple iTunes!

 

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Click here to view on iTunes

THIS MONTH ON TRIBECast we interview New York Times Best Selling Author, Jon Acuff.

Our interview with Jon covers the overarching ideas highlighted in his latest book “Do Over” which include not only Prioritizing, Grit, and a Career Savings Account™, but the path that led him to those topics.

Here’s a short description of the book from Jon himself:

“It took me sixteen years to write this book.

That breaks down to a brisk twelve words per day. But it wasn’t the writing that took so long. . . . It was the working.

I had to work at big companies and small companies. I had to get hired and fired several times. I had to find my dream job, then walk away from it. But after all that, I can now say the following with absolute certainty:

You already have everything you need for an amazing career. In fact, you’ve had it since day one.

“Brimming over with sound, practical advice, this book will benefit individuals looking to take charge of their careers at any stage.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Starting on the first day you got paid to scoop ice cream or restock shelves, you’ve had the chance to develop the four elements all great careers have in common: relationships, skills, character, and hustle. You already have each of those, to one degree or another.

Now it’s time to amplify them and apply them in a new way, creating a Career Savings Account™. This unique approach will give you the power to call a Do Over—whether you’re twenty-two, forty-two, or sixty-two. You’ll have the resources to reinvent your work and get unstuck. You’ll even rescue your Mondays as you discover how to work toward the job you’ve always wanted! Just as a bank account protects you during a financial crunch, a Career Savings Account™ protects you during a career crunch.”

Do Over – Book Preview from Jon Acuff on Vimeo.

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We also interview a Owner/Manager of our Iron Tribe Fitness On Ponce location in the heart of Atlanta, Ben Davis, as he talks about his mission to change over 2,000 lives in the metro Atlanta area while growing the Iron Tribe presence with excellence.

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We’d like to thank our Title Partner, Isagenix, for ensuring our athletes get the best products available for health and recovery.

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Click Here to learn more about Iron Tribe’s Tribal Wars, Powered By Isagenix, mentioned in this episode. The event is slated for Saturday, June 20th. Get your tickets before they sell out!
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For older episodes:

Episode 3: Tribal Wars 2014

Episode 2: Formerly, The Lab

Episode 1: Who We Are

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Perpsective, Seven Takeaways

7 Ways Michael Jordan’s Story Can Help You Win

I sat down with my oldest daughter, Savanah, to use our Apple Final Cut Pro editing program, to cut up an awesome MJ Documentary from the ESPN Sportcentury series. The one minute video snippets below, work in conjunction with these seven takeaways, to tell the story of MJ’s journey from scoring leader to team leader and six-time champion.

The State Of MJ: Pre-NBA Champion

I’ve learned from several CEOs and Leaders, much smarter than me, that leadership is the process of doing just that; letting go!

So how did Michael Jordan transform from a guy who couldn’t win in the playoffs to the best NBA player of all-time, who’s teams won six NBA Titles? What did it take for him to go from MJ the league’s top scorer to MJ the NBA Champ and G.O.A.T.?

1. Mentorship – MJ needed somebody who knew better than he did, and wasn’t afraid to tell him! You need a leader to lead you to become a leader.

I have to give my own personal shout out on this one. For me, that guy is Forrest Walden, my business partner and CEO at Iron Tribe.

Forrest has taught me countless ways to let go and become more than just a producer for our business, but instead, how to focus on leading the people on my team to be the best producers they can be for our team. And we have honest conversations regularly, which is integral to getting the feedback I need to continue being a best President for our company that I can be, and for me to give him that same feedback to be the best CEO he can be.

2. Transparency – You must open yourself to direct conversations. For MJ to truly know where he fell short, Phil Jackson couldn’t hold back. And, as you can imagine, Phil had a lot on the line. MJ was the franchise player for the Chicago Bulls. If Phil couldn’t get along with him, the Bulls would most likely choose MJ over him.

But Phil knew that if he didn’t tell MJ where he fell short and why the Bulls were losing, MJ may have kept playing the same way and never won a title – could you imagine that!?! Instead, Phil helped him get his head around this new offense and gradually gain belief in its philosophy.

3. Unselfishness – You will have to think about your team before yourself. It was a process, but Phil got MJ to continuously do this more and more, to the point that when he finally was in a defining moment in the 1991 NBA Finals against legend Magic Johnson and the LA Lakers, MJ deferred to his team first and it resulted in the Bulls’ first NBA Title.

4. Trust: You Trust Them & They Trust You – You will learn to believe in your team. MJ trusted his teammates in specific moments that showed it was genuine, and this pulled everyone together in a way where they were operating as a true team that nobody else could stop.

Once they know you believe in them, your team will believe in you. MJ and the Bulls couldn’t get enough, and neither can any team that is clicking on all cylinders. This is a productive form of desire that will help you accomplish things that you could have never imagined without the people around you being there with you each step of the way.

5. Boldness – You cannot hold back on pushing your teammates in an honest and constructive manner, which challenges them to not only be the best they can be, but to deliver their production responsibility for the sake of the team. MJ is legendary on this topic, sometimes going as far as hitting teammates in the face, (which I don’t recommend).

6. Confidence – After they believe in you, your team will follow you anywhere! MJ’s team not only trusted that he would take them to victory, but they were confident enough to be ready to deliver in their specific role or function, when called upon to do so – just look at John Paxon’s big shots in the 1991 and 1993 championships. Could he have hit those without MJ becoming the leader he became? Would the Bulls even have been in that position without MJ’s leadership growth. I think not.

7. Dedication – Leaders like this, will do whatever it takes to keep getting better because they want more. The best leaders are the best versions of themselves every day. They are continuously better the day you see them, than they were the day before.

Jordan only became better with time, and ultimately MJ ended his career with a six NBA Titles in six tries. Kobe couldn’t do it. LeBron can’t do it (he’s already lost three NBA Finals), and I’m not sure anyone ever will repeat a feat of perfection like this again in all of sport.

Phil Jackson is quite the common denominator when it comes to leading teams. He went on to lead Kobe and the LA Lakers to five more NBA Titles, to add to his six titles as the head coach of Chicago and two titles as a player with the NY Knicks.

However, he couldn’t do it, and neither could MJ or Kobe, without the team. That’s where it starts and that’s where it ends. You can’t do big things without a great one.

And your team can’t be great, without you stepping up and being a great leader.

What are you waiting for?

—–Read Below For The Full Version Of This Blog Article—–

I recently attended a brand-wide conference for a business partner of mine, who happens to be the seasoned CEO of a large franchise chain, that has a 200+ unit footprint throughout the southeast United States.

As he got up in front of his franchise owners and operators, he began to talk about teamwork, and one his core analogies were the phases of Michael Jordan’s career. He did a good job relating MJ’s career phases to his franchisees, and I left intrigued to dig a little further on the topic.

Now if you know me just a little, you know I’m a huge sports fan and I pride myself on knowing every and any fact I can, regarding the history of each sport, who did what, what team won the championship each season, what player went to what school, records set, etc…

But most of my knowledge was acquired at a time where I didn’t understand what it took for these athletes and teams to actually accomplish what they did – I had limited perspective because I learned these facts as a teen with limited perspective on life, compared to the perspective I have now, as a husband, father, friend and president of a nationwide fitness franchise.

So, when I left the conference, I dove back in to Michael Jordan’s career, to explore and see what I could learn that I either had forgotten or might have never knew about in the first place.

If you like sports, you’re going to leave this article ready to run through a wall!

OK — so we all love Michael Jordan. And if you don’t think he’s the best ever, well; you’re just plain crazy. Sorry, but come on. Six NBA Finals. Six Titles. Six Finals MVPs. That is all that needs to be said.

Because of all of MJ’s championships, seldom do you hear talk of MJ’s first six seasons, each of which ended with a loss and a great deal of frustration.

Despite winning scoring titles early on, MJ couldn’t figure out how to garner the same success for his Chicago Bulls team, as he was experiencing for himself – for instance, he averaged an NBA-leading 37.1 points per game (ppg) in the 1986-87 season, but yet his team was swept 3-0 in the first round of the 1987 NBA Playoffs to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics.

Keep in mind, since that 1986-87 season (almost 30 years ago), not one scoring champ has exceeded 37.1 ppg, with only two players getting within two points per game of this number; Kobe Bryant averaged 35.4 ppg to lead the NBA in scoring in the 2005-06 season and MJ averaged 35.0 ppg to lead the NBA in scoring in the 1987-88 season. Woah.

Basically, MJ was a great leader, as far as being the leading scorer. But that was about it.

As sensational as his individual talent was, MJ needed somebody to teach him how to engage his team to win games in a team sport that he happened to be approaching more as an individual.

This is something that anyone who has grown into any sort of leadership role, can relate to completely. Think about it. Most people are thrusted into a leadership role solely because they are great at doing something – they have talent. Not because they’ve displayed leadership capacity.

So naturally, the next move up in the organization chart, is for them to be a leader of a team, in a role where they are asked to influence other people to be the superstars that they had previously been in that same role. But it’s a totally different skill-set that they must learn to be as good of a leader as they were as a producer.

This same thing happens with business owners, who launch a business that requires them to play just about every role there is, from sales to marketing to product development to finance, and in between. These business owners successfully wear all these hats to prove the concept and grow their business. But then, the business owner who had the great idea and did everything to make it happen, now has to hire, develop and lead others to get their business to the next level.

MJ couldn’t play point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center and coach, all at once! He had to let go or else he’d never win.

I’ve had to go on a similar journey in my own career as an entrepreneur. I’ve struggled with finding the right people, trusting them, and ultimately; letting go so that they can fly as the superstars God’s intended them to be!

MJ’s story has seven core takeaways that I’ve had to learn in my own career as well.

I sat down with my oldest daughter, Savanah, to use our Apple Final Cut Pro editing program, to cut up an awesome MJ Documentary from the ESPN Sportcentury series. The one minute video snippets below, work in conjunction with these seven takeaways, to tell the story of MJ’s journey from scoring leader to team leader and six-time champion.

The State Of MJ: Pre-NBA Champion

I’ve learned from several CEOs and Leaders, much smarter than me, that leadership is the process of doing just that; letting go!

So how did MJ transform from a guy who couldn’t win in the playoffs to the best NBA player of all-time, who’s teams won six NBA Titles? What did it take for him to go from MJ the league’s top scorer to MJ the NBA Champ and G.O.A.T.?

1. Mentorship – MJ needed somebody who knew better than he did, and wasn’t afraid to tell him! You need a leader to lead you to become a leader.

I have to give my own personal shout out on this one. For me, that guy is Forrest Walden, my business partner and CEO at Iron Tribe.

Forrest has taught me countless ways to let go and become more than just a producer for our business, but instead, how to focus on leading the people on my team to be the best producers they can be for our team. And we have honest conversations regularly, which is integral to getting the feedback I need to continue being a best President for our company that I can be, and for me to give him that same feedback to be the best CEO he can be.

2. Transparency – You must open yourself to direct conversations. For MJ to truly know where he fell short, Phil Jackson couldn’t hold back. And, as you can imagine, Phil had a lot on the line. MJ was the franchise player for the Chicago Bulls. If Phil couldn’t get along with him, the Bulls would most likely choose MJ over him.

But Phil knew that if he didn’t tell MJ where he fell short and why the Bulls were losing, MJ may have kept playing the same way and never won a title – could you imagine that!?! Instead, Phil helped him get his head around this new offense and gradually gain belief in its philosophy.

3. Unselfishness – You will have to think about your team before yourself. It was a process, but Phil got MJ to continuously do this more and more, to the point that when he finally was in a defining moment in the 1991 NBA Finals against legend Magic Johnson and the LA Lakers, MJ deferred to his team first and it resulted in the Bulls’ first NBA Title.

4. Trust: You Trust Them & They Trust You – You will learn to believe in your team. MJ trusted his teammates in specific moments that showed it was genuine, and this pulled everyone together in a way where they were operating as a true team that nobody else could stop.

Once they know you believe in them, your team will believe in you. MJ and the Bulls couldn’t get enough, and neither can any team that is clicking on all cylinders. This is a productive form of desire that will help you accomplish things that you could have never imagined without the people around you being there with you each step of the way.

5. Boldness – You cannot hold back on pushing your teammates in an honest and constructive manner, which challenges them to not only be the best they can be, but to deliver their production responsibility for the sake of the team. MJ is legendary on this topic, sometimes going as far as hitting teammates in the face, (which I don’t recommend).

6. Confidence – After they believe in you, your team will follow you anywhere! MJ’s team not only trusted that he would take them to victory, but they were confident enough to be ready to deliver in their specific role or function, when called upon to do so – just look at John Paxon’s big shots in the 1991 and 1993 championships. Could he have hit those without MJ becoming the leader he became? Would the Bulls even have been in that position without MJ’s leadership growth. I think not.

7. Dedication – Leaders like this, will do whatever it takes to keep getting better because they want more. The best leaders are the best versions of themselves every day. They are continuously better the day you see them, than they were the day before.

Jordan only became better with time, and ultimately MJ ended his career with a six NBA Titles in six tries. Kobe couldn’t do it. LeBron can’t do it (he’s already lost three NBA Finals), and I’m not sure anyone ever will repeat a feat of perfection like this again in all of sport.

Phil Jackson is quite the common denominator when it comes to leading teams. He went on to lead Kobe and the LA Lakers to five more NBA Titles, to add to his six titles as the head coach of Chicago and two titles as a player with the NY Knicks.

However, he couldn’t do it, and neither could MJ or Kobe, without the team. That’s where it starts and that’s where it ends. You can’t do big things without a great one.

And your team can’t be great, without you stepping up and being a great leader.

What are you waiting for?

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Journal, Perpsective, Seven Takeaways

Failing To Succeed

In my Goal Setting Workshop that I hosted for 60 Iron Tribe athletes from our five local Birmingham gyms, I taught a formula to review the previous year to help set a plan for the best year ahead that you can envision.

Reviewing the previous year is where you have to begin, though. List at least five or more Accomplishments from the previous year and then list five or more Lessons Learned from the previous year.

The key is to ALWAYS start with Accomplishments and really take the time to name at least five – you’ll be amazed at what you’ve forgot you’ve done. From there, you’ve surely learned things in the previous year, that will only make you wiser for the year ahead.

So what are YOUR Accomplishments and Lessons Learned from 2014?

OK. I’ll start… Here are 7 of my Accomplishments and 7 of my Lessons Learned;

Accomplishments
  1. Completed 100 Day Strength Program
  2. Joined Aspire Movement Board / Began Mentoring Sixth Grade Boy
  3. 30+ Date Nights w. my wife Yazmin / 3 Concert Trips w. Yazmin (ALONE 🙂 )
  4. My 12 year old, Savanah, averaged 4 A’s & 1 B+ in fifth grade and continues this in sixth grade.
  5. Iron Tribe was Inc. 5000 #602
  6. Three Family Vacations (NY/Adirondacks + Charleston/Beach)
  7. Published my first book (No B.S. Brand Building) with Entrepreneur Press

*Reached 11 goals from 2014 (out of 31 = 35%)

Lessons Learned
  1. Being the leader (husband/father) of a wife with three kids is very hard – I am not above this.
  2. My time with my Iron Tribe brand, is most valuable if I lead then do, NOT do first.
  3. If I am poor steward of my gifts and/or money, I can undermine any of my successes.
  4. You cannot plan everything, nor can you equate all success on planned items – sometimes you have to let go.
  5. My faith is my only hope – when left alone and not pursuing Him daily, I am hopeless.
  6. Even when I think I am being a good leader of my house, I might not be doing so in the eyes of my wife and kids.
  7. I cannot afford to put myself in tempting environments where I am simply relying on my own self-control.

In this Goal Setting Workshop video, I share my entire Goal Setting Formula and The Fuel source for which you can stick with it.

This is the Goal Setting Exercise that goes along with the video, should you want to completely review 2014 and set your 2015 Annual Plan per the formula I taught – Click Here to Download – It contains a special bonus piece on The Fuel behind your Formula, which will help you stick with your plan for 2015!

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