Your Mindset And Skillset Determine The Results In Your Business

Your mindset is such an important thing to understand and implement in your creative life and business.

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The Results In Your Business Come From Your Mindset And Skillset

Whatever your current business looks like, it’s directly traceable to your mindset and skills.

The perfect example is how many businesses threw up their hands in the first few months of the pandemic and all of it’s second-order effects.

Many artists and creatives were hit incredibly hard. The gig economy shut down overnight and still hasn’t recovered.

Currently many states are seeing a second lockdown, government orders to stay home and limit gatherings.

Hard to have a show with hundreds or thousands of people to come hear you perform in those conditions.

Yet, none of those things are in your control. They never were.

Whether a venue owner booked you on a show, whether people showed up, sure, you could influence those things, but you never had 100% control over them. If you did, every show would be sold out and you could play to the same crowd multiple times a week at $100 per ticket.

That’s not reality. Not now, not then.

The main difference between those that are thriving right now and those that no longer have any income from their art is their mindset.

Your Mindset Is More Important Than Your Skillset

There are plenty of other musicians, photographers, artists, filmmakers, stylists, designers, and more that have the same level of skills – or greater – than you do.

Yet some people who lack on the skillset still have managed to grow their business this year, find new ways to make an income, and are reaching more people than ever before.

With the right mindset you can use your skillset in new ways that lead to new opportunities. With a bad mindset you, instead, decide that the events around you are too large to overcome and you give up.

Two quick examples –

When the pandemic hit the U.S. my wife’s photography business stalled. Rather than lament the loss and postponing of shoots, the channeled her energy into a side-business with her sisters and started doing photo shoots and even video interviews of people who were using the product she created.

Those highlights and videos were viewed hundreds of times and led directly to sales of their planner.

Same skillset, different mindset.

Hayley Barry is a hand-lettering artist. When the pandemic hit, she wanted to bring some awareness to local shops that didn’t have the budget to advertise and saw a dramatic decline in foot traffic to their businesses.

She decided to take her hand-lettering skills and apply it in a different way to help others, like here and here.

She saw things a different way than others and has grown her audience and her income over the last 8 months because of it.

It’s not the skills you have that determine how well your business works. It’s your mindset.

Whatever you’re experiencing in your business right now, you can change or improve it with just your mindset.

The answer isn’t to work harder – it’s to see the situation in a different way and approach it with a different mindset so that you can not just survive, but thrive.

A few questions you can ask to help focus your mind:

  • what outcomes do I truly care about?
  • who do I want to serve?
  • what do they really need right now?
  • how can I use my skills to help them?
  • what other assets do I have that I can use in different ways?

I hope you have a great week. Please be safe, tell your friends and family you love them and let me know if there’s anything I can help you with on your creative journey.

If Your Business Isn’t Growing It’s Because You’re Doing The Wrong Things

Or, “want do grow your business? What got you here won’t get you there…”

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I’ve written about leverage before, and I guarantee I’ll do it again. it’s become one of these fundamental principles for my business as I’ve been focusing on growing it into not just something sustainable, but something that can have a bigger impact than I ever imagined.

The Power Of Leverage

I shared this on Twitter earlier this week and have been thinking about it a lot the last few days:

It all starts with a desire to change the way your life looks. Maybe you no longer want to work for a boss, or want more freedom of expression, more control, more opportunities, more growth.

That desire sparks an ideawhat if I started my own creative business?

So you start executing. You get up earlier, stay up later, and start working on your project whenever you can.

You’re often trading “time for dollars” – play a gig, get paid.

Take someone’s photos, get paid.

Film a video, get paid.

Write an article, get paid.

Then at some point, when you realize that, “hey, I’m actually good at this!”, you decide you want to turn it into a real business.

So what do you do? You work harder.

This is the point that separates those that succeed and grow their business and those that struggle for years and years with their creative business.

When you look back on that tweet, is the next step “Execute Harder”?

NO!

The way to grow your business from a few thousand dollars to a real business that can pay you a full-time salary is not to work harder. Execute more. Make more of whatever it is you make.

NO – the way to grow your business from this point is to build systems.

What does that mean?

It means that your business can grow without you needing to directly work on it.

You’re no longer trading time for dollars.

Maybe you create an email list, so that when people visit your website they can sign up to get something valuable from you – a download, a checklist, an ebook, an email course – and then they automatically get a series of emails over the next few days or weeks. That email system does a lot of the work for you, so that you don’t have to send every single email manually.

That email system, when it’s operating properly, can start delivering new clients to you.

You set up the system once and it works every day, every hour, even when you’re sleeping.

That’s just one example. You can have systems for getting leads, getting sales, marketing, content, and more.

The sooner you can shift from more work to better systems, the sooner your business will be free to grow.

But, what then?

Many – I’d even argue most creatives – would be happy to make $100-200k a year and have a great life. In most parts of the world that level of income for your business means that you can pay yourself enough to have a house, a car, provide for a family, save a portion of what you make, and retire happy.

But some want more. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – maybe they want to reach more people. Serve more, create more, provide more.

At this point, the answer to get there is not building more systems.

It’s not working harder.

It’s not coming up with a new idea.

NO!

At this point, you need leverage.

There are a very small number of one-person businesses that make $1M per year.

The reason is that you need systems and leverage to get from that six- to seven-figure level.

Leverage means that when you do something, the result is 10x greater than that same effort without leverage.

For example – I created my own course in April 2020. It sold about $1,000 in that first month.

Now, in May, I released a course with a partner. Same amount of work to film and edit the videos, create the website, and launch the course.

However, because I leveraged her audience, which was 10x the size of mine, she did $10,000 in that first week.

Same amount of work, 10x the results. That’s leverage.

I see this often with my friends that create videos on YouTube. They build a system that helps them release a video a week on their channel.

Unhappy with the results, they decide to work harder and release two videos a week!

Their results, however, merely double.

It’s still not enough.

It’s not until they apply some leverage that their channel begins to grow. They reach out to bigger channels to collaborate, tap into their audience, and see massive growth from subscribers and views.

Where Are You And Where Do You Want To Go?

So, where are you right now? Are you doing a few hundred a month in your business? A few thousand? Low five figures?

Where do you want to go next?

The way forward is not to do MORE of what you’ve been doing. The way forward is to understand whether you need an idea, more execution, better systems, or more leverage.

They also have to happen in order. It’s much harder to get leverage at the beginning when you haven’t put in the work yet or built any systems. That leverage is way more effective when it’s added on top of that hard work and systems that you’ve built.

What if you wanted to 10x your business next year? How would you do it?

Let me know where you’re at in the process. I’d love to see how I can help you get to that next level.

Your Mindset Determines The Results In Your Business

You are 100% responsible for the results in your business. What you do with that information – your actions – will determine whether you succeed or not in the future.

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This post is part of the 60 Day Project – one post a day to help you prepare your business for success in 2021. Subscribe using the button below to get new posts sent straight to your email.


I wanted to take a stab at a fundamental business mindset – taking responsibility.

When COVID-19 hit the US this year, it affected everyone. From individuals and families who have dealt with the virus and lost loved ones, to businesses that have closed, and governments who have scrambled to lead, I can’t think of anyone whose life hasn’t been affected in some way.

However, when we talk about how COVID-19 affected us, our mindset is quickly revealed.

Covid wiped out my business”

“The shutdowns have ruined everything”

People just aren’t XYZing anymore”

What do you say when you talk abou the affects on your business?

Our Actions Reveal Our Mindset

I’m not saying that you’re wrong – you might be completely accurate in what happened to your business. There certainly is a pandemic, shutdowns have occurred, and the economy has been hit hard.

But none of those things determined the current situation in your business.

Rather, your actions in response to those events – or your lack of action – is what caused the current reality.

If you had a mindset of resiliency, of responsibility, of taking action and getting resourceful, you likely have not only survived this year, but have even found new avenues to grow your business and reach more people.

If your mindset was one of victimhood, then you were able to justify doing nothing. Waiting for someone to come save you.

I’m not judging you one way or another, as neither is an inherently “right” or “wrong” stance to take. I do believe, however, that you can directly link the results to the mindset.

The Success Of A Business Is Determined By The Mindset And Skills Of The Business Owner

What’s more, 80% or more of that success is determined by the mindset of the business owner.

Today – to keep things short – I want you to think about the language that you’re using when it comes to the impact COVID has had on your business.

Are you being resilient and resourceful? Are you feeling like a victim who has no options left?

The reality, I believe, is that you are 100% able to create the reality that you want for you and your business. It comes down to your mindset and the actions that that mindset inspires.

If you’re struggling right now, check your mindset. Check your actions. Take responsibility for the current results you’re experiencing, and then do something to change it.

RPM Planning For Creatives

The RPM Planning System is my secret to getting more done and achieving more in my professional and personal life. The system guarantees results.

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This post is part of the 60 Day Project – one post a day to help you prepare your business for success in 2021. Subscribe using the button below to get new posts sent straight to your email.


Years ago I was listening to a Tony Robbins talk tape, and in it somewhere it had a number you could call or a website you could visit to talk with their team.

I was looking for answers. How to start and grow a business. How to find more success. How to get more control over the results I was experiencing around my work and my finances.

I got on a call, and while I couldn’t afford the coaching, the kind person on the other end of the line offered to send me some of the tapes that I didn’t have access to.

She literally told me to copy them to my computer and then send them back so I wasn’t charged for them.

Well, I took full advantage of the opportunity, ripped the audio to my laptop, and saved them all to dropbox for safe keeping.

The saleswoman suggested I start with a set of tapes called Time Of Your Life.

A ten-day program on productivity? That’s what she thought I needed to work on?

Turns out she was right, and the RPM system taught in that program has accounted for a massive chunk of the projects I’ve been able to accomplish over the last 10 years.

RPM – The Rapid Planning Method

Tony’s signature productivity program is known as RPM, or the Rapid Planning Method.

RPM also, however, stands for Results-focused, Purpose-driven, Massive action plan.

He’s getting a lot of mileage out of that acronym…

The goal of this productivity system is to help you get the results that matter most.

It’s not a to-do list.

It’s not about “getting things done”.

If you’re someone who wants to create, make, or produce – whether it’s products, or artwork, or creative projects – this is what RPM is best suited for.

While I can’t walk you through every step of the process (get the tapes for that) I do want to cover two parts that have played a massive part in my being able to start two businesses and a new blog this year, write every day, and survive the insane year this has been financially.

Let’s start with the three aspects of the philosophy, and then how to apply it to your weekly and daily planning.

Results Focused

The biggest shift you’ll make using RPM is from thinking about tasks to thinking about results.

Tasks are what you do every day, results are what you want long term.

I don’t know about you but I don’t get up in the morning excited about a long to-do list. I do, however, get extremely excited about making progress towards the big outcomes that I want in my life.

Shifting from “what do I have to do today” to “what do I want to achieve today/this week/this month/this quarter/this year” is massive, and is the first step.

You begin by writing down some results you want in both your personal and professional life. 5-7 each is a good number.

Maybe you want to lose ten pounds. Strengthen your relationship with your partner or kids. Get an extra month of expenses in savings. Grow your revenue, or increase profit margin, or create a new product.

Write them down. These serve as the results that you’re going to work towards and that will inform what you choose to do on a daily basis.

Purpose Driven

Once you’ve got your list of 10-15 results you want to achieve and before you start diving into action, we need to add in one extra step.

Not for arbitrary reasons. But because the difference between those that get a ton done and accomplish their goals is rarely because of how hard they work. It’s the reasons behind the goals that drive them to continue on whether it’s easy or hard.

With each one of the results that you’ve written down, take a few minutes to write down the reasons that result is important to you.

Some questions may help:

  • What will it mean to get this result?
  • What will you become when you reach this result?
  • What will this help you do?
  • Who will it serve?

List out as many reasons that can inform the purpose behind the goal.

Only then can we shift into taking action.

Massive Action

Big goals are achieved by taking the appropriate level of action. Just today I had a phone call with someone who was asking me about what it would take to 10x my business – 10x more leads, 10x more value per customer, and 10x more revenue.

I was surprised that it wasn’t going to require 10x more action. It wasn’t going to take 10x more time.

It mainly requires thinking 10x bigger. Thinking about leverage. Thinking about the people you work with and the systems that are working in the background.

Massive action doesn’t always mean more time or more effort. It is more of a shift in mindset.

What this looks like is listing out all of the different ideas that will help you get closer to the result that you’re after.

This is where we can look at a weekly and daily practice of implementing this RPM system for your creative life and business.

Weekly RPM Planning Session

Each week, take 30-60 minutes to revisit your goals and the results that matter to you. Make any additions or take out any that aren’t serving you anymore or have been achieved.

Take a look at the results that you want to accomplish and pick a few that are most important to you for the week ahead.

Add to your list of reasons and expand the purpose that’s driving you to get that results.

Then write down all of the big actions you can take this week to get that result.

Do this step for each and every result that you want to work towards this week.

Then, to take it one step further, roughly map out your week. Pick a day or a block of time during the week that you can devote to that result. I’ve found it more effective to put all of the actions for one result into as few chunks as possible, rather than work on every results every day of the week.

Being able to go deep on something each day will get you more progress than spreading those tasks over the whole week.

Try to get one or two blocks of a few hours into your schedule for the week. Getting them into your schedule or calendar before the week starts will prevent other tasks or invitations from holding back your progress.

Daily RPM Planning

Each day – and it doesn’t matter if it’s first thing in the morning, or at the end of the day in preparation for the next day – take 15 to 20 minutes to revisit your plan for the week and get more detail on the work you want to do for the day.

Schedule when you’re going to work on your project. Write down the people you need to communicate or follow up with. List out any other actions that will help you get the result you’re after.

I’ve started using Roam Research for this, in conjunction with a physical planner. I get up early and my morning routine is about an hour of prayer & meditation, and then 15 minutes of RPM planning in a physical planner.

When I get to the office I put my tasks from the planner into Roam so that it lives on my second computer screen all day. I can then tick off the tasks that I’ve accomplished and capture new ideas or tasks throughout the day, and then more easily copy & paste anything that needs to be done tomorrow if I didn’t get to it today.

The Results Speak For Themselves

When you’re constantly reviewing your high level goals and results for your life and business, you can’t help but focus on them and make progress. Exciting goals turns into exciting days working towards them.

In 2020, despite a global pandemic, I was able to start two businesses, create two of my own courses, film and produce four (and soon six!) courses for other creators, start a new blog, film a season of a television, produce two separate documentary projects, and more. In my personal life, I’m spending more time with my wife and kids, we’re in a position to finish the year with more money in savings than we’ve ever had in our 11+ years of marriage, and we are looking forward for everything to come in 2021.

Whatever system you choose, the important principles are to focus on the outcomes first and let the tasks be determined within that context, and to revisit your goals and results often to not only measure them but to keep them top of mind.

Doing so will help you get whatever you want from your life and business, which is a pretty great way to live your life.

Want help? Check out the different ways that I can help you reach your goals in 2020 and beyond.

Principles From My Favorite Self-Help Book

Today I turn 37. Today’s post is a list of my favorite, most influential principles from my favorite self-help book, The Book Of Mormon.

Cover of The Book Of Mormon – Another Testament Of Jesus Christ

This post is part of the 60 Day Project – one post a day to help you prepare your business for success in 2021. Subscribe using the button below to get new posts sent straight to your email.


Surprised that I would choose a book of scripture as my favorite self-help book? Then I apologize that I don’t talk about it more often.

In 2017 I wrote an entire book about the principles in The Book of Mormon. I was shocked to find that I had highlighted over 300 verses or sections during my research for the project and shared those in a daily email series that lasted more than 11 months.

The principles in The Book of Mormon, more than any other book, have improved my life, helped me to progress, and find joy and fulfillment.

I want to share those principles today on my 37th birthday, (I’ll try to get to 37 but I make no promises…) in hopes that they can help you as well.

In no particular order, here we go:

There Is A God

We have heavenly parents who love us, who know us, who we lived with as spirits before we came here.

There Is A Plan

This same God created a plan for us, his children, to be able to come here to earth, gain experience and make choices, and ultimately return to live with Him again.

There Is A Savior

Because the plan included agency – our ability to choose for ourselves between right and wrong, good and evil – there was also the reality that we would sin. Sin makes us imperfect, and so we needed a way to become perfect again to live with our family in heaven.

The plan required an ultimate sacrifice, one that could only be made by a perfect being. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, provided that sacrifice willingly, and by doing so he has made it possible for us to live with God again one day.

We Are Not Alone

God, in His infinite wisdom, didn’t leave us stranded here on earth to fend for ourselves. In this plan He provided a spiritual guide. A comforter, a source of truth and direction. A Holy Spirit that is one with Him in purpose – to help us live in heaven with our heavenly family forever.

Have Charity Towards Others

Charity is different than love. You can’t have charity for yourself – it’s an outward-facing attribute. This desire for the well-being of others is one of the most God-like attributes, and we should aspire to have charity for everyone.

There Is Opposition In All Things

This principle is essential when trying to make progress in life. There are choices to be made along the way, there are highs and lows, good days and bad days, love and hate, joy and sadness.

This opposition is important to remember – we wouldn’t know joy if there were no sadness. Our best days exist only because we are able to compare them to the hard ones.

Seek Joy

This life isn’t meant to be a struggle, a fight, a battle, or a war. We are here to have joy – joy in our work, in our relationships, in every aspect of our lives.

Keep Your Word

There is an emphasis on the importance of covenants in The Book of Mormon. A covenant is a promise we make with God – to keep His commandments, do His will, and live life in a way that shows Him how much we want to return to live with Him again. Our word is important – not just with Him, but with everyone with interact with.

Humility is Required

So many other principles – faith, hope, charity, repentance, obedience, etc. – are only possible if one is humble. Being humble means you understand a bigger picture – that without God nothing is possible. That we need to rely on Him, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit to get the joy we are after. That humility extends to the way we live our lives, treat other people, do our work, and more.

Avoid Pride

The opposite of humility is pride. It’s the belief that you can do it all alone, and that others – including God – should see things your way, rather than the other way around. Avoiding pride, entitlement, and the like is one of the best things you can do to have a life full of joy – because you’ll never be let down.

Seek Knowledge

Knowledge is mentioned many many times in The Book of Mormon. The desire for knowledge is important, to seek it, to nurture it, and to act on it. It’s a life-long pursuit that never ends, and can never be fully attained.

God Is Powerful

In moments that are hard, this principle helps me remember not only that I’m not alone, but that with God all things are possible. We can get so myopic sometimes, and just taking a moment to step back and see a bigger picture and remember the power that God has allows me to see and approach things a different way.

Faith Is Required

Faith, as I’ve come to define, is belief + action. Having faith means that I need to act in accordance with the things I believe in. My faith has not only allowed me to experience incredible joy through my efforts, but make incredible progress throughout my life.

Prayer Is Real

The ability to communicate with our Heavenly Father is an essential lifeline in my life. The responses aren’t always as quick as a text message or an email, but when I need Him, he’s there, and when I’m stuck, I can rely on Him to help guide me. Incredible blessings have come to my life through the power and act of prayer.

The Holy Spirit Knows ALL Things

No matter what I deal with in life, when things get hard, if I remember to be humble, to have faith, and to go to my Heavenly Father in prayer, there’s nothing that I can’t be taught or shown or directed to through the Holy Spirit. It’s – for lack of a better word – the ultimate “life hack”, to have the companionship of a member of the Godhead helping me in my life.

Remember Your Covenants

Similar to keeping your word, when you make covenants with God, they dictate the way you live your life. Covenants like baptism, receiving the priesthood, and marrying my wife are all things that inform how I live day to day. Remembering our covenants can help remove options in life that would only distract us from getting to where we want to go.

God Speaks To Us Through Prophets

Throughout the Book of Mormon we see examples of God speaking to prophets and leaders to guide groups of people. Following these inspired leaders gives me the direction I need at a high level to know what I can focus on to bring more joy into my and my family’s lives.

Scriptures Are A Source Of Truth

Truth is a knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. The scriptures not only teach eternal truths, but help us apply those truths to our own lives and situations. As a bonus, the act of turning to the scriptures for knowledge and truth and guidance is a way to interact with the Holy Spirit to get inspiration and revelation that may not be on the page, but comes from the process.

Diligence Is Needed

Life is hard sometimes. And those hard times can last longer than we hoped or expected. By keeping a long-term focus and not giving up, we can get through those times and we can come out stronger on the other end.

Agency Is Given To Everyone

When we disagree with or are frustrated by the actions of others, it’s important to remember that all have this same gift from God, the ability to choose and act for ourselves. We’re not always going to choose good over bad, right over wrong, and neither are others. We have to remember that the freedom to choose is God-given, and not for us to take away from others. Remembering this makes it a little easier when others make choices I disagree with.

In the Big(gest) Picture – Life Is Fair

There are rules, there are laws, there are things in place that – in the big picture, the eternal picture – make life fair. I realize my privilege as I write this, but firmly believe that God’s plan and God’s laws are fair. They are based on truth and justice, and we can use that truth and justice to feel better about the work we’re putting in every day, even if things aren’t working out how we’d planned.

Repentance Builds Faith & Humility

If there were a “superpower” of a principle, it’s repentance. Going to God regularly to ask for forgiveness for bad choices, missed opportunities, and the like gives you more of two other essential attributes – faith and humility.

It requires humility to repent – you have to believe that you need repentance in order to repent – and the act of doing so builds faith.

Prosperity Comes To Those Who Do God’s Will

My experience has been that the more that I’m living these principles, the better my life is. I have more joy. I have more peace. More unexpected blessings come into my life from my Heavenly Father. I feel closer to Him and feel more guided and more clarity from the Holy Spirit.

We Show Our Love For God Through Service

When our lives are centered around benefitting others rather than just ourselves, it’s a way to show God that we “get it” – that we understand the plan, and we’re willing to be a part of it. Communities and families in The Book of Mormon thrived when things were common among them, when they looked out for each other, when they acted out of love and charity rather than pride and to “get gain”. God then rewards those people when they are serving each other and loving each other.

Work Is Necessary

In order to realize any of the principles and blessings that are outlined in The Book of Mormon, we have to put in the work. Not only for a short, set period of time, but for our whole lives. We need to be actively engaged, putting effort into things that are good, that serve others, that make the world a better place. The blessings flow to those who act in faith, not those who are slothful or lazy.


I lost count as to how many principles were covered there, but I want to end with my belief that these principles have served me well over the last 37 years.

Many were taught to me by loving parents who I am incredibly grateful for. Some were reinforced or reminded of because of friends or coworkers or people I follow online.

When you live your life according to principles that help you feel joy and love and certainty, you can’t help but experience those things.

Despite how crazy and uncertain this year has been, these principles have provided a foundation for me to build on. I’ve started two businesses this year. I have created more time with my wife and kids each day and each week. I have new friendships and have had new experiences that never would have come in any other year.

Overall I’m incredibly grateful to be alive, to be loved, to be able to do what I love, and to be right where I am. If you’re reading this, you’re part of that incredible feeling of gratitude, so thank you for your time and attention.

I’m excited for what’s to come this next year, and looking forward to all of the people I get to work with and serve along the way.