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Rocky Kev
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Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. - Albert Einstein
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. - Albert Einstein

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ITS LEARNING DAY AT FIREPOLE MARKETING!
Once a month, the office shuts down to spend the workday learning a skill, reading a book, or doing something to improve- and then sharing it with the rest of the team!

I want to share the value of learning. Years ago, I goofed off on Coursera and learned how to program. It wasn't part of the job. But I was fascinated. 3 years later, people reach out to me to develop their website, without me even selling. My 10-day trip to the west coast was paid with my freelance work- all because of a few online courses.

Take time to learn something new. Enrich your life. You'll never know what might happens. 

ARE THEY REALLY THAT STUPID?!

Whenever you have that thought of, "Who can be this stupid?"
The answer is: ME.

Now that you've moved through the stage of blame, so you can get to what really matters, helping people. 

Reach a perspective of compassion, of empathy, of care. You too can join those who actively wants to change the world, rather than complain about it.

THE NEW SHINY
At my previous job, everyone would spend their time discussing  the new shiny. You know what I mean. The latest episode on TV, the recent blockbuster movie, the newest video game.

When they look at me, I'd tell them: "I didn't see it, but I'm excited to put it on my todo list."
They'd say things like, "Its literally the best thing ever!" Or "Why didn't you?" And look at me like I'm a crazy person.

I'd go home and I try to cram it all. Instead of improving or learning or building my platform, I spend a weekend powering through season 5 of community.

But then I realize: what value does that bring? Am I doing this just so I can join the conversation?

We have all these external forces pulling us around, telling us to pay attention. We learn to ignore ads on TV. But we never learned to tell people: "I'm sorry. I need to work on building my career."

The new shiny will never stop. I've accepted that I won't be able to see everything, read everything, and play everything. But what I can do is focus on exactly what I need to live a fulfilling life.

I'm embarrassed to say my to do list is over 200 movies long.

GETTING USED TO REJECTION
Rejection is a powerful feeling. It's so powerful- Love movies uses it as a hook. Break-up songs have made singers famous. We romanticize rejection with rain and thunder on a lonely street, heart-tugging gloomy music, and sitting in your sweat pants eating a pint of ice cream.

Worse than rejection is the FEAR of rejection!

That fear is so strong, it can hinder any reason to act! You can't feel rejection if you don't try!

Ramit Sethi, the author of 'I Will Teach You To be Rich", keeps a 'failure folder' in his email. Any time he gets rejected, he put it in that folder. If he doesn't get at least 10 rejections a month, then he's not pushing himself hard enough.

Success are achieved by those who can TAKE rejection straight on the chin! They have thick skins. No one ever talks about Steve Job's many failures. They only talk about his successes.

Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "No one ever became successful with their hands in their pockets." Get used to taking bold actions, getting rejected, getting up again, and getting another step closer to that big win.

LET THE OTHER PERSON SAY NO
There's a famous quote: "Fortune favors the bold."

There's no wonder why action movies are one of the most popular genres in the film industry. It's a 2 hour ride of people getting things done.But some of the biggest actions that a person aren't life-saving or appear massively important.

It's the 'Should I try to get that promotion?'
The 'Should I ask the boss to take time off?'
or even
'Should I say hello?'

Then our brains will build reasons about why it can't happen.

Why do we let our brains tell us NO?
Let the other person say NO. Don't say it to yourself.

PROBLEM-SOLVING IN THE WORKPLACE/LIFE
I worked with a boss who frequently threatened his employees. They had 30 managers turn over in a year. Loving the job but hating the management, I left. Today, 3 of the 5 storefronts they owned have closed down.

You're working with people. People have conflicts. It's inevitable.

In 'Getting to Yes', there's this great quote: "Hard on the problem, soft on the person."

You can add to the problem by pulling rank, insult them, or have a shouting/doorslamming match. 
THE RESULT: a environment of hostility, where the lies are common, people are demotivated, and everyone is saving their own ass.

Next time you see yourself in a major conflict- Just stop. Slow down. Think about these 3 steps.

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STEP 1) Define the Exact Problem
Often, people end up arguing about two different things. 

"Why didn't you wash the dishes?" "It's because you didn't take out the trash!" 

The argument above isn't about the dishes OR the trash- it's about responsibilities. 

In this stage: Take the time to recognize the issue, instead of seeing it on the surface level. Then, repeat it in your own words, what the other person is saying. Saying it out loud does NOT mean you agree. You're trying to find understanding. 

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2) Brainstorming
I start brainstorming sessions with: "Let's both agree to let the other talk openly, without criticism or critique. We are thinking outside of the box. Later in the conversation, we can break down each topic."

I also make sure to shut down any comments that attack the person.
Person 1: "It would be easier to wash dishes if we didn't ever run out of soap."
Person 2: "Maybe you should buy it then!"
Me: "Person2, you agreed to let the other person speak! This isn't the place for that. Save your remarks for later."

In this stage: Be open. You talk. Then they talk. Do NOT shut down anything.

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3) Finding a solution
It's mind-boggling how often people go straight to finding solutions without knowing what the problem is, or brainstorming solutions from the other side. Before you know it, there's name-calling.

"You're not listening to me! You don't even know why I'm angry!"

By understanding the problem and brainstorming a solution, you're now better equipped to SOLVE the problem. 

MOTIVATION WITH FEAR (NO ITS NOT THREATS)
Do you remember that scene in Napoleon Dynamite where Uncle Rico fantasizes about time travel? If he knew as a kid what he knew now, he could have been a star. 

My big fear is that I will suddenly wake up and be 10 years older, with nothing to show for it. I fear being in the same vicious financial cycle that my relatives are in, who ignore their phone because they don't want to talk to debt collectors. I fear being a parent who isn't an inspiration to their child. I fear that I will never own a boat. It will be just me, and my beautiful Asian hair.

I believe that this fear is a very powerful motivator. It's what gets me up at 5am to work on my side business. It's what pushes me on weekends to get working. 

Fear isn't a negative emotion. It produces a reflex, a kick-in-the-butt. It's a fear, a motivator, and a reminder that the to fail at building my side business is to fail at living the life I want.

It's so freeing to tell my 9-5 job that I can't stay because I have to work on my side business. Because I don't want to be 10 years older and boatless. 

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION
This quote is from the amazing guys at Internet Business Mastery. 
It's a valuable gem to remember when you're stuck.

My client was really excited to create a Facebook Ad. She wanted to get more sign-ups to her event.

A Facebook ad has 3 elements: Compelling copy, a website link, and a visually attractive image.

She only had the website.

I went to work. Halfway through building the image, she chimed in. "The colors are all wrong." So I fixed the colors. "I really don't like the font." I let her choose the fonts. "I don't like the positioning of the picture." I re-positioned it.

This went on and on.
This 15 minute process is now at the 1.5 hour mark. 

I finally gave her a piece of my mind: "This is a trial, a test run. Remember the goal: create a ad. It's okay if the first one isn't perfect. The second one will be." It comforted her.

We launched, we wait for the results, we learn from our actions, and then repeat.

That's the cycle to perfection.

MY MELLOW OUT ALARM
I have a 10pm alarm set on my phone. 
I call it my "Mellow Out' alarm.

When it starts buzzing, my girlfriend yells, 

"It's time to mellow out!" 

It doesn't matter where she is. She could be in her room, in the kitchen, in the shower. She hears the alarm and yells out that same phrase. If I close my eyes, I can sometimes hear it.

It was a great routine. Once the alarm buzzed, I slow down what I'm working on, and find myself in bed before 11pm. 

But I got tired of my girlfriend saying that to me. So I removed the alarm. The result: I was going to bed later and later. I started sleeping at 1am!

Harvard did a 75 year study on happiness. Developing great habits early in life brings you more at the end of life.

"I DON'T HAVE ANY TIME!" YES, YOU DO.

In college, a girl in my class would complain about having to study late into the night. After her afternoon classes, she'd go grocery shopping. By the time she made dinner, it was already time for bed. 

Did you notice that? 
She went grocery shopping almost EVERY DAY. 

"I don't have any time!" really means "I didn't do any planning!" 

Successful people spend the same amount of time working than the average person does. Their success is from focusing on what pushes them forward, and throwing away all the fluff. 

Do you really think Bill Gates is on messaging boards complaining about the last episode of Game of Thrones? Or Barack Obama is wasting energy replying to a troll on Facebook? 

I'm going to end it with this quote by Zig Ziglar: ""Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have 24 hour days."
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