it’s not sexy

We’re promised easy.

On television; in social media.

The 3 keys to a 6-figure business; the day trading program that will make you millions; the 1 secret to a steamy relationship; lose 7 pounds in 7 days.

Add a 1000 leads with this one webinar tip; use this bot to exponentially grow your LinkedIn connections.

You too can enjoy overnight success if you do just this one (more) thing; if you buy just this one (more) program.

We’d love it to be easy. But it’s not.

It all takes work.

Jim Rohn said, “Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” The problem is that the fundamentals aren’t flashy or sexy.

That’s what this week’s video is about.

Do what others won’t so that you can enjoy what others never will.
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When you’re ready to take your business to the next level, email me: walt@walthampton.com

I don’t share this very often

The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that you have the freedom and the flexibility to… work whatever 18 hours of the day you want.

Culturally we’re encouraged to work. All of the time.

Our technology colludes to support this.

We’re always on.

24/7/365.

But it’s not sustainable.

That’s what this week’s video is about. Go here to check it out:

You maintain your car.

Don’t forget to do what you need to do for you.

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Most of us can get stuff done. Most of us can wrestle stuff to the ground. We can perform. But how do you sustain that over time without getting burned out? If you want help with this, let’s connect. Email me: walt@walthampton.com

I’m getting schooled

It’s really easy to get comfortable in our particular areas of expertise. In fact, it seems as if the more we know, the scarier it is to venture into the areas we don’t know.

We like to protect our egos. Our facades feel safe.

Not knowing is uncomfortable; humbling even.

That’s what this week’s video is about. Check it out by going here:

Be a life-long learner: That’s what will keep you vibrant and alive.

Get uncomfortable. You’ll be glad you did.
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Want some help pushing the edges? I can help. Email me: walt@wlthampton.com

This One Thing Will Make You MUCH More Productive

This is a popular time of the year to take a vacation. Except that a lot of folks don’t.

Last year, there were about 169 million unused paid vacation days that were forfeited by U.S. workers, amounting to over 52 billion dollars in lost benefits. Forty percent of workers will leave paid vacation days unused this year.

Culturally, in many organizations, workers are explicitly or implicitly discouraged from using their vacation time. On my first day at The Big Law Firm, my mentor said to me, “You get three weeks of vacation.” And then he lowered his voice, looked me square in the eyes and said, “But no one ever takes them.”

This is dumb. GoAway

Vacations help you to:

  • Recharge
  • Refocus
  • Re-boot

The Huffington Post reports an internal study of Ernst and Young employees in which it was found that “for every additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took, his or her performance ratings went up by 8 percent — nearly 1 percent per day of vacation. That means companies where employees are leaving two and three and four weeks of vacation on the table are foregoing an enormous productivity boost.”

Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project, says that “the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less.”

We know that, in athletics and physical training, rest and recovery are keys to peak performance. For some reason, though, we pretend that this principle is not applicable to our work lives. So we just keep on going like hamsters on a wheel; which results in stress, burnout and poor productivity.

When you take a vacation – a real vacation (yes, that means away from the tether of your computer and your smartphone) – you come back rested, refreshed and ready to take on the world.

So go.

And if you decide to forfeit your days, please give them to me. I promise that I’ll put them to good use.

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Want some tips to help you become less busy? Download your free guide HERE.

More In The Next 90

The 90 day planning process is one of the most powerful tools we know for creating exponential growth in your business. While the process is not a complicated one, it does require that you step out of your business and get crystal clear on what you want to create in the next quarter (and beyond). And that can be the big stumbling block for so many entrepreneurs. It’s a challenge even for us.

We’d love to support you in the next 90-days and beyond. Consider applying for the Summit Mastermind, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and business professionals on the road to excellence who want for your success.

Go HERE now to apply.

Stuck In The Weeds

You don’t need more genius. You need less resistance.

— Seth Godin

I love the high summits. I can see forever.

I love to feel the wind on my face, revel in the exaltation, bask in the sense of accomplishment. Weeks, months, sometimes years of effort, wrapped up into a single glorious moment.

But most of my time isn’t spent on the summits. It’s spent in the valleys.

And in the weeds.

I got to the end of last week feeling frustrated and exhausted. Despondent even.

I had done everything right. I had done my weekly planning, my daily goal setting. I had mapped out my most important tasks. Yet, when the week was done, all that I could say was that I had been “busy.” I hadn’t moved the dial on the projects that mattered most: the ones that would change up the game, the ones that would truly make a difference.

I had avoided them.

(Even after writing last week’s blog, I failed to make the choices that really counted.)

Why?

“Everyone has a little voice inside their head that’s angry and afraid,” writes Seth Godin. “That voice is resistance – your lizard brain – and it wants you to be average (and safe).”

My friend and mentor, Patrick Combs, says, we don’t identify sufficiently the Immediate Impact Possibilities: the truly significant tasks that have the potential to light our lives on fire. Instead, out of fear, out of habit, and yes, out of resistance, we get caught in the repetitive cycle of minutia. And stay stuck.

The great thought leader John Assaraf goes a step further. He suggests that resistance may be physiological, biochemical. He says that he could provide an audience an exact blueprint for making five times more money. And most of the audience wouldn’t follow it. He says that when presented with an idea that has the potential to move us outside our comfort zones, the cybernetic mechanism in our brains releases a chemical that triggers a thought that allows us to rationalize why we’re ok just where we are: no more, no less.

Resistance may be hard-wired. How scary and depressing is that.

But thankfully we’re not lizards. We still get to choose.

“Real artists ship,” says Steve Jobs. By artists he means all of us: writers, speakers, artists, poets, experts, thought leaders, mavericks, creators, dreamers. People of Might.

Shipping means getting the work done. Getting it out the door. Moving it out into the world. Come hell or high water.

Godin writes, “Shipping isn’t focused on producing a masterpiece (but all masterpieces get shipped). I’ve produced more than a hundred books (most didn’t sell very well), but if I hadn’t, I’d never have had the chance to write this one. Picasso painted more than a thousand paintings, and you can probably name three of them.”

“Not shipping on behalf of your goal of changing the world is often a symptom of resistance,” says Godin. “Call its bluff, ship always, then change the world.”

Only the work that ships matters.

Do the work. Ship the work. Do some more.

Resistance will always be there. But we can choose to climb above it.

Resistance works overtime “to be sure that you won’t do anything remarkable,” writes Godin.

This week, climb above the weeds. Focus on the Immediate Impact Possibilities. Dare to be remarkable.

Lizard is so last week. Don’tcha think?

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LIMITED TIME OFFER; and by application only: membership in the Summit Mastermind Community. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely go. One way to get out of the weeds and beat back resistance is to be part of a community of like-minded people who seek for excellence and want for your success. The Summit Mastermind may be that place for you. Applications accepted only until Sunday, July 2, 2017.  Check it out by going HERE.

You’ll Kill It If You Water It

Winemakers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape must adhere to strict guidelines if they wish to present their wines to the marketplace as wines from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region . One curious rule is that, except in extraordinary circumstances (and then only with special dispensation), winemakers may not ever water their vines.

The land in the region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is rocky, dry and laden with clay.

And so we inquired of the master sommelier in one of the vineyards we visited, “Why wouldn’t you water the vines?”

“Because,” he explained, “Without artificial irrigation, the roots of the vines must grow deep; and the vines become resilient and strong. If we were to water the vines, the roots would stay near the surface and the vines would be much more likely to fail.”

When you are compelled to grow your roots deep, you become resilient and strong.

That, of course, is the challenge of our lives.

To grow deep roots, to become resilient, requires discomfort.

We hate discomfort.

We want easy.

The magic, the majesty, the joy, the deep satisfaction is most usually found just beyond that place of comfort: one more rep with the weights, one more minute with the plank, pushing out one more mile on the run; holding the question just a little longer; staying with the ambiguity, in the uncertainty; digging just a bit deeper with the research; lingering just a bit longer with the words on the page.

Leaning into the discomfort; and not fleeing from it.

We’ve learned this lesson ourselves over and over again in the high mountains of the world when long after the packs have become way too heavy to bear, we break through the clouds to share what few will ever see; and on ultra-distance races, when long after our bodies have told us we were done, just a few more miles brought us to the finish line.

We’ve learn this lesson ourselves over and over again in our business when we’ve stayed in the insoluble problem long after the confusion and despair have set in to discover a way through that yields extraordinary results.

Of course, we’ve fled discomfort too. Too many times to count if truth be told. Retreating when the wind has blown too hard; and the feet have become way too sore. Abandoning a project because it has required that we become beginners again; and it all just seemed way too complicated.

And always with the fleeing comes regret. Regret for what might have been. If only we had leaned into the discomfort. Leaned in just a little bit longer.

We’ve learned hard lessons in our parenting too. Who doesn’t want to make the lives of their children easier? Who wants them to suffer; to experience discomfort?  Yet all too often when we’ve stepped in to “rescue” a child, to smooth their road, to solve their problem, we’ve seen (in the rear view mirror with regret) the lost opportunity to grow their roots deeper.

“Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better,” Jim Rohn once said.

“With discipline comes freedom,” Ann says.

Deep roots make strong vines. And create extraordinary lives.

Perhaps a little drought is good.

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I promise that if you work with me as a coach, I will make your life way uncomfortable. When you’re ready, email me: walt@walthampton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Hate Fridays

Do you know that more heart attacks happen on Monday than on any other day? That’s because Monday is the most stressful day of the week.

Many people dread Mondays.

I know I did. For years. I was a gladiator. I did battle as a trial lawyer. I’d come to the end of the weekend and, as Sunday evening encroached, I’d feel a dark, black cloud settle over me. And on Monday morning, I’d drag myself out of bed and trudge to work.

“How are you?” I remember asking the State Marshall, a familiar face just beyond the metal detector at the courthouse where I often worked.

“Well, one day closer to the weekend,” he said.

It was Monday.

Too many live lives, if not of Thoreau’s quiet desperation, then of silent despondency. (Indeed more than 70% of Americans report that they are unhappy in their work; the number is 90% among attorneys; higher still among physicians.)

We don’t have the luxury of living just for the weekends. The sands of our lives run way too quickly through the glass.

We have the opportunity to choose a different way.

We have the opportunity to wake up every single day excited and on fire about what we get to do. In fact, we have the obligation to do that.

We get to create the work and the lives we love. Lives filled with purpose, passion and joy-filled possibility.

Steve Jobs once said, “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something…almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Screenshot 2016-06-22 16.10.31

I have the great privilege of working every day with those brave entrepreneurs and professionals who hear the ticking of the clock, who have the audacity to confront the status quo, and who have the courage to envision a better way. I have the great privilege of standing with them to bear witness to their creations: Work and lives that allow them the freedom to express their unique gifts in the world, and the joy of abundant prosperity.

I get to Fridays now and feel a vague melancholy. How did another amazing week fly by so fast, I wonder? And all weekend long, I look forward to Monday morning and the opportunity to begin again.

You. You get to wake up every single day excited and on fire about your work and your life. If you want to. It’s your birthright. To do otherwise, I believe, is to abdicate the gift of your unique humanity.

If you are in that prized minority, and love every minute of the work you do, please share this post with someone who needs a nudge to reclaim their sense of hope and possibility.

If you are living from weekend to weekend, do you hear the ticking of the clock?

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A decade ago, the life I live now, with the freedom and flexibility to work around the world with the most amazing entrepreneurs and professionals on the planet, was beyond imagination. And yet I knew in my bones that there was something more; something better; I knew that I couldn’t compromise, that I couldn’t settle, that I couldn’t continue to muddle through. My own journey, and the journeys of the now countless entrepreneurs and professionals I have witnessed, are testaments to what is possible when we listen to call of our hearts. When the noise of the clock in your head gets to too loud for you, let’s talk. Email me at: walt@walthampton.com

 

Your Gateway Drug

We focus on our To Do lists. Because, of course, there are lots of “things” we tell ourselves we have To Do in order to “succeed,” in business… and in life.

We get caught up in the vortex. We neglect the ONE success principle, the CORE principle, the GATEWAY principle that makes everything else possible.

Focus on the gateway principle and everything else will fall in place.

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Are you ready to bump up your game? Let’s talk. Email me: walt@walthampton.com

Longer Harder Faster

More and more, businesses and organizations are embracing mindfulness and meditation as tools to increase the performance of their people as well as a way to reduce stress and overwhelm. Which is a good thing, because these are powerful tools, and important objectives.

But there’s a shadow side to this sudden enlightenment; a disconnect. The effort treats a symptom and not the cause.

Ours is a culture of overwhelm. We’re always connected. We’re always expected to be on. Nights, weekends, holidays, vacations. No refuge. No means of escape. Everyone suffers. And, as Claire Cain Miller said in her New York Times piece, “The pressure of the round-the-clock work culture – in which people are expected to answer emails at 11:00 pm and take cell phone calls on Sunday morning – is particularly acute in highly skilled, highly paid professional services jobs like law, finance, consulting and accounting.”ProblemSolution

While mindfulness and meditation are great – I’ve been a practitioner for decades – the solution is to tackle the real problem: The truth is that the way we work doesn’t work.

The research is crystal clear: After 50 hours a week of work, our productivity plummets; multi-tasking robs of us our focus; and too little sleep saps us of our energy and our acuity.

But here’s the rub: Profit is a siren call. Long hours have become a status symbol; busy is a badge of honor; and we actually get huge hits of pleasure-inducing cortisol from our smartphones, text messages, emails and alerts.

Organizationally, to boost the bottom line, it’s tempting to put a Band-Aid on these challenges by dialing in a bit of mindfulness (and by the way, I’d be happy to come in and do that for you). But better to encourage your people to adopt more sustainable work habits. Model and promote good boundaries; discourage 24/7/365; reward work completed within the business day and week; and honor the time and space outside of work.

And entrepreneurs – yeah I’m talkin’ to you – creating a more sustainable rhythm to your work is critical to your success. While it’s great that you have the freedom and flexibility to choose whatever 18 hours of the day you want to work, having a rich, full and deeply satisfying life requires that you nurture the entirely of your being, and not just that nutty, passionate, success-driven piece.

There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There’s just life. So we might as well get it right. And then, as Oprah says, we’ll meditate.

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I will be sharing mindfulness and meditation at the Connecticut Legal Conference on June 12th. Stop on by.