Need New Year’s Resolutions? Try These.

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

Just like that, 2016 is but a distant memory and we’re all getting back to living and working in 2017, full of hopeful optimism and committed to making this year better than the last.

I’ve never been one to feel the need to declare a list of personal and professional New Year’s Resolutions. In some ways, that makes life more complicated than it needs to be.

Instead, I choose to focus on the present (which is one of the reasons I practice mindfulness and meditation) and doing everything I can to be better, personally and professionally, each and every day. I do have one resolution that I focus on intentionally and I figure if I can do it, then mine will be a life well lived:

To have as much fun every single day doing things I love with people I love.

All that said, I found myself one morning over the holiday break thinking about 2017 and a litany of “resolutions” came to mind. I quickly jotted them down and thought I’d share them with you, in case you’re needing some resolution ideas for the year ahead:

  1. Stop envying other people.
  2. Keep your ego in check.
  3. Help more people without being asked.
  4. Meditate daily.
  5. Take more time off.
  6. Embrace the marathon instead of obsessing over the sprint.
  7. Embrace the marathon

    Photo by my super talented friend Robin Johnson…

    Eat less carbs. Eat more salads. Drink more water. Try intermittent fasting.

  8. Get out of your comfort zone and take more calculated risks. After all, the fear of the leap is far worse than the leap itself.
  9. Choose experiences over possessions.
  10. When you think about calling or getting together with a friend, act on it before the thought passes.
  11. Put more things on your calendar…then they’ll happen.
  12. Have more meaningful conversations with people you love.
  13. Do more of the things you’re passionate about.
  14. Stop settling.
  15. Buy local.
  16. Support small businesses.
  17. Volunteer.
  18. Be intentional about making more time for yourself.
  19. Try to be 100% present in everything you do.
  20. Apologize when you’re wrong.
  21. Trust your instincts.
  22. Say Thank You.
  23. Do what you say you’re going to do.
  24. Take more walks.
  25. Try new exercises.
  26. See if you can follow a slow-moving car without changing lanes.
  27. Don’t complain about the weather.
  28. Dot more I’s, cross more T’s.
  29. Seek out people who have more perspective than you do. Listen. Learn.
  30. Watch Minimalism and I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix.
  31. Realize the negative self-talk in your mind rarely comes to pass in your actual life.
  32. Donate your excess stuff to charity.
  33. Eat foods you’ve never tried before.
  34. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. No one who matters cares.
  35. Come up with your own definition of success.
  36. Be intentional about lifting people up instead of knocking them down.
  37. Buy less stuff.
  38. Identify something that immediately brings your life into perspective. Reference it often.
  39. Be grateful.
  40. Go back and look at every picture on your phone from 2016.
  41. Recycle.
  42. Respond to email faster.
  43. Instantly reduce email clutter in seconds. Check out Unroll.me.
  44. Read more.
  45. Never forget that you’re much more than the job you do.
  46. Trust that broccoli tastes good when it’s steamed.
  47. Eat more eggs.
  48. Know that if you want to take a break from social media, you don’t have to make a declaration on social media.
  49. Give money to a homeless person and don’t assume they will spend it on drugs or alcohol.
  50. If you haven’t already, watch Game of Thrones. If you don’t have HBO, it’s worth adding it just to watch this incredible show.
  51. Stop obsessing about winning.
  52. Sunrise

    Photo by my super talented friend Robin Johnson…

    Take more cold showers.

  53. Turn the thermostat to 65 at night when you go to bed.
  54. Embrace your inner emoji.
  55. Try everything you can to get a better night’s sleep (If you have things that have helped you, share them in the comments below!)
  56. Trust your circadian rhythm.
  57. If you never have before, find a way to experienc heated seats this winter.
  58. Never pay more than $5 a month for Sirius radio. Keep telling them you can’t afford more until they give you the $5-a-month deal.
  59. Work on improving yourself instead of trying to change everyone else.
  60. Find ways to be more optimistic.
  61. Floss. Or at least use a water pik.
  62. No matter what anyone tells you or how much fun they make of you, post more food pictures on Facebook.
  63. Ignore your inner haters.
  64. Ignore your outer haters.
  65. Open up more to people you love.
  66. Be there for yourself first so you can be there for others when they need you.
  67. Realize there are some people who don’t like coffee…and that’s OK.
  68. Do everything you can to take yourself and your life less seriously.
  69. Realize that today’s amazing job can be tomorrow’s round of layoffs.
  70. Don’t get too high or too low… keep a level head about you.
  71. Do everything you can to intentionally reduce your stress levels.
  72. If you’re in Kansas City, try Bob Wasabi Kitchen, Sushi Uni and Lemongrass. (three of my favorite places)
  73. Do something you’ve always wanted to do.
  74. Be kind.
  75. Get up early. The sunrise is waiting for you.

What did I miss? Share your resolutions in the Comments section below!

Happy New Year!

Wow. What a Year 2016 Has Been. Happy Holidays from Blue Gurus!

Author: Jason Terry

Happy Holidays 2016It’s amazing to me that 2016 is coming to an end. Oh, how the time flies. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We hope that you enjoy time off with your family and friends.

We’ve gotten a lot of comments on our Christmas Card this year… specifically the picture of Mic and I in our blue elf hats. Apparently, that cracked people up. We aim to please! You can get your very own blue elf hat right here for less than $10 shipped. (Yep, that’s an Amazon.com link… surprised?)

I took a minute to go through the blog posts that we wrote this year. It was a fun experience and I had forgotten about some of the stories. It painted a great picture of what was going on all year long… a business scrapbook of sorts.

And that’s one of the things that’s easy to forget to do. Taking the time to slow down and reflect on what you’ve accomplished. I am definitely guilty of this. It’s important to get that perspective. To think about the friends you’ve made. The people you’ve helped. Celebrating the wins. And learning from your mistakes.

We’ve added new clients. Traveled a bit more than previous years to do LinkedIn training and speaking engagements. Created new websites, and helped more companies tell their stories.

And the majority of it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you for being an important part of our world and lives. You might be one of our largest clients, or you might just be taking the time to read our blog posts now and again. Regardless, it all matters to us and we appreciate you.

See you in 2017!
– Jason and Mic

Hope House TP Drive recap!

Hope House TP Drive 2016Earl Kawaoka and his team from Fry-Wagner Moving and Storage showed up at my house on November 30th to load up the cases of toilet paper stacked in my garage. I am so happy to let you know that we were able to collect 4,024 rolls of toilet paper for Hope House. Wow. We put out the call to action and a bunch of people showed up to answer that call. THANK YOU!

I promised a link to the form that you can use to write off your tax deductible donation of toilet paper to Hope House. Please click on this link to download the form if you contributed.

How a Year of Mindfulness Is Helping Improve My Mind and Life

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

jon-mcgraw

Jon McGraw

In January 2016, my friend and fellow Introducing Awesome Peer Advisory Group member, Jon McGraw, invited me to participate in a half-day training session to learn about his company, Vision Pursue, and to be introduced to the concept of mindfulness through meditation.

Wikipedia defines mindfulness as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.”

I’m always looking for ways to improve myself (in case you missed it, I recently wrote about the concept of being 100% present) and this was something well outside of my comfort zone, (aka “where the magic happens.”) Fortunately, I had the time available on my calendar and I also wanted to support Jon and his company, so I agreed to attend.

As I arrived that morning, I saw my friend Sandy Moll and met, for the first time, my friend Stephanie Guin. I was comforted to know we’d all be going through this together. As we sat there for the next four hours listening to Jon and his partner Russ Rausch, I became more and more intrigued by what I was seeing and hearing.

vision-pursueThere was a lot of fascinating information shared that day, but what resonated with me the most was just how much scientific data and proof exists showing that a person can actually retrain the way their brain works…that our conditioned mindset can literally and physically be changed.

When the class was over, Jon and Russ graciously gave all attendees access to their Vision Pursue app, which contains a wide variety of audio meditations, a “Vision Board” where you upload pictures that have meaning and significance to you, and more.

I have no idea how many people in the class ever used the app or if any continue to use it, but I did..and I do. In fact, I’ve been using it for the last 12 months. Here are some of the most important things I’ve learned:

1. Get Over It and Get On With It

I’ll be honest. I’d never meditated before, so I felt a little weird about it. I think a lot of people think that meditation is “new age-y” and only to be done by Buddhist monks or something.

I also think a lot of people let their ego tell them that they should be able to figure out things themselves and that asking or seeking help is a sign of weakness. I couldn’t disagree more. So I told myself to “get over it and get on with it”, and that’s exactly what I did.

Get over it and get on with it! Click To Tweet

mic-mindfulness2. Morning Mindfulness Sets the Tone for the Day

I like doing my mindfulness practice pretty much first thing in the morning. I typically sit in our quiet spare bedroom (that’s where I took this picture recently) and get comfortable as I prepare for the 10-15 minute session.

I’ve found that doing it first thing in the morning is calming and starts my day out on the right path. It’s also a great practice to get into the habit of quieting the mind before taking on all of the day’s emails, meetings, clients, and more.

3. Nighttime Mindfulness Can Be Pretty Sweet Too

I recently started doing it at night sometimes too. The benefits are much of what I described above…quieting the mind from the day and setting myself up for a good night’s rest (My wife Missy recently did it with me and the next morning said “I slept like a ROCK!”)

4. With Practice, The Experience Gets Better

I didn’t practice mindfulness and meditation every single day. I did in the beginning, but found myself transitioning into more of a “maintenance mode”, essentially trusting myself to decide when I could use a good dose of mindfulness.

5. Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

I’ve learned, and this goes against my natural tendencies, that I don’t have to be perfect and my mindfulness and meditation sessions don’t have to be perfect.

My goals throughout this process were to challenge myself to do something different (ask me about the time I practiced mindfulness while driving…staying behind a car for about 10 minutes that was going much slower than the pace of traffic), to see if I could slow down my racing mind, to see if I could be more present in my interactions with other people, and to see if I could take myself personally to another level of emotional intelligence.

Every single one of those things has been accomplished. I’m not yet a mindfulness Jedi Master, but I’ve made a lot of progress in the last year. I’m proud that I stuck with it and I look forward to continuing the practice for years to come.

What about you? Do you have experience with mindfulness and meditation? I’d love to hear how it’s impacted your life. Please share a comment here for me and other readers of this post or drop me an email at mic@bluegurus.com.

ADDITIONAL NOTES…

*Jon and his team work with a lot of professional athletes/coaches as well as organizations. They are working on a consumer version of their app as well. If you’d like to learn more, you can email him at jon@visionpursue.com.

*Shout out to my friend and client, Lisa Bruemmer, who wrote a blog post about her experience with meditation using Calm. I didn’t even know she was doing it until she shared her post with me…and she’s seen tremendous results! Check out her post It Was Time For Me To Calm Down.

*Another very popular meditation tool is Headspace. In fact, I recently completed their 10 free sessions and signed up for their service for a year. I often mix in some of their tools with the VisionPursue app I’ve been using.

Grammarly. It’s awesome.

Earlier this year, I got an email from my friend Caitlin Meehan at Home Rental Services. She was really excited about a new software tool she had stumbled across called Grammarly. Caitlin is a great writer. She usually catches when someone makes a typo in professional communications. She was excited because she knew this tool could help her team become more effective writers and communicate more professionally.

There’s nothing more distracting than an important email with a bunch of typos or grammatical errors.

Grammarly

Grammarly makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.

When I first read this blurb from the Grammarly website, I thought, yeah, I get that in Microsoft Word®. And to some degree, that’s true.

The HUGE difference is that Grammarly has plugins for just about everything you use when creating content. There are browser plugins, Microsoft Office plugins and even a stand-alone application that you can install on your PC or Mac. You don’t have to open Microsoft Word for spell checking and grammar suggestions… it just happens just about anywhere you would create content.

That’s powerful. And it works really well.

GrammarlyGrammarly helps eliminate errors by scanning for over 250 types of errors, most of which Microsoft Word can’t find. It also has context-optimized synonym suggestions so that you aren’t using the same words too often in your content. Grammarly helps you write mistake-free on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, and nearly anywhere else you write on the web.

Most importantly, I found that after using Grammarly for a few weeks, it was making me a better writer. I don’t always agree with the suggestions, but more often than not, they are valuable suggestions. I even went back to some of my old blog posts and let Grammarly tell me what mistakes I might have made… and was a bit sad to find more problems than I expected. Which I then corrected!

Free vs. Paid

There are two versions of Grammarly, free and paid. I used the free version for a couple of weeks and LOVED it. For many people, the free version is all that you need to really improve your writing. I went ahead and upgraded to the paid version to see if it was worth it. For me, it’s worth paying for the additional features because I help clients execute their content all the time. The additional suggestions and types of errors that were found are enough of a value add for me to continue paying for it.

I recommend you sign up for Grammarly and see if it helps you as much as it’s helping me!

P.S.

Funny story… as I was writing this article, I was pulling some quotes from the Grammarly website. One of them read, “Learn about your mistakes so that you can avoid them next time.” Grammarly didn’t like that… and suggested I change it to “Learn from your mistakes so that you can avoid them next time.” In this case, I think the word choice was accurate though because Grammarly is actively teaching you about your mistakes… which needs to happen before you can learn from them.

Grammarly

 

The Best Present You Can Give This Holiday Season

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

challenge-u-2

(from left to right) Marc Shaffer, Mic Johnson, Mark Niblo, John Isenberg, Marc Hammer

This past October I, along with four other guys (Marc Shaffer, Mark Niblo, Marc Hammer, and John Isenberg), got together at Challenge U to take part in the Equine Experience, an experiential learning session with horses.

I met the owner, Andi Burgis, several months ago at one of my favorite monthly education and networking events in the city…Shawn Kinkade’s Business Book Review.

While at one of the Business Book Reviews, Andi told me and my friend, Marc Hammer, that she wanted to get a group of men to come out and try out one of her experiential learning sessions. So Marc and I reached out to people in our networks and Andi provided the experience.

Here was our challenge: 

  1. Enter the ring where the horse is waiting for you.
  2. Approach the horse to introduce yourself. Pet him/her if you feel so inclined.
  3. Ask the horse to walk in a circle around the ring.
  4. Ask the horse to trot in a circle around the ring.
  5. Ask the horse to stop/turn around/and walk in a circle around the ring in the opposite direction.
  6. Ask the horse to stop.
  7. Thank the horse for working with you.
  8. Exit the ring.
mic-and-horse

Mic Johnson and Rev

Here’s what I learned:

1. I haven’t been around horses much in my life. They are beautiful animals. So big and so graceful. I’m not going to lie, though, it’s a bit intimidating at first being around a 1,200 lb. animal.

2. I was really impressed by the willingness of each guy in our group to get outside of their comfort zone, to be willing to talk about their fears and insecurities as it related to the challenge, and to be willing to ask for help when we couldn’t get the horse to do what we wanted it to. I thanked the group and shared with them that the experience wouldn’t have been as fulfilling, personally or for the group, had even one person not been entirely open to the experience. (Btw, I’m happy to report that all five of us passed the challenge!)

3. I was reminded that I need to become a better listener. I tend to get so passionate and wrapped up in my desire to help people that I spend too much time telling them things that I think will help or inspire them. I need to slow down and listen first. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years and this experience reminded me I still have a lot of work to do.

4. Did you know 93% of communication between people is non-verbal? I had no idea. That seemed really high to me, but that was definitely one of the thought-provoking takeaways from the day.

marc-and-horse

Marc Shaffer and Dreamer

5. My biggest takeaway from the day, however, was when Andi talked about how 100% of communication with horses is nonverbal and how they are 100% PRESENT.

That really resonated with me and got me thinking about how hard it is for me to stay in the present moment. It’s so easy to get wrapped up into all of the things that life throws our way…or that we put into our lives to distract us…or things we think/worry about that never come to pass.

And so that’s the present I wanted to share with you in this blog post. It’s the present I’ve been trying really hard to give myself as I’ve done meditation over the last several months (thanks to my friend Jon McGraw and his company Vision Pursue).

And it’s the only present you need to give to yourself and to your loved ones this holiday season and beyond…

BE 100% PRESENT.

Enjoy the time you have with your family and friends.

Put down your smartphone or put it in airplane mode so notifications won’t interrupt the moment.

Challenge yourself not to think about all of the things that need to be done or all of the things you didn’t get done.

challenge-u-7

Andi Burgis and Mark Niblo

Don’t get caught up in what someone said, what someone did, what someone didn’t do, etc.

Don’t give into irrational fear.

BE 100% PRESENT. You and everyone else will be better for it.

(P.S. – If you or your team are looking for an activity to get you out of your comfort zone, to help you learn how to communicate better, to learn how to work with others more effectively, etc., I highly recommend you check out the Challenge U website and give Andi a call or drop her an email. You can reach her at 760-535-3052 or andi@challenge-u.com.)

Do you still get butterflies? Are you playing through the whistle?

Author: Jason Terry

As a blogger, it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on around you. When you see or hear something that’s newsworthy, funny or educational, you should file that away on your list of things to blog about.

I’ve learned to keep my blog radar on at all times. It comes naturally now after all of these years of sharing stories. And this week’s story is about something I heard last week that I believe is a Core Truth. (Mic calls them #micnuggets, which is a way cooler name. :)

Jason singing at Rez WestJim Calvert at Straub Construction asked me how singing has been going. For those of you that don’t know, I sing at my church once a month.

I told Jim that it’s been great, but that I still get butterflies in my stomach before I get up on stage to sing in front of hundreds of people.

About the time I was telling my story, Parker Young walked into the room. He heard what I was talking about and casually said:

“If you don’t get butterflies, you probably don’t care enough.”

That really got my attention. And the more I thought about it, the more I loved that simple statement. I believe it’s true, so I filed it away to tell you about it this week.

If you don't get butterflies, you probably don't care enough. Click To Tweet

Do you ever find yourself nervous and worried at the same time about how something is going to work out?

It could be taking a relationship to the next level by asking someone to marry you. It could be taking a risk in your business so that you can grow in a big way. It could be making a career change because you aren’t happy in your current job. It could be that you need to let someone go that just isn’t working out no matter what you’ve tried.

These are all things that should stir your feelings and emotions. These are things that really matter to you… things that you hope will go a certain way, but you aren’t sure if they will. And that’s the purest definition of “butterflies” that I can think of.

My hope is that you still feel butterflies in the mix of emotions that you experience as you go through life. If that’s not true, or you find yourself a bit numb, think about what might need to change so you can get back to that place of caring deeply about what you do and who you’re doing it with.

That leads me to another Core Truth I heard last week.

You've got to play through the whistle. Click To Tweet

Playing through the whistle.To make a big change, you need discipline. I was at breakfast with one of my peer advisory groups when Jon Ogren was talking about coaching kids’ sports. He said:

“You’ve got to play through the whistle.”

It’s another way of saying that there are times when you’ve got to give 110% to succeed. John was applying the concept to sports and business. (The picture is not actually Jon by the way, just a coach with a whistle I found… :)

I loved that saying. It stuck in my brain as another Core Truth. So I emailed myself a reminder to talk about it in this blog post.

I definitely don’t have all the answers. I struggle in life just like everyone else. I have great days and challenging days. But what gives me hope is that I’m trying to be better. It’s good to know that embracing the butterfly moments makes me stronger. And having the discipline to play through the whistle will help me get to where I’m trying to go.

I hope this week’s post made you stop and think. And if it had an impact, please take a minute to let me know. That’s why we do this…because we care so much about you and all of the other people that are part of our lives.

Let Me Tell You A Little Something About Irrational Fear

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

Irrational fear.

I’ve had it. You’ve had it. Everyone has had it at some point in their life. You might be experiencing it right now because of something related to your job, career, business opportunity, family, friends or something else.

fearI’ve found myself talking to clients and prospects about this phrase for quite some time now. Every time I mention it, I say “I’m going to write a blog post about this someday.” (Btw, that’s what I call Thinking Like a Blogger, another concept I try to get our clients to adopt.)

I’m pretty sure I may have coined the phrase “irrational fear”. I’m going with that for now because I hadn’t ever heard anyone use it before.

As I recall, I first started thinking about the concept when Jason and I were talking about various business challenges Blue Gurus has faced at times.

I then found myself talking about it with blogging clients of ours. It usually came up when I was working with the client’s blog team for the first time or when someone was going to write their first blog post. That’s when I would have the inevitable “fear of writing…fear of what people might think…fear of putting yourself out there” conversation. I’ve had that conversation more times than I can count.

What is my definition of irrational fear?

Irrational fear is a heightened feeling of anxiety and/or concern around a person and/or situation where you have little-to-no definitive information. It’s a puzzle with several missing pieces. Irrational fear is dwelling on “what if” scenarios that cause increased levels of unnecessary stress and may prevent you from taking positive steps toward resolution. Irrational fear typically lives outside of your comfort zone and often plays off of those insecurities that live close to the surface.

Here are several examples of situations you might be able to relate to:

high-ropes-courseWhat happens if a client stops working with us?
What if I don’t get that job?
What if I fail?
What will happen if I miss my flight?
What if my kid gets hurt?
What if I start this business and it fails?
What if I lose my job?
What if I fall?
What if people make fun of me?
What if no one ever hires me again?
What if I don’t lose weight?
What if our team loses?
What if the prospect doesn’t accept our proposal?
What if he/she doesn’t like me?
What if the surgery doesn’t go as planned?
What if I never get married?
What if my son/daughter doesn’t do well in school?
What if I write a blog post and put myself out there for the world to see?
What if I to go to the doctor and they find something?
What if my client is having financial issues?

A certain amount of concern or anxiety around situations is normal. In fact, healthy levels of concern and anxiety often help us move forward to make decisions. But heightened, persistent levels of anxiety or concern…irrational fear…can overwhelm us and negatively impact our self-esteem, relationships, and more.

How Do You Deal With Irrational Fear?

The first step to overcoming irrational fear is being consciously aware when it’s happening…and then changing your mindset….reminding yourself that you’re worrying about something that hasn’t happened and, in many situations, likely won’t ever happen. From there, further remind yourself that if something doesn’t go as planned, you will figure it out and, if necessary, you’ll likely have friends and family who will help you through it.

Next, think about how many times you’ve had fear or anxiety around a situation…and it turned out better than you thought it would. Or times where you thought something happened was great…and it turned out not-so-great.

Life throws enough curve balls at us, so let’s all work on reducing our own stress levels around things we actually have some control over…like how we choose to react to situations. One of my favorite quotes sums it up best…”Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Recognizing and overcoming irrational fear is something I’ve personally been working on for years. I haven’t mastered overcoming irrational fear, but I’ve made a lot of great progress. So I hope you’ll join me and not let irrational fear keep you from achieving the life and career you’ve always wanted.

What situations have you experienced around the concept of irrational fear? How did you work through it? What do you do to get past moments where irrational fear is taking hold of you?

Want To Know My Healthiest Habits? Here You Go.

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

I woke up this morning thinking about healthy habits and the important role they play every day in my personal and professional life. I put a lot of time, effort, and thought into living a life that is full of happiness, helping others and minimizing unnecessary/unproductive stress as much as possible.

So I got to thinking that there might be some value in sharing some of my best personal and professional habits with you…and I’m hoping you’ll share yours too…think of it as a crowd-sourcing effort to share some of the best habits all of us have with one another. You never know, we all might just learn a thing or two that will change our lives for the better.

So without further adieu and in no particular order, here are some of my healthiest personal and professional habits:

Healthy HabitsPERSONAL

DRINK WATER – I wake up every day and the first thing I do is chug a 30 oz. glass of water. This is the best way I know how to start my day making sure I’m hydrated. As the day goes on, I drink water before, during and after every meal. In fact, I just bought Missy (check out her new gorgeous profile picture on LinkedIn, btw) and I these awesome RTIC Tumblers from Amazon to encourage us to drink even more throughout the day.

SLEEP WELL – I don’t always have the most amazing nights of sleep, but I do everything I can to set myself up for success because a good night’s rest is critical to my overall health and happiness. When I sleep well it sets me up to handle the ups and downs of daily life. I typically go to bed around 10 p.m. (and I don’t spend much time on my iPhone when I go to bed) and usually wake up around 6 a.m. or so. Additionally, we have skylights in our bedroom and I tend to sleep lightly…so yep, I sleep with earplugs and a mask over my eyes. It’s made a huge difference in my overall quality of sleep. Oh, and if I ever struggle falling asleep…I do the 4-8-9 method. Breathe in for 4 deep breaths, hold my breath for 8 seconds, and exhale for 9 seconds. I do that repeatedly until I fall asleep and it works almost every single time.

MEDITIATION AND MINDFULNESS – I’ll spare you all of the details, but my friend Jon McGraw and his company Vision Pursue got me hooked on mindfulness and meditation (which I had never done before). I don’t do it every single day, but I’ve done it for 103 days and it absolutely makes a difference and is a great way to start the day. They are working on a consumer release in the near future too.

TAKE CARE OF MY TEETH – I don’t care what the latest article says about flossing not working, I still do it pretty much every day. In addition, I use a Sonicare and WaterPik daily. And I get my teeth cleaned twice a year at one of the best dentists in the Kansas City area…Dr. Brian Sutton and his team are awesome. I firmly believe that the health of your mouth impacts your overall health.

EXERCISE – I’ve been doing some form of exercise multiple times a week since December 2007. Missy and I are very fortunate to have become friends with Tim Crough, Aaron Hannon and Dustin Yantzi at Tim Crough Fitness. We do their awesome Quad Pods twice a week and absolutely love it. What they do and how they do it is so much more fun and beneficial than the “weights and cardio” approach I did for years. In addition, Missy and I take walks each week and yes (unlike some of my friends) I still do all of my own yard work.

ANNUAL PHYSICAL – I’ve gotten an annual physical every year (except one) since 1995. In fact, one of my clients recently interviewed me as to why I do it and why I think it’s so important. (You can check it out here: Be Like Mic: Just Do It – Get A Physical Every Year) I just completed my annual physical last week and I’m happy to report that my blood pressure was 118/70 and all blood work was within normal levels (except I have a little work to do on my cholesterol). Getting an annual physical is my way of taking a proactive approach to my overall health…and knowing that some of the hard work I put in with Tim Crough Fitness, etc. is paying off makes it all the more satisfying. I do it for me…but more importantly I do it for my loved ones.

PROFESSIONAL

INTRODUCING AWESOME – This is my peer advisory group. I started it over 3 years ago and it’s made up of several of the most awesome people I know. We get together once a month over cocktails and catch up on everything going on personally and professionally. The #1 characteristic of Awesome People is that they love helping other people. I’m so fortunate to get to spend time with this group every month and I always walk away thankful and inspired.

GOOGLE CALENDAR – I use my calendar religiously. Bottom line: If it’s on the calendar, it gets done. Period. End of story.

EMAIL MANAGEMENT – I routinely respond to emails in a timely manner. You will rarely, if ever, send me an email and not get a response the same day. That way it doesn’t build up in my inbox and the recipient doesn’t get held up because of me. I’m reducing unnecessary stress for both me and people I interact with.

BEING RELIABLE (lifted straight from my LinkedIn Summary) – I do what I say I’m going to do every time. I don’t drop balls.

SHOW UP ON TIME – I show up to meetings on time or early. Again, this is a courtesy to whomever I’m meeting with. I’m not going to take their time for granted.

HELP OTHERS – Whether it’s referrals or introductions, I do this all of the time…and I take the time to do well thought out introductions via email, setting up the recipients for success. In addition, I help people promote things they’re doing (Speaking of that, check out my friend Shawn Kinkade (business coach) and his even this September for business owners who are looking for freedom… The Freedom Workshop. I’ve already had two clients sign up for this great opportunity.)

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEWS – Another one from Shawn Kinkade. He does these monthly Business Book Reviews in Kansas City and also can do them for companies looking for education opportunities for employees. I’ve been attending since the beginning and I’ve referred countless people who have attended. This is one of my must-attend education and networking events each month. The next one is Tuesday, August 30th… The Ideal Team Player. Check it out.

NOISLI – Want to listen to the sound of rain or a thunderstorm while you work or just want something to settle you mind? Check out https://www.noisli.com/. I often use this when I’m editing blog posts for clients.

ROBOFORM EVERYWHERE – Jason introduced this to me when we first started working together years ago. Roboform Everywhere is a password manager for all of your usernames and passwords for the countless websites you use. It literally has changed my life and has saved me incredible amounts of time and helped me avoid the unnecessary stress that comes from losing or forgetting usernames and passwords.

BLOGGING – You’re reading this right now and this is what Blue Gurus does to help our clients, prospects and friends. Sometimes we will share helpful technology tips. Sometimes we’ll share LinkedIn tips. Sometimes we’ll write things that inspire you. Sometimes we’ll write things that make you think. This is our gift to the people who care about us and we’re so thankful to all of you who continue to read, support and share our posts. We also help clients do this exact same thing for their businesses and it’s immensely rewarding to empower them to share their stories.

What about you? What are your healthiest habits, both personally and professionally? Share them with me here or email me at mic@bluegurus.com. I’d love to hear what you’re doing to be healthy, happy and reduce the unnecessary stress in your life!

Thanks Dan. You Just Made My Day.

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

MakeMyDayYou know what makes my day? When I get an email from a client who is excited about experiencing what we’ve been preaching for the last seven years

BLOGGING WORKS.

It’s hard to believe we’re still trying to get companies to understand that blogging works when you realize that blogs, according to Wikipedia, emerged and grew in the late 1990’s, and that MILLIONS of blogs exist today.

Additionally, measuring ROI with blogging has always been a hurdle that some business owners just can’t seem to get over. At Blue Gurus, we’ve been blogging without fail for seven years straight and we still get far more people telling us in person that they read our blog, enjoyed our most recent post, shared it with several people, etc. than we get LIKE’s or comments on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. How do you follow that ROI trail? You don’t.

Our time-tested equation has been the same from Day One….

Create quality content + Do it consistently = Stay top of mind. Watch good things happen. Click To Tweet

Dan Heiman

Dan Heiman

And it’s been happening for our clients for years too. That’s why I was thrilled when my friend and client Dan Heiman, Executive Recruiter at Cornerstone-Kansas City, recently sent me an email.

Dan had just published his post Celebrating 10 Years of Crazy and emailed it to a distribution list of trusted relationships, clients and prospects. One of the prospects in Dan’s distribution list emailed him back, saying:

“Congratulations Dan on 10 years of CRAZY! I sincerely enjoyed the read with a few giggles and could relate on a number of them. I hope you are also enjoying a wonderful summer. All the best in the next 10 years!”

Shortly thereafter, Dan emailed me and said:

“GREAT example of keeping in front of a potential client in a meaningful way without having to “sell” them anything. Further reinforces why this type of marketing works!!”

Yes, Dan, BLOGGING WORKS. And we’re thrilled you trusted us when we told you that very thing a year ago when we started working together. Oh, and don’t even get me started on that $20,000+ opportunity that you got after only three months of blogging! (WARNING: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.)

If you and your organization keep hearing that blogging works and you aren’t doing it, we’re here to help. Let’s have a conversation. Simply email or call me at mic@bluegurus.com or 913-645-6650.

You, like Dan, could be our next success story.

10 FREE Ways to Be More Reliable

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Website Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | @MJMeetings Husband

One of the things I list about myself in the Summary of my LinkedIn Profile reads as follows:

Reliable – I do what I say I’ll do. EVERY TIME. I don’t drop balls.

I take great pride in this characteristic and, for the longest time, I thought everyone was that way. To this day, I still don’t understand how someone can look you in the eye (or the “electronic eye” via email, text, etc.), tell you that they’re going to do something, and then NOT DO IT.

When did doing what you say you’re going to do…being accountable to yourself and to others….become negotiable?

Now obviously life and business can get in the way sometimes, so there will always be justified exceptions. But if you don’t do the following 10 FREE things already, I challenge you to be better going forward. It will only help you, your friends, your family, your prospects and your clients:

  1. 10 FREE Ways to Be More RELIABLEShow up to meetings on time…or a few minutes early. This one really should go without saying. Be respectful of people’s time. If you’re going to be late, call or text and let the other party know.
  2. Make introductions. If you told someone you’re going to introduce them to someone else in your network, do it promptly and professionally. Make sure both parties know why the introduction is being made and how it may benefit them.
  3. Send proposals promptly. If you talk to someone about your product or service and they ask for a proposal, don’t make them wait for it. We typically get proposals out in 24 hours or less. If that’s not possible for you, then set the expectation with the person you’re sending the proposal to.
  4. Reply to emails in a timely manner. I generally respond to all emails the same day I receive them. That isn’t always possible for everyone, but responding within 24 hours should be manageable.
  5. Return phone calls in a timely manner. I take the same approach to phone calls as I do to emails. Keep in mind…this isn’t because I’m some organizational wizard. It’s because I respect other people’s time and I don’t want to be the one holding something up.
  6. Follow up on referrals. If you’re lucky enough to have people in your network who take their time to refer you, you owe it to them to follow up with referrals quickly and professionally. If someone refers me, with few exceptions, I will contact the person they referred me to the same day, even if that’s to set up a time later to talk or meet.
  7. Follow up with the person who referred you. Follow up with the person who referred you. Again, if you’re lucky enough to have people in your network who take their time to refer you, follow up with them too. Not just at the time of the referral, but keep them in the loop in the process and let them know how it turned out.
  8. Get the work done on time. If you tell someone that you’ll have something to them by a certain date, do it. If you can’t get the work done on time, notify them and make sure that it’s the exception rather than the rule.
  9. If you have to reschedule an appointment with someone, give them ample notice. We’ve had situations where we’ve had an entire day blocked off on our calendars for weeks to work on a website project and then received a call the day before saying they need to reschedule. That’s time we could have scheduled with other clients. Obviously emergencies, etc. happen, but outside of that, always be respectful and courteous of people’s time.
  10. If someone invites you to something, respond…even if you can’t make it or aren’t interested. My wife and I have an annual Prairie Village Art Fair Party at our house. We send out an Evite where people can select Yes, Maybe or No. This past year there were probably 20-30 people who didn’t take a minute to respond. Think about that. We took the time to think of them and invite them and they couldn’t do us the courtesy of responding. Whether it’s something for your business or personal life, there are no excuses for not responding to someone who took the time to invite you to an event.

What other things do you do to be reliable to people in your life? What experiences have you had where someone wasn’t reliable? How did it impact you?

To learn more about how Blue Gurus can help you with blogging, LinkedIn or a new WordPress website, call or email me at 913-645-6650 or mic@bluegurus.com