Absorbing Knowledge

pouring_beer

Over the past three weeks I’ve had the opportunity to reach out, grab drinks, and have a heart-to-heart with some very impressive individuals. I’ve learned the unique differences to business and personal life that must be undertaken to thrive. My goal has always been a simple one; to learn.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “With self-discipline most anything is possible.” This single quality has to be one of the biggest, and most unique, differences for those who thrive. They are disciplined individuals who aim to learn.

So, who did I meet with?

Bill Hocking

We had the opportunity to grab beers and watch the World Cup. During our conversations and watching his passion for soccer, I realized he possessed the same qualities in everything that he did; servant leadership and being passionate! This has been Hocking continual theme over the past year; after our first meeting, following my experience at Apollo Matrix. He is that servant leader who is willing to sit down with me, express pure passion for teaching, and share what he knows from his experiences at Microsoft and St. Johns College.

Erik Heisig

Erik and I had wanted to meet for coffee a few times over the past months and finally got the chance to catch up. He is an entrepreneur who refuses to fail on his goals; everything from a Federal Government placing company, to a car-flipping joint. Heisig has been a family friend for years and has always had this “entrepreneurial” bug, from what I’ve heard. After meeting with him for the specific purpose of absorbing his knowledge of this, I realized it was very true; because of his deliberate actions to make it true.

Throughout these conversations with Hockings and Heisig, I’ve walked away with the understanding that I should always chase after one main attribute; learning. I believe we all need to be self-disciplined, passionate, and deliberate in our actions to learn.

Here are a few of those I try to continually learn from… How do you continue learning from others?

Quirky – Organizing Problems

Quirky Cordies

There are moments in life when you realize one thing…you are behind! I don’t know if I would truly consider myself behind but I would say that I haven’t written in a while. This should be a regular thing, so today I will start making it one. With that being said, let me get organized!

Yes, I really do mean organized. I have been a consultant/working for myself now for almost 10 months. I’m viewing this as a once in a lifetime opportunity (that will probably go on for a long, extended amount of time). In the process, though, I’ve become pretty equated with finding problems and thinking through solutions. One of these places that I enjoy checking out is Quirky. Quirky is a shop that is full of people with one interest and quality in mind: ideas. I definitely recommend that you hop on over and check it out!

After watching this site for almost a full year, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a product. I got the “cordies” to organize my life a bit. Now that I work for myself, I work at a standing desk and have cords wrapped around every possible inch of my work space. But more importantly, it is a problem that needed to be solved and the solution came from crowdsourcing. What an amazing way to solve problems!

Before & After

Back to the cord situation, I was a bit behind in fixing this problem and simply bought a solution. What do you think? Do you think this is a problem? Do you personally want it solved?

But really what I want to know is: what problems do you see around you daily?

Networking Again

treehouse

There are many places to start this conversation but in short, I quite my job back in August and decided to make the break into the world of entrepreneurship. In this process I’ve learned quickly that I need to understand more about this realm of business. So, the best way to do this? Networking…

Networking is one of the best parts of my new style of life. I’ve been on a mission to learn more from individuals who are having success in areas that I aim to succeed in and Ryan Carson is someone who has had some major success in his startups. My personal goal was to learn his process for building out the startups. If you don’t know who he is, he is an entrepreneur who has started Treehouse. Treehouse is an online education tool that helps you learn new techniques from business to programming. Prior to that, he built out two companies that spun him in the direction of Treehouse. In these two companies, he learned what I am about to share:

  • DropSend
  • Carsonified

I wanted to learn three actionable items to apply to ahWriting and my consulting practice. Here is what I learned:

  1. Find Passion… He shared that why you are building a business, you need to build it around what others are passionate about as well. He explained that his goal was to find a way to not always be needed and this required believing in the team you build and allowing them to be experts in the areas they have expertise in.
  2. Hire Slowly & Fire Quick… Having this expertise means that finding people isn’t as easy as desired. Carson also explained that it meant learning how to have the hard conversations fast and firing when needed. He shared that it is a difficult thing to be comfortable with but that it is key to have the right people at the right time.
  3. Keep Priorities… The final thing that stood out that I will be applying is the idea of keeping the priorities. He aligns his goals and executes on them. He prioritizes and completes by staying focused and keeping excited / passionate about what he is building out as a company. Ryan aims to have a purposeful task list.

What was the biggest take away for me? Prioritize and Complete. He recommended reading How to Win Friends & Influence People… Ryan Carson was a passionate individual who kept his eyes on the goal and took passion and made it action.

PS – He wakes up at 5:00 AM to get going and keeps to a four day week! See his blog here: http://ryancarson.com/

Chromecast Two

chromecast box

Yes, I had been planning on sharing these images of the “unboxing” of the Google Chromecast for a while now and had promised a few people I would do this ASAP. Well, a month or so later, here it is…

And the reason for writing it now, I just got my second one for the other TV in our house. It has been the best $35 spent in technology in a long while for me. Simple and usable. I am a fan on so many levels.

Let’s put it this way, receiving the first of my Chromecast’s was like Christmas, the second that just came a week ago was like a birthday surprise. There simplicity of setup, use, and enjoyment is great. I bought both of my Chromecast’s from the Play Store. The packaging came like so: chromecast box

chromecast chromecast features chromecast unboxing chromecast the product chromecast it's here chromecast what is inside

The set up was extremely simple as well. Honestly, you just go to one link while on your WIFI and it finds the ChromeCast, connects, lets you name it, and then set your preferences for it. Truly, that easy of a process for this. I have those screenshots as well but didn’t know if it would make anyone want it more. So, after one month with this, I finally received my second one and did the same thing. Setup took around 5 minutes from start to finish. It is a must to have in your house. Though, if you have an Apple TV, there really isn’t a reason to get this. But, if you don’t have one, this is the product to have!chromecast plugged in chromecast live

 

So, what do you all think of it? Have you seen it’s capabilities and features? Would you use one? Do you have one? I will be writing an article about this vs the Apple TV soon as well but would love to hear your thoughts prior!

Continually Learning

learning

Continual education is something to be desired, not simply something you are required to do… Khan Academy gives you that ability to turn education into a desire. Khan takes a moment to encourage folks to keep this same learning desire in their lives in his commencement speech. He made points that makes you want to keep learning from day one, or at least it did for me!

Have you used the Khan Academy? Any videos / thoughts you would want others to check out? What sites do you use to keep learning? What do you recommend?

Working out in the AM?

original

Recently, I have been trying to analyze why I like working out in the morning. For me, it helps my day ‘go smoother’ and stay more focused. But why?

“If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF(Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and like things are clear after exercising. At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain…”

Full Article: What Happens to Our Brains During Exercise (and Why it Makes Us Happier)

Until I read this article, I didn’t realize why working out even made a difference with my mindset. Nor did I realize why a simple walk would be so soothing and relaxing for the mind. What do you do as a mental exercise / physical exercise to sooth your day?

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