On how being grateful serves me…

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On this episode, I talk about being grateful. I have written multiple times about gratitude and the importance of deploying it personally and professionally and I continue to be impressed by the power and impact it has on my mind and day to day interactions.

I added a gratitude journal to my life in 2018 and I think I first got the idea from Tim Ferriss. For me it helps me set the stage for a great day and reflect a little on the day, week, month or even life prior to that day. This helps me shift gears and get my new day into focus. I can tell you that when you begin the day with some gratitude reflection, you are pushing away from shore with some real wind in your sails. As an entrepreneur, this is even more important because you need to be as focused as humanly possible to navigate the rough waters that come with being your own boss.

Only positivity comes from it and I tend to get more done and allow less to really upset me or take me off my game. So not only does it feel good to stop and give thanks, but it actually helps yield better business results. If you are like me and are always seeking ways to get an edge or productive ways get ahead, then this is a smart move for you.

In my case, by appreciating the employees and clients who put me where I am, I find that I am a better leader and more empathetic in most situations. Trust me, I still get frustrated and aggravated by silly things, but much less so than I used to. I use my daily journal as a way to reset and not let the things that were annoying me from the day prior linger for too long. Remember, I am grateful to even have clients and employees to be annoyed about…

Does that make sense?

 

 

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On finishing up my year of being 40…

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So today is my final day of being 40 years old and here is what I learned this year:

1- Age is just a number and I feel more motivated, hungry, focused and energized than when I was in my early 20′s.

2- Old friends, with real roots, can come back in your life and it can be awesome.

3- I sat down with Chris Heller, one of those old friends to do a podcast and it was a really special conversation and I learned a lot about myself. I recommend that type of exercise to everyone.

4- Doing the right thing is always the right thing.

5- Meditation is real and being mindful is a game changer.

6- I have a herniated disc in my back (came out of nowhere in May) and it stinks. Don’t take 100% healthy days for granted.

7- I made a commitment to go even harder than normal at work this year and there really is no limit. Commit fully and be amazed at how much further you can go.

8- Gratitude needs to be a part of your game. We are so lucky to be alive and we only get one at bat.

9- Reading is crucial and I think I still prefer real books over digital devices.

10- That being said, podcasts and audio are everything. I consume massive amounts of content on the daily now.

11- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

12- I am definitely a morning person.

13- Kids grow up quickly and it is so important to be really present with them. (working hard at getting better at that)

14- I am awful at keeping up with friends and family on the phone. Text and email are much better for me.

15- My Spanish skills, while once a strength, are terrible now.

16- It is important to focus on where you are going, but it is equally important to remember where you came from.

17- This Is Us is an all-time TV Show.

18- Donald Trump is an ass clown.

19- I repeat, Donald Trump is an ass clown.

20 – I committed to doing 40 things for my 40th birthday as part of Chris Heller’s BE40 Facebook Group and though I did fall short (which I was at first annoyed with myself about, but now I am ok with it) I found out that:

21- Canyon Ranch is amazing and everyone should go.

22- Wo Hop is overrated.

23- Cryotherapy was ok, but not amazing.

24- iFLY was fun, but not worth a second session.

25- Going to Ann Arbor with Brett Goffin and no families, was one of the best weekends of the year.

26- Drinking expensive bottles of wine with Noah Yosha was really fun and educational – happy 41st birthday to him today BTW.

27- Not sold on guided meditation classes (yet), as I still think I prefer to do that alone.

28- My ski trip out west with the family was everything I could have hoped for and I am heading back in a few weeks.

29- Daughter date nights were top notch and a mandatory, ongoing tradition.

30- Cooking dinner for the family was not amazing. I am not so skilled in the kitchen to be honest.

31- Live music in NYC was a nice change of pace and something I will continue.

32- Pro soccer game was a lot of fun and I will do it again.

33- Broadway is such an amazing NYC treat and I need to take advantage. Starting with Dear Evan Hansen this Saturday night. (will I cry?)

34- Weekend away with my wife sans kids was special. Need to run that back.

35- Saw LeBron play live and still prefer Jordan.

36- Not 100% sold that I am a Mets fan anymore.

37- Been eating less meat and it has been a good thing. Won’t give it up for now, but don’t need it as much.

38- I care about my wife turning 40 (this year) more than I did about myself last year. She is more important, for sure.

39- Surrounding yourself more with winners is a smart move as is limiting time around negative people.

40- Life is good.

Bottomline is that 40 is an excellent time to sit and reflect on things. The way I see it (despite my herniated disc) it is a time where you are really in your prime personally and professionally and have a lot of control over your own destiny. It is mission critical to be in tune with yourself, be confident and make sure you focus your time and energy on the important things. Looking forward to 41 and will look to top 40. Stay tuned…

 

 

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Its all about the ‘tude

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I have been practicing a new routine of late and I have found that it has really elevated my mental game and overall work output. I call it the ‘tude check and I will break it down for you here.

I create set slots on my calendar to signal that I should check in with a mindset, and reminds me to zero in on a specific and sometimes overlooked area of focus. As disciplined as I am (or at least think I am) I still find that this set calendar date with my brain really helps make sure I keep the commitment and really think about it tangibly.

1- Attitude- Here I remind myself on Sunday nights how much I love what I do, how much I cant wait to get into work and how much I am committed to building a really successful company for me, my clients and my employees.  I am a pretty focused and upbeat guy anyway, but that reminder is just a little nudge in that direction to make sure I am employing the right attitude to win.

Every week at that time (when I am in a great attitude mindset) I literally draft an email to my entire team and set the stage for their week. I read articles that motivate me to push harder, work deeper and never sit back and coast. I even pick out the Monday morning Instagram post for my company that will set the stage for us to kick a@# and take names that week. The right attitude sets the altitude for the week for sure.

2- Latitude- On Wednesdays around 3PM, I have been doing what I call a coordinates check in. I have written before about how I try to regiment my days/weeks and cover a lot of different areas for my company. So at this time, I stop and look at my compass (if you will) to gauge where I am at for the week? Am I ahead or behind pace? Is there anywhere that I need to pivot or adjust?  This allows me to course correct for Thursday and Friday and make sure I over-index in any area(s) that is/are lagging or that just needs heavy focus given the ever changing landscape of running my own business, especially one in the service space.

3- Gratitude- I have also written before about having a “gratitude attitude” and it is really so important for your mental success. On Fridays I will spend time sending some sort of thank you message to a client, employee or referral partner to let them know I am truly thankful for their contribution to my success personally or professionally. Sometimes I will even just call a parent, to check in and let them know I am thinking of them and want to see how they are doing. I do this because it is the right thing to do and to be honest it selfishly feels good which helps fill my tank with some good energy.  Once again after a week in client services, it is a much needed reprieve from the constant barrage of negative energy (sometimes warranted and much more often, unwarranted) that comes my way.

I wanted to put this down in a post, so I could share it and potentially convince others to “cop a ‘tude” too. Being positive, thankful and focused on staying on course and not getting too distracted or off target is obviously a smart approach to business and life in general. This is just a roadmap to potentially help you get there.

 

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On being thankful…

be-thankful-inspiration-wallpaperOn this Monday of Thanksgiving week, I am feeling especially thankful for the things in my life.  Personally speaking, I am most thankful for my amazing wife and kids, for supporting me in my professional journey (which has many highs and lows mind you) and for my friends (and other acquaintances) for motivating, helping, advising and even just promoting me in their lives.  I have written about employing a gratitude attitude in this blog before and it is true now, more than ever!

Professionally speaking, I have an amazing and talented new hire starting today, two new (referred) clients kicking off this week and three calls for new business opportunities before turkey day. Cherry on top- I received a note from one of those new clients telling me that it was the gratitude blog post above, as well as the piece I wrote on “Core Values” that convinced them to sign with us VS. someone else.  While that is not the reason I write them, it is is a perfect example of how content marketing works.

You cant fake it, you need to feel it in your bones.  When you put out good energy, it typically comes back to you in various ways. It doesn’t always happen right away, but you should stay the course. Doing the right thing is always the right thing and if you are passionate, honorable and hard working then good things come.

I am thankful for all of those (family, clients, employees) who allow me to even be in the position to do what I do. Thank you! :)

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On core values…

Sircle-Core Values

I am a big believer in being very clear and transparent with your core values.  Both personally and professionally, people should know what they can expect when dealing with you. It is best shown through your actions, but it is a great idea to document them and then use them as a guide to help point your compass in the right direction.  At Sircle Media we do that and we use these as our governing principles on the daily.

Who We Are:

Sircle Media is a serviced based business that helps brands navigate the social and digital media landscape. We provide outsourced solutions that help clients win online, while not being dragged or slowed down by bloated payroll. As a result they can invest more time + funds into actually advancing their business.

While we happen to work in social and digital media, our actual business is service.  In order to give great service you need to have the right foundation and approach in place.

10 Core Values:

1. We provide Four Season’s level service at all touch points.

2. When we say something will get done, we make sure it does.

3. We believe in transparent, open and honest communication.

4. We employ a “can do” attitude and go above + beyond for clients.

5. We believe in constant growth and learning.

6. We are honest and forthcoming with our clients + coworkers.

7. We promote a positive team and family spirit.

8. We believe in being scrappy and doing more with less.

9. We are passionate and determined to be great at what we do.

10. We deploy a gratitude attitude and we genuinely appreciate the opportunities we are given.

I would hope that clients, employees and/or vendors who read this would agree that these are a big part of who we are.  If they do, then we are doing it right.

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Referrals Make The World Go Round

sircle-referrals

As a follow up to my post titled Gratitude Attitude, I want to talk about how happy it makes me to bring value to others. Not only is it great to get referrals from other companies and allies, but it is equally satisfying to bring business to others too. I want to be a contributor to the ecosystem in any way that I can, and every time a referral turns into business I am stoked on both ends.

So far in May I’ve referred out 3 opportunities that all seem super promising for both parties. Also, one introduction I made late last month, just converted into a six figure branding and positioning job for a partner firm and there is another in it’s final stages too. It genuinely brings a big smile to my face!

For the past 16 months I have also been focused on trying to help/mentor one Entrepreneur or new business idea each month, by offering some free time and advice. I try to guide them on how to handle early stage tactics, how to navigate the ups and downs (there are so many) and where they need to focus.  I also try to refer them to others who can help, places to find content/information to arm them on their journey or even to tools like Evernote (to help them be efficient and organized) or Headspace (to help keep them sane).

In the end of the day, I am a big believer in being an active and contributing member of your community, whatever that community might be. If I were a Doctor, friends and family would call me all the time asking me for advice or to offer a quick diagnosis, and of course I would be right on it. This is no different. Though I am no Doctor, my skill is in growing businesses on social media and I want to flood that world, with positive energy all day, every day.

It might result in referred business for me in the long game, (and I will take it of course) but while that will lead to satisfaction, it is not my motivation. The short term upside of showing love and giving back is more than enough.

 

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Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude

Despite the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur and the hard work and hustle needed each and every minute, I spend most of my days feeling a real sense of gratitude.  Not just for being alive and healthy (knocks on wood) or for my beautiful wife and amazing family (luckiest guy around), but for being given the opportunity to do what I love and work with and for amazing people.

My team comes in every day and works so hard for my company, despite all of the noise and distractions in this market.  LinkedIn recruiters, friends at other jobs, others traveling the world and a grass is always greener mentality that exists in the back of the minds of young millennials can really cause confusion and aggravation.  Despite all of these things, they focus and dedicate themselves to growing our vision together and for that I am forever grateful and humbled.

My clients have many options out there when it comes to social media agencies, yet they put their trust and faith in Sircle Media. That is something I take very seriously and I work hard to prove them right each and every day.  Not only do they come and stay, but they refer other brands and business owners – the ultimate stamp of approval for a service business like mine.

In the first 3 months of the year, I received 14 referrals of which 9 committed to some work and the rest were given great advice or guidance and were very pleased with the value I brought them. I cant even begin to explain how much it means to me, so Monica, Mark (both of you), Mike, Emily, Jen, Carina, Josh, Zach, Ben, Joseph and Naomi- THANK YOU!

We live in interesting times, and there can be a lot to be stressed out about for sure.  I choose to take a different POV and instead I value the good in people and the relationships I continue to create and foster. In an age of constant communication and noise, it is incredibly helpful to stop, pause and appreciate!

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