7 Minutes In the Morning – How To Make Progress

“All progress takes place outside your comfort zone.”

Michael John Bobak

Have you ever been on a lazy river ride? You know, you sit in the inner tube and the water just moves you around the “river.” That’s one of the only places I can imagine where it takes little to no effort on your part to make progress…that is, if you consider going around in circles progress.

The truth is that real progress (movement toward a goal) requires YOU to get outside your warm, comfy cocoon and make some new calluses. Of course, blisters come first and those blisters can be quite painful, but if you want to find success as an entrepreneur, business owner, or just in life…you need the blisters.

Situations like we’ve been going through for the past couple of months really emphasize the need for planning and stress testing the business, and that stuff is not fun. But if you don’t do it in planning and learn from the mistakes of preparation, then your only choices it to learn in real time…and THAT can be fatal to your business.

Take a few minutes right now and think about two or three things that you’ve been putting off till “tomorrow” and make completing them today a priority!

I Envision A Time When…

Why do you work? Can you clearly articulate the end-state you are striving to achieve?

It’s a simple enough question but one that will probably stump you. I’ve asked this question to hundreds, maybe thousands of people and the most common answers they have given fall into one of two categories: 1) to pay bills, or 2) um, because I’m supposed to.

It is exactly this lack of goals, absence of vision, that lead over 70% of employees to be mentally and emotionally disengaged AT WORK! They just don’t care.

Among business owners it’s slightly better…but not much. In a recent Reddit thread the question was posed, “Why did you start your business?” and the majority of answers centered around what the job allowed them to escape, not what it was providing for them.

So whether you are an employee or a business owner, it’s really easy to get trapped in the “it’s what I’m supposed to do” way of thinking. That’s not intentional thinking and will NOT produce the results you’re looking for!

The reality is, if you don’t have a clear vision of what YOU call success, you will just wander around, doing whatever looks interesting and never really reaching your full potential!

So instead, why not give this thought experiment a try. Grab a piece of paper and finish this sentence, “I envision a time when…” What are the criteria you will use to decide if your journey has been successful?

Not only will this make answering the WHY question easier, but it also gives you a great decision-making tool! Use it when you face a choice and ask yourself which option moves me closer to my vision of success…then choose that one! Over time, you just might get there!

Why Average is Good Enough

What are you not trying because you don’t feel qualified or ready?

I love this quote from Bruce Lee because it calls it perfectly…greatness is present in everyone, even the average person, but it requires effort to achieve.

With all the opportunity for distraction available to us…literally in the palm of your hand…we often fall prey to Distraction Over Action. We know that the next task or project is going to be taxing, stressful, or lengthy so we opt for a “quick” distraction. That quick distraction turns into a long one, the BAM…off your game.

One of the best ways I’ve found to defeat DOA is with block scheduling. Schedule a block of time, say 20 minutes, to focus on one task. Turn off all your notifications, don’t check email or answer the phone…just focus. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in a short period of time.

How do you avoid DOA and get that To Do list knocked out? Leave your best tip in the comments!

So You’re Too Busy?

So, how have you been? How’s the business?

I find myself asking this question a lot at networking or other meetings where I’m running into people I know. It’s a pretty common greeting. Do you know what answer I get frequently? “Well, I’ve been pretty busy!” (or some variant of that)

While we’re taking a little break from the daily grind this week at the beach, I wanted to remind you that busy does not equal effective. In fact, it is a terrible measure of how things are going. The hamster is busy, and not moving an inch.

In my live workshop Making Time for Success, one of the key concepts addresses the mistaken idea that time management is about efficiency. The efficient use of time is to get more done is the same amount of time. This is wrong.

What you really want is the more effective use of your time…getting the right things done in the allotted time. This requires some hard decisions!

Right now, how many items are on your to-do list? I want you to take an honest inventory and identify everything on that list that, if you NEVER did them, nothing adverse would happen. You are probably like a lot of people that use a lengthy to-do list as a crutch to help you feel better about not getting anything done…but you’re busy!

I want you to go through your list and pick the five most important things on your list. The items you pick should all take less than a day to complete (if they are bigger than one day, break them down into day-sized chunks).

Now, armed with your next five moves…pick the one item that will have the greatest impact on your life if you do it today. That item is now your priority. Get that done first, then knock out the other four. Then tomorrow…rinse and repeat.

This is the P+4F method at work. You can find a video explaining it in more detail on my website (link in bio). Use it and it will change your life. Keep doing what you’ve been doing…and you’ll keep getting what you already have!

When Limits Win

How do you know when it’s time to cut bait?

Yesterday we talked about boundaries… and I’m also a fan of pushing your limits. So how do you reconcile those? It’s really not as hard as it sounds When you start with personal responsibility!

As an individual, you are only responsible for your decisions and outcomes, then there are modifiers. Parents take on responsibility for their kids, entrepreneurs take on some of the burdens for their employees and customers…but there’s a limit.

About 18 months ago, my adult son died from the effects of alcoholism. In spite of our best efforts, he still made the choices that led to his demise.

You only have responsibility for others to the point of their freewill choice. You can’t make the decision for them, that is where you have to let them beat the weight of their own burden.

Focus on what you can control, make the decisions that are within your purvue, and do everything you can to let the rest go.

Stop Chasing the Bright Shiny Thing!

When you confidence isn’t founded in focus and purposeful action then you are jumping without a parachute. – Kathryn Lang

It’s a slippery slope when you start chasing what “seems good” at the time.

When you run a business, it is easy to allow distractions, which can dilute your focus even though it seems the “rabbit hole” you’re running down seems more exciting.

You’ll find yourself “confidently” chasing details or “new ideas” that don’t make a difference in the big picture when you originally started everything.

You have confidence because you’ve been there before and you’re “revisiting” something that soothes you, instead of, stretching you.

High confidence should be treated as an indicator that you may not be pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone hard enough… seriously.

Before you make a decision, ask yourself how you can measure the result to see if it moved the needle.

If you can’t come up with a good way to measure, then it’s a bad decision because you’ll never be able to distinguish between a win or a loss.

Do you know how to distinguish between a win and a loss right now?

You may believe it will “sort itself out” in time because of whatever reason, but things never progress unless you’re able to determine the specific things to move the needle in your business. Until then, you’ll be “spinning your wheels”.

It’s Your Call

Business (and life) is a contact sport! What do you do when it gets to be too much?

Let’s face it, it happens to everybody! Sometimes all the moving pieces of your success and fulfillment seem to be moving in opposite directions! UGH! The answer though is pretty simple…

The more complicated things become, the more aggressively you have to simplify!

Overwhelm, and the feeling of lost control that accompanies it can be debilitating if you let it…but it doesn’t have to be.

Most people believe when they are experiencing overwhelm that the pathway out is planning or studying or some other distraction. The reality is, there’s only one way to dig out from overwhelm…simplify!

In the short term, find one thing you can control, that you can make an unimpeded decision about and make it. For Mel Robbins, author of the 5-second Rule, that was the snooze button on her alarm clock. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy, just something YOU control.

Now that you have some confidence taking control of your ‘alarm clock’ take on that giant pile of decisions that are overwhelming you. Simplify the decision point all the way down to, “which choice moves me closer to my goal.”

Take Jocko’s advice (slightly modified by Thom), “Relax, [take a breath], look around, and make a decision.” Those decisions are the reins of control in your business and your life…start deciding and take back control!

If you need help finding your clarity or simplifying your decision matrix, DM me or connect with me on my website (link in bio) at www.ThomRigsby.com.

When Confidence Wins

Do you have what it takes to become an overnight success and turn everything you touch into a win? Are you sure?

Sometimes when I’m having a conversation with someone looking for a business and life coach I will ask them this question. Often they seem genuinely surprised that I’d ask such a question. But it’s a necessary question.

If you’re going to win in business, you have to have confidence in yourself! No one else is going to do it for you!


Confidence is the residue of execution. The more you execute, the more your confidence builds. And as your confidence builds, so will the success of your business. There is a direct relationship!

Think about it, would you rather go with the doctor that “thinks” they can solve the problem or the one that “knows what the problem is and what to do?” You’re customers feel the same way!

So what if you don’t have the confidence yet? Well, this is where fear and courage make their appearance. Your lack of confidence will create fear, and fear is a good thing. It gives you an opportunity to step out in faith and demonstrate your courage!

All other things equal, when you’re in the heard and everyone is huddled up, afraid and unsure what to do next, they will follow the first person to step out front and say, “follow me.” It might as well be you!

If you are not sure what steps to take next, don’t know how to execute to achieve your goals, or just need some help putting together a plan, I can help. DM me or find me on my website at www.ThomRigsby.com.

Are You the Right Person for the Job?

Do you LOVE the work you do? Are you excited about getting after it this morning?

If you’re not, it’s not the end of the world. No one promised we’d love it EVERY day. Both business owners and employees alike can find themselves ‘out-of-love’ with their work. When that happens to you … what should you do?

One of the great lies you’ve been sold is that you should go to school, work hard, get good grades, get a “good” job … then gut it out for 30 or 40 years so you can finally live the good life in your golden years. What a load of BS! What about living the good life TODAY?!

That said, I’m also not a follow-your-passion kind of guy. I agree with Mike Rowe that you should bring your passion to the work you do.

See, no matter what kind of work you choose, you will have some bad days, it’s just going to happen. BUT, if you follow your gifts and talents (instead of your passion) you will find the role that is not just perfect for you … but the role that is MADE for you!

You are uniquely gifted, talented and placed to do work that matters. You’re like the piece in the puzzle that only fits in one place, one way. Sure, you might be able to MAKE it fit somewhere else, but it only really works in one place. And when you find your place, well, THAT is when you can begin living the good life… and live your legacy … every day.

If you need help finding your ‘good life,’ identifying your gifts and talents, or just talking about why your work should matter, send me a DM or check out my website (link in bio) at www.ThomRigsby.com.

Circumstances Do Not Dictate Outcomes!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your circumstances?

You may have heard me say that opportunity is just a set of circumstances…facts or conditions that surround you. But is it possible to have so many opportunities or circumstances that we get stuck and can’t make ANY progress? Well, sure, it’s possible…so what do about it?

When you are feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, it is rarely the volume of opportunity that is causing the problem (that doesn’t change very much over time). Rather, it is the relative weight you are assigning to the opportunity or the outcome.

Sometimes, the weight is appropriate…get out of the street or be hit by that truck…but more often than not, the weight is arbitrary, just something you made up. If you made it up, you can change it!

In my life and business coaching practice, I see this a lot around goals (or expectations of outcomes). You start a business and expect million dollar results in the first year…then when it doesn’t happen, or it’s slow, you start looking at everything you need to do to improve…and there’s a lot…and BOOM…you’re overwhelmed!

This is one reason I came up with the P4F model for planning and GSD. It will help you find the five most important things to focus on today and prioritize them to create results.

I’ve made a short video about P4F and how it works. You can find it on my website at www.ThomRigsby.com/P4F. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a 6-minute breather and watch the video…it will change your life!