Preparation is Key

We’re three weeks from 2019. WTH? This year has flown by. It could’ve been a little better or it could’ve been a lot worse.

As we get ready for Jan. 1, I implore you to really take an honest inventory of what 2018 looked like for you. What goals did you hit? Which ones did you miss? How far off are you? Can you still accomplish these goals in the next three weeks?

Now, as you plan for next year, adjust accordingly. If you didn’t finish something you still want to finish, reset the goal and give yourself a realistic time frame.

On this Monday, let’s start getting the vision for next year together. Sure, everything we plan for won’t happen the way we expect it to but we can at least prepare for what we can, right? Build that vision board. Set a defined list of goals and steps that will help you reach them along with a timeline. Schedule the difficult review or meeting now so that you know how to move going forward.

Do the hard work now to help offset the additional amount of work next year will bring. Make 2019 your year by putting pen to paper in December of 2018. Let’s get it.

By the way, I’ve got some 🔥 coming next week to help you start 2019 off the right way. Follow @DanDailyReader on IG to be apart (and win some cool stuff).

Make proper planning a priority.

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Respect Your Business

“I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them, so I got rich and gave back. To me, that’s the win-win.” — JAY Z

Tonight, I had a business contact ask me if I could volunteer as a photographer for an event that the very established nonprofit he works for is hosting. I had to decline.

Two years ago, I did some free photography for them. Two years ago, I was an amateur. Two years ago, it was a side hustle. Two years ago, I had two years less experience. Today, I have a fairly full schedule and bookings 13 months down the road. I’ve been paid to photograph top educational institutions, world-renowned events, and multi-millionaires with hit television shows (ok, just one TV star but she dope enough to be five separate ones). I have talent, my equipment is expensive, and I’m always working to get better. I respect myself enough to charge.

Do I volunteer still? Certainly. But I do it for my organizations and, even then, there is a limit. What I do, be it photography or consulting, is a business. Your business is a business. Jeff Bezos’ business is a business. The squeegee man’s business is a business. Exposure is all well and good but now, as opposed to investing time in exposure for my businesses, I’m investing it in exposing businesses to the world.

Mentees don’t choose their mentors, charities don’t choose their philanthropists, and organizations don’t choose their volunteers. That’s not me saying “Don’t ask.” I’m not offended that I was asked. I am honored. And, if I would’ve said “Yes” but didn’t get asked, that is worse than a “No.” But it’s an organization that I will give my time to in exchange for some of their budget.

Make knowing your worth a priority.

Create 🤬 You’d Pay For

Today, I was at the Triangle’s dopest barbershop, Rock’s. Not only do I get a consistently phenomenal haircut from Jennifer but I also get a craft beer with every cut. Today, I chose a Founder’s IPA and, right under the can’s rim were the words, “BREWED FOR US.” I thought that was great. They brew the kind of beer they want to drink.

Some people say you should make products or provide services that your customers would like. While I agree with that, I also think that you should never create something that you, yourself, don’t consider dope enough to pay for. In the case of barbers, yes, there are people who want really weird cuts and stuff. But that’s ok. Just think of it this way: if I was that kind of person, would I pay me for this caliber of cut?

If it’s not quality, don’t do it. Every photo I give clients is a photograph I would love to put in my portfolio. Every rĂ©sumĂ© and cover letter I craft is one that I would provide an employer with myself.

Be proud enough of your work to never give anything that isn’t good enough for you. And, if they want something that you wouldn’t be proud to tell others you did, turn down the business. It’s not worth it.

 

Make creating 🤬 you like a priority.

Find a Way

Today, I helped one of my friends move and he gave me his card collection which he was going to throw away (no, we’re not 12 years old). He had a ton of baseball cards and, after looking at some and recognizing a few names, I decided I’d take a look at my collection when I got home. I also have some recognizable names.

I was chatting with Vince about it tonight and he said, “If each of your cards is worth $1, that’s $2,000 in your possession.” He’s right (and I know some of them are worth much more).

If you need money to start your business or anything else, before crowdfunding or taking a loan out, find a creative way to scrape the money together.

Make making ends meet a priority.

Fear of the Three C’s

Yesterday, after getting a great night’s rest, I woke up to my go to morning newsletter to find out that Amazon passed up on RDU for HQ2. With 20 finalist locations, Amazon opted to split the wealth between two finalists: Northern VA and Long Island, NY. That’s all well and good but, once again, North Carolina missed out on a major bid. Now, let’s talk about why.

Southern comfort is a thing. No, I’m not talking about the whiskey. I’m talking about the twang when (some) Carolinians talk and our hospitably sweet diabe-tea when you visit. But it’s cool, right? Folks come from up north and think our slower lifestyles and “fast” moving traffic is neat. Well, so do we. In fact, we love it so much that it’s become a hinderance.

According to a poll, only 43% of local citizens strongly supported Amazon HQ2 being located in the Raleigh area. So, you mean to tell me that you’re not in favor of 25,000 new jobs with an average salary of $150,000? Why is that? Sounds crazy to me. No, excuse me. It’s not crazy. It’s fear.

News flash Carolinians: A large number of us are afraid of the 3 C’s. You’ve never heard of them so you don’t know what they are. That’s ok. I just realized it this morning but I’ve known it my entire life (which is why, as much as I love home and will be back, I’m getting the hell out of here for a while so I can be around some less fearful people). The three 3’s are *drumroll* change, commute, and competition.

I’ll start with the most obvious, which is change. In the south, people fear the unknown because, it’s unknown. This is why Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp can run an openly racist campaign advertisement saying he’ll take the role of ICE into his own hands and still (almost) win an election. Non-white immigrants represent change and the south likes things slow, steady, and at it’s own pace. This is why they fought so hard to keep slavery, Jim Crow, and mandatory minimums that look like everything they have always known. Change is scary. Amazon represents progress that non-Southerners will bring and that progress will require North Carolinian culture to change. That’s C1.

C2 is the commute. In North Carolina, we like our cars. We like our trucks and our sedans and our sports cars and our nice cars (say it with a thick southern accent and you’ll see where that speedway in Charlotte got its name). Automobiles are status symbols. ‘Round here *Memphis Bleek voice*, we drive by people who stand at bus stops with our noses up in the sky. In more developed cities, that doesn’t happen. I’ve been on the subway in New York and LA and seen A- or B-list celebrities on there too. It’s normal. But, for some reason, N.C. would rather continue fixing our messed up, pothole-filled roads and destroying the atmosphere with gas guzzlers instead of figuring out a sustainable and reliable transit system.

Therefore, you know what another reason of those who weren’t strongly for Amazon being located here is? They say we don’t have the infrastructure to handle it. That’s code for they don’t want to deal with the traffic. I have family members in central NJ who catch a train to NYC daily for work and then back. We’ve been spoiled when it comes to our commutes and now we don’t want to forego that.

C3 is competition. For some reason, we don’t feel like competing with the outside world. We don’t want Amazon flying in their “foreign” (from other states but still American citizens) team to take jobs that North Carolinians should have. What sense does that make? Now the “foreigners” aren’t here and neither are the jobs, which means neither is the growth. When companies like Amazon come to places like Raleigh, multiple industries boom. But, when they over look us, professionals who would’ve come here and started new business go elsewhere. Students who would’ve come to one of the Triangle’s over ten colleges and universities will now look elsewhere to get their education. Homes that should be built by our construction workers are going to be built in Northern VA and on Long Island. When we don’t want to compete, what we’re really saying is that we don’t want to win. We don’t want to be the best. We just want to be left alone to live with our Southern comfort.

Folks, Carolinian or not, take this as a lesson. You don’t want to be like present-day North Carolina. Hopefully, losing this bid isn’t what wakes us up. Let’s be honest with ourselves: we probably would’ve lost to a bigger city either way. What should wake us up is our attitude to even being considered for the bid.

Oh, and since we’re talking about Amazon, go grab my long-time friend Joe‘s new book, #ClosingSZN. It just went live last week. I got mine in the mail from Amazon today (I’m a hardcopy kind of guy but you can get the digital version and dive in right now if you want).

 

Make embracing the 3 C’s a priority.

Beautiful Chance

On yesterday’s final run of the month, I came across a small WWII-era airport that was tucked away at the very end of a dead end road. Being that I am a history buff who was born and raised in the Triangle, I thought I would’ve known something as cool as this was here.

The point of this is that, when you set a goal, like I did last month and you go above and beyond, more blessings come. You see, I ran an extra 2 miles past my goal yesterday. Had I stopped running a half a mile earlier (which would’ve put me right on track for hitting my goal with precision), I would have never seen this airport. I wouldn’t have these amazing photos.

Life is about chance but sometimes we create our own.

 

Make going that extra mile a priority.

Do Something You’ve Never Done

Last week, I posted about my 60 mile goal. With 11 days to go, I was 37 miles from my goal. Today, I hit mile 60 and, then, I kept running. Why? Because 62.14 miles is 100KM and I don’t know when I’ll ever be hitting this point again. Could be next month. Could be next year. Could be next lifetime. Who knows. All I know is that, today, I decided to accomplish something I’ve never done before. Why? Because, next time I want to accomplish something major when it comes to running, it has to be bigger than this. I’ve done a half-marathon. I’ve done a 100K month. What’s next? Either a full or 200K.

Now, let that translate to anything else in life. If you set a goal and you’re close to another goal, go ahead. Knock both out if you can. And then set a more challenging one next time around. You were given ability not so you could keep it to yourself but so that you could make some amazing waves on this third rock from the sun.

We’re 62 days until 2019. Don’t make excuses. Figure out how you can accomplish your goals.

 

Make smashing major goals a priority.