The Warrior Mentality Code: Part I

20 Under 40 20_3From my May 2018 column for The Kitsap Sun / Kitsap Business Journal…

Being an entrepreneur requires a “warrior mentality.” As CEO or President, being the “boss” means you fall under this definition of entrepreneur, so pay attention to my next statement.

If you don’t follow my Weedin Warrior Mentality Code, your business could maim you for life, or simply kill you prematurely.

Being a business owner is demanding. While it’s an aspiration to take on this challenge to build a legacy and create wealth, it’s only a good thing if they are around to enjoy the rewards.

I’ve compared being an entrepreneur to being an athlete. While an athlete trains both body and mind, all too often entrepreneurs do neither. The consequences are severe to the health of the owner and the business. In this 3-part series, we will explore ideas and concepts on how to create your own “warrior mentality” to not only accelerate business growth, but also enhance your own health and lifestyle.

The concepts will be broken out into three categories: Personal Health, The ROI of YOU, and Company Culture. In this column, we will tackle Personal Health…

Entrepreneurs and executives are driven. They work long hours, take financial risks, and care deeply about clients, employees, and legacy. Some of the stress that comes with the job is self-inflicted, yet much is still out of their control. If they aren’t mentally, physically, and spiritually fit, the ramifications are dangerous.

Mental Warriors: Mental warriors invest time in attitude and knowledge. Listed below are my best practices on how to become more mentally fit to deal with the stresses of being the boss:

  1. Invest your time and money in learning. This means both professional and personal development. The opportunity to improve how one thinks through videos, books, podcasts, and more has never been greater. Taking 10 minutes a day to learn something new leads to better creativity and innovation.
  2. Hire a coach. The best athletes in the world have coaches, often several. If an entrepreneur thinks that he or she doesn’t need a coach because they’re long on experience and don’t need anyone challenging them, then they are making a grave mistake. Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and countless other world-class athletes enjoyed greater success and longevity because they hired coaches. From a mental standpoint, being able to discuss critical issues and gain outside perspective keeps one from “breathing their own exhaust.” It’s also freeing and creates a stronger level of confidence in decision-making.
  3. Improve mental toughness. Mental toughness is that innate ability to respond and be resilient to adversity. Being mentally tough is not easy; it takes discipline, practice and perspective. To grow your mental toughness, dedicate yourself to the first two practices above!

Physical Warriors: This is the area that I see that is least valued by entrepreneurs. Athletes and soldiers must be physically fit to compete and fight. Entrepreneurs compete and fight daily, too. Check out these best practices to improve your fitness level:

  1. Diet is everything. You can’t outwork a bad diet. Sugar is more addictive than any illegal or legal drug, and maybe more harmful. Carbohydrates in excess will increase weight and dull brain power. What you eat will exacerbate how you deal with stress both good and bad. The best thing I ever did to improve my overall health and capacity to run a business was to change what and how I ate. It will be the same for you.
  2. Exercise. You don’t have to exercise like a professional athlete, but you do need to move. Invest time in 30 minutes of exercise a day: walk, swim, bicycle, yoga, golf, or box. In order to best deal with mental stress, you must change the brain chemicals through physical exertion.
  3. Accountability. If you’re going to really improve, then find someone who will hold your feet to the fire. It must be someone that won’t let you slide, and that you respect. Accountability partners work the best.

Spiritual Warriors: This isn’t a faith-based issue; although for many of you it might include it. Here’s what I mean for the purposes of this exercise: what are the things that bring tranquility to your spirit?

  1. Create habits that bring peace of mind and spirit. It’s comfort food for the inner workings of your mind. For me, a good cigar and a complimentary libation once a month is good for the rejuvenation of my spirit! For others it might be a form of exercise (walk in the park), spending time with grandchildren, or reading a good mystery novel. When these become habitual, they become part of your “therapy.”
  2. Be quiet. This is hard for me, but I’ve created a discipline about finding quiet time. I’ve made it fun by allocating time during the day to quietly practice my putting stroke in my exercise room. The getting out of my head to focus quietly on something else is good for the spirit. For others it might be meditation or prayer. Regardless, find that spiritual comfort zone to rejuvenate the all-important spiritual part of you.
  3. People Power: On the other end of the spectrum, cultivate friendships that also rejuvenate you. Make sure they are outside your professional life. I enjoy spending time with my neighbors (sometimes smoking a cigar with libation in hand) as a tranquil time to simply enjoy life. You can be an introvert and still find companionship and support from people.

Final thought. Find one thing to improve in each area. It’s better to move one thing forward a mile than ten things forward an inch. If you choose just one from each, in 30 days you’ll have achieved great progress.

Next month, we dive into the ROI of YOU. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me with questions and comments about this column.

 

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Re-Creating Yourself

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The word recreation is well known to all of us. Undoubtedly, recreation means a variety of things to you – vacationing, golfing, boating, hiking, playing music, or simply having fun with your favorite hobby. Recreation rightly is considered a good thing, and I’d like to add a very important aspect to it that might get overlooked…

The word “recreation” literally means “re-creating.” When you embark on recreation, you are endeavoring on re-creating yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Recreation doesn’t have to be formal or even long. My Saturday evening cigar and glass of wine after a day of catching up on work, mowing the lawn, and cleaning the kitchen was re-creating myself on all four of those levels in just about an hour.

One of the greatest “hidden crises” that occur to CEOs, business owners, and professionals is the misguided belief that working long and arduous hours are noble and necessary. At times, it is necessary; however gone unchecked without regular doses of recreation to re-create one’s self is dangerous. In order for you to be of most value to your company – especially as the CEO or President – you must have balance.

Entrepreneurs and executives work hard and take on a ton of stress, most of it self-imposed. In order to make the best decisions, lead teams, and actually enjoy one’s vocation, constant recreation is needed to maintain a healthy balance. Not doing so is negligent to the person, the company, the employees, and the family.

Make re-creating yourself a daily discipline, even if it’s on a small level. Recreation leads to innovation, creativity, a stronger purpose and better overall personal and professional health. I’m as guilty of letting this important concept slide. I’m making it a priority starting today, what about you?

Quote of the Week:

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”

~ Mark Twain

Happy Mothers Day a day later!

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Quantitative Value

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m a fan of the National Football League Draft, having watched it over the past 35 years it’s been televised. I’m fascinated by the process teams take in determining whom to “hire” and place the future success of their respective teams on. Some organizations are clearly better than others, even though the format is to help the bad teams.

The draft was held last week, and as always I watched a fair amount of it. The experts and gurus waxed poetic about the efficacy of team selections, often citing gobs of quantitative data. Football, like other sports, is heavy on quantitative physical metrics (speed, arm length, vertical jump, etc.) and quantitative performance metrics (yards per carry, touchdown passes thrown, tackles behind the line of scrimmage, etc.) One thing that often gets missed by the “experts” is the high value that needs to be placed on the qualitative human metric. For example: What’s this guy like? Is he competitive? Will he make a good teammate? What’s his motivation? Do we actually like him as a person?

While all teams utilize quantitative metrics, many of the successful ones will weight the value of the qualitative metrics to make sure a young man will actually fit well in the culture of the team.

Think about your “team.”

When you are seeking to hire people, how many great employees never make it to an interview because the quantitative metrics kicked them out before they had a chance? How much value is placed on what was studied in college versus the quality of character and personality of the individual? How are you measuring competitiveness, empathy, and teamwork in your future – AND current – employees?

If you’re building a team as an organizational leader, what qualitative measures are you using to find the best people to carry the football for you?

Bonus: If you’re not in charge of employees in your organization, you can still always ask the question, “If I were in charge of building this team, would I be on it?”

Numbers are only one factor in creating a strong company culture; make sure that you always remember to keep the qualitative human element a factor for your team.


Quote of the Week:

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”

~ William Feather (20th century American author)

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Summer of ’69

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The other day as I was driving, the song Summer of ‘69 by Bryan Adams came on the radio. My memory immediately went back to the mid 1980s when I was in college at the University of Washington as that was when the song was released. Funny that it seems both like a long time ago and not very long ago at the same time. That song referenced a year that was less than 20 years in the past. Today that song still frequently played, is about a summer nearly half a century ago.

Strange how days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and years turn into decades. Just the other day my daughter shared a one year memory on Facebook of an ultrasound of her daughter and now that little girl is crawling all over the place. Here’s my message for today…

Don’t wait for the perfect time to start anything that you dream of doing. There’s a high cost to waiting. Sometimes it’s money; other times it’s opportunity lost; and most frequently it’s that the dream never takes its first step and quickly turns into regret. Life’s too short and volatile to wait for that “right time.”

Today is that right time, that right moment to start. Our recent podcast guest (see below) when asked what his recommendation was to those thinking about starting a business was short and to the point – “just start.” That’s my recommendation to you for whatever you want to achieve or accomplish. Just start. You don’t want to find yourself decades in the future thinking what might have been. Instead, you want to find yourself recounting the lyrics from Summer of ‘69 by saying these were the best years of your life.


Quote of the Week:

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”

~ Carol Burnett

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Baby Steps

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Babies are a lot like dogs. Wait for it…

They are able to teach us a lot about our business and life and don’t even know they are doing it! I get the opportunity and joy of spending a lot of time with my 7-month old granddaughter. One of the interesting things about her age is that she’s just discovering that she can actually discover! In other words, reaching, scooting, and crawling are now part of her daily adventures.

I noticed this past week that she has moments of displeasure when she can’t meet her objective. These include things that I’ve kept her from doing: e.g. sticking a pillow’s tag in her mouth; chewing on my finger with her two new (and sharp) teeth; or pulling my hair. In her world, these unmet objectives might seem momentous to her at the time, however she has the uncanny knack (just like Captain Jack does) to recover quickly and not allow them to become ongoing angst.

Her Recovery Time Objective is very fast…

Recovery Time Objective is something every business should identify as a goal to bounce back to full strength. Obstacles to goals are daily occurrences. Some are small, yet others can be significant and cause a lot of distress to a company. Research indicates that unplanned downtime that stalls operations for a company will cost between $926 and $17,244 for every minute that their operations are stalled. Those costs include lost revenue, lost productivity, recovery expenses, equipment replacement and more. By creating an objective metric to shoot for, an organization can save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to it’s profitability.

Don’t own a company? Well, yes you do. You own your own professional career. How often do we as individuals get sidetracked, distracted, or completely thrown off course by a calamity? How much does this distraction cause us to lose valuable time and energy through worry, anxiety, and lost productivity?

Recovery Time Objectives are small for babies and dogs because they have better things to do than to fret. As businesses and adults, we must plan on recovering quickly and set measurements around it to know if we are successful. That way, we can go from crawling to running in no time at all.


What’s your RTO?

Quote of the Week:

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

~ Aristotle

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Going for the Green

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m writing this missive while watching one of my all-time favorite sporting events, The Masters. I’m always impressed with all these professional golfers on how they stay resilient and positive in the face of adversity on the biggest stage of their “industry.”

I’m writing this minutes after being inspired by one of the best golfers in the world, Rory McIlroy. Playing the vaunted Par 5 13th hole, he hit a terrible second shot that found it’s way into a huge clump of azaleas. After a brief effort was made to find the ball in the plants (fortunately at professional tournaments there are many eyeballs working on it), he had to make a decision on trying to play what appeared an unplayable shot, or go back and re-play with a penalty shot.

The danger of playing the ball is staying stuck in the azaleas and compounding the mistake. Unflinchingly, he played a marvelous shot out and went on the save his par. While it looks effortless on television, I know that it’s not. You don’t practice those shots so it comes down to two things: skill and confidence. Confidence is probably 80% of it.

Business is hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. Life is hard. There are many times we will all find ourselves metaphorically tromping through the azaleas looking for our ball and wondering what to do next. Many times, fear and anxiety will lead to a lack of confidence and cause us to make bad decisions and mistakes.

Self-confidence is the most powerful attribute any of us can have in both business and life. It’s the consistent and unflappable belief that you are great at what you do; that you have tremendous value to offer as a person; and that you are willing to bet on yourself even when others aren’t. Confidence is the 80% in the difference between success and mediocrity in both business and life.

Just like Rory McIlroy is supremely confident in his game and skill level, you have permission to be equally confident in yours. That permission simply needs to be accepted is by you.

Quote of the Week:

“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.”

~ Philip Sidney, 16th century English soldier

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Going to Confession

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40On Good Friday, Barb and I attended church and then dashed into the quickly forming line to go to confession. For you that don’t know, confession during Lent is required before Easter of all practicing Catholics, and we take it down to the very last chance by going on Good Friday! I think it’s because I have less chance to mess up over just one day!

While in line, I use my handy Confession app on my mobile device to go through what’s called an “Examination of Conscience.” This private and candid deep dive into your conscience is an important exercise as part of the process to giving a thorough and good confession to the priest. I remember being a kid and thinking that I could “get away” with confessing the less egregious sins and let the others slip through the cracks of absolution unnoticed. It’s the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand, rather than face up to your biggest spiritual challenges. Now I make sure nothing gets missed!

The business translation of this process is important for any business professional – CEO, entrepreneur, or business professional. How often are you examining your business conscience? On other words, are you honestly reviewing your actions and activities related to what will make you more successful and improve the condition of others?

For example, your exam might include questions like: Are you consistently asking for referrals to accelerate your acquisition of new business? Are you taking all steps to assure the safety and security of your employees while they are at work? Are you investing time and resources into advancing your professional development in order to grow your business or career? Are you investing time in yourself to exercise and eat well in order to assure you’re operating at a peak level?

Your business examination of conscience should include the same candor that I described in my personal one preparing for confession. I’m sure there are some business leaders that would do what I did as a kid; let the most egregious “sins” slide and hope they vanish into thin air. Doing this has consequences that may be fatal to your business or your career.

The goal of confession is to unburden yourself and then go forth and try to be better. The same objective is in place for your business and career. Acknowledge the areas that need improvement in your business life, be honest with yourself, commit to improvement, and then go do your best. Then regularly do a “check-in” with a new examination to make sure you’re staying on track. By making this a habit, your business and your career will do nothing but get better and more rewarding.

Quote of the Week:

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

~ Vincent Van Gogh

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.