Play With The Big Boys & Girls.

We've got a big snowstorm here in Oxford, Connecticut. Thankfully, I work from my home office on Fridays — so I really don't have to go anywhere — I just meander down to my first-floor home office and talk to my clients. We only get better when we play tennis with better tennis players. One way is to immerse ourselves into their lives, their learnings, and their tricks of the trade.

I thought I would do a "Rich's Favorite Things Early 2017" post and let you know what resources I use to stay at the top of my game. So here goes . . .


How I Built This - I religiously listen to ever episode. It's about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. (from NPR)

The Tim Ferriss Show - I've listened to this since his first broadcast. Tim Ferriss deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.

Smart Passive Income Online Business and Blogging - Pat Flynn reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog. Discover how you can create multiple passive income streams that work for you so that you can have the time and freedom to do what you love, whether it's traveling the world, or just living comfortably at home.


The One Thing - You'll learn to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, build momentum toward your goal,  dial down the stress, overcome that overwhelmed feeling, revive your energy, stay on track, and master what matters to you. The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life--work, personal, family, and spiritual.

The Pumpkin Plan - Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.  The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconven­tional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.

P.S. If you want to play with the big boys and girls,  Let’s talk. I’ve worked with people from all over the world who wanted to play a bigger game and I got them to Wimbledon — call me to schedule a complimentary session.


My Favorite Podcasts — Tim Ferriss.

If you know me, I am an avid podcast listener. At any one time, I have between 15-20 podcasts on my iPhone and I listen to them in the car when I commute to my office on the water. I've been a fan of Tim Ferriss ever since he published his first book "The Four Hour Workweek". Unfortunately, many people, to this day, still chide him for his egregious title - "No one can fit 40 hours of work into four hours!".

They're missing the point. Tim sets the stage not to curtail your workweek into four hours, but to constantly look at all the things you do and use tools, techniques, tips, gear, and habits to streamline your behavior.

His new podcast (he just started over a year ago) is PHENOMENAL. Well thought out, interesting, insightful and most of all, Tim procures the BEST people to interview.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Matt Mullenweg (he started Wordpress) has been named one of PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, and Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger… at his kitchen table. Tim and Arnold cover how he started, how he excels and what he does to this day to stay at the top of his game.
  • Marc Goodman has been a Resident Futurist for the FBI and a senior adviser to Interpol. In this episode, Tim and Marc go deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using emerging technologies against you…and some simple steps you can take to decrease your vulnerability.
  • Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is The Way, started as a Director of Marketing at American Apparel at age 21 (!). He gets more heat, makes more high-stakes decisions, and take more risks in a given week than most people experience in any given quarter. He also happens to be a die-hard Stoic and incredible at putting the principles into practice.

Sit back, load them on your iPhone, put your headphones on, and enjoy. Each one has changed my life and thinking.

How To Take Charge Of Your Job Search.

I've worked with hundreds of job-seekers and presented to thousands about searching for a job. A lot (and I mean A LOT) of people derail their job search for one simple reason: You're scared.

It's not a horror movie scare where the monster jumps out at you in a dark room. It's a pervasive and creeping scare that festers and grows in the back of your brain.

You slowly disorient yourself, knock your game off a bit, throw obstacles in the way and ultimately, cower and hide in your house.

And it all comes down to ONE simple reason — you are doing something totally alien from what you've done all your life. Looking for a job is completely different from having a job. Why?

  • You have to self-assess your qualifications, experience, and abilities.
  • You have to write in a marketing style using your self-assessment.
  • You have to go out, introduce yourself to strangers and meet new people.
  • You might have to change your style and how you present yourself.
  • You will be meeting people who are highly critical and will ask you questions which will obliterate your confidence.
  • You will have to quickly ramp up your interview game with improved body language and talk tracks.
  • You will have to sell . . . Yourself . . . every day. A lot of people compare it to professional begging.
  • You have to be totally organized and follow up with key prospects (and laggards who don't get back to you).
  • Finally, you have to be extremely professional, happy, motivated, energized, and focused during the whole process.

Now you know why many people in transition hire coaches. It's hard to find a job.

But I find being scared is the #1 reason why most people procrastinate and fail at their job search. You get laid off, you take a week or two (or three or four) to recover and get down to business. You get your résumé done, you begin searching web sites for job postings and you even might apply to a few. You don't get any responses, so what do you do? You apply to some more. No responses? Reach out to a recruiter and watch as they demolish your background, your résumé, and any self-esteem left over from your last departure (okay, not all recruiters). Throw in some lunches with friends and family who hurt you more than help and suddenly, you're this person:

  • You walk your dog every morning, for hours.
  • You have the best looking yard on the block. The best.
  • You surf political/interest/financial/news sites frequently, "To keep up on what's happening".
  • You get up later and later. You stay up later and later.
  • You begin to help out in the household — shopping, repairs, service people, etc.
  • You begin to spend more and more time with your kids (picking them up, taking them to activities). Not a bad thing, but you have to look for work too.
  • You might start eating or drinking a bit more. "You deserve it."
  • And you start acting like you really don't need a job. (this is the death knell for jobseekers)

And the whole time, you're building a 'facade of fear' brick by brick until it becomes a wall 100 feet tall. Nothing is going to help you break through.

And then . . . you give up. I've coached people who have gone without work for 2, 3, 4 years! This is how their year flies by:

  • January 1 to March 31 — It's a new year! Have to get a job! Send out resumes, get some interviews, play phone tag for months.
  • April 1 to May 31 — Slightly power down search, depressed about the lost opportunities, frustrated about the process. Begins to work on yard — Spring is here!
  • June 1 to August 31 — It's summer! No one looks for jobs now! I get to take off the summer and tell people I will dive right in September 1. I can spend time with the family!
  • September 1 to November 15 — Have to restart that old job search engine! Review all my old searches, reach out to new people, and the first objection shuts me down again.
  • November 16 to December 31 — Holidays! No one will be at the office (they're empty!) and no one wants to talk to me. Let's wait until January 1 to power up again.

Does this sound like you? I coach businesses and executives too and they think the exact same way. They know they need to change, but the year flies by too fast and suddenly, it's November 16th!

How to you lessen and conquer your fear? First, you have to be very truthful with yourself and diagnose your fear:

  • Do you feel you are inadequate? Unqualified?
  • Do you feel you've fallen behind in your career? Industry?
  • Do you read job postings and find many terms new and unfamiliar?
  • Do you have a hard time promoting yourself?
  • Do you have a hard time meeting new people?
  • Do you not want to change how you comport and promote yourself?
  • Can you not take constructive criticism from people without it destroying your self-esteem?
  • Do you not like to sell? Cold-call people?
  • Do you have a hard time with organization, time management, and follow-up?
  • Are you too old/young? Too fat/skinny/bald/ugly/unkept?

Guess what? Many of these might be true. But here's some sunlight at the end of the tunnel — they're all fixable. Except for the bald part, I've tried.

And here's the best part — most of them are only partially true, or not true at all. Why? We are our own worst enemy — our own worst critic — and when we spin each of these 'dysfunctions' around in our brain, we make them worse and worse as time flies by. I tell clients we all have a small Stephen King in the back of our brains, spinning horror stories about our problems, our dysfunctions, and our inadequacies.

Fear is the most powerful destabilizer I know. Your fear of the future can knock you off your feet and cripple your job search for months. But I have a SOLUTION. Follow these steps:

  1. Your middle name from now on is ACTION. If you stand still and worry, fear will overcome you. ACTION will eliminate your fear. Trust me.
  2. Get on a strict schedule Monday through Friday. Make a pact with yourself to work at least 30 hours a week on your job search (40 is optimal).
  3. Get up early (sorry sleepyheads). If you start your day early, you will get a lot more done.
  4. Time-block your schedule. Account for every hour every day. Fill up your schedule with important items — calls, meetings, research, etc.
  5. Make sure you get out of your house once a day. Go to the library, Starbucks, the park. Anywhere except your house.
  6. Make sure you keep your body moving. Work out, walk, run — do something to keep you fit and healthy. Eat less, eat the right foods, and tone up your body. You have to package your look in the best way possible.
  7. Get out and meet people. Reach out to old friends, colleagues and meet for coffee. Pick out the ones that energize you. Ask for help.
  8. Network. Go to events, meetings, conferences, charity events — meet people, shake hands, learn about what they do.
  9. Hit the Three-Legged Stool of Search. Check out the company boards, reach out to recruiters, and most of all, research and reach out to companies and key people who might hire you.
  10. Push yourself. Try something new every day. What will be happening in the next 5 years in your industry? Figure it out.
  11. Buy a new suit/shirt/blouse/tie/shoes. Look good. Hire a style consultant or walk into Nordstroms/Brooks Brothers/Other and have their style person help you.
  12. Track, Track, Track. Keep a list of all your prospects, interviews, people, etc. Look at it every day and move the ball forward.
  13. Keep a sunshine file or wall. Fill it up with powerful/memorable items on it. When you're down — look at it.
  14. Motivate yourself every day. Listen to motivational speakers on your smartphone. Listen to music. Work out. Do something!

Just keep moving. If you slow down, think of something else you can do. Fear is the ultimate destabilizer and can derail your search for months (and even years!). The faster you find a job, the better you'll feel.

And if these items don't help — let me add a bit more gasoline to your fire:

Let's say you made $120,000 a year. That's $10,000 a month. If you are unemployed for one month, you've just cost your household $10,000. That's $2,500 a week. Or $500 every workday you don't work.

So if you goof off for ONE DAY — that's $500. So go to the bank, take out $500, and put each bill into your shredder. Because when you are not looking for a job, your shredding money.

It's that simple.


P.S. Need help with your fear? Let’s talk. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who wanted to take aggressive steps and re-start their job search — call or email me to schedule a complimentary session.

Image: Royalty-Free License from Dollar Photo Club 2014.