Archive for August, 2008

Sunday Browsing

Sunday’s will be designed for sharing some of my favorite links about success in personal or business life. The links will generally be posts I found during the past week.

1. Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Work Week, shares about how major companies are using the principles from his book, “Four Hour Work Week“.   Especially check out the section on of the article called “Case Studies” where you can download the employee training that Sandia does with Four Hour Work Week Material.

2. Scott Young asks, Would You Still Work, if They Didn’t Pay You?

3. Zen Habits shares 7 Little Habits that Can Change Your Life and How to Form Them.

4. The Simple Dollar shares about methods to keep you productive even when you travel.

5. Finally, I have a guest post on Free Money Finance sharing about “Seeing the Olymipcs on a Budget“.

I hope you enjoy these!

The Success Professor – Danny Gamache

Posted on August 31st, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  1 Comment »

Start your Day with a Power Hour

How do you start your day? Do you slowly get up, spend 30 minutes having a cup of coffee and reading or watching the news? Do you have days where you feel like you didn’t get much accomplished and where you wonder where the day went?

You can increase your effectiveness and create momentum for your day by starting with a Power Hour. A Power Hour is when you set aside the first hour in the morning to work – uninterrupted on important projects. Ideally the Power Hour takes place immediately when you wake up, but it could also take place immediately when you arrive at the office, or perhaps both!

There are many benefits of having a Power Hour:

• You start the day by accomplishing or making progress on an important project
• You feel good about your day right off the start
• You create momentum for the day that continues over into other activities
• You get done things you otherwise would not do.

As you try this you will quickly see how you can a lot done in an hour of uninterrupted time. This sort of progress towards your goals will accelerate your accomplishment, helping you achieve your goals in less time.

But what do you do with your time? There are many options, and what you do will depend greatly on your personal life goals.

Here are some tasks that I do in my Power Hour:

• Go through my business follow up list and plan which prospects to call
• Write a guest post for a blog
• Follow through on commitments you have made
• Send postcards or letters to business partners to celebrate their success
• Clear up my “to file” pile
• Do monthly planning
• Start a project you’ve been procrastinating on
• Make improvements to my websites
• Do something for my wife as a surprise.

It is naturally best to come into your Power Hour prepared and knowing what project you intend to work on. I plan my Power Hour as part of my weekly planning (during step #4). This way, as I enter my week I am sure of getting several important projects done that will help me achieve my goals.

In reality the list of possible tasks you can do during your power hour is nearly endless. Whatever you choose to do in your Power Hour there are some rules you should follow:

• Only do tasks that are important – not just urgent
• Only work on projects that move you towards your goals
• Allow no interruptions – this may mean training your family members or coworkers to leave you alone for the hour
• Do not check email, answer the phone or read blogs.
• Be consistent – do this every day.

Start this right away. You may be able to move around your morning schedule, or you may have to wake up a little earlier. Even if you need to get up an hour earlier – DO IT! The amount you will accomplish in your day will be impressive.

- The Success Professor

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Posted on August 29th, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  5 Comments »

A Story of Persistence, Goal Setting, and Passion

When you combine a burning passion with a clear goal and add in a strong level of persistence, you will be able to achieve almost any goal you set.

My Olympic experience was a clear example of this. And surprisingly, it was not watching the amazing athletes move towards their goals (although these points would certainly be evidenced in many of their stories) rather it was the pursuit of a goal that my friends and I set out to achieve.

The event I most wanted to see at the Olympics occurred on the very first day of competition: The Cycling Men’s Road Race. The race contains the top professional cyclists, most of whom have just completed the Tour de France. At the Athens Olympics, the Road Race took place through the streets of downtown Athens past the Acropolis and other historic sites. The race had been sixteen laps so my friends and I wondered the course watching the athletes go past at a variety of key places and making sure we ended up at the finish line for the final lap. Athens was perfect for spectators as the race was very easy to watch.

Not so in Beijing. Everything about the race made it difficult for spectators. To start with, the official Olympic website was very vague about the race. In fact even now, after the Olympics have been completed, the venue information on the website shows the race as TBD (To Be Determined)! Eventually in the weeks leading up to the games a prominent cycling website posted the map. The race, of 245 kilometers, would start off in downtown Beijing and end at the Great Wall with 7 laps of a finishing circuit. Getting to the Great Wall has some challenges and can be fairly expensive on a normal day, but in the Olympics and when an event is happening made it seem nearly impossible.

Our pursuit of the goal of seeing the Road Race began almost as soon as we arrived in Beijing. My friend and I went to work trying to figure out how to get from downtown to the Great Wall. Our goal was to see the start of the race and then move out to the Wall to catch the finishing laps from a position along the track. Our first option was to find a bus or train that could take us there. We knew this would be the cheapest way, and from the Lonely Planet travel book we knew that a bus was supposed to go from near our hotel to this particular location on the Great Wall for only about $3 a person. I went to the bus stop and after scrounging for someone who spoke enough English to understand me and waiting as several Chinese volunteers worked to find the information, I discovered that the busses would not be running during the race. My friend found out the same information about the train.

We were not completely surprised by this, so we started looking at other options. We naturally thought about a taxi, and while taxis in Beijing are very inexpensive they have a maximum capacity of four and our group had five people wanting to see the race. Instead we started making use of all of our local contacts to find another option. Until the day before the event we did not have an option that would work. Thankfully our hotel manager came through and was able to arrange a minivan and driver for us to hire. The cost was higher than we would have hoped, but there was little other choice. The government restriction on vehicles (each vehicle could only drive every other day) had lowered the supply available thus increasing costs.

The day of the Road Race came and the real adventure began. Sure we had to have persistence to arrange for the vehicle and driver, but that was nothing compared to what was to come. The driver first took us to the Start Line where we had hoped to see the start of the race. Leading up to the Olympics everything published about the race stated that it was a “free event with no ticket required”. When we got to the start line we quickly found out that to the surprise of everyone except about 200 locals they had placed a ticked section around the immediate start line. We were there in plenty of time so we showed the volunteers the Official Olympic Guide Book where is stated clearly that there were “no tickets required”. We were shuffled from one volunteer to another as they each tried to find someone in authority that could help us get in. No one was able to make a decision and so they all stuck with the rule as they understood it. We needed a ticket.

the start of the race

The start of the Men's Road Race

Thankfully, I eventually found a local willing to give me a free ticket to the starting area. The rest of my team settled for watching the race start from about 500 meters down the course. Getting in to the ticketed section was amazing. I was able to watch the cyclists getting ready and warming up. Seeing many of my heroes up close like this was awesome. The cyclists were eventually introduced one country at a time and came out and took their positions at the start line. It was neat being able to watch them interact with each other while they waited for the full field to be announced and the race to start (about 15 minutes of a wait for the first riders to be introduced).

After the race began my friends and I reconnected and found our driver. We set off to get to the Great Wall. We had hoped that we might get to the primary road to the Wall before the cyclists did so that we could beat the road closures. Unfortunately we missed them by only a few minutes. As we were being forced off the road by the blockade we actually saw most of the riders enter the road up ahead of us. The road to the Great Wall was about 70 kilometers which meant that it would take the cyclists most of two hours to get there. We spent those two hours in our rented minivan with our driver trying anything he could to get us closer to the wall. Unfortunately all the traffic normally going on that road was trying the same thing and so we spent as much time sitting in traffic as moving.

Eventually our driver persisted and found us a way to get passed one set of blockades and to the town nearest the finish line. Unfortunately at this point all the roads were closed except to local traffic (and no taxis). We saw that other foreigners were getting out of their hired vehicles and taxis at this point and starting to walk so we had no choice but to join in. We realized very quickly that the finish line was still 8 kilometers (or 5 miles) away so it would be a long walk.

What would you do in a foreign country, where almost no one speaks your language and you need to get 8 kilometers as quickly as possible? Stick out your thumb and hitch hike of course! Almost immediately a local picked us up. I don’t think she had any idea about what we were doing or where we wanted to go but she did drive us a short distance until another road block stopped her. We got out and continued walking. After going the wrong way for about 10 minutes we eventually found ourselves on the correct road. At least we assumed it was the correct road because of the scattering of other foreigners walking towards the supposed cycling course.

The day was hot (close to 100 degrees) and very humid, and the road was uphill so the walk seemed to take forever. Occasionally a car would pass us and we’d try to hitch a ride. Every car seemed to be either already filled with foreigners who they had picked up, or was an official Olympic vehicle that was in no way going to stop for anyone. After about 45 minutes of walking we were finally picked up by a local. She drove us rapidly towards the Great Wall. We quickly became very thankful for the ride as we realized that it would have taken at least another hour to walk that distance.

Even after arriving at the course things were difficult. The spectators were restricted to a small section of the course and were not allowed to walk the entire course as we had hoped. We didn’t care too much by this time. Our adventure had taken us by rented minivan, hitch hiking through a foreign country, and through a long walk. The section we were at was a great spot to watch the race come through and we made it just in time to see the second of the seven laps. We didn’t miss much and had an amazing adventure to go with it.

Looking up the course to the Great Wall

Looking up the course to the Great Wall

That night I reflected on what it took to achieve that goal. The day was a success but it didn’t come easily. In fact the adventure we went through became as important to us as the race itself. By the end of the Olympics we all chose that day as our highlight. Success truly was a journey more than just a destination.

The first key was that we had a clear goal. We knew exactly what we wanted to achieve. Not only did we have a goal but we had a high level of passion to achieve it. How passionate about your goal are you? If we didn’t have a strong passion to achieve our goal we could have given up at many points. Thirdly we committed ourselves to achieving the goal. After we spent the money on the car and driver we were committed. We had spent the money and were going to get our money’s worth – no matter what we had to do to get there. Finally we had persistence. We never gave up. We moved passed the each obstacle that was presented to us.

What is your goal? Take your goal and get clarity. Develop a deep passion to achieve your goal and you will do everything you can to achieve it.

Have a great day!

The Success Professor

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Posted on August 27th, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  3 Comments »

Olympic Photos

The Success Professor outside the Olympic Stadium aka \"The Birds Nest\"

Here are the links to my photos from the Olympics. I’ve set them up in five different albums on Facebook. Anyone (even if you don’t use Facebook), can see them through these links. I’ll try to add some stories tomorrow!

Baseball, Tennis and Handball

Cycling Road Race

Track and Field, Basketball & Fencing

People and Places

Great Wall

To your success,
The Success Professor

The start of the cycling road race

The start of the cycling road race

Posted on August 25th, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  1 Comment »

Returned from Beijing

Hello everyone,

I have just returned from Beijing.  I’m up right now at 4:30 am with a little bit of jet lag.  My internet access in China was limited so my updates and stories will come now that I have returned. The Olympics were great.  While it started out looking very difficult to get tickets this year that soon opened up and I was able to attend a number of events.  While some of the top draws (such as swimming and diving) were not available for reasonable prices many other events were available.   I was able to attend road cycling, basketball, baseball, tennis, fencing, handball and track and field.  Further, I was able to check out many of the important tourist sites in Beijing including the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.

There were many stories that demonstrated powerful success principles for life and business.  Over the next week and  a half I will share many of these principles with you.  Later this morning my wife and I leave for a direct marketing confernece in Salt Lake City.  This conference is one of my favorite times each year and it always inspires me singificantly.  I look forward to sharing what I learned.

More stories and pictures to come!

The Success Professor

Posted on August 20th, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  1 Comment »

Beijing Update

Hello everyone from Beijing.

The opening ceremonies are in a couple of hours. I’ve been in Beijing for a couple of days now, and it is like nothing I have seen before. Last year I was in Beijing for three days.  I have also been to the past three Olympics.  The combination of the Olympics in China is crazy.

In other Olympics the local people often avoid the games.  In Athens the locals left the city in droves preferring to stay away.  Not so in Beijing. Not only is everyone in Beijing excited but millions of people from surrounding provinces are here.  The city is swollen with people.  The Tiennamen square area is packed wall to wall with people.

So far my trip has involved a lot of exploration.  I’ve been learning the city, the subway system and where the venues are.  I’ve been doing the touristy things and that has been great.

Beijing has invested so much money in this Olympics – more than I’ve ever seen before.  The new airport terminal is larger than any US airport.  It cost over $3 Billion to build and is bigger than the city even needs at this time.  They have planted millions of trees, and flowers.   They have volunteers sitting around to stop locals from spitting on the street, from public urination and other unsightly habits that used to be common in Beijing.  The level of national pride is huge.

Cars are only allowed to run every second day and yet the smog is very dense.  (More on this in another update!).  For tomorrow we have rented a minivan and driver to help us follow the cycling Men’s Road Race.  We hope the roads will be open and we can get where we need to go.

Until next time!  Enjoy the games! :)

The Success Professor!

Posted on August 8th, 2008 by Shawn  |  1 Comment »

Off to the Beijing Olympics

By the time you are reading this I am somewhere over the Pacific ocean on my way to the Olympics in Beijing.  In the late 1990′s I set the goal to see every Olympics starting in 2002 in Salt Lake City.  To date, that goal has been achieved as Beijing will be the fourth Olympic Games for me.
One of the goals of the group I’m trave

The Success Professor and his wife in Beijing last year.

The Success Professor and his wife in Beijing last year.

ling with is to meet as many Olympic athletes as we can. The Olympics are great for that.  The attitude of international friendships and positive attitudes provide a great place for meeting new people, and athletes in particular.  There is so much we can learn from the sacrifice and hard work that these athletes have put forth.

I will attempt to provide some updates although for security reasons I will not be bringing my laptop so my connectivity may be limited.  I will attempt to share a first hand experience of Beijing and the games themselves.

Watch for me on TV,

The Success Professor

Posted on August 4th, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  No Comments »

Sunday Browsing

Sunday’s will be designed for sharing some of my favorite links about success in personal or business life. The links will generally be posts I found during the past week.

1. Pick The Brain has a great post about self-discipline:

2. Scott Young has a guest post from Leo Babauta on the importance of a positive attitude:

3. Mark and Angel Life Hacks share a great collection of time management ideas from other bloggers:

4. Seth Godin wants you to ask “Is it Worthy?”

5. Wise Bread gives a simple set of questions to help you quickly create a working business plan. (I will be sharing these questions with the students in my upcoming Entrepreneurship class).

– see my previous post on the importance of having “A Real Business Plan“.

6. Pick The Brain shares some life lessons from Bon Jovi

The Success Professor

Posted on August 3rd, 2008 by The Success Professor  |  No Comments »