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Archive for February, 2010

Changing Your Game, Changing The World [Day 24 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

February 3rd, 2010

This is Day 24 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Dave Navarro dug in deep on what being a game-changer is REALLY going to be like, and today Nate St. Pierre is focusing us on how we can use changing our own game to change the world. I know you are up to the challenge!

Changing Your Game, Changing The World

by Nate St. Pierre (@ItStartsWithUs)

One year ago I promised myself that I would change the world.

Nine months ago I began the ItStartsWith.Us project by writing my first blog post.

I haven’t made a dime since.

I haven’t made any money, but I have made a difference. As a result of this project, I now lead a team of close to a thousand people in the simple concept of making a positive impact in the lives of those around us. Every week we all join in a shared “mission” that takes 15 minutes or less to complete. It’s a small effort on the individual level, but collectively we are able to do some amazing things and make a huge difference in people’s lives.

“Changing your game” can mean a lot of different things. When I hear this phrase mentioned in the online world, I instinctively brace myself, because I expect it to be followed by some variation of this series of admonishments (usually by someone selling something):  find your passion, throw yourself headlong into it, don’t listen to the critics, use social media to crush it, and then quit your demoralizing 9-to-5 cubicle job and live the life you deserve, doing what you love and making a ton of money at the same time.

That’s one way to look at it. You could also take “changing your game” to mean something like this: finding valuable work that you truly love to do, whether or not you get paid for it. This is the route I’ve taken, and I’ve never found such an incredible level of personal satisfaction with any other job I’ve had.

I don’t know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish in the long term, and maybe at this point you don’t either. But I think a great place to start is by finding something that adds value to your life . . . something you’d do for free if given the opportunity. Whatever that thing is, get out there and start doing it. Start small. Do it for a few hours on weekends. Work on it after the family goes to bed. Pay attention to how you feel before, during and after. Was it worth it? Are you happy with the results? Excited to do it again tomorrow? If the answer is a consistent ‘yes’ over the course of a few months, you’ve got a good thing going – keep at it. If not, try something else.

Here’s the nice thing about doing it this way – you put yourself in a win-win situation. The truth of the matter is that, no matter what all the folks who are “internet famous” will tell you, passion is not profitable. You can work as hard and long as you want at something you love, but unless it’s something that people are willing to pay for, you’re not going to make any money at it. And even if they are willing to pay for it, you have to have a fair amount of business sense to make it profitable enough to turn it into a full-time job. It’s really, really tough to do. But if you can find a way to do what you love on your own terms and your own time, you’ve already got a win, whether you end up making money on it or not. And if you’re good (or lucky) enough to find a way to make a living at it, then you’ve found the holy grail – earning a lot of money doing something you love. And if you’re already enjoying what you do, you can afford to take your time and grow into your business the right way, without putting undue pressure on yourself.

In my case, I had a big idea to change the world – a web-based platform that would connect people who need help with other people who have the time, talent and skills to provide it. But instead of going for the gold right off the bat like I usually do, this time I decided to start small. I began by writing a simple blog, sharing stories about people who were making a difference in this world in ways both large and small. I got out on Twitter and started to meet people. Soon a community began growing around the site, and I started to spend more time on it. About six months ago I had an idea for a global team of individuals who would work together once a week on an activity that could make a big difference in the lives of the people around them. More and more people joined the team, and again I started to spend more time on the project. For the last six months, I’ve averaged 30 hours per week on ItStartsWith.Us. This is on top of my full-time job as the web team leader at a big company, and all the time I spend with my family and three kids. As I mentioned before, I haven’t made a dime. I do what I do because I love seeing the impact it has in people’s lives . . . and in my own.

I am passionate about what I do, but I’m not going to throw out the common phrase “it doesn’t even seem like work,” because the fact of the matter is, there are times when it very much seems like work . . . because that’s exactly what it is.

But when you know your work is valuable, when you know it’s something you would gladly do for free simply because you believe in it, when you know it makes a difference in the lives of the people around you, that’s when you know you’ve found something worth spending your life on. Because at the end of the day that’s what we’re doing . . . we’re trading a portion of our lives in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves.

So let’s make sure the time we invest is worth it.

Start small.
Do what you love.
Change your game.

Change the world.

So what are you guys working on? What do you want your game to be? What are you excited about? Let’s talk about it and see if we can help each other out a bit and make some connections…

Nate St. Pierre launched the ItStartsWith.Us project in 2009 to fulfill his pledge to change the world. He organizes, directs and supports a global team of caring individuals.

If you’d like to get in touch with Nate, please email [email protected] or call 414-215-0238.

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

The Painful Truth Of Playing A Bigger Game [Day 23 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

February 2nd, 2010

This is Day 23 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Allison Nazarian helped us get comfortable with change (it’s just part of the process, right?!). Today Dave Navarro takes off the rose-colored glasses and gives us a good, honest look at what changing our game is really going to be like. Don’t worry – you are up to it!

The Painful Truth of Playing a Bigger Game

By Dave Navarro (@RockYourDay)

It’s easy to talk about playing a bigger game, but it’s not easy doing it.  Radically transforming the way you live your life is a huge undertaking, and it involves stripping away limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging habits and in some cases, making massive changes that can rock every relationship in your life.

Playing a bigger game means taking risks, making significant sacrifices and having to deal with the fallout that inevitably occurs when those around you have to deal with a new and (hopefully) improved you.  You may lose people along the way who can’t handle your new, higher standards.  You’ll likely have challenges being around yourself as well, as your new, freer identity clashes against the smaller-thinking mindset you used to have.

It’s not easy playing a bigger game.  It’s actually pretty damned hard, so hard that a lot of people never make it and slink back to their old patterns, depressed at the prospect that they have failed, once again, to make things happen.

But not everybody slinks back.  Some people make it because they know something important.

Why do some people succeed at playing a bigger game while others fail beneath the difficulty of it all?  I think it’s because they make an important distinction up front – a life lesson said best by M/ Scott Peck in The Road Less Travelled:

“Life is difficult. This is the great truth, one of the greatest truths … because once we see this truth, we transcend it.”

What Peck is saying here is that by accepting that life is difficult, we expect it to be challenging and hard and painful sometimes … and we’re prepared for it.  We’re not saying “Why me?” because we know the journey’s going to be difficult up front.

Life is difficult.  But it seems much more difficult than it really is because we’re conditioned to think it should be easy.  To play a bigger game, you need to break that conditioning, to expect resistance to habit change, to expect failures to be sprinkled in with our successes, and to expect that you’re going to feel hurt and pain on a number of levels before you move forward.

Don’t be afraid of it.  Expect it.  It’s just life pushing at you, seeing if you’re really willing to push back and get what you say you want to get from it.

There are two popular sayings I fall back on whenever I struggle: “Pain is temporary; Pride is forever,” and “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  I love those sayings.  You’ve got to push through some tough stuff to get tougher.

How would the next 12 months change if you adopted this attitude for yourself, and repeated these two mantras every time you felt like giving up?  What if you decided the temporary pain or discomfort was just a natural part of the process, and that going through it wasn’t “hell,” but just the dues you have to pay to come out stronger on the other side?

You’d play a damn bigger game, that’s what.

So why aren’t you?  It’s time to step up and defuse the programming that has tricked you into thinking that the challenge of personal growth should be feared instead of devoured.  Game on.

Dave Navarro is a product launch coach and marketing expert who gets more people to buy what you’re selling.  His “7 Steps To Playing A Much Bigger Game” manifesto and free workbook has been read by almost 12,000 people (read it for yourself at The Launch Coach blog). Get yours here: http://www.thelaunchcoach.com/library

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

You’ll Eat It & You’ll Like It [Day 22 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

February 1st, 2010

This is Day 22 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Kyle Lacy started a chain reaction, and today my BFF Allison Nazarian gives us an up-close-and-personal view of change. Don’t chicken out! Keep reading. 🙂

You’ll Eat It & You’ll Like It: Change As A Necessary Part Of The Diet Of Life

By Allison Nazarian (@AllisonNazarian)

Ah…change.

It can be traumatic. Mixed with that sick and scary feeling in the pit of your stomach. More often than not accompanied by uncertainty.

Traumatic + Uncertain + Nauseating = Well…..you do the math.

Change can be scary as hell.

Even the kind of change we seek out and deep down want (such as the end of a dead long-term relationship or the start of a brand-new career) can stop us in our tracks.

I’ve had one of those years in which everything changed. One of those years in which the Me of Right Now is so different, in every imaginable way, from the Me of Last Year.  And I am so grateful for every moment of it, even and especially the scariest and saddest and most uncertain moments.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that the difference between having the power to create the life we crave or being powerless and having life control us is found, in very large part, in the way we react to, learn from, operate under and act in the face of change.

Here’s what I know about using the inevitable changes in life to change your game for the better:

Expect the unexpected. Regardless of what you plan and visualize, know that things are not always going to go as planned. That’s a guarantee. And that’s OK. Adopt an attitude of openness and non-attachment to everything happening exactly as you “need” it to happen.

  • Change your game: Know that you can’t possibly control everything. Count on the absolute lack of total control as a constant. Use it to your advantage.

You are going to make mistakes. Lots of them. The good news is that mistakes are good for you. Actually, even more than good — they are gifts to you. (Really!) Mistakes are the best and most clear reminders of what you need to do, what you are doing wrong, what you have not done and, most importantly, what needs to change for things to happen the way you want them to happen.

  • Change your game: If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t acting. If you aren’t acting, you aren’t living. If you aren’t living…well…is that what you want from life? Welcome mistakes and grab the important lessons from each and every one.

Open up. Let your guard down and be open to all of the new and different and change-filled and, yes, scary-uncertain people, events and opportunities that come your way. Say “yes” even when you want to hide and say “no.” Know that what you want and what you are looking for may not show up dressed exactly as you have imagined it.

  • Change your game: Think about your times of great change. Did everything happen exactly as you planned or expected, or did a chain of events that you could not have possibly imagined take place so that the change – and all of the opportunities and transformations that came with it – could occur?

Make fear your friend. When you act, you make things happen. When new and different things happen, that’s change. Change, as we have established, can be scary.  Expect the scary. Even welcome and hug the scary. And for heaven’s sake, don’t allow the scary to overtake you.

  • Change your game: Act despite the fear. As Charles De Gaulle said, “Deliberation is the work of many men; action of one alone.”  Taking consistent action – something every day — will get you where you want to go.  Don’t think and think and think…DO!

So here is what I am asking you to do RIGHT NOW: What is one thing that is scaring you, bugging you, stopping your or blocking you in this moment?

Think about all of the fear, excuses, “it won’t ever get fixed” thoughts your Ego is feeding you about it. Feel those fear, excuses and thoughts if you can.

Now go fix it anyway. Figure it out and do it. Go ahead, change your game. (And let me know below exactly what you are looking to do….don’t lose this opportunity!)


Allison Nazarian
is a copywriter, writing coach, blogger/columnist, author and a Mom who is easily scared but acts despite the fear. For more on copywriting and coaching click here, read Allison’s blog here or follow her on twitter here. Learn how to build a Real Copywriting Business here.

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.