I AM MOVING!

Lots happening in Todd’s world. Here are the two things you NEED to know:

1. I’ve launched a new media platform. You can find it here –> The intrepidNOW Network

This is the culmination of everything I have learned with producing media, doing podcasts, and creating media for my clients and sponsors, helping them to leverage this media for their sales + marketing efforts.

This will be the new media company for the 21st Century…bringing a human face to business + lifestyle. Early feedback has been overwhelming!

To dive in head first, click here for the mailing list, or click here for iTunes.

2. But let me assure you, my writing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I intend to produce MORE content. However, I will be moving to a new website…the aptly named toddschnick.com.

My writing will continue to focus on sales, marketing, media, and of course, how to incorporate all that into living an intrepid life.

If you aren’t already there, you can join this mailing list here.

I appreciate your patience as I work through this big transition.

And if you are so inclined, don’t forget that I recently published a new book, Live the Intrepid Life. You can purchase that here:
Live the Intrepid Life

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Stop thinking about 2015

My oh my, starting to see all those articles and essays begging you to dive into the preparation to make 2015 the most EPIC year in your (business) life.

Not to impugn all that encouragement to plan and prepare for a coming year. Planning and preparation is very important. And I admit to being excited about a new year. Big things do seem possible starting off with a fresh year.

But I learned long ago not to fall into that trap.

Daily, I repeat this line from the film Vanilla Sky to myself: “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”

To me, you can start over now. Like, right now. You can change your attitude, change your thinking, change your approach…right now.

You don’t need January 1st to begin again.

Here is the other problem I have with this type of thinking: Most of us aren’t thinking long-term enough. I’d rather us be thinking about 2020, or even 2025.

Where do you want to be in ten years? This is significant, and most of us do NOT put in the time to long-term think. And I’d guess it is a big reason why many people end up very unhappy about their life and career when they get to the end of it.

No, I am not saying not to think about 2015.

But what I am asking is that you don’t wait until 2015 to make big changes, to promise yourself you can change, and make big changes happen.

You can do that right now.

But more importantly, think beyond 2015. Think about the big dramatic changes you can make, with small moves day after day.

Big, over-the-top, audacious goals are possible when you give yourself time to get there, break the change down into a workable plan, and make the small, daily moves to get there.

Easy, right?

Yeah, if we’d just stop thinking about 2015…

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Enjoy my latest book, Live the Intrepid Life, now available on Amazon!
Live the Intrepid Life

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My Six Year Twitter Anniversary Strategy Revamp

Just spent an hour unfollowing about 1,000 accounts from Twitter.

How did I decide whom to unfollow? A combination of several factors actually:

1. People who aren’t very active,
2. People who only push media one-way (my biggest pet peeve),
3. Celebrities/A-listers I didn’t really care about in the first place,
4. Organizations that NO longer have any relevance to me,
5. Politicians who really aren’t serving the public anymore,
6. And finally, people who at one point in time seemed interesting, but never followed me back.

Hard to believe that I’ve been on Twitter now about six years. You may ask, do I believe Twitter has been important to me? Well, let me answer this way:

I met my wife on Twitter. So yes, Twitter has had a significant impact on my life. ;-)

[But yes, I have sold business from relationships I have developed on Twitter...]

But as I often do with all my social media activities and strategies, I am frequently retooling how I leverage Twitter (as well as all other social networks) going forward. So here is how I intend to utilize and leverage Twitter going forward in 2015:

1. I plan to continue to significantly trim back the amount of people I am following, in order that I can better directly engage more effectively with the people who continue to matter.

2. Plan to make MUCH BETTER USAGE of #hashtags, to engage in more meaningful conversations in the areas I care about. There are so many impactful #chats with which to engage in.

3. Plan to better follow and engage with prospective companies/individuals and advance those business relationships.

4. Plan to better engage and interact with PR representatives, so that I can better serve them and their clients on the IntrepidNOW Network.

One of the biggest complaints with Twitter these days is that there are fewer and fewer actual human conversations going on, than in the early days.

I cannot help it if the broader marketplace is engaging in fewer conversations.

But that’s something I personally can be disciplined to focus on, and that’s what I intend to do. There are still tens of millions of users doing it the right way.

I intend to connect – and build relationships with – those people.

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Join my personal mailing list.
And/or join the business mailing list of my new media platform, intrepidNOW!

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Your body of work

Just recently published another book, Live the Intrepid Life.

I am very proud of this work. Sort of explains who I am, and more importantly, what I aspire to be.

As it happened, I watched a documentary of The Eagles over the weekend. Fascinating. Guitarist Joe Walsh said something to this effect (I am paraphrasing here):

“When we were going through it in real-time, life and our adventure seemed like complete, painful, disorganized chaos. But when you look back upon the Eagles now, it seems to have happened exactly the way it was supposed to happen.”

That’s my life. Exactly.

And that’s what this book of mine represents. Essays chronicling my journey through business and life. As I wrote them over the years, perhaps they didn’t make a lot of sense to you or me.

But weaved together into Live the Intrepid Life, they make a ton of sense.

The EaglesAnd that’s what was so intoxicating about watching this film on the The Eagles. Looking at their lives during the wild seventies, when they became an amazing band, it was ultimately painful to watch them come apart, fighting bitterly, becoming consumed my drugs and alcohol, and breaking up viciously when they were on top of the world.

But then live intervened, time passed, and they reunited. And climbed on top again. Then, we looked back, and celebrated and enjoyed this stunning body of work they had built.

It wasn’t pretty, but the art they had created together presented itself just the way it was supposed to. In a way that spoke to all of us. And that’s why millions upon millions of people know and (still) sing those songs.

And that’s my life. And that’s your life.

Going through it, it probably doesn’t make sense.

But looking back, it all seems to fit together. And that’s the miracle of it all.

I am in the midst of launching a new business, a new media platform, and it makes sense to me. It took me several years of chaos, of anger, of jubilation, wild highs and lows. But where I am right now, what I am building right now, makes sense to me. Everything that came before seems to have happened to prepare me to do what I am doing right now.

I wouldn’t have understood this five years ago. But it makes sense to me now.

What you have done, what you have created, what you have built, is ALL part of your body of work.

It probably doesn’t make sense when you are deep into it…

…but someday it will represent your body of work. And that’s your story. That’s who you are.

Celebrate it. And keep moving [that's the important part...].

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You can get my new book here:
Live the Intrepid Life

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The number one reason…

Todd Schnick

The new book!

[My next book launches October 28, 2014. Here is an excerpt. CLICK HERE to pre-order]

The number one reason people suck at fundraising…
…is that they don’t actually ask people for money.

The number one reason that people don’t close enough business…
…is that they never ask for the sale.

The number one reason you don’t get any dates…
…is that you never ask the girl to dinner.

The number one reason that guy gets the speaking gigs…
…is that he spends hours building community on Twitter whilst others watch TV.

The number one reason that guy got the big contract…
…is that he put in his 10,000 hours of practice.

The number one reason why people don’t ask your opinion…
…is that you don’t read enough books to have some answers.

The number one reason you don’t have guests for your podcast…
…is that you don’t invite people to participate.

The number one reason why you are fat…
…is that you don’t exercise and you eat pure crap.

The number one reason he is a New York Times best-seller…
…is that he actually sat down and wrote 50,000 words.

The number one reason why his video went viral…
…is that he set up the tripod and hit record.

The number one reason people actually read his emails…
…is that he got their permission first.

The number one reason you hate getting up in the morning…
…is that you are too chicken to go out and do work that matters.

The number one reason she succeeds…
…is that she isn’t afraid to fail.

The number one reason she is an overnight success…
…is that she got to work years ago.

The number one reason most people never get what they want?
…is that they never stake their claim and declare what they really want.

What’s the number one reason you aren’t getting what you want?

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Pre-order the new book here:
Live the Intrepid Life

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Zero-based living: Live the Intrepid Life!

Todd Schnick

The new book!

[My next book launches October 28, 2014. Here is an excerpt. CLICK HERE to pre-order]

I trust you have heard of zero-based budgeting?

Zero-based budgeting is a technique of planning and decision-making which reverses the working process of traditional budgeting. In traditional incremental budgeting, departmental managers justify only increases over the previous year budget and what has been already spent is automatically sanctioned.

By contrast, in zero-based budgeting, every department function is reviewed comprehensively and all expenditures must be approved, rather than only increases. [from Wikipedia]

Well, I want us to practice zero-based living!

What do I mean? Check out this quote from Coach Lou Holtz:

If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.

I am tired of people living on their past successes. And I am tired of a culture that references so many with “…is best remembered for…”

Sure, our past is part of our story. But I fear too many ride past victories and are blind to what is happening today… and tomorrow.

This is a shame. So, that is why we should be zero-based living. We should be starting fresh each day. We should be building, learning, preparing, striving, and always working to achieve a big, fat hairy goal for tomorrow.

But don’t forget about today. Today always seems to be lost somewhere in between remembering the past and looking towards the future. Today is where it is, literally, at.

Why are we so unaware of living in the present?

So like zero-based budgeting, we need to start each day fresh, striving to do something that makes us happy, to do something that matters. Stop riding past successes and victories – this isn’t courageous. In fact, you are treading water.

And stop wallowing on past failures. Life is too short to suffer misery like that. The sun did come up this morning, right? With zero-based living, you are back at level. You can go where you want to go.

Yes, always be building and striving for audacious goals in the future. But don’t forget to relish and tackle today. Zero-based living is living a life of being present, enjoying what you are doing, the people you are with, the challenges you are facing head on. All while building towards a big goal down the road.

Just remember two things:

1. When you achieve that future goal…don’t fall back into the same pattern and ride the celebratory wave of that success. Set the next big goal. And get moving.

2. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. You will spend most of your life on the journey. Might as well have a ball whilst on the ride!

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Pre-order the new book here:
Live the Intrepid Life

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10 things you should do every day to get INTO TROUBLE

Todd Schnick

The new book!

[My next book launches October 28, 2014. Here is an excerpt. CLICK HERE to pre-order]

Not long ago, I ran into an old friend at a coffee shop.

We exchanged pleasantries, filled each other in on what we were up to, talked about work, etc. The usual stuff. Then I said, “You know, just causing trouble where I can.”

Just a typical goof line I often mention in such a circumstance.

But then she replied, “Me too. I think that’s what we are supposed to do…”

[Insert forehead smack]

She’s right. That is what we are supposed to do. With projects. With careers. With plans. With travel. With life…

[Disclaimer: I don't mean law-breaking here. Just for the record...]

In this context, I mean we should always:

1. Question things. Just because that’s how it has always been done? Just because that’s how you were taught? There is a different perspective. On most everything. Probably worth exploring that different view. That’s how we learn. That’s how we see things differently.

2. Challenge things. Challenge assumptions. Challenge beliefs. Challenge rules (not laws, policy). You may end up where you started. Or you may end up innovating.

3. Fix things. You should no longer accept the status quo. If you know how to fix something, or even suspect you know how to fix something, you should tackle it. Some might begin to define NOT doing so as criminal.

4. Try new things. You might just find something better. It wasn’t until I was 40 that I realized I actually liked guacamole. What a shameful place to be, this being afraid to try, test, experiment, expose.

5. Repurpose old things. There’s gold in some of those old gems. Sometimes, newer just isn’t better. Some old school stuff is just better built. Reliable.

6. Connect things. We are, in fact, a social people. Life happens when people are connected. But somehow we all started living in cliques. Break free from that. Connect with new people. Force that connection. That old comfort zone leads nowhere.

7. Reinvent things. Twitter was meant as texting on steroids. We as a community decided to change the world with it. And business. And connectivity. And service to others. Always be looking at new ways to apply what you have….what you know.

8. Break things. Because in replacing it, you might find a better alternative. Or in repairing it, you’ll learn a better way. Or in tossing it away, finding more beauty in simplicity.

9. Trust things. The Sun will come up tomorrow. Weeds will grow in the front lawn. Humans will be humans. There are plenty of things to count and rely on. This should give you comfort to try other stuff. Life will, somehow, provide a foundation. You can recover. You can heal.

10. Or don’t trust things. Humans will be humans. Organizations will do what’s profitable, not necessarily what’s right. Suspicions keep you on your toes. Keep you from being complacent. And in that edginess, you might find a new path. Being wary can also mean keeping your eyes open and LOOKING. So, look closer.

Some may call this looking to cause trouble. I also call it living life.

Have you been bad?

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Pre-order the new book here:
Live the Intrepid Life

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10 things you should do every day

A quick, simple memorandum written to myself. Here’s hoping there is some value to sharing this with you:

1. READ. They say a heavy majority of Americans don’t ever read a book again after they graduate high school. How unbelievable is that? Reading is the best thing I do to continue learning, to get inspiration for new ideas, and to connect to amazing ideas around the world. Learning never stops, or it shouldn’t ever stop. Reading is the best way to keep connected to the new ideas of the world. If you aren’t reading, you are losing.

2. WRITE. I don’t care if you don’t actually publish anything to the world, but you are losing out on the benefits of writing, if you aren’t writing every day. This can be your next book, your daily blog, or private notes in a personal journal. Doesn’t matter. Someone who isn’t writing every day is falling behind. You aren’t processing, you aren’t thinking, you aren’t clarifying the ideas in your head, and you sure aren’t formulating compelling messages that will motivate and move markets.

3. WALK. Be active. Move. Shift to a standing desk. Take your meetings on a walk. Pace the office when you are on the phone. Just move. Sitting is the new smoking, as they are now saying. Your phone probably measures your steps. Track them. 10,000 per day.

4. MEDITATE. I wrote about how I meditate here. The world is getting crazier. We are getting busier. And the world is getting noisier. You simply MUST take a few minutes a day to clear your mind. Meditating helps reduce stress, clears your mind, and makes you a better person. If you are still one of those people blowing off meditation, you are a fool.

5. CONNECT. Reach out and connect to someone new everyday. I do this with my podcasting. A big piece of your success depends on your relationships. And if you aren’t actively trying to grow your network, you will slowly wilt away.

6. REINVENT. I wrote about this idea here. But if you aren’t constantly seeking change, seeking ways to improve what you are doing, and learning a better way, you will stagnate. And the mind-blowing thing is, you don’t have much time to wait. Wait a few months to change, and you are already falling behind. Change is a daily activity.

7. STRATEGIZE. I’ve recently picked up a new thing I do: Whiteboarding…even on the small stuff. This daily process of thinking through a problem by sketching out ideas on a giant whiteboard, or even in my Moleskine notebook has proven to be a great way to think through a problem. We don’t spend enough time thinking. Meditating will help this endeavor, I assure you, but the active process of thinking and writing down (or sketching) your stream of consciousness is a great way to capture new ideas. Hell, doodling on a napkin matters too…

8. PRETEND. I am an old man now, but I still like to play pretend. I still like to jam on the air guitar and pretend I am in the Stones. I still like to act like I am a massive, world-renowned celebrity when I am broadcasting LIVE from a trade show floor. I guess you could call this dreaming, but I like pretend intend. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid. We ALL still need to play pretend. It is so good for the soul…

9. LET IT GO. I couldn’t think of a number nine. So, I am not going to stress out about it, and I am just going to let it go. The world will keep turning, and the sun will come up tomorrow…

10. LIVE. Do something. Anything. But whatever you do, don’t just execute on the same old routine. Too much of life is routine. I get it. That’s a part of what we have to do. But please oh please, whatever you do, don’t sleepwalk through your day. Make something happen.

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More thoughts on living the intrepid life found here…

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The necessity of reinvention

“If you aren’t always reinventing yourself, you are falling behind.”

Life is about reinvention. Changes. Upgrades. And if you aren’t doing this on a regular basis, you really are short-changing yourself.

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite artists/entrepreneurs today, Jade Simmons.

I always get inspired and fired up when I speak with Jade. In addition to being an amazing and well-regarded concert pianist, she is an entrepreneur, or as she calls it, an emergence specialist. As in, we are all “emerging artists” in our craft.

In our conversation, she talks about the idea that humans aren’t meant to dream small dreams. We aren’t meant to think small…

Yeah, that point requires some deeper thinking.

We all think of ourselves, we all vision ourselves as “smaller than we are.” And it takes a third party to look you in the eye, smack you on the forehead, and tell you what you are truly capable of.

But this isn’t a post about the importance of mentors and coaches to help you see that.

This is an essay about the importance of reinvention.

If you are stagnant, you lose.
If you don’t change, you lose.
If you refuse to innovate, you lose.
If you have no new ideas, you lose.

The people around you want to be inspired. The people around you NEED to be inspired.

It is your responsibility to always reinvent yourself. And per my conversation with Jade, I am not just talking about leaving the grind and finally pursuing your entrepreneurial dream…

…I am also talking about reinventing yourself in your current gig. Even if you work for some large corporation. Or some company company that’s been around for several years.

I am in process of reinventing myself. And how I do things. It won’t be easy. It will be hard. And it will be worth it.

But man oh man, it will be invigorating. It will be inspiring. And it will change things. I will come out of the back end of this process a different person, a better person, with a new perspective on what I do and how I serve.

This particular change will be a big one. And it will be exciting. But reinventing yourself doesn’t have to be a BIG. It can be small.

And while it can be small, it is necessary. It is essential. It is required. Because if you don’t constantly focus on how to make change, to improve, to innovate, to make more interesting, integrating a new philosophy into things…

…you will stagnate.

And that inspires nobody.

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More rants about living the intrepid life…

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Swotting Flies

I was never been a big fan of the SWOT analysis. Mainly because it always seemed to be one of those exercises that merely justified a marketing consultant’s time and billable hours.

SWOT:
Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Threats

So, if you aren’t familiar, a SWOT analysis is an exercise where you identify your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Put very simply, once you identify these things, you can then make very strategic decisions about how to better allocate talent and resources to maximize strengths, buttress weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and mitigate threats.

Let me officially declare: I was a fool with regards to poo pooing the power of a SWOT analysis.

It can be very eye opening.

Now, you don’t need to hire a consultant to facilitate one, in my opinion. Unless you need someone to conduct an honest one. [Honesty is critical with a SWOT analysis. If you fib and aren't honest in assessing your strengths and weaknesses, the SWOT analysis is totally useless.]

The second piece of advice with regards to the (honest) results of a SWOT analysis? Do something meaningful with the results.

If the outcome is obvious, if the clear direction an individual should take is obvious, go that way. Cater to those strengths (or steer away from those weaknesses).

If you bury your head in the sand, and ultimately wonder why nothing changes, there was no point to the exercise in the first place.

I, for one, promise to do a mini-SWOT analysis on things (however minor) on a much more frequent basis. It is a very effective tool to make a quick determination of the value of a person/process/concept. In fact, I did three small ones today to gauge my thinking on a couple aspects of my business.

It changed my thinking on a few things, let me assure you…

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More #sales and #marketing rants found here!

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