The Science of Success Podcast

The Science of Success Podcast

Improve your decisions, hack your mind, and master the psychology of persuasion with The Science of Success Podcast.  This Podcast will teach you the tactics and strategies to understand how psychology rules the world around us and what you can do to use that information to make yourself smarter and achieve your goals.

Big News

The Science of Success has been a smash hit on iTunes and we recently made “New & Noteworthy” and have more than 415k downloads!Science of Success Podcast

On my website you will always be able to access the podcast via the Podcast link above or by clicking right here – but we won’t be posting an update on MattBodnar.com for each new episode any longer.

Join The Email List To Win!

However – we will be updating The Science of Success email list with each new episode and many extra goodies – and to celebrate recently making “New and Noteworthy” on iTunes and breaking 400k listeners, I am giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky subscriber every month. You can sign up below to be eligible.

Sign up for our email list below to unlock the secrets of how psychology rules the world around us and be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!


Thanks again for all your support and to all of my awesome listeners!

Science of Success Podcast – Moving Through Setbacks

The Science of Success

Do you want to understand more about your own thoughts and motivations? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what motivates other people and drives their decisions? Has psychology always fascinated you, but you’ve been missing a way to apply those lessons practically in your day-to-day life?

The Science of Success is my new podcast and I have teamed up with RedOrbit.com to explore the mindset of success, the psychology of performance, and how to get the most out of your daily life.

With gripping examples, concrete explanations of psychological research, interviews with scientists and experts, and practical ways to apply these lessons in your own life, the Science of Success is a must listen for anyone interested in growth, learning, personal development, and psychology.

On this episode of “The Science of Success”, I delve into the debilitating affect of setbacks. You’ve got a goal. You’re working towards it, then BOOM: Something gets in your way. What do you do? Do you give up and try something else? Or do you brush yourself off and keep moving forward?

How you answer this question could make all the difference.

Listen Now!

Or download here (right click and save).

 

Science of Success Podcast – Embracing Discomfort

The Science of Success

Do you want to understand more about your own thoughts and motivations? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what motivates other people and drives their decisions? Has psychology always fascinated you, but you’ve been missing a way to apply those lessons practically in your day-to-day life?

The Science of Success is my new podcast and I have teamed up with RedOrbit.com to explore the mindset of success, the psychology of performance, and how to get the most out of your daily life.

With gripping examples, concrete explanations of psychological research, interviews with scientists and experts, and practical ways to apply these lessons in your own life, the Science of Success is a must listen for anyone interested in growth, learning, personal development, and psychology.

Listen Now!

Or download here (right click and save).

On this week’s “The Science of Success” I explore one of the most crucial elements of leading a successful life: moving through discomfort. It’s human tendency to want to avoid things that make us feel awkward, and most of us do. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing. We will discuss two tricks that can help you move through discomfort and, if practiced enough, actively cultivate the ability to seek and embrace discomfort.

Science of Success Podcast – The Biological Limits of the Mind

The Science of Success

Do you want to understand more about your own thoughts and motivations? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what motivates other people and drives their decisions? Has psychology always fascinated you, but you’ve been missing a way to apply those lessons practically in your day-to-day life?

The Science of Success is my new podcast and I have teamed up with RedOrbit.com to explore the mindset of success, the psychology of performance, and how to get the most out of your daily life.

With gripping examples, concrete explanations of psychological research, interviews with scientists and experts, and practical ways to apply these lessons in your own life, the Science of Success is a must listen for anyone interested in growth, learning, personal development, and psychology.

Listen To Episode One Now!

“The Biological Limits of the Human Mind” (right click and save to download)

On this inaugural episode of “The Science of Success” we explore one of the fundamental underpinnings of psychology: the brain itself.

As we discussed when we talked about Charlie Munger – your brain is a roughly million-year-old piece of hardware, designed to operate in the world of hunting and gathering, where dangerous animals and competing humans may lurk behind the nearest bush.

While our society has changed massively in the last 10,000 years (or even the last 500 years), our brains have not had time to catch up.

As a result, you and I are equipped with a tool that is riddled with shortcuts and processing errors, which can manifest themselves in mistakes, calamities, and all around terrible decisions.

To find out how you can get around these and make life a little easier, listen to this week’s episode “The Biological Limits of the Human Mind”.

 

Charlie Munger on Mental Models, Wisdom, and Human Psychology

charlie munger mental models

Your brain is a roughly million-year-old piece of hardware – designed and built to operate in the world of hunting and gathering – where a dangerous animal may lurk behind the nearest bush. While our society has changed massively in the last 10,000 years (or even the last 500 years) – our brains have not had time to catch up.

You and I are equipped with a tool that – while wonderfully sculpted by evolution to thrive and reproduce in the world of hunter-gatherers – is riddled with shortcuts and processing errors that can manifest in mistakes, calamities, and all around terrible decisions.

Over the last year or so I have spent much time studying Charlie Munger – the billionaire “right hand man” of Warren Buffett. Charlie developed a rather unique worldview on human behavior and problem solving (that he dubs “worldly wisdom”) rooted in the idea fundamentally that you need a wide range of tools (what he calls mental models) to solve the many problems that life throws at you.

Among one of Charlie’s greatest insights were the combined notions that  (1) all academic disciplines must respect each other in order to be true and (2) that psychology underpins nearly all of them because it impacts and shapes human decisions.

What this means is that to think more effectively and achieve your goals you need to both master psychology and understand the mental models that underpin reality.

One of the most powerful things that you must understand about everything that I’m sharing with you here – these are not anecdotal observations or opinions – the decisions, mistakes, and behavior patterns that human engage in again and again, to their own determinant, are rooted fundamentally in science and proven repeatedly by numerous psychological studies.

Learning More About Charlie Munger’s Mental Models

As a starting point for that journey, I wanted to share with you several resources that I have learned from along the way.

I would absolutely start by watching (or listening to) this Youtube Video of Charlie Munger on “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment.” The video is priceless and I’ve listened to it 10+ times. Some of the examples are a bit dated because the speech is from 1995, but the message is timeless.

From there, I would recommend digging into a few books. I’ve put these in a particular order and suggest sticking to it – this will slowly introduce you to the topic and layer in key pieces of knowledge to build a more comprehensive understanding of Charlie Munger’s Mental Models and the Psychology of Misjudgment. [Click the titles for a link to Amazon]

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational is absolutely the best starting place to dip your toes into this subject. It’s a quick read that is easy to grasp and has some great examples that will stick with you. I would compare this to Freakonomics in the sense it’s aimed at a popular audience and does a great job making the subject very approachable.

Influence by Robert Cialdini

In many ways the “bible” of this school of thought – Charlie Munger even mentions it several times in his speech on the psychology of human misjudgment. More technical than Predictably Irrational but a critical next step to go deeper on the topic.

Poor Charlie’s Alamanc by Peter Kaufman

Once you’ve completed your necessary psychology prerequisites – now its time to dig into the meaty stuff. This is a big book, I’m not gonna lie to you. Read every word. This is where Charlie Munger really starts laying out his framework for Worldly Wisdom and explaining in detail how to use psychology as well as mental models to think about the world. This book will explain how and why “worldly wisdom” and “mental models” are important, but does not go deep into actually explaining every mental model that governs reality.

Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS FIRST. That said, wow. This book. I have never in my life underlined more phrases in a single book. This is probably the most information dense book I have ever read. It’s a treasure trove of information and can serve as a vital reference book for the rest of your life. You absolutely have to read the other books first or this will be like reading something written in Mandarin. This fills out an extremely detailed checklist of both the “Psychology of Misjudgment” and the “Psychics and Mathematics of Misjudgment” – replete with pages and pages of detail, studies, and information on a huge array of mental models.

Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman is a titan among research psychologists and in many ways the godfather behind many of these concepts – including being one of the founders of Prospect Theory, which uncovered many of these mental models and how they shape the world. This book is BIG and full of tough and often counter-intuitive mental models and psychological concepts, but this is the book you want to read to really dig into the core research that underpins much of these other books.

Podcasts on Mental Models

I wanted to share a few links to two Science of Success Podcast episodes where we also dig into these topics.

The Psychology of Making Better Decisions with Michael Mauboussin

How to Build a Toolbox of Mental Models to Understand Reality with Shane Parrish

Blog Posts on Mental Models

I also wanted to share a few links to two blogs that I particularly enjoy that both have wonderful and deep sections focusing on mental models.  Each of these are filled with dozens of mental models as well as examples and explanations to help better understand them.

Farnam Street – Mental Models

Joshua Kennon – Mental Models

Mental Model Checklist – Human Misjudgement

As a bonus for you – I’ve also included Charlie Munger’s (updated as per Seeking Wisdom) checklist of the standard causes of human misjudgment.

1)     Bias from mere association

2)     Underestimating the power of rewards and punishment

3)     Underestimating bias from own self-interest and incentives

4)     Self-serving bias

5)     Self-deception and denial  – distortion of reality to reduce pain or increase pleasure.

6)     Bias from consistency tendency – includes confirmation bias – looking for evidence that confirms our actions and beliefs and ignoring or distorting disconfirming evidence.

7)     Bias from deprival syndrome

8)     Status quo bias and do-nothing syndrome

9)     Impatience

10)     Bias from envy and jealousy

11)     Distortion by contrast comparison – also underestimating the consequences over time of gradual changes.

12)     Bias from anchoring – over-weighing certain initial information

13)     Over-influence from vivid or most recent information

14)     Omission and abstract blindness

15)     Bias from reciprocation tendency

16)     Bias from over-influence by liking tendency – includes bias from over-desire for liking and social acceptance

17)     Bias from over-influence by social proof

18)     Bias from over-influence by authority

19)     Sense making – construction explanations that fit an outcome – being too quick to draw conclusion, also thinking events that have happened were more predictable than they were

20)     Reason-respecting – complying with requests merely because we’ve been given a reason. Includes underestimating the power of giving people reasons.

21)     Believing first and doubting later

22)     Memory limitations

23)     Do-something syndrome – acting without a sensible reason

24)     Mental confusion from say-something syndrome

25)     Emotional arousal – hasty judgments under the influence of intense emotions. Exaggerating the emotional impact of future events.

26)     Mental confusion from stress

27)     Mental confusion from physical or psychological pain

28)     Bias from over-influence by the combined effect of many psychological tendencies operating together [lollapalooza]

If you enjoyed this post please comment, like, and share this with others who you think would also enjoy it.

 

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Conciousness, Venus Colonies and More

Cosmos Carl Sagan

I have long been a proponent of opening the space frontier, space colonization (Venus especially), Carl Sagan and space exploration, as many of you know. I often find myself emailing people lists of my favorite space related YouTube videos, short stories, and articles. Eventually I realized that I should simply type these links into a blog post about the Cosmos, Carl Sagan, and more to easily share with people and reach an even broader audience.

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

For starters if you haven’t seen the original Cosmos series with Carl Sagan – that is absolutely the first thing you should check out. It’s incredible. Despite being made in 1980 and featuring some seriously dated graphics, the concepts are so lucidly explained, simple, and yet often mind bending that it’s quite a journey. You can find the entire series on YouTube for free. Here’s Episode 1 of Cosmos by Carl Sagan

A full playlist can be found here. Occasionally episodes of Cosmos get deleted out and you have to find another one on YouTube, but it shouldn’t be too hard.

Cosmos & Consciousness

As part of my ongoing meditation practice I love digging into some of the deeper and more grand mysteries of both our existence and the cosmos itself. To that effect, I’ve created a YouTube playlist of a number of my favorite videos around the concept of life, our place in the cosmos, and what we are. Here’s a sample of one of these – a video by Symphony of Science called “We Are All Connected.” It gives me goosebumps to listen to this.

Awesome Short Stories

Whenever I get into a conversation with someone about space exploration, I always recommend checking out two incredible short stories.

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov (Written in 1956)

The thing that impresses me about both of these stories is how long ago they were written, yet how timely they seem today. The last question is a classic science fiction story by one of the genres all time greats. I don’t want to say too much without giving it away – but its deep and thought provoking.

The Gentle Seduction by Marc Stiegler (Written in 1989)

This story is absolutely amazing. Its one of the most lucid and clear descriptions of what I think “the singularity” might look like (and for those of you unfamiliar, all the more reason you should read this story). This one will take a bit of time to read but its incredibly worth it.

 The Fermi Paradox & The Drake Equation

Drake Equation The Fermi Paradox is another space concept that I absolutely love. This was a favorite of Carl Sagan’s as well. The concept is essentially – if you look at the fact that the Milky Way alone has 400 billion stars – each of which likely harbors multiple planets (the math of crunching these numbers is called The Drake Equation) – the math works out that we should be seeing alien life all over the place – but we don’t. Well why not? First, check out this great video which explains the paradox simply and easily.

But to me, the most interesting examination of this is actually the idea that Carl Sagan’s model for understanding the expansion of alien life slightly misses the point that it really more of a “big bang” type model – the notion that as soon as a single intelligent lifeform evolves in a given galaxy – within a relatively short cosmic time frame (approx. 20mm years) they will come to completely dominate their galaxy. So instead of many pockets of intelligent life within a galaxy – there will almost always ever be a single dominant life form. The chart below explains this distinction and this article is a full read on the theory and the math behind it. The main takeaway is the notion that humans are likely in 1 of 2 phases – either we are about to takeover our entire galaxy (assuming we avoid wipeout) or we are just at the cusp of another alien civilization taking over the Milky Way. Essentially we are either at Point A or Point D of this graph today. Fermi Paradox Drake Equation Either way – its fascinating stuff and I suggest digging into it if it’s the kind of thing that gets you excited. If you want to really go deep on this, read through the “Explaining the Paradox Hypothetically” section on Wikipedia, its great.

Venus Colonization

While most people are focused exclusively on the colonization of Mars, there is actually a surprisingly strong case for the colonization of Venus. I originally discovered this one day in a deep Wikipedia binge and have really gravitated to it since. Specifically there are 3 major risks to Mars colonization that people just gloss over.

  • Gravity – Mars only has approximately 0.4 of Earths gravity and the long term impacts of this low gravity could be several damaging. There are currently no known solutions for this problem. This is also something that even long-term would make terraforming Mars tough because we still end up with a planet that is too low gravity.
  • Pressure – Mars also has almost no surface pressure – requiring both every structure to be completely pressurized, which is extremely expensive and challenging from a design perspective, and people to constantly wear pressurized suits.
  • Radiation – Mars has almost no atmosphere which also makes radiation a very dangerous prospect – requiring further protection and raising the expense and challenges of permanent colonization.

The problem with Venus is that everyone looks solely at the surface – you have to zoom up about 30-40kms into the atmosphere to find the single most earth-like place in our solar system. A place where the atmosphere protects you from solar radiation at the equivalent of earth’s sea level, a place where the gravity is approximately 1g, and a place where the pressure is exactly the same as sea level pressure on earth. This means that all you would need to wear is a gas mask and you would be perfectly fine. The real kicker though is that at this height in Venus’s atmosphere – breathable air is lifting gas when unpressurized. What this means is that just filling a civilization with breathable air makes it automatically float – and there is no risk of a Hindenburg-esq explosion event because the pressure would be equal – the civilization doesn’t have to be pressurized so that even a rupture or tear would cause a very slow leakage of gas instead of an immediate implosion/explosion.

Here are also two great articles about the colonization of Venus.

The Surprisingly Strong Case for Colonizing Venus

Will We Build Colonies That Float Over Venus

Additional Space Resources

Lastly, I wanted to share a few awesome websites to check out about cosmos, space exploration, and much more.Here are three of my favorite sites to check out (all of them are in my Feedly RSS reader and I check them pretty much every morning) related to space news.

RedOrbit

http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/

IFL Science

http://www.iflscience.com/categories/space

Space.com

http://www.space.com/

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and if you’re passionate about space exploration please share and comment!

Weekend In Austin Texas – What To Eat

Weekend in Austin - Classic Austin Food Truck Park

I recently spent a weekend in Austin, Texas for a bachelor party and last fall the Fresh Hospitality squad did an epic food trip to Austin where we hit 17 restaurants in just over 24 hours (believe me I was stuffed after that one).

Being in the food business, I often get people asking me where to eat when they spend a weekend in Austin – so I thought it would be a great idea to create a quick blog post that lists some of my absolute favorite spots in Austin.

I don’t want to bombard with you with a ton of places so I’ve created a very selective list of only the best spots and ones that I most enjoyed while in Austin. Don’t miss the BBQ spots at the end! 

Epic Food Trucks

Gourdoughs – Big. Fat. Donuts.

http://gourdoughs.com/ 

Mandatory breakfast/brunch stop in Austin. You’ll get to experience the classic Austin style food truck park and chow down on some epically large and delicious donuts. My recommendation is to get the Mother Clucker for yoru savory fix (donut topped with fried chicken and a honey butter glaze) and polish off your sweet tooth with a delicious Heavenly Hash (brownie bites and marshmallow topped donuts). No weekend in Austin is complete without a stop at Gourdoughs. 

East Side King

http://www.eskaustin.com/

A delectable Thai and Asian food truck in Austin’s “dirty sixth” neighborhood. Warning – this food can be super spicy. It’s a mouth-burning can’t-stop-eating must-take-another-bite kind of heat that lingers for 20 minutes after you’re done eating – but its so damn good. You have to get the grilled bread as well – one of my all time favorite treats. Go here for dinner and enjoy the killer scene at this Austin food truck park.

Beer Gardens & Bars

Weekend in Austin - Bangers on Rainey Street

Bangers

http://bangersaustin.com/

Two of the three bars I recommend checking out are in Austin’s “Rainey Street” neighborhood. These are my personal favorite two, but the entire area has such a cool vibe that you will fall in love as soon as you set foot on the sidewalk. Bangers is a classic beer garden – with over 100 beers on tap and incredible – I mean incredible – sausages and brats. Sit down, enjoy a few beers – and don’t forget to try one of their ridiculous sausages.

Container Bar

http://austincontainerbar.com/

Another Rainey street bar – built almost entirely from shipping containers. This is a great spot to chill during the day. They have 2 sets of cornhole and possibly the most killer Fugees-inspired playlist I’ve ever heard. Between Container Bar and Bangers you will get a great feel for the scene in Austin and no weekend in Austin is complete without hitting up Rainey street.

Easy Tiger

http://easytigeraustin.com/

A uniquely Austin “Bakery and Beer Garden” – Easy Tiger’s baked goods are delicious – but the place really opens up at night when the beer garden comes to life. Sitting outside by the river you can enjoy a huge selection of beers on tap and play ping pong on one of their nearby ping pong tables. Plus, from Easy Tiger you can walk to Austin’s famous 6th street.

Tacos & Burgers

Torchys Tacos

http://torchystacos.com/

What would a trip to Austin be without Tacos? Torchy’s is a classic Austin taco spot with a great variety of delectable tacos. Check out the location on 1st street for another authentic Austin food truck park.

Tacodeli

http://www.tacodeli.com/

Another Austin taco joint that locals rave about – Tacodeli is the favorite of online marketing genius Noah Kagan (who happens to be an Austin native) – he recommends the Cowboy taco.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

http://www.hopdoddy.com/

I had to throw in a few delicious burger joints as well. These are two local burger chains that are both great. Hopdoddy is a very upscale farm-to-table burger type of place with craft beers on tap and a killer atmosphere. If you’re in the mood for a good burger, you can’t go wrong here.

P. Terry’s

http://www.pterrys.com/

P. Terry’s is a much more old school double drive thru type burger joint – but if you want a delicious shake and a classic burger experience P. Terry’s is the place to go.

Barbecue Joints

Franklin Barbecue

https://franklinbarbecue.com/

Considered the premier barbecue spot in Austin. You’ll need fortitude to even attempt this one. The line stretches for blocks and blocks and people bring lawn chairs just to wait. That’s what it takes to eat at what’s widely considered one of the greatest BBQ restaurants in America.

La Barbecue

http://www.labarbecue.com/

Franklin BBQ’s feisty young competitor. La barbecue is considered among many in the BBQ world to be the new up-and-comer challenging Franklin for the best BBQ in Austin (and some of the seriously most insanely delicious beef brisket in the world). The wait is a bit more manageable here, and if you get there early enough you might be able to sneak in without too much of a wait. I still dream of the brisket here.

Salt Lick BBQ

https://www.saltlickbbq.com/

A world famous BBQ destination about 45 mins outside of Austin. The kind of place you go all afternoon for the live music, the killer gardens, and to soak in the scenery – but don’t miss the incredible BBQ as well.

Louis Mueller Barbecue

http://www.louiemuellerbarbecue.com/

An absolutely classic barbecue spot in Taylor, Texas (about a 45 min drive out of Austin) – Louis Mueller has been open since 1949. The beef brisket and the burnt ends are insane! Absolutely worth the drive for some truly authentic old-school Texas BBQ.

Matt Bodnar - Weekend in Austin

I hope you enjoyed this list – please let me know in the comments some of your favorite food spots and where you would eat for a weekend in Austin!

Weight Loss Motivation – How I lost 45 Pounds in 6 Months

Matt Bodnar - Weight Loss Motivation

Looking for some weight loss motivation? I lost 45 pounds in six months. Over the first half of 2013 I went from a plump 215 pounds down to a much more reasonable 170 pounds.

That’s a BMI drop from a BMI of about 30 (full blown Obesity) to a BMI of 23.7 or just under the level for “normal weight.”

Here’s how the National Heart Institute measures BMI.

  • Underweight = <18.5

  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9

  • Overweight = 25–29.9

  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

My target weight is 165 with me being decently cut, so that said I probably could shave another 10 pounds of fat off my body right now if I wanted to really push it (I don’t because I’m lazy and getting within a normal BMI has slowed my weight loss motivation down).

To be honest, I’m no good at building muscle and both of these weights I still have a relatively flabby physique without much muscle. I used no magic secrets to get here.

 What’s Your Weight Loss Motivation?

Do you want to know what I did to lose the weight? It doesn’t matter! The tactics do not matter. Tactics are irrelevant. Mindset is everything. Your weight loss motivation is the critical factor that determines your success.

Your mindset on how you lose weight is ALL THAT MATTERS. Period. Once you have the mindset of living a healthy life and making fitness a priority – you will naturally discover that the tactics start manifesting themselves all across your life.

Until you want it more than you want anything else you will never do it. I want you to re-read that sentence and let it sink in.

 UNTIL LOSING WEIGHT IS THE BIGGEST PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE – YOU WILL NEVER LOSE WEIGHT.

Here are some other priorities you probably didn’t realize are crowding out your weight loss motivation and your ability to lose weight:

  • Sleep

  • Not getting up when its 5am and its 10 degrees outside

  • Video Games

  • TV

  • Reading

  • Partying

  • “Not Feeling Like Going To The Gym”

  • Working

  • Hanging out with your friends

  • “Being Tired”

  • Not being that annoying person at a meal who won’t eat certain things.

  • Drinking

  • Eating Cake (ohh how do I love cake though, funfetti in particular)

If you aren’t willing to sacrifice any and ALL of those things – you are never going to make meaningful progress. You have to be a rude sometimes. You have to be unreasonable. You have to sacrifice sleep.

You have to be unwilling to compromise on your health decisions. Its your health and its your life – no one is going to hand you fitness. You have to fight tooth and nail every single day to win that battle. Your weight loss motivation has to be iron clad.

 

Compliance Always Trumps Effectiveness

To put that more bluntly, do the easiest possible things you can to lose weight. You have to make it as easy as possible for yourself. The absolute worst thing you can do to sabotage your weight loss motivation is to make it difficult on yourself.

Doing the “wrong” or “less optimal” (believe me the peanut gallery will chime in on this one) thing for 3 months because its easier is infinitely more effective than doing the “right” thing and quitting a week later because its too hard.

My entire weight loss motivation strategy is based on the core principle of laziness. Doing the easiest possible things in the gym so that I can stay motivated to keep going! I’ll tell you all about exactly what I did to lose the weight but, again, that doesn’t matter at all.

 

The Best Fitness Advice Ever

Stop listening to everyone who gives you fitness advice. Bloggers, friends, family, and even me!

There’s too much information clutter out there about fitness and health and losing weight. You can literally find “definitive” weight loss motivation advice on polar opposite topics for nearly everything. Some people say eating a big breakfast is critical to losing weight, some people say that never eating breakfast is the best thing you can do! Some people say you should lift with heavy weights for a few reps, others say lighter weights for many reps.

Stop listening to all of it and only listen to your body. That’s right, I’m literally telling you to disregard the way that I did it because it WON’T work for you. You have to do what your body says is right. Not what I tell you to do. You have to do what you mind wants to do. Not what works for other people.

Do what works for you and what your body says is right because everyone’s body is different.

Disregard all of the tactics that I am going to tell you, but make sure you especially ignore those people who have not actually achieved the fitness goals you want to achieve – they have the most dangerous advice (and they will always chime in with their “opinions” about what you should and should not do).

 

The Magic Secret

Because I know people are going to want to hear this. Here are my tactics. Here’s exactly what I did to lose 45 pounds and maintain my weight loss motivation.

Here’s my magic secret: diet and exercise.

I was an absolute fanatic about going to the gym every single day – and if I couldn’t get to the gym I would get up at 5am and go for a run – no matter where I was or what time of day it was (and I hate running).

I also started watching what I ate like a hawk and followed these general principles:

  •  Stationary Bike for 30-60 minutes 5-7 days a week. This is almost all I did at the gym. The only other thing I would do was a “4 Hour Body” style minimalist workout about once every 2 weeks.
  •  Stop eating breakfast, ever. I drink coffee and eat a banana and that’s it until lunch.
  •  Cut out carbs as much as you can. Real talk – carbs make you fat.
  •  Eat a salad for lunch with a lean protein like chicken.
  •  Try to eat a light dinner 2-4 times a week.
  •  Weigh yourself every morning. It creates an awareness about weight loss and helps you focus.

Keeping the Weight Off

Now that I am in a healthier weight range its about maintenance and not massive cutting. You don’t need to tap into that visceral weight loss motivation anymore, you can ease off the throttle a bit and focus on sustaining.

There are a few principles at work here.

Never be more than 2 weeks away

This is a concept I heard about from Nerd Fitness originally. The idea is genius. Basically – monitor yourself at all times and never get more than 2 weeks away from your ideal shape – that way you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym all the time – but you can maintain the physique you want.

Splurge a little bit every now and then.

It’s not about being hard core all the time. Its about making it a lifestyle and not a one time thing. Sometimes you need to eat crazy meals and order everything off the menu. In fact, a bunch of research shows that sometimes bingeing can help boost your metabolism (remember though, you need to find the right balance for your own body!).

Weigh yourself every day – keep monitoring your weight.

Research also shows that just the awareness of your weight helps you make subconscious decisions to lose weight and be healthier. Weighing yourself every day also helps you know when you’re slipping out of being “more than 2 weeks away.”

Make health and fitness into a LIFESTYLE not an event.

You have to build fitness into your lifestyle. This is more powerful than any short term weight loss motivation. Now I go to the gym 2-3 times a week. If my weight is creeping up there I start cutting back on what I eat and I go to the gym more frequently until I get my weight back in line again. I usually eat whatever I want and do whatever I want – and as soon as my weight starts creeping up I crank the heavy routine back in place until things get back in line.

Resources & Learning More

I realize I told you to disregard nearly all the fitness advice you hear. However, I still wanted to share (because I know people will want it) my two favorite resources on quality weight loss motivation and information.

These sites have helped me lose weight and stay fit. You need to find the sites that can do the same for you and are true to your body. Both of these were very inspirational to me and also provided me with a rough guideline of the tactics that I ultimately used to lose weight.

Nerd Fitness

 4 Hour Body

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Business Partnership Mistakes You Should Avoid

Your ability to succeed and grow your business will be determined largely by how well you learn the art of the business partnership.

I’ve been in deals with great partners, mediocre partners, and terrible partners. I’ve had more than one deal blow up in my face solely because I chose the wrong partners.

Your partners define everything about how successful your business will be.

Good Partner, Bad Partner

I want to show you a framework that my father shared with me for managing a business partnership that he uses as a guiding light (especially in tough times) to determine what to do next in his business.

He calls this “Good Partner, Bad Partner.” It’s not a very complicated way to look at a business partnership, but its power lies in its simplicity.

Business Partnership Grid - Good Partner Bad Partner

Whenever you find yourself struggling with a business partnership, its time to take out the grid and make decision about the best course of action. When I’ve had to agonize over decisions about whether to double down or shut down – this grid has provided me with tremendous clarity.

If you’ll notice – the key factor on the grid is not the quality of the deal itself, but rather the quality of the partners.

Regardless of the economic opportunity, bad partners can sour a good deal. Any deal where you have a bad partner you will likely end up needing to exit the transaction sooner or later.

On the other side of the coin, good partners can save even a bad deal. If you have a good partner the right choice is to stick it out make the business partnership work.

Business Partnership Lessons

The challenge of course is finding and ensuring that you are dealing with good partner first and foremost. You sure can save a lot of headaches (and heartache) on the front end by avoiding these critical business partnership mistakes.

No method for selecting the right business partners this will ever be perfect, but building on the lessons of seasoned entrepreneurs is not a bad place to start.

In that vein, I wanted to share a few insights and lessons that I have learned along the way and a few that I have taken from business people who have seen many more partnerships than me.

Much of this research was put together by veteran entrepreneurs Bill Hammack, the CEO of NewOrleans.com, and his business partner Lou Zimmers who served as former CFO of Michigan Bell and was a highly successful technology and publishing entrepreneur.

Seasoned businessmen on their own, they also interviewed several entrepreneurs and top executives from the likes of Fortune 500 companies and billion dollar private conglomerates to put these lessons together.

What they found were a striking number of common patterns why business partnerships fail.

Unequal contributions (real or perceived)

Let me repeat that last part – real or PERCEIVED. Even a perceived imbalance can throw a business partnership into chaos. It’s absolutely critical to define the role of each partner in detail and communicate as clearly as possible from the start. Everyone should be on the same page about what expectations are and what each partner is contributing to the deal.

Failure to reduce everything to writing

Everything needs to be “put on the table.” Especially compensation! Give the document to a disinterested party to find poorly defined terms.

Failure to fully define expectations

Expectations are not easy to verbalize. Each person hears it differently (reflecting his or her background and self-interest). You even have to define “Success.”

Partners with different objectives or bad chemistry

Understanding your partners objectives and clearly communicating your own is essential on the front end of any deal.

Lack of integrity.

While it’s impossible to ever truly know if your partner has a lack of integrity, this underscores the reason why its so important to focus on “fit” and getting to know each other before entering into a business partnership.

Poorly Defined “Exit Strategies.”

​How you value the enterprise is always a contentious issue. ​You need to play the “what if” game to identify the possibilities. A failure in a business partnership has some of the same attributes as going through a divorce. Like a divorce, you need to identify what was brought into the relationship and what was created together.

When circumstances change for one of the parties.

A business partnership can sometimes fail when circumstances change for one of the partners (e.g., health, family concerns, etc.). These changes cannot be anticipated. The best that can happen is an evenhanded unwinding of the business partnership. That is why it is critical to define exit strategies up front.

Successful Business Partnerships

So what are the secrets to a successful business partnership? With all of these mistakes in mind, here are a few key things to do to make sure that you start your business partnership off the right way.

Communication

There are three kinds of communication. No communication, miscommunication, and over-communication. There is no middle ground. If you are not over-communicating then you are either not communicating or you’re miscommunicating. Period. This applies to a business partnership just as much as it applies to everything else in your life. Don’t beat around the bush. Be as honest and direct with your partner on what you want as possible.

Understand Your Partner

Understanding comes from putting other people first. Focus on providing value for your partner. Spend more time listening than talking. Make sure you understand clearly their goals and objectives.

Fit First / Business Model Later

Get to know each other and focus on “fit” before you dive into the specifics of the business partnership. Learn about your partners on a personal level and the business side of things will flow naturally.

Begin With The End In Mind

To quote the famous lesson from the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” – starting with the end in mind helps your business partnership avoid a lot of headaches along the way. Define your exit strategy and your goals up front.

Put Everything In Writing

This comes directly from the mistakes above, but it bears repeating. Fully define your expectations on the front end. Sit down and have a long conversion defining exactly what everyone brings to the business partnership and what their roles and expectations are.

What have your experiences taught you? Have you had success or failure with a business partnership in the past? What was the biggest lesson you learned? Let me everyone know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Help spread the word about what it takes to make a business partnership successful.

Thank you!

(Lastly, hat tip to entrepreneur Rob Kelly who has another great post on how to create a successful business partnership)