Josh Monen

Sharing my journey through life.

Month: April 2017 (page 2 of 6)

There Will Always Be More To Do

It’s 9:27 p.m. right now. I snuck out to my office in the motorhome about an hour ago to “send a couple emails out.”

It was only supposed to take 15 minutes but of course here I am an hour later.

As soon as I check one task off my to-do list it triggers two more things to do! So now I’m here wondering if I should call it a night or work for another hour.

So I decided to write my daily blog and give YOU advice about accepting the fact that there will always be more things on your to-do list than there is time in the day. And that you should just call it a night when faced with a decision like this.

(Ok, confession: I’m really writing to ME. Hoping that by teaching this concept I’ll want to avoid being a total hypocrite and at least try to practice what I preach!)

But, eh, back to me giving you advice…

Yes, there are only so many hours in the day. And just because your appetite for accomplishment is bigger than the hours allotted to you doesn’t mean you should burn the midnight oil.

That may be cool if you’re a 21-year-old whiz kid hacker in Silicon Valley with no wife or kids. But if you’re like me who has a family, it’s not cool.

Plus, we all need rest. Think of how much more you can get done if you go to sleep at a decent hour and wake up early feeling energized and refreshed!

That’s it. I’ve convinced myself to shutdown and go to bed. Good night. 🙂

Know When To Hold ‘Em

They just opened a $510 million casino about 30 minutes from where we live.

My sister-in-law got a job serving at the steakhouse there so tonight we went there for the grand opening.

After dinner my wife wanted to gamble a little. Neither of us had ever gambled before so we had no idea what we were doing.

My wife handed me $20 and I stood and watched one of the blackjack tables. I happened to sit next to a nice woman who gave me a crash course in blackjack.

She told me when to hit, when to stay and when to double down. The first four hands I was dealt I won! “Beginners luck,” she said.

I played for about an hour or so and the lady next to me, who was up $125, told me the most important thing to remember was that old Kenny Rogers song:

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run”

This is also a good lesson for business deals. I’ve done several “performance based” deals in the past and some have been good and some not so good.

It’s easy to let emotions cloud your judgment and think, “Man, I’ve had success doing stuff like this before, I may as well throw caution to the wind and take a bigger risk in exchange for a potential bigger payout.”

But it’s that kind of thinking that got me in trouble before. For this reason I no longer do 100% performance-based (aka commission based) deals. I also make sure I get paid something up front. 

Why? 

Because you never know if that startup is actually going to get funded. You never know if the service you’re marketing is actually going to be as big a hit as the owner “knows” it will be.

Of course you have to take risks in business. But you don’t need to gamble.

P.S. I walked out $40 ahead tonight when I cashed out of the casino. I turned $20 into $60 in an hour. But I was tempted to put the $60 all in and see if I could turn it into $120. But instead I got up and walked away. It felt good to do that. I had some fun without being stupid.

5 Ways to Ask Better Questions

“The quality of your life is the quality of your questions.” – Tony Robbins

The older I get the more I value quality questions over right answers.

Some of the smartest, most successful people I know are not know-it-alls who flaunt their knowledge. Instead, they are are wise men and women who have mastered the art of asking quality questions.

Someone will come to them for advice and instead of telling them what to do they will ask thought provoking questions that help facilitate an effective thought process. This is a hallmark of great mentors, coaches and teachers.

You will also see this trait in seasoned salespeople. Instead of blabbing about all the great features of their product they will focus on the prospect and ask great open-ended questions.

Pastors and spiritual leaders do the same. They understand it’s more important to teach you how to think versus what to think.

Think of the people you respect and admire. Notice how good they are at asking the right questions at the right time?

When you see it in action it’s attractive. It makes you want to master the art of asking great questions. If that’s what you want here are some ways you can practice this:

1. Become a great listener: If you want to be a great question asker then you must be a great listener. If you’re used to thinking you’re the smartest person in the room and have all the answers then you won’t be good at asking questions.

2. Journal (practice on yourself): Journaling is a great place for you to start reflecting on your own life and asking yourself the hard questions. Pay attention to the types of questions that generate the best results and insights.

3. Memorize great questions: The next time you witness someone asking someone else a great question, write it down. Or if someone asks you a question that really gets you thinking then record it. Commit these to memory.

4. Take time to think: It’s tempting to always be consuming content like books, blogs, podcasts, or videos. But if you want to get better at asking questions you have to develop your critical thinking skills. So take time to think.

5. Be humble: Pride will stop you from asking questions because it will make you think you have all the answers. Have the humility to admit to others, and to yourself, that you don’t know. This will naturally lead you to ask more questions.

What do you think about those questions? Do you have any to add to that list?

The Freedom to Choose When You Work vs If You Work

It’s been a brutal winter here in the Pacific NW. We’ve had record rainfall and crazy several storms this year.

So when the sun came out yesterday (Friday) I made an executive decision: leave work early and finish my projects the next day.

It felt good to be able to do that. I sent a few important emails to clients and partners in the morning and then hopped in the car with my wife and kids and headed to town.

When I was an employee this would not happen. I could of course schedule vacation days in advance but I couldn’t just tell my boss:

“Hey, I know I’m scheduled to work today but it’s really nice out and I don’t feel like working today. I’d rather hang out with my wife and kids and come in tomorrow, when it’s supposed to rain. Is that OK?”

I think we know what the answer would be.

So I’m thankful to be free to choose when I work. But this is not the same as being free to choose if I work.

I’m still in what Robert Kiyosaki would call the Self-Employed Quadrant.

Which means I’m still trading time for money. The only difference is now I work for myself so I can decide what my schedule will be.

This is not the same as making money in the Business Owner Quadrant. If I was operating in that quadrant I would still have made money when I took the day off yesterday.

And I would not have had to work Saturday to make up for skipping half day on Friday.

It’s tempting to think you have time freedom if you’re a freelancer but don’t deceive yourself. Unless you own assets that are generating positive cash flow that don’t require you to do the work, then you’re still self-employed. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I love being self-employed more than being an employee. But once you get a taste of freedom you want more!

This is why my long-term goal is to have true time freedom. To build a business that will operate fine without me. I don’t want it to be dependent on my skills or abilities. I want to move to the Business Owner Quadrant.

What about you? Are you self-employed? Are you a freelancer? Are you painfully aware that if you don’t work you don’t eat?

Would you like to change that? Then do it! Join my course for $30,000 and I’ll show you how… just kidding!

I’m not a guru. And I don’t have a course about this.

But I am in the trenches right now figuring it out and my gut tells me there is value in sharing my journey with others as I go. I feel like I’ll forget what it was really like if I try to write about this after I’ve built my businesses. Hence this blog!

False Dilemmas

“I do think I’d rather sell the motorhome so we could send her to that school,” my wife said.

I looked up from the book I was reading and thought about it for a second. “I don’t think it has to be an either/or decision,” I said.

My wife was telling me about a talk she had with someone who was giving her advice about a decision we were making about where to send our daughter to school.  

This person told her that if she were in our shoes she would get rid of our motorhome payment so she could send her daughter to private school.

But as soon as I heard the you need to choose “this or that” advice I cringed.

This way of thinking causes you to live a small life where you’re constantly forcing yourself to choose between “this or that.”

It’s a symptom of a scarcity mindset. And it’s dangerous.

An abundance mindset, on the other hand, says there’s always enough. It does not believe that in order for Tom to get ahead, Paul has to suffer. There’s not a finite amount of money or resources in the world… there’s an abundance!

I understand that making decisions means you can’t choose everything. For example, I know if I decide to go on a 10-day backpacking trip around Mt. Rainier that I will miss out on 10 days of experiences with my family.

There are certainly tradeoffs in life. But most the time is has to do with your time. You can always make more money. You can never make more time.

However, there’s almost an unlimited number of ways to make money. If you have an employee mindset or a scarcity mindset you may disagree. 

But if you’re an entrepreneur or someone who lives in the realm of abundance you’ll know this is true. It just requires creative persistence.

Back to the “motorhome vs private school” discussion.

We decided to reject this question and instead ask a different one: how can we keep our motorhome, which we love because we have so many wonderful experiences in it as a family, and send Emma to private school?

The answer didn’t come right away. But that’s ok. I didn’t know how it would happen. I just believed it would. 

I assumed I would just make more money in the business.

But something else happened…

My wife figured out how to rent our motorhome out on a couple websites, Outdoorsy.com and RVShare.com.

She posted it on those sites and within 2 weeks she rented it out for 3 weeks this Summer and made $3,400! Which is about the cost for the annual tuition to the private school.

So of course we’re excited and thankful! Plus, my wife is having fun doing this because she can justify spending a little money on fixing up the motorhome because now it’s an asset, not just a liability.

I’m proud of her and I can’t wait to see what happens as we rent it out more.

But it’s also a good reminder to not settle for a “False Dilemma.”

A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy in which something is falsely claimed to be an “either/or” situation, when in fact there is at least one additional option.” – Wikipedia

These type of dilemmas are presented to you by other people and even by yourself all the time. It’s important you recognize them. When you do, ask yourself if your only options really are “this or that?”

Here’s some other examples:

  • Either quit your job, be broke and pursue your passion or keep your job and make money (why not create a business you enjoy on the side while you keep your job?)
  • You can either save money or stop eating out (what about just making more money?)
  • You either agree with everything the pastor says or you become a critical jerk who doesn’t respect authority (can’t you respect authority and still question what’s being taught?)

I think you get the idea. 

So now here’s your mission: as you go through this week pay attention to False Dilemmas and do your best to resist them. Don’t settle for either/or solutions.

Now please either share this post with 10 of your closest friends or receive bad luck for the next 10 years. Oh what? Chain letters are not cool anymore? SOOORRYYY. Jeez.

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