Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thawing a Frozen Goal

Abandoning a goal because of fear is like staying inside during the entire season of winter because you don't want to put your coat on.

woman wearing winter coat

You would never think of venturing into sub-zero temperatures and windy conditions without properly protecting your exposed skin. Exposed skin freezes in a matter of minutes, and life can suck for a little while.

What do you to cover up and protect your mind and your goals when venturing into the frozen tundra of life? An idea shines it's way into our heart, we get excited for a little while, only to quickly recite all the reasons why we shouldn't take action and move forward.

Most people feel like their current situation is far worse than it really is. Think of your perception of reality like a windchill effect. Windchill is how cold the temperature feels on exposed skin in the wind. Even though the thermometer may read 30 degrees, a stiff 20 mile per hour wind will make it feel much colder. Stagnation happens when we fail to grow comfortable with the growth process and spend too much time in our heads. Taking some kind of action...any type of action shatters the shackles that hold you in place.

The way we feel about something is usually worse than it actually is. When we are faced with a decision, we often reach into our library of past failures or our "what if" worry bank.

Related: When Is the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time Here's how you can protect yourself from abandoning your goals and buying into the fear:

Identify the best possible outcomes

While understanding possible risks is important, choose the words you wish to live with when talking about your goal. Identifying what life would be like when your goal becomes a reality offers you a moment to future-cast.

Prepare for others to talk you out of it.

It's not that people don't care for you or want you to succeed, they often place their reality onto your situation. How will you deal with it? Are these people qualified to assess your idea? How will you keep moving forward?
For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Electrified Banking Convention Audience Member!

Linda Monin from Financial Supermarkets, Inc. Raves about Shef's high-energy, motivational program he delivered for their National Sales Convention in Nashville, TN. 

The program was exceptional and packed with so many take-aways! 

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Friday, May 19, 2017

Your Greatest Connections Are People, Not Screens

Life is all about connecting with people and building relationships with them. Whether those relationships are personal or professional; the mark we leave on this world is determined by the quality of the way we impact others.

It's been a rough week for me. Two of my closest friends, Don and Dianne Giammetta, were tragically killed in a plane crash.

One thing that prompted this video was Don and Dianne's ability to create connections.

While we were connected via social media and texted; he was quick to invite us over for dinner or drinks several times per week. Building a relationship requires work and commitment.

There is no substitute for a face to face connection.

There are 3 factors that are necessary for you to grow your relationships:

1. Create the connection

Discover who you need to connect and/or re-connect with someone. Set up a time to get together with them.

We are all so busy that we are going to do something after we are finished with an endless task list. You are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Embrace that.

The Wednesday before they passed, I was returning from kayaking and Don was shaking a cocktail glass inviting me up for a quick visit. I had other things that I could have done, but thank God I was able to chat with him about life, love, and plans for the upcoming summer.

2. Combat distractions.

We are hammered with so many demands on our time that most of us are in a perpetual reactionary mode.

Understand that "No" is a complete sentence. If you don't want to do something, don't feel like you have to offer 30 different reasons why you can't do something.

They won't hate you or disown you...and if they do; you don't really need them in your lives anyway.

3. Ignite your passions

I talk with people who tell me about the awesome things they will do at some point in the future, but they just have to get through the present first.

None of us were born with an expiration date on our foreheads.

I do not believe in "What you conceive, you will achieve." Conceiving a passion is the birth of it; but there are quite a few action steps between being born and growing up.

A fantastic speaker whom I shared the stage with at a convention in Nashville last week named Chad Smith said, "Your destiny is not determined by your is determined by your direction."

If you are passionate about something, take a moment and assess where you are at and where you are aiming. If you dare driving east looking for a sunset, you will be disappointed.

Don't be afraid to recalibrate your direction and move forward!

Looking forward to speaking at your next convention, meeting or event!

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Last Time You Tried Something for the First Time

funny kid with cape


Fear is always present when we are about to try an activity, job, or venture for the first time.

That four letter companion isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it is that nagging feeling that keeps us alive.

More often than not, it is holding us back from trying new things, meeting new people, and fully engaging the life we were meant to live.

A fulfilled life is one where you are constantly growing, not just coasting. It is full of many first time experiences and relationships.

We all love comfort, and while that is okay to lounge in our comfort zones from time to time; it is when we surround ourselves with people who encourage us to do new activities that we grow!
Approaching any activity for the first time like a small child would is a great way to take that first step.

3 Easy Ways to Grow:

  1. Create a list of activities, hobbies, or adventures that you have always wanted to do. Thought of taking dance lessons, bungee jumping, deep sea fishing, kayaking, attending a concert, taking an improv class, or any other adventure? There is no risk in writing them down.
  2. Become part of a group who is interested in doing the same thing. We are social creatures, and the fuel from other’s is often times the motivation we need to keep going. Your world may change quickly! (related post 7 Life Hacks from my son’s boot camp)
  3. Jump out of your rut! The only difference between a rut and a grave is that a rut has an exit! Acknowledge that the fear is real and present, but reach deep down into your gut and unlock the shackles of fear that hold you back. Dan Waldschmidt wrote this brilliant piece on fear. 
You have to continuously grow and enjoy discovering new experiences in life.

It is your new experiences that add the punctuation to your life.

How do you overcome fear and embrace new challenges?

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Avoid the Easy, Embrace Success Challenges

Why would you want to avoid what is easy?

We all like it when life is easy, when we can coast by, when we can stay in our comfort zones. As I've discussed in previous posts, all growth happens outside of our comfort zone, not inside of it.

  • It is easier to repeat and re-post something without actually digging down to verify that it is true. 

  • It is easier to emote than it is to think. 

  • It is easier to react instead of respond. 

We live in a world of instant gratification where we all want our success yesterday. We all would rather have success sooner rather than later. (Related article: Success Playbook)

When someone is given something instead of having to work for it, there is little if any appreciation for it. People who are handed something without expectation of effort or sacrifice miss out on the crucial gift of becoming more as a person, and learning from the journey. 

What are you doing to embrace the uncomfortable and avoid the easy?

I'm off to hit the gym because it is not as easy as sitting and watching the river float by!

Looking forward to speaking at your next convention, meeting, or event!

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For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Sell Without Being Sales-y

How do you sell without being "salesy"?

We have all encountered the person who is only tuned into their own business and needs. Quite frankly, that type of person really sucks to visit with!

I was shooting some photos of pelicans the other day from my kayak, and they became skittish as I approached. I finally went upstream, then drifted down to where they were perched and captured some great pics.

What does this have to do with selling and business?

Your customers are hammered with advertising and marketing messages relentlessly, and filter most of them out.

My friend, Tony Rubleski, author of Mind Capture, discusses how to get around those barriers and close more business.

Here are 3 things you can do to blast through those barriers and generate more business:

1. Provide great content. 

The world doesn't revolve around you. Tune in to customer's needs and problems, and address them.

2. Build relationships first

When you become familiar with a customer, the guard goes down.

3. Become a connector. 

Creating connections to others will generate excellent goodwill, and will create reciprocity.

Please like and share this video!



For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412

Monday, February 15, 2016

Life Through the Lens of a Children's Game

What does the children's game, Chutes and Ladders, have to do with life? Quite a bit, actually.

A good friend of mine was sharing how she approaches the game Chutes and Ladders totally differently as an adult. If you are not familiar with the game, you progress toward a goal, then you will land on a chute (or slide) which will throw you down further away from your goal.

Children will laugh at this game, but as adults, we often approach a setback as permanent, or as something which defines us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  1. Decide to get back up when...not if life throws you down.
  2. Learn from the situation and continue pushing toward your goal. 
  3. Laugh a lot and enjoy the journey. 

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For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-563-343-5412