Thursday, September 24, 2015

Why You Should Redefine Your Limits

The drive to be or do something you and/or others perceive as impossible. The courage to give one’s self permission to try and do a task that is meaningful and REALLY hard. The joy of sharing that accomplishment with everyone around you. And to receive the support of all who believe in you. That is the human spirit at work people. And it is time for you to wake up and let it into your life!

Redefining your limits sometimes isn’t just for you. It is also for the benefit of those around you. This was never more evident to me than when I recently had the incredible opportunity to join the Project Athena Foundation ( for one of their adventures in the Florida Keys. The purpose of Project Athena is to help female survivors live their adventurous dreams through participation in outdoor activities such as running, hiking, biking and kayaking in some of the most beautiful places in the USA. 

Project Athena is about focusing on the comeback, not the setback.

On our trip, we were blessed to support and sweat side-by-side with six beautiful and courageous women (our Athenas) as they ran, paddled and pedaled over 120 miles from Key Largo to Key West. They showed themselves and us that redefining their limits after a significant medical setback wasn’t about what they can no longer do. They redefined their limits beyond what they ever thought possible.

Wheelchairs. Chemotherapy. Debilitating drug side effects. Poor prognoses. Painful surgeries. These things defined the past for all six women. Yet they all found the will and the spirit to kick the butt of what held them back and made a comeback of epic proportions. What a thrill to watch!

They redefined what they thought was possible – even though they each had their fears – and created a lasting impact on their lives and those who supported them along the way. Be your own hero? Indeed … They amazed and inspired themselves for sure.

See, here’s the thing. Being amazing is really hard work. Testing your limits takes courage and guts and the will to accept the fact that you will get bumped and bruised along the way. Redefining your limits is the only way you will ever know what is possible for you.

Be scared … have fear … wonder … and then put one foot in front of the other because winning is all in front of you. What lies behind you is merely an input – the past doesn’t define who you are as a person, a parent, a leader, an employer, a coach or … a friend.

If it is true in your mind, it is true. Good or bad, positive or negative – it is true. Breaking through your own personal barriers of disbelief is the key to true success in business and in life.

What are your barriers that hold you back? What should be redefined in order for victory to be firmly in your grasp? I know you know what these barriers are for you. Be candid with yourself and hit them head on. It’ll be amazing when you do! I promise.

My soul and my spirit were lifted high by the courage and tenacity of the Athena women in the Keys. They taught me to be a better person and to redefine my limits. These Athenas inspired me to look beyond my barriers and try harder.

And when I congratulated one of the Athenas on a great kayak paddle that particular day, she said “I’m trying.” I responded and told her, “No … you are doing. And it’s amazing!”

Get on with the doin’. Be curious. Give yourself permission not to be perfect all the time. Step over the line that defines your comfort zone and knock the barriers down that stand in your way.

Your life (and your business) becomes amazing when you do. And your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing – I dare ya!
If you would like to talk about how to create a more impactful business, leadership or life outcome for you or your team, give me a call or drop me an email. Let’s find ways to uncover together what will make you simply amazing.
Thanks, and until next time, go ahead and Dare to be Amazing! What have you got to lose?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dare To Be Amazing – But How?

Often when I am at a speaking engagement or a networking event, people will look at the name of my business (Dare To Be Amazing) and ask what I am daring people to do. I love that question and enjoy the conversation that ensues. In the end, the person who asks walks away with a smile and some inspiration.

Dare To Be Amazing is not just a suggestion, but is a way of life for me and many others. And I encourage the same for every one of you as you make decisions each hour of each day on how to live your life. Candidly, what other option do you have?

One of the quotes I admire the most is taken from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt on April 23, 1910. Those who know me appreciate how much it means, so much so that for Christmas this past year my nieces and nephews gifted me a large print with this quote on it. It is way cool!

To solidify in your mind the most impactful way to dare to be amazing, here is an excerpt from that speech over 100 years ago. It has now been titled “In The Arena.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

See, here’s the thing. Critics don’t make the world, your job, or your family better. Those who take risks and take action do. Make sense? Just ask the Seattle Seahawks. It was their game to win or lose at the Super Bowl, not ours. Who are we to criticize the play called at the end of the game?

When I dare you to be amazing, I am daring you to have courage. I am daring you to try. To get in motion and stay in motion. To be curious about what is possible if you push just a little harder. To be refined by your experiences and not defined by those things that work against you. And, as Teddy Roosevelt said in 1910, I am daring you to step into the arena and play the game. To dare greatly!

Courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens you; to have strength in the face of challenge. For me, courage is the willingness to try something even though it might make me sweat, hurt or even cry a little. Kind of like my Crossfit workout this morning! I wanted to quit at least five times but I kept hearing Teddy in my head. He inspired me to push through the pain … to be brave!

Sitting on the sidelines and wondering what could be is not an ingredient of success. The risks and steps you take do not have to be ginormous. What is one thing you could do today that will progress you two inches in the direction of your goal? Just two inches!! That’s it…no more…stop right there and admire your progress. Celebrate and stay in the arena to do it again and again and again.


Your life (and your business) becomes amazing when you do. And your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing – I dare ya!

Monday, March 2, 2015

How Your Behaviors Influence Others

Did you ever notice that in your workplace, family or circle of friends, members will take on the habits of those in a leadership role? It manifests itself in the members’ actions, in how they talk, what they say, and maybe even in their physical mannerisms. It is an interesting social study and one you should be keenly aware of as a leader.

 “Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels or believes.”
 ~ Emily Dickinson

See, here’s the thing. People might just start changing their behavior because you changed yours. Your employees and team members look to you to gauge the pulse and mood of the organization. They watch and analyze your actions in order to determine the attitude and behaviors that feel most appropriate and aligned with you. Most of the time their goal is to reflect your actions and behaviors within their own to support you and ensure alignment.

Isn’t that amazing? Folks choose their behaviors based on what they observe their leader doing or saying (or not saying). No doubt it’s a lot of pressure. They aren’t the paparazzi, but your employees and team members are watching you.

As a leader, you most certainly want folks aligned with you and reflecting your energy and passion and commitment, don’t you? I think you do. I know I sure did in my days as a corporate leader.

If you each take responsibility in shifting your own behaviors, you can trigger the type of changes in your folks that will enable your team and your organization to achieve amazing results. Everyone will be pulling in the same direction. And you will be building trust within in your team.

Look around you – it is present every day. Children of hard working parents often are hard workers. Employees of leaders who are generally negative take on a negative persona themselves. If you were to yell at someone today … betcha $10 you will get a less than pleasant response. See how this works? Your attitudes and actions are reflected in others.

Attitude invokes behaviors that are in alignment with that attitude. Plain and simple. Be the behavioral compass in your organization that will make a difference. Choose the high road when confronted with an irate person. Show up on Saturday when the employees are working overtime. Arrive to meetings on time and start them on time. Follow through on all of your commitments. And, let people know – from you personally – when they are exhibiting the behaviors that make a difference.

Look in the behavioral mirror today and absorb what you see. What do you notice about your attitudes and/or behaviors that may be affecting your team members in an undesirable way? What should you be changing in yourself so that others can dare to be amazing?

Commit to just one change today and see how it works for you. I look forward to hearing about your outcomes.

Your life (and your business) becomes amazing when you do. And your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing – I dare ya!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


What do you want to be when you grow up? As a kid, this question stirred up dreams of being a doctor or an astronaut or a pilot. Maybe even a ballerina or a policeman or firefighter. That kid always had an amazing vision of what their career would look like. So … umm … what happened along the way?

Life happened … that’s what! And when it comes to the careers and motivations that you have you can either just “let it happen” or you can make a choice to take charge of the direction things are taking. Yep, I said make a choice.

See, here’s the thing. Regardless of what your boss and the HR department tell you, or what you want to believe, no one cares more about your career than you do. Do you get that? No one has the passion for your career and your destiny at any higher level than you do. Maybe there are those rare exceptions, but in general this is true. I repeat … no one cares more about your career … your advancement … your sense of challenge and self worth … than YOU do.


If there is a really cool project in the making, go ahead and dare to ask to be involved. Or maybe even ask to lead the project. I remember asking if I could lead a project one time in my career and it was pivotal!! Thanks Jim for believing in me on that project.

When you start feeling like you can contribute more or want to shift your focus, bring the subject up with you boss and coworkers. They can’t read your mind ya know!

If an opportunity is presented to you that sounds like it could be way cool, at least give yourself permission to explore it and discover how amazing it just might be for you.

There are no wrong answers here when it comes to talking about what you think you might want to do.

And guess what, in your role as a leader or as the head of a household, the same applies to the folks you serve. I encourage to push those around you to play the lead role in driving their careers and their dreams instead of them relying on you to wave your wand and make it all happen for them. Coach them through why they must have the initiative, how they can make that possible and what benefits they can expect when they take charge.

I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do half of the things I did in my corporate career if I didn’t believe I was the one who cared the most about my career. No doubt I was blessed by working for and with people who were willing to take risks on a guy who cheated to get out of college. The fact is when I asked if I could try something bold, I was always rewarded for my courage, my drive and my intensity.

And you can enjoy these same results as well. Do you believe that?

Be intentional … be curious … be stubborn … wonder … and then put one foot in front of the other because winning is all in front of you. What lies behind you is merely an input – the past doesn’t define who you are as a person, a parent, a leader, an employer, a coach or … a friend.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Sit in the driver’s seat and there is no telling where YOU might take YOU!

Your life (and your business) becomes amazing when you do. And your life is happening right here, right now. Make it amazing – I dare ya!