My “WHY”

The other day my mother-in-law asked me, “Why do you share and tell everyone so much about you.” as she shook her head and gave me a look of bewilderment. I can understand her perspective. Coming from a generation where sharing your feelings, talking about your struggles and showing any form of weakness was frowned upon. How can I expect her to understand… It’s not her mind set. Over the course of my life, major adversities has come my way. Just like they do for all of us in different forms during your life. When I was a star athlete in high school I had to have surgery on both my knees. This took away a clear path to Division One sports for me. But, it put a chip on my shoulder. Giving me the drive to be the best I could be at whatever it is I am doing in life. I don’t take anything for granted. Because it could be taken from me in an instant. Alcoholism is something that runs rampant in my genes. This is an internal battle I face. Never letting it take me over… But, slipping to excessive drinking at times in my life, especially high school and college when the going got tuff. But, this internal struggle has shown me the power of positive thinking, conscious health and most of all willpower. Because focus and control over you and your surroundings drives one’s standards. The death of my father at a tender age
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“Focus Your Mind…”

Daily, I find myself discovering new opportunities to improve my mind, body, relationships and business. The problem is… Each new opportunity takes away from something I am working towards being great at already.   The constant mental battle between discovering new things and staying on your path towards greatness… is my struggle to the top.   Creating a daily agenda of monotonous tasks you know need to be accomplished. Then sticking with the agenda to accomplish those tasks over the long haul… makes me feel like all the oxygen is getting sucked out of my lungs.   I embrace the thrill of doing something new. It’s what I live for. However, when it comes to doing something over and over and over and over… Almost like packing products into a box as they come down the conveyor belt. That drives me nuts!!   Like Christopher Columbus, I strive to discover new lands and push myself into understanding the new world. Problem is, once I feel like I have it all figured out… I get bored and want to discover something new. It’s in this discovery about myself where I found the quest from good to great is immense. But, I know the key is focus.   Now, I am on a new quest to discover immense focus in myself. Towards the goal of becoming great at one thing. Instead of good at many.   Like Apa the “Super Sherpa” who has made it to the top of Mount Everest’s summit
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No Regrets

As I held my 96 year old Grandmothers hand Each and every day thoughts creep into our mind, like water dripping on our forehead, about why we didn’t do something. Why we found an excuse to pass up on our opportunity to take action. Yesterday, I made sure there were no regrets when it came to seeing my 96 year old Grandmother. It was a moment in my life for which I have never experience. I can say, it’s not something I’m good at… Sitting at the edge of Grandma’s bed for hours. Holding her hand starring into her squinted, wrinkled, eyes while observing her fight to take her next breath. As she held my hand all her strength went into clinching mine. I believe it was her way of hugging me. Holding onto me as if to say, “I will always be here with you.” As I sat by her side we talked about my wonderful wife, my two girls and all the things we are doing. As a mother of 8 children, Grandma knows what it’s like raising a family… She has done it all her life. With a faint smile and a whisper she said, “Show me pictures, of the girls.” I pulled my phone out and showed her the ones who mean everything to me. My three girls. After 20 minutes of me talking and Grandma fighting to open her eyes and see each picture. She clinched my hand tight saying, “My oldest grandson… Tell the
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Vikings Clean House! It’s time for a change

Change is inevitable for all of us. As many of you know through my emails or social media sites, I had a chance to hang with Case Kennum. If only for a brief moment during a visit when he was with the St. Louis Rams a few years back. I also tried my hand at helping him find a place to live when he first landed in Minnesota. you might be thinking, “Who Cares!” I can tell you, “I care.” Because once you get to know someone, shake their hand and hear their story… Like I do every week on my podcast. You get a brief glimpse into their world, their soul and what they are all about. Most of us call this a “First Impression.” My first impression of Case, “He is a really good dude!” I will never forget the smile on his face and how he genuinely shook my hand, gave a high-five to my kids and was more than willing to take pictures or whatever we wanted. I remember talking with Case when I was trying to help him find a home in a new land, Minnesota. Imagine moving from city to city. Year after year… Never knowing anyone. Always searching for a home. A place you can fit in. He was really excited about Minnesota. One year later… Everything changed. Like in sport, business is much the same when it comes to change. One day you are on top of the world. You feel like
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Purpose Before Profit – Crafting a Legend is about more than just survival

Back in 2003 I became a licensed real estate agent. Just 1 year out of college. Still living in the basement of my parents home, living on the little money I made from my bunk 9–5… Little did I know in 4 short years the market was going to crash and everyone would go into survival mode. Some agents choose to work with the banks, listing foreclosures. Others, like me, choose to help friends battle the banks negotiating short sales. Finally, you had the survivors who refused to do either. Scratching and clawing their way through the market just like all of us… With sheer grit and determination. Each and every one of us doing everything we could to survive. Like a starving child. Walking down the streets in a third world country. I was desperate to find my way in the real estate world. Desperate to grow my business and become the entrepreneur I knew I could be. It was in that desperations I lost focus on my purpose. I was starving… Hungry. As I made more and more money I realized the hunger inside me was not being quenched. When I dabbled in marketing gimmicks, cold calling, 10 days of pain lead generation and follow up I realized they all made me feel sick to my stomach. So sick, I couldn’t do it. But, that’s what the “Big Guys” were doing. Why am I any different… Deep into the real estate bust in 2010–2011 I was grinding on
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What if money didn’t matter ?

Money was abundant, your quality of life was everything you dream of Then what? In our society today it’s hard to ignore “Keeping up with the Joneses.” We all paint a picture of the perfect life. Married, 2 kids, a dog, beautiful home in the perfect neighborhood, with awesome schools and the perfect neighbors. Vacations once or twice a year to experience the world and a job that is fulfilling, not too much work and pays really good money. Doesn’t that sound perfect to you? Now imagine you had all of that and more. So much more you couldn’t even imagine it was real… Because it surpassed your wildest dreams. What would you do? Now, how would you live your life… What would give it meaning. How would you feel a sense of accomplishment. What would get you up in the morning. Do you think your perfect life would remain perfect forever… Or do you think human nature would kick in and maybe… Just maybe… It wouldn’t be as perfect as you thought. Think about it. This is where purpose comes in. When you live your life to fulfill a purpose you’ll find yourself waking up in the morning ready to take on anything. You will focus on achieving goals and positively impacting lives. Because you know. In order to achieve your ultimate purpose in life you can’t stop moving. You can’t stop improving. You will always know where you are going while embracing your journey to get there. You
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Leadership Is A Choice – To Put Yourself Last and Everyone Else First

I read this story from Josh Longawa a friend of mine on Facebook. It was so powerful I felt compelled to share it with you today: “So, I had a very intense event happen today while driving home with my son. I will give you the condensed version. While driving in St, Paul I noticed a car in a corner of a parking lot behind a van with one end of a hose in the exhaust pipe and the other end in the car window which was mostly rolled up. It took a minute to register in my head that someone was attempting to take their own life or perhaps the life of another. I had to turn around and see. I pulled into the parking lot I told my son to say in the car because I did not know what I might find. As I approached the car there was a young man slumped over the center of the front seat. I knocked loudly on the window and the man sat up. I opened the door and said “you can’t do this! This will kill you!” and said “do you promise”. I could feel the pain he was in and I could see it in his eyes. I burst into tears as I said people love you! There are so many people here that you haven’t even met yet that LOVE YOU. We sat for a while and talked. There is a quite a bit more to the
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Hard Work – The One Thing We All Control

I’m sick of hearing, “Those damn Millennial are lazy and don’t know what hard work is.” I was talking with my friend and well respected business owner Tim Murphy (Yes, we have the same name. He’s better looking.). Tim owns Murphy Automotive a very well run and successful company in the Edina and Lakeville area. In our conversation we talked about the frustration and misunderstanding between generations. His being the Baby Boomer generation and today’s Millennial. Our discussion naturally lead to talking about Millennials and how people perceive them as lazy and unmotivated. I told him the only thing I care about is “Hard Work!” If they choose to work hard I love them. If they choose to be lazy I don’t. But, I said, “The real problem is a misunderstanding of when, where and how hard work gets done. Therein lies the frustration.” Hard work is a choice. Every generation: Gen Xers’, Baby Boomer’s, those from “ The Silent Generation” and GI generation had individuals who chose to work hard and those who chose to avoid hard work at all costs. Why are so many saying the Millennials don’t work hard, are lazy and expect everything for nothing? I believe it’s perspective. You see, I’m a Gen Xer the small “forgotten generation” smashed between two large generations, from a population perspective. Gen Xers’ (1965–1984) have the Baby boomers (1946–1964) before us and the Millennials (1985–2004) after us. The majority of people I talk with who are most frustrated with
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Fear vs. Growth – A Fork in the road …

“What are you doing!” My good buddy and business partner Chris said to me when we were talking business this morning. “I am fasting for 120 hours.” I responded. “What does that mean? You’re eating something right?” Chris responded. “Nope, only water, tea and bone broth. It’s been 82 hours.” I told him. “You are NUTS!!! You have to eat. Your body needs it” Chris responded with a strong energetic voice.“Maybe just a little.” I said as I was laughing. Chris is not alone in his thinking. The anticipation of what will happen if my body doesn’t have food boggled his mind. Like Chris, my wife Sarah thinks I am NUTS!!! She is not in favor of this and genuinely fears for my health. I know her fear is real because I can feel her anxiety every time I or someone brings it up. I guess, I just look at it differently. Like most challenges in life… I tend to be the eternal optimist. Always looking at what is to gain not what could be lost. For some, like my wife, it can drive them nuts. For me it’s just the opposite. I will never understand those who always have an excuse for not trying something new. Those who anticipate the worst and block their minds from seeing opportunity. Funny thing is, Chris is one of the most daring people I know. Chris has jumped from air plane. Snowmobile to elevations of 12,000 feet in the mountains with powder so
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Are you likeable? If not maybe you should start liking …

Today I was listening to a podcast and the guest was Dr. Robert Cialdini. He only sold something like 46 million copies of his book “Influence The Psychology of Persuasion.” So you might have heard of him. In the podcast I was listening to him talked about a few of the psychological triggers social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and many others use. Human triggers, Human instincts we tend to utilize without even knowing it. One of them being “Liking” on social media. It might be a thumbs up, a heart, a fist bump or whatever the symbol is. What I found fascinating. This seems like common sense. We as humans know why Facebook put in a function for “Liking” other people’s posts. Because when we like their posts we build a stronger bond with that person on the other end. It is only human to build relationships with others we know, like and trust. That’s why I write you as often as I can. Because I feel safe with you. In return, for the safety you give me I want to give back to you. My way of giving back is by sharing my advice about life and business. It’s what I know. What blew my mind. When Dr. Robert Cialdini talked about how people they called “Fakers” use “Liking” as a tool to manipulate you. Yeah, so instead of being like you and me… The guys who actually take time to read each other’s posts, engage in
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