Stop The Vanilla Blog

Make It a Great Year – Start Today!

Success Ahead

I want to give you one simple tool to help you become better in all the areas of your life: as a spouse, business person, leader, employee, father, mother, son, daughter, and friend.

That simple tool is a “Life Map.” It’s a one page personal plan that helps you achieve success in all aspects of your life.  I am consistently working with clients and friends with their life map and I strongly recommend you start creating yours today.

The life map includes three columns.  Starting with the right column you begin your life map by defining your legacy. How do you want to be remembered when you leave this life?  Next, in the center column you write down your long-term objectives that will achieve your legacy.  Then in the far left column you write down your annual objectives that will help you accomplish your long-term objectives. Simple, but very effective!

It is best to complete your life map by going away each year for a couple of days to a quiet place where you can think and sort out your future.  Then each week (I do it every Friday) you review your annual objectives and develop action plans for the coming week to achieve them.

For example, I developed my first life map about four years ago. It has changed my life forever. In my legacy, I want my kids to view their dad as a mentor and adult friend they can talk to about anything.  That starts by spending individual time with them now.  So my annual objectives include going with them to concerts, events and just being together.  One of my business objectives is to be a respected author and speaker.

As with any plan, discipline and accountability are necessary. If you need to find someone to hold you accountable to your life map, share it with a close friend or mentor.  How do you want to be remembered? What will you do in 2015 to build that legacy? You can do it. You just have to get started today.

Go to  to download the life map template and create your personal plan to make 2015 a great year for you. Remember, Those Who Plan – PROFIT!

Success by Seeking to do Life Together


Can you imagine having someone that you can call at any time that always understands where you are coming from? No judgement, lecturing or condemnation. Regardless if you are a stay at home mom, a teacher, politician, machine operator or business leader that type of relationship is available to you.

It was 2003 and I was attending a behavioral science training conference and two other certified behavioral analysts approached me about starting a mastermind group. The power of having a “mastermind” or peer group is that your group members are all in similar positions in their career and life as you are. And because of that there is an incredibly deep connection that gives each of us the ability to really understand and help each other.   We know when to encourage, when to hold each other accountable, or when to just listen.

I cannot tell you how important these two people have become to me since we established our mastermind group. I can talk with them and they understand me because they are living the same life I am. Because they are in the same spot, we face many of the same challenges and as a result solve them together for the benefit of all of our lives.   There is no challenge that one of us has not already faced or that we can’t overcome together.   What I learn in each and every interaction with my mastermind group accelerates my professional and personal success.

So where do you find such close confidantes? It’s easy. Define who you are and start looking for others in similar situations.   They have the same position in the same industry and are at the same stage in life. Social media makes this easier than ever.   Or like I did, go to an industry conference and find someone in a similar position to you. Regardless of the position or role you fill in life, there is someone who is living a very similar life to you. For example, in my mastermind all members are building a consulting practice, as I am. We are similar in age, and we all have families with children.

One lives in Phoenix and the other in Lexington, Kentucky. This distance may sound difficult, but with today’s technology, it isn’t a problem. We call when we need each other; we meet in person at least once a year and on Skype nine times a year. During each meeting, each person gets 30 minutes to discuss whatever they want.   We typically focus on the top opportunity or challenge we are facing at that time and develop a plan to succeed in the situation.

We have set up certain rules of engagement. For example, when a mastermind member reaches out, you must respond within an hour and let him know when you can talk in depth. Immediate access is critical for those times when “surprises” come up in life that we all experience. Confidentiality is an unconditional rule of engagement. We operate with total transparency and openness.  At the start of each year, each mastermind member presents a review of last year and what they want to accomplish in the New Year. We are not competing with each other. Together we are competing against the rest of the world.

The relationships that you build in a mastermind or peer group will change your life. And the breakthroughs that you experience individually and as a group are transformational. There is no question that I am much farther ahead in my career and life because of my involvement in a peer group.   And I want to thank my YTM mastermind group for that.

There is real peace in knowing that regardless of the challenges life puts in front of you that you do not have do it alone. Find three to five other people like you to create your own mastermind group and seek a successful life together. Remember, Those Who Plan – Profit!

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