Trackers are Winners. Winners are Trackers.

I have stolen the headline for this blog post from a couple of self-improvement gurus, which must at least include Brian Tracy and Darren Hardy. I have recently returned from a trip in the amazing country of Iceland. Today, back in Toronto, I went into and updated my “Unbroken Chain” file. This is a simple time and task tracker that I created in Excel. The “Unbroken Chain” is so named thanks to the “link” you add every day as you work. If you miss a day (or a “link”) of doing at least something regarding your business, you break the chain of success. I heard that Jerry Seinfeld used this technique — his “link” was to write at least one new joke each day. Apparently the technique worked out very well for him. 😉

I was sitting here today wondering why certain things weren’t going the way I intended (business-wise). I realized by going through my tracker that the answer is obvious: I am not dedicating enough time to certain tasks. That sounds simple, but if I hadn’t been tracking what I’ve been doing for the last few months by day by task by time committed, I know I wouldn’t have reached the same conclusion. It was yet another proof to mistrust what is going on in your head. Records on paper (or an e-document) are much better.

As of tonight, I shall change my daily blend of task and time commitments. Thank you, tracker!

"A Path to Somewhere Wonderful."  --Photo taken by yours truly during my trip to Iceland on my first hike.

“A Path to Somewhere Wonderful” — Photo taken by yours truly during my trip to Iceland in August 2014 on my first hike.

A Moment of Gratitude

Most mornings, after I have reviewed my goals, I also type out what I am grateful for. Today, the contrastingly undeliberative feeling of gratitude struck me point-blank while I was sitting outside a Timothy’s Coffee this early afternoon. I had indulged in a chocolate slice of cake and a medium soy latte. I took them outside with my laptop to a little shaded table. As I bit the cake and sipped the latte, I couldn’t help but think, “I am SO frigging fortunate!” I recalled hanging out with my lady friend just minutes earlier, I looked up at the sunny day and warm weather, I thought of the incredible freedom of having a laptop and being able to work on whatever I deemed most important — and was humbled. “WOW!” I can only say similarly. This attitude and the concept behind it I know might seem corny to some people, but believe me — the vast majority of people on this planet will never have a day like this.

I want to acknowledge the fact that I am part of the fortunate few: “Thank you, universe.”

And to anybody reading this, please note: GRATITUDE CRUSHES FEAR.

A Simple Moment of Gratitude

Network Fretwork

For fun, I looked up the word, “network” at rhymezone.com and got “fretwork,” which is (of course) related to guitar frets. It was the only word that was a perfect rhyme. I found this amusing since guitar is a part of my passion.

I have been spending quite a bit of time networking: meeting new people in person, using social media and attending official networking events. I have sometimes been thinking of this as a questionable use of my time. It’s definitely not one of those instantly measurable return-on-investment things, which my psychology can have trouble embracing, i.e. I want instant return on investment due to my impatience. You also don’t know who you’re going to meet or what it might lead to. In any case, I am doing this because the business experts I have studied agree that it is very necessary for growth. Robot Dyniss is complying.

Speaking of Robot Dyniss, I have been frequently realizing as I meet new folks that I am doing a million things “right,” because the other folks do not appear to be doing the same. It makes me feel like I have a massive advantage. For example, I met a nice fellow recently who started selling me on his business, but he opened with a long comment about how other people might tell me that his company is “bad.” I know even without having studied sales (which I have been doing), that you shouldn’t open any introduction with negative comments unless you are explaining a prospect’s pain that you are able to remedy. I mentioned this kindly to him, but he replied with a very detailed response on why he was doing it. He justified it pretty well, but if I were in the same boat and felt I had to do that, I would know that I was working for the wrong company.

So I seem to be doing lots right. Let’s go, universe — let’s go!

Time for a New Approach

Back on January 16, 2014, I created a calendar to put on my wall so it was “in my face” all the time. The intention was to create urgency so I would make things happen quickly. Today is 5 months later.

The first attached photo shows the calendar just before I tore it off the wall today. Note the ticks until June 22. For all I know, the daily image showing August as an endpoint (my cash savings limit) has been negatively affecting my subconsciousness. What if the August date has been creating a failure target, rather than a success target? The second attached photo shows a wood (pine) board that I punched (karate-style) in January, too. It was part of a symbolic “breakthrough” exercise at the Toronto Power Group. However, the symbolism did not work. Financial BHAGs may have also been negatively affecting my subconsciousness. What if I didn’t believe them in the first place?

I review my goals every morning. This morning, I started seriously hacking at them because I have been missing my biggest goals. I gave myself many “shoot for the stars” goals, but in most cases, didn’t even “hit the moon.” “Hitting the moon” is supposed to be the consolation prize for one’s BHAGs. Having missed them has affected my psychology. I ask myself: Why keep setting them if they cannot be achieved? Therefore, following the common advice of, “Stop doing the same things if you expect different results,” I am tearing down the calendar and parking my big financial goals. I will focus on creating outstanding value for others and increasing my effectiveness instead. The money will follow. A few successful individuals whom I met in person recently said, “Never chase the money.” OK universe — this is my new approach.

Taken on the last day I'll have this on my wall. I want better subconscious nutrition.

Taken on the last day I’ll have this on my wall. I want better subconscious nutrition.

"Previous financial goals missed."

“Previous financial goals missed.”

What am I doing?

I sometimes experience moments where I have caught myself highly focused or putting intense energy into my work. I will flip into a personal reality check. It’s usually a bit humorous and a bit sad. I realize that I’m frowning or feeling tired and frustrated as I push through the work. The question that enters my mind is, “What am I doing?” And sometimes pessimistically, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” You see, the highly focused energy I might put into, entering new contacts into Outlook, Gmail, MailChimp — and then sending the contacts a personally crafted email — takes a lot of time. When I hit the email “send” button for a completed contact — I know that I might not ever hear back from him or her. So I question why am doing that task at all. Might there not be a better way to spend my time? Should I really be putting energy into something where I’m not seeing measurable results? I hate to use this word — faith — but it’s sometimes what I’m hanging on to. I’ve been studying many best practices about building a business, and I think I’m following most of them pretty well so far. But where is that payoff? I sometimes question it all. I shall keep on truckin’ in any case!
Faith Roadsign

I’m Going Corporate

I’m joking a bit with the headline. Yesterday I finished my new website to support organizations with my live show concept. The new website is alive as of today, so check it out! Creating everything from start to finish took around 2 weeks of hard work, but the end result is nice ‘n simple.

I struggled with the idea of spending a ton of time building that website, then spending a ton of time re-building this website (www.dyniss.com), which is overdue for a facelift. I decided that it would be smart to be as efficient as possible, i.e. I will eventually clone my new organizational website and use the clone here. Of course, there will be different pages, but it will save me a ton of future work. I’ll blog more about the other site soon because it’s a big bold new move.

Dyniss Keynote Concerts

Dyniss Keynote Concerts

Canadian Music Week follow-up

The last time I thought, “That was some of the best money I ever spent,” I had attended a Tony Robbins weekend. CMW2014 was an intensive 3 days of information absorption and networking. As for who I met who will create something mutually beneficial with me, it remains to be seen. I met so many people whom I will be in future regular contact with, that it is highly likely one or more of them will develop a synergistic relationship with me. How exciting!

Bruce Cockburn, one of my idols, was also one of the keynote speakers this year.

Bruce Cockburn, one of my idols, was also one of the keynote speakers this year.

Canadian Music Week Preparation

Around March 2014 (2 months ago), I wrote — for the first time ever — a short imaginary “movie script.” Writing such a thing was related to the concept of creative visualization. I jumped on the idea (although I was very aware of creative visualization in general) after seeing a YouTube video where one fellow was interviewing Jack Canfield about his success. The young fellow said to Jack that he had written a movie about meeting and interviewing him just like he was doing.
In any case, in my own movie, I meet a person or persons at Canadian Music Week’s 3 day Summit who will seriously benefit me. I will of course also seriously benefit them. That’s what all ideal relationships should be like. How this will come about and in what form I have no idea. I suppose that’s part of the fun. I shall follow-up in this blog with the magical result!
CMW 2014

Who are you?

“Who are you?” is the sort of question I’ve noticed most people struggle to answer. “What do you mean by that?” is the most common comeback. The answer is: If you had to put yourself into only 1 or 2 sentences that explained who you really were in the universe and/or what your biggest goal was — could you do it? Most folks I’ve seen reply with their names and career titles. Life of course can be much more than a career, although some people are 100% defined by it — and that’s cool too! But if you thought about it — would your career only define you?
I’m writing this post because I struggled over the last few days to create a TAGLINE for my name/brand. This isn’t EXACTLY the same as what I’m describing above, but I had to go to the very root of what I am trying to do / give / share with the world that is authentically me. PS I slightly updated my logo as part of the process. So here it is: “Dyniss the Man of Song: Transcending the live audience relationship.”
Cool, eh? And you are left wondering (in a very good way IMHO) what the heck I am talking about in the tagline. You’ll just have to see me live to find out. 🙂
Dyniss Logo

Video Demo Time

I had two full (and successful) test shows a week ago. But when I reached out to a booking agent I had never met, I realized from his response (and at least temporary rejection) that he didn’t fully comprehend what I was providing. Therefore, I decided that I must provide a clear video demo to book new shows. After editing a demo at home, I shared it with a few friends/family, asking for feedback. Wow — there was a lot of constructive feedback. I got pretty upset at first — not because of criticisms — but because I realized that I had to do it all over again. Time feels so short and I’m missing some of my primary goals with these detours. I don’t even know if the demo will capture anything for me.
Correction — after typing that, I know it HAS TO capture stuff for me! This ain’t no boring, “Listen to my mp3” way of doing things. Onward!

Photo by Vanessa Aquarius

Photo by Vanessa Aquarius