Podcast Episode 10: THE Thing Successful People Do

It turns out that what you do every day really does matter.  The most successful individuals on this planet have daily rituals to keep them at the top of their game.  And, overwhelmingly, the most successful and wealthy, read books.  Like, actual books.  Every single day.

She's On Her Toes

Ok, ok.  Some of them listen to books AND podcasts.  But reading the written word directly correlates to higher education and thus higher income.  Studies have shown that reading 7 or more books per year makes you 122% more likely to be a millionaire.  Why is that?

Maybe it’s because reading expands the mind and encourages creativity.  Maybe it’s because so many of us don’t read, that this type of continuous learning gives regular readers a huge advantage in business and in life.

Today, we’ll talk about all that AND share our favorite books and podcasts to help you develop a strong habit of reading.

Listen as we discuss why we all read, why reading is critical to developing a life of learning and curiosity, and our favorite books that had a profound impact on our lives.  We also share what we’re reading and listening to now … and of course some fun, beach reads.

Check out the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on Apple Podcasts and iTunes.  Click here.

As promised, here’s the list of what we’re reading and listening to …

Harry Potter Complete Book Series ($61.14) If you listened to the podcast, you know that these are the books that turned Emily into an avid reader.  And, even though I kind of made fun of her for being obsessed with this series, it makes complete sense that she loves this whimsical, fantastical series because she’s super creative.

Baby-Sitter’s Club Box Set ($29.16) – So … I’m a little older than both Emily and Christina.  I was in college when the first Harry Potter book was published, so I never got into that series.  But … I absolutely loved the Baby-Sitter’s Club when I was in grade school.  I could rip through like five of these books in a day.  This is a series about a group of girls that start their own business baby-sitting … hummm … seems fitting.

The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body ($5.80) – Christina shared that this book, written by Cameron Diaz, was really important to her after college because it helped her embrace healthy habits like working out and eating healthy, and really respecting her body and a balanced life.  It sounded like a great read, so I just ordered it myself.

Other books that have been important to us in life and work …

Never Lose A Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days ($17.32) 

How to Make Friends and Influence People ($9.60)

The Compound Effect ($10.71)

All of Malcolm Gladwell’s books … The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference ($12.67)Outliers: The Story of Success ($12.29) David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants ($10.71) Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking ($8.98)

The Checklist Manifesto ($11.37)

Think And Grow Rich ($7.99)

Think And Grow Rich for Women ($13.60)

The Road Less Stupid ($18.56)

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself ($7.67)

Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight ($15.24)

Fun books we recommend …

Jillian Flynn’s books … Gone Girl ($10.69) Sharp Objects ($8.99)Dark Places ($9.16)

Girls in the Garden ($9.54)

The Girl Before ($10.04)

Big Little Lies ($13.71)

What Alice Forgot ($9.80)

Podcasts we love to listen to …

Goal Digger Podcast

Side Hustle School

MFCEO Project

TED Radio Hour

How I Built This

Mind Body Green

Rich Roll Podcast


Up and Vanished

Whew!  That should keep you busy reading and listening for a while.  We’d love to hear if any of these books or podcasts helped you find clarity in your business or in life … or just helped you chill out on the beach!  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Ordering books from Amazon is super easy, but click here to get everything for your Kindle or Kindle App for your iPad.  You can also get audio books and magazines.

Or try Audible to listen to your books in the car, in the gym, or wherever you are.  They currently have a promotion to get 2 books free when you try it out.  Click here.

How TV Was Killing My Productivity

Back in June, I had an epiphany that TV was responsible for killing my productivity, so I cancelled my cable TV service.  Wait, what?  No TV?!  No TV?!

One of the biggest things wrong with my life was that I simply never had enough time to get everything done both for my business and in my personal life.  After I read a book called The Compound Effect, I realized that I did in fact have plenty of time, however, I was wasting it or using that time ineffectively.  And TV was a huge time-suck.

Think about it.  How much time do you spend watching TV?  How much time do you spend watching TV that isn’t uplifting or impacts your mood in a negative way (Real Housewives anyone?!).  How much time do you spend watching shows you’ve already seen (um, HGTV)?  What would happen if instead of watching TV, you did other things, like read, write a blog, plan goals for yourself or your business?  How much more would you get accomplished?  In a day, a week, a month?

Don’t worry.  There are plenty of things that I can watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  And most importantly, all the mindless, stupid TV that I was watching before is not a part of those services.  Oh, and I’m saving over $1,000/year by not paying for cable.  Not too shabby.

The decision to cancel cable probably seems a little drastic to most of you.  I’ll do my best to answer all the questions swirling around in your head right now…

How do I watch the news?    –So here’s the thing about the news.  Most of it doesn’t impact me or my business at all.  A lot of news is depressing and irrelevant to what I’m trying to accomplish in my life.  And as a bonus, I didn’t have to watch one political ad during Election Season.  Do you wish you hadn’t watched any political ads in 2016?  I’m sure you do.

When I cancelled cable, I cancelled my Wall Street Journal subscription as well, which was actually harder to adjust to than not having cable.  I have the WSJ and NYT apps on my phone and have alerts set up, so if something big happens, I hear about it.  WXII, one of our local news stations, has an app as well.  Or I can log onto the WXII website and keep up with news and weather by watching live, which is what I did when tracking the recent snow storm we just experienced.  And this is kind of interesting.  I find that if it’s really important, someone will tell me about it.  Who knew?!

Um, sorry.  What about Fixer Upper?   –Haha.  I do love Fixer Upper.  So, it turns out that a lot of HGTV shows are on Netflix including the first two seasons of Fixer Upper.  The latest season of Fixer Upper is available on Amazon—you will have to pay for it, but at $24.99 for the season, you’re still coming out ahead from paying for a cable subscription.

What about sports?  –I don’t watch that many games on TV.  I’m either going to watch them in person—Go Deacs!—or going to a friend’s house to watch with a group.  Not a big loss there.  But last time I checked, ESPN had plenty of apps.  And it’s kind of amazing to see what people have to say about games live on Twitter.

What about HBO, Showtime, etc?  –I really like the show Billions, so eventually I’m going to break down and buy access to Showtime on Amazon which is $8.99/month after a 7-day free trial (this would include access to all Showtime shows and movies each month—pretty good deal compared to what the cable company charges).  But the second season isn’t out yet, so I’ll save my money until it is.

What I’m trying to say, is there are plenty of things for me to watch without having to pay for cable TV.  And since I can’t just mindlessly turn on the TV, sit down and scroll through the channels—I actually have to figure out what to watch, with intent—I’m not accidentally wasting hours and hours watching shows I don’t even like or put me in a bad mood.  If I chose to binge-watch something, I’ve made the decision to binge-watch because I’m interested in watching and I’m good with it.

What am I doing with all this extra time?  Well, I’m writing this blog, working on my business, spending more time with friends and reading—I’m a big reader.  Here’s what I’ve been reading in the past few months.

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy:  I recommended this book in a previous post because it literally changed my life.  I even bought a copy for everyone on my Team as a Holiday gift and I’m pretty sure most of them have read it. This book is all about making small changes that “compound” to effect bigger more amazing changes.  And it really works. Anyways, get this book immediately, if not sooner.  Read it.  Implement just one suggestion—after all it’s called The Compound Effect.  See what happens.  I’m going to keep talking about The Compound Effect in my blog, so you should probably just break down and buy it—then read it.

How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie:  This book is amazing.  I wish I had read it years ago.  It’s an especially good read for this time of year (January) since we tend to be more receptive to change and making better choices.  In the book, Carnegie, discusses many topics including how to make a good first impression, how to criticize other people without them hating you, how to become a good conversationalist and many more.  It really all boils down to listening to others and The Golden Rule.  Who doesn’t need a reminder to do unto others as you would have others do unto you?

The Bourbon Empire, Reid Mitenbuler:  I love bourbon.  But this book is about more than liquor.  It’s a book about business, marketing and plenty of American history sprinkled in.

Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home:  Domino Magazine was the best magazine on home décor and style that no one knew about—which is why it stopped being published back in 2008 or 2009.  Oops.  It has since come back as a quarterly publication.  For a long time, I could only find it at Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, but now you can actually subscribe to it.  Yea!  Since I want to buy a home this year, I’m enjoying flipping through this book as well as Domino: The Book of Decorating (which I already own) to stay inspired and excited about this impending HUGE purchase.

SUCCESS Magazine:  I used to just pick up a copy of this when I was at the airport.  But a few months ago, I bit the bullet and bought a subscription.  Each magazine includes a CD, which is great to listen to in the car.  If you believe that surrounding yourself with successful people leads you to being successful, then this magazine is for you.  I always pick up some great ideas from each issue.  Warning: If you are in the fitness industry, like I am, you will find the articles and “tips” about working out and eating healthy super-cheesy and lame.  But you have to keep in mind that most people don’t prioritize their health like we do—or make a living promoting health.  Drink another green juice and be glad you’ve got one less area of your life to worry about.

There you have it.  All the topics and things I’ve been filling my head with instead of bad TV shows including The Real Housewives and the seemingly limitless stream of House Hunter reruns.

In my next post, I’ll give you a list of my favorite podcasts, one of which, just gave me a list of some amazing books to read.  And the circle continues!

Until then, stay on your toes!

Are Your Bad Habits Holding Your Business Back?

I am an early riser.  I’ve always been able to just jump out of bed and get going when the alarm goes off.  No snooze.  No grace period.  Once I’m up, I’m up.  You can get so much done before the rest of the world gets up.  It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish when no one else is bothering you—I mean when you have total focus and some quiet.

Being able to get up early with a clear mind has definitely been an asset since I own 2 fitness studios and those 6:00 AM classes are always busy with our most dedicated clients.  Gotta be “on” to teach class that early in the morning.

But…at some point I started developing some really bad early morning habits that started to impact my business in a negative way.  What was I doing that was so bad?  When my alarm went off, the first thing I did was reach for my phone and check my email.  Uh, that’s not so bad, you might think.  You’re just checking your email.  You’d check it when you got into work.  I check my email all the time, no big deal.  What’s the problem with checking email when you get up?

Many of you in the service industry can probably relate to what I’m about to write.  Clients wait until the evening to complain over email.  They sit down and write out their complaints or sometimes just questions, but mostly complaints, in the evening.  Since I try not to check my email past 9:00 PM, I get all these messages first thing in the morning.  The first thing I see in the morning by checking my email are complaints.  And while I love my clients and work really hard to make sure they are getting superior customer service, reading about all the things you and your employees are doing wrong, incorrectly or inefficiently doesn’t make for a great mood in the morning when you’re trying to get ready for the day.  In fact, I started snoozing and needing a lot more coffee to be my peppy self.  I also started complaining more, being more resentful and just not having the best time at work.

As a successful business owner, you need to start each day as if it’s the most important day of your life.  Your energy needs to be high.  Your focus and dedication rock solid.  Why?  Because anything less will negatively impact your employees.  Yep.  Your employees.

Your Team looks to you to set the tone at your business.  If your tone is mopey and slightly on edge because you wake up and read negative emails first thing, it shouldn’t be surprising that your Team is mopey and slightly on edge as well.  They take their cues from you.

So, luckily I stopped looking at my email when I got up.  And started spending at least an hour reading business books or anything uplifting.  Sometimes I listen to business podcasts.  It was amazing.  My mood improved.  I didn’t feel so rushed in the morning.  And because I was operating with an improved outlook and mood—you guessed it—my Team started working harder as well.

If you are interested in furthering your success or even just getting on the right path to becoming more successful, I recommend the following:

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy:  This book literally changed my life.  My business coach, Mary Ann, gave me a copy to read before one of our first meetings.  Since reading the book, I cancelled my cable, started reading every day, enacted a strict budget both for my personal spending and business spending, and stopped going to Starbucks every day for coffee (I still drink coffee.  And sometimes go to Starbucks.  Seriously, that would be terrible to have to give that up.  But I learned how to make a latte at home—that tastes just like Starbucks.  Bonus post tomorrow on that.  It’s really easy and I only had to spend $40 to get the right tools.)  Anyways, back to The Compound Effect…this book is all about making small changes that “compound” to effect bigger more amazing changes.  And it really works.  If you are in the fitness industry you can attest, like I can, that just making one change to work out on a regular basis leads to making other smarter choices about food and drinking.  Then all of a sudden you’ve lost weight and people are commenting about how good you look.  Anyways, get this book immediately, if not sooner.  Read it.  Implement just one suggestion—after all it’s called The Compound Effect.  See what happens.  (Oh, if you are reading this and you are one of my employees, don’t buy the book.  You’re getting a copy at our holiday party. #spoileralert)

Success Principles, Jack Canfield:  If you’re going to read a book after The Compound Effect, read this one.  Jack Canfield was the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for The Soul series.  In Success Principles, you will literally learn what the world’s most successful people do and how to apply those principles to your own life.  I need to read this book again.  There was so much information.  It’s the kind of book that you could re-read many times and always pick up something new.

Think & Grow Rich, Napolean Hill: First published in 1937, this book is still applicable to today’s modern business world.  A must read.

#GirlBoss, Sophia Amoruso: When you get tired of reading about how to be successful from old, white, dudes, read this.  Ok, it’s true Amoruso’s company, Nasty Gal, just filed for bankruptcy, but the message of the book is on point.

The Little Red Book of Selling: Jeffrey Gittomer: Love, love, love this book.  I learned two things from this book.  1) The workday starts the night before.  In other words, you need to look at what you have planned for the next day to start mentally mapping out how your day will go.  It works—if you have a plan and are mentally prepared, you win every time.  2) If you can’t get in front of the decision maker to make the sale, you suck.  Some of you might think this is harsh, but it’s so true, it’s not funny.  If you are having trouble selling, either your product isn’t what people want (aka. “it sucks”) or you do.   So get better!

The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement, Howard E. Ferguson: I first read this book in high school because my dad got a copy.  And it really helped me stay focused to get up every morning for swim team (I lettered all four years and went on to swim in college).  I don’t even think this book is in print anymore, but you can buy used copies on Amazon.  If you need a cliff notes of any of the books above, this is the book for you.  This book is about getting “the edge” in life and it is comprised of quotes from anyone who was successful in sports, business, or politics.  Disclaimer: this book was published in 1990, so there are quotes from OJ Simpson and Joe Paterno.  Just pretend someone else said them.

This is a pretty good reading list to get you going.

When you’re operating your own business, it’s pretty easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day.  Setting some time up to learn is critical so that you can have the confidence to grow your business and develop your team.  I am convinced that 90% of successful business ownership is all between-the-ears.  The other 10% is just planning and hard work.  Meaning, if you’re struggling, you’ve got to change your perspective and outlook on life.  Get positive to have a positive impact on your sales.  If you don’t, your team will stagnate and you’ll just lag behind your competition.

So, bonus post tomorrow which will give details on how to make a great latte at home, without spending hundreds of dollars on a fancy espresso machine.  I’ll also post another cute pic of my dog, Harper.  And next week, I’ll discuss motivation.  How to stay motivated as well as how to keep your team motivated.  This can be tough when you have to motivate yourself day-in and day-out.  But it’s not impossible!

Until then, stay on your toes!