Category Archives: PERSONAL GROWTH


Sara Robinson Chambless: How to live mindfully, and why!

Sara Robinson Chambless is an inspired self-realization teacher whose writing, speaking, and wellness practice empower individuals to lead rich and satisfying lives free from worry, stress, and fear.

1. Learning from Thoreau that we do not need to lead “lives of quiet desperation”, feeling stuck on a treadmill, but rather can find what we are “supposed” to be doing and move to an authentic life;

2. Happiness is not something to be pursued in its own right, but is something that emerges when we make life choices that put us on the right path;

3. The key to all of this is living mindfully. And Sara not only gives us some general tips on mindfulness, but spends time making it practical and real in a business context.


This episode was originally published on A New Business Mindset!

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Get used to being uncomfortable

I have a good friend going through a tough time right now. He’s just recently suffered a big loss, and despite putting out a strong front to the world, I know he is struggling mightily.

“I suck at this,” he says. Followed by “I feel so broken.”

I get it. We’ve all been there.

And then today, as I write this, I had a big business setback myself. A project I was counting on fell through at the very last minute.

“How could this have happened to me,” I yelled out loud earlier today, within earshot of my poor wife who had no choice but to listen to my frustrated rant.

I’m feeling pretty blue as a result. This despite the fact that at this very moment in my life, I’ve never been happier, I’ve never felt more optimistic, and the growth track with my business remains overwhelmingly positive.

But setbacks and losses still suck. They still hurt. A lot. And it’s easy to fall into a tailspin as a result.

Here is what I am learning: Setbacks are a regular part of life. As much as you don’t want them to happen, they do. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE IN THIS MATTER.

And instead of curling up in the fetal position, or venting through loud vocal obscenities and rage like I do, foolishly, you have to suck it up and move on.

As a new friend of mine says, you have go forward, “Always Forward.”

Business and life is uncomfortable. It just is. If you expect it to be smooth and easy, you’ll be disappointed.

But it is moving forward, picking yourself back up, taking one step forward at a time = THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP GOING.

You know this, even if you are unwilling to admit it.

All the great ones do this. You can too. I can too. And I have to, for people are counting on me.

Life is uncomfortable. And it always will be. You have no choice but to accept that, and take that on as a personal challenge, and embrace it.

The Sun will come up tomorrow, the clock will keep ticking, dust will keep going through the hourglass, and you’ll still be there…

The question is will you be wallowing in it and sucking on your thumb? Or will you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward…Always Forward?

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Dave Griffin: How running leads to both personal AND professional growth

Joined on the show today by Dave Griffin, founder of Flying Feet Running Programs, and author of a new book called In the Distance: Why We Struggle Through the Demands of Running, and How It Leads Us to Peace.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Dave Griffin:

1. How the focus and drive needed to become a runner can aid and enhance professional motivation. This is more than just about running, it’s about professional development too!

2. How he used the benefits of training and running with others in his leadership of his corporate risk management team – his 4 unique takeaway tips.

3. The statistics that indicate successful leaders are also regular exercise enthusiasts – the psychological truths behind this.

4. How running takes us back to our early childhood years and why it is important to be in touch with that part of ourselves as we mature in business.

5. Of course, we discuss the health (and mental) benefits of running.

6. And for those who are NOT runners, Dave shares some insights on HOW TO START!

Find Dave Griffin’s latest book here:

About Dave Griffin:

Dave Griffin began running in 1976 as a high school freshman. He ran competitively through 1989 with PRs that include a 25:43 5M, a 32:11 10K and a 1:12:24 half marathon. After a 12-year period of casual running when his children were young, he returned to competitive running as a master.

Griffin started the Flying Feet Running Programs in 2004 while his daughter, Katie, was running in high school. The program has since grown to provide year-round coaching and support to runners of all experience and talent levels in the Carroll County, MD area.

Griffin began writing about running and life in 2006, when his bi-weekly column, Dave Griffin on Running, was introduced. In 2010, Dave published his first book, After the Last PR – The Virtues of Living a Runner’s Life.

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INCUBATOR 030: Jane Curth: Improve health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation

Joined in studio today by Jane Curth, Founder + CEO, of Healthyou. Healthyou improves users’ health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation. With data analysis, weekly feedback, and personal encouragement, users embark on a lifelong trajectory of healthy living.

Jan Curth

Discussion guide from our conversation with Jane Curth:

1. Healthyou background–including Jane’s background…what lead her to create Healthyou! And how was it started?

2. What does Healthyou do?

3. Importance of a healthy lifestyle. And why you have to set goals…

4. Importance of accountability in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

5. We discuss the technology behind Halthyou. And its integration with FitBit.

6. Who is Healthyou’s target audience?

7. We discuss Healthyou’s ONLINE COURSES, who they are for… Hint: Continuing Education1

8. New initiative of Healthyou — starting a new initiative in education to enhance the work they are already doing. Online courses are being developed that will give pertinent information to clients. Also, online elite courses are being developed that will provide continuing education credits to personal trainers and fitness professionals.

9. We wrap up with THE WELA question of the week: “What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever received for given?”

About Jane Curth:

Jane started Healthyou amidst a life dedicated to educating and encouraging people on the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle. She has been an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified Personal Trainer since 1998. She is also a retired college professor and has served for over 20 years in the field of Health and Kinesiology.

She has presented at over 18 state, regional, and national conferences on various health and fitness topics. She developed many online courses in her career and turned those experiences into her wellness coaching company, Healthyou. She is an active Baby Boomer living a wellness lifestyle and wants to help others in her generation, and younger, to live life to the fullest.


The Incubator is made possible by the following partners:

MD Burns Nash

Wela Logo_Strategies

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You don’t need to get up at 4AM each morning to be a success

Every day, I read some article that, if true, someone far more awesome than me has already done the following by 6AM:

photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2d1. They were wide awake, showered, dressed, and at their desk by 4AM…losing a half pound of weight in the process.
2. By 5AM, they had already written 2,000 words.
3. By 520AM, they had meditated for 20 minutes and achieved near enlightenment.
4. And by 6AM, with all the kids awake, bathed, and lunch boxes packed, they had also done yoga for an additional 20 minutes. Namaste my friend!

Let me boldly and proudly declare, that by 6AM, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. But, according to the internet, I am the only person on the entire planet still sleeping at this time in the morning.

Other essays I’ve read, some of these even more amazing people have also run a 5K (or more), prepared food from scratch (that they harvested from the back yard garden), have read the entire Wall Street Journal by 617AM, and have even done a little work to lower the Earth’s core temperature by .05 degrees.

These are truly amazing people. And all doing overtly sustainable activities before the Sun even rises.

By 617AM, I have probably read one or two articles on the Red Sox. And by then I have a 5 year old Golden Retriever standing on my chest giving me the vulture look. I will usually pretend to go back to sleep to fake her out, but Shiloh usually doinks me in the eye with the cold tip of her wet dog nose to tell me I am full of it.

Around 625AM, I will have stolen a look at my lovely wife, who is forcing her eyes closed so that I am made to believe she isn’t awake yet. For she doesn’t really want to talk to me until 10AM at the earliest. Trust me, she’s awake.

Seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people who have rewritten the U.S. Constitution by sunup. Who are all of these people? Why are they so perfect? How is it that with all of these amazing people, we still have cancer, and why are geopolitical affairs still such a mess?

Are these people for real? Are they even real?

Despite my obvious failings in the wee hours of the morning, I am still happy. I am still running a growing and successful business, I have a wife that loves me (after 10AM), and I have two happy, healthy dogs.

And oh, I haven’t even told you the really bad news yet: The first two things I do in the morning:

1. Check Facebook.
2. Read my email.

Yes, since you started reading this essay, there have been about 300 new articles published condemning humans for checking email and social media before midday.

And yes, despite the fact that I DO NOT get up at 4AM each morning AND check email and Facebook whilst still in bed, here is a list of the things I happen to still accomplish:

1. I read a book a week.
2. I run at least a 5K three to four times a week.
3. I walk my dogs round Chicago the non-running days of the week.
4. I run a business.
5. I conduct a dozen radio interviews for my business.
6. I explore my city (which translates to: I eat a lot).

I do all these things when I can, and when I want to. I check email as often as I want to. I check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram whenever I want to.

Look, I am not condemning people who have a set morning routine. I admire them for getting up early and achieving things.

It just doesn’t work for me.

For me, every day is different. My interview schedule varies each day. Some days I am on the road. Some days Stephanie and I have plans. Some days are running days. I just simply cannot follow a strict routine day in and day out.

But you do have to find out what works for you. And stick to it. Or at least know WHAT you have to do, and be disciplined to get it done over the course of the day.

Just don’t judge me when I don’t rise at 4AM. We are all different, and we are all wired in different ways. I am glad to hear you’ve figured out what works for you, and appreciate you sharing it with us. It may very well inspire someone to try something new.

Live life on your terms. Don’t be guilted into following a process that isn’t right for you, just to please some superhero that probably isn’t real…

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Todd Schnick’s 2015-2017 Reading List

A list of the books I’ve completed from 2015-2017 (most recent on top):

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney.

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield.

The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene. An intense read, and what I believe is the modern guide book for those in business and politics. A 21st Century version of The Prince.

Open Up and Say AAAH: Discover…Who You Are Now Shape…Who You Are Becoming Create…What You Want to Experience by Erica Peitler.

Open by Andre Agassi. If you are a sports fan, you don’t want to miss this book. If you are a tennis fan, you’ll be over the Moon and will wonder why you waited this long to read this memoir.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F_ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. I can only recommend this book to….pretty much everyone on the planet. As the author would tell you, you are giving too many fucks about too many (insignificant) things…

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I thought I knew the story of Nike, but I didn’t. This book is amazing. Rarely have I been more inspired. They always say a book might just possibly change a life. It might have just happened to me…

Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher.

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge. A friend recommended this to me, not because I needed it (but I did), but because she wanted me to interview the authors. The best book I’ve read on how to slow (and almost stop) aging, and live a productive happy life well into your senior years.

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. If you see life as full of roadblocks, you desperately need this book.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. My all-time favorite book. I lost my old beaten up copy from high school in the move, so I bought a new copy from a cool, local independent bookstore in the Chicago Loop.

Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. My favorite business book, which I try to read at least once per year.

I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter. I interviewed this Pulitzer Prize winning writer a while back. I do enjoy his Swagger novels.

What Would Keith Richards Do? by Jessica Pallington West. If you don’t like all the usual writers of philosophy, you might look to Keef as your new source of how to survive and live life. What a fascinating read. A gift from my friend Bill Wooditch.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. I try to read this book once per year. My all-time favorite read on being more creative. It’s a must read. In the book, he shares this simple manifesto: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

The Prince by Nicollo Machiavelli. The classic read on achieving and holding power, and one I haven’t read since my early days in politics. “It’s better to be feared, than loved.”

A Stranger To Myself by Willy Peter Reese. A German soldier shares his journal of life from the Eastern front of WWII. This is a horrifying account of war, and for me, an eye-opening understanding of a part of the war I knew very little about…Hitler’s invasion into Russia. A gift from my friend, Bill Wooditch.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More + Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier.

The Sun + The Moon + And The Rolling Stones by Rich Cohen.

Leading With GRIT by Laurie Sudbrink. And Laurie and I did a complete audio series around GRIT, which you can find here!

Washington’s Spymaster, the Revolutionary War memoirs of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge.

Thumbs Up: 5 Steps To Create the Life of Your Dreams by Joey Reiman.

Always Forward by William Wooditch. A great read to help kickstart your sales…and life. And Bill and I have recorded a new series that will launch late May 2016. Get a preview here – Be A Game Changer!

One+One Equals Three by Dave Trott. If you are in marketing, you need to read EVERY book by Dave as soon as possible. Will change your thinking instantly.

Life by Keith Richards. If you dig music, the sixties, and the history of rock n’ roll, this is a can’t miss. One of my favorite books of all-time.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

And the Good News Is: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side by Dana Perino.

Not Taught: What It Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody’s Teaching You by Jim Keenan.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man by Jerry Weintraub. My second favorite book from this year. If you have any interest in the entertainment industry, you’ll totally dig this book.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

Think Round: How To Own The Future By Focusing 100% Of Your Company On Customers & Consumers 100% Of The Time by Martha Pease. Click here to listen to my interview with the author!

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons by Tim Kreider.

Letters from a Stoic (Hardcover Classics) by Seneca.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk. My conversation with Gary, where he teases the idea of this very book…

Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman (Classic Reprint) by Robert R. Updegraff. Or, click here for the free PDF download!

The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood by Jeff Cohen. You may know the author as Chunk from The Goonies, but now is a high-powered dealmaker in Hollywood, and this book is his process. Fantastic. And CLICK HERE to listen to my recent interview with him.

Thumbs Up!: Five Steps to Create the Life of Your Dreams by Joey Reiman. This book is in my 2015 Top Five. CLICK HERE to check out my recent interview with the author!

Just Add Water by Michael Baldwin. If you do a lot of speaking and presentations, this book is a MUST READ. Here is an interview of mine with the author.

The Sales and Marketing Nexus: A Quick Hit Guide On How to Grow Your Business and Increase Revenue by Travis Kennedy.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. The best book I’ve read in 2015.

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.

The Effective Executive (Harperbusiness Essentials) by Peter Drucker. Here are some my lessons learned from Drucker’s book.

Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman. Check out my recent interview with Peter on the release of this book!

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield.

Prolific: The Art & Science of Collecting, Creating and Communicating Your Ideas by Scott Ginsberg.

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield.

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon.

The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger Novels) by Stephen Hunter. If you have any historical interest in the JFK assassination, you’ll be intrigued by this book. Here is a link to an interview I did with Stephen Hunter, the author.

The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer. We ALL need to read this. Because we all need to slow down and sit still…

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. A great read for those of us in leadership roles with our organizations. This book will serve me well when I have to deal with tough situations. Worth the read!

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. A classic. Dated, sure, but still full of valuable lessons.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel. If you have launched or plan to start your own organization, this is a necessary read.

Introverts in Business: Being Quietly Successful by Alen Mayer. Enjoy my interview with Alen on this book!

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. If you enjoyed the film 300, you should probably read this book.

Advertising with Balls by David Bonner. This book used to be available as a free download, but I can no longer find the website. Email me if you want me to send you the PDF.

Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life: Build More Muscle. Burn More Fat. Have More Sex by John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein.

The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield. This is yet another book that I read annually. It is my favorite book of Pressfield’s.

V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone by Seth Godin and Hugh MacLeod. A short fun read. Sort of a Dr. Seuss book for adults!

Civil War Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) by Ambrose Bierce. As recommended by Ryan Holiday. One of the most unique Civil War books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot…

Poke the Box by Seth Godin. Yet another annual read. I didn’t interview Seth about this book, but about V is for Vulnerable. Enjoy.

The Flinch by Julien Smith. Another one of those books I read every year. Here is my interview with Julien from 2011 on this mind-blowing book.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. One of those books I read every year. My interview with Austin on this book.

The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James + Claudia Altucher. This book started slow for me, but I am really glad I read it. It finished strong.

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau. Here is a recent interview I did with Chris on this book. This is my favorite of his three books.

Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program by David Meerman Scott.