Ten Minutes

A few months ago, I was feeling extra motivated after I read something about the “habits of highly successful people.” I bet you can guess what some of them are. Even better, I bet you can guess what some of them are NOT. Sleep in….no. Procrastinate….no. Celebrate 5 days running of having at least one alcoholic beverage…unless you work for Samuel Adams, no. Basically, the article talked about these super-human CEO’s with 4% body fat and bodies that worked better than diesel engines and found out some common things that these people had in common. Get up early….yes. Read everyday…yes. Meditate, eat foods with less than 2 ingredients, exercise, disconnect, family, loved ones, unwind, no TV, animals, kids, yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway, after reading this and deciding that my life could use a little kick in the butt, I decided that I was going to get up an hour earlier than normal 3 days a week and either read, write, or exercise. I was realistic enough to know that  I wasn’t going to be able to do this 7 days a week just yet, but who knows, maybe after a few good months I would learn to enjoy the pain of this routine and expand on some of these good habits.

Well, like my childhood dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, this never happened. I found plenty of “good” reasons NOT to start this good-intentions project.

“Well, I don’t want to wake my wife up, so I probably shouldn’t do it.”

“Well, I work better at night, so maybe I should do it at the end of the day.” Cut to, “what time is it? Well, nothing more important than a good night’s sleep, so I probably shouldn’t do it.”

“I’m more active than most people my age, and I like writing at my lunch breaks at work, that’s probably more realistic for my life. Once I become CEO of my $10 billion company, THEN I’ll make sure to incorporate those habits into my daily routine. So, for now, I probably shouldn’t do it.”

So, in my last post, I wrote about being on the verge of something I think will change my life. It is very early on, but my wife and I have decided to commit to creating a start up business and we are going to begin making some things happen. Now, more than ever, I need to start making some changes in my life to watch less TV, and dedicate myself to making this dream a reality.

I still don’t think I can get up 3 days a week an hour before my alarm usually goes off (my wife would kill me), but I do think I can do 10 minutes.

I read another article that says if you can get early and just focus on a task without stopping for 10 minutes, you will begin to make some significant (positive) changes in your life. 10 minutes before you shower, eat, take the dog out or brush your teeth, just focus on something and see what happens. The author said that you might find yourself focused for 20, 45, or even 60 minutes (which would be great for trying to build a start up from the ground up).

So my new (and realistic) goal will simply be “10 minutes.” I haven’t quite figured out what I want to do for 10 minutes, but I’d like to get into some kind of routine. Maybe 3 days a week I brainstorm blog, 3 days a week I brainstorm startup, and 1 day a week I just stretch (because for the amount of running I tend do do leading up to half-marathons, I really NEED to start stretching).

Anyway, I am always trying to make myself a little bit better in one way or another. I really want to develop some habits that the ultra-productive 1% of the world have, and I think this might be a good first step.

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Chasing the Dream

I think everyone who has ever worked for somebody else has dreamed of running the show. From the stock room worker who dreams of her own clothing line to the 9-5 desk-jockey dreaming of the bigger office, everybody at one point or another has dreamed of making the rules.

I think I am on the verge of that chase.

Right now I work at a well-paying, 9-5 job. I don’t love the fact that I sit in front of a computer screen most of the day answering emails and filling out spreadsheets, but I genuinely like the people I work with and I think the work week moves pretty quickly.

SIDE NOTE: the last place I worked was very similar as far as what I did on a day to day basis, but the days and weeks drug on like there was no tomorrow. If you are reading this and you are stuck in a job where your days drags and you just watch the clock from the time you go in to the second you leave, start looking for something else.

Anyway, I like my job enough to not have any real complaints.

But….

I want to chase the dream. I want to dictate my own salary based on the amount of work I do as opposed to getting the same paycheck week to week. I think that will motivate me to push myself beyond what I have to this point. I want to work for something I believe in. Like I said, I like the company I work for now, but I don’t really care if the product we sell does great or tanks, so long as it doesn’t affect my paycheck. I want to have a titanium business card that reads, “Ryan Rauch: Owner and CEO,” or something to that effect.

I really think I am on the verge of that chase.

The scary thing is the jumping off point. I think without anything more than an idea, it’s hard to imagine leaving my desk job and really committing myself to this dream. But I also think that people think that about anything new.

Before you learn to ride a bike, you panic at the idea of your dad letting go of the seat and would never dream of being able to cruise around the neighborhood without even thinking about how hard riding a bike used to be.

Before you take that AP Algebra class, you look at the problems in the back of the book and think there’s no way you’ll ever grasp it. But you do…

Last year I ran my first marathon. If you would have told the overweight, high-school kid that I used to be that one day I would run 26 miles I would never have believed you. I had a hard enough time running around the outfield during baseball practice. But after I graduated college, I committed to the idea of running a marathon to prove to myself that I can reach a seemingly unattainable goal and I did it. It wasn’t pretty, but it doesn’t have to be.

I think that’s one of the biggest problems of my generation. This idea that everything has to be perfect before we can do something. We can’t do anything until we research the background of something, cite examples in the real world, weight our options, list pros and cons, discuss it with our friends, and make sure the idea is as solid as it could possibly be.

I believe that in order to find out how cold the water in the pool is, we shouldn’t buy a thermometer on Amazon and wait for it to arrive, we should just jump in!

So that’s what I’m doing. Well, that’s what my wife and I are doing. We both have the dream to make the rules and set the tone and live life on our terms. We have the idea, and I think we’re about to dive in head first.

I hope that this is the beginning of something great. I hope that I will look back at this point of my life and say that this was when I decided to take charge of my life and do what it is I’ve always wanted to do.