Get Your Free to Focus Book While You Can Still Get Bonuses!

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Hello from Saturday!

I want to share a deal I am taking advantage of while you still can as well. It’s for productivity expert Michael Hyatt’s new book titled Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less. Here’s the deal: If you purchase his book from anywhere that sells it and submit your reciept to his company before the end of today, you will get a ton of bonuses.

For one, you will get the audiobook for Free to Focus if you really aren’t a reader. You’ll also get an ebook copy of another of his more recent books titled Your Best Year Ever. Those alone are worth the price of the book.

Here’s a list of all the bonuses you’ll recieve if you jump on the deal now! (And I should say, I don’t recieve any commission from this at all.)

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That’s a lot of resources to help boost your productivity. 

I like Hyatt’s content quite a bit because it’s practical and beneficial for the every day. In fact, I just wrote yesterday about another one of his books titled Living ForwardHe’s an excellent author with a wealth of information he loves to share. I hope you choose to check out his work!

-Caleb

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Graduated and Clueless Book on Sale!

I’m a graduate of The Ohio State University and today was autumn commencement! In honor of that (and the fact that Christmas is creeping up on us very quickly), my book Graduated and Clueless is on sale on Amazon! 

Currently, the ebook version is $0.99 and you can snag the hardcopy for any graduates you know for only $6.99. Order now so it can arrive before Christmas!

Inspiration Starts With Why

After graduation, the second book I chose to read to continue learning (The Servant was first) was Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. Sinek proves to be a deep thinker and a great analyst when it comes to dissecting the reasons we as consumers feel the way we do about products. Read this book if you want to understand with many vivid stories why you like certain companies and why some companies grow exponentially under certain leadership.

Sinek starts the book by talking about manipulation vs. inspiration, two ways companies can convince consumers to purchase their products. Within manipulation, companies use price, promotions, fear, peer pressure, and novelty to convince consumers to buy. But as he says in the following section, “manipulations lead to transactions, not loyalty.” Which is how Sinek leads into his argument to Start With Why.

Sinek says it is the inspiration that causes customers to develop loyalty to a brand. 

He starts his discussion on inspiration with the illustration below.

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He breaks up companies into three sections. Most fall into the outside circle of “what.” These are the companies that simply know what they sell. Some fall into the “how” circle which are the companies that understand what they sell and how it is different. However, very few organizations understand why they do something.

Those that do understand how they can inspire customers with their story. 

Throughout the book, Sinek uses real company examples to give vivid pictures of how this principle of starting with why inspires people. He argues that Apple sets itself far apart from all other computer companies because of its focus on the customers who see themselves differently from everyone else. They don’t focus on the product specs (as other companies do) but on the way that their products can change the world through entertainment and education. This inspires creative customers to believe that their success and impact will be linked with one of Apple’s products.

Another example he uses is the way in which Southwest Airlines was born. Its founders Rollin King and Herb Kelleher didn’t start the company because the industry needed another airline. It didn’t. But what the industry did need was an airline built off of unbelievable customer service. And they succeeded in that. Southwest continues to be an airline loved by its customers. Some customers even sent them money after the horrors of 9/11. And Southwest is the only airline to bring in a profit every year, even the years where the industry sees economic difficulty. All because they didn’t focus on just moving people. They focused on moving people with purpose and with a smile.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In my opinion, it is difficult to clearly convey an idea about something that is intangible. Starting with why is an intangible idea, however Sinek uses real-life examples that helped me understand how I can put the principle into practice.

For those starting something new, whether a business or a blog or whatever, I highly recommend this book.

Keep reading!

-Caleb

What if it Isn’t Economically Viable to Love Thy Neighbor (or Help Refugees)?

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is what the Bible says. And it’s what keeps ringing in my head as I argue with myself. Many of you know that there is a caravan of thousands upon thousands of people traveling up through Mexico from countries to the South, claiming they seek protection from the poverty, gang violence and general danger in their countries.

What are we supposed to do?

I have two conflicting arguments in my head. The first is this: I, as a Christian, am to love people with Christ’s love. I am to clothe those who need clothed, feed those who need fed, visit those who need visited. Therefore, it certainly seems reasonable to accept those who need help. Here’s the second argument.

What if it isn’t economically viable to settle refugees in our country? 

This year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) came out with a study detailing the cost of settling refugees in America. They said that in the first 5 years of a refugee’s time in America, it costs the taxpayers just under $80,000. This is per refugee and adds up to about $1.8 billion annually. This is an astronomical cost to the average American. And if we just look at the 7000+ people working their way up Mexico, if we let all of them into the States, that alone would cost over $560 million just in the first 5 years.

So what’s the solution? Do we take them in and bite the cost or leave them out because we can’t handle the financial load? 

As much as I don’t want to say it, this isn’t economically sustainable. Shoot, Americans aren’t even financially sustaining themselves. Herein lies my problem and I want to know what you think.

I personally think that we are called to love people as Christ loved us. He sacrificed on the cross for us and we are to sacrifice for others. But what if we have nothing to sacrifice? How can we love others (especially those in need from other countries) even when we can’t provide for them?

In 1 Timothy 5, when the apostle Paul talks about an individual who doesn’t provide for his own as “worse than an unbeliever,” does that only apply to the family unit or does it apply to providing for our country as well?

I do not know the answer. 

I think that we can certainly change laws and policies to give us more capability as a country to help those in need. If we merely lived by the “if one doesn’t work, he shall not eat” policy (1 Thessalonians 3:10), that alone would decrease the number of people who live on food stamps and government welfare. Certainly there are people who truly need the help to get back on their feet but many don’t.

If we can control spending on a national and individual level, that would work wonders for the system. If we as households paid off all debt, that would economically boost our nation’s prosperity and allow more financial room for helping and aiding refugees.

And there’s certainly a lot to say about entering a country legally, obtaining all the necessary work permits and abiding as a functioning member of society, even without citizenship.

I must admit, I fall drastically short of the command to love my neighbor, even the one that physically lives next door. We’re not even talking about people from neighboring countries.

But that command comes straight from Jesus. I don’t want to add to or take away from what He said on the subject but I’m curious what you think. I really want some opinions!

What do you think about allowing refugees into America? What do you think is a sustainable method of helping them? 

Do you think we can love the refugees even if we don’t allow them into our country? 

Please, comment below what your opinion is. I will be fascinated to learn more perspectives.

-Caleb

Why I Haven’t Written About Faith in a Long Time

Two and a half years ago, I was entering my fifth and final year of college at The Ohio State University. It was a tough run and one way I chose to mentally process all my experiences was through writing. I found it a slow, effective process to put my thoughts into coherent sentences (whether or not they were actually coherent).

So, as every rational, busy college student would do, I started a blog. The Buckeye Beacon as I called it. It was going to be the next thing that OSU students would read every week. I even imagined people recognizing me on campus!

A friend of mine, Ethan, would take turns with me writing a blog post every week. It gave our blog a consistent stream of posts while providing us a fun way of sharing thoughts and improving our writing.

We even reached a rather consistent three views a day. Not bad for a couple whippersnapper engineering students.

In May of 2017, I obtained that infamous bachelor degree, then subsequently exited the bachelor scene as I tied the knot with my girlfriend of two years. And I dropped off with my blogging. My Facebook friends actually got a break from Caleb’s stream of consciousness every week.

“He’s like everyone else on Facebook except he has way to much to say in one status update” I could imagine them saying. 

But I had a wife to spend time with every evening after farming my desk for eight hours at my new engineering job. I gave it a break. It didn’t, however, change the fact that writing continued to be an effective way for me to communicate. So, I wrote a book about graduating and entering the real world called Graduated and Clueless.

And I started this blog.

I have had this intense desire ever since I graduated to reach the greatest potential God has for me.

I wanted to grow in my leadership. I wanted to improve my communication both in writing and in speech. I wanted grow in my character and influence. And I wanted to have a consistent avenue through which I could communicate what I am learning and how I’m growing. The only problem is, I had branded The Buckeye Beacon as a spiritual-growth blog. Nothing’s wrong with that until you write about something personal-growth related and no one reads it. What a motivator.

Why not brand a new blog directed only towards personal growth for students and young professionals? Keep them separate. It’s like Church and State in blog form.

Now I had two blogs to write: one for my spiritual growth whenever I had time and one for personal growth every week.

This was when I realized: personal growth involves improving every major part of me. 

For me, Jesus Christ is the one person that affects everything I do. I believe in eternity (both Heaven and Hell) and the power of His blood to save me from my sins. Because of this deep belief, it influences my thoughts and my actions, my pursuits and my motives.

My faith directly affects my growth into who God wants me to be. 

I haven’t written on faith in a long time because I’ve been trying to focus my writing on branding a new blog. I will no longer be blogging at the The Buckeye Beacon but I will be sharing how faith influences me here at Master the Simple. I don’t want to feel like the two subjects I’m writing about are separate. They’re not because the one directly influences the other. Spiritual growth is even more important than personal growth and I will not be afraid to let the two connect.

If you don’t consider yourself spiritual, that’s ok. This blog still focuses on growth personally and professionally. However, my belief is that we are deeply spiritual beings and what I write will be impacted by that belief.

Thread Quest:

Do you allow your beliefs to impact the other areas of your life?

I certainly struggle with it. But I want to hear from you in the comments!

-Caleb

Mastering the Simple Starts Here

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Mastering the Simple is where it all starts. If you are here, you probably want to become the expert in your field. What that field is, I don’t know, but in order to get there, we need to master the basics in order to become the leaders others want to follow.

The basics are the things with which we frequently get impatient. Like public speaking. Who wants to become immediately astounding at communicating to a lot of people? Or writing. Or habits and your use of time. Or your health and how it relates to success. These are the basics we need to master in order to become the expert that others will look to for guidance. Now, of course, we’ll never completely master these things, but if you work on them daily, it’ll make a big difference on the direction of your life and will help you become an expert.

That’s what I’m here for. I’m learning right along side you and that’s why I write this blog.

Here’s what you can expect from me in my blog posts:

My actions

I’m going to tell you about what I am actively doing to help myself grow everyday.

My insights

I’m going to tell you about what I’m learning that directly benefits my growth and how it’s applicable for you.

My resources

I’m going to give you tons of resources. These are resources that I’ve found helpful in many realms including personal, business, financial, career and relational growth. They may be books (probably a lot of these), podcasts or other blog posts.

My attention

I want to communicate with you. What are you doing to grow? In what areas do you want to grow the most? When you put effort into communicating with me, I will do the same with you. If you comment, I will respond because I want us to benefit from each other.

This blog is to help you become who you were made to be: an influencer. An influencer is someone who helps change people’s minds and impacts their actions. That’s how you change the world. And you have significant potential to do that. It’s just it takes intentionality. I’m certainly not an expert. I’m learning just like you are. Let’s be intentional about the direction of our lives together!

-Caleb