From a Millennial: We Aren’t Entitled

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to someone how I wanted more than 2 weeks of vacation from my job. I wanted more flexibility so I could help on youth group trips and still participate in family trips throughout the year.

This individual who knows me well was like, “I think that’s about the most millennial thing I’ve ever heard you say!”

Now, I know more vacation sounds very millennial of me to want, but I’m not entitled about it. I know that it takes a lot of work and preparation to create that kind of flexibility in my life.

Which brought up an excellent topic for this blog.

Entitlement: What is it?

Millennials are notorious for being the “entitled generation.” The word “Entitled” is what older generations tend to use when describing bratty and lazy youngsters.

“He thinks he’s entitled to free college. In my day, we had to work hard and pay for it ourselves!”

Being a millennial myself, I understand the frustration with the thinking of my generation. I suppose you could call me an old soul. I’m annoyed when someone says they “deserve” something great when they’re entirely average.

As a millennial, I’m here to say something:

Entitlement isn’t a real thing. At least not yet.

Entitlement is, however, a perceived thing.

Let me explain.

You don’t deserve anything.

Entitlement is real but only when you actually do something great. Aside from that, it’s entirely a perception of anyone who thinks they deserve anything.

I am not entitled to anything. I’m not entitled to a good job because I have an engineering degree. I’m not entitled to free education because I live in America and the student loan program is broken. I’m not entitled to a leadership position just because I’ve worked somewhere for ten years. I’m not entitled to salvation from hell because of good things I’ve done.

To start, you don’t deserve anything either. In America, you get life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s about it.

Now, I’m a sucker for free stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll spend more money in fuel to get free food than what it’s actually worth. However, the perception that we should be given things for free is ludicrous.

I am here to call out those who say they are entitled.

You’re ruining my generation.

You may think you’re entitled, but you aren’t.

Take responsibility and earn it.

You don’t deserve your family’s money. You don’t deserve the same size house as your parents because they’ve been working 30 years longer than you.

The way to get past this entitlement mentality is to work. Take responsibility for your life. Work hard at your job so you can provide value to your employer. Make something great that other people want and sell it. No one’s going to give you anything just because you think you’re different.

No one’s going to read this blog just because I like to write it. I have to earn readership.

You’re only entitled to what you’ve earned, so take responsibility for your life and go earn something.

And please Don’t play the victim.

When you play the victim, you rob yourself of your own dignity because you create an excuse for failure.

One of the simplest and yet profound things I have read was from a book called Building a Storybrand. In it, author Donald Miller made note of the victim in every story. He pointed out that heroes change because they have to. Victims don’t change at all. They only wait to be rescued.

Is that who you want to be? Are you merely waiting to be rescued?

There is hope for millennials!

Millennials are notoriously known for being the entitled generation and I don’t like it. In fact, I see a lot of hope for our generation. The majority of the millennials I know are go-getters. They don’t expect something solely because of their age, color, or beliefs. They know they have to work hard. They don’t make excuses. There is a lot to be hopeful about.

Yeah, I want more vacation. I want a perfect job that’s flexible and fun. But I’m not entitled about it. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. It takes a long time of hard work to create that kind of job for myself. But I’m willing to put in the time and effort. I’m willing to take responsibility for that dream.

How about you?

-Caleb

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Goal Planning and Strengths Finding

This planning round we camped! Lots of mosquitos and humidity

This past weekend, my family had another goal planning day! We looked over the goals we made at the beginning of the year and talked about our successes and failures.

I had some pretty lofty goals and work ended up being more demanding than I had anticipated. Because of this, many of mine are way off and require some rework in order to make them attainable by the end of the year. But that’s why we look at them during the year.

I’ve talked about our planning weekend in January before. Basically, we reserved an Airbnb and spent an evening and morning asking some pretty deep questions about ourselves, our goals and how we can move forward with them.

We set new goals and prepared for the coming year. Some goals were personal, business, spiritual, and financial. It really helped by getting some dreams and strategies for achieving said dreams down on paper.

personality test time

This weekend, we changed it up a bit. After we analyzed our goals, we looked at the our personality types based on the Clifton Strengths Finder Test. Here were my top 5 strengths:

  • 1. Individualization (which means I am good at looking at people as individuals)
  • 2. Empathy (which means I am good at getting on the same level with people)
  • 3. Developer (which means I love leading and developing people)
  • 4. Harmony (which means I like to resolve problems with as little of conflict as possible)
  • 5. Futuristic (which means I like to look ahead at what is possible in the future)

No surprise there on any of those! As a family, we’re talking about how we can make use of the knowledge about our strengths to help us in our goals.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend. Very insightful to say the least.

Goal planning is able to be done alone, for sure. However, I am finding more and more, if you do it with others and actually follow up on all of your goals together, it makes planning a lot easier. It adds in an extra level of accountability and I highly recommend it.

What are your strengths? How are your goals going this year?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And as always, if you found this post was valuable in any way, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 2)

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Happy Resource Friday!

Recently, I wrote a post titled 8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 1). This is a continuation of that post with 8 more books I listened to in 2018! It’s very similar to the one I made about the 21 impactful books I read last year. Because of my 45 minute drive to and from work, I have lots of time to learn in the car from audiobooks. I use Libby (which I have reviewed here on the blog), a library app that allows you to borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Here are 8 of the books I listened to last year and the reasons I liked or disliked them.

Click on the title in order to find out more information on each book.

1. Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an incredibly intelligent marketer and an entertaining author. In his book Crush It!, he talks passionately about the new economy in which we live and how the markets change. It’s chock full of pointers for following your passion by working unbelievably hard and taking advantage of the tools we now have.

One thing I really like about his books is that he fills them with his own experiences selling wine online when no one else was. He speaks from experience and helps the reader (or listener for that matter) avoid the issues he faced.

2. One Nation by Dr. ben Carson

Ben Carson is an incredibly thoughtful individual and it’s made clear through his book One Nation. Carson tackles multiple aspects of American society and how we can all do little things to benefit the nation. Some of the topics include the government, health care, taxes, and the economy,

This was a particularly interesting book to listen to because of Dr. Carson’s presidential run back in 2016. It convinced me that Carson had a thoughtful and knowledgeable plan when he ran for president. From his book, I got to learn a bit more about his proposed strategies at the time.

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3. sprint by jake Knapp

I absolutely love business strategy. Jack Knapp’s book Sprint covers just that. Knapp argues that if companies complete a “sprint” for their new product or service before actually offering it, they’ll find out if the idea is actually viable or not very quickly.

Then time and resources won’t have to be wasted on a project. But the idea may move forward if the sprint reveals ways in which the product or service can be made better.

I got this book recommendation from my pastor who participates in a monthly book club. Right now, I’m using these principles with my sister to test some ideas for a business we want to run.

4. Onward by howard Schultz

I love coffee. I don’t think the caffeine does much for me because I can drink coffee in the evening and it doesn’t affect me. But I still love the coffee. That’s where my interest in this book came from.

Written by the founder of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, Onward is a captivating story about the difficult choices that had to be made to grow the brand, especially through the 2008 recession. I find books like this give me a special affinity to a particular brand because it connects me to their story. This book was no exception.

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5. Killing Kennedy by Bill O’reilly

I picked up this book partly due to my fascination with history and partly because of how much I’ve heard about the Killing ____ series by Bill O’Reilly. Whether you like O’Reilly or not, he’s an excellent historian who has a knack for telling historical narratives with as much accuracy as possible.

Killing Kennedy was a fascinating look at everything that was going on during Kennedy’s presidential term civil rights, the space race, etc. That’s what I like about books like this. It gives reasons for why certain events happened and how they connected to other events. I enjoyed this listen. I’m not a big fan of Kennedy’s character, but there’s no question that he was an incredibly dynamic and well-liked leader at the time.

6. killing Lincoln by Bill O’reilly

As I began this book (and consequently when I listened to many other O’Reilly books), I realized how bad it would look if the NSA was watching me.

“What the heck? Now he’s listening to a bunch of books about historical leaders being assassinated. We better keep a better eye on him.”

Having said that, I wasn’t so much interested in the fact that these leaders were assassinated as I was in the events leading up to these assassinations. What events caused the assassins to break and how do all the pieces fit together? Killing Lincoln certainly did not disappoint as O’Reilly gave much background about the end of the civil war and the effect on the presidency.

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7. The Aviators by Winston Groom

I’m guessing it’s obvious I got into a history funk. This book was highly recommended to me by my cousin. Since I like airplanes, I was easily convinced.

I absolutely LOVED The Aviators. I loved it so much I listened to it twice. Groom covers in great detail the major impact each of three pilots had on aviation — Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, and Charles Lindbergh.

The reason I loved this book so much is because it not only tells a story about each pilot as they flew through the world wars — it helps the reader understand the significance of each contribution and how it affected other industries and events. The Aviators is a MUST read.

8. Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau has a podcast called The Side Hustle School where he talks about the side hustles of thousands of people and how these hustles transformed the lives of their owners. I like variety in my work, so I like talking side hustles.

This book is practical if you are working a normal job but want to get into another space — maybe one in which you have a lot more passion. As the subtitle suggests, Guillebeau will help you start up your side hustle and create income in 27 days. I recommend it if you want to spice up life and gather some small business ideas!

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Learn every day

I want you to make an effort to learn every day. It takes work, it really does. Unfortunately for me, I am not able to read the number of physical books this year that I did last year. So audiobooks have become a necessary supplement. Plus, on 1.5x speed, you can blow through books like never before!

Check out Libby today and listen to these books for free!

What is your favorite book you’ve read?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found any value in this post, give it a like and me a follow!

-Caleb

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This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


 

Work Life with Adam Grant (Podcast Review)

This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Resource Friday!

Today we look at another podcast! This podcast will help you master the simpler aspects of your job so you can become an expert in your field — all through the podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant.

Adam Grant is a psychology professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. If you’ve ever binge-watched TED Talks on You Tube, you might have watched his viral talk about what makes someone an original thinker. It’s a very entertaining watch.

Grant’s a multiple New York Times bestselling author. I have read one of his books, Originals, and thought his perspective and his research on what makes someone an original thinker was incredibly applicable. He not only breaks down original thinkers at their core, but he also gives his readers a list of ways they can become original thinkers themselves.

This all sets the groundwork for an excellent podcast.

WorkLife with Adam Grant

Photo credit http://www.ted.com

Grant’s podcast is called WorkLife with Adam Grant and tackles the how-to of loving the career you have. Here’s the introduction to the podcast straight from TED’s podcast page.

You spend a quarter of your life at work. You should enjoy it! Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to better work life. From learning how to love your rivals to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again.

From http://www.ted.com

In this podcast, Grant leads the listener through topics like “How to trust people you don’t like” to “Networking for people who hate networking.” He invites experts to give their opinions and research on the topics. He also gives the listeners specific action points for improving themselves in that area.

You won’t be bored

Grant is a researcher at heart, but the way he communicates his findings is just as important to him. I found his book, his TED talk, and his podcast very entertaining! He is certainly an original thinker himself and it shows through his creative method of communication.

The podcast is also in an easily-consumable format — around 30 minutes and perfect for the commute to work!

I highly recommend his podcast!

what podcasts do you listen to?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And as always, if you found this post to have value in it, give it a like and give me a follow. I really appreciate it!

-Caleb

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this free email gives you an entertaining look into what’s happening every day

This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


The best way to get physical books

If you like to read, I highly recommend Thriftbooks—and you can get Adam Grant’s book Originals there!. It’s a great way to get discounted books for a fraction of what you might pay on Amazon. I’ve bought over $150 of books from them in the past two years and have had zero complaints! Plus you can get 15% off your first order!


Perfect graduation gift

I’m really liking my Panda Planner. I’m learning how to use it to make my time more productive. It would make a great gift for a new graduate! Especially those who are heading into college and don’t know how to plan out their time accordingly.

How to be Great By Choice (Jim Collins’ Way)

Jim Collins is one of my all-time favorite authors. He wrote (with the help of a research team) the bestselling books Good to Great, Great by Choice, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. He constructs his books in an easy-to-understand way and makes the topic of business incredibly interesting. For today’s Resource Friday, let’s look at Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos andLuck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.

Let’s jump in!

Collins starts by defining the kind of leader that is at the head of the successful companies researched — The 10X Leader.

The 10x leader: core behaviors

  1. Fantastic discipline: 10x leaders have an extreme focus on their goals and the consistent actions necessary to accomplish them.
  2. Empirical creativity: When faced with challenges, 10x leaders react using creative solutions based on observation, not theory.
  3. Productive paranoia: 10x leaders maintain a healthy level of pessimism. They are extremely aware of problems that may arise and how to combat them.

Each of these behaviors is carried into the company cultures of the successful companies researched. Let’s look!

Fantastic Discipline: The 20 Mile March

Collins uses the analogy of a long, seemingly monotonous march of 20 miles to communicate how these successful companies accomplished greatness. 10x companies don’t make rash decisions in order to gain a quick profit.

Through their research, Collins’ team regularly found that the companies being researched had long periods of consistency. They had clear performance goals and accomplished those goals with extreme regularity.

“A 20 Mile March needn’t be financial. You can have a creative march, a learning march, a service-improvement march, or any other type of march, as long as it has the primary characteristics of a good 20 Mile March” – Jim Collins, Great by Choice (p. 65)

Southwest Airlines was one example of this fantastic discipline. They remained profitable for 30 years straight, even through 9/11 and the uncertainty that followed. No other major airline has done this!

Empirical Creativity: Start with Bullets, End with Cannonballs

Collins uses the analogy of shooting bullets to communicate the idea of hitting a target before shooting cannonballs. The bullet is a test; the cannonball is a business venture.

According to Collins, here are characteristics of a bullet in business: Bullets are low cost, low risk, and low distraction. (p. 81)

Low cost: The bullet doesn’t take a lot of capital resources.

Low risk: There aren’t any significant consequences if the bullet doesn’t hit the target.

Low distraction: The bullet doesn’t take too much attention away from the main business needs.

Productive Paranoia: Prepare for the Worst

10x companies prepare for the worst in order to avoid risk. According to Collins, 10x companies keep about 3-10 times the amount of cash on hand as comparable companies.

Collins gives an example of Intel, one of their successful companies researched:

“By the late 1990s, Intel’s cash position had soared to more than $10 billion, reaching 40 percent of annual revenues (whereas AMD’s cash-to-revenue ratio hovered at less than 25 percent).” – Jim Collins, Great by Choice (p. 104)

Great Read for All Business Lovers

I loved this book because it got into the nitty gritty of business. I’m an engineer so I like numbers and quantifiable things. This book isn’t based on theory like a lot of business books. Collins uses research and numbers to back up his claims.

If you love learning about business, I’d highly recommend it!

What’s your favorite business book?

I want to hear from you in the comments down below! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

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Support the blog!

Those who support the blog are my heroes to some extent. My book is one way to support the blog but if that isn’t applicable to you, check out these companies I am affiliated with.

I love reading and I hope you can enjoy the process of learning through books as much as I do. If you want to support the blog, grab your next book from Thriftbooks! This is where I get almost every hard copy book I read (spent over $120 there in the last 1.5 years). You’ll get good deals on your favorite reads as well as free shipping on orders over $10!


Do you like to be organized with a daily planner? Panda Planner is the one that I like to use! And if you use code MOM15 in checkout, you’ll recieve 15% off your first planner!


I Suppose I am Now Officially a Writer

It’s official! I’m a writer because I have a shirt that says I am. I got this from a friend last Christmas.

It states “I AM WRITER. I make the voices in my head work for me.”

It perfectly sums up the kind humor my friends (and I) have. It’s also my first ever blogging shirt. It doesn’t seem to give me much literary inspiration while sporting it, though. However, it does bring some laughs.

In all seriousness, I do call myself a writer because I think that’s part of building that image and to an extent, building credibility. If I discount writing my book, people won’t take me seriously as a writer. I have to be fully invested in a goal before I can expect anyone else to get on board.

What is a goal in which you’re working to build credibility?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, if you found any value in this post, please like and follow!

-Caleb

Create an Emotional Connection With Your Customers

This post contains affiliate links.

Image result for building a storybrand podcast

Happy Resource Friday!

Do you have a business or are you thinking about starting one? If you do, telling a good story is the way you will improve business and bring in customers. People respond to stories and the Building a StoryBrand Podcast will help you tell the story your customers need to hear.

Donald Miller, the bestselling author of Building a StoryBrand, hosts this podcast where he interviews leaders and thinkers from all industries. He has an entertaining and engaging way of interacting with each interviewee.

Through his podcast, Miller helps the listener understand how the principles of telling a story applies in real life.

Because every person responds to a story.

The premise of Building a StoryBrand is that every customer wants to feel like the hero in his or her own story. As a business owner, your job is to act as the guide in your customer’s story. The guide helps the hero change and become victorious. Think of Yoda and Luke Skywalker or Gandalf and Frodo Baggins.

As the guide, you will tell a story to your customer about how you will help them overcome their problems. Like the lack of a website or the front lawn that needs to be mown. They’ll feel like the hero when you help them solve their problems. And your business will grow.

I highly recommend this podcast. Coupled with the book, the Building a StoryBrand Podcast will open a new level of understanding about how a business can be successful. I read the book and it is one of my top two favorite books that I have read in the past two years. Its principles are unbelieveably simple and practicle.

I included the link to the podcast website, but this past January, Miller’s company began to only post podcasts through whatever apps you get your podcasts. They do not post them on the website any longer. So here is the link to the podcast on iTunes!

Do You have a small business?

Mine is filmmaking! What’s yours?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, give this post a like if you found value in it and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Support the blog!

I love reading and I hope you can enjoy the process of learning through books as much as I do. If you want to support the blog, grab your next book from Thriftbooks! This is where I get almost every hard copy book I read (spent over $120 there in the last 1.5 years). You’ll get good deals on your favorite reads as well as free shipping on orders over $10!


Do you like to be organized with a daily planner? Panda Planner is the one that I like to use! And if you use code MOM15 in checkout, you’ll receive 15% off your first planner!


The World Needs You to Love What You Do

What makes you come alive? Like really come alive?

I know people who absolutely love what they do. I have a friend who is an engineer and he was made for it. He comes alive when he’s designing a mechanical system that has to work a very specific way. I come alive when I begin to envision a story in my mind that can be told through film (I also come alive when talking drones). My cousin comes alive when talking about animal nutrition and the agricultural industry. My dad comes alive when he gets to help driven people obtain their goals. Bailey comes alive when she starts talking about interior design and decorating.

Everyone’s passions are different

This is the beauty of humanity — people have significantly different passions and interests. Some are in the arts, others are in the sciences. But everyone has a passion and we want to work in that passion.

You remember a blog post I wrote about finding your sweet spot? Your sweet spot is where your top talents and top passions align, and it’s what career coach Ken Coleman teaches every day on his show. Once you determine what your sweet spot is, it’s time to start pursuing it.

Remember: Master the simple

But mastering the simple comes first. Work your way up to it. My passion may be telling story through film, but I’m not the director of Marvel’s most recent record-setting film. I’m working on telling the stories of passionate people in the community (working on a video series for the future). My goal is to hone my craft and get good at the simple filmmaking strategies so that I can tell a great story in an engaging way. Start small. That’s what I’m doing!

This quote inspired this post. It’s by Howard Thurman, a civil rights leader in the 20th century:

howard thurman

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

Yes, the world needs certain kinds of people. But even more so, the world needs certain kinds of people who are passionate about their work.

What if everyone in this world was working on something they were deeply passionate about?

How much more impact would we have on each other?

How would it change the world?

I seriously wonder this every. single. day. It’s unrealistic, I know. But with every person we get into work they love, it creates a chain reaction of influence that’s impossible to measure due to its shear magnitude.

What are you deeply passionate about?

I seriously want to hear from you in the comments! I’ll respond. And as always, if you found this post had value, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Thanks to Bruce Mars from Pexels for the use of the main post photo!

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

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 3.02.34 PM

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