Preparation & Effort: Only Preparation Can and Will Scale For Growth…Effort Will Fail You If You Don’t Prepare Better!

“Making bad choices is the lifeblood of average. It feeds it. It consumes it. It protects it. Choice is a competitor—as much as any tangible opponent you or any team will face. In fact, it’s the ultimate competitor. It taunts you. It will lie to you. Take choice out of your way, and it’s like pulling the fitness band off Usain Bolt. The Velcro snaps, and watch his ass disappear. Choice is an illusion. Choice is Keyser Freaking Söze. ~ Trevor Moawad from It Takes What It Takes

The most important ‘choices’ you will make throughout the rest of your life answer this question: How will you choose to prepare?

The next choice you must make is this: How much effort will you apply to everything you do? Ironically, these two things (preparation and effort) are among the extremely few things you actually have control over. You are absolutely in control of how you prepare and how much effort you bring…everything else is automatic or heavily influenced by other factors.

If you get anything from this article…get this:

Eliminate the choice when it comes to IF and HOW you will prepare for…everything.

If you really get what I am saying here you should be taken aback for a moment at the enormity of my exhortation for you…this will be extremely difficult and will guarantee you massive adversity. However, it is also the path with the greatest rewards. You will know, if you take this journey, that you did what you could do and it was done according to your values…because without a foundation of values…you will not successfully undertake this quest for a more intentional life.

My wife and I just finished watching the entire “Game of Thrones” show (all eight seasons) and I, to no surprise to anyone that knows me, saw a lot of examples of reality in this fantasy series. The big one is this: Death is coming.

In the series, the Stark family has an expression that they have voiced for as long as their ‘house’ has lived: Winter is Coming. Winter, in this context is the dead…literally an army of the dead. Here is the truth: we are all going to die and how you deal with that is going to determine (to a great extent) how you feel about your life.

This message/article/thought is of use to those of you that have decided you want more. Not more success, but, instead more purpose/significance.

You feel compelled, even though it is more difficult, to shed the ‘cozy blanket of denial’ and head out into the storm of a life lived with intention in a world full of complacency and conformity. Most of the people you will interact with, family/friend/coworkers, will be on a completely different path and will not support your quest. They are choosing to not prepare.

Deciding not to prepare is a choice…a very bad choice.

Two of my favorite authors/thinkers/coaches are Greg McKeown author of “Essentialism” and Ben Bergeron author of “Chasing Excellence.” Ben happened to be a guest on Greg’s podcast recently and said something absolutely profound: “There are only two things you control: Preparation and Effort.” Ben is 100% correct.

I have been training and coaching business people for over two decades. Without exception, the high performers are the ones (the extremely rare ones) that not only prepare the most, they prepare the best. I haven’t been exemplifying this in my life for the past 52 years.

I, like many of you knew what the path was, I was just unable to stay on it. Another favorite author for me is Jocko Willink. His catchphrase is “Discipline = Freedom.” You can’t have discipline without preparation…because without preparation you don’t know what you are trying to be disciplined about and why it actually is worth the effort. I follow my own system and it works.

Preparation encompasses the physical, mental and emotional aspects of your mindset. In my private coaching network we focus on 4 areas that we commit to developing routine preparation of our mindset: Intellectual/Spiritual, Relational, Physical and Professional. Ever day, those of following the #valuesbasedmindsetexperience, are working on one essential task in each of the 4 areas to ensure we are preparing for reality.

Over the past three years as we have been testing and refining the #valuesbasedmindset coaching model we have learned a lot. One, as we already shared, is that effort does not scale. The second thing was that simple routines designed to improve execution upon values (not endless ‘todo’ lists) provide ‘spill over’ growth to every area of your life. Your physical capacity, when increased intelligently and safely over time, will provide extra capacity for your professional growth and will, absolutely, improve your relationships with other people.

When you feel bad physically…you are less able to listen and advise your clients effectively.

The third thing we have learned is that your personality isn’t a negative factor in your ability to successfully navigate the system. It, however, will explicitly point me as a coach into predictable areas you will need to apply more effort and intention to ensure success. We do assessments on all our clients…period.

Most of my clients are #financialadvisors that own their own practice and/or are in leadership positions. They are all responsible for growth in their clients and employees lives. They all understand this one essential truth:

There is a turning point in your career where you can no longer work harder (effort) without making massive and tragic sacrifices everywhere else in your life.

Here is how I help people live a life of their own design powered by their values:

Each and every day I work with the best humans I know: people driven to do the courageous and difficult job of executing a life defined and measured by their values. I do this through individual coaching with high performers that own their own businesses, group coaching with select small businesses and a private community coaching experience.

All of these relationships begin the same way: with a conversation about who you are and what your values mean to you. You can’t become a client of mine, in any manner, without having a conversation with me. Whether you represent a large company, or, are a sole proprietor…I won’t take your money until we are both convinced there is a good chance it will work.

Worst case scenario for both of us is this: I will refer/introduce you to someone that will better serve you. If I can be of help, please comment below, contact me at

All the best,


Note: I am in the process of writing my second book on #referralbasedsales and if you are a #financialadvisor and are interested in #referrals please feel free to connect with me and reach out via private message. You might end up being mentioned in the book.