Fool’s Gold

“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”    – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has FASCINATED me since I saw my first MAC.  This quote of Job’s is one of my favorites.

Walter Isaacson tells us Jobs meant this quote to express how proud he was that Apple FOCUSED on making only a few products.  Those few products ROCKED the world.  This idea is polar opposite of most companies.  The AVERAGE COMPANY makes AVERAGE PRODUCTS for AVERAGE PEOPLE.

I use this quote to remind me that “NOT TO DO LISTS” are more important than “TO DO LISTS”.

MY PROBLEM:  There are days I set my alarm, get up EARLY, walk into my office with a cup DARK ROAST COFFEE with the intention of kicking the hell out of my latest project.  Then 30 minutes later I realized I PISSED that valuable time DOWN THE DRAIN.

The CULPRIT for me is email.  I can make the mistake of trying to answer “Just 1 email” and unconsciously  start my day by working on someone else’s agenda.

Every day we wake up HEALTHY is GIFT.  Starting that “GIFT” on email, surfing the net, or listening to talk radio puts you on the road to AVERAGE.  It’s a WASTED OPPORTUNITY.

I now REALIZE that emptying my inbox is an EMPTY PROMISE. It’s WASTED ENERGY.  It’s like raking leaves on a windy day.  Turn around and it’s full again.  You may get that PHONY, short term buzz of accomplishment, but it’s FOOL’S GOLD.  You turned yourself into the HAMSTER.  Email is the WHEEL.

For me to have a SUCCESSFUL day, my EARLY MORNING has to be PRODUCTIVE.  I have to be  FOCUSED on doing work that matters.  I have to TACKLE my most CREATIVE and IMPORTANT projects in the EARLY MORNING.

How do I define “Work That Matters?“:

  1. Does the work GROW my FAMILY?
  2. Does the work GROW my CAREER?
  3. Does the work GROW my PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

BLOCK OUT:  I block out a 30 minute session in the early morning when my ENERGY, POSITIVITY, & CREATIVITY are at it’s PEAK.


Think of a PROJECT you want to complete, but are spinning your wheels on.  Try this:

  1. Get up 1 hour EARLY
  2. Block off two 30-minute sessions
  3. Schedule a 5 minute break in between session.
  4. Set the timer on your iPhone for 30 mins (Thank you Steve Jobs!)
  5. START WORKING on your most important project
  6. Unless you smell smoke – DON’T STOP

If you check email, Facebook, or start texting –  Stop what you are doing.  Grab your iPhone, and SMACK the hell out of yourself with it.  FOCUS is KEY.

It is AMAZING how much you can accomplish when you FOCUS just 60 minutes EACH day on your most IMPORTANT project for 1 month.

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT:  This concept is SIMPLE, but not EASY.  95% of the population can do this, but won’t.  Do this and CREATE your most PRODUCTIVE month EVER.

The SECRET of being REMARKABLE relies on what you “DON’T DO” as much as what you DO.

– Joe Ciccarone


About Joe Ciccarone

Host of the “Built Not Born” podcast, Blogger ( & BJJ Black Belt. "Escape Average, Be Remarkable."
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