Browsing Tag

self audit and assessment

Long Format

Why I Only Listen to Lil Wayne and Gary Vaynerchuk

“I don’t fantasize
I mastermind, then go after mine
You see I handle mine, I dismantle mine
I tote a tool box; bitch, it’s hammer time”

– Lil Wayne, Let the Beat Build

Input matters

Here are two maxims:

  • What you put in becomes what you put out.
  • The more you put in, the less you put out.

One at a time.

What you put in becomes what you put out.
You take on the characteristics of your input, whether that be historical fiction or Housewives of New York. 

Jim Rohn famously said “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. In On Writing Stephen King suggested that an author develops his style through the books he reads. Rohn and King could just as easily have referenced your natural surroundings, home/workplace decor, Internet usage, social media conversations, visual media consumption, and even your nutrition as impacting your output.

The more you put in, the less you put out.
You have a finite amount of energy and time. The time and energy you devote to input is time and energy you do not have for output.

From 2007-2009, I read a prodigious amount of self-improvement literature. The first 3 or 4 books were groundbreaking. They helped change my view of the world. The 32nd book? Not so much. Instead of a growth driver, the books became excuses. Time spent reading them was less time spent creating.

It’s a fine line. An initial amount of input brings new ideas, tools, and inspiration, but when you cross a threshold it becomes counterproductive.

“You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk

Perform a self assessment by making the maxims questions:

  • Are you happy with your current output? [If yes, end exercise]
  • [If no] What is your desired output?
  • Where is the gap? Is your output falling short qualitatively or quantitatively?
    • If the gap is qualitative, the solution may be input quality (changing some).
    • If the gap is quantitative, the solution may be input quantity (removing some).
  • What is your current collection of inputs?
  • How does each contribute to or take away from your desired output?
  • What new input can change the game and contribute to your desired output?
  • What 1-3 input alterations offer the greatest reward?

Be honest with yourself. You’ll find the opportunities – the 3rd hour of Facebook/Instagram time, the 2nd hour of mindless television, the excess drinks/dessert. They’re staring you in the face.

I self assessed, and here’s what I found:

No, I am not happy with my current output. While I’m confident in my output as a personal trainer – clientele, session structure and execution, and results produced – I’m not as confident in my output as a business/brand growth driver, specifically in the social media space.

When I do release something – post, podcast, etc. – I’m happy with its quality, but the quantity and consistency are too low. In that regard I’m doing myself a disservice.

What are the root causes? I’m uncomfortable with sales. I don’t placed as much mental importance on what I do in online social media versus the physical brick and mortar space. When fatigued by the day-to-day grind, I lose focus on social media altogether.

Where are the opportunities? Change the input/output balance. Scale down my inputs to leave more room for output – specifically lessen the business literature I consume. Re-purpose a key 60-ish morning minutes that is sometimes lost to sports or entertainment reading.

My favorite part? I’m shifting almost exclusively over to two inputs: Lil Wayne and Gary Vaynerchuk. 

They introduce key attributes to my personal equation. Lil Wayne represents thinking big, being ruthless, and making no excuses. Gary Vaynerchuk represents the grind, consistently taking action, and smart social media execution. Both represent recapturing a past dream or two and tearing after them.

“I want to own the New York Jets, that’s what I want. And I absolutely believe I am going to own the Jets.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk

You and I can change, and we can re-engineer our paths at any time we choose. Or not.

It’s exciting, and it’s a burden, all at once.

I choose to look at the exciting side of the coin. You?

“Life is a beach, I’m just playing in the sand.”
– Lil Wayne, Right Above It


[Part II: Added after initial post.]

Apparently this is quite a polarizing piece of content!

One response I received: “…but I like Real Housewives.”


Another: “…Lil Wayne is horrible.” Another: “…Gary Vaynerchuk is full of himself.”


Let’s flesh this out, and let’s be crystal clear.

One thing I am not is an input authority. Just because I may not see value in Real Housewives, doesn’t mean there isn’t value to you. Just because I do see value in Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast, doesn’t mean there is value to you.

A phrase I go back to time and time again is this: do you.

Do you, people!

It’s about figuring out what works for YOU. It’s about figuring out what inputs provide YOUR key collection of attributes, tools, and inspiration.

I’m not on team judgement. I’m on team handle your shit, team grow and progress towards your true goals, and team be generally positive about it along the way.

If the post caused you to reflect on your own collection of inputs and outputs, then it did its job. Housewives or Vaynerchuk or anything in between – it’s all good.

Do you.

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