Category Archives: Learn to succeed

To be good you may need to look good


I think we feel better when we look better any way. The point I want to make to you is that you need to take your success, your level of play seriously. You need to take seriously how you portray your image to everyone. Its fine  to say you don’t care what any one thinks of you and really you shouldn’t especially if you know you are putting forth your best effort.

The idea that I want you to grasp on to is that if you value yourself worth so will others. When you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and say I dont feel like shaving, putting on any make-up, combing my hair, really I dont feel like putting any effort into myself, then how do you expect anyone else to put any effort into you either.


It’s funny, if I am sick I typically put more effort into my appearance and I feel a little better. I find when I show up to work, even if it’s in my back yard, I have a  dress and nice shoes on, I perform better, I get more done. Seriously if you think about it, you never know who you are going to run into at Publix or the gas station. The last thing you want to do is be in your Walmart sweatpants and end up pumping gas next to Mrs Rockefeller who you just gave a $10,000 proposal to. What will she think? She may think she’s not sure she hired the right person.


On the  other end of the spectrum, dont over do it. dressing like a hoochie mama sends all the wrong messages. When you dress like a hooch it shows you value your sexuality more than your ability to produce good work. Unless that’s what your selling, sex, then dont dress like a hooker please. Skirts no more than 4″ above your knee, absolutely no platform any kind  of shoe, no boobs popping out.


Take pride in your appearance, that’s the easiest place to start. Get a hair cut, shave daily, get some new shoes, please!!! Your professional appearance sets a tone for your day, for your attitude and for your path in life. I always say act as if you were already successful in your career, I mean dress like it too, its a great place to start going better places.

The Simplest Way to Take Control of Your Life 

“99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” George Washington Carver 

The simplest way to take control of your life is to take responsibility for everything that happens to you. 

If you find yourself saying things along the lines of “Bob is always getting the good projects at work and my boss never gives them to me.” You are making excuses for your own behavior. Turn your language around. “What can I do to show my boss I deserve the best projects, how can I earn his respect…” 

The reality is no one is doing anything to you . This is only your own perception. Take control of your life. I would challenge you to change Any statement you make to blame someone else to blaming yourself. 

I can’t loose weight because my wife brings home junk food from the store. (Excuse and blame)

I am doing the grocery shopping at least once a month and buying healthy snacks.  (Taking ownership and responsibility)

Wasn’t that simple? I can tell you simple is not always easy. Practice practice practice the language you use. Stop yourself and make the correction on the spot. 

You can’t hit a target you can’t see: 3 steps to set a goal


Just the other day my son was in the East Coast NSSA Championships. He is a good little surfer, competing is a whole other ball game though. These kids come from everywhere and they are amazing. Kai really wanted to do well. One thing we tell him as part of his training schedule for soccer and surfing is to follow these 3 steps. It is a process that everyone who has accomplished  a tom in their lives has practiced.

Visualize. See what you want in your mind. Use your imagination to define what you want in great detail. When Disney World opened here in Florida, Walt Disney’s wife was there for the ribbon cutting. someone leaned in and said, “it’s  a shame Walt couldn’t be here to see this.” And Lillian Disney replied, “”he’s already seen it, … or it wouldn’t be here.” The power of imagination is the key.

Write. Write down the detail you imagine in what you want to see come to fruition. writing has a way of sealing the deal with the universe and God. It means you mean business.

Repeat. Yep, keep it going, keep seeing in your minds eye what you want to achieve, the steps you need to take will start to come to you and you will see a way to make it happen.

3 Things To Say No To: Are you hunting antelope or field mice.



Are you going after big game or are you starving yourself on the easy pickins. “Newt Gingrich was the one that originally came up with this question. A lion is more than capable of killing and eating field mice. The problem with this is the caloric energy required to catch a field mouse is more than the caloric content gained from eating the field mouse. If the lion would eat field mice all day, then it would eventually die of starvation. A lion needs to hunt big animals like antelopes to survive. It takes more time and energy to take down an antelope, but it offers a feast for the entire pride” (

When we start out we want the big game, but not sure how to get it, we go for the field mice every time. from my experience unless you are super blessed and lucky, this is how it has to start. I look at it as practice runs for the real race.

At some point though you have to stop or you will starve.

1: Stop waiting for them to come to you. Go out and find who you need to hunt. start at the top and work your way back. be sure this target is part of what will get you to your goals and serve you best in the long run.

2. Just cant give up the little guys? Hire someone to handle them with you. Just be sure what they bring in will cover the expense of payroll. I hired a draftsman to take on the little additions and remodels that come through, they more than cover his salary and now he can help me with the production work that goes into serving our larger clients more efficiently. And I have to say some of those field mice can become antelope.

3. At some point you will have to let those mice go and say “no, thank you” stick to the idea the those big fish are circling you now and you dont need any catfish muddying the waters.


When defining success make sure your ladder is leaning against the right building

When defining success make sure your ladder is leaning against the right building
Brene Brown

This goes back to having practiced writing down your goals and being clear on what you really want out of your life.

Be in the practice of evaluating what you spend your time and money on. It is going toward what your biggest goal is?

I’m terrible at this most of the time, simply because I get decision weary, tired and hungry with running our design firm full time, 2 kids and a husband and I have a life I enjoy leading as well. This blog for instance takes time and effort to write and build.

What is at the top of my building is freedom, time and financial and creating a way to serve others.

I say to be in practice because I don’t know a single person who is perfect at getting what they want the first time around. I believe we have to practice at being better people. Part of that is to reevaluate what building our ladder is leaning against.


Growth or Fixed:Your Mind Not Your Mortgage

The reality in our world today is that more and more people are earning college educations. They attend colleges and universities and earn a 2 year or 4 year degree. What makes it more accessible is the internet, you now have the option to stay home and earn those degrees or add to the list of degrees you have. Based on a report by the National Center for Education Statistics “Between 1995 and 2015, educational attainment rates among 25- to 29-year-olds increased. The percentage who had received at least a high school diploma or its equivalent increased from 87 to 91 percent, with most of the change occurring between 2005 and 2015. The percentage who had completed an associate’s or higher degree increased from 33 percent in 1995 to 46 percent in 2015. Similarly, the percentage who had completed a bachelor’s or higher degree increased from 25 percent in 1995 to 36 percent in 2015, and the percentage who had completed a master’s or higher degree increased from 5 percent in 1995 to 9 percent in 2015. ” (

I love this, my parents think I’m an education snob. That is their interpretation. My view is that the more people we have aligned with the mindset to continue to grow and learn, we as a human race will continue to evolve, hopefully making the world a better place for everyone.

This book was spot on, totally resonating with how I try to approach every situation. Not always perfect at it, but its a stepping back thought process to evaluate and redirect if necessary to accomplish greater things.

Dweck compares 2 different mindsets, fixed and growth. These are paradigms from which we work, make decisions in our life, build relationships, etc. In the fixed mindset is the belief the your intelligence is static. How ever smart you are right now is how smart you will always be. If you have an innate talent, you do well at something. If you do not have that innate talent, you will not do well at it, therefore wont try or find outside excuses for failure. You will avoid challenges, get defensive and easily give up, see effort as fruitless, ignore negative feedback and typically feel threatened by the success of other. Dweck explains that “as  a result, (fixed mindset) people may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.”

The growth mindset holds that intelligence can be developed. There is a “desire to learn and therefore embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn form criticism and find inspiration in the success of others leading to higher and higher levels of achievement.”

As a creative this is all a no brainer for me. Working in interior design all we do as designers is come up with solutions to problems. we use what we have and do all we can to move forward all the while trying to make space great on a budget. As a residential building designer working with home owners, contractors, engineers who may not all be as attuned to the growth mindset. I see it all day long, how easily people get stuck within in  their self imposed constraints. I have to ask at least five times a day of everyone, “what if anything were possible.” It is more or less my job to “make it pretty” and then work with GC’s, Subcontractors, vendors, artisans all to make my vision a reality. All typically under a unrealistically low budget. I want to buy all these guys this book Monday morning.

One of the biggest take aways from this book is the idea that failure is not an ultimate end, it is a step in the learning process. Though it can be hard to swallow in the midst of defeat (I am currently in the middle of healing from many failures a the end of this year) and it may seem that there are no lessons to learn, or none you see right away, be patient and know you will now not make the same mistake and create a plan to implement a better outcome in the future.

If you are struggling with how to deal with failure or wanting to grow your career or business, this book is a great start. Click on the image above and start reading. The author was great at story telling as well as giving real, useful tips on how to make real change in your life. You may want a fixed mortgage rate but you do not want a fixed mindset.

On top of that please take advantage of the free webinar by clicking this image/link and don’t forget to follow this blog for easier access to updates and info that I hope will push all of us to succeed and serve.


A Great Epitaph

Andrew Carnegie once said, “I wisht to have as my epitaph: Here lies a man who was wise enough to bring into his service men who knew more than he.'” 

So important in today’s world with technological changes moving at warp speed.