A Tale of Two Voices

Had an interesting dialogue with myself on the trail today… ever have conversations with yourself or am I the only one?!!

It was cool and misty at 8:15 this morning as I laced up my shoes to go for a nice trail run in Aliso Woods Canyon. Was supposed to be an easy 13. I’ve been starting to log some longer miles to get ready for “who knows what event I’m doing next”. Truth be told, running trails is a sanctuary for me. I love being out in nature, free from noise and distractions. As long as I have water and food I’m good.

So off I went this morning. Had my fuel belt with water bottles filled up. My food for today was none other than peanut butter & strawberry jam. Love my PB&J!!! I had enough water and food to be out for just about 2 hours.

As I started out on my familiar route, one voice in me said “lets go and explore a new trail”. The other voice said “it’s on the way to the park entrance where we usually start so it’s no big deal, let’s do it”

So off I went exploring a new trail. As I was nearing the end of this trail I saw another trail shoot out to the left with a nice short, steep climb to a small summit. One voice said “let’s go”, the other said “the path is well worn singletrack (narrow trail), so yes, let’s do it”.

To the top of the hill I went. As I looked down into the valley below, I could see the park entrance. No idea how to get there since there was no path down the hill. I could also see another path I had never seen before. It ran parallel to the one I usually run on, but somehow this one seemed secluded. There was no one on it, the other path I normally take I could see runners and mountain bikers all over it.

Hmmmm, one path is empty, secluded and I would be the only one on it. Scenery looks better too. The other path, has lots of people on it. I gotta do the new path! It was like it was calling out to me.

But how do I get there? There was no way down the hill to get to it. I looked and looked. There was heavy dry brush that would be really hard to navigate and would scratch the heck out of my legs. What to do, what to do…. Then I saw it!

I could carve a new path around the heavy brush, then there was a stretch of not-so-thick grass I could go through where there seemed to be a very faint path where someone else walked. That was it, I could get there! I could accomplish my mission and had to do it. Would be a fun adventure.

Felt like a little kid again. Full of excitement and adventure!!

Smiling, almost giggling, I set off.

Then the other voice kicked in “You know Chris, the grass is thick there, you don’t know what’s underneath it. Could be ticks, maybe deer ticks with lyme disease. Or worse, you could step on a den of rattlesnakes. Better not go. Better go back and get on the familiar path and play it safe. Don’t want to get hurt you know”

… hmmm, good points, I thought. He’s right. Maybe I should go back. What was I thinking? Oh well.

Then the other voice chimed in “hey! Let’s go!!!! I want to go this way. It’s gonna be a great adventure!! Let’s go!”

…. hmmm, good point. I did want to go! And I needed to resolve it, since both voices made excellent points.

So how did I resolve it? What did I do?

I decided it was time to have a meeting. I brought the two voices together (seriously, you could make a good case that I’m a certifiable nut job at this point! Am I the only one that has ever had this happen to them??!)

I asked the excited voice why he wanted to go. “Because there’s a new, really cool looking trail. We will be the only one on it. Who knows what we will see!! It’s going to be a great adventure. Let’s go!”

I asked the conservative, safe voice why he thought we shouldn’t go. “Because there could be danger there. Ticks. Snakes. You don’t have your phone with you. If you fall and break your leg, smash your head on a rock, or get bitten by a snake it could be game over”

…. good points on both sides.

I asked the excited voice if he would be ok if we didn’t go if it was deemed unwise. His response was a hesitant “yes”. I asked the conservative, safe, fearful voice if he would help us if we went that way and he said “yes”. Then I asked for his wisdom. “Could we make it down there? – yes. Is this something we have done before? – yes. Is it likely there are ticks in the brush? – no. The grass we would have to walk through, it’s short, there appears to be a set of footprints through it, it’s cold and damp, is it likely there will be snakes there? – no”

I gathered all the data. Thought it through. And in my final anaylsis, it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. To go down there.

Both voices cooperated. Both voices were needed as there were some tricky spots to navigate. And low and behold, we made it!

By the way, on this new (to me), secluded and almost private path, I saw many wonderful things I would have never seen…

  • I saw deer. The deer and I were within 10 feet of each other. Neither moving. Simply checking each other out. (I also came across a family of deer later on, momma, daddy and baby. The buck had a nice big set of antlers on him).
  • I saw a really cool owl. About 5 feet away from him. We just checked each other out for a bit before I went on my way.
  • I saw a primitive looking “Man vs. Wild” shelter by a hidden part of a stream. The adventurer in me was feeling very refreshed at this time!

None of this I expected. It was a very pleasant surprise. The trail was simply beautiful.

Don’t go off and draw a conclusion that I saw all this because I took the path less traveled. That would be unwise. I never would have taken this path if it would have been deemed too dangerous and silly. No, I’m not into stupidity (got most of that out of me in my 20’s!!).

Here’s the moral of the story…

When facing a tough decision in life, it’s good to listen to the two voices. You need the one to look for opportunities. You need the other to make wise decisions. Don’t be foolish and only listen to one and tune the other out. If you do, you will miss out on wonderful opportunities or you will make foolish, stupid decision you will regret for years to come.

Here’s the process I use to make decisions:

  1. Pray
  2. Search the Bible to see what it says (seeking wisdom)
  3. Consult people with expertise and perspective I don’t have. Including my wife since she can see my blind spots – just wish I listened to her earlier in life, would have saved me from some painful situations. (again seeking wisdom) There is safety in a multitude of counselors.
  4. Decide what I want while checking to make sure my motives are right and not self glorifying.
  5. I prayerfully consider all the data and do my final analysis. Then I decide and take action.

I have made many decisions in my life. Some good, others I would take back in an instant. As each page on the calendar is flipped, I have resolved to be wiser and more audacious. Isn’t that how you truly have a full life and fulfill your mission?

How do you make your decisions?

Would love to hear your take on this.


The easiest way to lose 1 lb a week! … a completely different twist on marketing…

You have read articles and posts by me saying how you can make significant changes in your business through making small incremental changes. The problem is that it’s not glamorous or sexy having focus and doing small things regularly. It’s much more cool launching a brand new initiative using a brand new bright shiny technology isn’t it?

… unless of course you have tried that a few times and didn’t get the results you were expecting. (see my previous post on the Hype Cycle)

In an attempt to make incremental changes appear more “alluring”, I will show you how to use this to fry fat and look fit and fabulous. (you can come up with some great headlines while reading magazines at the checkout counter at the grocery store!)

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to shed a few pounds?

I will reveal to you the best, easiest, most efficient way to lose weight in the whole wide world. Where you can EASILY lose 1 lb a week (up to 50 lbs/year)! Or lose up to 2 lbs/week or more.

No I’m not selling some weight loss product. No this is not some “magic pill”. They had one of those at the turn of the century. You would take one pill to start losing weight, eat whatever you wanted, then take a second pill when you reached your desired weight.

Pretty cool huh?

How did they do it? … the first pill was actually a tapeworm. It would eat whatever you ate and the pounds would drop faster than a fat boy falling off a cliff. The second pill was poison to kill the tapeworm! … not so cool anymore eh?!!

Instead, here’s the Engineered Marketing approach to weight loss…

  • Pick a goal: Say you want to lose 10 lbs.
  • Now some basic math: 1 lb is about 3500 calories.
  • If you want to lose 1 lb per week. You need to burn off 3500 more calories than you take in on a weekly basis. On a daily basis that’s 500 calories per day (3500/7)

Now there are only 2 things for you to do:

  1. eat 250 less calories per day
  2. burn 250 more calories per day

To eat 250 less calories per day, read the label of what you are eating. If you drink pop (soda), cut out 1 can per day. If you eat 4 meals daily, reduce your intake by 60ish calories per meal – take one less forkfull of food. It is super easy to cut 250 calories when you read the labels on the food you’re eating. For me, the easiest way is to cut out my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before I go to bed. LOVE PB&J!! (I don’t cut it out all the time, just a few times a week)

To burn 250 calories per day, walk for 45 minutes. A 130 lb woman walking for 45 minutes burns about 257 calories. A 170 lb man will burn about 336 calories.

Easy huh?

Don’t like walking, find something else. Here’s a simple calorie counter

Me, I’ve lost 15 lbs in 3 months following this. I put 4 back on from losing sight of my goal so I re-focused on my goal and will lose 8 lbs over the next 2 months. Nothing glamorous. People are surprised when I tell them how old I am, they think I’m at least 10 years younger. Kinda feels good. You will get that too. Your energy will also go up and you might even start doing crazy things like a friend of mine who lost about 50 lbs and is now running half marathons and talking about doing a full marathon.

It’s simple. Anyone can do it. You just “gotta wanna”

No marketing analogies. You can probably find 3 or 4 solid lessons (they are there) from this simple story.

Oh,I still eat double doubles (hamburgers), I just compensate when I do.

Hope you enjoyed this.


How to Apply Business Boosters In Your Business To Make Quantum Leaps… it’s not what you think

The last few weeks I’ve been writing about Business Boosters that will dramatically increase the results of ANY business.

Some of the Boosters included the likes of…

  • Who wouldn’t want to Find an Army of People Eager to Sell Your Products or Services?
  • How to Tap Into The “Hidden Goldmine” in Your Business
  • How to Build Relationships to Get People to Keep Coming Back to You

Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to have these?

Of course everybody wants these. And that’s where the problem lays… how do you implement them?!

I mean, yes you want these. Yes you salivate like Pavlov’s dog at the thought of having a solid, secure business that just keeps pumping revenue into your bank account month after month after month whether you are there or sipping Mai Tais in a hammock in Bora Bora. The thought has got to bring a smile to your face.

Simple. You pick one of the Boosters, put it into place this week, pick another put it into place next week, and so on. In 7 weeks you will have all the Business Boosters in place and 2 weeks later you will need to open up a new bank account. It’s that easy. (can you pick up the sarcasm yet?)

Seriously, if it was that easy, wouldn’t EVERYONE be fighting for the same hammock? And Bora Bora would be overpopulated.

There are people out there that will have you believe this. Many of the “Guru’s” and slick talking internet marketers and used car salesman will have you buy into this fantasy world. It’s the legal version of crack that is hawked by the truckloads. They will have you believe in Mega Mansions, Luxury Yachts, Rolex watches and “livin the life”.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s not good to sip the Pink Koolaid. It is, everyone should drink some of it. I did. It helps smack you upside the head and bring you back to reality. Because after the buzz wears off and you realize that you have been chasing pure fantasy, then you are ready for wisdom.

Wisdom is the perfect application of knowledge

Wisdom allows you to accomplish more than what you can accomplish off of a sugar rush any day. Oh, and by the way, you can have a good life with wealth, success, peace and strong relationships. You will enjoy it more through wisdom then through chasing fantasy.

When I signed up to do my Ironman it was an exhilarating experience. I had never done one before and had dreamed about it for over 20 years.

I could see myself crossing the finish line. Sheer joy on my face. Feeling of triumph. Fists pumping. Friends and family cheering me on. Pictures flashing. A pure, contented, joyful smile radiating out of my body.

My Ironman was 9 months away. I signed up on a Wednesday and on Saturday I got hit smack between the eyes with a healthy dose of reality.

My coach for the Ironman is an amazing man. Coach Dave. He has done many Ironman’s and helped 2-300 others do the same. Coach Dave announced that we were doing a 2 mile ocean swim. I was not ready to swim this distance and figured I could fake it and use good ‘ole will power and determination. Besides, I didn’t want to look stupid in front of my team. The other problem was I watched the movie Jaws to many times as a kid. I’m a guy from Toronto who grew up in fresh water. There are sharks in the ocean that will eat you right? But still I didn’t want to look stupid in front of my team. So I was ready to do it.

I missed the swim.

I conveniently had “something come up” and “had a previous commitment that I couldn’t get out of”. Truth be told, I was out of fantasy land and back into reality. Now I had a decision to make. Do I stay committed to my dream of finishing an Ironman or do I put it off and chase the fantasy later?

I got alone and reflected and made a quiet decision to pursue it. I knew it would require hard work, consistent work and wisdom.

I followed the daily workouts that Coach Dave layed out for me.

  • Many times I didn’t “feel” like it but did it anyhow
  • Many times I was injured and did the workouts anyhow
  • Many times I wanted to quit, but I did it anyhow

9 months later I gave birth to that dream.

I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Coach Dave. It was just too big for me to tackle on my own. Thank you Dave.

So how do you apply the Business Boosters In Your Business?

  1. You develop a workout schedule. Hire a coach if you have to.
  2. Do the workouts whether you feel like them or not.
  3. Measure your progress and adjust as necessary.

You do these and I guarantee you will make quantum leaps in your business. Say it takes you 3 months of focus to implement one thing – an Adwords campaign, improving your conversion strategy, developing a referral program – if you do it in 3 months then it is done. Then say it takes you 3 more months to do the next thing, and so on. In 12 months you will have 4 new Business Boosters or campaigns in place that are getting you results.

If you did this consistently for 1, 2 or 3 years, what impact would this have do for your business? Your lifestyle? Your security?

The Best news is that your customers will love you for it and your competition will be too lazy to copy you and will say “you got lucky”.



P.S. If you want to read my writeup of my Ironman Race, go to It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face when you read about what happened when I got out of the water after my swim. 🙂