Sunday Summary 19 June 2022

Top Five Threads

  1. The 1st step is EASY
  2. Bike Session (30/30s and Power Singles)
  3. When you feel you are behind financially
  4. Give your Self something useful to Prove Right
  5. I’m back on Strava // Post_COVID week summary

High Performance Habits

Workouts & Working Out

Life Lessons From Admiral Jonser

RADM Scott “Jonser” Jones

Years ago, I wrote a book about Ironman Triathlon. At the back of the book, I put my email address and invited readers to reach out.

Scott read the book, and sent the email…

I was sitting at my computer and wrote him back five minutes later.

Take the shot, make your own luck

22 years prior to that email, Scott dropped out of high school and joined the Navy.

At 17, he took the shot.

40 years of service

Shot after shot, after shot…

June 10, 1982 (E1) to June 10, 2022 (O8)



Scott was able to live his childhood dream.

What was yours?


One good relationship can change your life

There have been moments in my life when Scott has pointed out faulty thinking.

Based on the turnout at his retirement ceremony, there are hundreds of people who have appreciated a timely dose of Vitamin Josner.

One person can make a huge difference in the world.

Find your tribe, iterate towards better, contribute.


Just Keep Winning !

Just Keep Winning – some time this year, I started saying this (all the time) and passing it along to others

  • People hate you for no reason… just keep winning
  • Feeling imposter syndrome… just keep winning
  • Unsure what’s next… just keep winning

I get to the ceremony and it’s on the cake!

This got me thinking…

I have no memory of where Just Keep Winning came from but, now, I have a hunch.



People influence me, without my awareness

When you come across a positive influence, be willing:

  • to change
  • to go to them
  • to share what they like to do

Last Thursday, I gave you a list:

  1. Do they make me laugh?
  2. Do they help me think better?
  3. Do they set an example for the type of man I want to be?

I’ll add one more filter… The Better Test

What happens when this person arrives on the scene?

Pay attention when you see “better” happening.

Jonser makes things better.


The Admiral at 17 => top right

How To Build An Online Community

I’ll send this out a little differently on Twitter here’s my profile over there.

I’ve built online communities 4x and it gets easier each time. Probably, because some of you have been reading me for 20+ years.

Thank you!


KNOW YOUR WHY – most the advice I see is about ramping up follows and seeking to convert attention to cash.

Pay attention and you might find that cash-for-attention isn’t what you seek.

Know your goal and write it down – if you’re successful then the crowd will nudge you in unexpected ways.

My reasons:

Establish Expert Credentials – doing 100s of case studies in public will let you “get your story straight” and build a network of successful students who’ve applied your best advice.

Where this gets really exciting is when you see someone take your lessons and improve upon them. My current project of getting-back-in-shape is using techniques taught to me by coaches who studied my approach. Cool!

Connect/Engage – I live in a narrow niche and have a set of values outside the norm. Toss me on Twitter and there are a million like-minded folks. I get a kick out of engaging from Finland to Switzerland to Brazil.

Take time to unsubscribe from vibes you don’t want.

My feed is positive and WAY better than reading the news.


MUTE AND MOVE ON

A fact of the internet => Yahoo-encounters scale faster than reach

I recommend a one strike and you’re out policy.

It’s never been easier to mute and move on.

My “why” does not require helping everyone, being universally liked or getting wrapped up in drama.


PICK A TOPIC YOU KNOW WELL

Lots of people know more than me, nobody knows my story better than me

…and it’s an interesting story because I…


DO INTERESTING STUFF THEN WRITE ABOUT IT

  • Taking a leave of absence, qualifying for World Champs and winning Ultraman Hawaii…
  • Being absolutely miserable then figuring out a way to get better…
  • Handing back a Private Equity partnership because I wanted to live an outdoor life…
  • Changing myself so I could attract a wonderful woman…
  • Learning to be an expert skier, late in life…
  • Write a book, then another…
  • Going from the couch to running a 35-minute 10K…
  • Giving comfort to the dying…

Be willing to fail – failure makes for great copy.

…and if you don’t fail… even better copy!


HELP STRANGERS

Ten years ago, I didn’t know my kids. So glad I made a choice towards family. We only get one chance to know a kid then they’re grown up.

  • Before I had my kids, I had my team.
  • Before my team, my readers.
  • Before my readers, fellow athletes trying to figure out sport.

While you are doing work… leverage yourself. Create systems to capture your best ideas – it might be as simple as a bedside notebook and a Notes App.

Pay attention to everyone who responds positively to your message.

Dial down those with a negative bias – this is very tough with the rich & famous – you do not want to “catch” a negative bias.


DO IT EVERY DAY

Pick one format/platform: blog, Twitter, forum, FB/IG, video… set yourself a schedule and do it every day.

13 cycles of my Content Week was enough to add 1,000 people to my network.

Further, by staying positive, I like ALL these people!

Make sure you like the world you create


ANALYTICS ON

Why?

Most simply, because the author doesn’t get to choose what interests the reader.

  • Capture what interests people (One Page PDFs)
  • Reinforce your best ideas (Copy & Paste Links)
  • Spend time improving your best stuff

Finally, there is no goal

The reward is in the work, improve the world one interaction at a time.

Live Like A Billionaire – Risk Preference and Life Lessons

This series has been about learning from those without financial limits:

  • Who do they share their best moments with?
  • What are those moments?
  • Are we missing out?

Once I’m on the inside of the team, I notice that my risk preference is the lowest in the group. Frankly, not surprising when you are rolling alongside extreme skiers and mountaineers.

Here’s something about risk. Group risk rises to the level of the MOST risk tolerant member.

It’s why my investment committee has the rule “most conservative carries the decision.”

Anyhow, with two young kids and a pregnant wife, I had learned what I could and wanted to put more time into my young family.

So I opted out.

My boss…

>You firing me?

>>No, most definitely not. There is no way I will be able to repay you for what you taught me.

…and off I went for a decade.

Once again on the road less travelled.

Not over, yet – most of them took up Skimo.

😉


Let’s recap:

Best Days are defined by shared outdoor experiences with a small number of close friends – building memories that last

Peers & Teachers have a mix of kindness and competitiveness => notice this combination when you see it. These are people who tell us the truth, push us to do better and keep us grounded.

There’s nowhere to get to => I realized that between my wife, and my kids, I could create my own inner circle. A circle where we share Best Days and reduce our collective risk of ruin.

I remain grateful for the opportunity for a look behind the curtain.

Live Like A Billionaire – From The Inside

A question I raised on Brad’s podcast, who’s your reference set?
Who am I trying to impress?

Last week, I wrote about my introduction to the well-adjusted rich.


Roll forward, I’m on the “special projects” team.

I have a look around.

  • World-class skier
  • World-class ultramarathoner
  • World-class mountaineer
  • Younger version of, said, WC Mountaineer
  • Biz partner: former D1 athlete

Every person a mix of kind and competitive.

A limited number of close relationships, the collective sum being who the boss wanted to become.

This insight does not require assets.

It requires:

  • enough space in your life to think strategically (control your schedule)
  • the knowledge of where you want to go (choose wisely)
  • access to the people you want to become (last week)

What wasn’t there.

I saw: spouse, kids, PA, pilot and the rest of the team.

No Posse.

The world has an incentive to tell us what we want to hear, if you’re rich then even more so.

Close relationships, who share truth.


How was the team used?

Short trips, shared experiences, having fun together.

Doing fun things with world class people.


Assets are no barrier to this life.

Go get it.

Live Like A Billionaire – Student to Teacher

Unexpected mid-week power day.
It’s hard to put a value on the ability to “drop everything”.

What does the title of this piece bring to mind?

  • Jet?
  • Multiple properties?
  • Luxury yacht charters?
  • Seven-figure burn rate?
  • Handing out favors to friends and strangers?
  • Being hailed and feted?

One of the best parts of my coaching journey was getting to know “the well adjusted rich.”

I’m going to spend a few Thursdays running through the lessons I learned from watching people who have a different set of limits.


The Best Teachers You Can Find

My journey started ten years before I got the job.

First, I was a student…

Meeting Joe Friel: Joe is the founder of triathlon coaching in the United States. I had the chance to spend a weekend with him in the Spring of 2000.

By the way, this is how you might get a mentor interested in you…

  • I went to him
  • I showed him how he’d helped me
  • I listened to his advice
  • I went away and did it

Something he said stuck with me, “I’d never met someone who understood my teaching as well as you.” I didn’t just study his philosophy, I tried to embody it.

Joe started me as a coach, helped me win races and wrote a book with me.

Great deal for both of us.

The strategy worked once, so I repeated…

John Hellemans, Scott Molina, Dave Scott, Mark Allen => I was able to learn from the best.

I shared what I learned, for free, widely.


Eventually, I was a teacher…

A decade later, I turn up in Oceanside, on a road bike, in March, and crush most everyone over 40 in a 70.3 race.

Two guys, I’d never heard of, reach out for a call and I accept. I didn’t know they were friends and checking me out, separately.

I get hired and have the chance to look under the hood of the well-adjusted rich.

Turns out my client was a successful finance-guy, who stayed in the game.

His life was, and remains, the best-case scenario of a life I decided not to lead.

Becoming world-class, publicly, creates unexpected opportunities.


Let’s call this Chapter One.

If you’ve been watching me on Twitter – you can see I’m following a similar playbook in 2022.

Not towards any specific goal => simply to connect, be engaged and create unexpected opportunities.

1,000 Day Pacing and New Habit Creation

Strength training is the ultimate long game.
Each session moves me further away from what I’d be without it.

I’m going to explain how I qualified for World Champs, won Ultraman Hawaii, found my wife and improved my parenting game.

Big wins – different domains.


Here’s my template…

  1. Create one new habit at a time
  2. Set the bar low (!)
  3. Hit that bar daily (30, 100, 500, 1000)
  4. Remove what causes me to miss the minimum
  5. Sort the specifics after the habit is on autopilot
  6. Access experienced mentors
  7. Surge effort when conditions are favorable

What would happen if you made a choice to…

  • Do a little bit of cardio
  • Do a little bit of strength
  • Help one stranger
  • Share a simple lesson you know well
  • Make one connection
  • Eat a salad at 3pm
  • Eat 2 apples at 11am
  • Write 100 words

…every single day for the next 1,000 days?

Build one small habit.

Repeat.


My 8:29 Ironman performance started when a fat finance guy (me) decided it might make sense to walk to the pub rather than drive.

I can remember that one choice.

I can remember a later choice to do something-every-day.

I’ve done my “1,000 days” many times => writing, investing, wife, kids, sport, connection, strength training

Knowing the power of compounding, I still underestimate the speed of improvement.


What are your deep wants and desires?

What one thing, if it happened, would change everything?

Why not move a little forward each day?

Why wait to be great

The Choices That Define Your Financial Life

  • Act as if personal finance is a game where you only get ten tickets to play.
  • Invest as if you are holding a checkbook with only a dozen checks inside.
  • Speak as if you’re holding a six-shooter, is it worth one of your bullets to make the point that’s on your mind.

I’ve been hearing versions of the above my entire life. It’s been great advice and encouraged me to:

  • Slow down
  • Resist the urge to interrupt compounding
  • Keep it simple
  • Focus on the big decisions
  • Treat small movements like noise

So, we started your kids with the allowance game.

Then, we moved onto discussing the family’s allocation of capital towards education.

With that, we considered the impact, across generations, of borrowing.

What next?

Teach your kids their financial lives will be about no more than a dozen choices.

Here are mine:

  • Study finance (class of 1990)
  • Save 50% of my take home (1990-2007)
  • Partners investment scheme (late 90s, all in then, equivalent of 1 yr spending now)
  • Work to build a startup (2000)
  • Sell into the frenzy (2005-2007)
  • Move into a low-cost Vanguard portfolio (2008 onwards)
  • Boulder real estate (2010 & 2012))
  • Downsize (2012-2013)
  • Borrow long at 3.25% (2013)
  • Debt free (2007 & 2020)
  • Have kids with a kind woman from a humble background (on going)

Every other choice turned out to be noise. What to do?

Focus on actions, not outcome.

What does that really mean?

Do what moves you forward and have faith. Sport, marriage, money, all things… daily action is the fundamental force moving you towards “better.”

Education matters => I was given a chance in Private Equity because I had high marks in a useful field. Between my high school graduation (1986) and my youngest’s (2031) the nature of “useful” will have changed. However, the need for skilled people to “do” will endure.

The most useful part of my degree wasn’t finance! It was financial accounting, programming and mathematics => I learned fundamental knowledge in college. I learned my profession on-the-job. You learn the valuable part by doing work, for the best people you can find.

This keeps popping up over and over again (professors, partners, coaches, mentors, twitter follows). At 53, I’m learning from people less than half my age! Do work to learn.

Avoid Ruin => studying, then working in, financial accounting helps you learn when a situation doesn’t feel right. Embezzlement is an old game and it’s useful to learn the patterns. Financial fraud happens, and will continue to happen. Take steps to reduce your family’s exposure to ruin.

With the accounting, I learned the most with 9 credits spread across three courses. Financial Accounting 1, 2 and 3. Small investment, huge return. Do it when you’re young. Being forced to rely on others to do your financial math is a disadvantage that will cost you.


Let’s pull it together for you…

Starting your working life (in a useful field, with your financial accounting courses done)…

You are at least a decade away from making the shift to lifestyle sustainable, so you focus on:

  1. Learning by doing with the best people who will hire you
  2. Savingget that first $100K banked, you will be grateful when you’re older
  3. Waiting for the fat pitch – once in a lifetime investment opportunities happen once a decade
  4. Turning yourself into the sort of person you’d like to marry, the friend you’d like to have, the parent you aspire to be => meaningful connection is true wealth

Your mind will try to trick you into thinking it’s the investment choices that matter.

It is not.

It is the four habits I outlined above, and avoiding substance abuse.

Getting Past Athletic Depression

Every night, my son likes me to have a stuffy to keep me company.
The love of children is a special gift.

For medical-grade depression, best to see your doc.

My condition, for most of 2021, is better described as “the blahs.” I was fully functional, grinding away, often angry and rarely engaged.

I wrote about what we were going to do in our marriage HERE. 20 weeks later, it worked far better than I expected – schedule time with those you love.

I have proven judgement about what it’s going to take to make things better. Just need to get off my butt and follow my own advice!


This piece is about three small changes I made in my life. The payback was in a strange currency => I’ve been repaid by feeling better.

I’m feeling better because I’m not fixated on the negative.

Happier is the absence of…. [whatever was bothering us, I guess].


HRV is the addition I wish I made earlier

Tracking my heart rate variability has proven to be a game changer.

I’m giving HRV a lot of credit but before y’all head out and buy another gizmo, I want to share something Scott Molina once told me

G-Man, sometimes you simply need someone else to tell you the same thing.

We were talking elite ironman training protocols but, like everything, it applies to everything.

Once I heard HRVs “message”, I was able to see it elsewhere.

What I perceived as a problem with my life situation was, mostly, a recovery issue. My emotional state was being screwed up by excessive fatigue.

HRV, and periodic misery, got me to change.

The change is what nudged me towards better.

I wasted a lot of time thinking I needed to change _everything_ when the solution was a bit more sleep and not making myself “more tired when tired.”

Turned my watch alarm off, and shifted load as I wrote about two weeks ago.


Remove time in your worst environment

The cherry on top was spending $75 a week to retire from driving my kids.

Driving, itself, wasn’t the issue.

I noticed my worst moments were happening in my car.

Change the environment, change the result.

I stopped hanging out in my car, I felt better.

Over 20 years, I’ve redirected my environment => one choice at a time.


Mount Crested Butte – this ski season saw a simple game. Try to hit ten resorts.

Simple project, visible feedback

I have a habit of rejecting the part of my personality that craves external feedback. I pretend I am above external approval, I’m not.

I brought back external feedback by way of my return to Twitter.

Playing a low-stakes game where you get random, positive feedback => surprisingly useful.

I am going to repeat that… if you have the blahs then you should try…

  • A low-stakes game
  • That pays out randomly
  • With positive emotional feedback

I shouldn’t be surprised! Before I left Private Equity in 2000, I had a message board (pre-Facebook) where we used to shoot the breeze just like Twitter. Loved it, met some great people.

My Twitter Game => seek to help a stranger daily.

Huge leverage, near-infinite niche opportunities.

Previous simple games: improve aerobic run performance, and log daily training minutes. These two games kept me engaged for over a decade!

Simple games work because they offer a focus different from my negative fixations. They are most powerful when attached to a system of daily rewards.

Another game was inside my advice to the Big Units… breakfast after one positive step.


The purpose of the game is neither to win nor to finish.

The purpose of the game is to keep me from getting fixated on something with the potential to ruin my life.

Five Questions Every Coach Needs To Ask Themselves

Let’s cast our minds back to my 30-something self.

He’s bought a house in Christchurch, covered his taxes/utilities by giving a room to his property manager and has the ability to live free by renting out additional rooms.

Create a base of operations where you can live for free

Tick


Next up, he needs to figure out what sort of work to do and how to cover his cost of living.

A dozen triathlon coaching relationships (US$250) per month was what it took to cover basics. Those relationships were worth more than money. The relationships made his lifestyle sustainable.

Tick


Basic client filtering over time.

Which relationships to strengthen and retain? Green light client rating – immediate response, has all personal contact details. Travel to them.

Invert, which relationships are a source of distraction and drain energy? Red light client rating – still high service level, hand-off to a better fit at a natural breakpoint (end of season, end of project).


Move on to…

Next level client selection because => there is a limited number of close relationships we can sustain

What do I want to learn about?

  • Pro cycling
  • Lifestyles of the rich and famous
  • Olympic level triathlon
  • Sports medicine, orthopedics, biomechanics, kidney function, cardiology
  • Exercise physiology, metabolic health, blood markers
  • Financial planning
  • Military aviation
  • Theology and ministry
  • Addiction, Al-Anon, AA, recovery
  • Trust, estate and family law

These are areas I was able to study, from world-class experts, while covering my core cost of living.

Put another way, there are millions of interesting people out there. A consultant needs 5-12 relationships for a viable business. Craft those relationships with intent because your time is worth more than someone’s ability to pay.

Wise client selection is a game of getting paid to learn.

…but you gotta be lifestyle sustainable. So get that first!


Where do I want to visit?

Back in 2000, Christchurch NZ was cheap for a reason. It was far off the beaten path!

A material slice of my cost of living was international travel (airfares & hotels). I really enjoyed this aspect of my life.

I’m not alone. A key form of marketing is the ability to offer clients/investors the ability to travel to nice places. Most large companies have advisory boards, with a membership consisting of their key relationships. The advisory board has the perks of being a director, with none of the fiduciary risk.

I’ve had gigs in: Aspen, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Scotland, LA, Italy, London, Dubai, Paris, Cannes, Hawaii…

So, where do YOU want to go? Find that client, help them achieve their goals and undercharge them.

Rich folks love random acts of financial kindness. They’re always expected to pick up the tab, so paying for coffee/breakfast is a high-return investment.

A long term value added relationship with someone in a place you enjoy visiting – it’s worth more than whatever your financial deal is.

Invert (again) => don’t take work from a location you don’t want to visit. At any price.

One of my gigs came with an around-the-world ticket every six months. With a bit of planning, that covered an entire year’s worth of air travel. Another slice of my budget, covered.


What demographic am I curious about?

Tim’s blog on fame shares the Bill Murray quote, “trying being rich first.”

Actually, being rich is tough. It takes a lot of time and striving. Living rich is even worse, not for me.

Before you try to “be something” => get to know it. See what it’s like when nobody’s watching.

Coaching the rich, the fast, the famous, the savage, the beautiful… and paying attention, helped me look under-the-hood with regard to my values.

Be careful, desire is contagious.