Todd Schnick is a stellar individual. He’s a great guy who spends a lot of time helping others (like me, for instance)—but that’s not the only reason you should read his new book. Live the Intrepid Life is well worth your read simply because it is in and of itself a very good book. I found myself doing a whole lot of head nodding while reading this one. I don’t know about you, but for me, it wasn’t until my early 20s when I realized that like it or not, most people are more alike than not. We all have shortcomings. Most, if not all, people have areas where they lack confidence. We all need to feel appreciated. While no one’s got life completely figured out, Todd provides tools and insight that can make it easier to cope with challenges in order to become a better, more productive individual.
Here are some highlights from Todd Schnick’s Live the Intrepid Life:
1) Todd recommends that you listen. He says:
“Don’t pretend to listen. We can sense when you aren’t. And this is a slap in the face. And shows no respect.”
Good listening skills are crucial in our industry, and we take it seriously. At PointClear, our associates take a course in Active Listening as part of their training curriculum. I find that I sometimes appear to be not as interested in understanding as being understood. I have to stop that. Todd has helped.
2) Todd talks about his own personal and professional ethos:
”I try to inspire my clients to be intrepid marketers. I want my clients to be fearless, bold, willing to take risks, to go for what they really want.”
In a recent PowerViews Live (webinar) Dave Kurlan pointed out that we all sound and write the same way. Our voicemails, emails, and demos sound much like every other voicemail, email and demo. Todd’s book will instill in you a desire to fix that.
3) Referring to a post by Leo Babauta, Todd offers some great and very practical advice:
“Deal with something once. Do it now. Then it’s off your mind, and you can fully focus on the next matter.”
Good to know that Leo and I are on the same page. For 30 years I have made the conscious effort to handle every piece of paper, every single email or item of mail that comes my way only once.
4) Referring to a quote by Tom Peters that, “Excellence is the next five minutes,” Todd writes:
I first happened upon this quote several years ago. And it blows my mind, every time I think about it. When I have to do something I don’t want to do, or when I have to focus on crafting an email, or when I am struggling with a paragraph in a blog post, or when I am preparing some food, when I am brushing my teeth or when I’m on the final mile of a long run…I think of this quote, and then all I have to do is just be excellent for the next five minutes. I mean, honestly, anyone can be excellent for five minutes. Or at a minimum, do their damnedest to be excellent for the next five minutes.
5) I’m willing to bet we can all relate to the struggle to balance what Todd refers to as “processing time” and “creative time.” (An example of processing time would be the time spent reading a book about someone else’s accomplishments, while creative time would be time spent actually writing a book about your achievements.) He writes:
Funny thing is, I love my processing time. I feel good updating, filing, sorting, getting the inbox to zero, checking things off, cleaning up and organizing. This is great fun for me, and as an anal retentive minimalist, this process is very important to my well-being.
But it doesn’t put food on the table.
6) Todd talks about the importance of meditation and addresses some common misconceptions.
Some people think this is hard. They’ll tell me: “Well, I get weird random thoughts, or I yawn a lot (so do I), or I get an itch on my nose, or the dogs bark, or I suddenly think of something I have to do…”Guess what? You are doing it right!
Your mind isn’t shutting down when you meditate. All you are really doing is finally listening to your thoughts. This is the whole point. Getting some quiet so your mind can process what it needs to.
I read more and more about meditation these days. Years ago I called it self-hypnosis. Fifteen minutes was like a refreshing two-hour nap. It’s time to try that again.
7) Todd says that most people fall into one of two categories: maintaining vs. forging. He writes:
Those who do maintenance are those that follow strict routines, follow the existing path (even if they do it well), and execute on known concepts (even if they do it well). These are the people who seem to embrace the status quo, and the type who once they find something that works, they stick with it, probably longer than they should. Those who forge new paths take risks, try NEW things, embrace fear, and are less worried about that others think. These are the people who do what others say can’t be done. And these folks keep tinkering—even with something that is working well.
It comes as no surprise that Todd personally identifies with the forger. He continually strives to “push the envelope” and rise above the status quo—hence the title of his book, Live the Intrepid Life. Todd’s book is loaded with down-to-earth lessons and what he calls “forehead smack moments” that have incredibly valuable and practical application. I’ve barely scratched the surface here with what I’ve shared.
Buy the book. You’ll be glad you did.