Be Audacious. Be Bold. Be Loud.

You want to be audacious.

You want to be bold.

You want to live a life of intention.

I’ve studied courageous leaders both young and old. The dreamers of dreams, the music makers. They all have one thing in common.

They speak confidently about their future. They steer their life in the direction they want to go. They don’t ask for your permission. They don’t stop to ask you for directions. They tell you where they are headed and then make it happen.

So, I have advice for you.

Tell everyone you know.

Shout it from the mountaintops.

Be bold. Be audacious. Chase your dreams and live the life you have always imagined.

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Get Off Facebook and Get Started

I am fond of Facebook. I have been known as a Facebook connoisseur and have even given keynote addresses about the importance of Facebook as an educational tool. I have been on Facebook since the days when you needed a college email address to sign up. Back when all you could do was write on someone’s wall, message them, or poke them.

I think the order of people to sign up for Facebook are as follows:

  1. Mark Zuckerburg
  2. Matt Eaton
  3. Ryan Eller

Facebook is such a powerful tool that I couldn’t run my business without it. It is perfect for networking and promoting great ideas with like-minded individuals.

However, it has a dark side. The dark side is full of Candy Crush and invites to join a mafia family. It contains countless hours of frivolous material that doesn’t help us achieve our dreams and Live Your List. It doesn’t even have to seem frivolous on the surface to become a time-suck of wasted energy.

For example, I am part of the Start Experiment group on Facebook. It was created by Jon Acuff as an opportunity for dreamers of dreams to connect with others who were wanting to accomplish great things with their lives. And it started out that way, it truly did.

It eventually morphed into a community of people who were so focused on liking Facebook statuses and chatting with others that it consumed their time. It turned into a community talking about glitter, unicorns, and unimportant conversations. I am not a fun-hater, just a time-suck hater.

Don’t misunderstand me, this group has generated a ridiculous amount of good will and positive energy amongst its members. If you want to use Facebook as a tool for success, I would encourage it. However, when you cross the line into time-suck it drains your energy and productivity.

I met some people at the Start Conference who were also a member of the Start Experiment group. Many, if not most, of them were achieving great things. There were some however, in which it was obvious they were stalling in life doing frivolous things just like they were in the Facebook group.

In full disclosure, I know this life so well because I have previously been known as a professional Facebook time-waster. I would tell myself that what I was doing online mattered in the big scheme of things. Using Facebook as a positive tool is like cheating in golf. If you cheat in golf, pretty much only you will know. But you will know. You know if you are using Facebook in a positive manner or as a time waster.

If you find yourself in a downward spiral of Facebook time-suck, get offline. Do things that matter. Get started.

We are what we repeatedly do.

we-are-what-we-repeatedly-do

According to the StrengthsQuest assessment, I am a Maximizer. I’m not one who has the patience to work with things, organizations, or people who need to be brought up from the bottom. I don’t excel in bringing things from below average to average.

I am always empowered when I can work with a person or an idea that is already good and making it great. This is why my job is perfect for me. I work and facilitate with great people. People who are changing the world through acts of greatness. However, I have started to realize that greatness is not what the people in my life want.

They want something more than greatness, something more than the status quo. I understand completely, because I feel the same way. I first thought perfection was what I desired, but that’s a poor plan. Perfection is unattainable, so if I strive for perfection I will fail every single time.

I have decided I am looking for excellence in my life. If the quote from Aristotle is true, then excellence is not an act but a habit. It is something we work on every single day. It is a lifetime of commitment towards living an inspired life. It is waking up early to wake hard, hustling towards our dreams, and being intentional with our relationships.

If excellence is a habit, then greatness is an act. We can achieve greatness innately or even on accident. Making a 97% on a test: greatness. Making a 97% in a class: excellence. Giving a one-time large donation: greatness. Giving consistently over a lifetime: excellence.

If excellence truly is habitual, then we need to start creating healthy habits. Start gaining control of the small things in your life. Be intentional to show up on time, listen to others, and spend time with people who matter. Do all of the little things right, and excellence can be eventually achieved.

Big dreamers need to do the small things. Work hard. Persevere. Keep your word, and do it every single day.

Brinner with Eller Project

I have a new list. I know this sounds crazy to those of you who consistently read my blog. I am making a list of the people who have impacted me the most in my life. The goal of creating this list is to show some gratitude to these influencers by taking them to brinner (breakfast for dinner).

Picture via pollitacalprof on tumblr.com

Picture via pollitacalprof on tumblr.com

I am going to interview them over a solid plate of pancakes, bacon, waffles, or biscuits and gravy. I am going to tell them how much they mean to me. I am going to ask them for advice for my future. Some of these people I know well, and some I have never met. Some know they influenced me, and some have no idea. Some I will cook for, and some I will buy. Some are close to home, and some are in different continents.

Either way, I want to have brinner with them and document the journey. Below you will find my list of influencers:

Early Life

  1. Richard Eller
  2. Suzie Eller
  3. Melissa Hall
  4. Leslie Dacus
  5. Jim Eller
  6. Sandra Eller
  7. Steven Rose
  8. Eric Smith
  9. Brandon Nickell
  10. Kristen Schell Fenska
  11. Darrin Ballard
  12. Raffi Balesteros

The Formative Years (College & Beyond)

  1. Kristin Eller
  2. Rickey Peaker
  3. Jerrod Murr
  4. Ryan Fenska
  5. Dr. Dana Eversole
  6. Dr. Amy Aldridge Sanford
  7. Emily Konieczny
  8. Tracie Sexson
  9. Diane Walker
  10. Matt Eaton
  11. Loyd Collins
  12. Wayne King

The Famous

  1. Dave Ramsey
  2. Mark Collard
  3. John Maxwell
  4. Jack Canfield
  5. Jon Acuff
  6. Nate Folan
  7. Karl Rohnke
  8. Dr. Arnold Mitchem
  9. Tom Peters
  10. Marcus Buckingham
  11. Craig Groeschel
  12. David Allen

If you have connections with one of these people and want to help me out, I would appreciate it! If you are not on this list and you would like to have brinner with me, and are willing to provide it, I am willing to travel.

Why Jon Acuff And I Should Go On A Road Trip Together

I just attended Jon Acuff’s Start Conference. It was a great conference with a perfect mix of awesomeness, food trucks, and wannabe hipsters. It was loaded with inspiring content and lots of laughs. The conference attendees were moving down the road to awesome and inspired me to get started. My passion bucket is now overflowing.

The main star of the event was Mr. Acuff himself. He was a model of hilarity as he rolled through his speeches with perfectly layered jokes. He brought his wife and kids on stage for interviews. He stood in line as hundreds of people wanted him to sign his book. He even threw in some PG-11 jokes because the conference wasn’t recording his keynote addresses.

jon acuff

What is he looking at?

The attendees loved him so much that I think a woman fainted when he said his local Trader Joe’s didn’t offer scavenger hunts for kids. She gasped out loud and gurgled a little before she could catch her breath. That’s how much of a star Acuff was at the Start Conference.

The thing I enjoyed the most about Mr. Acuff was his pragmatic content. I agreed with everything he said about chasing your dreams and being a Starter. I loved his ideas on social media and writing. I appreciated his views on hard work and doing the right things to be successful.

During the conference I started thinking about how awesome it would be if the two of us went on a road trip. Creepy, right? Well, I am going with it because I still think it would be fun.

You know I love a good road trip. I would assume Acuff would as well. I’m guessing our voices would go sore with all the talking about awesome we want to achieve.

He would be surprised about how little I know about 80s trivia. He would try to make some jokes about The Breakfast Club…I would laugh in an awkward way, but he would know that I didn’t know what he was talking about.

I would surprise him with my knowledge on NBA All-Stars from the 90s, and I assume I would impress him with my thorough knowledge of breakfast food items.

We would make lists about our favorite lists we have made.

Most importantly, we would have a great time on a road trip because dreamers love being around other dreamers. We excel in situations where we can talk about the amazing things we want to do in our lives, and the ways we can give back to others.

Dreamers love talking to other dreamers because they inspire each other to do more, live more, achieve more.

Fortunately I don’t need Jon Acuff to talk about dreams, I have my personal assistant for that. I encourage you to find a Dreamer of Dreams that you can brainstorm with. Find someone who helps change your life in a positive direction.

Find that person and take them on a road trip. It just might change your life.

The Two Easiest Ways to Work and Make Money From Home

I am now a small business owner. A lifestyle entrepreneur, if you will. I travel around the world and facilitate leadership and team-building activities. On days when I am not traveling, I work at the house and spend time with my family. I make more money in two days than I did in an entire month at the University. I genuinely love what I do, and I wake up happy every day.

I tell you all this because I want you to be able to do the same thing. I know you have a passion or dream inside of you waiting to burst from the seams. I know you would like to travel and have the flexibility that people like me have, and you can do it too. I am going to give you the two secrets that helped me get to where I am today.

1. Don’t quit your job – Whaaa??? How am I supposed to do all of those awesome things while working 9-5? I’ll tell you how…you wake up early and hustle. You spend your free hours not watching TV but writing your book. You save money and store it away to have an emergency fund for when you start you business.

I worked part-time with my dream job for over four years before I quit my full-time job. I had built up a clientele, used up all of my extra vacation time, and spent my own money on building the business before I actually dove in head first.

It is hard to run your own business, and it is hard to have two jobs. It is very hard, however, when you quit your job and have no money to pay the bills or feed the kids. If you feel like quitting your job, do yourself a favor and read Quitter by Jon Acuff first to make sure you are ready.

2. Hustle – We have been told our whole lives that we can do whatever we want in this world. If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor. If you want to be an astronaut, be an astronaut. I support this 100%, and I would encourage you to follow your dreams and Live Your List. However, I feel as if we haven’t been told the most important part of chasing our dreams: You must work very, very hard.

Do you want everyone to believe in your dreams? Wake up at 5 a.m. and work on them. Put in the effort to be successful. People see successful individuals and assume that it is easy to get to work from home. They don’t see the hours and hours of effort put in behind the scene. I have worked harder as the CEO of Paradigm Shift than I ever have at any other job (including being the Easter Bunny at the mall).

Those are the two secrets. Don’t quit your job and hustle. I stole these from Jon Acuff who probably stole them from other successful people, but the principles remain the same.

What have you been hustling on recently? What things can you do to be successful at your day job while waiting for your dream job?

Sometimes You Just Need A Brain Dump

My personal assistant, Jerrod Murr, and I have been fortunate enough to travel across the US and facilitate workshops for all age ranges and personality types. These groups all say the same thing…I have too much on my mind.

We have responsibilities, goals, chores, and dreams. We have so many things we want to accomplish while we are trying to accomplish the things we don’t want to do. It is a never-ending cycle.

So, before I try to teach a group or learn new activities I facilitate a Brain Dump.

brain-dump-leadership

It is very simple: I take 5 minutes to write down everything that is on my mind. Some days I fill up part of the page, and some days I fill up four or five pages. When you write, know that you can resume your responsibilities later. At that moment it is time to learn.

That is it. Simple as pie (eating pie, I assume…cooking pie is difficult). Grab a journal, scrap piece of paper, or an iPad. Get everything out of your head. Get focused on learning and growing with 100% of your attention.

What’s on your mind today? Do you have a particular exercise that helps you focus?

An Open Thank You Note…To You

Thank you. Yep, I am talking to you.

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

Thank you for supporting me while I chased these crazy dreams.

Thank you for kicking me in the tail when I needed to act, and thank you for catching me when I fell.

Thank you for loving me through my annoying and loud stages (still ongoing).

Thank you for helping me Live My List.

Most of all…thank you for believing in me. I could not have done this without you.

Ryan

Don’t Brag About Your #5Club Awesomeness Around These People

I was so excited for the first Tulsa #5Club. I have been waking up at 5 a.m. every day sine Mr. Jon Acuff invited me to take a risk towards achieving my dreams as a member of the Start Experiment. I also challenged myself to host a #5Club in the Tulsa area for others who wanted to get up early to chase their dreams.

#5Club

We hosted the first #5Club at the Village Inn in Midtown Tulsa, and I proudly told the hostess how we had chosen to wake up this early to network and talk about dreams. I mentioned how it had been a struggle to wake up, but that people who were serious about their dreams sacrificed to achieve them.

You might be able to guess what happened next. The hostess looked at me with a very unimpressed glare and slowly rolled her eyes at my statements.

Being a part of the #5Club has been awesome. Let’s be honest though…it’s not awesome when I wake up at 5 in the morning, but it is awesome how many things I have been able to accomplish because I am selfish in the wee early hours.

Depending on the time of the day, I have been found either bragging or complaining about my experience during the #5Club. However, I have learned to do this with caution…there are certain people who you will look at you like you’re silly if you talk about chasing your dreams before your dog is even awake. I have compiled a list so you will know who to be tight-lipped around:

  1. Dairy Farmers – They are handling cow utters before you wake up at 5, I don’t think they will listen to you complain.
  2. People Working the Graveyard Shift – If they are getting off work when you are getting up, don’t brag about waking up early (re: Village Inn Hostesses).
  3. Pipeliners, Oil Riggers, or People in Construction – I tried to sound cool about hustling in the early morning to my Cousin Kyle, who curtly told me he had poured concrete at 3:30 that morning.
  4. Those Who Hustle in the Morning to Survive – Hustling at 5 a.m. is one thing, working hard in the early morning to survive and support your family is another. These people are the true heroes, not us.
  5. Parents with Infants in the House – Be careful around young parents, they might throw bottles and pacifiers at you. I have learned that young parents have zero tolerance for those who talk about being tired.
  6. Old People – Back in their day they walked uphill both ways to work at 4 a.m. so they could make money at a factory before starting high school. Five a.m. is nothing!

These are just the people I have learned about in the past two weeks. I am sure there are many more. Who would you add to this list? Please comment so I won’t brag or complain around them.

 

5 Club Hall of Famers

Major League baseball’s Hall of Fame is a special club. The players enshrined in those hallowed halls are honored after a lifetime of hustling. They started as children, played ball during the long summer hours as a teen, and then juggled strenuous schedules in college. Players then get paid lower than minimum wage in the minors as they travel throughout small towns all across the US. Getting to the majors for just one game is an unbelievable accomplishment, yet some players have long and successful careers. And then there’s the Hall of Famers.

There have been around 18,000 men to play in the majors, and only 300 have been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. You can’t get into the Hall of Fame without talent, dedication, and tons of hustle. Which is also why very few people make it into the 5 Club Hall of Fame.

early-to-bed-early-to-rise-makes-a-man-healthy-wealthy-and-wise-benjamin-franklin

The 5 Club Hall of Fame is a special club. It belongs to the brave few who have the courage to wake up at 5 am and hustle to achieve their dreams. I am currently trying to break through the minor leagues to join the ranks of 5 Club professionals. These professionals have mastered the tricks of waking up before the sun rises to write the book they’ve always dreamed about, to pound the pavement before the summer heat, or to just find a moment of peace amidst a lifetime of craziness. If you can achieve an extended period of early morning hustle you just might make it into the Hall of Fame.

These Hall of Famers aren’t oversleeping their alarm, or even hitting snooze. These select few are doing more by 7 am than most people do in a week. They are almost inhuman, and certainly put in their dues through a lifetime of hustling. I have done a little research to compile a list of the inaugural class of 5 Club Hall of Famers:

1. Jon Acuff – The man has his own wing in the 5 Club Hall of Fame. He has written books about the subject, hosts 5 Club meetings across the nation, and inspires people like me to hustle on our dreams.

2. Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz – The dude wakes up early enough to work out and be in the office by 6 am. I am sure it helps to have an unlimited supply of coffee at your disposal.

3. George H.W Bush – The former President would wake up at 4 am, be in the office at 6 am, and would even work until 2 am. As if leading the free world wasn’t enough.

4. Benjamin Franklin – Franklin coined the famous quote: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man, healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He probably came up with the quote on some early morning. It wouldn’t have rhymed without his early morning hustle.

5. Napoleon – The famous French emperor made a point of being an early riser, even if it was mostly to get dressed for public appearances. Even after he was exiled to the island of St. Helena he would wake up early.

6. Ernest Hemingway – Hemingway would wake up before sunrise to write, stating that it was the best time to be creative undisturbed.

7. Richard Eller – Although he isn’t as famous as others on this list, my dad has been an early riser his whole life. Like all dairy farmer’s children, my dad started waking up at 5 am as a kid. When he went to college, he would wait outside the cafeteria in the morning for it to open at 6. He then became a dairy farmer as an adult, and eventually worked at a paper factory that required him to show up early. He now works as a counselor and doesn’t have to be in to work until 8:30, but he still wakes up early and hustles.

This is the inaugural class of the 5 Club Hall of Fame. I am sure I omitted many people (both famous and yet-to-be-famous) from my list. Who do you think should be inducted into this Hall of Fame? Has there been anyone who has inspired you to hustle?