Control What You Can Control (COVID19)

Control what you can control, and don't fear you can't control because it does no good. 

I have learned, as much as I hate it, that I cannot control wht happens in New York, Italy, South Florida, or even the City of Gainesville. I can only control what actions I take and where my focus is.

This past week, I got sucked into focusing on things I couldn't control. I was zeroed in on the latest breaking news. The problem is that the news media is built around one idea, "if it bleeds, it leads." Meaning, you can get a lot more clicks / viewers / readers if your headlines read:

  • "Death Toll surpasses world record"
  • "250 brand new cases of CoronaVIrus in Florida"
  • "Unemployment numbers skyrocket" 

Compared to:

  • "Testing response times have been reduced substantially"
  • "Alachua County is beating most expert
  • ...

What I've Learned from My Toddler

I am not a parenting expert. My son, Griffin, is only 2 and I consider myself still pretty naive to this parenting thing. He is a charming, loving toddler with an energy and curiosity. He picks up new skills with a speed that I could only dream about and he loves and trusts with his whole heart. In this short time, I’ve learned more from him than I could have thought possible. Here are a just a handful of things my son has taught me:

Never Stop Learning
I watch my son’s face sometimes and I am awed to see the gears in his head turning. He is making new connections constantly and his curiosity is insatiable. He doesn’t need a classroom, a conference, or a formal setting to take in information and explore. He has taught me that I can approach every moment in life as an opportunity to learn.

Persistence Pays Off
My son is somewhat of an escape artist....

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

"Events don't equal our Explanations."

When an event happens, we tell ourselves stories to explain the event. Whatever the event is - a fight with your spouse, a disagreement with a team member, or even an underperforming direct report, we attach stories to the event and this creates our perception.

It could be we decided that our spouse was being rude, the team member thinks you're incompetent, or the direct report is lazy and unfixable.

A quick example: a High school student fails an algebra test (the event), and then makes the statement that "I'm just not smart enough to understand algebra." (the explanation).

You probably, as a mature adult, have come up with a couple completely differing explanations from the same event that have little to do with him not being smart. Maybe they sound like:

  • The student didn't study hard enough
  • He focused more on something else (girlfriend, sports, video games) than
  • ...
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5 Areas of Growth

5 Areas of Growth

Those close to me know that I am a big believer in setting goals and having targets to strive for. 2020 is a new year, a new decade and a fresh opportunity to take a look at where we've done well, and where we may still have some improvements we can make.

I will be honest, in years past my goals were driven more by my professional life and my goals for this team. As I've grown, and especially as I've grown in my role as a husband and a father, I've tried to expand that focus and make small gains in different areas of my life. Today I encourage you to take a look at these 5 areas of development and think about what changes you can that might bring you closer to your long term hopes and plans for your life.

Physical. This is the classic New Year's Resolution. Those few extra pounds. Getting to the gym more regularly. Scheduling those doctor's appointments we have been meaning to get to. It's an important area to focus on,...

Gotta Love Gainesville!

Something a little different for this edition of Rusty's Corner. As a life-long local, there is so much that I love about our hometown - We get to enjoy the outdoors year-round, from beautiful springs to amazing parks, with a great small community atmosphere and of course, The Florida Gators. Today I thought I'd mention Five of my favorite local things to do in Gainesville!

1. The University of Florida Campus - No surprise to anyone that knows me, I am a huge fan of the the Gators. Football games and tailgating come in first on my list, but there is so much more to do here. Basketball, Baseball, and Softball games, concerts and live entertainment and even just strolling around campus taking in the architecture and history. If sports aren't on your list of favorite past-times, you have working out running stadiums in The Swamp, riding your bike around Lake Alice, or stop by and check out the bats coming out of the bat houses in the evening. It would be hard to run out of...

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Finding Balance

Every business has a season and for us, summer is definitely the time of year that tests your mettle and wears your family's patience thin. Days start early and run long and weather wreaks havoc on carefully planned schedules. We all have these times in life where the hours are short and the list of things we need to get done is unending.

Today I thought I'd share a few tips that might help to ensure we are aiming towards keeping some balance in our lives.

  • Schedule a weekend to do nothing - I believe that we all need a bit or real down time. This isn't something that I have to opportunity to do often, but now and then a weekend with absolutely nothing on the calendar is deeply recharging!
  • Play to your Strengths - As much as I might like to tell myself that I can do everything, it's simply not true. And the reality is that there are people in my life who have skills and talents that are greater than mine. Focus your efforts on those tasks where you have
  • ...
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Habit 4: Seeking the Win-Win

As I'm continuing reading through the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People," the habit I'm rereading about now is seeking the Win-Win in every relationship. So many people think that everything has to be a winner take all ending, or end in a win-lose outcome. For me to win, someone else has to lose. Although that is true in sports (except in the age of everyone getting a trophy), it is not true in relationships.  Client relationships and even competitor relationships do not have to work that way.

For example, our company competes with a well-known Pest Control company in Gainesville for Lawn Spraying services, and they are one of the biggest in our area. For us to grow and take market-share - it will need to be from them at some point. There are a lot of times when we are providing an estimate for the same client trying to earn their business. Adversarially, that is a win-lose relationship. Either we get the business or they do.

However, if...

Being Proactive

Summer is here. In our industry the next few months are the most demanding. It’s a time when we learn if we’ve done enough work in preparation to minimize the complications today. The question really is “Have we been proactive?”

Being proactive is something we talk about quite often here at The Master’s. In fact, it’s one of the core values that we touch on with the team on a regular basis and is printed out on a large banner in our shop. But what does being proactive really mean when it comes to our personal lives?

For me, proactive planning in my life has evolved over the years. It started out with tried and true checklist for the day. What didn't get done got moved to the next to-do list. I was being proactive with my day, but it didn’t go much further than there. I soon discovered how much more effective it was for me to plan my days with my web calendar.

This was certainly a step in the right direction, I was now looking more at my week as a whole, rather...

The Difference Between Scarcity and Abundance

I’ve been reading Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People again, and I am really soaking in the concepts that he talks about of scarcity and abundance.

Here is what he says about scarcity: “Most people… see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.”

At the opposite end of the spectrum we have the abundance mindset. Here is how Covey describes it: “The Abundance Mentality… is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision-making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.”

Stepping away from a focus on scarcity and cultivating an abundance mentality is a challenge. It’s one that I struggle with literally every day. It’s easy to focus on the things that I...

Rusty's Corner: Discipline Equals Freedom

These are questions I hear often:

  • "How do you wake up so early?"
  • "How do you make yourself go to the gym every day?"
  • "How do you stay out of debt?"
  • How do you have a weekly date night?

The answer can be summed up into 1 quote from Jocko Willink - Discipline. Equals. Freedom.

Forcing yourself to do difficult and uncomfortable things gives you the freedom to do things you couldn't do otherwise.

Waking up early gives you time and focus because you beat the world to the punch. 

A challenging workout gives you endorphins and energy to tackle your day. 

Saving money will give you the ability to own things you never could've, and without a bank owning you. 

Prioritizing my wife and our marriage weekly gives us a better relationship to tackles life's trials.

Sure, all of the above things are abnormal, and that's why they get questioned. Normal is broke. Normal is...