I have found podcasts to be one of the single best resources for acquiring knowledge, entertainment, and news in industries I care about. But Spencer, when do you find the time??? Quick life-hack moment – I listen to these during my morning commute and while I eat breakfast – but mostly in the car. I’ve been able to consume hundreds of hours of content INSTEAD of listening to Katy Perry and Imagine Dragons on repeat on the radio. Side note: I love Imagine Dragons stuff and I’ll admit I have a guilty pleasure for Katy Perry’s stuff. But let’s face it, free public radio is the ancient past – podcasting is the present and the foreseeable future – and listening to bands on repeat isn’t getting me ahead in this world.
Ok, I’m not writing to convince you that podcasts rock, you can decide that for yourself. I’m here to list out my favorite podcasts to date…
This podcast is my personal favorite because it is a key part of My Morning Routine. Each day, nearly 900 episodes in a row, John Lee Dumas has put out quality, ~30min shows that focus on interviewing entrepreneurs – both big and small fish. The format of the podcast is consistently the same, which I’ve grown to really enjoy, because I can analyze a wide range of answers across hundreds of different entrepreneur experiences. He interviews real people and hones in on the journey of what it takes to grow your own business. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns though, each episode there is a focus on the greatest obstacle that entrepreneur had to overcome, and the answers are always inspiring and eye-opening. For someone like myself, who is aspiring to be in business for themselves, I’ve really grown to appreciate and value this content.
During my senior year of undergraduate study at Georgia Tech, I read Tim’s The 4 Hour Workweek and was inspired at the possibility of owning and automating my own business so I could live the best version of life I could imagine. Since then, Tim Ferriss has become a household name and published two other NY Times bestselling books. His podcast interviews some of the most successful savants across all industries and has very in-depth, personal interviews with them. The insights I’m gaining are tremendous and it’s incredibly interesting to learn about the lives of such high performers. The episodes vary between short and long, depending on whether he does a long-form interview or an “in-between-isode.”
I’ve actually had the pleasure of sitting in on the live recording of Episode 62 of their podcast – be warned – there was a good bit of drinking done because the filming was done at CrossFit Regionals 2013… That being said, these guys put out great content when it comes to lifting, endurance, mindset, and building strength. It definitely fuels my inner-athlete and it’s worth a watch if you are into fitness, body building, or competing in athletic events.
Clark Howard is a bit of a hometown hero in Atlanta. I grew up with my parents listening to him on AM750 WSB radio – in fact he might still be on their. Clark has crossed over and made his content available in a digital format and continues to provide a ton of financial guidance and advice to the public. As a young professional looking to get ahead, being careful with my money is always a consistent effort and I appreciate Clark’s conservative approaches to money management.
There you have it – my top 5 podcasts to date. I imagine this will be a growing and ever-evolving list and will make sure to continue updating it as I find more and more value out there. Additionally, I have this nagging gut feeling that I might be starting a podcast soon – I don’t know what topics it would cover – but the idea of creating and producing something is in my blood – I think I have what it takes, let me know if you agree and what you might want to hear!
Earlier today, I made my 25th blog post about how I Love Teaching – and it’s already been getting really nice traffic. What is nice traffic you ask?!? Well for a tiny phytoplankton in this giant internet ocean like myself, that looks like about 35-50 views – nothing earth shattering – but I’m loving the experience and the internal insights. Writing is coming very naturally, and it’s really helping sort out my version of the human experience and organize my thoughts. Sometimes it might look like ramblings – however some posts feel like the makings of some really quality content. Usually, it’s just close family and friends finding it entertaining. Whatever it is, it’s a good thing and this post is about reflecting on my last 25 blog posts, 3 personal transformations, and my favorite posts to date.
3 Transformations Since Starting to Blog:
Two weeks ago, I began volunteering two nights a week to teach children, ages 13-18, how to code in HTML & CSS. This has been tremendous, seeing kids light up about embedding a YouTube video or listing out their favorite foods and attaching pictures on a web page has really sparked some curiosities in a few youngsters that might grow into something great. This has ignited a passion for educating people, and particularly youngsters that I want to seek out further.
Started a Morning Routine that I’ve been consistent with 90% of mornings. This one practice is BY FAR the most important key to my recent performance and productivity improvements. Why report about a 90%? Because I’m human and want to emphasize how nobody is perfect, and there have been days I’ve woken up and not felt up to my hour-ish long routine. The one thing I have noticed is this: The days where I don’t complete a morning routine are the days I’m typically least productive, which is a great thing to know about one’s self.
Meditate for ~20min per day. Doing this in the mornings helps me come alive and focus on the task of the day. Doing it in the evening helps clear my mind of the day and prepare for a restful night sleep. Overall, the benefits to my mood and mental stability have been phenomenal and I would recommend this practice to anyone who is setting aside even just 2-5min a day.
My Top 7 Favorite Posts Thus Far (in order):
why 7?…. why not…?
My Morning Routine – It’s the one I link back to most and have edited the most, it’s my best work in progress.
Oh Snap! That’s a Cold Shower! – Entrepreneur on Fire’s John Lee Dumas commented on this post and really inspired some great confidence about what I’m doing.
1 (More) Reason I Love my Mother – This has been, BY FAR the most visited post. That’s because thanks to my mother’s Facebooking abilities, she was able to share it and attract nearly 900 unique visits to my site that day. Even WordPress told me the post was, and I quote, “Blowing up.”
Preparing to Ignite – This was the post right that inspired the morning routine. I realized on this day that turning 30 was 1,282 days away and I wanted to transform.
“I am Groot” – surprisingly, this post got me about 3 or 4 follows (like 30-40% of my followers at this time…) It was a reaction to my experiences watching Guardians of the Galaxy and a metaphorical analysis of the Groot character.
Group Therapy: Lessons from our 1st Group Project – We’ll round out the list with a reflection on what I learned from completing our first group project between back end, front end, and iOS developers. It’s an honest post with some good takeaways.
As I continue to refine and reiterate My Morning Routine, I keep hearing 1 topic come up consistently among highly effective CEO’s, founders, entrepreneurs, self-starters, and various other people I look up to:
What’s that you say granola-head? You want me to meditate? Like repeatedly chant Ohmmmmm and connect deeply with past incarnations of myself – no thanks, not for me – that kind of stuff is for Ace Ventura.
Sure, it’s safe to say meditation is not for everyone – nothing ever is… However, I find in my personal life that my mind is constantly bombarded with ideas, thoughts, and external stimuli and sometimes I just feel cloudy and need some SPACE! Well that is exactly what Headspace is setup to solve. Headspace is an application that walks the ultra beginner meditator through some guided, thought clearing exercises that take just 10 min a day and leave you feeling at peace. You can get started for free and everything can be done from your mobile device. I am testing it into my routine for the next 10 days to see if it fits.
Many experts and high performers swear by meditation as a daily or multiple days a week practice. This post isn’t meant to convince you that meditation is the way – you can make your own call on that. However, I am going to recommend that if you’ve always thought about trying out meditation and have heard good things, this would be a good place to get started. Plus, who doesn’t have 10 minutes in their Morning Routine they can spare?
I’ve added a new element to My Morning Routine – and it happens in the shower… Bow Chicka Bow Wow!
Actually it’s quite clean, it used to be that I’d blast my iPod classic 80gb with the 30 pin on the iHome original (remember those?) – typically to the sounds of Drake, Lil Wayne, and/or Shakira.
However, through listening to the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, one quality of highly successful people keeps showing its face… and they are known as Positive Affirmations. You see fear and doubt plagues all of our lives in some respect, and positive affirmations can be used as a preventative, mental medication of sorts for overcoming these doubts and ASSURING yourself that you are a highly valuable and capable human being. It is my belief, and the belief of many others, that this boost in self-confidence, early in the day, can have a dramatic, lasting, positive impact on the quality of your life and could give you the courage to take more risks you otherwise would be too doubtful of. Basically I’m trying to level up and be more like Mega Man every day.
So! Here is a list of my current Positive Affirmations that I repeat to myself in the shower and you might find value in developing your own:
“You are loved by God.”
“You are bold and powerful beyond measure.”
“Today is a gift – give thanks.”
“You are love – share it with everyone.”
“You are resilient.”
“Overcoming fear and doubt is a daily practice that you’re becoming increasingly better at.”
“You can be an inspiration to others – will you be?”
“You are the present and your future is your creation.”
“Are you going to be excellent today?”
This is a working list – yet is serving me well for the current time. You’ll notice there are also some questions added into the mix… The questions are there because everyday you have the power to choose who you are going to be – and asking the question allows yourself to give the answer you wish to give.
Do you have some Positive Affirmations or mantras that you live by?