Archives For 5 minutes a day

We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.

Calvin Coolidge

Fear is one of the biggest obstacles we face, personally and in business.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of losing.  Fear of failure.  The effects of fear can be paralyzing.  Without a face-to-face confrontation, fear will keep us from greatness.

My Pap’s greatest fear

One day, back when my father was still a young and crazy boy, he and a friend captured a nice sized black snake.   My grandfather was afraid of snakes.  No, actually, he was terrified of snakes.  Literally terrified!   (You know where this is going.)  Knowing my grandfather’s phobia, my dad thought it would be funny to show the snake to him.  My dad grabbed it with his bare hands and took it to my grandfather.  My father’s friend told me he was glad they both didn’t get shot by my pap!  He said my pap was so afraid that he was practically out of his mind.

Dangerous but worth the risk

We fear losing.  We fear losing money and time.  But to grow you need to stretch your boundaries and venture into the unknown sometimes.  We fear that something bad will happen.  We don’t know what will happen but we’re afraid anyway.

Where would we be if the Wright brothers gave up because they were afraid?  I’ll tell you.  We’d all be close to home waiting for someone else to take a risk and perfect the flying machine.  Did the Wright brothers go about the unknown blindly?  Absolutely not.  They planned, prepared, tried, failed, tried again, failed, tried again and so on.  Learning from each mistake prepared them for the next try.

Take control of fear with 5 Minutes a Day

What keeps you from getting started doing what you’ve always dreamed about?  Is it the fear that you won’t stick with it?  Forget about it.  Don’t worry about next week or next month.  Take it one day at a time.  Give yourself just 5 minutes to get started.  Don’t weigh yourself down with a huge task list.  Start with one thing.  Start with 5 minutes. Do your 5 minutes and cross it off.  Done.

Overtime Loss

So often it seems that we judge everything on the final score.  It’s easy to do.  Ask any sports fan and they’ll tell you the score is all that matters.  It means nothing that the game went to 4 overtimes.  All that matters is who wins in the end.

It is easy to look at life the same way.  It’s also easy to look at business this way.  We forget all that we’ve learned.  We forget all of the friends and contacts that we’ve made.  We forget how we’ve grown as people and matured in our business sense.  We forget that in life and business we get to play more than one game.

Everyone loses.  That’s a fact of life.  It’s how you handle the loss that matters.  Learning the art of failing is learning from what went wrong and trying not to repeat it.  In my book, In God We Trust - A Simple Biblical Approach to Living Debt-Free, I talk about how we have to break down our muscles to make them strong.

We need to break down our muscles in order to make them stronger?  Yes, just like financial freedom is waiting for you on the other side of this mountain.  You need to climb it to get to the other side.  On the other
side you may find a bigger mountain, but that’s OK.

God gives us small struggles so that we can be ready for the big ones, small hills so that we can eventually climb mountains, bad so that we can know the good, valleys so that we can experience the beauty at the peaks and failures so that we can savor our successes.

The point is, we need to look at failures as stepping stones to the next challenge.  No matter how bad of a failure it was we need to push forward.  Don’t dwell on it.  Use the loss to your advantage in the next game.

Have you had a recent loss?   Make a list of what went right and what went wrong.  Learn from it and make it a part of your next game plan.  Do it now.. it all starts with just 5 minutes.

Beach Scene

Going to the beach for Summer vacation has always been one of my favorite things to do.  As a kid my mom would pack the old green Dodge station wagon, drive us to the coast and for 3 or 4 days my brother and I would get to swim in the surf of the Atlantic ocean.  I loved it then and still love going to the beach with my family now.

Times were carefree as a kid.  My parents, on the other hand, had to scrape all of their nickels and dimes together to afford the vacation.  The memories will never fade for me.  It was a great investment for my parents.

Vacations are great for refreshing your mind and body.

It really comes down to rhythm.  Are you at a point where you can take the time off without feeling stressed about it?  A vacation should be a time to relax, refresh and be free of stress.  Maybe you need a vacation to get rid of the stress.

A few years ago I took a mini vacation every day. I had to.  I had to remove myself from the stress I was under or I was going to break.

I had purchased a 7 unit commercial building in the heart of my hometown. The purchase was a huge investment for me financially. It had 2 store front spaces and 5 apartments.  To say it needed work is a major understatement.  It looked more like it needed condemned rather than fixing up!  The work, to my surprise, that caused the most stress and effort was with the tenants.  So much stress that I needed to take a mini vacation every day.

My mini vacation was 20 minutes of jogging.  I put my headphones on and ran in the brisk morning air for 8 months straight.  It didn’t cost me anything and it lowered my stress levels tremendously.  My rhythm was every day.

My vacation didn’t cost a penny.  My goal was 3 miles a day.  Going to the beach for a month would have never worked (even if I could have afforded it at the time). 

So now it’s your turn.  What is your rhythm? How often are you getting stressed out?  What types of vacations or mini-vacations can you take that are free and fit into your rhythm? 

Take 5 minutes and write down 10 mini vacations. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed take a vacation!

My current Mini-Vacation List:

  1. Write - something, anything, blog posts, book, songs
  2. Read - something non-business!
  3. Music - learn a new song, write a song, just rock out
  4. Watch a movie - action or feel-good movie - nothing depressing!
  5. Bible - read, study, pray, spend time with God
  6. Landscaping - work in the dirt
  7. Hockey - put the pads on, lace up and go play!
  8. Visit with my parents
  9. Take my family to a park
  10. Brainstorm a new business idea - on paper (detox from media)

Post what your favorite mini-vacation is below.


A few days ago we received some terrible news in our family.  After 5 months of testing, MRIs, misdiagnosing and extended stays in the hospital, we were told that my little niece, Heaven, was diagnosed with pnet cancer.  A week later she turned 12 years old.

What is PNET cancer?

  • Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors of the Central Nervous System (CNS PNET) are identified as highly aggressive large tumors that are found in the brain and spine.
  • The cancer usually presents in young children and teenagers.
  • The majority of patients are younger children.
  • Currently the best survival rate is 60% for patients treated with radiation.
  • Radiation tends to be avoided in young children. This reduces their survival rate to 20% - 30%.
  • CNS PNETs are a group of tumors that are extremely diverse in character;
  • Genomic patterns vary by age and location of the tumor;
  • A large scale collaborative study is now required to understand the underlying biology better.


Tomorrow, Heaven and my brother’s family will travel to St. Jude Children’s hospital in Tennessee so that she can begin radiation and then chemotherapy.  The next 8 months of their lives will not be normal.  Please keep Heaven and family in your prayers. 

What if you were the one that got this news?  How would your life change?  Would you make a commitment to do something you’ve never done before?  Maybe it would be that one thing you have always dreamed about?

One thing is for certain, life is not perfect and it goes by fast.  Make today your day to spend just 5 minutes doing something you love.  It all starts with 5 minutes a day.