Friday Link Around!

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Durango-Silverton Line 1976Another Friday, and another opportunity to explore some interesting links! This week’s theme: entrepreneurs and people you outta know, plus a cool way to earn cash from those photos on your phone.

Do you know about Neil Patel? I’ve been learning a lot from him about content marketing and internet business.

Need some nutrition coaching, advice, or some awesome workout clothes for women? Then check out my friend and fellow Airman, Suzanne over at Nutrition Snob. (Don’t let the “snob” part fool ya–she’s a great gal!).

Following your dream and making it your life’s work is what drives entrepreneurs. When we visited the Hawaiian island of Lanai last June we met Mike and Kathy Carroll. Mike was a commercial artist who gave up the corporate life and opened an art gallery on Lanai. He sells his work over the internet as well as in person, and it’s fabulous–and the shipping is good too!

Ever want to create a flyer or some other professional graphic, but Powerpoint just wasn’t “enough”? The try Canva! Easy to use, free, and professional looking graphics are a click away.

Ok, last one.  You know all those pictures you have on your phone? The ones you never look at? Well there’s a site called where you can upload your photos and sell them online. You make 40% commission on each photo. I haven’t sold any yet…but check out my gallery anyway!

Hey, don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter and get a FREE ebook!

Speaking of books: check out my bookstore here.

Mickey's Rules for Leaders eBook CoverMickey believes everyone can reach high levels of performance if inspired and led. During his 28 year US Air Force career Mickey commanded thousands of Airmen, managed portfolios worth billions of dollars, and worked with military, civil, and industry officials around the world.  He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University in Washington DC.

Mickey is the author of seven books, including Leading Leaders: Inspiring, Empowering, and Motivating Teams and The 5 Be’s For Starting Out. He’s a frequent contributor to industry publications and writes for his own Leading Leaders blog, and

Staying On Course to Your Goals

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Set your goals then get moving!Each new year the resolutions fly…we promise to lose weight, eat better, work harder, read more, you name it. Now that we’re at the end of January, it’s time to take stock of our goals and re-commit to them.

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once spoke about the snooze button, and how it was really superfluous. “When that alarm goes off, get up! You made the decision to get up at that time when you set the alarm, don’t re-make that decision.” That advice is the same for goal setting, and commitment to achieving them. You made the decision to strive for a goal when you set it, don’t second guess yourself before you get there.

The common joke about the empty gym in December being full in January then empty again by February is funny because it’s true. People really do run out of steam during the “dark ages” in winter. It’s difficult for busy people to remain committed to goals when so many things are working against them psychologically and practically: short days, cold weather, busy work, school, family commitments, etc. So do we just surrender to the winter and wait again until next year? No way!

That’s not what leaders do.

Leaders re-commit themselves to their goals, and don’t let temporary failures become permanent habits. It’s not easy to overcome the inertia we build up that prevents us from achieving our goals, but it’s worth the effort to push through. I recommend a three step process for getting back on, or staying on, track to achieving the goals I’ve set for myself:

1. Write It Down.

Putting something in writing, even if it’s just on an index card. Wherever you write the goal, it has to be visible and something you see often. It’s much harder to blow off a goal if it’s always “right there.” I write my goals on an index card and keep them in the journal I use every day to take notes at meetings. That ensures I see it daily and remember I made the decision to achieve it when I wrote it down in the first place. By the way, the same is true for organizations: once you set a goal, put it on the wall for all to see.

2. Take Stock Regularly.

Once the goal is on the index card (or the wall!), take stock regularly on your progress. Be honest with yourself on how you’re doing, and then recommit yourself to the goal. If you’re doing well, be proud of yourself and your team, celebrate a little and keep moving toward the goal.  If you’re off track, don’t lose heart! Just remember why you set the goal in the first place and re-commit to getting to the finish line. If you made a New Year Resolution, don’t get down…you still have 11 months to go!

3. Make A Plan & Stick to  It

Commitment is important to achieving goals, but you can’t be “all thrust and no vector.” Energy will only carry you and your team so far if you don’t have a plan. Not having a plan is probably the biggest reason people don’t reach their goals. Just like being on the wrong trail won’t get you to Maunawili Falls no matter how long you hike, expending all your energy on something that doesn’t help you reach your goals will ensure you don’t achieve what you set out to achieve. Don’t give up, just make a plan then execute it one step at a time!

Just like setting that alarm clock, you made the decision to reach a goal when you set it. Don’t let the winter blues get you off track from being the person you want to become!

Shop Small with Me and My Friends

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On Small Business Saturday, I encourage you to support your local community businesses and small businesses online as well. Here’s a few suggestions:

Books from Lead the Way Media:

wpid-product_thumbnail.jpgLeading Leaders ThumbnailPatio Wisdom and Leading Leaders make great gifts to inspire and encourage.  By the way, there’s an e-book version of Leading Leaders, and an accompanying Workbook too!  Both books are available at Amazon as well.



Ruben's Amazing Story!

My friend and mentor, four-time Olympian Ruben Gonzalez, has inspiration to share in the form of his books.  His story is amazing: at the age of 21 Ruben decided to go to the Olympics; he just needed a sport! Read how he chose the luge and became an Olympian, not once, but four times.




Brig Gen John Michel's "No More Mediocre Me"Col Matt Fritz' "Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile for Success"My colleagues at have several powerful books on leadership and business for both the budding entrepreneur and the experienced leader:

No More Mediocre Me, by John Michel

Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile by Matthew Fritz


Nutrition Snob: Comfy CotureLooking for workout gear to inspire? Check out Nutrition Snob Clothing from friend and fellow Airman, Suzanne McCurdy.

“My clothes will have you ready and motivated to face whatever your day holds.”



ChrisBrenSchmidt PhotographyLooking for a custom calendar or unique print? Check out ChrisBrenSchmidt Photography specializing in floral and nature photos that will knock your socks off!  Christine has calendars, prints, and has some truly breathtaking photos on her blog.  Check it out!


Here in Kailua: my very favorite Time Shopping Center, 600 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734 (808) 261-1996bookstore, Bookends!  You are sure to find something amazing on each visit!  Be sure to check out the “Old & Weird Section”!



What shopping trip to Kailua would be complete without stops at Bowles Burritos for lunch and the Kailua General Store for some unique gifts. While you’re at it, don’t forget Alii Antiques and the other “treasure shops” in the same parking area, who have some really interesting things to see and buy.  Finally, The Bike Shop is a great place to get bikes, bike stuff, and bike maintenance.

Bowles Burritos - Best Mexican in Kailua Town

enclosed_bw-1024x351The Bike Shop











Lastly, when you’re done shopping and you need to use that motivation you’ve received from people like Suzanne and John and Matt, you can start your New Year’s Resolution early at CrossFit Kailua! Friendly staff and coaches who’ll help you reach your goals without breaking your spirit! 3-2-1 Go!



Just found a wonderful shoe store called Splash! Hawaii. Helpful staff full of aloha and a great selection!

A Leadership Lesson in 1,000 Vertical Feet

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Manitou Incline
1Lt Suzanne McCurdy and me at the summit of the Manitou Incline

What does a hike up the Manitou Incline have to do with leadership?  Well, lots…for starters there’s the necessity for a person to master themselves in order to get to the top. Before a person can lead others, he/she has to see their goals, know their own limits, and most often persevere through a little pain in order to achieve something.  A tough physical challenge like the Incline is a perfect opportunity to practice those skills.

The Manitou Incline is less than a mile from bottom to top, but it’s almost 1,000 vertical feet of lung pounding, quad burning climbing along an old cog railway to an altitude of 9,000 feet above sea level.  There are plenty of chances to quit…including a “bail out” trail halfway up…and it takes between 40 and 60 minutes to make the climb depending on how hard you go.

This past Saturday, my executive officer 1Lt Suzanne McCurdy (photo, left) and I made the climb.  It was my first time up the trail and her upteenth…and with a few quick hints for making it to the top we started the climb together.  Suzanne is an outstanding athlete (and 15 years younger than me!) and I’m proud to report that she beat me to the top by a full 5 minutes.  She is in great physical condition, but the real secret to getting to the top of the Incline is determination and willingness to “suffer” a little to achieve something.

One of my favorite leadership quotes comes from Coach Tom Landry…and I was thinking about Coach Landry as I put one foot in front of the other during the climb.  He said, “The art of leadership is to get people to do what they don’t want to do in order to achieve what they want to achieve.”  While I wasn’t leading anyone on Saturday, I could see the summit and I wanted to be up there. I definitely had to “do what I didn’t want to do” (endure the pain) to “achieve what I want to achieve” (reach the summit). When I started, the summit seemed so far away, but with Pandora blasting some Classic Rock in my ears, and with one step in front of the other, soon I was making progress.

I stopped a couple of times to catch my breath and admire the view.  About halfway up I looked around…”Boy,” I thought, “If the view is this good here, I’ll bet the view from the top is amazing!”  That (and seeing that Suzanne was getting ahead of me!) was enough motivation to continue the climb.  When we got to the top we were rewarded with a spectacular view….but the real reward was a sense of accomplishment for persevering through the pain of the climb to reach the summit.  A leadership lesson in 1,000 vertical feet.