10 Business and Life Insights that Inspired Us in 2015

2015 was a very rewarding year for Heather and I. We’ve been blessed in that we’re in a position to help others in profound ways while continuing to grow and develop ourselves. 2015 presented some amazing opportunities for us, and we are extremely grateful to have shared the room with some of the world’s most dynamic industry innovators, and ‘thought leaders’. Below are some of the ‘greats’ we had the opportunity to share some time with and to meet. We thought we’d share our 10 Business and Life Insights that Inspired Us in 2015 with you (in no particular order). Enjoy!


1. Mel Robbins

Mel RobbinsMel Robbins delivered a ‘one-two’ punch when I saw her in California in October, 2015. Her famous TED talk itself was riveting, and her presence when I saw her at Principia, electric! Mel didn’t just deliver a talk, she created a full-blown experience, and offered some amazing tools for life success. Specifically, her ‘5 Second Rule’, which demystifies neuroscience approaches and breaks down some very accessible ‘do it now’ techniques that can move anyone into action and closer to their goals.

“If you only ever did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you ever wanted.” Mel Robbins

Similar to John C. Maxwell’s “Law of Diminishing Intent’, Mel’s ‘5 Second Rule’ describes that when you have an impulse or an idea, you need to take action within 5 seconds or the mental ’emergency brake’ will jump into action and it will kill the impulse. Often, this involves doing the things we don’t want to do.

Key points:

  1. The Facts: i) The world has changed. ii) It has never been easier to live in your dreams. iii) It has never been harder to get out of your head. Is it risky to change? What is the greater risk – ask yourself, “Is it risky to stay the same?” Change nothing, and nothing changes.
  2. The 5 Second Rule: Have an idea, an inclination, an intention? You have 5 seconds to act before the brain shuts it down. Want to get up early to workout, make a plan for your day, write in a journal or meditate? When that alarm goes off, the next 5 seconds is the window to act. WHY? Because our brain has two modes: autopilot or fall-back. The brain loves to operate on autopilot; It wants to take the easy path. The fact of the matter is this: You are never going to FEEL like CHANGING – operate from a higher level; operate with intention and purpose and start to PAY ATTENTION to your soul instead of your mind!
  3. “Do or do not…there is no try” -Yoda: If you don’t do it, it will mean that the language of the mind and the brain have WON. When someone speaks from the head you don’t know where they stand or what they are saying. When someone speaks from the soul you know exactly where they stand and what they will do and what they are about. We need to speak and act more from the soul and tap into creative impulses. That is how we start to move into our greatness.

Mel’s Latest Book, ‘The 5 Second Rule’ is now available on Amazon:

Mel Robbins - The 5 Second Rule

2. Jon Mercer

Jon Mercer specializes in the ‘happiness business’. I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Jon speak at a leadership conference  in the fall of 2015. A few of the techniques I learned from Jon’s book were ‘mental loops’, ‘happiness triggers’, ‘assumed responsibility’ and ‘permanence objections’, as well as practical “mental workouts” and visualization techniques that help to boost mood, confidence and overall results.

Jon writes, “Most people don’t realize how susceptible they are to influence and manipulation — both good and bad. Reading new and inspiring material — or watching films or television along those lines — can have a powerful effect on your state of mind. In effect, when you expose yourself to new and inspirational ideas, you are “programming” yourself with that information. Remember, it’s your responsibility to control the information in your life. If you leave this responsibility to others, or society, or the media, or your coworkers, you’re probably not going to be happy with the results. Take this responsibility seriously and work on become a good “gate keeper of your state of mind.” Jon Mercer, Stronger Better Happier

Major takeaways:

  1. Affirmations aren’t the answer. If we are saying something about ourselves that we are not truly aligned with, internally, we feel resistance. In psychology, this is referred to as ‘cognitive dissonance’. ‘Affirmation statements’ are all the rage these days, but Jon offers a more solid approach: Instead, be specific and ask questions that elicit a harmonious response: i) Whenever I feel empowered how do I know I am empowered? ii) What tells me I am empowered whenever I am feeling empowered?
  2. Drop anchor: the mind can’t tell the difference between a real and a vividly imagined event, or feeling. If we want to operate at a higher level, we can literally evoke that feeling at will through ‘anchoring’. Have a job interview that you want to nail? Call up an emotional state from a strong, positive memory and anchor it to an action. Reminiscent of the famous Pavlovian experiments with dogs, (ring a bell to produce an involuntary response), we can purposefully anchor an emotion to, say, tapping a finger on the wrist to elicit a feeling, at will.
  3. We have differences, but we are not different. When we understand this, we can stop underestimating ourselves and overestimating others. “We all just have different tints; We are all bright lights.” -Jon Mercer

Jon Mercer’s Book, ‘Stronger, Better Happier’ is available on Amazon:

Jon Mercer: Stronger, Better, Happier

3. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Michael Bernard Beckwith

Michael Beckwith and his wife Rickie Byers-Beckwith brought ‘the spirit’ in the house when I saw them at Principia last fall. Whatever your spiritual beliefs or lack thereof, you simply cannot deny the presence, the joy, the energy, the love and the sense of connectedness and something much larger in the room than a simple ‘sum of its parts’. This was ‘church’ in the truest sense of the word, and if Mr. Beckwith gave a local sermon, I’d be there every Sunday. Michael and Rickie infused the room with love and light – a true feast for the heart and the soul.

Michael writes, “There is a lie that acts like a virus within the mind of humanity. And that lie is, ‘There’s not enough good to go around. There’s lack and there’s limitation and there’s just not enough.’ The truth is that there’s more than enough good to go around. There is more than enough creative ideas. There is more than enough power. There is more than enough love. There’s more than enough joy. All of this begins to come through a mind that is aware of its own infinite nature. There is enough for everyone. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That’s the truth.” Michael Bernard Beckwith

Key points:

  1. We are participants in our own unfolding: ‘Choice’ is a function of our expanded awareness. ‘Choose’ a higher order of being; ‘Choose’ a higher order of thinking; ‘Choose’ a higher order of vision; ‘Choose’ a higher order of decision making.
  2. You have a car, but you aren’t the car. Similarly, you have a mind and a body, but you aren’t those things; they are vehicles, and we are transcendent ‘observers’ with the power to absolutely change the programs in our minds.
  3. Give, and you cup is always full: Ask yourself, how can I give, serve, and grow each day. “When your action is to give, the universe fill your hands.” -Michael Bernard Beckwith

Michael’s Book, ‘Life Visioning’ is available on Amazon:


4. Chalene Johnson

Chalene JohnsonThis has been an extremely busy year for us. In addition to growing our business and finding balance so that our work can compliment (versus consume) our lives, we’ve taken some tips from the greats and have learned to delegate and outsource in our business. This can be scary at first as there is this perception of a certain ‘loss’ of control. However, surrendering to this has become very liberating and has afforded us much more time to do the things we enjoy with the people we love.

Heather had the pleasure of seeing Chalene Johnson in Carlsbad, CA in June as part of Charlene’s ‘Marketing Impact Academy‘ (MIA) – a must online course for any entrepreneur looking to to take their brand / business to the next level.

What she enjoys the most about Charlene’s style is how dynamic and down-to-earth she is in her approach. She presents things in an easy to understand way and makes learning fun! 

“The difference between stressed success and smart success lies in delegation.”Chalene Johnson

Here are Heather’s main takeaways:

  1. Be uniquely ‘YOU’ and willing to experiment a lot.
  2. Create a loyal following by offering value, so you never have to ‘sell’.
  3. Be willing to share what you know! Always come from a place of abundance.

Chalene’s Book, ‘PUSH: 30 Days To Turbocharged Habits’ is available on Amazon:


5. Lewis Howes

Lewis HowesFor the most part, we were introduced to Lewis Howes through his podcast, ‘The School of Greatness“. Think of this podcast as a ‘meeting of the minds’ where Lewis interviews some of the world’s greatest from all fields ranging from athletes, celebrities, authors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs (to name but a few).

Heather had the opportunity to see Lewis as part of Chalene’s ‘Marketing Impact Academy’ live event in California. While his topic was more technical, covering how to run a successful webinar for business, Lewis still infused his humble personality and was both friendly and approachable.

“Average minds analyze. Great minds execute.”Lewis Howes

Her main takeaways were as follows:

  1. It’s not about being perfect; It’s about being confident in the value that you’re adding and connecting with others.
  2. Get personal. Webinars are a way of sharing your content and sharing your story. Being ‘live’, you’re in a position to welcome others, share your content, and open up discussion with questions and answers.
  3. Just take action! Start small, get your flow, jump and find your wings on the way down. The most important thing is to do it!

Lewis’ Book, ‘The School of Greatness’ is available on Amazon:

Lewis Howes: The School of Greatness

6. James Wedmore

James Wedmore

We learned of James via Charlene’s podcast, “Build Your Tribe“, and if you’ve yet to listen to him, do yourself a favour and tap into his video training on YouTube. I would consider James Wedmore to be the ‘guru’ of online video marketing and he gives away a ton of value and great content for a simple ‘love of his craft’.

“Stop thinking of ‘video marketing’ as this separate entity that is optional for your business. Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.” James Wedmore

Lessons learned:

  1. Video IS Marketing. No one has built a successful business without video. “Your video is like creating a little employee that you can put on auto-pilot.”
  2. People think that it’s hard and that video is too technical and expensive. This is not true; Outsourcing is cheap and the equipment that most of us already have (i.e. SmartPhones) is sufficient to produce high-quality video.
  3. Use video to drive traffic, new leads, and sales. Teach, provide value, and be of service. Be interesting, be engaging, and remember to give, give, give. Your chances of converting a prospect to a customer is 40% better when video is used.

7. Dr. John Demartini

Dr. John Demartini

Imagine the energy of a 5-year-old, ‘buzzing’ after a sugar-rush. Now infuse that energy with sophistication, overflowing wisdom, insight, out-of-the-box thinking, and even comical sexual innuendo, and you have a glimpse of Dr. Demartini’s presence on-stage. This man went non-stop for what seemed like an entire day without missing a beat, and delivered his craft with humour, pizazz and a spark that kept me riveted and with smoke spilling off my pen as I filled my notebook.

John discussed the importance of alignment with our higher value systems, and literally ‘lives’ his philosophy to the point that he’s hired his own personal driver so that he can continue doing that which is aligned with his own higher vision, without distraction. Now that is living ‘on-purpose’.

“When your vocation IS your vacation, you’ve mastered your life.” Dr. John Demartini

Major lessons:

  1. Live a ‘HIGH’ life. Similar to Jon Mercer’s approach, John spoke on the importance of affirmations and the need for those affirmations to be congruent with one’s ‘highest values’. Step one is to determine what those highest values are. Do you know what yours are? If not, break out the pen and paper, OR hit up Dr. Demartini’s website and use his ‘Determine Your Values‘ tool. Then, ask yourself, “How is what I’m doing or learning right now going to help me fulfill my highest vision and values?”
  2. The ADD / ADHD Facade: If we force kids into autocratic systems, they become disengaged and resort to addictive, low priority, immediate gratification, consumerism, etc. To be blunt, ADD, and ADHD etc. are bullshit labels for autocratic leaders who project weak values on our children. Here’s the thing: Kids love to learn and want to express genius within their value systems! We need to put more attention into speaking their language and honouring their uniqueness versus dictating uniformity – MAKE TEACHING RELATABLE!
  3. Be Inspired! You can’t have an inspired life doing desperate things. If you devalue your time, others will as well. The universe wants you to earn an income serving others. “If you want to master your life, give yourself permission to be a master.” -Dr. John Demartini

John’s Book, ‘The Values Factor’ is available on Amazon:

John Demartini: The Values Factor

8. Bryan Dodge

Bryan Dodge

This man was electric and his energy and enthusiasm filled the room of about 700 ‘Principians’ in California. I enjoyed Bryan’s ‘Good ol’ Boy’ approach and down-to-earth style that clearly reflected his humble roots, integrity and strong family values.

Bryan’s comedic style kept the room interested and engaged while he shared some tried-and-true strategies for living a happy and successful life.

“Take an idiot and motivate him and you’ve got a motivated idiot—somebody who’s full of energy and activity, but none of it is directed at the tasks that are most important.” Bryan Dodge, The Good Life Rules

Some of my major takeaways were: 

  1. Live with a small box. (Think ‘golf scorecard’) that box isn’t big enough to write an excuse. The less excuses you allow into your life the more room you allow for more opportunities.

  2. The 48 Hour Rule: When something comes to your heart you have 48 hours to get it done. Follow your heart. It is what matters. ACT NOW!
  3. 15/15 Rule: READ! Give yourself the gift of 15 minutes reading per day. The key is to ONLY allow 15 minutes in the morning to read. The goal is to read no less than 15 pages, and then shorten the time and raise the bar. This is the personal growth that you need!

Bryan’s Book, ‘The Good Life Rules’ is available on Amazon:

Bryan Dodge: The Good Life Rules Book

9. Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols does not just speak to people – she moves people. Her talk breathed life into the audience, shook me to the core and inspired me to look at my ‘story’ in a completely new way.

I first heard of Lisa in ‘The Secret‘ movie and was drawn to her positivity and outlook on life. One could not help but notice the amazing physical transformation she has gone through – in fact, she looked like a completely different person. She opened her talk with a discussion on this and said that when asked, “Why did you lose weight?”, her response is:

“I am more committed to my life’s purpose than the convenience of not doing the work.”

Simply put, she said that her body, in it’s previous condition, could not maintain her lifestyle.

Brilliant. What if this was our ‘mantra’ for everything we do in our life? What if we had that kind of clarity of purpose driving us forward every day?

“When your clarity meets your conviction and you apply action to the equation, your world will begin to transform before your eyes.” Lisa Nichols

Major takeaways:

  1. Yes, YESLet this be your declaration! Does something resonate? Do you feel me? Are you inspired? The first ‘yes’ is for yourself. The second is to the divine blessing of your life – it lifts you up! It’s not asking permission – it’s giving notice!
  2. Always do YOU! Master you. Be you. Celebrate you!
  3. Know your DIP. Your life story is not for you. It’s to leave a mark and move others. Your story is the cement holding the bricks together! Your DIP is your lowest of lows – the part that makes you vulnerable and relatable. Don’t run from it, but rather own it. Let your ‘mess’ be your ‘message’, and craft it like an artisan so that you can help heal and serve those around you. We all have a story – does it own us, or do we own it?

Lisa’s Book, ‘Abundance Now’ is available on Amazon:

Lisa Nichols: Abundance Now

10. Amy Porterfield

As part of Chalene Johnson’s MIA live event in Carlsbad, CA Amy’s BIG message was to get away from the hustle and essentially work smarter instead of harder. To do this, your email list is GOLD! In order to build your email list, you must create a ‘freemium’ (something to provide value), create an opt-in page for your freemium, and do Facebook advertising to promote that freemium.

It’s just like anything in life – to get big results, you’ve got to show up!” Amy Porterfield

Major learning points:

Amy Porterfield

  1. Stop the hustle! Work with strategy and purpose and grow an email list. The energy of your business is directly aligned with the strength of your email list. Without a list, every day is exhausting.
  2. Social media IS NOT sales. Social media is a platform to connect, collect leads and grow your list. What do you have to offer to people? Figure it out and create something so that you can further develop and nurture your relationships. If you don’t have something to sell yet, add value each day and build your relationships until you are ready.
  3. Keep it simple. You can get fancy later! You don’t need to know everything to make it work. Everyone has something to offer – a skill, an insight, a product, or a story. Someone is looking for what you know! GIVE IT TO THEM!


Question: What are your biggest takeaways from 2015? Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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