What myths do you still believe?

Christopher ColumbusDo you still believe Christopher Columbus “discovered” America? Do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy? Does Santa Claus exist?

I hate to pop your petunia, but he didn’t, it was your mom or dad, and sorry, but no.

We all have mythological knowledge that we have to unlearn – some told by our parents, some taught by our schools, some heard from our cousin’s friend’s uncle.

The question is when do we wake up, realize we’ve been told false information, and write our own conclusions?

Do you still believe that you cannot get that promotion? Do you still think that you are not leadership material? Do you still imagine it’s too late to follow your dreams?

With today’s technology and abundance of opportunities, barriers to entry are lower than ever before.

If you need an app for that, outsource it to a freelancer.

If you desire to be a news reporter, start filming.

If you want to raise chickens, they’ll deliver them through the mail.

Stop making excuses. If you really wanted to do it, you would make the time. You would self-select some activity already in your schedule and stop doing it.

Maybe you would wake up a half-hour earlier and turn off the TV a half-hour earlier the night before. Maybe you would forgo that extra piece of cake and walk an extra 20 minutes. Maybe you would read a book instead of status updates.

What myths do you tell yourself to “justify” your behaviors?

If a one-armed hippopotamus attack survivor can raise three kids, what’s your excuse?

If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a speaker, speak. If you want to be a comedian, get on stage.

There is no substitute for doing. There is no cure for inaction. There is no progress in sitting still.

If you want to change your lot in life, take that first step.



How did you work on your dream today?



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(image courtesy of etchasketchist on Flickr)


Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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Are you the hunter or the hunted?

Those who seek fame, want product sales, or desire raving fans, are those who want to be hunted. When you are hunted, you are wanted.

Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, and Apple all want to be hunted. They want raving fans, fame, and product sales. And we buy it. Well, I haven’t personally bought any of the three. But there are people out there who do.

In business, recruiters are called Head Hunters for a reason. If you are good at your job, they want to find you. They want you to fill their open position. You have become the hunted.

The opposite of hunted is ignored. If you are trying to build something – fame, recognition, profits – you want to be the hunted. The last thing you want is to be unheard, unrecognized, and unengaged.

We want people to join our tribe, stick up for us, and gossip about us. We want to be loved, respected, and appreciated. In short, we want to be hunted.


4 Ways to Become the Hunted

  1. Consistent Brand – Be known for something. Everyone has a personal brand – intelligent, dependable, arrogant. What’s yours? Don’t know? Ask some people. Be reliable in who you are or what you want to become. What message are you sending?
  2. Stand for Something – Have a philosophy. Make a method for your madness. How do you approach business, life, love? What do you hold in high regard?
  3. Be Relatable – If they can’t identify with you, they won’t recognize you. It’s not about you. It’s about them. They want to be you. They want to stand in your presence and feel what it is like to be you. They want to experience all of the good parts of who you are. How do you honor your audience?
  4. Be Accessible – With social media, your audience is now only one click away. Respond, reply, and react, to your followers. Move them from fans to fanatics. A direct reply could make them as giddy as a schoolgirl with her first crush (not that I know anything about that). What are you feeding them?

In the animal kingdom, it is best to be the hunter. In the human kingdom, it is best to be the hunted.



Are you the hunter or the hunted?


For a white paper on 11 Easy Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd, shoot me an email and you score it for free!


Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]


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4 Better than Average Ways to be Honest

Abraham LincolnDo you know what’s missing from today’s businesses? Brutal honesty. We’re so sensitive these days that we pussyfoot around the truth. We dance along the margins. We play among the muck.

The majority of today’s businesses and organizations are mediocre because we fail to be honest with ourselves, our management, and our customers.

We say, “Good job,” knowing it’s really crap. We say, “Let’s examine it further,” knowing it will be black holed. We say, “Send me a proposal,” knowing it will be sent to the circular file.

Be honest.

It’s crap. Start again.

It’s not going to work. Sorry.

We’re not interested. Thanks anyway.

Stop pretending to care. Stop feigning interest. Stop agreeing when you don’t.

Steve Jobs would tell you your idea sucks. Not that I knew him, but it seems like he is the type of guy that wouldn’t pat you on the head, tell you that it was a good try, and send you on your merry way. He would be honest. If it sucked, he said so. He wouldn’t raise your hopes, only to dash them behind your back. He would crush your dreams as you held them in your hand. Right or wrong, he gave his honest opinion.

Simon Cowell is another figure who will tell you his honest opinion. Sure, some of it is for show, but much of it is the truth. He does it as a favor to the aspiring starlets not out of spite, but out of compassion so they don’t waste more of their efforts.


Four Better than Average ways to be Honest

  1. State your stance – Verify that the person is open and receptive to your feedback.  Once agreeable, begin with, “I feel…” or something similar. Then give your truth. She can’t argue with your feelings. You feel how you feel. Do you ask permission to provide your thoughts?
  2. Stop the spin – If you see groupthink starting to occur, speak up. When the minions are simply agreeing with the leader, offer a contrarian point of view. Even if you don’t truly believe it, throw it out there as a “what if?” It will help cover the issue from all angles. Did you think of the flipside?
  3.  Establish expectations – If you are in a situation where you want the truth, set rules that encourage it. Guidelines like, “there are no wrong answers” or “we’re not looking to blame anyone, we want to improve” or “I really need your input to make a decision”, set the context so that everyone can dance in their own brilliance. Do you lay the ground rules for truth?
  4. Create a culture – If you want to establish a place of openness, honesty, and truth, create the culture encouraging it. Develop a space that is free from spin, buzzwords, and double talk. Remove any repercussions for truth telling. Hire those who speak their mind. And fire those who don’t play by the rules. What can you do to encourage honesty?

We’re all adults. (I trust that not many children read this blog.) Not everyone gets a trophy. Sometimes there isn’t a cherry on top. And every now and then, tough love is the right medicine.

Stop the bullshit. Be honest. It will save time, money, effort, and dreams.



When was the last time you told someone the truth?


For a list of 16 Easy, No Cost Ways to Express Gratitude on a Daily Basis shoot me an email and you score it for free!


Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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9 Better than Average Tips for Workplace Productivity

Workplace Productivity Need to find ways to be more productive at work? Overburdened and nearing burn out at the office due to overwhelming demands? Can’t possibly get everything done?


But I am expected to be available, reachable, and connected, you say. But you are also expected to be productive. You are expected to get your work completed – on time and accurate. If you aren’t able to get your work done, how can you be productive?

Silence is the new noise. Turn down the distractions to turn up the production. When you really have to get something done now, disconnect.

The Better than Average use these workplace productivity tips daily to get more output, quicker results, and keep their sanity.

9 Ways to be More Productive at Work

  1. Close Your Email – Many surveys suggest that email is the number one workplace distraction. However, I’m guessing that “checking email” is not your primary job description. Email is not an urgent form of communication, so anyone who uses it as such doesn’t know how to properly communicate. Therefore, you shouldn’t need to incessantly check it. Nor jump every time a little bubble pops up in the lower right corner of your screen notifying you of a message. Close the inbox. Get your work done. If you need to respond to messages, find the “disconnect from server” setting and work offline while you compose your replies. Why do you need to instantly reply?
  2. Turn Off the Phones – Forward the phone to voicemail. Turn off the cell phone. There’s nothing like a ringing phone with a harried caller to redirect your attention from your work. They can leave a message. Or call back later. Or, better yet, call someone else. That kills two pigs with one bird – they are not squatting on your phone and you don’t need to return a call. What should go to voicemail?
  3. Close Your Browser – The grand thing about the Internet is that there are limitless distractions – news sites, social media sites, gossip sites, shopping sites, video sites, you name it. But when you are trying to get something done, the last thing you need to do it putter away your day distracted by the World Wide Web. Like a Pandora’s Box, once it is open, there is no stopping it. So don’t open the browser. Just…don’t…do…it. If you really have no discipline, get a program that will actually block you from opening the browser or limit your viewing to certain sites. Why do you need to see that status update right now?
  4. Shun Visitors – Tell them to go away. Nicely, of course. Offer a better time when they might be able to speak with you. Or have them send you a brief email about their needs. Take a rolling whiteboard and place it at the entrance of your cube to act as a door. Draw a knob if you are so inclined. If it is purely a social visit, explain that you are busy and offer to catch up later. They will understand. Was that last conversation important?
  5. Limit the List – If your To Do List reads longer than War and Peace, that’s a problem. Sure, we all have stuff that we need to do. But what needs to get done today? Limit the list to two to three main items. Do those items first when you arrive with a completion preferably before lunch. I try to put one main task on the list per day, with a usual maximum of two large tasks. If there are multiple, small critical tasks, I’ll let the list length slide to three or four. However, all of them should be able to be completed with relative confidence. As things arise throughout the day, they go on the longer term list, to be placed on future daily lists. What two items will you complete tomorrow?
  6. Be Selective – Do you really need to attend that meeting? Do you need to stay for the entire conference call or could you ask to go first, get your items out of the way and move on? Is someone else better suited to reply to that email? Are you letting others waste your time? Your time is valuable. Treat it as such. Scrutinize requests for your engagement. What is your time worth?
  7. Block Time – Put blocks of time in your calendar to get work done. When you look at the day ahead, if there are open slots, fill them with appointments with yourself. Use this time to crank out that project. Complete the items on your longer term To Do list. Think creatively for a moment. Whatever you need to do – use this time to get work done. Don’t allow people to schedule same-day meetings unless it is truly urgent. How much time do you have in your schedule now?
  8. Change the Scenery – Get outside of your cube. Go to the cafeteria. Or a conference room. Or a local Starbucks. Get away from the desk to help you focus on the work that needs to get done. If they can’t find you, they can’t distract you. It might even help you with creativity. Where will you hide?
  9. Run Away – If you are working on a large project and need extended time to focus on this output, take time away from your usual environment. Maybe work at home. Or at a hotel. Or at the library. Leave notifications that you will be out of the office working on a special project for the next few days. It will naturally keep the distractions down and minimize the additional burdens when you return. Where will you go?

Now, close your browser and go get something done.

 (photo courtesy of Flower Factor on Flickr)



Paraphrasing from Ferris Bueller, “What? You’re still here? Go on.”


For the awesome first chapter of the #1 best selling book Better than Average: Excelling in a Mediocre World, send an email to me and you score it for free!


Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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Hark! Ye’ Ol’ Philosophy Card

Better than Average Philosophy CardPhilosophy didn’t die with the downfall of the Grecian Empire. Just because the Acropolis is in ruins doesn’t mean personal beliefs are shattered. Where does it state philosophy can only be created by old men wrapped in bed sheets?

Each of us already has our own personal philosophy somewhere inside. How we live our lives. How we treat our customers. How we run our businesses. It’s already part of us.


But when was the last time you consciously thought about your philosophy?

Clearly articulating your personal philosophy makes you stand out from the crowd. Not many people sit down, put fingers to keyboard, and root their beliefs for the world to see.

If you have read my book, Better than Average: Excelling in a Mediocre World, seen one of my speeches, or sat with me at 30,000 feet while crossing the country, you have seen these principles in action.

If you’re a first-timer or passerby, welcome, and here is what I believe.


The Better than Average Philosophy

  1. Stand out, not stick out.
  2. It doesn’t need to be grand to be glorious.
  3. Position is irrelevant to potential.
  4. Average is average for a reason.
  5. Richness comes to those who punch their own ticket.
  6. Work where you’re needed, not where you deserve.
  7. Create your own truths.
  8. Value leads to loyalty.
  9. Greater gratitude and less gimme gimme.
  10. Match strengths to best practices.
  11. You have in your power the ability to change your world now.

How do I make a Philosophy Card?

If you want to make your own philosophy card, answer the following question.

If you could have the world any way you wanted, what would it look like, feel like and be like in every way? List out your responses. Each statement completes the sentence, “I believe…”

Your responses are your philosophy.

Print it on some glossy card stock and you are in business!


What do I do with it?

  • Pass it out in addition to your business card
  • Use it as a handout
  • Challenge others to make their own cards

Average people have business cards. The Better than Average carry philosophy cards.

Next time someone hands you his business card, hand him your philosophy card (and a business card).

The world needs more transparency, honest conversation, and open books.  Let them read you and they will respond.


The idea for the philosophy card came from a fellow author and speaker, Scott Ginsberg. You may read more about him on his site here.



What do you stand for?


Worldwide visibility. If you create a philosophy card and send it to me, I will include it in a future post. I bet you won’t do it.


Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]



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