I’m Starting a Movement and Need Your Help

Better than Average: Excelling in a Mediocre World by Todd BrockdorfIt’s not a mission. It’s a movement.
It’s not a cause. It’s a crusade.
It’s not a vision. It’s a victory.

Mediocrity ends now.

It’s time to quit complacency.
It’s time to be gone with “good enough.”
It’s time to be sick of the status quo.

It’s time for something new.

For those who want to stand out from the crowd. For those who want to excel in a mediocre world. For those who want more out of life, it’s time to join the Better than Average.

The movement starts today.

Here’s where I need your help:

  1. Please consider purchasing Better than Average: Excelling in a Mediocre World. Here’s the link. It’s a book that breaks the mold of traditional thinking.
  2. Please contact one friend who might appreciate this type of thing. Invite them to join this conversation.
  3. Please share this message on your favorite social or traditional media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, phone call – it doesn’t matter. Below are some suggested posts/tweets.

Thank you and I sincerely appreciate your help. Let’s get this conversation going!

Are you with me?


Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
Author, Speaker, Consultant
[email protected]

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How To Kill Off Your Customers

My Grandfather's Gun I used to be a customer of a certain banking institution based in Wayzata (Minneapolis), Minnesota. I say used to because they used to stand out from the crowd. They used to be different from the rest of the banks that typically make headlines. They used to have a different attitude. Until they didn’t.

One of this bank’s main differentiators was Free Small Business Checking. Believe it or not, it was still relatively “free”. There is always an asterisk after “free” these days, but their terms and conditions were reasonable. So much so that I don’t even remember them because I was able to easily meet them through my normal banking activity. If you can meet terms and conditions without needed to think through your activities, those are decent T’s & C’s.

That was until December, 2011. That’s when they slaughtered their purple cow. They killed their differentiator. They left small businesses out in the rain. They added a $4.95 per month fee to their “Free” Small Business Checking. That’s almost $60 per year just for the privilege of having a business checking account. Ridiculous! So much for helping businesses get back on their feet during this economic recovery.

Sure, the fee irks me. But what really chaps my lips is the fact that they blatantly killed a method that makes them look and feel different from their competitors. In this age of ever increasing and more complex fee structures, simplicity is the new black.

Understand that I’m not just a business owner with an axe to grind. I was a 14+ year loyal customer. Do banks even have many of those any longer?

Just to confirm that the fees charged to my account were accurate and not some computer slip up, I called customer service. Sure enough, those fees are now being charged to “Free” Small Business Checking accounts. While Edgar was kind, he said, “We’ve held off fees for as long as we could. I think you’ll find that our fees are competitive with other FDIC banks.”

Ok, that’s nice, but the game has changed. Your competitors are not just other FDIC banks.

“I can go to a credit union and get truly free small business checking,” I said.

“Well, they’re not FDIC,” he replied.

“I don’t care. They are still insured.” Seriously, does the consumer really care who insures his money as long as it is safe?

As a result, this bank will lose not only the small business checking account, but my personal checking account and my personal savings account. Three accounts for one stupid fee. Is it really worth it?

With the elimination of their “Free” Small Business Checking, the only remaining differentiator is longer banking hours than other institutions. While this is a nice perk, will it be enough to attract and retain customers?

On a related side note, on their first quarter investor conference call, their CEO sited “checking account attrition” as an item weighing on their results.

In the interest of fairness, Edgar did say that he would waive this month’s $4.95 fee as a one-time courtesy. That’s nice. It should give me enough time to set up my accounts with my new credit union.

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4 Ways to Make Mindless Tasks More Productive

4 Ways to Make Mindless Tasks More ProductiveWhen you have those mind-numbing tasks – copying numbers into a spreadsheet, creating an expense report, watching paint dry – what do you do with your time? Do you dottily complete the job? Or, do you find a better way to use the time?

Rethink your idea of time management. Don’t allow mindless tasks to waste your day. You might be able to cram an extra hour into your schedule by doing two things at once.

How can you best use this time?

When you have those mind-numbing tasks, look at time management from a different perspective. What else can you do to maximize the time?

Check out an audiobook – Remember the library? If you haven’t been there for a while, they’re one public institution that has upgraded to the 21st century. Now, you don’t even have to visit the library to use their resources. You can go online, borrow an audiobook, download it to your computer, throw it on your MP3 player, and listen to it without leaving the comfort of your pajamas.

Complete some “mandatory” training – If the training is simply a check-in-the-box (and where you really don’t need to pay too close attention), knock that out while doing your other activity. Webcasts and audio classes work best here, of course.

Listen to a podcast – Find something interesting and educational. It will stimulate your brain while the other task is trying to suck it out like a zombie. Mmmm….brains. Maybe the two forces will balance out.

Watch a video – Again, educational in content here, not the fuzzy kitten swatting at a ball of yarn or the cute puppy doing the Macarena.

I usually have two computers going while I am working. One computer has my work, while my other computer has the additional learning opportunities – audiobooks, educational videos, podcasts, or webcast replays. Could I use one computer while working? Probably. But I’m old school like that and prefer separate screens for separate tasks.

If it’s a thinking task, concentrate on thinking. But if it’s a “busy” task that must be completed, look for something else to do simultaneously to help you gain wisdom, be entertained, or meet other requirements. You’ll squeeze more time into your day.



What will you do during your next mindless task?


For the awesome first chapter of the forthcoming 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
Author, Speaker, Consultant
[email protected]

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The First Step

The First StepWanting to change careers? Thinking about doing something out of your ordinary? Looking to start building your retirement career*?

Do it.

If you want to be a writer, write.

If you want to be a painter, paint.

If you want to be a leader, lead.

If you want to run a marathon, run.

Many passions you can do while still holding down a day job. I’m not saying that it will be easy. Strict time management, missed engagements, and sacrificed sleep will replace aimless Internet surfing, meals with friends, and warm blankets on a cold Saturday morning.

Are you willing to do the work? Are you willing to valet cars at night while you write your book during the day? Are you willing to skip your kid’s soccer practice and use the quiet time to paint? Are you willing to run your miles after dark in the cold weather to train for your marathon?

I wanted to write a book, so I did. I wanted to learn how to fly an airplane, so I did. I wanted to be a chef in a restaurant, so I did. I was bored and decided to jump out of an airplane, so I did.

Some might call it your “Bucket List.” I call it my “Things to Do Before I Die” list – it’s a little more obvious and blunt for someone with my personality type. Regardless of what it is, it starts with a first step.

You might say, “Oh, but I wish I had a little more time.” Or, “Oh, but if I only had some more money.” Or, “Oh, but this isn’t the right place.”

Stop with the “Oh, buts”! There is never enough time, rarely enough money, and probably not a good place.

I have quote on my wall that says, “How did you work on your dream today?” Each day, every day, I do at least a little something toward my dream.

Show up. Do the work. Get it done.

Take that first step.

Here’s my challenge to you. You have one week to take that first step, whatever you think it is. If you do it, it’s your passion. If you don’t, that’s ok. It’s not your real passion. Move on to something else.

There is no substitute for doing. There is no replacement for action. There is no surrogate for movement.

Every action begins with a first step. If you want to change your lot in life, take that step.

Now, go do it.


*Retirement career – your dream career that you put off doing until retirement that brings you pleasure and keeps you active.



How did you work on your dream today?


For the awesome first chapter of the forthcoming 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
Author, Speaker, Consultant
[email protected]

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