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I don't want to settle, do you? One of the main reasons I decided to create this blog was because I wanted to share my thoughts, struggles, losses and victories on following through with others. I could...

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Coloring outside the lines I have three beautiful goddaughters who are wise beyond their 4 years. Ok, so it is possible that I may be a tad biased, but whenever I get to spend time with them they inevitably...

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My wife married an athlete, but now she's stuck with... What is it about hitting 30 that changes so much? In my 20s it was harder to talk myself into taking a day off from working out than it was to talk myself into going to...

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What if I'm not an Outlier? In my constant quest to figure out the "It Factor" that true follow-throughers have enabling them to actually achieve the goals they set out to accomplish I'm always looking...

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I want to be a follow-througher! We’ve all done it. We’ve all seen a movie, heard a song, seen an ad, watched a show, read an article, read a book, tried a product…. we’ve all seen or used something...

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Taking lessons from someone who gets it

Posted on : 10-27-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Entrepreneurship, Ideas

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According to the US government, there were over 29.5 million small business alone active in the U.S. This doesn’t even account for the medium and large companies that were started by visionaries. Now granted, the majority of businesses fail, but all of these people had at least the follow-through to get it up and running.

And if we look at the ones that actually make it, how many of them are revolutionary ideas? Not too many. And how many great ideas were part of the failures, or even the non-starters. A whole lot I’m sure. I am venturing to guess that aside from the obvious things like having a viable business model, the success of the ones that do make it have for the large part to do with the dedication and follow-through of the people leading the charge.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be talking to some people who I think have found a way to get things done.
They have that follow-through factor that we’d all like to have. Instead of just talking about doing something they do it.

I have to say I’d like to have a little of what they had for breakfast.

If you have anyone you think would be good to include in this who may have some thoughts, please send them my way!
I’d love to talk with them.

Or maybe you yourself have been able to make something big happen. Send me a note and maybe we can have you write a guest post to share some of your thoughts with the rest of us.

A leap of faith

Posted on : 10-25-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Change, Nashville

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There are a lot of great things about Los Angeles.

For starters it’s the perfect day, everyday. Growing up in MN I could never envision what it must be like to live in a place with palm trees. Now I know, and that part of it is great. Secondly, it’s the land that created my better half. That in and of itself makes it a great place.

But, like any place LA has it’s not-so-great aspects as well. One that immediately comes to mind: my 20 mile, 2 hour commute to work.  For me what this meant was that 3-4 hours of everyday was pretty much time lost. If you’re lucky enough to sleep 6-8 hours that’s nearly 20-25% of everyday lost to the 101 and the 405 freeways. But it was what it was. It was a good job and there were bills and a mortgage to pay.

One thing that drive did give me was plenty of time to think. And with all that time, it’s hard not to question if it was really worth it. It just so happens that my wife was also wondering if all the hustle and bustle was worth it. We had a great house on a great street in sunny LA, but it never felt like there was time to enjoy it. But the routine was there. She had her dreams of new show ideas and working in an industry she was really passionate about while I had my dreams of creating innovative new ideas to blend music and digital media. But in our LA life, those always seemed to always be forced to the backburner.

We always say tomorrow we’ll do this, or when I have time I’ll do that. But like so many of us, we found ourselves waiting for the right moment. But what if the right moment doesn’t come? Do real follow-throughers wait for the right moment, or do they make their own moments?

I guess I can’t really even put my finger on the exact cause, but one day not to long ago my wife just came to me and said:
“What do you think about moving to Nashville?”

Now that may not seem that dramatic, but for two people who’d never even been to Nashville and had a wealth of responsibilities, family and friends in LA it sure seemed like a big deal to us. We actually made the decision before even visiting and announced it to my mother-in-law for what was probably a not-so-great mother’s day gift that we were moving and taking her only daughter away.

And in 3 short months we made it happen.
I’m not sure why we told her parent’s at their house that day because I don’t even remember us being certain. We certainly hadn’t talked about telling them because we didn’t even had a plan yet. But we did and I guess a la Cialdini we went on public record.
It was a leap of faith and who knows what’s going to happen (we’ve only been in Nashvegas a few weeks), but we definitely followed-through in this instance.

What if I’m not an Outlier?

Posted on : 10-18-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Books, Entrepreneurship

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In my constant quest to figure out the “It Factor” that true follow-throughers have enabling them to actually achieve the goals they set out to accomplish I’m always looking for a good read on the subject.  There’s no better way than studying some real life examples, no?

My latest read was Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.
If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s definitely an interesting read. Essentially, the book is a study about the patterns that shape greatly successful people (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, pro athletes, etc). Our common thought is that greatest comes from hardwork and determination. That’s the true American ideology, no? That you can achieve anything you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work to get there.

Gladwell’s argument is that this is not the case. True, it takes hardwork, but his point is that ultimately, the underlying reason for most success stories is a combination of cultural influences and timing. I’m not going to spoil the book for you by going into it all, but I will say that I finished the book and one of my first thoughts was this:

What if I’m not an outlier?
What if the timing of when I was born didn’t coincide with the optimal timing for me to be successful in the things I really want to do?

He does provide a lot of great examples to support the arguments he presents. But like any study, it’s definitely easier to present your theory favorably if you only give attention to the examples that support your idea. Granted Bill Gates is a great example to support your idea, as are the others he presents. Yet I find it hard to believe that there aren’t a good amount of examples of people without the ideal cultural or timing factors that prove those aren’t the only cases.

Likewise, what about all the people who also grew up at the same time and had the same or similar opportunities and cultural upbringing of those highly successful people? Opportunities are never afforded to just one individual, but perhaps only one individual capitalizes on a given opportunity. That’s where I think the follow-through factor comes into play. I have to believe that. If not then wouldn’t we become victims of our own circumstances?

There is no doubt that the timing of our birth and the culture in which we grow up as a profound impact on the opportunities we get and the individuals we become. We are definitely products of our environment in many aspects, but do we not have more control over our futures than Outliers may suggest?

I’d like to think so.
Thoughts?

Talk Is cheap

Posted on : 10-11-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Books, Change

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There’s something about the act of writing something down that just makes it more real, if that makes sense. We can tell ourselves, or others for that matter, that we’re going to do something, but there’s something much different about just saying it and actually writing it down.

The key here is the commitment level with each action – speaking vs. writing. If you’ve every read up on human behavior, you may have come across Professor Robert Cialdini’s thoughts on the science of persuasion. Essentially, Cialdini’s research suggests that there actually 6 basic laws of winning friends and influencing people. I’m not going to get into all his ideas in this post as they merit much more attention than that, but am going to touch on one key one here: commitment.

This has to do with the principle of consistency and how people are inherently hard-wired to align with their clear commitments. His research shows that once an individual takes a stand or goes on record for something, he or she prefers to stick with that commitment. I think the key here is going on record. That’s actually part of the psychological science behind petitions. Asking someone to sign a petition in support of an upcoming issue, for instance, is a small request. And the petition itself doesn’t decide if the issue goes through or now. But research shows that when it comes time to vote, those who signed the petition were more likely be consistent with their previous commitment in line with the petition. So if this works for influencing others, can it work on ourselves?

Maybe that’s why writing things down is different than just saying you’re going to do something. Writing it down is going “on record” in making the commitment. So that’s part of the “science” behind the creation of this site. It’s me going on public record things I aim to accomplish. There will be plenty to come, and I’ll share that here, but here is commitment #1:

- Stop procrastinating on getting this blog (ironically enough about follow-through) up and running and commit to a consistent post every monday.

Baby steps, but have to start somewhere and I know that fitting this in between my work schedule and our recent move from LA to Nashville. So I’m going in line with Cialdini’s arguments in the belief that consistency and commitment will work in my favor.

How about you? Any tricks for getting things done you care to share?

I want to be a follow-througher!

Posted on : 10-07-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Change

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We’ve all done it.

We’ve all seen a movie, heard a song, seen an ad, watched a show, read an article, read a book, tried a product…. we’ve all seen or used something that someone else has created and thought to ourselves:

“I could do better than that.”

And in a lot of cases you could very well be right, in theory at least.

Not every idea that has been brought to fruition has been a great idea and I don’t think anyone can argue that (Flowbee anyone?).  By the same token, not every great idea is brought to fruition.  In fact, the vast majority of great ideas conjured up by human minds all over the globe barely ever even make it out of the person’s head and onto their lips for discussion.

Why is that?  What is it that allows some people to make their ideas and dreams (even the crappy ones) become reality while so many others will never get past the “I could do better than that” stage no matter how ground-breaking their ideas may be?

Well that is why I am here writing this.
That’s why I created this blog.

I’ll be honest and say I get frustrated when I see things out there and can’t fathom how someone ever thought THAT was a good idea, let alone how they managed to get enough buy-in fro other people to get it out there.

I have  ideas.  Lots of great ideas.
I have dreams.  Big dreams.

But then again, I’m like most people in this scenario. Most of those ideas and dreams stay in my head.  Some make it into Word files sitting somewhere on my Mac, and a few even make it out of the secluded digital world of my laptop and into the real world.

But the fact is that I, like most of you probably reading this, tend to have a lot of grand ideas/thoughts/dreams/goals that aren’t always accompanied with the necessary follow-through.

They say the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that the problem exists.
So then consider this my confession.

What will follow will be stories, thoughts, examples and ramblings – some from myself and some from others – that will hopefully help me (and you if you keep coming back) become a follow-througher.

This is the beginning of my road to recovery.
I want to be a follow-througher.

How about you?