Habit of success: figure out what works and do it

Figure out what works and do it.

Figure out what doesn’t work and stops doing it.

This is incredibly simple. And yet, like anything simple, it’s incredibly hard to do consistently.

When I first learned martial art, I did a lot of things that don’t work. For the last 13 years since I joined Musokai Karate, I learned to do more what works and less what doesn’t. And it’s more like climbing a mountain with no top. The climber learns to enjoy the climbing and the views on the way. If the climber ever loses the focus of doing what works, the climbing itself becomes incredibly tough and it’s only getting tougher and tougher.

When I got into the corporate environment, I learned a few things that don’t work such as gossiping, bullying people, following what everyone else is doing, being a lone wolf… And few things that work: personal development, teamwork, leadership, customer-focus,… Yet, it’s just too easy to be busy with doing what don’t work. Figuring what works and doing it becomes a mantra that separates being successful and being miserable.

When I figured out that being in a declining and bureaucratic environment doesn’t work, I moved on.

When I figured out that being a victim doesn’t work, I chose to be an owner.

When I figured out that being an effect doesn’t work, I chose to be a cause in the matter and takes a firm stand.

What have you figured out in your own experience that don’t work? What are you doing about it?

It’s really a choice to choose doing what works. And overtime, it becomes a habit: figure what works and do it.

PS: Check out http://www.achiezy.com if you need help from great coaches. You don’t have to figure out everything like I did till I discovered that a coach can really help.

Most impactful books I’ve read in 2018

What is the best book(s) you read in 2018? Which books would you recommend to your friends?

What is the best book(s) you read in 2018? Which books would you recommend to your friends?

2018 marked the biggest change in my life and hence the books I read reflected the same. I ended the road most travelled and ventured into the road most loved but afraid to travel.

I read countless books on entrepreneurship, startups, leadership, and investment this year. I said “countless” as I don’t remember how many books I read.

Besides the 3 books I read annually; yes they have the staying power; I added another one (which was recommended by the ultimate coach Steve Hardison from a question I posted on facebook): The Way of Mastery.

The following books have made the most impact for an entrepreneur who just started out on the road most loved but afraid to travel:

  1. Competing against giants by Uyen Phuong Tran. I witnessed how she has been living what she wrote in the book. The book is an excellent account of how her family-owned company, Tan Hiep Phat – the leading multi-billion dollar Vietnamese beverage company, competed against powerful multinationals such as Coke and PepsiCo. The author planted the philosophy behind Tan Hiep Phat’s success in every chapter. It reads like a business case study but also a biography of her family with her father as the leading figure. They truly live their credo: Nothing is impossible.
  2. The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing by Conor O’Clery. Chuck Feeney is the billionaire founder of Duty Free Shoppers who gave away all his wealth. Feeney lives a frugal lifestyle. He’s loved and admired by his employees. He cares for everyone, especially children. Feeney started Duty Free Shoppers from 0 and made it into the billion dollar company. I didn’t know till reading this book that Feeney has been probably the most generous giver to Vietnam.
  3. The First Billion Is the Hardest: Reflections on a Life of Comebacks and America’s Energy Future by T.Boone Pickens. Pickens was a very successful oil man. At 68, his company was sold (or he was forced to sell it). He decided to start up again trading futures (oil, natural gas) with 5 employees. He raised money by calling everyone he knew. In the first two years of trading, he lost 90% of the fund. However, he made it back many times over in the next year. Pickens like Warren Buffett and other long-term investors did due diligence before taking a position. He ignored daily fluctuation and held a long-term view. He believed that great profit is in the long-term, not in daily fluctuation.
  4. Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk From a Business Rebel by Sam Zell. Sam is a model of living the credo “nothing is impossible.” He realized problems and found possible solutions.When facing a No, he listened actively and presented different angles. When you are not aware there are any limitations, nothing stops you from trying.“If you are really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you are.”“When there’s a scarcity, price is no object.”Take risk, test your limit, and ask “why not?”Formula for success: 1+1 = 3Sam started in real estate in Ann Arbor, a suburban. He found opportunities to buy an entire block by buying all homes and lands. He then either developed student apartment buildings or sold the entire block for more money. He repeated this method: high-growth real estate, small cities… The basis is that in small cities there would be less competition. Later, Sam changed his method: buildings that are available below replacement cost, good quality, and well-located. (replacement cost is the key. It can determine the price of future competition)Then his method became generalized: supply and demand, barriers to entry, and tax considerations.Sam spends most of his day listening to people. He asks questions, probe, and raise possibilities.
  5. The Habit of Labor: Lessons from a Life of Struggle and Success by Stef Wertheimer, the founder of ISCAR. Stef was an immigrant to Israel from Germany. He was kicked out of his high school as he didn’t listen to authority and bureaucracy. Stef joined the army and fixed weapons. Stef was working for the government after his army service till he was 26 years old. He didn’t see himself as someone who could climb the government rank nor do boring stuffs. He left his government job which provided a steady income, high status; and started ISCAR with little capital. He was a lieutenant when he left. It was a tough decision since he got 2 kids and a family to take care of.  “Take action when necessary and act in an unconventional way when there is no alternative.” When ISCAR first started, Stef had no capital. He couldn’t get bank loans. He couldn’t borrow money needed to buy materials and machines that he needed.

The takeaways from those reading can be summarized: nothing is impossible; just do it; there are many roads to success; pick one and go all out; people will laugh at you at first; let them laugh and carry on.

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About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach, a value-oriented investor, and an entrepreneur. Hoan led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you would like to have a conversation, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

Two success habits to get yourself ahead of the crowd

There are good habits and there are also bad habits. And the great news is that we have control over which habit to form.

Habit is a regular practice or tendency, which often is hard to give up. Habit is an automatic reaction to a specific situation. Habit can be addictive such as drugs… (Dictionary)

We have many habits whether we know them or not. Something we do repeatedly long enough will become a habit. Check in your experience for yourself to see the force of habit such as which foot you put your shoe on first, your daily sleep schedule, ….even how you work.

There are good habits and there are also bad habits. And the great news is that we have control over which habit to form (yes, it’s hard and tedious and of course requires discipline to form good ones).

From my own experience as well as deep study of successful billionaires (they are often older than 80 years old and have lived long enough to prove what works and what doesn’t), these two habits will serve us and form a basic for great successes.

The first one is habit of promptness. This includes being on time to an appointment. It is to pay debt when it’s due. It is to meet an obligation or keep a promise of any kind. Essentially, promptness is being a person of integrity, a person of one’s own word. If you are what you say you are, you are much further ahead of the crowd. People can count on you and want to do business with you.

The second one is habit of thrift. Thrift element is often a deciding factor to any business success formula. By being thrifty, one will instantly recognize any opportunity to lower overhead and production cost. This will translate into increasing profit. In addition, a person of thrift will always have a reserve. A reserve will enable one to meet contingencies and carry one through tough times. A reserve will also make it possible for one to expand or make improvements without having to borrow.

Practice those two habits (promptness and thrift) until they become your second nature. They will greatly help you achieve your goals.

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Other popular articles:

  1. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.
  2. Life lessons from a Uber driver who was laid off
  3. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
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  8. How to guard yourself against negative influences
  9. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you would like to have a conversation, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

Brilliant response to those who say “stay-at-home moms and housewives don’t work “

I saw a post from a friend on Facebook saying that a post from a tattoo artist Ryshell Castleberry has been shared more than 400,000 times. Ryshell shared an imaginative conversation between a husband and a psychologist. The more the husband responded to the psychologist, the more he revealed how much work his say-at-home wife does.

The only thing I’d add to Rushell’s post is that stay-at-home mothers are real leaders and. exercise leadership effectively. My friend wrote a book called “Fatherhood is leadership. There should be a book called “motherhood is leadership”.

I am sharing the conversation below as it’s very powerful. Thanks Ryshell for the great post.

Please share it with all the stay-at-home moms, and anyone really, and especially guys who ever have a thought that stay-at-home moms don’t work.

Conversation between a husband (H) and a psychologist (P):

P: what do you do for a living Mr. Rogers?

H: I work as an accountant in a bank.

P: Your wife?

H: She doesn’t work. She’s a housewife.

P: Who makes breakfast for your family?

H: My wife, because she doesn’t work

P: What time does your wife wake?

H: She wakes up early because it has to be organized. She organizes the lunch for the children, ensures that they are well-dressed and combed, if they had breakfast, if they brush their teeth and take all their school supplies. She wakes with the baby and changes diapers and clothes. Breastfeeds and makes snacks as well.

P: How do your children get to school?

H: My wife takes them to school, because she doesn’t work.

P: After taking their children to school, what does she do?

H: Usually takes a while to figure something out that she can do while she is out, so she doesn’t have to pack and unpack the carseat too many times, like drop off bills or to make a stop at the supermarket. Sometimes she forgets something and has to make the trip all over again, baby in tow. Once back home, she has to feed the baby lunch and breastfeed again, get the baby’s diaper changed and ready for a nap, sort the kitchen and then will take care of laundry and cleaning of the house. You know, because she doesn’t work.

P: In the evening, after returning home from the office, what are you doing?

H: Rest, of course. Well, I’m tired after working all day in the bank.

P: What does your wife do at night?

H: She makes dinner, serves my children and I, washes the dishes, orders once more the house, makes sure the dog is put away as well as any left over dinner. After helping children with HW she gets them prepared to sleep in pajamas and the baby is in fresh diapers, gives warm milk, verifies they brush their teeth. Once in bed she wakes frequently to continue to breastfeed and possibly change a diaper if needed while we rest. Because she doesn’t have to get up for work.

 

 

-This is the daily routine of many women all over the world, it starts in the morning and continues until the wee hours of the night… This is called “doesn’t work”?!

Being a housewife has no diplomas, but has a key role in family life!

Enjoy and appreciate your wife, mother, grandma, aunt, sister, daughter… Because their sacrifice is priceless.

Somebody asked her…“You are a woman who works or is it just “housewife”??”

She replied:

I work as a wife of the home, 24 hours a day..
I am a mother,
I am a woman,
I am a daughter,
I’m the alarm clock,
I’m the cook,
I’m the maid,
I am the master,
I’m the bartender,
I’m the babysitter,
I’m a nurse,
I am a manual worker,
I’m a security officer,
I’m the adviser,
I am the comforter,
I don’t have a vacation,
I don’t have a licence for disease.
I don’t have a day off I work day and night,
I’m on duty all the time,
I do not receive salary and…

Even so, I often hear the phrase: “but what do you do all day?” Dedicated to all the women who give their lives for the welfare of their families

The woman is like salt: Her presence is not remembered, but its absence makes everything left without flavor.

Share with all the beautiful ladies of your life.

 

Going against the odds

I met an engineer at Symantec in 2011. She was an older woman. After talking to her, she shared that she was working on her third Phd. Not her first, but her third…. I was impressed but secretly in my mind I had two thoughts: it was possible and it was impossible. The thought was that it was impossible to study for a doctorate degree while working full-time and raising a family.

I decided a long time ago that I would not get a doctorate degree. I was successful without one. No one in my family had ever had a doctorate. Besides, I set out to become a businessman, not a teacher. I held a strong belief back then that only people who wanted to work in academia would get a Phd.

I talked to many people. They all told me that it’s impossible to get a Phd while working. They told me that it’s just too difficult and too time-consuming. They saw their relatives and friends who were working on Phd. Even though they were just working on their degree, it was tough. They gave me many reasons that it’s impossible to study while working full-time and raising a family.

However, the idea of getting a doctorate was planted in my mind from the moment I talked to the engineer. Somehow she proved to me that it’s possible.

The seed grew stronger and stronger. What if I could get a doctorate degree? What if I could be the first in the family to get a doctorate? What if I could get one for my family? What if I could do so for them before going all out for myself? What if I could get one to tell my children that nothing is impossible? What if I could be an example for other full-time employees that it’s possible to get higher education while working? What if I could be an example that it’s possible to commit to something big and realize it regardless of circumstances?

In 2014, I seriously looked into schools that offer doctorate degrees. I found one school that offers online learning with flexible schedule. After talking to my wife, the decision was made. Without any second thought, I signed up and paid the fee.

I found out that what people told me was true. My weekend and nights were filled with study and writing. Luckily, my wife and kids supported me. They sacrificed to let me study. We went out less and cut shorter all gatherings.

Studying was rather easy for me. However, writing was not. I never liked writing in school and avoided it at all cost. Yet, writing was the main activity with studying online. Every week, I was required to turn in a paper with a minimum of five pages.

At first it took me forever to produce a five-pages paper. I was determined to not let writing become an obstacle. I practiced and practiced writing till I no longer had any difficulty with it. Interestingly, after a few months, I loved writing and it became my favorite way for me to communicate.

Another challenge with writing had to do with thinking. If you ever do any kind of writing, you know that thinking often makes writing harder. The more you think, the less you write. Initially I thought a lot of what to write and how to write. Sometimes I sat at the desk for hours to just think without putting any word in. That was unproductive. Once I learned from some books I read, I just made an outline and typed without thinking too much and it worked. I was able to write the paper in much shorter time and spend more time making corrections. Setting a goal, dividing the writing task into smaller trunks, and putting a deadline also worked like wonder.

I did not think much at the time. However, I did take on the fourth activity besides working full-time, studying for my doctorate degree, and raising my family. I studied coaching and leadership. It started with John Maxwell Team in 2015. In 2016, I enrolled into Steve Chandler’s advanced coaching school. From late 2016, I participated in Landmark Worldwide courses.

I was like a machine. I did my job at Symantec, spent time with my family, did coaching, studied for my doctorate degree. Not at once I let one activity be impacted by the other. Most people at work and whom I coached did not know that I studied for doctorate. It seemed natural for me to complete everything I took on.

Until the last part of the doctorate study…. For my dissertation, I had to conduct my own researches, write the paper without any official deadline which proved to be a real challenge. Talking to a coach when she was coaching me, she asked about my priority. It was clear that I couldn’t continue doing all the four things and do all well. It was clear that my job at Symantec can not be impacted. I couldn’t ask my family to sacrifice any more than they had already been doing. I had to finish the dissertation. Reducing my involvement with coaching was the choice I had to make. I stopped offering group coaching/mastermind courses. I stopped offering one-on-one coaching. For most of my 2017, it was work, family, and the dissertation.

The moment I completed the final chapter and turned the paper in, I felt relieved. It was such a great feeling that I completed something big for people I love and got back to my family, my job, and coaching.

The school held a graduation ceremony on August 25th at the Nixon library. I met many graduates and instructors who were on the same journey. Most of us shared the same: working full-time, studying for doctorate at nights and weekend, and more importantly raising a family.

Since people found out that I did my MBA and doctorate while working full-time, many asked for tips and tricks. I must say I have none rather than just do it. Nothing is impossible. Make a decision and go with it all the way.

I learned what I just said from coaching. Coaching was very beneficial to my journey. Many times I wanted to quit as I did not need a doctorate to be a businessman. Besides I was not doing it for myself. My coaches helped me realize that I was letting my self-doubt take over me. I made a decision to take on the journey driven by a purpose bigger than myself. And I was capable to complete it. Those extraordinary coaches helped me get back to what I committed to do.

If you ever have a moment of doubt when doing something you commit to do, just remember what I wrote above or reach out to me. Nothing is impossible. Don’t let your self-doubt prove that it’s impossible.

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Other popular articles:

  1. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.
  2. Life lessons from a Uber driver who was laid off
  3. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
  4. 20 minutes that can change your life
  5. How to get your dream job with no experience – Lessons from Bill McDermott
  6. Leaders are readers
  7. A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU – WHY SHOULD I HIRE A COACH?
  8. How to guard yourself against negative influences
  9. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching. Since June 2018, Hoan left his full-time job at Symantec to commit himself to a new journey. Hoan climbed the doctorate mountain and the Symantec mountain. He’s set to climb a new and bigger mountain. If you would like to have a conversation with Hoan, drop him a line at coach@hoanmdo.com