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Thinking time. Here I am early in the morning before my family is up, in my office, and I just take some time to actually think. What am I thinking about? Well, I’m thinking about my life, my author of your own story life, but also my business. I set aside and compartmentalize two different segmented times during my day. Now, this is just like any other meeting. Right? These are meetings that don’t get to get changed. I like to do these in the morning because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

For me, what I do is I actually connect with my vision. My vision of two years from today of where Doug wants to be, an author of his own story and how that relates to my family, my friends to you, my Author of Your Own Story people. Then, also I segment that time to think about the businesses. Right? I own five businesses, and how I manage them is one is stepping away from it. Now, look, I have a to-do list that would make your head spin. Things that need to be done in each and every business, each and every day. I have emails coming through. I have people chatting with me 24/7 literally. People from all over the world. We have client all over the place depending on what business we have. My coaching business is international, so is my marketing company.

With this, there are things flying at me all the time. Taking time first thing in the day to set my mind, to set my intention and go through my hour of power, but then set aside that thinking time. Right? That time to think about strategy. Thinking about what’s going on with the business, where the higher level things that get to get done to reach my outcome. Now, as a business owner, this is the most critical time I believe in your business, is this thinking time. Now, some people call it working on your business instead of in your business. You know, this can be thinking time if you’re listening to Keith Cunningham. There’s so many people out there and experts that I really respect. I call it thinking time because that allows me time to think about the business and something that I really cherish and is one of the ways that I’ve been able to actually successfully scale and grow five different companies.

With that being said, what I also do is do this in my personal life. Right? My five to thrive. Business is one of those. I don’t ignore the other four. It’s my mind, body, soul, and relationships. I also believe you need thinking time in those areas, and this is what gives you that whole list of perspective. As business owners, often times the issue is burning out. Right? You hear this all the time that if someone is really successful, makes a lot of money, and they lose their health. They lose their relationships. They lose their spirituality, and they end up spending all of their wealth trying to regain it. Going on trips to India, hiring gurus, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. If you can keep those in the balance as you’re growing and make this part of your routine, then I think … if fact I don’t even think, I know you can become the author of your own story more readily and more successfully and enjoy the journey.

The biggest component of this … I shouldn’t say the biggest but one of those is the thinking time. Taking time away to think about what you’re working on. Now, if you don’t have your own business. Right? Maybe you’re working on a business or maybe you’re a student or maybe you work for somebody else or you’re a stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad. Either way, that is your priority. Your biggest goal should be your business. You need time to think about that. If your biggest goal is planning a trip to Thailand, then what are your outcomes in that? That’s not the perfect example, but maybe another goal you might have is maybe you are the CFO of your family, the chief fund officer. What you want to do is take that time to think about your impact on your family. If you’re raising kids, what exactly are you doing? What can you be doing more of? What can you be doing less of? What’s your involvement? What’s your development there? Same thing applies to business.

My thinking time with my business is I’m thinking about the biggest picture. Right? Where can I create a win, win, win strategies? For example, with our marketing agency Branded Innovation, one of the things we’re doing is we’re actually running a whole program where we’re doing two of our most popular programs and we’re donating 100% of the proceeds to charity. Now, we’ve chosen Direct Relief International to help the flood victims. We donate to charities all the time, but this one we’re doing a more structured program because what I wanted to do and my team’s 100% on board, because I don’t want to take all the credit, but what I came up with is a win would be these people that hire us for these services, they are active leads and that’s great for our business. Another win is the business owner who buys this program, either one of the programs that we’re offering, gets an amazing service. The third win is the people that are receiving the benefits of this charity. We’re giving 100% of the proceeds away. There are three wins there, and to me, that’s high-level thinking.

Now, if I was working in my business, my day to day tasks, coaching clients, working with business owners on their marketing strategies, doing my business consulting. Running my other websites that I run. Whatever it may be, doing my day to day stuff, I would never come up with this idea. Now, this idea may not be terribly successful, or it may knock it out of the park, and I hope it does. I’m looking to make partnerships out there with others who want to create a win, win, win situations through their business, because I think through the business we can give back. The point is I use this or I discovered this through thinking time.

Here’s what I want you to do. Thinking time isn’t complex. It’s just simply a time that you set aside just to think. It’s almost like meditation. Now, I like to use a journal when I’m doing thinking time. Sometimes I type my notes on the computer. Sometimes I use a big whiteboard, and I have whiteboards all over my office and in front of me if you’re watching this on video, calendars, and et cetera. I write down these things that come up in my thinking time. Now, sometimes I set these aside. Right? Sometimes I DS them or I put them aside to identify, discuss and solve with my team. Other times, I take action on them right away when I’m doing with thinking time. Other times I just allow them to nurture or really percolate in my mind and let them go. Either way, I set aside that thinking time, and it’s the best thing that I’ve ever done for my business. I’ve heard the people telling me to do this since I started business early on in my life.

Now, I would say as I’ve matured as a business owner, I really cherish this time and really take this time to help my business grow. It really helps my clients and helps everybody else. It’s a win, win, win situation. Here’s what I want you to do. Grab your calendar, not your journal. Grab your calendar and set aside thinking the time for yourself. Now, if setting aside a half hour everyday or an hour as I do, every day it seems like too much. Well, one, that means you’re on your journey to be the author of your own story. If you want that hour, you should have it. How do we get you there? That’s one thing to think about.

Two, go ahead and set aside a half hour three times a week. Maybe it’s one time a week for you, and that’s totally okay. Just have a little bit of thinking time where you’re stepping away from your business or your project or whatever it is you’re working on, could be school, and really just thinking about it. Just letting it manifest, let ideas come to you. Let them come through you. Your subconscious is amazing and it works in unbelievable ways, and I want it to work for you and on your side. Oftentimes, spinning the wheels, just working, just doing to do, is a way that we can get stuck and thinking time pulls you out of it. Go ahead and write down. I want you to calendar those at least three if you can. At least, you can. Do at least three this week coming up into your calendar.

I want to hear from you. I want to know how this thinking time works for you, so go ahead and let me know, or post something in the Author of Your Own Story group and we can talk about it. If you are one of those people that really want to go all for it and you think, hey thinking time sounds great and I want it more in my life, I’m going to add that now. I highly encourage you to do so. It’s a fantastic practice that if you’re a business owner will take your business to the next level. If you become a coaching client of mine, that’s something that I’m going to require you to do, is thinking time. It’s not even a possibility. This is what you’re doing because I know for a fact that this will actually help you up-level and 10x your business much quicker than actually just sitting there and carving out tasks.

That’s it for me today. As always, go to authorofyourownstory.com as well. Sign up for our newsletter so you can get more tips, tricks and insights delivered right to your inbox. Remember, share this with three people. You alone can actually grow your tribe, and you alone can affect other people in ways that you just don’t even understand. One thing you can do, it’s really simple, is simply sharing this message with three people. That’s all I’m asking, just three. Share with three right now as soon as you’re done listening to this, and I can guarantee you over time, your tribe is going to build and people are going to be behind you to uplift you and have conversations that matter. That’s it for me today. Remember, go out and be the author of your own story.

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