Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Imaginary Barriers – 31 DoBA – Day 12

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford

Have you ever driven down a country road and gone over a cattle guard?  A cattle guard keeps cattle that may have gotten out of the ranch from taking a stroll down the road.  They are built into the road as a row of uneven metal slots so that cattle can not walk over them.  Installing a cattle guard is not cheap or easy but ranchers have found more frugal alternative.  They simply paint the lines on the road to mimic the lines of a real cattle guard.  For some reason, I’m sure there is a scientific answer, this keeps the cattle back.

In business we often stop when we see an obstacle or a ‘barrier to entry’ only what if the obstacle we are seeing is not real but a painted on impostor?  Any business has risks and real barriers.  The danger is in self imposing extra barriers and then allowing them to stop us.  I have a book called “this business has legs”
about the man that started with nothing and created the $100 Million Thighmaster craze in two years.  He didn’t start with a ton of cash or an amazing mentor.  He saw an idea and he pushed through the barriers.

There is a big difference between ceasing to imagine barriers and not seeing real ones.  Some businesses don’t deserve your energy or have a level of risk that is greater than the potential reward.  But, all to often, we stop working on a project or a business idea because we make up an obstacle.  Some examples of imaginary barriers are:

  • “Somebody else already does that.”  So what?!  Can you do it better?  Could you do it cheaper?
  • “I don’t know how to do that.” So what?!  Somebody does.  Find them.
  • “It costs too much to get started.”  Really?!  The Global market has made a lot of things cheaper.
  • “I don’t have time.” – Serious?!  What’s the Bachelors name again?  You’re just being efficient or prioritizing.

What other imaginary barriers can you think of?

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” Henry Ford

31 DoBA stands for The 31 Days of Blog Awesomness and is a project I am currently running on my blog.  View all The 31 DoBA here.

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Retreat To Move Forward

What now?

After reading about the new movie 127 Hours on a popular movie blog I started thinking about the future.  More accurately I started to thing about the present.  If you’re not familiar with the movie it is the story (based on the real deal) of a hiker who gets his arm trapped beneath a boulder in the bottom of a crevasse where nobody knows where to find him, or that he is even there.   The hiker, Aron Ralston, spent 127 grueling hours trapped in what he thought would be his grave.  He saved himself by cutting off his own arm with a dull pocket knife and walking out to freedom.

I watched Ralston talk about this on Jay Leno December 3rd and what I found was most interesting was his talk of how he felt when he realized he’d solved the ‘riddle’ of how to escape… by cutting off he own hand!  When he realized he could use leverage and break his own bones to get free rather than cut through them with a knife he said it was a feeling of ‘ecstasy’.  Do you feel that way when you solve a problem?

In some ways, not at all as literal as Ralston, we all deal with our own rocks and hard places every day.  We get stuck in tough situations and have to find our own way out.  This past week I escaped a couple of my own boulders and it is liberating.  The challenge is that for the past 18 months these were a couple of big boulders I thought about every day.  But, now I’m free.  So now what?

For me it’s time to retreat in order to move forward.  I’m going back over old notes and ideas and evaluating current projects from new angles.  I’m excited about some of the projects I’m working on and I’m focusing on the steps that can be done today to make those projects more successful.

What rocks are you currently stuck under?  How can you escape them?  Now what?

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Quiet Time

Yesterday morning I had a conversation with a group of young men about the power of our thoughts.  As an exercise I gave them the ‘homework’ assignment to pay attention to how they felt when they listened to different types of music.  They were supposed to pay attention to emotions and physical changes more than just whether or not they liked the music.

Later that afternoon my wife thought it would be a good idea to pile all the kids on the couch for quiet time.  She turned on a movie… Hannah Montana.  I wasn’t overly excited.  My wife was out cold pretty quickly with our 3 month old so I was left to maintain quiet time order with the other 3.  It worked out ok, and I had a chance to do my homework.

Most of the music in the movie is pretty bubble gum country pop but not as bad as I like to pretend.  One song affected me in a motivating and uplifting manner.  The Climb.  Video and lyrics are below but it’s about the general concept that life is a journey and not a destination.  Sometimes we’re so focused on where we want to be that we lose focus on the beauty all around us.  We just returned from a long drive (Southern California – Las Vegas, NV – Provo, UT – Capitola, CA – Southern California) and I was pretty worried about the longest leg of our journey from Utah through the Nevada high desert back into California as I heard it was a barren wasteland.  I did the drive once as a kid but slept the whole way.  I ended up really loving the drive and found great beauty in the different climates we drove through.  The song and the drive combined to remind me that a lot of life is about perspective.

The Climb lyrics
Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

‘Cause there’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa


Building vs Tearing Down

This poem came to mind as I was teaching a lesson at church this past Sunday. It seems to be a message that I needed perhaps more than the 25 or so men I was supposed to be teaching.

There are a few versions of this, but all with the same message.

I passed one day through a busy town,
and saw them tearing a building down.
With a “Ho, heave ho!” and a husky yell,
they swung a beam and a side wall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled?
The kind you’d hire if you had to build?”
“No,” he chuckled. “No indeed,
the common laborer is all I need.
I can easily destroy in a day or two,
what builders have taken weeks to do.”

I thought to myself as I went on my way,
which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
strengthening lives by rule and square,
shaping my peers to a well-made plan,
helping them do the best they can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
content with the labor of tearing down?

– Author Unknown

I just read an article where a team had mapped out the most stressful counties in America. The results weren’t surprising, but they were a bit disheartening. In some areas people are just stressed. I’ve been going through some business trials and have been more stressed than I’d like to admit in the recent past. As humans we tend to get short fused when we get stressed. Sadly, it is during these tough times when we should be pulling together as families, communities, congregations and the like that we find people allowing the stresses of life to allow them to feel ok with tearing others down.

I’m sharing this more as a ‘note to self’ than as somebody that has any authority to preach on the subject. A friend of mine shared a the first line of this quote with me while I was in South Africa:

You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.Harold B Lee

So this is my goal, to grow and develop and stand on high ground. To have a fire burning so bright in my soul that I can share that fire with those I have the pleasure of meeting.

Be a builder.

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Come What May, And Love It

Yesterday I shared some of the adversity I’m dealing with. I am very grateful for some words of encouragement that was shared by friends around the globe. Thank you. I was up late dealing with some of the business items that needed attention and decided to search the web for some encouragement and found this link. Youtube had part of this message on video, and I found it very inspirational.

This poem also comes to mind:

“When Things Go Wrong”

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


So, whatever it is that you are going through (because we all have our own challenges right now) stand tall and stick to the fight.


Finishing the race

I usually blog with good news, and this one will end that way too. It’s been a tough season for me. A company that I had worked so hard to help build closed it’s doors last month. It’s never pleasant to see a company close, and it’s hard when I had to talk to so many employees about the end of the road. These aren’t the friendliest of job searching environments and I wish I could find jobs for each of the amazing people that worked with me. Additionally there is also the financial wake that is left behind to clean up when a company closes. My Father knows how hard its been on me and emailed me this today.

It’s painful, but with the help from the Almighty and caring family and friends the race can still be finished.


Being a Dad

I had a good Dad.

Now, I’m just trying to be one.



I just read this article on Michael Phelps. I am truly disappointed. We need great role models today and they are getting harder to find.

In a public apology Phelps said:

I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again

I wonder how his endorsements will weather this little storm.

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The ‘Bailout’

I received a few phone calls and emails this week inquiring about my view of the proposed bailout that President Bush is proposing. I saw this video on the blog The Mess That Greenspan Made.

There is a reason there are still a lot of Ron Paul supporters.

My company works with people every day to teach them to live within their means. We need to do that as a Country, live below our means.

The following text is from an email from the Ron Paul campaign. It makes this post longer than most, but is well worth reading.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Friends,

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! “This is welfare for the rich,” he said. “This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters.”

That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences – predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics – are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

• Financial institutions are “designated as financial agents of the Government.” This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

• Then there’s this: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this “sadly necessary.” Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind – another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.

In liberty,

Ron Paul

*This post wasn’t meant to be a ‘Pro Ron Paul’ post. It just turns out that he has a clear view of how to return our Nation to financial security and avoid socialism.

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Is failure part of success?

An interesting thing about blogging is that you start to feel like you are friends with the people whose blogs you read, even though you don’t know them personally. DJ is a friend of my friend Deyl and they are both amazing entrepreneurs, but in very different fields. DJ posted this on his blog, which was borrowed from one of his friends blogs. I really like the way this video is put together.

It seems to me that most people that we think of as highly successful didn’t arrive at that destination on their first go round. What makes these people different is their perseverance and their resiliency to the negative and debilitating obstacles that were in their paths. We are all faced with stumbling blocks, or failures, and we must each determine how we will react to the challenge.

When I was about 13 years old my Bishop at church shared this poem with us, he had it memorized.

The Race
By: Delbert H. Groberg

Quit, Give up! You’re beaten! They shout at me and plead.
There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.

And as I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.

And hope fills my weakened will, as I recall that scene
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.

A children’s race — young boys, young girls.
How I remember so well.

They all lined up so full of hope; each thought to win that race,
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least tie for second place.

And every parent watched from off the side, cheering for their daughters and their sons,
And every kid hoped to show their mom and dad, that they would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire.
To win and be the hero was each and every kid’s desire.

And one boy in particular whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought, my dad will be so proud.

But as they speeded down the field, across a shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win, lost his step and slipped.

And trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,
Mid the laughter of the crowd he fell right upon his face.

So down he fell and with him hope, he couldn’t win it now,
Embarrassed, sad, if he could only disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race.”

He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that’s all,
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself — to catch up and to win, His mind went faster than his legs — and he slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace,
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But in the laughing crowd, he searched and found his father’s face,
That steady look which said again, “Get up and win the race.”

So up he jumped to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m going to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to move real fast.”

Exerting everything he had, he regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running any more. Three strikes, I’m out. Why should I even try?

The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error prone, a loser all the way.

“I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad whom soon he’d have to face.

Get up, an echo sounded, get up and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here, Get up and win the race.

With borrowed will, Get up, it said, You haven’t lost at all.
For winning is no more than this: To rise each time you fall.

So up he rose to run once more, and with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.

So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been.
Still he gave it all he had and ran as though to win.

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling: Three time he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran his best to the end.

They cheered the winning runner as she crossed the line in first place.
Head high and proud, and happy, no falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster crossed the line in final place,
The crowd gave him the greatest cheer for just finishing the race.

And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud, You would have thought he’d won the race to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy should help all of us in our race.

For all of life is like that race with ups and down and all,
And all you have to do to win, is rise each time you fall.

“Quit, give up, you’re beaten,” they will always shout in your face.
But another voice within you will say, “Get up and win the race.”

These are challenging times in which we live. It seems we work harder and longer to make ends meet and the payouts seem to be getting smaller. With all of the challenges, failures and set backs just remember, rise each time you fall.

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – Hypnosis

I am a big fan of eliminating vices out of our lives. It was great to see articles pop up about Ben Affleck telling Oprah that he had finally quit smoking. An interesting part of all of this is that both he and Matt Damon used hypnosis to help them quit. Affleck mentions that the “guy just sat there and told me nicotine is poison.” Hypnosis allows us to change our neuro associations more rapidly, and so under hypnosis Ben was able to make the changes to his mental perspectives on smoking. What vice in your life could you cut out simply by thinking of it as a painful and negative experience and associating greater pleasure to abstaining? If you’d like more information on how to make changes rapidly, let me know and I’ll post more on the topics of NLP and Hypnosis.

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We are packing up and moving to a bigger house this weekend. I am amazed at how much ‘stuff’ we have accumulated during our 5 years of marriage and 3+ years in this house. Perhaps the hardest thing is to look at everything and realize that it had a cost. I have boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff that I don’t really use. It must have cost me thousands to buy all of this stuff but it adds up piece by piece and dollar by dollar.

How much do you think you’ve spent on ‘stuff’ that you don’t use? What could you have spent that money on instead (philanthropy, investments, HDTV)?

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Thomas Jefferson

I came across this quote today:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
Thomas Jefferson

It seems pretty prophetic now especially when one thinks about how far and deep the impact of the the sub prime loan crash is being felt. I have friends in South Africa that are feeling the effects, friends traveling to Germany are concerned about a weak dollar as they exchange to the Euro, and hey, don’t forget about my colleague that just told me yesterday he let his house go to foreclosure when the market dropped $100k below what he owed on it.

Here’s another quote that people could have listened to and, had they headed his warning, we may not be seeing such a crazy popping of the bubble.

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.
Thomas Jefferson
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