Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Fighting Resistance

Back in April I wrote about The Battle.  The War rages on.

Resistance continues to wield it’s bloody sword in it’s effort to keep us from our potential.

But, it hasn’t won.

Remember that I’m here for the war. Join me in the fight and let’s build something epic together.

Resistance St Martin

Some quotes on Resistance:

“Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
Steven Pressfield,
“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
Steven Pressfield,
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
Steven Pressfield
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The Battle

A friend once lent me a Steven Pressfield book called The War of Art. In the book Pressfield talks about something called Resistance. Resistance is that force that keeps us away from our full potential. Somedays we encounter it as laziness and other times we find Resistance dressed in the clothes of routine. The point is that, if we want to make anything of ourselves, we must fight Resistance in this long battle of personal development.

I look back on this blog and feel a spectrum of emotions wash over me. I feel sadness for not writing more. I feel pride for many of the posts since many of them tell stories of past battles. I feel shame for some of the posts seem silly or condescending through the lens of time.  I feel joy for the times I shared about my family.  But the emotion I expected least of all, the one that is catching me off guard like a punch in the gut, is that of fear.

I’m scared.

I’m scared that Resistance has been winning.

I’m scared that I’m operating below my potential.

What scares me most of all is I’m not sure how long Resistance has been winning.

The Shift

In the 2013 movie ‘Jobs’ Ashton Kutcher, playing legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs says to a project lead:

Ok Jeff, let’s get a couple of things straight, we don’t do fine, we don’t accept things the way that they are and we don’t stop innovating.  

In the movie I was reminded of an old Steve Jobs photo where he’s on his desk and there is a simple black poster with the word THINK written in rainbow colors and block font.

Ok Jeff, let’s get a couple of things straight, we don’t do fine, we don’t  accept things the way that they are and we don’t stop innovating.

That poster along with the quote I just shared seem to have awoken something within me.

I don’t accept fine.

I don’t accept things the way that they are.

I never stop innovating.

Let the battle rage on. I’m here for the war.

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Failure – 31 DoBA – Day 23

I just noticed that this is post #23 of the 31 Days of Blog Awesomeness.  It’s a bit serendipitous then that this is the topic for the day.  Failure.  This quote has been one of my favorites for a long time.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.Michael Jordan

See the video here: http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2011/01/failure-31-doba-day-23/

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No Excuses – 31 DoBA – Day 22

Have you ever heard the saying comparing excuses to your backside?  Everybody has them, and they all stink.

Watch this video and tell me if anything sounds familiar.

Just Do It.

If you’re reading this on Facebook or in a feed reader you may need to click through to the original post.

No Excuses – 31 DoBA – Day 22

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Start – 31 DoBA – Day 21

Since you got a “How to” type post yesterday you get a deep thoughts type post today.

One of the things that I battle with, as I am sure many of us do, is procrastination.  One time I was so lazy I didn’t even procrastinate for 3 whole days.  Most of the time I procrastinate by keeping busy on something else that is usually less important.  I prefer to work on stuff that matters, but sometimes other things are easier.  I read this quote the other day and it made me think about working on stuff that matters right away.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar

I’ve had an idea for a while that I haven’t been doing much with.  I feel it’s a great idea but I worry that it’s too big of a challenge for me.  I’m resolved to start and get better and better as I go along.

What are you waiting for?  The starting gun already went off.  GO!

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First Rate – 31 DoBA – Day 19

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to be ‘like’ somebody else.  A charismatic boss, a successful friend or some other person of significance are great people to emulate.  In the end, though, remember that you are your own person.  You have a unique blend of talents unlike any other person.
Be yourself, just be your best self.

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Action! – 31 DoBA – Day 15

Most people that read this blog know that I am currently in the Executive MBA program at USC.  In addition to the excellent professors, good curriculum and amazing campus I get great pleasure from associating with so many brilliant and talented people that comprise my class.  The class has about 70 people in it and we are going through the entire 21 month program together.

The last thing that we did today in class was complete a brief 14 question multiple choice test that was designed to reveal the test takers learning style (3 question sample available here).  The three possible styles were People Learner, Information Learner and Action Learner.  I ended up with points in each category but was very much a People/Action learner.  This makes sense to me and is what I would have guessed before the quiz.  Other people were a bit more surprised with their results.

All of that lead up brings me to a conversation with one of my classmates that I consider a good friend.  I was telling him about some of the projects I was working on and he kept pushing me for a firm date of launch.  He didn’t like my excuses about how there were external factors so he pushed for a date again.  Turns out he was very much and Action learner.  He and I often say this quote to each other, ‘Done is better than perfect’ and it is so true.

Is there something you’ve been talking or thinking about doing for a while now?  Do it.

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Obstacles vs Opportunities – 31 DoBA – Day 13

Day 12 of the 31 Days of Blog Awesomeness covered the idea of imaginary barriers that often stop entrepreneurs from attaining their goals.  Today is about how there is very little difference between obstacles and opportunity.

Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. Niccolo Machiavelli

Most people think of obstacles as the barriers that prevent them from having access to the opportunities that could make them successful.  If they are pitying themselves enough they’ll even feel like they are the only one with the obstacles in their path and that others have opportunities galore.  A true entrepreneur recognizes that every opportunity comes with obstacles and that is exactly what drives them to succeed.

Obstacle: Something that impedes, stands in the way of, or holds up progress
Opportunity: A chance for advancement, progress or profit; a favorable circumstance or occasion

How can Machiavelli claim that these two are similar when they appear diametrically opposed?  An obstacle is usually present for everybody.  One of the barriers I hear the most is that many businesses and ideas take a great time investment.  Remember that everybody gets 24 hours in a day.  The successful entrepreneur knows that she can harness the power of those hours to accomplish her goals.  She also recognizes that many others will stop at the painted lines and let the opportunity slip.

Opportunity favors the bold.  Obstacles stop the slothful.

This is me on ABC’s Wipeout Season 1.  I’m in the red shirt.  A great example of how obstacles are also opportunities.  The winner of this competition got $50,000.


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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The Rocking Chair Test – 31 DoBA – Day 10

There’s an important principle I want to share with you, some call it the rocking chair test.  I had forgotten where it was I first heard this but luckily the internet has a much better memory than me.  I’ve learned it both as ‘Future Pacing’ in NLP and ‘The Rocking Chair Test‘ in Anthony Robbins’ NAC.  Robbins has a knack for taking stuff that is a bit science-y and making it easier to understand an apply in real life.

The test is used whenever you are at a cross roads in your life.  It could be any sort of decision from taking a vacation, venturing into a new business, quitting your job or making a new connection.  This is what you do:

Close your eyes.  Imagine yourself, 80 years old and retired, sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch of your home.  In this future state reflect back on your life.  Now imagine if you did NOT take the step you are considering.  Experience the pain you feel, if any?  Now imagine that you DID make the decision you’re considering and were successful.  Experience the pleasure you feel in having made the decision and having been successful.

If you felt pain when you thought back on not moving forward with a decision then it may be something you should do.  If you did not feel pain then you should not worry about the decision too much and you may be better served focusing your time and energy on other things.

Why this matters?  Too many times we stress and worry about decisions when they usually crucial.  If they don’t pass the rocking chair test they don’t deserve your stress.  If they DO pass the rocking chair test that does not give you an excuse to worry.  Instead you now know you should focus on and you don’t have to think about the ‘should I’ part of the equation any longer.

Doing this test is one of the reasons I’m at USC right now and helped in my decision to transition out of real estate.


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


My Motivation

Right now the tagline on this blog reads: One Entrepreneurs Journey To Find Greatness.  Although I often share my thoughts, opinions and insights the whole purpose of this blog is to chronicle my journey to discover greatness in myself and others.

I believe that within each of us lies the extraordinary and the remarkable.  We have a responsibility to discover what it is that we can do better than anybody else in our world.

Why do I care do discover this within myself.  Because of this woman:

My wife and I just had our 7 year wedding anniversary.  This picture was taken while we were dating and is one of my favorites.  To be loved by this woman is an extreme honor.


Be Excellent To Each Other

1989 introduced the world to Bill & Ted, a couple of misfits from San Dimas, CA that ended up having a most excellent time traveling adventure.  My Father quoted a line from the movie for some years later.

“Be Excellent To Each Other.”

Sure, it’s the 80’s version of the rule “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” but there’s something more involved.  What can you do in your next interaction with a co-worker that would be excellent?  The next call you answer for work, how can you treat that customer with excellence?  When you get home from work how can you be excellent to your loved ones?

Too often the vice of apathy and complacency robs us of rich experience and weakens the connections we have with the world around us.

“Be Excellent To Each Other.”

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Seth Godin – Low Tide

During his amazing presentation at LinkedOC Seth Godin shared this bit of inspiration with the crowd.

Just because the tide is out doesn’t mean there is any less water in the ocean.” – Seth Godin

If Twitter is a good indicator, it hit a chord with a lot of people.

Consider this quote in relation to today’s economy or job market.  Sometimes it’s a matter of changing where you are looking rather than giving up.  It wouldn’t make much sense to cast your lines from the side of a boat that was beached.  Get the boat back in the water, then go fishing.

Here’s to your success!  Happy fishing!

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The Seth Godin Pyramid

I’m a fan of Seth Godin. To me he is a lot more than a marketer and businessman, he is a thought leader and ‘agent of change’. I had the privilege of meeting him a couple of weeks ago when he spoke here in Southern California. There are a few major points that stuck with me and I’ll post about them separately.

Seth’s new book, Linchpin is about being indispensable. It’s a great read so far and I highly recommend picking up a copy. One thing he covered that stuck with me was a hierarchy of work skills. I’ve outlined them in the hierarchy below.
Taking a look at this hierarchy, where do you fit in? The lower down the list you get the easier it is to be dispensable. Just after returning from Africa I worked at UPS for 2 months. I lifted stuff, and I was easily replaced. If you are on the bottom 4-5 levels of the hierarchy you must take great strides within your company or market to become that one individual that can not be lost. I challenge you to find something that you can do in your work today that will set you apart from the partially cognizant cogs working around you.

Tyler Jorgenson and Seth Godin at the LinkedOC event at the St. Regis in Monarch Beach February 11th 2010