This week’s video was inspired by a recent conversation that I hear with Dan Sullivan on the Strategic Coach podcast. He spoke about 2 elements of overcoming fear and beginning to make significant progress on the really important project in your life.

In the video, two thinking tools to overcome fear and take action:

  1. Visualisation
  2. “Catastroph-ization”

Resources mentioned in the video:

About The Zander Letter

As a teacher, Zander faced with the same problem every year for 25 years… students so worried about their grades that they did not take creative risks.

Benjamin Zander tells his students that their grade for the year is an ‘A’.

There is one condition. Students must write a letter to him within 2 weeks of starting the course. The letter must be dated from one year in the future. In this letter students are to state what they did to achieve the ‘A’ grade, and to write about the person they have become by the end of the course.

In writing their letters, Zander tells students to “place themselves in the future, looking back, and report on all the insights they acquired and the milestones they attained during the year, as if those accomplishments were already in the past. Everything must be written in the past tense. Phrases such as ‘I hope,’ ‘I intend,’ or ‘I will’ must not appear.”

Zander encourages students to also reflect on their mindset over the coming year: what thoughts and beliefs they hold about themselves. What types of thoughts will they be thinking in their journey towards deserving the A grade?

If you liked this post, you will also like How to ask Great Questions (and Listen Actively) and Finding Purpose and Defining a Vision for your Life

Three ideas that resonated with me this week:

  1. On staying young – make friends with people younger than you
  2. On being resourceful – seek out and challenge yourself with constraints
  3. On hiring great people – the hiring machine… what would you search for?

This video was made at Kilkea Castle where I have had the privilege of teaching on the Timoney Institute Advanced Leadership Program this week.

If you liked this post, you will also like Resourcefulness. Shifting to a Growth Mindset and A Lesson in Hiring Top Executives: The 4 Key Attributes.

I heard a recent Jordan Peterson video where he expounded on the concept “Choose your Hard”. This video has some of my reflections on the choice. Choosing hard today makes a difference. Not choosing hard is a choice… and it has consequences.

I love Pep Mari’s wisdom around true commitment. I shared his 4 levels of commitment in a previous video here: Pep Mari’s 4 levels of committment.

…and here is the comment on Linkedin that triggered my second part of the video: 17 habits is too hard for most people.

This is the recording of a session I did yesterday with IESE Business School on the topic of writing as a tool to help your career. In this context, writing is not so much about writing for magazines or in a blog… but writing to set goals, to stay focussed, to identify what is important, to gain clarity, to track progress, to plan…

Do you need Motivation? …or do you need Clarity?

Many people say they lack motivation, when what they really lack is clarity. They are not de-motivated, they just don’t have any clear sense of where and how to place their energy and their time.

If you don’t have a plan, you can’t procrastinate. If you didn’t have a plan, procrastination is your plan.

If your goals aren’t written down, it is hard to refocus on them when you get distracted.

PS My friend Christophe took this so seriously that he tattooed an intention on his arm. Tattoos are a big step… maybe start with a piece of paper.

More on Writing as a Tool for Clarity

If you liked this, you will also like Free your Mind: Writing a Journal. and Writing to Reflect. Mindful Leadership. or Reflect on the Past, Clarify the Future.

I’ve been reviewing my purpose statement. I rewrote it earlier this year. The year of Covid shook up my routines and threw me out of balance. It took some discipline with mentors, coaches and my journal to get re-connected to why I get up in the morning.

My purpose is “to inspire and challenge others to do the most important work of their lives”.

This video is a reflection on the context necessary for someone to do the most important work of their lives.

The 4 Ingredients necessary to do the most important work of your life:

  1. Work on Important Problems
  2. Surround yourself with Great People
  3. Learn to Communicate effectively
  4. Play the Infinite game

If you enjoyed this post, you will also enjoy 22 Excuses that I use to not Do Important Work and Plant Acorns. Grow Oaks.

Our mindset creates our experience of life. With a poor mindset, my experience of life will suffer. With a better mindset, my experience of life will be of greater joy and resourcefulness.

What is Mindset?

Your mindset is your collection of beliefs that shape your thought habits.  Thought habits affect how you think, what you feel, what you perceive and what you do.  Mindset impacts how you make sense of the world, and how you make sense of your own place in the world.

We don’t notice everything that our senses detect. Our subconscious filters most of our sensory input and only passes a small amount on to our conscious awareness. If I am looking for danger, my subconscious filters will pass on more anxiety creating inputs.  If I am looking for things to be grateful for, my awareness will receive more inputs that reflect that search.

Test it for yourself: If you have never seen it, check out the gorilla experiment. It blew me away when I first experienced it.

To change your habits, change your mind…

When reading the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, the most profound insight that I took from the book was that to really change our habits, we have to change our self identity.  If I think of myself as unfit, no matter how hard I work to build a fitness habit, I will always be on an uphill struggle.  If I can change how I think about myself first, the habit formation becomes less of a challenge… and it will stay with me.

The way we see the world shapes our experience of life. How to shift your mindset?

Social Media Strategies

I’ve started sharing my videos on Linkedin and Instagram as well as YouTube. I used to try to centralise all my video activity on youtube, but I don’t know if there is any benefit to that these days. Linkedin is a much more powerful business network… so I’ll let you know how this experiment goes.  I’ve embedded from Linkedin this time… does that work for your viewer?

Have a great week.

 

How to begin vlogging on YouTube

This is based on my last 5 years of youtubing (now at 185,000 subscribers, over 17M video views) and over 11 years of maintaining a regular blog here at http://www.conorneill.com. My advice to you…  point 5 is by far the single most important tip.

8 Tips for Vlogging Success

  1. Do it with a primary intent to learn and build connections… Do not do it with the intent to make money, to sell… 
  2. Be yourself and have an opinion; don’t be brochureware; blog as yourself, not your position or role: CEO, entrepreneur or professor.
  3. Share what you are learning, not what you are an expert in (if you are an expert, share the expertise where it will get you more credibility – Forbes, HBS, IESE, etc)
  4. Get a notebook and add video ideas everyday… every story, every question, every quote that strikes you as interesting should go into this notebook.  I use Evernote to capture these ideas as it is both on my iPhone and my Mac. I often get ideas when running and can quickly add a note (while I run… If I wait I will forget the idea).  Lists are a good structure for my videos – 3 ways to improve X, 4 ways to identify Y.
  5. Become consistent… all successful YouTube channels have a consistent publishing routine – weekly, bi-weekly (most effective for channel growth), etc.  Best to share once a week, than to upload 3-6 at a time.  Often I get the video camera set up and hit record… and wait for a few seconds or minutes for an idea to come… Once the camera is recording, you are going to make something.  Don’t wait until you are 100% clear on the video idea before you hit record.  You can always delete and re-do.  Publishing a bad video makes next week easier… publishing a video you think is excellent makes next video harder…  Consistence is much, much more important than one excellent video.
  6. Use the camera that you have now… an iphone is excellent. For youtube Audio is much, much more important than video quality – so become expert in audio before investing massively in video cameras.  First purchase beyond mobile phone should be lavalier microphone and quality audio recorder. Here is the kit that I use https://conorneill.com/2018/11/06/conors-camera-audio-kit-for-vlogging/
  7. The most important metric (to get YouTube algorithm proactively supporting your channel) is Watch Time in first 48 hours – build an email distribution list and generate views in the first day after publishing.  Watch time is total time of viewing… a few viewers watching the whole video is more important than hundreds who only view the first 20-30 seconds
  8. Switching on advertising on your videos seems to give them a boost…. I don’t fully understand this phenomenon but I have seen that when I allow advertising on old videos they get a renewed boost from YouTube. I switch on ads once videos have been online for 6-8 weeks. No data to support this… but there is something happening here.

If you liked this post, you will also like 13 Ideas if you are thinking about blogging and How to get paid to Speak. Also you might sign up for my 10 week Speaking As a Leader program to get practice and tips.

This week I have been teaching at the Mid Atlantic Business School on the island of Santa Cruz de la Palma. This video shares a lesson that many participants took from the day: “Listen with Your Eyes“.

Hearing is a sense that differs from all our other senses, because it has a buffer. I am able to re-listen to the last 8 seconds of what I have recently heard. This allows me to pay little attention to what is being said, until I hear my name or a silence that indicates that someone is waiting for me to respond. We need to practice listening to a deeper level – what I call “listening with your eyes”.

If you liked this post, you will also like listening is seeking to be changed by another person and How to ask the best Questions.

Not for all my readers, but for anyone who uses Final Cut Pro to edit videos, this 90 minute masterclass is excellent. John Williams is excellent in explaining the end to end process from idea through to fully edited film.

Topics Covered in this Film Making Masterclass

Louise Laws provided a great run down of the contents of this masterclass in her comment that you can find just below the video on YouTube: Film Making Masterclass

0:00 Mike Roberts, Head of Guildhall School Electronic Music Dept
1:25 John Williams, Multi-Award Winner, Soho Master Editor and Film Director
2:00 90 seconds short film titled Just in Time
4:11 Tutorial begins
4:35 Equipment used
5:22 Shooting in raw
6:18 Concept and location
7:38 Shot list of over 20 scenes
8:10 Behind the scenes

FCPX – IMPORTING AND ORGANISING MEDIA

10:00 Managing media
12:39 Key wording

14:55 Smart collections
16:36 Rejecting and favouring
20:17 Recap

FCPX – EDITING THE IMAGE

21:37 Creating a project timeline
22:00 Appending and trimming clips
25:50 Inserting Clips
28:33 Connecting Clips
29:40 Synchronising picture with external audio
37:26 Recap

FCPX – ENHANCING THE PICTURE

38:10 Adding effects
41:05 Keying and replacing the sky
44:00 Compound Clips
47:04 Re-timing to slow motion
49:55 Colour Correction
58:36 Recap

FCPX – WORKING WITH SOUND

59:32 Adding Atmos
1:01:22 Exporting
1:02:14 Importing Music Stems
1:03:15 Using Roles
1:05:00 Mixing Audio
1:07:55 Recap

1:08:42 Live edit using multiple cameras (Behind the music)
1:24:00 Recap

If you are to build a great business, you need to know how to hire great people.  There are 3 things you want to see in a person to know that they will make a lasting positive impact on the organisation.

  1. Can they do the job today
  2. Will they do the job long term
  3. Do they fit with the team

What do you look for in people when you are deciding whether to make an offer?  What red flags have you identified?