10 Things Nobody Can Take Away From You

People can steal so many things from you—your money, your attention, your time.

Here are a few things they can’t:

  1. Your Fire

  2. Your Skills

  3. Your Ideas

  4. Your Effort

  5. Your Wisdom

  6. Your Reactions

  7. Your Perspective

  8. Your Uniqueness

  9. Your Experiences

  10. Your Determination

  11. Your Self Respect

There may be others. Comment if you think of any below👇.

In the meanwhile, take caution. While nobody can steal these things from you, you can steal them from yourself.

Stay diligent, stay disciplined, and always keep building that which cannot be taken away.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Use This Exercise to Get Out of Disorganized Chaos

Use This Exercise to Get Out of Disorganized Chaos

It’s Friday, and you’re battered from a 5-day attack on your focus, attention, and patience; a battle that started the moment your alarm blared Monday morning.

If you started with a plan, it’s now buried in the rubble of a week that bombarded you with emails, phone calls, and customer demands.

Yes, the work-week struggle was real, and though it’s now over, another battle looms next week.

But, enter the weekend with a clean slate and you’ll start next week fresh, reinvigorated, and ready to crush it. What’s more, your free hours won’t be consumed with thoughts of unfinished tasks. You’ll enjoy a truly restful weekend.

This all begins with a weekly review.

The Importance of Living by Simple Rules

The Importance of Living by Simple Rules

Every year without fail, on the first day of school, my Father would remind me to follow three simple rules:

  1. Do what’s right.

  2. Do the best you can.

  3. The golden rule.

This past week, as school started for my own children, I reminded them to follow those same three rules. They got the first two, but when asked to recall the golden rule they said, “to have fun?”

What Children Can Teach Us About Failure

What Children Can Teach Us About Failure

This is my daughter, Allie.

She's my firecracker, my spitfire. She's the epitome of unbending willpower.

Fathering her is a delicate balance between goodnight kisses and unwavering stare-downs over the appropriate number of cookies one should have for dessert.

My boys aren’t like that.

One son is rule-bound and the other finds every way to please us.

But all three share one thing in common; the same thing all children share in common.

They don't worry about being humiliated. They don’t worry about failing.

They just barge ahead.

Get the Results You Need to Hit Your Goals Faster, Better, Cheaper

Get the Results You Need to Hit Your Goals Faster, Better, Cheaper

There are three ways of working:

  1. 😫 Working in chaos.

  2. 🙂 Getting shit done.

  3. 😁 Getting the results you need to hit your goals faster, better, cheaper.

When you work in chaos or you just try to get shit done, it’s easy to think:

start work -> to get results -> so I can meet my goals.

But this is backwards.

How to Destroy Your Limiting Constraints

How to Destroy Your Limiting Constraints

The first time I watched my grade school friend, Brian, navigate his computer, I was awestruck.

Without touching the mouse, he was switching windows, selecting menu options, and “clicking” buttons on the keyboard, his fingers slamming keys like Mavis Beacon in a Red-Bull-induced typing competition 💻🏋️‍♀️😓.

I was shocked because I didn’t realize such speed and efficiency was possible.

Watching him, a master, was transformative.

Prevent Wasted Effort by Beginning With the End in Mind

Prevent Wasted Effort by Beginning With the End in Mind

It’s Monday, closing time, and in four days your week will be over.

Where will you find yourself Friday afternoon? What will you have accomplished?

Most people don’t know. They begin each day, do what they can, and try to “finish things up” Friday afternoon before cashing out for the weekend.

I’ve been there. Living day to day, never knowing how much I can get done, never planning a path my goals.

Two Words That Will Help You Bring Joy to Others

There are exactly two places in the world I feel 100% me.

The first is my home office.

I’ve worked from home for a decade, so have refined every corner of my office for optimal comfort, productivity, and happiness.

Take my typewriter, for example.

It’s my prized Olympia Spendid 66, refurbished and mailed from @mr.mrs.vintage in London. The machines curves and deep navy blue glossy finishes are beautiful. But when I start hammering those keys, it walks right off my desk.

So now, underneath, are four hidden globs of poster putty holding the typewriter within millimeters of my Game of Thrones book set (which is simultaneously on display and positioned for instant reading).

It’s not just the poster putty. Everything in my office is arranged just so. My whiteboard, my pictures, my computer, my chair, my desk. Even my samurai sword is on display, out of reach from my children, but accessible to me for the inevitable zombie invasion.

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The second place I feel 100% me is Hotel Kabuki (@hotelkabuki).

When I walk through the doors of this hotel, unobtrusively located in Japantown San Francisco, I have dreams of buying the place, moving my home office across the country, and living there with my family for the rest of my natural life.

It’s the lobby library, stocked with history books, pop culture references, and classical literature. It’s the vinyl’s in a grid on the wall decorating the front desk. It’s the black and white wall art, squared off modern furniture, fancy phones, and bonsai trees in the garden exercise room.

But what really gets me is the coasters...

For all the grand decorations, coasters seem like a trivial flourish. But the small white round cardboard with its red brushed circle gives a certain zen-like calligraphy feeling, emphasizing a message that I’ve now taken to heart:

“Shine Brightly”

When my brow is furrowed because I’m concerned about how much I’m getting done or thinking too hard about what I’m supposed to be doing next, these two words remind me to keep trying to bring joy to others and to help those near me with what I have and what I’ve learned.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Reset Expectations of What's Possible

Everyone knows it snows in Michigan.

I remember shuffling down the streets of Midland one October, trick-or-treating, with thick ski pants and boots covering my Halloween costume; just a kid with a pillowcase wearing a Chewbacca mask staring out from under a winter hat.

Two feet of snow. In October. And that was in the lower peninsula.

The upper peninsula? That’s no joke.

The people that live up there, lovingly referred to as uppers (pronounced yew-pers), get hammered in the winter.

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Yet, even knowing that, we stopped in awe at a lone sign in the woods. Deep into our seven hour drive, in the northern part of Michigan’s upper peninsula, we stared up at the sky where this sign, 29.5 feet in the air, marked their record snowfall.

When you grow up seeing two to four feet of snow at a time, 29 feet seems unbelievable.

But this sign didn’t lie. It was accurate, and the record it represented has been beaten since.

(Email me a pic if you’ve seen it recently, I didn’t have a camera back then and I’d love to marvel at it’s height again)

This sign, and the extreme snowfall record it represented, reset my expectations of what’s possible. It made me wonder what else I didn’t know, didn’t realize, or couldn’t imagine.

It’s easy to get used to the status quo. But that’s not how to stand out. That’s not how you make the biggest impact. That’s not how to strike awe in your customers.

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Recognizing that, it’s helpful to ask yourself a question—one that will help reframe your expectations of what’s possible:

“What am I continuing to do myself that I’m not good at?”

Think about it. Write it down. Then improve it, eliminate it, or delegate it.

Improve what you’re not good at and raise the bar on what you can accomplish.

Eliminate what you’re not good at and give yourself time to work on more important tasks.

Delegate what you’re not good at and buy yourself energy while allowing for someone more skilled to set the bar higher.

Don’t wait for a sign in the woods. Challenge what you know. Ask yourself this question monthly to reset expectations of what’s possible, what you can focus on, what’s important, and what’s holding you back.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Earpods — My Favorite Productivity Tool

I’m pissed 😡🤬🤯🤭😡

Somewhere, in the Denver airport, some kid is walking around with my lost AirPod earbud dangling from his right ear.

I can see him now, happily listening to crappy music, laughing obnoxiously while playing that God-awful Fortnight game with his friends.

The left earbud, still in my possession, doesn’t cut it. My brain rejects music in only one ear, and trying to talk on the phone in my left ear is like trying to brush my teeth with my left hand, possible, but messy and ineffective.

It’s not about the money. AirPods are expensive, but the missing bud can be replaced for only $69.

I’m pissed because I’ve lost one of the most effective tools in my toolkit.

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AirPods are awesome. They are game changing. They are (were) one device that absolutely, unequivocally helped me comfortably, enjoyably, and reliably get more done.

That’s because while I maximize my productive time through planning, scheduling, and building systems, I also get more done by using the right tools.

AirPods were my tool. I popped them in for phone calls, music, dictation, podcasts, or just drowning out airplane noise while traveling. I wore them while walking my dog, hustling through the airport, working out, or even sitting hands-free at my desk.

These little wireless wonders have saved me more hours than I probably realize, and now they’re gone; lost forever in a massive airport 1,465 miles away.

I’ve ordered a new earbud. It should show up in two to three days.

Until then, if you’re traveling through Denver and see a snobby-looking kid with one white bud in his right ear, give him your best stink-eye for me. He’ll never understand why you did, but he deserves it nonetheless.

Have any tools you’re passionate about? Tell me in the comments below. I’m always testing out new ways to be productive and love a good gadget more than most :-).


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

A Simple Tool for Staying Massively Productive Every Day

Sometimes, at the end of the day, it feels like you've kept busy yet accomplished nothing.

It's not that you didn't work hard. You answered emails. You took phone calls. You attended meetings. You made decisions.

But for some reason you got nothing done.

Well, that's not true. You got other people's work done, just not your own. You've made little progress toward your goals. You've been running around solving other people's problems. You've been answering other people's questions, and spending time in their meetings.

There's a solution to this problem. It’s a way to move closer to your goals every day while quickly separating busy work from important work.

It's called the Eisenhower Priority Matrix. Here's how it works:

  1. Split a blank sheet of paper into four quadrants, just like the picture above.
  2. Label the four quadrants with Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, and Not Important, just the like picture above.
  3. Write each task in your to-do list down on your paper. Place it in the appropriate quadrant based on whether the task is important (or not) and urgent (or not).
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Now, here's how you deal with each quadrant:

Not Urgent and Not Important? Delete it. These are things like checking Facebook, organizing files on your computer, or other trivial tasks.

Urgent but Not Important? Delegate it. Making dinner reservations, dealing with unimportant emails, and booking flights would qualify here.

Not Urgent but Important? Schedule it. These are things that must get done, but keep getting kicked to the back burner. This would include activities like calling a family member, exercising, developing a marketing plan for your business, etc.

Urgent and Important? Do it. Right now. This is real work. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where you make real progress toward your goals. Today.

That's it!

If you've ever wondered why you stay so busy but get so little done, this just might be the answer.

It's a simple tool, but should keep you massively productive every day, and leave you with a sense of accomplishment (and time for fun and games)!


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

The Importance of Developing a Personalized System to Find an Optimum Path to Your Goals

Have you seen that commercial of the “productivity guy?”

He’s crushing it.

He’s emailing, texting, shuffling papers, taking phone calls, all at the same time.

It’s funny. But it’s NOT healthy.

Multi-tasking. Frantic effort. A relentless pursuit of the next task on full afterburner.

How long can you operate at that level?

Pro hockey players can for about a minute and a half. After that, they hit the bench to recover before taking back the ice.

Your work isn’t as physical, but you still need rest after focused effort.

Real productivity isn't "go go go." Real productivity requires balance.

Balance between exercise and relaxation, business and family, achievement and celebration.

Without balance, you’ll spend a few hours crushing it like the “productivity guy” only to burn out for the rest of the week.

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Which sounds better to you?

90 minutes of achievement followed by a week of under-performing?

or

Balanced, sustained, consistent progress and results week after week, month after month?

Uhhhh, option 2 please.

For these results, you need a personalized system complete with:

🍎 A nutrition plan to keep you sharp and focused so you can get work done without sacrificing fun food like 🌮🍔🥓🍩.

🏋️‍♀️ An exercise plan to give you more energy on tough days while fitting your work/travel schedule.

📅 A projects/goals plan so you can achieve consistent results over a predictable timeframe.

📝 A daily management plan so you can end each day with a sense of accomplishment and not feel guilty for resting and recharging.

Shoot me an email if you need help developing a personalized system to find an optimum path to your goals: one that will make a massive positive impact on your health, energy levels, and productivity.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

How to Find Your Breathing Space for a Productive and Important Day

Tucson, Arizona is a beautiful and treacherous place.

At 6am, before the golden sun broke over its cactus-covered foothills, the still, dry air was not yet hot enough to have chased us visitors back in to the comfort of the air conditioned resort. The poisonous tarantulas had not yet crawled out from under their rock homes to scout for mates. The venomous rattlesnakes had not yet set out on their evening hunt for food.

The dangers were minimal. It was the perfect time to be outdoors...

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But I wasn't out on that serene landscape with those dangers in mind.

I was out to escape the dangers of a world that, in a few short hours, would attack me with its demands, distractions, and expectations; just me, wandering, out for a hike through the desert for no other reason than to hike.

No, this hike didn’t solve some problem or accomplish some goal.

It was the fuel, the space between the logs, the breathing space for what would be a productive and important day.

This weekend, before the demands and distractions of the coming week, take time to find your breathing space.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Stop Making “Feel Good” Progress and Put a Real Dent in Your Goals

Have you ever completed a task, written it down, and then checked it off after the fact?

It’s okay. You can admit it :-). Almost everybody does.

It gives you a sense of completeness. It makes you feel good. Like, your brain literally releases dopamine to your body, the feel good chemical.

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There’s nothing inherently wrong with this.

But take care not change your mindset from making important progress to making “feel-good” progress.

✅ Call the dentist? Check.
✅ Send that email? Check.
✅ Walk the dog? Check.
⬜️ Build a product strategy aligned with a new target market? Hmmmm... maybe I’ll walk the dog again.

If you start craving that dopamine hit, you stop working on what’s important and start looking for the fastest or easiest thing to do.

And while you’ll always have easy work to do, be sure to keep an eye toward what’s important, what will make a dent in your goals, and what will leave a lasting impact.

✅ New blog post done? Check.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Why You Should Delegate Instead of Multitask

Why You Should Delegate Instead of Multitask

You hear a lot about multitasking.

Namely, how you shouldn’t be doing it.

You know it doesn’t work. You know it stresses you out. You know you’re not as effective while performing more than one task at a time.

But it feels as if there’s no other way.

So you jump on the phone, fire up email, and try to work, all at the same time. You keep on multitasking because, though the experts tell you to stop, life demands you don’t.

Let me suggest another way…

How to be Consistent Productive with a Weekly Review

How to be Consistent Productive with a Weekly Review

It’s Friday, and you’re battered from a 5-day attack on your focus, attention, and patience; a battle that started the moment your alarm blared Monday morning.

If you had a plan to begin with, it’s now buried in the rubble of a hellish week that bombarded you with hundreds of emails, dozens of phone calls, and the constant pull of customer demands. Your reserves have long since been exhausted.

Yes, the work-week struggle was real, and though it’s now over, another battle looms next week.

The person who enters the weekend with a clean slate, who ties up loose ends, and who thoughtfully closes open projects will start next weeks campaign fresh, reinvigorated, and ready to crush it. What’s more, their free hours won’t be consumed with thoughts of unfinished tasks or worries over the many troubles next week might bring. They’ll enjoy a truly restful weekend.

This all begins with a weekly review.

How to Defeat Hustle Guilt

How to Defeat Hustle Guilt

I suffer from "hustle guilt" constantly.

For example, I've purchased *hundreds* of video games over the years, yet have played less than 1% of them.

It's not that I like wasting money, or that I don't want to play. Video games are my fav, right up there with cheese, movie theater popcorn, and peanut M&Ms (the only M&Ms anyone should ever eat).