• Paul Clingan

12 Lessons, 12 Months After Leave a Career at Amazon - Part 2


7. Entrepreneurship Requires More Structure


I’ll be honest.


When I quit Amazon, I thought I would have more free time.


I thought being my own boss was going to let me work when I wanted and how I wanted.


Obviously, that’s wrong.


I work more hours than I did at Amazon. I work more days during the year and my mind never turns off.


Time-blocking has become one of the most important things I can do with my day.


Time-blocking is exactly what you do at work when you say you need to be there 9-5.


You make sure that every hour is accounted for with a specific task you are focussing on.

When you don’t have structure around your time, you end up wasting it.


Same as money. If you don’t have it going somewhere specifically, it will find it’s way out the door.


One of my favorite quotes is:


“If you want to meet the devil, have white space on your calendar.”


When I’m not being productive, I get anxiety.


When I don’t have time blocked off, I waste time and get behind. Then I get anxiety.


This includes free time as well.


Creating structure around my free time and self-care ensures that it gets done.



8. You Are The Sum Of The Five People You Surround Yourself With


When I work on my own, I don’t have co-workers to bring my game up or bring me down.


I have to be specific with who I choose to spend time with because I know they will either facilitate my growth or accelerate my decline.


Here’s an analogy that best explains this.

You are a thermostat set at 85 degrees.


When the sum of the 5 people you hang around are at 75 degrees, they will cool you down.

When the sum of the 5 people you hang around are at 95 degrees, they will heat you up.

This also explains why some people bounce back from hard times.

Maybe you break you leg and your fitness level falls from 95 to 65. But they people you hang around support you and when you are healthy, you heat yourself back up to 95.


Maybe you start making good choices and run into some good fortune. Your temperate jumps from 75 to 95.


If your environment is set below the growth you’ve achieved, it will help you sabotage your growth and bring you back down to 75 degrees.


If you have goals (and you should) you need to access your environment.


Your friends, family, workspace, home, and even social media all play a roll in your trajectory.


Once you access your environment, you have to step away from those bringing you down, double down on those lifting you up, and constantly seek others that will heat up your thermostat.



9. Trying To Help Everyone Is Really Helping No One


Initially, I wanted to try and work with anyone and everyone. If they had an obstacle and a goal, I would say that I could fix it.

Trying to be a generalist is one of the best ways to devalue yourself. If you choose 10 categories to service, you end up being 10% in those 10 categories. Which causes you to provide a service that's 10/100. Not to mention you lose out to people that dedicate themselves to one category.

I wanted to be the best strength coach, the best yoga instructor, the best podcaster, the best weight loss expert, the best sleep expert, and so on.


My content tried to speak to 20 industries. And I found that my core message got lost.


I thought that hammering one or two key points would redundant, but that was also something I learned. Most people aren't listening to everything you say.


They need to see a message consistently to even consider how they perceive your marketing.


10. Create, Create, Create


Artists will relate to this one the most.


You have to create and produce and timeblock your calendar to ensure you spend time each day to creating things that create business, followers, momentum, etc.


Even as an athlete you need to constantly be shooting, throwing, hitting, or kicking.


The more often you can do those things, the better you get at them.


For me, create is more applicable because I have to create blogs, podcasts, social media content, web design, yoga flows, workouts.


I’m always creating.


This quote has helped me:


“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” ― Andy Warhol


11. The Lone Wolf Travel Fast, But The Pack Travels Far


I’ve touched on this throughout this list, but I want to hammer this home.


You can get off to a quick start on your own.


You can lose 30lbs.


You can start a blog or podcast.


You can hike really far.


But there comes a time when you need the support of others to keep going.


I’ve been lucky to have support from so many people.


My family, my girlfriend, my friends, lululemon, Barry’s Bootcamp, social media followers, coaches, and so on.


When I first started studying to be a personal trainer I closed myself off from a lot of people and it helped me build some momentum. I went fast.


But I wouldn’t have gotten far without support.

Ten years from now, I’ll say the same thing. I went fast in year one, but I needed so many others to get to year 10.

12. We Are All Salespeople


You might be saying in your head right now that you aren’t in sales.


But if we were to have a debate, you’d have to sell me on why aren’t in sales. Which would be selling.


We all sell.


We all sell our ideas when we present.


We sell ourselves when we get dressed in a way to conveys to the world the image we wish to display.


We sell ourselves when we go on dates and want to convince the other person the restaurant we should go to.


We sell ourselves on social media. Your social media page is your personal online business card.


If there is one area I’ve dove into the most, it’s sales and human psychology.


How does the mind work?


What influences it?

How am I being sold?


It’s important to study how selling happens so that you are aware of dynamics as it is happening.


One last thing on selling and this is something I’m still learning.


Selling a service or product that helps people is not bad. It’s your duty.


If you have the antidote to cancer and you are selling people to buy it to save their lives and they don’t buy it, that’s on you. You need to learn to sell more so you can help people more.


Again, it’s something I’m working on.


However, in health and wellness space, it’s important to sell because what you are selling is a longer and healthier life.


You can check out Part 1 of the 12 Lessons I've Learned, 12 Months After Leaving a Career at Amazon here.


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