Raise standards. Say no to anything less than great.

by Love M. Powers
www.DareTruthLove.com

After reading Derek Sivers most recent blog post (which I posted here on my site as well, so if you haven’t read it, click here to open it in a new window so you can read it) I am so glad that he has reminded me about raising my standards…

#3. Raise standards. Say no to anything less than great.

Every person that doesn’t rejuvenate me and make me feel better, say no. Blacklist them. Banned. Not allowed in, not even for a minute. No explanation needed. No compromise. No favors. Done. Gone.

More fountains, less drains.

Every thing I’m doing that isn’t good for me. Every thing I’m eating or drinking that isn’t making me more healthy. Stop. Say no.

This even means saying no to half-ass conversations that are not whole-hearted and unconflicted. People that are “fine” and I “kill time” with, but don’t actually love and actively enjoy? Nope. Not good enough.

Doing this gave me a huge feeling of self-worth. Setting the bar really high for something to take my time.

It means more empty time, but that leaves room for POSSIBILITY!

Empty time has the POTENTIAL to be filled with nourishing and awesome new actions and people, whereas filling it with half-ass things and people kills all that potential and possibility.

I am recommitting to staying focused on saying no to anything less than great! Anything less is simply not a very good use of my time and is not taking me to where I want to go fast enough. Not that I’m in a super big hurry, but I’m certainly ready to make some great things happen.

Derek’s article made me think about some very recent times I sat and listened to less than inspiring talk from negative people instead of just saying, “You know, I just don’t have time for this negativity.”

I guess I just wanna be nice. But being that kind of nice is wasting my time when I could be spending that time working toward my business and personal goals or hanging out with inspiring, successful mentors or people I love and enjoy.

Speaking of people I love and enjoy, I’ve had an online dating profile up for a while to find a guy I’d enjoy spending time with. But no luck so far. As of today, I’ve decided to remove my profile and stay focused on my business goals and let love find me. No more online dating to distract me.

A thought that comes to my mind is “Why am I spending time with the kind of people who do not inspire me?” The answer is “I need to find more inspiring, positive, successful people to hang out with because I don’t have enough of them in my life.”

So I’m taking action to connect with the kind of people who will motivate me.

I found an ad on Craiglist placed by a young, successful entrepreneur for a personal assistant to help him for 3 hours a week. I figure that this works well for me because it’s minimal time commitment from me working on his stuff so I can focus most of my time working on my stuff.

I got the job! Because I’m different, he said. I liked hearing that.

The really cool thing about this guy is that he wants to help his assistant with their personal goals so he can help them be successful and not have to work for him anymore. There are not too many business people out there like that.

And…he wants to hang out, when we have free time, outside of work to cultivate the relationship into something stronger than just a business acquaintance type of relationship. That is also a rarity.

Most business people are not that interested in helping the people who work for them personally (they’re usually just looking at how that person can serve their business needs), let alone want to spend time with them outside of work to get to know them on a more personal level.

I like that. And I know some of you might be thinking, “Yeah, that guy probably has ulterior motives.” But actually we are both artists and genuinely like to help people. We have quite a few things in common. And he, like me, wants to cultivate more meaningful relationships, whether they’re business or personal.

These days with Facebook, Twitter and other social media, people don’t have to make much effort to connect with people. I’m finding very few people want to have real conversations anymore, and rarely in person. So I welcome it when someone I respect and admire wants to spend some one-on-one time with me.

Derek Sivers’ blog post is well timed. I’m already on my way to taking action on raising my standards and saying no to anything less than great. Reminds me of his “No more yes. It’s HELL YEAH! or no,” blog post that I absolutely loved. If you haven’t read it, check it out. It’ll change what you say yes to.

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Derek Sivers Gave His Company To Charity

The timing of this information is Divine. I was guided by my Angels to find it and just had to share it. You’re awesome Derek Sivers, and such an inspiration to me! Thank you for all you share.

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this on my blog. My hope is to inspire many people to live prosperous, rich, abundant lives (whatever that means to them) and follow in your footsteps. Sharing love and light (information) is what we are all being called to do.

I’ve been on an amazing spiritual journey that has led me to simplify my life and experience things I never thought I would. I’m very grateful and now have so much more appreciation for the more important things — things money cannot buy. There’s so much more peace in simple living.

Help yourself by helping others! Follow Derek’s lead…

Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Why I gave away my company to charity

2009-12-04

Two friends were at a party held at the mansion of a billionaire. One said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!” The other said, “Yes, but I have something he’ll never have: enough.

When I decided to sell my company in 2008, I already had enough.

I live simply. I hate waste and excess. I have a good apartment, a good laptop, and a few other basics. But the less I own, the happier I am. The lack of possessions gives me the priceless freedom to live anywhere anytime.

Having too much money can be harmful. It throws off perspective. It makes people do stupid things like buy “extra” cars or houses they don’t use – or upgrade to first class for “only” $10,000 so they can be a little more comfortable for a few hours.

So I didn’t need or even want the money from the sale of the company. I just wanted to make sure I had enough for a simple comfortable life. The rest should go to music education, since that’s what made such a difference in my life.

So I found a great way to do this. I created a charitable trust called the “Independent Musicians Charitable Remainder Unitrust.” When I die, all of its assets will go to music education. But while I’m alive, it pays out 5% of its value per year to me.

(Note: 5% is the minimum allowed by law. It’s still too much. I would have preferred 1%, but oh well. I’m free to use it to start new businesses to help people, or whatever.)

A few months before the sale, I transferred the ownership of CD Baby and HostBaby, all the intellectual property like trademarks and software, into the trust.

It was irreversibly and irrevokably gone. It was no longer mine. It all belonged to the charitable trust.

Then, when Disc Makers bought it, they bought it not from me but from the trust, turning it into $22 million cash to benefit music education.

So instead of me selling the company – (getting taxed on the income, and giving what’s left to charity) – that move of giving away the company to charity then having the charity sell it saved about $5 million in taxes. (That means $5 million more going to music education.)

Also, the move of giving it away into a trust now – instead of holding on to it until I die – means its investments get to grow and compound tax-free for life, which again means more goes to musicians in the end.

I’m only writing this article because many people have asked why I gave it away, so I thought I’d write my long explanation once and for all.

It’s not that I’m altruistic. I’m sacrificing nothing. I’ve just learned what makes me happy. And doing it this way made me the happiest.

I get the deeper happiness of knowing the lucky streak I’ve had in my life will benefit tons of people – not just me.

I get the pride of knowing I did something irreversibly smart before I could change my mind.

I get the safety of knowing I won’t be the target of a frivolous lawsuit, since I have very little net worth.

I get the unburdened freedom of having it out of my hands so I can’t do something stupid.

But most of all, I get the constant priceless reminder that I have enough.

best things in life aren't things