The Trip that Changed my Life.

The Trip that Changed my Life.

I remember this trip like it was yesterday, my first time out to Wyoming. First time fishing on the snake, first time holding a trout in my hands, first time seeing the Tetons, and first time taking a photography specific trip. Little did I know this passion would soon turn into an obsession that would end up changing my life.

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5 Daily Habits to Cultivate Productivity and Motivation

I've gotten a lot of questions recently in regards to how I stay productive and motivated as an entrepreneur. The short answer is consistency and hard work, I can't tell you the amount of days I've spent working sixteen hour days in my office, or how many times I've gotten out of bed at 3:00 AM because I can't shake an idea or a project isn't perfect.

Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.
— Lori Greiner

The life of an entrepreneur isn't for the faint of heart. One week you can get the biggest contract you've ever received, and the next you could be wondering how to pay your mortgage, but at the end of the day there no better feeling than knowing you are in direct control of your own future.

Since this life is so full of ups and downs consistency is key. I was lucky enough to learn this at a past job where I worked out of my house and had to visit 60+ clients every month. The first week on the job my boss told me 'the hardest part about this job is showing up'. The first few months I laughed it off thinking they just had a hiring problem but quickly realized he was right.

After all the fun of the start-up phase has worn off it becomes all too easy to justify binge-watching a show on Netflix for half the day or organizing then reorganizing your office space (I can't be the only one who does this) and at the end of the didn't accomplish anything.

Below are 5 daily habits I have in place to make sure I'm operating at my best, avoiding burnout, and keeping a healthy work-life balance.


This looks different for every person but having some form of a daily meditation is key to success. Whether it's 10 minutes of sitting up straight and focusing on your breath, or an intentional period of silence, some form of mindfulness really helps set you up for success. Personally, I try and spend 20 minutes every morning in silence pursuing a faith exercise such as reading my bible or spending time in prayer.

Cold Exposure 

Sounds crazy right? No one likes to be cold so why do it intentionally every day. I actually stumbled into this habit on accident while preparing for a photo shoot. I had this idea of a picture that required me to be able to stand in 50-degree water for an extended amount of time at night in February, so I started researching how to train accordingly, and what I learned literally changed my life.

Daily cold exposure has a plethora of benefits including a boosted immune system, improved sleep, increase in hormone levels, an increase in endorphins sent to your brain, and additional energy. 

Although the photo didn't turn out as I hoped, cold showers in the morning are still part of my daily rituals and one of the first things I recommend to people to boost energy levels.

Check out The Wim Hof Method for more information on cold exposure.

Make a List and Check it Twice

Who knew a simple Christmas song contained such good advice for staying productive. In all seriousness, a daily to-do list is a great way to not only get things done but help you 'clock out' without feeling guilty at the end of the day. Here are a couple tips to make sure that To-Do list ends up helping you rather than overwhelming.

  1. Limit your list to five items
  2. Be as specific as possible when writing it down
  3. Put time estimates next to each item 
  4. Mark them off as you complete each item

At the end of the day go back over your list and make sure everything is completed in full, anything that needs a bit more work, write on your list for tomorrow. One thing I've noticed is I rarely finish my list in a day. Between client calls, new business, and the unforeseeable issues that come with the territory of running your own business, my plans rarely happen the way I think they should but starting and ending your day with a plan helps organize the chaos and prioritize what's important.

Eat Healthy

This is much easier said than done, especially if you're on the road a lot. Trust me, I understand how easy it is to skip breakfast to sleep in a little bit longer, then hit a drive through for lunch, and end up just drinking your dinner.  That doesn't make it any less important though, especially with how much your nutrition affects your everyday life. Just switch out a salad for that hamburger, or add some veggies to your dinner plate, I promise you won't regret it.

If you are on the road a lot be sure you have some form of a healthy snack for when you have to push back lunch a few hours. Fatsbar is one of my favorites to keep with me on long road trips.

Get Sweaty

Do some form of intense exercise every day to the point of breaking a sweat. Not only does the exercise release endorphins which improve your mood but the simple act of sweating is your bodies natural way of detoxifying itself. It's a great way to increase your daily energy long term in addition to improving and prolonging your health. A healthy you means less sick time which in turn means greater productivity. 

I know this all sounds like a lot of additional work, especially with the busy life of an entrepreneur. It can be so hard to take make the additional effort of just one of these tasks let alone all five when you being bombarded with emails and phone calls as soon as you wake up, I get it.

With that in mind here's my challenge for you. Go all in and give it a try for this upcoming week. Wake up 10 minutes earlier for some quite time to yourself, end that morning shower with a blast of cold water, write out your daily task, avoid the burgers and tacos, and get your sweat on! I guarantee it will be worth the additional effort and will pay off ten fold.

Be sure to like this post below if you enjoyed it so we can reach even more people and as always feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

Three steps to setting Yearly Goals

The transition from January to February has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Enough time has passed since the holidays that everyone is back to their routines, but most people are still trying to better themselves for the rest of the year. Whether it's getting in shape for beach season, or finally quitting that job you hate, the start of the year is full of dreams and aspirations and people working hard to achieve their goals.

This year I decided to share some of the goal-setting tactics I’ve used in my professional life, and mix them with personal and relational goals to create an all encompassing 2017 Goal Setting Guide. 

Step One - Recap

In order to set worthy goals, look back over the past 12 months and come up with as many highlights and low points as possible and write them down. Once you have completed this for each month, look back over your list and try to find some patterns.

When I was recapping my year I realized that the majority of my highlights involved my dogs, spontaneous adventures, and creating new friendships. While the majority of my low points involved laziness, expectations, and pursuing excess. This gave me a baseline to check my 2017 goals against and a way to prioritize them to maximize fulfillment. 

Step Two - Organize

I like to separate long-term goals into three separate categories: Personal (a goal that doesn't require help from anyone and you can complete 100% on your own), relational (a goal that relies on another person to accomplish), and professional (a goal that involves your job). This helps you prioritize and makes creating a plan to achieve each specific goal a bit easier down the line. It also sets you up to win in the long run because you're never relying on a specific thing or person to accomplish everything.

Once you have at least three goals for each category check them against the Recap List, the more highlights a goal involves the higher it moves on the list. If any of your goals include a Low Point from the Recap List remove that goal immediately. There is no point in pursuing something you know brings you down.  After this is done you should have a list of goals that make you excited and willing to fight for.

Step Three - Strategize

Now that we have a list of goals it's time to come up with a timetable and a plan on how to achieve each of them one step at a time. Some goals are pretty straight forward such as paying off my car by the end of the year. You simply take what you owe and divide it by your time frame and you have your first step. If that number is larger than your budget supports what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve this goal? Do you get rid of cable, or possibly take an extra shift every week? 

Other goals can be much more complex, and laying out a plan is much more in depth. The key things to keep in mind when strategizing a plan is to include small benchmarks along the way and celebrate with each one you achieve. A good example for this would be any type of weight loss goal. If you want to lose 30 lbs by the end of the year, start with a goal of losing 5 lbs by the end of the month, or going to the gym three times a week. Once that first step is accomplished, Celebrate then move on to step two which should be a bit more advanced. Small tangible steps are the best way to achieve a goal which seems impossible.

Need help organizing your goals? Click the link below for the template thatI used.

For Better or For Worse

As many of you know, I recently went through a sudden—and very public—divorce with my now ex-wife Morgan. With everything now finalized, I wanted to take a moment to share my story of losing everything—as well as rediscovering my passions, new relationships, and truly finding my faith as a 27-year-old.  This is not an exposé on why Morgan and I got a divorce or a gossip piece to mess with her public figure. The focus of this piece will be my personal experience and what I have learned through this process.

It all started on a Friday. Just like every Friday, I was deconstructing the prior work week to finalize everything before the weekend, but this time would be very different.

About 8 months prior, Morgan and I started a company around her passion for teaching yoga and encouraging people to build a stronger core. With my background in business management and marketing, and her social media presence, this company became successful and quite profitable in a short period of time. This afforded us the opportunity to no longer rely on my six figure job and focus on advancing our business together, as well as starting other businesses in the digital fitness world. It was the perfect combination that gave me the opportunity to leave a dream marketing position in pursuit of another dream—becoming a full time entrepreneur.  

Ok, back to the story, it’s Friday night and I had just taken the first step towards chasing a lifelong goal. Excitement was in the air, with an eager anticipation dreaming for our future. We already had multiple trips planned for the coming months, new business ideas were in development, and I had that startup inspiration again for the first time in a while. That’s when I got a phone call that quickly brought all my excitement crashing down. 

It was the type of phone call that just starts off strange. I instantly knew something was off. There is something my wife isn't telling me; a barrier between us that wasn't there last time we spoke. The conversation continued and I realized something was seriously wrong—not just with Morgan, but with our relationship. As she was talking, my mind was running through all the potential causes of this stress and what I could do to fix it. How can I solve the problem? What do I need to change to make things better? I quickly realized there would be no simple fix to this problem when Morgan said the words “I’m no longer in love with you.”

Here is this person I had committed to spend the rest of my life with; the person who vowed to grow old with me; the person I started a company with; the person I had focused on making happy for the past 5 years; speaking words that I never thought I would hear in real life. 

My immediate reaction was anger. Angry at Morgan for betraying me, angry at my friends for not intervening, and mostly angry at God for letting this happen. Just a matter of hours later, depression and sadness kicked the door down and decided to stay a while. The coming days consisted of a battle between fighting like hell for a wife who didn't want me and wondering if I could love and trust anyone ever again.

Over the next 4 days, it became clear that she had feelings for someone else. The only thing Morgan wanted from me was to forget our vow of faithfulness in good times and bad, but I wasn't ready to just throw in the towel. Regardless of anything that happened, we made a commitment, and that’s something I take very seriously.

So I found myself in the middle of a nightmare—I had left a promising career in pursuit of a dream with my wife.  What I had expected to be a major highlight landed me in the deepest darkest hole I’d ever found with no exit in sight. I felt like I had just lost everything, my wife, my hope, my future, my dreams, and even my ability to love. There was a void that engulfed my entire life like I had never experienced before. I have never been more terrified, lost, or broken, believing nothing could ever fix this pain. 


Something most of you don’t know is that I’m no stranger to pain and loss. As a matter of fact, a year ago I would have considered myself an expert on it. I thought I’d already experienced enough trials for a lifetime and wasn't going to have to go through any more major losses. When I was 13 years old, my dad had a seizure at work and was rushed to the hospital. That night, I overheard the doctor saying he had a severe brain tumor and there was a high probability he wouldn't make it through surgery—my dad, a man who devoted his life to serving God, was always there to support his family, and stayed active and healthy my entire life. As a 13-year-old, my dad was larger than life. Everyone knew him and everyone loved him. He was strong. He was so strong that, during one of his seizures, it took half a dozen nurses holding him down to make sure he didn't hurt himself or others. There wasn't a scenario that he couldn't handle, or a group he didn't command.

A true leader and the patriarch of our family, but there he was on a hospital bed fighting for his life against something he had no control over and didn't deserve.  My dad lived through that surgery and continued fighting cancer for the next 9 years. During that time, he had his ups—where he was my same old dad—and his downs, where he was bed ridden for months at a time. After a long and exhausting battle, he finally went home to be with Jesus in 2011. During that battle, I was told my dad was going to die on three separate occasions before I had turned 21.  This whole experience left me numb to most emotions. It was easier to avoid my feelings and shut myself off from the real world than to deal with the grief of losing someone so important.

Yet this divorce left me completely wrecked. There’s something about being betrayed by the person I placed all my hope in that broke me completely. However, at the other end of brokenness, I was finally able to find peace through my faith.

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who's spirits are crushed."

I can’t tell you the amount of times this Bible verse has been shared in my life with little to no effect. For the first time in my life, as a 27-year-old, it finally meant something to me. Even though I was raised in the church, I finally knew why God sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins. He is close to the broken hearted because he has been there, he can relate. He let his son go through all that pain and suffering for me and millions of other people going through similar heartbreak, so that we can go directly to God and have a one-on-one relationship.  For the first time, my faith had a purpose. I never doubted if God was real, but I could finally say without a doubt that he genuinely cares, and all we have to do is accept.  There was an instant peace once I had this realization. I no longer felt broken and empty—I felt whole for the first time.  I had inspiration and purpose again, and an overwhelming desire to help people with what I have: a story of pain and loss but, more importantly, growth and discovery.

Losing someone after working hard and making sacrifices for them really gave me a life changing perspective. I had spent so much time pursuing my dreams at the cost of relationships that, at the end of the day, I was left with neither

It was time for a change, time to trust people completely, time to be vulnerable about struggles, time to get in touch with my emotions and learn how to communicate them clearly, time to connect with people I normally wouldn’t, and time to authentically love others like family.

Going into a relationship with the willingness to be honest about the crap in your life, and the trust that they will accept you anyway is the best and quickest way to true community. When I lost my most intimate relationship, over a dozen deep authentic friendships began, and these friendships are on a level previously thought unattainable. I was never willing to risk potential embarrassment and share what I thought no one would ever accept. Over time that list of ‘unacceptable’ continued to grow, and continued to further me from having trusting and vulnerable relationships with people I was close to. 

The thing that amazes me most about relationships is that it only takes one person to change them for better or worse. My openness has spawned relationships where honesty and vulnerability is not only accepted but encouraged, accepted, and met with love rather than judgment.  

I have been seriously blessed with real friendships over the past 6 months, from rekindling relationships with people I've known for years to connecting with someone for the first time.

There’s an honor and a thankfulness associated with someone trusting you, and that’s not something I take lightly. Vulnerability breeds trust, trust inspires grace, and grace leads to lifelong relationships. 

Unfortunately, it took losing my marriage to learn all of these lessons. It took being vulnerable with friends to realize I had a hard time being vulnerable with my wife. It took finding my passion to realize I stopped living passionately during my marriage. It took losing everything to realized how much I sacrificed for a selfish dream.

Was I the best husband? Not at all. I had a hard time empathizing with her feelings while ignoring my own.
Do I wish I could change things? Absolutely, I should have sought out counseling much earlier in life.
Given the chance would I do things differently? In a heartbeat. But that is not the way my story unfolded.

After fighting with the person I love for five months with no change, I finally agreed to mediation. Regardless of my commitment to marriage, and my determination to fix things, it takes two people to make relationships work.  

At the end of the day, the only thing that can’t be taken away is your story. By reading this, I hope you leave a little more inspired to make every day a day you would be proud to tell your grandkids about.

Go on more adventures, take more risks, love unconditionally and without reserve, find something you’re passionate about, work hard, be brutally honest with yourself, and always, ALWAYS remember that relationships are more important than things, they are worth fighting for and protecting, because you never know when one person may make a choice that changes everything, for better or for worse.