More important than making money is making meaning.

Are you around people who talk only about six figures, seven figures, and all that?

It can be alluring and flashy, especially if you don’t have it yet. But I can guarantee you their lives are hollow, since their self-worth depends upon your validation.

The peacocks are attractive, but ultimately are parasites trying to use you.

Be like Piotr Podbielski, who focus on giving, instead of only taking. He’s successful AND he feels good inside from the lives he’s impacting via his mentorship programs.

I’ve had kids steal from me— a co-founder steal a brand new Silverado and two jet skis, or employee drive off with a BMW 328i in the middle of the night— yet claim they’re here to “give back”.

Thankfully, there are more Piotrs in the world, multiplying their impact on hundreds of people— so the math still works out.

And that’s why I keep on doing what I’m doing.

Are you around the people who talk only about their success all day and want YOUR money?

If you give me a gold medal first, then I’ll be motivated to start training for the Olympics.

Laugh if you want, but this is a common attitude for the lazy employee mindset.

I’m being paid only a fraction of what I’m worth, so I’m justified to pay only partial attention and do half-quality work.

Ever been with a half-quality girlfriend or get surgery from a half-quality heart surgeon?

Earn it the old-fashioned way, so you’re invited up to a place of prominence.

Instead of sitting on the throne and then being disgracefully told you have to move.

Better to start from a position of humility and have others lavish respect on you, which you’ve earned.

Don’t wait for others to praise you to get going or wait for guarantees, even if it’s “unfair” that somebody else appears to be paid more for working less.

Take action now!

The CEO of American Airlines told me that managers are either loved or productive, but rarely both.

You see, it’s easy to be loved as a boss– don’t hold people accountable. Constantly praise, skipping the hard conversations. Let deadlines slip.

It’s medium hard to be an effective boss, since it means you have to be willing to crack the whip and rid the team of parasites. Not everyone will love you when you have to deliver.

The super rare boss is both loved and effective. Studies show that less than 1% of managers are able to pull this off.

The key to their success is instilling a CULTURE so strong that weak performers don’t even make it into the company.

While the problem creators demand your attention, resist the urge to oil the squeaky wheel. Focus your time disproportionately on the high performers.

By definition, that means you cannot be spending all your time on the troublemakers, no matter how much noise or drama they cause.

Your team clearly sees when these rebels get away with their behavior, which is why your culture is defined by what you’re willing to tolerate.

Loved, productive, or both….

Which of these 3 manager types are you?

Over the last 25 years, I’ve seen a lot of people succeed and fail.

The #1 thing I notice beginners do, which experts don’t, is they focus on….

+ FANCY instead of the fundamentals. When we troubleshoot campaigns, 99% of the time, a bunch of fundamentals are missing. And it shouldn’t take an expert to notice what can be tracked via a checklist.

+ URGENCY instead of results. A fire drill is exciting and gives the semblance that things are happening. But don’t mistake commotion with progress.

+ APPEARANCES instead of progress. Are you focusing on how you look instead of getting the job done? If your perfect Instagram flex is ruined by getting dirt under your nails, you can still out-pretend the other fakers.

+ THEMSELVES instead of others. If you want to make a million dollars, solve a $100 million problem. When you lift up others and serve others, they can’t help but toot your horn, instead of you awkwardly tooting your own.

LEARNING all the time instead of trying to give advice on something you’ve never done yourself. The most successful people I know read 3+ hours a day and actively seek out other successful people.

Do you know someone who fits the description above of a successful person or a failure?

What your boss will never tell you.

You’re either creating problems for her or that you’re solving problems for her.

And this is the key to advancing– whether your boss is your employer, client, customer, teacher, or parent (yes, all these are bosses).

I’ve had some incredible mentors over my career– and some spectacular failures, too.

But when I messed up and got feedback on how to improve, I could never imagine talking back to my mentor– to show disrespect when he was going out of his way to help me.

Could you imagine having the balls to say that to the CEO of American Airlines?

Maybe I’m an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy– hey kids- get off my lawn!

But everything good I’ve gotten has been from a boss or mentor who has opened doors for me that they didn’t have to.

I’m not a slave groveling for mercy, but I’m also not a 20 year who knows it all.

By showing my boss/client/mentor that I’m someone who comes in to take care of problems before they even happen, even if it’s not “my fault”, they breathe a sigh of relief when I’m around.

As opposed to being worried that something will blow up in their face, that they will have to intervene, or that they’d have to deal with righteous young anger.

The more you take care of your client/boss/mentor, the greater opportunities they will open for you.

Over time, this grows into something incredible– and it’s the #1 reason for everything good that’s happened for me.

Not because I’m smarter, harder-working, or “better” than anyone.

Have you tried this tactic with your boss? And if you’re a boss, how do you deal with people who are creating problems versus solving problems?