13 Things This Entrepreneur Doesn’t Do (#206)

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13 things

Welcome to another episode of How’d It Happen, but this time, it’s just me. In this episode, I’m sharing 13 things that help keep my positive outlook in life positive. These are information that I’ve come to accumulate through the years. 

I’m finally wise enough to know what makes me better – and what makes me worse.

It’s taken a while – along with a few shifts and a lot of experiences – to make it clear. And I work on it constantly.

I know that I’m best when I protect my mindset and defend my positive outlook.

This episode was inspired by the great work of Amy Morin: How do you protect your positive mindset?

  • #1: I don’t watch or listen to the news, but I read them
  • #2: Limit notifications can take over your life
  • Additional: My phone is on silent mode most of the time
  • #3: Limit social media
  • #4: Phone calls – I try to schedule them
  • #5: I try not to curse
  • #6: Stop complaining – own the situation
  • #7: I don’t subscribe to blaming
  • #8: I don’t yell – unless someone is about to get hurt
  • #9: I don’t care about gossip
  • #10: Scheduling is important 
  • #11: I don’t talk crap about people
  • #12: Let go of grudges
  • #13: Be around people who are winding up and stay away from those who are winding down

For more details, check out the slide below.

Full transcript below

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Podcast on the 13 Things This Entrepreneur Doesn’t Do.

Mikke Malatesta  00:01

Today I’m doing something a little different. And a little special. I’m doing a solo episode. And I’m going to talk to you a little bit about how I protect my mindset. The name of this episode is “13 Things This Entrepreneur Doesn’t Do,” and that title was inspired by a woman named Amy Morin, who writes books, with 13 things in the title; “13 Things Mentally-Strong People Don’t Do,” for example, I think is one of her books. And so I haven’t read her books, but I’ve heard her on the James Altucher Show, which is a podcast that I really love multiple times. And I think I’ve got a good idea of, you know, the formula that she uses to put these things together. And the reason why she does it, and it got me thinking about myself, and my mindset and how I protect it, and it’s taken me a long time, but I think I’m finally wise enough to know what makes me better. And, of course, what makes me worse. And because I always want to be better, I want to protect myself from the things that make me worse. And so nothing’s easy in life. And this hasn’t been easy for me either. There have been many shifts and a lot of experiences that have happened to me along the way. To make it clear, or certainly as clear as I think it’s ever been in my life, although I will admit that I do work on it constantly. So I thought I would share these 13 things that this entrepreneur, meaning me,doesn’t do to protect my mindset and my positive outlook with you today, because I thought maybe, you know, just maybe some of it would resonate with you. And even better than resonate, maybe activate something in you, that would be helpful. So here it goes. 


Number one: News. I don’t watch or listen to the news. I don’t watch news on TV, and I do not listen to news on the radio or in the car. Now, I used to do both of those things, a lot, like all the time. And over time, I started to discover that listening to the news wasn’t doing me any good. All that was doing was pissing me off. And it was, you know, making me angry or making me think that just because someone says something on the news, or just because something is breaking news, that it’s really important in my life. And the reality was, it wasn’t important, so I just got rid of it. And now when I hear it, if I’m at a restaurant, or I’m at the gym, and the news is on, I almost have a physical reaction to it, where I start cringing, and I want to get away from it as soon as possible, because I can just feel it, you know, trying to penetrate my brain and, and get me off track. So now, I only read news. I read the local paper and I read the Wall Street Journal when I can. And I never read all of it, I skim. And I don’t get sucked into any of the stories that are just about negative things. I always try to just skip those and focus on the things that I can read and hopefully learn something from, so no news. I don’t watch it or listen to it. 


Number two: Notifications. Notifications are everywhere. And if you’re not careful, they end up taking over your life. I used to have so many notifications on my phone because I never wanted to miss anything. You know I always wanted to be responsive. I always wanted to be in the loop. I always wanted, you know, all of these things. And finally, I just realized that those notifications, or almost all of them, weren’t doing me any good. And so I turned almost all of them off. There are a couple that I still have. One is the water shut off at my house in case something ruptures. I want to know that so that I can turn the water off. And my health one; I keep my health one on so it tells me how I’m making progress through the day but it’s not annoying, telling me how I’m making progress through the day. The other thing that I do with my phone is I silence it a lot. When I’m having a conversation with someone, I silence it. When I’m doing a podcast, or when I’m talking to someone on the phone, I silence it; I do not want the phone. And I also turn it over or keep it in my pocket, because I do not want the phone telling me or interrupting me when I’m trying to give my full attention to someone else. I do wish you could turn the text off totally, sometimes. But I haven’t figured out how to do that. So number two, notifications, I keep almost all of them off. 


Number three is Social Media. I limit it, I limit the time that I participate in it, and I limit it in platforms. So why I’m on a lot of platforms, I do not engage in a lot of platforms, I’m most active on LinkedIn, but of course, I do turn off the notifications, so I’m not getting notifications from any social media at all. So what’s been helpful from doing that is I engage with it when I need to, or when I want to. And that’s it. It does not engage with me. I engage with it on my terms. 


Number four: Phone calls. I hate phone tag. And it seems to me that while phone tech has always been tough, now it’s super tough. It’s hard to get somebody on the phone, unless you schedule it. And what drives me crazy is when you call someone, they don’t answer, you get on another call, you start talking to someone and they call you back. And then you can’t answer and it just goes on and on. So I try to schedule all my phone calls, I want to and I do that out of respect for the person that I want to talk to because I don’t want to bother them at a time when they’re engaged in something else. And I don’t want them doing that to me either. So I feel like it’s respectful to ask or set a calendar, use their calendar app if they have one. But otherwise to ask when is a convenient time and then put it on the calendar, and even that doesn’t work 100% of the time, I have to say, but it works most of the time and it keeps that annoying phone tag away from me and and protects my positivity that way. 


Number five is Cursing. I do curse every so often. I do curse but I try to keep it clean. I try to stay as clean as I can. Because you know, I guess there’s a lot of people now that curse a lot, TV shows, podcasts, comedians, and I guess I always feel like there’s a better way. And I know I might be wrong. Maybe I’m old fashioned that way. But I feel like I’ve cursed enough in my life. I should be able to articulate a thought a little bit better than needing to use the F-word over and over again to let somebody know that I actually do know the F-word. You know, it just doesn’t do it for me. But every so often, I do catch myself, and I regret it. If regret it, such that regretting something like that is a real thing. So, cursing is something I avoid, usually, but it is a work in progress. 


Number six is Complain. I mean, I own the situation. I try to own the situation all the time. And again, that’s like the cursing. It’s kind of a work in progress. But I just don’t want to complain. Because I just don’t like when people complain to me, it’s really an energy Zapper. And I don’t want to zap my own energy and I don’t want to zap anybody else’s. So I try to do my best to take responsibility and own the situation, even if it would be easy for me to complain about it because I’m not maybe technically responsible for it. Yeah, I just try not to complain. 


Number seven is Blame, and it’s sort of the same, along the same vein. I take responsibility for everything that happens to me. And even when it’s not, you know, even when it would be again like complaining, it would be easy for me not to take responsibility for it. I take it now. Am I 100%? Do I make mistakes on that score? I do. Because it’s really easy to, you know, want to attribute a bad situation to someone else and I’m not immune to those feelings. And there’s a lot of blame around me all the time from other people. So it can be hard, but I do my best to take responsibility and not blame. 


Number eight is Yell. I, unless someone is going to get hurt, I don’t yell. I don’t have a great voice for yelling, either, which probably has something to do with it. But I, I always feel like people who are yelling are trying to use noise to make a point because their argument may not be that great. And it kind of gets back to the news, you know, when you watch the news, or you watch these shows on cable, these supposedly discussion shows, sports shows, the commentators are talking over the other guys; it’s like the louder you are, evidently, the smarter you are. And I guess I just don’t buy it. I also don’t think people like to be around people who yell. I think people like to be around people who are calm and steady, because calm and steady, you know, may or may not win the race, but it feels good while you’re doing it. So yelling is something I stay away from. 


Number nine is Gossip. And really, I don’t gossip, because who cares? I don’t care. Again, it’s something easy to probably get sucked into, if you’re not thinking about not wanting to do it. But gossip doesn’t help anybody, most of the time it’s just someone’s uninformed opinion being passed on as a fact. And I just don’t have time for that. So I don’t think anybody cares. So I don’t gossip. 


Number 10 is Block Time. I do block time, block time to do nothing. So in other words, I don’t leave myself open to whatever happens all the time. If I want to do something, I make sure that I put it on the calendar and I block out time so that I can’t be interrupted. And I can’t blame it on somebody else for getting me off course, and you know, doing nothing sounds like, you know, maybe it’s a waste of time, but I don’t think so I I feel like sometimes when I’m doing nothing, I am making such dramatic progress, because I’m just giving my brain a chance to pay attention to whatever I’m thinking about, as opposed to paying attention to whatever someone else wants me to be thinking about at that moment. 


Number 11: I Don’t Talk Crap About People. I used to. I hear a lot of people talk crap about other people. And ultimately, I’ve just decided that doing that doesn’t make me a better person. I feel like people do that a lot of times because they they think that it gives them status, like if they can talk negatively about someone else, somehow that bestows a bit of status on them. And I think just the opposite. I think that if you’re going to make time to talk crap about somebody else, what you’re really doing, I think, is telling me that you don’t think that highly of yourself; you know, you want to put somebody else down in order to lift yourself up. And I just say, “Well, why don’t you just lift yourself up, save the time?” 


Number 12 is Hold Grudges. For a lot of my lifetime, I have held grudges. And I think well, I did it because I felt slighted or I felt beaten or I felt like someone screwed me and I wanted revenge. I wanted to do things to them to make them pay for how they were making me feel. And I wasted a tremendous amount of energy, holding grudges against people that I could have used in a much more productive way. And so about five years ago, I actually addressed the grudges that I had still and they were still there with people that you know had wronged me in quotation marks, you know, years before I mean, they’d probably forgotten about how they had wronged me, and yet here I was still thinking that I, you know, I owed them, you know, revenge. They didn’t, I did. I was not willing to let them off the hook. So I went to those people and I didn’t say, Hey, by the way, I’m here to like, you know, bury the hatchet on a grudge, I just approached them again as a person and asked to meet with them and talk with them. And I didn’t talk about the grudge at all, I just tried to establish a new relationship with them that was much different than the one that I’d had with them in the past. It was a new way for me to just say, You know what, maybe I got off on the wrong foot with this person, maybe they are a much different person than I’ve been thinking they were all this time. And vice versa, maybe I’m a much different person than I was. And so I just had to give myself permission to let those grudges go. And, boy, what a great feeling. What a great feeling to get rid of grudges. Today, I have no grudges. I mean, I do have people that I don’t particularly care for, sure. Are there people that don’t particularly care for me, of course. But that’s just life anymore. It’s not something that’s keeping me up. It’s not something that’s, you know, draining my energy or attention. It’s just the way it is. So grudges are gone. 


And finally, number 13: I do everything I can to Be Around People Who are Winding Up in Life, and Stay Away from Those Who are Winding Down. So what is winding up? Wwinding up means people who get up every day looking to accomplish something more than they accomplished yesterday. And I don’t say that as like there’s a pressure or a contest or anything like that; there’s just an energy around people who are looking for that. And people who are winding down, I think, are the opposite. They are hoping that today is as good as yesterday, or they’re thinking that, you know, they don’t have any more todays that are better than their yesterdays, and I don’t want that around me, I don’t want that in my mind. I don’t want that impacting how I think. And I just, I don’t want to play that game. I don’t want to play that game. So I want to be around people who are winding up. 


So those are the 13 things that this entrepreneur doesn’t do to try to protect my mindset and my positive outlook. I hope some of those 13 things have been helpful for you. Maybe you’re doing some of those 13. Maybe you’re doing all of those 13.Maybe you’re doing all of that and more better than I am. If you have something that you’re doing that’s super-effective to protect your mindset, and to perpetuate and expand your positive outlook, let me know; I would love to know, and I would love to share it with the world. Thanks, and have a wonderful day!

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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