Make sure all your gaps are filled

The staff of a restaurant operate in what looks like organized chaos. Everybody runs around the place like they’re going to run into one another at any time. Hostess, manager, bartender, they all have their job. If you went to a restaurant with a bar but no bartender, you’d die of dehydration before you get your Bloody Mary. That’s because the bartender has a set of skills that fills a role. Non any employee can fill that role. Even if one of them went to school, they might not have the temperament to be a bartender. Having a full bar requires a bartender that is good at his/her job.

If you think of yourself as a restaurant, you have many stations to fill. Chef, busboy, waiter, all these positions need to be filled with the right people. And as the owner, it’s your responsibility to do so. Also part of your duties as a manager is bring up areas that have deficiencies. You have to look at all your stations and let people go or fill positions ASAP.

It’s important to sit down with yourself and take an inventory of all the areas in your life. What areas are you lacking in? What areas are you completely deficient in? What are your strong points? You can then start filling these areas with knowledge. When you do this you get more efficient at other things and can build on what you’ve done.

A lot of people think that there’s a time limit on learning. They feel like once they get a certain age that they have filled all the spots in their “restaurant”. It turns out that they’re only serving breakfast with a skeleton crew when they’re set up to be a 24hr fine dining establishment. Fill your toolbox with as many skills as you can. There really is no limit to what you can learn. The only thing holding you back is time and effort.

Think of the person that you want to be and plan out what you have to do. You don’t have to fill all your spots at the same time. Make sure that you fill them properly before moving on to the next thing. Taking a methodical approach to this makes it easier and helps you stay organized. In the end you’ll be you’ll be running like a swiss watch.

Make sure you’re set up for success.

If you’re like me, you’re a jack of all trades but a master of none. Most of us a dabblers. We like to try a lot of different things until we find out that we don’t like them as much as we thought or get bored. How much time have we wasted during that time? How much money have we wasted on things we don’t like. What kind of person could we have been if we would have stuck to one of these things a little longer?

Hopping around from thing to thing is a bad habit that i’m trying to break. I never give myself enough time to become good at something before I move on to something else. As I write this, I have found out why. I player soccer from the time I was 8 years old until I was 31. I played as competitively as I could for all those years. I watched every game I could. I coached and refereed. Soccer was life. When my daughter was born (she’s now 9) I quit cold turkey. From one day to the next i was no longer as interested in soccer as I once was. It was such a large part of my life that I had to stop to make room for something more important. Since then I’ve been trying to find something to fill the void that was left and have never been able to find anything.

This might sound off topic but it’s important that I get this out and on paper/audio. The reason that I jump from thing to thing is that NOTHING will ever be as important to me as soccer. If I compare everything to soccer, nothing will ever come close. So I guess the big take away from this is that you should never try and replace some things. You should accept that you have to try and find something different for its own reason.

So if you’ve found something that you want to invest time into, do it. Find a place or a person that can teach you something new about it. Get yourself a mentor. That way you can become proficient enough at it so that you can benefit from doing it. Sometimes we waste our time beating out head into the wall trying to get better at something. We don’t understand that we do not have the skill level needed to get over the next hump. We need someone that’s been down that road before to help push us over.

Now you can find classes and conferences for just about anything. Invest in yourself and make sure you’re set up for success. Weather it’s a skill needed for work or one needed for recreation, being as good as you can be at something might amplify other things in your life.

Get into a weekly routine!

 

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Do you fly by the seat of your pants most days? Do you convince yourself that you work best “on the fly”? You might be hurting your progress more than you think.

Could you imagine of an airport ran that way? We wouldn’t be able to get anywhere. They follow a “strict” schedule so they can get the most people to where they have to be as fast as possible.

You should use this philosophy in your day to day lives. Making a schedule is one of the most productive tools that I’ve implemented in my own life.

There are various ways to do this of varying detail:

Method 1 would be to take one day a week (I use Sunday) and write down all your high level important activities and assign them to a day of the week. Assigning the task is very important.

Method 2 is to assign your tasks a day AND time. This is scheduled into your calendar (digital or paper). You then review your day every morning so you know what you have to do and when.

Both of these methods give your task importance. And by doing so you give them priority in your day. Until you get them down on paper, they are just ideas and not actions. Whichever method you come up with on your own, making a schedule make you aware of how much time you need to get all your tasks done for the week. You’ll be surprised about how much time you really have and how much you can get done.

Write yourself a letter.

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Sometimes when you have to tell someone something bad, you opt to write them a letter, email or text. This way you don’t have to be there when you see their reaction. The fear of making someone angry or sad stops us from telling them the truth. Being able to tell them without having them in from of you removes all fear and you’re free to let them know exactly what you think.

 

With that in mind, you should sit down and write a letter to the most important person you know…yourself. Listen in and find out why using a pen and paper will give you the freedom to be honest with yourself.

Fear is public enemy number one.

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is a small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
Most of the time fear is just a set of limitations that we put on ourselves. FDR put it best when he said “the only thing to fear is fear itself”.
Are you afraid of speaking in front of people? Does asking someone out on a date make your palms sweaty? Why? What’s the worst thing that can happen? What other aspects of your life will get better if you overcame your fears?
The power of fear is one of the strongest forces in the universe. It has the power to stop great people from doing great things. Fear of the unknown has put out more people’s internal fire than you could imagine.
I ask again, why? Aside from a sure thing, not knowing the outcome is the best case scenario. If you knew that things would turn out bad then not doing or starting whatever it is you’re thinking about would be the correct option. But not knowing means that 1) it could turn out in your favor 2) you could fix things if they go south 3) you could learn things if things don’t work out.
The fear of rejection and failure is stopping you from great things. You will never realize your full potential until you understand that rejection is possibly one of the greatest things that someone can experience. Knowing what works and what doesn’t  is the only way to make yourself the best you can be.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

EP010- Clean out that old room!!

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Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is a small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
Have you ever gone on vacation and had the best wine or had the best glass of wine? And then when you come back home you cook the same meal or find the same bottle of wine and your’re disappointed because it doesn’t taste the same? Why?
That’s because our surrounding play a huge roll in our experiences . The beach you had the wine on made the wine taste a whole lot better.
You can use this trick when you’re trying something new or trying to change something in your life.
Let’s say you want to write a book. Would you like to write at the dinner table at 6pm? No. You’d never get anything done.
Try making a space in your house into a studio. Get a table, chair, light and all your writing tools and move everything else out of the room. If you make it feel more official, you’ll feel more inspired.
Going all in on something and making it a high priority is the only way you’ll stick to something new. Especially if it isn’t fun or something where you don’t see immediate gratification.
So make your home gym awesome. Get a new journal for writing. Whatever you need to get you in the zone, do it. It’ll make your wine taste a lot better.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

Can you change the path you’re on?

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Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is a small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
This is episode 009 of the podcast and we got this question off of out facebook page. You can submit you questions on facebook to @thectepodcast.
The Poster asks, “How do I follow my original life plan?”
The first thing you have to do is take an inventory of your life. You need to ask yourself “what is good and what needs work?” Write it down and take your time. This should be taken very seriously. Right now you’re in a very vulnerable state of mind. You should make sure that you want to go down this road.
Next I would ask myself “why did I change course?” What factors contributed to me changing my plan. Be honest here. Were you the biggest factor? Are you around toxic people? Can you change these things? Are these people still around? Fixing these issues should be taken care of regardless what you decide to do at the end of this process.
Third you need to ask yourself if you can change the course that you’re on. Are there some changes or experiments that you can do so that you can find out of you’re current course is salvageable (for what ever the reason is that you don’t like it)?
Next you need to determine if you could live on both courses for a whole? Most of us don’t have the luxury to completely quit what we’re currently doing to start something new. Could you start exploring this new course at night or on the weekend while still working your current 9-5? Then when the time is right, you can make the switch.
And fifth, is it worth it? Is it really going to be an improvement? Are you going to be better for it? I really wanted to be a pro soccer player when I was younger. Unfortunately, trying to do that now (even with all the time in the world) wouldn’t be the right decision.
And finally, once you have all this on paper, you ask yourself “which life is better?” This is the most important question of them all.
Once you go through this exercise, you’ll be making a better, well informed decision that will help you sleep better at night.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

Work Hard and Save Your Money

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Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is a small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
We have another listener question submitted on facebook. You can find us on Facebook @thectepodcast. Like and share us, we would appreciate that.
The question was about debt and how not to get into it and how to get out of it.
So first off, wealth is about how much money you have, not about how much money you make. So that means that the number one tip for not getting into debt is to live within your means. In our house we have a budget and we allocate money for all our expenses. From food to movies to savings, all money is accounted for. There is no extra money of disposal income. Important things like food and mortgage get taken care of first. All other expenses are accounted for after that. Going out to eat and going to the movies are the least important expenses so they’re first on the chopping block.
Before we started doing this my wife and I had some student loan and credit card debt. We used Dave Ramsey’s baby steps to get out of it. Making a budget is step 0 of the baby steps. I would suggest making a 0 balance budget. You can look that up online. The basic concept is that there is not “extra” money. All money is used for something. Once you get your budget on paper (you do this every paycheck) you’re ready for the baby steps.
Baby step 1 is save $1000 by any means necessary. Sell stuff if you have to. This is your emergency fund. Put it away and do not touch it. The only reason to touch it is for emergencies. If money is used, pay it back.
Baby step 2 is to pay off all your debt using the debt snowball system. List all your debt balances and minimum payments. Any money you can save from cutting frivolous items goes towards your smallest balance every month. Once that is paid off you take money you freed up plus the minimum payment amount from your newly paid off account and apply it to the next balance on your list. You keep snowballing your money until you pay off all your debt. It might take a few years but this system will cut the time it would have taken drastically compared to paying the minimum payments.
Baby step 3 starts you down the path of financial independence. Now that all your balances are paid, you take that big snowball and start to put it in the bank. Your goal is to save 6-9 months of living expenses. You know exactly what this number is because you’re still using a budget. Because of your budget and the snowball, this shouldn’t be that hard or take a long time.
For most people staying on steps 1-3 is the hardest part of the 7 baby steps. When my wife and I did this the first time, we completed step 2 and stopped. Taking on step three requires a different mindset because you’re saving, not paying off debt. When we started up again, we went straight in to the saving mindset and completed step three without too much heartburn. The most important thing is that we didn’t have to do steps 1 and 2 again and it had been a few years between steps 2 and 3.
You can search online for steps 4-7. They are save 15% of household income for retirement annually, college funding for children, pay off home early and build wealth and give.
Depending on what your income is will determine how long each step will take. If a step doesn’t apply to you (this is only for 5 and/or 6) you can skip it.
The big takeaway from this episode is to not get in debt to begin with. Reigning in bad habits is harder than not picking them up in the first place.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

EP007- Attending a Conference Isn’t Just For Salesmen.

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an artisan small batch, craft coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
Bodybuilding has The Arnold Classic and the coffee community has Coffeefest. Whatever group you choose, they have a conference.
Attending a conferee is a great way to help improve yourself. Here’s why.
  1. You’re around like minded people. You’d be amazed how big the scrap booking community is. Knowing that you are part of a big  group is a great confidence booster. Getting to know people that have the same interest as you do not only can serve as motivation but you have an increased knowledge base to learn from. And with social media you can keep in touch with the people you meet.
  2. You can learn more. When I attended Coffeefest 2016 I was amazed at the variety of classes offered all in one place. From roasting to barista training, you could increase your knowledge in any area of your field of interest. What’s even better is that the teachers were experts in their field. You’ll probably learn about something pertaining to your area of interest that you didn’t even know existed
  3. Vacation!! Most of the time conventions are held in cool places.  Getting out of town and being totally immersed in the culture of what you’re trying to learn is a great way to stay motivated. Also, being out of town, away from the hustle and bustle is a great time to reflect on the changes you’re making.
You see, conventions aren’t just for salesmen. With a little research you could probably find one for whatever you’re interested in. There’s a community of people out there with the same interests just waiting to help you make positive changes in your life.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.