Don’t give up now, the world needs you like it needs Christmas

As we approach Christmas day, people are running around like chickens without heads. Just yesterday I was stuck in a combined 30-40 minutes of traffic in the capital. I believe much of it was because of people buying gifts at the last minute. Almost the same happened today in my hometown, and I was not even shopping for gifts (thank God I planned that ahead and got it done weeks in advance).

Mixed Feelings?

For everyone that is struggling, this period can come with mixed feelings. Everyone seems happy, yet stressed, and if you haven’t achieved your goals for the year or things are not going that great, it all tends to compound into a mess. And buying all those gifts can get expensive as well.

I’ve seen coaching clients drop their goals, report high levels of stress and commitments everywhere, deal with loneliness, you name it.

And who’s to blame them… I guess 2016 was a hard year for pretty much everyone. Plenty of terrorist attacks, a messy election in the U.S., a refugee crisis in Syria, Brexit, depressed economies worldwide… there’s plenty of reasons to say “good riddance” to this year. Personally, I also had one of the hardest, if not the hardest year of my life.

Sometimes the temptation to give up is strong

I’ve seen this is with my clients and I’ve seen it in myself as I try to get my new coaching business off the ground. If you’re doing anything that’s hard or challenging, you’re starting a business, you’ve been fired and have been looking for a job for months or even years, you’re going through a messy relationship, you’ve had health challenges… I can relate. All of these things are hard and sometimes they come together.

I’m not here to tell you everything is going to be OK.

I just want to tell you that 2017 could be much better (or worse) depending on your attitude and luck or divine will.

The only thing I can really say is:

Don’t give up now… because the world needs you. REALLY needs you.

We’re all hurt and broken in so many ways. And the state of affairs doesn’t help a lot. But we can still give each other a hand. This is what being human is all about. It’s not about being perfectly happy all the time. It’s not about our selfish desires and problems. It’s about loving the rest and giving them a hand, period.

I don’t know your beliefs, but as a Christian I will say “Merry Christmas” and not just “Happy Holidays”. Because we’re celebrating the birth of Christ. I don’t know what that means to you, if anything, but to me it means Hope. Because when all else was failing, when the world was getting worse and worse by the day (just like these days), Jesus came to this world to fix it. To fix us. And to equip us and challenge us to fix each other.

It’s all in your hands now, as always

I believe this is a time for healing, for peace and reflection. To be a better person if only for once in a year. And also,

If you’re an entrepreneur, hear me out: it’s a time for WORK.

Yes, work. You still have 1 week left to make your mark on 2016. When everyone is chilling down, as an entrepreneur I believe you should be going the extra mile. Competition is lower, people are in a buying mood (if distracted), and it’s a great time to ramp up for the next year while your competitors are asleep. Get a head start now. Seek help if you need it. Buy a good book, seek therapy, get the training you need, find a mentor or business/personal coach, and work like crazy. I’m not saying to lock yourself in a cave and miss out on all the fun, far from it. But don’t let it distract you too much from your mission.

Dig in now, and you will reap the rewards later. The world will need you so much on the coming year.

So… with that said,

Merry Christmas!

I pray that you have a beautiful time and really enjoy this break from such a crazy year. And happy working for those of you that decide to take me on this entrepreneur challenge to finish 2016 strong!


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Freelancers & Business Owners: Lessons Learned going from Freelancer to Coach, Balance, Dealing with Holiday Stress

If you’re launching a new freelance business or other type of business venture and are struggling to get it off the ground, this free audio training is for you.

In this free audio training, I go over the lessons I learned building my freelance business and how I’m applying those lessons to building my coaching business now.

Balancing a freelance business or entrepreneurial venture is hard

Because I know this struggle first-hand, I also go over some tips on how to balance entrepreneurship and holidays stress with your personal life.

Please let me know your thoughts… this is my first audio training and I look forward to your feedback!

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I Dare You To Be Thankful Every Day — Here’s Why

Even though I’m not from the U.S., Thanksgiving is an American tradition I really admire. I think it’s so important to be grateful regardless of what’s going on in our lives.

Gratefulness helps keep a positive outlook and is especially good for the rest if done as an act, not just a thought or reflection. I think it’s important to lift people up whenever we can, and giving thanks or giving back in some way is such a simple but powerful way to do this.

If we acted thankfully every day — the world could change

What would happen if we all made a conscious choice to be and act gratefully every day, not just on a holiday? If we chose to do our work with gratitude in our hearts? If we were thankful to our bosses, employers and customers every day, for giving us a way to make a living, and served them thankfully every day? If we were thankful for all the people that have helped us come so far in life, and gave a little back once in a while? I believe the world would be a much better place.

THANK YOU

I’m thankful for you, my reader. Everyone is competing for our attention these days, so really I appreciate you taking the time to read my words.

I’m thankful for my coaching business I started a few months ago. It has allowed me to meet people from different countries and all walks of life, and seeing their progress on their goals really makes my day every time. It has given me a much greater sense of purpose and satisfaction than probably any other job I’ve ever done before. I’m thankful for all my clients and all the incredible work they’re doing out there. I’m humbled and honored to be able to help you as a coach.

I’m thankful for being alive, for this very moment as I type this words. I believe we shouldn’t take that for granted, with all the violence going on in the world currently. If you can read this and are safe, I think you’re blessed. As long as your heart is beating, you have the chance to make a change both for yourself and the people you love.

I’m thankful for the journey I’ve been on through life, with all the good and all the bad. For all the moments, people and places I have in my memory. And I’m especially thankful for God’s grace that has carried me through it all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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If you need help with your freelancing, business or productivity challenges, I’m offering FREE* coaching. I was awarded Top Rated Freelancer status on the Upwork freelancing platform in 2015. Let me teach you everything I know about freelancing, business building & productivity. Learn my proven methodology for getting & keeping clients, step-by-step with personalized advice, keeping your clients ecstatic about working with you, and working less, while making more. Click here for more details.

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Why Trump Has NOT and Will NOT Change a THING in The World for You and Me

Do you ever feel like the world is going out of control? Like everything and everyone is just, you know, going crazy?

How did Trump get elected? Have the U.S. gone crazy?

Why are there riots happening across the U.S.? Have those who have been called the “alt-left” gone crazy? (it looks like there is an “alt-everything” now… at which point do we all become “alt” to some extent?)

How could this happen?

How did Fear win over rationality and common sense? How can a guy who can be baited with a tweet, as Obama said, be entrusted with Nuclear Weapons and be free to potentially destabilize whatever country in the Middle East or elsewhere he well damn pleases with his new “most powerful man on Earth” superpowers?

How did the UK decide (and then immediately regret) to practically single-handedly fracture the EU with their Brexit vote, against almost all sound economic and business reasoning, and instead choose Egoism?

Why did not a decent, honest and brilliant man such as Evan McMullin win the state of Utah, instead of a man who praises Putin and holds other dictators such as the genocidal Assad in great esteem?

How can Xenophobia, Racism, populism and sensationalist political Marketing heresies be exploited to such extent… that long-standing international trade and military agreements (such as NAFTA and NATO), that have helped build and keep relatively safe the world as we know it, be threatened to be “renegotiated” or dropped entirely because they’re not deemed “profitable” enough for the U.S., as if the world itself was nothing more than a giant corporation?

Don’t get me wrong, I think capitalism is the best (imperfect) economic system humanity has devised so far, and will defend that conviction until the last of my days, but I believe above that, we’re humans with hopes, dreams and love for each other. And that should include entire countries, by the way.

Fear, anger, anxiety, uncertainty… these words get tossed around the news, our conversations, the financial markets and wreak havoc inside our minds… like it’s the new normal. At times, it does make me think I might be going crazy, too, along with the rest of the world.

Here’s how we can cope with all the craziness

How can we cope with all this madness? How do we survive as a species before we insult, threaten, and kill each other until there is no one left?

I’m an entrepreneur, a Christian and a human being. If you’re reading this, unless you’re an alien, Skynet or the freaking Terminator (how close are we to creating them, anyways?), you probably fit into one or more of those categories. I don’t have all the answers, but this is what I think we can do.

Although it may look like everything has changed, nothing has really, until we allow it with our thoughts and actions.

If you’re an entrepreneur, this is what you can do from now on: you get up in the morning and work yourself to death every day. You eat, breathe & sleep “the hustle”. You don’t care what’s going on at the White House. You care about your customers and serve them with all your strength.

If you’re a Christian, this is what you can do from now on: you get up in the morning, pray and read your Bible. Then you go about your day loving your neighbor, telling them the truth of Jesus and doing Excellent, not average, work.

If you are a human being, this is what you can do from now on: you get up in the morning, kiss your loved ones and do whatever it is that you do, for them, with renewed passion and sacrifice.

We have more control than we realize

See, nothing has changed. We have control over this. And we’ll prevail, God willing. With good old hard work, willpower, guts, decency and respect for our fellow human beings, because we are in this planet and this time together, for better or worse.

We are better than whatever megalomaniac narcissist politician gets elected or whatever deluded terrorist or deranged rioter decides to do. Because we have the power to choose our fate, every single day.

It’s time to come alive, now. It’s time to love each other like never before. We are not waiting until a nuclear war, a terrorist or a rioter sends us to the Afterlife prematurely. And back to Trump… he has NOT and will NOT change a THING in the world for you and me. ‘Cause *WE *— ARE — THE — CHANGE

Let’s do this.

— –

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Unconvincing mainstream presidential candidates face independent threat

The U.S. presidential elections have given us plenty to talk about this time. Every day, candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump blast each other in the media, a battle which has had repercussions beyond the country, creating misunderstandings with Russia and Mexico. Clinton and Trump’s respective vision and style are diametrically opposed, and none of the two candidates seems to be able to fully convince their respective constituencies that they are the best choice.

For the Democratic Party, Clinton is a moderate liberal bet, but with some nuances. While her candidacy has been widely supported by her party, even with keynote speeches by current President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden, and her former president husband during the Democratic National Convention, Clinton has been haunted by several issues. Mainly, she has been questioned for possible corruption associated with the Clinton Foundation, her poor management of cyber security and questionable foreign policy decisions as Secretary of State in the current administration. In addition, Clinton is the first female Democratic Party presidential nominee. All this makes her a different candidate from what we had seen before.

Clinton’s campaign proposals continue the liberal social justice policies outlined by Obama, emphasizing an active fight against terrorism in collaboration with international allies, stronger control over gun ownership, and liberal policies supportive of reproductive rights (including abortion) and tax increases, especially, but not exclusively, for large taxpayers.

On the Republican side, Trump has been a very controversial candidate, starring in the media for his aggressiveness, disrespect and lack of humanity and decency (both for her political adversary as well as for members of the veteran and Latino communities, the press, and others) and an unpredictable style. He has even provoked Russia (presumably jokingly) to interfere in the elections by hacking Clinton to find her controversial deleted emails. In addition to his obvious lack of presidential temperament, Trump’s business career has been plagued by bankruptcies, in which the only beneficiary has been himself, at the expense of his collaborators. In short, just like Clinton and to an even greater extent, Trump is clearly an unconventional candidate.

As for his campaign proposals, Trump has appealed to a strong nationalism. Negativity and fear are his main tools. The Republican candidate has exaggerated the current weakness of the U.S. economy and has highlighted an increasing feeling of insecurity because of terrorism. In response to these threats, Trump proposes an aggressive anti-immigration policy, deservedly earning the disdain of Latino and Muslim communities, mainly. His principal and most controversial proposal in this area has been building a huge wall alongside the Mexico border. Trump has also proposed to “bomb the hell out of ISIS”, but besides that, his strategy for defeating the terrorist group is still a mystery.

Both Trump’s and Clinton’s proposals contemplate an increase in fiscal spending, which could benefit the economy, as long as it doesn’t prompt an excessive increase in the fiscal deficit. Beyond this, it is difficult to find points of agreement between the two candidates.

For their adherents, even though both candidates do offer some interesting proposals, they do not convince fully because of their past failures and current controversies, and extremist proposals in the case of Trump. Given this scenario, candidates Gary Johnson for the Libertarian party and Evan McMullin as an independent (formerly Republican) should not be disregarded as potential alternatives for the electorate. Opinions are generally unfavorable to Gary Johnson and his unconventional proposals, but in the case of Evan McMullin, he has quickly risen as a reasonable alternative to the mainstream candidates.

Evan McMullin was born in Utah and is just 40 years old, but has considerable international experience as a missionary in Brazil, as a volunteer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan and as an undercover operations officer with the National Clandestine Service, for the CIA, serving in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. McMullin is also currently an International Board Member for the Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been a senior adviser to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in 2015 served as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.[1] In the private sector, he worked for the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs in Silicon Valley. McMullin also holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.[2]

McMullin has strongly criticized Trump, but also Clinton. He has come out to face both candidates with his “It’s never too late to do the right thing” campaign slogan, refreshing U.S. politics with a healthy dose of common sense, decency, enthusiasm, and compassion. Factoring in his first-hand experience fighting terrorism both in the front-lines and as a policy-maker, and his business experience, McMullin presents himself as an exceptional candidate to face some of the biggest challenges currently facing the U.S.: internal division, the threat of terrorism and the slow economic recovery following the 2008 sub-prime crisis. McMullin has argued that the very essence of the U.S. as a country is at risk because of the internal division generated by current events.

In such an important election for the U.S., and by extension for the rest of the world, at times of great global economic and geopolitical challenges, hopefully, the electorate will react in time and will not end up voting for “the lesser evil” when there are better options at the table. As McMullin himself has remembered us, as the quote goes, “a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.” The stakes are just too high to settle for that.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_McMullin

[2] https://www.evanmcmullin.com/about

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