Sometimes It Is About Working Harder Not Smarter

work harder - not smarterThis post is part of the Last 100 Days of 2016 Series. As of today there are 81 days left in 2016, what will you do with them?

We have all heard the statement “work smarter, not harder”. And while that’s a true statement it doesn’t AND can’t replace the fact that sometimes you need to work harder. Sometimes it means getting up earlier or staying up later. Sometimes, actually most of the time, it requires you to sacrifice and do things that are uncomfortable and take you out of your comfort zone.

Here are 10 quotes that will motivate you to work harder and not just smarter.

  1. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
    –Colin Powell
  2. “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”
    — Thomas Jefferson
  3. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
    — Babe Ruth
  4. “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”
    –Peter Drucker
  5. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” Stephen King
  6. “Nothing worth having comes easy.” Theodore Roosevelt
  7. “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” –  Vince Lombardi
  8. “All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point.”– Eric Thomas
  9. “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” Thomas A. Edison
  10. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times where you need to learn more and become smarter. But, don’t fall into the trap of feeling you haven’t learned enough and become smart enough to get the work done. Sometimes you just need to take the first step, do what you know to do and when you don’t know what to do next then learn and become smarter.

You’ll never have everything figured out when you begin. And after you begin you’ll realize you know even less than you thought you did. The important thing is to get to work!


Are You Fed Up With Failure?

I Can Accept Failure - I Can't Accept Not Trying AgainThis post is part of the Last 100 Days of 2016 Series. As of today there are 90 days left in 2016, what will you do with them?

How many times have you tried something only to fail? If you are breathing you have had a long history with failure. When you were learning to ride a bike, you would fall, get back on and start pedaling and trying again. Go back a few years before that when you were learning to walk, you would fall, get back up and try again. Think about your career; a growing and thriving career requires that you continually learn new things. And let’s face it, most times, we don’t pick up new skills right away – it usually takes a while. 

When failure presents itself it provides you with the opportunity to make a critical decision. And that decision is this; will you try again OR will you give up? Will you make the decision to go after that gaol one more time OR will you become stuck in regret?

Trying again starts with your mindset. If your head, your mind, isn’t in the right place the ability to try again is almost non-existent. Here are three practices that will help you maintain a strong mindset that will enable you to try again and not give up.

Change Your Perspective

Instead of labeling the failure as the end all reframe failure as a learning experience. Step back and take a look at what worked and what didn’t work with your plan. Learn from it but don’t take it as a death sentence.

Kick Fear in The Face

One of the greatest enemies to trying again is fear. You begin to think you can never do the thing you’ve set out to accomplish. You let fear tell you that you don’t have what it takes. You let the fear of what others will think of you “trying again” hold you back. You have to put on your boots, face your fears and then…with those boots…KICK FEAR IN THE FACE!!!

Good People

Surround yourself with people who will pick you up and push your forward. Good people and good relationships are good for the soul. After you have experienced some kind of failure you don’t need people around you that will bring you down even more. Find people that want the best for you and tap into their positive energy and encouragement.

Remember – it’s only failure when you stop trying – don’t stop – keep going!

You Can Overcome Resistance

Overcome ResistanceThis post is part of the Last 100 Days of 2016 Series. As of today there are 98 days left in 2016, what will do with them? 

The Resistance is Real

In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield says, “Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

The moment you make a decision to change something in your life is the moment resistance raises its head. Resistance can happen from within yourself or be an outside pressure and in many cases it’s both. The proof that resistance is real can be found when you consider some of these stats from Statistic Brain about New Years Resolutions:

  • 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution
  • 49% have infrequent success
  • 24% never succeed and fail on their resolution each year

If you wan to be part of the 8% you absolutely can. Overcoming is within your reach. Here are three ways to push through resistance and make the change you desire.

Jedi Mind Tricks

You don’t need to be Luke Skywalker or Master Yoda and possess Jedi powers to overcome the resistance but your mind plays a huge role. You either decide to give in to resistance and accept defeat or make the decision to push back, fight and conquer it.

From the big to little decisions it all counts. The choices you make in the next hour, day, week or month will be reflected in your future. Choose wisely and with purpose. 

Define & Write It Down

Research shows that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions. At the beginning of this year I chose three words that would define my approach to 2016. I wrote those words down in various places so that I’m always reminded of my focus and my goals.


Being part of a community and having others that know the changes you are attempting to make is a big part of success or failure. When you have someone or many people that you know will ask you how things are going there’s an added level of commitment.

At the beginning of this year I was part of a couple health challenges. In one challenge I was part of a team. Me and four others knew each other’s goals and were committed to helping each other. We would text, work out together, email and stay connected through social media. Our relationship had two main purposes in the beginning; 1) hold each accountable 2) encourage one another.

Find at least one person who’s up in your business and see the kind of difference it can make.

Don’t lose heart – keep fighting against whatever is resisting you, your goals and your progress.

Finish 2016 strong!


What Do The Final 100 Days of 2016 Look Like For YOU?

100 Days Left in 2016There are 100 days left in 2016!

Do you take time during the changing of the seasons to reflect? For me it’s a natural time to look back and use it as a checkpoint to see if I’m on pace to achieve the goals I have set for myself. The rhythms of the season are a reminder of where I’m at, where I’ve been and where I’m going.

So many times we start the year with higher energy and a ton of motivation to make positive changes. We make up our minds and set our will to lose weight, learn a new skill, start exercising, landing a new job or any one of a hundred other things.

Just because you may have had some challenges over the summer or stumbled doesn’t mean you have failed. If you are still breathing, struggling and fighting it means you are alive! It means you still have a chance to stand up and move forward.

Now is the perfect time to look at the next 100 days and ask yourself; will I finish strong? Will I end this year strong? Will I move closer to the dream and life that I have envisioned? Over the next three and a half months will I push harder and make steps towards my dream?

3 Things I’m Doing To Finish Strong

  1. Why – I’m thinking back to January and remembering why I set the goals I set for myself.
  2. Reading – Setting aside time each day to read motivational blogs and inspiring stories.
  3. Listening – Loading up my podcast library with new podcasts that feature content from people who have faced struggles but have overcome and kept pursuing their goals and dreams.

So…renew your focus and be determined to finish out 2016 strong!



BBQ Bacon Bomb – Oven Version

By popular demand here’s the recipe I created for my oven of BBQ bacon combs. The serving size that I made using the ingredients was huge, easily serving a generous size to 10-12 people. I split the ingredients evenly so I could make two bombs.


6 lbs grass fed beef

2 lbs pork sausage

4 lbs bacon


6 large Jalapeno peppers chopped

6 large Chili peppers chopped

8 Banana peppers chopped

6 cups Spinach

6 cups cheddar cheese

BBQ sauce

Step 1: weave one pound of bacon on one foil covered cookie tin and weave another pound of bacon on another tin and bake at 400 for 15-20 minute. I used a thinner slice of bacon from Costco which ended up being 16 slices woven together on each tin.

bacon bomb weave

Step 2: place a rectangular piece of saran wrap on a flat service and create a rectangle with 3 pounds of beef

Step 3: season the meat with your favorite type of seasoning


Step 4: brown the sausage

Step 5: cover the beef with peppers, spinach and sausage


Step 6: place woven bacon on top


Step 7: top with cheese

Step 8: roll into log, the saran wrap makes it easier to roll

Step 9: wrap in tin foil and refrigerate for a couple of hours

Step 10: weave the remaining bacon and place on tins

Step 11: remove the bombs from the refrigerator, remove from tin foil, place on bacon and roll

Step 11: bake for 60-75 minutes on 400

Around 30-40 minutes into the baking I took out and glazed with bbq sauce. I repeated this at 50 minutes and then again at 60 minutes




Slice, eat, repeat!

How My Health Transformation Started

Change Begins In a Moment

The moment my change began was a few days after my 45th birthday. I found myself in my doctor’s office (the picture below) for an annual wellness visit and all was NOT WELL. I was busting the scale at mochris rainey 45 years old before picturere than 270 pounds. My 47″ waist was as round as my 8-year-old was tall. My blood pressure and cholesterol was out of control. I was never diagnosed with sleep apnea but when you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air you don’t need a doctor to tell you something is wrong. My mind was in a continual fog. I wasn’t able to concentrate and focus which impacted everything from my personal to professional life. The list was long.

What Was I Thinking?

That wellness visit only confirmed what I saw in the mirror every single day – the guy I was looking at needed to make some significant changes quickly . But the biggest thing I struggled with wasn’t what I could see in the mirror. My biggest obstacle was found between my ears – my thinking. Food has always been my “go to” for comfort and quick relief in times of stress and challenges.chris rainey before

Life hasn’t been short on challenges and stressful situations to find lots of “comfort” in food. Late night snacks, early morning snacks, mid-morning snacks, afternoon snacks, fast food and junk food binges were the norm for me. Many mornings I swung by the convenience store to grab a slice of “breakfast pizza” and a large diet soda – yeah, I said diet, because you don’t want to add unnecessary carbs and calories, HAHAHA! And then, on the drive home, after a hard day at work, I would stop by the store again to grab a soft pretzel (my kryptonite), something sweet and of course a diet soda, HA! If you work hard you deserve to “treat” yourself – right?!

Decide to Fight!

The “moments of change” continued to take place. I began making the right decisions and saying NO when I wanted to grab fast food to “comfort” myself. I made continual decisions to fight to change my mindset and I do mean FIGHT! I knew if I didn’t change how I thought about food, exercise and overall health the future was not bright.

I was not willing to let the middle of my life become the end of my life because of bad decisions and stupid habits.

Challenges & Transformation

I started making changes with my diet and began to exercise. Over the next two years I lost over 50 pounds and almost 10% of my body fat.

70 Pounds Lighter - January 2016During year one I started to make small changes in my health. I participated in a weight loss challenge and placed in the top 20 of almost 1000 participants. This challenge was a catalyst for me and as the year continued I made several small changes that added up.

Year two was pivotal. I got serious about my eating habits and embraced more of a paleo, ketogenic, low-carb lifestyle. I got serious about exercising, hitting the gym 5-7 days per week and working out for 1-2 hours each time. Half-way through the year there was a psychological shift and I started to crave working out. I could literally feel a change taking place in my brain; the fog and unclear thinking started to disappear.

Even in the midst of a handful of sports injuries throughout the year, I didn’t stop. At times I had to take some days or weeks off to let my body heal. But, as soon as my body was feeling good enough to resume workouts I was back in the gym.

Now I’m in year three of this three year transformation.  To kick off this year right I joined four different health challenges; The 2016 Golds Gym Challenge, 250K Challenge , a challenge with co-workers and then a year long challenge sponsored by 1st Phorm called My Transphormation Starts Today.

I’m more motivated than ever to continue to transform my life. I’m not settling with where I have been. I know I’ve got more and I am determined to grind and do whatever it takes to live my life with NO REGRETS! I don’t want to stop with changing my life but I want to inspire and challenge others that transformation is within their grasp as well.

2016 is the year of MY TRANSFORMATION!

The One Who Struggles Hasn’t Quit

If you are struggling it means you haven’t quit – you are still fighting – you are refusing to give up until the change you want to see happens. Struggle means that you are alive, have something to live for and it means you can still win! But if you are going to stay in the fight and continue until you overcome you are going to need fuel for the fight.

the one who struggles hasn't quit

Three Keys to Winning The Struggle

Know Your Why

When you identify your “why” you will have more fuel to fight. What is your purpose? What are you passionate about? What are you skills and expertise? Where do you add the most value to those around you? If you can answer these questions you are going to be on step closer to winning the struggle you are facing.

Vision For Victory

The Bible says that without a vision people perish. One of the greatest all-time business leaders, Jack Welch said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Welch’s advice applies to us all.

You must have a clear vision that you can easily explain. Without knowing what and where your target is you will never hit it. Then you have to passionately own and commit yourself to that vision. You have to be all in, to the end.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

When you are in the heat of battle you need others who are willing to stand by your side. You need people speaking words that propel your forward. The right people are those who are willing to tell you like it is, to speak the truth and hold you accountable. You need to surround yourself with others who want to see you win and help you get there.

Don’t Give Up!

You have it within yourself to win. The struggle may be intense and seem like a mountain that is impossible to climb. But when you know your why, have a clear vision and are keeping the right company you will win the fight.

Success Isn’t Convenient: Career Edition

Success Isn't Convenient: Career Edition

This line came to me last week as I was sweating my butt off in the gym which definitely seems like an appropriate place to think something like that. But it’s a truth that applies to every area of our lives. If you want to be successful in anything the path won’t be convenient.

There is no such thing as an overnight success. There is no guarantee that your college degree will land you a job, let alone your dream job making a load of money. The road to a successful career is filled with inconvenience. Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive leader, manager or working in a cube your journey to success won’t be convenient.

You may have to make a geographic move to take a position with another company to advance your career. My career has consisted of several moves that have included four states and five cities. Each time I moved it was inconvenient; it was inconvenient for me and my family. You may have to make the hard choice to leave behind friends and family.  Sometimes, many times, when you grow in your career there are times of loneliness.

Nothing is easy. Nothing ever comes as quickly as you want it too. If you are going to accomplish anything worthwhile you are going to face challenges and you will have to fight.

As you move to a new level in your career you will encounter things you don’t know how to do. You will experience things that will cause you to be anxious and sometimes fearful. You will find yourself in situations, personally and professionally that are inconvenient and uncomfortable.

It’s during the inconvenient moments that the familiar things of your past will tap you on the shoulder and tempt you to return to where you came from. When things become inconvenient you have two choices – embrace the challenge and grow OR back down from the challenge and return to your previous level of success. To move forward you have to overcome the fear of letting go of the past.

Don’t let inconvenience rob you of the next level of your career.

Say NO! to giving up – keep grinding so that tomorrow you won’t have any regrets.



My 3 Words For 2016

IMG_2576Last year I tried the 3 word experiment inspired by the amazing Chris Brogan. If you aren’t familiar with this alternative approach to New Years resolutions check out this post from Brogan where he explains it. In addition to choosing 3 words I took on the challenge of writing 10 ideas each day inspired by the incredible James Altucher.

In 2016 I’m again writing 10 ideas everyday. I’ll also be focusing on becoming 1% better each day. 1% better each day with my health, gaining knowledge, more effective at my job, relationships, awakening dormant dreams and more. Again, this idea came from James Altucher – you can read more about it here.

3 Words

My three words are Grind, Regret and NO! These three words will help guide my 10 ideas each day and provide me with the fuel to become 1% better each day.


Grind is more than action to me – it’s a core value. There is no such thing as an overnight success. There is no such thing as something for nothing. What there is such thing as is people who GRIND are people who succeed. When you put in the work you get results. No pain, no gain is real. When you grind you see and experience results.


Regret is a powerful two edged sword. You can let regret overcome you and cause you to be depressed or you can let it fuel you to become better. Last year I posted an article on LinkedIn about the topic of regret – you can check out it here. This year I’m embracing the word as a positive. I’m looking to the future and asking myself the question, “If I don’t _(fill in the blank)_ what will I regret?” If I don’t continue to improve my health, what will I regret? If I don’t continue to grow in my professional skills, what will I regret? If I don’t GRIND what will I REGRET?


NO! with an exclamation mark – you read it correctly. I’m committing to saying no to more and more things. If it’s not helping become 1% better in any area of my life than I’m saying NO! to it. And trust me, this is a challenge. I’m a guy who loves “shiny objects” and “squirrels”. Before FOMO (fear of missing out) became popular I was/am addicted. So, to try and help me overcome my addiction to FOMO and stay focused on things that will bring real value to my present and future I’m going to say NO! more.

If I say NO! to unimportant things I can GRIND at the important things and have NO REGRETS!

Get Serious About Being Curious

The old saying goes ‘curiosity killed the cat’.

It seems the older we get the less curious we become. Maybe it’s because the very nature of being curious means there is risk involved. And as we get older and take on more responsibilities the less we risk.

As much as I would love to hop on a BMX bike or grab a skateboard and join my boys at the skate park this Saturday, for me, the risk outweighs the reward. Why? Because I need to show up Monday morning with my body fully intact 🙂

You don’t need to be a Red-Bull-drinking-extreme-sports-athlete to live life to its fullest. But, if you are going to truly experience life — you need to be CURIOUS!

7 ways to become more curious today

  1. Try something new. It sounds obvious but try something new and it doesn’t need to be anything huge. Listen to a style of music you wouldn’t necessarily listen too, Spotify has plenty to choose from. Try a new toothpaste flavor. Do jumping jacks in the middle of the afternoon. Eat some bugs instead of chips. Take a different route to work — the road less traveled is sometimes the best road.
  2. Embrace change. I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, ‘the only thing that is constant is CHANGE’. As a curious person you can’t fear change.
  3. Challenge yourself and step totally out of your comfort zone. As a curious person you have to get comfortable with doing things afraid. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. As the famous Thomas Edison quote puts it, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Or, as Mr. Edison also said, “I failed my way to success.”
  4. Vanilla and chocolate aren’t the only flavors — open the door wide and welcome variety into your life.
  5. Become a lifelong learner, develop new skills, read and explore more.
  6. Ask questions like who, what, when, where, why and how.
  7. Write ideas. Take James Altucher’s advice and write 10 ideas every day.

Curious people solve problems.

Curious people are interesting.

Curious people are introverts and extroverts.

Curious people discover and invent things.

Curious people come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Cultivate curiosity and become a better spouse, parent, employee and person.

STAY CURIOUS my friend!