The Year of 12 Virtues


Interview With Fred Castaneda
March 10, 2009, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This past Saturday I was interviewed by Fred Castaneda for a podcast posted on his website-

http://www.strugglingentrepreneur.com//

83- Experienced Entrepreneur and Business Attorney- Adrian Dayton

March 10th, 2009

In the interview I give a few tips on the following subjects:

– How to choose partners in starting a business
– How to know if you are a true entrepreneur
– How to get the most for your money out of legal services
– How to deal with some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur.

Advertisements


I May Have Found My Publisher
March 8, 2009, 6:06 pm
Filed under: adrian dayton, author, deseret book, Publishing, writing

Friday night I got my first positive feedback from a publisher. They sent an email asking if my manuscript is still available for purchase.

Here is an excerpt from the email:

“I love the concept, I love the stories, and I love the potential this [book] has to create life-changing behavior.”

(Yes! this made me so happy to hear. My brothers and friends told me they liked my idea, but it was very validating to hear positive feedback from an actual publisher.)

Here is how it all started. Back in December a friend introduced me to a buyer at Deseret Book, a publisher, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. I called to ask if they could recommend a good editor for me to hire. After I explained my concept, they told me not to hire an editor, but instead to just submit a few sample chapters to them because they might be interested in publishing the book with their Shadow Mountain imprint.

I was pretty excited until I got a form email back saying, “Your manuscript has been entered into our database and we will read it in the next 2 to 3 months.” This was pretty discouraging to me at the time, so I just kept working on my manuscript and submitting it to other publishers.

Then late Friday night I got the first email response, and it was very positive. I am stoked about this, but there are a few questions that remain-

Should I continue to submit to other publishers? OR Do I take this and run with it?



Blogging for Progress: The Experiment Begins
March 4, 2009, 1:45 am
Filed under: "blogging for progress", blogging, goals, Month 1: Integrity, virtue

This month 16 individuals set out to better understand what integrity means. They were all asked to think about integrity, and make a personal goal to have the Month of March be their Month of Integrity. The variety of goals were instructive, showing that integrity means very different things to different people. Here are some of the great goals individuals from the experiment chose:

– Never criticize another person when they aren’t around, unless you are willing to criticize them to their face.
– Train for a half marathon: show integrity by keeping to the goal of running 6 days a week.
– Goal for lent- eat no cheese for 40 days- and be 100% faithful to that goal.
– My word is my bond, follow through on 100% of my commitments, if I say I’d like to watch American Idol with my neighbor- I will watch American Idol with my neighbor.
– Learn to speak Spanish, specifically- learn 60 new words per week.
– Truly live my religion, seeking after things that bring me closer to God.

I am hopeful the members of my virtue experiment will achieve all of their goals, but if not, the process of picking these goals, and sharing them with the group has already created a vision of their potential that will hopefully create unexpected opportunities and serendipitous results.

Here are a few tips I would like to share for setting powerful goals this month:

GOAL SETTING TIP #1

Trees grow because they reach for the sun. For personal growth to occur, we have to leave our comfort zone- explore undiscovered country. The best goals will terrify us a little, demanding we take a step into the unknown.

GOAL SETTING TIP #2

Expect discouragement. Nobody can be perfect in accomplishing their goals, and we must anticipate falling short sometimes. Be honest with yourself in setting goals, but also be honest with yourself in your shortcomings- do not be discouraged if you fall short of perfection.

I want to invite anybody reading this to join us for the month of integrity. Think about what integrity means for you, and set a goal to make this your Month of Integrity. Feel free to comment below, (publicly or anonymously I’ve changed the settings) and let us know what your goal is!



Learn Virtues Like You Learn to Golf
February 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
Filed under: golf, Month 1: Integrity, nobel, tiger wood, virtue, william faulkner


I love to play golf, but in full disclosure I must inform everyone reading I am not a great golfer. But I love the game, and I love being out on the grass. Being surrounded by all the trees and grass can be very therapeutic.

The golf swing is a very complicated thing, and any number of coaches or pro’s could give you literally thousands of different pointers on how to improve your swing. Here are just a few of the basics:

-keep your head down
-don’t grip the club too tight
-swing with your hips
-follow through
-don’t swing too hard
(this list could go on and on for days)

These are just a few of the pointers that you will hear when learning to golf, but the biggest secret is this- YOUR BODY ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO SWING. Its a natural motion, and if you over think it- you will miss the ball altogether. So what I learned from a pro was this:

FOCUS ON ONE GOLF TIP AT A TIME

So for me, when I get out on the golf course and prepare for my swing- I make sure I’m loosened up, I take a couple of practice swings, and then I focus on ONE thing- keeping my eye focused on the ball. I let my body do the rest. A smooth, crisp drive along an open fairway is a thing of beauty. Sometimes I will focus on a single golf tip for the entire summer- training myself is not easy. It takes patience, focus, and hard work.

Practicing virtues in our life is a lot like practicing a golf swing. If you try to do everything at once you will be overwhelmed, but if you can focus on a single virtue at a time- whether it be honesty, patience, courage, or charity- the other virtues will follow because they are already part of you.

RETURN TO VIRTUES is all about going back to the principles we as a society and as individuals know, but sometimes forget. With facebook, twitter, blogs, and google we are flooded with information- but what does all of it teach us? All the blogs in the world won’t make a difference in society unless we can implement the lessons we learn.

William Faulkner said it much better than I could in his Nobel Prize Speech. Speaking about how authors must re-learn the most important truths of our society, he said:

“[The Author] must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.

Until he relearns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”

-William Faulkner (excerpt from his Noble Prize speech)

I have challenged all of my Virtue Volunteers to make March the Month of Integrity- to focus just on this one virtue. I will document how it affects every facet of their lives. I anxiously await the results.



The Virtue Experiment
February 18, 2009, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Hypothesis: If an individual will focus on one virtue each month for the next twelve months, they will experience greater achievements and a more fufilling life.

The Sample Group: a professional athlete, a school teacher, a president of a not-for-profit organization, a director of a production studio, a dental student, a law student, 2 young couples, a risk management specialist, and 3 stay-at-home mothers. (15 people total)

The Variables:

  • All fifteen individuals will be given a colored wristband (much like the yellow “live strong” wristband) to represent the virtue of the month.
  • Each individual will be expected to set a goal for that month dealing with that particular virtue.
  • Couples will share the goals with their spouses, siblings with siblings, and the single individuals will write their goals down and email them to me.

How the experiment will be monitored:

  • Each individual will be expected to report back at the end of the month, and share any unique experiences they enjoyed. Both positive and negative. With their permission, the stories of the test subjects will be shared on the site http://returntovirtues.com/
  • Those who fail to report back will receive a brief call and interview to evaluate the results of the month’s goal.
  • The results will be used to supplement my manuscript.

Let me know what you think of the experiment, I can be reached by email atdayon at gmail.com or on twitter. I reply to all comments.



How To Make People Like You
February 17, 2009, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

To gain followers online you need people to like you. Here are the top reasons people will like you, your blog, your tweets, and your style.

1. Be Famous- everybody likes famous, so just do something truly exceptional and people will like you. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Lance Armstrong are great examples. Just put together a pattern of work in your life making you one of the foremost in your field in the history of the world, and I can pretty much guarantee people will like you. For 99.9% of the world, myself included, this technique will most likely be impossible. Not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be liked.

2. Be Interesting- check out guys like (I am using twitter names here) @mashable, @problogger, @guykawasaki, and @jowyang. These guys post interesting information on their blogs and twitter that is relevant and unique. You don’t have to post about social media like they do, but you do have to post information that is quality. That’s how the internet weeds out what is good and what is crap.

3. Be Nice- this could also include be respectful, be courteous, and be civilized. Language does matter. You drop the F-bomb on twitter or your blog and you will lose followers. I know what your thinking- “people that are offended by that kind of language aren’t the type of people I want to follow me anyway.” That’s fine, keep swearing like a sailor if its your thing- but people notice. Also, disagreement is in fact encouraged, just make sure it is respecful and never make it personal. Disagreeing sometimes starts the best discussions.

4. Be Complimentary- If you like a post, say so. If you like an article, share it. People will remember your kindness. It’s kind of the golden rule of the internet, do good to others and it will return to you. This is probably the easiest thing to do online to make you more liked.

5. Don’t Spend Too Much Time Self Promoting- The first rule of sales: People buy things from people they like. It is far more important to get people to like you, then to check out your site, your products, or your services. Once they like you they will check out your services out of curiosity. If they really like you they will tell others about your service. You want the connection to be personal, not product based.

Is you disagree, reply here, or I can be found @adriandayton on twitter.



Open Letter to My Wife: Why Twitter is Worth My Time
February 11, 2009, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized



Honey,

I know you have been giving me a hard time for spending so much time on Twitter, so let me just say that I have proof that it is not a waste of time. Here are a few examples:

Today I met a guy on Twitter named @retireat21 – I don’t know anything about him in real life, but what if its true? What if there are all these people out there enjoying the four hour work week, flying first class, and getting paid to shop? Honey, that could be us! Sure I’m older than 21 now, but that should make it even easier. I also met someone named @easymoney – see Honey there is easy money to be made and all I have to do is join twitter and the money starts coming in. Right? Well maybe it isn’t that easy.

You have asked me in the past, who ever made it big just because of Twitter? How about our current President? Heard of him? During the final days leading up to the election 1-3 million twitter messages about him were exchanged pointing out the best articles, most accurate polls, and the latest messages coming directly out of his campaign. The Mccain camp couldn’t touch that type of real time news. Twitter may have turned the tide for Obama.

So in conclusion, I may never make any money on Twitter. People may never use Twitter to hire me as a corporate attorney, or to locate one more aspiring author, but believe me there are some of the most fascinating people on Twitter. I have been on for only one week, and I have learned a ton already. It’s so entertaining as well. There is nothing as exciting as someone re-tweeting your post, or asking a question that really gets people to buzz.

It’s a wonderful market of ideas. The good ones get passed on, and the bad ones are ignored. So give it a chance Honey, you might just find a way to work from home, make millions while drinking low-cal smoothies in bed, or even figure out a place to get free make-up. Imagine the possibilities!

Love,

Adrian