The Magic of New Years

New Years Magic

In a few hours, it will go from 2020-12-31 23:59:59 to 2021-01-01 00:00:00.

Balls will drop! Champaign will be consumed! Dates will be kissed!

And then…

And then…

Nothing magical will happen.

If you don’t believe me, ask someone in Sacramento who will still be waiting another three hours for their New Year.

There is nothing magical about flipping a page on a calendar. When you wake up on the 1st, there will still be a pandemic. There will still be high unemployment. There will still be political turmoil.

None of those things change with the simple turning of the page. All of them require work. The work of scientists. The work of leaders. The work of everyday people to wear their masks and act like responsible people who care about their neighbors.

There is no magic.

Or maybe the magic has already happened. Maybe it happened in March and we didn’t all realize it.

In March, everything was thrown into confusion. The table we were playing the game on was flipped over. Many of us are looking at the mess and lamenting that they can’t do anything with the pieces on the floor.

But some of us are looking at it and seeing that we now have the chance to play an entirely new game. It is in these moments when the greatest opportunities come to us.

For as long as I can remember, I have been bringing people together and building community. In high school, I hosted our parties and planned our outings. In college, I ran conventions. After college I opened Phoenix Games to be a center of community. In my 30s I worked at all manner of genre events.

But 2020 brought an opportunity like I’d never seen before. The quarantine forced everyone to discover the potential of virtual space. Virtual networking, virtual communities, virtual conferences, once the realm of a cutting edge few are now possible for the mainstream.

With lower overhead and completely obviating the effect of geography, it is possible to bring together amazing talent and hundreds of attendees together for pennies.

From this, I was able to create Conference21. It is not just a place to help people learn from 32 experts, but it’s a place to create a new kind of community. A community that defies borders, that ignores geography. It is a community that anyone can become a part of if it is right for them.

Could one conference change your life?
On February 20-21, 2021 you will learn if one virtual conference could change your life.

We are able to use these new technologies to create networking events before and after the conference that are almost like being face to face.

None of these technologies are actually new. They existed in 2019.

What changed in March was that we became open to them.

In 1993, AT&T launched an ad campaign talking about these science fiction sounding technologies.

“Have you ever shown up for a meeting in your bare feet?” they asked as they showed a Zoom-like video conference.

This technology became commonly available years ago, but most people prior to 2020 had never participated in a virtual meeting.

In 2020, AT&T’s predictions, which had been technically accurate for years, became socially accurate. Virtual meetings, distance learning, and all the rest became part of all of our lives.

The promise of the future is here, and we are all ready to embrace it.

There is no magic in the turning of the calendar, but there can be great magic in uncertain times. Uncertainty means you don’t know how it will turn out. That can be a bad thing, but it can also be a very good thing, especially if you weren’t winning beforehand.

All the pieces are now up in the air. You have a choice. You can let them clatter to the ground, or you can grab some and find your new future.

Have you ever seized your own new opportunities?

You will.

And the company that will bring it to you… is you.

Michael Whitehouse knows all about games, having owned a game store for many years. He has never heard of a board game that can still be played after the table is flipped, but it’s a good metaphor anyway.

If you’d like to hear more strained metaphors or discuss how you might make your own magic in 2021, click here to schedule a free half hour coaching session with Michael.

Avoid Overwhelm by Being Your Own Employee

Overwhelm, Be Your Own Employee

Overwhelm is a term that comes up a lot in the entrepreneurial community, especially for solopreneurs. As the boss you must always think about the big picture, keeping everything in mind all the time. Then you have to execute, doing the ground level tasks.

The great thing about being the boss is that everything is up to you.

The worst thing about being the boss is that everything is up to you.

The longer I work for myself, the more I laugh when someone tries to pitch some kind of opportunity by saying “you can be your own boss.” This is only appealing to people who have never actually done it.

This is where the overwhelm comes from. If you are trying to carry the entire plan for the great cathedral in your head while you lay every brick it becomes overwhelming. There are so many bricks to be laid! What is one is out of place? What if there is a mistake?

The architect on the cathedral building project may be quite stressed out. They think about every little thing that has to go right and could go wrong.

The bricklayer? As long as he’s laying his bricks where he’s told and he’s getting paid on the regular, overwhelm is not a word in his vocabulary.

What if you could be the bricklayer in your own business, only thinking about the next brick?

You can. You can separate yourself into two roles: the architect and the bricklayer.

The architect must think about the big picture but doesn’t lay the individual bricks. The bricklayer doesn’t know or want to know the big picture. They just lay the bricks where they’re told.

You can achieve this by dividing your time into planning time and executing time.

In the planning time, you are the architect. Think of it as if you were preparing detailed instructions for your employee who works in a different office and needs everything laid out for the day or week ahead of time.

This is when you think about the big picture. This is when you make the big decisions of how you will allocate resources. This is when you are the boss.

Then, it’s time to execute. You are now the bricklayer, following the architect’s plan. If there’s a minor error in the plan, you don’t worry about it. If the order isn’t entirely perfect, no big deal. The boss gets what the boss asks for.

In bricklaying time, you execute. You don’t think about the big picture. You don’t worry about the grand goals. You run the action item list in the order that the architect presented it to you.

The bricklayer is never overwhelmed because they lay one brick at a time, no matter how many are left to lay.

Try it. Set aside specific time to be the architect and plan your day or your week. Then, become the bricklayer. Follow the instructions and only think of what must be done next.

How can you be overwhelmed doing one thing at a time?

What do you think? Do you think this strategy can help you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Michael Whitehouse does not know how to lay bricks or design a cathedral, but he does know how to help you stay focused and motivated on what you need to do without getting overwhelmed.

Click here to set up a free, no obligation half hour coaching session with Michael to talk about how you might better be your own employee.

3 Steps to Cold Start Yourself

Sometimes you’re at a dead stop. Maybe it’s just a tough morning to get up. Maybe it’s a tough year. You need to cold start yourself.

It could be a full on depression, a reaction to a disappointment in life or business, or something else.

But the result is the same: you are at a dead stop. No momentum. No energy. No desire to get up and go.

Continue reading “3 Steps to Cold Start Yourself”

High Ticket Coaching Nearly Killed My Business

High Ticket Coaching Nearly Killed My Business

There is a certain area of coaching that teaches that your worth is determined by net worth. They tell you that if you don’t have a $10,000 offer, you ain’t nothing. If you’re not bringing in $20,000 a month, you’re a failure.

This mindset derailed my business off of a successful growth path into the doldrums.

Continue reading “High Ticket Coaching Nearly Killed My Business”

Depression? Mental Illness or Call to Action?


If you think about depression, it seems like a very maladaptive trait. Why would our human organism have adapted a mechanism that causes an otherwise functional human to just stop functioning? Wouldn’t that have been bred out of our genes?

Unless there it serves a purpose.

I wondered about this many years ago, and I started looking into it. There is a theory that I read which changed the way I thought about depression and has been very valuable to me.

The theory is that depression exists as a mechanism to force us to stop traveling down the wrong path. Sometimes we get so fixated on a particular course of action, that we ignore all warning signs that we should change course.

According to this theory, depression is a neurological mechanism to force us to stop working and to think about our course, as well as to make it painful enough to pursue a difference course.

This theory changed my life. Once I saw depression as a warning sign, and not some kind of malfunction, I would respond to it by examining my situation and seeing what needed to change. Sure enough, after a bit of a rest, I would execute a new set of actions to change the situation, and the depression would pass.

Consider this the next time you fall into depression. Take a break to reevaluate. There will be aspects of your life that feel unbearable. Change them. Your mind knows what you must do. Listen to it. You possess more inner wisdom than you think.

I’d be open to talking things through with you to get you on the right track. Click here to schedule a call. You are meant to do great things. Let me help you take the first step.

How Do You See Yourself?

How Do You See Yourself?

How do you see yourself? What is your self perception?

The other day, I had someone approach me looking for assertiveness training. They felt that they did not stand up for themselves enough, and that people were able to walk all over them.

As it turned out, the lack of assertiveness was not the problem. It was the symptom of the problem.

The problem was that this person saw themselves as a person whose voice did not deserve to be heard. They did not see themselves as a person who had value to give to the world.

They did not believe they were worth the space they took up in the world.

I told them that assertiveness training would not be effective because it would be an act. It would not be authentic. They could not stand up for themselves because they did not believe they should.

All the training in the world would not help because it would feel like a lie, and the same subconsious block would prevent them from acting on the training as was already preventing them from saying what they should.

Rather than paper over the problem with technique, this person needs to delve deep into the causes of their insecurity. They need to sit with themselves to understand the purpose that they were placed on Earth for.

Every one of us is given a particular set of gifts: skills, talents, desires, ambitions, perceptions. These gifts give us the power and potential to be great, to affect the world in great ways, to make a difference.

Since we are given these gifts, we have the obligation to use them and to live in our greatness. To do otherwise would be to spurn God’s generous gifts to us.

So, how do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as one who is blessed by your creator with amazing gifts and an important mission? Or do you not see that?

And what are your gifts? What greatness are you placed on this Earth to achieve?

Every morning, I share a high energy motivational message right in your email. To sign up free, visit

If you’d like to talk about your own self perception and what might be holding you back, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a call.