Focus Requires Escape

Focusing is hard, especially when you’re trying to run a business. You’ve got so many things to do, so many things that need your attention, and yet you may have a hard time focusing on even just one of them.

“Focus is vital for any business leader who wants to be productive and keep their business running smoothly.” – Cameron Herold

Why is it so hard to focus and how do you do it?

Find the Perfect Environment

There is no doubt that being a CEO is hard.

Running your own business comes with a lot of pressure, and it’s crucial to take time to think and be away from the distractions of day-to-day business operations.

This involves finding an environment that refreshes your focus. Sometimes your office can feel stagnant and your work begins to feel just the same. Find a new environment in your building, or find a coffee shop, park, etc that helps you feel refreshed and switches work life up enough before it becomes tedious. You want to escape there once or twice a week to improve productivity, which in turn, will also improve the quality of your work.

Give Yourself Strict Focus Days

Dedicating ‘Strict Focus Days’ for yourself is extremely helpful (it’s something I still do regularly). Slowing down one a month or once a quarter so that you can sit quietly and obsess about the future helps to fuel more thoughtful decisions about your business (whether it is about the present or the future).

During your ‘Strict Focus Days,’ it’s good to think about the following questions:

  • Where could you be focusing more in your business?
  • Who could you be building better relationships with? 
  • Who are your biggest clients? How could you get more business from them?
  • Are you taking time to really focus without the trappings of day-to-day life distracting you (laptop, email, phone)? If not, you should think about taking more focus days to disconnect from the rest of the world and be alone with yourself and your thoughts.

“I like to carve out blocks of time that I’m going to be unplugged, which is sometimes frustrating to the rest of my team. But I find that it’s hard to do creative, thoughtful tasks when you are interrupted by emails and text messages. I like to carve out two to three hours, where I do a deep dive into writing a piece or working on a speech. That is the most effective hours of my entire day.” – Randi Zuckberg

Take a Focus Break

Once in a while, everyone needs a break, even and especially business leaders. These breaks will help regain your focus and start fresh when you return.

This type of break involves going somewhere far from work that relaxes you. This could be a chair by a fire in a lodge in the middle of nowhere. No people, no phone, no email, just you watching the snowfall outside the window.

Everyone needs an escape to regain focus. This involves escaping somewhere in your office to think once a week, to monthly ‘Strict Focus Days,’ to full-on escapes into the wilderness. Each one of those things is beneficial to you and your business, so give it a try!

Where do you escape to focus? Let us know in the comments below!

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2010 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Vivid Vision®: Where, Not How

One of the best parts of creating a Vivid Vision® is the chance it gives you to tear off the shackles of reality and logic and, instead, fantasize about your future. The problem is, more often than not, successful entrepreneurs have a hard time tapping into their creative side. The pragmatic, logical thought patterns that made them successful don’t allow a lot of room for imagination.

It’s a thought pattern they need to break free from. Here is how to do that, how to focus on the where rather than the how of your Vivid Vision®.

But First, for Those that are New, What’s a Vivid Vision®?

A Vivid Vision® is essentially the plan for the future of your company. It’s one that has to be big and ambitious and filled with piles and piles of hope for your company.

“A Vivid Vision® is a document, roughly three pages in length, describing what a company’s highest-ranking executive envisions for that company in vivid detail. It describes what the future holds for the company but not how it’ll get there.” – Cameron Herold Blog

So, now that you know what a Vivid Vision® is, how do you tap into your creative side to create one?

The Space You’re In Matters

The first thing you can do to unlock your creative side is to get into a creative space. By sitting in the same, old office you do all your work in, you’re going to have a much harder time breaking from the serious, logical mindset that’s required to do all your other work.

Getting creative is getting out of your shell. This first step is taking that literally. Get out of your office!

Don’t Worry About Being Practical

Your Vivid Vision® can be outlandish and it’s important that you acknowledge that and accept it. Allow yourself to think about crazy stuff. If you have an idea that’s too outlandish or impractical to bring up in a meeting, then it should definitely be considered for your Vivid Vision®.

The thing about brainstorming big, impractical ideas for your Vivid Vision® is that you don’t need to use them all in the end. You just have to allow yourself to think outside the box for a while and jot down all sorts of absurd ideas. Then, eventually, you can think more practically and pick and choose which ones to use, but before that time comes you have to leave the practicality behind and just brainstorm!

Do Some Mind Mapping

For that brainstorm of crazy ideas mentioned above, you can use a technique called ‘mind-mapping.’ For this technique, you write down whatever thoughts pop into your head no matter how crazy they are. Each idea inspires another. Sometimes they’re connected and other times they’re completely random.

After a while, you’ll be left with a sheet of paper covered with seemingly unconnected notes. Then, when you dig a little deeper, patterns begin to emerge. They are ideas or directions you might not have been actively thinking of, but your creative subconscious certainly was.

It’s hard to let go of the how, but just like these directions in your mind map, the how of your Vivid Vision® happens organically. You just have to let it. Besides, these lofty goals and crazy visions aren’t necessarily supposed to be achieved. Rather, they are meant to act as guides leading you down a positive path. Sure, the path might not end with your logo on Oprah, but the steps you take in trying to get there will undoubtedly lead you to a better place.

So get out of your own way and imagine a future without limits. Who knows, you just might get there.

Do you have any big, absurd ideas to share? Let us know in the comments below!

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The Secret Formula to Success

Often people say that there is no secret formula to success. Well, those people are wrong. Years ago, Brian, the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, came up to my desk and said, “I’ve found it!”

Of course, I was thinking, “You’ve found what?”

But that question was quickly answered. He explained to me that he had come up with the “formula” to create the “flywheel effect” Jim Collins talks about. In other words, he had come up with the formula to success.

What is it?

Put simply, this formula to success amounted to:

F x F x E = Success (Success being the flywheel effect kicking in)

But what do those letters stand for?

Focus x Faith x Effort = Success

How does it work?

Those are still just a few words written on a page, but how do they work to equal success? To answer that, you need to know that each letter in the equation is scored as a percentage out of one hundred. To gauge those numbers, each day you simply ask yourself:

  • What percentage of today was I focused?
  • What percentage of faith do I still have in my business?
  • What percentage of effort did I put in?

What percentage do you need for success?

Let’s say you were 50% focused, had 50% faith, and 50% effort—that only comes out to a 12.5% chance of success, which is pretty bad odds. If that’s the number you get, I wouldn’t even bother starting.

But, if you’re 80% focused, with 80% faith, and 80% effort every day, or every week, and if your whole business was that focused, had that much faith, and put that much effort in, then you have a 51.2% chance of success!

Yes, I know, still not that great, but still better. That basically just makes it a game of luck.

If you want to build a great organization and double your revenue, double your profits, and take the number of days you’re working and cut them in half, you’ve got to start getting in the range of 90 x 90 x 90—which even then only gets you to 72.8% chance of success.

To build the kinds of businesses as we did with College Pro Painters, Boyd Autobody, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, you need 98% focus, 98% faith, and 98% effort, which gives you a 94% chance of success. It’s impossible to truly get 100%, but if you and everyone else are as focused, faithful, and putting in as much effort as possible, you can come close.

Focus, The Biggest Issue

Most companies and most employees wake up and start working on email without any thought put into their goals. This means that most companies aren’t as focused as they need to be. Having less focus can seriously ruin the success end of the formula.

“Focus is so important because it is the gateway to all thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision making. Without good focus, all aspects of your ability to think will suffer. Without focus, you won’t be as effective in your work because if you’re not concentrating on the right things or are distracted, you won’t be capable of getting your work done.” – Huffpost

Succeeding in business is difficult and this formula reflects that. You have to go into it at full force and work hard for even a chance of success.

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2010 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

College Pro Painters

25 years ago in Dec 1985 I was admitted to what I now know was my real world MBA. And the guy in the picture Grieg Clark started it all in 1971.

Almost 40 years later, College Pro Painters is still, in my opinion, the single biggest reason I am where I am today in business.

That December I was awarded the Sudbury franchise of College Pro Painters. And I was scared to death. I remember my father telling me, go ahead, sign the 62 page franchise agreement. Worst case scenario is you’ll go bankrupt, but what do you have to lose at 21. You’ll learn a ton. And wow, he underestimated what I learned. And what I made.

I ran my franchise for 3 summers. Over the three summers with College Pro Painters, I earned approximately $60,000 in profit. I paid 100% of my own way through University. And at 23 years old I invested the remaining money I had in my first house. Yes, I was debt free, owned a house, and had paid my entire way through school.

In addition to making great money, and being able to take university girls to the top restaurants in Ottawa on dates, I learned a ton. I had 12 full time employees at 21 years old. I ran sales, marketing, advertising, operations, production, hiring, etc. I learned how to interview, lead people, and even deal with lawyers. I ran my own accounting system. I literally learned how to run a business, and not from Professors who I quickly learned were all theory, I learned from brilliant leaders like Steve Rogers, James Jones, Mary Mowbray, Kevin Carter, Ron Martin, Paul Hayman, Don Darby and the list goes on. It’s funny really. I can’t tell you the name of a single professor I had, nor what I learned in University.

I’m so lucky I had what it took to get awarded a franchise, and to succeed at running it: early signs of Leadership, Attainment, Tenacity, Introspection, Precision etc. However, what I really had were the systems of an awesome company, and the passion and skills of those people who taught me. Everything I learned 25 years ago, I still use in building companies and coaching CEOs today.

Funny, my brother and sister both ran franchises with College Pro too. And we all own and run our own companies today. Sure glad I didn’t go get that high paying $15/Hr job at GM.

Do you KAMP? Your Revenue Growth Depends On It…


In the early days building 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we had a franchisee who was struggling.  They just weren’t getting enough work to cover their costs.  We knew that it was more about aligning their entire team and making a focused effort than it was about their territory not being lucrative enough.  We knew it was about doing more of the right things and less about them needing some newly designed flyer.

So we set up a program with them called KAMP:  Kick Ass Marketing Program.  We gave them a list of marketing tasks they had to do every single day, and at the end of each day, they reported in to us letting us know what they got done.  Each and every day for a couple of months, they documented all of the marketing they did.  We’d get an email back from them with rough notes like: 500 Post-It Notes on cars at the grocery store, 25 signs up on poles, seven signs up on client’s lawns, four cold calls to property managers and so on.  And each day after reading what they’d done, we would guide them on what marketing to do the next day and where specifically to do it.

The success of KAMP was due to the fact that I’d been so successful as a franchisee with College Pro Painters.  It’s how I was able to sign upso many great franchisees with Boyd Autobody, and it’s how 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Franchise Partners became more successful.  To this day, the biggest and most profitable 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise is still the most consistent in executing basic marketing fundamentals on a daily basis.  It’s not about the “silver bullet”, it’s about doing more of the right things.

It’s about focus, not tactics. You likely don’t need a whole new marketing strategy – just be relentlessly persistent and diligent about executing the marketing plan you already have in place.

You and your employees can learn more about this and all the other systems my clients are now using globally to align their employees and rapidly grow – these videos have all my secrets that you can use too.

How to EASILY Save $455,000.00


During a session this week with a CEO that I coach & mentor we were talking about how much time is wasted with unproductive meetings and with employees sending too many emails & cc’ing too many people.  All EASY fixes.

I ran him through some basic math:

Assume you have 50 employees.

If you could save 1 hour a day for every employee – the savings & productivity gains are staggering.

Here is how you make it happen:

  • Keep reminding staff to ONLY cc someone if it’s critical
  • Get rid of Group Distribution lists
  • Only invite people you really want attending to meetings
    • Create a culture that not being invited to a meeting is actually good – it means you have other critical stuff to do.
  • Book meetings for 50% of the time you first think about booking them for

That’s it.  Simple.

Here is the math – if you save everyone 1 hour a day.

  • 50 Employees x 1 Hr Saved = 50 Hours Saved per Day
  • 50 Hrs Saved x 52 Weeks x 5 Days Per Week = 13,000 Hours
  • 13,000 Saved Hours x Average Hourly Wage of $35/ Hr (which is a $70,000 average yearly salary) = $455,000 Saved

Seriously.  Save everyone 1 Hour a Day – and you’ll save $455,000 without blinking an eye.  Save them 2 Hrs each – and it’s almost a Million Dollars a year.

This is actually the stuff we talk about monthly on our Group Coaching Calls – join us…

Truth about Strong Companies and Rich Clients

This rings true even in recessions.  That’s where the old adage ‘cash is king’ in a recessionary market comes from.  Many companies saw the recession coming and moved into cash.  They were waiting for deals. They’ve been waiting for the market to turn. They’re also waiting to buy from you. Sell to them. They’ve got money – some of it could be yours.

So, how do you get some of that money? A story first…

Years ago, one of my sales teams was working with a large client called Public Storage.  We were doing about $180,000 a year in business with them.  When we asked them how much total spending they did with us and competitors of ours, they said they’d have to check.  The following week they came back and said overall, company wide, they spent about two million dollars.  Wow–and we were only getting nine percent of that! Imagine how the conversation changed at that point to, “How can we get more of your business? What do you need to see from us to spend fifty percent of that figure with us?” We knew they had the money because they told us they were spending it! Now we just needed to work closely with them to have them spend it with us instead of our competitors.

Figure out which of your clients or prospects are doing well. Do your research and really focus on them, and you’ll land them without any problem.  Ask your clients how much of their current business you are currently getting.  Spending time with your top clients to increase revenues is easier than finding new ones.  They’ve got money – some of it could be yours.

Any stories to share ?

Focus – India Style

I’ve just wrapped up a 7 city speaking tour with EO & YPO in India.  Crazy schedule to hit this 7 cities between Jan 8-19th – but we pulled it off.

Too many business lessons to cover in just one post, however, one that jumped out at me in every city was that Indian entrepreneurs focus differently.  They almost never own or run just one company, they all seemed to run between 4-7 companies each.

They see running multiple companies as diversifying, and hedging their risk.  They don’t build companies for the purpose of selling them, they build them to give themselves cash flow for better lives, and to re-invest in other business ventures.

Prior to coming to India, I’d have pushed entrepreneurs hard to only run one company at a time.  Now, I truly see the value in running multiple companies at once.  However, to do it right, Indian entrepreneurs put solid CEOs or Presidents in place to run each of their companies.  They don’t micro manage them.  And they don’t stay overly involved in each of them.  They build them up, one at a time, then like children they set them free a little bit at a time, allowing each company to grow up and spin off it’s own rewards.

Focus on growing your leadership teams, and you could own multiple companies at once too…


Meetings Suck: Turning One Of The Most Loathed Elements Of Business Into One Of The Most Valuable

We all know that meetings suck, right?

You hear it all the time. It’s the one thing that almost everyone in business can agree on.

Except it’s not actually true… 

Meetings don’t suck.

We just suck at running meetings.   

When done right, meetings not only work, they make people and companies better.

In Meetings Suck, world renowned business expert and growth guru Cameron Herold teaches you how to use focused, time effective meetings to help you and your company soar.

This book shows you immediately actionable, step-by-step systems that ensure that you and everyone in your organization improves your meetings, right away.

In the process, you’ll turn meetings that suck into meetings that work. 

In life, we always hear about people who’ve made huge decisions from their gut – without data.Today, I want you to make a decision, not only from your gut, but also from some data.  A decision that is only $12 per employee but will be priceless for your business.

Right now, your gut is telling you something is wrong with your company’s meetings.  You KNOW everyone complains about meetings.

People HATE going to them, they HATE running them, and they really have NO idea which meetings are truly necessary but they hold meetings simply because they think that is what they SHOULD do.

Even some of the smartest CEOs in the world complain about meetings – Elon Musk publicly told employees at Tesla & SpaceX to walk out of meetings if they weren’t being run properly.

I sent Elon a message saying that wasn’t going to fix anything – the key is to fix the root of the problem – NOT continue to ignore why meetings suck.

A Meeting is – Any phone call, video call or occasion where 2 or more people meet to discuss or work-through office topics.

Most employees on average spend 1-2 hours per day in meetings.

And likely, none of those employees – front-line staff or leaders – have had any training on how to attend meetings or participate in them, LET ALONE How to RUN THEM.

Consider this…

If the Average employee spends just 1 Hour per day in meetings – that’s 1/8th of their time.

If the Average employee earns $50,000 per year.

And they’re spending 1/8th of their time in meetings, that means you’re paying $6,250 dollars per year for just ONE employee to attend meetings.

The reality is, employees spend 1/8th of their time – and 1/8th of your company’s payroll – doing something they have literally NO idea how to do.

The Reality is…

95% of employees are booking & leading meetings – and they have NEVER been trained on how to run them.

95% of employees have had NO training on how to show up and participate in the meetings they attend daily.

And 95% of employees and companies have no idea what meetings are even necessary to hold.

Meetings CAN be hugely effective – IF you know how to run them

Meetings don’t SUCK, we just SUCK at running meetings. 

Investing $15 per employee – to help ensure the $50,000 a year you spend on them is an obvious and easy choice.

This could be the most impactful $15 you’ll ever spend and will save the company’s money, time and resources instantly.

Buying a copy of Meetings Suck for 100% of your employees and having them read it this month will have a huge impact on your company’s success.


Free PR: How To Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring A PR Firm

Public relations has always been an essential part of doing business which is probably why you’re shelling out big money to an outside PR firm. But the truth is that you don’t need them. You already have all the necessary tools in-house to do as good a job as the so-called experts. 

Cameron Herold and Adrian Salamunovic have taught thousands of company execs how to exploit free media coverage and ditch these expensive, often ineffective outsiders. 

Cameron & Adrian have also built in-house PR teams, spent decades learning how to generate Free PR and how to leverage public relations to complement their sales and marketing strategy. 

In Free PR, you’ll learn how the media world operates while you gain invaluable insider knowledge and actionable advice on how to: 

  • Build your own in-house PR team
  • Provide effective interviews
  • Score great media coverage for free with just a few easy steps 

Landing public relations coverage for yourself and your company is a powerful tool to help elevate your personal brand. PR is easier to generate than marketing, PR is easier to leverage than marketing and PR is more cost effective than marketing. In other words, Public Relations is more critical than ever in growing your brand and your business. 

You’ve got more passion, commitment, a larger stake, and a deeper understanding of your business than any outside PR firm could ever have. So stop wasting money and take the reins yourself.  Learn the secrets to landing TONS of Free PR for your company.

What they’re saying:

“I think PR is the core for promoting any business. Public relations acquires customers! That’s what’s cool about this book.”

– Kevin O’Leary,  Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

“The ultimate guidebook for those looking to get press, grow their brand, and get in front of the masses. Free PR is the roadmap you’ve been looking for.”

– Peter Shankman, Founder, Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

“Adrian and Cameron will show you the secrets of getting massive exposure for your business. This book is packed with actionable insights from two guys that actually know how to to do it.”

– Dan Martell,  Serial Entrepreneur & Investor (, Unbounce)

“I told Cameron to write the book on generating free PR. I’m excited to see that he’s finally sharing his secrets with the world. This is a must read for any entrepreneurial company and marketing team.”

– Verne Harnish, Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)


Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future

Many corporations have slick, flashy mission statements that ultimately do little to motivate employees and less to impress customers, investors, and partners. 

But there is a way to share your excitement for the future of your company in a clear, compelling, and powerful way and entrepreneur and business growth expert Cameron Herold can show you how. 

Vivid Vision is a revolutionary tool that will help owners, CEOs, and senior managers create inspirational, detailed, and actionable three-year mission statements for their companies. In this easy-to-follow guide, Herold walks organization leaders through the simple steps to creating their own Vivid Vision, from brainstorming to sharing the ideas to using the document to drive progress in the years to come. 

By focusing on mapping out how you see your company looking and feeling in every category of business, without getting bogged down by data and numbers or how it will happen, Vivid Vision creates a holistic road map to success that will get all of your teammates passionate about the big picture. 

Your company is your dream, one that you want to share with your staff, clients, and stakeholders. Vivid Vision is the tool you need to make that dream a reality.


The Miracle Morning for
Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to
Elevate Your BUSINESS


A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.


Hal Elrod’sThe Miracle Morning has helped redefine the mornings and the lives of millions of readers since 2012. Since then, careers have been launched, goals have been met, and dreams have been realized, all through the power of the Miracle Morning’s six Life S.A.V.E.R.S.


Now The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs brings you these principles in a whole new light—alongside the Entrepreneurial Elevation Principles and the Entrepreneur’s Elevation Skills. These are essential skills that you need to create a successful business and personal life. Cameron Herold— Bestselling Author and a widely-respected expert on entrepreneurial mindset—brings his wisdom and insight to you using Hal Elrod’s powerful Miracle Morning framework.


The principles and skills you’ll find in this book will help you to channel your passion and achieve balance in a remarkable new way. – Learn why mornings matter more than you think – Learn how to master your own self-leadership and accelerate your personal development – Learn how to manage your energy—physical, mental, and emotional – Learn how to implement Hal Elrod’s invaluable Life S.A.V.E.R.S. in your daily routine – And much more… You’re already an entrepreneur. Now discover how to take your success to the next level by first taking yourself to the next level. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs is your roadmap to masterfully building an empire with a powerful vision, utilizing your areas of personal genius, with the right team at your side.

Start giving your business and your life the very best opportunities for success, right now.

A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.