What THE ROCK Is Doing Better Than Everyone Else

This morning, I woke up with The Rock.


His voice sang in my ear, "Goood morning Sunshiiiiine...Geet your caaandy ass out of beed!"

Again, not joking. And this isn’t even the first time it’s happened.

The Rock’s melodic voice has gotten me out of bed EVERY MORNING for the past month!

Now, I already know what you’re thinking.

“Wait, Raj. How did you get Hollywood megastar and WWE People’s Champ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to sing you out of bed every morning for a whole month?! Shouldn’t he be on set, or lifting something heavy, or anything other than being your personal alarm clock?!?”

Well, The Rock has news for you.

See, about a month ago, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson released an alarm clockapp, called Rock Clock, and yes, it’s every bit as epic as it sounds.

So, for the past month, I've gone to bed setting my Rock Clock every night, and waking up to his intense energy every morning.

He sings to you. He beeps at you. He rings over and over and says, “I can do this all day!” And when you turn him off, he sends you a motivational image or video to get your day started right.

I’ve long said The Rock has the BEST personal brand on the planet, and he’s now taken it to the next level.

What is that next level? The fact that he’s now part of my ROUTINE.


How The Rock Got Into Bed With Me

I’ve obvi always been a huge Rock fan, but prior to Rock Clock, I had to seek him out, either watching WWE, or catching one of his movies, going to his Instagram, etc.

I had to proactively make a decision to find The Rock.

But with Rock Clock, I don’t have to go out of my way. He’s in my face, every day.

What Rock did was latch onto my routine. I use an alarm clock already, soRock took what exists that’s part of my routine, and added value to it by making an incredibly entertaining version.

Naturally, I default to Rock Clock the second I learn about it, and now I’m waking up with Rocky every day.

He’s raised his personal brand to the next level by making himself a part of the millions (**deep inhale**) AND MILLIONS of The Rock's fans' routine as well.

The 3-Step Process to Become Part Of A Routine

Truly dope personal brands come from creating your own projects. That could be a newsletter, a blog, a podcast, videos, etc.

Even if you’re not creating anything yet, keep reading, because once you do, you’ll need to know this.

Now, it’s not enough to only create here and there. Trust me, I’ve had experience with that in the past and it doesn’t really get you anywhere. What you want to do is this 3-step process:

  1. Create and release your work

  2. Understand your audience’s routine

  3. Add value and become part of that routine

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How Our Podcast Became Part Of YOUR Routine

Here’s what this process looks like with our Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast.

  1. Create and release your work

    When we started our Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast just over a year ago, we were a little sporadic with episode releases. We’d aim for every Monday, but if something came up, we’d bump it by a day, or sometimes go a whole week without releasing an episode.

  2. Understand your audience’s routine

    We know most of you are working during the day, and many of you are either working jobs where you seek out distractions because you don’t like what you do, or working creative jobs where you need something in the background to be your soundtrack. BOOM.

  3. Add value and become part of that routine.

    Knowing that you either need a distraction, or some creative energy while on the job, we know we can be the thing that makes your day better. So, we get our podcast on a consistent schedule, release episodes every Monday, and add value to your weekly routine.

What’s been the result? Well, 51 episodes later we’ve had countless people tell us our podcast helps get them through the day. Our artist friend Liz listens to us while she paints. Our current Master Class student Mary Kate listens to us at her desk as she contemplates her next career move.

We took having to come find us out of the equation, just like Rock did. Every Monday, we push out a new episode, and I send you an email as a reminder.

Our brands add value to your day-to-day, and we’re part of your routine.

Rock Out With My Clock Out

Back to our boy Rocky now. While his alarm clock features a motivational image or video every day, this app isn’t so much about motivation, as much as it is becoming part of my (and millions of others) routine. Like I said before, I go to sleep thinking of The Rock, and wake up thinking of The Rock EVERY DAY!

If our podcast isn’t already part of YOUR routine, you can bet your ass that we’re working towards becoming a part of it.

If you become part of a routine, you take your personal brand to the next level.

What's something you've created that you could make part of a person's routine? Reply back and let me know.

Take care and be awesome today,

Written by Rajiv Nathan

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3 Simple Steps To Uncover Your Hidden Superpowers

Recently I had a conversation with a student enrolled in the next session of our Discover Your Inner Awesome Master Class.

She wants to move vertically within her company, and be the one who’s leading projects, not just being assigned one-off tasks. The problem is, she’s a wait-too-long-to-strike kind of person, and takes too much caution for fear of failure.


Does this sound like you? Keep reading.

Today I want to show you how to use those things you perceive as holding you back--your disadvantages--to find your hidden superpowers.


The Theory of Desirable Difficulty

I’m re-reading Malcolm Gladwell’s David And Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, And The Art of Battling Giants. In the book, he presents a theory called the Theory of Desirable Difficulty.

The premise of the Theory is that what we typically see as disadvantages, can actually be used advantageously and produce better results because they force you to think deeper, take more risks, and find unconventional ways to solve problems.


A simple Math Equation To Explain This Theory

Gladwell uses a classical math problem to explain the theory. Maybe you’ve seen this one before:

A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? Say your answer out loud before scrolling further down.




...intentional overuse of line breaks so that you don’t cheat :D...



For most people, the instinctive answer is the ball costs 10 cents. That’s incorrect (don’t worry if you answered 10 cents, I did too, and most students at Princeton, MIT and and Carnegie Mellon got it wrong as well). If the bat cost $1 more than the ball, then the bat would have to cost $1.10 on its own, making the total of the bat AND the ball $1.20.

The correct answer is the ball costs 5 cents.

Remember now, the Theory of Desirable Difficulty states that disadvantages produce better results through deeper thinking.

So how did psychologists improve results on this test? They made it harder. They adjusted the font size, the color, and italicized it, which made it harder to read.

Basically, they made it look like this:

By making the question harder to read, it forces you to squint and read it a couple times to ensure you’ve read it correctly. And from reading it a couple times over, you spend more time thinking about the solution, instead of jumping to a conclusion. By creating a disadvantage, significantly more people answer this question correctly. The difficulty turns out to be desirable.


Dyslexia As A Desirable Difficulty

Gladwell goes into several examples to further explain the Theory, including how one man, Brian Grazer, used Dyslexia to his advantage.

Grazer consistently got C’s, D’s, and F’s in school. He couldn’t possibly be successful, right? Or was this a Desirable Difficulty?

He wasn’t anywhere near the smartest, the fastest learner, or academically gifted in anyway. But his condition, Dyslexia--his disadvantage--forced him to think deeper, take more risks, and find unconventional ways to solve problems.

What did he do? He challenged all of his grades.

“Literally every time...I would go back to each teacher and do a one-on-one,” says Grazer in the book.

"I would argue my D into a C, and my C into a B...99% of the time I got my grade changed. I would just wear them down. I got really good at it. In college, I would study, knowing that I was going to have this hour-long meeting afterward with my professor. I learned how to do everything possible to sell my point. It was really good training.”

What was this training for? Grazer had essentially mastered the art of negotiation and selling by the time he graduated college. This allowed him to rise to the top of his profession--He’s now one of the most successful producers in Hollywood (ever seen any of these?)

Grazer produced all of 'em.

Dyslexia forced him into a situation where he became an expert at other skills that most people never even learn. He made his disadvantage a Desirable Difficulty, and found his hidden superpowers.


My Challenge For You

What I’m getting at here is that we need to look at our disadvantages as Desirable Difficulties. What are the disadvantages you face, and what does it force you to learn?

Here’s my challenge for you:

You constantly think and talk about taking action--

I need to get a new job...

I really want to start that podcast...

I wish I was the one speaking up at meetings and contributing ideas...

but you hold yourself back by rationalizing it with a perceived disadvantage--

I’m not qualified enough...

I don’t have any public speaking experience...

My ideas have to be perfect before I can share them...

Instead of seeing it as a disadvantage, see it as a Desirable Difficulty. Force yourself to see what you DO know, by analyzing what you DON’T, and find your hidden superpowers.


A Simple 3-Step Process To Find Your Hidden SuperPowers

Let’s go back to the disadvantage of our student I mentioned at the start.

She wants to move vertically within her company, and be the one who’s leading projects, not just being assigned one-off tasks. The problem is, she’s a wait-too-long-to-strike kind of person, and takes too much caution for fear of failure.

Here’s the 3-step process for her, and you, to follow to take advantage of your Desirable Difficulty, and find her hidden superpowers:

Step 1: Write down the goal
I want to move vertically within my company, and be the one leading projects.

Step 2: Write down the perceived disadvantage
I’m a wait-too-long-to-strike kind of person, taking too much caution for fear of failure.

Step 3: Find the advantages of your Desirable Difficulty that will help you achieve your goal
In this step, write down a list of everything your perceived disadvantage has made you GREAT at. For anyone who has the perfectionist mindset just like our student, I’ll bet it’s made you great at, AT LEAST:

  1. Conducting research
  2. Asking questions (and lots of them) to understand as many perspectives as possible
  3. Listening to others (typically when you’re afraid to speak up, it heightens your listening skills)

Follow this simple 3-step process to uncover your hidden superpowers, and you will experience massive breakthroughs.


Be Awesome.


Written by Rajiv Nathan

3 Ways To Use Feedback Loops In Your Life

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to...yourself? I know it’s easy to compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing, but what about when the competition is YOU?

Someone at a recent workshop we taught wrote me about this issue recently.


My biggest competitor is myself. I consistently feel like I could be doing better in all aspects of life.


If you have a hustler’s spirit, which I know you do because you’re reading this, you feel like you’re constantly in the trenches. It can be really hard to take a step back and acknowledge your performance and accomplishments.

Hell, I’ve been deep in the Idea Lemon trenches for awhile now. I haven’t taken a day off since December 27th--that’s 81 straight days! And for real, when you’re deeply focused on something it’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing that you feel like you haven’t done anything. But if an outsider looked at you, they’d be like, “Damn that kid is nonstop!”

The problem is when you’re hustling, you always feel like you haven’t done enough. There’s always more to work on, more to chase, more to grind.

I call it the Hamilton Drive.


The Hamilton Drive

If you’ve had a conversation with me in the last 5 months then you know I’m OBSESSED  with the broadway musical Hamilton, about the life of Alexander Hamilton. I even wrote a blog post about it a few months ago.

Throughout the musical, Hamilton’s drive is front and center. He’s always hungry, always wanting more. When he wanted to get public approval of the U.S. Constitution, he published FIFTY ONE ESSAYS in SIX MONTHS!

Das dat Hamilton Drive.

He was so nonstop, during one song in the musical, his wife asks him, “Look around, isn’t this enough?”


So what do you do when YOU are the one who feels nonstop? When YOU don’t feel like enough? When YOU have the Hamilton Drive?

Feedback Loops

Here’s what I do to make sure I feel good about what I’m doing, while still staying hungry for more.

I implement feedback loops. That is, I intentionally create scenarios and environments that enable feedback.

Here's the most basic diagram I found online of a feedback loop

Miiiind blowing

For example, last week we taught our Art of Awesome workshop, and, quite honestly, I felt like Martin and I weren’t  at our best. More like, I thought we sucked it up hard. There we were, presenting to a room  of about 40 people, and I’m thinking, “Welp, we’re bombing this.”

I could have been left with only my own thoughts to ruminate. But this is a feedback loop, remember.

After the presentation, half the room came up to us to say how much our presentation moved them, made them think differently, and gave them inspiration to take action in their careers. I listen to that feedback closely so I know what’s working best.

This feedback loop let’s me know that, even on what I feel is my worst day, I’m still able to help others, and the specific areas where I’m strongest. The things that don’t get mentioned I know I need to improve. It gets me out of my head, makes me feel good, but pushes me to keep going. Like, for real, I can't tell you how much my day improves after teaching a workshop.

Or look at our online Discover Your Inner Awesome Master Class. There are days when I’m just like ‘fuuuuuuuck we aren’t doing enough for our students.’ But because we’ve designed the class so there is constant interaction, that thought goes away when a student sends me this:

so many feelz

It’s another feedback loop. It allows me to take a step back and say, ‘Yes--what I'm doing is working!’. I can score that against other feedback to know, again, what is most valuable, and what needs improvement.

And even the emails to the Idea Lemon Tribe (are you subscribed by the way? If you're reading this, you should be). That's its own feedback loop. Our tribe members might decide to write me back and tell me their opinions, and how my email impacted them.

And in the instances where I hear crickets, I know that email didn’t really hit like I thought it would, which makes me crave the feedback loop even more, and pushes me to keep going so I can get it the next time.

Nearly everything I do where I’m aiming to improve, I have some sort of feedback loop in place.

The great thing about feedback loops is they are just that, a loop. It’s not a feedback line, meaning you don’t start and then just stop. You make it continuous. You don’t struggle with competing against yourself all the time, but you still retain your Hamilton Drive in order to generate more feedback loops.

How can you implement feedback loops into YOUR life?

3 ways YOU can implement feedback loops

On the smallest scale, do this...

Tomorrow--yes, tomorrow--ask a coworker/classmate who you work closely with what they think you do best. If you don’t know what to say, say this

“Hey I’m doing a professional development exercise I read about, and would love to get your input. What do you think I do best here?”

After they tell you, offer up your opinion of what they do best.

Then, ask if they want to make it a weekly practice.

“The exercise I read about mentioned that creating consistent feedback loops can help us go HAM on our strengths, and work on our weaknesses. Would you want to do a weekly check-in where we give feedback on what we see each other doing best?”

Boom. Feedback loop created.

On a slightly larger but still pretty small scale, do this...

Write a blog post. If you don’t have a blog then publish an article on Linkedin or Medium. Then send it to 3 specific people who you think would want to read it, and ask what they liked best. If you don’t know what to say, say this


I just published this article on my blog/Linkedin/Medium, and I think you’d enjoy it. Would you mind reading it and replying back with what you found most helpful? It’ll help me for the next time I publish an article.


The next time you write an article, send it to 3 new people and ask the same question. And so forth.

Boom. Feedback loop created.


On a larger scale that can actually be large and seems scary but really isn’t, do this...

Turn your blog/Linkedin/Medium posts into a newsletter, and ask for responses from your readers, just like I do.

Boom. Feedback loop created.

If you have the Hamilton Drive, and feel the pressure of competing against yourself, implement feedback loops to take off the pressure and keep the Hamilton Drive pushing forward.

SPEAKING of responses,

What’s one area of your life where you could use a feedback loop to help you? Comment below.

Take care and be awesome today,