Just Check Out My Guiding Principles

Photo by Dan Greenwald – Red Spotted Newt – June 2020 – Eastern PA

“What are you doing these days?” 

Since I live in NYC, I’m assuming the curiosity behind this FAQ vanilla question is about earning, not about my nature photos, the 3-mile hiking trail I just blazed through the woods, or my soul-driven purpose. 

No worries. I’m game with letting people know that from my 30,000 ft. view – I’m in the business of helping people thrive. This started as an NYC educator trained in curriculum design, and I’m currently doing this by supporting people and companies hitting newly defined targets using a framework called ThirtyTenZero. This framework is designed to tap one’s inner power, refine your current target, and customize a measurable game plan for how to hit it. It’s also a useful structure in quickly outlining any concept or challenge.

However, zooming down to 10,000 ft. and simplifying, what I’m really doing is following my guiding principles.

Inspired by Ray Dalio, these three guiding principles maximize my time, energy, and focus, with a practical impact of sharpening my daily actions. These are the same principles that continue to shape ThirtyTenZero.

  1. Time is the greatest commodity
  2. Seek authenticity not approval 
  3. Fear equals opportunity 

#1 – Time is the greatest commodity 

While this first principle seems obvious and trite, it’s not. Intellectually we understand we have a finite amount of time in this world. However, it is when we live through life experiences that we emotionally internalize “life is really short.”

Examples of some experiences are when you lose a number of people close to you over a short period of time. Or someone in your life suffers an illness with an uncertain outcome. Or a relationship ends. Or your ideals have been shattered. Everyone gets hit with “life is short” reality checks. It’s a characteristic of being a human creature.

Regardless of socioeconomic reality or where in the world you live, time is a human’s greatest commodity. 

This is my ThirtyTenZero using the Done app by TreeBetty

Here’s a how I implement guiding principle #1 in to my daily life.

In my customized ThirtyTenZero framework my second area of focus is to be a Master of My Time (indicated in by the red actions from my daily tracker). These are some of my key daily actions I measure, which gives me a weekly score as to how well I’m doing in achieving my overall life-target.

  • Review my weekly schedule every Sunday evening
  • Start each day by prioritizing my TTZ Daily -ToDo’s
  • End my day by reviewing what I have lined up for tomorrow
  • Touch my CRM multiple times a week

The goal is to not waste time. My time or someone else’s.


#2 – Seek Authenticity Not Approval

This means applying greater self-awareness to the source of my actions.  Recognizing the self-serving biases my mind creates in the form of stories designed to keep me “safe.”  Or when my delicate ego needs to feel; relevant and goes looking for “likes.” 

Our world is changing at an exponentially rapid pace. Like you, I’m a cog fueling our focus economy. I’m inundated with focus-sucking media, emails, and posts that add minimal or no value. Marketing experts, please don’t tell me the “only way” to sell is by carpet-bombing my target with click-funnel messages pushing mindsets of fear and scarcity. I’m always open to learning about people and companies doing great things, but please sow your seed through lasting value even if I don’t purchase. Some great examples are Andrew Barry and how he markets Curious Lion and The Mission Daily.

One of my 12 favorite problems I put together for this writing program called WriteOfPasage was “ How do I tell my authentic story of growing ThirtyTenZero (TTZ) in order to help grow TTZ without being a part of the digital pollution? I’m banking on my guiding principle #2 to help me navigate this challenge.

I have a bank of content to share. I held back because I questioned the value I was offering. With honesty, I know these posts are solid. It’s the stories of fear are what stopped me from pushing the “post” button. This leads to guiding principle


#3 – Fear Equals Opportunity

If we’re not growing we’re dying. As a human or a business. The immedaite way to fuel change is to recognize our fears and lean-in instead of running away. Growing up with a stutter helped teach me this. You either take the time to say what you want or don’t and avoid shame. 

The human mind has one goal, which is to keep us alive. It does so in three ways. 

  • 1. Homeostasis -making sure our body temperature and fluids are where we need them to be. 
  • 2. Acts as a file cabinet for our memories and experiences. 
  • 3. Creates stories that drive our actions to keep us safe. The flip side of the word “safety” is “fear.” Our mind creates stories that tell us what we should be fearful of. Classic example: don’t go outside at night because you might meet this hungry bear looking for the bird feeders.
This is one of three bears that would come visit during our Spring2020 quarantine adventure.

What’s confusing for us is that the stories of fear leading to our safety are what also limit our growth. 

Example: don’t post this and risk the shame of people thinking you’re a __________. 

Practically – I measure facing my fears monthly with a concept called the “Courage Muscle.” This idea was hatched when I started presenting to groups of fellow stutterers. I explain how this is our most important muscle. It grows by recognizing our fear and intentionally leaning into it with action. Each action builds another layer of courage muscle “fibers.” The larger the muscle, the more your able to accomplish. The younger you learn this, the greater your life-impact. 

In my ThirtyTenZero, I keep track of each time I lean into a noticeable fear and I record the action I took (see visual above in blue). Months, where I have four or more courage-muscle actions, the data shows my overall life productivity increases. The correlation is obvious. 


I’m a dreamer and a romantic idealist who’s allergic to settling. I’m most comfortable existing up at 30,000 feet thinking about the big picture, spotting trends, or hatching visions. When I’m engaged in helping people thrive my voice shifts and my physiology changes with excitement.

If you’re really curious about “what am I doing these days”, simply ask me about my guiding principles. 

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