Pete Brand
Grand Rapids, MI

I am married to an incredible woman named Amanda and have five amazing children. I would consider myself an entrepreneur and absolutely love the challenge of building businesses. I also love the journey of personal development. I don't believe in drifting through life on auto-pilot. I believe we are presented each day with opportunities to improve and become better. I choose to embrace these opportunities and use the lessons I learn to become a better "me" and continuously strive to embrace each moment!

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Life Changing Seven Mile Walk and My New Experiment

By on August 7, 2009

Last Saturday my wife and I decided to go for a walk along the Grand River at Riverside Park.  It was a beautiful morning and although I declined when she first asked me if I wanted to walk, I am very glad I changed my mind.

We put on our iPods and began our trek which ended up going on and on for a little over seven miles.  The combination of my music, the beautiful surroundings (including Amanda), and the excellent company helped me enter into a very relaxed state of mind.  I was able to do some uninterupted thinking and I began to think about all the successful people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and learn from.  I started to think about the similar characteristics of each of these people and started to take a personal inventory to see how I had been in adopting those characteristics over the years.

I’ve been to a ton of seminars over the years and have placed an intense focus on personal development.  I know we are only on this earth for a very limited amount of time and, in my opinion, I want to make sure the time I spend here counts.  I believe the best way to maximize our impact on this world is to work every single day to become a better “product” and constantly increase the value we bring to this world.

Now I don’t measure value or maximizing my impact simply by monetary measurements.  I actually believe some of the “wealthiest” people on earth have the least amount of money, but while here, they can have a much more significant impact on this world than those people who have a gazillion dollars.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not apologizing for my desire for monetary wealth, I just want to make it clear that it isn’t all about the money.  🙂

Anyhow, while I was walking I began to think about words that I believe represent the ingredients necessary for a successful life.  When I first started thinking about those ingredients I thought I had it nailed when I thought of the first few words.  The longer I walked the the list of words kept growing and as I’ve had “mental downtime” over the week I’ve had several other words that have popped into my head and it’s been difficult to shake my focus away from this subject.

The first and most persistent word which just wouldn’t leave my mind was the word accountability.

Accountability is a very interesting word and something I thought I escaped when I chose to start my own business.  I have always been stubborn and chosen to do things my own way and figured if I owned my own business I would lose the requirement of being accountable to anyone and just do my own thing.

I know … I know…

That’s a crazy way to look at things and it couldn’t be further from the way it truly is.  Owning your own company brings more accountability with it than working for someone else.  Think about it for a second…

Starting a business now makes you accountable to the bank, your landlord, your business partner, the governmental agencies that suck money from us for taxes, your employess, your vendors, etc, etc, etc….

There is one person not listed in the example above and that is the most important person you should be accountable to.  YOURSELF!

All of us have found ourselves in a position where we absolutely know what it is we need to do to achieve the goals we have for ourselves.  Although we know EXACTLY what it’s going to take, WE DON’T DO IT!

Seems silly but unfortunately each and everyone of us here on this planet are programmed to take the path of least resistance, and when presented with the option of doing something that will ultimately award us with riches, we choose to do something with absolutely zero reward.  Not only that but when we look at ourselves in the mirror we typically justify why we DID NOTHING with excuses like….

“It was a long day at work.”


“I deserve to sit and watch the ball game.”

While pondering these thoughts as I was walking along the river I decided to start a new experiment and utilize technology to hold myself accountable and track the results.  Heck, who wants to be the person that talks about all their grand plans and then doesn’t follow through?  Not me!  The safe way is to keep your goals and dreams to yourself so you can avoid the embarrassment when you take the normal path and talk a bunch but do nothing.  🙂

I am going to spend time blogging about the rest of the words that ran through my mind over the course of that walk  and in the following days, over the next 30 days.  In my opinion each of these words are a very important ingredient to living an enriched, happy, fulfilled life.  I’m not going to spend my time telling you about my goals or tracking my progress on this blog, so please don’t think you’ll be bored with all those little details.  I would love for you to leave any comments you have on these blog posts, and give me some thoughts on these or other ingredients you believe are essential for an incredible life.

If you are interested in knowing what goals I have or how I am holding myself accountable toward my achievement of these goals you can follow me on Twitter.  I’ll be “tweeting” about thoughts I have and steps I am taking toward these goals.  I’ll also probably share some unimportant details like everyone else does on Twitter as well.

I’ll make sure to let you know which “tweets” are regarding my accountability plan by including #accountable within those tweets.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to further communication here on my blog.