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Welcome to episode #44 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Dan Purcell, the owner of Virgo, a software development company. He loves walking, running, cycling and mountain biking.

Top Talking Points

  • Constantly set goals in order to complete the things that you want to accomplish.
  • Set goals on a regular, consistent basis.
  • Happiness comes from progress.

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Dan at virgodev.com or getyourmarriageon.com

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast Today

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast with Dan. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss another episode and don’t forget to leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development, upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morning upgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Dan, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Dan 

Good. Happy to be here. This is great.

Ryan 

Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited to talk to you. So why don’t we start off by telling everyone you know who you are, what you do, and what your interests are?

Dan  

Great. I have a lot of interests. So we’ve got to make this quick. I am an entrepreneur, I run a software development company. And I create some apps of my own that I market and sell. I’m married to my sweetheart for 17 years. And we have six children together. Ages 16 to three. So life at home is really fun and busy.

Ryan  

You have six kids? That must keep you very busy. What are your interests?

Dan  

Lots of things. I like the outdoors a lot. I live in a very outdoor-friendly area of the country. We have really warm winters. Mountain biking, I like to run I like cycling, hiking, swimming, kayaking, all that stuff.

Ryan  

Sounds excellent. Yeah, you’re definitely the right place for that. Yes, that must be fun. Weekends must be a blast. Yes. So before we start recording, yeah, we were talking about morning routines. And you were saying that you don’t have a really intense one. But that’s what I love about this question because everyone’s got their own way of starting their morning structure in their day. And you definitely still have a routine. So why don’t you start off by telling everyone, you know what that routine looks like your morning routine.

Dan  

I think routines are really important. And just because it’s not flashy or fancy, doesn’t mean you lack that routine. So my wife and I set goals together and our marriage in a relationship is also for our family, I guess I tend to be really goal-oriented. So a lot of my routines have to revolve around what kind of goals we were kind of tackling at that time. One goal that we set for ourselves last fall was we want to get into a routine where we’re doing something kind of more spiritually connecting together. So every morning, around seven, we, I guess you could say like the devotional for us right now we’re just reading a book on a spiritual topic that we’ve both always wanted to read. And we do like a chapter a day. That’s a good routine. But prior to that, I think there’s value in waking up at pretty much the same time and going to bed at the same time. So your body has that time to rest. And it’s a regular rhythm, time for personal prayer. And meditation is really important to me. To me, that looks like going in the walk-in closet, kneeling down for to prayer also means reviewing what day, the day, and what’s coming ahead, and like starting to like, load up in my mind the different things that just tasks that have gone on, shower, shave, get ready for the day dress, we try to have meals as a family as often as we can. For us, we’re in a great stage of life where we can have breakfast with our whole family, and for most nights dinner as a whole family too. So we’ve tried to make that kind of family mealtime. And our breakfasts aren’t just cold cereal milk, we try to make them a little more substantial. So fruit, oatmeal, milkshake, or smoothie, pancakes hashbrowns. Like, we kind of put some effort into our breakfast, I get to my office. I’m like seven minutes away from my office. Even though most entrepreneurs, like me, like to work out of the home, there’s absolutely no way I’d get any work done if I worked at home. So I have an office. And I love that. Because it creates a physical separation from my work and family and it helps me. So at work, I have a routine in my morning where that’s the first half-hour or so of my workday, I step into the conference room, which is away from my desk, I shut the door. And I just have like, just a little bit of planning time. So I plan my day. And that’s also a good time for me to like, do some personal scripture study and other things that I want to get through for that day. Because if I don’t do it, then in the morning, it’s not going to happen anytime throughout the day. Planning ahead for my day is critical when it comes to work and productivity. There’s a huge difference in days where I’ve really thought through what are my tasks and in what order am I going to do them? I asked myself, what’s the one thing that if I could get done today I’d be happy about my progress. But yeah, what’s the next And then what’s the third and I tried to have three targets a day, if I could just get three things done that was that would have moved the needle, that would be a win for me. So I really tried to identify those and try to put those first in my day.

Ryan 

I like the fact you mentioned the three priorities, how do you go about choosing what those priorities are, I think that is a key takeaway, or we can start their morning with identifying what those priorities are, and make sure those get done. You compound that over month after month, and you’re going to get a lot done. So how do you personally decide what’s a priority that day?

Dan  

So for that, we’re going to zoom out a little bit, and then how to decide what’s prior for the day is I’ve already set goals for the week, and things I want to accomplish for that week. And for me, that routine looks like it’s usually on a Sunday evening or Sunday afternoon, I think through what it is that I really want to get done for the week to really move the needle on my goals. To zoom out a little more, I have set goals for my for every quarter, which works out to 13 weeks a year, I take 12 of those 13 weeks, and I say okay, for the next 12 weeks, what is the major things I want to accomplish, and outside of what I’m already doing, and for me, most of the end, I tried to just pick one, two, and at the very most three things to work on that quarter. Those things usually revolve around a new habit, I want to integrate into my life, have a devotional with my wife in the morning. Now that’s become a habit, I can now take on a new habit as it might be. If it’s around physical fitness, I’m going to work out a way to do a workout at home before or whatever it might be. Usually one of my goals is around a new habit of integrating with my life. The nice thing about habits is habits done right done well become automatic. They’re already part of what you do and who you are. And then you can now add on a new habit or break a bad habit. So when you set your goals around a habit you want to incorporate and it might be about listening better or might be about planning ahead better. It might be a habit around spending, it might be a habit around the way you interact with your children, whatever it might be picking a habit and working on that as a goal really helps with your productivity. And to zoom out even more, how do I determine what goals I want to make for the quarter, I’ve taken the time to really think through where I want to be three years from now. And to understand that zoom out to the most macro Zoom Out is I’ve kind of created a personal mission statement. Who is it that I want to be who I aspire to become? So when I when you know who you want to be and who you want to spare to be where you want to go? Then you can work on, like three years from now. At what point do I want to be and then from there, you can break it down into Okay, over the next quarter or three months or 12 weeks everyone look at it. What are the one or two things I can incorporate to make that happen down to the week, this week? What are the things I can do to move the needle down to the day? What tasks am I going to do today to help me with that goal that I set for the week to move forward?

Ryan  

Yes, great structure. I know it sounds for everyone listening, it sounds overwhelming, but you just start pen to paper and let the ideas flow. And you know, the first draft that you come up with doesn’t need to be perfect. You know you can refine it as time goes on. So thanks for sharing that, then let’s talk about your business. Let’s talk about either the hardest thing about your business and what you’re doing about it in terms of just mindset and conquering it, or a challenge that you’ve overcome.

Dan 

We don’t have enough time to talk about all the challenges. There’s a whole lot there. It’s constantly a challenge and keeps me on my toes. So I run three companies parallel, they say, Oh, Dan, you’re a serial entrepreneur. No, I’m a parallel entrepreneur. I don’t recommend it. But I have too many interests. So I just do what I do. But one is specifically is around helping strengthen marriages. That’s kind of one of my personal passion points. And I think I found a little niche to really make that into a business that can really do a lot of good. So the challenges that I’m facing there now around marketing, getting the message out, getting a good product out, trying to monetize from it, you know, deliver a lot of value and capture some of that value back in terms of dollars to keep the mission going. Things like that.

Ryan 

How do you work on it? Are you creating habits around it to try to overcome those challenges? What does that look like for you?

Dan  

Maybe I can give you a concrete example of that help? Sure. Yeah, absolutely. In order to do better in this space, I realized social media is probably a very effective way to do that. But managing social media is time-consuming if you’re gonna do it, right. So I decided I needed to hire some help, someone that can really facilitate and make really good decisions when it comes to social media marketing, do all that Connecting, responding and having just a really good plan executing a really good plan, which means that I needed to hire someone. So hiring someone became a challenge. So the way I went about hiring is, so what I’ve done is I created an app for married couples. And at that point, I had about 50,000 email addresses of my users. So I sent out a newsletter, an email to my mailing list, and said, Hey, we have an opening, we’re hiring, we have an opening for social media specialists, if you’re interested, click on this link to a Google form. And anyway, within 24 hours, I got over 100 responses. I was like, way more than I was expecting. And so I went and filtered through and then I had tons of good applicants, and I couldn’t decide on just one. So I ended up hiring two people. And then two people have been fantastic. So that was last November, they came on board. So through December, and then now it’s January, at the time, we’re recording this, it’s middle of February, we’ve been able to bring those two on board, we have strategies in place, and now they’re just running with it. And that was one big chunk of the company that I could now delegate to them. So it freed me up to focus on the next challenge I need to work on.

Ryan 

Yeah, I love the strategic approach to overcoming the challenge. And I also love the mention of delegation, because that’s, that’s really huge for any business. So Dan, let’s talk about, let’s talk about happiness. I like talking about happiness because everyone’s got a different approach to it. What’s your definition of happiness? And what’s your approach to being happy?

Dan 

Oh, wow. I wish I had some like really fancy, like, deep philosophical, like Zen answer for that. But for me, I’m happiest when I feel like I’m making progress. Whether that’s progress in my marriage, with my relationships, my children, or progress at work. That’s an I feel like I’m happiest. My brother and I were pretty close. Went out to lunch yesterday, and we talked about this topic is like, Isn’t says, Hey, you should sell all your businesses and totally cash out. Then I was like, well, then what would I do with my time? I don’t know. I know what I would do. He says, but like, for me, I am doing what I would be doing if I had nothing else to do anyway because I truly love my job. And I love the work that I do. I like creating. So that’s my happy place. Progress makes me happy. Creative Expression makes me happy. And really good relationships with people I love and care about make me happy.

Ryan 

Yeah, I really resonate with that, because I’m the same way. I’m the happiest when I’m when I’ve had a good productive day. When I look back in the day, I’ve accomplished a lot today. It feels good. I think it’s important to know what drives you. Because that’s, you know, then you can tell your day to make sure that it’s meeting up with that. 

Dan

So then I’ve got one last thing. 

Ryan

Oh, sure. Yeah. 

Dan

Fast Cars make me happy. 

Ryan

What kind of car? 

Dan

We got a Tesla, two years, almost two years ago. And it never gets old. It’s really fun.

Ryan  

Yeah, yeah, they’re fast. So I’ve got one more question for you then. And then we’ll wrap up with you telling everyone how they can learn more about you. You mentioned, routines being very important. 100% agree, you mentioned you had you have some habits that you’re working on, forming into your life. What’s the number one habit that you have you rely on every day that you can share with us?

Dan  

For me, it’s connecting with heaven, spiritually connected to a higher power. Because I realize there’s a lot in life that I need wisdom more than what I have now. And I need help and direction more than I have. Now. When I anchor to God, things can happen in life. And deep down inside, I know my value doesn’t change. Because when I’m anchored to God, I realized my value is already set. It’s fixed. It’s high, regardless of things are going well business or not. Or if we close that deal or not like when I can really anchor deep there. And then I also feel like it guides my life. I am blessed with the gifts and direction and wisdom that I can’t do on my own. With that guidance.

Ryan 

Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing. Well, this was great. Dan, really enjoyed speaking with you. What’s the best website we can send people to if they want to learn more about you?

Dan  

There are two. The first is virgodev.com. Virgo is like the star constellation. Dev is short for development. The other is getyourmarriageon.com.

Ryan  

Awesome. Yeah. Awesome. We’ll link both of those up in the show notes. Thanks again, Dan. And thanks, everyone for listening.

Ryan 

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade package. Podcast please subscribe and review and don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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