RENEW Strategies


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Matthew Davis, CFA
| October 4, 2017

We recently finished our first Executive's Program. This article is a sneak peak at some of the content we cover during the program. If you are interested in participating in a future cohort, please email us.

Let’s get right into it: Your mindset – specifically how you think and speak – is the most important habit to master and the defining characteristic of successful people. If your mind and words are consistently focused on success, you will succeed. Think it, speak it, and it happens.

This month, I continued my study of top performers and their habits. Here is what I learned they all share in common about the mindset habit.

  • They have a great morning routine: In my last email I give 10 steps to have a great morning (see below). A quality, morning routine is something almost all top performers do. Why? The morning impacts the rest of their day. If it starts bad, it’s hard to correct. So top performers engineer success into their mornings, creating a flywheel that carries them throughout the day. Their meditation, journaling, exercise and diet get their mind focused on success. So, engineer your mornings for success.
    • They carefully manage their thoughts: I know too many negative people; which means I know too many people that will struggle for success. The unsuccessful complain – about their work, their feelings, their energy, their staff, other people. They get into and stay in a state of negative thinking and negative speaking. Top performers interrupt that pattern. When a negative thought comes into their mind they head it off, quick. They: 1) turn on a positive song; 2) step out into the fresh air; 3) write in their journal; 4) close their eyes and connect with a larger purpose; 5) go for a mid-day run; 6) meditate; 7) read their vision and mission statement (the purpose of a good vision is to inspire you when things are tough – remember?), or any combination of these. Top performers know they cannot stop the negative world around them. Rather, they master controlling negativity as it flies at them. What I have read is that, within 6 weeks of focused thought training, people can rewire their thought patterns to stay in the positive.
    • Source: The Daily Telegraph: Feb. 11, 2016

      • They mind their words: Closely related to prior point, your mind and mouth create a feedback loop – they reinforce each other in the positive and negative directions. Top performers say far fewer negative words. They choose to consciously not say negative things because they know the damage it creates in their mind and in the minds of others. One trick they use: Replace the word BUT with AND. For example, “Matt, that idea is interesting, BUT I don’t think it will work because not sharing your thoughts seems fake.” Here is an alternative: “Matt, that idea is interesting, AND…I see how my words can reinforce my thoughts and impact others around me.” Notice how AND forces you to be open. BUT shuts off conversation and innovation.
        • They recharge: The successful know that to play hard they must recharge, frequently. They know 5 hours of rock star performance is better than 10 hours of OK performance. Here are some recharge habits I have found that the successful do: 1) cooking with their spouse, 2) exercise, 3) reading, 4) and playing with their kids (dogs in my case). If their energy is low, they happily recharge.

        Working on your thoughts and words every hour of every day will do wonders in your life. You can’t just try it for a week and then give up. A small, repeated behavior over an extended period of time is the secret. You cannot go to the gym once a month for 8 hours and expect to look good. If you train for 30 minutes, 6 days a week, you’ll likely start seeing results.

        To find out more about RENEW or the IAN, contact us at, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork. Contact us at if you are interested in participating in RENEW's next Executive's Program or CFO100