Inspiring people to Challenge the Norm

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Undeniable Passion

“Be so great they have no choice but to notice you”

When you think of Joe, you think of EMS.   Not because he is the EMS Training Captain for Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.  But because of his undeniable passion for providing the best care to our community through his dedication to learning all there is about Emergency Medical Services.

Many would associate Joe with having the same amount of knowledge as a doctor would have.  In fact, he was accepted to medical school but declined to follow his passion for providing Paramedic level care to his community.

More importantly though is the way he has passed his passion on to others.  Joe whole heartily believes in providing Paramedic level care to the community and has continued to teach others all he knows about Emergency Medical Services.  Every day, he inspires people to advance their knowledge in care for medical emergencies and trauma.  The individuals, who go on to become Paramedics, are just one piece of Joe’s accomplishments.

Joe may not respond to every medical call within the district, but the ones who’ve been inspired by Joe and have increased their education have and will continue to provide an invaluable service to our community.  In fact, it may be the difference between life and death.  Although the benefits of having an EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic respond to an emergency incident continues to be a hot debate, Joe believes a Paramedic may be able to recognize a symptom that an EMT-Intermediate may not.  In most cases, Paramedics have proven to provide better care than their EMT-Intermediate coworkers.

The legacy Joe has created is one that will continue to benefit the community.  His hard work, beliefs about Paramedic care and a team of coworkers contributed to Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District getting board approval to turn all career fire stations into ALS.

Although we will never be able to equate all that Joe Kammann has done for our community, know that his undeniable passion has inspired others to find greatness.  Joe challenged the norm and even when difficult decisions had to be made, he stood up for what he believed in.

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The Importance of Failure

“Failure does not mean defeat; to succeed you must fail first”

You may look at this quote and write it off with all the other quotes you’ve heard.  But the individuals, who truly appreciate it, are the ones who know the harsh reality behind its meaning. Challenging the norm is about greatness, the ones who are putting 110% effort into their passion. The people who are achieving success know failure is part of the equation.  In reality, if you haven’t failed and had struggles along the way, you probably haven’t achieved your optimum success.  These failures allow you to appreciate success when you achieve it.  If success was easy, everyone would be doing it.

But success isn’t easy.  It takes people who are passionate, hardworking and unwilling to give up.  They defy the odds and challenge the norm when others believe it can’t be done. Along with success, comes this indescribable phenomenon.  When someone achieves greatness they often feel a sense of accomplishment, but what is underestimated is the rippling affect this accomplishment creates.  In essence, the achievement becomes a tool for inspiration.

Furthermore, creating this competitiveness within oneself, the concept of if “he can do it, I can do it”.  Peoples achievements may inspire one or millions.  But without a doubt, it will inspire people to achieve greatness.  I can’t tell you why, but it does.  I’ve seen it time and time again.

The ones who are successful will tell you there was something along the way that kept them going.  Whether it was a mentor, quote or a story they’ve heard, something inspired them to not give up when times got tough.  When times get tough and you consider giving up, remember you’re not just doing it for yourself.  You’re doing it for all the people you will inspire along the way.  You may not realize the impact you are having on friends, family, and coworkers, but you are inspiring them to challenge the norm, also.

What tools have you used to keep the fire going? Please share them with us in a comment below.

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The Power Behind the Play

“If you had 25 million dollars, what would you do?  The real question is: If you had nothing, what would you do?”

Mike Micone defied all odds.  Ever since he was young, people have been telling him what he couldn’t do.  No one believed in his opportunities to achieve greatness.  Well, he has proven them all wrong.

Mike has built a successful career and recently launched a new recruitment business based out of Las Vegas, NV.  Mike has taken recruitment to a new level of greatness.  His company, Advanced Network Information, also known as ANI, helps employers find talented employees. But it’s his ability to find “the perfect fit” for employers, which truly is remarkable. Why has he excelled when no one believed he could?

Because of his passion.  Mike attributes his success to ‘the fire within’.  This internal competitiveness is what he believes to be the true ingredient to success.   Yes, hard work and determination also play a factor, but it comes down to how bad you want it.  Mike’s story is one that inspires you.  He built a successful business from nothing and then sold it for millions. The second business didn’t go as planned.  His business partner broke his neck in an accident and ended up losing everything.  But they persevered.  Together, Hussongs Cantina was launched in Las Vegas, NV with a second location coming to Reno, NV in April 2013.  At the same time, Mike continues to follow his passion for recruitment and opened ANI.  Mike has never given up.  When he lost everything, he could’ve walked away.  But he didn’t.  He said this isn’t how the story is going to end, and came back stronger than ever.

Mike Micone is one of those people that just inspires you.  His fire is contagious.  He challenged the norm and now was a successful career to show for it.

Mike’s words of advice: Find your passion, master it, and do it better than everyone else.  Mentors are an imperative tool, use them. But most importantly, know when to ask for help.

So I challenge you to find your fire.  Are you challenging the norm?  Please share your story in a comment below.

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Beyond your Comfort Zone

The more I talk about Challenging the Norm the more I am understanding why so many just settle for the “norm”.  It’s not simply laziness, rather, it seems to be because people don’t know what they want out of life.  People know what they like, but they don’t have a true understanding of what they love. So they continue to live their lives, trotting along because it’s what is normal.

My suggestion.  Start learning from those around you.  There is greatness in everyone, you just have to embrace it.  You can learn a lot about yourself from others.  So next time you are out for coffee, waiting in line at the grocery store, or out with friends, strike up a conversation.  Pick their brains.  Find out what they love.  What their doing to be great.  There are so many everyday leaders out there.  You may be surprised what you learn.  In fact, one of these individuals may inspire you to Challenge the Norm in something you never knew you were passionate about.

Look at Colin Kaepernick. He was good at both baseball and football, but he knew he wanted to play football.  So, he decided to focus on football because that was his dream.  He could have settled for his norm but instead he challenged it.  Now look at the success he has achieved.

I absolutely love Neale Walsch’s outlook on life.  “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending”.  Don’t just settle for a normal life.   Challenge it.  Become a leader in your life by doing what you are passionate about.  It may be scary, but just like Walsch says, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Take the time to find out what you are passionate about and what you want out of life and dedicate your time to achieving greatness by Challenging the Norm.

Want to hear inspiring stores about individuals who have stepped out of their comfort zone, Challenged the Norm, and become great leaders?  If you answered yes, follow this blog to hear more.


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The Power of One

The concept of Challenging the Norm is derived from the power of one.  When you look at the great leaders of the past, it was one person, dedicated to their idea that made them great.  All it takes is one person to Challenge the Norm, inspiring others to make significant changes in the world which reflects what they believe needs to be accomplished.  Their sheer passion for an idea, inspires others to join in the movement.  These leaders Challenge the Norm in a way that makes others have no choice but to notice them.

I’m not saying you need to be the next Martin Luther King Jr. or Oprah, but your understanding of Challenging the Norm is pertinent to your success.  Want greatness out of your life?  All it takes is the power of one.  For you to stand up for an idea and no matter how many times you fail, you get back up.  Great leaders aren’t made over night.  Rather, it is the decisions they make everyday which mold them into the leaders they have become.

Although there is always an exception to the rule, most leaders have failed numerous times before they attained success.  In fact, some may argue it is these failures in which has created such great success. I believe the difference between the people who fail and the ones who succeed isn’t how many times they fail, but more, their dedication to what they want.  Its the mindset that no matter what happens along the way, they will not give up.  These great leaders have wholeheartedly committed their lives to what they want to accomplish.

I’ve found this tremendous passion for an idea, becomes contagious.  You may not have the same desires as another person who has achieved great success but their accomplishments inspire you to achieve greatness. This mindset of if he can do it, I can do it.

So I challenge you, whatever your passions in life may be, to embrace them, to become a leader in that area, to achieve greatness.  Don’t settle for a mediocre life.  But rather, make a mediocre life, GREAT.  Do you have what it takes to Challenge the Norm? Remember, it only takes one.



What it means to Challenge the Norm

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everyday we are faced with a decision.  One that most don’t truly grasp the magnitude of. It is the decision of what we are going to do with our lives.

Our society is becoming more and more lax about what we expect from others. We go about our daily tasks, whether it be school, work, family with no true passion. This concept of simply completing daily tasks has become sufficient.  Fewer and fewer people are challenging themselves.  Saying I want to be better than I was yesterday and this is how I am going to do it, is becoming a rarity.  Do you want to challenge the norm? Or is mediocrity what you want out of life?

Well, that is where the idea of this blog came from.  People ask me all the time how a person of my age can be so successful.  Want to know the truth?  There are no secrets.  You want success?  You’ve got to put in the hard work to get it.  Success to me, is a combination of failures, determination, sweat and tears. I know where I want to go, and I know what I need to do to get there.

So when you get up tomorrow, take action of your aspirations.  Do you want to be the leader all your colleagues talk about? Do you want to be the next sports star?  Do you want to be the CEO of your company? What ever it is.  Decide today, what you want to do and how you’re going to accomplish it.  But remember, you’re going to fail along the way.  It is the way we react when these failures come along that makes us great.  So, I challenge you to be the best you can be.   To Challenge the Norm! And I hope the stories of the leaders I blog about inspire you to not only take control of your life but to become the very best person you can be.