Action Planning > Action


I wish I had one dollar for every time I witnessed someone making some elaborate plan on how to achieve success. I also wish I had another dollar for every time I noticed somebody making a plan to do something. I just wish I had a dollar anytime somebody was planning more than taking action, because then I would be super rich and could have more time to write this guest blog for you loyal readers out there.

I wanted to give my take on action planning over just taking action. Recently we were going to hire a sales person in our office. We had him go through typical training by shadowing a fellow team member and I overheard their conversation one day. The potential new employee was making elaborate plans on how to prospect people, new ideas of calling and ways to plan for the most “effective” outcome. I’m not saying planning is wrong, but when planning impedes your ability to take action, we have a huge problem. To say the least, he doesn’t work at Grand Apps. (Grand Apps)

It is actually a huge pet peeve of mine when people think they need to write some huge drawn out detailed roadmap on how they will get to somewhere. Do you think the pioneers had a detailed roadmap? No. They didn’t. They had a goal and idea of where they wanted to go and took massive action. They might have planned out basics like supplies for their journey, but that’s it. Too many times people are stopped in their tracks because they keep planning and planning and after years pass they never even start. I wanted to give you some reasons why you should typically take action before planning.


Momentum is real my friends. Think about a huge snowball on top of a hill. When you start pushing, you’re creating momentum. When gravity takes over and it begins to roll, watch out! It is very, very hard to stop this huge snowball hurling towards the bottom due to a huge momentum that built up from your small starting efforts.

The same rule applies in the business world, or what I like to say the Hustle World. When you get some great idea about starting a business, you start to get a sense of momentum. Some little thing in your brain is pushing you down the hill saying “start it or you can do it”. But before your idea falls down the hill with huge momentum you stop it by “planning”. You sit there and think of every single thing that could happen or might happen. To be honest, who cares? You are literally stopping the idea snowball from falling down the hill by planning for weeks, for months, for years.

When people keep doing this planning they lose all momentum and their idea is dead in it’s tracks. The snowball never falls and you’re left unsuccessful because you never even started. Listen, I have been a part of a few startups in my early career as an entrepreneur and all I can say is that momentum of taking action is real. Soon as you stop planning (everything for months on end) and just start taking action, you’ll see WAY more success.

No Clue

I also think part of the reason people plan so much is because they simply don’t have a clue where to start. When you start a business there is so much to do. You need to set up your paper work, you need to build a website, you must set up emails, don’t forget to buy a coffee machine and by the way, do you have a logo? This can get overwhelming for anyone including me.

When young entrepreneurs look at a long laundry list like this, they get fearful and never start. They think that because they don’t know where to start then they must plan some more. Let’s plan on the plan. Stop worrying about not knowing how to do something and start trying. Just take action.

What You’re Taught

Another part of the planning way too long stage is probably because some professor at some business school you attended told you that you needed some complex, one hundred page long business plan. Would you say I’m right? I know I am. I have had the same professors preach on writing a huge business plan before we start a business so we can see almost everything before it happens to ultimately help us reach success faster. I say don’t do that. I say skip that part.

What you need to do is write down a goal. Write down some basics. Write down something so basic it can fit on a few pages of paper, then execute these things. As you knock these items off your list and hit the goals, keep going. Before you know it, you will have that long business plan overtime. Just don’t get worried about doing it first. You will become paralyzed because you think that some godly figure will strike your business down before you even start if you don’t begin with the “business plan”.

How Do I Know?

I know all of this is true because I have lived this the last five years. I have helped scale a company from a basement of two people into the city’s largest company in the market with an office downtown that now has over ten employees. I did this in under three years.

I never started with a business plan. I didn’t over plan. I simply started taking action and tried to get that snowball starting to roll down the hill as fast as I possibly could. I’m not saying not to plan because that is foolish. The main takeaway message here is to not let planning stop you from taking action. I would rather see someone NOT plan and take action then plan and NOT take action. Action will win over all.

If you have questions please email me at

Contributing Editor

Chris Ake

#AskChrisAke YouTube Show



T-Mobile changes the way we see mobile plans, again.

Blog, Tech

T-Mobile in the past 3 years has been revolutionizing the way we see cell phone plans. They were one of the first to introduce plans without contracts. They also allow you to stream music without it going against your daily data limit.

Today T-Mobile made headlines by pushing the boundaries a bit more with their Binge On plan.  Customers no longer have to worry about streaming video, because it doesn’t go against your data. You do have to be in the higher tier of Data plans over 3gb a month to take part in the service, but let the Netflix and chill happen even without a tv.

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Competitors like AT&T and Verizon have stopped offering unlimited data plans which makes it hard to stream music and video when you want. Sprint and other mobile carriers always throttle their data, which makes it pretty much useless. The plan will work with services such as Netflix, HBO Now, Sling TV, Showtime, ESPN and Hulu.

According to data earlier this year put T-Mobile on top for Download speed and tech support. T-Mobile promises DVD like quality, let’s hope they can deliver and be a cutting edge mobile carrier.

Is it finally time to buy a wearable?

Blog, LIfestyle, Tech

What can you wear with anything and always keep it classy, a watch. The watch is an iconic piece that stands out and gives you a touch of style. Now with wearables the watch has evolved into a piece that holds daily information besides time.

 After a couple of years of some innovation there’s finally some wearable pieces that will make any look stand out. 

1. The recently announced Fossil Q wearable line 


Fossil is making sure design comes first with this line of wearables. The best part all of the Fossil Q wearables support both iOS and Android.

Let’s start with the upcoming Q Founder 

The most expensive on the list but with a price of $275 you’re getting an awesome smart watch. It will run on AndroidWear and work side and side with the Fossil Q app which is available on Andorid and iOS. It will have 2 options including a leather wrist and a metal band.

Q Grant 

This is an awesome addition to the wearable game. If you love the analog watch look you can still have some functionality of a wearable in a classic fossil package.

Receive filtered notifications from your favorite contacts and track everything from steps to calories all while completing weekly curiosity challenges.

The Q Revealer/Dreamer 

Fossil takes you back to a very basic activity track but brings it in a classic Fossil look. With the genuine leather and the Fossil accents it could be a nice little addition to your wrist.

2. The Moto 360 

This is the watch that had some iOS users wanting to switch to Android. It was the first smartwatch to bring the round look to wearables and now it’s on the second generation.


Starting at $299 the Moto 360 is a full-fledged android smartwatch. The 360 has features such as a customizable face, ambient light sensor, access to apps from Google Play, and the ability to listen to music wirelessly without your phone.

3. The Apple Watch 


The apple watch is most popular with iOS users because of the streamlined workflow to your iPhone. Unfortunately, it’s one of the priciest out there and the more expensive models are the ones for the design conscious.

Prices start at $349 for the AppleWatch Sport and up to $12,000 for the AppleWatch Edition.

The Apple watch does support Siri, notifications, ApplePay, activity tracking, and use of iOS apps.

4. LG Urbane 2 

LG took it to the next level with a smartwatch that has 4g LTE built-in. You get all that AndroidWear has to offer without having to be attached to your phone. The watch costs $300 but you can split it into monthly payments with AT&T.


Oh and also is one of the most stylish pieces out there. The watch is available in 2 colors gold, and silver (and it looks good). Compatible with Android™ 4.3 or higher and iOS 8.2 and later (with limited functionality).

With the updated looks, affordability and features maybe it’s time to consider investing in a wearable.

Price Is A Myth

The Hustle

Have you ever heard somebody say (or said yourself) something is either overpriced or affordable? We can all understand or relate to these terms based upon our own previous experiences. I have been thinking about this lately because it relates to my business, mainly my sales team. I also speak with many other business owners and often price comes up about their services or ours. The reason it relates to my business is because some sales reps will diminish price in seconds, reducing price with “special offers” to clients immediately after they show sticker shock. This can be a problem as it could reduce value of your product overtime. It can also reduce your sales teams confidence and your bottom line.

We now have a problem to solve. We must come up with a way to not deter from our offerings to the marketplace. But, how do we do this?

Price definition: 


  1. 1.decide the amount required as payment for (something offered for sale).


  1. 1.the amount of money expected, required, or given in payment for something.

So basically price is an amount of payment for something offered in exchange. Basically price is a man made transaction happening every single second of every single day. In today’s economy, usually the payment is in terms of dollars. The dollars we use for purchasing are only valuable because we the consumers value it. Do you think most Americans know it is not backed by gold or is only “valuable” because we think it is? Most consumers really believe the dollar is worth a dollar.

Myth definition: 


  1. a widely held but false belief or idea.

Money could be considered a myth and so can price, because in these terms we are talking about money being used for payment of a price. I understand, this is stretching the idea, but I really wanted to open your eyes and make you think. We must all realize that the dollar and price is made up and can be altered or controlled at any time if we choose too.

So how do we stick to our price & sell for more? 

This is simple. Anytime value increases, price does too. The first step to selling for more is to find the customers values. Do they value time, money, freedom or something more? Sales teams often focus on features and benefits, when in reality they are hearing their bosses voice talking about value in the background. Selling the features and benefits comes easy because it’s easy to talk about. It is something you’re doing every single day. Every customer is different in terms of what they value, so this sale will be harder & take more time. But if you understand and get this, you will see a higher close rate.

It seems too simple, I know. You are probably thinking…there has to be more. I am a firm believer in simplicity. So I like to keep this concept simple too. Just find out what they value and show how your services / products benefit their values. Do this and you will succeed!

Actionable Tips

– Make your meetings investigative. Ask many questions & take tons of notes.

– Ask them bluntly, “what do you value? Is it time, money, family?”

– Keep It Simple (remember that old sales saying?)

If you use these every single day in every single meeting, you will see a higher close rate. If you are doing this already, then try to find a way to make it more efficient.

In the comments below, tell me some of the ways you seek value & pitch to customers.

Contributing Editor

Chris Ake

#AskChrisAke YouTube Show



Podcasts to keep up your Hustle

Tech, The Hustle

The on-demand market for podcasts is continuing to grow and there’s an obvious reason why, there’s impactful free content. Content is king when it comes podcasts and there is a lot of great content out there. Since 2008 podcast listenership has nearly doubled from 9% to 17% according to

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So why listen to podcasts? 

There are plenty of startup founders, money experts, and people in your boat. People who are hustling everyday to make their dream a reality. Some people say podcasts are old news, but with the resurgence of insightful information and great content, podcasts are the secret weapons you should be listening to.

StartUP Podcast 

Let’s start with one of the most interesting podcasts you’ll listen to hosted by Alex Blumberg. Blumberg comes from the world of public radio with as former co-host of Planet Money and former producer of This American Life. The StartUP podcast puts you in the passenger seat with Alex as he hustles to start his newest venture, Gimlet Media. The podcast is exciting, crazy, honest, and of course nerve wracking. You get to hear Alex talk to investors, put time into his idea and struggle to make his idea come to life. Gimlet Media, which is a podcasting network now has 4 shows that are all exciting, weird and just the right amount of crazy.

Hustle Culture

Hosted by Carlos Gil and Tayo Rockson, the Hustle Culture puts together success stories from entrepreneurs and how to use Social Media to gain your ultimate goal. Both of these guys give you information that pushes you to keep on track with your goals.

Check them out on twitter for more insightful information

Ted Radio Hour 

Why Ted? You’re always going to learn something and usually in a very interesting way. While your commuting cut the music and learn some new things.


Keep up with the global economy in a real and interesting podcast. Talks about the economy and money can be draining, but Planet Money changes that. You will always be entertained and in tune with great content.

Startup Life Hacks

Learn from people who started their own business and learn from some of their mistakes. This podcast keeps it real and is filled with great content.

Starting My First (Successful) Business

The Hustle

Starting My First (Successful) Business

Did you notice how the title has successful in parenthesis? This was not a mistake but deliberately placed there because I am about to share with you my first successful venture. Like most entrepreneurs, I have many ideas that never launch or gain little momentum without ever really taking off. My first successful company, Grand Apps, was the first company I helped launch and scale over five years. We grew from $14,000 in sales the first year to over $1 million in sales during this short time.

(Note, I’m not bragging…but I had to give you reason why I can give you valued advice here) I hope my story is found inspiring to help other like-minded people grab some of their very own success.

My name is Chris Ake and I am one of four partners at Grand Apps.

We build mobile apps for businesses and also offer web design and social media marketing. I helped launch this company during my very last semester during university. I was going to school full time, finishing my degree, working 30+hours on the weekend and trying to start this company in my “free time”. I graduated and decided that I was willing to take a risk to start something from nothing instead of taking that tempting reward of what some people call a “job” or career. I turned down many offers and kept my focus on Grand Apps.

It was not easy my friends, seriously. I was still working those 30 hours on the weekend only making $250 per week. This was in 2011, so we are talking very recently. $250 per week gets you nothing. I was so broke I was behind every week and asking friends and family to float me rent money or food money. I remember I had no money for three days for food and had to scrape my car floor for quarters so I could get some fast food. Bottom line was I was struggling every single day and trying to remain positive that my idea would work. On a side note, I had no experience running a company because I have only had ideas before and never fully executed. Many entrepreneurs go through this stage and you often ask yourself if it’s even worth it. Trust me, I get it.

Well I’m here to stand as living testament that it is worth it. Money is not the end all be all. Money is nice, but what is nicer is living on your terms. The gift of the ability to decide what to do with your time is the best gift anyone could ever have, and I have it. So if you need to live broke for three years in order to reach your goals, do it. Below are some quick tips I will give you that you can apply RIGHT NOW to help you get to where I’m at.

Focus, Focus & Focus

I did not have this when I first started. I often focused on many different things at a time like running Grand Apps, trying to run an MLM and many other ideas. My advice is pick one business to focus on 100 percent and scale that. When you start making more money and freeing up time, then just maybe you can look at other areas of growth. But for the short time, focus on growing that one thing as big and fast as possible with laser focus.

Don’t Listen

When I say don’t listen, I am saying don’t listen to the negative people. To be honest, even your mom and dad will be negative. I remember my parents didn’t understand mobile apps or what I was doing and my dad offered me advice to join the Navy or get another job. You will also face many people close to you that will be negative as well. Friends will make fun of you or shoot down your ideas, but who cares. Don’t listen to them. Focus on your idea. Crush the business idea. Execute your success.

Just Hustle

Okay so now you are fully focused on crushing your goals and you are ignoring everything else. Your next step is to just hustle your face off. If it’s 6pm on a Friday and you’re at the bar with your friend, you are not working hard enough. I never went out during my startup phase, period. I would be working on whatever needed to be done at that moment. Hustle now, have fun later. If you are not willing to hustle this hard, you might not be cut from the entrepreneur cloth to be honest.

More To Come

Thank you for reading this article. This was a basic intro to myself & some quick tips how I started. I will be writing more deep content with how to’s and answering any questions you have. If you do have questions for me, just use the tag #AskChrisAke on Twitter and I will get to you.

Thank you for the support & look forward to helping you crush it in life.

Contributing Editor

Chris Ake

#AskChrisAke YouTube Show



5 tips for having a successful conversation

The Hustle


One of the hardest and more challenging things in life is reaching out and making a successful connection with someone. In the age of smartphones and really short attention spans (thanks 6-second videos on vine) it seems much harder to talk to someone. People seem to be more preoccupied with social media and their phones…. but every once in a while you can get someone’s attention. So, how do you keep it?

1. Don’t be afraid to be funny 

There’s a time to work and there’s a time to have fun, yes every grade school teacher I ever had, I know. Though being funny is an awesome asset to have. Most people try too hard to be serious but people love the genuine feeling of laughing.

2. Don’t take yourself to serious 

There’s nothing wrong with having confidence in yourself, but remember you’re just a person like everyone else. Everyone is trying to make the most of their situation so just acknowledge it.

3. Don’t be afraid to say “Hi” 

” Sorry seems to be the hardest word” may have been true at one point Elton John, but saying Hi seems to be harder (it’s a bad joke I know, but here’s a music video.)

It’s a hard task to go up to someone and say hi, especially when you don’t know them. Just remember again we’re all human so what’s the worst thing that can happen? I mean I guess they could avoid you, but at least you tried.

4. Be Patient

It’s not a fun situation when you’re trying to get to know someone and they obviously have no patience for you.

Try not to be that guy.

In turn try and give someone the time of the day, you never know what a conversation can bring.

5. Be Transparent 

Being transparent doesn’t mean you need to tell your whole life story it just means being honest. Try not to just say what the other person wants to hear, be open and honest to create more conversation.

Just remember at the end of the day we are all human and everyone has something to bring the table. It may not be apparent as some other people, but you never know what a conversation can bring.

Use the UnderArmour Connected Fitness universe to get where you want


The whole losing weight and staying fit thing is already hard enough. I’m guilty of buying fitness bands, videos, and literally anything that I think can help me lose weight. The past couple of months I’ve finally found a series of apps that really help me keep everything in check, as long as you actually use them.


  1. MyFitnessPal

My hardest obstacle with losing weight is keeping on a smart diet. The general rule of 75% diet, 25% exercise starts to make sense. I can’t eat crap all the time and expect to be fit (which sucks.) With the help of a curated diet plan and the MyFitnessPal app I can visually keep track of everything I’m consuming. It’s not just a calorie counter, it also give you nutritional information you need to know.

2. UA Record 


The UA Record app has a vast array of exercises and little details that make recording workouts on point. Keep up with other people on their fitness journey and challenge them. Creating a challenge with followers is easy and helps keep you on track.

3. MapMyRun, Edomondo and more

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I’m going to be honest I hate running. The MapMyWorkout series has a couple of different variations including running, walking, and hiking.

Listen, if you’re not going to run you can also track how much you walk if you’re walking the dog. Every little bit helps when starting and sticking to your fitness journey. The MapMyRun app also has an upgraded version with coaching, and live tracking.

You can use these apps no matter what fitness level you’re at and start reaching your goals.

Stay hungry my friends 

“Take Chances, Make Mistakes, get messy” — My Motto

The Hustle

The best words of advice I feel like I’ve ever received was from a little show called The Magic School Bus. I know what you’re thinking what is a 24 year old doing writing about a cartoon show that’s not even on the air anymore. Well, It didn’t hit me until graduation that this makes so much sense now as an adult.

Some of my most valuable relationships, work and achievements have come from taking chances. The other side to taking chances is you are going to make mistakes and you’re definitely going to get messy. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

How do I learn? I make mistakes. How do I get better? I makes mistakes and learn from them.

It also allowed me to understand people more. I have patience because I understand people make mistakes going through life. WE ALL DO IT.

Take the chance on yourself to be you. Be happy, be adventurous, be wild, but most of all be okay. Be okay knowing not everything you do is going to be right, not everything is going to work out in the end, but trying is the first step. Conquer your fears, live to your fullest potential with the people that mean everything to you.

So take chances, make mistakes, and get messy my friends


Do cool stuff in your city with the Do Stuff app


So you need something to do this weekend but you just don’t know what’s going on. Well, in comes the Do Stuff app and DoStuff online. Why should you actually care about the events you’ll find on Do Stuff?

Everything you find in the app is curated by people local to where you are. It helps you have a good time with people that know the city the best. 

(Credit to: DoStuff)

Find free stuff, top picks, places with giveaways and more in the palm of your hand. The app is crazy good looking and the content is engaging. You can share your RSVP’s with friends so you’re all on board, which makes planning way easy.

You can RSVP for certain events and get in free, and  keep a calendar of events you RSVP to. It really comes in handy for festival weekends like SXSW in Austin. With all the free food, drinks, and social events Do Stuff puts the control in your hands on where to be.

DoStuff is currently in 15 cities including Dallas, Austin, New York, Boston and more. Each city is unique to DoStuff, for example Dallas is Do214, and New York City is DoNYC.

Be at the coolest spots around town with badass people with Do Stuff.