People of Monday: Trevor Carlson
Every week, we tap into the minds of good people doing great things in our communities through the weekly People of Monday post. This week, we interviewed a Cedar Rapids, Iowa entrepreneur who recently launched a new business that is powered by his love of continuous education.
Trevor Carlson is the Founder of Helix Academy – a website that provides classes taught by niche leaders, providing information and how to apply it. Trevor has always been a dear friend to us and we thought it was only fit that you all got to hear all of the knowledge bottled up inside this dude’s head.
A quick note.. Trevor is offering all of our readers a pretty great discount to his Helix Academy courses.. you can learn more at the end of the article. We hope you enjoy!
Who the heck is Trevor Carlson?
I’m just a normal dude, trying to spend my time on my terms. I grew up in a small town, Ida Grove, and I got my work ethic from my Mom and Dad. (Hey guys!) I’ve spent a lot of years trying a lot of different things to figure out where I want to go and along the way I’ve realized that I don’t really know where I will want to be five or ten years from now. Things change and you change. You have to learn to take things as they come and adapt to changes as they are placed in front of you. Life is really one big experiment, test things, find out what works, and keep doing it.
What are three weird things about you?
I’ve been learning how to salsa dance for the last 5 months. It’s all in the hips 😉 I rock out in the car all the time when I’m driving places. It always leaves me with a smile on my face and an extra beat in my step. I started a new diet a few months ago that is pretty weird. No gluten, no coffee (for the most part), light on dairy, mostly vegetables, meat, and fruit. I have way more energy and am able to think very clearly since I started it but it can be a bit weird in social dinner settings.
How do you spend your time?
In the mornings, I have a regular routine that includes meditation, yoga, journaling, and affirmations. I go to the gym almost everyday to stay physically and mentally sharp. Other than work, I go hiking quite a bit wherever I can, read, write (working on my first fiction book), find a quiet place to meditate, spend time listening to live music with friends, or attending family style dinners with the coolest people I know.
What are you obsessed with?
I am obsessed with self, education, optimization and solving problems. It helps with my business but it is a double edged sword. You can only optimize so much and there are some problems that aren’t mine to solve.
What are you doing differently this year that you’ve never done before but has had the most impact on your recent successes?
In the last year, I have gotten into daily routines. To the point where I have a streak of over 100 days doing yoga. Using the same strategy, it has helped me to gain control of my work day. Shout out to Peter Awad for introducing me to the One Thing, which is where it all got started.
Why have you always put such an emphasis on self education? Did this obsession drive you to start Helix Academy?
My belief is that most problems have already been solved, it’s just a matter of finding out who solved it and how. I find the best in the world in a specific topic and digest everything I can that they produced. It’s crazy the amount of knowledge that is already out there that could help a lot of people move through whatever obstacle is facing them.
It definitely helped drive me to start Helix Academy. My thought was, “How can I get this information in front of more people and help them to understand how to apply it?” Not only providing them information but helping them to develop the daily routines to make it all possible.
What is your mantra?
How can I be the best version of myself right now? Then I do something, immediately.
In our society, what is being taught very poorly? Specifically in business, personal development, or technology? Why do you believe this?
I see a lot of really smart people getting stuck in this research phase of starting a business. They want more information before they get started. Some research is great but you have to test something or build something to really find out if what you have is what the market wants. Don’t get stuck in the we need more information phase. I’ve seen people get stuck for months or years researching before they take something to market, only to find out that it doesn’t fit with what the market needs. It breaks my heart for people when I see this happen. I don’t know if this is something that is taught or if it’s a byproduct of inaction but it is something I hope can be changed through education and experience.
If you had the power and capability to instill a lesson in any person in the world, what would that be?
Focus on taking it one step at a time and everything is going to be ok.
If you were to gift a book to someone, what would that book be and why?
The Alchemist by Paulo Cuehlo because a lot of people believe they have to be something or do something. You really don’t. You can do whatever you want and the Alchemist walks you through a lesson on following your own personal legend. You already know what you’re meant to do, the hardest part is trusting yourself and doing it. It will hurt to leave what you know right now but you have to trust that what is on the other side of that pain will be so much better.
Take us through your morning routine and break down why you do each particular thing.
I wake up and make my bed first thing before I even leave my room. I then turn on a guided meditation, I’ve been listening to this one by Alan Watts or I use the Breathe app. I have a hard time sitting down to this because I want to hit the ground running. Taking the time to meditate allows me to slow down and think vs just running around like a stress ball all day. Yoga is next and I always go back to Yoga with Adriene. I started with her 30 Days of Yoga and moved onto the boot camp. I will probably do the bootcamp over again because it was awesome. Since I’ve started doing yoga, my breathing has improved in the gym and my flexibility has gotten so much better. I usually start making tea at this point but it depends on how I feel that day. I like to try different types of tea with coconut oil and honey. I am not sure what the benefit is of it but I enjoy drinking something warm and tasty in the morning. Journaling is one of my most important steps. First, I do stream of consciousness journaling. I check in with myself mentally to make sure that there aren’t any repressed worries or things nagging me. I note any positive things I’ve noticed recently and things I would like to improve. Next, I do the 5 minute journal. It is a gratitude exercise where you note what you’re thankful for, what would make today great, and a single affirmation. The affirmation I’ve used for the past few months is, “I am a man of action, I never leave the scene of a decision without making a choice.” Everyone has something to be thankful for in life, it is just a matter of taking the time (5 minutes) to think about it. Last, I do affirmation journaling. I have 7 or 8 different affirmations I write 5 times a piece. This helps to structure where my thoughts are starting for the day. Some examples are, “I have everything I need to succeed. I am the best version of myself. It is always a good time to ask.”
What keeps you going each and every day?
My vision of who I want to be and who I am right now are very closely aligned so I want to keep going. I am the only one who has control of that. I’ve seen some highs and lows over the last 8 years since I got into entrepreneurship so keeping myself from those lows is a huge driver for me. The lows are never as bad as I think they will be but I don’t want to go back unnecessarily.
You recently launched Helix Academy.. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Helix Academy is a website that provide classes taught by niche leaders, providing information and how to apply it. The classes are diverse so they are for anyone looking to learn the information and how to apply the lessons on a daily basis. The first two classes are How to Pitch taught by Matthew Rooda and How to Build an Online Community taught by Drew and Heather Curtis.
The classes are different because the instructors are some of the best in their field. Their results speak for themselves. The other reason is that the structure is designed to create accountability and habit development so that once they are finished with the class they keep moving closer to their desired outcome.
What are the first few classes you will be teaching?
The first two classes are How to Pitch taught by Matthew Rooda and How to Build an Online Community taught by Fark.com’s Drew and Heather Curtis.
How to Pitch by Matthew Rooda will teach the different types of pitches you will need to develop, how to develop them, how to practice your pitches, and a lot more. You want to take this course if you are starting a startup and expecting to do a lot of presenting. Or if you are looking to improve your ability to communicate an idea, such as pitch a nonprofit or present a sales pitch to a prospect. Matthew has won over 300k in pitch competitions so his results speak for themself.
How to Build an Online Community by Drew and Heather Curtis will teach you where to get started on building an online community, strategies to grow it, and what to expect along the way. Fark.com has been one of the most successful online communities for the past 18 years and they are bringing that knowledge to you. These two people are amazing and I’m very thankful to have them teaching this course.
For those who want to get into the beta version of the courses use the code, onething, to get 50% off. The beta courses are a live online version of what the fully produced courses will be in the Summer of 2017. They will get access to the instructors during the four week program, which won’t be available at any other time. Head to the website and sign up by clicking here. I hope to see you there!
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