What Do You Control?

I’m writing this reflecting on my football career as a high school and collegiate athlete from my most updated mindset and the teaching of the stoics.

As a football player there is really only one thing that you control. That one thing is how you show up.

You don’t control what your opponent does.

You don’t control what your teammates do.

You don’t control what your coach does.

BUT, you control what you do.

You control how you show up to every practice, training session, and game.

This is not only true in sports but in business and in life.

You don’t control what the outside world does BUT you control how you act, how you show up, and how you present yourself.

By understanding this simple concept, you can ultimately show up for success every day in every aspect of your life.

The Stoics say that if you can focus on this

You will find a fulfilling life, a happy life, an inspired life.

You will be focusing on what is in front of you, unlike most people who complain, brag, reminisce on the things they don’t control.

My First 5 Books

The Lean Startup

By: Eric Ries

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. 

Atomic Habits

By: James Clear

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

The Art Of The Start 2.0

By: Guy Kawasaki

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there’s no shortage of advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fund raising, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, websites, blogs, webinars, and conferences that many startups get paralyzed, or they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they succeed. 

How To Win Friends & Influence People

By: Dale Carnegie

You can go after the job you want—and get it! You can take the job you have—and improve it! You can take any situation—and make it work for you! Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. 


By: Malcom Gladwell

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

Who is Lior Barhai?

I was a recent college graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors of Science in mechanical engineering, fresh in the job market and on a path to average. 

I wanted to get a decent paying job as a mechanical engineer working on aftermarket truck parts. I dreamt of working on trucks and engineering new suspension parts for the industry. 

At the time I was struggling with landing a job, apparently my skills weren’t good enough to land a job. That meant I would need to grind for a few more months and settle for any job I can get. 

That made me feel like I was on a path to failure and that the sacrifices my parents made to send me to Carnegie Mellon University was all for waste. 

Then I lost the opportunity for my dream job and felt like giving up. 

Then, as if by chance, something amazing happened…

I connected with my buddy Kumar, who I had worked with for the past year on numerous projects in school. We both complained about how difficult the job market was and how we couldn’t land the jobs we actually wanted. 

Then we started talking about the idea of starting our own company, in the land of the free and live out the American Dream and everything changed. 

I was able to see a bigger picture for myself and my desires 10Xed themselves. 

I quickly realized my potential was 10 fold what I first envisioned and nothing was going to stop me in chasing and achieving them!

So we decided to cofound a company so we could tap into the agriculture technology revolution. Envonics, LLC was born in Pittsburgh, PA.

But there was still two problems…

We still had to deal with figuring out how exactly to operate a startup along with figuring out what we needed to build to be successful and provide value to the consumer. (More on this at

The second problem was as an Entrepreneur the habits I had as a college student will not work on helping me pursue my fullest potential, it will only hold me back. 

I immediately dove into books on entrepreneurship and startups to figure out how to get started. Mind you, during my previous 22 years I had never finished a book… 

This begun my journey on personal development, mind and body, as well the journey of building a company from scratch. 

I’ve read over 20 books since that day and I am continuing to push myself to get better in every area of my life. 

I have hired coaches to coach me on the mental aspect of high achievers and business coaches on how to build my business. 

This has allowed me to learn from others who have already put in 20+ years of hard work to get to where they are today. 

My mind is a sponge and every so often I squeeze it a little to share my thoughts and realizations with you.