Personal growth requires that we create and meet our goals, trying our best to reach success, and alleviate ourselves of our pains. We also need to sacrifice some comfort if we want to achieve focus in reaching our goals, constantly using time to our advantage rather than wasting it on non-essentials. In this episode, host Ken Courtright explains absolute growth through reaching our goals by having solid time management and getting help from others.
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This is episode 88 and I’m calling it Absolute Growth. I was doing a lot of thinking and reflecting coming home from eight days at CEO Space, which I’m at 4 or 5 times a year as a faculty member. If you can imagine, we have a business. We got 85 employees. We found out we hit the Inc. 5000 list for the third time. To say we’re in a phase of rapid growth would be an understatement. We have lots of activities, lots of changes, lots of new products coming out, and lots of old products that we’re phasing out. We’re in a massive transition and growth phase. Four to five times a year, I allow myself to be sucked out of the patterns throughout the year of habits, meetings and this and that.
I ask myself when I get back, “How do I get back plugged-in? Are there certain rules I’m living by?” I’m putting this episode together called Absolute Growth. It’s a fitting title because my brain is not quite wired like most others. I usually have a second slide in my presentation where I talk about the ADD/ADHD wheel. I’ve got about 3 to 4 of the main components including OCD. I’m a little jumbled without a to-do list. Gary Keller proved a few years ago in his famous book, The One Thing, that one of the largest killers of business is the long streaming to-do list. I’m in such an agreement.
I have a to-do list. I’m not exaggerating, but it has 4,100 columns. If you count all the tabs at the bottom, I have growth columns, I have idea columns, I have must-do columns, and I have site partner columns, it’s pretty intense. When I come back after being gone for eight days, I’ve got a couple hundred emails I couldn’t get to. The question is, what exactly should I do when I get back to get right back on the horse? Everybody’s faced this at some point. When you go through vacation, a personal challenge, and all of a sudden you find yourself, it’s almost like going back to the gym, how do you get back focused?When you set a massive goal, you've got to solidify it by asking other people to help. Click To Tweet
I want to take this deeper because on a microscopic level, a lot of people self-sabotage themselves after setting a goal. They’ll set a goal. They’ll even do it with maybe a group of management, maybe their spouse and everything is awesome for a few days, then they pick their head up and they’re no longer losing weight. They’re no longer exercising. They’re no longer hiring salespeople. They’re no longer doing whatever they said they were going to do. It was 4 to 5 days ago that they set the goal. I was taking notes and trying to put together, what do I do?
I want to run you through my routine. From what I’m looking at, I’m a little bit of Stephen Covey, I’m a little bit of Brian Tracy and I’m a little bit of Gary Keller. I want to start by saying I still run a to-do list. But because of Gary Keller’s great book, The One Thing, which I recommend everybody to read, I no longer look at 5 to 10 columns with 6 to 8 things in each column. What I do is I take the columns as I’m ending my day, I look at the most urgent and I look at the most important. Important is much more important than urgent, which you’ll have to figure that one out.
What I do is I stack them so that when I wake up in the morning, the first column only has one item. The second column has only two items. The third column has only three items and so on. As I get to column one, it takes up a whole column, but there’s one thing on it, thus the book called The One Thing. I check it off. I get it done. It makes me feel good. I move on to column two. I check those two little guys off. I got momentum. I’m in column three already. Normally I can go a whole day and I don’t get to column two. It’s not even 7:30 in the morning and I’m already feeling successful.
You know life is all about psychology. The first person you want to stop lying to is yourself. The first step of all to success is to stop lying. I feel great by 7:30 in the morning. I’m already making a podcast at 7:24 in the morning because I’ve gone through a checklist. I want to go into a little bit deeper about The One Thing. Somewhere in these columns of 1, 2 and 3 involve a to-do item that is completely focused and centered on the one thing. The one thing is about what is the one goal that you have, that you have to do?
You know because there was a moment of sanity yesterday, the week before, the month before, 90 days before, where you took time, maybe on a Sunday night or a Saturday morning, no phones ringing, no Skype, no email, no nothing, no digital apparatus, just you and a piece of paper. You sat there and you thought, you thumped, you think so you can grow rich. You thought up a plan that you know in your heart, “If I could do this plan, if I can break this down into monthly chunks, weekly chunks, and daily chunks in this moment of sanity, in this moment of clarity.”
You know this answers the age-old question by Stephen Covey, “What one thing if done consistently and superbly well, gets you everything you’ve always wanted and takes away your pain?” Everybody following this podcast can create a moment of clarity. Sit down with a cup of coffee and get a piece of paper, no computer, no to-do list, and you write down, “What’s one thing that if I did it consistently and I did it superbly would get me everything I’ve always wanted and take away all my pain?” Everybody following this podcast knows they can make that up. I’ll ramble off a bunch of things I’ve done in my many years.
I’ve done this lesson in the ‘90s and I said, “If I hire one new salesperson a month,” then I changed it to “If I hire one new salesperson a week.” If I do it consistently and superbly well, I only hire the best. I interview the best. I ask the deepest question, so I know they’re going to stick. I remember in the video stores. I’d say, “If I open one new store a month, it’s going to get me everything I’ve always wanted and take away all my pain.” When we started our web stuff, I’d say, “If I hire one more perfect programmer,” or flip it over to the sales side, “If I try one new radio station a week, if I try one new billboard area a month, if I try one more direct mail company.”
There’s always something. If you’re in constant pursuit of the one thing, you can keep adding. “If I make one more call every day, if I go from 6 calls to 7, 7 calls to 8, if I go to one more meetup a week.” Everybody knows there’s something in your company that can hit the phrase, “Tell more, and sell more.” Everybody knows there’s something in your company where you can start a date an hour earlier. “If I start one more hour earlier and I clear my emails and all my junk so I can start my day fresh.” Everybody has one thing. What I want to drop is, Gary Keller, right in the middle of the book adds five principles of which I’ve already added six, one more on top of it that everybody should absorb.
I’m going to do another episode on a little bit of psychology to cement this in. For now, when it comes to the one thing, if you can find a way to get your to-do list going to where it empowers you and you’re excited to cross things off your list and your list is inclusive of your one thing. You still got regular daily tasks that you got to do. You can’t drop everything and say, “I’m not going to clear email. I’m not going to answer texts or Skype or voicemails. I’m going to do my one thing.” That’s not rational. You still got to live your life and run your business and run your household, but you’ve got to sneak in those first six to-dos. One of them got to be the one thing that pushes you closer to your goal.First step of all success, stop lying yourself. Click To Tweet
Here’s what I did, I followed Keller. He’s got a list of five. I added a sixth one. Number one, accept the one thing. You’ve got to accept it and internalize and subconsciously that one thing, “If I do this for 90 days, there is no question. If I could swallow this pill and do this for 90 days and stop watching TV, turn off Facebook. If I can focus for 90 days, I know my life is going to be better.” Number one, you got to accept it. Number two, you have to put it into practice. You have to sneak it into the first six items on your to-do list and you have to do it. Number three, you have to form small habits. That’s why I love putting it into that first six items on the to-do list. It forces that small habit. You’ve got to set a reminder. My personal belief, you don’t need to set a reminder if it’s in the first six of your to-do list. I don’t do his number four. Number five that I do is ask for help.
One thing that I learned from Adam Markel’s book Pivot, and this is a pivot. When you start doing one thing routine, it’s a big pivot. When you set a massive goal, you have got to solidify it by asking other people to help. Why? Because when you ask other people to help, it also bridges in the sixth one, which I added, which is tell the world your goal. When you tell the world your goal, you are physically sneaking in the power of the spoken word. You are physically sneaking in the principles taught in books like Hung by the Tongue and The Tongue: A Creative Force. If you have not read, you got to read those. They’re both still in Amazon. The power of the spoken word I’ve seen in my life sometimes supersedes one through five.
I’ve removed Gary Keller’s number four of set reminders and replaced it with number five, asks for help, and then I’ve added a fifth, tell the world your goal. When you tell the world your goal, it’s like Napoleon Hill started that famous chapter, “Isn’t it amazing that a man with definiteness of purpose goes through life and watches how the world steps aside and then even comes beside and helps him with his aims.” When you tell the world your goals, it’s also a request for help and people are going to come to your aid. That’s it for this episode. I’m to help people anchor down the one thing. Stay tuned next episode for some other psychological things you can do to ensure absolute growth. I hope this helps. Take care.