5 steps to master anything, even if you feel old & tired.
1. Develop a craftsmanship mindset to develop your skill. Passion comes after mastery.
When Steve Jobs gave his commencement speech to the Stanford class of 2005, he went on about the glorious idea of following your passion.
It turns out that was a bunch of baloney.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an Apple guy, but here’s the truth…
Steve Jobs was a drifter after dropping out of college in his first year.
He walked around barefoot, slept on floors, and bummed free meals from the Hare Krishna temple.
Steve Jobs happened upon an opportunity.
Steve Wozniak asked Steve Jobs to help him with the business end of the tech gig he had going on because Steve Wozniak couldn’t stomach the business end of the business.
And that’s how Steve Jobs got started.
Not passionate about tech or design.
So, if you’re not passionate about what you’re currently doing, keep going.
I used to dread sales due to losing out to the lower bidders until I learned how to compete on value instead of price. Now I’m passionate about sales.
Think about one thing you’re passionate about right now.
Now think back to the beginning.
Were you passionate about it when you were first learning or getting started?
No, probably not.
Take the mindset of a craftsman and as you develop your proficiencies, study the best practices, and you’ll master it.
Then once you’ve mastered it, you’ll feel passionate about it.
2. Set specific goals and then track and measure your effort and progress on a daily basis.
In The New York Times article titled, “How Jerry Seinfeld Makes a Joke” Jerry tells how he has a unique joke-writing habit that he has kept over the years.
He started this habit back when he first started to do stand-up comedy.
He writes one new joke every day, good or bad, and tracks by placing a red X on a wall calendar.
He shares that this has become a key habit to help him stay disciplined and productive with his writing.
I’m also using a wall calendar. It’s a dry-erase calendar on my fridge.
Every day that I write, I enter the word count on that day.
If I don’t write, my wife and son see it.
What are your Key Vital Functions that you must develop or execute every day?
- Follow up phone calls?
- Social post?
- Weekly newsletter?
- In bed by 9 pm?
- Exercising or working out?
- Calories or macros?
Use a wall calendar or print out a habit tracker and get started.
Because here’s the thing:
Motivation comes from realized achievement.
Could you imagine going to the Super Bowl and nobody’s keeping track of the stats?
You’re playing the biggest game of your life, so track and measure your key vital functions.
As you track your efforts, you’ll feel the motivation to keep going.
As you develop a streak, you’ll start to see your efforts start to compound.
It’s no longer addition, but multiplication.
3. Intense focus and uninterrupted 5:00 am Jam Sessions.
I wrote about this in my last email, so I won’t go too deep.
But the response rate was so high, and it’s one of the steps, so I’ll touch on it here.
- 5:00 am Jam Sessions are how I built my first company before we sold it
- 5:00 am Jam Sessions are how I wrote my book How To Double Your Business, while running that painting company.
- 5:00 am Jam Sessions are how I built DYB Coach.
- 5:00 am Jam Sessions are how I’m writing right now.
Early morning Jam Sessions are so effective because the mind is fresh and free from distractions.
Without the stress and fatigue from the day, it’s easier to focus and be productive.
Plus, you don’t have attention fatigue to wade through.
Attention fatigue is your brain processing the last call, meeting, email, conversation you had after it’s over.
Your brain needs time to process before it’s cleared up again.
There are usually fewer distractions in the early morning, as most people are still asleep or just starting their day.
This can help you to get into a state of flow and maximize your productivity.
A flow state happens when your energy and focus match the activity.
7 Steps for Jam Session. (Do not skip any one of them)
1 Schedule it. Ideally 5:00 am, but make sure it’s the first thing and before the world wakes up.
2 Decide on your most important task or project the night before.
3 Solitude. Zero interruptions. Each interruption costs 11 minutes of productivity, by the time you get back into flow.
4 Phone on Airplane mode. See #3.
5 Use a countdown timer. Scarcity is a powerful influencer. Try a visual countdown timer once to experience it for yourself.
6 Listen to music with 60 beats per minute. This gets your left (analytical) side and right (creative) side of your brain in sync, putting you into a flow state. Bach is excellent for this.
7 Note pad & pen. WARNING. Great ideas and important tasks are going to come to mind during your Jam Session. Do not act on them. Instead, keep a pen and notepad next to you and write them down as they come to mind. Take a 15 break after your jam session to let the attention residue process, and then process that list.
4. Get immediate feedback from others.
The #1 key to success is self-discipline.
Getting yourself to do what you need to do when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not.
Easier said than done.
I get it.
Here’s how to hack self-discipline…
By leveraging the Social Proximity Effect.
The Social Proximity Effect states that your values and your beliefs will adapt to those that you surround yourself with.
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Here’s an eye-opening “5 Friend Exercise” I do with my coaching clients:
List out the 5 people you associate with the most often.
Then score each of them on a scale of 1-10 over 3 areas.
- Their health and health habits.
- Their financial situation (Best guess).
- Their relationships.
You should come up with a total of 15 scores each ranging from 1-10.
Add those 15 scores up and then divide the total by 15.
This number is your 5 Friends Average Score.
If it’s a 9, you’re doing really well.
If it’s 7 or less, you have an opportunity for improvement.
But where and how?
I get it, being an entrepreneur can be lonely.
But it doesn’t have to be.
That is why belonging to a peer group is critical for every business owner.
Back when we were building Burnett Painting, during the Great Recession, we couldn’t afford to join a peer group.
So, I started my own called The Monday 20. We met at 6 am at a local cafe every Monday morning.
The Monday 20 inspired me to keep going, expanded my beliefs of what’s possible and helped us to succeed while others were going out of business.
Just about every successful entrepreneur I’ve met belongs to a peer group and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jeff Bezos has attributed his success in building Amazon to the knowledge and resources he has gained from his participation in the Executive Leadership Network.
Through the ELN, he has been able to gain access to contacts and resources that have helped him to grow Amazon.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, has credited his involvement in the CEO Roundtable.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is a member of the World Economic Forum’s CEO Network.
Now, those are some rich dudes…
You’ve heard the expression: The rich get richer.
I have good news for you.
You can, TOO!
If you do what the rich people do.
Join a peer group.
There are many out there.
You may have some local peer groups that you can join.
Make sure you join one that aligns with your values.
I believe in belonging to a peer group so much that we host them, too.
We have 2 levels.
- Business over one million. $247/m
- Businesses under one million. $147/m
Make sure you’re ready for #5 …
5. Get out of your comfort zone.
I just started reading a book called The Comfort Crisis.
The premise is that we’re depressed because life is too easy for us.
Want to be entertained for hours on end?
Start scrolling social media.
While life is harder for entrepreneurs, you still fall into the comfort trap.
Here’s the problem:
“What got you here, won’t get you there.” – Marshall Goldsmith
Because each level of business requires next-level disciplines.
Moreover, if you stay where you’re at, you’ll go backwards.
There is no staying where you are.
Your business is either growing or dying.
To do more than you’ve done before, you have to push yourself beyond where you’ve been.
That’s where the magic happens.
Do what you resist.
You know what you should do, but being the boss you get busy doing other tasks to avoid what you should do.
Success is hard. It eliminates the weak.
But it’s worth it!
Stop right now and commit to doing hard things.
Surround yourself with others on the same path as you.
Commit to doing what you need to do to get to the next level.
The key to consistent growth is to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
This is where the magic happens.
- Develop a craftsmanship mindset.
- Set specific goals, then track and measure them daily.
- Schedule early morning Deep Work – Jam Sessions.
- Get immediate feedback from others.
- Push yourself outside your comfort zone.