Learning lessons has to be the best thing about building a business and being an entrepreneur. I don’t just say that lightly either. Way back when I was a kid, I hated the classroom setting, and having to sit and listen to someone trying to ‘teach me’. Ironically enough, fast forward to now, and I’m loving the fact that I’m proactively searching for more information for my brain. Funny how that happens.
The other cool thing is that I like to watch what’s going on around me. Not much gets past me that I don’t remember, notice, or take inventory of. I’m miserable with names but I can remember people, places, movements, and occurrences like a fucking savant! With my focus on being able to produce more awesome programs and content, I want to let you in on something I noticed this year, and some things that have really shaped what I do with my time, efforts, and energy.
If you don’t capture attention then you’re not capturing much at all!
I learned this the hard way. I was too busy with other tasks, and I took my eye off the ball. I was focused on the less important tasks. But I realized it and scored my own goal. I went underground and started writing content and recording programs, and was not focused on maintaining my audience’s attention. As of the time of writing this post, I’ve since recaptured that audience.
I realized that I gotta act faster and more efficiently at the time when things pop up; PLUS looking out in front of you while also surveying the landscape will never do you any harm either. The lesson for me was that when I made a to-do note, by the evening (which was the time I was going to get this task done) it was already waaaaaay too late.
I lost my opening.
I tossed away my opportunity.
Just like a basketball player (you all know I love this sport!) shooting a half court shot. You know there will always be another chance for more, but it’s the slow burning sensation that you could have had just one more crack at the shot before you had to head home for dinner.
So to put everything in an action plan, and for you all to take something away from this, here is a list of what I’ll be doing as I move forward. I will make a point of getting more out of my conversations, business arrangements, and client interactions. Hopefully you can use something like this too in your business.
90% of Meetings Are Totally Redundant
The number of times that people say, “I think this is something we should talk about face to face.” The other thing I see is people trying to make time for catching up and meetings, only to cancel multiple times, but continue to insist that the content is something that must be discussed in person. These wasted bouts of energy have resulted in so much lost time and productivity, when I could have completed far more pressing tasks.
Look, I’m not a total bonehead, I know things come up all the time that can take you away from your task at hand. I get that. However, it’s the same usual suspects that suck the energy out of you. One thing I’ve found is that people are afraid of the phone (I’ll talk about this below), and far too often moments are wasted while trying to book a meeting or venue, only to skirt around the whole idea of the meeting. Moving forward, I’m going to deploy a 10 and 20 minute meeting solution, because with my offline and online businesses thriving, I can’t afford to tread water… unless you want to spend 20 minutes with me treading water while talking about business! 😉
You Always Have Time for Phone Calls
You’re too busy? Then get the fuck out of trying to run your own business.
Every single person I know has a mobile phone, and every single one of them uses to the point where I know they need to recharge it by mid afternoon. I know this and I’m calling it out. Oh, I just want to schedule a meeting – No! I have a phone so you and I can talk. People rely on face to face conversations far too often and build too much hype around them. For instance, here in Perth…
I have to drive into the city, find a car park, walk to the meeting area, wait for you (I’m always early), and then we have a meeting, you grab the cheque, walk back and find your car, drive back to gym/office, and then take action on the meeting.
OR just call me. It’s that easy. Too often we crave human interaction, but it ends up being unproductive.
I would rather have a meeting where I see a bunch of clients and/or friends out for a meal and share conversation; instead of the standard ‘business meeting’ where it ends up becoming 90% idle chat followed by a rushed I-have-to-get-running-in-a-minute conversation.
Full disclosure – I’m guilty of avoiding the odd phone call here and there, but I just wasn’t ready to have a conversation. I needed more prep time or simply had something else I had to do. Remember people, just because the phone rings, doesn’t mean you should answer it!
Speed Is What Makes the Deal, Not Perfection
I have noticed this for years, but I have to credit Gary Vee for this one. Everyone has their phone on them these days. I don’t know many people that leave their phone at home or don’t have it on their person (I have issues about phones and body parts but that is something for another day). Instead of just screening a message or browsing what someone said, and then putting it back into your pocket, just have this message saved in your notes and paste it in.
People will feel so much better about the increased levels of communication but they’ll also know what’s going on. If your business is communicating with clients, prospects, businesses, or other professionals (and coming from the fitness industry, I would experience all 4), then you need to use your phone to start replying and communicating.
Just like dating; if you leave a woman waiting, it won’t be long before she starts walking.
Your Health Is Far More Valuable Than You Realise
It’s amazing how easily I gained weight when I was stressed. I didn’t look after my gut health, and it’s amazing how hard it was to lose the weight again. It was crazy how hard it was to get even a 1% loss when things were spinning out of control. I think our health deserves a lot more attention than what we give it these days. Sure, I educate hundreds of people every year on health and wellness, but I think a healthy body relates to not only what you put in it but where you put it. By this I mean what you do day to day, the company you keep, and the situations you put yourself in. You can put yourself in the worst situations, with the worst people, thinking this is what you should be doing, only to end up sick, tired, and unhealthy. There is a very clear link between eating shitty food and hanging around shitty people.
I’ve been preaching for years that health needs to be a huge priority, and that people take it for granted. Over the last few months, there has been a huge rise and fall in all the operations related to my training and business due to a number of factors of which have caused me to lose sight of the main goal. Wellness. When things align, then the body operates at a level of high performance that an average person will not experience. When the focus shifted to being well and healthy (and in my personal definition that means lifting regularly, eating lots of protein, carbs, and fats to supply energy for training) things started to fall into place and improve.