As I do every year, I spent a good amount of time reflecting on the major lessons learned from another lap around the sun.
This last year had a lot of major changes for me – personally and professionally – that created many learning experiences and reinforcement of things I’ve learned in the past, but hadn’t kept front and center.
From that image above, you make think I was born again. No, that’s not it.
But in some ways…that’s exactly it.
The mindset of an entrepreneur is so important, and in this last year I experienced a very powerful reminder of how a few strategies related to entrepreneurial mindset can have a huge impact.
The major lessons from the year all have to do with my mindset. I hope that you’ll be able to relate to them and take something valuable from them.
Without further ado…
1. Manage your ‘state’ proactively and aggressively at all times.
This is the most important lesson from the Tony Robbins event I attended this year, which was an incredible experience that I recommend to everyone, and from the last several years of my life in general.
‘State’ can be translated to ‘how you feel’. How we feel at any given moment largely determines how effective we’ll be at whatever we’re doing – put yourself in a better state and you’ll be more effective.
That’s not just positive talk woo-woo stuff…it’s much more than that.
Think about a football player that goes out onto the field and goes through a routine before hand to make sure they have their ‘game face’ on…they have to or they’ll never play at the level they are capable of.
The same is true in every minute of our lives…in every situation. You are either in your most resourceful state to maximize that moment, or you aren’t.
You owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and your business to live in your most resourceful state as much as you possibly can.
We all experience many shifts in our state throughout a given day, and unfortunately, we can oftentimes find ourselves ‘stuck’ in negative states for extended periods of time.
Tony teaches the idea of ‘conditioning’ yourself so that when your state is negative/depressed/not resourceful, you learn ways to very quickly return to a more resourceful state so that you don’t waste time and opportunities by being stuck in a poor state.
This is incredibly important, and the techniques I learned at Tony’s event have changed much of my daily routine. I have generally always been a very positive person, but I realized that didn’t always mean I knew how to get myself in my most resourceful state.
For the last several years, I’ve spent way too much time in a ‘less-than-resourceful’ state for reasons I don’t need to detail in this post. Being in that negative state cost me…big time.
It’s only now that I’m on the other side of it that I realize just how much.
I now believe that this literally might be the single most important life skill you can learn, so I encourage to learn more about it and make a practice of daily conditioning that keeps you in your most resourceful state as much as humanly possible!
2. Don’t make important decisions when you are in a poor state.
As a follow on to #1, you won’t always be in a good, resourceful state – that’s reality. When you aren’t, don’t make important decisions.
Instead, work on things that aren’t as important (administrative tasks, etc), or go get some exercise or sleep.
Your really important decisions should be made when you’re in a really resourceful state – otherwise you’ll make decisions you regret, or that just won’t get optimal results.
3. Practice ‘total immersion modeling’.
Another major takeaway from the Tony Robbins event.
You can’t help but wonder how that guy accomplishes so damn much!? Well, there are two primary reasons:
1. Effective management of his state at all times.
Modeling is his shortcut…it’s how he takes 20 years and compresses it into 2 months.
When he wants to learn something important, he seeks out the very best experts he can find on that topic, and then does everything he can to learn and implement what they currently know (it took them decades to develop their expertise…what they currently know is a result of all of that learning).
And he does a total immersion DEEP DIVE so that he learns as much as he possibly can in as short of a period of time as he possibly can.
If you have the ambition to learn and do many things in your life – so many that you are concerned you’ll run out of years to do them (that’s my concern!) – then this total immersion modeling approach is an absolute must!
4. Never take your foot off the gas pedal of growth in the key areas of your life.
Growth is life. I know that sounds like I’m exaggerating or being a bit dramatic, but it’s true.
Things that don’t grow on this planet stagnate, and then die.
This is true in every important area of your life as well: your business, your relationships, your health, your finances…you name it.
I have realized this last year, more than ever, that you should constantly pursue growth in all of the key areas of your life – never stop!
The first step is to define what the key areas of your life are so that you are clear and conscious of them every day.
Here’s my list, in no particular order:
- Friends & Family
Yes, they all start with F…it makes it easy for me to remember!
I am constantly seeking growth in each of those key areas of my life, and I will never, ever take my foot off of the gas pedal again!
5. Focus on the process that creates the result…not the result itself.
Speaking of growth…I used to be goal-obsessed in a negative way.
As in, if I didn’t hit a specific goal at a specific time, I would beat myself up about it.
I now realize that’s a big mistake.
While having a specific destination in mind, with milestones along the way to check your progress, is a very useful tool – it shouldn’t ever take precedent over the process.
What do I mean by ‘the process’?
It has two meanings for me, one more philosophical, and one more practical.
1. First, the more philosophical definition: the process means ‘the journey’.
You need to love the journey of whatever it is your doing, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want or expect in terms of goal achievement. You only have today…tomorrow is not guaranteed. So don’t wait until you achieve a goal to be happy – be happy now!
I’m not saying you should be ‘satisfied’…never be satisfied!
But strive to always be happy with the journey you are on, or get on another journey fast!
2. Second, the more practical definition: the process is the ‘activities’ you do every day.
These are much more impactful than goals!
The problem with goals is that people create a fancy goal and hang it on their wall, but their daily actions and activities don’t map to actually achieving the goal.
The reality is that if you instead determined the activities that would lead to the goal and focused like hell on them, you’d achieve your goal whether you focused on it or not.
(This always brings up ‘The Harvard Story’ in my brain…one of the most important business lessons I’ve ever experienced. Here’s a video to explain it to you.)
To make this more clear, imagine that your goal was to grow your business to $1 million dollars per year, and you broke it down such that you realized you need to get 50 clients to achieve this goal.
And to get 50 clients, you need to write 150 proposals.
And to write 150 proposals, you need to have 500 meetings.
And to get 500 meetings, you need to make 10,000 calls.
Well, now you know the activity that you need to do every day…the ‘process’.
Make the damn calls every day and your business WILL GROW!
Or, sit and stare at the goal on your wall and watch another year go by without achieving it…the choice is yours! 😉
6. Have crazy unreasonable standards and never compromise them.
Why is Elon Musk capable of doing what he’s doing? Or Steve Jobs? Or Tony Robbins? Or Bill Gates? Or any other person of massive achievement?
It’s because they have crazy high standards for themselves and others, and they never compromise them.
This is a HARD one, but it’s a critical one if you want to really achieve anything incredible (I believe building a business falls into that category).
The far majority of the world does not what to be held to a very high standard, so you will find yourself surrounded by people telling you that you need to cool it…
…you work too hard.
…you’re never satisfied.
…you expect too much of your employees.
You must decide if you are willing to shut all of that out – which sometimes means cutting people out of your life – or if you are going to compromise.
For me, the choice has become obvious: people either come up to your standards, or you politely escort them out of your day-to-day life.
To be clear…I’m not suggesting that this is easy or that you should be cruel about it.
And when it comes to family and loved ones, you will have to be very thoughtful about your approach.
But think about it: in any company you’ve ever worked in, the people who are ‘pissing in the Kool Aid’ of your culture are so painfully obvious and so damaging that it can kill the environment for the best people, right?!
You MUST let those people go FAST.
The same goes for people that are consistently dragging you down in the other key areas of your life.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this. I love the study of psychology in general and entrepreneurial mindset specifically, and it’s a privilege to be able to share the lessons of my year with you.
I hope that they provide leverage in your life today, this year, and for years to come.
If I can answer any questions related to these lessons, please ask in our Facebook group and I’d be glad to answer!
All the best,