Unless you’re under a rock, you know the 80/20 concept. Said one way: 20% of your action influences 80% of your results.
Increasing your focus on the 20%, you can increase your positive results dramatically.
So let’s talk about the 3 key leverage points. (I saved the best for last).
1) Deep Practice.
Change is constant. It’s never ending. And it’s happening faster than ever. Deep Practice is highly leveraged.
Another word for deep practice is training. And anyone who has created something epic had to train their butt off in one area or another.
So what is deep practice and training? It’s a combination of LEARNING and IMPLEMENTING at the EDGE of your skill.
Don’t confuse reading a book or watching a course with training. Training includes behavior and feedback around the behavior.
Most people avoid training. Discomfort is a key reason. It isn’t training if you’re not outside of your comfort zone and risking failure.
So why is it important?
If you’re not learning and training around your area of expertise you will get left behind. No if, ands or buts. And the demise will be slow and painful.
In the “job” world – a person could learn a skill. Then repeat that skill for their entire life and retire. BUT NOT GET BETTER at the skill!
Why? Because they settled into a comfortable routine.
As an entrepreneur, you cannot afford to think or live this way.
You must be improving day after day. Refining your super power skills. Getting uncomfortable.
Why do I write so much? Because it’s a natural medium for me. The more I write, the easier it gets, and the better I get (over time). This post is part of my “deep practice” with my skill of writing.
If you’re not training. If you’re not practicing the things you get paid to do in a consistent way. Your leverage will be weak.
Remember, training and practice is not doing what you do over and over. You must intentionally do it in a way that measures, tries new things, and strives for better.
Consider for a moment. If you spend 12 hours practicing a critical skill in your business, and that practice increases your performance ability by 5%…
You’re looking at an extra 100 hours a year saved (based on 2000 hours worked a year). You’re looking at a further distinction between you and your competitors (that didn’t practice). And a solid reason and confidence to continue to raise your prices because your value has increased. Finally, your investment will pay off for a LIFETIME.
The point is – training and deep practice is leveraged. It’s one of the fastest paths to increasing your profits, deepening your expertise, and getting and ROI on your time.
Collapse time. Do deep practice.Often hiring a coach is one of the best ways to ensure this happens in a powerful way. (Deep practicing the wrong thing not only wastes your time, it can negatively effect your performance over time.)
There are two sides to the planning coin. Some entrepreneurs stay stuck in the planning stage for ages. It’s a way to procrastinate. Other entrepreneurs don’t plan at all. And spend their day putting out fires and being a victim to their enviroment.
Find a nice spot in the middle. Here is what has been working for me.
Every week create a dump list of everything you’re working on and are wanting to do. This takes about 15 minutes. I use a huge drawing pad.
Sort through the list and highlight your biggest priorities. Also sort through the list and jot out an estimate on the amount of time needed. This takes about 10 minutes.
Delete what isn’t a high priority for this week.
Delegate where you can. Send the message immediately when possible.
Your remaining tasks should be high priority for you specifically. If you have more to do than time to do it in, prioritize the most important.
A leader makes decisions.
Saying no is a powerful form of making a decision. Which of these priorities will you say “no” to this week, so you can say YES to those tasks that matter more? Not saying NO ensures nothing will get a true YES.
Take your new priority list. Keep this list in front of you each evening or morning. Use this list to chose 2-3 main targets each day.
I plan the day the night of, or the morning of. For example. Today my main targets are preparing assets for a coaching call. Finalizing some backend software connections on a recent funnel. And writing some marketing copy.
Write these priorities out and SCHEDULE TIME into your day to do them. Keep your day to day flexible. I’m not a huge fan of planning out an entire week. I like doing it a day at a time. (I.E. Plan Monday on Sunday night or Monday morning, plan Tuesday Monday night or Tuesday morning…etc..)
When you reach the end of the week – create a new dumplist and start over.
Now. Doing this is a new habit. It’s a skill. It’s a process.
But it’s leveraged.
And most entrepreneurs don’t do it. So their days aren’t focused or productive on the things that they most want them to be focused on.
In other words, they are not master of their own fate. The environment is.
3) State Management
This is perhaps the most powerful leverage point for entrepreneurs. Which is one reason why most entrepreneurs have little ability or skill with it.
When I reference state management, I’m talking about the “state” of you. The emotions, thoughts, and feelings that you are experiencing moment by moment.
I’m NOT talking about your appearance. Plenty of entrepreneurs are masters of appearing in a powerful state. But internally, they are a victim to their thoughts, judgements, self criticism, and posturing.
Only you can know the truth about your state. And even then, most people lie to themselves about how “good” their state is.
To cut through all the complexity, we can explain state management as a general state of being. In broad terms, a state of expansiveness or a state of constriction.
Expansiveness usually feels light. Peaceful. Loving. Joyful. Creative. Focused. Powerful. Fun. Relaxed. Open. Certain. Deep.
Constrictive feels tight. Churning. Stressed. Overwhelmed. Uncertain. Closed. Heavy. Cold. Shallow. Painful. Unfocused. Scattered. Indifferent.
It’s no secret that an expansive state will bring way more of what you desire than a constrictive one. Constrictive states are choices and responses to externals. The very nature of a constrictive state limits creativity, wisdom and flow. It isn’t natural. You won’t feel powerful or alive. Your mind will be debating with itself. You’ll be disconnected from your feelings and intuition.
Some entrepreneurs use the constrictive state as their fuel. This isn’t bad, but it is addictive and miserable. Eventually these entrepreneurs create fires just because they are addicted to the stress, pressure and misery. This is called self sabotage.
So I recommend starting to use expansive states as fuel instead of constrictive states. It’s way healthier to love the creative process than be forced into it by stress.
So a simple question.
Do you know how to unplug and relax and have fun. (Honestly?)
Most don’t, which is a sign that state management is an important skill to develop.
The impact of powerful state management cannot be overstated. It impacts everything you are and do. EVERYTHING.
Wherever you go, there you are.
Your state influences your relationships. Your business. Your sales. Your creativity. Your influence. Your problem solving. Your empathy. Your leadership. Your health. Your happiness. Your fulfillment. Your effectiveness. Your sex. Your parenting.
Have you committed to the self mastery of your state?
If not, I recommend that this be one of your first areas of deep practice. I also recommend that you PLAN specific times to PRACTICE this.
One of the first steps is simple awareness.
The practice of meditation helps with this. Until you can separate the thoughts in your mind from the one having the thoughts? State management will be close to impossible.
Set the intention to tackle at least one of these three leverage points.
Your rewards will be tremendous.
To your future…
P.S. If you’re an entrepreneur, husband AND father. I got something big I’ve created for you coming this week. Keep your eyes open.