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Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life with Krisstina Wise. Jay Papasan is the Co-author of The ONE Thing and the bestselling co-author of the Millionaire Real Estate series with Gary Keller. Jay also co-owns a successful real estate team with his wife, affiliated with Keller Williams Realty. Krisstina and Jay go way back as they both used to mentor under Gary Keller. Jay answers the biggest question of all on this week’ s podcast, “ What is the ONE thing?”
You can also click on the time stamps below to jump to those specific points in the conversation.
What We Covered
- [03:15] – Both Jay and Krisstina were mentored by Gary Keller.
- [06:55] – You don’ t have to personally hang out with Gary Keller or another ‘ high-profile’ mentor in order to learn from them. These people are easily accessible! Read their books.
- [07:45] – Who is Gary Keller?
- [13:25] – Krisstina discusses what she has learned from Gary over the years.
- [17:45] – So, what IS the one thing that you must focus on?
- [19:20] – What inspired Jay to write the book?
- [23:05] – Gary was very clear that he did not want to write a ‘ timely book’ ; he wanted to write a timeless book.
- [27:15] – If you can give 100% of your effort to your top priority, you are as productive as you can be.
- [27:40] – Most people don’ t know what they want, so this makes it harder for them to define what their success is.
- [30:40] – But, there’ s never just that ‘ one’ thing!
- [31:55] – Why is it so hard to focus on one thing?!
- [39:00] – We can always be better and we don’ t have to be perfect.
- [39:55] – Is there a formula for how much focus time is the right amount of time for the brain?
- [42:30] – Is technology a distraction?
- [50:50] – Where does the one thing fit in when we’ re living these busy and crazy lives?
- [01:00:15] – What are Jay’ s money beliefs and how does he organize his life around money?
- [01:05:15] – The ONE Thing has sold 800,000 copies after 3.5 years since its release.
- [01:06:00] – Has Jay ever experienced an incredibly low moment in his life where it forced him to question everything?
- [01:08:55] – What’ s one myth out there that Jay would like to bust?
[Tweet “He has access to the greatest minds, but he points to his bookshelf.”]
[Tweet “Success is getting what you want. It’ s not about money or career achievement.”]
[Tweet “If we just let our brain survive, we’ re never going to thrive.”]
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Read the Transcription!
You are at the intersection of wealth, health and happiness. Welcome to The WealthyWellthy Life.
Hello, and welcome to The WealthyWellthy Life, the show about becoming wealthy without sacrificing your healthy. Each week I interview a countercultural thought leader to bring you a unique millionaire mindset. I’m Krisstina Wise, bestselling author, millionaire coach, and your personal guide to money, health, and happiness.
Today I tackle money wealth with Jay Papasan. Jay is a vice-president and executive editor at the largest real estate company in the world, Keller Williams. He is the co-author of the Millionaire Real Estate Agent, which became a national bestseller in 2004, and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times. Most recently, Jay co-authored The One Thing, which garnered more than 250 appearances on national bestseller list and was ranked number one on the Wall Street Journal’s hardcover business list.
Jay and I more or less have grown up in business at the same time over the past 20 years. He’s a friend and he’s a chuck full of money-making advice. If you want to know millionaire secrets, then you’ll want to listen to this episode. Enjoy.
All right Jay, it’s so much fun to be here with you today. Thank you for taking time out of your one thing busy schedule to chat and have a conversation.
Thrilled to be here. It’s promoting and supporting The One Thing is very much part of my one thing still so this is perfect alignment for me.
Awesome. Well, you and I have known each other for a long time.
In fact, I’m not going to say it on air because it will really age us both, but I think we really started our careers about the same time, and so we were kids more or less when we started and we probably thought we knew a lot but at that time looking back, I know I didn’t know much. What about you?
I think when I look back on today in 10 years I will think that I knew – I thought I knew a lot then but now – Well, as long as you’re growing it’s always going to feel that way.
You’re right. That’s one thing I really have loved watching your success. Again, we started very much at the same time but it’s been really awesome to be watching on the sidelines and just see your huge success, your personal growth, your professional growth, your accomplishments and it couldn’t happen to a better man. You’re just a good guy.
Thank you. Thank you. We share a similar mentor. We both got to learn from Gary Keller early in our careers, and we were smart to take away some really good lessons and apply them. A lot of people listen and I know that you’ve been living it. It shows in your health and wealth and everything else, to your teaching, and then you’ve brought your own traits about. Then, I just think I’m – We’ve been following a similar game plan which is why I think there is that affinity going on. It’s mutual.
Well, thank you very much. I think that’s a really great place just to jump in and start the conversation because I think maybe there is a lesson there. You and I both did it. I mean we both started with Gary Keller early in our careers, and I think I know based on the time I spent with him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He shaped my thinking. He shaped my knowledge and understanding of business and entrepreneurship and success. I mean he pointed me to books to read. Some of it was very direct, a lot of it was indirect but I mean I can say without any hesitation whatsoever, he’s been one of my mentors and made a huge impact on my long-term success. I’m guessing the same for you, right?
Yeah. I mean you’ve had the chance to hang out with lots of successful people too now. Gary is I mean one of the most successful people I’ve ever been in the room with, but he’s also very purposeful. And so, it’s not a random book. He’s not suggesting whatever happens to be on the bestseller list. He’s one of those people that his biggest gift and that’s one of the reasons The One Thing resonates and continuous to is really his ability to identify the biggest issue and focus on it. In different periods of his life and I have watched this and learned, when he’s dealing with the health issue, I’ll watch him, he’ll get a stock of books, whatever the best information he can and he’ll just methodically go through it all, and try to take the best of all of those ideas and then say “Now, what do I believe on this?” He is a model builder, right? He builds his model of thinking and he’ll let that govern his life until another model proves better. You and I got the benefit of being able to start with some of his models. I don’t know about you, I feel like this is true but then I try to then add to those as we go. I just think that the more I read about what we call models, right, which is the best practice, and it could be an amalgamation of a lot of different people’s ideas, there’s a lot of people who have a lot of success who look at the world this way. There’s this like weird paper – Do you know who Charlie Munger is?
I don’t know the number but it’s like Charlie Munger is like 100 mental models. He’s an investor but he identified all these truths about life and their psychology, it’s geology. He said that you have to kind of understand all of these things to be hugely successful. He assimilated them under one roof. It’s like you can find it. It’s like a white paper out there. I went through it and there is someone investing, and there is someone relationships, and I’m like “Yeah. I think people who are purposeful about their success, they are always looking for these things. I’m just going to call them models. I won’t know what they should be called, but they are really helpful when you can identify with them and put them into action.”
Yeah. How much value there is to be especially a younger adult that’s starting their career. Or it doesn’t even matter age really, but how much is there to learn from observing those that have succeeded or are a little bit further along in the path versus trying so hard to just work ourselves and figure things out. There’s just so much knowledge that can be transferred through observation or offering to help or you know like I said sometimes mentees look for direct mentors but so much can just be through observation versus thinking you have to have somebody’s time. You and I think you know we both studied under one top mentor and others but Gary has been that to both of us.
I’ve read it and I’ve actually had a couple of friends say it. We talked about mentors. You say you don’t actually have to hang-out with Gary Keller to learn this stuff. I could take my camera but I’ll probably drop it but my bookshelves are covered. I had a friend once say “I’ve got 24/7 access to the greatest minds in the world” and he just pointed to his bookshelf. He said “It’s really a gift that if you’re willing to be a mentee at any time, you can go say it to me of Aristotle, Socrates. It didn’t matter who it is, right. Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett, Gary Keller, Krisstina – you have these people. We can access them and then assimilate that information. That’s definitely been my game plan. It’s nice to see someone as successful as Gary role model as well.
Absolutely. Who is Gary Keller? Much of my audience would know who he is. Before carrying on who the hell is Gary Keller?
Gary is my writing partner and we’ve authored a number of books together. His claim to fame is a little company called Keller Williams Realty. It started here in Austin Texas from single office, I guess that was in 1983 or 84. Today, there is over 150,000 agents around the world, and it’s the largest in the world. He has become a little bit of an icon in the real estate industry. I think you and I both know that he’s fundamentally a coach and a teacher and he just happen to apply that in real estate. That’s why he’s an author and that’s why I’m on for this gig because writing has been my thing for a long time.
Tell me your story. Tell us your story. What was life before, let’s say Gary Keller and Keller Williams? Are you a writer by background, by training?
Yeah. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. I love books growing up. I tried to write my first book around age 12 by my mom’s typewriter and tried to rip off a combination of The Hobbit and Conan, the Barbarian. I remember trying to type that sucker up my bedroom. It was all borrowed ideas but the instinct was there. I wrote stories in high school. I was an English major, got a graduate degree in writing and creative writing. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a professor or an author but I knew I love books. I even worked in bookstores in college. I became an editor in New York. So books are the theme from the very very early age but I had to meet Gary Keller when I relocated to Austin, Texas to really jump to the other side and not be an editor anymore. I saw that he wanted to write books, I edited bestselling books in New York so it was a logical partnership in a small company. We started writing together in 2002.
How did you guys meet?
Well, I was working in his company. When I moved to Austin, there was a couple of scholastic publishers and I’d come from HarperCollins, I was a little spoiled. I didn’t really want to work in scholastic books. I wanted to work with what they call adult trade, and that’s all the bestsellers, right, business, non-fiction, self-help, that’s the general population books and I’ve been in that for six years. I was like, “Okay, so I’m not doing that anymore.” and I took a job as a tech writer, a chance to write. I was interested in technology. It was like my wife kicked me out of the house. She was like “You’re an introvert. You need to go get a job and start meeting people.” I was like “Okay.” And so, I took this job. I mean back then there were only 27 employees, and I think 6700 agents. I joined in 2000, so now people can do the math on me. Two years later, after kind of bumping around this strange little company with a lot of education, a lot of entrepreneurialism which also attracted me is when I bumped into him in the bathroom and said “Hey, I hear you’re writing a book.” He remembered I used to write in publishing, and that’s what started the ball rolling.
Wow. Yeah. Then, what was the first book that you all wrote together?
The first book was called the Millionaire Real Estate Agent. I remember him pitching it to me and 13 other books. He had a big vision. It wasn’t just a book. It was going to be a franchise, right. You know Rich Dad or something. I had that publishing mentality. I was like “Well, there’s like a million realtors. How many of them read?” I said “If you do really well you’ll sell 50,000 copies.” This is like no credit to me. Our co-author at that time, Dave Jenks and him were the thinkers. They knew the industry and I was there to help them put it on paper. We did it in about 90 days, we wrote that first book. It sold a hundred thousand in its first year, all without any publisher’s help. Then, we got picked up by a publisher in this summer, so that was in 2003. January, we launched it. This summer we passed the million copies sold. So much for my prediction of 50,000 copies.
That’s how you and I actually met, was because I was actually one of the mega agents featured in the original copy. So then, that book was really I think so impactful for the real estate industry because that’s what Gary was doing with a small team at megacity called at that time. He was such this model searcher. What are the common models like what’s the same across the board? There’s all these random successful real estate people that hugely outperform market standard. What are they doing in common that we can create a model out of it that others can follow?
That’s it. You’re nailing it. I mean that’s one of the reasons I like working with him. It’s not Gary Keller’s thoughts. One of the books we modeled was The Millionaire Next Door where they interviewed all the millionaires and asked what they had in common. That really resonated. It’s not an ego book. I think in life when we talk about model in the beginning of this conversation, if you wanted to know how to do something, go find five or six people who have done it well and look for what they have in common, because what they have in common tends to be stuff that everybody can do. When you are selling real estate, I’m sure that there are things that you brought to the table that were uniquely your gifts and it will be very very hard for me to emulate. But there is probably the 80% of the stuff that you did that made you successful but I could copy just right from the beginning. That’s what we strive to find in our books. I love it you just said that because that is absolutely at the heart of our approach, what do really successful people have in common and that tends to be something we can all do.
Another thing I learned from that period of time is watching Gary produce this were like Oh man, he’s collecting these models and distilling it down to what’s the same across the board that made it very easy then for us to have a model. I mean we were just doing things, then we could now follow the model to even be more effective, more efficient, more intentional about knowing what we’re doing versus just doing and somehow it works. That was really so big I think for all of us megas at that time. There is another thing that Gary did for us that I think is still very fundamental and such a common ingredient of success is Mastermind.
Masterminders, like everybody of course has heard the term before but like a true mastermind, and it was so powerful. What Gary did is he brought us all together and asks us questions and fed us back these models, but then we were talking what am I doing differently than another mega in Florida, another mega in California or so and so forth? I was able after every single mastermind, I’m like “Man, I would have never thought of that.” That actually is very easy to implement, I just would have never thought of it. By sharing and vice versa, so by sharing some of these ideas outside of those very unique things that Krisstina does that other people couldn’t, every time we got together my business would go up and that was like a true – my first introduction through a true mastermind, this brain think, this collaborative conversation where everybody wins by sharing ideas and asking questions like “That’s great but what can we even do to blow us all up?” And Gary created that space.
It was new in our industry. I’m sure there are other people who have done some of that but it was the first – my first experience with it as well. I guess Napoleon Hill, is he the one who wrote about it first when two of the minds come together, a third mind is created, a mastermind blah-blah-blah. So, it’s been around for a long time. What I think really his approach and I’ve seen it in a few others, the fact that we started with the millionaire model for our industry, it gave everybody a common language. When you come together and you’re saying “Well, what’s your marketing expense? What are your marketing expense?” We actually knew we were comparing apples to apples. I think that common ground in the mastermind was one of the things that he insisted on because he’s just so pragmatic. I sympathize there. It’s like I want to know that we’re talking about the same thing. Are we talking about profit here or gross revenue? We’re going to define the stuff and then we’re going to exchange ideas so we were informed about what we were taking back home for our business. We do still do them four times a year. That one coming up later this month, then it’s always a growth period. Because we got people like you top top top people in our industry. Today, the bar to get in the room, it used to be I have no idea what it was when you were there but now like a million in GCI will not even get you in the room. Million in gross revenue won’t even get in the door. I think it’s getting close to two million which was unheard of 10 years ago.
Oh, my God.
I know. It’s fun. The opportunity in that industry and in so many, the world is becoming I believe more entrepreneurial. The big corporations are going to stay but the opportunity of the individual, and this is like a very deep seated value belief. For me, that is one of the things that technology has done, is it allowed people to build very real wealth and businesses independently of those. You just see these opportunities for these small businesses get bigger and bigger. That to me gets me jazzed. I loved that.
Absolutely. There is just so much power in coming together and surrounding yourself by a lot of other bright minds and even those that maybe, you know if I committed a million, I want to hang around with those that are doing two million. So much the time we’re behind our devices, we’re not getting together at these masterminds, we’re not learning, we’re not reading the books like you talked about earlier, studying the models. We’re just working really hard trying to pound out the next thing on the action list and we’re distracted and all over the place. I think that really takes us to the next part of the conversation, is that you all did several books but your latest and most recent work together has been The One Thing, so what is The One Thing?
The One Thing is – We could’ve called it focus and nobody would’ve bought it, right? The fact that they had to ask what is the one thing, I think was a good choice on our part but it really is about how do you identify the priority and how do you actually commit to it? In my experience now, we spend five years researching the book and I have now gone three years teaching it and sharing it, a lot of people know what their one thing is, and they feel guilty for not doing it. What’s become apparent to me is we do have to ask the question to get the answer. A lot of us kind of walk around vaguely guilty for not doing that thing for our health, or for our spouse, or for our business not consistently enough. And so how do we put real energy behind our one thing? I think we lay out a framework on the book and we can go as deep into that as you want but it comes down to a commitment of time and action and how do you just you know the very simple framework make that happen every day.
What was the inspiration behind this book? Because everything that you all have done historically was in real estate and was really organized, you know it was all for the real estate agent or the real estate investor but it was in the context of real estate. The One Thing is not real estate, it’s across the boards. What inspired this book?
It’s a productivity book. Yeah. It came out of real estate, imagine that. We were writing a course for first year agents. Goal was to get them to 36 transactions, which is where at that time, you know just a little inside baseball. We thought they could hire their first full time employee. The course is solid. We knew what they needed to do, but Gary is like “You know I’m going to take this on for the weekend and write a little introduction. I just want to spice it up.” And literally, I mean he just went home on a Saturday morning, knocked out five or six pages of a chapter for a course and he called it the power of one. I remember like I’m getting chill bombs thinking about reading that because it was all written out longhand, I was sitting there with him and Dave and I just said “You realize this is a book.” He goes “Yeah. I thought that as soon as I was done.” It is like I think I said before, Gary is a smart guy but that’s not what has gotten him his success. You and I both know his physical issues. He’s in great shape but he can’t throw 80 hours out of this week. His body doesn’t have that stamina, he’s been very upfront about that. The gift of that was that if he did not identify that priority, he may not have the energy to stumble onto it later. So, to be really successful, he had to live the 80/20 rule at a really high level. He just laid it out in a really interesting fun language. Right there, we said “This is a book we’re going to write.” I considered that ground zero for the book. About four years, ten months later, we launched the book. We did a lot of research because we were aware we had a reputation for being a thought leader in real estate but we had not earned that in business. We can’t just say “Oh, it’s Gary Keller.” Like you said, Maya Honiss doesn’t know who Gary Keller is and he’s already number one in our industry. That’s inside baseball for them. He has got a method. He’s made it very simple and so we just started breaking apart one of the myths that keep people from really going all in and what are the techniques that really accelerate that towards not just from being productive but to mastery. This is a book that absolutely transformed my life. I was aware of when I had been productive and now I was really aware of when I wasn’t because the big difference is we come home we’ve done a lot of activities but it hasn’t necessarily been productive. Activity and productivity, you know this, they are very different things. It’s really about how you approach your work.
Two things there based on what you just said is one, it’s not like this is a great idea and you guys just wrote it in 90 days and threw it out there. This is research. This is modelling. This is – what did you say? Four years? So there’s really a lot–.
It’s almost solid by the time we were done.
So you know very serious about this. Tell us a little bit about that. Again, the book is so good and now I know why. Really, because it wasn’t just thrown together and so many books are thrown together these days. It’s like get out the next book, the next book, the next book, and now there’s ghostwriters. I mean the publishing industry now that you can do self-publishing it’s really changed the quality of so many books even if they hit top seller, you know good marketing can get you there but this is a great book. A life changing book. Like a timeless book.
Thank you. I’m crossing my fingers on that one. We hope so. We did try to write it. That is something that I again will credit to Gary. This is people being like “Okay, I’m going to borrow to say “Good job Gary again” but it’s true. I remember him saying “Let’s always try to be – we never need to be time linked.” A lot of people try to write timely books. Little publishing aside from a guy who’s been in the business for 20 years, and that is the nature of a lot of bestsellers, right. You have the Benghazi scandal and so let’s rush out the Benghazi book. Trump is running for president, how many books can we publish right now while he’s – they are very timely. Gary was very clear, “You guys, I want to write timeless books.”There’s no guarantee but if you approach it that way then you start asking different questions and there is no rush to the press. You’re just trying to say to be timeless it has to be a bigger truth. It can’t be about this year. The One Thing was a five-year journey because we were really trying to do that and also trying to make sure that we were valid. You couldn’t just make it about our experience. We read hundreds of books, white papers. I have six inch binders still on my floor that are just full of white papers. We divided it up by chapter. We had two full time researchers and their task was if you can prove our hypothesis, great. If you could prove it wrong, great. But we want to know everything around multitasking. We want to know everything around will power. Then we’ll see if our hypothesis is true and then we would write. The actual writing of the book did happen fast. It was the researching that was just a sloth.
The book is not that big either so it started, you know this big with all these research and papers and studies. Then distilling it down to this, oh my goodness.
I could tell you like a little fun story. When we turned in the main script, right, we were living this so deep in it – the main script was over 440 pages long. Our publisher, Ray Bart, he only does one book a year which is why we wanted to do it with him, right, The One Thing, one book, he’s all in. He goes “Guys, when someone buys a book called The One Thing, they don’t expect the doorstep so we’ve got some work to do.” We apply the principles on the book, right. If we can only tell them one thing here, what is the most essential thing? It was painful. We cut over probably 200 main script pages before we actually put it into design and copy editing, but that made the book so much better. I was just laughing with a friend. I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferris’s but his books just keep getting longer. They’re becoming reference books.
Because he’s Tim Ferriss, people will still read them or refer to them and be proud to buy them. I always imagine, because that’s closer to where I am the entrepreneur or the professional with kids, and when they get home and the kids are in bed and they finally have that tiny window, you know 60-90 minutes, maybe I’m going to watch a Netflix movie with my husband but if I’m going to read, I’m going to look at that book and I’m going to say how far can I go? It needs to feel easy. We made great effort for a lot of wide space in the book and to let people make progress and give them lots of places to stop. So we went on the opposite end of the spectrum and tried to write a short concise book that was really packed with depth.
Wow! I think you succeeded there. You said earlier the productivity activity is not productivity. Again, this isn’t new stuff.
No. Nothing there is.
Distinctions are important. When you say productivity and the word activity, what are the distinctions for these? What is the difference? What is productivity, really?
Productivity means you’re doing actions within your core priorities, right. Our fundamental belief is that the definition of the most productive you can be at any given moment means that you’re making progress on your number one priority. If right now this conversation is your number one priority, then right now you are being as productive as you can be. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that. You don’t need a Venn diagram. You don’t need an app that scores every activity. You don’t need to be meticulously tracking your minutes with the Pomodoro clock. I mean those are all techniques to get to the same place often but if you can give hundred percent effort to your top priority, you’re as productive as you can be. And so, we try to define a few things. Productivity, that will be our simple definition in success, right. That’s the big goal. We just made it as simple as possible. Success is getting what you want. It’s not about money. It’s not about career, achievements. It’s not about plaques or awards. You know what’s funny? That simple definition sends people for loops because you know what? Most people don’t know what they want. That’s the challenge. You can be as successful as you want to be if you just know where you want to go because getting there is often not as hard as people think but you have to choose otherwise you’re just going to zigzag, zigzag, zigzag and it’s going to be hard to say that was successful.
Well, then there is this feeling, is that I’ve been very busy today and I’m tired at the end of the day. And oh, my God all the phone calls and emails and text messages and holy crap, I didn’t… you know. I’m just exhausted and really if it doesn’t get us one step closer to getting what we really want because we don’t know what we really want is just another day of a bunch of activity and we wonder at the end of any period of time why aren’t we closer to that something that we don’t know what it is that we want in the first place you know.
I was joking with your assistant and we wrote about this in the millionaire real estate agent, the day before vacation miracle. I’m literally going on vacation for a little bit longer than a week tomorrow with my family and like started last night, right. I got home from work. I started looking at the laundry. I started thinking bag’s packed, what has to be washed? Do we have a cat sitter? You start getting very very very efficient with what you will or won’t do. I’m not flicking through Facebook this morning, right? I’m not goofing off on Instagram, my little guilty pleasures. They don’t show up the day before vacation because I got a very clear purpose today. I need to get all of these things that have to get done so I can go on vacation and not be looking over my shoulder. Everybody experience that, right? You get the dog to the place where it can be boarded. You stopped the newspaper. You get all that stuff done and you still have room to pack and maybe watch TV and have dinner with your family because you didn’t do all the stuff that didn’t matter. How can we act a little bit more like that? That’s not sustainable all the time, right? How can we get a lot like that most of the time or even half the time? That would be an amazing life. I think that’s the goal for us, is if you can be in a business week for a business person, about half of your time was really on your priorities, you’re going to be so successful, it will be tough to handle.
I think I read something someplace that priority used to be priority and it was just a priority and there was a definition to the one thing which is the priority. Now, we have priorities.
It’s in the book actually. That was one of those like we are – I’m an English major, right, and Gary is a little upset. We want to know what does this word mean? We looked it up and the Latin root means first. How can you have multiple first? That’s the disconnect but we absolutely – you know it used to be you have a priority and we’ve definitely made it plural. I get it. Let’s go to that argument right now. There is never just one thing. I’ve got two kids, right? I’ve got a spouse. I have parents. I have multiple priorities but in any given time you can only have one. When I’m at home and I’m reading to my kids that’s a priority. I don’t need to be checking out the football score on my phone, right? Or with my date night with my wife. I need to be present and there with my wife and not worried about like who broke dishes in the back of the restaurant. I think that in any given moment and that could be a week, a year, like in this year in your business you’ve probably one priority that outweighs the others and that should be where most of your energy goes. Yes, there are multiple priorities in the grand scheme, but as we conduct our life we need to be moving from priority to priority with purpose. Does that make sense?
Yeah, and that’s really well said. Multitasking. I mean again it’s nothing new that multitasking, productivity and multitasking do not go hand in hand, and multitasking productivity is a myth but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to stop multitasking. Why is this? I mean really let’s think about this. Doesn’t like the one thing sounds so freaking easy? I mean it’s one thing. Why is it so darn hard to focus on one thing? It should be the easiest thing in the world to just choose one thing, but why is it? Is it like distraction is so easy. I’m pretty darn focused and I can get hold over here, and hold over there and the next thing I know is the end of the day I’m like God bless like really, I didn’t get anything done that’s really impactful today and multitask. I mean again I’m pretty darn focused and I’ll find myself in multitasking behavior sometimes. It’s like I have to remind myself to stop. What’s going on?
All right. That’s a great question to ask and answer. What’s going on? Fundamentally, we’re made to multitask. There is a reason why it’s there but it comes from a very primeval place. When our hunter gatherers back in the day were walking through the tall grass in the savannah and they were focused on the deer they were stalking, if they couldn’t notice the predator, the sabretooth tiger creeping through the grass, they wouldn’t have survived. We are absolutely genetically wired to notice distractions, right? That’s just a fact. That’s a one way that we can take it a little easier on ourselves. Now, the reality is the people who make our phones, people who program TV, and everything around us understand this and they are absolutely manipulating it. All those notifications on your phone, your eyes go to your phone, right? The little ding, whatever that is. You get a little message on your screen that says you have a new email. Well, you might have just lost 30 minutes of your day because “Oh, that’s from mom. I wonder what mom wants.” And so, we have to learn to selectively shut all of that out. It’s not just an active willpower in your mind. You have to be – we call it finding a bunker. If you were to make a list of all the stuff that you had to do today, we would teach you of all the things that you could do identify the few that you really should do, there’s priorities buried in that to-do list, and then number them. That usually doesn’t go beyond five. Here’s the wisdom. This whole battle on multitasking, I just want you to fight it when you’re doing number one. When you’re doing your number one work priority, don’t multitask. I shutdown my email. I shutdown my other screens. I fight every time I upgrade software or my phone, I have to go back and turn off the notifications one app at a time. It’s a total pain in the butt, but when I’m writing which is my one thing, I don’t need to be distracted by one of my kid’s games saying feed the dinosaurs, right? You have a new Pokémon or whatever it is, I don’t need that to knock me out of my focus rhythm. It starts there. Have you ever read Cal Newport? He wrote a great book called – I’m looking at it – Deep Work. He’s a real scientist. His hypothesis is that being focused in those little spurts – it’s a muscle – you can then start to do it in other places once you learned how to do it but most of what we do today, every time you’re bored we pull out our phones and we stimulate. There is a little burst of dopamine that comes with that so it’s a very addictive behavior. The more that we do that, we’re actually training ourselves to be even more distractible. So, just picking an island. You know when I’m reading my book to my kids, when I’m on dinner with my family, like where are the places where I’m just going to make a stand. Those should be around your top priorities and I believe there is a halo effect. If you do that, it starts to allow you to do it more. Everything in our society is pushing us the other direction right now. Sorry, I was just so affected by this issue, I admit it. I’m guilty of it but I’m passionate about it too.
You said so much in there. So much good stuff. I mean so many nuggets. One thing you said that I think is really important even early on when we’re talking about models and truths, like there are these truths. In biology, it’s truth, right? There is truth in nature. Gravity is a truth meaning human nature, will power can’t fight it because it’s the truth. That’s why I really observe the word what are these truths that I just need to accept because all my desire and willpower in the world is not going to make one teeny-tiny bit of difference other just waste my energy. So, understanding that our biology is multitasking I think that can really help people just knowing that always not that I’m just ADD or that I can’t focus or man I’m just not ever – I’m a failure because I can’t seem to focus. It’s understanding first like no we’re all built this way. I think just that understanding alone can make a big difference because they know it is biological, what can I do to hack my biology in a way in order to protect myself from my own self really. It reminds me one of my favorite neuroscientist, one of my favorite neuroscientist, his name is Robert Cooper and so he really breaks down the study of the brain and behavior that I love. It’s really this connectivity of the way he talks about, brain and behavior. In the study, the latest neuroscience and he’s just studying this all the time, he’s a neuroscience researcher. He talks about that biologically, the way our brain is, our brain is built to survive not to thrive so it’s always going down to just what survival, and this case, survival is multitasking. It’s looking around. If we just let out brain survive we’re never going to thrive because it’s not built for thrive. We all want to thrive but we’re not training our brain. We’re not organizing our behavior in a way that doesn’t just go down to this common denominator of biology which biology just wants to live and survive another day. It doesn’t care how successful we are, how much money we make if we can feed our family or whatever. It’s just like live another day and procreate basically. Anyway, I just really love that understanding. Another thing you said that I thought was really powerful is it’s not like we should be so focused 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day.
Yeah. It’s like multitasking is fine, just don’t multitask in the one thing. That’s focused time. It’s production time. It’s attached to very important consequences, hopefully positive outcome that will move the needle one way or another. Then protect that. Otherwise, joke around, check your phone, have a conversation at the same time if it doesn’t bug anybody until you go into the next party. That’s really really helpful.
I think it gives people a place to start and not beat themselves up, like you’re beating yourself up. A lot of people who become aware of this were like “Ah, why can’t I be better?” We can all be better but we don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is so overrated. It’s definitely in this case. I brought up Cal Newport. I mean he sits so far in the other end of the spectrum, his work requires him like an Einstein, like he has to go so deep. He doesn’t want to allow himself to indulge into this at all so it was informative to me to see the other side of the spectrum and say “Where are the rest of us need to be?” I’m not programming supercomputers. I’m not trying to come up with the grand unified equation for physics. I am trying to write a good book which means there’s two and three hours perks of my day where I need to achieve a high degree of focus to be successful. Really that’s all it takes. Like I said, it can deliver more success than most people. Their success will become one of those great problems they have to deal with.
Have your guys noticed a formula as far as let’s say how much focus time per day or per week because we think I’ve put in 9-10 hours a day but there’s likely more successful outcome that would come from a 2-3 hour focus and I’m just going to write and knock out this chapter, whatever, than 10 hours of activities, hard work.
It depends on the activity, right? I think most big work requires bigger blocks of time, especially if you’ve got any thoughtfulness to it all because you had to get warmed up, and then you get in your groove. There’s some research that really repetitive stuff we can only really do it like 20 minute spurts and so that’s where that pomodoro technique comes in where you set a timer and I’m just going to be doing emails and I’m just going to nail it for 20 minutes, then take a break then I can do it for another 20. My creative work usually needs a bigger window. I would tell you entrepreneurial work by the way falls under creative, I believe. The most successful people we interviewed usually have a great day before 8am. They get up. There is a lot of clarity in the morning. We have a lot of mental energy in the morning. There is fewer distractions in the morning. They start knocking out a lot of their priorities. They might meditate, they might eat a healthy meal, they might exercise, they might read and reflect in journal. There’s like all of those miracle morning like Howell Lord’s book Type of Activities. There is real wisdom into building those habits. Then, they just kind of go to work and try to have a great day before noon so like to me that the upper limit, if I can be pretty purposeful up until midday, then I can just chase all the fires I’ve created in the afternoon. I don’t have to be so disciplined. That’s the pattern I see. I think people who try to be meticulous hour by hour all day long, that’s a recipe for burnout and it’s unrealistic because we take a long time to build up to that. I’ve done it in stretches but I was working up to that. That’s like preparing for a big athletic event. Right before marathon, yeah you can just walk out the door and run 20 miles but if you aren’t trained you can’t do that. It’s not sustainable. I just say “Start with having a great morning.” Just a couple of hours, and then aspire to having a great day before noon and see where that takes you because that’s just 90% of the battle right there.
How’s technology factoring into this? I mean there are some really great tools to use today but is technology more of a distraction or is it a productivity tool or both? What do you notice when it comes to the latest tech?
I think it’s a double-edged sword. I mean I think email is incredibly powerful but you can’t put email in charge. I think social media, I mean the rich it gives us in our businesses to spread our messages but you know it’s like anything else, it’s how you employ it. I love technology. My to-do list, I keep on Wunderlist so that it’s everywhere I go I can quickly update it and categorize my action plans. I like it because I can prioritize. I can assign a number one where a lot of these are just — they are listed in the order you wrote them down which doesn’t work for me. I looked for tools that mimic my models. I’m happy to use technology. I am weary of it. I’m writing, I have one browser that has all of my social media and stuff saved on it. That browser is closed. I’m in chrome and I have no password safe there. For me, to jump into distraction, I have to go through several hoops. I protect myself that way. Like I say, I turn off the notifications on my phone. I turn them off on my desktop too. I don’t need to see a number of how many emails are there because that’s just going to stress me out and tempt me because we all assume that the lottery ticket is in there or the disaster is in there. But most of the time it’s just busy work or other people’s agenda. I’m a little weary of giving my agenda over to it but I definitely want to leverage it.
Yeah, that’s well said. I mean I’m the same way. I just protect that time and even my best tool I use these days, I have my journal with my top three things of the day, all I care about is the top one and if I make it to the top two but I just put it in my journal first thing in the morning and think about it, then reflect from yesterday about how I do in my top one, do I need to move my two or three over? We’re those just like pipe dreams or another day has come by they don’t even seem that important anymore.
Are you using the five-minute journal by chance?
No. I actually use my own journal.
Okay, cool. That’s cool. The first time I incorporate that I met the guy who built that and it’s just like “What are your top three priorities?” I think that’s a great way. It’s paper and pen, right?
I think that’s what’s so funny is I used to like I had this Evernote checklist, the Google list. I mean top list. I’m just using the technology. I thought “Oh my God, technology, technology.” I realized it’s so much a distraction in so many levels. Just go to my pen and paper first thing, spend 15 minutes organizing my day and really thinking through, then jump into that. I don’t need a bunch of technology to actually make me productive and effective.
I carry an old notebook everywhere I go. I’ve got my goals, stuff in it and I write on them. I do think that — and there’s some science, so this is half bait, there is a little bit of science to handwriting things that something about the tactfulness of it allows us to process it differently than just typing something. I know that people who write things down with a pen tend to have better retention than people who are typing it verbatim. People are like “Oh, I want to take notes on my laptop because I can type 90 words a minute. I won’t miss a thing.” Maybe the fact that we can go nine minutes forces us to conceptualize what we’re hearing so that we can distill it on the page. That little extra step — these little things, these little old devices, pens and pencils, there is some benefit in the productivity world to them. I know luddite, I guess that’s the people who are afraid of technology and trying to think of the old world. They are luddite. I do like technology but I want to be making good choices for me. I would be with you on that. I do a lot of my best thinking with the pen and paper. I don’t write out my books that way but that is how I do a lot of reflection, planning and learning.
Yeah. Even me, same thing. I always have my notebook. People who look through my notebook, I have so many pictures drawn. It’s just trying to even draw pictures and get ideas down or whatever boxes I might have.
But it was my time when I was spending on drawing and thinking and creating on paper, and then yeah it moves over and that sort of thing but I just think that there is so many different tools and hacks and companies and trying to be more productive and I think trying to be more productive is actually keeping us from being productive in many cases.
Well, yeah. There is time sunk in learning to use the tools. I had a friend asked me I’ve heard a lot of good things about a program called schoonover for writers. It’s a word processor that is really about writing books and plays and screenplays. It allows you to organize your notes and your research all in one thing. I’ve been tempted but I’m like “You know what I’ve been writing in words or it’s equivalent since 1997 probably.” Going back farther than that if you want to go back to the old word processors where you still have the F keys and stuff, but that’s the medium I’m very comfortable and I’m not sure that the extras I would get from changing my process — I sound like an old man when I say this, right? — would actually accelerate my work. I’m going to be measured like there is a tipping point where I would look to that and say “Now, given my binders and my Evernote and all the little things that I’ve stitched together, it would make sense for me to move to this.” But I’m not just going to jump because it’s new. That shiny object syndrome tempts us all. The paper – if we’re going to do our little paper thing, I can’t reach it without living the camera but I still use a month at a glance calendar. I really push hard back. Gary coached me on this. He says “We’re thinking in terms of five year goals now. It’s not about today or this week. We have to work backwards from bigger goals.” To do that you need a bigger picture of time. I was like, I can do a month at a glance on my iPad. I tried that for a while. I got to tell you I still use outlook for my meetings and all of that but for my one things, my writing days, my vacation days, appointments with family and trips and stuff like that, my month at a glance I can look up really quickly and say “Wow, because it’s December, I only have five writing days this month.” That little picture of time around my biggest priority professional allows me to know and I was like, “I can’t screw around.” I’ve now got to be very very very efficient in that time because I’ve got a bigger framework. If I lose one day, I’m going to go on my calendar, I’m going to steal it back from something else. I know for me to stay on track I have to look on my goal here. I need about a 184 writing days a year. I’ve been tracking it for years. I know this — there’s days at work where I have to meet with people. I don’t get to write. I don’t get to write every single day. There’s days on reading and researching but if I can do that, we’ve turned out 11 books in about 13 years, a lot of them bestsellers, for us to keep that going, there’s a certain amount of time. There’s some paper things that really are a step up and they just haven’t yet figure that out. I don’t need to see, not even a whole day on my phone. It’s easy to make commitments that you shouldn’t be doing when you don’t have a bigger perspective on time.
Now so when I talk, even productivity or centralism, some of these different ideas around true production that matters. People say but — I have a husband, I have two kids, I got all these others things and your wife Wendy, she’s a mom, she’s running a business and you two are both very busy with your careers and raising young children and travelling. So what’s your answer to that? I mean where is the one thing fit in when we just live in these crazy busy lives. How do you guys keep it all together?
I think that when you have something that you’re really saying yes to, it’s easier to say no to things. You can’t say yes to something without saying no to other stuff. People say how do you get up so early in the morning? It’s like when we have a good reason to get up, you do get up. If you have an international flight to Paris, you’re up at 5am and you’re drinking coffee, and you might be like “Ugh! This sucks” and you did it. I think in viewing purpose into your one thing is very important. We write about that in the book. At the top of my goal sheet, I have to be the best father and husband I can be. I connect my professional life to those first two dominoes for me, those first two stages of success. I once was going to mail in some work. I was writing a book that I didn’t want to write for the company. I described how I was going to attack it, basically make it an interview driven book, not a models book like I always did. Wendy is like you tell — There’s my wife Wendy, you tell your wife and kids that you’re an author and it really sounds like you’re mailing it in this time. I was like “Oh man!” The accountability and what became clear to me is that when I don’t want to do the work I need to do , the thing that will motivate me more than anything else is I want to earn the respect of my wife and kids. I want to live in integrity. That is why I have it in my goal sheet. It’s that reminder so that allows me to say no to things that I should say the no to. On the days that I really want to be distracted and I really want to screw around because I’ve made the stakes higher than just a project or an assignment. Did that make sense?
It does and how often do you say no? I think no is a hard thing for a lot of people. It’s sort of yes, yes, yes versus no, no, no sometimes yes.
Well, I mean that’s like, we teach a class called time blocking mastery. I say no with my calendar more than in anything else. I always say yes in one sense but often what I am saying is not now because I am not going to allow my current priorities to be shifted. Like I said, I don’t try to time block, block off all of my day unless we’re right at the end of writing or something. So I always have free time but that time gets blocked out weeks in advance. And so I was like I would love to meet with you, I would love to help you with this. Let’s get out our calendars and find out when we can do it but it’s a no to your timeline if it doesn’t work for mine. Then we’ll look out. I just really try hard not to compromise on that.
Then what about email? Email and people coming in and trying to grab you. I mean there’s hundreds of people that work in your office that would love to you know.
So let’s do email first. My strategy around email, I’d leave it say 75% of the time right? We’re all human. In the morning, I try to push my agenda. I try not to read too much. I scan for emails from our CEO or president and from my partners. If there’s something important from them, I will allow them to set the agenda because they’re partners otherwise, a staff person that’s sick, like I scan for that. Otherwise, I’m sending things out. It’s kind of like social media is the same. In the morning, I try to send out my agenda. I try to limit that to 20 to 30 minutes. Around lunchtime, I tend to eat at my desk or take a short lunch break. I spend about 30 minutes making sure nothing is blown up. That’s why I am responding to other people’s agenda because my one thing is done. Then, I’ll check it again before I go home. It’s very very rare for me to check email once I’m at home. I think that this is earned overtime but by living my life, being kind of purposeful about the way I would give that time, we only give it 20 minutes. You don’t read all the junk mail. You’re going through the important stuff. I’ve got like 30,000 unread emails in my inbox. They are just stuff that’s waiting to be deleted but that’s not important. Inbox zero is a activity and not a productivity thing, okay? That’s about feeling better about the number not about being better with your work. So those are my three windows. I try to keep to those agendas. The first one is about my agenda; the next two is I’m working with others and setting meetings. I have an assistant that I’ve earned the right to have overtime. They can be in there if bombs are going off when I can’t. The guy who I worked with, Jeff who you know, he hasn’t earned the right to have a full time assistant but he has a virtual assistant that sends his email. He said if I get an email from Krisstina or this person or this kind of opportunity, it can go in this other inbox and that’s the only one I’m going to check until I’m in my times. I think if you just think through what would work for me, how can I limit the time I am giving it. You know that Parkinson’s law – email will take as much time as you get it in this day and age. That’s a fact.
That’s really great.
What was the other one? You said email and something else.
You’ve really addressed it. It’s people trying to grab your time.
Yeah, I just set up barriers if they know that I am writing. I’ve communicated “Hey, I’m writing from 10 to 12.” I put a do not disturb sign on my door. I say no, I say, “Can you come back at noon?” And now they know just like. It only takes a couple of weeks to train people on that.
So it’s really more maybe a mindset shift which is I don’t have to be the one to put out all these fires. Life will go on without me. It’s fine if I don’t check my email for four hours.
If it’s really important they’ll call you or they’ll come and find you. That’s the reality and so you can make peace with that, live it for a period of time, realize that the world didn’t end and then you get a sense of freedom instead of that constant anxiety. I find email for a lot of people, just a constant source of anxiety.
I delete more emails than I read. So I actually look and nobody else manages my box but I just go and delete them if they are not in my top 20% and people will email me back if it’s really important but do you know how many people email me back the second time?
Yeah, not many.
It’s so infrequent. Right. I mean I just realized it’s not important if they’re not after me or we’ll find a way. Yes, I know I can glance through it like you do and okay, these things. Everything else I just delete on a daily basis. In my inbox, an any given day, there’s not more than a page of emails in there.
And some stay in there, I know I can address and get in with. Gmail, you can save it and come back a week from now or whenever.
Remembering. Yeah, there’s tools like that. Those are great.
Even inbox with Gmail will allow you like drop this back in my email seven days from now. So there’s some of that but everything else I just delete. It’s just out of sight, out of mind. That’s really helped me. Some may take a while like oh my gosh! I’m a bad person that I just deleted 20 people’s emails but anyway now, it’s like I just feel relieved at the end of the day that they’re gone.
They’re gone. I think that a story I tell sometimes is, we have two kids. We had our first child, all of our friends were about the same age and we are hanging around with people who had their first child. It was very much the blind leading the blind. We didn’t know when we could break them or hurt them but we are all like, just like kind of crazy but that’s the way most of us do it. I remember my wife spent the day with this lady, Tammy. They have three kids, all younger than three and a half. Like they have just gone to town in a very small house and I remember her coming back and she said I am never taking advice from someone who just has one kid again. I said they figured it out when they’re outnumbered. They’re outnumbered every single day and they’re model in our part. They are working from a bigger model. I can remember, I started paying attention to how busy people like you manage their emails. When I was emailing CEO’s and executives and people like that, I look at their auto-responders. I look at when they responded because these are people who faced hundreds and hundreds of “important” emails a day and they’ve had to find a bigger model for handling it. You start looking for it and you can find the model. I found mine, you found yours but I think that email is something, for all the good it does us, the power of it. We have to take the reins and just make sure that we are in charge of it.
I totally agree. All right. We are coming towards our end of the time together. So there’s a few more questions I’d love to ask you.
You and I have offline obviously I’ve written my own book on money. I’m a money coach. I love teaching wealth strategies and money sense basically. You and I have talked a little bit about money and wealth offline. What are your, I mean are you really after wealth building? What are your money beliefs? How do you organize your life around we’re talking about work, and business, and making income, and productivity. How does that transfer?
Sure. Sure. I think that when we did the interviews for the millionaire’s real estate investor, that was life changing. My wife got on board. I’m trying to distill this down into the super short thing. I think we figured out where we wanted to go. Success is getting what you want. We set a goal of being net worth millionaires and at that time, we wanted $75,000 in passive income a year. Whatever that net in adjusting for inflation because we felt like if we have a car that is paid for and a house that was paid for, we can pretty much do everything we want with 75,000. And you know, I could write horrible novels and bartend if we needed extra money. Whatever that is, that would be enough for us to be financially free so we made a definition of what that was for us. Then we created a ten year plan. We had no idea if that plan was accurate but we started attacking it. For us, it is to acquire one rental property every year to a year and a half for the first five years. That still, what does it take for us to acquire one every year to a year and a half. For us, the goal we lived by was can we save $1,500 a month. With our expenses what they are can we keep them low enough, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches brown bagged it, whatever you have to do but we are really conscious of our one number. We had a separate account, money market account and every time we got paid, we will move the 1,500 there at the beginning of the month. If we stole from it, we would change the next month’s goal to you know Christmas time, we’re meant to buy plane tickets. So now we’re down 500, as fast as we could we would try to replace that to stay on track. That became our process. We decided our vehicle which is real estate because I mean I am surrounded by it. We decided what we thought it would take to get where we wanted and we just broke that down to a monthly goal. That became all we talked about. We actually got to those goals. The cash flow thing by the way, as you probably know is hard to do with real estate here so that took a lot longer than the net worth goals did but you start to learn. Every year you learned more and you need new tricks. We didn’t complicate it. In the beginning, 1,500 a month and that was all we focus on. For the first three years, I think I did $10,000 with the freelance a year, doing books on the side and stuff because our income was not enough. We are saving like 30% of our income but it wasn’t enough. We just did not make enough money so we had to work on the weekends. So you establish the goal, you get a plan, you do what it takes to hit it, and you learn so much once you start that journey that everything accelerates. I guess the only other thing that I would add is the one number that we track today is our net worth. We started tracking that, that first time every month; we would say what’s our net worth. We had our savings goal. It was negative on the first time we checked. We had more debt than assets. I had a Tercel and it had three cylinders that worked out at four. I think we valued it $2,000 which is so bogus but like, we were looking for like we ask them can we value our furniture. We didn’t know what an asset was but overtime that little habit of what is it. Now we are conscious of what we spent on things that went down on value when we bought things that held their value. There are just so many lessons to learn from just those two key activities. That savings goal that drove everything on our investing side and then the net worth became that was the score for us. So that’s it. That’s been our journey and we’ve been writing that and working around it. We own businesses and other things but that’s where it all started and that’s all you need to do to start it, I think.
You said so many things there but it’s knowing, again, knowing how much is enough for your financial freedom like if we have 75,000 of asset income meaning that’s enough. We can organize our life around that. So that just became a one thing goal versus these great big visions and big zeroes or whatever. That really is the secrets to the steps that I teach. It’s the first thing. You need to know your number, your one thing. So thank you for sharing that. So many lessons wrapped up in just what you said. Okay, two more questions then you’ll be off to your other real one things is you’re obviously very successful. You’ve had quite a journey, lots of accomplishments. How many books sold for one thing?
We’re over 800,000 now and I guess this is your three and a half whatever or right there. Three and a half years into it so we’re in a pretty steep trajectory.
How many countries? I mean this is international.
26 languages now.
Right. I think so many times especially for entrepreneurs; I know your audiences are a lot of real estate. Mine is a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners. It’s sort of this belief that there is a linear path that continues to just go up overtime. There are no real lows in this journey to get from where we started to where you are now. So would you mind sharing at least one low moment, like one moment that caused you to question everything or became like a true turning point or change your trajectory but when there is real pain and suffering?
There are so many. Right. There are so many. It’s hard to narrow them down. All I can say is my lowest moments tend to be when I am questioning my relationships. You know, you partner with people in an investment or a business and you were let down because I, first and foremost want to believe in people. You know it’s a sad part of, if you’re trying to live a big life, a lot of people think they want that but they aren’t really ready to follow through. I think those are the moments. I mean we had one last night where we found out that a team member was going to be leaving and we’re both very disappointed. I now have learned to go past that disappointment and ask, well, if you really want to stay in business with this person and where they want to go is where they want to go, can we come up with a new plan because I think that when you get in relationship with a talent, that’s the most valuable thing that you can have in your business. I’m willing to break some rules for that once they’ve proven that they are talent. But to me, I don’t want to go into specifics because if they were listening, they’ll go he’s talking about me. I’ve been most disappointed when I’ve had to end relationships with people that I was partners with because building businesses, writing books, you’re in the trenches. There’s a lot of deep bonding that goes on there and I continue to genuinely care for and love some of the people that I just would not be in business with today and that’s disappointing like Oh man! I thought you were going to the top of the mountain with us and you really just wanted to get to base camp. You can’t just articulate it to the beginning. Don’t try to judge it but I’m still, that usually is my darkest hours or when. I’m glad I got my wife, right? I know there’s one person I am confident that is committed to the end and hopefully my kids someday. And I have Gary who is probably committed to going higher than I’ve yet been able to think so I just want to surround myself with more of them. When I think I have and that fails, that’s always it for me. It’s the people thing. For an introvert, it’s maybe surprising but it’s the people that hurt the worst.
Yeah and same for me, I mean, I can so relate.
I’ve had horrible financial mistakes, lost 150,000 and that stings. It hurts. It hurts bad but you get over that. The ones that linger are the relationships that didn’t work out.
Thank you. One final question that I asked all of my guests and we’ve done this throughout the talk today and you put a lot of this even in your books but I like to do some mythbusting on every episode, so in your work, life, whatever, I know there’s a lot but is there like one myth out there, this common belief or misconception that people sort of believe to be true therefore they lead their lives that way and you just want to sort of shout from the mountain top and say that’s not true. That is a big bold face lie. This is the truth instead.
I think it’s particularly pervasive among the entrepreneur class. They think fast. They act fast. They tend to be highly committed and so even if they aren’t the best in whatever it is, they are going to do it at a pretty high level fast . So to think that I’ve been a victim too and it’s a recurring thing in my life. I’m always like I thought I learned this lesson right? When choosing to do it myself versus choosing to delegate it or to be patient and teach someone else to do it because every time I choose to do something because it’s faster and I can control it. I’m taking on a job and I’m keeping a job. That big part of freedom eventually right? Passive asset income is I’m going to have to methodically groom people to do those jobs for me. The earlier that you can find out that they are capable, the better. Protecting them early is really doing them a disservice. Allowing the people the room and the luxury of failing forward just like I did, understanding that process and figuring out, it’s a really subjective thing so when do we find out? Everybody fails at the beginning. That’s a tough thing. How long do you allow that to go on before you realize they are not the right person? So to me, that need to do it fast versus this sort of aggressive patience so that you can succeed through others, it’s just one of the things that hits me. It hits my wife. It hits a lot of entrepreneurs I know; it’s easier for me to teach people that and myself. There’s a great passage. Do you know who Roy Badon is?
I do know Roy.
He is a great guy. He wrote a book. I think it is called Procrastinator on Purpose. It is just a throw away. He sit back in some guy on an airplane and he said it’s the 30x rule. If it takes you an hour to do it, it will take you 30 hours to train someone to do it at your level. On a daily basis, we look at that and we’re like what? I can just do this. Why would I take half my week to teach someone else what we were doing is every year that we allow that to continue, we’re giving up 52 hours or we’re giving up 22 hours right? Because we could have given the 30 and then that’s their job but we do it every single week, and that one hour and that adds up over our life. That little calculus, that 30x sits in my mind a lot. I’m just like can I build enough room in my life so that I can have more of those moments and allow them to fail forward and then become good because I need to be in my one thing. I don’t need to be doing all these other stuff. That’s ego. That’s me riding on a white horse to save people. That’s me doing something fun or new. It’s not me really doing what I need to be doing for my life.
That’s great. I love the 30x rule. I’m going to store that one away too. I love something else that you just said, it’s the aggressive patience. That’s really good.
Patiently aggressive, aggressive patience.
You not probably have both aggressive goals but set the goal, set the vision. Then be patient to let the people you’re trying to see through succeed. There’s got to be a limit, a rational limit on that because you might have the wrong person. I heard on a podcast the other day, somebody was talking about early performance and how bad you are and he was told, go and watch the first episode of Seinfeld. It’s a great show but it’s not Seinfeld yet. All the elements are there, all the characters are there but they just haven’t jelled. By the end of the season, they did which is why it’s one of the most popular ever. Everybody starts even the best people start like that first episode of Seinfeld. It’s like there is something promising here but it hasn’t actually happened yet. That is just normal so building room and time and patience for that, it’s hard for entrepreneurs, it’s hard for me because we’re impatient.
Yeah and there’s the other side of that too is that when they are first starting out, they are not going to do it as well as we did so it’s that letting them fail and learn from their mistake, assuming you have the right person , versus being pissed off or just you suck let me do it myself.
I mean there is that built in also like they are going to have to fail a little bit until they get it right and hopefully they can do it even better than we can at some point it becomes their one thing.
The truth is almost everything that you and I do can be done 10x better by someone else. We just haven’t taken the time to delegate those things and that’s just the reality. The bigger your business gets, the more you’re force to shred roles. Then you realize holy cow! I thought I was good at that but I was just committed. The moment I found whose passion was doing that, you can see how much better they are.
But when we intend to delegate just go do it and do it well versus understand that delegating isn’t just passing something off from my place to their plate. So no, I need to train and sit down and take time to delegate not just like here it’s yours now. Because I don’t have time for it.
Yeah. Yup. That’s pretty much the way most people delegate. I’m tired of this. It’s yours now.
Right. Well you’ve been so generous with your time Jay. Thank you. I always love spending time with you. I really appreciate you being with me and my listeners today.
Thanks for having me. It’s always fun to talk to you too.
Well, you’ve been amazing. Thank you.
And so ends another episode of the Wealthy Wellthy life. This was one more millionaire mindset that will make you wealthy while keeping you healthy. Before you leave, if you want to learn how to become rich, healthy, and happy then sign up for my free money training at mindfulmoneywebinar.com. You will learn my signature formula for transforming your life from debt into a healthy multi-millionaire. It’s the only money making system that makes your health your number one asset. It has helped thousands of others and it can help you too. If you’re curious how it all works visit mindfulmoneywebinar.com and sign up today. Again, that’s mindfulmoneywebinar.com. Remember it’s free. As always be sure to subscribe to my podcast to make sure that you catch next week’s millionaire mindset. This is Krisstina Wise, your personal guide to having it all signing off. Here’s to living a Wealthy Wellthy life. I’ll see you next time.