One of the things I give every coaching client is the “High-Performance Scorecard.” It’s a postcard-sized printout designed to be carried with them in their day-planner or another medium that works for them.
It reinforces many of the mental habits we talk about, keeps them focused on their goals, and gives them “check-in” techniques when they are feeling distracted.
But there’s also one focus item on there that says, “What’s one thing I did today to pursue my goals: ______________________”
After spending hours designing this scorecard, I think this is one of the most important questions on there.
Because, as a High-Performer training other high-performers, here’s what I’ve learned: we have trouble acknowledging the day-in-day-out habits of success.
But if I’m honest, some days (more than I care to admit) I think “But what did I really do to get closer to my goals?”
In the day-in-day-out grind of the entrepreneurial life, I often feel like I don’t do things of consequence.
Writing a blog is a part of my business, nothing heroic.
Same with coaching a client.
And Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email.
Networking is hard but necessary, so nothing special there.
And that’s precisely my problem. When I can convince myself that nothing matters then nothing ends up mattering.
So I put that question in the scorecard to remind my clients that what you do absolutely matters, 100% of the time.
Because what’s the alternative? Not writing the blog post? Now that would be a tragedy.
Not coaching, not engaging in social media, and not networking would mean the end to my business.
So in reality, it’s those little things that do matter. It’s the little things that add up to big wins. Big wins lead to success.
Success is what my clients pay me for.
Never Knock Progress
One of the mindsets I’ve had to change in myself, and one I work hard on my clients with, is that of the daily routine. In the scorecard, it’s a built-in process. At the end of every day, you acknowledge a success, however seemingly small or insignificant, and champion the work done.
And no matter how small a victory, I tell them, “It’s progress, and we never knock progress.”
It’s a great way to combat fatigue, discouragement, and frustration. By remembering the one thing we did today, we’re encouraged to do one more thing tomorrow.
Day after day.
Week after week.
Month after month.
Year after year.
Until all of a sudden, we realize that we’ve made our own version of success.
That’s why we celebrate one thing.
That’s why we never knock progress.
What’s one thing you would tell someone facing discouragement or disillusionment in chasing their dream?
I have a goal to both grow my business and be present for my family. When those goals are in conflict with each other, I choose the family time.
Goal clarity is about being clear on your top priorities.
But it’s also about being able to define your goals.
This last week, I spent half a day creating a clarity document on metrics for my business outside of financial goals. I now have requirements for how many people I want to read the blog, share it, and leave a comment.
But this is also true for every social media account that I have.
Speaking of which, you reading this gets me one step closer to my goal and I rrrreeeaaaaallllly appreciate it. Could you help me get one step closer and share it somewhere?
2.) Simplify Your To-Do List.
Not all goals are created equal.
But neither are tasks on the to-do list.
The problem when you just write to-do’s down on a sheet of paper is that they all look equal. In reality, there are only a few things you can do each day that would substantially advance your career, personal life, business, or relationships.
Focus on those.
Personally, I choose three tasks a day and design my day around those. While I may need to “check off” ten or more times in a day, I only focus on the three most important.
Think of it this way. What will advance your business (career, start-up, relationship, fill-in-the-blank) more: Sending the Invoice for payment due or organizing your closet (desk, backpack, car, etc…)?
Are both important? Yes.
Do both tasks need to be done? Yes
But which one will set you back or cause greater levels of stress if not done? Chances are, it’s the invoice. Because without the money from that job you might have to sell those clothes, that backpack, or the car.
Focus First on what matters most.
I find that scheduling my big three works well. I have the first task completed by 11 am, the second by 2 pm, and the third by 5 pm. This gives me time to focus on each one, and still get to those smaller items.
3.) Delegate and Delete.
As a chronic workaholic and typical Enneagram Type 3, I love long task lists. It makes me feel accomplished. If I don’t get twenty things checked off in a day, I feel like I wasted my time.
But recently, I’ve also discovered the joy in two amazingly powerful words: delegate and delete.
Here’s how I choose to do something myself, delegate it out or delete it from my list.
1.) Am I the only one capable of doing this? OR Am I the most qualified? If yes, I do it.
If the above answer is no:
2.) If this doesn’t get done, will someone miss it or will my business fail in some way? If Yes, delegate it to get it done. If no, delete it.
In these two simple questions, I am now free to focus on what matters most to my goals and still get an amazing amount of stuff done.
What sorts of questions would you ask of someone struggling being overwhelmed and underperforming?
It’s a nasty word that none of us want to deal with. BUT.
Can you actually use it to your advantage?
Join me this week in the discussion on how we can best use our failures to catapult us to greater success.
Please leave a review on iTunes and let me know what you think of the show!
Thanks for listening, I really appreciate it.
This episode of the podcast is brought to you by the Elite Performers Coaching Cohort that begins September 1st. To know more, or to sign up to save your spot and receive a free $125 coaching consultation, please go here.
At the end of my fifth-grade year, I took part in our annual school play. Put on entirely by the fifth graders, it was supposed to be a way to introduce kids to the arts program before band, music, and other opportunities opened up.
For me, it became a self-defeating narrative that plagued me long into adulthood.
When the parts of the play were announced, I was excited. I had always been an outgoing, energetic, and rambunctious kid. Fairly outgoing, I thought that this would be a wonderful time to explore acting.
I got the practice lines and spent weeks rehearsing them.
In the mirror.
I wanted to nail one of the lead roles.
After the auditions, the music teacher announced the roles by posting them on the bulletin board outside her classroom. I excitedly went up to find my name.
Except, it wasn’t listed alongside any of the starting roles. Or any of the secondary roles.
On the roster, I was listed dead last. In fact, I think my official role was titled, “Person #6” or something like that.
The rule was that everyone had to have a part. I was listed even below my friends who wanted no part in the play. It was almost like they went, “Oh crap. Not everyone has a part. Let’s make some up.”
I felt like a failure.
My only part was at the very end of the play. After almost an hour and a half of watching everyone else get up on stage and do something exciting, I got into position for my scene.
What did I do?
At the very back of the stage, behind all the singing and dancing of almost the entire fifth-grade class, I walked from stage left to stage right.
The Biggest Failure I Ever Had
That moment is the biggest failure I ever had.
Well, not quite, but I also see how that experience, in many ways, led to a lot of my other failures.
From that moment I took away a feeling of shame and embarrassment.
I let that moment define much of the next 25 years of my life in one way or another.
Why try something new? You’ll just be “Person #6” again.
Why put yourself out there? Remember the last time you did that how you got nothing out of it anyway? Just quit.
“You’re not good enough.”
“Don’t embarrass yourself again.”
“You’re a loser.”
“You can’t do anything right.”
My narrative, until I was almost thirty resonated with many of these thoughts. Thankfully, through years and years of therapy, coaching, and personal development I have been able to (mostly) shake that false narrative.
The real tragedy
But there is a real tragedy and a real failure in all of this.
One that I could easily say is the biggest failure I ever had.
What is it?
I listened to that awful narrative. For nearly twenty years, I let one failure and setback dictate the rest of my life.
It was why I could never be a good enough student.
Run for a school position.
Emerge as a leader.
Become a good husband.
Be a good father.
The biggest mistake I ever had, was letting my mistakes define me.
Having a growth mindset
Now, after those years of therapy, coaching, and personal development I try to practice a growth mindset.
A firm and unwavering belief that I can (and will) learn from any and every situation.
Tried a new weight limit for squat? Got buried at the bottom. Okay, not a big deal. What can I learn to improve and get stronger?
Lost my temper with my kids? Not who I want to be. What happened? How can I better control my emotions?
Lost a sale or business venture? It happens. How can I improve so I close the deal the next time?
Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.”
That’s a key foundation to a growth mindset.
Failure is only fatal, only final if we use it as an excuse to quit or give up. Otherwise, it’s a learning opportunity.
Don’t let the greatest failure you ever make be the acceptance of a (false) limiting belief or narrative about your life. Embrace failure and use it to make yourself, and those around you, better.