Have you listened to our Podcast?


How To Manage Stress And Burnout with Sara Wegwitz

TBT 52 | Managing Stress

The World Health Organization has declared stress a worldwide epidemic. It seems like more than ever, people are stressed out. Most people don’t realize the impact of stress on our minds, our emotions, and our physiology. It is, in fact, the root cause of almost all illnesses. Sara Wegwitz takes on the subject of stress and burnout. Sara is a registered nurse with a specialization in mental fitness, resiliency, training, and performance coaching. She helps individuals and groups to build confidence and transform the way they think through bite-sized training experiences. Sara shares some tips on how to beat stress and what you can do to avoid it. Managing stress and understanding these very simple things to do and actually doing them is an important part of taking back time.

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Manage Stress And Burnout with Sara Wegwitz

It’s going to be exciting because not only do I have the amazing Sara Wegwitz with me that is a dear friend of mine, but she’s also highly qualified in talking about stress and burnout. She is a registered nurse with a specialization in mental fitness, resiliency training and performance coaching. In the most simplistic way, if you think of her as a personal trainer of your mind, it’s a great way to portray it. She specializes in helping individuals and groups to build confidence and transform the way they think through bite-sized training experiences. She has twenty years of experience in education and fields of critical care, health science, leadership and coaching. What distinguishes Sarah’s approach is that she has the ability to take complex biology and academic theory and map it across the street level practices that are simple, easy, practical for both individuals and for teams. Sarah, I am so excited to have you here.

Thanks for having me. This is going to be a fun and educational show. It is great to be here.

The World Health Organization has declared stress a worldwide epidemic. If you ask a room of people, “Are you stressed?” you’re going to have everybody raising their hand. It seems like more than ever, people are stressed out. Do you find that as well?

Absolutely. What we know is that stress is at the root cause of almost all illnesses. What I notice is that we all have this amazing ability to adapt to stress. It’s like death by a thousand paper cuts. First, you get one or two paper cuts. Keep moving forward and you adapt. Taking on more and more stress, most people don’t realize the impact of our day-to-day lives and the stress that we have and how that impacts our minds, our emotions and our physiology as well.

The thing is it’s so unconscious. It builds. It’s a little contagious too. It’s like a sneeze. It’s everywhere.

It's almost like people have stress-off competitions, reinforcing maladaptive ways that people are dealing with stress. Click To Tweet

Funny you bring that up too because I’m sure you’ve probably witnessed where it’s almost like people have stress off competitions. It continues to build those stories and reinforcing maybe maladaptive ways that people are dealing with stress.

When people are stressed over time, chronically what happens?

They get increased levels of that very harmful hormone cortisol, which can wreak havoc. When you’re under those chronic levels of stress and we’re not handling it in a good way, we start having behaviors of avoidance or we use substances to numb what’s going on, whether that’s alcohol or drugs or sex or shopping or what have you. Sometimes we try and be workaholics, “Put my head down and I keep doing this, someday things will change like this season in my life or this busy period will come to an end,” but we keep snowballing. It can lead to some harmful effects, anxieties, depressions, burnout, compassion and fatigue as well. Having all those stressors on your body can be an adaptive disease like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. If left unchecked, stress is the root cause of many cancers. It only makes sense that we need to be taking a more upstream preventative approach to nip things in the bud. Get our feet turning back towards having a healthy relationship with stress because it’s not going away. It’s something that says part of our human experience. It’s so important that people do as much as they can to help balance that and find healthier ways to handle the stress that happens in their lives.

We know that stress builds up because it’s our response. It turns into burnout. All of a sudden, where we once had energy and meaning in our life, it’s gone because it’s become chronic. I remember when I first started my IT business, it was an instinct and it’s the wrong instinct that we have, which is to work harder. I’m like, “I’ve got all these new clients that I have to manage. I felt like my hands are in everything.” The only solution that I could think of that was instinctual was I’ll work harder. Many people do that instead of, “We want to work smarter, not harder,” but our instinct is to work harder. How do we recognize that? How do we avoid that? How do we train ourselves to work smarter?

You bring up a good point in that. What came up for me as you’ve shared that is taking control, taking back the steering wheel of your mind and taking control of the stories that we attach. The meaning we attach to the everyday things that we go through. Whether it’s being at work or in other roles that we fulfill and understand that that whole notion of working harder, that’s a societal or cultural thing. In order to have this success, you need to put your head down and work hard and work crazy hours. Depending on your work, there will be time investments. If you’re not taking the time to recharge or do something every day for 30 minutes for yourself to keep that energy and connected to your motivation or the why purpose that you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re going to run into some real challenges. You’ve probably all have worked or known people who are burnt out. Coming from the hospital and working as a nurse, there were more senior nurses that I was like, “You needed to switch jobs or different units years ago.” They’ve lost meaning. They’re grouchy. They’re totally negative. That can have a huge impact on teams. What I find people happen in that case is almost like those golden handcuffs. It’s like, “I’ve got to put my head down because I’ve got more years until I get to retire.”

TBT 52 | Managing Stress

Managing Stress: We need to nip things in the bud and get our feet turning back towards having a healthy relationship with stress because it’s not going away.

I’ve heard that in the teacher realm as well. It’s true. A lot of people feel like, “I’ve got to persevere through it and work harder.” Let’s talk about two different types of things. When they’re at the stage where they’re already burnout, what is something that someone who’s already there can do? A lot of times, what happens is they completely drop out. They might have depression or adrenaline fatigue or whatever. They can’t work anymore. What can they do if they recognize that they’re in that chronic state? They’re lethargic. They don’t care anymore. What could they do?

Immediately in their control is to start giving them space and time to do self-care activities like in the immediacy. Being able to take those holidays because oftentimes when people are working hard, maybe they’re collecting all of these vacation days, etc. It’s to take time to go on that holiday to recharge and regenerate. The other piece of that too is to reach out and get help. If people have already recognized or typically when people are in burnout, they’ve been adapting for so long. It’s generally their loved ones who live with them who are like, “Come on, you’re not enjoying a beer around. I want you to be able to get help.” For people to reach out to resources in the community, be it a psychologist or a registered counselor to help talk through those things, it’s an immediate change of environment in terms of stopping work and going for a holiday. Even going away for a weekend or a day, getting out of dodge, I call it very reinvigorating. Give that pattern interrupt in that space to shift your perspective and see things from a different viewpoint, to get support in identifying next steps on how to work through it with a professional. This is where prevention is key, is to stop. Don’t allow yourself to get down all the way downstream to that place where you’re feeling burnt out. It’s harder and harder to get back to having vitality, energy, searching for that meaning, purpose, reconnecting with why you do what you do.

I was thinking what were some of the things in some stressful times of my life, what did I do that helped me to be more resilient? Immediately it’s those self-care things. It sounds so obvious, but I purposely made sure that I got more sleep because I knew that I needed it. It was intuitive. I was more tired, but I didn’t stay up watching TV. I allowed myself to get that sleep. Two other things that I did that I think was most important that anybody can do at any stage, no matter where they are in terms of stress or burnout is I started to work in a class. I went three times a week to a workout class. Having the comradery of a class to have that accountability but also to have other people around.

I read somewhere that we, as women, need the tendon befriend. We need to nurture. We need to when we’re in that mode, it helps us more quickly to get unstressed or less stressed. That workout was so important to me. Keeping my body moving, it clears your mind. It has a total cleansing effect. The other cleansing effect that I did, which I’ve been doing for years is keeping a gratitude journal and focusing, as you said, is getting back to why things matter. Getting back to what has meaning even how small it might be, the leaves are falling and the colors are changing. The fact that I can see and that I see these beautiful colors like some people can’t even see. Things like that empowered me. Those are like to build on the things that you’re talking about. They’re concrete things that people can do.

You’re talking about important things where it’s about shifting perspective. As you said, they’re the simple and easy things. There are things that are easy to do and also easy not to do. When people are in that total stress mode, during that react, I have to react, I have to respond. You feel like you’re a little ball in a pinball machine. To take back control is to have gratitude. I love going to exercise class because getting all of those feel-good hormones going. Also having a social connection where you’re around other like-minded human beings. People Identify those things that bring them joy and to go back to them. Whether it’s a hobby picking up a paintbrush and doing painting or a dance class, which is something I’ve rediscovered for myself, which has been an unbridled joy for an hour every week. It’s like being able to find those things that light you off and replenish you in a new way, getting yields, energy, productivity, efficiency. That whole notion of work harder. It’s a misnomer because what the research shows is that when we can give ourselves a break to exercise, to do those things that fill us up makes us come back and be more clear-headed, productive and able to take on the day.

The feeling of human inadequacy is something we all experience. Click To Tweet

It’s one of those things that we know, but we have to put things in place in our environment to do what we know because we don’t.

It’s that whole notion of we know what to do and yet there’s the disconnect to the doing. How do we bridge that? Women in general too, and I know it’s for men, we tend to put ourselves on the lower totem in our totem pole, putting our family or partners, spouses, other family members, ahead of ourselves. It’s important to take that time to look after you, so you can be even more present for the people that you love and care about.

The other thing that I do and that I believe is an instinct, but this is a positive instinct is where things are out of control in my life. I looked for the things that I can control. I start to clean up and clean things because it makes me feel good because I can control that or people talk about making their bed in the morning. At least they can control coming back to a made bed that makes them feel good. It’s like little things wherever you can put them in your environment to support you. Maybe it’s a sticky note or around in your environment or a song that you play at the end of the day to wind down. Those little things can make a huge difference.

We have those good tunes in the car, you can rock out. I don’t think I know anybody, at least around here, that you can’t help but sing along when Bohemian Rhapsody comes on the radio because it’s the ultimate car karaoke. Music can be such a powerful state changer in that way as well.

We have to keep those things top of mind. What else do you think is important for people who are looking for prevention? They know that they live in a hectic or could be hectic and stressful in their life. What is the last tip that you could give them to be their preventative?

TBT 52 | Managing Stress

Managing Stress: It’s important to take the time to look after yourself so you can be more present for the people that you love and care about.

Two things that came to mind, they both start with a C, so easy to remember. Number one is compassion. Many of us would say that I put my hand up if I were asked, are you a compassionate person? I’d be like, “Yes, let me supersize that.” However, I would ask people then, “When you’re home alone in the quiet with your thoughts, how compassionate is your internal dialogue or self-talk?” Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher from the University of Austin who researches self-compassion said we need three things. In order for us to create and maintain self-compassion, we have to be mindful with our emotions either repressing, suppressing our emotions or over-identifying with them being dramatic. Second of all is to understand the feeling of human inadequacy is something we all experience. When you see other people running around with their busy badge and thinking they have it all together, it’s like, “No.” At some point in their life, they’ve dealt with that. It’s to be kind in the way that you talk to yourself. Being extra compassionate and to give yourself permission to be or to do, how you would talk to your best friend.

The second thing that helps us is how we connect with one another. I know we’ve talked about that before about how often we go through our day-to-day lives and we’re not present. We don’t even pay attention or look people in the eye when we greet them in the morning. We buzz into work and we say, “So and so, how was your weekend?” but we don’t stop to hear what they have to say. We walk past. It’s being able to connect with people on a deeper level. It’s something you can do with an extra second by connecting that with them and looking them in the eye when you greet them in the morning to let them know that they’re seen and appreciated and valued. We’re losing that in our day-to-day lives and as human beings, we need that connection. It sounds so silly and it’s so small and yet how to make eye contact for one extra second in some ways that we can build a connection with the people that we live and we work with. By having that connection, those feel-good emotions of having that oxytocin being released than feeling good because we’ve been seen and we feel heard and appreciated. We can model the way for others to do that as well.

We can be the stress reliever for others as well as for ourselves. I’m thinking back to my own experiences of times when I’ve been stressed and I’ve had a lot going on. If there was a time where somebody gave me that little bit of appreciation, that I’m valued changed everything, it changed the meaning that I was giving my effort. All of a sudden, it wasn’t so heavy. The effort was appreciated. It didn’t feel as heavier or hard. I’m reviewing in my head and that is true. Everybody online can think about that. When you deliver that message to somebody who’s having a stressful time in the workplace where there are a lot of deadlines, that can go a long way and making somebody feel that they’re valued in terms of reducing their stress and yours. That’s pretty huge.

That’s being appreciated. A simple thank you can go a long way. The cool part about that is it’s not the unilateral experience. When we value and genuinely appreciate people that we live and work with, we get ahead of the good hormones as well. It’s a win-win and it cultivates more of a compassionate and understanding workplace or your home life. Easy to do and also easy not to do. Yet there we’ve talked about some quick and easy things that readers can immediately start applying in their lives and start shifting things.

Thank you so much.

Thank you, Penny.

We’ll probably have a couple of other further talks around stress and emotional intelligence and things like that in the future, which we have all the time personally. We could do that online and provide some tips for the readers here. Thank you, Sara.

Thank you. It’s great to get connected this way. Thanks for having me on your show.

Thank you for being here because you know how important it is to be able to manage your stress, to manage your emotional intelligence. With that, the topic of this show is take back time. It’s a waste of our time when we’re not managing the stress and the energy of stress can suck with it a lot of the energy that we need to do things more efficiently and more effectively. By taking a step back and working smarter, not harder is the end game. Managing our stress and understanding these very simple things to do and not understanding them, but doing them is an important part of you taking back time. Thank you so much for being here.

Important Links:

About Sara Wegwitz

TBT 52 | Managing StressI am a Registered Nurse with a specialization in Mental Fitness, Resiliency Training, and Performance Coaching. In the most simplistic way, think of me as a personal trainer for the mind. I specialize in helping individuals and groups build confidence and transform the way that they think through “bite-sized” training experiences.

I have over 20 years of experience and education in the fields of critical care, health sciences, leadership, and coaching and have a cool knack for getting people and organizations out of the matrix of mediocrity and transforming them into high-performance teams.

Some of the results my clients have achieved include a 40% reduction in sick and overtime costs; a consistent 3:1 ROI on health and wellness programming; gold medals at athletic World Championships; overcoming anxiety; transforming workplace cultures, and increasing productivity.

I love working with first responders, entrepreneurs, high-performance athletes and athletic teams, and leaders in corporate organizations, government, and non-profit sectors.

To learn more about what I offer I invite you to visit: www.tailormakinghealth.ca.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Take Back Time community today:

New Leadership For Generational Differences with Greg Zlevor

TBT 51 | New Leadership

The world is changing, and so must the way we lead people. Greg Zlevor, CEO, President, and Founder of Westwood International, talks about re-imagining ways to develop leaders. We need new leadership for generational differences, most especially now where people across generations meet and work in the same environment—from Baby Boomers all the way down to the Millennials. On top of all this, we have technology to contend with which has totally change human interaction. Thus, Greg gets down to how we can overcome all the changes and foster emotional intelligence and skills across employees—being present and not turning away easily when difficult issues arise.

Listen to the podcast here:

New Leadership For Generational Differences with Greg Zlevor

I’m super excited to talk with Greg Zlevor. Greg is the CEO, President and Founder of Westwood International, a consulting collaborative that’s reinventing and re-imagining what it means to lead wisely in a global age. Westwood’s signature of global-scale action learning programs and change management initiatives have energized the vision of global brands like Volvo, the Singapore Police Force, ConMed, General Electric, Cochlear, Boston College, J&J and many others. Greg has spearheaded three projects. The Leadership Project, a podcast that seeks to redefine workplace and leadership development. The Global Community for Leadership Innovation, a collaborative of global companies including J&J, Honeywell, MGM, and others that work together to discuss and explore new models of the best practices within leadership development. Finally, Leading Mindfully, a customized program that seeks to center employees and leaders in mindfulness practices so that they can better serve themselves, their teammates and their institutions. We’ve got a super powerhouse in the house with Greg.

Thank you, Penny. It’s great to be here with you.

I’m super excited to pick your brain. What I like about your introduction and I’d like to hear more about it is you’re not just talking about leadership, you’re talking about re-imagining. I had to relook at the word. What is that? Talking about re-imagining and changing the way and finding new ways to develop leaders. What’s brought you to that point to say, “We need something new in leadership,” and how did you get there?

There’s this collision course between technology and human interaction. It’s fascinating to me in that right now this generation that’s coming into the workforce, spends less time outdoors, less time in nature and spends less time interacting. Yet they’re coming in with greater expectations, with the need for more training and development, and with a need for more and better feedback. It’s ironic because what the generation of people in their 40s, 50s and 60s would be doing is giving feedback face-to-face. This generation is finding more and better ways to interact electronically but wanting more feedback. How are those going to come together? It’s fascinating to watch that collision take place between the generations. What we do and what I see my role is, is being a bridge between those two worlds. The re-imagining comes in, in terms of how do we make that happen?

Your main thing is because we have these different generations in the workplace and they think so differently and their needs are different. It’s how to interact with that as well as the technological aspect.

On top of that, the expectations of companies and enterprises are rising. The bar’s getting higher. It’s not enough for a company to put out a good product. That company has to more and more be sustainable. It has to be working to contribute to good within the world and also has to be creating an environment that is conducive to nurturing and growth in addition to productivity. People are joining the workforce and expecting in some respects almost what they used to get from their neighborhood or their church or their playground. They’re looking for a community, for a network, for best friends from the workplace. Because the old places where they used to have that, don’t exist anymore.

Maybe it’s because they’re spending more of their time in the workplace.

That could be true but what’s interesting is employees are expecting a lot more of those needs to be met in the workplace than they used to.

Leadership is more than just a concept; it is about habit change. Click To Tweet

Is that from a study that was done because I would think that with Facebook and all these other communities outside of work that have been created, people are more and more involved in charities and different types of organizations. I would think that they’re getting a lot of their needs met in other areas. Not to say that they don’t have different needs for the organization but that was my thought. Is there some study that brings that to light?

Yes and no, and I’m making some connections here. As an example, this generation has more resources and more opportunity than any generation that’s existed. From both a medical perspective, a health perspective, from an entertainment perspective, from an educational perspective and from a network perspective. This generation has access to all of that in ways that people 20, 30 years ago never had. Yet, even though they have more resources, more connections and an opportunity for a greater network in education and talent development, they have the greatest number of issues from a mental health perspective. From a loneliness perspective and from a relationship struggle perspective than any generation in history since we’ve been tracking it. They’re seeking more of this connection. They’re seeking more feedback. They’re seeking more validation in the workplace and they’re doing it from a platform that’s more technologically-oriented. How do you do that?

Executives and leaders now, especially if they want to attract and retain incoming talent, it’s not enough to be clear about here’s our mission, here’s our vision, here are our goals and here’s our culture. That culture needs to up its game to be more interactive, to be more dialogic and to give more back. All of that is raising the bar for what a company needs to do and deliver. I’ve read an article and it’s crazy as this sounds to me and probably to a lot of people that there are some students or graduates who bring their parents to their job interview. There are some companies who are reaching out to parents, “Here’s what we’re going to do for your child. Here’s what we’re going to do for your students.” Even I am like, “I think that’s too far.”

It’s the whole, “Everybody gets a trophy.” There are different opinions on whether that is adding value or lacking certain developmental skills.

Here’s the other thing that I did read in terms of research, which I find fascinating is that my generation when it came to onboarding, and training when you started a company says, “It’s a check in the box. Let me do it and get it done.” This generation coming in wants it, expects it and yearns for it. They’re looking for ways to become more competent and more educated. There’s a real hunger. This generation gets a bad rep in some respects. You talked about the helicopter and taken care of and handholding. There’s part of that, but there’s also part of this group was the most talented group to ever come out. They’re looking to make a bigger difference in the world. They’re not just driven by money. Their values are more inclusive. All of these things are extremely positive.

TBT 51 | New Leadership

New Leadership: It’s not enough to be clear about the mission and vision of the company to attract and retain talent; the game is now about stepping up the culture.

I heard that people have been complaining about the young generation coming out in college forever. It was always how irresponsible they are.

It’s the opposite. They’re extremely responsible. They’re extremely talented and they’re going to ask for things that we may as an older generation say, “Just suck it.” First of all, I think that’s not the healthy approach. Second, I think it will be shirking our responsibility for raising our bar as well.

That’s what I was going to say is that they’re challenging the status quo so that we can raise the bar, so that we can be better companies. We can care more about the people, add more caring to the training and add more purpose to what the company stands for. The fact that they’re demanding that and that they want more feedback and that’s creating a culture where you don’t just have your annual review, but you need to have check-ins on a regular basis. That’s a good business. I’m sorry but I know companies who don’t have the time to even get to their annual reviews. People are disgruntled, unhappy and that’s why we have 70% of the workforce that’s disengaged. It’s what Gallup says. That’s why these changes are absolutely necessary.

If cultures in large companies and companies that have been around for a long time look at this generation and get inspired by them, pushed by them and embrace them, they’ll find themselves better off. Rather than fighting them or resisting it or trying to change this generation coming in. Rather than trying to change it, we’re better off being changed by it. To take those healthy values that they’re bringing, to adopt them and work with them.

That is leadership now. It brings us into that piece. You design and run different types of leadership programs for large organizations, midsize, and smaller organizations. How do you do that so that you can help these leaders? Whether they’ve been in leadership for a long time and they need to make a mindset shift or whether they’re young leaders coming up. How do you develop a program that helps them to reinvent their leadership?

One of my mentors, Jim Rohn, used to say, “You have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” The first place for real leaders to begin is themselves. We spend a fair amount of time and effort working on emotional intelligence, presence, mindfulness. If I gave you a paintbrush, whether I give you a cheap paint brush or a nice paintbrush, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to paint. Even if you know how to paint, if you don’t have the soul and the spirit in your painting, it lacks. In addition to helping people develop skills, we do the skill building as well. How to make a presentation, how to facilitate a group, how to run a meeting, how to help a group make a decision, how to deal with conflict, how to create a strategy, etc. We teach those skills but we teach them on top of people committing to working on themselves. As they develop those skills, those skills can multiply and impact because they personally are getting better.

The first place for real leaders to begin is themselves. Click To Tweet

They will teach them to others because that’s part of that leadership. When they have the skills that they’ve developed, then they’re able to bring that down to their teams so that their teams have those skills.

If you learn something and you have a spirit of serving, caring, nurturing and helping, as soon as you get something that’s good, whether it’s a skill or an insight or idea, you share it with others. That’s part of this mindset or approach of seeing a cause bigger than yourself. That’s part of the foundation that when people start to establish and develop that habit and that mindset of coming from that place, they become more impactful. They can spread, they can become contagious in very positive ways.

I love that type of programming as well. I do some of that myself. I find that what people don’t recognize is the importance of that emotional intelligence as part of leadership. Our overall theme is to take back time. How do you see the emotional intelligence aspect of leadership helping leaders to take back time?

I see it in a lot of places. One, if leaders can learn to be more present, to have better focus and better observational skills, they will see what is happening sooner than others. They will be able to predict what’s going to happen in the future more accurately than others. They’ll be able to, hence, make clear decisions that pay off more often than others. Those skills come right from mindfulness. It comes right from presence.

Good decisions lead to more efficient and effective results.

You’ll see oftentimes how a lack of emotional intelligence or getting cooked will derail a lot of those processes. As an example, I was called in to do a program for a team. This company saw me speak and they came to me right after the talk and they said, “Everything you were talking about with regards to teams and productivity, we need. As a matter of fact, we have this one particular team that is stuck and can you come in and work with them?” I said, “Sure, when?” They’re like, “Monday.” I was like, “Monday, I hardly ever get next week.” It was an emergency so I went down there. I put together a three-day team building workshop. I show up Monday morning. I’m working with the team, taking them through different skills, how to run their meetings, how to have their conversations, etc.

TBT 51 | New Leadership

New Leadership: Good decisions lead to more efficient and effective results.

I realized this team is pretty good. They’re pretty mature. They handle on this together. At the end of the day when I stopped, I said, “What’s going on here? I was brought in to help you be a better team but it looks like you have a lot of the skills you need to be a great team.” One person was brave enough to speak up and said, “It has nothing to do with us being a team or not a team. We’ve produced a solution that we’ve given to the executive team three times. Every single time the executive team has said no, but no one has come down here to explain why it’s wrong or why it doesn’t work or why it doesn’t fit. We’re not doing it again until they come down and talk to us.” It was fascinating to me because it’s a common pattern. If something isn’t working, let’s bring in new skills so that it can work.

A new tool or a new app or a new system.

What they don’t realize, it’s the foundational piece of emotional intelligence, being present, not turning away from a difficult issue, being able to have those conversations, and sorting things out. Our practice is all about let’s build the pieces that are most important. While we’re building the skills, we can have more and more impact with them. Skills are not a replacement, they are enhancements. As soon as people see them as enhancements versus replacements, they are oftentimes much better. Skills are not a replacement for low morale, difficult relationships or low productivity. The foundation is what we need to work on, the skills that will enhance whatever we have is a core.

I always talk about that. It’s the balance of the skills and the mindset. The mindset and the emotional intelligence is what we build off of. Every time we talk, I feel like I love everything that you say because it’s so powerful and it’s also not intuitive for people. An intuitive answer for them is to get a new skill, to get a new tool and to get a new system that’s going to fix it because we’re in that fix it mentality. When it really comes down to understanding ourselves and those soft skills and being better at communicating that are the fundamentals of any success. I know that you do multi-day programs. I would guess that it’s multi-day because you just scratched the surface if you’re only going to do a couple of hours or one day. If you want to get to the heart and the core, that’s why you need to do multi-days. A lot of companies are like, “We don’t have the time to do that.”

It’s fascinating. I love that line of, “We don’t have time to train people but we have time to fix all the mistakes.”

We have time to redo it over and over again.

Those companies who are committed and know the difference it can make, do the multi-day longer programs because they know it’s more than just a concept. It’s also about changing a habit. Second, if they can help not only an individual but a network change a habit, now you’re starting to influence the culture. If they can do it over a period of time, several different groups who develop a common language and begin to do it from a collective perspective, that culture begins to shift. I’ve worked in several companies where 10,000, 15,000, 20,000-person companies or functions or areas, that shift took two or three or four years. After a while of learning the language, of practicing the projects and getting on-board, people see it not only benefits themselves, it benefits their team and then ironically also benefits their family when they leave work.

We don't have time to train people but we have time to fix all the mistakes. Click To Tweet

It’s everything and so they don’t give up. They don’t stop learning. They get committed through the process of growing and so it becomes contagious, but it takes time. Those companies understand it takes time where someone needs to be a part of a program and also get coaching and then also get feedback and help from their peers. Then they can take and cascade that into other parts of the organization. If they make that commitment, they will get the results. The ones who want to just learn new skills, don’t get it, won’t go deep and don’t see the full benefits that they could be getting.

They are not going to get those long-term results. Tell me why you’re doing this. You mentioned something about working with young people.

I started my career as a high school science teacher and football coach and I also worked at Boston College and John Stanford for several years. I spent now in the last years doing work in Corporate America, expanding the skills and needs that are needed for leadership. Seeing the way the planet is going, seeing the way our country is challenged, especially with the divisions and the divisiveness. We need leaders who have a vision and a focus and are strong enough to cross divides, cross differences and build something better. I’m fascinated by the number of conversations that I’ll be in our groups I’ll work with and they will try to figure out what side am I on. Am I red or blue or this or then? To me, we all have a side. How do we work together to move forward?

Taking these skills and giving them back to young people, people in college and people just out of college will be fantastically helpful, not only to them but to the planet. It would allow them to begin to develop the skills that they need to make the world a better place and to make their company a better place. Also ironically, it allows them to be more valuable in capitalism, in the marketplace. The goal is to become as valuable as possible. What I want to begin doing is taking all of these skills that we’ve been training executives on, that cost thousands and thousands of dollars and start giving it to young people, so they can develop these skills as early as possible, so they can make as much difference as possible. That’s my personal vision over the next several years.

If leaders can learn to be more present, they will see what is happening sooner than others. Click To Tweet

Let’s tell our audience where they can reach you so that they can have you come in for a program for them or to talk to you further about what you’re doing.

The two best places to reach me are on LinkedIn. I follow LinkedIn quite regularly, every day if not every other day. It’s my name, Greg Zlevor. You can find me on the company website, which is WestwoodIntl.com. Those are the two best places to reach me. If you want to call the office phone, it’s (802) 253-1933.

Thank you so much for being here. I’m challenging the leaders to forge their pathway to leadership by understanding that it is the skills and the mindset that they need to see around the generations, around the different cultures and so forth in order to create new, more valuable and powerful organizations.

My pleasure. I love this work. Thank you for having me on and I look forward to hopefully talking sometime together in the future.

Thank you all for being here because without you, there would be no show. Thank you and do write down what you can take away and check out Greg and his materials and what he’s teaching. If you’re running an organization or you’re managing any leadership, bring him in to help your team to understand and develop themselves further and to bring your culture to a championship culture. Thank you all for being here. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Important Links:

About Greg Zlevor

TBT 51 | New LeadershipGreg Zlevor is the CEO, President, and Founder of Westwood International, a consulting collaborative that’s re-imagining what it means to lead wisely in a global age. Westwood’s signature, global-scale, action learning programs and change management initiatives have energized the vision of global brands like Volvo, The Singapore Police Force, Conmed, General Electric, and Cochlear, Boston college, J&J, among others. Most recently, Greg has spearheaded three new projects. The Leadership Project, a podcast that seeks to redefine the workplace and leadership development. The Global Community for Leadership Innovation, a collaborative of global companies including J&J, Honeywell, MGM and others that work together to discuss and explore new modes of best practices within Leadership Development and finally, Leading Mindfully, a customized program that seeks to center employees and leaders in Mindfulness practices so that they may better serve themselves, their teammates and their institution.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Take Back Time community today:

A Perspective On Organizational Behavior with Shane Spiers

TBT 49 | Organizational Behavior

The way businesses work depends on the culture of the company. Being a team leader, it is important to establish one that works best for the company. If you don’t, then the culture will become something else that might harm the overall productivity and growth. business scaling strategist Shane Spiers speaks on how to do this effectively as he discusses another perspective of organizational behavior, putting forward the importance of clarity around your goals and how your team behaves around them in order to work efficiently and effectively.

Listen to the podcast here:

A Perspective On Organizational Behavior with Shane Spiers

We’re going to talk about an organizational behavior perspective around how you can take back your time with Shane Spiers. Let me tell you a little bit about Shane Spiers. He is a business-scaling strategist. That’s important when you want to take back time because you really create leverage for your strategy. He is also an accomplished leader with small to medium enterprises, midsize and also the FTSE 250 success. His business track record is dominated by leading seven, eight and nine-figure rapid-growth companies. His roles have included being a CEO of a $25 million company providing services to Central UK Government and as MD of a $240 million business unit responsible for leading a team of over a thousand people operating in 135 sites and in 23 cities. This guy knows how to be productive with all of that targeting. Shane’s thing is the Summit SCALE, the seven to eight-figure business growth model that equips successful business owners to transition from an entrepreneurial business to a managed growth business. Shane, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me.

When you have to be in charge of a thousand people and over a hundred sites, what’s the key thing that enables you to keep that team working efficiently and effectively?

People don't want to be told what to do all the time. Click To Tweet

I would say clarity around what the goals are and how do we behave around here and what’s important right now? I start with being clear about the vision and purpose and all those things. Lots of people think they’re ethereal fluffy stuff. Our system is something corporate, but that’s where I’ll start. You’ve got to be clear about your long-term vision. What are you trying to do as a business? Who do you serve? What do you do and why do you do it? Those things are deep and important. The third aspect of those and these are often talked about all the time but I don’t think applied right. What are the core values of your organization? Those things are important as guiding principles because as managers, as leaders in large organizations, you can’t be there all the time to tell people what to do, to show them what to do and to give them advice.

People don’t want to be told what to do all the time. They want to get on with it and figure stuff out for themselves. I start with those, trying to get clear about what’s the long-term goal, breaking that down to what are the short-term priorities, what’s important right now and how do we behave around here? Those core values are important culturally because that’s what you recruit to. That’s the people you bring in. They fit in your culture. They think like you. They’re like-minded. They want the same things and the same things are important to them.

TBT 49 | Organizational Behavior

Organizational Behavior: If you don’t set your culture, it will get set in a way that you don’t like.

I just want to highlight that in my experience of working with small businesses, they cut that timeout, “We don’t have the time for that. We just get on and do it.” I don’t care how big the organization is. How do you get yourselves aligned to what you stand for, who you’re really serving and what the benefit is of the service? Unless you are clearly creating and communicating your mission, vision and goals from that perspective. I agree with you. It’s 100% important. If you don’t set your culture, it will get set in a way that you don’t like. You’ll end up with a culture that is much harder to change than it is to purposefully create, especially if you’re starting a new business or you’re still small.

If you leave it to chance, you could end up with anything. It could be working against you all the time.

Those were important. What do you say to companies that might come to you that are like, “We want to get on with this?” How do you get them to understand its value? What’s the key thing where they go, “I got it and I’m willing to spend the time on it.”

I say have a little bit of trust in the process. Just go with me. Normally, my first day or two working with any business is stepping back and taking that helicopter view. There’s plenty of time to get into the nitty-gritty of all the issues that have got to be fixed. Until we get clear and step back and we’ll get on the same page, particularly if it’s a leadership team that’s newly formed or that sort of thing. Let’s step back and get clear about the long-term vision of the organization. I’ve read some research that less than 10% of us are visionary leaders. A lot of business owners have an obscure vision or don’t have a vision at all. We’re not practicing that kind of visionary leadership. The problem is there are so many people out there who want to be part of something. They want to go somewhere. Unless you don’t create that bigger purpose, that bigger vision, that bigger goal, how are you going to attract the best people and get people to come with you?

Make sure that you're growing, but that you're growing sustainably. Click To Tweet

Their best performance is going to come from being connected. They talk about Gallup in the research about 70% of the workforce being disengaged. It’s because they don’t have anything to hang their hat on. What can I be talking about this company and have a clear set of expectations of how they want me to show up? If we’re not giving that kind of structure, we can’t expect that type of performance. What kind of results are you getting with your clients that we could hang our hat on and say, “If I were to engage in this process, I could look at this type of group?”

The business you were talking about that I was leading a thousand people, that business grew 2,000% in eight years from SME to FTSE 250. It began from a small business to one of the top 200 businesses in the UK. That’s where a lot of these things were honed, practiced and my beliefs were formed. I’m helping other organizations. I’m not eight years into it, but we’re getting 50% growth in some of these.

50% growth in a year for many companies is a huge growth. You also don’t want to grow too fast because you’ve got to put the systems and structures in place. You also want to make sure that you’re growing but you’re growing sustainably.

A lot of people come to me to say, “I’ve got a business growth problem. We’re not growing fast enough.” What I say is, “That may be true but what you’re saying is you just need more sales and more revenue to grow. I do think you’ve got a business growth problem. I think you’ve got a business growth model problem. I don’t think you’ve got a model to scale your organization.” I see so many people invest, “We want to grow. We’re going to invest more in salespeople.” If you don’t invest in the other parts of your business, your delivery, your backend service, all of the other parts, then you start to fail in all those things, then you’re just going to get run into execution problems. You’re going to stop ticking customers off and you get customer dissatisfaction. You never hit sales numbers that you expect to hit. For me, it’s a holistic solution. You’re going move all of these parts of the organization on at the same time.

There’s a saying that I heard many years ago that goes, “The presenting problem is often not the problem.” We have to dig deeper. What we think is the problem isn’t often the problem. I was working with one company and she thought that her problem was sales. She needed to bring on more sales. The more we dug in to understand her numbers, she was doing advertising for a magazine and we found that she was losing 85% or more than 85% of the clients who are not reestablishing their advertising for the coming year. It wasn’t a sales problem, it was a retention problem. If she was continuing to create an average number of sales and keep the retention, she would have grown dramatically. It’s really key to understand where that problem really is and that’s what you do. You help to hone in on which aspect of that as you bring them all together on the same path.

I always talk about these three barriers as you scale and as you grow an organization past where you can run it yourself and you can manage the people yourself. For most of us, we can only manage seven to ten people. Once you get past that stage, you’ve got to start figuring out how to run your business in a different way. When you get to that stage, there are three barriers you’ve got to overcome. One is around leadership. It’s the ability not only develop your own leadership skills but the ability to develop leaders across your organization. That doesn’t mean we’re all top leaders and CEOs. It means people in your organization who can delegate, who can create the conditions for performance and solve problems. You’ve got to fix that.

The second one is systems, which we’ve touched on. You’ve got to build systems where you can scale so you can get consistency in the communication, the decisions, and the delivery and all of those sorts of things. The third one, which links to the sales, is scaling your marketing that you’ve got an effective marketing, but you’re not on this rollercoaster sales thing that we market when sales are down and then we forget about it when sales are up.

The presenting problem is often not the problem. Click To Tweet

Those are things for people to think about in terms of where their current barrier is, but also to remember that it might not be where you think it is. We are a little bit limited on the time that we had. I wanted to make sure that we could get some of those great nuggets out and I know that people are taking away. If they want to hear more, where can they find out more information about you, Shane?

If they go to www.SummitLeader.com, there are loads of free resources there and have a look and poke around to your heart’s content and see what you like.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

Thank you.

Thank you all for being here because you are the most important part of this podcast. Without you, we wouldn’t continue to find great experts and leaders in their space to come and bring some of their wisdom to you. The nut of what we heard is being strategic. It’s about setting those common goals and taking the time to be clear and communicate that clearly as well as the behaviors that you expect in the organization to set the right culture. That’s going to be the cornerstone of your leadership. You can take it from there and look at the systems that support and then the marketing structures that are then filtering business through the funnel. Thank you all for being here and we’ll see you in the next time.

Important Links:

About Shane Spiers

TBT 49 | Organizational BehaviorShane Spiers is a Business Scaling Strategist and accomplished leader with SME, mid-sized and FTSE 250 success. His business track record is dominated by leading 7, 8 & 9-figure rapid growth companies.

His roles have included CEO of a 25 million company providing services to central UK government and MD of a 240 million business unit responsible for leading a team of over 1000 people operating in 135 sites in 23 cities.

These days Shane’s thing is “Summit SCALE®: The Seven to Eight-Figure Business Growth Model” that equips successful business owners to transition from an entrepreneurial business to a managed growth business.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Take Back Time community today:

Strategies And Tools For Time Blocking with Lynda West

TBT 48 | Time Blocking

We don’t know when our last breath is going to be. We can get distracted in different ways that we have to continually remind ourselves of what’s important. We have to make a choice to be more purposeful so we can be more productive in doing things that we love and make the most of our time. Lynda West, known as the Oprah of San Diego, explores the concept of time blocking and focusing on what’s important. Lynda is a master connector, bestselling author of The Year of Fears, creator of the Finishit Fast Program where she turns procrastinators into actionators, and the Facebook Live queen having done 2,700 plus Facebook live videos. She reveals that spending time doing things that she doesn’t want to do is not something she wants to do anymore, and so she’s made a conscious choice to make sure that if she’s not happy doing something that she shifts either in her mind or actually remove herself from the situation and put herself into something that makes her happy. Lynda shares why time blocking is important and gives some advice on how to use it.

Listen to the podcast here:

Strategies And Tools For Time Blocking with Lynda West

On this show, we’re talking about ways to take back your time and be more strategic and more purposeful in the way that you approach things. I’m excited to have Lynda West with me. Lynda is known as the Oprah of San Diego. That’s because she’s so social and interviews everyone. She’s interviewed more than 200 people on her show, Living Live TV. She’s a master connector and the bestselling author of The Year of Fears as well as a few other books. She’s the creator of Finishit Fast Program. Finishing it fast is what we’re all doing, it’s what we want to do. That’s where she turns procrastinators into actionaters. She’s the Facebook Live Queen, having done more than 2,700 Facebook Live videos. That was probably an old number. She’s a mover and shaker. Tell us a little bit about Lynda West. In order to get connected to you, tell us something that you think the entrepreneurs can appreciate what you’ve gone through.

At the age of 51, after working 49 jobs and working as a legal secretary for twenty years and working for a judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, I realized that I was spinning my wheels and I wasn’t doing what I was probably put here on earth to do. I started doing some soul searching. I hired a life coach and after working with a life coach for about five months, I realized that corporate work was not for me. I came home one day from work and I told my husband, “I’m quitting my job. This is it. We’re going to figure out what I’m supposed to do here.” That was in 2014.

In the last years, I’ve been spending my time trying to figure out, “What is it that I’m here to do? What is my purpose?” It’s been an interesting journey because it’s taken me through ups and downs, sideways and everything trying to figure it out. Through the journey, I’ve discovered that it’s the journey. I know Harley Davidson says, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.” That’s the journey I have been on, is discovering what is it that I have that can help people. I figured it out and it’s been so awesome because when you figure that out, things start aligning and that’s what’s cool about it. That’s how you know you’re in the flow. It’s been a great journey. The journey is not over by any means. It’s the journey of learning. How do I then incorporate that into my life and then help others along the way?

There could be a lot of people who are in a job that they don’t love. The thought of being more productive is new to them in the context of they’re doing something that they don’t enjoy. Who wants to be more productive in an area that they don’t enjoy? I want to point out to people that being productive is doing things that you love. It’s unproductive to be stuck in a job and wasting time and wasting your years away. Do you feel you wasted years away because you weren’t doing what you were meant to do or what you love to do?

Finishing things and completing something gives this sense of accomplishment. Click To Tweet

One thing I’ve I have worked hard on for this last four years is to change my mindset. For me, I don’t look at it as wasted. Looking back at so many things I learned along the way, I met so many different personalities. I work with lawyers for twenty years. People talk about lawyers and how lawyers have a bad rep in my opinion. I learned how to work with all these different personalities, which is helping me now. I can take all those things that I learned from all those 49 jobs and I can apply it to what I’m doing now.

I can relate to people who are frustrated with their job. I can relate to people who are frustrated, driving in traffic every single day, feeling underappreciated or not appreciated at all. I can totally relate to that because I’ve experienced that. That’s one of the blessings I have is that I can take all of those experiences and apply them to what I do. I can sympathize and empathize with those who are going through that, then I can share with them how they can make that leap and live the life they truly want to live. We don’t know when our last breath is going to be. For me, spending my time doing things that I don’t want to do, that’s not something I want to do anymore. I’ve made a conscious choice to make sure that if I’m not happy doing something that I shifted, I either shift in my mind or remove myself from the situation and put myself into something that makes me happy.

I’m all about mindset as well. You’re right, every experience is a learning experience. It’s something that we can grow from and it makes us who we are. That being said, now you’re making a choice to be more purposeful and you’re going to make it fun, whether it’s something that maybe is a means to an end that isn’t ultimately your favorite thing to do, but you want to do it because it brings you to another goal or else you don’t do it.

It’s funny you mentioned the word fun because for the last few years, I’ve tried so many different things. I was putting on an event called Nonprofit Speaker Series where I would bring nonprofit experts in to talk to nonprofits to help them grow. I was standing there and I was getting ready to introduce the next speaker. I said, “I realized this morning that I want to spend the rest of my life having as much fun as possible and hanging out with positive and uplifting people who want to make a positive change on this planet.” When it came out of my mouth, I was like, “That sounds so superficial.” In my mind it did because I was making this declaration, “I’m going to have fun.” Then afterwards, many people came up to me and said, “I love that that’s what your life’s mission is.” I say it proudly. I love having fun. Why wouldn’t I want that to be something that I strive for on a daily basis?

It wears off and then other people want to have fun. We could live our life with fun or without fun, why not live it with everything more fun? Coming back to the theme of the show, take back time. Imagine how much time you’re taking back when you’re having fun in what you’re doing. Even if you’re washing dishes or cutting the lawn, you can make everything a game and make it fun in some way. I’m going to pay more attention and be more purposeful with that, especially starting today. I have it in my values and everything, but it’s something you have to remind yourself up because we can get distracted in different ways. We have to continually bring yourselves back to remind ourselves of what’s important.

My husband and I bought a motorhome. It was my first night sleeping in the motorhome and I woke up to take my shower. It’s funny because when we were looking at the shower from the outside without being inside of it, it looks awesome. I got in there and I was like, “It’s very short.” Then I got out of the shower, “Where did I put the towels?” I had a hand towel to dry myself off with. I bring that up because my old me would’ve been complaining, but the new me is like, “At least I have a hand towel. I’m so thankful.” I always try to see the positive in things. I have a shower, a lot of people don’t have that. I’m grateful for my life and the things that I have. I’m trying to look at any situation that could potentially take me down the negative rabbit hole, instead choose to take that other route and turn it into something positive.

We met at CEO Space, which is an event where people, entrepreneurs go to further develop their skills and their networks. We were talking about a concept called time blocking. I wanted to talk to people on the show who use different tools and different strategies in here. How are they using it? How is it benefiting them? I can talk about it, but that’s only one perspective. I want to bring in multiple perspectives. Tell us a little bit about why time blocking is important to you and how you use it?

It was hard for me to discover something that worked for me. I’ve tried so many different things. I tried the Passion Planner. I’ve tried this planner and that planner. I’ve tried online tools, I’ve tried so many different tools. They just weren’t fitting for me. That’s one thing that’s important because somebody will say to you, “This works, you’ve got to do it.” If it’s not working for you, it doesn’t work. When Penny introduced the concept of time blocking, I immediately thought this isn’t going to work because nothing else had worked, but she took us through this exercise that helped me to see that I thought I had 36 hours in a day. What did I think that I’m doing all this stuff? It was cool to break that down. I’m using my Outlook Calendar. I block everything out that I do. If you look at my calendar, you will pretty much see 24 hours blocked out because I block out my sleep time. I block out my time. If I’m going to go to the movies with my husband, I block out my drive time. I always count traffic into that. I’m always giving myself buffers in case I’m wrong.

TBT 48 | Time Blocking

Time Blocking: Looking back at so many things, I don’t look at it as wasted at all. I learned along the way and I learned how to work with all these different kinds of personalities.

How many people are late and stressed out because they don’t account for some of those times, the driving, the transition or give yourself time to go to the bathroom?

I wasn’t blocking the time of eating. Eating takes time, preparing your food takes time. Everything that we do takes time. Prior to this interview, for example, I blocked out a half-hour prior and I call it prep, then after the interview, I block out a half-hour called post. Every time I do something, I have a prep and post for myself to have that buffer just in case I need it. What the time blocking has done for me is, first of all, it has relieved a lot of stress that I had related to time and not only that, I’m much more productive. I’m doing the things that are on my calendar because I blocked out the time. It’s been the best tool. I have that and then Calendly, that’s for my calendaring. Those tools have saved me hours and hours each week and they both have helped me to become much more productive.

I encountered a lot of people like this too who say, “That’s too structured. I like to be free-spirited and my stuff will just get done.” What would you say to that person because maybe that’s the way you were before you started this?

I’m totally a free spirit. Anybody who has 49 jobs is not concerned with a lot of stuff. We’ve moved a lot of places too. I’m definitely a free spirit. We’re living in a motorhome so that we can get up and move anytime we want. That’s who I am, but what this did was to give me more freedom. It seems like, “It’s so militant.” It’s not. What it does is it helps you to see how much time it takes you to do things so that you can enjoy more time having that freedom time. If you want to have more freedom, walk out freedom time. It’s so simple because then you’re like, “I’ve got the stuff done that I need to get done. I have all this free time.” It gives you more freedom by being somewhat structured.

You have to have a group of people who are there to cheer you on and want you to succeed. Click To Tweet

Planning and this type of time blocking will give you more freedom and more flexibility than if you didn’t do it. That seems weird, but you’re right. Part of that is the reduction of stress because we don’t have to keep it on our head and figure it out. That’s energy that’s trapped because you’re not giving your full resources to the moment because you still have that whole list of other things that you have to do, and you’re not sure you’re going to do it. That’s such an important point. This will give you back more flexibility and more freedom if you just take those things that are most important for you and structure them.

First of all, I was surprised that I kept doing it. It’s been three years.

Why did you keep doing it?

Because it was working. Here’s the thing, it works no matter what. Do I work it? It was working and I was working at and that’s what is so awesome about it. Everybody’s like, “You’ve got to do the Passion Planner, that’s the one.” There’s one called the Evil Planner that is based on your personality type and somebody who is using the planner was like, “This one’s perfect for you because you’re an Alchemist. This was made for Alchemists.” I did it literally for a week and a half and I went back to my time blocking because time blocking works for me.

You’ve created a program called Finishit Fast. Where did this come from? Tell us a little bit about that because that seems like a great Take Back Time type of a program.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. I had my own necessity and that was that I had become a seminar junkie. I attended so many seminars, I watched so many webinars. When I first started entrepreneurship, I didn’t even know what the word entrepreneur was. I went on this journey trying to discover, “What does all this mean? How do I make a business? How do I run a business? How do I make money?” All these different things, I attended seminars, webinars and teleseminars. What happens when you attend those? You come back with a big booklet of stuff that goes with it and it sits on the shelf because you’ve got to go attend the next seminar and you don’t have time to do this stuff. I found myself having a shelf full of all this amazing material. About two years into my entrepreneur journey, I was like, “I have all this stuff and I’m not doing any of it.”

I called up a couple of friends and I said, “I want to start a mastermind, but I want to run it differently than any other mastermind out there. What I want to do is I want us to meet in person and at the very beginning of the session, I want us to all tell each other what we’re going to work on. Then for the next three hours, we work on it and get it done.” Imagine that, getting it done. At that time, the program was called GSD, which stood for Get Shit Done. I have since changed the name because I wanted to trademark Get Shit Done but it wasn’t trademark-able. I changed the name of the program to Finishit Fast because this program, if you have something that you’re putting off and you want to do it, the way it’s structured is that you are being held accountable right then and there. That’s why it works.

You’re giving the space and time. There are no excuses. You’re sitting there with a group of people and you’ve probably got a report on what you did at the end of the session.

TBT 48 | Time Blocking

Time Blocking: Being somewhat structured really actually gives you more freedom.

We’re on a Zoom call and everybody reports in. They tell what they’re going to do. It’s a three-hour block. The last fifteen minutes of that three-hour block everybody checks back in and says, “I got it done or I didn’t.” What’s cool about this is it helps me to be able to tell the percentages of what people are actually accomplishing. About 80% to 85% of the time they finish what they say they’re going to do. I belonged to a lot of mastermind programs, I belonged to accountability programs and none of them are structured in a way that worked for me because what would happen is that at the end of a mastermind call, I’ve got all these brilliant ideas and then my life happened. I’d get to the end of the week, it’s time to check back in with everybody next week, “Did you get that stuff done?” “No.” It happens so often to so many people.

Almost every single person in the mastermind groups I belong to or the accountability programs I belong to were that same way. I said, “How can I change this and make it so that people are successful?” I want people in my program to be successful. I said, “What if I sit there with them? I’ve got to work anyway. What if I sit there with them for three hours and watch them work?” Sometimes we jump off the call and jump back on. Sometimes we’re there the whole time. At the end of the three hours, the accomplishments that people finish, it’s amazing and astounding. One woman finished a book that had sat on her shelf for twenty years.

One that she’s writing or one that she’s reading?

She wrote it twenty years ago. She said, “I have one last chapter. I’m going to finish that chapter.” In three hours, she finished that chapter. She felt like the huge weight was lifted after twenty years.

Life is short. We don't know when our last breath is. Click To Tweet

The value of that program is that it’s so important to hold ourselves accountable. It’s easy not to do the things that we want to do that are best for us. It could be some form of self-sabotage. Maybe she was afraid of what people would think and that’s why she didn’t want to finish the book. It puts your feet to the fire right there and then. If you know someone’s watching, we show up differently and when they’re accountable. I worked with a trainer for that very reason because I wouldn’t show up to the gym. I’d come up with an excuse because something else will become more important.

It’s important to me, but for some reason, I wouldn’t do it. Those kinds of programs, that is fantastic because it’s the same concept, but for work or for those passion projects is a trainer who holds you accountable and stands there while you do it. Isn’t that what a trainer does? I work out and he stands there and I paid for that. I’ll do it every time because it gets me results. This is a brilliant model that you’re bringing. Very different from another form of mastermind coaching that will coach call and then you’ll go away and do it or not do it. 

TBT 48 | Time Blocking

Time Blocking: A lot of times, we put things off and they’re sitting on the shelf. Every time we look at it we say, “I’m going to do that.”

It’s funny you mentioned the personal trainer thing because there was one of the women in the group said, “I’m so glad I’m doing this because my husband came in and interrupted me.” I said, “I can’t, Lynda’s watching me.” It works.

When something works, then embrace it and work it as you said. How do people get a hold of you about getting involved in this program with you? Who’s a good fit for it?

A good fit for it is I’m working with mostly with women. Women entrepreneurs who are putting things off and they’re beating themselves up over it. A lot of times, that’s what happens is it’s sitting on the shelf. Every time we look at it, we say, “I’m going to do that.” Even if we’re not consciously saying that our subconscious is saying that. The Finishit Fast Program, you can find that at FinishitFast.com. Finishing things, just completing something gives you this sense of accomplishment. Also, you have to have the group of people who were there cheering you on wanting you to succeed. That’s so important because many people that I know don’t have that positive reinforcement in their lives.

Just having this group that wants them to succeed and is behind them and pulling them through and stuff, it’s so important and so helpful. It has helped me. Even me, being the leader of the group, I still have the group that is helping me make it through the things that I need to work on. Just remember, life is short. We don’t know when our last breath is. This was so important for me because towards my mom’s last days of her life, she expressed how many regrets she had for things she hadn’t done. That’s why for me if I don’t want to do something, I’m not going to do it for very long because life is short. I don’t want to get to the end and say, “I have all these regrets, things I didn’t do.” Instead I can say, “I’m so glad I live the life I wanted to live.” The life that I’m living, people might look at it and say, “That’s not fun,” but for me, it is. That’s what matters. I’m living my life the way I want to live it. Hopefully, I’m making a positive impact on other people’s lives because that’s important to me.

We each get to choose what’s right for us and appreciate that it’s going to be different for everyone. For tools and strategies, there isn’t one size fits all. You have to find what works for you. Definitely check out Linda’s Finishit Fast Program, especially if you have something that’s on the shelf. If you’ve got any shelf development, let’s get that off the shelf and get that finished.

Important Links:

About Lynda West

TBT 48 | Time BlockingKnown as the Oprah of San Diego, Lynda West has interviewed more than 200 people on her show, Living Live TV. She is a master connector, best selling author of The Year of Fears, creator of the Finishit Fast Program (where she turns procrastinators into actionators), and the Facebook Live queen having done 2,700+ Facebook live videos.

In 2015 she embarked on a journey of facing at least one fear every day, hence The Year of Fears. During her journey she met people ranging from Frank Shankwitz (the creator and a founder of the Make-a-Wish Foundation); Ron Klein (the inventor of the credit card magnetic strip and MLS); Brian Smith (the founder of UGG Boots); Gene Landrum (the creator of everyone’s favorite mouse, Chuck E. Cheese); and many others. In addition, she has interviewed stars on the red carpet at the Academy Awards After Party, The City Gala.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Take Back Time community today:

Principles Versus Tactics: Navigating Platform Changes with Kyle Wilson

TBT 47 | Navigating Platform Changes

Part of building success is learning to create platforms. However, things change a lot in the different platforms and the biggest thing that you need to learn is to navigate the changes. Personal development expert and marketing specialist Kyle Wilson says to help navigate platform changes, you need principles and tactics. Tactics, like social media, change, but the principles don’t. The biggest mistake people sometimes make is focusing more on the tactics when it’s the principles that are bringing great value, building an audience, building relationships, connecting with the audience, and having great products and services to offer. Kyle says once you understand the value of bringing service and great products, you’ll retain the right customer and build that relationship.

Listen to the podcast here:

Principles Versus Tactics: Navigating Platform Changes with Kyle Wilson

On this show, we’ve got some great people that are from different walks of life, from different businesses, and they’re all bringing extreme value. I can tell you that our guest is absolutely one of those people. Kyle Wilson is with us and he is the Founder of the Jim Rohn International OrganizationYourSuccessStore.comLessonsFromNetwork.com and KyleWilson.com. This guy is juggling a lot of different things at the same time. He’s worked with top names in the personal development industry, including his eighteen-year-old business partner, friend and mentor, Jim Rohn. He’s also worked with Jeffrey Gitomer, Og Mandino, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, and Robin Sharma. He’s been the wind beneath their wings.

He’s the author of 52 Lessons That I Learned From Jim Rohn and other great legends that he promoted that I promoted. He partnered with Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield on Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. I could go on and on talking about how Kyle has filled seminar rooms. He’s launched multiple bestselling books and personal development publications. This guy is a rock star and he’s here with us. You’ve worked with some incredible people.

I’ve been very fortunate. Part of that was learning to create platforms. I became a seminar promoter. When you can fill up rooms, you can attract great people. That’s how it all began with a seminar promoter and then I adapt it. When the internet came around, I built a huge email list. That was the platform for people with great content to get their message out. It’s been a phenomenal journey.

What was one of the biggest challenges that you had starting out creating that?

I always say it starts with zero. Whoever you’re following, whoever you want to become, whoever that competition is, they started at zero. I had to start at zero, I had to learn through the school of hard knocks and challenges. It took me a while but I got pretty good and a big part of it was the influence of Jim Rohn. I’ve discovered this message and followed his principles and philosophies. That helped me grow as a person. The whole seminar promoter world requires a lot of activity and a lot of effort. I had to become a student, had to learn, but it’s something that over time, I got pretty good at.

How did you adapt? Things have changed a lot in the different platforms from when you started with Jim Rohn to how you might be promoting. What’s the biggest thing that you learned about navigating the change?

Never let a tactic interrupt a principle. Click To Tweet

We say there are two things. There are tactics and there are principles. Tactics change. Social media is a big tactic. Whatever the tactics are, those are always going to change. The principles don’t change. The principles are bringing great value, building an audience, building relationships, connecting with the audience, and having great products and services to offer. Once I understood the value of creating service, bringing great products, retain the right customer and building that relationship and then understanding the power of having advocates then empowering their advocates, I created a couple of different tools over the years. One moved over six million copies and a viral marketing tool, the Jim Rohn quote book that I have done for Zig Ziglar and other speakers too. What it was is empowering our advocates to go share the message. That’s the principle. I use the tactics of the book, but the principle was having a great product, having great service, and then finding out how to empower your advocates to go spread the message.

That is super important. I love that differentiation. I always talk about strategy and tactics. What’s important for everybody who’s in business is that those principles are what guide us in our business. Tactics may change and we can pivot and strategize on how we’re going to do them, but the principles have to come first, don’t they?

They do. I always say, “Never let a good tactic interrupt a principle.” A lot of people say, “This works. Let’s try this latest gadget,” as long as it doesn’t violate the principle and I see that happen often. People get caught up in something and oftentimes it doesn’t work. It works enough. Everything works. Putting business cards on windshields work, it just doesn’t work very well. People get confused about the risk-reward on some of the tactics they use. It’s crazy to me to see these companies will go out and spend fortunes and have horrible customer service. That makes no sense. Companies spend huge fortunes and have a subpar product. The core of any business is to have a great product, great service, great customer service, and be relational. It’s about relationships.

I’ve been on all sides of this. I was pre-internet when I had to build it all with no list. I was one of the early adopters to the internet. I built a million plus list. I’m looking currently. It’s about connecting with people and relationships, getting them from social media platforms to get together. I do inner circle masterminds and that’s where the real magic happens is when you can actually get people together. It’s just understanding how that works. Many people are doing things that I don’t think are sound. It’s because they bought into a get rich quick if you will.

Someone says, “Here’s how you go get 10,000 followers on Instagram in a month.” You could do that. You know it’s ethically wrong in how you’re doing it. There are many unintended consequences in how you do it versus building it the right way, which is great content, sowing good seed, and letting there be a harvest. I’m a big believer in being a farmer. If I’m going to go create a fantastic wine and have a vineyard, it’s going to take some time. That’s going to outperform over time someone else trying to get a quick result. You’ve mentioned I’ve done a lot of things. They were spread out, but the accumulation of doing good things that last, that’s the power. People just have to be patient. Jim Rohn said, “The twin pillars of success are greed and impatience.” It’s a hard lesson for all of us. Once people realize when you follow the principles, you do things right, it’s amazing that the results will happen.

TBT 47 | Navigating Platform Changes

Navigating Platform Changes: Principles are what guide us in our business.

People compromise a principle for a tactic. They’re looking for that quick result and I think that’s brilliant to check in when you’re developing something. Any type of company as you said, make sure that you’re checking in on the process and its quality from start to finish. A lot of people focus on one step of the process and they don’t manage it all the way through and that’s where it will bite you in the butt.

A lot of times it’s out of ignorance. It’s their first go around. They bought into a get rich quick type of mentality. I’m talking about internet marketing and that is my world. I’m an online marketer. I’ve built a million plus list, I have hundreds of products. I watch so much BS out there and people say, “I build it and they’re going to come. I’m going to make so much money. Let me throw it out there.” That’s the opposite of the truth. It’s not going to happen. If it ever did happen, it doesn’t happen now. Your stuff has to be good. Converting cold traffic into buyers is very difficult and very expensive. The only way to make it work if someone’s thinking long-term is to do it right. Create something people want and then put it out there in a smart way. Build a foundation. I have zero interest in doing one and done type of activity.

Anything one-time without a residual long-term compounding effect is just a bad use of time. When we’re talking about productivity secrets, one of them is to make sure everything you do is going to have a long-term build to it. We talked about being strategic. What’s that one domino you can knock down that will knock down the rest of the dominoes? When people think, “I’ll just go out there and people are going to buy,” it’s their first Rodeo, they haven’t gone through the experience. That’s not going to happen. It’s got to be good or at the end of the day, you’re churning through people. The results are going to be very minimal if not actually very bad.

You have to check in on yourself and do your homework. It could be from ignorance, it could be from greed or impatience. It’s a different way of thinking to think in terms of the long-term. The residual income and creating something to last, it seems like people don’t think like that anymore or is it just me? 

It’s a lot of noise. Fortunately, there are a lot of people that are very principle-based and you’re surrounded by them. I’m surrounded by them. Because of all of the noise on social media, a lot of the marketing noise, it gets clouded out. Everyone has to have a little bit of experience. My favorite clients are people that have failed because they’re not living in La La Land. They had figured out, “What they said didn’t work. How do I do this to make it work?” We can get somewhere because we’re going to do it right. A lot of times, it is out of ignorance and the aspect of greed and impatience along with it.

Outside of what you just said, which is critical, is focusing on those principles. What are some of the other things that you guide them around so they can be more strategic and work smarter?

Going way back when I partnered with Jim Rohn is this thing called The Wheel. Picture a wheel with the hub in the middle and you’re the hub and add spokes and every spoke is a product or service. The goal is when people get on the wheel, you take them around the wheel. With that in mind, my biggest goal is to get people on the wheel and build a relationship with them. It’s different from a funnel, people are caught up in the funnel. “I’m going to get cold traffic and I’m going to take them down this funnel and sell them something,” which does have an agenda to it. The wheel is more building a relationship and they pick and choose which folks they’re interested in.

Back to the strategic part of it is you have to be strategic about what those spokes are. I have some examples of one idea that changed everything. One spoke, if you added it, we get more people on the wheel and take them around and build the relationship. The question is finding that secret sauce. That’s the question I always tell people. You’ve got to begin with what makes you special. What makes you unique? What can you offer that most people can’t offer? Typically, it’s whatever makes you unique. Sally Hogshead said unique and different is better than better.

When we’re authentically ourselves, being authentically who we are, there is something powerful that shines through that truth that we carry. You’ve got to discover what that is. Once you discover it, make sure that that’s part of the wheel. Everything I’ve ever created, whether it was with Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley, Ron White, Chris Widener, different people currently, people I work with. I’m always finding out what is that secret sauce, what makes them unique, then making sure what’s the one product. Don’t focus on twenty. What is the one thing that we did that would knock down the dominoes? For Jim Rohn, it was a little quote book. We sold six million of it. Then I get another one, a little audio called Build Your Network Marketing Business. It sold millions, but more importantly, it got people on the wheel and we built a relationship with them.

From there, they came to our seminars, they bought our program. We weren’t this constantly trying to upsell people to something bigger. We were actually building an audience, building a tribe, building relationships, getting great value. That’s when you have advocates and there’s nothing more powerful than having people out saying how great you are. A lot of people are in that cold traffic cycle versus warm and hot traffic. How do you get warm and hot traffic? You have to build a relationship, give people great values, and give them something they want. A lot of people take their customers for granted. That’s a bad principle, that’s a bad philosophy. How do I serve the people that love me? By taking care of them, they become advocates and you’re in the warm and hot traffic.

It’s dealing with your advocates. If they already love you and you take care of them, then they’re going to go and spread the word and then you’ve got an alternative sales force if you want to call it right, who are advocating on your behalf. It’s easier than like you said, just trying to spray and pray approach by knocking on everyone’s door and that’s not going to get you as far.

Many funnels out there are trying to take cold traffic and turn people into a sale so quickly. I get it. I understand. There are some scenarios where I get it, but for the most part, the more you can realize that if you have an opportunity to build a relationship. For example, I know we’re going to bring it up in the end, but it applies to what we’re talking about that is called 52 Lessons I learned From Jim Rohn and other legends. People get on it and then I give them a weekly lesson. I don’t try and sell them anything. What I do is when I’m talking to my list, if I have an event coming up, I tell everyone about the event. If I have a book project coming up, I tell everyone about the book project, but they’re not in the funnel.

I’m not trying to drive an agenda. I’m giving them great content. A lot of people wouldn’t be able to afford things I do and that’s totally cool with me. I’m not trying to sell them. I’m building a relationship talking to my audience and that’s what I tell people. Whether you’re a doctor, whether you’re an accountant, whether you’re a speaker and author, the key is you want to be building a list and talking to the list. I’ve given them a great value and then occasionally give them something to say yes to and say, “I would love to be part of what you have coming up.” In my mind, that’s fishing versus hunting. I’m not hunting, I’m actually putting out stuff. Those that want it will say yes.

I like how you’re comparing it to the funnel and so that we can see that it’s more of a relationship builder than a funnel that quickly weeds people out. When they’re not in the relationship, they’re selling. That’s why you’re so successful and why you’ve created successful speaker brands, and different people that you’ve been working with are raving about you because you’re helping them to build those long-term relationships.

There's nothing more powerful than having people out saying how great you are. Click To Tweet

I get the benefit of feedback. Part of it is over the years, I pay attention to everyone that says yes to anything. It’s always fascinating. Some people in an event, they sign up for whatever you’re doing. Some people though, it’s five years later but the cool thing was they got on my wheel, they got on my list. I’m not just trying to bombard them with stuff. I’m building a relationship. When the time’s right, they say yes. Sometimes there are people, they’re not candidates for what I’m doing, whether it’s economically they’re not there or right for them, sometimes they refer someone that it’s right for it. The key is whether you’re doing a podcast or an interview or you’re speaking, or you’re at a meet-up or you’re at an event, you’re meeting people, if there are potential candidates to build a relationship with I always encourage people, have a list and start talking to the list.

Give great content. Become a utility. Be someone that’s connecting people in the marketplace. There are so many great things that can come from that. Part of it is that platform. We begin the call with, you’ve created a platform. When you’re a part of someone’s event, you can send it out to your list and invite people. Now you’re more valuable when you’re a speaker or if you’re on a podcast or you’re doing an interview or you’re sharing responsibility with someone on an event. The more you build your audience, the more valuable because you’ve created a platform.

Those are great ways. We’re talking about taking back time. When we’re more strategic and we’re building a long-term asset, that is a way to take back time. It’s an investment in the in the beginning, but that investment pays off tenfold. I am a total believer in that because, for me, some of my best and most loyal clients are not the ones that said yes right away. Sometimes it’s the ones that I’ve built a relationship over time and then they became clients. They have been clients for ten plus years. I totally appreciate that value, that relationships are valuable no matter what stage they’re in.

TBT 47 | Navigating Platform Changes

Navigating Platform Changes: You have to build a relationship, give people great values, and give them something they want.

It was having to list a lot of people think, “I don’t have time to deal with the responses.” That’s the number one thing. It’s actually the opposite. I have more free time than most people because I have systems. I let my list and my system do the work. I put good stuff out. If people are interested, they say yes. I send them, “Here’s how they could sign up or whatever they want, or if they want some resources, I give them a link to go get those resources.” What I am doing is building these relationships so when they’re ready, they say yes versus someone we have to hunt. We go out and get a new customer and I get that a lot. People are having a start over so often. If they created the right systems, they can have massive amounts of time and it also creates all the right behaviors and right results.

Systems create leverage. They enable you to scale and critical in taking back time. What are some of the systems that you recommend that you use?

I don’t know how many people have a list. If you’re a doctor, you should be talking to your audience. You have seasonal things coming up. School’s about to start, anyone in athletics has to get a physical. When it’s flu season, all these different things. If you’re just putting stuff out to your audience, first of all, you’re first on their brain and second of all, “We need to go see Dr. Jones and get our physical done.” To do that, that’s a missing piece for so many people. I use AWeber. There are a lot of different things you can do, MailChimp and some free services. I use AWeber because it has the best delivery rates for $20 a month.

The best thing is you can get on a live call. There are two or three things of why I would do AWeber over many of the other free resources. It’s not a CRM. You don’t want your email list to be a CRM. That’s the other big mistake people make. If they try to do everything in one system, like a constant time pack. I keep my CRM system that, but to make email marketing work, I have a separate way and I put everyone in my AWeber list and I talk to people that way. I have it segmented into different groups. Not everyone’s going to get the same message. If it’s not applicable to a particular group, I’ll make sure they don’t get that message. That’s one system, my email list.

Become a utility. Be someone that's connecting people in the marketplace. There are so many great things that can come from that. Click To Tweet

Another system, I have this inner circle, I have these book programs, I have high-end coaching and if someone’s interested and I feel they’re a candidate, I’m going to do a call with them. People reach out to say, “Can you talk?” I always give them a week to my scheduler. I use Acuity and if they don’t want to click it, I’m fine, we’re done. It’s one of those things. I’m going to make people jump through that hoop to schedule a call with me. We can talk if it’s a good fit for them and a good fit for me. That keeps my life simple.

I block out time in advance. Whether it’s a coaching client, two-hour, four-hour, one-hour or someone that I’m talking to the prospect for some of my high-end services and those are 30-minute call, everyone gets the same link. I never have to try and figure out if I have time, they don’t book it. I’m very careful what I block out. I know not everyone has this luxury but I usually will not do a call before 2:00 PM. I have my time, Tuesday and Thursday, for four-hour blocks that I do all my calls and some of my high-end coachings on a Friday. The rest of the time is when I’m working on my business and working on myself. That’s another huge time. The tip is to make sure you have your own personal time every morning. That’s probably number one is blocking out that first couple of hours every morning. I’m pretty protective of that time.

I love that you don’t take calls before 2:00 PM and that you’re clear. Those are definitely best practices that people have, that they carve out this time where they say, “This is my time to build my business or to develop myself to take care of my health.” A lot of times it starts the day proactive versus reactive. The minute you check your email and you’re on calls, you’re not as proactive as when you’re working strategically on driving that scalability or working on your health and things like that.

TBT 47 | Navigating Platform Changes

Navigating Platform Changes: Make sure you have your own personal time every morning.

Not everyone has that luxury, it’s just my business. I can do it that way. There are exceptions, there are times I have to make an exception, but because of how I do my schedule, it allows me to make that exception. I have an important interview I’m going to do with Success Magazine talking about Jim Rohn’s legacy. Fortunately, because I have that time blocked out for myself, I was able to say yes. It definitely works for me and it took me a while to get here. It’s just a couple of simple things. It’s important also to have a place for everyone. For me, everyone that I meet, there’s a place. I have all kinds of free resources. If they want to be part of my other things, I have three core things I do. If they want something beyond that, it’s probably not going to be a fit for me or for them.

I’m very clear about what I do and what I don’t do and why I do it and why I don’t do it. There’s so much free stuff that there’s a place to put people. I think that’s another thing. Life gets simple when you know that whoever you talk to, they’re either a candidate or not, and there’s a place for them to be on your wheel, if you will. Social media is a good example of that. We have friends on social media. It doesn’t always have to be agendas. You like, you comment. They’re not necessarily customers. That’s great. They appreciate, they follow you and you follow them. For me, I made sure I have things that applied to everyone with some of the resources I do.

Where can they reach you to get your 52 Lessons so that they can get to know more of those stories and more about you?

They can go to KyleWilson.com. It’s pretty simple. We’ll see you at the top. It’s a weekly lesson. Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Aaron Hardy, Les Brown, some amazing lessons and collaborations I’ve done with some pretty cool people.

You’re taking your valuable time to invest in these lessons. Kyle has 52 Lessons. All you need is one that’s going to make a difference, that’s going to create an impact for you so that you can work more strategically in growing your business and focusing on the things that are most important to your life so you can be efficient and effective, more productive, more balanced and happier in your life. That’s the goal. 

Important Links:

About Kyle Wilson

TBT 47 | Navigating Platform ChangesKyle is the founder of Jim Rohn International, YourSuccessStore.com, LessonsFromNetwork.com and KyleWilson.com

He’s worked with the top names in the personal development industry including his 18-year biz partner, friend and mentor Jim Rohn, as well as Jeffrey Gitomer, Og Mandino, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, Robin Sharma and many others.

Kyle is the author of 52 Lessons I Learned from Jim Rohn and Other Great Legends I Promoted! and partnered with Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield on Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul.

Kyle has filled huge seminar rooms, launched and published multiple personal development publications with over a million subscribers and has produced/published over 100+ hours of DVD and CD programs.

Kyle sold his companies in 2007 and became a Mr. Mom for 7 years. He now does coaching & consulting, host the Kyle Wilson Inner Circle Mastermind and has published multiple #1 Best Selling books the past 18 months.

Darren Hardy says Kyle is his Go To person for any marketing solution and Jim Rohn said Kyle is his trusted partner and friend.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Take Back Time community today:

Jeffrey Gitomer: Truthful Living With The Wisdom Of Napoleon Hill

TBT 50 | Truthful Living

What if you could go back into the mind of the great Napoleon Hill twenty years before his Think And Grow Rich? Jeffrey Gitomer gives it to you as he talks about his new book, Truthful Living: The First Writings of Napoleon Hill. As a the best-selling author of 15 books including the Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness, Jeffrey provides with clarity and expertise the great wisdom of Napoleon Hill that continues to transcend through time. Speaking of time, he talks about how Napoleon Hill values time as the most precious thing in the world and how to implement it in life. He takes us further into the book and teaches us how to concentrate deeper, how to have a better belief system, and how to be more self-confident that will surely take us into that path of productivity towards success.

Listen to the podcast here:

Jeffrey Gitomer: Truthful Living With The Wisdom Of Napoleon Hill

We’ve got Jeffrey Gitomer with us. He’s the author of fifteen bestselling books and soon to be seventeen. He’s got two in the works and we’re going to talk about those and he is super creative on the edge. He’s a writer, speaker and his expertise is around sales, customer loyalty and personal development. He is world-renowned. He’s known for presentation seminars and keynote addresses that are funny, insightful, in your face, real world, off the wall and on the money. Jeffrey gives his audience information that they can take out to the street one minute after the seminar is over and put it into money. His podcast, Sell or Die, with co-host Jennifer Gluckow gets over 100,000 downloads a month. Jeffrey was inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. He is the king of sales. Welcome, Jeffrey.

Thank you, Penny, for setting such low expectations.

I have so many things that I want to ask you because some of the stuff that you talked about was amazing. I want people to understand. Your bio states that you’ve written fifteen bestselling books. How many copies or how many months, years have you been on the bestselling list? Just to give people an idea of how amazing you are.

I have been blessed. The Little Red Book of Selling, which is my bestselling book, was on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List for 103 straight weeks. I’ve been on the bestseller list about 500 times and I’ve sold a lot of books both domestically and internationally. Jennifer and I are in Frankfurt, Germany at the International Book Fair to try to get some foreign publishers to publish our books in other languages.

Let’s talk a little bit about your new book. Give us a preview of the new book that you’re writing.

TBT 50 | Truthful Living

Truthful Living: The First Writings of Napoleon Hill

It’s called Truthful Living. It’s a Napoleon Hill book. It’s his first writings twenty years before Think and Grow Rich. It’s his original thoughts on personal development and it was pretty raw in terms of both its brevity and content. I was given the honor of editing it and annotating it for the 21st century and the book will be launched on October 30th.

It must be like a dream come true to be able to be a part of that original work.

My name is on the cover with Napoleon Hill. It can’t get any better than that. This is his work twenty years before Think and Grow Rich was published. It’s his original thinking. You think about anyone who was a great writer, wouldn’t you like to know what their original thinking was? Most of the time you can’t know that.

Do you feel pressure around it? “I want to live up to his expectations and he’s not here to be able to say whether you did a good job or not.”

My only pressure was the Eagles winning a Super Bowl. That was the most pressure I felt in decades.

The show that we’re on here is Take Back Time. I pulled out my book, Outwitting the Devil, that Sharon Lechter was a part of and I saw that he talked about budgeting time. Does he have any specific thoughts around that?

It’s unbelievable. I’m going to give you the chapter right now. It will corroborate with you 100%. He says that time is your most valuable possession. He totally gets the fact that you can’t buy it back. You can’t reproduce it. It’s there for the moment and once it’s gone, it’s gone. He says time is the most precious thing in the world. What he says is that you cannot misuse it in any way. You cannot waste it. Even if you’re on vacation, his statement is that the brain is never idle. You’re always thinking, you’re always planning. You’re always looking out for something and the more sober you are, the more likely it is to come up with some good ideas, the more you’ll take advantage of this. He doesn’t even refer to it as a commodity. He refers to it as a thing that you cannot do without, you cannot live without and you cannot waste.

We do waste it in so many different ways.

Especially when you have a diversion as easy as the internet or the television that can literally rob you of your time.

What I take from that and I’d love to ask your thoughts on how you implement this in your life. It’s about being intentional with our time. When we’re not intentional and we’re distracted, then we’re disconnected and then we’re not using it wisely. When we’re intentional and purposeful, I believe that even if it is a vacation, then you’re purposeful that this is a time to reset and relax and that’s what you’re going to do. Spend time with family, whatever it is. I think when we’re in touch and purposeful, then we’re making good use of it.

What Napoleon Hill says is to focus on it. Then he takes it further and deeper by saying concentrate on it. By concentrating, you eliminate your diversions and your focus is on. Keep in mind when this was written in 1917, there wasn’t that much to divert yourself from. There was no television, no computers, no phones. He was able to focus in pretty well. In 2018, it’s a lot more difficult because you have to return a text in two seconds or a phone call in nine seconds or an email, you hit notifications that your old boyfriend got a little fat on Facebook and whatever the crap is. The diversion is there for the asking. You have to, by choice, either turn off notifications or put your stuff in a position of concentration where you’re actually by yourself.

Time is the most precious thing in the world. You cannot misuse it in any way. Click To Tweet

Tell us how you concentrate.

I work while all the people sleep.

That’s the key is to be awake in that quiet, silent time.

Many of my clients know I’m awake so they’ll text me earlier or text me late. Sometimes I don’t get the luxury but I always get to talk to our customers.

Just to go off that point, you had mentioned when we met that if somebody can contact you at 12:00 AM for a book and a gig and you’re there, you’ll book it at any time. Do you have some boundaries that you do set so that you can remain sane?

So far it’s working. I can’t tell you whether it’s sane or not. If I’m tired, I go to sleep. I have responsibilities during the course of a day where I can’t afford to sleep in, but I don’t mind that. I don’t consider it work. If you love it, it’s not working. I’m very stable with respect to how I divvy up my time. I’m there with Jen or I’m there with my daughter, Gabrielle, or all of us and we’re okay with it.

If you’re there with your family, are you one that will respond if something comes in or do you turn your phone off or what do you do in those circumstances?

No, I don’t do that. We are aware all the time of all options. Sometimes I’ll pass on an option and sometimes I’ll take an option. It depends but everyone understands what circumstances are.

The key is to be awake in that quiet, silent time. Click To Tweet

That’s an important point. We’re always making a choice. It’s a choice and you’re making that more conscious.

It’s not just a choice of, “Do I answer this phone or not?” It’s a choice of, “My mortgage is due and payroll is next month.” There are choices that you make based on realities.

That is very true and every entrepreneur out there can appreciate that. Not everybody has the luxury to not pick up the phone because we’d also know. You are the king of sales, what happens when we’re not following up in a timely manner?

People are calling me because they want help.

What happens if you don’t pick it up? They might call someone else.

I might have abandoned them in their time of need if they need help.

That’s an interesting perspective too. I would debate that and say that if people know that you have something that they can do to help you, that they would also wait and leave a message and be okay if you’ve got back to them in an hour or two.

They might be, but they’re more surprised that I’m not. They’re more surprised that I’m present.

TBT 50 | Truthful Living

Truthful Living: There are choices that you make based on realities.

That’s the most important thing is when you do pick it up, then you are present. Anything else from the new book that you wanted to highlight and talk about?

This book is not a life changing book per se. I don’t want to get that blatant about it, but it’s a life-altering book. It will cause you to do things better, not only differently. It will teach you how to concentrate deeper, how to have a better belief system and how to be more self-confident. It will take all the things that you need for success and enhance them to a point where you can say, “I get it. I agree with it. I’m willing to do this. I’m going to try it.”

How many times did you read Think and Grow Rich?

Ten when I first started and it was a labor of love. It wasn’t like, “I’ve got to read this again.” It was methodical. I added a bunch of sales guys. We all met every morning and we did a book report on one chapter every day. We did that for a little over a year and there are only fifteen chapters in the book and so you’re doing the book every three weeks.

That’s a good approach to doing it and then discussing it with one another. What kinds of things did you find yourself implementing like in the break between the next chapter?

You look at faith as belief. You look at desire as what do you want to do. You look at helping other people. There are fifteen chapters in the book and you have to look at each one of them as, “What am I going to do? What can I do differently? What can I do better? What can I do more of? How do I divert my energies to doing this?” All of a sudden, it becomes amazingly clear that this is what you need to do. Once you’ve gone through the book a few times, you get clarity on the process.

It’s like taking karate. With each time that you practice it more and more, you’re going to get that extra precision in it.

Eventually, you can break the board whenever you want.

It’s not considered work if you love it. Click To Tweet

What does productivity mean to you?

Productivity in terms of getting something done. First of all, it deals with, “Am I wanting to do this?” Your boss may say, “Make 100 cold calls,” and you may say, “I’m not doing that, I’m going to do twenty.” You might say, “I was productive. I’ve got twenty cold calls,” but the guy next to you got 120. Who was productive? The second thing is procrastination because many of us will say, “I can do this tomorrow.” “Do I love what I’m doing? Am I willing to do it now rather than tomorrow?” Then finally, “What’s my focus factor? What is my ability to concentrate on what it is that I needed to be done so that not only is it done but it’s done to the best of my ability?” I’m proud of the fact that I did this and to me, productivity is all about checking something off of your list but being proud that you did it.

What I’m hearing you say also is proud of the way you did it.

Yes, because a lot of people will do what their boss tells them to do and go, “I’ve got that crappy thing done.”

Part of getting it done efficiently and effectively is that attitude thing.

If you don’t want to do something, then the best thing to do is quit and go do something that you want to do. Whatever you do, you want to be best at it.

I’ve got so many interesting questions for you here. Who influenced you most to be a great sales leader? Was it Napoleon Hill or was there someone else?

My influence is probably my family growing up. My dad was a great salesperson so I caught that from him. I grew up with it and it becomes part of your fabric. I had that to start out with and then I hung out with other people that could do what I did and looked at them and go, “I’m as good or better than that guy.” Sell in New York City, that will teach you if you can sell or not. That’s the whole deal. I exposed myself to all the people of that day, the Bill Gove and the Herbert Bruce and the Zig Ziglar of that time. They were the people and J. Douglas Edwards, the thirteen best closes and all the things that went along with that. While it’s not applicable now, it was applicable then. My job was to try to master the best I possibly could. Finally, I got to a point where I saw the flaws in them and I began to create my own. By creating my own and by doing, I became a different kind of master.

TBT 50 | Truthful Living

Truthful Living: If you don’t want to do something, then the best thing to do is quit and go do something that you want to do.

It requires the doing, doesn’t it?

You can’t teach it if you can’t do it.

It’s not the same. You can’t refine it like you’re talking about.

That will be like asking you a question and you won’t have the basis for an answer.

You said that your dad was a huge influence. Can you remember a time, a story or something where it was a pivotal moment for you?

I watched my father in his situations and then we began to do some things together later in life. We went to Florida to do a mobile home park together and we were selling second mortgages. It was not a bank situation, but a financing situation. My dad took me down and we went to three or four of these financing places and they all turned down the property that we were looking at. We go into this final place and I go, “Can I do the pitch?” I did it and we’ve got the deal. I can’t tell you that I was better than he was, but I can tell you that I got the deal and he didn’t get the deal. I was pretty humbled by it. He was pretty grateful by it and it was a turning point. There was equality at that point.

I’m sure he was super proud of you.

You don’t want to go overboard with your kids.

Whatever you do, you want to be best at it. Click To Tweet

You talked about creating a lot of your own methods and approaches. I know you’ve got some events coming up. Tell us when they’re coming up.

I’m going to be in Philly on the 18th and 19th. I’ll be out at Chubb Hotel out of town. We’ve sold a bunch of tickets already.

You’re going to be in Dallas on the 24th and 25th of October.

The first week or so in November, I’ll be in Atlanta. I’ll have one day on sales mastery and one day is on sales leadership.

It’s a must-go. If you’re involved in sales in any way, you’re an entrepreneur, whatever you’re doing and you’re selling, you need these skills. What’s the one-time saving tip that would be beneficial to our audience? I was thinking of it in terms of what do you think is the number one thing that you would work on if you were helping someone to shorten their sales cycle?

Meet with the person that runs the show.

Get to the decision-maker?

TBT 50 | Truthful Living

Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

No, get to the boss. Get to the CEO. The CEO is the number one main guy in any company. He or she will decide in about a minute and a half. Salespeople will say they have a long sale cycle or dealing with people that have to go talk to other people to get a decision. The boss calls down and says, “We’re going to hire Gitomer.” The guy goes, “Gitomer, great boss. Great idea. Glad you thought of it.”

What’s a tip for some people who have no idea how to get to some of these CEOs? How do you get through the gatekeepers?

I try not to go to gatekeepers. I try to post things that are valuable that the CEO would want to read. I’m going to post about productivity. I’m going to talk about profitability. I’m going to talk about absenteeism. I’m going to talk about morale. I’m going to talk about profit. Those are the things that a CEO is going to want to read and if he reads that and he likes me, then I’ll get a phone call from him or her. I want them to make the phone call. I don’t want to make the phone call.

Creating value directed at those people will have those people connect with you if it’s something that resonates with them.

Kyle wanted me to be at your meeting. I didn’t call him, he called me. There are no coincidences in the world. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason. Several people have already contacted me about coming to Charlotte for a weekend and I think it’ll be a fun time if we can do it and I’d like to try to make something happen. If your people in your podcast land are looking to be able to connect with me and get a weekend worth of learning, it’s a little expensive, but they’ll love it.

It’s value. It’s an investment.

Kyle is going to be there too. Kyle Wilson, the guy that founded Jim Rohn International. The two of us are going to work. We have a pretty big agenda planned and I have a digital studio. Everyone will either be on the podcast or be able to deliver a five-minute video piece and they can get their five minutes.

For our audience who wants to get involved in Kyle’s inner circle or be considered for this weekend, what’s the best way for them to do? Contact Kyle directly?

Contact Kyle or my email address, Jeffrey@Gitomer.com. I answer my own emails and we’ll take it from there. The Kyle Wilson event was an eye-opener for me. He has a great group of people and they all have a sense of giving about them and that’s very pleasing and rare in a mastermind group.

You can't teach it if you can't do it. Click To Tweet

I love the people that I met there. They were good people in so many different contexts. It’s great and it’s important to invest in yourself. I’m sure that this is also Napoleon Hill, I don’t remember exactly the quote, but it’s the people that you hang around. It’s the people that spark different ideas. I had so many amazing ideas that sparked out of conversations that wouldn’t have happened anywhere else.

When you have brilliant people or bright people all hanging out together, good ideas flow.

Thank you, Jeffrey, so much for being here.

Truthful Living, Napoleon Hill and Jeffrey Gitomer. You can pre-buy it on Amazon. They’ll ship it out on the 30th. Just go on and click buy.

Pre-order it and also get it so that you can get to the event in Philly in October 18th or 19th or in Dallas on October 24th and 25th.

Thank you.

Thank you so much, Jeffrey, for being here.

Thank you so much, Penny.

For our audience, as always thank you for being here. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Important Links:

About Jeffrey Gitomer

TBT 50 | Truthful LivingJeffrey Gitomer is the author of 15 best-selling books. He’s a creative, on-the-edge, writer and speaker whose expertise in sales, customer loyalty, and personal development is world renowned. Known for presentations, seminars, and keynote addresses that are funny, insightful, in your face, real world, off the wall, and on the money.

Jeffrey gives his audience information they can take out in the street one minute after the seminar is over and turn it into money. His podcast Sell or Die, with co-host Jennifer Gluckow, gets over 100,000 downloads a month. Jeffrey was inducted into the National Speaker Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. He is the King of Sales.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Take Back Time community today:

Pin It on Pinterest