Getting Things Done, Joe GirardDoes it feel like you’re trying to juggle ping pong balls underwater?

Have you ever felt stuck?

I feel your pain! I’m on a personal crusade over the coming weeks to close some of the open loops in my life and business and make some things happen. I want to share with you some of the challenges people have and some specific things you can do to get traction on your ideas and projects.

I see many people wishing they could get more done and stop feeling overwhelmed so I put together some ways you can free yourself and have more fun.  

The only catch is that you need to actually commit to taking action.
(click here or below to listen to this on the podcast)

Am I crazy to think people want to improve?

I was up early this morning wrestling with something and I started writing in my journal to get clarity. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between doubt, confusion, and conviction on some of the ways I train and coach. So today is a bit of a exploration on an idea that is really important to me.

You see, I have a number of clients in various industries, that are various sizes, and have completely different individuals and teams. My job is to help them create real, sustainable, transformational change. Simple, right?

As a sales coach and trainer, I’m always hoping that everything I say hits home and people take action, but that’s not always the case. I constantly change things up, test new ideas, and look for the secret sauce to best help my clients.

I train on a high level and try to incorporate process, psychology, and mindset into everything I do. This, combined with a proven strategy, template, or checklist should provide the tools for my client to succeed. So I think.

But that sometimes doesn’t happen. When I hear that “we just want the tactic” or “tell us what to do,” it reminds me that this is often what people think they want. They want to just be told the step by step magic formula to success. And it bothers me. I think it’s why society struggles these days. And so when I hear that, my first thought is that they don’t get it. (So that’s why I journal)

As I wrote this out in my journal today and asked myself if I was crazy to try and coach the way I do, I started wondering if perhaps I need to change everything up. And then I went on an internal rant about why “nobody gets me” and that I shouldn’t sacrifice my values and brand. And I oscillated back and forth until I realized that all of it’s true.

I need to stay true to my brand, but at the same time be 100% accountable to my clients to help them with the right tools at the right time. I will never stop running into these challenges, but it’s my mission to help those who are willing to take action.

And when they want a step by step process?

Really, that request is normal. I too, want the proven “5 step system to success” and have purchased probably about a few hundred programs, downloaded digital products, or attended workshops with experts who share their systems. And I have been excited.

And then I did nothing.

So for me to feel like it’s wrong that others just want the steps is hypocritical.

Getting things done should be a mantra

I constantly chat with people about their businesses and lives and it seems like everywhere I turn, people are just BUSY. I say this all the time, but “What is everyone so busy doing?”

Sometimes I get on training calls and ask people to tell me what they have been putting to the test, hoping that they have uncovered something wonderful to share. But then I hear crickets chirping.

And I am met with, “Sorry, I have been too busy to apply any of the stuff from last week.”

But now we are in THIS week and we have new things to go over. So what happens? We end up repeating the same pattern week after week, until we have to have the conversation where they are overwhelmed by too much information.

What I realized is that to make the most of any new idea, we all need to be accountable. Me as a trainer and my client as the one learning it. We need to help set each other up for success.

When you already consider yourself too busy to add more to your plate with training and then have one more thing to do, it doesn’t actually help you.

And when going through training, it is not about the lesson itself, but how you apply it. When people simply sit and try to absorb content, it doesn’t do anything for them.

To be effective is to constantly apply ideas every day. Test, learn, & improve yourself with them.

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I have been trying to figure out if I need to change my materials to be more step by step and how to, rather than “why.” But for some reason, that feels like I’m not doing a service to my clients. I am not being authentic to my own brand. I KNOW what it takes to be a high performer, and it’s not following a step by step system. It’s digging into your own mindset, challenging yourself to step up, and then taking action on ideas.

It’s one thing to think you know what you’re doing, but a totally other thing to know why you know what you’re doing.

My question to myself lately is, “How can the exact same training have massively different results for two people?”

The answer is simple.

Those who take action on things they learn reap the biggest benefits. If you do a 30 minute lesson each week, it is not the lesson that will make you successful, it is what you do with it for the rest of the week.

I know people who tons of read books, but never change.  And I also know people who read ONE book, took action, and made massive changes.

To make real transformational change as an individual AND as an organization requires a commitment to becoming a learning organization.

This was a major reason I decided to start my own business and do things on my own. I was not in a learning organization. I wanted to help others succeed, but was constantly told that people didn’t have time. They liked going to training but then had to get “back to work.”

But then when we looked at processes, results, and attitudes, nothing changed. In fact, they got worse.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like for me to do my best work, I need 100% commitment and accountability from the people I coach.

Because, those who get in the trenches with me report massive gains.

  1. One client last year created 10x revenue.
  2. Another, after working together for ten months, now are ahead of targets every month, feeling more effortless, and in absolute control of every day. We had to even do a coaching session on how they felt guilty for it being too easy now.
  3. A third, who was extraordinarily busy already, called me today to tell me how applying all of these ideas step by step each week has increased her overall conversions by 10%!

The main thing here is that it has nothing to do with how AWESOME my ideas are, but rather how they took action. It has EVERYTHING to do with the actions they take on ideas.

These three examples are what I know is POSSIBLE and the reason it worked was that they took action every week. And I know from my own experience that getting things done is all about the application of lessons and ideas.

To be patient…but do the work. There are no quick fixes.

The major challenge is that, at first, it seems like a ton of work. And it is.

The key is to be consistent. To do something every day, rather than once a quarter or once a year. You must make these lessons become part of your DNA and habits.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee

And, I must lead by example.

The fact that these challenges arise is a wonderful thing for me as I am a firm believer in feedback loops. When lessons aren’t sticking or people struggle with taking action, then we both have to work together 50/50 to help each other. Maybe I AM giving too much content? We shall see.

One thing I have realized is that I need to bring this concept of taking action even heavier into the front of the conversation and setting the goals at the onset of our relationships. I will also make sure there are more concrete action plans after each session.

How can YOU get better at getting things done?

So now we are all accountable. Me to serving as best I can, and you to taking action. So what steps should you follow? If you want help with this overall idea, check out the 90 Day Sprint Guide in my new shop! Or contact me.

  1. Pick ONE idea. Today, grab hold of one idea you have been wanting to take action on. Something you read, heard, saw, imagined, it doesn’t matter.
  2. Write down how you plan to apply that idea. Write it down and start from the big idea first, the processes involved, then how you would break it down into tasks.
  3. Determine how much time you can spend on it. If you can only do 15 minutes per day, perfect. That all adds up. Don’t wait until you have this imaginary “free time” as it will never happen.
  4. Schedule it. I can’t stress how important this is! Nothing happens unless you make it happen. If you don’t schedule your tasks, how can you possibly know what to do and when. “To do” lists are the death of people.
  5. Eliminate distractions. Shut off your phone, close those tabs, and get off Facebook. Get hyper-focused on the one task and get to work.
  6. Track your progress, but don’t worry about results. Put it on a document, a spreadsheet, sticky note, or write it on your hand. But simply take notes as you go so you can go back and review.
  7. Observe, learn, and improve. At the end of the week, take 10 minutes and look at what has happened. What insights did you get from your activities? How did you feel applying these ideas? What worked? What didn’t?
  8. Share the lessons with yourself and your team. Now you have a powerful “I did that” tool in your toolkit. You can use it for your own future reference and then share it with your teams. Over time, these tested lessons add up and become second nature.

If you are serious about your own personal growth and development, take action on your ideas and make something happen. The goal is really consistent progress over time, rather than trying to do everything all at once.

Plus, I just launched my weekly BLAB called Whiskey Friday (#whiskeyfriday) where I grab a whiskey and chat business. Check it out here.

-Joe

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Joe Girard
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