RadLife Challenge Day 3: Important and Urgent

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That damn Stephen Covey thing where he puts the rocks in the jar and then the little rocks and then the sand? We've all seen it, we all get it, it's at every personal development seminar you'll ever go to, it's played out...

But it's true.

You've got 4 types of activities in your life:

Urgent and Important - These are the deadlines for big clients, they're the family crisis moments, they're the things that already get handled. If they're urgent and important, you do them. Pretty simple.

Urgent but not Important - The things that pop up every day and pull our attention. The ding of a new email coming in, a coworker asking for your help RIGHT NOW with something they've got on their plate, all the shiny object stuff that pulls our attention off what matters. Delegate them to someone with less important shit to do.

Not Urgent and Not Important - Um, this one kind of goes without saying... just don't do this shit when it's time to get shit done. This is the social media scrolling, the Netflix binging, the Candy Crush. If you're unwinding, cool, have at it. But if we're working, we're working. Let's go.

And finally, the one I really wanted to talk to you about...

Important but not Urgent - This is the stuff that lets you grow up. It's the personal development, the reading, the meditation, the exercise, the time with friends and family. It's the stuff that gets pushed off because that urgent stuff gets in the way. So when you plan out your day, THIS goes in before any of that urgent shit.

When you're scheduling, the plan has to include time for yourself or with friends, time to develop yourself personally or professionally with a hobby or new skill, or maybe time with a book on a topic you're learning about.

Put the right rocks in the jar, in the right order.

RadLife Challenge Day 2: Delegate and Document

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One of the most powerful things we can do is begin the process of replacing ourselves in the tasks we do that make the least impact for our business, freeing us up to focus on things that are more important.⁠

As you build your to-do list, all the things that need to get taken care of, find one thing that you could put on someone else's plate.⁠

Give it to them, and teach them how you want it done. But more importantly than that, document what you taught them. And once they do it (spoiler alert: it won't be done the way you want, not the first time), give them feedback and document that feedback.⁠

Congratulations, you never have to do that thing again. You now have someone doing it for you, and a training manual for when they decide to stop doing it and you have to bring in someone else.⁠

P.S. Wondering what task to delegate? Anything you can hire someone to do for less than you generate per hour working on something else, you need to hire someone else to do.⁠

RadLife Challenge Day 1: Define Your Workspace

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One of the perks people talk about when they talk about starting a business, particularly an online business, is that they can work from anywhere. And yeah, I guess that's true. Technically.

But absolutely don't do that.

There's significance to your environment. Context-specific performance. Environmental conditioning. Big fancy stuff that boils down to this:

The more often you do work in the same place, the more conditioned you are to doing work in that place.

You're basically hacking your own system by setting aside a place to do work, and then only working from that place, and ALWAYS working from that place.

You sit down and your brain goes, "Oh, it must be time to get shit done. Because this is where we always get shit done."

And it's a pattern that reinforces itself. The more you do it, the stronger that connection gets. You get more productive just by being there.

I've screwed this up over and over again, looking for a change of scenery and jumping from place to place.

What that really does for me is gives me constant new stimulus so I can't ever really settle into a productive pattern.

So now, I have a room at home that I don't even walk into unless it's time to work, and a table at a coffee shop that I don't go to unless I'm working there.

The moment I walk in, my mind and body recognize it’s work time, and the juices flow much more easily.⠀

So: pick a space exclusively for creation. Go there and work every day. Your brain will recognize it, and you'll find creativity comes much more easily.⠀

If you decide to work from a coffee shop, this is not the coffee shop you bring first dates. It's not where you stop in for an espresso. It's your office. You only go there when you're going to work. You show the fuck up, get to work, and then leave. Clock in, clock out.

Are You An Entrepreneur?

Is starting a business the right move for you?

The people who it's right for have these 5 things in common:

1) They know that it’s going to take a long time, involve doing things that they don’t know how to do yet, and that they’re going to have to take a stand that not everyone is going to agree with.

They’re going to actually have to create something that people want.

And they’re okay with that.

2) They’re humble — they know that it isn’t a road worth traveling alone, that they’re going to need help. And they’re ready and willing to ask for help when they need it.

3) They’re willing to shut up for a second so they can listen to the needs of their audience, rather than just assuming, guessing, and building what they want to build rather than what their audience actually wants.

4) They’re constantly refining themselves, growing, learning, improving, messing up, fixing it, and repeating that process forever. They help other people do the same.

5) They recognize that being afraid is a product of a lack of understanding, a lack of real belief in their ability to provide solutions, and is TOTALLY OKAY. They use knowledge and community to cast a light on their doubt, so that their fears can wither and die because fear grows when you don’t acknowledge it. So they name it, own it, and move past it.

You Can't Lose

You haven’t started. 

You read another book though, and you watched another YouTube video, and you even started an album on your phone where you save all those super-inspirational motivational quotes you see all day on Instagram.

But you haven’t started.

You’re probably going to get moving FOR REAL as soon as you get back from vacation, or on the next lunar eclipse because everyone knows that good businesses only start when eclipses happen and it’s a Thursday and who starts a damn business on a THURSDAY?

That’s what Januarys and Mondays are for.

So you haven’t started.

Because you’re afraid you’re going to screw it up. And people are going to see you. And they’re going to think you’re a screw up.

Listen.

I’m going to tell you something, and I want you to focus because it’s really important, so tune in.

You can’t fuck this up.

One more time, so please keep reading. Stay with me here.

You. Can’t. Fuck. This. Up.

I don’t care if you haven’t ever done it before or you don’t know how to write a business plan or your dad said it was a stupid idea or you tried one thing and no one bought it or if you don’t have any funding.

You didn’t fuck up.

I don’t care if you had big plans to create your product and then you forgot and haven’t done anything with it for a month or a year.

You didn’t fuck up.

I don’t care if you can only spend 20 minutes on it at a time, a few times a week. And most of the time when you sit down, you’re not sure what to do.

Nope, you’re still good.

Because here’s the cool part:

The only way to lose is if you stop. Totally. Throw in the towel. Say you’re done.

Otherwise, you’re still in it. You can’t fuck up.

It’s impossible. Because if today, you sit down and you make one step forward, you’re right back on track.

Most people use mistakes as an excuse to keep making mistakes and to fall back into old habits and bad routines. To take their foot off the gas.

But that’s horseshit. It’s not a valid excuse, starting right now.

You can’t fuck this up, as long as you get right back on track. You’re good.

The whole “starting a business thing?”

You’re supposed to have fun with it. It’s supposed to make you happy and let you leave an impact on the world and create your own little world where things work just the way you think they should. Where you get to connect with people and serve people and there’s no day or time where you’ve got to be at a certain destination, so just use today to move forward. Forget yesterday and take a step now. Today.

There’s no rush. It’s the long game. It’s forever.

And when the game lasts forever, you can’t lose unless you bow out.

Love you much.

-KP

How Good is Your Business Idea?

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Maybe you've got a business idea that you think is the right move for you. I'm going to give you some friendly encouragement to make sure it checks all the boxes it needs to check before you start running full speed, so that you don't end up down the road wondering where you went wrong.⠀⠀

YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO HAVE THESE 4 THINGS:⠀⠀

You love it 

It needs to be something you absolutely love. If you aren't fired up about the prospect of going through all the little motions you're going to have to go through, stay home.⠀⠀

You’re good at it

It needs to be something you're good at. Don't try to build a business on a skill you don't have. You have to be able to get down and dirty and fix things when they go wrong.⠀⠀

You’re making the world a better place

You've got to be making a difference in the world. This one won't show its face right away - you might be having fun and making good money, but sooner or later you're going to want to focus on making a deeper impact.⠀⠀

You’re getting paid for it

You've got to make money at it. If it doesn't put a roof over your head and food in your mouth, you just can't keep at it very long. That one's pretty obvious.⠀⠀

Maybe it's got a mix of a couple, but not the others.⠀⠀

Maybe you love it and you're awesome at it. Great, you've found yourself a hobby.⠀⠀

Maybe you can make an impact in the world, and you can make some money off of it. Not real important when you wake up every day resenting it.⠀⠀⠀

Maybe you're great at it and can get paid for it. That's a job. That's what you've got now. We're trying to add on those other two so that you can build a business based on what you love and on the impact you can make on the world.⠀⠀

That sounds better, right?

How to Get More Margin in Your Life

Margin is the space between your load and your limit.

Your load is all the things you’ve got to deal with on a daily basis - personal stuff, work stuff, family stuff, all of it. It all goes into one big bucket. No matter how good you are at compartmentalizing your life, each facet of your life affects all the others.

Your limit is just that - it’s what you can handle. How equipped you are to deal with whatever life might throw at you. How capable you are of managing things.

The margin in your life, which you can fill however you want, is what exists in between those two things (as long as your limit is bigger than your load). Having margin in your life is what lets you try new things, relax, develop yourself, develop others, and explore new opportunities.

So with two variables (load and limit) to manipulate, it stands to reason that the only two ways to get more margin in your life is to either increase your limit (how capable you are) or decrease your load (how much you’re directly responsible for). So what does that look like?

How to Increase your Limit

The Catch-22 of it all is that in order to raise your personal ceiling, you’ve got to spend some time investing in yourself - your skills, your mindset, your knowledge base, your network. But most of the time, doing those things requires that you have margin in the first place. When there are fires to put out and you’re on a deadline, no one really wants to see you reading a Tony Robbins book or spending the day at a networking event.

But just because you have other things that are urgent, it doesn’t mean that investing in your own growth is less important. In fact, it has to be done in order to be successful on a long-term basis. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about doubling down on your strengths and letting other people do the work you’re not best equipped to do. Figure out where you add the most value and stay in that lane. By doing that, you’re applying the most leverage you possibly can and also lightening your own load (which we’ll talk more about in just a second).

So take the time to make that connection with someone new and build your network. Set aside 15-20 minutes a day for meditation and getting the shit lined up in your head. Block an hour out in the morning to go to the gym. Make those things a non-negotiable because the amount of impact you’ll be able to apply later on in the day when you’ve actually given yourself some traction will more than make up for any time you “lose.”

How to Decrease Your Load

Outsource. Delegate. Hire. You may think you’re the only one who can do that thing you do as well as you do, and today that might be true. Particularly for entrepreneurs who run businesses as lean as they can, there’s a sense that they’ve got to have their fingers on everything the business does. Here’s how to make that go away:

  1. The next time you do whatever you’re going to delegate, write down every step you do as you complete that task. Yep, it’ll take you 3x as long this time, but don’t miss any steps.

  2. Hand it off to someone and stand over their shoulder as they do it. Edit your directions because they probably sucked the first time you wrote them down, and that will become plainly obvious when you watch someone try to follow them.

  3. Using your new directions, give it back to the same person and let them give it a shot on their own. Once they’re done, they need to report to you on the results and any difficulties they encountered.

  4. Iterate again, this time with their help.

  5. Give them a final process (which they now have some ownership in) and check back with them in what probably now seems like a ridiculously long time - let them handle things for a month or two without you even checking on it.

  6. Ask them how they’d change the process now that they’ve got some experience. Let them, as long as you both agree on what the overall objective and deliverable should look like. Keep checking in monthly (I’m going to make a bold prediction here and say that within a few months, they’ll have developed a process that’s better than what you were doing because this process is their baby where it was just part of your list of responsibilities)

  7. Repeat for as many tasks as you don’t want to do anymore.

It’s important to mention that each of these goals fairly quickly reach a point of diminishing returns. There’s only so much you can grow in a certain period of time. Beyond that point, reading another book, taking another course, hacking another process, won’t have much effect on your overall ability to execute your job.

And when you’ve handed off all the non-essential work you’re doing, it’s possible to find yourself with a massive gap between what you’re capable of and what you’re responsible for. In those moments, it’s time to take on a big project. Dream up a new initiative, try something bold, and fill that margin with challenging, meaningful, impactful goals.

Youth Doesn’t Have an Expiration Date

To stay young, be young at things. The 83-year old with fresh tubes of oil paint, a canvas wrapped in cellophane, and not a clue where to start is a young painter.

The 53-year old walking back into the gym for the first time in 20 years now that the kids have moved off to begin their own lives is a young athlete.

The 33-year old who lives the same monotonous routine every day, who spends Friday night on the couch and Wednesday morning in traffic and Tuesday night eating tacos is in the fast lane to growing old.

The one at any age who realizes they’ve got a way to fix a problem and serve a community in the world, and takes a shaky first step towards sharing it and selling it, they’re a young entrepreneur.

Be bold and break the seal on your next adventure. Pull the protective plastic sheet off of a new opportunity.

Grab a new notebook, open it wide so that the spine wrinkles and cracks, and write a sentence on the top line of the first page.

And no matter how much you hate that sentence - that first shaky step (that very well might land you on your ass), no matter how much work you have to do to fix it later, how many words you have to scribble out, don’t you dare touch that first sentence. Because it’s the beginning. It’s youth, in you, and on a page. Every time you do it.

You Don’t Sell What You Think You Sell

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You sell one of these 30 things. That’s because these are the only things people want to buy. And the more of them you sell, the more you use in your messaging, the better you’re probably doing.

 

Your entire business has a theme - the things you make people feel and what they associate with you and what they say when they talk about you. Like how Harley Davidson sells the freedom to rebel against what society expects. Dave Ramsey sells the idea of financial peace. Chubbies sells the ability to make the most of the weekend. They aren’t selling motorcycles, financial planning courses, and shorts. At least not really.

 

There can be sub-themes within that, which basically say, “here’s what [topic] looks like through the lens of my theme.” And when you can do that, like Apple has, it frees you to create new things that further your mission and serve your tribe.


No one bats an eye when Apple, a computer company, makes a phone. Or a watch. Or headphones. In fact, we assume they’ll be awesome. If Apple came out with a car or a backpack or a line of living room furniture tomorrow, people would be out the door to buy them. Because Apple’s offering isn’t “good computers.” It’s simple, elegant products for people who like to express themselves and challenge the status quo. And Apple has gotten so good at it that they’ve become the status quo.


So for your product and your service, you have to ask yourself - “what do I want people to feel when they talk about my brand?”


“What transformation am I going to take people through? Who are they now and who will they be when I’m done with them?”


“What’s the story people tell themselves, ABOUT themselves, because they’re someone who uses my stuff?”