Coming at you from beautiful Nashvegas after taking some time to reflect on our best and worst months to date in our company history. I wanted to compile some learning lessons together to share with you so you can GROW at the maximum rate.
I remember March 2018, we officially had our —
LOWEST PROFITABLE & official WORST MONTH ever!
Embarrassing as far as “records” go lol.
But super useful for you. In fact the mistakes we make can be more useful to you than the WINS.
(If you know how to use them.)
We estimate that we lost more than $250,000 that month from taking our eye off the ball, getting distracted, and a few other mistakes I’m going to tell you about in this sheet of gold.
Two of my favorite quotes by Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett's business partner):
“INVERT. Always invert.”
You will get some of your best & most profitable lessons by watching what people do WRONG, then inverting it (doing the opposite).
“The more hard lessons you can learn vicariously, instead of from your own terrible experiences, the better off you will be.”
Let’s dive in… this will be ultra useful for you as we’re going to be getting into the weeds a bit ;)
Biggest Entrepreneurship Mistakes From our Worst Month in Company History
(Avoid at all costs)
This will be quick:
1. Relied on “yesterday’s” earned interest for today’s payday.
Think of it this way: every day you wake up and add value to your market… you GUARD your time and think strategically… you focus on the important 20% and ignore the useless 80% — you are ‘earning’ your outcome (call it interest).
Problem comes when you (like so many entrepreneurs) start to believe your own press and think, “I am amazing. I am the greatest. Nobody is like me. I have so many followers and so much money I don’t have to work today.”
You stop earning the interest day-to-day and eventually that runs out… we got lazy in March 2018 and to be 100% honest, sorta started believing our own press… no more
2. Boredom killed our drive.
We’re gonna talk about overwhelmed later in this edition because a lot of you are overwhelmed and you shouldn’t be… BUT — the opposite of overwhelm is boredom and GUESS WHAT?
It feels almost the exact same way. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, gonna give you a test in a few pages BUT — try this first. Swap up your routines and get the book “Antifragile.”
Brain & body designed to live in partial routine, partial chaos. Sometimes we need some “shock therapy” so to speak to get our agility & adaptability back.
Don’t wait too long to switch up routines if you start feeling this way.
What happened is we had stopped being excited and we just didn’t do anything about it. Looking back it’s like “WTF?” but you know, hindsight is 20/20.
Bottom line — you must learn how to manipulate your feelings and weaponize your body. If your body/energy is plummeting you’re not gonna get anything done. We have a training called the Productivity Pack which is all about optimizing your mindset and regulating your energy consistently for optimal performance.
3. Stopped what WAS working and DIDN’T stop what was NOT working.
For some stupid reason we had several marketing campaigns that weren’t working so what did we do? We spent more on them. Like the geniuses we are.
This is the importance of looking at your numbers and making DECISIONS based on your numbers… we’re such amazing marketers that we just ignored the data and went rogue…
Which made us lose a lot of money. Now this might seem seriously simple but are you looking at your numbers every day and diverting resources to your most profitable activities / campaigns / etc?
Yea, most people AREN’T… simple doesn’t mean easy. What does this mean practically? You should probably start every day looking at a list of things you’re doing and RATING the success.
4. Started “GIVING TO GET.” (SERVICE)
Here’s a big one… if you’re not careful you can get into this rut of focusing so hard on the money goals. When your only goals are revenue goals, this isn’t exact math but you have about a 110% chance of getting depressed.
You have to focus on the numbers. Of course. I just told you to do that…
But not all numbers should be “money in my bank” and “total clients” yada yada. What about: “how many millionaires did I create” and “how many lbs did my clients lose collectively” and other types of numbers tracking that show you the IMPACT you are making and the SERVICE you are giving.
The thing is we DO track this stuff. We just stopped looking at it cause we were dumb. Don’t be dumb like us. About 70% of the way through the month we were like, “hold up, we’re not giving anything just to help people…”
Write this down: “Contribution breaks the curse.” When things are moving a direction you don’t like, bump up your contribution…
I’m being SO vulnerable with you right now but I think it’s because I want to help you rather than make ourselves look better than we are. We forgot that our business is not about “beating other people.”
Even though we can (and do mostly) beat them. Beat them mercilessly. Not physically… don’t get weird.
We forgot that our business is to serve us. Our families. Serve our clients. Create wealth so we can redistribute it and protect it and grow more of it. In the month of March we spent a lot of time comparing ourselves to other players and here’s the problem with that…
If you’re ahead of a competitor, you feel a false sense of safety. If you’re behind a competitor, you feel a false sense of unworth. NEITHER ARE GOOD. BOTH ARE BAD.
One of the things we’ve said from the beginning is this: “When we’re playing OUR game and running OUR race, nobody can touch us.” You know what? That’s true for you too…
If you're going to “level up,” do it because you want to, need to, care enough to… not because someone else is doing something and you gotta keep up with them.
6. Can we talk about ‘overwhelm’ for a sec?
At the moment I’m at a coffee shop in downtown Franklin and I gotta get something off my chest. Last week a client asked, “When’s the last time you’ve felt overwhelmed and how did you deal with it?”
I answered with one of my favorite quotes:
“I have everything I want and have never had to work for it. In fact, no matter what happens to me I never get overwhelmed and life is just perfect.” –Said No One Ever
My actual response:
“…about 20 minutes ago. I got a notebook and wrote down my MISSION, my desired RESULT or OUTCOME, and every activity that can take me there.”
Here’s the truth, and SERIOUSLY this is undeniably the most important thing I can tell right now about this:
- BURNOUT comes from lack of clarity about your destination
- OVERWHELM comes from the size of your vision and the perceived distance away from that vision you are
And there’s a simple remedy for BOTH. Here’s what I mean…
Overwhelm isn’t all bad… it comes from your vision being bigger than your abilities or capacity… let me prove this to ya.
If your vision is to wake up and just not die. You’re probably not going to feel overwhelmed. Cause that’s like, actually pretty easy. All things considered, you have pretty much no work to do. It’s relatively easy to not die.
Turn off CNN and all the news outlets and you’ll realize pretty quickly that we live in the safest and most prolific day & age EVER in history. PERIOD.
I’m not interested in arguing the point. Yes bad things happen. Yes we HAVE to fix it. Yes yes yes. But go back to the Middle Ages or even the 1700s or 1800s and people died at age 40. People could come through and shoot people and have no ramifications. The Wild West was called the Wild West cause it was what?
WILD. There was no law. No order.
Today, things are actually pretty good. We have opportunity everywhere. People generally are interested in helping other people.
And if you forget that for too long your mindset can suffer… badly.
Anyways back to my original point here. Here’s what overwhelm comes from:
If your vision is BIGGER than your perceived capacity to achieve that vision, you're going to deal with overwhelm more than the average bear.
AND.. if you don’t have systems for staying self-aware and monitoring your perception, it’s going to happen more often. Generally, overwhelm can be DEALT with by simply reframing it and then listing out the things that you have control over to move stuff forward…
But sometimes it’s deeper than that. Sometimes it’s not enough to reframe overwhelm… sometimes, if a person’s lost CLARITY, we have to go deeper…
I’d say 99% of the time when a high performer starts experiencing a lot of ‘overwhelm,’ it’s because of a lack of clarity. We’re conditioned to having too much to do…
That’s not the hard part. The hard part is not knowing WHAT WE’RE DOING IT FOR. So how do we deal with that monster?
It’s pretty simple… I grab a notebook (not a laptop or an iPad or a phone, PEN AND PAPER).
I write down what I want (we are CONSTANTLY remembering and reminding ourselves of what we want cause it’s so easy to forget)… let’s say, “To help 1,000 entrepreneurs make a million dollars this year.” Okay.. great, I immediately have clarity to COMPARE with actual data how far away I am from that.
This is important because we’ll talk to people and they’ll say
“I’m feeling soooo overwhelmed omg omg omg omg omg I’m about to die”
and we’ll say,
“Okay… tell me what you want?”
And they’ll say,
“I just want to be financially secure and not have to worry about where I get clients.”
And we’ll say,
“Okay… well you’re in Elite right now and you just did $87k last month in sales and you have $75k in the bank at the moment and before that you didn’t, so… you’re technically already there. Help me figure out what’s next?”
And they’ll say “I’m just wondering if it’s gonna last I’m soooo overwhelmed.” Blah blah blah blah and you get the picture…
From the outside looking in it’s like “The hell is wrong with you? Why are you freaking out right now?”
Here’s the deal: this happens all the time. It’s like, look at us right now… we did almost $700k that prior January and over $500k in the February following… then by March we were literally having panic attacks because one ad gets shut down and it’s like
“IS EVERYBODY OUT TO GET US? DOES EVERYONE HATE TAYLOR AND CHRIS? PEOPLE HATE MONEY?”
No… just one ad got shut down and you lost focus on where you’re headed and why you’re headed there… chill out.
Look, this is a normal thing to go through. Because we humans lose clarity ALL THE TIME. It happens so often… and if we don’t know WHERE WE’RE GOING in relation to WHERE WE ARE — you are going to get overwhelmed and depressed… and then burnout strikes.
What’s the solution?
Self-awareness is a muscle. Sit down and identify “where am I going, really” and “where is the gap” and, then, “what can I do TODAY to decrease the gap.” And then, back to this example (of the Elite client making $87k and being overwhelmed) one of the following will suddenly happen:
Your perception got screwy, and you ARE CLOSER to your vision than you thought. Problem solved.
You’ve clearly identified the GAP and now you know what you need to do to feel better
You don’t know what your vision is so you’re not feeling overwhelmed you’re actually feeling BURNOUT — and now you have to think about what you want.
We could spend all day here so let me leave you with a final word:
Never forget the purpose of your life & business should be more about other people than about yourself.
You want the ‘quick fix’ for decreasing OVERWHELM and BURNOUT in your life?
Focus on others.
It’s going to be almost impossible to get what you want without focusing on other people and what they want…
VULNERABLE moment: in March we lost sight of our vision, our mission, and we lost sight of SERVICE. When you forget this, you’re headed towards a cliff. You MUST have people in your corner who can remind you of this before you fall over.
Luckily we have several such people in our corner and have course-corrected appropriately. CONTRIBUTION BREAKS THE CURSE. Feeling overwhelmed? Go help somebody. Talk to a client. GIVE something away…
Crazy… but this friggin’ works.
7. You Must Weaponize EVERYTHING
Business is fun, right? Everything will be great, right? It’s all gonna be alright, right?
K real quick listen… if you want a “feel good pick me up and make me feel like a unicorn” manual… peruse the children’s section of Amazon. I want to equip you for war.
I want to help you weaponize every possible advantage you have. I don’t want you playing 2nd fiddle… I want to help you take over.
Several months ago I started going to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It was a decision I made over much deliberation which basically means I drove by one day and thought “Hey I’m pretty healthy! What’s the worst that can happen?” Then I went the next day…
And then I almost died.
It’s really an amazing thing to learn because it trains you to pick apart your opponent’s weakness. When you get thrown down on the mat you have to figure out what it is in you that your opponent is leveraging to beat you, then take that away from them. OR — find a weakness in them that you can expose so THEY FORGET about the weakness they’ve been exploiting in you.
See how fun this is? And how applicable to business?
Whatever it is YOU do, you must be in the game of habitually doing 2 things:
- Recognizing your own weaknesses and isolating them so they can’t be used against you
- Identifying your opponents’ weaknesses and weaponizing them against them
This is actually one of the reasons we write content, host podcasts and build products. We’re willing to tell you everything. For as much as people say they’re willing to tell you everything, what they’re actually telling you is only the stuff that makes them look good.
One last point / example on weaponizing everything… one of the easiest areas of leverage is your SLEEP, and what you do in the first 2 hours of the day. If you’re not weaponizing your own schedules you’re missing out on SO much torque.
Here’s the biggest problem I see running rampant across the whole “productivity” and “performance” fields today: everybody’s trying to teach you how to do more sh*t.
“Ya T & C what’s the problem with that sounds like that’s what I need..?”
Negative. Of all the things a business owner needs, ‘getting more done’ is NOT one of them. You need to actually be going the opposite direction. Here’s why…
Richard Koche is worth a lot of money, way more money than any internet marketer alive (past or present) so I’d listen to him. He’s got more money than Gary V and Brunson and Tony Robbins and all of them. And HE says, you should be doing as little as possible…
You should filter everything you think you need to do with this question:
“what’s the very top 20%, and then the top 10% that’s going to actually make the biggest difference in my day/week/month/etc?”
Then either ignore or delegate everything else. SO here’s what this has to do with morning routines and such… lately I’ve been trying to identify the top 2 or 3 or X things that, if and when they happen, they make everything else “work.” In other words, what is the top 20 or 10% of “stuff” that’s actually moving the big stuff here.
Here’s what I’ve found (and by the way I’ve been tracking this stuff ruthlessly for 6 months — my sleeping heart rate, HRV, macros & food, exercise time, wake time, sleep time, performance at work, happiness, etc — I have a giant spreadsheet with all this data in it so I can see what’s making me perform my best).
Sleep at least 8 hours
Wake up early(ish) — 5:30 to 6:30a
Start the day with my GOALS (morning formula)
Make my to-do list the NIGHT BEFORE
Use a monthly project list that I can pull to-do’s from without having to remember
Spend the first 1-2 hours working on stuff that I actually like (no meetings)
That’s literally it. It’s amazing how “simple” this is in theory… but how fast we humans decide to NOT do what’s simple lol.
Anyways… that’s all I got. Let these entrepreneurship lessons from our fails guide you in accomplishing your own goals moving forward. Hope this helped.
P.S. – Grab my latest book, The Consultant Next Door for free, where I cover how we built Traffic and Funnels and what you need to build a thriving entrepreneurship business.
-Taylor Welch & Chris Evans