Choose, Plan & Accomplish Your Most Important Goal in 90 Days
Even If You've Struggled with Motivation, Overwhelm, and Focus in the Past
What if you could consistently accomplish your most important goals?
What if you had complete clarity of what you were working on, the confidence to do it to the best of your ability, and the motivation to power through the challenges?
Do you wake up every morning to a sense of panic and uncertainty? Do you go through your days, weeks, and months jumping from one thing to then next?
You’ve resigned to being tired, overworked, and under-apprecciated because you’ve been told “it is what it is.”
What if life were different?
Imagine what your life would look like if you were able to consistently prioritize and focus:
You would wake up every morning and take an hour to ease into the day, maybe having a coffee and reading or visiting with your family. You’d know exactly what needed to get done that day and you’d have planned to have plenty of time to do it.
You’d sit down at your computer and start working. By lunch you’d already have finished the your most important task, the one thing that will do more to move your business forward than anything else.
In the afternoon you’d have plenty of time to workout, go for a walk, or just spend time friends.
At the end of each day, you'd feel closer to your goal than when you started. You’d feel a sense of progress and momentum.
You could relax over the weekend, because you'd know you accomplished the most important things.
At the end of a month, quarter, or year, you could look back and see continuous, upward progress.
But how often do you actually feel like that?
Do you end the day with that feeling of accomplishment and progress, or do you feel like you were just putting out fires?
At the end of the quarter or year, can you look back and see measurable progress, or do you worry you spent most of the time spinning your wheels?
Do you have confidence about your direction, or are you constantly worried you’re missing out or working on the wrong thing?
How much time do you spend wondering "How do I know if I am choosing the right goal to work on?"
When you look up at the end of the month, or year, how much of what you were spending your time and energy on was actually getting you closer to a meaningful goal?
The Secrets The Most Successful People Have in Common
When Mark Parker was appointed CEO of Nike, he got a phone call from Steve Jobs. The pair had worked on a previous collaboration and Jobs had called to congratulate Mark on his appointment. Mark replied by asking Jobs if he had any advice.
Jobs quickly replied “no,” then paused. He took a deep breath and said “Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap."
"Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”
There was another pause. Parker expected a laugh.
It never came.
In a later interview in which Jobs was asked what accomplishment he was most proud of, he responded that he was as proud of what Apple didn’t do than what it did.
When a reporter asked Warren Buffett, “If you were to boil down your key to success to one principle what would it be?”
“For every 100 opportunities that are brought to me,” replied Buffet, “I say no 99 times.”
That’s not just “no” to investment or acquisition opportunities, he explained. It’s “no” to any solicitation of his time or attention.
Jobs’ and Buffett’s secret wasn’t a complex, opaque organization system, or a fancy management technique.
It was finding the few, essential things to focus on ruthlessly, and eliminating everything else.
They identified goals important enough to commit to, and had the confidence to stop doing the 99% of things that weren’t taking them closer to those goals.
What do all these high performers have in common? An extraordinary ability to focus and prioritize.
And it's not just Jobs and Buffett.
“The good-to-great companies did not focus principally on what to do to become great; they focused equally on what not to do and what to stop doing.”
Good To Great
Authors have been writing about the power of focus for the last century. And yet, still the struggle continues.
Why? What are you doing wrong?
The answer is nothing.
No one can expect you to change your life and achieve your most important goals without having a proper system.
But you already knew that.
It’s not by accident that you found your way to this page. You’re a high-performer, the type of person who thinks differently and works on improving themselves, not because someone is telling them to, but because you believe it’s important.
However, you need the right system.
I doubt that’s news to you: you know that you need to study, model and use the components of other’s successes.
You’ve just never been given a system that does this.
The most successful individuals all share commonalities. They follow certain, common principles. These principles are how they are able to remain so focused and become so successful.
Combined, their principles are the key to accomplishing big, hairy, audacious goals.
Many of them don’t consciously realize it, but there are key principles that have allowed them to accomplish goals with what appear like effortless ease while you’re struggling and slogging through your day – drained of your energy, time, and willpower.
Revealed further down this page, and expanded on in the masterclass, these core principles are the answer to why two people can both be hardworking and smart, but one can go much further and faster than the other, without sacrificing their health, relationships, or having a prestigious pedigree.
Once you understand these principles, and you adopt a system which lets you internalize them and use them in your everyday life, you’ll have a roadmap to finally start achieving more, working less, and having time for yourself.
How much is your lack of focus holding you back?
A lack of focus is dangerous, precisely because it's so hard to quantify. The costs are hidden, we never really see them. It's like a little hole in the bottom of your productivity basket that slowly but surely saps your best time, attention and energy.
How much is it costing you every time you abandon one project to work on another one that “might be a better opportunity?”
How many of those projects have seen the light of day?
One past participant of the masterclass explained his situation this way: "I remember staying up at night which is when I work on projects a lot and what would happen a lot of times is that I’ll hit a roadblock for one and switch to another and end up working on four different projects in the space of an hour without really getting anything done."
Can you relate?
How much more could you achieve if you had the clarity to choose just one essential goal and focus on it relentlessly?
How much more focus would you have if, like Warren Buffett, you had the confidence to say “no” to everything that wasn’t moving you closer to your objective?
How much momentum do you lose when you sit down to work on a project and you’re afraid to do the scariest, most important thing? How much time have you squandered doing more “research” or more “product development”, or just getting to inbox zero?
The good news is there is a way to accomplish your goals without putting in more hours. You can experience breakthroughs in your career and still have time for yourself, your family and your friends.
Most productivity systems fail for three reasons:
1. They don’t give you a sense of clarity and confidence
The struggle many people have, that I had, was that all my systems for school or non-entrepreneurial jobs were built around receiving tasks from someone else and getting them done.
When it’s up to me, how do I figure out what to do?
I've seen how the lack of clarity has eaten away days, weeks, months of my life and the lives of those I've worked with. You don’t trust yourself that the goals you’re working towards are the "right" ones so you set many goals and end up making progress on none of them.
Lacking clarity on a single objective, you don't have the confidence to keep others from pulling you off your bearings. You see a new project, a new tactic that might be faster or easier and so you jump to it, leaving a wake of half-finished projects behind you.
We all know that if we try and work on too many different projects/concepts, none of them will excel. However, when you're interested in pursuing many different paths, how do you choose? When do you branch out, if ever?
2. They lead to a feeling of overwork and overwhelm.
The problem with to-do lists and task management solutions is that lists go on forever, but your time and energy doesn’t. This results with cramming your day with too many tasks and ending the day tired and scattered.
Even if you've done goal setting exercises to get clear, you don't have a way to "operationalize" focus. Focus is hard because it isn't making a single decision, it's making hundreds of decisions. You have to say no to competing priorities every hour of every day.
A single "yes" must be protected with a thousand "no's"
So you do things that make you feel like you’re being productive. But when you look back at your last month or year, you don’t see the the progress toward your goals that you know you're capable of.
3. You know what to do, but you’re just scared?
Most productivity books and systems don’t even mention the concept of emotional work, what Steve Pressfield has called “The Resistance.”
The Resistance is the emotionally difficult work: it’s sending the cold email to someone you respect or publishing your thoughts for thousands of people to see. These are not hard logistically, they are hard emotionally.
Ben Horowitz, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, had this to say:
“By far the most difficult skill I learned as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology. Organizational design, process design, metrics, hiring, and firing were all relatively straightforward skills to master compared with keeping my mind in check. I thought I was tough going into it, but I wasn’t tough. I was soft.
Over the years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of CEOs, all with the same experience. Nonetheless, very few people talk about it and I have never read anything on the topic. It’s like the fight club of management: The first rule of the CEO psychological meltdown is don’t talk about the psychological meltdown.”
Not all work is created equal and often the difficult emotional work of fighting The Resistance and managing your own psychology
What if you could be just 10% more productive?
There are a lot of ways people try to be more productive. You could try to hype yourself up, perhaps by going to seminars and getting inspired. But, inevitably, that fades.
You could put your head down and grind – more hours, more sacrifice, less sleep.
But, you’ve tried that before. It didn’t work in the past and so it’s not going to work this year either.
The working harder approach leads to longer to-do lists and more stress. When it finally blows up, it hurts you and the people close to you, the ones who you most want to help.
It really does feel like running on a treadmill that’s speeding up. Even as you run faster, you just feel like you’re standing still.
You’re left feeling alone, isolated, and overworked.
It doesn’t have to be like that though.
You need a system that helps you decide the right things to do and then to execute on them. That’s why The Effective Entrepreneur is so important for you. (And it’s not just for people that see themselves as entrepreneurs – more on that in a minute).
Today, I have a system in place that takes less than two hours per week to maintain and has brought me a persistent level of focus, clarity and confidence.
The principles have been derived from artists, scientists, traders and entrepreneurs.These include some of the most successful individuals of the past century: Buckminster Fuller, Scott Adams, Mark Andreesen, Ray Dalio, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett.
Initially, I was focused on teaching this system to entrepreneurs. What I discovered though was that it wasn’t just applicable to people running their own business. It was relevant to almost anyone working in the digital economy.
These principles have worked for dozens of men and women that have started using this system, including…
- Parents like Annelise – who used the system with her son as they both started businesses together
- Intrapreneurs like Cam – who has used the system to break previous sales records at his company while still having time for side projects and his family
- Entrepreneurs like Dan – who felt stuck and is now able to launch new projects and earn 6 and 7 figure incomes because they control their time
- Writers like Liz – who used the system to write over 42,000 words in just one 90 day period.
In 90 days, I and hundreds of other masterclass participants are making more progress than we used to get done in a full year.
Founder – Design Pickle
The structures, systems, processes and frameworks [helped me] to align myself in such a way that ultimately led to what I'm doing now, which is running a million-dollar startup.
It's been invaluable to me and the results are definitely there.
If you are an entrepreneur, or a startup founder – somebody who is creating the map as you go along –
Taylor's system is invaluable.
Sales and Marketing Manager
The first week after the masterclass was my most productive week in 2 years, because I sat down with such confidence about what I was going to work on.
Just taking the time to go through the masterclass gave me such clarity and such focus that the whole next week, I just crushed it.
The idea of a weekly review was just something I knew I should do, but now I actually do it.
I feel like I have a structure that I can go back to and execute on. [The Masterclass] has made it very clear on how to do it.
Training Manager SMS Assist
"The Effective Entrepreneur provides space where I can actually take stock of what I've been doing and seeing if it's been effective.
Having that built in system where I can keep myself in check and keep pointing towards that 'north star' – that has been the most powerful thing for me."
Founder and Biotech Engineer
The biggest problem the masterclass solved for me was the constant struggle with connecting the dots, and the feeling that “is what I’m doing today really the most important thing, the most necessary thing?”
Founder – TeraTech
For me, a few hundred bucks to get my business running more efficiently and get my plans running easy, was way more than worth it.
The masterclass was enormously helpful. I am leaving feeling like I actually have a game plan and strategy for how I can connect the dots, and how I can bring a lot more structure, focus, and discipline into my daily routine.
As a result of the masterclass, I gained a better understanding of what it means to do long term goal-setting, [and] to make it actually usable for the short term.
I'm much more calm throughout the day. Looking at my GTD to-do list in the morning used to make me panic a bit. Taking time to plan out what's important means I'm not worrying all the time about 'should I be doing this thing or that thing?' Now I'm confident I'm working on the right things.
I'd tell my friend, "If you're unsure of what to work on day-to-day, take a look at this course."
Founder – SnappyKraken (FinTech)
I’m a bit of a productivity junkie, but what set The Effective Entrepreneur masterclass apart
is that it’s really structured in a way to help you live it.
The masterclass has some building blocks that you end up using on a daily, habitual level, that gets you closer to your goals.
The Effective Entrepreneur is by far some of the best time (I've spent), and has resulted in some of the most money I've ever made
All of these people, myself most definitely included, didn’t always accomplish so much.
Six years ago, I wasn’t confident with my direction, or clear about my goals. I didn’t have good habits or a personal productivity system in place.
Even when I was getting things done, there wasn't a clear direction. It was a random walk: three steps forward, two steps back, three steps to the right. On average, I ended up right back where I started.
All the while, I saw other people around me, people I could relate to, that were doing the things I knew to be important: moving fast, making decisions quickly, identifying the highest leverage areas and focusing on them.
But over the last half decade,
I discovered a system that did work for me.
Now, I’m clear about what my long-term goals are and how they align with my values and principles. This gives me a constant sense of motivation that’s much deeper than superficial hype.
I’m clear about the highest leverage tasks I can be doing this quarter, this month, this week and today, to take me towards those goals.
I used to allow interruptions to eat away my day, now I have at least three hours blocked off every day to focus on the single most important task to accomplish my long term goals.
I worry far less than I used to that I’m “missing out” on other opportunities, or letting things fall through the cracks. I know my priorities, why they're my priorities and what would be so important as to change them.
I can look back at the last year and see measurable progress toward a goal, and meaningful changes in my life.
I have time to spend with friends, family and working on my health.
The system works if you want to improve your relationships, make more money, or achieve financial freedom.
It’s about helping you discover your deepest values, aligning your day-to-day actions with them and making consistent progress towards them.
I’m living proof. Friends and colleagues often tell me that I must have a ton of willpower in order to be so focused.
The truth is, I don’t. I've just found a system that works for me.
Just a few years ago I was overweight and working in a job I hated.
No matter how hard I worked, I didn’t seem to be making any progress. The treadmill never slowed down and I felt like I was spinning my wheels without making any forward progress.
I was in constant back pain from the extra 100lbs I was carrying around to boot.
I remember getting home late one night from my job and laying down in bed as the fan blew over me, exhausted but without any sense of being better off than I was six months earlier.
I knew something had to change.
So I went on a journey. I travelled to Asia, South America, and across the United States looking for answers.
I invested years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars to track down and learn from others.
I read dozens of books on productivity.
I kept trying-and-failing at implementing the systems in the productivity books I was reading.
But, I noticed some things worked. So I kept those.
I began to deconstruct and analyze research from unconventional sources like stoic philosophy, behavioral economics, positive psychology, risk management, improvisational theatre and investing. I began to think about how I could apply the lessons from those sources to my own life. How could I take the best systems that had existed for the last century, filter them through the lens of research done in the past decade and then codify it all into a simple, easy-to-follow system.
It began to work for me. I was getting more opportunities and making more money without working harder.
Using the five principles I discovered, I published a bestselling book that changed the course of my career.
So I started writing about the principles and the system I had built on top of them.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve published a series of essays on my system that have received the biggest response of anything I’ve ever written. I got emails from venture capitalists, founders, hedge fund managers, authors and everything in between saying the systems had worked for them too.
So, I started teaching it to others.
Frankly, I was surprised at how well it worked.
One student cited it as a primary factor in how he grew a multiple 6 figure business in 106 days.
After hearing about Russ's story, more people started reaching out to me. I taught them the system and they started seeing results.
At this point, I knew it worked, and not just for me. For dozens of people in all different life situations: single, married, employed, freelancers, entrepreneurs and investors.
I want to offer that system to you, in
The Effective Entrepreneur.
Stop wondering which direction to go, or changing directions erratically – get clear on your the right things to do for your business and move consistently towards your goals.
Stop worrying you're neglecting another opportunity or letting someone down when you focus. Gain a sense of confidence in your goals, and rest easy, knowing you’re taking big strides toward them.
Stop avoiding the fear. Learn to recognize it as a signal that you’re doing something powerful and important. Learn to lean into it, and dance with it toward your goals.
Whether you are a business owner, employee, professional or parent, The Effective Entrepreneur is a system for getting clear on the vision of your life that exists in your head, and turning it into a reality.
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What would it be like to end every day completely confident and clear that you were moving in the right direction?
How much more could you accomplish if you could trust that all your resources were moving in the right direction, like a crew team all rowing the same direction?
How much more creative force could you bring to bear on moving the needle in your business and life if you weren't distracted by worry that something lurked in your inbox, or that you were working on the wrong things?
How much more at-ease would you feel seeing the success of others around you if you could rest assured that your goals were the right ones, and that your efforts were getting you closer?
Principle #1: The Fear is the Compass to Effectiveness
Overcoming Overwhelm, Getting Your Priorities Straight, and Making Consistent Progress
“Use courage and wisdom, not labor, to make money” -N.N. Taleb
Often times, your lack of productivity and achievement is not because you aren’t working hard, but because you are using hard work to avoid the scary work.
I remember there was a cute girl that I had a crush on for most of high school. I spent hours, weeks or months probing her friends – did she really like you? Or would I just get rejected?
I would have had a better chance of success if I’d just walked up to her and asked her out in 30 seconds. It would have come across as confident and even if she turned me down, she would have done so in a nice way.
I was working hard to get her to go out with me, but in truth I was working hard as a way of avoiding the emotionally difficult, fear inducing work.This is part of our evolutionary heritage.
Imagine you are part of a hunter gatherer tribe and you decide to try a new way of hunting will probably make it easier and faster to hunt large animals. Even though it’s a good bet (it’s likely to work), the downside is fatal. If it doesn’t work, you die.
Your ancestors are the ones who only did things which they knew were going to work. The people who tried projects that weren’t guaranteed to work, usually died. If you went up in a small 100 person tribe and got rejected by someone, it could ruin your social standing in the tribe, the only tribe you would ever be a part of.
We live in a world today where the opposite is reward.
If you walk up to someone in a bookstore or a bar and ask them out and they say no, you’ll probably never see them again. There is no real risk, only perceived risk.
Tom, a friend and military veteran who served in Iraq, said he was more afraid the first time he published a blog post than when he went on patrol in an enemy controlled portion of a city at war.
The sense of fear that Tom felt before publishing a blog post was not something to shy away from, but something to lean into. The reason Tom has been successful is that he is continually finding the fear and leaning into it. The same fear we experienced in high school before asking out our crush on a date infects every part of our lives.
The most successful people use that fear as a compass: wherever there is fear, they go.
Constantly identifying and moving towards the fear solves a lot of problems.
For one, it can reduce the feeling of overwork and overwhelm. It’s a lot of work to go around and ask everyone in the school what your crush might think, to plan at home, to send coy tests. If you go straight for the heart of the matter, you actually get better results with less work.
It also helps you prioritize, if you have two or three choices, which one is the most scary? That is usually the one you need to prioritize. Using the fear as a compass gives you a tool to know what direction you should be moving in.
You do all the reading that I wish I had the time to do, and you put it together in a really easy to understand and really well articulated way.
What you're saying to me about 'leaning into the fear', well it makes perfect sense.
That's why I think that it will help me really solve that problem of mine.
Principle #2: Do More of Less: Work In Sequence, Not In Parallel
Reduce stress, increase your chances of success and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Imagine you have an hour to work on something. Do you make more progress if you spend the whole hour working on one thing or if you split it up into 12 different tasks and work on each one for five minutes?
Everyone’s personal experience reflects that it’s better to pick one thing because of task switching cost: the cost of mentally moving from one thing to another.
If you’re working on one project and switch to another, you have to load up all the mental RAM to make that switch.
You recognize this on an hour to hour basis, but it is just as true on a day to day basis and on a week to week basis.
If you do something new every week and wonder why you don’t make progress, well, it’s the same as doing a new task every five minutes.
"But what if I have a lot of competing interests? How do I choose?”
You don’t have to choose, you just have to go from working in parallel to working in sequence.
Instead of spending a few hours each day on different projects and going nowhere, what if you were totally committed to one project for a month and then gave yourself the option to switch?
The typical reaction to this is “but what if I pick the wrong one?”For one, this isn’t school, it’s life. There isn’t a “right” one. There are many different options with pros, cons and tradeoffs.
The only way to figure out what all those pros, cons and tradeoffs are is to give the project a real chance of succeeding.
By working on many projects at once, you guarantee they will all fail – none get enough of your time and energy to succeed.
By working on projects in sequence, you still get to explore all the areas that are interesting and important to you, but you increase your odds of success in each one.
Spending all your time moving one thing forward leads to a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day instead of that tired and scattered feeling where you worked all day but don’t get anything done.
It will also get rid of that feeling of overwhelm because you are confident and clear about what the most important thing you can be doing is. As long as you are making progress there, you don’t have to worry about all the minutia.
Founder – You The Createur
By solving the issue of "option fatigue", you really allow yourself to be present in the task at hand.
The ROI in that – what you see when you are completely head down and working towards an end goal –makes all of the difference in the world.
Principle #3: Treat it Like an Experiment
What Thomas Edison and Buckminster Fuller can teach us about doing our best work
There was a guy who was going to jump off a bridge in 1927. In that year, his first daughter had died, he had lost his job as president of a building company, had no savings to fall back on and his wife had just given birth to his second daughter. With no employment prospects and a hungry family, he resolved to jump off a bridge into Lake Michigan so his family could get the life insurance payment.
Standing on the bridge looking down, he realized that if he was willing to kill himself, he could instead simply treat his life as an experiment, because he was already prepared for the worst case scenario. That man was Buckminster Fuller, a well regarded scientists of the 20th century, inventor of the term Spaceship Earth and the geodesic dome. Late in his life, he cited standing on that bridge as the turning point because it released him.
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If you start to approach your projects as an experiment, this helps solve the crippling fear induced by “What if I fail?”
When we approach each quarter, each month, each week as an experiment, failure all of a sudden becomes feedback that increases our chances of success on future experiments.
We go through a process, similar to the scientific method:
Review → Reflect → Plan → Execute
Approaching it as an experiment helps you detach yourself from the outcome. Each quarter’s success or failure is not a reflection on us, but a reflection on the experiment we ran.
This way you don’t feel like a failure, you simply realize that your hypothesis wasn’t perfect and you need to adjust it going forward.
After his first lightbulb filament did not work, Thomas Edison didn’t say “I’m a failure” and quit, he just realized that was the wrong filament and took what he learned to try new experiments.
If you reach a conclusion, even if it’s wrong, then you can make a better hypothesis and run a new test that’s more likely to succeed.
Edison’s famous line is “I didn't fail. I just found 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.”
It turns out inventing the lightbulb was a 10,001 step process.
Principle #4: Vertical Coherence
Regain your Clarity. Fuel your Motivation.
A traveler was walking through a medieval town and saw three stone masons working on a stone wall. He asked the first what he was doing. The first mason spat back, “cutting stones.” Still curious about what they were actually constructing, he asked the next stone mason, who replied “building a wall,” before going back to work.
The traveler went on and asked the final stone mason what exactly they are building. He replied, “a monument.” The mason went on to talk about the historical significance of the monument, explaining that it represents someone who saved the townspeople from a disaster. He talked about the future possibilities of the monument, how people will come from miles around to visit the monument, which will bring prosperity to the village.
All three of the answers are technically correct. The only difference is the time frame. The first stone mason is “cutting stones” (short-term). The second is “building a wall” (medium term). The last is “building a monument” (long-term).
There was a study done in the 1990s by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of Flow, where they studied different professionals to see which ones were happy and productive and which were unhappy and unproductive. The most important factor was alignment.
The happiest, most productive profession was geneticists because all parties involved respected the best science. Even though pharmaceutical companies were injecting a lot of money into the field, geneticists believed doing the very best science on a day-to-day basis led to more benefits for the general public, the pharmaceutical companies, their universities and themselves – they were in vertical coherence all the way up and down the chain.
The least happy, and least productive profession was journalism. Most of them had entered the field with high ideals about truth, making a difference and the free press, but the decline of family run newspaper and rise of corporate media empires made journalism a profit center where all that mattered was sales which meant good journalism was bad for business and was replaced by scare stories, exaggeration, and scandal. Their values did not align with their day-to-day work.
A follow up study done by MacGregor and Little in 1998 found that meaningfulness of individuals’ personal projects depended on how consistent they were with core aspects of self and identity.
The happiest and most productive people have a system for lining up their long-term, medium-term and short-term visions.
This gives them a constant sense of motivation because they see how the work they are doing today (cutting stones) leads to a long-term vision that they find meaningful (building a cathedral).
It also gives them a sense of clarity and a way to prioritize: What’s the one thing I can do tomorrow that will make everything else easier or unnecessary for building a cathedral?
My favorite part is your explanation of vertical coherence, of connecting my long-term goals all the way down to my day-to-day. I've heard this concept before but your explanation and putting into a system made everything click for me.
Principle #5: Systems Always Win
Rock-Solid Confidence and Conviction.
Brian, the author of a book called Mindless Eating, keeps tortilla chips on the top shelf of the laundry room.
The way that the brain is evolved is that it starts at the base of the spine and grows forward.
So when you see tortilla chips, it passes first through the older part of your brain, the reptilian part, which causes you to start eating without ever consciously thinking about. (I’m simplifying the science a bit here, but this is accurate in principle).
How many times have you found yourself starting to type F-A-C-E-Book into your browser without consciously thinking about it?
You beat yourself up for this: “Why can’t I just not eat the chips.” “Why can’t I just go to the gym.” “Why can’t I focus on my most important task?”
This is compounded by unfair comparisons, “Rob executes so fast on his projects, why can’t I execute that fast?” “Jesse eats healthy all the time, why can’t I do that?”
The reality is that all of these people you are comparing yourself to have systems they have built. Sometimes they are not even conscious of the systems operating in their life, but I assure you they are there.
Rob has built a system, a combination of habits, tools, and strategies that let him execute fast. Jesse has his own habits, tools and strategies for eating healthy.
I believe that all of the key principles I’ve revealed here: The Fear is the Compass to Effectiveness, Do More of Less, Treat It LIke an Experiment, and Vertical Coherence are used in some form or another by the people we look up to as being effective and productive.
But it’s one thing to know about them, it’s another to actually do them consistently. Goal setting is not goal achieving.
In order to consistently hit your goals, you need a system, a system to always make sure you are moving towards the fear, focusing on your most important work, not fearing failure and staying in line with your fundamental values.
Having this system will get rid of that feeling of overwhelm and overwork. It will let you make faster progress towards your most important goals. It will let you operate with a constant sense of clarity and conviction. It will leave you feeling motivated and laser focused.
Founder – Ecommerce Fuel
It's a good way to get more clarity on how your long term goals relate to the short term.
It's a really good system to follow if you want to produce.
If that's your goal – to produce things related to your long term vision –just follow the system and it will keep you motivated to move forward and help with consistency.
You are Part of Our Mission to Increase Self-Determination
In order for any organization to be successful, it has to have a “North Star” – a defining goal. Ours is to increase the self-determination people have over their lives.
When I was 17 years old, my football coach and mentor, was fired from my high school. Since that day, I’ve been obsessed with the notion of self-determination.
I remember standing next to the locker bank when someone told me he was gone, thinking it couldn’t be true.He had been at the school for a decade. How did he get fired? It turned out that he had just ticked off someone in power.
When I found that out, I got pissed. I created a website and started a petition to bring him back. I got livestrong rubber bracelets made. I got a group together and we picketed outside the carpool line.
I finally got a meeting with the school principal about it. I was going to go in very seriously and make a lot of very serious demands. I don’t remember much from the meeting other than I walked in there with my chest puffed up and ended spending most of the meeting crying at the idea of someone who had profoundly influenced my life being the victim of clear injustice.
This is a fairly naive story of a middle class kid raised in a Western liberal democracy having something pretty routine in the bigger scheme of things happen: good people get fired for unjust causes every day. But when I psychoanalyze myself, it is perhaps the defining story of the theme I’ve been obsessed with since: self-determination, a sense of control over my life.
At that point, I had none. I couldn’t affect the world in a way to bring him back.
So many individuals feel like I did in my high school principal’s office that day: powerless, without agency or control over their own lives.
We grew up in an environment where individuals were beholden to institutions. The world that most of us are raised in was constructed to deny us this control.
Looking out on the world today, I have dramatically more agency than I did five years ago.
We are bound by this mission and The Effective Entrepreneur is the system we’ve designed to help individuals all over the world take control of their lives: whether that’s getting healthy, making more money or making more time for family and friends.
How exactly does the Effective Entrepreneur Work?
I organized The Effective Entrepreneur into 4 stages:
- 25 Year Vision
- The Quarterly Plan
- The Weekly Review
- The Daily Ritual
Introduction and Principles
In this bonus ‘Getting Started’ module, you’ll start to set yourself up for success with the system. Before I send you into the Core Modules, I want to help shape your psychology to get the most out of the masterclass.
In this module, I’ll show you:
- A summary of 40 years of research on productivity and what we can (and can’t) conclude from it
- Why launching your project can be scarier than going on patrol in enemy territory and how you can act in spite of the fear
- The neurobiology showing how social media acts on your brain (Hint: a lot like cookies) and how to build a system which lets you do your most important work (instead of eating the cookies)
- The surprising cost of context switching and how you can eliminate it while still working on everything that interests you
- What a 1990’s study of two unlikely professions teaches us about staying motivated
Module #1 Part i: 25 Year Goal Setting
The first thing you’ll be doing is getting clear on your long-term vision and how they align with your values and principles. Most people adopt pre-packaged principles from others, set goals based on those principles, then spend all their time and energy, often years of their lives, working towards goals that the didn’t care about them in the first place.
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You’re going to work to better understand our own personal strengths and weaknesses so that you can build a system which is specially suited for you.
By getting clear on our own personal strengths and weaknesses you will be able to better leverage your strengths while mitigating your weaknesses.
In this module, I’ll show you:
- How new research in the field of psychology on priming can help you identify more opportunities to achieve your goals faster with less effort
- The one question which will reveal your deepest values and beliefs (and keep you motivated)
- A technique developed by a Japanese manufacturing company that lets you identify and eliminate your limiting beliefs and set more ambitious goals
- How to prioritize between all the important areas of your life from business to relationships to health so that you’re not neglecting any of them
This is the module that many students call “beyond illuminating” for understanding what they should be working on.
Module #1 Part ii: The Quarterly Plan
This is your roadmap for creating success (what that means is up to you). At the end of this module, you’ll have a fully completed 90 Day game plan. What would knowing what your next 90 days will look like, do for your confidence?
In this module, I’ll show you:
- How to comb your past like a detective to identify the best projects for your individual skills and passion
- Why quitting is under rated and how to know when it’s time to drop a project
- The Lead Domino Theory and the exact steps to keep the main thing the main thing so you’re always focused on the activities that drive results for you
- The one small tweak that let a group of salespeople increase their annual sales by over 50% (and how to put it to work for you)
- How to overcome imposter syndrome and do your best work
- The answer to “But, what if I fail?”
You’ll finish this stage with a clear vision of what your most important values, principles and long-term goals are.
You’ll also have a 90 day goal that will move you towards that vision, a plan in place to achieve that goal, and the sense of clarity and confidence you’ve been looking for.
Module #2: The Weekly Review
With a clear 90 day game plan in place, and the confidence and conviction that come with it, you’re going to move to the weekly review.
In this module, I’ll show you:
- Why airplanes never land at the wrong destination and how you can make sure you don’t either
- How to make sure you stay on track and focused on your most important goal
- How to turn “mistakes” into feedback that actually lets you get better, faster
- A simple 30-minute process to turn off for the weekend and spend time relaxing or with your family and friends
- How to end your week with a feeling of accomplishment that makes hitting your goals a question of “when,” not “if.”
- One question that lets you identify your most important task for the coming week.
Finishing the weekly review will leave you with a renewed sense of clarity and focus. You’ll see how the steps you are taking everyday are leading towards a bigger, brighter future in all aspects of your life – health, wealth and relationships. Or if they aren't leading in that direction, you'll have a clear plan for how to adapt.
Module #3: The Daily Ritual
In this module, you’ll get clear on how to structure your ideal day, one where you can make meaningful progress towards your most important goals, and how to flexibly adapt that ideal to the realities of your life.
In this module, I’ll show you:
- The two easy questions you must asks yourself every morning to have a happy and productive day
- The five essential components to design your ideal day (These will help you prioritize between different aspects of your life like health and relationships as well as between different projects)
- How to adjust your schedule to do your best work whether you are a morning person or a night owl
- Three simple questions that will let you shut down at the end of the day and get confident and clear for the next day
You’ll go through the exercises yourself and feel the sense of clarity and confidence that come from cutting away the unnecessary and focusing on the essential work that aligns with your values and goals. You’ll be able to clearly see how every hour you spend is leading you where you want to go.
Conclusion and Implementation
Instead of just leaving you with broad concepts, I’ll be immersing you in a day-in-the-life.
In this module, I’ll show you:
- How the “80% Rule” can help you get the most of the system without feeling constrained or deprived
- The wisdom of "muddling fuckery"
- The tradeoff between stress and meaning and how to balance between them
- A tour of my complete implementation of the system showing you exactly how I put it into practice on a day-to-day basis
You’ll see exactly what the quarterly, weekly, and daily review and planning look like when I do them. You’ll finish with the system already implemented in your life
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