Last week, we had an amazing group of entrepreneurs at the Grow Thrive Revive event that Evan Money and I hosted. While, we did a lot of teaching, there was plenty to learn from the group as we all worked together to help each entrepreneur put a plan in place to double their business over the next year.
Here are some of the best takeaways that you can use in your life and business.
My first takeaway is how amazing it is to watch someone become aware to a concept and "get it." Their eyes light up. Their passion grows larger. And they have a new sense of empowerment. Knowledge is power and when you get a group of hungry entrepreneurs in a room and get them out of their day to day allowing them to thinking bigger, it is amazing what can happen. We had breakthroughs happening every hour. It was incredibly energizing. My advice to you is to find a group of entrepreneurs or other people in your field and meet with them regularly to discuss the bigger picture and the possibilities for your life.
Second, we had one of the original founders of Billabong-Hurley speak to the group. He gave some amazing wisdom, but one point really stood out to me. He said that when business owners are asked what the most important asset is in their business, they typical say "their people." He clarified and made an important distinction. He said "the most important asset is the RIGHT people." I could not agree more. Make sure that you are choosing the right people or partners for you business. Be picky and make sure they truly align. These decisions can be one of the biggest determinants of your success.
Third, Evan and I covered a number of topics that we have talked together about before, but it is amazing how I still learn things. Evan gave a talk about the power of real reciprocity and said something very important. He said that you should strive to "'do things for others that they couldn't or wouldn't do for themselves." And what he meant is that you have capabilities and connections that others don't have. Use them for good and help others - but don't expect anything in return. Just do what is right and helpful. To me, this is so important because most people want a quid pro quo for helping others, especially in business. You'll get much further along in life if you focus on others and help them reach their potential, than focusing on yourself.
Lastly, believe in yourself and give yourself permission to be great. A lot of people go through life seeking permission to be who they are from outside influences when they already know what they need to do or be. They just want confirmation that many times they never get. Just remember, it is not what you get that makes you valuable, it is what you become through finding and unleashing your best self that does. I think everyone who attended became a better version of themselves last week, including Evan and I. And that is all you can hope for.
"Dave, you coach individuals throughout the world and your own companies helping them with their biggest challenges, why do you need a coach?"
It was great question and one of the easiest I've ever answered. Below is a list of all the reasons I hire the top coaches and mentors I can find each and every year.
How about you? Do you have a coach? If not, why not? If it is because of cost and you don't think you can afford to spend the money, then you are damaging your potential. Besides, if you can't afford a coach, what is going to change to make you be able to afford one, without getting help to get you to a place where you can? If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got. Maybe it's worth the investment in yourself to carry a little credit card debt or borrow a few bucks for a short period while you learn what you don't know and then use that to take yourself to a whole new level in your life. I did for my first coach years ago and what I learned paid me back 500x over. Just remember that the most important thing with any coach or training is to put what you learn into action, otherwise you are wasting your time and your mine.
If you are a high performer or hold yourself to a high standard, you have no doubt had to deal with times where you "felt" the pressure was too much. You may have had times when you just wanted to walk away from things and not deal with them. Or times when you just didn't know how you were going to make it through everything.
What you may not realize is the pressure you feel... The pressure to be the best. The pressure to do it all. The pressure to achieve more because you feel guilty that you haven't accomplished more...is self-inflicted.
And this is OK. This self-inflicted pressure can very good for us and our success. Diamonds don't exist without intense pressure. But, one of the secrets of consistent, high performers, is that they have learned to control this pressure and the emotions it brings in their lives.
I think one of the greatest showcases in life of the pressures of high achievers is the Olympics. Think about it. You get one shot to be the best - and it comes once only every 4 years. And make no mistake, every one of the athletes wants to be on the very top of that podium.
Imagine training for 4 years of your life and devoting every extra second you have, every emotion, and every ounce of energy to perfect your craft - and then you get one shot. That's it. If you don't make it happen, it is over. And for many athletes, they only make it to one Olympic games. Think about just the pressure of making it to the games in the first place. Now, being a high performer yourself and understanding the pressure you put on yourself, imagine the additional pressure these athletes self-inflict.
That is why it is always so amazing to watch the games and see the incredible stories of people that win. Some are dark horses that come out of nowhere and have that one perfect moment where they excel to levels higher than they ever have. Others start out with a mistake, but one not bad enough to knock them out of qualifying and then they win it all. And then there is that other group - the group that has the most pressure. These are the favorites and the people that have been to multiple Olympics and won. These people have the added pressure in that EVERYONE EXPECTS them to win. Think of people like Michael Phelps, Shaun White, or Usain Bolt.
These are the high performers that I love to watch and learn the most from because they have figured out how to control the pressure and use it to their advantage. You can too. Here's how.
High Performers are Self-Aware
Self-awareness is one of the most important traits for consistent success. Understanding yourself and how your mind and body operate together is critical to maximize your peaks and reducing your valleys. High performers know themselves and understand the pressure that they put on themselves is self-inflicted. It is this understanding that helps them to embrace, use it, and ultimately control it. A great example was this year’s snowboard half-pipe where Shaun White was in a big lead after the first of three rounds, only to be upstaged by a dark horse in round two falling into 2nd place. Shaun had a small crash in round two that made it a throwaway run. Then came round three. Shaun was last in the order to go and had to sit and watch while most of the other competitors fell because of windy conditions. Then the dark horse came up and fell as well.
Think about what is going through his mind at this moment. After round one, it looked like he had the gold wrapped up. No one was even close. Then, in round two this kid comes out of nowhere to unseat you with a higher score. You fall in round two and have only one more shot. Not to mention, you at 31, are the oldest by far in the Olympics in the sport and there is a good chance this is your last Olympics. You then have to wait, watching the conditions gets worse and most of the best in the world fall in the final run. Pressure anyone? But, if you watched it unfold, you could see Shaun’s self-awareness kick in. He didn’t change his routine for how he goes about a run. He did the same fist bumps and head shakes he does before each run. He settled in and as he started out, looked completely at peace. He was smooth off the drop in and nailed his first trick. I think at that point just about everyone watching knew that he was going to nail the run and win gold – which he did.
Self-awareness and understanding how to control your emotions and use them to your advantage is a must develop skill if you want to consistently outperform. To start doing this in your life, take time to examine your emotions in situations. Sit with your feelings and ask yourself how you are reacting in times of stress. Is it beneficial to you? Can you use it? Do you need to change how you react?
Lastly, always be asking yourself the following question:
How do I want to respond to this pressure/challenge/adversity?
When you are self-aware, you control your responses and thus your outcomes. Choosing how you will respond and not just reacting to things in life gives you true personal power and will ensure that you consistently succeed.
Recently, my family escaped the cold northern winter and jetted over to Aulani, Disney's Resort on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It was what you would expect - A top notch resort with all of the Disney charm and magic in one of the most beautiful settings on earth.
We enjoyed all types of fun from scuba diving and cage diving with sharks, to traversing the island and seeing where Jurassic Park was made, and of course, spending lots of time chasing our 5 year-old, Hannah, chasing Disney characters all over the resort.
One evening, we discovered a nightly event the resort puts on where a Hawaiian "Uncle" tells stories by the large fire pit overlooking the ocean and the beach. I'll admit, the first time we attended, I thought it would take about 3 seconds for Hannah to get bored and run off to look for more characters. But I was pleasantly surprised by the "Uncle." He told one of the most engaging and captivating stories I've heard in years and kept the audience on the edge of their seats poised for more, including my 5 year-old. From that point, we made it part of our nightly ritual after dinner to go hear a story. And each time, it was the same result - mesmerizing and captivating.
Storytelling, or I should say good storytelling, it one of the best ways to connect with people. It is
hard-wired in our brains and for much of our evolution, things were passed down through story. So I started to take note of the way each "Uncle" told us their story every night and I noticed these 4 powerful elements that you can use to help engage, mesmerize, and captivate others when telling your story or the story of your business.
1.) Grab Attention Right Away with Something the Audience Does Not Expect
The "Uncle" typically did this by playing a song on a ukulele or by asking the audience if they knew what something was that related to the story they were about to tell. It might have been a Hawaiian term or tradition (which most or all did not know the answer to). This got attention and created curiosity which got people (and 5- year olds) listening. This can also be called a "hook." If you are going to tell a story, think of a way you can grab the audiences attention in a unique way quickly and keep them listening.
2.) Make the Audience Part of the Story
The other thing each "Uncle" did was to find creative ways to make the audiences part of their story. They would do this by either involving them in a song that was sung at opportune times during the story or asking them to point out certain Hawaiian words, or alert them to when they did something while telling the story. This kept the audience engaged and keeping up with the story. When you are telling a story, you should always strive to find ways to have your audience participate and be a part of the story. People support what they help to create and giving people a chance to be a part of that makes them that more excited to listen.
3.) Work the Crowd
This is probably obvious, but if you just stand in one spot and don't engage the crowd in memorable way, you will probably lose them. Each "Uncle" had their own way of working the crowd from going throughout the audience in different areas to jumping up on the lava rocks surrounding the story telling area to even playing the ukulele throughout while going to different areas of the crowd. The lesson here is to make sure you are watching your audience and meeting them where they are to bring them into your story. I would watch each "Uncle" pick out the area of the crowd that had kids that were losing interest and find unique ways to get the kids back into the story. You must do the same with your audience.
4.) Make it an Experience
This was a little easier with the backdrop of Aulani and giant lava rock fire pit, but nevertheless, each "Uncle" did a great job making it a unique experience to listen to them and their story. No two were the same. And no story was ever the same either. When you are telling your story, look at how you can make it a memorable experience. What is the one or two most important points that you want the audience to take and ask yourself how you can make those lasting memories for the audience to take with them.