Where do you start?

I’m reflecting this morning before heading to the lake. 

It’s July (officially), and that means we’re done with Q1, done with Q2, and before you know it I’ll be writing, “Done with Q3.”

Every month I make it a habit to look backwards. Benjamin Hardy’s fascinating book “The Gap & the Gain” talks about our hedonic treadmill. What do we humans do when we hit a number? We move the goalposts.

This creates a self-perpetuating dissatisfaction.

One of the keys, Hardy says, is to look backwards and think of how far you’ve come. 

I’ve done this for years, but lately it’s been especially important. If you are driven, you feel this undercurrent. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it probably isn’t good enough. You have to advance. You have to separate yourself from the pack. 

Something interesting happens, though, when you look backwards.

You are a long ways from where you began

April 8th, 2015 — I had just quit my full time job. And apparently, I’d recently read Gary Keller’s The One Thing. I remember having also just read 12 Week Year and I was setting my goals. 

We lived in a two bedroom apartment that flooded twice a year when it rained real good. On our one year anniversary we had a termite infestation. It was a horrible apartment, but it was cheap. 

Here was my first office.

My goal for the 12 weeks was to generate $10,000 in client revenue.

Let me put this in perspective for you by sharing my goals right now. I rarely do this, but I think it’s important and will inspire you: 

  • 100,000 customers annually @ $80 average spend
  • 2,500 licensing clients (we have the best training curriculum for experts & consultants in the world – we license it into businesses so small firms can scale)
  • 450 private consulting clients annually (our private consulting clients get access to my entire C-suite and leadership teams, it’s a crazy offer and it’s working exceptionally well) 
  • 250 workshop attendees annually (each quarter we teach different subsets of growing a healthy business; sales, finance, operations & people, etc) 

This is just for one business. 

I own 6 and they all have their own set of targets. Revenues should hover around $42M per year if these targets are hit. Compared to $10,000 USD generated in 12 weeks, I’d say we’ve come a long ways. I read my journal entry this morning, which is where I found this picture, and thought “Ten grand in 3 months? Today if I make a post on social I can collect $10k on accident from one person.”

Here’s the downside:

Making that first $10,000 felt like nothing I’d ever experienced. Making the first $10k felt better than making my first $50M. Why is this? 

Hedonic treadmills.

“The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.”

—H.L. Menken

Most of what we chase is temporary.

I used to be obsessed with money, now I am obsessed with mastery

I used to be obsessed with status, now I am obsessed with influence.

I used to be obsessed with winning, now I am obsessed with progress.

The greatest compliment

This week one of my companies had an executive offsite in Nashville. 

One of the leaders worked with me many years ago, when I was building Traffic & Funnels. I said, “What do you think? Everything’s a lot different, yea?” 

I said this because our team is better now than it was four years ago. This is how itshould be. You want to look back and think, “What was I even doing?” That’s a sign of growth. 

He said, “You are all comfortable in your own skin. Can’t explain it — you’re just, better and more confident.”

And that should be the obsession: to be comfortable in who you are.

In what you stand for. 

To love who you get to create with. 

If you have money but you do not have these things, you have wasted your life. 

This is why I reversed course over a year ago, and reset the drawing board. If you haven’t heard the story, I just released a video on it that I think you will like. 

Happy Sunday, hope you are ready for the best 2nd half of the year ever. Remember where you came from… we start where we start — and there is gratitude in the process of looking back from time to time.

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