Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Rick Heyland. Rick, welcome to the podcast.
Thanks Thomas, grateful to be here.
It’s my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Sure. I’m 60 years old. I just retired from a 32-year-old, Consulting, two years in management, consulting, productivity improvement. And two years ago I started a continuous improvement for life business, which is basically personal coaching and productivity coaching for individuals and small business owners. And I wrote a book and I’ve done some teachable courses. I’m just having a blast in so-called retirement. I live in Salt Lake city Utah originally from Alberta Canada and so I’ve travelled in a few, a few points around the world and my management consulting career, but happy now to be in the continuous improvement for life business immediately makes me think of a conversation I had with someone who he talked about the stages of life.
So and he talked about the fact that when you reach a certain age, like it’s normal for our society to kind of say, you know, you’re done now, you’re retired. But his approach was that your, when you reach that stage in your life, you become a mentor, like you’ve got all this information that you’ve gathered, you’ve got all this knowledge and now it’s sort of rewarding and it’s the best thing to do to mentor people who are also, you know, in the middle of all that. Yeah Thomas, you said you nailed the, you never retire really, you go on to different interests or phase two or phase three and this phase really is about contribution and all that consumes my mind these days is how do I get these skills tools and and habits and procedures that I’ve developed out to thousands and it really is, you know, if you wanted to stay in money making mode, you stay in your, you know, your career, but if you want to go to contribution, you know, as a consulting and running a consulting company of about 200 people, You impact 30-50 organisations at a time and, you know, the subsequent leaders inside of that.
But you know, when you do what we’re doing now and writing books and doing training courses for the masses online, you got the opportunity to contribute to hundreds and thousands and more. So it’s it is about contribution and it is about how can I share these things that I’ve learned to the masses and one of the most interested audiences that I do find in my material is kind of that, well, there’s two groups, there’s one the 25 to 35 that are just getting their career going, that they really want to do it right and intentional and a balanced approach, a sustainable approach. And then of course, there’s the group of kind of 45 to 55 that say, you know, I’ve made some money, how do I do this right, I’m looking for meaning now, not just the dollar, so or you know, earning an income. So those are the two groups that kind of I get a chance to speak to these days was it’s interesting to know that you’ve written a couple of books, what the books did you write?
So the book that I wrote last October was called Live Your Purpose. It’s a step-by-step guide to living your best life. And it’s really kind of my experience with purpose and goals and how to handle setbacks in life. As a 26-year-old, I was doing an M. B. A. program. I just moved my – I’ll tell you the short version of the story. But basically it was really life defining moment. I moved my family across the country in Canada to go to a big expensive NBA school and I was 26 years old. I had two kids when my wife and I and I just worked my tail off in about mid-October and the first semester I got an economics class C minus and I think it was one of the lowest grades in the class. And I, you know, it was one of those crisis moments where you say, did I make a huge mistake and move my family away from our loved ones into this. And I remember people like Dr Stephen R. Covey and others saying well, you should have a mission statement in life. And so during that little mini crisis of confidence that weekend in my unfinished basement in London, Ontario Canada, I worked on the draft of my purpose statement and I had read a few articles from a few people to try to pull that together and you know, no lightning flashes are no big revelations.
I felt good about it. Then a year and a half later when I went to go look for jobs and I did improve slightly in my grades by the way. and went to look for jobs. I found across a company there was nothing of interest. I got rejected by a few, I I didn’t apply to very many. I was looking for something that spoke to me and I found a consulting company called R LG International that said basically all the same words that were in my purpose statement, we are about continuous improvement. Where about, you know, not just telling people what to do, but telling them how and helping them advising them, coaching them, developing mentoring to use. We would and it just spoke to me and long story short, I applied for the job. the next day they posted 10 interviews. I wasn’t on the interviews. I called them up and said basically this is how they say it, I said, you know you made a mistake, why is that? Well I applied for this job and it really spoke to me and I didn’t say anything about my purpose statement at the time, but really spoke to me and I’d love to be you to reconsider.
And so the gentleman said, sure, okay, put your name on the list, you’ll be an interview number 11. And sure enough, the day came they came to the campus we interviewed, I was the last one at five o’clock and you know, kind of the bottom line, I was the only one that got offered a job, Had a fantastic 32 career at 32 year career and became an owner in the company and second largest shareholder. And anyhow, I could go on and on about purpose, but that’s really the first part of that book is to help people understand why it’s so important and what the research is saying, I was fascinated doing research for the book and seeing all the like, I’ve just given a career example, but all the health benefits to living with purpose, all the studies show. And then in chapter four, Thomas, I go into detail about how to develop it because I couldn’t find in any of the literature a real clear step-by-step process. So, based on my own experience, in helping clients through the years, I developed the triple seven process, seven questions over seven days, 7 hours and you’ve got your draft purpose statement.
So, anyhow, I could go on forever about the benefits of purpose, but that’s really the first part of the book. And then the second part really says, okay, if you’re living by purpose, how can you connect your goals? Because there’s a lot of literature out there, The companies and individuals don’t hit their goals. I mean, the personal Gold side, you can see research that says 20% of goals are accomplished. And so how do we really, you know, if if the if you look critically at that and say, well, how do we do a better job at getting to 80% of our goals accomplished. One of the techniques, one of the ways is to make sure it’s connected to purpose, because if it’s connected to purpose, you’re not gonna get as discouraged, you’re not going to get thrown off the scent when the first, You know, negative or bad thing happens or setback happens. So that’s kind of the first lesson to to make yourself one of the 80% goal achievement. People, there’s lots of other tools and techniques. The third part of the book is about, Okay, well, realistically, we don’t hit our goals all the time.
Even if, you know, some authors say, well, you just got to double down. Well, that’s great, but what happens if you get discouraged, what happens in real life happens? What happens? So some of the tools and techniques we talked about in the latter half of the book is first of all, the skill of gratitude and the importance of developing gratitude in your life and having that as a central habit every morning. So your brain can focus on what you have versus what you don’t have. That’s a powerful motivator to get your keeping to work on your goals. One of the other skills and habits we talk about, there is the idea of mindfulness meditation so you can slow yourself down. Most of the executives and people like coach today and probably similar for you is people are going so fast and so busy. How do you really slow down and connect and make sure you’re doing the things that are connected to purpose that are very strategic. There’s a whole bunch of good choices out there to spend our time, What’s the really most important thing to do right now. And you know in there we talk about the importance of weekly planning and daily planning to connect to your strategic goals in your purpose.
And then, you know, the last habit we talk about is the idea of acceptance and so this is where I’m at not to be in denial, take full self-responsibility for where I’m at, don’t blame parents, your boss, whoever it is and really except where you’re at, that’s the most powerful place to action plan from whether you’re an entrepreneur or an individual, just trying to get ahead in their career or their life. The concept of acceptance is very powerful to be able to move from and really to drive the next step that strategic and important in your life. So anyway, that gives you a bit of an overview and some of the skills and habits and ideas that we share in the book. Great overview. Thank you very much. There’s a couple of questions that come from that and we can work backwards. You’ve talked about acceptance. how do you differentiate between, let’s say accepting where you are and what’s possible for you? So acceptance. If you are a pessimist, let’s say you might accept that things are perhaps worse than they actually are.
Whereas if you are too much of an optimist, you might try and glamorous something to no kid yourself that things are better than they are. How do you differentiate those two? Yeah. You know, this is interesting in my own marriage. I have both sides. My wife is tremendously naturally optimistic And I’m more of a critical thinker and see the gaps in the whole. So I’ve lived that now for 38 years and have experience with first-hand seeing both and of course in business you see both. But I would say to those that are naturally more critical thinking, the skill of gratitude is your best friend that if you’re a critical thinker always see the holes and the gaps good for you, that’s a strength. But the counter side of that is also a shadow. So how you build your shadow side of that strength is too to make a deliberate like I do every day in my continuous improvement journal, I start on one page about what are the gratitude and learnings from yesterday and that’s another key to write because everything is not just rosy.
So what am I grateful for? Everything from the weather to your house to something positive that happened to business or in your life or relationships yesterday, But also the key word in there is learning. So what did I learn from any of the setbacks Nelson Mandela, one of my heroes, the president of South Africa, it was imprisoned for 29 years in Robben Island. I lived in South Africa for two years. So that’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about his story. But he said something very profound and this is the man that was incarcerated for 29 years. He says I never lose either win or learn and I think there has some nuggets of truth for you in your question. You know, you’re either winning and you’re grateful and you focus on what you have or you’re learning. If you’re not winning and you have to be realistic, you know, if I’m not winning, how do I get in that mindset of accepting where I’m at not blaming because if you’re still blaming your boss or your spouse or your parents or somebody else in your life, you’re not at a position, whether you’re a critical thinker or Pollyanna thinker, you’re not in a position to move on and change.
And so I love that approach by nelson Mandela that I’m either winning or learning, I’m either grateful or I’m in learning mode and in learning moment, I have to first accept my situation. And that doesn’t mean, except if, you know, if you’re in a very bad abusive situation, that doesn’t mean, except that that means, you know, get out of there and now how can I continue to grow and learn as an individual or as a business professional? But so please don’t hear in that word acceptance that’s about, you know, I’m in a very abusive situation, I need to stay, not at all. That means, you know, wherever I’m at when I’m in a safe position now, how can I learn? How can I not be a victim of my past and now learn, get in a position of gratitude and learning? And so I think if we can get our mindset set on both of those paradigms at the same time, whether you’re an optimist or a deeply critical thinker, it’ll, it’ll balance you off and get you in a position because my passion Thomas’s happiness and productivity, happiness And success.
I know lots of successful people at 59 and three quarters years old, lots of successful people that aren’t happy and they are very productive, they’ve got lots of money and they’re not happy. So my passion and my business and I always end my blogs or podcasts or writings or my website with the idea of live a life of sustainable, continuous improvement so that I’m not looking for, you know, four years you and you can make lots of money and then it’s happily ever after. I mean, how do we build those happiness and productive successful practices and habits in our lives So that we can enjoy 80 years Of happiness, high productivity and success. That’s my real vision and goal at this end. I might not have been able to say they say that at 26 when I first developed purpose, but certainly now I can see that and that’s my message to people is that, you know, don’t wake up one day and you’ve made lots of money and you’re unhappy and you don’t have the relationships and love in your life that you need.
So when I talk about goal setting and I’m talking about how can we do it for financial, spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, all those areas and be successful in each one of those areas and therefore we can, you know, find both success and happiness. Your answer made me think of a Tony Robbins quote. when you spoke about acceptance and I thought your explanation, made me think of see things as they are, but not worse than they are, leads me to my next question because you spoke about gratitude prior to that. And I’ve always, he’s a big advocate of gratitude. I’m not sure if you’re aware of Tony’s work or not, but a little bit, Yes, I am. And I always struggled with, um, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I always struggled with the concept of he would refer to it as changing your state relative to thinking about gratitude. So I think you added some pretty good things anyway, regarding your um, call it your journal and also, um, you either you either learn or you or your winning was that you are the winner Dillon.
Right? But if you ask if you struggle with the concept of implementing gratitude into your life, what would you say to someone who struggles with that? I think you’re also in the first part of that question, You’ve got a really important point and I can’t speak for whether, you know, Tony or Jack Canfield and some of these guys that really dream big and then all your intentionality will get behind it no matter what you accomplish your goals. Um, so I think there is some, uh, I don’t want to see somebody work extremely hard, extremely intentional, be unhappy and 20 years later they, what’s that worth? So how do we build these sustainable habits in our life so that we’re actually enjoying the journey. Now while we’re still striving, I love the eastern religion, Eastern worlds kind of practices here. The Western world idealism is the Tony Robbins, the Jack Canfield is that you know, set an intention and you know, your whole world will align around that and I believe that but at the same time there is some powerful thought in being present and developing an attitude of gratitude every day.
For example, I start my day and I only learned this the last 10, 15 minutes of my life. I start my day with 10 minutes of meditation through the app called calm to get my mind very quiet and centred, appreciative of what I have rather than racing, always racing ahead. It it is not fun to be only focused on the future. I’ve seen lots of unhappy people and so one of those tools and techniques is acceptance, mindfulness, meditation and gratitude. So that’s why I developed this is actually coming out in mid-March on my website, but it’s a continuous improvement journal. And if you open up the first page it’s got you know, what’s your purpose statement? So that’s connected to what we already talked about. The second page is what are your goals? And then the third page is what’s your action plans for your goals because it’s great to have intention but then you need to think deeply during your quiet moments of the morning or night when you can get really quiet about what are the most strategic things for me to do to accomplish my purpose and goals. And then every page after that on the left hand side is gratitude and learnings.
So every, I still do this to this day, every day I start with what I’m grateful for and it could be anything physically spiritually, emotionally, mentally, relationship wise, small things, big things. And then the other half of the pages, okay, now that I’m in that mindset of gratitude and acceptance, what do I do to plan and prioritise my day and boy, I can tell you that people that have those two habits in their life are both striving and progressing and accomplishing and trying to stay present and enjoy every moment and it’s a difficult balance to find both. Right? You’ll see lots of authors that are great strive, strive, strive, there’s an incredible something out there for you and then you see lots of the mindfulness meditation group saying staying present. So what if you could do both? And that’s kind of the balance? I’m trying to draw in the book on, it’s your purpose is I think the joy is doing both well that it comes back to what you’re two books are on.
So one’s your life’s purpose and the other one is crushing your goals. Is that right? Yeah. So the second one isn’t a book just yet. It’s actually a training course unteachable. But you can’t find it on my website and it’s at a super discounted price. But basically it’s seven steps to improve profitability in your business by 20%. And I’ve really targeted this one, most of my 30 out of 35 years in management consulting, spent in big and medium sized companies. And so now lately I’ve been focusing on, well the first couple years of my career and then the last couple have been on small business. So this training course that I developed called crush your goals for small business is those seven steps to improve your business and profitability by 20% And that’s unteachable. It’s on for $59. It’s 10 very professional videos. I’ll just give you a flavour of the first couple of steps, you know, step one, for example with your uh, oh and by the way, the target market is kind of under 50 employees kind of 1 50. So you know, I just took a group through, you know, several million dollar business with nine employees And, and, and we did work through each one of these seven steps.
And step one is, let’s do a quick swat analysis of your business, what are the strengths, What are the weaknesses? What are the opportunities and threats? And the first half is internal looking. The second half is external working. And I can tell you if you want to reset a business and I would, I would encourage people to do this quarterly or at least yearly is to do a quick swat with your key employees. Even if you’re only four people in a growing startup, do a quick swat and you will be so pleasantly surprised on getting your group aligned on what are the things around strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the second size with the team are you saying? Yeah, I mean, you could do it as a single entrepreneur. There’s power to writing that down. Absolutely. But I just did it with a group of nine uh, they worked through the videos and then I, I offer a free coaching call at the end so that the free coaching call I worked through and heard their nine steps and it was brilliant. and one of the steps they enjoyed the most was the 2nd 1 about purpose of work. So the last chapter in that first book, I talked about live your purpose.
I couldn’t help it because I’ve spent so much with helping others with their own businesses is uh, you know, what’s the power and purpose of work and getting them to develop their purpose statement and drafted out and they later worked on finalised it. But to realise that there’s way more power than just saying to making money, which is obviously an end in mind, obviously to anybody that, you know, owns or as a shareholder in the business. But what’s the real purpose behind who you’re serving and what you’re serving and your real contribution. It’s easy when you’re Apple to say, you know, we’re going to be a disrupter? We’re going to change business segments in a massive disruptive way. You remember the early one was to get a computer in every home that was like, that was like, that was unbelievable. That was unthinkable. So what happens if you’re a commodity business or a startup or it’s still very powerful to have purpose at work And Lincoln just did a study and I quote that in the book as well, is that they showed that this global study that For those companies that had purpose, 60% of them, the revenue grew and for those that didn’t 42% of them, their revenue decrease so growing or versus decreasing with purpose.
So it’s so important at work to have purpose so that your employees can see that this is bigger than a paycheck so that your customers can see. And you can actually research literature has shown you can charge more if you’re really excelling at your purpose and you’re bringing more than just a commoditise or a service you, what is your real purpose behind what you’re doing? So That is critical and often in the that’s the second or third video that we take people through in these 10 videos. So anyway, that gives you a sample for some of the things folks can work on to bring increased retention from employees and increased growth and profitability for the business, Do you have your example or a copy of when you made yours when you were, did you say 26? Yeah, I remember what it is. Yeah, I do. And I actually, I put it at the beginning of the book and then my revised one. I’m not a big believer That you revise it regularly, but I went through this and you’ll kind of see as I kind of sight the two.
So in 1986 Seven I wrote that purpose as a 26-27-year-old. And it says I strive in my life to have continuous improvement for myself, my family and others in my circle of influence. And the second line says, I want to interdependent, interdependent. We focus on continuous improvement in my vocation avocation and ecclesiastical service efforts. So I wanted this this interdependent benefit To not just for my work but for my vocations and some of the things I do in service. So, and then the third line that I added in 2006, I said, I’m striving for this continuous improvement with love and compassion for myself and others. And so the maturity that I realised as an older 40 something your old is that, you know, it it I didn’t want to be one of those successful, making lots of money and unhappy people with relationships falling by the wayside.
Clayton Chris Johnson writes. And is one of his books that I loved. How do you measure your life, which he basically talks about the importance of mission statements of purpose statements he would, he watched people Harvard NBA’s comeback. He was a professor at Harvard NBA just passed away a year or two ago from cancer. But he I wrote this book because he saw so many of these Harvard M. B. A. Has come back with lots of money and lots of career status and titles and estranged and 2nd and 3rd partners and spouses and estranged from their kids. And I’m sure not everybody, I’m not trying to suggest that, but that’s the story in his book. And so he encouraged people to live by purpose. So, um, when I went through all that reading and some other things around mindfulness and acceptance and staying present, I added that 3rd line to yourself, compassion and acceptance and I didn’t want to be the guy that just, you know, it continues improvement or damned or you know, it’s that I want my kids and grandkids to know that, you know, it’s also about love and acceptance as you move through that striving to achieve wonderful things in your life.
So does that make sense Thomas, is that what you’re after? Exactly yeah, I’m just interested to know whether you feel that so far you’ve met your goal. Well, yeah, it’s interesting. Um, the first part, so I definitely did. And then the third sentence that I added around self-love and acceptance and for others I just am I my oldest son Brett didn’t know I added that third line. and he’s often married. He’s got four wonderful kids of his own with him and heather. And he came back to me one day and a couple of years ago and said dad, you know you’re still striving and hard driving and doing all these things in your life. But there’s a real how do you wear it? A real more patient loving approach. And I got oh my crap! That is so awesome. That’s that is like validation that I’m in the right path because that is exactly how I want it. And it’s a journey right Thomas. We still make mistakes, right?
We still get impatient, we have a plan and it doesn’t work and sometimes we get impatient with ourselves and others. But it was at least a small little validation that I’m on the right path in that journey. That of who I want to become. Well it’s a it’s a in a way, a small thing to do. You know, write another sentence. But the outcome that you got from that was presumably massive in terms of your life. So it sounds like a great thing to do. What would you advise or how would you encourage someone to do that if they were sold on the concept? What would you say to them? Yeah. You know it’s I find there’s two hang ups or fear points or procrastination points. One is people can hear this or read this and see, okay, I get it. It sounds good for companies for people, but I don’t know where to start and the perfectionist side really has. I’ve learned to hang up on just getting going. So often I’ll have a coaching call just to help them get started.
Even though in chapter four I’ve got the seven questions you need to start with. For example, question number one is, how do I want to be remembered at my funeral? You can’t control what people say, but you can live intentional. Now then when I pass away at 85 and I’m able, if I’m able to listen to my funeral, what do I want my kids or my spouse to be saying? What kind of, how did grandpa or dad or partner live? And if you kind of live without kind of intentionality rather than in the moment you will be a much, you will respond much more proactively. Um, and so, but getting started. I really noticed some people have a hard time with that. I want to get it perfect. And for those people, I would say just start just start drafting, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just noodle a couple of bullet points about the first three questions and you’re off and yes, it won’t be perfect, don’t worry about that. So that’s one group that have helped coach through and realise and I would say to your listeners, the other group is that they have no problem starting.
They’re having more trouble finishing. And so they just need a little confidence boost that once they’re done, the seven questions and the seventh question is to put together a draft Kind of 50 words or last 60 words or less, uh, statement, a summary thoughts from all the six first six questions that you kind of put together. And I often have another short coaching call with people to breathe to give them validation, but they could also do it to someone, a trusted partner. Um, don’t, you know, you want that balance of somebody that you trust. We’ll also give you some honest feedback that knows you well enough, uh, that, but will still give you some honest feedback and encouragement not to say, well, what are you doing this stupid stuff for? But that knows you well enough to say, you know what, you know that Thomas that really is your strength and I love the way you summarise that. And uh, you’re missing one in that final statement. So sometimes it’s really helpful to have kind of somebody outside of your own head two.
In fact, in in step sex. I recommend to people to go to a trusted partner, a trusted advisor. And I define that in the book, what that looks like in Chapter four, but it’s so important to get outside of your own head to get some feedback on it for me at 26 it was my spouse and I ran a buyer and she said, have you thought about this? And then when, when, by the time that job came around, it was super validating. And by the way, that was, it was a year and a half later that I really found the value in it right. I didn’t, I didn’t see it right away. It did give me a little bit of confidence that, okay, I can be good at some things here. I just have to find it. But yeah, so if you’re, if you’re a perfectionist and really having a hard time getting started, just start, just brainstorm, just write down a few bullets on question one or two and you’ll be off to the races. And if you’re really having a hard time putting it together, then at the end, have the confidence to share your draft notes with a trusted advisor and get a little bit of feedback.
And that can help you codify it and bring it together. And because often you’re so you’re deep into it. And by the way, I, you know, some authors say, it could take years to do it. I say this balance between urgency and clarity is super important. So that’s why I give the seven questions an hour each day in seven days. So there is some urgency And there’s also some reflective time. And will you have 100% after seven days. No, but you’ve got something that you can continue to tweak at least after you give it more pondering and reflection. So it could be, you could do this in a week and I’ve had people tell me that it actually takes less than the first couple of days is heavy loaded, so they take an hour, but the last few days don’t even take an hour. So it doesn’t really even take seven hours. But in a week You can have this powerful thing called a purpose that then you can align your interest, capability, strengths and passions towards. And by the way, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it is Thomas, but also in writing this book, commissioned a 1400 person survey.
They were from four countries, the UK Australia Canada and the us. And I asked the question, Who lives with purpose. And I found that I also asked the question a separate question, Who’s the happiest? And I had a five point scale. And so I only looked at the people that has said they were the very happiest And correlated that with purpose and the people that were the very happiest and purpose. That those people were 32% happier. That said they had purpose and by the way, their three top habits, habits of the happiest and I’m going to argue the most productive but of the happiest people were one regular exercise, two daily planning. I didn’t ask, you know, do they do it exactly like I do it or you do it? I just said daily planning and then the third is they do regular service for others. So they give random acts of kindness, whatever that might be. So those were the three habits of the happiest people. I love that regular exercise and most of them were just walking, I love running and biking and other things, but most of it was just walking.
So that’s, you know, anybody can do that. and then planning and exercise and I just love that. So if any of the listeners are looking to improve their own happiness and productivity, those are the, those are three simple things to start with. There’s a great answer. I wanted to because there’s so much to talk about, especially since you said That you love, you love exercise, you love running and it like, isn’t it? Is that right? You done 14 marathons? Yeah, that’s right. How is that? So, um, yeah, I’ve always loved exercise for whatever reason, I was rec basketball player, played high school, but rec basketball player and played an undergrad and NBA school in the rec teams and just had a blast and Then about 34 years old, I realised, you know, it’s so hard to get a pickup game going these days, a and my skills are starting to diminish and uh, so it became a little less fun and it’s hard to get everybody together. So a buddy said well why don’t you try running?
I said I’ve never ran. And so I started. I tried said one morning he said, well let’s go to a marathon together, I don’t even know if I could run. so that first day I ran a mile and I was gassed and then I looked up on the internet, internet how to train to run a, at the time, it was a four-hour marathon I was trying to do and then my buddy had done and so I just found again this is the finding the how and I saw a program and how detailed there and I just followed the script Round the 1st 1 said Jeez you know what if I could do a three hour and 30 minutes marathon, I googled that and figured out this is what I gotta do differently, this is how I got a train differently, I need to do more speed work, I need to do better long work. And then I said, well what if I could get to the Boston marathon, that’s kind of a prestigious, you have to get a certain time at a certain age. So I think I was in my early 40s and so I had to get like a three hour and 20 minutes marathon and so in, in St George Utah I applied, got in trained to get a three hour and 15 and Thomas, it was the most miraculous thing, I did a three hour and 2020 and 22 2nd marathon to qualify for the 2000 and three Boston marathon.
So You, as long as it didn’t say 321, so I was within seconds. But The point is I did it in Boston wasn’t quite as great, it was a warm, they started at 11 eastern for TV, they were televising it back then on ESPN two or something. And so it started in the middle of the day and it was a real kind of spring, warm day. And so anyway, I didn’t do quite as well as my qualifying time, but it was a thrill just to qualify for it and to accomplish a goal and learn how to do it because I really didn’t know how and so hopefully, you know, even if you’re not interested in running a marathon or even a half marathon, it just, it’s one of those things that, you know, if you get the right coaching and the right insight into how you can accomplish anything. And I’m convinced too that, you know, Geoff Colvin wrote a great book that highlighted the importance of it was something to the effect of, it’s not about intellect, it’s about remember the title here in a second.
But the main point was it’s about having deliberate practice in your life, that’s how you develop skills and become exceptional. So, you know, even Warren Buffett had his dad as a mentor and you know, watched him in the stock brokerage, even Tiger Woods had a coach, his dad and the very, you know, his year one and two and three and then any golf professional has a coach has to, because you can’t always see what you need. So the idea of any skill that I’m trying to develop, whether it be my net worth, whether it be my golf game, whether it be my running, whether whatever it might be, if you get deliberate practice and deliberate practice means is I can go out and practice golf forever and not get any better. You think, oh man, I’m practicing and then I get out and it’s the same, you know, mid-eighties or nineties score. But once I can know the right things to practice and then I add practice, you’ve got gold, You’ve got something you can build on and that’s whether you’re going to be a financial investor, whether you’re going to work on your golf game or you’re going to run a marathon.
So the right kind of practice is what we need, and that’s where coaching and expertise and why blogs are so popular, why books are so popular, why training courses are so popular, uh, and coaching and mentoring is so popular, is that once I get the right ideas in my head, I can do it. I just need the right ideas. If I have bad practice, ideals in my head, I’m never gonna invest well. So anyway, that’s the power of deliberate practice in our lives and you can run a marathon or do anything else you want in life. My follow up question was going to be, is there any principle that you learned from running a marathon that you then carried over into life or into business? But you went with it, anyway? Yeah, no, no, that is one that I just highlighted, but I’ll tell you another one is the power of leading indicators and that’s both in my book and in my business course. it’s great to say I’m going to prove my business 20% or I want to run a three hour and 20 minute marathon. That’s great intentional. Line up the world Tom Peters and Jack can still say great, awesome, but the real magic Is the power of the leading indicator.
So in the marathon case it was okay, I have to learn to run to get to 320 and I’ll make up the number here for a second, but I have to run my speed, work, my interval, work, my half mile, two-mile interval work at seven-minute miles, where I actually think it was 6 41 which is was really hard for me to imagine at the beginning, could never have done that, but as you do it in half mile increments on the treadmill or on the track and you just run your brains out for that at that pace. You’re building capacity and capability for speed work and then the next time you’re trying to do too. And so the leading indicator, a really great one. This is just one example of it uh, in in marathon running was your speed work and then getting it to that level. In fact, when you google research it, you’ll see what you have to do on your speed work and I couldn’t do it at the beginning. But sure enough, as you work on it and you do and it says, okay, well after you do your first half mile at 6 41 pace the next time with a two-minute break, Do two of them, and then by the end you’re doing six of them And all of a sudden you’re building capacity for speed and then another one is your, your long and you’re never supposed to increase more than 10% per time.
And you start out at five miles and then you go, you know, 10% more the next Saturday. And so there’s all this magic about leading indicators to get you to your lagging result. But the same principle happens in business. If I want to improve 20% in sales, for example, that’s my lagging indicator, everyone has that goal, 30%, whatever. Put your marker down in the the power is in the leading indicator and a leading indicator in that as I go through my teachable course, a great one for there might be a number of follow up calls with existing customers or number of new calls to new customers. We call those cold calls right. Either one of those could be a very powerful leading indicator. That is hard to motivate yourself. Sometimes do a cold call, it’s scary, It’s lots of rejection, whatever. But as you have that leading indicator Up and visible for your sales team, let’s say my target was 30, you’re going to get a better chance of hitting your lagging if you’re doing a great job with those two leading indicators.
And so I, what I encourages visual measurement, whether you’re doing the marathon or trying to improve sales in your business, have that very visually on your board, whether you’re a self-entrepreneur, I got a team of 10 or 30 Have that on the board, review it weekly with an action plan last week I did 25 out of 30, that’s better than I did 22 of the week before. So that’s great. Well, what am I going to do to get 30? What am I learning about that? What’s my plan for next week? The other one by the way, that highlight is a leading indicator for sales team is often Not done as well, is what if you had 30 calls to existing customers? Why do I say that well, a for customer satisfaction to make sure that they’re happy that goes a long way, but also those of your already trusted customers, ask them if there’s anything else you can do to help and often there’s a different product or a different sales group or a or a more expensive service you can provide to them, they already trust you. So Thomas. Those are two examples outside of marathon running in the sales where the power is in the leading indicator. If you want to drive lagging results, the leading indicator is the small step that you take to achieve your goal essentially.
Yeah, basically. And now, another important point that I learned from my friend bob Mauer who wrote a great little book that was highlighted on google the top 100 books. Just a little book. It’s a small steps, the kaizen way and his basic paradigm and one more reason to start with small steps using your word is he, he was doing, he was a medical research internist teacher at a hospital in Western United States and they were struggling with patients to get them. They would come in with, you know, cholesterol problems, heart problems, overweight problems, stress problems. And he highlights in his book, a patient named carol that came in and the internist, the resident was working with her and she just wasn’t able she was a single mom with two kids and working job, just unable to make any change in her life. So finally one time with Dr Mauer there and he’d done a little research on kaizen seven small steps, the powers and small steps and he said okay carol, what if do you watch a little bit of tv when the kids go to bed at night?
He says, yeah I do, I use that to unwind a great, okay great. What if I want you to come back in a week? But what if during one commercial break You stood up and other ran in place or did jumping jacks for one commercial on your favourite show, Could you do that? Yeah, I can do that, I’ll do that. We start tonight, you bet she comes back a week later having done that. And then Dr Mauer says to her and then the resident says to her, okay, do you think during 1 30 minute show at night you could do jumping jacks are standing in place during every commercial? Yeah, I could do that, I could do that, it was kind of fun. He was kind of you know, I didn’t have to, it’s not too much stress blah blah blah, I could still do it, kids were asleep so she does it. I said okay, I want you to come back in two weeks. And so you know where this story’s going, she lost her £20. She actually enjoyed, started running. And it all started with small steps because if it’s, you know, if you do the big dreamer, which I also believe in the Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins approach, big hairy, audacious goal, it gets scared the crap out of your limbic system and you don’t want to start, right?
So the next step is to find that really small step to start to run the first mile or the first half mile or to make the first cold call or you know, start with some really small step that gets engaged. I heard my son-in-law told me one time who was trying to get into a running practice and the small step was, and his goal was to run three times a week. His small step and this was, this was beautiful. There’s so much brain science behind this one. His small step was his only commitment was really to go outside with his running shoes and running gear on. And if that’s what he did, he accomplished his goal. And so that was his only goal. His real end in mind was to get to run three times a week, 20 minutes, but a small step was, and he was busy and he was a little straightening bubble. I was trying to build this life in his career. And so he did that and you know, like two out of the first three times, all he did was step outside with his running shoes on his gear and then one time he actually went for the run, he felt relaxed enough and then that’s how it started.
But he really, he went down into such a micro goal that it calmed down the limbic system and allowed him to get started. You hopefully small business, you know, business owners are just, yeah, okay, I’m I haven’t been able to get my employees to start this new behaviour, this new idea around safety or environment or production or cost. How can I break it down into a very small step so that we can start this habit? Does that make sense to me? Perfect sense? I love the going outside and then going back in again. I would have said, you know, if you’re out there, you might as well go for a ride and that’s eventually what happened. But just to get his conscious, you know, just to get himself while I got outside, but I’m too stressed or I’m too busy and I’m too late because I slept in and then that one time where he was actually able to do it and all of a sudden it started to have it? So you’re improve your business performance by 20%. of course, did you say it was, is that what the content of that?
Is that what you just referred to? Yeah, so it’s that seven steps, it’s in 10 videos, people can find it on my website at ci for life dot org www ci the number four life dot org. And on there you can see a discounted. It’s 59 99 for those 10 videos I had a professional videographer coming in and basically after each video there’s an action plan as your single entrepreneur or your senior team sitting around. and you know, for example, the first one is the swat and then the second one is your purpose. And then the third one is what’s your goals and so and don’t start the next video until you’ve done the workshop idea that I gave you in specific terms, what, who does what by when And then the next one is leading indicators, identify some leading indicators and then the video stops and you do the work. And so by the end of this whole thing, you’ve got this beautiful business plan and performance plan to improve performance by 20%. And then as I mentioned right now I have on there as they finished the last video, they can have a free coaching call with me to check in on there and review their plan with me.
So anyway, I think it’s really a low cost, it won’t take you, it’ll take you maybe an afternoon to work through the videos but you’ll come up with a very comprehensive plan to improve your business, you know, in the last couple steps are, you know, I dream about implementation, that’s what I did in big companies for years. Productivity improvement, implementation coaching and the last couple of steps are okay you have to have a tracking system. Hopefully, some visual management up on a board doesn’t have to be a sophisticated CRM necessarily customer relationship manager. And then the last step is how what’s my business rhythm, what’s my cadence to use this? So weekly and monthly, how am I going to review these leading indicators as a sales team, as an ops team, as a safety team, whatever it might be and what’s my commitment around that and companies that are starting to do that? I just heard yesterday digital billboard company that I worked with yesterday the owner was saying the sales team is still doing their weekly reviews reviewing their leading KPI s with action plans just as you articulated and they’re starting to see a demonstrable change and they’re both behaviours and their business.
So yeah that you can get fined all that on my website. And if you did want a 1-1 approach, you do coaching as well. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. In fact, on there and you can see on the bottom of the website there’s some free coaching calls if you even before you want to sign up you want to talk through your business or your personal development plan So I make it, you know kind of risk free, we can do one for free first to kind of get into the conversation and build some trust between each other. Well, I really appreciate all the information. I found that really beneficial. What are your goals for yourself at the moment? Whoa, good one. So in January 2021, I set four goals and I’m tracking that on my spreadsheet. It’s one of the principles. So one of them is probably the most interesting one is I went my wife and I went plant based eating a doctor friend. The Allreds down the street had been doing it and it helped the room a Titus. And it gave me a book How not to die by Michael Doctor that has showed all these studies on the value of plant based eating low sugar, plant based eating.
And so we’re now what, almost two months into it. And I love it and I’ve missed the sugar to be honest, but not the meat. And we found these incredible recipes. Like I’m not just a guy Thomas that will snack on veggies, that to me is like, oh that’s like but some in credit if you find the right recipes that taste. So anyway, we that’s a big life change and we only committed to it for 30 days, but now we’re committing to it, like I can’t see myself moving away from it. Does that mean that at a restaurant with friends and then something is not available that I won’t know. Absolutely no. but I’ll still track it and so far I’m 99% on plant-based eating. And so that’s one of my big ones right now. Another one is to get this message that I have around crushing your goals both personally and business out to thousands and thousands and thousands of people. That’s why I’m so energised to do these kind of podcasts.
So I really appreciate it Thomas to spread the message to the UK and beyond on some of these principles that might be able to help people. So those are two big ones for this year, both a personal one and a professional. What I’m about, I think probably five or six years into your first one. So very good. You can tell me a lot more maybe. Yeah. Yeah, if you do want any advice on that one, let me know. Okay, what would be your biggest lesson on plant based eating? As far as benefits and or how to enjoy it? I think that how to enjoy it side of things. I think people are already working on that. So I don’t think I need to, you know, there’s plenty of people who are incentivised to make good food and that sort of thing. I would say keep an eye on your vitamin D. supplement with that. If you don’t get enough sun because well, well I’m certainly stuck inside at the moment.
Okay, there’s a company called – I think it’s Nothing Fishy something like that. And there’s a meagre three that you need to make sure that you get and you get it from algae basically, so I’ll keep it on that. And iron. So iron comes in stuff like lentils. So you know people get a lot of their iron from me so I wouldn’t necessarily say that there’s anything to worry about but it’s just you need to make sure that you’re getting everything you need. That’s all. Yeah and these recipes that we’ve tried I can’t remember the name of the book. I give it a shout out man it is it is you know full of lentils and different types of beans and so yeah I’m very mindful especially with exercise to get enough protein and I have only it’s a short sample size of two months but I’ve seen no drop off and I hope to actually see a benefit. I’ve seen a drop off on weight but I’ve seen no drop off on strength and capacity and endurance on my biking and running.
So but yeah you’re right it can’t be just you know we still have to get all that protein and to your point I never thought about the vitamin D. So I will think about that and yes I do take an omega three for also for mind and Alzheimer and different reasons for omega and B. 12 and some things but yeah, no that’s good advice and I’ll look into actually the vitamin D. Good stuff and remind me your second goal was getting the getting out to thousands of people, just this message of how do I get both the book on purpose and of course on how to improve your profitability out to more and more people. So I’ve gone on this massive get on podcasts, get on tv get on different things. and it’s been a lot of fun and I didn’t know that’s so I’m learning all the time and it’s very fun to kind of learn and figure out the next steps here, I think you’ve given a lot of value, so I’m sure that you’ve done that in your other episodes as well, so I have no doubt that you’re if you keep going, I’m no doubt that you reach your goal, where’s the best place for people to find you?
Yeah, you can find everything we’ve talked about here on C. I for life, and it’s just the number four in their ci four life dot org, and you can see the coaching, the book, of course, Everything else on there Thomas. In fact, if your listeners subscribed today, the 1st 10, or the over the next couple of days, the 1st 10, I got a free copy, an audible copy of live your purpose when you author a book, they give you a few free audible links so that people, so if I can get some subscribers from this, just hit the link. When you subscribe, you’ll see free audible as one of the choices. You can hit that. And I’ll send you a free copy of Live Your Purpose on inaudible format. Well, I think I might if it’s – is it on audible the book? Okay, I’ll get that anyway, because yeah, I think it’s a good, worthwhile purchase. So I’ll do that anyway after this episode. But have you got any closing thoughts?
No, just the idea. Um, I’m very mindful today of mental health and people striving, particularly during Covid and isolation, and as you mentioned inside and that there are tools and skills and mindsets that can help us be successful in our not to compare yourself versus others, but to compare yourself versus yourself. And that’s my whole passion is how do I get these ideas and skills and tools and mind sets out to people so that they can accomplish their own goals. And you notice it’s live your purpose, not Thomas’s purpose, not rick’s purpose, not your parents’ purpose, but yours. And so I’m very mindful of mental health and all the discouragement and depression and some of the stats out there. So live your purpose. Start today and working on very small steps to improve your life and you’ll see such confidence and value, even if you don’t see it right away after a couple of weeks that you will see it.
And so start small. Start with some of these little things we talked about, the whole the whole book that I’ve mentioned here is meant to teach the house. And I’m always impressed with books that will inspire me on what to do. But I’m even more impressed with a book that teaches me how and I can put in my mind how to develop that new skill or that new idea. And so that’s my passion and so that I hope people will not get discouraged with comparisons to others or isolation or some of the things that are going on right now. But to start with defining their best self. And let’s move in small steps from there.
Well, thank you very much for the amazing information and for being a great guest and I’ll speak to you soon. Thanks, Thomas, really appreciate it. Thanks.