This post is part two of a follow-up to the background story for how I met Darren Hardy. The following is the second half of the top lessons I’ve learned over the past eight years from the man who has become one of my most influential mentors.
From Darren’s book, “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster”:
6 – Habituating to Fear
One of my favorite stories is from Darren’s early days of playing baseball and learning to bat from his Dad. His challenge was staying in the batter’s box due to a fear of being hit by the ball. The further challenge was that Darren’s Dad was a hardcore, man’s man football coach, who could have doubled for Gunnery Sergent Hartman from “Full Metal Jacket”. So, for Darren to be afraid of being hit by the ball was completely unacceptable.
The solution to conquering his fear was to remove the need for fear in the first place. Darren’s Dad started their batting practice with Wiffle balls to help him learn to stay in the batter’s box. Initially, Mr. Hardy threw right at Darren over and over teaching him not to flinch at the sight of the approaching ball. Being hit by a Wiffle ball was essentially painless, and yet the repetition of the drill taught him to stay rock-solid versus jumping out of the way.
Gradually Mr. Hardy started throwing over the plate so Darren could actually swing at the ball. Occasionally, he would still beam Darren just to remind him that being hit was okay. Once he conquered Wiffle balls, they moved up to tennis balls repeating the same process.
Now being hit by the tennis balls did sting a little, however, with his strengthened resolve, they moved on to actual baseballs.
Now Mr. Hardy was not going to intentionally hit Darren with a baseball and yet the potential for being accidentally hit was still intimidating. To sweeten the deal, the agreement was that if he was hit three times, he earned a trip to get pizza. Now Darren LOVED pizza, and while the baseballs did hurt a bit, he quickly learned that a few moments of pain were well worth the payoff of a large pepperoni & sausage.
Ultimately Darren’s weakness became a tremendous strength as he became quite accomplished at getting on base because he learned to conquer his fear. And you can do the same with whatever fear is holding you back. Simply break it down to the smallest possible step…and then take the step. If appropriate, build in a reward system like Darren’s trip to the local pizza parlor. One small step at a time with the right mindset will allow you to conquer any fear you may have.
7 – Failing Your Way to Success
Michael Jordan ranks in the all-time top ten for the most shots missed and yet he is arguably considered the greatest player in NBA history. Thomas J. Watson of IBM had a philosophy of embracing failure. In fact, he believed that ultimate success was found on the far side of failure. And Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com has burned 100’s of millions of dollars in the process of building the most successful company on the planet. Amazon has built a culture of failure that drives their universe denting success.
Darren learned this valuable lesson during his early days of selling real estate. In a down market, where most of the veterans in his office waited for the phone to ring, Darren forced success by stacking up failures. He would go door to door approaching homes listed as For Sale By Owner and then spent hours on the phone in the evenings calling on expired listings. He went from being the rookie to the top agent in his office by pushing the pendulum so far to the side of failure, that it catapulted him to the extreme opposite side of success.
It was a numbers game much like a lesson I learned from my first sales manager. In a deck of cards, you have 52 cards with 12 face cards. With the deck face down, drawing one card at a time, it is impossible to not eventually draw a face card. You know they’re in there…you just have to trust the process and run the numbers until the numbers prove you right. When applied to life, the challenge is to simply have the intestinal fortitude to go through the struggles needed to ultimately reach success.
From Darren’s digital program, “Insane Productivity“:
8 – Digital Addiction
The single biggest threat to our productivity in today’s world is distractions. Between our phones, tablets, computers, social media, and the seemingly endless number of apps, our attention is constantly being pulled into a multitude of different directions. And the problem is that for the most part, we’ve done it to ourselves…and we love it.
I say we love it because according to Healthline.com, “For many people, social interaction stimulates the release of dopamine. Because so many people use their phones as tools of social interaction, they become accustomed to constantly checking them for that hit of dopamine that’s released when they connect with others on social media or some other app.” So, digital addiction is a real thing and it can be extremely hard to break.
The challenge with phones has become so pervasive that to see someone in public, alone, without their face in their phone is almost an anomaly. In the gym environment where I earn my living, it is rare to see someone training without their phone. The challenge is that more and more, people tie up equipment between sets with their faces buried in their phones…texting, emailing, surfing, or whatever. The bottom line is that it’s becoming a nuisance.
And for all the warnings about not using your phone while driving, you still see people every day with one hand on the wheel and their phone in the other. It’s time to stop the insanity. Thankfully Darren made me aware of my personal challenge and with awareness, there comes the possibility of change.
My particular struggle is not so much with social media or staying connected with the news. My kryptonite is email & text messages and they’re the monsters I’m still working to tame. The problem is that they’re the primary tools that I use to communicate with my clients. And being a people person who loves to serve, I feel compelled to constantly check my phone for the sake of running my business. The solution was simple enough and now I only check for messages at specific times of the day. This keeps me in control and has reduced my stress level substantially.
My favorite strategy from Darren, especially concerning not using your phone while driving, is to leave it out of reach in the backseat…or if needed in your trunk. Now, if the very thought of not having your phone “handy” in the car gives you the shakes, you may have a problem. And it’s not just confined to your car.
Nomophobia—an abbreviation of “no-mobile–phone-phobia”—is also called “cell phone addiction.” Symptoms include: Experiencing anxiety or panic over losing your phone. Obsessively checking for missed calls, emails, and texts.
Sound familiar? In Darren’s “Insane Productivity” course, he provides a “Digital Addiction Assessment” to determine your true level of digital struggle. Once you take the test, your roadmap for change will be clearly spelled out and with one step at a time, you can take back your life.
9 – No Multi-tasking Required
So how many of you know someone who prides themself on being good at multitasking?
You do understand that there’s no such thing as multitasking. Right? It’s impossible to run two cognitive processes in your brain at the same time. What you’re doing is actually switching and switching makes you dumber than if you were smoking dope. When you’re smoking dope, your IQ drops by about five points. When you’re switching between two different and yet like cognitive tasks, it drops by about ten.
Look, you can walk on a treadmill, chew gum, and watch a video on your phone, all at the same time and do great because you’re using different parts of your brain. But when you’re driving with your phone, you’re either driving or you’re looking at your phone. You can’t do both at the same time which is why driving while using your phone is so incredibly dangerous. Add a cup of coffee to the mix and you’re a wreck waiting to happen.
Don’t believe me? Try this. Count from 1-10 as fast as you can. Now name the letters of the alphabet from A-J as fast as you can. No sweat, right? Now try 1A, 2B, 3C…all the way to 10J and see how you do. I bet you slowed down quite a bit. And why? Because you’re running two like cognitive tasks in switching back and forth between the numbers and letters which comes close to locking up your brain.
This one was hard for me to accept however I promise you will get far more done doing one thing at a time. And remember, it’s not a matter of getting it all done anyway. You will never get it all done. Your inbox will never be empty and your to-do list will never end. The key to high productivity is to get the right things done. Focus on priority management, not time management. You will never control time, but you can maximize it by focusing on your highest producing activities.
10 – Design Your Life…Then Your Business
Many people get this backward. They choose a job without careful consideration for the life that career path will give them. How do you define success? How do you want to live your life when you’re not working? Do you want a long commute or a short one? Or none? Do you want to travel? Do you want to have your nights and weekends free?
These questions could go on and on and they should.
Some people spend more time planning their vacations than they do planning for their life. The key is to design the life you want to live in the most vivid detail and then select the career path that supports your dreams. Or if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, build a business to support the life of your dreams. This concept is not complicated and yet again, many people get it backward. These are some of the same people who live for the weekend, and life is too short to live for only two days out of seven.
Closing thoughts for my readers:
Outside of his Dad, Jim Rohn was Darren’s most significant mentor. Personally, I discovered Mr. Rohn back in the ’90s and I’ve studied his teachings over the years as well. Jim was simply brilliant and considered America’s Foremost Business Philosopher. He touched the hearts of people literally around the world and he certainly touched mine.
To wrap up, I want to share the two dominant principles that are burned in my mind compliments of Jim:
1 – Leave the world better than you find it.
2 – If a book or song or movie or any experience touches your heart and life, you have a responsibility to share it with others.
It is in the spirit of Jim that I’ve shared Darren’s impact on my life.
Best of luck in your journey.
For more information on the resources Darren offers, go to darrenhardy.com.