Why You Will Become Obsolete

Protectionism is in vogue.

Close the borders, circle the wagons, build the bunkers.

Keep local businesses safe from foreign competition.

Except foreign competition isn’t really the danger.

The danger is much closer at hand.

The danger is you.

The problem is that you – and me – all of us have become shallow in the way we think and act.

We skitter along the surface of things. We allow ourselves to live in a world of distraction.

We’ve become addicted to the stimulation and outside input, checking and re-checking our smartphones and our tablets and our emails; responding incessantly to the phone calls and messages and notifications and alerts. Overwhelmed and inundated by the expectations and the deadlines and the demands, endeavoring to pay attention to everything and succeeding only at a continuous partial attention.

We’ve become addicted, as Jim Collins, author of that wonderful business book, Good to Great, says,… we’ve become addicted to the undisciplined pursuit of more.

We’ve lost the capacity to focus, the capacity to do deep work.

Without the capacity to do deep work, we are replaceable.

Amazon has launched a cashier-free store. Uber has driverless cars. Black Rock is using robots to pick stocks. Watson provides complicated medical diagnoses at lightening speed.

Many professionals – my colleagues in the law included – have a vague dis-ease around the rise of artificial intelligence.

They should.

Because the superficial tasks we do – that is, most of the stuff we tick off our to-do lists – can be done better, cheaper and faster by AI.

The gift of our humanity, though, is our ability to ponder, reflect, refine.

Our ability to create.

Our ability to do deep work.

Our ability to focus.

Focus will be the currency of the new economy.

Those who can focus will thrive.

Those who can’t will become obsolete.

Focus is a muscle that needs to be (re)trained.

Cultivate the lost art of focus before you become obsolete.

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Want some tips to help you focus? Download your free guide HERE.

 

 

 

 

How To Live 11 Years Longer

How would you like a straightforward way to add 11 years to your life? It doesn’t require supplements or calorie restricted diets. You don’t need to count your steps or exercise fanatically.

You need to do just one simple thing.

Stop looking at your smartphone.

Recent studies suggest that many professionals check their emails 36 times an hour. Interruption science tells us that every interruption in our day has a “cost” in terms of lost focus and productivity. Researchers have measured the cost. It’s between 11 minutes and 25 minutes.

So work with me here. We’ll go with the lower number and assume a 10 hour day: 36 checks of the smartphone every hour x 10 hours each day x 11 lost minutes of productivity = A lost 3960 minutes of productivity every day. (Yes, you’re scratching your head wondering how you could lose 66 hours a day.)

Another study from the world of interruption science: We’re interrupted or cause ourselves to be interrupted, usually with our smartphones, every 3 minutes of the day. Let’s use conservative numbers again and go again with a 10 hour day. So, an interruption every 3 minutes would be 20 interruptions an hour x 10 hours x 11 minutes = A lost 2,200 minutes of productivity each day.

Whew. That’s a much better outcome. Only 36 lost hours.

But put aside focus and productivity for a moment. The are other costs.  Constant distraction:

  • Prevents us from doing deep, uninterrupted work.
  • Causes stress and overwhelm.
  • Damages our creativity.
  • Isolates us and dishonors our important relationships.
  • Separates us from the natural world.

App developer Kevin Holesh was curious about his daily screen time. He created an app to track it. It’s called Moment. You can download it. On your smartphone. There are over 8000 users.

Holesh discovered that many professionals spend between one and four hours a day on their smartphones; nearly 100 hours a month spent checking emails, texting, gaming and surfing the net.

Eleven years over the course of a lifetime.

Eleven years on your smartphone.

I think there may be better ways to spend your time.

Reclaim your 11 years.

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How about 7 simple hacks that will make you a lot more productive without the stress and overwhelm? Go HERE and download them now.

 

 

Axis Of Evil

I hate the Axis of Evil. Because, well, it’s just evil.

I’m talking about the x axis. The horizontal line. That place where zero lives.

As in zero leads; zero clients; zero income.

Zero.

I hate zero.

But all businesses start along the x axis. They start at zero.

The noisy Internet marketing hucksters want to convince you that, if you buy their latest tools, tricks, gadgets or programs, you’ll enjoy overnight meteoric success.

But having started four successful businesses from scratch, from zero, I’ll tell you that overnight success is the consequence of a lot of overnights. That success takes time; a lot of time. That success takes work; a lot of work; hard work.

That success is not linear. That generally the road to success traverses the evil x axis for a long, long, long time.

No one wants to talk about the x axis because it’s not sexy.

Everyone would like it to be easy; but it’s not easy.

Success requires that you show up every single day and: Do. The. Work.

Yes, you need a proven, reliable system to follow (like Book Yourself Solid®). Yes, you need to have a clear plan. Yes, you need to have laser-like focus.

But, even with all of these critical components in place, there are many, many days that feel as if there is absolutely nothing at all happening; it feels like you’re looking out the window on a cold winter day and wondering why there aren’t flowers in the garden when you did all of that planting.

You work and work; and you don’t see results.

You see zero.

With a proven system, with a clear plan, with laser-like focus, you need to stay at it. You need to be consistent.

You must not falter.

When you travel far enough along that evil x axis, there is a tipping point. There comes a moment when the pieces fall into place. And zero disappears.

Because business success is an exponential curve.

One day the clients show up and the money pours in; and people point to you and say, “Look at that overnight success.”

Because they’ve never seen – or experienced – the axis of evil.

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A powerful 90-day plan is a powerful antidote to the axis of evil. Join us for a free webinar training. Go HERE to register now.

 

 

Danger Danger

“The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” –Tacitus

Danger. And opportunity.

Risk. And reward.

I thought about these things as I was watching the Weather Channel from the warmth of the Dunkin Donuts… just before Ann and I headed off into the White Mountains for a day of climbing.

The weather folks – all wearing arctic gear and carrying yardsticks – were sounding the alarm: a nor’easter bearing down; a dangerous storm; a storm of historic proportions. Cataclysmic even.

Buy batteries; and flashlights; stock up with food and water; stay inside; hide out; don’t move.

We moved. And climbed and laughed and shivered. The wind tossed us around. But we experienced the beauty and the grandeur and the power of the storm. We connected with the mountains we so love; and with each other. We had a blast.

The Chinese symbol for danger is also read as opportunity.

The truth is, there is no reward without some risk.

But sadly, as a culture, we’re told that risk is bad. Playing it safe is “in.”

Insure everything; protect it all; risk nothing.

But here’s another sad truth: When we play it safe, we play small.

It is those who have dared to push beyond the boundaries in medicine, science and technology; those who have dared to defy the odds in adventure, athletics and exploration; those not concerned by perception or bound by convention; who lead the charge, who make the breakthroughs, give us wonder, and reap rewards.

In every recession giants of industry and enterprise have been created. In every market crash millionaires are made.

In every arena victory belongs to those who confront their fears and, in the face of failure, in the face of risk, step boldly forth.

Meg Cabot writes, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.

Leadership expert Robin Sharma says, “Do work that scares you (If you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much.” As entrepreneurs, he says, “We’re paid to be scared. We’re paid to play out on the edges.”

The message of my own book Journeys on the Edge is that life is lived most poignantly out there; that we come most alive out there on that edge.

Of course, we can cower. And many will. But none of us will get out of this thing called life alive.

So why not dare to dream; dare to live out loud; dare to play full out?

Dare to make your life extraordinary.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

What will it be for you today?

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Are you ready to push the edges in your business and your life? Let’s connect. Email me: walt@walthampton.com

Get Out Of Your Biz NOW

It was Sunday night; I was looking at the calendar for the week ahead; and I was hating what I saw.

Two days away from my clients and my business. And not for vacation.

My quarterly meeting with my own mastermind community.

Immediately the resistance settled over me; and the litany of plausible excuses for not going clamored in my head:

  • I’m too busy.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • I have programs to plan.
  • I have classes to teach.
  • I have clients to serve.
  • I have way too much to do.
  • What I really need is a vacation.

Then I had to coach my bad self off the ledge.

What would I tell a client? I’d tell a client:

  • That taking the time to work on your business on a regular basis is every bit as important (if not more so) than working in your business.
  • That pulling yourself out the the weeds gives you a fresh perspective.
  • That surrounding yourself with powerful colleagues on the same path allows you tap into collective wisdom and access amazing resources.
  • That getting feedback from coaches and mentors uncovers blind spots.
  • That being with people who want for your success renews you.

I had to drag myself. But, off I went. It was an amazing two days. I was able to see clearly again what most needs my attention in the quarter ahead. I came back energized and on fire.

Too many really talented entrepreneurs and business professionals toil continually in their businesses without ever experiencing the prosperity and success that they deserve. Because they are toiling in their businesses, and never really working on their businesses. Don’t let this be you. The time you spend out of the fray working on your biz yields returns beyond your wildest imaginings.

Get out now.

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When you’re ready to take your biz to the next level, let’s connect. Email me: walt@walthampton.com