00:36 – The eight-figure goal
03:29 – Just what is growth?
06:33 – Are you having enough of THIS?
08:24 – Look at these three areas
11:59 – What’s your Ikigai?
15:27 – Stop competing, start cooperating
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Hey, James Schramko here, and welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. I really appreciate you listening to this podcast. And I’m going to get straight into today’s topic, which is perhaps you’re measuring success wrong.
What is the goal?
So I was on a coaching call with a new client recently and this is a high level group for businesses who are already doing well. I call this SilverCircle. And as I always do for the first call, I ask, what is the goal? What are we aiming for? I’m really seeking to identify what this is because I want to know how we’re going to measure success. If I can achieve that goal for a client, then we all agree that this was a success. But the answer that I got was depressingly predictable. To date, I’ve had no less than 17 clients state their goal as being a 10-million-dollar revenue. So why is this 10-million-dollar revenue the goal? I mean really? Is that really the goal?
Where do we get these ideas from, it made me think. I’m just wondering, is this really the number that we need in order to feel accomplished? Because in theory, I could actually answer that question. After all, when I quit my job to pursue my online business full time, 10 million dollars in revenue was my goal too. But that was a decade ago. And in the end, I had to change my goal. But why did I change my goal? I changed it because it’s the wrong goal. It was the wrong goal for me. And it’s probably the wrong goal for you.
Now you might be the exception, and that’s OK if it is. But let’s take a moment to deconstruct this idea of what success is and see if success really is 10 million dollars in revenue. By the way, that’s called an eight-figure business. So when people talk about six, seven, eight-figure business, six-figure business means $100,000 or more. Usually, it’s not a mid six-figure business. That would be a four, five, six-hundred-thousand-dollar business. A seven-figure business is usually somewhere around a million dollars. If it’s a mid seven-figure business then you might be talking about five or six million. And if it’s an eight-figure business then you’re probably talking about 10 million dollars. OK. So is that really the goal?
Now, if you’re already reasonably successful in your business and eight figures is your ultimate next goal, then you need to ask yourself this perhaps, would having a lot more money in your bank account make you significantly better off than you are right now? You see, the chances are the answer is no. When I apply this to myself, I don’t think having a few extra million dollars in my bank account would change my life much at all. I already live where I want to live. I already surf every day. I do business with people I like. I enjoy my business model, and I’m travelling enough, I’m healthy and I’ve got good relationships. So having that extra money could actually even create complications.
“Growth shouldn’t be purely income-based.”
What growth actually means
So the next step is to examine what growth actually means for you. Is it purely income-based? Because I don’t think it should be. There might be other dimensions to pay attention to, which if you don’t look after are going to cause you to be perhaps one of these miserable wealthy people – for example, health. Over the last few years, I’ve had a massive health revolution. I’m now weighing in at about the same weight that I did 20 years ago. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve got my blood work done. I’ve done my DNA. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I’ve removed pain from my body because I’ve really helped myself with health. And I’ve got several other podcasts where I shared my discussions with the experts who have helped me on this.
Your skills. What do you want to learn other than making money? I’ve had a fantastic exploration of skills in the last few years. Four years ago, I started surfing. This year, I started Forex trading. I am very interested in travel and starting to learn more about history, and I do more cooking. I haven’t gotten to the music yet, but I think that could be something down the track. What skills would you like to develop in your life other than just making money?
How about creative satisfaction? I know this will sound crazy but I actually enjoy sanding back a surfboard and applying some different colored paints to it and then spraying over with some sealant and then waxing that board up and going for a ride on it. It’s artistic. It’s fun. My paint jobs kind of suck. But then I get to rub it all off, sand it back and repair it back to its original condition.
Now in terms of work, my creative satisfaction is to work with people I really want to work with. So I have an application process and I have filters in place. For example, things like annual pricing. They get me a way better customer. People apply to work with me rather than just accepting anybody. Could I sell more if I went to a monthly payment or I just took anybody? Yes, I’d probably have more money in my bank account. But I’d have people in my life causing me stress and I just don’t want that compromise. So from a creative satisfaction, I’m working on really good work on projects that energize and excite me.
How about relationships? This is a big one, and it’s a pretty common scenario where you have people with a lot of money all of a sudden find it very hard to have relationships or they’re not even sure why people are friends with them. Is it because of the money? Is it because of the fame? It would be nice if you had time to cultivate proper relationships. I certainly enjoyed really developing relationships with my kids, with my partner, with my best friends; and especially on a global level, I have friends who I will go and have a meal with in Gibraltar, for example, just because I’m in the area or nearby in Spain. It’s nice to be able to develop those relationships.
“When was the last time you had fun?”
And here’s the big one, fun. When was the last time you had fun? This is a really common scenario when I’m interviewing someone when they have just joined my SilverCircle program. Often, the fun score is very low. It’s often one or two out of 10, and this is sad. Like what is the point of having money, or being wealthy, or living in a nice place, or having a nice car, or having a nice watch or great clothes if you’re not enjoying yourself? So I make fun a huge thing. I like the Joseph Campbell saying “Follow your bliss.” I surf every day. I look forward to that. I love it. It makes me smile. I live. It’s meditational. It’s inspirational. It’s challenging, but it is just so good. I just, I want to do it every day and it makes my life happy. I’m living as if I’m semi-retired.
I’m still working on projects but I’m not a workaholic. I wouldn’t work more than 25 hours a week, and I’ve seen people in sort of related spheres pushing this workaholism theme; this you know, hustle, grind. I don’t get it. Why be overweight, or unfit, or unhealthy or unhappy if you’ve got a little bit of extra money? It doesn’t seem like a good exchange. So those things should be a factor in your decision.
A great pathway to more success, which you might also call happiness, is to align your activities more towards the things that you do enjoy. So this does involve a shift and we may need to shift away from setting goals for the sake of setting goals. This whole sort of goal setting thing can get a bit out of hand. Sometimes, we’re doing things and we don’t even know why. And we want to shift more towards a way of living.
3 areas worth looking at
There are really three areas that I think are worth looking at. It’s good to have gratitude for where you came from and to remember the things that you did and the hard work that you went through, as I did in my career. It’s good to live in the now and enjoy things, like that meal in front of you instead of looking at your phone in a café. Just leave it at home or put it in your pocket. Look up and have a chat to the person sitting at the table with you. Interact and be there present in the now, but also do things for your future so that you have a better future. Not completely delayed gratification but a little bit of that.
So if you can combine those three elements then you’ll have humility, you’ll still be enjoying the moments right now, but you’re also setting yourself up for a better future; and you will be in a position to live as if you are semi-retired. Because I don’t think you are going to get to 65 or 70 and then suddenly just stop work and then spend your money doing cruise-ship holidays. I just think that’s an outdated concept. It’s time to free yourself from worrying what other people think. That is true freedom, when you don’t really care what other people think, when you take back control of your life and you do your own thinking. So you might have to detach from the requirement to please others, including but not limited to your friends. Break out of that peer group. If they’re sitting around smoking pot, they’re not going anywhere.
“Take back control of your life and do your own thinking.”
Parents. I imagine that your parents have overlaid very strong ideas on to you from the time you are born that some of them you have never questioned. Maybe you went to school and then university and then you got a job because your parents wanted you to. I got a lift to the airport recently in a Maxi taxi and my friendly Indian driver was explaining to me about his doctor wife and how they’ve got their kids who are in third grade going to after-school study every single day. They go to sports, like four different sports and music lessons. They have something every single day of the week and I pity their poor children because I know that they are likely to be unhappy because success will elude these children.
You also might want to detach from your children’s point of view. Children are probably the most selfish species on the planet, like they are already a human, which makes them selfish, and then they’re a young human. You think about the time a baby is born. They’re screaming at you. They want food. They want fresh pants. They command your attention. And as they grow up, they can still drag you off course. So just be careful about putting your own life on the line for your children.
Then there’s siblings of course. They may have an influence on you. And then there’s work peers around the water cooler, and then there’s social groups. So these various things, you might have to put on a little bit of teflon to resist the way that people are steering you around their own goals.
I like this saying that if you don’t have a plan then the chances are you’re going to fit into someone else’s. It’s about taking back control. So channel all that drive you have towards creativity and passion projects; ones where you can enjoy starting them, and meddling with it, and growing, and experimenting because if you love this stuff, you will do it no matter what. So if you can align a way to get your income from that too and to create value for others, then it’s fantastic.Find your Ikigai
I did an entire post called Ikigai So I encourage you to look up that blog post because that post is one of our most successful posts and it is very instructive. It’s post number 442, called How to Find Your Reason for Being – Delving Into Ikigai. So for me, it’s surfing. That’s what I want to do. I want to build my routine around being able to do that every single day, and it makes me happy. I love the challenge, and the exercise, and the mental release, and the art, and the science and harnessing all that natural force. The idea that a wave can travel across an ocean, and then I can ride that last little bit before it hits the shore. I feel connected to life. So find that for you. I’m just using it as an example.
Build your routine around this daily thing. If you can, it will be amazing. It might be family time, if you have a young one. It could be food, if you’re a real foodie. It could be sport of some other kind. There might be something that you enjoy, whether it’s mountain biking, or skiing, or just walking. Have fun.
But remember, 12-hour workdays make you dull. I don’t know about you, but I find these people who talk about 12 days, 14-hour days; they’re just boring and dull. Get a life. Surround yourself with excellent peers and let go of the ones who force a certain way of thinking upon you.
“12-hour workdays make you dull.”
I’ve toyed with the idea of uninstalling my Facebook app from my phone several times because I think sometimes going onto Facebook just makes you a bit dumber. There are really some stupid people on there and it’s important that you prune back the people who are connected to you on Facebook. If you keep seeing posts that irritate you, unfollow that person or unfriend them if you dare and just start curating that for you because I think there will be a lot of linking of psychology to the people who you’re friends with on Facebook are going to influence your life.
Question everything and find your own path. Stop being baited into races you don’t have to enter. You don’t have to be the guy or the girl who turns up to the next mastermind with the biggest launch, or the biggest house, or the fanciest car, or the best clothes or the most impressive business revenue. That’s just a goal that people get excited about for some reason, but it doesn’t have to be yours.
I don’t mind if someone at an event is more successful than I am because in their mind, success might be lots and lots of money. In my mind, it might be that I get to surf every day. Frankly, if someone doesn’t get to surf every day then in my book, they’re not successful – if that’s something they wanted to do. Every time I go into the city here, what we call a CBD and what Americans call downtown, I see these overweight old guys in suits in the elevators coming out for their cigarette breaks from their little concrete prisons and I just feel pity for them. They haven’t discovered life. And I’m there in a t-shirt with brown arms and you know, feeling fit. Just trying to get in and out of that city for the shortest possible visit.
So look for opportunities to cooperate with other people rather than compete with them. See how you can help other people to achieve their success while you’re getting your success. When I made that switch from competitive to being co-operative, I can’t tell you how much things lifted for me, but it was a lot. It’s given me a lifestyle I love and access to levels of success that I never knew existed. I was so competitive when I was selling for a living and managing and I was in these pretty competitive environments. I still sometimes get nightmares from it now, you know, nearly 10 years since I quit my job. It’s been over nine years now. I still sometimes get nightmares where I have a job and I’m still working in that business. It was so stressful at the time and it pushed me away. I just wanted to get away from that.
So I’m really sharing this. Hopefully, if you have a job and what I’m talking about inspires you, pursue it. Come along and join SuperFastBusiness membership and I will help you. If you’re already out of the workforce and you now have your own business then I hope this inspires you to just start thinking about other things, other than just the money. That’s really the point of this entire discussion.
So recently, I spent almost the entire month overseas. I was on a boat that I rented for two weeks and I had two groups of masterminds on it, and it was just amazing. I had to pinch myself. I surfed 34 times in two weeks. I had business masterminds every night before dinner up there on bean bags with a cocktail talking about businesses and really enjoying it. This is my perfect life, where I get to help people. They’re having fun. It all pays for itself. I’m surfing in the tropical environment and then I came home and then I went back over to the Philippines where I spent time with my team and family and just enjoying that too.
So dream big, because dreams can come true and have a wonderful hustle-free day. In fact, you know what, take the rest of the day off if you’re listening to this early in the day. And if it’s late in the day, maybe you can take tomorrow off. Now if you liked this, then I’d love you to make a review at iTunes for the SuperFastBusiness podcast.
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Now, we do have a list of all the posts that are on our website. They can be found at SuperFastBusiness.com/list-all. That’s SuperFastBusiness.com/list-all. I’m James Schramko. I’ve enjoyed bringing you this message today. It’s made me smile. Go out there. Have some fun. Live big. Dream big. Life is fantastic.
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