This post is the first in a series of insights into my own personal formula for goal setting and achievement.
Myself and another entrepreneur have set up difficult physical and business goals
We have six months to make these goals a reality OR ELSE
Below describes the proven system we will use to achieve them
“If we were having this discussion six months from today, and you were looking back over those six months, what has to have happened in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?”
― Dan Sullivan, The Dan Sullivan Question
That’s how it all starts.
With one simple question that leads you on a quest for glory.
And instead of doing the usual “set a goal that makes you feel good today but is never achieved” type of thing…
I’m doing an experiment.
My mission is to REVERSE ENGINEER what successful people actually do to gain an unfair advantage.
And use those unfair advantages to hit my own goals in the shortest amount of time.
Not what they say for the papers or glossy magazines.
What the ultra rich ACTUALLY DO on a daily basis to ensure massive success.
This is NOT the stuff you’ll see in those books that tell you to have some elaborate morning ritual or take cold showers or any other nonsense.
I’m talking balls to the wall, gritty tactics that aren’t pretty…
but GET THE JOB DONE.
See over the last decade I’ve built my share of businesses.
And more recently created a community of people who do the same.
Because of this I’ve seen patterns.
There’s things people do on a daily basis that lead to failure and frustration.
And then there’s the other stuff.
The stuff they don’t talk about or don’t want you to know.
Little tricks that give you the edge against the next guy.
Combining this with a burning need to get a lot done in a short period of time this year…
And this is how the “Operation Macau Experiment” was born.
See at the start of this year I sat down in a quiet space with a coffee and a blank notebook.
I readied the pen, took a deep breath, and asked myself:
“Ok, what do you want?”
What you start to notice when you get better at this is that the world is like a giant menu you can order from.
“What do you want?”…
Bubbling up almost immediately from my subconscious in a joking but not joking kinda way:
“I wanna be ripped. And more rich.”
So it seems my subconscious mind is a superficial bastard.
My freedom business friend Bobbe and I have a joke that all men want to do is become Jack Rich (Jacked and Rich).
Mr Jack Rich aside, this is a good place to start because there’s arguably more important stuff I want to do as well.
Things like contributing back to the world (but not in the way you would think).
My personal philosophy goes something like this:
“As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and it makes YOU HAPPY – go for it!”
[Mr Jack Rich (Bobbe) And Myself In Thailand]
So let’s take a look at the not so secret mission between myself and another Freedom Business friend.
What exactly is the Operation Macau Experiment?
Mission Objective: To experiment with using the “5 Unfair Advantages” to achieve large exciting goals in a very short amount of time.
Mission Timeline: 20 February 2017 – 18 August 2017
Ending in Hong Kong & Macau
Participants: Timothy Marc, Matt Skelcher (and you?)
TMARC GOALS to be completed by deadline:
15% Body Fat (visible abs) whilst gaining as much lean muscle as possible. Currently 24.4%
Successfully launch new SECRET PROJECT (exact details to be revealed later)
SKELCHER GOALS to be completed by deadline:
15% Body Fat (visible abs) whilst gaining as much lean muscle as possible. Currently 24.9%
Making $200 profit per day consistently in brand new Freedom Business
– Weekly Accountability Check In Skype Calls
– Fly to Hong Kong and Macau on 18th August To Celebrate Completion
These are BIG goals to achieve in just six short months.
So I dug deep into my research and findings over the years to put together a plan.
Finding Unfair Advantages In An Unfair World
One of my personal heroes is the self made billionaire tycoon Ray Dalio.
In his awesome personal work on how he became successful, called ‘Principles’ he states:
“I learned that failure is by and large due to not accepting and successfully dealing with the realities of life, and that achieving success is simply a matter of accepting and successfully dealing with all my realities.”
– Ray Dalio Principles
What Mr Dalio is saying, is that we need to deal with the world and it’s realities AS IT IS, not how we would like it to be.
For example I was SHOCKED to learn that I’m 24.4% body fat.
I mean, I work out pretty regularly.
I think I eat well.
And yet the reality of my physical situation is different to what I delude myself to think.
The truth is we have an INFINITE capacity to deceive ourselves.
So accepting and facing the realities is the first step.
Back to our main man Dalio…
“I believe that pursuing self-interest in harmony with the laws of the universe and contributing to evolution is universally rewarded, and what I call “good.” Look at all species in action: they are constantly pursuing their own interests and helping evolution in a symbiotic way, with most of them not even knowing that their self-serving behaviors are contributing to evolution. Like the hyenas attacking the wildebeest, successful people might not even know if or how their pursuit of self-interest helps evolution, but it typically does.”
So here we learn that it’s ok to go after your goals in this self-interest way even if you may not know how they help and contribute to the world as yet.
For example, you may have a selfish goal of wanting a Ferrari (instead of World Peace).
Shame on you!
According to Dalio and from what I’ve observed in myself and others I’ve seen become successful…
Is it’s not the “carrot on the end of the stick” that is the important thing.
In this case the want of a Ferrari.
It’s that to come from absolutely nothing and to be able to have what you want…
You literally have to become a MORE VALUABLE PERSON.
You have to learn more skills and build something of value for the world.
In turn the world rewards you.
A great example is the first online businesses I built.
It was an iPhone application development business.
Knowing nothing about iPhone app development I relied on connecting with skilled outsourcers on freelance websites to do the actual grunt work.
Here’s how I did it…
I created a simple landing page from scratch (which required me learning about what makes a good sales page).
I setup some simple google adwords to target specific keywords like “iPhone app development”.
I sent the campaign live right before bed and in the morning I woke up to several people who filled out my web form enquiring about getting an iPhone app.
Eventually selling one of these guys on a simple app which I had my freelancer make.
Side note: The process to build a business I used here in 2009 hasn’t changed. I’ve walked hundreds of people all around the world who’ve all become free through it since.
Building this online business was me LEARNING SKILLS and BECOMING MORE VALUABLE.
I’d offered the world something it was willing to pay and reward me for.
So it’s all about:
a) What person you have to become and b) What you need to create
In order to become “successful” and rewarded.
And this is where we land at the five unfair advantages.
The 5 “Unfair Advantages” Successful People Use To Guarantee Results, Riches And Whatever Else They Want In Their Life
These are five elements I’ve observed over a decade of chasing down business goals.
Whilst each one is valuable on its own, I feel like using the five of them in harmony leads to best results.
And that’s exactly what Skelcher and I are doing in the Operation Macau Experiment.
Unfair Advantage #1: Excitement
“Most people can stay excited for two or three months. A few people can stay excited for two or three years. But a winner will stay excited for twenty or thirty years…or as long as it takes to win.”
– Art Williams
What’s the ONE THING you would do if you just had the money?
How awesome would it be if you could just go do that thing now?
Feel a little excited just thinking about it?
That’s where we start.
Research shows that happiness (and excitement) increases productivity and makes you more successful.
“We become more successful when we are happier and more positive. For example, doctors put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis show almost three times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they make accurate diagnoses 19 percent faster. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56 percent. Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers. It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.”
– “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor
So how do you get excited, optimistic or even happy when you’re just not feeling it or just starting out?
Science says by doing two things:
Monitoring your progress
Celebrating small and large wins (milestones)
The key words here are MONITORING and CELEBRATING.
Whenever anyone in our business training programs make their first sale in their new business they are reminded to CELEBRATE and not just get back to the work.
This adds to the excitement and pursuit of more success.
When setting up the Operation Macau experiment Skelcher and I are checking in on Skype weekly to record and report our progress and to set tasks for the next week.
We are also there to celebrate our wins and punish our losses as you’re about to find out in one of the next unfair advantages).
Skelcher and I are celebrating the setup of this challenge by booking first class/business class flights to Hong Kong.
There’s no turning back now!
How to exploit this advantage:
Start with where your excitement lies.
Ask yourself: “If I could make one thing happen in the next six months, and that one thing truly excites the hell out of me… What would that one thing be?”
Set the goal
Unfair Advantage #2: Reward
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti
So in step number one above you set and get excited about the achievement of a particular goal.
It is now that we need to set a REWARD for it’s achievement.
These come in two forms, personal reward and contribution award.
Macau Challenge Rewards:
Our rewards, to be claimed in Hong Kong on the 18th August are:
– Personal: Rolex Submariner Watch Purchase In Hong Kong
– Contribution: Donation and help to help anti-poaching efforts in South Africa
– Personal: Rolex Yacht Master Watch Purchase In Hong Kong
– Contribution: Donation and help to help anti-poaching efforts in South Africa
We will also be staying in a nice hotel, eating great food and just soaking up the travel vibe in Hong Kong and Macau.
And the reason for the watches is you can get good deals on luxury watches in Hong Kong.
They are also a good physical trophy and reminder of accomplishment.
On another note…
I feel it’s important to balance any direct personal reward like a watch or car or any other big purchase that only benefits you – with a contribution reward.
Recently and excitingly I got engaged to my partner out in South Africa where we went on an amazing safari in Kruger National park.
A totally different experience than seeing animals cooped up in some zoo.
After seeing Elephants and Rhinos in their natural habitat you can’t help but to feel bad about the daily poaching of these animals.
I believe that it’s important to choose your own cause or contribution that feels right for you.
I’ve also done contribution rewards to help out my family in the past as well.
The reward closely relates to the above: excitement.
Choose stuff that really get’s you excited.
Maybe it’s a car you’ve loved since childhood…
Here’s a 1975 Corvette Stingray I rewarded myself with five years ago.
Or maybe you want to fly around the world for six months.
Choose something that gets the fire burning!
Successful people always have reward milestones set up to fuel the execution.
And they don’t let other people choose their goals for them.
Whose goals are you REALLY chasing?
How to exploit this advantage:
Define a clear and definite reward for yourself for the achievement of your goal
E.g. If it’s a vacation or special trip then set a date when you need to book it by or even book it in advance
Keep the imagery in your mind at all times by having pictures of the reward lying around or on your desktop and phone background
Unfair Advantage #3: Negative Motivation
“I’ll always use the negativity as more motivation to work even harder and become even stronger.”
– Tim Tebow
One of my good friends Brian Lee who’s also a successful Freedom Business builder featured here once told me something that stuck in my mind:
“You’re either motivated by chasing glory or running away from pain. I’m definitely more negatively motivated, so when getting out of bed to go hustle I think about all the people I know who are crushing it harder and doing better than me and use that to fuel my work day.”
Successful people use NEGATIVE MOTIVATION in a positive way.
They use the emotion to fuel late nights, pushing on when it gets hard and the never-quit attitude.
Big Think did a great research piece on this and they discovered that “we feel worse off losing $100 than we feel better off winning $100”.
So apart from visualisation and invoking strong negative emotion you can setup a “negative reward” to balance out the positive reward from unfair advantage 2.
This will allow you to set up a loss and psychologically leverage this negativity as an asset to force motivation.
Punishment for non-goal completion:
TMARC: I buy Skelcher his Rolex Yacht Master watch in Hong Kong
SKELCHER: Fly Tim In Helicopter to Macau, Pay for Hotel, And give him $5000 CASH for the roulette table.
So in this case we’ve both setup something painful if we don’t hit our own physical and business goals.
I have to walk in and purchase Skelcher his expensive watch and he has to buy me a ridiculous experience.
The key with setting this up is it has to BURN.
For example I could wake up one day and decide I don’t want to go to the gym or skip an important business deadline.
If I do this too often I’m not going to hit the operation goals and so I’ll be walking into Rolex like an idiot and buying a damn expensive watch for SOMEONE ELSE.
So how do you not cheat?
We’ve called upon our mutual Freedom Business resident hero Bobbe to be “referee” and determine whether our goals have been sufficiently hit to warrant reward and punishment.
How to exploit this advantage:
Realise that negative motivation is as powerful as positive motivation
Create a punishment for goals not being reached
The punishment should create a significant BURN factor so that you don’t brush it aside
To avoid cheating employ a “referee” friend who determines if you win or lose
Unfair Advantage #4: Systems
Scott Adams and James Clear have done an amazing job of talking about the importance of SYSTEMS vs having goals.