EP 190: How to Get Focused, Think Like A CEO, And Do Your Best Work w/ The ONE Thing Author & Keller-Williams VP of Learning, Jay Papasan

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How to Get Focused, Think Like A CEO, And Do Your Best Work w/ The ONE Thing Author, Jay Papasan

Every now and then I have the opportunity to be able to connect with someone who has changed my business and my life.

Jay Papasan is the best-selling author of The ONE Thing, CEO at Keller-Williams Realty, and in 2014, Jay was named “one of the Most Powerful People in Real Estate.”

Before we started Carrot, I was struggling. I felt stuck. I never knew how to show up or what I should be doing. Many of you out there have probably heard of or read Jay’s book, The One Thing.

What’s in those pages changed my life both personally and professionally. I didn’t get too far into the book until I realized I had been looking at things all wrong. I had always thought that doing more was better, when in fact, it was actually better to do less. 

Jay’s ability to provide a clear framework to focus and set goals has changed people’s lives all over the world. Listen in as we talk about setting personal goals, professional goals, learning to focus, and finding clarity within your business.

Read the Full Show Notes Below…


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How to Get Focused, Think Like A CEO, And Do Your Best Work w/ The ONE Thing Author & Keller-Williams CEO, Jay Papasan

I’ve never met Jay in person, but with all of the lessons he’s taught me, I feel as if I’ve known him forever. Jay has spent 19 years with Keller Williams and currently serves as the VP of Learning. He’s partnered with Gary Keller on 11 books, including The One Thing and The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, two of the most influential business books ever written in my opinion.

His books, talks, and lessons have helped countless agents, and people in many other industries as well. Jay’s view on goal setting and finding your focus can revolutionize the way you do business and live your life. 

Couple Goal Setting

The first thing we dove into was the topic of setting goals with your spouse or partner. This is something Jay is very passionate about and something I would like to get better at. I have no problem setting goals for the business, but when it comes to personal goals and sitting down with my family to sync up, I know I could do better. 

What started 14 years ago as a conversation between Jay and his wife Wendy, has now turned into a 200 person seminar. For their first conversation, Jay and Wendy knew it was important to spend some time away from the house and to get out of their ordinary routine. They hired a sitter, found a cheap hotel, and sat down to have a conversation about their lives and where they wanted to be. 

  • They asked themselves uncomfortable questions and discussed where they wanted to see themselves and their families in the next five years. 
  • To get things going, they talked about things that filled them up, including where they wanted to go on vacation in the upcoming year
  • They set financial goals, deciding to save $1,500 a month to be used as a down payment on their next real estate investment. 
  • They knew they wanted to work on their relationship, so they made sure to set up a date night every week – midweek so they wouldn’t have to worry about finding a sitter. 
  • They knew they had to have this conversation out of their usual environment and that it was important to make it fun
  • They talked about what they wanted for their kids and their families as a whole. 

They went way out with their goals and thought big. If they wanted to start a business, write a book, or have a ranch, what would they need to do today in order to get there? 

After the goals are established, they assigned responsibility. Who was going to hire the lawyer? Who was going to coordinate the calendars? They sat down once a month to sync-up and look at what had been done.

One of the most important parts of their meeting was that there wasn’t any judgment. Sometimes things don’t get accomplished or we fall off track. The important part was that they talked about it, high-fived, and moved on.

Often times, they would reassign the task or realize that it wasn’t that important in the first place. It’s important to not become a slave to your goals. Today, their meeting happens on a weekly basis, but they always keep them positive and celebratory. 

The ONE Thing

Everyone is busy. Either they have a lot of obligations, a lot of opportunities, or maybe even both. The One Thing gives people a simple framework to prioritize the things that matter most. It helps people to identify the one thing each day/week/month that will get them to where they want to be. Writing in on the calendar, blocking out the time, and making a date with yourself will make you 3x more likely to follow-through.

It will help you to: 

  • Know what you want to do
  • Why you want to do it
  • When you will do it
  • Where you will do it

According to Jay and Gary’s research, it takes 66 days to really form a habit with the ability to build on it. Many people will say 21 days, but they didn’t find this to be true for most people

For me, I always struggled with knowing if I was doing the one right thing or if I was doing busywork to get by. I found that if I took it up a level, I was able to find the one thing that would not only solve my initial problem, but it would take care of many other things as well.

For example, my to-do list was always task-related. It took a while for me to realize, I needed to hire more people. Suddenly, our team went from 8-30 people, and I am able to be more productive than ever.  This has been one of the biggest mindset shifts since I started Carrot. 

A key tool in the book and something that resonated with me deeply is the focus question: 

What is the one thing that I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?

This is a very specific question, that will help you to identify your greatest point of leverage. People don’t always know the answer to this. They will often think about what is urgent as opposed to what they could really be doing. This question helped me to make things easier, but even more importantly, it helped me realize what was unnecessary. 

The One Thing In Your Business

As a CEO or leader within your company, you are often expected to have your goals in mind with a plan in place. But how do you take that same thought process and have it trickle down to the members of your team? For Jay, and the team at KW, they use a document they refer to as 411. 

The 411 document will break down your annual goals into monthly goals, then break them down to show what you should be doing that week. Jay sends his document to Gary on the first of each month and he has a quick meeting with his team each week to review their priorities and goals, coarse correcting as needed.

These quick meetings give him insight into his team’s mindset and how they are thinking. While you may be tracking KPI’s within your business, drilling down to see goals and priorities will help you determine how to get there.

How to Think Like a CEO

Gary and Jay host a great podcast called Think Like A CEO. The three things they suggest to help you think like a CEO are to: 

  • Create Energy
  • Engage Talent
  • Own The Results

Creating Energy

Energy comes from your vision, your plan, and the mission you have for your company. Your mission is the problem you want to solve in the world and your vision is the world without that problem. Your plan lays out what you need to do to make that happen. 

As a leader, you will win hearts with your mission, wins minds with your vision, and make it happen with your plan. 

If you are using your personality to create energy, you’re going to burnout. When you create energy with your vision, mission, and plan, other people can come in and take the reins, sharing the message with your team. 

Engaging Talent

Great talent is attracted to energy. They want to be a part of what you are doing and where you are going. If you are going to do something truly extraordinary, you need to have the right team of people around you.

You don’t need an infinite amount of people. With just a few talented people, you will be able to do incredible things. If there is somewhere that you are lacking in your life, it is likely because you are missing a relationship somewhere. 

Owning Results

Owning results about being accountable. Whether it is the CEO or an employee, when they take ownership of what they are doing and the results they are achieving, they will perform at a higher level. It is important to be clear about your standards. What you have accepted in the past sets the standard you have today, so don’t be afraid to raise them. 

Finding Meaning in Your Work

I wanted to end today’s podcast by discussing the impact of philanthropy on your business. Keller Williams bakes philanthropy into their business and it is something we do here at Carrot as well.

When you run a philanthropic business, people will find more meaning in their work, they will stay longer, and they will work harder. It doesn’t matter if the giving serves your business, it doesn’t negate the good you are doing in the world.

If you aren’t able to give money, give your time or your influence. Don’t wait, the good that you do today will set the stage for where you will be tomorrow. 

Thanks for joining us guys and be sure to check out CarrotCast.com to catch the full post.

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