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Replay: How to Achieve More by Doing Less with Michael Hyatt

Today’s episode of the podcast is a throwback to one of my earlier episodes, where I got to interview amazing Michael Hyatt.

We talked all about how we can become more productive without having to increase the time that we have – and what Michael doesn’t know about managing your time, getting organised and being productive isn’t worth knowing!

The episode shares a mix of simple mindset practices and various hacks to help you become more productive, because who doesn’t need to know how to do that?

Filled with lots of incredible information, you’re going to want to grab a notebook for this one!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  • Why not all tasks, meetings and opportunities are created equal. Focussing on the things that really matter is what will really allow you to achieve more.
  • There is such thing as a double win, where you can win at work and succeed at life. You just need to have that balance.
  • You are the most important asset your company has and if you don’t look after your energy levels, your business is going to suffer.
  • When you’re taking time off, whether it is for a vacation or a weekly break, make sure you’re not doing any work at all.
  • Outsourcing your work is a great way to increase your productivity, as well as your income.
  • If you know you enjoy something, you need to do everything you can to ensure you’re doing more of it. If you’re not enjoying something, you need to eliminate it.
  • If you find yourself responding to a lot of requests, consider setting up your yes-no-yes responses as an email signature.
  • When it comes to large projects, consider the 10-80-10 rule. This is where you are involved in the first and last 10% of a project to oversee it. You’re the architect, but you don’t have to be the builder.

 

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE

The biggest tip when it comes to being focussed and driving results is to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. A well-rested mind will be your most productive mind.

 

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS

  • The 3 steps to becoming more productive.
  • How the 3-by-3 system will help you achieve your goals.
  • The simple hack that will help you say no to things you don’t want to do, in a positive way.

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

 

Your Dream Business Live Event

Michael Hyatt Instagram

Michael Hyatt Website

 

TRANSCRIPT

Hello and welcome to the special summer podcast editions where I am giving you some amazing replays from the phenomenal wee bowl I have interviewed over the last how many years of having this podcast. I should actually work it out when I actually started the podcast cuz I can't remember. It feels that long ago. I'm gonna I'm gonna look at it before the next episode probably record the next episode and I'll tell you in the next one. But anyway I hope you're having a really lovely summer. A couple of things I just wanna remind you about is I am recording this in hope that there are still some places left to my event cuz if not it'll be sold out. That's when you look at it. But I still have my event in September. Now at time of recording I literally have about six places. So you might be lucky and still get a place.

We're not talking about it much over the summer. So I should imagine those places will probably still be there. But if you want to join me for an in-person event where we look at your business and go through your business then please do check it out I'm gonna put a link in the show notes but but if you go to my website you can find the link there as well. It's on the homepage. Okay on with today's episode. So today's episode again one of my favorites but also one of the most popular ones that I've put out. And today's episode we are replaying is Michael Hyatt's.
Now Michael is a crazy smart man and like has the nicest family in the world. If you've listened for a while you know that I am very good friends with the lovely Mary Hyatt who is his daughter. And she coached me and she's amazing. And I've been very lucky to go out to Nashville lots and lots of times. I'm going out again in end of September and been to Michael's house and hung out with the family. And they're just the nicest people. But they're also crazy smart. And what Michael doesn't know about trying to manage your time and be productive and organized I don't think is worth knowing. And the feedback on this episode was really really good.

People got so much from it practical stuff as well as being inspired by the story and by Michael himself. He's also like I said a really nice guy to talk to. So I really enjoyed this episode. Without further ado here he is.
There we go.

Michael: Where you located?

Teresa: So I'm actually in Shropshire in England obviously. And yeah so kind of we're about if I was to go to London on the train it would take me about two hours. So but I'm more kind of in the middle really. So when I was up in Newcastle just this morning at an event. So that was, it was a fair trek actually it's like four hours. But but yeah so we're kind of in the middle. But Mary's actually been to the house which is ACE cuz she was uh when she came over with Bentley to do his tour she was like we're going to this place called and she she tried to it was Rosebury and I was like “It's Rosebury.” And she's like “Oh,oh right.” She and I was like that is literally minutes from where I live Mary. So it was so lovely to have her here and and cook her a very traditional British dinner.

Michael: Aw. That's awesome. She spoke very highly of you.

Teresa: Oh, no. She's honestly. I adore Mary and coming over to Nashville and spending some time with her. We my husband and I came over We'd obviously spent a little bit of time with her at Bentley when they came here. But you never really know until you kind of then are spending quite a lot of time. And we literally laughed the entire time. We had the best time so.

Michael: Oh good.

Teresa: Yeah It was brilliant. Brilliant. So right. Thank you so much.

Michael: She's one of my favorites

Teresa: You know kind of fifth favorite along with all the others. I love it. Okay So I will do by your intro and outro afterwards so we'll just jump straight to introduce you straight away if that's okay.

Michael: Great.

Teresa:  So I am very honored to welcome the amazing Michael Hyatt to the podcast. Welcome Michael.

Michael:: Thank you Teresa I'm delighted to be on with you.

Teresa: Honestly I am very very grateful that you found the time. I know you're a very busy man and I know that my audience are gonna love what you have to say and get so many good takeaways from this episode. So I'm very excited. But just in case and it is a just in case cause I'm sure my audience have heard of you. Could you just briefly tell us how you got to do what you do today and have these amazing books and do this business that you have today?

Michael: Well I spent most of my career in the book publishing world. Most recently as the CEO and the chairman of Thomas Nelson publishers which began as a British company in Edinborough in 1798. I wasn't at the company quite that long. But I was like the seventh CEO in the company. And so I decided in 2011 we sold the company to Harper Collins uh publishers And I decided it was now or never I was gonna launch out and become an author and speaker which had been my dream thing for a long time. And I'd been in business for myself before before I was at Thomas Nelson and decided it was time to you know become an entrepreneur again. So I did that. So I had I had started blogging believe it or not back in 2004.
I broke my ankle and I decided while I was laid up after I'd had surgery on it that I would take on this thing called blogging. And so I was pretty consistent at it for years and years and years into this present day. But that had created enough of a platform that when I left Thomas Nelson I was able to write a book on it which was my book platform get noticed in the noisy world. That book went on to become a New York times bestseller. And I was able to create a membership site called platform university based on that. And kind of everything else happened you know as a result of that so.

Today we have 40 full-time employees. We've uh we're really focused at Michael Hyatt and company on leadership development today. So we have an extensive coaching program for entrepreneurs. We have some physical products like the full focus planner and just kind of an array a suite of products. So.

Teresa: I love that. And you know it's really interesting that one you came from a job if you like and then obviously went into being an entrepreneur. And also what I love about where you are now today is the fact that you came from a fairly traditional corporate background. The stuff that you talk about today for me seems like you've taken a a big leap in the sense of how you are and what you promote and kind of the life you you lead and the balance that you have because actually I don't know about you but I worked in corporate world for for quite a while. And and actually some of the things that you and I promote in terms of becoming a good leader I don't think they were around you know. I I was a I worked for Land Rover I was in their their head office in the UK. And you know I don't think those kind of things existed back when I was there maybe 10 years ago.

So it's interesting that you have been at corporate and now you are you are promoting all these amazing things. Do you think that well did you get any of that from working in corporate? Was it a great corporate place to work or?

Michael: Well it was kind of mixed you know I mean I you know you learn a lot from bad examples. You know in fact I think sometimes you learn more from bad examples and I I certainly worked for some leaders that weren't great. You know and I I was inspired by that to you know to try to find a different way. At Thomas Nelson when I arrived there back in 1998 I wasn't real excited about the culture. I felt like the culture was toxic.

And one of the things I I did kind of as a mid-level manager is I said “Well, I can't really change the world above me but I think I can change the world below me. And have some impact on the culture.” So I bet I set out to be very intentional about creating a company culture for our division. And then it was kind of contagious because it you know one of my contentions about culture is that it drives operating results. It's a unseen force that drives operating results.
And so I you know it started driving our operate radio results. The division I was running was the 14th Division out of 14 divisions in the company we were the worst performing. We had zero revenue growth. We were losing money terrible company morale. But we in 18 months we went from number 14 to number one. And as a result of that people wanted to know “Gosh! What what are you doing over there?” And so a lot of it was having to do with the culture and leadership and some of the things actually I talk about in free to focus about productivity.

Teresa: Yeah. And the other thing I must mention is I was very lucky when I came over to Nashville I actually went to your office. And I I put it on instant story and I actually wrote this is better than my house. Like your office is a phenomenal. It's so beautiful. From where you are coming from and the talking about culture and things you have created something where surely your team must be absolutely in heaven to go to work. You know it's such an amazing environment for them.

Michael: Well you know I I really see my team as a stewardship responsibility for me you know I have a responsibility to take care of them. And and what really gets me excited is creating an awesome working environment where they can discover their strengths. Where they can work kind of in their zone of genius. We call it the desire zone, uh in my book Free To Focus. But you know we've tried to we've tried to say okay if we're gonna build an amazing company that's gonna grow and really scale sustainably what kind of environment do we have to create to attract those a level players.
And so I remember my daughter Megan and I. I don't know that you met Megan, who you met Mary?

Teresa: Yes Uh no I didn't meet Megan. No I didn't. No. I met Marissa I think.

Michael: Ah she's my youngest.

Teresa: Yes. Yeah, that was it.

Michael: Megan's my oldest and she's also the COO of Michael Hyatt and company. But she and I went away for a day and we said okay how can we create this amazing environment for our employees. So, so get this this is where we started. We said let's approach this like anything in marketing. So let's create a sales page. So if we're gonna create a sales page that's gonna really attract and convert you know the best employees, the best perspective employees to become employees. What kind of benefits would we have to have it? I mean we're thinking it almost like you know when you sell a program and you create bonuses and we thought okay so what do the benefits have to be. And so we came up with some crazy stuff on that page and you know we give our employees a 30 day paid sabbatical. After three years we give them unlimited PTO. They can choose to be off whenever they wanna be off. They can work from wherever. You know we have generous paternity leave provisions and all that. So that all just came outta that desire to to create a place that would attract the right people.

Teresa: And that's wonderful because you know like you, you've worked, I've worked in mixed places. Some places that were nice. Some places that were just horrendous culture and terrible morale. And they treated their team like absolute dirt you know they were terrible. And I remember at in this one company I worked for I had a team under me and bit like you I thought there's nothing I can do about that but this I can. And I realized that my team who were doing the work if we didn't look after them and treat them nice and appreciate them and focus our attention on them then they wouldn't do a good job and we wouldn't have a service to sell. So for me, the owners of the business and the people who ran it got it all completely wrong.
It was like they treated those people like they were no one and they treated the directors like they were everything and it's like, but what if tomorrow they all decide they're gonna do a terrible job cuz you haven't got a business left if that's the case.

Michael:: No that's right. In fact I I often say to my people and when I'm out speaking to CEOs and business owners. I say “Look, your job your first job is to take care of your people. If you take care of your people your people will take care of your customers. And if they take care of your customers the customers will take care of you. But don't ever get that backwards.”

Teresa: Yes. No you're right That's awesome. Such good advice. So uh I said today I want to talk about Free To Focus your book that I've read it's a well I've read a few books and this one for me it was a really good standout book that I think my audience are gonna love hearing about. Because when you start a business, and I made this huge mistake. So I started my business and I thought how hard can this be. How naive was I. And I thought I've been in marketing for like 15 years. I know marketing like the back of my hand. I can do this, this bit's easy. But what I didn't appreciate was what it's like to run a business. Like cuz I had never run a business and how do I manage myself?

So you know I could have all the best tools and hacks and everything in the world. But if I wake up in a day and I don't feel like doing that work or if I get overwhelmed and then I can't focus on anything. The impact on my business that I have personally is obviously massive, And what was so great about the book is there's it kind of turns a lot of stuff on its head in terms of how we think we're trying to be productive and how we think we're trying to manage our time effectively. And actually we're doing the complete opposite. So can we start by just looking at what are the kind of myths that that business owners and CEOs and people get wrong when they're trying to or they think they're trying to be super productive.

Michael: Yeah I think one of the biggest one is they fall preyed at what I call the hustle fallacy. And this is the idea that if you wanna achieve more you have to work more. And the entire premise of the book in fact the subtitle of the book is a total productivity system for achieving more by doing less. And and I think you know not all task, not all meetings, not all opportunities are created equal. And I think the sooner that we realize that the more we can focus on those high leverage activities or meetings or opportunities that really drive the results. So that we can have a life and a business.

Because I've seen so many business owners burn out when they've you know they bought into the hustle fallacy, they're working 70, 80 hours a week. And there are so many people out there, so many business gurus that that are out there teaching that. And what they don't see is when people have a health crisis or they blow out their most important relationships they go through a crisis in their marriage or their kids aren't talking to 'em anymore.

And I I just think none of that has to happen. I'm after what I call the double win where you can win at work and succeed at life. So that and is very important but that does require that we think about work differently and sort of set kind of as a goal I think that we're gonna achieve more by actually doing less and focusing on the things that really matter and letting the rest go.

Teresa: And the other thing that I love particularly about this and you generally in terms of how you put yourself across and and your message is that balance. Is that it's not just about all your focuses on work, all your focus on building the business, all your focus is that, it's the fact that you talk about your wife and your children and your grandchildren and you take a a long holiday. You take a sabbatical don't you every year.

Michael: I do.

Teresa: And how long you're away for when you do that?

Michael: Uh 30 days every year. I've done that since the very first year I started. Because part of part of that Teresa was because I didn't wanna build a business that was so dependent upon me that it couldn't run without me. And I've I've often thought you know that, that if the business can't run without me I'm really not an owner I'm just an operator. And and basically I have a job and I'm probably working for the most onerous most intense most demanding job uh boss I've ever worked for, and that's that's me.

Teresa: Honestly and and like you said that's the thing we set up these businesses and one of the first books or one of the books I read very early on which really helped me shift a bit with this. Only you a bit cuz I think you have to have lots of impacts and different things was The E-Myth Revisited is that.

Michael: Oh I love that. Michael Gerber.

Teresa: Yeah. And he talks about the fact of we are basically just setting up our businesses to have a job. And if we are not in it it doesn't exist. So how do we set up the business exactly what you said in order to then come outta the business. The other thing that you talk about as well which I think is amazing in terms of this balance. Because like you said the hustle culture and especially in when you look at some of the more guru esque type people around social media you know you just have to look at someone like Gary Vaynerchuk and it's all hustle and it's working super hard and it's doing this and working these long days.

And and you know like I said you've come completely away. And the other thing that I love is that you talk about taking time off and I'm I wasn't very good at that. And I love the fact of how you schedule that in as important as you schedule other stuff in.

Michael:: Yeah I really do. And I talk about this as you know in chapter three the book on rejuvenation. And you know all the science suggests that we are made to take breaks. You know our life should consist of a rhythm a rhythm between work and rest. And and I sometimes people say well “If you could give me one tip so that I could be more productive and more focused what would it be?” And I say “Get a good night's sleep. There is nothing more foundational, nothing more fundamental to your productivity, to your focus to driving the results you want in your business than being well rested.”

You know you you think uh like late at night you're trying to maybe you're trying to write some copy for a website or you're working on some other project and you just like, it just feels like you're trying to run through a swimming pool. You can't get any momentum you know just all this resistance against you. Get a good night's sleep next morning knock it out in 15 minutes. You know that's the difference between a well rested mind and one that's not rested. So we've gotta take care of ourselves if we're gonna be our most productive selves.

Teresa: And again I love that because we it's like you're stripping it right back. You're not sat there going “Oh, here's a good hack. Do this particular thing. Download this app. Do this whatever.” You're literally saying don't try and cheat this. You can't cheat the amount of hours you have on a day or how productive you can be in a day. So let's go with it and and work with it. The other thing that I absolutely love you talking about and when I read it I was like “Thank you. They're giving me permission.” Is that you take naps. Now I love a nap. And I used to be like I couldn't tell anybody that I would have a nap because I'd just be like what would they think of me. Like how lazy is this girl like having a nap pop through the day or whatever. But you talk about how positive it is.

Michael: Yeah totally. You know I've been taking naps literally since I was at university. And it's not long, it's I I take like 20 minutes is all I ever take. And the reason I do that is because I found that after lunch I'm usually a little bit groggy and unproductive and I read the lives of famous people like you know Winston Churchill and uh Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy and you know the list could go on and on and on Douglas MacArthur and others they were all nappers.

Winston Churchill in fact said that it was a way that he got basically two days out of one because he was refreshed like it was at the beginning of the day in the second half of the day after he took a nap and get this this is just some new study that a new study that I posted for my team. But taking a nap can cut your risk of heart heart attack in half. Even if you only do it two or three times a week. Is that crazy?

Teresa: That is the best thing I've heard all week. You know what I mean? It's like brilliant! Keep taking those naps, that's perfect. But you are right I think sometimes. And do you do you think this is because of a an employed culture where you think you are you have to be at work for 9 and you have to finish at 5 and therefore you have to sit in that role all day without you know freeing up your time or taking naps other than the normal breaks. And you feel like you have to be productive that entire day and therefore when I came out of my business I felt like if I wasn't sat at my desk between 9 and 5 I was I was not doing it properly or I wasn't properly working whatever. But it it's completely wrong, cause you talk about energy and and it's more about how you manage your energy rather than the time. Isn't it?

Michael: Totally. Yeah So like I used to think when I first started studying productivity and I was one of those guys that even in college you know I had a day planner and I scheduled everything out and you know I was just a geek like that. But I used to think everything was about time management. If you wanna be productive you've got to manage your time and that was like drilled into me as a as an employee and as a young executive. Then I just woke up one day and I said you know it's not about time management at all. It's about energy management.
And so if you can manage your energy I mean again just to use my illustration a moment ago when you're energetic like first thing in the morning if you happen to be a morning person and not everybody is but if you are and you're a morning person I mean you just could like you know cut through all the activity and get stuff done. And you're checking stuff off the list and making progress. But when you're not when you're not energetic like that then it's really a a it's really a slog you know to get through things.

So it is about energy management which takes us back to again sleep. But also nutrition you know certain kinds of foods I've noticed this as an entrepreneur. You know I'm I gotta be a steward of me I'm the most important. I mean I hate to say this it sounds arrogant. I'm the most important asset my company has.

Teresa: Yeah of course. We all are. Yeah.

Michael: We are. And if we don't take care of ourselves and manage the energy of that asset we're gonna be in trouble. So nutrition is important. And I noticed that certain kind of foods energize me other kind of foods slow me down give me foggy thinking. You know I I I I just don't do as well. Exercise you know I I mean we know from the science that if you were to take draw your blood after exercise the chemical composition of your blood the hormones that are released and circulated in your system are different after you exercise. So we've gotta be intelligent about this. We've gotta be proactive. We've gotta be intentional if we're gonna manage our energy.

Again, so so we can achieve big things and let let me just give you one example and and and not to brag but I think it it it illustrates it. So my business grew 62% last year. So our our company has been on the ink 5,000 ink magazine 5,000 listed the fastest growing privately held companies in the US for the last three years in a row. But last year I took 162 days off. So that included every weekend and it included 11 weeks of vacation you know the equivalent of 11 weeks of vacation. So you know it is possible to achieve more by doing less as long as you maintain your energy.

Teresa: And you are the perfect example of practice what you preach. Because like you said look how much time you had off. And it's almost we got to a point I think especially in an employed status where it was almost like a bragging right of how many hours we worked.

Michael: Yes.

Teresa: Or how many days you didn't take off or how many emails you worked on a weekend and it and it's not right. Is it? We shouldn't be proud of the fact that we're having to work 12, 15 hour a day.

Michael: Well this is an interesting concept that comes from the world of psychology but it's the world of secondary gain. That's what, that's the term. The idea is primary gain, you think okay I'm I'm working because I need to make money or I need to service my clients or whatever there. But sometimes there's a the secondary gain that comes from overworking and maybe it gives us a sense of significance. Gives us a sense of importance. You know I mean “Gee. Look how busy I am I must be important if I'm this busy.” And so you hear you hear people complaining about it and it sounds like a complaint but I really think it's bragging disguised as a complaint. That make sense?

Teresa: Yeah totally. And you know what's really interesting. So I've just been I just said I was up in Newcastle and because I went to an event and of course when you go to these events we see lots of people that we know. And of course the first question that everybody else is “How's things?” And pretty much every answer I ever give and everyone else ever gives is “Yeah. Good. Really busy Good.” And it's like, you know like imagine how it would be If I went up I was like “Great. I had like three days off this week.” People would just because of how we're brainwashed people would literally be like “Oh, it's the business not doing very well then.” whereas actually I would love to be able to go “Yeah. I only work part-time this week. It's awesome.” It would just be so good.

Michael: Well I almost think we ought to we ought to start a movement where the amount of time you take off and and again assuming you're getting the business results, right? But the amount of time you take off is like the new status symbol.

Teresa: Yeah yeah yeah.

Michael: That'd be really cool.

Teresa: Totally. That you know I'm now only working you know three days a week. Wouldn't, I mean that would just be lovely, wouldn't it? Well.

Michael: It would be.

Teresa: You do it you know. This is the thing you manage to take this time. The thing I wanna quickly uh is mention before we move on cause you have these three great steps that you talk about in your book. The thing I wanna mention is the fact that when you talk about blocking your time off as in not just a holiday time but weekend time. So you say that you take two full days off for sure a weekend. Obviously your substitute are a weekend. I think most people's are generally the weekend depending on obviously their type of business.

Michael: Sure.

Teresa: But not only is it that you don't work but and this was interesting cuz this wasn't something I did. You don't listen to audio books. You don't read stuff. You don't write about work. You don't you try not to think about work. And again I wasn't doing that so I would have a day off but I would get up and I'd listen to a podcast and then I would have always have my notebook with me and then my husband and I would go and sit in a a you know country pub uh somewhere lovely in England and we'd be sat there with a glass of wine and I'd be like oh “Right, So let's do this and we could do this and let's change that. And oh I need to think about doing this.” And you know and it's always there I never feel like I get that break. And I love the fact that you say no nothing not doing it.

Michael: Yeah I I basically have four rules about my time off and I call it off stage time but I I have four rules. Uh I'm not gonna think about work you know to the best of my ability. I'll tell you how I do that in a minute. I don't talk about work. I don't read or listen to podcast about work. And I don't do any work. Now obviously I didn't do that my entire career. Cause I spent a lot of time like a lot of people do where I drag work into vacations. I was dragging work home. And in fact I would say that for the first half of my career my day looked like I was working you know 15 hour days, 12 hour days.

So I would I would work I'd come home I'd grab a quick uh meal with the kids and then I'd drop my laptop uh on my put it on my lap and and start working in the recliner after work and I'd work till you know 10:30, 11 o'clock at night. And then do it all the next day. And if I didn't get finished with my work during the week I'd drag it into the weekend. So I'd go to the office on Saturday morning maybe Sunday afternoon. But the this is where I think we have to understand the power of constraints.

And so sometimes we think you know the the true freedom exists apart from constraint but I would argue that constraints give us that freedom. So if you think for a moment about the Friday at work before you go on a one week holiday. How productive are you? I mean you're massively productive.

Teresa: Yeah. Huge.

Michael: Right. Cause you got you get you get like a week's worth of stuff done on that one day. So my executive coach challenged me back in the year 2000, he said look and this was after I had a a big health crisis. I was working all the time and he said something's gotta change So he said “I wanna encourage you to set three boundaries.” And I did. And so the first boundary was I'm gonna leave home I'm gonna leave the office at 6:00 PM from work to go home and I'm not gonna work again so until the next day. So leave work at 6:00 PM. Second thing was is is don't work on the weekends. And the third thing is don't work on the vacations. So so then what happens or on my holidays. And then then the thing that happened to me is that in the afternoon when I might be tempted today that we didn't have it back then but today y'all might be tempted to cruise Facebook or just mindlessly spend time on Twitter or whatever you know.

Today I'm like uh I don't have time for that I've gotta get stuff done because 6 o'clock's coming up. And even in the office I'm standing in now I have automated lighting. So the lights turn off and the computer shuts down at 6:00 PM. So bad things happen at 6:00 PM If I'm not done. And that's really helped me.

Teresa: Yeah that and that's amazing. And but there'd be so many people sat there and this is where the book comes in that are going “Yeah. But I'd love to do that. However I've got this and this and this and this and this.” And they can list you 3 million things that they have to do and therefore they just haven't got time to stop at 6. So let's talk about those three steps that you look at in order to try and start to control this.

Michael: Okay. So the books organized around these three steps and the first step is called Stop. And this sounds crazy because when you're talking about a book on productivity you wanna think go you know let's let's make something happen. But I say no it's time to get off the hamster wheel to stop and say yeah and to really evaluate and say where is this productivity thing going. You know ask yourself the hard questions. Has has the smartphone for example made me more productive or is it just consuming more of my time?

Are all these productivity hacks giving me the life I want? And so what I argue in chapter one is that we need to formulate a productivity vision. A clear vision of the kind of life that we want. And I argue in that chapter that I think what most entrepreneurs and business owners are after is freedom. That's why they wanted to stop working for you know the man or the woman why they wanted to leave the big bad corporation and start their own thing cause they were tired of being told what to do. They were tired of working all the time. They wanted freedom. And yet their entrepreneurial dream is turned into an entrepreneurial nightmare where they're working nonstop.

So I I talk about four different kinds of freedom there, first of all the freedom to really focus. And I and I I think Teresa this is a superpower in the 21st century. Everybody is so distracted. Nobody can focus on anything for more than a minute or two. But if you develop the ability to do deep work, to solve complex problems, to create amazing solutions and to really be an innovator, that's gonna give you an edge on the competition. So the freedom to focus is key. Freedom to be fully present you know so that when I'm at dinner with my wife Gail I'm not thinking about something at work I could be fully present with her and engage with her I've been married for 41 years and I'm happily married but that hasn't happened by accident.

Teresa: No.

Michael: And at the same time I wanna be fully present at work. So when I'm at a meeting like this morning I was recording three podcast episodes. I don't wanna be thinking about home because you know one of the kids are outta control or I had a fight with my wife or whatever but I wanna be fully present with the people I'm with. The third freedom is the freedom to be spontaneous. So if the kids drop by my grandkids drop by I can stop what I'm doing I'm not so over programmed but I can be spontaneous. Finally My favorite the freedom to do nothing at all. So I learned this from the the Italians. Gail and I were over there for 30 days two years ago and they have a phrase uh La Dolce far niente which means the sweetness of doing nothing.

Teresa: Love it.

Michael: And it's a great cultural tradition. And so just the freedom just to kind of hang do nothing. Sometimes that's where the biggest breakthrough ideas come. And sometimes that's where the most meaningful conversations with the people we love happen. So I'm after that freedom.

Teresa: And I think you're right. It's interesting when you start your own business. And I have to say I never intended on start my own business. This was a very happy accident that I fell into it. But when you one of the reasons where most people will and one of the the big advantages that is portrayed as having your own business is you are the boss, you are in control, you, you get to choose. And Amy I know you are good friends with Amy Poterfield. And Amy Poterfield sums up perfectly where she said that she did this and she went from having one boss to having like 18. Because she got these clients on and it just felt exactly the same.

And obviously that's what inspired her to then kind of move over to the online space and do her online business. Because like you said you know when we have our own businesses that's the whole point. The whole point is tomorrow afternoon my daughter is having a uh my daughter's 9 and she has a meet the tutors afternoon where we can go and see her teacher. And I can go to that and I don't have to ask a boss and I don't have to feel bad for taking time. And when she does a play or if there's a sports day or you know I can do those things because that's what this is about. Isn't it? You know. That's why we do what we do and we we run our businesses.

Michael: Well and that's one of the I know one of the things you're one of the concepts you're familiar with from the book. This is why I think the freedom compass is so important too. So in chapter two that same section of you know let's stop and evaluate is to evaluate all the tasks we're doing. So I encourage people to just look over the last couple of weeks, write down  every task every meeting they ever went to and then evaluate it based on two criteria whether you were passionate about that task and whether you were proficient at it. So in other words not all tasks are created equal.

There's some things that we're just almost like we're wired. We were created to do. And it's a place where we're gonna have our greatest satisfaction and make our greatest contribution. And so I have a two by two matrix, so four quadrants and it this got it has two axis. One is passion, one is proficiency. So the place where you've got the most passion the things that light you up give you the most joy, the things you love to do, the things where you're the most proficient, the things you're really good at and skilled and more importantly drive the business results where those two things come together I call it your desire zone.

That's your sweet spot. That's where you ought to be spending especially as an entrepreneur the bulk of your activity. If you wanna scale in a sustainable way and create a business and a life that you love that's where you need to be spending the bulk of your time. The opposite of that and this is where so many of us get caught up and I've I've been there myself is what I call the drudgery zone where you have no passion and you have no proficiency and yet you keep doing these things. So for me it's gonna be different for everybody. It'll be different for you Teresa than it is for me.

But for me for example processing my email, managing my calendar, uh booking my own travel, violent expense reports all that stuff's in my drudgery zone. So if I wanna really be able to achieve more by doing less I've either gotta eliminate, automate or delegate the items in my drudgery zone. And there's two other zones that are important too that I talk about in the book that can I give you the idea you know more time in the desire zone less time in the drudgery zone. That's what's gonna give you that freedom to actually achieve your vision.

Teresa: And I think the what's interesting is the desire zone for one like you said that's the stuff you love doing. So it doesn't feel like work.

Michael: Right.

Teresa: So your mindset is completely different at that point. So if you've had a whole day doing the things that you love to do you don't finish that day like “Ugh!” You know you do finish that day like “Yeah, that was an amazing day.” And also the stuff in in my drudgery zone is is things like accounts. I hate doing accounts. You know I hate doing anything like that. And therefore like you said I take forever. I'm very, my energy about it and everything is very negative and it's just not it's not best place for me to do. Like I'm not the best person to do it. It's interesting where the stuff that for me anyway my business I think probably most people the stuff that you really love to do is the stuff that probably you need to be doing.

You know I've just launched an online membership about month and a half ago. And I did my first ever coaching call on the in the membership. And having never, I've been in lots of memberships. I've helped to launch lots of memberships. Having never been in one or done one myself I was like “Okay let's see how this goes. I think I'm gonna really like it.” And I was a bit tired if I'm honest cause it was an evening one. Cuz I have quite a few people in the States. And I was a bit apprehensive beforehand like “Oh.” You know “Can I do this? Is this right for me?” And I got on that call and honestly Michael I was like fired up.

Michael: Oh wow!

Teresa: I'm off it and I was like I could do that all day every day and I promise I would never get bored and I would never get tired. And it's like so that's the stuff I should be doing. And that's the stuff that is gonna move me in the business forward because I'm gonna help my audience then there in turn gonna go “That was brilliant and Teresa's brilliant and come into the membership.” And that sort of thing, so cause it's the stuff that you normally love doing. And like I said it doesn't feel like work, it doesn't feel like I'm having to like do these tasks that are horrible and I hate.

And actually as an entrepreneur do you not find that especially when they're starting that they're very nervous to give anything away or they feel like they have to do any everything where actually in, you talk about this in terms of their time and how much time they're spending on it It's way more economical to get someone else who that is.

Michael: It is. Yeah, so like you know this is a reason people won't hire or won't delegate, they say “Well yeah I'd love to get rid of that stuff but who am I gonna give it to?” And so you say “Well, you need to hire somebody to do it.” And so I've found that entrepreneurs typically have one of three responses. So the first thing they they often say is “Well if I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” Right Or they say uh “It takes longer to explain how to do it. I might as well do it myself.” or they say “I can't afford it I guess I'll have to do it myself.” As long as the answer to that problem is MYSELF, you cannot scale your business.

Because your business is gonna hit a lid It's gonna hit the ceiling when you reach your capacity. And your capacity is 168 hours a week and you've gotta sleep some of that time. You've gotta eat some of that time. There's some other things you've gotta do. So it creates a lid on your business. So what happened for me was that I was doing all those drudgery zone activities but then I realized that I could hire a virtual executive assistant for five hours a week. Now I wasn't really bringing that much money in initially. And I thought but if I share some of that money that I have it's gonna be less for me and for my family to live on.

But I thought if I can hire somebody to do what I've been doing for and I don't know you'll have to translate the currency to to British pounds but you know in the States like if I could hire somebody for $20 an hour and I can bill at a hundred or $150 an hour that's stupid for me to pay myself a hundred or $150 an hour to do something I could hire out for $20 an hour. So I got convinced on the math and then I said I'm gonna hire a virtual executive assistant for five hours a week. That lasted two weeks.

And then I said this is unbelievable. Now I'm gonna go to 10 hours a week. And then that was a couple more weeks and then I went to 20 hours a week and then eventually it was full time because it allowed me to do just like you were talking about with your membership. It allowed me to acquire more clients, more people that were gonna help pay the bills and my income went up and for the first several people that I hired I would say through the first 10. Every time I hired somebody my income went up because it freed me up to do more of what was in my desire zone. Does that make sense?

Teresa: Absolutely makes sense. And you know what I also found really interesting is when I bought on my first team member and it was a virtual assistant and she said to me right we're gonna do I think it was like 15 hours a month. And I thought “What can you actually do in 15 hours a month?” That is not a lot of time. Oh boy! What they can do in what seems like a very short amount of time because that's in their desire zone. So when you think you've gotta do something and it's like that might take me an hour the chances are because that's what they love and that's what they're good at. It takes them half the time. So actually the stuff that she was able to take up it wasn't like I had her for 15 hours a month I got back 15 hours a month. Not at all I got back way more time than that.

Michael: Yes.

Teresa: Because of the fact that she just managed to do things so much more efficiently than I did. And also and I dunno whether you were like this but you'd have that thing on your to-do list forever. And every time you looked at it you'd you'd see it and it would take up that bit of time where you'd think oh yeah I really must do that. And that mental space and whatever and actually just going oh can you do that is just perfect.

Michael: Yeah it really is. And and that kind of that is a kind of a natural segue to the second part of the book you know is is about cutting. And so it starts with elimination. You know once you kinda get clear on your freedom compass and you know what should be in your desire zone and everything that falls outside of that that becomes a candidate to get rid of. And so the first step or the first strategies to eliminate it because we don't wanna automate something that shouldn't be done in the first place. And we definitely don't wanna delegate something that shouldn't be done in the first place. So we have to start with asking ourselves the question does everything that I've I've done over the last two weeks does that really have to be done on a go forward basis?
In other words is every meeting that was once important still important. Is every task that I think's important or somebody else thought was important, is it really important in view of the vision that I'm trying to achieve with my life and my work? And so I think this is where we have to get really really good at saying ‘No'. Now I'm a recovering people pleaser. So I you know it's hard for me to say no. I hate to disappoint people. I hate to miss out on opportunities. I'm very conflict avoidance, so I don't like to say no but and this is what helped me is I realized that uh with every no there's a trade off, there's a yes.

So when I say no to something I'm saying yes to something more important. So if you were to fly into Nashville again and and you'd say Hey Michael how can could we have uh coffee one morning or have breakfast one morning, I would tell you ‘No.' And I would tell you no because I wanna say yes to my workout because what I'm really saying yes to is living as long and healthy life as I can to be here for my family. So that happens every day by making that decision to you know honor my commitment to my to my workout. So it's easier for me to say no when I get focused on the yes that I'm saying uh saying yes to or the the person I'm saying yes to.

Teresa: And I don't think we think about that, do we? We don't think about in making all these commitments and saying we'll do all these things that actually by saying yes to that we we are saying then no to something else. So I was having to do some work at the weekend cuz I had suggested something and that meant I was saying no without even thinking about it to my daughter who was like right for those few hours you are gonna have to entertain yourself or watch a film or play your on iPad or whatever it was because of the fact that I'd committed to do something.

And like you said and I I'm a people pleasers. Well I hate saying no. But actually the other thing that was so good about the compass was that when you've decided what is important to you you can then shift out anything else that isn't. So you can

Michael: That's right.

Teresa: Really clearly when someone comes to you and says “Oh, could you do this?” Or “Would you wanna do this?” You go “Do you know what actually my areas of focus and where I'm really focusing is here and that just doesn't kind of fall into that.” It for me it gives me that confidence that kind of you know I'm happy to but unfortunately it, I my goal is over here and I've really gotta focus on that.

Michael: See, Teresa that's the power of clarity. When you have clarity about how you're wired and what you were created to do then all of a sudden it's easier to say no. Now I do have a hack in that chapter that I that I wanna share and it's the yes-no-yes formula. Okay So this really helped me So I don't like to say no so here's what I do. And I learned this I wanna give credit where credits do I learned this from Dr William Ury in his book The Power Of A Positive No. So if you're struggling with this I really recommend that book cuz it goes into depth in what I wanna share here in about 60 seconds.

So you begin when somebody gives you a request you know you don't wanna say yes to it but you start with a yes or with an affirmation. So affirming them in the request affirming affirming the relationship. So here's how it might look because I I came outta the world of book publishing I get a lot of requests from people who want me to evaluate or to review their book proposal before they send it off to a publisher or an agent for consideration. So here's what I would say I would say “Hey uh thanks so much for thinking of me. Congratulations! First of all because very few aspiring authors ever get this far. You've completed a book proposal. Good for you.” So that's an affirmation I've said yes to them and I've said yes to the work they've done. So that's kind a feel good thing.

Now I wanna pivot and I want pivot to an uh a very direct unambiguous No. Here's what I don't wanna say I don't wanna say “You know it's kind of a busy time right now. Could you check back with me in a month?” Because what will they do, they'll check back with you in a month.

Teresa: You still gotta be no.

Michael: Now you still gotta give 'em a no you should be right back where you started. So here's what I say. And and these words are are almost magical but here's what I say I say “In order to be faithful to my other commitments I'm afraid I have to say no to your request.” So in order to be faithful to my other commitments. So what that tells them is I like them. Have I I live in a world of other commitments I've made a lot of other commitments. But I'm a person of integrity, I'm a person of honor, and I wanna honor those commitments. And I just can't keep taking on commitments and be faithful to my other commitments at some point the whole thing breaks down.

So I've never ever had anybody say to me you know like “Well, you're a jerk or that's kinda rude or whatever.” People people get that. What I also don't do Teresa is in that No part of the yes-mo-yes Formula I don't go into a long explanation of what my commitment is. Sometimes we feel the need to rationalize or justify ourself and we say “You know well gosh it's just you it's a busy season of my job and I've got this going on and I made that commitment I'm going to this thing.” But I don't say any of that I just say “To honor my other commitments you know I'm I'm afraid I have to say no.”

Then I leave it with a yes. So then I pivot again and I might say something if I can point them to some helpful resources that I have and in my case I do have some things on publishing. I'll put into a blog post or a podcast or maybe somebody else's resources or maybe just affirm 'em and say “Hey you know this re really does sound like an exciting project I wish I could be involved but uh you know best of luck in in getting it published.” But leave them with something positive.
The other thing I love about this is when things when sometimes when we have to say no and if we're a people pleaser are like we are like we both admitted to is that we procrastinate. We don't respond to that email that languish is at our inbox. Then the other person really does get frustrated with us. And I've had people write back to me and said “Thank you so much for saying no. I can handle no. What I can't handle is somebody not responding to me. So thank you for getting back to me.”

Teresa: You're right. And actually that's half the battle instead. The fact of what and you know what it's like yourself when you put something out there to the world cuz you want something or you're asking for something or whatever and you don't hear it's like or where what do I do with that now. Whereas like you said you're going back and you're saying no but you're doing it quickly which like I'm exactly the same. It would literally sit there while I think and think and then I would probably do what you said I'd probably go “I'm really busy at the moment. Uh check back with me in six months or whatever or you know.” And I know what will happen I don't wanna do it.

And funny enough Brene Brown in one of her books she talked about this and she talked about she was asked to speak at an event and she didn't want to. And instead of saying no she felt that she had to say yes and she did and it was a disaster and she hated it. And the whole thing was you know she and was all about the fact of “I just should have said no. I didn't wanna do it. Had good reason why I didn't wanna do it. But I was too scared to say no.”

And it proved the point by doing it because she ended up having shared this room with this not very nice person. And the event wasn't very good. And yeah it was just a perfect kind of really we should say no. But like you said the other thing is if we're saying yes to that you're saying no to getting home on time to have dinner with your wife or seeing your grandchildren at the weekend. And actually if you know where your priorities are or you've chosen where your priorities are then you can focus on that. So that's step number two that we've talked about about that. Oh sorry just one more thing that's coming to my head actually which is a great hack that you gave in the book.

Cause you do as well as talking about the real kind of basics of these things. You also give some great productivity hacks. And one of them was that you save emails as almost like templates. And I thought initially I said “Oh, this is a good idea. Yeah I think I've seen this before.” But then you go on to say that you save them as email signatures. And like that was just like boom And that's amazing.

Michael: Yeah this kind of gets into chapter five of the book on automation. So you know  eliminate or automate and then delegate but this is automation. So this like takes that yes-no-yes, and kind of as we would say in the state's biggest sizes it. And and so what I do is I I realized probably about 15 years ago that I was responding to the same type of request over and over again like people would ask me could I serve on their board of directors, Would I give to this charitable cause, would I review their book proposal, Could they have coffee with me and pick my brain. You know So it was just it was a finite number of requests that were continuously coming into my inbox. So I thought “Hmm. What if instead of responding to each one of these and it takes five or 10 minutes for each one. What if the next time I get that request I'm gonna respond in a way that's thoughtful in a way that's you know helpful but in a way that kind of fits this formula and then I'm gonna save it as an email signature and I'm gonna title it whatever the request is.”

So I would title it like request to have coffee. So we think of an email signature for example as uh you know the thing that has our signature block, you know our name our address or phone number contact information. But you can actually save anything you want with most email clients including paragraphs of information. So what this what this did for me was that that like radically reduced the amount of time it took me to process email because when somebody asked me could they have coffee and pick my brain I would just pull down that email signature, Bam I got the template in the email response I would personalize it a little bit you know warm it up on the front end and on the back end. Send it off its way I mean like 10 seconds. Totally different thing.

Teresa: Perfect. And and it's funny until we step back and look at it the amount of things that we repeat. So we get this with podcast requests that people want to come on as guests. And again I used to do the terrible thing of like “Oh, we we we don't have any slots right now.” But of course I'd just be putting them off instead of just being totally honest and going “Do you know what you're not a right fit.” It's you know I it for whatever reason it was a no I just wouldn't say no.
And now we have templates where we have a yes obviously if we want them on, we have a maybe if actually they could be good but right now we are because obviously we batch content and and then we have a no. So literally they the responses will come in and it comes into me and one of my assistants and we I will literally ping her an email saying yes, no, maybe. And then she gets back to them and and like said it just speeds the whole process up because we know we've got this template in place where we can just check that email back. So that's awesome.

Michael: You also have to go through the angst of saying no every time.

Teresa: Yeah. No you're right. It just takes that away. Doesn't it?

Michael: Yeah it does.
Teresa: And you don't have to feel that like I'm writing this email again saying no cause it's like pick that email send it on. And so we get to the last the act step. So talk us around that bit.

Michael: Yeah. So I talk about a couple of concepts here and let me drill down on one. So I talk about the concept of an ideal week. So how would you organize your time if you were a hundred percent in control of it and oh by the way if you're a business owner or an entrepreneur you may not feel like you're a hundred percent control of it but you are. Nobody's holding a gun to your head and telling you what you have to do. And so to batch activities. So for example one of the things I realized is that I was a whole lot more productive if I had all my meetings all my internal meetings with staff and and so forth on Mondays. And I did all my external meetings you know when people fly into town or they you know local people that wanna have lunch or you know coffee with me or whatever I do that on Friday. So that gives me those three days right In the middle to be my most productive you know work on my desires zone stuff that that really is gonna move the needle in my business.

So the ideal weeks's one concept but if you don't mind let me just talk about this idea of designing your day.

Teresa: Yeah. Great.

Michael: Okay. So we have a system called the three by three system and it's basically you're gonna have three goals for the quarter. And I talk about this in another book the book I wrote before this called Your Best Year Ever. Seven to 10 goals for the year, two to three goals for the quarter and we limit it to three goals and I I'm not gonna take the time to get into the rationale for that but it's critically important that you don't attempt too many goals. Because when you have your focus dispersed over too many goals the likelihood of you achieving any one of them is dramatically reduced. So we say two to three goals meaningful goals per quarter.
Then three outcomes per week we call this the weekly big three. So you know there's a gazillion things that you could do during the week. But what are the three that if you could only pick three that would really drive the results forward on your business this week what would those those be? And then here's the big idea. Now this is gonna sound deceptively simple to most people that hear it for the first time. So I'm just gonna ask those of you listening to suspend disbelief for just a minute let me explain it. So the idea is the daily big three. So you're gonna identify three and only three tasks as your daily big three. They have to be related to one of your goals or they have to be related to an important project but three important tasks for the day.

Now what we found based on our research when I was writing the book we found that the average person has 15 tasks on their to-do list. Here's the psychology that that creates. They get up in the morning, they know they don't have a chance of achieving those 15 things. So they feel overwhelmed. Even if they accomplish eight of those and they have seven left undone they go to bed feeling defeated because they had so much undone. So this is where we have to stop the madness and we have to say let's create a game that we can win. So what we say and the Pareto principle the Pareto principle an Italian economist said that 20% of the effort creates 80% of the results.

So 20% of 15 is magically three. So what are the three most important tasks outta those 15 that are gonna drive the results. And we're gonna declare victory what do we've achieved those three. My clients I have an extensive coaching program with about 450 coaching clients. They say this is a single biggest thing that has driven their business results forward. Doesn't happen the first day, doesn't happen the second day. But you do that day in and day out that's 15 significant tasks a week. That's 60 A month If you work 250 uh weeks a year that's 750 per year. That will make a huge difference in your business.

Teresa: Yeah massive. And I love that And I I there are days where I can manage that and days where I fail dismally but I think it is one of these things that you have to work at doing It's not like suddenly tomorrow I'm just brilliant at it. But what what I find is one like you said the overwhelms not there because you're like if I just need to achieve three things I'd need to do these. The three most important things are normally the things that are moving the needle for the business or a real key part of the business that you know you might think oh well I'll get these other bits done that are smaller and easier. And then actually you've spent the whole day doing absolutely nothing or not achieving anything.

And then the other thing I find is I tell myself all the time oh this is gonna take hours and then you do it and it doesn't. Like you literally think and it's on your list “Oh that's a big thing. And that's an important thing. And and it's probably I'm gonna have to like block out whole half a day or whatever.” And the truth of the matter is if you literally just focus on that and nothing else it actually doesn't take that long. It takes way less time than I ever think it's gonna take. So.

Michael: I'll tell I gotta tell you a funny story about that. So in one of my coaching sessions we do these coaching intensives in Nashville for where people come in and and uh meet with me for a full day in groups of about 50. And so one of the things that we always do at the end of every session is we have them identify their three goals for the next quarter. Then we have them just brainstorm for a few minutes. We give 'em five minutes to brainstorm next steps Like what would what would uh move the ball down the field on each one of those goals. So it might be a phone call, maybe text message, maybe scheduling a meeting, you know it could be doing a little research, ordering to book off Amazon or whatever.

So then we give them 10 minutes to knock out as many of those next steps. Now these are all related to their goals so they're important. And then we we create a contest. So we we had one person, this was I think about six months ago we had one person who completed 19 separate steps in 10 minutes.

Teresa: 10 minutes. Wow.

Michael: Just your point. You know and people always jazz cuz they feel momentum. But the the thing feels big and hairy and difficult until they start. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Teresa: Yeah for sure. Absolutely. Like you said once you get going and you start it's just like done. So I wanna ask a question to finish which is purely a personal interesting question for for me. I I joke uh joke that I'm half serious that I I'm a terrible writer. I love speaking. I love being on stage. I love doing the podcast. I was told as a child forever I talked too much. And now that seems to have really helped me which is awesome. But I couldn't imagine writing cuz you've got how many books have you got now in total?

Michael: Uh 9 total. Yeah.

Teresa: You've got another one uh due out soon-ish haven't you? It's on pre-order?

 

Michael:: Yeah. So the book that's coming out uh this next month is uh on Hiring A World Class Assistant. I've got my next book on is on vision being a a vision driven leader that's coming out next spring in 2020. So I do about a book or two a year.

Teresa: Like that for me sounds like the biggest and scariest goal ever. Do you enjoy writing? Is that was that always your thing? Do you find it very easy or do you have to be really strict with yourself?

Michael: Okay I'm gonna I'm gonna tell you a couple things and let's just pretend that it's you and me and there's not no one thousands tens of thousands of people listening. So first of all it's an acquired taste. So I don't I I sometimes say to people you know the first time you taste beer you think “Ugh this is horrible I mean why would anybody drink this.” And then you get you know people get a an acquired taste for it. I don't personally like beer but a lot of people do. So so I think writing is one of those things that if you look at the freedom compass it's in the development zone.

So initially I  didn't have any passion. I didn't have any proficiency but I sense that it was probably gonna be important for my business. So I just started doing a little bit of it each day. Now I actually love it and uh I think I'm pretty good at it. So I write every day, I try to write 500 words every day but that's through a lot of practice. So I think journaling can be a way to get there you know, Just write something down. Don't feel like it has to be perfect. Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.
So don't make perfect the standard. But here's the hack that I wanna give to you Teresa. And this is kind of the the secret part.

Teresa: Okay.

Michael: So for the first seven books I wrote every word. And and then my life and my world changed. And so now what I teach and I teach my clients this concept too and it works in a lot of areas but it especially works in a writing I call it the 10-80-10 rule and that is you're gonna be involved in the first 10% and the last 10%. Somebody else is gonna do the heavy lifting of the 80% in the middle. So this is how I do it now. So when I do a book I get together with my team. We brainstorm it, you know it's my content. I've come up with the frameworks and all the rest. Yeah You know in your case you could give people podcast transcripts, you could just sit down and do what you do best which is talk.

Teresa: Talk. Yeah.

Michael: Then the writer you're gonna hire somebody that's a writer. They're gonna take furious notes. They're gonna interview you. They're gonna pull it outta your head and then they're gonna put together a first draft and I usually do this like a couple chapters at a time and then I get a chance to review it. That's the last 10%. And so they can study how to get it in your voice so that it sounds just like you. And so there used to be a company, let me just hang on let me look at this up but it's book in a box. And this is a phenomenal service that's what it used to be called that has a brand new name now And I think it'll redirect me. No it doesn't We could look it up and put this on.

Teresa: Yeah. Well we'll add it in the show notes Yeah.

Michael: But this is a service basically that does this it'll interview you and then give you the first draft I've had tons of clients go to them and end up with a phenomenal product. So think of it this way. You're the architect, but you don't have to be the builder. You create the blueprints but you're not the one who has to drive the nails put up the sheet rock do the electrical and the plumbing. Somebody else can do that. And that's what I do today. So I've got a a content team that manages that middle 80% and that's why I'm able to be so productive with my writing.

Teresa: And that is amazing because I think there's so many people out there that and I know for me because I speak a lot you know I get such lovely feedback and good feedback about my content and my knowledge but the thought of sitting down with a slight sheet of paper Oh my word literally would terrify me to death. You know whereas like you said someone interviewed me I could talk all day, all night. I can tell you everything. But the thought of trying to get that on paper would be really hard. So I love that. That is a great great hack.

Michael: Well I'm gonna look forward to reading you're next or maybe your first book. You can totally do this.

Teresa: Ah no I love that honestly. I really really do that is brilliant. Michael thank you so so much you have been such a phenomenal guest. I'm so very honored to have you on. I know my audience and then love it if they haven't read any of your books and especially for each focus and definitely definitely read it. The other thing I highly recommend is I do or I listen to lots of books audible and you are very good at reading your book and it makes

Michael: Oh thank you.

Teresa: Honestly you are brilliant. And it makes a huge difference you know there's been some books where either the authors read it and they're not great or they've had someone else read it and it hasn't quite worked. So I think you obviously have that perfect answer A you read it and B you are very good at projecting that and obviously I can tell you're speaking things anyway. But yeah.

Michael: Thank you so much.

Teresa: It's wonderful. So if you haven't definitely definitely go check them out. Michael Thank you so very much.

Michael: Well thank you. It's an honor to be on and next time you're in Nashville you know let's get together.

Teresa: Definitely. Thank you. There we  go. That was the amazing Michael. I really hope you got some good practical stuff. I think like the reason I wanted to replay this one is because some of these things are great reminders because all of this stuff like the productivity stuff, the mindset stuff, everything is a practice. So don't ever think oh I learned that one thing yet cool got it down. And don't beat yourself up when you haven't got something you know when you're having to keep going back and reminding yourself because honestly all these things are practiced. So he is a great reminder for doing these things. So I really hope you enjoy the episode. Please do let me know. I hope like I said you're having a lovely summer and I will be back next week for the last of my replay section.