Click here to download the PDF version of the transcript.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome, welcome. Oh, man. Today’s episode is so good.
Let me ask you a question. Do you like to be in control and plan things to a tee? Of course you do. Everyone does, right? Or maybe that's just me. But I feel like a lot of my listeners are just like me, quite honestly. You're a planner, you like to have your hands in everything, and even if you don't like to admit it, at the end of the day, you like to be in control. You wouldn't be an entrepreneur if you didn’t. These are my guesses, but I feel like I'm spot on right here.
So today my guest is going to challenge that approach because we're talking about holding your goals tightly and—are you ready for it?—holding your strategy for accomplishing those goals loosely. Yep, that's right. We're going to chat about loosening your grip on how you're going to accomplish your goals and allowing them to unfold naturally.
So who's my amazing guest who's going to challenge you to really get uncomfortable in the name of goals? Well, her name is Megan Hyatt Miller, and she's the chief operating officer at Michael Hyatt & Company, and the creator of the Bold line of the Full Focus Planner. You know how obsessed I am with the Full Focus Planner, so, of course, you're going to hear me talk about it today. Well, Megan Hyatt Miller is the fabulous and brilliant woman who is the creative force behind the Bold line. So it's really exciting. I just can't wait for her to talk about it. So we're going to get into that as well.
Now, you might have already guessed: Megan Hyatt Miller is Michael Hyatt’s daughter, and together they've landed Michael Hyatt & Company in the Inc. 5000 three years in a row. No big deal, right? And you may remember that Michael's been on this podcast a few times. He was in episode 258, where we talked about achieving more by doing less. And he was also in episode 101 and 177, so I'm going to link to all of those episodes in the show notes at amyporterfield.com/298, because they’re all really, really good, and they are all aligned with what we're talking about here.
So Megan and I are going to dive into this concept around loosening your strategy to get to your big, bold goals. We're going to get there, and the conversation makes me nervous even thinking about it. But we’ll talk about it.
All right, guys. So I can’t wait to dive into today’s episode. And for my loyal listeners, forgive me. You already know this. But I do need to add that I tell Michael and Gail Hyatt all the time that I want to be adopted into their family. You might already know they have five daughters, and all of their daughters’ names start with the letter M, like Mary. However, mine does not, so Gail said that I could be the sixth daughter, but they’ve got to call me “Mamie.” And I said “Fine,” because that’s how much I love this family. So I’m really excited to talk to one of my sisters. Let’s bring her on.
Megan, I am so excited to have you here. Thanks for being here today.
MEGAN HYATT MILLER: Amy, I’m thrilled to be with you today. As I said on my Instagram Story earlier, you are one of my favorite people on the planet, so anytime I get to hang with you, I’m pretty happy.
AMY: Okay, well, here’s the deal. When I was creating this episode and putting together my notes, honestly—and I know I've said this to you before, and I'm going to embarrass you, but I'm going to say to everyone—I think you are one of the most brilliant women I know. I think you are so incredibly smart and strategic. And there are a million things about business that I could talk to you about today, but since we only have about forty-five-ish minutes, I got to get to the really good stuff. So are you ready for this? Okay.
So I told my audience a little bit about you, and of course, I told them that I'm one of the sisters, my name is Mamie, and I get to be a Hyatt. But beyond that, can you tell everybody a little bit about who you are, your family life, because it's very unique and special, and also your role inside the Michael Hyatt & Company, and then also how you play a part in the Full Focus Planner? So that's a lot, I know.
MEGAN: That’s a lot. Okay, so, yeah. I’m the mom of five kids. We have children ages eighteen to seven months; three of those kids are adopted.
AMY: Seven months. Yes.
MEGAN: Isn’t that crazy? So we just adopted our fifth child, our daughter, Naomi, this year. She's seven months old. So my husband, Joel, and I will literally be parents forever. But we love it. It's wonderful. And that directly impacts my work and leadership at Michael Height & Company because it is so critical to me to prioritize my family, but also to produce amazing results in our business. So I've worked really hard to intentionally build my role as chief operating officer in such a way that I'm really only working about thirty-five hours a week. I leave the office every day at three thirty to be home with my kids after school. And that just means so much to me. You know, I want to do what we help our clients and customers do, which is to win at work and succeed at life. You know, I just don't want to be killing it in my business; I also want to be doing what matters most at home. And I feel like I've been able to do that, and I‘m super grateful. So that's a little bit about kind of the family side.
On the business side at Michael Hyatt & Company, my job is really to run the business, to drive execution on our team, to drive goal achievement among our executives and then, therefore, kind of trickling down through their teams. And we do that through a number of different ways. We have an executive coaching program; we have a leadership training event called The Focused Leader; and we also have our Full Focus Planner, which I know you and your team love and are using, and we love that you guys are getting great results with it.
That has been one of the most-fun things that we’ve ever done as a team. It’s been out for several years, and we just released a new line called the Bold line, which is the one that I designed, that has kind of really fashion-forward design, beautiful interiors, and all kinds of stuff. You have to check it out at fullfocusplanner.com. But anyway, that is all about how to help you stay focused during your days so that you don’t get off track, and you’re able to connect your daily actions to your annual goals, which is the place where a lot of people really struggle. And they’re not able to achieve the things that they want to because there’s just no real connection point between those two places. So, that’s my world.
AMY: I mean, in your world is amazing because not only are you working about thirty-five hours a week, which is incredible. I know many ears just perked up when you said that because you're running a lot over there. But at the same time, you got to get really creative recently with the Full Focus Planner, and you created the Bold line, which I'm obsessed with. Right now, I'm obsessed with Eggplant and the beauty of that. But I was using Poppy before. I kind of love them all. So if you guys don't know what I'm talking about, we will link to all of this in the show notes.
But why did you bring about the Bold line? Before I get into—I've got a really important topic I want to talk about next. But before I get there, this whole idea of you getting creative with a Full Focus Planner, where did that come from?
MEGAN: Yeah, well, we had had the Full Focus Planner out for a while, and we’d sold hundreds of thousands of those copies. And people were using it, having great results staying focused, achieving big results in their personal lives and in their businesses, but every time we did a live event, which we do frequently in our business, I had people, specifically women—not always, but mostly women—coming up to me and just saying, “Hey, I love this system. The Full Focus system’s changed my life. But can you make it a little prettier? Can you make it a little ‘wow,’ something that we feel really proud to pull out of our bag and put on the table when we’re having a meeting with a client or a vendor, that just is expressive of who we are and that feels serious enough, that says, ‘I’m a serious entrepreneur”? It’s not foofy. It feels like it has some kind of weight to it even though it’s beautiful.” And the more I thought about it, the more I thought, “That’s what I want, too. I love this system, but I need a little more ‘wow’ that expresses who I am.”
And so my team and I just went to work, and it was in development for a long time. It’s pretty complicated to pull off. But I couldn’t be prouder where we ended up. There’re four different colors in that line. We also created an executive line. There’s one color there. It’s covered in leather, which I love.
AMY: Me, too.
MEGAN: And, like, we talked about it has those patterned end sheets on the inside. And I don’t know. I just feel like productivity doesn’t have to be just utilitarian. It can be beautiful, and it can be ‘wow,’ and it can be fashion forward, and so that’s why we did it. And it’s been a huge success.
AMY: It's bizarre sometimes that I say aesthetics matter so much to me, beyond just being productive and efficient, but it did make a difference. So just so you know, that was such an incredible project I think that you did with the Bold line, and we absolutely love it over here. And it just makes it more fun, which why not have a little bit more fun while we're kicking butt and taking names?
AMY: So I'm all about it. Okay, so, I love how all of that has unfolded for you, and you were able to be creative and passionate about organization and goal setting, and it really has become a tangible thing now with the Full Focus Planner.
Now, recently I stumbled across this amazing article you wrote, and you talked about the idea of holding your goals tightly but your strategy loosely. I can't even say it without feeling a little anxiety, okay? So I just need to warn you right now, we've got to talk about this because you know I'm a Type A person, and I love this idea of holding your goals tightly, but I want to hold my strategy tightly as well. But this year I had—2019 as we go into 2020—I think that was what caused some anxiety and some stress for me and overwhelm. So I'm all ears. But can you break this down for me? Well, first of all, what do you mean by holding the strategy loosely?
MEGAN: Okay, well, I think this is a really important topic, and we have been teaching goal achievement for years and gone through our Best Year Ever process, which is our goal-setting and goal-achievement process, with thousands of clients. And what we have seen come up for people often, you know, there are particular places where people get hung up. One is they're not keeping their goals visible, or they can't connect those annual goals to daily actions, like I was talking about. Another thing that happens for people is that they set their goals, and they're really excited about them, and then they start to come up with a strategy, and then they get stuck on the strategy when life happens, whether it's, like in my case, unexpectedly having another child. That wasn't part of my plan when I set my goals at the beginning of last year. Or the conditions in your business change. Maybe you launch a product that doesn't go so well, or maybe you launch a product that goes really well. And all of a sudden, you need to kind of shift gears to achieve your goals.
And the problem is, as we start out with this strategy, kind of like our action plan, maybe it's a marketing strategy or a social-media strategy or product strategy, and then things go differently once you get out there in the real world. And if you hang on to that strategy, like “Come hell or high water, I’m going to do it just like I put in my strategy document. And we're going to do this number of emails, and we're going to do this social strategy, and we're going to do these kind of webinars with this exact messaging,” the problem is how do you adjust when things don't go well? What if the offer doesn't quite resonate like you thought? Maybe the price is too high, or maybe something about the messaging and the webinar. We've had this happen where it just doesn't quite convert like we thought and we need to make some changes.
It's just so important to give yourself the freedom to do whatever is necessary to get back on course to reaching your goal. And if you're willing to do that, it's almost always possible. There's almost always enough time left on the clock to make meaningful changes that can affect the outcome in a positive way. But if you just stay stuck, like you're going to do it exactly like you said, and you can't make any changes, then sometimes you don't get the results you want. So that's kind of where this idea has come from.
AMY: Okay, so, I'm getting it a little bit more, for sure. And I do like this idea of having a flexible plan and kind of ebbing and flowing with the strategy behind the goal. So here's the thing, though. I feel like a lot of times we—or sometimes, I guess—let our goals be flexible and maybe even a little wishy-washy. So can you talk about your process for getting absolute clarity around your goal? because I'm thinking that's where we start. You have to first have a rock-solid goal before you even begin to ebb and flow a little.
MEGAN: Yes, absolutely.
AMY: Okay. Talk to me about that.
MEGAN: So, that is absolutely true. Sometimes what people actually have when they say that they have goals is they have aspirations. They have something like, “I want to be more profitable,” or “I want to create more products,” or “I want to build my team.” Well, those are aspirations, and those are a great place to start when you're setting goals because it helps you understand directionally what you want. But that's not really actionable, right? I mean, how can you act on “I want more products in my business,” or “I want to be more profitable”? I mean, it's not specific enough.
And so what we want people to do is get very, very specific about their goal. We want them to identify exactly what they want to accomplish. For example, if you said your aspiration was “I want to create more products in my business,” well, a goal that we would encourage you to set would be something like, “I want to launch a course that has five modules by March 31 and generate $150,000 in revenue.” That would be something that you could actually act on because you know exactly what you're aiming for, you know when it's due, and you can go get busy creating your strategy. Now, again, you're going to have to be a little flexible on that strategy as you go. You might realize you need four modules instead of five, or six instead of five, things like that. But you need it to be specific enough that you can act on it, and that component of it being time keyed, where you have identified a deadline for it, is so, so helpful. And that's where it's differentiated from an aspiration, and it becomes a goal.
AMY: Okay, so, I can get on board with that. I love this idea of aspiration versus goal, and getting really clear and looking at your goals, no matter when you listen to this episode, look at the goals you've set for the year and just see if you can see some aspiration in there versus concrete goals, “This is what I'm doing. This is when I'm going to do it by” kind of thing. So, all right. I'm on board with you there.
And then from there, this idea of not being fully attached to every step of your journey. Now, that is so difficult for me. This is so eye opening for me, Megan, that I'm glad we're having this conversation because I feel like I need to know every step of the journey on how to get there.
MEGAN: Oh, I know. I hear you. You are not alone. That is so, so common.
AMY: Okay, okay. So what do you do? How do you be more flexible, and how do you really trust the process, without knowing “I'm going to get there this way”?
MEGAN: Well, first of all, you do want to have something of a plan, and I think it depends whether you're talking about personal goals or business goals. If you have a personal goal, like something around exercise or something around financial savings or other achievement, you probably really just need to identify your next action. What's the next thing that you need to do? And very often, a next action is a discrete thing, like sending an email or making a phone call or scheduling an appointment with someone. It's not some huge thing, like you have to create the strategy for the entire goal. We say all the time that we want your goal to be in your discomfort zone. If it doesn't feel a little bit risky, then you've probably set it too low. But we want your next action or the next piece of your strategy to be totally within your comfort zone. So if it's not, if you feel like, “Ooh, I'm not sure I can do that,” you've probably made that next action either too big, or you need to insert a little step before that, maybe some research or talking to someone. But I think that's really an important part.
Now, when you’re talking about business goals, for example, if you are going to launch a course or you are going to try to improve your profitability or you wanted to build your team, you probably need a little more strategy around that. I think everybody’s going to have a different process for that. But in our business, we actually create something that we call a strategy document. It was just kind of an outline of a promotion that we're going to be doing so that everybody can get aligned around that, and we can get the team going in that direction. So we do outline that. But I would say that probably on any given promotion we do, that only holds about 70 to 80 percent. The other 20 to 30 percent of that are going to be changes that we're going to make on the fly; that we feel like as we're getting information from the market—as our customers are responding, they're giving us comments, they’re buying, they’re not buying, whatever's happening, they’re showing up, they’re not showing up—we're making little adjustments along the way.
And we've made, in fact, big adjustments in our business, including totally killing a product. I remember one time we launched a product, and we had one person buy it. We were like, is something wrong?
AMY: The cart is broken.
MEGAN: The cart must be broken because I'm sure that everyone wants this. And we had to totally shift gears. We were like, “Okay, the market has spoken. Something is wrong here with our messaging or whatever, or the offer.” And we shifted gears, and we went in another direction and were ultimately successful. But if we had just been like, “No, we are selling this product no matter what,” I mean, it would have tanked our year, so that's kind of what I'm talking about.
AMY: Yes. Okay, so that leads me to something that happens a lot with my students. A lot of those listening right now are just getting started, and they're launching their first course or launching their first product of whatever it might be. And some of them won't launch to success, or along the way, things just kind of start to fall apart and they don't get to the finish line. And what happens with some of them is they think, “You know what? This isn't working. I need to switch gears and start a brand new project.” And what advice could you give to somebody of when they could do a gut check of “No, I'm staying the course. That launched didn’t go as planned, but I'm going to launch again. And I'm going to stick with this,” versus “I'm going to jump ship and do something different.” If you've got this goal that you made for the year, like “I'm going to launch a course and make $100,000,” and the first time out it is a mess and it's messy, how do you encourage people to stay the course?
MEGAN: Well, first of all, I love that question because I don't care if you're launching your first course or your twentieth course, if you have a brand-new business or you've been in business for years, this is really the question. I mean, this is going to happen to you no matter who you are or how experienced you are. So if you’re just starting out, and that’s been your experience, or you're afraid it might be your experience, I want you to just know that you're totally normal, and it's not a reflection on you and your abilities. That is a normal part of business. And you're going to learn so much in that process. It's going to help you answer this question more easily as you go down the road. So the first time you encounter this, it's going to be really hard. You're going to doubt yourself. You're going to wonder what's going on. You're going to be tempted to throw in the towel. And again, all those things are normal. But I would encourage you not to throw in the towel on the goal itself.
So if you set a goal to launch a course this coming year, or maybe that was in 2019 and maybe it didn't quite go the way you wanted, I think it's so helpful to say in your own mind, “Okay, that's normal. I'm just learning.” Instead of “I'm failing,” “I'm just learning.” You are learning all the variables that are a part of launching courses. And nobody knows better than you, Amy, there are many, many variables. There are so many things to tweak. And so what I would encourage you to do is don't give up. Don't throw that product away, because what it might need is some refining, either on the marketing side or the product side or both, and give it time to tweak your strategy so that you're not completely just bouncing from one thing to the next, without giving yourself the opportunity to refine, and give yourself space for that.
AMY: Okay, I absolutely love that you said you can change your strategy. You can go back to the drawing board. You could tweak things. But never lose sight of that goal that you set for that year. That's big.
And so I know you kind of touched on this already, but I really want to hit home with it. When you say hold your strategy more loosely and hold that goal tight—this is a perfect example of that—how do you know that you're not being too loose? Now, this is the Type A in me. I get a little bit nervous that some of my students will almost leave it up for chance. I even—you're going to maybe cringe at this, Megan—but when I set a big goal, sometimes we leave a little room for what we call magic. And so if I can't figure out how I'm going to get to 1 million, but I can figure out we're going to get to 900,000, I'll be like, “We're going to leave a little room for magic.” And that has served me well. But the 900,000, I know that strategy, and I know how we're going to get there. So how do we make sure, anyone listening, that they can kind of do a gut check, but they're not getting a little too loosy-goosey with that strategy and leaving it up for chance?
MEGAN: Right. I’m not saying you don't need a strategy, and I'm not saying to throw everything out the window as you hit the first obstacle. That would be chaos. So I think this is more art than science. There's not some kind of perfect way of understanding this. You're going to get better as you go, and you will make mistakes along the way. So that's okay.
But I would say when you're encountering an obstacle, which you will, try to only change one thing at a time. So rather than change your offer, your social strategy, re-engineer the product, don't change everything at the same time. Ask good questions. When things don't go well with a goal, ask good questions like, “Hmm, okay, could it be this part of my strategy? Could it be that part of my strategy? Is it the price? Is it the marketing? Is it the social? Is it the product itself? Is it the market?” Those kinds of things are good questions to ask to try to dial in maybe what part of your strategy needs to be adjusted. But what I definitely wouldn't do is throw the whole thing out at one time.
You do need a plan. You just need to be willing to change as much of it as necessary to get better results. But just, like with anything, the more you can kind of change one thing at a time, probably the better it's going to go, and then you'll understand better what to do in the future.
AMY: Okay. I'm totally onboard with that, 100 percent. And I love the idea of you do need a plan, but you need to be willing to change the strategy in order to get to the results and the goal that you set for yourself. OK, cool. I'm there, for sure.
Okay, so, I want to switch gears just a little bit and talk about some of the principles inside of the Full Focus Planner, because as I already mentioned, I'm obsessed with it, and I use it every single day. In fact, you know that question, What are the three things you’d take to a deserted island? I think I’d take it. I wouldn't need it, but that's how much I have it with me at all times. I'm literally looking at it right now.
MEGAN: Me, too.
AMY: Okay, good. So we're on the same page there. It's a healthy obsession. So with this Planner, one of the things I absolutely find incredibly valuable are the Big 3, and the Big 3, these three things that I'm going to accomplish no matter what, every single day.
Now, this has been, and it sounds dramatic but it's true, life changing for myself and my team. And I think I told Megan this, I think I told you this a while back, but there was a conversation inside of Slack with my team that I wasn't even a part of. It was in a channel where they were talking to each other. And we've got a lot of new employees. And so they were talking about how much they love the Full Focus Planner, because everyone on my team, when they start out, they get the Full Focus Planner, and they're asked to do it for ninety days. And if after ninety days, if it's not right for them, they don't have to do it. But I want them to watch the videos, learn how to do it, and they love it, and the majority have stuck with it. So that's really exciting.
But what they said they love the most is this Big 3. And they said that the reason why it helps them so much is they don't have the dreaded to-do list that looks like it's a mile long and they've just started their day knowing they will never get to all of that. So with that, can you talk about this idea of the Daily Big 3 and why you find it so valuable and why you guys have included that in the Planner?
MEGAN: Yeah, I love that, too. And in fact, of all the things that our customers report on, this is the thing that comes up the most often as being the single most–transformational practice that's a part of the Full Focus system. The reason we included it is because the average person reportedly has fifteen tasks on their list on any given day. And even if they hustle all day long and they accomplish seven or eight or nine or ten of those things, they go to bed feeling like they failed because they haven't gotten them all done. That's not to even account for all the ones they probably added in their various meetings or if they were working through projects. And that's not a good way to live. It's also not discriminating enough because of those fifteen tasks, how could you possibly identify which are the most important? And what we really want to do, when we're thinking about what we spend our time on every day and how we prioritize, is we want to make sure that we at least get the most-important things done, and those are often also going to be urgent. They’re urgent and important.
The problem is if you have fifteen things on your list, or maybe twenty or twenty-five, only a handful of those, very, very few of those, are going to truly be important and urgent. And what I mean by that, how you know if they're important, is are they the things that drive results in your business or the role that you've been hired for? Are they driving forward your annual goals or your most-important projects? Most people never think about that. They just think about what's most urgent.
And so the Big 3 is saying, okay, if I only can get three things done today, what are the three most-important actions, tasks, that I can accomplish today that would drive my goals and my most–important projects forward? And if you only do that, what will happen in your business or in your role in your company is that you will see that you're achieving more than you've ever achieved in your life, because before that, you didn't really have a filter for prioritizing those things, right? You’re just kind of trying to do whatever’s the most present at that moment.
And so in the Full Focus Planner, we provide an area for what we call other tasks, those other kind of things that are great if you get them done, but not necessarily mission critical. You could do them or not do them. I always have things on that list—a phone call I need to make or an email I need to send—but it's not driving the results that I'm the most responsible for. And so I think when you narrow it down, you eliminate the overwhelm, and you actually make progress on the most-important goals that you have. So that's why we created the Big 3. It's not an original idea to us, but that's why we put it in the Planner. And people just absolutely love it.
AMY: Okay. The whole concept of driving results that are most critical for your position is really important because when I think about my top three, they're going to always include either forward facing, like front stage—so I'm doing a Facebook Live, I'm doing a live training—or creating content. So those are the areas that I make the biggest impact in the business. But if I think about, let's say, Chloe, and she's my marketing director, and I think about what's on her list, it's going to be dramatically different.
AMY: Right? And so I think sometimes, even I bet some of my team members would say this happens, where we get in a rush and we think, oh, the top three things I need to do are bom, bom, bom. And then if you look, if you ask yourself, are these three things crucial to my role and how I drive the business forward? some days I might need to tweak those big three.
MEGAN: Absolutely. And here’s one of the things that we teach that helps you know whether you’re on track or not: the Daily Big 3 are related to what we call the Weekly Big 3, and that’s a process that is in the Full Focus Planner that’s called the Weekly Preview, where you’re planning for your upcoming week. And your Weekly Big 3 are the big three objectives that you need to achieve this week for it to be a successful week. So same kind of concept, just instead of discrete tasks, now they’re objectives, and they might be projects, things that you need to accomplish that are driving your goals forward. And what informs the Weekly Big 3 are your Quarterly Big 3 goals. So you have this list of annual goals. We say that you can set up to twelve, so you can have up to three per quarter that you’re working on. When you identify, these are my three goals that I’m pursuing for Q4, then when I’m doing my Weekly Preview on a weekly basis—I normally do mine on Sunday night—I’m asking myself, “Okay, what need to happen this week that’s going to move me toward accomplishing those three goals that I’m focused on this quarter?” And then when I get to my day, I'm asking, “What three things do I need to do that are going to help me accomplish those Weekly Big 3 objectives that are driving the goal?” So there’s a connection all the way from your annual goals to the ones you’re focusing on in the quarter with your Quarterly Big 3 to your Weekly Big 3 objectives to your Daily Big 3 tasks, so there’s an unbroken chain where you’re not disconnecting anywhere.
AMY: Exactly. And one of the things about the Weekly Preview that I love—and with the Weekly Preview, do you agree, you're looking back, but then you're looking forward, right?
AMY: So when I look back, there have been many times that I thought, “Ooh, I did not focus on the things that were going to get the weekly goals. The actions I took all week did not get me there.” And it's just like this practice of, no, I‘m going to get better at that, I'm going to get more intentional, I'm going to get more focused. But I really do find that the Weekly Preview, looking back and looking forward, it doesn't even take that long, but it's a discipline like, no, I got to sit down. I got to think this out. I'm sometimes terrible with making the time to do things like that, but I've noticed the more I make the time, I'm so thankful during the week and after it's all over.
MEGAN: Me, too. I love it because I feel like it's the antidote to feeling that sense of dread on Sunday night, like when you kind of can’t go to sleep because you’re thinking about, oh, I got to make progress on that, or I didn’t do that so well last week, or ooh, I got to remember to send this message to this person on my team. If you just take—I mean, really, for me, it probably takes me twenty minutes to do it.
MEGAN: If I just sit down for twenty minutes in the evening or the afternoon on Sunday, and I think through what happened in the last week—and there's a whole template for this. It's really like paint by numbers in the Full Focus Planner—I am ready for Monday. I already know what's happening on Monday. I'm don't have that kind of deer–in–the–headlights feeling.
AMY: Feels so good.
MEGAN: Right? It's so much better than the overwhelm. And like you said, I have the chance to know if I kind of got a little off track last week and maybe didn't make the progress on my goals that I wanted to, I can make a little adjustment before I'm way off track and months have gone by where I haven't made progress and then I'm tempted to throw in the towel. So I think that's so valuable.
AMY: Yes. I totally agree.
Okay, so, when you go through your week, and you've accomplished these things, and you're sticking to your Big 3, one of the things that I think we need to do more of, especially in my business and personally, but I know my listeners can relate to this, is celebrate and really take the time to celebrate when we accomplish something. And it's so easy to breeze right past that and into the next week. So do you have any tips for how to slow down, actually celebrate things? I don't know how you guys do it over at Hyatt & Company, but any tips here would be greatly appreciated.
MEGAN: Well, like you, I mean, we’re high achievers, and so often, you have this great list of goals and you're so pumped and you're just checking them off, or you're kind of in a season where things are going really well, or it's intense, and you don't even stop to notice. Maybe you barely check it off, and you're on to the next thing.
The problem with that, there's two problems. One, you're not doing what's necessary to reinforce that goal accomplishment, because you want to take a minute to celebrate so you can say, “Hey, brain, that was awesome. Let's do that again. That was rewarding.” You want to reinforce the success. Also, though, as your business grows and you begin to build a team, if you don't stop and celebrate with your team, you start to build a culture that leads to burnout because your people don't feel like it ever really means anything when they accomplish something. And so even if it's hard for you to do this for yourself, as you begin to grow in your business and you start to build a team, taking time to celebrate, for their sake, is critical for engagement and long-term employee satisfaction. So let that be your motivator, if nothing else.
I think it's challenging to figure out how to celebrate, but if nothing else, in the Weekly Preview—this is sort of a little personal way to do it—in the Weekly Preview, the first part of it is identifying your top five wins from the previous week. And Amy, I don’t know about you, but very often, I get to that list, and I’m like, what happened? I don't remember anything. And I have to literally go back in my Planner and say, oh, my gosh, I got to do that podcast interview with Amy. That was so fun. I’m putting that down. Or I had this meeting with my executive team, and we're ahead for the month of November. That was awesome. You know, and just, like, itemize those things. And that's a little celebration. It's kind of starts with noticing, I think. I think that's the beginning of celebration is noticing.
Then the other part of that is gratitude. So maybe if you're just doing it for yourself, it's in a gratitude journal, or maybe it's writing a note to somebody on your team, or a vendor. You're using a contractor to help you achieve things. And just noticing, “Hey, I really appreciated the way you stepped up and you managed my webinar. That was incredible. And I could not have achieved those results that I set a goal for without your help.” Or “thank you so much for the way you managed my calendar this week, because without your help, it would have been just a nightmare because it was a really busy week.” So noticing and expressing gratitude.
And then the fun part really becomes when you celebrate as a group. Maybe you don't have a team yet, but maybe you have somebody, a contractor, that you're using regularly. Maybe you just get on Skype or Zoom, and you have a little party. Everybody drinks champagne or something, and it’s on Skype. Or maybe you take everybody out to dinner, and you have something special to say about everybody's contribution. I mean, I think as a leader, it's always about celebrating the contribution of your team more than celebrating yourself, or a gift that you could give people. But just taking a minute to notice on, whether it's a small scale or a large scale, is critical for you and your team and your ongoing success, making that sustainable.
AMY: Oh, I love these simple ways to do it. And if you just start out with some of the simple ways to do it, you'll want to lead to bigger things. Yeah, we've got to start there. It’s so important.
Okay, so, I have a quick, little bonus round because I can't stop thinking about your thirty-five-hour workweek, and I know that doesn’t always happen, but on the majority, and that’s impressive. And so I can’t stop thinking about it, and I’m sure my listeners are like, “Uh, before you end, can we revisit that?” So with that, can you think of—and I know I’m putting you on the spot. I’m a planner, so just so you guys know, I always try to send those who are going to be on my show just kind of a review of some of the questions I want to ask. But this one wasn’t on there, so if you need a little time, take it, please. But I would love to know if you could share two to three tips, techniques, strategies, mindset shifts, anything, that have gotten you to thirty-five hours a week with five kids. What’s working for you that others that are maybe just starting out or maybe a little bit more advanced in their business can start to think of, oh, maybe that could work for me as well? Can you think of any of those tips?
MEGAN: Yeah. I think the first thing is—I get asked this question a lot because I think a lot of women in particular, it's not always women, but mostly, I think this is attractive to them. How could I do that? So I think the first thing is you have to define what the win looks like for you. Before you get to the how am I going to make it happen? you have to know what you want. And I think for me, when I think about what my priorities in my life are, and I think about that idea of I want to win at work and I want to succeed at life or I'm not going to consider it success, for me, that looks like being present for my kids. There are only so many years that they're going to be home, that they're going to be the ages that they are now. There is a contribution for me to make in their life as their mom that is totally singular. You know, my husband can't do it. Babysitters can't do it. Teachers can't do it. There's just something I can pour into them that’s just me. And I don't want to get to the end and have built a huge business that's very successful and feel like I have regret around my family. That's just unacceptable to me. And also, a couple of my adopted kids have some special needs, and originally, that was kind of my impetus for this was they need me. You know, there are some serious things that we need to work on with them to help them heal from some of their early traumas, that if I'm just checked out and not home very much or I'm working all the time, they're not going to get where they need to go. So that was sobering and kind of the catalyst for this conversation in my own head.
But if you can define what you want, then, all of a sudden, your brain goes into creative mode and you start thinking about how you could make it possible. So once you've defined the win, then suspend your own disbelief that it would be impossible to make that happen. I think if you're an entrepreneur, the great thing is you have a lot of freedom. On the one hand, you're probably hardest boss you've ever had. On the other hand, if you're honest with yourself, you can also set boundaries that most people can't. And because of that, you can get really creative. So I decided that three thirty in the afternoon, hard stop is my hard stop. And I probably hit that 90 to 95 percent of the time.
AMY: Wow, that's impressive.
MEGAN: Yeah. And I mean, my assistant, Jamie, knows we're just not messing around with that. It has to be really exceptional to cross that line. And what that means is that now, all of a sudden, I have constraints in place. And the thing about constraints is that they drive innovation. And when you have hard constraints in place, you can get really creative about, okay, if I only have this many hours a day, what is the most-important work that I can do in that time? because I don't have time to mess around. I don't have time to do stuff that's not driving the business. I don't have time to get distracted. I have to be super focused on where I add the most value. So the onus was kind of on me to figure out, okay, what are those few things that only I can do that are going to build the business in an exponential way or a disproportionate way? I want to invest my time where I get a disproportionate return on that investment. And I'm clear about those things.
And then I got really good at delegating. I got really good at asking for help, not just at work, by the way, but at home. And, of course, with everything in our lives, as we're building a team at home or at work, this starts out really small. And then over time, you're able to afford more, more and more help and resources to delegate. But I really focus on, where do I add the most value at work, and where do I add the most value at home, and how can I delegate most of the rest of that? And that has been, honestly, my secret sauce, being clear about what I can do and what other people can do.
AMY: Oh, this is so good. Megan, you are so frickin’ good. I absolutely love this conversation. I just—
MEGAN: So fun.
AMY: So fun. And I just learn so much. I'm actually going to spend some time to figure out where I add the most value. I've done that exercise before, but I think with some of the stuff you shared here, incorporating that, I would love to show up as my best self every day in this business, but I need to get clear on where I show up the best and where I add the most value. So thank you for this transformational conversation. It was excellent.
MEGAN: Thank you, Amy. It's always fun to talk to you.
AMY: Always so fun. And congrats on the most-beautiful Full Focus Planner line ever, the Bold line. Guys, we will definitely be linking to all things Full Focus Planner in the show notes at amyporterfield.com/298.
Thanks again, Megan. And I hope you'll come back because we have so much more to talk about.
MEGAN: Of course.
AMY: All right. See ya, girl.
MEGAN: See ‘ya.
AMY: So there you have it. For all my Type A personalities, I challenge you to loosen up your grip on the how of accomplishing your goals and learn to enjoy the experience and embrace the ebb and flow of the journey. Now, trust me, I know that is easier said than done, coming from one control free to maybe another. So I get it, but I am going to embrace this. And as you could see, I absolutely love Megan. I hope you found so much value in this episode. She brought so many nuggets of wisdom, and I really can't wait to have her back. There's so much I think I could talk to her about. She's a great example of leadership and productivity and efficiency. So I think we need to have that girl back.
Okay, so, here's the deal. I want to know what you thought about this episode. Does it make you feel uncomfortable, a little scratchy? Or maybe you fully embrace it, or maybe you are so against it you need to speak up. This concept of holding the goal tight and loosening up the strategy or the process of how you're going to get there, I want to hear what you think of this. So I want you to go to the Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook community. Jump in there, start a conversation, or join one that has already started. What do you think of this concept? I want to hear all your thoughts.
Also, you know how it goes. Have you subscribed to the podcast? I don't want you to miss an episode. You'll get a notification every time something goes live here on Online Marketing Made Easy, but you've got to hit that Subscribe button. So do that now. It takes just seconds on whatever platform you listen to the podcast.
All right, guys. Next week is extra fun. I mean, maybe not fun. It's extra, extra important, though. And we are going to be talking about a topic that everyone—and I mean everyone—has experienced at one time or another: imposter syndrome. It's a real thing. And I know that you, too, have probably experienced it, or more importantly, you might be experiencing it right now. We're going to talk about all the different ways it shows up—I think you can relate—and more importantly, we're going to talk about the simple yet really effective strategies that I'm going to share with you to help you bust through that imposter syndrome. We’re going to talk about it all, next week, Thursday, same time, same place. I will see you here. All right, guys. Have a great day. Bye for now.