Three to Thrive

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By Niel Malan - Business Coach. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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Full Transcript

[The following is the full transcript of this Vlog: “Three to Thrive “

NIEL MALAN: Hey everybody. Niel Malan here. South Africa’s number one business coach. Welcome to this week’s video blog. I hope that you watched last week on the difference between being a builder and an architect because in that video I spoke about a really important distinction for small business owners, even medium sized and large business owners which is to really become the strategists in the business and to leave your team to being the builders.

In this series we are going to talk about a variety of different product activity principles and business principles that can help you to raise your business to stratospheric new heights. It’s good to be with you today and today I’m going to talk to you about a really cool concept called Three to Thrive. Many many years ago I attended a Tony Robbins conference in Hawaii and he spoke about the importance of focus when it comes to time management, when it comes to productivity and when it comes to most things in life. Now I guess you’ve heard about the Pareto principle the 80/20 rule. If you haven’t the 80/20 says eighty percent of your results will come from twenty percent of your inputs. So if you can train yourself to focus on the most important inputs you can get the best returns on your time invested. Now one of the challenges that we found with small business in South Africa and in fact just business in fact life right in South Africa and globally is… there’s really two big forces that we have to fight the first is overwhelm. I find most people are so overwhelmed you know they just, their email inboxes are exploding. They have a million different memo’s to read and different responses to make and a lot of people feel like they’re torn you know they’ve got so many different things to do. They start a day feeling like a hamster on a treadmill and get towards the end of the day and feeling I’m still on the treadmill but I haven’t done anything important and anything meaningful. And I think most people feel overwhelmed so that’s the first force that we have to kind of guard against and that we fight and manage really.

And the second force is the distractibility you know. I see everybody’s become ADD lately you know people are so used to multitasking and being on the phone while being on the computer or while driving you know, while trying to have a discussion with somebody you know we’re used to this parallel processing. And one of the challenges with that is that it comes at a cost of productivity you know the thing is we end up doing day to day whatever is the most urgent you know whatever screams the loudest, gets the greatest amount of attention so I found most people are very reactive you know, kind of their days they don’t really have control over their days, don’t really have command over their time and as a result of that some days are productive. Others are completely reactive and not productive and very few people have kind of a golden thread you know running through the day as well they can say most days were highly productive and most weeks were highly productive. And the problem with going through some kind of a time management or a productivity course it’s a chicken egg scenario you know. It’s first you need more time to go through the course. To implement all the new ideas then only will you have more time to do the courses. Like which comes first.

So what I like to do is I like to focus on leverage. I like to focus on high, high, high leverage ideas that are simple to implement that’s easier and that doesn’t come with a lot of cost of time because what that does is frees up space, it frees up space it frees up time, it boosts productivity. So this concept Three to Thrive Tony Robbins was talking about the importance of focus and he introduced me to a concept called Three to Thrive which basically says in any function right there’s basically three areas of focus that is the 80/20 right that’s at twenty percent. It’s three areas of focus that’s going to give you eighty percent of the results in that particular function. As an entrepreneur it’s not intuitive, it’s not easy to figure out what are the three areas that you want to focus on that’s going to give you the best returns it’s going to give you the highest yielding and the best results in business. And I’ve workshopped this so many times in my life and I find that the answer keeps on changing. It depends on the context of my business you know.

The three areas that I should be focussed on really is determined by what cycle I’m in in my business you know. If I’m in the startup phase the three things that I need to do right now are very different to when I’m you know preparing for an IPO you no an Initial Public Offering or a listing in the Johannesburg stock exchange are different priorities. But the concept is very very powerful, the concept is incredibly powerful and it’s not that hard to figure out. Here’s kind of your zero based question. A zero based question is a question that cuts through the clutter and here’s the question. The question is what is your business paid you to do that nobody else in your business can do or should do. And the reverse of that question is what do you do that someone else in your business can do and should do and can probably do even better than you? Now if you start making a list of everything that you do day to day going back to the architect versus the builder you’ll find that ninety-nine percent of your day is spent being a builder doing it right so you show up for work, you are ready to have a productive day and this phone call comes in from a client that didn’t get a delivery yesterday and you look around for the delivery person and guess what they didn’t show up for work and everybody else is late and guess what you grab this parcel you hop in the car and you go and deliver it. You get back about 10 O’clock in the morning right. Your accountant barges into your office he is battling with the software okay. What do you do? You help with the software. Then you’ve got seven emails that need urgent responding and you’re responding to emails right. Where does your day end not having gotten to any of your priorities. That’s doing. That’s building right. What does an architect do? An architect spends time designing a blueprint, focussing on a vision, refining a vision, working out the team that’s going to be building the business. So those are the kinds of activities that you want to focus on and that’s where you’re going to find your answers is what is it that the entrepreneur should do in the business that’s nobody else you know.

So if I had to look at the kind of stuff people get involved in you know if you run a vehicle repair shop, you’re a mechanic by profession and you find yourself spending most of your time underneath the car right with the spanner in the hand, question is coming back to this is that your highest leverage activity in your business or is there someone else that should do it, can do it and are probably better qualified than you and I think the answer’s built into the question. However who else is supposed to set a vision for your business for example? Who’s primarily tasked with leadership? Is it an employee? I don’t think so. There are certain tasks that only you can do and should do and should do really well. To get clarity I love this concept of Three to thrive so I’ll give you an example in my own life. Every six months or so, sometimes every year depending on how my business changes and evolves I do this exercise Three to Thrive and I write on everything that I do on everything that I think I should do and I kind of prioritise and measure them up until I get the three highest priority actions. So I’ll give you an example my business used to be training and coaching entrepreneurs in seminar rooms and training locations in South Africa. It’s been that for many many years right so I had certain things I needed to do in my business to succeed at that and I’m very blessed that we’ve achieved a lot of success in that. A lot of people say to me Niel it’s very egotistical to call yourself South African number one business coach. Why do you do that? Well I’ve been around for seventeen years in South Africa. Nobody else can claim that. We put eighteen thousand entrepreneurs through our training programs and coaching programs and if we look at the kind of numbers we’re currently achieving nobody else can claim that. I’m not saying that to be egotistical. It’s just fact. Just as a side comment. But coming back to Three to Thrive my business has changed, my business has evolved you know and I am now increasing and moving online and this blog series is a part of it. We’re developing online programs, we’re selling it globally now and I’m now starting to run a slightly different business which means my Three to Thrive has changed and in January I delivered this exact same workshop and I said what are the three activities I should be focussed on this year that nobody in my house, in my team is primarily tasked with. I can get other people to contribute but I own those responsibilities in my business.

And I came up with three things really I came up with number one is research. I found that in my game there is such a huge amount to know you know the world has changed and evolved digitally and in fact I’m going to do a vlog on this you know. Why everybody needs to kind of get with the program. So I realised that I need to spend an enormous amount of my time actually learning the new rules of the game, testing it out and really making sure that we can provide cutting edge information to our clients, to our constituents okay. That’s one of our strategic imperatives of our company. Making sure that we are the most current and provide the best content okay. So that’s number one, number two building a team okay. I then realised I have to absolutely build not only a good team but a phenomenal team right so a chunk of my day belongs to activities like writing job descriptions. Do I like it? No. Dealing with recruitment agencies, actually getting talent, going through a pile of CV’s, interviewing people you know appointing people, then coaching them, making sure the people understand what our business is about, getting them part of the team, building a cohesive team okay. That is a part of my job right now. Do I enjoy that particular part of it aspects to it? I enjoy interacting with my team, coaching them, brainstorming all that kind of stuff. Recruiting is tedious as hell but you know quite frankly unless I have the discipline to do a proper job at that okay I cannot execute my vision. So boom right now that is my second Three to Thrive. Now listen in a year from now I will have a key manager in place that will take over these responsibilities so again my Three to Thrive will change but for right now that’s my second one and the third one is to develop, to execute outstanding marketing campaigns alright so to succeed online creating world class products is imperative okay but it’s only twenty percent of success. Marketing is everything so again at this stage of the race I do most of the marketing myself but that’s what I’m recruiting for. I’m recruiting for people to take over from me so that my Three to Thrive can change.

So in my world again research and product development actually boom outstanding products number two building a great team, number three outstanding marketing campaigns. Now what do I do with this in practice you know? It’s fine to know this but how do you translate this into results. So here’s a great concept for you, so I spent many many years studying productivity, studying results, studying how do top performers perform at their peak levels you know and sustain that for many years over time and one thing that I’ve learnt is big performers really apply their energy effectively. So we have different times in the day when we feel energised. You know peoples rhythms differ so I feel most energised, I feel most creative, I’ve got the greatest amount of discipline, I’ve got the greatest amount of mental acuity in the morning right I’ve got a really cracker morning routine and maybe I’ll do a video for you on that and I go and exercise literally every single day of my life okay. It’s just an imperative in my life. I meditate every single day. And I find after doing all of that I feel terrific right. That’s the best time for me to do the highest leverage activity. So what do I do I to the best of my ability right block out two to three hours to tackle tasks that fit into that Three to Thrive. Does that happen every day? No. Some days I’m with clients and I’ve got to leave pretty much straight after workout to go and coach so that day I can’t do it. And maybe another day we’re doing video production so that particular day I’m not going to do it but about eighty percent of the time I’m going to spend the first part of my day focussing on activities that belong in my Three to Thrive because that’s when I’m the most productive and the most creative. Now you may say Niel I’m useless in the morning okay and it takes me until noon to wake up quite frankly to get a personality so listen take from noon until early afternoon and some people say listen evenings you know when the kids have gone to bed I’m a bit of a late night owl that’s when I feel good that’s when I feel creative and maybe that’s your time. I can’t tell you when that is. But to take Three to Thrive and do something practical with it identify the time of day when you are the most productive, when you are the most creative and when you’re disciplined okay because we don’t always get to do things only that we love there are always things that we have to do and we’ve got to do them well that we don’t love and we need discipline for that so choose a time of day. So that’s what I’m going to encourage you to do is take out a notepad and think to yourself sketch it out you know write out all the things that you could do, should do, do every single day and ask yourself what are the three highest leverage activities for me right now and you put them into circles three different circles. I can’t actually illustrate this but I’m using a visual but you get what I’m saying right where you look for an overlap and then in each area you look for the three activities that goes into it.

So for example from your research and product development it’s very simple. I have to read and listen to all your books I have to test the ideas in my business and I have to develop product out of it, boom. Simple. What does team consist of, the three highest leverage activities? Well recruiting, coaching and building an awesome culture right and when it comes to marketing campaigns, what are my highest leverage activities there? Planning, implementing and testing and measuring. That’s it. Those are my nine activities that I get to choose from every single day for two to three hours a day. I hope that you enjoyed this. Next week I’m going to share with you another really profound and important productivity principle. I hope you’re enjoying this video series. I’m loving making this. Make this next week count. Make your week productive and until I see you again, remember work hard, live fully, love openly and try something new today.

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