QUESTION: I believe there are a few things holding me back from hitting my goals.  We talked about the need for more recruiting presentations, but the biggest issue is sticking to my plan.  I spend the time planning and use a great data miner who finds good candidates, but the last step of contacting them does not happen.  It is all there in front of me, but I fail to follow my plan.  Part of the reason is bad time management.  So feel free to pick a litany of my problems.  I look forward to hearing your pearls of wisdom. Pete, Maine

ANSWER: Bad time management is directed lack of desire and avoidance and resistance.  I will get into in more detail, and I do not mean that to be facetious.  The reason, when people say I am not disciplined, is no, you are disciplined.  You are disciplined to your existing set of bad habits.

See if you said you had trouble with recruiting presentations because you did not have the candidates, then I would recommend the research which you have already done and it sounds like you have done a great job of that.  So one, seriously, congratulate yourself for that because you have removed one obstacle.

What we have really done now is we are moving forward to uncover the greatest obstacle in our own business, which is usually us.  You have to link each recruiting presentation to those outcomes you desire and the goals you set for yourself.

Then it becomes a matter of the two things that motivate us, pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain.  Avoidance of pain is usually a far greater motivator than pursuit of pleasure.  When you come up with a list of goals and you do not hit the activity targets to get to those goals, you need to look at the list you have created and committed to getting for yourself, and ask yourself which one of these have I abandoned?  Which one of these things am I going to cross off my list?  I know based on my current level of activity that I am not going to do it.

The way one justifies this typically is they say to themselves, well, I was closing a candidate, my mother got sick, or I got a hangnail.  I am not even saying your mother did not get sick.  You are not saying that either.  But we come up with all these reasons.

It was just tax day a couple days ago.  I had to take care of my taxes.

At 3:00 in the afternoon?

Well, yes, because my accountant needed them because we are against the filing deadline.

Oh, so you procrastinated your taxes which had this whole litany of effect, and I would even argue that at some subconscious level that was by design because as long we are doing something that is productive in our life we can say, well, I got distracted by it.

No.  Nothing distracts you.  You allow distractions.  We allow distractions.  Distractions are invited by us to avoid doing something else and that is to the point I was talking about before on resistance.

This is something I have really begun studying in the last 6 months for my own personal reasons.  I always like studying this because I am as human as the rest of you and I am as messed up as all of you in some certain areas of my life.  Like that journey toward Maslow’s self-actualization, what hold me back?  For me, there are stories we have about performance because some of us, when you really ask yourself what are your beliefs around prosperity, around abundance, around money more specifically, and it is not even conscious, that we were told stories.

For example, one of the things I really uncovered about me is I have a wonderful family, support network, and my grandparents were incredibly influential on me in my early years, but they grew up in the Depression.  My whole upbringing, my primary influence was not my parents around money.  It was around my grandparents.  They had their own successful business, but they struggled.  One of them watched her parents lose everything they had saved, even though it was not a lot, they lost two homes, rental property, and it was basically all their personal wealth at the time was evaporated in one afternoon and it made my grandmother very sensitive to saving, saving, saving, saving, saving, and it was passed on to me.  Now it is practical.  There is nothing wrong with that, but I became obsessed with it to the point where it was killing my creativity and productivity.  The only reason I am sharing this in this much detail is I went through 51 years without realizing that resistance.  I got better and better at investing in myself, but in these past few months when I truly liberated some outflows to generate some inflows, I would have been a lot happier and stuff that is screaming at me where it used to trickle in at me.  I have no idea what is holding you back.  There is some resistance.

What I would just challenge you to ask, is it in the money story you were taught?  What was the money conversation, and for all of you, that you had around the dinner table?  Were you taught to believe that money was tight, that money is a limited resource?  Money is an infinite resource.  The more value people provide, the more revenue they can generate.  Were you taught that to have too much was greedy, which is really common.  On the flip side, the more value you provide in the world, the more people are ultimately employed whether by you or others.  So it is actually selfish if you have the ability to generate revenue.

This has nothing to do with time management.  This has everything to do with belief system because you have put everything in place that would inhibit you being able to be productive in the last leg of the race which really 100% depends on you.  It is not being executed on which tells me it has nothing to do time management.  I can tell you right now if it is time management, take those calls, put them in a block of time, and let nothing distract you from it.  Period.  So there is your tactical solution.  You make 1:15 to 3:00 every day with a 15 minute break or 3:30 everyday with a 15 minute break a recruiting block, and nothing, nothing, other than call in candidate on a debrief would be a distraction from that.  No bookkeeping, no lawyer work, no family stuff.  That is how you fix the problem tactically.  I do not think that would work for you.  Probably more than you wanted, but the reason I wanted to spend so much time there is Pete, your problem is everybody’s problem.  It is veiled under the terms of distractions, poor time management, and poor planning.  All those are rooted in the absence of clear desire, clear commitment to what one desires, or avoiding thinking about what one desires.  That is why stuff does not get done, to put it as eloquently as possible.