It’s September, and 2021 is approaching fast.
This article breaks down what you can do in just one day to set yourself up for success over the next 4 months.
If you’re new here, welcome. We are productivity experts who specialize in turning business owners into execution powerhouses. All our work is grounded by our (ivy league) science advisors, who are neuroscience and psychology specialists. We’ve gathered and crunched productivity data from thousands of successful entrepreneurs. In other words, what you’re about to read are NOT your run-of-the-mill, totally made up “work hacks”.
This year’s been a weird one, no doubt. Many business owners have been in pure, reactive fire-fighting mode. Whether you’ve been pressing your advantage and experiencing massive growth—or just grinding to stay afloat—it is definitely time for a reset.
The final four months of the year are a massive opportunity. For every business.
Consumer spending spikes—B2C opportunity. Businesses are looking to plan ahead and spend their budgets—B2B opportunity. And this year, everyone is getting comfortable with the “new normal”. The market is looking to starting making plans and moving forward. For every business owner, there’s a tailwind just waiting to fill your sails (and sales!)… if you’re ready.
But many entrepreneurs will completely miss out.
Because they’re burnt out, unfocused or just not in the right headspace.
Maybe they were knocked around too hard and haven’t mentally recovered.
Maybe they feel like their life has been “on pause” and they don’t know how to restart.
Maybe they lost all their best structure and routine and haven’t dialed it back in yet.
Maybe they just let time get away from them—can you believe it’s September???—and somewhere along the way lost sight of their goals.
Whatever the reason, we’re about to witness thousands of entrepreneurs (who deserve success) accidentally fail: They’re letting each crucial day of this month slip by, leaving high impact tasks on their to-do lists… un-done.
They are hesitating and self sabotaging, leaving money on the table. Even though they know—deep in their bones—what they should be working on.
If you’re feeling even a twinge of the above, it’s not too late. We’re going to show you how to reset your system. Right now and for free.
This article you are reading will equip you with action steps you can take in one single day, to set yourself up for success till the end of the year.
If you're serious about your September Reboot and want to deep dive into a full video workshop, there's information at the bottom of this article on how to access that resource.
There are three parts to our reboot process. And each is grounded in evidence-based science and has been “road proven” with hundreds of entrepreneurs we’ve worked with one-on-one.
1. Strategic Review — learning from your past, the right way
So many business owners leave opportunity on the table by failing to recognize what they’ve already done that worked! Entrepreneurs are “hard wired” to always look forward to the future, so they often miss the critical learnings from the past. Couple that with an ingrained tendency towards self-criticism and you’ll see why everyone usually messes this up.
Getting the right, psychologically-optimized, strategic review ritual changes everything. Showing you exactly how to do it is our first step.
2. Leverage Planning — how to achieve massively more, easier, faster and with less effort
It won’t surprise you to hear: Entrepreneurs spend 80% or more of their work day on low-leverage time wasting busy work. The best way to reboot your system is to figure out what levers you can push that move mountains. Our powerful framework will unlock the “aha moment” insights.
3. Lock in laser focus — a psychologically optimized north star to carry you to 2021
Imagine waking up every day with total crystal-clarity on what you’re working on and why. Imagine not having to search for motivation. The Reboot process comes together by finding your singular purpose and zeroing in on it for maximum mental clarity and calmness of mind.
Become a buddha of productivity zen (and the huge results that follow) in this third and final step.
Ready? Let’s dive in…
Part 1: The Strategic Review
Ready to melt away the brain fog?
Want to feel the immediate mental relief that comes from knowing exactly where opportunity lies?
There’s a special way to do this review though. Just asking “what’s really worked for me?”… it’s not gonna cut it.
Great news though: You already know many of the answers and strategies you need to crush the remainder of the year. They’re in your immediate past. It’s time to do a look-back and uncover what’s been working for you.
The following questions will guide you straight to the good stuff. (We recommend you do this as a journaling exercise—on paper—to make it real.)
First question: What were the three biggest wins for you in 2020?
What did you learn from each of them?
How can you double down on those wins or the momentum they created?
What was an unexpected source of motivation or inspiration and can you reproduce it?
Answer these questions in a trip down memory lane. We want to go deep and answer in detail: Challenge yourself to get very very specific about your three wins. And limit yourself to just the top three. But then, challenge yourself to go broad with the follow up questions—find as many answers as possible.
This exercise is so crucial because entrepreneurs have the bad habit of dismissing and forgetting their wins.
They do this to stay hungry and motivated. They’re always looking ahead to the next thing. And it works, for the most part. The problem is that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t closely study the factors that create successes (big or small). This means they leave a lot of opportunity on the table.
To win in 2020 you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The first thing you can do is double down on the stuff that already has momentum and results.
Second question: What went wrong?
If you didn’t achieve what you wanted to this year, why?
What are the three worst things that happened, what can you learn, how can you do better?
Time to get real.
If sh*t hit the fan for you in 2020, it’s all good… so long as you learned something.
Entrepreneurship is the game of turning insights into opportunity. So what are your insights?
First start unpacking the causes of disaster. Answer the first question like a three year old making their parents insane with why why why!?
Unpack the root causes of any failures and once you have them, start to focus on what you can change. The past is the past, but how can you do better in the future? What actions can you take now that make you immune to these types of problems?
Third question: Is there anyone you could ask for help or advice to help with the current opportunities and challenges you face?
Entrepreneurship is also a network game. Always has been, always will be. The well-connected win.
Again though, our lone-wolf tendencies get in the way: Even the entrepreneurs with world class network forget to ask for help. They overlook an incredible amount of insight and outright shortcut that is just a phone call or email away.
Fact: You’d be insane to think you’ll have your best ever year… entirely on your own.
So, having considered your best and worst parts of 2020—and all the insights from both—think about who you could tap for help. Who is the single, highest-leverage expert you could connect with?
They don’t need to be some costly coach or guru. Sometimes it’s just someone who is six months ahead of you, results-wise, who can give you a head’s up on what to expect.
And sometimes a single paid, hour-long consult with an expert can be a total game changer too.
Our bet is that you know this, but that you don’t take action on getting help… even when you know you should.
Kick your September Reboot off with some expert advice by getting a pro in your corner.
When you’ve picked who you’ll reach out to, move on to…
Part 2: Leverage Planning
You’ve got a few short months to move mountains. We get it.
And we’re here to tell you: You’re gonna need a bigger lever.
Here’s how to find leverage in your business and life. Break down the opportunities in front of you with this ultra powerful matrix:
Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos didn’t work billions of hours more than you did to be worth that much more. It ain’t a game of “who worked the hardest”. It’s about leverage.
Figuring out what produces the most results in your life and business with the minimum effort possible is key. Because imagine spending all (or most) of your time on that thing.
This is the mental advantage that serial, ultra-successful entrepreneurs have. It’s what enables them to hit home run after home run. Easier, faster and more often than everyone else.
At Commit Action we call work in the low-effort, high-impact quadrant “Growth Driving Activity”. We make it a goal that every client commitments to one major piece of work every week in that space.
This is the key to waking up every day and having crystal clarity on how to get started.
By plotting your current projects, tasks and opportunities to this twin axis graph, you eliminate the brain fuzz and second guessing that plagues amateur business owners. Instead of that slow-motion, self-doubt what-do-I-do-today worry mode… you get into action taking mode fast.
For this exercise we love a big whiteboard. Draw out a version of this matrix and then drop your projects onto it as a scatter graph. This forces you—crucially—to rank certain projects as lower effort and higher impact than others. When you're finished, your grid might look something like this:
When you know exactly what the highest leverage growth opportunity in your business is… you’re ready to move on to the final step of this mini reboot.
Part 3: Lock in Laser Focus
Take a look at your highest impact opportunities.
What are they moving you toward? What’ll happen in your life if you execute on everything that is high leverage?
We’re coming at your big goal for yourself in a roundabout kind of way here.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to truly dream and ask: What is it I really want?
At Commit Action, we have something we help our client’s set once a year called a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”.
It’s a long term objective, a real stretch to hit… and there is some real magic to the specificity of how we construct these objectives. We’re going to borrow some of that psychology now to achieve laser focus.
So ask, what are you really trying to accomplish long term?
And then secondly, ask: … and how can I measure that?
Every entrepreneur goal needs to be game-ified and tracked. Because that which is not measured will not change.
The third part to this laser-focus lock down is to ask: What measurable goal do I need to hit by year end?
We recommend looking at the September to New Year Eve period as a sprint. Sprinters only have one finish line to focus on. They’re not conflicted. They’re not running in more than one direction. They look forward and run.
How can you make what’s left of this year the same? By having a singular crystal clear goal to shoot for that hits one of two absolutely mandatory requirements:
Your 2020 objective must be either Falsifiable or Quantifiable
A falsifiable goal is a discrete yes or no. Did you do it? Yes? Or No? It’s binary — 1 equals yes, 0 equals no.
Goals like “Publish a book” and “Launch a product” fit this category. They’re falsifiable because they have a definitive moment of “done-ness” to them.
They key with falsifiability is the radical self honesty setting goals this way inspires: You know when you haven’t really finished. You know when you’re bullshitting. You know “done = false” until that wonderful moment where “done = true”.
Quantifiable goals are simply goals that can be counted. They’re different to a falsifiable goal because you can have an infinite amount of numbers, and even decimals. For example, a business that sets the goal of achieving $1 million in sales by year end and hits $999,998.23 … has done pretty darn well. I would buy champagne for New Year’s Eve if I were that entrepreneur.
It’s key to figure out which kind of goal—quantifiable or falsifiable—you’ll benefit best from.
A lot of entrepreneurs make themselves insane by holding themselves to falsifiable standards with goals that should be quantified. They miss their sales target by 3.4% and feel like a failure.
On the other hand, when you set a quantifiable goal for something that should be falsifiable… you invite perfectionism.
Here’s a classic example: A writer trying to ship a book who is counting pages written (instead of the binary act of sending the final draft off) will keep expanding the goal, writing more pages and telling themselves they should feel good about it. This is a form of insidious self sabotage. And it happens with a lot of creative goals.
A handy rule of thumb is: If it’s dollars, quantify it. If it’s creative, make it falsifiable.
It’s a start, and we can hit the reset button even harder if you want…
How to access our September Reboot video masterclass — a two hour deep dive that resets your entire mind and spirit to win the remainder of the year
We've put together a detailed workshop and this article just skims the barest surface. We are giving this workshop away free to all Commit Action customers.
The catch is what I just said: You have to be a member.
It’s not too late to sign up to join us! September is our second busiest time of year (after January) and our team of pro accountability coaches are being paired up with new members every single day.
As of publishing this article, we have 40 members left available.
NOTE: We don’t believe in false scarcity and other marketing BS, but there really is a hard limit to how many members we can take since our members all get a dedicated human (pro) accountability coach. So once we’re full for September, that’s it.
(The only way to access The September Reboot Workshop is to join Commit Action — the whole workshop video and accompanying resources are inside our member’s only web app!)