Archive for the ‘Frameworks’ Category

Mike O’Donnell’s Goal Setting Framework

Posted on March 1st, 2014 in Business Development, Frameworks, Goal Setting, Lessons, My Story, Philosophy, Reflection, Self Improvement | No Comments »

Back in October, someone posted this article on Facebook http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626104579121813075903866 and a bunch of us got into a very deep discussion about it. The article was written by the creator of the cartoon Dilbert and discusses how the Secret of Success is Failure.

The controversial part of the article and the reason it generated so much buzz is because Scott Adams says that goals are for losers! If you read the article it will make much more sense, but the point he is getting at is that there is always a feeling of emptiness when you achieve your goals. You have that slight high and then you are faced with the question “Now What?” I achieved my goal, I should be happy because this is everything I have been working for for so long. Often times people get depressed or lose their focus because they don’t have a proper road map for after that goal. Scott says you should be focusing on systems instead of goals. When you have a system in place, failure is just an obstacle on your way to success. Achieving goals are just milestones on your journey. I completely agree with everything he says in the article. In my opinion, the set “Short, Medium, and Long Term” goals mantra that you always here is bull shit. It doesn’t work and it sets you up for failure.

Today, I watched a 1 hour presentation by Todd Herman (Google him, he’s a fucking beast) in which he explained a framework for managing your goals. This framework was like the Scott Adams article on steroids and has inspired me so much that I stopped everything I was doing to do my own self evaluation based on his framework.

If anybody is reading this blog post, I recommend you open this diagram in another window so you can follow along as I build my goal setting framework. I have no doubt that once you understand this framework that you too will want to reflect on your own life as I am doing now.

 

goal setting framework

 

The top of the pyramid is “The Outcome” or what I ultimately want to do with my life. Ever since I read The 4 Hour Work Week, my outcome was to live that cush lifestyle and become a tycoon of business without having to work long hard hours.

As a full time entrepreneur for over 2 years now, I have gone through more bumps in the road than I care to recall. I’ve done the standard goal setting approach and have subsequently gone into mini depressions. I’ve lost my course more than a few times and at this point last year I was even calling it quits and looking for a “job” on career builder like a little bitch.

In Todd’s presentation, he talks about how “You set goals to feel alive. You’re searching for meaningful experiences of connecting a feeling to yourself deeply. “ But to bring things full circle you need to go Through your outcome.

The brain interprets things very literally. If your goal was to make it to the NBA, but you got a career ending injury 2 weeks after signing to a team, what kind of fulfillment is that? Yea you achieved your goal, but now what?

When Todd works with professional athletes, he gets them to tell him their outcome and then he repetitively drills them with the question Why? Why is that your outcome? It normally takes about 17-23 times of answering the Why to get a substantial answer from the person and to get them to see Through their goals.

If you asked me a few years ago what my outcome was, I would have said to live the 4 hour work week lifestyle. Some of my other answers would have been to make money, to have freedom, to achieve lifestyle design, to be able to move out and support myself on my own as a business owner.

The final “outcome” I just listed has been my biggest goal over the past year. I’m living at home right now and it sucks. I’m missing out on lots of things that I will never get back in my early 20s. Yea, I go out all of the time and do fun stuff with my friends, but I don’t have the autonomy I had when I lived on my own in Montreal. I can’t just bring a random girl home from the bar. It’s difficult to get into a relationship with a girl when everyone I meet lives 45 minutes away and I would basically just have to crash at their apt every weekend like a leech. These may seem like superficial kinds of desires, but they’re true and they are a major part of your early 20s. So that has been my outcome since I moved home from Montreal. Living on my own and supporting myself with my business has been the epitome of my “Success.” If I could just achieve that outcome.

The truth of the matter is that everything I just listed above is just a goal that if I achieved, I would feel empty inside and maybe go through a little depression because of the “Now What?”

Todd says that to get Through your goals, you need to add the words “so that.” The So That helps you build “Your Story” around your outcome goals. I want to move out of the house so that I can regain my autonomy. But there is so much more to that once you start asking Why?

I want to achieve these things so I can give back what? So I can do what? Why am I breaking my ass trying to build 2 companies at the same time and taking on ridiculous amounts of work? Is it to make a million dollars so I can be a young playboy and bang super models? Yea, that would be great for a while, but are money and lifestyle my true end goal or outcome? Or is there a different outcome that I want to achieve. Something that will give me a fulfilled life and make me feel happy.

Taking on my first intern has been an amazing experience for me. I have the opportunity to mold a young budding entrepreneur and pass on all of the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired over the years. Teaching my intern gives me an amazing sense of fulfillment and when I listen to myself giving him advice it puts everything into perspective on how far I have really come. Being a mentor and the person he looks up to for guidance and advice makes me feel truly happy. It’s like I’m experiencing what it’s like to be a father for the first time. Teaching your children the right mindset and giving them advice so you can watch them grow up and succeed in life in whatever they do because you helped them build a solid foundation.

Public speaking has also been a passion of mine for about 2 years now. I love the rush I get when speaking from stage and have often envisioned myself giving seminars to 1000s of people from stage and teaching them. That’s always been a goal of mine. The underlying motivation here really comes back to teaching and giving back.

I’ve always had a very capitalistic mindset. The idea of volunteering and giving back has never been something I could truly relate to. One day when I have tons of money I’ll give back, but until then I just need to focus on making tons of money. I remember when I was working with Wayne and he asked me why I was trying to launch the National Alliance for Student Debt Awareness with him? My response was that I wanted to make money and that I wanted to expose myself to him so I could learn from somebody that had much more experience than I did. I never really gave a shit about “The Cause” like Wayne did. My motivations were selfish (in a good way) and I was very clear about that.

Now that I’m reflecting and going through this exercise of using the goal setting framework, I see that I CAN give back and I CAN make lots of money and achieve all of those other goals at the same time.

So what is my Through Outcome that I’m busting my ass to achieve?

I want to build Hyacinth Marketing and Cave Tools into power brands and I want to build them in a highly scalable way that allows me to achieve lifestyle design. There’s no doubt about that. But I want to do these things SO THAT I can pass my knowledge on to my interns, students, family, and friends. So that I can speak from stage and help change people’s lives. So that I can do my Couch Surfing Across America trip. So that I can travel the world and have incredible life experiences. So that I can meet new people and share stories with them. So that I can be the exception and show other young people that if they really want something that they can achieve it. So that I can choose something new to learn each year such as learning a new language or becoming a true competition BBQ Pitmaster AND have the time to devote to these things. So that I can acquire all of the knowledge and skills and experiences that many people could only dream of.

That is my true Through Outcome when I look at my life as a full circle. Not just some empty goals that I want to achieve. I set out to start my own marketing agency, now what? I set out to build a physical products business, now what? Just like the NBA player I achieved those goals, but there has to be more. This is my more and this is my destiny in life.

The mid level of the pyramid is your performance goals. These are the goals you need to achieve to reach your desired outcome. Typically, for 1 outcome goal you will have multiple performance goals that you need to achieve to get there.

Here are some of my current performance goals:

  1. I will develop the processes for a call center so I can expand the website development portion of Hyacinth Marketing by 1 week from today.
  2. I will implement my project management software marketing strategy to build copious amounts of back links and increase my exposure and referrals for Hyacinth Marketing by 1 week from today
  3. I will start developing my 4th Cave Tools product line and launch by the end of May
  4. I will start to penetrate the Competition BBQ community and leverage my exposure to grow Cave Tools by 1 month from today

Before moving on to the final stage in the pyramid, we need to discuss the difference between Ow! Brainers and WOW! Brainers. Performance goals are great, but the difference between achieving your through outcome and failing lies in the way you have trained your brain.

Both Ow! Brainers and Wow! Brainers follow the same path in life. You have your starting point, your goals, and your Ideal Outcome.

People that are Ow! Brainers are stuck because they are constantly trying to go from Goal to Outcome. Wow! Brainers on the other hand, focus on getting from their starting point to their goals.

Ow! Brainers are fantastic at saying I started here and I’ve done all of this work and I still haven’t achieved my desired outcome. They quickly come up with all sorts of excuses as to why “This isn’t for me” or why it will never work out. They jump around from opportunity to opportunity and they eventually quit because they never get to achieve the desired outcome. They look at the top of the pyramid and say holy shit that’s a far ways away. They build their internal story around this mindset and then they quit. I’ve been on the Ow! Brainer side of things plenty of times so far in my life and I can completely relate to this mindset. I’ve accomplished a shit ton of things in my short career, but I still haven’t reached the financial success I have always been striving for.

Wow! Brainers are different. They go from the starting point to their goals and then they look back and say holy shit, look at everything I have just accomplished. If I keep making progress every day and knocking off my performance goals, I’ll eventually achieve my desired outcome.

Yea, I’ve achieved a shit ton of things in my short career and the monetary gain hasn’t been there yet. But the Wow! Brainer side of me says look at all of the knowledge and skills and experiences I have acquired. If I keep at it, I will achieve my Through Outcome because I’m building a foundation that can never be taken away from me.

This brings us to the bottom level of the pyramid which is your Process. Your Processes answer the questions of What, How, and When. The beauty of this stage is that YOU are 100% in complete control over your processes and how you spend your time. Performance goals are only about 90% in your control and there are other factors that affect whether you hit your performance goals or not. Processes are 100% on you. You need to take Personal Responsibility if you want to start hitting your performance goals.

A Process Goal for me would be that every day I am going to spend 10 minutes researching online and reaching out to BBQ teams and Pitmasters to give them free products or ask to be a sponsor. The great thing about the Process stage is the old 1% theory. If you work to get better at something by just 1% every day, then it will take only 70 days until you have doubled your effectiveness in that area. If you follow the 1% rule for multiple areas of your life every day, it will have a geometric compounding effect.

The Process stage sums up the entire framework with the word “INEVITABLE” By building and following your Processes, you make it INEVITABLE that you will knock off your Performance goals and reach your desired outcome.

It doesn’t matter that I haven’t been a huge financial success yet because I have a framework or system in place that I follow every day. It may take me a few more months or a few more years before I will be able to start living my Through Outcome the way I envision it. The point is that it truly is INEVITABLE that I will make it there.

As long as I am making progress each day, I will hit the bend in the exponential curve and everything will fall into place.

IT IS INEVITABLE

Michael O’Donnell Learns Life Changing Frameworks

Posted on March 1st, 2014 in Frameworks, Goal Setting, Lessons, My Story, Self Improvement | No Comments »

To put this post into perspective, last night I went out into Philly for a $28 open bar from 9-12pm. I got 3 times my money’s worth of the open bar and I loaded up with 4 more mixed drinks before 12 to keep me going the rest of the night. We didn’t get back to my friends place until around 2:30AM.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am busy as all hell with different projects that I am working on and at times I have been feeling completely overwhelmed. Luckily for me, I built an in house project management system last week and have been offloading everything in my mind into it because I literally haven’t been able to sleep for weeks because my mind is racing. I’ll make another post soon on the Project management system because I have a ridiculous marketing strategy behind it that will help grow Hyacinth Marketing exponentially over the next 6 months.

With that said, I am no stranger to work hard play hard. I got my ass up and made my way to Starbucks by 11:30 this morning and have been working ever since. Normally I just go right into things and get lost in my work until around 7pm at night (sometimes forgetting to eat because I am so immersed). At that point I go back over to a friend’s apartment and get blasted and go out.

Today is different. I closed all of my email down and decided I was not going to work at all today. I was going to spend my entire day working on myself and knocking off self education goals that I have been sidelining.

I just finished watching a presentation that has been on my list for about 2 months that I’ve been putting off. This presentation moved me so much and really struck home, so I decided to place all of my notes and pictures below.

In another post, I will be working through my own thought processes and building out my own framework. I’m also planning to reenact this exact presentation on video myself because for me it was that incredibly powerful and the notes don’t do it justice.

Your Potential – Todd Herman:

Frameworks for unleashing your potential:

 Performance Protocal Framework

For athletes that have been very successful, they hate when people say they have a lot of talent. The reason is because talent refers to genetics and basically says you did nothing to get where you are, you were born with it. Code is your genetics, the stuff you were born with

Competence is the collection of skills you have built over time and knowledge you have acquired. Everyone has the capacity to get more of competency.

The Catalyst is the motivating force or the drive that you have within you.

Kids are a great model to look at. They have what’s called intrinsic motivation. They have a desire to learn to grow and to explore the world around them.

When Competence and Catalyst match up you get motivation.

When Competence and Code match up, you get “A Calling” something you were drawn to do.

When Code and Catalyst come together you get Confidence.

This model is called the performance protocol. When all 3 are working together, your performance matches your potential. At that point, Code pretty much gets taken out of the equation

 

 

Goal Setting Framework:

 goal setting framework

Heider Simmel Study: We as human beings despite whatever information is in front of us, we attach a story to everything.

Most people goal set to a destination. Once you get there you feel kind of empty. That’s because you went to it, but you didn’t think through the goal. You need to go through that goal and tell the story of that goal.

You set goals to feel alive. You’re searching for meaningful experiences of connecting a feeling to yourself deeply.

Most athletes and type A individuals are really really good at the “Outcome”. What is it you’re shooting for. If you are not getting the satisfaction when you achieve your goals then you are focusing on the Outcome too much. You need to go Through your outcome.

Examples of outcome goals: Winning the race, getting a medal/trophy, making X amount of money per year.

How to goal set through the outcome. If your outcome goal is to retire, you goal set through that by saying so you can travel, so you can be your own boss, it’s the why behind it. Think about what you are giving or what it will do for me to achieve that outcome goal.

When you keep repetitively asking someone why they want to do this? The surface answer is rarely something that really evokes a lot of emotion and motivation. Keep asking someone Why and then typically by answer 17 or 23 you will uncover the real Through Goal.

Outcome goals are great, but you need to develop that story around it. The middle level is performance. Performance goals sound like this:

I will improve the number of vendors I reach out to in China from X to X+5 by Date

I will improve the number of sales I get from 10 per day to 20 per day by 1 month from now.

This model works for anything you are trying to achieve. The key words are “So That” I will shoot for this outcome goal so that I can give this back or so that I will be able to do these other things.

I will improve my pushups from 10 per day to 100 per day within 1 month from now so I can get ripped and live a healthy life style so that I can play with my kids and not get tired out from being a fat ass.

How is not important in this stage. If you have 1 outcome goal, you will typically have 3,5,10 + performance goals so you can hit that mark!

 

Performance goals are very important because there are 2 types of people. Ow brainers and Wow brainers. The word success is a crap word. Value is a better word.

Einstein had a great quote: He said don’t become a seeker of success, become a person of value. None fears value. People have a fear of success but nobody fears value.

You have your starting out point and then you have the where do you want to get to. What’s the ideal. Both Ow! Brainers and WOW! Brainers have the same path.

Now you establish your goal in the middle. If you are caught in the OW brain side you are stuck trying to go from goal to outcome. Versus people on the WOW side who focus on getting from the Start Point to the Goal. You need to work your way out of the OW brain side. Most people are not wired to be on the WOW side.

Ow brainers are fantastic at saying I started here and I’ve moved forward and done all of this work…but I’m still not at my ideal. This isn’t for me, I’m not going to do this.

Wow brainers are not the same as everyone else. You start at your start point and now you’re here (wherever that is) and here is what you do differently if you’re a Wow brainer. You say look at everything I’ve just accomplished.

Ow Brainers look at the top and they say wow that’s a bitch to get to the top, it’s never going to happen. You start telling yourself some bullshit story about how you’re never going to get there and why it will never work. How you’ve quit a million times before

Wow brainers are looking up from the bottom at the next stage and saying look at all I have accomplished. Let’s keep going because I’m making progress towards the top and I’ll eventually reach my outcome goal.

If you implement this model in your life it gives you a framework to run your days and achievements through and catch yourself. If you’re stuck on the Ow side and you just do this over time, you rewire your brain. You’re not stuck where you are, you can change yourself.

If you’re an OW brainer don’t write down what you want to do today, write down what you don’t want to do each day and start tracking that shit.

Everybody always keeps some type of log book about everything they are planning to accomplish each day. At the bottom of each day, put a little number from 1-10. Over time you will start to see patterns on what your “8” days look like versus what your “2” days look like.

Your next questions are What, How, When? At the bottom of the triangle is your Process that you will do to achieve your performance goals.

Every day I will wake up and do 4 sets of pushups until failure. Today I might only be able to do 40 pushups. Tomorrow I can do 42. A week from now I can do 60, and so on.

You have control over Process Goals 100%. You are responsible. Performance goals, you have control maybe 90%, Process is all you 100%.

If you are an athlete you are constantly bombarded with did you win the game? If you are a parent and you weren’t at the game, the worst thing you can do is ask them did they win the game? Children internalize that as if I win because mom and dad get excited about it, that means that they love me. Sports are about developing, learning, growing, gaining skills. Not about winning. You’re not toughening up your kids, you’re teaching them what not to be.

Process goals are all about the What the How the When and how to schedule that into your calendar. Follow this framework and you build a real support system to achieve your performance goals.

The word that sums this entire framework up is “Inevitable” How can I make it inevitable that I can retire by the age of X so that I can give the lessons that I’ve learned to my family or friends, help them to achieve some of the things that they want to go after, and do more of the things that I really want to do such as travel, experience new things, meet new people, tell people about my journey.

You make it INEVITABLE by doing the PROCESS goals and reaching PERFORMANCE goals. The lessons that you learn along the way are the things that are so incredibly valuable to you and everyone else around you.

The great thing about the PROCESS area is the 1% factor. If you improve yourself by just 1% each day, how many days does it take for you to double your effectiveness in that area? Just 70 days…

If you do this in multiple areas of your life, the improvement is geometric and has a compounding effect. Instead of asking yourself how can I be incredibly successful? Ask yourself how can I be Average today? Take the pressure off of yourself. Schedule in 2 days of the week where you are just going to be Average. It’s amazing when you release a whole bunch of that pressure and those average days becoming amazing and great days.

3 Things to take action on right now.

1.)    Know your outcome and wrap your story around it. How can you go through that outcome?

2.)    Measure your performance. Simple numbers, I will improve X to X+ by deadline.

3.)    Build the process. Give it some legs underneath it and energize it with action stuff.

The brain has an amazing way of seeing to the horizon line 3 months out. 1 year goals are hard for the brain because it is a little bit too foggy to see that far out. Do 3 month focused sprints.

Is my 3 month goal going to be mastering the mechanics of getting stuff into Amazon? Build the process and performance metrics around it. Give yourself the deadline a sprint to it. Chase it!

goal setting framework