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You need a No Matter What List

Last week I received six separate recommendations or invitations to join the new app, Clubhouse.  All were from people I really trust.

Clubhouse is a new social media app that stands out because it’s audio-based, no text or video. It was invitation-only and rather exclusive to Silicon Valley founders and influencers for much of last year but has just begun to open its doors to everyone. 

FOMO vs JOMO

My first instinct, when I got so many invites, was to think of Groucho Marx, who joined the Friars’ Club at his friends‘ insistence but then sent a resignation letter with the famous line: “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members!” 

But FOMO—the Fear Of Missing Out—is a powerful force and I began to weigh up whether or not to accept one of my invitations to join the app. 

My second thought was that I’ve been served well, over the years, by a decision to resist the temptation of shiny objects. 

It means that I missed out on being an early adopter on Periscope, Vine and Google Plus—all highly recommended at the time. Of course, they’ve all now disappeared! 

I also missed out on LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Medium, Pinterest, Quora and Twitter. Yet there’s been a freedom in not constantly chasing what’s new. In fact, I have felt considerable JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out!

Around 12 years ago, I made a decision to go all in on a single social media. I chose Facebook. 

That decision has served me well. Not because Facebook was innately better than any other social media but because the decision to avoid TNT—The Next New Thing—has made my life simple. 

TNT

TNT, or trinitrotoluene, is more commonly known as dynamite.

It’s an explosive that was created over 100 years ago, by a Swedish inventor, named Alfred Nobel. 

He made a fortune from his invention.

But one day his brother died and the local newspaper accidentally printed Alfred’s obituary instead of his brother’s. 

The headline read: “The Merchant of Death is Dead.” The article went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

Alfred was horrified. He had no wife and no children and he realized that his only impact on the world would be one of destruction. 

In that moment, he vowed to leave a different legacy. 

He began to funnel his dynamite fortune into a trust. 

Upon his death, it was revealed that the money was to be used to reward and fund scientists, annually. His family tried to stop this because they wanted the money for themselves but it was too late. The Nobel Prize Foundation was born. 

And ever since, millions of dollars a year have been awarded to further the cause of peace.

What a legacy.

How fortunate Alfred was to have an insight into the impact of his own death—before it happened.

Glimpsing a future where his only remembered contribution was death and destruction refocused his energy toward creating a lasting and positive impact. His vast fortune could have been spent, or passed down to family, but it wasn’t. It was used for the pursuit of human discovery and achievement.

Guard rails

Like Alfred, and his brother, you and I have a limited time on this planet. Every single decision you make moves you closer to your mission or further away from it. 

Ever taken little kids bowling? They put guardrails up, so the ball stays in the lane and doesn’t end up in the gutter. 

Guardrails are a great tool for life—and a great tool to offer your clients. 

Guardrails are agreements you create to prevent internal and external threats. 

They prevent you from making bad decisions, or from taking you away from your mission. 

Here are some of mine

  1. Social media – For ten years, I only let myself use a single social media app. Not because it was the ‘best’ one but because that decision made my life simple. 
  2. Exercise – I have had a personal trainer since 2011, for the same reason. It’s seemingly expensive but it’s actually priceless because it makes my life simple. When I make a commitment to someone else, I keep it. No matter what. 
  3. Free time – The first thing I put on my calendar, each year, is my time off. 6 weeks away every summer. 4 weeks away at Christmas. Adventures with the family. Two trips to England. Four trips to Toronto, for my mastermind. Work fits into the time that you give it. So, create your lifestyle first.
  4. Purpose – We begin all of my team meetings with a celebration. Each team member tells a story of something fun from their life. It cannot be work-related. Then we all respond by saying the word, “Yippeee!” We’ve been doing this for over 8 years and we still laugh out loud every time! It’s my reminder to the team… You work in order to create a great life. But you have to put creating a great life first.
  5. Money – when money comes into my bank account, I immediately transfer some of it to a range of sub-accounts. I have one named “We love paying taxes!” (This ensures I always have money ready when taxes are due. That wasn’t always the case, for me). Another is named “Financially free.” (This one is only allowed to go up, I never take money out of it.) I have other accounts named, “New home,” “Emergency fund,” and “Kids savings.” Pay yourself first. Spend on your savings and investment goals before your day-to-day expenses. 

Clubhouse vs Commitment

This was never really an article about Clubhouse. I don’t care whether or not you join it. 

I’ve got several clients who love it. 

I tested it out and personally, I don’t like it. 

I also don’t care whether or not you are on Facebook. It’s brought me huge benefits over the years. I’ve built several communities of thousands of people. Many clients first met me on Facebook. But it has also sucked a great deal of energy out of me. 

I sometimes wonder whether I would have been better served to have joined NO social media at all, in the past decade. It would be such a relief to let go of my addiction to checking that little red icon for all the replies and tags and likes. 

You need a No Matter What List

What are you committed to—no matter what—for the next 90 days?

Here’s what I am committed to. I will spend my time on 4 things… 

  1. Care – I’ll be taking care of me, first. Reading, learning, moving my body, eating healthy, nurturing my spirit.  
  2. Creating – I’ll be writing, researching, recording—and scheming and dreaming more and more innovative ideas. 
  3. Coaching – I’ll be messing with the thinking of every high-performer I spend time with. 
  4. Community – I’ll be curating and nurturing my communities of fascinating leaders and coaches—4PC, Project Kairos and Transition Excellence. 

Your turn…

  • What are your 1-3 commitments for the next 90 days?
  • What are 1-3 guardrails you will put in place to ensure you keep your commitments, no matter what?

Love. Rich

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