RG 270 – How to Achieve More By Focusing on Less with David Wood
Is it possible to achieve more by focusing on less? For this week’s episode, we have world-renowned life and business coach David Wood to share some of his most valuable insights on prioritization, goal-setting, and self-awareness.
David is a high-performance coach, former consulting actuary to Fortune 100 companies, best-selling author, and the founder of Focus.ceo—the world’s largest coaching business. With over 150,000 of coaches across 12 countries under his guidance, David became #1 on Google for “life coaching.”
Despite the great hardships in his life—including witnessing the death of his younger sister at a young age—David pulled through and made his life better by working on himself, even if it meant leaving his cushy Park Avenue job. And along the way, he took the opportunity to help others better their lives as well.
Today, he teaches us how to achieve more by doing less. Now, this statement probably seems counterintuitive in and of itself, but David has the perfect explanation for why it isn’t so.
Listen as David shares his golden pieces of advice on prioritization, goal-setting, meditation, as well as achieving self-awareness and clarity—both in business and life in general.
Hire a coach with expertise on the exact area you need help with, be it in business, life, dating, etc.
Figure out your goals, and then pick only a few that are most important to you.
Your ‘not to do’ list can sometimes be more valuable than your ‘to do’ list.
- Spend at least 20 minutes with yourself on a ‘self-date’.
Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!
Listen to Podcast
David Wood (00:00):
If you want to feel busy instead of productive, you can do that. You got unlimited emails, you got text messages, voicemails, a lot of people wanting your attention. Now that’s even before we get to advertising. So it’s more and more scattered. And the problem is it leads to adrenaline. It gives us dopamine. And so we get hooked on being busy. It doesn’t necessarily lead to concrete results. And unfortunately at the end of the year, you may find you’re still working 40 to 60 hours and you don’t have to. That’s where focus comes in, what really matters over 12 months. Well, I got these 20 goals. Okay, great. Which three of these matter the most to you, I’m going to put the rest in a drawer.
Reed Goossens (00:58):
Welcome to investing in the U S a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market join Reed. As he interviews go-getters risk-takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing
Reed Goossens (01:18):
Good day. Ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host Reed Goossens good as always every with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the creae of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created the businesses here in the US how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash flow, and ultimately create extraordinary lives for themselves and their families. Life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking or listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.
Reed Goossens (02:05):
If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes. And you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed Goossens. You can find the show, every podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reed goossens.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts. You can see my ugly mug or the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough of me let’s get cracking and into today’s [inaudible]
Reed Goossens (02:52):
Pleasure. I’ve interviewed David Wood. Now, David is a former consulting actuary to fortune 100 companies, and he built the world’s largest coaching business becoming number one on Google for life coaching and coaching, thousands of hours in 12 different countries across the globe, as well as helping others. David is no stranger to overcoming challenges himself, and he’s actually survived a full collapse of his paraglider whilst midair. And he ultimately fractured his spine. He also witnessed, which is really unfortunate, the death of his sister at a young age of just seven years old. And he’s also struggle with, you know, anger, anxiety, and depression. Like we all struggle with in building businesses today, he coaches high-performing businesses on his, in today’s climate to double their revenue and double their time off by focusing on less keyword. They’re focusing on less and being 30% more courageous in their business and in their career. I’m super pumped and excited to have him on the show today to share his incredible insight with us, but nothing. Let’s get me out of here. Get David, welcome to the show, how you doing so, Mate
David Wood (03:50):
Great, great. I like that. Let’s get him out here. That sounds awesome. And I’m really happy to be talking to a fellow Aussie.
Reed Goossens (03:56):
I know, I know. I didn’t even realize I didn’t even realize, but mate, I start every single conversation this way. Rewind the clock and tell me how you made your first ever dollar as a kid.
David Wood (04:08):
David Wood (04:11):
Um, I lived in the hunter valley, which is a winery district in Australia and my parents got me a job, uh, for the summer bottling at Terrell’s winery stall. I can , I go out there 7:00 AM and I normally wasn’t up until 10:00 AM. 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM standing up the entire day, bottling, just grabbing bottles, throwing them from one side into the other. That’s what I did mind numbing work, but that was my first experience of actually earning money, money other than other than pocket money.
Reed Goossens (04:45):
Yeah, no that’s did you have a swig of any of the one tasted?
David Wood (04:51):
No. Whenever we could we had, you know, we had do a bit of that. Um,
Reed Goossens (04:54):
What was it called? A straw, a straw PIDO, uh, the old school ways of putting a straw down and you know, it’s, it’s showing my age.
David Wood (05:02):
I should have done that. Um, I wasn’t very good at the job. Um, and I realized, I, I learned that I don’t like standing up for, for more than about a minute. I learned a lot about myself and I also used to break the monitors cause they’d send me around to check the vats and see if it needed to be cooler or hotter. And I keep on bumping them and things and breaking them. And um, eventually it didn’t work out. I had to move on to other lines of work.
Reed Goossens (05:30):
Well now, now bring me through to your life today. You know, part of this, this show is going deep into my mind guests in their background so we can understand where you’ve come from and then what you built. So maybe walk us through early at the early stages of your life and your relationship with money and trying to build success and all that sort of stuff. And then bring us into what you’re doing today.
David Wood (05:50):
Yeah, sure. Well, I had some, uh, trauma as a kid because we had a tragedy in the family when I was seven years old, my little was killed in a bus accident and I was there and I witnessed it and looking back, I can now see what happened to David Wood. David Wood shut down his emotions and also being Australian in a country town. I didn’t have a, a good running start anyway in the emotional arena. So, and my parents were never taught how to share our emotions. And we never said, I love you in the family. So what happened is I put somehow I put all my energy into the left brain and I came top of my school. Um, I got paid to go to university. I got a scholarship to do actuarial studies and then I could choose to work for the company on, not at the end of that.
David Wood (06:39):
And this was back in a time when education was free in Australia as well. So I was really blessed. And then I got a transfer to New York because I traveled for a year and realized I couldn’t afford to keep doing that forever. So I thought, what if, what if I live in another culture? So I got to park avenue at the age of 23, had an office I’m consulting to like Sony music and Ford and Exxon. And I thought I had made and someone, uh, heard me say that I wasn’t happy. And I was having trouble in my relationship in my marriage. And they said, why don’t you go and do this personal growth course? And I said, no, I don’t want to be a self-help junkie. I, you know, these people can’t think for themselves, they’re just mindless sheep. Or fortunately I ignored all that.
David Wood (07:26):
And I went and did it and I cracked my heart open. I realized that there are people who devote their life to service. I didn’t know that that was a thing. And uh, I started to learn about things that I had no idea about like emotional intimacy, vulnerability, transparency, communication, leadership. I didn’t know about any of those things. So I quit my job. I quit my cushy park avenue. Job went back to Australia and I discovered the world of coaching so that as I was learning from my own life, and as I’m trying things out and discovering, I can pass those on to my clients and it’s been the most rewarding thing that I can think of. So now 20 something years later, I’m so grateful that I got out of that cushy park avenue job. And I get to help people, double revenue, double their time off, but then we get to the good stuff, which is how you showing up in the world. Whereas how, how you being more courageous, how you being more truthful, how can you increase your service? 30%. That gets really exciting for me.
Reed Goossens (08:34):
And I want to just say that, you know, you’re aware we actually, you calling in from America today, right away. Wait what you actually move back to the states?
David Wood (08:43):
Well, firstly was 93. That’s when I came over for four years and then I moved back thinking I’d be happier in Australia. And I, I wasn’t. So I came back to the U S and I’ve, I’ve been here on and off for about 20 years now. I went to Bali for three years. And I like how you asked about the dollars, you know, like how did, how do we as the first dollar and had it work out? Well, when I quit the actuarial profession, I started coaching and I started handing out business cards and I started doing speeches for free and went around and, and did that for quite a few years. And I built up my business to being number one on Google. And, and then I went into information products because I realized I’ve got limited time. So I wanted to leverage my time.
David Wood (09:31):
So I went so leveraged that I had 15 information products and stopped doing one-on-one coaching. And that was wonderful, except that I missed making a real difference one-on-one with somebody. So I ended up moving to Bali. I let go of all the information products, all of the websites, 150,000 email lists, let it go. And just semi-retired in the rice field. And then I came back and I was like, what is fulfilling for me? And it was coaching one-on-one coaching. I do a group program as well, but getting really deep with an entrepreneur about the issues with their kids and issues with employees and like that really lights me up.
Reed Goossens (10:18):
So I’m not so much to unpack here because, uh, I will vulnerable be vulnerable back to you and say that, uh, one, you know, condolences about your sister. My, my youngest sister passed away at the age of six when I was 12 years old as well. Um, not, not unfortunately through, uh, through, through cancer, which was still a bit still, very hard as it as a young person to, to, to deal with that. And then I’ve got my own hang up, but I also want to say to the audience that I actually have a business coach today who doesn’t help me. It also helps in the real estate, but they’re not a real estate business coach right there. Actually, I got to a stage in my career, my, my, my, my, my business that I don’t need the, how are you talking about this in the agreement, the hell of doing real estate, right?
Reed Goossens (10:59):
I’ve got figured that out. It’s now, when you get to a certain stage, you want to grow the business. You want to make it better, make yourself better. And that you’re showing up in all different pillars of life. And I talk a little bit about this on the show is, is that is we all got this child in our head, right? We’re all sitting in front of 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, our voice telling us stuff, and that can impede us, or it can make us grow better. As human beings. It can help us show up in life and our business. It helps us show up in their life and our relationships because I’ve interviewed a lot of people in the show, a lot of successful business guys, and, and they, they can fail because they’re so focused on the business, but they don’t have the other pillars in life, sorted out the personal, the health, their wellbeing wellbeing.
Reed Goossens (11:40):
And when you don’t have that balance, I find that personally myself going through loss in my life, that what the hell are we here for? What, what are we on this planet to build a million billion dollar company builds financial freedom, build, you know, all the stuff that cash flowing stuff, you know, success, success, success, success, but ultimately will hollow inside. And I think that over the last 12 to 18 months of through my business c oach, and sounds exactly what you do is help people crack into that inner vulnerability. And I want to dive into, into that. And I just want to set the audience up with that. Pre-launch because I’m going through this personally and it’s related to any business, real estate building a real estate empire, building a widget, building, Google, whatever it is, all the successful people in the world have coaches like yourself. David, I just want to, I just wanted to say that and stand on my table for 30 seconds, because I just wanted to show you how important it is to have the right coaches in your corner. And they may not necessarily be in the business of what you actually do because ultimately you will chip. Sorry, go ahead.
David Wood (12:39):
Yeah, I agree. When you want some help, uh, it’s good to work out. What kind of help you want, if you want technical knowledge help, then yeah. Get someone who’s really good at real estate and, um, get some consulting hours with them or get a mentor who’s done amazingly in real estate and they could show you some ropes, but the other source is, uh, you know, like say bill gates wants to get better at bridge. He gets a bridge coach. I want to get better at dating. I get a dating coach, but the other kind of help as you say is, I want to see my blind spots. I want to work on myself. I want someone, I, my, my field is business and life. And so I’m a generalist. And so you might want to get someone who understands the personal issues and can go deep with you on anything, whether it’s something life-threatening, or you’re facing some major drama and who understands business.
David Wood (13:34):
So they understand the lay of the land, entrepreneurship, and like that you get to, you get to choose, but you don’t have to get someone who knows, um, all the technical ins and outs and stuff. Most of my clients, when they get to technical stuff like Facebook ads, I might have some ideas like that. Ad sucks. Why don’t you try this and whatever, but I’m not going to go into here’s what you really need to do to drill down, to increase Facebook profits. Now you get someone else for that. But in that coaching conversation, they’ll work out. Oh, I need someone for that. All right. That’s what I’m going to do, or no, I just need some really good headlines. And so we’ll brainstorm that.
Reed Goossens (14:12):
But to that point, I want to dive a little bit further into that because when you are building something from scratch, you need, you need the technical help. But, but, but that go back to the 80 20 rule, 80% is mental 20% is actually doing the, the, the, the, how to the, the widgets. You know, you talk about Facebook ads. Well, yeah, I don’t know anything about Facebook ads, right? I’m I’m going to go hire a consultant. I’m going to go hire someone who can be on my team. I can pay a full-time seller and you just deal with Facebook ads. But, but as the CEO and I talk about a lot on the show as well, I break my time into black, blue, red, and green and black being the CEO time. Right? I need to be in that 70% of my time, where am I steering the ship to?
Reed Goossens (14:50):
And where a coach like yourself, diverse, where my current business coach is, helps me support to what I want you to just love you, what you said, seeing where my blind spots are, because when you, the way you show up in your business and the issues that I personally have faced in my business, having the same issues that I face personally, on a relationship basis with my dad or my wife, or whatever, or relationship with myself, and that all translates to business and how successful or not successful you are. So I want to just give you kudos for that, but don’t want us to dive a little bit deeper in that your only comments on that. Uh, yeah. I
David Wood (15:21):
Just made me think of a client that just signed up with me and very smart guy, very successful business. And he’s bringing in about a hundred thousand a month in recurring revenue. And I asked him if you are fearless this week, what would that look like? And he sat for about a minute, right? Like sitting back, waiting to see what comes up. And he said, well, there is someone I’d like to promote my product to their list, but I don’t want to put them on the spot. I said, all right, do you want to go deeper into that? I want to work with something else. He said, no, I want to let’s look at that. And we looked at it and I said, well, how could you invite him to promote your product in a fun way that also gives him an out, it does not have him gonna to feel awkward.
David Wood (16:06):
And we came up with language, like, what’s your criteria for cross promotions and what would make this fun for you? If anything? And he’s like, oh, okay. I can do that. I just hadn’t thought of it. I didn’t want to put him on the spot. I’m like, yeah, give him an out. So I said, do you want to do that? Cause you don’t have to, you know, you don’t have to do anything. I said, do you want to do that? And he said, yeah. All right, it. I’ll do it. And so that’s all it took. It. Must’ve been like five minutes maximum. If that comes through, I don’t know how much revenue that’s going to bring in, but that was from five minutes.
Reed Goossens (16:39):
Right. So is that recalibration of how you approach sort of human needs, right. Um, but let’s dive into doing more with less. What do you, what do you mean? What, what, when you, when someone comes to you, David said, I want to do more with less. What does that mean?
David Wood (16:56):
We, well, they don’t normally come to me like that. They come to me, like, I just want more money and I’d like more time off. And I got a couple of other things I want to work on. And what I’ve found is that the world is getting more and more complex even before the computer, the personal computer and a cell phones and whatever. It was still getting more and more complex. And now in the information age, so many opportunities, so many possibilities. If I want to market on social media, now I got like 20 different platforms to consider. So it gets more and more complex. And that’s great for entertainment purposes. If you want to feel busy instead of productive, you can do that. You got unlimited emails, you got text messages, voicemails, a lot of people wanting your attention. Not that’s even before we get to advertising.
David Wood (17:46):
So it’s more and more scattered. And the is, it leads to adrenaline. It gives us dopamine. And so we get hooked on being busy. It doesn’t necessarily lead to concrete results. And unfortunately at the end of the year, you may find you’re still working 40 to 60 hours and you don’t have to. That’s where focus comes in. What really matters over 12 months. Well, I got these 20 goals. Okay, great. Which three of these matter the most to you, I’m going to put the rest in a drawer. As you know, you might hear a gulp that, oh really? Yeah. Pick three things. Cause the brain can’t really handle 20 things. Well, so pick three. What the rest in a drawer now let’s do the same thing over three months. What’s a milestone. And then what will you agree not to care about for three months?
David Wood (18:40):
This is hard because you don’t want to miss out. And we want to be fun. We think we can do everything. So the irony is if you focus on less, you can actually make more money. You can get more niched. You can be much better at what you do and you can work less time. So, but it takes discipline. That’s the hard bit. It doesn’t just happen. You have to, you have to say no to things. I forget who it was that said you’re not to do list is going to be more valuable to you than your, to do list. Yeah.
Reed Goossens (19:11):
I love that. You know, not to do with, I, I resonate so well with this, right? Like I I’ve got a company on your podcast or you know, my own books and mine trying to build my own brand. And I too, we all suffer with that by my to-do list is the length of my arm every single week. Right. And I put in some practices to help me stop the chatter, like from sort of practice of mine that I will do come Sunday. I need to write it in my journal. I need to write my, to do list in, on a piece of paper. It’s now out of my mind, I can enjoy the rest of the day on Sunday. Right? Like I, and even in what I’m saying, that it’s like, it’s still too, too much. So what other tricks and advice do you give to people to try and do to start that process of doing less? You just mentioned the goals, but let’s break it down even more because I’m sure a lot of people wanted taking notes at home and going, okay, what does he mean by doula? Just stop.
David Wood (20:03):
And I have a checklist for all of this. If you like, we can give this to
Reed Goossens (20:06):
List as at the end of the episode. So
David Wood (20:10):
The first step is the 12 months, what really matters. And then what will I agree to put in a drawer? And that’s not easy for a lot of people. Then you layer it three months, seven days, what’s your weekly plan. What really matters? What’s you’ve got a waiting room of things that want to make it onto your desk. And then you’ve got, what’s made it into the next seven days. And I recommend a date with yourself once a week for 20 minutes. And I call it a CEO date, um, because you are the CEO of your own life, 20 minutes, look back at what you accomplished because I guarantee you’ve done 10 more, 10 times more things than you can even remember. And we need to literally reach over and pat ourselves on the back and say, I really rock that out. Even though I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to.
David Wood (20:59):
That was awesome. And then 10 minutes looking at your goals, or even five minutes, looking at your quarterly goals and saying, what will I pick? What’s going to make it out of the waiting room into what matters this week into my inner office. And that’s where you really need some discipline. The rest of the stuff, keep it in the waiting room. And then when something wants to get on your plate, you need to make a decision. Is this important enough that I need to bump something from my plan that I already have? Or can I tell people this’ll make it into next week cycle. Now that’s a recipe for peace and productivity right there.
Reed Goossens (21:37):
It’s funny you say that. The whole reason I write my to-do list on a piece of paper is so I can actually cross it out at the end of every day. And that’s my reward, right? That’s that’s just an example for the listeners that I do personally. It helps me other people who’ve got widgets. I can’t do the apps because screen for me is I get distracted. If I’ve got a screen over and then distracted, um, talk to me a little bit about, and by the sounds of it, some, some of it is it related to being one self-aware but to meditation, does any of that come into your practices? Because I know that’s, that’s a mental pushup.
David Wood (22:12):
Well, this really is a meditation. So let’s go deeper. Let’s suppose you’ve got this in place. You’ve got your weekly date in your calendar and you show up for it. That’s where a lot of people fall down. They put it in the calendar. Doesn’t show up, Hey, at some point I can’t actually hold your hand and make you do it. No one can you have to actually show up for that. You can even set a consequence. What I did for a while, which was fun. If I did not have my weekly action plan done by one o’clock on Friday for my coach, I had to pay $5 to someone I don’t like. And that just got my attention. I set alarms. Um, the one week I missed it, I was annoyed. I was kicking myself and actually gets your attention. Um, but then suppose you you’ve got that in place.
David Wood (23:00):
The next thing is, what am I going to do tomorrow? So I think a really great, uh, processes set a reminder on your phone, four o’clock each day, you pick your own time. What are the two things that I must do tomorrow? If I was only allowed to do two things, this will focus the mind. If I was only allowed two things, what would they be? That’ll help you work out what really matters for tomorrow. And then pro tip, do those things. First don’t check email. First. That’s going to hijack your agenda. Don’t check your text messages or whatever. Just book a sprint. And this is I’m getting to the meditation question. Books, sprints in your calendar, say nine to 11. I reckon two hour sprint is a really good chunk of time. This is where you’ll turn things off. Uh, notifications are off. No email, doing, no texting phone on airplane mode, sign on the door, told the family.
David Wood (23:59):
Please support me by giving me space until 11. My alarm will go off. I’ll come out and I’ll hug everybody. So you set yourself up for success. Then it’s time for meditation. And by that, I don’t mean lying down and breathing. Although that’s very useful as well. I mean, you pick your goal for the two hours and I even chunk it down into 25 minutes. Cause I’m a fan of the Pomodoro method. I got a two hour sprint. That’s 4:25 minute sprints. What am I going to do for each of those 25 minutes? Very clear. This is my goal. This is my goal. This is my goal. This is my goal. Now it’s a meditation. Now the game is to do only that. And it’s hard. It’s hard because the mind comes in. Oh, I forgot to call Jill. Now’s a good time to do it.
David Wood (24:50):
Oh, I forgot to order that thing on Amazon or all my T’s a little, little cool. I’ll just go out, right? It is not simple. And it is not a small thing to say, this is what I will do in 25 minutes and then do it. And I invite all of our listeners to try that out. This, try it out for two hours. And if you go off the rails, that’s okay. That’s going to happen. That’s the monkey mind on crack. That’s fine. Just bring yourself back. As soon as you notice it, I’ve actually said to myself, David step away from the Facebook page, David step away from that task because a text message came through and now I’m answering it. I’ve actually gone and pushed the phone away, turned it back on it, on it because it should have been on airplane mode. Right. And can I just get through these two hours and do what I said? That’s a meditation and that’s not easy. And a lot of people can’t do it.
Reed Goossens (25:49):
I, yes. I just say yes, because the, the thing that you talked about time blocking, uh, and we speak a little bit about time-blocking on this show as well, but the importance of doing it and even in myself, I”d I found myself this morning. I was like, I need to get up and I need to do X, Y, Z. And we see Jack in the email. As soon as you turn your phone on, now, I’ve got it on till playmate or 7:30 AM. I got to do my meditation. I’m only going to walk the dog and I can’t see anything for the first hour, but I still fall into those cracks. And those, those, those, I stumbled. I can’t just get into my flow and I blame it on other things. Right. And that’s where we, as entrepreneurs need to be. That’s where a mental rep comes in to say, okay, I’ve, I’ve acknowledged that I needed to call Jill, or I’ve acknowledged that I needed to look at the Facebook page and now, but I’m also putting up a barrier and saying no, and putting it down. And it becomes harder and harder. It becomes easier and easier. The more you’re more self-aware of it. And that’s what safe practice, right? Yeah. These
David Wood (26:45):
Are habits that we can create. One of my clients said something that I thought was so smart, it’s worth repeating over and over. He said, I want to incrementally build the routines of a winner. I was like, well, that’s, he’s not going to try and do it overnight, but he’s going to like, I’ll put in the CEO date and then we’ll book in the sprints. And then I, uh, work on switching all the, all the things off that are going to distract me. And then I’ll work on the meditation of the task at hand. And, and I’ll create a morning ritual with a green smoothie. And like, we didn’t do it all overnight, but he said, incrementally, I want to build the routines of a winner. And I thought that was a very smart thing for all of us to do. You might not like any of my routines or my things, whatever, but create your own. And after you’ve done it for 30 days, even 14 days, it becomes a habit. You don’t need any more willpower, that’s it. It’s now yours. And we are creatures of habit. We’ve got a lot of bad habits. The good news is we can hack those. And I think that’s really fun hacking our own conditioning to create better and better habits so we can have a better life.
Reed Goossens (27:55):
So, so when for those entrepreneurs just starting out, right, we’re all we all started as solo entrepreneurs. And we all have to do all the things, right? Because we can’t afford to hire the help, the VA’s or the secretaries or whatever, to, to take things off our plate. For those people who are listening, who are in that stage right now, they’re trying to build a business and still work. Full-time I have a side hustle. What advice do you have for them to help, to help build this mental clarity? And as mentioned pace to know that they are on the right track because so many entrepreneurs fail because they give up because it’s hard when it’s hard. And two, it takes a long bloody time and three, you can sometimes be dark and lonely to get your own head about it. So what advice do you have for those entrepreneurs? Just starting out? Yeah.
David Wood (28:35):
Well, in my semi program, um, which is a group program, I run for people who are up and running. They’re making at least 5,000, but they’re not. And they, they want some support, but they can’t afford the private coaching. I identified three big buckets. The first bucket is a productivity. And we’ve talked a lot about that already. That’s you’re plotting your course. That’s booking the sprints. That’s your mindset. That’s all of that. The second bucket is the money. That’s your leads. You want a flood of leads. You want a high conversion rate and you want to leverage existing customers. The third bucket is what you’re talking about. That’s the leverage. Now it’s true. When you’re starting out, you really should be doing everything at least once. Uh, for example, one repeatable task in my business is reaching out to podcast hosts and seeing if they want to have me on their show.
David Wood (29:27):
So I had to do that. I had to create the templates and work it out and what works, what doesn’t work and what research and all of that. Now, when you’re first starting out and you don’t have any money or capital, you might need to do that for a little bit. But with your revenue, with the first dollars that come in, or maybe with some savings, you gotta start working out. What is good for you to do and what is not good for you to do so, my business, if I was doing this audit, I’d write down everything that I do in the business, and then circle the things that you want to keep for the rest of your life. So for me, it could be coaching for a select few clients. I do one-on-one coaching and maybe some appearances in the group program. That’s ultimately, I’m not there at the moment.
David Wood (30:16):
Then you want to work out, what can I get rid of now? So maybe you don’t have much money, but you could probably afford someone. It may be a college kid or a high school kid for minimum wage to take some things off your plate. Now, if you can’t even make minimum wage in your own business, then you’ve got a bigger problem. But once you get to the point where you can earn at least $15, say, then it makes so much sense to hire someone for 12, to do anything, even your own laundry. And you’re, you know, making my smoothies and, and doing my shopping and doing my cooking and cleaning the house, all of that stuff. If I don’t want to do it better, that I focus on getting coaching clients and serving them, even if it was $15 an hour. And then I hired someone for 12.
David Wood (31:10):
So we got a lot of people wait too long. So in that, in that category of leverage, I have three skills to practice. One is clarifying your own genius. This is the stuff that I do that may be only I can do. And I love doing all right. That’s the, for me, that’s coaching and training. And then everything else will be on a dream not to do list for one day. All of these things will be done by someone else. What will I farm out this week or this month? So for me, early on, it was the podcast pitching and booking. There’s a lot of fiddly details going back and forth and all, they want to change the date and they need a headshot and that’s not the right headshot and all of that stuff. I’ve got someone now, I trained up in my system and, uh, it looks sometimes if there’s a cash squeeze, like there’s a pandemic on whatever.
David Wood (32:04):
Sometimes I might go back to taking on some of that stuff myself, but, uh, that’s, that’s a last resort. The other thing in my business that was repeatable was taking the recording of interviews like this and looking for a couple of clips that were particularly powerful or punchy and pushing those out on social media and linking back to your show to try and get you more subscribers, that stuff I did an originally, and I worked out my own system for it. And then you create a training, you know, training document and higher. So the second, the second skill in this last bucket is harnessing great talent at a good price. And that’s a, that’s a whole skill in and of itself. You want to get really good at an automated system that you only get on the zoom call with the final three people who’ve already done.
David Wood (32:57):
Two hours of testing have really impressed you. And then maybe we’ll choose two of them and have them compete for a couple of weeks. Like all of that stuff can be learned. And then the last piece of this bucket is motivating that team so that they, uh, creating their own goals and running them past you creating their own deadlines. They’re highly motivated and they come to you and renegotiate. If something’s not going to be done in time, you don’t find out about it. You know, you don’t go chasing them. Where is it? They come to you. That’s a really exciting skill. And that’s the last one in this bucket.
Reed Goossens (33:35):
I’d love exactly what you just said there. And just, again, it goes back to being self-aware and planning your, or looking at tasks in your business that you don’t like. And, and than understanding how you can systemize those or pay someone, as you said, a minimum wage to 12, 15 bucks. Now, even as simple as laundry, I know I remember myself, my wife and all we have and Mondays and Wednesdays, I’m supposed to cook, but I’m like, I’m getting to the point of like, I’m just gonna hire someone to cook. I can’t do it. You know, like one thing I don’t like doing is cleaning the house to clean clean-up. So these little things in your business can help, but then also when it comes to the actual and that frees you up mentally, but the, when it comes to the systems in your business, you have to learn how to create them.
Reed Goossens (34:16):
In some tools that I use that I think are really effective. I don’t even know how to loom LOOM and this records the screen, and I can tell my virtual assistants exactly what I need them to do. And if I don’t do it correctly, right. I remember when I first hired my first VA, he failed at something and wasn’t a reflection that he was a reflection of how bad I was explaining the task and how bad or setting up my system. So I sympathize with you a lot. And then for those listeners out there who are starting, it does take time. It does take a little bit of work and figuring out yet how to come across and explain what you need to get done in an effective manner, but you will sharpen your tool over and over again. And before you know it, you’ve got 3, 4, 5, 10 tasks off your plate, and you can focus on that black time that you want to be able to go out and steal that ship towards the horizon.
David Wood (35:01):
Yeah. I, more and more I’m thinking that the real business that we’re in is setting up the systems. It’s not real estate investing. It’s not coaching and training, even though that’s an important part of it, the real stuff, which is often a pain in the butt for me, I liked it. Like, I, I could even maybe cry if I heard from my social media person, that she’s going to move on to other things, because now I got to go through all of that training again. Now I’ve got the document. She’ll probably train someone else and whatever, but it’s going to be tough. Setting it up was a big process. I didn’t even know what system I wanted to use. So I had to stop and we work it out. And you know, when you’re starting out, you might not know about documenting, documenting things. So you work it all out with one person, then they’re gone and you got to start from scratch.
David Wood (35:53):
Whenever she comes up with something new, please add it to the training document. And then if she did leave and I needed to hire someone else that my job is to go back and look at that training document. What can I take out? What can I simplify? What’s not relevant anymore. So it’s streamlined. And then that’s going to be the holy grail for someone. So it’s absolutely critical. And I love that you brought up loom at the end of this interview, I will upload the recording to Dropbox. I will click on my loom icon and I will record something. It’ll say something like we started the recording at 1 0 7 at 1 35. We started talking about removing yourself as the bottleneck in your business. And it went for about five to seven minutes. And so she’ll know where to look. And then she’ll pull that out and run it through the factory, create an Instagram video, create an image, quote, create all, you know, all sorts of those things. It’s a system. And it takes me less than five minutes at the end of this, this interview to set her up. And then later on maybe a month from now, I’ll have to look at it and just eyeball. Yup. That video looks good. That article looks good. Just make sure she’s on track because anything was doing is worth inspecting. Yes,
Reed Goossens (37:12):
Yes, no. I completely agree. And I was uploading on podcasts until recently, you know, my, my, my goal, my, my name for this year is excellence being excellent in everything I do. Right. And so my time is valuable. So I take myself out of, there was such an incredible, um, inspiring and invigorating action that I just don’t have to do it anymore. Right. I mean, it’s so, it’s so, so powerful. So David, just to wrap up the show, what do you got planned for the rest of this year and into the future for both yourself personally and for the business?
David Wood (37:43):
Well, personally, I’ve just moved into an amazing house, uh, here in Boulder and it’s really made for community. In fact, if for people watching the video, I’m going to show you this. This is what w what my house looks out on. Just looks out over the Boulder. It’s got seven decks and four living rooms and three fireplaces. And as it’s just an amazing home. So I want to host once a month, a games night at my house, bring my friends together and laugh. And once a month we’ll have a loungey cuddly type party, probably outdoors on the deck, looking out over Boulder. So that’s, that’s important for me as I emerged from the pandemic and from hibernating, I’m coming back into the wall. So I think that would be personally, and also I’m prepping my self mentally for I’ve been dreaming for years about going to LA and doing an acting course for a couple of years and actually fully training myself as an actor and living the life of an actor and auditioning every day and not being attached ideally to whether or not I get the gig.
David Wood (38:48):
My performance, my stage will be those auditions. And if I happen to get paid gigs, that’ll be a bonus. So that’s a year from now. I dunno if that’ll be the timing, but I’m starting to toy with that. And then professionally, I think I’m doing, I think I’m doing what I want professionally, which is being on podcasts, talking about life, talking about business, and then working with my clients. I really, really enjoy that. And it fulfills me. The one new thing is where we’re doing a Kickstarter campaign for a book now called name that mouse, because the elephant is not the only animal in the room. And it’s about becoming the bad-ass leader and human that people want to be around. And, uh, if we raise $1,500, that’s it, that’s the target for the Kickstarter campaign. We’ll expand the trailer into a full book. Um, so it’s a bit of a test to see if the world wants this book as much as I want it to come into reality. I think it’ll change the world. And I’m already starting to think the next thing I want is named that mouse for kids. So he could get this into schools and teach kids an artful way of sharing their feelings, sharing their thoughts. Hey, can I name a mouse with you? I want that to be mainstream language.
Reed Goossens (40:06):
Awesome. Awesome. That’s just incredible, incredible, um, goals. And I wish you all the best, uh, and getting to those, because I think there’s some things in there that are just really, really fulfilling. And it sounds like you come from a place of fulfillment and wanting to serve others, which is so important in this world.
David Wood (40:21):
Yeah. And also, I want to add one more personal goal, uh, finding the right life partner. I’m ready. I want a companion to enjoy life with. So ladies, I’m single and I’m available and that’s a, that’s a goal. I’m now putting some deliberate attention towards
Reed Goossens (40:36):
That awesome stuff, man. Awesome stuff. At the end of every show, we dive into the lightning round of the top five investing tips. You ready to get into it? I’m ready. Maybe. What is a daily habit you practice to keep on track towards your goals. I know we spoke about a lot of it already on this show, but what’s your daily habit.
David Wood (40:51):
Green smoothie packed full of nutrients and just a little bit,
Reed Goossens (40:56):
Love it, love it. It does question to who’s the most influential person in your career to date
David Wood (41:02):
Byron Katie, Byron Katie, the teacher who taught me that the worst thing that can happen to you is a thought, and that’s good news because it may, we can hack our thoughts, but the only cause of suffering can be what we’re thinking. And that’s been, that’s been revolutionary. Awesome.
Reed Goossens (41:23):
Question. Number three is what is the most influential tool in your business? You want to talk about a tool? It could be a physical tool, like a phone or journal, or it could be a piece of software that you run your business without. So what is it?
David Wood (41:35):
I think I’d be lost without is zoom. Uh, and then the backups there, the green screen and, uh, and, and some lights. I’m also a massive fan of Trello. Uh, not for my own tasks. I like, uh, post-it notes up on the wall for that, but for anything that involves someone else, my goodness, I got to Trello for my roommate. Uh, I’ve got a Trello board, anything how stuff, instead of annoying him with constant texts, I added to Trello. And when we do have a discussion, Hey, can we go over some of the Trello stuff and all the information’s in one spot. So I liked that. Love
Reed Goossens (42:10):
It, love it. And, uh, in one sentence, question four. What is the, the biggest failure in your career to date? What did you learn from that failure?
David Wood (42:18):
I got burned out. I got burned out about seven, eight years ago. I really built something up. I did a book launch, I put 150 grand into the book launch, and I was expecting really big things. And, uh, the book launched didn’t go the way I wanted to go. And I was so done. And I think the failure was not, I’d been serving coaches for so many years. And I was known as the coaches, coach people came to me and I’d said everything there was to say, and I was just sticking around because of the money. And cause I didn’t know really what else to do. And I felt nervous about pivoting. So it took me burning out and having to go to the rice fields of Bali to let everything go and reinvent myself. And I think that was a failure and not getting out of there sooner enough.
Reed Goossens (43:08):
Very interesting. Last question is what can be reached to continue the conversation they want to be in your sphere? Where do they go?
David Wood (43:14):
I liked that. You talked about let’s get him out here and in your hair, I created a gift basket of goodies for listeners. So, um, I’ll give you a link that takes you to a hidden page on my site where you can get these goodies. Uh, one of them is the checklist that we talked about. We covered about three things on that list. There are 15 or 10 to 15. I think it’s a simple download. There’s a six minute video on how to really apply that today in your business and your life. There’s also the name that mouse book. If you want to be part of that Kickstarter campaign, you can help make this book a reality. And if you want to get on the phone for 15 minutes with me and see what we might do together for your business and your life, there’ll be, uh, a way to do that as well. And those are all at my focus, gift.com. I created the most memorable URL I can think of since we’re talking about focus, my focus gift.com will take you straight to that hidden page on my site and you can get into my sphere.
Reed Goossens (44:15):
Awesome. Go. I want to thank you so much for jumping on the show today. Really enjoy the conversation in and around. Not just from a personal point of view because of, you know, this is how I am in my business right now, showing up in terms of making sure those other pillars, not just the business, but the personal, the mental. Um, we talked a little bit about, uh, the meditation and making sure that you’ve just not have all that constant chattering your mind and too too much to do list. And I think some of the big things I took away from today is, is learning to be the most extraordinary self, right? And, and that is to be doing less now that everyone wants to do less. But the big thing that I got from you is the practicing of it and actually doing it.
Reed Goossens (44:54):
You used, you mentioned before, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. And so many of us get caught after every single day emails, social media, whatever it might be that drain us of our creativity to go and be better and sharpen our business to help the business succeed more. And by doing less, I think is such an incredible goal. I’m going to take myself and put it up on my vision board, do less, right. Be more, do the three things. Don’t do the 20 things. And I think that is just do what matters that might be online. Do what matters do what matters. Love it. My book didn’t leave anything out.
David Wood (45:31):
Um, you know what? You just, you got me inspired about, um, a related topic. Maybe we’ll talk about it another time, but I just realized I want to double click on that. It’s discipline. Now I come from a background of martial arts. When I was a kid, I was, you know, getting beaten, beaten up twice a week. Um, I had to learn focus there. I learned focus when I was a paragliding pilot and jumping off mountains in Nepal and flying at 10,000 feet of it. Like you learn discipline. If you do cold showers, you start to learn a certain discipline. If you’re a parent, you probably had to learn how to, uh, so whatever it is for you, whatever it is for you, that allows you to say no and say, you know what? I know I’m pulled in this. I know I may be addicted to some of these things. That’s fine. And yet this is what I choose to do. This is how I’m going to bring discipline into my life. I can’t give you a magic pill that just has you go, oh, this is so easy. No, it’s hard to say no, but if you do, I think 30 days from now, and definitely 10 years from now, I think you had be so happy that you did.
Reed Goossens (46:35):
Yeah. I love it. My work again, thank you so much for jumping on the show. Enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon. Thanks mate. Good to meet you. Well, they have another cracking episode. Jam-packed some incredible advice from David. And if you do want to check out his gift of goodies, head over to my focus, gift.com and you’ll be able to check out all the things that he has to offer over there. I want to thank you all for taking some time out and tuning to continue to grow your financial IQ and be curious about where you’re growing in your business, because I hope this episode really inspires you to be more curious about doing less. If you do like the show, please give it a five star review on iTunes, and we’re going to do it all again next week. So remember be bold, be brave and go get life a crack.