The secret to supercharging your growth without falling victim to burnout and overwhelm.
This article is a summary of Episode 70 of My Circus Life, a weekly livestream broadcast in which I share a lesson I learned through trampoline or flying trapeze and its application to life and business.
On the Trampoline
Each week at the end of trampoline practice, I do a bouncing drill to help me increase the height of my bounces. The drill involves breaking up the bounce into three components and doing each part separately:
- generating bounce using only my toes (pointing and flexing my feet)
- generating bounce without pointing my toes (staying flat-footed)
- generating bounce using only my arms
After I go through this cycle, I put them all together. My height typically increases by several feet, and I notice I am in better form.
What the drill does is it forces me to isolate the different body parts that need to be active in bouncing on the trampoline. By working the parts, the whole becomes more effective.
The Business and Life Strategy
This drill is the trampoline equivalent of a strategy called optimization and maximization, which I learned 7 years ago at Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery seminar. Although Tony taught this as a strategy to grow your business, I’ve applied it to all areas of my life. In fact, it’s the strategy I used to more than double my content production from 2016–2017. Although it looks like that happened in one year, it’s actually the result of applying this strategy over the past several years.
Tony taught it in the sales context, but you can use this stragegy across every area of your life and business, from content production to income production.
The Concept: Optimize and Maximize
The idea is that small changes, compounded over time, yield exponential growth.
This approach to growth is revolutionary to many people who aim for big lofty goals. Those big growth goals are often unsustainable in the long run. Implementing small changes is less taxing on your health and well-being, and although it may appear that you’re not getting results, when you look at the big picture, you will see that the results are not only greater, but also — and more importantly — sustainable.
After all, it doesn’t really help you to grow your business if you sacrifice your health in the process.
O+M hinges on knowing your process and breaking it down into its smaller parts.
How to Optimize and Maximize
The mechanics of O+M in the business context are fairly detailed and involve tracking specific metrics in a spreadsheet. To help give you a broader understanding that will allow you to apply this to any area of growth, here are the basic steps as I interpret and apply them.
Step 1: Break Down Your Process
Everything you do has a process with multiple steps. Everything. Baking a cake. Working with clients. Writing a blog post. Closing a sale. Opening the mail. Reading a book. Everything.
It may be effective, or not. It may be consistent, or not (more on this another time). But you have a process for everything you do. Everything.
Break down your process into its component parts.
Step 2: Look at Each Part of the Process
Keep in mind that sometimes one piece of the process has several pieces. For example, in a webinar about the content creation process, Sonia Simone and Chris Garret of CopyBlogger spoke about the ideation step in the process.
Ideation alone has several steps:
- creating space for the ideas
- idea capture
- idea marination
- idea organization
- idea connecting
- idea retrieval
The rest of the process similarly can be broken down into steps and substeps. The more you can identify the component steps, the more opportunities you can offer yourself to make small changes that will lead to big results.
Also, don’t forget to look beyond the core process. For me, the content creation process starts with my morning rituals. My fitness first ritual is a crucial element of ideation. The muse visits me when I’m moving. Fitness also helps me focus and get into flow states.
Look at everything.
Step 3: Identify One Place to Start
Ideally you want to start with a piece that will impact other pieces, because this sets up a domino effect of growth.
In my process, adopting the fitness first mindset drove a lot of change, both related to my content creation and my overall wellness.
- Gets my ideas flowing
- Heightens focus and attention
- I eat better
- I stopped drinking as much when I was out socially
Step 4: Identify some changes you can make to improve that piece
Write down as many possibilities as you can, without evaluating them. The objective here is simply to get a list of potential changes you can make.
Some questions to help generate ideas:
- What are some possible tweaks that you can make to that one part of your process that might have a positive impact?
- What rituals do you need to create to support an improvement in this area?
For example, I realized that if I stopped hitting snooze and got to the gym before getting sucked into email or social media, I would feel better about myself and create space for ideas to emerge. That’s what led to my Fitness First ritual.
Step 5: Work this Change until it is locked in
When you identify the change you need to make, work that change until you have it down. Sometimes you’ll need to tweak things a few times.
This will look different depending on the process. If you’re optimizing your sales process, the change may lock in after a few rounds through the process. If you’re changing behavior, the process takes longer.
Once you reach the end of the process, move on to the next piece and repeat the steps.
When you break down the process and focus on one piece at a time, the changes are often very small, and often imperceptible. But those small changes compound into massive growth in a sustainable way.
Before you know it, you’ll be soaring to new heights.
I broadcast My Circus Life on Facebook Live typically between 1–2 pm EST on Saturdays, following my Saturday morning trampoline practice. Follow me on Instagram and like my Facebook business page to receive announcements before the broadcast so you can join live.
Have you ever applied this strategy to your business or to different processes in your life? Share your experience in the comments.
Most people get stuck in seeing their process. If this is you, I can help. Contact me foe a complimentary strategy session.