Major Challenges Always Bring Self-Analysis
Yesterday was a big day in the Perdew household.
Just 10 years ago on Aug. 12th, I sat in the family waiting area at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta holding my breath until the doctor appeared from surgery to report whether he’d removed all of Charlsa’s cancerous cells surgically. We had been married almost 4 years at that time.
Friends and family were sitting with me. The doctor was the best in his field. The medical team was optimistic. The prognosis was good, but I was still very nervous.
“What was the point of this,” I asked God. Even though I was slowly coming around, my faith was weak. “No good can come from this,” I thought. It’s just cruel to put two people together who seemed to be perfect for each other, and then put them through the trauma of a life-threatening illness.
I was so wrong. Challenges build faith and they give us great opportunities to examine our lives.
When Dr. Weiser appeared, still in scrubs with his mask hanging below his chin, he said that he had gotten it all and didn’t see any reason for any further treatment. That meant no chemotherapy, no radiation, no external poison in the name of medicine, and no more cancer.
I held it together as I made the phone calls to family and friends waiting to hear the news. Then, I got Carson, Charlsa’s oldest and dearest friend, on the line. That’s when I collapsed into tears of relief.
Charlsa was never the same. She was better!
She came out of the hospital determined to change her life. She would be the healthiest person she could be. Her diet would reflect and reinforce that. Regular vigorous exercise became a top priority. Spending more time in her faith and in service to others was the reward for this new life. And she’s been driven to live that way for 10 years as consistently focused as anyone I know.
Being around her daily has changed me too.
What was Henry David Thoreau’s quote?
“The unexamined life is worthless…”
Maybe that’s not it exactly. In fact, I’m sure it’s not. It’s more like Henry David Perdew’s version because that’s been my experience. When I don’t exam my life, my goals, my motives, or my progress, I’m pretty worthless…
Major events always present an opportunity to do a little self-examination.
The NAMS Workshop is a major event for me and many others.
If you attended NAMS8, let’s do this together. If you didn’t make it, jump into this exercise anyway because obviously we need to start with why you didn’t make it…
In the past, I’ve done this more informally. This time, I’m writing it down to formalize it a bit. And I truly believe, as Helen Raptoplous told us in her workshop, public goals make for more accountable actions. That’s the reason we’ve added accountability groups in our forum as a place for members to publicly proclaim their goals and map their progress with encouragement (maybe some prodding) from colleagues.
In that vein, I’m launching a new category at MyNAMS called David’s Journal. This is where I’ll write about the progress against these goals, and I’ll be accountable to all of you.
So, what have I learned and what’s changing for me?
Let’s start with the easy stuff, the low-hanging fruit as we say in the consulting business. It comes down to this:
Less work, more service, more money.
And it really is in that order.
Issue # 1: For 7 years, I’ve worked 16 to 18 hours a day minimum, 6 days a week. On the 7th day, I worked 8 to 12 hours and that felt like a vacation. I’ve been incredibly busy, but not very efficient.
For too long, I’ve focused on working “in” the business as Michael Gerber says in the E-Myth instead of “on” it. As a solo entrepreneur, we think we have to do it all. Big mistake! I’ve outsourced much of my business for many years, but never some of the key pieces. One of the lessons I learned over the past few months was that when I get out of the way, things go better…When people don’t feel empowered to make decisions and do the work, I’ll end up doing it.
I would NEVER allow one of my consulting clients to have this kind of work / balance approach to life. It needs to change.
Solution: Five hours a day is the new goal. I’ll work afternoons only. No weekends.
Wow! Writing that down seems like a pipe dream. I love to work, so I’m sure it will be a challenge to stay away from the computer, but I have a ton of personal projects including more work to do on the house, writing, photography, gardening, traveling and spending more time with my wife. And if that isn’t enough, I’ve got 95 acres of forest and streams (read jungle) that need taming.
How can I do that? I’ve got a great team… More about this later.
Issue #2: MyNAMS is an awesome site. There’s so much content and so many tools here that people truly don’t need to go anywhere else for great training, outstanding niche content or terrific tools. BUT more is not always the answer. The site is overwhelming to newbies and advanced marketers alike.
It is so much better than a year ago, but we need to be laser focused and meet members where they are to lead through the site and to their business goals.
Solution: Two dashboards on August 23rd.
1) On that date, the home page becomes a simple dashboard with 10 choices. Each of those takes you to a special section of the site to perform specific tasks.
2) If you are a MyNAMS member, you’ll go to your personalized Member Dashboard. Once logged in, that dashboard will know who you are, where you are in your training and how well you’re progressing. We’ll present the tasks you require next.
To be of maximum service at MyNAMS, we have to address YOUR individual issues. That’s where we’re headed. When you log into MyNAMS, you will believe this site was built specifically for you. (And it is…)
Issue # 3: I have an issue with money. I always have. I can make a ton of money, but too often I don’t use money as the tool for great works that it is.
Think of it this way: Long ago, I panicked if I had less than $50 in my checking account. Then, my money consciousness expanded. That limit became $500. Next, I was uncomfortable with less than $5000 in the account. And it keeps expanding as I keep expanding.
But there are a couple of problems with this scenario:
1) There should not be any level where I panic. Focus on the negative and you get the negative. There’s a great quote that I love: Argue for a problem, and it’s yours. I don’t want to put any limits on the money I can earn because it enables all my other dreams. Money is a tool. That’s all.
2) If I place a limit on my receptivity levels, I’ll only achieve those levels. In other words, remove all limits and let it rain money all up in here. Money is never the issue. Service is the key. But to be of greatest service, money can be a great tool. It’s just the way it is…
Solution: Better monetization of MyNAMS by serving more people at different experience levels.
By the time we launch the new dashboards, we’ll also be offering 2 additional membership levels to the MyNAMS site. The first will be a $10 per month membership for the weekly webinar training sessions AND replays only. Those members will not have access to any of the other great training and tools available on the site. And we’ll have a second membership level of $97 that includes weekly coaching Q&A as well as product creation access each month.
By serving more, more efficiently, we’ll triple our income by the end of 2012. That will allow some seriously awesome things that we have planned for NAMS and MyNAMS.
This is a great start, but certainly there are more specifics that go into each of these. And I’ll write more about these over the next few days.