Jay Papasan, founder at Produktive.com and Co-Author of The One Thing has studied why many are uber-productive and go on to create the lives of their dreams and why others fall short, year after year.
Jay and I discuss the Top Productivity Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them. The only thing standing between you and your biggest goals is your own productivity. Jay may be the best resource we’ve ever had on this topic and he and I go deep on unlocking what keeps us from not only being productive but in living our best life.
Need More Help? Here Are Some Additional Resources
Free Book: Get Justin’s bestselling book, The Upstream Model, free, just pay shipping and handling. Click Here.
Free Training: Find More Inventory Presentation. Watch it here.
Get Coaching: Want our help getting more warm referrals in your business? Apply for our Group Coaching Program.
His name is Jay Papasan. And Jay has quite the resume and I won’t go through all of it. Probably my favorite part is the book that he wrote called The ONE Thing that helps entrepreneurial people like myself learn to focus. And in addition to that, he’s a partner in Keller Inc, has played a big role in the growth and success of Keller Williams just speaks from his mentorship and leadership. I’ve heard him speak in person multiple times at Keller Williams family reunion events. And he’s just somebody who actually had the opportunity to have his wife on the show. With all that being said, Jay Pappas, and thank you for coming on the show
Hey, thanks for having me. And, you know, it’s funny, you say all that, and I feel like there’s two chapters to my life. I felt like I was doing pretty good up until age 30. I met my wife and got married. So number one, great choice. And then just a few years later, I started working with Gary Keller, that’s been 20 years I’ve been with him now. And so much of the big thinking that I’m associated with his I’m just going to immediately say my co author, the guy whose name is in much bigger letters than mine on the book is Gary Keller. And it’s just I’ve learned so many lessons. And I say that not just to be I’m trying to be humble. And that’s true. I owe a lot to the relationships that I’ve been benefited with my both my wife and my mentor. But also if someone out there is going but I’m not focused. I don’t think big. You can wait pretty late in life and still learn these skills, the things that we’ll be talking about today. You didn’t miss the boat, you can still catch it.
Yeah, that’s encouraging. I think, you know, there’s probably an an enemy inside of all of us that says it’s it’s too late. Right, that ship has sailed. You’re not good at this. This isn’t your thing.
And natural that Justin, he’s got all the focus and discipline. I don’t Yeah, those are the stories we tell ourselves, but they’re not true. Yeah,
yeah. Jay, I get I found great insight and meeting with your wife, it’s super fun to meet with the other half now. The tunes like which one’s the better half both your super just endearing, warm, genuine people and also very, very bright, brilliant yourself. Let’s get into today’s topic. I’m going to kind of preface this by saying those that know me know that I spent a lot of time working on myself. My wife says I still have a long ways to go. But I do. I’ve really committed like the lion’s share of my life to personal development, personal growth. And I’m a goal setter, I really bought into everything that was taught within the one thing, I’ve got my long, long term goals, my GPS, my 411, it’s laid out, you know, before we hit to the New Year, January 4 was kind of exciting day for me. Coming off some time off, I was excited to dig in and put all of these new things into practice. And I know what my one thing is, in fact, I have here in front of me, J, you’ll recognize this quote right here, this actually sits in front of me all day long, it says, until my one thing is done, I can totally see that everything else is a distraction that actually sat in front of me, it was probably a little bit buried yesterday. And I got the end of the day. And I looked at my one thing, and it was undone almost untouched. And it was like this. I don’t believe this, it wasn’t really sad moment, it was like a moment of clarity is that even if you know the things that doesn’t mean you do the things and I think if there’s one thing that I’ve learned is that there’s there’s between all of us and ultimately who we want to become. And what we want to do is productivity, productivity stands in the way yet everything stands between us and our productivity. And I had this Aha. And so this morning, I’m like, we’re gonna get into this a little bit later. But I began to journal this morning, like what happened there when I’m so clear on all of this exactly what I need to do have spent an enormous amount of time doing these things. So I’d love to just kind of share that, that if anybody can relate. Right? You know, it’s me. Like, I don’t have it all figured out. I’m still trying to work on this productivity stuff. So Jay, I’m gonna I’m gonna kind of turn some time over to you here to say maybe you can help diagnose what went wrong. I think I got some good ideas from my quiet journaling time this morning. But I know that I’m not the only guy that struggles with this. So Oh, yeah. So
if there was ever a time to give ourselves a little grace, it’s in this period of time, right with everything that’s happening. Get it. But you’re also an achiever, right? So you’re have high standards for yourself, you have a lot of you talk about personal development, I call that self leadership, right? You’re working on leading your own life really well before you lead others. So I love all of that. But I’ll tell you last year, I set a goal of having 180 writing days and got 130. Right. And that is my one thing. Without doubt, like, those are days that we’re writing and researching. And, you know, that is it is a challenge for all of us, no matter how long you’ve been on the journey. So my first specific question, just admitting that we’re all human. Gary has bad days, we all do. Were you making your 20 calls a day before the holidays? Or was this brand new behavior?
Yeah, no, no, yet? No, this has been my one thing for the past year. Right. So I’ve gotten pretty good at that.
So I got a chance to talk to Gretchen Rubin. And if you don’t know her, she wrote the happiness project, great book. And another book called better than before. And she taught me some research on habits that I wasn’t aware of. She shared that when you have an interruption in a habit, like a vacation, it is a lot harder to pick it up on the other side. Interesting. And there’s a few reasons for that it’s not novel anymore, right? So it’s like the first time you set out to I’m gonna jog every day, or do five minutes of meditation, or I’m gonna make my 20 contacts a day. It’s novel, it’s new, you’re excited. When you drop the ball and have to pick it up again, it feels like a chore. So she just said, it’s much easier to main habit, maintain habits than it is to restart them. And I can tell you, it’s easier from my research, years of reading about this to form new positive habits than it is to break negative habits. So I’m suspecting that part of Christmas and Hanukkah, New Year’s however you celebrated. Hopefully, you took some time to rest and restore. And that interruption is probably most likely what you were feeling on January 4. So here’s what winners do. You’re supposed to make 20? How many that you make? Four. All right, so how many do you have to make extra for the rest of the week?
So I’m actually thank you for sharing that give me an opportunity to redeem myself here in front of the audience. So I I set out to do 100 a week. Right? Right. And so I’ve, I’ve now got a new goal of 25. Right, for the rest of the week, to make up for those and even put myself a little bit ahead going on.
Right, that’s still gonna be short one. So you’re gonna have to do six one day and for the others, because Aren’t you short? 16? I can’t remember the math. Right? You barely remember. So we’re on Tuesday, depends on what you did today. But if you did it five today, for the rest of the week, we might be doing different math. But yeah, that’s right. If you miss a day, your one thing can change. Like, I don’t know about you, I have kids. And I can remember like, you get the call from school, like back when they went to school, and they’re, they’re sick? Well, your one thing just changed. It doesn’t matter what you set out to do this year in business, it’s a higher priority to go care for your loved ones. But now what winners do, right? What people who are really, truly committed to their goals, is they carry the loss forward. So yeah, okay, I fell short a writing day, so I got to make it up. Otherwise, all you’re doing is tacking on time to when you’re going to reach your goals. And that can really lead to people just never getting there, right, because it just keeps going farther, and it keeps going farther out. And there’s a point where people like kind of with a diet, when you blow your diet a little bit, you go ahead and order the ice cream dessert, right? People kind of have this thing, like they broken it a little bit. So they just break it a lot. And that’s how they get way out of bounds. But if you know this, carry it forward rule, you can get back on track and not beat yourself up too much.
But I love that you said that this concept of time I actually heard somebody say, Who here has a goal of making like a million dollars in a year, right? The number of hands went up. And the concept was okay, how much time have you given yourself to do that? Because the reality is, if you give yourself, you know, 20 years to do that, you might not be as pleased with the outcome. As if you then if you were to say I’m going to do that in one year, right? It’s the same goal. And like you said, you’re just stretching out these results over a longer period of time or pushing out kicking the can down the road, whether you actually get the results for a longer period of time, right in your example. None of which is actually where we want to be right. So I’d love that almost that at the in the moment. And almost that’s kind of what I’d love to even have you share.
Perfection is overrated. Gary says this all the time and attribute perfection is overrated. Most of the time we’re gonna succeed despite a lot of what happens in what we do. But if you do that 20% of the 20% that handful like if you making your stand around those 20 contacts, and it sounds like you are Oh, I miss some I’m going to up my game to catch up with where I said I was going to be A lot of the other stuff doesn’t have to be nearly as well done. So just don’t like I said, perfection is overrated. Make sure that you’ve made your commitments to the right things, and then go all in on them. And give yourself some grace. But carry forward. There’s this process of how we work forward. But nobody lives the perfect day every day. That’s just not possible.
Well, a cool concept there that you’re that you’re teaching us, I think, is that there is not only you know, and my trying to say here, there’s a, the opportunity cost, there was the word I was looking for opportunity cost of the time that you’re not accomplishing the goal. But there’s also an opportunity cost of the time that you spend beating yourself up over the fact that you didn’t do the activity to get to the goal, right like that. Emotionally, and just the fact that my my head’s been going through, why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I do that, as opposed to? Let’s get it done today?
You talk about thinking big, I think one of the lessons I’ve learned in the 20 years I’ve been working with Gary, because when people ask me, what’s the number one legacy that that relationship is going to have for me and Wendy, and I bet you asked her this. And she usually says that exactly like it we said it so many times, is every time we think we’re thinking big for ourselves, he asked us to think bigger. And on the pursuit to thinking big and pursuing really big extraordinary things for your life, you’re going to fail all the time. And what I’ve learned is over time, I’m more resilient. Like, I find that I emotionally and physically bounce back faster. Earlier this year, I mean, like before Corona. Wendy called, and she was talking to she was driving back from teaching in Houston, and a car threw a rock and totally smashed her windshield. Scary, scared her to death. And like she has, you know, when whipping through the car on the highway, and I was like, well think good. godhra Okay, and she’s like, yeah, and then we didn’t talk about it again. And I told her like later that week, I was like, go back five or 10 years that would have ruined our day. And our week, all we would have talked about is can you believe we had a broken windshield. And now we’ve learned how to fail much more bigger and more spectacularly like, and you just get stronger. And I just think that’s one of the things on the journey is you bounce back faster, and emotionally, you’re like, well, crap. Now what do I positively need to do about fixing this versus dwelling on the problem?
I think that’s a gift that all of us can take from 2020. Right, is that regardless of what happened, some people had more of a smooth ride. Other people had had a terrible awful ride, right? It’s like a nightmare that they want to get off. Regardless of what happened there. If if you’re with us today, right? There’s some opportunities to build resilience. Yeah, that really sets up, up tremendous moving forward, whatever that looks like. I think, oftentimes, we discount the fact that in order to do something great, we actually have to become something great, like oftentimes, like, like we become through the difficulties, and then we simply celebrate, right, the harvest happens. And that looks like the magic was then the magic, I think was actually back when it was hard, like magical word was 2020. The resilience, like you said that we built up, that then manifests itself and results in the next year. Hopefully, we all have something to be excited about, regardless of what our year looked like, because of who we became right that how we had to grow.
I love that. I’ve got a friend, I don’t have permission to share, like details, but she posted on Instagram the other day. And her husband, I believe, is an Army Ranger, and has literally been in combat and war for like 15 years. And they’ve been raising a family long distance. I mean, like she talked about the hardships they faced in 2020. like they’ve been dealing with hardships for 15 years. And the thing that she said is, don’t tell me that things will get better tell me I’ll get stronger. And I’ll tell you that you will. And I love that line. It’s like yeah, things. I mean, I remember with parenting, I was like I asked my mom, does it get easier? And she goes, No, it never gets easier ever. But you get stronger. And I think that’s something that we have to embrace is that life 2021 might be worse than 2020. But we can be stronger than 2020 and 2021 if we choose to lean into it with the right attitude, and that that doesn’t to diminish the horrible things that are happening in the loss. But we can be strong through that. We all have that in us.
It was interesting watching New Year’s Eve celebrations that are typically filled with people right now that can empty streets. And it’s like, wait, this is eerie. And I’d never seen such a world united in the fact that they were excited to see a year ago. And I didn’t. Again, no, no judgment on that. But it is interesting how people I think we’ve trained ourselves to say 2021 is the magic bullet, like 2020 all the problems lived in 2020 2020 one’s going to be smooth sailing. I don’t think so. Right? I mean, when we got the pandemic that’s still alive and well, unfortunately, and a lot of repercussions that economically we haven’t even seen yet. And so I I say that not to depress people I say it to to kind of re emphasize what you’re saying. J which is like, like, no year is going to be without waves or ripples or giant Tempus, right?
But Wendy and I were talking, I’m just gonna jump in, because I love everything you’re saying. And please keep your thread because I don’t want to take you off. But I want to just amplify 2019 for us personally was much harder. We lost some Dear loved ones, like I spent 13 hours in surgery at one point for back surgery. I mean, it was like, you name it, and it was gonna happen that year. And I just, we can’t predict the years that will be, quote, good or bad. But I don’t want any of it to go away. Because I think about the moments that I would miss with I mean, how many years do I get with my kids? They’re gonna be I’m gonna be an empty nester in less than five years. Yeah, I don’t as horrible as 2019 was, there are still moments precious moments that I would not give away for the world with my family and loved ones. So I think we had to be careful about what we want to wish away. Because there’s, it’s hard. There’s not always gifts and everything. But there are still precious moments that we want to hang on to. And those times.
I actually remember from a stage you’re your wife, I believe being interviewed. Maybe it was by Gary. And her comment was, and I think it was to you saying like, I don’t I don’t want to live a big life anymore. Like it’s not this isn’t fun anymore. Jay, can I just go back and be small, like, please?
That was a rough that was that year, and it was rough. And we just got Can we just go small? And like no, yeah, we have a reason. Like, if you have a really big vision for your life, a purpose that helps you get through, it really does. I got to see Angela Duckworth famous grit class, the last class, she invited me Thank you, like there’s a gift to the pandemic, the chances that I would have been able to fly up to Philadelphia and sit in a classroom, were close to zero with my job. But I could take an hour and hop on a zoom call and get to listen to the legendary creator of grit, you know, teach. But she said the number one thing that correlates to people with grit, that stamina, the perseverance is purpose, when you were really clear about your big why, what you’re here for, and you’re doing it for whether it’s taking care of your family, security, freedom. Sounds like you you’re trying to be the best version of Justin started that you can be that’s kind of Gary’s mission. When you’re really clear about that it really does help you persevere through those tough times. And I love that it
really ties in with a personal and business mission statement of mine, which is, I believe that the greatest untapped natural resource in the world isn’t something we find underground at something we find inside of us. It’s human potential. Yeah, you look at the biggest problem we all face is that we’re underperforming, with relative to our potential. And so my mission is to wake people up to the potential of who they can be the impact they can have. And then to inspire and help them to live in pursuit of that. So they can go on to live lives, live given serve abundantly. And that’s that’s really what the show is about. It’s an extension of a very deep, you know, almost spiritually held. belief about like, why I’m here, I’m here to help people think bigger, which means that
thank you for role modeling that for all of us, when you can get to a place where you’re even relatively clear, even directionally clear about that sort of thing. Sounds like you’re more than directionally clear. Yeah. It really serves as a gift for helping you say, notice things that don’t line up with that, right, it gives you priority. And it also really helps you live through the tough moments on the journey to get where you want to go.
Yeah, I think that’s one of the benefits that you’ve said a couple times in a couple different ways here is that when you zoom out a little bit and have a bigger vision and a bigger why the you know, the minute problems of today don’t last fact the story, I was sitting with my five year old the other day, and she was fascinated that we hopped on to Google Maps for something I want to show her something. And she said, Can you show us our house, and all of a sudden we’d zoom in and you’d see everything from our yard and our you know, the fact that they left something out in the yard, you can see like really close, and all of a sudden you zoom out and it’s you can see the ocean and the bottom of the ocean. It’s just fascinating. zoom in, zoom out. And I think when we start to zoom out a little bit, the problems of today and the challenges we’re going through, don’t have quite the impact upon us, we kind of look at it from a longer perspective, as okay now, yet also realizing value. The fact that these little miniscule moments that are difficult, are going to have a great impact upon our ability. As we zoom out that hey, because I went through that hard thing at that moment. I’m now able to, like create like a much more beautiful picture.
No, love it. Wow. All right, this is fun. You didn’t tell me it’s gonna be just a fun conversation.
You’re making a guy Jay tell you I you’ve been a mentor of mine from afar for some time. So it’s, it’s it’s really fun to to get a chance to spend some individual time with you. Individually right? Few people, period. To talk a little bit about your like, let’s let’s let’s get inside Jay here a little bit, right, you’ve, you’ve got your one thing, right is writing days 180 writing days, I don’t know if that looks the same this year as it did last year. Would you say that?
Yeah, every year I kind of we go through the calendar together, Gary and I and we pick writing days. So I think I have 140 kind of right now set aside, and if I can, my hope my hope is I’ll actually exceed that. But to hit our goals, I’ll need to get a very high percentage of those. So I’m gonna go for all 140 this year.
And what is that like writing Day to you means a certain number of hours a certain like, how do you quantify a writing day,
minimum of two hours of contiguous creative work? Okay, can’t call it a writing day, if I wrote for 30 minutes, it takes too long to warm up and get anything out. I mean, you’ve written the main script, I, I’ve printed it out for your book, I found in my process, and Gary says, well, that, like my favorite writing blocks are the ones that are about four hours long, it’s hard for me to focus for more than about half a day at the level, it requires to do that kind of work. But whether it’s reading or modeling or researching, or actually doing the work of writing minimum of two hours for me to count it as a writing day,
you kind of get into a zone at that point where you’re actually
productive tracking that as a metric for almost seven years. And I’ve just found, there’s a few things, we talked about the 411. And for those who don’t know that, it’s just a one page document that you have your annual goals at the top, then you break those down into monthly goals and break those down into weekly goals. And it just helps you break down those big goals. So you know how to be appropriate this week, towards your big goal of 140 writing days, that’s easy, that’s a math problem. But some might be I’m gonna write a best selling book, or I’m gonna be the number one realtor in my county or something else that takes a little bit more work, and you have to adjust as you go. It’s just a process. But I’ve got about four metrics on there, that over time, I know are really critical to my success. And I’ve had coaches this entire time, not just Gary and my wife, I like I hire a coach, that’s very important to me. And part of their job like Abe Sharif is a master coach. He’s my coach right now. Like, I’m gonna fire you. If you don’t ask me about those four metrics. First thing is to keep your writing days. Are you on pace to read the number of books that you said you were going to read? Did you do the the talks that you said you were going to do? And have you done the interviews that you said you were going to do. And in my experience, there is the creation of books, there is the the input of ideas for me to write out like after read a certain number of books to write anything. And then I had to do a certain amount of promotional work, or all of that work would have been for not, you can write a great book, and it dies on a bookshelf. I don’t want to be known posthumously as having an impact, I want to have an impact, if possible, while I can see it, which is why this is one of my goals. I’m here, because you represent one of my goals, is the chance for us to talk about one thing. And for me, like we spent four and a half years working on it. And I want that book to reach as many people as possible because impact is part of my mission.
Let me just say, if anybody that’s listening to this, I can’t imagine that you haven’t heard of the one thing, if you don’t, like, you need to get your hands on the one thing, if you’ve read it, you need to read it again, like put it near the top of your list. It really does. It’s kind of one of those classics that you don’t just read once, like you read it again and again and again. And you guys did such a great job with that book. It’s really kind of one of those that needs to be up at the top of the list every year to review. And thank you. Yeah, no, I mean that. And it’s, it’s evident that it is that because it’s become so much more than just a book, right? It’s become an entire training system, right, that I know you guys are scaling in different ways. And that that lends itself for people to know that this content must be really good. If it’s more than just words on a page, if it’s actually something that can people can then implement into their business into their lives through these other modalities, then then you know, the contents, you know, the contents for it. So just as a as a reminder to everybody that that would be a great one to read right away. So
thank you. I think it’s the reason it’s been successful, is we’re all incredibly busy. And Gary has been living and we helped really articulate a very simple framework for approaching goal setting and keeping your goals like I actually don’t think it’s as much about the goal setting as having a relationship with them. And the 411 and kind of that weekly rhythm of checking in. It allows people like you met your wife or your significant other I heard you have kids, I don’t know maybe you’re married. Maybe you’re not I am. Like, moment I met Wendy I wanted to go on another date with her. Right I wanted to have a relationship with her. I didn’t want it to just be one night and a lot of people in January especially I set goals. They’ll date them for a few weeks, but they’re not really building a long term relationship that takes an investment, it’s work. And I think a lot of the one thing gives people a framework for just kind of living with those goals longer and giving them room to breathe and succeed. You know,
I’ll give you some insight into the Stoddard household. So my wife and I have six children.
she’s, she’s amazing. I’ll just say that and never in our lives, did we ever imagined that we’d be homeschooling all six of them. But yeah, she’s a champ. So just a door down.
I salute you. I mean, that is I’ve got to do and that’s about all I can handle. So
it’s fun to hear the fact that everybody struggles with even apply even the author of the book, the one thing struggles with the one thing, right, I think that gives us all hope here, I want to share just some of the excuses. I went back and reflected early this morning, one of my, one of my daily practices is journaling. And I tried to make it reflective time, it hasn’t always been that sometimes it’s just been kind of a regurgitation of the day, I’m working this year to really make it more to where it’s very, you know, kind of reflection oriented, where I can learn from that. And I got clear on again, on some of these, and some of them tie right in with kind of the misunderstandings, you know, from the book, the one thing one of the lies that I told myself was I’ve got time to recover, right, which is like, it’s, it’s day one,
I got the whole year to recover. I got,
like, 249 more working days, like, I’ll be alright. Right. And how many of us continue to perpetuate that right of like, Oh, it’s still January, right. It’s still it’s early, like I got tomorrow. And I think the problem is, when that’s not a that’s not the anomaly, that’s a, that’s an ongoing thing that we’re telling ourselves, right? It’s like, I can recover, it’s okay. Right, one of
our halls in our community around the one thing was, and I realized this about myself, like, every year, Wendy and I do a retreat, we set some goals for the future and for the year, and a lot of times, we’ll each month will, will try to meet and just kind of have like a little business meeting, right, like a board meeting for the family. How are we doing? Do you need help? Do you need to move something onto my plate vice versa? And you know, we’re only really moving forward about half the things we said we wanted to do. But it just realities, we all, I think it’s they call it the planning fallacy. We think that we’re gonna have a lot more time and availability to do more things than we ever actually have time to do. Yeah. And we have to kind of narrow the focus. And one of the things that we’ve realized is that about mid year, we kind of instituted this, we call it reset in our community. But it’s something that we started doing as I kind of realized that there are things that you really did want to do. And if you wait past the middle of the year, you’re just not going to do it. And so we intentionally created like a flagpole there. It’s like, Okay, I get it, things happen. unexpected things happen. There’s still enough runway left in this year. For us to go back, say what did we say we were going to do in January? There’s probably some of it, because we’re achievers, we’re doing it. But what are the things that we can just cross off? Because what in the world will rethinking first off that we were gonna try to do that? That was ridiculous now, and we really don’t want it anymore. Like, every year, I look back and go, why did I think I wanted to do that. And then there’ll be things were like, wow, I feel kind of bad. I’m gonna be I’m gonna feel regret at the end of the year. If we don’t do that. Now, let’s use the second half of the year to marshal our resources to make sure we nail those things. So you almost have to build in like a protective moat? Like, is there a trigger that will keep us from continuing to push things in the future, because otherwise, you’ll look up, and it’ll be January 120 22. And you’ll still be wishing and not be doing.
And I think that’s hard on people’s self confidence, right, they start to lose trust, they take they withdraw enough from their own emotional bank account. They don’t trust themselves anymore. It’s like, I don’t know if I’m really gonna make those goals. So sometimes they stop setting them all together. It’s like, those never happened, right. And oftentimes, that’s a build up of over time, not being true to the fact of this, this process you’re talking about, I want to share them. That’s good. I
just say that’s really wise. That’s really, I haven’t heard that put exactly that way before. But this idea that when you say to yourself that you’re going to do something, like if someone told you they were going to do something and continue to let you down, you would stop trusting them. But this idea that we lose trust in ourselves, and eventually, like, there are people who’ve lost my trust, I don’t give them the time of day anymore. And what a crime for that to be us doing that to ourselves. So that was smart. I love what you just said.
I don’t know if it was originally might have been Stephen Covey where I learned that from I feel like I’ve heard that before. And I don’t know that it came directly from me, but
Well, thank you for sharing it. You put it very well.
Thank you. One analogy that I wanted to share that oftentimes when I’m doing business planning for myself and others, they’ll say you know that the traditional method as a responsible business owner, right is I need to do a business plan. So we go about it. We Create a business plan. And we treat it almost like a road map, like the old fashioned days, right? Where you, you couldn’t really look at it while you’re driving to stop the car and open it up on the hood of the car. So men where she wouldn’t go through the process of doing it. And then wives would create all these jokes about how men don’t stop and ask for directions, right? Those are the days like that we came from. And I think oftentimes we create a business plan. And it does exactly that, which is what you described, right? There’s this annual event makes me feel like a responsible business owner, I’m good to go. And we forget what’s on there. And I love how you kind of talked about these, these checkpoints, which I think acts more as a GPS. Yeah, it works. Like, I know, I still have the end goal of where I want to be. And the beauty about a GPS is it continues to give us feedback all along the way, and reroutes us if we get off track. And I think your community, right, the one thing community Talk to us a little bit about that. I think that can be a powerful place for people to tie in to not just read the book. But if you’re serious about this, right? I mean, if you’re really serious about this, why not be around a lot of other people that are kind of, you know, indoctrinated the same way about productivity and about the one thing, you’re all thinking the same thing. Talk to us about that, and how people might become a part of that community and the value, you’ve seen that the people that who are really in that community.
Okay, I’m gonna unwind a couple of things. First off, if they don’t know what a GPS is, it’s a simple one page business plan where you really have to without cheating and going to six point font or something, what’s your big goal? What are the three, maybe four priorities for achieving it? And then and then a handful of strategies for each of those priorities, right?
So when I said GPS, I meant like the kind on your phone,
Oh, I like our one page business plan, because you said business plan before as I want to make sure we call it a GPS, it’s one goal, three priorities, five strategies for each, loosely, but it does allow you to get really clear about where you’re going and share it with a lot of people. One, one of the things that we learned is, I’m really privileged for 20 years, I’ve worked in a very close satellite orbit of Gary Keller himself, right. And in his very small organization that tends to follow his lead. And like I can tell you, there’s pockets of this organization that don’t live the book. It’s just that happens, even that close to the center, not everything carries through. And what I realized is, Wendy was like, when we started doing a 411, which is the worksheet for your goals, right? Because she wasn’t even working at Keller Williams, but she took it. And then I’ve know a lot of people who just took it to other organizations. And she did that too. I realized that having a community that’s using the same language and following the same process is a real gift. And a lot of people who are trying to raise their trajectory, to be on a journey like you like I want to be the best version of me I can, they’re not getting much support at home or in their community. And so that was the real gift of the community is to help people find some people that were on that journey, maybe their their spouse is not really buying into it right now. They can have some people that they can reach out to who are stumbling and falling with them, and we’ll help them get up. So that was the number one thing is can we create a community to support each other as we try to live this thing? Because it’s hard. I mean, we talked about startup, you failed first work day of the year, right? And I’ve been there, I’ve done that, you do that. And that’s, that’s normal. But do you have a community that you can support you, that’s all at the one thing calm, but I would say if someone wanted to bite into it without going that far, go download the kick ass guide to goal setting, which is a free download on the one thing calm. It talks about setting big goals. It talks about building a business plan or 411 for your life. Those are the raw materials. And there’s some people probably listened to your podcast, who already have that community. But that would give them the tools that are absolutely free. You don’t have to read the book to go do it. And if they choose, then they could read the book or dive into the community if they want it. I I just want people on ultimately, this is the honest truth. I would love as a business person. I am a capitalist to make money doing this, but I actually want people to live it. And that is that is the number one reward.
Yeah, I agree with you as I was having a conversation with a bigger name, Grant Cardone at one point he said, he said the big at this point I don’t like I’ve got enough money. Now. If you listen to him, you would believe that he doesn’t.
But he said work hard. That’s a scorecard. That’s right.
He said the like the biggest, at this point, the biggest impact, or the biggest thing that I want, the best way that people can repay me is to go do something with what I taught them. Like, you get to a point I think you’re probably similar Jay where you’ve created a great life you and Wendy have done. done well. She’s got a great real estate business. She kind of shared that, you know, she didn’t she she’s she’s probably too humble for that. But I know you guys have done well for yourself. And not to say that you’re not still capitalist. You’re not still very much for profit. But I would imagine that in addition to continuing to be very astute business people that you You’re also very interested in seeing how can we impact and I want to see the fruits of what I shared with them turn into this ripple effect, right to start to impact other people and other generations like that’s where, like the best payment starts to come.
The I’ve been privileged, I’ve interviewed, I think three billionaires now, and so many incredibly successful people. And somewhere on the journey, people start moving. I mean, the cliche is to go from success to significance. And it really, if you want to keep striving, you’re not doing it just for you, you’re doing it to create opportunity for the people who work for you, or to fulfill a mission. And the biggest, most successful people all seem to be driven by those commonalities. And Wendy and I, like we started our journey as capitalists because we wanted to financial freedom number like we had a vision for when work would always be a choice for us. We love to travel, we’d love to do things. I love work, too. Don’t get me wrong, like retirement looks a lot like a coffin to me, like I just don’t imagine ever, like sitting on a porch writing bad poetry or something like I’m gonna be doing something that I’m passionate about. Or I’d be driving my wife crazy for one thing. But I do love work as well. But I always wanted to be a choice. I never wanted to be I’ve interviewed people who cry in the parking lot before they go into the office. Right? Some people are chained to a job because they have to pay bills. And they don’t feel like they have choices. But I think that number can be relatively modest. For us, it was 75,000 a year, we thought if we could ever get to a place where we felt like that was what our world we could live that small for sure. And that’s big. Like in the beginning, that was a big number. Now it feels like a small one. You can then make it about other people, I can tell you factually, that Wendy? Well, I may be off by about 20,000. I think she raised more money for the charities we support then she’ll make from her business this year. And it’s it’s a substantial amount of money. But that’s where your focus goes. And I’ve seen that with Gary as well. And taught people I just think it’s a natural evolution, if you’re on the journey to kind of being the best version that you want to be is that you’ll go there. I hope that that’s the case, I want to believe in the best of humanity that we all start stop thinking about ourselves and focusing on others. That’s where I choose to kind of believe we’ll all get or most of us will.
Yeah, that’s I think that’s it, that creates a great society, right? When you can empower people to go create produce, incentivize them. I think that’s when capitalism works, and works really well is when you give people those opportunities, and then they come back and they help other people, right, as opposed to in some societies, right, where it’s, it’s not like the elite get more and more out of touch, and continue to exploit, as opposed to come back and really contribute and grow. I think,
dude, man, I’d like it, the last place I thought I would ever be working would be real estate. I really did. I just stumbled into this. But what I discovered is without even a college degree, people can literally build a huge business that they can take care of, like, provide generational wealth, without having to go through any of the gates that society makes us go through for other opportunities. So for me, I thought, Wow, what an amazing, democratic entrepreneurial opportunity. And I know we have our own biases and things like every other industry to clean up. But it did seem remarkable. And that’s one of the things that keeps me back is that the people who work in this industry are remarkably entrepreneurial, the opportunity is boundless. And it’s really, the doors are open for virtually anyone. Right? I mean, I think the only thing you can’t have is a felony conviction if you’re going to be a realtor, because then you can’t get in somebody’s house. Right.
Yeah, that’s a really is an empowering industry. And probably the same reason that that, you know, drew me to it. You know, my background. For those who don’t know, I was a high end home builder, from 2003 until 2009, built custom home what happened in 2009. I had this whim that I should stop being forced out because he kind of was crashing, I actually at that point, I actually expanded it expanded into Texas, actually, I was from Utah at the time and moved my family to Texas down to Houston, and was there for a short period of time. And I had this kind of this realization of like, I don’t actually love building homes. Funny to like recognize that but I think when when the money is good, and income is good, it’s hard to ever get really clear with yourself to be like, I can’t stop like it’s too good of a business to just turn it off or turn it over to somebody else. But I was I was given that opportunity. I like to say, I’m really evaluating do I love this because if I love it, I’ll I’ll figure it out, stick it out. Whereas I realized I didn’t. And my passion was not developing land but it was developing people. That’s cool. Wasn’t building Holmes it was building business.
embedding the success that you found there opened the door for you to do that next step. Yeah. Yeah, a lot of people miss that. And I want to say this is kind of very common in real estate when people become very successful. They’ve been doing this and maybe they did 5 million a year, or 10 million or 50 million these days. At some point, like they don’t, they never really want to meet with another buyer or seller again, they’re just like I’m done. And I get it. But we know that reasonably good business people can net easily 30 to 40% of their gross more if they don’t have a big team. The opportunity a lot of times if you know your big why, like, what can I use this as a platform in my life I’ve watched I don’t know if you know, Adam Hagen, Roth or not. I
know the name you have probably heard him speak before. But yeah,
it’s small town up in, you know, Vermont, he had to literally cover the whole state at one point to grow a big team. And now he is in, I think 14 or 15, maybe more locations, maybe 100 agents, but he’s also in multiple industries. But the key to all of it, that first gate was like he built a big real estate business that financed this other vision, and he’s doing what you’re doing now. He’s built the training and coaching arm and he’s helping people like he’s not a home builder. He is a people builder. And I see that a lot, but that I think people want to skip to the last step. We call that jumping the dominoes. And a Gary Keller, I mean, he wanted to be a rockstar. He quit, and his parents enrolled him in school, he didn’t even sign up for college. I cannot imagine Gary Keller not thinking ahead. I just don’t even imagine that human being weird, odd, isn’t it? Yeah, the big Fu Manchu, you want to be a 70s rock star, but he wasn’t good enough. But you fast forward and a few weeks, we’ll have a virtual read bash. And now every year, he gets to play a concert in front of 10s of 1000s of people. And it’s actually pretty good. But he earned that by being great at something else. And that allowed him to fulfill these other dreams. And I think, I don’t know, I think we have to kind of sometimes maybe it takes a coach or a mentor to look and go, you know what, that was part of your journey, you may not have realized it you built skills that allowed you to take the next step or validity that allowed you to become a builder of people is that what I’m going to guess is that you had the business experience doing that, to then flip the switch and do something else. And people go, oh, listen to this guy. I don’t know, I’m speculating. I don’t know enough about your story. But I’ve seen it a lot.
Yeah, well, I think that there’s Yeah, you’ve actually hit it spot on is that there’s, I think you have to have success in something before you can teach other people success is something and I think sometimes, oftentimes, when we feel like we’ve hit a dead end, right, there’s something isn’t working out. It’s kind of ties back in with the earlier conversation. Which is, you know, when when maybe we hit a dead end, it doesn’t always mean that that’s the dead end to everything, right? Yeah. Like, take look around 2020 right, might be in shambles for you? Maybe not? Maybe it is maybe people around you are? And whether it be you saying what can I What can I take from this? And or looking around at people who have really had a hard time? What can I help them see that they can’t see right now? What can I help them take from this, because the reality is, if they can take something from it, then it may have been the most impactful, maybe not their favorite, but maybe the most impactful year of their life. Because they went through difficulty and overcame and and established the grid and you know, the resilience and all of that to now go on to really impact people in a different way. And it’s interesting, sometimes have people who are on stage speaking, and we look at them, we’re like, oh, my goodness, look at that person. But we never would have said that 10 years ago when they lost a limb or what I mean, when they went through cancer and lost about everything, you know, nobody wants that. Nobody signs up for that. Yet we forget that like these difficult times that we’re going through, or maybe have gone through or others are going through, oftentimes are the setup, or the setup something great.
It took me about 15 years, right? So I’m a very slow learner to really internalize that. My best lessons often came from my worst days. Yeah, if I had the wisdom to look for them. And they’re hard lessons. But they really can make you catapult forward to the next stage of the journey and makes you stronger and more resilient. All the things that we’ve talked about. But if there is one thing I’ve I’ve heard it again and again that those bad bad dark days often do sometimes with distance and perspective, carry some of our best lessons that we get to carry forward doesn’t mean that they were great days in retrospect, they were horrible days. But because we learned a lesson that we were supposed to learn we prevented more of that from happening to us or others that we care about, that we’re able to do different things so i don’t know i don’t like it’s always I’m in danger. We’re in dangerous territory now with the pandemic like, like I know we said in the in the set in the the housing shift of the 20 you know, 2009 2010 we we talked about the gift of the shift I’m very wary of saying that knowing that people have literally lost loved ones. Yeah. But I do think that there are many I learned that last year having lost two very close people, that there were still wonderful, hard lessons, but lessons that were very valuable that came from those bad days.
This has been super fun. Jay, I want to go to the signature question of the show. I know you’ve got a hard stop. Yeah, I hope we get the chance to do this again, I’m going to I’m going to I’m going to move to this this last question, which is this. And you’ve kind of already answered this, but I want to hear, I want to hear you maybe answer it again, which is, you are a big thinker. And I want to I want to hear from you. What do you do on a regular basis to continue to be a big thinker to continue to expand your possibilities? What does that look like for you? teachers?
I think the journey is a combination of a few things. I think you always have to have someone around you, that is willing to tell you you’re not thinking big enough, whether that be a spouse, or a friend, a coach or a mentor, is I think when you’re inside the box, it’s hard to read the label. So it’s really good to have some other perspective that could ask the question, well, what if I think a lot of people feel like people are born big thinkers, but it is a muscle that gets stronger every time you use it. So I think the the goal setting process that we’ve been following now for close to 14 years before even the one thing to go and do a retreat and ask the question, not just where do I want to be at the end of 2021? Where do we want to be in 2025 and beyond. And it was really, really, really, really hard to do in the beginning. And now we’ve used those muscles for 14 straight years, we’re getting much better at it. And we’re getting more accurate. Nobody has a crystal ball. But we’re, it’s just a muscle. It’s just a muscle. Now, if you can find a rhythm, I know a lot of people that love their freedom, don’t like to be bound to a system, call it a ritual called a habit, whatever. But if you can, at least once a year, check in on long range goals, convert those big goals to annual goals. And then on a monthly or weekly basis, check in on those. That simple rhythm, big distant, bring it back to the year, bring it back to the month and the week. If you can do that with any sort of consistency. You’re going to look up in a few years and be a much bigger thinker, just as a byproduct of practicing. And we we want everything to happen this year. And we overestimate what we could accomplish this year. But I think most people would vastly underestimate what’s possible for them and five, that’s slightly longer horizon and you said you have a five year old did that go faster? That goes slow, so fast, so shitty, but it’s hard to internalize five years is a lot faster than most people think.
Yeah. It’s great stuff. I love that. Yeah, big thinking is not a gene. It’s a muscle. Such a gift that you’ve given us today of your time. And this amazing conversation. Thank you for developing Jay Pappas and to be the man that he is so that he can come on and offer such value. It’s been it’s been a great privilege. I want to thank everybody for for tuning in today. And my final request of everybody. Number one is go get the one thing get back into the one thing, it will change your 2021 and the second request is go think bigger. Thank you so much, Jay. Appreciate it for having me.
It was fun. So much fun.