When asked about the key to their success, executives, leaders, entrepreneurs, and business owners from different companies say it all boils down to one thing – becoming better or what is simply called personal growth. On today’s show, host Paul Blanchard discusses personal growth and distills it down into simple things to help you evaluate whether you are becoming a better person that is going to grow your business, increase your income, or find more peace and fulfillment. Get inspired to be able to create not just what you want in life, but actually enjoy what you’ve created. Tune in to this episode to learn how.
I’m excited to be with you as usual. Thank you for taking your time to be with us as we talk a little bit about personal growth, about becoming more and becoming better. I want to tackle a couple of things. Those of you who follow me have heard me talk about mindset before, how it has been manipulated and formulated into this buzzword these days that is usually used to try and sell you stuff you don’t need. Everyone’s talking about mindset, but what is it if you can’t measure it, especially with something objective and something clear, which is the Habit Finder provides. If you haven’t had an opportunity to scientifically and mathematically measure your mindset, jump into Habit Finder. It’s free right now at HabitFinder.com.
Measuring Your Growth
We’re going to be talking about becoming a better person. I’ve worked in a lot of different companies with a lot of different executives, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners. When they get asked, what was the key to your success? It always boils down to something like, “I became a better person. I had personal growth. I learned a lot more about myself.” That’s wonderful and it’s great. I want to give you some specifics as to what that looks like. I want to give you some areas where you want to focus. In my personal opinion and mathematically proven for that matter, the only areas you’re going to need to look in terms of measuring your personal growth.
A lot of us have probably heard that person say, “I grew personally.” We’re going, “I feel like I’ve grown personally, but my income’s not what theirs is. I’ve grown personally and my business isn’t what theirs is.” We’re going to get down to the primary areas of when someone says they’ve become a better person. They’ve personally grown. These are the areas you’re going to want to look. Let’s go ahead dive in and get this thing started.
We’re talking about a better person. We’re talking about personal growth. We’re going to try and distill this down into some simple things to be able to evaluate whether you are becoming a better person that is going to grow your business and increase your income. Becoming a better person that’s going to find more peace, fulfillment and quality energy to be able not just to create what you want in life, but enjoy what you’ve created. That’s an interesting equation that I’ve been seeing more and more people violate in terms of being able to figure out how to make more money, now they have more expensive problems and being able to create a bigger business, but now they have more complicated problems.
We want to be able to figure out how do we grow in that way that we’ve heard about the tide raising all ships? What are the evaluators? What questions do we want to be asking ourselves? As a bonus, I’m going to be adding three of the most potent ways that people think that they’re growing, but they are not. They feel like they’re growing, but they are not. You can make sure that you watch out for some of that pseudo fake growth, well-intended, well-experienced but not transformative growth.
Learn to be Intentional
These are the areas and as simple as I can break them down for you to be able to consider and take inventory of, where am I growing? Where am I focused? What do I have in place in terms of tools, accountability, stakeholders, coaching and support to be able to drive these six areas? What is my plan to be able to execute that? I want to give you these areas so that you can do this more succinctly. You can do this more intentionally. That’s what we want to do here. We want to do these things intentionally.
If you know somebody that realizes, “The key to my business growing, my income growing, my life improving is to become better,” but they’re having a tough time figuring that out. Please tag them, share this out. Let’s get an opportunity to make an impact on those people that have known the abstract of their success, but haven’t been able to get the specific ingredients. I’m going to give you the specific areas as simple of a definition as I could possibly come up with so that we avoid getting complicated, convoluted and misinterpreted.
This is the inventory for being able to become better. Before that though, I did mention that there are three major things that people think that they’re growing but they’re not. I want to get those out of the way first. I want to talk about the three pseudo growths. The things that we concoct in our minds to feel like we are growing to experience temporary growth, but it’s not sustainable or it’s not leading us where we want to get to.
Loving Isn’t the Best Way
Number one is that we are loving on people. I’m taught to care about people. I love people so my business should be growing. Loving on people is not the key to growing a business. It’s not even the key to being able to connect well with other people. Loving on people is ethereal abstract approach that has a lot more to do with how you feel about those people, rather than how you’re making them feel about you, what you’re creating in terms of the space for them to connect with you.
Loving on people is not the best way to do that. Loving on people is not the best way to grow your people. I’m not saying don’t love on your people, but you can love on your people all day long and not grow a business. You can love on your people all day long and not make more money. You can love on people all day long and not even be making them feel better about what they’re doing, what they’re a part of, or how they connect with you. That’s number one, loving on people is a pseudo growth strategy. Meaning you don’t grow. You don’t become more to be able to change the way you’re feeling about how you’re showing up for other people. We want to change the way they’re feeling and the way they’re experiencing you. That’s going to require something a little bit different.
More Optimism, Less Optimization
Number two, more optimism and less optimization. A lot of people feel like they’re growing because they have become more optimistic. That is a major challenge. You can turn on optimism anytime. You can read some great inspiring quotes. You can listen to a nice frou-frou book and you can feel more optimistic about your life. The danger of optimism is it can be wielded by both the person who wants to make their mediocre plain small existence not hurt so bad as much as it can be used to harness your progression.
It’s very difficult to know which one you’re doing if you’re simply trying to seek to be more optimistic. With that said, as weird as it might sound, you will not want to be pessimistic. There are elements of the realism of pessimism and the positive interpretation of optimism that you will want to take a little bit of each to find that sweet spot for growth. Be careful to not trade optimization for optimism. There are elements on both sides. There are principles that can make you massively successful. They live right next to principles that can destroy your life. They live right next to each other.
You will want to be optimal in your approach, not just optimistic because oftentimes optimism in people’s lives is used like lidocaine, which is used in dentistry. It’s used to numb you. If you find yourself using optimism to numb yourself, you are likely creating fake growth in your life. You are putting fresh coats of paint on rotting fence posts for the boundaries and the optimization of your life. When the wind comes, it doesn’t matter how pretty the paint is. The fence will fall. The frustration will rise. We want to keep that in mind.
Do More for the Sake of It
Number three, doing more for the sake of doing more. In other words, this is taught in Corporate America as, “I was the first one in the office and the last one to leave.” It sounds funny but that was me. After 2008, I cleaned my clock and I went back to work for a university. I killed myself. I was always wanting to make sure I was the first one in the office and the last one to leave. I want to make sure that I was the last person to email my boss to demonstrate how hard I was working and how much I was pushing.
This idea has been driven into us that if I do more, I’m growing. If I do more, I’m growing my business. If I stay longer, I’m going to be more successful. If I start work earlier, I’m going to be more successful. It’s not that those are all indicators that you’re not going to be successful, but they are nowhere close to the primary indicators that you are growing, that you are going to be more successful. You can do more stuff all the time. You can get busier and busier and all you’ve done is gone through that revolving door, gone in circles, chasing your tail faster and faster.
Just because you chased it longer, it doesn’t mean it was more productive. Just because you started chasing it earlier, it doesn’t mean it was more productive. Be careful not to evaluate whether you are growing by your stamina for simply being able to do stuff, to be busy. That is a major misleading evaluation of whether you are growing and becoming better. Number one, loving on people does not mean you are growing. More optimistic does not mean you are growing, and doing more does not mean you are growing.
Those are three of the biggest misleading evaluations of whether you are growing and becoming a better person. With that said, let’s talk about the three things internally and three things externally that indicate that you are growing. There are three in terms of internal growth. That’s between you and you. There are three areas you want to focus on in terms of external growth. That’s between you and other things like people, work and other things like that.
The first area and the most important one in terms of actual optimization, actual implementation. It’s the first one we teach Fortune 500 companies or people in homebased businesses or couples in relationships. The first area you will always want to take inventory of is connection. How are you doing on connection? Are you growing in the area of connection? I told you, I want to give you the six areas, but I also want to give you the simplest definition for evaluation because the simpler the evaluation, the more accurate it can be. The more complicated the evaluation, the more difficult it can be and the less accurate it can be. I don’t mind saying that’s why personality tests are so difficult versus the Habit Finder.
The Habit Finder is a mathematical, scientific objective process. Personality test, while very enlightening about your starting line for where you are now, your preferences, your emotional palette, because that’s what personality is. They’re fantastic for that, but they’re subjective processes. Look at the questions that are asked. Look at the way that they’re asked 4 or 5, 6, 7, 8 different ways to be able to try and subjectively triangulate where you are. It’s complicated. They usually take a long time, an hour, hour and a half plus depending on the indexing you’re doing for personality, aptitude, behavior and other preferences.
Habit Finder takes you about ten minutes and gives over 6.4 quadrillion variables of objective data. That’s what we want to focus on. We want to be able to focus on simple evaluation that is accurate. If we’re going to evaluate how we’re doing on connection, there’s only one word I need to give you in terms of that evaluation. That’s listening. How are you doing with listening? There’s an easy way to find out how you’re doing on listening. How much of the talking in your relationships and your conversations are you doing versus how much you’re learning about them? Here’s the challenge. Most entrepreneurial brains are very active and obsessively analytical.
What they’ll do is they’ll look for hints, keys, clues and try to piece them together as quickly as possible to be able to say that it was Colonel Mustard in the library with the wrench as quickly as possible to win the game of people and connection. It means as soon as you feel like you’ve start to get somebody, you start to understand somebody, and you’ll start doing what they say in court, “Lead the witness.” You’ll lead the witness and stop listening. We miss the immeasurable gap between understanding someone, which usually means you’re starting to understand them and them feeling understood. Those are two different things.
Evaluate the Connection
As you evaluate connection, ask yourself, am I a better listener than I was last year? Am I a better listener than I was earlier this year? The indicator to that is, what have I learned about people that I didn’t learn before individually and collectively? Are you hearing what’s below the surface? Are you challenging your preferences? What’s important to you versus where they’re at and what they’re experiencing because it’s different from what you’re experiencing. As much as your brain wants to try to relate it to something in your life, you’re going to want to notice what’s important to them, especially when it’s not important to you and be able to listen.
If you want to be able to evaluate the first and most important area of whether you are growing, ask yourself, am I listening better? That’s going to require a pretty good definition of listening, which is allowing someone to feel understood, not going through some investigative game of clue to see if you understand them. We want to make sure we leave plenty of room for that gap between you starting to understand them and them feeling understood regardless of the situation. Listen, first evaluator to whether you’re growing is connection. The question to ask is, am I better at listening? You then know you’re growing in the right space.
It’s All in the Mind
Number two is mental. The brain in terms of the conversations that are going on up here. You want to be able to hear the conversations. You want to then be able to join the conversations and be able to dictate those conversations. Those conversations are creating what is the evaluation of whether you are growing mentally. That is the quality of the blueprints and baby steps of your life. If you are able to create better blueprints for what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and why you’re doing it, what sacrifices are required to do it and what sacrifices are you not willing to make to do it, then you know you are growing and becoming better at the mental game.
First, there’s the connection game, then there’s the mental game. That is being able to create better quality blueprints and baby steps for creating your dreams and not just dreaming about them. If you’ve gotten better at dreaming about them and you haven’t gotten better at creating them, you have not grown personally and professionally. Those are the same thing by the way. You have not grown in the way that will turn out to making a bigger impact on this world, making a better business, and creating more income.
The mental evaluation is, am I making clearer blueprints and baby steps for creating what I can see up here? Am I getting better at differentiating between what’s up here and what’s been accomplished out here? With that requires good blueprints. You cannot build a quality house without quality schematics, quality blueprints. You cannot build that house by skipping steps or taking too broader leaps, “You got the electrical stuff done. I’ll get the plumbing stuff done. You get the wall stuff done.” Every little piece is printed out when it should be done, how it should be done, with better blueprints and better baby steps. Baby steps are key for your millimeters, for your creation as well as if you’re leading anyone else in that regard as well.
The second piece, am I creating clearer and better blueprints and baby steps? You’ll know you’re doing that because you’re creating the things that you’re thinking about up here. If you’re not, you want to learn how to create better blueprint and baby steps, because most of us are taking steps beyond what we are capable because we think we should already be able to do those things. The third one is physical. The first one was connection. The second one was mental. The third one was physical.
If you want to evaluate whether you are growing in such a way that you will find more peace, fulfillment, success, income, all those things in your life and your business, the third one to look at is physical. The simplest evaluator there is, “Am I focused on results? Am I focused on being busy?” You can see why the blueprints and the baby steps are so critical. If you’re focused on being busy, you likely still procrastinate things that give you anxiety, challenges and push them off a little bit until you have to get them done. You’re exhausted from having to get them done because you’re up against the deadline like the end of the month.
Now, I have to make the calls. Now I have to do this stuff and it’s exhausting. It’s tiring. You get the physical work done, but usually it’s just enough to make sure you stay alive, and then maybe occasional seasons for you to be able to drive a little bit further ahead. It certainly isn’t rejuvenating. It isn’t giving you the opportunity to be able to create the life you want by starting to experience elements of the life you want right now. I would imagine that the life anybody wants is a life to be able to give and serve, the life to be able to learn important lessons, work ethic, blueprints, baby steps, and to be able to find peace, fulfillment and freedom. Those things come from this physical realm. They don’t come from being busy. They don’t come from how hard what you’re doing feels. They don’t come from purely the amount of time you’re putting into something. They come from results.
Have you gotten clear about what physical activities create which results? Are you doing it? If you’ve got the Ghostbusters strategy of “get her” for your business, it’s not seems to be the dominant driver of how you create. It’s get it, get it more, and get it even more. That’s your business strategy when it boils down to it. When you honest with yourself, then you haven’t grown in the physical realm. You haven’t grown to be able to create the habits that focus only on the activities that create results, which has got to start with getting clear about which activities do create results.
Number four is structure. The fourth area you’re going to want to evaluate as to whether you are growing is structure. Now we’ve moved into the external. The connection is between you and other people. That’s external. Mental is internal, that’s between you and your thoughts. Physical is external, that’s between you and tasks. We’re in structure, which is between you and authority, structure, planning and ideas. Structure, which is a critical piece of growth. We have one evaluator, “Is my life simpler now than it was before?”
If not, you have not grown. You have not become better in structure if your life is more complicated today than it was the day before. Here’s a caveat talking about in terms of how it feels. If your life feels simpler now, you may have a higher rank, higher income, a big promotion, more responsibility or more accountability. If it feels way more difficult, overwhelming and anxious, then more than likely you have not grown in the area of structure because the area of structure is evaluated by one simple thing. That is, are you making your life simpler? That’s the point of structure. That’s the goal. Does this make my life simple? If it doesn’t, it’s not structure you need or at least not structure you need right now.
If you feel like you’re growing, maybe you’ve grown in connection, mentally, physically in terms of the evaluations that I gave you but life is feeling crazier, “I’ve got more to get done and less time to do it,” is how it feels. “I’ve got more people to help and less ability to be able to do that,” or whatever it might be. You’re going to want to take a look at structure. You want to be able to find ways to simplify. We mentioned loving on people and optimism. Those are all great ways to try and smooth over, put icing on top of a difficult situation in terms of, “I’ve ramped up my connection, my blueprints, my baby steps, my results, but I don’t know how long I can sustain this.”
It’s Really Simple
You want to take a look at structure and simplify. It’s very difficult to simplify from an emotional place. You’re going to want to learn those anchors and those pieces. People either try to simplify emotionally, which doesn’t usually help or people want to simplify by over-complicating, which sounds weird, but many people do that. Many people think that structure is going to come in and put them on autopilot, “If I was more structured, I wouldn’t be stressed about this. I wouldn’t have to worry about that.” It would all happen automatically. It’s not what structure does. Structure enhances what is already there. Structure is built there to support what you already have. If you’re thinking structure is going to give you peace in life, love and cooperation. Structure doesn’t create that. It magnifies it. It facilitates it, but you need to have that first. You bring structure to do that. Stepping back and saying, “Is this making my life simpler?” is a huge key to determine whether you are growing in the area of structure.
Number five is joy. Are you growing in the area of joy? Are you finding joy? The easiest way to evaluate that is, have you changed your interpretation of your life? That’s where it starts. The key to joy is one word, perspective. That’s what joy is. Joy is perspective. In order to create perspective, we need to change some stories and some expectations. That’s where the interpretation comes in. Have you grown in your ability to interpret life differently so that you show up differently and then life shows up differently? Are you still trying to work on circumstance improvement rather than personal improvement? Are you waiting for that check to come in, that rank to come in, that accomplishment to be done, and then I can show up differently, then I’ll be happier, then I’ll be able to? We live a life packed with then and never get to find joy, which does not exist in then. Joy only exists in now. Just like the radio station, it’s always there. It’s completely up to you whether you dial in. If you’re going to evaluate your growth, joy is your ability to interpret things differently and change perspective.
Number six is self, specifically in terms of your evaluation of yourself. The thought processes that you construct what most people would know is your self-esteem, which is that. It’s simply a set of thought processes. It’s not this aura. It’s not this energy. Those are all impacted by this set of thought processes. Those are limited or enhanced by this set of thought processes. The easiest way or the simplest way of evaluating whether you have grown in self, in myself, in this deep, genuine, authentic and real place is simply by asking, do I feel worthy? That can be applied to a lot of different things.
Do I feel worthy to have the children that I do? Do I feel like a bad mom or a bad dad? Do I feel worthy to be in the business that I’m in? Do I feel like I’m leveraging people and trying to balance these hidden selfish desires with these proclaimed selfless desires or finding ways to allow both to coexist? Do I feel worthy to be here? If you are growing in self, which is the deepest area to growing, that’s why it’s number six on this list. It requires the other five to grow before we can truly make productive and sustainable changes itself. That is to be able to step back and go, “Do I feel worthy to be here?” Another way you might ask that is, do I feel like I belong?
If you want to grow and you want to become better, get around people you don’t feel like you belong around or you don’t feel worthy around, then pay attention to what they’re doing. Improve your connection, improve your mental creation, your physical creation, your structure, and your joy. Shorten the learning curve by being able to get around people that have done it the right way. You will make an impact on this final evaluation of whether you are growing at the deepest level, and not as whether you feel worthy to be here in terms of your income, in terms of what you want to create, in terms of the dreams you’re having, the steps you’re taking, the people you think you’re doing it for, and everything else. Do you feel worthy? Do you feel like you belong? If you can answer that more confidently today than you did yesterday, then you are growing.
It’s not because you’ve pumped it full of optimism or you’re loving on people and you’ve got to show up for them. It’s not because you’re doing more, but because you have grown in all six of these areas. You are listening better. You are creating better blueprints with better baby steps. You are results-focused, not just trying to be busy. You are simplifying your life with structure, not trying to make it in autopilot. You are interpreting the way life is showing up in a productive way, whether it is what the world would call good or bad. You interpret it in a productive way. We call that curiosity and you are starting to feel like you belong. It doesn’t mean you feel like that 24/7 every day, but you reach a new depth. You reach a new level of confidence in this area. That’s how you know you’re growing. That’s how you know you are becoming more. Those are the areas that create growth across the board.
Improving Your Life
Those are the elements that create the tide that will raise all ships in your life so that you don’t feel like you’re spinning this plate and doing amazing then, “I forgot about my home plate, my personal health plate, my income plate, my fiscal responsibility, my healthy spending plate. I forgot about my personal relationship with my spouse plate.” We want to create a system with these six areas that will spin all plates for you. That’s what we focus on here in Habit Finder. We don’t teach connection for growing your business and making a way better conversion in your sales, even though that’s what it does. As you learn to sell better, you learn to connect better the way we teach it, you learn to do that with your kids, with your spouse, with your family members, with people in your community.
When you learn to create clearer blueprints, guess who’s a part of those schematics or those blueprints, everyone in your life. It takes them all into account so that we don’t play the game of robbing Peter to pay Paul on an existential level. We’re not trying to do this long enough to make it worth it for a sacrifice that we wouldn’t have been willing to make in the beginning. Sometimes as scary as it is, one we didn’t even have to make. Be careful of people who came up in life and business. I’m so convinced that it was determined by how hard it felt, how busy they were and how much time they put in. If that seems to be their calling card, that is not someone I would follow.
If it’s a part of their instruction, those are recipes to creating what you want. You’ve got to put in time. There’s going to be busy times. It’s going to be hard. If those are the primary evaluators as to whether you are growing, then that’s going to be how you experience where you get to. If your brain is going, “The only time I feel like I’m making progress is if it feels hard, I’m busy and it’s taken a lot of time,” then your brain will always try and find ways to pull that into your life. No matter how much money you’re making or how successful your business is. Do you need to work hard to be successful? Yes. I’m not saying that. Is it going to take time? Yes. Are you going to be busy and have seasons? Yes.
If those are the primary drivers, if that’s the focal point, that’s what you focus on. That’s what you’re going to get. We want you to focus on growth. We want you to focus on connection, mental creation, physical creation, structure, joy and self. Allow time, busy and hard to play their appropriate role secondary to these areas that create real growth. If you’re curious about where your brain is at in terms of these areas, we can measure them scientifically mathematically in the Habit Finder.
If you’ve taken the Habit Finder and you haven’t had an opportunity to have a specialist take you through your personal results for free, then reach out, let us know. It takes one little thing for you to understand about one of these areas to change everything completely. That one small hinge that can swing a huge gait in terms of the results you create in this life and how you experience them. That’s the growth we wish for all of you. That’s what we hope for you to find with simplicity, to be able to find with sustainability. We want you to be able to get to the most successful life you can imagine as quickly as possible, but not faster than you should. Thanks for reading, everybody. Please share this out. Tag people you think this could serve. We look forward to continuing to serve you. Until next time. Take care.