Hey, hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! You guys, I am absolutely jacked out of my mind right now. Why? Because this week, I have the Geoff Woods, President of The ONE Thing, on the show!
For those of you who don’t know, The ONE Thing is a business book, and it’s probably the best business book I’ve ever read. It literally changed my whole life and career, and I could not be more excited to have anyone else on the podcast. I read The ONE Thing for the first time maybe three or four years ago, and it’s been rocking my world ever since.
The ONE Thing was written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. If you’re not familiar with Gary — he’s the Founder of Keller Williams Realty, the biggest real estate company in the world. These guys are masters of productivity, but when they decided to create an entire business around The ONE Thing, they needed a third man — that’s where Geoff came in.
Now, Geoff is one of the world’s leading productivity experts. He shared so much wisdom in this episode, and I know you’re going to get a lot of value out of it. In our interview, we talked about how Geoff actually manifested his opportunity to work for Jay and Gary and about the one question they asked during his interview that changed his life forever.
We also talked about the biggest productivity lie you’ve been told and how you can actually overcome it. Geoff told me all about the one question you need to ask yourself to maximize your productivity and earn the right to move from one priority to the next. Guys, this interview is amazing and packed full of wisdom — you’re gonna want to take notes!
Who Is Geoff Woods?
Geoff Woods is the President of The ONE Thing, the company that published a business book, also called The ONE Thing! As such, he is a man on a mission: It’s his goal to help as many people as possible better invest their time and achieve extraordinary results. He’s sharing the #1 secret to maximizing productivity right here on The Bullpen Sessions!
Geoff is also the host of The ONE Thing podcast! The ONE Thing podcast is among the top 5% of podcasts in the world — it truly has a massive impact on entrepreneurs and business people everywhere. I definitely recommend checking it out when you get the chance!
Geoff started out as just a normal guy who wasn’t happy with his job. He knew he was doing work that helped people — he sold medical equipment that saved lives on a daily basis. But the work just didn’t light him up. It wasn’t aligned with his unique passions, so he had to make a change.
I’ll let him tell you more about how he went about making that change in just a minute, but needless to say, Geoff totally transformed his life. He worked his way to the top, interviewed with Gary and Jay, and now he’s running a company that impacts countless lives and genuinely helps people pursue their passions. That’s the work that truly lights Geoff up!
Friends, you are in for a great ride today. Geoff and I had a great conversation, and I’m excited and honored to share it with you. So without any further ado, let’s get started!
How Geoff Manifested His Dream Job
As I said before, Geoff used to work in sales. The medical devices he sold were incredibly helpful to hospitals and their patients, and he was having a huge positive impact on his community. It wasn’t a bad situation at all — but it wasn’t ideal. Geoff just didn’t love the work. He didn’t find medical equipment exciting. Still, he kept working.
“I realized I didn’t have enough pain in my life at the time to compel me to make a change, to force me to ask bigger questions and search for those answers.” – Geoff Woods
Then two things happened: First, Geoff’s colleague had a stroke at just 35 years old, and Geoff was forced to ask the question, “If what happened to my colleague happened to me, what would happen to my family?” And second, Geoff’s company changed its commission structure, and Geoff lost 40% of his income overnight. Suddenly there was enough pain in his life to make a change, so Geoff set out to do just that.
Geoff knew he wanted to find a way to do work he was passionate about as well as provide for the long-term well-being of his family. But he didn’t know where to start until he heard that Jim Rome quote that says that, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
“My ‘ah-ha!’ was: I know my dream was to wake up one day owning a business that made a massive impact in the world and delivered real security for my family. And when I looked at my list, the people that I was calling for advice on how to start that company, none of them were business owners who had built a big business that made a massive impact in the world and delivered real security for my family. I had five amazing friends — I did not have five amazing mentors.” – Geoff Woods
Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Who’s in your inner circle? There is nothing wrong with having close friends — of course, it’s essential to have people you love and care about outside of your professional life. But when you’re looking for mentors, you need to find people who have been there and done that — people who are a step or two ahead of you who can guide you in your career.
Geoff started specifically seeking mentors who could guide him into the world of entrepreneurship, and that’s how he met Gary and Jay. Gary was the Founder of Keller Williams Realty, and Jay was running education for them, so when they needed a third man for the team, they invited Geoff on board. That gave Geoff the opportunity to watch them and learn how to be as successful as they were.
If you’re in a place where you know you need to take that next leap and grow or scale your business, but you don’t know how to do it, I want to encourage you — get yourself in rooms with people who are ahead of you. It’s going to be intimidating at first, but it’s so worth it. You can observe their behavior and absorb their expertise. Remember — you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If you’re spending your time with millionaires, you’re well on your way to becoming a millionaire yourself.
The First Lie of Productivity
I couldn’t have Geoff Woods on the podcast without asking him to explain his best productivity tips! And he delivered. Here’s the bottom line:
“… We’re in the business of time. It’s our most valuable resource. The problem is most people … are spending it, not investing it. … They have zero expectation of a return. They go through their days of reacting to their email, to meetings, people asking if they’ve got a minute, [and] they look up at the end of the day thinking, ‘I was busy. Did I get anything done?’” – Geoff Woods
Does that sound like you? Do you spend your days getting distracted by minor emails and busy-work? I think we’re all guilty of that sometimes. But here’s the thing: If we’re going to truly invest our time and see a return on that investment, we’re going to have to shake things up.
To explain how, I’ll share Geoff’s story straight from his job interview with Gary and Jay. When Geoff was interviewing for his current job, he had to present Gary and Jay with a GPS plan, where the letters stand for “Goal, Priorities, and Strategies.” Basically, he had to lay out how he was going to improve the company. Geoff came prepared with three major priorities and the strategies he wanted to use to achieve those goals, all printed out on paper to share with Gary and Jay, and he started out with confidence.
Geoff explained his first point, answered a few questions, and then moved on. He explained his second point and answered a few questions, but then Gary started asking more questions about the first point. Then Geoff moved on to point three, and again Gary was more interested in point number one.
“He said, ‘Don’t even think about number two or number three until you’re earned the right to by mastering number one.’ The reason I share this with you is because my entire life, all the content I listened to told me that I just needed to work longer [and] I just needed to work harder. If you hustled, if you grind, you too can be successful. And here’s Gary saying, ‘BS, working long hours is cheating because you can do the wrong activities.’… He was saying, ‘Everything does not matter equally.’ And that’s the first lie — that everything matters equally.” – Geoff Woods
Take a look at your to-do list. What’s on it? Maybe you have tasks that are important for your business, like, “write sales copy,” or, “record podcast episode.” Maybe you have tasks that are essential for you and your family like, “prep dinner, “or, “doctor’s appointment.” But perhaps you also have tasks that might be helpful but aren’t necessarily going to move the needle in your business. These are your busy-work tasks — all those little things that you might spend your days doing that make you feel productive without actually getting anything done.
Those tasks don’t all matter equally. Geoff said it several times during our conversation — “There are 20% of things on your plate that will drive 80% of your results.” Only 20% of the things on your to-do list are going to drive 80% of your results — so the first task is to get crystal clear on what those are.
How to Get More Done in Less Time
Take another look at your to-do list. I’m willing to bet that you can identify a few things on it that you know are not going to move the needle for your business. Move those to the bottom of the list. Then look at the items that are left — which ones are most important?
“Start at the top of the list and ask, ‘Is this a 20% priority that will drive 80% of my results?’ Yes or no. And if the answer is ‘no,’ just move on to the next one. … [If this is a ] ‘yes,’ put a star next to that one. … In that moment, you have separated all the things you could do from the things you should do. Now, we immediately narrow our focus … and make sure that we act in order of priority.” – Geoff Woods
If you’re running a blogging business, writing blog copy is going to be your absolute first priority. If you’re in sales, networking and marketing your product are essential. Those tasks should be at the very top of your list.
From there, you can even prioritize your top tasks. Choose the one thing that is most important to your business, and focus solely on that. Should you finish that task and actually make real progress, then you will have earned the right to move on to the next one.
And for those of you who are worried about letting go of certain tasks that seem helpful if not necessarily massively impactful, check out what Geoff had to say about Steve Jobs:
“Steve Jobs, a perfect example. When he came back as CEO from ’97 to ’99, [in] that two-year window, he took Apple from 350 active projects down to 10. He literally shut down 340 initiatives, let alone all the ‘no’s’ he said to the new opportunities. As a result of narrowing their focus, Apple went on to become one of the most valuable companies in the world.” – Geoff Woods
Narrowing your focus is the #1 thing that will help you take your productivity to the next level. It will allow you to invest your time in the tasks that will massively impact your business instead of getting bogged down in busyness. Now pull out your planner — you can use a digital planner or a paper planner — prioritize your tasks, and get to work! You’ll be glad you did.
Why You Should Listen to This Geoff Woods Podcast Episode Right Now…
This interview was incredible. Geoff shared with me the one simple truth that will help any entrepreneur or business owner to achieve extraordinary results in their career — it’s all about realizing that not all tasks are equal, prioritizing the tasks that are most important, and focusing on one task until you earn the right to move on to the next one.
Guys, this is actionable for each and every one of us. We can all narrow down our focus and concentrate on the tasks we need to get done. And if you — like all of us at some point — find your calendar booked with meetings, phone calls, and other busy tasks, Geoff suggests blocking out some time for yourself a month or two ahead of time:
“… Fast forward a month in your digital calendar when you are available and start blocking time for yourself. Start putting large blocks of time for you to determine whatever you deemed to be [your] highest priority.” – Geoff Woods
By blocking out that time in your schedule, you give yourself space and time to think. You can use that time to reprioritize your list and do the work that is going to get you the results of your dreams.
Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.
You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.
Thanks again for joining me today, guys! Remember — narrowing your focus to the most essential task is the #1 thing that will help you achieve extraordinary results. Go make it happen today!