EP 86 – Get Back To The Basics
Hey, hey! Welcome back to Friday Bullpen Sessions. Have you set some huge and inspiring goals for 2021? If so, you’re in the right place! Today, I’m sharing my number one exercise to achieve audacious goals without being intimidated by them.
What I’m going to share with you today is actually how I came up with the name for my podcast, the Bullpen Sessions. Every week during baseball season, I went to the bullpen to work with my pitching coach. We took that time to get back to the basics. I didn’t have any batters to face, and the game wasn’t on the line. I could screw up, try new things, and fail. It was my chance to work on my follow-through, delivery, and pitch selection.
Looking back, I’m confident that if it weren’t for my weekly bullpen sessions of going back to the basics, I would not have been the successful pitcher I was. And, I can guarantee you that anyone you admire and look up to in business, relationships, or sports has developed a habit of going back to the basics.
Today, I’m going to help you put together a game plan to achieve your big goal by going back to the basics. This tool has helped me stay motivated, avoid discouragement, and absolutely crush my goals. It can do the same for you. So, let’s jump in!
Leave Your Ego at the Door
I don’t care how successful you are, the first step is to check your ego at the door. You are never too good for the basics. Ego can be our best friend. It also can be our worst enemy. And if you think you’re too good to get back to the basic drills — what, in sports, we call the blocking and tackling that makes you successful — you need to do it even more.
Probably the greatest college basketball coach in history won by this principle of going back to the basics. So, I’m going to tell you his story. John Wooden won ten national titles in 12 years at UCLA. Think about that — ten national championships in 12 years means that he won 80% of the games.
It is almost impossible for a college basketball team to go undefeated. I know some of the Yukon teams and the women’s basketball teams have gone undefeated, but a winning streak in college basketball is almost never done over a 40 game season. And, John Wooden did it FOUR times!
Now, why do I share this? Because this man is possibly the most successful college basketball coach — every single year, no matter how successful his team was the previous year, they spent the first few practices working on the basics.
He literally had his players relearn how to put their socks and shoes on. Guys like Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton — some of the greatest college basketball players we’ve ever seen at UCLA — spent their first few practices every season learning how to put their socks and shoes on. And here’s why. Because John wanted to send this message, “I don’t care how successful we were as a team last year, we are not too good to get back to where we started. We are not too good to get back to the foundational principles that have made us so successful.”
So, I’m asking you the same thing in the first month of 2021. Are you willing to go back to the basics? You might be happy as hell that 2020 is over, and you get a fresh start. Maybe you’re trying to keep the momentum going because you had an extremely successful 2020. Either way, can you check your ego at the door and go back to the basics with me so that you can get hyper-focused and outperform your competition?
There’s a huge difference between being productive and being busy. The most important thing you can do at any moment is to make sure you’re taking appropriate action every single day. You very rarely need to do a LOT of things. More than likely, you need to take massive action in one specific way. So, the second step to this process is clarifying what your goals are.
What I want you to do right now is grab a piece of paper and a pen. Now, write down your goal for this year. I’m talking about your big, hairy, audacious goal. In my coaching community, we call it the B-hag. What is the number one goal you want to accomplish this year? Imagine it’s December 31st of 2021, and you’re looking back over your year. If you only get one thing done this year, what do you hope it is? That’s the goal I want you to write down.
It can be a sales goal, relationship goal, or weight-loss goal. Whatever it is, write it down!
Now that you’ve got the goal written down, I want you to reverse engineer it. For example, let’s say your goal this year is to sell $500,000 in new revenue. The next step is to break your goals down into quarterly goals. In other words, where do you need to be on March 31st so that you can say to yourself, “I am absolutely on track to meet my 2021 goal”? Whatever your answer was, write it down, too. Do that again for June 30th and September 30th.
This isn’t rocket science, but so few people do it. They create this lofty goal, and they do nothing to figure out what they need to be doing every single week to hit it. They set it, forget it. Three months into the year, they look up at this huge goal and think, “Oh my God, I’m never going to hit it!” They end up feeling behind before the first quarter is even over. That’s why going back to the basics of reverse engineering your goal is the most important thing you can do.
Let’s go back to the analogy I shared a little earlier. If your 2021 goal is half a million dollars in sales by June 30th, you need to be at $250,000 in sales, right? Come March 31st, you need to be at $125,000 in sales. It’s simple math, but whatever your goal is, reverse engineer it back to where you need to be on March 31st.
Once you have reverse engineered your goal by setting quarterly goals, you need to do it again for weekly and monthly goals. So, if you need to be at $125,000 by the end of March, you need to be at $42,000 sales by the end of January. And weekly, you need to hit $10,500 in sales. Do you see how we broke down half a million dollars into $10,500 goals? That’s much more manageable, right?
Guys, I used a financial goal because I come from the health insurance industry, so that’s really relatable for me. But maybe you’re a college athlete, and you want to make the starting team. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who wants to book their first speaking gig. Maybe you work for a corporation and want a promotion. Reverse engineer the steps to getting where you want to be so that instead of feeling intimidated by your B-hag, you can be inspired and motivated to use your days well.
Get Clear on One Thing
If you’ve read the book, The One Thing, this next step may sound familiar to you. Decide on the ONE thing you need to do daily to reach your quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. What is the one thing that is going to move the needle towards your goal the most? Pro tip: It’s usually the most basic task and thing you least want to do!
In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller talks about the power of focus, managing your willpower, and what it takes to truly succeed. I love what he said about how some people get more done in their day than others:
“If everyone has the same number of hours in the day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others? How do they do more, achieve more, earn more, have more? If time is the currency of achievement, then why are some able to cash in their allotment for more chips than others? The answer is they make getting to the heart of things the heart of their approach. They go small. Going small is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.” – Gary Keller
This book is absolutely a must-read, especially at the beginning of the year. It’s a powerful reminder that we’re human and have a limited amount of hours, but if we use those hours well, we can accomplish near-impossible things. So, what is the one thing you need to do each day to move you closest to your goal? Write it down.
You have to reverse engineer those big lofty goals all the way back to the basics — exactly what you need to be doing each today. Because big goals are great, but when there’s no game plan, there’s no action. You don’t need to get to the end of this quarter and feel behind and defeated. So, figure out what your priorities are and start taking action. You are capable of having your biggest, most audacious goals yet! Don’t let it slip away from you because you didn’t make yourself a gameplan!
Why You Need to Go Back to the Basics
Going back to the basics, reverse engineering goals, and setting hyper-focused priorities is what all the greats do. The ones you want to be like who are having massive success in business and life get back to the basics every year. That’s why, in baseball, they call it spring training. You have to get back and do the basics.
But my point is this: If you want to have massive success this year, and I hope you do, whether you had it last year or 2020 was an absolute struggle for you. You need to get back to the basics and figure out what you have to do every single day to create that success you want.
The more you level-set you are, the better your results will be year in and year out. So my advice is to get back to the basics and do the boring, monotonous stuff your competitors don’t want to do because they want quick wins. While they’re busy, you are going to be productive. Be patient, get consistent, invest in the basics, and you, my friend, will have massive success!
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Thank you for taking the time to read this Friday Bullpen Session. If you know anyone in your family or personal life that might benefit from this, please take a screenshot of this and post it on Instagram. Tag me, @andy_neary, and let me know what your B-hag is! If you have three minutes, could you do me a favor? Go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and give Bullpen Sessions a five-star rating. I’d be extremely grateful if you did.
Last thing, do you know what happens when clarity and confidence collide? Massive action. Now, go make it happen today! I’ll catch up with you next week.
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