Do You Have The Secret Weapon For Success In Place?

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

If there is one thing that can propel a business and a leader forward it would most definitely be accountability.

Accountability is difficult to put into place for a number of reasons: 1) we don’t know who to ask, 2) it’s sometimes surprisingly challenging to set our egos aside, 3) we may feel like we “don’t have time for that”, 4) we’re uncomfortable being vulnerable, and/or 5) we don’t feel like we’d have much to offer someone else.

Whatever your reason, if you don’t have accountability in your life and you’re not making the progress you want, you might do well to put all that aside and consider this secret weapon.  

Motivation can get you started on making a change or achieving a goal, but eventually the excitement that you’re feeling at the outset will begin to wane. We’ve all experienced this.

Good accountability can help you go the extra mile when it’s just feels easier to give up.

Every day presents so many possible distractions – even an unexpected phone call or email can completely derail your initial daily plan. If you add up all of these times in your day where distraction wins and strategic thought and execution are a far off 2nd, then your path to business success slowly fades. And sadly, this could leave you among the large percentage of other businesses that just don’t last for the long-term.

The simple and unfortunate truth is that far too many small business owners have gotten used to existing on a deserted island, even if they are surrounded by a great staff. They start their business so they can be their own boss and not have to answer to anyone, but the pendulum oftens swings too far left and they lose touch with other voices who are desperately needed to help them succeed.

An accountability partner is a business peer who you start a relationship with in order to help each other grow your respective companies. You do this by offering guidance and by holding each other to your commitments. This relationship is different than a mentor because in an accountability relationship, both are bettering their businesses and giving support and feedback to each other.

A good accountability partner has a lot to offer…

  • They keep your goals at the forefront of your focus.
  • They validate and vet your thoughts, ideas, and decisions.
  • They help accelerate your performance by keeping you responsible and holding your feet to the fire.
  • They help you measure your progress.
  • They understand your challenges and joys.
  • They become your biggest cheerleader and celebrate with you.
  • They call you on your b.s. excuses and push you through procrastination.
  • They are brutally honest with you (in a kind way, of course).
  • They are in it with you.

Accountability is what separates the super successful entrepreneurs and leaders from the mediocre.

When you are clear on your expectations and you agree on consequences, there is nothing that can stop the two of you from reaching your potential.

We are just entering week 2 of our Setting & Crushing Your Goals Challenge through our online platform Hub, where 250+ gym owners are starting off this year with razor-like focus and a bang. One of the components of this challenge is to find an accountability partner among the other gym owners participating in the Challenge. The results are already unbelievably powerful, even just one week in. And much of this is because these gym owners know they are not in this alone, but have a supportive, kind, smart community that’s got their back. They’re smart enough to have tapped into the “secret weapon”.

How about you? Are you willing to do the uncomfortable to get the results you want?

“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers who care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.” – John Di Lemme

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com)

10 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs Who Are Going To Crush 2017

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

In today’s world, it’s never been easier to become an entrepreneur, but it’s also never been more difficult to become really successful as an entrepreneur.

It’s almost envogue to leave your corporate job and start your own thing. That’s all fine and well until you learn that it takes some serious mojo to be a “for real” entrepreneur.

Of course all entrepreneurs are different but there are certain characteristics ingrained and evident in the ones who lead the pack.

Here are 10 things, in our opinion, that these leaders have in spades over all the rest:

  1. They plan every day in advance. They don’t let their days control them, but they control their days. The first part of their morning (or the last part of the day prior) is spent on what the day is going to hold. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive. They spend a few minutes at the start of every day, thinking and planning. They know what they want to accomplish, and they make it happen.
  2. They give priority to their health. Working out and eating right is just a given. It’s not an option. Even when they are busy, they take care of their body. Sure, they may have cheat meals, but on the whole, they fuel their bodies with good stuff.
  3. They are constantly seeking to serve. They do what they do because they want to see others succeed. Focusing on your own success is a surefire way to no success at all. They go through their life trying to find ways to make other’s lives better and they use their business as a platform to make this happen on a large scale.
  4. They have clear and actionable goals in place. They set off on the road trip of their business with a map in hand. They know where they are headed, what they want to accomplish, and have highlighted the stops they want to see along the way. Goal setting is important to them because it provides clear direction.
  5. They take calculated risks. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you absolutely have to take risks. But you don’t do something just because you saw someone else have a little success with it in a Facebook group. You do your own research and homework, and have a plan for implementation of new things. And, then if it’s not working after a reasonable amount of time (90 days), you let it go and learn from the “mistake”.
  6. They make their family a priority. Even though work may be busy, they know their priorities and family is one of them. It’s too easy to let too much time go by without being focused on what’s important. The successful ones know this and make regular investments into their family bank accounts.
  7. They are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. We all are good at some things and not so great at others. The key is knowing and admitting where we could use help. No man/woman is an island, so no one can do it effectively alone. Those who surround themselves with others where they are weak are the ones who will see the greatest progress this year.
  8. They don’t blame others when things don’t go as planned. Taking responsibility is a beautiful, but sometimes hard, thing. Those who recognize the fact that if their business isn’t where they want it, know that the responsibility lies on them because the buck starts and stops right there in their own person. And, on the flip side, if their business is successful, other people are given the credit they deserve. This one characteristic alone of taking responsibility could make all the difference between the 5% of really successful entrepreneurs and all the rest.
  9. They evaluate and make adjustments after every day. Reflection is built into what they do every day. They course correct early and often. They look back on what they are grateful for every day, knowing that the best leaders cultivate a heart of gratitude. They make adjustments for the next day based on what went well and what could’ve been improved.
  10. They know what they don’t know. When given tools that they don’t know how to use, they invest time in learning (and not expecting other people to do it for them). They are insatiable learners, and have no problem learning from their own mistakes. Failure is welcome because it means growth for them.

It’s not an easy job being an entrepreneur. If you’ve done it for any length of time, this is not news to you. Certainly not all will crush it in their businesses in 2017. Many will go out of business. Many will sell for far less than their business could have been worth. The vast majority will be ok with being “ok” at many of the above, then get to the end of 2017 wishing things were different (again).

How are you doing with this list?  Today would be a good day to start working on those things you know could use improvement so that the end of 2017 isn’t met with regret.

A year from now you will wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon. You can reach her at julie@321goproject.com.

9 Big Takeaways From 2016

By | Business Help, Culture, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Staffing & Coaches | No Comments

Our content over the last month in both our blog posts and podcast episodes has been all about maximizing future opportunities as we consider what’s ahead in 2017. Whether you embrace goal setting or not, the truth is that what you focus on is where you’ll see growth.

In order to create that focus to experience the growth you’re hoping for, it’s important to do two things: 1) reflect on the past (what you did, how you did it, what you didn’t do, etc.) and 2) create a plan for the future.

Given #1 above, as I take a few minutes to reflect, I feel like I was taken to school this past year. 2016 brought lots of changes for us at 321GoProject – in our team, our service offerings, and our focus.

Here are a handful of themes I’ve learned (or re-learned) from those changes in hopes that just maybe you can learn a little something from them too.

Success takes time. There are no magic pills. Very few plug-n-play, easy button answers exist. Success comes from doing the hard work, every day. Doing the little things and creating habits that are often seemingly insignificant, but when added up over time equal your envisioned success. The difference between the people who understand (and embrace) this and those who don’t is astounding.

Every day requires recommitment. Some days you wake up stoked for what lies ahead, to be sure. But, for the most part if you’re anything like me, it’s a daily recommitment to what’s important. It is discipline. It is habits. It is perseverance. It’s the grind. It’s remembering that every choice you make every day matters.

The importance of a good team can’t be overstated. We have a team at 321Go now that is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. We are “for” each other, we care about each other’s success and not just our own, we laugh (a lot), and we challenge each other to be the best version of ourselves. And it’s so fun… every day.

Bad people do prosper. While karma is truly what they say she is, she doesn’t always work in our timeframe. Because of that, bad people do still get wins. Sometimes this is a really hard pill to swallow. Especially if you’ve done your very best to take the high road when you know who they really are. That’s ok… trust karma’s timing. Truth always finds its way to the surface, eventually.

Getting rid of the rotten apple is always better when done quickly.  If you have someone on your team who doesn’t fit, it’s always better to let them go sooner rather than later. No sense in delaying, they’re only going to spoil the bunch the more you wait.

True character is easy to see if you listen and pay attention. People do actions and use words that define their character, whether good or bad. Want to know if you can trust someone? Just watch and listen to how much it’s about them.

People attract like kind. We are drawn to people we are like because it’s familiar, and comfortable. Whether you’re competitive, or genuine, or arrogant, or driven, or kind, or encouraging, or funny, or quirky, or family-oriented, or faith-driven, or expletive-using, or intelligent, or motivated, or a combination of the above. If you’re a leader, look at the people following you. They are most likely a direct reflection of your own self.

The people who have my respect are those who don’t “need” it. They don’t do proverbial jumping jacks trying to get noticed. They don’t have to post about what they are giving away to get everyone’s “attaboy”. They definitely don’t toot their own horns. They simply lead from a position of (often quiet) strength and character. This truth has never been more apparent for me than this year. Those who are willing to give others the spotlight and even hold it for them, are the ones who, every day, have my respect.

Positivity always wins. Being negative affects not only yourself, but all those around you. We have a private Facebook group with 250+ gym owner clients. This is a portion of our creed… “This is a place where no question is a “dumb” one. This is an arms-wide-open group. We don’t do arrogant. We don’t do unkind. We check our egos at the door. We cheer for each other loudly and unashamedly. We give. We help. We do positive and impactful. All are welcome and all have a voice.” We don’t allow negativity. Period. And it is absolutely awesome and filled with amazing people. This world is full of positioning, negativity, and hard stuff; people want to be around positive people.

What have you learned this year? Do any of the above takeaways ring true for you?

If you’re finding yourself needing and wanting to be around good people, you should consider joining us for the Setting & Crushing Your 2017 Goals Challenge we’re launching through Hub on Monday, January 2. It’s for anyone who is ready for a change.

In it, we offer ways to get organized, the opportunity to assess last year, a plan you can follow, and all the accountability you need to set and crush your goals, while also developing a system to help your athletes reach their goals.

To find out more about the Challenge, click here.

 

If you have any questions or feedback, you can reach me at julie@321goproject.com. Would love to hear from you!

How To Tell If Greatness Is In Your Future

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

Whether you believe in resolutions and setting goals at the turn of a new year.. or not, it’s always a good idea – every now and then – to take inventory of your life and hit the reset button.

Think about all the different roles you play. You’re a dad/mom. You’re a son/daughter. You’re a business owner. You’re a friend. You’re a spouse/partner/significant other. You’re a coach/team member. So many roles that sometimes it hard to keep up with them all.

Every one of us develop habits and patterns that become “just the way things are”. We get so used to doing something a certain way, or being a certain way, that we stop actually taking notice.

Does this routine feel familiar at all?  New day, same pattern… A little like Groundhog Day.  

  • Wake up. Check phone. Make coffee. Check social media and emails. Rush to work. Get stressed about all the things you have to do. Check your (maybe declining) bank account.
  • Work, work, work. Feel like it’s never enough. Never get caught up. Stare at your computer because you have so much to do, but don’t know where to start.
  • Get home. Eat some food. Feel bad about not doing enough. Distract ourselves with some screens. Go to bed to do it all again the next day.

Have you ever thought to yourself – “This thing that I’m doing… This series of choices I make every day… It isn’t working. I don’t like the way I feel. I don’t like how my business is going. I don’t like the things I’m doing.” And then you find yourself saying… “Things need to change.”

If you’re at the point where you’ve done everything you know to do this past year and your life, or an area of your life, still isn’t working out, read on, my friend. This just might be for you.

Think about your business. Now, think about your relationships. Now, your finances. Now, your health. Now, your focus. Let come to mind any big block area of your life that makes you you.

Now, think about the people for whom you have a lot of respect because of who they are and what they’ve accomplished. Maybe it’s a successful business person like Elon Musk, or Seth Godin, or Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe it’s a celebrity. Maybe it’s a person you consider your coach. Maybe it’s your Mom or Dad or Grandparent. Whomever it is, picture them clearly in your mind.

Now, think about this question… How many hours do they have in a day?

Answer? Same number as you.

Same number as me! I’ve been letting this thought simmer now for about 4 weeks as I’ve been hyper focused on learning all I can about how to make 2017 my best year yet.  

If you’re not becoming who you want to be and are allowing yourself to be satisfied with status quo in your business, or relationship with your significant other, or whatever…. There’s a hard truth maybe you need to hear. You have no one to blame but you.

I have no one to blame but me if the different areas of my life aren’t as I want them to be.

We can make excuses all day long, but the ones who really want to accomplish something, get sh$t done. Plain and simple.

They shift their mindset to a get-it-done mentality. They create the environment that will foster growth. They invest their time and money in being different. They don’t let things get in their way, and when things do pop up, they find a way around them. When they don’t know how to do something, they do whatever it takes to learn. Because they know where they’re headed. They’re on a mission to make every day count, big.

They know that these four things have to be in place in order to make things happen.

Organization – Their life is organized. Their closet, their car, their house, their desk, their thoughts… all these things maintain a sense of order. They all may not be perfect every minute of every day, but things don’t stay in disarray long. A disorganized life is typically a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, chaotic life. And, before you know it, it’s over. 

Regular Assessments – They know their baseline. And they know when they’re making progress towards their goal. They take inventory of their life and their business often. And, when things aren’t as they want them to be, they do something about it. The hit the reset button.

A Plan – They have a plan. How silly would it be to go from Philadelphia, PA to San Diego, CA without a map? You’d waste so much time meandering down roads that seemingly lead to nowhere. You’d miss the big attractions and spend time on the lesser things. But how often do we do this with our lives, relationships and businesses? How many of us enter into a new month, new week, or new day haphazardly? We far too easily adopt the “let whatever come, come” mindset. Aristotle coined the term “enkrateia”. It means to be “in power over oneself.” Too often we give away this power to circumstances or other people. Not those who hit their goals. They have a plan. They grab the bull by the horns and they map out their future.

Accountability – Truth be told, we all fall off the wagon. Goal hitters have people in place who pick them up, encourage them, and kick them in their pants when they need it most. To them, having accountability in place is absolutely a non-negotiable.

We’e super excited about a new 30 Day Challenge through Hub that we’ll be launching on Monday, January 2.

It’s a Setting & Crushing Your 2017 Goals Challenge and it’s for anyone who is ready for a change. It’s for those who are ready to attack 2017 with a good old-fashioned load of gusto. It’s for those who want incredible accountability within a group of smart people who are big encouragers.

We absolutely guarantee this Challenge will work in setting up this year to be your best yet… if you’re serious about change.

If 2016 went by way too fast and you’re not much farther along than when you started, and you want to make 2017 your best yet… this Challenge is for you. 

In it, we offer ways to get organized, the opportunity to assess last year, a plan you can follow, and all the accountability you need to set and crush your goals.

For the cost of a monthly Hub subscription ($49), you can set your trajectory for 2017. You’ll get complete access to Hub, plus we’ll walk you through 30 days of setting yourself up to make 2017 count. There are no contracts with Hub, you can stay as long as you like. 

If interested, just click here to shoot me (Julie) a quick email and say, “I want this year to be awesome. I’m in for the Challenge!”

In our private client Facebook group, the question was recently asked “What’s your definition of greatness?” The consistent theme in the answers was that greatness is never stopping your pursuit to be all that you can be in this life that you’ve been uniquely created for.

Consider this your invitation to grab January by the horns and put a little greatness in your future.

What are you going to do about 2017? Won’t you join us for this Challenge?

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon.

Is A Goal Setting System Possible For Your Athletes?

By | Building Community, Business Help, Culture, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

If we were to have a candid conversation, we would admit that for the majority of people, if not all, personal goal setting is tough. Actually, the setting of goals isn’t the hard part, We all know what we want to do differently – more, or better, or less. It’s the follow through where many of us drastically miss the mark.

But it’s even harder to do with your athletes.

It’s hard because you can’t control them. You can’t control what they do and don’t do. You can’t make them get in their car and drive to the gym. You can’t be with them every meal to help them make good choices. You can’t force them to read your blog posts and increase their learning.

I’ve spoken to a large handful of respected gym owners to get their take on setting goals for/with their athletes. Their responses have ranged everywhere from “I have tried having goal setting meetings but it just never picked up traction.” to… “We just have them post on a whiteboard in the gym.” to… “We’re trying something a bit new since we haven’t had success in the past. We’re going to assign a coach to each member….the one they tend to see the most, then we’ll have quarterly 10 min meetings to set goals at the beginning of the year and update them as the year goes on.” to… “We have them complete a 13 week success guide where they have to attend 3 sessions/week and they have to reach a goal; if they complete this, we’ll sit down with them for a longer session.”  The actions and comments varied as much as the weather, but for good reason, what works for one may not always work for another. What everyone agreed to though, is the importance of knowing – and listening to – your athletes.

If you don’t have an established process for setting goals with your members, know that you are not alone. Many in this industry are trying to figure it out just like you.

But here’s the thing you have to let sink in… Your clients aren’t buying your product, they are buying a feeling.

Read that again… Your clients aren’t buying your product, they are buying a feeling. As awesome as you make your gym, that’s NOT what they’re buying. They’re not buying a great coach, or the best programming, or a clean gym, or whatever else you’d fill in the blank. There may be the rare few who are specifically buying good coaching because they want to compete, but even that I would argue is them buying a feeling.

They are buying the feeling they get (or have created in their minds) by utilizing all those things above. So, sure… all those things matter. They matter a great deal. Especially when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the guy down the street. But, once again… that’s NOT what they’re buying. They want to be known. They want to matter. They want to feel better about themselves. They want individualized attention (which is why they don’t choose the big, inexpensive gym down the street).

What all that means is you have to be able to identify the feeling they are looking to achieve. You have to know how to ask the right questions to get to the root of why they want to come to your gym. Is it to fit better in their jeans? Is it to feel attractive again to their significant other? Is it to have better sex? Is it to be able to keep up with their grandkids? Is it because they suffer from depression and working out is one of the few things that helps? Is it because they want to not follow the same path of unhealthy living that their parents took? Whatever it is, if you get them to name it, you’re 85% there.

Ultimately, you want to help them with a mind shift. If they keep the same attitude, doing the same things the same way, they’ll never change.

So, as we think about 2017 and how to go about helping our athletes be known and make changes in their lives, we encourage you to start small. Push yourself, but start small. Don’t try to create and execute on a totally new system where you meet with every one of your 150 athletes in the next month for individualized goal setting sessions so you can track them throughout the year. That’s too much. You’re going to get overwhelmed, frustrated, and your efforts are most definitely going to fizzle out.

Just take one or two steps forward. What did you do last year? Nothing? This year, do something. And then once you start seeing progress, you’ll find yourself beginning to think bigger and bigger.

So let’s break down a few points of entry where you can start. There are many, many ways you can go about helping people set goals – many apps, templates, etc. –  but let’s just look at three different levels of approach, depending on where you currently are today.

If you have nothing in place, start with Level 1.

Level 1Begin by having a 1-on-1 10-15 minute conversation with your athletes.

We’ve learned that it’s not safe to assume that every gym owner gets out and talks with their athletes beyond the programming. So, if you don’t regularly interact with your members, start talking with them. Break them out into manageable groups (maybe 10/week) and then intentionally determine times to meet/talk with them. Can be a scheduled meeting, or it can be an after class conversation where you focus specifically on asking them questions. Be curious. Enter in. Invest. (Remember, they want to be known by you.) And, when a new member comes in, sit down with them and ask questions like “Why did you decide to come in?’, “What’s something you’d like to get out of being a part of what we’ve got going on here?”, “When was the time that you felt really good/your best?”.

One idea for this is get a notebook that is specifically for jotting down notes about those people you have conversations with, or create an Excel spreadsheet, or make notes in your Hatchbuck CRM software. It doesn’t have to be difficult, just write their name and a few bullet points about what you heard. Then each week or month, review your notebook and remember to ask how they’re doing, or write a note. You can automate it by creating reminders. Just be intentional with this and do it. I promise you, this will produce a significant return on your investment of time.

Realize that some people have no interest in you helping them set goals, they just want to get face time with you.

If you’re already intentional about meeting with your athletes and “hearing” them, then consider Level 2…

Level 2Get a whiteboard (or paint your wall to create a whiteboard) and begin having your athletes write their goals.

Having visuals is always good and helpful. You’ll want to be sure to combine this with Level 1 activity because on the whiteboard they’ll write public goals, but in the 1-on-1 time, if you’re asking good questions, they’ll share their more personal goals. The two combined can be a powerful agent of change.

If you’ve already got some kind of visual representation of tracking people’s progress in place, check out Level 3.

Level 3 – Set 1-on-1 quarterly 10-15 minute meetings with each of your members to track the progress of their goals.

These meetings can be with you or you can assign athletes to coaches for regular, intentional conversations. You have a structure you follow for these meetings. You can set up an automated goal crushing campaign with regular reminders for check-ins and automated emails to keep them on track and motivated.

The benefits of regularly connecting with your athletes are many. To name a few… they feel heard and understood, you keep close to the pulse of what they want and need, you know them better so you notice when they’ve been absent, you differentiate yourself from the gym down the street (because 9x out of 10, they will not be doing this), and you can use these conversations to let them know of all the services you offer that would be helpful to them in a non-salesy way. It is an investment of time, to be sure, but what is a greater deposit into the relational capital of your gym than you being purposeful in helping each member get where they want to go?

Investing your time and energy into your members isn’t only about seeing the rewards you get from it within your business. It’s more about determining the costs you are willing to pay to get those results. What is their success worth to you?

An Opportunity to Implement Change in your Business

We are going to be launching, through our Hub platform, a Set & Crush Your Goals Challenge at the beginning of January. We’ll create a course in Hub where we’ll walk you through Setting & Hitting Goals. It will include templates, tools and resources to help you create and track your goals. The first two weeks, we’re going to be helping you set and develop a routine for your personal goals. The following two weeks, we’re going to be walking you through setting up a system to help your members determine and hit their goals. This Challenge will include the accountability you need through a private FB group and regular emails to make 2017 the best yet. More info on this to come!

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon – julie@321goproject.com