CEO | Investor | Entrepreneur
Casey LeBlanc is the CEO of New Venture Escrow. He is a serial entrepreneur that has led several small to medium-sized businesses that have experienced rapid growth and scale. He is also a business development addict that thrives off of innovation and promotes healthy leadership.
You ever hear or read a life hack and think, damn I need to try that? I am addicted to listening and exchanging ideas with successful people about what they do to create advantages in their everyday life.
And in the true spirit of Fu$k you Friday, I have decided to aggregate some of the ones I utilize.
Fu$k You Friday, to me, is a way of life. So when I hear TGIF, I laugh and enjoy a completely different mindset on a day most people are mentally already on to their weekend.
So in the spirit of this thinking, I decided to put together some of the FYF strategies that I use to give me an edge. I also conclude with a list of the things I am trying to improve on as I am in a constant state of evaluating my process.
1. Little Things Equal Big Results
Momentum is a funny thing. Jim Collins writes about the power of small things turning to big things in his book “Turning the Flywheel.”
Collins states that the flywheel effect is essentially compounding momentum over time. He describes it as, “action by action, turn by turn, each loop adding to the cumulative effect.” And to be the best, he adds, you need to understand how your specific flywheel turns.
A FEW things I do to create MAJOR momentum
1. I never sit down at the gym: I lift and then I get up, walk around, or stretch. I am even ok with standing and checking my phone, but never sitting.
I remember a coach telling me (in a not so subtle voice)…..”Stanford sits while they lift. Get the F up so we can beat em.”
This small act constantly reminds me that little things matter. Start with little wins like this and you will build momentum for bigger ones.
2. Sunday prep: If it doesn’t live on my calendar, it is probably not happening. My friends all think I am nuts for this.
I sit on a laptop every Sunday and I book my calendar for the entire week.
I will place hold every minute of every day (7am-6pm). I will include workouts, calls, and even time to think. I will talk more about this later when I discuss how I set and plan my goals, but the bottom line is that utilizing a calendar has helped me stay organized and achieve more through proper planning.
After the calendar is set I want to eliminate small decisions that most people make each morning. So Sunday, after my calendar is set, I go through my closet and actually plan what I am wearing each day.
I do not want to waste brain space picking out a suit and tie combo every morning. I want my brain focused on shit I NEED to get done. I also will have a plan for every meal for the week.
Food is another one that people spend an inordinate amount of time stressing about. Another brain suck I try and do before I even begin my week. Take the guesswork and uncertainty out by building a plan. It doesn’t mean things can’t change.
Trust me, if I get a hot date opportunity on a Tuesday, you better believe the calendar will adjust accordingly.
3. Stop doing (or make a plan to stop doing) anything that you do not enjoy: I hate making travel plans, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cleaning my house.
So I don’t do them anymore.
If you are sighing and saying, well, I cannot afford to do that. Then you are thinking about problems like the masses. Stop that. Use the FYF mentality. Think different. Try Bartering.
For example, I mentor someone with their money and how to maximize their income in exchange for grocery shopping, meal prep, and laundry. I outsource and pay for someone to do all of my travel and several other miscellaneous things that drive me nuts to do.
I work very hard to NOT do anything that I do not enjoy. I also work VERY hard to do more of what I enjoy and what I am good at. A smart man once told me, “Only do what only you can do. Outsource everything else.”
2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I have been lucky enough to manage over 1000 people in my career. And one thing I see repeatedly is that people worry and complain about the DUMBEST shit. They will literally self destruct over immaterial things that DO NOT matter.
I am baffled by this. Think about it: You are doing this in your life RIGHT NOW. The girl doesn’t respond to your text, you didn’t get the promotion, someone spoke to you in a weird tone, or you had to wait in a long line. You are wasting your energy caring about any of it.
I have several people that report to me. They all used to come to me with “hair on fire” type issues on a daily basis. So I created a tool to help – and most have found it to be useful. If every issue you bring me is an emergency, when the emergency actually arises, I will not give it the attention it probably deserves. So I give everyone a 1-10 scale. I suggest that you do the same (if only in your head).
I have a sliding scale of importance that deserves my care and attention. Here is a rough idea of how I place importance to moments/events in the game of life:
10- Death of a loved one
9- Health scare. Personal or someone close to me.
8- IRS audit
7- You should never use a 7. Is it important or not? It probably isn’t. Either a 6 or an 8. Pick a lane.
6- Loss of job/money
5- Error in judgment
4- Someone cuts you off on the road
3- You stub your toe
2- The girl doesn’t like you. See bad dates blog HERE.
1- Weather sucks
Notice that even losing your job just barely registers above a 5. I use 5 as the litmus test. If it’s a 5 or lower I just don’t give a F. Trust me, life improves without caring about things that truly are immaterial or that you have no control over.
Bottom line, if it isn’t above an 8, who cares? Life goes on.
Time to review and adjust your scale. Stop worrying. It causes grey hair and early death.
This alone can change your life. It did with mine.
3. Set Better Goals (include an actionable plan!)
It amazes me how few people have real goals. You ever hear someone say “Oh I want to make 250k this year?” and they have no actual plan for that. That, to me, is a wish. Nothing is written. No timeline. The same people always seem disappointed and confused when it doesn’t happen. GTFOH.
I have a goal system and it works.
The Game Plan: Long-Term VS. Short-Term Goals
I have several companies. I have a business plan for each of them accompanied by a forecast and budget. I have a long term (3-year) vision accompanied by shorter-term objectives that feed that longer-term vision.
Here’s the sheet, at a glance. I include the excel version in this post, so you can start writing your own goals today. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR 3 YEAR VISION TEMPLATE TODAY!
Quarterly Goals: The Get Shit Done Tasks
The second page of my business plan identifies 5 things I must get done each quarter to get to my annual goal. Each of these objectives has a specific timeline of when it needs to get done.
I then use a handwritten monthly checklist that references that annual plan and includes milestones and deadlines that all roll up to the larger goals.
To get even more granular, I have daily goals that feed the monthly and that feed the annual. Do you see how this works? You do not need a business to create an annual “business plan.” A good friend always jokes with me and says, “I am the CEO of my life.” So start planning for anything that you want. Trust me, if you do, you will make it happen. But only with a legitimate plan.
Review and Repeat
So now we have all of the goals written, now what?
I look at them every Sunday.
I then fill in my calendar with the most important things I need to be doing to make those goals a reality. I mentioned earlier, I even leave time to think. I do this because there are constant distractions and hurdles that will inevitably come up.
I need to be intentional and deliberate with how I show up, how I deal with adversity, and how I lead others to help with achieving our team’s success. They all play together when done right.
I go deeper with goals personally (which have turned out to be harder for me to achieve). I use a specific template and fill it out every year for business, personal, and family objectives that I have also included in this post. I include 5 most important things I want to get done in a calendar year. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR GOALS TEMPLATE NOW!
All are written down.
All include timelines.
The FlyWheel concept is appropriate here also. It describes that, “Greatness is an inherently dynamic process, not an end point.” Your goals are minor checkpoints in the “process” of life. They can hopefully keep you motivated and accountable to whatever it is that you are striving for.
The goal for me is always increased happiness and fulfillment. I want to do this while maximizing my time and the value out of each day. Time is the resource to influence for me. So what am I working on now? It always seems that there are several things I struggle with.
Work in Progress
I would love any suggestions that help you tackle any of the below: Leave in the comments section, or send me a message, or hell, be bold and give me a call and let’s talk (do people do that anymore?). Looking inward on ways to MAX out life, these are rapid-fire areas I am trying to improve.
1. Saying NO: I am the ultimate optimist so I take on almost every opportunity. I see all upside, all the time. I do not care about time/money/commitment and I say yes to almost everything. Need to say NO more. But how? I love chasing shiny objects.
2. Dating: I am so lazy about it. I want to get married and have a family, but I consistently chose work over love.
3. Thinking Bigger: I need to think BIGGER. I have limited any success I have experienced because I pick safe (ish) goals that I know I can obtain. I need to stop playing it safe (ish).
4. Waking Up at 4:30 am: I want to wake up at 4:30 am every day. There are tons of stories about special people that wake up at 4:30 am. I am up 5:30 am most days but I know I am capable of better. An extra hour would help me achieve more.
5. Slowing Down: I operate at a high energy level a lot and I like that. Problem is, I sometimes do not know how to turn that down.
6. Acknowledging Success: (My team, myself, & others). I am constantly in a “what’s next” mindset that I almost never appreciate the wins. Need ideas on how to fix this.
7. Showing Empathy: It is not that I am not empathetic. It is that I am a fixer. I see a problem and I want to fix it, fast I need to learn to be more understanding of others’ feelings and (gasp) that they do not want to hear my fix, but rather just need a friend to listen. Turns out I am not the best at this (my ex-wife will certainly verify that).
And I am sure there are others.
What are your life hacks for these challenges?
What makes you successful or gives you a competitive edge? Tell more people, share them with everyone. We all need more ideas that drive personal success and that lead to more happiness and fulfillment.
So in true FYF fashion, and to dominate 2020, leave the common shit for common people. We are capable of more.
Talk is cheap.
Discipline is king.
We can all do better, and be better.
So stop talking about it, BE ABOUT IT. #FYF