Jay Papasan is a creative executive leading the best-selling publishing team at Keller Williams Realty, Inc and In 2014, he was named one of the Most Powerful People in Real Estate by Swanepoel Power 200.
Imagine how much more you could achieve if you were focused on completing the ‘One Thing’ that was going to move you towards achieving your goals each and every day?
In 2003, with the release of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, co-authored by Gary Keller and Dave Jenks, Papasan became a best-selling author when the book spent time on BusinessWeek’s best-seller list. In 2005, they co-authored their second bestseller, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.
Jay’s most notable published work came in 2013, when he co-authored one of the leading personal productivity books in the world; The ONE Thing with Gary Keller, which has sold over 1.3 million copies since its release in 2013. The ONE Thing has been translated into 31 languages and has more than 425 national bestseller list appearances, including #1 on the Wall Street Journal.
In this interview, Jay and I discuss his relationship with Gary Keller as not only his co-author, but also his boss and mentor. We then move into discussing the methodology behind ‘The One Thing’ and answering the question; ‘What’s the one thing that I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’
Jay shares some wonderful insights into business success, mindset and productivity throughout this conversation, so get your notebooks ready!
In this episode you’ll learn…
‘Of all the things that you could do, there’s only real a handful that we should be doing’
‘A lot of things masquerade as priorities, but they’re often just things that other people have told you what to do - especially as an entrepreneur’
‘Everything in life, the minority of what we do get’s us the majority of the results, it’s Pareto’s Law’
‘What’s the one thing that I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’
‘Willpower is the mental energy to say ‘yes’ to what you need to do and ‘no’ to everything else. And guess what, that’s absolutely strongest in the morning.’
‘If you can focus on bringing value [to your customers] you have the best chance of success’
‘What’s good about fear is that it tells us that it matters to us. We’re not afraid of things that don’t matter’
Checking in with my annual, monthly and daily goals and making sure they are aligned with my calendar.
It’s always revolved around people
Enter The Mentor
Gary Keller - Keller Williams Realty
Links & Resources mentioned in this episode:
Rich Dad Poor Dad [Book]
Cashflow 101 Game in London
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent [Book]
Gary Keller & Jay Papasan ‘Shift’ [Book]
Give & Take - Adam Grant [Book]
Jay Papasan LinkedIn Profile
The One Thing - Jay Papasan
Jay Papasan Twitter
Connect with Escape The Rat Race...within 12 months:
Private Facebook Group
My name is Christian Rodwell, and this is your ticket to Escape the nine to five.
The first step is always research the opportunity go out and understand the market you're thinking about going into versus just leaping headfirst. Money lies on the other side of fear. And I just have changed that to opportunity lies on the other side of fear. Usually fear signals to me that there's a really important opportunity that's worth trying the focusing question, what's the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else is easier than necessary? I find that most people know the answer. And they feel guilty for not doing it. What they can't navigate is actually putting it on their calendars like actually executing and saying no to all the distractions.
Welcome to another episode of Escape the Rat Race Radio. This week. My guest is Mr. Jay Papasan. And now in 2003, with the release of the millionaire real estate agent, which was co authored by Gary Kayla and Dave Jenks person went on to become a best selling author when that book spent time on business week's bestseller list, and in 2005. They then co authored their second best seller, the millionaire real estate investor. Now Jays most notable published work came in 2013 when he co authored one of the leading personal productivity books in the world. The one thing with Gary Keller, which has sold over 1.3 million copies since its release. Now, the one thing has been translated into 31 languages and has more than 425 national bestseller list appearances, including number one on the mighty Wall Street Journal. So in this interview today, Jay and I discussed his relationship with Gary Keller as not only his co author, but also his boss and mentor. We then move into discussing the methodology behind the one thing and answering the question, what's the one thing that I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? Now Jay shares some wonderful insights today into business success, mindset and productivity. And throughout this conversation, you're going to want to have your notebook ready because he absolutely dropped some golden nuggets which are guaranteed to help you in your transition from employee to entrepreneur. So let's not wait around any longer. Let's head over to my interview with Mr. Jay Papasan, and
Welcome to Escape the Rat Race Radio. Jay,
how are you today? I'm doing fantastic. Thanks so much for having me.
Yeah. And Jay, for anyone who's actually watching the video of this. You have a beautiful background there behind you. So where in the world are you right now?
We're in Austin, Texas.
Fantastic. And I presume you're in your office and
I am and you can see the green belt behind me as one of the great joys of Austin. There's lots of green space. It runs right through the middle of town and fortunately for me right by my office, I just have to keep my Back to it so I can be productive.
Absolutely. Well, you mentioned productive and obviously what we're going to be talking about a lot today is the one thing book which you co authored with Gary Keller. So before we get into that, I'd love for you to just introduce yourself and let people know a little bit more about Jay perhaps and who you are and what you currently do.
Sure, sure. I grew up in the south and after a little brief stint in Europe, I was in Paris for about three years working as a translator, I went to graduate school in New York and got into publishing. I've always loved books, I worked as a bookseller and college and always wanted to write and I became an editor got to work on some big books before I met my wife and we relocated to Austin, and that's where I met my current partner Gary Keller started as an employee working for him writing a newsletter. And then we wrote our first book, The Millionaire real estate agent together, which is gone on to sell over a million copies and looking up, we've written 11 other books together or with other authors, and the This recent one is the one thing that you alluded to and why I'm here, which we wrote almost five years ago. We published it five years ago. And it's just kind of taken off, like every author hopes their book will sold over 1.3 million copies and still going.
Yeah, well, congratulations. That really is some achievement. And when was there a point for you, Jay, when, you know, you would say you were stuck in the rat race. And you know, I know you have your own companies now. And entrepreneurship is something close to your heart. And, you know, would you say there was a time when you felt like you were just getting up and going through the daily grind and weren't too sure about kind of the bigger purpose?
Probably for my first 33 years of my life. My father was an executive. He was very successful. He was involved in a lot of nonprofits, and I definitely looked up to him. And I thought that the way to build wealth and build freedom was to be an executive and make a big salary. And the second book that Gary and I did was called The Millionaire real estate investor and part of my opinion Mike, Gary was the millionaire. I was the employee. I had to interview 120 net worth millionaires. And our goal was to figure out what they had in common. And I can remember going home to my wife, and it was just blowing my mind. And your job is your job. It's what you love to do. But that's often not where your wealth your wealth was going to be made. And that was the big paradigm shift for me. So I was very much in the rat race. When I was an editor in New York. jockeying for position and for promotions and all of that it's where they value long hours and not even always results, honestly, it's a very strange thing. And I looked up at Gary, who's been my partner, he's my boss to full disclosure, I still work for him. But we also have our own businesses together, and he values results because he thinks like an entrepreneur. And I remember like my wife and I started a journey around 2004. Right when we were about to publish that book, where we said we set a goal, we want to be millionaires, what would that look like? And that was really the turning point. For us, where we changed our thinking, I mean, started saying no to things that people in the rat race wouldn't say no to, and started saying yes to things so that we could build some free freedom and wealth.
Hmm, that's a fascinating story. And it kind of reminds me a little bit of their, their relationship between Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill's setting him up, you know, kind of a task and going out and interviewing these these millionaires at the time, did it feel a bit like that we kind of almost following in the footsteps in some way.
Gary later, maybe read that book, right? I hadn't even read it at that moment. So it's been impossible for me to make that connection. But what I learned from the first book, I only we only interviewed 27 millionaire agents, right? The model there was let's look at the really most successful people and, and see what they have in common. And that's been our approach and most of our books. So it's not just my ideas or Gary's ideas, but I the first book, I remember, like you learned so much with an in depth interview. And I'm sure as someone who does interviews all day long for what you do here. It's a it's a fabulous Way to learn I'm a book person, but actually learned better by talking to people. I know that about myself. So I think she knew that I don't know. That's why he did it. He was thinking about the book. But every time we've done a book I've had to grow enormously to kind of be capable of writing it at the end.
Yeah, and I think when people discover personal development, which so many times begins with Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it's so often when I speak to members who come along to our meetup events, and I asked them, you know, what kind of was the light bulb moment and they say, Well, you know, I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and and that just opens the door to a whole world of opportunity. And that's where
you got your name, because I mean, I remember we read that book on that investor journey. We started by being investors before we realized we needed to own businesses. And we played a game that rich dad put out Kiyosaki called the rat race. I don't know if you ever played that,but cash Cash Flow 101 Yeah. Exactly It was very eye opening.
Yeah, we are we play we play the cash flow game in London so we we have some fun with that and absolutely that indeed inspire me to to create the escape the rat race group along with Tim Ferris four hour workweek and I would say Think and Grow Rich. Those three books for me are the cornerstones. And I was going to ask you, Jay, because when you sat down with Gary and and obviously we're planning on writing the one thing by that and if I'm correct that came out in 2013, is that
right? That's right, April 1.
And how long did it take? You know, before that, from actually having the idea to actually being released? How long was that process?
It was close to five years And truth be known. We were writing about a book about focus and we got distracted. So as you know, Gary is the founder of Keller Williams Realty, which is the largest real estate franchise firm in the world. And we went through the great real estate recession here. So we were about, I don't know, about a year into the process when the market tanked. And we stopped writing the one thing, and wrote a book called shift, which was designed to help our people navigate that that cycle. And then we got back to it is about a six to nine month hiatus, actually, for us to, you know, get that book out and emergency kind of priority, which we talked about in the book. It was our one thing now. And then we came back to the one thing so it wasn't five years, like all at once. We had a little break in the middle, but it was a long process. We live with this idea for a long time.
Yeah. So I'm curious with the plethora of books that exist in the world around the topics of productivity, time management, entrepreneurship, how did you go about deciding that there was a gap in the market and you could create something that was going to be unique that still had an opinion which was fresh, which is what you've done and achieved with the one thing and obviously selling over a million copies? proved that point that, you know, it's a fantastic book and has helped so many people. I'm curious how you went about pinpointing that specific area to write about.
It came up a little bit by accident. We were working on a course and Gary wrote an essay to go with it. I was running our university at that time, it was called the power of one. And it had the essential ideas of the both the a few of them time blocking your most important thing focusing down to your, your biggest rock. And you know, all of this is about parados principle, the 8020 just take into a real extreme. But when I read that, I came back in the office and I said, Gary, this is a book and he goes, I thought that too. And as someone who's been in publishing now for over 20 years, he felt uniquely capable of writing it. It's one thing to see productivity and analyze it like a scholar. But everything he's built has been very much on the principles in this book. We definitely expanded on those ideas through our research and our interviews. But the core idea, I just think that Gary superpower has always been not so much even productivity, he's able to correctly identify the priority and he'll just give it more time and resources than anyone else. And that means you say no to stuff. And he's really good at saying no. Because he said yes to something that's more important. And he has that clarity. And so breaking that down into pragmatic skills for other people was the journey. Like he's practice that muscle. If you've ever worked with someone who's really, really good at what they do. They have that shortcut thinking, right? They don't even know how they got to the answer so fast. So a little bit of it was a dissecting his process and then comparing that to the research and then building it into a process that other people could follow. Hmm.
So let's hear a little bit about that process then, because I'm sure so many of our listeners have read the one thing but there's always going to be some people who have not had the privilege of coming across this book yet. So for those people listening right Right now, Gary, and many of our state rat race members are juggling a nine to five job with starting a business. So they're coming home in the evenings, you know, finishing dinner, putting the kids to bed and maybe trying to grab an hour or two in the evenings and then weekends where they can as well. So time is obviously really of the premium. And there's so many strategies within the one thing to help people to prioritize. So would you mind summarizing the methodology behind the one thing,
So the simplest I can put it right, we will revisit the 80/20 principle, right? Of all the things that you could do, there's really only a handful that we really should be doing. And a lot of things masquerade as priorities, but they're really just things that are urgent or things that other people have told you to do, especially as an entrepreneur, you have to wear a million hats. So it's very confusing. And frankly, when we were writing the book, that's who we were thinking of, because that's our core audience is entrepreneurs. And so, the parados principle says right, you you look at All the things that you could do. And in everything in life, the minority of what we do gets us the majority of our results. And 8020 don't always show up. I just pulled some stats, I think 10% of the real estate agents in the US sell 70% of the property. Right? So it's not perfect, but it looks up, you look up and go, wow, there's just a handful here that matter more. And the whole idea of the book is if you had 25 things on your to do list this week, Chris, and you took 20% of that, and then you took 20% of that, right? You keep taking, what's the core here? What's the most important what's the real priority? Eventually, you always get to what number one, one. So if you can start your day, your week, your month, whatever the time frame you're looking at, by getting all of your energy zeroing out as many distractions as you can to get that one priority. Even if you're not perfectly productive all day. I'm not a robot. Neither is Gary. Right? We get distracted, but we try to launch our day with that primary cause You know, that is how really great things happen in the world. And the longer you can sustain that over time, even if it's small amounts of times per day, you can make great things happen. And if you get stronger at that you can do it for longer. You know, when I first started writing, I'd be lucky to do a page a day. But if you keep doing it year after year, you can settle down for a couple of hours, and you look up and there's four pages, not one, right, and you get more productive in the time that you give it. So it all adds up. And it creates a geometric kind of kind of equation where it feels like nothing's happening. And then you look up and things are happening a lot faster than you expect it. But the challenge here is not identifying which a lot of people I feel I've, you know, the focusing question, what's the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else is easier than necessary? Yeah, that's the question mark on the back of the book. It's the core of the book. I find that most people know the answer. And they feel guilty for not doing it. What they can't navigate actually putting it on their calendars like actually executing and saying no to all the distractions. So that's really where the battle is fault. But that's the core idea, identifying that the thing that's going to drive you fastest and farthest. And I'll tell you, and almost every business, it's it's lead generation, right? Whoever has the most clients wins, you can say no to the bad ones, you can cherry pick the good ones. You know, there's so many options you have, but it doesn't matter how good you are at what you do. If you don't have any customers, you're going out of business. Right? It almost always comes back to that. So focusing on your core thing, right just gives you all of the advantages and over time in business, it'll allow you to pay for other people to do that other stuff. But identifying it, I don't think is the issue. I think it's saying no to the other stuff and entrepreneurs are uniquely challenged right with the shiny object syndrome would be the best way to put it. And because they're not confident in their answer, a lot of times they double down or triple down to just make sure They're covering their basis. And that also creates problems. So we could go any way you want from there. But that's the big idea. And it's funny you look at the we have like 2400 reviews on Amazon. And if you look at all the five star reviews, we did like a, we had an engineer go through there and correlate the ones that love it the most love it for its simplicity. And then you look at all the one star reviews and they say it's too simple. So, you know, can't please everybody.
No, that's right. And there's so many loops, you've opened up there for me. You know, one of my earliest mentors, and I didn't get to meet him, but he's someone that I you know, I was first introduced to in terms of listening to audio that was Jim Rohn, and Jonah, about discipline. And, you know, one of his quotes was along the lines of you know, discipline is the kind of bridge between just having ideas and actually achieving stuff and, and it's having that discipline in yourself to do the things that you probably don't want to do. And that was the emphasis of Brian Tracy's book. You know, Eat That Frog, you know, Do the thing that you least want to do first, and then everything else kind of gets a bit easier. And it's having that discipline to actually identify that. But then to actually just go and do
it. We had some fun in the book, you know this because you've read it. There's a whole chapter on discipline. And there's a whole chapter on willpower, which we just both talked about. And so one of the great tricks, which I think is my biggest takeaway, personally, is what I tend to speak about when I do a keynote, is this idea of discipline. And it's not punishment, because if you ask a kid, that's what they think discipline is. And I think most adults think that you have to be disciplined, right, knowing what you're supposed to do all the time. And our big takeaways, the people who are super successful, where people have limited discipline, they just applied it very early, and on the right things. And so one of the ways to look at discipline is training yourself to do something until it's habitual. And so one of our research in here we discovered it takes 66 days on average to form a habit. So if you know that your one thing is x, right? You know what our business would be so great if I could just call on 10 prospective customers every day? Well, in theory, it's an average, right? So it doesn't play out every time. 66 days of doing that activity would be like brushing your teeth. You know, I have an 11 year old and a 12 year old, right? Excuse me a 13 minute, 12 year old just had a birthday, the you look up, and for years and years, we had to break them to brush their teeth, right? But hopefully you and I don't have that problem. Because it's a habit. It's ingrained. And it works that way at work, too. If you do an activity, you can make it habitual. And that's what we mean by discipline. And you alluded to Eat That Frog That to me is willpower. willpower is the mental energy just say yes to what you need to do and no to everything else. And guess what? That's absolutely strongest in the morning. Doesn't matter if you got enough sleep. It doesn't matter. It's all about its physiological on a lot of levels. But overnight, even if we're not sleeping properly, we tend to store energy and if you measure the Your blood sugar sugar will drop before and after. So that mental energy to do something, especially something we don't particularly enjoy or want to do, it's physiological, and you're more likely to do it in the morning than if you put it off to the afternoon. So I just gave you a whole bunch of stuff, but you just opened up two loops for me.
Well, I'm enjoying the conversation where it's taken us anyway. Jay And so, you know, it comes down to getting to know yourself, and we talked about this earlier. And you and I, and, again, it's the parados lore in the you know, picking the right strategy is really only 20%. Because the strategies work and if you follow a strategy, and someone else has been successful doing it that way, then you know, your chances of being successful are pretty high as well. What is the 80% is the mindset and these are all these things that we're discussing, isn't it? This is the belief in yourself, the actual willpower to stick with it and all of that that mixes in and you've worked and had the pleasure I've, you know, come across so many entrepreneurs at different stages. And what are some of the successful traits that you have identified amongst people?
Sure. I'll dovetail You made me think of one of my favorite quotes. It came from a guy. Oh, it's not Andy Andrews. That's the writer Andy Allen was a realtor on a panel. And he was really successful. And everybody kept saying, what do you do? What do you do? What do you do? And he finally got really fed up. It was like a public event. And he said, Guys, it's not so much what you do, it's that you do. Right. So stop focusing on finding the silver bullet and just go out there and do something. And so I do think that this leads me to your answer. When we look at potential people to run a business for us. You know, obviously we like people who are intelligence, right? That's, that's a great thing to have on your team. I value it. We write books, right? I'd like smart people that are resourceful. They can solve their own problems and manage themselves, but we look for assertiveness and aggressiveness. Because people who take action are people who will eventually find the right solution. And you know, if you want to compare business to programming, you know, agile, you can start with something very simple. But just keep doing it and doing it and doing it better, you can lead to like a really massive breakthrough. So I think I like and have a strong bias towards action. I would much rather as my chiropractor tells me, I'd rather say, well, then giddy up, right when it comes to winning on my team, and I find that the people who are successful you get to be on the other side of the equation, you'd have to say, Hey, why are you get into the office of late? You get to say, Hey, why don't you go home, you've done enough your wife and kids miss you, right? I don't want to hear from your wife. I want you to have successful home life too, because they're so keyed into action. And I would always rather be on that side of the equation. So I love that I think that people have to take action or they'll never get results mean that's obvious, but we do a lot of planning and we do a lot of thinking But the people who take action that's ultimately the ones that really find great success.
And I think this is one of the challenges for people who do reach that crossroads in their life where they've been working in the same job for 10 1520 years. And they suddenly wake up one day and they say, I'm not enjoying this, it's not leading me to the destination that I want to fall it was going to, but this is all I've ever done, you know, I'm in the right, you know, I've got a family, I've got a mortgage, I've got these responsibilities. And it's a place where I can be quite scary, quite fearful because you really have to take a big decision, you know, can I take this risk and actually change direction and learn something new. And a lot of people it's a risk too much and we talked about comfort zones and you know, really expanding your comfort zone. And the challenge then when they do decide that they want to do something else is you go to the internet You start going to some seminars, and then you're overwhelmed. You have nearly a million different opportunities. You could go into property could trade the markets, you could start selling on Amazon, and people just like, oh my god, like, I don't know which way to turn. So, do you have any advice? Or have you any previous kind of stories and experiences with people who, who've been able to just kind of, you know, work out a good method for maybe testing a few things, but then making a decision quickly as to which path to follow.
Okay, love the question. And I've had lots of these conversations. I do think that people who are driven to be entrepreneurs are actually driven, that it's kind of a calling. The core thing it's not that they don't like their job and they're not good at it. They just want to be in charge and in control. And that's something that's a core value. At the same time. There are lots of us who work for other people. We don't love our jobs and right now with technology and everything out there. There's never been more opportunities to be in business for yourself. And so there are those people who have this calling to be entrepreneurs who will go out and try it and find out that they're better entrepreneurs, or they're better employees. And there are also employees, who will heed the call, who will discover that it was a mistake. So I just want to acknowledge that it said, being an entrepreneur isn't for everyone, and that's okay. I'm still an employee. And I'm just gonna say like, Gary says it all the time. He's been a realtor his whole life, and he will have realtor on his headstone. But that doesn't mean that his wealth can't be deployed in other areas. So I always think that it's not, you don't have to suddenly transform into a CEO to be a business owner. So I think that's a false choice that a lot of people are staring at, oh, I don't like my job. I want to have my own business. Well, the harder path sometimes, right, but it actually might be more successful, would be to partner with someone who's naturally going to do those things that you can provide division or the finance for it. Because let's say you don't love your job, but you're really good at it. It's all you've ever done. Well, why don't you take that money. And instead of spending it on cars and other stuff and entertainment, start socking it away to build a business on the side. And it doesn't even have to be your job. It just requires more capital to do. So I've done that numerous times myself. And it works. But it requires discipline, because the number one thing you have to do is live on less than you earn, which we know is challenging. But I find that when I'm working for a purpose, it makes that easier, because I have a vision for something out there. And I want it to happen, right? And I want that freedom. And so it makes it easier to say no to some of those things and sock it away. So all of that said the number one thing I tell people, if you're going to make the jump, you need at least three to six months of savings. Because no matter how brilliant your idea is and how well researched it is there's gonna be some bumps in the road and it's good to have a safety net when you're doing Transitioning, do it with integrity. I think it's a really hard thing to do to moonlight and be successful in both places. So you're probably going to be losing sleep, you're probably going to be getting up early and staying up late if you're going to be integrity at your job, because otherwise your employer is paying you to do something else, which I don't feel good about. And if I was paying someone for them to moonlight on me, I wouldn't feel good about that either right on either side of that. So do it with integrity. And don't leave them in the lurch because that person you've worked for for so long might actually be the key to your success down the road. I set people up as an employer when someone comes in to work for me, and we graduate people into entrepreneurship. That's the nature of our culture. I just tell them I expect a three to five year commitment. which most people like whoa, in this day and age and I'm like, Yeah, I mean, things happen. But I expect you to take don't say yes, unless you think that's possible. And to when it's time to leave, you're going to start the conversation with me. And we're going to find job replacement and you'll train them Before you leave, because especially in a small business, two weeks notice is a slap in the face. So don't do it to someone else. Because guess what karma is a bitch, it will come back to you. Right? So when you're the employer you want have all your employees doing the same thing. So I think that the transition is huge. You can start a business on the side through technology or other people, but just be in integrity with the job that you have. be transparent about where you're going. And try to set them up for success if they're the kind of person who's going to fire you that moment. Well, that's who you I don't usually worry about that, that they burnt that bridge, not you. So I just dumped a lot of stuff on you. That's an amalgam of the advice I've given to probably 50 or 60 people, but I tried to hit the high notes, since we're talking in generalities versus the specific Hi, I'm Jay Papasan. And and you are listening to escape the rat race radio.
So educating them, you know, early it's almost setting them up for having a better entrepreneurial life themselves, you know, educating from from the beginning I like that a lot. And I think it's absolutely spot on and advice that I was given by one of my mentors and a previous guest, Roger Hamilton, the creator of wealth dynamics, and you know, it, so many people, they, they have a great idea, you know, all entrepreneurs have these ideas, which they think are the best idea in the world, no one else has ever had this idea, and then go out and literally try and put it together and and and build it from scratch. And it makes so much more sense to actually identify who is out there in the market, already doing what you'd love to do already with the kind of business with the customers. They've made, the mistakes they've built, the products they've tested it, why not associate and kind of piggyback on their momentum, see where you can add value to them, learn from them potential. partner with them. And that's such an easier way into entrepreneurship. And really short shortcut your, your journey.
We teach a class called Empire builders on how to start your business. And it came from Gary's reflection on what did he do, right? And what would he do differently and building our company. And the first step is always research the opportunity. And so go out and understand the market, you're thinking about going into versus just leaping headfirst. And that's what you just described a little bit because you'll know who the players are, who your potential partners are, who your potential employees are. And the other one is figure out your value proposition. You want to jump into a niche no matter how small where you have at least a chance of being number one, right instead of just picking up the what's left over from the other competitors. So I think if you everything else that you said I would add those two steps. I think when people do the preparation, you know, like I said, it doesn't take a year. You can do all of this in three months or less. You can get really smart you can identify an area that You could dive into, you can be saving up all the while. And I'll hit that, again, starting a new business, whether it's on the side, or just you're jumping out having that reserves allows you to focus on bringing value to your customers, instead of seeing them as your next paycheck, or your next rent check or your next mortgage payment. And the moment you turn your customers into cash, they're going to go away. It's really, really hard to sustain that. And in our industry, we call it commission breath. And we've all met those sales people. We've all met those people who see us just as a customer, not as a client. But if you can focus on bringing value, you have the best chance of success.
Yeah, and it's funny because I was having conversation with my own mentor earlier on today. And he said to me, Chris, there's two people out there to typical types and there's those who try and get everything they can out of a situation and those who try and give as much as they can. You know, this comes down to personality types, and obviously the way you're wired. But you do have to serve and you don't have a business.
Like, can I jump in? I will? Yeah, no, I just think that I do think that is how you're wired. But it's also something that can be taught and learned. I love it. Your mentors telling you this? I don't think he told you that, because you need to give more is you're giving it right now. So I don't want to imply that at all. But I want to believe that no matter how my kids came out of the womb, that's can be taught. And I think that we can teach as mentors to people that same skill. There's a great book called given take by Adam Grant. Are you familiar with it?
I'm not No.
It's definitely one to recommend. But basically, he is a very famous psychologist, best selling author. And he talks about there's givers, takers, and matchers in this world, and we all can be each of them at different points, but in general, they were looking at compensation and matchers and takers were at the top not givers, and that really demoralized And so they kept turning the data. And then they found a very small percentile, like half of a percent at the very top that was completely populated by givers. And he said that there's two kinds of diverse givers. There's the ones at the bottom and the ones at the top. And the people who give strategically, right? They say yes, and they help strategically, always, always rise to the top, and they lead with that. But they also don't allow themselves to get walked on or taken advantage of, or all their time wasted. And so that's a great book when you want to just dive into giving does I believe in strategic giving and bringing value? I mean, I always rather have those people on my team than the alternative.
Great. Well, I'm glad we are glad we touched on that. And we were able to get that fantastic recommendation there for BJ.
There's a little soapbox if you couldn't tell. I believe that. Wow.
Cool. That's awesome. So I'm definitely going to share that book in the show notes so that everyone can just easily go into Check that book out. So Jay, let's take a little swing in a different direction now and you're up for a little bit of fun.
Oh, yeah, yeah. All right,
cool. Well, that's the that's the word because we're going to have the quickfire round. Now man done this for a little while. So for next, let's bring this one back in. And I'd love to just ask you some quick fire questions, Jay and get get your quick response. So, first one is daily discipline. So what's the one habit or activity that keeps you focused and on the path every day?
I have this with me in my journal every day. It's my annual monthly and weekly goals. And I look at these and I look at my calendar, and I expect them to be aligned. So this is not everything I have to do. There's only four things for this week. But I expect all four of those things to be on my calendar and I need if there's not enough time for them, I'm canceling things. So that daily discipline for me is always checking in with my goals. And then looking at my time, right, is where we spend our time. invested is where we get our results. And so that's one of our fundamental practices. So every day, that's how I launch it. What am I goals? What is my calendar look like? Do they match up? Great? All right, I'm off to the races. my calendar is not my boss, and I just follow it.
I love it. But if people listening take one thing from today's interview, then that is it. So Sure. So the second question rejection recall. So every entrepreneur has experienced bumps in their journey. Can you recall the biggest rejection or low point in your business life? j and how did you bounce back from that?
Most of my low points have been around picking the wrong person, right having the wrong person in my business. And so the rejection came when they left on some level. Or, and you know, it's really complicated when most of the time when people say no to me or to our services, within a week or two, I'm thankful like what was I thinking anyway? I didn't have time for that. And I you know, we preach thing. No. So my first instinct is to When someone rejects us is trying to be a big person to just say thanks for giving me my time back. Because I almost always look up. And when I've got a yes, I now have the struggle of figuring out how to comply with it. The biggest ones have all been around people, I'll just tell you that it's always been about people. If someone I really thought was talent leaves, there's the happiness if they're going on their journey, but they leave, they can leave big gap. So the biggest rejections always are personal ones for me, even when I'm doing my best to be a professional.
Thank you. Thank you for that answer. Next one up is enter the mentor. So you've had the privilege of CO offering so many amazing books and just being in in such an inspiring world and surroundings. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our mentors and who would for for, you know, who would be your key mentor that springs to mind, Jay and also what would be your advice for our listeners in finding the right mentor for them?
Well, obviously my partner is also My mentor, like he wears all three hats depending on how I approached him. He's taught me a lot about it as well. I have mentors in publishing. I have mentors in finance. I have mentors in the physical space. And when I think about mentorship, and people now come to me because I've been co authoring these books. I think that the key is to identify where is an area that I truly value growing in? That would really serve me and my family and the world, right. This is an area that's worth investing in, not just Oh, so and so's really good juggler. I'm going to go study under him like, well, Jacqueline has nothing to do with my life. It would be cool. Sure, but so it's important First off, because you're going to ask for someone's time. bring value to them day one. I think the phraseology for me would be what would I do to have to earn the right to take you to coffee. So you're asking a question that there is no reasonable reason to say now. Right, because you're asking to earn the right. And it might be that great read this book. I've done that to people. And I've had it done to me if you'll read this book, I'll meet with you. I had so many people ask me about publishing, I created like an hour long video tutorial. And I will talk to people unless they watch that and can prove it. Because I don't need to retread that time again and again. And again. I can bring more value otherwise. So show up, earned the right for their time, when they give you advice, even if you don't agree with it, do it. Because then you can go back and say, You know what? I didn't believe in it. But I did it because it's coming from you. It didn't work out. How should I? How should I look at this differently? The number one thing a mentor wants is to know that their time isn't wasted. And they'll apologize. Well, crap. It's always worked before let's get I mean, you'll actually engage them through failing in their advice. And let me see what else come from value, do what they say. And circle back and be patient. You know, most mentors, if they are worthy of the name, have a lot of people calling on them. And so just you value their time and be patient because it's not their job. They're doing it for free.
And I somehow think the 80/20 rule might apply there as well.
Brilliant phone invest in some way, my wife and I were just discussing this, I want to invest in someone who's not investing in themselves. A lot of people show up and they just want you to do it for them. And I'm usually pretty frank with them. So great. I love your aggression. And it's always good to ask, but my answer is no. So you go do these three things and circle back and I'll tell you almost none of them ever circle back.
Yeah, yeah. In fact, that's, that's really one of the reasons as well, I'm writing my first book at the moment j and, you know, enjoying that process very much. And it's a five step formula that I share with my one to one clients, and it's something that I wanted to put into a book format and say, exactly, those people that are coming me insane, can you help? You know, I'm, I'm sure I need some clarity over the direction, we'll go and read the book going read the book. And when you've done that, come back to me. And then let's open up a conversation. So how many people will go and read the book and come back? Well, we will say I,
I'll tell you, it's going to be, you know, one and two out of 10. And that's okay. The ones that do are worth your time, and the ones who didn't do it probably looked up and they weren't as intent on doing it as they thought, because just a simple book stood between them and that goal. That's okay. Both parties win. Yeah, no judgment. Absolutely. But that's a great strategy for leveraging your time you can help a lot more people that way and more meaningfully. So kudos to you for coming up with that solution. And good luck.
Thank you very much. So the last one in the quickfire round here is what's happening. So that you recently discovered j, which you can't let go off at the moment.
Alright, so you know, we wrote a book about focus, so I try not to spend tons and tons and tons of time I'm on my smartphone, right? Because that's not usually a great thing. So I thought about this question and the ones that I use the most, this is not new, they might be new to you. Obviously, I'm a writer. So I love Evernote. I like Wunderlist. Because it allows me to prioritize tasks that I'm saving, it doesn't just record them in the order that I gave them. I can say this is number one and give it real priority and I can assign them to other people. And so I use that to save a ton of time, my wife and I keep a grocery list shopping list all these things together, where we can both take care of it if we're in the grocery store without having to call each other and the other one is last pass. And this day, with security, I have a virtual assistant, you know, I have people on the team. I just don't have the mental space to keep up with all those passwords. And so this allows me not to cheat by having the same password for all of those sites. So those are the three that I use the most and I feel like I have saved me the most time Evernote Wunderlist and LastPass?
Well, three for the price of one almost delivering value. Thank you so much for that, Jay. Well, Jay, it's been a real pleasure speaking with you. We're nearly at the end of our time together today. But I just love to get your final thoughts for anyone listening right now who may be is kind of stuck on, on the motorway in the traffic jam on their way to the office or maybe on their way home and they just feel like they're going through the motions and maybe fear is holding them back from taking that next step or doing that one thing that they know they've got inside them that they've been thinking about so long. What would be your your parting words of advice for those people?
Um, what's good about fear is it tells us that it matters to us, right? So we're not afraid of things that don't matter. There's very few things in business that would truly ever be life and death. And if there's one thing this goes all the way back to 2004. In those interviews, I remember an immigrant who would come over and become a million Air like with $1 in his pocket, he said something and broken English. She said, money lies on the other side of fear. And I just have changed that to opportunity lies on the other side of fear. Usually fear signals to me that there's a really important opportunity that's worth trying. And if you think about your life, most of the times we've been most afraid, even like learning to ride a bike, man, I just had the, you know, six years ago or whatever, I was teaching my kids and they were terrified of falling down and hurting themselves, right? Usually, when you get to the other side, you look back and go, what was I so scared about? And so just take one step, and then take one step. You don't have to just race out there and feel vulnerable. But if you don't make progress, you won't get past that fear. So my challenge to people usually is in the next 48 hours, take your first step. So you've got tonight, and you got tomorrow. But then Your time's up, bring the urgency to it. You don't have to do everything but take one positive step in that direction, and then give yourself 24 hours to take another step. And then another step. And that's usually how progress happens actually just a little step every day. And that's a lot less fearful. And there's no reason to be stuck in life. Life's too short.
Yeah, and date and having good support network and like minded people around you is going to help that as well.
Well, they're listening to your podcast, right? I mean, do you have a community for them to dive into?
We show there? Yeah, we have our Facebook group and we have our regular monthly meetups in London as well.
Yeah, the best advice I ever got with my boss. It's a future book title for us as no one succeeds alone. Right. So find your community. You don't have to do it alone. But you've got to start taking steps you got to take action, no matter how small and it's just not worth being afraid of.
Jay, you have shared some absolutely golden nuggets with us today. I know the show notes will be rich full of links and resources for people to going explore and I want to Thank you so much for your time today. I really have enjoyed it. I've learned many things as well from you. And for anyone that would like to connect with you and follow you online. Where are the places where they can go and do that?
If they just go to the one thing calm, we've got all of our resources there, they can find out more about us and our community and everything that we have going with a podcast, but my name Jay Papasan, and is very good global. There's not many of us in the world. And so I managed my own social profile. So there Feel free to, you know, reach out. I only block time for those every so often, but it's always meets on the other end.
Yeah. Brilliant. Thank you, Jay. It's been great. I look forward to the next time that our paths cross and I wish you all the very best for the rest of the year and beyond.
Thanks, Chris. And thanks for doing what you're doing. I'm sure you're helping a lot of people. Thank you.
Well, I very much hope you enjoyed that conversation there with Jay and We just touched on so many different subjects there. But everything just rang true of what it's like in that journey from figuring out what is the right business for you. And Jay suggested don't spend too long on that some people take a year and two years and never actually take that next step. He said that do your research, be diligent, but don't take more than three months with that? Focus on serving your customers as well. So when you've got your business idea, focus on the customers don't just look at them as your next paycheck. And the parting words that we hear so often there is just that taking that first step, and why not make that next step by joining the escape the rat race private Facebook group if you haven't already, or even joining us at one of our monthly meetup events in London. They take place on the first Wednesday of every month, and you can find details of all the monthly meetup events and our focus workshops by heading over to www.etrr.online/event. Okay, so I'm off to write a few more pages for my own forthcoming book, which is titled, how to hack your boss and start a business you love. So until next week, see ya.