I’m a college sports fanatic but, I also enjoy pro baseball and football but simply to a lesser degree. Recently, I was watching the final pre-season football game for the Cincinnati Bengals and while I know that professional athletes earn millions of dollars, I was struck by something deeper. My business coaching and Growth Coach antennae went up. Not only do these athletes earn millions of dollars, but it’s for a few hours of actual “game time” a week. Now that’s incredible financial leverage! Movie stars and rock stars do the same thing, focusing their time, talents and efforts almost exclusively on what they do best and getting paid extremely well for it.
This opened my eyes to the multi-million-dollar focusing system. For example, rock stars make millions for performing on stage for 2-3 hours. They don’t set up or break down the stage or sell tickets or keep the books. They do one thing well, they perform. Again, they rock a few hours on stage each city they visit. When finished, they drive away in their limousines or rock-star buses and save their talents for the next stage … they don’t major in minor things. Football players are the same way. They prepare for and then play one game a week. And again, they make millions with this simple focusing system. We business owners could stand to learn from this highly focused and simple approach to priority and performance management. We too need to stop majoring in the minor things. Can’t we adopt the multi-million-dollar focusing system of super stars … I think we can.
While we could discuss celebrities, movie stars, rock stars, and athletes from other professional sports, for sake of simplicity, this Growth Coach Blog will focus only on professional football players. While in season, everything in their daily lives is focused on and builds toward a critically important event each and every week … Game Day. If they are not playing the game, they are conditioning or practicing so when it’s game time, they are at their best and ready. And if they are not playing or practicing, they are taking time off to rejuvenate, relax and heal. Again, everything revolves around the most important priority and for which they truly earn millions and millions of dollars … Game Day!
As a business coach, I love the clarity and simplicity of the Game Day concept and the strategic-focusing system. Most business owners lack such a singular focus and rallying point. Unlike overworked and overwhelmed business owners, professional athletes are not trying to manage time, multiple roles, and dozens and dozens of low-value tasks. Athletes prioritize and simplify their world, with the help of coaches of course, by focusing on three dedicated days: GAME DAYS, PRACTICE DAYS, and OFF DAYS.
While I’m certain it’s not an easy work life, it sure sounds like a simple and focused one. When they wake up, it’s either one of only three types of days … game day, practice day, or off day. Everything is oriented around either preparing for, actually performing in, or recovering from the focal point … Game Day. When you function by dedicated days you can’t get too distracted, too busy, too overwhelmed, or too lost. Each day, your focus is pretty set and clear. Such simplicity and clarity! And such wonderful implications for business coaches and their small business owner clients.
What if business owners organized their week and work days around the concept of game days, practice days and off days? I think it would significantly improve an owner’s focus and effectiveness. Their world would be simplified, clarified and money would be multiplied. They could earn more money, work less hours, and enjoy richer lives. Why? For once, they would focus on and do more of the right work, less of the wrong work!
Just how would a professional athlete’s priority management system work for a business owner? On game days, the owner would focus only on what he/she does best (e.g. selling, marketing, leading, planning, client relations, innovating or creating). The owner would not handle any low-value work or get distracted by anything or anyone else on that day. Like an athlete, they would be in the zone. Game day is money day. Game day is the big show. Game day activities should get an owner’s heart racing and passion flowing. On game day or days, the owner would focus only on the best and highest use of his/her time, talents, and efforts. They would focus only on those high-value activities that drive significant money and value into the business. As an example, let’s say “selling major accounts” is your Game Day activity.
On Practice Days, the owner would get his/her game plan together and prepare for the upcoming Game Day activities (selling major accounts). Practice days would be for the sole purpose of the owner getting ready to be at his/her best for the handful of hours that will be dedicated to the game day activity, selling major accounts. Like world-class athletes, practice days are preparation days (going over strategy, plays, drilling on fundamentals, etc). Practice days would consist of the necessary tasks (selling strategy, research, sales presentation rehearsal, etc.) to get physically and mentally ready to go out and deliver the best selling performance possible on game day … score a sales touchdown.
What about Off Days? Off days would allow the business owner to spend time away from work (game days and practice days) to rejuvenate his/her body, mind and soul. Movie stars take breaks or hiatuses. Football players get days off. As a business owner, take a real break from your company … no calls, no emails, no work, no nothing. Time to re-charge your battery, spirit, mind and creativity. This concept is already built into our Growth Coach process … all of our small business clients have Fun Days to re-charge their batteries, passion and creativity. The owner, would spend a few to several days away from work each month (in addition to weekends) and pursue other passions, hobbies or time with family and friends. Why? So he/she can get refreshed and be at their best when they are back to work for practice days and most importantly, game days.
Doesn’t that world (game days, practice days and off days) sound a lot simpler than the chaos, complexity, and countless low-value tasks you experience on a daily basis? Doesn’t that world seem a lot more focused, strategic and effective? Doesn’t this multi-million-dollar focusing system make sense? I think it does. I myself will start looking at my priorities and productivity in terms of Game Days, Practice Days, and Off Days. Who would have thought business owners could learn so much from athletes and rock stars?
Why not try and organize your weeks into Game Days, Practice Days, and Off Days? You have nothing to lose (except for being overwhelmed and overworked), and much to gain … clarity, focus, simplicity and sanity. Good luck on your Game Days! Growth Coach will be cheering for you.
Learn about our multi-million-dollar focusing system in our FREE e-book, “Becoming a Strategic Business Owner“.
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