- When you’re overloaded with admin tasks that are detracting from your job, it’s time to ask for help and learn to delegate (I have a great book recommendation to help you get there!).
- Starting and running a business is stressful: a stable home life with a partner who understands and supports you will give you a strong foundation through the toughest times. This is one of the greatest life cheats ever!
- Learning doesn’t end with graduation. You can get new insight, ideas and strategies for the price of a book, thanks to a long list of experts who have poured their wisdom into those pages.
A lot of you may be aware of productivity coach Mark Struczewski and his popular show, The Mark Struczewski Podcast. Also known as Mr. Productivity, Mark has been recording episodes since 2017.
Even more impressive, he has a goal of releasing one episode a day throughout 2021.
I recently had the honor of appearing as the guest on one of those episodes. And I have to tell you that recording the show is as exactly as fun as it sounds.
Mark and I talked about “cheat codes for life:” real, achievable steps we can all take to make our lives more successful. When you boil it down, my top top cheats revolve around recognizing that none of us can achieve our goals alone. We all have to rely on other people, in different ways, to get where we want to go.
Based on this episode of The Mark Struczewski Podcast, here’s the best decision I ever made for the sake of my productivity, why I’m grateful for my wife every day, and how and why to keep being a student of the world.
1. Find help that enables you to do the work you need to do
A lot of us are raised to think that admitting we need help is a sign of weakness. But knowing when you simply can’t manage everything you need to do by yourself is an underrated skill.
One of the best business decisions I’ve ever made was hiring an assistant. It was reading “Who, Not How” by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy that convinced me to take the leap. The book is about the importance of delegation, and how it can make you more effective, not less.
I realized that I was so busy doing admin work like setting up meetings, replying to emails and returning calls that I was neglecting the higher-level tasks that only I, as CEO, could do. Now I know that my assistant is taking care of all those day-to-day concerns, I can focus on improving the business and thinking about long-term strategies.
2. A supportive homelife is the foundation you build your success on
Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how lucky I am to have the greatest wife ever. (Sorry to all the other wives out there.)
Leigh Ann is wonderful in so many ways, and my journey back to school illustrates exactly why she’s my rock.
When I was 26, I decided to get my MBA. I’d put it off a few times, because I wanted to get real-life experience. By 26, with some of that real-life experience behind me, I was at a point in my career where I felt like it was the right time to go back to school.
Only problem was that real-life experience now included my wife, two jobs, and two kids under the age of three. (We’ve since added another one to the mix.)
That’s where Leigh Ann came in. She held down the homefront while I spent every Saturday from 7am to 5:30pm in a classroom looking at case studies, accounting (briefly), and organizational behavior (much more interesting.
I have mixed feelings about the MBA experience (which you can read about here.) But I am absolutely certain that I couldn’t have graduated without Leigh Ann’s love, support, and infinite patience.
Your work life and your home life are more intertwined than many people understand. If your partner resents the long hours you have to put into your business, and the instability that comes with being an entrepreneur, you have a tough challenge ahead on multiple fronts.
Find a partner at home who supports your work and your career goals and show them you appreciate them always having your back. Shouting them out in a podcast helps.
3. Never stop learning
I call myself a career student, because I believe that no one person can ever know everything, which means there’s always more to learn.
You have to keep pushing yourself to find new information, ideas and strategies, for life and business.
It’s not just people you know who have wisdom and encouragement that can help you move forward in your career. I’ve learned so many things from experts in all different fields just from reading their books.
My favorite authors include:
- Tim Ferriss: Host of “The Tim Ferriss Show” podcast, and author of “The 4-Hour Work Week,” among many other brilliant business and lifestyle books.
- Mark Cuban: Tech entrepreneur, investor, “Shark,” professional Maverick, and author of “How to Win at the Sport of Business.”
- Michelle Obama: Former First Lady, fellow vegetable fan, host of “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” and author of the inspirational memoir “Becoming.”
- Tony Robbins: Business and life coach, speaker, and author of many essential books, including “Awaken the Giant Within,” “Money: Master the Game,” and “Unlimited Power.”
- Grant Cardone: Sales and marketing trainer, speaker, and author of books including “The 10X Rule” and “Sell or Be Sold.”
I like to download the audio books and listen while I’m working out or pushing my kids in their stroller. With the books that strike me as the most useful, I’ll buy the physical version and scribble and highlight all over it: whatever you need to do to get the information to stick in your head.
There are people close to us and beyond with so much guidance, wisdom and support to offer. Making the most of those connections is the best cheat code you can have.
Want more cheat codes and business and life advice? Catch my other podcast appearances here.