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Several years ago, a financial advisor called Asvin came up to me after a workshop I ran at the Personal Finance Society conference in Birmingham (UK) and said: “I’ve been in business for 24 years. For the last seven, I’ve achieved Court of the Table, but I’ve never reached Top of the Table. Do you think you could help me get there?”

Top of the Table is the elite level at the Million Dollar Round Table, the most revered organization in the world of life insurance. I asked him the question I ask every new client: “What type of person do you need to be to make it to TOT?” He thought about it and said: “I need to be more consistent. I have great months and then other things seem to come along and distract me.”

I told him: “You need a Power Habit to prove to your brain that you’re becoming increasingly consistent. A Power Habit leverages the 80-20 Law which states that you get 80% of your outcomes in any area of your life from 20% of your activities: it gets you a significantly skewed outcome for the time you put in. This is an activity you do week-in and week-out whether you feel like it. What’s the most important activity you need to be consistent with – and how can you measure it?”

He looked over his numbers in recent years and replied: “I need to increase my average number of meetings from six to eight. If I can do that, I’m sure I can make Top of the Table.”

For the next twelve months, we talked every Monday for thirty minutes. Every week. The same commitment. It wasn’t sexy or fascinating. It was consistent.

Most weeks he fell short of eight and sometimes it was hard to see where it was all taking him. But his consistency paid off. Even though he averaged 7.5 meetings/week, he reached his goal. More importantly, he has exceeded it for the eight years since in an increasingly upward trajectory (with one exception which was still far higher than the first year he made TOT).

Identify Your Power Habits

Last week I wrote about first making sure you’re clear about what type of person you need to be so you can be/do/have what you want in the upcoming months. Then your next step is to decide on a Power Habit that will get you the biggest bang for your buck to help you get there.

When my coaching is focused on prospecting and referrals, the answer is always around making a certain number of specific asks per week. If you knock on enough of the right doors, sooner or later ever better opportunities will come.

I’ve also had clients commit to making ‘stretch’ asks – by their own definition an ask that gives them butterflies. These take longer to come to fruition (9 months+) but can be very powerful at helping you go bigger with your business.

If you want to be increasingly healthy, consistent workouts will leverage the 80-20 Law and be a great power habit. A diet of mostly veggies, protein and fruit will likely get you there too. Date nights with your partner or one of your children are a great example of a power habit that will have a much bigger positive impact on your key relationships.

An alternate way to arrive at your power habit is to answer this question that Gary Keller wrote about in his book The One Thing: “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

What’s Your One Thing?

When you can only focus on ONE thing, your answers may surprise you because you can’t lean on the crutch of the laundry list of possible next steps.

I’ve learned since I read this book in 2013 that it may take many attempts before you really are clear about your One Thing.

Another metaphor in the book that explains how your ONE thing adds up over time is the domino effect. Once you start with the right question, your focus and actions accumulate. Step by step these actions build MOMENTUM to create exponential results not incremental ones. And Keller did it himself by co-founding Keller Williams and building what became the largest real estate agency in the USA at the time.

Apply an extreme version of the 80-20 Law to your focus (the Pareto Principle that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities). Whether that means spending much more time with your top 6 referral sources or top 3 clients who are most likely to refer you, stop trying to convert 80% of the people you know to refer you – it's a waste of time.

You only want 3-4 Power Habits. You want to make it easy to focus on what matters most. When your day gets thrown off by the common unexpected event, the Power Habit gets priority.

A few tips about power habits:

a) “To live great you have to think big.”

You don’t know what you can do unless you set an ambitious goal: Big is not bad. It may cause some fear and worthiness questions but answer this: “Do you know what your limits are?”

No, you don’t. Keller argues that you start by thinking BIG (5-10 years out) and then break it down to SMALL (this moment).

Be more aware of how you might be causing your inconsistency. Then sit with your wisdom and ask: What is the one thing – if I did it consistently – that will make the biggest difference for my business growth?

Come up with your answer.

b) WATCH OUT! Routines can feel dull after a while but must be maintained: It’s like the Olympic swimmer who joked: “I only have to swim twice: When I feel like it and when I don’t.” We all need the interesting and the new. You must quiet the voice trying to persuade you to add variety when you already have a great recipe. We can unwittingly take our eye off the very habit of getting us to where we want to go.

c) Your lack of worthiness creates self-doubt: rather like a ship starting to steer in a new direction, what’s been normal and comfortable for your thinking will be challenged as you sense ever better results. This can prompt warning signals from your brain: “This direction is unfamiliar. Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

This is where you need your Inner Hero voice to chime in: “I’ve worked hard for this. Yes, I deserve to be on this new path.”

You MUST identify your power habits. Without any doubt it is the consistent implementation of these that I have seen from past clients that leads to outstanding outcomes.

To your power habit!
Matt Anderson
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121