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My Personal 90 Day Makeover

For the past week I've been enjoying a vacation with my family. It has been over 2,500 miles of good times, countless one liners from 3 and 6 year old passengers and lots of good, old fashioned road trip family time. It was also the first time in over a year that I have had more than a couple of days away from the office to think and reflect on how things are going. It was during those times of reflection that I decided to get honest, perhaps more honest than I have been with myself in a while.

I am in the business of helping clients build better businesses and as I look back over the last few years I have to admit that I have not done a good job at following some of the advice I dispense on a daily basis. I'm not going to sugar coat it. I am not where I thought I would be six years after starting Axiom. There are plenty of reasons, some strategic and some tactical, some environmental. However, the biggest reason has been staring me in the mirror for the past week.

The great joy of my job is working with extraordinary clients. What has always impressed me about these folks is that you know, you just know, that whatever they decide to do they will do it well, do it profitably and help a lot of people in the process. So I asked myself "If some of my most successful clients were in my shoes what would that look like on a daily basis?" I thought back to biographies of great leaders that I've read, contemporary and historical, and asked myself what habits they would try to cultivate.

I came up with a list of twelve things that I want to do better. Some of these areas are more personal and some are more business oriented. But I don't think you can successfully segregate the two, nor should you if you want to be genuine and sincere in all you do. So here is the list of things I am committed to improving in my daily routine.

Wake up at 5 am, every day. I am at my best early in the morning. I've known this since college, but without discipline I fall into a habit of getting up when everyone else does. By then I have lost the time and the environment to get my day off to the best start possible.

Have a personal quiet time. I am a spiritual person and I need time for scripture reading, meditation and prayer. When I don't make time to commune with God my priorities get skewed and I lose focus on what is important.

Exercise. I am 38 years old living in the body of a 45 year old. To accomplish my personal and professional goals I need both better stamina and better general health. Besides that I have two little boys that I want to be able to beat at any sport well into their teenage years. Daily exercise needs to be part of my life.

Professional appearance. I need to do a better job looking the part. Impressions matter when you are doling out business advice and to be taken seriously I need to take my wardrobe and all aspects of my personal appearance seriously. I am going to raise the standards for my dress in and out of the office.

In first. I set the tone for both work ethic and punctuality in the office. Getting there first insures that I have time to start my work day without interruption while setting a good example. It also means that I can establish some professional habits in my workday that will help increase my productivity.

In-reach. Clients set the stage for any success we enjoy. Without them there is no business to be had, no projects to complete, no expectations to exceed. Each day I need to have at least one deep, personal experience with a client to understand what is important to their success, what matters most to their business and family and how we are trying to help.

Out-reach. Clients are not the only ones I need to engage with on a deeper level. Community leaders, referral partners, colleagues and other professionals are all critical to our future success. Each day I need to be engaged with the people who can help spread the message about what we do, how we do it, and how different we are from our competitors.

Prospecting. New clients rarely beat down your door. Each day I need to be actively recruiting the clients I want to work with most. It is not enough to plan, strategize and coordinate. I need to be engaged in these conversations every day.

Plan tomorrow today. This is a practice advocated by time management and effectiveness gurus all the time. I have often done this but doing it every day is essential to realizing my full potential. For the next 90 days I will plan tomorrow before ending my day.

Evaluate the day. Reflecting on what went well and what did not is essential to making continuous positive change. Before ending each day I will spend a few minutes writing down my thoughts on where I succeeded and where I still need to improve.

Read. I need to feed my mind good material at the end if each day. Whether it is a few pages or a few chapters I need to make this a consistence part of my routine.

Improve my diet. To keep better tabs on what I am putting in my body I will keep a daily log of everything I eat. I need to be more disciplined and I just need to lose some weight. Research shows that people who track what they eat are more successful at changing their habits so that is what I am going to do.

Why am I telling you all of this? For one simple reason. I am ready for a change. I am ready to step up to the next level and I am smart enough to know that it is not going to be easy. By making this declaration publicly I hope to enlist readers of this blog, clients, family members, friends and co-workers in my journey. For the next 90 days I commit to make each of these activities part of my daily routine. Sundays will be a little different as I rest and worship, but most of these resolutions will still be part of my day. If you are interested in how I'm doing you can track my progress here. I will also post daily updates on my personal site, Feel free to hold me accountable, to encourage, cajole, needle, and urge me on. In 90 days I plan to be a better person running a more successful business.

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Reader Comments (4)

Joey, Great article and just wanted to commend your decisions and encourage you in your follow through. With regards to your exercise goals, I wanted to recommend the P90X program. I took it up during a similar period of transformation in January, 2010 and have really enjoyed it. The program is designed for a 90 day period and can be done at home (no fees, no commute time). If you would like more info, just let me know. I wrote a blog entry about my experience and you can read it and get links to the program from the blog.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom Howard

Thanks Tom. I appreciate your encouragement as someone who has "been there, done that." Your writeup on P90X was a great motivator. I will check it out.

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoey Brannon

There is nothing better then gettin' super transparent before a big change. I appreciate your honesty and will commit to checking on your progress. Your 12 changes (steps) resonate with me, and I try practice and practice them everyday. Its deep stuff man, I like it, and I think I may try and put a few in practice myself.
Great work!!!!!

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris F

Thanks, Chris. I appreciate your encouragement more than you know. It means a lot to me to have your support.

July 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoey Brannon

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