I love these events, but it’s easy to leave and go back to your desk to and feel like this. So for the next hour, we’re going to talk about how to take all of those ideas, and turn them into action.
First, I’ll give you a little background on my story. Started with a show at 14. Nothing else was on TV. Started getting asked to do parties and weddings and stuff.
One day, we were interviewing the high school cheerleading team (because why not), and the school said they were going to have a big championship.
That idea turned into EVC. What we did was simple. Went to events. Recorded. Sold videos. Shipped them.
Grew up with this business
This was my dorm room. I had a suspicious number of VCRs. What is he doing. Also didn’t understand wholesale pricing, so I would go to Wal-Mart and buy their entire stock of VHS tapes on the weekends. Look insane wheeling shopping carts of VHS tapes out.
This was my distribution center. My basement.
We did some amazing events – this is me and my wife at the half-time show of the pro bowl, we did that for 4 years
We were the official videographers for U.S. Figure Skating, everything up until the Olympics.
Opened 3 offices, one in Beverly Hills (which was a terrible decision). But then, in 2013, I had to make a tough decision – liquidate, and sell.
Mostly because of this. Who needs a video guy anymore? We were having to do more and more events to cover our expenses, and it wasn’t fun anymore. But deciding what to do with the company over that last year was the most fun I had had in a while.
My mantra now is “Organize Chaos” and get things done. In the last few years, I’ve worked with almost 100 companies helping make their businesses better, and spun off a few software projects which I’ll talk about later.
Don’t know if I mentioned this, but I grew up in Boston. Anyone ever been there? Love it! I love going back to visit, and seeing it as a tourist everything looks like this. But when I decided to move, it was like this.
Boston Stock Photo. Even if you’ve never lived in the snow, I’m sure you’ve felt like this before. Snowed in, knocked off your feet, buried, upside down. Business -and life- is like a blizzard. Things come at you faster than you could ever handle. Stuff to do, ideas, responsibility, problems. It’s overwhelming! You could never stay on top of shoveling.
So most of us do this. We pave a path to our car so we can get to work, and ignore everything else. We let things build up and build up. Almost 100 companies, interviewed over 1000 employees, not unique. So that’s what I’ve decided to dedicate myself to. At some point, you have to do something about it. And that’s why I created Organize Chaos.
Organize Chaos = snow plow to get you back to a clean slate, so that you can see the road again. Assuming you even care! Maybe its not worth plowing and you should just move. Into a different business, role, etc. Snow Plow Strategy.
Back in November I launched this business and did $42k in 5 days, $60k for the month. So I’ll take you through the exact process I used with those 20 clients. PASS OUT SHEETS.
Pass out sheets. Create Your Context.
Back to this guy. Impossible. Juggling, Spinning Plates. Fear of failing. Imagine being head down in snow (kind of nice). So many of us have this fear of dropping the ball, and that keeps us exactly where we are in our careers and lives. We tread water, we stop taking risks. It’s OK to fall down. Failing is kind of nice. Get there without failing.
Come to terms with worst case. If you’re stuck and considering a change, think about this for yourself. How bad could it possibly be? Tim realized if threw everything away, could get it all back (workaholic prison), with a little bit of effort, since he already knew how to do it.
So, you need to be able to let it go. That’s right. But if you’ve seen this movie you know that things got pretty bad for Elsa before she was finally able to let go. She destroyed an entire town. Sometimes it takes that.
It’s pretty practical. Start with the big picture. How is everything going? Where do you want to be? Has anyone seen this movie? What was his goal? Don’t die. So what’s yours? Write 1-2 sentences for each. What kind of work are you doing? How much money are you making? How much time are you spending at work?
OK, what’s the first step to bringing your goals to life? Tell someone! Alternate answer: Buy the domain name. Anyone want to share?
I know it’s impossible to do this in a few minutes, so the resource I recommend is…. My wife and I do this every year, make a day of it. Went to the Westin - she makes fun of me the whole time, calls me “business Chris” and then goes and tells her friends how nice it was. So that’s my “you know you love this” face.
Chaos is simple. All the STUFF. Let me give you an example.
One of my friends owns a physical organizing business, Neat Method. Goes hand in hand with mine. Mostly residential. Comes into a house like a Tasmanian devil and organizes closets and cabinets and all the messy spaces. When she was starting, clients. The first step is always the same. Take everything out where you can see it. My client walked in during this process - you can imagine his expression. Things get worse before they get better.
This is really important. The idea of putting everything where you can see it helps you analyze the whole situation. Otherwise you’ll keep remembering things that are “somewhere else”.
Part of the reason why I was so drawn to Arizona. On the east coast you can’t see around the next corner. Here you can see everything for hundreds of miles right in front of you. That’s how you find clarity. Everything in sight.
Ideas (The Fun Part), Issues (The things we sweep under the rug), Inefficiencies (The things we could do way better). Next part in your sheet is to fill out these.
Everything on that sheet that you wrote down is some kind of task or project. If more time, hundreds of different things. If you have a company, this usually takes 3-5 days, but I want to at least share the process with you now. So, next step is to process.
First, what can you get rid of? Not everything you wrote down this week is important. Some things you’ll look back at and be like, haha ok I’m never actually going to do that.
No spoilers, but just as you think a character matters, they kill them off. Do the same with your ideas and projects. Tesla Billboards. We all have projects that we kick down the road forever. 12,000 Cassette tapes going to transfer over “someday”, no player… Can’t find time to do something in 20 years, it doesn’t matter anymore.
Take it outside behind the barn and shoot it.
After the things that you kill, Dave Ramsey talks about the Debt Snowball. It sounds terrible, like a snowball of debt that’s going to grow and grow and grow until it destroys your house, but it’s actually the opposite. It’s a method to pay off debt. You take all of your different debts (student loan, credit cards, whatever), and pay them off from the smallest dollar amount to the largest, regardless of interest. It seems counter-intuitive. A little momentum leads to a lot of progress.
What about the rest? After cuts, make groups. Same room after Mika. The same happens when you organize your projects. Think of projects as holistic efforts - not tasks - big things you want to work on. Take a minute to transcribe some big projects down into the next section. *WRITE DOWN YOUR PROJECTS
Book says “What's the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary”. Create prioritization, and always focus on #1. So, looking at your project list, pick the top 3. Doesn’t mean you’re not going to do any of the other things, it just means you’re not going to let them distract you until these ones are done.
Ok, you’ve got your projects and your top priorities. Each of those priorities are a big goal out in the distance. Think of it like walking toward a tree in a field. If you close your eyes and walk toward the tree, just a fraction of an angle could make you miss. But if you put a few landmarks in between you and the tree, you have a lot fewer steps to make with your eyes closed before you can look up and change course.
MAKE MILESTONES & DUE DATES
You have a plan! So how to stick to it? What tools do you need to make sure you stay on track. It all comes down to 2 things. Resources & Relationships
Take it full circle - back to the snow plow analogy. I went to Bentley College, in MA, beautiful campus. We got a ton of snow in the winter. One of the best parts was the heated stairs. Coils under the pavement meant snow never accumulated there. So, you can definitely prevent chaos with money. But the idea here is, are there services you can spend a little money on to make life easier
. My book has hundreds.
You have goals, you’ve identified all of the projects to get you there, you’ve prioritized them and come up with milestones on the way to success. You’ve picked up some tools to make it easier. Last thing - to achieve your goals, you need support. Someone to hold you accountable. Maybe it’s a coach. Maybe it’s a friend, or a family member. But it’s someone that you are so excited to report success to, and don’t want to let down. That’s the difference. So, WRITE DOWN RESOURCES & RELATIONSHIPS
Your 2016 Action Plan by Chris Ronzio
Your 2016 Action Plan
•Creating Clarity From Chaos
“Well, my business could fail while I'm overseas, for sure.
Probably would. A legal warning letter would accidentally not
get forwarded and I would get sued. My business would be
shut down, and inventory would spoil on the shelves while I'm
picking my toes in solitary misery on some cold shore in
Ireland. Crying in the rain, I imagine. My bank account
would crater by 80% and certainly my car and
motorcycle in storage would be stolen. I
suppose someone would probably spit on my
head from a high-rise balcony while I’m
feeding food scraps to a stray dog, which
would then spook and bite me squarely on the
face. God, life is a cruel, hard bitch.”
- Tim Ferriss
“At some point, everything's
gonna go south on you and
you're going to say, this is it. This
is how I end. Now you can either
accept that, or you can get to
That's all it is. You just begin.
You do the math. You solve one
problem and you solve the next
one, and then the next. And if
you solve enough problems,
you get to come home.”
- Mark Watney
Living Your Best Year Ever
* Check out the “Triggers” on Page 113-117
“Once you have all the
things that require your
attention gathered in one
operating from a state of
enhanced focus and
- David Allen
The Three I’s
Thinking, but haven’t tried?
Way to improve a relationship?
A book you want to read?
Product/service you could sell?
Wasting time on?
What would you delegate?
What should be automatic?
What do you wait on?
Decisions you’ve pushed off?