Start With Gratitude: A Simple Ritual That Will Change Your Life

A Journey To Greatness (This Will Inspire You!)

 

Lewis and Cesar

Coffee Conversations: Ultimate Sports Strategies for Time Management

We're trying something brand new on the podcast this week.

We live streamed this episode of Coffee Conversations straight to YouTube — and some of you sent us questions while we filmed!

It was awesome and we’ll do more of these live episodes if you like them. (But please forgive a few tech glitches while we figured it out.)

While Cesar and I were taking questions from you guys on social media, we kept discussing the same main theme.

It’s something that has made the biggest difference in our business year after year.

It’s the strategy we set up to manage our time throughout the year so that we can accomplish huge goals consistently.

"Plan your play."  

"The good and bad part of our business is that we have so many opportunities."  

The truth is, it’s based on what we learned in sports.

The lessons we learned from football still keep us grounded and productive years later.

As we answered your questions, we kept coming back to how much this strategic mindset supports us when we set huge goals, get through slumps, stay positive, and more.

We realize that the more we choose to live and work in a disciplined, focused way, with plenty of play built in, the better we do all around.

Let us know your thoughts on this episode and the live stream after you listen to Episode 587.

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How we come up with a strategy to accomplish all our big goals for the year (5:10)
  • Why taking breaks to play is so important (14:30)
  • How to make your personal project grow when your time is consumed by your day job (17:48)
  • Strategies for staying positive and keeping others positive (19:28)
  • Tips we’ve both learned for improving conversational skills (26:58)
  • What to do if you’re scared of stepping into your greatness (33:30)
  • How much flexibility I plan into my schedule (39:30)
  • Plus much more…

Connect with
Lewis and Cesar

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:                      This is episode number 587 Coffee Conversations – The Ultimate Sports Strategies for Time Management.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Peter Drucker said, “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” Welcome to Coffee Conversations, becoming one of the favourite theme episodes that we do, when I bring on my good friend Matt Cesaratto, aka Cesar, and we bring him on for some Coffee Conversations. And in this episode we talk about how to strategise for a powerful year at the beginning.

Also, the best way to build your side-hustle when working a full time job. We talk about how much I plan flexibility into my schedule throughout the month and the year. Also, what to do if you are scared of starting on your road to greatness. Also, what sports taught Cesar and myself about time management, that we still follow today.

This is a powerful one. And we did something interesting, we actually went live, with a live broadcast on YouTube during this, and so many of you came on live and listened to it, and asked questions, and we’re thinking about doing more of these episodes live, and bringing in that different innovative type of feel of the podcast.

Before we dive in, I want to give a thank you to the Fan and Review of the Week. That’s Dr. Jack Mickhoff, who said, “How can I make this short? Almost a year ago I was working at a desk job in manufacturing. Every day I wondered what the hell I was doing. It didn’t feel right. This job was an hour and fifteen minute commute, that’s where I listened to several different podcasts. The School of Greatness was one of them, and, Lewis Howes, The School of Greatness changed my perspective on life and living it. Fast forward to now, I’m writing this review because I took a chance and opened a Crossfit gym. We are doing really well. I even started up a power-lifting club through my old high school that hasn’t had a club in over twenty years. Thanks for the two years of motivation.”

So, thanks again for the review, Jack, appreciate it. I hope you enjoy this. And if you guys want a chance to be shouted out on the podcast, to be the Fan of the Week, just leave a review over on iTunes. You can go to the app, your podcast app on your phone, or on iTunes, scroll down, leave a review and get a chance to be shouted out on the podcast.

Before we begin, I want to give a shout out to our sponsors who help us spread the message of Greatness far and wide, and that first one is Foursigmatic. Now, if you’re looking to optimise your body and your life. I’m always about optimising the mind and your health so that you can have better energy during the day. And at Foursigmatic they believe in the real magic of functional mushrooms to help us live healthier and more enhanced lives. They make drinking mushrooms and superfoods delicious and easy to do with mushroom coffees, mushroom superfood blends and mushroom elixirs.

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And also, BioTrust! Oh, I love these guys! We had Josh Bezone on the podcast about a year and a half ago and it blew people away what he’s been doing with BioTrust. If you want to create a beter health in general as well, you’re in luck, because Josh wants to give everyone a free sample container of BioTrust Low Carb, which is their award winning, all natural protein powder to help you achieve your best body in 2018. It’s simple. All you do is pay shipping, and BioTrust will send you a whole sample container, guys, this is a lot, of either their chocolate or vanilla protein powder in hopes that you’ll love it and decide to make it a part of your daily routine.

Now, don’t worry, nothing else will be sent to you, and there are no strings attached. BioTrust Low Carb protein contains no artificial ingredients or sweeteners. It’s certified hormone and anti-biotic free! And each serving is packed with 24g of premium grass fed protein. Guys, this is a sweet deal! Plus, it mixes easily and is super stomach friendly for anyone with gut issues, again. I’m not kidding when I say it’s some amazing and great tasting protein. Some of the best I’ve ever used.

What’s more is, each free protein container BioTrust gives away, they will feed a hungry child for a day. To date, they have provided over two million nutritious meals to hungry kids. Plus, they’ve built three schools for a charity that I love, Pencils of Promise. So, if you’re interested in getting a free container of BioTrust natural grass fed protein powder today, and feeding a hungry child tomorrow, be sure to visit getfreeprotein.com before they run out of free sample containers. Again, all great stuff here, guys. Go to the site right now, getfreeprotein.com and sign up before they run out.

A big thank you, again, to Foursigmatic and BioTrust for all you do in building great products and giving back to the world, and for supporting this podcast. We couldn’t do this show, to get it out as far and wide and continue to innovate without those sponsors, so thank you guys very much.

And without further ado, guys, I’m excited for this one! It’s Coffee Conversations, episode number 587.

Alright! Welcome back, everyone, we’re here on Coffee Conversations. Very excited about this! We’re trying something new today, so bear with us if, for whatever reason, there’s some glitches. And I’m here with my man, Cesar, Coffee Conversations, live switch it over to Cesar. We’ve got three cameras set up, we’ve got Tiffany who’s manning the control panel on iPad. We’ll have to have another camera later that shows you this.

We’ve got Christine managing audio and making sure that we’re actually live on YouTube, and we wanted to try something new, for 2018, for our Team of Greatness. We’re really trying to figure out how we can continue to elevate and innovate the podcast game, and the content game and add as much value as possible for people. So we’re doing this YouTube Live.

A lot of you guys have talked about Coffee Conversations, you really enjoy having Cesar on, Matt Cesaratto, who runs the operations for The School of Greatness’ business and all the things we’re up to, and so we’ve invested in some new equipment, new camera gear, and we’re actually going to rehaul pretty much the entire studio soon, with better lights, better gear, better setup, everything, so that we can kind of do live editing. That’s the goal. That’s not the goal, Tiffany is already live editing, so I’m excited to test this.

If you’re here right now, if you’re watching live, then go ahead and comment, with any type of question you have. Again, we’ll have Christine, who’s going to be fielding some questions at some point, but we are week two of January, right? It seems like it’s been a month already. For me it feels like it’s already been a month, we’ve done so much already in the first week.

I had a goal for the first month, not a New Year’s resolution, but the first month, five days a week of hit workouts, along with Whole30, and I’m trying to do intermittent fasting, where I don’t eat before at least noon, every single day. And so far, the first week I’ve been consistent. What I want to do is focussing on every week having a challenge, as opposed to saying, “Okay, I’m going to do this for the whole year.”

I’m just going to do this for five days, and then I’m journalling it as well. So, I found a new journal that I like. I talked about it in the last podcast. If you go to projectevo.org, you can see this journal, good friends of mine made this, it’s a journal based on your brain archetype. How you think. You take a small test that tells you what your archetype is. Mine is the explorer, and so the journal allows you to track your goals and your dates, based on the way you think about the world.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Oh, very cool!

Lewis Howes:                       So, so far, I’ve been consistent with it. One week! I’m excited! Cheers to you!

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Can we go try that? I’m going to have to see what my archetype is.

Lewis Howes:                       Yes, we’ll get you on as well. A couple of big things I want to talk about for the week so far. We started off strong, and the key for us this year that I’m already finding from the breakdowns we had this morning, or the piling on of things this morning, is strategy. Strategy, strategy, strategy, and staying ahead. I have a big vision and dreams that I talked about with Christine and Tiff this morning that I wanted them to do, in terms of video that are kind of lofty goals for the year and I think, we’ve always been good at putting out great content, and being consistent, but some of the times it’s very last minute, and it weighs on the team sometimes.

And we’ve already been feeling that this morning with some stuff that’s come on the plate, and we’re like, “We’re not going to do any of that this year,” and now it’s already happening, and we’re like, “Okay, we’ll do it,” and so we just need to continue to mind ourselves about strategy. So, that’s the thing I’m already seeing. And with New Year’s resolutions in the first couple of weeks of January, I think people get excited about something, and then breakdowns happen, new opportunities come in and you got to stay focussed.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    And you know what I think I love about this, Lewis, is this: I guarantee our team would say, their experience, and it’s no negative against you at all, because you are the visionary, the explorer, but their experience, and my experience is, we are reactionary. We have always really been reactionary. At least in the last couple of years of business, since I’ve been here.

So, I think this shift for 2018 is really exciting for me, as well as our team. To really just have a strategy, to have a plan in place and really manage expectations over the course of this strategic plan that we’re putting together, for whatever it is, for whatever project that we’re working on at a given point. I know with a live broadcast, I mean, this happened a couple of weeks ago, but even then, we did have a little bit of planning, and I’m sure there’s going to be glitches over the course of us learning to use something new. But I think the cool thing is, sticking to your strategy is what we found over the course of at least 2017. When we stuck to our guns on something, that’s when we found maximum success, rather than last minute reactionary type judgement calls, and what we want to do with the business. But I also know that I want to give you the opportunity as our explorer and visionary, to run with something if you’re really excited about it.

Because I also know that within this team, we find that the maximum output of our team happens when you’re excited about something, and it blends in to the excitement of our team. And because we’re rallied around your mission and your business, so when we see you excited, we get excited. So, even the stuff that we were reactionary on, they ended up working out because of just the excitement. I think that you bring to the table.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s not sustainable long term.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    But I think when we’re going to go real big this year in 2018, I think you’re right: Strategy and planning is going to pay off big time.

Lewis Howes:                       Even just a few weeks ahead of time, of planning as opposed to last minute. And I’ll give you and example: I’ve been doing a lot of Mastermind calls. So, for those who don’t know, we host a year-long intensive, high accountability mastermind group for entrepreneurs who are at the seven figure mark, looking to take their business to the next level. And all these one on one calls I’ve been doing, we’ve got some great people in the group. You’ve seen them all come through, and we’ve got some amazing people who are just creating great results already in the last few years, they’ve been building their business.

The thing that I’ve seen, in order to really grow, and I see this for us too, is having accountability, coaching, putting a strategy in place. A lot of these entrepreneurs I’ve been talking to have been successful, they’re making a lot of money, but they have no strategy. I’m thinking of a couple that I just talked to last week, and they’re like, “Yeah, we just made all this money, but it was kind of last minute,” everything and there was no game plan.

So, I said, “Listen, what would it look like, if you had one vision for the year, of a mark that you wanted to hit, financial mark, or specific goals? And then you had a strategy on the execution plan of how you were going to hit those goals, and then every day you had a schedule for the next twelve months. Every day was mapped out twelve months in advance.”

And at least in terms of a skeleton schedule, like, “Okay, every eight weeks we’re going to do this type of promotion on Instagram or Facebook and we’re going to do this type of content three days a week and having it mapped out for the year. That way your team can see what needs to be done, ahead of time. You’re setting up your team for success, and saying, “Okay, I know that next month and the following month, these promotions, these things happening, so I can get ahead, as opposed to last minute.” And I think that that is going to be, just having a strategy and a schedule alone is going to transform people’s businesses and lifestyle.

For me, having a strategy of, “Okay, for thirty days I’m going to do a hit workout every single day, five days a week, during the weekdays.” I have it mapped out on the schedule, and then in my journal, I’m creating my goals to making it just one day at a time, as opposed to, like, “Ah, I’ve got to do this whole thing over the month!” No. Just today. I’ve got to do a thirty minute session today. And I schedule it in. If I don’t schedule something, it’s not going to happen, unless it’s last minute and I’m exhausted, and I just will it to happen. But, over time, that’s not sustainable.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah, I’ve seen. I’ve seen what it’s like. I mean, I’m in the studio, I’m in your space every day and I get to see you and what you’re creating for yourself. And you’re absolutely right: The time that I’ve seen you most accountable to completing what you set out to actually complete is when you’ve had a plan in place. Not when you’re like, “Oh, I just want to do a hit workout.” “I just want to do a hit workout for the next thirty days.”

I see that it ends up tapering off, you end up sometimes making excuses, to say other things are more important instead of now, you’re being very specific about what you want to create with these hit workouts, how many you want to do every day, every week, and what that month looks like in total, so I’ve seen you be more specific about what your strategy is, and I think that’s what it is.

Like you said, you’ve got to have an end goal in mind and then be very specific about month by month, week by week, what you plan or intend on doing. And without that intention, chances are, it’s not going to happen.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s not going to happen long term, that’s for sure. And I think you set your whole team up to win as well. I was going to talk about it, I was thinking about challenge. You know, when we set up a challenge for Summit of Greatness last year, when we did a 30-day challenge with the team, we created some great results individually and as a team. And that’s what I’m trying to do for myself every week. I want to give myself a weekly challenge.

But not say, “Here’s what I’m going to do for the full year,” but just, like, “What do I want to do this week, to support my monthly goal?” And I think that’s something I’m excited about testing, and I already see myself, it’s more sustainable that way. It’s a big vision thinking, but small action taking every single day for a week at a time.

So, I’d say, come up with challenges for yourself. But if you don’t have some type of coaching or accountability in your business and your life and your health and in whatever, I think it’s just going to be really challenging to sustain reaching the next level and everyone watching right now, or listening to this audio, you’re here because you want to reach another level in your life, business, relationships. It’s just almost impossible to reach another level, unless you’re committed to doing those action steps, a strategy and schedule and having that coaching and accountability.

So, something I want to reiterate, as we’re already in the second week of the year, and most people have already failed their New Year’s resolutions. You’ve already had that, you know, from having no sugar for the month, you’ve already had a whole tub of ice-cream last night. You wanted to have a scoop, and you’re like, “I can’t deal with this, I’m going to have the whole thing!”

I know when I do that, I just go all in. I can’t have just one, I have a whole box. So, I’m excited and here’s something we’ve been doing and today, sometimes these strategy sessions aren’t fun. This morning, every Monday, for those who aren’t aware, we do a team Zoom call, for our teams all over the country we do a Zoom call and afterwards we did a call for about an hour on The Summit of Greatness, which is October 4th through 6th, in Columbus, Ohio. And we’ve got big plans for our event. And we’re already planning stuff ten months ahead. We were already strategising for something we’re doing ten months later from now.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah, October 4th is when Summit of Greatness starts.

Lewis Howes:                       October 4th. And so we had half of our team on just for that call, going over the theme, the style, the design, the venues, everything, ten months in advance, and it’s, you know, sometimes I don’t want to work on the strategy stuff, because I’d rather just get to work.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I think we’ve all felt that. Every now and then we feel your energy and you’re like, “Next thing!” And “Oh, no, no, we need to talk about that.”

“Next thing!”

Lewis Howes:                       But, I know the value of it, because it gives our team peace of mind and clarity, as opposed to this last minute feeling. So, whatever your plans are or your vision is for this year, start strategising. Do it once, and I want to do this more with you every single week, where we do a twenty-minute strategy session, at the beginning of the week or at the end of the week. Because usually when Matt and I get together, we’re going over numbers, it’s like, last minute stuff, there’s a lot of business deals that are coming in, sponsorships, speaking gigs. It’s just a lot to manage already. And we usually don’t have time to be, like, “Okay, let’s just sit here and strategise.”

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah. But we don’t give ourselves enough time for that, and I think, when we do, that’s when it’s really beneficial, because it almost rights our course at any given moment. For us to really have that time to strategise, instead of being reactionary based on what’s inbound right now. Whether it’s sponsorships, or other social media opportunities that are coming your way, other speaking engagements, you know?

Lewis Howes:                       Exactly! I think the good and the bad about our business is that we get so many opportunities. Most people don’t have the opportunities.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    We’re grateful for the opportunities, yeah.

Lewis Howes:                       And they’re all amazing. Like, “Come speak here for fifty grand.”

“Come do this hour thing for twenty grand.”

“Come do this, come do this.”

“Come partner here.” We’re getting asked to be on boards of non-profits, that could really give back. There’s a lot of things that we could do, and we just got to figure out how we pick and choose. That’s the challenge. It’s just, like, “Oh, do we turn down fifty grand here, that could be three days of my time, or could we just spend that energy on building our vision?”

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah. Our vetting process has been that, you share with me an opportunity that came up, we talk about it, and sometimes that’s where we essentially say yes or no to it. We decide whether or not it is going to be beneficial to add that revenue stream, based on what? Based on what we’ve already strategised and wanted to create for 2018. And if it’s going to take away from the, we just got to realise it just doesn’t seem to serve us.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah. So, getting clear on the numbers, the results you want, the feeling you want. I think also, the feeling you want is important, because reaching certain financial goals or weight goals or whatever it may be, is nice, but if you feel tired and it’s a drain to get there, then that’s not fun either. So, what’s the feeling? And I’ve been really thinking about play.

In my journal, that’s specific for my brain type, there’s a play element every single day, of adding anything that’s going to add more play into your life, like adventure, fun. And you rate yourself, every single day, did you live up to your potential in terms of fun and relationships and meaningful conversations and yes, business as well. But have your scheduled 30 minutes to do something that’s just fun.

Two years ago, we used to go play frisbee all the time down the street.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    You would force me to stop. You’d stand in front of my desk and go, “No! We’re going to play frisbee right now!” And I got to tell you, that was unbelievable. I felt the shift in my, coming back then, after 30 minutes, after playing frisbee, my focus was even then a little stronger, a little better than it previously was when I was spending hours and hours and hours, without giving myself an opportunity to just play, to break.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, and I think that’s important. Health is key, and you, as a new father, you’re not sleeping as much because you’ve got a baby crying every thirty, sixty minutes, so you can’t really control… You can try to go to sleep at a certain time, but if that baby’s crying, you’re up. And so, I think it’s important to schedule time to move your body.

My girlfriend, Jen, she’s a doctor of physical therapy, so she’s always talking about movement, and the power of that, and every time I do it, I feel better. But also play. And I think we need to schedule, even if it seems like it’s going to be even busier this year. I almost feel like if we, you know, I was talking to Christine and Tiff earlier, if we can just schedule everything ahead and pre-do a lot of our content and information so we’re just so far ahead, so I think when we have a strategy and a schedule in place, then we can be a month ahead so we can schedule 30 minutes to play frisbee or take a hike or take the afternoon off on Friday and everyone go hike, or something like that, so that’s what I’m excited about, is: How can we continue to elevate our vision, our impact, revenue goals, all those things, but also have more fun.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    And enjoyment. Enjoyment for ourselves, for the team, that’s definitely important.

Lewis Howes:                       Exactly.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    That was one thing that I realised. When we did that fitness challenge, as a team, it also created this camaraderie, this excitement, this buzz within our team, that engaged us personally, about what our challenge was, but in turn, engaged us professionally to continue to have each other’s backs in business. So it definitely had a trickle-down effect that probably is really unseen, until you look back and say, “Oh!” at least for myself.

I remember knowing that I had my team holding me accountable, and I had a child who was three months old at the time.

Lewis Howes:                       How old is your daughter now?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    She just turned five months on the 28th of December. That’s been a beautiful journey so far. But, I mean, the fitness challenge allowed me to elevate myself by being accountable to the team and allowed me to keep focussed on what we were trying to do. And the focus that happened in that fitness challenge, allowed us, as a team, to focus then on what what we were trying to create with The Summit of Greatness together.

That was hugely a powerful month of challenge and completion of us doing The Summit of Greatness. Yeah, it’s very beautiful.

Lewis Howes:                       Good stuff! We’ve got a couple of questions coming up from YouTube. What have we got?

“How can you make your personal project grow, when your time is consumed by your day job, or if you’re working somewhere that’s not your own thing?”

I think that’s really, strategy’s an even bigger point when you’re working somewhere full time, you really need a strategy and a schedule even more so, of before work, after work, when you’re going to take action on things. When you’re going to do certain things. Like what Christine had, an event. She had a retreat over New Year’s, when she had twelve, fourteen people, was it? Twelve people came from around the country.

She was planning it for three, four, five months in advance, on the weekends and at night, and I think you can’t do something last minute if you’re working a full time job and you have some type of side project that you’re working on. So, I think, really planning ahead, when you have something on the side, if you’re working full time, is going to be key. Otherwise it’s not going to be great.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    That’s even more important, the planning component of your side-hustle, your secondary job that’s your personal thing, rather than working for an employer. That employer is going to have every process in place to keep you accountable. What you probably won’t have in place right now, I’m assuming, is also some or other accountability measure in your side-hustle.

So, whether it’s your spouse, a potential partner, a friend, you got to find that accountability piece, I think. That’s key. I think that’s important.

Lewis Howes:                       I saw this question on Instagram from thebenerickson who said, “What’s your strategy for staying positive and helping the others stay positive as well?”

For me, I think it’s, when I don’t have a plan, a game plan, for my life, I get very unfulfilled and unhappy, because I’m questioning myself. I’m asking myself, what am I doing this for? Why am I doing something? What’s the purpose of this? Or, I wish I was doing something else more inspiring.

So, having a purpose for my year and my life. When we do our team calls, I’m always excited about the testimonials, and hearing the testimonials, and making sure that everyone on the team calls, hears those, because when we know that every single day we’re doing something, whether someone is reading The School of Greatness book, the Mask of Masculinity, The Millionaire Morning, going through Inner Circle, The School of Greatness Academy, all the projects we’re working on.

When people give us feedback and testimonials, it reminds me of this is why I’m doing what I’m doing and why, as a team, we get to continue to be excited about the work we’re doing. Because, it’s just making impact. And I don’t know too many other places, I mean, if you’re a yoga instructor you can see direct impact on your students, who are in pain before class and now it’s like they have less pain or they are stronger, or more flexible. Maybe you’re throwing a concert and you have someone coming in and they’re excited at the end.

I want to create things that impact and transform people’s experiences in life. So, for me, it’s having a game plan or vision of why we’re doing something and being able to map out that schedule, coming back to the beginning. So, staying positive, I think, structuring your life in a way that helps you find clarity, stay true to your clarity, and I also think if I’m not growing every single day or weekly, then I’m not staying positive.

So, I need to feel like I’m learning something, either mentally or emotionally. I need to feel like I’m breaking through on fears that I have and seeing improvement in my life. Health needs to improve, business, you know, some area of my life needs to improve.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah. And use those words a lot: improve, impact, growth. I mean, being of those mindsets, in a business, when you’re focussed on the end impact that you’re going to create, and you’re focussed on that there, then I think, finding the strategy on how to get people to get there, if you’re starting your business. That’s the process we use as a business. What’s the maximum impact we can make for somebody with our books, with our courses, with the Mastermind, with the event?

Those growth mindsets and things that you incorporate in your personal life are also what we’re doing for business. Because the end goal for you personally, is, “What’s the maximum impact I can make for myself?” For your business, “What’s the maximum impact I can make for the viewers, for the listeners, for the customers of our products and courses?”

So, use those words a lot, and I think if you focus on the impact you’re trying to make and put together the steps in order to find that place of impact, I think that’s where you need to go with it.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, and I can already see someone saying, “Well, what if my career isn’t growing as fast as I want it to? Or my business isn’t growing, or I’m not in control of certain things at work? So how do I grow and improve when I feel confined there?”

I would say, if in one area of your life, you’re unable to grow as fast as you want, focus on things you can focus on, which is your health, or your relationships, or your spirituality, or adventure or play. Focus on other areas of your life that you can grow and improve in. You can always read a new book, and learn something. I think that when we’re learning, we are unlocking this feeling of positivity.

And then another part of that question was, “How do you keep other people around you positive?”

I think it’s constantly being aware of if people are feeling happy and fulfilled and empowered and inspired in their life, whether it’s a relationship you’re in, your team, it’s just constantly being mindful and listening.

Not being focussed and busy on your own stuff that you can’t see the signs of other people, and asking simple questions that you can learn more about how they could be happier. What is their vision? What is their game plan? Are they not fully fulfilled in the work they’re doing? What is some things we could do to make you feel more fulfilled?

I think if people want that feeling of growing constantly, if we’re stuck, mentally or physically, I feel like it’s hard to stay positive.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    So, what’s the way out of that? If you have someone that’s saying, “I’m feeling stuck,” what’s the first thing you could do rather than saying, “Hey, what’s the impact you want to make?” That’s where I would, say, go to. What’s the impact you want to make in yourself. If you feel stuck, you want to be unstuck, right? So, what do you need in order to get unstuck? You need a strategy!

So, whether it’s a book you’re reading, whether it’s…

Lewis Howes:                       Well, I think, it’s first you want to figure out where you want to go, you feel stuck, okay, what is it you want? You’re at somewhere now, and you don’t want it, what is the exact thing you want, and why? Getting clear on the vision that you want and why.

Okay, once you know why you want it and you have a bigger reason behind something, then you go to what you would say as a strategy. Okay, what are some steps you could take. Everything, to me, comes down to football. The stuff we learn in football, literally football, there’s so many parallels between football and life. Everything! And I’m just so grateful that I had that sports experience, because I don’t know how I would have found this any other way without sports.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah! I mean, college football, people that haven’t been through that, it’s a year long strategy and planning and commitment. You’re absolutely right. It’s not just going out on the football field and catching footballs. It’s sitting there hours and hours and hours after practice, watching film, even creating camaraderie with your team, hanging out with your team mates, getting to know them, trusting them, it’s the same thing that I feel with our team.

We set these things up outside of the workplace, whether it’s a fitness challenge, to connect us, to create engagement with our team.

Lewis Howes:                       Last year we went to Guatamala, half the team went to Guatamala to see the impact we’re making as a company where we travelled around and just had fun in Guatamala. Did you guys have fun? Yeah, Christine and Tiffany both had fun. And we got to hang out with these kids in Guatamala and see where some of our energy is going towards in giving back. So I think we should probably strategise and see what we’re going to do as a team this year. We have The Summit of Greatness, which is kind of like a celebration, but maybe we should do some other kind of two day experience in Laguna Beach or something and just take the team somewhere.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Maybe we should. Maybe we should declare it right now!

Lewis Howes:                       Christine’s clapping. Yes! So maybe we rent a house somewhere on the beach a couple of hours away, we take a field trip for two days or something.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Hike and talk. I mean, that stuff is hugely engaging and connecting.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, just a little getaway, more strategy.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Frisbee with the team! You know?

Lewis Howes:                       Frisbee with the team, something, yeah. More activities with the team, I think, will be powerful for us too.

What other questions do we have coming in? Something else? Tips we’ve both learned improving conversational skills.

Well, I think, for me, it’s always come down to asking different questions that people never get asked. Or just simple, interesting questions and then listening. Honestly, for me, it’s asking the right questions and then listening and shutting up.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    That’s it, that’s it! Literally just be quiet and listen and ask questions. Those two things, listening and asking questions, were exactly what I was going to say. I think that’s the way that you really get to engage somebody else. I mean, people might say, “Well, what if the person you’re talking to doesn’t want to answer your questions?” Well…

Lewis Howes:                       You’re not interesting enough. You’re not asking the right questions.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Maybe that’s it right there. I was going to say, “It’s asking the right questions.”

Lewis Howes:                       Or your energy’s off, or… I think a couple of simple questions you could always ask someone who’s brand new, is, “What are you most excited about in your life right now?” People want to be excited and they want to talk about things they’re most passionate about. “What are you most passionate about? What are you most excited about in your life right now?”

As opposed to, “What do you do? Where do you work?” those things.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah, we need to stop those questions.

Lewis Howes:                       Those questions need to go. So ask, another question is, “What are you most grateful for in your life?” When you activate gratitude and excitement, you activate something in the heart and the mind of that human being that lights them up in a different way. That makes them actually turn on their brain in a different way, and opens them up. You see them stand a little taller when they’re grateful. You see them talk a little louder when they’re excited. You see them smile.

And when they associate smiling and gratitude and excitement and you, when they see you and they associate that, then there’s like, “Oh, this person was thoughtful.” They may not even be aware of it, but they just want to be around people that get them to think that way. So I try to think about that in our team meeting, we talk about gratitude. “What are you most grateful for, excited about for the weekend?” things like that. And it gets people thinking, like, “Oh, yeah, I’m happy when I go to this place,” when we have perspective about things that are meaningful in our life, “And maybe I did go through a challenging weekend, but I still have this to be grateful for.” I think that perspective is always pretty powerful.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Yeah, I remember, growing up, that was the one thing. If I was ever down, my mom would always say, “Count your blessings.” Count your blessings, focus on that positive, and when you’re engaging somebody in a positive way and asking them what’s positive with them, what they’re grateful for, what brings them joy, I think that’s an easy way to just have a great conversation. Not having this agenda of, “What am I going to get from this person?”

I think, watching you over the course of your networking and having great guests on this podcast, that’s the thing I’ve always seen you lead with. It’s not, “What am I going to get from this person,” but, “What can I give?” And what you give, and what I’ve always seen you give, since the second I literally met you, was just joy. You give joy to people. You give this childlike way of being that just allows people to have the opportunity to just play, and be comfortable.

And the second you created that space for me, I remember when we met, and we were competitors on the football field. We were going for the same position.

Lewis Howes:                       First two weeks we probably didn’t like each other as much.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I remember the first couple of weeks we were very stand-offish. I was like, “This guy can play football.” I was like, “Shoot! He’s competition!” But then, after a couple of weeks, I was just, like, “Gosh, this guy’s a fun loving guy and just wants to have fun.” And I was, like, “I’m in!”

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah! That’s it! I think Brendan Burchard talks about it a lot, bringing the joy, and now, in every speech and every interview, if I’m nervous, so if you’re ever nervous from anything you’re doing, think about, “How can I bring the joy? How can I smile?” Bring the joy, even if you’re a little nervous, smiling, just do that as opposed to being serious. Because you’ll always do better if you activate that childlike curiosity.

What’s the lesson your mom taught you from childhood? What was another lesson she would talk about? Or are there any traditions you guys had at the dinner table?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    You know, the funny thing was, and I would say, my sister and I are so close, so close right now in our lives. And the thing is, when I was young, I teased her to death. I almost feel bad thinking back and going, “Gosh!”

Lewis Howes:                       Is she the youngest? Or Kevin’s the youngest?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Kevin’s the youngest. She’s younger than me. Yeah. And I think I look back, and I teased her so much because of how much I loved her, and that’s kind of kid’s ways of doing things, but what my mom used to do, if I hurt her or upset her or teased her too much, my mom would literally have me sit down and wouldn’t let me get up until I wrote a page of what I love about my sister.

Lewis Howes:                       Wait, when was this?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    This is when I was a kid. My mom would, if I got in trouble for teasing my sister, or doing whatever that made her cry, then my mom would make me sit down and write on a piece of paper what I love about my sister.

So, I think, if you find that, if you’re hurting a loved one in your life, I think if you again just focus on the things you love about that person, I think that’s good feedback for me too, even in my relationship with my wife. If we’re ever going through a hard time, I think sitting down and just outlining what we love about each other, that’s hugely beneficial.

I remember for my thirtieth birthday, my wife Kendra, she wrote down thirty things that she loves about me. And I still hold on to those and I still keep those. And that is so powerful for me.

Lewis Howes:                       Do you still have the letter?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    It’s a little glass mason jar and she cut up little pieces of paper and wrote a little thing that she loved about me, for thirty things on my thirtieth birthday.

Lewis Howes:                       In a jar. So you could pull out one thing at a time.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    One thing at a time. It’s sitting next to my bed, every night I get a look at it. It’s really… So, I would say, that’s the thing. Write what you love about that person. If it’s something, if you have a fight with your friend or family member, just write down what you love about them. There’s so much there, it’s like counting your blessings. It’s about expressing gratitude. It’s about focussing on the positive instead of the negative.

Lewis Howes:                       Cesar in the house! Let’s do one or two more questions. Paulo was talking about, he says his road to greatness, he’s almost ready to start, but he’s scared.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I think it’s started. From what I’m hearing, it’s started. So, take out the almost, because it is started. And the fear, for me… Oh my gosh! I was just sharing with the team the other day, I literally have shaken the rookie feeling in myself at the start of the year, because of all the cool things we have going on in the business. I’m excited! I’m so excited that I’m nervous.

Lewis Howes:                       What are you nervous about?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    It’s not nervous in a negative sense. It’s stuff that I remember, you know, playing football. We were so prepared for every game, but when it’s game day…

Lewis Howes:                       It’s still nerves!

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I’m telling you, it’s like the Jordan Jitters.

Lewis Howes:                       In the locker room and we’ve got the music pumping.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Michael Jordan got nervous before every game. And he said, “I wouldn’t be prepared otherwise. If I didn’t have that feeling, I knew I wasn’t ready.” So, I think, being nervous is part of that journey to greatness. Embrace the nerves and set up a plan, an actionable plan and create the accountability for yourself, to keep going.

Lewis Howes:                       I was watching, Will Smith is now on Instagram, and I was watching his Instagram stories the other day and he was just talking about, and this is one of the reasons why I want Will Smith on here, because I think he’s on of the most brilliant actor minds. He was just talking about failure, fear and failure. He’s like, “Constantly do things that you know you’re going to fail at. Because you’re going to get so close to achieving it, or you might achieve it anyways, but when you fail at it and you were close to it, you’re going to say to yourself, “Oh! I’m pretty close to it! Let me try it again, and now achieve that thing.”

But I think that what we do well is, we are constantly doing things where we’re like, “Man, can we do this? Do we really think we have the audacity to do a documentary, and do this other show we’re thinking about and do this thing and do a magazine, and do live and do video every day?” Do we really think we can do this?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    As a controller, I was freaked out about going live. I was asking Christine, “Do we have the questions ready? Do we have a topic ready?” I was asking twenty questions about how unprepared I felt, even though I have to say the one thing that I think you bring to this team, is you elevate us by allowing us to know that, “Hey, we may fail, but let’s try it anyways.”

And I think that’s a huge part of the success that you’ve created for yourself, that I think, holds a lot of people back. They’re too scared of failing, that they end up never doing it, or waiting years to do it. Waiting for years.

Lewis Howes:                       That’s where we’re coming back to Howard’s question of, “I feel I’m almost ready to start my journey to greatness,” you’ve got to just jump in and start something. And start small, even. One little thing. There’s so many people that I talk to that say they want to write their book. They want to launch their podcast. They want to do video. They want to launch a website. They want to do something. I’m like, “What are you waiting for?”

“Well, the book takes forever,” and I’m like, “Yes and no.”

We did a book that we wrote in, like, two weeks and we launched it a couple of months later. It’s like reframing what you want it to be. Yes, if you want it to be a big book like this [The School of Greatness], and you want it to have a bigger strategy, it might take a couple of years. This took a couple of years, Mask of Masculinity took a couple of years, for getting something out there. But you can start a podcast.

So many people last week were like, “I want to do a podcast, what’s the video equipment, what’s the audio equipment?” I’m like, “It’s not about the equipment, just record it on your phone and get it started.”

Matt Cesaratto:                                    How did you start? Yeah, you started with a laptop, your headset and you just recorded it on your laptop, right?

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah, that’s right. And then it was a phone. It’s just getting it started and seeing if you actually like it, because most people have this idea that they want to do something, but then they wait six months or a year, two years. It’s too late at that point, or they launch it and they’re like, “Actually, I don’t really want to do this.” So, do something with urgency, now! Fail and see if you’re excited enough about it to want to make it better. And if you don’t like it, then you can stop.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    And let go of perfection, right? Let go of perfection. I’m telling you.

Lewis Howes:                       You can write that on the mirror for yourself.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I do! I certainly do! I mean, I’m OCD and I embrace it.

Lewis Howes:                       Yes! I’m surprised we even got him in the room for this. It was like, “I don’t know what we’re talking about!” So, Howard, I think you got to not be so hard on yourself, and actually reward yourself for failing. Do something every week, where, I think Sara Blakely talked about this, she was on the podcast. She would get rewarded, her father would encourage it.

Every single day at the dinner table at night, I think her father would say, “What did you fail at today?” and encourage it. And if you weren’t failing at something, then it’s like, “Okay, you need to go do something tomorrow that scares you, that you’re not going to succeed at.” Because that way of thinking is going to make you constantly be okay with failure, embracing it as something that you love, that you are rewarded for. Because you’re going to push the boundaries and say, “I don’t know if I could ever do this! This is like the craziest idea!”

You think Elon Musk, I mean, he’s launching rockets and all the things he’s doing, and I’m like, “This is mind blowing!” but he has probably put himself out there for years and years, doing things that people said couldn’t be done, and failing at them all the time until it works, and then it works a little more, and he gets a little better, and then the times catch up to it.

So, I think every single day you’ve got to be thinking about, what’s that thing I can can be doing that is uncomfortable? Maybe it’s just posting a piece of content on Twitter, and if no-one responds, then okay, what can you do to be a little better tomorrow? Something small.

I like to do things that are a little big, you know? And, like, “Let’s fail big! Let’s do a documentary and see if we, maybe we lose all of our money and a year of our life, but at least we did it. And we tried it. You know what I mean? Anyways.

Let’s do the last question. Mona asks, “How much flexibility do I add into my year, when I’m planning out the year?”

I think, unless you schedule in flexible time, like schedule in if you want to take trips, schedule and plan it in, so you know, like, “I’m going to do nothing for this week. I’m going to travel this week.” For me, I think, at nights I’m kind of more flexible with myself and I’ll do different things. I’m not really planning it in, but I think I work around my trips on how to have fun and do other stuff as well. And sometimes we’ll just cancel stuff and do things also, last minute.

So, it just depends. But I think, if you want to have that flexible time, either plan it weekly, I call it strategic messing around, where you’re just being flexible with your time to do whatever you want, and I think sometimes you get the best ideas. Like, when we go running in the morning, or just go play frisbee, we get some of the best ideas.

So, I think you’ve got to schedule in flexible time in your day, and say, “Okay, maybe I need to work more now, or maybe I need to go take a break, and go catch up with a friend or do something.” What would you say to that? You’ve got a baby now, and you’ve got a different lifestyle now. You don’t have much flexible time.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    No, I’m definitely operating on a different level than I ever have been, but I think the thing is, a lot of people don’t allow themselves the permission to be flexible. I think, as human beings, we need to allow ourselves the permission to be flexible. If it’s a business owner who’s asking the question, you have to give yourself permission to take a vacation, to take a weekend, to not allow yourself to burn out.

And so, create that flexibility. If by flexibility she means time off, or time away to decompress and allow yourself a moment outside of that business. If, by flexibility you mean allowing other strategic opportunities for your business, I think we always allow that. You have to be open to the flexibility of another inbound something coming to our business and potentially disrupting other things. You have to allow it. You have to at least see what the disruption could be before you say no.

The way I’ve seen you operate is that all things are possible. And I think, the reason you operate that way, though is because you’re not of a limited mindset. You are like, “Alright, I might have a smaller plate. Well, let’s pack it high.” Right? And you’ve talked about that a lot.

Lewis Howes:                       That, or make a bigger plate.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    And our team are going, “No. The plate’s full right now!” And you’re just, “Well, just pack it on.” And do it in a way that’s not destructive. As long as we’re seeing that it’s not destructive.

Lewis Howes:                       It’s like defence in football. Bend, but don’t break.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    That’s right. Be like the bamboo.

Lewis Howes:                       You can get down to the three yard line, but just don’t let them score, don’t let them score touchdown. They might get three points on you, but they haven’t scored a touchdown. Bend but don’t break. So, how far can you take it before you break? I think I’m always going to push the boundaries there.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I think you need to have flexibility. You need to allow yourself a bit of flexibility.

Lewis Howes:                       And I think scheduling, listen, if we were training twelve hour days during the season, it wouldn’t work. We train hard for three and a half hours, then we have a film or recovery. Then there’s a lot of downtime to just play video games, or play guitar, when we were in school. Because I didn’t study, you did, so I had a lot of downtime, but I think you got to schedule in the flexibility time on your days.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Well, my flexibility came in the form of Lewis coming into my dorm, showing up and going, “Get up! Let’s go, and you bring something nice to wear!”

My parents actually referred to it as the “Age of Lewis”. The moment Lewis entered my life. I think my GPA went down a couple of half points, or something like that.

Lewis Howes:                       Yeah! You lost your financial aid.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    But I can say that it was well worth it. I was too uptight at that point in my life. A little too focussed on perfection, instead of allowing myself that ability to play. And I have to say, It’s been a lot more fun, since. Appreciate it.

Lewis Howes:                       I’ve seen that! Cheers to that! Wrap it up with this. I want to try something new for Coffee Conversations. I’m going to do a “Cesar Says”. Cesar gets a final message, Cesar Says, for this week. You get the final inspiration or theme or question. Hashtag Cesar Says. And if you’re watching right now, or if you’re listening to the replay of this, use the hashtag Cesar Says on Instagram or Twitter and let me know what you think.

Matt Cesaratto:                                    Hashtag Cesar Says! Oh my gosh, the wood is burning

Lewis Howes:                       I’m putting Matt on the spot here, I get to put him out of his comfort zone. What does Cesar Say for the audience, until the next Coffee Conversation? What should they focus on?

Matt Cesaratto:                                    I would say, “Plan your play.” We’re talking about strategy, we’re talking about flexibility, we’re talking about the opportunity to give yourself permission to take time off or decompress, go play frisbee. Plan your play. Allow yourself a moment in time to go out and play, whether it’s thirty minutes a day, a day a week, a week a year. Whatever that is, plan it. Put it down and plan your play.

Lewis Howes:                       That’s it! Plan Your Play, Cesar Says! And this is Coffee Conversations episode 587. Made sure you guys leave a comment below if you’re on YouTube. If you’re listening to this on iTunes, make sure to subscribe on YouTube there, subscribe as well on iTunes, leave us a review, we’d love to hear from people. We’re shouting out our Fans of the Week every time as well, so make sure to leave us a review over on iTunes.

Big things are happening for you. You’ve got some big things coming your way if you’re willing to put yourself out there and continue to dream big and then take massive action. You were born for great things so make sure to Plan Your Play, like Cesar Says, and thank you guys for being here.

There you have it my friends, I hope you enjoyed this one. You are on the journey, the path, the road to greatness. It’s just time for you to step up and make the decisions that are going to support your dreams. Start stepping up and optimising your life in a way that supports what you want, not where you’re stuck in right now, but where you want to be.

And Peter Drucker said, “Until we manage time, we can manage nothing else.” If you’re not maximising your strategy and your schedule and really holding yourself accountable, with some type of system that can support you, then you’re just going to be struggling along the way, frustrated, looking for more tools and tactics. It’s about optimising that strategy and schedule, guys. I hope you enjoyed this one.

Again, lewishowes.com/587. Make sure to share this with your friends, let me know what you enjoyed the most from this, also over on YouTube. Feel free to leave a comment on the video over there. Again, we shot it live, so you’ll see the video live editing. We did a live edit with it, and we’re trying more of that information. We got a pretty big audience over on YouTube, so make sure to go subscribe, leave a comment over there and let us know what you enjoyed the most from this episode.

And, as always, on Instagram. Feel free to tag me, screenshot this, post it over on your Instagram Story. I try to reply to as many people as possible, when people tag me in their stories and their posts. So, continue to do that and I’ll keep getting engaged in the best way that I can.

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There you have it, my friends! Cesar Says, I hope you enjoyed what Cesar said at the end of this. And as always, you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!

Music Credits:

Music Credit: Escape by Hang Over

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