AlexShalman.com Practical Personal Development Podcast #7
A special treat this week, as always, is our guest Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net. He’s a regular guy, married with 6 kids, likes to write, run, read and that’s about it. Over the past couple of years Leo has quit smoking, ran several marathons, began waking early, became organized, began eating healthy, became a vegan, doubled his income, wrote 3 books, eliminated debt, and began commuting by bike.
This is an extensive list of accomplishments, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg in Leo’s life. I think the most brilliant part is the ability to achieve. Arguably any person has the potential to achieve anything in life, but to know this about oneself, and to have proven yourself right time and time again, that my friends is priceless.
1. How To Make Time For It All
Having 6 kids isn’t easy, yet Leo manages to accomplish more than many people with only 2 kids, or no kids at all. When I say accomplish, I don’t mean making time for 12 hours of work, 12 hours of family time, 12 hours of running, and 12 hours of reading – each and every day. That’s not possible, is it?
Leo takes one day, and makes that day be a total reflection of his priorities. He says that the 4 most important things in his life are family, writing, reading, and running. It follows that his day is divided amongst those priorities, and the unnecessary distractions are blocked out as much as possible.
The truth is, you don’t have to make time for it all, only for what’s really important. The things that make life worth living, excite you, and make you happy. You can think of everything else as an enemy that tries to steal your time (my words, not his Leo’s).
Leo’s main objective for Zenhabits was to share the knowledge that he was gaining in his life own life. I think this is the driving force for a lot of us, and it’s certainly one of the reasons why I got started on this path. For Leo, quiting smoking for the seventh and final time, served as a catalyst to take massive action and form solid habits.
2. Did You Sell Your Soul For Success?
Everyone always wonders what Leo’s success strategy is. Many of us, including myself, started blogging around the same time as Leo. Despite of this, and with all his personal responsibilities in his way, Leo has blazed a trail and earned a well deserved awe of admiration. The question is ‘How the heck did he do it’?
Put out really great content, share things that you learn, be sincere and write with your voice. People want to see someone do the things that they want to do. Once they see someone else doing it, and how they did it, they’re inspired to do it themselves.
Be valuable, and remarkable, and people will come to you and remark about you to others. Now that’s some practical advice you can take to the bank.
3. The Power of Less
Leo Babauta’s book is available on December 30th, 2008. It’s called The Power of Less. Simplifying your life, focusing on the essentials, and in doing that making yourself more effective. This effects both your work and home life. The book shares powerful principles like ‘creating new habits’ ‘setting limits for yourself’ ‘choosing the essential and simplifying’ ‘starting small’.
The impact on the world, if everyone read this book, would be a global shift of people working less and enjoying life more. People can get more work done in a smaller amount of time, and then stop, and enjoy! We would get the same amount of work done, in less time.
One of the first things the book asks us to do is to identify what is most important to us in our life. Just like Leo identified his four list of important things, it is our job to identify what is most important and go for it!
The first part of the book is a series of six principles, which serve as tools for changing your life, becoming for effective, and simplifying. As with any tools, you can use which ones work for you, pick up the tool you need for a certain situation, and another tool for a different situation. You can basically pick up the book, open to any chapter, and get valuable information.
4. How Can We Become an Internet Entrepreneur
You have to focus your time on whatever enterprise you’re starting. Focus your marketing, such as guest writing on the blogs and sites that have the audience that you’re going for.
Focus on less. If you try to do everything and be everywhere you wouldn’t be able to do it. There isn’t enough time in the day.
Big enterprises cost a lot of money, take up a lot of time and resources, and it’s hard to change with the times. With the internet and speed of business today you really have to be able to change and be nimble. To do this you have to be small. As a team of one, or small group of talented people.
The bottom line is figure out what’s the most important action, and do a lot more of that. Distractions, and non-important items, seem to be our biggest downfall. This is where prioritizing, and outsourcing come in very handy!
5. Is Leo a Tim Ferriss or a Gary Vaynerchuk?
Let’s take a look at two branding giants. Unless you’re living under a rock, you don’t have internet access, you’ve heard of Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk. Why have you heard of them? Because their force, aka their brand, is strong!
On one hand we have Tim Ferriss who is wildly popular for his best selling book The 4-Hour Workweek. Tim is all about work less, don’t answer e-mails, and outsource as much as possible to virtual assistants.
On the other hand we have Gary Vaynerchuk, popular for his work on Wine Library TV, who is rumored to single handedly take his inbox from five million to zero on a daily basis. Gary just doesn’t let anyone else near his e-mail account. He says it’s the need to be personally involved, and the love for his business, which makes him do that (or he doesn’t trust anyone with his passwords).
In this case Leo finds himself to be more of a Tim Ferriss. Leo prefers to live life, have family time, read, write, and run instead of being bogged down at the inbox all day. I can understand both cases. Which category do you fall under?
Leo uses his time “talking with great bloggers like me” (aww Leo, *hug*), and guest blogging on different blogs. This allows him to reach a whole new audience everytime instead of e-mailing the same people over and over again.
6. Final Success Tip
Focus on one thing at a time. If we all made a list of goals on 2009, we could all come up with a lot, but we can’t tackle them all at the same time. We lose the focus and energy that is required to do well with each goal. Take one goal, and try to do it as well as possible. Once you’re done, and it’s finished, work on the next one.
Single-tasking is the new multi-tasking, so jump on the bandwagon — it’s a revolution! Leo has practical tips, for every day people, that prove to be effective. It doesn’t take a brain-surgeon, or a rocket scientist to understand what he’s saying. It’s because Leo is a regular guy, just like you and I, that we can relate to him, and easily apply in our lives what works for him.
More Leo Babauta
- The Power of Less – The book we talked about, available in stores on December 30th. Contains free Audio-Podcasts, Video, and eBook! I like free!
- Zen Habits – One of the top blogs in the world on simplifying and improving your life.
- Web Warrior Tools – Essential books on improving your online existance.
- Write To Done – Leo shares he secrets for blog writing success. Information on branding, writing valuable content, and amazing headlines.
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