November 29, 2016

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I’m super excited to share this interview with one of my favorite mentors Todd Herman. We talked all about goal setting. We talked about mindset. He is someone that I’ve worked with one on one and I’ve taken his 90 Day Year program. I think you’re gonna love what he’s got to say so tune in.

YouTube video

Prefer to read? Here's the transcript of my interview with Todd Herman.

Sylvie:   Hey, guys. It's Sylvie from Today, I have a really special guest with me, Todd Herman. Todd is a high performance coach and the creator of The 90 Day Year. Todd coaches’ athletes, the Spanish Royal Family, a whole bunch of cool people. He's a Canadian that says funny words sometimes, and a mentor of mine, and someone that I call a dear friend. Thank you so much, Todd, for being here.

Todd: You're very welcome.  Pleasure being here. I would say now that I'm a transplanted Canadian/New Yorker because I've been in New York now for 10 years and so I have this hard edge of New York with this

Sylvie:   Right. Farm boy life?

Todd: Yeah. There's still Canadiana that will spill out of me, but …

Sylvie:   You're trying to do the thug life thing, but people are going to know, at least starting today, that you're actually a teddy bear Todd. I'm sorry. The secret's out.

Todd: Yeah. No, let's keep the hard veneer here.

Sylvie:   No, I don't trust it. Yeah, the New Yorker/Canadian makes your accent a bit of a mess then, huh?

Todd: It does, yeah, yeah, it does.

Sylvie:   All right, cool. Todd, let's talk about goals. I have a few notes here because I asked …

Todd: You just had literally 80 people click the X button on the video.

Sylvie:   Drop off. I know, but that's the thing is I ask my people, I said, “What do you want to talk about in regards to this stuff?” Here's the thing, people who are watching this now, if they're watching it when we release it, it's November 2016, we're getting towards the end of the year and it's when people start thinking about goals and we're hating the fact that they have to start thinking about goals and so here's the thing. Goal setting is messed up, right. Goal setting is like the bad boyfriend that has let you down before and people are a little bit apprehensive. Like you said, they're like, “I don't really want to set goals. I've set goals before. I haven't hit them. It just leaves me feeling bad about myself. January 1st, I keep saying, I'm going to lose 10 pounds. I write it down on a Post-It. Then go to the gym for two weeks,” and then by February, they're not going to the gym anymore, right. Why is goal setting messed up? Why should we get back in there and set goals? Why you know?

Todd: Because it's been taught as if it's like some sort of singular event that is going to by its very nature create some sort of achievement for people. Goals in and of themselves are a part of a larger ecosystem of achievement and so most people, and what I mean by that is like a goal oftentimes has to come after some other activity that people do. Where people go wrong with “setting goals” is they start from a place of complete lack of awareness of where they truly are right now and what the right goals are for the place and the field, I talk about the field of play concept. Most people are on the sidelines of life commentating or narrating what someone else is doing as opposed to getting off their asses and going out and doing something. There is not great real big secret as to why people achieve. It comes within work and you need to fucking grab it and take it with you wherever you want. Anyone who wants to try and sell you on the easy life is typically wanting, is saying that while they're shoving their hand in your other pocket while you're not looking.

Sylvie:   I think this is the part where you are a New Yorker because you'll flat out say, “This isn't easy.” You don't just plug into the 90 Day Year framework …

Todd: No.

Sylvie:   Then the minute you plug in, you can just put your feet up on your desk and …

Todd: Yeah. Here's actually from a positioning standpoint just so people can see behind the curtain of why you might be doing some of these things from a brand perspective so for me, from a Todd Herman perspective, I know the types of people that I want to have around me and in my life. I can go and make a lot of money in business by calling something easy or simple, even they're not the same thing, but that is going to attract a certain type of individual into my life. I want to serve, be around, hang out with, go for dinner, have drinks with people who love challenging things, who like to do the difficult and so, that's why that stuff is in the languaging of how I say things because it's fucking hard. It's hard to put yourself on paper and unpack who you are, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, what the threats are that are surrounding you, to think that stuff through, it's hard work to do it, but I think it's way harder to not do it later on because the regret, the pain of whatever your circumstances are now that you're sitting inside of them weighs a hell of a lot more than the pound of flesh it costs you in order to just do this.

Sylvie:   And the negative self-talk that goes on in terms of, you talk about mindset a lot. My peeps love hearing about mindset a lot, about the “oww brain or wow brain”, to use your terms, but that's what comes up a lot, right, is, “I haven't hit the goal before. Why am I going to hit it again? Why am I going to set another goal?”

Todd: Yeah, and so you hit on the point of like probably the number one thing that I've heard, not in the exact words, but in so many words as to why people avoid goals. No one has ever said in the history of time when people hear about goals, no one ever says, “Goals are bullshit.” Everyone understands the importance of a goal, but everyone's relationship, not everyone, a lot of people's relationship with it is it's a constant reminder of my failed attempts at doing something and that's why so I'm going to avoid setting the goal thing or doing the whole goal thing, Todd or Sylvie or whatever, because it's just a reminder of I might be setting myself up for more failure.

Sylvie:   Totally.

Todd: While I could say something simple like, “Suck it up, buttercup,” like how do you like your current situation and circumstances right now? There's still a lot more nuance to it than just, “Suck it up,” right, because …

Sylvie:   Yeah. No, no, but that's important and that's why when I worked with you one on one, guys, this is Todd's coaching in a nutshell. It starts with the hard stuff, right, the stuff that you shine a flashlight on. It's like, “You missed a spot here, you missed a spot here.” This is the hard stuff that we don't really want to look at, but the 90 Day Year starts with that unpacking the last 90 days or unpacking the last year or whatever, and where are the leaks, what's working, what's not working? If we're not willing to look at that, then we don't have a business, right.

Todd: Yeah, yeah. Getting to the original start of the conversation around why doesn't goal setting work typically, A, it's been taught in a very archaic methodology that hasn't changed in 150 years or something like that, taught by successful white guys. It isn't lost on me that I'm a white guy. Sitting here, talking, but it's coming from a place of sometimes …

Sylvie:   I think I lost your audio. Lost your audio. Let's see if you're back.

Todd: Can you hear me now?

Sylvie:   There we go. Go back to the archaic.

Todd: Yeah.

Sylvie:   Yeah.

Todd: It's been taught in some sort of archaic methodology from 150 years ago by old white guys. It's not lost on me that I'm a white guy, but …

Sylvie:   But you're not old yet so at least you've got that going for you.

Todd: Yeah, I got a little bit of time. They're coming at it from a place of, “Hey, I'm successful and here is what I did to be successful.” Life's a hell of a lot more nuanced than that. Not to bring in racism or anything like that, but reality is life is easier for me. I'm a white man. It's just easier than it is for a white female. It's easier than it is for a black man. It's easier than depending on where you're in work. I never came at it from a place of, “Hey, here's what I did to be successful.” I came at it from a place of data, science, neuroscience. I've got a massive sports background having a sports science company for 19 years working with pro Olympic athletes. I want to know from real boots on the field experience of multiple people, not just Todd. They just keep on regurgitating the same thing and they'll use a newer, cooler term. The 90 Day Year isn't the newer, cooler term of achieving goals. It actually contains an entire system of achieving, goals being a part of it. When you take a look at one of the hallmark behaviors of people who seem to do really, really well is they are not afraid to take a look at their current results and then reflect back and say, “When I unpack this success that we had or failure that we had, what are some of the key lessons, what are some of the behaviors that point to it?” In business, everyone's heard of the term KPI. What's the key performance indicator? Most businesses only have a few that really truly do matter. The same thing goes in achieving anything. There's only really a few real key indicators that are going to determine the success of a goal, one of them being, “Do you know yourself?” Most people think they know themselves or they do know themselves, but despite the fact that they do know themselves, they don't create actions from the place of knowing themselves. They still ignore the fact A, this way that I keep on doing things never works, but I'm going to keep on doing it because so and so does it, and they're successful. No. Truth is the center of town. There's a lot of streets and avenues and ways to get there and same thing with success, whatever that is, or same thing with achieving a goal, there's many, many ways to get there. I'm simply just trying to give people a system that will be repetitious and allow you to develop the habits, the behaviors, the routines, the real pillars that hold up how you're going to be successful.

Sylvie:   I think that's important to note, too, because I think some of this is like it builds on itself, right. It's almost like layers of an onion in a way. The first time you go through a 90 Day Year, you're going to perhaps get really good, one of the things Todd teaches is the Prada protocol and you'll apply it to one area of your life. You probably won't revolutionize your entire life in just that first 90 Day Year, but then in the second one, you're able to build on that and continue to iterate until over the course of four 90-day years, over the course of 12 months, you're going to see more progress than you would if you just on a Post-It note list five goals on January 1st.

Todd: Yeah, and even more than that, you're going to start becoming way more self-aware because you're doing it, because you're running this system of it, we do of taking action, just reflecting back. I'm not saying you're sitting there and you're journaling and you're theorizing. No, no, no. There's a structured way of doing it that allows you to not just, I'm not saying reflecting back on your losses because where people probably would resonate with from a messaging standpoint more than anything is it's actually developing a mental process in your head where you can actually start to think in the context of being a supportive individual between the six inches in your ears where you're not just sitting there beating the shit out of yourself, 23 hours and 59 minutes of your day where the one minute, you're like, “Oh, you're kind of good at this one.” Then the rest of the time you're just beating the crap out of yourself. There's neuroscience built into developing the habit of thinking in what you had referred to or what I call the wow mind, which is coming from a place of when you're confronted with an opportunity or a challenge or an obstacle or a goal that you want to seek or go after, you don't default into what I call the oww mind, which is automatically jumping way ahead and going, “Okay, this is what it might cost me or this is how I might fail and these are the things that I don't have right now,” and whereas a success minded individual or a wow mind person goes to, they automatically think about all the ways they're going to get challenged by it, how they're going to grow because of it, all the opportunities that might flow out of it, being excited about the opportunities that could flow from it that they can't even expect. The purpose of the goal isn't about even achieving the goal. It's not. I just know human beings. I've done this for so long. I coached so many of them. It's not about even putting the gold medal around the neck at the Olympics when you're standing on the podium. It's about the person that you become by going after and all the forces that have to be acted upon you and then, how you develop yourself out of those things. For me, every goal I've ever hit has been, yeah, like all the people whom and this isn't the first time people have been hearing it, but the people who would say, “Have you ever achieved a goal and then felt really empty inside?” That's because people really aren't paying attention to all the other things that were happening as you went after the goal. I really don't care when at the end of the goal and I pick up the gold bag because I'm excited about the entire process of just …

Sylvie:   Yeah, the transformation that happens to you as an individual. You know what, as we're seeing some green in the back as opposed to sand, which is what you would've seen a few months ago, I'm sitting here thinking I'm here in Ashland, Oregon. I did this move because you and a couple other friends, Kevin Hutto and Dan Martell gave me the kick in the butt, which was basically reflecting on, “You know what, Sylvie, this is oww brain stuff right here. You're making excuses to why all the reasons why this isn't going to work. Just get on a plane.” Which brings me to another thing which is this whole why a mentor is important, why mentorship is something that people need to consider especially when you're an entrepreneur. Why is a mentor so important and can you tell us a little bit about the mentors that you've had in your life?

Todd: Yeah. It's an easy one for me to talk about because it's been such a huge part of my life and many of the successes I can trace back to them. I can say there are some people who take on mentors who are imaginary mentors who they imagine in their head, think through what it would be like to be talking to Benjamin Franklin or Mother Teresa or whoever that would be for them. That's an imaginary mentor and I've had those as well.

Sylvie:   Yeah, why not?

Todd: Then there's the real ones where they're face to face with you and some of those are found accidentally. Jim Rohn who was a mentor of mine for 13 years, he was found accidentally.

Sylvie:   I love this story.

Todd: I sat next to him. My uncle was getting an award in Canada for real estate person of the year and I'm really close to them so, he invited me to come with him as his guest. I'm sitting at the head table. Then I started chatting with this guy next to me. I was 22 at the time. Started chatting with this guy next to me and he was asking all these questions because I had just won an award in the country. He's asking me like, “What are you going to do?” He's asking me all these questions that no one had ever asked me before. Just like what's my vision? How do I want to parlay this into something more and be more successful and dadadadada? I had just got done mentioning to him that I really wanted to get involved in speaking more and consulting on hospitality, which was one of the awards, which is the award that I just won, but I didn't know how to go about doing that. Every time I tried to find out more about him, he would just flip it right back on me. Then finally I said, “Oh, are you winning an award tonight? What are you getting?” He's like, “No, I'm the keynote speaker.” It turned out to be Jim. Then right when he said that, they basically introduced him and he went up onto stand in front of the podium and he gave 54 minutes of the best thing I had ever heard in my entire life, and came and sat back down and I was just awestruck. I was like, “How do I do that?” That's what I want to do. He challenged me. He's like, “You say … “

Sylvie:   That's key. This is the key part I think.

Todd: Yeah. Then he challenged me. He was like, “If you say that you want this, you say you want to go and do this thing, then go do these three things.” He gave me the three things and this was on a Saturday night, and Monday just before 1:00 in the afternoon, I called him because he said, “Here's my number. Call me when you're done.” I was like, “Hey, Jim. I don't know if you remember me. I sat next to you at the … ” Of course, he sat next to me for five freaking hours at the thing, but playing the meek little kid I guess. I was qualifying it. I said, “Hey, I did the three things. Now what do I do?” He called me back the next day and he's like, “Okay,” because he was still traveling, he's like, “All right, you're officially the only person who's ever done the three things and then called me.”

Sylvie:   That's amazing.

Todd: Other people had done them, but they took a really long time and that was his qualifying way of seeing how hungry someone was. You call him three weeks later, yeah, he might be a little bit. He won't even be impressed. Honestly, he wouldn't be impressed, but at least you called him and you did the three things. That led to him telling me to do something else and then, over time it just.

Sylvie:   I think that's key.

Todd: Over time it just led to us developing this total mentor-mentee role.

Sylvie:   Yeah, but I think that that's key to being a good mentee and be able to have a great mentor and a mentor that is interested in your success, invested in your success, is at the very least you do what they say, call them when you're supposed to call them. You weren't paying him a cent even.

Todd: No, no, I wasn't paying him a cent, but that also gets to one of the key things that a lot of people don't get and this is especially people in the online space like I've only just recently come into the online space. I've built all my businesses in very traditional forms before leveraging online courses or programs or whatever, and what people don't get and understand is that the number of people who actually loop back around after they've consumed your program and told you about some major win that they've gotten because of your program is actually frighteningly small, but the reason I'm saying it is those people who do, those of us who are putting stuff out there, we're going to latch onto you and try to extrapolate from you what is that thing, what were those wins because we need to feature more case study wins and testimonials, and all that kind of stuff. It automatically elevates you into and ascending into occupying mind share into someone who possibly is in a position of influence. Then when I find people who are actually going to go out and do the work and then loop back around and know how to communicate it back to us in a way that is valuable to not just me, but people who are struggling with something, and I can put out Sylvie in front of them and say, “Hey, this lady was struggling with the same thing. There's no excuses for you not to struggle with the same thing because she overcame it just by simply following this model.” I will bend over backwards for those people and I mean, there's people in the online program that we have, I've lined them up with meetings with investment companies. I have an investment company. I've lined them up with relationships to open up doors for them because I want to see them be more successful. I'm not going to open up a door for you just if see someone saying, “Oh, can you open up a door for me?”

Sylvie:   Totally.

Todd: Quid pro quo, right.

Sylvie:   Yeah. Totally and completely, but I think that that's an important thing to know and I love that story with Jim Rohn because I feel like a lot of the times, we can make excuses like, “Oh, well, I can't afford this mentor because it's tens of thousands of dollars or whatever,” and your case is perfect for that because you didn't even pay a cent, but it's more about doing the work. It's more about being, you say you help ambitious people perform and that couldn't be further from the truth because you would be a terrible coach for a lazy person. First of all, you won't last five minutes until…

Todd: Yeah.

Sylvie:   That's the thing is if you're an ambitious person, a mentor like you is perfect for that and a system like the 90 Day Year, which is going to require some work, which is not necessarily the easy button is perfect for that type of person. You talk about..

Todd: Yeah, yeah. Then there's that sort of mentor came along in an accidental way because I know what people do, they dismiss it and go, “Well, sorry, Todd, where I get to meet influential people.” To carry that forward though, I reached out to Harvey Dorfman who wrote Coaching the Mental Game, which is literally the bible on mental toughness, known as Yoda in the major league baseball world, phenomenal guy, had a background similar-ish to me in that he wasn't like a licensed psychologist, but he just had a complete instinct with helping people on the mental game and had honed that over many, many years. He also spoke very matter of factly. We have a very similar delivery in some ways. I reached out to him. He didn't know me from blue and I basically was like, “Hi, Mr. Dorfman. It's Todd Herman. I've just started out in the peak performance and sports psych world, and I massively admire everything that you've done. More than that, I love your approach, how matter of fact you are and how much you completely dismiss most of the bohunky crap that comes out of the psychology world. I know that you run a private practice and the problem with running a private practice is you probably have ambition to do a lot more stuff so you can serve the community more, whether it's write more books or whatever the case is, but you get weighted down by just the shit that happens by running a business as well. If you'd allow me, I would love to come and clean up some of that mess for you, spend a month or more with you just doing the little things that you would love to hand off, but you just need to do. Let me take care of it for you. I just want to be around you.” Then he responded back to that because that was the message I left him. He responded back and said, “Okay, kid. What's your angle here?” I was like, “Listen, I know that if I'm going to accelerate my path to being great, I need to be around great people. I already have a really good mentor, but he's not in this world, which is the world that you and I live inside of. I know I'm going to learn through osmosis from you and I'll get a lot from it. I don't need you to talk to me. You can treat me like a fucking doormat. I don't care. I'm just going to learn something by being around you.” Then he was like, “Okay, you're in Alberta, Canada. I'm in North Carolina. You're not going to come and live with me.” I was like, “No, no, no, I've got a family that lives down there and an uncle that live in the area. I'm going to stay with them. It's totally cool with them. I've already okayed it with them.” That totally took a bunch of pressure off of him because think about it from his point of view.

Sylvie:   Yeah, totally.

Todd: Now he's going to feel responsible for a little kid who's going to be in the area and I want…

Sylvie:   That's the thing is you created value. You made it as easy possible for him to say yes, right. These are key things. These are key …

Todd: Yeah. I thought through what his pain points are, not what Todd wanted. That came into it.

Sylvie:   Yeah, what's in it for him.

Todd: Because he needs to know what I'm going to get out of it, but it wasn't the feature point. The reality was I didn't have an aunt and uncle in the area.

Sylvie:   I remember that.

Todd: I stayed in a Motel 6 that was just over $29 a night and I had no money at the time to do this. I was broke as broke can be, but I went down there and I stayed there for 32, 33 days. Like day 5 because it was during the baseball off season, I sat there while Roger Clemens, one of the Hall of Fame pitchers came in and I saw how Harvey handled a one-on-one coaching session with a Hall of Fame baseball player and what that structure looked like, what he talked to him about, what Roger's real major concerns were, and most of them had nothing to do with baseball. It had everything to do with personal life and managing that stuff, that world around him and it.

Sylvie:   Without that experience, how long would it have taken you to?

Todd: You know what, based on how rapidly I was moving, I could've done it in probably eight years. I wouldn't have done it in …

Sylvie:   That's a long time.

Todd: Yeah, I wouldn't have done it in Harvey's format though so there was A, the format that he used. B, just understanding the psychology of the real problems that are inside their heads because as soon as I was on that 33 days in North Carolina, I knew exactly what I needed to be saying when I was talking to pro athletes. I knew exactly what I was saying. The conversions went from 1 out of 6 to basically 100%. They're basically. Honestly, and I may even, that sounds like an unrealistic. No, I literally converted every single pro athlete I ever spoke to into a client.

Sylvie:   I believe it. I believe it. I think that for me, a really key thing with mentors is speed. If I can bring someone in to help me so that I don't have to scrape my knee and figure it out the hard way, and I can save six months or accelerate things by nine months, that's invaluable, right. Between that and also what you learned from osmosis and all the accidental wins along way that you could never even plan for.

Todd: Here's the other big thing. When you're aware, you also see, “That holy shit, that person that I thought was so perfect has got more flaws than I do and yet they've achieved something.” It's unraveling this story that most people have in their head of yeah-but.  “Yeah, well, he's successful because he's white. Yeah, he's successful because he had good parents. Yeah, he was successful or she was successful because she got a little bit of money investment.” Hey, I can show you more stories of why people fail because they got money investment. I can show you more failures of people that had great parents and they weren't successful because they had great parents.

Sylvie:   Hundred percent.

Todd: There's a story to counteract every other story that someone else has in their head as to why they're not successful. All of it is just a crutch to explain shitty behaviors and many other things. I just won't allow the excuses to be there because every single one of us can have a story as to why we're not doing them or why we are doing it.

Sylvie:   Totally.

Todd: My question just like Dr. Phil's question would be to most people is “Well, how's that working for you?” I think that's his greatest contribution from television is that it's a great question. “How is that working for you?”

Sylvie:   Totally. I think it starts with that personal responsibility, right. We are exactly responsible for everything we've done up until this time. We've been dealt certain cards. The important thing is how we play them and we're responsible for the outcome of our life, whatever we do from here on out as well. Literally, this is part of my alter ego, which is one of the things Todd teaches. I don't know if you can see it, but it's a bracelet and I literally have it engraved that says, “No more stories.”

Todd: Yeah, that's great.

Sylvie:   Because the stories are really powerful. I'm in the process now of starting to write a book on mindset for teen moms and pregnant teens because I was one and I feel like that's something I can possibly contribute to this world and man, it's a tough one. All this stuff is coming back up and trying to put myself in those shoes from a couple of decades ago and anyway, the stories are, this is life. This is the work here. This is the work in our personal lives, in our professional lives. This is the important stuff. You talk about feedback loops a lot. For someone that doesn't even know exactly what that means, I think we should talk about it a little bit and also because I feel like what my audience is struggling with, the word that comes up a lot is overwhelm. I feel like diving a little bit deeper into the system that you teach. How can we deal with overwhelm and how do feedback loops tie into that? Because I think that's a key difference between the 90 Day Year and just, I don't know, like reading a book on goals.

Todd: Yeah. A, what most people want to be looking for is that me to try to give out some sort of process that's going to remove overwhelm as a complete possibility in their life. When you take a look at any ecosystem that has a starting out point, overwhelm is a natural part of the beginning stage of anything. You take what is the dropout rate between the first year of college and the second, third, and fourth year? Does the same dropout rate occur in the second year as it does in the third year? No, it doesn't. The highest percentage is year one because overwhelm is there. It's a brand new world. It's a brand new phase and so most…

Sylvie:   Yeah, it's uncomfortable.

Todd: Yeah, it's uncomfortable. You're pushing yourself. You know you're taking action towards things that sometimes might not bear fruit or you don't have the skills yet and so, there's an expectation of win before you've developed maybe all of the necessary skills in order to achieve the win that you really want. There's a great statement or quote from Ira Glass who does the podcast called “This American Life on”. Is it PBS network?

Sylvie:   I don't know, but I'm going to write it down.

Todd: This American Life by Ira Glass. Anyways, he talks about how the struggle of an artist when you're starting out is your eye, you can look at a piece of art or your ear can hear Sound of Music or you're a cook and you can appreciate, you love cooking and you can really appreciate when a meal is done just like so good, so flawlessly. You've got a taste for and an appreciation for those things. When you start to take a look at when you're just starting out, what you can produce and the gap between what you can produce right now and what your taste is are two very different things. It's discouraging because you're putting out maybe just shit in the beginning. It doesn't taste good. It doesn't sound good. It doesn't look good if it's art. That's a natural part of the process because you need to keep working through it. If you don't have a mindset or a frame or a perceptual view that that's the natural phase of it all, then you can get really discouraged at the place you are right now, but when you know that that's just the natural cycle of it all, it might encourage a person to stick through it longer than the person who doesn't have that understanding. For me, feedback loops are really important because if you aren't getting back to, just to close the loop on the oww and the wow mindset, one of the core activities that differentiates what an oww brain person does and what a wow brain person does is you and I could be starting at the base of a mountain and we both take action over week one and we're both climbing up the mountain. It's a struggle for both of us. It's effort, all that kind of stuff, and we get to the end of week one and what you will do as an oww brainer is you will immediately pick your head up and look to the top of the mountain and see how much further you have to go.

Sylvie:   And feel like it's impossible and might as well quit.

Todd: You get overwhelmed by that gap. Then you look back over your shoulder and you say, “Oh, I haven't even gone that very far.” Just a small little behavioral shift that wow brain people do, people who are naturally success minded who get jazzed by obstacles and challenges and going after the hard thing even, what they do is their first reaction isn't to look up. Their first reaction is to look over their shoulder and see how far they've come, the progress that they've made. Then because that simple action creates a cascading effect of emotional hormones, which then triggers different thinking. You're like, “Oh, wow, look how far I've come.” It starts to make you feel good and then you pick your head up and you look up top, both of us are standing in the exact same spot having two very different internal experiences and stories that we're telling ourselves about where we are. I go, “Oh, yeah, cool. If I just keep on doing what I'm doing, I'll get there.” It's such a subtle thing. Feedback loops and the way that we've structured the 90 Day Year embraces that and helps to start hardwire and rewire a person's mind to naturally think that way. I don't tell you to think affirmationally. I don't tell you to sit there and do those things. We're too busy typically to be doing those things anyway. We're overwhelmed with doing stuff. Why not just make it a part of the system itself so that it naturally wires stuff. Feedback loops are important because it's action and reaction. Most people take actions. They get reacted by something and they ignore the value of that information that's coming back at them. They don't pay attention to the reaction. Feedback loops pay attention to it.

Sylvie:   We don't unpack it. We typically basically just do something, we have no idea how well it worked. We either keep doing it or we quit and do something else, but we don't look at the data.

Todd: Yeah, and we ignore the data and what it's telling us. Because I know that Sylvie does it and it's successful for Sylvie so, of course, it's going to be successful for me. No, there might be just a couple of little tweaks and changes and shifts that make it work for Sylvie right now or it can be her stage of business or it could be just something different, but …

Sylvie:   Yeah. I think it's important to note that it's not like if you're either oww brain or wow brain, and if you're oww brain, you might as well kill yourself.

Todd: No, no, no, no, no. No, we're all oww brain. We're all. I have. In parts of our lives, everyone has a wow brain part of their life. It's just inside of, some people might go, they might feel naturally successful when it comes to parenting, but when it comes to their business or when it comes to their health or fitness or sports or church or relatives, there's just we operate on different stages and on each stage, we have a different mindset. That's just natural. Those feedback loops allow you to take a bunch of action and learn, really learn from that action so that it informs better decisions. It's not part of the promise of the 90 Day Year, but ultimately, from my point of view as someone who's trying to coach and mentor, advise people to become better and more effective is I know that when people can make better decisions like game over. The quality of your life and the quality of your business just can go up geometrically, exponentially.

Sylvie:   Right, right, and faster decisions.

Todd: This helps people make better decisions, becoming more and more self-aware or the business is becoming more and more self-aware because the 90 Day Year not just works for one individual. There's an ecosystem of how it works for teams as well that's built into it. That feedback look is so important. If you, it's why daytime television, daytime soap operas are so effective. They have stories going on and then they start a story and they don't close it. You don't know what's happening with Laura.

Sylvie: Right, it never ends.

Todd: Then they shift to another. That feedback and because our brains are hardwired to want to finish things.

Sylvie:   Close it, yeah.

Todd: You'll stick around and now I got to put in the VCR tape and I got to record what happens on Days of our Lives.

Sylvie:   VCR, you're dating yourself.

Todd: I know, just for shits and giggles.

Sylvie:   Yeah. No, I get it, I totally get it.

Todd: Yeah. The same thing goes with people's projects. Projects are like little stories that we start in our business. If you feel like you're overwhelmed, if you feel like you could be a failure at what you're doing, I would just ask everybody, because everyone can answer this question right now, “How many projects did you get started on in the last three months even, but you didn't close the loop on it and finish?” All of those little things create insecurities inside the recesses of our mind, suck away a bit of our self-confidence and our, because yeah, I got no problems starting stuff. The finishing of it is…

Sylvie:   Most entrepreneurs are high quick starts, right.

Todd: Yeah, yeah.

Sylvie:   We're great at, we have the entrepreneurial ADD where we're like, “Oh, yeah, I'm going to start a whatever. I'm going to start a new course or I'm going to start, I don't know, six different projects,” and without looking at the resources. How big is our team? How much money can we invest in this? Can we accomplish this? Then we've got a whole bunch of half-baked projects, not one of them is complete so you talk about this context switching a lot in the context of 90 Day Year. Can you explain a little bit about context switching? Of course, we'd have to be here for three hours for you to really be able to teach it, but …

Todd: Yeah. No, and it doesn't even take me that long to teach it, it just that I like using visuals for it, but context switching is just simply the mind switching back and forth trying to occupy two ideas at the same time and that context switching actually creates a loss of real time. Meaning that if I'm trying to work on a project on my computer and I'm also mapping something out in a notebook over here and they're two separate things, me going back from this project here to this one over here, the time it takes to reacquaint myself to where I was on this project that I was working on over here, it takes time. That time is completely lost. I don't get that time back. That's context switching. I'm going from this context to that context and I'm trying to reacquaint myself to it. Most people work that way. They will check their email, then they'll go to Facebook. This isn't even them working. This is just them creating a cycle.

Sylvie:   No, and then this thing will go off.

Todd: Yeah, exactly. They'll check that or they'll check Slack to to see who's chatting with them inside of Slack or who's dumped a project and then they go to Asana or Trello or Teamwork or whatever their thing might be, check some stats on whatever, and they're not moving the ball down the field and they're just losing more and more time. There's basically a mathematical kind of proof of how much time you lose in your day by simply adding on another project. By the end of it, if you're working on five projects at the same time or you're switching between five things at the exact same time, you lose let's say in an 8-hour day, you lose a total of 6 total working hours.

Sylvie:   That's crazy.

Todd: From your mind trying to process the re-acquaintance of those things.

Sylvie:   That's crazy. Yeah. I think the visual, like you said, the visuals are great so we're going to put a link to the three-part video series, which depending on when people are watching this is either open or it'll be a wait-list, but the visual when you show how much time is lost in that week from context switching, that was at least for me the huge eye opener of, “Oh, yeah, there's definitely … ” I thought I was a productive person before the 90 Day Year, but you see that visual and you're like, “Oh, oh, man, this is really bad.” At that point, you make the decision of like, “Okay, this is a priority. I need to get this in check because essentially I'm losing several months a year to context switching”.

Todd: People then wonder why they're feeling overwhelmed. It has nothing to do with you can't handle it. I'm saying you can handle it. You can handle it all. You're overwhelmed by simply the model or this lack of system that you're working inside of. I talk about it, whether it's on those videos or anywhere I go, I'm like I have a personal frame that I look at the world through which is most people in the personal development or self-help world, whatever, they love to talk about belief systems and beliefs and they love to hang most problems on the fact that you've got a belief issue and I don't believe that at all. I don't think it is a belief thing. I think that you can take a great person put them inside of a bad model or system and they won't get a good result. You can put an average person inside of a really good model or system and they'll get a great result. Average person inside of a great company with great culture stuff, they'll get great results. Great person inside of a real crappy culture and crappy company, they won't produce their best results at all. I say that people are typically working in just bad model. They have a bad system. They're not bad people.

Sylvie:   Or no system.

Todd: Yeah, or they have no system, yeah. They're not bad people. Most people point the finger, “I suck at this or I'm not a systems person,” and it's just not true. You're operating a system already, it's just a shitty system or a nonexistent one.

Sylvie:   Right, right, right. It's just like you've just got to retrain and rewire yourself. What's interesting about the 90 Day Year is it's not just for entrepreneurs. It's been really fascinating to watch it on the inside of people coming in that are not even entrepreneurs and are applying it to life or they're brick and mortar business owners. They don't have an online business at all and they're applying it to that. It's just like the Prada protocol is something that you can apply in your meal prep and how you get dressed every morning. What I love about it is it's for performance in general and you've managed to adapt it to these four different stages of people, people that either want a business or have been in business for 20 years or anywhere in between or like you had a whole group this last time I think it was of moms, wasn't it, of stay-at-home moms that are applying it to their lives.

Todd: Yeah, there's one of our partners who did some promoting.

Sylvie:   April, right?

Todd: She has a really large stay-at-home mom community and even though the program itself isn't built for them at all, she's already been through it and it's made such a big impact on her family's life, even outside of her business. She just felt it was important for this community to see it as well. Yeah, and those people were like, “Oh, my God. It’s because of the price of the program, because it's built for entrepreneurs”, it's priced in a certain way and because there's implementation and work with me and all this kind of stuff, I was like, “No, please, don't spend that money on just trying to solve this problem for your family,” because the free content I gave away should give you enough information to just get some wins inside of yourself, but yeah, absolutely. It started out, 90 Day Year started out in the sports world 15 years ago. Back then, I called it 90 Day Sprints because sprint is just an athletic term. Then I took into corporate, it became 90 Day Year on the encouragement of an executive friend from Chevron because he's like, “Hey, we operate off of calendars. We don't operate off of sprints.” That's why it became 90 Day Year back in 2004. Then I pulled it out of, not pulled it out of corporate because it's still there, but then I created, because the entrepreneurial one was something where their needs are just different than corporate. I shifted up a couple of the concepts to really mold itself to entrepreneurs and the challenges that they face because they're just slightly different and yeah, anyways. Good group of people. Athletes and entrepreneurs are the same people. It's crazy how similar they are, how much risk that they're willing to take and what they'll put themselves through in order to achieve whatever they're trying to go after.

Sylvie:   Yeah, because they share that ambition, the ambition gene or whatever it is.

Todd: Yeah, yeah. It's the challenge of self. They both want to like “can I do this? I wonder”. It's that one statement of, “I wonder if I can do it.”

Sylvie:   Right. When you do, you find a new challenge.

Todd: Yeah, yeah, because you just summited. You just reached a new summit. You're like, “Okay, now I see things differently.”

Sylvie:   Now what?

Todd: “My ambitions might've changed. Now I'm going to go after that new thing or ramp up what I'm doing even to something more,” so anyway.

Sylvie:   Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, I'm just so glad that you took the time out of your day to share this with us because I am so passionate about the 90 Day Year. I've applied it to my business. I've been through, is it four cycles? I guess this is the fourth one.

Todd: We're on four.

Sylvie:   Yeah, we're in it so this is the fourth 90 Day Year that I've been through and it's had an incredible impact in both of my businesses. Of course, I also worked with you one on one so that couldn't have hurt either. Yeah, for everybody listening, I highly encourage you to check out Todd's free three-part video series, which will be linked below this video and if anyone when you're watching this, if it's November 2016, it will be open for you to watch. Yeah, Todd, thanks so much for taking the time and for being here.

Todd: Absolutely. Thanks. Love spending time with you.

Sylvie:   Bye, Todd.

Todd: Bye, Syl.

Hope you love that interview with Todd. I think he is one of the most inspirational people that I’ve ever worked with and meeting Todd has led this so many amazing things. The last 12 months in my business and life have been absolutely life changing. Some of that has been because of the strategies he has taught me. Some of it has been because of some “kicks in the butt” he has given me. Some of it has been because of his 90 Day Year framework. And some of it has been just because of couple of introductions that he has made which led to an incredible community that I’m now surrounded with. I highly recommend you checkout his work, whether you follow him on his podcast or whether you watch his free 3-part video series which is linked below which may or may not be available depending when you’re watching this. I think that having great mentors in our life is one of the ways that we can shorten our learning curves and get to those wins a little bit quicker.  So if you have the opportunity to work with him, I highly recommend. Talk to you soon.  

Did you love this interview and the knowledge bombs Todd tends to drop? Comment below and let me know!


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5 thoughts on “How to Easily Achieve Your Goals – Interview with High Performance Coach Todd Herman

  1. It’s funny, I consider myself to be an optimistic sort of person in general but when it comes to what I’ve achieved, it’s often the ‘ow’ mindset. It’s not so much that I’m comparing myself with how much farther I have to go, but how much I think I ‘ought’ to have achieved by that point. And I always think that I ought to have achieved more than I do.
    You’re a big promoter in investing in oneself, but the fear that I won’t follow through keeps me back. If I buy a book and nothing changes, I’ve lost 20$ (and gained in theoretical knowledge). If I buy a course and don’t follow through, I’ve lost $$$ that I can’t afford to lose. I guess it can’t be too too bad though, as I did recently buy a course for the first time ever, when I thought I never would. I enjoyed the video, and the one Tod released so far, but I feel both enthusiastic and cynical at the same time – enthusiastic that this is a great system/answer, cynical that I can successfully implement a system at all.

    1. First of all, Naomi, thanks so much for your willingness to share. You’re not alone. I’ve worked with enough entrepreneurs to know that it would be very unusual to find one that at some point or another didn’t feel this way. And when I’m coaching a group at once and we’re on video, it’s often a whole bunch of nodding heads when one person brings up something like this.

      So, how do we move past it?

      A) Surround yourself with people that believe in you more than you believe in yourself.

      I still do this to this day. Whether it’s choosing a mentor or choosing which friends I spend most of my time with, I know there’s no space for people that laugh when I mention my big scary 10 year goals.

      One of the reason courses and group coaching programs are my preference to teach and why I do such little 1:1 work is because I feel like the transformation that happens when you surround yourself with other like minded people is powerful and tends to gradually shift your mindset almost without you noticing. My accountability partner in the 90 Day Year truly changed my life and will be a lifelong friend. Of course, I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same outcome but taking steps to find these people that will be a support system for you, is super important.

      and then…

      B) Decide if will be different this time.

      The truth is there is no magic program, no magic book, no magic mentor. It only works if you do the work. If and when you’re ready to change this cycle of inaction, it starts with the decision… that mental voice that says “enough is enough”. Follow that with action and change starts to happen. Forgive yourself for not following through in the past. No point in beating yourself up about it.

      You’re worth it, Naomi. And you’re 100% capable.

      But don’t sign up for the program unless you’ve made the decision to roll up your sleeves and implement it. It won’t help you when it’s sitting on the (virtual) shelf.

      1. Thanks for the advice and encouragement Sylvie. I’ve started two weekly calls with two different people to talk through/set small goals in different areas (mom-ing and blogging) and I’m really hoping that we can keep it going. Talking about goals or concrete ways to improve is not really something I’ve done with friends before – or talked at all about actually.
        Thanks again!

  2. Great! I love how you share your life and tips freely–such a great attitude of sharing the blessings. I read your SIBO book. I am not totally better but it was a step in my recovery. I did your whole protocol but now am going after h pylori which I think is the root cause of the whole cascade of illness that I have been through.

    Big blessings and thanks,
    Kathy McLaughlin

    1. Hi Kathleen,
      Glad it resonated with you… both the goal setting and the SIBO ebook 🙂
      Best to you!

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