How is your curiosity beneficial to your skills as a leader? What can you do to cultivate the skill of having an outsider perspective? Is getting started more important than getting it right?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about the Three Inclinations of Top Performers from Thursday is the New Friday.
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In This Podcast
- An outsider’s perspective
- An ability to move on it
- Taking agency from Thursday Is The New Friday podcast
So these experiences did a number of things for me. They reinvigorated my sense of learning, but they made the learning applicable. We see that top performers follow their curiosity, not just in business but in life. (Joe Sanok)
Being curious can be a period in the day that you step into and out of for a few moments, but it can also exist on a larger scale and be a mindset that you utilize.
Pursuing curiosity means to follow your interests, your passions, things that interest you, that you think are good for you, that may seem outlandish but are still attractive for some reason; observe them all.
Allowing yourself to be curious means that you place learning and fun at the forefront, and leave concern for outward appearances and judgments at the door.
An outsider’s perspective
Top people put themselves in outsider positions where they are the minority, where they are uncomfortable. (Joe Sanok)
Put yourself in positions where you are in the minority and are pushed to observe instead of react because it will enrich your skills and broaden your approaches to life and your business.
When you place the spotlight on other issues and people and decenter yourself, you enable yourself to become a more empathetic and skilled leader.
It’s interesting how this tendency towards being an outsider, thinking like an outsider, and understanding outsiders really is one of the top things that you can do for your business as well as for your life. (Joe Sanok)
An ability to move on it
Being able to move on getting something done is often a lot more important – and impactful – than spending so much time getting it perfect.
Often in life, the emphasis is placed on something being perfect, however, perfection does not serve a purpose. It is not practical or usable.
If you find yourself holding back because you are nervous about something not being perfect, push past that feeling and do it anyway. You cannot make your 50th without making your first, so rather have your service, product, or hobby be real than hypothetical. The refining will come with practice, but the practice needs to first exist for it to be refined.
Taking agency from Thursday Is The New Friday podcast
For the first time, this shift from industrialist to self-agent allows us to bring our own lives into the question of how we work.
I want to decide what my life looks like and that carries over into so many different domains. It carries over into my parenting, it carries over into how I run my finances, it carries over into all sorts of choices that I make, where I say, “I’m not just going to let the way the world does it be how it defines who I am.” (Joe Sanok)
Be intentional with your time, because you have more power and autonomy over your life than you may realize.
Books mentioned in this episode:
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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Well, I’m Joe Sanok your host and I am so excited to have you on these episodes in particular, because we have four episodes in a row that are all leading up to October 5th. October 5th is the day that Thursday is the New Friday drops worldwide. It’s when Amazon ships them out. It’s when people that work with the eBook or the audio version get to hear it. Such an exciting day. Oh my gosh, I’m just over the moon. I’ll be in New York City at the time, doing all sorts of different media things. Bloomberg News, the founder of Kickstarter is going to have me at one of their events and the PR company I’m working with is just getting all sorts of crazy things set up. So flying over there, going to hang out in New York, so if you hear this and you live in New York, drop me an email, email@example.com.
Let me know that you’re in New York City. In the subject line put NYC so then Jess, my director of details will know, hey, it’s a New York City person, so it’s just that week. So if I have free time, I would love to meet up with you in a socially distanced outdoor way. That would be amazing to just connect in person. It’s so rare these days that we can meet people that are new in person and I just would absolutely love that. As well I have some other things set up, plans right now to speak at the Harvard Club that may end up being virtual, the Harvard Club of New York and just had over Labor Day weekend, my article with Harvard Business Review go live and on October 4th and 5th my EO Fire, Entrepreneur On Fire interview, and then my Smart Passive Income interview all dropped right around that time, as well as The One Thing and tons of other podcasts.
So all of you that are in Podcast Launch School that interviewed me for your shows, oh my gosh, it’s so amazing to have so many great podcasters. And if you hadn’t interviewed me, I’m still doing interviews even throughout October, November, promoting the book, talking about the book. You can just go to joesanok.com/bookjoe and if there aren’t any spots there, you can always just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org and Jess will find a time for us to chat about my book and about your podcasts and all that. So lots of exciting things going on with the book launch and today we’re going to be talking about the three inclinations of top performers. It was really interesting. So in the first kind of part of the book, one thing I look at is what are the top inclinations internal inclinations that top performers have?
I break those down and talk about them, and I’m going to share a little bit about those today, but I’m going to talk more kind of behind the scenes in addition to the book, why these are really important to me and just things that have happened in my life that make those things kind of particularly important. So the three internal inclinations that I outline in the book are first curiosity, second, an outsiders perspective, and third, an ability to move on it. So in the book, each section has a quiz that you take that will kind of assess where your baseline is, what your habits are, what your actions are. You could also take that online. When you have the book, you have a promo code and you can take the online version over at joesanok.com. You take the quiz over there and all those links are in the book for you to do if you don’t want to do the hand scoring one, which isn’t that complex, but it’s just nice to do it all at once to know where your inclinations are. So again, that’s curiosity, an outsider’s perspective and an ability to move on it. So I want to kind of walk through in my own life, what that’s looked like.
When I think about curiosity it’s interesting how, when we kind of get into higher education, sometimes that curiosity just starts to disappear. We’re told what to think, we’re told what to read, we’re told what to write about, we’re told the structure of how to write about it. And in higher ed, oftentimes that sense of wonder and learning just kind of disappears. I had finished my undergrad in three and a half years, so was done in December, so I graduated a semester early because I brought some AP credits in and had averaged like 19 or 20 credits a semester. So I graduated a semester early and I decided I was going to take a year off to re-engage with learning, to really learn how to learn and to love learning again, because honestly, after my undergrad I was just going through the motions.
I had a dual major in psychology and comparative religion. I had done an honors college thesis on psychological approaches of teaching ethics at the primary level. That was the name of it. I had to have a big, long title for the thesis committee and went to Ireland for a bit to study in Belfast to look at the conflict over there and I was writing a children’s book at the time about conflict and conflict management. So I got a grant to go to Ireland. So kind of went through the motions though and I realized I needed to refined curiosity. So for that year after undergrad school decided a number of things. So I decided I wanted jobs that had lots of flexibility. So I continued my job at a runaway shelter for kids and got to, I didn’t go full time like they wanted me to. I stayed on call, but I basically worked a full-time schedule, but it wasn’t consistent.
So I could work around what I wanted. I could work overnights, I could work during the day in the morning, whatever worked for me. And almost every day I would walk over to the public library and check out a documentary and watch it on the VHS at my house, this was way, way before Netflix or things or DVDs or things like that, so sort of in like 2001 or so. So I’m doing that and I realized I need to travel. So in that year, between undergrad and grad school I bought a plane ticket for two people out of Detroit to Paris, France for a long weekend and I surprised my grandma. She used to always take us on mystery trips as kids and I took her on a mystery trip to Paris France.
We went there for a long weekend, we stayed at a youth hostel that was called the Three Ducks Hostel in Paris. It’s where Napoleon used to keep all of his horses, the stables of Napoleon, went to Versailles, went to the roof of Eiffel Tower, all over the place in Boucher. My grandma had always wanted to go to Paris and just really got to learn a lot about Paris. We went to the Catacombs, which was insane, got back and then shortly thereafter, about a month later, went on a trip to Nepal with my friend Todd, where we went into the Annapurna region. So we went up to [inaudible 00:07:04] got to just under 20,000 feet with Sherpas and there was yaks and we could see Mount Everest.
That’s where the story of me getting chased by a wild rhinoceros happened down in the Chitwan jungle of Nepal. Through there about two and a half weeks and then we were in Bangkok for four or five days, and just learned about the culture of Bangkok. We stayed at a Buddhist monastery in Nepal and learned about all sorts of different things in culture. And then that summer I went to Haiti with my mom and did a medical trip there to help people that didn’t have access to healthcare. I was there like three weeks and then in like, oh, this was in 2001 because I remember on October 11th, 2001, so a month after 9/11, I flew to new Orleans for a month and worked at a shelter for people in the last stages of aids. So these experiences did a number of things for me, they reinvigorated my sense of learning, but they made the learning applicable.
We see that top performers follow their curiosity, not just in business, but in life. And that kind of leads into the second inclination of having an outsider’s perspective. Top people put themselves in outsider positions where they are the minority, where they are uncomfortable. When you think about me being in Paris with my grandma, not being able to speak French or being in Nepal or Haiti, travel does that. It helps you in so many different ways to have that outsider’s perspective. In a lot of ways, those experiences oftentimes inform things like the way that I work, the way that I think, how I view people. If I’m at a party when we can have parties outside of COVID, if I see that person that’s kind of awkward in the corner, I’m usually drawn to that person. I want to talk to them. I want those outsiders to feel like they’re a part of things. So it’s interesting how this tendency towards being an outsider and thinking like an outsider and understanding outsiders really is one of the top things that you can do for your business as well as for your life.
[TITNF PROMO] So how is it that I get so much done in a short period of time? How do I keep all those plates spinning while still doing big things and working fewer hours? My book Thursday is the New Friday reveals all the behind the scenes of how I’ve operated for years. I’d go through case studies, I go through neuroscience, I look at practical ways that I slow down and then I kill it. I want you to go grab Thursday is the New Friday, wherever you get your favorite books, because it’s going to change your life. We are moving out of the industrialist era into a whole new era. We are the post pandemic generation and we get to redefine what our work looks like. The four-day work week is coming. It is going to happen in our generation and this book is going to be one of the many guides to that conversation. I can’t wait for you to get it. If you buy five of them, you’ll get access to our digital conference. As well, if you get 10 of them, I’m doing a six-week mastermind group. It’s going to be top achievers, just like you. So if you end up buying more than one, if you get five or 10, go on over to thursdayisthenewfriday.com, submit your receipt and then you’ll get access to all those bonuses.
[JOE SANOK] And then that third inclination, the idea of moving on it, I mean, I remember I had just graduated with my master’s degree and they said you can take your counseling national test right now, or you can study and put it off or however you want to do. So I decided that I was going to sign up for it without studying. I thought at least I have a baseline when I fail this thing and if I pass it, I just saved myself a whole lot of time after a really busy internship season. So I go in and I kind of narrow things down to the top two and maybe guess I’m like, Oh, I’m at least 50% confident here and kind of walk through it and I ended up passing by one point.
So there’s times in life when you definitely want to be a hundred percent accurate but graduate school and higher ed often teaches us you write something, you revise it, you do it over and over, and for what? To have an approval of a professor that says, “Hey, you passed.” No, in life and in business, oftentimes getting things done is so much more important than doing it perfectly. Even being a single dad, raising two daughters that’s the story all the time, that I have these two little girls I’m in charge of and doing it on my own now and unexpected things and sure I would love to have a perfectly clean kitchen and a perfectly perfect diet with zero sugar or other things. But there’s times that my daughter wants goldfish crackers, and it’s just easier to give her goldfish crackers, to do laundry and to get as much done as I can in a day and not feel bike bad because I didn’t get all of it done there.
There’s all these things that in life, it’s better to have part of it done than to have it perfectly done. So the more that we can start to move towards that, the more successful we’ll be. So those inclinations, we walk through in depth in the book going to tons of case studies and research as to why they’re top inclinations as well, each section has that assessment of where you’re at. So we’re going to take just a second here and play another clip from the Thursday is the New Friday podcast. And this first season of 20 some episodes, I think 22 episodes Angie Morgan, who is the New York Times bestselling author of Spark, as well as the up and coming book Bet On Yourself interviews me. We hang out in my living room and we just had a conversation about Thursday is the New Friday.
We chopped it up. This was like a three and a half hour conversation and we chopped it up into several bite-size bits. So that new Thursday is the New Friday podcast is released now. You can listen to all of those, and we’re going to be dropping those over the coming weeks as well. Then also on our YouTube channel, you’ll be able to see the videos of these that have some kind of extra bonus things as well. So without any further ado, here’s a little segment of Thursday is the New Friday, the podcast.
Welcome to Thursday is the New Friday, the podcast that’s all about how the four-day work week will help you to work fewer hours, make more money and spend time doing what you want.
[ANGIE MORGAN] It’s almost uncanny how your book fits perfectly into the space in time. It’s almost like you created COVID. I don’t think you did.
[JOE] I did not, no.
[ANGIE] I mean, you take a lot of vacations, but you weren’t in a lab far, far away concocting this, but I remember you were writing this before COVID really was even part of our everyday vocabulary. So you sent something and then we have this amazing collective experience where we’re home now more than ever and we’re rediscovering parts of our lives that we so willingly gave over to unnecessary activity and people are starting to see like, wow, I can live my life not just on the weekends. I could actually have a whole life every single day of the week. And it’s kind of exciting. So your book really matches some of these realizations that people are having. So when you start writing about just kind of the constructs of time, you also talked a lot about us versus industrialists. I’d love to talk a little bit more about that because I didn’t realize I had an enemy in the workday that was pushing up against me, preventing me from living my life to my fullest.
[JOE] Yes, I mean, it’s interesting to think about how there’s certain, there’s a reason the industrialists came around. Because in the late 18 hundreds, early 19 hundreds, people were working 10 to 14 hour days, six to seven days a week. So this was a huge step for humans in business to not work that much. Henry Ford just wanted to sell more cars to his people because he knew if they had a weekend where they would want to go somewhere fun instead of to work, they’re more likely to buy a car. So at that time, awesome step for humanity, for business, for just pacing. And we’ve also outgrown that. Like how many of us still think about other people as just parts of a machine?
Like our schools still act like an assembly line, but a lot of schools have broken out of that. So now, as we’re kind of leaving some of the, hopefully leaving some of the COVID, who knows two months when people watch this video, they may say, “Wow, he had no idea what he was talking about,” but having lived through that pandemic in that lockdown a lot of people started questioning the way they do work, why they do work, why their schedules are a certain way. And now coming out of it, what’s interesting is seeing these bosses that just want to go back to the way it was. “We want you butts in the chair 40 hours,” and it’s as if this industrialist’s mindset is so strong in some of those people that, instead of saying, well, why do I want people in the office? Why do I want people working 40 hours, they just go back to that default.
So when we can kind of name it an enemy that’s broad, not an individual person, but to say, hey, this mindset of the industrialists that people are machines, that it’s just a certain kind of hours you clock in for most industries, that’s pretty dangerous and ineffective. Now there’s certain industries that you do need just butts in the chair. Like we need people in ambulances 24/7, there’s certain industries that we just need it to be automated. But most creative industries don’t need to have that industrialist mindset anymore. And that’s where I think we’re in this kind of messy, middle where the industrialists gave us such a clear blueprint that’s easy to default too, that we don’t have to think about.
But then where do we go now? It’s sort of like when a kid gets raised and they go off into the world, I could just default to mom and dad. I couldn’t eat sugar cereal. I had to do whatever. And then they go off to college and they experiment and they mess up and they do ridiculous things and then at some point they say, I should probably eat a few more salads because I feel like crap. And they started to make their own decisions about life. Like we’re in that messiness right now saying we know the industrialist way does not work at all and we also know there’s elements of that, that we can move forward with, that we can pull forward and say, that was good, but that hasn’t fully formed. I think we’re going to see in our generation is this four-day work week really takes off how people do this well, how people experiment well in different industries.
[ANGIE] It’s funny when I was reading your book. And just again, the time is a construct, a manmade construct. It reminded me of a time when I was shuffling my boys around and I was just really stressed between work. I do consulting work and coaching so it’s always there. I can always work and kids, they have defined places where they need to be and I was running late and I was thinking about dinner. I was listening to an REM song and this line came across and it was like, time is an abstract. And I’m like, “No, it’s not.” I thought it was very much a thing in my life and it made me pause and say, “Who is making this such a reveal thing?” And that’s a big mind shift for people. So I’m sure when you talk about time for people, you’re really challenging conventions that are going to be butted up against. I mean, have you had those conversations with people.
[JOE] Yes, I mean, were it really comes up and shows up is people trying to find the outlier. You know ambulance drivers, well, we’re not going to just have them work four days a week. Of course not. I’m not arguing that, but I’m just saying that let’s just look at how most of us choose to live our lives. Do we enter into the weekend saying, how do I become most refreshed, most rejuvenated by the end of this weekend so that when I go back to work on Monday, I can be more creative, I can be more productive or am I just burned out even more after my weekend as I was before it. So I would argue that we don’t have to agree on whether time’s an illusion or not, but just, let’s just start with, we get to decide probably a lot more than we think we can decide.
So if we start with that as the main, I want to decide what my life looks like. That then carries over into so many different domains. It carries over into my parenting, it carries over into how I run my finances, it carries over into all sorts of choices that I make, where I say, I’m not just going to let the way the world does it be how it defines who I am. Instead, I’m going to be intentional about the steps that I’m going to take to create the world that within my power I can create.
[ANGIE] And there’s some liberation, but with that freedom, it’s a little bit scary because these are new patterns, new behaviors, new routines that you get to seek to design or create along the way. That’s, like I said, a scary proposition for some people.
[JOE] Yes, I think a lot of people haven’t even thought that they had that level of power in their own life. And that’s a big thing for most people to think, “Wait, I can design my life in a way that fits me and is different than the way the world handed me.” So a lot of people then have to step back and say, “I need some tools to do that. I can’t just jump in and then I don’t know what I’m doing.”
[ANGIE] Yes. And I thought your book was rich with tools too, to sort of walk through your mindset, walk through some of your creative powers that you get maybe dormant, or you may never even know existed. I love in your book too, that you use so many personal stories. One of the things that was really big with me was just growing up. Friday night, used to be like the freest, most exciting thing with my family. We’d make popcorn, we’d watch Dallas. I was probably too young to watch Dallas.
[JOE] Would that be when the song came on? I knew it was bedtime for me. My parents always said to me, “Come on. It’s mommy and daddy Dallas time.”
[ANGIE] Well, I must have the bad parents. We’re going to let her stay up because we want to be here for the opening credits. But the point being is that then Saturday hit and then you fell into chores, grocery shopping, and then Sunday church and things like that. But there was something magical about Friday night. So it’s liberate and think that you could have Friday night on a Monday night or a Wednesday afternoon. It’s pretty empowering for that.
[JOE] Yes. And I think it’s cool to see just, like I was talking to someone the other day who said, “I don’t really want to take Fridays off. I’d rather take Wednesdays off, so I have two days and I have this middle of the week weekend that nobody’s out doing grocery shopping.” I’m like, “That’s awesome. It’s the concept of Thursday is the New Friday that it doesn’t have to be that you take Fridays off. It can be just evaluating your schedule in a different way.” So even just saying, yes, like take Wednesdays off, give it a whirl, do that for a month and see if you feel like you’re still meeting the criteria you need to meet for whatever your position is.
Well, make sure that you order your five, 10 or 25 books either on Amazon, from your local bookstore, wherever you get your books and then go over to thursdayisthenewfriday.com and upload your receipt there. If you order five before October 5th, then you’re going to get free access to Killin’It Camp, our online conference, where we’re going to have over 30 hours of teaching all about starting a practice, pillars of practice, growing a practice, and multiple streams of income. So it’s awesome.
If you get 10 bucks, you’re going to get access to the whole Killin’It Camp online experience. As well, you get to be a part of the Thursday is the New Friday mastermind group that I’ll be running starting the first Thursday in November of 2021 and then it’s going to go for six weeks. We’re going to skip Thanksgiving. So we’ll be doing that for six weeks in a row at noon Eastern, every single week. So you get access to that if you buy 10. If you buy 25, you get all of that, plus you’ve got some extra bonuses there as well, such as a half day with me and we’ll be talking all about kind of how all that works as well. So head on over to thursdayisthenewfriday.com for all of that information.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome day.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.