Fresh from an early-morning training session, Pete Williams talks to Dom Goucher about his Ironman training, and how there are lessons for every Entrepreneur in the way athletes go about their training.
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Of Ironmen and Entrepreneurs
Pete Williams: Hello, hello big fellow. How are you, mate?
Dom Goucher: Pretty good, sir. Pretty good. And you?
Pete: I’m doing very well. Very well.
Dom: Excellent. How’s the week treating you?
Pete: It hasn’t been too bad, mate. Very busy. Very, very busy with the Ironman and all that sort of shenanigans, but not too bad. Going well.
Dom: Well, you get all the Ironman stuff out of the way very early in the morning, don’t you?
Pete: I do. My mornings have been starting the same sort of time as they usually have between 5:00 and 5:30. But what did I do this week? This morning was a 2.6K swim session at 6:15, followed by a 10K run. So it was a busy morning. It’s been a bit crazy. Wednesday I was out on my bike at 5:30 in the morning for an hour and 15 minute bike ride, and it was the coldest morning in three years. That was very, very interesting.
At one point there were tears running down my eyes in pain because I was out on my bike with my fingerless gloves. I couldn’t find my full hand gloves, so I was out riding my bike at 5:30 on the coldest morning. It wasn’t good. It was not good. But that’s alright. That’s what you do.
Pete: Yes. How about yourself? How’s your week been?
Dom: Just busy with work. Just busy with work, my friend. I can’t say that I’ve been getting up particularly early or doing anything particularly inspiring after I’ve gotten up. I just get up, go through my ordinary person’s routine, and then get on with my work.
Pete: Fair enough. Well, I was actually talking to James Schramko this week, speaking of your work and what you do. After a couple of days, we speak relatively often as much as we like anyways. He’s a very smart man. But we were chatting earlier in the week about a couple of things. He mentioned the podcasts and how we’re both vying for spots in the Australian iTunes charts. Anyway, his awesome podcast Freedom Ocean is always battling us against the rankings and things. But he mentioned he was listening along and referred to you as Karl Pilkington from The Ricky Gervais Show.
Dom: Ah yes. Why, thank you, James.
Pete: I’m assuming it’s a compliment, I’m not too sure.
Dom: Yeah. I don’t know how you overseas folks see that stuff. I mean, Ricky Gervais and his gang are pretty well-liked around the world. But yeah.
Pete: This series, An Idiot Abroad, which is obviously the main focal point being Karl Pilkington, has been pretty popular here in Australia for the last couple of months.
Dom: Yeah, that’s ah…
Pete: I think it comes down to the accent and things. I think that’s what he’s focused on. It’s more the accent in referring to that side of things.
Dom: Right. Because of course we all sound the same to you guys.
Dom: Well, I will take it as a compliment and I’ll also take it as a compliment that James listens to our podcasts.
Pete: Well, that’s it. Exactly right. We need to find some rivalry we can actually get going between us and their show. We need to come up with something to go back at Timbo and James with. I’m not quite sure what that can be. Everyone does already call him Shrek, just because his surname is Schramko. John Carlton gave him that nickname, I think. We need to come up with something that has this ongoing rivalry, maybe.
Dom: I think so. And the game is afoot, sir.
Pete: Something that’d be kind of cool, I know a lot of people do this in the speaking game where they actually challenge each other to drop a certain word in their presentation. So maybe we can challenge them to work in a word in context to a future episode they have, and then they can maybe challenge us back.
Pete: What’s the word? Pick a crazy word. Not ‘pink elephant,’ but ‘yogurt’ or something and make them try and say ‘yogurt’ in an upcoming episode, but it has to be in context though.
Dom: I’ll tell you what, get him to say ‘yoghurt’.
Pete: ‘Yoghurt?’ Okay.
Dom: Yeah, because ‘yoghurt’ is not the correct pronunciation of that word.
Pete: Oh, he obviously listens. And I’ll mention it to Tim next time. I catch up with Timbo as well. So we can see how we go.
Dom: Okay. Definitely. I do think that some epithets are definitely in the running after we had a number of comments about my reference to Rob Somerville being the Simon Cowell of internet marketing. We seem to strike a chord.
Pete: Yes, yes.
Dom: So yeah.
Pete: Oh, very cool, mate. So I thought they hadn’t gone very well. Had a call in the office the other day from a listener, which is pretty cool. He shot me a tweet after a phone system. He was listening to the show and shot me a tweet saying, “Who’s the best person to speak to get a phone system?” So I shot Jake back a tweet or a twit or a twat or a toot, as Merlin Mann says, and yeah, ended up having a chat with him myself. Put the sales hat back on a little bit, it seemed to help him out. I think we gave him a pretty good solution that’ll help him and his business, which was great.
Pete: So a big shout-out to Jake and thanks for getting in touch, mate.
Dom: Yeah. And just in general, thanks to everybody who’s continued to put their comments on the various iTunes Stores and subscribe to the iTunes podcast or the RSS feed, or however you care to download our stuff. Just thanks for the feedback, folks.
Pete: Something interesting, sorry, in regard to the phone system-side of stuff that I thought it might be worth touching on here. Because it does apply to a lot of people with their businesses and things. One thing that Jake and I spoke about, and I won’t try to get too technical and things like that. But with his new office and the phone lines and stuff, we have looked at a solution for him that’s going to give him a hundred phone numbers coming to his business.
So it doesn’t necessarily need a hundred phone lines in Australia. It applies in every other country around the world in different circumstances. But you can have, hypothetically, four phone lines coming into your business but actually get given a hundred phone numbers from your phone carrier, your provider. And what we’ve spoken about is him being able to use those hundred numbers in a lot of different ways. The obvious one and the most common one is to give each staff member in your office a direct phone number, so you call my direct extension or my direct line.
It’s a pretty straightforward way to go. But what you can also do with these 100 numbers, is then use them for different marketing initiatives. We do this very often in our business. We’ve got about 160 or so numbers that we use in various circumstances. So for example, if you’re doing a Yellow Pages ad, you put one particular phone number in the Yellow Pages ad. And then if you’re going to do a direct mail letterbox campaign, you can put another one of those 100 numbers on that particular campaign.
Or if you’re doing a split test-type mail ad campaign or promotion, you can put two different numbers on different split tests. And then with the right phone system and some call accounting software, you can actually then easily plot results and reports saying how many calls each of these numbers get. So rather than the old-school way of having to go, ”Oh, hang on. How did you hear about us?” and marking down on a piece of paper that they heard from this particular campaign; I know an old trick in the direct mail days used to be ‘Ask for Julie.’
And Julie doesn’t actually work at the company. So you know that when someone calls up asking for Julie, they’ve responded to a particular marketing piece. But with this, it’s purely in the numbers so you know how many times that number has been rung, which is obviously the response to your Yellow Pages ad so you can work out that the Yellow Pages ad cost me $2,000 and it generated 20 phone calls. So it’s $100 a call, is what I’m willing to pay for a lead?
And you can do really, really amazing stuff with your phone system in terms of going back to the Numbers episode we spoke of a couple of weeks ago which resonated with a lot of people. You can start doing that sort of stuff on a high level. In our business, we got to the point where it’s pretty technical but in terms of the different AdWords displays a different phone number on the website. So we can keep actually track to an AdWords keyword-level which ad or which key word generated the phone call, which is pretty cool.
Dom: Wow. That is an excellent bit of technology applied to some old-school stuff. I’ve seen the various things you just said, the ‘Call Julie,’ or even the postal response where they put a mark in the very old days when it was, “Cut out this coupon,” or this form and it had a marker on it to say which magazine it’s just come from or whatever.
Pete: Or mail it to 24-A, this street, 24-B or 24-C.
Dom: Exactly. Yeah, and all that stuff. But yeah, the multiple phone line thing is a great way to automate all that and as you say, give you some more numbers that you can track and use to respond to.
Pete: It can be very cool. So hopefully, it works out for Jake. And obviously, I know that solution will work out very well for Jake and hopefully, we have helped him out with his phone system and things like that. So that’s very exciting. The podcast is generating business, which is always good.
Dom: Always good. Excellent.
Pete: Not that it’s the aim, but it’s always a very nice by-product.
Dom: Indeed, indeed. So what’s been on your mind this week? I mean obviously, the Ironman training is taking up a lot of your focus and I’d really like, at some point, to talk some more about that. But is there anything else in particular that’s been on your mind this week?
Pete: Oh, there’s plenty of stuff going on. I think you know, the Ironman thing is being really interesting in terms of just being disciplined enough to get up at 5:30 when the alarm goes off. It’s about getting up, doing it, staying focused and all that sort of stuff. And I think you and I spoke about this really briefly earlier in the week. It’s really important to have that coach and that third party making you accountable to yourself and to your goals.
Because unlike entrepreneurship where a lot of people are out there doing it by themselves, and even if they have a business partner and stuff, they’re not really accountable. So if you miss a session or you say, “I’m not going to write that book post today, I’ll do it tomorrow,” or whenever it might be, you can always make it up. Whereas, with an Ironman, it’s what is it? A 3.8 km swim, 180K ride followed by a 42.2 km marathon at the end. You’ve got only so much time you can train for that. And you have to be ready and your body has to be physically ready on the 4th of December when you get up and do the race.
You can’t miss a session. If you miss a session, you can’t make that back up. You can’t do a double session the following day because your body is just going to overload and get injured, and then you’re going to really screw yourself even more. But so many entrepreneurs don’t really have that dedicated mindset with their goals. “I want to have an X amount of income by the end of the year. I want to have something done by a certain amount of time,” and they don’t have that third party they’re accountable to.
And also, they don’t have that mentality that if I miss a session I can’t make it back up. Because when you’re creating something, you can just go, “Oh, I’ll just write some more words tomorrow. It doesn’t matter too much.” It’s an interesting discussion and thought process to go through of how you can start applying those sorts of rituals, goals, schedules, commitments to creating something, whether it be a blog, or a podcast, or a business or whatever it might be.
The podcast is great because we make promises that we’re going to get it out every week and we’ve got that commitment to the marketplace. So we can’t miss a week because we can’t make it back up, so to speak, because we are shipping. That’s important, so it’s interesting. That’s been playing in my mind and I’m not really sure what the major point of that is, but it’s been playing on my mind.
Dom: In there I heard some great parallels. This is absolutely, purely 100% purely sport. You are undertaking a fitness challenge; the Ironman is really one of those really big things. I know that you’ve done this kind of thing before when you were younger.
Pete: No… Definitely triathlons. Did quite reasonably well in the day. Back in the day, I did quite well. But yeah, not an Ironman. This is going to be definitely a test of endurance.
Dom: But it’s a serious challenge. But in what you just said, I saw an awful lot of parallels other than the ones that you stated between that training that you’re doing and being in business, especially being in business for yourself. Right at the beginning, we’ve talked about having a goal. But stating that goal and making it clear what it’s going to take to get to it, and in your case, as you say, on the 4th of December, you’re going to get up and you’re going to go for, wow, how many hours is it on average?
Pete: The winners do it in sort of eight and a half hours. That’s sort of like the pros’ times. The cutoff is 17 hours. So the race starts at 7am and the cutoff is midnight. Realistically, my goal time is 16 hours and 59 minutes, just to actually pass the finish line and survive the whole thing. But I’m probably going to do in between 12 and 14 hours. That’s probably a reasonable goal. People I speak to at these training squad and stuff think that 12 hours is easily achievable.
But I’m trying to stay a little bit more realistic and just my first aim is to finish it this year. And if I don’t completely end up in a hospital then I may consider do it again in a couple of years’ time and do it at a goal time-type race. But for me, it’s just completing and passing the finish line and hearing those words: Pete Williams, you are an Ironman.
Dom: Wow. But the point there that I’m trying to make is that you’ve drawn a line in the sand. You didn’t just go, “I kind of fancy doing an Ironman. I might start doing some training.” You absolutely said, “This is the one. I’m booked in. I’m doing it there.” In order to do this, you did your research and you said, “Right. This is the kind of training I need to do. I’m going to need a coach.” And you’ve put all those things in place to get to that goal, which is a concrete goal. And we talked about this before. That in business or in anything, it’s no good saying, “I fancy taking Fridays off in,” some waffly way.
Pete: Yeah. This the whole business coaching argument as well to a certain extent. Realistically, I could have easily spent a day at home on the laptop, in front of the TV, downloading a couple of Kindle books, reading some blog posts, and creating my own training schedule. And I reckon I could have come up with a training schedule which would have been pretty close to what my coach James has given me. I reckon it would be very, very similar. I think if I stuck to that and did the training sessions I’ve come up with myself in terms of the 20-week countdown of training, I could have probably finished the Ironman and that’s definitely possible.
So I guess the parallel for business is that you can easily go off and create your own stuff, go your own way and do it all yourself. It’s definitely possible. Look, there’s no question about that. But I think if you went to the Ironman and spoke to everyone who crosses that finish line successfully, I would guarantee that at least 80% if not more of those people have a coach. I reckon the 20% would be probably the 20% who are the professionals who are racing who might not have a coach because they’ve been coaching themselves for so long.
However, it’s very rare for a professional to not have a coach, but I know a few Ironmen who just coach themselves because they know their bodies and they know themselves. But if you look at all the age groups, at the people who are just starting out, so to speak, in Ironman training, they would all have coaches. And it’s not necessarily about the coach being able to tell you what to do that you wouldn’t have otherwise known. Because you can go and you can work out what it takes to do and Ironman training-wise.
There are plenty of books about how to complete an Ironman; there are magazines, there are forums, there are blogs. And there are podcasts about how to run marathons and train for these sort of stuff. You can work at it yourself and fumble your way through without a problem at all, just like most entrepreneurs do. But to complete this successfully, it’s about the accountability. It’s about when you do a swim session and it’s like, “Hang on, my stroke’s not quite right.”
You’ve got to do that catch a little bit earlier and you’ve got to keep that head a little bit two degrees further down to give you a better drag, or whatever that might be. It’s the fine-tuning stuff you get from a coach that will make it much quicker and easier to do the event. We’re doing squad sessions. My swim sessions are with a squad. Not just by myself following the black line at the bottom of the pool. And the run sessions, I do a couple of run sessions a week with the squad. And I do a spin bike sessions.
So half my sessions are with the squad, in a team. It’s an individual sport but it’s good to have that social team. You can sort of compare yourself with other people. And that comes back to the mastermind thing we spoke about a couple of weeks ago. There are so many parallels. It probably wasn’t the idea to talk about it in this particular episode, but we can definitely drill into it a lot more if you want to in another episode. So I really want to keep that promise I made last week about sharing the story about context.
But there are so many parallels about what I’m learning again going through a structured training process for the Ironman and how much the lesson I’m learning and what’s apparent to me in what’s going to make this race successful for me, how many parallels there are to business and entrepreneurship.
Dom: Absolutely, man. This is why I’ve always been interested in this as a topic. We’re way into it, let’s carry on. And you really have highlighted the things that struck me as well. We started with goal setting which is important. You told them about coaching and two things about the coaching: 1) the basic nature of the accountability. You’ve got this guy, basically he’s waiting outside your front door at 5:30, 6:00 in the morning.
He’s going to give you some grief, he’s going to cause you some pain and he’s going to say some naughty words. Otherwise, he’s not doing his job. There’s that accountability which is helping you; but also, he’s an expert. And you’re right. In whatever field – business, entrepreneurship, whatever it is. Yeah, this is the age of the internet; this is the age of free information. You can go out there and spend a fair amount of time and wade through the various levels of rubbish and find some quality information, and work out your own model, your own plan, etcetera.
You’re right. You’re absolutely right. It doesn’t matter what it is out there on the internet, somebody somewhere has written something about what you want to know about these days. But the value of a coach or a mentor is that body of knowledge that they have means that they can look at what you’re doing, and just tweak it a little bit, just give you an extra plus on what you’re doing whether it’s your swim stroke, your running technique, your changeover at the station – all these Ironman metaphors and similes.
Dom: But it might be your AdWords strategies, it might be your copywriting. It might be one of these things that an expert or a mentor can look at easily quickly and go, “Change that word. Do that thing differently but do it this way.” Not just waving their hands and going, ”Oh, you need to it differently,” but actually tell you exactly what to do. So a coach, whether it’s in the context of the Ironman or the context of business and entrepreneurship, is a really valuable thing. What I find is that sportspeople, sportspersons – politically correct attempt there, failed miserably…
Dom: Athletes, thank you. Awesome. Athletes, I know have absolutely no problem in getting a coach. In fact, this is the first thing on their list. Very few, even amateur athletes who want to take it moderately seriously, try and do it on their own. The first thing you try to do is to join a club or get their own coach. And certainly professional athletes, they get a coach, end of discussion. And yet people who want to be in business, who want to be successful, they’re not so strong on that, going after mentoring and coaching and things like that. And a lot of people could get a lot of benefit from it.
Pete: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And there are so many other things, there are so many other similes that we can go through. Things like Thursday last week, I had to do a 5K time trial every four weeks up into the race. I’m going to be doing time trials: a bike time trial, a swim time trial and a running time trial just to track the progress to take note of my numbers. Training is training, but you also want to get a bit of an idea, “Am I moving closer to my goal or not?” It can be scary. And we spoke about how looking at your numbers in business can be scary a couple of episodes ago as well. It can be scary. I’m going to do my time trial again in a couple of weeks’ time and have I improved, have I not improved?
Where am I at? It can be a scary thing to say, “Look, I’ve done all this training. Have my times actually improved?” The good thing with Ironman training is maybe my time doesn’t improve when I do my time trial in a couple of weeks’ time. But that could be because of a number of reasons. I could have had a busy week that week in training more, which means I’m going to be a little bit extra tired and I might not be as fast as I would have been because of circumstances. That can happen in business too, but still you want to at least look at those numbers and see where you are tracking.
Dom: Absolutely. A great, great simile back to something that we have talked about. ‘If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is one of the phrases.
Pete: Yep, exactly. I have to send a weekly email every Sunday night. I have to sit down and send the coach the week that was. This is the review of the week. This is what I set out to do based on him telling me what to do really. This is what I did. This is how it went. This is what went well. This is what went poorly. This is where I’m sore. This is what I did to work on those niggles. This is where I’m feeling mentally. Am I still feeling mentally fresh or am I feeling like crap?
It’s that weekly stock-take that is as important for me as it is to email him. I showed him the email last Sunday night. And he sent me an email back three minutes later going, “Thanks.” That’s as much as we’ve spoken about it. It wasn’t necessary for him to be able to keep track. And I’m sure he’ll take that into account as he writes my program moving forward. We write it in four-week blocks. So again rather than trying to plan the whole 20 weeks out ahead, we’re doing it in four-week blocks. We can assess where I’m at based on the time trials, based on my weekly assessments.
And then I go, “Okay. This is where I’m at. I’m fast enough from what I was. I’ve got more endurance than I thought I was,” and re-assessing from that. So, it’s a lot of continual assessments. But it’s that weekly stock-take, so to speak. In business you have to do a stock-take of your assets and your products. In Getting Things Done, David Allen talks about doing your weekly check where you sit down and you de-clutter and you get everything back into your inbox and re-assign everything for the week coming up. You do that weekly check. And it’s important to do.
Dom: Absolutely. As soon as you started talking about the Getting Things Done review, the weekly review was exactly what I thought of. Not to go too far off-topic, but that review is probably the most important part of that technique. But it’s also the one I know most people fail on. It’s back to the numbers.
Dom: Even if you’re collecting the numbers. If you don’t review the numbers, you might as well not have collected them. This is really and absolutely parallel. You’re talking about setting yourself a long-term goal, which is your Ironman on the 4th of December. You’re talking about breaking that up into stages, into shorter objectives, like your four-week training groups. And you’re talking about reviewing your progress, measuring your progress, reviewing your progress towards those and adjusting in each of those four-week blocks depending on how you’ve gone on.
Dom: That is an absolute parallel for successful business.
Pete: Yep. As we talk, I keep thinking of more and more similes and stuff. Because I’ve been spending a lot of time on the bike, a lot of time running during the last week or so. And it’s given me a lot of time to think and also a lot of time to consume information. I know you’ve wanted to do a consumption episode, which we’ll definitely do in the next couple of weeks. We’ve got the context episode to do which we sort of bumped today, and then we’ve got that consumption episode coming up as well.
But I’ve been able to consume a lot of content while I’ve been out training, which has just been great. My two-speed software that I’ve been playing with to get audio and video ripped into double speed so I can listen to it on my iPod Nano or obviously my iPhone when I’m on the bike. So I’ve been able to consume a lot of stuff. But think about a lot of things of how this all fits with business as well. And something else that I’ve realized again in the last week or so was how many toys, tools and distractions there are around the triathlon.
Pete: There three disciplines. You’ve got swimming, riding and running. There are three disciplines. And it’s as bad as golf in terms of how much crap you can buy. Like last Friday night I was meant to do a three-hour ride on the road last Saturday. But with the Tour de France and the Australian Cadel Evans doing an amazing job to win – Barwon Heads boy, which is near where our holiday house is, which is pretty cool. So big shout-out to Cadel who I know doesn’t listen, but you never know. He might be.
At the bike store, which my coach owns as well, we had a 10:00 to 1:00 am spin session on the spin bikes watching the Tour de France. It was so much fun. Nerdy as hell, at 10:00 on a Friday night, we’re all there riding bikes. We were there, there’s about 35 or so. It was awesome fun.
Dom: Roomful of bike geeks. Awesome.
Pete: Yeah. It was good. Anyway before we got there, as I do, just looked around at the bike store, and read some magazines and stuff, and I was just amazed at how much crap you can buy. Yeah, they’re cool toys and cool accessories, but do you really need them? For one example, there was Wednesday morning, I was out riding and didn’t have my full-hand gloves on. I survived. I still got the goal – and my goal was to ride for an hour and 15 minutes at a certain pace, at a certain cadence.
I was able to achieve that goal without having full-hand gloves. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it wasn’t overly enjoyable. But I still got the goal I needed to. Those gloves wouldn’t have helped me achieved my goal any better. I wouldn’t have ridden any quicker, plus I could’ve been slower because I wouldn’t want to go home as quick. So many times in business and entrepreneurship, especially in the internet marketing space, there are so many shiny toys to just distract you. Does it really help you get to your goal?
I’ve got my clear goal of being an Ironman, and I know what I have to do. I know the steps I have to do to get to that goal. Is the shiny new tool going to help me get there? Is a particular type of tri bike going to help me better? Is getting a type of computer for the bike over another one going to get me there quicker? Is the new compression-type tracksuit pants or running tights going to be better than something else? There are so many distracting things you can get and continually spend your money on in the space.
Is getting a new pair of flippers going to better for me in the pool? Well, probably not because it’s not going to help me better, really. It’d be cool and nice to have. But it’s like most courses that you buy, in the internet marketing space particularly, that people get distracted by the new shiny object. And does it really help you get closer to your goal? And in most circumstances, it’s probably not. The only thing you really need to be investing in is ways to become more efficient and more effective.
So ways to leverage yourself, not necessarily a new toy. Most people, who also listen to this podcast, should continue listening to this podcast, but would know pretty much the technical stuff they need to do to grow their business. Having a coach help refine that stuff when they’ve got questions, great. But you don’t need to go and buy all these extra tools and stuff to help you get there. I’m going to get there with my bike and my running shoes, and the gear I’ve got. I don’t need to go buy so much more.
Dom: Do you know the other thing that pops into my head when you talk about that is something that you said in the past which is don’t go reaching for the next shiny thing until you’ve actually used the one you’ve got. Have you really outgrown your bike? Does the computer that you’ve got right now really not tell you enough information? Or in the case of internet marketing, did you really, really, really do everything? Did you read everything? Listened to everything? Watched everything in the last course you bought? And did you really apply it at all?
Pete: Exactly. That’s the question. So many people get distracted. My bike’s worth about just under five grand. It’s not a cheap bike, it’s an expensive bike. This is where that whole thought process came to me. And to do the distance that I’m going to be spending on the bike, I want to spend a decent amount of money on the bike because I’m going to be spending a lot of time on there.
But I was talking to a guy before we did the spin session while we were yelling for Cadel to win the Tour de France, and his bike was ten and a half grand, I think it was? And I said to him, “Does it really make you twice as fast?” And he was just like, “Well, yeah…” He tried to sort of hum and haw and justify it. And realistically, the only reason he spent that extra money because he could and because it was nice to have a new shiny toy.
Dom: Oh dear.
Pete: Yes. And I’m not a huge bike guy. The bike’s my weakest leg out of all three of them by far. I know there’s a big difference between a $1500 bike and a $4000 bike. A huge, huge difference. You’re going from aluminum to carbon, and less shock on the body, and a whole lot of stuff. There is a significant difference. But I just can’t see the difference between a four-and-a-half grand bike and ten grand bike. At that point, you’re really working in the one or two percent differences.
And yes, when it comes to the Tour de France, if you’re racing the Tour de France, you want every one and two percent you can get because that’s what it comes down to. So yes, you’d want to spend that much money. If you’re a pro, yes. But if you’re just an age group athlete trying to complete an Ironman or you’re a wage-earner trying to start a part-time business, do you really need to go and buy that ten-and-a-half grand bike or that two-and-a-half grand extra course? Is it just going to create you more distractions and not give you a better ROI?
Are you better off investing that money in testing stuff for yourself? Are you better off spending that two-and-a-half grand difference or that five grand differences on a masseuse every week for the 20 weeks. And I would really believe and argue that if you had a choice of spending five grand on a bike or ten-and-a-half grand on a bike, take the extra five grand that you would have otherwise spent and invest in a masseuse every week. It’s going to give you better value.
Pay that two and a half grand and buy some coaching time. Just pay someone and say, “Look, I’ll pay you a hundred bucks a week to reply to my email, to read an email that I send you once a week with my weekly objectives, my weekly results, tell me what my sticking points are, and three questions.” Much better investment than a two-and-a-half grand new course because you’re going to know enough. And if you use YouTube, pretty much you’re going to learn most of the stuff you need to on YouTube if you want to learn something new.
Yes, the value in the product because it’s already sequentially and blueprinted and it’s mapped-out and it’s all there in one spot, you know where to find it. You don’t have to waste your time trying to find the information. But the question is, is that information actually relevant to you? Have I just gone off on another Pete Williams random tangent and made no sense?
Dom: No, mate. No. No, you didn’t. It was a very smooth segue, but it’s incredibly poignant. There’s something else that’s really big that’s come out of this as well that I want to bring up. But let’s just kind of summarize what you just said because you’re right. You sat there and if you have the money to spend on a whatever it is, a two-and-a-half thousand dollar course or whatever it is – and this segue’s right back to my point. If you have the money to spend, rather than buy the course, pay somebody who knows what they’re doing to coach you because it will be geared to you.
Just like your coach is watching you for those four weeks and they’re responding to the emails whether directly saying, “Yes, thanks,” or they’re actually taking account of it and at the end of the four-week block, they go, “Well, ok, you’ve achieved this, you exceeded that, you’re slacking on this one, we need to work on that,” etcetera, etcetera; it will be geared to you. So that, in a way, is somebody else watching your numbers for you.
Pete: Exactly. Exactly right.
Dom: The thing we haven’t mentioned here, ok, and this is one of those things that actually we really need to point this out because you’re afflicted, ok? You don’t know it, but you’re afflicted.
Pete: Me personally or the listener? You’re talking to me or you’re talking to the listeners?
Dom: You, Pete Williams. Dear listener, Pete Williams is afflicted. You may not know…
Pete: Is this my turn on the couch? Because a couple of weeks ago you were saying it’s like a therapy session for you. Is this like an intervention for me right now?
Dom: No. No, it’s not.
Dom: No, it’s not but it’s something that needs pointing out. Dear listener, Pete Williams is afflicted. Pete’s Williams’ affliction is that he does not have any problem whatsoever taking action.
Pete: Ah, I’m offended by that because I do.
Dom: Well, ok. By the measure of normal human beings… Look, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, everyone measures themselves by the guy in front.
Pete: That man in the mirror.
Dom: No, the man in front; the man at the next place. You measure yourself by the guy who’s going to go across that line in front of you.
Pete: Ah, yes. Yes, yes. The Jones’s, Mr. Jones who lives next door. Yes.
Dom: Yeah. But sometimes, you of all people, don’t look behind you. If you make it in 12 hours or 13 or 14 hours, how many hundreds of people are going to make it in 14 and 15 and 16? You’re in front of those guys. So you’re always going to say, “Hey, I have problems. I’m not perfect.” Of course you’re not perfect. But you don’t have that big, big problem in business and certainly in entrepreneurship and self-employment, which is taking action.
Now everything that we’ve talked about here, whether it’s getting a coach, measuring your numbers – all those things, or hiring a mentor, getting somebody to work with you, it’s all well and good that you spend that money and you get somebody to read your emails and give you some feedback once a week. But if you don’t do anything with what they say, you might as well not spend the money at all.
Dom: And that’s a really big thing here. I make fun of you. I make jokes because you get up at about 5:30 in the morning and you get on a bike in the rain or you go running or you do whatever you do…
Pete: We had a swim session at the pool in the rain this week too, by the way. That was interesting. In the pool swimming you go for a breath you get a mouth full of rainwater. It was interesting. Anyway, sorry…
Dom: And yeah. I still think you’re moderately sane.
Pete: Thanks, Mum and Dad.
Dom: Yeah… The thing is this is a demonstration of your willingness to do what it takes to achieve this goal. You’ve made this commitment and you are going for it. I’m not saying it’s easy for you, and I understand it’s not easy for you. We know each other quite well and I know it’s not easy for you. I’m a little bit flippant with that, ‘Pete Williams has no problems taking action’ thing. But you’ve committed to this and you do it.
And really, that’s better than any bike, any trainers, any streamlined wetsuit, aerodynamic helmet or two-and-a-half thousand-dollar course. It doesn’t matter what it is, you can spend all the money in the world but if you don’t actually take that action and commit to taking that action, well, sit on your couch. Keep your money.
Pete: So true. And one other thing that came into my mind as you were talking too about the coaching-side of stuff, we always leave the episode a bit of counterintuitive almost. It’s seems to be the way quite often. It’s that half the thing a coach does for you is to tell you what not to do. So you don’t over-train, you don’t work too hard and pull a muscle, and don’t do anything. How many entrepreneurs, how many people listening – and I’ll put my hand up and I’m sure most people would if they really take-stock and think about it, how many people are just doing too much in their business?
Are they trying to start four businesses at once? Are they trying to run four websites or do five different things? Are they just doing all too much and they’re just injuring themselves financially, mentally? One of those things that a coach does for an athlete is to tell them when not to over-train. Like next week, I’ve got a very, very easy week in comparison to my usual week. I’ll read out what I’ve got on next week. And it’s going to sound stupid when I say it’s any easy week.
But Monday morning I’ve got a 60-minute recovery session at the spin center. Tuesday morning, an hour swim session and then Tuesday night, an hour run session with the squad. Got the day off Wednesday, which I normally have. Thursday morning, I’ve got an hour swim session. Normally, that’s followed by an hour run but I don’t have that next week. I have to get a massage instead. Friday, day-off as usual. Saturday, I’ve got a four-hour bike ride and Sunday, I’ve got a 60-minute run.
So that’s a low week for me compared to what I’ve been doing and what I’m definitely going to be doing over the next couple of weeks. Every third week, I’ve got that easy week. And if it wasn’t for him telling me to do that and I was just possibly training by myself, I would just make every week a hard week or a little bit harder than the week before because you just work harder as you get better. And part of his coaching is to, no, no, no. You have to have that easy week to let your body relax, let your body catch up, let your mind catch up as well, and then hit hard the next week.
It’s about taking two steps up a flight of stairs, wait for a little bit and then take the next two steps. Don’t just run straight up the hill the whole way. And that’s what a coach can do for entrepreneurs as well, say, “No, no, no. Hang on. Let’s forget about that AdWords campaign and let’s just focus on SEO,” or “Don’t worry about doing this video marketing stuff. Let’s just focus on good-quality content.” Or whatever it might be, don’t try and do too many things at once. Just to keep you on track and keep you focused so you don’t over-work and burn yourself out.
Dom: An excellent point to end on, definitely. And yeah, you’re right counterintuitive and I kind of like those because you’re kind of being a bit of a general coach for the audience with that. Aha. But you’re right, you’re right. I find that the more experience somebody has in an industry, the better perspective they have and the more able they are to say to you, “Focus on that. That stuff doesn’t matter, certainly not right now.”
And everybody would do it, everybody would do it. As you get better at something, you do more of it because, hey, success. “If I’m achieving something, I’m going to achieve some more.” Schwartz in The Power of Full Engagement talks about that.
Pete: Ah, yes. Yes.
Dom: Yeah. That’s an awesome book about sport but it applies absolutely to business. And he talks deeply about taking that break, having that easy week or easy time. Push hard. Have recovery time. And it’s vital no matter who you are, not even just in sport but in general life. But it’s counterintuitive.
Dom: Alright, buddy. On that one, that was an excellent session. Thank you. A little bit of an insight into the Ironman and more of an insight into business, I think.
Pete: Absolutely. And next week, I’m going to talk about context. I have this story that I will share next week and then we’ll do the consumption episode. So we’ve got the next two weeks planned-out. But if people have any feedback or ideas for shows, email us, iTunes comments, and we’ll endeavor to talk about it.
Dom: Absolutely. Let us know. And as Pete has already said, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.
Pete: Chat to you all next week.