E-Commerce secrets to scale

055 - How to Go From Being Busy to Being Productive with Brian Lovegrove

055 – How to Go From Being Busy to Being Productive with Brian Lovegrove

E-Commerce Secrets To Scale is a marketing and entrepreneurship podcast that revolves around hearing the stories and strategies of successful entrepreneurs and e-commerce professionals to uncover scaling secrets that will impact your online store.

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Tanner:

This week on the show, personal development coach Brian Lovegrove joins me to talk about the difference between being busy and being productive and how to go from being busy to being productive. Brian also has a really interesting perspective on time management. So if you’re struggling with removing distractions from your work, this episode is for you.

Welcome to the show, Brian, I’m really excited to have you go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience.

Brian:

Well, Tanner, thank you for having me on. My name is Brian Lovegrove and I have, and I’m a leadership developer and results Coach. I run Lovegrove Group Coaching and I specialize in helping that small business owner who is primarily the operator in their business and they’re trying to make that transition from being the operator, to being the owner. And that is a different shift in skill sets and mindset. And so we help people make that transition.

Tanner:

That’s awesome, man. And I think this is the perfect show to talk about that transition because so many business owners do struggle with that. So let’s go back in time just a little bit. How did your career get started and how did that transition into coaching?

Brian:

Well, I’ll give you the short version because if I gave you the long version, we would be here for the next hour and a half. I got started in personal development at a very young age. My father was a commercial real estate broker, and whenever we would go on long trips, he would pull out these tapes series from work. Now this was back before the iPod, the noise canceling headphones and that great, wonderful device that many of us grew up with the Sony Walkman. I got stuck listening to whatever he put into the tape deck. And so I got introduced to the greats. Guys like Earl Nightingale, Jim Roan, and my favorite Zig Ziglar. And when I was 17, I actually spent my own money to go buy Tony Robbins program called Unlimited Power. And I’ve been following Tony ever since. I even helped promote and put on his seminars for one of his franchises for awhile after college. I ended up going and working in corporate America for over 15 years, but I always had this side business going on because I knew at the end of the day, I wanted to be working for my dreams instead of somebody else’s.

Too many times we get stuck in what we refer to as the learning loop. We’re trying to learn more and more information, but we’re not implementing the ideas and strategies that we already know.

And so I had side businesses along the way. I’d get out of corporate America, I try to run my business and it wouldn’t take off the way I thought it would. And I ended up and I would end up having to go back. And so that was really something that was a challenge for me. And I always was trying to go to the next seminar and the next event thinking that there was some piece of information that I was missing, but it wasn’t until I was sitting in a room of over 6,000 people. And I was finally had, I finally learned the piece of information that I had been being told from the beginning. I finally understood why I was not succeeding. Too many times we get stuck in what we refer to as the learning loop. We’re trying to learn more and more information, but we’re not implementing the ideas and strategies that we already know.

And that’s the big thing that I see people struggle with is a lack of follow-through. They’re too busy running around doing things that keep them busy, but is not necessarily helping them accomplish the things that are gonna move the needle for them in their business to help them grow their business. To move their business to the next level that requires you to do specific things. And most of the time, there’s not a lot of urgency behind those. And so I really saw people struggling to follow through. I saw it in my own life and that’s one of the reasons why when I had the opportunity back in 2013, when I hit a crossroads of like, okay, what do I want to do for the rest of my life? And I sat down and went, okay, here’s a group of people that I love to work with.

I love the small business owner. I love helping them take things to the next level, because again, so many, I see so many of them struggling and I see so many of them trying to move forward, but they feel like they’re running in the sand or stuck in the mud and they can’t move forward or they don’t think they can move forward. And so, but because I’ve been involved in personal development for decades now I have a vault of information that I can and ideas and strategies to help these people get unstuck. And I understand the psychology and the mental gymnastics that we need to go through in order to correct what’s going on between our ears that’s holding us back. Because at the end of the day, that’s really the biggest monkey that we have to deal with.

Tanner:

Yeah, no question. I think a lot of times the thing that stands in our way, the most is ourselves, right? You know, anyone can go to seminars and read books and consume content, but when it comes to actually implementing, those ideas that are taught to you, I mean, that’s a whole new beast, right. And I also think that gurus tend to make that advice and the value that they provide a little bit vague. They don’t really, you know, set the boundaries that you need to follow for execution or implementation. They kind of leave it up to that person. I think that’s why it’s so tough. And I’ve been in that boat as well, but you’re exactly right. I mean, it’s personal development. You kind of just have to go that extra mile and implement it on your own because it’s not going to be the same for every single business.

Brian:

Well, we’ve got a saying in the industry that says you can’t ride a bike in a summit. You can’t learn to ride a bike in a seminar.

Regardless of wherever I was, whatever job I had, I took ownership of that.

Tanner:

Yeah. I really liked that. So, Brian, what do you think has made you successful throughout your career.

Brian:

Taking ownership. One of, even in my corporate career, one of the things that really set me apart was that I, and I actually learned this from Zig Ziglar and it was one of the big things that actually stuck with me, was that regardless of wherever I was, whatever job I had, I took ownership of that. I was the one who was saying, you know what, I’m going to treat this like it’s my business and I’m responsible for it. And so I was actively pursuing those things that really helped make me successful. Was actually taking that ownership piece and making sure that when stuff hit the fan and mistakes were made, I was willing to step in and say, you know what? I own that. Or I accept responsibility for at least a piece of that, you know? And I remember being on a call in one of my big corporate meetings and we were on, something had blown up and it was big and it was massive. And there was levels and levels of management. And I was on the gut, stuck on the call. I was one of the low men on the totem pole. And I remember, you know, the big boss was on the call and he, and I said, you know, I take, I piped up and took ownership for my piece. And he goes, you know, Brian, thank you for that. But I’m looking for my managers to step up and take ownership.

Tanner:

Yeah. That’s a good point. And you know, I think that’s a really, really important characteristic of anyone that is trying to be successful, right. Because you know, mistakes always happen and I’d argue that mistakes are a good thing because you can learn from them. Right.

Brian:

Absolutely. And that’s one of the things that we teach is that you get to choose what things mean. And we have this fear of failure, right? We don’t want to make a mistake. And that was actually programmed into us. You stopped to think about your educational process. You didn’t want to see any red marks on your piece of paper, right? Because that meant you made a mistake and you were criticized, you were put down, you were made to feel pain for making mistakes. And when the teacher would ask a question, if you didn’t have a clue, or if you don’t have the answer, or even if you knew the answer, you wouldn’t want to raise your hand because you didn’t want to raise your hand and be called upon, and then potentially not say it quite right and come out wrong. And then everybody would laugh at you. And so we, again, you think about all of the things that have happened. One of the reasons why the fear of public speaking is one of the greatest fears that people have out there is because of what they have been taught, what the programming that they have experienced. That’s why it’s so challenging for people.

So we have all these demands for our attention, but are they moving the needle for us?

Tanner:

Yeah. That’s a really good point. So, Brian, the topic for today is, you know, how to overcome being busy and start being productive. So in your opinion, what do you think the difference is between being busy versus being productive?

Brian:

Well, being busy, there’s so many things that we, that are vying for our attention, whether it’s emails, the phones, the blips, the dings, you name it. You know, you’ve heard a little bit of that already. And I had to apologize because I forgot to shut it off earlier. So we have all these demands for our attention, but are they moving the needle for us? Are they moving us closer to the goals that we have set? And see, that’s a difference between being busy, which is you’re running around, you know, we all have too many things to do. You can run around and do a lot of things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being productive. Activity does not equal accomplishment.

Tanner:

Yeah. That’s a good point. So what do you think is the biggest challenge that people have when it comes to being productive? Would you say distraction?

Brian:

Distraction is a big piece of that. That’s a big category, it’s the noise. We have one of the things that I remember having conversations with clients is, you know, I get all of these emails and it takes me forever to get through them. And it’s like, okay, well, don’t answer your email or turn on the filters in your email and filter them out based upon who’s sending them out. And that kind of thing, because at the end of the day, we have to put on our email address to get the information we want. And then whoever that we gave that email address to we’re on their list now, and we get buried from all the stuff that they’re sending. Grant Cardone will bury you in emails and texts and that kind of stuff, because that’s the methodology that he uses.

Does it work? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. He’s the one driving around in the, flying around in the G five. So something’s working, but part of the biggest thing, is yes, dealing with distractions. The other thing is the lack of urgency on those important things. And because they’re not urgent, there’s too much urgency. That’s too many things that are demanding our attention that are immediately demanding it. You know, the dings, the beams, the blips, the ringing phone, the, you know, it’s like, oh, I got to go do to do that. And it’s actually, there’s a great book out there called Hooked that will teach you how to hook somebody. Automatically, grab their attention and constantly hook them. And it’s primarily in the IT realm in the games and the, you might’ve seen the gamification of advertising. It’s because they are able to hook your attention in this process. They are able to create that urgency for you to pay attention to what they’re sending you, as opposed to what you should be focusing on that’s going to really help you grow and scale your business.

If I could model their system, I don’t have to go through all the trial and error that they went through in order to get there.

Tanner:

Yeah. I think what it really comes down to is just, you know, having that personal strength to just, you know, look the other way or focus on what’s important, but what are some good ways that you usually employ to reduce distractions? I know for me, I hate being on mailing lists and I refuse to be on mailing lists. So if I get even a single email from a mailing list, I unsubscribe immediately. And if I didn’t, I would get 200 emails a day of just junk.

Brian:

Right. Well, I actually have multiple email addresses because again, there’s one that I refer to as the junk email address. Whereas I’m out there looking, and I want some piece of information and you ended up getting the junk email address. I actually do have an email address for people that I want to follow. And their information is valuable to me. And I have a separate email specifically for them. And I set up the folder. So whenever that an email comes in, it gets put into a folder for that person. And so then I can go back and I could read all of their emails at once. You know, we’re both playing the marketing around. And so it’s like, okay, how are the other marketers using their emails? What is the, so I want to go look at, say, Russell, Brunson’s email campaign.

What is that email campaign? And how can I model that? Because again, there’s a lot of people out there that have figured out the system, and if I could model their system, I don’t have to go through all the trial and error that they went through in order to get there. And so, again, it’s being strategic in how you do emails. The other thing is, is schedule time to do specific activities. You know, there’s a lot of people that have their email open all the time. And whenever an email comes, ooooh, I got a ding, I got to go look at it, you know, and it’s like, you know, Southwest Airlines saying, we have a sale, but what did that do? That distracted you, it broke your pattern and focus, from what you were working on and moved you away from that.

And so part of that is closed. The, the terminology I use is turn off the noise. Unsubscribed from the lists that are not adding value to you. Buy all the stuff that you can come back to. And then I specifically have an email address that is for my clients only. And so they are getting access to me because again, they’re the ones that are paying to meet my attention. And so they deserve my attention and they can get it at the right time. The same thing is true with the texts, turn off the notifications. One of the things that I recommend people to do with their phones is remove the applications that are not adding value to you. And whats sucking your time. If you’ve never done a time study before you can easily just do, Google time study worksheet, and you’ll get a dozen of them, you know, but basically a time study is where you look at each, you know, 10, 15, 20 minute, 30 minute segments of how you spend your time each day. There’s apps out there that you can program in there that says you can only be on Facebook for X amount of time. You know, again, it’s taking ownership and taking control back of your time. And that’s the way to really, it’s taking control and being intentional about how you spend your time.

We all get the same 24 hours a day, whether we’re Jeff Bezos or Joe Schmoe on the street.

Tanner:

Yeah. I think those are all really good ideas. In fact, I do kind of do something similar to you with two different emails. You know, I’ve got an info garbage email for my business, and that’s typically what I use when I sign up for user accounts and anything like that. So everything kind of goes into that, what I’d call junk email, but Brian, what’s your opinion on time management? Because I feel like that kind of plays a role here.

Brian:

Well, and see, this is where people have, there’s a fallacy around time. Time is the one thing we cannot control. We’d say, oh, I’m going to save time. Oh, I was wasting time. You know, or I’m going to manage time. Those are all fallacies. You can’t do that. The only thing you can do is choose how you spend the time you have. We all, it’s actually the only place that we are all created equal. We all get the same 24 hours a day, whether we’re Jeff Bezos or Joe Schmoe on the street, we all get the same 24 hours. It’s how we use our, the time we have that makes the difference in the value we provide and therefore the monetary renumeration we get for that investment of our time.

You’re really managing your priorities and what you are choosing to focus on at any one moment.

Tanner:

Yeah, exactly. And that’s why you want to be spending as much time as you possibly can on activities that are driving value for your customers and ultimately making you money. Right. But not only making you money, but propelling your business forward. How do you recommend that someone better focuses on themselves and not all this noise around them?

Brian:

Well, one of the things that I teach in my Incredible Results 91 Day Challenge , which is specifically designed to do one thing. It’s to develop the habit of consistently taking action on your top priorities. So, first off you’ve got to do is you’ve got to identify what your top, what your priorities are. And that’s something that people struggle with around time management. They think, oh, I’m going to manage my time. No, you don’t manage your time. You can only spend time. You choose how to, how you spend that time. And so you’re really managing your priorities and what you are choosing to focus on at any one moment. And so one, choose what to focus on. But we have to start with clarity first, which is okay, what is the most important thing for me to be working on right now?

And that’s a great question that people could start using immediately, is what is the most important thing that I should be doing, or I could be doing right now, because at the end of the day, it’s about the results that we produce. And so how do you get the results you want? You do the activities that’s going to lead to those results. And so if you’re in the sales market or sales realm where you’re out there trying to make more sales, you got to get in front of the customer. Okay. But if you’re focusing on how many sales you make, and this goes back to the tracking piece, and it’s paying attention to the leading indicator versus the lagging indicator. The sale that you make is the lagging indicator. And if that’s what your focus is, and you’re making your adjustments based upon that, it’s the tail wagging the dog.

It’s making the choices on how to spend your time each day based upon the activities that you know, that will lead to the results you’re looking for.

Because if you look at a basic sales process, the sale is the end. You know, you’ve got the presentations, you make the number of quotes or present or app applications that you take, but it’s also getting, doing the, the fact-finding calls. But you go even further back. It’s like, okay, how do I get in front of the customer or the prospect in this case. And so it’s making those calls, that set ups, that fact finding appointment that leads to it. And so the leading indicator, when I’m working with my salespeople is how many calls did you make? How many contacts did you make this week? What was your goal? And how many did you make? Because at the end of the day, that’s the leading indicator. And we can tell much sooner whether or not you’re going to get the results you’re looking for based upon the number of contacts you’re making. And so if your goal is to make a hundred contacts a week and we work, you know, it’s Wednesday and you’ve made 20, you gotta crank up that engine. And if you get to Friday and you’ve only done 70, what are you going to do? You know, it’s making the choices on how to spend your time each day based upon the activities that you know, that will lead to the results you’re looking for.

Tanner:

Yeah. That, an excellent point. I think all too often, people tend to just focus on the result and not the process leading to the result. And I’d say that that’s mostly prevalent when it comes to how someone from the outside looking in, sees someone being successful. You know, no one sees all the night less or sleepless nights and tears and all the hard work that goes into building something to get to that point. And it’s like that with everything. I mean, if you want to get to that point, you’ve got to get on that path. And it’s a windy path. You’ve got to figure out how to get there, but you gotta be going in the right direction.

Brian:

Right. And that’s actually part of the process is the evaluate your experience. You know, that’s actually one other thing. That’s a big component of my Incredible Results 91 Day Challenge. Is we stop and we evaluate your experience of each day, each week in each month, because are you making the progress that you want to in the direction you need to, that’s going to lead to the result that you want. And that’s one of the things that a lot of people struggle with is what’s the plan on how to go from where you are to where you want to go. People have a lot of clarity sometimes around where they want to go, but they’re not sure about, okay, how am I going to get there? And they feel like, oh, I have to put all the pieces in place before I get started, which is like waiting for the lights to go green for the next five miles before you leave your driveway.

You cannot teach somebody the nuances of balancing on a bike. They just got to kind of feel it.

Tanner:

Yeah. But yeah, I mean, that’s so incredibly true. The stars are not going to align. You just have to get started. And I can’t stress this enough, especially when it comes to starting a business, you just have to go, you just got to go figure it out as you go.

Brian:

Right. You and we use the analogy of riding your bike. You cannot teach somebody the nuances of balancing on a bike. They just got to kind of feel it. And you got to get out there and you do it. Now, somebody who is just getting started, you’ve just taken off their training wheels and the parents is running along behind holding the seat, trying to get them to that point. Everybody’s going to fall at some point, but if you give up, but see that’s, the thing is, is that’s where a lot of times the entrepreneur will give up. They fall, they failed the first time and they go, this is too hard. And they give up. That’s a learning experience. You learn from that. You get back on the bike and you keep going. And you can’t expect to go from being a recreational rider to turning it into these BMX guys that are up there doing flips and stuff off the half pipes, or even the run, the tour de France. Those are different skillsets. And so if you want to grow, like we talk about growing and scaling your business, you have to understand what level am I? And then what’s the next level. A lot of people are looking at the tour de France level and going, okay, how do I get there when they’re riding around the neighborhood?

Tanner:

Yeah. That’s a really good analogy and a really great point because every entrepreneur out there is thinking, why isn’t my company worth a billion dollars yet? How do I get there? Like, well, maybe you should focus on a hundred thousand first and then a million. So yeah, I mean, realistic reachable goals that, you know, feel like they’re possible. Those are important.

Brian:

Right. We, we refer to those as milestones or base camps. It’s like, what’s the next level for you. Cause again, if you want to get to top of the pyramid, you got to go each step. And so that journey of a thousand miles, yes, it begins with one step and it continues with another step. And so I highly encourage people focus on what’s the next step. What’s the next step that’s going to lead me closer to my ultimate destination.

Life does not give you what you want. It gives you who you are.

Tanner:

Yup. That that’s really solid point. So, Brian, what would you say your secrets to scale are?

Brian:

My secrets to scaling is focusing on the next level. You got to go through each level there. You can’t really leap frog. And if you do leap frog, you got to make sure that those pieces are in place. There’s a lot of times when people will come in and they’ll try to grow too fast and they’re just dumping people in and they don’t have the infrastructure and systems in place. And so you got to understand that this is a journey. Growth is a process and that life does not give you what you want. It gives you who you are. Which means you need to grow into the person who can produce the results you want.

Tanner:

I really love that Brian and I want to thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. It’s been really great. Is there anything that I have not asked you that you think might benefit the audience?

Brian:

Well, there’s a lot there. I go deep in a lot of different things. I cover a lot of areas. One of the key things, cause I’ve been doing personal development for decades now, and I’ve identified five keys of success. And it’s actually the title of my podcast. The first key is clarity. You got to be clear on where you’re going. You have to be clear on your plan and you also need to be clear on who needs to be on your team through this process. Okay. Number two, key number two is commitment. You gotta be prepared to go through the effort. You’ve gotta be willing to pay the price in order to accomplish your dreams. And key number three is you need to get cranking and you need to get busy. You need to take massive action because action is again, the rubber that’s where the rubber meets the road.

You got to do the work and that’s how you learn through the process. Key number four is accountability. So many times as entrepreneurs and small business owners, we don’t have anybody that’s making sure we’re doing the right things. And that’s why we struggle to grow. We struggle to scale is because we don’t have, we’re so busy running around, you know, taking care of everything we feel we have to take care of that. We don’t take time to take care of the things that’s going to move the needle. That’s going to help us move to that next level. And number five is get correct, which is self-mastery. Like I said, you’ve got to grow into that person who can produce that level of results. And so with the five keys, you’re able to truly get to the point where you want to be, because at the end of the day, you can go out there and be wonderfully successful. But if you have put your ladder up against the wrong wall, you’re not going to be happy. You’re not going to be fulfilled. You’re not going to be satisfied at the end of the day. You will put a lot of time, effort and energy into something that you’re going like, is this all there is? And so there’s so much more to then just success.

Tanner:

Yeah. And I couldn’t agree with that more. Success is really comes from within right. And everything we do in our careers and our businesses and our jobs. We’re really just seeking this fulfillment. And at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Money doesn’t matter. Revenue doesn’t matter. Number of employees doesn’t matter. What really matters is being who being true to yourself and growing as a person, right?

Brian:

Well, yes, there’s, it’s at the end of the day, you have to be satisfied with what you have done. The impact you have had. And you have to feel good about yourself. I mean, there is people who have reached the ultimate level of accomplishments across the board and they turn around and kill themselves. Why? It’s because there’s more than the outer gain. There’s also the inner gain. And so again, this is, we help people across the board. I’ve been like, I’ve mentioned, I’ve been following Tony since I was 17. I’m actually a certified coach with Tony’s. And so I know the strategies to help people get there. And it’s just a matter of, do you want to take the long way or do you want to take the short way?

Tanner:

Yeah, absolutely. Brian. So what’s a good way for anyone listening to get in contact with you?

Brian:

Well, probably the best thing that if I peaked your interest and you want to learn more, I’ve actually created a masterclass because so many times there’s so much, there’s only so much time we can put into one podcast and there’s so much more, I want to share with people. So I put together this masterclass and it’s a commitment of time. It’s about 90 minutes of pure education. There is no sales involved, but I take a deeper dive into the five keys of success. We talk about fear. We talk about a lot of different things that it takes to move, truly move the needle. If you want to really get focused in to accomplish those goals, there’s a lot of education available to you at becomeunstoppable.info, or you can text the word results to 7 7 9 4 8. And if you want to learn more about the five keys, you can always go to the fivekeysofsuccess.com and be listening to my podcast as well.

Tanner:

Awesome, man, we’ll make sure to link that up in the show notes and thank you again, Brian.

Brian:

Thank you. Tanner. It’s been an honor.

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