Sometimes significant pursuits are triggered by simple statements.
“I feel stuck.”
“I find myself wondering if there’s something more.”
“I’ve been really successful but I feel like I’m going through the motions now.”
These are just snippets of the conversations with advisors that drove me to research and write The Pursuit of Absolute Engagement. I wanted to study those had ‘unstuck’ themselves, had made the decision to intentionally create an extraordinary vision for the future and who had re-connected with their work. That research is the basis of this book.
The book is available today (imagine me doing a happy dance as I write those words). I’m thrilled, excited and, if I’m honest, a little bit nervous. To mark the occasion, I wanted to offer a glimpse into the key concepts. While the book gets very tactical, it all starts with a slightly more personal ‘why’.
The following is the full Introduction to The Pursuit of Absolute Engagement.
The 20-mile marker was nondescript. You might have walked by it without noticing, but for me it may as well have been lit up with fluorescent lights and a disco ball. I was about to take a step beyond the furthest I had ever walked.
I was so far behind my team I wondered if they’d already finished and taken a nap. But every now and then I caught a glimpse of one of them in the distance. I saw the words on the t-shirts we’d made for the day that said ‘If Not Now’ in bright bold letters. And I took another step and another, and slowly and in great pain, I crossed the finish line. I had walked a marathon. It was one of the first steps (or first 70,000 steps to be exact) that marked a significant change in my life.
It was that day that I fully understood that extraordinary change is possible. While that walk might have felt like a walk in the park for some, it was my Mount Everest. I didn’t believe I could do it because somehow I had come to believe that my future had some sort of linear relationship to my past. But the day I decided that I wanted a different future and began to train, I changed that trajectory completely.
Since that time, I’ve been painfully aware of how easy it is to stay on the same path, whether that’s in business or life. This is particularly true if you’ve achieved some level of professional success. Things aren’t bad, right? And if things aren’t bad, your primary goal is to maintain that level of success, which means focusing on incremental growth. If things aren’t bad, you probably don’t stop and ask yourself if there’s something more. You probably don’t ask yourself what you really want to create.
But some have stopped and asked those questions. They’re Absolutely Engaged and they’ve made the decision to intentionally build businesses that support the lives they really want to live. More than that, they’re equally intentional about creating lives that fuel their capacity to do just that.
Compared to the average advisor, they’re more financially successful, more confident in their futures, more productive, less stressed, more energized and even more healthy. I’ve studied them, I’ve talked to them and I’ve uncovered what’s different in their approach to business and life. In this book, I’ll share their stories and give you a blueprint for a business that’s both wildly successful and deeply fulfilling.
The research is important, but I’ve also lived the pursuit of Absolute Engagement. One day, two years ago, I sat in my office and found myself asking an unfamiliar question. What did I really want to do? I’d achieved some level of success, so the question seemed almost out of place. I thought about other moments that had set me on a new path.
There was the day I decided to sell my first business – moments after my son was born and driven by a desire to have more time with him. There was that 20-mile marker and the courage it took to take another step and achieve something new and different, casting myself in a new light. I felt like that day in my office was another one of those forks in the road that, if not taken, would mean I’d end up with a business that appeared successful but didn’t reflect what I most wanted to do. I’d never given myself permission to ask what I really wanted, because I couldn’t envision how I could step off the treadmill that I’d created. I’d convinced myself that I was responsible for everyone and everything around me and didn’t have the luxury of change. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that day Absolute Engagement.com was born.
This book is the culmination of the research, thinking and talking I’ve done over the last two years. On the following pages, I’ll ask you to think about a future that’s significant and provide you with a roadmap to take action. We’ll work through a step-by-step process and stop to think, long and hard, about your business along the way.
I want to make you uncomfortable, but in a good way. I hope the book causes you to question what you want your business (and your life) to look like and to realize that you need to intentionally create that future. I hope you take the first step toward Absolute Engagement. (It’s worth it.)
The Starting Block
On a race track, the starting block is designed to give sprinters the benefit of a powerful burst forward from a four-point stance. A good start puts the runner in a stronger position relative to everyone else and helps them reach their top speed faster. I hope this book is your starting block, a tool you can use to achieve both meaning and momentum.
On the following pages, I’ll map out a plan to help you achieve Absolute Engagement, drawing on research from some extraordinarily successful advisors. Along the way, I’ll ask you to think about your business, your life and your future. You’ll find new research, stories from your peers and, most important, exercises to help you take action.
Defining what you want to create demands introspection and that’s not something we can typically schedule between meetings, while eating a sandwich at our desks. It almost demands that you take yourself out of your day-to-day environment and create space to think.
If you can commit to working through the questions in this book and give yourself the space to really think about what you want to create, that will be the biggest step forward to an utterly fulfilling future.
A Quick Road Map:
- Chapter 1: You’ll examine where you are today and the pressures that can build to make your business and life good but not great.
- Chapter 2: I’ll introduce the concept of Absolute Engagement as a new standard that will help you build a business that is growing and incredibly fulfilling. And you’ll look at the impact of doing just that.
- Chapter 3: You’ll examine the principles that inform the businesses of those who have achieved Absolute Engagement. More important, you’ll review the five steps to getting there and the critical decisions you’ll need to make along the way.
- Chapter 4: You’ll get real about what is most important to you and craft a personal vision that will become the core of the future of your business.
- Chapter 5: You’ll translate that personal vision into a business vision that will drive how you work with your clients and your team.
- Chapters 6 – 9: In these important chapters you’ll walk through how to take action, and map out a client and team experience that is completely aligned with your personal vision.
- Chapters 10–11: You’ll focus on how you can ensure that you have the personal capacity and energy to design the business you truly want to create.
- Chapter 12: You’ll review your commitments and ensure that you have a plan in place to take action.
Big change demands real commitment and commitment comes from within. It comes from having a clear understanding of your “why”—your why for yourself, for your business and for your clients. The more you can define and connect with the impact of focusing your business around your personal vision, the more likely you’ll be to have the energy to stay the course. To that end, think about the impact of having a business that is not only growing, but equally fulfilling.
And so begins a book that details the research, the stories of your peers and an in-depth workbook and action plan to help you get started. The reason I wrote this book is because I believe in the possibility of something more, different, bigger or more fulfilling. I also believe that that vision is not enough without a clear plan of action. I think I’ve provided both.
If I’m honest….I do hope you’ll buy it. I hope you read it. And, I hope you like it because it made some impact on your business or your life. Either way, I hope you’ll share your feedback so we can keep the conversation moving.
Learn more or order now at www.absoluteengagement.com/book
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