I get asked all the time, “Coach Cain, what’s the number one thing I can do to grow my business and take my performance (or the performance of those I coach) to the next level?”
My answer has never been more clear than it is right now: Be more intentional about who you are, what you want, and where you invest your time.
But for most people, that answer doesn’t cut it. They want “hacks” and fancy tips and tricks that make the process sound sexy and appealing.
So they then ask me what else they need to be doing. They want to make it harder than it needs to be.
Can’t blame them.
Youtube “experts” shout that stuff from the rooftops, but nine times out of ten, it’s all fluff.
Hacks, tips, and tricks have their place, but they can never replace the brutally hard work of getting REAL with yourself and figuring out who you are and what you’re really about.
Look—SUCCESS, CHANGE, GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT—These DO NOT happen by accident. They ONLY happen by intention.
And in order to live with intention, you need a plan.
In my Mental Performance Mastery (MPM) Coaching Certification program I teach how to help clients and athletes create more intention about who they are, what they want, and where they invest their time.
But all great coaches know that you can never give someone else something that you are not. You can’t teach and train others in what you don’t already know, have, and do.
Great coaches embody what they teach. They know that if they don’t walk the walk and talk the talk, they will get found out—exposed—and lose clients to the coach who does.
It starts with YOU.
Today, I will walk you through the EXACT PROCESS of how you can FIRST become more intentional about who you are, what you want, and where you invest your time.
Once you’ve done this for yourself, THEN you can begin to help your clients and athletes to do the same and finally start achieving the results that you’ve all been looking for.
BIOHACKING IS BS (OR, 2 STRATEGIES PROVEN TO WORK ON THOUSANDS OF ATHLETES AND COACHES)
When it comes to becoming an elite performer in your industry or sport, there are two strategies that seem to serve as the foundation that all future success must be built upon.
When I started using both of these strategies in my life, I immediately multiplied my income by 100%. I went from making $50,000 to making $100,000 in that first year and the momentum has continued 10 years later… not at that staggering rate, but it has continued.
More importantly, I was able to get out of the rat race of being a high school athletic director and become a full-time mental performance mastery coach, increasing my influence, impact, and income.
That translated to more time doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, with who I wanted to do it with. I call that FREEDOM.
The process that I am sharing with you here is also one of the FIRST STEPS I do with my clients—from professional athletes to high school coaches, and everyone in between.
This process of getting clarity and intentional about who you are, what you want and where you invest your time has been a total game changer for my clients regardless of age and experience.
I just had an NHL player I worked with in our first year together say he had the best season of his career and it was largely due to having a more clear sense of who he was, what he really wanted, and where he was investing his time.
I should warn you, though: This is NOT for everyone.
What we’ll cover below is for people who think biohacking is bullshit and those who think that shortcuts actually short change you and your results.
This is for people who know quick fixes are fads. People who want to go deep, move from the external world of checking Instagram 95x a day and posting every moment of their life in search of approval of others to the internal world of self-exploration, fulfillment, and getting shit done.
Still with me? Let’s do this!
THE MVP PROCESS (IDENTIFYING WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE)
The MVP of The MVP Process stands for Mission, Vision, and Principles. Once you identify these for yourself and then your clients you can become the MVP of your own life.
We are going to cover A LOT today, but don’t worry about trying to piece everything together as we go. I will provide a template you can download at the end so that you can do this process for yourself.
As you read through the article, just focus on digesting what we’re covering so that when you download the template at the end, you have a good idea what you’re doing (and why you’re doing it).
STEP #1: IDENTIFY YOUR “MVP”
M = Mission. I define mission as “What you want people to say about you or what you want to be written on your tombstone”. A great mission has NO FINISH LINE.
Example: Educate, empower and energize others to optimal health and wellness
V = Vision. I define vision as what you want to achieve, get done and have on your resume. For something to be a vision, it MUST HAVE CLEAR FINISH LINES. I also set two types of visions. (#1) Telescope visions for my life and into the future beyond 90 days and (#2) Microscope visions for what I want to accomplish this quarter (3 month period) and this day (More on this later when we get into 168 plans)
Example: Live debt free. Become MPM Certified. Travel to all 50 US States. Weight 195 lbs with 10% body fat. Run a 6-minute mile. Make $100K a year and increase by 10%. Retire and live off interest at 45 years old.
P = Core Principles. I define core principles similar to how you might think of a set of core values or character traits. These core principles define how you want to behave on a moment-to-moment basis and how you want to show up consistently. You must also define your core principles so that you bring more clarity to them.
You and I may both have the core principle of family or selfless and we could have completely different definitions.
Example: Selfless – Taking care of yourself first and at such a high level that you are able to put the needs of others above yourself
Once you identify your Mission, Vision and Core Principles and then define your core principles, you want to drill down into your QUARTERLY MICROSCOPE VISION.
This is where you take your long term (TELESCOPE) vision/goals and break them down into tangible “Yes or No— Did you do it?” visions/goals for the next 90 days.
STEP #2: THE 3 MICROSCOPE VISIONS
When creating microscope visions, I like to focus on 3 key areas:
I focus on these three areas because they make up about 100% of what we do each day. We are always working/investing into our personal lives, work lives, or our energy (sleep is an investment into energy).
I then take each of those categories and break them out into subcategories. For the Personal Microscope Vision, I break this into the subcategories of:
For the Career Microscope Vision, I break this into the subcategories of:
- Professional Education
- Income Stream Area: “MPM Certification”
- Income Stream Area: “Personal Training”
*Note: When working on the MVP Process with the NHL Player I referenced earlier, I had him create a category here for Hockey. When I work with a client of mine who is a Real Estate Agent, I have her create a category for Real Estate. These subcategories become very personal and custom.
For the ENERGY Microscope Vision, I break this into the subcategories of:
- Physical Performance
- Mental Performance
I make sure that my clients are setting 1-3 Quarterly goals for each subcategory. When setting these goals they must follow the SMART Vision Setting Process that I outline in the MPM Certification Course
S = Specific – Can you clearly see the vision being achieved and it is easily answered with a YES or NO did I achieve it at the end of the quarter.
M = Measurable – is the vision clearly measurable?
A = Attainable and within reach – is the vision attainable in the next 90 days? Or, is it more of a life vision that will take more time than the current quarter?
R = Relentless – is this a vision that I am uber motivated to achieve and will relentlessly attack? If not, don’t set the vision.
T = Time Driven – Do I have a specific date and time I will get this vision accomplished? (More on this later in the article when we get to the 168 scheduling section).
If you set SMART visions, you give yourself the best chance to achieve those visions.
The more specific you are, the more meaning your goals and vision will have to you. And when times get hard and you want to give up, having deeply meaningful goals is incredibly important.
STEP #3: THE ONE WORD FOCUS
Once you set your MVP Process, the next step is choosing a ONE WORD FOCUS for the quarter to live by.
I get asked all the time, “Does the One Word Focus HAVE to be one of my core principles?” NO. It can be—but does not need to be.
EXAMPLE: My core principles are DELT (Discipline, Energy, Love, Trust) and one of my MAJOR goals this quarter is to run 100 Miles at the Lighthouse 100 Mile race on June 1, 2019, in Traverse City, Michigan. My One Word Focus is “RUN.” I have to remind myself that I need to run every day and not let myself make excuses that keep me from doing it.
The one word focus can then easily be put on display as a reminder on the background of someone’s cell phone, written on a mirror with a dry erase marker.
One word focus can also serve as a simple and powerful way to start one of your personal training sessions with a client.
Simply ask: “How are you doing at living your one word focus?”
I suggest that every coach and trainer reading this ask their clients or team how they are doing with living their one word focus on a weekly basis. Checking in on your clients/athletes Personal MVP Process in a similar way is also important to see if they are making progress towards achieving the visions that they set for the quarter.
Personally, I talk with my 1-1 coaching clients for 15 minutes every Monday night.
I always open up those coaching sessions with asking about their one word focus, how they are doing at making progress on the MVP Process, and then look at their 168 plan to see if they have “Scheduled Their Success” (More on the 168 plan later in the article I promise 🙂 ).
STEP #4: YOUR PERSONAL DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
On your MVP Process, you also want to define success for yourself. In today’s external world (looking outside for answers) we invest a lot of time concerning ourselves with the opinions of others.
Thus, the critical importance of asking yourself, “How do I define success for myself?”
Coming up with a definition of success for yourself is critical so that you KNOW the game you are playing and can then measure your progress against a process that you set for yourself and not against a scoreboard or the opinion of others.
STEP #5: ABOVE AND BELOW THE LINE BEHAVIOR
As human beings, we have far more control over how we behave than we do over how we feel or how we think or talk to ourselves. That’s why I make a big deal about how you act and how you behave instead of how you feel.
If you want to get into the game of getting shit done, you would be wise to do the same.
Former, Ohio State Football coach Urban Meyer wrote a book titled Above The Line. In the book, he does a great job of clearly and simply explaining that as competitors we have two primary types of behavior in relation to our goals:
- Above the line behaviors that help us to win and accomplish what’s on our MVP Process.
- Below the line behaviors that cause us to lose and fall short of achieving what we set out with intention on our MVP Process.
To stay consistent with our three major categories of Personal, Career, and Energy, I create those same categories for what my behavior or my clients’ behavior looks like both above and below the line.
I have them list 1-3 critical behaviors that they want to do (Above The Line) and want to avoid (Below The Line). Writing these down helps my clients bring much more awareness and attention to how they behave and how their behaviors affect the results that they get.
Once you have identified your MVP Process and worked to fill out the MVP Process template provided below, then you start creating your 168 Plan and schedule your success.
THE 168 PLAN
There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. Never any more—and never any less.
And guess what? This is a universal law that applies to EVERYONE.
If you are going to give yourself the best chance for success at becoming Who you want to be and getting what you want to get then you must move from spending time to investing time.
The only way to do that is to create a schedule and then follow your schedule.
REMEMBER: Success does not happen by accident, it only happens by intention and you can be NO MORE INTENTIONAL with any aspect of your life than with your time. Make a plan, execute your plan, watch the results pour in. If they don’t, adjust your plan, and then… watch the results pour in.
First, let’s accept some simple truths.
What you schedule is most likely to get done.
If you schedule tomorrow so that you know what you will be doing before you go to bed tonight, you will be more motivated and committed to executing on what you scheduled.
This is one of the biggest areas of growth I see in ALL OF MY CLIENTS. Most people have no daily plan and struggle with staying organized and efficient.
Having a plan for the day, allows you to simply execute on what you plan. If you have the right plan, you will get the results you are looking for.
No plan—no results.
Think about it like driving. Would you try to drive from Phoenix, AZ to Burlington, VT without a GPS or map? Of course NOT.
You might get there, but you would have high levels of stress, question where you were going in the moment, and exhaust yourself from having to make TONS of daily decisions.
When you create the MVP Process, you set that intention and decision about who you want to be. When you dial in your 168 weekly plan and daily plan you actually put time to what’s most important to you.
The idea is to schedule everything you intend to get done. Examples include:
- Getting Ready
- Work Blocks
- Family + Friends
- Meal prep
Obviously, this is going to vary from person to person, but you get the idea. If it’s important to you, SCHEDULE IT.
On the 168 I also create a link to the MVP Process and have clients write out their one word focus.
Additionally, at the top, there’s an area where they can list out their Most Important Tasks (MITs) in a “To Do” list form so that when they sit down each night to plan tomorrow tonight, they can schedule when they are going the most important, pressing tasks that pop up.
I have my clients do both of these in Google Docs and then have them put the Google Docs app on their phones in the bottom toolbar so that they 168 and MVP Process is always just a click away.
Most people I work with do well when building the 168 on Sunday for the next week or two and then adjust it each night as part of their PM Routine before shutting down for the night.
I recommend that they write it out on Sunday and check it each night on a computer and then look at it and execute off it each day on their phone.
YOUR NEXT MOVE: IF YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR COACHING TO THE NEXT LEVEL, YOU NEED TO MASTER THE MENTAL SIDE OF PERFORMANCE
Knowing the what, when, and how of coaching mental performance—and trying to fit all of the pieces together on your own—can be burdensome.
That’s why I created the Mental Performance Mastery (MPM) Certification. Inside the MPM Certification, I’ll teach everything you need to add this crucial skill set to your coaching toolbox.
You will learn how to help your athletes and clients overcome mental barriers that trip them up and build the habits, mindset, and behaviors they need to be at their best when it matters most.
Not only will you develop a deep knowledge of the ten most valuable mental skills needed for peak mental performance, but you’ll also have a proven method for consistently and predictably developing these skills in those you coach.
The MPM Certification will open to new students for a limited time only twice a year (May and November). Join the free Insider’s List below to save $200 on the certification and be the first to know when it goes live.