How can business
owners rise from setbacks and achieve success while still maintaining a good
Growing a start-up during challenging times comes with various obstacles and hurdles, and it is no question businesses will face several setbacks during their journey in scaling up. How can business owners stay motivated and productive in a changing political and economic landscape without burning out? Eric Partaker, co-founder of Chilango, spoke about how to stay productive, balanced and driven during the commercial business growth talk on the second day of Elite Business’ live event on March 10. Eric revealed several “high-performance” strategies to achieve success whether it be in business, work or family without the need to compromise certain areas of your life.
Eric suffered a near heart attack on a plane back to London which acted as a wake-up call to change his life for the better. Over the next 20 years, Eric made it a mission to find out how to continue working at a high-performance level without breaking down and compromising his physical, mental and emotional well-being while still striving for success. He read books, attended courses, and hired a life coach himself to learn how to stay productive while balancing work and family life. He became so inspired with all the positive changes in his life he decided to become a certified high-performance coach, advising clients in some of the world’s biggest corporations including Fortune 50 CEOs and even helped build Skype’s multi-billion-dollar success story.
Speaking about his high-performance strategies, Eric talked about the importance of establishing your identity in life. He sets several alarms during the day as a reminder to become the best version of himself at all times – and it doesn’t only apply to work. Eric explained that high-performance strategies should be implemented in every area of your life, whether it is at the gym, at work or with his family. The alarms serve as a reminder to always stay positive and committed to optimising his day, which Eric said has helped him perform at a high level while maintaining a good work-life balance.
“If you want to become a great leader start by becoming a great spouse and parent because leadership starts at home,” Eric said. “And by continuously reminding yourself of what best looks like across home, health and work, you’ll be able to close that gap between who you truly are and who you are capable of being. So, the best version of you shows up more frequently.”
Productivity is essential to achieving your full potential. But how do you stay productive day in and day out? Eric spoke about the importance of getting a full 8 hours of sleep and to switch off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime. According to scientific research, getting enough sleep enables your body to stimulate melatonin so you can have a restful sleep and wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated. “We can’t reach our full potential unless we master the art of getting the right things done with the least amount of effort… I’m sure you felt, as I have, that at times you lack the will power, focus and discipline to get what needs to be done. Or that you never have enough hours in the day, and that your days are full of busy work and not deep work that matters the most… Recognise that a productive day doesn’t start in the morning, it starts the day before. It starts with 8 hours of sleep. If you had less than 8 hours of sleep you will not be nearly productive as you could be, you’ll be prone to procrastination and you’ll fade. If you think that you can survive with less than 8 hours of sleep you’re right, so can I. Everyone in this room can survive for a long time without 8 hours of sleep… But you’re making the wrong statement about sleep. It’s not about surviving it’s about thriving. Would you thrive more if you had the full 8 hours?”
Eric also urged everyone to start their day off creatively, whether it be drawing, writing or working on a project that gets your creative juices flowing. This will help stimulate the brain and enable you to become more productive rather than reactive. “When you wake up in the morning, do not go straight to your inbox, social media or the news. This is the equivalent of taking yourself and dropping yourself into a pinball machine so that you can be bounced around from one person’s agenda to the next. Always be creative before reactive for at least the first 60 minutes of each day, see what happens to your productivity if you do not do reactive work. Instead, you work on that report, presentation, thinking time or strategic process…”
Eric also spoke about how multitasking can be a huge killer in productivity and reduce efficiency by a whopping 28%, accounting for up to 13 weeks of lost time in a year. “Don’t subscribe to the multitasking myth,” Eric said. The average worker loses 28% of their day due to the inefficiencies of constantly task-switching… If you apply that to the number total number of working weeks in a year, you get 13 weeks a year lost. This means that the average person who thinks they don’t have time for everything is only playing with three quarters a year. Imagine what would happen to your productivity if you only have four full quarters?”
Having routines in place can help you complete day-to-day tasks, but how do you stay motivated and optimistic about your goals in business, family and health? Setting massive goals can be a huge drive to increasing your overall productivity. Having huge goals will force you to take action and “commit” before you are ready, acting as a drive in the right direction rather than a “whip”. Eric encouraged business owners to dream big like they once did as children and become excited about their goals again.
“We can optimise ourselves for productivity by installing the right routines, but we still need to have something that we can be productive towards,” Eric said. “Such that productivity becomes more of a force that pulls us into action more than a whip that feels like it’s pushing us into action… It forces you to commit before you’re ready. This is one of the biggest productivity killers. When people think they’re just not ready yet, but you’ll never be ready. And by picking a massive goal you’re guaranteed to not be ready. What I like about that is that it forces you to get used to the idea of committing and taking action before everything is in place.”
“Setting a massive goal gets you to dream big again,” Eric added. “We lose our ability to dream somewhere along the way, we’re so good at it as kids and we sort of forget and we feel embarrassed if we dream big. Start dreaming big again! You find something that excites you, and you’ll be a lot more productive when you’re working on something that you find to be exciting!”
Eric spoke about the 80/20 rule, a technique that teaches you to zoom in and focus on the important details rather than trying to pay too much attention to every aspect. Focusing on the 20% can help drive 80% of your desired results. Eric, who founded Mexican-chain restaurant Chilango, spoke about how he and his team placed a large emphasis on 20% of the ingredients in their recipe to drive 80% of the flavour. They focused on sourcing quality ingredients from farmers in Mexico as they believed this would be the secret to bringing great tasting food and happy customers.
“20% of your actions in life today will probably account for 80% of where you are today,” Eric said. “What 20% of your customer offering will drive 80% of customer satisfaction? What is the 20% in your business and life that will create 80% of your results? And if you have a great coach, they’ll help you zero in on that 20% so you can focus on stuff that moves the needle instead of focusing on everything.”