[0:00:00.4] MB: So let's pull back from the darkness a little and dig into how we can solve this accountability problem permanently.
[0:00:08.5] PS: What you're learning is only as good as your ability to actually build a practice of implementation and execution in your life. It's not about just doing more stuff. It's about doing the right kinds of things, which are typically the hardest things to do, the things that require the most courage and discipline. Human beings outsource their sanity.
[00:00:19.4] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Science of Success. Introducing your host, Matt Bodnar.
[0:00:27.8] MB: Welcome to the Science of Success; the number one evidence-based growth podcast on the internet with more than two million downloads, listeners in over a hundred countries and part of the self-help for smart people podcast network.
In this episode, we look at the gap that exists between learning and doing. Why is it that so many smart ambitious people invest hours in their growth and development, but fail to see breakaway external results for the time they’ve invested? If you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the things you know you could, or should be implementing to level up your life or career, then this episode is going to blow your mind.
We explore what science is telling us about the actual execution of concrete individual growth and measurable upward mobility across various dimensions of life. We share the most effective tactic for moving yourself from learning to doing, with our special guest, Peter Shallard.
I’m going to quickly tell you why you should sign-up for our e-mail list if you haven’t already. There’s some amazing stuff that’s only available e-mail subscribers including three awesome guides, curated weekly e-mail every single week that our listeners absolutely love, exclusive preview and early content and much more. If you haven’t, be sure to go to successpodcast.com and sign-up for our e-mail list right on the homepage.
Because I’m so excited for this episode, let’s go ahead and dig in. Here is the show.
[0:01:59.0] MB: Before we start the conversation with Peter, I wanted to share something with you. This episode is particularly personal for me, because this is a concept that I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about, and in many ways it’s been one of the most important epiphanies in my own life.
I recently realized that I failed. I failed myself, but more importantly I failed you, the Science of Success community. Let me explain what I mean. I’ve been committed to deep learning and passionate about evidence-based growth for much of my life. Through that journey, I’ve identified essentially three buckets of people.
The first bucket are people who haven’t woken up yet; people whose eyes are still closed. They’re in some ways asleep at the wheel. They go through life without really questioning why things are the way they are, they’re not ambitious, they’re not driven to take themselves to the next level, and many instances they have a closed mindset. I think you probably know somebody like that in your own life.
The next bucket of people are people that are lifelong learnings, people that are curious, that are passionate, that are driven to improve themselves. They’re fascinated by learning and growing. They often have a growth mindset and they want to figure out how they cannot only improve themselves, but ultimately improve the world. I think many of you, many of my listeners fall into this bucket.
There’s a third subset of people; these are people that are executing every single day. They’re high-leverage action takers. They’re a small subset of these lifelong learners. They take what they learned and they concretely apply it in their lives, so that they can create impact and that they can create results. It cascades through everything that they do, to their home life, their friends, their family. For them, self-improvement is not just an intellectual exercise, but it’s a lived day-to-day reality.
One of the biggest challenges in my own life has been moving myself from that second group to this third group, taking myself from who’s been a lifelong learner since I was young, something that’s come naturally to me and been part of my life, taking that and transforming that into something that I actually take action on.
I went on this journey from learning to doing and I made the shift from indulging intellectual curiosity to proactively applying driving change in my life. I’ve reaped tremendous awards as a result of becoming somebody who takes action and actually takes his ideas and puts them into practice. I started this many years ago, taking my learning, everything from mental models, evidence-based growth and much more and concretely executing on the principles that I learn and applying them in everything that I do in my day-to-day life.
This became one of the most important things in my professional life and one of the most rewarding parts of my personal life. Through doing this, I’ve realized how challenging it is, and I think doing it by yourself, I think you’re crazy to try and battle that battle alone.
To that end, for the last four years I’ve worked with Peter to create accountability in my own life. We have hundreds of hours under belts working together and dealing with the challenge of the learning-doing gap.
This interview and this conversation is going to be a lot different than a normal interview. It’s not just going to be me asking Peter questions. It’s going to be a dialogue and an exploration of my journey of becoming an action-taker. Peter in some cases is going to flip the script and ask me questions that I’m going to answer, but we’re going to have a really rich and informative dialogue that I hope shares with you some of the biggest lessons and strategies that we’ve come up with and we’ve put together for helping you become an action-taker and helping to close and bridge the learning-doing gap.
For those of you who don’t know, he’s a very early guest on the show, but Peter Shallard is known as The Shrink for Entrepreneurs. He’s an X-psychotherapist who works privately with the founders of some of the world’s top startups. His client roster has collectively over a billion dollars in market capitalization value.
He’s also a passionate advocate of evidence-based psychology and has founded a startup of his own that works with academic researchers to bring empirical performance optimization to small business owners.
Peter, welcome to the Science of Success.
[0:06:18.1] PS: Thanks for having me. I’m excited.
[0:06:20.2] MB: Well, we’re super excited to have you on the show today. I can’t wait to really dig into this conversation. I think it’s going to be a unique and refreshing experience for the listeners, and I think it’s going to be something that’s a little bit different from a traditional Science of Success interview.
[0:06:34.1] PS: Yeah. That was one hell of an intro. I’m super, super honored to be back first of all, second time. Yeah, and just to be able to rev and go deep on this topic, which I know for you is everything in a way. It’s like really where it’s the meeting of our minds, right? This is something that’s super important to me too.
[0:06:52.3] MB: Yeah. We’ve been working on this for a long time obviously. I definitely give you a lot of credit for helping me bridge this gap. In many ways, it comes down to when the rubber meets the road, being the person who actually has to be in the trenches and execute. I mean, that’s a battle that not only I’ve had to face by myself, but I think everybody listening who’s tried to take action in their lives has faced the same challenge.
[0:07:15.7] PS: Yeah. I think, I mean obviously you can’t credit our work together for changing everything, because we’re literally talking about the gap that even exist in our work when you and I rev were stepping outside of we’re taking like a break in an hour a week outside of the day-to-day of living life and implementing things and building businesses and doing what you do, and talking about it and learning about. Closing the learning-doing gap really moving and taking what you’re learning and taking action on it is always something that you do alone, but in a weird paradoxical way, it’s been a focus of – I think it’s the meta focus of every conversation we’ve had for, well how many years has it been now?
[0:07:53.6] MB: I think it’s been at least four years, maybe four or five years. I was trying to remember if it was 2013 maybe when we met, 2014?
[0:08:00.4] PS: Yeah. Wow, okay. Cool. Yeah. This learning-doing gap, I mean it’s the meta dialogue of everything that we talk about, but I know that when I met you, you’re already a really successful guy that this is something that you have – we’ve been working to optimize together and make you more of an execution powerhouse. Yeah, I mean where do you see, you really started waking up to this idea that everything hinges on jumping from intellectually understanding things into actually taking concrete action on them.
[0:08:34.8] MB: Yeah. I mean, I think in the early stages of my life I was inconsistent, but I still took action. I started to accumulate results and achievements, everything from winning the national debate championship when I was in high school, to becoming one of the only people, or actually the only person in either my high school or college graduating class to get a job at Goldman Sachs. I was a political science major, but I read over 20 books in finance and completely taught myself about the financial markets, and then applied that knowledge to getting a job on Wall Street.
Once I started really creating a system and a process, I was able to create much more concrete and impactful and consistent results throughout my life. Everything from in my day job as an investor in the last five years, I’ve probably sourced and closed more than 20 million dollars’ worth of deals and transactions.
Another thing getting on the Forbes 30 under list in 2017, I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t applied that lessons and the knowledge from the things I’ve learned, not only from the show, but books I’ve read about how to build relationships and how to influence people. Even in the trenches of some of the work we’ve done with companies we’ve invested in.
I spent years turning around failing technology company and our portfolio and recently got that company into the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies in America. Without being a consistent – somebody who consistently executes and takes these ideas and these principles that I learned through things like the podcast, through things like being a voracious reader, I wouldn’t have been able to create those results in my life. Today, I have the flexibility to control my own destiny, control when I work, spend time traveling the world and learning and having fun and having a completely flexible schedule where I control what I do and when I work. I think a big piece of that has been the execution that has resulted from a consistent process of applying the things that I’ve learned.
[0:10:35.5] PS: I think that’s such an important distinction for people who are – for your listeners here, people who are tuning in and wondering like, “What is this learning-doing gap?” That we’re not talking about the value. It’s not my job to be on top of you every week cracking a weapon and making you work hundreds of hours to execute all of the stuff. In fact, it’s almost the opposite. What we’re talking about is that gap that exist between the most aspirational learning, the development of mental models, the reading of books.
I think that one of your – you’ve given us a laundry list of pretty badass accomplishments here, but I think one of the best ones for you is the Science of Success. I remember when you started this project that it was basically a project to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, because you wanted to have an excuse to have conversations with these people whose thinking that you admired, who are influencing the way you do business as an investor. It was really an exercise and satisfying that curiosity.
Then one of the things I’ve seen is that your access to people has turned into those incredible workflow of taking new ideas and then putting them to work in your life. I’m so stoked that we can have this conversation today, because I think that for a lot of Science of Success listeners, I’m guessing as they know you the guy who asks the smart questions and they’re taking notes thinking, “Here’s what I want to do with what I’m learning.” What isn’t always obvious from the outside is that you’re probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of the show itself in the sense that you’re building plans into your life and taking action based on the stuff.
[0:12:13.8] MB: Yeah, I think that’s totally right. It’s funny, I mean, I selfishly ask many of the questions in the interviews, because I’m implementing many of ideas in my life. Even the question we ask at the end of every interview, which is what’s the one piece of homework that they would give to our listeners to implement? I’m asking that for myself in many cases.
[0:12:30.7] PS: That’s for you too, yeah.
[0:12:32.5] MB: Yeah, absolutely.
[0:12:33.5] PS: I think that this is – it’s such an interesting thing in life, because that distinction that you made, I love this idea of three different types of people in the world, because I think it’s usually – it’s always a dichotomy. It’s like these two types of people in the world. It’s so true that these people who aren’t curious, these people are and who do a lot of learning. Then there’s this tiny, tiny fraction of those people who go on to actually take the things that they learn and do something with them. I think that there’s just a huge number of people who have a bunch of ideas of what they would do if they had the time or the energy, or maybe just the motivation or whatever it is to be this version of themselves that they have in their mind and taking that step, crossing that learning-doing gap is a real challenge.
It’s from my work, like with you as a client, the other people I work with, I see it as the juice of life itself, that that’s where the really big transformational shifts and leaps ahead and business and personal life come from. I think that a relentless, like increasing the rate at which somebody, which you, I’ve seen you do this, ask yourself what am I going to do with this idea? How am I going to apply this? Then having that go from being intellectual to being a practical conversation. That whole challenge is really everything that we’re talking about here is the daily practice of moving oneself out of cerebral intellectual mud and into execution tactics implementation.
[0:14:00.9] MB: I just think you bring a really unique perspective to this, because I’m one man. I’m an island and see, only within my own personal struggle with bridging the learning-doing gap. There are so many other people out there that suffer and struggle with the same challenge.
[0:14:14.7] PS: Well, this is the thing is that it’s actually totally possible to live your entire life in what I think of as like a bat cave of learning, right? Completely cutoff from the world, reimburse consuming all kinds of content, like podcast have made this stuff super accessible to people. Building up a sense of what you’re capable of without ever actually realizing it in the concrete sense.
It’s this lifestyle of holding a mental image of yourself that is bigger, better, smarter and more successful than objective reality. The scary thing about it is that it’s really comfortable for a lot of people to live that way, to have this idea but to never actually cross that leap, to feel great about what they’re learning, but to never cross the chasm and jump into the doing part.
[0:14:59.9] MB: I think that’s something that I struggle with myself is constantly building up the sense of like, “I’m collecting all these ideas and one day I’m going to implement them.” It’s really hard to break out of that shell and actually become someone who does. When we talk about evidence-based growth on the show and what we’re really digging into is we want to figure out what are the empirically valid science-based methodologies of improvement.
What we’re trying to figure is what evidence do we actually have for our own growth. I think when we get caught up in these as you call them bat caves of learning where we don’t see ourselves growing and approving and actually implanting what we’ve learned, I think it’s really easy to deceive ourselves about how much growth we’re actually achieving.
[0:15:43.4] PS: Totally. Yeah. I think that’s why when you hit me up about having this conversation and recording this for the podcast, I thought it’s a bold move, because Science of Success, like all podcast, like every book, that every author in the space, these and people, lectures, TED talks, all that stuff, everything that’s published really feeds those hungry for knowledge people, that second group that you articulated.
In a lot of ways, the self-development industry and even the more academic side of it, we could point and say that they’re a little bit of a failure, because it only does that. It encourages that second group of people, those curious people to just listen more, pop your head funds in, stop doing what you are doing and start listening, start listening to this podcast and that one. I know it’s like not something you’re supposed to say on a podcast interview as a guest, but I think that there is a reality that all of that learning stuff is great to a point, right?
[0:16:41.7] MB: Yeah. I mean, you and I started kicking this idea around. I think we both realize that was a really important conversation, because you’re right, it’s almost a taboo subject in the personal development, or self-help space to say, “All these ideas are great,” but does it really matter if you don’t actually implement any of them, right? I think being somebody who’s a high-leverage action-taker, somebody’s who is in that third bucket is a constant process. It’s a practice.
It’s a posture that requires energy to maintain. It’s not something you can learn to do. It’s something you have to practice doing and master through practice, right? The idea that you can learn it is almost that kind of coming back and falling back into that second bucket of thinking again. Only through practice and execution can you actually begin to become somebody who is truly an action-taker.
[0:17:35.1] PS: A lot of the founders that I work with will talk about, like entrepreneurs will sort of allude to this. I think it’s one of the biggest things that people who haven’t had that experience of building companies and doing all that stuff, that people just don’t get. These entrepreneurs talk about street smarts, school of hard knocks, getting hard one industry experience.
They’re all pointing, I think. Trying to verbalize this thing that can’t be verbalized, because it is something that can’t be learned. There’s an aspect of experiential development I think is what a psychologist would call it, that just intellectually is out of reach. It can’t be taught at college, or parents can’t teach it to you. It’s the thing that my clients get when they get out there into the world and they start taking action.
I think for people who are passionately curious about self-growth, there is that aspect too that what you’re learning is only as good as your ability to actually build a practice of implementation and execution in your life.
[0:18:32.3] MB: I mean, you and I have obviously had a number of conversations. If tens, if not hundreds of hours where we’ve kicked around to some degree or another this fundamental idea of how can we move ourselves down this path from learning to doing. The cool is that we’ve decided to collaborate on a new project, to help move Science of Success of listeners from learning to doing.
[0:18:57.5] PS: Like I said, my background comes from studying entrepreneurial success. The secret to my career is that I’ve done the world’s greatest MBA program over the last decade that I got paid to do, because I got to learn from all of my clients, and actually you’re one of them. I get to work with these incredible people. I’ve done a bunch of work advising venture capitalists who are investing in these entrepreneurs. I’ve worked directly as a service shrink with the entrepreneurs.
A big part of what I have to figure out is patent recognition. That’s figuring out what do we know about success? What do we know about the people and the businesses when they go in to work so that we can effectively predict the future, which is super important in the VC world? Then I launched a company called Commit Action. It’s a software and a human-powered coaching hybrid, which gave me access to over 10,000 conversations with business owners of all sizes. Not just the startup, the technology space, but also lots of different small business and FMEs across the world in over 20 countries.
We have also got to talk to a bunch of academic researchers as advices for those business and even test out a lot of what we’re doing with totally non-business people as well. We’ve stumbled across artists and also to creative professionals. Basically, what we have discovered is that these three types of people thing, what I’ve spent the last decade doing is working with people who are really strong in that level two space, who have deep intentions of being level three.
What we learned and especially in some of the research, we did at Commit Action is that success for these entrepreneurs isn’t really a spectrum. That is actually a really major goal. Like when I started out I thought, “Okay, there’s these people out there who want to build things and make their lives better as a consequence. There’s a whole rainbow spectrum of people who are just starting out, who are struggling, and then people who are widely successful and every type of person in between.
What we actually discovered is that there is a huge number of people who are really struggling. Then there’s a tiny fraction of people who have it all, who are hitting homerun after homerun in this area. Again, 90% of the folks that we talk to were totally dissatisfied with their progress of putting ideas into action, or just doing the things that they know they should do professionally, or even personally. What we found is that there weren’t differences in location, or knowledge, or education that separate these people.
[0:21:32.5] MB: I love that idea that success is not a spectrum, that it’s not evenly distributed. I think that’s really, really important and a fascinating conclusion from some of the work that you’ve done.
[0:21:44.2] PS: Yeah. We started asking, okay if it’s not a spectrum, if there is this quite binary like have, have not difference, what is it that could be contributing to it? That’s where we basically went down this rabbit hole of empirical psychology bunch in neuroscience and basically realize that what you’re talking about in this epic intro where you articulated this learning-doing gap is basically a crisis of conscientiousness, like what behavioral psychologists call conscientiousness, and what other psychologists call self-regulation.
These are understood by the people who study them, who go deep in these areas to both be the major social pathologies of our time. What I’m trying to explain here is summing up a whole bunch of different academic approaches to understanding the same thing, which I think that you have so succinctly articulated as the learning-doing gap.
What our research pointed us to was that the biggest course of this problem, the biggest reason that there’s some people who really, really struggle with this who never quite seem to take as much action as they want to who don’t get into the flow states as much as they want to, however you want to put is basically isolation. That social isolation is really at the root of the cause of these major social pathologies of the modern world.
[0:23:09.8] MB: I think accountability is so critical. The science obviously supports that conclusion. We talked about a number of components of that. In many ways, our relationship over the last four or five years has been a form of objectively created accountability via our professional relationship. That’s enabled me to become an action taker.
[0:23:36.1] PS: Totally. I mean, that’s exactly what works about literally any therapeutic or coaching relationship, whether it’s a good one or a bad one. I want to give myself credit, we’ve had a lot of great strategy conversations you and I. We’ve talked about some of the mental models, the things that you’ve learned and how you’re applying them to investing decisions and that kind of stuff. At the core of any professional relationship like that, where it’s my job to show up and basically hold on to a biggest set of expectations for you on a weekly basis, then you might even through yourself to hold that space. That is the heart of what I think really, really works about therapy, about coaching, about having mentors or advisers or any of that stuff.
I think so many people hung up on the content in thinking, “Well, what are we talking about?” They missed that it’s actually the container that creates a tremendous amount of that value. Those are the thing is that the specialization of our work in the modern world, like the technology, the fact that most people these days work behind a computer doesn’t even really matter where they are, if they’re blue collar, if they’re participants in the knowledge economy. Certainly, if they’re business owners or entrepreneurs.
All of the social changes that are very, very recent, that have only come about in the last 50 years, if I’m being generous, have robbed us of the natural accountability that would have existed even for our grandparents and certainly every generation beyond that with social ties that close would be right there and that would really help us flourish. I think that that’s why we’re seeing so many people who are stuck in the modern, why so many people are unhappy, not doing as well as they wish they could be. It’s why people have to proactively seek out accountability.
[0:25:22.0] MB: Let’s dig into that a little bit. Tell me a little bit more accountability and for somebody who’s listening, how can they figure out if they have accountability in their life or if it’s missing and maybe that’s something that could be holding them back?
[0:25:33.6] PS: Yeah. I mean, this is the thing. This is the sad state of affairs and the reason why I think that this is the root cause of the major social pathology about time is that most people, many, many people have absolutely zero accountability in their lives; for the personal growth, like the biggest opportunity that they have, like the thing that they’re working on. For people who are passionately listening to a podcast like Science of Success, or who reading books, who are really developing some aspect of themselves, or trying to, that’s an incredibly private process for most people.
Most of the folks we’ve talked to will tell us that the spouse doesn’t get it, their family doesn’t get what they’re up to, most of their friends don’t even get it, that they really are in that intellectual bat cave. As a consequence of that, while they are doing the learning, they are totally excited about what they’re doing, but as soon as they start moving from learning to doing, just putting their toe in this sort of proverbial doing swimming pool, they immediately become plagued by isolation, doubts and sort of loneliness, because they just don't have people who are in it together who are with them.
Then what we've seen is that some people play games to attempt to hold themselves accountable. That looks like weird mind games that people set up for themselves, where they're doing mental bargaining, they're installing reward systems in their life where they're trying to manage their schedules and various kind of things that they're implementing, or rituals, aspects of self-improvement, whatever it might be in the business world and their personal lives. That kind of feel like the way someone would manage an unruly toddler, right? It's like putting a little chart on the fridge and saying, “Now if you take this off, if you get this done then you get the cookie.”
It’s a very unhealthy mental dynamic. The other thing we see is people who try to get it from like a close friend, they find a buddy who's going through a journey with them, but then the challenge with that is that it's very – it sometimes works, right? Like jogging buddies work and that's a form that's really basic form of accountability, that's like a perfect metaphor for this. They fail when the first day that somebody's hungover, right? They tend to fall apart. They don't stress test well. Those relationships fall apart when you need it the most.
Or sometimes it's worse than that, that the form of accountability that's available to you socially keeps you stuck where you are, where as a consequence of your accountability partner or friend not being entirely on the same page with the vision you have for yourself, not quite wanting the same things as you. There are some people who actually don't want to the people around them succeed, because it makes them feel worse about where they're at. It's very difficult to spot.
[0:28:19.8] MB: I think a lot of these traditional strategies, I know definitely been challenging for me and I've seen other people I know struggle with the same things.
[0:28:28.4] PS: I mean, it is a major, major problem. We found this out when we started asking people at my company. We started doing this research, thousands of people we asked this one simple question which was, does anyone on earth really know if you spent the last week in the zone absolutely crushing it, or if you were just clocking in and out without accomplishing anything?
What was shocking about that question is that people with committed, like fantastic, like self-described fantastic marriages answered it no. That something about the way that modern human beings work has made people with close families, people with friends who live very near them all answer no this question, that our work has become increasingly digital, it's private, it's on screens other people can't see, no one knows whether or not you crushed it last week, or whether or not you just clocked in and out and wasted time. The human brain did not evolve to optimally perform in that vacuum of social accountability.
[0:29:28.6] MB: I want to dig into, and we're going deeper and deeper in this rabbit hole, but we'll come out of it. I want to into the implications of not having accountability. What are some of the problems that that creates in people's lives?
[0:29:40.6] PS: I think that the problem with a long-term, and it really is for some people, they begin these chapters of their lives that can last decades without really any social accountability. The first thing is that human beings are beginning to lose the mental mirror that develops self-awareness. There's this brilliant saying, I forget where I picked it up, that human beings outsource their sanity. That it takes a village to grow a human mind.
I think that that is everything that we're talking about. That when you're in the accountability vacuum, there's nothing making you honest with yourself. You might know that you're capable of more, right? I think we all believe deep down that we're capable of doing more, of being more, but you're not clear on the specifics of where you're letting yourself down. There's this feeling of uneasy loneliness as a consequence of long-term accountability vacuum.
We also saw people describe seeing others around them, particularly folks who live and like – live and work in really high-performance cultures where there's a lot of successful people and who are around that. That they sort of felt as though everything was on slow-mo for them compared to other people. That they would see other people move much faster and feel like taking action on whatever it was, took them two to five times longer, whatever that means.
We see people kind of – before I talked about the sort of mind games, the mental bargaining people play, I think that long-term, that tends to result in a sort of a schism of the psyche, where people describe this experience of feeling as though there's like an internal mental in a critic, or like a personal trainer whose job it is is to beat you up and tell you what you're supposed to be doing. What typically happens is that internal voice like lets you off your morning workout says, “You didn’t sleep so good last night. Take it easy. Or just chill on Facebook for a little bit this morning at work. Don't worry about it.” Then that afternoon turns around and screams and yells at you for not doing enough. There's this insane rollercoaster of inner critic dynamics that really upset people.
[0:31:50.5] MB: That's one that personally for me has been a major challenge. I mean, I think I'm naturally just very tough on myself. That split personality of letting myself off easy sometimes and then flipping it around and being really hard on myself as a result of that is something that I've personally dealt with and struggled with for sure.
[0:32:10.0] PS: Yeah. Well, yeah. Thanks for sharing. It's tough. I mean, we've heard some shocking things from people. We've heard folks who have described having epiphany after epiphany, breaking promise after promise to themselves, going a bit angry at themselves every single night swearing tomorrow that they're going to wake up and make everything different and turn over a new leaf, only to wake up and repeat the same mistakes and feel as though nothing ever changes. Like we've really interviewed folks on this and had this whole litany of what it looks like to be deep in the accountability vacuum with no way out.
[0:32:45.7] MB: Let's pull back from the darkness for a second and tell me what do people do once they've woken up to this lack of accountability in their lives?
[0:32:54.5] PS: Good question. In my experience talking about this stuff, I've done it from the stage, I've presented online and a whole bunch of different venues and variety of places. There's three kind of knee-jerk reactions that different groups of people have depending on where they're at in their journey of understanding the stuff and really internally clicking with this truth about the significance of accountability is something that drives positive human behavior change.
It's ironic. I mean, the first thing that the vast majority of people do the largest group is just do nothing. They hear about this stuff. They not along – they even have that internal experience of believing this is really going to change things, this is a refreshing wake up mind blowing new idea. Then they walk away from that intervention, that moment of realization with nothing, with no action whatsoever.
Then the second group of people ironically try to solve this by fixing it on their own. They think that this is something that they understand, it makes a lot of sense, they're super fired up to take action and they take everything that they've learned and there's perspective that accountability helps. Mentally imbue themselves with more willpower, and that creates that classic week-long follow-up, being fired up, that then fizzles out, because of the ironic lack of accountability that this is not a problem that you can solve on your own.
The group that I'm always excited about talking to, it's the people that I've built my career working with is the third kind of tiny fraction of a minority. That are the people who realize that the real message here is that they need external support and really learning about the psychological, like social implications of accountability is that final thing that kicks them off and has them solve the isolation problem in their lives.
[0:34:43.1] MB: This is the exact strategy that I've used and that's worked for me working with you using this external support. That's why I'm so excited to finally be able to discover a scalable way that we can share the same strategy with a group of listeners who are ready to take action and bridge the learning-doing gap.
This is something that I really believe in. I've worked with Peter for a number of years on personally solving this and creating a framework of external support. We've found a way now to take the exact strategies that have worked with my relationship with Peter and deliver them to a larger group of audience members who are ready to take that action and bridge that gap. Peter and I have teamed up actually to create an amazing solution to this accountability problem, and it's something that we call the science of action.
We've been working explicitly for months on this idea, but really implicitly for years. The conversations that we've had dating back several years and this whole idea of the learning-doing gap and how do we bridge it. We've created something based on our relationship and the strategies that have worked to help me become a high-leverage action taker, and we call it a total accountability package. It's designed to help you create accountability in your life, bridged learning doing gap and take action on the things that will matter and create an impact for you.
It's a one-on-one service and we're going to get into the details in a second, but we're only able to offer it to the first 50 people that sign up, because it's so personalized and it really helps you dig in and solve this problem.
[0:36:20.9] PS: I think that at this point before we break down the details of it, it's really important to talk about, because this is obviously a very, very specific high-touch white glove service that we've put together this total accountability package, to talk really about who it is for and who it isn't for in a really specific way. We've got a strong set of intentions about what it is that we want to use this accountability to accomplish. I think that there's a real clear person who could be listening to this for whom this is an absolute no-brainer and a fantastic fit for.
[0:36:54.4] MB: I think to start out, you have to have something, some kind of concrete thing that you can make an impact on something, that you can take a leap from learning to doing on, not just thinking about that's going to have an impact on your life. You need to have some sort of real opportunity in front of you, a path to creating improvements and outcomes in your life by taking more action, and asking yourself whether this change is going to truly matter and create an impact in your life.
You also need to be somebody who's ready, truly committed to taking that leap from learning to doing. Not just thinking about it, not just listening to it on a podcast, but really stepping into that practice of being an action taker. Lastly, you need to be able to commit at least five hours a month to invest wholeheartedly in moving from learning to doing and spending time implementing the super high-leverage tactics and strategies that are going to boost your professional and personal outcomes.
What we've created is a total accountability package. That has three components, all of them are designed not only based on the relationship that Peter and I have and how that has helped me be such an effective high-leverage action taker for the last five years, but also in the science and the principles of human motivation and accountability. The first thing is that you're going to get a personal executive effectiveness aide, who's going to have a weekly one-on-one phone call with you that's going to help you organize and prioritize your goals and hold you accountable to executing them.
They're going to check in with you throughout the week with SMS and e-mail to make sure you're on track and that you're actually executing. They're going to help you figure out what are the most important and high-leverage things that you can be doing, so you can execute on them. The next component is a focused monthly webinar with me and all of the members of science of action, where we're going to go through one particular lesson, or strategy from the Science of Success and talk about how to implement that concretely in your life.
I'm going to tell you how I've implemented it and share with you specific worksheets, strategies and tactics that you can use to execute and implement those ideas in your life every single day. Lastly, it comes with a customized software application that's both mobile online anywhere you want to use it that you use to work with your executive effectiveness aide, keep track and manage all of your tasks and activities, and has a full history of all the prior webinars that I've done with science of action members.
I want to get into the specifics of each of these three components of the total accountability package, because they all support and reinforce each other. All of them are based on the science of accountability and all of them are based on the relationship that Peter and I have had in creating a more scalable way to share that. Peter, do you want to start out and tell them a little bit about these executive effectiveness aides and how they work?
[0:39:48.6] PS: For sure. Yeah, I'm really excited about this. In addition to this entire science of action concept, instead of services being based on the work that Matt and I have been doing together, we're bringing in heavy hitters from my company Commit Action to serve the role as these executive effectiveness aides. Now, you need to understand that a couple of things about these people that make them so incredible is that their job is to almost act as a part of your support team.
We frame the executive aides as the most important hire somebody can ever make being the person whose job it is to keep you in the high-leverage zone, to make sure that you continually take action on all the things that you know you should. Their job is to act as a white glove concierge for your goal setting. Rather than you screwing around with systems and lists trying to figure out how to keep track of tasks and organize all of your projects and plans for these kind of high leverage growth opportunities in your life, you are now going to have somebody who takes care of that for you.
Their role is also to operate as a personal trainer, but for your focus and productivity. They're highly trained in brain science and psychology to help keep you focused on the things that you need to be. Of course, the thing that really is incredible about this service is that we're giving one-to-one professional objective accountability that helps you stay on track, stay focused and keep crossing that gap from learning into doing.
Every single one of these aides has hundreds and hundreds of hours of experience working with business owners and entrepreneurs with my business Commit Action. They've gone through a comprehensive training program. These are full-time 100% in-house staff that I've built up as a team and trained over many years. They're based in the US. We hire less than 1% of the people who apply for this position, because we take the psychological variable testing finding the right personality fit for people to be absolute experts at professional accountability. What you need to understand is that this is the absolute pinnacle of pro objective accountability, and it's going to be in your corner. You're going to be supported by the service.
[0:42:02.5] MB: Working with these aides is phenomenal. It effectively lets you outsource your battle for focus and productivity. There's a whole another component of the science of action as well, and that's the webinars that we're going to be hosting every single month. I'm going to be doing a webinar with all of the science of action members and we're going to concretely go through some of the most important ideas, lessons and strategies from the Science of Success. I'm going to walk you through specifically how to execute and implement those ideas in your life.
I'm going to share with you how I've done it, give you templates, tools worksheets and strategies so that you can do it yourself, and we're going to have a Q&A where we can walk through and ask questions, talk about struggles, setbacks, places where you're not clear about how to do it, or roadblocks that you might hit. I'm going to be a resource there for you to talk through and figure out how to overcome those challenges.
I'm going to give you a little sneak peek of the topics we're going to cover in the first three months of these science of action webinars. The first month, we're going to talk about how to get more done by focusing on less by using the power of contemplative routines. We're going to go deep into the 80/20 principle, which is one of the most important principles from my life. I'm going to show you how to conduct an 80/20 analysis on your own life and how you spend your time.
I'm going to give you a template and a worksheet that you can use anytime you want to create and conduct an 80/20 analysis to see what's working for you and what's not. I'm going to walk you through how I've conducted an 80/20 analysis on myself, share with you the raw notes from prior 80/20 analysis that I've conducted. Then we're going to walk through a Q&A for the questions or things you might not really understand, or feel uncertain about.
The second month, we're going to dig into how to solve any problem and generate breakthroughs in your life and work by digging into the science and strategies of how to create a creativity ritual in your life that's going to create breakthrough insights into the problems and challenges that you have. This is something I do every single morning and it's a strategy that I can't wait to share with you.
In the third month, we're going to get into how to get anyone to do what you want by applying the science of influence. These webinars are going to be phenomenal. They're going to be information-packed and it's all about how to take action.
[0:44:21.1] PS: The other component of the science of action, the other part of this total accountability package is the proprietary software that we've built and put together exclusively for science of action members. Now again, this draws from years of insights, data and research and testing that we've done over at Commit Action and really brings everything together. We started out by asking what is it that a professional executive aide for accountability needs to support their client, to support you to really be the highest leverage version of themselves?
We realized that building out a task list and a sort of a project manager tool where the project is you and your life is just the first step. We went beyond that to actually create a live interactive system built with some of the most cutting-edge software technology that enables you and your executive effectiveness aide to effectively collaborate in real-time when you're on your weekly check-in calls, to create order out of chaos, to sort through your task list, to specify different things that you're working on, to go through the methodology that your coach is trained in, to really dig deep into figuring out how you can measure what it is that you're working on, how you can be more specific about it finding the right level of implementation granularity.
We have a proprietary tool that I'm really excited for you to get access to that facilitates all of this and makes it easy for you to just focus on the doing on the action taking, and have your aide effectively just focus on keeping everything organized around you, so that you can be that high-leverage version of yourself.
The other thing I think it's really important to mention about the software is that the brings another tremendous psychological force. We haven't had too much time to talk about today beyond accountability. It's the force that's driving the multi-billion dollar quantified self-industry. The reason that that industry is blowing up with Fitbits and Apple watches and all that kind of stuff is because quantification works, measurement works.
The thing that our software does is it actually creates a track record of your shift from learning into doing. It builds up over time as you're using the science of action service on a monthly basis, you're going to start building an action record. Your executive aide takes responsibility for keeping track of the amount of hours, the time that you're putting in working on the highest leverage opportunities in your life. This isn't just a task management system that you're putting in notes, like don't forget to pick up milk after work, or pick up the dry cleaning. It's none of that.
Instead, it is a top-shelf solution for only the highest leverage, most important, least urgent opportunities that is creating meta measurement and psychological momentum around the streaks of consistently showing up on a daily, weekly and then monthly basis, to move forward on these huge courageous kind of bold projects in your life that create real concrete change. I'm really excited for science of action members to dig in and start to experience all of the measurement components of the software that we've built.
[0:47:24.0] MB: I want to pull it back now and re-summarize what we're offering here with the science of action. There's three big components that form a total accountability package. The first is that you're going to get an effectiveness aide that works with you one-on-one. You have a phone call every week and they're going to have weekly check-ins with you be on the phone call, where they're checking up and making sure that you're actually executing. This is one of the most effective strategies for accountability.
Next, you're going to get a monthly webinar with me, where we're going to go through how to actually implement the ideas from the Science of Success. Walking you through the tactics and strategies and giving you the tools to be able to do it. Lastly, this is all going to be housed on a proprietary software platform that's state-of-the-art and enables you to collaborate in real-time with your aide and get access to all of the content we've created with science of action now and in the future.
Peter’s work is really the foundation for what we're bringing and offering to the Science of Success community here. I wanted to share a couple quick stories. With the magic of editing, we can sort of insert them here from people who've worked with these executive aides in the past, and they can share with you just what it's like.
[0:48:33.7] CM: Hey, my name is Carl Mattiola and I'm the Founder of Clinic Metrics.
[0:48:37.7] KA: Hi, my name is Kathryn Atkins and I'm the owner of Writing World, LLC, a freelance business writing company.
[0:48:44.4] S: Hi, it’s Sen here in Scotland, and I just wanted to say a quick word of thanks to Commit Action and a bit about my experience with Commit Action over the last year.
[0:48:53.4] CM: I started with Commit Action about a year and a half ago. When I did, I was still working a day job –
[0:48:59.3] KA: Since last year, the first nine months of last year versus this year, I am up 50% in sales.
[0:49:06.2] S: It immediately started to inject some action-oriented structure to my weekly routines. I was always structured and driven, but became much more focused on the things I could control to move my business forward. Commit Action is now a permanent fixture in my life and it has been for the past year.
[0:49:21.5] CM: It always helps me stay focused and just really driven. It's just really good to have that extra person on the other side. It feels good to have that, know that they care and it makes me want to do more knowing that there's somebody else outside of my everyday life looking at what I'm doing, so it's worked really great for me.
[0:49:41.2] KA: It's been a great thing. Their simple formula is surprisingly powerful.
[0:49:46.2] S: I'm eternally grateful for the huge leaps that I made mentally.
[0:49:49.7] CM: Today and looking forward a lot has changed. I mean I've left my job since then. I'm working full-time on my businesses. At the time, I was only one employee just working for myself and now I have nine people working with me on these businesses.
[0:50:03.5] KA: I built the confidence and the momentum and the determination that I needed to go forward even more.
[0:50:11.8] CM: I highly recommend the service if you're somebody who really needs some help with productivity or being more productive, or if you're somebody like me who's already somewhat productive, but just wants to improve themselves. Yeah, highly recommend it.
[0:50:27.2] KA: It's like I've tapped into a force in a Star Wars kind of way.
[0:50:32.9] S: Now my future definitely looks bigger and bolder than I would have previously thought, because I’m mentally equipped with powerful tools that can guide and support me.
[0:50:42.8] MB: We're combining these executive effectiveness aides with these webinars with a software platform creating an end-to-end accountability service that's going to help you be more accountable. I'm sure probably asking yourself at this point how exactly is this going to work? What exactly is this going to cost? I wanted to put that in context for you.
As I said, this comes out of my work with Peter and how he's helped me personally become a high-leverage action taker and we found a way now to share that with a broader Science of Success community of people who want to become action takers. Working with Peter, he's incredibly busy. He can only take on maybe five, 10 clients at a time and he charges several thousand dollars a month for his service. He's done some homework and looked into what would be a more effective pricing strategy for the science of action.
[0:51:34.7] PS: Yeah. We actually kind of focused group this and talked to a few different people who are in the target psychographically of who it is that we want to be working with. The prices that we heard thrown out there for this level of weekly accountability varied from, you know, honestly up there with what I charge at the thousands of dollars a month point, down to I think about a $1,000 maybe $500 a month, which I think is great. It certainly is exciting that people are pumped about the value of this and see it as an investment in their life.
We think that we can do a hell of a lot better than that. This is a service that we're excited to bring to a decent sized group of people. We're starting off with 50 spaces and a hard limit on that availability, and we are pricing this at $1.99 per month.
[0:52:20.7] MB: I think it's really important to talk about why this is only available to the first 50 people who sign up. We have hundreds of thousands of downloads every month and we can only offer this to the first 50 listeners, because these are badass, highly-trained, high-touch executive effectiveness aides. They're going to be working with you one-on-one in a white glove concierge experience. This isn't something that we can offer completely in mass, but I am really excited that we can offer it to a larger chunk of the community, and so it's really specifically for the people who are right there ready to crush it, ready to take action, they know there's an opportunity in front of them that they need to be executing on and this is going to be the thing that helps push you over the edge, so that you can execute on it.
Specifically, take a look at your career, your life, your health, your relationships and see what you can do to improve it. If there's something right there in front of you that you know you could create a big impact on. Is it making a major shift in one of your relationships? Is it changing dramatically something about your lifestyles, so that you can be healthier or more mindful? Is it a career opportunity, whether it's getting recognition, taking charge, seizing that promotion, driving a particular outcome in your business. These are the kinds of things that you can use the science of action to create a breakthrough in your life immediately. With the help of these executive effectiveness aides, you're going to be able to create the accountability that's going to make those outcomes become a reality.
[0:53:48.6] PS: The way that I think about this is, you know my backgrounds both as shrink for entrepreneurs and my other company is always working with business owners, with entrepreneurs. For those people applying this kind of objective accountability is a no-brainer, because they're people who are living right up against that opportunity, where every single day their actions make a difference in terms of their bottom-line results. I think that for Science of Success listeners, if you take a really good hard look at yourself, you may feel that you're actually in a similar position.
The way that we've set this up the 50 space is the $1.99 a month price, is really something that you can think about being comparable to perhaps a high-end gym membership, or even working having like a session or two with a high-end personal trainer who's about to get you in the best shape of your life. These are the types of investments people make, because they know that that kind of accountability and sort of effectiveness really creates results. The only difference is this is in your wider life.
If you're an executive who's got something that you can really take initiative around, take outside responsibility for and create dramatic change in your life that's going to yield a result. In other words, if there's going to be a return on investment, not just for investing in the actual price of science of action, but for the time and energy that you'll need to put in in order to make that leap from learning to doing.
We are looking ultimately to work with people who are outcome-oriented, who are ready to make that type of commitment and investment in their life, because they know what it is that they want and they have a clear path in front of them to accomplishing it.
[0:55:21.8] MB: The way that you can sign up for science of action is by going to scienceofaction.net. You can sign up right there on the homepage, scienceofaction.net. Remember, we can only take the first 50 people who sign up, so be sure to go there as soon as possible. We exclusively release this early just to our e-mail list, so you're getting an early access to this.
We can only take the first 50 people who sign up at scienceofaction.net, and that's how you can join the service, get your own executive effectiveness aide, join our monthly webinars and become somebody who is an action taker.
[0:55:57.2] PS: Just to give you a perspective on what happens as soon as you hit that sign-up page and fill out your information, the very next thing that you're going to do is go to a webpage inside of our web app there that's going to give you a selection of different appointment times. We have tons available appointment times to suit all different time zones around the world out and serve clients in over 20 countries, so that's not a problem.
You're going to select the appointment time that suits you best, then you're going to be on-boarded and start filling out a questionnaire. The point of this questionnaire is to equip your executive effectiveness aide with everything they need to know about you and what you're working on, what you've got going on in your life, so that they can help you become the highest leverage version of yourself possible and really even make that first check-in call that they do with you really count.
The last step once you've done that questionnaire is you're going to get access to our proprietary web app. We set it up for new members coming in to be in what we call bucket mode. That's where you're going to be able to input tasks and ideas, hopes and dreams, anything that you've got on that kind of mental to-do list, or maybe it's a physical to-do list you have somewhere with a 101 kind of ideas and thoughts and hopes and dreams projects and things that you want to be doing.
What I want to encourage you to do is to put all of that stuff into the science of action app. Get it all listed out down there, so that your executive aide can start sifting through it helping you create priority, helping you tease out, using our proprietary, methodology, using the psychology that they are trained in, what the lowest-hanging fruit is, what the high-leverage opportunities are. They're going to create order out of that chaos, get you on track with specific measurable outcomes that you're going to stop pursuing on a weekly basis, and then updating them on and kind of beginning this entire process.
Treat this as an opportunity right after you sign up, fill out that questionnaire to then brain dump everything that you need, and that's how we're really going to start changing your life and moving you from learning to doing with this science of action service.
[0:57:57.7] MB: Once again, you can go to scienceofaction.net and sign up. Only the first 50 people who sign up are going to be able to get in the program right now, so be sure to be one of those people if you're primed and ready to take action in your life. Again, just to give you a sense, I know sometimes it's hard on a podcast if you're driving around, if you're at the gym, etc. I want to give you a quick summary and tell you again what science of action is.
It's a big shift for the Science of Success, but it's something I'm really passionate about and this process and these strategies have transformed my life and created a tremendous impact for me personally. I've been wracking my brain about how I can solve this learning-doing gap for you, the listeners of the show and this is the first step towards solving it and helping more people in the science obsessed community become high-leverage action takers.
The three pieces of this puzzle, this accountability package that we can now give to you and help you take the steps and become somebody who actually creates results and executes in their life. The first thing you're going to get is an executive effectiveness aide that's going to be your white glove concierge to help you stay accountable, manage your goals and figure out what your priorities are.
Next, you're going to get a monthly webinar with me and the other science of action members, where we're going to go through the specific steps and strategies for executing the most important ideas from the Science of Success. I'm going to walk you through how I've done it and share with you exactly what you need to do it as well. This is all going to be housed in a great custom proprietary software application that you can get online. You can get it on your phone, you can get it wherever you want. We can offer all this for just $1.99 a month, which is the fraction of a price of what something like this is truly worth.
You can go to scienceofaction.net and sign up right now. We can only accept the first 50 people who sign up, so be sure to go there and check it out. If you have more questions or you're curious, Peter and I are also going to be hopping on a live Q&A just for people who are on our e-mail list, and that Q&A is going to be Tuesday, May 29th at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. We're going to be doing a live Q&A, so we can talk to you more about science of action and share a few more insights about how to create accountability in your life.
I know this is a new step for me and it won't be for everybody. It won't be for all of my listeners, but regardless of that, I really wanted to create something like this. Again, this has been tremendously impactful for me personally. I truly believe in what we're doing with the science of action, and I wouldn't be creating this kind of special episode about the show. I wouldn't be sharing all these insights with you if it wasn't something that had personally worked for me and I know can work for you too to create results in your life.
Thank you for listening to us and for sharing this journey with us. I'm excited to be able to provide you with the real tools and strategies you can use in your life to become a high-leverage action taker and to become somebody who's accountable and creates results for what they want.
I think for everybody who's listening to this episode, the biggest meta takeaway of our whole conversation is that whatever you do, you need to find a way to supplement what you're learning with accountability so that you can become someone who creates action, who takes action and makes it happen in their lives.
Peter, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you for collaborating with me to create the science of action. I'm so happy and excited to be able to offer this to everybody and I can't wait to see what kind of results the listeners go out and create using this amazing service.
[1:01:31.3] PS: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s been cool to riff on this. It's been a pleasure working with you to collaborate and build this over the last few months. I think that that meta takeaway is spot-on, by the way. I tell everybody that I meet this, to everyone I touch and interact with in all my capacities across different businesses, I think it's the same story for science of action, for Science of Success listeners, no matter who you are, no matter whether or not you feel like you're one of these people who's on that precipice who's ready to make the leap from learning to doing and joining us with this, or if it's not for you, either way solve this accountability problem in your life, get a mastermind together with friends, get accountability buddies, do all of that, because accountability works best when you stack it.
I'm going to encourage everyone who joins science of action to stack as much accountability as possible. What we've built, what we've put together with our executive aide service and all the bits and pieces that makes this a total accountability solution. That I think is the cream, the ultimate cherry on top for an accountability cake. I'm sort of taking this metaphor too far here, but it is a cake, a layer cake that you should be building in your life.
We're put together a white glove option for really busy ambitious people who want the absolute best accountability, the kind that's objective, that's utterly professional and is rock solid and dependable as a result of all of that. I totally agree. I want every listener today to walk away from today with a new sense of appreciation for the power of intentional social bonds and the accountability that springs forth for them. Thanks for having me.
[1:03:05.4] MB: Thank you so much for listening to the Science of Success. We created this show to help you our listeners master evidence-based growth. I love hearing from listeners. If you want to reach out, share your story, or just say hi, shoot me an e-mail. My e-mail is email@example.com. That’s M-A-T-T@successpodcast.com. I’d love to hear from you and I read and respond to every single listener e-mail.
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