One of the most powerful things that you will develop as an entrepreneur is your personal brand and what you’re focused on. Scott Carson’s special guest today, Chris Hines, is the host of the Personal Branding Playbook and the creator of The Milestone System. He’s been podcasting and developing brands for over six plus. Today, they discuss The Milestone System and how you should not only build your personal brand or business, but also set your goals properly and create the life that you desire.
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Setting And Accomplishing Goals Using The Milestone System With Chris Hines
In this episode, we are talking about the Milestone System. We are going to discuss how you can not only build your personal brand and your business, but also set your goals properly and create the life that you desire.
I’m excited about our special guest who has done some amazing things for entrepreneurs out there. You are going to get a lot from this episode. The man I’m talking about has been a buddy of mine for a while. We both met at Podfest. A few years back, we networked in different groups and hadn’t connected that much. We then reached out after the latest Podfest and got a chance to connect, talk a little bit, and realize, “I need to have him on the show for you out there.” Many of you guys know that we do a lot with marketing. It’s one of the things that separate us and one of the most powerful things that you will develop as an entrepreneur, whether you’re brand new or seasoned is your branding, your personal brand, and what you’re focused on.
Our special guest goes across the country. He is Coach Chris. He’s the host of the Personal Branding Playbook and creator of the Milestone System. He’s been podcasting and developing brands for years. He’s speaking around the world and growing businesses to the next level. I know that many of you guys and girls are going through transitions, either you’re still working full-time and trying to do something on a part-time basis or your side hustle, you’re trying to get that to be your main hustle. Chris is an expert at helping people identify their brand and allowing people to identify that so it becomes something more than, “Joe Shmoe out there pitching notes and trying to raise capital.” He’s worked with many business owners and companies out there by growing their brand. Coach Chris, we are honored to have you on show.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate that intro. That was fancy. I liked that.
I like to make sure that my audience knows what we’re going to be discussing. There’s nothing worse than an episode that drags on for 10 to 15 minutes and you can’t figure out what the heck are they going to talk about.
I agree. That right there is a small intro to branding. I’m excited to be here. I love these kinds of shows and it was a fun meeting many podcasters that I’ve known online in person back in March, right before COVID shut everything down. I feel like we got lucky.
I’m a big believer that we did get lucky. I was there and they caught a cold and they’re like, “I’ve got COVID.” I’m like, “You don’t have COVID.” You’re young and strong, but that’s the thing. If you want to hone a craft, no matter what it is, whether it’s real estate, podcasting, selling tiddlywinks, or doing fix and flip, you got to start building a brand. Look at Nike, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. All you got to do is show a logo and it identifies with it. We’ve done well with our brand at NCS and We Close Notes that people recognize. I have banks and asset managers that tell me, “I look for the green email when I’m looking for your emails.” I’m branding and it’s best there for you.
That is beautiful with the green. People asked me why I chose the burgundy with the dirty old gold for my brand. That’s because it stands out. When you see that, it’s a different approach. It’s not the same blend as the blue or something like that. I wanted something that pops at you.
Before we dive into that, why don’t you share a little bit of your background, how you got into what you’re doing for the last years, and all your background so our audience can understand where you’re coming from and add value to it.
First of all, my name, Coach Chris, comes from me being a basketball coach. Before I got into podcasting or business, I was Coach Chris on the court. At one point in time, I was a trainer, a player, and a writer. I did everything. My whole life was basketball. That’s what led to me be a podcast host. My first time being on a podcast, I will never forget it. I was on NBA Twitter having a conversation back and forth. The guy is like, “I love your conversation here. Do you want to come on my show?” I’m like, “Sure.” He called me and I didn’t know we were live. I had to run into my closet and he’s asking me questions. We’re having a conversation back and forth.
It was exhilarating for me. When I went on Twitter, people were like, “I loved it.” I’m like, “When does this come out?” He was like, “We were live.” That was my introduction to podcasting. I dove deeper into podcasting after I went through some tough times in my life. I got evicted from my apartment. I lost all three of my jobs in one week. I got my car repoed in the same week. It was a crazy time that led to me writing my first book. I was digging deeper into hosting my shows. I spent some time as an editor as well. I then started my own network. That was super fun, but way too fast. We had 12 shows, 30-plus sponsors. It was an amazing experience. I’ve made thousands of dollars with the sponsorship side. Now, I do business. I help other people with their shows and it’s fun for me. I love this.
We’re going to have to come back to that quintuple of shit that happened, three job losses, getting evicted, and car repo. We know there are a lot of people that are going through tough times now especially with what’s going on in the country. Let’s talk about some of the biggest mistakes. Let’s start on the positive side. What is one thing that drives you ape shit when you’re dealing with businesses that you see business owners and operators making over and over again with building a brand? What’s the biggest thing that you see that you’re like, “This is easy to fix if you would take a few minutes to do it.”
My pet peeve is when people go and make social media accounts for their brand. It’s like, “You don’t have a website. You don’t have a message. You have not completed a customer avatar breakdown. Yet, you have all these social profiles up.” This is my biggest. When people spend money on logos and they have not built their company yet. The logo, I promise you, it’s important, but what’s more important is the colors of the logo. I didn’t have my first logo until this year. I’ve been in business for years. The logo isn’t going to be a make or break. If you can solve somebody’s problem, they’re going to pay you whether they like your logo or not. The logo is the visual branding. People focus too much on visual branding instead of the branding that matters.
I often compare it to people making a to-do list and then checking off the little things than the actual difficult things, the big rocks aspect of things. You mentioned a couple of things and I want to come back to that. You said people are doing these things without knowing their client avatar, the customer avatar. Let’s talk a little bit about that and some of the things that people can do to identify who their real ideal client is and where they’re hanging out with. We all know that’s important. Having a social media account is great, but if they’re not hanging out there, it’s a waste of time.
The first step is when you fill out that customer avatar, it used to be demographic and age and all that stuff but because everything is an online world now, the first step should be breaking down and understanding where your ideal customer is online. It doesn’t matter how great your Facebook profile looks if you’re trying to market to teenagers because they don’t use Facebook. They’re on TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, and maybe Twitter. I know a lot of people that put too much energy into that. When you are trying to set up that customer avatar, you need to focus on those key elements. After you find out what platform they are, my next step is what is the biggest problem that they’re facing that I can solve?
If you choose a small problem, then that’s not going to be a pressing issue that they want to pay to be solved. Whereas, if you choose a big problem that a lot of people have, you can make a lot more money and a lot more impact. I know the traditional customer avatar is the age, the location, gender and all that stuff. I like to go to the bigger picture. What platform are they on? What problems do they have? You then want to go into the third one, which is the influencers. Who are they following online? What content are they consuming? Because you can either target them using ads or you can start creating light content to drag in their audience. If you have a podcast, you can bring those influences on your show. Those are the three ways that I start setting up a brand to attract more customers. It’s more new. It’s getting away from the traditional style.
You hit the nail right on the head there, Chris. Everybody worries about the age, where they live, college-educated, how much are they making per year. That’s important depending on what your marketing especially what type of product. If you’ve got a higher-end product, then your people are making below minimum wage, that’s not a good fit for the most part. I understand where they’re at. Hanging out is one of the most important things. People always ask me, “Scott, why don’t you do more with your Instagram?” I’m like, “My clients aren’t there. I got something up there that I wrote for the show, but it doesn’t drive me any business. I spend more time on LinkedIn and email and go that route.”
What I tell people too is when you figure out the platforms they are on, your business should be focused on two major platforms. Most of us are small business owners. We don’t have a team. Gary Vee who can be on every platform. He has hundreds of people that can post for them. They can reply to comments. They can edit content. For you, it’s probably you and maybe two other people. If you have a massive big team for small businesses now. Choose two. You don’t have to be on all 5 or 6. That could be Pinterest and Instagram. It could be Facebook and LinkedIn. Choose two so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
That’s the big thing. The Gary Vee minions out there. I love Gary Vee. I’ve had a chance to talk in a couple of events with him before. I met him a couple of times. I always laugh because I’m like, “You’ve got this whole team falling behind you like Tai Lopez.” Tai Lopez videoed every place he’s going and Gary Vee is going everywhere. I’m like, “Relax everybody. Share something.” I had to turn off Gary Vee and I used to watch the #AskGaryVee Show all the time. I was like, “I’m wasting an hour of every day listening to Gary talk. I should be spending an hour on my business than what he talked for an hour. I could’ve got all my marketing done for the week for the most part.”
It works that way. What I love about focusing on two platforms is you can dive into what content works on those platforms because the content that thrives well on Instagram only works on LinkedIn, but it’s not going to work that well on Facebook. Like a carousel post, for example. I posted that on Instagram and it did well. I posted on LinkedIn and I got five messages. I made a couple of thousand dollars. I post that on Facebook and people would scroll right past it. Those are the things you need to know for your business before you even make a social account. You need to know if this is the right platform and if you have the right content strategy as well.
For those that don’t know what a carousel post is, that’s where you’re posting multiple photos that people will slide to the left or the right to look at it. It’s a great thing to tell stories on LinkedIn. Gary Vee used that with his cartoons. It works well with ten images on Instagram. On Facebook, you can still put a carousel, but it’s not as engaging as video has become on Facebook or single images for the most part.
As a pro tip for everybody because I messed this up too. When you post a carousel on LinkedIn, it’s supposed to be in PDF format. You have to combine all the images to one PDF file and then post that as a file to LinkedIn. That’s something that will frustrate you if you don’t know it. I wanted to put that tip out there.
That is good to know. I did not know that. Everybody, learn it here. Let’s dive back into a little bit here. Knowing where they’re at, knowing who they were at, what would you say is too much as far as marketing or enough compared to some people that post on a regular basis, some people that do it every once in a while? I’ll give you a little bit of a tip here. With the different events that we have, we have an annual event called Note CAMP. We survey the audience and roughly about 30% of our attendees always ended up filling out the survey. Half of those that fill out the survey, when I ask them how often they market, either once a day, once a week, once a month, or once never? Over half say, “Once never. I’ve never marketed to my email database or my database online.”
I look at marketing this way. What I’ve learned is somebody like Gary Vee will tell you to create 100 pieces of content, but that’s not realistic if you don’t have a big team. We established that. What’s more efficient is to plan your content to where you can post at least twice per day. You’re on two platforms, which means you can post twice per day. This is always for the week ahead. My marketing strategy includes planning my content on Thursday. I will write descriptions all and make my thumbnails on Friday. On Saturday, I do all my video recordings and everything. On Sunday, I do editing and scheduling.
What’s beautiful about this is once you start this rhythm and you’re only doing two pieces of content, it doesn’t take you ten hours. An hour each of those days is four hours a week. You can make some amazing content. What’ll happen is you’ll start to get a rhythm where you’re two weeks ahead and then three weeks ahead. Now, you can then plan out a month of content because you have such a great system set up. Two pieces of content per day on your two main platforms are more than enough content.
That does make a lot of sense there. That’s a total of fourteen pieces of individual things. If you’re doing seven days there, depending on where you’re at. I don’t usually post a lot on the weekend. Most people aren’t on LinkedIn on Saturday and Sunday, for the most part. That narrows it down a little bit for those, but people are always like, “I’m not that interesting to talk about.” I’m like, “The good Lord has given you already things at least once a month to talk about.” I always tell them this and force them like, “I’m a big believer in the Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” Three pieces of content before you ask for something to give to your audience. Would you agree to that Coach Chris?
Look at what’s going on with the week. Every month, there is a holiday to talk about. That’s one piece of content. The second thing, I tell a lot of our real estate investors across the country going to local real estate club meetings where they were pre-COVID or they’re doing virtual stuff on here. I’m always like, “That’s the second piece of content. You could talk about the meeting either what you’re going to learn or your opinion of the meeting afterward.” The third could be something that you’re doing for fun, a past deal, a past story, or a piece of property you are evaluating or something you learned. The fourth thing could be something fun. What your family did that is goofy?
I have the same rhythm set up where I do viral content. When something is popular in my industry, I like to talk about it. When Joe Rogan got his deal with Spotify, that’s viral content. I do storytelling. I like to teach once a week and do two videos. That right there is more than enough. The thing with content is it’s not even about having amazing content in the beginning because until you start posting, you don’t know what’s good. You don’t know what’s going to do good, but you have to get going and be consistent with it. If you post two times a day for at least two weeks straight, that’s ten days of posting content in a month. You’ll start to see a different response. When you post things, you get messages to people, sign up to your mailing list, and get on calls with you. I don’t wait until people get on my mailing list to nurture them. I nurture them while they’re on my timeline or their feed. When we do get on the phone, we can go straight to converting. I don’t want to waste time telling you my story. You saw it in a video. That’s how that strategy works.
If you’re marketing on regular basis, people already going to know about you. I had a conversation with a guy who saw something on LinkedIn. He called me and said, “I see that you’re passionate about dogs or animals.” I’m like, “You can get that. I guess you can figure it out unless I was talking about that.” That was a little thing. Somebody pulled the wazoo out of the left field that I had. I was like, “This guy is listening to what we’re doing.” It makes the conversion a whole lot easier. In a variety of fashions with what we’re doing, it’s a conversion with if people are investors are looking to invest or they’re looking for deal flow. If they see that you were doing, you’ve already built rapport, they wouldn’t pick up the phone or message you because they already have seen what you’re doing.
If I were a real estate agent or if I wanted to buy and sell houses or to flip houses, I would be focused on building my brand within the community. I would be creating content around my community. If you record videos, go to your favorite restaurant locally and record a video there. If you start off the video showing the logo or the brand outside the building, something that simple can bring in your audience to where they’re more aware of who you are because that’s how brand awareness starts. It’s getting people to see you and hear your voice and see your logo consistently.
The real test that I always tell my clients is, “Can you give me two weeks of consistent content?” just so nobody has excuses, I’ll give you five different content styles. You have the carousel posts. You can pay somebody on Fiverr or do them yourself on Canva. Canva is easy. You can do graphics, podcast episodes, videos, and articles. Those are five things that I do to make sure I’m making at least five figures a month in my business. Five days a week, I’m posting content. That rhythm, that simple.
The videos, does it got to be a 1 hour, 2 hours, or 4 hours long to embarrass us?
If you record that long, I don’t think too many people are going to watch that.
Your click-through ratio may be low, the percentage of recorded there. You said something good about stories, videos of wherever you’re eating at, in front of a new property, giving a property tour, or doing rehab or articles. You could easily do a video about an article. There are different websites that we go to all the time. DSNews is a big website, HousingWire.com, even LinkedIn has started posting relevant articles that I will use to share and then put my own spin on it. That works out easy to do that.
It worked well. That’s one of my protests that I do on Instagram and LinkedIn. You can do this where you follow hashtags. Twitter has it now that you can follow topics. You might want to get subscribed to at least five newsletters in your niche. For me, it’s podcasting. Every morning, I’m getting news about podcasting. Some days you’ll be like, “Why am I receiving this email?” Other days, you’ll be thankful for it because when something big happens in your market, you’re immediately aware of it. If something happens in the housing market, you want to know what happens. You don’t want to wait until normal people know. You’re supposed to be the expert here. You have to be up on the game. Those newsletters are going to help you out.
It’s a great way to prime the proverbial creative juices if you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. If you don’t know what to talk about, go to the newsletter and you’ll be able to find something there. Go to USA Today and look at the housing or money. It’s one of the places that we go to on a regular basis. We know people are out there struggling a little bit and you’ve done a good job building your brand. Let’s talk about the day after your apocalypse. The week after the quintuple negative week for you and as for many people. I only say this because we know people are facing job loss, facing evictions or forbearance agreements out there.
They’ve had this six-month window for forbearance and they may have another six months of working from home or being delayed. What are some of the initial things that you did that were seeds that you planted that help you get that momentum going? We know you didn’t go from 0 to 60 overnight or 0 to where you’re at now. It’s a process. Like Daymond John says, “I was an overnight success, but it took eight years to make it happen.” If you can think back to some of the things that were the most powerful thing that you saw the best attraction when you were struggling at because that’s not a good time. I’ve been almost evicted before. I’ve had my car repoed in the past. I faced foreclosure. I think we’re brothers from another mother when it comes to dealing with difficulties. When you think back when you got started rocking and rolling, what are some of the easiest things that you did back then that makes a little fly now? What would you recommend for people to do?
I had to go back even further to what I did before. Before that situation happened, I had a similar situation, but it was a lot longer. Years before that, I was in San Diego. I was trying to go to junior college. I dropped out of high school. I went back to getting my diploma late. I went to junior colleges everywhere because I was still playing basketball at the time. I am moving around a lot and had no real direction. At that point in time in my life, I lived in my car for six months. I used to park wherever I could. I would sneak into the grocery store and steal food to eat. If I got caught, then I wouldn’t eat dinner that night.
I would try to sleep at LA 24 Hour Fitness sometimes. That’s where I shower. I had been through tough times before. I knew this wasn’t going to be bad. The first thing I did was I created a great routine. What I mean by that is I love to do this thing where I take a car and I write down what I want on this card. The three things I want to happen within the next month. I call those milestones. Three things I want to happen this month, I’ll write it on the card, read it every morning, every night, and throughout the day when I get frustrated, exhausted or upset. That’s something that helped me write this shit and get on the right path. Around the time, I started working with Steve Stewart. That’s why I showed much love for Steve because when I was down and out, he gave me a job. He’s like, “You’re a podcaster. I’m going to teach you how to edit and then I’ll start sending you jobs.” That’s what helped me get into the podcast world. Routines can save your life.
I agree with that. I was talking with somebody who’s a new entrepreneur. He was like, “I drift. I don’t get much stuff done.” I’m like, “That’s because you don’t have your routines down on a daily basis. You’ve got to pick your big rocks.” On your card are the three big milestones you want to accomplish and look at them and ingrain it. If you can see that in front of you, it’s your compass, the true North of where you need to be headed.
Whatever we think about is going to consistently grow. I love to use this example. When you get up in the morning, let’s say you step on your kid’s toy because it’s on the side of the bed. That’s a triggering moment because if you get frustrated, you can go this way with your entire day. If you say, “It’s not a big deal. My foot is not bleeding. I’m not going to die. I’ll be okay.” You can go this way where you would be happy all day. Most people go this way where they’re frustrated. They didn’t go to the bathroom and they are upset about something else. When they leave the house, they are upset about traffic. When they get to the office, they are upset about something else. They spend their whole day being mad and upset so you can never be efficient.
You can’t get into a creative, productive, efficient space if you’re always angry and upset. Reading that card is something that can always bring you back in. If you step on that toe, you’re like, “My foot is hurting.” You should be able to look right over to your nightstand and see the car sitting right there. That’s a reminder because once you do it for about a week, it starts to become second nature. You don’t have to even read it anymore. You’re like, “This is what it is for the month.” You memorize it and it becomes a great habit.
Our brain is our biggest muscle that we do program how our day can go, what we listened to, and how we hear whether it’s negative comments from our friends or families or even negativity on social media. We read into all that crap out there. Let’s face it, a lot of the general posts and news is not positive by any means. It feeds to a lot of this negativity out there. It’s easy for people to give up on a day at five minutes in the morning when they stepped on that Lego piece.
It happens to a lot of us. With entrepreneurs, it’s even more dangerous because we don’t have the normal structure of an employee. The employee knows if I have an attitude at work or not, I’m going to get paid for being at work. As an entrepreneur, if you’re selling all day, if you have houses to sell and you have an attitude, you’re probably not going to sell those houses. Having an attitude for an entrepreneur is dangerous.
You don’t want to be a Debbie Downer out there for the most part. I’m a big believer. In my office, we have a 30-second bitch session. If something goes wrong, bitch about it for 30 seconds and then move the F on to something else. If we let that stuff drag on, it does drag down to the clients, your reactions and your marketing that you’re posting. If you’re typing an email, we know that, when you type fast. Never write an angry email. Wait 24 hours in the long run.
I’ve done that before. It’s not a good thing to read later on. You’re like, “Did I say that?”
Imagine you typed saying, “Chill the fuck out.” We can joke about it because we’ve learned, but there’s a lot of people that dive into that Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. They do deep dive and it’s hard to pull their ass out of there to get back on the right track. You’ve got to pay to put food on your table and your family when your breadwinner. You’ve got to learn to develop these habits or these milestones. You’ve done something cool that I’m excited for our audience to learn more about. Do you want to share a little about some of the new Milestone System that’s helped you that you’ve developed, but helped a ton of your clients out there to reach amazing goals?
What I love about the Milestone System is it is not this one size fits all thing. It’s not where you have to do it this way. Most important is I want you to think of every year as a new mountain to climb because every year you have new goals. You got new things you want to focus on. The old strategy was, “Let’s have our New Year’s resolution. Let’s break that down.” To be honest, people have been doing that for hundreds of years. It hasn’t worked. It is time to switch it up. What we do is called planting the flag. You have a mountain to climb for this new year. When you plant that flag at the top of the mountain, it encompasses all of your smaller goals into one bigger goal. That means if you want to lose weight, you want to work out. You want to get to the gym more. You want to eat better. That makes you want to live a healthy lifestyle. That’s the flag you’re planting at the top of the mountain. It’s to live a healthier lifestyle.
If you want to make a million dollars, that’s going to encompass build your mailing list, write your book, and convert more leads. All those smaller goals are the milestones. What I love about planting a flag is it allows you to focus on the smaller stuff in front of it instead of staring at the top of the mountain. With the New Year’s resolution, people will be like, “This year, I’m going to eat better.” They think about what all the things they can not eat instead of thinking, “I want to eat healthier. What can I eat?” Staring at the top of the mountain that the New Year’s resolution is what people used to do, but the milestones are the ladders along the way to help you climb the mountain because all of those tasks have to be accomplished for you to reach the top.
It’s like, “I’m going to go free base and climb up Everest by myself.” You paint that picture good. Those that climb Everest, do it over a couple of weeks and they have base camps. They go up a little bit and they celebrate those wins. As entrepreneurs, we hit it out of the park or nothing a lot of times. We don’t celebrate those little victories along the way. We need to and identify that as part of the journey versus you’re not striking out and you’re done. It’s a path, especially a year-long path. In this case, it’s a big shit sandwich and we all got to take a bite out of it. A lot of New Year’s resolutions were not the way when they got stuck at home. There is the COVID-30 versus the Freshmen 15 for a lot of people.
I have a chapter in The Milestone System, in the book about rewards. Every time you accomplish, you reach a milestone, you should have a reward to match that accomplishment. If you outlined your book, you shouldn’t go and take a ten-day vacation in Bali. That doesn’t match up. Some people take it too far with celebrations. If you outline your book, let’s say you took the weekend off or something, it matches. The rewards are important because there’s a mental side to that. As you reward yourself, you’re telling your brain, “We did a good job. We had a good month. What we did last month, let’s celebrate that and be happy so we can do it again later.” Whereas like you said, if it’s all or nothing and because we didn’t reach a major goal immediately, you can’t quit and say, “I didn’t do anything,” because you still put in a lot of work. You have to stop being hard on yourself. That helps nobody.
How do you take the big goal and break it down into smaller milestones? How do you put those milestones in place? That’s where a lot of people struggle is, they think the big goal, but they don’t take the time to reverse engineer what they need to be doing on a weekly or monthly basis and what those goals have to be to hit that big goal.
You can do a few things. The first thing you should do is research and find that person that has done what you want to do. For me, when I look at some people like Tony Robbins, I’m like, “What does Tony Robbins do so that he is Tony Robins?” He’s on stage speaking a lot. One of my milestones in 2020 was to be on stage speaking at least ten times. In January, I set that goal of ten and by March, I had surpassed it. It has been crazy for me, personally. When you look at someone else and you see what they did to be successful, you can model yourself after that.
Sometimes you literally can reach out and ask those people. Some of my best podcast guests have come because I ask people, “How did you do this? How did you make this happen?” Literally, in a DM or Instagram or LinkedIn, they’re like, “I did this.” I’m like, “You should come to my show and talk about that.” An interview video turns into a coaching session for me. I hate to veer off the path, but that’s why everybody should have a podcast.
It’s your personal coaching aspect of things. Some of the greatest people I’ve had on my show had been people that I’ve wanted to hear more about what they’re doing and understand it and taking what they went through and applying it or their systems or teachings to my business to take it to that next level. That’s the beautiful thing about videos that made podcasts up, but you can dive into it and build a great network of virtual learning. Whereas you didn’t have to do it if it was much more difficult to do beforehand.
When it comes to the milestones, I always tell people, “After you plant a flag, you know what you want. That’s what you’re focused on. Break it down to where at the least you have one major milestone a month, but you don’t want to have it to where you have eighteen milestones because then you’re going to small.” As an example, if your major goal for the year is to live a healthier lifestyle, that means one milestone would be to find a trainer. It could be to get some workout equipment. It could be to get workout gear and workout clothes. Those are the milestones that you take along the way and you can celebrate yourself because if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle and that’s at the top. One day you find a trainer, you get clothes, you find a gym, you get equipment, and then you get routines, now you’re moving up the ladder. You feel amazing when you make that progress. The most important part of this is documenting that progress. You have to write it down. Thinking is not enough.
That’s the power in goal-setting, 50% more likely to accomplish it because you did write it down.
The milestone is a whole system where you break it down. That’s why I created the Milestone Planner because you can break it down to where every day, you’re giving energy to creating that life that you want. Every day for the past years, I’ve only focused on creating the life that I want. I can’t go to sleep without writing in that planner. It’s been nights that I passed out drunk and I got up like, “I didn’t write in my planner yet.” I go straight to it. I only miss one day when I was hospitalized. That was it. Other than that, I can’t miss a day. It is a habit.
We’ve got a serious problem to talk about. We might know the answer while you’re homeless and live in your car for six months. I would love to see how you read it the next day after you woke up from riding up and be passed out.
It’s one of the best habits you can have because it teaches you how to reward yourself, but also be disciplined. You couldn’t host the show this great if you were not disciplined. The average podcasters, honestly, they’re not successful because of discipline. Not skill or strategy because all that stuff you can learn, but discipline, that’s something you have to have and develop on your own.
With this being episode 619, we’ve been disciplined and cranking out episodes on a regular basis. We have gone from doing it daily to a couple of times a week because it does get a lot of stuff. Still, cranking out and showing up, you get better because you hang around a lot of times. We’ve branded ourselves as being the blow torch in our niche. Nobody’s even close to where we’re at because we keep cranking.
That’s what it takes.
The work ethic is where a lot of people don’t expect that you have to work at what you want to accomplish. Thinking about it and writing it down, does not accomplish that. You still got to put the work in.
Even when it comes to putting in the work in, one thing I’m learning, when it comes to working, you got to find what you love. Some people say you shouldn’t do what you love and all that stuff, but when you can live in that space of doing what you love and get paid for it, that is the ultimate personal branding for me. I remember the days when I used to look at Podfest and Podcast Movement posting about their events and stuff. I’m like, “I want to speak there one day.”
In 2020, I’ve been at more podcasts events than I can count. When you find something you love to do, this is how much I love podcasting. I got a job offer. I’m like, “I would be excited to work there.” As an entrepreneur, after you get out of full-time, you’re like, “I don’t want to work for anybody else.” If it’s something you love, you’ll be willing to compromise that. Going back to that child-like passion, that excited energy that we have in us, when you can connect with that, it can change your life forever.
You’ve talked about your Milestone System a little bit with some of the questions. Let’s dive into that and share with our audience, what that is, and what it all encompasses. I know a lot of people out there are looking for some guidance. They’re looking for help on their day in day out. God knows that 2020 has been a bit of a shit show and a lot of things have to be rescheduled and pivoted and figure things out. People are lost out there. I talked to a lot of people and they’re like, “I don’t know where to begin or where to go.” That’s why when you reached out to me, I was like, “This is perfect. I’m hearing from my audience, ‘This is something that a lot of people need.’” Share what the Milestone System is and what it all encompasses.
The Milestone System is about creating the life you desire. When you get the Milestone Planner, it shows you how to use this system every day and focus on what you want and give that energy consistently. This means whatever the life is that you want to make, not what I want you to have with your mom or your friends, whatever life you want, you can design that using the Milestone System. Another part of it that is a game-changer is the monthly review and preview system. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that, “This month was terrible for me. This year was bad.” I’m always like, “You had a great year though. You made more money than you ever have. You are happier,” but because they had a bad December, they blamed the entire year. They say it was bad. It’s not true.
What we do is we like to break it down and analyze it at a deeper level. Every day you’re tracking all the tasks that you’re doing to work towards that milestone for the end of the month. At the end of the month, you review and say, “I made progress towards this milestone. I reached this one.” That’s when you can celebrate your month. You do a preview and you set yourself up to be successful next month. What this is doing is adding more structure to create a life that you want. At the beginning of the year, you break down, “This is what I want. These are the steps I need to take to get there.” It could be 5 or 10 milestones. Every day, you work towards milestone one, “I got that.” Check it off the list.
Milestone two, “I got that.” Check it off the list. I don’t try to put time on there. I tell people to stay away from that because that’s a side effect if you comparing your journey to someone else’s. It is like, “They sold twenty houses this month. I only sold two.” That person has been doing it for ten years so you being in your second year, you can’t be mad that they’re selling twenty houses. Focus on you and what you have going on and that’s easier when you have that tracking system. This helps you take all the things that you desire and you want and structure it up. Every day, you’re dedicating at least one hour. If you can give it one hour, I can guarantee you in 90 days, you will have a completely different life.
How do people take advantage of this or get signed up for it, Chris?
What you can do is go to Twitter or Instagram and send me a message. I’m @TheCoachChris. I like to get to know people. If you’re a podcaster, send me an episode. If you are in real estate and you have your own business, let me know who you are and what you do. I’m a real personable person. I love talking to people. Talk to me and I will send you the book. I will send you all information and all that stuff. Reach out to me. I prefer to do that than the regular website stuff. It’s more personal like this. I’m not going to put you in some annoying funnel and email you every day. That’s not me. Honestly, you’ll get more value from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all that stuff anyway. Shoot me a message. That would be way better.
That’s a beautiful thing. When you were saying, “Spend an hour, focus on 30 days.” What popped in my head was my days as a banker and as a financial advisor. Every mortgage broker, mortgage banker, financial advisor, they usually run in 30 to 90-day segments to get to their year-end goal. They have monthly commitments of what to do. The best sales training I’ve ever had is to always focus and figure out. You start off the day or end your day knowing what you’ve got accomplished the next day. Going back, we looked at 30 days in increments, and then we had to track what we did on a daily basis. I think that’s one of the best things when you’re new as an entrepreneur. Track your daily habits. You’ll see what you’re working well towards and what you’re drifting on. A great book to read is Outwitting the Devil, if you haven’t read it. It’s by Sharon Lechter or Napoleon Hill.
Take advantage of what Chris is talking about. Reach out to him and get his Milestone Planner. It is phenomenal. He’s done a great job of putting us together. He’s worked with many different types of entrepreneurs and podcasters. You can learn a lot from an expert because the systems, the day-in day-out routines are often similar across the board for those that are experts or successful in any category. They let their data find them and they also do the most productive thing at any given moment for the most part. This is a great way to help you identify the most productive things on your journey, on your path to climbing that Mount Everest to get to that ultimate goal.
It’s about being efficient. New entrepreneurs love to tell me, “I worked for eighteen hours a day.” and I’m like, “That sounds good.” Honestly, it doesn’t even sound good. It sounds unhealthy. That’s how I ended up hospitalized. I almost suffered a brain aneurysm because I was always working. That is when I was like, “I need to take a step back. I had to reevaluate how I’m spending my days and how efficient I am.” Another thing I talk about in the book is power hours. I can sit down for one hour. I worked for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, work for 25 minutes and take another 5 minutes break. That one hour, I’m more efficient than three hours of being all over the place. When you’re efficient as an entrepreneur, you can get a lot done in a short period of time. That’s what we need to get to. Instead of working eighteen hours, let’s work four focused hours.
That makes a lot of sense because the brain can only absorb what the ass can withstand.
When people tell me, “I stayed up until 3:00 in the morning.” I’m like, “Are you working? Are you that efficient at 3:00 in the morning? I know for me, I have to stop work. One of my rules, I stopped working at 10:00 PM. If I’m doing something important, I go to 11:00. If I have to get it done, I miss the deadline at midnight. I never work past midnight under any circumstance because I know when I’m working that late, I have YouTube and Netflix and I’m eating. I’m not getting work done. It’s all right to go to sleep and wake up early at 6:00 AM and get to work because I’m more efficient then.
Some people are night owls. We mentioned Tony Robbins. He mentioned that he’s a night owl. Sometimes he doesn’t go to bed until 2:00, 3:00 in the morning because that’s when he has his most productive time. He’s a little bit of a later sleeper, whatever the schedule is. You said something short, 30 minutes, 25-minute blasts or be effective. Turn off all the distractions. If you’re working up at 6:00, you can get more stuff done by 10:00 than most people get done in a week. If you’re doing that when the house is quiet, especially if you’ve got little ones in the house that you’re dodging Legos when you’re getting up in the morning.
It’s a beautiful thing to wake up before the house. That’s my favorite thing in the world. It’s like the world stops between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM. After 7:00, it can get a little loud. When you can get up at 5:00, you get a head start on everything.
One of my favorite things to do that helps me charge and center my day is I’ll get up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and I go out, sit at my patio and I listen. I’m on the west side of the house so the sun’s not coming on me yet in the 95-degree heat that we have here in Austin. I’m sitting there, the sun’s out, and I’m listening to the birds. I’m listening to different things. We got frogs. We got a couple of crazy squirrels. I am listing to the city and to the neighborhood coming alive and centering there. I’ll throw Tony Robbins in my ear or somebody else motivational or a little bit of light music. It’s a great centering day to focus on my milestones to make things happen for the rest of the afternoon.
That’s super healthy. I do the same thing. One thing I want to urge people to stop doing is using the alarm clocks because that’s scaring your body awake. It is better if you wake up on your own. Tell yourself, “We have to wake up at 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, or 9:00 AM.” Let your body wake up. It’ll take some time to get used to it. After about a month, you won’t need an alarm anymore. I promise you. That’s probably one of my favorite habits I’ve developed because alarms are annoying. Nobody wants to hear that.
If you go on any major trip, you’re usually waking up ten minutes before the alarm clock goes off. We see that. I wake up, roll over up. I got two minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off, click. Let me get out of the house and go do it. You got to realize we have to give ourselves permission to fail and to grow into this stuff. It’s not going to happen overnight. That’s why I love why I have you on here because you’ve put together the Accountability Pathway and the Milestone Planner as one of the best things I’ve seen out there. I’m glad that you’ve been on the show. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing it. I’ve had a great time. It’s been fun. I can’t wait to catch up and hang out in person and have a good glass of red wine at some point.
For sure. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.
Thank you, Chris. Take what Coach Chris said, go out, take some action, put some things down, be kind to your future self, and take your goals and plan them appropriately in 30-day increments. Take the time to focus a day on your big goals because if you can’t spend an hour on your goals each day, is it really an important goal? We all know that the important ones are the ones that you’re going to spend the time on. You will have success and succeed at what you focus on. Go out and focus on and we will see you at the top.
- Personal Branding Playbook
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
- The Milestone System
- Outwitting the Devil
- Twitter – Chris Hines
- @TheCoachChris – Instagram
- Facebook – Chris Hines
- LinkedIn – Chris Hines
About Christopher Hines
Christopher Hines is host of the Personal Branding Playbook and the top podcast expert for businesses and personal brands. Since 2015 he’s been hosting, producing and managing podcasts. Now Chris owns the Elite Podcast Marketing Agency, where you can create your own lane. As a podcast producer and manager, Coach Chris has generated over $20k through sponsorships and over 50,000 downloads on multiple podcasts.
Also known as Coach Chris, he speaks around the world to business owners and companies about hosting their own podcasts. He’s been at Podfest, Podcast Movement and several other events. Coach Chris can help you grow your show with the Podcast to Profit System!
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