Ep. 022: How to Begin Your Personal Transformation in 2017 — with John Benzick

John Benzick, Entrepreneur, Venture Superfly
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Do you seek new growth opportunities?  Are you frustrated with seeing only incremental change, at best, in your personal or professional life?

In this episode, John Benzick introduces the topic of “leverage points,” and how they can help revolutionize your productivity, satisfaction and achievement.  He offers a simple 5-minute assignment to help you envision radical growth possibilities for you in the New Year.

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Episode Transcript:

Greetings Product Launch Rebels, Happy New Year, and welcome to the Product Launch Rebel podcast. I am your host, John Benzick, the founder of VS, the website that helps you double your entrepreneurial courage, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Today is a short but hopefully impactful podcast episode. I have a simple message that may transform your entrepreneurial — and maybe even personal — results this year.

And that message is about identifying and then leveraging your number one strength to an audience that will reward you for it.

It’s the beginning of the new year, and I don’t know about you, but I often get quiet around this time of year, because I think of my past year and how I can improve in the new year.

I just think that life is amazing, and I don’t want to waste another year by not being self-aware or not pursuing things that are meaningful and purposeful, or to miss out on life’s opportunities. In fact, I don’t want to waste one minute of my life, and I’m sure you don’t either.

So at the beginning of each new year, I think about the things that are bothering me in both my professional and personal aspects, and I develop plans on how to overcome those struggles.

And the funny thing is, those struggles seem to re-occur over and over from year to year. They happen so many times, in fact, that I’ve often thought about giving up on my quest to overcome these weaknesses or burdens.

But about 5 years ago, on that topic, I asked some friends if they ever abandon their goals for the year, and nearly all of them said that they do abandon them and no longer set goals for the year.

And that really struck me. I felt sad that my friends gave up on their goals.

So now, ever since then, I think to myself, you know, I’m not going to give up on my struggles, the things that are holding me back, I’m going to continue working on these things that are bothering me, through heck or high water. Even if I continue to fall short of my expectations on them.

And actually, what has quietly inspired me to do this, really, is my Christian belief system. And I believe that God wants me to keep working on the things that I struggle with, even though I might fall short in doing so.

And I don’t think that he wants me to give up (because he doesn’t give up on me), so I’ve chosen to not give up, despite my seemingly chronic weaknesses or issues that consistently hold me back.

In fact, I love stories of not just incremental improvements that people make in their own lives, but the transformational stories of people’s lives. I just think that that takes so much courage and commitment to experience something like that, something that I probably will never experience, but secretly and quietly hope to.

And I think each of us, whether we’re conscious of it or not, strives for some sort of personal transformation.

There’s a great book that I read a couple years ago called Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak, and it suggested that idea, that every person aims for some sort of transformation, to be connected to a mission that’s bigger than themselves.

And I sort of bought into that idea. It really impacted me.

So if you’re a growth-oriented person, do you seek incremental growth opportunities? Or do you seek transformative growth opportunities?

Today, in this episode, I briefly highlight the concept of leverage points. My goal is to encourage you to identify, and then leverage, that one quality, or asset, that can produce the most transformational growth in your life or in your organization.

Believe it or not, most of what we do or offer is of low value. We often severely under-utilize the key high-value attribute that can produce vastly superior results for us. Unfortunately, we spend most of our time presenting low value features or qualities that limit our advancement and produce mediocre results, at best.

It varies for each person and company, but your highest-value attribute might be a skill, a personality trait or some sort of specialized knowledge, or a combination of those.

So, what key feature are you under-utilizing?

If you seek transformative growth, I encourage you to review your top qualities, skills and attributes, and identify your leverage points.

What one personal or professional quality carries more weight than the others, given your situation and your audience? What’s your best bargaining chip?

If you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule, you know that 20 percent (or less) of your qualities generate 80 percent (or more) of your results. Conversely, 80 percent of your qualities muster only 20 percent of your results.

Are you spending too much time (i.e. 80 percent) generating only 20 percent of your happiness, production, or achievements?

So your assignment this week is this:

I encourage you to journal about, and define, a chronic low-growth situation that is bothering you or limiting your business. Additionally, list your (or your organization’s) top five qualities that are relevant to the issue.

If you need help, ask for input from someone who clearly understands you or your business. Then, review this list of qualities and identify the one that, if fully leveraged, will have the best chance of transforming your challenge into a transformational growth opportunity.

So set your timer.

Take five minutes now and, just for fun, do a quick draft of this assignment. This short five minutes could plant the seed for colossal insights and growth for the next 12 months.

Good luck, thanks for listening, and we’ll see you in the next episode!

About the author, John

John Benzick is an entrepreneurship coach and the founder of Venture Superfly. He is a Tech Partner at the venture-capital fund of Matchstick Ventures, a Mentor with Techstars Retail accelerator, an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and (former CEO-in-Residence) at the University of Minnesota, and founder and owner in two consumer product businesses. Click the button below to learn more.

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