I was burnt out. I mean “passed out with a crispy charcoal black frozen pizza in the oven” burnt out.
(One of my buddies in college was notorious for doing this and actually kept his “trophies” up on top of the kitchen cabinets proudly on display…how did we all make it through college alive again?!?) But, I digress…
You may be asking, what led to such an epic state of burnout? It’s because as my company grew, my responsibilities had shifted. It hadn’t happened dramatically all at once. The shift occurred subtly with one thing here and another there…until one day, I realized what I was doing was no longer fun nor fulfilling for me. But after a jam session with my whiteboard and a heart-to-heart with my partner, I was able to shift, modify, add, and subtract the responsibilities on my list, which got me back in the saddle feeling great—all in less than two weeks. All because I had previously spent time reflecting and uncovering what we at goBRANDgo! call a go!-Statement.
Simon Sinek has touched a lot of lives with his Find Your Why because, as 19th century philosopher Frederich Nietzsche astutely said, a person “who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” However, the struggle I have experienced with sole attention to my “Why” is connecting it to the visceral reality of today—to what should I do right now—when I’m in the throes of charcoal-black-frozen-pizza burnout.
As a part of every new team member’s (we call them go!-mates) onboarding process at goBRANDgo!, I work with them to discover their go!-Statement. A go!-Statement is a lot like a personal mission statement, but with one major difference: it’s about incorporating your “How” into your “Why”. It’s about discovering what gives you an unfair advantage over everyone else—the approach to, and types of activities, that allow you to tap into the special mojo that you uniquely possess.
It’s important to note that your own go!-Statement can’t be developed or created…it can only be discovered. It’s already inside you. I work with my team members to help them understand how their past experiences have culminated to forge them (I say “forge” deliberately, as experiences often enact change in fiery, painful ways) into the people they are today. Revealing the “How” and some of the “Why” that resonates, and makes people say, “[insert expletive here] Yes!!” creates the opportunity for them to maximize performance now and set themselves up for the greatest possible fulfillment in the future.
It’s taken a lot of thought and reflection to reveal my go!-Statement, which is “To learn, simplify, and connect to create 2x in 1/2x.” I’ve identified that when I’m able to absorb new concepts that create a better understanding of what I already know (a little bit), then I’m able to make increasingly larger impact with substantially less output. And when I am doing work at the intersection of what I’m good at, love doing, and provides the most value to the organization, then I know that I am doing the work that gives me and my company and clients the biggest unfair advantage over others. And to boot, it’s a thousand times more invigorating and equally less taxing on my energy.
But knowing your go!-Statement is just the beginning. I’ve learned to give myself permission to do the work that I love doing and I am best at. This is the “guilty pleasure” work—the stuff you feel bad for doing—because it’s so much fun, and work is supposed to be hard, right?!? If you’re having a blast, then you must not be doing something right.
Wrong. When you’re doing this type of work, you’re doing work that falls squarely within your “unique ability” as author Dan Sullivan calls it in his book by the same name. Remember how I talked about the special mojo that you uniquely possess? Yep, when you’re using it, you’re operating at your highest and best, and nobody else can do what you’ve set out to do better than you.
So, what’s your go!-Statement? What’s the unique ability already lying within you? How can you make subtle or maybe even dramatic changes in what you work on and how you work to stay in your sweet spot more often, driving the value and joy you create even higher?