In this episode Ian and I talk about the Zone model. A tool for helping you get back in the zone quicker so that you can make it your centre of gravity.
Picture three interlocking circles, one of them is titled ‘results acceleration’. How do you get there faster? And then in one of the other circles, its titled Mindset, because mindset’s absolutely critical. Then the third circle is titled Energy.
A little story to illustrate the model
We were living in Sydney, New South Wales, and we bought a property on the Tweed Coast. So still in New South Wales, Northern New South Wales. And it was a beautiful Balinese type property of three acres overlooking a lake. It had previously been used as a kind of massage and Day spa.
With my background coming from massage and wellness and everything, I’m like, “We should start a luxury day spa. Oh my god.”
We were originally looking for a property where we could just bring in some of the executives that we could do our executive mastermind coaching group, we could make it live-in, that was our original intent. But because I’m such an entrepreneur and I can see potential in an ant, I’m like, “We can do this.” And I saw the vision straight away and it took over our frigging lives for the next three years.
That’s exactly what I wanted it to do and be and achieve, so we said, “Okay let’s do it.” And my vision for the property was that it be an award-winning property, an award-winning spa. But for me that meant that we added value to our client. I wanted to give the people that came to Enrich Retreat and Spa the most amazing experience.
I even created a fake award in advance, the only thing when we opened the doors and the awards were in nine months.
But I had a belief in the fact that we could do it and I had certainty. If anyone’s ever started a business from scratch, you know what it’s like. We had no money, it’s a major bummer when you’re starting a business. No cashflow.
I remember halfway through, someone said, “You don’t have enough money to launch it properly so I suggest you just stop everything that you’re doing and get the money and then start.” And I remember it was devastating because we were halfway there with our plans and we needed a heap of outlay to buy product and start to train staff. And I just went to my room and just started crying and then in a second, I just saw the vision again, I felt that belief in myself, I felt the certainty and I went, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to do it.”
Do what’s in your hand
But we decided to do it in a smaller way. We said, “Let’s just do it with what we’ve got in our hand. We don’t have to have the big scale launch like all the businesses do, we’ll open three of the rooms, we’ll just hire two staff and we’ll just start with what we’ve got. And so we did that, that felt really good in our bodies, we were comfortable and so we did that.
I made a decision to just be the owner and operator of a five star day spa even though we started on a much smaller scale. I decided to be it. A lot of people wait until they have the resources or the money or what’s required and that puts them into procrastination mode whereas I went straight into being it. Sure, on a smaller scale, but then it started to gain some momentum.
I acted as if my vision was complete in everything that I did. So when I wrote the business plan, when I wrote the blueprint, when I wrote the description of all the staff’s duties and everything it was as if I was running a multi-national spa. But I had three massage rooms. But act as if, and set yourself up as if you’re out five years and you’re doing what you love. Set yourself up in the beginning and you’ve got the perfect foundation to then build upon.
So, we get to the awards night and we’re sitting there and Ian just said to me, “You know babe, it’s a long shot, we’re a brand new business, we’re only tiny. We’ve only been open for eight months. We are up against spas from all of Asia and all of Australia.
And so, he said, “Look, don’t get disappointed, okay? Don’t get your hopes up.”
But anyway, we get there and they call out the three candidates and we stand up in front of the audience on the awards night, I’m standing there and they go, “And the winner is Enrich Retreat and Spa!”
And I stood up and my hand just went over my mouth and I looked at Ian, and we’re like, “Holy fuck. We did it. We did it.”.
Operating in the Zone
I could see that whole eight or nine months I was in the zone. Things would knock me out but I had such momentum and such certainty and such a belief in what we were doing that it was like I was a rock. My center of gravity was the zone. That’s where I lived and that’s where I played.
Because when you’re not operating in the zone, you get into a place where you’re scattered, your thoughts are all over the place, you’re not grounded, you can’t think straight and so you don’t really operate at your best. You’re not really operating in your zone of genius.
But when you get in that zone, in that energy, in that groove, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when the wisdom drops in. That’s when the ideas happen. That’s when you go, “Ooh, I just had this thought. Maybe this might happen.
And then you’re dreaming and start thinking of bigger possibilities that you’ve got certainty that’s behind the possibility and momentum and it just gets on a roll.
And this is the point, the universe … I love that quote by Napoleon Hill, “The universe tends to make room for people who know what they want.” Clarity.
Having a Bold Vision
We were switching on our RAS which is this little tool in our subconscious mind that says … you know the old example that’s been done to death and it’s almost a cliché but it works for people is when you’d made a decision to buy a new car, you tend to see that make and model everywhere. Because you got specific and you’ve turned on your reticular activating system tool in your subconscious mind and you’re filtering out every other type of vehicle that’s out there and starting to see what you want to gain, attract and get. And that’s a huge secret around the whole setting intentions, creating a well-formed outcome.
So the importance of a bold vision. I had a bold vision around the retreat.
It was a big vision and I think we can’t be scared of big visions. Some people are visionaries and they have big dreams and some people kind of fear that because they think, “Well how is that even possible?” But in order to have a big bold vision, you can’t think about the how at the beginning, because that will stop you dead in your tracks. You just think of the what and the why and the how will happen.
That adage that if you’re aiming for the top of the mountain, you’ll at least get to the third ridge. But if you’re just aiming for the first ridge, well you’ll probably get there but no further.
So you set your big, hairy, bodacious goal vision.
This is why the subheading of this podcast under Unleashed, is Living in the Zone because it’s so critical to know how to put yourself in that zone and yet so insidiously easy to slip out of it.
How do you live in it? How do you not just have moments, like accolades that went, “I was in the zone for that one minute race, I was pumped, I was focused, I had it all.” How do you live in the zone consistently and just have moments outside of the zone? That’s where the honey is, that’s the secret.
It’s putting yourself in that potential. Like what could be possible here? And then just let your mind go and marinade in that.
And then a little tip, Walt Disney used to have a wonderful little process where he’d put his leaders into the dreaming room. And they’d dream and think big about what’s possible. Then he’d take them out of that room and put them into what he called the critic room. And they were now allowed to be critical about the ideas they’d come up with. And then he put them into a third room, which he called the realist room. And that was where, out of all those great ideas they’ve spawned, they came up with the two or three that were still big, bold visions but they had some realm of possibility around them and in reality they could actually do them.
And I think the key is not to be in both rooms at once. You cannot be in the possibility room as well as the critic room.
Because whenever you think, “Hey maybe I could make this massive business and create this retreat and become award-winning in eight months.” And then the critic steps in and goes, “Bullshit, lady. You can’t do that, that’s impossible.” You got to be in one room and then be in it and stay in it and don’t let that critic in.
3 Steps to live in the zone
So, step number one, you’ve got to think in the space of possibility, or that word you used, potential. Now we’re going to move into the second step, which is to take some action. Actually get something done. So that’s step two because then what comes after that is some results. And if the results are positive, what does that do to your beliefs?
Yeah and I think where a lot of us get stuck is we don’t have the how. And the biggest thing for entrepreneurs, when they don’t know the how, is they procrastinate. And we do nothing. And then we don’t take action so nothing gets done, so our dreams go to the graveyard of dreams that are never realized because we haven’t ever taken the action because we don’t know the how or you let the fear step in.
Step number two is take some action and we get on a round in a circle like a flywheel, we start to see some results happening now and those positive results will have an impact on step number four which is your belief.
Because now you’ve seen some results so your beliefs actually become more resourceful. And that in turn leads you to step number three, which is?
Certainty. I was absolutely certain about what was possible with the spa. I think certainty is just a belief that you’re rock hard solid on. Your beliefs can shift and change, and you might not be attached to a certain belief, but if you have certainty about something, that’s a belief that you have conviction in.
And it’s harder to change. If you’re going to try and change someone on becoming vegan, but they have a belief that we were designed to eat meat and it’s not just a belief, it’s a freaking conviction. They are a huge meat eater, they would eat a cow for breakfast, you are not going to change them overnight.
Yeah because they’re rock solid on it. And normally, we might explore this in the subsequent episode,
So, possibility, play that first. What’s possible? Now take some actions, no matter how small. Watch the results start to flow, that’ll strengthen your beliefs and you’ll get even more resourceful about what’s possible. That’ll create convictional certainty, it’s step number three. And then we’re back to thinking even bigger about what’s possible and so the flywheel just creates momentum and you start to get accelerated results which defy purely rational explanation.
If you want to hear the full episode hit the play button up the top and enjoy!