"As soon as you attach a date to a goal, it turns into an actual training plan because you’re making that commitment."
I hope that you’re proud of what you have accomplished in your life. Yet there may still be a voice inside your head that says you should be further along than you are right now. So, what’s holding you back from having the impact you desire?
The answer lies in getting out of your comfort zone and staying there. Doing this means becoming FEARLESS and FOCUSED so that you can take action and break through the mental walls that stand in your way. That is the “FFwd Mindset” and the topic of today’s podcast.
My guest, David Schnurman is the CEO of Lawline, President of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) New York—one of the most prestigious chapters of EO in the world—and author of a brand new book, The Fast Forward Mindset: How to Be More Fearless & Focused to Accelerate Your Success, which I had the honor of writing the Foreword for.
Today, David joins the podcast to share his personal entrepreneurial journey—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and the formula he applied to overcome the mental, physical, and professional obstacles that arose on his path to where he is today, as well as the importance of accountability when it comes to achieving your goals.
- How David almost didn’t become an entrepreneur – and the experiences that organically pushed him to launching Lawline.
- How a period of slowing growth after several years of huge success inspired David’s book – and what he did to get the company’s growth back on track.
- The formula for success David outlines in his book – and how to start getting outside your comfort zone.
- Why specific, detailed plans and tracking your progress are so crucial to accountability.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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Hal: All right. Goal achievers, what is going on? It’s Hal Elrod and I am here with a friend of mine and not just an Internet friend, not just like a Facebook friend, like a legitimate friend. It’s a human being that I spent time with in person and on the phone and via text and now via Zoom which is how we are connecting today and my friend that I’m going to introduce to you today, David Schnurman, and I will give David an official bio here at some point, but I really wanted to dive in. David, again, is a friend and we jumped on Zoom right now and started chatting and I said, “Dude, let’s just hit record like let’s keep the catching up and just record that and share it with the world.” So, David, how are you, buddy?
David: I’m doing great, Hal, and I love that because so many times from interviewing on the podcast we spend 15 minutes talking and I’m just like, “Let’s just go,” because all my good stuff is going to go before we hit record.
Hal: Yeah. Exactly. The thunder’s being stolen before the record button is being hit and that’s not great. So, well, I’ll let you tell this story, man. How did we meet? How did we connect? I mean, you reached out to me in a really generous way when The Miracle Morning came out and so I actually love to hear your version. I heard it years ago, but I don’t even remember. So, tell me, tell the audience how the heck do we connect, man?
David: I think it was 2012. What year did the book come out? 2011?
Hal: Yeah. 12-12-12 was the published date of Miracle Morning. I think the date I wouldn’t forget. Yeah.
David: Perfect. I love it. 2013 was when I got the book and it was recommended to me by Joe Appelbaum who has connected me with a lot of great things in life and I read the book and at the time that I read the book, I did not consider myself a morning person. I definitely 100% hit snooze all the time and it just was not something that was part of my motto, but I was a productive person. I was an entrepreneur.
Hal: I mean, to be clear, real quick, and sorry to cut you off but because I didn’t give you an official intro like, David, everybody listening, he is the CEO of Lawline which is the leading provider of online continuing legal education in the country. They serve over 150,000 attorneys. So, just because as you’re talking, I want to make sure people understood that you aren’t like living at your parent’s house sleeping until noon every day like you were leading a multimillion dollar company but the morning was not a piece that you had conquered yet, correct?
David: It’s so funny you say that because with my mom I’m always self-deprecating because you lead by just sharing your insecurities and your vulnerabilities when I was reading my book and she read it, she’s like, “Dave, there’s too many negative things about you that you need to change.” I’m like, “No, that’s what works, mom,” but she’s like, “You need to tell them that you’re smart and you’re good.”
Hal: She should’ve written the foreword to your book then maybe mom’s written it.
David: I am a self-declared SHA which is I call a self-help addict. So, I read a lot of books, Hal, a lot of books on self-help and most books I don’t even finish because it just doesn’t relate to me or they could’ve been a blog post and there was something with your book that I read probably in a day or two that was, I mean, I know what it was. It was super actionable to me and I think there’s different things of people, they take from different books. So, I was already journaling at the time and so it was the thing that I always repeat about your book that for me was a game changer was those three steps. Put the phone away from you.
Hal: Move the alarm across the room. Yeah.
David: Drink a glass of water. And the key, the secret, secret ingredient that I never did that I do every day since is you brush your teeth. That meant from you don’t even need coffee. We can put the coffee business out of business because when I brush my teeth, it wakes me up and so I decided to commit the next day. I recently read also The Success Principles the year before by Jack Canfield and Principle #54 is keep your agreements and that principle changed my life and so as soon as I committed to The Miracle Morning, I’ve never once in my life, Hal, since your book, I’ve hit snooze again. I’d rather sleep through a plane flight than hit snooze so that’s pretty cool.
Hal: That is impressive, David, because I can’t even say that I haven’t hit the snooze button since the book came out. That is impressive.
David: Okay. Let me practice it. I might not hit snooze but if I wake up and I’m too tired, I’ll reset my alarm so… No, but that’s different. I’m intentionally saying I’m going to wake up later and then that’s my choice. I’m not just going mu, mu, mu.
Hal: Yeah. I like that. It’s funny that what you just shared I’ll never forget. So, everybody listening, goal achievers, David is not only the CEO of his own company, but he is the President of Entrepreneurs Organization in New York City, one of the most prestigious chapters of Entrepreneurs Organization or EO for short and if you don’t know EO, it’s a group of – it’s an organization of CEO…
David: 13,700 internationally. We’re in 58 countries.
Hal: I actually let you intro that. 13,000 CEOs around the world. So, David, the funny part is so David brought me out to speak at EO in New York and, David, when you were – I’m sure you probably remember this but when you were, but I’ll never forget it, when you were and I actually quote this a lot. When you were introducing me, you read my bio or my intro or whatever and then you said, “Hey, I don’t know if Hal is going to mention this, so like I hope he does because it’s been the biggest game changer for me, you guys. Move your alarm clock across the room. If it wasn’t for that, I’d still be snoozing my life away every morning.” So, I often talk about when I teach that five-step wake up strategy, I go, “Look, there’s a gentleman David Schnurman who is the CEO of Lawline and President of EO,” and on and on and I said, “When he intro like this is how important the tip I’m about to give you. When he introed me, literally, like the one thing you want to make sure I taught in my 90-minute keynote is move your alarm clock across the room.
David: And here’s the reason why, Hal, because most people – you need one takeaway from a book like one thing that you can remember because, obviously, SAVERS is really good because that’s easy to remember and so that was the one thing that stuck with me and then everything else went from there and so I want to make sure we put that. I was a little hurt, though, because you remember this, you also asked Joe to introduce you after I was introducing you. I was like, “Wow. He probably doesn’t think I’m going to do a good enough job, so I hope…”
Hal: That’s funny. I think it was more just a sympathy thing for Joe. You can tell him that.
David: He was much better than both of us so that’s fine.
Hal: So, let me and I know this episode is a thing around in circles and kind of going in different places which as I said we would do that and since everybody knows me, that’s how a conversation with me go anyway. So, might as well keep it real. But you have a new book coming out, that just came out and it’s your first book, correct? The Fast Forward Mindset. Anything wrong there? Is that all correct?
David: It’s a fit. The official release date is actually May 8 so depending on when this goes out, it’ll either be out.
Hal: That’s the day this comes out, I think.
Hal: May 8, the day this comes out. How perfect is that? And you reach out to me, asked me to write the foreword to the book. The edition of the book that I have read and I want to be transparent with this was an earlier edition so it was so good, to anybody listening, like I haven’t actually even read the final edition because you sent me an early edition that was like almost final and that’s what I wrote the foreword off of, but I know as an author like the polishing that gets done in the last few months and weeks of the book like that’s where the book goes from good to like excellent so I’m excited to read that for my second time and see what the differences, what the updates you made have been. So, the book for anybody listening it’s called The Fast Forward Mindset: How to Be Fearless & Focused to Accelerate Your Success. And David, I want to go back before the book because this book is for entrepreneurs for what we talked about and it’s really for everybody, but you are so ingrained in entrepreneurship that we had actually a conversation when you’re writing the book. You reach out and asked me for different ideas on, “Hey, who should I write this for? Who should I target for?” I talk about, well, it’s a general book for everybody but at the same time, you can definitely target it for entrepreneurs and give some bonus tips and advice based on your entrepreneurial journey. So, that’s my question for you is, well, it’s kind of a two-faced question. It’s two sides of the same coin. How did you become an entrepreneur, but I know that there’s a story in there of how you almost did not become an entrepreneur, so I’d love to hear your journey.
David: Sure. So, I’ll start off with ever since I was in middle school I always wanted to be an entrepreneur like I literally used to go to Office Depot and Staples when I was in middle school and I’d walk through the aisles and I would look at all the things that someday I was going to buy for my business like little cash register machines, a little lockbox, the binders, the staplers. I swear to God, that was fun for me.
Hal: How old were you to that?
David: Eighth grade.
Hal: Eighth grade. Got it. Did you have like was your dad an entrepreneur? Was your relative? Like what got you interested?
David: It’s funny so my dad is a personal injury attorney. He retired but he had his own firm. I never thought about that as entrepreneurship and he also invested in real estate and so I got to tell you like I even see it in my son a little bit. I just think it’s a little bit in our DNA like just wanting to control your own life. Obviously, for my dad, it was I think just something that excited me about the learning and growing on entrepreneurship. With that said, so I went to high school and in high school, I read entrepreneur magazines. Do you ever read that as a kid?
Hal: I did not.
David: For a speaker? Okay.
Hal: I mean, I’ve read it but no, I did not when I was younger.
David: Or whatever, in college, but in the back there’s those little franchises so I used to cut out…
Hal: Yeah. I remember that.
David: Like, 40 pages of franchises so I would cut out the ones I was going to buy and then in college I would read, that’s where I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and Robert Kiyosaki I know is really a big fan of yours and you’re a big fan of his. That book is what inspired me to be an entrepreneur. The thing about that book though it didn’t teach me exactly what I need to do to start. So, I graduated college and I remember thinking I was going to make seven figures within three years, starting my own business like it was a given. And then I think it was five years later when I was on my fourth sales job like two years, one year, two years, I started to panic like I started to like wonder like if this person I’ve always believed of myself was ever going to come true and that’s where like I started like wondering. I started doing therapy. I just want to figure out my next path was, and I joke because I say in the speech where I was like, so I did what any budding entrepreneur would do, what did I do? I did what my dad wanted me to do and I went to law school.
And so, it was in law school, though, where I had some really bad experiences at law firms that transformed my thinking that if I didn’t take – so I had some bad experience at law firms which pushed me – I started a TV show in law school. This is before podcast. This is 2006.
Hal: An online TV show or…?
David: No. It’s on cable access and it’s called Neighborhood Network Channel 37.
Hal: Wow. I didn’t know that. That’s amazing.
David: And I also put it online. It’s called True NYC. So, if you go to TrueNYC.com you can see it and you’ll see the interviews from 2006. Simon Sinek was one of them and I interviewed Simon before. He was amazing back then, but it was before his TED Talk, before his book. And in our interview, he actually told me after that interview he asked me for the DVD because he said it was the best interview he has ever done at the time. I couldn’t figure out how to get him the video file and because he wants to sell it and he goes to me, “Oh well.” And like my whole life I’m like, “What a missed opportunity that was.”
Hal: That is so funny.
David: Long story short, this TV show was the beginning to everything including to me speaking to you today that led me to my path and I can get in – I don’t know how deep you want me to get into it but it is essentially the main theme that I got from all the interviews. Number one thing was, obviously, take action, and there’s a couple of opportunities that I had to start while in college. I can definitely get into that, but I just want to make sure that I don’t go too far down the story if you don’t want me to.
Hal: So, Lawline, was that the first departure from being in a journey like going down into your dad’s path as an attorney and starting Lawline? So, you started a TV show. Did you monetize the TV show? Did you make money from that?
David: So, I thought the TV show was going to be my big money maker. Soon as I started doing Lawline, I was making money at the first month. And so, Lawline just to give a little bit more context and the reason that having cable TV show wasn’t so foreign to me, my dad had the first cable television show for called Lawline in 1985. He was like they called him the Larry King of Law I guess. That’s how he likes to say at least. And he thought…
Hal: Self-proclaimed Larry King of law.
David: So, he was so ahead of his time and I was even ahead of my time what I was doing in 2006 and in 1999 during the dot com boom, came in a couple different his partner and a couple of their companies they tried. So, he actually started Lawline and they put a lot of money into it to create this online education platform and their goal was to merge a lot of companies, go public, make millions of dollars and retire, and then the market crashed in 2000. Pets.com, all those things, everything disappeared, and everything dried up for him and he just went back practicing law. But the smart thing that my dad never did even though the site wasn’t making money, maybe there was $1,000 a month but it’s losing money every year, he never threw it away. So, literally, for six years, seven years, he just had it there and he just kept it and it would do like $12,000 a year or something like that. And so, when I did interviews with these entrepreneurs I remember thinking like, “What if I just took this camera and started interviewing attorneys and turn those into courses and then say, ‘We’re Lawline and we’ve been around since 1999?’”
Hal: Nice. I like the way you think.
David: It was key because when I did that, I was able to get accreditation very quickly in many states. I wasn’t a startup. So, I could’ve done it all my own called it True COE but I certainly wouldn’t have the head start and who knows where we’ve ended up.,
Hal: That’s brilliant. So, you launched Lawline, what year was that?
David: 2007 is when I incorporated but I started in 2006.
Hal: 2006, got it. How old were you at that point?
David: I graduated school I was 29.
Hal: Okay. So, you’re 29. You’re heading down the path of an attorney. What did you say?
David: I’m 41 now just to give context.
Hal: Yeah. When was the like how long was it before you went, “I’m curious,” because I interviewed someone last week, Jesse Harless, and all interview was about kind of how he was able to leave his job, leave a very secure job. In fact, at one point his dream job because he really wants to be an entrepreneur. So, I’m curious, I always find it a fascinating transition because I think for a lot of people they stay in a job that they don’t necessarily love or doesn’t make the money they want or doesn’t fulfill them because of fear of the unknown or fear of failure and that sort of thing. So, I always find it so fascinating when somebody bridges that gap between being an employee and being an entrepreneur. So, I’d love to hear just a bit about that like how did you do it financially from having a paycheck to, you know, was it that you generated income from Lawline enough to replace it, like what was your process to transition? And how long did it take?
David: Yeah. My dad doesn’t like to admit this because so first off, let me just say, he’s been the biggest mentor to me over the past 11 years in so many ways. He also does sometimes he’s a little like doubtful. So, I remember when we’re doing this, he was very doubtful I was going to be successful and the first question he asked is, “How are you going to support yourself?” And I said, “It’s going to work,” and I put together a business plan and it said we’re going to make a million dollars in three years. And so, the first thing I did because we didn’t have money to pay rent was I asked my dad if he could take over the kitchen in his office and do the company from there. And he said, “You ask someone?” He had a law office where he rented out other spaces for lawyers. So, we literally took the stuff out of the kitchen like all these different things. I put my desk in there and I remember like the first couple years I would be on the phone with customers and you can literally hear the lawyers in the background washing dishes.
Hal: That’s great.
David: And so, what I’d like to say, in Silicon Valley, you start a business in the garage. In Silicon Alley in New York, you start it in a kitchen. And so, that was one way we kept the cost down. Secondly, all my first employees were interns either from law school or insurance from high school and some really great people. And third, we with a lot of luck and good timing. I started right before there’s a really big deadline in one state. So, my third month into this new business and it was credit cards to answer your question, what we used to pay for the direct marketing. And, by the way, the company I hired could build the website. I met them through my True NYC, my interviews. Everything came from that. By third month, we had made $10,000 in revenue.
David: I remember I took Kelly, my wife, out to the most expensive restaurant in called Gramercy Tavern in New York City and I remember thinking, “It can’t get any better than this.” And, of course, that was just the beginning.
Hal: That was just the beginning. Yeah, of course. And what Lawline, how many years in business are you now? And give me a revenue whether it be annual or total or just to have an idea.
David: So, the first from, just to give you a sense of growth, it literally grew in about five years from close to zero to just about 5 million of revenue. So, my expectations were, “Okay. Well, if that’s the case, we’re going to be at 100 million pretty soon so let’s get ready.” And then essentially, from 2012 to 2017 a slowdown. It was like went from 100% to 300% growth like 5% to 10% growth a year and like that five-year period was a lot of what sort of inspired this book because I felt so bad about myself that I didn’t have a bigger business or I didn’t have enough confidence or I couldn’t figure out what was going on and it was, I don’t normally talk about them in the book but that was part of the – I had a conversation with my dad when I turned 40. Being honest with him I was like and I can to talk at the end. I’ll circle back to that just to stay on this point. So, we hired a coach to work with our executive team. We’ve been working really hard and now we’re growing at 30% a year for the past couple of years so we’ll probably do somewhere between $7 million to $8 million this year.
Hal: Nice, man. Congratulations. It’s beautiful. You have employees, right? You have a team?
David: It’s about 25 full-time people in New York.
Hal: Nice. So, let’s dive into the book because, obviously, I wrote the foreword. I believe in the message. I believe in the strategies that you shared in this book. First and foremost, the title. Why is this called The Fast Forward Mindset?
David: So, ultimately, for me and for everybody, we want to figure out how we can fast forward our growth, our impact, everything they were trying to achieve in our business. And so, for me the reason I called it The Fast Forward Mindset I realized when I was 40, I realized if by the time I’m 60 I keep at the same pace that I’m on, I’m going to have a lot of regrets. I want to be happy and my fear was that I wasn’t going to hit rock-bottom. My fear was that I hit my comfort zone and I was going to be in my nice house and I was going to have a business that was millions and everything was good but I have this vision of what I want to achieve but is really the vision of the impact that I want to have. So, The Fast Forward Mindset is how you fast-forward your impact on the world around you and the subtitle tells you it’s about how to be more fearless and focused to accelerate your success and ultimately, I believe first there’s personal growth plus impact equal success and that’s how I judge when I say success for me that’s what…
Hal: That’s how you measure it.
David: Yeah. And so, everybody who wants to fast-forward the experiences that they can have in order to fast forward your experiences, you need to be more fearless and focus, and the book really hammers out how to do that.
Hal: I love that. So, I mean, it’s a great point that it is part of the human condition is we want to, A, we want to improve ourselves in our lives. B, we’re pretty damn impatient and we will want to fast-forward there now, right? It’s like the I want to be a ____ or I want to achieve ____ or whatever and I’d like it to happen now. And, of course, now is not an ideal timeframe for achieving significant results or improvement. Breakdown the three-step fast forward mindset framework in terms of getting out of your comfort zone but more importantly, staying out of your comfort zone. That’s such a crux of this book.
David: Yeah. And just to say, speaking at one point that you said, as now with some gray hair, which I do have gray hair now.
Hal: I’ve seen it.
David: Once you hit 41, you’re closer to 60 than you are to 20. And so, when I say fast-forward for me, it’s not necessarily about like because I used to think I want everything the same year that I thought it. It’s about the next 20 years about getting the results that I want because you realize how fast like 9/11 was almost 20 years ago and you realize time goes by. I can start thinking in decades versus in years. And when you can think that way, that’s how things start to fast-forward because you have to be more fearless and focused throughout. So, it’s not a get rich quick thing or more forward the mindset shift for the rest of your life.
Hal: I’m glad you clarified that, yeah.
David: Yeah. For sure because if not, you’re just going to lead to disappointment every day. I feel like a failure more. And also, it’s not about the achievements that you make. It’s about the effort that you put in. So, if I feel like I put the effort in to be more fearless and focused, and I know I went through that, the number one lesson in the book and I answer question is not to leave on the outcomes. So, because I don’t label outcomes of what happens if whether this interview goes well or doesn’t go well or we don’t have the revenue that we expect now, the more I don’t label as good or bad because we tend to label things bad 20 times more than they’re good, then I just go with the flow. Does that make sense?
Hal: Yeah. Absolutely.
David: So, the three, like you said, the three steps is how to, number one, take action to get out of your comfort zone because if you can’t get out of that box that’s all the walls around you, nothing matters. So, you got to take action, and sometimes it’s just believing you’re signing up for that 52-mile race that you did. It’s not necessarily the running part. It’s literally signing up for it, so you took that action. Step two is I don’t know, a month after you signed up for that, maybe the minute after, you’re like what did I do? I can’t do the 52-mile race. It’s insane. Most normal people, especially in a 52-mile race will figure out why emotionally, that doesn’t make sense and just they move on and so emotionally, you want to go back to your comfort zone. So, step two is called NIP Fear in The Bud and NIP is an acronym that it’s changed my life. I know you talk about I think I don’t know if you use the word magic mantra in your book, but I call it my magic mantra. When I nip fear in the bud it’s when I emotionally have like feel the weight of my world, the world on my shoulders and I feel like everything’s going to fall apart, for whatever reason, it hits you out of nowhere. It’s a great day and all of a sudden, you don’t know what it is. I keep saying nip fear in the bud and N is not alone, I is I will get through it, and P is play the part.
And so, if you’re able to emotionally prevent yourself from going back into your comfort zone, the next thing you do, which is step three, is you need to find your focus because and I’ll repeat this for me and you because I know we’re very similar cloth. I will take anybody at any day of the week who takes action versus somebody who doesn’t and you’ll have an impact. And you’ve already done it, so you’ve proven it and I want to be you. If you want to have a long-lasting impact and impact millions of people, there’s no way you can launch The Miracle Equation the way you did without true focus. And the two components to true focus is, number one, is keep your commitments. Now, if you want, I could share three lines that the same way moving your alarm clock was the three lines in your book that transformed my life. There’s three lines in Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles that changed my life in the same way and I can share that with you if you want. And then the second…
Hal: Yeah. So…
David: Yeah. Go ahead.
Hal: Just so I’m clear, so I’m not sure if I missed a piece here. I want to make sure for me and for the listeners. So, step one is take action to get out of your comfort zone.
Hal: Step two which is one of those things I always whenever I hear something that someone else might go or I might say, “Oh yeah, of course, I already know that.” For me, it’s like a red flag because it’s not what we know. It’s what we live. And so, I would ask anybody listening where are you staying your comfort zone right now? What is something that you could and/or should do to get out of your comfort zone? Starting an exercise routine, changing your diet, giving up something that’s detrimental to your health, your success, your mindset, your finances, whatever. What is it that is outside the realm of your comfort zone that you are shying away from? And how can by the end of today’s conversation here with you, David, I’d love for people to have, for you to challenge them to implement these three steps. The first being take action out of your comfort zone. Number two, I love that acronym, NIP fear in the bud: not alone, I will get through it, play the part. Break that down for us real quick. And then step three, that’s where my question was. I wasn’t clear if you already articulated step three, or what you are explaining right now was part of step 2 or something.
David: Thank you. I really appreciate you clarifying. So, step 3 is called Find Your Focus and most entrepreneurs are built in our cloth. I mean, I think we’re similar in many ways is that we’re action-oriented, we’re visionaries, we’re not detail-oriented. I cannot send an email to anyone I know without there being typos and I’ll reread it 17 times. And I’ve seen it in yours too so that’s why – but I love how you email your people, you’re like whatever, who cares? And I’ve seen it. Like, honestly, when I see you do your videos, you just don’t care like you just be yourself and so that’s who I am. But here’s the problem with that, Hal, like taking action only got me so far and so what I realize is the reason my business got stuck from 100% growth to 5% to 10% growth is taking action only got me to the $5 million level and there is no focus or structure or planning or vision or accountability really in my company which is everybody following my millions of ideas. And so, at that time the only way to transform us from a $5 million to $25 million company is to find our focus. And so, that makes sense before I go further?
Hal: Yeah. Absolutely.
David: Because here’s the thing, you can nip fear in the bud and tell yourself you’re going to run that 52-mile race and then a month goes by but let me ask you this. Imagine you were doing – maybe you did it, I don’t know, but imagine you didn’t train for that or imagine you didn’t have a training planned. So, when I ran – so a lot of it, chapter 9, I ran three marathons in three years, and I realized the only reason I was able to do that was because I had asked people though like because you’re fearless. I’m like, “No. It’s because I had focus. Because I had a training plan and I knew exactly how long the marathon was, 26.2 mile.” So, when I was at mile 23, and all I want to do is quit, I knew I put in all the time and I hit all the dates. And so, for me, what I realize was it was the simplicity, it sounds so obvious so forgive me, but I used to plan without putting goals in it. I would just say, “Here’s all the things I want to do in life.” As soon as you put a date attached to a goal, it turns into an actual training plan because you’re making that commitment.
And so, once I realized that unless you put goals and dates and actually know where you’re going, it’s going to be much harder because all of the walls or the challenge that are coming your way like at mile 45, and you probably want to quit or whatever that wall is where you’re facing your business, if you don’t have true focus, you won’t get through it. And the key to getting through it is keeping your commitment and I’m happy to share. And the best way to keep your commitment is by having a plan with goals and dates.
Hal: So, step three, find your focus. If I’m understanding correctly, right, you’re breaking into kind of those two sub-steps to finding your focus. Correct?
David: Correct. So, it’s keeping your commitment and the best way – so I’ll share the strategy in a second to keep your commitment and the best way to keep your commitment is, Hal, I call it a training plan to make it very clear, it’s just not – because we hear the word planning every time. And all I want you to think of is a marathon training plan. What is a marathon training plan? It has the distance you’re running each day and the dates that you’re going to do it. And so, you know each week if you did it or you didn’t. So, if you have a plan that doesn’t feel that obvious, you’re running a passion, not plan. Honestly, I don’t care if you hit the goals or not, you just need to know which direction you’re moving.
Hal: I want to ask you, I want to say something, I want to ask you something. So, for me, when I was training for my first and only marathon best day of my life, worst day of my life, never doing it again. You are more man than I with your three marathons but when I did that, I…
David: You did 52 miles so let’s be real.
Hal: All right. So, I guess I can one up. We one-up each other in different ways. There you go. But, no, for me, it’s funny because I haven’t thought about this in a long time until you just said it and it reminded me of how important and valuable this is and which why I used to talk about all the time, I just kind of got away from it, but it’s the idea that that plan it was the make or break. It was the difference. It was I knew to your point exactly how many miles I was going through I was supposed to run each day and then here’s the extra piece that I wanted to mention and I don’t know if there’s a resource like this that you added in the book or downloadable or you just make a recommendation for people. But here’s the deal for me and I think it was, yeah, it was actually in the book itself called The Non-Runners Marathon Trainer where there was a tracking guide. So, each day it said Monday 2 miles, target 2 Miles, actual ____. And then every day I had to fill in how much I actually ran relative to the number that was sitting right above it which was in black and white large bold font which was the number that I was supposed to run.
And by having two things, number one, having the plan, but then having the space to either to track it, either I did or I didn’t. Either I put a zero in there when it said 2 miles. I either put a 2 or I put a zero or I put a 1 or whatever, but more often than not, I would put a 2 and it would simply be the simple accountability of having a blank space right underneath the number that I had made a commitment to follow through it. So, anyway, I want to emphasize how crucial this is to having specific detailed plan with exact numbers, exact timelines, exact outcomes that you are committed to and then some way of tracking your progress along the way.
David: So, two things on that. One, so I use a Google Sheet, and not only do I put how many miles I ran. I wrote exactly what the run was so it’d be like kind of fun but let’s just be clear and honest with everybody. No plan you’ll ever set in your life will be as clear as a marathon training plan because that’s been time-tested for decades. So, it’s like if you run these miles at this time, you’re going to have enough at least mileage to do it. So, we have to recognize that many of the plans that we set in our business and our lives are not going to all have the outcomes that we expect but that’s okay because you’re not labeling the outcomes. So, I’m less concerned about the outcomes and more concerned that you at least it can be a month, it can be simple as you want it to be but just attach a couple of dates to it, you’ll move further, you’ll feel better about yourself and the good news is, Hal, each step has a downloadable worksheet. I even created an online Google survey that because I know some people don’t want to download a PDF. It’s literally a Google form that’s 13 questions. By the time you finish the 13 questions, you’ll be able to have a fast forward mindset plan. And so, I just know my personality is I don’t like doing any of this stuff so my goal is to make it as easy as possible and you can do as little as you need to get started.
Hal: So, kind of that note, who would you say this book is for? Because, A, this is the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, B, the premise is that we all need to get better and fine-tune our ability to set and most importantly, achieve meaningful worthwhile goals. So, obviously, everybody listening is at different parts of their journey. Some people are just finding the podcast and they’re just learning about goal setting. Some people are like you or I that they’ve been setting goals for decades. So, who is the fast forward mindset? Who’s this book for?
David: There are three camps and so one of the reasons it’s called the Entrepreneur Edition it’s mainly because it’s geared towards my stories as an entrepreneur. So, if you are looking to start a business, you’re going to have a lot of tools to be able to do it. So, it’s the aspiring entrepreneur, it’s the current entrepreneur who feels stuck in wherever they are in the business, and the third one is anybody because I’ve had a lot of people read this who are not entrepreneurs and are like, “Oh my God, this is perfect for me too.” It’s anybody in their career right now who feel stuck, who feels like they’re stuck in their comfort zone, they’re not happy where they are and of course, that’s the whole bigger self-help genre. And the reason I didn’t want to just make it geared towards that from the beginning is I just felt that I needed to focus on where I’m an expert in and that’s in entrepreneurship and growth but the reason it applies to everyone, this is about, as you know, mindset. So, mindset is the same thing for everyone like the only difference is as an entrepreneur you’re forced to get out of your comfort zone much quicker than if you’re in your current career. So, it applies much sooner to an aspiring entrepreneur but essentially anybody who’s stuck where they are right now, the book will be really a great read for you.
And 60% of the book as you know, Hal, is stories so I don’t like when a book has too much just point 1, point 2, so it’s 8 to 10 stories. Each story goes through one of the nine chapters so like it’s a very short book. It’s only maybe a three-hour read. Each story shares a failure that I had or a challenge that I had or a wall that I had and the lesson that I learned and then it backs it up by the best books that are out there. I research that’s out there. And as you like to say I’m going to start using this line because it’s a good line but it’s true. It’s what entrepreneurs and successful people have been using for hundreds of years because we take stuff from Think and Grow Rich from Dale Carnegie from books that are Napoleon Hill as he did all the research for you so you have these great leaders and authors that you can stand on their shoulders to help put it out there. And I think maybe you said this, I think you did in one of your podcasts or one of your videos that regardless of how much you put it out there, only 5% of people read books.
So, like I said, I’m very inspired by you because this is so much bigger than the book. The mission for me is how to help others fast-forward their impact on the world around them and I would love to follow in your footsteps and impact millions of people. So, I’m going to have to interview you and understand your path because correct me if I’m wrong, it wasn’t like straight up from the beginning. It was slower in the beginning then you sort of hit some hockey stick numbers, correct?
Hal: Yeah. And it’s funny I realized it’s more recently because when I’m being interviewed about the new book, The Miracle Equation, one of the stories I tell is how I applied The Miracle Equation to The Miracle Morning and it’s like I hadn’t really, I mean, I knew this but I didn’t really like I wasn’t really present to it and that is that my goal when The Miracle Morning came out was to change 1 million lives one morning at a time and I set a one-year timeframe on that. And at the end of the year, I had sold 10,000 copies. So, I was 990,000 copies short of my goal. And I remember thinking at the time, I go, “You know what, maybe it’s going to get you 30 years. Maybe one year was off. Maybe I put in 30 years, but I’m committed for as long as it takes,” and it took six years to get there.
David: Well, 10,000 books in one year is 999,800 more than most books sell. I think there are 200 copies, so it shows you’re on the right path.
Hal: Yeah. And that’s what I look for is evidence of that you see that, hey, this is working. It’s working. It’s working for a small amount of people. They can work for a larger amount of people.
David: I know we’re coming to the end of this. Can I share the 32nd keep your commitment trick because I said I would?
Hal: Yeah. Please.
David: So, this is from Jack Canfield’s book. He shared a story about a class that he taught and, in the class, everyone had to sign an agreement and one of the agreements was they wouldn’t show up late. So, a couple days into the class, several people showed up late and he goes, “You broke your agreement.” And one guy goes, “Well, it’s not my fault. I can’t control traffic.” And Jack said, “Yes.”
Hal: Hal Canfield. Yeah.
David: Jack said to him, “Well, if I told you if you showed up late somebody you love would be killed, what would you do?” He goes, “Huh, well, if somebody I love would be killed then I would never leave. That’s how important it is to me.” And it’s an extreme example, what it goes to show you, you have control. If you really want to get something done, you do. And so, when I make a commitment now whether it’s running a marathon, having appointment with somebody or cleaning the dishes in my house, in my mind, I’m literally thinking I need to keep this commitment. If I don’t, somebody I love would be killed and 9 out of 10 times, it gets me across the line and there is a time in my life right around the time when I first met you, I was a frazzled CEO which is canceling meetings all time. I wasn’t cleaning the dishes at home. I thought it was not that big a deal that ended up being a huge thing and the number one thing was I wasn’t taking care of my health and that’s why, Hal, I started running marathons. And that’s why I ran three in a row because of that.
Hal: Beautiful. Beautiful, man. Well, David, again, just to recap, for anybody listening, you are running a $5 million, $6 million, $7 million a year company and you started at zero and you utilized what you learned or what you teach in your book, The Fast Forward Mindset. So, if anybody as you said if they’re on the path where you’re a current successful entrepreneur, but you want to go to the next level, you are an aspiring entrepreneur or anybody who was stuck in a career, this book is for you. And you can get it I’m assuming Amazon is probably the best spot or where did you put the book?
David: Amazon is amazing. You put in Fast Forward Mindset, it’s the first link. And we actually just launched our site this week so FastForwardMindset.com or FFWDMindset.com which almost was a cover, you’ll get to the site as well. I really appreciate everybody, and I really want similar to Hal and there’s millions of us out there and I’m sure people listening like that. We just want to help people live to their potential that’s our why. And so, it just gives you more energy to share my knowledge and to work with others, and that’s why your community is so amazing. There’s so much love for people who are just trying to better themselves.
Hal: Yeah. Man, well, I appreciate you leading by example and, David, we’ve known each other quite a few years now, six, seven years, maybe longer and you’re not only highly just…
David: We’re just getting started.
Hal: We’re just getting started but, yeah, your heart is bigger than your success, man. So, I appreciate you and I’m grateful that you finally made this dream of writing a book for many years that we’ve talked about for many years and you’ve made it through and thank you for allowing me to inviting me to write the foreword. It’s a huge honor and I’m excited to get the book.
David: Thank you for doing it and I really appreciate it. And thank you for having me on today and let’s do it.
Hal: Let’s do it. All right. Well, goal achievers, thank you for tuning in. Check out David’s book on Amazon or go to FastForwardMindset.com. That is the book, The Fast Forward Mindset: How to Be Fearless & Focused to Accelerate Your Success. I have read this book and I wrote the foreword so I would not have written the foreword or any book that I didn’t believe in and I believe in David Schnurman. So, goal achievers, I love you and I will talk to you next week and until then, keep your mindset on point and make your leap.
David: Awesome. Thanks, Hal.
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