Stop Working, Start Maximizing
- [Sheri] So our next principle that we're going to tackle is Stop Working, Start Maximizing. Stop Working, Start Maximizing. In my book, I start out with a story about a good friend of mine, Will Packer, who is a film producer. He's produced movies, "Girls Trip," "Takers," "This Christmas," "Almost Christmas," TV shows. Very prolific producer. But he has a home in Atlanta, lives in Atlanta, father, husband. He enjoys life. It's full all the time. And he so represents this principle of "Stop working and start maximizing." And what his life, for me, has represented and how he really represents this principle, why I had my exponential conversation with him in the book is because this principle is about this whole idea of "We have to stop working, and we have to start maximizing." We have to get in tune with the value that we bring in order to truly understand how we get compensated, whatever that compensation may be. It may not just be money. It may be accolade. It may be validation. It ...
may be moving a student through your class that would've normally failed. But it's that value of "What we bring is just as important as what we do." My good friend, Allyson Byrd, she says, "There's more money in what I know than what I do. The longer I stay tied to what I do, I miss the abundance of what I deserve." And so many times, we get on this, again, that hamster wheel of the going, the going, the going. But being busy doesn't guarantee that we have forward movement or that we're productive. There was so much time I spent busy, and when I look back, I was not productive. I was just busy, and I was depleted, and I was exhausted. And I realized I really wasn't accomplishing anything. When I was at LaFace Records, the owner of the company... One day, I was sitting at my desk, and I had my head down, and I was just working. I was working, working, and he had probably been standing in front of my door for about 30, 40 seconds. I didn't even realize he was there. And so finally, I looked up, and I recognized he was there. And now, again, this is the co-owner of the company. And he says to me, he says, "Sheri, you are a marketing genius. Your marketing ideas have genuinely helped my artists sells millions and millions of albums." He said, "But the problem is your head is always down, and you're always working, and there's so much you're going to miss." Now, when he said that, I was like, "Aren't you my boss? Aren't you paying me to work? Okay. Whatever." I had stuff to do, so I just go back to work. I got stuff to do. It took 10 years for me to understand what he was saying. It took 10 years, and I was coming back... I used to volunteer at a really good friend of mine at a big event that they used to do, and it was my favorite time of the year. I went in. It was five days. I was up all night. It was a lot. It was a lot. And I volunteered, and I helped, and it was to raise money for their non-profit, and it was a huge, huge undertaking, and it was my favorite time of the year. And every year I went, I was exhausted. It was just everything. And we could see the fruits of our labor. And I'm coming home. I'm on the plane, and I had my daughter. So I'm running home, and I want to get with my family. And I'm sitting on the plane, and I'm trying to get in mommy mode because I know this three-year-old is about to run and jump in my arms, and I got to go into mommy mode. And I'm so rejuvenated. I'm exhausted. I'm depleted. I am tired. And I'm full, and I'm rich, and I'm filled with this joy, and it finally hit me, what L.A. had said to me all those years ago. I finally understood that the reason that I had such a rich experience, even though I was tired and weary and exhausted, is because I didn't work for those five days. I maximized the opportunity. I realized, finally, what he was saying is that when my head was down just doing for the sake of doing, doing for the sake of doing, it just depleted me. But when I had my head up looking around for what's going on, it allowed me to be fully engaged in the experience, fully being a part of the experience. My physical being was still tired, but everything else enjoyed the journey. And I started to realize that being busy did not equate to being productive, and so I had to stop working, first decision. I had to stop being busy and focus on being productive. There is a difference. I had to stop just moving with no clear direction, just stop moving with no clear direction, and really getting clear on the direction. And I also had to stop just moving for the sake of moving. And what I had to start doing in maximizing is I had to fully look at "How do I leverage the opportunity?" When we really stop working and start maximizing, what we realize is that when we're looking to maximize, when we look into truly maximize the opportunities, then we're able to really focus our efforts and our energy instead of just running and working, and then hoping that we get production out of it. When we really focus on what we're working on, then our energy and our effort is more maximizing than working. And what I found is when you really look at the opportunity versus the responsibility. See, working is all about the responsibility of what has to get done. When you're in the mindset of maximizing, you're looking for the opportunity. Again, paradigm shift. Paradigm shift. So, for example, if I have a commitment at my daughter's school and it's like, "Oh, my God. Working, how am I going to figure out how to get this done? I got to get this done. I got to get this done. Oh, my God. And I got to go be at her school." Reframing that as an opportunity, I go, "Wow. This is a great opportunity for me to see how her teachers are at the school. This is a great opportunity for me to learn the kids that she's friends with so when she comes home and talks about Caleb and Chandler and Emmy, I know who she's talking about. This is an opportunity for me to show her how present I'm going to always be in her life. Fifth grade, sixth grade, high school, college, mommy is there. So instead of me looking at it from the work standpoint of "Oh, my God. In the middle of the day, I've got to go to my daughter's school," I reframe it as an opportunity to learn more about her experience. Now, we have touchpoints at the end of the day to talk about because when she talks about Caleb, I know who she's talking about now. See how we reframed that? So when we look at our opportunities versus our distractions, working makes us feel heavy, burden, consumes our energy. It's repetitive. It just leads to the routine. But when you're maximizing opportunities, it's light. You take it as a privilege. How many of us show up and just say, "Oh, my God. I got to go to work?" Or when you're in that joy spot, that sweet spot, that purpose, you're like, "Yes." Last night, staying up 24 hours to get prepared for this, it was a privilege to serve you guys. If I had to stay up 24 hours learning how to do database management, that would be a burden, right? There's purpose and meaning when it's a opportunity that we maximize. When you really look at the work that you're doing, can you reframe it like I did with going to my daughter's school? If you have an office memo that you have to do, if you're responsible at your job, and you know you have to do this work, can you reframe that and say, "Hey, this is an opportunity for my team to know my voice? I look at this as an honor that I can write this and put it out there into the community that I work at." Can you reframe it? If you can't reframe the opportunity, it's a distraction. If you can't reframe the opportunity, if you can't maximize it, that's when you remove it. How do you reframe the opportunity? And if you can't, you remove it. To maximize opportunities is not to do more, but rather to accomplish more. Not to do more, but to accomplish more. This is probably one of my favorite quotes in the whole wide world. "The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be. It's not the daily increase but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." I love Bruce Lee for this. I used to love his movies. Now, I love this quote. "Hack away at the unessential." Warren Buffett, he has said this in many, many interviews. He makes a list of the 25 things that he has to do, and then he cuts 20 of them off, and he only does 5. He has truly learned the art of "Stop working, start maximizing." I've watched documentary after documentary on Warren Buffett. I've read stories. This is truly what he does. He makes his list of 25 things, discards 20 of them, keeps 5, and this is what allows him to stay focused on the most important things. And when I first heard him say that in an interview, my heart was... over those 20 things he's not going to do. Right? That's a stop working girl, but a start maximizing girl goes, "Wow. Look at what he's going to do with those five things. Oh, my God. What great rewards he's going to get from the five things." Or guess the depth of understanding he's going to get from those five things if they don't work." You don't have to guess or wonder because you've put enough time and energy and effort into those five things to know "This either works or doesn't work. There's great reward here or it's not." And that was such a valuable point in when you really understand "Stop working, start maximizing." So, guys, what's the one thing you've been putting off and you know it has the potential to provide you great impact and forward movement?" But you've been putting it off because you've either got too many things on your plate, and that just keeps getting pushed down. Right? Or you haven't taken the moment to realize "This is the thing that I need to maximize." What's that one thing? And I'm going to share mine. I'm going to start it off. There was something that I've been wanting to do. I've been wanting to do this. It's a big event that I've been wanting to speak at for about 10 years. And a year and a half ago, I literally started calling people, emailing people, setting up meetings with people. But guess what I wouldn't do? I wouldn't make the one phone call with the one person that could say, "Yes." I spent a year and a half meeting with a whole lot of other people, making other meetings because I was working, but I wouldn't maximize. And I didn't do it because of fear. I didn't do it because of fear. I finally got the courage the beginning of December. I literally called the one person, and guess what they said? "Top of the year, we'll make it happen." That could have happened two years ago. So I did all that working, working, working because I wouldn't do the one thing that would move me forward. Who in this room has one thing... If you know that you did the one thing, if you would cut your list down from them 25 things to the 5 things, what is the one thing if you could hack away at the unessential and really get to what's most important? Who's going to share what that is? Yes? - [Woman] This really spoke to me because when you were talking about ownership, I was thinking about my list and what I could hack off it to get to the one thing. And the one thing is writing a book. And I've done some research on how it should be, but everything else is getting in the way. So that is my one thing that I'm going to make happen. - Wonderful. Thank you. - Thank you. - I'm going to start with your accountability partner. - Okay. - Okay? - Thank you. - Yes. Yes. - I love that. - Thank you. What's an opportunity that you're going to maximize? We've heard one. Denise? - [Denise] Hovering between two, and I can't lock into one because it's the photography that I really need to drive home and practice more. But I take a ton of pictures, but I need to focus more on portraits because every time a picture comes up on the screen, I'm like, "Okay. I would have done this, this, this, this, this." - Aw yeah, it's time. - So photography, and I there's some stuff that I need to write as well. So those two things are top of my list. - I love it. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.
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“Sheri has been an instrumental part of my life. Her support and guidance of my personal and professional growth helped mold the man and artist that I am today.” —Usher, International Entertainer, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
Have you achieved a certain level of success, graduated from college and finally secured that dream job, yet you are not feeling fulfilled?
Are you busy all the time, but not feeling satisfied with how you spend your days?
Do you know that there is a better way to work through your days?
Sheri Riley introduced the world to some of the most influential, multi-platinum artists of the 90’s including Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, and Outkast. She rose to the top of her field, and yet she was miserable. Now she is an Empowerment Speaker, Personal Development/Leadership Coach, and Life Strategist. She works with high achievers to make choices that lead to less stress, more clarity, and internal peace.
Constantly striving to achieve one goal after another–and investing more in our careers than in our actual lives–have left many of us feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and disconnected from who we are—anything but happy.
Sheri Riley will share the secret that helped her regain her sense of self and purpose. In Exponential Living, she offers nine principles to help the busiest goal-oriented people integrate their professional success with whole-life success.