How To Run The Best Day Possible

How To Run The Best Day Possible 640 480 C-Suite Network

by Mitch Joel – President, Twist Image & author of “Six Pixels of Separation”

How much of your business day is spent focused on the things that really matter?

Almost a decade ago, I came across the thinking of Dan Sullivan (also known as The Strategic Coach). Those who know the infamous Strategic Coach Program speak about it with a reverence unlike any other type of mastermind-like initiative that I have come across. I have friends (who are successful beyond most of our wildest imaginations) who attribute their success directly to their involvement in Sullivan’s program. While I never took the formal course, I have devoured countless hours of audio programs and books from The Strategic Coach. One concept, Unique Ability, is something I still think about frequently.

In the formative days of Twist Image, I spent a good deal of time attempting to self-define my own unique abilities, and, in doing so, ensuring that I was aligned with people (either business partners, team members or clients) who had their own sets of unique abilities that I lacked. In its simplest form, I wanted to ensure I could spend my time working on my unique abilities while others were spending their time doing the same thing. Of course, it’s not perfect, and we all find ourselves doing tasks and projects that we have to trudge through. Consciously knowing when you’re doing the work that you were meant to do (or not doing it) is core to better understanding if you are running your best day possible, rather than having the day run you.

Step 1: What is your unique ability? How much time are you focused on it during the work day?

My personal assistant is a total lifesaver. That’s a lie. I don’t have a personal assistant, EA or anything of the like. I tend to my schedule so that my business day can be best maneuvered. This surprises many people, but a successful day won’t happen unless you plan for it. If I control my schedule (and this even includes booking flights for business trips), I control my day. More social meetings happen prior to work (nothing quite like a good/early networking breakfast) or at lunch (to break up the day with something a little more social).

Most news consumption, emails and inspiration come in the morning hours as well, and I tend to write at night. When I am not being booked into client meetings during the day, I will often schedule in blocks of time for things like business development and new presentation development. I save phone calls for drives to and from the office or in-between meetings on the go. While my day-to-day is never strictly regimented or formulaic, there is a flow I have created — and that I control — to ensure the maximum amount of time when I am feeling most business inspired (usually between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.) is being optimized as much as possible.

Step 2: Control your schedule. Control your day.

Beyond the schedule, you have to run, hustle (shout-out to Gary Vaynerchuk who practically owns a trademark on that term) and ship (shout-out to Seth Godin) as much as you can with each and every passing moment. While this could be misconstrued as the ramblings of a workaholic, it is not. Those who know me and my way of thinking know how I feel about work/life balance (and, in case you don’t, this might help: The End Of Work-Life Balance or check out my latest book, CTRL ALT Delete). If we are going to spend time away from our loved ones for work, we have to make those moments count. Letting the days, weeks, months and years drift away is a waste. Your ability to accumulate any sense of wealth happens within a very short time span — usually your early 30s to late 40s.

We also can’t predict the future or what will come, so a sense of urgency is critical. I love how Steven Pressfield calls anything that takes us away from doing the work we were meant to do the “resistance (for more on that, check out his amazing book, The War Of Art). He also wrote an article, “Managing Your Day,” that stated:
“You have to run your day. You can’t let your day run you. You must roll out of bed each morning with an unshakeable focus and intention. Your novel, your start-up, your movie. That’s your day. That’s why you’re here. You can’t yield to distractions and temptations. You must be like the Blues Brothers. You’re on a mission from God. Who is in charge of your day? You are!”
As much as I attempt to be in charge of my day, this was a great wake-up call.

Step 3: Put your butt where your heart wants to be.

That was one of the great lines that Pressfield told Oprah in a recent interview. So many people have aspirations, dreams and other unfulfilled thoughts. Some of those are delusional, but a lot of them are more than achievable. As human beings we struggle going after what our heart wants. There is no doubt that it’s not easy, it appears scary and there is always some semblance of risk. That is for you — as an individual — to measure and interpret.

When you read stories of those we consider successful, more often than not, there was a moment (or two) when they went for it. More often than not, these individuals were resilient. They did not go after their dreams with a reckless disregard, but rather a well-thought out, planned strategy. It went deeper than a simple belief and dug even deeper than those who rejected them or could not align with their views. This resilience is critical. With that, they also understood timing — some pre-meditated, while others got lucky. One of the best books (and it’s a small one) on this topic is called “The Dip” by Seth Godin. It’s a little book with a massive idea about when to stop or keep on going.

Step 4: Be resilient (in everything that you do… and that includes knowing when to quit).

Get out there. I’m sure Steven Pressfield will shake his head at this one, but I believe you can’t just be head-down in the work. You have to get out there and meet as many people as possible. Some of the biggest challenges we face in business have already been solved by our peers. Some of the biggest opportunities to get your business on track or pointed in the right direction may be by meeting the right people.

Don’t spend your days and nights out there networking, but plan to network a few times a week. Adopt a giver’s gain mindset to this — be helpful and resourceful to others first — and watch the luck stack up in your serendipity bank account. Think about industry associations, the local chamber of commerce, mastermind groups and more. Schedule the events in, prepare before you enter the room and do your best to provide value first with no expectation of reciprocation.

Step 5: Network by being helpful to others first.

The most successful people I know planned for success, believe it or not. Failure is a part of this journey. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Still, if you focus on your unique ability, control your schedule, put your butt where heart wants to be, act with resilience and be as helpful to others as possible, you just may find your days filled with joy, growth and success instead of letting another moment pass you by as you count down to another weekend.

Your turn: how have you managed to run your best day possible?

*This post was originally published at Twist Image.

mitchjoel2Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image — one of the largest independent digital marketing agencies in North America. His first book, “Six Pixels of Separation,” named after his successful blog and podcast, is a business and marketing bestseller. His latest book, “CTRL ALT Delete,” is out now. You can find him here: