Adapt to Achieve Your Vision


Almost every path to success is uphill, winding, and full of obstacles. That means you need to be ready to adapt if you want to achieve your vision.

Logically, adapting to get to your end-goal makes sense, but emotionally it can feel like you’re abandoning your vision. On today’s episode, we’re going to share how you can develop emotional intelligence and adaptability to take strategic action with the help of Michael R. Hunter, the co-founder of PersonalBrand.com and Spiffy.

By being adaptable, Michael has engineered his success as an entrepreneur. Michael and his business partner – Jeremy Abraham – built PersonalBrand.com into one of the most in-demand agencies in their field; having worked with some of the world's biggest personal brands – including Brendon Burchard, Larry King, Harvey Mackay and even Oprah.

Michael and Jeremy started Spiffy as a side-hustle, to get out of the grind of stressful client-work. They envisioned creating a checkout page software that would make it easy to accept online payments for digital products and services, and that’s exactly what they did. Working part-time with just a $5,000 initial investment, they bootstrapped their startup to a million dollars in total revenue, with almost no marketing. Since their launch, Spiffy customers have generated over $400M in total sales.

Today, Michael has an eye for identifying trends and a passion for helping other entrepreneurs to identify their best ideas. Michael and Jeremy continue to improve and grow Spiffy, while consulting with an exclusive group of high-profile, Personal Brand clients each year.

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it may help. We designed this weekly podcast for ambitious Young Professionals and aspiring Leaders who want to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Throughout Season 1, we will be connecting fresh perspectives with practical strategies to help listeners feel empowered all week long. You can help us improve by joining our LinkedIn and Twitter Community by using #IgnitionPoint, submitting a review on Apple Podcasts, or emailing feedback to [email protected].

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to help you take the leap, conquer your week, and achieve your goals. If you’re looking to amplify your mindset with a fresh perspective and spark your momentum – you’re in the right place.

Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller. Thanks for joining me for another Ignition Point – the show where we cover an influential speech or feature a Guest Keynote to get you fired up and ready to take on another winning week.

Throughout this season, I’ve talked a lot about being purpose-driven and living up to your ambitions. But – as I’m sure you know – there’s no straight-line, templated path to success. There are winning tactics and strategies, but almost every path is uphill, winding, and full of obstacles.

Eventually, you’ll encounter roadblocks, or you’ll be presented with an opportunity to branch off onto a different path. It’s these moments that determine whether or not you’re successful. It’s these moments where you’re forced to choose between fight or flight. Adapt or abandon.

If you want to achieve your vision, goals and ambitions in the face of adversity or new opportunities that may change your planned path to success, there’s only one choice. You need to adapt to keep your vision alive.

By being adaptable, our guest – Michael R. Hunter – has engineered his success as an entrepreneur. Michael started his first business at 17 and has since developed an eye for identifying trends and a passion for helping other entrepreneurs to identify their best ideas. Today, he’s the co-founder of PersonalBrand.com and Spiffy.

Michael and his business partner – Jeremy Abraham – built PersonalBrand.com into one of the most in-demand agencies in their field; having worked with some of the world's biggest personal brands – including Brendon Burchard, Larry King, Harvey Mackay and even Oprah.

Michael and Jeremy started Spiffy as a side-hustle, to get out of the grind of stressful client-work. They envisioned creating a checkout page software that would make it easy to accept online payments for digital products and services, and that’s exactly what they did. Working part-time with just a $5,000 initial investment, they bootstrapped their startup to a million dollars in total revenue, with almost no marketing. Since their launch, Spiffy customers have generated over $400M in total sales.

Today, Michael and Jeremy continue to improve and grow Spiffy, while consulting with an exclusive group of high-profile, Personal Brand clients each year.

So, Let’s get after it! Here to share how adaptability can lead to and determine success, this is Michael R. Hunter.

THE WEEKLY MONOLOGUE

Typically, when people think about a success mindset, they think about it as a singular thing. It's something that you're trying to accomplish and you're trying to acquire these skill sets for these different aspects of what a success mindset is. Like certainty, power, confidence, and strength; in order to accomplish goals in life. What I've found is that a singular success mindset isn't necessarily the right approach to how you actually want to go about building a life that you love.

Especially with how things are rapidly changing in society today, I believe your ability to adapt to certain situations in your life is going to be the number one predictor of your success. Now, throughout our conversation today, when I'm talking about adaptability, I'm not talking about just being a leaf in the winds of change. You know, it's not about just adapting and going through the flow and kind of bouncing through life. One of the core themes of today is having vision for your life and adapting your value throughout your life, so that you can actually accomplish your vision.

One of my mentors – T. Harv Eker – one of his famous quotes is, "the number one reason why most people don't get what they want in their life is that they don't know what they want." So, that's really the first step, is to really get clear on what do you want your life to look like. What do you want to do with your time? What impact do you want to have in your life? And then start making progress towards that. And that sounds pretty cliché, but you need to have a vision and know that you're heading in the right direction so that you can start making decisions and saying yes and no to the right things that are going to move you towards that vision.

One of the more controversial things that I say is that motivation is not inherently positive. Because if you don't know what direction you're going and you just apply motivation, you could be motivated to move towards something that you do not want. So, having vision for the direction that you want to take your life and then applying motivation to it; that's what creates the acceleration towards having success in your life. So, vision is the precursor to motivation. And so, if you don't yet have clarity on what you want, that's the first step.

If you're listening to this right now and you don't have supreme clarity on the vision of your life, it's just very important to start trying a bunch of different things and to figure out what you want. Again, it's not about sitting and waiting until you have a clear vision. It's about taking action and building that vision as you go.

One of the key principles to adaptability is you cannot be attached to the method by which you are achieving your vision. So, a lot of times people have an idea of what they want their life to be like, whether that's a certain level of income, a certain level of time to spend with family, a certain number of vacations to take every single year.

It's very, very important to go back to your vision and not just have it be a financial incentive. A lot of times people think that money is going to solve all their problems, and so they're very financially driven. And there's certain times in your life where like, yeah, you definitely want to have that focus to make the money, to pay the bills, to pay the team to do all those different things, but money is not the key indicator of success.

Different things are important to different people, but when you get attached and fixed to a singular path, that's where a lot of frustration and anxiety and pressure come in versus getting clear on what you want and also being able to let go of a path that you thought was going to get you there, when a better or alternative path arises. You must be willing to adjust, adapt, re-strategize and course correct on your path to accomplishing your vision. And so that's where finding different ways to adapt your value, adapt your skill sets and build new skill sets along your path is very, very important.

Society is changing so fast that you don't have a choice but to adapt. The emergence of new technologies, and automation, and artificial intelligence, and digital currencies, and all these crazy things that are happening in our world today are going to force us to be more and more adaptable. The person who is most adaptable and agile wins in this new economy.

You know, so many people spend so much time trying to get clear on what they want, or they have this big idea that they are trying to crystallize, or they need to raise funding; and they spend weeks, months, years of their life waiting to take action because they know what they want, but they're waiting to take action directly in alignment with what they want to create.

One of the concepts that I talk about is taking 45-degree angles. It's the trial and the error. It's the skills that you build, the lessons that you learn, the people that you meet along the way that are going to help you move forward faster.

An example of this was that, you know, I had my own marketing company. I was an Infusionsoft Partner, and I had a bunch of clients; and one of my friends got hired by Infusionsoft and they had just raised their first round of $50 Million. Everything was kind of pointing towards them going public; and at an early age I knew I always wanted to get into software. I always wanted to have a software company. And so, it was a unique opportunity for me to join a software company that was in fast growth and wanting to go public.

That was a strategic 45-degree angle because I knew that having that experience – working for one of the fastest growing tech companies in the world – that level of credibility was going to allow me to build my marketing company faster whenever I left Infusionsoft.

Taking a job at Infusionsoft wasn't a direct step in me accomplishing my vision, but I knew that that step was going to be an accelerator. It was a sidestep that was going to allow me to move forward faster towards my vision, once I finished making that step.

A lot of people try to wait, and sit, and think, and get clear on their vision before they take action; and your vision gets clearer when you take action. When I talk about 45-degree angles, it all ties back to, again, having that vision of where you want to go and making strategic decisions that might not be a direct step towards where you want to go.

One of the best things that you can do for adaptability and to give yourself options is to build a personal brand. When you build a personal brand where your reputation precedes you, you actually get recruited for jobs and you get recruited to better positions, rather than having to go and seek them.

A personal brand is the new job security. We no longer live in a society where people work for the same company for even three years or five years or ten years – definitely not twenty or thirty or forty – and it's not job security in that you're not going to get fired or you're not going to leave, but when those things do happen, you have the skill set to find another position quickly or to go out on your own.

You see it now, that there's a big trend towards distributed workforces, virtual work, working from home, working from coworking spaces, and that's just going to become more and more and more of a reality. Make no mistake about it, building a personal brand is one of the most important things that you can do to make sure that you can adapt to this new economy.

So, if I could take adaptability and put it into one concept, it would be strategic action.

See, success isn't about having all of your ducks in a row before you start taking action. Success is actually the crossroads of luck, training and opportunity. And when you're taking strategic action constantly, then you are much more likely to have success.

Adaptability is all about having a clear vision for the direction that you want to head in your life and what you want your life to be like; the lifestyle – the income – the time with family. When you have that clarity, it makes it really easy to ultimately achieve success faster than you thought possible. It's not about waiting until all the stars align in order to take action. Take action now, adapt along the way, have clear vision for where you want to go, and start making progress towards your goals.

STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

Long-term visions require a calculated strategy, a willingness to adapt, and patience. Working to realize a vision is one of the most difficult things you can do, but if you’re able to bring it to fruition, you’ll find that nothing is more rewarding.

Michael’s story is proof of that. To transform PersonalBrand.com into a powerhouse, he adapted in the short-term to enhance his credibility, which opened the door to higher profile clients and elevated his potential for success in the long-term.

It may look like the obvious choice when you look at it from an outsider’s perspective, but in moments like these, choosing to adapt is incredibly difficult. Put yourself in his shoes.

You’ve got this awesome vision and are driven to get to where you want to go in life. You’ve mapped out a path to get there, and while it’s going to be tough, you know you can do it. You’re making progress down the path, but you’re suddenly presented with an opportunity. You can leave the path and speed up to where you want to be in life, or you can stay on the path and get there on your terms.

This puts you in conflict. You invested time, money, and effort to get as far as you have on the path. Logically, pivoting to get to the end-goal faster makes sense, but emotionally, you feel like you’re abandoning your vision.

As long as you’re not a sociopath, this should make a lot of sense. Your ability to adapt requires you to find a way to think with your head instead of your heart. After all, your most natural tendency is to feel connected or attached to things that make you feel good, productive, and comfortable. Your vision is one of those things, and when you deviate from it, it can feel like you’re taking a loss. That’s why adaptability is a skill you have to develop over time. So, the best place to start developing adaptability is developing emotional intelligence.

In simple terms, emotional intelligence relates to how aware you are of the way your emotions influence your behavior and impact the people around you. One of the easiest ways you can develop emotional intelligence and adaptability at the same time is reflecting on why you do the things you do.

By consciously introspecting on your why, you engage with your analytical mind. Analytical thinking and problem solving open your mind to hatch new ideas and discover how you can improve your life. Processing from an analytical perspective brings all the pathways that branch off from your current path into view. It shows you a whole new world of possibilities.

It’s a great place to start, but now you need to filter through all those options. The best way to do that while promoting emotional intelligence and adaptability is by learning to distinguish your “wants” from your “needs.” This is taught in – damn near – every psychology class, so I’m not going to dive super deep into this, but your “needs” are survival-level resources. Safety – Sustenance – Smartphones. Once you meet those “needs,” you can focus on what you need to live comfortably, to accomplish goals, and to support your family.

Your “wants” exist outside of that umbrella. “Wants” are built on the back of your personal desires, what is culturally relevant, and what the Instagram advertising algorithm thinks you need. A “want” is a pair of Yeezy’s, a vacation home, or anything with a Supreme Box Logo on it.

By clearly separating your “wants” from your “needs,” you can tailor your vision to fulfill your “needs” before you start serving your “wants.” When you can discern “wants” from “needs” and you engage with analytical thinking, you’re able to effectively identify whether opportunities serve your vision or if they don’t. I can’t stress this enough, having a sense for what opportunities serve your vision is a skill that you need if you want to be highly adaptable.

Once you can detect the right opportunities, the last piece of the puzzle is showing an openness to change. It may sound simple, but all too often, people are presented with golden opportunities – real life-changing shit – and they turn these offers down because they don’t want to feel the discomfort of change. That is a prime example of what you can’t afford to do.

Keep in mind that part of adapting is experimenting. Sure, it may blow up in your face. Yes, you may royally eff up, but you can keep pivoting little by little until you return to the path that leads to your vision.

People with high emotional intelligence and adaptability are always open-minded and willing to leave their comfort zones. Follow their lead by recognizing when to stay the course and when to change your course by side stepping at 45-degree angles.

Wherever you are on the path to achieving your vision, you may be 45-degrees from the fast lane to success. Especially when you’re under the pressure of making decisions, learning to operate with high emotional intelligence allows you to think strategically and adapt by taking decisive action. It may seem tough, but you can do it.

This week, start improving your emotional intelligence by analyzing why you do what you do and clarifying your vision by separating your wants from your needs. Then – once you’re detecting the right opportunities – demonstrate that you’re open to change by side stepping out of your comfort zone and into an opportunity that serves your vision.

Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of your vision and never let others discourage you from pursuing it. Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is worse than giving up or staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

I’d like to thank Michael R. Hunter for taking the time to contribute to this week’s show.

If you’ve got a side-hustle of your own or you have a thriving ecommerce business, having the ability to take credit card payments through your website is essential. Spiffy is the easiest way to collect payments online. Spiffy Checkout Pages are the fastest, easiest way to get a page up and online, where your customers can pay you with a credit card. With Spiffy, you can create a checkout page in as little as 37 seconds. It’s really that easy! For more information, head on over to Spiffy.co, that’s S-P-I-F-F-Y dot C-O.

If you’re interested in learning more about Michael or want to connect with him, you can check out this episode’s Show Notes at DecisiveLeap.com/IgnitionPoint for access to all the links mentioned throughout this episode.

If you’re interested in launching or updating your Personal Brand, I’d love to help you achieve your goals and take your next leap forward. Feel free to connect with me directly by emailing [email protected] or you can read more about my services at DecisiveLeap.com.

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, and your feedback helps Ignition Point to keep moving forward. So, send me an email to [email protected] or write a review for the show on Apple Podcasts to let me know what you think of the show.

There is no formula for success. Emulating others will only get you as far as they’ve gotten. So, carve your own path, stay motivated, and keep moving forward.

If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.

I’ll look forward to speaking with you next time on another Ignition Point.

Now get on out there and win the week!


Connect with Michael R. Hunter:

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