The Perfect Day with Craig Ballantyne – Episode 100
Thanks for joining us for our 100th episode of the Amazon Seller podcast!
We’ve had a lot of fun recording 100 episodes now of Amazon seller content. And we really appreciate all of you who have been listening to us for a while now. Those of you who have shared this with your friends and groups. And given us a lot of really encouraging feedback over almost the past two years now. And in this episode, we have a special guest and author as we discuss how we as entrepreneurs and Amazon sellers can create the perfect day.
You’re listening to the Amazon Seller Podcast, and welcome again to our 100th episode.
Very hard to believe that we’ve done 100 episodes now of the show. And, we just hope that you have been getting a ton of value out of each and every episode.
And again, all of our regular listeners, a big thank you to you. And one big favor that we would ask is just for you to share this episode. Or really any of our episodes with your Amazon seller friends groups you’re in. Anywhere you think someone might benefit from the show. It definitely means a lot to us.
My name is Nathan Slamans joined today by Liran Hirschkorn and a very special guest Craig Ballantyne. Liran, I know you recently read Craig’s Book. And attended a conference workshop that he put on. And really found the material useful and motivating. And it had a really big impact on you just as an entrepreneur, a business owner or someone who’s always seeking to improve. And to have a high-performance mindset.
So Liran, I’ll let you introduce Craig for us.
Liran: Alright. Awesome. Yeah, I’m really excited and I think this will, this is our hundredth episode for the podcast! So fitting that we have a very special guest with us, Craig Valentine, who is the author of The Perfect Day Formula. And a new book which I got I guess pre-release copy when I was at his event called Unstoppable. I highly recommend if you haven’t checked out the Perfect Day Formula or the new book that you get that.
Craig, some people will call him the most disciplined man. I think Craig calls himself the chess master. He helps you make those kinds of moves that you need to get success in your life. And this episode is going to focus a lot about why you should be focusing on a lot of the practices that Craig teachers in your business when it comes to Amazon. So we’re not going to necessarily talk Amazon strategy or how to rank. But we’re going to talk about the strategies you need to have behind the scenes for your business to be successful. And that’s what Craig teaches and I was recently at his event and part of his mastermind. And Craig, thank you very much for coming on the show.
Craig: Hey, this is going to be a lot of fun. Thank you for having me.
Liran: Yeah. So Craig, tell us a little bit about your background… I know you went from having anxieties to building your own business. To now you wake up at 4:00 in the morning every day ready to rock. So how do you go from I’m having some dealing with some life issues to writing a book about having the perfect day?
Craig: Yeah, great question. So I started off before Amazon came around to most of us were selling info products on the Internet. And that’s what I started doing in about 2001. And so I sold a lot of fitness information product. So if anybody listening has ever watched a beach body commercial. I had my own version of those types of workouts. And I sold videos, I sold eBooks. And that was like what people did between 2001, 2006 or 2007.
And then that is when I had some really great success. Unfortunately, that is also when I had my anxiety attacks.
So I worked all the time and then I celebrated a little bit too much. And the next thing it caught up with me. And so I had these really bad anxiety attacks. I’m sure there’s somebody out there. It’s probably like five percent of the population has suffered a severe anxiety attack. Today it’s like $40 million Americans. So a lot of lot of Amazon Solopreneurs probably feel this stuff.
And I had it so bad that I went to the emergency room twice. And so if you feel like you have anxiety, you don’t feel bad about it. Just make sure you go and talk to your doctor, talk to somebody, open up about it. Because I was one of the things that helped me overcome it, so that was around 2006. I had those two bad anxiety attacks. And then I realized, hey listen, my life needs more structure. And then that’s when I discovered that having more structure in your life brings more freedom. Much like when you have more structure in your Amazon listing approach, you get more results.
And so I wrote the book Liran that you got to, you have a copy of and. I have this kit that we sell on Amazon to which you’re helping me sell more of and it, it’s, it’s been a really great journey from this fitness guy who sold some DVDs on, on Amazon. I do have some courses there. But it was a total transition from the fitness guy to helping people structure their lives. But also structure their businesses. I mean, I knew a few things about marketing. Not heavy on the Amazon stuff, but I’ve written sales letters. Video sales letters, all of that stuff. And I really, really love helping entrepreneurs these days.
Liran: And so there’s this concept that when I first heard, it seems like it’s the opposite, but, the concept like what you spoke about, which is discipline equals freedom, right?
Craig: Jocko Wilink says discipline equals freedom in his book. And it’s funny because I wrote my book around the same time and I had gotten structure equals freedom more from stoicism. Stoic philosophy stuff that Ryan holiday talks about a lot. And then all the sudden I saw him talking about discipline equals freedom, which is his phrase and my phrase. And it’s the same thing. It really truly is. But like you said, it’s a paradox the most people. It’s like, how could structure bring freedom? That sounds so stupid. I don’t want more structure in my life. I won’t be able to do whatever I want. And that’s what I had. I had what I call the paradox of freedom. I had nobody saying no, I had no boundaries. And that led into a life of chaos. And so we do need more structure so that we get more out of life.
Liran: Right? And, I’ve, I’ve read also like Mel Robbins book, right, the Five Second rule and one of the things that she says is that when we’re kids, our parents tell us like, hey, don’t eat too much candy. Right? But as we get to be adults, we have to parent ourselves, right? And if we don’t, then yeah, and we run into this maybe having too much fun problems. And so that’s where I guess having some routine and discipline comes in. So, tell us a little bit how your routine and how you structure your day. Maybe we can talk about the seas of the day, right? Because you talk about waking up and conquering your morning. Concentrating on what’s important in the evening and there is something else in the afternoon.
Craig: Coping with the chaos of the afternoon!
Liran: Coping with the chaos of the afternoon. I guess I need to read the book again. So yeah, tell us how you structure your day. I know you wake up at four, that sounds kinda still crazy to me and probably other people. But you have a morning routine. Tell us a little bit about what is, how do you structure your perfect day?
Yeah. Well, I mean when I was in college, waking up at 8:00 in the morning seemed crazy to me. I was getting up at 11, but eventually, you get used to it. And it’s all the same 24-hour clock. It’s just how you structure it. And there are some people that get up even earlier than I do and go to bed earlier than I do. Sounds crazy. But here’s the thing is I actually have coached quite a few Amazon entrepreneurs. And they’re very much like me in that. First of all, yeah, you do need to have boundaries around having fun. But most entrepreneurs need to have boundaries around how much work they do. Because listen, there are a million things that you could be doing. You could be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
So there are so many new products you want to get out there. And if you don’t draw the lines and have boundaries and in place, then you simply will not have true freedom in your life. And so back to the question about my day, what I realized back when I had those anxiety attacks, I was waking up around 7:30 in the morning, which I know is still early to some people. But for me, I’m an early morning person. When I get up at 7:30 in the morning, I was waking up, I was immediately checking my email and I had immediately a sense of anxiety… Because I’m like, here I am I already feel like I’m behind the world. Because I’m getting up at 7:30 and I check my email and next thing, it’s 9:00. I haven’t done anything yet and I want to get all this stuff done.
And that was when I was like, okay, I got to back this stuff up. So I don’t know. My system, my Perfect Day Formula. It’s not about the hour you get up.
It’s not like this contest to see who can get up earlier in the morning. I hate it when people say, Oh only the only the real entrepreneurs get up at 5:00 in the morning. Like, I’m not about that. I’m not trying to say that you need to get up at some crazy hour in the morning. That’s not what it’s about. What it’s about though is making sure you get up at the right time so that you don’t wake up and feel like you’re behind for minute number one now is how I felt. So I started working my way back five minutes at a time, like literally the day after that 7:30 wake up, I got up at seven, 25 and I said don’t check your email until five minutes after 7:30.
So it was like a 10-minute spread and then it became the next week. I only went like five minutes at a time for every three days. And, because I know what will happen is someone’s listening to this and they’re saying right now I get up at 7:00 in the morning, tomorrow I’m going to get up at 5:00 in the morning. And it’s going to be awesome on day one. And then day two it’s going to be pretty good. And then day three you’re going to crash hard and go. You getting up early in the morning. So stupid. I’m never going to do it again. So don’t, don’t go extreme. It’s like someone eating pizza and soda for their entire life. And then having to eat nothing but chicken and Broccoli. It’s not going to work. Okay. It’s not gonna work. Russell Brunson actually did this.
He bought my kit. He’d made this podcast about how he loves getting up at 5:00 in the morning now. And he was getting up at 7:30 in the morning before that. He went right to 5:00 in the morning and eventually had a bit of a crash. So. So don’t do it. Most of the time you want to do it, Russell Brunson does. So yeah. So now I get up at 3:57 AM to be exact. So I worked my way back there over the years. I like getting up at that time. I’m still 12 minutes later than Mark Wahlberg and three minutes earlier than The Rock. They both get up really early in the morning.
So we’re not a no, it’s not only losers that get up at 4:00 in the morning, a few cool guys that do it too. And so. So now the reason why I do that, as you mentioned before, is I control my morning, I control what time I get up, I can control what I do first thing in the morning. And so if you find that you’re struggling you’re just not getting a whole bunch of work done on your deep work tasks/ then just give me five, 10, 15 minutes in the morning where you get up and you go right down to your kitchen table.
And you brainstorm about something and you get a big victory. And then the rest of the day, maybe responding to customers and all these other things that are urgent and important but don’t move you ahead. And you at least have those 15 minutes in the morning. So that’s the most important message that we give to, to, to your listeners is that you just want to control that time that you get up so you have a victory and that you feel like over the course of the day that you’ve already won and you don’t feel discouraged.
And, as I, as I learned at your event, you don’t want to just move the needle. You want to break the needle.
That was a great line from Sharon. I keep on correcting myself as I say, move the needle. It’s like, no, you want to break the needle.
Liran: Right? And so in your morning routine you a lot of people. I woke up one day early and I felt like I had so much time. I took a really long shower and I worked at. And then I realized like, wait, I didn’t actually get any more work done by waking up really early. So one of the things you talk about doing is that really before you kinda do the self-care stuff right in the morning, like shower, brush your teeth, you actually do something to get a, get a quick win, right? And get a, get a task done that, is, is very important for the day.
Yeah. Like, so if we all go back to the Stephen Covey days, he talked about the four quadrants, right? And I’m not going to say that I made this up, is a Stephen Covey thing. Maybe he got it from somebody else, but Stephen Covey has four quadrants of the two most important for our conversation or one the urgent and important tasks. Those are like, oh my gosh, my listing is down, my website is down. I got to go and fix this right away. Yeah, of course, you do. That’s urgent. And it’s important, but those things are not the needle breakers. They’re not the things that move you ahead by big leaps and bounds. Like for me, I’m a writer and writing my books, they’re important but they weren’t urgent. Like yeah, it could wait another day, but what I teach people to do is give me 15 minutes, hopefully, 30-60 minutes in that are important but not urgent stuff.
Writing copy, creating sales presentations, writing books, doing that stuff. It is very important to your future but it is not urgent and that’s what I want people to do a little bit of first thing in the morning because again, if you say I’m going to do it at 3:00 in the afternoon, there’s going to be a million fires you have to put out at 3:00 in the afternoon and if you say you’re going to do it at 10:00 at night, hey great. If you have the discipline to do it, awesome. But most people were going to be a Netflix. We’re gonna have a drink, we’re going to be tired. We’re going to be with our spouse or to be cuddling on the couch and if you’d like, I’m not going to pull myself away from this to go work on my book. It’ll wait till tomorrow and the next thing, two years have gone by and you haven’t gotten around to that non-urgent but important work. And so that’s, that’s all I’m asking. Everybody is giving me 15 minutes in the morning on your non-urgent important work.
Liran: Right, so for us sellers on Amazon that could be spending time doing new product research, right? It’s not something you have to do today, but if you want to develop that next product and that, that time is where you get paid not the $10 an hour, but the 500, a thousand, $2,000 an hour for finding that great next potential product that you’re going to launch, but yet you don’t need to necessarily do that today. That’s the stuff that you want to wake up in the morning and do first thing. You’re also really sharp, right? First thing in the morning as opposed to dragging a maybe later in the day.
Craig: So I’ll just say one thing to add on that there’s a new book out like I’m not the only person saying this, right? This was a new book out by Daniel Pink Who’s written a lot of, very popular books like to sell drive and about motivation and stuff. And He, his new book is about the scientific timing of doing everything and it’s called when and he says in the morning you had the greatest motivation, discipline, willpower, and intention. Okay?
So in the morning we’re going to do the hardest things early in the morning. Or as Mark Twain said, if you need to eat a frog, eat it first thing in the morning and if you need to eat two frogs, eat the biggest frog first. And what he meant by that is, listen, in the morning, you’re going to do that work. You’re not going to have temptations of television, of chocolate cake or alcohol in the morning. Those things are all off to the side and you’re really focused.
And then the afternoon, the research shows that you actually do go into an energy trough is what he calls it in the book where you are low energy in the afternoon and then you get a little bit of a wave of more energy early in the evening. But again, most people are consed with family time at that point. So it’s really, you got to make the most of your mornings.
Liran: You also have certain routines or things you do to plan out the week. Right? So one of the things he said was really the book that you wrote, the Perfect Day Formula, I should have been like the perfect week, right? Or the perfect formula. So how do you in order to have the perfect day, right? You probably need to plan that the night before but then also the week of. Right? So how do you go about actually making sure that you get the things done during the week that you want to get done?
Craig: Great question. And so I’ve been putting a lot of time in the industry, so like you said, and I make this joke now that I should have written the perfect week for them first, but I am going to write that book coming up very soon. And the perfect week formula means what are you going to do is on a Sunday morning, you’re going to take half an hour, you’re going to plan out your week, but you’re not going to start with work. You’re not going to start with like all this Amazon time. You’re going to start with what really matters. Your family, date, nights, movie time, whatever it is that like, man, we just keep on canceling movie time with the kids. No gap that goes on the calendar first. And then your workout times. You’ve got to take care of yourself.
You’re a high performance business athlete, and if you’re not taking care of your health, you’re not going to be sharp. You’re not going to be focused. So the workouts go on the calendar and then meditation or massage or whatever it is that goes on the calendar. And then we start thinking about, okay, when we’re going to have our cutoff time for the end of the day, that’s when we plan our next day and now we’re also going to put our bedtime on there, a wake-up time on there. So we’re putting all these boundaries in place so that we’re not working 60, 70 hours a week. And then if you aren’t able to fall asleep on time, I had this little thing called a reverse alarm that I talked about at my event. And that’s simply where you, where you let the alarm go off an hour before you want to go to bed.
Craig: And when you hear that alarm it, turn off your cell phone, turn off your laptop, stop watching Netflix and start winding down. Read a book or just some take a long bath or something. And then you’re able to fall asleep on time. So you wake up on time. So you dominate your morning. And then once we’ve done all that stuff, we build in our morning routines. So we put that non-urgent but important work in there. And then any meditation or gratitude journaling or whatever you want to do just to get your mind right for the day. And then we finally put our regular work hours in there. And again, all of that other stuff, all those big rocks on the calendar work as boundaries to stop us from working so much and also making time for what really matters because we all got into our businesses, whether it was selling info products or Amazon stuff to support our family.
Our big goals and dreams or travel or hobbies are health. And here we are, and I know this from experience having sacrificed my health and lost it almost is that I work too much and I don’t want you to be working too much and putting off date night ruining relationships. So that’s why that goes on the calendar first. And then we fit in. Work around that. So the last phrase that I’ll mention on this, because I describe it as building your business around your life, not fitting your life in around your business because that’s a really key, important one. You build your business around your life and then, when you’re forced to work in a maybe only 45 hours a week instead of 60, you’re going to find yourself just as productive, just as effective, just as efficient, just as successful because you were only doing what really matters and not frittering away your time.
Liran: I like the part of the reason why I like to have the physical copy of your book and not, let’s say the kindle copy is because I like the way you talk about it in the evening, let’s say an hour before you go to bed to do these old school activities, right? To read a book, not looking at your devices, listening to you said you sit down sometimes when you listen to the radio, right? To a baseball game on the radio, right? Like old-school activities that help you unwind and get away from all the things that are stealing our attention.
One of the things I did this week looking to remove some of the things that steal my attention is I went into all my apps and I really shut off notifications on like almost all of them except really the things that are really, really important to me that I want to get notified about. And today I think more than ever, right? We live in a world where we really, most of us aren’t really controlling what we’re doing. We’re, we’re almost like reacting, right to all the things that steal our attention. So yeah.
Craig: And I don’t think people should feel bad about that. Like we all are responding to those red circles and everything. And here’s the thing is that even on Instagram, Instagram only has like 150 engineers working for them, which is really low for the number of people that use it. But you are fighting against 150 Ph.D. engineers every single day. It’s you against them and what, there’s no, there’s no chance. I mean, these guys are working eight hours, 10 hours, 12 hours a day to make you addicted to your iphone and they’re winning and it’s.
Once you accept that and then you go, okay, you do what you just did. Like, okay, I know how they operate. I am going to use their systems against them. I’m going to turn off these notifications. I’m going to hide the APPS. I’m gonna I have some clients that delete and uninstalled the APP, every single workday at like nine in the morning or, or, or at the end of the day they own install it so they’re not looking at it at night.
I mean if you want to go to these extremes, go to those extremes. So that’s why I get up at 4:00 in the morning is because if I got up at 9:00 in the morning, I would go right in checking my email because I am a weak individual. Like most people. I’ve just built these systems that allow me to become that more productive person. So I love what you’re doing and I don’t think anyone should feel bad about it, but just recognize this is the reality and here are some of the tools that we have to fight against it, right? Because at the end of the day, if you, if you’re not controlling the day, then it’s controlling you. Right. And then you’re not going to get the things done, both that you want to get done for your family, for yourself and for you and for your business. So you went into, you went from being in the fitness business actually, right? And, and you transitioned, you started weren’t that happy right now?
I didn’t love it, I liked it. I liked working out for myself, but I didn’t like if you wanted to do a podcast about working out, it would be over in 10 minutes because I would be so bored with it, but I could talk about this stuff all day long. And so I wanted to, I wanted to find a way out of it. And I eventually did. It wasn’t overnight. Fortunately, I was able to do that.
Liran: Got it. Let’s talk a little bit about to go back to your routine, so you have this morning routine and then you talk about controlling the chaos of the, of the afternoon.
So what are some tips for people to be able to control their afternoon more as far as getting the things done that they need to do in the day as opposed to all the, all the emails and things that might, might come your way that that are controlling your time?
Craig: Yeah. So those things are going to steal our time and we know they’re coming and that’s, that’s probably one of the most important steps here is too, to do a time journal. I teach people to do a time journal. All my clients like, Hey, what are you doing every 20 minutes over the course of the day? How are you feeling? Why are you doing this activity? And you might find like every single day you’re mindlessly surfing the internet or scrolling through Facebook at 11:00 in the morning or at 2:00 in the afternoon because you’re bored or hungry or tired or lonely or whatever it is, and we need to identify those things so that we can cope with that chaos because we know that every single day you’re going to get 50, a hundred, hundred and 50 emails depending on how you get your by your notifications set up for your Amazon sales.
Maybe you’re getting dinged with all those things too and they’re going to add up and people on your team are going to bring you problems or like this site’s down or that things down or this is not working or this link is not working. And so as long as that stuff is coming, you can be mentally prepared for it. And that’s why you don’t. You don’t go and spend, well, I’m just gonna I’m going to be able to work all afternoon on my book or something. No, you’re not. You’re not. Because you’re going to get 19 different people coming to you with their problems, and so when you are prepared for that, then you have blocked out time for it. You’re going to be. You’re going to have this buffer in there where you’re not going to go crazy. You’re going to cope with the chaos of the world.
So one of the things I teach people to do is look back and say, okay, what generally happens in the afternoon? What are the problems that come up and try and go through and identify common problems and then have multiple solutions for each one of them so that you can attack it quickly and beat that one. when that battle move on to the next one. And so that’s the mindset we need to have about the afternoon. That we’re not going to have full control over it from the minute you get up.
Like let’s say from minute one, you have 100 percent control of your time. Every single minute that you’re up for the rest of the day, it degrades and degrades and degrades and degrades. And unless you’re like Jeff Bezos, who can put an army of people around him, you’re going to get your time stolen from you. So you need to be prepared for it. And when you have that mental capacity in that mental preparation for it, then you’re better prepared. Two not let it get out of control.
Liran: And then the last part of it is, is concentrate on what’s important right in the evening. And obviously, that’s putting things, like you said, putting things on the calendar. Like family time and time with your spouse or kids. And so do you, do you go back to work? I’m like in the evening at night, or are you back to working? Do you set a time where you’re done? And how do you it’s sort of the other urgent of this is to say, hey, you’re building your business?
You need to hustle as much as possible for the next five, 10 years so that you can create something. So how do you balance out? Because I think like entrepreneurs and as for us in the Amazon space, there’s always things we could be doing. We can go and optimize our ads and we can go learn we have this content, this Webinar to watch and this podcast listen.
And so how do you, how do you balance the hustle and the drive to working 24/7 and the urgent you need to give yourself a cutoff time?
Craig: That’s a really great question. Probably the most important thing for us to discuss right now. And so, so, first of all, we, we talked so much about the structure and stuff before and so it was a very rigid day and, there might’ve been some resistance to it among our listeners. Now here’s the thing, the reason why we’re so structured during the day is so that we can be present with our family at night. So we’re not having checked the phone while we’re playing a game with our kids. That’s what most people don’t want. And that’s certainly not what your kids want. So that’s why we control the day and concentrated on accounts at night. Now it’s, it’s a great question. Do you go back to work after the kids go to bed, do you sneak an hour of email it and it really comes down to you and.
And so Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, she wrote a book called Lean In and I wasn’t expecting to like it, but actually really did. And one of the things that she does is for her, what really mattered was being home at 5:00 every day to have dinner with the kids. And then after that, she did go back to work, not physically back to the office, but she went through her home office and did some work. Okay, great. That’s fine.
Now I still recommend shutting down the work an hour before bed so you can get to sleep on time, but if you want to do that, there’s no problem with that. One of my most successful entrepreneurial coaching clients, he built a supplement business, 100 million dollar supplement business working from 10:00 PM til 4:00 AM every day. Again, it’s not about the hour you get up, it’s about what you do with the hours that you are up.
So then the question then becomes, well, how far are you willing to go?
And this is where someone really needs to have a good talk with themselves. Or a good talk with their spouse and go how much sacrifice am I willing to put in? What do I really need to achieve in this business? And understand that I don’t think anybody listening to this call is going to be the richest person in the world.
Okay, so we’re not gonna win that battle and I don’t even think there’s going to be too many billionaires listening to this, so we’re not going to be billionaires. So where do we draw the line? And that is probably the most important question you can ask yourself is where are you drawing the line in everything?
Because if you sleep, like if you sleep every day, which I’m pretty sure everybody does, you are already drawn the line somewhere. You’re drawing the line at, Hey, I’m going to get at least six hours of sleep at night. Okay, so you’ve drawn the line there, you’ve drawn the line there, otherwise, you could be working 24 hours a day. Now is that the right place to draw the line? Like if you’re making a million dollars a year, are you going to be any happier if you’re making one point five and sleeping three hours less a day.
If you’re not, then accept that and be okay with it. It’s the misalignment that most people’s lives and where the stress comes and the anxiety comes from is where they’re doing all this extra work and it doesn’t really matter in the long run. Or they think that I must have this $10,000,000 business, but they’re not willing to do the work. And so you need to do some soul searching and introspection and say, here’s what I really want. Here’s what I’m willing to do and see if they align. Because if you say, Oh yeah, I want $100 million dollar business, but you’re not willing to work more than eight hours a day, good luck to you.
But if you say, what, I’m a million dollars a year is great, I’m willing to work 10 hours a day, six days a week. You’re going to be happier than that person who’s chasing him $100,000,000 and not willing to work very much because you are aligned, you get it, you understand yourself. And so I think everybody should just sit back and do some introspection. I’m not saying don’t chase 100 million dollars if you want to chase 100 million dollars. I’m just saying be realistic and be honest with yourself. And when you’re honest with yourself, you will cut a whole lot of mental stress from your life and you’ll be okay with the choices that you make. That’s what matters the most.
Liran: And I guess ultimately if you are planning out that calendar, on Sunday you’re gonna you’re going to put the things that are important to you on the calendar, right? The most important things to you. And you have to decide what are those things that are sort of non-negotiable, right? That you want to get that you want to do during the week, which is whether that’s a family game night or whether that’s working out or what one of the things that are most important to you that are going to be non-negotiable to put on the calendar. And like you say, fit the business for the business around that.
Craig: Yeah. So, so I’ll say one more thing is that I bought this business called early to rise from my mentor, a guy named Mark Ford, Mark Ford probably, I don’t know if he’s worth $100,000,000, but he’s worth over $50,000,000. And so I, I talked to him now and he’s not the same guy as he was 20 years ago when he was hard-charging and now he’s very reflective and he’s like, should have spent more time with the kids and should have spent more time with the grandkids. And, it’s hard for a 25-year-old 30-year-old listening to this who’s like, oh, I just want that money to have that perspective. But, I can see a little bit of regret in his eyes when he and I talk about the way that he spent that time and he definitely, yeah,
Liran: That must give you a lot of perspective, right?
An incredible amount of perspective. And, that’s, I’ve mentioned a stoicism I think once or twice already. Stoicism is an ancient philosophy. It’s really the foundation of the Perfect Day Formula, which is
- Control what you can.
- Cope with what you can’t.
- Concentrate on what counts, and
- Realize there are a lot of things out of your control.
And, a great life isn’t necessarily about external things. And so I just I, again, I don’t want to neuter anybody’s like ambition or drive, but I just want you to be realistic and I just want you to make sure that you’re making time for what’s going to matter. Not In five years, 10 years, but 25, 30 years. And just make sure you don’t overlook something very important. Now in the chase for a number one Amazon listing.
Liran: And, and obviously, you’re a very successful author and you have events and coaching students and, and you’re, and you’re able to do it right. So it does, it doesn’t mean that if you are going to go to bed early and wake up early and put the things on your calendar that you’re, that you can’t be super successful in your business at the same time.
Craig: No, I, I have some of my speakers who were at the event this woman’s Shanda Sumpter, eight-figure business works from nine till three every day. Vedros Kuleana has a, he’s my business partner. We had this empire podcast show. He has a franchise, he has 700 franchises in America. He works from about, he works about eight to nine hours a day, splits it up but with a workout in the middle of it. But he is home by 5:00 every day. And this guy has 25, $30,000,000 business and he’s not working 100 hour weeks. So you can, and once you get to like a couple million bucks a year, like most people, you have a hard time spending it without being an idiot, put it that way.
Liran: Ha, right. So I know we’ve spoken a lot about the book. Tell us why I know that the Perfect Day Formula. So what, what else needed to be said in Unstoppable? That’s your new book that’s coming out and what, what do you get out of the, out of the new book? I haven’t had a chance to read it yet myself. Yeah. So the Unstoppable book is really about getting all the entrepreneurial clutter out of your head. So
I just got back from Australia, I did a couple of workshops there and the work, the book is essentially the workshop in book format. Which is where we start with your vision and values
Because I always like to say that your values and your vision drive every decision.
What we’ve just been talking about for the five minutes there. But, if your values are that you want to raise well-adjusted children and you’re working 14 hours a day and you don’t see them five days a week, well your, your actions are totally misaligned with your goals and when they’re misaligned you get anxiety and stress and also when you don’t even know what you want, you get very cluttered with your thinking and you get anxious and stressed out. Like I don’t know what I’m doing all this for.
So we’ve, that’s what we do. We started this high level in the book and we work all the way down to okay if this is what you really want:
Here’s how to build a one year plan for it. Here’s how to build a 90-day plan for it.
And it just. I like to use the analogy that the book really helps somebody who has like a, an old school jigsaw puzzle like poured into their head and there are a thousand pieces and they’re all cluttered up. At the end of reading the book, you’ll have spread out those jigsaw puzzle pieces into a beautiful picture in front of you. And the path to success will become very clear and it will help you decreased physical anxiety and mental anxiety.
And then there’s also some stuff that’s in there about health and fitness and in nutrition and sleep and meditation and Yoga and breeding and all these physical things that can help you decrease anxiety quickly.
But in the long run, you have to do this mental work, this mental homework to get all this stuff out of your head, unclutter it, get complete clarity. And you’ll just walk away from reading that book and go, Oh my goodness, I see exactly what to do now. I’m not going to get myself in trouble physically or mentally because now the path is clear. I know what matters, what doesn’t, and I can stay focused because most people, there’s, they have so many things to do and they’re not focused, they’re distracted. And that causes a lot of anxiety as well and the book fixes it.
Liran: What’d you say? No, I’m just kidding. So yeah, and I love books because I feel like books are a shortcut, right? I can, I can read your Perfect Day Formula can probably read that in two, three hours, read the book and I can sort of condense everything that you’ve learned in a long period of time into really how to structure your day. And so, I highly recommend you go get that book and that you also our, our audience, people listening to this Amazon sellers, we, we go to all these events that are all focused on e-commerce and Amazon and all the strategies and tactics. And one of the reasons why I went to your to your retreat event is because I wanted to put myself in a different environment where it was all about really the mindset and the bigger picture.
Because I think that’s if you don’t have that foundation of a, have the right mindset and outlook and if, if you think you can’t do it right, if you have the wrong outlook, then it doesn’t really matter. Everything else that you learn, all the skills that you learn, you really need to have the right psychology. Tony Robbins right talks a lot about 20 percent is skill and 80 percent is psychology and I really think that if you’re listening to this and you, all you’ve been doing is going to Amazon events. You need to get out and go to a personal development event, whether it’s a Craig Valentine or Tony Robbins.
It’s good to go out and, and get to get to those events.
So maybe you could tell us a little bit about maybe your next event or how can people take this to the next level? Obviously, I recommend you start with the book, but how do you, how do you get more aligned with some of the principles that you’re speaking of that?
Craig: Yeah, that’s a great question. And the cool thing about my events is like you said, it’s first of all, it’s not just going to be Amazon people. So we have everything from people that own a race tracks in Vegas to people that are authors to some fitness people to real estate. We had like 30 or 40 real estate agents and it’s really good just to be around other high performers that share your same values. So if you’re the type of person that’s family-focused, wants to build a legacy and, and family wealth, that’s the type of person that I generally tend to work with and it’s really great. I worked with a lot of young hard-charging entrepreneurs as well young guys who are making a selling info products or Amazon products and I just love giving people the clarity of path.
So if somebody is interested in, in learning a little bit more about going beyond the book, just go. I have a cool video about that Vegas speedway guy about how we’ve helped him grow his business and give clarity to his life www.perfectlifeworkshop.com. And you just watched that video and if you’re interested in learning more, there’s a little form to fill out there. That’d be really cool and then for all the people, obviously you can buy the book on Amazon, so I’m sure that’d be an incentive to you. But otherwise, you can also get the book, the Perfect Day book at freeperfectdaybook.com. And then finally I’m really big on Instagram. Well not really, not really big. I don’t mean to like to brag up, but I’m, I spent a lot of time on Instagram is what I meant to say. And you can find me there @RealCraigValentine and send me a question. I answer everybody’s direct messages. So if you have anything I’m happy to answer you there.
And Craig I know you also have a course and you talk about yourself. How you actually sell a lot through Instagram. Those principles apply to e-commerce and I have like a social selling system or is that more geared to like real estate or other geared to info products? It is geared to books. So yeah, I mean you, if you have the swipe up feature on, on your Instagram and you, you did one of my little stories and then at the end you said swipe up and you linked to your Amazon page, you would definitely sell Amazon products for sure.
And so I don’t have too many people that have given me success stories about it, but I’ve sold hundreds of copies of my books. I sell $5,000 workshops through direct messaging on, on Instagram. So I have just go, if everyone just wants to go and watch some of my videos on my Instagram tv about how I do social story selling is what I call it. You get a pretty good idea about how you could apply that to, to running an Amazon store, especially like if you owned like a physical goods store, you could definitely sell product through the system that I teach there.
Liran: Awesome, you have the Early to Rise Podcast and the Empire Podcast. It’s nice to have other things besides e-commerce to listen to.
But yeah, thanks so much for coming on, we’re privileged to have you on and, I think it’s important for people to, a focus on the principals you talk about in the book so that they can grow their business outside of just being in the business. Thank you.
You’re very welcome. Craig Ballantyne. Thanks for joining us for this 100th episode edition of the podcast.
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