Game-Changing Life Hacks

By Joe Pulizzi, an entrepreneur, speaker, author and podcaster who founded the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Joe has spoke at the TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference. 

I’m writing this on Wednesday morning, the 19 of May. In three hours, I have a virtual presentation with a local chamber of commerce about my entrepreneurial journey.

I don’t give presentations like this often. Almost all my speeches are about content marketing or 
Content Inc. But it’s a good change of pace.

The presentation has over 100 slides (I like to keep things moving), but here are three life hacks I pulled out that I either think you’d appreciate or that you may find helpful.

Record – Review – Remove

Probably the best habit I’ve taken on over the years.

In 2008 I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. From that, I created a goal-setting system that worked really well for me.

The first is record. Basically this means writing down my goals, but doing so in the present or past tense like I’m accomplishing them or already completed the goal.

The second is review. I wake up in the morning and review the goal, and then review it again before I go to sleep for the night.

The third is remove. I constantly look at where I’m inefficient with (or wasting) time and try to get rid of those habits so I can spend more time on goals I want to achieve.

Just after launching the business, I wrote down this little goal: I sold the business in 2015 for $15 million dollars. Unfortunately I didn’t accomplish that goal in 2015. Fortunately, it happened in 2016.

This stuff works.

Here’s a 30 minute presentation of this process that I delivered at Content Marketing World. If you’d like to see the international version, here’s the presentation I gave in Germany at the OMR conference.

Six Category Goals

When I began to become obsessed with goal setting, I found that the majority of my goals focused on the business. Uh, this is not good when you have a family and want to be a well rounded person (sorry Pam).

So, I focused on one or two goals each year in six different categories.

  • Financial goals
  • Family goals
  • Spiritual goals
  • Mental goals
  • Physical goals
  • Philanthropic goals
Using mental goals as an example, this year’s goal looks like this:

I read two non-business books per month in 2021.

Remember, use the past tense if you can. Makes a world of difference.

By using this goal-setting process, hopefully I’m a more well-rounded individual…but you’ll have to ask my family if this is the case or not.
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