Growth can be a funny thing. People all grow at different rates. Some people spend more time studying and investing in their personal and career growth. Others do not prioritize it. Yet, it is very hard to predict who is going to grow the fastest. There is much to be learned from life experiences AND personal development materials.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares the story of how he came to see that he may have outgrown the leadership program he was in.

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Highlights:

00:17 – A rare occurrence
01:42 – Business plan and social media presentations
05:09 – Praise for the presentations
06:42 – Outgrowing the program?
10:08 – Tapping into teamwork
11:21 – There’s always more to get
12:03 – When it’s time to move on

Transcript:

I think what we’re talking about today is a relatively rare occurrence – when you’ve outgrown the program.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve been taking a leadership program, a two-year intensive one. I’m in year two, quarter three, which means I’ve got about a quarter and a half, and I’ll be completing this program.

It’s been great. I’ve had the opportunity to coach in a variety of capacities. When you’re in the second year of the program, you automatically get a certain number of participants to coach each week. And so, I’ve learned so much, I’ve gained so much, and I think the biggest discovery of all is just how much value I can provide for people.

Sometimes the stats are not validating. Sometimes your social media following doesn’t look like you think it should. Sometimes your email list is not as big as you hoped it was. And still, as I’ve said so many times before, just because it looks like you’re killing it doesn’t mean you’re making any money. And just because you look like you’re small-time doesn’t mean you’re not killing it.

Just because it looks like you're killing it doesn't mean you're making any money. And just because you look like you're small-time doesn't mean you're not killing it. Click To Tweet

That is a reality we all need to embrace when we’re looking online because we can easily be fooled and convinced by numbers that, in fact, probably don’t mean a whole lot.

So, today, in this leadership program, I gave a presentation on business plans and social media. Two areas in which I’m very conversant. As you know, I’ve certainly had my peaks and valleys with social media. I’m very much on top of it nowadays, knowing that I think that’s really where the traffic is going more than ever. You have to have a website. You have to have something to capture people’s contact information, to get them on your list so you can continue to market to them and sell to them. That has not changed one bit.

But what has changed is where the eyeballs are. And more than ever, I would say, eyeballs are on social media. And more than ever, there are more platforms than ever.

So, I was happy to give presentations on the business plan side and the social media side because I don’t always get the opportunity. It’s not like I get invites every single day to speak. It happens, but it’s not a daily occurrence.

And I think what I’ve realized about that side of things is I want to create my event. And that’s coming. We’ll talk about that in a future show, I’m sure, as things get going on that end.

But I was like, “I relish the opportunity to share some of what I’ve learned.

And this was kind of spreading through word of mouth. In the case of the business plan, I’d recently put together one for a client, and she was so happy with it, and I was so happy with it, that she ended up sharing it with a lot of people in the leadership program.

And suddenly, before you know it, it’s like, “Well, David Andrew is very knowledgeable on business plans.”

And on the social media side, well, another person in the leadership program was keeping an eye on what I’ve been posting to social media, and she realized right away, like, “Holy cow, you know, what you just posted in the last couple of weeks has me convinced that you know social media better than most people,” which is the case.

So, I’ve put together these presentations and it was a funny situation because we were going to make it sort of an official, like it counts for points. Every week people are supposed to get some training in this leadership program and so at least a block of three hours every week they’re supposed to go and take a training.

Originally, we were going to count this session where I was giving these presentations for a point, and then the people in the program management decided, “No, that’s not going to work.”

And I said, “Look, it doesn’t matter to me. I’ll give the presentation, I’ll not give the presentation, but I’m here to add value to people. I can see that there’s a need here.”

We took a bit of a survey and had people raise their hands and say whether they were looking for more information on business plans and social media. And it felt, overwhelmingly, that people wanted this. Probably at least half, if not 60, 70% of participants in the program were raising their hands going, “Yeah, we’d like more on business plans and social media.”

So, it was not a sanctioned official training, and I’m fine with that. I was kind of hoping that’s the direction it would go in, because I’d be able to speak a little bit more freely on these topics, versus being muzzled or being told what I had to say.

So, it became what we call “social” or “fun stuff” on the side event.

But people were there for themselves to get something. So I was determined to deliver value.

And at the end of it, I heard comments, I got lots of questions and comments throughout, but I heard comments like “This was paradigm-shifting,” and I’m like, “Yeah, I know because of the way I talk about social media is not the way most people do.”

Because most people are just saying, “Let’s post. Let’s post a lot and hope for the best.” And pray and hope and pray. And yeah, there is something to that. But you kind of need to have a structure around that or else you’re probably not going to get anywhere with it.

I also heard one of the participants say – she’s in the first year of the program and quarter two – and she was like, “This is the best training I’ve gotten so far in this program.” Even though it’s not an officially sanctioned training, it was the best training she’s received in that program.

And I think finally something clicked for me there. I spent so much time accumulating and acquiring knowledge and learning. And digging deep to find the valuable stuff.

Some of my so-called “friends” didn’t trust me on this, but I’d done my homework, and I knew which people were providing valuable information. Either way, I was determined to stick with what I knew worked, what made a difference for me in my life, and how it helped shift my paradigm. And tweak the results that I was getting for me.

So, I stayed on that track. But I came to that point of realization at that moment that I had kind of outgrown this program.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The leadership program is fantastic. It’s not easy. They don’t pretend like it is. It is very rigorous. And every week, it’s kind of like, you might get a little bit of reprieve on the weekend, but you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I must get started again on this on Monday? Like, really?”

That’s how you start to feel when you’ve committed this far into the program. There’s a lot to discover. Don’t get me wrong, the program holds a mirror to you and the way that you do life. So, you get more out of it to the extent that you continue to do the looking. If you continue, if you’re teachable, if you’re willing to change, there’s always something more you can get out of the program. So, technically there is no way to outgrow the program.

But every program has its shortfalls. I feel like some of the things that didn’t work or don’t work in the program are that it just doesn’t stop. For a full year, you’re just, “Go, go, go.”

Every program has its shortfalls. Click To Tweet

I get it. Some musicians play tours across the world sometimes for years and years on end because of one great album, and I could see how that would be kind of exhausting, but also ridiculously energizing because you’re excited to go on stage to perform each night.

But that’s sort of the difference. Sometimes on a rare occasion, you’re excited to show up for this program, but most of the time you’re not. And it’s taking up 12 to 15 hours of your week, and as I said, if you’re not willing to face what’s in the mirror every single day, it’s not a good program for you to be in at all. Because you’ll find it exhausting. But I think either way at some point you’re going to start to feel like it’s tiring.

So, summarily, what doesn’t work for me is I feel like there’s no break and what I would love to see is… if it’s going to be four-quarters of “Go, go, go,” it sure would be nice to have a week of nothing before every quarter starts.

That would make a big difference, but instead what we get is a weekend session where we’re sitting on our butts pretty much all Friday night, all Saturday, and all Sunday. And then you get to start Monday and you didn’t even get a weekend. Right? You got a couple hours to hang out with friends or whatever, Saturday, and Sunday night, but aside from that, you got nothing. No opportunity to rest up or reset.

And I get it. The program’s kind of designed that way, in a manner of speaking to overwhelm you, to challenge you, to see how much you can take on and expand to take on. And to have you realize that you can’t do everything yourself.

You can't do everything yourself. Click To Tweet

It’s a big part of the program too, to have you realize that you need teams and teamwork in your life, that you need people in your life to make this whole thing work. If you’re up to big things and you have big projects and you want to create things, you need people in your life.

And it’s the same thing with me, right? I can produce a lot. I’ve proven to myself over and over how much I can produce in a year. And if I wanted to, I could release multiple books per year.

The reason why I am not doing it like that right now is so that I can be a little more focused in my approach to publishing, sharing, and creating products.

More of a world tour guy, as opposed to a launch guy, you know?

“Let me launch and sell a whole bunch of books.” And then that comes to an end, and you’ve got to budget out whatever money you made for the rest of the year from that launch or launch again. Which can be exhausting, because you’re putting everything into those.

I much prefer taking a world tour approach, targeting an audience in a specific locale, milking that for what it’s worth, and then moving on to another one. Which we’ve talked about before. This is something bands and artists do very well, and something marketers do very poorly. So, we need to be mindful of the fact that the artist’s approach is better in that regard.

My point is that I can’t technically ever outgrow the program. As long as I’m willing to be teachable, if I’m willing to change, I can always get more out of it. But the value of what I can provide for people is of a different variety. This leadership program focuses on communication and transformation. That’s what you can expect to get out of it. But you’re not necessarily going to get all the other details that are going to make your projects work.

Because in this program, we’re all encouraged. I say encouraged, but it’s sort of an agreement of the program that you take on a new project every quarter as well, which is what I’ve been doing and creating teams and teamwork around it.

Now, it hasn’t happened yet. Because like I said at the outset, I think this is somewhat of a unique situation. If someone came into Elite Players and said, you know, “David, thank you so much. My career is exploding. We’re making millions of sales. We’re touring across the world. Thank you for all your help. I’m ready to move on. I don’t need your program anymore. Here’s 1% royalty.”

Sure, it would be a bittersweet moment, right? To let go of that student and say, “Hey, you made it to the top of where I can take you. And there may be someone else to take you further. But thank you so much for being a part of this and for taking on the coaching and going and doing the things that are going to have you create that kind of success.”

So, even though it would be bittersweet, I’d be like, “You did the work and you’re ready to move on.”

But I think there is something applicable for everyone in this story in the sense that you should look in your life and see where you’ve outgrown certain things.

You’ve outgrown certain projects. You’ve outgrown certain people. You’ve outgrown certain jobs, and you’re not stepping away from them. You’re not letting them go.

So, when will you let go? And when will you embrace the person that you’ve become and allow yourself to be the person that you are? Because you’re more powerful than you were last year if you’ve been consistent in developing yourself.

When will you embrace the person that you've become and allow yourself to be the person that you are? Click To Tweet

That’s the question. What have you outgrown? And what can you let go of, so no boat anchors are holding you down from what you’re supposed to go and do? What you’re meant to create in this world.