It’s time to take charge of your life and do the thing that you’ve always wanted to do but you need help with your transition and that’s what this episode is about. Allison Task, author of Personal Revolution, is a bestselling author and coach who will help you take control of your life and move you from where you are now to where you want to be.
In this episode, she gives a real live coaching session to show you how to create the vision for what you want out of life, so you know where you’re going and why you’re going there.
If you’re searching for a step by step guide to help you clarify your vision and to actually pursue it, this episode is for you.
Going After What You Want
Charlie Hoehn: What kind of results are you particularly proud of getting with your clients and also, if you’re comfortable with saying it, what is the value of your services so that they know the value that they’re getting in the book?
Allison Task: Wow, great question. Okay, two questions, number one, results and number two value. I think we’re going to answer number two, what’s the value and then hit what some of the results are.
People have things that they want to do. I have a client that came to my office last year about this time and she’s a very successful business person, he’s married, has two young kids ages one and tree and she came to me – very successful business woman – and said, “I don’t know that we can be as successful in this country as we could be, if we returned to my country of origin, the Philippines.”
“I’ve been here for five or 10 years, my husband’s also Filipino but he’s been here since he was five, he doesn’t speak the language, it’s not his country. I don’t know if this is the best choice for my family. I know it’s a good choice for me, help me figure this out.”
That’s big, that’s massive, this is like moving countries, moving culture, shifting so much, changing her children’s future.
“So many changes on so many levels.”
I had a session with the husband and she’s literally said, “I don’t care what the end result is as long as it’s the best choice for my family. But help us evaluate this choice.” She called me because couples can drag on for 10 years about where they want to live. She wanted to make this decision efficiently and I got an email from her this morning.
Big, happy face, big all caps, “THE CHILDREN LOVE THE PHILIPPINES.”
Their whole family moved last month, her husband found a new job, she found a new job, they have a condo that’s being built out, her children are in Mandarin class, it is on. That is a significant life change that impacted the four members of their family plus all of her relatives, plus their futures.
That’s a change I was honored to be a part of that decision-making process and more importantly, by the time they left and by the six months prior to that, they had to put their house up for sale and everything like that. They were aligned, the husband and wife were aligned.
The other one was – they talk about the trailing spouse, there was no trailing spouse, they set the goal together, they evaluated their values and set the goal together, that was terrific.
Both of these, I’m realizing, both of these examples are far away clients, I don’t move all my clients. Most of my clients get to stay where they are.
Allison Task: This other client, also here in New Jersey, was approaching retirement, he was within two to five years of retirement and came to me not really sure if he wanted to speed it up or slow it down, how we could be successful in his last few years.
Incidentally, he was working to cure cancer. He’s the kind of guy we want to keep employed, every time he would come to a session, he would show me his phone and show me like this is a tumor, this is a tumor two weeks later, look at the progress.
Within a couple of months, it became clear that his best move, quality of life – you know he was commuting an hour and a half for work, one of his sons was in high school, his mother, his injured mother, has just come to live in a home in New Jersey and if he was going to move and have his retirement happen sooner. His goal was to make it harder.
He needed to do it now, because he was on a clock with his mom, if she needed to move, she needed to move now. He decided, that’s it, I’m going with early retirement. Made the move, found a house in Oregon.
He found a way for his son to take a gap year to establish residency in Oregon so he could go to an Oregon school for less money, moved his mom across country, her final airplane trip across country. Made all these significant moves, and I hadn’t spoken to him for about a year. I checked in on him, he’s like, “So glad you wrote.”
“I’m in China with my son during his gap year.”
His son was also here in Jersey, a white kid, not sure how that happened but thank god for the public schools here in Verona. They were travelling through China together on his son’s gap year. By the way, after his retirement, so many of his past colleagues just couldn’t bear to be without him so he has a very lucrative consulting business.
He shows so many things that work for his life at that time to have a far superior life. Help me structure and organize what I should do with this decision point to live a better life. Those are the kind of results I have with clients, right?
“Be my thought and action partner to help me be in a better place in six months or in 12 months than I am right now.”
What’s the value? Their lives, they’re happier, they’re content, they’re moving forward with momentum. I might say, they have their lives back. They put years on their life, not at the end of the life when they’re ailing but right now when they can live it and enjoy it best.
I could ask both of them for a value, but I think it’s a lot of numbers.
Becoming a Coach
Charlie Hoehn: Before we kind of dive into the consent of personal revolution, I’m always curious, how did you get good at this skillset?
Allison Task: In two ways, thank you for asking, first of all, I got a coaching certificate at NYU, I was trained by a man called David Rock who has an organization out of Australia called Results Coaching. Everything he does is based in neuroscience. It’s a very scientific brain-based approach to coaching.
I know what I do, I know that I don’t do therapy, I know my limitations of coaching. I know my job is to ask powerful questions to get people to see and commit to their own great ideas.
I trained excellent teachers. I continue with education and I practice, I’ve been coaching for 12 years. I saw what worked for my clients, and I continued to do those things.
As tempting as it is when having a coaching conversation to answer someone’s question when they say, “Well tell me, what do you think I should do?” It’s much more powerful if I pull it out of them.
I want you leaving my office and writing me that night, “Allison here’s the six things I did after I left your office, I’m so psyched.”
“If your energy stays in my office, I failed you.”
I need you to own it so you leave with enthusiasm. For example, I used to have a client session and write-up client notes and send it to them. No, that doesn’t help. That makes me in charge of the goal, right?
Now, every client who comes to me, it’s a really nice branded – can you guess what it says on the Moleskin notebook I give them? It says, “Personal Revolution.” I hand it to them, I say, “This is for you for your coaching.”
I have a huge white board wall in my office and I ask them questions and just write down their words.
At the end, they take a picture of the wall, put it into their notebook, they own the process, their words, their ideas, their actions, I’m just the conduit for it.
I know what I do, I know my role and I know how important it is to stimulate my client.
Working with Allison Task
Charlie Hoehn: One more question about your coaching which is, I know there are coaches out there, you sound like you’re phenomenal at coaching. I mean that sincerely. But why choose you as a coach when we could go to any other?
Allison Task: Well, I might not be the coach for everyone, right? What I’m really good at is transition coaching. If you’re here but you want to be there, right?
My book is about how to be happy, change your life and do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
“I think want to go to the Philippines…I think I want to retire.” Or, when you find yourself in an unexpected situation, “My god, after 30 years, my company fired me,” right?
I have a lot of clients who turn 50 or 55 and they’re like, “I thought I’d have another 10 years.” When life happens and you’re unexpected, how do you have a partner who will believe in you and help you get to that next place?
“I‘m really good at helping people navigate transitions, that’s my specialty.”
Why am I good at that? Most important thing is, I believe in my client. When someone stands in front of me and is honest and authentic and tells me a want, I believe them. Then I’m a mirror for their own best version of themselves and they see it and they’re like, “She thinks I can do it.”
Sometimes you just need that one person who is not your mother or your best friend who thinks you can.
Also, in my personal life, I’ve had a few careers. I’ve done things and I’ve been in that seat where someone says, “You can’t do it,” right? I’m the person who says, “Hey, I know I’m not going to get invited to this leadership thing because nobody knows who I am.”
“I’m going to make sure you know who I am, is that okay with you?” I know how to stand up for myself and be an advocate for myself. I know what that skill is, and I know it’s rewarded.
One last thing, one really important thing that happened to me that I had the good fortune to have happen. I graduated from college in 1994, that is when .com started to take off. My second job out of college was at a .com.
“I was the eighth person at that company.”
I was there for a year or so, my next job, I was recruited at 24, I was recruited to San Francisco, they gave me a signing bonus and all kinds of crazy things. My peers and friends and boyfriends in some cases were literally starting their first internet companies. It was not unusual for a friend of mine in their 20s to sell their company to Microsoft for five or 10 or 40 million dollars. We weren’t in billions yet.
I saw people—and not cool people, like geeky, awkward people who hadn’t been traditionally thought of as successful—suddenly making things happen through their own passion, taking advantage of the opportunity and believing that it could be.
I saw what happened when people believed in their own ideas and built them. Everything changed.
I was in that at a very early time, I believed that we would now be shopping online primarily, I believed in all of that in the 90s, and I saw it come true.
There is a little bit of futurism in me where I saw more people make crazy things happen than not. That’s my belief system.
Charlie Hoehn: Awesome. Chapter one is, Where Do You Want To Be? Smart Goal Setting. Now, I’ve heard of smart goals but break this down for the listener?
Allison Task: Well, Charlie, unfortunately we started with chapter one and not the intro. Let’s back it up a little bit.
The key part of this is, hey, if we’re going to do a coaching session, let’s start at the beginning. The page one of the introduction, I say, “Before you jump in at that question for you: why did you pick up this book?”
It’s a real question, something only you know and it’s important for the work we can do here.
“Share your reasons.”
Charlie, you want a coaching session with me, what’s something that’s going on for you right now, something real that you want to talk about, that you’d like a little help with to help you get unstuck or move it to the next place?
Charlie Hoehn: Absolutely, this is perfect because I am actually making a transition. I’m setting up my side business, basically, so I have done videography for 15 years casually and I’ve gotten to a point now where I feel like my taste for what’s good and my skills are finally catching up to each other and the gap has closed.
I’m now in a place where my skill is quite valuable, and I know how to give a lot to companies and clients. My goal now is to setup my side business doing videography both production editing, the marketing portion as well to setup that business and get it to six figures within a year.
Allison Task: Cool, you’ve got some components of a smart goal, okay? What I heard you say is that you want to setup a videography business, right? Get it to six figures by April 25th, 2019, correct? A smart goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.
Your goal, setup a video production business, that’s specific. Measurable, six figures, you want to make six figures. Attainable and relevant, we’re going to talk about that in a second, and time bound, April 25th, 2019.
Attainable and Relevant
Allison Task: Let’s talk about attainable and relevant. Attainable. Is it humanly possible for you to be running a six figure business—for you to attract and service enough clients so that you can make $100,000 plus in the next six months. Is it something that can be done?
Charlie Hoehn: I strongly believe so. I created a video recently and the byproduct of that video is that it got passed around to actually a lot of people, and two, people reached out to me and said they wanted me to do the same for their company and both of those would be worth over $25,000 each.
Allison Task: Okay cool. You have just with two potential clients on the horizon, you see $50k of revenue just in your first day of business. You think that you can break this down.
So we could obviously take an excel spreadsheet, go month to month and think about it, we can also blow out who you could talk to and how you could network, but it sounds like just with that early bit of information, this is something that’s attainable.
Cool, I’m going to check that off.
And the last part is Relevant. I’m just going to also note, this is a super quick session, it wouldn’t usually go this quickly, we drill down a bit more.
Relevant, this is when I first heard you speaking, this was the part that I was like, we need to really sit on this one.
Why is it important for you to—I don’t know enough background—but to work independently, why video production, why?
Charlie Hoehn: There are a few reasons, one is, I’ve got a 10-month-old baby daughter, right? I want to provide as well as I possibly can for my family and with my current job, I’ve kind of hit a point – before we got pregnant, I shut down my side businesses that I was running and because I just wanted to focus on being really good at one thing and allow my wife and I to have as basically a stress free and non-disruptive pregnancy as possible. Right?
That’s gone on for the past 19 months, and now we’re in a position where I feel like I’ve got a really good handle on my day to day role, it’s not taking me nearly as much time anymore and I love video. I’ve loved it for 15 years and to be honest, I never fully had the courage to pursue it full time because of these thoughts in my head, like, “If you really want to make it in the video business, you got to like, either go into an ad agency which I don’t want.”
“Or you got to go to Hollywood and that’s super competitive.” I have these kind of excuses and it’s become more and more clear to me as with the spread of both YouTube and all these other – video becoming so much cheaper and attainable that it’s really very possible and I just kind of this skillset that I both love and is particularly rare, the combination that I have.
Allison Task: Cool, what I’m hearing you say is two things: I love video and I thought I couldn’t do it because logistically I had to be here or there, but the times have changed and I can now do it, and I offer a really in demand skillset. Full stop.
Two, I want to provide for my family as well as possible, and I didn’t hear you say this but I think it’s implicit with the flexibility I need to participate in my family the way I want.
Charlie Hoehn: Yes, big time, yeah.
Allison Task: Cool, great. That’s relevant and that’s hardcore, right? That’s from the heart, that’s—I want to setup a video production company, make six figures, cool, but here’s the heart behind it, here’s why you’ll have the spirit to do it, your personal passion for the topic, the time’s changing and really embracing the skillset you have so that’s sort of more with, is it attainable, hell yeah, it’s attainable.
Then of course, switching your personal obligations, increasing your obligations and centering your focus on providing. Sounds like a pretty buttoned up goal, sounds like a tight goal, yeah, cool.
Preparing for Goals
Charlie Hoehn: All right, on point there. Thank you, that was beautiful. Do we need to pause on this at all anymore? Should we go to the next part?
Allison Task: No, you pretty much nailed chapter one, I will tell you, at the end of chapter one, at the end of every chapter, there’s a prep sheet, right? The prep sheet is “My goal is…” Then you write down what we described, “Setup a video production business with the goal of making six figures by April 25th, 2019.”
There’s a scale, “Where am I on the scale of one to 10 towards achieving it?” I don’t know, you’re somewhere on that scale, where would you say you are?
Charlie Hoehn: I’d say I’m about a three, because I have the offers hammered out decently and I’m getting feedback on those from potential clients now to just make them as strong as possible and I already have potential clients like on the reel, who are like “Yeah, tell me when you’re ready to do this.” So I think we’re pretty good.
Allison Task: That’s really solid. Part of your prep sheet is also “What opportunities are available to you right now?” That would be, what you list there. “By the end of the next chapter, I want to reach out to 10 more people,” or whatever it is.
Your prep sheet, chapter to chapter, kind of caps off what you just did, pulls out any insights you have like, “You know what? I didn’t really realize why this was so relevant, now I get it, I really love video production, I want to do it independently, that’s really important to me, maintaining my independence is key,” right?
You pull out any insights, you take what you’ve learned in the chapter and you start preparing, “Alright, cool, now what’s next?”
Go for Balance
Allison Task: Chapter two, where you are now is in a happy place. “I got my goal, it makes sense, I’m going to do it.” Now we pressure test the goal in chapter two. Chapter two is the Whole Life Model, it’s a classic coaching tool.
The Whole Life Model looks at 10 areas of your life, just to make sure that this is the most important thing because perhaps you didn’t mention to me that you need to go for leg surgery next week.
Maybe right now isn’t the best time to start a new business, maybe you want to start it at the end of August, right now your goal is getting through surgery and helping your wife with your baby, right? We don’t know that until we pressure test that this is the right goal with the Whole Life Model.
“I would say, 50% of the time the Whole Life Model will switch your goal.”
The areas that you’re going to focus on are (ready?):
Health—that’s physical and mental. Spiritually. Friends and friendships. Your family—which you just discussed. Your love and partnership—which we also discussed. Your own personal development—where you want to grow. Fun and creativity—are you having enough joy in your life? Physical environment—where you live, where you work, your car, your town, your geography. Your finances—what you have to invest in this, what are your demands? Do you have college loans of $300,000 like some of my clients do, what are your finances like? Ultimately, your career.
When we look at those 10 areas of your life, and this is an exercise in the book, you look at your satisfaction in that area, spirituality, like a 10, I’m not into it, I don’t care, I’m fine.
You write yourself on a scale of one to 10 in terms of your satisfaction, then you rank yourself on a scale of one to 10, in terms of your importance. If you are unsatisfied with your friends, right? If you just moved to town, you don’t really have any friends, you miss people, your satisfaction is at a two and the importance is at an eight, that’s important.
That’s a six-point divide, right? Eight minus two is six, that’s important.
Then we rank these, like what are your top three areas of gap? We make sure that your goal fills that gap or else should we prioritizing something else or should we say, this is my goal.
Also, what would really help me if I had more friends?
More friends is going to make this all better, so we’ll make sure that through the course of you going after this goal, you have a secondary focus which is to increase my friendships.
Getting Back to Baseline
Charlie Hoehn: I love it, yeah. Makes perfect sense and I just want to compliment you on the fact that in the book, it appears that you start with reflecting upon health and specifically sleep.
Allison Task: Thank you. Yes, before I even get to the Whole Life Model that I’ve just described to you, I do, do a lot of preamble which is are you at baseline? Look at your sleep, look at your exercise, your eating, your rest, your finances.
Before you take on a big coach involvement, you don’t run a triathlon before making sure you’re in good health.
If you have a hundred pounds to lose, this is not the time to take on a triathlon, right?
This is a time to get healthy, get stronger, drop some weight, because your knees aren’t going to handle the long run with a hundred pounds to lose.
“We need to get to baseline before we can go after and ambush this goal.”
Charlie Hoehn: How much time do you typically spend on getting people to baseline? Getting your clients to baseline before you say, “Okay, now you can go after the goal.”
Allison Task: You know, this is something that I put in specifically for the book. When I work with someone, they’re here, they want to do the work, they’re excited. These kinds of issues will come up in phase three or a four. People often come to me and they’re so excited to do it, they don’t realize they’re not at baseline, and I will say:
“You know, I’ve noticed…”
And they’ll say, “No, I’m fine, that’s what I’ve always done.” I’m working with a doctor right now, who said, “The only way I can do this is if I just build up to five hours of sleep at night.”
I said, “You know what? Not a fan of that, I know doctors, you guys are famous for going on 24 hours without sleep, but let’s think about other things we could try.”
“We took social media off her phone, gave her back two hours every day.”
You’re going to lose your email and your phone, you’re going to lose your Facebook, you’re going to lose Twitter. Thank you very much, and bye Instagram.
You just put two hours back in your day, and you can sleep for seven hours. For me, when someone comes in excited about a goal, I get through on a goal and start after it. I start to see by whether or not they proceed that they’re not yet a baseline. Often, if you tell someone or you ask, “Do you have a face on, or are you doing okay?” It’s like “Yeah, I’m fine, what are you talking about?”
Charlie Hoehn: High voice is a dead giveaway.
Allison Task: Yup, exactly. The evidence it becomes apparent when we start working together and then they’re like, “You’re right.” Then I’ll say, “Yeah, there are therapy referrals.”
You can’t avoid the lack of baseline, it will come up.”
Reach Out for What You Need
Charlie Hoehn: Another thing that I love that you put in here is outsourcing and delegating.
Allison Task: You’re clearly a new dad here. You’re talking about sleep and outsourcing, I feel you.
It’s all about the value of your time, right? A lot of new moms, moms with kids in preschool or elementary school and want to start a business or get back in the work, they have a lot of reasons why they can’t. Yet, their next door neighbor is the CEO of a company and a mom and she can.
“Why can she and why can’t you?”
There are always ways to outsource certain things you don’t want to do. For me, I have a job that ensures that I can be home between three and six with my kids, that time is really important to me.
My husband does the breakfast and morning routine. I leave the house at seven, I work seven to three, there’s a nice eight hour day, I’m home with my kids, then I can come back to do my CC clients.
You can always either shift it around with your partner, with your friends, with your network, with your community, with your relatives or people.
You just have to figure out what’s really important to you and where you want to be and what things are less important.
The breakfast routine I find maddening, but after school, I really love it. My husband and I do that then.
Focusing on Your Whole Life
Charlie Hoehn: This chapter, let’s assume I’m okay at this baselines just for the sake of this conversation and we get to the whole is more important than the parts, what do you mean by that?
Allison Task: The whole life, right? People come to me for career coaching because I’m a career and life coach. People come for career because career has financial ramifications, they come to me because they need to make money. More money, less money, more money, less money or they are miserable at their job.
So they want career-career-career and then I say, “Okay you’re 40, you were just laid off, you live with your boyfriend, you want to get a new job” before we think about what that new job is – oh and you want to change out of your work niche.
Before we do this, I ask you if you want to have a family or if kids are important, because I’m a career and life coach.
“We could talk about your career, but your career is one area in the context of your life.”
That is actually from a client that I work with in the book and I’d pester on it a little bit and she was like, “I really wanted kids. I really want to marry my partner,” and within one month she was engaged.
She happened to bring it up to her partner how important this was to her, having kids and we went together and when she came back engaged.
So we can figure out her career, but if you figure out her career and just pretend that she’s not a 40 year old woman who may or may not have kids, then I am doing her a disservice.
So this has to fit in your larger life. It is really important to take into account the values, the bigger picture. It’s always more of just one bit, right? “I really want to find a life partner.” Okay how do you do that? Where are you living? Are you living out of your car and you want to find a life partner?
Maybe you should find a house, unless you are one of my clients who gave up their house in New York and went to an RV in the Midwest. In that case living out of their home was their car.
Who would pay a life coach to get you to sell your apartment in Queens and live out in an RV in Midwest? That was actually their goal, so they did it.
We All Struggle
Charlie Hoehn: So a cool thing that you have in this book is what to do if they get blocked. If the reader gets blocked. So not only do you have your website as a resource to allisontask.com, you also have an assessment tool that helps with getting clarity on your values. It’s called the Via Character Strengths Test which people can find at viacharacter.org. So that’s a good tool.
Allison Task: Yeah and again, this isn’t about getting the baseline, getting you focused. Sometimes when you push hard on something you think you want, other things come up.
As a coach, that’s why I’m here. It doesn’t matter what my values are, it what your values are. I need to be with my kids between three and six in the afternoon. Some people prefer it for breakfast.
Some people are like kids I’ll see on the weekends, grandma is here. That’s why grandma lives with us. So it all depends on what’s important to you and how you want to live your life. So there’s a lot of conversation towards, “Well why is that important?”
Charlie Hoehn: Do you have areas that you struggle with?
Allison Task: Excellent question. I would say that writing this book was a little bit harder that I thought. I have four children, I have two boys who are five and a daughter who’s three and a step daughter who’s 16 and I wanted to write the book now to get my business in a position so that I could spend more time with them starting in the summer, right? So, I wanted to make sure I could have Friday’s off or having more weekend time and stuff like that.
So, I think I tend to take on maybe more of it as needed. You know I don’t say “No.” I’ll work the 14 hours to get it done.
“I think I could do a little bit more to pop the fun and creativity part of my Whole Life Model.”
One of the promises to myself is when the book comes out I’m going to start taking dance classes, so I will do that. I think that’s a growth area for me. I don’t paint, I am not artistic, anything like that. I am just preparing the new book with my clients about balance.
But that is an area where, certainly I have pre-school kids I see them painting and drawing and stuff like that and dancing every day. I think I can do with a little more of that kind of fun stuff.
They turn on Ozzy and they love that and they do crazy dance time, right? They do crazy dance and I say, “Hey, that’s daddy’s thing, I’m going to go and make lunch.”
So I think finding what my crazy thing is too is then going to flip it.
Charlie Hoehn: So speaking of fun happiness, let’s get to chapter three which is Practicing Happiness and Gaining Momentum. So practicing happiness, how do we practice happiness?
Allison Task: Well it’s an act of choice, right? I am not a big believer in the pursuit of happiness. That is like pursuing a bear in the woods. Like, “Ah I’m getting closer, I’m getting closer, I’m getting closer, I got him! All right when is the next bear hunt?”
You know what I mean? Happiness is something you can actually work towards every day. You can choose your attitude, you can shift it. I see that a lot with my children.
If they get excited over something, I have read in a lot of parent guidebooks, you walk your child out of it. They don’t have the skills to walk out of their emotions, so you show them how.
Recognize where they are and help them walk towards something else. So, you could practice happiness and walk towards it every day. There are a lot of ideas, specific happiness practices in this chapter. The reason why it is a really important part of what I do is when you set yourself a big ambitious goal like we have, it’s best if your brain is open and creative and receptive.
And the character, again I’m going to say creative, think creatively. Think outside of the box.
So in order for you to be primed, to be creative and receptive and very to use an improv term, “Yes and,” I want you to practice being happy. Because when we are happy, we start looking for opportunities, and that’s what the pursuit of your goal is.
Charlie Hoehn: So true and it doesn’t get emphasized almost ever. I mean you’re really priming your mental state basically to be at your best so that achieving the goal is much easier.
Allison Task: Yes. Thank you. You are priming your mental state, nailed it. That’s exactly right.
Firstof all, it doesn’t suck right? If I say like, “Well listen I want you to spend five minutes before you go to bed doing this,” and then your body is going to fill with joy and you’re going to feel really good and happy. You’re going to sleep better. But I am going to do a little burst.
If I say, “Hey let’s go watch some comedy” “No I don’t want to watch comedy.” Of course, you are going to say yes. “Hey would you like this flower? Want a chocolate?” Unless you’re on a diet. “Hey want some balloons? Want to pet a kitten?” You know what I mean?
“This is just sheer happiness.”
There’s really not a lot of downside to spending a small amount of time on happiness. It is in itself a reward.
But my ultimate goal is to prime your goal, prime your brain to go after this thing and have more muscle.
The happier you are, the more muscle you can put into this. If I am always like battling you saying, “I don’t know if I can.” I’ve got to take that off the table, build your confidence, build your joy, build your openness.
Find the People Who Love You
Charlie Hoehn: What’s the purpose of connecting with our network?
Allison Task: In my opinion, if you want to do something and change something, start with who you know. Right now, we are such in a very cool leisure time where it’s not just the friends you have on your phone.
It’s Facebook, it’s LinkedIn, it’s all the people you’ve known and connected with and all the people they’ve known and connected with, because people are rooting for you.
People are wondering, “What the hell is Charlie up to? I remember you just starting out, you know as a young buck in videography. What the hell is going on with him? I could always rely on Charlie who never missed a deadline,” or you know, “Oh that guy could really edit.”
“I love the way he did this, he has such attention to technical detail, get him. He’s a master storyteller” right?
“I know there are people out there who love working with you.”
So this chapter is all about as you go after this goal, who are those people? You mentioned two people who have already have given you projects. So this chapter asks you section by section to remember people from different periods in your life. At the end of this chapter ideally, you will have a long list of contacts.
You have good experiences with people who if they called you, you feel like, “Hey it’s great to hear from you! What’s going on?” and if they said, “Hey could you help me with something?” you go, “Of course! What do you need? I’d do anything for you.”
So you have those relationships now. It’s remembering them and reconnecting with them to help you meet towards your goal.
Networks on Networks
Charlie Hoehn: I love it, it’s so basic and I’d imagine a lot of people are just forget this though, right? Whenever they’re in transition they’re like, “Oh I got to do all of these all by myself,” right?
Allison Task: Bingo, you go heads down and you feel sheepish and you don’t know. You don’t want to inconvenience them. One of the things I mentioned, I believe it is in chapter five, there’s have you ever set up anyone on a date and then they get married? Like at the time where you’re like, “Oh he’s so annoying, we need to set him up.”
Yeah, you’re like, “Awesome! This is fun. I am going to set you up,” and then, “Yay, you got married. It’s all my doing. Back to me, back to me, I’m so awesome, what a good friend I am.”
That’s the ultimate connection. That’s the ultimate set up. So if you are asking someone to make a business connection for you, they might just be psyched. They might know the person on the other end who would really benefit from your videography services.
It’s an opportunity for them to also experience the joy of connecting.
Charlie Hoehn: The vast majority of people are either giving and they like to help, or they just don’t think of favors as accumulated debt. So, like they don’t care that it doesn’t put them off that they are helping you. In fact, it gives them joy and energy. So that is something we all have to remind ourselves of how important that is.
Allison Task: And you’ve just segued beautifully into chapter five. So chapter four is Identifying Your Network. Who are those people who you already know and you’d do anything for them if they need it. You don’t really know how many people you know until you look at the size of your network.
“Think that the 50 people who love you the most have equivalent networks.”
That’s power, right? It’s very six degrees of Kevin Bacon. This is surmountable, this is doable. And the next chapter is that introduction that you make. I love introducing people to this guy because they’re so frustrated.
What do you get out of it? You got that guy a new client and you satisfied the frustration from this person who didn’t know what to do. You’re a connector and you sit back, and you feel good, right? There you are radiating with happiness. You are having a good life because you did a good thing.
The Creative, Planner, and Critic
Charlie Hoehn: You have stuff in here about flow state, self-compassion, the Disney Model, what is the Disney Model? Where do we begin? So many questions.
Allison Task: You just picked my favorite. So as I was saying before, this was the other wonky chapter, and this is my favorite research that I’ve used in my office with my clients. So Disney Model, you ready? Here we go.
So researchers studied Walt Disney, literally the man, because he did some fairly powerful things. You know conceiving of building, creating and turning Disney World and Disneyland and his success earned a small feat. The movies he’s created, the venues, the result, right?
So how did he do it? A lot of people can create, but I am not this type of person. I just have great ideas, but I am just a visionary. Leave it to the other people to do that next part.
So if you want to get to your goal, you’ve got to envision it and then you have to implement it. So how could you conceive a Disney World and make it come true?
When they studied Disney, they saw that he basically embodied three different personas.
“One man with three different personas.”
Phase one is the creative, just think as big as you can. I always come back to Le Cirque as an example. I don’t know came up with that, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a lawyer, right?
It was fantastical. I just saw O in Vegas. I was like, “Jesus how did they come up with this stuff?” right? So that’s the creative, the people who think of Le Cirque, and everybody has them.
But I don’t feel some of you are not creative. Everybody is creative, everybody has cool ideas, and if you don’t think so, go hang out with a five year old because they will pull it out of you. So there’s the creative.
Number two is the planner. When you think of a great idea, you need to go to your buddy who gets things done, and of course, he embodied all of these personas. So the creative would then go to the planner and say, “I think I have a crazy idea but it just might work.”
And the planner turns to him and say, “Cool, let’s figure out a way to make it so.”
So the planner just gets with you on your idea and just blocking and tackling to figure out how it could manifest.
The third persona is the critic. Critic is really important because the critic works with the planner to make sure the idea is airtight. So, “I think it’s a great idea, here’s how we can make it true.” The critic comes in and thinks of all the problems that might happen.
That’s where you call your lawyer, right? Come on make sure that this is right, pressure test it. Make sure this will absolutely work. The only way this whole system works to completion to make some crazy—to put a man on the moon literally—is the critic and the creative never get in a room together.
“If a critic comes too early in the process, the idea is kaput and it will never come to exist.”
So this happens a lot with my clients where they’ll say, “You know what I think…Yeah but no, no that…” and then they have a million reasons why.
I say, “No, your critic is not welcome yet. I am sorry. Your critique is welcomed on session four. We’re on session one. First we’ve got to give room to this beautiful gentle creative role in your goal.”
So that’s the Disney Model, and when you are working on something, you see yourself picking up the problems. Is it a firm enough idea, has it been planned thoroughly enough, is it time for the critic?
I never have to say, “Okay it’s time for the critic.” The critic is there all the time like, “Come on, is it my turn? Is it my turn? Is it my turn?” You know what I mean? But yeah, when I tell lawyers especially about this they’re like, “Oh.”
Because lawyers go to school to learn how to find the problem. Find what’s going to hurt your client and make sure that it’s dealt with, right? That’s literally their specialty, and it’s awesome, and you need that person in the process, but just at the right time.
Close the Deal
Charlie Hoehn: Then we get to chapter eight, which is closing the deal. Give me a quick breakdown of closing the deal.
Allison Task: Sure, closing the deal is really fun. So at this point, you’ve almost achieve your goal right? I give the scale to you already at the very beginning of how close are you to achieving your goal, and you said you were near it. By the time you get to this chapter, you’re at a nine.
If you are not at a nine, go back to chapter six and seven, learn the frameworks, learn the tools, just keep cycling back until you get to a nine, but you’re almost there.
“If you’re at 75,000 and it’s December, you’re almost there and in fact, what the hell, let’s move up goal to February and crush that last 25,000 right?”
That’s part of doubt crushing, you hear that. So this is you’re almost there, you’ve almost achieved your goal, and at this point, we do a little bit of reverse engineering. We reconnect with you when you did your smart goal and you talked about making it relevant.
“I want to buy this as well as possible for my family. I always loved video. I want to have an independent business,” right?
“We reconnect you with that relevance.”
We’d reconnect you with why you’re going for this to give you that last push to bring it home.
Sometimes when we are grinding it out to get towards the goal, the reason why we are not achieving it is because we’re bleary eyed and we hadn’t had a good night sleep or whatever.
So it’s like, “Okay, hang on. We’ll just take a break and do a little self-care” like, “You okay? Do you need to go out? Up for a night out of town? Do you need a weekend off?” Because we all know how many times when you are in the problem if you take a Sabbath or take a weekend or even a day off and turn off the phone and don’t think about it, the next day you have a breakthrough and you realize the part that you needed.
So that’s like a, “Okay hang on, let’s not press too hard on this goal. Let’s take a day out from the work out and let’s just relax a little and let’s find your easefulness and let it go.”
Take Time to Celebrate
Charlie Hoehn: How can we celebrate the journey that we just took?
Allison Task: So this is really important. When you have a big achievement, you get married, you have the wedding, when you have it you’ve got to take a moment. I’m Jewish, my husband is Jewish, after we got married, we have a little thing called a Yichud.
This is a moment in the wedding where everything stops for husband and wife and you go off by yourselves for a few moments just to connect, because you can get all whirled up into all the guests and the wedding and the event.
And the food and the photos, all that dancing, which is all super fun, but you guys just got married, let us let you connect for a little bit.
So, we were in my parent’s backyard. We walked out into their dock and just sat and ate a plate of oysters and hung out. We just loved having each other for a little bit and remember. We just reconnected.
So this is your opportunity to connect with your achievement.
“Take the moment, celebrate it.”
Find a way to honor it, find a way to appreciate what you have done in a very real way. So number one is independent and personal and then now you go back to chapters four and five and take a little victory lap with all the people who helped you along the way.
Like we talked about, if you set someone up on a date and they end up getting married, the phone call to that person to say, “You’ll never guess what happened. We’re married” or we’re getting married or whatever. That person is going to flip out.
So your victory lap isn’t “I did it” it’s, “Look what you did. Look at what you helped me do. I so appreciate this, and the bottom line is could never have done it without you.”
That acknowledgement, that appreciation makes you fill with happiness, joy, helps them fill with happiness and joy. We’re all making the world a better place in our own way. So celebrating involves you acknowledging it and taking it in and then sharing it with the probably several hundred people who have helped you along the way.
A Challenge from Allison Task
Charlie Hoehn: Let’s kind of wrap up with maybe a simple challenge that the listeners can do. What’s something they can do today from your book that will have a positive impact on their life?
Allison Task: Great question. Let’s start with the happiness chapter, right? Let’s get to one of those cool exercises, I eluded to a five-minute exercise that you could do before you go to sleep.
I’ve seen this work miracles. This one’s actually scientifically tested as well and with a group of semi-depressed students, they gave them the anti-anxiety, and there were similar positive results.
It’s called Three Good Things. You can do it before you go to sleep, and it’s an opportunity for you to take stock of your debt, right? Look at your day and say “Okay, cool, what’s something good that happened today?” Then relive it.
Charlie, let’s start with you, you’ve been a good subject so far, your day is just sort of half over but something good has already probably happened. Can you give me an example?
Charlie Hoehn: Yeah, I mean, I will say, apart from this podcast which has been wonderful. My wife and I went on a walk around the neighborhood with our baby daughter. Our baby daughter cracked us up while she was eating breakfast, we gave her a bone broth ice cube for the first time and her expression was priceless and just – we got to sit out in the backyard.
I hit the boxing bag, I don’t know, an hour and a half ago or so and so I got the blood flowing a bit and felt good coming in to the podcast, had some coffee, there had been a lot of good things.
Allison Task: Cool. You’re doing a great job, right? You’ve got the boxing bag, we’ve got the daughter with the bone broth, wife too and we’ve got this amazing conversation, a little goal setting.
In doing a Three Good Things exercise, I would ask you to take one, right? Your daughter, the bone broth, the ice cube. Really take a moment and picture her face, picture what she was wearing, what sounds she made, what did your wife say? What did you say?
“Just put yourself back into that moment.”
Take a little time there, take two, three minutes and put yourself back there.
Hitting the bag, why did you hit the bag today? What was it about today? Is there anything you were thinking about when you were really hitting the bag, any particularly good hits? How did your body feel, how do you feel stronger now than you did five years ago? How do you want to feel?
What were you thinking about? What music was playing? What was the air like, what were you wearing? With each of those three good things, really put yourself back into the moment and the goal is, to feel the feels, right? The goal is to have the feeling you have when you were at that moment and reconnect to it emotionally in your body.
As well as intellectually storytelling, you connected that in your thought, you are cherry picking the three best moments of your day and literally reliving them and having that be what your body focuses on. This is something you can write down, this is something you can articulate into a microphone, maybe you can video it, some people like to just think it through. I prefer to think it through.
You can share it with your partner, you can share it with your kids at the dinner table, but this practice of reconnecting with your three highlights from your day helps people with their sleep, helps people with depression, and is a classic positive psychology exercise that prepares you to be more receptive and creative.
Connect with the Author
Charlie Hoehn: How can our listeners connect with you, follow you and potentially work with you?
Allison Task: Sure, you can go to my website, my name is allisontask.com. You can contact me there if you’d like to work with me, you can sign up for my newsletter.
You can obviously go on to Amazon, Your Library, wherever books are sold and pick up a hard cover, soft cover or kindle version of Personal Revolution. There’s my book, there’s my coaching services, and that’s it for now.
I also do speaking to groups and a little bit of corporate coaching as well. But most of my coaching is individual. That is where to find me.