Just a 15 minute coffee!
Posted by Michael Vacanti
From the back of my taxi cab, I snap a video:
Just landed in LA… going to be here crushing work for a few days! Get it team!!
Over the next hour, I get tweets, snaps, and emails.
Mike! Can you…
- Grab a quick workout while you are here?!
- Eat Chipotle!
- Discuss my new app that you will love
- Let me pick your brain about online training
- Motivate me because I already watched all your youtube vids
A snapchat buddy, a previous coaching client, a hustler entrepreneur, a PT friend from Facebook, and a 17 year old who apparently loves my youtube channel…
I am sickeningly grateful that ANYONE wants to meet with me.
Seriously. And I will never let that appreciation fade.
It is the highest honor: my work has impacted you enough that you want to spend time with me.
But if I keep saying “yes,” I am going to lose.
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes…
In the beginning of an endeavor, you should say yes to everything.
Yes to every coffee. Yes to phone calls. Yes to prospective clients who will only work with you for an 87% discount.
You gorilla market with sidewalk chalk, pound fitness forums until three in the morning, and help every person you can for free.
You throw every strand of spaghetti at the wall, praying that any of it will stick.
Then… you flip a switch.
You go all-in on what works.
To go all in, you have to say no.
You have to say no a lot.
Like, basically to everything.
You have to say no to everything except the handful of actions that serve as white space for you.
Maybe it’s networking at conferences.
Maybe it’s sending PR kits to big media companies.
Maybe it’s hosting live stream events online.
For me, my white space is delivering unparalleled service to my clients while putting out the best written and video content I can muster. All while continuing to take care of myself and the people I love.
That’s literally it.
But to accomplish this, we have to have tunnel vision.
Winning is a narrow road, and there are 1000 tempting exits on our journey.
Not just the occasional concrete mixer, I’m talking about temptations masked as productivity: podcasts, guest blogging, local tv spots, and a million other “opportunities” that can help us.
But they don’t help as much as driving the narrow road.
Don’t exit. Keep driving.
If you found your white space, do that. Taking an exit is procrastinating the real action.
If you have writer’s block, of course you want to jump on a podcast and shoot the shit with your buddy for “better distribution.” But what you should really do is put your butt in the chair and stroke keys.
Here is a better example for you:
It is your third week on a new fitness program.
Strength training four days per week, eating mostly nutritious foods, and staying in a moderate calorie deficit.
Talk about vanilla.
Fifteen days in, you are down 3.5 pounds and feeling pretty “meh” about it.
I mean, your sister-in-law supposedly lost 20 pounds in 28 days by cutting sugar. Your family says “macros are obsessive.” And every magazine cover, informercial, and Instagram post says you need this celebrity’s workout or that new supplement.
These are all exits on the narrow road of fitness.
Be patient, and keep putting pavement behind you.
The spaghetti that sticks are tried-and-true principles, not fad diets.
Yesterday was my 29th birthday.
And I feel so good.
I know exactly what I need to do.
It’s abundantly clear, right in front of my face.
I just need to take it.
And taking it means saying no… a lot.
It means driving the narrow road.
That’s why I’m posting this.
Because I hate saying no.
I hate letting you down.
I fear being disliked.
So I want to explain myself.
Of course I want to…
- drive down to Hermosa beach for an AM leg day
- drive up to West Hollywood for a burrito lunch
- drive over to Venice for an afternoon coffee
But that means sacrificing my mission.
And I can’t do that.
I hope you understand.
I’m not “big time.”
I don’t think I’m better than anyone.
I just know what I need to do to win.
I still reply to every snap (the ones that doesn’t disappear first).
I still reply to every email.
But I am about to dial in harder than ever.
Let me leave you with this: “A Professional Emailer”
Neil Gaiman is a famous author who said the following during a commencement speech in 2012:
“There was a day when I looked up and realized that I had become someone who professionally replied to email. And who wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails… and was relieved to find I was writing much more.” (8:57)
At first, say yes to everything.
Then find your thing.
And drive the narrow road.
Now, what are the odds I can stop writing blog equivalents of “Remember To Breathe” and actually finish that sushi post!