Working for yourself is much more difficult than working for someone else. When you work for someone else, they tell you exactly what you do. When you work for yourself, there’s no manual or game plan; it’s up to you to figure out what the priorities are and what you need to be working on today.
The main problem with first-time entrepreneurs is that they get overwhelmed by the number of choices and possibilities they see around them. They chase after stuff. I call these “shiny objects.” Wannabe entrepreneurs get excited about something, start doing it, and then they find a shinier object and they start chasing after it.
Over the years I’ve been perfecting my systems to stay focused and on track. This level of focus and clarity about my priorities allows me to simultaneously run two successful companies, be a professional athlete and travel around the world three months every year. Not only that, but I also have plenty of free time to relax and hang out with my wife and friends. I’m not saying this to brag; I’m saying this because I hate seeing people wasting so much potential because they lack the necessary focus to achieve their goals in life, and I believe I can help with this.

Step 1: Vision Board

A vision board is a board where you put images of the things you want to accomplish, acquire or become. Some examples:

  • Things to accomplish: run a marathon, travel to Europe
  • Things to acquire: a new car, a house
  • Things to become: healthier, a better husband

Vision boards are amazing because they’re a visual representation of what you want in life. My wife has hers next to her bed so this is the first thing she sees when she wakes up in the morning. I have mine as the background image on my computer, so I get to see it several times a day.
Do a Google search for “vision board” and you’ll see hundreds of vision boards people have created for themselves.
Some people only use images (I’m one of them) and some people prefer using a combination of images and words. Do whatever works best for you.

Step 2: Quarterly Goals

At the beginning of every quarter I take my vision goal and decide what I’m going after next. These are some of my goals for the Q3 of 2003:

  • Launch the new website for the agency
  • Speak at two marketing conferences
  • Close two licensing deals for my outdoor gear company
  • Gain 10 lbs. of muscle

Step 3: Weekly Deliverables

Every Monday morning I take my quarterly goals and come up with my weekly deliverables, which are the tasks I want to complete that week to get closer to my quarterly goals. For example, if one of my quarterly goals is to launch the new website, some of my weekly deliverables could be “find five websites I like and list the reasons I like them” and “write the copy for the home page”.

Step 4: Daily Tasks

I never start a day without knowing what the priorities for the day are. Every morning I take a sheet of paper and I draw a horizontal line close to the top. There’s only room for three tasks above the line; these are my top priorities for the day. Everything else goes below the line. This means that I never do anything below the line until the tasks above the line are finished.

Why This System Works

A vision board is a great tool to understand what you want in life. The quarterly goals narrow down your focus on the projects you’ll be working on for the next three months. The weekly deliverables force you to re-prioritize your projects every week. And, the daily tasks ensure that you don’t get sidetracked by email or urgent/non-important projects, and that you focus on what will move the needle the most.


Just to be clear: getting what you want won’t bring you happiness. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. If you’re not happy now, it’s very unlikely that getting what you want will change that. Happiness comes from within. There’s no correlation between how much you accomplish and how happy you are. Happy people are happy no matter how little they have, and unhappy people are unhappy no matter how much they have.
I believe it’s about fulfilling your purpose. It’s about looking inwards and asking yourself what’s your mission in life, how you can leave the world in a better condition than you found it, and then doing it.