Degenerate into amazing work–Q3 2018 memo to UGURUS
Doing the work.
Setting goals. Casting a vision for the future. Aligning our team to row in the same direction. It’s all just talk.
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, says, “The best plan is only good intentions unless it degenerates into work.”
Every time we sit down and plan, we run the risk of falling into the planning trap. A moment of feeling good and a sense of accomplishment for simply creating a plan. As if the plan is the work. A victorious achievement in of itself. It’s not. A plan is merely a spark. And engines don’t run on sparks.
They’re powered by the fuel we call work.
Businesses are built by digging our hands deep in the dirt. Clawing our way to success. Sure, every business starts with an idea. We must plan to all know what direction we’re headed, and where to dig our hands in first.
But the road to a successful enterprise is littered with idea-men and women.
Bestselling author and entrepreneur, Ryan Holiday says, “It’s a temptation that exists for everyone – for talk and hype to replace action…. Our ego wants the ideas and the fact that we aspire to do something about them to be enough. Wants the hours we spend planning and attending conferences or chatting with impressed friends to count toward the tally that success seems to require. It wants to be paid well for its time and it wants to do the fun stuff – the stuff that gets attention, credit, or glory.”
Seasoned entrepreneurs know execution is paramount. To be an idea-degenerate. To allow our ideas to become an obsession that energizes a daily burn we can’t let go of until the work is done. The idea, simply the spark, but our daily grind. Hustle. Persistence. Action. The fuel that drives our idea into a force multiplier for the vision we set out to achieve.
I am proud to say this last quarter we all blissfully degenerated. Our goal to unify our community from the disparate archipelago to a single island with our new community hub. To rebuild our marketing and sales funnels to align with our vision for membership. To craft the UGURUS Model™ and UGURUS Process™. To rethink our product and re-imagine the high-value instructional content for our members through Focus Tracks.
The work we did this quarter will pave the way for the future of this company. I believe we’ll look back at the second quarter of 2018 as an inflection point. The moment that UGURUS became clear about who we were, what we were meant to do, and how to do the important work to make it happen.
“You know a workman by the chips they leave…”
First attempts. Rough drafts. Failed recordings. Retakes. Mistakes. Rejection. The NO. The NO RESPONSE. The NOT RIGHT NOW. The NOT EVER’s. The 404’s. The 500 server errors. The grammatical blunders. The wrong numbers. The complaints. The negative feedback. The complete and utter failures.
Give them to me. I want them. I want to experience every last drop.
Because in this is work. Each attempt one more chip to the floor.
What I want and desire is what’s still left on the worktable. What is the material our work has become. The yield.
The artist Michelangelo was asked about sculpting his masterpiece David. He replied:
“It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”
Chip. Chip. Chip.
Today I need to issue a warning. Before I do, I want each of you to take a moment and relish in the work you’ve done over the last three months.
Close your eyes.
Imagine in your mind, the rocks you took on. The daily responsibilities our company required of you to fulfill the obligations of your seat. The countless conversations with customers. The seemingly never ending lists of tasks, checklists, and todos. Imagine what it took to complete them. The daily grind. The late nights. The time spent getting clarity. The keys pushed on the keyboards. The hours and hours of phone calls. Emails. Facebook ads. Webinars. Small group sessions. Consider the energy and hustle you brought to the table. The focus required to row in the same direction. The power required to pull your oar through the choppy waters of our business. Sweat dripping off your brow.
I bet you were spent by each day’s end. Finishing the day tired and just needing to take a moment before returning to the regular, outside world. I bet you might even consider the last quarter the one span of three months you worked the hardest. I want you to feel victory in that accomplishment.
You degenerated into work and we accomplished so much together as a team. I am so proud of you. I am thankful to work next to you. To call you my comrade.
Let that feeling of accomplishment wash over you. Sit with it for a moment before opening your eyes.
I need your focus. Hustle. Persistence. Here on out. UGURUS needs us to work this next three months just like we did this last three months and then some. If for whatever reason, this is not for you, then raise your hand now. Bow out gracefully and I won’t hold it against you. But if you choose to stay on this journey with me. Then get ready to do the work. Degenerate into our goals.
The vision we have for this business is audacious. We want to help 10,000
entrepreneurs achieve freedom in their business and life.
The important work we do, is far from done.
The martial artist and philosopher Daniele Bolelli says, “…training was like sweeping the floor. Just because we’ve done it once, doesn’t mean that the floor is clean forever. Every day the dust comes back. Every day we must sweep.”
I love victory like the next guy. But for our team to achieve what we set out for, we need more. Each of us must learn to love the work for work’s sake. To find our routine and dedicate ourselves to the hustle. To come in and sweep each day.
This pursuit is not for the faint of heart.
I need you to find joy in what you do every day or you will not survive this journey. I need you to not only degenerate into amazing work. But fall in love with practice the way great athletes do.
Fac, si facis. Do it if you’re going to do it.
I know that my guiding light for who needs to be involved in this company to see it grow and achieve our long term vision will be our core values.
Each one of you carries our core values.
Our values are:
Be bold and take risks
Carry your own bag
Start Strong, Finish Strong
These words describe us at uGurus. They are carefully selected because of who we believe we are at the core. What makes us better than our competition. What tells our customers that we care more than anyone else. These words describe how we do what we do every day.
To be bold and take risks. The entrepreneurial spirit is core to who we are and what we do at uGurus. We thrive when we can challenge the status quo. We love building systems and we love tearing them apart so we can rebuild them better than before. To us, problems are opportunities, all issues are solvable, and with the right spark, we can
create gold out of thin air.
This is being bold and taking risks.
To be willing to carry your own bag. We can’t read your mind. You must be willing to get your hands dirty, hustle, and be politely persistent and scrappy when needed. Be a creative problem solver. Willing to look at every problem from many different angles.
Never leave a stone unturned. We are self starters. Self motivators. There is always a way and no one is going to do it for you.
This is carrying your own bag.
To have a growth mindset. We are all lifelong learners and self improvers. We are only interested in people with a growth mindset. We must have a constant ambition to improve ourselves—both professionally and personally. Open to changing the way we work. A thirst to search far and wide for proven methods, processes, models, and tools. We must learn from others. Life-hack, work-hack, and productivity-hacking are everyday experiences.
This is a growth mindset.
To help first. We must be ready to help others by teaching and showing—not judging or blaming. We know that there is never a stupid question. We are always open minded to the needs of others. We work to make sure when helping first, to solve the problem immediately at hand and then work to find the root of the issue to solve the problem
forever and document the process.
This is helping first.
We start strong, finish strong. Each quarter we come out swinging. But we know that fights are rarely won in the first thirty seconds. If they can be, we will get the knockout. Just like boxing operates on twelve round fights, we operate on twelve week quarters.
We are often up against the ropes in the final weeks. And this is where we shine. We push forward. Pull away from the corner. We empty the tank into our foe.
This is start strong, finish strong.
Our customers thank you for holding these values near and dear to your heart. I thank you.
One thing you will notice about these words and stories is that they’re virtues that we can’t teach in a class or train you on; they are part of what makes up each and every one of you. It’s your core, these are your core values, and it’s what makes you thrive every day.
Defining these core values is important. We need to build a common language and culture that will provide direction when we are lost and provide light in dark places. We need a guide to know who is right to join our team and who is not a good fit. These values will provide that light. They will provide the way.
I am driven and dedicated to making the next 10 years at uGurus the best ever. I hope you will all join me for this adventure—it’s going to be spectacular!
Here’s to our next decade or empowering entrepreneurs to achieve freedom in their business and life!
Until next time,