Raise the high-water mark in your business

It seems like a lot of my blog post inspiration lately has been drawn from my workouts. Here’s another insight from a recent workout:

I do a 3 circuit high-intensity cross training and for a long time I could only comfortably use 20 pound weights all the way through (because I’m a weakling — haha). I had tried 30 pound weights but couldn’t do all 3 circuits so I’ve stayed at 20 pounds for a while.

Then recently I wanted to dial in a bit of additional excitement into my workout so I did the first and second circuit with 30 pound weights and switched back to 20 pound weights during the third circuit.

What surprised me was just how much I could do during that third circuit with those 20 pound weights. Usually, if I use 20 pound weights through all three circuits then I can only do so many reps during that last circuit. But because I had used 30 pound weights during the first two circuits, the third circuit seemed really light and I was able to do more reps.

In short, I raised the high-water mark during those first two circuits and that made the third circuit very easy.

This realization translates so easily into business as well: When you raise the high-water mark of your business, you make everything that comes after it extremely easy.

  • I saw this when I was cold calling way back in the day (in a previous job). I was getting bogged down so I decided to push myself harder and break my record one day, then it suddenly became easy to hit that new number every day.
  • I saw this last year when I was writing. I was hitting my head on an invisible ceiling of productivity so I set myself a goal to write 10,000 words a day. It was hard to get to that but I did it, and suddenly writing 5000 words a day was easy again.
  • I think that’s what is going on with Jia Jiang’s rejection therapy (see my post Learn to fall in love with ‘no’). He’s raising the high-water mark of rejection and sales rejection will suddenly seem so much easier.

So what is an area of your business where you are hitting an invisible barrier? Is it in a skill or your level of productivity or how you handle a certain aspect of your business? Pick one to work on right away and figure out how you can raise the high-water mark so everything that comes after it will seem that much easier.

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