At the beginning of January, I told my team:
“As you know, we’re hosting an event called ROI: The Millionaire Summit. This is the biggest conference we’ve ever produced. We’re expecting up to 1,000 attendees. We’ve invested $2 million to make this event spectacular. I want ROI to blow people’s minds, change lives, and leave each attendee transformed.”
“This event is happening in 20 days. We have a lot of work to do to get ready. For the next 20 days, all projects are on pause except for ROI. I want 100% of the team 100% focused on ROI. It’s all about ROI for the next 20 days.”
I gave assignments to each department.
“Marketing: for the next 20 days, focus on selling ROI tickets. Go ALL IN and get those last few seats sold.”
“Operations: make sure ROI attendees get reminder emails and texts prior to the event. Make sure people know where to go, what to pack, and have all the info they need.”
“Coaches: start a Facebook group for ROI attendees. Encourage people to introduce themselves and get a conversation flowing. Get folks into the right headspace so they show up inspired—ready to learn and grow.”
For 20 days in a row, it was ROI, ROI, nothing but ROI. All hands on deck. Undivided attention. Complete focus.
In the business world, this is called a “sprint.” It’s when you focus on one specific goal for a short period of time. Top companies like Slack, Spotify, AirBnb, Netflix, Lego, and Google do sprints. You can, too. Just like sprinting on a treadmill, it’s supposed to be fast-paced, brief, and exciting. High intensity. Short timeframe. Big payoff at the end.
To quote the Harvard Business Review, sprints are the secret to getting more done—because sprints “keep you focused on what’s important” and compel you to “make quick decisions.” And, sprints lead to excellence. Instead of doing 100 things poorly, you focus on doing 1 thing extremely well.
Whether you’re a solopreneur with no team (yet!) or running a larger business, you can sprint.
- Choose a high-priority goal.
- Write down why this goal matters.
- Define what success means so that you have a target to aim for (“I will know I have succeeded when ____.”)
- Make a checklist of what you need to do. Action plan!
- Choose a timeframe. Keep it short. 5 days is great. 10 or 20 is cool. Make it less than 30.
- Set reasonable, humane work hours, such as 10 am to 5 pm or whatever makes sense for you.
- Fuel up with nourishing food, hydrate, play invigorating music, and GO!
Do a “Get More Clients” sprint, “Secure $100,000 in Investor Funding” sprint, “Finish the Book” sprint, “Record Season Two of the Podcast” sprint, or any sprint you want to do.
It’s not about overworking and exhaustion. It’s about focus.
Do a sprint. You’ll be amazed by what happens next.
PS. Where do you want to be 20 days from now? What kind of sprint would ensure that this happens?