Subtle Shifts To Help You Compete Every Day With Jake ThompsonSep 07, 2021
Is your life interesting to you?
This is one of the self-reflecting questions we ask in this episode of Reaching Beyond as we discuss the topic of work-life balance and the subtle shifts you can do to help you compete every day.
If you don’t like the way your life looks right now, you have the power to write a new story. This concept is both challenging and liberating. We don’t have to be “stuck” in the same job or the same place in life. We can choose to write a new chapter, or pick a new book entirely. Every choice we make can lead closer to our passion and our own definition of success.
Maybe you feel stuck working a 9-to-5 job, and it’s just not fulfilling anymore. Maybe you feel like a hamster on a wheel, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That’s the definition of insanity, is it not?
Today’s guest experienced the same thing, but now as an entrepreneur he is in a job that he absolutely loves. In fact, he said if he wasn’t married, he could easily work 15-hour days and not bat an eye. The beautiful thing is, he wants to help as many people as he can to pursue their passions and live a life that they don’t need to escape from.
Friends, I'm so excited to have Jake Thompson on the Reaching Beyond podcast to share his story with you all. I’m inspired by the way he coaches and encourages his clients to live their best lives. In this episode, we cover a lot, including his pivot from the corporate world, how to avoid burnout, and what inspires him to live joyfully. Let's get into it!
Who Is Jake Thompson?
Jake Thompson is an athlete, entrepreneur and speaker who teaches people how to compete every day to reach their full potential in their career and life.
He believes that by changing just a few of our choices each day, that the small shifts in our focus and daily actions build our winning mindset and a winning life.
He is passionate about helping driven people – from employees to CEO’s, college athletes to high school students – cultivate this winning competitor mindset to grow their grit, productivity, and chances of success in every endeavor. He is there to push people to their fullest potential and to help unlock the gifts inside of them.
I met Jake through a mutual friend, and he and I connected instantly. He's a genuine person, which makes him a great coach and even better friend.
What I love most about Jake is the passion and energy he brings to his craft. This passion is contagious, and it will inspire you to start pursuing a career that's in alignment with your goals.
Writing a New Life Story
When we look at our life story, a lot of our regrets or proudest moments have to do with how we define success. So that was one of the first questions I asked Jake in our interview: how do you define success?
“For me personally, it's a financial target in terms of comfort for my family, making sure they're taken care of, and then knowing I'm making an impact on others. So I define the two tiers because I want to be a provider for my family, … and then I look at it from an impact standpoint: did I help make someone better or get them closer to where they want to be?” - Jake Thompson
When it comes to helping someone get closer to their goals in life, Jake starts with honing in on his clients’ passions and helping them let go of the expectations that outside sources like society or family has put on them and leave only the expectations they have about themselves.
“For me, I had a picture of what I thought being this agent [job] was going to be and getting into it did not align with what my expectations were and what I thought. There was a massive disconnect that I didn’t see. So letting go of all expectations except for what you expect of yourself and who expect yourself to become is key.” - Jake Thompson
Along the same lines, Jake also encourages his clients to get out of this idea of failure and look at opportunities in life as science experiments. If something doesn’t work out, don’t view it as a failure, but rather view it as getting one step closer to knowing what you are good at, and what you will love doing.
“It’s a frustrating space and not a lot of people can really relate to it because we come out of college, and we just start going to work. We then think, well, this is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. Even if I don't like it, I'm stuck with it versus how can I experiment to find something that better fits with my strengths and with my passions.” - Jake Thompson
One of the biggest impacts on Jake’s life in the area of writing a new story for his life was when he read Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in A Thousand Years. That book was a big wake-up call for him and inspired him to evaluate the life story he was writing. He asked himself, “Is my life interesting to me?” What spurred him on was the passion to impact others and that eventually led him down the path of becoming a speaker, author, and coach.
Understanding a Growth Mindset
Jake has the opportunity to work with a lot of different companies where the leaders are engaged and they are looking for ways to bring out the best in their team. He teaches them how to move from a toxic work culture to a flourishing one with an idea called, “growth mindset.”
“When a company comes to you and says, ‘Hey, we want our team to be grittier,’ we want to help them because I've been in environments where the leaders are incredibly disconnected at the top. … They only care about what's in it for them. So I've been incredibly fortunate from very large global companies all the way down to local, small businesses that the owners are just open to saying, ‘What can we do to be better for our people.’” - Jake Thompson
When Jake is consulting with companies, he notices that many employees have adopted a fixed mindset. They don’t see themselves as leaders because it’s not in their job titles. So he starts by talking to them about the importance of investing in and developing yourself, which not only makes them better employees, but better family members, community members and friends. So he starts with that.
“Then we start talking about processes of the little things that we can do everyday that don't show up on the scoreboard initially, but over the course of a year can.” – Jake Thompson
A growth mindset is key to creating a healthy work environment. Another key is to help prevent burnout before it starts. Jake has a lot of tools he can share with his clients on how to create a healthier environment that supports mental and emotional health.
Creating an Environment to Prevent Burnout
Jake explains that when the topic of burnout comes up with his clients, the initial discussion is about giving employees more time off or giving them a raise, which according to scientific research, that doesn’t necessarily work.
“When we talk about burnout, we have to talk about it from two perspectives: company culture and from the individual side. What are you doing on a weekly or monthly basis to do the things that reignite your fire? Where are you creating the space in your schedule to read a book, go to the gym, workout, or get outside without any technology?” - Jake Thompson
There are a few things that every company can do in order to prevent burnout, and they aren’t that challenging. It’s just a matter of being intentional and planning ahead.
1. Know your seasons and plan ahead each quarter.
Every company has super busy seasons that can usually be predicted every year. When you know you have a busy season coming, figure out what you can do on the front end to prepare your team and encourage them like offering a workshop or extra support, and then what you can do on the backend to reward them, whether it’s a team outing or other social activity.
2. Figure out where you are maximizing and wasting your time.
Sometimes it’s not about being organized or disorganized, sometimes it’s just about eliminating time wasters. Jake suggests looking at your phone settings and seeing how long you’re using your apps every single day. Sometimes burnout happens because you are not effectively using your time to rest, recharge, and do things that reginite your passions. Being on your phone does not allow your body to rest and recharge.
3. Reframe your mindset around work-life balance.
Everyone may have this idea that work-life balance is an even 50/50 split, but that is not the case. Instead, think about how to make the two work together for yourself. If you have seasons where you are working really long hours, plan a fun trip or reward at the end of that time period to play, and go have fun. It will help keep you motivated. Also block out time for family and loved ones and don’t cancel those plans.
4. Physically separate home and the workplace.
Jake suggests not taking your laptop into your bedroom if you work from home. Keep your bedroom space sacred. Also, if you don’t have a commute anymore, create your commute. When you are done with work, go on a walk around the block, go on a run, or do something where you have at least 10-15 minutes of decompression at the end of the day. Then come back and address your kids and your spouse, and get ready to have life after work. Creating these blocks help you to prevent work from bleeding into home life and vice versa.
I then asked Jake if there were some daily habits or “hacks” he could share with us to help stay productive, focused, and mentally healthy. Here are the things he does every day that he has found to be effective:
- Wakes up early and works out before emails come flooding in
- Reads 15-20 minutes per day while he is having coffee
- Sweats seven days a week, either at the gym, on a walk, or a run
- Reads fiction at night to get his creativity flowing and disconnect from reality
- Writes 500 words in the morning before he does anything on his list
Finally, one of the things Jake does to keep things fresh and to generate new ideas is to get out of his routine and physically go somewhere else to change his perspective.
“When I get out of just being at my home office or gym or wherever, I find my brain tends to flourish a little bit more. I become a little more aware of new ideas, and I’m able to create new ideas and content. Pre-COVID, I would always schedule two, maybe three, conferences or retreats a year. If you can’t afford to go on vacation, do a staycation for a night or two and just get out of your norm and shake things up. You’ll find things will look different, and you’ll gain a new perspective.” - Jake Thompson
Jake is really looking forward to live-in person events coming back and the challenges and excitement that comes with being able to travel again for work. He can’t wait to get back out there and inspire more people to become the best version of themselves as their “Chief Encouragement Officer.” He is going to be putting all of these habits to work as he grows, honors commitments, and sets boundaries to be his best self. I’m excited to see what he does next!
Why You Should Listen to This Podcast Episode with Jake Thompson Right Now…
Guys, this interview with Jake Thompson is incredible — especially for those of you who have been working from home, are entrepreneurs, or are just looking to level up. There are so many pieces of wisdom that you can take from this interview to increase your motivation, avoid burnout, and pursue your passion.
If you found value from this episode, it would mean a lot to me if you would take a few seconds and write a five-star review and maybe share it with some of your friends on Apple Podcasts. I'd be so grateful! I'd also love it if you would tag me, @kyle_depiesse, and Jake, @jakethompsonspeaks, on Instagram with your greatest takeaways from the episode!
Cheers to your success! I’m rooting for you.
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