The ONE Thing

Dr. Relly Nadler: 
Today, we have Geoff Woods, who is the vice president of, The One Thing, and hosts a One Thing podcast. He’s an expert in exactly what we are doing here having his own podcast which we will hear more about. Which is in the top 5 percent of all podcasts in the world. So, I’m really excited to hear about that.

The One Thing comes from a book that he will tell us more about with the same title, The One Thing.

And Geoff, after hearing Jim Rohn, one of the infamous success coaches, who said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” set out on a mission to surround himself with high-level CEOs and successful entrepreneurs. Fast forward, in just 10 months, Geoff went from being an employee to an entrepreneur, launching a company with the co-authors of the best-selling book, The One Thing.

We’ll get him to talk a little bit more about it and we are going to highlight some of the key strategies.

Geoff has been featured in and is on a mission to teach people how to take back control of their time and get clarity on how they want to invest it.

Instead of going through some of the research that we sometimes go through, let’s bring on Geoff and we can kind of talk a little bit more about that with you.

So, Geoff. Welcome to the show.

Geoff Woods: Thanks a bunch for having me.

Dr. Relly Nadler: When we are talking about being the best on learning, who are some of the people who have influenced you the most?

Geoff Woods: You know it goes straight to my two partners, Gary Keller, and Jay Papasan. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them over the last two and a half years and it has been the most mind-expanding period of my life.

I remember coming into this journey, questioning… someone like Gary Keller, he built, Keller Williams Realty, which is now the largest real-estate company in the world. And when you look at someone who’s a titan of their industry, I kind of ask the question, what skeletons are in the closet? Are they that good of a guy? Is there reputation really that stellar? Being able to be in partnership with them and getting to witness how they operate every single day has been a tremendous example of the type of the person I want to be, someday down the road.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Just listening to what you are saying, and the one thing that hits me, not the one thing in the book, but the one thing that hits me in what you’re saying is that can people really be that good? When you say that, what do you really mean?

Geoff Woods: Sometimes you wonder, people who get to the top, at that high of a level.

Did they get there doing the right thing?

Were they a great person?

What’s their legacy?

Are there corners that they cut somewhere along the way?

What surprised me most, and has been most refreshing honestly, is the number of times I see Gary and Jay give me than 50% because they care about legacy. It’s not just about profit today, it’s about helping people have everything they could possibly ever want, by being inside their world.

When you set a value like that; I heard a quote, “your values aren’t really your values unless they cost you something.” I’ve seen the number of times where they are accosted as values but they are leaving an amazing legacy and that’s the type of person I want to be.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Tell me, from the intro Geoff, I heard that quote from a lot of different people about “you are the combination of the 5 people that you kind of hang out with the most.” You know, I love that because whether it’s your family or people at work, so, I didn’t really know that that came from Jim Rohn.

So, how did you get connected with, The One Thing? I mean, did you know them before? Now that you’re partners and maybe tell us a little bit about your background prior to this. You know, that now is moving into this, one of the most exciting time of your life.

Geoff Woods: Sure. I was in corporate sales, specifically in medical devices.

Which was an amazing career, I afforded a wonderful lifestyle, great work/life balance. I was very happy yet I think a lot of people that are listening to this, have you ever had that time where you are waking up every day and even though things are good, it feels like somethings missing. You’re lacking fulfillment.

That’s where I was, the challenge is, I had these really comfortable golden handcuffs on that I didn’t want to take off. When I look back on it now I realize I did not have enough pain in my life to compel me to take action.

Well, that pain was brought into my life in two ways. First, a colleague of mine had a stroke. At the time he was 35-years-old, my wife and I had just bought a house in Orange County and just had our first child and my wife is a stay at home mom. I’m thinking to myself if that was me, what would happen to my family. That was very unsettling, so that was the first thing that I realized. I still have to wake up and trade hours for dollars. So, my family is not secure even though I have a “secure” corporate job. The next week, my company had to make a change to our commission structure in order to remain competitive in the marketplace. They were doing what was right for the company, the casualty was, I took a 40% pay cut. Month after month, we are hemorrhaging cash, it gets to the point that the bank account is almost at zero, I’m looking up wondering how am I going to keep a roof over our head? How am I going to put food on the table, for my wife and daughter? The pain was suddenly high enough that it compelled me to take action, that’s when I heard the Jim Rohn quote, “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” And I asked myself a really interesting question. Where do I want to be?

Dr. Relly Nadley: We are talking with Geoff Woods, some of his contact information, just so you know we will say it a few times. We are going to shortly get into, The One Thing, and the website is or [email protected].

Geoff Woods: Right. I had always, and I think a lot of people can relate to this, where they take action every single day, and for a lot of us, massive action. Yet, how often do we look up and ensure that the steps we are taking every day are lining us up toward a life worth living?

This was the first time when my colleague had a stroke and my bank account is almost at zero, I’m realizing, I’ve got to get really clear of what I want out of life. One of those things is, I knew I wanted to develop a business that would make a massive impact in the world and deliver real security for my family. The challenge was when I looked at the 5 people I was spending the most time with, none of them were business owners. Which set me down this journey to simply upgrade my 5, and in a pretty short period of time I ended up surrounding myself with some interesting mentors.

I launched a podcast called, The Mentee, where I was the mentee and I was recording the conversations with my private mentors. About two weeks after I launched that show Jay Papasan, who co-authored, The One Thing, with Gary Keller was our keynotes speaker at our national sales meeting.

I’m sitting in the back of this room, blown away by what he’s sharing, realizing, I’ve got to be in a relationship with this guy, but I didn’t know what I could say to him, what would possibly make him interested in me.

When he came off stage, I cornered him and asked to interview him for my show and I followed up four or five times just trying to bring more value to him and Gary; trying to spread the message of the book. One of the times when I asked where they were focusing, and where they needed help they mentioned they were looking for a CEO for a new publishing company, and I said I’m a super connector, I know three guys that would be an amazing fit. Let’s talk so I can connect you with the right person. And when Jay shared the job description, he described me. I threw my name into the hat and here we are today. I’ve been partners with Gary and Jay for the last two and a half years.

Dr. Relly Nadler: So, you are CEO of, what’s the name of the company?

Geoff Woods: The company is called Produktive. It’s the home of, The One Thing.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Huh, that’s great. Well, so, what was it that you think was the tipping point that said, because you first said, “I know some people that could be CEO,” and I think this could also be good for our listeners, and then you said, “wait a minute, that could be me!”

What was the tipping point and how did you actually pull that off?

Geoff Woods: Sure. Well, our definition of a job description is what are the two to three things someone would have to be able to do exceptionally well otherwise they get fired. Not what are all the things they should do for this job, what are the two to three things they have to do exceptionally well otherwise they get fired? That’s an incredible level of clarity.

When Jay described that, he said, “we need somebody who has a strong sales background who can produce revenue streams out of thin air, we need somebody who has a background in finance who understands how to turn content into dollars and somebody who has the ability to recruit and retain amazing people. That’s my background.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Geoff, let me ask you a question, you say you are the average of the five people you spend time with, so, let’s say that you are talking to an individual that doesn’t want to necessarily be the CEO or the CLO or anybody in the “C suite.” The one thing that strikes me in this conversation is one challenge people have, in a professional setting, are distractions from other people.

So, when you’re talking to an audience of individuals who are a mixed group of people. Some people are going to rise to the top and some people are going to be team leaders or, you know, just great managers. When you train others, what do you teach them?

Geoff Woods: Yeah, we see this whether we are going into fortune 100 or a small business. Everyone feels that there is a lack of clarity of what their priorities really are or there are conflicting priorities and when they are trying to get their most important work done, there are distractions everywhere.

This really comes down to clarity and communication, I’ve heard Gary say, “When you look at all the things that you could do, they can be divided into two categories, your most important work and everything else.” And the question we often ask people is if doing the most important thing is the most important thing, why would you do anything else?

If we were to follow people around with a video camera and document their every single activity. What we would often find is people do all the things that don’t matter hoping to free up time for the things that matter most.

Example; when you get into the office and you fire up your computer, what’s the first thing most people do?

Dr. Relly Nadler: Check their email.

Geoff Woods: Check their email. So, let me ask you a question, is your inbox where your most important priorities live? The handful of things that if you could just do those this week would make it the most exceptional week in your entire professional career, are those waiting for you in your inbox?

Dr. Relly Nadler: Definitely not.

Geoff Woods: Never, never. What you’ll actually find are everyone else’s priorities.

So, a lot of this is about establishing some common understanding that you’ve got your most important work and you’ve got everything else. Let’s also acknowledge the fact that for decades we have been developing a habit of doing the stuff that actually doesn’t move the needle, for various reasons.

Now that everybody understands that, how do we get clear on what our one thing is?

How do we do it first?

What do we do at moments when there is a conflicting priority or somebody does distract us?

Listen to the entire enlightening interview, above


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