How to Slay Big, Important Projects That Move Your Business Forward

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Here’s the situation:

You have a big project coming up that requires everything you’ve got…

Maybe it’s an important listing presentation, or mapping out your marketing strategy. Or maybe it’s finally mastering that elusive script you need to reach the next level, developing your long-term vision or just figuring out how to better operationalize and organize your business.

Whatever it is, this much you know for sure: This project needs your undivided attention, and there’s no way that’s happening in your everyday work environment.

Sound relatable?

I know this feeling, too.

About a decade ago, I developed a great technique for conquering these big, important projects that move your business forward. I’ve been using this approach ever since, and I want to share it with you today.

Keep reading for all the details.


Creating Extraordinary Results Begins with Getting Out of the ‘Ordinary’

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen I recently spent a couple days in an oceanfront hotel room in Laguna Beach prepping for this summer’s Success Summit.

It’s my chance to clear away all the distractions and focus on creating the best experience possible for everyone in attendance. (Check out the updated Summit page for the topics we’re gonna cover and special guests we’ve booked… you WON’T want to miss it!)

Now… could I do this in the office? Maybe. But I can guarantee that the results wouldn’t be the same.

Simply put, to create work that’s “outside the norm,” you need a place that’s outside the norm.

Just to be clear, I’m not trying to take credit for inventing the concept of an off-site productivity session. Far from it. I just know that for me to release both my creative and strategic processes, it’s better to be away from the office.

Ideally, you find somewhere that inspires you… an environment that CREATES ideas. For me, that brings to mind two different locations: Either hearing the waves crash on the sand in a beachfront room, or getting away to the solitude of a mountain retreat like Jackson Hole.


You’ve Picked Your Spot. Now What?

I’m now going to explain my process when mapping out content for the four days of Summit. Use this as a guideline for your own projects, keeping in mind that obviously your preferences might be different than mine, so adjust accordingly to make this work best for you.

When I first arrive, I lay everything out – quotes, ideas I’ve written down, recent topics I’ve discussed, old talks that can be updated. It’s A LOT of stuff. I also bring a huge stack of plain white paper because I prefer writing everything out by hand.

In addition to all this content, I bring supplies and things to establish the right mood:

  • My favorite ballpoint pens with four different colors of ink
  • A stapler
  • Water
  • My Focus pills
  • A Bluetooth speaker
  • Kelly Howell’s “High Focus, Creativity, Energizer” music
  • Classical music… Vivaldi, Handel, and other “brain stimulating music”


Clear Out the Distractions

One of the whole reasons to get away like this is obviously to avoid common distractions. I put my phone on silent and turn emails off entirely when I’m working on an important project like this.

You should do the same!

Also, I strongly recommend working in pre-set blocks of time to maximize productivity.

No one is a machine who can lock themselves in a room and work non-stop while maintaining high-quality output. So I like to do stints of 90/10 – 90 minutes working, then take a 10-minute break. (Sometimes I do 50/10, too.)


Identify What You Want

Now that you’re set up with all your information and supplies and you’re free of distractions, the next step is to identify your desired outcome. This puts you in the right mindset to maintain your focus and direct all your energy toward exactly what you’re trying to achieve.

Then it’s time to dig in to the real “work.”

For Summit, that includes mapping out all four days, slotting in guest speakers and breakout sessions, and establishing personal promises of what attendees will learn and experience.

In your case, if you’re focusing on a listing presentation, it’s time to analyze the comps, plan your marketing strategy, research how nearby homes are being marketed, create a strategy for how you’re going to differentiate yourself and make your mark during that appointment, etc.


Have You Done Enough?

Depending on the complexity of your project, you might be done.

For something as comprehensive as Summit, I still have a lot of work to do. I review all the:

  • Survey answers from previous events
  • Q&A sessions I’ve conducted and Instagram AMA Stories
  • Market data
  • Sales, marketing and market trends
  • Tech trends (What’s hot, what’s not)
  • Clients’ results – What’s crushing and where the upside opportunities exist
  • Review the foundation of all principles we teach
  • Weigh input from our 160+ coaches

I then synthesize all of this information into a series of topics I will talk about, starting with a headline.


I’m Still Not Done. Here’s What’s Next…

Each topic I’ll talk about then becomes like a mini project unto itself.

I focus on the desired outcome of the talk, the main points, why they matter, stories, examples and points to cover, ideas for powerful visuals…

Then I write a rough draft, re-write, throw things away and start over, write it all again, adding to it, enhancing it, and improving it.

Next, I’ll call…

…Big-time, high-dollar producers

…CEOs in real estate and tech

…And a select group of coaches to get feedback. Then I add, tweak and rewrite again.

Then I like to step away for about a month so I can experience it fresh before making the final tweaks and/or rewrites.

Finally, I start rehearsing my talks and my wife gets to/has to hear each speech many, many times.


Are You Limiting Your Own Potential?

In our industry, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up working “in” your business and forget all about working “on” your business. If that hits frighteningly close to home, you’re severely limiting your upside potential. You need to devote time to working on the big steps that will move your business forward.

I hope this glimpse inside my process helps you understand how to tackle a big, important project. It’s all about breaking it down, knowing your desired outcomes, avoiding distractions, getting in the right head space… AND THEN DOING THE WORK!

Depending on the task at hand, it might not be achievable in just one session. You might need to schedule these “off-site” sessions regularly to ensure you’re continually making progress in the direction you want to go.


I’d love to help you grow your business. Let me know how I can assist you in the comments below. Also let me know if you’ll be joining us at Summit… It’s our 16th annual event and I already know it’s gonna be better than ever!

Tom Ferry - Success Summit



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