197: Deconstructing Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less for Small Business Leaders with Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown, New York Times Bestseller, Speaker

Greg McKeown and Bill Ringle discuss the philosophy and practice of essentialism as it applies to leadership and life outside the office.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth.

Top 3 Take-Aways from this Interview

  • How Gandhi’s essentialist mindset allowed him to be so present with his grandson despite massive pressure and social responsibilities.
  • The essentialist approach in three stages: 1) Explore and Evaluate. 2) Eliminate. 3) Execute.
  • Why the reality of entrepreneurship is often different from the goal of it, and what entrepreneurs can do to avoid being stretched too thin by applying these principles.

Interview Insights

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

2:42 How Greg was inspired by Gandhi’s life and approach when Greg was young. – “He had the discipline to be present for an hour a day to listen, to be there, and just be all there for his grandson.”

4:04 “It’s about discernment, and to follow through on that discernment.”

6:04 “He was operating as an essentialist.”

6:52 “He was removing from his life all sorts of clutter, and then he’s using the space that remains to keep designing a system of life to help him achieve what he sees as being most important.”

7:07 “Explore, eliminate, and execute.”

7:53 “The basis of entrepreneurship is essentially this: the freedom to do the things you want to do, and therefore have the money that you need to have to be financially independent, and to be able to pursue the things that are important to you.”

9:25 “Entrepreneurs end up feeling stretched too thin at work.”

10:49 “There’s a great big con that’s been given to entrepreneurs, it’s well-intended I’m sure, but it’s still there.”

10:54 “The undisciplined pursuit of more does not produce the freedom, the joy, the results that people are promised.”

11:41 “The highest priority is creating space to think, plan, to design.

12:38 How to prioritize your to-do list.

13:11 “If you’ve got three important things done in your business today, would you feel good about the day?”

14:50 “Why don’t people focus on the things that are really essential?”

16:45 Bill Ringle goes through the three steps of Essentialism.

20:30 How to use your phone settings to monitor how much time you spend on different apps and time wasters.

22:49 “If you ask these questions it reveals to you what your values are based on what you’re trying to achieve.”

23:48 How to approach execution – “When I feel highly motivated to do a thing, I do that thing.”

25:36 “What we need to do is create a new system, create a system that works in your favor.”

25:51 “The system will help you make the trade-offs you need to make on the days you don’t want to make them.”

29:19 “Use the discipline to make the system rather than using the discipline to make the thing happen.”

31:28 The 90% rule

32:19 “The essential intent is identifying the highest priority intent over a multi-year period.”

34:37 Why writing books back to back isn’t always a great idea.

37:49 How a change of intent led Greg to meet and work with Steve Harvey

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Expert Bio

Originally from London, England, Greg McKeown is the author of the New York  bestseller, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” and the founder of McKeown, Inc, a company with a mission to teach Essentialism to people around the world. Their clients include Adobe, Apple, Airbnb, Cisco, Google, Facebook, Pixar, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, VMware, and Yahoo!.

McKeown has spoken to hundreds of audiences around the world including in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, England, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States. His writing has appeared or been covered by Fast Company, Fortune, HuffPost, Politico, and Inc. Magazine and Harvard Business Review. He has also been interviewed on television and radio shows including NPR, NBC, and the Steve Harvey Show.

In 2012 he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. McKeown now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and their four children. He earned an MBA from Stanford University.

For more about Greg McKeown and his work, please visit his website at www.gregmckeown.com

Contact Info for Greg McKeown

Web address: www.gregmckeown.com

Travels from: San Francisco, CA

Social  Media Links

Books by Greg McKeown

Resources Mentioned During the Interview

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