Jack Daly on Living by Design

To find success, you need only define it and determine to achieve it.

Posted Nov 16, 2017

Jack Daly has been named the best professional sales trainer in America. For good reason: he has a 30-plus year track record of immense success in sales, executive leadership, and entrepreneurial venture. Jack is also a best-selling author and 15-time Ironman competitor. Today he is an avid corporate speaker, trainer, and CEO coach. Among other things, he teaches his readers and audiences how to live life by design, achieving fulfillment and success with awareness and accountability.

In this episode of Mastering Your Reality, Jack and I discussed:

  • When Jack was 13, he had the opportunity to interview 200 successful business owners. Their advice on success launched him on his way to a “life by design.” Common principles he heard: You can’t get there unless you know where “there” is. Goals are not goals unless they’re in writing. You need evidence of completion to declare success. Share your goals with as many people as possible to increase your accountability.
  • He identified 4 goals that he wanted to accomplish by age 30. He figured that if he met these goals by then, he would declare success. He achieved his goals, but did not declare victory.
  • He has continually redesigned what he considers success in his life. Jack makes a personal “business plan” every single year that encompasses all aspects of his life. Then he publishes it for all to see—and for all to help him be accountable. His mantra, in the words of Jocko Willing: “Discipline is freedom.”
  • Using this approach, Jack has served as the CEO level of several corporations, building six startups into national companies and selling two to Wall Street firms. He is also a 15-time Ironman competitor and has completed over 93 marathons in 49 states and on six continents.
  • An exercise Jack recommends: List all of the things that you want to do in life. Have your spouse or partner do the same. Don’t worry about ranking/priority. Just get down as many things as you can. The next day, get together in a room and compare your lists. Negotiate priorities, map out optimal timelines, start to figure out how you will make things happen and when.
  • Jack refers to his approach as a “life by design.” We’re all given 168 hours per week. We all make tradeoffs on how to allocate that time. It’s best to do so with awareness, intention, purpose, and accountability.
  • You can’t succeed without defining your success; the first step must be to establish your goals. In Isaac’s words, “effort without purpose is entropy.”
  • People will come out of the woodwork to help you achieve those goals, but you have to decide for yourself what they are. Nobody else can make that list for you.
  • Make your goals public to make yourself accountable. Jack posts all of his—in the form of annual business plans, quarterly progress reports, and a “bucket list”—on his website for all to see.
  • Life events intercede and force you to reevaluate your goals and plans. When they do, keep the same process. Reassess where the “there” is that you’re trying to get to, then redesign your route to do it. For example, Jack’s wife Bonnie was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has delayed certain plans—such as a marathon in China and an Ironman in Malaysia—to focus on Bonnie’s care. Jack has reorganized his business activities around that priority, too.

Want to learn more? Click here to read about Jack’s books, or click here to learn more about his speaking and coaching programs. You can also click here to view more episodes of Mastering Your Reality.

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