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Episode 20: Book Review | Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Liz and Nelson talk about the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown.


Liz Sears, Nelson Barss

Liz Sears 00:01

Welcome to the Business greater than you podcast, where we dive deep into the stories of men and women who have successfully transcended the frazzled solopreneur life and built productive teams with better lifestyle and income.

Nelson Barss 00:13

I'm Nelson Barss, the founder and owner of Utah Independent mortgage Corp.

Liz Sears 00:18

and I'm Liz Sears, founder and co owner of My Utah Agents.

Nelson Barss 00:21

We're excited for you to listen, interact and grow with us. So please share your comments below. And let's get started.

Liz Sears 00:29

Okay, here we go. Book number two Essentialism. I'm excited to talk about this book. It's one that we picked up as a brokerage and actually did a book club on it as the whole team.

Nelson Barss 00:43

Oh, really?

Liz Sears 00:44


Nelson Barss 00:44

Yeah, this is what I had not read, you recommended it for the podcast. So I've been reading it. And it's exactly what I need. I mean, it's very, very poignant to me, because this is an area of my life that I struggle in this book. This is like, if you're a people pleaser, if you have a hard time protecting your own priorities, this is going to be really helpful for you.

Liz Sears 01:10

And you know, another thing that has been very helpful for me on this one as well, is that when I'm in a meeting, or I'm reading a book, or I'm doing all these things, I have lots and lots and lots of ideas pop in my head, and I got in the habit of just jotting them down as tasks that I could do. And I never really scrubbed the list. I just let it grow to be gigantic. I don't know, I just like didn't want to forget them. Because if I, if I forgot them, then my subconscious would be like, wait, you have that good idea. And I just felt heavy in my brain. And so getting to the point where I can go through and say the ROI isn't there. And for sometimes the are the return on investment, you know, I've been investing how many minutes on a regular basis to move the task out, you know, so getting to a point where I just delete it.

Nelson Barss 02:01

So how would you define Essentialism? And he spends a lot of time in the beginning of the book telling us what an essentialist is compared to a non essentialist? What would you how would you put it in your own words.

Liz Sears 02:10

So if I had to put it in my own words, essentialism would be focusing on the things that create the life you want, and eliminating all this stuff that doesn't. And it's amazing how much stuff doesn't. But we feel obligated to those other things for myriad reasons, you know, either someone asked us to or, for me, it's an idea that popped in my head.

Nelson Barss 02:29

You're right. Yes. So it must be great. It must be done.

Liz Sears 02:32

Well I mean, you know, I that's a pretty good, you know,

Nelson Barss 02:36

Pretty good test?

Liz Sears 02:37

Pretty good test. So sometimes it's because it aligns with what people expect you to do. Like, we feel we're expected to have that piece or, you know, whatever the reason. So this whole book is just about really getting clear on what is important and what's not. And most everything's not,

Nelson Barss 03:00

Yeah, it's a very visual book. He has a lot of sketches, and drawings and charts. And I think it's really cool. enjoy seeing visually what he's trying to represent in words.

Liz Sears 03:11


Nelson Barss 03:11

I like this definition. He says the way of the essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better, doesn't mean occasionally giving a nod to the principle. It means pursuing it in a disciplined way.

Liz Sears 03:24

I love that, you know, on the next page, he gives just a couple examples of the difference between the non essentialist and an essentialist. on page eight, so thinks, does and gets. So non essentialist thinks all things to all people, an essentialist thinks less but better, and non essentialist does the undisciplined pursuit of more. The essentialist does the disciplined pursuit of less, so undisciplined versus disciplined, and then the non essentialist gets lives a life that does not satisfy an essentialist lives a life that really matters.

Nelson Barss 04:05


Liz Sears 04:05

All right.

Nelson Barss 04:06

It's awesome. I feel like I'm in the left hand column. I got a lot to learn from this book. This is very good.

Liz Sears 04:14

You know, I kind of compare it to when you start working out like because I've training for that half marathon. And running.

Nelson Barss 04:23

You are? or you did?

Liz Sears 04:24

I'm in the middle of it. Yeah, it's hard. So, so running, I've gotten up to where I can run seven miles without stopping. I'm pretty proud of that. And then I went to ride a bike yesterday, and I was so tired in like 15 minutes. I'm like, how, but it's just different muscles. It's a different discipline. And so I think a lot of times when we're learning certain disciplines in our business that we think, How can I be so good at that and so bad at this and it's simply because it's a different discipline, and it's like an onion, there's just layers. So, as you go, you'll learn it. All right, page 10. If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will.

Nelson Barss 05:01


Liz Sears 05:02

So true.

Nelson Barss 05:03

How many times have you heard that? This isn't the first time I've heard that?

Liz Sears 05:07


Nelson Barss 05:07

But it's just hard to get it through your head. It's hard to, I think, like you said, there's a lot of social pressure to be, you know, the non essentialist. That's normal. It's how everyone lives. It's nobody a lot. Okay, not nobody. But I know very few people who really can say no, and defend their own priorities, and have that designed, driven life that they want, and not just what everyone around them is telling them.

Liz Sears 05:35

And it's even fewer people who can do that gracefully, and tactfully, you know, there's a common phrase that I always laugh every time I hear people say it when you say, How's it going, or how you doing? They say, Good, busy, but good. That's what everybody says. And so one of the things that I started doing a while ago is just to eliminate the word busy and overwhelmed out of my vocabulary, I never refer to myself that way. Now, I'm excited from reading this book to actually become not that way. Because even though I wasn't saying it, and it helped with the mindset of it, it wasn't necessarily helping me eliminate that non essential,

Nelson Barss 06:11

I can see the vision of it, it sounds like a great life.

Liz Sears 06:16

It does. Yeah.

Nelson Barss 06:17

There's a myth in here, he talks about the idea that you can have it all, I think a lot of us just think we can do it all, we can do all of the ideas that pop into our head. We can do all of the tasks that we write down on our to do list. If you want to be a lunatic, you can. That's how a lot of times I live my life, like I'll do a to do list that's a whole page long. And instead of like crossing a bunch off, I'll just dive in. Then by the end of the day, I'm done with like, a quarter of it.

Liz Sears 06:47


Nelson Barss 06:47

And then I'll transfer it all to another to do list tomorrow, the same list again, and again, I just carry that weight with me all day long, just assuming I have to do every single thing on the list.

Liz Sears 06:55

Yeah. You know, at one point in time, I did this. And now that I think of it, I was like, That was a good idea. Maybe I should do that, again, is I really do get a little stressed out if I throw away tasks, like if I have thought of something and then I throw it away. So what I have done in the past is I've just gone through all of my lists and come up with what are the top things and then I put this in my burn pile that haven't yet burned. And then yeah, and then if I really feel the need to go back and look at it, it's there. But I don't have to type things so that way, it helps my brain let go of it.

Nelson Barss 07:31

Okay, that's a cool idea.

Liz Sears 07:32

So, you know, one of the things he mentions in here too, is that if you don't scrub your list that you end up with diffused efforts, because you're splitting it amongst a bunch of stuff. Okay. Let's talk about the closet analogy he gives, because I freaking love that. Okay, it's on page 17 For everybody is that when going through a closet, a lot of times people will use the criteria of whether or not to get rid of clothes by saying, Do I think I'll wear this someday? But what if instead of that, we ask the questions. Do I love this? Do I look great in it? Do I wear it often? And so if we use that same type of criteria with all of the things we've been asked to do, instead of saying, Do I think I'll do this task someday? We could say, do I love this? Am I good at it? And do I do it often? You know, is it something that benefits me or would it benefit me today?

Nelson Barss 08:29

Does it bring me joy? Yes This reminds me of the Marie Kondo book.

Liz Sears 08:33

I know KonMari. Yeah, if you open up my I have so many drawers that it's all KonMari'd. It's so nice. I even bought a dresser to put in my closet instead of where my hanging closes. Because

Nelson Barss 08:35

KonMari. That's funny. My wife has read this book. She read it long before I ever did. But for her it had nothing. You know, she's not really into like business books, or It was literally about life for her and the house. And yeah, she's she's on this long kick of, of minimalism around the house and just decluttering every room and parts of her life, too. Right. She's given up some hobbies. And it's been fascinating to see how it's helped her she's really focused. I admire that.

Liz Sears 08:54

Yeah Yeah. I ended up getting rid of almost all the toys in my house once my kids started to get past that stage. And I just have one type of toy in each room. And so when the nieces and nephews come over in the front room are the blocks. That's it.

Nelson Barss 09:26


Liz Sears 09:27

So when they're done like putting them away is easy. And in my kitchen drawer is where I have the melty snowman I don't know if you've ever seen that, but that's like the hit for my kids. Alright, so page 18. They talk about like once you've gone through everything you've eliminated off your list says once you figured out which activities and efforts to keep the ones that make your highest level of contribution, you need a system to make executing your intentions as effortless as possible.

Nelson Barss 09:52

Absolutely so what do they mean by a system? A system to make your executing effortless, so processes?

Liz Sears 10:02

Yep. And so just figuring out what works best for you the very end of the book is where it really talks about making it easy doing the process.

Nelson Barss 10:11

I have this coach who's trying to help me lose weight, right? And she keeps talking about systems. And she's like, Okay, you got to have the intention. But then you have the system. So the system is like, okay, you know, you move the alarm clock across the room, and your shoes are right next to it. And it's a pre programmed system to help me accomplish the intention, right?

Liz Sears 10:34

Because then you don't have to do the whole thing. You only have to stand up and walk across the room to turn off your alarm clock.

Nelson Barss 10:40

Then the next step is right there. It's like least resistance.

Liz Sears 10:46

Yeah, so figuring out which system works for the different parts of your life as you implement it.

Nelson Barss 10:51

So he says essentialism is about creating a system for handling the closet of our lives. There's not a process you undertake once a year, once a month, or even once a week, like organizing your closet, it is discipline you apply each and every time you're faced with a decision.

Liz Sears 11:06


Nelson Barss 11:07


Liz Sears 11:09

I love that. All right

Nelson Barss 11:12

Let's see. I did mark here, this chapter on essence, or this segment, on essence, about there's three deeply entrenched assumptions that we have to conquer. One is I have to the other is, it's all important, and the other is I can do both. Me raising my hand

Liz Sears 11:33

Oh, my goodness, me too.

Nelson Barss 11:34

I commit often, to more than I could possibly do. Right.

Liz Sears 11:39

I think most people do part of like, what you had said is that social pressure, that's what everybody does. If you don't do that, now you're different, you might get kicked out of the tribe.

Nelson Barss 11:51

Which wouldn't be all bad.

Liz Sears 11:52

Might not be, you know, I like you had said, you know, I have to It's all important, I can do both. And then I love how he goes on to say like mythological sirens, these assumptions are as dangerous as they are seductive. They draw us in and down into the shallow waters to embrace the essence of essentialism requires we replace them with these, that's what I liked about it. Only a few things really matter. I can do anything but not everything. And then I choose to so I guess the first one was, instead of I have to, it's I choose to set if it's all important, only a few things are, I can do anything, but not everything

Nelson Barss 12:29

I can do anything but not everything.

Liz Sears 12:31

And you know, what's funny is that when I remember those comments, it really, really helps me in the moment. So I might just have to go like

Nelson Barss 12:38

I am going to put that on my affirmations

Liz Sears 12:39

That's what I was gonna say

Nelson Barss 12:40

I can do anything, but not everything,

Liz Sears 12:41

But not everything.

Nelson Barss 12:43

I'll say that to my wife all the time, anything but not everything.

Liz Sears 12:48

So on page 36, it says the ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away, it can only be forgotten. So how do we forget our ability to choose?

Nelson Barss 13:01

This is where he talks about learned helplessness.

Liz Sears 13:03

Yeah, wasn't that fascinating

Nelson Barss 13:05

Dogs that learn like, nothing I do is going to stop the electric shock. So I'm not gonna do anything. Right.

Liz Sears 13:12


Nelson Barss 13:12

That is fascinating. Sometimes I wonder, though, like dogs studies, animal studies, do they really equate to human studies? Right?

Liz Sears 13:22

Well, I think I think we can always find some sort of parallels. So the little note that I jotted down next to this was beware, if I hear myself say, I have to do blank, I have to pick up the kids, I have to do the dishes, I have to call that client back, I have to run the CMA, I have to put gas in the car.

Nelson Barss 13:43

So you're watching out for that. Try not to say that,

Liz Sears 13:46

Right. Because even if well, because truly, I don't have to do any of this. I don't there's consequences if I don't. So then I have then I get to about say have to, I get to decide which consequence do I want? Well, I'd like to have clean clothes. So yeah, I'm going to do laundry. I'd like to get to my next destination. So I'm choosing to put gas in the car. And so even just changing the mindset makes a difference. And sometimes I've realized how much stuff I can delegate. Oh my gosh, that's one of the coolest things as a business owner. Like I even had an assistant take my car to get its oil changed for me. I got to work, I'm like, go take my car, bring your laptop, you're gonna be working while you're waiting.

Nelson Barss 14:28

Yeah. Well, on the next page, he does say there's evidence that humans learn helplessness in much the same way. Give us an example of like a kid who struggles in math early on. And they just assume for the rest of their life that they're bad at math.

Liz Sears 14:42


Nelson Barss 14:44

And he says these people don't believe they have a choice in what opportunity assignment or challenge to take on. They believe they have to do it all.

Liz Sears 14:52

You know, this kind of goes a little bit into that whole mindset book by Carol Dweck, where um sometimes we can even help children help ourselves things like that instead of rewarding or complimenting, or putting down, you know, the result of not being good at math, instead, compliment the effort while you really stuck it that you really tried hard. And, you know, I can't believe your tenacity to figure it out. Yeah, type, things like that. I've changed a lot of my own inner dialogue, as I've worked on projects, because, you know, it's not uncommon for people to say, really mean things to themselves.

Nelson Barss 15:31

Absolutely we're mean to ourselves.

Liz Sears 15:34


Nelson Barss 15:36

He introduces the Pareto principle here in the book, the 80-20 rule. I know that you talk a lot about that. Yeah, something that's really been important to me, too. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Or summarize what he's saying? Sure. Which page are you on? 44, 43 and 44. At the bottom of 44. He says the idea introduced way back in the 1790s by Wilfredo Pareto.

Liz Sears 15:56

Yep, so the 80-20 rule, and I just realized I mentioned it in the last book and didn't even talk about it. But I think most business people have at least been introduced to it a little bit. So basically, what the 80-20 rule just says that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts, and only 20% of our results come from 80% of our efforts. And so it was originally found to be the crops that 80% of the land, produced only 20% of the crops, and then they found out and vice versa. 20% of the people paid 80% of the taxes, blah, blah, blah. So in our business 20% of what we do generates 80% of our results and getting super clear on that. And so, in fact, one of the things I barely challenged one of my agents to do is we identified obviously, in real estate, 20% is the prospecting, you know, going and finding clients. And so I told her, I said, you know, and it even goes down one more step. So we've really been identifying what is her 20% For the week, as a now what I want you to do is figure out the 20% of the 20%. In order to double your production, you don't have to double all of the 20% You don't have to do twice as much prospecting, you need to figure out which one, you're just really good at. Yeah, which one is your talent, your effort, and then double that piece, that alone will get you so many more results. Something I've learned about this 80-20 principle, I've read some of these books by Richard Koch, he'd mentioned this author. And he's written a lot about it. And, you know, he talks about how it's just a natural law, it's a natural phenomenon, it happens in everywhere, you can't find a place where it doesn't apply, right, right, even like the branches of a leaf and how, how the stems grow in that pattern of this 80-20 pattern, and you just go I didn't know that now I want to look that up.

Nelson Barss 17:43

I know, then I the reason why I've read it. I think a lot of times we spend a lot of our time trying to fight this, instead of going with it. Right? Instead of saying, Okay, this 80-20 is the real thing. I'm gonna go with the 20% we try to level the playing fields like okay, well, I'm, I'm I'm lagging on these other areas. So I'm gonna spend all my time and energy over here.

Liz Sears 18:02


Nelson Barss 18:03

Right. He even talks about like wealth. And you know how there's wealth inequality in the world. And it's the 80-20 rule happening. Yeah, and I think a lot of energy is spent trying to break a natural thing, right, a lot of political and just strife over like the 80-20. And I don't know how anyone's ever been successful at eliminating the inequality that exists with wealth, right? So in business, instead of fighting the 80-20 principle, just accept it, and look for it. And like you said, dive deeper inside that 20% There's another 80-20. And inside there's another. Yeah.

Liz Sears 18:40

And I love the final quote in this where it says, John Maxwell's said, You cannot underestimate sorry, you cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything. You know, probably one of the best examples of this is, every single one of us has been in a moment in our life where something occurred, that all of a sudden, we had to put all of our focus towards, you know, whether it was an accident, whether it was a death, whether it was a, you know, something, opportunity, whatever it is, and suddenly, boom, our schedule is clear.

Nelson Barss 19:15


Liz Sears 19:16

And we can totally take advantage or take care of what's happening right then.

Nelson Barss 19:19

Spend your time on the emergency. And there are a few things that you get done in between.

Liz Sears 19:24


Nelson Barss 19:24

And those are the most important things.

Liz Sears 19:26

Yeah. And so all of us have experienced needing to clear off our plate. And so when we can take that approach more often and choose to do it and not be forced to do it, I think it will make a big impact.

Nelson Barss 19:39

I had an interesting experience with that my uncle passed away. I had to, on an emergency fly out to Maryland and spend two weeks with his kids

Liz Sears 19:47

I remember that

Nelson Barss 19:48

And it was it was not, I mean, I have a great team and they were able to keep the business going. And I spent a couple days working from the hotel but what really changed when I got back and I realized I don't want to die at age 60. Right? I've got to take better care of myself. And I don't want to wait till I'm 60 to enjoy my life.

Liz Sears 20:09


Nelson Barss 20:09

I just told my team was like, okay, just pretend like I just got diagnosed with some kind of crazy disease and I can't work till noon.

Liz Sears 20:16


Nelson Barss 20:16

I'm just not coming until noon for a while. And I think I went probably six weeks,

Liz Sears 20:20


Nelson Barss 20:21

Of just coming in at noon every day and working on my own priorities in the mornings. And it's like, I just realized I was wasting a lot of time, between nine and noon every morning, just

Liz Sears 20:32


Nelson Barss 20:32

Meetings, emails, whatever the non essential, I could probably cut it down to two hours a day, and still accomplish everything I'm accomplishing now.

Liz Sears 20:42

Isn't that interesting? That's Parkinson's Law. Yeah. And for those that don't know, Parkinson's Law, it's that a task will expand to fill the time allotted. So if you give yourself eight hours a day to get your job done, it takes eight hours. But if you give yourself four, it takes four

Nelson Barss 20:54

Whoever decided we're supposed to work eight hours a day anyway.

Liz Sears 20:57

Some lunatic

Nelson Barss 20:59

Some union person somewhere.

Liz Sears 21:02

And the people working more than eight hours are like I wish

Nelson Barss 21:03

Or when they had a divided 24 hour shift into 3.

Liz Sears 21:06


Nelson Barss 21:07

So that they could keep the factory running. All day, every day.

Liz Sears 21:10

I think that is what it is

Nelson Barss 21:11

It doesnt really apply does it?

Liz Sears 21:12

No So I don't know what page it says 46 and7 , where it says a non essentialist thinks almost everything is essential. An essentialist thinks almost everything is non essential. Seems like a play on words. But it's so incredibly true.

Nelson Barss 21:27

I should hang that up somewhere. I need to do all this. I need to read this book like 10 times.

Liz Sears 21:33

Oh, my gosh, I this is one of the books that I read two times in a row,

Nelson Barss 21:37

Did you?

Liz Sears 21:37

Yeah, this is my third time through it is it's amazing how much more you learn. If you read it the second you finish reading it, because it just kind of anchors it.

Nelson Barss 21:47

So he's talking about trade offs here in this section of the book, right? I'm on page 55 says we can avoid the reality of trade offs, but we can't escape them.

Liz Sears 21:56


Nelson Barss 21:58

And I just marked here where he says, As painful as they can sometimes be trade offs represent a significant opportunity. By forcing us to weigh both options and strategically select the best one, we significantly increase our chance of achieving the outcome we want. I think a lot of times, I'm missing opportunities by not recognizing a trade off. Instead of saying this or this. It's this now this later, right. And there's the opportunity missed to pick the best one to dive in and discard the other one completely.

Liz Sears 22:30

Right. And there's a weight that stays on us when we keep so much stuff on our plate. And like I said, you know, the diluted or efforts that you have. On 57, I had written a note where the non essentialist says I can do both? Or how can I do at all and the essentialist asks, What's the trade off to make How can I go big on the one that matters. And so I just made a note to myself that I still haven't eliminated some of the options. I've chosen which one I want to do first. But I haven't eliminated the other ones since and I've just simply pushed them out. So it causes me to have to keep dealing with them. Because those options keep showing up. So

Nelson Barss 23:13

You said that a few times, you've got this list, you don't want to throw away

Liz Sears 23:16

My burn list

Nelson Barss 23:17

It's not burned.

Liz Sears 23:18

It's not

Nelson Barss 23:19

It's in a pile somewhere.

Liz Sears 23:20

So I wonder, as we're talking here, what if I did, what if I did just burn that and say I don't have to do those things. I've already done the homework, I've already looked at all the options, I've decided these are more important. So I'm going to let go of the rest.

Nelson Barss 23:32

So there's a coach I like to listen to called Brooke Castillo, she has a podcast, The Life Coach School. And she talks about this Monday, hour one process where she sits down on Monday, she writes her whole to do list. She fits in the calendar for the week, what fits in the calendar, and she literally crumpled up and throws away the rest of the to do list. Not because well just because she's not going to get to it this week, right? Next week. If it shows up again on the to do list that might make the calendar it might not. But she's just throwing it away. She's crumpling up. And if it doesn't show up on the do list again, then it wasn't that important in the first place. Right.

Liz Sears 24:09


Nelson Barss 24:10

So an interesting concept you guys could look into kind of goes along this topic of throwing away that to do lists.

Liz Sears 24:17

You know, I wonder if I did that because a lot of my lists are in my CRM or my tasks and they're just on my own personal contact. So then they pop up and I don't forget them. But what if I did just like delete everything and just brainstorm from scratch. And then throw away.

Nelson Barss 24:32

Listen to her, she has like a hour long podcast.

Liz Sears 24:34

So it's Brooke Castillo

Nelson Barss 24:35

Brook Castillo.

Liz Sears 24:37

Okay, thank you.

Nelson Barss 24:38

She's great. Where else do you want to take us in this book? Liz, what else stood out to you. So I wrote a note on page 68 About being guilt free. It says I'm talking about deliberately setting aside distraction free time, in a distraction free space to do absolutely nothing other than think, if i do that i get all guilty. I'm like I should be XYZ.

Liz Sears 25:03

You know what, I've read this in multiple business books now? About thinking time,

Nelson Barss 25:09


Liz Sears 25:10

Yeah. So each one of the authors kind of has their own term of this. But there was somewhere I read, and I wish I could remember where because I have no idea about how C level executives, you know, CEO, COO, blah, blah, blah, in Japan. I'm just gonna make up the details. I don't know, okay. about it in this book, that that part of their job is that they are required to do that. Maybe it is in this book about how they have to spend a couple hours every single day thinking.

Nelson Barss 25:42

He talks about Bill Gates doing that I don't know if he talks about Japan, though. Yeah. But I think a lot of us feel like I don't know why I feel so much guilt about it.

Liz Sears 25:56

Maybe it's because you don't realize how brilliant you are.

Nelson Barss 25:58

In my mind is a waste of time, nothing is going to come from this,

Liz Sears 26:03

The guy who wrote the road less stupid. He's so smart. I love him, I got to him speak.

Nelson Barss 26:09

The Road Less Stupid

Liz Sears 26:10

You should read it. It's amazing. He talks also about thinking time. And he said that your most brilliant ideas come to you, like you know everything about your life better than any coach better than anyone else, because you know all the pieces. So when you give yourself space to sit down and just evaluate. And so you're thinking times with a pad of paper and a pen, and you just jot down whatever comes to mind. You'll all of a sudden start to recognize the little bottlenecks. You'll recognize the opportunities, you'll recognize the different pieces and things and Trust your brain. Trust your intelligence and your wisdom. Yep.

Nelson Barss 26:45

Okay, I'll do it. I got a vacation this week, I want to spend some thinking time.

Liz Sears 26:49

Which leads perfectly into the next point, which he talks about how play is essential. So you're on your vacation, you can both do your thinking time and your play. So a non essentialist thinks that play is trivial thinks it's an unproductive waste of time or any centralist knows that it's essential and it's sparks exploration. It'll help you with your thinking time because you'll be more creative. So when it's time to laugh, like totally laugh, like, laugh the way a child does when you're playing peekaboo with an infant. Have you ever seen a baby like belly laugh?

Nelson Barss 27:22

Yes. I get jealous when I see it. I can't do that.

Liz Sears 27:26

It takes practice. You practice to not being like that

Nelson Barss 27:30

I think it's important. He defines play not just like play but anything that we do simply for the joy of doing.

Liz Sears 27:36


Nelson Barss 27:37

Rather than as a means to an end.

Liz Sears 27:39

You know, I told Brad he was making fun of me one time because I didn't have hobbies, like he hunts and fishes and four wheels and things like that. And I said, Yeah, Brad's my husband. So I told him, I want my hobby to be going to the spa. And he's like, that's not a hobby. I'm like, why it costs a ton of money and benefits no one but me. And I enjoy

Nelson Barss 27:58

Sounds like a great hobby.

Liz Sears 27:59

I think it's fantastic.

Nelson Barss 28:01

That's funny. I have the opposite. I'm more like you like hobbies. I really think this is important, though, right? Like I read there's a free to focus is a book by Michael Hyatt. And he talks a lot about this about like, if if you're only reading the nonfiction business books, are you really relaxing? Really Yeah. So like, on this vacation, we're about to go for four days, I'm taking a John Grisham book, I'm just gonna take and I never read fiction,

Liz Sears 28:28

You don't?

Nelson Barss 28:29

Only when I am on a vaction. No, I read several books a month, but half of them are mind candy. That's what they call them, because

Liz Sears 28:30

Dude I love fiction

Nelson Barss 28:30

I have to like force myself to do it so that I can try to get a little escape. You know, my tendency is to take these kinds of books and want to learn and want to dive in and better myself. I call them nonsense books

Liz Sears 28:49

Nonsense. That works too.

Nelson Barss 28:51

Mind candy. But I think that's what he's talking about here is just the you know, the benefits of it right? He talks about the stress relief, or antidote to stress. I have seen he says I've seen play reversed the effects in his own children of stress. When they're stressed, things feel out of control. I have them draw. When they do the changes, almost immediate stress melts away, and their ability to explore is regained. You got to do that more.

Liz Sears 29:21

That's amazing. Beneficial all the way around. All right, next thing he goes into is sleep. Sleep is something that I used to kind of think was for the weak, you know, because a lot of books would talk about that and I would try to live off of less sleep. And I realized after having babies that I don't function well with little sleep. I have so much admiration.

Nelson Barss 29:50

I used to be better when I was younger,

Liz Sears 29:50

Yeah, better when I was younger.

Nelson Barss 29:54

Now the body doesn't take it so well

Liz Sears 29:56

No, and in fact, it's kind of become something that so many more people are aware of is that you think better, you problem solve better, you're more temperate in your emotions, and all of that when you get sufficient sleep. So he says, eight hours

Nelson Barss 30:15

Isn't even a miracle. I just always marvel at what your body does when you sleep, and go to bed so wasted. And it's like the little blood cells come out and start healing.

Liz Sears 30:26


Nelson Barss 30:27

Everything in your body, from your emotions to your mind to your ankles, your knees and your back. And, yeah, just,powerful.

Liz Sears 30:36

And I love going into sleep expecting it to work to like, I just express gratitude. I'm so grateful. I'm gonna wake up feeling amazing. And then I do, yeah.

Nelson Barss 30:46

I expect I will say it out loud. But I do expect it to work.

Liz Sears 30:49

It's amazing. If I'm like, I'm only gonna, you know, whatever, I know I'm going to be so tired tomorrow. It's weird like I am.

Nelson Barss 30:55

I like how he calls this protecting the asset, right? The best asset we have is ourselves, if we under invest in ourselves. And by that I mean, our minds, our bodies, our spirits, we damage the very tool, we need to make our highest contribution.

Liz Sears 31:10

Yep. And he talks about how a lot of people who are entrepreneurs are addicted to achievement. And for a Type A personality, it's not hard for us to push ourselves really hard. And so just knowing that if you're that type of personality, who's going to not protect your asset and push yourself too hard, this is something to be conscious of

Nelson Barss 31:29

Something else about this, that I've had a couple different coaches talk to me about the importance of being healthy, right? Because in order to go, for me to go to the office, and to spend the whole day, inspiring my group and leading them and being an example, and making those hard sales calls, I got to be healthy, I've got to be, I gotta have enough sleep, I've got to have the right food. You know, the one guy's like, I get a B12 shot once a week, right? Just so that I can have the juice I need from eight to five to lead, right have that energy, something I'm really focused on working hard at is trying to get, just get that level of baseline sleep, and nutrition to be able to lead.

Liz Sears 32:16

Right? And he compares it's kind of funny on page 97, he compares to sleep deficit, like drinking too much alcohol. And he says you would never hear someone say that person is a great worker he's drunk all the time. And yet, you'll say that about people who are like cutting out all of their sleep.

Nelson Barss 32:32

Yeah. Why do we have that mentality in our society?

Liz Sears 32:37

Because our high demands on people. And so restructuring what's important can make all the difference. All right. Next section, unless you had any final comments on sleeps, move on. Alright, so selecting. So now that you've, you're taking care of yourself, you got your whole list now, how do you use extreme criteria, as they say, to eliminate things? And so there's somebody? Derek Sivers, I think is how he says it, where he has that TED Talk that says, if it's not a hell yes, it's a no.

Nelson Barss 33:10

Yeah. Yeah. If it isn't a clear yes, then it's a clear no,

Liz Sears 33:14

Yeah, no more yes. It's either hell yes or no. says a whole bunch of different ways. So the 90% rule in here that he talks about where a colleague, and he went, working to select 24 people from a pool of almost 100 applicants to their design your life, essentially, it was a class they were doing and first they identified a minimum criteria, such as can they attend every class? And then they settled on next ideal attributes is, are they ready for a life changing experience? And then from that, they rated them on a scale from 1 to 10. And the 9s and 10s they decided were in. Anyone under 7 was an automatic out, and then they're like, so what do we do with the 7s and 8s? And they decided, if it's not hell yeah, it's no,

Nelson Barss 34:00

Yeah, they're automatically, too.

Liz Sears 34:02


Nelson Barss 34:04

Okay. So you can apply this to every decision, right? You can evaluate and pick only the most important, the best options for what you're going to do.

Liz Sears 34:14


Nelson Barss 34:16

And he says, This way you avoid getting caught up in indecision, or worse, getting stuck with the 60s and 70s.

Liz Sears 34:22

Right. And I swear, that's where I spend so much of my life is because I feel bad, I feel wasteful, throwing away some of these ideas that I've had. And so going back to the KonMari thing, she says, is it more wasteful to have clothing in your closet that you don't wear? And that just sits there neglected? Or is it more wasteful to give it to a secondhand store where somebody is going to love it and buy it and perhaps somebody that can't afford to buy a brand new and so you're doing service to the clothing to give it a new life and someone else.

Nelson Barss 34:54

You have to somehow figure out how to apply that to your ideas, your wasteful ideas. I sometimes have idea is, this is probably a bad sign if I have an idea that's been rolling around in the back of my head for 20 years, and I haven't done it yet. I should probably kick it out, right? Why am I dragging that thing around? Still thinking someday I'm gonna do it?

Liz Sears 35:12

Unless it's something you're going to do. So maybe just pull it out, fully examine it. And if it is something that would give you fulfillment that you'd really, really enjoy, but you've just chosen not to make time for it, maybe put it in your calendar. And if you're not willing to do that, then yeah, throw it away, get rid of it. Okay, I'm really excited, my brain is gonna feel so much lighter tomorrow, go through this whole process. Another thing that they talk about, which really applies to our listener group, is that he talks about a particular company that wanted to make the right decision with hiring. And they began with the basic assumption that they would rather be understaffed than hire the wrong person quickly. And kind of the same thing again, that they wanted to make sure that they had a hell yeah for the applicants instead of just picking one.

Nelson Barss 36:00

You know, one story, I remember, I took an entrepreneurship entrepreneurship class once and the first thing the instructor said, has stuck with me. He's like, coming up with a good business idea is not the challenge. Everybody has a good business idea. It's deciding which one to pursue, right? You have a billion good business ideas, but you have to filter.

Liz Sears 36:21


Nelson Barss 36:22

And he sent us out to like, examine these businesses and come back with ideas and, and as a group, we would eliminate and get down to one that had, you know, profit margins and lifestyle things and things that we wanted.

Liz Sears 36:34

That's cool

Nelson Barss 36:34

Yeah, it's like, ideas are a dime a dozen. Everybody has a good idea.

Liz Sears 36:39

That's what I'm gonna start saying when I look at my list, these are dime a dozen.

Nelson Barss 36:42

Ideas come cheap.

Liz Sears 36:43

They do. Alright, next section on clarity. Or sorry, clarify.

Nelson Barss 36:48

Clarify. So eliminate, still talking about eliminating?

Liz Sears 36:52

Yep. So going from pretty clear to really clear. And so if, like, it says, this would matter less if it were not for the fact that clarity of purpose is so consistently, so consistently predicts how people do their jobs. And working with executive teams, I've been amazed to see what happens when teams are sort of clear about what they're trying to do versus really clear. And you know, what, when we had our leadership retreat just last month, and we identified what we wanted our values to be, we spent a couple of hours going through everything that was potential, and then going through this whole elimination process, looking up definitions, putting it together, all of that, and one of our significant seven is clarity of purpose.

Nelson Barss 37:38

Clarity of purpose.

Liz Sears 37:38


Nelson Barss 37:40

I'm curious. So do you guys have like a clear statement of purpose? Your company?

Liz Sears 37:47

We do

Nelson Barss 37:48

And does everyone know it?

Liz Sears 37:49


Nelson Barss 37:50


Liz Sears 37:51

Because we talk about it every team meeting. So and in fact,

Nelson Barss 37:55

Cheif remiding officer tells them about it. That's cool.

Liz Sears 37:56

Then last week, what we did is we just said word number 13. And whoever said word number 13. And it got the gift card, and then we'll have them like. So our mission is to provide professional value exceed our clients goals, and exceed all expectations. And so we'll have them pick like which of the three parts things like that. Chief reminding officer, yeah, so sometimes what we do is we cut up into words and they are in envelopes. So we put them in teams, and whoever puts it together first gets a gift card.

Nelson Barss 38:25

Very Cool.

Liz Sears 38:26

And then our significant seven are our values.

Nelson Barss 38:29

I love it. That's clarity, right?

Liz Sears 38:32

That is clarity. All right. And essentially, intent is both inspirational and concrete, both meaningful and measurable. done right, an essential intent is one decision that settles 1000 later decisions. I would love to make fewer decisions.

Nelson Barss 38:48

So it's interesting, because we just we just finished talking about the E Myth book, right?

Liz Sears 38:52


Nelson Barss 38:53

And his first action step was to clarify your intent. Yes. Goes perfect with this, They come here and they say this is a decision that makes 1000 other decisions, right? Because the the intent this is kind of like in Michael Gerber's words. It's like, you're deciding what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Right? And if we if you got clarity around that. The other decisions are easy, right? I think where I get wishy washy is I just don't have the clarity, or I haven't put my foot down. Alright, I haven't put my foot down and said, This is important to me. This is how I want to live my life. And if I had, it'd be so easy to to not be wishy washy on different decisions or opportunities or ideas that come

Liz Sears 39:36

Yeah, like the example they give of Johnson and Johnson who they not only had their values, but they had them written in concrete. And it was like an etched in there. And so when the 1980s cyanide Tylenol thing came out, and some people were dying, they had to make the decision do we make waste $100 million, pulling everything from the shelves?

Nelson Barss 40:00

Doing that recall?

Liz Sears 40:00

Yeah. And so when they went to their mission statement, the decision that had previously been made that the customers come first, stockholders come second. He said, we pulled the product. And so it turned out to be very good for them. It worked out for him, didn't it? Yeah. That's what happens when you do the right thing.

Nelson Barss 40:18

Okay, so this chapter 11, to me is really where I need to make the most progress. It's about saying no.

Liz Sears 40:23


Nelson Barss 40:24

Right? Gracefully. And they even talked about how to say no gracefully without actually saying the word. No, right. But, you know, they talked about on one page 137, the non essentialist, avoid saying no, to avoid feeling social awkwardness, and pressure. So says yes to everything. But the essentialist dares to say no, firmly, resolutely, and gracefully. Says yes, only to the things that really matter. And I love the example where he said I would so much rather have somebody say no, and I know I can count on the fact that I need to find someone else rather than think I can count on them, and then they just don't show up. It's a good point.

Liz Sears 41:03

That and so Okay, Nelson, what are some of the ways that you can say no?

Nelson Barss 41:07

Well, there's the graceful, right? This, you know, he says in here, I'm flattered that you thought of me, but I'm afraid I don't have the bandwidth. Or I would very much like to but I'm over committed. I actually read a whole book on this the Power of a Positive No. Didn't really do any good because I am still very overcommited in my life.

Liz Sears 41:30

maybe you need to, you need to do the three by five challenge. Have you ever heard of that?

Nelson Barss 41:35


Liz Sears 41:35

So whenever you're starting a new habit, you get a three by five card and you put it in your pocket or your wallet or whatever. And every time that you have the opportunity to do it or not do it. You get to mark down when you've done it. And so you don't

Nelson Barss 41:47

Like a tally sheet?

Liz Sears 41:48

Yeah, you don't track your bad you don't track when you dropped the ball, you just track when you do it, because the reward is you get to pull the paper out and write on it.

Nelson Barss 41:55


Liz Sears 41:55

And so you get to do that every time that you. So here they talk about focus on the trade off when you're asked to do something, remind yourself that everyone's selling something, make your pace or your peace with the fact that thing no often requires trading popularity for respect.

Nelson Barss 42:10

Okay. Popularity versus respect, right? It's much better to be respected than to be liked. Right?

Liz Sears 42:15

There was a story once I heard of a mom she was at the dinner table, and she was complaining to her family about how she got roped into yet another PTA fundraiser thing. And she goes, I hate it. I wish I was just better at saying no. And her daughter goes, you're really good at saying no, you say it to me all the time. She's like "Oh, I guess I do." See I don't even say it to my kids often enough. My poor wife has to be the No, She's the bad guy?

Nelson Barss 42:44

So so there's a list on page 140 of different No's you can use in your repertoire, right?

Liz Sears 42:49


Nelson Barss 42:49

The awkward pause, the soft no, or the no but let me check my calendar and get back to you. That sounds like total wuss way to do it. Use an email bounce back. I actually love that one. Right. He even talked about when he wanted to write this book. He put his email auto reply to say I'm in hibernation mode working on a book.

Liz Sears 43:11


Nelson Barss 43:12

I thought that was great. That's an easy way. Right?

Liz Sears 43:15


Nelson Barss 43:15

Say yes. What should I deprioritize?

Liz Sears 43:19

That's what you say when your manager is the one asking you to do more stuff.

Nelson Barss 43:22

Yeah. I am happy to what would you like me to take off my list?

Liz Sears 43:25

You know one that I use a lot is I will point them in the direction of somebody who can help them. And I'll just own the fact that I'm not the best person to help them. Perhaps I know how to do it. Perhaps I'm skilled enough to do it. But because of what I have on my plate, I'm not the best person to help them. So I'll say You know what, actually, I think so and so I would be fantastic at that.

Nelson Barss 43:45


Liz Sears 43:46

Also loved to can't now. And I think so and so it'd be fantastic.

Nelson Barss 43:49

I'd love to can't now. That's awesome. Okay, how about uncommiting. What about stuff you're already committed to and you want out.

Liz Sears 44:00

This one is huge. And so part of it is just going through and deciding what it is that you have added to your plate that maybe shouldn't be there. And the note I have on here, which doesn't. It was I just opened my book to random page, but it kind of does fit here. It says more effort doesn't always yield more results, less is better. And so more effort to get everything done on your plate doesn't necessarily get you more results like as you uncommit to the things that don't cut the mustard they don't add to the life that you want to have and instead just pull from you. That's when it's so critical.

Nelson Barss 44:37

Well, I think along with that is the idea of sunk costs, right?

Liz Sears 44:41

Yes. Oh, man.

Nelson Barss 44:42

You've got so much invested in this like to turn back now would be

Liz Sears 44:46


Nelson Barss 44:47

Irresponsible, right?

Liz Sears 44:49


Nelson Barss 44:51

I've got a few projects like that around the office that I'm just thinking. I think we should just kill them. They're not. They're not part of the 20% putting energy, money and effort into them. And yeah, if we kill them, then we've wasted some time and money, but I don't want to waste more time and money on them.

Liz Sears 45:06

Yeah. Sunk cost, cutting your costs. Sometimes that's what needs to happen.

Nelson Barss 45:11

So the non essentialist would ask Why stop now when I've already invited so much invested so much in this project?

Liz Sears 45:17


Nelson Barss 45:17

The essentialist would say, if I weren't already invested in this project, how much would I invest in it now? That's a great question.

Liz Sears 45:24

That is a brilliant question.

Nelson Barss 45:28

All right, what else? Beware of the status quo. Just because it's the way we we do it doesn't mean we should always do it. I marked on page 197, where it talks about small wins. This made me think of a picture my wife has hung up in our house.

Liz Sears 45:51


Nelson Barss 45:51

It's like, understand, it's got a picture of a guy standing under a ladder, and the first rung is out of his reach.

Liz Sears 45:58


Nelson Barss 45:58

And then the other guy has little tiny rungs, and he's going up. It's just a visual. That reminds me, like, you know, we can create small ones right?

Liz Sears 46:01

Small wins are so powerful. You know, I love that other point that he talks about how the Latin root of the word decision is CIS, or Cid, which literally means to cut or to kill. And so that's just part of just getting rid of the pieces

Nelson Barss 46:08

That's what this is all about. Right? Is cutting.

Liz Sears 46:23

Cutting, cutting, cutting. And so then it makes it possible to do those small wins those small steps that get you to the next level.

Nelson Barss 46:29

Yeah, I think there's a lot of power in small things done consistently, right? Just the, the analogy that I like to use is flood irrigation versus drip irrigation.

Liz Sears 46:44


Nelson Barss 46:44

And you see the trees, or the plants or the vegetables that grow when they have a little bit of study water, and compare him to one that gets flooded once a week. And the difference is huge. The growth is much stronger, with little bit of steady progress.

Liz Sears 46:58


Nelson Barss 46:59

That's something I've been trying to focus on a lot.

Liz Sears 47:01

And, you know, the other thing, too, is that sometimes in real estate, especially those on the commercial side, as they always go for the big win. But it's, it can have a big payout when you get it, but you can have tons and tons of lost effort if it doesn't work out.

Nelson Barss 47:17

But it's funny that you bring that up, because I have turned down a lot of people who have called me and asked if I do commercial loans, right?

Liz Sears 47:23


Nelson Barss 47:24

And I'm always like, well, I could and there's a lot of money in that. But I've never done one. So what do I say this guy? Do I say if you're willing to be my guinea pig? Great. Usually what I say is no. And I don't commercial.

Liz Sears 47:38


Nelson Barss 47:38

I don't think it doesn't fit in our wheelhouse. Right. It's tempting, but never done it.

Liz Sears 47:45

All right. Okay, my last couple that I have in here is the genius of routine chapter 18. Is the flow. Sorry, did I skip past?

Nelson Barss 47:56

Well, what page is it?

Liz Sears 47:58


Nelson Barss 48:00

This is I haven't read this part, I have to confess.

Liz Sears 48:03

Well then I am excited for you to read it.

Nelson Barss 48:04

But I want to read it because this is what I need.

Liz Sears 48:07

I'm sure that you already have read other books or had experience with this already. So the genius of routine. I'm just gonna read this first opening thing because I love it. For years before the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps won the gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He followed the same routine at every race. He arrived two hours early, he stretched and loosened up according to precise pattern, 800 mixer, 50 freestyle, 600 kicking with kickboard, 400 pulling a buoy, and more. After the warm up, he would dry off, put on his earphones and sit never lie down on the massage table. From that moment, he and his coach Bob Bowman wouldn't speak a word to each other until after the race was over. And just having these routines like the way that you start your workday, the way that you start your morning, the way that you start a project. Sometimes switching tasks like at the end of a time block, starting your next time block having a routine where you just say I'm done. Closing those windows on my computer sitting here. Like I even know people that will sit at a different desk for different parts of their job just because it helps them shut off and start new.

Nelson Barss 49:13

Interesting, yeah. And he turned out pretty good. He did alright,

Liz Sears 49:17

Yeah, I got a couple gold medals. I think like three.

Nelson Barss 49:21

So it says the non essentialist tries to execute the essentials by force, essentialist designs a routine that enshrines what is essential, making execution almost effortless.

Liz Sears 49:32


Nelson Barss 49:33

These are the systems we were talking about the beginning, right.

Liz Sears 49:36

Yeah. And I think it's so critical to really pay attention that a non essentialist tries to execute the essentials by force. There are so many people that the way that they approach things is discipline at a level that's almost bullying themselves. They force it.

Nelson Barss 49:50

It's not sustainable.

Liz Sears 49:51

It's not and it's demoralizing and almost causes people to have a self esteem issue, which usually shows up as being pretty cruel and harsh with other people. And a lot of times people who are like that have a low self esteem. That's why they show up that way. And so when we figure out our own design that just makes it almost effortless, then we see the results. We feel the peace, we feel empowered. It's totally different.

Nelson Barss 50:17

I'm gonna have to resist the temptation to take this book with me on my vacation and keep reading. Gotta read nonfiction. Nonsense books.

Liz Sears 50:25

You mean fiction?

Nelson Barss 50:27

I mean, fiction.

Liz Sears 50:29

All right, next section is focused what's important now? Right, you want to read that quote?

Nelson Barss 50:36

Yeah, this is actually interesting, because there's a Well, I'll tell you a minute. So, Life is available only in the present moment, if you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply. Don't ask me to say the name of the person who said that. Thich Nhat Hanh.

Liz Sears 50:56

I think it's perfect.

Nelson Barss 50:57

Sounds like a smart person.

Liz Sears 51:00

Probably is. Alright, so focusing

Nelson Barss 51:06

Nn the now

Liz Sears 51:07

Focusing on the now focusing on what's present, it's so easy to get wrapped up in thinking of, you know, everything that already happened, and how you're going to deal with it. And then problem solving for the future other things you got to do. But when you can have your essential list, then focusing on the present is, I don't know, it just feels amazing.

Nelson Barss 51:29

Mind is focused on the present tunes into what's important right now. enjoys the moment. That's the essentialist.

Liz Sears 51:35

That's how you're gonna belly laugh.

Nelson Barss 51:36

Yeah, instead of the non essentialist, whose mind is spinning out about the past or the future, who thinks about what's important yesterday or tomorrow? And worries about the future or stresses about the past? And I can see the contrast there.

Liz Sears 51:50

Yeah, it's huge. And I love the multitasking, multi focusing. So he tells this story of how he runs into a former classmate on campus, and they start talking and after only, like 20 30 seconds, the guy gets a text. And so what's this guy's Greg is standing there waiting for the guy to finish sending the text messages. And he, it goes on for a while. And finally, he's like, I'm just gonna see how long this takes over two minutes can imagine how awkward it is.

Nelson Barss 52:18

He just stood texting.

Liz Sears 52:19

Just staring at him. And then he goes, I gave up and walked back to my desk and went back to work. After another five minutes, he became present again, interrupting me for the second time. Now he wanted to resume the conversation. Like, no, thank you.

Nelson Barss 52:34


Liz Sears 52:35

So and lots of us do allow ourselves to get sucked into different things that pull us away from what we're doing in the moment, whether it's a conversation with the person that's pretty extreme. Or if we're working on a project or a task or, or whatnot, we allow interruptions to totally pull our attention.

Nelson Barss 52:51

He says the true essentialist never attempts to do more than one thing at a time.

Liz Sears 52:55


Nelson Barss 52:56

In fact, we can easily do two things at the same time, wash the dishes and listen to the radio, eat and talk, clear the clutter from our desk while thinking about where to go for lunch. We can't do is concentrate on two things at the same time.

Liz Sears 53:09

Right? Have you ever noticed when you're trying to find an address? You turn down the radio?

Nelson Barss 53:15


Liz Sears 53:16

Because right, then you need to super problem solving concentrate.

Nelson Barss 53:20

Yeah, or just like pull over? When you're like, I'm just driving the wrong direction anyway. Get the right address in my phone before I start going any further.

Liz Sears 53:29

Yeah. So multitasking versus multi focusing. Get the future out of your head. That was one that I really marked up. Because that's one of the areas I really struggle, I'll start to think about everything that needs to happen, everything I'm working on all of that. And so when I can just tell myself, you know what, it's good. Let it go focus for the now. It makes me so much more productive.

Nelson Barss 53:57

Hey, I just found who Thich Nhat Hanh is he's a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, who has been called the world's most the world's calmest man. Very cool. Looking forward to reading some of his thoughts, about mindfulness, mindfulness is all about living in the now. Right?

Liz Sears 54:17


Nelson Barss 54:18

Being aware of the present. Well, good. Well, what else Liz? What else do you want to point out from the book? We don't have to necessarily go through everything.

Liz Sears 54:25

I guess we don't.

Nelson Barss 54:28

I think it's just a really important conversation about, you know, living your priorities, and eliminating what's not important to you, or, you know, trying to balance life. I struggle sometimes because I do think you can't just be 100% Selfish, right? You can't just be like, like, care about nothing else, or no one else but you matters to you. So how do you balance that?

Liz Sears 54:53

Well, Iron Rand wrote a book. Do you know who Iron Rand is? She is amazing. Yeah,

Nelson Barss 54:57

Yeah. Atlas Shrugged.

Liz Sears 54:59

And one of her books is the virtue of selfishness. And she actually talks about how altruism is evil, which I thought that was kind of interesting. But when you're altruistic that it's at your own personal detriment. And if you show up as an anemic version of yourself, how much benefit really are you to everyone else around you that you've got to take care of yourself, you got to put the oxygen on first. And when everybody shows up, the other thing, too, is if, if I'm always trying to appease everybody else, then they're trying to appease me, and then you're always like, trying to read their mind and find out really what they want. Whereas if everybody just said, this is what I would like, and they say, Well, that's what I'd like. And then you can come to a conclusion or a compromise, knowing where the other person is coming from rather than guessing. That's where respect and honesty and everything comes from. And so I think that it really just boils down to the fact of, what do you really want in life, like, for me, one of my highest priorities, my core values is great relationships with the people who are important to me. So when me being selfish, if my selfishness is towards that goal, that's not necessarily a bad thing. So

Nelson Barss 56:15

Iron Rand, she got some pretty extreme thoughts.

Liz Sears 56:22

Oh, she does. But everybody does.

Nelson Barss 56:24

Yeah. Well, she wasn't afraid to say him. Right.

Liz Sears 56:27


Nelson Barss 56:27

Good. Well, thank you for recommending this to me. I have enjoyed it so far. Definitely something I need to read over and over again. Because I do think that this is probably a big missing piece in my life, just being able to design my own life, my own script, not let other people dictate what happens and what's important.

Liz Sears 56:50

Yep. I'm excited to implement more. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

Nelson Barss 56:55

Awesome. Okay. Well, thank you, Liz, Will. And thank you all for listening. Look forward to the next episode of Business Greater Than You.

Liz Sears 57:04

All right. Take care.

Nelson Barss 57:05

You've been listening to the business greater than you podcast with Nelson Barss and Liz Sears. Our mission is to help lenders and agents like you.

Liz Sears 57:13

If you're either already a full time realtor or looking to become one and you desire to be highly successful. If you're both a learner and a doer, a hard worker and a total team player. We would love to chat with you about joining our team visit us at

Nelson Barss 57:27

If you're a loan officer or would like to be one, we have a path to help you learn the business and develop the skills needed to lead a high performance origination team for better income and lifestyle.

Liz Sears 57:38

And lastly, if you would like to work with either of us, we would love your business.

Nelson Barss 57:42

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