Episode 34 |

Tools for Designing a Productive and Prosperous Lifestyle with Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is an expert on productivity and getting the most out of your career and life. He shares his tips on time management, applying actionable steps to move forward in your career, and changing your beliefs to positively affect your behavior.

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This Week’s Guest:

Stever Robbins is an executive coach, a podcaster, and a serial entrepreneur. His podcast, Get-It-Done Guy’s Podcast, has over 27,000,000 downloads and has been number one on the iTunes bestseller list. He also is an author of two books, It Takes a Lot More Than Attitude… to Lead a Stellar Organization and Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More.


When you truly believe that you can be successful-in your career, relationships, and all areas of your life-that belief can manifest itself into reality. Stever Robbins has been an entrepreneur since he was 14 years old, and shares his insight on everything from changing your mindset, setting a career plan, productivity, and using your creativity to do things that have never been done.
We Discuss:

  • Coming up with creative, new ideas to grow your business.
  • Time management skills and becoming more productive.
  • How to earn your worth and create a career plan.
  • Changing your beliefs through Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Here’s what I learned:

How Stever Became a Serial Entrepreneur

  1. Stever didn’t have a grand vision or dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
  2. When we was 14 years old, he wanted to move out of his mother and stepfather’s house, and decided to rent an apartment near their house.
    • In order to rent an apartment, he needed to become an emancipated minor and find a way to support himself.
  3. He knew how to program computers, and found a tiny startup that decided to hire him.
    • That was his first startup, and the second startup that he got involved in was when the head programmer from the company split off and started his own company.
    • He basically just fell into entrepreneurship and ended up staying there, he’s now on his eleventh startup.

The Get-It-Done Guy’s Podcast

  1. Stever has been running his podcast since 2007.
  2. His podcast is unique because the editorial format of the show is very precise.
    • Every episode is five to seven minutes long and each one has a specific actionable tip.
    • Since it’s always actionable, you know you’re going to walk away with useful information.
    • Stever’s personality and writing style also contributes to the popularity of the show.
  3. The reason Stever started his podcast had nothing to do with his business.
    • His business is about entrepreneurial-consulting, strategy-consulting, and leadership for mid-size and small businesses, and he wanted The Get-It-Done Guy to be a completely a creative outlet.
    • He wanted to be able to go wild, have fun, and get out of the business mindset.
    • It took off and hit number one in the business category on iTunes three days before the PR campaign that he had arranged was going to start.

Work Less and Do More: The Musical

  1. Stever created a musical, which is a creative way to convey information about time and life management.
  2. He was preparing to go on a promotional tour, book tour for his book, and had some friends that had taken him to a musical.
    • He thought it looked fun, and wanted to try it, although he has never acted, sang, or danced.
    • While talking to a friend who he thought was a journalist, he found out that his friend actually was a composer who wrote musical theater for off-Broadway shows.
    • They decided to partner on the musical, which is an hour long and is designed to be done as a business keynote.
  3. It has enough information that people can take notes, and it also has drama, character development, and story arc.

Time Management

  1. There are two ways to think about time management.
    • The first way is to focus on efficiency, How do you do what you’re doing more efficiently?
    • The second focus is on effectiveness, Are you doing the right thing to begin with?
    • If you are doing the wrong thing but you’re very efficient, you are getting where you don’t want to go faster and faster.
  2. Stever suggests measuring your productivity and not doing something if it doesn’t make you more productive.
    • Most of his personal productivity happens on paper because he is more productive on paper than he is online.
    • There is research reading an eBook vs. a paper book, and you’re far less able to remember and recall than things you read out of an eBook.
    • This is because paper books have contextual markers, such as how far through the book you are.
    • Your brain uses these to categorize the information, store it, and make it retrievable.
    • On an eBook, you’re missing all of those cues so your brain has no way to get back to retrieve the information.
    • It’s similar with taking notes on paper, you will remember things that you learned by taking notes on paper.
    • If you take notes on a keyboard, you are losing the information.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

  1. NLP allows you to understand the steps that you or someone else takes in thinking about and doing something with your brain.
  2. If you have a particular skill that’s a mental ability, you actually do that mental ability by completing a series of actions in your brain.
    • For example, good spellers are generally people who use mental images and they store the word as an image of the letters, then they read off the word to get the spelling.
  3. Most people come up with a lot of excuses as to why they can’t reach goals or have things that they want, etc.
    • When Stever hears three or four excuses in rapid succession, that’s a sign to him that there is some deeper belief going on.
    • That person may have an independent reason for generating excuses and upon a little bit of investigation, you can identify that the belief is the thing that’s holding you back.
    • Then, there are techniques you can use to change beliefs so they stop having control over your behavior.
  4. When you replace a negative belief with a more positive one and genuinely believe it, it changes the way you show up in the world.
    • Stever uses NLP techniques on himself to better understand what his beliefs are, and then makes a conscious decision on if he wants to change it or not.

Earning Your Living

  1. Stever talked to a billionaire who said he was just ‘lucky’ to stumble into his career path.
    • Most people would like to believe that those who have money got it because they earned it, but that’s not always the case.
  2. You have to get really clear on what you want, what you believe, and what your expectations are around work.
  3. Most people who are rich concentrate on value distribution and most people who are productive concentrate on value creation.
    • If you want to be productive and rich, you need to concentrate on both at the same time.
  4. Every deal that you enter into has an allocation of money, decisions that are being made, and then, if there’s a benefit, how does the benefit gets distributed.
    • If you know what you’re doing and can understand a deal in those terms, you can realize your worth.
    • You can trade hours for dollars, or you can get paid for performance-if you perform well, you get paid.

Actionable Items for Career-Planning

  1. Stever recommends making three lists.
    • One list of skills, one list of relationships, and one list of beliefs.
    • Draw a vertical line down the middle of each page and on the left-hand column, write ‘I have these.’
    • On the right-hand column, write ‘I need these.’
  2. Make a list of the skills that you have and what skills that you need to acquire to be successful.
    • For beliefs, you can look into self-help and listen to interviews with people who you admire.
    • When you catch yourself thinking things like, ‘I could never do that.’ That is going to go into the ‘I need this belief’ column.
    • While you go through relationships, put together a networking agenda for yourself.

Setting Priorities

  1. There is no such thing as a priority-there are things that you’re going to do at the end of the day and things you aren’t.
  2. The only things worth doing are things that will take you closer to the goals that you have.
  3. That also includes your personal goals, and the things that you love about life.
  4. Be a ruthless filter of incoming tasks that are relative to what your real goals are.

Links & Resources Mentioned

Get-It-Done Guy’s Podcast
It Takes a Lot More Than Attitude… to Lead a Stellar Organization
Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More
Work Less and Do More: The Musical
Bill Donius on The Optimized Geek
Chloe Spencer on Marketing Speak
Livescribe Pen
Stever Robbins Career Plan
Email Stever
Stever Robbins

Get Optimized!

  1. Are you creating a lot of excuses around a subject? Do you have negative feelings towards something? You may want to use NLP techniques to change your beliefs around those topics.
  2. Create a life map: When a new obligation comes in, ask yourself “Where in this map does it go?” If you can’t find a place that it goes in the map, say no to it.
  3. Get Stever’s PDF worksheet with the career planning exercise at SteverRobbins.com/careerplan.

Thank you for listening!

As always, thank you for tuning in. Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it!

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