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Setting Standards

Unlocking Your Growth Mindset

You may have heard me say it a time or two: we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. What you do with those seconds is totally up to you. You can spend them slaving away at a job you hate. You can sit on the couch with pizza in hand and watch daytime television while other people work. Heck, you could buy a one-way ticket to Nepal and climb Mount Everest. The possibilities are endless.

For Adam Hergenrother, CEO of the Adam Hergenrother Companies, none of the above apply (don’t count him out on Everest, though). Adam’s day begins at 3:45 with 20 minutes of meditation, followed by at least two hours of training for his Ironman competitions. He gets home, spends some time with his wife and kids, and starts his workday around 8:00. After a day of switching between his professional and personal lives, Adam takes the time to write in four different journals about gratitude, his wife, his children, and more.

If your jaw dropped and you said “Wowza!”, you’re not alone. Adam’s routine is so impressive I can feel my thighs burning from just hearing about how much he bikes. He’s obviously not your typical CEO, but what is it that keeps him going? It’s come up in both of Adam’s Onward Nation episodes (which you can listen to here and here), but it’s worth revisiting: Adam has a personal growth mindset.

There’s no miracle pill for success, and Adam knows that better than anyone. He approaches each of his days with the goal of getting 1% better in all aspects of life. Spiritual growth drives him to continuously disrupt himself and, as he puts it, “fail forward”. He reminds us of what the great Tony Robbins once said: “Success without fulfillment is failure.”

With that in mind, Adam delivers the knockout punch on his mindset: embrace the truth that you’ll die someday. By accepting death, you make your life more precious. You take risks. You’re less afraid to fail, and when you do, you learn from it and have a return on that failure. We all get one shot at this life. There’s no time to waste doing things you don’t find fulfilling because you’re afraid of screwing up.

All of these things will lead to a better quality of life for you and inspire those around you. This dovetails right into Adam’s next point about mentorship: ask the right questions. To be the best mentor, you need to know what the people around you want. You can only accomplish this by asking quality questions, and the best people for asking quality questions are people with quality lives. Is it clear yet how important quality of life is?

While your own growth mindset is vital, it’s just as necessary to surround yourself with people who will share that mindset. Adam puts it this way: he doesn’t have to hold his employees accountable, because he hires accountable people. What a concept, right? Hiring the right people, people who will grow with you, bring a positive attitude, and put their noses to the grindstone, is the biggest key to a successful organization.

As soon as you have these standards in place, Adam’s next advice is this: fire yourself. Your life as a professional and as a person will become infinitely simpler when you accept that you can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything. Trust yourself. Trust the crazy awesome people you’ve hired. Together with your team, approach every challenge with gusto, grace, and a growth mindset. No matter what you come across, failure or success, Adam and I know it’ll be a win for you in the end.

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