Be A Sponge: What Do You Do With Your 1 Inch? | Darren LaCroix

Be A Sponge: What Do You Do With Your 1 Inch?

By Patti Marler | Master Public Speaking

Why do we stop doing what works? Do you ever look back at some of your successes and ask yourself “How did that really happen?” Something worked. Something you did got you there. Some strategy you learned and actions you took ended up yielding the results you wanted. Strategy without action yields nothing. Actions without the right strategy leaves you tired and frustrated and does not get you the result you want. Remember the number 168.

We all need reminders from time to time. You are probably familiar with my mantra, “Stage time, stage time, stage time”. If you want the result of being a powerful presenter, we know that the more we get on stage, the more we will grow and learn from that experience. We logically know that experience is the best teacher, but many of us don’t want to go to school. Remember the number 168.

Question: What do you want your life or career to look like one year from now? Your business? Personal life? Maybe it’s to double your income? Present to thousands and have them love you? Want to write a book? Seriously, what would it look like? Take a second to visualize it before you read on. Got it? Hope so. This directly relates to your 168.

OK, how do we get there? I remember early in my comedy career hearing a story about Jay Leno. He was approached by a star stuck wannabe comedian who asked him for advice. Jay asked the wannabe comedian how often he got on stage. Mr. Wannabe proudly replied with “sometimes once, sometimes twice a month”. Jay said, “Great! At that rate in five years you should have five minutes of good material.” Ouch. What was Jay saying? That the new comedian just isn’t going to get enough experience to grow enough. He’s a hobbyist. The 168 will make sense soon, hold tight.

You probably know my speaking story, but you may not know this one –which has nothing to do with speaking. Back in 2009 I hired a marketing consultant to help me get my message to the masses. I invested $5,000 for his coaching. The first thing he told me to do was to put a video up on this new platform called YouTube, which I never heard of at that point. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I paid for his advice, so I should probably follow it. So, as an over achiever I uploaded three videos on YouTube and washed my hands in the air and said, “Done. OK, what’s next?”

Mr. Consultant said, “No! Not just three videos. Make it a habit. Get one new one up a week.” Create one video a week? OK, it did not make sense at the time, but it is so clear to me now. It frustrates me when I see other people act as I had back in 2009.

Back then I had no idea what I was doing. Check this pic out. This is one of my early videos when I knew nothing about lighting and video cameras were not as simple as they are today. Now you can pull out your smart phone, aim and press record and boom you have a video.  Back then it was more challenging. 

What’s the 168 got to do with you? Everything. They are 168 hours in your week. Every week. You get the same as me. Picture a rope 168 inches long with little blue lines every inch. Each hour of your life equals one inch on that rope. What if you labeled each inch of your week with a 1 inch colored label? Picture your dream productivity as 1 inch red labels. Would you see much red?

How many hours in your week are you learning a new insights or strategies that will help you get to your goal a year from now? How many hours a week are you actually executing on that strategy? We all seem to do something with our 168. We take time to be on Facebook, Netflix and other unproductive things. Yup, they may be fun, but are they getting you to your vision? Take inventory on your week, you are the CEO of your vision. What if you employed the strategy of “NOT UNTIL.” I will enjoy ___________, but not until I put in an hour or more of my 168 learning a strategy and, or executing. I suggest a 1:3 ration, 1 part learning, 3 parts executing. Without that executing experience you won’t truly internalize the new learning. You won’t be able to multiply your efforts from last week.

The image I showed you above was not the worst. Check this out. This is scary. Yikes! Who would want to learn from that guy about the business of speaking? (That image may have inspired the Blair Witch Project Movie.) Because of that experience I learned about thumbnail pics. I learned that you can upload your own or choose one of the three random ones YouTube chooses for you. If you don’t choose, YouTube has to pick one. It may be a scary one like mine.  

What are my results? Well, I had actually made it a plan to get up one video a day. I missed my actual goal, but I did execute a lot and now I have over 1,300 videos on YouTube helping people with their challenges and bringing me business. Those videos have brought me over 3.2 Million views and 13,674 subscribers. My number one way I get clients is from my newsletter. The number two way is via YouTube. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying this inspire you to get real about your important goals. Habits work for you. It worked with stage time and it worked getting out there on YouTube. 

Hear is the bonus cool part for experts and presenters. The more experience we get along the way, the better teachers we become. The more examples we have from our own experience the more we can truly help others. When something doesn’t work, cool! It is a lesson to teach others what not to do! That is why you don’t see me teaching Facebook or Twitter strategies. Though I may have a presence there I do not have my “inches” in to teach others. I have not mastered it to a level where I can teach it. That is why I do teach on YouTube.

I forget what works sometimes. When I created a speech about this very subject, The 1 Inch Habit, it kicked my own butt. You and I need to go back to what works. Getting clear. Get the proven strategies. Execute on those strategies. Repeat.

OK, it is about to get real. Patricia Fripp brilliantly says, “Tell me what you say you want. Show me one week of your life and we will both know if you will achieve it.”


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Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time,

Darren LaCroix, AS, CSP

World Champion of Public Speaking

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