PPI #7: Some Retreat, Others Advance



  • What happens to your dreams and goals in uncertain times? When things don't go to plan it's easy to retreat. Some withdraw into distraction, or mind-numbing entertainment but others press on, making the most of the situation.

  • Perhaps those that advance look for opportunities to develop their business in a new way, or support clients differently. Perhaps they decide to learn that skill they've been putting off, or complete that course they've always thought of doing.

  • When the pandemic hit, I lost a number of coaching clients and knew I had to do something. I’d never run a virtual event before but when I came up with the idea for Wartime CEO I created a page, set a date and started taking registrations. The content was developed just-in-time by asking participants what they wanted.

  • The event was a huge success and received excellent feedback as well as generating new coaching clients for my business. Any fears I'd had initially...
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PPI #6: What's Your Purpose in Life?



  • Some of the questions I get the most with my coaching clients are around purpose, like "What should I be doing with my life? Where should I be going? Am I doing the right things?"

  • When I look back at my own life, if somebody were to have told me 20 years ago, that I would have gone from McKinsey to Skype, from CEO of Chilango to becoming a high performance coach, I would have laughed. But through that journey, I've developed a unique approach to help people find purpose

  • One tool to help you find your purpose is to write down all the things you’d possibly like to do and then rank them from 1-10 across these 5 dimensions: 
    1) How much would you love doing this? 2) How skilled are you at this?
    3) How much does the world need this? 4) How much would this challenge you?
    5) Will this help you fulfil your life goals?

  • To live the life that only you can live you need to break out of the fixed mindset and adopt a growth mindset. A...
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PPI #5: Achieve 80% of the Results with 20% of the Effort



  • In business and life you can’t focus on everything but most people try to do it all when trying to reach their goals. I used to do this too, putting in long hours, day after day, without being truly effective. 
  • The good news is that it’s often 20% of the effort that drives 80% of the results - this is what the 80/20 Rule tells us. The key is to find those high leverage activities and focus on them relentlessly. 
  • The 80:20 Rule can be applied across all the different areas of your life - I applied this strategy to my Mexican restaurant chain Chilango with some amazing results by zeroing in on the crucial 20% of ingredients needed to drive 80% of the flavour in our food
  • Imagine you’re working on a project that, if completed 100%, will take 5 hours and create $500 of value but if you take one hour and focus on the most important things, you’ll create $400 of value. If you do that across 5 different projects,...
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PPI #4: How to Separate Work from Home



  • Do you struggle to switch-off from "work mode" and switch-on into "home mode"? Separating our work and home lives can be tough, especially when there's always so much to do, but unless you make a change, your work and relationships will continue to suffer.

  • I used to struggle with this too, often working late into the night until I implemented a Shutdown Ritual, a habit I picked up from Cal Newport's incredible book, Deep Work, this is unlikely to change.

  • Your shutdown ritual is a static appointment that goes into your calendar Monday-Friday, which marks the end of your work day and the beginning of your home life.

  • There are 5 things you want to incorporate in your shutdown ritual, which should be added to the block in your calendar: 1) Check your email 2) Check tomorrow's calendar 3) Update your to-do list 4) Pick your top 3 tasks for the next day 5) Add those top 3 items to the white space in your day  

  • The benefits of having a...
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PPI #3: Add 13 Weeks to Your Life Every Year



  • According to research presented in the book The One Thing, the average person loses 28% of their work day to "multi-tasking ineffectiveness". Apply that 28% daily loss to 46 working weeks and you've lost 13 weeks, every single year!

  • It's no wonder people feel behind and over-worked. Instead of playing the game with 4 quarters per year, they're trying to do it in 3. The key to getting that quarter back is simple - you just need to focus on single-tasking, instead of multi-tasking

  • To implement single-tasking properly, you first need to know what you should be working on. The best time to do this is the night before so try picking out your top 3 tasks for the next day, when you stop working.

  • You’ll also need to create time blocks throughout your day where you only focus on those critical tasks, without being interrupted by meetings, phone calls or other distractions.

  • The final thing to do is to use a good old-fashioned time sheet to track your...

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PPI #2: Eliminate Procrastination with 1 Sentence



  • Have you ever sat down to work, knowing exactly what you need to do, only to procrastinate your day away and still fail to get it done? I used to be a terrible procrastinator until I discovered how the root of my problems was in the way I talked to myself.
  • When we procrastinate on a task we often have negative self-talk running in the background along the lines of ‘I have to do this’ or “I should do this’.
  • This negative self talk creates resistance and the antidote to that is procrastination which gives you the temporary relief of escaping that discomfort.
  • Instead, the next time you’re procrastinating, say to yourself ‘I choose to start for just 5 minutes’ – this is an idea from Neil Fiore’s excellent book the Now Habit, which encourages us to switch the negative self talk we often use for positive language of choice
  • The beauty of this phrase is it simultaneously makes the task less imposing and reduces...
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PPI #1: Personal Stories from the Trenches



  • All of the great successes I’ve achieved in my career and life have been the result of time spent in the trenches fielding challenges, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing - but always bouncing back stronger.
  • For this first episode of the podcast I reflect on some of the key moments that have changed the course of my life and give you some practical takeaways for each of them.
  • Story 1: When I was 10, I sold 20 boxes of candy to win the prize of a BMX bicycle. That bike became my prized possession because I’d got it through grit, determination and hard work. This was when I first learned the value of getting in the trenches.
  • Story 2: When a professor mentioned McKinsey in college, I became determined to get a job there. From networking my way to the knowledge I needed to obsessively preparing myself for interview I ended up getting in, earning one of 22 positions from 2,000 applications. I was one of only two people not to come from an...
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Productivity Principles

productivity Jun 12, 2020


Today I’d like to offer you a productivity technique that’s had a tremendous impact for me — and for the CEOs and entrepreneurs that I coach.

Changing Your Identity

Hard-working entrepreneurs often try to create more hours in their day by trimming away sleep time. 

I did it for years. I told myself, “I don’t need eight hours of sleep. I need seven or six.” Maybe you’ve told yourself the same thing.

The problem, according to the National Institute of Health, is that a full night’s sleep is vital for clear thinking.

“Studies show that people who are taught mentally challenging tasks do better after a good night’s sleep. Other research suggests that sleep is needed for creative problem-solving.”

“Cutting back by even 1 hour can make it tough to focus the next day and can slow your response time. Studies also find that when you lack sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more...

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The Power of Identity

leadership Jun 12, 2020


In the days, weeks, and months following my near heart attack, I went into a bit of an identity crisis.

I knew who I was. I knew who I wanted to be. And I also knew there was a disconnect between the two.

Once I discovered the importance of recovery and the impact it has on growth, I knew that I needed to make changes in my life. I realized that I needed to become more rounded, dedicating more time to my health and relationships.

It was during this time that I began to recognize the power of identity. Little did I know that we have the power to choose our identities. That’s right determining who you want to be, and changing it, is entirely up to you.

Changing Your Identity

There’s a misconception that change takes time. People believe that it takes three, five, ten years to improve. Perhaps this comes from a deep-rooted fear of change. 

As Psychology Today states, “We fear change because we can’t anticipate the outcome.” In fact, a ...

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Applying the 3 Alarms

productivity Jun 12, 2020

A subscriber recently wrote to tell me how one of my techniques has changed his life. I’d like to share his story with you.

Patrick is the CEO of a company that does 100 million a year in sales. He’s been reading my newsletter and we did one of my free insight sessions together. 

Patrick writes, “Eric, I’ve had incredible results with creating my own Three Alarms. Let me tell you what I did…” 

The Three Alarms

He’s talking about the technique I share in my upcoming book, The Three Alarms.  

The Three Alarms is a practical method for closing the gap between who you are and who you’re capable of being on the work, health, and home fronts.

I set three daily alarms that assign a “best self” identity to each segment of my day.

  • 6:30 am: a World Fitness Champion alarm reminds me to show up at the gym as that version of myself.
  • 9:00 am: the World’s Best Ceo alert prompts me to bring my highest...
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