Focus On This Podcast

100. Podcast Party: Our 100th Episode + Listener Wins



You’re using the Full Focus Planner and listening to the podcast. You’ve made strides in your own productivity and want to share the excitement and hear how the community has been learning and growing and winning as well! 

This week, Courtney, Blake, and Verbs celebrate the 100th episode of Focus on This and discuss the biggest lessons they’ve learned along the way. They listen to wins listeners have had and share various ways the Full Focus System can change your life and help you achieve the Double Win. 

In this episode, you’ll discover how the Full Focus System can help you—

  • Become more efficient and effective today and long-term
  • Undertake a big change and see exponential results
  • Become more involved as a parent and a partner
  • Get better results and better rest

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Episode Transcript

Courtney: Hey, guys! Courtney here. Today’s episode is really a special one, and because it is special, we are going to be giving away some “Happy Monday” tee shirts as part of this episode. We have hidden a secret word later in the episode for you to find and then use it to enter to win one of those shirts. Make sure you listen to the full episode to find out all the details on how you can win our exclusive “Happy Monday” shirt.

Verbs: Welcome to another episode of Focus on This, the most productive podcast on the Internet, so you can banish distractions, get the right stuff done, and finally start loving Mondays. I’m Verbs, here with Courtney Baker and Blake Stratton. Happy Monday, y’all.

Courtney: Happy 100.

Verbs: Yes.

Blake: The 100th Monday?

Courtney: Yes, the 100th Monday.

Blake: Wow. This is our 100th episode.

Courtney: Guys, I kind of… How did we make it this far? I mean, honestly.

Blake: I don’t know. I owe you so much money, though. I didn’t think we’d make it past 17 episodes. That was kind of my over/under.

Verbs: One hundred is a lot of episodes when you started zero, and we’re at 100.

Courtney: It is. Do y’all feel like… I still feel like a novice at this whole podcasting thing. Like, this is just something we’re testing out, but then when you stop to think about 100 episodes, that’s a long time that we’ve been podcasting together.

Verbs: It is long when you consider… I think, Nick, you might have mentioned this stat. When somebody starts a podcast for the first time, there are a number of episodes that they usually make it to before it just falls off and kersplats. It was like eight to ten episodes, and then after that, folks just… There’s no momentum; they lose it. Is that true, or am I lying?

Nick: It’s something like that. It is shocking how few people make it past ten, so to be at our point…

Verbs: We’re at 100, so we’re well past that.

Blake: I think what you’re trying to say is we’re 10 times better than every other podcast. That’s what I’m… Reading in between the lines, that’s what I’m hearing.

Verbs: 10x, baby, 10x.

Courtney: 10x. What I hear you saying is we are real legit podcasters, right? Like, we podcast. That’s what we do, guys.

Verbs: That is what we do. I mean, remember when we made the charts? We made the podcast charts in the… I don’t know. Was it the business management category at one point? So we’re a chart-topping podcast, to be more specific.

Courtney: Yeah, we are and have been from the get-go and continue to be on the top of the charts, which is still really a strange phenomenon in my head, because I don’t know what your mental approach is to this, but I like to think that we’re just sitting on here having conversations. I don’t know. It’s like we’re taking a break from our normal jobs to just chat, and then it just so happens that people get access to this chat occasionally.

Blake: Probably 50 to 60 percent of what I say on this podcast has been edited out, which is I think the number one reason we’ve made it to 100 episodes. Because Nick’s editing skills of what I’ve said.

Verbs: You could probably take all of that content and create a whole new podcast just with Blake’s outtakes on this and see how it goes.

Blake: Focus on This After Dark.

Verbs: As we mentioned, we’re 100 episodes in, and today, we want to celebrate by taking a look at some of your wins, the ways you’ve been transformed and your life has benefited from some of these productivity tips that we’ve been giving. But before we do, I have two questions. First, what have you loved most about being a part of the Focus on This team? Second, what have you learned over the course of our recordings together? Any pivotal moments or monumental moments within these 100 episodes?

Courtney: I think there are a lot of things, and I wish what I’m about to say was more measurable. First of all, just doing this podcast brought more awareness to my own planner usage and how I was using the tool and really examining that on a more ongoing basis, because I was always thinking about it like, “Oh, how could we share about XYZ?” As well as just things that I experimented with, because I thought, “Oh, this might be an interesting thing for people listening. This might be something that Verbs and Blake have tried.”

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to quantify how producing this podcast has increased my own productivity. That extra bed of accountability… It’s not accountability, but it is, you know? It’s like, “Hey, I’m going to be coming and talking about how I use the planner.” I think, even if it increased my productivity by five percent over the course of two years, I think that’s a lot of gains that I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to know that I know that it has happened.

I also would say in 2020, I think, personally, as my circle really shrank, there were very few people I was connecting with. It was always nice to be with you two. I really genuinely enjoy all three of you, Nick included. Actually, I should tell everybody listening… Nick and I, our birthdays are super close, and so usually any of my references, Nick usually gets them even when Verbs and Blake don’t. I think you all remember a couple of weeks… Actually, Nick, you didn’t say if you’ve watched Friends.

Nick: I did not. But I usually… I’m with you as a fellow Xennial. Is that what we are?

Courtney: Yes. Something like that. We’re the Oregon Trail generation. We’re like Grandpa/Grandma millennials. You know, we’re just right there. So we usually get each other’s references. But I really, truly just enjoy you both as people. I love… Y’all make me laugh. I just have fun doing this podcast with y’all. I think especially in 2020, it was a highlight to get to connect with y’all when, honestly, I wasn’t getting to do that with a lot of other people.

Nick: You need to respond by saying nice things to Courtney.

Blake: Oh, right, right, right, right, right.

Verbs: Moving along…

Courtney: I’m sorry. Are you having to be coached right now on how…?

Verbs: She just poured her heart out.

Courtney: I’m the one who’s not supposed to be emotional. Like I’m like shooting it straight. You’re always the one who says, “Let’s talk about emotion; let’s dive deep.” I say the very kind thing, and you’re like, “Oh.” Someone has to tell you to say, “Tell Courtney you like her.”

Blake: The thing that stands out… I know we did this for a while before the pandemic, but sustaining this show through all the closet recordings, the literal closet recordings, I think, for me was a lesson in the power of consistency, because we still get new listeners to the show. A lot of people who listen to the show never heard us when we were recording in person. I think that’s something that stands out to me.

A lot of what we talk about, I think, is, “Hey, today (this week, this quarter) in our planner has a quarterly focus, but I think the pure duration of this has been a lesson on productivity that we don’t talk a ton about but is sort of the power of the long game and staying consistent with something through thick and through thin through a good microphone and through AirPod-in-the-closet level recordings. I think that’s kind of what sticks with me. I’ve done podcasts of various kinds before this, but none got into the trips digits, so that’s pretty cool.

Courtney: Yeah.

Verbs: I think, for me, one of the things that I love most about being a part of Focus on This is, again, thinking back 100 episodes ago, day one of starting this journey, because I don’t think until we got on this podcast… Obviously, we might have seen each other in the office and had some conversation, but this actually helped us develop conversation and get to know each other a little bit better as Courtney mentioned.

I’ve just been, man, excited. First, to get to work this podcast with the you all just because you guys are sharp individuals; I love hearing your insights in regard to how the planner and the functionality of the planner really overlays what you do in life with your families and all of that. So I’m constantly learning something from you guys, just your wisdom in the roles that you play here at the company and how that all feeds into what makes it into the shows. Thank you all for that. It’s been an honor and it’s been great working with you.

Secondly, I kind of look at anything that you commit to or anything I would commit to, I always want there to be an element of transformation that’s involved in it. So the other encouraging thing that makes this fun and exciting for me to do is hearing the stories. Remember when we used to have callers call in all the time, and we kind of had that planner counseling kind of session, then see those people comment in the community of the adjustments they’ve made and how much they were able to learn from those tips?

Just transformational moments that are being captured not only there in that community, but we hear stories all the time, whether it be through a review of the podcast. That helps me just stay focused, no pun intended, on what we can do every episode, and it keeps the excitement going. Yeah, just those transformational stories. I always love hearing those, because it’s outside of the fun we have here, and it’s like, “Oh, yeah, people’s lives are actually being changed by us talking about how to use these planners in a more effective way.” I think we should celebrate that as well.

Courtney: Absolutely.

Nick: Hey, everybody. It’s Producer Nick right here. I just wanted to pop in and say, number one, thanks for listening to 100 episodes of Focus on This. Thanks for supporting the show. We love making it. And number two, we’ve actually never made a show like this, but we tried really, really hard to get everyone scheduled to line up for this 100th episode, but summer schedules are kind of crazy at Michael Hyatt & Co., and so, since Verbs is on sabbatical for all of July, and we didn’t want to interrupt that, he was only able to record a short segment, which was the first segment of this weeks ago. Now we’re going to hear Blake and Courtney responding to listener calls. So don’t be confused. Verbs didn’t fall away from the microphone. He’s there. He’s relaxing, hopefully, with his family and resting. Just wanted to let you know so you weren’t confused. All right. Enjoy the rest of the show.

Blake: All right, now we’re going to do something that is maybe my favorite part of this podcast, which is getting to share just a few examples of the wins that you, our amazing listeners, are getting, by using the Full Focus System, utilizing your planner. Ultimately, we do this podcast, not to just talk about tools, but to help you win at work and succeed in your own life, to get what we call the double win.

That’s what it’s all about, ultimately, and getting feedback from you and hearing these. We hear this all the time from our clients to our Facebook group to our Compass community. We’ve selected just a handful to share with you here. Some folks were generous enough to sort of not call in, but I guess the 2021 equivalent of calling into the radio show, where you leave a recorded voicemail of sorts for the podcast. So Courtney, are you excited to hear some of these wins?

Courtney: I am. You and I have not heard these, so I’m really excited to hear.

Dave Mikesell: My name is Dave Mikesell from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. One of the things I have achieved in my role as a middle high school principal when using the Full Focus Planner is staying super organized. Previous to this, I used a bunch of Google Keeps to keep track of all the different lists going on. It became way too much. In my role, I get dragged in way too many directions. The Full Focus Planner, focusing on the Daily 3, keeping those goals all lined up, really significantly changed how I approach my work and made work way more efficient and way more productive throughout, not just the day, but the long-term goals as well. I’ve tried some other planners, but they haven’t worked as effectively in this role as the Full Focus Planner. I recommend it to every single educational principal out there.

Blake: Well, what I know about Dave is that this last year has been an exciting one, to put it lightly. I’ve never met him, but I’ve talked to plenty of folks in education and from administrators to teachers to principals, like Dave, and 2020 to 2021 was not an easy year. If there was ever a year where you would feel really overwhelmed and kind of out of control, it would be a year with the pandemic.

So, props and congrats to you, Dave, for not just letting those things go. It sounds like you’re really committed to this system. We believe in these tools, but at the end of the day, it’s you using the tools that is the real magic. So congrats to you. Well done on getting organized and finding that peaceful, more calm, more effective process for what I’m sure was a wild year.

Courtney: So, Blake, what I love… I feel like there are certain industries (like teachers, principals, administrators) that love the planner, you know? There are just certain industries you just feel like have a more natural affinity, and I feel like the education sector is one of those. But what’s so exciting for me about hearing Dave’s story is, as an educator, it’s built in that you’re impacting people’s lives. That is just part of your everyday work.

It’s so encouraging to me, even if we get to play just like a tiny little piece in helping people in education be just a tiny bit more effective. Even that has transformative ripple effects into the world. I mean, gosh, what an honor and how exciting that is to be a part of. Yeah. Sorry, I’m getting a little… I’m trying not to lean into my Four-Wing here, Blake. Did you know I have a Four-Wing?

Blake: Shut those feelings down. Don’t you dare bring that into the workplace.

Courtney: Get out of here.

Blake: Let’s hear another win. What’s next?

Davis Younts: My name is Attorney Davis Younts from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Since I started using the system, I’ve started my own law firm, and we’ve seen our revenue increase by 100 percent on a year average. It’s been a fantastic tool for us. We love it. We keep using it. I’ve even started using it with my elder team at church. Thanks for all you do.

Courtney: What? I love that.

Blake: NBD. That is a pretty big win, I would say. I hear stuff like that a lot from our clients, but I love hearing it from folks who are just using the planner and seeing really high leverage stuff happen. I mean, he shared two things. One, he said he started his law firm, so if you’re listening and there is a big undertaking, or a wouldn’t-it-be-nice lifestyle change or career change you want to make, this planner is a great tool to have in your toolset as you attempt to do that. Congrats to you, Davis, for that achievement and then for (it sounds like) bringing your whole team on board and along for the ride to accomplish some big things together. That’s really cool.

Courtney: Yeah, I love that. I love when people are really bought in and that this tool is really working for them when they tell other people about it, you know, when they’re getting whole teams of people. A really good friend of mine who is an ER doctor here in town got all the other ER doctors using the Full Focus Planner, because she was like, “Hey, I think this could really help us.” I think that’s when you really see the power of this tool in someone’s life, when they’re advocating for whole departments and teams to come on board. It sounds like he’s even bringing the elders at his church, which is awesome.

Blake: Great. Well, we’ve got time for one more win that we can listen to in this episode, so let’s hear from Sophie.

Sophie: Hi, this is Sophie from Stockholm, Sweden. I started listening to the podcast in fall of 2019. When my company was going through an extensive overhaul, I purchased the Full Focus Planner. Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive in time for January 2020, but I got it in February. I’m so grateful that I got it at that time right at the bubble of COVID here in Europe. It’s really helped me throughout this terrible journey.

Three big professional wins: I stop on time; I don’t work like a crazy person anymore. I’ve also expanded our programs into five additional countries during COVID crisis, and I’m really dialed into delivering the best to my clients and my colleagues alike. Personally, I’m more relaxed as a parent and as a partner. I invest my time more and more into projects that make me happy and self-development. My priorities are right.

Basically, since I started with the Full Focus Planner in February 2019, I get more holiday. I get better results, better rest. I fall asleep faster. I have happier colleagues, and I’ve been promoted to CEO of my company. This would not have been possible without your help. Thanks so much.

Blake: Just toss that in right there at the end. “Oh, um, gosh, there was one more thing. Oh, right. I was promoted to CEO.” Wow! That is amazing.

Courtney: That is amazing. Oh, my gosh! I mean, that is like… First of all, there are a lot of things I love about that success story. I think a lot of times… Blake, I don’t know about you, but I always think people use the planner and then listen to our podcast. This one person listened to our podcast and then bought the planner.

Blake: The one person.

Courtney: Look at us.

Blake: Yeah, that’s really cool. I think what I love most about Sophie’s story is it illustrates something I’ve talked about when I’ve done trainings on the Full Focus System to either our clients or teams, which is this concept of second- and third-order consequences. In other words, if I do this one thing, then that means this other thing happens, which means this other thing happens, which means this other thing happens. That’s such a critical concept when you think about planning your day.

It may seem small. It may seem trivial. It may seem like not big enough to do a Daily Big 3, for instance. But for Sophie, that meant, “Hey, I am stopping on time,” and she’s able to stop on time because she’s gotten the most important stuff done, which means she’s working less, which means she’s sleeping better, which means she has more energy for the next day. When she has more energy, she’s more effective at her job, which then resulted in more effectiveness for the whole company. Eventually that effectiveness was recognized and got her promoted.

By the way, those same actions led to her being able to be more present with her family and the emotional and relational benefits. You know there are multiple… I think about this a lot as a dad, the second- and third-order consequences of my own stress or my own peace. So when I think, “Hey, do I want to take time to do a workday shut down?” I think about what happens if my daughter gets a totally attentive unplugged version of me when I get home from work? What are the consequences after that multiplied by days, weeks, months, and years of her life? It’s dramatic.

That’s what I see in Sophie’s story, just all kinds of benefits. It sounds like there’s no area of her life that was left untouched from the benefits of the system, which is exactly what we want.

Courtney: Yeah. Okay, so it would not be a celebration without some gifts, so to round out this really special episode, we wanted to give away 10 free “Happy Monday” tee shirts. These are exclusive. No one has these, not even Blake, Nick, or me. No one has these shirts. These are exclusive to this giveaway. I mean, I want one, just for the record. Right, Blake? You and I want one.

Blake: Oh, yeah, I’m entering the giveaway for sure.

Courtney: Oh, good. Okay, yeah. So here’s how you can enter to win one of these tee shirts: Go to the Full Focus Planner Community on Facebook and find the pinned post for this giveaway. You’ll fill out the form, and you’re going to use the code word “100 Happy Mondays.” We will choose 10 winners and send a free tee shirt to your doorstep. If you want to take a picture and show it off on social media, please do that and use #fullfocusplanner.

Blake: Amazing. Amazing. A hundred episodes of Focus on This. That’s basically two years’ worth, just shy of two years running, which is pretty cool. It started out (as a lot of things do at Michael Hyatt & Co.) as an experiment, and really, the momentum that it’s gained is entirely because of you, our beloved listeners.

Thank you so much for encouraging us, for listening to what we had to share, and maybe most importantly for taking these tools that we’ve been sharing in these tips and applying them to your lives and seeing those benefits and making them your own. It’s inspiring to us to watch you try these things out, making your own, and having success with it. Thank you so much to you listening.

Courtney, we also have to give a thank you to the man, the myth, the legend, who is not here for this closing portion of the episode. I’m talking, of course, about the V to the E to the R to the B. His name is Verbs. V to the E to the R to the B. I just made that up. You can put a beat behind that just so that sounds cool.

Courtney: Yeah, that’s good. Now, Verbs is such an integral part of our team. Gosh, I know, we’ve talked about this before, but it would not be the same show without Verbs, who started off as our producer, and we stole him over to our side to be one of the hosts. Blake, can we also thank three other really important people who have been a part of this journey?

Blake: Yeah.

Courtney: First, I think we should thank…

Blake: Me.

Courtney: You. No.

Blake: Yeah, I was going to say the same thing.

Courtney: When we started this podcast, we had two really important writers who are part of this team who, honestly, none of this would be possible without them. Larry, on our team, really helped us launch this podcast and was such a good shepherd for us. He had worked with the Lead to Win team for a really long time, and he had the two of us. Blake, I think you had a lot more experience than I had. Larry was so great at just coaching me and encouraging me still to this day. He is just such a great encourager for me. I appreciate him so much.

Blake: Yeah, thank you to Larry. Thank you also to Hannah, who has been, I mean, gosh, just an absolute baller in terms of helping create this content and queuing us up for success. So much of the great insightful questions or concepts, episode themes, stuff from you (the listeners). I mean, Hannah has really been a driving force and helpful for that, so big thanks to her.

Courtney: Our other person who I really want us to thank is Nick, our producer, who is just amazing and has spent so many hours listening to this podcast. He jumps in here every once in a while, but man, Blake, does he really put up with a lot of craziness from the two of us.

Blake: Yeah. Just for you listening, the average length of the episode we record is about 7 hours and 48 minutes, and Nick is able to trim that down to a mere 20 to 22 minutes every week, so no small feat. Nick, get on the mic.

Nick: No one has heard as many mouth sounds and restarts. No one has heard the depth of these edits, which of course… Look, you guys started off… It’s been a journey. This is such a fun show. It’s so fun to hear the wins from people. It is an honor to get to spend these virtual times or in-person times with y’all. I say this all the time. The last thing I did before the pandemic was really going was sit in a room with Blake and Courtney as we processed the changing world together. So it’s nice to celebrate 100 as hopefully we enter into another phase of this. So congratulations, you two. And congratulations to Verbs. Let’s get out of here. Let’s do this.

Courtney: Thanks, Nick.

Blake: Awesome. Well, thank you all for joining us for the first 100 episodes of Focus on This. We hope you stick around for a few more. Just one or two more, I guess.

Courtney: We just one or two. That’s all we want. All right. This is the most productive podcast on the Internet, so please share it with your friends. Remember to join our Full Focus Community on Facebook. One, so you can win that awesome tee shirt, and also so you can benefit from the learning and encouragement of Full Focus Planner users around the globe. We’ll be here next week with another great episode Until then…

All: Stay focused.