Alissa is a Certified Strengths Strategy coach who loves working with married business partners. Her clients achieve their business goals while enriching their relationships through understanding, embracing, and applying each person’s unique strengths. She’s also the author of What Competition? Setting Yourself Apart so that Your Competition is Irrelevant.
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- Asana – Alissa’s small business resource
- The Alchemist – Alissa’s Top Business Book
- What Competition? – Alissa’s New Book
- Daire2Succeed – Alissa’s website
- The Mastery Journal – Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
3 Key Points:
- Two thirds of our weaknesses are just misapplied strengths.
- Focus is zeroing in on one goal until you achieve it.
- It takes discipline to achieve success.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:11] – Alissa is a wife and a mom of two girls, ages 9 and 10
- [01:33] – She coaches gymnastics for 4 – 6 year old kids
- [01:45] – JLD talks about how he met Alissa at Podmastery II in Los Angeles
- [03:18] – Alissa’s expertise is being a Strengths Finder coach
- [03:46] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: “Two-thirds of our weaknesses are simply our strengths, misapplied”
- [05:03] – Continue to focus on your known strengths
- [05:37] – Delegate or create systems to support you in the areas where you are not strong
- [06:16] – What was your goal for The Freedom Journal and how did you crush it? Alissa has used The Freedom Journal twice. In 2017, she plans to use it for the third time. Her first goal was to learn how to launch her podcast. Her second goal was becoming an author.
- [08:07] – Have one goal until you achieve success
- [09:20] – “Nothing is unachievable”
- [09:28] – Alissa is excited about her podcast: Maximize Your Strengths
- [09:54] – Alissa benefited from surrounding herself with people greater than herself
- 10:06 – Combo Packs for The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal are available on the Kickstarter campaign!
- [10:38] – How do you define Productivity? “Productivity is simply getting things accomplished – getting things done”
- [11:09] – Keep your goals front and center so you remember their importance
- [12:24] – Set a time to focus and a time to refresh
- [12:58] – How do you define Discipline? “Discipline, to me, is the ability to do what you know needs to be done to move forward with your goals”
- [13:24] – Alissa struggles with getting distracted by new goals
- [14:22] – How do you define FOCUS? “Focus is being able to work on a single thing, a single task, for a designated period of time”
- [14:37] – Alissa works in 25-minute focus sessions
- [15:03] – Her struggle with focus is the “Shiny Object Syndrome”
- 16:01 – Stay Focused blocks other websites
- 16:25 – Inbox Pause holds your new unread messages from coming in
- [17:06] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “It was the fear that I didn’t have anything of value to offer”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Holding back what you have to offer is actually selfish. You owe it to the world to share the best version of you”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “It’s authentic vulnerability”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Asana
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Alchemist
- Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to earth, but you knew no-one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500 dollars. What would you do in the next 7 days? “I would lean into my strengths and I would run Google networking events and I would go meet as many people as possible”
- [19:45] – Lean into your strengths
- 20:03 – Connect with Alissa on Daire2Succeed.com
- 20:16 – Get the first two chapters of Alissa’s new book, What Competition?
Alissa Daire Nelson: John, I am so ready to ignite!
John Lee Dumas: Yes! Alissa is a certified strength strategy coach who loves working with married business partners. Her clients achieve their business goals while enriching their relationships through understanding, embracing, and applying each other's unique strengths. She's also the author of What Competition? Setting Yourself Apart So That Your Competition is Irrelevant. Alissa, or as I like to call you, ADN, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Alissa Daire Nelson: You bet! Well, that about sums up my professional intro. I am also a wife. I'm a mom of two sweet, sweet little girls, one's nine, one's ten, one of which has type-1 diabetes, so that's something I'm also passionate about. I'm someone who has a super deep faith, but I'm also a little bit on the sassy side, so I can kick back a few beers with the best of them. In my spare time, I coach little tiny ones, 4-6 years old, in gymnastics and that is a total joy.
John Lee Dumas: I can vouch, Fire Nation, that Alissa is a little sassy. We got to meet in-person at Podmastery 2 in Los Angeles and we've since hung out since then a few times and different events and stuff. I'm actually really excited, Alissa because you claim you're going to be coming down to Podmastery 3 in Puerto Rico, is that true?
Alissa Daire Nelson: That is more than true! As soon as the date is set, I'm booking my flight.
John Lee Dumas: I love it. Fire Nation, as you may or may not know – you probably do because we've been talking about this for a couple of days now – we are right in the beginning stages of the Mastery Journal Kickstarter launch. What I'm doing here for the next 30 days is I'm bringing on people who have successfully invested in themselves by purchasing the Freedom Journal, and then crushed their Freedom Journal goal in those 100 days. I want to talk about that and kind of go through just the ups, the downs, the struggles, why the Freedom Journal worked, where maybe they found out it wasn't working and they had to make some adjustments, all of that stuff. Then, of course, we're going to be talking about productivity, discipline, and focus in their lives and how they're struggling and/or succeeding in these areas.
First Alissa, before we dive into any of that stuff, I kind of want to hear what you consider your area of expertise in. It's not just me that thinks this but I know Pat Flynn thinks this thanks to a recent little newsletter blast by him on you, and a lot of other people think this. Anybody, in fact, who's been on your show thinks this. Talk to us about your area of expertise and give us a couple of value bombs that we should know in this area that we probably don't.
Alissa Daire Nelson: You bet. I am a strengths finder coach, that's the main profile that I use with my clients, so I'm an expert in that. The strengths finder is rooted in positive psychology and so there are some people who think, “Oh great, yeah, you just focus on people's strengths and that's fantastic, but guess what? There are weaknesses, too, and you have to fix those, as well.” The biggest thing – my biggest value bomb that I would share with you is that 2/3 of our weaknesses are simply our strengths misapplied. Our strengths are a little too loud, let's say. Focusing on your strengths doesn't mean that you're ignoring your weaknesses; it means you get to soar higher with more energy and you're able to now honor and lift others around you who can fill in the gaps, where you are weak.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! Go through that sentence again, that 2/3, that was a fascinating number.
Alissa Daire Nelson: Yeah! It's a super-fascinating statistic. Two-thirds of your weaknesses, the things that show up in your life as a weakness, the things that you think, “You know, I need to fix this,” are just your strengths misapplied. As you strengthen your strengths, your talents, your naturally wired talents, you hone those in and you make them more useful to you. You get to turn them up when they need to be turned up and turn them down when they don't serve you as much.
In doing that, you take care of 2/3 of your weaknesses right there and all you have is 1/3 of them left and you know what? That's why we're in community, that's why we have other people around us.
John Lee Dumas: Actually, we might even disagree on this point on some levels, Alissa, but that 33 percent that you are actually weak in, I actually say a lot, “Hey, why don't we just continue to focus on 1.) Our known strengths. 2.) These 66 percent of what we thought were weaknesses that are now strengths, why don't we just focus on this number, right now, to really amplify where we can crush it.” If we're really weak in something, do we really want to come okay at by spending a lot of time, or do we just want to say, “I want to become the best – “ for instance, “ – strengths coach in the world.” That, I think, is all we have, is time.
Alissa Daire Nelson: I would 100 percent agree with that. Again, that's where you can delegate these things out or create systems to help support you in the ways that you're not strong. Don't put your energy there because it's just gonna suck you dry.
John Lee Dumas: Alissa, you've accomplished a lot since I've met you. I mean, a lot! You've done so many things we could talk for hours about it. You, 1.) Saw the value in focusing on one goal, so you invested in the Freedom Journal, you went through the 100 process – the daily tasks, the nightly recaps, the 10-day sprints, the quarterly views – that whole system that I spent a year creating, you did that. Plus, you were a very valuable, and still are, a valuable part of our Facebook community, etc. What was your goal for the Freedom Journal and specifically, how did you crush it?
Alissa Daire Nelson: I've actually been through the Freedom Journal twice. It's really exciting. I actually just got done with my goal-setting podcast for 2017, we're recording –
John Lee Dumas: Give a quick shout-out, what's the name?
Alissa Daire Nelson: It's gonna be called – my podcast is called Maximize Your Strengths.
John Lee Dumas: Boom!
Alissa Daire Nelson: In 2017, I'm actually doing three Freedom Journals –
John Lee Dumas: Whoa!
Alissa Daire Nelson: – so I'm really excited about that. I did two in 2016, the first of which was to learn how to and launch my podcast. What's interesting is what I learned right away in that Freedom Journal is that you really need just one goal. Really focus in on that one thing. When I started it, I had five and I quickly found out that that was not going to get me to the fastest success, so laid everything else up on a shelf and really honed in and focused on the podcast and crushed it, and still going today. I'm really excited about that.
The second one – I got a lot of confidence going from the first. The second one, I decided I was gonna go really big, and I was gonna become an author.
John Lee Dumas: I love it.
Alissa Daire Nelson: That's where What Competition? Came to be. It's interesting because I am the woman that started a podcast rather than a blog because when I sit down in front of a keyboard, I often freeze!
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, me too.
Alissa Daire Nelson: So for me to go from that to writing a book was giant. I learned a lot during this second Freedom Journal, but it is done! So I'm really proud about that.
John Lee Dumas: I want to reiterate what you said about the one goal, that focus, that following one course until success. It's so critical, Fire Nation, before you say, "Oh my God, just like one goal in 100 days?" You're doing 10-day sprints of these micro-goals, as well. You're accomplishing these micro-goals on this journey as well. Believe me; you really are leading this well-rounded life. The beauty is when you focus on that one goal as that one big domino that you knock over, that starts your chain reaction of awesome.
For me, it was EOFire. For Alissa, it was the podcast and then the book, and what's she's doing here in 2017 and beyond. Let's just talk really briefly, Alissa, about some of the results, some of the accomplishments you've had from accomplishing these goals. I already dropped Pat Flynn, so expand upon that a little bit. I know you're going to be having Shawn Stevenson of Model Health Show on your show coming up here, so that's unbelievably exciting. You're on EOFire, I mean, hello! Let's brag about your accomplishments really quick.
Alissa Daire Nelson: It's pretty crazy! One year ago I listened to my very first podcast ever, and that was yours. Here we are a year later and I am honored to be on the show itself. Pretty incredible. The confidence that it's grown in my and my experience through podcasting is that nothing is unachievable and even the things you think are unachievable, aren't unachievable. I'm really excited for my podcast this coming year because I'm getting some really, really awesome A-listers on that a year ago, I would have totally thought were un-gettable, and I don't believe that anymore.
That's pretty exciting and to think that I can – I, of all people, can be an author, is really amazing and I did it all through the Freedom Journal and surrounding myself with people who are better than me at a lot of things.
John Lee Dumas: Of course, Fire Nation, if you're listening to this between January 23rd and February 24th, you can head over to themasteryjournal.com, we actually have combo packs of both the Mastery Journal and the Freedom Journal, so you can snag both with one awesome reward. Themasteryjournal.com or if you want, you can just head over to thefreedomjournal.com and check out what we have going on there, as well.
Alissa, I kind of want to start moving into the three skills I've identified in myself that I have as massive strengths. I am incredibly productive, disciplined, and focused. I wasn't always, but I've developed these strengths over the years. I've focused on them and I've really been able to amplify these things. How do you define productivity and after that, just share with us some ways that you struggle within that word.
Alissa Daire Nelson: You bet. In a nutshell, productivity is simply getting things accomplished; it's getting things done, period. In what ways do I struggle staying productive, being productive? It's so many things that pop up; fires that start in one room and you're like, “Oh! I gotta go take care of this!” For me, it's really being able to keep the goals in the front and center so that I can remember this is what's important right now.
This book project was especially hard because the creative process doesn't always look productive and so I would sit down for hours, sometimes, and be ripping my hair out because I didn't have words on the page to show my time spent and my energy spent. It was definitely a different kind of process, that creative process, but one that came with a lot of lessons, too. That's the thing, it's getting things actually accomplished and done.
John Lee Dumas: I wanna hone in on that one phrase you said about fires that are cropping up, sometimes in other rooms, you gotta go do this, like the laundry machine buzzes. You fill in the blank, there's a million things that happen to us, especially for those of us that work at home there just seems to be always something – UPS is arriving – that's why within the Mastery Journal I was so excited to create this system where there's now four work sessions throughout the day.
You have a dedicated focus time and then a dedicated refresh time. You're not going to be sitting down and saying, “Okay, I'm just going to be here all day and I have nothing – I'm not going to do anything else.” You're gonna set a time that works for you – for me, it's a 42 minute focus time. You're gonna work on that yourself to find out what time works for you, then you're gonna know, after that, 18 minutes of refresh. You're gonna go put out those fires during those 18 minutes. It's like rewarding yourself to quickly maybe jump on Facebook or go do a quick little walk around the house to get some fresh air.
Again, I use 18 minutes very effectively, but what does that do? That makes the 42 minutes of focus time very easy for me to trick my brain into saying, "This is what I'm doing." On that note, that takes some discipline. Alissa, how do you define discipline and how do you struggle, personally, staying disciplined?
Alissa Daire Nelson: Discipline, to me, is the ability to do what you know needs to be done to move forward with your goals without – excuse me, even when you don't feel like doing it and even when other things could very easily fill your time. Where I struggle with that is that I – I like to say I'm blessed with lots and lots of ideas. I'm really passionate and I love getting into action. What this means is that I can easily get derailed from a goal that I'm working on because I'm pulled into a brand new goal that's really exciting. If I'm not careful, it means I don't finish the first goal first.
John Lee Dumas: I love that! Fire Nation, it just comes back to setting a plan of action and then executing that. If you can be disciplined to doing that, you're going to win and again, that's why the Mastery Journal just lays it out, bang, bang, bang. You will get more done in those four work sessions – that, by the way, for me are less than four hours of work – then you used to get done all week of quality work that's meaningful, that moves your business forward. Again, this is tested on me and on other people. It's real when you have that discipline to stick to the plan.
Let's move on to focus. How do you define that, Alissa? What ways do you struggle staying focused as an individual?
Alissa Daire Nelson: Being able to focus – focus is being able to work on a single thing, a single task at hand, for a designated period of time. For me, I've always worked in 25-minute pomodoro and I'm really excited to try the 42-minute ones to have a little bit more space. That 18 minutes sounds like a lot of time so it sounds really exciting! It's really about the same amount of time, the same amount of focused work as the 25 minutes. It's just a little bit more like that.
Now, where I struggle with this is shiny object syndrome. Hands down, that is the biggest struggle for me because of notifications that pop up and things like that with social media and emails and all of that, I really have to be intentional about shutting those notifications off or it's shiny object syndrome all day long. I get to the end of the day and I'm like, “What'd I do today, exactly?”
John Lee Dumas: See, I love that! What I'm excited for you, Alissa, is to try the 42 minutes because that's what worked for me, but guess what? Maybe 35 and 15 ends up being your sweet spot. It's always gonna change, Fire Nation, as your tackling different projects and just improving and maturing as an entrepreneur. Stay flexible on those things and find what works for you. Again, just get out there, outside of that comfort zone. That's been so successful for me to actually do that so that I can focus so that I can follow that one course until success.
You'll hear me mention these tools a few times throughout the upcoming weeks, but Stay Focused is a great app. You can have it right on your Mac – I'm pretty sure it's available for PC's, too. It will literally block all other websites besides the one that you're working in for a set number of time. Just set that during your actual pomodoro that you're doing, whether it be 42 or 25 or 35, you can't, even if you wanted to, go anywhere else. It literally locks your computer into that one mode, which is actually very freeing.
Another one is Inbox Pause. Alissa, you mentioned you jump into your inbox sometimes and it's just like, boom, I gotta do some things. Well, Inbox Pause holds your new, unread messages coming in, so until you click un-pause – so if you wanted to jump in and write a quick email to me, say, "Hey John, I'll see you on the podcast in a couple minutes," you don't just see 30 unread emails that get on your mind and stresses you out a little bit. There's some great tools that you can use to stop with the notifications and stop with that bright shiny object syndrome, it's just gonna take a matter of setting up a system that works.
Alissa, you have some value bombs to drop in the lightening round. Fire Nation, after we thank our sponsors, we will be right back!
Alissa, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Alissa Daire Nelson: I am prepared for the lightning round, let's do this!
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming and entrepreneur?
Alissa Daire Nelson: Honestly, it was the fear that I had anything of value to offer, anything unique to offer. I also didn't come from an entrepreneurial family, so I really had no model for it, I really had no model for tackling it.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best advice you've ever received?
Alissa Daire Nelson: Holding back what you have to offer is actually selfish. You owe it to the world to share the best version of you.
John Lee Dumas: What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Alissa Daire Nelson: It's authentic vulnerability. It's this habit of being able to say, "Hey, I'm struggling here," or, "This is what I'm going through," and to process that with another person. It allows me to shine in my own strengths but also allows other people to contribute with theirs.
John Lee Dumas: Can you share an internet resource, like an Evernote, with Fire Nation?
Alissa Daire Nelson: Asana. Asana is one that I was exposed to through my copywriter a few months back as I'm learning how to write blogs and things like that. She has been absolutely amazing in being able to keep me on task, which is sometimes a challenge, and for us to be able to work together even though we're not in the same room. I love Asana and I use the free version and it works great.
John Lee Dumas: If you could recommend one book, to join your book, What Competition? on our bookshelves, what would it be and why?
Alissa Daire Nelson: The Mastery Journal, is that the right answer? No, I'm kidding! Of course, the Mastery Journal!
John Lee Dumas: Ding, ding, ding! No, just kidding.
Alissa Daire Nelson: The Alchemist, actually. I love that book so, so much, more than any other book that I've ever read.
John Lee Dumas: The Alchemist, I remember reading that book. I can remember exactly where I was when I read that book. That's how profound of an impact it had on me.
Alissa, this is the last question of the lightning round, but it is a doozy! Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter's taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Alissa Daire Nelson: I would lean into my strengths, John because that's what I do!
John Lee Dumas: Yes!
Alissa Daire Nelson: I would Google networking events and I would go meet as many people as possible because I truly believe it's all about relationships.
John Lee Dumas: All about relationships. Alissa, let's end today on fire with you sharing a parting piece of guidance, the best way we can connect with you and then we'll say goodbye.
Alissa Daire Nelson: You bet. My parting piece of guidance is just to lean into your strengths. Figure out what you're really good at and how you're wired, what gives you energy, and do more of that.
John Lee Dumas: The best way we can find you?
Alissa Daire Nelson: The best way you can find me is on daire2succeed.com. Daire is spelled like my maiden name, so it's D-A-I-R-E, the number two, succeed dot com. If you actually head over to my website at daire2succeed.com/fire, you can get the first two chapters of my new book for free!
John Lee Dumas: Love it! Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with ADN and JLD today, so keep up the heat. Head over to EOFire.com, just type Alissa in the search bar, her show notes page will pop up with everything that we've been talking about today. Best show notes in the biz! Time stamps, links galore and of course head directly over daire2succeed.com/fire to get the first two chapters of her book for free. Again, that's D-A-I-R-E, 2, the number two, succeed dot com slash fire. Of course, we'll have that linked up in the show notes as well.
Alissa, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side!
Alissa Daire Nelson: Thanks, John!
1) The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
2) The Mastery Journal: Master productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days!
3) Free Goals Course: Accomplish a meaningful goal!