90 Day Year Behind the Scenes Interview with Daniel Audunsson and Todd Herman
Below You’ll Find the Transcript of This Video Interview
Daniel Audunsson: Hey, Todd. How’s it going?
Todd: Not too shabby. Enjoying a nice, hot, muggy day here in New York City.
Daniel: Yeah, nice. I’m enjoying a cold, windy day here in Iceland.
Todd Herman: I’ll take mine for now because we’ve had a long enough winter as it is.
Daniel: Yes, exactly. I definitely would want to trade places with you right now, but I’m inside, so it’s fine.
Okay, so I mean thanks for taking the time out. I just wanted to chat with you about your 90 Day Year program, which I have been using. As you know, I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost four years now, so I’ve tested a lot of different approaches, a lot of different programs to kind of manage my time and my productivity. So far I honestly have to say this is the best system I’ve come across, and it’s really had a dramatic impact on my life. I can just show you here, this is, because I got the 90 Day Year, the handbook.
This is how much I’ve used it already. It’s like 300 plus pages, so I’m serious about it. I’m using it and the planner every single day.
Todd: Well, I apologize to all the trees out there for Daniel’s commitment to his performance.
Daniel: I wish it were like a spreadsheet or something, but that doesn’t work. You got to use a pen and paper. That’s who I feel at least you know?
Todd: Yeah, yeah.
Daniel: So yeah, I just wanted to chat with you about the system and kind of go through it, because I’ve been using it now since February, and it’s really amazing. I may be first just kind of want to chat with you about why this stuff is important.
How does it really, like why is it so important for us as entrepreneurs? I know this from personal experience how important it is to conduct and stuff. What do you think?
Todd: Well, at the end of the day, I’ve been able to basically dance between the two worlds of professional athletes, Olympic athletes, and then entrepreneurs and what I call corporate athletes. People who are trying to achieve and they’ve got ambition. Both of those groups of people, especially in the entrepreneurial side of things, we’re only compensated by the stuff that we produce and get out there into the world.
We’ve all been beaten over the head of the person with the best idea or the best mousetrap kind of wins. That’s not really the case, especially when you think about the pace of change that we’re in right now. Technology is moving at such a rapid speed that if you rest on your laurels if you kind of just stay with a status quo of I’m always going to it this way, then you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities and you’re going to be left behind.
At the end of the day, we’re rewarded by the action that we take on the field of play, is what I call it, right?
We’re rewarded because we get things out there. It’s so important for us as entrepreneurs to learn how to execute in an efficient, effective, and rapid way because we have ADHD. We are idea people. I’m not trying to take that away from people, because, at the end of the day, that’s who I am too, but we need to produce.
The 90 Day Year, it wasn’t built because I was like, “Oh, I need to create a program for people so I can go and sell something online.” I’ve had this out there for 13 years, started in the sports space, then I went into the corporate, now it’s in the entrepreneur world. It was built on the back of slowly helping people implement proven systems based on neuroscience, human biology, of how we most effectively change, and how we can also rewire our minds to thinking naturally successfully.
You’ve seen it, in your groups, you’ve got two people who come in. They have the same level of skill. One might have a little bit more; one might have a little bit less. Either way, they’re both presented with the same information. Some people grab onto it, and they take it, and they work it. They run up against a bunch of obstacles, but they just keep climbing over them. Someone else will read something, and they’ll bump up against a little bit of resistance, and they’ll automatically say, “Well, this thing doesn’t work for me.” As if they’ve lost all of their own creative powers in problem-solving. One is what I call a wow mindset, one’s an ow mindset.
One’s motivated by gain. One’s motivated by gain; one’s motivated by pain.
Those people who are motivated by pain end up constantly starting over from scratch, because they get some momentum going, and then some resistance sets in or some sort of personal dialogue goes on in their head that says, “Well Daniel’s so much farther along than me in the eCommerce game, so I can’t catch up anyway.” Or, “Oh, well he had a bit of a natural entrepreneurial stuff to him, and I’m not as good of a marketer.” Or whatever the case is.
The reality is there are so many different ways to win the game of business. Yeah, there are some people who can win because they’re great marketers, and there’re other people who can win because they’re great product builders. There’s room for everyone. There are people who are great at operations, and they can beat you on streamlining things.
Anyways, the point is is that the whole 90 Day Year structure is it helps to rewire our minds to think naturally successfully, based on the way that you’re working the system. Which is a really important component because it’s one thing to get results from something. It’s one thing to keep it going consistently as a habit over time. That’s what I’m more interested in than getting people to even just success is, I want to make this just a natural part of who you are now.
Yeah, so at the end of the day, we need to be able to execute efficiently in our businesses, because if we don’t we have a lot of wasted time at the ends of our months.
Daniel: Yeah. Yeah exactly, and it’s funny. I was thinking about this today, kind of like our human nature is sometimes not ideal for, for example running a business and stuff like that. We are kind of like cavemen still, our nature, so we have to almost circumvent that and put something in place so we can get the most out of us. We have a lot of good stuff still inside of us. That’s for sure, but we got to get that out and circumvent the bad stuff that gets in the way.
Todd: Yeah. Well I mean, even when we take a look at biologically because my background in sports science, so I understand how that brain is built over time. We’re in this really clunky stage of human development. We have this reptilian thing that’s sitting in the back of our heads that’s motivated off of fear and flight and fight and feeding and stuff like that. This is a major decision center in our heads. We have this frontal lobe that is all about judging and reasoning, higher thinking powers, which over time has slowly got larger at larger. These two things are constantly fighting against each other.
That’s the dichotomy that us entrepreneurs live inside are, we dream up an idea. We’ve never done it before. The very nature of not doing something before breeds a whole bunch of what? Uncertainty. When there’s uncertainty, now that’s where the gap of either fear, someone who’s OW brained can kind of take hold and it stops them digging, or someone who’s wow minded who loves excitement and exploration and adventure and growth. They take hold of that uncertainty, and they go, “Oh wow, I can’t wait to see what happens. I can’t wait to see what the possibility is.”
Uncertainty. When there’s uncertainty, now that’s where the gap of either fear, someone who’s OW brained can kind of take hold and it stops them digging, or someone who’s wow minded who loves excitement and exploration and adventure and growth. They take hold of that uncertainty, and they go, “Oh wow, I can’t wait to see what happens. I can’t wait to see what the possibility is.”
When there’s uncertainty, now that’s where the gap of either fear, someone who’s OW brained can kind of take hold and it stops them digging, or someone who’s wow minded who loves excitement and exploration and adventure and growth. They take hold of that uncertainty, and they go, “Oh wow, I can’t wait to see what happens. I can’t wait to see what the possibility is.”
I love taking the people who may be over time have been maybe motivated by pain in some ways, and I love shifting that perspective too, now their life doesn’t have as much friction anymore with regards to the goals that they want to achieve, because they’ve helped to rewire it, neurologically. That’s where that idea was really started from was that point.
Yeah, go ahead.
Daniel: It’s almost like rewiring your brain for the modern society, right? You’re not fighting wolves. We’re not in great danger really, so that stuff needs to go away, and we need to see that it’s all the opportunity and positive things. It’s kind of like that.
Todd: Yeah, yeah. That’s one piece of it, but of course at the end of the day, what everyone here would be listening to should really care about is, well how does this get me results. Well, it’s built in a way so that you can get results really quickly in your business.
If you think about every business, essentially there are five pillars that make up every business. There’s the financial pillar of your business. There are the marketing sales and product pillar. There are the operations and technology pillar. There’s the distribution channels pillar. For your group, the distribution channel that everyone’s using is either Amazon or they’re using their own e-commerce. Those are two distribution channels. Or they could be using retail or wholesalers. Then the final pillar is the leadership pillar. The leadership team. The culture in your business, and stuff.
Then the final pillar is the leadership pillar. The leadership team. The culture in your business, and stuff.
The one thing that holds all of those five pillars together is an execution system. That’s what most businesses lack, is a really strong execution and achievement system in their business, and that’s where the 90 Day Year comes in and ties those things together.
When you have your financial pillar, your operations and tech pillar, your and marketing and sales pillar, you have all of them running the same execution framework; you just get this compounding rapid effect.
That’s why I’ll say, if you run the 90 Day Year consecutively in your business consistently, you’re able to produce four times as much as someone else.
Honestly, I’m very conservative with that number, because you know feedback loops. When you just keep getting one win after another, it’s geometric, and it keeps on compounding. The main thing is, to the person who’s listening, you’re shipping a bunch of great stuff out into the marketplace. It’s tough to beat a business that can move that quickly.
Daniel: Yeah, it’s all about getting the momentum. That’s why I think the habit is also so important because it gets you in that rhythm when you build that momentum. I think, at least for me, the 90 Day Year really helps me, because I start out every day, take out my planner, and I figure out what are the most important things that I need to get done today.
It’s simple. It’s not too much. It’s something that I can actually accomplish today and all things that are important to move my business forward.
It helps me with overwhelm. I don’t feel overwhelmed at the start of every day. I don’t have like 100 things; I don’t know what to do. Now I can just break it down in 15 minutes, and I can just focus for the rest of my day. Right?
Todd: Yeah. You hit on a big thing. That’s the one thing that I know when I first got started out, I always had this goal, as a young kid I knew I wanted to be the master of my own domain and the master of my own destiny. I thought probably being a business owner was going to be the vehicle for me. You have this romantic idea of what business is going to be like, and then you start your business, and you’re like, “Holy crap. I’m crappy at a lot of the parts of business. I’m good at 1 or 2 of these things, and there are 99 things that the business needs to be good at.”
You have this romantic idea of what business is going to be like, and then you start your business, and you’re like, “Holy crap. I’m crappy at a lot of the parts of business. I’m good at 1 or 2 of these things, and there are 99 things that the business needs to be good at.”
I mean, I was never good at finances. I was never good at that stuff. I was never good at, customer service and taking care of people, that was always a real strength for me, but selling? I was terrible at selling. In fact, when I was in before I kind of started some of my businesses, I worked for Xerox, I worked for some different companies. I got fired from every single sales job I ever, oh yeah yeah. I was terrible because I was one of those
I was terrible because I was one of those people, people. I would go in, and I would sit down, and I would be able to build a great relationship with you, but I would never be able to close anybody, because my idea of selling was, oh, the most likable person was going to win. That’s not true at all. You’ve got to; there’s a framework to how to basically persuade someone to take action. I was not very good at it. Then I eventually learned it, and what, six years ago I ended up winning the world’s greatest salesperson thing in Cannes, France. That was a byproduct of me really overcoming myself because again, I was not a natural salesperson.
Then I eventually learned it, and what, six years ago I ended up winning the world’s greatest salesperson [R] thing in Cannes, France. That was a byproduct of me really overcoming myself because again, I was not a natural salesperson.
We get overwhelmed, to get to your point. We get overwhelmed. Having a great system to achieve in your day, productivity or taking care of projects helps to eliminate that feeling that overwhelm. Just a natural part of being a business owner.
Daniel: Mm-hmm. Yeah, exactly. Also, I feel, like you were talking about before the fears and insecurities, they kind of also prevent that momentum from ever building because it holds us back. Getting over the overwhelm, getting this certainty, builds up confidence, builds momentum, and it helps, at least for me, it helps me with my mental and emotional toughness. Business its tough and you have to know exactly what you’re doing. You have to be sure to keep them going or you’ll kind of stop or you’ll switch directions really easily, which is not good.
Todd: Yeah. Yeah. Business becomes really tough to when I know the e-commerce game really well. I coach and advise a lot of people that are in your industry too. You get on Amazon and you’ve got people who end up hijacking your listings, or you’ve got Amazon who, you’ve got a product that’s doing amazing, and then all of a sudden Amazon decides that they want to sell the same product. Now they’re taking over a bit of that game from you.
I talk about mental toughness.
Mental toughness is your ability to be flexible and adaptable despite the circumstances and despite what the world is giving you at that time. Like my athletes when we got into the Olympics. It doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It doesn’t operate perfectly. One of my rowers in the 2012 London Olympics. It was a windy day on the lake, and those waters were really really choppy. That’s tough on rowers. Some of them get into the water, and if your mind is on the circumstance around you, like, “Oh, this is so not ideal and I wish it was back in Wisconsin where we had the perfect lake and conditions all the time, and it was never windy,” you’ve just lost the race.
Your mind is on the wrong thing. You’ve got to be flexible and adaptable.
Those of us that are in business, we have to be flexible and adaptable because technology moves really quickly on us, things shift below our feet all the time, so it’s our creative juices and our imagination, and our ability to be flexible and adaptable is the thing that gives us our edge. That’s what we need to embrace. That flexibility is built into the way that that 90 Day Year works for people too.
Daniel: At the same time, it keeps you focused and on track. This is huge.
Todd: Yeah, yeah.
Daniel: One thing that also fascinated me, I remember going through the program, and you’re talking a lot about working with athletes and how you used to train Olympians and stuff like that. I used to do professional sports myself when I was very young, but I relate a lot to that world regarding being an entrepreneur. I find myself again. I got injured, I couldn’t play sports for a while. I found myself again in being an entrepreneur. I think that’s really interesting.
Maybe talk a little more about that, how you feel like those two things are pretty much very similar.
Todd: What was the sport that you played?
Daniel: I played soccer.
Todd: Oh you were a soccer guy?
Todd: Yeah, so they are, there was a study that happened last year where they were comparing, they were trying to find risk tolerance in society. Who has the highest tolerance for risk? Entrepreneurs and athletes came out at the top of the risk tolerance, and in fact, there was the same amount of risk tolerance. The only group of people that were above them were generals in the military. They beat them out by about 2 points. Which makes sense. They’re dropping bombs, and they’re deciding on who’s living and who’s dying, so we’ll give that to them.
It matches up with my experience of working with athletes and entrepreneurs is, you know an athlete, they’re going out there and a lot of times they’re pursuing this goal of whether it’s the Olympics or even guys who are trying to make it into the pros. Maybe they’re in the semi-pros, and they’re not the Lebron James’s who got drafted first overall in the first round. There’s a way larger group of people who are still trying to chase down their dreams. They’ve got other friends who graduated from university or college, and those people are starting their careers, earning maybe more money than then, and that kind of stuff.
They’ve got other friends who graduated from university or college, and those people are starting their careers, earning maybe more money than then, and that kind of stuff.
What I love about people like that is that there’s a lot of risks involved there because they proceed, they’re like, “Man am I missing out on opportunities? Should I really give up on this dream of becoming a pro, or trying to make it to the Olympics? It’s always my job, I think, to keep them focused on, “No, listen. You’ve got a long life after you that you can go out and pursue some sort of career. The great thing about the time and the day and age that we’re living in is that who stays in a career for more than freaking five years many
The great thing about the time and the day and age that we’re living in, is that who stays in a career for more than freaking five years many times? Many of us. How many of us are going to stick inside the same business for five years? You never know where it’s going to evolve into.
Athletes do that where they’re constantly questioning whether or not, should I really be doing this? Those people who are out there in business, that are just starting out, they’re so much like, there’s doubt or there’s insecurity that breeds, like
Those people who are out there in business, that are just starting out, they’re so much like, there’s doubt or there’s insecurity that breeds, like man, am I even cut out for this? Is this the right thing? Is this the right product that I should be doing? Is this the right marketing strategy? They continue to do it.
I love that kind of stuff. That’s why I love serving the people in the 90 Day Year Community is really trying to; it’s more than just teaching people how to execute int heir business. The great thing and the biggest feedback we’ve gotten from people are, “I feel like my attitude has completely shifted. This really deep-rooted sense of self-confidence that I have, that, yeah I’m going to get smashed in the mouth a bunch of times in the context of building a business, but you can’t stop me. You just can’t. I keep going.”
That’s the stuff if there’s any win I’m trying to give to people, it’s that. Is that, I’ve layered on so much of that mental toughness stuff with athletes into how the 90 Day Year, and even the way I talk to people and coach people, and stuff, because I’m like, “No. You got smashed in the face. Today was a bad day. Get back out there tomorrow. Tomorrow’s a brand new day. It’s a blank slate for you right now. Take the way that we talk about running your day, and let’s plan it tonight.
Let’s work through it, and tomorrow will be a new day.”
As entrepreneurs, we can afford a bad day. We all have bad days. What we can’t afford is a bad week. It’s always like, once people come and say, “Wow, today was a terrible day,” or, “Things blew up.” When in reality is, there’s a lot of people who struggle because they’re actually caretakers of friends and family members. They come in, and they’re like, “My mom’s in hospice care,” or, “My grandma is not doing very well.” Those are all real things, and we are typically the ones who end up taking care of family members, because why? We as entrepreneurs are good at taking responsibility, so that stuff typically falls on us.
I’m like, “Hey I get it. This is just another way for you to prove to yourself and the world around you that you’ve got the shoulders to carry the weight of this stuff.”
Those two worlds about athletes have to work through those challenges now. Entrepreneurs have to work through the challenges. They’re so mirror images. The great thing is entrepreneurs have more control over what they can do with their life, more than the athletes do.
Daniel: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Todd: Conversely, though, I think it is harder to be an entrepreneur than it is to be an athlete. I know this from personal experience. I’ve just worked with so many of them for so long.
Daniel: Yeah, it’s definitely more complicated. More things you got to wrap your head around and organize and things like that right?
Daniel: Yeah. One thing too, because I’m recommending the program to everyone I know, and I want the audience to understand how important this stuff is because for me it’s the business side you need to know how to organize your business what to do. You also need to understand yourself, how to organize and run yourself. I think that comes first because if you can’t do that, you’re not going to run and organize your business correctly.
I think it’s so important; you need to learn this first. This is what we have to get down. Then whatever business, as long as you have a good strategy, you can execute and make it happen.
Todd: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it gets to, there’s this great poem that was written in I think 1346, or 1246 by this, was he a bishop, or what? He was in the archdiocese of the English Church.
He said, “When I started out in the world, I wanted to change the world. I tried to change the world, and I found that it was really difficult to change the world. I decided you know what, I’m going to change my country. I worked hard to change my country, and I realized that it was really hard to change my country. I decided, you know, I’m going to change my community. I did the same thing, try to change my community, but that didn’t work. I said You know what? I’ll just change my family. When I couldn’t change my family I realized, at the end of my days, if I would have just changed myself, that could have impacted my family, which then could have changed my community, and the community could have changed the nation, which then ultimately would have changed the world.”
When we learn to self-lead, there’s no telling where that can go. That gets to point of what you’re experiencing when you’re working through how the 90 Day Year is structured daily. It’s all about self- leadership. You reflect a little bit about what were your wins? What were the issues that I’m bringing up in my business that I need to solve? There’s this great collection of how we then capture that stuff and move forward.
It’s moving that ball down the field so we can ultimately score at the end of our 90 days, or even throughout the 90 days.
Daniel: Yeah, exactly. It’s like this ripple effect. It comes from you at the end of the day.
Daniel: All right, so thank you so much for the chat. I really enjoyed this. I want to say thank you for creating the program as well. It’s really deeply affected me in a positive way. I really appreciate that from the bottom of my heart.
Todd: Absolutely. Happy to take the time, man. Appreciate it.
Daniel: All right, thanks. Bye bye.
Resources and References
[+] Todd Herman Wins World’s Greatest Salesman: Click Here