Charlie Munger is the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet is the CEO. These guys are like demigods in the business world.
Chet Holmes was said to be “America’s greatest sales and marketing executive” by Charlie Munger. He said that he had run 40 businesses and never seen anybody consistently achieve the kind of breakthrough results that Chet Holmes had achieved again and again.
Chet Holmes shared his formula and it is SO simple that I’m already smiling because I know what kind of That’s it? reactions this will get. What he managed to do is pretty impressive.
The company he ran started at about 20M in revenue per year. After one year, he took it to 40M. After another year, he took it to 80M. And by the third year, he took it to 160M. Those are impressive results. It’s more impressive that to grow from 20M to 40M, he didn’t grow his head count nor his resources. Even more amazing is that he did this with basically zero additional funding, capital, or people.
He didn’t share the specific stats for the following years growth so I cannot make them up, though I wish they were also zero because that would be really compelling but I’m sure at some point the company had to grow to handle that kind of increase in volume.
Chet said that he did only one thing to keep growing the company, year by year.
How to gain mastery
He said to pick one thing, and do it better than anything else, and do it better than anyone else. Pick that one item and own it completely. His key message is to forget about being a scatterbrain and chasing 50 different ideas because that doesn’t work.
He said that if you can do 4000 activities 12 times, or 12 activities 4000 times, which would you pick.
4000 activities 12 times might be fun, depending on the situation I wouldn’t want to watch 12 movies 4000 times, for example. But there is a trade-off.
Chet Holmes is a ‘turn-around expert’, and he chose the latter option: 12 activities 4000 times.
In every company he went into, he noticed that people are doing a gazillion things a few times, and they end up mediocre at everything. You might say that what he did was almost brutal: he went in, diving into the sales organization and completely turning it around by asking the question, “How are we going to become masters at sales?”
This is how he achieved breakthrough with no new sales people and no additional resources. He would just figure out how to make the company masters at sales and turn the company around. Find out what the 12 things are, and become world class at doing those.
One thing he emphasized was the importance of weekly trainings. He said it is absolutely vital because it’s the only way to get breakthrough results. In addition, in every training, he would teach the same thing. He wouldn’t repeat himself, of course, but it would all fit into the 12 different activities.
We all start at a mediocre level, and you have some training, and your insights go up. And then you go back to doing some normal stuff, and then slowly work your way up. But, it’s not going to be done just because you have one training session.
Tim Ferriss in his book, the 4 hour workweek figured this out. How do you get to a state of mastery? It’s by intensely doing something over a short amount of time very frequently. He won the World championship in Tango dancing at 4 months, which is amazing considering that some people spend their whole life learning and practicing and don’t get close to that. It’s about the intensity of experience.
Chet Holmes did the same thing. He is also brilliant at sales, which helps because that was how he could train people and turn things around. He would pick one battle, pick a strategy, master one skill and execute that to the nth degree. I found that interesting because people do many things at once, which I agree is sometimes a danger.
In MindValley, we have identified a few things as our “core DNA” and we are focusing on those. Our weekly trainings began when we read Chet Holmes’ book, the Ultimate Sales Machine, because it was one of the 12 things he said you have to do to grow your business. He said to drag your people into the training, repeat key points, and push your team to implement.
Remember, to achieve results especially on the Internet where there is so much to distract you, replicate a proven system “find 12 things to master and watch your business grow.”