Victor Medina on Clarity Power & Follow Through
All right. So today on the EntireLife Series, I have Victor Medina. And I remember Victor from the Daylite days way back when. So Victor, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do now. Let's get to know you.
Get to know Victor
Yeah, no, and I totally remember you. It was one more, and it's great to be back. So I'll tell you, my life is sort of driven by mostly the law practice and financial services practice that I own in central New Jersey—helping people in retirement, helping people have asset protection. About a year and a half, two years ago, I got into coaching attorneys. And so a side gig is, you know, helping transform attorneys' lives so that they can get (to be) great business owners and live their great life, do all the things that they want to do. And that's sort of how I spend most of my days. Mondays and Fridays are coaching. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are working with my clients. And that's me.
That's wonderful. That's wonderful. All right, Victor, tell us how you help your clients and yourself get clarity.
Victor on Clarity
Sure. So there are two tracks that we go down, right? There's the coaching track, and there's the helping the clients in the law firm and the financial services. But they're very closely related because I think that from when I started in college, doing acting and looking at performance things, I had a teacher of mine that drummed into me the idea that from discipline comes freedom. And so it was kind of a weird concept for me because I thought everything in the arts was this muse-driven inspiration. You just had to be brilliant. That there's no craftsmanship to it. That there was no workman's like attitudes. I never really thought about that idea that there was some artisanal -you had to go off of it. But it always stuck with me. Right? So all of these years later. And so when we think about bringing the rest of our clients through that, whether they're doing that in the services that we provide or in the coaching we provide, I always like to provide a framework for them to follow for each step to guide them along. I feel like that part of the discipline leads to the freedom that they're looking to achieve.
If it's in the legal services and the financial services, having us follow a proprietary process where we go through and review all of the elements to come up with a comprehensive set of recommendations. And knowing that there's a roadmap to get from here to there (so each step along the way) allows them to drape their lives on top of that structure so that they can gain and clarity about what they do and then take action. And then similarly, in the coaching program, we're always looking about cadences and habits and developing these great skills and strategies and routines for people to engage in. That discipline allows them to have freedom, so they're moving ever closer towards the goals that they want to reach.
You're so on point with that. You are definitely not the first person who talked about that structure and freedom. And I talk about that all the time. I find there's so much more freedom in having structure.
Absolutely. I'm so glad that you brought that up again because that's a really distinctive thing for people to understand. Is by putting everything in place, it does help you see, okay, where are we going next? Where have we been? And where are we going next? Yeah. Awesome. So let's talk about power.
Victor on Power
And when I say power, I'm talking about -you've got the clarity. And now you're having troubles; you're having issues. As we all know, in business, things are not always rosy. There are those days when you're just like, Oh my God, why did I get out of bed this morning? What am I doing? Why am I doing this?
Is this going to get me where I want to go? And so how do you have -some people call it willpower or power but- how do you, either for yourself or for your clients, how do you get that power to maintain? To go through when times are tough?
Yeah. And I think that it's probably best, sort of, framed for me in the way that I find it; because it's certainly the vantage point that I use and explaining it to other people. I'd probably characterize power into three different subcategories.
There's power as a function of velocity. And so that you're picking up the speed and direction that you want to go. There's power in the point that you made about being able to overcome lack of willpower or lack of initiative from it. And then the third, sort of, subcategory for me would be in leverage. That there's power inside of and having, sort of, small hinges swinging big doors, for what we have.
So there's a function of that power as well. The first one and the second one, where we're talking about velocity, and we're talking about this overcoming willpower, I really rely on the concept of creating margin and having the time and space to be able to work on these activities. So traditionally, people are paid cash for tasks, but there's growth when they do strategic thinking. You can't do strategic thinking if you're overwhelmed with what's in there. So this idea of overwhelm is really a definition of not being comfortable that what you're doing in the present is the right thing to do. That's where the concept of anxiety comes in. So when we start to overlay that with this margin (and then thinking about getting that velocity), it's really saying that, if there's time that I'm spending doing nothing, if there's time that I'm spending doing planning or, if there's time that I'm spending doing the drudgery of tasks, it's the right thing for me to be doing at this moment. And that is this propelling confidence that creates this velocity going forward.
It's also the thing that you start to lean on top of when your energy levels are low, and you don't have the willpower to come in. When you're not driven by the inspiration of what's going in there, you rely on the comfort given via the structure and all of these other elements that go in there to say, this is the right thing for me to be doing, which can include some stuff that I hate or, not doing anything at all.
The last component is a different metric, though, for me because the last component is really a function of strategy. Sometimes the concepts of strategies come from the outside instead of from the inside. So I was thinking about -so as much as I'm talking here today about the fact that I coach other people, I drink the champagne of the coaching company that I work for. So I am a first client, and I engage in that because the process of going through that is a process of illumination. And it's very difficult for us to come up with the ideas and strategies or have the perspective that allows us to see through. Actually, it's not 'fighting' this way. There are these two turns that you come around here and look; you'll end up where you need to be in a completely different way. And probably with a lot less strife and a little bit happier through that.
So that strategic element, I think, is where that leverage of power comes in. And I tend to believe that comes from the outside rather than from the inside.
Awesome. Awesome. And then, so when we're talking about follow-through and follow-through, the way I define that is now we've got the clarity. Now we've got the power. How do we maintain that follow-through? It's kind of an aspect of integrity, right? It's like I say I'm going to do something, and how do we put those mechanisms in place to follow through to continue on with what we said we were going to do?
Victor on Follow-Through
Yeah. It's a tough one, too, because I think, at any point in time, we can feel a reprioritization of whatever is the most urgent thing in front of us taking over. Maybe the thing that we ought to be doing, whatever that really looks like. And, you know, I'm kind of mealy-mouth in my response because sometimes the right response is to not potentially make the thing that's the biggest progress. Maybe it's to put that one aside. So it's not always that propel forward. But the idea of being really comfortable with the steps that you need to take and actually going through with them is. Definitely, I think, where people fail most often. I don't. They fail most often, Marni, in figuring out great strategies. I don't think there's a shortage of ideas. And I don't think that there is a shortage of understanding the power where there are ideas can go like seeing the potential for and being able to branch out that. I think that's probably pretty commonplace.
I think we're the biggest failure is in the implementation component, where they have people who actually do the harder stuff. That 'whatever it takes' or just getting it all the way through. There's a lot, as you mentioned, sort of a lack of integrity between their intentions and their actions. And those two things are sometimes hard to marry.
And I think it's the way for a lot of people. Right? I think it's a common human condition to find those shortcomings or to be engaged in the shortcomings. The strategies that I use -and I don't know that they're completely applicable to everybody on the way there, but I'd like to think that they would have value- is, I tend to rely on a habit of strategic and deliberate action for whatever I need to do. But not just once, but as a cadence. A lot of people use a planner for this. Or a lot of people will use some structure that allows them to re-engage with the question asking in priority setting activity, on a cadence, that makes sense for the activities that they're doing. Sometimes it's daily. Sometimes it's weekly. Sometimes it's quarterly. Sometimes we're looking at your whole life span, and we're trying to figure out what you should be doing. What's going to be on your tombstone. And the activities and the plan that we're doing are right for that frame that you're on.
But it's about the regular cadence. Because when you start to engage in this kind of ongoing routine -I always think about coaching or improvement. I say you stick with it for as long as you want to make progress; because it's like a gym membership. Are you happy with the way your body looks, and you want to keep making progress? Okay, great. You keep going back. (If) You don't care any longer -you won't jump off that train- stop. Stop going to the gym. Stop working out. Stop exercising because you've made the decision that you no longer want to engage in those things. And that's your choice. You can go and do that. If you want to keep making progress in that area, though, you gotta keep going. Like you just don't pay for it. You have to go and do these things, and you exercise the muscle around living life by deliberate planning rather than by accidental happenstance, like this is where we arrived.
Wonderful. You know, my dentist always used to tell me only to floss the teeth I want to keep.
See? It's simple, right? But yeah, that's exactly it. And that's one of the reasons that I made the software that we're making, EntireTask, is because I really wanted to help people. Because my personal belief is that entrepreneurs can change the world even more so than the government. I really believe that I believe that it's actually the individuals that gather a community of people together to help move an idea forward in the world.
I think they actually have a bigger impact long term. And so I want to help more people to actually not only have those goals but be able to execute them on a daily basis. And I love that I can go inside of the app, and I know exactly what task I need to do today because the algorithm tells me exactly the right thing to do, based on what I told the algorithm was important in my life. And all the stuff that's that busy stuff ends up either at the bottom of the list or in the backlog. And in the backlog is perfectly fine. There's a reason I didn't do it.
Exactly. As long as you have a system for preventing your brain from creating anxiety about it getting done because your whole reason why a software system like that would be so valuable because then your brain is taught it can rely on that to surface the things that are important. I always see productivity, not about the ability to accomplish more, nor the ability to be hyper-programmed for all of your days. I'd say it is the activity of understanding what requires priority and redefining that. Because there are some decisions that we make that says, I thought this was important. I thought it had a place on the list, and I'm willing to let it go. There's only so much time and only so much attention that I can pay. It turns out that this thing is the thing that I am teaching myself, that I'm giving myself permission to be the one that I say no to. I think that's a hard skill for a lot of people to develop.
Yeah. And another thing, like, for instance, the outside world, sometimes impacts us, right? So I might have, you know, all of my priorities in my life and saying that this is the way that it is. And then I might have a health crisis. All of a sudden, health is like my number one thing. And the way I built, it was so that I could crank up my health and crank down everything else, and it would modify all the goals, all the projects, all the tasks, underneath it. So that would surface all the health stuff to the top just like that. And so that's the thing that it's not just an internal thing sometimes. Sometimes it's external. Something is pushing into us like, Oh my God, you need to deal with this now.
And then also it's a matter of being able to see everything and go, Hmm. Maybe that's not that important right now. Maybe I could push that off a couple of years, and maybe that's more important. I want to pull that into this year. We're going to work on that. Or maybe this quarter, we're going to work on that. Yeah. You're right on track with that. It's so wonderful. And you haven't even seen the software yet, which is why I do these interviews this way. Because it all flows in, and it's just a natural way of people doing things.
So tell us what is your free gift because I'm really interested in it because I think that there's a lot of people who could really benefit from what you're doing. Finances are so important.
Yep. For sure. So one of the things that we've created in the -we focus mostly on people who are going into retirement and are, sort of, in the throws of their retirement planning. So those folks that are kind of in those fifties, mid-fifties, or early sixties, and they just want to make sure that they're going to be okay at the end of it. And one of the things that we've created is a 31 point checklist for them to go through to make sure that they were ready for retirement. And it is a way of kind of making an assessment on where they currently stand and say, I've got this in place. I have that in place. This is an area I need to attend to.
And it's a great starting point in any person's conversation to make sure that their ship is pointed in the right direction. They don't want to end up five, 10, 15 years down the road, completely way off track and off course. Because, for a lot of people, retirement is one of the most crucial decisions they make because they can't refill the coffers.
It's not going back to work for them. They're making decisions. So they have to make sure that their ship is pointed in the right direction so that they're not hundreds of miles off course before they realize it. And I found that the 31 point checklist that we've created is a really helpful tool to making that assessment to know where you should be paying attention. What should command your earliest activities to make sure that you're on the right track?
That is perfect. We'll make sure to link it down below the interview. And thank you so much for coming to the show today. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.
Thank you very much. I really appreciate you having me on and really appreciate the opportunity to share all the information.