“We want a renaissance.” Sweating, with labored breath, one of my bootcamp members pushed these words out with a smile. Her workout buddy nodded. One of their friends had recently overhauled and expanded her life. She had started started exploring new possibilities, and her adventurousness had snowballed into major changes: It culminated in a new job, a new house, and a new wardrobe. She was a happier person, not because of the new things she’d acquired, but because of her new attitude of exploration.
These two wanted it, too. They were finally ready: “I thought about making some changes before, but now I am READY to do something about it.”
Several months prior, the owner of the gym, David Dellanave, and I were having a whiteboard session on business tactics and he dropped this idea on me: “Drive the top line and let the bottom line take care of itself.” A piece of advice bestowed onto him by a friend with who has done exceptionally well in business and in life. Expounding on this phrase, if you focus on gross profit (the top line of a balance sheet) then you don’t have to worry about the expenses in between, and the bottom line will take care of itself. There are only so many expenses you can eliminate, but the potential for growing the top line is unlimited.
The global application of ‘Drive the top line’ finally hit me when Jen Sinkler changed her business name from Survival of the Fittest to Thrive as the Fittest. With the focus on Thriving – living a “deeply satisfying way of life” – survival will take care of itself. Drive the top line, “THRIVE,” and the bottom line — “Survival” — will take care of itself.
The top line, in life, represents all of the wonderful experiences and good things happening in your life. The middle, the “expenses,” are the things you’d like to change — bad habits and negative people. When the top line is greater than the expenses, you have a positive bottom line — or a deeply satisfying way of life.
Imagine living a deeply satisfying way of life. You may have an idea, or you may have absolutely no idea what you want that to look like. Either way there is there is the possibility of a life that’s filled wonder and excitement. Join us in living this WONDER-FULL life. One where, with every new experience, you ask yourself “I wonder if THIS will be INCREDIBLE.” The more new experiences you have, the more different ways you have of asking this question. Eventually, you may stumble upon your deeply satisfying way of life.
Back in the gym, after they put their equipment away, I gave my two sweaty and happy members the following assignment. And now it is your assignment, too, should you wish to take it.
The Challenge: Drive the Top Line
- The new experience can be toward a specific GRAND GOAL or completely RANDOM to see where things will end up
- The new experience must be ACTIVE. It can’t just be a new thought or feeling.
- You must ADD a new experience – removing an old habit is a bonus, but does not count as a new experience. (Inclusion = Top Line. Exclusion = Bottom Line.)
- If the GRAND GOAL changes, you must celebrate as this is a sign that you have changed, learned, grown, progressed, THRIVED.
- The new experience cannot be repeated as a second new experience during the February challenge. However, if you feel like continuing yesterday’s new experience, feel free, just add another new experience today.
- Not doing something does not count as a new experience (remember, inclusion not exclusion).
- You must document your new experience. It can be a big description or a one liner.
For those who feel they dont have time for this kind of challenge, here are SIMPLE examples of participating:
- Take a different route to work.
- Brush your teeth with your other hand.
- Go to a different grocery store.
- Order a different coffee at the coffee shop.
- Watch a different TV show.
For those that want a little more challenging assignment:
- Say HI to that girl you have been stealing glances at.
- Join an intramural sports team.
- Take a cooking lesson.
- Buy and wear a completely new color or style.
- Cut and color your hair completely differently.