I spend a lot of time in and with the Entrepreneur’s Organization. Not only is it a great network but also it’s taught me some very valuable lessons when it comes to improving myself. Among them: To always ask for experiences, not advice. Hope you enjoy this episode and looking forward to your comments!
So dinner was delicious and now, conveniently, right across the street there’s the Palo Alto wine room.
So here we go…
Just got home, long day but super productive. Good to hear where everyone stands and now I’m looking forward to some sleep. I’m going back to the office early tomorrow and it’s quite a long drive from Palo Alto up to San Francisco.
Today marks another early start. And that’s the thing when you’re here in San Francisco and you have meetings with people in Europe – you typically want to start your day early. I’m headed to the office now, taking an Uber down to Palo Alto. That’s where I’ll have a long call with a group called EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) for our monthly meeting.
What’s EO about?
EO stands for Entrepreneurs’ Organization and it is a global organization of about 15,000 members worldwide. The criteria to get into EO is to be the founder or main shareholder of a company that does at least 1 million US dollars in revenue annually.
One thing EO helps me do is to reflect every month because every meeting starts with a monthly update which consists of six parts. It’s personal best and worst; business best and worst; and friends and family best and worst. The idea is to mention the top and lowest 5% for each area of your life and share that with the group. That’s a good exercise to reflect on at least once a month. It’s also a very efficient way to give others an idea of where you are in life.
The EO Forum
EO has several components – it’s a global organization but you very much feel it on the local level. The one component where I get the most value from is called a Forum. It’s basically a group of eight to twelve people that meet once a month, reflect on where they stand, and present a problem or a challenge that they’re working on right now.
What’s extremely important about the EO is you don’t get feedback or suggestions, you just get experiences. Given that we’re all entrepreneurs, we have probably gone through similar problems at some point. And experiences are much more valuable than feedback or suggestions. That’s because experiences are based on facts, whereas suggestions are easy to make if you’ve never gone through a similar problem.
This is something so important, it’s probably going to be always in the back of my mind when I talk to my girlfriend, my mom, my parents, my sister… I might not feel like I can discuss something with them because they’ve never been in a similar situation or they might try to give advice that doesn’t really help me.
So in those cases, I can go to my forum and I can present the challenge that I’m facing and collect experiences. What’s so valuable about this is I immediately feel like things are going to work out because other people have been in the exact same spot and they’ve figured a way out.
Plus, I might get inspired. If I thought I can only solve a challenge in a certain way, hearing from so many different people about their cases and how they approached it might completely open up the range of solutions that I see. The problems can be business but most often they’re a mix of personal stuff and business.
So ask for experiences, not advice
Obviously, you don’t need EO or any other organization to get the value that I’m getting from these meetings. One thing that I’ve started doing in my personal environment is asking for experiences instead of opinions. Meaning facts or stories people have actually gone through that I can learn from.
So if you’re taking one thing away from this episode, I think it should be to ask for experiences, not advice the next time you hit a challenge and you’re asking your friends to share their view on it.
You can listen to the audio version here: