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Warren Buffett’s Secret

Episode #327

Many people struggle with “shiny object syndrome” and a belief that they can be great at everything. We usually want it all, and we think that we can do more than what we’re actually capable of. We give up on mastery for a perception of “being okay” at a bunch of things…a “jack-of-all-trades”. 

Write down your top 25 goals from the five territories and then circle the 5 most important goals for you. Focus on those 5 things. The other 20 goals go on a separate list. These are the absolute do not do, do not touch goals. Do not spend any time in that zone.

Once you have these five primary goals, go all-in with dedicated focus. You can replace only the goals that you finish. Achieve your top goals first before moving onto your next goal. Focus on one thing at a time.

In this episode, we are going to talk about Warren Buffet’s secret, The 25-5 Rule, the do-not-do list vs. the do-list, and how to focus on achieving your goals.

Get your FREE worksheet on Warren’s secret here – https://www.thepowerfulman.com/warren


Hungry for more?

Head over to our https://www.thepowerfulman.com/the-alpha-reset/ page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

Focus on those five, and those are going to be my priority. I’ll work on the other 20. So maybe the additional 20 might have learned a foreign language and played the guitar, what have you in my spare time? I’ll learn, and so Warren Buffett said, No, that’s absolutely the wrong thing. These five things are your focus, and you’re right there; these 20 things go on to a separate list. And these are the absolute do not do, do not touch, do not spend any time in the zone. And the reason being is it will dabble. 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I’m your host, Doug hall, with my co-host, Tim, “The Powerful Man” Matthews.

Tim Matthews  0:42  

I’m doing great and doing really well. It’s tough. Accountability call with the inner circle, guys. Those guys are just crushing it. I love their ride, you know, they’ll have this sort of cocky swagger about them. Hello, some costs in going back and forth of a call just from passion. And, you know, just to just grab the energy was great between them as a real great, informal, accountable, positive GSD vibe, call in. And it was great. It was great

Doug Holt  1:16  

Well, for those that guys are listening who don’t know, we’re talking about The Powerful Man. We have several programs after our baseline; you have to go through the baseline. But one of them is, you know, just shy down from one on one coaching, which we do from time to time, is the inner circle. It’s kind of the highest Echelon, and these were guys who made a substantial, excuse me, made a large financial commitment as well as time commitment, but it’s more of an energetic commitment. These guys are just choosing to play at a high level, and when you pay, you pay attention. That’s something that I’ve always believed in. And these guys are making huge strides. I mean, talk about guys that, you know, not too long ago, were on the brink of divorce. And now their wife’s pulling them into the shower. And the joke was, you know about this guy having to get through it.

Tim Matthews  2:02  

Literally, he was having a vasectomy last week. Yeah. And he made the joke. Hey, I won’t say his wife’s name, obviously. But hey, let’s just call her Lisa. Hey, Lisa Gooding for sex me. How about you? You know, help me with my balls. Joking, right? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Crazy, period. And, you know, so the way that she did, it was very serving of the guy. So it was just great. And it’s not so much about the act, although it’s nice to get the kind of things that his game, but it’s more about what it represents about the work he’s done in the relationship. Yep. And how safe she’s emotionally safe and trusting. She is with him now that she is now completely giving herself to him. And he’s really starting to see what is possible there. And even to the point last night, check this out, dog. I just heard a show like this. They were going around dinner tables, you know, saying thanks and the same prayers. And he got to his wife, who said, I’m thankful for daddy and all the changes he’s made over the past year. And I’m grateful for The Powerful Man.

Doug Holt  3:08  


Tim Matthews  3:09  

Yeah, we got a shout-out. 

Doug Holt  3:11  

At the dinner table, the wins. Yeah, and this is the guy you’re talking about who I know.

Tim Matthews  3:17  

Who listens to this, by the way,

Doug Holt  3:18  

He listens to it while he’s a great guy. I’m not going to share anything that you know against him. But it wasn’t too long ago when he entered the program that you know, he and his wife, all they did was yell and scream and throw dishes if I recall, and like Like, literally throw dishes. And it was 

Tim Matthews  3:34  

Not the point where he would go back and watch the record, you got some cameras in his house, he’d go back and watch the recording of the argument to see what he did and how it unfolded. And you know, he’ll be listening to this. And I’m sure that’s the thought of that is such a thing of the past. We did his monthly review last week. And he was like, Tim, I’m off to the beach house next week, for three weeks for spring break. And you know what it was 12 months ago to the day that I was at rock bottom. Actually, I remember going on this trip 12 months ago, a couple of weeks before, and I was thinking how, how the hell am I going to make it through this trip. I was googling all sorts of different things around divorce, and I was on antidepressants, and I was just in a really dark place. And now, one year on, I cannot believe the changes I’ve made, and I’m literally in the best place I’ve ever been. And this total credit to this guy because he’s really walked through. He’s really turned and confronted a lot of his fears. And he’s done the work, and he’s continuing to do the work. And I said to him today, “Look, the danger for you right now is to get complacent and cocky. Yeah, because you’re now in the place where you are getting some great rewards, and trees don’t get attached to them. Don’t start thinking that you know, just continue being who you are and you know, watering the soil until Taking care of the sunlight for the flower, and it will continue to keep blooming.

Doug Holt  5:05  

Yeah, I mean, we can go on and on. I can’t wait to meet this guy. You and I were talking about our next event for the inner circle guide specifically. And I’ve actually never met this guy in person. And it’s interesting with COVID and everything. These guys are all phenomenal. And this guy, in particular, I really feel like a bond with just on a personal level. And, you know, super excited to meet him, give him a bear hug. And, you know, listen to some Eric church, perhaps, etc. So, man, I could talk about this all day because I got more wins. I want to share with you another guy in the inner circle I was talking to you about yesterday. But let’s get on for our listener’s sake. Let’s move on to the next topic. So, Tim, I know you’re not prepared for this. And so I’m kind of setting you up in a good way. Because I think the listeners will also benefit from this. But do you know what’s often called Warren Buffett’s secret?

Tim Matthews  5:58  

No, great, although I did hear something great that Warren Buffett said the other week might be secret. Suppose I can have a guess.

Doug Holt  6:06  

You cannot. Yeah, you can definitely have a guess.

Tim Matthews  6:09  

So Warren Buffett, why came across the Saudis. He believes that one of the biggest differences between him and other people that have no tree of trying to be successful or are successful is the love that he received from his father as a kid. Oh, yeah. He said he received unconditional love from his father. And he believes that is one of the secrets of his success.

Doug Holt  6:34  

That is awesome to hear. I have not heard that. And that’s not the secret. I was going to talk about that. Wow, that could be a whole separate podcast in itself, coming up, and maybe we’ll do that one. Next. As listeners know how much we just basically even just chat on this thing going through to deliver for them. So what I’m going to call is secret is a little bit like I said, I’m kind of leading this, but it’s a 25 five rule. And it’s also called that, and the story’s got a lot of it’s almost like mythology behind it of what the origin of it is. The one I’ve most commonly read about is that Warren Buffett has a private pilot, no real, you know, surprise there. And his pilot was talking to him and saying, hey, as these planes age, and you know, what have you, I really would like us to upgrade into this other plane. And Warren goes, Well, you know, that’s not going to be for another ten years that we’re going to need something like that. And he said, Oh, yeah, I’m just looking ahead. You know, I this is the technology I think we’re going to want in Warren stops for a second says, you know, what, if you’re working for me, ten years from now, I have failed you as a leader, I have failed you as a boss if that’s your aspirations, and a guy looked at us like, Oh, Okay, well, what do I do, like, and Warren said, here’s what I want you to do. And guys, at the end of this, I’m going to give you a worksheet in the workbook that you can actually walk through this whole 25 five system that Warren uses, and he’s used this before. And it’s worked successfully for a lot of other business owners. And there’s been articles all about this. But Tim, he’s going back, and he’s talking to his pilot and says, Look, this is what I want you to do, I want you to write down your top 25 goals, just write him down. So the capacitors are okay. And he sits down and starts writing them off what he wants to do, and I don’t remember what his goals are. But for a lot of guys that are listening to this, you know, maybe you want to x your revenue and your business, or you want to get to a certain financial income. Maybe you want one of your goals is to reconcile with your wife or go from, as we talk about arguing three to five nights a week to having bang-out passionate sex three to five nights a week, right? You want to write out those 25 things and easy frameworks. I’ve done this with a few of our clients; Tim is to look at the five territories. Now there are five territories for guys that aren’t familiar with this, and right is self, health, wealth, relationships, and business. Right? Those are obviously the five territories, and look at those 25 things. So what he said next time wasn’t ordinary, so I know you’re getting your Echo great 25 goals like yeah, I can do this no problem. He said, what I want you to do now is circle the five that are most important for you, the five that you have the most passion for, you know, passion around, and the five that really mean the most to you. So it’s palaces circles, okay, okay. Circles, the five that you know, that he really wants the most. And then Warren says, What are you going to do with the other 20? What would you do, Tim? I’ll tell you what a smile says.

Tim Matthews  9:40  

Well, I would hope that as I’m going through this, the five that circle will ideally have a knock-on effect on the other 20 just, you know, happening by default, because maybe those five have some bigger ones that encompass the smaller ones.

Doug Holt  10:00  

Yeah, well, exactly. And obviously, you’re a smart guy, and you’ve been coaching elite men for a long time. And before that, you’re working on yourself. So you know the game. But Warren said something I thought was really cool. And what he said, Well, the pilot, first of all, said, well, geez, Warren, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to focus on those five, and those are going to be my priority. Well, I got some time. I’ll work on the other 20. So maybe, you know, the other 20 might have learned a foreign language, played the guitar, what have you in my spare time, I’ll learn. And so Warren Buffett said, No, that’s absolutely the wrong thing to do. Of course, the pilot takes him back. What do you mean? Said no, no, no, these five things are your focus, you’re right there, these 20 things go on to a separate list. And these are the absolute do not touch do not spend any time in the zone. And the reason being, which I love, the reason being is, Will dabble, right? Let’s say it’s learning Italian or learning Spanish or playing the guitar, you’ll do it sometimes, but you’ll never get proficient, you’ll never get good. And that just will distract from your other five. So what wasn’t talking about here, Tim, which I think we can all take to heart is the fact that if we have these five primary goals, let’s say it salvage your relationship, something we talk about a lot, say it’s your business, or even learning a foreign language, go all-in on those 5, 100% all-in with dedicated focus, and reckless abandon, hopefully not reckless, but you get the idea. And then, and only when you finish those five, do you replace those five with possibly those 20, or possibly something else, right, really placed with another five, because they learn a foreign language. For example, studies show that immersion in that language is by far the most important thing. If you were to learn Italian and practice once a week, you know, maybe never, but maybe ten years from now, you’d be able to have a good conversation with somebody. But really, once a week becomes once a month, and you miss one here, you miss one there, you’re still trying to order, you know, spaghetti and a glass of wine. Whereas if you just focused on it for one year, and so this is one of my five, I am going to learn to speak fluent Italian, you would probably achieve it. And then you could go on to the next goal. And so I see with a lot of people, and what you know, frankly, I see it in myself probably more than anybody is that desire for that shiny new object syndrome? Because you look at that list of 25. And what do you initially say? Well, shit, I want all 25. It’s kind of like eating your eyes are bigger than your stomach is the same that’s kind of often used, not here in the States. And so the idea here is we think we can do more than we actually can do. And we give up mastery for this kind of perception of being okay and a bunch of things.

Tim Matthews  12:55  

FOMO as well, right? Oh, thing Oh, fair Miss. Now I’m going to jump over there, and I got to do this, gotta do that. I know some people that suit quite well, to a degree like I look at them. And they’ve, they’ve often focused on one thing at a time. And good at speaking it for a period of time. I don’t know; maybe they stick at it, as long as it serves them, and then when stopped, so then move on to the next thing. And they cycle through different interests and different passions quite quickly. And there’s been times in my life when I’ve tried to adopt that. And it’s created more chaos for me than enjoyment. Because I like to simplify things, and I like to pick something and go deep on it. And I find that if I drop something and move on to the next, I feel a bit how to put this like is a shiny object, like I’ve either not picked the right goal in the first place and I’ve picked something I thought I should do, or would look cool to do or be a nice to have avoided the thing that I really would love to do that scares the crap out of me. And I don’t have a clue how I’m going to do it. But when you stick with it, and you sit with the agitation, you ask the questions, you ask for help, and you find people have been there, then that’s when you really start to achieve some great things. But it’s when you play small or definitely smaller than you’re capable of and sell that I think you’ve got more of a tendency to jump around because, by default, you’re not fully engaged in a task that requires your full engagement, right? If you choose a goal, really, that’s going to really require a push of you and to stretch you. It’s going to require a lot of you, all of you may be just to find the answers and to deal with the agitation and to sit there for two hours. Good afternoon; you were thinking, how the crap am I going to do? What can I do to actually hit this right rather than just choosing the path of least resistance and shifting? So? I don’t know. Yeah, but maybe some people but definitely doesn’t work for me.

Doug Holt  15:18  

Hey, sorry to interrupt the show. But I wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like something’s just missing, like there’s something more out there, and you just can’t put your finger on it. I totally get it. Go over right now to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus to discover the system that other businessmen just like you are using. We’ve included 10 case studies, ten men just like you who have found the solution and found their way on their path. But we want to share that with you and go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus right away. Now, let’s get back to the show. 

Yeah, you do a great job of this, quite honestly, especially with breathwork that comes to mind or some aspects of the movement that you’ve dove into over the last six months. But what hit me the most is probably someone who dabbles a lot, right? Kind of, you know, I use the excuse of almost like a renaissance man where you can do a lot of things really well. But what really hit me when I first read this, and when I started applying, it was the do not do list. The five list whatever, right? To me, that was no big deal. I got me, and I do this. I’ve been doing this for almost two decades of goal setting and stuff. So it’s 20, over 20 years under my belt goal setting. Nothing new there. They do not make a list. And the key to me here, guys, is that this does not list isn’t like, you know, don’t do drugs, right? Or don’t do heroin or something that Yeah, okay, no problem, I’m not going to drink no big deal. Or, you know, whatever you get the idea that does not make the list are things that you want to do, above and beyond like, and they could be very healthy things for you. Right, so if one of your top five, as an example, or excuse me, one of your top 25 is to travel to the UK to attend an out for reset in the UK with Tim. Right, but it’s not in your top five. And that opportunity comes up, and you pass on it. Like it’s a hard note to do. It’s like a do not under any circumstances do list until you hit your top five; that’s friggin big. And if your top five is to save your marriage, then you’re freaking better get your butt on a plane to the UK or to the states to be at The Alpha Reset. You just have to do it. However, it’s really up to what you want to do, not to list. I think she is where really the power in Warren’s wisdom is that’s where it lies, and sitting down and thinking about it. And you know, writing that out, and what I found myself doing, Tim is crap, how do I pick five here? You know, because knowing that the 20 other 20, I can’t do. And I can apply this to the programs that we’re doing at The Powerful Man right now. We’ve got a nonprofit that’s already launched. We’ve got tons of programs for the men to help them out. Not only being but becoming better fathers, but also becoming better men, and then community leaders and all of these things that are launching, we could apply the same rule to our business, right? As the movement is concerned, this replies the same 25 rules to my family. Here are the 25 things that we want to do right remodeling the house going on a trip visiting here? Where are those five key core elements? They’re going to get us where we want to go? Cool, that’s easy. To me, that’s easy, right? I’m a type-A personality; I’m very competitive, but eliminating those other 20. That’s where it gets tough and interesting for me, and that’s where the game shifts.

Tim Matthews  18:52  

Oh, it’s interesting. I totally hear what he’s saying. I get it. And there’s so much value as well if you can layer into this knowing, knowing yourself, right, because one of the major strengths for you is visionary aspects, right, your ability to see things come with ideas. So it serves you in many ways. And you then get to balance out that side of you with people and process ways of operating. I’ll say that helps you to stay focused because also at the same time, and there’s some benefit right in you choosing those five and then getting them done and then moving on to the next five let’s say balsa there’s just like with anything every strength can become a weakness, right? So there’s got to be an element of, of awareness to and wonder the whole idea. I love the idea of the not-to-do list. And I wonder, obviously Warren Buffett, you know, I’m going to listen to him, right. And I’m just kind of playing devil’s advocate here with Okay, if I didn’t not a to-do list versus just a to-do list, would I be more likely to want to do the things that I’m not supposed to do because I’ve gotten not-to-do list and then I’m looking at them not to do, and I’m like, it’s like temptation. It’s like when you want to eat clean, right? It’s just easier not to buy any trees and have them in the house because then you’re not going to go out and get them. Because if you have them there, you’re tempted. So if you have a not-to-do list, I’m not going to be tempted to want to go there. Whereas for just a matter of do’s, then I’m not even thinking about the not to do’s.

Doug Holt  20:35  

Yeah, I hear you. But and so let’s use me as an example for you. And I, because we both know me that the seat that I sit in, in any organization I’ve been in is that visionary leader seat in creation and kind of looking at the future and building strategy. But having a not-to-do list of checking messages in the morning, as an example, when I do that, it throws my whole game off for that day like it did today. Right? I did it. It’s tempting. I don’t always follow it. But I have a not-to-do list, do not check these messages before noon. Right? That’s the ideal situation to get The Powerful Man to where it needs to be. Right. The To-Do list is, you know, actually doing the podcast as an example. Right? content is a general cap. So, when I look at this, from a business standpoint, if I was to go in and coach a business leader, I say, look, what are the five things that you could do the 25 things that you need to do? What are the five biggest ones? If you can only do five? Well, I do these things, right? Great. delegate the others doesn’t mean you can’t stick your toe in them and do it. Delegate them out, right? Yes, you probably need to be involved in sales delegated out, though, right? focus on what’s going to move the needle for you and your business. The same thing happens with my marriage. Right? If I look at the 25 things that would move the needle in 2021 in my marriage, easy to write them down. But there’s going to be five core things to do, right. And if my wife and I can, let’s say, for example, learn something and come up with a new skill we both like to learn, right? If I focus there, then I don’t get as distracted. Right? Going through it. And I keep that focus, and we walk away, we’re both going to feel more satisfied by the end of this or what have you. Or if I pick on a skill, pick a skill that I want to develop within myself, that’s going to better connect me to my wife or intimacy, right things of that nature. It’s just easier to get there because I can tell you, man, I’ve learned Spanish to speak fluent Spanish and Chinese on my list of goals for a long time. But I’ve dabbled, right do it when the time is convenient, right? They use the app when the time is convenient. I talked to my Spanish coach when it’s convenient, or once a week when I do it regularly. But it’s not getting me where I am. However, if I just said this year, I’m going to learn Spanish or Chinese. That’s what I’m going to do Mandarin and Spanish. That would be a huge difference. And if I cut out all the other noise, and that’s where I think I honestly, I just think that is the secret here. I think a lot of the men that we talked to before they come into the program are sitting on the fence. Should I do this? Should I not? And they start to dabble, and they start to go, listen to this podcast; I’m going to apply some of them. They get sidetracked because their business or about the business or something happens externally, or things start to go well for a little while. I just got an email from a guy today who said, Man, I just want to thank you and Tim and the team. You know, I listen to your podcast, it’s changed. My wife wanted a divorce. I applied some of the techniques, things got better, and they’re really good right now. I just want to thank you, guys. Mike. That’s awesome, man. But if you take your eye off the ball, as you were saying about this guy in the inner circle, you take your eye off the ball, or you get too cocky. That’s when problems arise. And that’s where I think the magic in Warren’s wisdom here. Yes, everything you got to apply individualistically to yourself. But I think that’s where the magic is. And that’s why I created a workbook on this topic for the guys, guys if you want. By the way, if you want this workbook, and you want to just it’s a worksheet more than anything. But if you want to work through this and the way that I like to work through it, simply go to thepowerfulman.com/Warren, that’s w a r r e n, right? The powerful man.com forward slash Warren. And you can actually download the worksheet that I created just specifically for this exercise because I think it’s going to give you insight, and maybe it’s going to give you insight on the five things that are most important to you. Because that’s hard when you get down. One, two, and three are usually kind of easy, the man coming up with four, you know, four or five. Ooh, because you got to start cutting things out and really looking at what really matters to you. And then have you’re for me having my not-to-do list right those 20 items and maybe make it less it’s up to you. But those 20 items that I’m not going to do, right that’s what I’m not going to be a master chef this year. I love to learn to cook so I can cook amazing meals for when You and Amelia come to visit. But sorry, Tim, that’s not on didn’t make my five key things, and I was just going to be dabbling in it. So it’s things like that that really help set the tone and where you want to be. And there, we talked about this before, but in doing this practice and getting these worksheet guys and downloading it, and actually, so I’m going to have two worksheets for you. One you guys can download and just fill out yourself. And one separate worksheet that you can just print out, right? They just look different. So once more printer-friendly. So I did two for you guys listening to this. So you’ll have both options. But the key here is I’m doing this exercise, I’m voting for the man that I want to be in 2022 at the end, by eliminating things that I’m not going to do cool, I might not get these things done, but I’ll get these five things. If I crush these five things. Doug Holt 2022 is going to be stoked. That guy’s going to be happy. And by making that decision, I’m making a vote for him, his future, his family’s future, and the future of his wife. And that’s a powerful thing.

Tim Matthews  26:05  

it’s kind of puts these guys at a disadvantage, as well. I’ll just stick up for them a bit here, the fact that I’ve got to eliminate 20. Oh, that’s going to make it even harder. I think you feel sad, the side of you, the five that they would have circled, I think they would have circled them a lot faster. If you would have then said afterward. Okay, so the other, you know, 20 they went, but now they know it’s coming. They’ve got a challenge ahead of them, right? Because you may be making that list with a little bit of, oh, I’m going to put on which one? Oh, you know. So yeah, the workbook, I think, will be a real help for this.

Doug Holt  26:42  

Oh, absolutely. And at least I found a way that’s the way that I organize it and ask the right questions to take you through this process. But guys, like everything, right, you got to do the work, right? The theory of doing it doesn’t help you, right? The theory of what it feels like to fall out of a plane going skydiving is very different than actually doing it, and I can tell you from experience, very different. It’s a theory of doing the things that Tim and I talked about is very different than taking action, right on your 25 five bonus points for any guys that want to share theirs in the Facebook community. Right, you go over there. You can actually share your results with the other guys and get some accountability for men just like you. As guys, we all often complain that it’s so hard to find someone in my area who I can talk to and have fun, have a drink, have depth conversations that matter, but also shoot the shit. All these guys exist, and they’re in one place. And it’s The Powerful Man, the Facebook community. So guys, again, I’m going to encourage you to go over to the powerful man.com forward slash Warren. That’s the powerful man.com forward slash, Warren. Get this free workbook. There are no strings attached; just get it printed out or fill it in the way I like to do and enjoy and see what this road is going to lead to you.

Tim Matthews  27:56  

I’m going to head over there and download that.

Doug Holt  27:58  

Yep, I thought you would. I want to see yours as well, man, which is awesome. So Gentlemen, thank you so much for spending a little bit of time with us today. And as always, as I said, Get the workbook, and if you have a moment, mean a lot to Tim and me if you just take a second to leave your honest, authentic review for us and wherever you’re finding this. So other men, just like you can see it would really mean touch us, we read them, and we’d greatly appreciate it. Guys, have an amazing day and always take action. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man show.