ET52- How to Achieve Big Goals with Finish Line Thinking

Success Coach And Performance Expert Nicky Billou

plan writingYou can’t win the race if you don’t know where the finish line is or the hurdles you have to clear to get there! Performance expert Nicky Billou shares some of his tips for getting the most out of everything you do and how to work on setting goals, outperforming your expectations and reaching real milestones in business and in life.

If you want more- more growth, more sales, more profits or just more wins in life, Nicky has the plan to get there. It was a great conversation with some real practical tips for achieving success that anyone can put into place immediately.

Show Links:

Twitter: @NickyBillou


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Matt: Welcome to the Entrepreneur Talk Podcast. Today, I have the extreme pleasure of speaking with Nicky Billou from and and others. He is a mentor and a coach and an advocate for all kinds of talk performers. I am very excited to speak with you today. You sound like you’ve worked with some of amazing people. I’m hoping that we’ll get a little bit of that knowledge today, brain dump for our audience. So, thanks so much for taking the time. Why don’t you kick it off by just giving us some of your background and how you got to where you at today?

Nicky: Matt, first of all, thank you so much for having me on the podcast. It’s a complete honor and a privilege. I’ll tell you what I love to do is I love the entrepreneur. I believe entrepreneurs are the greatest people in the world. You, as an entrepreneur, are a visionary. You are a job creator. You’re somebody who has belief in your dream and inspires and uplifts other people. By the fact that you do what you do, you help tons of other businesses be successful. You deserve all good things in the world. You, the entrepreneur, are the most important person in my universe. I wanted you to know that, Matt. So, about me, I do have the privilege of being born into an entrepreneurial family. My father has won several companies. He, at one point, employed over 50 people. My mother has been an entrepreneur. She has been a professional real-estate sales agent as well, real-estate investor. That’s my background from that perspective. Academically, I got the privilege of being a Georgetown Tab Hoya. I got my master’s degree from Georgetown University, the School of Foreign Service. I have the extreme privilege of studying with some amazing people. [0:03:59.0 Dr. Jack Kraki] was one of my pals I had the privilege of working in the area of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I had the privilege of learning from the great Tony Robbins, the great Robin Sharma and the great Mark McCoy [inaudible 0:04:12.1] as well. In my entire career, I’ve been a seeker. I’ve been somebody who wanted to get better. All the knowledge, all the thoughts that I’ve gotten had taught me one thing. One is that I don’t know a whole hack of velocities. I have a lot more to learn. Two is that success is really based on having a phenomenal mindset. Success is based on you as an entrepreneur, understanding that the most important resource you have is you, your mindset, and your belief in yourself. What I do primarily is I spread a message of success. I spread a message of “You’re having a great mindset!” and that’s where I’m about. That’s what I’m all about my friend.

Matt: Awesome! Well, I know one of the challenges that many of my listeners have as small business owners is they spend a lot of time running around with their hair on fire. They don’t have a lot of time to stop and do that internal work to figure out how they can step back from that day to day chaos and figure out how to work on growing the business, making it work better, controlling the chaos and really achieving their best because they are distracted by those little day to day niggling things that kind of chew away your time and distract you from your focus. What are your suggestions? What are your tips for somebody to take that day to day, kind of in the moment stress and frustrations and step back from that and figure out how to become that top performer that they could be?

Nicky: Sure. One of my areas of thought leadership is around the whole area of discipline, focus, habits. No top performer gets to be a top performer without discipline, without focus and without habits. I’ve learned from a lot of top performers what those looks like. For example, from the great Mark McCoy, 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist for Canada in 110-m high hurdles and the great Donovan Bailey, 100-m Olympic Gold Medalist. I learned that you got to have a delic focus on victory. You got to know what the finish line looks like and you got to believe, you got to have the delic focus on winning. Donovan Bailey once told me that he would visualize running the 100-m at the Olympic Finals. A hundred fifty, 200, 300 times a day, he did this for four years. Matt Remuzzi, that’s unreal. So, a relentless focus on victory is one important discipline to have. Second, I learned this from the great Robin Sharma. You need to join the 5AM Club. You need to wake up early. You need to be up at the time when other people are sleeping and you need to have a routine to follow during that time. A 5AM Club is a great time. Robin has what he calls “20-20-20”. He says workout for 20 minutes, journal for 20 minutes and for 20 minutes, consume some positive materials. Myself, I am an overachiever type. So, I work out for at least 40 minutes and while I’m working out, I’m almost invariably looking for something positive on YouTube or an audible or something like that. So, I listen to people like Les Brown, Robin Sharma, and Tony Robbins. That’s when I start off the morning route. I highly recommend it. Every single one of you listeners, join the 5AM Club. Have a delic workout discipline and listen to some positive stuff. You got make sure you journal. You got to have a journal with you. This is not something electronic. This is something that you got to write in. You can get a beautiful nice looking journal and a nice pen that writes well and plan your day in that journal. Write down the 5 winge you got to have that day. I do this on the daily basis. Robin Sharma taught me this as well. I record my 5 daily wins that I’m determined to have during the day. A part of my win every day is I got to make phone calls. Nicky Billou gets to be Nicky Billou when he makes phone calls because I unwell people. It’s one of my key strengths. In order to do that, I got to be on the phone. I got to be speaking to people. The second one I always go for is [inaudible 0:08:13.5] people in one of my events. Out of 5 calls, there’s got to be at least somebody who gets a roll in events. By the way, I’m up to 10 calls. It’s going to be soon up to 30 or 20 because we’re tempting to book things further. So, you got to ask yourself. What are my 5 daily wins? What are the things that I absolutely have to do? Because it’s not what you do once in a while that counts, Matt. It’s what you do day to day out. That’s what leads to victory my friend.
Matt: Yeah. Definitely. Consistent habits that are pointing you towards success is key. Also, I think you touched down one, and maybe we can expand on it, is understanding what the end goal is. Right? You just can’t say “I’m going to do better. I’m going to grow more.” You have to have concrete goals that you are shooting for that you can actually measure your success against, measure your progress against so you know if you’re actually achieving that or not. Right? I mean, isn’t that one of the key pieces of the whole picture is knowing that you’re aiming at?

Nicky: 100%! I talk about that in my book Finish Line Thinking. You got to know what the finish line looks like. Listen, a runner in the Olympics, a sprinter in the Olympics, or a swimmer, what have you, they know what the finish line looks like. That’s why they are able to hit it. If in business you don’t have a finish line, or your finish line is fuzzy, you’re toast. You got to get up. You got to go “What’s my finish line looks like?” For example, let’s imagine you are an executive coach or consultant and you’re making about $100,000 a year. Well, you can just say “I want to make more money.” You got to say “I want to make it quarter million dollars a year. I want to do that in the next 3 years. That’s my Olympics.” That’s how it goes.

Matt: Totally agree! If you don’t have a concrete thing that you can’t measure against, you’re going to have a very hard time knowing if you got there, knowing if you’re increasing your speed to the target, or you’re slowing down or you’re going sideways. So, for people who are interested in getting this kind of concrete coaching, is that what Finish Line Thinking Coaching is about – helping people concrete these goals and then figure out the day to day that’s going to get them there?

Nicky: 110%, brother. On my website, I got a score card which lets people rate to see what to see what their thinking status is like. You can have a mindset of a champion or a mindset of a 4th place finisher. Fill one of those out. It comes to me directly and I’ll reach out to them. If they qualify, frankly if they are a business person because that’s important to me, right? I work with a particular target audience if you will. Then, I’ll have a call with them and we’ll go through what their goals are to be. What I do in that point in time is if it makes sense, we both like to [inaudible 0:10:47.2]. I’ll offer them a 90-minute visioning session. That’s one of the services I offer. We go deep into what their 3 most important priorities are for their finish line. We create a plan of action from A to Z to get you there. That’s what I do inside that world.

Matt: Well, I think so many people, you know, imagine that they don’t have time for it. But I would say to them, you can’t afford not to do it. You can’t afford not to have a plan and a vision and know where you’re going. Otherwise, you really will just spend the next 40 years spinning your wheels.

Nicky: 110%! I’ll tell you this, anybody who says they don’t have any time; they need to understand that that’s just how the world occurs to them right now. The truth of the matter is, as an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be doing everything. You shouldn’t be working 14 or 15 hours a day. You should put yourself in a situation where you can delegate a lot of tasks or get rid of a lot of tasks. As an entrepreneur, you only should be doing the things that you’re brilliant that and are going to move the business forward. As an example, inside my business, I think I deliver my thought leadership and I sell. That’s what I do. I don’t go around renting hotel rooms for our events. That’s not what I do. Someone else on our staff does that. It’s important as an entrepreneur that you identify what your brilliances are. If you don’t know those, you know what? That’s another thing we can have a conversation about and it’s easy to find that out. I’ll let you know what your brilliances are really simple. You just do those. Everything else gets delegated. That’s why you should have plenty of time to think about your business, grow your business. Guys like Robin Sharma, even Tony Robbins, put plenty of white space in their schedule so they can do the thinking work required to get themselves to the next level. It’s the only way it works.

Matt: I completely agree. I’m a huge advocate of delegating everything that doesn’t directly add value to your specific business. Right? The admin tasks, the bookkeeping and accounting, all that stuff, if that’s not your core business strength, then you shouldn’t be taking your time, as a leader of the business, doing those kinds of things. You’re taking away from time that you should be investing in your core strengths and what your business is about. Your business isn’t about filing and doing the books. That kind of stuff. Its whatever the core strength of your business is. Whatever it is you’re promoting, that where you need to be focused on and delegating everything else. Like you said, you’re not booking the hotel rooms that would not be a good use of your time.

Nicky: Not at all. Not at all. In fact, it would be a very poor use of your time.

Matt: So, is journaling – that’s interesting because I’ve heard other people and I’m a big believer in the early morning start but I hadn’t heard people mention about journaling before. What should I be thinking about when I’m working on creating a journal and what should I be putting into that to help me with the rest of my day in the long term?

Nicky: Okay. First of all, go to the local book store or a stationary store. Pick up a nice-looking journal. One with a leader cover. It’s got to look good. It’s got to make you feel like a million bucks and something that is compact and you can carry around but also big enough that you can write it. Mole Skin is a great brand. They make phenomenal journals but there are tons of other ones as well. Secondly, what you want to think about in your journal is your plan for the day. What you do in the morning is you write out what you need to accomplish. Write out how you got to go about accomplishing it. If you wake up in the morning and you’re feeling anxious or something crappy happened yesterday, I don’t know you got a fight with your wife or with your lady. You got into a fight with your husband. Write all the stuff in your journal. If you got other things that are bothering you, write it out in your journal. The act of doing so actually takes that stuck energy that’s in your body that turns into a disease like cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes and crap like that and gets it out of your body so it doesn’t have any effect on you. It’s really important for you to journal. It’s very important for you to plan your day. Plan your week. Plan your month. Plan your year. Plan your life. But also, to get the poison out of your body by writing it out. That’s critical. Matt, if you don’t have a journal, as soon as you’re out this call, cancel whatever else that you got or get your assistant to go get you a journal and start right away buddy.

Matt: I am going to take that advice very much to heart because I can tell from the people that you work with and the success that you had, you know what you are talking about. I love the quote on your eCircle Academy Site. “If you are the smartest person in the room, find another room.” That resonates with me a lot.

Nicky: 100%, buddy.100%!

Matt: So, tell me a little bit more about the eCircle Academy. It sounds like you got some definitely 5 start contributors to this. What is that all about and how does that work?

Nicky: eCircle Academy is a very special program. I got to hand it over the great Matt Church and Peter Cook from Australia who started the program over what they called Thought Leaders Global, Thought Leaders Business School. These folks help people who are experts if you will. Coaches, consultants, thought leaders, if you will. Take that expertise and basically hone it so it’s clean like a mistle. It’s focused. It’s a niche-message. They help you find target niche markets and/or niche markets as you say in the US. They help you leverage it across various modes of deliver so you make a ton of money. So, example. Let’s say you’re an executive coach and you coach executives 101. Let’s say you do some speaking once in a while. Well, one of the things you can do is charge for your speaking. Another thing you can do is, maybe not charge for your speaking or charge less, but, sell a program in a box that people can buy. If you speak into a group of 200 executives and 40 people buy a $5,000 program, you just made $200,000 in an hour. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s what thought leaders do. ECircle Academy has been [inaudible 0:17:23.5] in Australia but it has added some of our brilliances. Example. One of the things that I really love to do and have some [inaudible 0:17:32.0] is in Roman. To me, in Roman, being able to persuade other people that what you have and your vision for them is good for them. The only way that you can be successful in Roman in my view is when people get that you care more about them and their success than you do about your short term game. I’m building that [inaudible 0:17:52.6]. My partner, Michael Palmer, has become a real expert in online marketing. He actually developed a comprehensive system of his own learning from a lot of great mentors, showing people how to build an audience, how to nurture an audience and how to leverage that audience for sales – massive sales. We’re doing that in eCircle Academy as well. ECircle Academy, it takes flights in yearlong formats. These formats start with these immersions. These immersions where we are giving incredible content. People from all different areas of thought leadership were in a room and it’s an immersive experience. So, what you would normally learn in 6 months in a year, you learn in 2 or 3 days. It’s very powerful. This happen every 90 days. In between, we have monthly mentoring calls. We got an online community and people get to have access to that online community if they become members of what we do. They also get access to this incredible curriculum of information as well which really teaches them everything they need to do, paid by numbers to get from wherever they happen to be, whether they make $50k, $100k, $150k to making a half a million, 3 quarters of a million, a million, a million and a half a year as a thought leader. That’s what eCircle Academy promises. That’s what we’re all about.

Matt: That’s really impressive. I’m looking at the site here and its saying “The promises to add a hundred thousand dollars to your annual income every 12 months and write at least 1 book per year” which I think is phenomenal. I wrote a book last year. It did tremendously well in terms of generating leads for my business but it wouldn’t have even occurred to me to do 1 book a year. Is that something that’s really beatable? That sounds amazing to me.

Nicky: It is. Now, you can do a book a year. You don’t have to. It may or may not makes sense for your thought leadership but what we want to show people is you absolutely can. There’s a process for how to help you develop the intellectual property. We have a process. Again, kudos to the folks in Australia, Thought Leaders Business School that has you develop new intellectual property on a weekly basis. By doing so, if you develop 52 new pieces of intellectual property in your area of expertise, Matt, there’s going to be no problem to take what you written up there. Put it in a format of a book. Get a good editor and get it set up. Boom! You’re done. Book is complete. That would be very helpful if you’re going in to new niches. You’re going entrepreneurs right now. Imagine you started to help real-estate sales agents or dentists or whoever. You want to create IP that matches their needs. If you do one piece a week after 52 weeks, you’re going to have enough to write a book. That book is going to help you get more prospects, more clients, generate more leads. It’s a beautiful thing. It truly is.

Matt: That makes a lot of sense especially when you take it and split it out into verticals like that. Then, you can see pretty quickly. Okay, I can see how it scales. Not only that, I can probably leverage a lot of what I did from one vertical into another vertical because there’s going to be a lot of crossovers. So, you’re leveraging your own content across different verticals without having to create the entire thing new from scratch which is awesome!

Nicky: It’s so good! We’re doing a little webinar on this on Friday morning. I think you’re California Time. It’s 8AM your time. I’ll send you a ping on it. If you are available, jump on. You’ll hear some incredible stuff that you can use immediately to make things happen for yourself to generate additional income right away.

Matt: That sounds awesome! So, what kind of people are good candidates to join eCircle Academy? Because it sounds like you got to already be in the certain kind of level and certain amount of credibility before you are fit for this? Is that right? Or is it really open to anybody?

Nicky: Honestly, it’s open to anybody who has the ability and the vision to become a thought leader. So, we got a lot of people in our life program that is all well-established and doing extremely well. We got a guy named Emil, the Dragon [inaudible]. He is an Australian who lives here in Toronto. This guy was on a programming candidate called Dragon’s Den which is similar to Shark Tank in the US. He’s already a bit of a rock star. We got other guys who got experience for 30 years in corporate and sales. We also got people who are just getting into it. It doesn’t matter where you are in your thought leadership. What matters is a.) You got to be coachable b.) You got to be hungry as my friend Les Spraw like to say to get to an actual level. You got to be somebody who really wants to do the work to get you there. If you are, you’re going to love being part of this group. You’re going to absolutely love it!

Matt: It definitely sounds like a powerful forum for learning how to be a lot more successful to really accelerate where you at to get way further down the road. As we said earlier, setting those goals and the finish line is farther and farther out as you are able to achieve more and more. What’s next for you? What are you adding to your own personal finish line and goals to achieve?

Nicky: Well, I’ll tell you. The number 1 thing that I want to do is I really want to make sure that eCircle Academy is a massive success. Our vision is we want to very quickly get to a 120 members. That’s going to be the type of community that’s really going to make a difference for a lot of people. That’s goal no. 1. But, further down the road, I want to see us go to a thousand or even 3 thousand members in our community. That’s important for me. I want to get a couple of more books out. I am working on a book right now with my partner for eCircle Academy. The tentative title is The Entrepreneur Who Sold a Soul and it’s going to be a great book. It’s going to be in a form of a business fable of somebody who basically as an entrepreneur sold their soul on their way back from that. It’s going to be powerful. It has a lot of great content but also powerful story. I’ve also written another book on my own which I’m not quite ready to move forward on but I want to get more and more books done. I’ll tell you. I’m an avid reader. I love fiction. I read a lot of fiction. One of my goals has been to publish a fictional book. I got an idea for that. I just got to take that time and make it happen, Matt. You know what I’m saying?

Matt: Definitely. I’ve got tons and tons of things I’d love to do too. It’s a matter of prioritizing and finding the time but yeah it always buzz my mind when people say “I’m bored. There’s nothing cool to do.” What do you mean? Give me some of your time then because I got a million cool things I like to do.

Nicky: Oh, yeah! There are so many phenomenal things that we can do. It’s just absolutely spectacular and beautiful brother.

Matt: Awesome! Well, for people who are interested in finding out more, connecting with you? What is the best place for them to find you?

Nicky: They can go on to Website. Fill out my score card. That’s a good start. They can send me an e-mail at Another e-mail address for me is They can try that. The info one is probably better to get a hold of me with. But, those are some good ways to get started. I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on Twitter. I’m using LinkedIn more than Twitter right now but those are some great places to do it.

Matt:   Awesome! Well, thank you so much for taking the time. I truly appreciate it. I think you share some phenomenal tips. I’m going to go out and get that journal right now and get that started. I can’t wait to see how that helps me in my day to day goal achievement. I really appreciate all the time you took.

Nicky: My brother, you are so welcome. I’m going to be sending you this link for the webinar. Listen, if you got people who are coaches, executive coaches, consultants, please send them this link for the webinar. We’d love for them to be part of it, my friend.

Matt: I will definitely share that with some people I think could take great advantage of it. For sure.

Nicky: Matt, you’re a good man. Have a great day, buddy!

Matt: Hey, you too! Thanks!

Nicky: My pleasure.

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