Allow me to tell you about a week in my life which happened a little while back ...
On the Sunday, I flew to KL to run a Digital Content Creation full-day workshop for producers and creatives at Astro, Malaysia's largest TV & Radio broadcaster on the Monday. I then raced to the airport to jump a flight to Bangkok.
On the Tuesday, I ran a full day Storytelling workshop for GTA, one of the world's biggest players in the B2B travel and tourism space. (This was a follow up to a 3-day global #YourStory Conference I'd hosted for them earlier.)
On the Wednesday I did a half-day webinar with the APAC leadership team from COACH luxury goods. Then off to the airport to fly to Shanghai.
Thursday and Friday I ran a 2-day Design Thinking forum for the Innovation department at Intel.
On the Sunday, I flew to Hong Kong to run a full-day POP THINK disruptive thinking workshop for Adidas (who I work with in 15 markets around Asia).
I then flew home, and collapsed like a starfish on my bed, absolutely mentally and physically spent. The adrenaline and caffeine withdrew from my body over the course of the next few days, as I decompressed and reflected on the previous week.
8 days, 6 workshops, 4 countries.
It was exciting, thrilling, challenging to work with so many differently great minds. Satisfying to feel that my skills work was pushing the right buttons with clients, and I was fully booked. And it was a wildly profitable week. Woohoo!
But ... but I resolved to myself to NEVER EVER DO THAT AGAIN.
Each workshop takes a lot of preparation, customizing as best as I can to who's in the room and what they need from me to help them fly higher. Each workshop also requires a lot of physical and mental energy. So I need to be mentally and physically fresh to give my best performance and inspire others.
How can someone who drags his weary ass into the room be an inspiration? I have to live and breath my message.
So I put in place a quota system: a limit of no more than 10 face days per month. And a maximum of 8 months per year. So there's only 80 live events on offer each year. Maximum. Because if I was greedy and went for more, word would soon get around that I wasn't giving everything to each event. I would just become a hack trainer.
If I made a word cloud of all the evaluations, "PASSION" and "ENERGY" are the two that would probably pop the loudest.
And if I didn't live up to that, my word of mouth referrals would soon dry up (82% of my work is happy customers coming back for more).
You can't stand out unless you know what you stand for. And that's something I would never dare compromise.
So, what would YOU never do again in order to improve your performance at work?
Because sometimes it what we DON'T or WON'T DO which says the most about us.