Jocko Willink is a retired Navy Seal officer. In the course of his military career, he was deployed multiple times to hostile countries. I first heard Jocko speak when he was a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show–one of my favorite podcasts.
Normally, Tim and his guests discuss different aspects of business and sales–interesting marketing techniques and lifestyle hacks, but his interview with Jocko was completely different and very compelling. Jocko discussed motivation, discipline, and grit. When his book, Extreme Ownership was released, I grabbed it up and gorged on its contents. Jocko was in Iraq with the Seals in the same area at the same time I was in Iraq with the Army. I like to believe that maybe, just maybe, I was on a mission with Jocko and didn’t realize it.
Jocko takes the practice of discipline to a new level. He doesn’t mince words–Do the work, he says, and you will get results. He lives the way he speaks. Each morning, Jocko hops up at 4:30 AM, takes a picture of his watch and posts it to Twitter.
He isn’t flashy or hi-tech. When he retired from his successful military career, he founded a private consulting firm where, along with other veterans, he provides coaching and consulting for business struggling in one aspect or another.
Being an avid Jocko fan, I recently purchased his newest book, Discipline Equals Freedom. I enjoy his no-nonsense approach and have been reading a lot in my free time. I have a few thoughts about Jocko’s approach to discipline. While I like his style, I don’t entirely agree with his reasoning. In fact, I think he may oversimplify.
If you want to lose weight, then stop eating. If you want to save money, don’t spend it. If you want to get stronger, go to the gym. Jocko doesn’t buy into infomercials, hacks, or shortcuts. It just requires discipline, he claims.
I have to admit that’s quite refreshing to me. After all, I’m as guilty as the next person. I long for success to be as easy as a new tasklist app or a new digital planner–things I can purchase. But alas, these are just tools. Discipline is required to know where I am spending my money, time, and energy. If I can master that, then I don’t need a fancy new app or gadget. Our history books tell many stories of successful folks accomplishing amazing things without an iPhone or Instagram account.
I’d like to believe it’s as simple as Jocko asserts, but I’m a bit more jaded and a lot more realistic. If I had the discipline, to begin with, I wouldn’t even be pondering these questions.
But what if we could cultivate discipline? What would this look like, and how would it affect the way we live our lives and conduct our business? I’ve been thinking about this, and I believe the cultivation of discipline begins with a solid support system. You might call this a tribe or a group of peers; either way, it’s the people you surround yourself with.
I believe we can develop discipline if we surround ourselves with people who hold us accountable, peers who lend a hand when we need it. In Crossfit training, I surround myself with quality people who hold me accountable to work out 3-4 days a week. Until I became part of this group, I did not consistently stick to a workout routine.
This holds true in business. At AMT Squirrel Works we are looking for customers willing to hold us accountable and push our limits as a company. We want customers who demand we translate the latest sales and marketing tactics to logistics so they can crush their goals.
Our most successful customers are willing to do hard work. They need a partner to hold them accountable and to keep them motivated. That is our greatest strength. The future of sales and marketing requires a strong digital presence. This includes a modern website, relevant SEO, and active social media pages. It requires discipline and focus to implement, execute and stay focused on this plan, day in and day out.
We are standing before the future, and I believe we should take a page from Jocko Willink.
Cultivating discipline is a key component to success, and while it won’t happen overnight, at AMT Squirrel Works, you will find the support system, the underpinning to grow your business. Like all great partnerships, we will hold each other accountable and this will result in increased business and a healthy company positioned to remain relevant and adaptable in the years to come.