I recently read "High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard and one of the key habits in high performers according to Brendon is clarity. He asserts that the most successful in any field have incredible vision for where they want to go and how they want to get there.
Brendon claims the "how" part is something called "PQO" which stands for prolific quality output. This is a call to focus only on those things that will help you pursue your goal and then saying no to just about everything else. Your PQO is narrowed down to just the five key factors to success in your mission and then breaking those factors down into actionable items. Clarity at it's finest. No fluff. No randomness. Just clear actionable items that you know will move you closer to your ideal future.
Identifying Your "PQO"
To identify your PQO Brendon suggest that you take the time to visualize exactly where you want to go and then to find someone who has done what you are attempting to do. Often, we spend time reading books and listening to people who have never actually accomplished the thing that we are aspiring to accomplish.
For Brendon, the goal was to become an author and paid speaker. At first, he would say yes to any opportunity to write articles or speak for free at any event offered to him. He was also following the fancy advise given to every aspiring author: take a writing course, find your voice, hire a coach, and all the other cliche topics course makers come up with to get you as a customer. After awhile Brendon began to realize all of this unorganized work wasn't actually moving him any closer to his goal. So, he found a group of people who had done what he was wanting to someday do and asked them what five things attributed to their success more than anything else. They gave him his "PQO" to becoming a successful author:
1. Finish a great book.
2. Get a qualified and proven agent.
3. Build a platform and an email list. (Through blogging and social media.)
4. Create awesome book promo plan and offer free bonuses to everyone who purchases the book.
5. Get 5-10 people with big platforms to promote your book in exchange for portion of sales and future cross promotion for their next book.
That was it. Clarity. He knew the game plan and dedicated 90% of his schedule to accomplishing the task needed to complete each of these five key moves. He was able to say no to everything else and the result was a best selling book. The best part about discovering your "PQO" is that you don't have to be a genius to know that if you work the game plan you will receive the results, because you aren't blindly following your gut. You are following a path tread by others.
Church Planting "PQO"
As I thought and prayed about what I want Ascent Church to look like in five years it was easy to then identify those who have successfully accomplished starting a church similar to what we are envisioning. The "PQO" for us (Your's may be completely different based upon the results you are seeking) are as follows:
1. We need to fund raise exceptionally well.
2. We need to build a team of at least 75-90 adults on our launch team. (Not just attending, but giving and serving.)
3. We need to invest heavily in building and unifying the right staff team (Key leaders over the key ministries) and a solid gospel foundation among the rest of the team. We need to identify and train small group leaders BEFORE we need them.
4. We need an exceptional and excellent marketing, community outreach, and branding plan.
5. We need prayer warriors in our corner who believe in us even when we are losing faith in ourselves.
I know that if I do these five things Ascent will launch strong and be a multiplying church within five years. I know this with a high degree of certainty, not because I am a psychic, but because I am following the path of others. I have clarity for how I am supposed to spend my time.
The Daily Fight
Just because I know my "PQO" doesn't mean it is easy to stay on task. That is the purpose of this post. To admit that sometimes I choose things that are not in the best interest of my end goal. I find myself doing many "good" things that are simply not going to take me where I need to go. This quote by Peter Drucker always wakes me up to this reality,
"There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all."
I always have a choice between the easy or the clear.
I can read yet another book on church planting strategy or follow the path of the successful.
I can recreate my timeline for the 8th time or begin actually taking steps on the last one I created.
I can go to another conference and pretend I am making progress or actually make the scary call to invite an amazing person to join our team.
I can write a post about fundraising or put myself in a position where I might be rejected and actually ask someone to give.
The list goes on and on. If you are church planter you understand the battle. Actually, if you have ever tried to do anything significant at all whether that be writing a book, starting a diet, or any other variety of life/world altering endeavors. The path to where we want to go is often much more clear than we would like to admit. It's simple, but it's not easy. We have to develop the courage to say no to the easy and yes to the game plan. All meaningful things are hard. Let's embrace the fight to focus on what truly matters.