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Design A Purposeful Operating Rhythm: 4 Unbreakable Commitments To Put On Your Calendar (PART 1)

Brandon Fluharty |

Brandon Fluharty |


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⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️

Today’s edition breaks down the first of four specific calendar appointments you need to keep with yourself to take your sales career to new heights next year.

Let’s go!

Read time: <9 minutes

If you missed last week, read it here.


Taking ownership of your “business”

I’ve spoken directly with a few hundred sellers this year, and a theme I keep repeating in every conversation is the importance of building in specific moments of strategic thinking.

As a seller, your account list and territory is your business, so you need to operate more like a CEO to respect that responsibility. Planning and thinking deeply about your business is a key component to fulfilling that obligation. Otherwise, your progress will always be at the mercy of your manager, colleagues, clients, and other demands on your life.

On my path to back-to-back 7-figure earning years in SaaS, and now building my own business, I carve out specific moments at dedicated times for strategic thinking, planning, and reflection. It’s part of a purposeful operating rhythm that keeps me on a path to asymmetric returns in life. This habit is shared by some of the most Purposeful Performers throughout history.

Today, I’m deconstructing the first of four unbreakable commitments I keep with myself and design my business around. I encourage you to try all four and commit to scheduling them on your calendar.

Let’s dive into the first one!

But first, start with finding your Ikigai

Image courtesy of BetterUp.

Ikigai is a concept I’ve written about before. However, the popular Venn diagram you see above is not the proper form of what the Japanese consider true Ikigai. It was created by an entrepreneur named Marc Winn back in 2014. But like all great concepts, the beauty is they can be built upon and adapted over time to meet the demands of modern society.

Regardless of the true origins and nature of Ikigai, this diagram provides a helpful structure for you to think about your approach – not only in your career, but your life. I have adapted it slightly to look like this and we’ll use it to help you design a solid annual strategy:

Before you get too detailed with creating your operating rhythm, start with finding your Ikigai. Here’s a helpful, free guide from Positive Psychology to do just that.

Commitment 1: The annual strategy

What is it?

This is the blueprint for the upcoming year. Instead of goals (no matter how S.M.A.R.T. they are), I adopt a system to guide my approach. I like to use the MVP framework:

(M) Mission

What are you obsessed with bringing to life? Think of this as your North Star, or the overarching beacon guiding your actions.

For example, “My Mission is to teach 100,000 strategic revenue generators in tech how to become Purposeful Performers so they can create outsized value, turn work into a fun game, and retire from the corporate hustle ahead of schedule with financial independence by writing and publishing a world-class newsletter every week.”

Will this grow, change, and evolve? Absolutely! But at this stage of my life, it represents a great focal point to shape my year ahead.

Rewinding the clock back to when I was an active strategic seller at LivePerson, here’s what my mission looked like: “My Mission is to help 10 Fortune 500 brands in retail and travel become conversational businesses so consumers can state their intents, and like magic, the brand makes it happen, give contact center agents more control to deliver an impact and have a new career path, and enable executives to use these insights between consumers and agents to become smarter, more profitable enterprises by engaging and sharing a distinct vision for innovative contact center leaders within my Diamond Accounts.”

The Mission, as influenced by the Ikigai diagram, is best found at the intersection of What You Love and What the World Needs.

Here’s the recipe: “I help <specific number> of <ideal clients> do/become <your company’s distinct category> achieve <clear transformation> by <delivering your unique capabilities>.”

The number is proximal, so don’t get too hung up on this. Your ideal client should extend beyond your company’s ICP and include factors important to you. Your distinct category needs to transcend beyond what your company’s product is so that you can better attract the type of clients you love. The clear transformation stems from what would improve your ideal client’s world. Finally, your unique capabilities are what only you in the world can deliver to them.

Note: If you struggle to create a vision that feels right in your mind and heart, it might be time to consider a move to a better environment.

(V) Vision:

What is the result of delivering your Mission? Think of this as the telescope or map – the clear visual of where you will go.

For example, “My Vision is to create a trusted online space for revenue generators to learn, implement, and create value in their life and for others by turning work into play through a system of clear frameworks, helpful tools, and personalized milestones.”

Regarding the Ikigai diagram, I purposefully use Vision over Vocation here, as vocation feels limiting. Your Vision is best pursued at the intersection of What The World Needs and What You Can Be Paid For.

(P) Passions, Principles, Priorities, Projects:

How do you stay true to your Mission and enable your Vision? Think of Passions, Principles, Priorities, and Projects as the vehicle, fuel, compass, and navigation system that get you to your destination.

Let’s start with Passions. For example, I love writing. It’s my preferred medium of communication to bond me with you. So, it feels most natural to leverage this Passion as the best vehicle to travel to my destination.

What are you passionate about? It’s found at the intersection of What You Love and What You Are Good At. A good stress-test for finding true Passions is deploying the 3-Year Test by asking “What can/do I want to do every day for the next 3 years?” Also, try to find more than one, and they should extend beyond work. The goal is to create a well-harmonized life. You can prioritize them later (the third P that we’ll get to later). The goal is to go from good to great, and then eventually world-class.

Next, let’s break down Principles. If Passions are the vehicle, then Principles are the fuel – because they are rules that support your Passions. Thinking of them this way helps you to design very useful Principles so you can reduce decision fatigue.

For instance, one Principle I live by that supports my Passion for writing is to complete at least one new Pomodoro (a 25-minute focused effort followed by a short break) of writing new content before checking email each day.

Not only does this fuel my Passion, but it improves my craft the more often I do it. In addition, this Principle is both easy to apply each day and track. That makes it prime for turning WORK into PLAY. Lastly, by having a list of Principles in place that support my Passions, I can design my calendar in a very intentional way – I use my Principles to filter what goes on it or not, or what I say yes to or no to.

For each Passion, create at least three Principles you can use to support them. You can always adapt them as your progress during your Monthly Update (something I’ll get into in a future edition). I like to structure my Principles so that I’m covered in real-life scenarios:

  • → PASSION (Writing)
    • – Ideal Schedule (i.e. Working from home in a quiet space with dual monitors and starting my day at 7 AM)
    • – Adapted Schedule (i.e Working while on the road from just my laptop on a crowded plane)
    • – Oh Sh*t Schedule (i.e. Forces out of my control wrecked havoc on my day and I’m playing catch up)


Once you get good at setting up and adhering to these rules (reinforced through the other operating rhythm commitments I’ll break down in future editions), you can start to get more advanced. For instance, I personally love to travel. I can create rules that combine the Human Passions with Professional Passions like this:

    • Principle: “Every time I travel on a plane, I will not turn on the news or a movie until I have completed 3 Pomodoros of writing.”


I use these rules to gamify my life and turn two passions into a compounding habit that creates outsized leverage. Here’s how and why that works:

Image courtesy of Jeron Kraaijenbrink

Regarding the Ikigai diagram, Passions + Principles are found at the intersection at What You Love To Do and What You Are Good At.

Next, Priorities act as your compass. We have an endless list of priorities (deliberately lowercase), but there can only be a small subset of true Priorities (capitalized). They are the ones that always point north toward your Mission.

“If you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.” – Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism

For example, since my Mission is to teach 100,000 revenue generators how to become Purposeful Performers through writing, I must ensure I deliver a high-quality newsletter that stands out and creates value. My newsletter – from the topics, to the content, to the platform, to making it easy to sign up, etc. – is a true priority. This helps keep me focused and avoid distractions or “shiny new object” traps, like trying to build a TikTok following.

List out all of your Priorities for the year. I recommend adopting no more than 10, and then ruthlessly cut down to the top 3. Like Passions, they should extend beyond work so you can manage your work and life as an integration, not a balance.

“Focus is critical. If you establish too many goals, you end up with too many priorities and too many tactics to effectively execute. Everything cannot be a priority. You will need to say no to some things in order to be great at the things that matter most. It takes courage to limit your focus to a few key areas.” – Brian P. Moran, author of The 12 Week Year

Lastly, Projects are the navigation system you use to get clear directions to your destination. Each Project should have a due date, along with an immediate next action that is put on the calendar. Structure the Projects like this:

  • → Name
  • → Due Date
  • → Next Action (The most important, immediate next step)
    • – One-time → Schedule it on the calendar (i.e. on Friday, February 16)
    • – Recurring → Schedule it to repeat at a specific day and time (and keep that time protected on your calendar)


You can list all of the other actions for that Project (that you are aware of at this point), but to not overwhelm yourself, schedule only the next, immediate action on your calendar.

Tip: When you do something is just as important as what you do, so be sure to align your next action with your appropriate energy state. For example, if you know your energy dips after lunch, then don’t schedule something of high value then. Save those for when your energy is high (more on this in a future edition).

Regarding the Ikigai diagram, Priorities + Projects are essentially the functional components of your Profession. Combined with your skills, this is “what you do.” They should intersect at What You Are Good At and What You Can Be Paid For.

When to do it and long does it take?

The quiet time at the end of December and early January is a great time to work on your MVP strategy. You should dedicate at least 6 hours to this practice and schedule dedicated blocks (a minimum of 90 minutes per block) to work on this until it feels right to you.

Helpful tools

Notion (Create your MVP)

Todoist (Manage your Projects and tasks)

Here’s what it looks like in action

Let’s put this into action together

On Monday, December 11th, from 4 – 5 PM EST, I will run a workshop walking Make More Hustle Less Club Members through this framework, including the tools I use, and will share a template you can copy and use.

There are three ways to access this workshop:

1. Current MMHL Club member: Go to your hub page.

2. 7 Steps to 7 Figures reader: Add a membership.

3. Newsletter subscriber only: Sign up for the 7 Figure OS and select Option 2 or 3.

Please note, if you’re reading this after this date, the workshop has been recorded and is available on demand right now in the member hub page.

See you next week, when I will dive deep into designing the second commitment (Monthly) to help you adapt your strategy as you progress!


Here’s how I can help you right now:

1 | Unlock the 7 Figure Seller OS

Learn how to use design and systems thinking to become a 7 figure seller. There are 3 options to allow you to customize your learning journey.

2 | Download The 7 Figure Open Letter

Get the creative strategic selling strategy that landed a $5.9M deal with a top 4 major global airline. Bonus inside!

3 | Book a 1:1 coaching session right now

You can book a 60-minute coaching session with me (although the Pro above option provides access to 1:1 coaching with me at a 70% discount. Note, just a handful of available coaching slots remain for 2023).

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