The Eight Pillar Professional- An Overview
Ten years ago I decided to take my passion for self-development and lifelong learning and turn it into a side business that involved mentoring, coaching and some DJing for weddings and special events. At around the same time I ran into a book by James Allen, best known for his book "As A Man Thinketh". This book was called "The Eight Pillars of Prosperity". Written in 1912 it included the virtues of Energy, Economy, Integrity, System, Sincerity, Sympathy, Impartiality and Self-Reliance. I read and re-read this book and begin to study each element individually. Some of the writing in the book being over 100 years old was somewhat dated, but as business philosopher Jim Rohn says, "There are no new fundamentals". The things that were true in 1912 or 1312 for that matter are still true today. Making the most of your energy, economizing in money, dress, food consumption and appearance, showing strong integrity in all of your dealings, having a place for every thing and everything in its place, being sincere in all of your dealings, showing sympathy for your fellow humans, being fair and just in your dealings and being self reliant are all just as vital now as they were when Allen wrote the book. To me, Allen's writings held the secret to becoming a success, which was then the highest goal of my life.
Over the next couple of years, I began to write some inspirational stories about historical figures (Ulysses S Grant, Ike Hoover, Edward Hopper) and players from my favorite sport, baseball ( Tommy John, Harmon Killebrew, Roberto Clemente, Lou Gehrig). I tried to impart some lesson from these people that would resonate with anyone reading the posts. At the same time, I felt it might be time to publish some of the creative writing (mostly poems) that I had been writing for years. This proved to be the biggest challenge for me mainly because first, I didn't think they were that good, and second, they are very transparent and reflect real feelings. Putting myself out there seemed like a high risk, low reward proposition. I finally overcame my fear by rationalizing that if ONE person gained something from an emotion I had shared, it was worth sharing. In 2014, I added Eight Pillars of Success as an additional Facebook page, as well as Pillar Music Service. I especially liked the term "Pillar" because in definition it is a column which supports a weight or as a secondary definition, a person of stellar standing in a community (pillar of the community).
Over the years between 2014 and 2020 the DJ side of the business really took off. In addition to my full time job as a complex rehab equipment salesperson, I DJ'd between 15 and 36 weddings per year. I tried to add the personal touch of meeting with every couple, and celebrating with them, not just as another wedding reception vendor, but as someone who really cared about the day that kicked off their life together. I feel I learned as much from these couples as they might have from me. Slowly, but surely I was also developing some training and teachings on the Eight Pillar Philosophy. Pages and pages of notes became outlines and stories. I would cull examples from books and seminars and live events that I attended. I became absorbed with picking up as much knowledge as I could. One thing that I didn't rely as much upon was my own career path. My false assumption was that if I wasn't pulling down seven figures from a sales or management job, no one would listen to me when I shared what was needed to become a success. Upon further reflection, I realized that I had succeeded in two vastly different marketplaces (healthcare and retail management) and that my trials (both professionally and personally) could become my testimony. I believed and still believe I have something of value to say.
The trail of self-doubt delayed the process of the Eight Pillars process. By 2019, I had a ton of material, much of it unshared except to the 5 or 6 men I had spent time mentoring or the group of guys that I worked with in various church mens groups. A quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr (1809-1894), an American physician and writer shook me into more rapid action. Holmes said “Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.” I knew I did not want time to run out on this passion of sharing principles with others that might make their lives more profitable and more enriching. Further reflection led me to change the name of my Facebook page to Eight Pillars of Significance. To me, Success is something that most people equate to money, a certain size house, a certain make of car or the number of toys they have. The problem with that is upon the day of their death they have none of that. Significance to me was the step after success. It is harder to measure significance but more apparent in the friends and family that are left behind. Significance is what lives on beyond you- your writings, your photographs, your wise sayings, your contribution to society, your touch on another's life. Yes, money and possessions can be a part of your legacy, but truly it is the memory of the personal signature you have put on your existence.
During time at home during 2020, I had the opportunity to further refine what I wanted to teach in the Eight Pillars of Significance. I asked a lot of questions of people I greatly respected, doubled down on my reading of those that I greatly admire (Jim Rohn, John Maxwell, Jon Acuff, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stephen Covey, among others) and created eight separate modules for the Eight Pillars of Significance. Another observation during the Covid related shutdown in 2020 was witnessing burnout and turnover in the already precarious field of healthcare. The healthcare professional, as a natural caretaker often forgets to put the oxygen mask over their own nose before putting it on the person they are caring for. As a result, I witnessed many friends in the industry tired, frustrated and seeking different or more satisfying work. I know that the material I had studied and the eight pillars program I had constructed could provide some answers. I specifically developed my Eight Pillar Professional Course to walk the healthcare professional through the eight steps of building a significant life. My strong belief is that it is more important for you to work on yourself than you do on your job. Let me explain that. It is not that I think you should shirk any of your job responsibilities or not strive to be the best employee, owner or teammate that you can be. I do believe it is more important, however, to develop yourself, become a more balanced, complete person, one who understands what makes you tick, how to de-stress yourself and what type of position best suits your temperament and personality.
In December 2020, I had an opportunity to present "Prospering After the Pandemic: 8 P's to Making 2021 Your Best Year Ever". In this presentation, I just gave a very brief ( 80 minute) overview of the Eight Pillars with a mini goal workshop highlighted. I received great feedback from that presentation and was able to present it to other groups afterwards.
In the months since then, I have been able to present both Module 1- Legacy Development and Module 4- Intentional Living to groups in person and virtually. As more and more live events are occurring here in 2021, I am confident that many opportunities will arise to present all 8 modules. I am also planning an all day seminar to give the entire 8 Pillar Professional Program in one day. Listed below is a summary of the Eight Pillars as I reconstructed them, along with a brief explanation of what I cover:
Legacy Development- Being an Eight Pillar Professional is about beginning with the end in mind. Going through an Obituary Exercise allows the participant to describe the type of person they would like to be remembered as, compare it to how they honestly are today and then developing a plan to meet that ultimate goal.
Passionate Planning- Once you have an idea of how you want to be remembered at the end of your life, this module takes you through the process of choosing core values, developing a personal mission statement and includes an extended goal workshop.
Soundtrack Composing- During the process of goal setting and core value development, the negative soundtrack in your mind tends to kick in the strongest. As many people develop and then commit goals to paper, their negative self-talk is already coming up with reasons why that goal can't work. Retiring old soundtracks, replacing them with new ones and repeating those new ones is vital. Also in this module we talk about music and how it can hold a giant influence on your life.
Intentional Living- Module 4 takes us to the point where goals are set, your self-talk is at a more positive level and you feel like you've set a sail towards a new destination. At this point, however, life takes over and we get so wrapped up in the daily grind that we don't slow down enough to meditate, breathe, refresh or rest. Intentional living teaches us to appreciate beauty in things and learn about what makes us tick- essential to reaching the goals we have now set.
Operating in Abundance Mindset- This module is one of my favorites as it takes into account treating your competitors differently- as if there is plenty to go around. It is not necessary for you to hoard or spend negative energy because you realize that there is never a shortage of ways to become significant. An important exercise in this module is the importance of words such as respond vs react, victor vs victim, selfless vs selfish or umbrella holder vs umbrella hoarder. it is the development of your personal philosophy on life.
Emotional Intelligence- Author Chuck Swindoll says "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." Leaning heavily on Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence, this module takes you through several exercises to see where you currently stand on the emotional intelligence scale and ways to improve your EQ (emotional quotient). Many business leaders believe EQ is a better indicator than IQ (intelligence quotient) on overall job success and satisfaction.
Partnership Building- Whether we are married or single, we are not designed to lead a life of significance alone. Using the Rule of 5, we determine people who can best provide a positive influence, people who's influence may have been holding you back and how to attract the 5 people you don't know yet who are going to make a huge impact on your life. Additionally, we talk about goals that should be shared, and those that shouldn't and accountability partners.
Tenacious Rebounding- Business leader and author John Maxwell defines this as "failing forward". It is the process of never letting a temporary setback control your destiny. Failure is an event not a person and failure is never permanent unless you allow it to be. Developing great techniques for responding to a temporary fail and using other peoples experiences as learning tools are important parts to this module. We will also talk about the "pivot" and making sure you are doing exactly what you were designed to do.
These eight modules when put together allow a person to see where they would like to be, honestly evaluate where they are now, develop values and a mission for their life, create short, medium term and long range goals for their life and prioritize those goals. Then once those goals are set, it teaches the person how to overcome obstacles that come their way, be in the right mindset for executing those goals and tracking them, be emotionally intelligent enough to respond correctly to events that are inevitably going to occur, develop the right partnerships to help achieve those goals and rebound from events that previously would have "killed the dream"
Over the next few weeks, I am going to write a blog post on each of these Eight Pillars. It is my hope that reading a little about this will spawn an interest in enrolling in the full Eight Pillar Professional Workshop that I plan for the fall. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or message me at email@example.com