Episode 085: Transitioning from Idea to Bestseller and Stuck to Structure with Michael Leip

In this exciting episode of Maximize Your Strengths, we discuss everything from moving great new ideas into great new products and from old processes that get you nowhere to a new structure that changes your days and your mindset.

About Michael Leip

Michael Leip is the creator of Panda Planner, a daily planner that is scientifically designed to increase happiness and productivity, based on leading research. He first designed the planner for himself to help combat the negative side effects from Lyme disease, traumatic brain injury and cancer. The planner worked so well, he decided to offer it to others; it is now the best-selling personal organizer on Amazon.com and used by tens of thousands of people all over the world.

Michaels’s Top 5 StrengthsFinder Strengths

  1. Positivity
  2. Ideation
  3. Empathy
  4. Communication
  5. Strategic

Key Takeaways

  • Each Strength has needs. When you get irked or feel frustrated, it is likely one of your Strengths being neglected.
  • When you’re looking at starting something new, break down your goal what steps you do know. Then come back to your planning process and say, “Now that I know more, what is the logical next step to get me where I want to go?”
  • Ideation tends to have ideas literally popping like popcorn. Find a way to help you record and sift through each idea.
  • Empathy is a bit of a sixth sense—you just “feel” something. In overuse, however, people with Empathy start to consume other people’s emotions and take them on as their own.

Listen in now!

Time-Stamped Show Highlights

  • [3:49] – Mike’s initial reactions to his StrengthsFinder results

I was more surprised by how accurate the results were! As I was going through the questions, I had a lot of skepticism. But when the five Signature Strengths came up, I thought, “Huh, those are pretty spot on.”

  • [5:59] – What you can do once you have your StrengthsFinder results
  • [7:45] – Michael’s path to creating the Panda Planner

I got to a point where I needed something more to get me back on track. I needed a system that I could work my life around and be more productive.

  • [10:06] – Combining the Panda Planner with the Miracle Morning
  • [13:14] – Where your Strengths truly shine
  • [14:08] – How Mike went from a stapled Excel spreadsheet to an Amazon bestseller

From a very practical standpoint, it is all about designing a good product … You know what problem you’re trying to solve. You know how you want to solve it. How can you get to a point where you have a rough idea of what you want your end point to be.

  • [15:43] – Breaking your project into smaller goals
  • [16:50] – How Michael works through all of the ideas that pop through his head

Time and experience help you discern which ideas are the good ones and worth acting on and which ones you should abandon.

  • [20:02] – The people Michael leans on to assist him with working through his ideas
  • [21:25] – Knowing when to act and when to simmer with your ideas
  • [23:29] – Empathy as a Strength and how you handle “failure”
  • [23:59] – Michael’s Empathy at work in business

It drives a lot of motivation for why I do things … It’s more of a visceral connection …

  • [26:01] – Empathy in overuse, and how to keep it in check
  • [28:12] – Happiness and positive psychology
  • [29:04] – The bigger impact of the Panda Planner

The planner really works hard on helping shift people’s mindset to a more positive mindset.

  • [29:42] – Michael’s tip for making your first Panda Planner effective

There is a video to watch! In the planner, there are links to training videos. The feedback I’ve gotten from this is that the people who watch the videos are significantly more likely to use the planner and benefit from it than those how just get the planner and jump right in.

  • [30:50] – A note about the exercises

Take the time to actually feel what it is you’re writing about … Try and conjure up those feelings … You’ll get more bang for your buck and will see a lot more change in your life a lot quicker.

  • [34:05] – Michael’s promise to you about the Panda Planner

If you don’t like it, I understand it isn’t for everyone. I will give your money back.

  • [34:55] – Final words of encouragement from Alissa

Selected Links for This Episode

Maximize Your Strengths Resources

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