HVF012 – Rian Doris

Tony Winyard – Health, Breathing, Sleeping, Mindset & Movement Coach

Happy Vs Flourishing episode 12 featuring Rian Doris talking about the science of flow states, coaching techniques for flow and peak performance that reach from embodiment practices, recovery to flow triggers and gratitude.

15 obstacles to achieving flow state
1. Mindset
2. Distraction
3. Burnout
4. Exhaustion
5. Sleep
6. Overwhelm
7. Clarity
8. Motivation
9. Passion, purpose, curiosity, mastery
10. Time – output

Recommended book:

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – Jeff Sutherland

Favourite quote:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “”Control of consciousness determines quality of life”


Tedx Talk: “Why Hustle Doesn’t Lead to Success”

Happy Vs Flourishing links:

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How to leave a podcast review:

Full shownotes including transcription available at:

Tony Winyard 0:00
Happiness versus flourishing Episode 12 Welcome to the podcast where we give you ideas on how to have a more meaningful life, a better quality of life, small things you can do to to improve your life. My name is Tony Winyard. And today's guest is a guy called Rian Doris and we're going to talk about flow and peak performance and areas around that. So we're gonna be hearing a lot more from Rian Doris in just a few minutes. It would be great if you could subscribe to the podcast, why not go onto iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play wherever you go to, to listen to your podcasts and subscribe so you get to hear it more often. And the more people that subscribe, the more people get to hear about the show. And why not leave a review for us. Let us know what you think about the show. not asking for five star reviews are much prefer honesty, because that's how we improve. So if there's something an area you feel the show could be improved upon, either. drop me an email, send a review, whatever, but it will be good to let us know. So right now. It is time for this week's show.

Tony Winyard 1:20
Happiness versus flourishing. My guest today is Rian Doris. How are you doing?

Rian Doris 1:25
I'm good. Thanks. Yeah. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Tony Winyard 1:29
Good to have you on. We were briefly chatting before we started recording. And you said you're from Dublin but did you say you're currently in Portugal?

Rian Doris 1:38
At the moment, I'm in Lisbon, in Portugal, normally based out of Venice Beach in California. But I'm decided to do a little three week staycation in Lisbon on my way back to California from Dublin.

Tony Winyard 1:55
And it's funny when you just said that about the California. I could hear in your voice both the Irish and the California coming out.

Rian Doris 2:05
That's funny. Yeah, apparently minor shocks. It's gotten a little bit a little bit diluted, which I'm not allowed to hear about. with your friends.

Tony Winyard 2:14
I'm sorry about that.

Rian Doris 2:16
Yeah, they they, they have great phones. They have great phones, as most Irish lads do on the on the slagging front and whatnot.

Tony Winyard 2:26
So what is it took you over to California?

Rian Doris 2:30
Yeah, so moved that there was kind of a back and forth since 2016, the last four years or so. I originally went out with friends for a summer to work, things like that. I just fell in love with all elements of it, from the weather, to the opportunity to the people to the culture. And the thing that keeps me wanting to live there and keeps me coming back, or at least has done up till now is the entrepreneurial positive, uplifting culture and vibe. And I really, really find that incredibly energising and refreshing. And in some respects, yeah, and liberating. There's, you know, everywhere everyone wants everyone else to succeed, or at least that's the feeling that you get from the overall culture that's emanating there.

Tony Winyard 3:32
And so has it changed much about what you do?

Rian Doris 3:38
Yeah, in some respects, I think that being there and having connection to the people there that I know and have built relationships with and having inspiration that's come from being around those kinds of people and the knowledge and everything has had an immense impact, I think on our ability to grow as a company on my ability to grow the company, and on my just overall development in general.

Tony Winyard 4:14
So for the listeners who aren't so familiar with you, what is you do?

Rian Doris 4:18
Sure, yeah, so I run a company called the flow research collective with a fellow who some of your listeners may know called Steven Kotler and Stephens written 12 National best selling books. And he is considered one of the world's leading experts on flow state and the science of peak performance. He's been featured everywhere from Time magazine to being on Joe Rogan to working with and training organisations like Google and the US Naval War College and the centre. And so Steve and I set up the flow research collective with the goal being that we do too. main things one is research as is in the name, and then one is training. on the research side, the goal is to decode the neurophysiology of peak performance, which in simpler terms means to understand what is going on in the brain. And in the body, when humans are performing at peak capacity are performing at their best, which tends to coincide with being in what we call flow state. And we're doing that through partnerships with Stanford and UCLA, and a number of other organisations and institutions, we partner with researchers and academics, within academic institutions and assist with their research in order to achieve that objective. And then on the training side, we work with entrepreneurs and executive teams and other business leaders, and help them implement neuroscience based peak performance practices, strategies and tools to help them get more done in less time and improve their ability to access flow with consistently so they can improve the professional results they're trying to get across the board. And we've built a team of PhD level coaches, psychologists and neuroscientists who work one on one with our clients in order to support them and in achieving peak performance sustainably. Hmm.

Tony Winyard 6:25
It sounds fascinating., how did you get hooked up with Steven Kotler?

Rian Doris 6:30
When I was in college A number of years ago, I developed when I was when I was young, even 1516 became very, very ambitious and driven and developed through reading some of the classic sort of self help books that I'm sure you're aware of from Tony Robbins to Think and Grow Rich, and that kind of thing, just developed it extreme ambition and hunger to try and build something or become something or do something meaningful and worthwhile. And so develop the habit, one in college of just reaching out to constantly reaching out to people who I've found inspiring and who I aspired to be like, or have similar impact to. So I would just incessantly whenever I see some on a podcast, or read a book, I would hunt down their their contact details online. And sometimes I'd go to very obscure extents, in order to do so from adding the their team members on their personal Facebook pages, and basically harassing anyone who was in any in any distance of them. But in almost all instances, I would get extremely positive responses and also managed to connect with an amazing amount of extremely high level people on people even know the names of just through cold outreach, I would just sound the student, you know, how can I help I see you're doing this, how can I add value I want to help, here's something I could do that might help the this kind of narrative of just trying to bring energy and enthusiasm to the table and add value. And so anyway, I was doing that for years and ended up getting some amazing internships and opportunities out of it as a result, mostly us base. And so one example I worked with Keith ferrazzi, who is a very well known author and speaker and expert on peak performance within teams. He wrote a book called gnabry loan by networking, which was a huge New York Times best selling head. And so managed to work with him for a whole summer in LA and setting his place in the Hollywood Hills and got to meet amazing people as a result of that. And then Steven I interacted with and Canada contact with in the first place through a sort of similar approach. I listened to him on a podcast, I love what he was talking about with respect to flow and peak performance found at immensely, immensely interesting and really appreciated how science based and rigorous he was, I could tell that as a distinguisher, just from hearing him on the podcast that I added him on on his personal Facebook page, and preparation, mass opportunity, and cause the luck of him just posting asking for interns that five years ago at this point. So I reached out to him, started working with him, as an intern scale up my portfolio of work more and more on than 18 months ago, a number of different things happened, which made it makes sense for us to set up the flow research collective together.

Tony Winyard 9:45
What were the first steps What did you start doing after that?

Rian Doris 9:51
So we bootstrapped to get to where we are now we're currently working with about 1000 clients a month teams about I lose track next year. have the exact same numbers, I think we got about 35 or so on the team now. And we kicked off Stephen had an audience to begin with. So we kicked off for the big live event for that audience. And then we use the revenue that we generated at that live event, and reinvested that stripe back into the business into another live event that ended up being bigger and then took those phones and reinvested those stripe back in. And we've repeated that cycle of of earning and reinvesting for scale and earning and reinvesting for scale. Over the last 18 months or so it was March 2019, that it kicked off. So whatever amount of months that is to now and yeah, so that's been the trend that we've grown exponentially since, and are delighted with, with the impact that we're having right now. And obviously, there's immense room for improvement, and lots and lots of growth to come, hopefully.

Tony Winyard 10:57
And how has the whole pandemic situation affected you?

Rian Doris 11:03
We were immensely lucky, in that we were already a distributed team. First of all, so all of our systems were in place for remote work. Already, we're already optimised for that. In addition to that, we also had most of our offerings, online, digitally delivered, you know, our main offering is, is peak performance coaching other separate executive teams. And even if we're working with a big executive team, like we did a big engagement with a centres leadership team in the Netherlands. And regardless of the pandemic, we would do that remote for a number of different reasons. Already. So we were we were positioned very nicely whereby a whole team was already remote, all of our offerings were already remote. And so due to that, it didn't have any negative impact on us from a organisational standpoint, in terms of demand, we also were very lucky in that respect, whereby people just really felt the need for what we were our offering we're offering. And so we actually experienced tremendous growth in the first few months after the pandemic, and that that growth has continued since then. So we've been immensely lucky in that respect.

Tony Winyard 12:21
And I wonder if people that have been through that training and really understanding flow, have therefore managed to cope with the whole situation much better?

Rian Doris 12:32
I think so. I think so. I mean, I don't want us to take excessive credit for people's ability to cope with such a challenging situation. But I think, understanding how to manage one Psychology at a management stage, how to recover properly, how to ensure that adversity turns into post traumatic growth, and you have an anti fragile response to an adverse event, and understanding what habits and protocols and practices you need to have in place in order to be performing at an optimal level and how to keep those consistent. Even as stress levels increase. And the conditions become more challenging when you have that understanding and those skills, the likelihood of you responding positively, or being able to cope at least positively, when a black swan event like the pandemic happens, increases? For sure, I think,

Tony Winyard 13:26
How often is it that the people you're training have got very little knowledge or understanding of flow? Or is it usually the case that they've got a reasonable understanding, and they just want to get a much deeper understanding?

Rian Doris 13:49
In many respects, understanding flow is only useful to the extent that it's going to allow you to get the results you want to get in your own life with respect to what it is you're actually trying to do. So we're not necessarily educating people about flow we're on if we are doing that, we're doing that because they need to know a certain amount to be able to put into practice the things that are gonna actually benefit them. So I think we get a balance, you know, we get a bounce, we got some people who've read all Stephens books, who've listened to our podcast, who are just huge fans of, of the idea of flow state and the neuroscience based approach that we take to it. And then we get people who are real estate developers that are just absolutely swamped and struggling with stress, overwhelm, and uncertainty and want the support that coaching on a programme like this can can provide in order for them to perform better professionally. So some people come in as fans of the content and our approach specifically. And then a lot of people come in with problems that they want us to help themselves and also Mostly on always, as a marketer, and as a product developer bias towards making sure that we are oriented more to the problems that people have and the challenges that they want assistance with, than to, you know, our our shiny objects and our phone ideas.

Tony Winyard 15:26
My guess and I could be completely wrong is that when you're dealing with typical, say, Brits, and Irish, we're going to be much more cynical than many Americans?

Rian Doris 15:37
very much so very much. Yeah. And being Irish, got direct first hand experience that for years, but at the same time, the effectiveness of it, of training performance, purposefully, mitigates mitigates scepticism, mitigates cynicism very significantly. And mindfulness is a very good example of that. There's huge scepticism with respect to mindfulness and the idea of meditating and people viewed it as ridiculous and some sort of pseudo spiritual, semi religious thing that was obscure and bizarre to try and bring into the workplace. And then people did it, and found it immensely helpful. And there's also of course, immense amounts of research supporting the efficacy of mindfulness for all sorts of different outcomes. And it's the same as that, you know, if a works, scepticism and cynicism dissipates very, very quickly.

Tony Winyard 16:41
And so how typically, would the person who is initially sceptical about it, how did you get them to do something like meditation in the first place?

Rian Doris 16:50
Well, we're not I mean, we're not necessarily teaching the meditation. So you know, ultimately, the outcome that we're trying to achieve is to help them get more consistent, reliable access to flow state. And so just to define what that is, for a second, to flow is technically defined as an optimal state of consciousness, where we feel our best when we perform our best. And it refers to those moments of total absorption, and rapt attention, where you're fully honed in and focused on the task at hand where time dilates, and hours go by what feels like minutes. And your sense of self, that inner dialogue, that voice in the back of your mind tends to quieten, and go offline, during flow state and thrive performance, both mental and physical go through the roof. And so everyone has experienced that state, you know, it's usually referred to as being in the zone, or getting the groove or dropping in or getting unstaged, or being honest. There's all sorts of synonyms for flow, and everyone's experienced it. And it's ultimately it's the state that everyone's trying to get to, when working. It's the reason that we set up our desks in a certain way, or trying to remove distractions, or trying to get up earlier to do deep work. It's because we're trying to cultivate conditions for flow, because when we're in flow, performance increases above and beyond any other state. And so what we're trying to do is take this ephemeral, sporadic occurrence, which is time spent in a flow state and turn it into something that you actually have some control over so that you can reliably and repeatedly drive yourself into flow rather than maybe dropping into that zone, you know, once on a Tuesday afternoon, every couple of weeks at random. And then, after having been in that state and found a wildly productive, being uncertain as to actually get back into that zone. So by understanding the research for flow, we have a deeper understanding of what the preconditions for flow are and how you can actually get into that set in first place. And then when you understand those preconditions, you can start to increase the consistency and reliability with respect to which you can access flow.

Tony Winyard 19:13
What do you think are the biggest challenges for many people to try and get into that state in the first place?

Rian Doris 19:21
Sure. Yeah. So we we talk about these as the flow blockers. And these are a little less dense with respect to the research then a lot of the other work these have emerged anecdotally, through the clients that we've worked with. And there's there's 10 big ones. I'll run through each briefly. First one is mindset. So Dr. Carol Dweck is a an amazing researcher on mindset. She's a psychologist at Stanford. She did a lot of the original pioneering work on fixed and growth mindsets with with a friend fixed mindset, if you've got a fixed mindset, you essentially believe that your capabilities, your talent, your intelligence, your skill levels are innate, and inherent, and those fixed and not possible to shift or improve or actually have control over. Whereas with a growth mindset, you believe that those things are the byproduct of effort being exerted or action being taken, you believe that it is possible to expand intelligence, increase skill, and actually positively change in a direction that you'd like to change. And so having a growth mindset is the first crucial step. If you don't, if you don't have a growth mindset, we might as well be talking to the wall in that you're just not going to believe that Yeah, the sort of change that is potentially desirable to is even a possibility, due to the way in which you view yourself and the world, since the first one.

Rian Doris 21:06
Distraction is another huge one. And this is obviously immensely pervasive, and in today's world, but distraction is just an immense blocker from flow. So flow states happen as part of a four stage cycle. And this is research that a cardiologist at Harvard by the name of her Benson has done. And you it's referred to as the flow cycle. So when you get into that zone, that state of flow, that's actually just one stage in a four stage cycle, it begins with struggle, where you are initiating an activity or a task. And cortisol levels spike a little bit, norepinephrine and spikes a little bit on the front end, and you feel this sense of struggle, this conscious sense of struggle, then there's a release phase, where you're transitioning, and then there's the flow state itself. And then on the back end, there's a recovery phase. And so understanding that flow cycle that goes from struggle to release the flow, to recovery, and then knowing how to move yourself through that cycle, with as much speed and consistency as possible is crucial. And distraction keeps people locked at the front end of that cycle in a struggle phase, because they begin a task, let's say you pull up a essay that you've got to write, if you're a college student, or presentation you're building or whatever it may be, you begin that task. And you can feel oftentimes, that sense of struggle building is a sense of resistance, as Steven pressfield calls it in the War of Art. And often that sense of struggle, that sense of resistance becomes so high or burdensome, that we distract ourselves, we just quickly check a YouTube video, we go get some ease, we try and do something that's more pleasant, and pleasurable than engaging in the task with which was struggling. And then that ends up resetting us back to the beginning of the flow cycle, the start of the struggle phase, we re engage in a task and we struggle, struggle struggle. And once we've tolerated the pain enough, we distract ourselves again, and we reset it continually not knowing that if we were to persist without breaking focus, and without getting distracted, we would break through the release phase and then through to the flow cycles, but through to the flow state itself. So distraction is is just a train wreck for that reason, and many others. Barnett is another huge blocker from flow, peak performance, especially for high performers. And Christina maslach, who is the original researcher in burnout, we use the term burnout, a lot Mads really much so very much so part of common parlance, but it actually only merged around the 1970s as a term. And Christina maasvlakte. Research shows that there's actually six triggers for burnout. And only one of those, interestingly, is work overload, or the amount that you're actually working people presumed the burnout is just the result of working too much. But they're actually more nuanced triggers of burnout. fairness, is one example. So a lack of fairness can burn you out just as much as working too much can burn you out. And so knowing how to diagnose what the cause of burnout is, and then take actions to resolve that makes a huge difference with respect to flow and being burned guys, and it's fried, is also a blocker for flow. The two distinct things that occur with burnout are exhaustion, low mood and then cynicism. Interestingly, cynicism is very much a symptom of burnout. So often, we're just not juiced up and jazzed up enough about thing that we're doing when we're burnt out to give it enough time and energy and attention, in order to get into flow in first place. exhaustion is a really obvious simple one. But exhaustion is, is an immense blocker flow, if you are just, you know, falling asleep at the computer, you're not gonna be able to get into a state of peak performance or flow by, you know, sheer due to sheer biology. And the degree to which people are under slept is shocking, the degree to which a chronically under slept a lot of our clients actually don't even know what the personalities like well rested. They they almost they don't even know who they are actually well slept and well rested, because they've been chronically exhausted, sometimes for 510 years straight, and have lost sight of what life actually feels like well rested, and so often with fixed asleep, and they realise that this long list of emotional and relational and professional problems they had just evaporated, simply due to them actually, once and for all finally being being properly slapped. And not actually having their cognitive faculties back online, again,

Tony Winyard 26:20
it's amazing, really, isn't it?

Rian Doris 26:22
Yeah, it's wild. It's simple, but it was simple, but very, very, very easy to overlook things. Sleep. I mean, we talk about health, often as a pyramid with sleep at the bottom. And then and then exercise and then nutrition. A lot of people hugely underestimate the importance of sleep, you know, there's often more, there's more talk about supplements, and more talk about the exact kind of workout routines needed or the right kind of diet than the rest of that sleep. But if you've gotten sleep out of whack, firstly, your ability to stick to a diet in the first place, is going to be totally shocked because of reduced willpower and things like that when fatigued. But also just in terms of overall health and energy and vitality. I would at least personally, take eight hours sleep a night with a crap diet, over four hours sleep a night with a perfect diet any day, you know?

Rian Doris 27:26
Sure, so overwhelmed, overwhelmed. Another huge blocker for flow overwhelm essentially occurs when the demands that are placed upon us whether they are emotional or literal, exceed the resources that we have to cope with those demands, whether those resources are time based or financially based or energy based. And so reducing the amount of balls, someone is juggling, tends to obviously make a huge difference overwhelmed and allows someone to, to calm down enough to be able to focus for a long period of time on one thing, which is what's required in order to be able to get in flow in first place. Clarity is another big flow blocker, lack of clarity. And this occurs for folks both in the shorter term and the longer term. So long term lack of clarity is uncertainty with respect to what direction one wants one's life to go, what one's long term goals are, what their impact, the impact of trying to have is, and then shorter term clarity is, you know, what do I actually do today or this week, and getting both the long term and short term lack of clarity turned into clarity makes an immense, immense difference. And then motivation is another fairly obvious but, but huge one. And there's a distinction that you may be aware of between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. intrinsic motivation is where the task is worthwhile in and of itself, regardless of what comes as a result of engaging and if you're doing it and extrinsic motivation is where we are engaged in a task because it's going to produce some outcome that we desire, whether that's status or Fang, excuse me, or fame or wealth or whatever, maybe. And so, developing intrinsic motivation is crucial because it is longer lasting. intrinsic motivation sustains us over the long haul. extrinsic motivation tends to be much more brittle, and tends to have a stop star's nature whereby we feel like we've gotten the thing that we were trying to get into the motivation evaporates, or, or vice versa. And so understanding how to how to level up and trinsic motivation is key. There's five intrinsic motivators that we generally have people examine. And they are mastery, autonomy, passion, and purpose and curiosity. And so ideally, you want your professional life, or whatever it is you're engaged in, to have those five elements passion, purpose, autonomy, curiosity. And mastery. mastery means the ability to endlessly improve with respect to what it is that you're doing. And often you see people just feel like they've hit a ceiling, or that they're, you know, bored out of the mind with respect to something because they've basically gotten as good as it's possible to get at that thing, or another long term intrinsic motivation, you need the ability for endless, endless improvement or mastery. Curiosity means that you want to have curiosity with respect to what it is that you do day to day, and what it is that you're doing overall, passion means that you individually, want to feel incredibly excited and juiced about what it is that you're engaging in. And then purpose means that you want to resonate with the actual impact of whatever it is that you're doing. Passion is about you. Purpose is about impact or the other, whatever that thing is, that's bigger than you. And so getting those intrinsic motivators all lined up and ensuring that whatever it is that you're doing professionally, maps to all of those intrinsic motivators makes a huge difference for long haul intrinsic motivation.

Rian Doris 31:25
Time is another huge blocker for flow or poor time management. and improving mindset with respect to time, and ability to manage and guard and work with time is a huge thing. A lot of people use time as a metric for progression, or success or hard work or whatever it may be. They look at, you know how long their workweek was in hours, rather than looking at the output of that workweek. And one of the big things we emphasise is that hours are awfully arbitrary. With respect to I would put the thing that matters is the output that you're actually pretty you know, what you're actually producing what you do and know how much you're putting in. And ultimately, you're at, you're aiming to get maximal output, maximal returns for minimal input for minimum time spent. A lot of people obsess over, you know, optimising the day or their life for their work, in order to work as many hours as possible for as long as possible. And ideally, you should optimise for the exact opposite, you should optimise for achieving what it is you want to achieve in as few hours as you possibly can, and constantly trying to improve that ratio input to output?

Tony Winyard 32:43
When you're working with people on these things. Is there always a set order that you do it or does it very much depend on on the person? Because everyone's different?

Rian Doris 32:55
are very much depends on the person? For sure. these are these are trends, these are common trends. And I mean, everyone has room for improvement with respect to all of these things. But it totally depends on the individual, which thing is focused on first and which things focus on the most.

Tony Winyard 33:13
Yeah, I can see with some people just by sorting out their sleep, then many of the other things becomes so much easier.

Rian Doris 33:21
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, trying to find that force multiplier is key as well, you know, once you can find that thing, and you know, for other people that may be overwhelmed that literally, they're just, they're trying to run three businesses. And as soon as they start only running two businesses, everything else clicks back into place, they can sleep their mindsets healthier, they're, you know, not distracted by the the massive amount of things they're doing, they're no longer burnt eyes, they're clear, you know, etc, etc, etc. So trying to find that highest leverage thing to solve is always very much a good approach as well, for sure.

Tony Winyard 34:00
Do you find it really satisfying being able to help people get through this, because their transformation must be quite a lot?

Rian Doris 34:08
Yeah, I find it immensely satisfying. Yeah. And I'm very, very driven by tangible results, like real world tangible results. insights are great. And inner transformation, obviously is great and immensely meaningful. But I like to see extremely tangible transformation. So for example, you know, on a, on a single mother, or whatever it is, and now I can finish my work week on Thursday, rather than Friday and actually get double the amount done. Or, you know, I can now I now have a four hour work day rather than a 11 hour work day. They're the kinds of things that I love to see where I work the same amount of hours, but, you know, I'm now earning three times as much because my performance has improved so much or whatever it may be. So yeah, I love to see those really tangible, tangible and results from implementing this stuff.

Tony Winyard 35:08
You mentioned that you're now set up to deliver a lot of this digitally. And is that mostly in a workshop, like zoom type environment, or more one to one?

Rian Doris 35:23
there's three features, there's three main ways in which we deliver this. And the first thing is a daily content and exercise curriculum, which is digitally delivered over eight weeks. And so there you learn about all of these things. There's exercises and protocols we have, you gradually build habits over the eight week period, in order to optimise yourself and your behaviour with respect to this stuff. And then the second big piece is one on one coaching. And so we pair you with one of our PhD level psychologists or neuroscientists, and you work with them every other week to really integrate things in a way that, you know, maps to your own individual goals in life. And then third piece is group coaching, which I, which happens every week, and we offer lifetime access to that as well, people can really stay plugged into community for the long term in order to keep the habits in place. And that group coaching and community is a key piece as well, the group coaching is facilitated by our PhD level coaches. And it's a Yeah, it's definitely an important point, as well. So there are three, there are three pieces of content, the curriculum and exercises, and then your one on one coaching and group coaching.

Tony Winyard 36:44
It sounds fabulous, I can imagine the transformation that many people have got from this. And how do you see what you're delivering now? Have you got many plans to sort of ramp it up to do much more? How do you see things going?

Rian Doris 37:02
Yeah, we do absolutely have those plans. So Stephen, Stephen has a new book coming out in January, which we're excited about. It's called the art of impossible. And it talks about the full peak performance stack of motivation, learning, creativity, and flow, and how to how to dial those up. And yeah, I mean, our long term goal is to build the world's most effective neuroscience base peak performance training to help more people spend more time in flow. And there's, yeah, we're only at the beginning of the beginning.

Tony Winyard 37:34
Have you got plans yourself to do anything like book writing or anything like that?

Rian Doris 37:43
And at the moment, I'm very much focused on building I have resume? Yeah. I feel I'm less excited about writing a book until we've really built something big and meaningful. And then, yeah, I think a lot of people get it the wrong way around, they write a book in order to try and grow a business versus just, you know, doing the actual thing first. And so I will, I'm sure it will eventually, but at the moment the focus is building.

Tony Winyard 38:20
And of the things that you do What would you say you enjoy doing the most?

Rian Doris 38:30
Yes, good question. Um, that it's funny. I'm sure any of your listeners who are business owners know that, as you build a company, the bottleneck constantly changes, you know, the start off and the bottleneck is product market fit, trying to understand what the offer is it's going to sell, that often it's distribution, and marketing and sales and actually selling it, then often it it shifts to things like systems and operations, so they actually fulfil on what you're selling. And then it shifts up to hiring and team and culture and management. And so, we've been moving through all those different phases pretty quickly in the last 18 months. And at the moment, the thing that I focused on is really building a leadership team that will de risk the reducing of keyman risk on May within the company and then also help us grow faster and more healthfully. and excitement wise, anything I think anything that contributes to scale and growth excites me. So that's strategy I find immensely enjoyable. High Level project management or management, leadership. building systems are more I love marketing. I love you know, running customer discovery process. To find out what, what people are people are resonating with what people need, and then then building products that map to that. So, yeah, I love a lot of the elements of it.

Tony Winyard 40:15
Your Ted talk was that this year or was that last year?

Rian Doris 40:18
It was actually this year. Yeah, it was like a month before the pandemic?

Tony Winyard 40:22
And did it get the kind of response that you thought it might? What were your thoughts going into it? And how were they after.

Rian Doris 40:31
I was actually pretty busy. Around the time that I that I gave it, a lot of projects, we were rebuilding one of our training, so I'm going to give it a huge amount of thought. And But yeah, I was really happy with the response, people seem to find it very helpful and liked it a lot. And it was fun. It was fun to do it. I didn't. Didn't overly prepare. I think a lot of people really, you know, learn every word, but I sort of had had talking points in mind and then just try to have fun with it freestyle, a little bit on stage. And, and yeah, now, I'm happy with it.

Tony Winyard 41:11
And so do you see yourself doing a lot more speaking in the next few years?

Rian Doris 41:19
Yeah, potentially. I mean, I think ultimately long term I want to be in the entrepreneurship seat. More so than the thought leadership speaker writer sees. And but I think a certain amount that I will, I will do in parallel. One of the biggest problems you find entrepreneurs face. I think a huge, but simple one is focus. So, and people are aware that people know they need to focus more, and they need to hone and focus, but they don't really know the extent to which they know they need to hone in focus. Because usually at any given time, as I said, usually there's a singular bottleneck. In a business, especially if it's at the six or seven figure level, obviously, when it goes beyond that, it becomes a little more complex. But at that level, there's usually one bottleneck, it's usually you need more leads, you need higher conversion rate with your sales team, you need better, better fulfilment to the your NPS score goes up, you need better management, you know, you need to make a key hire whatever it may be, there's usually like literally one thing, maybe two, and having the ability to pierce through all the noise and find the signal amidst the noise. And know that singular thing is, and just focus ruthlessly and relentlessly on that singular thing until it's until it's no longer the bottleneck. And then knowing when it's no longer the bottleneck, how to spot the new bottleneck. And then how to focus ruthlessly on the new bottleneck, I think is a very important thing because they Bob and move and we've on a weekly and monthly, quarterly basis. And so you need to constantly refocus, as well as have focus. And I think that's the biggest thing people don't. Enough at least I think people don't figure out the absolute core essence of what action or thing is they need to do is with with respect to whatever the main bottleneck is, and then they don't take enough action around. And like if if you literally just if you've got everything teed up and in place, and you just don't have any leads in the pipeline, all of your actions should be directly related to getting calls booked, or whatever it is with respect to your business. Or if the sales team's close rates collapse, all of the actions should be focused on training, and improving the sales process, for example. So I would say focus and the ability to, to refocus and then the ability to follow up on our focus with with extreme action taking this directly related to whatever the bottleneck or challenges

Tony Winyard 44:09
people who are listening to this and really liking the sound of it and they want to find out more about some of the stuff that you do where's the best place for them to go?

Rian Doris 44:19
sure. So you can go Well, firstly, you can go to https://www.flowresearchcollective.com/ to learn more about us in general, then get more flow calm will bring you to the page of our main training, which is called zero to dangerous, it's called get more flow calm. So GE T and then the word more on the flow FL o w.com. on that and get more flow.com will brand your page that has an application if you'd like to train with us, you can apply there and we'll jump on the phone with you for for 30 minutes or so and we'll see if it's a good fit. That those those calls Are our strategy sessions as well, so they're useful? Generally anyway, we kind of try and help you diagnose whatever your flow blocker may be on those calls. And then we give you more information on training with us if that's of interest. So get more photo comm would be one place to go if someone is interested in training with us. And then we have loads of free material as well. You can find this by by goodness as well, of course.

Tony Winyard 45:23
Apart from obviously Steven Kotler's fantastic books, is there a book that you would recommend to people?

Rian Doris 45:32
Yeah, I would recommend a book called Scrum by Jeff Sutherland, for anyone who hasn't read it, especially if you're an entrepreneur listening or business owner, funnily enough, it is indirectly overlaps with a lot of what we teach and what we try and implement within organisations. And it's a very simple book. It's about the scrum project management methodology. And it is phenomenal. absolutely phenomenal. It's for Scrum by Jeff Sutherland. It's really short, easy read, but very, very high yield

Tony Winyard 46:06
Is it recent?

Rian Doris 46:08
It was published in 2014.

Tony Winyard 46:12
Is there is a quotation that you could take anyway.

Rian Doris 46:16
So Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was a Hungarian psychologist who actually coined the term flow originally in the 1960s. And he did a lot of the original research on flow, and on this topic, and he has a great quote about "Control of consciousness determines quality of life". And I think that's a great quote, and very deep point, because ultimately, your experience is your quality of life and your experiences, your consciousness, and you have the ability to control your experience. So remembering that it's very helpful and important. I think.

Tony Winyard 47:05
Most people don't realise that they do have more control over that than they are aware.

Rian Doris 47:12
Exactly Yeah, absolutely.

Tony Winyard 47:15
Yeah, and I thought you were doing really well just to pronounce his name because I never can!

Rian Doris 47:21
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Tony Winyard 47:26
I was told that was the way to remember. But I always forget that as well.

Rian Doris 47:34
Yeah, sure.

Tony Winyard 47:35
Well, really, it's been fascinating talking to you for the last 50 minutes. So thank you for taking the time to come on and share in what you do. And it sounds like anyone who gives you a call should be ready for a lot of transformation.

Rian Doris 47:51
Hopefully. Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you. You having me on Tony, thanks a million, it's been great, Thank you.

Tony Winyard 48:05
Next week is Episode 13. With Jonas Altman, he's a speaker, writer, and an entrepreneur on a mission to make the world of work more human. He is the founder of an award winning design practice called social fabric and creates learning experiences, to elevate and grow leaders at the world's oldest organisations, if we ever had a good conversation around the world of work, and the amount of time that most people work. Many people work way too many hours and feel that that's being productive. And often it's the reverse by working too many hours, you often end up being far less productive, and you can be far more efficient by working fewer hours. And so they're some of the things that we discuss in next week's episode with Jonas altman. If you know anyone who might enjoy this week's show, and you get some real benefit from it, why not share the episode with them with them? Because Rian gave us some really good information, some good suggestions, and some really good ideas on ways that you could improve your flow, your peak performance and so on. be great if you could leave a review for us on one of the podcast platforms such as iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, etc. And please do leave a review as well let us know what you think about the show which lets other people know about the show when they're looking around at possibly looking for new podcasts that they might find entertaining or informative in some way. Hope you have a great week and see you next week.

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