You know that feeling when you see something and BOOM... blows your mind, connects-the-dots, and provides a whole new perspective?

A while back, Jodi and I watched a Netflix original show called, "Chef’s Table."

Now, you might already know that I grew up in a French restaurant.

(Yes, literally. From the time I was 6 until I ran away from home at 15 my mom and step-dad owned a restaurant. Every morning we'd get up and I'd go to school. After school until 10pm we'd be at the restaurant doing chores, doing homework or otherwise staying out of the way...for 9 years.)

So, when I watched Chef's Table, I did have a little "flashing-back" to the old times.

Specifically, I learning something about cooking that I still use to this day:

Mise en place

(French pronunciation: [mi za ‘plas])

It's French.

The way I learned it, it means to "put things in their place." So, to this day as I'm cooking - or doing virtually ANYthing else - I arrange the ingredients and tools needed for cooking. Before I start cooking!

It's a habit that has served me. And, this is why I'm writing to you this weekend. On MONDAY we will coach Get Momentum members worldwide how they can:

Mise en place is a way to describe the single most important trait of top performers: their habits.

Every episode in that Netflix program has the unrelenting commitment to excel in their standards, routines, and habits.

They call mise en place a “way of life” and I heard one chef say that it’s the art of slowing things down in order to speed up.

Here's how it translates into my life:


Before coaching a new client, I go online to research the person I'll be speaking with...

Yes that means I Google them, I search on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. If they've written a book, recorded a TED talk, or publish a podcast, I spend some time with them before our call. If I know someone who knows the person I'm meeting with, I call or video chat with them to find out anything I can.

WHY? Easy, if I know what they're working on and interested in, we could have a more meaningful conversation. (Not a guarantee...but more likely!)

Before writing, I spread out a large sheet of blank paper, and lay out all my ideas, quotes and books I want to reference.

Seeing it all laid out helps me connect all the dots in my mind. The writing comes "more naturally" after that.

Before traveling, I lay out everything I'm packing on my bed, so I can see it all.

I pack the same way each time, so I know where my work supplies are as well as my clothes, shoes, etc. I can find things in my suitcase with my eyes closed! And, when I walk on stage at a conference or sit down in a board room with an executive leadership team, everything I could need is there... mise en place.

Here's the amazing thing, and I believe the chef at YOUR favorite restaurant would agree:

The more organized I am on the front side,
the more open and spontaneous I can be in the moment.

Bottom line: Using the mise en place philosophy lets me be more creative with the salt, oil, and heat I have at the ready!