Episode #283: Trying to Fix too Many Things
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You’re listening to episode number 283 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about fixing too many things – or at least trying to. On to the episode.
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Hey, welcome to episode number 283 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in. Today we’re talking about fixing all the things or trying to fix all the things but really not fixing the right things. And this conversation was sparked by seeing that Mike Michalowicz has a new book out called Fix This Next, which is going on the list of mine to be read pile. I am in the middle of Clockwork, which is more about streamlining your team. And it’s all Team Taylor over here right now, so I am finding value out of it, but it would definitely be even more valuable to somebody that has a team and getting it to run on clockwork. I absolutely loved Profit First by Mike. And he’s got the Pumpkin Plan and the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, which I’ve listened to part of and that’s a really great one as well. And I’m excited to pick up Fix This Next, which is kind of where this conversation is stemming from. So look out Inner Circle members, we’re going to be adding Fix This Next to the Rolodex of what we read for the Inner Circle book club. And currently we are going to be chatting about Daniel Priestley’s Oversubscribed, which is probably going to take two months of book club because there’s so much to unpack in that particular book and I’m really excited to chat about it later this evening the day that I’m recording this. So lots going on in Inner Circle membership. You can get yourself in there. I know you want it. Go to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to get yourself in.
So what should we be focused on right now? There’s so much going on in our worlds. We are in fourth quarter of 2020. Praise be that we’re really close to 2021. But there’s so much going on and I’m sure there’s so much going on in your business, for your blog. It is the busiest season for bloggers right now. And it’s making things jumble. So what should we be focused on right now? What do we do next? What do we work on next? And the problem lies that we try to fix too many things, or we fix the things that aren’t really needing to be fixed. And we don’t really know what is a current challenge. Like in the morning, we may know what a challenge is. But then by mid-day, it might be a new challenge. And then by evening, it might be a new challenge. We don’t really know what our challenges are.
And Mike talks about taking out a sheet of paper – so I’m gonna encourage you to stop what you’re doing, go grab a sheet of paper, and I want you to draw the letter A and then I want you to put a big circle around your letter A and your A is your point A – where you are right now. And now anywhere in that circle, I want you to draw three arrows leading away from A. Just randomly draw three arrows leading away from A. Now, once you have your three arrows, now I want you to take your pen to the very left corner of your paper, and I want you to draw the letter B and I want you to circle around the letter B. And I want to know, did one of your arrows point to letter B? Because that’s the direction we’re supposed to be going, but we don’t really know how to get there. I’m going to take a guess that maybe only one, if any, arrows is pointing to B. It’s because we don’t know where we’re going. And we have no clue where point B actually is. So what is that one thing we’re supposed to be fixing? Or what is that one thing that we need to be doing to get to point B.
Entrepreneurship has really changed over the years where it’s literally all about the hustle. And it’s do more, do more, do more to get there. It’s that hustle culture. And while I am really good at keeping a lot of balls up in the air, it’s – it gets exhausting and I don’t want to hustle at the level that I have been hustling in the past. Like, life’s too short and we have to be a lot more methodical about what we fix and how we get ourselves to that next level. And he talks about a superhero syndrome, where it’s where we look at our to do list and we fix the small stuff and we get a false positive sense of security that we did it, we did that thing, it makes us feel good – but that’s a false sense of security, because it was literally a very minor thing that we accomplished. And it prevents us from actually doing the big work in our businesses. I think a lot of us end up focusing on working in our business instead of on our business.
And it was interesting to hear him talk about every morning, he has a work session, from six to seven. It’s a one-hour sprint, and he takes the thing that he doesn’t want to do and he knocks it out in that one hour. But he has a bunch of other creatives and business owners popping into that zoom call at 6am every single morning where they work on getting stuff knocked off their to do list in that one-hour work sprint. I think this is really smart. Not that I’m a morning person, but having a dedicated one hour every day Monday through Friday, or Monday through Thursday, or Tuesday through Friday, depending on what your industry is, where you say to maybe some of the people that are in your mastermind, or that are part of your business circle, that you guys commit to one hour, every day, the same hour every day. And if you can pop into the zoom and knock something out, great. Most of the time when people are at home, it’s either early morning or late at night. So those are probably better times to schedule something consistently. For me, it would have to be a late-night sprint because I’m not a morning person, like I start my alarm at eight. And you guys have heard me say in the past where I try not to wait to an alarm. But I have started to kind of give myself a stronger schedule just because of time change and it’s still dark in the morning. And so I still need my body to kind of wake up and so I do those things by setting that alarm to just pop up so that I am starting to wake around eight. And it’s not like if I’m not feeling up to it – I can always turn it off and go back to sleep until I’m ready to wake up, but it does give me some structure. And so I could say I could meet people at 8:30 and run a sprint from 8:30 to 9:30. And that’s when my brain can start to get awake and active. I’ve had my tea by then and can get stuff done or it has to be super late because I am a night owl. I’m up till 11 or 12 every single night, either winding down or still working or whatever it might be.
So if you think about the statues that exists in the world, do you ever see one posed that’s doing? No, but there’s a statue of a thinker and we have to get more to being like that thinker statue where we actually give ourselves a chance to move our businesses forward. And in all honesty, we’re not hardwired into our business. Like, if you think about our five senses, and how our body can react to things, or give us the feedback that we need. Like, we know we have to breathe, we know we have to have water, we know we have to have food, and if we are in a situation where our gut tells us, hey, don’t keep going, we have those capabilities to be able to retreat. In business, we have data and that’s really all we have. We don’t have the senses that we can attach to our business. So we can mindlessly work, and not actually make any impact because we don’t really know where the focus is. So we got to be more like that thinker statue.
So Mike talks about the hierarchy of a business, which is sales. That’s basically equated to breathing. We have to have sales, we have to have revenue, we have to get to a profit, which is the next level. Sales, then profit, because profit creates a stability in business. We have to be able to get to profitability status, so that we have stability, and then the next level is order. That becomes organizational efficiency. And then the next level is impact. Creation of transformation that’s serving our clients in a way where it impacts them beyond the transaction. And then its legacy level. And that’s when you become a business steward. And most businesses don’t get there. Most businesses don’t get past profit. And that’s what we have to fix. That’s what we have to change. That’s where we have to think, okay, if I fix this, does it get me up those levels? If it doesn’t, then there’s no reason to fix it. Distraction is so prevalent in our world – distraction in life distraction, and business, there’s so many things you can do and work on – and it’s like what am I supposed to be doing?
So create a list for yourself, grab another sheet of paper, or flip that other one over and draw a straight line down the middle of the page. And on your left, I want you to write the words “is working” and then on the right I want you to write the words “is not working.” And then the main levels of business marketing, service or customer service, your product and/or your service that you offer (your offerings), and then your operations. And I want you to get really detailed about what is working and what is not working. And then you’ve got to amplify what is working and diminish what is not. And then there comes a level of what if it’s not fun? Well, if it’s not fun, but you still need to do it, rip the band-aid off and just do it. But if it’s not fun, and it’s not fun over and over and over, then it’s time to either figure out if it’s a need, if it’s a necessity, or if you’re going to need to outsource it and delegate it because you’re never going to be efficient doing it because, again, it’s not fun.
So this kind of fixing what to work on next is based on what is working and what is not working. Become the thinker of your business instead of the do-er. Become the thinker that allows you to take a step back and really analyze what is working. What’s working in your marketing? What’s working in your customer service? The actual client experience. What is working with your products? What is working with your services? What is working in the actual operations? Maybe it’s your workflow or your productivity. What is working? And then on the opposite side, what isn’t working in those things? What’s not working in marketing? What’s not working in your client experience? What is not working with your product and/or service? What is not working in your operations or your workflows? Again, it’s sales to profit to order to impact to legacy. You got to get at least impact unless it is your mission to create a legacy. I think we all want to leave a legacy. I think that’s all important to us. I don’t think we would be business owners if we weren’t here to make an impact and leave a legacy. So that is the goal.
So how do we get there? We go back to that list and we amplify what is working and we diminish what is not working. Or we just repackage it to get it to work because that’s the other flip side. If it’s not working, can you repackage it so that it does become a working thing? If not, then you diminish it, or you get rid of it, or you cut it or you make a change, or you delegate it out to somebody else that will know how to make it work. How do you become the thinker in your business? What do you have to do next? What is that next step you’ve got to take in order to keep moving forward?
Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode. If you had an ‘aha moment’ or you had just a ‘oh my gosh, yes,’ I want you to share with me that aha moment and send me a text message. Send it to 817-587-1978. Follow the prompts, and send me that takeaway because I want to hear from you. And if you really enjoyed this episode, share it with your best friend, your business bestie, so that they can uplevel themselves as well. Thank you for one last time to today’s show sponsor – that would be the Inner Circle membership. I know you want it. Pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle. Get yourself in there. And until next week, I hope you have a great rest of this week.