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4 Things Business Leaders Can Do to Stay Focused [Podcast]

Episode 95: Michael and Kathryn discuss the elusive art of staying focused. For business leaders especially, succumbing to the 'tyranny of the urgent' can become a daily battle. Discover how to go on the offensive so you can get back to being focused and prioritizing the growth of your company.

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In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover why email is distracting you from focusing on your priorities and what you can do about it.
  • Find out the 4 fundamental things you need to start doing in order to regain your focus.
  • Learn how Michael and Kathryn's personalities affect their ability to stay focused and their recommendations for getting back on track.
“So often, you are playing defense, just trying to tackle whatever is coming at you. But if you are going to play offense, you have to make some decisions. One of those decisions is how you handle email.... ...turning off email and setting aside significant time to work on the business, the important things, so you can move big pieces forward and not just respond to every little thing that comes along."
– Kathryn Redman

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Michael:
              Hello and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And we are so glad you're here today. This podcast is about helping business leaders like you, running small businesses, to help grow companies full of profit, purpose, and legacy. Our goal is to try and help you come up with the ideas, the thoughts, how to stay focused, how to be encouraged, motivated, mindset skills, you name it-


Kathryn:
               It's all right here.


Michael:
              It's all right here, because it's what we need it for. We've been running our own business for 17 years. We actually have a couple of different businesses that we've done and been successful making to seven figures.


Kathryn:
               You know what just occurred to me?


Michael:
              Tell me.


Kathryn:
               We've been saying 17 years for over a year.


Michael:
              It's almost 18. It's not 18 yet.


Kathryn:
               Almost though, it's pretty darn close.


Michael:
              It is, but it's not 18. Nearly 18 years.


Kathryn:
               That's going to be hard to change.


Michael:
              Yeah. We're really glad you're here today, and today, this podcast is on, if you read the title, we're going to talk about staying focused. One of the conversations I've been having with several leaders lately is what to do to work on the business and not in the business, and then how do I stay focused on all the different things, because as a small business leader, and I'm telling you it continues as your company grows, you have all these things fighting for your attention, things that you need to do and all that kind of stuff.


Michael:
              We're going to talk today about that, and over the next couple of podcasts we're going to talk about some of those key things to really dig in deeper, because answering that question actually is a multi-pronged approach, and so today we're going to talk about some of those basic things that are real important, and please don't get caught up on the word basic. We want you to know that this is absolutely critical important, and sometimes, as a famous saint said once that we like to quote, "It is of no bother or trouble for me to remind you of the things you already know." It's just good practice to-


Kathryn:
               It's amazing when we get busy how often we forget the foundational pieces, the basics, the simple things that you're like, "Oh, life goes much better when I do it that way." But we get overwhelmed and busy and we just-


Michael:
              We still make those mistakes, don't we?


Kathryn:
               Every other week, it feels like I have to step back and re-


Michael:
              If you're not staying focused and if you don't have a plan of some sort, we're going to talk about that today, because it's one of the points I think is real important, and you're not being focused on yourself and catching yourself. We get stressed when things happen, events happen. Let's dive in and start talking about some of those things, because they really do happen.


Michael:
              If I'm struggling on working on getting things done, knowing what to work on, knowing what priorities, what are some of the ways that you've experienced that coming up? Some of the ways that the situations that's happened for you?


Kathryn:
               Yeah, so I think for me, it doesn't actually take a lot to get me off balance. As much as I want to go on vacation and do things like that, and I do and I will, coming back from vacation often takes some time for me to recalibrate, because it just feels like the list is too big.


Kathryn:
               Another thing that can throw me off, I have been struggling with being ill since the beginning of the year and just not quite on point, so I feel like I'm just paddling as hard as I can to keep my head above water, and in those places it's really easy for me to slip into bad habits and slip into old models of thinking and not lead well just because I'm just trying to get stuff done so I can check it off my list.


Michael:
              You are not a person who's overly emotional.


Kathryn:
               No.


Michael:
              You're emotionally available, but you're not emotionally cut off. You're not like one of these, boom, and you're not one of these people that your emotions run away with you and hijack you all the time, do they?


Kathryn:
               Not usually.


Michael:
              I say that because there are some folks, and we have a fair amount of men, and most of them are pretty smart and aware, but they're going to think a girl's talking about getting hijacked. It happens to all of us. Folks, my wife gets a lot of crap done. She has a reputation of just having an amazing ability to just plow through stuff, so when she gets off topic or gets sidetracked, it's not because she's just a girl. I just want to say that. I just want to say that.


Kathryn:
               No, I appreciate that. That's probably not an unimportant thing to say, and I think there are a lot of strong women, and it isn't just getting hijacked by your emotions, it's the busy-ness, just the sense of urgency. We've talked many times about the tyranny of the urgent, where you're doing tasks that are urgent but probably not as important as some other things that are urgent but don't check the important box, but they just take way longer. It's easy to just start working on the stuff that I can solve right away and push away the things that are hard, because that way I feel like I've gotten something done and that's really important to me. I can really fall down in that place and stop leading well, because I'm just putting out fires and trying to make myself feel like I've accomplished something.


Michael:
              Yeah, absolutely.


Kathryn:
               Just being honest.


Michael:
              In most of the conversations I've had recently as I've been doing ... we talked about deep dive surveys, doing market research on this podcast, and one of the things I've been doing lately is redoing some new fresh ones for the podcast, for our membership site, and all of that kind of stuff. All the men I talk to are all saying the same thing. They're asking this question; "How do I stay focused?" It's one of the biggest challenges I have in running the day-to-day business and growing my business to the next level.


Kathryn:
               It's not getting pulled away by other things all the time.


Michael:
              Yeah. Let's talk about some really clear things that you can do. If you're taking notes, grab your notepad, your pen. If you're running, driving, or anything else, just keep thoughts on this and you may want to come back and write some of this stuff down.


Michael:
              Let's start easy. Let's just start with a couple of tips on how to focus more. One of them was your email.


Kathryn:
               For me, and I've shared this before on the podcast, but I have no illusion that everyone's listened to every podcast, so I'm going to share it again.


Michael:
              Go for it.


Kathryn:
               I learned a way of phrasing this that really, really helped me probably about a year ago, and it was actually a blog that Patrick Lencioni, who's one of my favorite people, wrote.


Michael:
              We like Patrick a lot.


Kathryn:
               He talked about playing offense versus defense, and I'm a huge NFL fan, so you can be anything you want, but I liken it to football. That's my world.


Michael:
              I'm a chess player.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Offense, defense. I get it.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. It's quandary this weekend. Niners, Packers. I didn't even know what to do. It'll be over by the time you hear this, but nevermind. What he talked about was that so often what I call that reaction to any of the urgent, you're playing defense. You're just trying to tackle whatever's coming at you, and if you're going to play offense, you have to make some decisions. One of those things is how you handle your email.


Kathryn:
               When I'm doing a really good job of playing offense and doing the important things, not just the urgent things, I have to close my email. I just need it to be off for several hours, because I have not learned the discipline of seeing somebody email me with a need and not wanting to respond right away. It's the way I'm built. So knowing that, my only way to play offense is to turn off email and put it aside so that I'm actually setting aside significant time to work on the business, to work on the important things, to actually move big pieces forward, not just respond to every little thing that comes along.


Michael:
              Yeah. One of the business leaders I talked to just in the last week or two was talking about the fact that they're describing their life is being ADHD, hyperactive disorder. They're like ADD on steroids, the way they described themselves, and he actually figured out that if he shuts his phone off, if he shuts his email off, if he turns when he's working on specific tasks and gives himself that time, then he's way more productive, because it's way too easy to get distracted.


Michael:
              Now, there's still the issue of what things do I work on, and we're going to talk about some more tips on that in the next few minutes, but things like this, of just going, "Okay, when I choose whatever I choose to work on, being able to do that, because it really does." I find myself turning off my email and everything else, because it can be very distracting to me, and my texts and everything else.


Michael:
              I have a Mac. One of the things that's great about a Mac, and one of the things that's challenging about a Mac is I have notifications, and my text messaging from my iPhones pops up on my screen. That doesn't happen for you because you have a PC.


Kathryn:
               It doesn't, and I'm so grateful for that.


Michael:
              It's really great when I need to communicate through texting because I can type on a regular keyboard and I like that, but what I have to do is I have to make sure those apps off, and then I literally, and on the Mac, and I'm sure there's a place on the PC, I go up into the right hand corner, I pull down notifications, and I hit sleep. It will not let me see any notifications from my email app, from my phone, my messaging, anything else. Even the marketing little things that somehow sneak through that I didn't catch or something, all that stuff will get shut off, so I don't have this thing popping up in my top right corner that's easily distracting me.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              And if nothing else, just sucking a minute away here or a minute away there when I'm thinking about it or blah blah blah.


Kathryn:
               I think that the illusion, and we love to do this, and we love to talk about, "I'm really good at multitasking," and more and more the research is proving that none of us are actually good at multitasking.


Michael:
              Cell phones and texting and driving with texting have really driven a lot of money into that research, and it's more and more conclusive that we don't multitask well.


Kathryn:
               No.


Michael:
              Some people come in and out of it a little better than others, can switch subjects faster, but even the people who can switch subjects faster, they do not multitask well.


Kathryn:
               No. No. The minute you let your focus be pulled away from whatever it is you're supposed to be working on, coming back to it sometimes is hard and you lose more than just the minute that you got pulled away.


Michael:
              Now, there's going to be some people listening right now that are going to say, "Look, I get that. That's the average person. I'm not the average person. I do it pretty well."


Kathryn:
               "I'm way above average."


Michael:
              All of us can multitask at a certain level.


Kathryn:
               Sure.


Michael:
              There's a certain competence that we can do, and some of us do it fairly well, but here's the point we're trying to make, folks, is that when you're multitasking, you cannot bring your best to the project you're working on, the task you're working on, and you know it. When you sit down and think about it, you're like, "Yeah." Is it multitasking when I can do my best, most creative work and my most focused or I make the least mistakes? No. You know it. Cut off a bunch of those things, give yourself thing. There's other hacks that we want to talk about, but I want to talk about them in another podcast, because I think it's worth productivity, efficiency hacks. I'm not even a big fan of hack, but it gets used a lot so I try and use-


Kathryn:
               Strategies?


Michael:
              I try and throw the hack word in to be hip and cool.


Kathryn:
               Let's be as old as we are. There are strategies.


Michael:
              Strategies to make things work more effectively and we can talk about it, because I'm reading a book this week that is just reminding me of stuff, so we're going to do that in another podcast. Let's move forward to really the bulk of probably four core bullet points that we're going to work on in the rest of this podcast.


Michael:
              The first one is have a system. The second one is have the basics. Get the fundamentals settled in your world. The third is have a plan or a strategic plan and that's separate from one and two. The fourth is have accountability partners.


Michael:
              We have, have a system, have the basics or the fundamentals of that system, have a planning strategic plan, some kind of plan, and have accountability partners. Those four things, really high level. When we're sitting there it's like, okay, again, reference back to the beginning of this. This may be like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard this before." Okay, stop, breathe, listen, because I really want to make sure that you're being reminded. I know you know this. This is what happens with senior leaders of senior organizations that walk into our office all the time. We're in theirs and we're working with them. It's they know they need to be reminded because the fundamentals are the easiest thing to get lost in all of the stuff, and so we're going to talk about those.


Michael:
              Number one, have a system. What do we mean by having a system?


Kathryn:
               Primarily what we mean is that if you're putting together and thinking through your whole business and what it is that you have basically in front of you when it comes to running your business, it is really helpful to have a framework, some kind of a framework to hang the different pieces on. There are tons of different models, tons of different things, but you need a system. We have a specific system that we use to talk about the key areas of business that we know matter, that we know that we always need to be working on if we're going to help our business be successful.


Michael:
              A system. It's a basic checklist of the big, big categories that are important, and sometimes it's a business model. I remember a really successful gentleman a few years ago was in. Bob [inaudible 00:14:00], when he came into the office. Bob's served as one of the ...


Kathryn:
               Seven of the Chancellor Board or something.


Michael:
              Chancellor Board of the California University systems for years. He was the head of the chamber of commerce in San Francisco for several years.


Kathryn:
               Small job.


Michael:
              Yeah. Bob is from our hometown. Bob is a Chico, and after they retired from that and his wife got Alzheimer's, they moved back to Chico to continue actually moving into all of their support of the whole Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's research, and early onset Alzheimer's, and just doing some phenomenal stuff. He's been around the block a few times. Great guy, and one of the things he said sitting our office is ... first of all he said, "I love seeing how different people have business models, being exposed to their business models."


Michael:
              Second, he basically in the conversation inferred there's a lot of companies who don't have a business model. They don't have a model to organize what they need to do. Are they making sure that they or their staff, their team, whether it's outsourced or in house, is working on the important things, and then what are those KPIs, the key performance indicators, that you need to measure whether you're doing well or not? One of the side notes I heard recently was it's amazing how many assumptions we make, that if we don't stop when we're thinking and planning through those core areas, we realize that our planning gets off too, because we all of a sudden stumble across an assumption we forgot we had it so far back in our mind, and so thinking about having a plan and then how you think about it is super important.


Michael:
              We have the six areas, that's how we do it. We've been actually refining this over the years from books and different things like that. This is what we've built the core of the Passion and Provision, how to build a Passion and Provision company.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, so we talk about vision being central and understanding your vision. We talk about leadership, which is essentially both your inner game, which is how you deal with your own self and your own self-awareness and your own growth as a human, and then the outer game, which is how other people experience your leadership, and your relationships and tasks and things like that. We talk about management and operations. We talk about marketing and sales. We talk about finance, because by golly, the cash matters a little in business, just a smidge. [Crosstalk 00:16:21]


Michael:
              A little. Finance, and we're oftentimes, we're just talking about money now.


Kathryn:
               Just money, and then culture. Those are our six areas. Obviously, each of those has sub-areas and there's things that they break down into, but ultimately when we think about a system for running your business, we would say you need minimum competence in those six areas.


Michael:
              Yeah, and we use it as a checkbox to make sure we're covering the big rocks. Do we have all the big rocks in the bucket before we start filling in all the details and stuff? And as leaders, we're making sure that in our daily lives we're covering those things, but with our company, it helps us come back and go ... because I probably, a couple of times a week, and sometimes I need to do it every day, I look and I go, "Am I doing that? Am I doing that? Am I doing that?" Invariably, a really great day is when I get to go, "Oh, I'm not covered at all." Most days I'm like, "Okay, we haven't gotten back to that in a while." It's a good reminder or I'm slacking there or I've got a hole there that I need to fill, and you build your tasks.


Michael:
              Okay, so have a system. Whether you are using our six step system or you have another one, you need a business model to make sure you're covering the major core areas of your business, and that when you get down a rabbit hole or something like that or a bunny trail and you're off over in that area, you can get sucked up and say, "Oh my gosh, weeks or months have gone by and I haven't paid any attention to this part of my company." You need to be doing this weekly, thinking, "Okay, am I covering everything and making sure it has the appropriate attention it needs at this time?"


Michael:
              All right, number two. Have the basics. Let's talk about the fundamentals of that real quick. You started to say each one of those has multi-levels. Each one of those has the fundamental pieces and parts. It's not just the big rocks, but how do I assess really quickly if I have a leadership or marketing or anything ... Let's talk about marketing for a minute, use that one.


Kathryn:
               Sure.


Michael:
              When I have marketing, again, how do I know if I've got the big rocks of marketing? What do I do there? We would say, "Okay, well there is a system ... "


Kathryn:
               You have a system within your system.


Michael:
              Notice a theme here? It's a system. It's a list that says, these are the big rocks. These are the important areas you have to cover and deal with in making sure that there's progress in these things. Have you planned through in this way? In marketing, what do we use? We use a major plan.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. We use the customer value journey that digital marketer put together that's brilliant. We essentially, when we're working on our own business or we're working with our clients, we're consistently looking at that value journey and saying, "Okay, where are the holes? What do we need to fit in? What are we missing? Are we building trust well? Are we skipping steps as we try and move somebody along from not knowing who we are to being somebody who is ready to recommend us?"


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               We have a clear system and process. We were laughing because we were working with a client yesterday and he's back in the DC area. Great, great guy, has done just some great work, but when we were done chatting with him, as we've begun to rebuild his system, Michael said, as he often does at the end of a call, "Has this been helpful?" His response was, "Oh my gosh, so helpful." How did he put it? He said, "One of the things that I'm realizing ... "


Michael:
              He said several things that were really funny.


Kathryn:
               He did. "One of the things I'm realizing in the process of working with you is that there is a process and you're thinking through everything." He said, "I've created a ton of content, but essentially I just vomit content everywhere and there's no system. There's no thought about ... " [crosstalk 00:19:57] It was so funny.


Michael:
              It was so funny when this client just goes, "I just vomit everywhere. I vomit here and vomit there." [crosstalk 00:19:59].


Kathryn:
               "I'm just vomiting."


Kathryn:
               He creates a lot of really good stuff, but it hasn't created a system to make sure that he's leveraging those assets in a way that's really helpful to grow the business. We feel blessed to come alongside someone like that and go, "You have great stuff. Let us help you put it in a system that will actually help move people through and turn them into customers." Good time.


Michael:
              Distraction isn't always the thing that stops you from filling in the system. Sometimes there are personalities. We use Myers-Briggs a lot to talk about personalities and temperaments, and one of them we call the spontaneous. It's the SP. That's you, Catherine.


Kathryn:
               That's me.


Michael:
              You're not super strong on it, but it is a part of who you are. It brings your richness and the greatness that you have and all the cool stuff, and it allows you to do a lot of really amazing things when you're walking in your strengths, but it does push you to just get crap done, so if it's going to take a while and you're not sure what to do, you just start doing stuff.


Kathryn:
               I do. I just want to fix everything. Let's just do it quick, quick and dirty. Ask forgiveness rather than permission. You know what? Just get crap done. That is my spontaneous. I'm just like, "Get it done. Get it done now."


Michael:
              In the beginning, when you're not getting anything done, that is our suggestion. Do something, make it better later, as opposed to not doing it all. When you're not starting, when you're having trouble starting, you get stuff done. What starts to happen is you run out of stuff to do at some level, or you're creating lots of stuff that you don't even realize. Because you don't have a system, you don't know where the gaps are.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              This client in the DC area, he's one of those people. He gets stuff done and he gets stuff done at a very good quality, but what happened is he left out some critical areas which caused his entire system that he worked on for almost five years to spend a lot of money, not produce nearly the amount of results that they needed, which led them to our front door.


Michael:
              Now we're going, "Oh, okay, well you got great stuff." Some of it you got in the wrong order, and some of it you're missing. [crosstalk 00:22:01]


Kathryn:
               You don't have.


Michael:
              You're just missing key pieces, so it's like having a great road that you built to this ravine. You have a road on the other side of the ravine and-


Kathryn:
               But you forgot the bridge.


Michael:
              But you forgot the bridge.


Kathryn:
               Whoops.


Michael:
              And somehow you were so focused on all the stuff, you didn't even notice you needed a bridge, and you're like, "Why aren't people getting to where I need them to get?" Well, they keep ending up in a canyon, at the bottom and- "


Kathryn:
               Or stopping at the edge and going ...


Michael:
              "I'm not going there anymore."


Kathryn:
               "I don't trust the next step."


Michael:
              You want fundamentals, and for us in marketing, we use the eight steps of a value journey. We have other podcasts that talk about the value journey more, but it's a very systematic system that helps us place ... It's not the only system we have. We have two or three that help us make sure that we have a 360 view of the whole thing, and then we come in and we go, "Okay."


Michael:
              For instance on ours, we start with, in marketing, awareness and then we go to engaging. How do you make people aware of you, and then how do you engage them in conversation, and then how do you warm them up enough that they might be willing to be on your email list, or-


Kathryn:
               Subscribe to something.


Michael:
              If it's digital or subscribe to something. In a person to person it's like, how do I make sure that I've warmed them up enough that it's appropriate to exchange business cards, and with the intent that they're not just taking your name and throwing it away, but they wouldn't mind it if you reached out and contacted them and said, "Hey, let's get together for coffee or something like that." It's this gradual approach, and we have that eight step system that helps us do that. Okay, so that's number two.


Michael:
              Number one, you've got your system. Number two-


Kathryn:
               Your big business model.


Michael:
              Your big business model. Those are the big rocks, and then in each one of those it's like, "Okay, what are the big rocks in each one of the sections?" You've got your systems there and making sure that you're being ... What the systems do is help be wise and choose to work on the right things. You have confidence that when you're doing something, you know it's the right thing.


Michael:
              The third is have a strategic plan. Once you have all this stuff, we talk about making sure that you have all of your areas figured out, you have your vision and everything else, but then you have to figure out, what are the things that need to be done? The tasks, and how do I prioritize them? Then what needs to be done first? Whether today, this week, or this quarter before I can get to the next one, and is there enough time to do it?


Michael:
              A strategic plan is itemizing those things. How many times do you as a leader get into a place where you get stuck, where you realized you do this periodically and then all of a sudden you're like, "Ah, I haven't looked at my list. I haven't figured out ... I'm not sticking to my priority. I followed a butterfly off and shiny object took me somewhere else." That happens all the time.


Kathryn:
               Never, never. Never to me, no.


Michael:
              One of the other things that I think that happens, and this whole system up to this point is helpful. These three points of have a strategy of the big area, big model, have your fundamentals in each of those areas, and then have a strategic plan that's helping you choose and itemize what tasks you're going to work on is, there are times when it's not the shiny object or the ADD that's the problem.


Michael:
              There are times in which it's just you don't seem to be catching ground and you've lost confidence, or maybe you never had total confidence in this strategy or this plan that you started down. It sounded good. The person who proposed it, it sounded wise. Everything else, you started on it, but you're down the road a week, a month, maybe a year, and you're like, "It's not producing, so I'm missing something." You go out looking for the piece of information you're missing.


Michael:
              A friend of ours who runs an agency in South Africa, he says ... He literally is information junkie, and it's not just because he likes information, although that's good for him and it stimulates his creativity, he's having problems moving the company forward to the next level that he has. He's got staff, he's got this cool thing, he travels all over the world, he speaks in different places, and he's really bright and really successful, but he has plateaued and hit the ceiling several times. One of the things is he's like ... He didn't want to say this, but it came out in the conversation. It slipped out of his mouth. I was so glad it did, because I know it's in our heads a lot. He was looking for the magic bullet.


Kathryn:
               Yep. The silver bullet.


Michael:
              The silver bullet, that magic piece of content.


Kathryn:
               It's going to transform the world.


Michael:
              It's the key. It's like, I got all these other good things. I need the key and then it's going ... because this stuff isn't working, when sometimes the reason it's not working is you're not fully applying yourself to getting the right things done, or you just haven't gone long enough, because some of these strategies take months, and some of these strategies actually take years.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, and the hard part is so many people out there selling that piece of information, sell it as the magic pill, the silver bullet, whatever their phrase is. This is the thing that will transform your business, and there's thousands of them out there, so it's like, "What is the thing?" The more that you get distracted by chasing after the thing that will transform your business, because everybody words it that way, because it draws in people like our friend, that can become really depleting, not to mention expensive. It can be costly to chase after all those solutions.


Michael:
              Yeah. In that other podcast I was talking about, we're going to talk about some of the mental games too that happened, because whether you are like Kathryn were getting stuff done and tasks done is more of a mental and emotional plus for you, or-


Kathryn:
               An adrenaline hit.


Michael:
              A little adrenaline hit, it's pleasurable, or you're more like me where acquiring new information is that adrenaline hit. It's an entertainment for me. I like, "Ah, I've got that. Oh, that's interesting." I'm so engaged by that, that I like to learn, and if I get distracted by something that I'm learning, I feel good about it at the end, and I feel like I can use it and I can use that knowledge, but sometimes I've got more knowledge than I need to move a project from point A to point Z.


Kathryn:
               But we're going to talk about that in another podcast.


Michael:
              Yeah. Yes. Okay, so here's the fourth one. As we come through this, you've got to plan, the strategic plan. We've talked about that before, but just making sure that you're prioritizing things and stuff like that. It's separate from a vision. It's separate from the big, big, big goals is having accountability partners. Now, when I was putting this these notes together, I was thinking about this in a couple of different fashions.


Michael:
              One, having business partners are phenomenal accountability partners, sometimes even if you don't want them to be accountability partners, because everybody's involved in the company. In this company with us, it's you and I, and when one of us starts to be put in a situation where the company is stressing us out a little bit, well it impacts the other person. We'll just say it that way.


Kathryn:
               And sometimes one person gets to call the other person on the carpet and that's not a fun thing.


Michael:
              No, no, no, no, not at all. Then we have our other company Rabbit Hole Hay with our partner Jason, and again, we're all financially invested in this. We want success. He's running the day-to-day operations. We're involved in a lot of the high level discussion conversation, involved in the marketing. When things are tight we're all sharing the stress, he's just there on a day-to-day basis, and when things don't go well there, we're all feeling it in different ways and because of that we're going, "Look, this has got to change. We're getting beyond my comfort zone in this area of risk or stress."


Michael:
              It's amazing what he can feel comfortable doing that makes us uncomfortable. Sometimes that's healthy and we need to deal with our own stuff, sometimes it's unhealthy. It's not productive for the company, and our pressure helps keep him accountable and vice versa, because there's places where he's like, "Why-


Kathryn:
               He's pushed us forward in ways that we wouldn't be able to go if it wasn't for him.


Michael:
              Totally.


Kathryn:
               It definitely goes both ways.


Michael:
              There is that, the accountability of actually having an investment. There's also an accountability that goes beyond that or outside of that that I think is in two places.


Michael:
              One, having somebody you can talk to like a mentor. If you go rogue, your mentor may be frustrated with you, but they have nothing invested financially. If you fail miserably, they may feel bad, but they'll get over it. They'll get up in the morning and go on. They'll get in their nice car, their mortgage will be in their nice house, and they will go out to dinner this weekend with their friends and order what they want. We don't affect them like that, and the people that Kathryn and I mentor, when they totally blow up, it doesn't affect us that much. It hurts us, but you're getting the point.


Michael:
              That's an important accountability, because I tell you what emotionally, I don't want to disappoint those people. I am emotionally invested in the relationship, and the relationship itself creates a tension there that says I've gotten to know somebody and I've revealed parts of myself. I've gotten known and I'm sharing intentionally with this person that has demonstrated trust, so it's a safe relationship, but all of a sudden the accountability of am I going to let them down? Or if nothing else, am I going to have to go admit to somebody I blew it?


Michael:
              It's not letting them down, it's me admitting out loud, and sometimes you're looking for any edge you can to hold yourself accountable, folks. I've found that partnerships are good and having high expectations of yourself and having to admit to somebody else, you blew it, and then having to admit to somebody else that is emotionally going to be, not reject you, but be disappointed. Like, "I knew you could do more better and you didn't, and that's just going to be emotionally ... " Those are ish ways, I think, of doing it.


Michael:
              Then the other, the fourth, the extra one, I don't know what number it is, is accountability groups. We belong to a couple of associations and there are things that happen in there. One is, we have peers. One is, I don't want to embarrass myself. I want to have a good reputation. I don't want to admit I blew it to other people, and I need a sounding board, and if I'm off path then the accountability of not getting in trouble but going, "Okay, you just spent 10 hours working on that project and I don't think you needed to do that that much, and wasn't the best use of your time. Can you see how?" "Oh, yeah." Because you don't even catch it. That's a part of accountability too of catching those things like a coach would, or just somebody who can see from the outside.


Michael:
              Thoughts on any of those groups? The partners, the mentors, or the associations?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. I think you've covered it well, but certainly the ones that are the closest to you are your business partners.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               But I'm with you. When I have really shared deeply and allowed myself to find those really key mentors, I do not want to let them down. Those things become really helpful for just staying on track. If nothing else, someone outside of the business who's reminding me of what I've said I care about. It's easy sometimes I think to say, "I really care about X because it's a really big deal."


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               Then my actions would say, "No, you don't, Because if you cared about X, you'd be doing Y, and you're not doing Y, you're doing Z." Let's talk about how come you say you care about it, but the time that you are investing in it is nil or minimal or whatever? It's just a good reminder of the things that I've said are important when I have a really good mentoring relationship.


Michael:
              Yeah. If this is helpful, we would love it if you were hitting that subscribe button over on iTunes or wherever you are and telling people about it. This podcast exists to help you guys, men and women, grow as leaders and help you accomplish more in your business so that your small business does bring more profit, more purpose for you, more fulfillment, and leaves a legacy that means something beyond just a wallet, means something to your family, means something to your community, means something to employees.


Michael:
              In the midst of that, that leads us to the end of today and this process. Let me go back over this again. We're talking about how do I stay focused as a business leader? The challenge we all have when things are really off, and I've got so many things that are calling my attention, how do I stay focused? How do I know which ones to do it?


Michael:
              Today, we talked about the high level of really going. You need to do some things to focus yourself, make sure you're paying attention to things to focus your mind and so you're not distracted, and then think about these four things. Have a business model or business system that you need. We recommend the six areas of the Passion and Provision business. It's on our blog, it's on our podcast. You can check into that more if that's helpful, and then understand the fundamentals of each of those areas of your business model. For us, we've got the big rocks of our six areas, and then we've got systems within those that allow us to make sure that we're paying attention to the right things there, and we nest those.


Michael:
              Then we create a strategic plan. I woke up this morning thinking about the things that are on our strategic plan or the major objectives we have for this quarter; first quarter and second quarter of 2020. Then, have accountability partners. We have created multiple levels with business partners, with associations, with leadership friends that we build relationship with and are vulnerable with. Then, I went back this last year ... Kathryn and I have reinvested in being coached and those types of things, and this whole next year I went ahead and committed ...


Michael:
              This is the thing. I'm telling you because this is valuable. Find a good leadership coach, and then we signed a contract for the year, and I'm going to be in that once a month and then we're going to look at what that looks like for Kathryn. Kathryn's engaged in an organization now with that same coach and that system that we studied under of learning to be a better coach, and you're doing that and engaged in that format.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Those are different things you could do to stay focused. I want you to think through right now, do I have all those? You need them. There are business fundamentals to have all of those, and if you don't, if you're missing gaps or one of those is a little weak and needs to be shored up, I hope that you'll think about what can I do to shore those up or fill those gaps, and if not, you'll pursue. If you don't have them, then you'll figure out, okay, my first job is to figure out how to get this whole thing figured out. I need a model, I need to know the fundamentals and so on and so forth.


Kathryn:
               My first job is to figure out how to get it figured out.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And you know what? He says that, but we're here to help.


Michael:
              I mean that. I know it sounds silly, but-


Kathryn:
               Sometimes to say, we got to figure out how to figure it out. There are opportunities.


Michael:
              If you need help, Half a Bubble Out is here. It's our consulting firm. We do one-on-one services and training, but what we also offer is our course at habovillage.com. We open it a couple of times a year. We're opening up our founders launch for our membership that we started a year and a half ago, and then because of the natural disasters in Northern California, we stalled out, so we're restarting that in early 2020, so you want to get over and get on the email list if you're curious at all about being part of a community. There's a really great opportunity and deal to get the founder's launch going, and we're looking for 50 people to bring together in that beginning phase so that we can offer some help at a lower price point.


Kathryn:
               You'd sign up for the wait list there at habovillage.com.


Michael:
              That's habovillage.com.


Kathryn:
               That's habovillage ...

both:                     Dot com.


Michael:
              All right folks, thank you so much for coming by today. We are so appreciative of you and taking the time to listen to us. We love doing this and we hope it's helpful. Please let us know. Send us an email, go to our website page, go to the Facebook page, send us questions or anything else, or just let us know how this has helped you, and we wish you a phenomenal week building a company with more passion and provision. I'm Michael Redman ...


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              Have a great day.


Kathryn:
               Bye.