Michael: Hello and welcome back to HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And this is the podcast that talks about running a business as a small business owner. What does that look like? Where do you go? How do you motivate yourself to create a company that what we call is passion and provision? Where you can have more profit and more joy, where your company is successful and it actually is fulfilling and feeds your soul. And that's what this entire podcast is about. And that's what our company's about.
Kathryn: That's what we do. It's who we are.
Michael: That's what we do, it's who we are. So let's jump into today. Today we're going to talk about temptations that can detour you from your purpose.
Kathryn: Actually, it's temptations that can deter you or detour you, but it can't detour.
Michael: I'm just sitting here staring at her folks, because she's just like-
Kathryn: Because I just corrected. I know.
Michael: I was close. It might've been a little nuanced. You're British. You guys say everything differently anyway, so what does it matter?
Kathryn: Yeah, we say it right. That's the point.
Michael: Okay, yeah. All right, so for those of you who don't hear the accent, she gave it up a long time ago.
Kathryn: But not the green card.
Michael: But she is actually a British citizen and can be deported at any time in the current political situation. That said.
Kathryn: Fair, all right.
Michael: Today we're going to talk about the detour or.
Kathryn: Being deterred.
Michael: Deterred and what that looks like in a business. Okay, this is just crazy. So let's move on to the topic as opposed to hassling. No, I was gonna say hassling each other, but you're just hassling me. Okay, folks.
Kathryn: You just threatened to deport me. So that might be a little hassling.
Michael: I threatened to report you, so you'd get deported. I have no authority to deport you. Okay.
Michael: So folks, you're running a business, you're a leader in a business. You have some kind of leadership influence, whether it's your company, it's owner-managed, or you are in some kind of leadership ability and you're trying to lead up to the owners and you have some kind of authority. And we're just talking about what does it look like to have passion and provision in business? What are the things you can do and be wise about?
Michael: And this whole idea that we've realized over the years that there are a lot of things that can happen. Now, for those of you who might be joining us for the first time, we have a marketing and advertising firm, business consulting firm that we've been doing for 17 years. 17 years we've been doing this, with a lot of business experience before that and we've seen a lot of things come up where something can tempt you from getting away from your core purpose and your BHAG, which is your big hairy audacious goal, that the vision you have in your company that's not fuzzy, it's not vague, it's actually clear and measurable and talks about your why and talks about core values and those things that can tempt you to pull away.
Michael: So what are some of those things, Kathryn, that we've talked about that pull away?
Kathryn: First of all, let's just back up and say we're going to hope and assume that if you've been listening to this podcast and if you haven't, that you'll back up a little bit because in order for this particular topic to make sense, you really do need to have a core purpose. You need to have it. You need to know what you're doing, why you're doing it, and where you're going. Because if you're fuzzy then you're being deterred from fuzziness and that doesn't mean as much.
Kathryn: But when you know who you are, where you want to be, you've clarified a little bit, you know what kind of your sweet spot is and what it's gonna take to get there and you've really pressed into that, there are things that will come along that will tempt you to veer off course and we just want to kind of talk about a few of those today because the reality is if you are called to do something that matters in the world, if you're called to make an impact, which we believe you as a business owner are, that you are actually called to make a difference, make an impact, change the world in some way, whatever that way is.
Michael: No matter what you sell.
Kathryn: No matter what you sell, that you know, you're having an impact and things will come along that will want to move you away from making that impact that we'll want to take you away from being the best version of yourself and of your company.
Michael: And I would say that the better you are at what you do and the more you're actually making an impact, the more often things will come along to try and sidetrack you. And climbing that mountain of making an impact and achieving your dreams and your goals for you and your company and your family and your employees even, there are going to be things that come along and they don't go away.
Michael: It reminds me of that conversation I had with Rich before we started the company probably 20 years ago, and I asked him about risk and I asked him about taking chances and he said, "Michael, it doesn't change." And he was one of the leadership, part of the leadership for 25 years of a very large company that turned out to be one of our big clients as we went into business. But he said, "You know, we still take risks. We just take risks with greater zeros, more zeros and greater commas. I mean, like the decimal point's just farther away." And I went, "Really?" He goes, "Yeah." And the temptations, not only do the risks go up, but the temptations to take it safe or to go do something else or something that might be like, could we do something that would be easier and still have an impact? Good questions to ask, but sometimes the answer is yes, but it will take you away from your core vision. It'll take you away from your core purpose of what you're about, and if you don't.
Michael: It happened at Disneyland. Disneyland is like, I know it's frivolous to some people and some people don't like it, isn't it? But there are a lot of us that are big Disneyland fans.
Kathryn: Woot woot, Mickey.
Michael: And you know, when you read the biographies about Walt, building that thing that was, you know, he'd already done a lot of things in their business that had made a mistake. And as far as his brother was concerned, the amusement park was not on topic. It was not on topic at all, but it was important to Walt. And there were several times where it was like, is it really worth it? Are we really going to do this? Is it really worth the investment or the cash?
Michael: And there was a lot of risk and there were plenty of opportunities to say we would never do anything like that and the world would be, I believe, a sadder place for not having Disneyland and that company. But I'll tell you what, there'd be a lot of people who wouldn't have jobs like that. So it's these things that can come along. So let's talk about what some of those things are. Let's be specific.
Kathryn: Okay. So the first one that is near and dear to my heart is the clients that you serve are part of how your company's culture will be defined. I don't know if that's worded very well, but the way that you interact with your clients and the way that your clients interact with you has an incredible impact on your company. And when you're young, when you're starting out, you know, it's pretty hard to say no to opportunities.
Michael: Well, you're starving.
Kathryn: You're starving. You're like, I'll do anything that anybody will pay me to do. Just give me a project. All right? So, that's reality. And sometimes you have seasons where that's just truth. But the fact of the matter is, as you grow and as you refine your purpose and as you move out of desperation, you will still come across times where there are companies that want to hire you that are not a good fit for who you are and who you want to become
Michael: That's in service based companies. Product based companies, you're going to have the same situation where you're going to have wholesalers or vendors that want to work with you and they call you up. We have another company that does that and we get phone calls going, "We'd like to carry your product or service, but we have these kinds of requirements," and you're like, I don't want to be tied up like that.
Kathryn: Yeah. So, we have run into this situation several times over the course of the last few years where somebody will come along and really like what we have to offer and want to work with us and for whatever the number of reasons are, they're not a great fit.
Kathryn: And the hard part is most of the time, at this age and stage of our business, it is either a company that has too little money and we really can never serve them because we're never going to be able to give them a good ROI, no matter how wondrous they might be as a human, so there's that piece of it. But the other piece is companies that come along that are actually really large and they have a lot of money to throw at us, but the fact of the matter is, if we were to help them, they would suck the life out of us or out of our staff. They would take so much time and energy that they wouldn't be worth it because of the way they're put together.
Michael: Well, and we've had this experience at least three times that I can think of that are probably significant. And let me highlight them real quick.
Kathryn: Yeah, go for it.
Michael: One was just recently a company that's $110 million a year came to us, somebody on their leadership group with their marketing and their leadership team and sales has been kind of courting and wanting to work with us for the last two years and we're like, I don't know, I don't know. And then finally there was some things that happened at the company they brought us in.
Michael: Well, we made their running for the top two companies, but then from there we were like, I'm not sure this is the best fit for us with them. It's going to be really difficult. And difficult's not the part that stands away, but is it going to pull us away from our core vision and purpose here at Half a Bubble Out, especially with making passion and provision companies and working with people who are really in alignment with that. That's how we choose a lot of our clients. If you're in alignment with that and you want help, we can help you. That's great. This is one company where we finally had to say through a lot of hard conversations, we sought a lot of counsel. We thought about it, prayed about it, and talked about it a lot.
Kathryn: Had a lot of internal battle, I'll just say this for real, like I had moments during this process where my question was, "Do I just need to pull on my big girl pants and tackle this project because we can do it." We can do it. It is absolutely within our bailey wick to do, but something in me was like, it feels like it's going to pull us off course.
Michael: Well, and we both said that we both agreed with that and it would have been very, very, very financially rewarding and for us, we're no longer at the place where we need the finances to survive and eat and those happened a long time ago. Now our goal is how do we continue to grow because now we have our eyes on a prize that's farther out and we want to grow towards that and make a bigger impact.
Michael: Frankly, we want to make an impact on 10,000 leader to help create passion and provision companies or help passion and provision companies and their leaders grow so then they have that kind of impact. And this would have allowed us a lot of cash. So are they an ideal client? No, but we did think about should we take the money because the money will grow, so we'll sacrifice over here to get the money to move forward.
Michael: But when we realized and looked at our past, we've made a lot of decisions we're where we are today, and have the success we have today and get to do the things we do today. Because we looked at does it fit the needs? Is there a competency issue there? And for this, this was financial competency in a sense. It had enough money but it didn't fit the character or the style or type that we needed to partner with.
Michael: And it violated one of those things. And we had to sit down and make a hard decision. Do we pull ourselves out of the process, out of the running because of that? Because we had a good chance at winning.
Kathryn: Yeah. Well, we will never know. But we did make the decision to pull out based on a variety kind of that combination variety of factors that said this thing will deter us from the prize.
Michael: So, let's go onto the next company example where they're a very large construction company in multiple states in the western United States. And they did remodeling stuff and everything else. And they came to us and basically they were a very large client also and a representative came but didn't tell us who they were representing. It was somebody we knew who was being an intermediary and the company was ready to hire somebody because they didn't have anybody. They needed somebody to take care of all of their stuff and their marketing and things like that.
Michael: And it all sounded great. It was super exciting. Big dollar. Would have been amazing. Very tempting, because it would have been huge budgets. Like, probably five to 10 times more a month budget than we had ever seen at that point. And when we found out who it was, what the company was and who the leaders were, and the senior leader, we realized that the quality of their character didn't match what we were doing also.
Michael: This was a few years ago, it would've been really nice to have that. It was pretty exciting. But what we had to make a decision to do is say, and that was, we weren't in the running. We pretty much could have said yes to that contract. Yeah. And all of a sudden you're super excited. You're in the sales meeting. It all looks good. You know it's all green lights, all green flags. And then all of a sudden you hit this and you go, oh my gosh, this is a train wreck waiting to happen. And part of why we know that is because we actually did some work for another agency, multiple agencies in our area have worked for this company. And we did some work in our very first couple of years in business. We did some television commercial work with some of their contracts and so we didn't have to deal with them directly, but we watched how they treated everybody.
Michael: And then we watched the reputation and it was so bad that they had made tons and tons of money, millions of dollars, but the way they treated people was awful. Absolutely awful. It was humiliating and demoralizing, the way they treated their employees and the way they treated their vendors.
Michael: And they believed that if they were paying you a lot of money that they could do anything they want and we've learned that just a slightly bad client or a slightly bad customer.
Kathryn: Can poison the well.
Michael: And all of that. So, that's tough. And that's another example of boy we were tempted and I'm playing down the tempted part. Folks, in both situations, we were really tempted. It was really hard. And the second one that we were talking about, because we had clear standards, it became very quick in the same meeting, we didn't have to think about it, but I'll tell you what? For a week I thought about the money we said no to.
Kathryn: Yeah. Well, and we've made decisions along the way, and this is just part of growing a passion and provision company. We've made decisions along the way in our advertising agency world to say there are specific industries within the advertising world that tend to be what we would call turn and burn kinds of clients where they hire an agency, they milk you for everything you're worth. They get disappointed in you within a year or two years and they fire you and move on to the next one.
Kathryn: And there's certain industries within our world that are very common for that. And so we made a decision early on that that was not the kind of work we wanted to do. We didn't want to create the kind of work where we would have to staff up for something massive and then out of nowhere, build really quick and then lose that client and have to lay people off and start over.
Kathryn: We didn't want to be that kind of company. We wanted to work with companies where we got to be in the C-suite. We got to partner with leaders to help shape their companies. And they were people who were more relational and more invested. And it's just the style of business that we wanted to run. So that has made an impact. It's changed how we've done things. But I'll tell you what, it is easy to fall into a place where you can begin to wonder if this particular time you should make an exception or make a different decision because I don't know, the money would be so great and they would help fund this other project.
Kathryn: But you know what? If you get money to fund a project but you don't have any life left to put into the project because that money is too hard earned and they're not a good fit, then that is a problem. So that's just one of the things that we try and process through.
Michael: Yeah. Well, and one of the things that occurs to me, we talk about vision a lot in our training and our podcasts and in our course, but one of the things that we infer, but I don't think we talk about a lot, is our own personal calling because we believe that the reason we can get to a place where work is fulfilling is we're finding work that matches our calling. We don't just have a vision. Like, we have this multiple lens process, right?
Michael: A good telescope or anything like that has multiple lenses in it and we use multiple lenses to align so that we can create better focus and we can see farther and more accurately. And for us, not only do we have a company vision that talks about what the company's going to do and what we need to do together and everything else, but it has to align with our personal calling.
Michael: And there's other things besides just work that are in our personal calling that we believe, but that's a big deal I think.
Kathryn: It is a big deal.
Michael: And so one of the reasons we do say no is because we have thought through intentionally with amazing coaches, amazing mentors, and we've put the hard work and thought in to go, "Okay, what does this look like?" And for us and our spiritual faith, that prayer process too, because we're going, what are we called to do and we feel like we have a pretty good clarity that and what we're doing. And so that is really used through passion and provision.
Kathryn: Okay. Well, for example, you know, we kind of have a saying around here and it said life is too short to work with mean people. You know, we decided I don't want to work with main people. I want to work with people who have a level of respect for themselves and their people and have respect for us and the expertise that we bring to the table. I just don't have any tolerance for people who put you in a position where you're constantly having to defend and prove your worth.
Kathryn: And I care a lot about our clients holding us accountable for performance, so don't get me wrong, like of course we have to perform. Of course we have to be worth the money that they're paying us. But you know the difference, right?
Kathryn: The company that puts you in a position where you're constantly having to defend and define and state your value, they just don't value what you bring to the table. And I don't have any tolerance for that. Life is too short. And I'm not going there, if I can help it.
Michael: Okay. We've been talking about a lot of things that deter us that kind of starts with money because in business, money is a huge deterrent and there's probably one more that I want to talk about because those have been people who've been willing to pay you but investors because many of you are thinking, how do we find money?
Michael: We have two investments situations that we've had to incur along the way. One is early on, we created another company that was a video training company and stuff like that. Developed the whole brand, realized we had a hot spot in the market before the Great Recession, and we had an opportunity and it was going to cost a certain amount of money and we finally found investors that would come along and they actually offered us cash. They said, yes, we're in. We're going to give you this much money and we want this percentage of the company. And there were two things that were going on. One of them, one of them seemed like a decent person, but the other one I wasn't sure I wanted to be tied to because when an investor comes in, you have a relationship whether you like it or not, whether they have control or not, they're going to influence your life. Even if they don't have decision power, they could easily make your life miserable.
Kathryn: Yeah. And in Kathryn terms, I would say that person made me squidgy.
Michael: Yeah, yeah.
Kathryn: Just made me feel squidgy. I was like, oh, I didn't like him.
Michael: And they offered us, for a small little tiny startup, you know, 40% of the company for $100,000 and we needed $250,000 to make the company really going to give it a shot.
Kathryn: Which meant that for us to make it work, they were going to eventually have majority ownership, because there'd be no way around it.
Michael: It sure felt like that. And so there were a couple of different things and we had been working on the same, we'd dumped a bunch of cash in, we worked on the project and it was really hard because we'd poured our heart and soul into that project too and thought it was great. And we brought the team in and invested a lot of money and a lot of hours and all of a sudden, somebody is sitting there going, "I think your idea has merit." And they're like, "Yeah, this could be cool and we're gonna write you a $100,000 check today." I mean, we're ready.
Michael: And you're like, okay, well maybe I don't need the 250 or maybe I can do this for, or maybe we can sacrifice and make 40% work and maybe I can put up with these people. And we eventually decided based on those lenses that I talked about earlier and our core values that we were going to walk away from a sure thing. A sure check. And we did. And you know, I'd love to say that that company, we were able to do it on our own and we were able to make it work and we were able to make a profit or sell it or do something, and we weren't.
Michael: We actually lost all ability and we didn't have enough cash. We didn't have enough time.
Kathryn: And it was right before the recession. Then the recession hit.
Michael: The entire project got shelved and we lost it. So we walked away from that opportunity.
Michael: So what we're talking about here is multiple places where you're tempted to compromise your vision, your values, your calling of your company, your personally to say, well there's gotta be sacrifices made and I agree there are got to be sacrifices made but there are places you just don't sacrifice.
Michael: And if it's your core values, your three to five core values and the purpose of what you're doing and your personal ethics, you don't compromise there.
Kathryn: No, you will live to regret it.
Michael: It will cause more pain. And we've seen it happen cause we've also made the mistakes on the other side where we haven't made wise decisions and we have lived to regret it.
Michael: So those are some of the things. New product ideas? Boy, be careful that you don't get excited about a new idea that just takes you off into a place and deters you and distracts you from your core purpose of your company and what you're doing.
Michael: Partnerships in new directions. We talked about that with partnerships, investment money, shiny object syndrome. Everyone's doing this.
Kathryn: The only way you're going to be able to make your company work is if you do this thing and it takes you away from the other long-term decisions that you've made. And and we see this happening a lot in marketing where we set up a strategy with a client and we work with them on making sure that they have frequency and repetition and are not spreading their dollars too thin. And then somebody comes along or they go to a conference and they discover this brand new approach to marketing and everybody's doing it and it's the wave of the future and blah, blah, blah, blah. And we're like, ah.
Kathryn: So, just be aware that just because it's hot today doesn't mean it has longevity and there is a wisdom and knowing what to chase him, what not to chase, but shiny object syndrome is a really powerful deterrent from you staying the course on the strategy that you've developed to get to your goals.
Michael: Yeah. Well, and it happens all over the place from peers who you get yourself in a peer community where everybody's doing one thing and I've seen this at all kinds of different money values, like companies that are all at $50 million. That peer structure. Or companies that are all at 500,000 or or whatever your peer structure, it doesn't go away with making more money. It's like, "Oh hey, we're all doing this and we're all doing that." What happened to that $1 billion dollar company that required $1 billion of investment? There was one in the late '90s that there was a lot of smart business people and that required over $1 billion dollars in satellites. They actually launched 70 satellites for this new cool satellite phone for business people.
Michael: And the whole entire thing turned out to have multiple problems and went belly up and they had 70 satellites sitting in space.
Kathryn: Space garbage.
Michael: Yeah. I mean who knows what's up there now after all this, but you think about it. And they're like, no matter how much you make, it doesn't mean you're smart. It doesn't mean you're smarter than the average bear. You have more experience in some areas, but it doesn't mean you're infallible.
Kathryn: Well, and we were at a conference recently where one of the questions was for agencies, marketing agencies like ours, how do you grow a seven figure agency? And there was one gal up there and I just had to smile because her answer was, "You better make sure you want to, because I did. And then I scaled it back because it wasn't who I wanted to be."
Kathryn: And it's really powerful when you think about that because just growing a company to make the money but losing the love of what you do or losing the connection with people or whatever it is that can happen in the middle of that kind of a choice, those things really, really matter. And so, just understanding that there are different paths to get to where you want to go. And depending on who you are and who you want to be, just because somebody else has got a seven or an eight figure business doesn't mean that that's where you have to go. And if you are going to go there, make sure you go there in a way that's aligned with who you are and your values and your goals and the way you want to treat people in be treated.
Michael: Yeah. It's real important. Part of all this is the peer structure. Peer group can deter you and just make sure you're careful, especially in shiny object syndrome. I'm always reminded when we talk about this, about the New York Times, I like the New York Times. I respect the New York Times as a newspaper. I think they do a lot of things really well and they're good journalists and have a lot of integrity.
Michael: But I remember an article being published in the New York Times 10 years ago that said, if you are not on Twitter, your business will not survive. And I'm like, you gotta be kidding. And there were people who were just talking about this and talking about it and using the New York Times as a credential, like the New York Times said it. It's got to be true.
Michael: And those things are not always true because you think about the tech bubble in the 2000, '99, '98, '98, 2000 era. If you're old enough to know that if you're not old enough or you were just too young to pay attention, looking at the history is important because everybody had said it's not going to work. This technology thing is not going to last. Not gonna last. Especially this bubble in the stock market.
Michael: And then, finally they started shifting. They're like, well, I guess one of the reasons we didn't think it was going to last us because everybody was violating certain core business rules. Like, stocks we're growing with a company that had no product. They had no business plan. It was this whole thing, especially in the Silicon Valley area, San Francisco Bay Area that was just companies were growing left and right and hiring people left and right with no product, no plan, no nothing.
Michael: It was, "We don't want to miss out and we're going to do it," and the stock prices on the stock market, they kept growing. A company that had no product and no business plan, the value of their stock was going up and it made no sense at all. But it did it for long enough, for 18 months, two years, two and a half years, that everybody started believing that the core tenants of business had changed. The fact that you actually have to make a profit and stay profitable or you have to have a plan or you have to have something that you're selling and the reality is it all came crashing down. There were investors who took all of their money out of tech and went to healthcare and went to a lot of other things because they were like, "I don't know how to trust this stuff because I got burned so bad and I lost so much money."
Michael: And that was because everybody was going, "If you don't do this," even though it doesn't make sense, "you will miss out and you will miss these great opportunities." And it's said over and over and over again.
Michael: These are the things that are temptations that can deter.
Kathryn: Deter you.
Michael: Deter you.
Kathryn: Or causing you to take a detour.
Michael: From your core purpose as your company, as a leader. And as we continue to work in this podcast to talk about things that are important so that you can accomplish the tasks that you need to accomplish in your business to achieve the goals you need, that you can continue to figure out those internal growth things of, am I good enough? How do I do this? How do I continue to push forward? What can I learn internally as a leader?
Michael: And then third, are you fighting the good fight against all of those things that want to say, no, you shouldn't survive. No, you shouldn't thrive. No, you shouldn't be able to work and be fulfilled at the same time, let alone those things in our economy, in our world that want to make you part of the 95% of the businesses that fail.
Michael: And we want to continue to do our part, to be a part of encouraging you and equipping you with the nuts and bolts, the big ideas, and the hope that you can actually achieve this goal of your dreams and do it in a way that you doesn't cost you the rest of your life.
Michael: And that's what we get excited about here at Passion & Provision. At HaBO.
Kathryn: Here at Passion & Provision.
Michael: Which is HaBO Village. We love this kind of stuff.
Kathryn: Yeah. We want to make sure that our encouragement to you is to discover, determine, write down, know who you are and what you're doing and why you're doing it. And then to encourage you to live into that with every aspect of business. We want to encourage you in every way to support that central core vision of what you're doing and why you're doing it.
Michael: So because we have the years of experience, that's the life we're doing. That's the life we're living. But it's a journey and it has its ups and downs, no matter how long you've been in it. And this podcast is part of us sharing our experience and knowledge and understanding and what we do with clients and consulting clients and at the same time sharing our journey of our ups and downs are excitements and our disappointments.
Kathryn: I'm disappointed that he can't say deter and detour. Well, you know. We'll let him off the hook on that.
Michael: Oh, golly. It just never ends. And at that point, and on that note, I'm gonna end this out. This is the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: Thank you so much for joining us, and we wish you a passion and provision business and a passion and provision week. Take care.