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What is a Passion and Provision Company? [Podcast]

Episode 2:  This is a foundational podcast in this series. Michael and Kathryn discuss the important overarching themes of Passion and Provision and what they have to do with running a business.

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In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover what the terms Passion and Provision mean (and don't mean!)
  • Find out the true difference between labor and toil
  • Learn why there is hope for building a Passion and Provision company, even if you currently don't have one.

  

If you find yourself interested in the HaBO Village podcast, but are unsure of the concept of “Passion and Provision” then be sure to listen to this episode.

Ready to dive in? We welcome you and look forward to journeying together a while.

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Michael:              Welcome to HaBO Village, episode two. This show is dedicated to helping business leaders like you grow passion and provision companies. That's where companies and the people in them thrive and experience life to the fullest together. Every week, we'll talk about key ingredients to growing a thriving company that involve competence, and the skill development needed to grow a passion and provision business, as well as share our journey and the stories of other leaders as we pursue more passion and provision in our organizations.


Michael:
              Bam, episode two. I'm so excited. I start the music and then all of a sudden, I get really excited. Well welcome to HaBO Village, episode two. Where we're working through our first three core episodes that are really talking about the core ideas and concepts of what we believe at HaBO Village and Half a Bubble Out, our marketing and advertising firm. I am Michael Redman and this is my co-host and partner and bride.


Kathryn:
               Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              That's her.


Kathryn:
               Welcome to the show.


Michael:
              Well, we did our first episode and it seemed to go well. Were you excited? Did you like it?


Kathryn:
               I was so excited, so we're going to do a second and see how that goes.


Michael:
              Alright, we'll see how it goes and hopefully people will stick around to the end. Okay, well let me just intro today's topic, we're going to be talking about this major corps issue that we introduced in episode one. Called passion and provision.


Michael:
              We're going to talk about what we mean by passion and provision, why that's significant, and let me just say upfront if you're one of those type of people that just this resonates greatly and you just go I just like that term, passion and provision ... We meet people a lot that just go man I really like that. Tell me more, we're going to talk and dive into it more and elaborate what that looks like and how you can evaluate that in your business. If you're one of those people that you got recommended to this podcast or you're interested but you're just not sure about this whole passion thing, give us a chance to talk through it and really walk through that because I realize we are very conscious of the fact that passion is a weird word.


Michael:
              And we're going to talk about a couple of those things in a minute. But, this week really let me just kind of give you a brief. We're going to be speaking more deeply to this concept of passion and provision. It's one of our core reference points and even though we mentioned it in episode one, we realized that it needs its own topic. It really needs to be thought through because it's part of our core purpose identity here at HaBO Village podcast. And as such, it really deserves to be explained more clearly.


Michael:
              So, this week we're going to be speaking about it. We're going to walk through it, we're going to talk about the strategy on how we help our clients evaluate their organizations, build a plan, so it's very tactical that helps them identify and fill in the gaps that they have that are slowing them down or keeping them from reaching their goals for the organization as a whole. And their individuals on their team.


Kathryn:
               We really believe in our world that there's just a huge need for more successful companies that are employing more people. And there's a bigger need for new and existing companies to be places that positively engage the founders as well as every other person in the company. What do we mean by that? Well in a really simplistic way, we mean that the companies should give you life and not suck the life out of you.


Michael:
              Amen.


Kathryn:
               Work shouldn't do that, work isn't meant to be that. We spend 40 to 60 hours and if we own the company, sometimes 70, 80 hours a week at work and we talked last week about labor versus toil and how we really believe that work is labor. And if it's toil, it's no bueno. So, we're going to talk more about that again this week. And our first concern is the founder, the entrepreneur, the leaders of these companies.


Kathryn:
               As entrepreneurs and small business leaders ourselves, we totally get it. We work with a lot of you to help improve your world at work. We also care about the rest of your staff and we know that attitude and culture starts at the top and flows downhill.


Michael:
              Yeah, these are really important concepts because I want to make sure we're really clear this podcast is for anybody who wants to grow in these areas and grow in leadership. But our first concern is to really make sure we're specifically giving you as leaders things to think about and an outside perspective that maybe gives you a little bit different thought on how to run your business or what that looks like or some things you can do. And gives you practical thoughts and ideas, tips, tactics that you can use and walk through it because I just know that as a leader I'm often looking for a different perspective. I'm looking for new information and then it's really helpful when I walk away from a book, a podcast, or something like that with some things that like okay how do I even begin this journey?


Michael:
              So, we're going to do things like that.


Kathryn:
               The other thing we really want to make sure we give you is hope. Because we actually believe that this is doable, that you can have a company where you're thriving, you're able to make payroll, you've got provision happening for yourself as well as your employees. And that you actually enjoy working in that company. We've been through the ups and downs of that but we have that in our company and if you were to talk to any of our staff, I think they would say they really, really like working here.


Kathryn:
               And that doesn't mean they're 100% happy all the time or love every task, but overall they really have enjoyment and feel like they're contributing and have success and so, we believe that's possible. We want you to have the hope that that's possible and that's part of why we're doing this.


Michael:
              Yeah, so let's start with a couple of really short introductions. First on passion and provision, Kathryn, how do we define in the short ... Just real briefly and quickly when we're talking to people, without going into a deep discussion. How do we describe passion?


Kathryn:
               So we just describe it really simply as you are doing the right things in the right place at the right time so that your soul thrives instead of dies.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Let me say that again, you're doing the right things in the right place at the right time so your soul thrives instead of dies. We used to talk about what it looked like to cross the threshold Monday morning and how we wanted people to come alive when they came in the building. Not sort of die as they cross the threshold because they had to give yet another week and work for the weekend, we don't want to run a company where that's how people feel. We want people to feel like they thrive here, not just survive.


Michael:
              Yeah and that's a concept that really we got from the author of the One Minute Manager, and I just went blank on his name.


Kathryn:
               Ah.


Michael:
              It'll come to us, you probably know it. Anyway, he wrote so many great books and in the midst of that, years ago we were studying through some leadership books and he did one called Gung ho, if you've ever read it.


Kathryn:
               Is it Ken Blanchard?


Michael:
              It is Ken Blanchard.


Kathryn:
               Got it.


Michael:
              Or as his friends call him, Kenny. We've met him and talked to him but we're not his friends but-


Kathryn:
               No, we cannot call him ... We don't get to call him Kenny.


Michael:
              So, Mr. Blanchard anyway ...


Kathryn:
               Mr. Blanchard, sir ...


Michael:
              Anyway, he co wrote a book called Gung ho and if you are interested in really getting a great story about a company that looks like this, I think they're called allegories. But it starts out with that idea of how do you stop ... And this was really profound for us. In America today, people every Monday morning at 8 o' clock, come to work and walk through the threshold and they're dying inside.


Michael:
              And this was the concept proposed in this book, and the whole premise of what the relationship in this story does in Gung ho, is how do we share the message that that can be reversed? That can be changed. And if Mr. Blanchard's listening to this, wouldn't that be great?


Kathryn:
               Wouldn't that be great?


Michael:
              That's just really thank you very much for what you did there because that was inspiring for us over 15 years ago, that was compelling and it has stuck with us and that contributes to where we are with passion and provision. The definition of provision, short definition of provision is refers to having the resources you and your organization need to achieve your goals. Okay, now this is really important the passion and provision concept in short is this having a passion company means that it really in short, it's fulfilling. It's something that takes up your time, you invest time in it, you invest energy in it, but it is something that gives back, it's fulfilling.


Michael:
              And provision means you have the provisions to make the journey, you have everything you need to take care of the goals you have and you achieve those goals.


Kathryn:
               And that isn't just financial, obviously there's a lot of pieces to provision and so we're going to break that down because it's easy for it to sound like it's just having the cash flow which by the way, is super important in a business.


Michael:
              But it's-


Kathryn:
               It's not the only thing.


Michael:
              And what we're going to do is ... Let's dive in a little deeper here into all of this. Before we go into the definitions, Kathryn, I want to talk about how we got here and help people understand what does this look like? Because a passion provision company, okay first of all passion and provision company has those things in it. A company that's profitable, growing, thriving, and the people in it are thriving, right? We've talked about that. We believe that having a passion provision company can help you grow, if you have more passion provision in your company you can grow in your company and your people can.


Michael:
              Why? As Kathryn said earlier, we've done it, we've seen it. We've seen it in our own company, we've seen it in our own lives, we've seen it in those customers and clients that we've worked with at times. And we've seen other folks who just like their companies are healthy companies and they're enjoying what they're doing. And what an amazing thing that is, but this is the journey of how we got to this place. How did we find out what passion and provision was and stuff.


Michael:
              So in 2012, we were taking a vacation back to England and Ireland. Kathryn's British, one of the little back stories of my wife. And we were going to visit her mom and get away and celebrate for a couple of weeks and on the way over, I was given a book about a week before we left called the Coming Jobs War. And I highly recommend it, it's an interesting book and I read a lot of books but I read this one cover to cover. And I was 75% through it before I landed in Ireland.


Michael:
              And it stuck with me through the whole trip, I just kept thinking about it. And now, here we are four years later and I'm still thinking about it. It still influences us because what had happened was I came back and I was preparing for a speech that I needed to do and it was kind of a significant one so I was investing a lot of time. And what this book had done is it talked about ... Gallup did a world survey basically for the first time ever, they went to 70 countries and said what's on your mind?


Michael:
              And it turned out that in this book, the number one thing that the world wanted was a good job. It wasn't world peace, it wasn't social equity, it wasn't all these things, it was a good job. And that's profound what that looked like and I started thinking more about and what was a good job, how was it defined. It's probably real important that we just real quickly touch base on what are the five characteristics of a good job that come out of the Coming Jobs War, so let's go through this really quickly.


Michael:
              One, you have a good job meaning you are employed full time for an employer and work at least 30 hours per week for this employer rather than a sustenance job that does little to raise you out of poverty or contribute to your country's formal economic output. Now when you're thinking about a global survey, this is significant. Important. And even, strangely enough, it is important in America.


Michael:
              Now our audience right now, those of you listening that's really not the significant amount. But if you're an entrepreneur leader and you're in the first year or two of business, you're hoping that that one paycheck can pay everything. And you have enough start up capital. And you can get the income going fast, right? So there's a place in which we can all relate somewhat.


Michael:
              Two through five are the ones I really pay attention to. Number two, you know what is expected of you at work and you have an inherent capacity to perform your tasks at work. Number three, your boss takes an interest in your success and development. Number four, your opinion counts at work. Number five, you feel that your job has an important mission and purpose. Those five areas are what they define as a good job.


Michael:
              And that was significant to me as I was thinking through this speech. But what I was trying to do was conceptualize this concept because of two things, one we had been living what this book described as a good job. We had been living it out in our life and we had lived seasons of our career here at Half A Bubble Out and other places where we didn't have good jobs.


Kathryn:
               Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Michael:
              So I knew really clearly when I worked for other people I can identify in my past, this was a good job, this was not a good job. And then, I could clarify during seasons of Half A Bubble Out, this is when I thought my job as running a company and Kathryn and I doing that, that we had a good job and then times when we didn't have a good job.


Kathryn:
               Yeah and him reading that book on that trip, this is the typical flight where Michael's the guy who absorbs everything and then just can't stop talking about it so for like three weeks, he was just talking about all the things that he learned in this book by Jim Clifton. Which he was the chairman of the Gallup company at that point.


Michael:
              I think he still is.


Kathryn:
               And probably still is. And it was just this profound sort of shifting book of realizing what it is that the world wants and what it is that in his case, what America needs to do to stay ahead of the game when it comes to jobs in the future.


Michael:
              So, when we did this this idea I was trying to come up with a way to co-defy this experience we'd had of good jobs. And what I realized was what we had been pursuing and fighting for in our company was not only to be financially solvent and growing and healthy. But to be a company that wasn't always last minute, that wasn't frazzled, that didn't live in a stressed place just to stay profitable.


Michael:
              But lived in a place where we enjoyed going to work in the morning, as we talked about earlier. We wanted it not only for our employees, we wanted it for ourselves because that's why we started up a company. That's why we were leaders in a company. And then, I wanted to figure out what it looked like for that fulfillment and that making sure we had cash flow and making sure that we were operating properly and everything else. And we had stuff and what came out was passion and provision. That's where it started, it was a co-deification of what we had not experienced, what was lacking in our lives at different periods of time, and what we were full of and had plenty of and continue to this day having. And it's been really powerful concept because when we hit on it, it just resonated with us as a company and it resonated with a lot of people.


Michael:
              So, that's kind of how we got here today and so here's what we're going to do. We're going to dive in deeper and talk about a couple of things, first thing I want to do is acknowledge that passion and provision are kind of fuzzy terms especially passion. When we say fuzzy terms, what we mean by fuzzy is abstract words. This actually comes out of a whole lot of academic work and stuff like that, but it's abstract words that are really common and what you find is that when you're in a room with people they can mean something different to everybody. But really fuzzy words are common to everyone, so everybody thinks they know what they're talking about so nobody goes and defines it.


Michael:
              It's not like a word nobody's ever heard where hey I've never heard that word, could you please define it? It's I know what that word is, and you know what that word is, but what's going on in our mind is a completely different definition. So it's helpful if we just discuss it and one of the ways to do that is ... Kathryn, what are we not talking about when we say passion?


Kathryn:
               So, I'll just back up two steps here. When we first started talking about passion and provision, it's like it resonated with me but it grated on me. And part of the reason it grated on me is this word passion is just like so like what do you mean by that? People are like where is your passion? Are you living into your passion? Do you have passion? I'd just be like, I'm a thinker and the [inaudible 00:16:36] another feeler, passion like what ... I don't even know what that means.


Kathryn:
               And so, for me the minute you started talking about having passion at work for me it raised this sense of inadequacy like somehow I'm not passionate enough about what I do and what does that mean? And does that mean I have to love everything I'm doing? Like shoot I have to do the freaking books, I'm not excited about that. I have no accounting background and I sometimes have to take care of all that stuff, things are sometimes hard. And so, what does passion actually mean? So, it's really important for me because I was one of those people that's like oh it's just a struggle, I don't quite know what to do with it.


Kathryn:
               I really want to make sure that we define a little bit about what it doesn't mean. So, first thing is it is not the passion of the Christ, right? It's not that kind of that hardcore ... I mean that's a really big term where the word passion is used. And it's that giving your life, laying down your life completely in sacrifice.


Michael:
              Well and it's important to say, for those of you listening that are academics you'll know this. Passion actually came originally from the Latin and a couple of other things, a couple of other languages but it actually meant in the original suffering. That's where passion originated from in the Italian and the Latin and all that kind of stuff. And the Greek.


Michael:
              It was not a positive thing at all, it was all about how are you suffering? So that's where if you're familiar with scripture and Jesus and the Bible, it talks about suffering of Christ as the passion of the Christ. That's not what we're talking about. We're not talking about that.


Kathryn:
               No, we're not talking about that. And we're not talking about sexual passion, which I just said that on a podcast.


Michael:
              Oh my.


Kathryn:
               I know, well-


Michael:
              I said there were no explicit words on this podcast when I went to iTunes.


Kathryn:
               Oh dear. So, we're not talking about that. That's sort of like ... We're not talking about that. We're also not talking about wishy washy emotions that take away self control. We're not talking about that sense of oh I just feel so ... Sort of that, in fact we'll talk about a little bit more later about how there's impostors of passion. Infatuation is an impostor of passion, sort of that you can't stop thinking about it and we're going to break this down in a little bit.


Kathryn:
               Sort of obsessive passion, versus healthy passion. What we're really talking about is simply positive motivation and emotion. That's an indicator that we're doing work that fits who we are and brings a measure of satisfaction and contribution. So that's really what we're talking about when we talk about passion. Am I contributing? Do I feel good about what I'm doing? Do I understand my role? And am I given the resources to make that all happen? So, that's really what we're talking about.


Michael:
              And talking about that impostor really quick. Somebody we really respect, a mentor of ours he talks about not having ... He makes this reference and maybe some of you are familiar with this but the idea is like stop flittering around and chasing your passion and wandering here and wandering there. And all that ends up doing is you start something, you do it for a while, you end and basically what you're jumping from is honey moon to honey moon.


Michael:
              He starts out oh I didn't find my passion, you quit something and you go on to something else. And you know what? Entrepreneurs do that. And if you're an entrepreneur at all, you know this. It's either inclined in you a little bit because you hit a wall or you've seen it happen. But it's not uncommon to our culture and our community of entrepreneurs.


Michael:
              So, that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about something deeper so let's jump into what that looks like. Over time we've been describing and looking at passion as a couple of really key things, one is there's so many different ways to look at passion in literature and different things like that. But we've always understood passion was a healthy thing.


Michael:
              I always said and Kathryn and I have talked about this, passion needs to be balanced and we finally found some scientists ... Some researchers in academics doing work and we came across Bob Valorant. Who is at one of the university's in Canada and they've been doing research for 10 years on the concept of passion and it's pretty significant what they're doing.


Kathryn:
               So he defines passion in kind of a couple of ways. His basic definition is it's a strong inclination towards a self defining activity that people like or even love, find important, and in which they invest time and energy on a regular basis. But they acknowledge in their research that there's two types of passion. There's a harmonious passion and there's an obsessive passion.


Michael:
              And this is key because this actually helps us go, well what kind of passion are we talking about? On the things that we said we weren't talking about, this helps us separate passion's not one thing. And when you start to study and co-defy something, you actually come up with different words to describe different types of something. And passion is one of them, so okay so what's harmonious passion, Kathryn?


Kathryn:
               So, they actually have a five part model that they group because everyone has to have an acronym. So their acronym is OFIS, it's O, F, I, S, which is optimal functioning in society. And what they say is there's a five part model harmonious passion that involves psychological well being, so if you have harmonious passion you are going to have psychological well being. It contributes to physical health, relational well being, high performance, and a main level of endeavor. And contribution to society.


Kathryn:
               So, five areas, optimal functioning in society, psychological, physical, relational, performance, and contribution. And we love that definition.


Michael:
              So, okay let's talk about what that looks like. So give us an example, so we're talking about a passion that means okay as he defines it as Valorant defines it, is defined as a strong inclination towards a self defining activity. I love these academic definitions, that people like or even love, they find important, and in which they invest time and energy on a regular basis. So let's break that down really quick, what we're saying is that there's something you're going to do whether it's a task, a job, whether it's a person you care about-


Kathryn:
               A hobby.


Michael:
              A hobby, you're going to A, you think it's important. You want to invest time into it, you do invest time in it. And it is even a self defining activity so I like the drums. I'm a drummer, so I now do I play the drums often anymore? No, but if you come to our office there's a drum set in the lobby.


Kathryn:
               And some congos.


Michael:
              Next to a grand piano, a baby grand piano. It's kind of eclectic and anyway, that's another story for another day. So I am a drummer, I used to be significant drummer because I played every week, two or three times a week. And that was something I did on a regular basis. It was something I invested in, it was sort of self identifying, it was important, I enjoyed it.


Kathryn:
               You were willing to pay money for lessons.


Michael:
              I was.


Kathryn:
               So you invested time, energy, finances to get better at this thing that gave life and meaning.


Michael:
              Okay, so what happens is in the midst of this and we're going to apply this to work really quickly. So, in the midst of that what you have is if I'm doing that and continuing to invest time, one of the things that happens is I become better at performance. A passion and a passion in the five areas, number four is high performance in the main level of endeavor. It's just one of my things, it's a hobby but I'm getting better and better at it, I'm practicing, I'm playing, consistency and all that kind of stuff.


Michael:
              But when you talk about physical health, psychological well being, relational well being, is my commitment to drumming negatively affecting my psychological health? Is it negatively affecting my physical? Is it negatively affecting my relationships? Is it negatively affecting my contribution to society? Okay, she's smirking.


Kathryn:
               I'm giggling because all I'm thinking is it's negatively affecting his relationship to his dog because the dog hates when he plays the drums. She just runs and cries so ...


Michael:
              When you're in a band and you're playing with music and singers and stuff, everybody loves the drummer when the drummer's practicing, everybody hates the drummer so there's kind of an exception there.


Kathryn:
               Yes, that's very true.


Michael:
              But that said, you get the idea, right? So when you're committed to something and work is like this, businesses are like this. It is something that is a passion of mine because I invest time in it. If you spend a lot of time with your spouse, that is defined by this as a passion. Because you're engaged in it, it's partially self defining, I'm married this is my spouse. You invest in it, you think it's important. And he would define that as passion.


Michael:
              Now there are levels of passion from mild to extreme and that's okay but when it starts to violate these five things and not strengthen them and keep a balance in that office system, allow you to be functional in society it moves over to obsessive, right?


Kathryn:
               Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Michael:
              And here's where you see especially in business, people who have been through three marriages. Who have no relationship with their kids, we know lots of people and we've experienced this where it's dangerous. The challenge I have had with my own father, my father was an entrepreneur who was unfortunately obsessive and we saw the challenges to that. And we know what it can do to a family.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And it can be devastating, we realize that the power of relationships and business you want to make money and you're in business to make money. And there are some people who say I'm just in business to make money, that's what business is about. Yes, it's partially about that, it's making revenue. But it's to make revenue so you can actually do things. So you can have a fuller life, so you can contribute and when you get locked into its all about being successful and making the money or some people's situations it's all about my identity.


Michael:
              I self identify with everything I do at work and that's okay because the definition at some point says there's a part of self defining. A self defining activity. There's nothing wrong with that until it goes over the balance and it starts to affect your own psychological health, your physical health, your relational health, and your contribution to society.


Michael:
              I know leaders as we said before, who have gone through marital problems, have poor relationships with their kids, they only have friendships within the context of if it's just a business relationship. And that's it, but if it's no longer a business relationship they no longer have a relationship with that person. Or they just don't even contribute to the greater part of society, they don't give back at all. Those kind of things, that's not what it's meant to be about in our opinion and that's not a passion and provision company.


Michael:
              That is an unhealthy company and actually what can happen is it can start to degrade a lot of different things in a company. So, that is passion [inaudible 00:28:08] Kathryn did you want to comment on that?


Kathryn:
               I think just a couple of other small things. One of the things is that one of the myths of passion is that I should like what I'm doing all the time. And the reality is there is probably no job, there is no field you could be in where you're going to enjoy 100% of what you do. And yet, you have to do some of the things that you don't love to get to a deeper satisfaction. So you take our dear friend Coach Landry of the Dallas Cowboys all those years who's definition of being a coach was to help his players do what they didn't want to do to become who they wanted to be.


Kathryn:
               And that's just when we're talking about sort of having a passion place and really passion being an indication of our gifts and talents and skills and interests, being focused in a direction that is not just loving everything about what I do. You take a basketball player, who they may not love working out, they love playing the game but if they don't do the workout if they don't put the discipline in and if they don't learn the fundamentals and really deal with the hardcore process then they're not going to experience the deeper satisfaction that comes from doing the activity that gives them joy.


Kathryn:
               Because they will stink at it and then that's no good.


Michael:
              That's a huge point. Okay let's talk about provision. You know what I always think about? I think about pirate ships. Pirate ships, I think about Johnny Depp. I love Johnny Depp, well I like Johnny Depp when he's a pirate. Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, we were just at Disneyland. Love the ride, love the movie, but it gets me in that mindset of adventure and traveling and it also gives me real context on what provisions were.


Michael:
              The sailors when they would set out, they could only hold so many provisions on their ship. You needed to be able to get to the next port to pick up more provisions, fresh provisions. Provisions were anything that allowed you to make the journey. To make it wherever you're going to go and so, that could be a whole bunch of different things. That could be mentally, emotionally, physically, do you have the physical strength? Do you have that? Do you have the finances? Do you have any of the resources?


Michael:
              And typically, the most common thing you think of is do I have enough food and water for the trip or supplies? Type of thing, if you think about it in a road trip you have seasons. Or phases of a road trip and if you're just going for a day trip you go and come back and you're all done. But if you're going to go drive across the country, your car can only hold so much gas, you have to have money, you have to buy provisions like gas, food, water, you have to stop to go to the bathroom.


Kathryn:
               And sleep.


Michael:
              Yeah, hopefully sleep. You might sleep in the car, but you still need safe places, so there's these provisions you need as you're going across the way, and I think even more profound to a business model is something even more extreme like climbing Everest, right? Kathryn and I were talking this week about climbing Everest and what that looks like, you have to do a whole lot of preparation for a whole bunch of different things to go. And plan before you ever leave and get on a plane, you can't just get on a plane and go. You have to go at the right time of the year and everything else and make all the arrangements.


Michael:
              You land in Nepal, you got to get from the Nepal airport to base camp. Which is its own journey and hike and process in itself. You have to stay at base camp and acclimate. And then there's four other camps that you have to move up the mountain and acclimate at each one of those. And then once you're at base camp or not at base camp but at camp four, then you have to go ... You make the journey to the summit.


Kathryn:
               Yeah and I learned this weekend as Michael's using ... This is an illustration that you actually have to go to the summit and back in one day or you're probably not going to survive the journey.


Michael:
              Yeah, you can't stay on the summit, you cannot stay on the summit or on the mountain in that sense. What did they talk about? So you go from camp four up and back, that's where a lot of people have died on it as they haven't even made it down off the mountain. Either storms come in, different things like that, there's been movies about it. And then you have to come back down, acclimating yourself camp to camp, base camp.


Michael:
              And then you come home, the goal is to make the full cycle, not just to reach the summit. To make sure that you can come home and enjoy the memory and talk to people and show them your pictures or whatever. It does not good to die on the mountain and in business, there are lots of different seasons and phases. So when we talk about provision, we don't just talk about what happens sometimes when we look at business is it just all gets lumped together. And we talk about I just need enough cash flow, I just need enough people. I just need enough strategies, it's crazy I have the money, I have the money but it's insane. And what do you need? What are the provisions, what are the tools you need to have a business that runs smoothly and is growing so that the company and the people in it are thriving?


Michael:
              So that passion fulfillment is available and all the provisions needed to meet your goals, some people think about provision as just the minimum. But if your goal is to get through payroll this month, that's on the smaller ... What I need just to make those things, but if we're going to grow and we say over the next three years we're going to grow to this level what are the things you need to get there? What are the skills, talents? Who are you going to hire to help? If you're going to climb the mountain, you need a Sherpa.


Michael:
              A guide, guides help us along the way and in business that might be a coach, it might be a consultant, it might be a podcast by HaBO Village. But you need that help and as consultants and running a marketing firm, at Half A Bubble Out we do that on a regular basis for other folks. And we help them along the way, and sometimes it's just that outside perspective looking at your company. Looking at your challenges from a fresh perspective, a different perspective to find some fresh answers, right?


Michael:
              And what is the provision you need? That's what we talk about provision, do you think that covers it Kathryn?


Kathryn:
               Yeah, I think so and I mean again we'll talk a lot about the flushing up the specs of this so short term goals versus long term goals. And if you live in a company like Michael said where the only thing you're concerned about is making the next payroll, then it's really difficult to think about investing for the future. It's difficult to figure out how to plan for that. If you live in a company where you're just making stuff as you go along and you have no systems and you don't know how to manage people, you're just kind of making it up as you go those things will begin to fall apart. So really, the provision piece of it is what sorts of basic fundamentals are there that exist in business that you need to be able as a leader to begin to wrap your brain around to understand which ones you know how to do? Which ones potentially you don't know how to do that you need outside help on, so that you can make sure that you're able to do the long haul.


Kathryn:
               And make it to the summit and back down to tell the story. So even as we look at moving into the next week, we're going to end up talking about these nine areas of business as we call them and the fundamentals that allow you to begin to create a passion and provision company. Or improve the one that you're already in the middle of.


Michael:
              So, yeah we're going to be talking about ... This podcast is regularly going to be talking about the different things that you need. The different skill sets you need and competency character, different areas like that. But as we kind of ... I think there's a couple of things we're going to do before we wrap up today and one of them is I really want to make sure we go back to labor versus toil really quick and make sure we talk about that because it is a different way of talking about going to work in the morning and enjoying it.


Michael:
              And that labor versus toil is like this ... Throughout a huge chunk of history, there has been a lot of societies and it was very agrarian and it was just survival, how do I survive from day to day? Certain cultures throughout history have thrived, part of it's their geography, part or it's safety issues and we can see that in history. But a lot of people just how do I make from day to day? And toiling, if you've ever tried to garden in an area where the soil is really bad but that's where you live and you're trying to make a garden you're doing everything you can but you don't get a huge crop.


Michael:
              You don't get a lot, you may just get just enough to meet your needs and that's it. You never get ahead, you never have enough. And what happens when people are trying to get out of poverty, we work with a program in Central America and one of the things they've learned is we want to help people learn to recover from poverty or the challenges they have. Then they move into a phase where they work to meet their own needs, then they move them into a phase where they learn to have extra and then they teach them what to do with that extra so when they have extra produce or extra coffee or anything like that, they can it take to market. So they actually start teaching them to have a business, they go from having nothing and scratching day to day ... Well that's toil, when you have nothing. When you work hard every day and you never have enough to get out of poverty or you never have enough to put in savings or anything else and it's just a sustenance thing, that's toil.


Michael:
              And we don't believe that's the way it's supposed to be and labor at the end of the day, let me say this about toil too ... Toil is one of those things that just sucks. We hate it, because it's emotionally debilitating also it just weighs you down. You just get discouraged because you never seem to get ahead. But labor, at the end of the day, you're still tired.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              But it's a good tired, if you know what I'm talking about at all if you're running a business you understand this ... It can be the difference between toil and labor is not that it's not hard work, they're both hard work. One is rewarding, one at the end of the day you're exhausted but you feel good about what you accomplished. You moved one step forward towards a goal, you're contributing to something bigger than yourself. It allowed you to do it and you have enough resources to get there and it was fulfilling in the process at the end of the day, you did a good day's work as my grandfather used to say.


Kathryn:
               Yeah and I mean, I would be surprised if anyone listening to this podcast has not had their own version of what it's like to be in a job where you are toiling versus laboring. So, I mean I can remember being a teenager and working at Burger King and that was actually labor. It was fun, it was serving people, it was interacting, I enjoyed it. It was part of contributing and I didn't mind doing that, but later I had a job that paid really well where the guy didn't know how to utilize me and I was so bored that it just sucked the life out of me. And it impacted-


Michael:
              And that was great job in Silicone Valley after we got married.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, it was a great provision job. But in terms of being able to actually do something and contribute and feel like I was making a difference, there was nothing. He was a guy who just didn't know how to utilize his people, so that is an example for me of a job that just really sucked the life out of me and I'd come home and you would think well you didn't do anything all day, how tired could you be? Boredom is exhausting for me.


Michael:
              Oh she was not happy.


Kathryn:
               It was terrible.


Michael:
              And it was funny, I just said that was a great job. That's how easy it is to get sucked into this thing of it was in a nice building. She didn't have to get dirty or gross, she-


Kathryn:
               I got to design my own office for crying out loud.


Michael:
              And she worked around some great people and it paid well. But it sucked the life out of her because there are certain things that my wife needs and one of them is don't bore her at work.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              She likes a challenge and you know what? If you're a leader in a business, founder or an entrepreneur or a leader you're like that too. You don't want to be bored, you want to be active, you want to be engaged. So, okay so let's transition now into kind of this last segment here on the podcast of really tangible. Okay? All this stuff we talked about, what can you do to really start thinking about this? What are kind of questions that you can ask and that you can start thinking about to go how much passion and provision do I have in my business? And in my life as a leader, and how can I evaluate that? And how do I move forward?


Michael:
              So there's a couple of things I want to talk about. First of all, I'm going to encourage you to ask the question in four ways. This question is about people, systems, customers, and cash. This is the first thing I would say. And don't answer yes or no, I want you to answer on a scale of 1 to 100. It's a real important concept that I'll touch on real briefly here and then we'll go into a greater point. Yes or no is a polarizing thing that can ... A lot of answers, you don't want a yes or no answer.


Michael:
              You want an evaluation of how full, how successful, how complete something is and so when you think about how well to master something they say it takes a minimum of 10 years of good practice to be a master at something and there is a lot of key indicators that tell you that you have mastered a subject or a process.


Michael:
              So, what we do is we talk about first of all measure it on a scale of 1 to 100. If you want to, 1 to 10. And then, you need to define a minimum competency on that. Below that threshold, it's like going into a class where they say the minimum requirements for this class are the other three classes. What's the minimum requirements for you to be competent or have enough to just so you're not in the red anymore? Emotionally or financially at work so that you're there and then think about growing past that in a concept of thriving to mastery.


Michael:
              So, here's the four questions again. Do you have enough or do you have a minimum enough amount of people? And do you have the right people in your company? Do you have the minimum amount of people in your company to do what you need to do? And do you have the right people? Second question, do you have a minimum amount of systems in place to run smoothly? Smoothly enough, I'm not talking about perfection at the moment here. I'm talking about, is everything running pretty well? Yes, it could be improved, yes we want to make these systems more efficient but are we talking about yeah they're running pretty good? So, we know that we're not miserable in the midst of, we're not frustrated in the midst of it as a team.


Michael:
              And we're taking care of our customers. The third one, Kathryn?


Kathryn:
               Do you have a minimum amount of customers? So, do you have enough folks that you're serving to meet those minimum needs for your company? And then final one, which most people think of as the primary is do you have a minimum amount of cash flow? Do you have enough to meet the needs and to get by and then looking at it beyond that, do you have an excess? Are you able to grow into something?


Michael:
              For those who may be thinking about starting a company and everything else, Kathryn, can you have enough customers and not have enough cash flow?


Kathryn:
               Absolutely. You can have customers, I mean a, maybe you have over hired for example and so your expenses are out weighing your income. You can also have customers that you're billing at really nice lovely high levels but then they stop paying you. Because they're having a hard time and suddenly, your cash flow is completely out of whack. Plenty of customers looks really good on the books, your AR versus your AP is all looking super solid but you have no cash.


Michael:
              If you're running a successful business, you're familiar with this and everything else and if you've survived and made it through the years that's phenomenal. In a later episode, we're actually going to talk about finance and we're going to break it into a couple of different episodes. And one of them we're going to bring in our CFO that we out source, we have an out source CFO for our small company. And we're going to talk about how to look at your numbers and tell the story of your company from your balance sheet and your other financial reports and you will learn more and more and you'll get a better understanding how cash flows.


Michael:
              So, if you know it now our goal is to increase your proficiency in the finances. So, those are the four questions do you have enough people, systems, customers, cash? If you don't have those, if you don't have minimums I will tell you I can lay odds that if I came in and looked at your company I asked you those four questions. And you said no to any of them, your passion or provision is going to be low.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And odds are, both. Because when your provisions are low and you're frustrated and stressed, there's less passion in what you're doing. And less enjoyment in what you're doing, let's put it that way. And so, then what can you do to get better? To understand, to grow ... Okay. I'm going to suggest many of you are readers or listeners so the Coming Jobs War we mentioned it earlier, I highly recommend that book.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, the author is Jim Clifton.


Michael:
              And he is the CEO of Gallup currently. And they're just doing some great things, phenomenal things. Speed of Trust.


Kathryn:
               Stephen M.R. Covey.


Michael:
              Yeah, this book is ... Trust is another fuzzy term. This is the best book we have ever seen describing the issue of trust. There's lots of good books on the subject but this is the best because it's very quantifiable. And when we talk about increasing in competency and character, he breaks trust down into those two major categories so if you're understanding that you increase trust as you increase in those. And as trust increases, passion and provision usually follows in a business.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely. Yeah, we don't let anyone that we know in business not read Speed of Trust.


Kathryn:
               It's just a powerful, powerful book.


Michael:
              And any other specialty book on a specific area in business and if you're really curious, we're going to continue to add stuff to our website about different books that are worthwhile. But right now, I would highly recommend looking at the 100 best business books. These guys have done a great job and it literally is called the 100 best business books and it's a review of 100 books that they've evaluated over the years. And I've ... It's fun, I have been fortunate because I looked at that and I went oh my gosh, 1/3 of these books are on my shelf.


Michael:
              Maybe more. And oh that's great book, and that's a great book. And then there's been books in there that I'd never heard of before that are phenomenal. Really good.


Michael:
              Alright, then another thing you can do to get some help is ...


Kathryn:
               Certainly we talk and I think we probably even mentioned this last week but a dear friend of ours says you cannot get to clarity alone. So, as leaders, as entrepreneurs, as folks starting companies sometimes I think we're under the illusion that we're the ones that have started the company therefore we're the consultants, we're the ones that are running the show. We don't need any help and we would just encourage you that outside perspective is really important so finding a coach, getting a consultant on a specific topic. We mentioned that we brought in an outsourced CFO, I can't tell you how much that has changed how we understand our books. It's just been a very, very good thing for us.


Michael:
              Yeah and when we look at our friend Terry who says you don't get to clarity alone, having relationship with him he coaches and gives an outside perspective. And not just in the negative, actually way more often in the positive. Helping me clarify and co-defy what's going on. So, just getting that outside perspective. Take a course, do some leadership training, we highly recommend counseling.


Michael:
              I know this sounds crazy on a business podcast, but you know what? Your mental health and emotional health, we have all learned to feal with certain topics in our life. And it is extremely helpful sometimes to sit down and either walk through the really hard times in life or getting that perspective, that coach from somebody who the topic is emotional health.


Kathryn:
               Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Michael:
              Is how do we stay balanced in the midst of that? So we don't over extend ourselves emotionally or our expectations of relationships or we communicate better.


Kathryn:
               Well and it's really a good place to evaluate the question, do you have a healthy passion for work? Or is it more an obsessive passion? So, is work something that's contributing to your OFIS? Your office ... Or is it damaging to your relationships, your family, whatever? So, counseling is great and whether we're talking counselors, consultants, coaches what we say all the time is I regularly need someone smarter than me to ask me questions I don't know to ask myself. And to have those conversations and to draw things out of me that are in there but I don't even know how to articulate so we're just big fans of helping each other. Which is really part of what the HaBO Village is all about.


Michael:
              Yeah, and we said in the opening segment that we used to be pastors. People's full health, emotional, mental, spiritual health is important to us and sitting down and just listening sometimes it's hard to find somebody who will listen to you. And it's really healthy in the midst of that, so we just encourage those kind of things. That's why we think it's valuable in business.


Kathryn:
               And of course you can listen to our podcast.


Michael:
              Absolutely.


Kathryn:
               And we really want you to do that.


Michael:
              Because this passion, today we've talked what we can ... In about 50 minutes about passion and provision. The aspects of it, there are things we didn't even go into and we all need it. We all know that the disengagement at work factor is 3/4th's of Americans are disengaged. We talked about that in the first episode, business failure rate is ... There's all these arguments about what it actually is. Nobody argues it's bad, and it's difficult and it's challenging. And the fact that so many people give up because they're tired and exhausted of the process. Especially in the small business world, which makes up a huge percentage of our gross national product and everything else.


Michael:
              So, those kind of things you want context and you want help so this podcast is one of those things you can do. And we're going to talk about what does it look like because every week we're going to talk about a different aspect and tactic of business and next week, we're going to describe that plan. The nine areas of business and that strategy we work clients through, and then as we go into depth over each one of those subjects of what it looks like to really have a holistic strategy ... In business, we're going to continue to say okay this is how you do it for passion and provision.


Michael:
              This is how you make sure that you're working in this area so that you, your company, your employees are all living life to the fullest.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              As much as possible and that possible, I don't know if we said this earlier or not we mean here's the metric. Is it 51% of the time or greater that you enjoy what you're doing at work?


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              We're not talking 100%, we're not even talking 90%. We're talking 51% of the time, can you measure that much of enjoyment in your job of fulfillment in your job? If so, that's the beginning to move forward. That's a great bottom beginning metric.


Michael:
              If it's less than that, then you've got to come what do we have to change? If it's at least 51% you can continue to grow, so let me summarize. Today we were talking about passion and provision and how passion and provision impacts your financial success in your company, and your fulfillment in your work and your company. For you and the people in it, and our goal is to help you thrive.


Michael:
              And that's the end of our discussion on passion and provision today. I hope it was helpful. Next week, we are going to jump into how do you make all this happen? We're going to talk about the plan of the nine areas of business. And how that works on what we actually look at and how we peer in with X-ray vision if you will into businesses and go, what areas do we look at it? And how do evaluate them? How do you segment this stuff out? So that it makes sense, so that it can practical and application oriented.


Michael:
              You want to get to action items, you don't want to just stay in theory and we don't want you to either. Thank you for joining us this week, we hope you'll join us next week as we continue to talk about building passion and provision companies where the company the people in them thrive.