Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
Among the most difficult organizational tasks are remaining confident through the length of time it takes to build your business; breaking through to the next level of growth; or even sticking to a plan that spans two years or more. There may be lackluster results in some of the short-term initiatives, yet the completion of those milestones is what builds the success of your long-term initiatives.
As you take on bigger goals with bigger risks, community becomes ever more important, even as it becomes hard to know how the results of today actually impact the future outcomes, as well as what is missing from the plans made. Challenge yourself to listen closely to this program and take away one thing you can start doing now that will help you remain compassionate while growing your business. Jess Dewell welcomes David Shriner-Cahn, Smashing the Plateau Community Builder and Podcaster, to discuss how businesses can thrive with compassionate and empathetic leadership.
Deeply related to business success today, your ability to flex and adapt is more important than ever. In addition, compassion can be interwoven into thriving businesses. To tap into resilience, you must go beyond acknowledging someone else’s hardship and attempt to understand the whats and whys of their experience to intentionally choose how to show up for yourself, your business, and the other person too. David Shriner-Cahn, Smashing the Plateau Community Builder and Podcaster, shares about how to build your confidence through intentional action.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: David Shriner-Cahn
What You Will Hear:
Don’t wait so long to get going you aren’t embarrassed by the first attempt.
Compassion exists when we interact with people in our community.
BIG changes are difficult and always require trial and error.
Sometimes seeing or hearing another without judgement or the need to act is the compassionate thing to do.
Confidence increases through your action, the insights you seek, and the support you surround yourself with.
Our businesses, even with a single person, are ecosystems that are influenced by the decisions we make.
Shifting to long-term thinking is easier when we have smaller goals that when completed we may build upon.
New initiatives may take two years or more to start seeing desired results.
Plans are made from what we know and what we don’t know; think about all the things that can happen so you are ready for what your plan doesn’t cover.
Additionally, for the Fast Track Your Business Today Uncut conversation:
Formats, cadence, routines … and more! Whether an existing structure or structure unique to your business, use it!
Take a day a week to behave differently.
One of the key differences between having a business and owning a business.
Challenge from David! Unplug from your business for a preset period of time.
Set boundaries to support the values of your business and the way work is done at your company.
Learn how to do a client profitability map to check out whether your clients are financially profitable AND if you like to work with them.
Batch to do the deep work your business requires to grow.
It is BOLD to be compassionate while growing your business.
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:51
Hey, it’s good to see you hear you and be with you all. today. We are live for the Bold Business Podcast. And you know, today we’re talking about thriving, we’re talking about compassion, we’re talking about business, and where those intersect. One of the things that I always find interesting is that when we consider the objectives, we have the initiatives, we’re going after the way that we want to show up and do our work ourselves. And together with our teams, it’s important that we’re staying creative and effective. Yet, when we don’t slow down when we don’t design a way to thrive. When we forget that everybody’s got their own stuff going on that they’re bringing to the table to do their best work with us. That’s when we lose sight of what it truly means to get results, not only get results, get the results we want in a way that is sustainable. And those are the leadership skills and the topics that we like to cover like today’s on the voice of bold business. Now here’s that’s not true. I think that’s hilarious. Scott. And David, I have to tell you right now, I just did a really funny thing I like went backwards in time, because the previous name of our show was the forcible business, it’s now but Bold Business Podcast, same words, different order, and welcome to the Tuesday that we are in today. And I probably shouldn’t be doing this on my own anymore. And this is good that we have a guest otherwise we’d have a day. David’s, David’s here with us today, David Trenor con and he is part of the smashing the plateau community. Not only is he part of it, he is the reason that it exists. And he works with consultants that are building their businesses that are maybe in a late-career, in a late-career next career changing of the guard so to speak, and they’re like they’re not done working, they don’t want, they don’t want to stop, they’re ready. And David works with them, helps them creates community so that we can all come together to do what we love and get paid what we’re worth. David, thanks for being here today.
David Shriner-Cahn 03:05
Hi, Jess. Thank you. Thank you,
Jess Dewell 03:07
You catch my error before I did? Did you know what is she talking about over here?
David Shriner-Cahn 03:11
I’ve loved the way you pivoted Jess.
Jess Dewell 03:16
You know, if we didn’t do it, if we have no way to pivot, if we have no way to like fall down and get back up and be our own selves, whatever it shows up as what good is the world if we can’t laugh at ourselves?
David Shriner-Cahn 03:31
A good sense of humor goes a long way.
Jess Dewell 03:34
Yes, it does. And here’s the deal. If I’m gonna mess up, I might as well do it really big. And keep going because somebody out there, David is going to be like, well, I can’t mess up, I can’t mess up. And then they’re all worried about that. And they miss out on being who they are. And what they can really add to a project to a discussion to a brainstorm to creative work that they’re focused in on.
David Shriner-Cahn 03:57
Perfection is the enemy of the good. And there’s also a saying when you’re creating content, which is if you’re not embarrassed by your first attempt, you waited too long to get started.
Jess Dewell 04:08
Oh, I like the latter one. If you’re not embarrassed by your first attempt.
David Shriner-Cahn 04:15
You waited too long to get started.
Jess Dewell 04:17
You waited too long to get started. When have you embraced this fully.
David Shriner-Cahn 04:22
I tried to and I will admit that I am. There are times when perfectionism gets the better of me. And I tried not to let it I tried to remember that. Just just just get, get going.
Jess Dewell 04:43
And that’s the thing get going. You know, there’s this thing that I’ve always done. I love people who plan. I love people who design and I do some of that. At some point though. I start getting stuck. And I recognize that in myself. So I coined a phrase a long time ago. called Act to Plan. Once you have a general design, once you have a general concept, once you have a general direction, go do something and test it out and see what the result is. Because it doesn’t matter what other research, it doesn’t matter what other planning, it doesn’t matter what else has been going on until you have the result of actual work being done. We don’t know where the holes are, it’s a way to find holes in our own work.
David Shriner-Cahn 05:22
Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.
Jess Dewell 05:25
And, you know, it becomes even more important sometimes to have a process like that when we’re working solo, or we’re working remote.
David Shriner-Cahn 05:35
Well, that’s why it’s really important to have colleagues and to be part of a community at least that’s how I feel. Because you, you need people you can bounce your ideas off of and get some feedback. If you’re working in isolation, you’re likely you’re more likely to go down a rabbit hole that is not going to serve you well, in the long run.
Jess Dewell 05:57
How many times Okay, and I believe in community too. And I actually think it’s really important to your point of rabbit holes because we don’t think we’re in the rat holes when we’re really there. And other people can catch us and say, Hey, you forgot the trails actually over here that you want it.
David Shriner-Cahn 06:18
Look, we, you and I met in a community. That’s right, right. Thanks to your again, Strauss.
Jess Dewell 06:23
Thank you. I love the shout-out. We do have to shout out your gun. Yes.
David Shriner-Cahn 06:27
Yes. And he is a great community leader. I like to follow some of his examples. But we met because of him. And you’ve had an opportunity to be on my podcast. Yeah, now I have an opportunity to be on your show. And we’ll see how things go. But that’s, that’s part of, that’s part of what it means to be collaborative, what it means to be in community.
Jess Dewell 06:52
Can we practice compassion in isolation? What do you think about that? There’s a question for the day, I’m glad you’ve been awake a few more hours than you.
David Shriner-Cahn 07:02
You know, in preparation for this conversation, I looked up the dictionary definition of compassion, it says it’s sympathetic pity, and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. So obviously, you can’t practice compassion if you’re in isolation, because you need to be responding to somebody else’s situation, to be compassionate. The other thing I would say is, it’s, it’s really important not just to respond to their situation, but to actually have empathy for them and feel what it’s like to be in their position in their shoes. And I think that it is very hard to do that when you’re working in isolation, you need to just like if you come across a situation where you see somebody is having misfortune, and you’re contemplating how you can help them, if you talk about the situation with some colleagues, before you act, you will get a sense of how your actions may impact the person you’re trying to help. Now, that doesn’t mean betraying some confident confidentiality about somebody’s situation. But it does mean getting some input about what you’re trying, because the reality is, when we try to help other people, again, going back to what we were talking about with getting started, you don’t really know exactly how things are going to land and how somebody is going to respond to what you say or what you do. You don’t know whether they’re going to actually take action or not based on what you say. So there’s a huge dynamic that develops in the situation where you’re trying to be compassionate, but I think if you test the waters with other folks, it will help a great deal. And I know that I’ve right I’ve done this in work with clients when I come across particularly situations that I think are challenging or difficult. When I’m, when I you know, if I have a client that’s really struggling with a personal situation, or they’re, they’re, you know, they’re trying a new business model to try to make some more money, or they’re trying to shift from a project-based consulting model to a recurring revenue-based consulting model. You know, these are all things that are not so easy to pull off. There’s a lot of trial and error involved. And if I have a chance to discuss the situation with others as I’m trying to help clients, I think the result is better.
You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders, unedited and uncut. And we don’t just stop there. There are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You will also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often. Two, experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, The Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere. You can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to FastTrackYou BusinessToday.com. Now back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 10:51
You know, it makes me think of a lot of things because I love the concept of compassion. And I do mean love with the great big heart and maybe even a rainbow here and there. That’s shooting from the center of it. And the reason is, while that definition is like, Oh, I’m recognizing somebody else’s in a place of hardship. To your point, I’ve always taken compassion one step further and didn’t know that empathy was outside of the initial definition. So I’ve already learned something here today, just from our conversation. And that’s an important piece of I think about how people do business when I lived in Boulder, Colorado, the network family wellness center, the network chiropractic care facility that I went to, they always answered the phone, I can help you. It was not Hi was not How may I help you? It was I can help you it was a declaration and it was the one it’s the one and only place that I’ve ever heard that. And I wanted to give them a quick shout-out because they’re really active in the community that they’re dealing with people’s pain all the time. And they know how they can be of service by just stating that. So it disarms the how do I know what I have to ask? Do I even know what I need to ask for? Because I know that’s a big deal for a lot of us. We don’t know how to ask for help, or we don’t know exactly what we need, and if the person we’re talking to could help us. Yet that approach that willingness to be there, to your point of what you were just talking about the willingness to know somebody will talk through it with you.
David Shriner-Cahn 12:31
Yeah, and I think you’re 100%. Right. So yeah, the willingness to be able to talk, talk it through with you is really important. People want to be seen, they want to be heard. And just the act of having a conversation with someone and being able to express what’s going on is the first step toward some kind of change or transformation. Yep.
Jess Dewell 12:57
And, you know, and I’m thinking about business, and I’m thinking about people want to be nice, and they want to help, how can I help you, or they go out of their way to take an action that they think is would be helpful, yet may or may not actually be helpful from the life the difference of the life experience and the way somebody thinks this happened, or it happened to them compared to the way it’s happening for a person right now. And when I saw when I think about that, and I and I sat with that. One of, one of the things that comes up is, I wonder to have something that thrives whether that’s a relationship, whether that’s a community, whether that’s a business, whether that’s an into our own individual selves? Do we have to have a willingness to witness without expectation of serving without expectation of changing? And how important is that to actually being able to allow thriving to occur?
David Shriner-Cahn 14:03
Well, you know, I think it’s really important I’m, I’m thinking about some of the members of our community who have, who have businesses. And again, going back to your point of, of talking about this in a, in a business context, I’m thinking about people that have businesses that have gone through some kind of transformation and the business and is in a much better place than it may have been previously. It, it, it takes some persistence, it takes willingness to change. I’m thinking about you know, what one person I know whose business went from a few projects of have limited To time duration, that were very spotty to several solid recurring revenue clients. So that income is multiple times what it was a few years ago. And it’s very consistent thinking of another, another person who’s had consistent business, but the income wasn’t really high enough. And person has some, some family challenges that, that make time very precious. Yeah. And again, through some interaction with, with other members of the community have gotten to be much more self-assured in terms of competency, which has led to price increases, which has, and also have led to recurring revenue clients versus project clients. And again, business is now in a much healthier place with income. That’s multiple times what it was a few years ago. Yes. So being able to get a business to thrive, is there are a lot of steps along the way. It’s not like it’s a necessarily continuous trajectory. It does take it really helps when, when others who are around you have some compassion and are willing to be helpful. Yeah. Right, on a continuous basis. So I think all of that is true.
Jess Dewell 16:57
And, you know, I’m, I’m listening to you tell the story. And I’m hearing the ecosystem, and I’m hearing the, there are many different pieces, there are a lot of different influences. It also sounds like there is an ebb and flow of this or that in a particular resource, or particular area or a particular ability, or capacity as well. And the interplay of those things that are really hard to quantify outside of a, here’s the project, here’s the roadmap, here are the tasks that go do with each of those things. So I know that I’m on track, all the other stuff, I think is where that thrive comes in. And it makes me think of, of two experiences that I’ve had both from the outside looking in. One was a seven-year project, which was a documentary called The biggest little farm. And the second was the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, which spanned more than 10 or 15 years, I think it was 15 to 20 years when they did this, that when they, when they started to report on their findings. And so this is what nature needs a long time to figure it out. And we need a long time to watch nature change so that we know what to do next. And I wonder, and I’m calling it nature, I don’t think that’s quite the right term. It’s going to be an all-encompassing, probably knowingly not the best term here. It makes me wonder, though, because all we can do is influence what we’re working on. And so when, when the biggest little farm Have you seen have you? Do you know anything about either of these, David?
David Shriner-Cahn 18:35
I know about the reintroducing wolves too. Yeah. Okay, so Well,
Jess Dewell 18:39
I’ll do a quick summary of the other and then we’ll probably spend most of our time on the wolf piece. So the biggest little farm was, how do we get an integrated farm that is working, that the land is working with us and the animals and the plants are all working together? Whether we want them there or not. And so it took a seven-year process of how do we go from what we typically think of as farming, to creating a farm that that doesn’t need a lot of work that is producing and taking care of itself from the inside out. And it talks about how do you get the soil back. And it talks about what kinds of things do you plant and why. And then it talks about how all of the things that come with that. Right? So one of the things that this farm did was to plant a whole bunch of varieties of fruit trees. Well, that was really good until a few seasons later, all the birds from all over the place came and ate their fruit. Well, that was something that they worked on, and they were trying to figure it out and they, I don’t remember the exact process. The outcome of it was they paused some. And what happened was predator birds came in and helped keep all of the other birds that were eating all of the fruit from the trees in heck. So there was enough for the animals on the farm that fell off the trees and the other wildlife that helped make the keep the soil as healthy as possible and regenerate it. So I was thinking, so that’s, and that’s just one example of the seven-year experiment every year layered on, it was very interesting. There is a political twist to that. So I know that if you’re going to go watch it and look at it, you may or may not like the message, but the concept of the integration of the, of the experience of the many years and the changes in how that equilibrium and thriving occurred, is pretty darn cool. And then we get to what you already know some about so we’ll spend some time there the reintroduction to wolves. So how about since I explained the first one, how about if you do a recap of the reintroduction of the wolves, and we’ll use that for thriving business? Maybe How come?
David Shriner-Cahn 20:50
I don’t I don’t know that I know enough of the details about the reintroducing the wolf. So yes, I know that it was done. And, and I know it wasn’t so simple.
Jess Dewell 21:01
That’s right. It wasn’t so simple. And they didn’t know what it was going to be right. And wolves, the biggest, the biggest issue with reintroducing the wolves was the agriculture around the park. And that the, the ranchers and the farmers were worried that the wolves were going to be come too much of a pest again, to their endeavors. And so there’s that friction between the park and the, the ranchers and the farmers, which is always going to exist probably. And so how they’re dealing with that I don’t know the purpose of what we’re talking about for Yellowstone, though, is, after many years of reintroducing the wolves, somebody higher up on that totem pole, I say somebody some being higher up on the totem pole, then rodents and bunnies and birds, smaller birds, these wolves started to put the deer and the rabbits in check. And the populations decreased because there were overpopulations of some animals and not enough other animals. And wolves change that, which it actually then in turn, changed the vegetation, which in turn changed the edges of the rivers, which in turn allowed other plants to continue to grow, which allowed other animals that had been absent from the National Park to come back to the park where they had once been.
David Shriner-Cahn 22:25
Yeah, there’s, you know, in a business context, we live in a world that has very short-term thinking and short-term expectations. And in reality, what you’re talking about these two examples, is very much parallel in the business world wishes. Most people in business are looking for long-term success. And what happens in the short term builds to lead to long-term success. But there can be, there can be a lot of hiccups along the way. And so if you’re looking to make, for example, consistent profit, every single month, right every single quarter, that may or may not happen. And there are times when things happen in your marketplace, things may happen with your team, things may happen that adversely impact your bottom line this quarter, but may be the right thing to do for you to be still profitable five years from now or 10 years from now.
Jess Dewell 23:35
True. And what ends up happening is the right thing doesn’t always get a short-term, quote-unquote, success. That’s one of the underlying things I heard you say. So I’ll reflect that part back out. And to your point. Tell, do you you know, tell us from your experience when you when that happens? What do you think the first responses? And what does that mean? Because our first I know, my thought is right. Oh my gosh, we’re not to succeed seeing the result that we want. So we’ve got to think differently to get that result in the short term yet. How do we know it’s the right thing to do to ensure we stay on track to the long term?
David Shriner-Cahn 24:22
It’s often hard to tell yes, I’ll give you one example. So true hard to tell. It’s hard to talk. I’ll give you an example. I’m ready. We help high-achieving professionals build their consulting business after a long career as an employee, and if you’re an employee, and you leave a job, and you start a new job, your income when you leave a job goes from 100% from that job to zero. The minute you walk into a new job, your income goes from zero back to 100%. When you start a new business that doesn’t work that way. And I’ve asked many of the guests on my show smashing the plateau, how long it has taken them to feel like their business, their consulting, or coaching business was sustainable. And I would say the most common answer I hear is about two years. That’s very different than what happens when you walk into a new job. And so if you’re becoming a business owner for the first time, and let’s say you’re, you know, 5055 years old, you’ve already worked for 2530 years, and you have never experienced what it’s like to run a business, it can be pretty daunting to realize that your income is has not matched what your last salary was, for a month, two months, three months, six months, 12 months, maybe 18 months. And so, you know, one of the things that I advise people is, make sure that you have enough cash so that you have sufficient runway to build up your business, make sure that you have credit established before you leave your job, because it’s easier to get credit when you have a W two than when you have a new business. Yes, that’s right, you may need to tap into it. Yeah, the other thing I say is, okay, so you’re facing this situation where things are not working out in the short term as you want. But are you still on track? To pursue what you want? Long term? And in the short term, what is the worst thing that can happen? And what will you do if that worst thing, worst case scenario comes about? And if you have a plan for how to deal with it, you’re gonna do much better at trying to achieve what you want for the long term.
Jess Dewell 26:53
The same is true when a company hits a growth plateau, and they’re ready to go to that next level. It takes time, it takes effort, and there has to be a preparation for less profit to no profit to a worst-case scenario of wow, this is taking longer than we thought our runway is not quite long enough. What did we do? How did we plan to, to go through these bumps to get to the beginnings of that result? And you illustrated that very well, David, you know, it makes me think about it makes me i It’s so funny, because it makes me think about risk tolerance, in general part of thriving is understanding the risk tolerance, are we willing, can we be all in to ride out the bumps regardless of if we’ve planned for them. And I think that that’s a bigger deal. And this act, this is actually I’ve no idea how this actually, this part actually relates to like the Yellowstone National Park and the reintroduction of the wolves. But I can tell you, the way that the farm, the biggest little farm worked, they planned for a lot, and they had so many big obstacles that it felt like watching them, it felt like fire after fire. And there had to be a lot of trust in their ability, there had to be a lot of trust and faith in the vision, they had to give themselves compassion. And they had to recognize that other people wouldn’t understand them and couldn’t be empathetic. And so maybe did only have compassion without empathy for them on this journey, and to a community then to come back and say, Well, I have a community, and not everybody in the community will have been there. Somebody may have and I may get some good insight. Who can where can I find some support? As I get through this to keep my trust in my vision? And I think that’s a pretty big deal. That confidence piece.
David Shriner-Cahn 29:00
Oh, the confidence piece is huge. You know, when we plan our plans are based on what we know that we know, and what we know that we don’t know. What we know that we know is really easy. I make a plan. I know you know, for example, if you know I’m planning to make an investment, and I know a lot about, about investments, I can probably do a pretty good job at creating a return on the investment using the vehicles that I’m familiar with. If I’m making an investment in an area where it may be new to me, I might know where I can go to learn more about this particular instrument. It’s what we don’t know that, we don’t know that causes us the biggest challenges. And if you have places where you can go to ask for some feedback or some advice when the, the unexpected happens. That is great because somebody else’s experience well, well, it may not be exactly like what you’re facing right now. But somebody else’s experience may have enough parallels to help give you some insight as to how you should respond. when the unexpected happens.
Jess Dewell 30:19
You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast, formerly known as the voice of bold business, we’re going to just bring that in, it’s going to be a theme for today. So the Bold Business Podcast, we’re talking with David Shriner Khan, of smashing the plateau, a community for consultants who are building their businesses. And this could be their next career, the next phase post-corporate, because you still want to work, you still want to go make a difference, and you know, you have something else to achieve. All right, this is the deal right here. For those of you watching live, you get to stay here and watch us live today, on LinkedIn and on YouTube. And for those of you who are listening to us in the podcast feed, guess what? Go check out Fast Track Your Business today.com and learn about how to get the rest of this conversation, this uncut, deep conversation that we’re going to continue to have with David and other experts and guests with experiences like David that help us show up, stay creative, solve the problems we’re facing right now so we can get to that long term success.
Thank you for tuning in and listening to the Bold Business Podcast. If you have learned something from this show that will help you in your business right now, consider what additional impact you can get by subscribing to the Fast Track Your Business program. You owe it to your business to seek out new ways to achieve more while building a resilient and profitable business. Subscribe now. Visit FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for technical production.