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:
The effectiveness of your organization’s delivery model depends on how much effort you put into knowing each step and adapting when it is time for change.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Ian Peterman, Matt Sweetwood, Laura Wright
What You Will Hear:
Reinvention is part of every business.
Lean into your core values.
Are you really willing to do what it takes to succeed?
Interplay of people and resources to be adaptable and effective.
Study your company, study your industry.
Stories of showing up to distressed parts of your business model.
Recommit to your Present Retreat.
Your knowledge guides you forward.
Bring out outside eyes in to hold you accountable.
It is BOLD to evaluate and innovate on your organization’s delivery model.
Notable and Quotable:
ANNOUNCER: Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. We want to thank our listener supporters who keep this podcast ad-free. Find out more at Red Direction dot com forward slash listener supported. Your business has many directions you 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. This idea is for you to apply to the opportunities and challenges you face. 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. This podcast will provoke ideas and will give you insights to be inspired Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence with strategy and operations overlap. Your path comes from consistently working from the special place, your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell: We’re in a unique time. And in fact, every moment of business time is unique not only to us, sometimes to our industry, and right now, globally, business owners of all sizes, consultants of every industry and every level of experience are facing something we haven’t before this time is showing us our strengths and our weaknesses, and really how effective your business model really is. And the thing is, the way that you are facing today, the way you are integrating the change, the way you choose to show up is going to influence the way you approach mitigating weaknesses and capitalizing on opportunities. Yeah, you heard it all Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This is a perfect time to be thinking about your SWOT and how dynamic it is. Plus, we’re looking at how dynamic our delivery model is today, and combining what we know about our company, the pulse that we’ve talked about recently to really dive in and look at What we’re doing, the individuals that I interviewed for this podcast, bring diverse experience, from design to sales to scaling and growth, and the things that they share that are important for you to be listening for and know that are coming as we’re having the conversation today is that the first thing you must know your business and evaluate each step of the delivery model, and the second being keen about how your resources are used and what resources you actually have available. And the third one, the interplay of people and resources and the way that you show up to change. I’m excited to jump right in. We’re going to start off this entire conversation with Matt Sweetwood. He’s the CEO of Lux now, a website that brings luxury goods into the sharing economy. Before this, Matt spent 29 years as the CEO of Unique Photo yeah Like in the recent past, and here he grew a company from 1 million to over 100 million annually. He also is the leader of the pack, the memoir that tells how he suddenly became a single father and the results of that on his life as a dad, as a leader, and as an entrepreneur, and you know me, I don’t like to really beat around the bush. Let’s bring it straight up straight on. Here’s what Matt starts our conversation with.
Matt Sweetwood: If you wait to the point where Oh, S*it happens, and then you try to reinvent your business, you will surely fail and go out of business. And our history is littered with companies. Since I was in the photo industry, I can give you examples. You have the Eastman Kodak company who actually invented the digital camera, the patent or layered sensor lead emitting, you know, this is the patent they have. But actually invented the CCD, and though the chip that actually can store images, they did that and they were unable to move from their film profit generating machine.
Jess Dewell: Hindsight being 2020 when we are so tied to what our company is doing, we become blind to what the threats and the opportunities actually are.
Matt Sweetwood: They were unwilling to embrace that technology and reinvent because they were making so much profit. I always use the story I sat in the chairman’s office of the Eastman Kodak company in the early 2000s. And they showed us a graph of the gradual decline of film over the next 20 years. And then by 2007, eight, I think it is film actually just completely went away. And they essentially went out of business.
Jess Dewell: The more we are stuck to a process, the more we haven’t been evaluating, the more likely we will trip ourselves up. And this is incredibly important facing any kind of change, especially technological change that impacts the way every single one of us does business. It does not matter what kind of industry you are in, or really which industry you’re in. It matters that you are forward looking, that you’re always looking not only for how to make your own services better in your own industry, but also what is going on that could impact your industry and how you could be using that to inform some of your decisions so that you can stay on mission and have longevity with over two decades in business sales. Laura right is a master coach at epic its sales and she’s helped many different types of businesses grow and prosper. Now she’s talking about something right off the bat that is near and dear to my heart.
Laura Wright: We sit down and talk about the core values of the company. And I’m not talking like the surface levels or like if you’ve ever done any personal development, you’re like, what are my core values, I mean, core values of a company and when we have those in place, the coolest thing happens. I usually have my clients list them in order of deal breaker ability. And what I mean by that is, if you’re like bringing a human team member in, they need to match all the core values. If you’re being interviewed on a podcast, the podcast probably only has to match. Like, let’s say there’s five in there, they probably only need to match like four. It’s a smaller thing or a bigger thing, depending on how much they need to match them. But the coolest part about having the core values is actually you can have different people inside of your company who have different personalities, different ways of communicating with people, and it still matches the value of your company. I have two lovely women who play a role that interact with my clients. I’ve lots of people who do lots of things, but these two primary people interact with my clients and one of them. She is like the hug love mom that we all want and need. And her communication style is just like flourishing, it’s amazing. And my other gal is like, let’s get it taken care of now. And here’s the coolest part. I get the same comments about both of them from the same people. Wow, they’re so amazing they represent you. They like share the way you share, they helped me the way you would help me. And it’s funny because they do it in such different ways, but because they’re matched to our core values.
Jess Dewell: So much more becomes possible. Your truenorth Starts not only from the vision not only from the mission, what you’re creating to solve a problem in the world, it also comes with the way that you do business together, both internally and externally. And so starting there with core values as we continue this conversation may give you some insight to how rigid you are in an existing business model, how adaptive and aware you might be, because it’s really important to consider what do our customers want right now? And what are we delivering? And how do we make sure we’re delivering it in such a way we can adapt and our customers will want what we’re offering three or more years from now, because when those things aren’t in place, something else happens. Ian Peterman, CEO of Peterman design brings his engineering and design experience together through his firm. He supports companies by working with them at the management level of design to help them through the entire design process. Here’s what he has to say, when core values aren’t front and center.
Ian Peterman: You can set up your employees to become past the buck people. Or, you can create this culture of: we just saw the customer needs to be helped do everything that you can and giving your employees the permission. Because, there’s also that: Well, I don’t want to do it because it’s not my job title. And I’ll get in trouble if I touch it. So I need to pass it off. So it’s also empowering your employees and your customer service all through the whole process of: Hey you actually get to do things to help the customer; Yes, we have some guidelines like don’t break these rules.
Jess Dewell: We don’t have to be on guard. We don’t have to be wary. We do have to be aware, we have to understand through the data that is coming to us what’s important for our business and being able to understand the trends, whether it’s through concrete data combined with feelings, and, like Inklings, or no, there really isn’t any or it’s both. It’s what your concrete data plus what your feeling is, and our hindsight, always being 2020 we know what we could have done better. And this is the time to decide what will help us from our past experience and bring it forward right now because sometimes we have to take a new direction. See, sometimes we have to recognize it is time To change direction, and Matt has something to share with you about that.
Matt Sweetwood: One thing that I was never afraid to do was to push the business in a new direction. And I go back to when I first started working out date myself a little bit, which was the late 80s. My company was basically a B23B company. We were selling small stores, and I started to see the small stores being bought out. Photographic supplies were sold in independent pharmacies. How many independent pharmacies do you know exist today? Now many, they all started getting bought up or the CVS is in the Walgreens, whatever it was at the time. And the in the big box stores starting to exert their presence, Kmart and Walmart. And so I said, Oh oh, our B2B business is going to be in trouble. And so while we continue to run that B2B business and did all the way to the time I exited the business, we converted to part of our business to B2C business started selling photographers. We had a very good success with that, because we took our business model, which was a very service oriented model, and applied it to people who had never been treated as a business. Photographers were sold by consumers. We started treating them like businesses. And then again, it happened when film started to become challenged.
Jess Dewell: So in Matt’s case, it wasn’t testing how his existing delivery model work, it was figuring out how to create a new business model that would support what they were trying to do. Keep them on mission aligned with their core values, and most importantly, navigate the opportunities and weaknesses that his company was facing.
Matt Sweetwood: It was pretty obvious that that was going to happen. And that was a case where the reinvention happened kind of at the middle of the peak, you could see the downturn start to happen pretty quickly. It wasn’t after the downturn, we were just sitting there and that’s when we actually did something really interesting. Which was open a camera store, after all accounts stores went out of business, but we reinvented the camera store model. But something I kind of get credit for in the photo industry. Essentially, every camera store that operates today operates off the reinvented concept that I put in our company. And we were very successful at that even after the camera stores were essentially done, went from 10,000 to a few thousand a few hundred. My camera store in a couple of years became one of the largest in the country, one of the largest single location ones in the country, because we created a different business model. So to answer your question, reinvention really needs to come sooner than later. And if you try to reinvent your business too late, it’ll be too late and everybody will be ahead of you, you won’t be able to do it. It’s very difficult because I liken it to sort of working on a moving vehicle, change the fan belt on a moving vehicle. But if you want to be successful, sometimes you have to.
Jess Dewell: So, boy, don’t we wish we had the luxury for everything to just pause while he figured stuff out? Yeah, Matt said it very well. And that’s something we don’t have the luxury of and to be successful, your willingness to do what it takes comes into play.
Matt Sweetwood: Do whatever it takes, and I think that that is an extremely important characteristic of anybody who wants to be a leader, is that you’re willing to do what it takes within the law and within your morality, in order to get it done.
ANNOUNCER: You’re listening to the ad-free listener supported Bold Business Podcast. We’ll return to the show soon, but first, we’d like to take you behind the scenes to give you a peek into what goes into the production of each episode. Again, here’s your host,Jess Dewell.
Jess Dewell: I’d like to take a few minutes and tell you why we do not run ads on the Bold Business Podcast. We’ve chosen to rely solely on you, our listeners, for support. If you’re listening to this, you probably already know what I care about most. I care about the space between you and me, and you and your colleagues. And I care about the work that you do together and the impact that it makes for your business and for your community. The work I do comes from a deep curiosity about what makes businesses work, what makes high functioning teams and what elements truly shapes success. I’ve seen firsthand how information can help people make better decisions and change their results. Curating and presenting this information though is not easy. The vast amounts of information out there, and the overwhelming amount of stuff that demands our attention and time, makes finding useful information, firsthand experience that is actually inspiring, that can help you with the big problems that you’re grappling with, it’s really hard. We do the due diligence for you. I am fortunate to have a great team to help me research and to share this information. And one example is the preparation that it’s done for each program. We choose a question to explore, we look for people with the relevant information and experience. We do research for what the current trends are. And then we put it all together into a well produced program. And then we repeat, and then we repeat. The production of the show notes and supporting information is also comprehensive. This shows in the positive response that we’ve received. People like to see are notable and quotables. They like to see the links that we have to the transcripts, and they like to have links and research to resources and we bet I bet you do too.
ANNOUNCER: And now, let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast for the rest of the show.
Jess Dewell: As we move into some problems and the solutions that become possible for us to look for identify and address for ourselves, for our companies think about what it means to be dynamic. Think about what it means to really dig into the resources that you’re using the resources you actually have. And are they being used best right now?
Ian Peterman: As someone who consumes digital and physical products is that definitely a hate getting to the point of conversation when I think I’m talking to someone who can help me like, Oh, wait, wait, let me pass you on to a different department. I can’t do that. Why did I just talk to you for an hour then? To find out that I didn’t need a different department? That’s great. I love it. You guys are paying them hourly. And I’m wasting my time too. We should do it again.
Laura Wright: One of my clients was a virtual assistant agency, and we supported her she brought in 30 new clients in one month, and 15 left the next month, and 15 stayed. And here’s what actually happened. Her capacity to bring on clients was different than her capacity to serve them in the onboarding process. So the 15 that left actually didn’t get the service that they felt they bought.
Jess Dewell: Oh oh, yeah, that thing called expectations, because people are part of every process. So regardless of how we animate, regardless of what we’re using to make it streamlined within our company, and to make it as easy as possible for our customers. We have to remember, our customers perception matters, too. Laura goes on to say …
Laura Wright: And I want to explain what I mean is, it wasn’t that you were giving something good it was that it didn’t match and then the other thing happened. Feast and famine shows up every time we do too much capacity. So the thing that I usually train my clients on, is we’ll look at what there’s two reasons why this, like 12 reasons probably why this makes everything work right is one, we want to know what does like a full client roster capacity look like for you. And when we actually fill you up and know your proper onboarding, we can create wait lists, we can create, like just that power of people being like, Ooh, I’m the chosen one. I get this one spot that you have opened this month that’s really quite attractive. But also we give better service.
Jess Dewell: Service is sticky …
Laura Wright: So great example is one of my girls has a Facebook ads agency. She does high level high vibe, people doing big things in the world. And she can only onboard two clients at any given time. And when she came to me she had like 24 people she was managing and it was just it was this mess. And so every time she would sell a new person, it was like funky in the start. Because she was putting too many people in. Once we made it two, two magical things happen, like 12, magical things. One, she now does not have client roll off. So just by having a steady cadence of bringing clients in and serving them, they come in they she retains them longer. She doesn’t have this portion where like if you brought in 10 clients all at once all 10 clients would end at the same time and then you create these some famine. And the other thing is, she gets to nurture those clients, as they come on. Their onboarding process is like a magical experience and they fall in love, they get great results. And now she can tell people there’s only two spots. So if you’re on a sales conversation with me and you want to get started this month, it’s now or you might have to wait two or three months and we now have her with a waitlist. And a waitlist is powerful. So I think really understanding what is your capacity to deliver as well as what’s your capacity to sell. And having those two things match up will make your sales flow better and your delivery flow better.
Jess Dewell: So pause, check in mentally right now what do you know, and then the next time you are doing a president retreat, take a look deeper, a little closer at that, how you can make your delivery and sales flow more closely together, because the resources you have and the way that they’re being used matters to the amount of achievement that you can get at any time. So in your present retreat, and for those of you who are new to the podcast, a quick understanding of what that is, it’s four hours a week of uninterrupted time, that you get to reflect on what is exactly happened, reflect on what’s going on right now. As well as take a look forward and where the company is going, and what the trajectory has been planned versus what the trajectory is. So you can create priorities and actions Accordingly, studying your own business is part of that process. Man has something to say about that.
Matt Sweetwood: You have to be studying your own company, know your own market, understand the nature of the business, and look for opportunity. I mean, it’s as simple as that. It’s just thinking. It’s not this is not a special skill or even a home skill because every circumstance is different. It’s really a situation of just being on top of your business and being daring, right, you have to go do stuff. It’s very easy just to sit and just let it run, particularly if you walk into an existing business. In the case of Luxnow, you know, we’re a startup, we’re only in a few cities right now. You know, we’ll expand into other cities. But for us, it’s really a question of continuously innovation, continually innovating. One of the things I used to say. If for those of us that have been doing business, let’s say in the 90s, way back then, when I had blond hair and blue eyes, like my kids.
Jess Dewell: Matt’s really funny. For those of you who are supporter listeners, you’re gonna love the uncut conversation that we had. I started out this program by saying know your business and evaluate each step of the delivery model. Matt just summarized it really succinctly. And we’ve been hearing from Ian and Laura, to the importance of understanding not only each step and being able to evaluate it, is it impacted internally? Or is it impacted externally and the resources we have, how do we change the use of our resources, money, people time to support what’s happening in our business right now, to be able to be adaptable, to understand what our capacity is, in the time we’re in as well as What we want our capacity to be, as we move forward and lead our company to what is next.
Matt Sweetwood: Today growing is not enough because the technology allows you to quickly sell. So you can sell you, can for sales, you can do things, you can discount, you can get the word out on discount, so you can grow your sales doesn’t mean that you’re surviving. So what I always say today is growing is not enough to continue surviving. You have to reinvent continuously, because the competition is coming in. And it’s not just competition. It’s market conditions. It’s regulation, its technology, its psychological factors. It’s all sorts of things that come into play that require you to continuously push your business forward. So to answer your question really directly, part of being a business operator, a leader an entrepreneur, is the process of continuously reinventing and pushing forward the business model. It’s literally an everyday task. You’re always pushing forward. You’re not just ever sitting and letting the car coast.
Jess Dewell: Yeah, well, he said. Matt, and Laura and Ian are all incredibly passionate about this topic about what it means to make sure we don’t forget the service piece. We don’t forget about the people who are interacting with our company at different stages of the game along the process, and that when they come in, they may or may not have the information that the person or people before them had or have with the relationship that you bring. And so automation is great. Looking at every step is great. Most importantly, though, it’s active thinking. And in fact, while you’re actively thinking about your process, Laura shared some great information that I’m going to share with you here about automation and people
Laura Wright: So many people want to use automation inside of their business. And one of the things that I have found is, I don’t know a single process in my entire history of running my business and anybody else’s business, that there isn’t a human manual component along with an automated system. I think what happens is the moment do, you remember Ron Popeil on the “set it and forget it”? I may be dating myself, but we tend to do set it and forget it inside of our business and then you don’t know what is broken. Another thing that I do and this is a great like little golden nugget is every time that something doesn’t go well with my clients or inside my team, I thank the person for helping me see a place that we need to strengthen.
Jess Dewell: Just the beginning of the tips that we’re going to continue to receive through the rest of the program. Now, here’s what Laura does when she finds something has broken or isn’t working as expected.
Laura Wright: If a client doesn’t get something like we found out there was a funny little SOP …
Jess Dewell: Just the beginning of the tips that we’re going to continue to receive through the rest of the program. Now, here’s what Laura does when she finds something has broken or isn’t working as expected.
Laura Wright: If a client doesn’t get something like we found out there was a funny little SOPthere was a funny little SOP … the other day that a welcome packet had always been inside of the email delivery system for one of our programs. And then I changed the program slightly added something in and somehow that one little piece didn’t get carried over. So when my clients showed up and said I didn’t get it because I was like, Well, you know, I didn’t get your welcome packet. And she’s like, I didn’t get a welcome packet and I went, Oh, no welcome packet. But then I said thank you. And suddenly she like this was an engendering moment. She suddenly is like I’m on your team. She’s like, I found the problem, and I’m helping you fix it. And I genuinely thanked her for it. And now we have that system back in place. in our business where we can read decide to like, do we want to keep this, we want to let this go. We consciously decide to look at it and we keep it or we let it go as opposed to just chugging along and waiting for something to come along. And that doesn’t work.
Jess Dewell: We all have standard operating procedures, and Yep, we all have things we could probably automate more. The thing to consider is, what are we doing and is it the best thing to do? And like Laura suggested, is it something we should automate? Is it something we should let go? And even in our automated processes, going back and taking a look? Does this automated process still serve us? Is it getting us the results, we want? Or is it baggage is the worst thing a company can have, regardless of the number of people, regardless of the revenue is that baggage that slows you down, you could be a what’s considered a tiny company and be slowed down by all the processes and all the different pieces. By the way, that’s something that we are working on constantly at Red Direction We have great as Opie’s, we have a really good understanding of what we’ve got. And we have created a system and an ESOP and automation for almost everything we’ve done, even if we’ve only done it one time. So really, we’re being proactive in case we keep it but at the same point in time, the flip side could also be true when we repeat it, maybe then automated. So whatever approach you take, and you know, I tell you what, ah, totally let you enter the way we run Red Direction, because sometimes it’s curious and sometimes it’s straight up funny. And sometimes if you’re doing it, you hear me laugh and reflect on it. You’re either going to go, oh, maybe I should do or Hey, just send us a note. Because she needs to know how it’s working for us. By the way, I’d love that. So make sure you’re communicating with us here at Red Direction, whether it’s through the website, whether it’s through direct message on social media, or sending us an email directly to radio at Red direction.com. Because I want to know what you’re thinking and how you relate. Okay, that was a total tangent to everybody. With that, I’m going to share another example in situation that Matt was talking to me about and another, what are we doing? How are we using it? It’s a resource that we have and assessing. Is it a weakness? Is it a strength within our company? Or is it factored externally? Is it an opportunity or a threat that we just have to be aware of, for how our company operates?
Matt Sweetwood: We’re doing things on the financing side, I changed credit card processors to a better technical solution. And we did all sorts of things, right? Those are moving parts that are can be difficult to or draining you know when you’re in the middle of the cycle. So we looked at the fact that we now. Okay, we’ve got free time as they say, what are we going to work on? How long do we think this is going to last? I may have even miscalculated a little bit with the web development because it looks like the economy is going to start out before we have our brand new website up and running. But for us, the app is equally if not more important, we’ve actually really a a fantastic app. We’re always looking to future what we’re doing and look at the process and where it’s going to land us.
Jess Dewell: Looking to the future, knowing what you’re bringing to market, knowing what you already have in the marketplace, are all important. Here’s the thing. What Ian says next compounds and adds context to what Matt just shared.
Ian Peterman: It depends on how you get your clients or your customers. If it’s through lots of advertising, then the smart thing to do is if they click on your ad, you they go to a landing page, not even necessarily your website, but a landing page, that then you can track to see who even clicked because if they didn’t click, they’re probably not really your target market, at least right now. That kind of system where there’s a series of landing pages or a process so your actual funnel, that you can build it in order to track and say, Okay, well, somebody saw the video. So if Let’s say Facebook, for example, you do a video ad, and then somebody views it. Well, you can do a retargeting ad to that person if they viewed it, but didn’t click. So there are ways when you actually dive in to Facebook and you know, YouTube, Google advertising all these platforms here creating a retargeting, to be able to create these levels of interest. So you have people that have seen the ad, but didn’t do anything but done the ad and went to the landing page, but didn’t do anything. And so you have this funnel, and you can change how you advertise to each of those groups so that you’re customizing the experience. So that’s how you get good ROI on your advertising. The days of just doing a radio ad and blasting it, you can still do that, but it’s not as effective to just do that.
ANNOUNCER: Earlier, we talked about some of the work that goes into producing the Bold Business Podcast. But why? Why is it so important to Jess and the rest of the team to make these podcasts ad free and listener supported? Once again, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell: So this brings me to the question that’s been contemplated. How do we fund the necessary work to support our effort and continue this work? Well, paid advertising and sponsorship thoughts are common. It doesn’t fit our model here. And here are just a few reasons why. The first, quality programs are important to us. I want you to know to really know that I’m telling you the whole story. When money is exchanged to talk about a product or service, I feel there may be some miscommunication and the quality of our content could be diluted. The second reason is being an advocate is who I am. I’m an advocate for your success, for your team success and for your business’s success. If I’m focused on numbers and listeners and ways to generate more views that generate ad income, my attention is split between you and great content, and tactics to increase our ad revenue. And then I would not be doing my job as an advocate. The third reason is to fuel my own curiosity continuously. My eagerness to do this work is here, it’s ready. Yet, it is dulled when I’m doing something that I don’t like as much or really, that I’m not excited about and that I don’t think is exciting for you to know about. So this led me to choose the path less traveled. Listener supported programming has been proven to work overtime, and it allows me to keep my focus on the content. And it allows me to have a relationship with you that is direct and straightforward. Listener supported is a clear answer to the question we’ve been pondering. How do we fund the necessary work to support our effort and continue providing quality content to you? The simplicity of a listener supported model ensures clarity for you and for me. I value honesty, and honesty is a two way street. So if you get something out of what I’m doing, you can become a supporter and contribute at whatever level works best for you. In exchange, you’ll get benefits above and beyond what is available for free right now. It’s my goal to ensure that you get more than you give, no matter what level you support at.
ANNOUNCER: And now, let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast for the rest of the show.
Jess Dewell: We’ve set up the problem, recognizing that we must evaluate our business delivery model for effectiveness, we’ve heard tips about how different things might fit into the larger context of having an effective delivery model, like knowing each step and being able to evaluate it, like the way that resources are used and the interplay of people and resources. And we’re going to keep delving into these three areas as we move through the rest of our program. So on to more tips, starting with Ian.
Ian Peterman: There’s a few things that startups like to ignore, because they’re strapped for cash and time, which I totally understand. But things like data collection, because when you hit that 12 year point, and you go, Oh, we haven’t been collecting data for 12 years, you’re going to kick yourself so hard, because that’s 12 years of data, you could have and hand somebody and say here, that is a goldmine. That is literally almost the value of your company. That can tell you how to fix it. Same thing goes with branding. People love to skip branding, they like doing quick logos, no data, and they skip these initial pieces. If they had spent a little bit more time and money at the beginning, when they had all the cash, and they started the downward trend, they would have had all the data for the event, whatever the event is, in the economy, it could be people, it could be hiring new people that aren’t doing their job, whatever it is. If you’re not tracking that data, and if you don’t have that history, nobody knows what to fix. It’s like a mysterious event. And people go, Oh, I wasn’t there. I gotta guess.
Laura Wright: I believe that sales is the thing that lets you know what works and what doesn’t work inside of your business. So the very first thing that I recommend to all my clients, especially if they’re working on something new, is go sell it to somebody. Because in that moment, you get to walk through the parts of delivery, before you go sell it to a whole bunch of other people.
Jess Dewell: What Ian said is still cracking me up this mysterious event. And it’s true. And sometimes we don’t put enough into our processes and other times we put too much. So understanding what is right for the right time is important. And looking forward a little part of what’s right right now happens to directly correlate to what’s right for what’s next. And make sure you read the blog post related to this podcast specifically about that because we dig into it in in the article this month. One thing we have to watch out for is getting caught up in what’s right in front of us, we like to be present and in the moment, we also like to be forward looking and we like to look in the past. All three of those things are necessary for you to embrace and embody, every single time you’re making a decision. The present retreat time will help with some of that because you’re anchoring on a regular basis, which means the impromptu quick decisions that you’re making dates today are grounded in something that you’ve touched and been a part of and thought about within the last seven days. And the other thing is to let things go when times are easy or to decide when times are hard, what to focus on, or to just try and wait it out whichever path has chosen in that ladder situation. Well guess what? There’s gonna be obstacles along the way and understanding your business. Understanding your delivery model will help you navigate whichever path is right for you, and your team and your company.
Matt Sweetwood: It’s very easy to get sort of caught up in the everyday kind of like it’s going well or you know, or it’s going. Sometimes it’s even if it’s going bad, business is bad. It’s whatever, we just have to live with it. There’s a lot of psychology that you have to employ in business on yourself. You have to always keep on top of your game. You have to really focus on what you’re doing, keep yourself positive, and just continue working at it. I can’t emphasize that enough that working at your business is really at the heart of success. Just keep focusing on and keep positive.
Jess Dewell: Keep focusing because working at your business is really the heart of success. I’m just repeating what Matt said right then to reinforce the importance of that statement.
Matt Sweetwood: I had a really rough morning this morning. I have some financing problems. I have some problems with my tech team. I just had a lot of irritation, I misplaced passport, I needed to take a picture of it for something. I couldn’t remember what I did, I thought it was old age, my coffee came out too weak this morning. I could go on to all of those things. And this is the skill, right? The skill is resilience
Jess Dewell: The more we practice at it, the more we do it, the more we think about it, the more we reflect on it and choose what to bring forward and why To Lego, the more we know our business, we know each step of the important core pieces of our delivery model, we know our resources, and we know how to adjust and adapt them for the situations that we face today, and the situations that we will find ourselves in, in tomorrow or the tomorrow after that. So using what you have and understanding your interaction with each of the processes in your business, your company’s processes that other people are fulfilling, to interact with the customer. To achieve that mission, and to work using your core values, the way that you’re working together, all set you up for achievement every time because achievement may not always look like increased revenue. It may not always be easy and fun, but achievement has certain outcomes like this one, that Ian talks about.
Ian Peterman: An effective delivery model requires that your team is effective. Everything is based on trust, right? People do business with people who they like and trust building a culture of trust inside your company should make a more trustworthy company is your internal behavior is the same as any other relationship. People that are not trustworthy and they behave untrustworthy half the time but they’re trustworthy the other half. What are they doing today? This is about relationships even when you are doing a commodity. Let’s say a big satellite. platform, you have a million users. Well, you there is some level of trust, we all put personal information on Twitter and Facebook, whether it’s a conscious level or not, there’s a trust building that has to happen in order for anybody to use a platform.
Jess Dewell: He said at, not me. That five letter word, t r u s t … trust. And the more things are known and communicated and understood by each person internally, it’s building trust internally, which automatically creates an experience for everybody that we are leading to also step into their leadership and do what’s right at the right time with the right intention, because it’s all part of delivery.
Ian Peterman: It’s all part of delivery? It’s All About brand coherence, it’s a start to finish the entire lifecycle is the best where they have lifecycle of your customer. So it is really from initial first contact all the way to your customer doesn’t need or isn’t using your product anymore. That whole gamut is sales marketing, product delivery, product updates, and we think about digital products being all we need updates to your serving that customer through their lifecycle of using your product with our phones, we expect monthly or sooner updates to apps we expect them to get better over time. And even in the physical world of physical products, we have cars, they need maintenance. They have these other things that that need maintenance or they update or they need replacement. End of life so to speak of your customer is really when they are no longer using or needing your product on any level. And if you create that by actually supporting them via after the purchase. That has to be part of your delivery, your delivery is, yeah, we handed you a product or we handed you a service. And we’re gonna check in with you three to six months later and see how you’re doing not selling anything. Just check in. It’s a relationship building.
Laura Wright: Our chain of how we do things also includes when we give information to a client, and they go out into the world and they’re doing their part. And what I love is that, one of my current coaches who again I worked with years ago, and we just started working together again, we got on a call and she said to me, okay, Laura, tell me where you’re going to self sabotage, tell me exactly what it’s going to look like tell me exactly how you’re going to do it. I want to know this so I can present things to you that match to you and we get you over that self sabotage and then she did one of her magical things. When I told her what I do for self sabotage, because we all have it, and what it looks like and how it shows up, and I told her this one thing that we’re working on is probably where I’m going to do it first. She said, Great, let’s do it together. And what was fantastic is instead of her giving me like a homework or assignment to go work on, we did it together, because that’s the one I wouldn’t do on my own.
Jess Dewell: We talked about accountability and personal responsibility. In fact, Ian was talking about passing the buck early on in this program. And the thing is, we must take a closer look at ourselves and find out where are we passing the book? Where are we choosing to stick our head in the sand not show up or avoid. And like what Laura was talking about self sabotage. And when we’re self sabotaging, it does impact everybody else. And it becomes sabotage of everything within everything we touch within our organization. So to pause and take a moment just on that, let’s think about that. The responsibility that you have in the role that you are showing up in can be heavy, sometimes being accountable to it sometimes also can be heavy, and having an external set of eyes, having somebody or somebodies, whether that is a business consultant, or a business coach, or an internal Board of Directors, all of those things are ways that you can have accountability. So if you don’t have something like that right now, I would highly recommend that you consider it because when we’re talking about effective delivery models, we’re talking about the interplay between people in there resources, where we get hung up is going to impact and influence how our people and how our resources are able to show up and to be used. So decide how you’re going to show up.
Matt Sweetwood: I wake up every morning, and I say to myself, you have two ways to end this day. I thank God for giving me another day on this earth. And the second thing I say to myself as I go, Matt, there’s two ways to end this day. Which one do you choose? And I don’t want to end the day as a failure. So if you just simply look at days as building blocks. Every day of your life as a building block, Judaism says that you reach maximum wisdom, like it’s 70 years old. I got a long way to go before I go. So I got a lot of wisdom to learn and a lot of growth to go and every day I can be better and build on the day before.
Jess Dewell: Taking the knowledge from what we’ve learned, and applying it to the moment that we find ourselves in, does give us a way forward. It either lined up with our truenorth and our personal values, or it didn’t. It either lined up with our company values and the way that we do business to make a positive impact in the world around us, or didn’t. So, I’m gonna ask you a quick question. What do you think you need to do for the rest of today to make today fully built on what you did yesterday, and then tomorrow? What are you going to do to build on yesterday
Matt Sweetwood: And I think that’s the way you have to look at it even when things go go right the next day. You know, this is a cliche, but the next day is another day and it won’t stay bad forever. Just come back, just resilience again, just keep coming back
Jess Dewell: I’m glad he said it could be a bad day tomorrow. Because we all have bad days, we all have bad times, we all have unexpected situations that show up in our worlds that totally take us in a different path than we had thought we might be in on a particular day, every situation ends, and we get to show up and take part in that story of what the outcome is. That’s really important in our business, because the people who work for us are looking up to us all the time. And sometimes we can’t tell other people what our fears are, we can’t share with them the uncertainties because it would get in the way of them having their best day and getting more experience and building on each day. So I’m glad that you’re listening to this podcast. And I’m glad for the supporter listeners who have taken that next step, to be part of a community that wants to improve every day and build on what’s come before and show up to even the not good days with a sense of positivity and an air of understanding that when we keep coming back, we build resilience. And when we’re doing that, and staying in touch and keeping our finger on the pulse, we can ensure what we’re doing with our strengths and our opportunities, our weaknesses and our threats that face our company that show up to help our company can be recognized regardless of the toughness or difficulty of a situation in any given moment.
Laura Wright: We have very clear ways and channels to communicate, this keeps our customers happy, keeps my team happy. I don’t have to go back and be like, have you ever given like a task and then been like, does that get done that that not get done. I don’t have that in my company because we have a system for where assignments are directed and delivered and my team. Again, this is core values that ways we communicate.
Ian Peterman: If you have one section doing it, nobody lives in a vacuum. So eventually, your whole company is going to do it. And at the end, it’s going to come down to you as the owner or wherever the buck actually ends up stopping, and it’s going to be a real big pile to deal with. By yourself.
Jess Dewell: Communication matters. Your frame of mind matters. So having automated processes, a framework with which to work together in having core values that decide and inform the way work is done in each situation. And each part of the day in each role, and understanding the touchpoints between each part of the business both directly and indirectly between people or between automated processes will help You build an adaptable company, and it will help you build your resilience as a leader.
Laura Wright: What was bold for me is I actually had to look at the system of what wasn’t working. And what was amazing was what started as like a really scary moment, turned into one of the strongest moments inside of my business. I took a real strong look at what we were doing well and what we were not doing well. And one of the things we were missing was cultivating new people into my business all the time. I thought that I was but I really wasn’t. So we started doing that. What I also did was I got bold, and I said well guess what? Buck stops here right at the top. What are you going to do to fix this? So the bold actions that I took were, I did what must be done to get what I desire.
Jess Dewell: What are you gonna do to be bold?
Matt Sweetwood: No matter what happens you have to just keep you have to be resilient. You have to bend – you have to look for innovation.
Jess Dewell: Yep, that too. Well, I want to send a big shout out of thanks to Ian, to Laura, and to Matt, for talking with me about an effective delivery model. Here my takeaways from the conversations that I had, when we pause, we can recognize not only our own strengths and weaknesses as a leader, more importantly, when we’re thinking about the delivery model that we have chosen, and we have implemented, is it working? Or is it not? Are we going in the way of Kodak that Matt was describing to us at the beginning, and we can actually look at the internal workings of our organization, the strengths and the weaknesses that we have to deliver the product that we’ve created, as well as the way that has been set up for work to be done together. Because there are going to be things that are outside of our control. Those are the opportunities and the threats that face our business, recognizing they exist and having them identified helps us understand when one becomes urgent and in the end when threats or opportunity unities become urgent, that typically means change. And if we’re not looking at the external piece, it’s also taking us by surprise. So both the internal reviews and the external reviews influence your approach, the more you know, while not having all the answers can help you navigate through what shows up. Because when you know your business and evaluate each step of that delivery model, you have the ability to recognize an opportunity or even a weakness that can be modified, changed or explored to see if it’s still needed. The way you’re using resources also can shift and adapt and the more readily you are able to evaluate what resources are being used and how they’re being used. build resilience to face what situations show up for your company and being the person that has a lot of responsibility. You must have accountability yourself and so how you show up and be accountable. You Up to you. And there are a lot of ways to be able to do that and the way that you choose to interact with the people that are around you and the resources that are available to everybody define what an effective delivery model is. So heightened that awareness. incorporate your core values. Make sure you’re using your participating advisor, your business coach and your internal board of directors to evaluate capacity and strategy to keep your company competitively positioned for continued success.
ANNOUNCER: The Bold Business Podcast is brought to you by Red Direction. Jess Dewell dug into one idea in this program. Her goal is to ignite your creativity and spark different thinking with the presented material. How you apply this to your current priorities is up to you. We want to know what actions you take. Use hashtag #boldbusinesspodcast and add your voice to this important conversation. Jess Dewell can bring the missing voice back into your company. With you, Jess will solidify your company’s true north, your unique Red Direction. Provided you are ready to work with Jess, email her at Radio at Red direction dot com. Special thanks to the SCOTT Treatment for technical production.