Priorities, Strategy, and Competitive Advantage

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Priorities, Strategy, and Competitive Advantage

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Starting the conversation:

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 86% say prioritizing and funding the appropriate initiatives/projects is very important or essential for competitiveness. What does that mean today? How do we use that information to lead our business forward? Jess Dewell and Dean Barta start to scratch the surface in this livestream of the BOLD Business Podcast.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guests: Dean Barta

What You Will Hear:


Announcer 00:03
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 00:52
Dean Varna. He’s been on before. And I’m glad to have him back because we want to talk about priorities, strategy and competitive advantage. Now, I’m going to start with this particular stat. And then we’re going to totally see what shows up in this conversation. Because before I share this with you, I just want to let you know, you’re in the right place for conversations about how to increase the cap, capacity of yourself, your business and your leadership team, both through operations and through the financial side. Thank you, Dean very much for being Matt placeholder in this conversation. And okay, now the STAT and then Dean’s gonna introduce himself. 86% say that prioritizing and funding the appropriate initiatives or projects is very important, or competitive, or essential for competitiveness. Now, that’s important to consider, I believe that came from Gartner. By the way, I think that’s a Gartner stat from sometime in the last two to three years. And that’s important for a lot of reasons. So we’re gonna dig into that. But Dean, but first, please tell us who you are. And how excited you are to be here today and all that good stuff.

Dean Barta 02:01
Okay, thanks a lot, Jess, for having me yet again on your program. Dean Bartek. I have a bookkeeping to virtual CFO firm here in Denver called Barta Business Group. My various titles are founder, CEO and guide. And because I have a background in adventure, travel, skiing industry, all that and use those guiding principles, right? You know, anybody on my team this work with you are really accounting guides, not bookkeeper, controller, CFO, because that’s what we’re here to do. And really enjoyed guiding myself. You know, I like guiding as well as helping business owners out. So that’s why we’re

Jess Dewell 02:47
Awesome. And I’m your host, Jess dual. And part of that Bold Business Podcast goodness is also that I’m a strategic business advisor. And here at Red Direction, we provide customizable frameworks to leadership teams, so we can fail faster, and bounce higher, or whatever metaphor you would like to do. Knowing that in the end, it’s all about increasing the capacity of who we are what we are, so we can do more. And not only achieve what we want, but Dean will testify to this have the lifestyle we want also.

Dean Barta 03:17
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Have a life too. So in addition to your business, so …

Jess Dewell 03:23
Cheers to that. That’s right. That’s right. Could be like a new puppy. Speaking of how’s the pup?

Dean Barta 03:30
You know, on the 31st of this month, will be her one-year birthday. So yeah, she’s growing active, healthy, you know, all the things you’d like to have in any puppy so and loves the snow, I think she would live in snow 365 days a year.

Jess Dewell 03:48
So isn’t that amazing? My little dog is two and a half now. And he hates the snow. He’s he like he sees it out there. And he’s like, how much trouble am I gonna get in if I just go right here. Get outside things in life, but uh, you know, when we know where our strengths are, and we know whether or not that means that we can actually be working together better whether we’re dogs or dog lovers or dog owners or colleagues.

Dean Barta 04:24
Even dogs have priorities okay. They have certain strategies as well. So, so we should be doing better.

Jess Dewell 04:36
Right, exactly. Okay, so how about if we thank you for that I always like to do a quick check-in and see just, you know, how things are what’s been going on all that good stuff. Is there anything else how things are what’s been going on?

Dean Barta 04:47
He just always, you know, never a dull moment in business. So, you know, working with, you know, great new clients and, you know, really solving problems out there. You know, it’s, it’s fun for me. So even relieving people’s pain, if you will.

Jess Dewell 05:05
So yeah, here, um, I just, I love the snow that’s on the trees. And I’m glad that it’s not sticking to the roads, that’s where like where I’m at. And a good cup of tea. This one. I think it’s elderberry. It’s red. I think it’s an elderberry tea, which is kind of a fun one to have in the afternoon sometimes. And, you know, other than just finishing up all kinds of great stuff for clients, and for Red Direction as a whole. So be on the lookout for all that stuff that you’re gonna see on social media people. I am just really good. I love the fact that we’re doing this on a Monday. I love the fact that it’s in the afternoon, it’s kind of a different time, we’ll get to see who what, where all of that and other wonderful, good stuff. Now, you said right, before we came on, that you had planned ahead, tell us the first thing that came to your mind on your list. Planning, because we’re starting there.

Dean Barta 06:05
The first thing I had on my list was actually be yourself. wrote down first because when I was thinking of, you know, prioritizing and strategizing, and you know, you know, being you know, competitive in your whatever your marketplace may be, you know, it really it comes down to authenticity. You know, I mean, you have to be yourself first and foremost, you can’t just copy whatever the competition is doing in case of point with me, is I take my guiding background and inner twine it with accounting. And because that’s me, that’s who I am I it’s so ingrained in me. So you know what, and that’s also how you stand out in the marketplace is because there’s only one YOU, the business owner. So be yourself.

Jess Dewell 06:58
Well, and it’s true. And as long as we’re trying to be somebody else, we have the wrong headspace dedicated to the wrong things. Right. We need the right headspace dedicated to the right things to your point, Dean. And I think that that’s so important when we know what we’re good at. That means we can leverage those things. And if somebody comes along and says, Well, you need to do it this way. Or here’s my proven system. Oh, I’m going to go on a rampage. Oh, I think it might show up Dean. I’m like a proven system is awesome. If I were you. So since I’m me, and I’m going to use your proven system, how much support do I get to help adapt it to where my strengths are, because my strengths are going to be different than your strengths, Dean, what you’re going to be different than all of our listeners’ strengths. So without getting too much on the soapbox, because by the way, our proven systems are necessary to get us going sometimes, they’re great way to get unstuck. They’re a great way to shake things up. They’re a great way to look differently and really do a quick check-in where am I strong and where am I not? I’m not I’m not knocking that part, okay. Of this whole thing. I have a whole different soapbox, but I want to honor what its purpose could be and how we could be better from it since I know if no offense people who have proven systems because well.

Dean Barta 08:13
But I think what you’re tapping into just though is there is certain frameworks that you can work with. But every client every, every business is that has their own individual needs wants pain points, whatever you want to call it in what they want to accomplish. I mean in here’s in the guiding lingo is I’ve been a wilderness first responder for 20 years and you know, the patient assessment training always, you know, seen safety and you know, he checked vitals, ABC, all that which anybody who’s taking first aid, you know, I’ve seen at least a little bit of that, that is the structure but it also says he come on scene to a new business, okay, is go through those questions, don’t automatically it’s a reminder for me, don’t automatically just, oh, I’ve seen this before, this is what it is. And give a prognosis when No, is still go through all the process to ask the questions because veins pop up. Oh, wow. This is what we have to do. You know, just like any, you know, in a wilderness, backcountry medicine situation, you know, what you think, you know, they’ll actually get you more into trouble if you think oh, it’s already this and then you’re like, down some, you know, the path that isn’t doesn’t serve, you know, the business owner.

Jess Dewell 09:32
So you know, it’s, it’s true. And so that comes all the way back to be yourself. And I’m gonna add to that because the thing that I brought that pairs up to that is know what you won’t compromise. I was one of the things that, was one of the things that I was going to bring to the table today and it’s when you know yourself and you know what, you won’t compromise? Well, that’s great because now you know how to show up to your role, and then you know, where the difficult conversations are, to help to better help other people understand what they won’t compromise either. I’m not saying it’s difficult because people don’t understand you or that I am not going to be willing to show up differently to get to an outcome that benefits everybody. What I’m saying is, I understand where that line is and where I cannot go, because I’ll feel like …

Dean Barta 10:19
Oh, it says it’s more, more difficult, strategically, but emotionally, and if you’ve got to just, it’s a drag to move in that direction. Yeah. It’s, it’s not in line though, you know.

Jess Dewell 10:35
Exactly, yeah. And that comes up over and over and over again. You know, Dean, I did a, I did a survey at the end of last year, and I was asking business owners a whole bunch of questions and buy a whole bunch of questions, I really meant five, because we don’t need a whole bunch of questions to know what’s going on. And there were some really interesting commonalities about where they felt they ended 2020 And where they were thinking 2021 was going to begin. And so I put all the responses that I received, plus some research from people who’ve been doing this a lot longer than we have to in into the mix-ins just was like, Well, what’s gonna come out? What was unanimous across what, like Gartner and McKinsey and those companies, research companies were bringing to the table as what was happening in 2021? Plus what we were seeing actually happening in businesses that we serve, we might work with some, but we had some that we don’t work with also responding. And so when you put that mix together, and you see everybody wanted to improve business preparedness. Oh, okay. So so this, so I put together a report, I was like, well, here are five things we could do, actually, is that really, right? 1234? Yeah, here are five things we can do. To get the end result, plant the flag, top of the mountain. Here’s what we do to improve business preparedness. And, you know, kind of playing on that be yourself and know, what you won’t compromise is being, being clear about what the priorities actually are. Know what they could be.

Dean Barta 12:06
Right? Right. Yeah, that prepared. I mean, it’s so you know, apropos from the last year is like, hey, who was prepared? You know, you know, 14 months ago, you know, some people were more prepared than others and right, but, yeah, a good lesson that, you know, it’s easier to move on your toes, that is your heels. So. Yeah. So yeah, yeah, preparedness, I can definitely, I concur with those, you know, those responses as well. And actually, that comes out. Yeah, that’s, that dovetails into one of the other notes I have is that, you know, be really clean about what’s important to you, but also what’s important to your clients. And, you know, because I can, you know, pushing a certain direction when it comes to strategy, but that’s important to me. But if that doesn’t really hold value for the client, then, then that’s once again, that’s, there’s, it’s out of alignment there. You know, so yeah, there’s that, you know, I’ve got to check in to see, okay, what’s best for the client? Is that alignment with me? Yeah, my value is too, so. So there’s, you know, a concept is checking in with, you know, those core values or purpose or mission, or whatever that is for an organization. So, you know, but you know, it’s, it’s really, you know, how, you know, what’s gonna serve, serve the client with the skill set, you know, that I bring to the table, or my, you know, my company brings to the table.

Jess Dewell 13:48
You know, there are a lot of companies, I’m working with it right now, that have spread themselves too thin. Over the years, I do this, I do that I do this? Could you also do that? Since you do this, all this other stuff for me? And the answers? Typically, of course, we can, even though we’re not necessarily the expert in it, we take it on, because we already have that relationship? And how about a little extra revenue? The thing is when you end up doing that, and you end up with all of these products or services that don’t sell well, that none of them are like outpacing the others, then it’s, it’s almost like an internal competitive landscape of the race to the bottom. How do you give that person how do you give that product or service enough attention? How do you decide to put it on the chopping block? How do you decide what are the things that are really important and do Do I even need it anymore to your point about what the customers want? Because part okay, so part of the vision, mission values and how we do work and what our strategic goal is for right now, hopefully, includes his knowledge of when customers outgrow us. Isn’t that interesting and based off of their needs, they might not it, you know, outgrow could be, we just don’t serve their need anymore. Not that there was some sort of a progression that exited them into something else. And did we? were we trying to grow with them or not? It’s, well, when do they outgrow us? What does that look like? And so I find that fascinating. Have you ever encountered companies like that, that that they waited a little too long? Or were a little too? They were they had too many products and not enough revenue for said products.

Dean Barta 15:29
Yeah, yeah, actually, I was in a company where we were an adventure travel company, and we had a line of business we had started as a, this is out of Boulder. You know, one of our lines of business was mountain biking only trips. Yeah. And, and, hey, I’m going to have in mountain biker for 25, you know, 30 years. And, and I’m the one that cut the program. Because it because I said, Hey, you know, you have these other lines of business that are much more profitable. They, you know, and, and we were spreading ourselves too thin, to an area that was really a fraction, it’s like 10% of our business. And it wasn’t a popular decision. But it was the right decision to focus on these other two lines of businesses that are much stronger, a bigger, you know, client base. And, you know, and we still had mountain biking as part of one of those lines of business. So it wasn’t like we, you know, did away with it entirely. can just, you know, it just wasn’t, you know, we got rid of a program that just wasn’t, you know, wasn’t part of our mainstream anymore. It probably was early on when the company was first developed, but, but it wasn’t when we, you know, in that period of time. Yeah. So yeah, yeah, we got rid of it. And that’s, you know, it can be hard decisions, because, you know, because, well, we’ve had this for a long time. But, you know, once again, we look at what is our main, you know, clients, how can we best serve with and we are being authentic about, about that. And sometimes, yeah, those, those changes can be painful, but we also became a much more profitable company, because …

Jess Dewell 17:13
That’s the key. We became a much more profitable company because of that, you know, and I feel really strongly about that. And I will tell you, there are things that are on, on what we do at Red Direction, that probably should go. And in fact, some have already gone. And that first round of here’s what we’re just not going to do anymore. We’re not going to talk about it, we’re not going to do it, we’re going to really hone in and focus. And I think about that in relationship to what you’re saying. Because there is a trueness to it which ties back into our first point, be yourself and know what you won’t compromise. And then into the second one, where we’re talking about setting priorities and what the customers actually need. Because if all we do is keep our nose to the grindstone, and we don’t take a look at what’s, what’s happening to companies, what are our clients’ needs? How are they changing? And I will tell you, there seems to be an this is my sense, Dean, you can tell me if you sense differently, but it seems like business to business and business to consumer are farther apart than they ever have been before in terms of approaches and the actual need and how interaction must occur. I think there was always a little bit of a blend, but it seems like as we’re going through this year, and as we’re going to go into the future, that there’s a bigger break, and we got to know, who is our customer? And is it a business also serving consumers? Or is it the end-user? Are we part of a chain somewhere? Because I think we can forget what our role actually is in a bigger picture in a business-to-business environment. Yeah. Business to Consumer, I guess, both would fit?

Dean Barta 19:04
Yeah, I think, you know, I think there is, you know, definitely some delineation between that and it brought me I think, I don’t have any personal experience, but just overall I’d say yes, there’s because, you know, if my business was serving, you know, business to general public, let’s say, I mean, it’s just a much different approach to it. And, and, and all that versus, you know, you know, here serving businesses, okay, which, you know, are serving clients, you know, in different ways, whether it’s products or services, but, but their needs are different because they, you know, these types of businesses that both you and I focus on work with, you know, they’re like, how can we strategize and make our operation better for ourselves and for our clients. So it’s almost, almost a twofold because is, you know, we’re helping them with two different things. You are to target two different things, their own company and their end-user customer. So interesting.

Jess Dewell 20:10
Yeah. Okay, I’m going to do a quick plug right here. Dean is here with me. And I’m just dual. And we are talking about priorities, strategy, competitive advantage. And tn dogs, so you never know what’s gonna show up in this conversation along the way.

Dean Barta 20:32
You can post either you can post your dog photos if you want. That’s right.

Jess Dewell 20:36
That’s exactly right. I’m telling you. All right, do look, whether it’s a and what’s actually in your cup in the afternoon, I’m kind of excited about that. And I know it’s always five o’clock somewhere. So that could get exciting and fun, too. So anyway, what we were talking about, we’ve been talking about on this live stream about half. And while we’ve been talking generally, and I want to get right down to it, you know, I want to get right down to it. Well, if I had to choose something to go forward with when I’m thinking about priorities, strategy and competitive advantage, what would that be? And I’m going to set the stage this way up through 2020. You can actually, you could actually pinpoint on a regular basis, what percentages and they only changed a little bit year over year? How do we improve the experience of our customers? How do we introduce new products and services? How do we get more reach in the markets that we already have? How do we find and retain talent? Right? Those are things that have had over the years have had these very, very, very, very specific stats and information that people have tracked. And it’s almost like it was incremental, if I focus on these things, and they stay are things well, we’re probably good because everybody else is doing them too. But here’s the thing, and you actually brought up one of these already, Dean, the thing is that from now, where we’re at today, and 2021, and into the foreseeable future, are those still important, of course, but they’re not going to be as important as focusing on E-commerce and getting to the customer, whether it’s a business or whether it’s a consumer, in the ways that they actually need and want to be able to work today, which is drastically different on so many levels. Another one is being able to stay connected while we work remotely and being able to move at some point back and forth between physical togetherness and working remotely. And how do you stay connected in that there’s always been dispersed teams, and there’s always been in person teams. But there’s never been a hybrid that we get to work with today. And I’ll pick one more, that the need to embrace change quickly is more important than ever before. And when we’re thinking about priorities, and we’re thinking about our strategy, how one of those things that’s now starting to show up and bubble up is well, how adaptable are we? How quick could we respond? What is our actual downtime? Is there going to be a break in our controller out of our control? And exactly where are those as we go along?

Dean Barta 23:19
Right. And we’ve mentioned this before, we’ve done before, about, you know, the flexibility? You know, the what you’re talking about adapting is it hadn’t you know, my stance, I really don’t like the word pivot, because of Me neither. Yeah, because it’s like, you know, when I think of it, I actually think of more like, the turret on iconic tank. Okay. Right, you pivots and you’re shooting this way, right? So a pivot, all it does is you’re not really changing, you’re just moving in a different direction, but you haven’t really changed is not really flexible. And the successful business have done in the last, you know, 1213 months, is they, they’ve been flexible about okay, how do we need to flex to still serve our clients is still they serve great food and you know, you know, if you’re a restaurant, you know, how do you do all that instead of nowhere, sit down restaurant, this is the way we do things? And yes, don’t then we’re you know, and you know, a lot of businesses closed out of choice, some of them closed that choice, just to say no, that we’re not, we’re not going to flex to you know, pick up a takeout and all that other stuff. And they just say, well, this open again, when all this is over, so. So, I mean, that’s authentic to them, you know, to approach it that way, but some, you know, just couldn’t flex, you know, to meet those demands of their businesses and, you know, you know, and what their clients needed. And the, I mean, the other point you mentioned too, is this high Did you know of a remote and all you know and not and how do you we, we flex with that, but it’s also you know, it still comes down whether you’re in person with clients or your own team, or remote, is you still have to have a connection, even on a personal level, and even 11 months ago is I was telling clients at the time, you know, when you have a phone call with one of your clients, ask them how they’re doing and do this, you know, this is all through last summer or fall, winter, you know, is, you know, make it more personal than it’s just about business. Because, you know, it’s nice to be authentic about it. Okay, don’t you know, this is not? Okay, I’m always going to ask him about this. And probably because I do that, because that’s just who I am. I’m like, Hey, how’s your puppy? How’s your kids? How, you know, how your parents doing? No. And, you know, and that is proven to be I think, at least in my experiences, people like they remember that personal connection. And whether it’s with employees or, or, you know, customers alike, that, you know, they remember how, when things are dark, you know, from the economy or even on personal side, it’s like, Hey, someone cared, even though it’s, you know, business business. So, I mean, you probably have that, you know, some examples of that working, you know, say in the last year,

Jess Dewell 26:35
Mm-hmm. Yes, right here at home at Red Direction. I mean, there’s a lot of and we’re dispersed team already, right. So nobody is in the same place. And it works out pretty well for us. But what we had to deal with was we had to deal with, and to some extent, we’re still trying to figure this out, when I’m when, when we’re working wherever we’re working. And now, even though we’re not in the same physical place, across different states, if we weren’t working at home, but we now are, and the other adults in the house are working at home instead of wherever they were if they were working at all because sometimes they weren’t working. And then there were if they were kids, or if they’re aging parents in the house and all of their needs. All of a sudden, we went from a dispersed team, to a dispersed team with a whole bunch of family and people all under the same roof that required attention to so work time did not look the same as work time had in the past. And it’s not going to and it’s crazy how we’re still with the launch of the podcast this season. how bumpy it is, even though we have a process even though we have steps to follow even though we know what the dates are, all of that stuff has been extra bumpy because of the new situation that we’re in. And so I’m holding the space of, of course, it’s bumpy because it’s our first one in the season four and behind the scenes, I’m really recognizing that’s okay because we all are showing up to this differently than we did when we closed out the season three even though it was in the mid even though it was in just in December, only three months ago. We were able to like hang on and get through. But then when, when we had the space to let things settle a little it does look different today. And so glad to have steps glad to have a process. To your point about frameworks if we didn’t have a framework to adapt and to flex makes me think of I think the b two bombers are like this right the stealth bombers that they actually have spaces in them I can’t I’ve seen them in you know really up close in person but I can’t remember exactly that have spaces in them so the s are 71 I think might have been like this too because they go so high up into the atmosphere that the pressure and all the other stuff that happens once you’re way up in the atmosphere actually pushes the metal pieces together and you didn’t you don’t want it to be like little mountains when you come back down that would destroy the plane right? So you need to have that space in there and when you were talking about tanks that’s actually what was popping into my head was planes and now what we need is a car I don’t know.

Dean Barta 29:24
It came up in my head but it just probably because it’s so rigid but anyway yeah that’s a good story also about the stealth bombers because yeah, you know, man well and that’s also in business is when things are more pressurized is when you have to be more flexible. That’s right you got to you know, when they’re having I mean even in mountain biking it’s the same way is like your it tend to see is like going down steep or something these you tense up was the worst thing that can happen because This just makes everything so rigid. If you loosen up the important parts exposing it that aren’t really essential, you don’t loosen your grip. But you know, you also don’t have, you know, you know, Kung Fu, you know, GI Joe kung fu grip on it either, but you got to, you gotta, you know, be enough flexibility. So you can handle the flexes in, you know, changes that happen, you know, when things are really, you know, intense. And, yeah, that’s probably a whole other new podcast just running, you know, emotional intelligence too.

Jess Dewell 30:40
I think it’s huge, because, and I guess today, you’re right, it could be its own thing. And of course, we touched on it, because it’s a part of this bigger picture, all of these moving parts, and we expect the parts to always work. And because business has always been a certain way, well, it’s just different now. And that that ability to understand to your point about first aid in the wilderness, it makes me think of a story about my dad, I drove this little car. He was a Plymouth rabbit. Was that thing?

Dean Barta 31:16
VW rabbit? Yeah.

Jess Dewell 31:18
Okay, then it was, it was no as a Plymouth so it was something else like

Dean Barta 31:21
A Plymouth horizon, it was about the same size car early 80s, or something like that.

Jess Dewell 31:25
Exactly. And this was like, it didn’t have any paint on it anymore.

Dean Barta 31:30
Those are the disposable cars of the 1980s

Jess Dewell 31:33
It was all stick shift, and I carry a pocket knife in the glove box. Because the, the carburetor would always overfill, or whatever it is, I, It’s been a long time since that was in the thing that flooded prevented the engine from turning on. So I had a pocket knife to leave the thing open so that the stuff could drain and I could get my car to turn on. Okay, so this, this was a little, little trick that I just had wherever I was happening to be. Now you know, a try 1617. And I remember my dad that something was off with the timing. And my dad was a mechanic in one of his former careers and pulled out these tools we had in the garage. So the coolest garage I’ve ever had we have any anything you need in there, we could have found in there. He replaced. So he replaced he actually might have replaced the thing that was flooding the little flipper deal. That’s on this little part of it. Boy, people who know cars, I apologize.

Dean Barta 32:33
Yeah, I don’t know what it’s called. I know exactly what you’re saying

Jess Dewell 32:36
And it was basically broken or cracked or something. And it was part of the problem that I had to stick this pocket knife in there to hold it open so that my car could start. And by the way, this car’s name was Fred. And Fred, so one Saturday if he was like, Okay, I’m ready to do this. My dad says I’m ready to do this. And I’m like, What are we doing? He goes, Just follow me. We’re gonna work on Fred. And I’m like, okay, so we go out and pull it into the garage because it was nasty weather in Kansas, that particular spring day. And he goes, he takes it apart, he holds it up. And he goes, I need one of these. And he’s looking around our garage for this random part. Okay, talk about flexing, we don’t have one. We don’t have one of those. But you know what he has, he has scrap metal, and scrap metal, we had all the right tools to be able to heat and shape and cut this scrap metal into this little flipper doodle thingy to be able to put back into this carburetor to be able to close the thing. And I didn’t have to use the pocket knife anymore. So how cool is it that we probably that’s a really long story, I know? But we have this concept of if we take the time to really know what we have. If we take the time to understand what the exact problem actually is, then we can actually look around for what we have, and see if we can fashion the right part. Even if it’s not inherently the part that came out of the box for it.

Dean Barta 34:03
Well, that’s what makes you a good strategist and consultant. Because naturally, you can just you should tell that story more often to clients is it right because you learn in a young age from your father is like hey, you know if this is what we have to work with that this is what we have to work with. And it’s very similar. I was tracking with the whole story because I grew up on a farm and you were 30 miles from the nearest you know, parts store. So you know, that’s, yeah, you do sometimes you have just a fashion stuff out and you know, there’s some creativity involved and all that but you know, it, you could probably fashion it faster than it takes to go pick up that part or even if the part is even in there, so you know you’re available. So and when you need it, you need it. So, so yeah, you’ve got some good, you know, real-world lessons. Apply with your collides.

Jess Dewell 35:01
Totally happened on a regular basis, something every weekend came out of that garage. Unexpected like that, that’s my favorite story because it’s the one where I got to learn a little, you can tell I retained it real well, I learned about my car, I did all these other things. But you know, in two, okay, so let’s take that, let’s take that, and let’s put it here today, my dad would still have the stuff in his shop to do and work on a car like that. But I don’t know how many of us even my dad has, had to give up working on his new cars because there are things, they’re all computerized. And so there are elements of stuff that work differently because technology has evolved. And there was a point where, you know, where there’s only so much you can do on your own now. And you know, unless you, unless you learn all of that, and I’ll be real, that’s actually something. Do you want to go learn about that part of cars? In my story? The answer was no, I’m gonna take it to a mechanic and I’m gonna make real good friends with the mechanic. Fred is somebody who’s flowerpot somewhere. Now, these days, I have no doubt, that’s all he was really good for when I drove him. But we’re too. So to the point of what you were saying about fashioning, we also have to know where our skills end. So we know if we need a solution, we can come plug it in, so that we can stay on priority. And that’s where people like you and me come in, right, you want to be able to plug us in, and then unplug us and plug us in and unplug us. So that we can really be strategically helping you keep on priority to have that competitive advantage. Otherwise, when the car dies, and you run out of scrap metal in the garage, you’re not gonna be able to do anything anymore.

Dean Barta 36:44
Well, because none of us whether personally or their business, we don’t have perfect 2020 vision into our own companies or into ourselves. That’s why you know, people, you know, you reach out to people who can give that honest, authentic insight and they’ve got to be really, you know, skilled at what they’re doing. Okay. But you bring in, you know, the mechanic who’s like, Okay, and here’s the bacon Vic can assess and or bring in, you know, either one of us into a company is, you know, that can say, hey, so why are you doing it this way? Or, you know, what, what has been the pros and cons of doing it a certain way, I guess? And how can we, you know, move you along faster? Instead of, you know, how long did it take your dad though, a fashion bards. And all this other hours and hours on Sunday afternoon? Yeah, all Sunday. Let’s say faster-paced world these days where you know, and I’ve used that example, before, I’m like, I can install a dishwasher. It takes me three hours where a typical person will takes 20 minutes now, I don’t want to spend three hours of my time doing that is well worth whatever I pay to have someone do that, you know, and because that’s, you know, they’re, they’re good at it. I know, it’ll be done. Right. You know, and all that. So. So yeah, I mean, it’s important to have that, you know, professional help, you know, and some companies, they move it as far along as they can. And you probably have experienced this even and I have is many clients like Oh, I wish I would have talked to you six months ago. Right? It was a lot more time and headache. And, yeah, it would have and, you know.

Jess Dewell 38:35
But the thing is, you don’t know until you recognize you don’t know what you don’t know, or you recognize you’ve been doing something under false, under false assumptions. They’re not ready for somebody like us. And I’m okay with that, too, by the way, because I fall into that there are people I wish I had called six months ago. Yeah. And to my point, I didn’t, I thought I had what I needed. I had to go down that path. I had to do some of these things. And well, the good news is, once, once is enough for me, I’ve learned my lesson. Right? Like the dishwasher. I’m with you.

Dean Barta 39:09
Yeah. I did that was like, no, no, no, it never leaked. Okay, and all that. But, I, yeah, I will not do it again.

Jess Dewell 39:19
I’m like no, right. Right. Well, and I love that we get to specialize too. Because to the point of, there’s an element of being resourceful, and compared to being a person of all trades if you will. And I wonder that might have to be a whole conversation. Ooh, that’s like really exciting in my brain. And of course, it’s happening toward the end of our conversation. But it’s, it’s this concept, maybe this is part of it when we’re talking about our competitive advantage. Where do we where is it important to stop being resourceful and bring in other knowledge? For whatever reason?

Dean Barta 39:57
Yeah, it’s, it’s You know, when is that decision point? And then we can probably, you know, not to put us both on the spot. But, you know, there’s probably three main indicators is on when that decision point happens, you know, and yeah, we definitely save that for a different, you know.

Jess Dewell 40:19
Sounds like you have them. You have three?

Dean Barta 40:22
Kids, I just like you said, were put by both of us on the spot on this.

Jess Dewell 40:27
was like, really? You have three already? Yeah. What was the thing? It was resourceful? Versus? Um, well, almost, versus. It’s not like, it’s not wasted time. Right? There’s it there. I said it before and I’ve lost it. So I’ll have to catch it on the other side. But that’s okay.

Dean Barta 40:49
Really, I mean, it’s I look at so for me, it’s more of an emotional side, where it’s like, when does it become really frustrating? You know, because sometimes, you know, when you try to do it yourself, it’s, there’s an excitement to it. It’s like, okay, let’s figure this out. And then you get to this tipping point where it’s like, no, this is arduous. And this is we’re not going anywhere. And when do we decide that, you know, we’re, you know, it’d be like finding your dad, you know, continue to find a part find a part in, it’s like, oh, there’s something that he keeps taking in drawers or whatever, to find what, you know, there’s a point of sight. Now, this is unproductive is for either the person or the team that’s working on this to say, Okay, this is unproductive we got to bring in, you know, is someone who’s, who’s can get us through this more efficiently, you know.

Jess Dewell 41:39
And that outside set of eyes is almost always it in some form or fashion. I’ll tell you what, it could be your best friend. If they don’t know your business, I don’t recommend that. But it could be. It could be just talking out loud to your dog, by the way. I just talk out loud to myself find, find that that helps to it. What else could it be? It could be just, hey, you were on LinkedIn, we’re on YouTube together, reach out to Dean and ask a question. He’d be glad to answer it reach out, reach out to me, ask me a question. I’d be glad to answer it. Right, and we can find out is all you need is a little shapeshift is all you need is a different perspective. Let’s, let’s that’s what we’re here for and reach out to the other business owners, you know, to it’s another great resource, somebody that, you know, may have already been there.

Dean Barta 42:26
Yeah, I have yet to meet a business owner that wouldn’t help another business owner because they’ve been there. Maybe a competitor? Probably less likely. But, but really, you’re gonna have nine out of 10 business owners, they will say yes, please reach out because I’ve been frustrated like that before. And, you know, no one wants to see you know, that that pain replicated? Exactly, nobody. Yeah. So. Yeah, so yeah. And we have some, some direction you can go.

Jess Dewell 43:03
I’m making notes I got, we’ve got a sticky note out of this. All right. So what is something that’s on your mind that hasn’t been said, because it didn’t have a place in the conversation, but you’re like, it goes here.

Dean Barta 43:17
I mean, the only other thing that we’ve touched upon it is, you know, I’m a big proponent of what single-tasking, but that’s really more like focus, and you had mentioned about is spreading yourself too thin over to things that are less important, or sometimes those fringes are just a lot more work for not really, you know, a huge return to So, but it’s, you know, you know, narrow and deep will stay narrow and deep with, with your business. And, you know, because, you know, here’s an old, you know, farm saying, you know, the fox that chases two rabbits gets none. So he says, You, that’s what happens with any business owner, anybody who’s trying to, you know, manage and work with all these different lines of businesses or whatever, and, you know, you end up doing not any of them very well just focus on what you do, do well, you know, and be clean about it.

Jess Dewell 44:12
And be clean about it. Thanks for joining us, it’s time for you to add your experiences to this conversation, your thoughts, your insights. So whether it’s on this feed, whether it’s on Dean’s feed, whether it’s someplace else around social media, make sure you share because that’s what it’s all about. We get to learn from each other. We also get to learn from when we know let me say that differently. When we take the time to learn from each other’s experiences and incorporate other information into the way that we work and show up in our roles, the better we will be at flexing, adapting, which directly influences our success reaching our priorities, our success, aligning our strategy to daily action and our competitive success in the marketplace. Thanks for listening. This is just the Bold Business Podcast until next time.

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