Time as a Catalyst: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation

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Time as a Catalyst: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation

Time as a Catalyst: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation

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Starting the conversation:

Imagine being able to achieve anything you set your mind to, not because you have more hours in the day, but because you use the ones you have more effectively. That’s what this It’s Your Business program covers with Quentin Ortega, Founder and Lead Consultant at QCO Consulting; Christy Maxfield, President and CEO at Purpose First Advisors; and your host, Jess Dewell, Managing Partner at Red Direction.

We all feel stressed and unproductive at times, but that can be minimized … or even avoided when you change your relationship with time. From embracing what you can actually control to reframing the pressures regarding productivity, the ability to use the time you have differently will create far-reaching shifts. Maybe you save time. Maybe you find time. Maybe you become able to even bend time by making decisions with time as a constraint.

In this program you will hear about the real cost of poor time management, how to increase your effectiveness through embracing constraints, and the creativity that will result from reframing your perspective of time.
Quentin Ortega, Founder and Lead Consultant at QCO Consulting; Christy Maxfield, President and CEO at Purpose First Advisors; and your host, Jess Dewell, Managing Partner at Red Direction discuss how time is your most valuable resource — and how you’re probably wasting it.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guest: Christy Maxfield and Quentin Ortega

What You Will Hear:

03:20 You have a script about how you use time.

  • Your stories have real issues associated with them.
  • Activity switching and the time it takes.
  • There is a cost to switch activities.
  • There is real peer pressure about productivity.
  • It is typical to want to control more than you really can.

13:35 Time is THE ONLY finite resource, we all only have 24 hours in a day.

  • When you know the time you need and the distance needed to cover, you can handle anything.
  • Consider this exercise: Question yourself. Why does this matter right now? Why does this matter to your end goal?
  • Parameters of time, space, and awareness help you manage time.
  • How we do our work here is part of our unique selling proposition.

35:50 Creativity and innovation come from embracing time and prioritizing what you do.

  • How to let go.
  • Align your interest and mission to your goals.

43:10 Use time as a constraint.

  • Don’t forget to make time as a constraint part of your decision-making process.
  • Say “yes” less and set clear expectations.
  • There is a sequence of actions, through which to know what you can’t control.
  • How repeatable is success? (Consider opportunity costs and levels of commitment.)
  • What to do when we can’t find the time.

54:40 Be accountable to your relationship with time.

  • What can you count on?
  • What must be let go?
  • What is the real exchange?

56:00 3 Takeaways:

  1. Stop using the phrase “find the time,” and refrain from analyzing how you view time compared to other companies.
  2. Plan with the end in mind, especially with longer-term goals.
  3. Your choices matter. Be solid in and fully commit to the choice.

Get started and make a difference in your business with a Growth Framework Reset.

Time as a Catalyst: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation - Christy Maxfield
Time as a Catalyst: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation - Quentin Ortega
Time as a Catalyst: Unleashing Creativity and Innovation - Jess Dewell



Jess Dewell 00:00
Okay, you’re tuned in to the Bold Business Podcast and I’m your host, Jess Dewell. Welcome. Every conversation that I host here is to spark an idea to get down to the right business right now without losing track of your long-term business strategy. Join me on my pursuit to identify the right work to be done. How to do as much of that right work paths as possible, and to navigate your toughest business decisions. My goal is to bring you high-quality knowledge, experience and tools that allow you enable you and empower you to make bold decisions as an entrepreneur, and a business owner. Don’t forget, subscribe, and press the bell icon to never miss a program. Share your thoughts, your questions and your ideas in the comments below. We thrive on your feedback and engagement.

Christy Maxfield 00:55
How we feel about money often influences how we behave as business owners and how we feel about time acts in that same way.

Jess Dewell 01:04
It’s amazing how many people think everything that has happened in the past is actually the repetition that’s going to occur in the future.

Quentin Ortega 01:12
The idea in martial arts is if you have enough timing and distance if you know the timing and you have the distance that you can deal with anything.

Welcome to It’s Your Business brought to you by the Bold Business Podcast. This is your go-to source for navigating today’s ever-evolving business landscape. In this program, Jess, Christy and Quenton, share the realities of current business challenges and triumphs. Get ready to lead with depth understanding and achievement.

Jess Dewell 01:45
Welcome to the It’s Your Business Show and it is brought to you by the Bold Business Podcast. I am so excited to be here today as your host and I’m just duel and also with me are two amazing people. Christy Introduce yourself.

Christy Maxfield 01:59
Hey, I’m Christy Maxfield with Purpose First Advisors we do strategic growth planning and exit planning to help business owners get the most out of their business.

Jess Dewell
And Quinton, introduce yourself.

Quentin Ortega 02:10
Quinn Ortega with QCO Consulting focused on growth strategy planning and exit consulting for midsize businesses as well.

Jess Dewell 02:17
And y’all know, that’s all I talk about is business. So I’m so super excited to have two other consultants with me that were interested in growth and longevity and sustainability and having fun while we thrive and grow and achieve our goals. That’s what that’s all about. Alright, so in this program, today, we’re talking about time, we’re talking about time as a catalyst. And here is the thing. The thing is why now what makes today of all days, or this quarter or this, whatever of time, the important time, we don’t talk about it enough. And as we were preparing for the show, it became clearer, it became clear that all of us have experienced not only personally, through our work and the companies that we are working with that there is some expectation of the way that we use time is value. And there is truth in that. And at the same point in time, it’s not always true. So you know what, who knows what we’re going to be talking about today? We actually do, don’t get me wrong, but who knows where each of these topics will go? Because time is fickle time. It’s fun. It’s constant. And here we go. All right. So I know we decided we were going to start in this area. And Christy, I think that this was yours, please tell me if I’ve got my notes wrong about the stories we tell ourselves around time.

Christy Maxfield 03:32
Absolutely. When we were preparing for this, one of the things we noted amongst ourselves is that most times we’re going to tell our clients that resources aren’t necessarily finite, they may feel finite, but they’re not money. Actually, there’s not a limited amount of money on the planet, it gets made and changed and expanded every single day is money is actually not a finite resource, it may feel finite to you. But technically speaking, there is no end to it, there is no limit, limited pie from which to take your slice her time, on the other hand, is for the mere fact that we are mortal. So for us as humans as souls experiencing the human condition, we do have a finite period of time. And we need to recognize that how we think about time how we understand time, our feelings about mortality, our feelings about choice, and how that plays into how we feel about time is one of the many stories we tell ourselves as humans. It’s also one of the many stories we tell ourselves that impacts on our work. So how we feel about money often influences how we behave as business owners, and how we feel about time acts in that same way. So really thinking about what do you think about time, and the three of us and probably pretty much anybody we might stop on the street although there There’s probably generational differences that I’m not aware of, but that they feel like it’s scarce. I need to use it wisely. There is a wise and an unwise, waiting use time. And that the amount of time I spend on something is indicative of either my productivity or my worst. Because that’s capitalism. And whether we like capitalism or don’t like capitalism, it is the paradigm in which entrepreneurs, at least in the United States, are looking at the business enterprise that they’re building, how much time do I have to grow it? How much time do I have to pay these bills? How much time do I have to spend on taking care of the everyday things? How much time do I have to spend with my family? And then if you’ve got feelings about time, and personal worse, and whether or not you’re being a good productive human being, which all have nothing to do with one another, but we’ve put them all in the same category, and we’ve made them relational, you’re going to have a feeling you’re going to have a feeling about if I take a break, is that break actually going to help make me more creative, and help me make better choices, and prioritize and focus and get the most out of the time I do spend on something? Or am I going to spend most of that time beating myself up for not working? That’s what I’m with. Like when I thought about the stories we tell ourselves, I’ve got some stuff here.

Jess Dewell 06:23
I try and tell myself a story. And I wonder if this is from an act to plan perspective, because I am, I’ve got to take action to see what’s actually going on in this present moment to decide what to do next, when we’re talking about short-term use, and I actually realized that if I have something if I have 15 minutes, unless I am understanding what I want to do with those 15 minutes, it’s ends up being what I would consider wasted time. So I decided I would switch that around. Okay, fine. So it takes a little time to get started. By the time you get started. You have to stop. That’s no good. Is it really wasted time? Why yes. So I was wasting a lot of time. And then I’d spend time on all of these ways to use time. And how do you break all this down? And then I get frustrated because I’d have a to-do list bigger than I could ever accomplish. Even though I was making some progress. So you know what I decided to do just this week because of this conversation. If I have 15 minutes or less, why don’t I spend five minutes? emptying my mind or getting everything out randomly, however, I’m going to do that. And then can I sit in stillness for five minutes. And then I have another five minutes to continue to sit in stillness if I’m liking it. And if not, I can get ready for the next thing. So I can actually be ready when that energy is needed at that time. So I was taking a totally different tact of how can I use the time that we have every day, and the thing that feels wasted? There’s the story and make it useful. And in fact, a lot of people might still go, oh, that’s wasted time not really, I’ll take any moment in time to sit and become still because the world opens up in a whole new way when that happens.

Quentin Ortega 08:06
Yeah, I totally agree with that. I think that everybody, like Christy was saying, we have this weird relationship where because of our upbringing, because of our culture, we’ve, we view that as, as negative as you could have sent an email during that time. But in reality, you’re taking those kind of, let’s say, micro self-care breaks throughout the day, if you get the chance to is really going to arm you to be better, better prepared, better centered for having the rest of your day for responding for the rest of the tasks that are add. And I think that talks to the switching costs, right? You mentioned like getting ramped up for the next thing. I know that for me, I’ve used a bunch of different techniques over the years for managing my time and how I interact with it to feel product productive. But I think that the biggest one of those that I’ve learned is like trying to do that kind of batching technique of getting away from or trying to limit or understand or control those switching costs. Because if I’m jumping from an in-person meeting to a call to an in-person meeting to a call, to driving to all these things throughout the day, I do a lot less.in General. So I see that as both actual productivity, but also in my mind and my personal value, that productivity.

Christy Maxfield 09:15
I was talking to somebody the other day and he said, I’ve got a 20-minute commute and it’s just long enough to listen to a little bit of the radio and to have a transition between point A and point B. And in a world where most of us have either reduced or removed commute. We’ve taken out what was an acceptable, permissible place to not being doing as much Now granted, hopefully you’re driving in your rare because not everybody is sometimes I think people forget what the purpose of sitting behind the wheel is actually. But I honestly remember like early on in my career, when I would travel for business, all of my colleagues, they would immediately take out their laptop. And it was like two extra hours of work. And I was like, I don’t really like to take a nap. But I feel pretty pressure to take on my laptop and work because oh, this is productive, we should be making the most of this time was like, it’s, I don’t know, can’t we just take advantage of the fact that up until recently, you couldn’t, you just didn’t have Wi-Fi and stuff. And can we just pretend like we don’t play it’s the productivity time equation, and also makes it really hard for us as owners, where time is the commodity we pour so much of into our businesses, to really wrap our brains around outcome-based evaluation of our team. Because, oh, I have to spend 10 hours in the business because I’m an employee, and an owner and an investor. And I’m probably playing the role of two or three employees. So my day is very long and does all these things. And now I’m bringing in specialists, if I’m smart, because finding unicorns is really darn hard when I’m bringing in specialists, and they get to focus in one area for most of their day. And if they’re producing the outcomes I want, it really doesn’t matter whether they do that from home or from the office, it doesn’t really matter if it takes eight hours or 10 hours.

Jess Dewell 11:24
I think we’ve inadvertently ended up with what this expectation that we’re supposed to be able to control more than we can control. And I’m thinking boy, aren’t we wound a little tight? Boy are we giving ourselves a lot of credit to

Christy Maxfield 11:37
Now I feel seen.

Quentin Ortega 11:43
I feel like for people that are watching, I have to call out the fuel scene because I’ve been thinking about that all week, we had our prep call. We had our prep call for this conversation earlier this week. And, and Christy said, I feel seen and I feel like both Jess and I have we’re like, oh yeah, this does feel felt like we were attacking ourselves a little bit here with this conversation just because we as our personalities and the work that we do. We are focused on squeezing value at a time and trying to figure out how to improve processes and all those other pieces for people and ourselves for that just our personality types. I think like every time something came up this week, I’d be like, Oh, I feel a little too soon, sometimes about this time thing right now, right?

Jess Dewell 12:21
But personally, whether I’m bringing myself to work or personally outside of work, I’m feeling stuck a lot. And the more stuck, I feel the more desperation that shows up. And the more fear, the more difficulty it takes to actually get present to do what actually needs to be done. And it’s tiring, and it’s tiring. And therein lies my revelation that I shared earlier. I’m like, Oh, I heard you say the word nap. Maybe I should change stillness for now.

Quentin Ortega 13:01
Just take a quick power nap. I’ve always been envious of people that could take power naps. By the way, I’ve never been one that’s been able to but I know people they can do that. Take a 10-minute nap today and feel refreshed and be like I don’t know that technique. I can’t figure it out.

Christy Maxfield 13:13
So if I’ve never figured that out, either. I figured out that soldiering a word that one of my colleagues who has created a methodology called the communication protocol, that will during through something I’ve been soldiering for decades, it was my go to strategy soldier on push through, get to the other side things will somehow be miraculously better different change. There’s just more soldiering on the other side of soldiery, do you have to do something to interrupt the pattern. And so really being cognizant of when I’m just being stubborn, and I’d read I really need to do is either stop what I’m doing and do something else. Or be still, and being still is an incredibly hard thing for me. I will be we’re working on that for many lifetimes. I’ve mentioned before, I really liked the book 4000 weeks. And one of the things I liked about it is it says the quiet part out loud, which is some parts of life are boring. And some parts of life have to be done over and over again. Getting up washing your face, brushing your teeth, you don’t do those once you do them for a long time, over and over again. If you try to wish that to be something other than it’s not you will spend your life unhappy about having to do that. And that time will always seem wasted. Like the folks who have decided I don’t need sleep because somehow I’m superhuman and my body and brain can do things without sleep that yours can’t know. But you’ve decided that time is wasteful. If it is not resting if you are not integrating if you are not giving your time, your body and mind time to repair. And that’s like really easy for me to sit here in judgment of employee and be like, No, you’ve got it wrong. But, but if you’re begrudging the other things you just have to do as a course of being human, you’re doing the same thing. You’re saying, I’m resentful of it. I wish it wasn’t the case. And if God if I had to use brush and time back, just think of what, what I could have done. Like, that’s not a thing. As far as I knew.

Quentin Ortega 15:24
This has been a recent shift for me, right? So I think that I spent a lot of time in my life where I want to, I want to know the time workout, we should have done a counter for this conversation. But I spent a lot of time in my life like going through this idea of specifically sleep because you mentioned it. And that reminded me of man, this feels so wasteful, right? Like, I feel, I wish I could do more like it felt like every night going to bed felt like punishment for a long time for me in life, just because I wanted to do more, I had more ideas, and I had more things that I was trying to do. And I think that recently, I said that or like within the past year, I said that to somebody and the they recommended the book, Why We Sleep. And I would highly recommend that to anybody that has a weird relationship with sleep in any sense. And it’s honestly a lot of the content in there. It’s a Harvard professor that put together a bunch of sleep knowledge, basically into a book. And I think that nothing in there was something new that I’d never heard before. If that makes sense. It’s all the normal stuff of you should sleep because it’s good for you. Here’s why XYZ, right, but having all of it in one place did shift my perspectives for me personally, okay, this is not a waste of time, this is valuable. And I need to do this because it allows me to be better the next day and the day after that. And it does important things for my brain, right and stuff like that along the way, I highly recommend that for anybody out there thinking about time and being frustrated to have to sleep because I was for a long time.

Jess Dewell 16:41
I know a guy who took 16-minute power naps every so often throughout the day, and actually never had a full restful night’s sleep for something like 15-plus years. He did this. And it served him well. And one of the things that I think when I think about sleep is people always want to figure out how do we burn the candle at both ends? And my response is, you still have the same amount of candle? Is it useful to burn your hand from the bottom? I don’t know, isn’t it? Oh, you should turn it sideways have two lights? I don’t know, you still only have one candle? So how do you make that candle is interesting,

Christy Maxfield 17:16
And having conversations about this because we tend to assume that the people we do business with also defined time in the same way as we do. Either what their working hours are, where they’re willing to show up. And so sleep psychologist and I’m sorry for treading on your knowledge face? Because all I know is I need sleep and I like it.

Quentin Ortega 17:37
Yeah, I was gonna say and probably has an probably has better books than Why We Sleep. So if you have any other recommendations, throw those in there Italy on that. I love that book. But there’s probably even better.

Christy Maxfield 17:47
But defining what how we have personally chosen to approach time that either this segment of the day is for my family and my children. Or it’s for me personally, which I think is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is that, or I’ve had clients say to me, often, I’m not technically unavailable. You are because you put time on your calendar to do this thing for either yourself or for a client that yes, you could move somewhere else. But if it were with another person, you would consider it unavailable. So why wouldn’t you treat that segment of your day with the same respect as you would if you were showing up for Quentin? Or Jess? Right? So this all these stories about what how we are of greatest use, how we are of greatest value, what is most meaningful. And then we know like, there’s Ann has told us there’s also a great book called Better Sleep for the Overachiever by her.

Quentin Ortega 18:53
I love it. I love that you throw your book in there. And I appreciate that so much. That’s awesome. Thank you for being there.

Christy Maxfield 18:59
Read it, take a nap, get a good night’s sleep. But that we have to really be cognizant of what we’re bringing to the table about time and time management. Because I think I also said to you guys earlier this week, I had a client who said I’m not sure I’m thinking about timing the right way. And I was like, I’m not actually sure I can tell you how to think about timing the right like I am not a physicist, I think that’s where we have to go for the real official. This is how one should think about time. What does that mean? Does that mean I’m only thinking about work can only happen between these hours on these days? Is it that it should take me less time to do something or more time to do something or I’m better and more valuable if it gets done this way versus if I’m like?

Jess Dewell 19:46
Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. I thrive on your feedback and engagement. You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast. I’m your host Jess Dewell. This is your program for strategizing long-term success. while diving deep into what the right work is for your business right now.

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Jess Dewell 20:39
We just said it. The first one was your brain. Do I work between these hours? The second one was your gut. Do I need more time? Do I need less time? The third one was the value piece that comes from your heart. You just brought in the three brains of leadership right here.

Quentin Ortega 20:52
There it is.

Christy Maxfield 20:53
Yes, I am not good.

Jess Dewell 20:56
And it doesn’t change that time is a resource. And I believe Quenton, you have said shared that. Yeah. Only finite resource. Holy. I’m curious to hear about why it’s the only one.

Christy Maxfield 21:10
I want to balance you. Oh, I’m sorry. I stepped on your toes. Man. I was just so fascinated by that. We were shadowing ahead.

Quentin Ortega 21:22
I think that yeah, obviously we established that I think that’s right. Every day, like Christy was saying we have all these things that we view in our day to day as, as business owners and operators. And I want to say like the three of us here on this call, we help a lot of other businesses operate. But we’re operating our own business too. So we’re facing the same challenges and the same kind of task each day of how do we balance all this? And I’m guilty of it too, right every day? And oh, do I have enough for this? Or can I find enough of this resource but time is one that we all have, and that we’re all equal standing on an equal footing. We all live in a 24-hour day. So how are we using that? And how are we interacting with it in relation to our task ahead, right? And so I’m going to bring up one of the concepts that has been stuck in my brain recently about that. I’ve been taking aikido for the past year about at this point, I’m not somebody who would have ever considered myself a martial artist, but a good friend started teaching it, I said, You know what I’m going to show up. And one of the things I’ve enjoyed about that art is its relation, the things you learn in that physical art apply to your business life and apply to your personal life. And one of those concepts that we talked about in that class is my which is and I’m not a Japanese speaker, so sorry if I butcher any of this, but effectively the concept of space or of timing and distance. And the idea in martial arts is if you have enough timing and distance, if you know the timing and you have the distance from something that’s coming towards you, that you can deal with anything, right, you can handle anything you can navigate through it. And I think that’s true life as well right to talk about how it applies to our life, this concept as we are each living in our own perceptions of time, looking out ahead at the things that are coming down the channel at us as business owners as operators as growth focus people, how do we react? Or how do we prepare to react at the right time? And how do we pay attention to kind of those surroundings? And so I think there’s a real interesting relationship between time and our productivity and our reaction time and everything else that we’re doing, both in our personal and in our professional lives.

Christy Maxfield 23:23
That’s about space to write. So if somebody’s throwing a punch at me, and they’re really close to me, I have less time to react. That’s right. If it’s more like an again, no disrespect to any practitioners. But if it’s more like The Matrix, and we’re on opposite sides of the room, before we start running out each other in like quantum speed, I have theoretically more time. And so if I can actually increase my awareness, that’s my greatest tool then right is because it’s all still coming at me. But if the faster I can become aware, and then the more practice I am in evaluating what’s coming at me, if I practice that muscle on a regular basis, if I’m in the habit of saying actually asking myself what’s going on, what do I actually need to pay attention to what’s a distraction, then I can increase my time? And I will, that’s how I think of it.

Quentin Ortega 24:17
When I start working with the new business owners sometimes if they feel like they don’t have enough time, I’ll have them do a study of their time, right? How are they spending it? Where are they spending it. And I do that 24 hours a day I record your sleep record your family time, I want to just get the full picture right of how your day is playing out so we can start to talk about it. And I think that’s a super valuable exercise. But I think people also sometimes get too caught up in the measurement of it and actually just was saying something a little bit earlier about this idea of too much optimization or too much retooling or too much trying to focus on that. And you’re not actually going to get any benefit because you’re now spending all of your time recording. If you spend all of your time preparing, then you spend no time acting and there’s this fine balance point I think between those

Jess Dewell 25:00
Yeah, how do you push people to know I’m not gonna go down that path? Okay slifka

Christy Maxfield 25:07
Things you’ve often hit on is because you have a very conscious relationship with time you use your present retreat on a weekly basis to actually carve out a period of time, you have to be present to yourself and your business, right? And my understanding is that time is about, in part, prioritizing that you can’t do everything. So one of the ways I can increase make more time is by deciding on a finite number of things to really focus on. [Yep. Yes.] And then I think about, that’s one way I can make more time. The other way I can make more time is to deploy time, I’m sorry to deploy money, so that other people can do things that will take me time to do so like I can’t outsource my sleeping which and, and is onboard with affirming I need and I’m going to do and I feel really good about that. I’ve got Ann telling me.

Quentin Ortega 26:05
You have experts telling us to slip, yeah. And

Christy Maxfield 26:07
I’m, I’ve got experts, I’m on the right path, I really do to do things properly. But I remember seeing something on one of the Instagrams or something where they were like fiance’s day is actually longer than your day, right? And she actually doesn’t have more than 24 hours. But if she doesn’t have to prepare a meal, or do any laundry, or pick up kids from activities if she doesn’t actually have to manage people directly because she’s got people who can do that. If, if her schedule is being managed by somebody else, and she doesn’t have to worry about changing times and rearranging schedules. And if something goes kablooey, she can delegate the fixing of the kafloo to somebody else.

Jess Dewell 26:50
I was wondering if you were going to do that you did it?

Christy Maxfield 26:53
Yes, I did it. Then technically, she has a different way to use her time, she doesn’t more of it, any more than prioritizing gives me more of it. It just allows me to focus more specifically, on certain things that I really have made important in my life. She can write for albums. If there’s things she other things she doesn’t have to do. So can I deploy more money to change the way I interact with the time I have? Not all of us can.

Jess Dewell 27:27
And another thing would be is, oh, why would I do that? And or why are we doing this? And the reason I say that is because I will I’m going to speak for Christy, I’m gonna speak for Q along with myself, and they can challenge me as they like, in that is, if we are doing it because somebody else said, this is the way to do it. So we’re doing it and we decided to do it ourselves or spend money or have somebody else’s time be involved with it. That doesn’t make it right. And that’s why a present retreat is awesome.

Christy Maxfield 28:01
And I actually don’t know that Beyonce doesn’t pick up her kids or make the meals or whatever, right? I was thinking once we got back to all the real people at the Nam, Beyonce is of the world I shouldn’t say work. She’s very real and very amazing. She’s very real, very amazing. And may very well choose to do those things because they are important to her and the relationship she has with the people she does those things with, right, simply because she has a much more money to deploy on her behalf doesn’t mean that she’s going to prioritize totally different things than we can do. But I’m just thinking about is this finite resource, and all the stories we tell ourselves and then with this idea of time, and space and awareness? What are the tools we have at our disposal to create more spaciousness and still do the things of being human and alive? And you have to choose?

Quentin Ortega 28:55
Yeah, for sure. And I think that like that, how do we what tools do we use? And how do we leverage start to look for ways to do that all ties into the fact that we’ve talked a lot here about the everyone has a different definition of did they feel productive or not? What’s their relationship with time? Like? We’ve all had those days where we’ve had one meeting, and we were like, today was a great day. And then we’ve had days where we’ve had eight meetings, and we’ve been like, wow, did I get anything done today was a really interesting, kind of teeter-totter of what is productivity? And I think it ships with everyone. And so I think, and it ships with each individual over time, as well like what your definition of time and relationship is. But I think tying all that together to one of the tools that I would say to use as oftentimes just making sure you have alignment with those around you as well. Right. So I think that everybody has a different definition of time. And Christiana, you and I have seen firsthand with some of our clients, this idea that one party view something as urgent and the other party is viewed view something as urgent as well, but the definition then how they use that word are different. Right? So one of them is I have to finish this today. And the other ones I’ll get to this week, right? And so I think that, as we ourselves spend so much time in our brains, because we all do thinking about time and productivity, and are we doing it right? Don’t forget to reach out to those around you and make sure that you’re at level setting those expectations and looking for misalignments, right, because if I use a personal example for this, right, so for years, I bought, there was an expectation of me to respond to emails, within 24 hours, I had set that clock for some reason in my head, and I spent, when somebody emailed me, I would get them something within 24 hours. And I went on this was probably four years ago. Now I went on a retreat for a week, where I wouldn’t have access to email at all, which was the first time in probably 10 years that I didn’t have access to email at all, not even like once a day. And so I spent a week zero access to email. And I came back and I realized that the world hadn’t fallen apart, which is what I had been telling myself to get the depressing myself stressing myself to get those 24-hours pauses. And I realized that if something’s actually that important, someone will call me they’ll text me, they’ll raise the alert level. And so I shifted my own relationship with understanding kind of the definition of our communication tools and time, right? What are those mean? And how are we applying that? Now, I do reply to my emails, if anybody sends me an email, but sometimes it takes me longer than 24 hours. And I think that it’s valuable for all of us to take that time to do an assessment and see if Hey, am I being unreasonable to myself, and my definition of what time is expected or what people are expecting of my time.

Jess Dewell 31:41
And I’m going to add to that, one of the things that I did not know I did in business, and it has actually contributed so much to my success. And it actually is helped me help people without even knowing I’ve helped them. But they weren’t necessarily the right client for me to be in service of, or for redirection to help and be there in some way. And that’s the law of reciprocity. There are so many conversations, I will take time to have without an expectation of result. And that is me giving being of service in a way. But also, yes, I would like to help you, I want to put good out in the world. And if, if that’s all it was supposed to be, there will be a boomerang effect back. And that would be true for what I have seen in redirections, since 2004, when we began is that by being open to putting good out in the world. I’ve also somehow probably subconsciously and grudgingly, have been receiving it as well. And to your point Q of what was the expectation, give without receipt, lots out of alignment, who knew.

Jess Dewell 32:55
But at the same point in time, it was happening. And I was refusing to acknowledge it because it didn’t fit into something that was associated with documented trackable productivity. And in fact, it makes everything that we document and track much deeper and richer, and we’re making better decisions because of it. Over time.

Quentin Ortega 33:19
There’s like a period of unlearning with that, right? You have to, because I think that a lot of us built those identities of how we deal with that, or how we treat that as we were growing up and going through school and everything else. And so reassessing and relearning those kind of those definitions along the way, it was a critical, I think, thing that we showed it, and we and you got to continue doing it too. Right? Like over and over, you got to continue to go back to the drawing board and be like, Wait, is this assumption still correct? Is this assumption still serving me? Or is this hurting me in some way?

Christy Maxfield 33:51
Just when you put this topic out there for us, the subtitle is unleashing creativity and innovation. And I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with any level of creativity, however you define that. And I think that’s a very broad ignition Mike for creativity shows up in the work I do with my clients every Yeah, that is my primary way of being creative and resourceful. It’s the thing I pray about, right? Let me show up with creativity, enthusiasm and compassion so that we can do good work, right? So I’ve never met anybody who doesn’t need space in order to show up with that resource, right and for themselves or for others. And so whether you identify as being creative or innovative or not, if you aspire to be if what you want is for your business to feel more creative or innovative. There’s probably a few things you need to be doing less of in order to create the space for that because to Quentin’s earlier point if I’m always firefighting because there’s no time and space between me and whatever blowing up that all I can do is raise my hands and self defense and keep my head down and react from react, not respond, react. And if I can get a little bit more space, and I can decide that there are actually some things I have to choose not to do, which is one of the hardest things for any human being to do is to actually say, I can’t do it all at the same time. Then that I then that’s where I see the creativity and innovation coming in. If somebody read that and said, she’s going to prove you she’s going to tell us like how to use this increment of time, methodology by which if we approach our an hour’s time in this way, we will be more creative.

Jess Dewell 35:54
Yeah, don’t do anything. I’ll tell you right now. That’s the answer.

Christy Maxfield 35:57
That’s not its first five minutes to do this. And the eight next eight minutes to do this, and then in the next game, it’s probably exactly that stop doing.

Jess Dewell 36:07
Yeah, just stop. We did that in three seconds. But it’s but so you make a really good point about prioritizing whether you love him or hate him. Oh, he’s former IBM guy. Who was that Jack Welch? Is that right? Jack Welch. He did something that I thought was impeccable and important. And it’s hard. And it feels if your heart led, it feels heartless. If your gut lead, it feels like why are you making me do this, it’s against everything I have. And if your brain lead, you’re just totally kidding. Right. And that is because everything goes in a quadrant. And he did it with people ruthlessly. He also did it with projects ruthlessly. And that’s a word I love ruthless. But the point is that bottom quartile was just gone. It’s too hard for a lot of people to do. And so one of the things that I have added to that this will be the quickest and the easiest. And it might be heart-wrenching. At first, it might be gut-wrenching at first. But in the end, you set a level of exposure expectation. And everybody knows where that line is. And everybody can work up to that line. And that’s great because we have a place with which that’s our bar, this is the way we work here. And it does not move. And that is a thing every business needs. This is a way we work here that does not move, how we use time around it is then part of the secret sauce of how we are working in our business. And so I’ve added to that a piece of so Gotcha. This is the bottom quartile of whatever. Now we’ve got to look at it in relationship to two other things, the priority list we have today, and the interest and energy with which we have to give it across our organization and see what part of the bottom quartile can actually go. Because everything has a season and just because it’s on the shelf. And just because it’s not performing to some standard now does not mean it is an invaluable in the future. And so if we have people who are willing to put energy into it, and they’re interested in it, great, it probably is in the wrong place on our priority list. If it really doesn’t align to the goals that we have set, how come? Where is that misalignment happening? Whereas alignment that was the one I knew would come back to me alignment. That was the one are we willing to look at something that theoretically everybody goes through, it should be black and white, it’s just always so hard to do. So I’m not whatever about that story, we might be telling. We’ve set this deadline, or we’ve set this timeframe. What interests do we have? If there’s no interest? Why is it even on the radar?

Quentin Ortega 38:54
That reminds me of the some of the stuff that I think we’ve talked about before even what’s hanging out on your to-do list at the end of the day, right? And what keeps getting carried over to the next day? You’re not making you’re not finding the time to do that thing. It’s either not important and it needs to be just, you know, removed from the list and move on. Or how do you to some of Christie’s points earlier how do you find other resources to leverage to get more of that stuff done?

Jess Dewell 39:24
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You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast hosted by Jess Dewell, a nationally recognized Strategic Growth consultant. She works with business owners and executives to integrate just two elements that guide business through the ups and downs of growth. Number one. Know what work is necessary. Number two. Do all the work possible. schedule a complimentary consultation to find out more at Red direction.com.

Jess Dewell 40:15
Okay, here’s where we’re at. We’re at this place where we have talked about the scripts and the stories we tell ourselves, we have talked about time is the only finite resource, it is the one thing we all have the same amount of regardless who, what, when, where, why. And you’re listening to the It’s Your Business program brought to you by Red Direction’s Bold Business Podcast. And I’m Jess, business consultant who works strategically and helps businesses look five steps ahead and make the right choices right now. And we have Christy.

Christy Maxfield 40:45
Purpose First Advisors, growth advisory and exit planning.

Jess Dewell 40:50
And we have Quinton.

Quentin Ortega 40:51
QCO Consulting growth strategy and exit planning as well.

Jess Dewell 40:55
And we’re talking about time, time is the catalyst. And those first two things are really important setup to what we’ve transitioned to, and we’re going to jump in, I’m going to wear my floaties not sure about you too much here for you, we will vote for you. Yes, that’s great, which is time is our constraint. And when we embrace it as one, we unlock so much more, we can actually become more time efficient, regardless of doing nothing, packing it all in or whatever our whatever, toot our own horns really, because I have to. Because we all have that we all have the thing that gets us excited. And we all have these expectations of time. And we all judge ourselves around those around us. And we don’t have to, we can know it’s finite, we can know that it is a constraint. So how can we show up to it, and kick butt and get to where we want to go? And we can only do that if we’ve had the conversation so far about what are the stories that we’re telling ourselves. How can, what is that cost of switching? And then talking about that the fact that we have 24 hours in a day, and we’re talking about time, space and awareness, let’s put time space and awareness inside of a container of okay, how come this my question to you, two. How come we actually don’t use time in our decision-making process as a constraint?

Quentin Ortega 42:16
One of the benefits that I think I have been allowed to have over the years is the fact that I’ve always worked with a bunch of different organizations at once. Right meaning, and I love that. And I think it’s good for the people I work with because it gives me a diverse background, new experiences all the time that I apply to all those different clients. And I think that as somebody that has spent most of my career doing, so you have to factor time in to everything right, I have to be very mindful and conscious of every decision I make and how much time I think it’s going to take and how much of other people’s time it’s going to take and like how am I going to manage that? I think that so I think I try to factor it. I don’t always and when I don’t, that’s when I run into issues, right? When I’m like, Oh, yes, I can do that. I say yes, too much. And I don’t set the proper expectations of those people around me.

Jess Dewell 43:01
I’m married to a project manager. And a lot of the work I do with clients is about sequencing activities, who’s going to do it? When is it going to get done? With what resources I feel like time is taken into consideration how ever there’s often this feeling of we can’t possibly know exactly how that’s going to unfold. And two extremes happen either we try to super control it. Like that. We try to micromanage time to fit within our constraints. I have a construction company I work with they their contracts are both money and time-bound. And we all know that the best-laid plan never survives its contact with reality. But that doesn’t mean it can go on three years longer than it was budgeted for $4 million more than it was budgeted for there is some constraint to it. But there has to be a flexibility to deal with the unexpected. The or the expected but unknown, right? I feel like if we could all come to terms with the fact that there is always going to be something unexpected, because we can’t possibly know the future. And so unexpected as expected, it’s the we don’t know what it is right? It’s a bit unexpected unknown. If for lack of a better way to think of it right. What we don’t usually do is budget in time for the expected unknown. We build things on these if it’s executed perfectly without any flaws. This is what it will look like. And then we create a lot of anxiety and stress over the fact that it can’t be done that way. Because nothing goes perfectly. So we don’t build in contingency on a regular basis. Certainly not enough to not enough based on the experience we’ve had, like our experience should say You know what you wanted in 10 weeks, my experience is going to take 16 weeks, I’ll put 14 in the plan, it magically become doable, it did not make you feel good for me to tell you, I could do it on that time. So I can articulate better some of the things I’ve been feeling listening to the two of you, which really comes down to the longer, the longer the term, the less likely and time constraint end is useful. It’s only between milestones where time constraints become useful to be able to make course corrections and prioritization and changes along the way to hit that larger goal of where do we want to be at a certain time place, peace. And so I find that interesting, because when I go into companies, and we’re doing annual planning, they have the weed that they do their gross, or they have the way that they do this, or they have the we did this last year. So this is what’s going to happen this year. And it’s amazing how many people think everything that has happened in the past is actually the repetition that’s going to occur in the future, I have yet to be in a company, grow a company, sell a company, participate in any part of the acquisition process, where there repeatable events.

Christy Maxfield 43:08
Even having done it more than once. We can map out Quinton and I have done this recently, right? Here’s the things that have to happen. Here’s if you really want to do it in this timeframe, how fast they would have to move. Are you committed to moving that fast while doing all these other things? Or are you willing to put more into the more time into the schedule? To do them at a different pace? Your questions really intriguing? Do we not take time into consideration? And I think sometimes there are culture at a catalyst, our culture says it has to get done, therefore we will find the time. Right? And there is no consideration of then what sleep do you miss what kids, kids think, do you not go to what meal Do you skip? What something has to give, right? But we do have a cultural expectation. And I believe we build companies with the expectation of it has to happen. Therefore we will find the time, especially when we have teams that are really stretched, and they just they’re high-performing teams, people give them a lot more to do because they get it done. Right. And they’re constantly making trade-offs. They’re constantly weighing opportunity costs. And something is suffering in order for them to make the impossible possible. But they keep doing it. Therefore they keep being asked to do. They don’t actually say for lots of reasons, including just being the fear of being fired, right and needing a job. And that’s a real, that’s a real thing, right? But we will also all sit in a room together. And though it is not actually feasible for you to do all of these things. We do we all agree that is not feasible. Yes. But it has to be done. So well. I guess we’ll have to figure it out. That’s insanity. That is may not be the official definition. But it is one of that vision of insanity.

Quentin Ortega 48:17
I almost said find the time and then I love that you focus it on it because I think that I stopped myself because though, the more time I spend with it to try to run up our time forward counter for this show, the more I realized that I really don’t like that phrase, right? It is it is a part of our, our vocabulary is oh, I’ll find the time. But I think that’s a, that’s something we should all work to stop using that phrase because you can’t it’s not real.

Christy Maxfield 48:41
I think you make the time you make a choice about how to use it.

Quentin Ortega 48:45
You don’t get to make up more of it. Right? You get to choose how you’re applying the time that you have.

Jess Dewell 48:49
I think you can slow it down. I’ll be real, ever since I started doing my president retreat, I get better and better at saying no throughout the week or going cool. That’s something I’ve got to think about. You’ll hear from me after next week, or now isn’t the right time. That may be interesting. Let’s continue that conversation. I am way and I’m which means I’m really good at that. Thanks. No thanks. Really good at that. I’m not as good as I could be. But I’m way better than I was even this time last year, every year I’m exponentially better. And that’s actually a way that time slows down. Because if I can get that decision-making and the cost switching and the opportunity, the diminished return, of course I’ll find the time. That is as we’ve been talking about. I actually am like Sure 20% of my work week is dedicated to working on my business. But look how quickly I can evaluate something and go now later never every everybody benefits from that. And I use that in my outside of work to every project I do. So if somebody is asking me how quickly can you get that done? I’m like we don’t belong to work. We’re not going to work together. Because I have a couple of questions you haven’t been able to answer me first, to me first, so that I can actually give you an idea of that. And I think that’s important accountability shows up here. Like, thanks for asking me. How come it took you so long to give me a call? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And I know offense everybody out there watching, I’m coming across a little, I might be a little edgy. And that’s okay. Just know, you’re thinking about it, that happens to you for other things. And so I’ll step back a minute. And I’ll say, these are the things that are important. If you haven’t been able to do it on your own, and you’ve tried and tried, it’s probably a smart thing, when you’re in your initial conversations and just starting work with anybody in your company, a new team, you’re trying to create this high-performance, an outside consultant, that they don’t have any magic knowledge, there is zero magic knowledge when it comes about time. So when you hear somebody like me, and I’ll only speak for myself here, start questioning you about it, I it can get real and it can get touchy and it can get, because we don’t take the time to acknowledge the way we use it already. We don’t take the time to acknowledge the assumptions around it. And until we do those two things, goals are just words, and that we say and maybe are written down to.

Quentin Ortega 51:19
I agree, I think that my biggest the biggest thing I’m pulling from this or that I keep hearing over and over as the underlying kind of theme is that, like, we’re all going to continue to fight our own battles with time and how we view it. And that is a rinse and repeat cycle, we’re gonna go back to the drawing board over over. And I think that’s what we should do as humans that are trying to figure out the path forward. But more importantly, possibly, than all of that is looking at your definition of time and how it relates to those around you how it relates to the expectations that you’re putting on yourself that other people are putting on you. And then hopefully just using that to have real conversations with your team, and with your colleagues and everyone in your family, everybody around you so that you can reset those expectations and get closer to closer to agreement at least over and over.

Christy Maxfield 52:06
Yeah, and, and flights out in the chat that sleep is one of the first things to go because we feel like it’s fungible. And we don’t take into account the consequences of short shrift doing that. But I think about when my dad passed away, there were people, there were hundreds of people who came out to tell us what a great guy he is. And that’s and he was small business owner. And he would tell and people in line said, your dad did the flowers for my wedding, your dad did the flowers for our graduation, you guys have taken care of all of our folks. And he had made a really big impact. And one of the thoughts I had was okay, and I’m really glad you, you experienced my dad in that way. But there, if he was taking care of you, he wasn’t able to take care of something else. And not that my father neglected me. But there literally had to be a choice. If he’s doing your flowers for Christmas. That means that we are not celebrating Christmas until your needs are taken care of. And that’s just the nature of the business he was in. So I what I want to do is like question, when you see somebody, you’re like, wow, that person shows up for everything there they were, they’re the person who will take the shirt off their back, you can count on them, when the chips are down. Whenever you call, they drop everything and come over, somebody’s been dropped, something else has been dropped in order for them to be that person that you perceive them to be. So there’s always a cost even of being the good guy. There’s always a cost. If we’re feeling like oh, somebody will be disappointed in me because they didn’t drop everything and show up for that or rearrange my schedule to make it feasible for them or spit wood nickels. For them. Think about who you might be asking them to drop in that sequence. However you’re perceiving them they’ve had to make either consciously or unconsciously choices about where they show up and how they show up. And I think about that often just because I think we perceive the good guy, the guy who shows up and usually guy Sorry, what makes somebody reliable and dependable and never complains always get to done always seems to find a way at what costs and staffing up she’s an app. No, she’s

Christy Maxfield 54:25
There’s a lot that goes into being available for people. And I think that if we can also create workplaces, if we can build companies where people feel comfortable saying to us, in order for me to get that done, I need you to get this done. Or it’s not actually feasible for me to get both these things done at the same time. But we really don’t say that and we usually find some superhuman way to make something work and then we’re really resentful of being asked to do it again. And but that happens all day every day. In most businesses.

Jess Dewell 55:01
So we’ve talked about a lot, we talked about stories, we’ve talked about what the, the fact that it is a resource, we’ve talked a little bit about a catalyst, and the catalyst actually comes down into cost, it comes down into the choices we’re making, it comes down into repeatability. And it comes down to the fact that we’re each going to have our own struggle. And there is zero magic outcome, there is only the way we can do which is I think, managing time in the short term is way better than trying to manage time in the long term. Because the farther out you go, the more likely there is for change. And that brings us to the part of the part of the show where we want to talk about what was your biggest takeaway. What was the biggest takeaway?

Quentin Ortega 55:42
I’m going to stop using that word, find the time right, stop using that phrase, I should say, if I have the time, I think that it’s, it’s part of this overall productivity culture that I’m being brought in front of my face as we talk about all of this. And I think that the other thing, again, is, how are we thinking about our time? And how does that compare to the scale that others and that and whether those people, your view of time, and your scale of time, and how, how productive you can be? Or how much time you can spend on various activities? How does that compare to the scale your family is using? How does that compare to the scale your, your boss is using or your employees are using? So as we talked earlier about managing people, and driving for outcomes, and those sorts of things, really try to if you can’t, for some reason, have the conversation, which you shouldn’t try that first. But if you can’t, then at least try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about how time is viewed by them and how their day is impacted. Because I think that, funnily enough, you can probably get the most out of your time, by thinking about how other people are viewing their time.

Christy Maxfield 56:46
That’s great. And for me, it’s something we actually didn’t talk that much about. So all of us work with clients to help them grow. Every client we’ve probably ever met, wants to grow faster, like they want short timeframes, faster results, I wish it could go faster than it does something I think we’ve all heard a lot of, we also have all either been part of an exit on the buyer sell side or assisted people on the buy-sell side. And oftentimes, Exit Planning, succession planning and Exit Planning are seen as these very far in the future events that I don’t have to think about right now. And then magically, at the end, things will align and I will be able to get the outcome I want. But, but I’m not going to think about it right now. All the things we’ve talked about with regard to time, I think what I would take away is not just how does this impact how I run my business on a day to day, how do I manage my time and what I do and what I don’t do and how I prioritize and how I coach, my team, but also in the lifecycle of my business? Does attaining growth in 12 to 18 months actually benefit me? If it was a three to five-year trajectory? Could I actually get what I really want out of it in a way that doesn’t run everybody doing to the ground and make me feel really stressed and behind and somehow, like I’m failing. And if I actually plan now like row with the end in mind, if I am actually thinking about this future that I can’t really know. But I know a few things, I probably don’t want to work forever, I’m not going to not need money in the future. And eventually, I’m not going to be here to run it. So if I want it to keep going, it’s probably going to go without me if I could not get the time and space that Q talked about to not only deal with what’s happening today, but to look a little further ahead. How would that change my relationship to my business and what I perceive as a lack of time and being under the time crunch? And feeling pressured by that and feeling stressed and feeling overwhelmed? How we actually view time and the over the lifecycle of our business. So tempting to talk about how do we manage time in days, weeks, months, as opposed to years and decades? Yeah.

Jess Dewell 59:14
And that’s my biggest takeaway was there are no easy answers here. There’s no easy answer. And it’s comforting. And it’s scarier than I can ever imagine, all at the same time just for my own self standing here. And then also for the way that I’m showing up for the clients of our direction. Oh, yeah, I can bring a lot of compassion to that because we all feel it. And that’s something that’s huge. It’s something that’s interesting. It’s something that is challenging, and that’s where managing time getting tasks done getting to the right next step. There are tons of tools for that. We didn’t talk about that I think on purpose today. I think we’re talking more about what is that larger cycle. I think we’re talking more about the fact that your choices matter when you say yes to Something you’re saying no to something else? Do you really know what you’re saying no to, when you say yes to something, there is a consequence positive, neutral or negative, that will trickle out and ripple through, and how far, how wide and how deep those are actually really matters. And when we know what is important to us, and we know that we can go cool time is here, because I know what’s important to me, I can use this to my advantage. That’s really my biggest takeaway. But when we don’t know or we’re second guessing ourselves, or running scripts, or we’re watching what other people are doing, and wishing we had the same success they did, or everything we’re trying to make repeatable can’t be repeatable, or the list goes on. What’s important to me, where am I going? How solid is am I in it? Can I get more solid in it so that with confidence, I can make a choice because that choice will determine what your next set of options are. And how you use the time can always backtrack, there’s very few things in this world, you actually can’t backtrack. All it takes is more time. But sometimes it takes the decision to get rid of some options so that we can actually use the next set of time to actually either make up ground leap, or cross chasm. So we didn’t even know existed. But here we go. All right.

Quentin Ortega 1:01:22
I love it. This is what every time

Jess Dewell 1:01:28
This is it’s your business. Until next time.

Jess Dewell 1:01:33
This is just one program I’ve created in the pursuit of identifying the right work to be done, and then doing as much of that work as possible. Because that’s where success happened. We’re talking about building businesses that last, the Bold Business Podcast equips leaders, business owners and management teams with the strategic mindsets and the practical tools to navigate the ever-evolving business landscape. Before you go, remember to visit red direction.com for solutions, articles, and more programs like this one created to help you navigate the challenges that you’re facing in your business today. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels to keep up with all the latest insights. It is bold to pursue building a business that lasts until next time.

Wow, just host the Bold Business Podcast to provide insights for building a resilient, profitable business. By deeply understanding your growth strategy, ensuring market relevance and your company’s future. It is bold to deeply understand your growth strategy with your host, Jess Dewell. Get more information about how to drive solutions and reset your growth mindset at Reddirection.com. Thank you for joining us and special thanks to our post production team at The Scott Treatment.

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