Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
What direction are you really going in?
When there isn’t a point of reference for decision making there is a lot of wasted time evaluating and even pursuing the wrong opportunities.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Jeff Chastain
This is Uncharted, a series of candid conversations about facing uncertainty. When we are called upon to be courageous, the strength of our leadership is tested. Red Direction has developed a library of resources to help you stay aligned, and in particular, to develop your True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:31
Holy cow, people, this is another Uncharted. And I will tell you what, I am excited about this. This one particularly because Jeff, who I will introduce to you in just a moment is somebody who uses a system that I also use as a reference point called the EOS transaction system. Did I actually get that right, Jeff?
Jeff Chastain 00:52
It’s actually an entrepreneurial operating system but very close. Yep.
Jess Dewell 00:56
Okay, that entirely because it’s EOS. That’s what I was doing. So the entrepreneur operator system got it. And what this, this is important, because every single problem we ever have, as you will hear from Jeff stems from the fact that we’re not using our tools correctly, not that the tools are doing the wrong thing. So that is a big piece of what today’s Uncharted is about. So when we find ourselves in those places where we feel like things are failing, we, and we’re blaming it on our technology, we can take a second look back. Jeff Chastain is a creator, a problem solver. And he’s a professional EOS entrepreneur operating system implementer. He provides entrepreneurial business leaders with keys to scale their business. Now, here’s the thing. He started at an early age making Legos. And why is this important today? It’s important today because the better you are at creating Legos without instructions, the better software developer and programmer that you tend to become because you’re looking at things in a different way. you’re solving these business problems, and he did that he went into the realm of software. development of technology scaling. And then what did he do? He realized that there were business problems to solve and that technology was only part of the solution. So he elevated himself up, change direction just a little bit brings all of that experience all the way from the Legos all the way through the high tech experience to us today. Jeff, welcome to Uncharted the Bold Business Podcast.
Jeff Chastain 02:23
Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.
Jess Dewell 02:25
You are so welcome. So let’s, we have to start with something just kind of crazy. Dude. Were you a well I actually I don’t even remember Legos having instructions when I was a kid? Is that true? Or did I just forget that they existed.
Jeff Chastain 02:39
They definitely had instructions and especially because I skipped by the little kids sets or whatever went right to the like the big techniques or I’ve actually still got the Big Star Wars collectors ones here that are thousand plus pieces kind of stuff. I still enjoy building those granted their thousand dollar sets these days. So they’re not cheap Legos anymore, but still, it’s As a concept of building I’ve always loved building things building and then Legos was just the outlet at that time kind of a thing but that’s it was always that I first came up and growing up or whatever it was always more of a Do I go building an architecture or do I go technology and I ended up going down the technology path but even still, it’s like there you’re building virtual blocks with software, whatever kind of thing although I guess I still keep up with the Legos just for a diversion. Go get away and go, go still play as an adult.
Jess Dewell 03:28
Absolute play is so play okay. Play is really important as adult as an adult. I mean, I just picked up my flute recently, I haven’t played in over 20 years. I’ve done puzzles my entire life both you know, like written puzzles, but I like puzzle pieces. And mine are flat. My puzzles are flat your puzzles are 3d and spatial, aren’t they?
Jeff Chastain 03:50
Oh, yeah, yeah. And it’s you just got to have that, that breakaway because otherwise you can get way too in tune or tied up with all this business stuff like okay, I got I’ve got to take a mental break every period here. Oh,
Jess Dewell 04:01
Totally and completely. I was just kind of thinking about this. So what was your biggest takeaway from Legos into business? Right? As you, as you developed as you went down this technology path as you were doing these things, what did you get to bring with you from playing.
Jeff Chastain 04:14
Oh, interesting you ask, I’ve never actually really thought about it, but it really comes back to structure and you can see because a lot of these especially the early big sets, the really big collector series sets you’ve got to build all of this foundation inside of the ship or whatever, and it’s got all different kinds of colors. It looks like they just randomly here’s a bunch of bricks that go build the interior scaffolding of this spaceship or whatever Star Wars Star Destroyer kind of thing. And then you build the outside frame that’s all the right grades and all the right pieces and colors and shape and everything. But without that interior structure because I’ve got a couple of the very early ones when I don’t think they quite knew what they were doing it from an engineering standpoint, and it’s their very weak sense that they he breathed on it right. We actually Try moving one when we moved houses and it collapsed on itself kind of a thing it just didn’t have that interior structure so I’ve actually got that one stone pieces sitting up here my desk said okay one of these days I’m gonna get it rebuilt but it’s really you got to have that kind of that structure the behind it you got to have that foundation because it doesn’t matter what you want to go out and build if it’s not it goes back to the parable that Joe is here about building the house on the sand versus building on the rock if you don’t have that foundation underneath you were obviously sitting in the middle of a pandemic right now but still business faces challenges any day of the week kind of thing and if you don’t have that solid foundation underneath the business, it’s you’re gonna have a lot harder time growing you’re gonna have a lot harder time scaling, you’ve got survival issues if nothing else kind of a thing that okay there’s going to be whether it’s a key personnel leaving or a pandemic hitting you and then getting shut down kind of thing. It’s there’s gonna be challenges there to face and are you grounded well enough to move forward with them?
Jess Dewell 05:59
Yeah. Yeah, well, and regardless of the system we’ve chosen, is what I’m hearing you say regardless of the system that was chosen. The fact that we have this structure and we’ve been working on the structure, if we haven’t been fortifying it, right. It’s like a house we haven’t been for. And I call it fortifying instead of maintaining, we maintain a house, it just stays the same. When we fortify a house, it increases in value or maintains it maintains its value instead of decreases in value over time. The same is true with our business. And we don’t look at the infrastructure because there’s not necessarily something that’s easy to pick and go, yep, that part is profitable, or Yep, this really shows that we’re adding value here. It’s when something like, and I’m going to use pandemic because it is all of those ugly things, all of those things. This is my favorite analogy, that I heard that we sweep everything under the rug and then we get used to the bumps that we’re tripping over. And so to compliment your do you build your house on a rock or sand? Well, some of us have built our companies on things that are roxa turn into San Fran Yeah, we don’t know until something crazy happens. So what is one of the most unexpected experiences that you’ve had now that we’ve got this foundation of structure, though, most unusual experiences that you have that made you realize you hit that you were working with something that was built on sand or rock that turned into sand or tripping over the things under the rug?
Jeff Chastain 07:25
Oh, it’s really my journey through this. Like I said, I started out in technology that that was obviously growing up. I started programming way back in the days when it was still green, flashing cursors and all that kind of fun stuff that I don’t have. That’s too many years. I don’t want a cow. But still, I came out of I didn’t actually start entrepreneurial I went into corporate America doing an HP and then decided hey, enough in corporate America, for corporate politics, let’s go do my own consulting firm, but I started out as a virtual CTO, basically working with entrepreneurial kind of companies all the way up through big, big Fortune 500 kind of stuff, doing different things. Technology Solutions, whether it was a CRM or a custom warehouse management, different products like that. And really in working with them, it kind of got frustrating honestly on my part that, okay, they want a new CRM, it’s an easy one or whatever here and we implement the tool, we figure out the features, we go through all the process, they get to the other end, and it’s like, our sales didn’t increase with adding this new area, why not it says you must have done it wrong, or you must have done the wrong solution. It’s the wrong tool, whatever it’s like, it’s goes back to the house thing. It’s like you build a great looking house. If you don’t have a foundation underneath it, it’s gonna fall down kind of a thing. So if you don’t have your sales process figured out as to Okay, this is who our target market is. This is our differentiator. This is what we’re This is our messaging that we’re going to go sell them doesn’t matter how great your CRM that you put on top of it is and I’m, I’m not anti-technology by any means kind of a thing. That’s obviously my background, but it’s technology needs to be a compliment to the business to the underlying structure. To enhance it to make it move forward and to comment before it’s like a highly profitable business can cover up all kinds of things for as we look at it in a situation today for some businesses or whatever once that profit margin starts dropping all of a sudden a lot of those problems those weak foundation the issues we’ve been covering up all along, start being exposed, it’s like they’ve been there all along, but profit tends to cover up and hide a lot of those things that all of a sudden Wow, okay, profitability is not so high right now and we got a lot of inefficiencies we got a lot of weak structure inside of the business and that’s where it really starts to challenge businesses overall. And that was really my transition point was I started looking at is like okay, I’m keep seeing these patterns with companies doing this all along, and I’m a big reader so I’m constantly I’ve got, I’ve got a huge Amazon wish list right now books and I’ll I don’t know that I’ll ever get the bottom of but ended up coming across the book traction. Bye. Gino Whitman that that explains all of all the EOS tools, audio systems, and it just really resonated with me. It’s like, okay, I don’t have a business background, like most entrepreneurs kind of a thing. And it’s like, Okay, this is something I can work with. This is something I can sink my teeth into real easy deals with the frustrations, the challenges that I’m seeing people face and I face myself kind of thing there. And I don’t have to go get the MBA, I actually started trying to do a Masters MBA at one point and got a semester into it. Like, I don’t want to do accounting, I don’t want to do business, forget this stuff and, and quit going down that path. And that’s really kind of where EOS for me at least for that kind of system falls in is like okay, this is the entrepreneurs version of an MBA here that you can learn how to structure a business without having that kind of business background because most entrepreneurs really don’t have it but they go in with Yeah, new idea or new whatever thing.
Jess Dewell 10:58
There’s a lot of visionaries There’s a lot of artistic capacity and capability. And it’s that management piece that’s really hard. And I would, I would say, in my experience is that, um, entrepreneurs know what math they need on the surface, but they don’t know what Matt they need to make decisions. And if that makes sense and that’s actually something which by the way, when the first time I picked up traction total side, I was like, somebody wrote down what I do, this is actually a thing. I love this. And so I we’re gonna link to the book traction because Nobody does it better. Out of all the books I’ve seen out there, Nobody does it better. So I think it’s fantastic that you went down this path, because it’s, it’s solid all the way around. It really is solid. And the more you put in, the more you get out, and it helps prevent those blind spots, which is where I was going to go to because, like your story, your story of well, the CRM is going to Give us more money. And I Oh, boy. And I’ve been in companies like that, by the way. Otherwise, it doesn’t even matter. Even technology companies that build their own technology, look to technology to solve some of their other problems.
Jeff Chastain 12:14
Yeah, they’re almost the worst at it because they’re just enamored with it above. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 12:18
Right. And so it’s a matter of well, so how do we look? And how do we reinvent? And that’s one of the things that what you’re doing with companies is so important. It’s, well, nothing ever stays the same. And with so many moving parts, as long as they’re all moving in some way together. Yeah, we’ve got the ability to continue to move forward. And you’re right, you don’t need an MBA. And so one, and I think every entrepreneur out there and I’m going to put myself in this category, okay, business and business owner, entrepreneur, somebody with budget accountability. A lot of us unless we have that accounting credibility behind us, don’t think we’re good at math. And I’m like, You know what, I may not be able to make you the spreadsheet to get you to the information, but I know what information I want and if the spreadsheet tells me that I got that information. Yeah, and that’s sometimes enough. And have you ever been in that situation where you were like, Okay, well this is good enough and does distraction actually support that this is it’s been a while since I’ve read.
Jeff Chastain 13:21
No traction. In that case, it’s actually anti-me because traction is all about simplicity is like okay, how can we make things as simple as possible and I’m, I’m still that, that type that okay, everything’s got to be perfect out of the gate. And that’s, that’s always been my challenge, kind of a thing there that I want. All of the all the tools, all the processes, all the procedures, everything built right out of the gate, and the reality is from an entrepreneurial standpoint, that’s the wrong attitude. You really don’t, honestly, you don’t even need traction. You don’t need a business system. Right out of gate. You need a product out there. You need your market defined. You need to figure out okay, is this even a valid idea perspective then traction gives you the ability to take and expand that and scale that out. Because that’s really where you’re looking at needing that foundation. You don’t need the foundation on day one.
We here at Red Direction can only fund programming with the financial help of our supporter listeners. To learn more about the additional benefits and value supporter listeners receive, go to Red Direction.com. Now, back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 14:20
Well, everybody who’s listening to this podcast, I shouldn’t say everybody because we’re excluding people who are just starting and I know they’re listening To the point of listening to this podcast is that you want to keep the lights on and you want to do what’s next after those lights have learned how to be kept on. Yeah, that’s, I think the key piece.
Jeff Chastain 15:11
Yeah, that really is key. Yeah.
Jess Dewell 15:13
Once you can keep the lights on now, what do you want to do? And the sooner you shift to that, after you keep the lights on, the sooner you can scale and find different opportunities. Otherwise, I see comm that’s where I hear. And there’s not nothing against serial entrepreneurs that are listening, by the way, because I think I think we get bored serial entrepreneurs get bored and they want to go solve another problem and find another market because they like that they liked getting to the point of keeping the lights on.
Jeff Chastain 15:42
Well, they like the either the start or honestly they get frustrated. And that’s what I see a lot of times, it’s like, Okay, what used to work with my core team of two or three people when we were first starting out, we were so agile, we could change. We could do anything we wanted. Now three, four years in, we’re just stuck in the mud. It’s like it’s something that you used to take a week before now take six, nine months. It’s like this is not what I built. This is it actually is what you built. But still, you’ve got that visionary mentality of, okay, new ideas, I want to keep moving, I want to go fast and the company’s just not going anywhere. And it’s a, it’s a complexity issue. That’s really why EOS focuses on the simplicity side because you look, it’s a, it’s a real simple model, but you look at and say, Okay, if I’ve got two people, there’s one line of communication between two people nice, fast, easy, simple. All you have to do is add one more person to that a third person, you’ve got a 50% increase in people are in capability there, you’ve got a 300% increase in communication right there, because now you got six different lines right there. And one more person, it just blows up exponentially. And most people, most business leaders don’t really see that. It’s just another customer. It’s just a slight variation on our product or whatever. Here we’re going to make a red widget instead of a blue widget for this one customer, whatever and it’s doing that just little pieces, little things at a time builds in that complexity in the business. And all of a sudden, they’re three, four years in is like, this is not what I envisioned. And therefore, I’m gonna bail out and go start something new or it’s like, okay, it’s kind of counterintuitive, but it’s like, let’s add some process. Let’s add some structure and actually give you that fun give you that flexibility back to the business.
Jess Dewell 17:22
Well, and isn’t it interesting? So where you put your flexibility to your, to your example, right there, I’m thinking about my first business is an e-commerce business. And we served a lot of different clients that also talk to her. And in that everybody else around us was doing exactly what you just said, well, let’s make this part blue. Well, let’s do this. So let’s make this little tweak. And they were slowing down their growth and they were not able to scale. Yep, our company took a different tact from the gecko and I have to totally CRAN Okay, so full disclosure. My first company is now with the guy that I married. So I am going to talk about my husband for a minute. Okay, full disclosure, this was the smartest thing and the biggest lesson that I have ever learned in business to the point about simplicity. He said, he would say, no, we’re not doing that. No, we’re not doing that. I don’t care. They’re the biggest client. And I’m like, I care. I’m in charge of sales. I’m in charge of the vision. I’m in charge of what people are thinking about us. And we need them as a client. So other people write all of these other things. So we had that, but we had the same vision, how do we serve the most clients and make the biggest impact. And so even though we didn’t agree in the day to day about what our roles were, and all that other good stuff, and we were also in our early 20s. And so neither one of us could do wrong and all this, right, you have all the ego that goes with being in your early 20s. The biggest lesson that I took away from this and that this is a lesson from success was that we looked at what people were requesting, we looked at how people were using the technology, and we made feature decisions and prioritize them based off of those two things. And when we could help the majority of our clients by adding feature, those went to the top of the list. Yeah. And the reason that happened was because then everybody was like, Oh, I had no idea. I had no idea that I could do this and improve my business. Well, now we’re helping every client with one small thing instead of every client with everything. And I think that’s a big simplicity is hard. And for people who like to go create, like what you’re talking about, as a company is building, even finding the lights on, but definitely in this next stage of business, the curiosity that comes with solving those problems, and how simple Can we make it is just as challenging is starting over?
Jeff Chastain 19:38
Oh, yeah. Yeah, it really is. And it’s, especially it’s a struggle for the creator for the visionary that says, Hey, I got a new idea. Let’s go try this. It’s like, Okay, we’ve got to have a like, you’re talking about a vision for the company, who are we? What are we trying to serve? How are we trying to serve them? What are we trying to bring? Because if the visionary is coming back every week to say, Hey, I just went to this conference or I went to this book. Sitting there, the tail wagging the dog kind of a thing jerking the whole company around. You’re not you’re never going to move it forward right there. And honestly, you can chase all your people to their right. They’re getting tired of this, like, wait a minute, I was working on this project. Now I’m over here. Now I’m back here kind of a thing here. It’s like that doesn’t give you any, any kind of structure in your business.
Jess Dewell 20:16
How did that show up when you were a CTO.
Jeff Chastain 20:19
I’ve watched several companies just absolutely tear themselves apart and lose key lawyers lose, lose key employees and things like that, that just, it’s like, I’m tired of doing this. I’m tired of not having on one hand, the CEO sitting there saying, okay, we’re going to try this new thing, this new thing. And on the other hand, he’s sitting there blaming the team’s like, Okay, why don’t we got somebody unfinished projects sitting or sitting around why we got these features that are half-finished sitting in the pipeline, we’re wasting all of our resources, you’re not building this forward. It’s like, that’s because you’ve reprioritize 10 times through the lifecycle this and it’s like a lot of times the vision That CEO can be the worst enemy of their own company kind of a thing. It’s like they’re so frustrated that, okay, we’re not doing things, but there’s no cohesive vision that everybody’s working from either.
Jess Dewell 21:12
I’ve been there. Yeah. And by the way, that was one of the hardest lessons of leadership and accountability that I ever learned was to hold up the mirror and go, Oh, nothing’s getting done because I’ve prioritized everything. Yeah, even that I have, I can’t do everything. And they don’t know what’s important. And they don’t know how to communicate and so they’re doing whatever I say, not what actually needs to be done. And that, um, that, that was, that was a really hard lesson to learn. And every, by the way, every CEO goes through that and it doesn’t even matter if you’ve been a multiple time CEO. You’ll go through it again because there is that point of vision holding I think, Jeff compared to executing on a video And may end having somebody that can help you hold that vision and let you keep let the you the visionary keep going and then you the anchor going okay I’m going to build that bridge to make sure that everybody can come along and also recognizing that there is going to be frustration because to get to a big vision there has to be ruthlessness in the moment and people and that was that I’m still working on that ruthless part. And I use the word I don’t use relentless I don’t use persistent all those are good words. But it’s in or it’s out. And if it’s out and you let it in, it mucks up the whole works.
Jeff Chastain 22:44
Oh, yeah, yeah, no. And in EOS terminology, what we do is we look at it as a visionary and an integrator. So the integrator is the one that’s the process person, they’re the ones that’s in charge of the roadmap, things like that, that drive the company, freeing up that visionary to say, okay, you want to go out and have lunch with the big partners or whatever you want to go out and play golf with that client, go for it give you back your freedom. let them handle the day to day operations kind of a thing. There’s actually that’s one of the books and the, the EOS library is called rocket fuel. And it’s really helps to find out and clarify those two roles. Because really, when you put that visionary type person in that integrator standpoint, or that integrator seat, that’s really where we start seeing, hey, you basically got 90 days at best kind of a thing on the direction of the company before it completely shifts again, and you got to be able to separate those apart. And that’s one of those areas really, where, again, it’s the visionary that started the company, a lot of times they had the ideas and everything and getting them to say, Okay, next phase, the company means you’ve got to release some things, you’ve got to be able take that hat off and say, okay, fine, find the part of this that you’re good at that you really enjoy working with, and then work to unload all those other hats. If you don’t like marketing, if you don’t like customer service. If you don’t like whatever sales Find somebody else that complements you set up the system set up the tools so that you can hand that hat off and step back because it’s almost the worst case of I forget. There was somebody posted online I think actually made kind of the rocket fuel stuff earlier this week talking about a helicopter visionary that we, we always hear about helicopter parents hovering over their kids. It’s the same thing. The visionary is still sitting there. Yeah, you’ve handed off the sales had to your new VP of Sales here. But you’re still sitting there pockets saying okay, have you talked to this client? Have you made this call yet? Why aren’t you meeting this number is kind of a thing. It’s like you’re killing their creativity and killing their spirit to whereas if you had the metrics, if you had the scorecards the dashboard there to say, okay, sales is meeting expectations, therefore, I’m gonna let them run I don’t need to be in their back pocket, I can go play golf or I can go take that client on the fishing trip or whatever kind of thing and go do what I enjoy doing. Because really, if you sit down with most visionaries and say, Okay, do you enjoy boy sitting in the back pocket of the sales guy. No, I really don’t. But I feel like I have to kind of a thing it’s like most the time, that’s because you don’t have the systems, the visibility, the transparency in your organization in place, you don’t know what’s going on over there. So you feel like you have to stay there. Whereas if you had, again, that’s kind of where I get with, if you build the processes, if you build the systems, if you build that foundation, it’s actually freeing to you to where I trust that my people are doing their things because all the numbers are right. I don’t I don’t have to second guess them. I can see the dashboard and see the metrics and trust that my company’s moving the right direction. And I’ve got I go take some time off. I don’t I don’t have to sit here and immerse myself in that day to day operations all the time.
Jess Dewell 25:45
How are you implementing this for your company?
Jeff Chastain 25:53
It’s actually it’s very it follows the exact same process I’ve got. It’s a solo coaching practice. At this point, so obviously some of the tools when it comes to having meetings, having multiple departments and things like that is don’t 100% apply. But really from the concept of especially the vision planning and saying, okay, who am I trying to go out and reach? What is my differentiator? What’s my, what’s my 10-year plan as to where I’m trying to aim to with my business and bring all that back down to even the 90-day plan to say, Okay, how am I going to work with this? What am I doing in the next 90 days to reach that 10-year plan? All of that is 100% applicable, whether you’re honestly whether you’re the startup at that point, or whether you’re a solo practitioner kind of thing all the way into your business it’s having that kind of vision and that kind of longer-term plan because otherwise, we get all the spam honestly through LinkedIn or whatever the Hey, come sign up for our link, our lead generation or our Comm. We’ll build your app for your whatever it’s like if you don’t have a target a plan, then you’re following all that kind of stuff. You’ll never make any progress there. So it’s really all of the all the tools still apply even in a small business kind of a thing
Jess Dewell 27:04
Ruthless. I’m telling you right now you just said it. Well, you said it in a lot of words. I’m gonna boil it right back.
Jeff Chastain 27:12
Oh, he really is.
Jess Dewell 27:13
And that’s so true because and actually I for people listening you probably felt me smile through the airwaves. For those of you watching, you know, that I smiled when he was talking about this 10-year plan. I am the I am so grounded in longer-term plans and what is coming, that I think that that really is the biggest thing and people who didn’t have a plan before are recognizing right now right here in the middle of this pandemic, how important a plan is beyond a year, because it’s that vision that creates that 10-year plan and that vision is going to keep changing and that 10-year plan is going to keep changing the 10 years we’ll never get here but each year moving toward that 10 years does. And you’re right. What I hear you saying even for, for where you’re at, and what you’re doing in your company, which is, by the way, the same thing I’m doing in my company, which is, Are we clear enough? Do I know where we stand in the market? Who else is playing there? How are they playing? What is the perception of them versus the perception of us? How do my values drive what I decide to do? And how do my company’s values drive? What is chosen to be most priority to go forward? So every size of business benefits from that part? Just want to hear you say.
Jeff Chastain 28:36
Oh, yeah, yeah, that that is one piece that for sure. You’ve almost got to have out the gate because even going back to the software company, like you were talking about, we’ve got to know who we’re trying to go out and serve with this piece of software we’re building and we don’t need to go build because again, I’ve done the software as a service company, myself kind of a thing actually a couple of times. It’s like if you go try to build before you get out of gate, go build all the features for everybody. kind of a thing, you’ll never even get out of the gate. It’s like, you’ve got to know, okay, this is my target. This is who I’m going after. And this is the absolute minimal feature set that I can build to reach that target and stay laser-focused on that. Right there. And it’s, it’s one of the key things and a lot of people look at vision is like, to me vision is the look of visions, okay? It’s our mission statement or whatever we go stick up on the About Us page of the website and don’t look at for four or five years after, but it’s so much more than that. But it’s it still includes that marketing to say, okay, who’s our target market? How are we differentiating to them a cludes, all that planning to say 10 years, bring it back three years, bring it back one year, bring it back 90 days, getting more detail, because the 10-year, at least in my perspective, should just be a picture out there. It’s like, nice guys go, Hey, we want to be in five new markets. We want to be this size we want to do whatever. It’s nothing. You don’t need to go build a three-inch binder here that has all the detail plans, everything because that’s just one It’ll never happen that way. And obviously, I don’t think anybody walked into this year saying, Hey, we’re gonna we’re gonna handle a pandemic this year, and it’s gonna be great kind of like it’s things are gonna happen there. But we can still look out and say, Hey, honestly, probably our 10-year picture still looks about the same, our 90-day plan as to what we’re doing the next 90 days. Yeah, that looks radically different. But still, even three years or 10 years out, that’s probably still about the same. We still got that one pretty solid here. And having that kind of …
Jess Dewell 30:29
True north. Yeah, your north or your North Star, you’re describing the North Star. That’s what that’s for. I actually have a picture of a ladder. Georgia O’Keeffe is one of my favorite artists and I don’t like her flowers, but I do like everything else she ever painted besides her flowers. And one of those happened to be this ladder with it’s got like, five or seven rungs on it. And I’m like, they’re in the middle. That’s my five-year plan. Yeah. So whatever works for you and to your point to be able to say You’re right, five years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now. We get where we’re going. We know we’re solid and who we are. So how do we show up today to stay who we are tomorrow?
Jeff Chastain 31:12
Yeah, I look at it as like a road map. It’s like, Okay, if you don’t have a destination on the map, and you’re just going to start driving what’s the likelihood you’re going to get anywhere, for that matter kind of thing? I know, people just want to go drive for fun. I don’t I don’t know. I never got that one. But still, it’s like, if you don’t have the point on the map that says, Okay, we’re trying to get there. And granted, there’s multiple ways through the map most likely to get to that point. But if you don’t have that point on the map to say, Okay, this is where we’re headed. How do you ever expect to get there how you ever expected, for sure, efficiently get there and as you’re going to waste a ton of time and resources ton of whatever just floundering around at that point.
Jess Dewell 31:53
It’s so true, Jeff. So what’s next for you? I mean, you’re you and your company is going through this me and Mark company is going through this unprecedented change. And, you know, what are you relying on? And where are you going as you’re navigating through the now toward your plan in the future to that point on the map?
Jeff Chastain 32:16
In all honesty, it really hasn’t changed much my today at this point, we’ve obviously been forced more online. And I think that actually, in many ways has been good coaching to a large degree in the past has always been Yeah, if you want to do it, a real effective job, it’s face to face getting in and meetings rooms and stuff like that. And really, the technology if we’ve done this, five years ago, or even maybe 10 years ago, I can’t imagine how we would have survived necessarily from a technology standpoint, but today, it’s the technologies they’re switching and doing something like this virtually is a real easy pivot there. But so it really hasn’t changed much for me from my today perspective. And really my goal still is with my practice, I do. Like I said, very face to face with hands-on coaching. This is not a video series or a webinar or anything, go watch this and do it yourself this is I look at it as almost the How do you go learn to ride a bicycle, then you’ve got your parents sitting there holding on the backseat. For a little while the goal is not for them to sit there and hold you for the rest of your life on the back of the seat there, it’s for you to learn for you to grow up and for you to run this yourself. So that’s my role as a coach is to sit here and help facilitate help you grow, but not to be working in the business. And I can still do that virtually. But I am limited on the number of people I can do that with the same time because I spend full day-long sessions with each one of my clients. And the reality is there’s just only so many days and in a calendar year. So if I look at more than 20 clients at a given time, that’s pretty much I’m maxed out at that point. So that’s really my longer-term goal is to say, Okay, I need to figure out a way to basically almost build more of a firm here that I can scale out my coaching right there to help more people because I’m based out of Dallas area and it’s like you look at it, it’s like there’s just so many businesses, I forget what the number of count just in terms of that small to midsize entrepreneurial business that can leverage this. It’s like, I there’s no way in the world I could even make a dent in that thing kind of scratched the surface there. And I get the questions all along all the time. Like, how can I do this? How can I help and it’s like, I don’t have the, literally the time the capacity to sit there and help everybody that I’m talking to kind of thing. So it’s, that’s really my five to 10-year goal out there is to say, Okay, how, how can I expand this and turn it into a bigger operation just from being able to help more people and be able to reach out and touch more people that way, just from just because of the model right? There really is the way it’s built? Mm-hmm.
Jess Dewell 34:45
Great. Oh, my gosh, the time just flew. Jeff. We’re basically toward the end. So all of our listeners, you’re here. You heard it. You heard it from Jeff, you heard you’ve got something that you can use right now. And you heard how he’s using his own tools, which by the way is big key for me because, like if I don’t walk my walk, what, what the what? And Jeff is walking his talk.
Jeff Chastain 35:11
You gotta believe in the system? And if you believe it, you’re gonna use it yourself. So yep,
Jess Dewell 35:14
And that and that’s the thing. And if we’re not in, and we do, we have to walk the walk, there’s an integrity there that I’m taking away. And so for me values are really big. And what I was noticing in the notes that I’m taking today, of course, Legos isn’t the biggest, biggest letter across the page. Partly because we can put stuff together and we can take it apart, and we don’t need something new. We can use the same Legos to make something else. Oh, yeah. The other thing is that we might have more than what I’m hearing you say, Jeff, is that we might have more than we realize right in front of us. We just have to look at it and be really willing and be curious to look at it differently. So we can know how to show up today, again, to be part of our future tomorrow for that point on the map as you were talking about. Okay, so I tell you what Bold Business Podcast listeners. This has been another program Uncharted. And Jeff here with me, you heard it here, we’re going to link to traction, and you’re going to be able to connect with him through our social media. I appreciate you listening in today. Super excited, have a great one. Until next time,
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