Unlock the Power of Strategic Questions

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Unlock the Power of Strategic Questions

Unlock the Power of Strategic Questions

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.

Start your journey HERE!

Fast Track Your Business

Starting the conversation:

Strategically looking forward shows what opportunities, goals, and problems make the most sense to focus on. Results from the time and energy spent working to deliver your product directly relates to your commitment in taking time to choose the next best action moving the business forward. Christy Maxfield, President at Purpose First Advisors; Brandi Olson, CEO at Real Work Done; and Debra Eckerling, Goal Strategist, Author & Workshop Leader, discuss the importance of taking time to be strategic in business problem-solving.

Prioritizing high-value activities that were thoughtfully selected through a lens of curiosity create a strong boundary — one in which you know how many initiatives you can realistically worked on at any given time. It takes time, and a commitment to dedicate uninterrupted time, to evaluate where your company is right now. And from that place of reality, solving problems and striving for goals will help you build a company that thrives and has longevity.

In this episode, you will hear how much time it actually takes to know you are committing to the next best goal, problem, or initiative to achieve your long-term goals. The discussion covers tips and experiences about prioritizing, building a commitment to take the time, and traps that may crop up along your journey. Jess Dewell hosts Christy Maxfield, President at Purpose First Advisors; Brandi Olson, CEO at Real Work Done; and Debra Eckerling, Goal Strategist, Author & Workshop Leader, to discuss why it is BOLD to commit time to strategic thinking and planning.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guest: Brandi Olson, Christy Maxfield, Debra Eckerling

What You Will Hear:

NOT taking time may have a large negative impact.

Find the next move.

Reality is where work gets done.

Uncover the next question.

What is necessary to do the work, and know if there is time to complete it.

You have a fixed number of problems, goals, and objectives that can be worked on at a time.

Making choices is inevitable, prioritize to avoid having too many options.

Longer-term thinking is required to plan and execute large-scale growth and market positioning.

Strategic thinking that looks to the future — 18 months to five years from now — requires uninterrupted time.

Where we get tripped up (as individuals and teams) which prevents us from being able to look toward the future.

Additionally, for the Fast Track Your Business Today Uncut conversation:

Starting to prioritize strategic time to problem solve and plan requires

  • A commitment to uninterrupted time.
  • Keeping promises to yourself — and modeling that for your company.
  • Being flexible and providing grace due to the unexpected and unpredictable.

Traps and self-sabotage will show up from time to time, preventing you from truly solving problems and engaging with your strategic plan.

More activity does not equate to more results.

Look for THE right way to do something before starting.

Too busy to slow down.

I have to keep doing “all this” and figure out how to add something new.

It is BOLD to take the time to be strategic and be selective in the problems and goals you choose to do.

Find out more about how to Fast Track Your Business.

Unlock the Power of Strategic Questions - Brandi Olson
Unlock the Power of Strategic Questions - Christy Maxfield
Unlock the Power of Strategic Questions - Debra Eckerling



Jess Dewell 00:00
We can’t afford for the success and the longevity of our businesses not to take the time. And Brandi said it, she goes, it takes however much time it takes. And Christie is like, I’ll just give you a time. So at least you have a benchmark to work toward. And, and Devon’s like I got the process for you. And this is really important, because can we really afford not to take the time?

Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.

Jess Dewell 01:15
Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. I can’t believe we’re in season six. Even though we’ve been out for a few episodes. Now. It is still amazing. And it’s worth shouting out that I don’t even know how many programs we have. But there are many, most are timeless. And what we were talking about six years ago, applies today. More important than that is what we’re talking about today, which is not time management, but our commitments that we give time to. And so with me today is a panel of fantastic women that I’m going to introduce you to real quick and let you hear their voices. And we’re going to jump in and they’re going to answer a question and we’re going to have a great discussion from these answers. First is Christy Maxfield. She’s on a mission to help small and medium-sized business owners feel more confident, be better compensated and trust their own capacity to run profitable businesses. The thing is, there’s a bold adventure to create happiness and prosperity not only for yourself or your family, also for your community. And she knows this firsthand because she was raised in a Flint family of Floral Businesses. So along the way, she’s co-funded, co-founded and she’s been on many podcasts. And when she’s not doing this work, she’s studying astrology, and pranic healing, as well as playing incessantly with your seven-month-old puppy. Christy. I’m so glad to have you here today.

Christy Maxfield 02:51
Well, thank you so much. And the boldness, I hope is what people get excited about. Puppies are involved in business too. So I think when you get your LLC, you should be handed a puppy. And that would add to the boldness as well.

Jess Dewell 03:07
If there wasn’t enough chaos, we would do it at least remember to play.

Christy Maxfield 03:11
And if you don’t want a puppy, we’ll just give you a child who’s had an espresso. Either way, we’ll just add a little want to start a business here.

Jess Dewell 03:19
Exactly. Oh, I love it. Thank you, Christine. Brandy Olson is also with us today. And she believes that you shouldn’t have to choose between doing good important work as well as your humanity both coincide and exist together. She is a leader in organizational design and agility. She is an award-winning global speaker. She teaches how to solve problems and adapt quickly and use high-performing teams and build them first. Brandy is a best-selling author of Real Flow, Break the Burnout Cycle and Unlock High Performance in a New World of Work. She has been featured all across the internet with all kinds of names like Fast Company, Forbes and Inc. and she lives in Minnesota with her kids her dog. She’s got chickens and a garden. Hi, Brandi.

Brandi Olson 04:13
I am happy to be here and don’t want to puppy when I was starting a new business but I did have the espresso-filled children.

Christy Maxfield 04:22
There you go. So long as you have one. You don’t have to have both.

Jess Dewell 04:26
Brandy, it’s great to have you here.

Brandi Olson 04:28
I’m super thrilled to be here and be part of the conversation.

Jess Dewell 04:32
And we have Deborah Heckerling who might call Deb. She is a gold strategist and she is on a mission to change gold culture in and out of the workplace. She is a speaker, a corporate consultant and a workshop leader. She offers personal and professional planning, event strategy and team building. She does this for executives, entrepreneurs, consultants, as well as entire companies. She is the founder of the D He the DEB method for goal setting simplified, and she’s an award-winning author of your goal guide, and has spoken on the TEDx stage, Vaughn, three, DW e n and many more. Goal Chat Live is her show, and podcast. Alright. Welcome, Deb.

Debra Eckerling 05:19
Thank you so much for having me. I love these conversations. And I love strong, powerful women. So I’ve been speaking for years I did competitive speaking in college, and somebody invited me to a Toastmasters thing. And it was talk about your favorite pet. I have a drunk electronic dog. That early after I moved to LA, I took out to play to see how people would react. Anyone for like the best off-the-cuff speech of the night. And so electronic dog, not real.

Christy Maxfield 05:50
It all works. I had no idea that was coming. Yeah, for the win.

Debra Eckerling 05:58
Can’t go wrong with a caffeinated electronic dog, apparently.

Christy Maxfield 06:02
It’s just taking the challenge level up a notch. Right.

Jess Dewell 06:05
So we’re gonna dive in. And we’re going to give the audience your starting points, I guess, if you will, to our main question of the day. And that question is, how much time does it really take to find the right questions to ask? So you know, you’re solving the right problem. All right, Christy, how much time does it really take to find the questions to solve the right problem?

Christy Maxfield 06:30
Well, the standard MBA answer would be it depends. That is one of the chief learnings from having done all my startup work, then doing an MBA is that I can now with confidence, tell you, it depends. What it tends to depend on is how willing you are to recognize the reality of where your business is. I have a very intimate relationship with reality. I like it a lot. I am one of those folks that if the emperor is wearing no clothes, I’m pointing and, and flashing lights to make sure you know, not because I want to embarrass anyone. But because until we’re really crystal clear on what our business isn’t, isn’t doing. It’s really hard to ask questions. So if the first question you come with is, should we be doing x? Well, let’s evaluate where we are before we can even delve into should we be doing X? I don’t even have enough information to say yes or no. But I certainly know I need to know more. And so getting crystal clear and super comfortable being uncomfortable with whatever the state of your business is, because we all wish it was something different. If we can start there, I think then the time question can get answered in terms of how much information we have about the reality, and what additional research we need to do. And then what other questions can we ask? So be prepared to be curious for an extended period of time would be my baseline there.

Jess Dewell 08:00
Brandy? How much time does it really take to find the questions that help you answer the right problems right now?

Brandi Olson 08:09
I agree with Christie on the reality thing. I often say that if the work is important that it has to be done in reality, and reality happens to be the only place that good work gets done. So my answer to that is it takes as much time as necessary to get the people involved agreeing that they’re solving the same problem. So often we ask questions, and we dive right in. And we don’t discover until we’re pretty far down the path that we’re solving different problems, or we didn’t know what problem we’re solving to begin with. So I think that’s where it always starts as whoever’s involved, whether that is you and yourself, then that might be a little faster to get some alignment. Although sometimes I’m my own biggest debater, and an of myself, but whoever your team is, however long it takes to come together as a team and agree on the problem you’re trying to solve and what that problem is. That’s how long it takes to know that you’ve got the right, next question. And I think that’s the other thing I would say is, I don’t think there are right problems to solve. And I don’t think we can know for sure until we’ve gone through some cycles of action and experimentation. But we can really look at what’s the next question to ask, what’s the next question we want to try to get an answer to, and however long it takes to get some agreement there, how long it takes to get started?

Jess Dewell 09:28
Thank you very much, Brandy. Deb, how much time does it really take to find the right questions to ask so you know, you’re solving the right business problem right now?

Debra Eckerling 09:38
Is it okay that we’re all agreeing with each other? Yes. So here’s my take. Deb is my system for goal setting simplified, and it stands for determine your mission. Explore your options, brainstorm your path. So determine your mission. You can’t get what you want, unless you know what that is exploring your options. It says I, I in the research phase, and then be brainstorm your path is about making a plan to turn it into a reality. So determine, explore, brainstorm, you need to go through and I’m sure we’ll dive in more the process. But if you don’t know the questions, you can’t figure out the answers. And then the other thing to think about is you need to look at the rest of your life. Because you may need the extra time to put the exploration in along with every single other thing that you are doing. So the answer is, it depends. You need to look at your life. And you need to also have that very important focus that determine your mission. So you know that you’re all rowing in the right direction.

Jess Dewell 10:50
It’s funny that you all agree, because I’m like, I love problems. Do you know the problems once we know what they are? That means they can be tackled, we get to tiempo, we get to work together, we get to get it right together, we get to get it wrong together. But it’s a grand experiment. By the way, I heard of that. And everything that you said, I just used some different words around it.

Christy Maxfield 11:11
And was very tempted at one point just to be like it takes 17.2 hours.

We’ll be back to Jess and the Bold Business Podcast shortly. You can fast-track your business with on-demand information to read, to help you build a resilient business that achieves its goals. But why? Why is it so important that you take the steps to invest in yourself and your leadership team with subscriptions to this program? We all need to save time and get relevant and trustworthy information when we want it. This program will reduce your overwhelm and increase your opportunity with high-quality information on demand. This straightforward approach ensures this program answers the most important question: What do you need to know to fast-track your business? We answer this question by providing you a vast set of resources to help you work through complex challenges with exclusive articles, videos, podcasts, and access to “Ask Jess Your Business Questions.” You receive several benefits above and beyond what is available for free with a monthly subscription. To find out more, visit FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com. And now, let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast.

Jess Dewell 12:23
I actually think that as we move into the roundtable part of this conversation, the first area, I want to go as I really want to dispel this myth of we don’t have enough time to do this because we don’t have time not to Amen. And I know each of you recognizes that and so we can’t afford for the success and the longevity of our businesses not to take the time. And Brandi said it she goes, it takes however much time it takes. And Christie is like, I’ll just give you a time. So at least you have a benchmark to work toward. And, and Devon’s like I got the process for you. And this is really important because it’s going to take time. And can we really afford not to take the time is the container for this section?

Debra Eckerling 13:10
I’m happy to jump in first on this one. Because a finding time starts with looking at your life. What are you doing? Uh, how are you spending that time, it could, and probably will add up to gobs of time. But if all you have is an hour a week, to devote to the future problems that you’re trying to solve, great. Put it on the calendar. So you know that that time every single week is when you’re going to be diving into the, these problems. And if you’re like, I don’t even have an hour, then they take a look at your home life, your business life professional personnel and see, okay, I don’t want to see what can I get rid of? I’d say what can I swap? When I was working on my second book, the one I self-published, I really wanted to get it done. But I was doing a podcast at the same time guided goals, which was the original version of what is now known as goal chat live. I was never going to get the book finished if I was producing the show every week. So you have to prioritize. It’s a great way to find the time knowing that the thing you put on the backburner may come back someday. But you need to look at what do I need to do now. And where can I find these pockets to devote to it?

Brandi Olson 14:30
But Deb, that makes me think of is this concept that I teach a lot with the leaders that I work with and the organizations that I’m working with. Around work in progress and work in progress is exactly what it sounds like. How much work are we pursuing at the same time that’s started but not done? The reality is that each of us and each of our teams and organizations we each have a natural boundary and limit to how much work we can pursue at the same time before we start to experience or quality The or slow down and our outcomes for burnout and stress, we all have that there’s a boundary around that most of us don’t know what it is and blow past the boundary all the time. And we exceed our own work-in-progress limits every day. Because we just deal with this abundance of important work to do. It’s all important, it all needs to get done. And we only have one human self to do it, there’s a number of problems we can solve. At any given time, there’s a limit to the number of goals that we can address at any given time, it doesn’t mean that we don’t get them all done. But if we look at how much is in progress, when we start to pay attention to that, we can start to understand what is that boundary. And what is that limit? What can I tackle at a time with high quality and with focus? Because I think so often when it comes to finding the time to solve the right problems, it’s not so much of a like, which problems should I solve, but which 10 Problems do I need to solve? And how do I create focus around it, and they’re all important. And when we’re dealing with a lot of important things, we’ve already said no to things that aren’t important. It can feel like everything’s important. So we can’t possibly prioritize that we can’t possibly slow down to make the time to really understand the problem we’re trying to solve. And so we just blow past that work-in-progress limit. And we find ourselves spinning all the time, when we get into this place where an hour a week, once a week for a month is not the same as four hours. So we get into the cycle, we’re just constantly spinning our wheels, because we’ve exceeded our capacity, if everything is important, and we need to prioritize the time to do the work because of that, not ignore that in spite of it.

Jess Dewell 16:37
I am an idea generator. And I love sticky notes. And I love random pieces of paper. So I went out and I bought boxes. So when I have something that I’m gonna evaluate later, I have three, I’ve one called now and near means I’ve got to look at this next week, when I’m looking at strategic work. I’ve got one that says far future that I look at quarterly to find out is it really true because there wasn’t enough information to know, but I still liked it so much, I didn’t want to let it go. The third bin is actually the recycle bin, my little pieces of paper don’t even make it to the future because I’m able to get them out of my head. So don’t think about them. And recognize now is not that time. So there was something in what you were saying brandy that I was like, Oh, my little boxes fit this concept. And I’m tactile. So that is why I do that. And to your point. It’s true. There’s only so much that can be done. And sometimes that gets on hold like with what Doug was saying. And sometimes, sometimes it has to come off altogether, or shelf for the future. And maybe it comes back or not.

Brandi Olson 17:38
I love the physicality of it. I have over here a wall of my sticky notes where I track to do in progress and done and I’ve got some different swim lanes. Some of those are strategic things. Some of those are really tactical client stuff. When I was writing my book, it was the chapters of my book, and really paying attention to when does this need my focus? Is it next? Or could it wait helps us to be more productive and helps us to have more clarity, so that whatever we are tackling problems we are trying to solve, we’re bringing our best thinking to it as opposed to bringing our scattered and fractured focus?

Debra Eckerling 18:14
I’m all about the notebook. And I’ve always got three or four going like actual papers by paper actual these guys, as well as electronic documents. And I love the box idea, especially since some things go away forever. But I love the idea even more of one notebook, one project, because when you’re ready to work on something, all of your ideas are in one place, whether you’re an electronic person, a notebook person, or a box person, like jazz, think about which is going to work for you, because that’s something that you’re going to do.

Christy Maxfield 18:48
When I hear the theme is we have to make choices. So so often, especially if you’re a visionary leader, the idea is I want to keep as many options open as possible than the overwhelm of I don’t know what to do next, or what would be most effective. And the problem you’re ending up trying to solve is essentially what to do and how to move forward. Because you see so much potential, you’ve left so many options open. It’s unclear how to proceed. And to your earlier point, Debra, you haven’t really defined what it is you want. Your vision isn’t clear enough for you to use it as a decision-making matrix to say yes or no. But I think the ability to say yes or no, and to be okay with saying that means I won’t do X or I won’t do X right now, and I may never do x that is life. And so either those decisions are made intentionally and with thought and purpose or they’re made unintentionally. And we live with the consequences of that. So I think we can take off our own blinders about this idea of keeping our options open somehow makes us more flexible or nimble or responsive. It is She creates a lot of inertia and challenges with taking action because we’ve programmed ourselves not to act like the puppy is lovely. And I love her and she’s in her crate downstairs so that we can have this conversation. Otherwise, she would be all up and on me. But I had a beautiful life, I had a beautiful life, uncomplicated, the cats rarely would interrupt my work, I don’t have any children. And then I got this four-month-old puppy and I blew it to hell, I said to somebody, everything takes twice as long now. And they actually said, it doesn’t take twice as long, you simply have to do it in a different way. You don’t get to sit and have uninterrupted time the way you used to. Because you have this little life that needs you and wants you and that you need and want to be with. I was like, Okay, well, that makes me feel better about how I’m feeling all this ambivalence I’m feeling about my time and my ability to do things. But I think that there will always be something that’s encroaching in. And so I have to be very intentional about as Brandi said, this two-hour block cannot be interrupted. So I need to make sure her needs are taken care of. So I can take care of my needs, just like I would for my team, just like I would for my clients, just like I would encourage my clients to do for their teams, if I can be aware of what choices I’m making, and then actually create the circumstances for when I really do need to be uninterrupted. Those two have to go hand in hand. And I think the third layer is there’s a difference between there being problems occurring in your business that need your attention, like the fires, the customer is not happy, the products not being produced the way you want it. Somebody isn’t using the process, the way we’ve designed it. I believe that every day we’re responding to things that need our time and attention that feel like problems, something to be solved, so we can get on to the next thing. Think what we’re really talking about is, in order for your business to grow and flourish, the way you want it to the problem might be an issue may not be something to be solved. So much has to be worked through. If I want to grow revenue by 5x. What types of choices do I need to make, what kind of investments do I need to make? Who do I need on my team? What kind of support do they need, what kind of technology and training and all of those things, these are complex issues that we might label as a problem. But what they really are complex thoughts, starting in the progress and done that we can put timelines around that we can manage resources around. So many of my clients because they are working in the business owner-operators, player-coaches, they’re so busy taking care of the actual problems, the day-to-day things that come up that would prevent them from doing today’s work, that they don’t carve out the time to have the things that aren’t on fire today and actually be thinking and planning and putting things in place. And then they feel very constrained by that, that perception of I don’t have enough time. However, if you reframe your understanding of what your job is, as owner, you may play the role of employee in some cases, but you need to play the role of owner and another which means part of your job is to make sure you have time for these things. Which means it may mean you have to hire somebody else to do some of the other business of the business, you can actually run it and lead it. So there’s a lot there. But those were the things that came up as everybody was sharing.

It’s time to take a brief break from our show. Fast Track Your Business will improve your business results. This high-value program is an unbeatable value, to make it easy for you to act now. With your subscription, you have access to Ask Jess Your Business Questions and exclusive resources on key leadership topics. Subscribe now, visit Fast Track Your Business today.com And know that you are moving forward in the right direction. Let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast.

Jess Dewell 23:55
Briefly, I would love to know how did you start? Because each of you have said I dedicate time for different things. And I do the same? How did you actually just get started? So this new habit could be built. So you could see how everything else fell in around a part, whatever, whatever it actually was in reality or perception. When this commitment to taking time strategically, to work on the problems, the issues, the goals that can’t be solved in one sitting or can’t be solved in one week. They’re going to take three months, sometimes 18 months to complete. So what are starting points to go, this is how I got started and I was able to see Oh, I get it and now I need to do something more with this. And while you’re thinking I’ll start I decided I would take two hours a week uninterrupted Monday mornings. Every Monday morning. Nobody talks to me I lock myself in my office. All of my alarms are off. Every device is on Do Not Disturb or focus I am working in my boxes, I’m working on the quarterly stuff in the state of the business. So it started out two hours a few years later is now the entire day, all of Monday is dedicated to that strategic time, because I realized probably two months in, oh, two hours of interrupted time for this wasn’t quite enough, nothing broke down, nothing failed, nothing was actually on fire. And I felt confident to take more time. And I felt good because everybody felt better around me because they felt like I knew more of what was going on, and could communicate with confidence to clients, to stakeholders to employees.

Christy Maxfield 25:37
I think I actually started by working with a coach, one of the many things that a coach can create is a framework and a structure for that to help happen. And oftentimes, we’re less likely to break an appointment with someone else than we are with ourselves. So if we think back to when we really got started, if we weren’t high enough on the list in terms of people to not break an appointment with, then we need to get somebody who is who ideally can then also support us in asking those questions, seeking those answers, exploring the information, we have to determine whether or not it’s actual knowledge, all of those things that a great coach does. And to create some structure to we create structure for our clients, depending on what their needs are. Knowing something and doing something are very different, which is why coaching is effective is like outstanding world-class athletes know what to do. Doing it, doing it consistently being able to observe yourself while you’re doing it impossible. receive feedback on your performance while you’re doing it. All those things are important. And we need them just as much as anybody else. So I think one way to start if you’re like, I see myself putting two hours on the calendar and immediately calendaring that over it. The minute somebody says, Do you have time for can you meet on Monday at nine, right now actually make an appointment with a person, a skilled person who not only can help you preserve a time is sacred, but can contribute to your ability to use it well.

Debra Eckerling 27:05
You just tripped over the first suggestion, I get to probably every single client, which is honor the time that you commit to yourself because you wouldn’t cancel with someone else. Why would you cancel on yourself? One thing that I talked a lot about is you can calendar or you can track so it can be okay, I can do two hours this week. And you can change the time. You just can’t delete the time. So I’m huge on rules and rewards. I was having trouble answering this question because I can’t remember when I started doing this because I created dev using devs. My background is project management communications. I’ve been leaving goal-setting groups since before I moved to LA. And I’ve lived in LA for more than 20 years. So I’ve been doing this kind of work that’s evolved over the years. And then in 2018, when I rebranded as the dev method, I realized because my name worked really well with the system that I’ve been teaching, I realized that Oh, I guess this is what I just didn’t give a name to it. And the big thing is it starts with and Christy was, was talking about this on the last question is, you start with your mission, what is it you need to accomplish? And then what you dedicate your time to it? So when you start with that foundation, then you know, this is a yes, because it’s an alignment. This is a no because it isn’t an alignment. And if it’s not in alignment, but you get another benefit. It’s still Yes, everything we’re talking about doesn’t matter. If you don’t know your Northstar, if you do not know what you’re working towards, in if your business has a mission, and it probably we don’t like to use the word should but it probably should or does. Great. What is your mission? What is your mission for yourself professionally within your role at this company? Whether it’s yours or you’re working in building someone else’s business? And what is your personal mission, what drives you what’s gonna, what’s gonna make you want to take time out, so you can use your time wisely better when you’ve got those blocks of time? And then for me personally, I do a little bit similar. I look at my week, which days are writing days, which days are client days, which days are talking days, usually on Mondays? Because it’s my show day, I don’t book anything. And that is my kitchen sink day. So some of the time is spent on me. Some are on my projects, and the other is getting forward-thinking, what are we working on? And then one other thing and I don’t do this as much now because this all this evolves? I would ever reminder on my calendar for four o’clock every day that if I hadn’t worked or thought about my business would usually I had, but if I hadn’t, I had to like stop everything and spend some me forward-thinking time. So that’s another way to look at it.

Brandi Olson 29:55
Unlike Deb, I do remember exactly how I got started and all of this because at the time that my business real work done was growing and launching, I did have young kids, I had two days a week of childcare, I had a very limited amount of time to do my client work, and then figure out how to grow. And I have the school of wanting to grow my business into something full-time and bigger over the course of the next few years. But I had such a limited amount of time, what I learned in that process was that I needed to get started by being really flexible. And one of the traps that I fell into was spending too much time kind of planning the model calendar, and I did I like read about model calendars and time blocks. And so I thought through, like, what would be great for me, and how I would work really well and how I’d use my time blocks when I had childcare and where I could like get some other time in and I spent a lot of time on that. And I spent a lot of time on organizing, like, these are my business goals. And these are the strategies I need to solve. The reality is nothing in my life is predictable enough for any of that. And turns out years later, it’s still kind of not one of the things that I learned in that is to make those plans and let them flex a lot. Right. So in some seasons, I find that I can have Monday mornings, or when I was writing my book, I turned into Fridays. And I guarded those so carefully because I was really clear about if I let other things creep into this day, what will I wind up having to say no to down the line, right? If I don’t hold this boundary, what’s going to flit in and other seasons, I’ve needed to be more flexible and look at not just my week, but more like my month, I can’t carve out two hours in the same block of time every single week. But I can carve out a day and a half once a month, or once a quarter and just have a lot of grace for myself knowing that the allure of a beautiful plan and calendar fills me with like warm fuzzies I love it. But because like we said at the beginning, I do really love reality. And I am really committed to getting my work done there. My reality is life continues to be really unpredictable. I think it’s more of a discipline of constantly, like revisiting and saying, Okay, where am I making the space for that. And when I recognize that it’s been crowded out. I’m in a season of that right now where I’m like, goodness, things got kind of out of hand. regrouping, regrouping back to okay, what’s going to work right now, for the next couple of weeks for the next quarter. Being more comfortable without the master model, plan and calendar and a lot more comfortable with flexing along the way.

Jess Dewell 32:34
On the Bold Business Podcast, we are having conversations like this one so that we can ask better questions so that we can figure out and commit to the goals that we have recognized. Do we have a short-term problem or a long-term problem? And then how can we show up committed to ourselves and our companies and our teams so that we can make that forward progress? I’m your host Jess Dewell.

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