Inspiring Business Podcast

Priorities and Decision Making - Being very clear on what it takes to become a Lazy Entrepreneur

October 10, 2022 Season 2 Episode 3
Inspiring Business Podcast
Priorities and Decision Making - Being very clear on what it takes to become a Lazy Entrepreneur
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The challenge for business owners is dealing with the daily bombardment of information. Many business owners say they just don't have enough time.
I would say that if you had the right information, experience, and knowledge, it will significantly improve your efficiency, and therefore your time management.

In this episode of the Lazy Entrepreneur series, I introduce the concept of Experiential Awareness and combine this with the Eisenhower Model of Importance and Urgency. It is a simple 2 step layered approach that will give you the confidence to pull the trigger on how and when to implement your goals and objectives.

I also address the issue of risk assessment and resource allocation.

Stephen Sandor CEO Inspiring Business
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Steve Sandor:

Welcome to the Inspiring Business Podcast where we hope to inspire you, the business owner, and provide you with information, knowledge, and tools that will help you to create a business that is scalable and ultimately independent of your daily involvement. My name's Steve Sandor and your host today, and welcome to the third episode of the Lazy Entrepreneur Series, where I walk you through the scale two success solution steps. The very tool that I used when I'm consulting with my clients. Today we're going to be looking at prioritizing and making be better decisions. And the challenge that business owners have today is that they are continually being bombarded with information. And the challenge is, knowing what to spend your time on. Now, this is not a time manage. Course what it is, it's looking at where you can and should be spending your time on the important things that you as the business owner should be spending your time on. In conversations I'm having with my clients and business owners is that they are continually being asked to do more with less. And so it is a time issue of sorts. And there seems to be two camps of how to deal with these. So one is act quickly and the quick starts love that. But sometimes the act quickly but you forget about the thinking about the problem. And then the other side is the, not acting but, and being too conservative, in which case you miss the opportunity. And two sides of the same coin, but if you get the decision wrong the common theme here is that it be, it's a negative outcome on your business. So what we'll be doing is going through a simple two part framework that will help you and hopefully save you time as well, but more importantly, give you confidence about making important decisions. Scale to success solution is a series of steps that I take my clients through. So the initial step is doing an analysis of the business. The second step is looking at the goals and objectives for the business in each of the functional lines. And then the. Piece is then deciding where to spend time based on those goals and objectives. And that's where we're at here in making better decisions. And it's really about where to spend or where to invest time people and money to achieve the objectives and goals that you've, that you have. When I've not followed this process, I've found that I get a bit of the deer in the headlight look or on the other side, I get impulsive and make a decision and invariably it doesn't work In either case it's not a foolproof process, but it does give you some clarity and I've found that if you do follow these steps, then It they, will help. Some of the biggest deals that I've won it off the back of following this very, process. So we're gonna dive into a little bit of detail around how to go about making decisions. So what I would suggest that you do is pause the podcast now and grab pen and paper and then come back and, I, would suggest that you take some notes through this particular episode. This decision making process we're going to use it in the context of running your business, but it also is valuable if you're looking investing in assets or starting a job or starting a business or having some major decisions to make. So it's a very, useful tool if you walk yourself through this. So the first part is around the importance and. So this is sometimes known as the Eyes Andhow model. It was made famous by Steven Covey in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and it's a really simple process. There's a vertical and a horizontal, a axis. The vertical ax axis is importance and the horizontal is urgency. The importance, if you think about it in terms of. If it has a high value input into the goal or objective or decision that you're making, then it's important. And if it's urgent, it's time related. So you, something that's not urgent would be more strategic. And something that is important and urgent is more operational or reactive. If you think of the four quadrants, So top left is important, but not urgent. That's strategic. Top right is important and urgent and it's operational or more reactive. Eventually, what happens is you need to pull the trigger and the, and you're pulling the trigger in that important and quadrant and the idea is to have time to be able to build knowledge and experience or collect information so that you're not always in that top right hand corner. You've got time to build information around the decision before you actually pull the trigger. Anything that's in the bottom left hand corner. So that's not important and not urgent doesn't mean that it's. A good idea. It just means that in the context of your business and achieving the goals and objectives, it's a distraction. So leave it there. It's not something that you need to spend any time on. And it's just, you just note it that it's there, and then eventually what'll happen, you'll either you'll kill it, combine it, or keep it, and then it will move into the upper end of the importance schedule so it has more value into the decision. Anything that's not important and not urgent. So that's in the bottom right hand corner. It's an interruption. Typically it's somebody else's problem that they're bringing to you. And there's a great book Ken Blanchard. It's the one minute manager Met the mon, met the monkey, and it's a b. It's a brilliant tool to help you to get better at delegating or helping the person who has the problem keep it there with them. So it's an interruption. So be careful. I would say, no or not yet in that situation. We've dealt with importance and urgency. And so you'll have your decisions in one of those two areas of important and not urgent and important and urgent. I'm gonna be talking now about awareness and experience and, I'm calling this experiential awareness. So there are times when you are faced goes, you don't know what you don't know. You will know these because you, one, you haven't had the experience before, so you might even know, not know what the problem is, so you don't even know what questions to ask. And so you've gotta be careful in these situations. This is where you would go and get help from a mentor, someone who has done what you are trying to do and that you would go and talk with those people about the experiences that they had so that you know what questions to ask. And so it's in these areas. Is you? Because you don't know what the problem is, you don't really know what questions they'll ask, and that's why I'm saying go and find a mentor in this. Now, a mentor is not someone who's got a product to sell. A mentor is someone who has been through this process and that they will sit with you and talk to you about the experiences that they had give you some level of education around this. And so what you need to be doing is asking lots and lots of questions in this phase. So this is being inquisitive. Once you've got a little bit of information, so now you know what you don't know. And so now it's. Becoming informed. And so as a business owner, what I hear often is that the business owner says I, don't have time for this. It's your business.. You need to understand every aspect of your business. You can't just be good at one particular area and agate responsibility for everything else. You don't have to do everything else, but you do need to know everything about your business. So you do need to know about sales, marketing, finance, operations you don't have to be the expert. But you do need to know about, and this is where listening to podcasts, reading books, going to seminars listen, educating yourself in this particular area so that you become informed. You don't have to be the expert. The next is where you've actually had the experience. Of solving the problem, and you've got some level of confidence in there. So you've done it before you, you know what the problem is. You've, that experiential awareness, and I would call this in the intuitive phase. So it's, almost second nature. And then the final stages where you are at. Almost expert. So this is instinctive. You don't have to think very much about the decision. So you've had lots and lots of experience around the, in this particular decision making process and with, a hell of a lot of ex confidence, you can say, Yes, let's do this. It, would be like, You know when you started driving a car and you had your learner's permit you were nervous and you really didn't know where you were going. So that was in that inquisitive and informed stage. Over a period of time, you got more confident and it became intuitive, so you jumped into a car. And you knew what you were doing. Now it's instinctive after you've been drawing for a number of years, and you, don't even think about how you go about driving. You just get in and do it. And that's what I'm talking about here. From a business decision making point of view you've, got a lot of experience and you've been able to reflect on that experience. And with a high degree of confidence, you can make the decision. Now that you know what your experiential awareness is, what we can do now is look at applying the resources to the decision making. So if you've got a goal that is in that important but not urgent quadrant, it means that you've got time. And so what I'm going to be talking about here is the timeframe of the decision and the impact that it has on the business itself. So if you've got a, if you've got a, goal that you're needing to achieve, you've got time to achieve it, and it has minimal impact on the business, then what you can do is you can build the capacity and capability of your people because you have. They can educate themselves, they can get to know the problem, you can get to know the problem, and you can pretty much resolve that or achieve that goal or objective internally if the timeframe to completion is short shorter and, or it has a higher impact on the business. So not making the decision or making the decision has a greater impact on the business. Then what you may need to do is put additional resources into achieving that objective. Or, you might need to bring an external resource into supplement or guide the team, so someone who's got that high experiential awareness in that particular area, and bring them into the team on a part-time basis to support that team so that the objective can be met. Now that's because you've got some, you've still got some time to achieve it. However, if. Impact is high and or the timeframe to delivering what it is that you're trying to achieve is short, then you may need to bring an external specialist consultant into be the group that actually delivers it. The other area that you would bring an external consultant in is if it's not something that you need to, it's not a skill that you need to upskill your staff in, and so might be redoing the website. You can bring a consultant in to do that, and then ongoing maintenance can be done by your staff. If the goal and an objective is of a shorter timeframe to delivery, or it has a greater impact on the business and you don't have the internal knowledge and experiential awareness available, then you may need to bring an external consultant into actually drive the the process. In this situation, it might also be that this is an area of your business where you don't need to have a permanent capability or capacity, and so you would bring a external consultant in on a short term basis. So that might be. Having someone redesign your website because it's a part of your marketing strategy, but you don't need to have a full stack web developer on your staff. So you would bring somebody in who has got lots of experience building websites in your industry for the type of business that, that you have. And then they come in, they do the job, and then they leave. And so you don't need to you don't need to build internal capacity to solve that particular. The final piece in this second stage is the risk tolerance or risk consequences of the decision. And again, there are two sides to this. There's the risk takers who, the benefit of taking a risk is that there is usually a high reward for making that decision. So there is an opportunity that is taken. and the other side of it is the more conservative approach where if you don't make the decision, you might save something and protect it. However, the opposite of that is that when the opportunity presents itself, there's an opportunity cost that you've missed. And so what encourage my clients, typically they, are risk takers. And so what we try to do is not change that profile because that's what's made them successful. But my role is the break on that decision making process. So I take a far more conservative approach. There's no point in both of us having that risk taker mentality in making the decision. So my role is around stress testing, the decision making, stress testing, the capability capacity, what we have in place. And so I take a far more conservative approach in supporting my, clients around that decision. But at some point in time, we have to make the, we have to pull the trigger. And when I'm talking to my clients, I'm not trying to change the way that has, that you've been successful what I'm trying to do is improve the success rate. So if you get three out of 10 let's make it four out of 10, and that's a 30% improvement in your strike rate. So there was some research done by Dr. Adrian er, who is a consumer psychologist and also a senior lecturer at the senior lecturer of marketing at the University of Technology in Sydney and the research indicated that. important decisions are more sound when they follow a process. And so again, if you think about this process and apply it to some major decisions and, these are decisions where it's hard to retreat from, so once you've made it, it's almost like that sunk cost that you're in. So before you get to that stage, go through this process. Review your notes so that you can actually see whether in fact you're at that stage where you can make a good decision. I'm gonna give you two case studies here just to explain the process. Cause I understand that this is a little bit technical. We'll have this up on YouTube, so we've got some slides that. We'll follow it so it make, it'll make a little bit more sense to you. But it's something that I teach in my leadership or management programs over a a four day program. Or if we're working or when I'm working with my clients, it's a part of the overall process. So it's not a concept that is necessarily easily understood, but once you get it it's a really solid framework in which you can work in. Let me talk about me or inspiring business and take you through the situation that changed for me and explain to you how I use this process to develop the launch of inspiring business in late 2020. So 2019, I came back from Papa New Guine. I had clients in PNG that I was going to service So my situation going back to PNG. I, it was instinctive. I was an expert. I was known in the market for having certain expertise. The experience I'd had ready to implement it, I had all of the necessary tools a available to me to deliver from a decision making point of view, it was fairly straightforward. It was conservative. There was, I didn't feel as though it was very risky and I had a relatively relaxed timeframe. I was gonna go start in 2020, with a couple of clients and we all know what happened in early 2020 with Covid. So that changed my situation now, running a business with 30 or 40 employees with in a 5 million turnover is a significantly different type of business than running a solo entrepreneur business or a startup. So the situation that I was in was very different. So I had to then go and be very inquisitive and get knowledgeable about what it was to run a small business. And it was a com. Running a business is not different, but the situation in which I was in was different. And so I had to, understand the nuances of running a small business. I tested the ideas. I was still reasonably relaxed in terms of timeframe. I didn't have to rush into this. And in fact, Covid forced me to do a little bit more thinking about the resources that I needed because I had time and so I was built a lot of connections, Bill did a lot of networking. And I I had to make a decision as to whether it was still worthwhile doing or go and do something different. And so I got to a point in. Early 2021 where I actually launched the business and my situation is I had become more intuitive. So it wasn't that I was doing something completely different than what I had done. It was just the market that I was in was different. The client feedback that I got on the solutions that I was providing was positive, my timeframe had shortened. And I, needed to pull the trigger and the market had somewhat opened up so I could service my clients I'd outsourced some of the resources that I need to run a business, and I felt that from a risk taking point of view, I was relatively comfortable and c. That I'd done enough to make it a success. And so you can see there that my situation changed and so therefore I had to rethink the, process again, collect the information and go through that process until I get to a point where I can pull the trigger. The second case study that I'd like to talk with you about is the actual reason that I ended up going to Papa New Guinea in 2009, and it was to help the business owner who had a very successful business in human resources, but felt that he was, he wanted to go and do other things. He's a serial entrepreneur, had a very good very, successful business didn't like doing some of the things in the business that he knew that he had to get somebody else to do that. So this is why you know that lazy entrepreneur, so business owners that understand that they have a particular genius, that have a particular area of or skill that they are really good at and they understand to be successful, they need to outsource these other areas and become that lazy entrepreneur not in terms of not doing anything, but being very, focused in what it is that they're trying to do. When I went to PNG the, situation was very different, right? So I'd never been in PNG I, need to get informed. Again. Running a business is no different, but the situation was very different. We needed to talk to our clients about, The the impact that this might have on them. So there was a lot of research done with existing customers to find out what it is that they wanted and needed, and whether the business owner if we took him out of the picture, whether what had significant damage to the brand.


We had a reasonably long timeframe that we weren't doing anything within a 12 month period. So we, were just gathering information. We were in that sort of collection phase. We knew that we didn't have internal resources, so we had to get some, we had to build internal resources, and we knew that if we pulled the trigger then it would be a relat risky thing to do. So it was status quo. We just we, just kept going the way we were going, what we did was, over a period of time, we were able to get the business into a point where we had the systems and processes in place. We'd rebranded. We we had lots of different conversations with different a different type of client. So our. Our product mix in our client mix was slightly different. The timeframe got shorter because the business owner had made the decision that he wanted to go off and do some other things. So we had to bring that we were pulling the trigger. We had a combination of internal and external resources, so there were things that we didn't need to build capacity internally, which we got external resources. And there was a period of, after about 12 months where I was effectively the consultant internally within the organization where I was working on in the business now and I couldn't work on the business. So we actually got an external consultant to come in and help us over the next two years to be the external eyes, if you like and we felt that the pulling the trigger and creating a business that didn't rely on the business owner, we had enough information and felt confident that, was the right thing to do. And some 10 years later, that business is still operating in, Its in that framework through Covid business owner and the general manager were able to be out of Papua New Guinea living in Australia and running the business remotely. And that was because of the systems and processes that we'd put in place. So the system works. Just to recap, we prioritizing and making better decisions. It's the importance and urgency model so, doing the business analysis, looking at your goals and objectives, and then putting those into the either important and not urgent or important and urgent quadrants, and leaving everything else aside, consider your experiential awareness. So in solving these problems or achieving these goals, what level of experience do you. What do you need to bring in? What timeframe do you have and what impact will making the decision or not making the decision have on your business and the ability to achieve your goals and objectives? And then looking at how to weighing up the risks of, And it's really the buying up the risks is when I, when do I feel confident to pull the trigger? And you'll never get it a hundred percent right. My favorite saying is, mistakes are only decisions with not enough information, more information, different decision. Not always better, just different. And so that's what you're trying to do is collect enough information to give you the confidence to say that if we pull the trigger, now we've got a better than average chance of succeeding. I know it was fairly technical and, I hope you got a lot from it. You may need to go back and listen to it again. It's a valuable tool once you get it, and you can put a system in place to apply it weeks four and five what we'll be doing over the next two weeks is we'll be looking at people. Capability, capacity and process, which is one of my favorites. In week six we'll be looking at financial management and that'll lead neatly into weeks seven and eight that covers the implementation and the resource allocation, and we will obviously be doubling back on some of these week two and three because it obviously isn't in isolation. This isn't linear. You, need to do this in a linear framework, but as you implement, a lot of these things will be running consecutively or side by side, the Scale two Success Solution is a simple application of systems and processes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business. It also delivers a program of people development and leadership training so that your people have the skills and knowledge to do the things that they were employed to. my goal for you is to become the lazy entrepreneur so you can continue to do the things that you love in your business and spend time with the ones that you love. As always, I appreciate you for listening, and I hope the information I shared with you here is useful and adds value to your business and that you are inspired and energized to make a difference in your and others' lives.

The Challenge business owners face
Important and Urgent Model
Experiential Awareness
Risk Tolerance
Case Study # 1 Inspiring Business
Case Study # 2 PNG HR Business