Weird day today. Was up at 6AM – but got up a bit restless. My to-do list is about 60 items – and 40 of those I can’t delegate out. So, as before, these little things just gnawed at me. I feel my team needs some strong direction now, and instead I’m working minutia instead of strategy. So, as much as I tried to get this out of my head, it wasn’t easy to really say goodbye to it even though it was transferred out to my task tracking system.
This is where I think the mental game comes in for entrepreneurs – we carry quite a load – with a lot of weight on our shoulders. Most days, we relish in the challenge and look forward to solving this issues, but then a day or two comes by, where the weight feels heavy – and hard to lift. Of course, that is just a temporary feeling, and we get through those, but that is where the mental strength comes in – and the hard focus on knowing that those are normal days and that those days are rare but nevertheless when they come they feel heavy.
I spend an hour with a good friend to actually figure out what triggered for me this ‘weight’ – and I got good clarity. We fall into our own traps and our own predefined patterns – and then we go on autopilot that is not necessarily steering us in a good direction. So, it was good to get a 3rd party perspective and gain self awareness of the triggers.
I think the big part today for me, was the feeling that everyone wanted a little piece of me. My staff needed me, new employees needed me, outside friends needed me – it was the feeling of really being in ‘demand’. So, few rules there – moving forward – I’m going to schedule no more than 2 nights or meetings a week for ‘helping’ or advising others. Otherwise, my time gets sucked away – and although it feeds the ego about being ‘in demand’ – I think I need clearer boundaries on where and whom I give me time to. Otherwise, it can truly be an endless game – coffees, dinners, lunches – all ‘ego’ building but ‘result’ negative. So, little rule, that will go into my PA’s SOP for managing my calendar – no more than 2 ‘helping’, ‘connecting’, ‘discussing’ meetings per week.
Friends for drinks or dinner, for candid talks is different, but for this ‘advisory’, ‘expert’ role – its now 2 per week. No more.
2nd thing – I have been facing the hard facts that I have not been taking great care of my long term health – I haven’t followed up on my exercise plan as I wanted to, and basically started neglecting the things that I have identified as important some time ago. But, today, I was offered a great strategy for getting myself motivated. First, I had faced this strange disappointment in the fact that when I sent my mind to something I can accomplish it no matter what WITH the exception of looking after myself (i.e.. eating well, sleeping well, exercising, etc.). In this was, it has been quite frustrating for me, that I can be so successful in so many parts of my life, but yet, fail so miserably in this one part.
So, the first part comes from facing the bold facts, that this one area has never been my strength, and that it will likely will never be. So, the rules I apply to business I will likely not be able to apply to ‘looking after myself’. Hard truth – but here it is. So, what I need to do, is develop a NEW set of tools to work on this part – and unfortunately the tools I use in BUSINESS will not apply in this part of my life. So, basically, I need to think outside the box and look for motivational techniques that I have not used before.
Having said this, my friend had a brilliant idea for me – which I will follow. I preface this by saying that I have tried something like this before but it didn’t work – but I think this little twist will have the desired effect. Basically, the premise is that I will ask one of my friends to be my ‘exercise’ coach – and I will make a commitment to get my ‘butt’ in some kind of exercise at least 15 days a month for at least an hour. I will give my ‘coach’ 15x$150USD – so that if I fail to deliver I will loose the money. The difference however is this – in the past, money did not motivate me, so the though of giving up $150 for ‘not doing it’ just didn’t do the trick. In fact, I think even $1K wouldn’t do the trick – money was just not the motivator. The beauty of the twist on this idea is that, in the event that I fail to deliver on my ‘contract’ my buddy will take that money and send it over to L….. Now, I can think of no greater motivator, than this. All of the sudden, giving money to L… seems so painful, that no matter what ‘pain’ I will feel in getting the ‘exercise’ it will be for 100% sure much less than having my fine go to L…. So, basically, from the pain point of view, the pain of giving money to L is much greater than ‘exercise’ – so given our nature to avoid pain – exercise will win. Perfect setup – out of the box motivational strategy – childish as it seems – but really necessary given that my prior tries just don’t work.
So, I will be setting this up shortly – and I’m VERY sure that this little technique will work wonders for me.
So, onto business – I spent some time doing the minutia of transfers, approvals, emails, etc. – and then finally spent an hour on polishing up the proposal for Germany. It looks solid –and my plan is to work on it tomorrow and Sunday. I like the plan – feels good – I think its a setup for a win/win – and I’m quite looking forward to see what M… and T.. have to say about it. We will likely end up improving on it together – but I think the framework is solid.
Besides that, I got home at 6PM, put on some Brad, and basically zonked out for 2 hours. Not the case of body being tired, but of the mind being tired. But, after I got up, had some nice personal chat with a good friend, and felt energized and ready to go.
So, i think my little two slumpy days are behind me – that I have some nice insights – and some good strategies for addressing my ‘well being’ thing that I have been fighting so long. Feels good to have a plan. Tonight I’m going to research the Everest Base Camp trek – and work on getting that put into my schedule.
Beyond this, what needs to be done:
1. I feel I need to get the ‘rocks’ in place for everyone – hard focused numbers and targets to reach – I keep feeling we are not moving fast enough – and the only person that can change that is me. The monthly strategy needs to be put in place, and clear, strong focus. We are moving of course at lighting speed compared to normal businesses BUT I would like to go beyond the speed of light! :) Speed of light is just a bit too slow for me.
2. I do need to delegate more out – and even if those 40 tasks that I feel I cannot delegate out – I will have to do it even if the quality will suffer. My role now is to lead, and not too, so if I’m not leading I’m not doing my job well. So, I will be taking a hard look at what I have on ‘my’ to-do list that I feel I cannot delegate and become ‘brutal’ about moving it out to the team.
3. I need to get a bit more sleep and more personal time – tomorrow I think will be rewarding because I will be working on the German commercial terms which I find very engaging, and then I have a lovely evening planned for the night –so tomorrow is (will) be great!
And so, as I had originally stipulated in my mission, this blog is to document not just the highs but also the lows – so as ‘ego’ deflating it may be to share with the world the ‘lows’ – I will do that as per my blog mission – so that I stay true to documenting WHAT it takes to get there and what battles we face (often with ourselves) to reach those goals.
As an aside, I had my old license plate that was stuck on my sports car in Canada, framed a few weeks ago. its going to go on top of my office – and its going to server as reminder that we need to move faster – IH82W8.