Crippled CEO Blog #136:
What would this look like if it was easy?
What would it look like if it was enjoyable?
How can I rig the game in my favor so it’s easier for me to win?
One of the superpowers you develop as a cripple is figuring out the optimal way to do something.
I have noticed that non-cripples will do things the harder way because it’ll end up working regardless, so they don’t really need to put thought into finding the easiest method.
But for me, the options are often the best way or no way at all. In lots of cases, the correct solution is also the only one that will work for me. Or, even if it’s not the only way, because I have so much else that I’m simultaneously dealing with, the easy way is much more important. So, I have gotten pretty good at finding these ideal ways of doing things, and the skill has grown beyond my personal needs and into my business.
Let me give you some examples, though.
I just started creating videos for YouTube and Facebook (you can find them if you search for Crippled CEO on YouTube).
Even though it’s probably not the most aesthetic background, I shoot them in my office, because we already have the camera stuff in there for Jeopardy, and I have Mike there to help me. I record two videos back to back every Wednesday so we don’t have to get everything set up and taken down multiple times per week.
My friend Marc Shapins is a great video editor. I don’t know much about editing, but I do know him, and I can afford to pay him to edit these for me each week.
This whole process is designed not only to be easy, but to take advantage of the resources I do have to get it done. I could try doing this by myself, at home, in front of my WebCam, or trying to get a friend help me, and then try to do all the editing myself — but those videos probably aren’t getting made if I went that route.
I have figured out that I like doing things with other people so much that I am totally fine doing things I otherwise wouldn’t like as long as I’m doing it with another person. This is why I saw the Batman three times in the theater.
So, I’ve used this to my advantage, and now as much as humanly possible, from checking emails to taking my vitamins to going over marketing analytics, I try to do these things with another person. This requires some self-awareness, but I’ve used this thing I’ve learned about myself to hack getting things done.
Life Saver Pool Fence’s uber busy season is from March through July. Historically, we had inventory projection systems in place where we tried our best to anticipate demands for all of our various product lines, analyze the leadtimes for all of the various components, and hopefully have everything we need for the upcoming month or two on time or a little bit early. We had carefully mapped out schedules where materials were supposed to arrive week after week, getting here just in time as we needed them. Unfortunately, real life would inevitably happen, and even though we would try to build in buffers and safeguards, inaccurate projections, shortages, delays, etc. would throw things out of whack, and like dominoes tipping each other over, one problem caused another, and the result would always be a season where we were struggling to keep up with the demand.
A few years back, I asked, “What would this look like if it was easy?“
I decided we would try to figure out what we were going to need for the entire season, and then just get all of it before March. No coordinated shipments. No special timing. We were just going to get all of it, and if we figured out we were wrong about something, then we would have extra time to adjust and bring in more.
It took us a couple years to get this dialed in and really go all in with it, but now we have, and we do have other problems — mainly storage — but one problem we don’t have is keeping up with demand. We don’t have the long lead times this year that we have had almost every summer for the last 30 years. The easy way was the best way.
You don’t have to be crippled, though. Tim Ferriss believes that the question, “What would this look like if it was easy?“ is a big part of the reason for his success. It often might seem easier to just get it done, but imagining how you might do it if you were disabled, if it HAD to be easy, might give you some revelations that you didn’t expect.
(Your mom was extra easy last night. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)