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Month: November 2022

Crippled CEO Blog #163: Avoiding Burn Out

Crippled CEO Blog #163:

I asked my friend Dani Douglas of Dani Paint Co. (who does amazing murals for businesses) what challenge she was struggling with that she would like to see me write about, and I thought her answer was one that was extremely relevant to all small business owners: burn out. 

How do you overcome the burnout that causes you to not do the things for your business that you know are needed?

A big part of my job is helping entrepreneurs start, grow, and maintain their businesses. Over and over, I’ve seen successful Life Savers seemingly sabotage their companies, and that burn out mentioned above is often the reason. Consciously or unconsciously, they don’t do the right things that they know they should do because they can’t stand doing it anymore. Maybe, secretly, in the back of their mind, they want it to fail, so they would finally have an escape. 

They feel stuck on a treadmill of their own creation and they don’t know how to get off. 

I certainly get it. I’ve been there. There are no worse feelings than 1) knowing that you’re not being as successful as you could be, and the only reason is your lack of motivation to execute the things you know you should do, and 2) dreading going to the job that you literally created for yourself.

So, this is the problem. What do we do about it? 

Let’s use Dani as our example since this was inspired by her. 

Dani paints murals for businesses. Her schedule is STACKED. She’s booked out. 

If I’m her, the first thing I’m doing is doubling my prices. 

That’s right. Doubling. 

She’s going to lose a lot of customers this way. But if she ends up half as busy, but people are paying twice as much, she’s making the same money for half the work. 

I’ve said before that the price you charge should be the number that makes you thrilled to do the work. Everyone wins when this happens — including the customer.

I bet doing half as many jobs for the same revenue would get Dani a lot closer to being thrilled.

Plus, now that you’re doing half as many gigs, and each gig is bringing in a lot more money, all kinds of new things become possible. 

You now have the time, energy, and brain cells to do all of the marketing and other stuff that you knew you should’ve been doing, but you weren’t because you were so burnt out doing all that work. You get to spend time working on your business instead of in your business. 

My favorite quote by Tim Ferriss is, “What would this look like if it was easy?“

The next thing that Dani should do is list out all of the things she hates doing the most, both on the job sites themselves, and also in the administration of the business.

How many of those things can be eliminated entirely? What would happen if you just didn’t do them anymore?

Of the ones left, what would be an easier way to do them?

Now that she’s charging twice as much per gig, she can afford to hire a helper to do some of the more tedious grunt work and prep stuff that takes up a lot of her time, leaving her to do the parts that she really enjoys. 

She can also start to find what I call micro employees to do the most painful administrative stuff that she doesn’t like doing — inexpensive folks you hire to do one or two small things, not an entire part-time employee. Meanwhile, because she has all of this extra time and energy and she’s doing more marketing, networking, and promotional stuff, she is able to fill in the calendar and replace some, but not all, of the work she lost because of the price increase. But because she now has people helping, she is going to avoid the burn out that plagued her before.

It’s hard to figure out how to fix the airplane while you’re busy flying it, but when you’re operating a small business, that is exactly what you have to do. It’s hard to get out from under everything to see the big picture and understand what big changes you can make to help yourself, but if you can manage to get that view from 10,000 feet in the air, you’ll have a much better chance of making the drastic changes that will help you not just survive, but thrive, for many years to come.

PS: Dani creates incredible hand painted murals — think your logo on something big. Below is the photo of the one she did for my company. If you’d like to hire her before she hopefully takes my advice and doubles her prices, go to http://Danipaintco.com

PPS: if you have a small business challenge that you would like me to tackle, leave it in the comments below and I may use my answer/your business as a future blog post.

(Do you know who doubled her price last night? Your mom. And she was thrilled to be doing the work. 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.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #162: Take my picture before I die

Crippled CEO Blog #162:

For the last several years, I’ve been remiss about taking photos when doing interesting/fun things with friends. I’m not too concerned about posting my highlights on the social media platforms, so that wasn’t a motivation, and I also wanted to try to be present in what’s going on, and not experiencing it through the screen of my phone.

And that sounds really enlightened and sophisticated, right? 

But I’ve changed my mind.

It’s not because I have suddenly decided that I want to flex my highlight reel for all of my followers — though I do post the photos when I take them now.

No, I’m doing it because of my parents.

My mom died when I was 29 and my dad died when I was 34.

 I have, like, three photos of my mom and I together as adults, and only a few more of us from when I was a child. I have a handful more of my dad and I, but not a lot.

I don’t want to just flex on Facebook. I’m trying to flex at my funeral… and afterwards. 

There is a good chance that most of my friends outlive me. I want the photo slideshow that plays at my funeral to be lengthy and fantastic. And after I’m gone, I want the people that cared about me to have lots of photos of us together to look on and remember. 

And God forbid that one of my friends passes on before I do, I want to make sure that I took every photo I could with them while we were making memories together. 

I want to be more like my parents in so many ways, but when it comes to this, I’m trying to learn from the mistakes they didn’t realize they were making.

I’m still getting better at this, though. So, if we are out together, doing something awesome, remind me to take a photo of us. It might be the one you cherish the most of me after I’m gone.

(Do you know who was taking some crazy photos that I can’t post on Facebook last night? Your mom. 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.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #161: You can change reality

Crippled CEO Blog #161:

In quantum mechanics, there is a mysterious phenomenon known as the observer effect. When an electron is being observed, it behaves as a wave. When it is not, it behaves as a particle. Somehow, the electron “knows“ when it is being perceived, and that perception changes its reality.

Perception doesn’t only change reality at the quantum level. Perception changes the realities in our lives, as well.

Our very thoughts and opinions, our perceptions, can make something true that wasn’t true before and vice versa. 

Let us suppose that there is a job opening at Dream Job Incorporated. The current reality is that if you applied for that job at DJI, you would get it.

However, your perception of yourself and DJI tells you that there is no way they would hire you, so you don’t even bother applying. And so, just like that, the fabric of reality changes. They were going to hire you, but now they’re not — all because of your perception. 

This can work the other way, too. 

Employees of Steve Jobs have often remarked on his “reality distortion field “. He would want the impossible, and ask the impossible, and because of how strongly he believed in it, combined with the incredible talent of him and his team, it would get done. Projects that required at least six months to complete would be finished in three weeks instead.

I have cerebral palsy. I use a wheelchair and have pretty severe physical limitations and abnormalities. I’ve also dated beautiful and brilliant women that other, able-bodied guys would only dream of (a couple of these ladies had actual fan clubs made up of these men). 

Now, part of this is because I am actually amazing. The other large part of it, however, is that, despite my disability, my perception of myself as someone who is worthy of only the highest caliber of human is so strong that it makes it come true. Objectively “better“ guys than me were rejected, ignored, and blown off by these ladies who thought I was the bee’s knees (at least for a while). My perception of myself changed reality.

Your thoughts and opinions are more powerful than you realize. What you believe to be true can actually become true because you believe it. Just like with those electrons, your perception can change the world. Why not make it better for yourself? What would happen if you started believing you could do all the things that you want to do? You might just make it so. 

(Do you know who made her dreams come true last night? Your mom. 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.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #160: Get To, Want To, Have To, Should Do

Crippled CEO Blog #160:

Last week, I declared without any reservations that the the choice of who you surround yourself with was the single most important decision you make in your life. 

Shockingly, seven days later, I still agree with this. 

Perhaps the second most important thing, though, is how you spend your time. We all only have so much time to be alive. I am aware that I have less than a lot of people, so I may think about how I spend my time more acutely than others.

For instance, I famously refuse to do showers of any kind – bridal, baby, golden, or otherwise. I don’t enjoy them. So, I refuse to attend them.

I recently read an interesting tactic of labeling the events we have coming up, with the goal of getting a sharper resolution image of how enjoyably we are using our minutes and hours. 

The idea is to look at all of your planned events coming up, and with as little thought as possible, label each one as “Get To”, “Want To”, “Have To”, and “Should Do” (something you, other people, or society think is important).

If you have a lot of Have To and Should Do — more than Get To and Want To — something is wrong. 

And even if you don’t, reducing the number of things we aren’t excited about doing still makes sense. 

The first place to start is with the Shoulds. Chances are, you could drop many of those entirely with far less negative fallout than you think. 

After that, the Have To’s. There are certain things that we have to do, and there is no way around that.

However, I think we often conflate Have To and Should Do. 

People told me that I HAD TO attend my only nephew’s first birthday party. And… I didn’t. Because I don’t attend birthday parties for little kids who aren’t going to remember the party ever happened. Maybe I SHOULD have, but I certainly didn’t HAVE to. 

So, spend some time being real honest with what is actually a Have To and not a Should Do in disguise. 

Sometimes, Have To’s can be reframed or adjusted so they can be upgraded. Two nights ago, I got to see the comedian Jo Koy at the FTX Arena in Miami. 

I was very excited to see the show, definitely a Get To event, but I was not happy about the trek to Miami. 

I recently saw Kevin Hart at the same location. The drive, and especially the nightmare that was the struggle to park our vehicle, almost made the entire thing not worth it. 

Jo Koy: Get To. Driving and parking in Miami: a dreaded Have To. 

So, I hired someone to do the actual driving. For a relatively small amount of money, he drove us down there and dropped us off at the arena, allowing us to totally sidestep the entire parking fiasco.

For the drive itself, instead of thinking of it as this thing I had to do in order to get to the show, I reframed it as an opportunity to hang out with my amazing friends for 90 minutes each way — people I treasure spending time with and talking to. I GOT to do that on the way there and back, and it was great. 

With one actual modification that removed the most painful portion, combined with a change in my perspective, I turned a Have To into a Want To. This isn’t always possible, but if you’re on the lookout for ways to make it so, the opportunity is there more often than you might think.

Life is too short to spend more of it than we have to doing things we don’t enjoy. And there is the opportunity cost! What could we have done with that time instead? Even if you don’t replace a canceled plan that you didn’t want to do with something amazing, at the very least, you can now stay home to watch Netflix or have orgasms (or both).

(Do you know what I GOT to do last night? Your mom. 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.)

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