National Small Business Week 2020 Blog Post Cover

It’s National Small Business Week 2020!

To register, go to the SBA website. The event is free and designed to help you grow your small business.

National Small Business Week 2020

To help celebrate this week, and the vital role small businesses play in the local economy, here are some stats for you:

I got my start as a small business owner somewhere around age 10. I wish I would’ve known then how much I loved it. My mom’s boss needed help around his yard and I became his yard person. Every Saturday I’d rake leaves, mow the lawn, chop wood, and clean up debris. 

My next small business came working at a tractor salvage yard working alongside my dad. From age 15 to 21 I worked every summer and most weekends helping farmers get their equipment running. 

I’ve also spent time in franchise-owned small businesses, nursing home facilities, and owning my own LLC. My entire career has been in and around small businesses and their owners. Their commitment to not just meet a need for their family, but their community has always inspired me.

Recently, was having a conversation with a small business owner around some of their plans for future growth and expansion. The ingenuity, creativity, and innovation from the heart of this individual energized me. The world needs more of this, especially now.

Which is why 2020 has hurt so many people.

Planning for Quarter Four

There are, at the time of publication, 100 days left in 2020. Many of us, if not all of us, have had the craziest year we’ve ever imagined.

Celebrate! You have survived more than you ever thought possible.

Rejoice! You have found a new level of creativity, clarity, and calling.

Commend yourself! You have discovered grit, tenacity, and mental toughness much greater than you originally gave yourself credit for. National Small Business Week 2020 Blog Post Cover

And I want to encourage you to keep going.

The world needs you, your voice, your passion, your experience, your expertise, your product, and your smile.

With the next 100 days, you have a choice.

Quit now, with all you’ve already gone through.

-OR-

Push through and find extraordinary success.

Two weeks ago, one of my clients recently made a goal for 2020: to grow their business by 25%. They are clear and focused. We identified necessary tasks, potential obstacles, and the daily habits that would be necessary to make this happen.

Last week, when we checked in on that goal, they had already made significant progress.

Plant + Preparation = Success

A plan, plus the proper preparation, equals success.

Will you reach all of your goals in 100 days? Probably not. In fact, I hope not. Otherwise, your goals are too small.

But what could you accomplish in 100 days?

To lose one pound of fat a week (seven days), you must be in a calory deficit of 500 calories per day. This means that in 100 days you could lose more than 14 pounds. How much more energy would you have without 14 unnecessary pounds weighing you down?

If you sent three email requests for an introduction, in 100 days you could have up to 300 new contacts on your phone.

If you woke up thirty minutes early to read a challenging book, in 100 days you would spend an extra 50 hours in personal growth.

Each of these on their own would speed up your path to success. Combine some, or complete them all, and 100 days from now you will hardly recognize your current self.

Whatever your goals are, you get there by creating a plan. If you want help speeding up that plan, or have questions on which way to go, I’m here to help.

If you’re already on that plan, stay the course. Voices will start to creep in telling you to slow down, veer off course, or distract yourself with the next shiny object. Ignore those voices. Use them as fuel and motivation that you’re on the right path.

Plan Ahead.

Think Boldly.

Act Courageously.

Live Successfully.

Building With Purpose Online Conference

There are tremendous benefits to thinking big in life, business, and goals. Mitch Matthews reminds us that in his interview for the Building With Purpose Conference. He was our featured speaker, and he didn’t disappoint.

There are loads of good takeaways from his presentation, but start by checking out this clip below:

Building With Purpose

This excerpt is a part of the FREE online conference I’m hosting called Building With Purpose. This course will help you pivot during this time of social distancing and working from home.

For many of us, it’s a new experience. These experts will help you gain clarity and momentum and experience success.

To sign up for the conference, go here.

Registration is completely free and is currently open.

Building With Purpose Online ConferenceIn this conference, we hear from leading experts in:

  • Coaching
  • Business Consulting
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Digital Marketing
  • And more

If you’re interested in starting or growing a business or even just wondering how to maximize your time and what to do next, enroll in the free conference.

To follow up, I’m offering all attendees a complimentary session.

To redeem your session, go here.

Dreaming Big

Mitch reminds us of the importance of continued growth. He reminds us that small, gradual improvements lead to big change. You conquer your fear by going just outside of your comfort zone, challenging yourself, rising to the occasion, and repeating that. Day in, day out.

Ready for more? Here are three ways for you to take action immediately.

1.) Don’t be afraid to experiment

This is pure gold from Mitch, and something I remind my clients of consistently. We experiment, with 100% effort, ways to grow. Sometimes our business plan limits creativity instead of inspiring action. Find ways to experiment with growth and see what new exciting opportunities open up. Did you fail? That’s okay, great scientists know that success only comes from good experiments. Pick yourself up and try again.

2.) Enjoy the surprises along the way.

Mitch’s story about the growth of his podcast is inspiring. What started out as an experiment is now literally transforming millions of lives around the world. The joy he had as he told the story reminds us all to enjoy life’s surprises when they happen. Even in our current climate, the world is full of wonder and joy if we’re looking for it.

3.) Spend time dreaming big … then dream bigger!

Our success is only capped by our imagination. The bigger we dream, the more we invest in our future, the more success we will have. Even if you’re just starting out, don’t dream of touching dozens, hundreds, or thousands of lives. Start by expecting (and planning) on touching millions and see where your mind takes you.

Stock and Computer overlay with text "Intentional Investment"

The greatest thing we can do every single day is to make an intentional investment into those around us.

The recent world pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) reminds us of the fragility of financial investments.

Will the stock market recovery? Absolutely. Eventually.

But this also reminds us of the need to invest in relationships.

One thing that pays immediate dividends and lasts forever is investing in people. Finding, developing, resourcing, and equipping future leaders around us is always worth the investment. 

Growth Happens Here

When I work businesses, especially entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, this becomes an emphasis of our coaching time. Stock and Computer overlay with text "Intentional Investment"

In the beginning, all work is done by the owner. As anyone who has started a business. In addition to being the owner, they were also the sales team, marketing department, human resource contact, janitor, and security guard.

The business grows, and it comes time to hire a new employee.

This can be scary. Someone who is used to doing it all can be hesitant to give something up. The fear is that the new person won’t do it as well.

Hint: That’s probably true.

But that doesn’t mean we avoid hiring. Instead, it means we get intentional about hiring. We look for people willing to be invested in.

Instead of capping growth at the original owner/banker/marketer/sales/do-it-all-yourself we find ways to offload burdensome tasks to someone else.

The owner focuses on the core activities of the business, the things that only he or she can do to help the business grow. We create a hiring profile based on those other tasks. The ones that are important, maybe even vital to the organization, but something that can be done by someone else.

In the coaching process, we work through four quadrants and have the owner visualize where the growth needs to happen.

The last step is always people investing. That’s where we see the greatest return on investment.

Intentional Investment

What does intentional investment look like? It can take many forms:

  • An encouraging word or letter of thanks
  • Educational support
  • Mentoring/Coaching
  • Professional Development seminars
  • Sharing hard-won battles or industry secrets

In sum, Intentional investing happens anytime we are purposeful about shortening the learning curve between where someone is at and personal mastery.

Previously, we have looked at what it means to choose people over projects.

This goes one step beyond that.

More than just the relationship, we care about the growth of the person.

Ready to invest in someone else? Here are three ways to seek out relationships for intentional investment.

3 Ways to Cultivate a Life of Intentional Investment

1.) Intentionally Create Calendar Space

Personally, I’ve stopped using the phrase, “I don’t have time.” I’ve discovered that I’m always willing to make time for things in my life that really matter. If you want to find the time, you never will. Ultimately, that’s because you don’t value it enough. Create calendar time to intentionally cultivate relationships.

2.) Find a bit of yourself in the other person.

In many ways, the coaching field is full of coaches who utilize their time to help others that are like them. I know this is true of me personally and several of my other coaching friends. We coach what we have come out of, or where we see ourselves going.

Mentoring. Connecting. Investing in others all look like this as well. Find someone who reminds you of you at a younger age and guide them towards maturity. What are the things you wish you’d know at that age? That’s the perfect place to start.

3.) Create a compounding vision of success

Albert Einstein is attributed with saying that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. However true this is, I believe our ability to invest in others is even more powerful. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, people have been hoarding items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. There are even videos online of fistfights erupting over these items.

One thing we never want to hoard is information, transformation, or success. I firmly believe there is enough for everyone. In a world that says, “There’s only enough for one of us if you have it then I can’t.” I choose to fight against that.

There is enough happiness, joy, success, wealth, insight, talent, and ability for us all to succeed.

Instead of seeking out compounding interest, seek out compounding wins of success and personal investment in others. Their gratitude, your joy, and the world’s need for positivity will all thank you.

Justin’s note: During this trying time of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic I am doing my part to give back.

1.) If you want a free downloadable of 50 ways to practice self-care click this link.

2.) If you have been impacted by the COVID0-19 virus as an employee or business owner, I’m giving away free coaching. Go here to apply.

Setting the Stage

In the back of the lobby, I burst into tears. The conference was over, but that wasn’t why I was crying. Instead, I felt like I was alone. The conference itself was fantastic. High energy, excellent learning, great camaraderie. Yet somehow, I felt excluded. The conference was designed for church planters, and I wasn’t one. Instead, I was struggling to turn around an already established church. I had attended hoping to gain some insight and left disappointed. The message I received was, “Your job is too hard, too difficult, and too low of a success rate. Try something different instead.

That was my introduction to the world of burnout. It started me on a nearly decade long journey of trying to help people overcome it. It’s what led me to doctoral school and to start my coaching business. The reality of burnout among high performing leaders is what fuels me to get up and work every day. It’s beatable. It’s preventable. It’s avoidable.

Talk About Burnout

As it turns out, one of the easiest ways to break both the stigma and the devastating influences of burnout is to talk about it. In one interview I conducted with a mental health professional and professor, he said, “We talk about it. We talk about it a lot … we frame it as an ethical mandate and don’t give people a choice. We tell them from day one that they have an ethical mandate and responsibility to themselves, their clients, and to God to be healthy in all areas of their life.”

For him, the discussion of mental health and burnout is a necessary conversation. It’s the only way to stop it.

So let’s talk about it.

There are two primary foci that need to be addressed to create a longterm sustainable solution to burnout. One focus is the personal sphere and the second is the cultural dimension. It is this cultural dimension that is often overlooked.

Maslach and Leiter in their book The Truth About Burnout highlight the great disservice that is done when burnout is discussed only in terms of the personal sphere.

“The conventional wisdom is that burnout is primarily a problem of the individual. That is, people burnout out because of flaws in their characters, behavior, or productivity. According to this perspective, people are the problem, and the solution is to change them or get rid of them.

But our research argues most emphatically otherwise. As a result of extensive study, we believe that burnout is not a problem of the people themselves but of the social environment in which people work. The structure and functioning of the workplace shape how people interact with one another and how they carry out their jobs. When the workplace does not recognize the human side of work, then the risk of burnout grows, carrying a high price with it.”

Cultural fit is just as responsible for burnout as the personal sphere, and to ignore either one of these equations does harm to all those involved.  The responsibility for healthy leadership involves both the personal mandate for care and a cultural level of agreeability.

The trouble with burnout is that there is more than physical and task-related demands. Since all jobs carry a myriad of stressors, there are also the demands of time, spiritual resources, and availability. Contemporary leaders are expected to lead like a CEO, steward financial resources, care for their own physical bodies, maintain family responsibilities, invest in others, commit to overtime, manage the team, and produce tangible results.

The end result is extreme fatigue and burnout.

A Quick Tip Win

We can’t possibly hope to stop the burnout trend in a single blog post (or even a blog series). But I do hope to make a difference. (Quick side note: this is why I switched to the weekly posting schedule. We’re going to take a week to talk about this on my various social media platforms, so if you’re not following me in other places, now is a great time to do so):

Instagram Facebook  Twitter Podcast  YouTube  Mailing List

But, if you’re feeling that overwhelm set in and know that burnout is coming if you keep your current pace up, here are three quick things you can do to help fight against this.

1.) Learn to say “No” and be O.K. with it. Burnout happens when we are overcommitted. Say no to regain time and margin in your schedule.

2.) Go fly a kite. Or play cards. Nap. Read. Go for a job. The point is: find a hobby that you want to do just because it is enjoyable and then make time to do that as often as possible.

3.) Talk about it. Talk about burnout. Talk about your fear. Name it. Find a trusted person to confide it. Don’t let it consume you. If the way to overcome it is to talk about burnout, talk about it to anyone who will listen.

What advice would you give someone struggling with burnout? Leave a comment below!

LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 9

How do you begin with the end in mind?

By being clear on where you want to end up in life.

Think of a journey, you’d never just get in your car with a half a tank of gas and randomly drive, hoping to end up somewhere fun. Instead, you’d know where you want to end up, fill up the gas tank, and plug the destination into your GPS. With the plan, you know how to succeed.

That’s what we’re talking about this week. Join Justin and Elise as they talk about how to create the life plan and vision of living life on purpose.

Connect with Justin

As always, thank you for listening! I really appreciate it.
Please be sure to like, share, leave a comment, and turn on notifications to keep aware of upcoming events, live streams, and new video releases.

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a FREE 5-day course on productivity: 

https://mailchi.mp/0b828bba9f13/emailsignup

Follow me on social media: