21 Apr At What Point Discussions & Your Business
Last week, I talked about Strategic Quitting & Radical Acceptance. So what do we do with these moments in the business world?
✔️ Recently, my friend Joe felt incredibly burned out and had to decide if it was temporary or permanent.
✔️ Taking a break can be so important to both mental and physical health. We were not meant to work constantly. Or to worry about work constantly.
✔️ Don’t make huge, sweeping life decisions in a HALT moment: hungry, angry/anxious, lonely, tired. Something that may seem like a good choice when you are exhausted may feel totally different after a two week vacation.
✔️Whether you are B2B or B2C, you will face your own set of challenges. This is reality.
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find it online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. Today I want to talk about at what point discussions and your business. Last week I talked about strategic quitting radical acceptance, and at what point discussions in general, whether that’s for relationships, real estate pursuits, investments, your business, and so on. And it sparked a really interesting discussion between myself and one of my friends, because he had been having at what point discussions with himself about his business. To protect his privacy, I will just call him Joe, not his real name. Obviously, Joe’s business is B2C, or D to C, meaning he is direct to the consumer, he does not sell his products and services to other businesses, he sells directly to the consumer. And that in and of itself presents its own set of challenges and dilemmas. When you let’s face it, any business does whether you are b2b or b2c, you’re going to have your own set of challenges and obstacles that you have to overcome day in and day out. This is just part of being a business owner, Joe has owned and operated his own business for more than 20 years. And when we were talking recently, he said, You know, I’m just at a point where I think I’m done. I don’t know if the market has changed drastically, or the customers have changed drastically, or it’s me, or maybe it’s some combination of all of the above, but I am feeling so burned out, and so completely done. And over my own business that I am really thinking about shutting the doors, taking down the website and just saying To hell with it all. And I thought, Oh, wow. So I said, you know, this really feels like a HALT moment to me. And if you’re not familiar with it, HALT is an anagram that is used in therapeutic settings more than anything. And it stands roughly, there are different, you know, things you can attribute to it. But it stands roughly for hungry, angry, lonely, tired, other iterations will say hungry, angry or anxious, lonely and tired. And Joe agreed and said, Yeah, no, I’m, I’m at a point of burnout. I’m very tired, I’m angry, I’m stressed. So I’m self aware enough to know that this is not really the time to make a huge sweeping life decision, I know that I need to process this properly. And so I asked him how he planned to do that. And he said, I’m going to take off two weeks, I’m going to process the orders that I already have in queue, and make sure that those people are taken care of. And then after that, for two weeks, I’m shuttering everything, my admin assistant is going to take care of any comments or questions that arise during that two week period of time somebody gets lost in shipping, or customers aggravated that the Postal Service hasn’t delivered their parcel yet. And they want somebody to gripe that she’s going to feel those phone calls and those emails so that I don’t have to, because for two solid weeks, I want some true uninterrupted time, I want to be able to meditate, I want to be able to think I want to be able to rest and relax and be with friends and family. And just see what it feels like for that two week period of time to not be a business owner. Do I feel liberated? Do I feel excited? Do I feel scared? Do I feel upset? Like I want to be able to have that time to get away and really clear my head and decide when I’m not in a halt space? Like how do I feel about all this? I was able to talk to him again, a little while after his two weeks sabbatical. And it was really interesting to see he had a spark back instead of looking and feeling tired and angry and stressed. You could tell that he had had a good restful vacation. It’s like when we were all crammed in cubicles, and everybody was all working together. You could tell when somebody came back from vacation or some type of extended leave. They had light in their eyes and pink in their cheeks and they just looked so happy and then it didn’t take very long of being in the office or the cube farm or the bullpen before all that light and energy just got sucked out of them. You know, I think back to things like that. And again, I say it’s not a wonder that there’s been a great resignation. But I digress. So Joe gets back in the saddle and he’s like, yes, this was a great time. I’m so glad that I didn’t make any big decisions when I was so stressed out and pissed off. It was the right thing to do to take a break. And he ultimately decided that he did not want to completely close the entire business. He didn’t want to shut everything down. And you know, like Gordon Ramsay when he gets mad on Kitchen Nightmares, like shut it down. He didn’t want to do that. He wanted to retool what kind of products and services that he put out on the marketplace to cut down on to be I’m just being honest here like customer complaints, needy customers, and people that just wanted to gripe, I really I had had intuited before he ever said anything, that his main source of burnout were the grinders, it wasn’t really that he wanted to just completely shut the doors of his business. He had just for whatever reason, started to attract in clientele that were needy and griping and fussy. Now, I’ve talked on this podcast before about people like Mike the micromanager, Ned, the needy, and Nancy the nitpicker. Those types of clients, regardless whether you’re b2c or b2b, whether you’re offering actual tangible products and goods, whether you’re offering the service, and none of that matters, people like that will suck the marrow out of your bones, if you let them. You also want to be very careful of people who expect miracles, I want you to turn water into wine like Jesus. And if you don’t, then I’m going to be mad at you. Or if you do somehow managed to pull off the wedding at Cana style miracle and you have turned water into wine. We’re gonna gripe at you because you turned it into red wine and we wanted white wine, or you turned it into still wine and we wanted sparkling wine. So like Thanks anyway, people like that will drive you nuts. And if you are finding that you have an overabundance of individuals like that coming into your practice or coming into your store, I think it’s important to take time to center yourself and figure out what’s going on. Is it really just complete happenstance that I’m getting bombarded with jerk wants? Or have I done something knowingly or unknowingly, to bring people in that are causing me so much distress it at the bare minimum, even if you don’t believe in anything spiritual at all, on a very practical, mundane world level? It’s important to just ask the question, What responsibility if any, do I bear in this situation? And how can I improve it? What can I do to retool my marketing or my messaging to not only attract in ideal clients but repel the wrong ones? Now, with that being said, I don’t know of any marketing system that’s completely and totally foolproof. I wish Believe me, I would be a trillionaire if I if I could develop something like that where you never ever, ever, ever in your business, had to deal with an unqualified lead a time waster a weirdo? Mike the micromanager and Ned the needy, believe me, believe me, if I could invent that, I definitely would. So from time to time, there will be people who somehow make their way into your funnel or make their way into your business that turned out to be a huge headache. I had a client once that it really truly was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation. They said and did all the right things during the intake process and seemed to be very cool, very mellow and very down to earth. But as soon as I signed the paperwork and actively began working on the project, it was like Ben Stiller and Happy Gilmore when he’s like, okay, the families are all around. So he’s being very kind and genial, in front of the families. But then as soon as they leave, it’s like you’re in my world. Now, Grandma, you will either go to sleep, or I will put you to sleep and you’re like, wait a minute, what? What happened to this friendly, congenial person that I met with during the intake process, it’s like, as soon as you sign on the dotted line, and start a billable hour, it’s like you’re in my world. Now, grandma, and I thought, oh my god, this was clearly a mistake. From time to time, poop is going to happen. And from time to time poops gonna hit the fan. No matter how well organized you are and how many strategies you have in place from time to time poop is going to enter your life. Would that it were not so but it is. I also think back to the mike tyson quote, that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. So you’re gonna have these moments in your business where you have to take a face punch, and it’s not going to feel very pleasant. I’m just warning you in advance and trying to be a not only a beacon of truth, but a beacon of reality in the best laid plans are sometimes going to go awry. I wish that I could tell you otherwise. But I think that what Joe did is handling it the right way. When you’re in that halt space. You’re really really mad, you’re very tired or you’re dealing with some other emotional issues in your life. I, that’s not the time to be like, shut it down. I’m just going to close the whole business down, I’m going to fire every client I have, I am so done with these people like, don’t, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Because we’ve all been in that space, I think is either freelancers or business owners where we’re like, just, you know, rubbing our forehead or our temples get a terrible tension headache, and it’s like, Why did I do this, like this, this is stressful. This is upsetting, whatever, and use just you feel like in that moment, you could shut the whole thing down, walk away from it and have no regrets. Before you do that, I would definitely advise you to take a deep breath and figure out how much time can I take away from the business to recuperate, because it might be that you just need a vacation, it might be that you need a break. It could also be that you’re doing too much every day. And you need to figure out how to outsource some processes, to employees or to automation tools. So that you you don’t have your finger in so many pies, and you don’t feel like you are crushed under the weight of these responsibilities. I know sometimes that can be easier said than done. Again, we are still in the great resignation. So trying to find, especially if you’re on a budget trying to find somebody to freelance for you or to come into your business and work for you. In the midst of so much upheaval in the job market. I understand that that can feel like Mission Impossible. But that doesn’t absolve you from at least looking into it. Maybe you could find somebody that you could delegate some tasks to that will do those tasks well, so that you don’t feel like my business can’t operate without me. If I’m not here in this store, or if I’m not here in this chair, but in seat, the whole thing is just going to spin off into oblivion and algo broke, do not paint yourself into that kind of a corner, it will exhaust you. Another thing that I really applaud Joe for is that he figured out what his passions were. During his two week sabbatical, he was able to suss out, here are the parts of the business that I legit Miss, I miss doing X, Y, and Z, here are the things that I don’t miss. If I never have to do ABC again in the business, it’ll be too soon. And that helped him retool his offerings. That way, he’s not putting products or services out on the market that okay, well, I can make some money if I do this, but I’m going to be absolutely miserable and burned out the whole time. Or products X, Y, Z, the people who buy them seem to be okay, they they seem to be low maintenance. And we don’t get a lot of complaints and drama. Whereas people who are buying products ABC seem to always be demanding, they seem to nitpick they, they want to call and blow the phone up all the time and make complaints and trouble for everybody. He was able to start thinning his product line to focus on the things that are profitable, but they also don’t have so much drama attached to them. And we can apply the same lesson for service based businesses. You know, let’s say that you’re doing executive coaching and people who enroll in program a seem to get it, they have a good compatible workstyle. With your coaching style, they listen, they’re open to feedback and constructive criticism. They take the homework assignment seriously. And you can really tell that when people get enrolled in program a, they have huge strides, you can really see a big difference in their business from the beginning to the end of the program. And let’s say Program B people get into the business and their complete and utter nightmares. They don’t want to do the work, they want to grind. They want to point fingers of blame and say, Well, my business problems are everyone else’s fault. They don’t take the homework assignment seriously. And they’re looking at you to be a magician who can wave a magic wand and make their business go from you know, 100 grand in debt to 100 grand in profit overnight. It might make sense to do away with Program B and focus more on program a, you want to look at your bottom line. And it’s important again not to make these decisions. When you’re exhausted, you’re angry, you’re frustrated, that’s not the time and you also want to take pen and paper and be cold and calculating about it. You know, obviously feel what you need to feel emotionally but don’t make all of your decisions based on the emotion either. If right now program A is the one that feels the best and has the best results but it’s not profitable enough. Then figure out what’s going on with Program B Well why are these people causing drama? Why are they fussy? Why do they not want to do the work? What What kind of situations do they have in common and what’s going on in your marketing funnel that’s causing people that want to fuss and gripe and be giant pain? Isn’t the neck to come in in the first place. So it’s important in business to also have these discussions with yourself of at what point it may not be that you need to strategically quit the entire business. It may be that you need to strategically quit certain elements, certain products, services or offerings in the business in order to preserve your own sanity. As I’ve said before, many times, when it comes to your own freelancing desk or your own business, you have to remember you matter, too. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.