I’m going to talk about the topic of relationships and business because I got a series of messages from a frustrated and overwhelmed business owner. Now what they were frustrated about was the fact that I was calling them out on their BS. Now what I mean by that is, they were telling how overwhelmed they are, how they don’t have balance in their life.
How they’re so overwhelmed with everything going on and that I just don’t understand. The truth is I completely understood where they were coming from, and I was just trying to help them because I had been down that path before. One of the comments they said, it said, “Doug, you just don’t seem to get it right. I’m a small business owner and people are texting me and calling me and emailing me, through all the day, and I can’t schedule that kind of work. I can’t just look at my calendar and schedule that in there,” which is total BS right. We totally can. See what happens is, and this happened to me as a business owner, is I trained the people around me, my staff, my clients, my friends, my family, that I would respond to any message immediately, whether it be on social media. Whether it be a text message, whether it be a phone call, whether it be an email. I was Johnny on the spot, getting back to people. Putting out fires and solving their problems. And I was good at it.
The problem was, it was wearing me out. So I tried something new right. I tried different evolutions. And over time, what I found was, I started to train the people around me, only to reach out to me when they had a problem, if they had a solution, or if it was an emergency. And then I also trained them to expect me to get back to them within 24 hours, not 24 seconds, as I used to. I was so ingrained in me and embedded in me to get back to people immediately. You got to understand that social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, they have trained that us on our phone, we get an alert, we are going to respond. They give us a little hit of dopamine when we respond. They make us feel like we’re being left out if we don’t respond. They spend a lot of money on this phycology, training us to respond to messages on social media.
The same thing happens with email. How often do you check your email during the day? If it’s more than a few times, chances are you’re checking it way too much. Way too much to allow you to be on your journey. Now I know some of you are freaking out and saying, “That’s ridiculous Doug. Because of my job, I always have to be on email.” And that may be true, but I’ve worked with thousands of business owners over the years, and I think it’s such a small percentage, 1%, that needs to be on that much.
The second reason I would it, is does that fit into your life? Are you feeling overwhelmed with this level of communication? And if you are, something needs to shift. Build your business around your life and not your life around your business. Now if you’re not a business owner, the same thing applies. Have you trained your friends and family that whenever there’s a crisis, whenever there’s a drama in their life, they reach out to you right away because they know you’re going to get right back to them, make them feel better? Or you’re going to get right back to them and say, “Oh, it’s not your fault. It’s your spouse’s horrible. Your boss is horrible. Oh.” And you get caught up in the same drama that they are in. Only to feel a little bit more tired right? A little bit more worn out. Looking back on your day say, “Jeez, nothing gets done. It’s not my fault. People are reaching out to me so much.”
Well, the truth is, you’ve trained them to reach out to you. And I know I did. I’m guilty of this right, that’s how I can see it so clearly. And that’s what makes me an effective coach, is I’ve made all the mistakes. Some of them more often than I’d like to admit before learning the lesson. But what I figured out is how to train my team. Now my business, my team knows that I’m available usually, 10 AM to 2 PM, Monday through Thursday. Now Monday’s new for me. It used to be Tuesday to Thursday, and that was it. That’s the only time they had to get a hold of me, and that’s when I responded to emails, phone calls. That’s when I did the work right. The rest of the time was spent working on what I wanted to work on. What actually fed my soul right. What actually feeds me.
Now it sounds crazy and I know me back in 2006 or so would have been, that’s ridiculous. There’s no way you can do that. I run more businesses today, I make more money today. I have more clients and more fun today, and I’m more effective during those times. See its not like I don’t work more than that because I certainly do. But I’m doing the things that are focused. The things that move the needle in my business. The things that I want to do right. Coaching clients, helping people out, that’s what fills me up. Spending time with my family, wrestling with my son. These are the things that fill me up. Now my staff sends me messages, but they don’t expect a return. Now we have channels of communication that we’ve developed right, where if it’s an emergency, go ahead and call me on my mobile. Because otherwise, I don’t want you calling me on my mobile. Otherwise, send me a message, send me a chat, it doesn’t matter. But if I see a message on my mobile, I know it’s something extremely important.
Now over time, I’ve trained them to do this. And it’s automatic. It’s the lifestyle I live. Now I chose to work because I love what I do. I love the company’s I work with, the people I work with, but it’s a choice not a feeling of overwhelm. I still get messages, I get messages from a lot of you on social media. And you probably have figured out by now, I don’t always respond quickly. And it’s not because I don’t like you. It’s not because I don’t want to help you, it’s because I’m living life on my terms, and part of that is staying off of social media at certain times right.
But I still have the same triggers. I go on to Facebook and someone sends me a message. I check it right away, I have to. And then you scroll down a little bit and you get caught up over time. That’s why I tell business owners often, to track your time. And when you’re feeling overwhelmed, overwhelmed a sign for fear, that means you haven’t trained yourself and trained the people around you to respect your time. Once you get a control of your time, that will give you control of your freedom, which will then allow you to go further down the path of the author of your own story lifestyle.
So if any of this resonates with you, reach out to me because I’d love to hear your stories. I can pass these stories on to other people that reach out to me. It’s always fun to be able to relate it, so they don’t just think it’s just from me. Or clients that I’m working with, but also from the rest of the audience. And I can share those nuggets with them. Because again, I’ve done this all myself and I found ways out and I want to help you find a way out. Break free of the matrix, break free of the chains, and get out there to living the author of your own story lifestyle. When I ask you on a scale of one to ten, how’s your life? You’re constantly at nine’s or above, all the time. That’s it for me today. As always, share this with three people that you love. Three people you think will enjoy a conversation like this. And make sure you get on our email list, so you can get the latest tips, tricks and techniques delivered right to your inbox.
I will see you tomorrow, have a great day and go out and be the Author of Your Own Story.
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