The teen in the driver’s seat
As I sat anxiously in the passenger seat on the ride home from the grocery store, my oldest at the wheel, I was struck with this thought:
Though this was not her first drive, I find I’m becoming more anxious and a tad overbearing [insert massive sarcasm here] on our drives.
I’m finding it harder to bite my tongue with each drive. When I offer suggestions, she assures me that she’s got it. She’s a good driver – spoken in a tone only a mom (or someone that spends lots of time with teenage girls) could possibly understand…
Yesterday it hit me – As she inches closer to getting her license on not needing me in the car with her, I’m having a hard time letting go…
Here are 3 ways teaching a teen to drive is like hiring in your business:
#1 Rules of the ‘Road’
Allowing your kiddo behind the wheel requires the understanding of some basic rules of safety and traffic – even before leaving the driveway. I would never willingly hand over the keys to my teen before she had a basic understanding of the driving rules or before practicing the task a ton.
The same applies to hiring: There must be ‘rules’ for your new hire to follow. If you just hire someone without giving them any direction or paraments, it’s likely you’ll waste money and time. Trust me when I say I’ve made this mistake in the past.
If I had known about the D3 or the D.A.D. Principles before my first hire, it would have saved a ton of heartache on my part and on those I hired in the early stages of my business.
Wanna know how the D.A.D. Principle can help you in your business during summer and beyond?
It’s part of the 21 Strategies for a Successful Summer Training Bundle. And through today, June 10, you can get the entire bundle for just $19.
After today, you can still grab the bundle at its regular price of $97. With this bundle, you’ll learn to work-LESS, stress-LESS, and guilt-LESS this summer and beyond!
These ‘rules’ inside your business AKA systems or repeatable recipes you create before you delegate, allow someone else to perform the task as you’d like to have that task completed.
The ‘rules’ for each task cover the basics such as:
- Knowing when to start a task and when it’s complete;
- The tools or resources that are necessary to complete the task;
- Why the task is important for them and their position they fill;
- How completing the task contributes to your clients and your business;
- How the work will be measured or evaluated
Systems have not always come easy to me. As a creative, I fought my mentors for years claiming that having systems would stifle the creative process.
They did just the opposite and now I’m a total convert. I wholeheartedly believe that as business owners, content creators, and parents, having systems in place can actually open up more space for creativity.
Wanna know more about creating ‘rules’ for your business?
You can learn how Systems Expert, Marina Darlow, suggests creating and implementing systems inside your business – this lesson is waiting for you inside the Successful Summer Bundle 🙂 Grab your copy today.
#2 Letting Go Is Hard To Do
Hovering, looking over shoulders, or being a backseat driver is not great from morale
At some point, we have to trust that we’ve taught our teen drivers or our staff enough to complete their tasks without us hovering. I’ll openly admit that I’ve hovered a time or three [hundred]…
What’s the point of #1 if we don’t allow our teens or our staff to ‘drive’ solo at some point?
I’m discovering that the closer Sophie gets to her license (about 3 weeks), the harder I’m trying to hold on to my little girl. I’m also discovering that holding on is causing tension, anxiety, and is straining our relationship. I don’t want to let go. It’s hard, yet I know it needs to be done.
The same can be said for your staff. Prolonging your hovering and preventing your staff from working independently of you (as hard as it seems) will ultimately have negative consequences on you, your staff, and your business.
Letting go is hard. Letting go is a choice. Letting go is part of life and it’s a lesson included inside the Successful Summer Strategies Bundle 🙂
#3 Slowing down to speed up
Though it seems counterintuitive, we often need to slow down in business and in life to assess – the traffic, our strategy, look for the opportunities and pitfalls, plan an alternate route, etc.
Being able to see past the ‘traffic’ we may be stuck in is an important quality to instill in our young drivers and our staff. Teaching them to have vision, foresight, become problem-solvers, use their critical thinking skills, and teach them how to trust in themselves and their abilities requires that we slow down before we can speed up.
Can you guess what I’ll share next?
If you guessed that there’s a lesson about this very topic inside our Successful Summer Strategies Training Bundle, you’d be correct. And today’s the final day to grab the entire bundle for only $19.
Summer is here and it’s time to craft a plan that allows us to work-LESS, stress-LESS, and guilt-LESS. It’s time to create your most Successful Summers yet!
P.S. If you’ve skipped to the bottom, here’s your speedy recap: Today is the final day to grab the Successful Summer Strategies Bundle for only $19! Tomorrow, it goes back to its regular price of $97 so don’t wait to learn 21 strategies to help you work-LESS, stress-LESS, and guilt-LESS this summer. www.yongpratt.com/bundle
P.P.S. I’ll be going LIVE Wednesday at 12 PM PST to share something special with you.
What you may have missed on the podcast…
220 – Multiply Your Message 5 [audiograms]
221 – Multiply Your Message 6 [graphics]
222 – Creating Scroll-Stopping Graphics with Nicole Thompson
Rethinking Systems in Business.
Is there a system or process in your business that could be simplified, rethought, or made better?
One of the things I’ve learned about myself over the past 16 years as a business owner is that I have the unique ability to experience a business (online or off) and immediately think of a handful of ideas that would make their systems and processes easier, improve the customer experience, or see what opportunities they might be overlooking.
Today I want to share a story that illustrates this point. A story that wrapped up today…
Three weeks ago, we finally broke down and had to purchase a new range. Our old one came with the house and was installed probably sometime between the mid to late seventies to the early 80s.
I didn’t really want to make the investment. Does anyone actually want to go appliance shopping?
The replacement became necessary as the oven wouldn’t turn off. When the off button was pushed, it made the usual beep, but it would keep getting hotter and hotter. Like 500 degrees hot and the fan was constantly running to cool it.
For a few days, I run upstairs after using the oven and flip off the breaker. For a few more days, we brought in the propane camp stove and used it on the stove top (exhaust fan running on high). That’s how much I didn’t want to purchase a new range
My girls (14 and 11), both of which like to bake and make their own meals, were not comfortable flipping on/off the breaker for the stove or igniting the camp stove.
It was just time get a new range. I set out to find a new one which meant I had 2 choices in our small town: Home Depot and Sears.
Home Depot had a floor model in the style we needed. It turns out, however, they won’t sell their floor models. Believe me. We tried.
My husband and I both went to the store separately and spoke to several employees. Each time we were turned down. I even had them call the store manager. No luck. I inquired about how long a new one would take to arrive. The answer: anywhere from 2-4 weeks. They couldn’t be sure until we placed the order. Grrrr.
I headed to Sears.
They had exactly 2 options for our specific model, neither of which I cared for all that much.
Model One – Stainless with a smooth black cooktop that came with a hefty price of nearly $3K. For that price, I could get tons of bells and whistles – conventional and convection cooking, a warming center, and more.
I didn’t even know ranges could be that costly. The last one we purchased 6 years ago for our last home during a kitchen remodel was somewhere around $500 for a stand up model.
Model Two – A white unit with a white textured cooktop. No bells or whistles. Straight conventional cooking/broiling like the one we were replacing.
I should mention that all our appliances in our country style kitchen are white (as are our cabinets and our hardwood floors). Needless to say, the white on white on white didn’t thrill me. And the price tag? Just over $800 for the floor model which was far closer to what I thought we’d be spending. We were told if we ordered anything off their website, it would arrive in just 2 days.
My husband spent time researching ranges on the Sears website and found one he thought would work for us. I think he gets way more excited for new household “toys” than I do. The range he found had a much larger oven capacity, conventional/convection cooking, black glass top, a price tag just shy of $1000. An upgraded range for a decent price. I felt satisfied and excited to dive into all the upgraded features.
I headed back to the store the next day and purchased the unit. It rang up over $100 cheaper than online or Home Depot which was a really nice bonus.
At checkout, I was told that there was a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If we didn’t love it, we could bring it back for exchange or a refund. My fondness for Sears is growing stronger by this point.
At this point, you might be thinking the timing is perfect for Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. Unfortunately, the timing fell 3 weeks prior to Black Friday.
I will say that purchasing a range before Black Friday certainly had its benefits. I was able to run the unit through all its features in preparation for the holiday meal. The convection setting got our 22 pound ½ bird done in under 3 hours. Yes, we only cooked half our turkey. But that’s a story for another time…
Right from the get go, there were problems.
- The “fast boil” feature took FOREVER.
- The broil feature caused condensation between the 2 panes of glass on the front of the stove.
- The glass cooktop was black glass and needed to be cleaned about every 5 minutes. And each cleaning was at least a 15 minute job including polishing.
- The cooktop was also extremely prone to scratches. My placing the Thanksgiving Turkey in the pan on the stovetop caused a large scratch.
- Simply grazing the front panel or reach over it to get something on/off the breakfast bar turned the stove on as did cleaning the panel
- The oven vent was above the door making cooking on the stovetop a challenge if anything was in the over..and that’s not even an exhaustive list of problems with our 3 week old range.
Now that you know the backstory, here’s where the lesson for the day begins:
Red Flag #1
Last week, I stopped by the store to find out what I needed to do to exchange or return the range. I was told to I had to talk to the owner. He’d already left for the day and I should call tomorrow between certain times.
I called the next day at the appointed time and asked to speak with the owner. The owner had an employee call back to let me know I had to call the repair center if there was something wrong with the stove.
By now, my fondness for Sears is quickly dwindling.
Red Flag #2
A few days later, a bit grumpy about needing to call the repair center, I was told they could schedule a repair. I expressed my concern to the person on the other end that I thought there might be too many issues to fix on a 3 week old appliance. If there are this many issues after only 3 weeks, what’s going to happen after we own if for 6 months? A year (when the warranty expires)?
I’m getting frustrated with the process.
I ask about the ability to exchange or get a refund from the store.
The customer service rep says I can absolutely exchange or refund because I’m still within my 30 day satisfaction guarantee time frame.
He asks why I hadn’t just contacted the store to do just that.
My response...“that’s where I started.”
I am glad the person on the other end of the phone cannot see me because I’m literally rolling my eyes. I’m exasperated and all I can do is laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. Here I am, nearly a week into the return process and closing in on my 30 day time frame.
I call the store 2 more times to speak with the owner and after several rounds of phone tag, finally connected.
Red Flag #3
He said it was no problem to exchange or return since I’d already called the repair center. All I needed to do was bring down my receipt so that he could get specifics off of it.
When I purchased it, I was asked for my phone number tied to my Sears/K-Mart rewards card meaning they already had all the info they needed in their system….
So this morning, following an impromptu breakfast with my hubby while his windshield was being replaced, we headed on down to Sears.
Our plan was to just exchange the unit thinking we got a dud.
We walked around the store to see if any new models might have arrived. Nope. Both models that were there previously were still the only ones available in the style we need.
I’m sure you, too, see the bottlenecks in this return process.
What should have taken me one phone call and one trip to the store took a week, several phone calls, and a couple trips back to the store. Each interaction causing my dislike of Sears to grow.
What does this story have to do with business?
As business owners, we create systems to standardize processes. We want to ensure that clients have the same experience across the board so we’re not making things up on the fly that someone else can replicate. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture – the client experience.
Systems may seem stifling, especially is you’re a creative entrepreneur, however, they can actually create more freedom for business owners. Systems create time so you’re not making up new solutions on the fly. Systems can reduce stress by knowing your team can run things in your absence.
Still not convinced you need systems in your business? Check out this great blog and podcast all about Creating Systems That Create Freedom over at Entrepreneur On Fire.
Are there systems in your business that could be simplified, revised,
or eliminated completely?
Think about systems that could be:
- Made more client friendly?
- Completed with fewer steps?
Now it’s your turn to take some action.
Comment below and let me know if you have systems you could simply.
Can you commit to reviewing or simplifying ONE system every week?
Let me know in the comments below and then head over to make a public declaration on my FB page (or click the image below) so that I can hold you accountable.