You live life in one of three phases. You’re either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or about to go into a storm. Storms can get defined a lot of different ways. They could be health-related, financial, children, coworkers, or whatever it is that turns your life upside down. The reality is you’re going to live a third of your life dealing with chaos. A lot of people spend all their time putting fires out and meeting on the urgent, but you’ve got to spend more time meeting on the growth. Learn a couple of nuggets of how you can deal with chaos so that you’re meeting on the growth.
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Dealing With Chaos
This episode is called Dealing with Chaos. I know I’ve said at least twenty times in the past couple of hundred podcasts that you live life in one of three phases. You’re either in a storm coming, out of a storm or about to go into a storm. Storms can get defined a lot of different ways. One of the guys that are in our house working here five, seven days ago lost his mother-in-law. That family is in a deep storm. His wife is back with her father. She’s dealing with that storm for 30 days. She’s going to change her life, live with her dad and do what’s got to be done, but that is going to turn their life upside down for a full month.
Storms don’t have to be health-related. They could be financial, children, coworkers but the reality is understand you’re going to live a third of your life in pure chaos. I’ve asked Kerri to come in and talk a little bit about a couple different points of how she’s dealing with. We are in the middle, to say it’s chaotic. We’re in two or three different countries. We have three different construction crews in our house.
We have two different construction crews in our main office in Pennsylvania. We have leases getting signed, we have leases ending, we have different healthcare coverage coming, we have a handbook that took five years to write and getting rolled out. We are dealing and always are with 100 plus employees, dealing in perpetual chaos. I’ve asked Kerri to jump in and drop a couple nuggets of how she personally deals with chaos and bring some timely examples of what she is doing to deal with it.
Ken had mentioned about our kitchen being under distress and I wanted to clarify. Our kitchen always looked great because we left the oven in, so it looked like it worked. Nobody had any idea that it didn’t work. The hog ties that he used on our refrigerator were black, the same color as the handle, so until we told someone no one ever knew. Anyway, the whole point of this podcast is how do you get through all of it? Honestly, it’s your mental state. It’s being able to deal with it. It’s going to happen. When Ken talks about storms, you can have more than one storm, it’s not just one storm that you have at a time going in, coming in and then coming out of. You can have multiple storms.
You’ve got a family life, you’ve got business, you might have a few different things going on in your business that you have to deal with, that’s the point is you have to deal with it. If you have to deal with something, why should you let it get you down? Why should you let it bother you? These are issues that need to be dealt with and you have to prioritize one at a time. My biggest thing is because the chaos in our house is actually on the main floor and that’s where my office is. Since I am the mom and whatnot, we put my office on the main floor so that the kids can get access to me easier and allow Ken to do his thing in his office, which he needs more quiet. I have been out of my office for a week. I just pick up what I need and I move it to the next room, and that’s where my office will be.
When that was taken over, I picked my stuff up and I moved to the next room and that was my office for the day. If I needed something, I’d go into my real office and pick out the paperwork. That’s all it is, it’s just paperwork. You pick it up and you walk away again. Wherever my office is, is where I am. I think that should be everybody’s goal. One day I’d like, and I hope you’d like, your office to be on a beach with your computer working. You’d pick it up, you close it. I would really hate if the sunshine or the sound of waves crashing we’re a distraction. I think that would be more of a joy. If you look at it like that, your office is wherever you are. It’s temporary. You’re going to come out of the storm, you just have to deal with it.
It’s really a mental state. Anybody who has children realizes you’re going to have chaos anyway, especially if more than one. Same thing with work, you get it done. Unfortunately, I think in a sense for the two of us, for Ken and I, is we’re so good at compartmentalizing. Sometimes we forget how much chaos is going on around us and other people get distracted. They worry, “Do you not know what’s happening? Do you not know what’s going on? I need this answer today.”
No, you don’t need this answer today. You need this answer and I will give it to you when I’m ready and I’m going to tell you I’ll give you the answer on Thursday. Right now, I need to deal with A and B and you’re not as urgent as A and B are, so I will give you that answer on Thursday. Remember, you are the one in control. You’re in control of your time, you’re in control of your emotions and you’re in control of what gets done. Don’t forget that. When you remember that, it’s a lot easier to deal with the chaos.
I’m staring at a sign now that Kerri can verify. It’s hanging from a string and I’ll never forget who gave it to me. It says, “Let me drop everything and work on your problem.” A lot of what Kerri described, the underpinnings are we, as leaders of a company, have a to-do-list. We have a priority. I want you to picture your day, your week and how you’re dealing with your chaos.
How many times a day does an email come in try to distract you and say, “I’ve got a problem over here?” The reality is you cannot look at that email and say, “I’m going to drop everything and work on that email’s problem.” That email is electronic. It’s digital. You do not have a leash to that digital challenge there. I don’t even turn mine on half the time for days at a time because I control my schedule.
Kerri was being humble there during this chaos. My wife’s office at one point was a huge table in the basement. She had paperwork on all three couches, on the tables, on the floor. It was a war zone. Two days before that, our bedroom floor was the exact same office with papers, laptops, iPads and everything everywhere. To me, I don’t know how she could function, but she was ho-hum. No big deal. She cruising along, getting stuff done.
Where me, and I know Kerri will validate this. If my desk isn’t perfectly neat, I’m a basket case. I need certain things in certain orders, but the reality is I would much prefer my wife’s methodology of picking up and working. I learn from Kerri every day, I talk about it all the time. Kerri, talk a little bit about regularly set meetings and why they are important, especially during chaos.
You get tied up. First of all, if you have a partner, you should have a meeting once a week. It’s extremely important. We’ve got the chaos in the house. We’re busy circling all the plates, making sure that nothing falls, making sure that this gets done, that gets done, this gets done and of course moving to a different room or moving to a Starbucks or whatnot to get something done. You’re working on today. You’re working on what has to get done today.
A meeting, you have to have those meetings because those meetings are when you stop your world and you work on the next week, next month and the next year. I know that everybody in our audience isn’t excited to stay where you are today. Everybody should be looking forward to growing, whether or not it’s intellectually, emotionally or preferably, regarding what we’re doing now, in business. If you don’t schedule your time and schedule growth, you are going to be continually spinning plates.
To assume that one person over the other has all the time in the world to schedule what we’re going to do next month, that’s not true. You have to schedule together to see, “Which direction do we want to go? What can you do? What can the other person do to make sure we are constantly moving forward?” Talk about the hot burns. I have my own area of expertise in this company and so does Ken. Sometimes they collide, sometimes they don’t. For me, to assume that Ken’s doing things because I’ll run across something that in my area, “Did you know we could be doing this?”
If I don’t find a time or have a time scheduled where I can communicate with Ken and say, “Look what I discovered. Are you doing this in your area or is this an opportunity?” We’ve done that numerous times and Ken’s like, “This is a great idea,” or opposite, Ken will come to me, “Did you know? “No, I didn’t.” When I take that and I run, and then we’re growing the company together, at different areas but together we’re growing the company. Especially if you have a partner, you have got to have scheduled meetings. It’s for you and to grow.
Tony Robbins is famous for saying, “The reason I’m the only person alive that’s met with each of the last five presidents to consult them, is because I teach one main principle in most of the talks I give. That as you never forget you run two businesses, the business you’re in and the business you’re becoming. More than 50% of your time has got to be spent in meetings on the business you’re becoming.”
Kerri said it perfectly, “You’ve got to meet on the growth.” A lot of people spend all their time putting fires out and meeting on the urgent, but you’ve got to spend more time meeting on the growth. This is episode 318. We are Ken and Kerri Courtright for Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. Hope this helps. Take care.