Hey guys. Ken Courtright here from Today’s Growth Growing Business Today and as usual I am loving this podcast. Let’s call it. Time is money. This podcast speaks to entrepreneurs out there. It speaks to leaders, heads of sales departments, quite frankly anybody responsible that a dollar amount is hit or an amount of revenue comes in. Not only comes in but keeps on coming. So this is a very sensitive topic for me because I wrestled with it my first decade in business. I would say I won sometimes. Or this subject or this topic won. We definitely did not have the growth our first ten years like we are having our last 8 to 10 years. It’s the topic of my personal time. And I don’t mean my personal time, as in time away from the office, I mean my time. I mean the actual time I spend working. And I work all the time basically. The point I am trying to make is let’s just take a Monday through Friday generic situation. Your personal time, is what do you actually put into those 40 hours. How do you fill your calendar? The bottom line is, I made a very stark high end 90 degree turn right around the year 2000. So in my early days, I would basically do or tackle anything in front of me. I would sell something. I might deliver something. I might even install something. I would do anything and everything. At any moment. Some people say, hey but isn’t that what all fledging, small business owners do? Don’t you have to do it all in the early days? I am here to call total BS to that. No matter how big or how small a company is, there is a golden rule of your time.
You Can Only Do What Only You Can Do
So please write this down. Here is the golden rule of what determines what goes into your time. Ready? You can only do what only you can do. So again, you can only do what only you can do. So me, Ken Courtright, there are things that I do that I sometimes catch myself and say wait a minute. Somebody else can do this. Why am I doing this? I have got to make sure every step of the way that anything and everything that can be delegated is delegated. A lot of people out there have a tough time with this. I am a people pleaser as a personality and it’s called a sang when. I don’t like to delegate per say if I think I can get it done quickly. By the time I would teach somebody else how to do this, I could have done it myself. Being the people pleaser I am, I don’t want to call someone and say can you do this for me. My body consciously finds that offensive. So, the reality is, I had to mature and become a big boy in business and realize that there is no way I can forecast five, ten , twenty, hundred times growth if I was still filing paperwork. Or if I was still booking travel. Or if I was still doing something that anybody else could do. So watch this. All business, I don’t care how big, all activities in a business can be compartmentalized into the following pieces:
Watch this now. Selling something or someone, building or creating something, or servicing something or someone. So I am going to say it again. 3 departments of business. Selling something or someone, building or creating something, or servicing something or someone. I say this alot and people go wait a minute. What about management? I am a manager. If you are a manager, you are selling someone. Right? You are servicing someone. You are building teams and building teams is selling people on your concepts. That’s it. So we are either selling something or someone. Or building or creating something. Or we are servicing something or someone. What that means is everybody according to Dan Kennedy. He and Dan Sullivan, from strategic coach, the major players of understanding time management, will all tell you everybody has one single area of genius. And they need to spend 80% of their time in their area of genius. If you are spending your area and time in other areas, its just not going to produce. It’s simply not going to produce. Your strength, your area of genius lies in either one of the three areas. So either your area of genius is in selling something or someone or its building or creating something or its servicing something or someone. That’s it. You can’t be in all three. This is not the Renaissance. Where you are a master of all. Me personally, I am into building and creating things. Right? I can sell, I can service, I can build, the point is my true genius, I love creating a new product. I love creating a podcast. I love writing a book. It is definitely, my personal area of genius. Doesn’t mean I am a genius. It’s just what my strengths is. So in my 24 years in business, I have tried 3 different methods of how I used or chiseled out my time. In my first decade, my first method would be defined as the anything and everything approach. I would anything, I would do everything and quite frankly, every day was different. If we needed more money, I would go sell. If we needed manufacturing, I would build something. If we needed research and development, next week, I would find myself at a tradeshow studying the market. So I in essence, I went with the wind. Wherever the wind blew, I went. I live in what is known reactal management. I reacted. In essence, I lived in reactal management. I managed from behind. I reacted to the checkbook and went and sold. I reacted to people yelling in the office, so I helped them build something fast. I reacted.
Causal Management Is The Key To The Castle
Around 2000, a gentlemen named Steve dropped me an atomic bomb. He said Ken, I’ve assessed how you are operating, and you are in reactal managing. You need to switch over to the powerful method of running your calendar called Causal management. I said what the heck is that? Simple. You set your week. You don’t let your week set you. You cause things to happen. I said I’m not catching it. He sat me down and had a coffee. By the time I was done, I said wait a minute. This is a great analogy about my next little talking point on this podcast.
Many people know this story of the large five gallon glass milk jug. There is a guy on a stage and he puts these large rocks in it. It fills up til its overflowing and he says is it full? And the audience says yes, you did a good job and the other half are not sure. Then he takes out a couple bucket loads of pebbles and puts them and he shakes and then they all settle. Then the pebbles are overflowing. He says, ok is it full now? The other of the audience, well yeah, yeah, then the other 1/4 of the audience and the other half are still unsure, and he says right. He grabs a couple liters of sand. He shakes it, shakes it. And then says, is it full? And one guy in the back says no. You can still add water. So the point is this. Everybody to needs to picture their week like that five gallon jug. The point of that story is you can’t do it backwards. You can’t put the water in first, then the sand, then the pebbles, then the big rocks. You will only get a few big rocks in and they won’t fit. Life and in business, businesses move forward when the big rocks are put first. So the big rocks concept is known as causal management. Whatever big rocks move your company like certain sales, certain marketing, whatever is the mover, you have got to make sure as a business manager, business leader, owner, that you are putting the big rocks in first. Many time manage experts will tell you you have got to put your big rocks in the morning in case the day gets away from you.
Figure Out The “One” Thing
Dr. Steven Covey. Took causal management to a whole new level. He wrote the famous question: What one thing if done consistently and superbly well gets you everything you have always wanted. And takes away all of your pain. What one thing done consistently and superbly well, gets you everything you have always wanted and takes away all of your pain. Many of you listening to this can answer this question numerically well. If we ran 20 commercials a week, man, we would be done. We would be set. IF we knocked on 300 doors a month as a company, we would hit all of our numbers. If we showed 3 presentations a day, we would hit our numbers. Or if we as a company maintained 35 active sales reps, we can absolutely hit our numbers. Watch this: if you can answer that Steve Covey question numerically, then I need to suggest to you all that 60% of your week, if you do a Monday through Friday , or whatever, 3 days in a row, 60% of your week needs to be spent doing whatever it takes to insure those numbers are hit. This allows you to do what is called relax in the numbers. If you can use causal management and come up with a number and then you can build your big rocks into your personal calendar, in the mornings, then you can literally build a company that will allow you to truly relax in the numbers.
Now relaxing in the numbers is the holy grail of many businesses. IF the business could just figure out the recipe to guarantee consistent numbers hit then they can relax. This pursuit, a gentleman named Jim Ferriss, who wrote the famous book, THE FOUR HOUR WORK WEEK. The underlying principal of that book is that most results come from short bursts of focused effort not a grinding out of the doing anything doing everything approach to business. So Tim Ferriss decides to write a book and to prove to the world that you can put in tiny short bursts of focused effort and get tremendous results but you have got to do one thing. You often have to shut off all other forms of communications. So, one point in the book, Tim told the world that there are two times a week he checks email. Most people reading that would probably say, what? Wait a minute? I can check email only Monday at ten and Thursday at noon. People would say that is impossible. Yet the truth is Tim proves in that book, that people run email. Email does not run people. As I am recording this podcast right now. Its a Monday, my autoresponder on my email clearly tells the world that I am away from my desk until late Thursday. I do this because I practice the highest level of causal management which is known as scheduled creation. The highest level of causal management how I run my calendar, how I run my life is known as scheduled creation. I have found that our company’s greatest growth comes from times when I shut the world off, truly think, and I create. I create podcasts, I write books, I study the market, I create new products. I live the rule that I can only do what only I can do. I believe God put me on this earth to do certain things. I don’t think he put me here to answers email. I am pretty sure God did not put me here to have Skype meetings. I don’t think so. I think God put me on the Earth to read, study markets, assess things, and then create things. Now watch this.
How I Sort My “To Do” List
The titles of my to do list are the following: I have a to do list. It’s over 600 columns wide at this point. And the columns are only titled 4 different things. They are today, tomorrow, soon, others, or great ideas. So what happens is throughout the week, I get little to do’s that come to me. Got to do this…got to do this…now it could be things I have to personally do. If it’s me, it either goes under today, tomorrow, or it goes under soon. Meaning it doesn’t really have a hard deadline. Only I can do it. If its anything anybody else can do, it goes under others. Or if it turns out to be a great idea to move our company forward, it goes under great ideas. Right now as a company I have over 500 great idea columns. Each column has 5 ideas in it. That’s a result of using this method. Over the weekend, what I do is I look at all of the prior week’s new to do’s. I sort them. But what I and only I can do, I determine when I have to have this done by Monday or Tuesday then it goes into today or tomorrow cuz I am going to open it tomorrow morning. If it is something that can wait, it goes under soon. Everything else gets delegated to others. I forward that Monday morning to the other people that have to jump on those items and get them moving. The key is I do this exactly how Tim Ferris described it years ago. Now I am 16 years into this method, but even if this was day one of a new company, and I had no employees and no help, right now we have 82 employees and 4 offices, but I’m telling you I did this when we had 10 employees. I did this when we had 4. You can use virtual assistance. You can use interns, helpers, but the bottom line is you can only do what only you can do. So bottom line is how I determine what energy and effort goes into the time God gave me is I determine, hey is this something that only I can do. It goes into today, tomorrow or soon. Is this something someone else can do? its got to go into others and get pushed out. Or is it just a great idea I bumped into. I thought of then it goes into the great idea column.
I just found out a couple days ago, it looks like for the 3rd time in 4 years we are going to hit the Inc 5000 list again. I think that’s fantastic and its poignant that I put this in in the time management phase of this podcast series. Because I am not going to stop using this to do list method until we stop growing and we doubled again llast year. Looks like we are going to double again this year. I am going to keep using this method.
Here is a quick review: There are 3 different ways to jam items into your calendar. 1. You could do anything and everything each day is different. 2. Causal management. You figure out exactly area of genius and you jam those in in the early parts of the morning. I recommend strongly that you get to work an hour earlier than you are currently doing. Assess your day. Get the big rocks in and do the stuff that most uncomfortable and then do the rest of your day. Let it hit you in the face like it usually does. 3. The highest level of causal management, called scheduled creation. The reason that this is key, you stop the rest of your life and you live in causal management, meaning you don’t just put the big rocks in the morning. You put the big rocks in until you hit the numbers that you know you need to hit. so I am going to go 90 degrees and add a nugget here.
I believe in what I do, during the weekends when there is no phone, skypes, etc. I assess the coming week. I say if this week finishes, what causal management big rocks can I put in to ensure the numbers were already hitting continue to grow. To ensure the podcast continue to get creative at a high level. The books continue to get written. I have got a book coming out I believe mid-June. So what is it? When nobody is attacking me, when the world is silent, I then set the schedule. I strongly recommend you don’t try to set your schedule during the week. During the week, is the time of performance. During the weekend, is the time of thinking. That works for me. I strongly recommend that. Remember business, utopia is when you can relax in the numbers. I can from 24 years’ experience, tell you, it is a lot easier to relax in the numbers when you put the big rocks in first. And when you can put the big rocks in succession until certain numbers are hit. For now, I am Ken Courtright from Todays’ Growth Growing Business Today. See you on the trail. If this podcast hits you and you don’t mind helping out, jump into iTunes on the desktop and please drop me a review and subscribe to the podcast. You guys are awesome. See Ya.