Time to Invest in This …

I made a startling discovery some time ago, one that has me very intrigued in a whole new type of investing.

As an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for emerging opportunities and they come in various forms. To whittle down the list of distractions and opportunities I use a number of filters. I love these filters otherwise I’d be chasing every squirrel or shiny object that comes across my path.

Among the filters are alignment with my overall vision and core values. I need to feel very confident that I have the resources to be able to execute quickly in the business area and finally – we have to have the competencies as a team to be world-class. Every time that I’ve strayed from these filters I’ve had problems.

Unfortunately, some of those have even come recently – so I have proceeded with great caution and commitment to my filters ever since.

That said, this new opportunity has me pretty excited. It’s not without its element of fear, however, and in this case I think it’s a good thing. My filter on fear is that if I’m feeling fear because I’m thinking about something in a new way, or doing something as a leader that I’ve never done before, then know that’s good.

As a reminder – I firmly believe that fear to us entrepreneurs, leaders, and difference-makers is the same as the “burn” that you feel at the gym when pushing through that extra set. We need to feel the burn to grow stronger in the gym. Fear is the same feeling for our “leadership” muscle.

Sharing this thing with you has me feeling a little of that healthy fear. Partially because the only way I think it works is if we make this an open source opportunity.

I know – crazy.

Here’s more: I’ve been doing research and use of my target is at an all time low. We know if there is a lack of use of a good or service its value will go down over time, right? That’s pretty simple Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” of economics theory. I’ve plotted the use since the early 1800s (with help from Google) and this is what I’ve found:

Ok – here’s the reveal.

The graph to the right tracks the use of the word faith (in red) and Faith (in green) in all documented written work in the English language since 1800.

I found this graph surprising. For the purposes of this opportunity, let’s define faith as the belief in something we cannot prove, or even complete confidence or trust in someone or something.

What’s interesting is that from a low somewhere around the late 1980s or early 1990s to now there has been a resurgence of faith.

Barret Ersek, founder and CEO of two highly successful companies, shared on his Paper Napkin Wisdom that “fear is the opposite of faith,” and that fear is prison, while faith is freedom.

Perhaps it’s that when the going got tough following the 80s and 90s and the challenges of the market, the world, and other dynamics erupted that we’ve opted for faith. K. Bill Dost, who owns and operates a high-growth corporate finance multinational, shared that “there are times when you will wake up afraid,” and suggests grabbing a double helping of faith is what’s needed to get through.

So, I’m using a technique I’ve learned from Steve Satterwhite called “shout outs.” I want you to know right now that I have faith in you – you can do it. Yes, as part of this – I have faith in myself, my family, my community, my team, and my business.

But this is about you. Right now you are facing a challenge. You may be feeling some doubt. Perhaps you’re starting down a different path – a new business, relationship. Or maybe you were just at a conference and someone told you something that you’re lacking the confidence to attempt wholeheartedly.

Stop doubting, start doing. I have faith in you – you can do it.

Right now know that I have faith in you. Yes, the internet can seem a little anonymous. But I am not hiding, and neither are you. So, if you want to make sure that I meant this message for YOU, then leave me a comment, send me a message, or tweet using @WiseNapkin.

If you do that, I will send you a message confirming my faith in you – because I believe.

Andy Bailey sent me a card recently that said, “you’re already in pain, you’re suffering, might as well get a reward for it.” This is my reward, that through all the pain, all the tough times in the last several years – I have faith in you.

There are some that would say that it’s foolish to have such complete confidence and trust in someone. I disagree.

Some would say it’s foolish to believe in something that I cannot prove. I say they’re wrong.

Here’s something else I believe. I’m investing in faith and I believe you will too. I believe that right now – you will tell someone who needs to hear it that you have faith in them too. That you believe in them.

As an entrepreneur, leader, and difference-maker there is no greater impact than we can have than to elevate those around us. Take the time, invest your faith in someone, and let them prove you right. I know some of you might feel the need to hold back, but don’t. Don’t be afraid … go all-in!

Another thing, if you go all-in, I 100% guarantee the ROI will be incredible and exceed your expectations.

Vital Factors Physical – Michael Caito (Entrepreneur, CEO Restaurants on the Run)

Michael Caito - Paper Napkin Wisdom

Michael Caito – Paper Napkin Wisdom

Michael Caito is an entrepreneur with a system of structure. In 1993, Mike co-founded a multi-restaurant delivery and catering company called Restaurants on the Run. Today the company partners with over 1100 restaurants, over 300 delivery drivers, and delivers of 150,000 meals per month. As CEO, Mike manages the company using his passion for leadership development and expertise in execution.

In his Paper Napkin Wisdom, Mike shares the philosophy behind the structure he uses to ensure the health of his company. His napkin reads: “Don’t forget Dr. Chang and your vital factors.”

At first glance, these words might seem a bit enigmatic but as Mike compares maintaining his physical health with maintaining the health of his business, it becomes clear that there’s a direct parallel to his approach.

Dr. Chang is Mike’s physician and every year when he gets his physical, the two sit down and take a look at the most important metrics that make up Mike’s health. They compare the previous year’s test results and evaluate how he’s progressed in last year’s goals before they set about choosing three or four new goals for the year. After one of these annual physicals, Mike asked himself: “Why would I treat my business any different than I treat my body?” It was then that he set about putting a system of business health evaluations into effect.

Every month, Mike and his executive team perform a physical on the business. They look at the 12-15 most important metrics that they have on the company and they look at how they’re doing on them in comparison to last month, which ones are going well, and which ones are in danger. The process takes about 2-2½ hours once a month.

As they go through the process of this business physical they are able to check how aligned they are with their goals for the year, they are able to keep one another accountable, set 3-4 goals and controls for the next month, and set up any necessary corrective action steps. Doing this means that they’re always building accountability and momentum because they are constantly measuring performance and giving recognition when it’s due. The process is one that happens in each department and it creates a system of accountability where each body part is managing itself.

This monthly process works because it keeps the team tightly aligned and becomes a ritual that adds to the company structure. These meetings are, at their core, rituals that happen with peer to peer accountability. To get things done, says Mike, you have to commit to rituals. Rituals add to the structure of our day and the structure of our work and the more structure you have, the more flexibility you have because everyone is on the same wavelength and goals are being completed at a steady pace.

Through this system of monthly check-ups, Mike is able to assess the health of his business and of the key people in his organization. He’s able to look at performance against the monthly goals and see how each person is performing on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. If a key player is having a problem, the monthly check-up can be used to help that team member come up with an action plan to get that metric back on track.

This type of leadership is about igniting and then influencing great leadership within your organization. It creates a lot of trust and a lot of time to get to a point where everything is running smoothly, but Mike says that it’s well worth it. This system, structure and rhythm didn’t come naturally to him but in changing his leadership and changing the leadership of the company, Mike’s done wonders for himself and his company. What might monthly check-ups do for you and your organization?

Listen to the conversation with Mike here:

 

 

The Real-Time Revloution – David Meerman Scott (Bestselling Author, Strategist)

David Meerman Scott - Paper Napkin Wisdom

David Meerman Scott – Paper Napkin Wisdom

David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed strategist, speaker, and bestselling author. David’s ideas on social media are popular around the world and in his Paper Napkin wisdom, he shares a few of the ways business can and should use social media to their advantage.

David’s Paper Napkin visually represents the way a news story of any size breaks in the marketplace. If you understand the cycle of a story arc, he says, you can use it to your advantage.

A news story usually starts to break on social networking sights before it’s picked up by mainstream media. Generally it follows a sort of bell shaped curve where the news, over time, grows in interest as the number of people talking about it and sharing it rise until it’s no longer news and the story begins to wane. If you know how that arc works and you pay attention, says David, you can “newsjack”.

“Newsjacking,” says David “is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story.” Through employing this method, you can garner attention from media outlets and/or increase your ranking in search results for that particular topic. This free publicity spreads public awareness of your company and can increase your revenue through a larger presence in the market. Every day, David goes to Google News and looks to see what the breaking news stories are and thinks about how he might be able to use them. He also monitors Twitter as you can frequently find out about something happening on Twitter faster than you can on mainstream media.

Generally with newsjacking, David says, you fail more than you succeed. He equates it to working as a Venture Capitalist. You might succeed dramatically, you may have minimal success, or nothing may happen. That’s just the nature of it. However, with such a low cost and high potential gain, it’s entirely worth the endeavor. Newsjacking is part of trying to act in real time. This doesn’t necessarily mean keeping your ear to the ground 24/7, but it does mean you have to be conscious about what’s going on in the world.

Real time mindset is a valuable key in business that David believes is being neglected. Most business and MBA business types are taught to proceed cautiously, but in a world of such quick communication and information spread, it’s important to be able to move quickly to be able to do things like newsjacking. To do that, you need to have a culture in your organization that factors in speed when it comes to creating content in real time.

The world is now capable of communicating instantly but few businesses are developing a real time mindset approach to take advantage of that social perspective. David says that we are living in the midst of the biggest communication revelation in human history. He thinks it started in 1995 when Netscape went public. “I believe this revolution is even more important than the invention of the printing press,” he says.

[Tweet "I believe this [Real-Time] revolution is even more important than the invention of the printing press.”]

With the availability of internet accessibility and technology we find ourselves in a world with more mobile phones than people; there are mobile phones in places without running water. The ability to communicate quickly and widely means that businesses have to be prepared to work in real time. The company that triumphs will soon be the company that both meets the customers’ needs and reacts the most quickly. David has seen this philosophy do huge things for businesses that embrace it, what might it do for your company?

Listen to the conversation with David here:

Get David’s Books:
Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Real-Time Marketing and PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now

The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business

Procrastination = Cowardice

I find this enormously challenging to admit, but it’s true.

I just came to the unavoidable realization that sometimes I’ve behaved like a huge coward.

This is not easy for me to admit. Today when I sat down and set about starting the work that is truly important, the work that would come from my core being. The work that I know will be a game-changer for me, and hopefully the world, I stalled. I found every excuse not to get it done and I wasted no less than an hour.

Of course, to anyone (other than my conscience) it would appear that I was accomplishing things. I sent 30-40 emails, I resolved some logistical issues with one of my companies, participated in our Daily Huddle, and was otherwise a very present leader.  In fact – some would say highly productive!

All that I REALLY did, however, was to stall what I knew I needed to do.  What I woke up and knew that I MUST complete today.

“Those that do, do. Those that don’t, won’t,” exclaimed Shep Hyken on his Paper Napkin Wisdom.

Then it occurred to me, I was procrastinating starting on my life’s work because I was scared and lacked the courage.  So, what did I do?

Well I looked up Procrastination and found this:

intransitive verb
:  to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done

What came next? Well, obviously, I procrastinated further by looking up cowardice on Wikipedia where I found (emphasis added):

Cowardice is a trait wherein fear and excess self-concern override doing or saying what is right, good and of help to others or oneself in a time of need—it is the opposite of courage. As a label, “cowardice” indicates a failure of character in the face of a challenge.

How often have I put off doing what was good to help myself because of fear and self-concern? Too often to admit.

Unfortunately the shoe fit too well for me and it got me riled up enough to get going.

You see for me moving in the direction of my dreams is hard, painful, and stressful. It takes me a tremendous amount of courage just to get started. An incredible thing happens at that point, however.

Once I’ve started it’s almost as if help appears from nowhere – I start to get pushed forward and slowly, sometimes very slowly, pick up speed.

Next time I find myself putting off what I know I must do for something urgent I’m going to remember that for us Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Difference-Makers Procrastination=Cowardice.

I will keep going. I know that I’m no coward …

Book Govindh for your next speaking event here.

 

No Drama, Just Drive – Joao Mucciolo (Entrepreneur, Restaurateur)

Joao Mucciolo - Paper Napkin Wisdom

Joao Mucciolo – Paper Napkin Wisdom

Joao Mucciolo is a truly inspiring entrepreneur. Joao is the founder of Sushi Itto and Italianissimo, two restaurant chains in Nicaragua. He’s grown his businesses in a huge way over the last several years, expanding in a way that is not typical for Central America right now. The reasons behind the way Joao has grown his business are deeply personal and inspirational.

In his Paper Napkin Wisdom, he says: “Every day I will try to make you proud. Love is all, nothing else matters.” For Joao, the people he wants to make proud are his parents. At the age of 16, Joao and his family were living in Nicaragua as ambassadors of Brazil. A week before his senior year of high school, a plane crash claimed the lives of both Joao’s parents. He was left in a foreign country, a week shy of starting his senior year.

Joao grieved, but made the decision to stay in Nicaragua and keep moving forward. He told himself that he had to get up and get going because he needed to start his life and prove to his parents that in the 16 years they’d had together, they had done a good job raising their son. The desire to make his parents proud is one Joao consciously keeps in mind and it’s what drives him no matter what it is he’s doing.

Joao has had to create his own core values and remind himself of the values his parents gave him. He says that as you get older, your values grow stronger. As you go through life, life keeps teaching you things and you keep learning but it’s your decision whether or not you use that. You make a choice to live actively or live passively. “Life is pretty short,” says Joao “we should squeeze the juice out of every moment.”

Getting the most out of life is a big part of how Joao grows his business. He isn’t just growing a business, he actively works to give people the opportunity to grow themselves. One his goals and that of his companies, is to make a change in the Nicaraguan community. He’s currently working with a local university in an effort to get a group rate so that his employees and their families will have better access to education.

Education is a big factor in Nicaragua; there isn’t a lot of access to it. Through his restaurants, Joao works to help change that. He believes that it’s up to everyone to put in a little bit of work for a better place, a better country, and a better world.

Through his passion and his leadership, Joao has created two high growth restaurants in the poorest country in Latin America. Mediocrity is not something he accepts, not only because of his ambition but because it is the love of his adopted country and its people that moves him forward. The most important thing to him is his family and the love they share, it only makes sense that he wants to make a better world for them.

While Joao’s motivation comes from an incredibly dramatic and tragic life event, he cautions those of us lucky enough to have no such experience to make the decision to have that drive. “Don’t wait for a dramatic event to happen to give you that drive,” he says. It’s a decision you can make. You have the power. How will you use it?

Listen to my conversation with Joao here:

Partner Up! – Julia Langkraehr (Entrepreneur, Coach, Speaker)

Julia Langkraehr - Paper Napkin Wisdom

Julia Langkraehr – Paper Napkin Wisdom

Julia Langkraehr is a dynamic entrepreneur, an executive coach, speaker, and facilitator. She’s a veteran of the entrepreneurial roller coaster; after founding her first business in 2001, she built, lost, restarted, and sold it before expanding to Russia and Germany and merging the business with a public listen company. She has founded and built three multi-million pound businesses in three different countries and uses her experience to share the lessons she’s learned with other business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Julia Langkraehr - Paper Napkin Wisdom

Julia Langkraehr – Paper Napkin Wisdom

In her jam-packed Paper Napkin Wisdom, Julia shares her favorite sound bites and why she feels they’re important. The first sound bite she shares is a quotation from Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Julia has adopted this as a personal philosophy and applies it in both her business and personal life. She finds that it’s driven her to take bigger risks than she normally would have and as a result, she says, she’s gotten to places she didn’t expect.

Julia believes that you have to be prepared to end up in places you don’t expect. This is part of the reason behind her next sound bite. She says: “Build your network before you need it.” Julia is a consummate networker; building deep and meaningful relationships with people is highly important to her and it fuels her. She has deliberately created a widespread and diverse network and through it, she constantly tries to help people, connect with them, and support them. She feels that through helping the people in her ‘business network’ she can connect with them as people so that when they do business together, they have a great basis of understanding and maybe even common values.

Having a great network is a strong asset because it means that when you need help, you have a lot of resources available to you. This is especially important in regards to her next sound bite: Dream big because sometimes life conspires to help you achieve them. Julia says that it’s important to deliberately imagine what could be. She makes a conscious effort to imagine what she’d like if anything at all were possible. Doing so can lead you to unexpected places. If you have big dreams and a great network, you may find yourself in a position to achieve those dreams or at least in a position to start trying to achieve them.

One of the biggest and potentially most important aspects of Julia’s business philosophy is centered on partnership. A lot of people shy away from partnership, but Julia has found great success in embracing partnership. She says that partnerships will grow your business exponentially and taught her a great deal. She’s had four sets of partners and has learned from each of them.

There are two important pieces of advice she keeps in mind regarding partnership and they go hand in hand: Treat everyone like a potential partner. You never know who your next partner will be. Julia never knows where her next partnership is going to be or what it’s going to look like. She says that ‘What if’ is an important mindset to be in regarding partnership because that’s how you find unique opportunities to collaborate.

Sometimes your next partner is the last person you would have expected, you never know where your next partner is going to come from; if you keep yourself open and try to figure out the upsides and downsides of working with someone, you open yourself up to amazing opportunity.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and for Julia, people are those shots. She makes a conscious effort to make sure she doesn’t miss any of the people around her, ever. It’s through this open mentality that Julia has built three multi-million pound businesses in three different countries. If you embrace the possibilities of partnership and keep yourself open to the possibilities around you, what might you accomplish?

Listen to the conversation with Julia here:

Lose Yourself …

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
- Eminem, Lose Yourself

Did you know that several world champion race car drivers, athletes, famous actors, musicians, and speakers often get so worked up that they vomit before competition or a performance?

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
- Eminem, Lose Yourself

Sometimes it happens DURING a match. The time the legendary Tennis star Pete Sampras lost his lunch with the match tied 1-1 of the fifth set of the 1996 US Open comes to mind. He went on to beat Alex Corretja. The win would be his eighth Grand Slam and fourth US Open Win in five years.

Fear … so powerful that it can talk us out of almost anything.

I know that I’m going to do something important when I get nervous about it. When I start thinking about every possible thing that I could do instead of this bigger thing. Sometimes, those other activities come wrapped up with some sort of instant gratification.

Today I had that nervous and uneasy feeling all day long.

I still think that I can go farther, but I can tell you that I’m in uncharted waters for me.

As I contemplate continuing to work on this Paper Napkin Project, I find myself recoiling – talking myself out of getting it done.

Sometimes I tell myself that there are more important things to do – and that’s sort of true. There are more urgent things that need my attention, but I’m not sure that there’s anything more important.

Important because it is the change I want so desperately to be in the world. I hope to share this with other Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Difference-Makers so we can together BE the change we want to see in the world.

I remember working with a group of incredible leaders in an incredible program put on by the Entrepreneurs Organization called Leadership Academy. During one of our brainstorming sessions, Fran Biderman-Gross, who would become a great Mentor to me, encouraged our group to verbalize that we wanted to “save the world, one entrepreneur at a time.

Don’t worry. I can hear the voices out there that say how egotistical, self-serving, and vain it is that I could be a part of something like this. You see, I hear the voices reminding us all that I am an imperfect entrepreneur, that I have fallen many times.

Indeed I have. I have not done it all …

That’s only half the story though, because I have gotten back up again and faced my fears each and every time.

Today I needed to breath deep to get this work started … get this first phase complete. To share it with some people I deeply respect.

Today I lost myself in the moment. I told those voices in my head to go away and a surprising new voice came in to help me.

It was a soft voice that encouraged me to keep going. It too came from within me.

So, today, I faced my fears …

I took a one little step in the direction of my dreams … and it scares me.

So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet, fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got
- Eminem, Lose Yourself

 

Book Govindh for your next speaking event here.

Get Over Yourself to Learn – Corey Tisdale, Entrepreneur, CEO

Paper Napkin WIsdom - Corey Tisdale

Paper Napkin Wisdom – Corey Tisdale

Corey Tisdale is, in his own words, a “crazy egotist with experience earned on the ecommerce battlefield.” He is the Owner of Eye Want Media and CEO of ShoppersChoice.com. In his very candid Paper Napkin Wisdom, Corey shares his story about an aspect of leadership he’s found particularly challenging.

Corey’s Paper Napkin reads: “I love the feeling of getting defensive because it’s the feeling I get right before I get over myself and learn something important.”

In previous Napkins, we’ve talked about the importance of communication and how vital it is that your team feels comfortable talking to you. Being defensive destroys that comfort level and it can make it hard for a team to trust you when they aren’t sure how their opinions or words are going to be taken.

A relationship with your team is like any relationship, you need a level of comfort and trust there and being defensive damages that. It’s a lesson Corey learned and reminds himself of daily. He talks about how being defensive and aggressive about the things that were important to him impacted the people around him and how he determined he needed to make a change. “I was like a terrible person with the best of intentions,” he says.

Learning to recognize when you’re being defensive or aggressive isn’t easy. Corey says that every time he thinks he’s conquered it he discovers a new level he hasn’t yet mastered or he realizes that he just hasn’t been paying enough attention. He notes that it’s important to remember that regardless of your intentions, if everyone around you is seeing the same kind of behavior from you, you must be exhibiting that behavior whether or not you want to admit it and it takes work to make yourself aware of you behavior and change it.

Corey says that for him, it comes down to communication. He says: “It’s not good enough that I said what I meant, […] part of being a good communicator is how close is your interpretations of what I said to my interpretation of what I said?” He says that if you tell someone what you want and they don’t understand and make a mistake, it’s easy to maintain your ego by blaming it on the other person’s misunderstanding. If that happens multiple times, it means you either have the wrong person in the wrong seat or you’re failing as a communicator.

Listening is important because through listening, you can get as much information as possible from someone and that gives you a basis to try and understand what’s going through their minds so that you can phrase what you want to say in a way that will make sense to them. When you can understand where a person is coming from, it’s easier not to be defensive because you can see the context around the information you’re being presented with.

Corey has found that being aware of his defensive nature and taking steps to get control of it has made his relationships with others much better. It isn’t easy to let ourselves be vulnerable when it comes to the things we’re really passionate about, but we can do ourselves damage if we’re so protective of those things that we make the people around us feel unable to discuss them with us. A new perspective, even one we don’t agree with, almost always has something to offer. What might we learn if we set our egos aside and really listen to what someone is sharing with us? How might we and our company grow?

Listen to the conversation with Corey here:

Make a Choice to be Great – John Bly, Entrepreneur, M&A Czar

Paper Napkin Wisdom - John Bly

Paper Napkin Wisdom – John Bly

John Bly is a mergers and acquisitions czar. The last time he was on the show, he reminded us that Accountability is not a four letter word and we ought to stop treating it like one. This time, he switches gears to talk about Happiness and Greatness.

In his Paper Napkin Wisdom, John says: “Happiness and Greatness are a choice; choose both.” He says that Happiness and Greatness are daily decisions and that people don’t think about them like that. “People think greatness is defined by some specific thing,” says John, but he defines it as an individual decision; it’s not about how much money you have or how great your family is. Greatness is whatever you decide it is for you. If you’re living your life according to other people’s definitions of greatness, you’re not going to be happy.

John says that Greatness and Happiness go hand in hand. He believes that people tend to be only really great at things that make them happy because they put real passion behind what they’re doing. He thinks that, too often, people say ‘yes’ to things that they’re not 100% invested in and as a result they inadvertently hold themselves back from Greatness. We have to remember that saying ‘yes’ to something is a choice and that saying ‘no’ to things is what makes you better at the things you do say ‘yes’ to. You do your best when you’re doing what makes you happiest, so you ought to stick to things where you’ll give 110% of yourself because that’s how you achieve greatness.

John has different definitions of ‘Greatness’ for the different aspects of his life and he notes that they’ve changed over the years as his life has changed. He also warns that you can’t let your ego get in the way, either because people mistake your saying ‘no’ for being ego or because you’re operating under the misconception that what you’re being asked to do can’t be done without you. “Define greatness yourself, and be that,” says John. It’s a simple concept, but a powerful one.

Listen to the conversation with John here:

Get John’s book Cracking The Code: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Business Through Mergers And Acquisitions For Pennies On The Dollar

Engineer Your Sundays – Ben Baldwin, Founder and Co-CEO ClearFit

Paper Napkin Wisdom - Ben Baldwin

Paper Napkin Wisdom – Ben Baldwin

Ben Baldwin is a man who wears a lot of hats. He’s Founder and Co-CEO of ClearFit, he’s a patent holder, writer, speaker, and has founded two successful software companies. With such a busy schedule, Ben is careful to make the most of his free time.

In his Paper Napkin Wisdom, he shares a bit of a revelation about free time. He says, “Engineer your Sundays…Make sure you’re doing something you love on Monday, because if you stress about your Mondays- It takes away your Sundays…or 50% of your family time. Love your job to love your family.”

If you don’t love your job, says Ben, how much of you is present for your family? Throughout the week we’re so often focused on work, so the weekend becomes the only time we can really dedicate to spending and investing with our families. If you’re dreading your Monday, it detracts from how present you can be in half of your free time and that leaves your energy unfulfilled for the week ahead. Ben says that when you love what you do, not only do you get your Sundays back, you change the way you look at your time. Suddenly it becomes not about how much time you have off, it’s about playtime all the time. When you love what you do, it’s never really work.

Loving your job is what Ben’s about. His company, ClearFit, is all about helping small business put the right people in the right jobs for them. Ben says that the success rate of hiring is about 50/50 and he believes that only 30% of people are happy in their jobs. He wants to drastically change those numbers and he believes the way to do it is to create a dynamic where people are a great fit.

As entrepreneurs, we want to make sure that we’re doing what we love because that’s often why we became entrepreneurs in the first place. As leaders, we have a responsibility to make sure that we create that environment for our teams too. No one wants to feel stuck in a career they don’t enjoy.

Previous Paper Napkin guests like Jenn Lim and Jeffrey Feldberg have talked about the importance of having happy, aligned employees for the prosperity of our businesses and Ben’s napkin expands on that. If we put the right people in the right positions and have the faith to trust them with our company, we give ourselves the opportunity to let go of the things we feel obligated to do and spend our free time actually focused on enjoying our free time.

It is a gift we have the ability to give ourselves and one we ought to share with our teams.

Listen to my conversation with Ben here:

Ignite Great Leadership for yourself and your team – join Paper Napkin Wisdom’s Leadership Academy!