S04E09 – Small Business, Big Habits: Insights from The Talking About Marketing Collection

Talking About Marketing Podcast by Steve Davis and David Olney

Explore Essential Habits For Small Business Success! Dive Into Key Routines In Our Special Round-Up Episode From All 4 Seasons.

In this unique round-up episode, we dive deep into the essence of our entire podcast series, extracting and examining the most impactful habits and routines that have surfaced in our discussions.

This special edition is not just a recap—it's an accountability session for us and a treasure trove of actionable insights for you.

  • Person Segment: Discover personal productivity hacks like taking regular short breaks to boost focus and delegating tasks to reduce stress, enhancing both personal well-being and professional efficiency.
  • Principles Segment: Explore strategic habits such as regular review sessions to refine business strategies and setting clear, actionable goals to ensure your business activities are aligned with your objectives.
  • Problems Segment: Tackle common challenges with solutions like enhancing online security, engaging in mindful communication, and leveraging AI tools responsibly to augment your business operations without becoming dependent on them.
  • Perspicacity Segment: Reflect on thoughtful practices that can transform the way you think about and conduct business, from prioritising early productivity to ensuring your content creation resonates with your audience.

Join us as we connect the dots across four seasons, highlighting the routines that can propel any small business owner towards more systematic success. This episode is designed to inspire, guide, and help you cultivate a landscape of productive habits that foster growth and efficiency.

Get ready to take notes!

Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes

01:10  Person  This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.

Navigating Daily Dynamics: The Power of Personal Habits

In this segment, we dive into the wellspring of wisdom accumulated from past episodes, focusing on essential habits and routines crucial for small business owners, personally.

  • Taking Short Breaks: Originating from our discussion on Josh Bernoff’s approach in "Writing Without BS," this habit encourages taking short breaks every hour to rejuvenate and prevent burnout. Practical advice includes setting a timer to remind yourself to take a five-minute break. This not only aids in maintaining productivity but also in preserving mental well-being across all spheres of life, not just at work.
  • Delegating Tasks: Highlighted during our chat about delegation and stress management, inspired by Richard Koch’s "The 80/20 Principle," delegating effectively can significantly reduce stress. The key is entrusting tasks to your team, allowing you to focus on high-priority activities. Trusting others to perform tasks their way fosters a diverse and resilient business environment.
  • Networking and Mentoring: Extracted from discussions around effective business strategies, regular interaction with peers and mentors is vital. It’s recommended to establish regular meetings or calls to exchange ideas and gain fresh perspectives, enriching your professional relationships and enhancing business strategies.
  • Expectations and Energy Management: Based on insights from David Robson’s "The Expectation Effect," managing expectations concerning the energy required for tasks is crucial. Adopting a realistic outlook on the efforts needed and the outcomes expected can prevent disappointment and encourage a more satisfied and productive work ethic.

These curated habits are not merely suggestions; they are tested strategies that have proven beneficial across various fields.

Implementing these into your daily routine can foster growth, not just personally but also for your business, enhancing overall life quality and business performance.

24:30  Principles  This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.

Strategic Insights: Enhancing Business Practices

In the Principles segment of our podcast, we focus on the fundamental routines that substantially influence productivity and strategic foresight in business. Here, we break down each habit and routine discussed, providing practical advice on how to implement these strategies effectively.

  • Reviewing Progress: This routine involves evaluating the week's accomplishments and challenges every Friday. It's about more than checking off completed tasks; it’s about reflecting on what worked and what didn’t, allowing you to adjust your strategies for the upcoming week. This regular introspection ensures continuous improvement and helps avoid stagnation.
  • Strategic Planning Sessions: Holding regular meetings to discuss and adjust business and marketing plans is essential. These sessions serve as checkpoints to ensure your strategies align with your business goals. Implementing quarterly planning sessions can provide a rhythm, ensuring you remain on track and responsive to any changes in your business environment.
  • Evaluating Marketing Plans: Regularly assessing your marketing strategy is crucial. This habit involves taking stock of your marketing efforts to ensure they are effective and adjusting them as necessary. A quarterly review is recommended as it strikes a balance between being responsive and not overburdening the schedule, allowing for strategic agility.
  • Goal Setting and Reflection: Setting clear goals and regularly reflecting on them is vital for maintaining direction in your business operations. This routine ensures that daily tasks are aligned with broader business objectives and helps prevent getting lost in the minutiae. It’s about keeping the end in mind and making sure all efforts contribute towards your set goals.

These principles advocate for a proactive and reflective approach to business management, highlighting the importance of regular evaluation and adjustment. By implementing these routines, businesses can foster a productive environment that is always aligned with strategic goals.

39:10  Problems  This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.

Problem Solving with Practical Routines

In the Problems segment, we dive into addressing common challenges faced by small business owners by incorporating specific habits as preventive measures or solutions. Here’s how you can integrate these habits into your daily business operations effectively.

  • Regular Security Checks: A crucial routine is the regular updating of passwords and enabling two-factor authentication for all critical accounts. This habit is essential for safeguarding personal and business information against cyber threats. Set a monthly reminder to review and update your security settings to prevent potential breaches and ensure peace of mind.
  • Validating and Fascinating People: This habit involves acknowledging others' perspectives without judgment and intriguing them with new ideas. By genuinely listening and engaging in conversations that validate and fascinate, you create stronger connections. This approach is especially useful in marketing and customer relations, where establishing trust and curiosity can lead to deeper business relationships.
  • Utilising AI Responsibly: Leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT can enhance productivity but should be used judiciously. While AI can assist with summarizing information or generating content ideas, it's crucial to maintain a tight grip on its output to ensure the content remains relevant and high-quality. Regularly review AI-generated content to align it closely with your business's voice and goals.
  • Systematic Task Management: Implementing systems like Trello or Asana can increase transparency and improve task management within your team. These tools help visualize workflows and progress, making it easier to stay organized and productive. However, the effectiveness of such tools depends on consistent use and updates by all team members.

By integrating these routines, you can address and preempt many of the typical problems faced in business, turning potential weaknesses into strengths.

51:00  Perspicacity  This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case study from the past.

Harnessing Insightful Thinking in Business

In the Perspicacity segment, we delve into the power of reflective thinking and strategic planning in business. We explore several routines that can sharpen decision-making and enhance communication, contributing to more effective business operations and personal productivity.

  • Mindful Communication: Emphasizing the need for clear and concise communication, this routine encourages reviewing emails and interactions to ensure they are straightforward and free of unnecessary complexity. Practicing mindful communication can prevent information overload and promote more efficient exchanges, both internally and externally.
  • Early Productivity: Tackling the most challenging tasks early in the day leverages peak mental energy, increasing the likelihood of significant accomplishments by noon. This habit, inspired by productivity insights, suggests structuring your day so that creative and demanding tasks are completed while your focus is at its sharpest.
  • Content Creation: Regularly setting aside time to create valuable content helps maintain an active and engaging online presence. Whether it’s writing blog posts or updating social media, dedicated content creation sessions ensure your audience receives consistent and helpful information tailored to their needs and interests.
  • Community Engagement Planning: Developing a plan to engage with your community can strengthen relationships and enhance brand loyalty. This routine involves participating in local events, supporting charitable causes, and maintaining an active presence in the community, which can lead to more meaningful connections with stakeholders.
  • Reflective Thinking: Allocating time for reflection, such as 15 minutes a day to focus on a specific business or personal growth topic, can lead to deeper insights and more deliberate decision-making. This habit encourages the discipline of thoughtful consideration, which can significantly impact strategic planning and personal effectiveness.

By integrating these routines into your daily and weekly schedules, you can cultivate a more thoughtful, productive, and connected business environment.

Transcript  This transcript was generated using Descript.

A Machine-Generated Transcript - Beware Errors


[00:00:00] Caitlin Davis: Talking About Marketing is a podcast for business owners and leaders, produced by my dad, Steve Davis, and his colleague at Talked About Marketing, David Olney, in which they explore marketing through the lens of their own four P's, person, principles, problems, and perspicacity. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Apart from their love of words, they really love helping people. So they hope this podcast will become a trusted companion on your journey in business.

[00:00:39] Steve Davis: David, I'm just trying to find the order in the universe. The task that I had set, the habit, I can't find it. There's meant to be a habit for right now. Can't find it. What do you do when you can't find your habit? Um,

[00:00:56] David Olney: probably use your rosary beads,

[00:01:02] Caitlin Davis: our four Ps. Number one person, the aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly. That is what each of us is here for. David,

[00:01:19] Steve Davis: turn into the person segment first off. We're doing something special this episode, and that is we've trawled through every episode we've done until this point and looked for any time we referenced a habit.

Or a routine that is worth incorporating in life, because you know, we go through quite a bit, and I can't remember absolutely everything, and I want to. I don't do this for the sake of going, No, no, there you go, everyone do this and you're smarter. I want to do this myself. And so this is our, Um, our accountability episode to distill things into one place so we can pick and choose from the smorgasbord of healthy habits.

Fair enough?

[00:02:04] David Olney: That is fair enough and I will try and provide a one line summary for everyone out there and that is how you do anything is how you do everything. Can you unpack that one line summary? I can and that is that in the main Most things that are going to improve your well being, your relationships, your business, your strategy moving forward, have a lot in common.

It's called be timely, be thoughtful, pay attention to other people. You do that consistently, and how you do anything becomes how you do everything.

[00:02:42] Steve Davis: On that profound note, let us turn to a clustering of these habits that we've put under the topic of person. So, of the multitude of habits, the ones that sit under person, let's just take them one at a time.

This one came from our episode talking about Josh Bernoff's book, Writing Without B. S. And, uh, the quote here is, Taking short cuts. breaks to regularly step away from tasks to refresh our minds and avoid burnout. I think this extends well beyond just our work life, but probably work life is where we're more than likely most prone to being stationary for a long time to see something through.

Why would Josh Bernoff writing about Writing more clearly, be telling us to take a break, and I think that the specific thing was every hour set a timer to remind yourself to take a five minute break. Um, should I do that? It feels like quite an impost that I'll be very

[00:03:43] David Olney: tempted to skip. I think most people are very tempted to skip it.

Uh, but I learned as an academic, it's absolutely the only way to do good work. Because if you're planning an 8 hour writing day, or an 8 hour day of doing the thing that you have to do well, the longer you work without breaks, the more you tend to fixate on the negative part of your day. So if something is going wrong, You tend to focus on it to try and fix it, and in focusing on it, you lose the broader context of everything else you're trying to achieve in the day, and You end up spending half the day working on something that should have been 15 20 minutes, and you distort everything, and you don't get everything done.

Where simply, in my case, every time my watch goes bong on the hour, I get up and walk around the apartment, have half a glass of water, If it's a nice day, step outside and stand on the balcony for a couple of minutes in the sunshine, because I know my brain will reset. And I'll come back to the work with a broader context of, hang on, whatever this problem I'm having at the moment is, it's only one part of what I'm trying to achieve today.

And do I want all of today distorted by fixation on one thing? That if I fix what comes after it, Then all I have to do is bridge the gap from the good bit I had to the good bit I just created, and suddenly the fixation that you could spend hours on disappears because you took a break and got your broader context back.

[00:05:15] Steve Davis: You just, um, okay, so on the hour is your signal, it almost makes me think those old grandfather clocks had a subliminal purpose that, so on one hand I thought, oh no, it's just reminding us how quickly life is disappearing from us, but on the contrary, or even in a complementary way to that, that little chime on the hour, is a chance to restock, refocus, and maybe impose that little five minute break on ourselves.

Maybe I should try and find one in a second hand

[00:05:48] David Olney: shop. You can certainly get a great app on your phone that will do the sound of Big Ben or a nice grandfather clock. I, on my Apple Watch, have the sound of birds, because Hearing a bird every hour is really nice, and particularly I find if it's the black bird doing a real chirpy little tune, it always makes me smile when I get up to take my break.

[00:06:08] Steve Davis: Hmm. Okay. Interesting. So, taking short breaks is the first one. The second habit that we put under the person category is delegating tasks to alleviate stress. Now, this came up during a discussion about Delegation and Stress Management that we had a long time ago, actually not that long ago, fairly recently.

Richard Koch in his book, The 80 20 Principle, is what gave rise to this one. And that's about identifying tasks that can be delegated to your team and trust them to handle the responsibilities, which allows you to focus on high priority tasks and reduce overall stress. This is the one, David. Where I get a big fat

[00:06:46] David Olney: D on my report card.

And that's not D for distinction. It's the Australian version of D, which is, You did not pass. Yes, D for dunce. That's not dunce. Again, the context is that if you've grown something from being the founder, how do you let go? Whereas the question needs to be turned around. If you built something and you're the founder, And you want it to grow, how can you make it grow without letting other people thrive and do things properly?

Like, you can't do everything. If you could do everything, you wouldn't grow. You can only have so many hours in the day. So, the ability to delegate is a critical step in going. If this is going to get bigger, if this is going to get better, it's only going to do it if I can trust other people to do the job their way.

And do it well, and achieve the outcome, and give up the idea that you know the perfect way to do things. Because often other people have a different way that is equally good. As long as they achieve the outcome, with the resources available, in the time available, and they don't destroy any good relationships, What's wrong with people doing things differently?

[00:07:57] Steve Davis: Interesting point. And I know that when I step aside and let our WordPress guy, David, take the reins in designing a site, it's better than I would. And also just this very episode, I went through to get the first list of all our habits divided into, um, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, et cetera. And when I passed it to you, I did ask, could you drop them into the four Ps format?

And you did an excellent job. So I think I should be a little less harsh in the fact that I was able to entrust someone else's without prescribing what I think that's the key, isn't it? It's trusting that they will bring an expertise to it that you don't have, which is what diversity is all about. And we know diversity typically is a one plus one equals three.

[00:08:49] David Olney: Yep, and the best way to understand really successful delegation is in the terms as understood by the Prussian military from about 1808 onwards, and it's the idea of mission orders. Things change too fast to tell people how to do something. What you have to do is ask people to do something, but also give them the freedom to say, I know how to do that and I'm going to be okay, or I don't know how to do that but I want to have a go, or I don't have the resources.

You know, you have to be willing to hear they can't do it. But the best thing is to say to someone, I need this outcome, do you think you can achieve that? And if they seem happy and you trust them, they won't do it the same way as you, but if it's the outcome that really matters, and like I said, they haven't broken any relationships, they haven't wasted any resources, Where's the problem of them doing it differently and feeling really good about themselves for taking the initiative to find solutions to the outcomes you need?

If you're happy and you know it, kill

[00:09:49] Steve Davis: the foe. Absolutely. That would be the Prussian armies, the night time, uh Fire, campfire song. Okay, so that's the second one that we've covered today. Delegating tasks to alleviate stress. That's the rationale. Um, we've clumped two of them together because they're peas from the same pod.

We've got networking and mentoring, so engaging with peers, actually taking time. To engage with peers, perhaps other mentors, to exchange ideas and get a bit of feedback, which could be a regular coffee meeting or a virtual call or, or something like that, which was again, uh, Josh Bernoff's episode that came out from, and also, um, Another one about building relationships and understanding.

So, attuning to clients and colleagues to understand their needs and their perspectives better, which came from our episode to sell is human, which I think was our first, David Sandler. Episode, which is taking time each week to check in with key clients, check in with team members, ask some open ended questions to understand their current challenges, etc.

Now, I think these two weave together properly, and the reason we delegate in the first place is so we've got a bit of breathing space to do this. How, I don't think I'm perfect at it, I'm starting to learn how to do this. What would, from where you sit, David, What's a practical way of

[00:11:12] David Olney: approaching this? I think a very practical way to start with networking of the two things, because, you know, that was the first one we put in the list.

Networking is very much misunderstood, I think. Everyone thinks, oh, we network to get an immediate gain. How will I scratch their back if they scratch mine? And, how do you get to that point? Without trust, you have to know people first to get to that point. And the best way to get to know people is to talk to them about what they do, and about what you do.

From the perspective of, in the world, as much as we talk about innovation, not much in the world is genuinely new. Most things in the world are assembling pieces in a more efficient way. Doing something in a slightly novel way, but not an entirely new way. So in reality, it comes back to reference class forecasting.

If you're doing something and you want to get even better at it, you can either slowly get better at it through trial and error, or you can go talk to people who do similar things and go, like, How did they get their successes? Which things led to failure for them? Why did it fail? So, really, the first and biggest benefit of networking is networking.

You don't have to do everything on your own, your own way. It takes too long. It takes the chance of too many failures impacting on what you want to achieve. If you can talk to other people and learn from them, and share with them, you can share in their successes. You can learn from their failures, and they can learn from you.

And that's how you get the trust to then go, Actually, I would like to work with that person, and I would like to see if I can help them, and if they can help me.

[00:12:59] Steve Davis: And what's the difference between that attitude and the very transactional attitude many people take to networking? I'm going to go to networking and I'm going to come back with three deals.


[00:13:08] David Olney: think the problem with that is that there's probably a few people who get something genuinely useful out of that kind of narrowly defined networking. But really, as long as it's transactional, those relationships will only ever be transactional. And my experience and the experience of a lot of people I've mentored is they don't like networking events that only feel transactional.

They want to get to know people. So I know that there's some economies that work so fast that transactional does sort of work because people are hustling so fast, so hard, that the transactional thing kind of does generate enough froth to make it seem like it's worth the effort. But my feeling is, even when there's that aspect of transactional behavior, below it is a bunch of people slowly getting to know each other, listening to each other, learning from each other's successes and failures, and being willing to share as a group.

And be vulnerable with these people to build trust. Mm-Hmm. . And it's those relationships that don't affect your business today, but affect your business next year, the year after, five years from now. 'cause you end up with people you can trust and rely on, and they end up with people they can trust and rely on in you.

[00:14:29] Steve Davis: So there's something to ponder. What can you do, even on a monthly basis, or even every second month, try to make some time for that? I'm speaking to myself as much as anybody. I'm midway through some sort of, uh, exploration of this with a couple of parties at the moment, so we'll watch this space and see what happens.

But again, we've had our initial lunch, and now we've decided about four or five weeks later to regroup again. And now that we've got to know each other a bit more, we can be a little bit more specific in what we're talking about, and test the waters, see what might happen.

[00:15:02] David Olney: You know, the classic, you know, joke about this in the British Empire used to be in India, and, you know, Pakistan, you used to have You used to have to have three cups of tea with someone before you could do business.

Because it was only after at least a very long afternoon with three cups of tea, or three short meetings of a cup of tea each, that you actually then knew each other well enough to know whether you trusted the idea of working together.

[00:15:30] Steve Davis: Interesting. Well, the three of us did two bottles of red wine on the first meeting, so one more bottle on the next one, we should be right.

You're doing pretty good, I reckon. The next one is professional development. Investing in courses, workshops, conferences to gain new skills, allocating a bit of a budget for that. That came from one of our episodes early on, and I must say, yes, but with a great caveat. I'm on a bit of a warpath on this at the moment.

So many presentations at conferences and so much training. If you condensed down the fluffery, wasted time, unnecessary extra stuff, A day's conference or even a three hours conference can often be shrunk to like 20 minutes of good stuff, 20 or 40 minutes of the key stuff you need to know when a little bit of Q& A after that would be invaluable, especially if it's Q& A that's not hogged by someone who's got their own hobby horse they want to push.

So I'm a little bit bleak on this one, David, because I think it really is buyer beware. Because a lot of people running courses are just running stuff purely to paint the world in a color that makes their subsequent solution the answer or the antidote. So I'm very bleak on this, but I do acknowledge that learning skills and someone else who summarized some things for us can be useful.

Where's your cup on this? Half full, half

[00:17:07] David Olney: empty, somewhere in between. I very much agree with you that in the main, too many things are about someone selling you their solution. And that their solution is not a set of skills. It's buy my product, buy my service. And that that is an automatic red flag. But what I also see in mentoring so many people is how many people are so busy doing what they're doing today, which is very similar to what they were doing last month, which is very similar to what they were doing last year, that they are falling further behind by not taking a breath and exploring how else things can be done.

So to me, you'd be very skeptical of what professional development you can do, but you look out for what opportunities are out there. And in particular, you look for people who want to teach you skills rather than sell you their entire product. So for example, something like, you know, planning day with us, we'll go through a whole pile of techniques with you where you solve your own problems with our help.

You're not buying us as your problem solvers. You're buying us as a support tool. So that you can solve your problem. And I think that's a good distinction with professional development. If they tell you they're going to solve your problem, don't pay the money. If they say, we want to teach you skills that you can use in any way that suits your business, that then is a bit more real.

And then you can ask them, well, give me some examples of how people have applied it. Now if they can only tell you how fabulous they are, run. But if they can give some examples of applying it, then you're getting knowledge rather than someone trying to shut you down, their marketing funnel.

[00:18:46] Steve Davis: Yeah, absolutely.

Interesting point. So that's, there is a bit of buyer beware on that front. I know that I hate any of those places where it's just a big sell job or it's a disguised sell job. I do a lot of mentoring for the Women in Business Program and also the ASBAS Digital Program and Tourism Industry Council. I am loathe to try and, I, I don't sell anything in that and yet Often I get to the point towards the end where someone says, right, I want to keep working with you.

And they've got to pull the stuff out of me, like pulling teeth, because I'm really awkward about this because I'm not here. I'm not here to push my stuff. I wanted this session to be helpful. Um, you've asked, I'll tell you, and many people do often work with us, but to me, that is the cleanest way to be approaching these privileged moments you get.

To be either on stage or with someone one on one, that needs to be respected because you actually earnestly want to help. You're not there with a big trick that you're trying to pull.

[00:19:47] David Olney: Yeah, it's about being essentially a good Sandler salesperson and admitting you're uncomfortable. Saying, I think there's things we could do to help you, but I'm uncomfortable to change from this being about you to this being about me.

But I want you to know, I think there's things we could do to help move this forward for you faster. But that's for a different conversation on a different day.

[00:20:10] Steve Davis: To round off the person segment, yes, it's the longest person segment in history. It's actually the longest of the three, of the four today. But because many of these habits are going to be at the personal level.

The last one we've picked out was expectations and energy management, which is all about managing expectations about how much mental energy is going to be demanded or available. Uh, for certain things, and this came from David Robson's wonderful work called The Expectation Effect, David.

[00:20:42] David Olney: Yeah, the key thing here is to remember that in the main, we don't expect that things will take as much energy as they do, and we expect that either things will be better than we think or worse than reality.

So really managing our expectations, and this is the point David makes at the end of his book, in the conclusion, you know, you want to go through life. with positive expectations, but moderate positive expectations. Aim for a win, but aim for a small win. Expect that it's going to take work, probably a bit more work than you think, but if you put in a little bit more work than you think, you're more than likely going to get a good result.

Because it's easy to have high expectations and feel like you failed, when in reality you've still got a win, just not as big as an unreasonable expectation.

[00:21:33] Steve Davis: Yeah, the other aspect of this guy, or the other side of the coin, so that's, that's a very valid one. I'd forgotten about that nuance. That's a, that's a good nuance.

The other one I remember distinctly, uh, is, he talks about how the brain is basically, what does he call it, a prediction machine? Prediction machine. So it's, it's predicting what's going to happen and that for, forms the reality. But, as smart as our brain is, we can speak to it directly and get it to change that prediction.

That's a good one. Or the way that it's assessing something, and the great example, which happened to me, David, when I get so much happening that has to be done, and I can feel myself drowning in overload and meeting deadlines, et cetera, um, I took his advice on board to say, okay, let's reimagine this, and reimagined the me.

All this work as a lovely, swirly ocean, and I'm out there with a surfboard, and now I'm going to surf over the energy of this array of tasks, and I kid you not, I was in the car with you, and I said, David, I just applied this 30 minutes ago. I am karma, or I am All ready, just from, and I've had to do this a number of times since, it's amazing how quick it works.

It's amazing how dumbly smart our brain is on that, on that score.

[00:23:01] David Olney: Yep, and if you're interested in going further into this, this really taps into Anders. Ericsson's work in Peak, all about how to get high performance. And one of the biggest things he found looking at brilliant violinists in Germany is the better the quality of their visual representation of what they were about to do, the more detail they could visualize in a performance, or that they could mentally represent, the better they played.

So it's not just hearing how you're going to play the violin sonata. What's your left arm going to feel like in the fast passage? Which foot are you going to have your weight on in the slow passage? How are you going to handle the string changes? Are you going to do them with your fingers, your wrist, or your elbow?

Like, these are all choices that if you can get a really good mental representation of how to do what initially feels like an overwhelming set of tasks and then just follow the mental representation. It's amazing how much work you can get done, because you start working smart, because of the quality of your mental representation.

[00:24:05] Steve Davis: Hmm, let me just get, because Caitlin, uh, studies fine, and let me take us out of this segment. Have a listen to this, David. I'm, I'm, I'm embodying this image.

[00:24:16] Violin: Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE SO YOU DON'T MISS MY NEXT VIDEOS! Remove your safety belt prior

[00:24:22] Caitlin Davis: to starting a DRIFTRAIN. Always wear a masks and a mask covers every aspect of your interaction.

Our four Ps. Number two, principles. You can never be overdressed or over educated. Oscar Wilde.

[00:24:44] Steve Davis: Looking at the principles segment now, and some of the habits and routines that, Fit in this more, what is the dominant P of our four P's, the principles we try to share and discuss each week. The first one is called reviewing progress. Evaluate at a weekly level, evaluating the week's accomplishments and challenges, adjusting strategies and plans accordingly.

We're looking a bit broader than that in just a moment, but this first one's important. The example, this came from the planning fallacy episode. Um, every Friday afternoon, Review the tasks completed during the week and assess what worked well and what didn't. Use these insights to adjust your plans for the following week.

This strikes me as being very helpful and sound. I had completely forgotten we've spoken about it, which is the whole reason I wanted to do this episode, because I think there's great value in this

[00:25:37] David Olney: little exercise. Massively. Most of us keep a diary. We know what we're doing next week. But how many of us at the end of the week jump back into our diary and add a few words about each appointment, each task that we put in our diary?

How did we do it? How did it end up? What did we learn? What lesson do we want to take away to a similar You know, activity next week. Like the power of just going back and jumping into your diary, whether it's paper or digital, and adding some extra comments in the notes field. How did it turn out? What did you learn?

What was a problem you didn't expect? What is a resource you need next time you do this? The power of having that to go back and look at, and to inform next week, so by the time you put everything away Friday night to have the weekend off, if you're lucky enough to get it off, by Monday morning, you're not dreading, Oh, I've got to do the next stage of that project.

No. Friday afternoon, you worked out what you need to add to it for it to go more smoothly. You get more relaxation in the weekend and come into Monday more prepared. It's one of the smallest and most powerful practical processes you can implement.

[00:26:52] Steve Davis: And we're coming up at the time of recording for the long weekend in June, which is my birthday weekend, so I'm hoping to get it off this weekend, I can tell you that much.

David, there were three other habits that we tied together as we reviewed these before we recorded that I think all work well together. They're all peas from the same pod again. I keep saying peas from the pod because that's where, um, the 80 20 principle or partly was informed by looking at peas growing in the garden as much as surveying property ownership and wealth.

And I believe that. Looking at the peas and the flourishment of pea harvests were involved. So that's, I think that's what's going on at a subliminal level. And we're on a podcast, so we don't

[00:27:34] David Olney: have peas in a pod.

[00:27:35] Steve Davis: Exactly, I like that. Strategic planning sessions, holding regular meetings to discuss and adjust business plans and or marketing plans, which is the other one, evaluating a marketing plan on some sort of regular basis.

Because, um, in that episode, the person we were calling Quoting from said, you know, check that monthly we're thinking that maybe that's a bit severe quarterly is going to suffice there But it's more the point of taking stock and I think quarterly is not a bad rhythm to just touch base on how things are progressing.

You know, schedule a bit of a planning session to review progress towards the goals. And of course, that brings in the third one. This is assuming we've actually got some goals that we have set and reflecting on, on them on a regular basis. Are we moving towards a goal or drifting in the ocean of life?

[00:28:31] David Olney: And drifting in the ocean of life can be a lot of fun, particularly if you're on your surfboard waiting for a wave. But, this is one of those chicken and egg moments in small business. What comes first? The plan or the goals? How can you have a plan without goals? How can you have goals without a plan to get started?

It's kind of a difficult thing, but the point is, and it goes back to some of the stuff we were talking about in the person section today, and that is, if you get fixated on a detail, you lose sight of the context. Why were you doing it in the first place? And it's that old line, you know, you lose sight of the forest because of the tree.

If you're fixated on day to day stuff, the tree becomes everything. The forest, you forget you live in this big forest. There's a stream, there's a mountain, there's seasons, things happen. And if you don't revisit every three months, you forget exactly what the big picture was, exactly what you were thinking three months ago, exactly where you wanted to head in three months.

It's so easy to get lost in the moment, but if you keep being lost in the moment, suddenly a year is gone and you go, I'm exhausted, what did we do? Or, I'm exhausted, what did we achieve? Well, if you revisit every three months and capture where are we going, why are we going, what do we think we'll achieve, what do we think our problems will be, And you keep the answers to those kind of questions.

You eventually end up being able to trust your intuitions a bit more, because they're based on evidence. You'd be able to trust your ability to make a fast plan, because your fast plan is based on checking against the plan every three months. You get used to iterating and updating, because if something's not working, don't wait till it breaks.

Assess it at the three month mark and alter it if you need to.

[00:30:22] Steve Davis: I think there's some caveats here that I find interesting and partly I want to delegate this task to you, David, to hold us accountable to have quarterly or even half yearly stock taking because I think when it comes to goal setting for me, much of my stuff is intuitive.

And things aren't broke as such. And I'm more involved in helping clients achieve their goals and I don't have a big hairy audacious goal that I'm being driven by other than enjoying what I do with my team. And perhaps there's time to tighten some of this up and apply that. I can see it being applied on some specific elements of what we do, but not overall.

There seems to be this A flywheel of momentum that this practice has from having lots of relationships and being around a long time. What do you say to this, David, this scenario? Um, would this add ancy to what we do?

[00:31:24] David Olney: I think anytime you've got a flywheel, you wanna be careful you don't disrupt it. But also, most people don't love their flywheel as much as you do.

You get a lot more joy out of doing similar things each work, each week, than most people I know. Most people need more structure than you. You're a bit like me, where as long as the little things are sorted, the big things take care of themselves. So, it's back to, you know, a comment I like, how you do anything is how you do everything.

[00:31:54] Violin: Mmm. And

[00:31:54] David Olney: because you do, you know, anything, Well, and in a caring way, and a considerate way of other people's well being, the big picture kind of takes care of itself, but there is a big proportion of people out there who need that bigger picture explanation and purpose to get the little things right consistently, because they don't like the little things.

Yep, good point. As you and I do.

[00:32:20] Steve Davis: Talking of little things, let's move to another one of the items under principle, and that's the little ants. Um, was it Annie Duke who had the book we were talking about, I forget what it was called now, it was, it was either, what's the opposite of quit? Grit. I think it might have been.

No, it was the quit. It was the quit. When to quit or something

[00:32:38] David Olney: like

[00:32:38] Steve Davis: that. Yes, so, which was wrapped up in the episode entitled, Words to Make the World Do Your Bidding. And I like this. I remember, this is coming to me really clearly now. She talked about explore, being open to exploring new opportunities. So she said, she talks about wandering ants.

Ants follow this path. You see them. There's a whole column of them, but there are stragglers who just go off the beaten track a bit. And she said, this is really important because let's say everyone's making a beeline or an outline to this lovely splash of honey and they think, fantastic, we can just chill now.

What if the owner of the house cleans that honey up? All their eggs were in the one basket Whereas these stragglers might have discovered another source of crumbs, or another dead insect that could be rated for protein, etc. And she likened us to having a few straggling parts of our, uh, attention and energy open to maybe trying out some things that might end up being dead ends, but might actually be Another useful thing for us to include.

So I really, this one, I agree with being open to exploring new opportunities. And in that chat, we said, you know, set aside maybe a couple of hours each month to brainstorm or research what might be possible. But also I think the way she talked about it is you get that random request out of the blue.

Don't dismiss it, ponder it, consider saying yes to something because you just never know unless you try.

[00:34:16] David Olney: I think the important thing here is to also acknowledge there's the other people who always get distracted. And despite the puddle of honey on the floor, they'll go, there might be something under the fridge.

And the consequence of constantly being distracted is just as bad as never exploring anything new. You know, the person who's constantly distracted never finishes anything. So there is a real balance to be found in doing something well, but leaving time to explore new things. Now, again, in the case of you and I, we both need novelty to enjoy what we do.

We bake novelty in. A lot of people think if something's working, double down on it, more of the same thing has to be best. There's certainly times where that's true, but more often not, more of the same thing means, when your thing stops working well, it crashes and burns really extremely, because you've missed the signals that something's changed in your world, and you could have been getting ready for it, and you weren't.

Yeah. So, Anz.

[00:35:21] Steve Davis: Learn from them. Be the ant. Be the ant. The final bit from the principle segment was, uh, from our 49 rules episode. Reflect on virtue and authenticity. Ensure that our business practices align with the genuine values that we hold, which might mean an annual review of the business practices.

Ensure they're still in harmony with your core values, etc. And I hope Bill won't mind me mentioning this. Bill Baker, one of our dearly loved friends and clients, um, talking about retractoring for women. Amazing thing. One option. And on the plate is, do we create a not for profit for the way this works?

But she's loath to do that because she has seen, in some circles, not for profit set up by someone who just wants to be a big fat CEO and get a lovely wage whilst making nice noises to the market. And she's more genuine than that. She really couldn't look at herself in the mirror and feel I'm doing well as a not for profit, if I was really doing it as a thinly disguised way to cash in and get donations from people.

And I think that speaks exactly to this about, she's very clear on her values, and that's the different flywheel, that's the virtual, the virtuous flywheel inside, that if, to try and go out of that, there's resistance, she can't easily. David, what are your thoughts on this particular

[00:36:52] David Olney: one? I've always been sort of really focused on helping people get to understand what their values are.

And it's largely because being blind, I never knew what to do. So I thought, well, as long as I align with my values At least it will seem meaningful and worthwhile, and it's probably ten years ago now, listen to, you know, John Demartini's book, The Values Factor, where he makes the solid case, with an awful lot of evidence, from years of being a psychologist, of what happens when people build careers, build lives, build businesses, that align with their values, and they just, you know, Thrive personally, even if professionally, the path they've picked is difficult.

Because they see meaning in it, and it aligns with their values, they can handle the struggle. They can handle the hard times. And they become a little less fixated with, do I need that extra 100, 000 to be happy? No! Because what I'm doing meets my values and my psychological needs. And if you do that, That's attractive to other people.

That makes you easier to know, like, and trust. Makes it easier for people to go, that's who I want to do business with. Because when they talk to me about what they do, there's a genuine enthusiasm for what they do. You know, they're also happy I'm paying them money. But there's enthusiasm for what's going on.

And relief that there's money, because that way they get to do it again next week.

[00:38:20] Steve Davis: It's really old fashioned, isn't it? Yeah. But it's, uh, It's true. And the evidence

[00:38:25] David Olney: backs it.

[00:38:25] Steve Davis: Yeah. And how good if your values were prosperity gospel and you were a Pentecostal pastor in the southern USA who is very happy flying on their gold encrusted jet.

Uh, I think that's a lovely set of alignment that they've got there, isn't it? Yeah. I'm going to be very quiet at this point. All right, fasten your seat belt. Let's uh, land and we'll head towards the problems segment in two seconds.

[00:39:04] Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number three, Problems. I asked a question for the best reason possible. Simple curiosity. Oscar Wilde.

[00:39:18] Steve Davis: It's interesting trying to put these positive habits into the problems segment because that's normally when we open the mailbag and see what people are dealing with and share some, you know, two bobs worth on how we'd approach those situations. And I think you were right, David, you said what we're doing here is these habits are solutions to problems that arise for people.

And the first one, which we'll tackle very quickly because We talk about it almost every episode. Checking passwords and security regularly, making sure we update passwords, that we have two factor authentication turned on for all our important accounts. You know, anything to do with email, anything to do with banking, anything that's personal, to do with reputations, that means your social media accounts as well.

Um, We need to make that happen and the actual when we were talking about this, which was in the slot machine of human status episode, we did talk about even setting a monthly reminder in the calendar just to take stock of the passwords and think, right, let's try and tackle something new and just make sure there are no weaknesses.

Um, probably not a bad rhythm there.

[00:40:31] David Olney: David? Nothing else to add because it's one of those things you've helped so many clients over so many years who didn't do the check in, didn't make sure it's safe. And you had been telling them and they still didn't do it. So all you can do is tell them one more time.

Far better to do ten minutes of proactive work a month to update something than to lose a ton of money and lose a week's

[00:40:56] Steve Davis: sleep. Oh yes, because when it goes down south, it goes down south very deep. Let's move to the next one. Uh, Validating and fascinating people. Now, this is interesting to come through as a habit.

But it was based on, I think, my, one of my favorite episodes, which was the words to make the world do your bidding, the Blair Warren sentence on how to write, copy well. And in essence, this one here is a little habit, about using Blair Warren's principles of validating people, so acknowledging where they're at without judgment, and then fascinating them to intrigue them to consider maybe a new pathway or a different type of amplification of what they're involved with as a way of you being able to create a stronger connection with them.

And the example we talked about was that in conversations, if we focused on listening genuinely to people and showing interest in what they're saying, We are, by default, validating their feelings, uh, their opinions, and if we can share some intriguing stories or facts with them, they can share them with us, and we bond together.

And this is a vital skill, David, that, that is, uh, important as we trudge our way through life at, uh, leading or owning a, a business.

[00:42:24] David Olney: Absolutely, because at the end of the day, as much as you can have a great bunch of customers, People who keep coming back and going, We love what you do, and we'd like you to do more work for us, or we'd like more of your product.

People move on. People's lives change. People's businesses change. You always need new people. And the more you can solve the problem of how to talk to new people, if you can just get to a default setting of, I always listen and validate, And when I tell a story, it's not jargon laden, it's fun, it's about someone who had a problem and here's how we solved it, or it's about something dumb I did and I learned a lesson so they get a laugh.

But if you can do those two things to validate and fascinate, talking to new people becomes easy, which makes it so much easier for them to know, like and trust you.

[00:43:18] Steve Davis: Yeah, and in fact, let's just remind everybody of that wonderful sentence of Blair Warren's, which are the 27 words to make the world do your bidding.

Now, this is the formula for, for writing. You don't have to follow every aspect of it in every sentence you write, but to pick up the key points is key. And in this example, it's weaving it into your conversations with people, and it says, We'll do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.

It's a beautiful piece of writing.

[00:43:58] David Olney: Yeah, even if you leave off the last bit and instead change it to load their nerf weapon.

[00:44:05] Steve Davis: Fair enough, you do that. I love throwing rocks because they're proverbial rocks at proverbial enemies that bond us together. Uh, the third of our four, uh, suggestions or habits from the problem segment is using AI as a tool and not a crutch.

I can't stress this enough because AI tools like ChatGPT in particular. They're fantastic, especially when you've got a lot of staff, you need summarized really quickly, or you do, as I just talked about in a recent workshop I ran, you know, get it to run a quick SEO audit over a page on your website or, or feed it the details about your ideal personas and ask it to, um, suggest some, um, You know, primary keywords, and some, uh, semantic keywords, and some long tailed keywords, some content that will be relevant to these audiences.

That sort of stuff is really helpful, but when you get it to start writing content for you, we have to use it with a really, Tight leash, because it just turns out word soup, en masse, non stop. And the dilemma is, given most humans, we have all evolved to be lazy, a stressed out business person goes, right, look at those words, they look pretty impressive, I couldn't have written that, job done, paste it up there.

But when you actually read the words slowly, I've had this experience three times this week. They mean nothing. They go in circles of niceties and jargon that takes you nowhere. And although you might feel like you've got this lovely verbal window dressing on your online presence, Some poor mug has to read it and because has is not really how they operate.

They won't read it. They'll disappear and Google also is looking for us to share our expertise and our authority as we write and so we need to make sure that when we ask ChatGPT and the rest to help us with our writing we push back. We say no, this did not talk to my email. My persona directly, you know who the persona is, sharpen that up.

This is the question. This is the concern, do it better. And then take whatever is close enough and weave your own stuff through it. Uh, I could go on and on and on, but I think that's the, the, the key thing is you don't take it's. Utterances as yours. Plus, a little thing to note, there are still some legal, some lawsuits happening around the world, especially involving New York Times and OpenAI, the people who run ChatGPT, and they're saying, you know, you trained it on some of our proprietary content, and if they win, they're There could be all sorts of lawsuits from people who are using material crafted by ChatGPT that is only able to craft it because it had some illicit training.

David, your thoughts around this habit of using AI

[00:47:08] David Olney: as a tool, not a crutch. This is one of the interesting things with large language models, is part of the reason they tend to write sort of circular fluff. is because so much of the bad marketing material and bad copywriting material of the last 25 years on the internet is circular fluff.

So it's very easy for us to blame, you know, the AI for doing a bad job, but it learnt to do a bad job from an awful lot of humans who didn't write in a meaningful way to address a problem to help a person. So, lots of people got it wrong before the AI got it wrong. Don't be one of the people who doesn't write good material.

Make the AI help you to answer questions and help people. That's evergreen material, and you want as much evergreen material as possible. And only you as the expert in your area can really decide what is expert knowledge. And if AI can help you write that in a more engaging way, that's the win. And

[00:48:13] Steve Davis: to underline the expertise factor, make sure your content is peppered with examples from the real world from your work.

That's a nice way to stamp that on what you do. And I do note that David was being quite, um, Flattering of the AI robots, they're quite deferent to them. So that means he's got some inside knowledge that they are about to rise up and take us over. And he wants to survive. So we'll follow your lead. Last one for this section is creating a system for managing tasks.

So tools like Trello boards, we talked about, um, provide some transparency to tasks that everyone's working on. Um, Or some other tool similar to that. Uh, there are many out there. I don't do this. I have a paper diary which I love updating manually throughout each day and planting things in advance of my to do list.

Whereas I'm using Asana as a tool with an entry for each client to take notes on meetings and what not and that tends to work well for me. We don't want to make a rod for our own back with these, because David, you were even talking about some people you were working with and getting some project management software.

In my experience in the past, that's only as good as how disciplined people are in updating it blow by blow as the day goes on. Otherwise, it's just as useless as having nothing.

[00:49:41] David Olney: Exactly. People have to hit overwhelm before they'll use the tool. And they probably won't use the tool the first time they hit overwhelm.

They'll have to hit overwhelm again before they'll use a tool, but your tool doesn't have to be particularly complicated. Steve's got a paper diary. I've got a digital diary with a notes section, so each event, I update after what I learned, what I want to do differently next time, what I want to remember.

You don't need a very complicated tool, but it's about having a non negotiable process. You know, how you do anything is how you do everything. So, capture what you're doing next week, summarize what happened when you did it, when you finish, and use that to inform the week after that. That might be as complex as a system as you ever need, but you know, the certainty I've learnt from training people and from mentoring is that talent plus hard work eventually equals overwhelm if you don't get a system.

[00:50:40] Steve Davis: So I guess the test is, do you know what you're doing today? Can you glance somewhere and have a look? Uh, I guess if you can, all is good. If you can't, if it's all on the grey matter, uh, that's got a limited lifespan.

[00:50:58] Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps, number four. Perspicacity. The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. Oscar Wilde.

[00:51:12] Steve Davis: Finally, the Post Percassity segment where we think about thinking, we reflect on how things have been, how they might be shaped up, changed, reinvented, or validated, uh, for the present, and we have, uh, what, three or four here to share that have been drawn from our episodes thus far across four seasons. The first one is mindful communication.

Practicing clear, concise, and respectful communication. Avoiding unnecessary fluff in emails and interactions. This is also Josh Bernhoff and writing without BS. What a fruitful episode that was, and His example is, before sending an email, take a moment to read it over, ensure it's direct and to the point, avoid jargon and long winded explanations unless necessary.

I think the world benefits from that, and my mantra at the moment is, less is more. That consists, concise. Communication is the one that's more likely to be swallowed and absorbed as opposed to something that looks like a hot dog eating competition with 17, 000 hot dogs you've got to try and shove in your mouth.

It's just too overwhelming for most of us. So less is more, which is mindful communication. Is any point in this email, for example, necessary and required? In fact, um, working with another client doing a sheet of their practitioners to share with GPs who are referral sources. Um, I had a look at the old things and there was so much detail against each one that I got overwhelmed looking at it.

And so I've gutted most of that because no one would have read it. And it's now a lot more succinct and we'll soon find out if it's going to be a success. A suitable approach. My gut feeling is it is, because we might feel a degree of confidence to think job done if we've put a million words next to something, but some poor mug at the other end has to read it.

And in this world, that's not going to happen. Any thoughts, Damon?

[00:53:21] David Olney: Yeah, I just finished a really interesting book called Smart Brevity. By the journalists who founded Politico. It's about one page long, isn't it? It's a very short audio book. It's literally two and a half hours. Oh, wow. They are serious about smart brevity.

Yes. But these are all long form journalists who had written, you know, big. You remember in sort of 1999, 2000, when you'd start reading an article and you'd have to click the next page button. And lots of long form articles were eight pages. Well, what these three journalists realized when they started Politico, is it was only something like 5 percent of people got beyond the first page, and they went, why are we writing the other 7?

And they learned to write what people needed, and then to write other articles that were useful on other things, and link them where it was beneficial, but if you can't fit it in a page, it's probably not necessary. Um, so if you don't want to go read Josh Bernoff, Smart Brevity is a great book and it has confirmed to me even more that the authors I love, you know, Albert Camus, George Orwell, their brevity has such power and that brevity never goes out of style.

In a world of overwhelming information, brevity has a quality of

[00:54:40] Steve Davis: its own. So you'd almost say, I'm speaking to all of us as I say this, if you think you need more than one page to cover something, You're probably wrong. You probably could do it in a much more succinct way and then allow for follow up if someone wants to go down deeper.

[00:54:56] David Olney: And let people ask, they'll tell you if they're interested, or they'll click on the link to the next article that you wrote that's related. But don't think they need everything in one sitting, they don't have the time or the bandwidth because of the nature of the world we now live in.

[00:55:12] Steve Davis: In the interest of smart brevity, only three to go and we've done our wrap up.

The next one is early productivity. Focus on getting industrious tasks done early in the day to have a sense of accomplishment by noon, which actually came up from the Gentleman in Moscow book because he had a twice chiming Grandfather clock is dad made. It chimed at midday, it chimed at midnight. The midday charm, if you hadn't done your work for the day, it was a reminder that you are slipping behind and you've failed, because a gentleman should have the afternoon for recreation and learning and reprogramming.

And if you heard the charm at midnight, you are up too late because there's no way you're going to be up rested for your day tomorrow. I kind of like that. I think there was a charming bit from that book. But here, we're actually talking about tackling the most challenging task first thing in the morning when your energy levels are highest.

And this came from the new Better Best episode. And David, you were championing this. Oh,

[00:56:13] David Olney: absolutely. I can do four good hours of work a day, and then I can get other things done that are more like administration, or just ticking things off. But that is the first four hours of my work day, and that is when I've got the most enthusiasm, I've got the most creativity, I've got the most energy to push through if I'm stuck, I've got the most willingness to take my five minute break every hour to reset my context and come back going, This time I'll get it.

But after lunch, it doesn't work as well, so don't put the really creative or the really complex things later in the day when you're already starting to whine.

[00:56:51] Steve Davis: Good point. I'm actually thinking now, I might draw a line through my one page to a day diary. It's only A5, but it's still plenty of room. And below that line is admin tasks, so if I do, something does pop up at 9, 9.

30 in the morning, I can make a note to do that later. Good point. Stay stuck on with coming up with that Facebook campaign or writing that blog post, etc, or dealing with a strategy, whatever it might be, while the brain is at its peak. Next one. Content creation. Talking about writing and creativity.

Writing blogs, social media posts, other forms of content to maintain an active presence. And share valuable insights with the audience. I think this goes without saying, you will be looking at your, your device going, this is not talked about marketing if we weren't talking about, uh, crafting some decent content.

The key thing is, is having that little bit of time. Um, typically weekly. To either brainstorm or look at the plan you've got and generate what's next in the list to create the content that addresses common questions or interests of your audience. We're doing it always for them, to earnestly help them, and it just builds a consistent, engaging online presence for us.

And yes, I was the one. Responsible for this one, and, uh, I stand by it. It's, it's great. We learn more about how we serve the world as we write this content, as well as producing content that helps people. I think, David, you're nodding there in the corner.

[00:58:22] David Olney: Yeah, I'm really thinking this. Back to a musical example, like earlier with violin.

You know, the classic example. Of get the creative stuff done regularly, was Dmitry Shostakovich, the famous Russian composer, on his composition table, um, had a picture of a famous portrait of Mussorgsky, a great composer who wrote almost no music, because he was too busy being drunk. And the reason Shostakovich had it there, is he never wanted to waste his talent, the way Mussorgsky often did.

So every day, Dimitri would sit at that table and write at least 100 bars of music. So that on the days where he had inspiration, he could write most of a symphony in a day. His productivity was incredible because he kept the skills sharp by regularly working at quality output.

[00:59:15] Steve Davis: That's good. I like the fact that he wrote a hundred bars a day, and the other composer probably visited a hundred bars a day.

Uh, here's the next one in our list. Creating a community engagement plan. Now, this is interesting. I don't think this needs to be over the top, but it's just fruitful thinking about how do we embrace our community? So that'd be the community of Our stakeholders, if you like, our clients and people. But I think more broadly than that, are we involved in any local events, or supporting charitable causes, or anything else like that that can build brand loyalty between you and your people?

Uh, this one is really hard to maintain, David, because the pace and the busyness of life, when you do get some respite, you tend to want to do that really quickly. Use that time with your family and or friends. It's a, it's, it's an interesting one. How do you unpick this knot? Yeah,

[01:00:13] David Olney: it's one that we have to build into our work week.

Like, if you want to be, you know, connected to your peers, if you want to understand what's happening in your industry, if you want to stay in touch with your customers rather than just hope they get in touch when they next need what you do. You need to build that into your week because you wouldn't have got where you got without a community of people.

And if you want to maintain what you do and grow it, then you need at least the same size community, if not a bigger community, so that you've got business, you've got insight, you're part of the conversation about where your industry is going next. Without a community, you'll end up in an isolated bubble that is likely to drift further and further.

I should say. Farther and farther from whatever is actually going on.

[01:01:04] Steve Davis: Yeah, alright. I'm going to put that in the thing to think about. Which brings us to our bonus last item. And this was great. This was from the book, The Road Less Stupid, uh, Keith J Cunningham. And it was a very simple task. Find 15 minutes each day to sit and think.

And his instruction around that was to pick one thing that you're going to think about, and think about it for 15 minutes. And I loved this, I started and I stopped. And the whole reason we're doing this episode is to get back on that straight and narrow. Do you sit and think for 15 minutes, David, or are you also wanting to sort of come back to this?

[01:01:52] David Olney: For me, it's kind of built into my yoga practice each day. Because the practice doesn't change, my brain can kind of do yoga and think. So built into the middle of my yoga practice is my 15 minutes every day. The thing I'm bad at is picking the day before what I'm going to think about today. I tend to let my brain wander to something and go, Oh, that's interesting.

And then think about it. Whereas the discipline I need to put back in is to pick on Monday, What am I thinking about tomorrow during my yoga practice? So that I've got that day of unconscious thought before I have deliberate thought, which can make all the difference in the world to getting a deeper level of insight.

Thank you.

[01:02:37] Steve Davis: And thank you for being here. Collaborating with me on our four seasons so far and in daily life and getting this episode where we've taken a pause on our journey to try and peg down some things that are useful habits. Our show notes will have more detail on this and until we return in season five which I think is, um, July sometime or August, I can't remember, um, should we finish David by om ing together, are you ready so we can just finish with an om?

We can om. Here we go. Om.

[01:03:19] David Olney: Did I outlast you? You did because I was smiling.

[01:03:24] Caitlin Davis: for listening to Talking About Marketing. If you enjoyed it, please subscribe. Please leave a rating or a review in your favorite podcast app. And if you found it helpful, please share it with others. Steve and David always welcome your comments and questions.

So send them to podcast at talkaboutmarketing. com. And finally, the last word to Oscar Wilde. There's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.

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