Tools amplify habits. So if you have to have good habits, technology can make them better. And if you have bad habits consciously make them so much worse, so much faster.
One of the biggest things that I teach in my replaceable founder program is all about communication. And that sounds very nebulous, but the truth is that, I feel like 80% of the problems that we see in businesses are around communication. When I say communication. People not being active listeners or that it’s really there’s methods and means of communicating. And then also the way that we actually convey messages. So the three things are one is that people generally, in my experience, don’t convey. What success looks like when they’re delegating and they don’t cause they realistic expectations when they’re managing opera or however you want to say it. And there’s a myriad reason why that happens, but that does happen. So that’s one of the big things. And then the way that we communicate is asynchronous communication. That is the most powerful thing that I have at my disposal. Voxer happens to be the tool that allows that to happen really efficiently, but easy close communication as an idea is huge.
The third element therein communication is, I find with all the information, all the social media, everything. Most people are not very good decision-makers. And when I say not good decision-makers, I don’t mean that they’re making the right decision. I mean that they’re not effective in the decisions that they might, so many people suffer from paralysis or analysis paralysis. And the other side of things is the people who are like the fly by the seat of their pants, go with your gut. There’s a balance in between there. I would say that a lot of people really struggle to find. So when we’re presented with all this information, And all of these different things coming at us from email, Slack, text messaging, and all the social media and all that kind of stuff. 99% of people, whether it’s conscious or not, they approach those tools as if they were almost a victim of them. It’s just a necessary evil to live in the world. We have to experience these things. We have to put up with it and take our beating basically. But what people have to understand is no matter what level of life you’re at or business, these are your tools to communicate with you or the world and the way that you see fit and having that somewhat subtle shift of understanding that can have really powerful implications.
You have to, first of all, separate great communication, two different methods. So this is a big one where a lot of people and a lot of people take a very different stance from a lot of other productivity kinds of people. I actually think that you should have more communication tools rather than less, but they need to have specific purposes and you need to be intentional about what they’re for. So if you’re going to use slack, that’s fine, but don’t use Slack for project management. Don’t do what a lot of people do, which is have these slip, these shared Slack channels with clients. So that you’re talking to your team and your clients in the same place, bad idea And email should never, ever be used for internal communication. Cause it’s really just not designed for that. So you should never ever look at an email in my opinion and open your inbox and be like, there might be a message from someone on my team that shouldn’t be a thing.
Tools that every company should have
One is for casual conversation. The second one is for procedural information. The third one is for bridging internal and external. And the fourth one is for things that need to get done.
The first one’s casual for me is Voxer. This is for in the company where you can talk freely, and what that looks like for some people, maybe that’s WhatsApp, maybe that’s Slack for some people. It depends on the culture and who the people are. If they like texting or voice or whatever. There’s also Marcopolo, which is like Voxer with video. They needed a tool for casual conversation, something that is unstructured, where people can. Emote a little bit maybe, and also feel like they have space where they can come converse about things. It’s like the digital water cooler.
The second one is for procedural information and that’s usually going to be Slack again. And procedural information for me is the stuff that people just got to know. Like very, really transactional information for lack of a better word.
The third one is something that bridges the internal versus external. Because if we’re going to tell you if I’m telling you that email should not be used internally. I’ve seen far too many companies where it’s common practice for an assistant or a direct report to CC the boss on it. And so for that, I like things like Intercom or Front or Frift, like a lot of those common sorts of shared team inbox tools. Now that’s, it’s still, it’s email in that case, but you’re not creating an email to converse about it internally.
And the fourth tool is a place where things get done. Technically a project management tool. And for me, that’s always going to be Trello, but it could be anything. But the reason that’s part of the communication sort of SOP is that when you’re discussing something in any of those other tools, as soon as it becomes something that needs to get done or a project or action or something like that, it needs to leave the communication setting and go into that project management setting.
The extreme state of overwhelm that we see that I see is when people get to a situation where they feel like no matter what they do, they’re going to disappoint someone. And that could be that they’re going to disappoint their clients, their team, their family, their friends themselves. But no matter what you do, it’s there’s, someone’s going to get screwed over. And that’s our really dark place to be. And we see it all the time and the sort of natural. The human response to that is to just keep digging. Like we can just keep going in those situations and hopefully, it will get better, maybe not, but eventually, you just get into this state where you’re overwhelmed. And the biggest thing with the overwhelm is that you just can’t see the forest for the trees. I always like to say, you can’t read the label from inside the jar. if you’re in that state, you’re just, you’re just treading water.
Reid Hoffman who founded LinkedIn. He says “some of the people always talk about putting out fires but the best entrepreneurs sometimes let fires burn, and you have to be willing to do that”. If you’re going to make a change. Sometimes now that’s not the case for everybody. For some people it’s a little bit easier to side stuff with that and make that shift. But for other people, you’re going to have a big dip in income. You might have a hit to your reputation. But ultimately you’re gonna end up having more control over what you do and control is the antidote to overwhelm.
Freedom and Innovation
Entrepreneurship, I feel like so often it’s about freedom. a lot of people become entrepreneurs because they want freedom and in a lot of cases, it’s freedom from something right freedom from the job, freedom from debt, freedom from the grind, whatever you want to call it. So freedom from something. But ultimately what we really want, I think like entrepreneurs and as people is to have the freedom to do something right. Which would be positive freedom to move towards something. And ultimately what the freedom that I hopefully provide people in our program is the freedom to leave the business right. And not leave forever unless they want to. But leave so that they can go out and explore and learn and then bring those learnings back and contribute back to the company. And while they were gone, the company continues to grow in their absence. That’s what we should all want. And that’s clearly what you’ve achieved.
We don’t do well with unlimited resources. Innovation doesn’t happen there. Innovation comes from restrictions, not from this idea of freedom that everyone has, where you just do whatever you want whenever you want because you get bored.
The thing to keep in mind here is that again about knowing yourself, if you really want to make sacrifices, then move someplace where the cost of living is cheaper. Like it’s not a sacrifice to kill yourself by working 20 hours a day that’s not sacrificing yourself. That’s just being stupid. But if you do want to like a sacrifice for your vision and your cheat, you then move somewhere cheaper, like that’s the sacrifice. Success is a state of mind. Tools amplify habits. So if you have to have good habits, technology can make them better. And if you have bad habits consciously make them so much worse, so much faster.