Join Dean & Dan discussing how the commitment associated with 'When...' affects procrastinators.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep010
Dean: Mr. Sullivan.
Dan: Yes, yes. I did not procrastinate this morning. I was very eager to get back in touch.
Dean: Me, too. Me, too. It's been a while, but then we had a nice catch up in Toronto. I have had an interesting few days. I have discovered, and something that I would love to maybe put on the agenda for today is, the discussion of the word when in the role of procrastinator. Because we've talked about how, and what, and who. I'm just discovering that the real crux of the issue of procrastination really comes down to when.
Dan: Yes. Go on further. What was the experience?
Dean: Here's the thing. We talked about this in our workshop on Thursday that if all I have to do is talk, that's great. In any of the activities that I do, all of the unique ability activities, I'm completely happy to do all of them at any time. It's the bridging the gap of when. When is a logistics question. There's a lot of depths as I've been thinking about it to the word when. Because it's not only a logistics question; it's also a commitment question. Do you know what I mean? There's a sense of finality around when. Committing to when to do something.
Dan: I think that the moment that when enters the picture. you're into a time restriction. Because we're all committed to a certain number of when's already before a new thing pops into our mind.
Dean: That's an interesting thing. I've just come through a period of time where I'd had two events. I had a trip to Toronto. I had a live event in Florida just before so. It's like a period of almost three weeks. I go through these occasionally through the year. It was like this sliding slope of 'I have all of these fully committed when's,' that then don't leave room for new when's, and create a back log in a way. When I come back, one of my biggest struggles is the immediate transition back into a sense of normalcy where I've got three weeks now between now and my next event. You want to hit the ground running, kind of thing. Then there's so much that I look at when I do my list. I look at all the things that I want to do, or the things that I need to catch up on. They all have this sense of having to be done right away.
Dan: I'm going to ask you a question there, because I see you every quarter by design. This is already committed because you come to your Ten Times workshop, and then the Saturday after the Thursday is always committed to lunch and discussion. We've got 8 hard and fast scheduled meetings every year. My experience of the conversations over the last 12 months is the last 12 months have been a really good year for you. In other words, there's been a significant jump in results. I think there's been a significant jump in performance on your part that's rounded by more teamwork on the part of other people than you've had in the past.
Dean: That's true.
Dan: Why did that happen? In other words, if you go back a year why did the jump in performance happen over the 12 months? Perhaps in a different way than maybe a year before that.
Dean: I think a lot of it was an embracing of standardization in a way. This sort of understanding that the things that work, the things that perform at the best, are the things that are generally recurring and things that are synchronized and scheduled. I look at this, I was calculating it out, so the first Ten Times workshop was in 2010, March of 2010. We're going into our 8th year of that and I have not missed a workshop. It's the cornerstone of my quarter. What's really been interesting around that is that I have a mastermind group that I run the day after Strategic Coach at the Hazelton. It's then anchoring to that some sort of foundational things.
It really has been really an expansion of unique teamwork and getting things into that recurring column. I've really found that that's where the freedom is. There's a lot of freedom in making stuff up, but the real freedom is in making stuff recur. However resistant I was to that scheduled structure, it's been the thing that's been the launchpad, the foundation of the growth that we've seen and I've experienced.
Dan: I'm just seeing something in what you're saying. The reason is because we share a lot of the same reactions to possible future events. One of the things I've noticed is that I'm more resistant as I go forward. I've become enormously more skillful at setting things up so I only have to do them once, but then they recur over and over again as if a part of me is there with it. Because in my case, I have other coaches who coach the Strategic Coach program. What I've noticed is is that I'm hyper alert to any possibility that I'm going to be asked to do something that's a one off, that doesn't have any recurring reality after I do the first thing. In other words, I will not do a one off commitment. "Dan, we'd like you to come and put on a morning workshop where you explain how to do this."
First of all, it's a new thing. It's taking time that I wasn't planning to provide to anybody, but they're asking for this time. After I've finished the event, nothing happens after that. It was just for the event itself. I find that I'm super resistant, which means that I'll probably procrastinate on that event simply because there's no multiplier to it after I do it.
Dean: I sense that, too. I wouldn't have articulated it like that maybe, but I think I have that same kind of resistance of knowing that.
Dan: I think it's an energy budget thing. We had a really great conversation during our last podcast about if there's one context that probably our brain and everything about us is really always responding when there's a suggestion of a new outlay of energy where saying, "Well, first of all I've got a certain amount of energy." You're asking me to put energy out for this thing. I'm not seeing the payoff for my outlay, either. I get more sensitive to this as I go along. I'm completing my 43rd year of coaching, and I was a wasteful energy user 43 years ago. By comparison, if I'm using present standards to judge how I was 43 years, I was an idiot.
Dean: Wow. That's something. I really got a lot out of, you were sharing some of your strategies at our workshop. When we do the ABC parties I'm thinking about only the activities that are fascinating and motivating, our unique ability activities. How much of a percentage of those are we doing? I was thinking about with Anna, and your process for scheduling. That you really have taken control of the when by really having a, I'd almost call Anna your Chief When officer in a way. Right?
Dan: Yeah. I'll pass that on to her, she'll be pleased. Because she likes that kind of power.
Dean: Can you talk a little bit about that? Because I've experienced it, and we've been through it. I think I get it on an even deeper level now, just the level to which you have partnered with somebody to manage the allocation of those when units. Because it's the asset, you know?
Dan: Yeah. Just to fill in the listeners on the podcast, I'm a very, very bad scheduler and have been my whole life in the sense that I'll schedule things and then forget them. I won't write them down. They won't go into a calender. I'm just storing it in my brain, so I'm not going any further than that. Sometimes that has led to double booking. In other words, that I made a commitment to someone else, forgot about it, and then made another commitment to use the same when. The same when on the calendar. That always caused tremendous problems. I would just pack certain periods of time because I was excited about the projects, not realizing that there wasn't enough time in a particular period to complete everything. I hadn't really prioritized it.
The other thing is that I don't have a schedule brain, a visualization brain, in the sense that I can in my mind look at day by day over the next 30 days. Generally my life is lived in quarters because the whole Strategic Coach program operates in quarters. I've been doing this, either as a one on one coach or as a workshop coach, I've been doing that for as I've said 43 years. It's a structure that I like. It works. I don't really see that as a calendar. I sense what the overall three months of time is, but I don't see it as a calendar. I've had really mixed results of having an assistant, or somebody who's a specialist in this, work with me. Because I found that if I was deficient in this, they were partially deficient in it. We were putting a real weakness together with a semi weakness.
It had the effect of multiplying the weakness, not decreasing the weakness. Then about three years ago a woman came into our life. When I say our life, this is Babs, too. Because Babs is similarly handicapped with this. Her name is Anna, Anna Dipcher. What's really interesting about this, Dean, people will say, "How did you find her?" Because I describe what Anna does for me. I said, "Well, just the opposite. Anna found us."
What I mean by this, she worked for another firm where she wasn't happy with the excitement level of the activity. She was in a position where she was the scheduler and the arranger for someone else, an entrepreneurial company. She wasn't happy with teamwork. She wasn't really happy with the value of the business and what the business did, so she started doing searches online. She narrowed it down to two companies, another company, plus Strategic Coach. Then she went through an agency, and had the agency set up the appointments and everything else. Went to the other company first, came back, and then came and interviewed with Strategic Coach. Not with me, or not with Babs. We have a team that actually does the hiring. She goes, "Yes. This is the position I want."
Then she was introduced to Babs, and me. She just had a beat on us. She said, "I love what your company does. I've checked the two of you out. I understand you're great to work with, and so you're my choice." Which is really, really interesting in the marketplace. Where somebody has set up a set of standards, have put you through the measurement process and you came out on top, and want you to know that yes, you'll be acceptable.
Dean: Wow. That must feel great, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, it is. Well, so she came in with that. To a certain extent, we were getting to work with her. I think both Babs and I rose to the occasion. We gave over an enormous amount of control and power. I gave complete control over my schedule to Anna. It's marvelous. It's one of the great teamwork's that I've had in my life. I've got a lot of great teamwork. My teamwork with you is great teamwork, but I have a lot of different teamwork's in different parts of my life. For about three years now, I don't have to think about this at all. The only thing I have to do, and it happened last Saturday when we were out to lunch and I said, "Hey, do you think you'd like to do one of our Joy of Procrastination podcasts during the week rather than waiting til the weekend, so we have one today. Then we have another one on the coming Sunday."
The thing that I had to do very, very quickly after we finished lunch is send an email to Anna. Say, "Anna, I've scheduled a podcast with Dean." Because if I don't do that I'm breaking the rules. I'm in severe danger of falling off the wagon. I have to tell you how rare it is that I'll actually make a commitment to someone. I knew the morning was free so I had that much knowledge about it. Boy, I tell you, there's a period of high tension for about a half an hour afterwards until I send that email to Anna and I know it's safe now that I won't get in trouble.
Dean: Make it real.
Dean: That's really interesting. Can you tell a little bit about the workflow, how that actually works? What was that like before and after? Before you were joint running your schedule, I imagine?
Dan: The truth is that I had a series of relationships where I didn't trust the other person and the other person didn't trust me. In other words, I wasn't giving over complete control and the other person wasn't taking complete control. Things would slip through the cracks, it just wasn't right. I got so much confidence by the way that Anna had approached us. It was like she was the buyer and we were the seller. I really liked that, because it gave me 100% confidence that finally I had found someone who was really uniquely skilled in this area. Not only that, but got a tremendous amount of enjoyment. When you work with Anna you realize that she loves this, putting order into our lives and making sure everything happens.
She double checks all appointments. She's constantly informing me. I'm in Chicago, she's in Toronto. I'll get an email tonight which tells me what my schedule is tomorrow. If I'm in Toronto, before I leave work at night she'll come to me and she'll say, "I just want to go over what you have tomorrow." Gives me a written schedule. Then when I come in in the morning, the first thing, she'll come in again. She'll say, "You okay with today? I'm just going over today again." She double checks, and there's this extreme quality control that she brings. It just frees my mind up.
Dean: She checked right in, because you and I had agreed to 10:00 am. Then she had to clarify, because you're in Chicago.
Dan: Which time zone, yeah.
Dean: Yeah, Central or Eastern. That's something that I imagine going back and forth like you do, there's a lot of opportunity for that kind of thing.
Dan: The thing is that this is not a burden for her. The thing for us is that scheduling and keeping track of time is a real burden for me. It's a blessing for her. In other words, a bonus. She gets to do this and it's a bonus. More and more my life is surrounded by people who support me in ways that my mind is completely free of the details, what you call the implementation of the logistics. Less and less do I have any logistical things to think about in my mind. I have commitments, I have events, and I have results. The in between, between the commitment and the event, that's been cleared out for me. Every quarter it gets more cleared out. It just allows me to operate in the area where I'm really good, which is mainly talking.
Dean: I'm seeing this, it's almost like it's been right there but I'm seeing it anew. I think one of the things that is happening for me as we're recording this series, we're talking and having these conversations about procrastination, I really observe myself. I really see what's happening. That's why today when I came on that's been the observation. That word when is really the thing that it comes down to. You mentioned even that she handles not just your work calendar, but everything to do with your time. Is that true? All of your personal engagements, everything like that.
Dan: Yeah. There's maintenance things you do in your personal life, like haircuts. There's a whole number of maintenance things that you have, doctors appointments, dentist appointments. There's one that's really funny, actually. I have a scheduled dentist, who has been my dentist for about 15 years. What I'm going to tell you right now really gives you an indication of a sneaky side to my nature. I've got this dentist, she's a cosmetic dentist. She not only makes sure that you have good dental health, she makes sure that you look good. She's the one who does all the cosmetic work on teeth and everything like that.
I go in usually quarterly to get my teeth cleaned. People say, "Well, why do you need to get your teeth cleaned every quarter?" I said, "Because I do minimal things." I brush my teeth every day, twice a day. I've never gotten into flossing. The thing that everybody talks about is flossing. If you haven't been flossing, it shows up in your checkup. The dental hygienist, this isn't even the dentist. It's the dental hygienist. She's got quite a big office. I always get this lecture on my flossing. I said, "I'm going on 73 years old and I haven't adopted this as a habit yet, for 73 years. What do you think the odds are that I'm going to do it?"
Dean: Right, exactly.
Dan: Anyway, I decided I just didn't want the lecture anymore. What I did with Anna, I found a local dentist just about a block and a half from my home. About four weeks before I go in for the actual checkup, I go and get my teeth cleaned by this other dentist. For the past two years now I go there and they said, "You're really doing a great job. You've finally switched over to flossing." Because I couldn't stand the lecture, Dean.
Dean: I love it.
Dan: Anna said, "Oh, that makes perfect sense." Anna, she sets it up. She does it, but if it was left to me I'd just be getting the lecture every quarter. I wouldn't even be doing it on a quarterly basis. Anna will put it in a year ahead. She makes all the appointments a year ahead so I have this double duty. I have tremendously clean teeth and no lectures.
Dean: That is so funny. Jeff Foxworthy, the comedian, always said that. "Why does my dentist make me lie to him?" He said he asked him, "Have you been flossing every day?"
Dan: Yeah, I've stopped lying.
Dean: He said, "Have you been flossing everyday?" Jeff goes, "Not every day."
Dan: There's so much guilt attached to it, yeah.
Dean: How do you coordinate with Anna to manage that?
Dan: In person, because in the office she's 30 seconds away. I'm always going to her. If people approach me and say, "Is there a possibility we can have a meeting?" I said, "I'll just bring Anna in." I said, "Now, you tell Anna what you want. She's going to find a time in the schedule." What Anna will do, she'll find a time in the schedule. She'll come back to me and she said, "He wants a half hour. I have a half hour," or, "She wants a half hour. I have a half hour. Is that okay with you?" I said, "Yeah, that's okay."
Then she'll contact them, but she won't put it in the schedule until she checks back with me. She's got this double check system. Only she can put it in the schedule, but nothing goes into the schedule unless she gets my approval to do it. Somebody can't just phone her and say, "I'd like a half hour with Dan." She'll say, "Well, I'll go and check with Dan to see when that would work." Then we get an agreement and then she gets back to them. You have to go through Anna, but when you ask Anna for something she has to check with me. I never get surprised by something. I never get blindsided by it.
Dean: It's not a mystery. It's not like you're blocked up when you're talking to this guy, and this guy, and this guy, for whatever. It's only things that you want. That really takes that other level then. You're still describing what you want, and who you want to be talking with. Then the logistics of it are handled by Anna.
Dan: Yeah. Back to our topic here of the procrastination and the joy of procrastination. The joy here is on our procrastination priority scorecard, we had finished mindset number four which was challenge to grow. Number five was start with the truth. My belief is the solution to all the difficulties of life is just to tell the truth of what's actually going on with the difficulty. Like telling the truth about the dentist thing. It seems it, but I wasn't telling the truth. I wasn't telling the truth to the dentist and everything else. I came up with a solution. I feel proud of the solution, because I'm doing it in a way where I'm really being clever and the dentist doesn't know it.
Dean: Exactly. It's pretty funny. Let's continue on then.
Dan: You started off the podcast today by saying how this thing of when has been emerging as large and important to you. What does my description of my system have to do, what light does that cast what you've been experiencing?
Dean: When I look at my system or my way of handling procrastination, when I say a lot of it is just brainstorming. Doing the list of figuring out what it is that I'm procrastinating. I say like waking up on Monday, or I did this actually on Sunday night on my flight back to Florida. I always start with when I'm making this list of all the things that I have that are on the front burner, that are things that I've been either proactively procrastinating or things that just because of my schedule have been procrastinated, I start out with the people first. Because that's the ones that have the most, I don't know whether that's guilt or pain. There's somebody expecting something, or you feel like you've been behind on getting back to somebody, or that you need to now disconnect with somebody.
I started with I've got this whole list of people but even that, having that then that list is really a matter of now I still have to go through and actually do it. Even writing it down still isn't the thing. It ranges from things like most of them are conversation stuff. I could literally see that if I were able to write down this list, and say what the outcome that I wanted was, then I could imagine handing this list to Anna and having that done. Because I'm looking through the list right now. I've got the things where like Alex Epstein had emailed and asked a couple of weeks ago about us doing a human flourishing podcast.
He had sent back a time that I had an event going on in Florida. I hadn't gotten back to him with an alternative time, so that's one thing that's scheduling. Joe Polish is on my list there, that we had been trying to coordinate schedules to record a podcast. A lot of these are just scheduling the time. It's just the logistics. I really see it now that, yeah. It would be a good progression for me to say to somebody, "Here's the people. I need 30 minutes with him. I need 60 minutes with him." For that to be completely coordinated.
Dan: There's no getting around it that you're going to have to do some logistical worth to set this up. I'm wondering if there's another Dean, a really smart Dean, that's talking to you while you're doing this. He's saying, "You're being a bit of a fool doing this activity. You know there's a better way to do this. You're not being very smart by actually involving yourself in this coordination, and detail, and implementation work." I just wonder if that's going on.
Dean: I think you're probably absolutely right.
Dan: You know the know it all Dean, who has universal wisdom and everything?
Dan: He's talking to you.
Dean: Yeah, I think you're right Dan. I think you're right. When you get right down to it, it's like so much of the advancements that I've had this year have definitely been around getting more of the things that I really want to do recurring. Setting up the systems and the teamwork around making those happen, and getting better at the scheduling of them. For me, booking my calendar six months out has been a big improvement. I see you as the gold standard here. Your whole year is booked out.
Dean: That's fascinating to me.
Dan: Part of the reason is that I am paid ahead of time for that year. It's not like I have to do something to get the check. I get the check up front. That was as a result of some train wrecks that I had in the first 10 years of coaching, where I went into bankruptcy twice. Not because I had not done work and not because I had not earned money, I had not been paid money because they were going through stressful situations. The expectation is that I would get paid 30 days minimum after I was paid, and I got pushed out 60 days. I didn't have the reserves to handle that. After the second time that had happened I said, "No more." I said, "For the rest of my life I'm going to get paid upfront. I'm going to get paid upfront."
It's very, very interesting. I want to come back to your topic of standardization, sort of nervous relationship with standardization, because I understand. I'm a free soul. I'm a creative person. The same standardization, this is almost like you're putting me in the straight jacket here. That was a decision that was for life. Whatever pain I had to go through in people saying, "Well, we won't work with you if you're demanding that." I'll say, "Well, I'll go through that pain." I was bankrupt anyways so how much lower could I get? I stuck with it and people said, "Sure, that makes sense. That makes sense." I just found all the people that it made sense for and I said, "That's the only kind of people I want to work with for the rest of my life." I haven't had a receivable since 1983.
Dean: That's great.
Dan: Of course, back then we were talking about in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now we're talking in the tens of millions of dollars, because the organization is a lot bigger. I think we've grown to ten million because we don't have any receivables. We have a guarantee, but you have to draw a line and say, "This is the end of this experience." Like it's the end of lectures on flossing from my dentist.
Dean: Problem solved.
Dan: Problem solved. People would say, "Well, that's a weird way to solve it, I said, "No, it isn't. It's a solution." There are solutions or not solutions. There's no weird solution. There's just solutions. I've handled it. I've handled it, and I've got a partner in crime in Anna who makes sure that it happens. I want to go back to the standardization. I want to suggest possibly another word, that you're actually custom designing guaranteed recurring results. In other words, you're not fitting yourself into somebody else's standardization. You're custom designing a form of automation that is totally supportive of who you uniquely are.
Dean: Yes. I like that idea. That's really the way that I've embraced it. That I look at the things that, what are on my list? Every workshop when we do our ABC list, the C activities are always I really want to spend my time recording podcasts, and doing breakthrough blueprint workshops, and hatching evil schemes on the phone with people for money. All of those things are unique ability things.
Dan: Translating a lot of your talking breakthroughs into short, fast books too, for yourself. Then you made a business out of it.
Dean: That's right.
Dan: A lot of the solutions that are in the first instance primarily for yourself, you then say, "Well, I'm not the only one in the world that wants this. Other people are seeking this out, this same problem."
Dean: What I am totally embracing about it now, if I use my podcasting as an example, both the podcast that we're doing and my More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast, of committing to a weekly schedule for more Cheese Less Whiskers, a bi weekly schedule for the Joy of Procrastination. That standardization and knowing that the only thing that I really want to do is record the podcast. The thing that only I can do, and the thing that only you can do with regard to this podcast, is the talking. You and I have talked now with Anna's help of getting the logistics of the when handled. We've already got the process in place that we literally just have to dial in, and talk, and we're done. Then with my More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast, the way that that is recorded, we get everything transcribed. I have a writer who is taking two or three chunks per episode and creating 300-600 word articles that are the concepts that I talk about. They're 90% there, and just require my final voice and finessing.
I was running into that that was becoming the bottleneck. I had all these great articles and I was becoming the bottleneck. Because I didn't have a clear when am I going to do that. Now hit on the standardization of I typically will record two More Cheese Less Whiskers; one at 10:00, one at 12:00 on any day that I'm recording those. Typically on a Friday. My thought was now to standardize and move that article approval and finessing into the slot between the two podcasts. Which will fit perfectly, and be the perfect energy balance of I'm taking a break from the talking but still engaged in another yin yang energy around it. That way that one time frame is completely done. Which fuels then material for up to three emails a week based on that one podcast recording.
Dan: The interesting thing about that is when you get the written documents back. In other words, they're not raw copy. They're coming back as packaged pixelation of things that you had created just by doing what you love doing, which is talking. Then you read the packaged results of a previous podcast and it gives you new ideas for future podcasts. You have a closed loop, but it's an upward virtuous cycle. Before I started the podcast today, I usually go through a clearing session if I'm going into the studio for a video, or audio podcast, or I'm going to do a workshop. Any event that I'm going to go into, I have this little clearing session with Babs. About a half hour before I dialed in for this particular podcast she said, "Do you need a clearing?" I said, "No. Dean is the clearing." I'm going to spend an hour with Dean talking. Then afterwards, then I'm going to take off like a rocket.
Dean: That's so funny.
Dan: It's not true with a lot of other events. This one, this has all been discovery. I didn't know we were going to talk about any of this stuff, nor did you. We knew how we might get things started in the first 5 minutes, but in the following 55 minutes we didn't really, really know how this was going. I find that very clearing. I find that activity actually very, very energizing. It's not only talking, but it's talking about new things and having a partner who goes back and forth. Each is seeing something in the way the discussion, conversation is going.
Having said that, my whole center of what Strategic Coach is about at all levels. Especially at the ten times level is this custom designing of a standardization system that allows you more and more just to spend in the activity that you would never procrastinate with. Remove all those intervening activities, the likelihood is you'll always procrastinate about these things. You become super sensitive where the borderline is between those two worlds.
Dean: I agree, and the transition to them. That's really what the thing is. Once I know what it is, like I'm crystal clear on what the things are that I want to do. Then the only two things that remain then are when, and the logistics to make that happen. I am embracing that more and more and observing what's happening here to see where that's falling down. I'm embracing the standardized things, but as I'm looking at my list here that I made on Sunday in anticipation of these are all the things I have to hit the ground running with on Monday, which immediately spurred into a procrastination loop. That there was all of this, that none of it is as exciting as actually talking to all these people. I would have been much better if I could have actually talked to the people, rather than trying to tackle this logistics mountain of trying to coordinate with all of them.
Dan: Just to jump to another topic and then come back to where we are right now. Two things. Way back at the beginning of Strategic Coach I had a line, this was back in the 80's. I had this phrase that almost went viral. It would have gone viral if there was the ability for anything to go viral back then. I said, "Frank Sinatra doesn't move pianos." First of all, Frank Sinatra was alive then so it was meaningful. I think Frank Sinatra is probably one of the four greatest popular entertainers; certainly since things were recorded. You imagine what the life of an individual like that is. He became a star very young. He was 18 or 19. He was like Elvis in the late 30's, early 40's. He was the first just phenomenal star.
You imagine when people recognize this talent, and then they build a system around you so that the star entertainer only has to do the thing that first of all makes everybody else rich, or makes everybody else have an enormous amount of enjoyment. It really hit home. You imagine that Frank Sinatra is going to put on a show in Las Vegas, let's say. He doesn't arrive three hours early and make sure the mics are all right, and make sure that the piano is positioned properly, and everything else. He's got a team that does that. There's a system that does that. He's just getting ready for the main event. The main event is just him singing to his audience, who have bought his recordings. His recordings are being played on radio. Then video recordings, and everything like that. I really did that.
The other one which came in when I had the workshop program wasn't about work. It was about personal life. I said I have a Four Seasons lifestyle. That is that at home, I don't do anything more at home than I would if I was staying at the Four Seasons. Which was my favorite hotel experience back in the 80's and 90's. I think the two are related. That in the work setting I'm only doing what I love doing, and at home I'm only doing the things that give me a sense of comfort and relaxation in my home. There are teams and systems that handle everything I don't like. You have to be okay with that line of thought, or you're caught up in a world of every day being filled up with things you don't like doing.
Dean: I think that part of it is equally Frank Sinatra doesn't move pianos, but he equally doesn't say, "You know, I think I'm going to do a concert on Friday."
Dean: Then scramble to make that happen. There has to be a sense of, we're going to go on tour here and these are the dates. I think everything else has to be put around that.
Dan: Going back to the beginning of our podcast, he's got a when scheduling system. In other words, the more professionally successful you are, the more you have teamwork. You have systems that handle the when and everything, all the details related to the when.
Dan: If that's not true, then you're going to have a future that's filled up with activities which are unpredictable, which is stressful in itself. Activities which are demanding activities and time, and effort, and energy, on your part which is not enjoyable. Any of them is really enjoyable. You've got to make a choice about what kind of future you have here. My choice is I'm going for the former. I want a future more and more where everything is custom designed and prepared, for me except for the thing that I love doing.
Dean: Then it's balanced with that. It's really pushing to the poles of free days, and focus days. More free days, and more focus days. Less buffer, or in between.
Dan: Yeah, okay we're getting close to the end here. What's the takeaway, if you had one or two things that were real takeaways?
Dean: Well, my observation for me as I've talked with you about this is that's one thing that I need to have, an opportunity to set up a deeper partnership. I think that Lillian could be a perfect partner in that because she does it for me anyway. That I just need to have more of that relationship with her, of saying, "I'm going to deffer to everything on my calendar being run through you." Because she is already the one who's setting up all my podcasts, all the things like that, anyway. I'm really just looking at this list of one, two, three, four, five. There's probably 18 people here that are on this list, to be able to say, "I need 30 minutes with Alex. I need to schedule 90 minutes with Joe Polish." I need to be able to get that to her, and then just go with that way. I think Joe Polish, that's a great example of just that we go off the range together in that I've got Lilian, he's got Eunice. We would probably be much better, solve our scheduling problems if I said to Lilian, "Get with Eunice and schedule us some time."
Dean: Because we have this relationship, we do it on our own.
Dan: Interesting. I think the thing that I am going to do, because I'm doing this activity in the Ten Times program where I revealed my tricks for making my life simple, successful, and satisfying. Now I'm it popped up right in the middle of the last workshop that you were at.
Dean: With Paul.
Dan: With Paul. Because I've had Kathy Davis and Paul Hamilton, who are two innovation managers for me and one of them in the program the workshop program the other one in marketing, I said, "I'm going to create an exercise where all the Ten Times clients establish what would be the optimum statements of how they want things so that their life is simple, and successful, and satisfying." Use that as the statement for all communication with an expanding team going forward. Once you have that statement you say, "If we're going to work together I want to tell you these are my rules. These are my boundaries and these are my rules." I think it's the failure to believe that you have the right to do that which is the cause of so much turmoil and anxiety on the part of entrepreneurs. There's almost like a sense, "Well, I don't have the right to just have things exactly the way that I want them for the rest of my life."
I said, "If you don't have the right and you say you don't have the right, then I guess it's true. What if you did say you had the right? You did have a right to say exactly how you want the rest of your life. What would you say? Let's talk about what you could say." I'm not saying you're going to commit yourself to it, but I'd like you to know in your own mind that if you did give yourself permission, if you did give yourself the right to say that, wouldn't it be interesting to see what you would come up with? Then decide after that whether you want to actually pull the trigger on that. Anyway, so I've gotten a lot out of this. Plus this started with our conversation last Saturday, at lunch. The omelets are good there, aren't they?
Dean: They really are.
Dan: Our listeners have no notion of what they're missing. This is Jacques Bistro on Cumberland Street, Cumberland Avenue, in Toronto. 38 years, greatest omelets anywhere.
Dean: The funny thing is I don't even have to order anymore.
Dan: No, they come in and they know exactly. See, now that's having a custom design system. Where they've just ridded you of that anxiety that happens to most restaurants. What am I going to have today? It's already taken care of when you walk in the door.
Dean: That's funny.
Dan: Alexandria sees you and she says, "Yep. I know what you're going to have."
Dean: It makes it easy. I love it.
Dan: Anyway Dean, a total pleasure. They get more enjoyable with each one.
Dean: It was a really great clearing. It was great to have that hour with you. I feel clear.
Dan: Yes. I guess we're cleared for Sunday almost. We've actually limbered ourselves up for the main event on Sunday.
Dean: I will love it. We'll get back to the scorecard on Sunday. I appreciate your help with that.
Dan: Okay, thank you very much.
Dean: Thanks, Dan. Bye.
Dan: Bye, Dean.