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Don't Start a Business. Start a Revolution. 12 Tips On What NOT to Do to When Trying to Build a Business.


Don't Start a Business. Start a Revolution. Brian Sites of Clay Dog Enterprises shares his "12 Tips On What NOT to Do to When Trying to Build a Business" on the PME 360 Powering Business Growth Show. …

Don't Start a Business. Start a Revolution. Brian Sites of Clay Dog Enterprises shares his "12 Tips On What NOT to Do to When Trying to Build a Business" on the PME 360 Powering Business Growth Show. Your hosts, Ron Rodi, Jr and Ryan Paul Adams interview Brian and can help you discover some powerful tips on how to build a business the right way and common mistakes to avoid.

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  • 1. Don’t Start a Business. Start a RevolutionRon: Good morning!Welcome to PME360: Powering Business Growth show. For each week, we talk about issuesand offer advice on how to power growth for your business. I’m your host Ron Rodi, Jr.With me as always the man with the plan, the marketing man Ryan Paul Adams, our CEO.Ryan, good morning!Ryan: Good morning! Still makes me laugh.Ron: Got to get a little excitement on the morning here – Monday morning. Ryan, I knowwe’re both excited today to continuing the format of bringing industry experts to talk a littlebit more about their experience.And today’s no more different. Today, we’re very excited to have on with us, Brian Sites.Brian Sites is the current Global Product Management and Marketing Director for ActiveGroup Ventures. And Brian’s latest work is as the President of his newest venture, ClaydogEnterprises.Claydog is founded as an antidote to common business and governmental practices offeringvery useful consulting and insightful innovation and services to the public and privatesectors.Brian, good morning. How are you today?Brian: Great, guys! Thanks for having me on. Looking forward to this.Ryan: Good morning, Brian.Brian: Good morning!Ron: Brian, you’ve worked with both large Fortune 500 companies and small tech start-ups.And along the way, you’ve accumulated a list if what we call worst practices. And today,we’re going to offer tips on what not to do in trying to grow your business. We’re veryexcited to have you on, Brian. Perhaps you would want to say a few words.Brian: Yeah, I would. Just to kind of set the tone of what we’re going to talk about here.What I see happening out there in the world – it doesn’t matter whether it’s business orgovernment. But there’s a revolution happening.And being in business specifically does not need to be as hard as most people make it.There’s enough people out there who’s making it hard. Let’s not follow them. Let’s lead onour own terms. That’s really the message I want to get across today.Ron: Absolutely. Just to start it off, Brian. Why don’t we start it off with really the first thingthat you put together in this list here. We’re going to go ahead and run through this becauseI think each and every point deserves its attention. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 2. And one of the things we often run into as business owner is really when it comes tocompetition, right?So let’s jump in there. Let’s talk about a little about your theory there – competition being adodge.Brian: Competition is somewhat of a dodge. Absolutely, it keeps capitalization afloat butobsessive competition is really what I’m talking about right here.Obsessive competition really stifles innovation by keeping your team narrowly focused. Youreally need to be aware of what your competition is doing but you have to avoid the pitfallof the need-to syndrome.You know, matching your competitor product to product, service for service. Instead youhave to dare to carve your own path. And dare others to compete with you. A great examplefor this, I’ve worked for World Championship Wrestling in the late 1990s. And yes, that wasan awesome job.But in the mid-‘90s, WCW came up with this new format and injected into a primetime hour.It was wrestling entertainment kind of reality show mixture that they came up with. And theformat worked, great!And they start stealing tremendous market share. Our competitors at that time, looked atour format and said, “’s really interesting. They’re doing something cool overthere.”So they took that format and instead of doing exactly what we were doing, they carved theirown path wit it. And after a couple of years, they stopped competing with us. We were theones looking to compete with them because they had taken our idea and done such a greatjob with it. By just being aware of what we’re doing, carving their own path – pretty soon,the market share shifted. And the end of the story is, they ended up buying us just a fewyears later.Ron: So it’s fair to say that, to mirror and match your competition is one thing but to takewhat they’re doing and make it better, right?Not just necessarily matching them but making improvements upon what they’re doing?Brian: Exactly. If you bring it down to a tech level, too. I don’t want my senior developerthinking about how he’s going to make a competition’s widget. I want him to focus on whatis not being answered there in the marketplace. How I’m going to develop that product.How I’m going to answer the vision that my Product Manager or Boss has for the company.Ryan: Really, what I find Brian is that when you tell a developer or somebody on your teamto do what they’re doing or look at what they’re doing – it boxes them in.They can’t think outside of that and you get exactly what they have. And I see this in life,too.Too often, we try to measure up to whatever everyone else is doing instead of living the lifewe wanted and doing the same things that are important to us. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 3. We always try to look at the neighbor, the person down the street or whatever. We need tobe there. We need to do this. The same thing applies to business. You said blaze your ownpath. At the end of the day, it will be a lot more rewarding. You’ll have something that you’llvalue a lot more.Brian: It’s kind of a revolutionary feeling. Free yourself up to blaze your own path ---- YEAH!You know, just grab on to it, and go on with it.Ron: Very empowering. Absolutely! So let’s talk a little bit gentlemen about getting intoborrowing.Brian: Debts?Ron: Yes, debts. Something that we know too much of as a society. But in terms of business,Brian, you have some really good opinions about borrowing.Brian: There’s a saying out there in the tech industry, it’s a lot easier for a starter to find a100 million dollars in venture capital than it is to find 10 million.And the idea there, the bigger the vision, a bigger investment and a bigger promise of pay-off in the end. And unfortunately in most of the ventures, it’s absolutely suicide.I mean, the trade off for the entrepreneur and the team is that there’s less control over themission and future of the organization. I’m all about borrow less, start smaller and earn yourown destiny. That doesn’t mean you can’t think big. That doesn’t mean you can’t have yourown vision.But start more realistically in some instances.Ron: And you see these start-ups today that are acquiring a tremendous amount of capital.And it’s very, very difficult for them to become successful.You look at Facebook. You look at Groupon. These are larger examples of course. But havingthose obligations right off the bat, there’s a tremendous pressure. Not only that, going toyour last point and tying this all in, blazing your own path and doing things a little differently,I think it’s challenging.I think, it’s a very good point in terms of not necessarily going after a huge amount ofobligations. Really, starting small and being able to borrow less and controlling your owndestiny makes for a valid point there.Brian: And I think you’re starting to see this with a lot of in the tech world and over theplace. A lot of people are really looking at this and say, “There are a lot of other things I cando on my own. There are a lot of things I can outsource. There are a lot of things I can bringa much smaller team together and do and start at this point and do it smartly.”And I think that’s a big trend you’re going to see growing in the very near future.Ron: Ryan, what are your thoughts there on giving up what’s yours versus keeping it. I knowyou have some thoughts on that. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 4. Ryan: Well, it’s a tough decision. I know that we’ve talked about to small businesses andthey’re struggling to take that next step forward.A lot of times there is nothing else you can do than find some money somewhere. I justdon’t think they’re looking at taking on venture capital. But still you have to make sometough decisions when it comes to money. And finding the right way to get that money onboard, it is a struggle.Ron: So I think as we move on this list here. A lot of times Brian, we hear about developingan exit strategy.And I think your challenge is to not to think about an exit strategy. To think about longevity.And to think about your business in decades not necessarily just years. Talk a little bit aboutthat, that exit strategy not developing one.Brian: Developing an exit strategy sounds like an awesome plan, right? But exit plans really,really do at the end of the day, box you in.They set expectations for you and for your team. And investors distort the potential of yourorganization basically.What is the alternative to that? Why don’t we start envisioning what our company’s, ourbusiness’s will look like in 50 years. What it’s going to look like during the next paradigmshift, during the next revolution?Really, we have to stop thinking about in terms of these short term payoffs. We really havethis idea – this calcified in the 1990s and 2000s. we’ve got to get in, grow it, get out in 5years, cash out and go start something else. Well, that’s all well and good but that doesn’treally work for a large majority of organizations.I’ll give you an example of a company I currently work with. My boss who started thecompany in 1999 came in and he brought a bunch of investors in. and they convinced himright off the onset that, “Hey, you’re going to grow into this amount of revenue, this amountof EBIT. Once you get there, step back, sell the company, bring somebody else in. And so wedid. We were growing tremendously when he sold us. And guess what, we stopped growing.His exit strategy didn’t match the potential of the company. And I don’t blame him for that –hindsight being 20-20. He could’ve stayed around too. But let’s start thinking about ourcompanies and organizations in terms of what this would look 50 years from now and what’smy part in it.Ron: It’s really not fair to the organization to have those tight parameters around it. Say, 5years then we’ll be done. There could be an extra 2 to 3 years to really take that productyou’re developing to the next level or executing some different strategies.So to be open-minded about it and to have a long term vision around it. It’s very important. Ithink it’s fair to say that things could be missed by just having a short term view. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 5. Brian: Right. And I’ll put this through too, Ryan. As far, in terms of the organizations that youhave now. I mean, going to your point earlier, it’s kind of like having, looking at theneighbor’s house and wishing your driveway was that nice or that you have a better fence.It’s the same thing with an exit strategy. You almost feel compelled to put something outthere. And say, “In 5 years, this is where I want to be, this is what the organization is, this ishow I cash out – is that something you feel?Ryan: Yeah, or that we have to pivot too fast to keep up. And when you’re doing that, youend up doing more mistakes. I think it’s absolutely important to stay true to your core vision–“This is who we want to be. This is what we’re going to do. And let’s be the best in the worldat this. And let’s not worry about what everybody else is offering, all this other stuff. And juststay focus.”And it’s so hard. The book Good to Great, I always refer to and just being the hedgehog,right? That dowdy creature and just be really, really good at one thing.I think, too many people try to be too many things. The companies try to do so many things.Brian: That’s a good segue to one of the points here. We have this tendency to give awayeasy tasks. It’s almost like we have the tendency to focus on the tasks that are most difficultbecause we feel like if we’re doing something easy, we’re not really working.And for small organizations, this is a killer. If your passion is in the product development forexample, then it probably comes very easy for you. It doesn’t feel as if it’s hard work. Don’tgive that up.If you’re leading your organization, don’t give that duty away to focus on accountreceivables just because you need help in the finance area. Unless if that comes easy for youas well.Because you’re going to end up wasting your time and effort, taking your focus away fromwhat is your true aptitude. You spend more time doing what comes easiest and find ways tooutsource and insource those tasks that drain for lack of better word – your mojo.The same goes for your team – don’t drain them! Don’t put them off on tasks that don’t fittheir skills and abilities. And things that come easy to them as well.Ron: Making sure that the right people are executing in the right areas of their strength.You’re not certainly going to assign someone that’s a front of house guy from a businessdevelopment or sales standpoint to someone to go ahead and create processes.I know if I had to do that, I couldn’t do that. That’s not my skill. So I think you really have tomake sure, you’re not giving away those tasks that are controllable, that you can take careof yourself. But at the same time, they’re being assigned to the right people.Going back to one point, in regards to that exit strategy. Having an early exit strategy, youcan tie that with the borrowing point as well. I know these points are well thought out andthey can play off each other. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 6. But I think if you have investors that you need to satisfy, it’s going to pressure you topotentially wanting to get out early. So I think that it’s important to keep in mind that allthese points certainly come together.And the listeners here, when they sit down and certainly listen to the individual points, listento the audio even look at the contents that had been developed – everything’s going to flownicely into each other.One of the things I do want to mention. You know you have interesting thoughts aroundhere, particularly in Maine. Make sure you don’t ignore your government. Most businessescomplain about government but let’s dive into that point a little bit. I know we’ve talkedabout this briefly in the past.Brian: Most business owners especially small business owners whom I’ve talked to tend tocomplain about government – everything about taxes, to licensing to industry regulations.You know, they sometimes feel so confined. There’s no room for them to maneuver in acomplex business environment at times. But being here in Maine. I’m fairly new to Maine,I’ve been here only for 2 years. I see a lot of potential – especially in the local level to getinvolved with your local government.Not necessarily to change your local government but just to get a closer look at thelandscape. But I think, there are opportunities here for investment and development thatare really overlooked sometimes.And sometimes, these opportunities are what I call as double-ready. It may not be building aroad. But maybe there is a way for you to get involved in shaping these opportunities foryourself and the community simultaneously.I think, this part of the revolution. We have to change our mindset. For so long we look atthe government as a hindrance. There are some opportunities here for us. Let’s re-look atthis. And start looking locally – that’s something that’s happening a lot in some industriesright now.Ron: I think it’s a great point. You hear government working together. A lot of times you justhave to jump in and say “Hey, how can I be of help? Especially at the local level.”It’s uber important. And if you’re complaining about it then you have to at least try to seethe other side.Brian: Exactly.Ron: It’s really difficult to ignore the culture that you’re trying to grow in your business,right? And I think it’s important not to ignore them. As you’re building your business, asyou’re building your enterprise.I think it’s really important to make sure that you’re keeping the quality of your organization.Making sure that everyone’s in the right path to productivity and innovation.Brian: A positive and supportive organizational culture is a key driver to productivity andinnovation. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 7. Here’s one thing to culture, it develops. So you better put a little thought on the type ofculture you want to develop within your organization.If you have a short sided organizational plan, you often overlook this aspect. You really wantto put a thought on the type of environment you want to create. Then nurture and promoteit.I mean, it’s really that simple because it’s going to develop on its own. You really want topush it in a much more positive and supportive way for you and your team.Ron: Ryan, I’d like to hear your thoughts on that – as you build the culture of PME360. Whatare your thoughts there?Ryan: It’s one of those things there where you’re trying to grow, you can easily lose sight ofbuilding culture. And you put a lot of pressure on yourself and people.You know, you can lose sight of that vision. At the end of the day, what you want to do isbuild an awesome place for people to go to work and it becomes more than just work. Itbecomes their passion. As Seth Godin quotes it, it becomes a cause. That’s what you want tostrive for.Brian: The Seth Godin quote by the way is this, “If your team is filled with people who workfor the company, you’ll soon be defeated by a tribe of people who work for a cause.”It’s absolutely true.Ryan: It’s huge.Brian: Another example I’ll give on this point is the know Zappos they actually offer their employees a substantial bonus to leave after 2weeks with the idea being that if you fit the culture you stay.And if you don’t fit and you stayed, you end up costing them more than what it cost for thatbonus, your training and rehiring cost. So I mean, that’s a good example of really focusing onwhat is my culture here – how is it impacting my business.sRyan: But there is another example of a great organization thinking outside the box. Howmany companies do you know that have thought something like that? I don’t know if I everheard of it before to be honest with you.Ron: More and more people want to work in organizations that foster that culture. And theyreally are truly passionate about what they do. And at the end of the day, we can go to workas a means to an end – or we can go to work and we can make some sort of change.And I think that really speaks to that point there.The people that you hire, ultimately, they’ve got to be behind your cause. They’ve got towork in conjunction with it. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 8. Brian: I keep on going back to this quiet revolution that’s happening but I think you’re seeingmore and more people wanting to get involved in something that touches them (and for alack of better word) in a passionate way. So yeah, I think this is going to be a bigger andbigger thing going forward.Ron: Interesting. I think this is really good stuff. Brian, how big is your company? Is that aquestion you’ve been asked a lot?Brian: I’ve always hated this question. I’ll get asked a lot in parties, “What do you do?”And I tell people what I did and people roll their eyes back in their heads because they’re notreally interested to hear what I did. But the next inevitable question was, “How big is yourcompany?”Because they don’t understand what you do, at least they can understand how successfulyou are. But it always bothered me that I worked for a company with 15 people.Granted, I worked for a global corporation. We’re in I don’t even know how many countries.But it’s a staff of 15 and we’re pretty successful right? But that question goes to “How big isyour company?”And it’s like you have to be big in order to be successful. Somehow, having a lot of girthdefines your success.And how productive you are, how profitable you are, how successful you are. However youdefine success for yourself has nothing to do with the size of your organization.Just grow your organization where you have pain. There are areas that don’t fit. There areareas that drain your mojo, that drain your resources. Don’t grow where you think you needgirth just so you can go to a party and say, “My company is this big.” It just doesn’t make anysense.Ryan: I think it’s really powerful for anybody who’s listening to really focus in on what youjust said.Ron: It’s not necessary to grow fast. You don’t have to necessarily grow fast, right?It’s growing the right way – in terms of productivity and profitability.Brian: If you have the capability to grow fast, and you have everything in place and it’s partof your plan, it’s who you want to be, then go for it.But if it’s not who you want to be and it’s not part of your plan and it’s scary for you and itstresses you out, then take a step back, figure out what it is that’s important for you anddefine what that is and what are you going to measure success on. I think that’s reallyimportant. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 9. Ron: Good stuff, guys. Brian, we talked about not giving away the easy tasks early on. Isthere anything else you want to interject there?Brian: Kind of tumbling off Ryan’s point there, in terms of leadership, there are a lot of stylesof leadership out there. We have this tendency again as leaders, we want to have all theanswers.And I have this conversation with a lot of people. And a lot of times, they would bring upSteve Jobs, “Well Steve Jobs had all the answers. Look at the iPad, the iPhone.”And I kind of have a different take on Steve Jobs. When I see Steve Jobs, he was good atleading people and building products that he wanted to use. That’s completely differentfrom having all the answers.So having all the answers sometimes discourage your team from having inputs, and stiflesthe ownership mentality that’s necessary in most successful organizations.So don’t have all the answers sometimes. Build the things you want to use. But don’t feellike you have to have every answer for every area of your business.Ron: As you mentioned, it stifles creativity. Taking that Steve Jobs example, developing theproducts that solves the problem or something that you want to use. And obviously, withApple, iPad and all of his products – everyone wanted to use them. I think it’s somethingthat’s very important to cultivate within your organization.Ryan, you had some insights on some of the products you’re developing – the marketingautomation suite for PME.Ryan: Early on, when I started PME360, I felt like I had to know all the answers. Andeveryone was looking to me for those answers. I felt I had to know everything that we weredoing. What it ended up doing is, it crippled the team. It’s what it did.And I learned that the hard way. People stop thinking for themselves. They’re looking to meto kind of figure out what the next things was. We had to come to a point where you have toidentify your team too. What they can be the best at the world at.And by identifying that, we’ve been able to do a much better job.“I don’t know the answer. You can find it. And you have the freedom to go ahead and dothat.”Ron: Absolutely very good insight. Brian, what about changing with the needs of your clientsBrian: I think this is very, very important. Sometimes, it’s counter-intuitive. Sometimes, it’sokay for your clients to outgrow your products and services. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 10. And the reason I say that, some from personal experience. For every incremental change,add-ons and improvements that you make to your products or services for your biggest orbest clients the more you have the tendency to alienate existing or new clients.You know, stay your course.Going back to what we talked before about growing fast and how we set up the culture. Stayyour course and build for the long-term.There’s a great book out there that I think everyone should read, it’s called “Rework”. It’swritten by the guys at 37Signals who are at Chicago if I’m not mistaken. Isn’t that right, Ron?Ron: That is correct.Brian: And 37Signals for those of who you don’t know them, they built Bascamp and Ruby onRails. They developed these things because they were following the model of “we’re goingto build products that we need to use”.And they don’t change them for their clients. They continually update, improve and growtheir product base smartly but they let their clients outgrow them.They’re not willing to make small incremental changes that will alienate an entire group ofpotential and existing clients. It keeps things simple. It keeps your team focus and you canreally hone in on those things that make your products and services revolutionary.Ron: But really adapting and changing for your clients’ needs. The point here is to stay focus.If you’re trying to create a product, if you’re trying to be the best in the world at something.Let’s say you’re trying to be scalable, to be able to grow and grow fast – changing to eachand every client’s needs, sometimes, chasing shiny objects is really something that willthrow you off course.Ryan: Only thing that I would add is that I’ve noticed in my business, anytime you customizesomething for someone, whether it’s a product or a service, it typically takes more time ofthe special people in your organization and drains vital resources and energy.Then it becomes something we change this. We customize this. And here we are. But wait,we can’t possibly do this again for someone else. And now we’re committed to doing this forthis person and you’re stuck.So you really have to ask yourself some tough questions if you’re really going to customizethings for people – if you can really even do it.Brian: Exactly. What it really comes down to is you start competing with yourself in someways.Ryan: Yeah. You got it right. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 11. Ron: Great stuff guys. Very good.Brian: And the other thing that this call leads to are a lot more meetings.Ryan: Oh yeah.Ron: That’s very true.Brian: So you’re scheduling a meeting in high-functioning, high-activity organizations, wehave this tendency to want to meet to catch up and get everybody on the same page. Andgenerally, these types of meetings are really not productive.My mantra is: Let’s meet less. Let’s meet shorter. And let’s meet with fewer people.You’ve got to ask yourself, “Do we really need to meet about this?”I mean think about your week and how much time you spend being productive in a meeting.And I bet that you can count on one hand how many minutes you can be productive in ameeting.Ron: It also goes back to having the right people and your confidence to be able to get donewhatever you’re telling them to get done.So you’re not to micromanage them. As a leader of an organization, sometimes you want totry to have that meeting to make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.But if you have the right people in place and you’ve set the right culture in place, along withthe other points we’ve talked about.So, it’s really – why meet?Sometimes, maybe to be satisfied. To make sure that people are doing what they’resupposed to be doing.Brian: Yeah. There is a micromanagement aspect to that right? As one of you guysmentioned it. When we talked about this earlier. Yeah, it’s almost we’re expecting people toshow up and be prepared.You know, there is a prep work that goes in the meeting. So you’re doing somethingunproductive by just prepping for the meeting. And then you’re having the meeting andafterwards, usually there are no action items.What do we really accomplish, right?Ryan: Brian, what do you see that works really well as far as meetings go?Brian: We’ve applied Agile Scrum about a year and a half ago. And it has provided us aplatform of tremendous productivity on the development side. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 12. With all these systems, there’s always a downside. There is no perfect system to catch all.But I’ve found out that this works best in a tech development environment.We’ve experimented and applied it to sales but it was a tremendous flop. But on thetechnology side, on just the pure tech development, we find Scrum to be tremendouslyfocusing and productive.And I’d say about that in a meeting context too. Our guys meet 15 minutes in the morningtops. They’re not allowed to meet more than that. We run through a catch up 1 hour everytwo weeks and it’s productive.And we have action items that fall out of that and everything runs seamlessly.Ron: So when you have those 15-minute stand-ups, give me an example of what goes onthere as it’s pretty quick, just 15 minutes.Brian: Scrum is interesting. It sets up everything in 2 week sprints.We don’t assign hours or days or any sort of time measure to the tasks that we’re workingon. We assign a number value. And that number value loosely correlates to a time.So basically, every day when our guys stand up, they’re working on their number valueassignments. We’re constantly checking on them. “You assigned a 4 on this and where areyou? Well, today’s a 2.” That’s really all we’re talking about in these little stand-ups.We have the division staff bringing all the details to the development team. And thedevelopment teams are breaking this into tasks and assigning to themselves basically.Ron: So the priorities are set there.Brian: Priorities are set. You know, it’s a tough system to go in. But once you get into it, it’sreally incredibly effective.Ron: Fantastic! These are all absolutely great points.What about releasing products when it’s done? How often do you see, making sure thateverything is perfected before something is released to the world? Tell us more about that.Brian: In the tech world, we tend to want everything to be perfect before we release – nobugs, no glitches – none of that stuff.And that stuff is really important. But what you have to understand, whatever you’rereleasing, you’re always going to be in the middle of it.Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean you stop working on it. That’s basically the point. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 13. So when you’re releasing a product, a service, an update, you’re always going to be in themiddle of it. And the bigger the organization, the longer something has been established inthe marketplace, the more versed we become of getting things out the door before they’reperfect.So you just have to understand, first, it’s never going to be perfect. Second, you need toknow the imperfections sooner rather than later before you go out and make all this timeand resource investment in making the perfect product.I look at Claydog, this venture I’m starting up. This is kind of where I am. I’m kind of in themiddle. I haven’t perfected my business plan yet but I’m getting it out there.I’m talking to you guys about this stuff because it’s important to start hearing somefeedback.Ron: Exactly. You get different insights. You get different feedbacks. And you’re able to makesome tweaks.I think if you hold it back, then you’d never know enough by the time you come forward withit.I think it’s a valid point.And now this last point is something that really hits home. Staying connected and stayinglate.You have an opinion about this Brian, as well as Ryan and I.It’s not necessarily about getting 2 hours of sleep or burning out. Because I think it’sobviously not to.Your mantra doesn’t necessarily state stay so connected or stay so late. Can you talk a littlebit on that?Brian: We all know that we’re way too connected right now. And it’s the gift of technology –and a curse.I mean, we all talk about it. And we all know intuitively that it’s not super healthy for us toalways be on.For your health, for the health of your team and ultimately, for the health of the wholeorganization, you’ve got to practice some sort of structured disorganization. By that I mean,leave at the end of the day, stop answering emails and get some sleep. That’s really what itcomes down to. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 14. The work is never going to stop coming. And you don’t always need to be on. So put thephone down. Stop answering emails.As I work on Claydog, I work with a lot of small business owners. One of them, when I firstmet her, she said, “I don’t answer emails after 6.”And I was surprised. And I told her, “Can we meet at 8:30 tomorrow?”She replied, “No, I don’t start meetings until 9.”I was like, “You know, that’s pretty awesome.”You’re clients will actually respect you for it. You know that’s the fear. The clients putsomething out there and we need to respond right away. But ultimately, they’re going torespect you for having those boundaries.Ryan: I’ve just found out that responding in real time, you just can’t focus. It’s a constantinterruption – your email, your phone, you have social media. Like you mentioned earlier,we’re way too connected.And the expectation of being way too connected is that, when I send something out, youbetter respond. It better bounce back like I’m throwing a ball off the wall.It’s really not the case. And it shouldn’t be the expectation.And it goes back to setting expectations. When you take on a new client or a new job, this ismy process. This is how I do it. And get it out there.And most people will be like, “Fine, that’s great. I have no problem. Now that I know that, noissues.”It’s the feeling that we have to that and not knowing what the response will be if we don’tget back to people. That kind of unknown. I think that fear is the problem.But just get it out there, “This is how we do it. And if you don’t like it, I don’t know how totell you I can’t be on my phone 24 hours a day.”Ron: I think one there is, responding in real time – how often do we wish that we had notsent that email within the first 30 seconds, right?Take a look at it. Let in sink in. Let it breathe a little bit. Maybe count to 10 if you have anasty reply for something.I think it’s also important not to really respond in real time there because you’ve got to getyour thoughts together. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 15. Ryan: You’re much productive as far as sending emails if you do it in your computer. Sendingan email back from your phone probably takes 3 to 4 times as long. It just does.If you look at the keyboard, trying to send it back – it takes a little longer.Also, your reply is shorter. The tome of your reply is going to be different than if you were atyour computer and responding to all your emails at one time.Brian: I don’t know about your auto-correct but when I respond to them, it makes me lookdrunk.Ron: Or if you have fat thumbs and typing the wrong thing or correcting your spelling.Brian, anything else you wanted to add about Claydog Enterprises?Brian: I know we talked about 12, but I’m going to give you a baker’s dozen today and go fora 13th little point here.This is about getting diverse opinions in your organization. There is a belief system that wehave to have all these opinions come in before we do something – before we act onsomething.And what happens is, you end up fighting for your point of view. You end up spending yourtime fighting for your point of view and for your vision.And the results that come in from the other side are generally going to be much moremediocre. So this is another counter-intuitive thing right here.It’s like we are told we have to have this diversity of opinions and to put up these greatthings. But really, it does tend to move your outcomes to something in the more mediocrerange.So it’s okay to work with like-minded people. It’s okay to work with people who see thingsexactly the way you do. Because you’re going to get where you want to go a lot faster in thatway.Ryan: The same thing applies to sports world. The team that really gels and really appreciateeach other. That really like working together. That have and share a common vision.Every team that ends up winning the championship falls in that category. It’s the same thingin the business world. Those teams that work together and gel and share the same vision aregoing to do bigger and better things than the ones that are fragmented or have too manyopinions and going into too many directions.Brian: You want me to say a little word about Claydog here at the end. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  • 16. Claydog is pretty much in its ancient form right now. I think you can probably tell from thesepoints here that we’re very passionate with the business world. We’ve very passionateabout government as well – especially local and state government.And Claydog is really formulating to become a product and services delivery for these twoenvironments. There will be more to come here in the next few, our website should be up in about two weeks. And if anybody needs to reachme beforehand, you can simply reach me at Awesome, Brian! Really, really appreciate your time and your insights here. I though itwas great. Thank you very much for coming on. It was great to have you.Ryan: Thank you Brian!Brian: I’ll leave you with one more thing that I just came across late last week. You guysheard about the dollar shave club?Ryan: Yeah.Brian: If anyone’s listening and they haven’t Googled that or gone to YouTube to watch that.Then let me tell you that, that guy is revolutionary. That’s where we should really be looking.He’s a great example of someone who’s carving his own path. It’s fantastic.Ryan: Yeah. It’s awesome. I’ve been sharing that all over the place since you sent it to me,Brian.Brian: All right guys. Thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed this. Thank you again.Ron: Take care now. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses