Finding Time

Man looking at watch

I am married.

I have four kids.

I run a company.

I coach baseball.

I attend my kids sporting events.

I volunteer at church.

I teach myself Spanish.

I read over 4 books a month.

I take training courses to level up on my strengths.

I play on a men’s softball team.

I am a part of a small group rom church that meets 3 times a month.

I am leading my oldest through a multiple month long mentoring group with 4 other dads and sons.

I know what busy feels like.

I get asked all the time, “How do you find the time?” The truth is…I still don’t think I am using my time well enough.

I was speaking at a conference earlier this month about making things better when you are too busy when I was asked this question.

How you find the time?

I told this person…You have to audit how you really work and be honest. I guarantee there is a lot of “work” you do that feels like work, when in reality, you are just complaining about work. Or you are “planning” or “thinking” about work. It may feel like work, because it’s about work. But…it’s not work. It’s just complaining and procrastinating.

I see it everywhere. People tell their coworkers, “I am so busy!” And then they proceed to them everything they are busy with. They spend 20 or 30 minutes doing this before they walk away and tell someone else.

Cut it out. It’s robbing you of a future filled with the progress you want in your life. And I am not even starting on the time wasters in other parts of your day. This is just the work day. You have the time. You just need to cut out all of the fake work.

Today is the day!

I am speaking at 10:45am, Phoenix, AZ time at the #RFMA2018 Annual Conference.

The topic is “How to make things better when you are too busy.”

Public speaking has been a goal of mine since I was a kid. It’s both exciting and intimidating to actually be doing it.

Almost 6 years ago, I was in a mentoring group where we had to give a 5 minute talk to 5 other people at a retreat. It was recorded.

I stood in front of the group. The camera started. I froze. Nothing came out of my mouth for what felt like the entire time.

In dealing with the embarrassment of the who ordeal, I learned something about myself and about speaking in front of people.

You see, I went up in front of that group with only myself in mind. I wanted them to think I was smart, insightful, and motivating. I bombed.

Speaking is about helping other people. It’s about teaching what you know. It’s not about the speaker. It’s about the audience. That monumental change in focus helped me take the fear out of getting in front of people and sharing what’s in my head.

That being said, I am nervous. I have never been in front of this many people. Yet this time, the nerves are exhilarating. What I am going to share changed my business. It changed my work ethic. It has made things possible that would not have been possible…including today where I am taking the first step towards a dream I have had for a very long time.

Let’s go!

Do It Now

If you think about doing something, do it right then and there.

Something powerful happens when you don’t borrow time from later.

The first, and most obvious benefit, is you get whatever it is you just thought about done. When you set something aside for later, you probably won’t do it. So in turn, you will get more done because you starve out procrastination.

The second benefit is you will build up confidence and positivity. You won’t allow yourself to second guess and talk yourself out of doing something. While working lifts your mood, being idle brings you down. Completing something makes you feel good. You don’t spend any time regretting not doing something.

I try to do the same thing every morning. Get up at 5am. Brush my teeth. Exercise. Get ready. Read my Bible. Journal and write a blog post. Work on social (yes work, not consume). Start work.

It’s not easy to get up at 5am. I can always talk myself into getting back into bed. But, having a routine allows me to be productive without putting too much thought into what needs to be done. It builds discipline and the habit of productivity through the routine. It trains my mind to “do it right then and there” instead of giving room to talk myself out of doing the work.

On days where I successfully work through this routine, I am more productive. On days where I don’t, I tend to wonder throughout the day. I think this is because both good decisions and bad decisions build on each other.

The rest of the day, if I need to call someone and I am not in a meeting, I call them. If I need to coach an employee, I coach them. Whatever it is, I work on doing it right then.

I will end with this. While I am getting better at this and becoming more productive. I still fail often. I still procrastinate. I still will crawl back in bed for “5 more minutes.” But those times are becoming less frequent than they used to be.

Build A No Hiding Culture

Startup Business People Working on Laptop

Accountability can be one of the hardest things to get right when running a company. While there are number of reasons why I started a company, the root of it all is that I am an ambitious person who wants to accomplish and succeed. It was put there in me, and I can’t shake it.

Being ambitious can put you on an island. Not everyone is wired the same way. And as much as I am ambitious, I also care for people. I want to treat them well.

When it comes to accountability, I fight this battle in my head. Do I push, or do I create room to grow? I think it can be both.

One solution to this problem is to only surround myself with ambitious people. People who want something for themselves see opportunity in executing on company goals because doing so will get them closer to their goals.

Another is I can either inspire ambition and feed it by setting a target and holding people accountable for hitting the targets. Both options are viable. The second option opens up more doors, especially with the workforce trends in the marketplace where there is very jaded and uninspired generation of people becoming the largest segment fo the workforce.

I have to create a culture where people can’t hide. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I have made in running my company. I assume that everyone is wired like me. The reality is they will think things are important that I care nothing about and ignore the things I think are important. It’s not deliberate. It’s just because they are wired differently.

In order to have accountability, I have to do 2 things.

First, I have to teach what’s important.

Second, I have to follow up to make sure those things are being executed on.

The more important, the more often they need to be followed up on.

Because in order to execute on a vision and dream, my company culture must have accountability. I have to set the expectation. I have to make it clear that when the expectation is not met, it is NOT OK. This can be uncomfortable for people, especially if they are hiding. But this is how to keep people from being able to hide.

The questions I need to be constantly asking, answering, and executing on are as these:

  1. How to I push people to grow without hurting their spirit/positivity/etc.
  2. How do I teach people to be ambitious, and should I only hire ambitious people?
  3. What is really important to me and to the company?
  4. What do I need to follow up on more deliberately?
  5. Who do I need to talk to because their lack of ambition is hurting their future at my company?

I can’t afford to have a culture where people can hide. I can’t have a culture that is brought down by unambitious team members. I can’t have a team of people who do not know what is important. In order to execute on this, I need to set clear expectations of what is acceptable and unacceptable (including having ambition). I need to decide on what I want to follow up on, and then relentlessly follow up on it.

Today did not go as planned…

I started a company because I wanted to great a great place for people to work.

I wanted to people to be free to organize their schedules, be the family members, parents, etc. they needed to be.

This has freed my team to show up for friends who needed them. Work from home when a kid was sick or a contractor is coming to their house. Pursue hobbies and whatever else.

The only thing I ask for in return is that they put everything they have professionally into their jobs.

I chose to work from home today because no one was going to the in the office. With all my kids at school, it was going to be a good opportunity to work in a different environment, uninterrupted, and get some of the creative and thinking work done that I have been unable to get done.

Then, my youngest got sick first thing this morning. Enter distraction, and my day getting thrown off course.

It would be easy to grow frustrated over this, but the reality is being available for times like this is the literal reason I wanted to work for myself and run my company the way that I do.

I am grateful, and today I was able to reconnect to the freedom and the environment I provide for my team because I benefited from it myself.

So while today was not what I hoped it would be, it is still a major win.

Daily Routine

iPad calendar

The reason I wanted a daily routine is to optimize my time, energy level, and focus. I have a wife, 4 kids, run a company, coach baseball, volunteer at my church, and I have hobbies and interests (mostly reading/learning). What happens is these all pull at my time. I get distracted and unintentional. This leads me to end up wasting time.

This is the schedule I have been trying out for the last week. It’s inspired by 3 resources.

Best Self Journal

Set weekly habits, daily objectives, plan out your day, write down what you are grateful for every morning and night.

Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko Willink

Get up early…really early, work out every day, don’t eat sugar or carbs, use logical thinking to get through hard stuff, and use emotional thinking when logical thinking doesn’t work.

The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

Set goals that are 10X bigger than what you think is possible, put in 10X the action you believe it will take to accomplish them, write out your goals every morning and every night.

Here is the schedule.

4:55am – Wake up and brush my teeth.

5:00am – Work out (alternating days of calisthenics and yoga).

5:45am – Shower, shave, dress.

6:00am – Make coffee, write goals, write gratitudes, and plan my day. I try to leave zero white space

6:30am – Read while drinking coffee, eat some protein if hungry. My youngest 2 sons are usually up by this time, so I will stop reading if they want my attention or are hungry. They are a priority over reading.

7:30am – Drive in to work while listening to an audio book.

8:00am – 5:00pm – Work. Most of my time is spent in sales and team training. I will grab lunch when there is time in my schedule.

5:00pm – Drive home while listening to an audio book.

5:30pm – Sit with my wife until it’s time to cook dinner. If it’s nice outside, we sit outside. I will usually join a game of kickball, basketball, or football with my kids and the neighborhood kids.

The rest of the night is less structured. I cook most of the time. It’s a stress release for me. The kids clean up the kitchen. We hangout, maybe watch a movie. The kids go to bed between 8:00pm and 9:00pm.

I go to sleep when I am tired, and always wake up at 4:55am the next morning no matter what.

I am still drinking a ton of coffee because I love it, and I balance it out with over 74 ounces of water.

So far, I have experienced higher and more stable energy levels as well as an overall better attitude.

Gratefulness vs. Desiring More

Scott sitting on coach writing goals

There has been a life long battle in my head between these ideas.

I desire more. Not in a negative way. I just always feel it can be better. I want to do better. I want more.

Then and the same time, I feel guilty that I am being ungrateful.

So for a long time I starved my dreams. I didn’t allow myself to push towards these things in my life that I want to accomplish. I would only take the incredible amount of action I needed to take to accomplish a goal when I was at risk of losing something I already have.

I would only take the incredible amount of action I needed to take to accomplish a goal when I was at risk of losing something I already have.

As a result, I cheated myself in the areas of focus and effort when progress in my life was happening outside of my control.

I have been challenged by several friends and mentors in my life. They saw this trend in my performance long before I recognized it. They would call it “fear of dreaming.” They would tell me, “Scott, you are great when you back is against the wall. You need to figure out how to channel that same level of execution when circumstances are on your side.”

The root cause of this issue has finally come to a head. Discontent and the fear of seeming ungrateful for my life have been at war in my subconscious. This has kept me in a place where I am great and protecting, but slow in achieving.

A daily practice has changed this for me. Starting in October of 2017, I started a daily practice to journal my gratitude and my goals every morning and every night. This forced me to allow what I am grateful for and what I desire to exist side by side. It’s connected me to goals and dreams I have buried in my mind. And it’s forced me to come face to face with reality.

Discontent, or really a strong desire of progress, is not at odds with gratitude. They exist in the same space. In fact, they fuel each other. I don’t need to feel guilty about wanting what I want in life anymore than I should tolerate negativity around what I have.

My dreams, goals, desires, and appetite to make things better than they are have been placed in me. I was created with these desires, and burying them will only push me into a dark place.

I hope this idea encourages you if you have ever felt guilty about pursuing your dreams. You’re free to be grateful and desire more in the same space. It’s ok. In fact, it’s the way you were created.

What are you doing to prepare for increasing skilled labor rates?

I am bullish on this topic which, is why I talk about it so much.

Maintenance repair rates are increasing and will continue to do so exponentially over the next 3-5 years.

  1. Repair contractors point to finding qualified people as the number 1 obstacle to running their businesses.
  2. They have to pay people more to attract them to their companies.
  3. As this problem increases…and it will for a period of at least 3-5 years…smaller repair contractors who aren’t able to command higher rates and pay hire wages are going to go out of business.
  4. This decreases the supply of contractors and increases demand…and rates…even higher.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the maintenance industry is too reactive. Because this reality is going to cause problems for those who don’t see it coming. And…because it’s going to affect your job as a facilities manager. It’s going to affect the skills you need in order to be effective. And…it’s going to affect the partners you choose to work with.

And you will need partners who act as an extension of your company instead of like a vendor.

You need partners to…

  • Compile new information daily so you aren’t blindsided by a setback.
  • Collect and analyze repair data. How will you find the root problems…the operational and personnel problems…that are leading to your maintenance issues.
  • Negotiate on your behalf…and I’m talking about more than pricing. You will have to negotiate to get your jobs scheduled first. You will have to negotiate to get someone to take you on as a customer. You will have negotiate on payment terms.
  • Look out for your best interests. When vendors believe they can get away with something, they will. What are you going to do when someone is overcharging, but they are your only option to get the work done immediately? Meanwhile, there are 4 other jobs under the same situation.

You have to start changing your mindset. You have to start looking down the road. Don’t wait. Stop reacting. Because if you don’t change, someone will come along who will.

The Life Skill of Persuasion

I put new training program in place a Envoy centered around persuasion. I believe this skill will bring the most impact to our organization because our success and failures lie in our ability to convince people to do what we need them to do for our customers–and then get them to actually do it.

The most biggest idea to understand when it comes to persuasion is: No matter what you do, you are in sales. You have to get over this. In order to succeed in life, you will have to convince others to believe in what you believe in or do what needs to be done.

How else will you…

  • convince a co-worker to help you on a project?
  • get a vendor to finish something on time?
  • keep your relationship healthy by making sure your partner stays sold on you?
  • get people around you have a positive attitude?
  • inspire people to follow your leadership and vision?
  • sell your product or service?
  • keep customers happy after they decide to buy?

What I am teaching my team, and the idea I am selling to you is you have to embrace and get comfortable with learning and practicing persuasion.

–Scott Reyes