Archives For Best Practices

There has been a growing trend for sometime now that is pushing business owners out of their own real estate space. The trend of co-working environments is when companies utilize space along side of other companies within relatively the same suite, same address, same common space, office equipment etc. Experts predict this business trend will reach 21,306 facilities worldwide by the end of 2019. This concept may not be foreign to you but many visitors to Drive Planning still view it with a healthy curiosity.

James & Katie

Of course the curiosity ranges in degrees of understanding and interest. Most suggest they’ve heard about this and comment about the energy and cool atmosphere that it exudes. Many business owners or anyone with an entrepreneurial flare starts doing the math; Is this a good deal?…..is it right for them? You can see their wheels begin to turn.

The upside for a growing company is the flexibility to increase your Real Estate only as you increase Human Capital. For those who track with us routinely you recognize these as two of the four key elements to business as noted in The Big Four of Business. The ease and flexibility are undeniable. You’re never purchasing dead space while you are waiting to grow.

At Drive Planning, we certainly enjoy the productivity that comes from allowing our team to work close to home. Eliminating, or at least minimizing, extreme travel time for our team members and those clients visiting our office is certainly a strategic advantage. We are able to market locations in multiple areas thus allowing us to recruit new/local Consultants or new/local clients/Members.

This brings us to a critical piece of any organization, particularly startups! The ethos of an organization is discussed more today than ever, or at least more so than anytime I recall in my twenty four year career. Is it due to the millennials who get blamed for most things:) Could this conversation be the sole result of the Google’s, Facebooks and Apple type corporations famed offices. Likely a mixture of both.

The trends of open space, in office games, drinks and youthful energy are real and I love them! However, if you’re a start up business it would certainly be hard to justify a Ping Pong Table or a bar for your new office. This new style of office affords you that luxury/perk. So, I am fully into developing that edgy ethos and culture, creating that vibe; every company has one whether bad or good.

This is where the dark side of co-working space comes into play. Its when you’re creating that vibe or ethos that you desire but do not have full control. What happens when your company ends up in a location that doesn’t share your same energy.  It isn’t always that you have chosen poorly. Like I stated earlier, there are certainly lots of choices out there, more so than ever before. I have seen environments and cultures radically change due to a change within the hosts or community staff that manages the co-working space.

As a disclaimer we have only ran into this situation a couple of times over the years. Many of the community managers have appeared on our website, participated in our company outings and remain friends today. Some have not.

The staff or leaders of each community have a great impact on the success and feel of each location. The Co-Working Community Team become extensions of your office and company. They often times interact with your guests, answer telephone calls and sometimes have more impact administratively. These individuals aren’t staff that you have carefully chosen or vetted through your on-boarding process. You would have never discussed their level of pay, career goals, family dynamics, timelines or any other personal matters that impact employment, yet you are stuck with them for better or worse.

It can be frustrating to have staff members that you didn’t hire and you can’t fire!

                                                           – Todd Burkhalter

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Whats the answer, unfortunately I do not have a proper end all solution. I merely have a band-aid and some potential preventative solutions.

When choosing a Co-Working Company:

  • Consider one with multiple locations – This will allow you to shift little more easily day to day meetings but even if you were to experience a staff member that wasn’t a good fit.
  • Ask a lot of questions – Determine how frequently they automatically change staff members to different locations. This isn’t fool proof but you can determine if there will automatically be a revolving door as opposed to the individual deciding to change positions.
  • Consider Community Events – How frequently will your location be hosting community events? What type of events will be held? Ask for a list of past events. Make sure that these will not be a constant disruption and fit within themes consistent with your values and corporate dynamics.
  • Consider The Networking – Ask for a list of companies that exist in the space. We have found these people will become friends, resources, potential business or clients.
  • The Dark Side – One last comment regarding that staff member that just ruins your day. Work to minimize your interaction through being able to transition locations but also consider hiring your own staff person that creates a majority of the customer reception or engagement.

Though there may be some downside risk; I believe that the Co-Working or Flexible Space Model has so many positives that it out-weighs the potential Dark Side which can be cast by a Staff person who likely will not be there very long. Let’s face it when someone has a poor attitude they aren’t likely to be around long term anyways.

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You may have heard the phrase that success leaves clues. These clues can serve as a roadmap for us to follow. Those of us who are actively trying to improve like to pick out role models or people who are where we want to be and follow their path.

 

During the workweek, it is often obvious the steps that we should take to get ahead. The Life You Can Afford to Live and Drive Planning spends a copious amounts of time on winning at the workplace and in life. I have noticed that truly successful people create an intentional approach to their life all week long. Even throughout the weekends they are creating relationships and participating in activities which enhance their personal growth and development.

 

Canvas Glory Co.

 

 

Time with Family and Friends

Surrounding yourself with those closest to you reminds you of your purpose and grounds you. This time serves as a reminder for why you work so hard and what is truly important.

 

Vacation

Getting away from the same scenery and town is educational and energizing. Traveling always reminds me of the diverse world that we live in thus making me more appreciative and thankful for all of the different cultures. This time away almost always proves to be the times when Jackie and I meet the most interesting people.

 

Worship

As a Christian I respect Sundays. Therefore, I will most often be in my home church giving praise. Regardless of your style of worship it is healthy to recognize and serve something bigger than yourself. Successful people most often recognize their place in the world and universe.

 

Avoid Work

As I just mentioned above I certainly do not want to work on a Sunday but that goes for any portion weekend. It is a misconception that successful people work 7 days per week. Truly successful people lead rich lives outside of the workplace. There has become an American trend to tout your lengthy work hours as a badge of honor, no thanks. If you work effectively and smart; you can enjoy your weekends outside of the office. Lastly, I certainly want to avoid mundane chores. Most tasks that are in this category should be outsourced to someone who is better suited for the task than yourself. Use your time more wisely.

 

Exercise

The extra hours which are available on a Saturday and Sunday are perfect for exercise. There are numerous studies that prove healthy, active people do better financially and relationally. Working your body releases stress and helps you to stay mentally sharp throughout the week. As a side note, as a rule successful people workout throughout the week as well.

 

Read

Leaders are readers. Every successful person that I know reads books. However, every reader that I isn’t successful. So, you figure that one out:) For me there is no better time of the week than a Sunday afternoon to spend with a book. As I have mentioned on The Life You Can Afford to Live blog, my reading habit is to focus on three books at a time; Business, Faith and a Suspense Novel.

 

Network

Making connections with others throughout the week can be difficult for someone who leads a busy life. Successful people recognize the importance of maintaining a successful network. At Drive Planning we teach our Members that “Your Network is Your Net Worth”. There is certainly a correlation between the friends you keep and your income. Many believe that your income will gravitate to your five closest friends income. Think about your relationships and see if that holds true for you.

 

Plan for Next Week and Long Term

My wife is great at this! She will plan her meals and wardrobe out for the week. Even going as far as prepping the meals ahead of time. This allows her to avoid bad eating decisions simply because she may be in a hurry. As for the clothes, there are numerous accounts of Presidents and other high achievers who either practice this planning method or plan to wear the same suit or clothes day in day out. This is one less decision that frees their mind for more important matters.

Long Term Planning during the weekends is perfect due to weekends general slower pace. The slower pace allows you to take a big picture approach and evaluate if you are on course. Trust me on this one, successful people plan everything.

 

Get Creative

Weekends are perfect times to allow your creativity to flow. Taking up a hobby or pursuing a passion is a frequent weekend activity for successful people. This creativity even helps to be a more creative problem solver in the workplace and a more well rounded person. So, while it may not look like you are working this time spent on a hobby or creative endeavor affords value all week long!

 

Sleep

You may be thinking how could you fit in sleep with all of the other activities we just mentioned? Pace yourself on all of these but do not avoid catching up on rest throughout the weekends. Allowing your body to recharge is one of the healthiest moves you can choose. Sleep is so good for both your mental and heart health that it can’t be overlooked. In order to be successful you must be around to experience it, so please take care of yourself!

 

Hopefully, these simple items will serve as reminders for you to take an intentional approach to your success even throughout the weekend. The successful people that I study model the habits that I have listed above with a life that is lived on purpose. For me, I do not feel that I work since I love my work so much. I am fortunate to have never been one of those people who was dying to get to Friday. I’d urge you to create a career and a life which provided you money freedom and time freedom. This unique combination affords you flexibility to include some of the items listed above all week long.

In the meantime, when you get to Friday afternoon; make an intentional decision to include items from the list above. That is a step towards your success!

 

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How would it feel to knock out your bucket list…..way before you kick the bucket?

When someone thinks of a bucket list it is only natural to think well into the distant future. Treating these dream items as distant wishes. I’d like to prescribe to you that you can begin dipping into that bucket list today!

 

Your Bucket List Today
Quite a while back I was fortunate to be invited into an elite study group. The study group consisted of many friends/peers who were leaders from around the country within the financial planning field. Our group, which was called Top Gun School, followed Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach Curriculum. If you aren’t familiar with Dan Sullivan or The Strategic Coach; I’d encourage you to make the investment in yourself. The investment is substantial however the return on investment is immeasurably life altering.

There were numerous exercises and growth moments throughout the eighteen month course, however one session in particular has always stood out. The idea that your dreams are actually much closer than you realize.

The exercise is quite simple. As with anything important its the execution that makes all the difference.

We began by taking a couple of hours in solitude to list all that we wanted to accomplish in our lives. Categorically we segmented the list into short term, medium and longer term objectives. A bucket list of sorts.

This is where the excitement grew for each of us. We began to list the necessary steps to make each of these dreams or big ideas become a reality. Next we began placing time frames/deadlines around each of our next steps. For many of us we began to envision completed projects or the coming fulfillment that was once a dream and now was a certainty

There was a realization that many items were well within reach in the near future when we simply prioritized our time and energy towards completion. It wasn’t long before we began sharing stories of monies raised, trips planned or simply the groundwork being laid out on some really big ideas.

I certainly don’t want to oversimplify the process. However, I firmly believe that when action items are applied to ideas results will surely follow. Michael Hyatt says it this way, “With action comes clarity.”

At Drive Planning we use the phrase (even hashtag) Be Intentional! The exercise that our Top Gun Group went through simply taught us to Live with Intention. Having an instructor, Kevin Murphey, whom we all looked up to and admired to hold us accountable certainly made a huge impact on each outcome. The best in any sport or field have coaches and mentors.

I want to invite you to create that Bucket List and begin reeling it a bit closer each day, week or month. Find a mentor/coach to push you. If our Be Intentional Package will help you, well all the better.

 

Just get started!