By mick | September 24, 2021

EPISODE 64 | Put Your Oxygen Mask On Before Helping Others

Good morning, in this episode of Builders Business Success podcast!

Going to be talking about something that we talk quite a lot about in Builders Business Blackbelt, and it seems that we need to be constantly reminded of this.

And it’s all about putting your own oxygen mask on first. Now that is obviously a metaphor. If you’ve ever flown on a plane, if you can remember back in the days, when we used to fly on planes, they used to do an announcement and they said, put your own oxygen mask on first, before you help anybody else.

There’s a reason for that. We’re gonna talk about that. We’re gonna talk about how that affects your, the success of your building business, the enjoyment, the profitability, the efficiency, the effectiveness, all of those cool things about your building business. If you understand this metaphor and you do something about it.

Of course, we’re going to do Q and A, the Q and A I’ve been asked a couple of times this before, we’ve been asked it again. How do we eliminate the time-wasters? There are people that thieve your time that steal your time. Some do it unknowingly others do it on purpose.

So we’ve got to have a process to make sure that we can turn that around and we don’t get our time stolen.

Of course, we’ve got an idea of the week. The reason we have idea of the week is because I found a floating light bulb and we just needed to get, create a reason to get a shot of it. And so that’s why we have the idea of the week.

Sometimes it’s actually valuable and you can get that idea and put it into practice. I’m thinking today’s idea of the week just might be one of those where you can use it, implement it, and it can make a significant difference to your day.

If you’ve never participated, engaged, listened to, heard of the Builders Business Success podcast before, this is your first time, the purpose of the podcast is to help eliminate the common and often costly problems that appear just about in every single building business.

The good news or the bad news, depending on how you want to look at it is almost all, not all, but almost all of the problems that are experienced in a building business are caused by the way the business is run and by the mindset and the thought process of the people that run that business.

So that’s a bad thing or a good thing. I think it’s an amazing thing. I think it’s an amazing opportunity because if we are causing the problems, guess what we can do? We can fix them. And often the fix for many of the costly problems in a building business don’t cost anything.

They are free, they just need to be implemented. And often they don’t even take any more time. They are just all focused on a different way of doing things. And by the way, we have a group of builders all over the country, and that group is called Builders Business Blackbelt.

And we have conversations on a very regular basis and the focus of those conversations are on the solutions to the common problems. And so we’re coming up with solutions. We’re implementing those solutions. We find out what works, what doesn’t work, and we’re constantly learning and refining.

So everything that we talk about in this show is proven it’s being implemented. And it doesn’t matter where it’s been implemented. It could be implemented in a regional area or a highly populated city. And we’ve been doing this for that long. We’ve had good times and bad times, and the principles seem to work in all environments all the time.

*Transcription of the show*

So let’s fly into today’s topic and today’s topic is put your own oxygen mask on first. So why do they say this in planes?

It should be self-evident, like the reason that we ask or the people in the planes ask, is so you’re useful because if you don’t put your own oxygen mask on first and you can’t breathe properly and you’re starting to fade and pass out, you’re not very useful to anybody else.

So that’s a very difficult thing for parents to do. Particularly, the first thing that they want to do is help their children in a state of emergency like that. But we do all sorts of weird things when the pressure’s on.

Now, makes sense that we make sure that we’re okay before we start helping other people. And that philosophy transitions right across into your business. More often than not these business owners look after themselves last, they work much longer hours. They sacrifice their personal time.

They sacrifice their family time often for the business because the team, the staff members, they don’t work weekends, or they don’t work overtime, or they don’t come in when there’s an emergency. The business owner needs to do that themselves.

And therefore they end up working a lot more, often they end up earning a lot less. Often they end up going to work and still working when they’re not running on all 16 cylinders, because it’s their business. And the challenge is that if we don’t look after ourselves first, if we’re the owner of a business, we’re not doing the best thing we can for everybody else in that business.

And everybody else that that business affects. So why is this important to your business? Well, I think I just kind of covered that, but the main reason is that it doesn’t matter how good you are. It doesn’t matter how good you are as an individual to have a successful building business. You need to be able to have a team.

And then when I say a team, I don’t necessarily mean direct employees because there’s many different setups that builders have. Some builders are just on their own and they employ 100% contractors. Other builders have a mix of contractors and direct employees and other people just have all direct employees in their business.

Nathan I’ve just noticed is said, hashtag live, thanks for joining us Nathan. Let us know where you are, what sort of building business you have and where you’re listening in from. That’d be cool. Hugh said he’s walking the dogs as the Melbourne construction industry has been shut down.

So no, nothing better to do L-O-L Hugh says I shouldn’t be laughing ’cause that’s a serious thing, but I guess we’re probably better off keeping our sense of humor about these things rather than getting all bent out of shape, which kind of goes to my point about, you know, looking after yourself mentally and emotionally as a priority.

So as I said, it doesn’t matter how good you are as an individual. You need to have a team to have a, I guess what Michael Gerber calls a business. If you’ve ever read the E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, he basically says, you know, really what a business is, is something you can leave for 12 months and have no contact with it.

And when you come back, it’s bigger and better than what it was than when you left, which is a pretty high bar for a business, but it’s, you know, a bar that I think is well worth striving for. And even if you get partway there, you can really, really have a different life and a different lifestyle.

I spoke to so many builders that, that haven’t had a holiday in five years. Like, wow, that’s incredible. And even when they do have any time off, they are still mentally and emotionally connected to what’s going on back at the ranch.

And they don’t enjoy that time off, which they should be doing because that gives you the opportunity to refocus, re-energize, revitalize, and you can come back and do a much better job. And it’s kind of like interval training for health. It’s a great way to develop fitness is go hard, then rest, go hard, then rest, go hard, then rest.

What most business owners do is just go hard and follow that up by going hard. And Nathan says in Brisbane, I hope it’s a nice and sunny up there in Brisbane. I don’t think you’re, I’m not sure whether you’re in any sort of lockdowns or anything up there at the moment. I think you’re fairly free and easy.

I hope so anyway. People need leadership. People need certainty. And if the leader isn’t giving that leadership or isn’t giving that certainty, the team will undoubtedly underperform. They will be inefficient. There will be all sorts of performance issues. And all of those sorts of things affect the bottom line of the business.

They also affect the customer’s experience. There’s a whole lot. And so your team needs you to be bringing your A-game. I’ve said this a gazillion times before I quite often post it in the Builders Business Success forum. And I ask the question, out of the three human components that do affect and contribute to the success of a business, which is the most important? Is that the owner?

Is it the team or is it the customer? Inevitably, we get an avalanche of people saying, well, it’s the customer, you idiot. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. I get that. I understand that. But there are businesses that do have customers that don’t do very well.

There are businesses that have teams, that have employees that don’t do very well. And my suggestion to you is the businesses that don’t do very well. The head of that business, isn’t looking after themselves, isn’t improving their skills, their abilities, isn’t supporting the team as effectively as they possibly could.

And so in my mind, the single most important person that contributes to the success of a business is the business owner. Therefore, the most amount of effort needs to go into that person so they can bring their A-game as often as possible, every day, because it affects everything. If the owner brings their A-game, it affects the team in a very, very positive way. They feel certain.

They in all of this, and sort of this stuff happened subconsciously, when there was a good leader there, people feel supported, they feel recognition, all of those good things. So they perform at a much higher level and you’ll eliminate a whole lot of unnecessary problems. Many years ago, I was listening to an interview by Tony Robinson.

He was interviewing an American college basketball coach, and his name was coach John Wooden. And, it was an absolutely fascinating interview. And I remember so many of the principles from it, even today, some that I want to share with you now, because I believe it’s completely and totally relevant. If you can tap into coach John Wooden’s philosophy.

And the reason that I paid attention to coach John Wooden was because at the time of recording and I still don’t believe that it’s been surpassed, that he had won seven college championships in a row. His basketball teams had won seven, I guess, National College Championships in a row. And at the time there hadn’t been another coach that had won two in a row. So that got my attention.

What’s going on here, that this person is so outrageously successful and he wasn’t playing. That’s the thing like he was the coach, he wasn’t on the court. So does it stand to reason why we should sort of tap into his philosophy and his ability to bring the best out of people? Because there would have been basically seven different teams over those seven years. Now, some of the players would have been consistent, but I don’t think because of the way the system works, they had exactly the same teammates seven years.

So they would be bringing in new people and experienced people would be leaving, but his philosophy remained the same. And he constantly consistently got his team to perform at a very, very high level. Now, some of the things that really impacted me when I was listening to him talk was all about his mindset with preparation. And one of the things he would talk about is always controlling what we could control. And down to the nth little detail.

So believe it or not, one of the things he used to teach every year at the start of the season, he’d go, okay guys, we need to learn how to put on our socks, right? He used to run a class on how to put on your socks and it wasn’t just one pair of socks. He said, we’ve got to put on two pair of socks because two pair of socks prevent blisters. This is what he would say.

You know, because the sock isn’t rubbing against the skin, the socks rubbing against another sock and it protected blisters. And it prevented people having sore feet and things like that. And so that was an example of being able to control something that we can control. And it’s those little things that can make a big difference.

I mean, you could have a tremendously talented player that couldn’t play at a hundred percent because every time he stood on his right foot and there was a blister, he would limp and it would take his focus away and distract him. So little things like that can make a big, big difference. So we need to control the controllables. The other thing he would do is prepare.

Now in Builders Business Blackbelt, we talk about running three different types of meetings to enhance your team’s performance. One is the daily direction meeting. The how often you do these things, just a little secret is in the title. So a daily direction meeting, you do them every day, a weekly team meeting, we do them once a week, and a monthly one-on-one, once a month.

And they are all for different purposes and they are all profoundly powerful. But just doing them, isn’t the key. The key is in the preparation for those meetings. If you’re running those meetings, you need to be the person that prepares for them. So they incredibly effective. And coach John Wooden would do for a two hour practice, he would prepare four hours and he never, ever did the same practice twice.

He would always put in different preparation and plan for these practices because he wanted to keep the guys interested. He wanted it to be new and unique each time, but there were fundamentals that he would always build into the trainings.

And one of the things he believed was we might not be the most talented team, but we can be the fittest. We can out-prepare every other team. That was his philosophy. And so even in the preparation for his practices, he would make sure that he’s assistant coaches would have the next area set up with, we needed seven balls there and we need two balls and five cones there.

And we need this there, and what have you. And the team knew that they couldn’t walk from one part of the training to the next. They always had to run and everything they do included movement. So they didn’t, I suppose, get into the habit of, of when they’re a bit tired, they started to walk. They knew that they needed to stay on all of the time.

And just all of these things they used to say were incredibly inspirational. And all of this stuff guys can translate into your business. It’s just philosophy, but how can that translate into your business? Well, before you do your daily direction meeting, know what the objective was for yesterday’s daily direction meeting and what the results were from yesterday’s performance.

So we can talk about it in today’s daily direction meeting. Know what today’s objective is, know what the principles are and what you need to focus your team on in the weekly team meetings and do that preparation.

Don’t just show up and fly by the seat of your pants, prepare, prepare, prepare, and you’ll find that you’ll get significantly more value out of those meetings. And most people don’t like meetings. And I think they’re a waste of time.

Gee, I wonder why, is because leaders tend not to prepare or they just talk at the people in the meeting instead of having a meeting agenda and preparation that engages the people and ensures that they get value out of it. So they want to show up again next time. And that’s all in the preparation.

What does your, what does putting your oxygen mask on look like rather than just laying a philosophy on you? I think it’s important to talk about what it looks like. So you can implement it. I think one of the most important things is nurturing your own mind and listening to things like this podcast is nurturing your mind. And I hope you don’t listen to this just once, just because we do it every week.

Don’t listen to it and then wait another week until the next one comes out. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and make sure you get this stuff and implement it. And if you need to ask any questions, you can jump into the Builders Business Success forum and ask away. I’m monitoring it all of the time. Ask questions there.

I’m more than happy to answer them. To be able to nurture your own mind and grow your own mind. You need to work on your skills of effectiveness. We get this all of the time with our Blueprint members and our Blackbelt members that they will find in a very short amount of time, once they introduced the prioritized daily action list philosophy to their day.

It’s incredible, how often we get to talk to someone who says, I’ve cut my working day in half, and now I feel guilty, which means that they’re doing what they used to do in a full day in half the time.

But they feel like they’re not working as hard as they used to and they feel guilty, which is a really crazy scenario, because if I said to you, I’ve got a magic wand here. And I said, you can have half a day off every day and you’ll still get everything that you normally get done done.

You know, who wouldn’t want that? But then when it happens, instead of feeling excited about it and going look at all the free time, I’ve got to really do things that matter, they feel guilty. A bit weird, but that happens. You need to improve your skills of communication.

That’s putting your oxygen mask on because if you can influence your team every moment that you invest influencing your team to be better, that adds to the efficiency and the effectiveness of your business and therefore your profitability, the customer’s experience, all those sorts of good things and leadership because your team needs a leader. You cannot just allow them to wander around without leadership. They need to have leadership.

So what I’m asking you to do is prioritize, prioritize. What I’m asking you to do is give me a moment while I get my act together and learn to use my words properly. What I’m asking you to do is prioritize your wellbeing, your energy, making sure you get good sleep, making sure you put good stuff in your body.

So you’ve got good energy, making sure you’re putting good stuff in your mind. So you bring good ideas and positivity and all of the important good things to your team environment.

And I want you to prioritize that over everything else in your business, because if you stand back and think about it, if you spend half an hour with the nail bag and banging nails into pieces of wood versus half an hour reading the seven habits of highly effective people and figuring out how you can implement what you’ve just learned into your business, which one of those two choices is going to make the biggest difference to your business in a week, in a month in a year’s time?

That’s a fairly simple answer to that question. And if you do it every day, you get this compounding effect, okay? One cent doubled over 31 days, one cent, double it over 31 days ends up being $10,737,518 and 24 cents.

If you get one cent you’re double it. The same sort of thing happens if you put a small amount of time away each day, and you invest in yourself because then it starts to compound and you start to influence others and you make them feel more certain then they feel like they’re led and they feel like they’re supported and looked after and all of these good things.

So you have a higher performance. You have better loyalty. You have less people turnover. A lot of good things can come from if you give yourself priority. What does priority mean? We’ve talked about this a fair bit in Blackbelt over the last little while. And if you think about surfing, if the surfer with priority, what does that mean for the surfer? It means that they get to go first. That’s what it means.

Okay? So what I’m talking about is do this first. Work on yourself first. Put your oxygen mask on first, then go and do all of the rest of the things that you traditionally do in your business. Go and do that, and I’ll guarantee you, your days will change from day one. If you do a prioritize daily action list, what we call a personal success ritual.

We teach all of our Blueprint and Blackbelt members, this personal success ritual. Do that first, and I hammer that all of the time, when you slide out of bed and your feet hit the carpet, the very first thing you do is your personal success ritual to set yourself up for the day. It’s all about doing it first.

So hopefully this made sense. And if you want to learn how to do this better, if you want to learn how to do the personal success ritual and the prioritized daily action list and all of those sorts of things and change your day and your weeks and your business, we’re more than happy to help you. All we need to do is let’s have a chat and see if we can.

Find out where you are, where you wanna go. What’s in the way, we can point you in the right direction. How you can do that is in the comments. If you’re watching on Facebook, there’s a link. It looks like, what does it look like? It’s got a BBB dash call at the end of the link. If you click on that, that will take you to a form.

You can fill it out and then you can schedule a real quick chat and we can see firstly, if we can help you in a way that you’re happy to be helped and we can point you in the right direction and away we go, and we can get you being one of those results of cutting your working day in half and getting rid of the time-wasters and all of that sort of stuff. So hit the link. If you’re watching it on the blog, there’ll be a button underneath.

If you’re watching it on YouTube, there’ll be a link in the description. And if you’re just listening, you can just jump onto BuildersBusinessBlackbelt.com.au and there’ll be a button there that you can press and it will all happen.

Q & A

Our question that I’m going to answer is again, it keeps coming up, so I’m going to keep answering it. And the question is, how do we eliminate time-wasters. I’m going to answer it a little bit differently than how I have in the past, ’cause there’s lots of ways that you can eliminate time-wasters.

Firstly, understand who you don’t want in your business. So there’s an exercise we teach our guys to do which is the anti-avatar. It’s a bit of a fun exercise. You grab your worst client from the past and look at all of their characteristics. And then if there are any other poor clients that you’ve had in the past, you can grab their characteristics and you create this Frankenstein of the worst possible client.

And then when you get intimate with that person, when you know who that person is and what drives them, you can understand what they won’t do. This is the key to it, understanding what they won’t do. So we have a thing called the quality client pathway, and it’s designed to cause this anti-avatar, the person that just shouldn’t be anywhere near your business.

To decide not to pursue you, it’s designed so they jump out of the process themselves. And it’s really super important that when you know what they won’t do you create these things called behavioral hurdles.

So you ask them to take an action that you know, that they won’t take and you present it in such a way that the next step we will go to will happen after you’ve performed this action and they won’t do it. So you don’t have to go to the next step and the key to this folks, and please understand this, is it prevents you from having to say no. That’s super important. Do not say no.

What we do all of the time is we create a pathway for the reasonable person. And we create a pathway for the unreasonable person, the anti-avatar, and we give them the option. We give them the control to make the choice, whether they go left or whether they go right.

I did that the wrong way. I’m not sure but it might work out how you were looking at it. Anyway, you go one way or the other way you get to the pathway for the reasonable person, reasonable person will take it. A pathway for the unreasonable person. They will take that.

You don’t have to say no, but if you have this process in place, it just eliminates all by itself, the time-wasters and the tire kickers and the price shoppers and the bargain hunters out of your business. And again, if that’s something that you want to learn how to do, we’re more than happy to have a chat with you to show you how simple it can be.

And I would suggest to you that coming up to Christmas, just before I started, I realized that we’re almost in the last quarter, we’ve only got, you know, a week or so to go until we start the last quarter of this year. And you know what happens in the last quarter of the year? It’s all we need to get stuff done by Christmas.

All of that, you know, palava permeates into people’s mindsets and we all start to panic and all of that sort of thing. If I were you, the smart thing to do, would be to reach out and start to learn about this right now, because I can guarantee you just in a couple of weeks, we can help you become significantly more efficient and effective that by doing that, You’ll get so much more done than you traditionally do on the run in to Christmas.

It will allow you to enjoy your Christmas break significantly more, and it will allow you to hit the ground running when you do come back to work after that break.

Idea of the Week

Idea of the week. Again, we do this so we can get a shot of the floating light bulb. ‘Cause I still think it’s quite fascinating, particularly when you the turn the light off and that’s all you can see, is the floating light bulb.

And the idea of the week is, when you are planning and this kind of goes to this time-wasters tire kicker thing that we just talked about as well, plan with no space for interruptions and distractions. What I notice all the time is most builders do not plan their day with any sort of detail or specificity.

They kind of just get up and go at it and work hard. And, you know, I have so much respect for the majority of builders because I don’t know anybody who works harder than builders, but harder isn’t the answer folks, is it? So if you don’t have a plan, it will be very, very inefficient. If you do have a plan, make sure that you create your plan so there is no gaps.

There is no space for distractions or interruptions. I’ve used this analogy a lot, I know, but if you haven’t heard it before, it’s kind of like, if you’re driving to the airport to catch a plane again, this is in the past. Hopefully it’ll be in our future in the not too distant future as well.

And you’re only just going to make it there on time. And your mate rings you up and says, I know you’re going past my house on the way to the airport. Would you mind dropping in and feeding my goldfish?

You’re probably gonna tell him no, because you’re only just gonna make it. And if you plan your day, so I’ve gotta be here, I’ve got to finish that by then. I’ve got to do this, that, that, that, that.

And I will talk about later, how you prioritize on the hop, you know, in another episode, and I’ve done it in past episodes, but having the plan with no gaps in it is the first step. Things will happen.

Things will happen to take you off your plan, but please plug the holes before you get started and have a plan with no gaps in it for distractions or interruptions. If you don’t have a plan, you’ve got no chance of being effective. And again, love to teach you how to do that.

Takeaway & Jump On A Call

The takeaway, I think from this week’s episode is you need to be the focus and you need to be the number one priority. It’s a really challenging thing.

You know, most people I talk to are very caring of their team, very caring of their customers. And it means that they don’t take care of themselves as well as they should have or should do.

So I’m just going to beg with you and plead with you to start to look after your self first and listening to things like this podcast. That’s an action you can take to put the good stuff in your brain to remind you of what you need to be changing and growing and improving in your building business.

So that’s one way you can start to look after yourself first. The second way as I said, is reach out and let’s have a chat with us. So, you know, you can go to our website, buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au you can see these buttons there on the screenshot. If you’re watching us, if you’re to us just navigate to the website.

If you’re listening to us live or watching the replay, there are links everywhere in Facebook and YouTube, and we would just love to talk to you. And as I said, we’re just about to enter the last quarter and traditionally the mindset of tradies and builders, oh, I don’t want to do anything at this end of the year.

You know, I’ve got that much to do, and it’s such a flawed mindset. It’s such a flawed philosophy. If you’ve got more to do, you should have a better planning approach. You should have a better planning mindset. You should have better planning tools and better processes in place to eliminate time-wasters and so forth.

And I know for sure and certain, because we do it every week, we help builders change this. And I don’t think that there’s a more important time of the year for you to reach out and start to open up to some new possibilities for this last quarter of the year and really smash it. Feel like you’ve got an absolute sense of control.

Get so much more done, be able to have a holiday to revitalize, re-energize, enjoy and prepare to hit the ground running when you come back in the new year. Yes, it’s September and I’m talking about the new year, because if you wait another month, you’ll get sucked into that stuff before Christmas. And you you’ll just get hypnotized by it all. And you’ll be as inefficient as you can possibly be. But I can show you a way where you’ll be as effective and as efficient as you can possibly be and enjoy all of the benefits for that. Your clients will enjoy it.

Your team will enjoy it and you will absolutely enjoy it. So we’d love to talk to you, hit the button. Let’s book a call, let’s have a conversation and we’ll show you how to do this coming into this busy time of the year.

So I hope this has stimulated some thoughts. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Builders Business Success podcast. We will be back next week, as I said live, but it will be same time, but on the Wednesday, not the Tuesday, it’s only for one week. We’ll be going back to the Tuesdays after that.

So love for you to join us. I hope you’ve gotten some benefit out of this episode. That is it for this episode. I’m Mick Hawes from Builders Business Blackbelt. See you next week. Bye for now.

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