Momentum Podcast: 167
Process Relieves Anxiety
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
Entrepreneurial anxiety is real, all of us feel it but very few of us admit it as often as we do. It can come up out of nowhere and affect us throughout the day. We look over our shoulders feeling like we are constantly missing something.
On my group coaching call tonight with my hand mastermind, a long-standing client of mine Matt Barker asked why he was feeling this anxiety in his events company. For Matt, and possibly for you, the answer and solution were both simple.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it.
We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average, and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world. Because, entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Process relieves anxiety. Tonight, I was on my group coaching call with the members of our Grow and Scale Program, our high end mastermind. Matt Barker, who is the CEO of Fit Company, which is a corporate fitness events company, was on. They just did their biggest event that they've ever done in Houston, and his question, the issue that he brought up on the call and wanted to talk through was, that he is having anxiety. He was feeling anxious, because he didn't feel like his events were really getting done the right way every time. That he's starting to build a team and has a team now where people are going out and doing the events for him. But, he didn't feel like it was really happening the right way.
Matt went as far as to share that, it started to really make him feel anxious, and now he wanted to double check things. You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I don't know if he said exactly that, but that was the sentiment he conveyed. I can tell you, I've had those feelings. I think every business owner has. As soon as you start getting some momentum and some leverage, we all hit that time where we feel like something's going wrong, like we're missing something, what's happening, and it does, it makes us anxious.
It's one of the places entrepreneurial anxiety comes from is, when we don't have enough of a process. The first question I asked Matt, because when he told me he was feeling anxious about his events, and they were keeping him up, I said, "Matt, how clear of a process do you have spelled out for your events?" He said, "Exceptionally clear. It's ridiculously clear." Then, that reminded me, he actually worked with Katy, my wife, on his events processes, and I'll share a little bit about Katy in a second on how this really works.
I should have known he had really great processes, so I asked this second question, "Matt, how often are they being followed?" He, or I don't even know if I asked the question, but that's what I would have asked. I think he just volunteered, "But, they're only being used about 75% of the time." I said, "Matt, this is an easy answer. This is a simple one. You have to go back to your team and tell them that their job is not to get the end result, not to hold the event. Their job is to follow the checklist and get the end results. You have to tell them without any doubt that, that is their job. Their job is to complete the checklist. Their job is to go through the processing in the exact same way every time, unless you modify it to make it better."
15 years ago, I might not have said exactly that in running businesses. Because, I wasn't as sold on really having those processes spelled out like you have to, until I ended up working with my wife, Katy. Because, I saw up close and personal how it really works. Because, Katy is, she is a visionary operator. She's incredible at operating businesses. When we owned, we at one point, we had the largest designation, in the history of real estate. We had almost 50 thousand clients. Those 50 thousand clients came to us in, a lot of them, over half of them, in live events that we held around the country, with less than 100 people.
Katy's team was doing 300 events a year around the country, remote controlling speakers, remote controlling event venues. We sent out a speaker, there was nobody else in the room, it was just a speaker. But, my wife created the processes and systems so that, that could happen 100% of the time, and they never missed an event. They were shipping boxes of materials. They were shipping, the speakers got there, they had exactly what they needed, and there was a process. By the time Katy had 300 events going on, there was a process for everything, and she had the team build them as they went.
There was a process for every new thing that they did. When they started shipping speaker boxes, there was a checklist for the speaker box. When they had to change an event venue and somebody went through it and said, "Hey, this might be something we do again," they would create a process for how to change the event venue, and where in our systems we needed to update the addresses. She drove this team to just be relentless about being able to repeat their processes over and over again without failing. As a result, not only were we one of the fastest growing products in the ... The largest designation in the history of real estate, we were the 21st fastest growing company in the country. There's no way I could have done that without Katy, because she just intuitively drives people to build process.
But, here's what I realize, because she did this for me, process relieves anxiety. When you have a process in place, when there's a miss, it's a small miss. It's usually one thing, not two or three things. When you have a process in place that people are following, it doesn't matter how overwhelmed someone gets, they can still follow a checklist and a process with a very high degree of success most of the time. When you have a process in place, you're not leaving it up to chance that the person who showed up that day didn't have a rough night, isn't distracted, doesn't feel a little off, hasn't had trouble sleeping, or any of the other things that can cause a human being to show up at less than 100% and maybe miss something.
If there's something in your business that you have to deliver over, and over, and over again, I'm always gonna ask you two questions. How well spelled out is that process, and how often are you following it? Because, the more clear your processes are, the more often you follow them, the more you hold your team accountable to having them spelled out, the faster your company will grow. Because, as soon as one person spells out a process, and it's clear enough that it gets repeated over and over again, that person can go on to doing something else in your organization.
If there is clear processes in place for what you do in your company, when you need to move someone around, there's a document that the next person can use to get the same result you are getting. Because, as your business grows you have, most of the time, you don't go from doing one thing to another. Most of the time, you go from doing a whole bunch of stuff to just a lot more, and then a lot more, and a lot more. The more you build out those processes, the less anxiety you will feel anywhere in your business.
Because, when you're feeling like you're missing something, when you have that anxious feeling, when you show up and you don't feel like everything's going right, think to yourself two questions. How clear was the process and was it followed? This is almost always an easy one. Take some time, have your team spell out processes in your organization. Have your team start documenting what they do, so that anyone else can do it, and you'll see your entire organization shift, and you'll see yourself show up in a completely different way.
If you haven't yet, take a minute now and download my book, The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. It may tell you more about yourself than anyone ever has. It will help you stop limiting behaviors that get in all of our way, and create more momentum than you ever thought possible. Go to FreeMomentumBook.com.