Reduce to Produce
Achieve more by reducing your priorities rather than adding to your pressures.
Whether it’s the beginning of the year or any date thereafter, the demands of life weigh heavy on those who maintain a hunger for personal and professional growth. Life often feels like a mountain we are ill equipped to summit. The path of the status quo leads to lofty goals set at the dawn of the new year, most of which quickly fade into the necropolis of to-do lists gone un-done. Though it seems counter intuitive, if you want to carry your goals over the peak, you should start by reducing the weight of your load.
Prioritization helps you to embrace your identity and live your purpose. Reducing your load starts with weeding through the internal and external pressures to focus on what is important to you. When you harness this simple truth you realize it is better to have a few things that are completely done rather than several items that are only partially done. Going over the mountain starts with preparation and then taking those first steps up the mountain. Reduce in order to produce.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease.
Reduce your Pressures.
You should be intentional about giving yourself some credit from time to time. Remember, you have a purpose, a job, family, commitments, side hustles, hobbies and you need time to sleep. Take a moment to appreciate what you have accomplished and where you have traveled in your journey. It’s ok to give yourself a compliment.
As you climb towards your goals, build into your development process time for reflection and gratitude. Bill Carmody, founder and CEO of Trepoint, encourages growth minded professionals, “So much of what we do in our business is driven (or limited) by our psychology. Celebrating your wins not only feels great physically, but it reinforces the behavior you want to show up when you face a new challenge or opportunity.”
"Consider what you might accomplish if you stopped
Reinforce positive behavior as you face challenges. This is enhanced by surrounding yourself with positive influences. This should not be confused for surrounding yourself with people who will tell you what you want to hear and will allow you to underperform on your potential. There is a fine line between those who will, “Tell you like it is,” but have no functional input to help you evolve and those who will encourage, as well as correct, as they walk alongside you.
Resources such as social media can both be distracting from your efforts to reach your goals as well as create a false sense of achievement. Don’t fall prey to the allure of attention (external adulation) and achievement (internal satisfaction). Srinivas Rao challenges us to consider, “What you might accomplish if you stopped confusing attention with accomplishment.” Rather than sharing about what you plan to do in order to receive some fleeting praise, celebrate your victories (large and small) with those who are directly involved in your ascent.
Build sustainable habits that will aid you in achieving your goals:
Reduce your Priorities.
Climbing a mountain requires preparation, dedication and endurance. You have limited time and you have to be realistic with what you can pursue and invest in. Whittle down your priorities to the core things that matter to you. Your priorities will change as you unfold your personal and professional development. If everything is important then nothing is. Be intentional by reducing your list of priorities to items that you can gain momentum and achieve.
Focus is the key to harnessing your ability to achieve. If you want to achieve your goals you must transfer your ideas (what is in your head) into habits (action) as this is the most effective way to develop sustained positive changes. Your neural messengers that facilitate goals being transformed into habit are called endocannabinoids. Dr. Ralph Ryback, writing for Psychology Today, states, “The best way to get your endocannabinoids to help you form a habit is by being consistent. Work toward your goal every day, even if you don’t feel like it. You can set aside a specific time each day, or a specific context.”
"The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important
Simple steps for crushing your growth goals:
Reduce your Excuses.
In a letter to his friends in Rome, Paul writes, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment.” Often, our minds receive this as though we need to bring ourselves down a notch with an improper understanding of humility. I find it interesting that the author says, “With sober judgement,” which also means an honest evaluation. We shouldn’t think of ourselves more highly than we ought but also we should not think of ourselves more lowly than we ought. Sober judgement means that we have an understanding of our identity and our purpose.
You are capable. You can achieve what you want. Do you want to have a better body, you can do it - you will have to be realistic with what that commitment will require. You know the process includes eating better, getting sleep and a commitment to working out. Personal and professional development is not so much about learning new information but applying what we know to be true. Achieving a better body is often tied to looking like some prototype. When you compare yourself to others it isn’t helpful. Your goals should be specific to you and reaching your potential.
Development is a process of embracing your identity and living your purpose. If you are in a rut, start yourself with some low hanging fruit that will help you get the wheels turning again. Your success will inspire you to reach further. It’s amazing how when you start saving a little money, the momentum of those feelings of small achievements propel you to save more and grow your vision for what is possible. The same is true in any endeavor of change.
Development is a process of embracing your identity and living your purpose.
Reduce your excuses to produce better results:
The Year of Reduction.
What would happen if you and I declare this The Year of Reduction - Reduce to Produce?
So much of what screams at you and me for attention challenges us to do this or that and only adds to the weight we carry. By shedding some of the unnecessary weight you can focus on what matters to you and make progress in your process. Embrace your identity, be who you are.
Live your purpose, be all that you were designed to be. What will you do today to reduce your pressures, reduce your priorities and reduce your excuses so that you can climb your mountain with less resistance?
Resolve within yourself to Reduce so that you can Produce.
Am I a leader?
Stop asking dumb questions and start doing leadership things.
Step one to being a better leader.
While there are those in history that transcend the moments of their time and thereby stand out in our distinctions of strong leadership. Leadership is a daily practice. There are no leaders, only people in a position of leadership. No leader arrives without their own journey of trial, failure and growth. You are a leader, you must be intentional to develop your leadership. Leadership is often placed on a standard that is only approachable by those worthy to wield its magical powers. This is not true.
Two questions to elevate your leadership skills.
The question is not, “Am I a leader?” If it wasn’t clear before, the answer is, “Yes, you are a leader.” The question is not even whether you are a good leader. Good leadership is a subjective measure related to abilities, intention and outcomes. Good leaders had their bad moments and bad leaders have their positive qualities. Yet, this is true of any person in a position of leadership at any level. Leadership categories that impact your everyday life include your-self, your roles, your responsibilities and your example to others. You are a leader in each of these key areas and you must be intentional to develop your abilities.
Everyday leadership categories of significant consequence include:
Making a difference as a leader.
As a leader, if you want to ask an effective question, ask yourself, “Am I on course or off track?” This is important because, in order to answer this basic question, you have to establish some clarity as to what your goals are. If you are clear on your goals, you can develop actions steps and track whether you are consistently moving towards or away from your goal. Questions of substance will require you to look in the mirror and assess measurable results.
The importance of being intentional as a leader.
If you are brave enough to ask yourself whether you are on or off course, you are on your way towards progress in the process. There is one more tough question a person in a position of leadership must ask, especially if your roles and responsibilities have you overseeing a team of people. “Am I on track due to intention or coincidence?” The prototypical leader enjoys receiving praise for success and shirks responsibility for failures. Whether things are going well or they are a dumpster fire, the person in a position of leadership must ask if their outcomes have been the result of being intentional or merely coincidental.
Leadership is a daily process.
You are a leader. You have a responsibility to lead yourself, master your roles, execute your responsibilities and set a positive example for others. If you want to grow as a person and be effective in your leadership, ask yourself whether you are on course or off course. If you are on track to reach your objectives, have you done everything in your power to be intentional with your efforts and empowering those around you to succeed? If you are off track, move towards being intentional by facing the music and set an example of climbing out of your mess. It’s never too late to take a step in the right direction.
Stop asking dumb questions and start doing intentional things. As the process evolves, you will have to adapt, so the development of your leadership skills is never over. If you work through the process of taking ownership of your role as a leader, getting yourself and your team on course and being intentional, it’s not as though the game is over. Repeat daily.
Intro to The DYOJO
What is The DYOJO?
The DYOJO is The Do Your Job Dojo. A dojo is a space dedicated to learning and practicing martial arts.
In business teamwork is essential to an organization’s ability to perform at the peak of its capacity. Teamwork must be grounded in trust. the foundation for trust to be built among multiple employees who will be empowered to work with each other, is laid by team members who consistently do their job.
In this equation, those in leadership can help this process evolve by clarifying roles and responsibilities for all employees.
Personal and Professional Development
In the original Karate Kid movie, Sensi (teacher/master) John Kreese states the distinctives of the Cobra Kai Dojo:
From the example of Karate Kid, we see the difference in the people, process and production of those trained by Sensi Kreese and karate master Mr. Miyagi.
By all appearances, the process Mr. Miyagi utilizes for skills training would not produce a championship level fighter and his young apprentice Danny frequently questions his progress.
The climax of the movie reveals that the skills and heart of young Danny has been mentored and developed to persevere through rise to the challenge in the face of an opponent is superior by most metrics.
Mentorship and Coaching for Achieving Goals.
When you commit to studying a martial art, you must find a mentor who you believe will help train you to master the craft you have chose and you must remain engaged in your skills development. The same is true in business. It is your job to pursue personal and professional development so that you can reach your potential. As you grow as a leader, you have a responsibility to repeat the process and help others to achieve their goals.
The DYOJO will help you to develop the will, the skill and the chill to succeed.
Customized Business Coaching Strategies.
We take the time to listen to your vision, values and goals so that we can assist you to build a strategy for achieving success. You are the hero of your story and our value proposition is to come alongside you to optimize your efforts. The DYOJO provides business coaching services and leadership development in person, online and via remote group training.
In the DYOJO we are committed to these core concepts and resources for development:
What services do The DYOJO provide?
For growth minded employees in need of direction for continuing their career development:
For new managers who need to elevate their education and training for leadership:
For existing managers looking for tools to help them engage the modern workforce:
For organizations desiring to provide leadership development resources:
Why was The DYOJO Started?
The DYOJO helps leaders to intentionally develop their vision and values so that they can build teams that are clear, consistent as well as accountable. We work to help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be as an organization. Through business coaching and leadership development, The DYOJO helps teams to increase their performance in the four key areas of sustainable success - people, process, production and progress.
How can The DYOJO help?
Interview Gerrett Stier
Is it better to be skilled or to be lucky in business?
People ask whether it is skill or luck that leads to success. The truth is that it’s a little bit of both. You have to have the skill to put yourself in a position to recognize and seize upon your opportunities. Gerrett Stier brought his podcasting gear to the 3 Kings Environmental Sumner, Washington office to discuss business with Jon Isaacson.
Gerrett is the owner of GMS Distribution which makes power distribution tools for property restoration. His main product is a panel that allows contractors to draw additional power immediately from a dryer or range plug so that they can more equipment in the service of a water damage response.
The lessons you will learn when starting a business.
Gerrett is an electrician by trade and in 2007 he started working with property restoration contractors. Because he is a service minded person, he sought to make a product for his clients that would save them money and time when sourcing the traditional spider box in situations where they needed additional power. The initial units were hand made from electrical parts.
In 2009, as the market crashed and Gerrett’s hours were cut in half, he took his product on the road and went door to door to determine if there was a broader demand for this distribution unit that he had been making for local restoration contractors. When you have a good product, a good attitude and refuse to allow tough times to take you out, you can put yourself in a position to create some luck. As Gerrett says, “Being smart enough to be lucky.”
Collaboration is key when building a business.
As he was building GMS Distribution, he shares some really cool stories of how local vendors collaborated with Gerrett to help him get the process moving forward. Gerrett has a strong commitment to taking care of his customers and was able to attract partners who held similar values. Transitioning from a skilled professional working in a business to an entrepreneur who is building and working on your own business requires intentionality to persevere through the many obstacles.
Gerrett Stier started The GMS Podcast in late 2019 and for Episode 5 “Skill & Luck”, he and Jon discuss how GMS Distribution was formed, what 3 Kings does and what The DYOJO is about.
What is asbestos abatement?
3 Kings Environmental provides services for demolition, abatement, environmental and civil construction. Gerrett asks questions about the asbestos abatement process such as:
Business coaching for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
What is The DYOJO? Gerrett asks when did Jon get started writing, speaking and coaching for property restoration professionals? Jon discusses his start in property restoration, being introduced to a mold remediation team and learning the skills of the business. He shares how he had the good fortune of learning from good mentors early on which set him up for a trajectory of career development within the industry. Jon discusses the motivation and concepts for business coaching and leadership development through The DYOJO.
Leadership development for business owners.
Jon and Gerrett share where they were and what they were doing when the impact of the market crash hit in 2009. Jon had a family owned business that ran dry and Gerrett was working in electrical where his hours were cut in half so he hit the road selling his product. They share their experiences with learning to keep yourself motivated through trials and endure as you pursue your goals.
The discussion touches on topics including entrepreneurship, asbestos, property restoration, building professional relationships, developing intentionally and doing things the right way in business. Jon also announces two books that he is working on, one is a collaborative publication with multiple authors that will be published through the Insurance Nerds network and the second is a solo project based upon his training and development system for service based companies.
Follow these local businesses:
Thoughts on personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a contractor, author, and host of The DYOJO Podcast. The goal of The DYOJO is to help growth-minded restoration professionals shorten their DANG learning curve for personal and professional development. You can watch The DYOJO Podcast on YouTube on Thursdays or listen on your favorite podcast platform.