Showing posts with label Agile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agile. Show all posts

Friday, April 26, 2024

Resource Management with AI: A Strategic Imperative for Project Success

Effective resource allocation is fundamental to the success of any project management endeavor. The strategic integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into resource management not only refines these processes but also maximizes the utility of every project component. By harnessing the power of AI, project managers are equipped to navigate complex project dynamics with unparalleled precision, substantially enhancing team performance and overall project outcomes.

AI significantly augments various facets of resource management:

  • Dynamic Skill Matching: AI employs deep learning to meticulously analyze each team member's skills against past project performances, enabling precise alignment of project tasks with the most qualified personnel. For instance, in an intricate engineering project, AI could identify engineers who have demonstrated excellence in specific system integrations or troubleshooting, ensuring that critical project elements are managed by the most adept individuals.
  • Predictive Resource Planning: Leveraging predictive analytics, AI forecasts the resource demands of future project stages, based on detailed analysis of project timelines and historical data. This capability allows for proactive adjustments in resource deployment, such as in the rollout of new technology platforms, where AI anticipates the need for additional technical support, facilitating smooth transitions and minimizing disruptions.
  • Real-Time Resource Optimization: AI dynamically adjusts resource allocations in real time based on project feedback and external factors. During a major marketing initiative, for example, AI could shift resources among teams in response to real-time performance data, ensuring optimal utilization of personnel and maximizing campaign effectiveness.
  • Balanced Workload Distribution: To prevent burnout and ensure equitable task distribution, AI continuously assesses workloads and redistributes tasks where necessary. This feature is crucial during phases of intense project development, where AI ensures that work is evenly distributed, maintaining high productivity and team morale.
  • Strategic Team Formation: AI evaluates historical collaboration data to form teams that are likely to achieve high synergy. In global projects, AI might combine personnel from various departments and regions who have historically collaborated successfully, enhancing problem-solving capabilities and project execution.
  • Automated Scheduling and Allocation: AI automates the complex task of scheduling, considering multiple variables such as project deadlines, individual availability, and priority, streamlining project logistics and ensuring timely completion of milestones.
  • Enhancement of Team Skills Analysis: AI identifies potential skills shortages within teams and recommends targeted training or hiring strategies. This proactive approach ensures that teams are always equipped with the necessary skills to tackle current and future projects effectively.
  • Performance-Based Resource Insights: By analyzing the impact of various resource allocation strategies, AI provides valuable insights that help refine future resource planning. This analysis might reveal, for example, optimal team compositions that consistently deliver superior results, guiding more strategic resource allocation in subsequent projects.

The integration of AI into resource management not only simplifies managerial tasks but also enriches strategic decision-making within project management. This innovative approach enables managers to plan more effectively, adapt swiftly to changes, and optimize resource utilization continually. The result is a more agile and responsive project management practice that not only meets but exceeds project goals and expectations.

Furthermore, employing AI for resource management shifts the focus of project management capacity toward higher-value work, moving away from mundane tasks. This shift is accomplished by improving the quality of resources on projects through better matches of skills needed versus availability. AI's role in resource management is pivotal in fostering an environment where project managers can focus on strategic initiatives and innovation, significantly contributing to the broader business objectives. This forward-thinking approach ensures that organizations remain competitive and capable of thriving in an increasingly complex project landscape.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Portfolio Management Dream: How to Stop it from Becoming a Nightmare!

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VoiceAmerica  0:04  
One problem facing people at many levels of business is how to make time for a work life and a personal life. Do you find that one seems to keep getting in the way of the other? This is the work life balance with Rick Morris. Even if you're not involved in the business world, you'll have a lot to gain by tuning into today's show. Now, here's your host, Rick Morris.

Rick A. Morris  0:26  
And welcome to another edition of the work life balance on this Friday afternoon. So excited to have you guys along. And, you know, I've been very, very blessed with this radio show been blessed by you as an audience. And because of that, we're now booked out to the end of the year, which is really, really cool. It's the first time in the five years that I've done the show that we've been booked out that far in advance and that's a testament to you guys and a testament to the quality of people that are wanting to come on and talk to us about the work life balance. But having said all that it's been a little while since just I've been with you. So I thought I would take the opportunity today and just talk through some of the things that's happening here in our lives and then go through one of my, my newest content deliveries that we're talking about, which is called a portfolio management dream, and how to stop that from becoming a nightmare. So just, you know, on the personal front, there's there's a ton of activity that's been going on, you know, COVID has impacted us all. And being a serial entrepreneur and somebody who works from home. My consulting business, really just kind of went away, and so did the speaking business. And so I was faced, you know, in February in March of looking at my pipeline projections and just seeing them go down to nothing, almost. And so it's always time to pivot in I always say, these are the times that make the entrepreneur and these are the times that we really need to focus on what's important, but it's also not the time to take a break, I think The people that are working the hardest right now to reinvent and reinvigorate are the ones that are going to come out of COVID just fine. So to that end, we've started actually three different companies. Right now one super excited about we're calling milestone melodies. We're actually making custom songs. So we've got an entire group of Nashville Songwriters, musicians in really looking to create a unique, I hate to even say gift but a unique moment or so it could be, you know, wedding, anniversary, birthday, anything like that. And we're creating custom music fully produced. So there's a couple of other groups out there that do that, but they don't have the production level or certainly the talent that's available to us in Nashville. So super excited about that. There'll be probably a whole show, I'll bring the CO owners, which is Jennifer McGill, who's former Mickey Mouse Club, and Jeff bohannan is her Ben who does a lot of the production as well and we'll have them on and talk about their why and that business that's going to be really cool. We started a new organization as well called social RX which is spinning up which is more of a prescription for social media and how to do social media total Social Media Marketing Agency. And of course, you know, the pm tribe has been going on but the latest announcement is radio MMC, which you can go to radio MMC calm, but it is now a radio station that's internet based, that plays solely music of those artists and people that are connected to the 90s version of the Mickey Mouse Club. So that just launched this week. It actually launched August 12. So we're super excited about that. You can go to radio MMC comm and check that out. So let's get into today's topic. So in my consulting career and working with a lot of organizations, I've worked with almost 150 or so organizations now implementing what we call project portfolio management software. In the sole reason that most organizations buy this level of software in they can spend anywhere from, you know, 20,000 a year up to 200 $300,000 a year. So, I know several clients that have millions of dollars

invested in a platform like this, but they all buy it so that they can generally make better decisions when it comes to portfolio management. And so for those of my audience that may not fully understand what portfolio management really is, it is managing the entire project inventory for an organization in managing that to strategy as well as cost. And so the first question I always like to ask when we're doing any kind of portfolio management work is, are you picking projects based on what you can spend, or what your resources can realistically achieve? So let's explain that most organizations have some sort of capital budget planning process. Guess what they do? Is that the beat, you know, somewhere in September, October, they start a list and they essentially just say, hey, what are other projects that we need to complete next year? And this huge list? And they asked about how much is that going to cost? And then, of course, that list gets sent up somewhere, and, you know, goes through some magic formula, and essentially, they pick the project. And we've done a whole series on, you know, making sure that projects aligned to strategy and all those other things. So we won't get into that at this point. But my question is, is during that process? How do we ensure that when we pick all these projects, that we have a reasonable staff to be able to complete all those projects? And I would say between 90 and 95% of companies out there, have some sort of an idea. They'll say, you know, how many resources do you think you'll use? How many hours do you think this will be? Some kind of rough estimate? But it really doesn't timescale those estimates and show how the resources are being utilized whether or not they're gonna be overloaded or have enough time to actually complete the project work. So that's a huge question. And so as organizations start to become aware of this need, or really want to start to understand, and especially I think now in terms of COVID, you know, with reduced staffed and work at home and all those things, that it's forcing all these companies to challenge all their assumptions. And I wonder what that process is like if you don't have something that's automated, or something that can assist you in understanding that. And it's far too complex to keep this kind of information in your head or even via a spreadsheet. Because the moment you finish the spreadsheet, it's out of date. So essentially, an organization then has this dream, that they're going to buy some portfolio management software, and off they go. So what I want to do is talk through kind of three different Dreams. And then the nightmares that I see get created through those dreams. And then I'll finish this episode with some practical tips and tricks from a real world perspective. So that's what we're doing today. So the first dream is again, they buy a piece of software, it automatically somehow ranks projects through data, and then automatically communicate that information through the enterprise. So everybody knows the ranking of the projects and whether or not we have enough people to do them. And off we go. Now it's true. Most of the software on the market can do that. But here's how these things become nightmares very, very quickly. First and foremost, the first mistake most people do when they're looking at implementing a system like this any kind of automation system really, is they overcomplicate the software. When you start to see the potential of what software can automate, you start picking more and more and more processes to bring in and then essentially becomes this huge behemoth that takes forever to test for everything. Training is so disruptive to the enterprise. It's just too big. And so, by overcomplicate I can tell you I can't tell you how many times that when we we sold the software, we started working with the organization, we had something very simple like we want to do portfolio management. By the end, what you're arguing about is these 30 reports that nobody's going to read. And it's about colors and fonts and things, things like to me that I'm sure they matter to some people, but at the end of the day, those aren't decision making things. And those aren't things that really are driving those types of decisions. So becomes way over complicated. We're trying to do way too much and bite off more than we can chew. I think that second thing is that while this software does rank things, it has to have the data underneath to rank them. So for instance, if I want to know whether or not I have the resources available to do this project, and I have to have some sort of thought of what type of resources I need for how long and And how much of them that I need. So for instance, any 50% of a project manager for six months, and then that has to be compared with all the existing projects, and those have to have at least some sort of resource estimation.

Beyond that, a lot of people like to look at return on investment, net present value and, and total costs and things like that. But if we're not inputting that data consistently, in the system, then when it ranks the projects, it's ranking based on incomplete data. I think the third major thing that I see when people buy the software is that computers and software aren't going to replace human conversation. So for instance, one of the big ones is like, Okay, if I input my resources there, I want to be notified every time somebody updates a resource in the system. And I really see you know, do you do you really want to be notified because at some point, the These notifications is just going to clog your email box, and nobody's really going to want to look through them, and then it's going to lose its effectiveness and value anyway. So why would you want to be notified? And ultimately, the conversation comes down? Well, I don't want, you know, project manager or somebody going in there and messing up my resource forecast. So I get that. But even if they do, right, the system isn't going to prevent that or being notifying you isn't going to prevent that there's still got to be some sort of human conversation. There's still has to be talking that goes on and you know, jacking for the best resources for a project and no system, no matter how well automated or how well crafted is going to replace human conversation. And also the whole notification thing. Well, I see value in that being notified immediately. Whenever I'm talking to somebody in a meeting and they say something like that. I say, okay, hang on real quick. You just got notified. What are you going to do with it? Now that you've been notified, what's the next step? You're in a meeting You don't have the access to the data. So now it's just another email in your box that you got to get back to. So why couldn't we just create something like a weekly digest that says, you know, here's all the things you said you cared about, you know that, that if they were updated or changed in the system you wanted to know. But we give that to you in a consolidated format that says like, here's all the resource changes, here's all the project date changes, here's all the issue updates, you know, those types of things. But kind of a weekly digest instead of notifying you every time something like that happens. And most of my clients will take that option. But the point being is you lose the effectiveness of the software. If you overcomplicated, you don't have complete data. And you think that this system is going to replace the human conversations that are necessary to move business along. So that's how dream number one becomes nightmare. Number one. So we're going to go through a couple more of these. I've got two more dreams and nightmares to talk about and then we'll get into some practical tips but we're going to take a break right here. Are you listening to Rick Moore's on the work life balance?

VoiceAmerica  12:05  
Are you aware that 80% of project management executives do not know how their projects align with their company's business strategy? Are you aware that businesses identified capturing time and costs against projects as their biggest project management challenge? Are you aware that 44% of project managers use no software? Even though Price Waterhouse Coopers found that the use of commercially available project management software increases performance and satisfaction? Now, imagine that you could have the ease of entry like a spreadsheet and a software tool set up and running within two to four weeks. Imagine within two weeks being able to see clearly where all of your resource conflicts are. Well, you don't have to imagine because PD ware has already created it. pd ware can give you real time access to KPIs easily updated views of what your teams are working on. And immediate feedback to some of project management's toughest questions like when can we start this project. What happens if we delay this project? Can we do this in time? How does this new project impact our current portfolio? Find us at PDX where calm at imagine not manually compiling endless reports again, are you getting the most out of your project management software. In many cases, it is not the software that is failing, but the implementation limitations or processes surrounding the use of that software. r squared can analyze your current use and help improve your return on investment. r squared can also suggest the best software for your organization and goals and assist in the selection implementation and training. Allow r square to ensure that you are getting the value of your investment. Visit r squared today

from the boardroom to you voice America business network.

You want to tuned into the work life balance to reach Rick A. Morris or his guest today, we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790. If you'd rather send an email, Rick can be reached at our Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  14:25  
And we're back to the work life balance on this Friday afternoon. We're talking about the portfolio management dream and how to stop that from becoming a nightmare. So this really comes from years and years of experience doing portfolio management working with organizations. The first one that we covered was, you know, buying software that we think is going to solve all the problems and while software does accelerate a lot of the decisions and makes a lot of the decisions easier. Certainly we have the ability to mess up how we implement the software and thereby make the nightmare happen. So our second dream that I want to talk about is where people will convene a PMO. And ultimately a portfolio management committee. The dream is that we're going to get the executives in the room, we're going to give them some criteria, they're going to look at all of our projects, and rank them with only one number one.

Not like one, a, one, B, one C, one D, but truly have a number one project. You know, a lot of times when when I'm starting the consulting with an organization, I'll ask them, who do you think is making the strategic decisions of the company? And of course, you know, they say, well, we do, right. We're the Executive Council, we do, and I'll say, Okay, do you have a prioritized list of projects that's, that's actually accessible, and everybody understands where they fit? And if the answer's no, then I said, well, you're really not making the strategic decisions. And they asked me how that can be. And I said, because what you're doing is essentially by not having a prioritized list of projects. You're deferring the decision. And that decision will continue to get deferred until it has to be made, which is generally at the lowest level. So for instance, it's it's not you making the strategic decision. It's that database administrator who just got asked to do three different things. Whatever they choose to do first is now the number one priority, at least to them. And of course, if everybody's operating that way, then you've got 500 priorities being worked on, and no consolidated effort towards that major project. And so how you combat that is then how do you decide what's the number one project and most people will do that through a council. So that's the dream is that we're going to convene this council. They're going to make decisions. We're going to have a prioritized list of projects and how we go. Now the first qualifier I want to give before I get into the nightmares, those one of the biggest things that I look at from a maturity perspective of not only Portfolio Management Council, but the project management office, the PMO, I was asked how many projects did Did you kill in flight or cancel outright as part of this committee? And if the answer is that they haven't, then they're not a very mature committee. Because the committee is just now becoming a rubber stamp or roadmap through in order to, you know, greenlight the project. But if they're really not stopping projects, or looking at projects that are performing poorly in them from that point, then they're not really making these portfolio management type decisions. That's really the goal. The goal shouldn't be which project should we approve? It really should be which projects aren't worth our time are we not going to do so how these then councils become a nightmare is first, how do you actually come up with a ranking for a project. And so what they'll do is they'll design a formula to rank projects, right the but then the argument then becomes about the formula. So instead of deciding you This project should be higher than this project we're arguing about, you know what, that ROI should be five times the revenue coming in or, you know, the NPV should be two times as important as the overall cost, you know, things of that sort. And the reason that that that formula becomes an argument is because based on the ranking of using the formula, the projects that they felt were most important, weren't showing up. So the answer must be let's tweak the formula so that we can get the expected result versus taking a really hard look at the what, what the formulas doing. So that's one way it can become an absolute nightmare. The second one and this one, this one I see more often than anything is that the council itself breaks down. So the decisions are really hard to make, but then that's why it's part of an Executive Council. The executives are there to make really hard decisions, and a very hard decision is we're going to do this Project and not do that project. And so I was contracted for for a government agency. And they had eight divisions that were using a centralized it. And everybody was upset that it wasn't doing the projects fast enough and wasn't producing enough so on and so forth, because everybody had a number one, and it was just bogged down. And my my challenge to them was, Why does it have to make the decision because at the end of the day, it for the most part, for the most part, I know I'm being generous here. So please don't be offended. But for the most part, it doesn't care what project we're doing. What we care about is that we have enough time to do that project with quality and be able to to put out the best results possible. But whether we do project a or project B really doesn't matter because we're going to end up doing them both. It's just give us the time to complete project day before we move on to project beat. So I worked with the the eight divisions and I can to counsel with them. And one of the first things I had them do was I asked them to come up with a list of criteria they feel they would need to have answered, in order for them to make a decision as to which project was going to be number one versus number two. And so we worked for weeks on that all kinds of data points, they were saying, and all this other stuff. When we were done with this exercise, the first thing I asked them to do was let's go ahead and rank our existing projects against this criteria. So that, you know, we could just see how it works, right kind of a test case. And they couldn't answer. They didn't have enough information to answer all the things that they say we're required in order to get a project approved to their Council. And I remember saying, doesn't that scare you? It doesn't scare you as the slightest bit that you're saying this is the minimum information you need in order to be able to rank a project. You can't produce that information for projects that are running right now. How does like how does Does that make you guys feel? And so what ended up happening is that it was too hard to get the data that they wanted. So we suggested to pare down the form and they disagree. They're like, no, we're just gonna disband the council. So it was a perfect example for me. And I've seen many organizations do that, that the decisions are that difficult. And in light of making the difficult decision or showing some leadership and taking that on, the response was simply we're going to push the decision back down to it and then we're going to yell at them if they're not making the decision we want them to make and that's essentially what I see in a ton of organizations.

The third one is nightmares is kind of the same under the same thing, but you can never make a decision due to insufficient data. So really nightmare. Scenario number two in this dream is is where they just the decisions too hard to make they disband but The third one is insufficient data. What this one really is, is what I call the decision delay tactic. So this is when they say, okay, we do want this set of information, go get it, you provide that information. Of course, a lot of people are doing this in spreadsheets, and it takes a ton of time to compile the information. And then somebody else on the council will say, Well, I really need to understand this piece of data in order for us to make these decisions. So obviously, you can't make the decision in that meeting. So you send everybody off, they create the new data point, they load it all up, they bring it back into the organization and somebody who go you know, that's really good, but now that I'm seeing that I want to know this piece of information. And while they say they do want to know it, it takes a lot of maturity in in somebody who's running the process to go, that's great. We'll rearrange the projects when we have that information, but we need to rank these projects based on the information we have today. That way, you have that opportunity to go ahead and start making some of the key decisions that need to be made. And you're not pushing it off. Just because of a data point. When you start to feel that kind of happening, that's when you want to challenge the organization or the council itself, to start to really come to terms with this decision has to be made. And it has to be made for the betterment of our people. And we talked about that for just a second. You know, decision making is what I feel the executives are paid the amount that they're paid for that that's that is their job is to make decisions. And but if you look at it from a human nature perspective, human nature says we don't really like or want to make tough decisions and a tough decision means it's not a compromise. Generally, somebody wins, somebody loses. And so when you're trying to maintain relationships, and you're trying to You know, make everybody happy and lead an organization successfully, those decisions are really hard to make. And I am not undermining that by any mean. But at the same time, no decision means the decision becomes deferred to a lower level. And so that now falls to your middle management, middle management doesn't make it that it falls down to your people and your people end up making strategic decisions, just for the mere fact that nobody else would. And so I just want you to think through that. And think about just something simple. Like if you're, you're asking for a team to collaborate on, you know, some copy that was being written an email was going to go out or a newsletter or something of that sort of something as simple as that. You ever send that email out and says, Hey, you know, provide me feedback. And you just don't get any information. Then of course, once it's published, everybody has their feedback ready for you? Well, some of these decisions That that are being deferred could cost millions upon millions upon millions of dollars. I remember

working with a bank, and they had something that they call this security scan. And it was supposed to just scan to see if any ports were open and they would close them before you know this, this thing would go into production. And there was there was a couple of projects that went out where a port was open, and it left them vulnerable to some sort of attack or hacking or something of that sort. And the CIO just came down with fury just beat everybody up around them. And so, next thing you know, as a project manager, when you go to do a security scan, they say, well, the security scan teams really overloaded. We said why they said well, we require three security scans for every project. I was like, what does that mean? And they said well, we got to scan it when the it is done building the server, we have to scan it after the vendors installed. software and we have to scan it after user acceptance testing, so that we can confirm if any ports were open. And if the ports were open, who, who opened them. And so then it became 10 days to schedule a security scan 10 days to perform it and 10 days to get the results. So you're looking at 90 business days or four and a half months, just so that we could say whether or not ports were open and who was to blame. And that was the kind of key thing see the executive needed to know who and was blowing everybody up, not the fact that the ports were open, but who did it. And so the question became, who made the decision to do three security scans? Well, nobody did. So the security scan team did, because they didn't want to get yelled at because they didn't know who opened the port. And so the question becomes, well, what was more important than the fact that we caught a port and we closed it before it went live? Or is it more important to know Who opened the port so we can yell at him and blame him. And when when I finally challenged the executive with that information, the answer was clear that no, we just want to make sure the ports are closed. But my that was a perfect example of how every single project in that bank, for as long as those process were in play, we're getting delayed by up to two and a half to three months. For no logical business reason, other than we wanted to know who to blame. That's a perfect example of when an executive decides to blow something up or yell at somebody or not make the the decision, how it gets hand checked down, and other people will then make the decision in absence. So that's our dream number two convenient counsel and make decisions and how those become nightmares. We're going to come back with nightmare number three right after this break and listening to Rick Morris and the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  27:57  
Are you frustrated with the overall productivity Have your project management processes Do you lack consistency and project delivery? Our squared consulting provides end to end services to assist companies of all sizes in realizing and improving the value of project management. Whether you want to build a project management office train project managers for learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes, r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared At the work life balance, we like to ask simple questions to our executives and portfolio managers. Are you picking your projects based on what the organization can spend? Or is it based on what your resources can realistically achieve? This question is not answered properly can cause great strain on your staff limiting the return on investment. When creating project selection criteria. Does your organization attempt to understand the amount of resources needed to complete the work? Is this done in spreadsheets or in a while level. What if we told you there was a simple and easy solution that was built with resource planning in mind? We call it resource first from PD where resource first was built with resource planning as its foundation. We have years of experience that proves before a company fine tunes its project and portfolio management processes without a process for resource planning. The best processes and algorithms can fall flat resources should be first when deciding the strategy of taking an organization forward. Find out more at PD were calm. Put your people first with resource first from PD where join us at PDX were calm.

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You are tuned in to the work life balance to reach Rick A. Morris or his guest today. We'd love to have you call into the program at 186 64725790 Again, that's 1-866-472-5790. If you'd rather send an email, Rick can be reached at r Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  30:17  
And we're back to the work life balance on this Friday afternoon talking about the portfolio management dream, how to stop them from becoming a nightmare. So we've covered two dreams already. Let's get into the third one and then we're going to get into tips and tricks that I have several clients that pay big money to hear so that's that's what's coming. So hang on with us and we'll get into some tips and tricks on some practices that are surprisingly successful. So dream number three is to institute a gating process. So, gating process is a series of gates where you want to have some sort of check where a project goes from initiation into planning, planning and execution, execute In closing, so on so forth, the goal is to validate that the team itself is ready that all the due diligence has been done. And we really understand what we're getting ourselves involved with. It's also, though should be a key point in which we look at the project and decide whether or not to continue the project. So it's not just a rubber stamp. So a lot of organizations, again, state that they want that they state that they want some sort of gating process, they want some control. They want to make sure that everybody's thought through everything that they're supposed to do. But the reality of the situation is it becomes a process for the sake of process. And before I get into that, let me explain that like, for instance, for instance, one of the biggest process I think, is misused in project management is that of lessons learned. Not saying that lessons learned is invaluable. It's just that people haven't really thought through the process. So then it just becomes something that we do for the sake to say that we did add a checkbox for the PMO that says yes, we completed the lessons learned what I mean is most of the time lessons learned is handled with the project team. It's tracked in some sort of spreadsheet and then it goes out to like a SharePoint site. And then the intent is that all the project managers are supposed to read all of the lessons learned so that we can plan for that and avoid making the same mistake twice now in theory, phenomenal. But we do have a system of how do we take those lessons learned and actionable so that people can really learn? haven't thought through how to do that, then we're just doing a bunch of wasted effort. So again, it's it's not that lessons learned is invaluable. It's just the process in which we do it. If you want a great system of how you can actually turn lessons learned into a real risk assessment I suggest my book project management that works I have an entire chapter devoted to how you take the lessons learned turn that into a questionnaire that can that is in central English for Your project managers to be able to answer and then it tells you what to plan into the project based on how they answered that questionnaire. And it's all based on lessons learned. But coming back then to gating, right, a lot of people end up having gates, just for a process I had of Fortune 50 client I worked with. And when we calculated the cost of their gating process, it was $18 million. It cost them to run their gating process per year $18 million.

And so

that became a great test case for the nightmares that we talked about. So nightmare number one is that gates become really complex and they use too much time. In this case, it would take 88 hours for a project manager to gather all of the data. And of course, then there's all these rules that come with it, right? So you got to fill out this massive PowerPoint, you get to go query all these different systems and you get all this information and You're supposed to have that done a week ahead of the meeting, so that the committee can review it. Well, of course, the committee is going to be reviewing like seven or eight projects, they did not look at all of those spreadsheets, they didn't read all that document beforehand, which is what they're supposed to do for the coming to the meeting. So when they get in the meeting, you end up just, you know, rattling off a bunch of information, and then you get a rubber stamp, and off you go. So we've got to make sure that when you're looking at a gating process, that it's not complex, it's super easy to kind of get through but you have the right amount of control within it. The second big nightmare that comes with the gating process comes around, again, decisions not being made. So you present it and then they defer decision in the gate because they want more information or they don't understand. And so therefore, the project essentially goes on hold until you can go through that next gate. Even more so. You know, when you when you have the council that's looking at the gating, a lot of times they'll say well You know, we're only going to meet every other Tuesday, something of that sort, which means if I'm ready to go through a gate, I've got to wait until a certain amount of time, so I can go present and get a rubber stamp and move forward. So that's another huge nightmare that we see when we're looking at the gating process. But the biggest one and my challenge to this fortune 50 client, my challenge to most of my clients is, once we understand what the total cost of the gating process is, then what is the value of doing that? Can we attribute the value? Did we cancel a project? Did we save a project that was gonna lose a ton of money? And, and, you know, revamp them? And when we start looking at processes like this, you know, some of these are very necessary. Some of these are regulatory, and that's fine. But the question becomes, is the value does the value outweigh the cost or is the cost tremendously outweighing the value? So in the case of that fortune 50 client, my question is, can we address Repeat like 35 to $40 million of gains from running this $18 million process. Because if not, then we need to kill the process and reinvent it. Right. And, and that's so I don't understand why it's so scary for organizations, but they're like, Oh, no, we got to do gating. Okay, but the gating hasn't produced any kind of results for your organization the way that you've chosen to do it. So why do it? Well, because, you know, we have to or because, you know, an audit finding or because, you know, our consultant said, so something of that sort, but making sure that we're getting twice the value out. If not, then everybody needs to be re diverted to revenue generating activities instead of these activities that are just clogging up the wheel and not producing results. So that that's how that becomes a nightmare. Number three, so let's get into some tips then for dreams instead of nightmares. So those are the things that can go wrong. Based on the assumptions that most organizations make,

so how do we how do we make these things, actual dreams? How do we make this stuff come true? So my first tip is that all of these things work gating works, project management software and how that work, you know, that works. Having a portfolio decision committee, it works, but they all have to start simple and then become built upon. So for instance, in the project management world, focus on each one of your roles kind of doing one thing, well, I call this the three rings of focus. So the three rings of focus is okay, I want portfolio, our project managers to write a good schedule. I want resource managers to give me utilization statistics, at the minimum Give me the percentage of resources used against the project over a length of time. And the team members just validate those assumptions. They can do that through time tracking or just validating the percentages that They're their resource manager put in. If each one of those roles just focuses on doing those things, well, then you have all of the pillars that you need to make great portfolio management decisions. We'll know how well the projects are trending, what percentage of resources are available to take on the next project. And we'll understand that the resources know where they're supposed to be and what they're supposed to be doing. And so if we do that, then it works. Once you have that down, then you can start to add onto some automation and some workflows and notifications and all those other things that a system can provide. But what I end up seeing happening more than anything, is when you overcomplicate it, then you stent, you start to doubt the tool and not the implementation of the tool or the configuration of the tool. And then it just becomes this large time tracking kind of database Whenever you try to use the data as a point of decision, people don't trust the data so they don't do it. That's, that's horrible. So, they are all of these things work, but they need to be kept simple and they need to be built upon. Under that same kind of tip though, I want you to have the concept of enter once use many. So I I see a lot of organizations who like one time tracking in their portfolio management tool resource management tool, but then they also have SAP or some other HR kind of tracking system in which they have to answer time so now it becomes duplicate entry of time. That's the biggest thing I always caution my my companies and clients to look at is to say, we need a time tracking system of record. And then whatever other system needs that information, we can feed it. So generally that means the portfolio management software is the best place to track time because it's generally at a lower level. When you're looking at like SAP and HR systems. They just kind of want time rolled up to the front project level, not necessarily at the task level. And then of course, you've got you know, just number of hours worked PTO time, that kind of stuff, you can roll that up and send that to other systems. In the same with like financials. So if you're running SAP financials, then let's not create a whole separate tracking spreadsheet in our portfolio management system. Let's find a way a way to feed the relevant information from the system of record into this, you know, into the system where you want to use the data but not have any kind of duplicate entry. All of the all of the systems now have open API's, they're super easy to start to integrate with. And there's ways that you can design that process so that you're entering once and using many. That's a huge tip. Think through the process. From your resource perspective, think through the process of the people that you're asking to do. You know, the so yes, you want the information to make better decisions. But if we make it cumbersome to enter it in or they're entering it in, twice, it's To lower the quality, then you're going to be into the nightmare of the data quality doesn't add up. So therefore we don't trust it. And now we're just doing again process for the sake of process. Very, very important that a well designed thought process of implementation of what's the system of record? What's the information do we need? What are we going to ask our people to do? And how are we going to utilize that data? That's how you prevent that from becoming a nightmare. So I've got four more tips that I'm going to share with you when we come back, but we're going to take our final break right here you're listening to Rick Morris and the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  41:38  
Are you aware that 80% of project management executives do not know how their projects align with their company's business strategy? Are you aware that businesses identified capturing time and costs against projects as their biggest project management challenge? Are you aware that 44% of project managers use no software even though PricewaterhouseCoopers found that they use commercially available project management software increases performance and satisfaction. Now imagine that you could have the ease of entry like a spreadsheet and a software tool set up and running within two to four weeks. Imagine within two weeks being able to see clearly where all of your resource conflicts are. Well, you don't have to imagine because PD ware has already created PD where can give you real time access to KPIs easily updated views of what your teams are working on, and immediate feedback to some of project management's toughest questions. Like when can we start this project? What happens if we delay this project? Can we do this in time? How does this new project impact our current portfolio? Find us at PDX were calm and imagine not manually compiling endless reports again, Are you frustrated with the overall productivity of your project management processes? Do you lack consistency and project delivery? r squared consulting provides end to end services to assist companies of all sizes sizes and realizing and improving the value of project management. Whether you want to build a project management office, train project managers, or learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes, r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared

When it comes to business, you'll find the

experts here voice America business network.

You are tuned in to the work life balance. To reach Rick Morris or his guest today we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790 if you'd rather send an email Rick can be reached at our Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  44:00  
And we're back to the work life balance on this Friday afternoon, the final segment as we go through my tips now for how to keep your portfolio dream from becoming a nightmare. So we already talked about, you know, keeping things simple, the three rings of focus and enter once use many. Here's a very, very popular one we talked about earlier in the nightmare about how when you create a ranking algorithm to rank your projects, that a lot of the arguments become about the algorithm and not the projects themselves. So what I do is I find the five or six pieces of information that they're saying is important. So you know, ROI, NPV, total resource utilization, length of project, those types of things. And I rank all the projects by single statistic, each one so if there's five things I five separate lists and then I look for essentially the waterline or you know what we think we can do 30 projects, so which projects appear in the top 30 and all five of those categories. And generally there's about 10 to 12. In doing so, then we can say those 10 to 12 are in, regardless of who you know, if you think ROI is more important, or if you think total utilization is more important doesn't matter. That's it. And so now we're just we've made our decisions on the top 12 right out of the gate. And now we just start talking about the bottom 18. At that point, it moves things along a lot faster. And even if we come to a stalemate on the bottom 18 we still have ranked the top 12 and off we go. So that's a huge point in time saver for a lot of portfolio committees. probably my biggest tip that's utilized and in most of my most of my clients companies. The next one is what I call the 10% rule. This one, this one is is huge, especially when you start talking about lowering the amount of gates and things like that that you need. So essentially, the 10% rule works this way. So when you pitch a project and you have an initial budget, you automatically get 10% of that budget approved to go plan the project to really go plan out how much this thing is going to cost. And then if you're within 10%, plus or minus of your original estimate, you're automatically approved to go into execution. So the beauty of that is it's reducing the amount of gates that are just rubber stamp, and now gates just become about the outliers. But also it gives you the ability to move things along very, very quickly. So for an example, if it's a million dollar project, you get $100,000. To go plant it, you find out it's going to be a you know, 1,000,001 point 5 million, and then that means you you've got the green light to go into execution. So that's a very, very popular one as well. I've seen several organizations streamline their processes to where the only the gates that you're talking About are falling outside of that 10%. So therefore, there's real decisions starting to get made as to whether or not that project still valuable enough or whether it's still worth enough to go after.

And my next tip can go hand in hand with the 10% rule. And this is pmis term. It comes from the Pim Bock. And it's one that I remember kind of having a reaction when I first saw it, but once I saw one of these inaction, it's called a board. And that sounds horrible. But it essentially, is that the committee is convened to shoot down the project. And if you can, if you can then get the project through that committee, then it's a really good project to do. But otherwise, if it's a flimsy project, it's a pet project is one that's not really going to generate ROI, that kind of stuff. Those get cancelled and shut down in this committee. So the intent isn't to come to the committee to approve the intent is for the committee to come in and decline And make the sale of that project be so good, that it's irresistible. And we have to do this project. It's just it's a little bit of a flip of connotation, but it really is, is a powerful tool to say, you know, we understand we have limited resources, we understand we have limited budget, we're going to make sure that we're not going to waste any of those on projects that don't deserve, really to be considered by our staff. And my final tip, in this series is to talk about, again, value. If a process doesn't provide double the value, then it's time to redesign the process. And that really goes for any of our processes. It's amazing how much money that that I call low hanging fruit is available when I go into a consulting client. And all I have to do is looking at the processes that they're doing and question why do we have that process And I'll tell you that 90% of the time I'm talking 90% of the time, people will tell me Well, that's just the way it's always been done here. And that's that I hate that statement. Because that's not true. It's not the way it's always been done there. It was just the way that you were trained and you've never questioned or look to improve the process sense. And so when you're when you're looking at a process, I'll give you a perfect example something a question I asked a client that they'd never been asked before is that they, they deal with a lot of regulatory a lot of regulatory projects and regulatory generally means you have to do it, or there at least has some consequences for not doing it could be loss of reputation could be a financial fine in most times. It's a financial fine. But there was a new regulation came out everybody scrambling the project was gonna cost about $200,000 do and my question was, what's the fine? I go? What do you mean? I said, Well, we're doing this to avoid a fine, what's the fine, the fine was $10,000 For the first year, and I was like, Look, this is obviously a project we need to tackle, but it's going to be a nightmare to try to tackle it now. So why are we going to spend $200,000 to avoid 10? Where we'll just take the $10,000 lump. And now we don't have to do it as an emergency project, and it's gonna cost you no way less to do. And that's what we did. But nobody had ever really asked that question to the client before like, Alright, so that caused me and my portfolios when when I have a checkbox that says this is critical, or it's regulatory, like I want to see, like, Where's the regulation, I show me the document, show me the phrase, and show me the fine so that we understand that this is good business for us to do. So, if a process doesn't give you double that value, then it's time to absolutely redesign the process. So that's how we make portfolio management dreams. actually become dreams and avoid nightmares. If If you have any questions about any of those, you can reach me at r Morris at r squared consulting COMM The software that I recommend that you use right now, if you're looking at any kind of portfolio management type software is a company called PD where it is the first one that was built with resource planning in mind and makes the resource planning essentially the power of a project portfolio management tool with the ease of a spreadsheet, it's really really cool software, really inexpensive, and does a phenomenal job.

Coming up next week, we're going to start a series of entrepreneurs and real entrepreneurs. And we're going to have john tablets on who is the founder of books, which is Bo u q s and it is one of the fastest growing flower retailers out there, the largest company and one of the biggest successes ever to come out of shark tank and just a phenomenal entrepreneurial stories. So we're going to be visiting with john. Next week, and we've got tons of those coming up. We've got Wes, who actually was our reschedule. We missed an appointment before but he's a marketing guru got Travis Bell coming up. And just on and on Adam Mendler. Steve gave it tours. And then even if you missed last week, a fascinating conversation that we had with Doug vermeeren who's is considered the the modern day, Napoleon Hill. He's He's interviewed over 300 of the most successful people in the world, and is gleaned insights. And he talked to us about his movie, how thoughts become things so that was last week's episode. If you missed it, you definitely want to go back and catch that one. Otherwise, gang, we thank you so much for always being a part of the show, always the feedback that I get on social media and via email. I certainly appreciate it. So keep that coming. And until next Friday, we hope that you live here. Your own work life balance will talk to you that

VoiceAmerica  53:06  
thank you for joining us this week. The work life balance with Rick Morris can be heard live every Friday at 2pm pacific time and 5pm eastern time on The Voice America business channel. Now that the weekend is here, it's time to rethink your priorities and enjoy it. We'll see you on our next show.

Transcribed by

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Increasing Your Productivity - Russell Nohelty

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VoiceAmerica  0:04  
One problem facing people at many levels of business is how to make time for a work life and a personal life. Do you find that one seems to keep getting in the way of the other? This is the work life balance with Rick Morris. Even if you're not involved in the business world, you'll have a lot to gain by tuning into today's show. Now, here's your host, Rick Morris.

Rick A. Morris  0:26  
And welcome everybody to another Friday edition of the work life balance. We're back live we were off last week for the July 4 holiday but hopefully you enjoyed the replay. And we're back live with you today. We've got a great guest today is a USA Today best selling author and publisher at wannabe press. He's written comic books like Katrina hates the dead Ichabod Jones Monster Hunter, and pixie dust along with more than a dozen novels, including his Gods first Chronicles. He also has a very entertaining newsletter which you can join it will actually give you the link but the link into our show notes but it's Russell nulty dot com slash mail and that space spelled no h e l t y for naughty and you can get a few of his books for free there lives in Los Angeles with his wife and dogs. Let's bring him on to the show. Russell, how you doing, brother? I'm doing well. I'm doing well. Thanks for having me. Thanks for having me, man. It just joining the show and lending some of this productivity talk to us. So I'm a project manager by trade, my job is to help companies become more efficient. So in reading kind of the description that we wanted to talk about, in one of the big things you were talking about is productivity and work life balance. Let's start with saying you've got three businesses. You said you've written 19 novels, hosted a podcast with over 175 episodes and you do that all within an eight hour day. What are what are some of the businesses that you that you run?

Russell Nohelty  1:43  
Right, so I run a publishing company you talked about one of the press. I own a Verizon dealership that does b2b work, and I am a as well as a training academy called the complete creative marketing agency that is part of the complete creative and then I am myself an author, I write four books a year, at least usually it's more like six or eight books a year, one year was 18 bucks a year as the well as I was going from show to show for many years. So I would spend about 20 or 20 weeks on the road. And I still able to do most of my work within that eight hour day, and really most of the work that I needed to get done within five hours.

Rick A. Morris  2:25  
And so when you the books that you're writing, they're more fiction novels, or

Russell Nohelty  2:29  
Yeah, I've written two nonfiction novels, the how to build your creative career, and then how to become a successful author, as well as little over 400 blog posts on my website, that complete creative, but most of what I do is fiction work and most of that within fantasy and most of that within mythological fantasy and fairy tales.

Rick A. Morris  2:52  
So when we start to talk about, you know, productivity, I think time is the great equalizer. The one thing everybody has the same The same 24 hours in a day. It's how we utilize and how we prioritize those hours, you know, each day that really can drive somebody from being successful or unsuccessful. So what is one of the biggest things that people get wrong about productivity,

Russell Nohelty  3:14  
that doing more things means that you are going to be moving closer and closer to your goal. So the absolute biggest mistake that people make is saying that they're busy, which means they're productive 99.9% of the time, that is inaccurate, you can do more with I can do more with one hour a day than most people can with 12

Rick A. Morris  3:38  
and says that the old adage, activity doesn't equal achievement.

Russell Nohelty  3:41  
Absolutely. I mean, the problem is that when you're doing all sorts of stuff, maybe I should step back for a second and tell you a story about my own success as a creator. So I started working full time as a creator in 2015 after I left my job in June, And I did not expect to leave my job in June. So I was working really, really, really hard. I was doing conventions. I was doing appearances. I was like basically, burning the candle at both ends working 18 hours a day, and I was getting nowhere fast. And so November came, and suddenly all of the companies that I worked for shut down conventions don't really happen in December. Kickstarter doesn't happen in December, which are my two biggest drivers. businesses tend to not switch to Verizon in December. They they're like kind of like off for six weeks. I also work in movies and TV, they're off of that time. So kind of everything came to a screeching halt at once. And I thought it was horrible. I thought it was like the worst thing that could possibly happen. But not having the ability to do work made me realize How unproductive I was. And I started looking back at the last five months of my life and being like, wow, I was doing a lot of stuff that did not actually move me forward, I was promoting a lot of books that weren't actually making a good return for me, I was going to a lot of conventions that weren't doing or giving me a good return. I was just, I was doing so many things that felt productive, but were actually quite unproductive,

Rick A. Morris  5:31  
and good.

Russell Nohelty  5:32  
And so being able to cut all those things out, just like and free focus on the few things that really worked and double down on that made me so much more productive to follow.

Rick A. Morris  5:44  
So there's a parallel with what's going on right now in terms of COVID and the shutdowns and, you know, I think it's a great time for a lot of people to start to recognize the distractions that they do allow in their life. I mean, you've especially if you've got, you know, children and parents and there's ballgames and There's all these after school activities that you're shuttling back and forth to. And all of these distractions kind of went away. Right? And people are now kind of forced to be, you can only look at Facebook for so long before you you start to go, Wait a minute, I've got to get up and get something done. So what how do you take that personal inventory and start to decide what is the more productive? Do you have a formula that you use for that or

Russell Nohelty  6:21  
I wouldn't say a formula, but I definitely have a process that I use. So productivity is sort of Do you know the one thing by Gary Keller and Ts, okay, so I live by the one thing kind of not the whole book, but just the concept of like, there's one guiding light at the top of this, of this pyramid of where I'm trying to get to, and it is the 20 foot Domino. So he uses the word the big Domino in the book and a lot of the training so if you don't know the big if you go on YouTube and you look up, like 10 foot Domino falling over, you will see this video of A 10 foot Domino followed by a five foot Domino followed by a two foot Domino. And all the way back to this. It's like a tiny, tiny one inch Domino, and they tip it over, and the one inch Domino tips over the two inch and four inch and eight inch. And eventually this one inch Domino pushes over this 10 foot massive Domino. And in the same way, that's how I think of being productive. So, so there's a guiding light at the top, which is that one big Domino, and then underneath it, there is all of these little things that you have to do to push that boulder over and to push the one inch, one inch Domino, and then the two inch Domino and the three inch Domino and each of these stages sort of form a pyramid underneath each other. So there's tons of these little things that have to tip over for you to be able to move to the to two inch stage and then the four inch stage and the eight inch stage and each stage gets progressively harder and harder and harder and harder. And maybe you don't even know everything that needs to happen for each stage. But you have to This sort of way to say this is the big Guiding Light. And these are all of the pieces underneath it. And so step one is really taking inventory of what you want that one Domino to be. Now, it doesn't have to be success in your career, it could be losing weight, could be running a marathon, running a marathon is a really good one, like giving it as an example, because we all can imagine all of the things that have to do with each stage, right? If you have a marathon, you've got to probably run a half marathon. And then you've got to run like a five K. And then you've got to run maybe a 10 k in there. And then you've got to like be able to run a mile, you've got to be able to run around your block. But before any of that can happen. You have to buy shoes, you have to buy like good shoes, you have to train your knees and you have to like probably do some strength training help you have to just get back to the gym and like you have to like run just step on a treadmill one time and you've got to maybe walk for some time before then and you've got to get time to run. Or maybe you have to change your whole daily schedule to like, be able to get up at 5am instead of 8am. There are all these things that go into running a marathon. And the nice thing about planning out all of these little steps is you can celebrate each step along the way. Every single time you hit one of these goals, it's not just this one thing, it's all these other littler dominoes as well. So step one is kind of figuring out what this one thing is. Step two is spending the next week taking inventory of every single thing that you do. And then when you have that, you want to do two things. You want to rank it on a one to five scale of what I've how of how important it is right now to your life. So for instance, if you're if you have a baby, breastfeeding is pretty important right now or like making sure that kid that kid like has food is real immortal. right now. But then you also want to say how important it is to your goal at the end of the day. And you're going to find some things that like, Look, feeding your kid may not be as important to running a marathon. But it's really important to just being alive. So there's going to be things that are fives and things that are ones like that, then then it's going to be things that are fives and fives. But there's going to be a lot of things that are unimportant to your life now, and unimportant to your goal. And knowing all of those things are how you start to become more productive because those things that are like, this is really not important. And this is not important to my goal are going to be the first things that you have to jettison.

Rick A. Morris  10:46  
So I love the big Domino illustration. But when you when you lost your job in June and you said you weren't expecting that. Did you know what the big Domino was then?

Russell Nohelty  10:57  
For me that big Domino became making this clear. Company work so I never have to have another job again.

Rick A. Morris  11:04  
You You knew that at that point when when. So you already had want to be started. Right and you lost your job in June.

Russell Nohelty  11:12  
Yeah, I was about 18 months before I thought it would actually get to the place where I could do it successfully. Interestingly, it took me about 18 months later, almost to the day,

Rick A. Morris  11:22  
I had had my breakthrough time, but I did have that big Domino before I left, but I was not ready to leave when I left. Sure sure the timing gap you're always like, if I have X amount in the bank, I'm ready to go and those types of things. But fortunately, the same same thing for me is I was running a company was president of a company they actually just unexpectedly went bankrupt the the numbers that I had the numbers he had, were not the same. So you spending money out of the backside and literally left on a Friday opened up my own consulting shop on a Monday. Sometimes I feel like you need that push in order to really kind of double down and get focused so help What would you advice would you give to people then who don't know what the big Domino is yet? Or is playing that same timing gap? They're they're dabbling here dabbling, they're saying that they want to leave this job or have their own thing, but not quite getting there yet. Do you have advice for them?

Russell Nohelty  12:16  
Yes. So most of I think most of us are better than most consultants give us credit for them credit for at knowing the pain point, like knowing like what they want to do, and knowing like where they're struggling. And so I think they need to lean into that. My first, my first thing I tell them is they need to take a day off just the need to take a day to really think about what that Domino is like, what they think is possible, and what they really, really, really want. And really envision it and think about actually having it and what it would mean to them to have it and then spend the next week as we talked about getting really specific on to the What things are really driving them forward to that goal now, and what lights them up, which of the things that they really, really are putting fives on are the things that light them up, and then turning them towards that and not telling them to leave their job just like try and do a little bit more of that every single day and see how you feel doing.

Rick A. Morris  13:24  
And so one big piece of advice I give in that same scenario is it's not always, when you ask people what they want, the first thing they do is list all the things they don't want to do is make sure that we're focusing on what you want to do not. I don't want to have to worry about bills. I don't want to work at this job anymore. I don't want to answer to it. But okay, those are the things you don't want. What is it that you want in order to be able to focus on that? So we're going to take a break right here, we'll come back we're meeting with Russell nulty and talking about productivity and you're listening to the work life balance requires

VoiceAmerica  14:00  
Are you frustrated with the overall productivity of your project management processes? Do you lack consistency and project delivery? Our squared consulting provides end to end services to assist companies of all sizes and realizing and improving the value of project management. Whether you want to build a project management office, train project managers, or learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes. r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared are you getting the most out of your project management software? In many cases, it is not the software that is failing, but the implementation limitations or processes surrounding the use of that software. r squared can analyze your current use and help improve your return on investment. r squared can also suggest the best software for your organization and goals and assist in the selection implementation and training. Allow r squared to ensure that you are getting the value of your investment. Visit r squared Today

from the boardroom to you, voice America business network.

You are tuned in to the work life balance to reach Rick Morris or his guest today, we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790 if you'd rather send an email Rick can be reached at r Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  15:46  
And we're back on this Friday edition of the work life balance we're visiting with Russell nulty and Russell is a Oh do you own it? Do you don't want to be presser do? I do? Yeah. So we were just talking before the break about identifying that one. thing we talked about Domino's. But you said during the Domino's though that we've got to identify all these little things and figure out what we need to tip over. Do you have advice in how do you get started in that activity?

Russell Nohelty  16:11  
Sure. So it's, it's quite hard to know all of the little things that you do and all of the little pieces that you do. So I like to break it up into three sections. So I'm going to take work for instance, like we can, you can, there's analogs and home, but like I'm going to what's the easiest to think of this is like in work. So I like to think of admin tasks that you do what work as being worth $5. So when I say $5, I mean, you could outsource it to a place in another country or even in America. And this could be done by very many people entry level work. Or you could get an intern to like do your data entry, all of these things. These are the things that are the biggest ones. weigh the biggest part of weighing down your productivity. Because you're doing these tasks, they tend to take a long time and be kind of mindless, and you don't usually mind doing them. So you just continue to do them. But it's important to note that like, anybody can do these tasks in order to be more productive. And in order to like, even if you just want to move to the next level of your career in your, in your company, you need to get out of doing these tasks as quickly as humanly possible because they are actually not valuable to you, they may be very valuable to the company. You know, doing data spreadsheets and X, Y and Z other things are very important for a company to function, but they are not important for you specifically to do. Does that make sense? Right, absolutely. Okay, so the next part of this is $50 tasks. The $50 task is you as a technician in your company in your zone of genius. So for me that's writing that might be it It might be doing plumbing, it might be a whole, a whole host of other things, but it is you, whatever your job is, it's like you being the technician and really being able to like, show your experience. And then there's $500 counts, then technically 5005 50,500 thousand $5 million an hour tasks, they goes way up. But the three that are really the most important 550 and $500 $500 an hour cast are the strategic things that you're doing to leap forward in your industry. So this might be strategic partnerships that you're making. This might be initiatives that you're launching new projects that you're that you're putting together, things that you're like, like products that you found that you're going to start that you're going to start working on. All sorts of things that are not technician level pieces, they're sort of strategic partnership pieces that are actually going to move you to the next level. Because the thing is generally technician parts of, of the world. They're not marketing, there's no marketing behind them, it's just you doing the work. So this is sort of the marketing and strategic planning, and things that are going to pull you to be known by more people to be a powerhouse in your industry to be a thought leader in the industry to be to be put on conferences to be put in, to be put on on panels, to be able to go on podcasts to be able to, like, increase the reach of what the kind of people that you that, that you go, that that you that you're reaching out to. And it's important to note that you can do this on a on a on a country level. You can do this on a state level. You can do this on a city level. You can do this even in your neighborhood level like these can be done by local shops. This can be done by people that work at any level of this. It's just the strategic partners. This is the part that you really want to get to because this is how you get to The next level of your career because more people are going to know you like you trust you, and then work with you and allows you that technician work more till I would charge more for that technician work, and maybe even get you out of the technician work and you can hire someone out for that other work. But those are how I sort of think about those tasks are, these are the ones that I can outsource easily. These are the ones I'm known for. These are how I've been, these are how I'm positioning myself and my company to move to the next level.

Rick A. Morris  20:33  
And so then once you've got those identified, how do you build a plan of attack to execute him?

Russell Nohelty  20:38  
Alright, so it's really important that so you have the list now of things that are really important, like the five level tasks that you're doing now and how important they are to your goal. So you have ones and ones. Obviously there's going to be twos and threes and fours as well. But we're just going to take the extremes. There's going to be things that are really Important now, and really important to and and really important to you moving forward. Those are the ones who keep doing easily just keep those are the ones that are the better the things that like go on your list of tasks I'm going to accomplish, then there are ones and ones, those are the ones who literally can pretty much stop doing and nobody would notice. Those are the really heartbreaking ones because you're going to find a lot of stuff in that list, which is stuff you are saddled with that do not matter. And they are things that you either have to go to your boss if you have a boss or you have to just literally cut out it's not even worth outsourcing them because like you're not going to get any return on it. Then they're going to be ones that are one one importance now and five importance later. So and then flipped five importance now and one importance later. So five importance now and one importance later are one You want to outsource? Because they're unimportant for you to do, like they are important now, but you're, but you're not getting a good return on them. And the ones that are ones now and fives later, are the ones you want to start doing more of as well. So anything that's a five, on on the on the on where you rank where it's where you're going in your career are important to keep going. They're important to do, it's really where they fall right now. So one between one and five, and whether you actually hire someone to outsource them, which is there, whether they're a one to five in the future for where you're going. So it makes sense.

Rick A. Morris  22:42  
It does. But how do I then build a plan of attack? Even if I identified those, I've got the five that 50 to 500 I know what the fives and fives are. Do you have advice around how I structure my day or go after those

Russell Nohelty  22:56  
shores? So So let's say you've cut off everything out. And now you're looking at your week and being like, how do i do i do I plan to do these tasks, these like these these like really important tasks and make sure I have time for them. So all of us have times in our day where we are more productive than others. And I think if you push anybody, they would tell you for mine, it's 922922 is the time that I am absolutely the most productive more than any other time. I can do work at other times. But that five hour block is when I do the absolute best work that I that I can do in the shortest amount of time. Do you have a time like that wreck your day?

Rick A. Morris  23:39  
Actually, yeah, and Dan pink. I was trying to pull up the title of the book, I watched Dan, do a presentation and event we call live delete. But he actually pulled together it's called win. But there's a study based on how you go to sleep and when you wake up and whether you're a night owl or alive. And when everybody has a peak time than a trough, and then recovery, and so depending on your kind of sleep schedule, your peak time is either should be creative, or your in your, your recovery should be more administrative activities. So he said when when people schedule meetings, they never really take into account where they are in that. So you know, nine to two is productive. So if it's going to be creative meeting or strategy meeting, boom, that's going to be nine to two, this is a meeting about a new timecard system or you know, something, something that you need to be there, but you don't need to be all there, then that's two to five. Right? So a great book about that.

Russell Nohelty  24:40  
Yeah. And so you made the perfect I actually don't do any meetings from nine to like today is a is a specific difference. Because it's a it's a promotion day. So a couple of tips is I have multiple different kinds of day. So I have a launch day, I have a writing I have a promotion day. And I have a couple of other kinds of days and like so, at the beginning of a week, I look out and I say, okay, Friday, I have two podcast interviews. So that's going to be a promotion day. Let me see if I can get three or four more podcasts that day to really make that date, like, like worth it to spend as a promotion day. And then I have days that I know I'm launching a product and like, that's a launch day, I'm not going to get any writing done on launch day. So I had to like that that is this specific day, and I have now blocked those off. And then most of the other days are writing days. And how a writing day works is from nine to two I'm writing I have to get 1000 words done every single hour, so I get 5000 words done. If I get more than if I finish that in three hours, I get two hours to just do get a break. If I I can keep going if I want but I'm only required to get 5000 words done in those days, I'm required to get 5000 words done. So if that means has to go from nine to five, then it has to go from nine to five that day green time, which is what this is. The first time and most important time is the productive time. I am relentless at guarding my productive time. I do not take meetings. I do not answer emails, I don't do anything. But really I write during that time. And I know that the most productive time in my day is nine to two and so I know that if I can just sit down for five hours every day from nine to two I will get x done. Then I wake up at six and from six to nine is administrative time. I answer emails sometimes again on calls. I do a lot of the you know when you have to do a podcast and they want you to come in beforehand and like do a little like 15 minute interview beforehand. I could do those during that those timeframes and add between set five and seven. I also do that. You mentioned the law, my law firm comes from doing about two and five. And so I take a nap or I go on a walk or I work out or I do something in that breed, I do something in that time to like re energize me so that from five to seven, I can get the administrative work done. Now, between nine and two green time, green time can invade the administrative time, which is ad which is yellow time. And it can invade read time. So read time is time I'm not doing anything productive when it relates to work. Yellow time can invade, read time, right time can invade nothing. And that's how I schedule my day, every single day, depending on what the major task is. And because I can do that very effectively, I end up being quite productive.

Rick A. Morris  27:50  
Outstanding, so we're going to take a break right there and come back when we come back though I want to get into I find that every entrepreneurs journey has speed bumps. So I'd love to feel You're out what were some of those things that you had to overcome? In order to continue your entrepreneurial path? We're going to do that right after the break. You're listening to Rick A. Morris and the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  28:14  
Are you frustrated with the overall productivity of your project management processes? Do you lack consistency in project delivery? Our squared consulting provides end to end services to assist companies of all sizes and realizing and improving the value of project management. Whether you want to build a project management office, train project managers, or learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes. r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared are you getting the most out of your project management software. In many cases, it is not the software that is failing, but the implementation limitations or processes surrounding the use of that service. where r squared can analyze your current use and help improve your return on investment. r squared can also suggest the best software for your organization and goals and assist in the selection implementation and training. Allow r squared to ensure that you are getting the value of your investment, visit r squared today. When it comes to business, you'll find the experts here voice America business network.

You are tuned in to the work life balance to reach Rick A. Morris or his guest today we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790 if you'd rather send an email Rick can be reached at our Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance

Rick A. Morris  30:01  
And we're back to the work life balance on this Friday afternoon meeting with Russell nullities, the owner of want to be press. And so right before we went to break, Russell, we were talking about your time zones essentially of green time, yellow time, red time. How did you discover those times were good for you?

Russell Nohelty  30:19  
Well, you know, I used to work in sales. My last jobs before I started entrepreneurship were sales and sales management roles. And I found, you know, from working with hundreds of salesmen, that if they hit certain numbers across a long enough period of time, you could predict their sales down to like, a few hundred dollars. If they made 100. For instance, if they made 100 calls a day, for a month, and really like three months at the beginning, you got to like ramp this up because what you do today is of eight weeks from now, which is a really good thing to remember.

What you do today is predictive of eight weeks from now. This is one of the hardest parts of productivity and the hardest parts of success is. You don't see like, when you're having a bad month. It is not what you're doing now. It's what you did two months ago, when you're having a great month now. It's what you're doing two months ago. And so this all builds up. And the hardest part of sales is that when you're having a great month, when a salesman is having a great month, what did they do? They didn't take take the foot off the gas. Yep. What and then two months later, they have a terrible month. And then what do they do? They accelerate, they call call, call call call. And two months later, they have a great month. And it is, I mean, I've seen this hundreds of times and me and the bosses that I've always had have like, are like don't understand why you can't just have if you just go consistently but less like if you just go 45 every day instead of 60 and then to your Get way further, just by being like the tortoise. Now you can't be as slow as the tortoise, you have to do a minimal amount of work. So we were like, okay, 100 calls a day, which sounds like a lot, but that's over an eight hour day, like 15 calls an hour. Most of those calls are hang ups or, or not really good calls. So you have, like, pretty much 30 minutes of every hour that you're on the phone, and 30 minutes that you can do admin work or, or like place orders or whatever you had to do. And that's usually, if you've got a few over eight hours can be on the phone for three hours of that day, or maybe over four hours, even better. You then would have a killer month in two months, every single time that that ever happened, unless there was like a really big problem with how they were talking. But even then just being on the phone for like a couple of months, consistently. Almost all of them would like have great pitches. They were just Be consistent, they'd be ready to go. And they weren't working that hard. They weren't working nearly as hard as the people who were like struggling and then succeeding and struggling and then succeeding. And they probably they didn't never had like a $50,000 month. But they all were making more money than the people that were not doing like anything for a couple of months and then killing it for one month. And so, and it was like, from you get you get into the morning and you get sort of your coffee ready, and by like, 9am, you're ready to make your first phone call. And just like, you hit it 20 calls an hour for three hours, four hours, and then you take a break for lunch, you come back and you do it again. And every single time that that happened, I wouldn't make a lot of money. And every time that didn't happen, I would make no money. And so I was it was drilled into me that if you do if you if you can do enough and enough work every day, when that's different From every industry but if you can do enough for every day over a long enough period of time your career started sort of looks like a bell curve. And then you can predict that like, you will have x success and the reason is because if you make 100 calls your first three might go well and your last 97 Miko horrible, or your firt last three of my go well in your first 97 Miko horrible, or you might be able to like you may get like one every 20 calls that is going great and every hundred calls is different. But in order to predict how much you were going to make and how many clients you're going to have, you had to make a minimum amount of calls. And every time someone made 60 calls or 50 calls or 10 calls an hour. We were like I can't do anything with you. I cannot do I cannot work with you because I don't know what is happening. I have to have enough data to be able to put into a system to be able to get a random distribution bell curve, so that I I can predict what's going wrong and where you're going wrong. But if you're not doing enough work, I have no basis of data. And so from there, that's when I moved into what I'm doing now. And, and and I can tell I don't do the most amount of work any day, but I do enough work that I can be happy with it, and that I can end the day relaxed with enough spoons to carry over to the next day. This was another thing that I found is those people who were working really hard, they would burn out that month or like two weeks like they would they would be stealing like energy from the next day, they'd be drinking cups of coffee and then they said they would work really hard that close that big deal and then they would sleep for two weeks. And they then then they would be like out of the zone and it would take them two weeks to get back into the zone and then like it would take them two more weeks to get to get like back onto the onto the ramp and so I realized I am a person that has several disorders that are chronic autoimmune disorders. And so I realized that like in order to be able to play with the big boys, I had to find a way to work that would not deplete all of my energy every day. And so by not depleting my energy any single day, and always leaving with something left in the tank, and then working to rebuild that tank. I always the next day, or maybe 90% of the time, the next day had plenty of energy to get through that to the end of that day because I was never pushing myself, but I was always getting way more done than a person who was on that cycle of like, boom, bust.

Rick A. Morris  36:49  
So have you ever taken a disc profile?

Russell Nohelty  36:52  
I have not.

Rick A. Morris  36:53  
Okay. But you're you're so I hear that and i think that's that's fantastic. But when we start talking about I get into this conversation often when I'm dealing with productivity in organizations, a metric like hundred calls a day. So if you only get 60 or 70, and it's not always necessarily the the it's not necessarily a predictor of a poor month, right? Because it's also quality. But what we ended up doing there, what I end up seeing is people so focused on making 100 calls a day that they're not focusing on the call itself. Does that make sense? Absolutely. So how do you how do you get metrics like that, where you can say, this is a good barometer of success, but isn't the only barometer How do you coach people in that in that scenario?

Russell Nohelty  37:36  
So you're saying people that like had a lot of calls, but they're not having success still

Rick A. Morris  37:41  
now? Or it's it's the fact that the only thing they're worried about is making 100 calls? Right? It's about all about hitting the metric not necessarily accomplishing the job.

Russell Nohelty  37:51  
So there's a great, there's a great parable. Have you heard the parable, the balls like that, there's a there's a there's a Teacher and he assigns half of his class to make as many balls as possible. That's how they get an A, the more balls they make, the better their grades gonna be. And then he, he tells the other half of the class that all they have to do is make one perfect ball. And they spend all of their month making one bowl. And what he found at the end of the month was the people that were tasked with making many bowls, a ton of balls, they ended up with way better balls. And they're that then the person that only made one bowl. And so for me, how we would train it was we couldn't, we needed you to get to the hundred calls. Like, it didn't matter to me if you had good calls at the beginning. What mattered to me is that you had the reps, and once you have the reps, you can move to the next level. And you can make better work, but it's really hard to it's very easy to train someone who does the work to be a better salesperson because now you're listening to their calls and you're like, are you need to do this or like you need to do that you literally can just sit on the phone with them and be like, you're doing the work. Now, let's make you better. It's very hard to get someone who's an amazing salesperson, but doesn't make enough calls to be successful. And so for us, it was about and for me, it's really about like, hey, if you suck at like writing a book, or like you suck at like doing the job, like, let's get you to a place that you can do the reps. And once you can do the reps, you're going to naturally get better on the phone, and then I can help you get better faster. But what I can't do is train you. I don't want to train you to be a great salesperson with like all of these sales sheets, because we would have read all the scripts like you know, you work in sales with people like we all have, like the scripts, but the thing that makes a great salesman is being on the phone and being able to move the conversation before the conversation needs to be moved. That you can be like I've heard this before, and I know how to preach Pre handle this objection. And so yeah, for us, it was a lot more about getting people on the phone. And then once we were on the phone, we could listen to them. And then be like, you see, like that is the call like, like this is when you say that, and then they go, Whoa. And eventually, eventually they tended to break through.

Rick A. Morris  40:19  
Yeah, and so we do things. Similar when we're training salespeople, if the fear is getting a know that I want them to get 100 nose, right, that's, that's one of my standard tactics, because in the hundred nose, they're going to learn the objection. So the rep is about understanding and overcoming what's not on the script versus actually doing this.

Russell Nohelty  40:38  
Now, there is something that they do like, there are cheaters and cheaters are like that, they will they will get a list of like 500 fake numbers or like numbers that they know are like don't work. And they'll just be like, Oh, my numbers are down for the day. I'm just going to call all of these numbers so it shows up on my sheet that I called them, but like it's not helpful and for those People, it's very easy because you can see it's like a seven second call seven second call seven second call for like four hours. And they only have like an hour and a half on the phone even though they made 100 calls. So yes, you do have those people who game the system. And those people usually wash themselves out. Because if they didn't wash themselves out, they learned very quickly that like, because I would just give them a new sheet every day and be like now all I want you to do is call these numbers and they'd be like, oh, but I haven't listened. I'm like, here's a new list. You call these numbers and suddenly like it would break them out of their spell. But there are some cheaters and you do have to just kind of flush them out at some point. Some people just don't want to do the work.

Rick A. Morris  41:42  
I totally agree with that. But it comes back to quality of work to right activity versus achievement. So we're going to take our final break right here. We'll be right back with Russell Knowlton. And when we come back, we'll get to your overcoming story. And then I always ask the question of what's some of the best advice you've ever received. So we'll do that on the backside of this break it listen to the work more on the work life balance.

VoiceAmerica  42:07  
When it comes to business, you'll find the experts here, voice America business network. Are you getting the most out of your project management software? In many cases, it is not the software that is failing, but the implementation limitations or processes surrounding the use of that software. r squared can analyze your current use and help improve your return on investment. r squared can also suggest the best software for your organization and goals and assist in the selection implementation and training. Allow r square to ensure that you are getting the value of your investment visit r squared today. Are you frustrated with the overall productivity of your project management processes? Do you lack consistency and project delivery? r squared consulting provides end to end services To assist companies of all sizes and realizing and improving the value of project management, whether you want to build a project management office, train project managers, or learn how to bring the oversight and governance to your project processes, r squared has tailored best practices to help you in all areas of project management, visit r squared

You are tuned in to the work life balance to reach Rick A. Morris or his guest today, we'd love to have you call into the program at 1-866-472-5790. Again, that's 1-866-472-5790 if you'd rather send an email Rick can be reached at our Morris at r squared Now back to the work life balance.

Rick A. Morris  43:53  
And we're back to the work life balance on this Friday afternoon. Just quick shout out to to everyone that continues to text questions. And check in with us on social media as we're doing the show, I'm always watching. I appreciate it. We always try to get all those questions in. So coming back, Russell, one of the big things, one of my favorite quotes to john Maxwell says is, it took him 25 years to become an overnight success, if you, you know, he's written hundreds of leadership books, he's sold millions of millions of copies. But if you see like it, you know, it was I think it was five years between book one and book two. And it really was around book 15 or 16, that he actually started his that's when he came up with developing the leader within you, and that's when things took off. So every entrepreneur that's really successful had to overcome a tremendous amount of failure. What's one of those failures or bumps that you really felt you had to overcome in order to be successful at want to be?

Russell Nohelty  44:47  
Yeah, so I, I failed three companies before I was 20. Before I was 30. I mean, I say fail because they didn't quite go bankrupt because like they didn't make any money. So Like it's not like money to lose like lose that like they were negative money but like it's not like I went in I went when BK or like I did anything official they just like absolutely failed like look, you fail one company that could be a fluke fail two companies maybe that's like your partner's fail three companies and like it's a huge problem like it's a huge problem I mean like one failure is a huge problem but like when you fail three it's a really a you problem so I really had to look at myself and be like, okay, like what is the common theme besides just me and ended up being that like, I thought like every other creative I've ever met that like if I made work, it was just going to be so good that people would come. I have no sales experience. I had no marketing experience. I mean, you talk to me now where I can like rattle off all of these sales things and like do Facebook ads and all this stuff and I was when I was 29 I thought my I thought I rode on on air. And that's happened a couple of other times in my career, but I, you know, I, I really, I believe that in your 20s, you should be able to stick around and do whatever you want, as long as you're not hurting yourself hurting someone else, and you can make some money. Like, you're not like going into like, massive debt to do it, even though I did that also. But once you hit 30, you kind of gotta like, get your act together, and like, you know, start doing something that, you know, makes makes your money. And unfortunate when I was 30, though, if that made real money that I could do that someone hired me for his sales, because like they will, everyone's always looking for a salesman and like experiences kind of irrelevant, especially at entry level sales positions. So I, I sort of ate Crow and I did not really want to do sales, but I knew that the only way that I could get to the place that I wanted to do was to figure out how to sell the work that I had put out and how to make better products and how to like sell those products. So I worked at Aflac. If you know anything about Aflac they'll hire anyone. I worked at a card guy selling ads to car dealerships. Finally I worked at a sprint reseller. And like in all that time I like was getting marginally better. But it wasn't until I worked at that sprint reseller that like something finally clicked, like, I finally clicked after months upon months upon months, and one of the reasons we talked about like, not being so held up on sales at the beginning was like, I stunk the first few months, like I, like was barely making a sale. Like I would like be doing everything I could and like I was just like, I was hustling and hustling and hustling and hustling. But it just was not coming together. And I was so freaked out by like these sales numbers that I would often do the thing that you said and just like call a bunch of people to be like I at least I got my, my number my quarter because like I gotta, I gotta like hit these sales numbers. And, you know, eventually after like, like, I was on like probation for three months, and then I think But just barely skated past there. And then like, I just barely made it through my quota the next couple of months. And then like six months into it, something finally clicked and suddenly all like made sense. You know? I don't know, if you like football, but like football, and, you know, they talked about game speed, right? And like, a college, a college quarterback coming in and like, and like getting sacked a bunch of because they've never seen anything as fast as the NFL before. And then like, if you if you if you if you make it to the next level, like they say the game slows down, right? And like, suddenly I was six months in and like the game slowed down and I suddenly could hear what they were going to say before they even said it and I suddenly could redirect the conversations. I could suddenly just all of the things that my bosses were telling me just, like, started to work in ways that they didn't work before they just like It Wasn't I was saying I felt like the same words but they were suddenly like landing because of the order that I was saying them in. And it was suddenly the dominoes were in the right order. And so, yeah, I would say that if it was like one of the big that was the biggest hump I've ever come over was to sort of be able to eat Crow and say, I love creativity. And if I want to run a creative business, I have to know how to say these sales and marketing, because they say, like, what are the two things you have to know to be successful? You got to know the thing that you know, and you got to know marketing.

Rick A. Morris  49:29  
Yeah, in fact, I've got several books on the market. And I remember that when I put my first proposal together, it's you know, you just think, Wow, once I write this, it's gonna fly off the shelves. It's amazing. But it doesn't work that way. And as a matter of fact, the proposals more about what are you going to do to hustle and market and sell the book than more? So what the books about right I mean, they really want to know that you're going to be somebody who's invested is going to push is going to get the word out and not expect them to do all the work. It's a it's a partnership. So what's up But the best advice you've ever received that

Russell Nohelty  50:03  
best advice I ever received.

So I was listening to James Wedmore podcast, I think it was James Wedmore. I keep attributing it to him. So I sure hope it was him. And he was at the end of the year. As you know, as I mentioned, I kicked all of December off. So I listen to a lot of podcasts, take a lot of courses, like, I just kind of like, do whatever, I wake up whenever I want and do whatever thing I want that day. And it's like wonderful. And I'm very blessed to have that ability to do that. Although probably I'm not going to do it this year, because like, I just had three months off. And he said, Where do you want to be in 10 years? And he's like, think about it really hard for like, the next two minutes or something. And then he said, what would it take to get there in one year, and that changed my life, because that's how I've lived every year since then. There is, how do I do 10 years of work in one year? How do I do? How do I get to the next level in X amount of time? And like what is the minimum amount of between that and the minimum amount of information that I need to make a good decision? That could be like 100 podcast episodes, it could be being a guest on 100 shows could be, you know, being doing 100 shows of like, just like at conventions, whatever it is, like, what is the minimum amount of stuff that I need in order to make a good decision? And then how can I get there in a month instead of a year? How can I get there in a year instead of 10 years, and I've used that to leap past so many humans who started at the same level as I did. And then the the other piece of advice that I got very early on was that when you're starting, it looks like everybody is going to be competition to you. It looks like there's no way they're just off flood everybody out there. But as you finish a book, or you move down the path, you move down the path further and further and further, you start looking back and you notice that nobody's there, like what happened to all the people. You know, one in every two people wants to write a book, but one and only 100 people writes a book, and then one and only 1000 people writes like two books, and then 1 billion people writes like, 10 books and, and so you start looking back, and separating yourself from the pack, and all of those, and then those people who were in competition with you at the beginning, suddenly they become your peers, because you realize that it's not about competition, it's about it's about cooperation. And then all of those people who are crazy enough to do the thing that you did and get to the place you are like your companions, they're like people who resonate on the same level of crazy as you and so but yeah, looking. I cannot tell you how many People that I was in high school with, that, like wanted to be some creative human that wanted to do something creative, and to look back at, like, kind of maybe two or three people actually got there. And the same thing out of college No, so many people wanted to like become writers become directors or become somebody and I don't know, like, I'm not saying I know my entire college class, but like, it's a very few amount of people who've gotten to the level that I am. And so knowing that you're where you are, is, is is is at the beginning is daunting. But the more you could do to separate yourself, the less competition you'll have and the more of a place you'll have in the world that you want to inhabit.

Rick A. Morris  53:47  
Well Russell we appreciate you being on the show. And you can find Russell at Russell Knowlton calm and then that is no h They can find also want to be press

Russell Nohelty  53:57  
is want to be pressed and for complete as well, I will just say it is two s's in two L's that second l trips. A lot of people

Rick A. Morris  54:06  
for Russell. Absolutely. But we appreciate you being on and we'd love to have you back.

Russell Nohelty  54:11  
I'd love to come back.

Rick A. Morris  54:12  
Outstanding. So next week gang we're gonna have Shawn wolf on Sean is the founder of biz talks, which is a live conference that hosts several speakers who speak in front of hundreds of young business professionals. We're excited to have Sean on the show. As always, you can find me on Twitter at Rick A., Morris, Facebook, LinkedIn, anything else that you'd like to find us on. And we always enjoy and appreciate the fact that you guys are out there. keep giving us the feedback. We love you for it. And we will be here live next Friday right here on the work life balance. You've been listening to Rick Morris.

VoiceAmerica  54:43  
Thank you for joining us this week. The work life balance with Rick Morris can be heard live every Friday at 2pm pacific time and 5pm eastern time on The Voice America business channel. Now that the weekend is here. It's time to rethink your priorities and enjoy it. We'll see you on Our next show