I just finished the first week with my team for Project 2020. I’ve genuinely enjoyed being their Scrum Master and it’s fascinating to see what issues are coming up.
My mentor Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson ( who got his doctorate on selling under Dr. Edward DeBono) has a great story in his presentation on sales people.
He says it’s much easier for a salesperson to tell their manager they haven’t been able to speak to the client (and actively avoid doing so) to get a decision.
If they actually tell the Sales Manager they did not get the deal. They feel the pain (literal pain if their manager is like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glennross) from the sales manager and the disappointment they feel of failure to close the deal.
So it’s much easier to keep the (false) hope of avoiding the client and hoping the deal is still alive.
It never is.
Michael jokes this is why movie theatres are open during the day. It’s for all the salespeople who are avoiding their clients.
I knew I’d have to be vigilant early in this process (which is not my natural state!) early on in this process to set the tone. The fish rots from the head and all that.
It will be easier for my solopreneurs to not report than submit in a daily standup of disappointment. This will of course defeat the purpose of the project.
By reporting on their daily issues, I can actually jump in right away to help them with their issue with a well placed question. If they can just accept the process of reporting in and realising they are not submitting below-par homework. We can really start to move forward.
I’m loving doing stand ups through Slack. The ability for my ScrumStyle team to report in their Timezone instead of someone drawing the short straw and having to stay up late or ridiculously early.
Up until then, I had never read a book that moved me like this (remember – emotionally crippled). I took the book to breakfast to have something to read before I headed out for a day of filming in Tokyo. The idea was to read a couple of chapters and head out for the day. Two hours later – I’d finished it and was publicly sobbing.
As I write this – in August it will be 10 years to the day. It has become my single most recommended book and sits at the very top of my favourite books of all time. You can get the book here but there is something cooler I’d like you to try…
For years it’s almost been impossible to get the audio version of The War Of Art read by Steven. To my utter delight, it’s now available on audio and you can download it through Audible.
When you hear Steven narrate the book and it’s entering your brain via your ear holes it’s even more powerful. I’ve spent the last week forgoing my regular podcasts and been listening to the War Of Art on repeat.
Here’s my challenge to you, Listen to this on repeat for a week and I’ll eat my Signed Steven Pressfield Black Irish cap if you are not getting more work done.
So for the next six months I’m acting as ScrumMaster for 30 odd crazy souls.
It’s going to be interesting!
My job as Scrum Master is not to look at what they are doing or advising tactics and strategies. Our focus is on the underlying systems which will determine their success or failure over the next six months.
We Don’t Rise To The Level Of Our Goals, We Fail To The Level Of Our Systems
There are five systems which will determine their success.
They all signed up to have me as their Scrum Master to hold them accountable. This usually does not end well….
But… This is not “Did you do your homework?” accountability.
Based on a bunch of new scientific research we are going to use the latest tools and methods for accountability. As solopreneurs we need accountability but we also fight it as well! My hypothesis is these new approaches will give us the accountability we need.
I intend to document what I find out here in the blog. This in itself is an example of an accountability system
The first thing I noticed – the “Recipe” system.
Most of these legends of the future are just starting out on their business.
Quiet a few of them have tried and failed to get their business going many times. In other words, they are just like you.
A “recipe’ is a plan, blueprint or course you use to build your business.
I use recipe deliberately – it’s a metaphor.
If you’ve never cooked a sponge cake before you need a recipe. A set of ingredients and a step by step guide to help you bake the cake. Even with all this, you might still end up with more flapjack than fluffy sponge cake!
But if I just drop you into the kitchen and say I’m hungry – make me something to eat. The person who has never cooked before is in real trouble.
Here’s the thing. When I asked some of my team what recipe they were using they were able to name it specifically. I’m using Liam Austins Virtual Summit, I’m using Ed Dale fundamentals, I’m using Todd Brown E5 etc.
This is good – as their Scrum Master I know they have the recipe to follow and even better they are using a “recipe” that has been tested in the real world and is appropriate to their level of skill.
I can smell trouble once they can’t name the specific tested recipe they are using. If they’re a Masterchef with a ton of successful dishes behind them they can totally freestyle because they know the corner stone of any dish (Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat in case you were wondering!)
My students are not master chefs.
I was speaking with a 1-1 client earlier today and they have constantly refused to call a specific recipe and the result is constant overwhelm. As their coach this is my problem. I told them they needed to name the specific recipe they were going to choose so I could actually help them!
They had bought so many courses they kept trying to mix and match, pull pieces from one course and another. It’s a bit like trying to cook our sponge cake from above and add in elements of a lobster bisque. Not a great idea!
If you can’t name the specific recipe you are using to build your business, you are not going to have a business. So my job is to make sure my team has a recipe system in place ASAP.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Can you name the specific recipe you are using to build your business?
Is it proven for someone of your experience (some plans work great when you already have a reputation and an audience but would flame out for a beginner)?
If you can’t name your recipe – you are not going build a business.
UPDATE: Something else I noticed after drafting this article. Not only do you need to name the recipe, you need to name the creator of the recipe.
For example, It’s not enough to say I’m following an “affiliate marketing recipe” – who’s specifically. If you are a beginner, it’s insane not to follow a proven tested recipe. I found that a couple of team members were following recipe’s where they could not name the creator.
If you can’t name the creator, you don’t have a recipe.
As my team members Scrum Master – I know vagueness is death.