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Issue #36 Is this (am I) Insane?

I have been told that my Thanksgiving dinner process is crazy.

But let me explain.

I cook, and I like to drink with friends.

So, I invite people over for dinner. But then I am stuck cooking without drinking.

And I want it all.

So I fixed the problem.

(No, I have not resorted to bland supermarket dinners or expensive caterers with moderately good food. White labeling is fine, but my product is much better.)

AND, this happens to be the absolute best, most inspiring illustration of the business machine I have ever come up with.

In fact, my cooking-drinking plan is the benchmark that I hold us to when building our business. It will also allow you to have a better Thanksgiving, so here ’tis.

The problem with cooking is all of the decisions you have to make while cooking.

If you are cooking an elaborate meal, like Thanksgiving dinner, you have to remember many decisions and actions. Saute this, pop that in the oven, take that out of the oven, open the can of cranberry sauce (because there is no point in making it yourself, trust me), and the list goes on.

If you are drinking with your friends, you won’t be able to keep track of it all. (Tried it, doesn’t work).

The solution is the machine, and here is how it works:

  • Make all the decisions about what you are going to cook and at what times before the event. (Design your signature program.)
  • Break preparation into simple chunks, prepare your mise en place beforehand, and enlist (compel) labor (kids), to help (SOPs).
  • Use technology: program everything into your phone so that it buzzes, beeps, whatever, and tells you what to do. You have already made all of the decisions; just follow each instruction as it appears. (Alternatively, delegate the work to labor (kids).)
  • If you love the meal, you now have a full schedule and plan to deliver it next time – machine created.

The key is removing all variability from delivery.

Most cooks, and most business people, make it up as they go along.

I did that for years in business and in cooking – it is painful and ineffective endless work (and you don’t get to drink with friends).

So, on Thursday, give the machine method a try. Here is my 2021 plan to get you started.

All of us at Start Grow Manage wish you a Happy Thanksgiving; we are very grateful for you, your participation, and everything you are building.



Are you ready to stop grinding and stop thriving?

Join a Thrivers meeting, heck, join 2, completely free and with no obligation. If you love it, join us.

Why? Well, in the words of Thrivers member Kyle Jekielek from License Lounge:

“This is literally the best $300 I spend every month.”

Kyle Jekielek

Click here to give it a try, or apply and see if you are a fit.

Gratitude makes you happier

There are people who actually know things and have scientifically studied the impact of gratitude.

And guess what?

Gratitude makes you happier!

(Okay, I realize now I spoiled the surprise with the title, my bad.)

In terms of management, they found that employees tend to feel more motivated working for employers who remember to say “thank you.”

So say thank you.

It costs precisely nothing and may improve performance. They also found two notable exceptions to the happier rule:

  • Middle-aged divorced women got no benefit from a gratitude journal (eh?)
  • Teenagers thanking someone for a gift made the giver happier, but the act did nothing to impact the teenagers’ happiness. (Sounds about right).

Anyway, read more here, and get some ideas for how to incorporate more gratitude in your life.

I am thinking of trying a 2121-day gratitude experiment that I haven’t fully figured out yet; if you are interested, just shoot us an email.

The Surprising results from last week’s Survey

We got 113 (newsletter, LinkedIn Combined) results from our survey last week, and here are the results:

Survey about VAs

What surprised me, honestly, is how few people had a terrible experience. That 1% may be me (before Sofía).

What we have learned is that virtual assistants can be a great way to build your team – so for the 69% of you who haven’t tried, maybe it’s time.

From Around the Web

  • 🛝 Waterslide reading for the long weekend, this history of water parks and water slides is an unexpectedly fun read. I love how the concept has developed over time; steady, focused innovation is essential for growing a business.
  • Ever wonder about the 420-Marijuana connection? It is a lesson in growing a brand, and it probably isn’t what you think; read more here.
  • Elizabeth Holmes is testifying on the Theranos disaster – she is famous for, well, not having a plan B and calling into question the limits of “fake it ’til you make it.” They did have a compelling product idea but could not deliver it in reality. Read more here.

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