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How to Grow Fast When the Opportunity is There Featuring Jess Dewell

Jess Dewell charts courses for resilient growth-oriented companies. She is a consensus builder, culture advocate, and operational executive with more than two decades of business experience.

Sometimes you simply require a little help to spark that business motor into a rip-roaring mode of priority-setting, problem-solving, and goal-attainment to maximize effort.

Working closely with Jess, you learn to ask the right questions and think effectively on your feet.

Jess is nationally recognized for her understanding that the interplay of constraints and growth is where achievement happens.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how to get out of your own way when communication is lagging, and people are spread too thin.

Jess and I discuss:

  • What Jess is proud of in her career [03:27]
  • Helping clients succeed [06:15]
  • The kinds of roles Jess plays [09:08]
  • How Jess’s career evolved [11:55]
  • Her ideal client [18:04]
  • What it takes to be successful as a consultant [20:11]
  • Holding a weekly retreat to work on your business [24:19]

Learn more about Jess at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicadewell/ or

https://reddirection.com.

Get Jess’s Business Management report here.

Transcript
Jess Dewell:

There's a stuckness.

Jess Dewell:

Communication has lagged.

Jess Dewell:

People are spread too thin.

Jess Dewell:

They don't know how to get out of their own way.

Jess Dewell:

Those are the types of things that we solve, and it's not immediate.

Jess Dewell:

So these are companies that really recognize and individuals in companies

Jess Dewell:

that understand the power of taking the time, building some really good

Jess Dewell:

habits, and being able to leverage what's good without starting over.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Welcome to Smashing the Plateau.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We help consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs, and small business

David Shriner-Cahn:

owners build their business after a long career as an employed professional.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We believe you should be able to do what you love and get paid

David Shriner-Cahn:

what you're worth, consistently.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm your host, David Shriner-Cahn.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Today on Smashing the Plateau, I'm speaking with the managing partner

David Shriner-Cahn:

of Red Direction, Jess Dewell.

David Shriner-Cahn:

In today's episode, you'll learn how to get out of your own way when communication

David Shriner-Cahn:

is lagging and people are spread too thin.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Stay with us to hear all the details.

David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

Get a free 14- day trial of Circle at smashingtheplateau.com/circle.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's smashingtheplateau.com/circle.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Now let's welcome, Jess Dewell.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess charts courses for resilient, growth oriented companies.

David Shriner-Cahn:

She is a consensus builder, culture advocate and operational

David Shriner-Cahn:

executive, with more than two decades of business experience.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Sometimes you simply require a little help to spark that business motor

David Shriner-Cahn:

into a rip roaring mode of priority setting, problem solving and goal

David Shriner-Cahn:

attainment to maximize effort.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Working closely with Jess, you learn to ask the right questions

David Shriner-Cahn:

and think effectively on your feet.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess is nationally recognized for her understanding that the

David Shriner-Cahn:

interplay of constraints and growth are where achievement happens.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess is a strategic business advisor and facilitator of the CEO Infusion

David Shriner-Cahn:

Mastermind, Fast Track Your Business and producer of the Bold Business Podcast.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess, welcome to the show.

Jess Dewell:

Hey, thanks for having me, David.

Jess Dewell:

I am so glad to be here today with you and, I'm listening

Jess Dewell:

to the introduction of myself.

Jess Dewell:

And I'm always surprised when I hear it.

Jess Dewell:

I don't know if you get that way when you hear people read your bio.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Depends, whether I give them the short

David Shriner-Cahn:

version or the long version.

David Shriner-Cahn:

The shorter, the version, the less I'm surprised but, okay.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What surprised you about your introduction?

Jess Dewell:

Every once in a while that two decades thing catches me.

Jess Dewell:

I'm like, Ugh, it's actually been that.

Jess Dewell:

And then I'm like, oh, and that's plus four now or something close on that front.

Jess Dewell:

And then, oh yeah, we do a lot.

Jess Dewell:

We do a lot at Red Direction is really what that was for me this

Jess Dewell:

morning, and I was a little proud.

David Shriner-Cahn:

You should be proud, a lot goes into our work and our

David Shriner-Cahn:

lives, and there's nothing wrong with being proud of our accomplishments.

Jess Dewell:

Cheers.

Jess Dewell:

Cheers.

Jess Dewell:

Yes, David.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So that being said, what's one thing

David Shriner-Cahn:

that you're super proud of.

Jess Dewell:

Just one,

David Shriner-Cahn:

one to start okay.

Jess Dewell:

That's so if I were to just be anchored in this

Jess Dewell:

moment here, present with you.

Jess Dewell:

The thing that I am most proud of is, the clients that I have helped over the years.

Jess Dewell:

Because, when we talk about achievement, one of my specialties happens to

Jess Dewell:

be sharing the limelight with other people so that they can learn to

Jess Dewell:

shine, and then I can step away and they can stay in their own limelight.

Jess Dewell:

They have their own light that they didn't even know they had, to lead

Jess Dewell:

their business to achieve their goals, to make the changes that they want to

Jess Dewell:

make in their life and their business.

Jess Dewell:

And that's pretty powerful because, sometimes it's scary to walk alone.

Jess Dewell:

And sometimes it's nice to have somebody who knows what's going on and has

Jess Dewell:

been there or can relate in some way.

Jess Dewell:

And so I, I am proud of that.

Jess Dewell:

I am proud of being able to help people reach their goals and in the

Jess Dewell:

same process, in the same vein, then when they're reaching their goals,

Jess Dewell:

I'm achieving mine because I've helped them not need somebody like me anymore.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I mean to me, it feels a little bit like, like being a parent,

David Shriner-Cahn:

when you see a client, particularly one that has gone through some really

David Shriner-Cahn:

rough stuff or they were in a place where, and I know this has happened

David Shriner-Cahn:

to me, I'm sure it's happened to you.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'd love to hear some of your stories.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I've had clients where I look at the situation they're in and I think.

David Shriner-Cahn:

How the heck are we going to get past this?

David Shriner-Cahn:

How can I help them get past this?

David Shriner-Cahn:

and those are the ones that they're definitely not easy.

David Shriner-Cahn:

They're often not quick to resolve.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And then something happens and things turn around.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm thinking about, in my case, two clients like this that were

David Shriner-Cahn:

in real struggles personally, financially, it looked like.

David Shriner-Cahn:

the odds were against them succeeding as entrepreneurs.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And again, in both of these cases, I'm going to say it was probably, I know for

David Shriner-Cahn:

sure, it was more than two years of hard work to really put the pieces in place

David Shriner-Cahn:

that have had, have resulted in game changing business where business is now,

David Shriner-Cahn:

in both cases, financially successful.

David Shriner-Cahn:

They have client work, that's really personally rewarding.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Their personal situation has improved in part because the money helps relieve

David Shriner-Cahn:

some stress in your personal life.

David Shriner-Cahn:

so it's, it's not such a terrible thing to make some more money

David Shriner-Cahn:

so that you can afford things, that'll make your life easier.

Jess Dewell:

Absolutely.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So I'd love to hear some of your stories of how you have really felt

David Shriner-Cahn:

good about seeing your clients succeed.

Jess Dewell:

Sure.

Jess Dewell:

there are a couple that come to mind.

Jess Dewell:

One is the CEO of a company who came to me and said, I can't

Jess Dewell:

grow no matter how hard I try.

Jess Dewell:

Every time we make the investment in people, something happens and, everything

Jess Dewell:

is wonky and we end up contracting again.

Jess Dewell:

And we started out that relationship with a one year contract.

Jess Dewell:

This is what we're going to do.

Jess Dewell:

This is when we're going to meet.

Jess Dewell:

And all of the work that we do at Red Direction is based in accountability.

Jess Dewell:

So when I'm working with somebody, we have a system with which we're coming

Jess Dewell:

back to and on regular intervals, we're checking into these, into

Jess Dewell:

the work that needs to be done.

Jess Dewell:

And, are the people in the company that I'm working with, that could be

Jess Dewell:

one person that could be three people.

Jess Dewell:

Are they successfully completing what I call a present retreat.

Jess Dewell:

And once they can get that, to your point light bulbs turn on.

Jess Dewell:

So for this particular company, during that year, it was, it

Jess Dewell:

usually is around month seven.

Jess Dewell:

People are like, I want instant change.

Jess Dewell:

And I'm like, sure.

Jess Dewell:

And they're how about three months?

Jess Dewell:

No 12, because we have to get out of our own way and we have to try all of

Jess Dewell:

the things and somebody has to be there as we're knocking our head against the

Jess Dewell:

wall, thinking we know what's going on, we just needed a little edge.

Jess Dewell:

And that person that we brought in to help us in this consulting and coaching

Jess Dewell:

role could just push us over the edge.

Jess Dewell:

We really what we're doing, right David, is we're helping

Jess Dewell:

them look at things differently.

Jess Dewell:

We're helping them see the world in a view in a slightly different vein.

Jess Dewell:

it could be a different direction.

Jess Dewell:

It could be a different facet of a gem, whatever your favorite,

Jess Dewell:

idea or imagery could be.

Jess Dewell:

And it's about that month seven, that the first big

Jess Dewell:

breakthrough happens and all, and.

Jess Dewell:

A big light bulb moment.

Jess Dewell:

If we are across the country, I could look the direction that the client is away from

Jess Dewell:

Kirkland, Washington, and I could see the sky light up, it, it, you feel it, that

Jess Dewell:

energy is there and it comes through.

Jess Dewell:

and once that first spark happens, you're right.

Jess Dewell:

There is sometimes a cascading effect and sometimes it's a release, so

Jess Dewell:

that a little bit more depth can be looked at for the problem that's at

Jess Dewell:

hand to continue to work forward.

Jess Dewell:

And that's a client that after our initial consulting agreement for a

Jess Dewell:

year, what we end up doing is we're touching base quarterly and two to

Jess Dewell:

three times a year, we do strategic offsite, so that the work that they've

Jess Dewell:

been doing, can still be practiced.

Jess Dewell:

They're doing all of the work on their own.

Jess Dewell:

This is a great leadership team and they just want to make sure they

Jess Dewell:

don't have any more blind spots.

Jess Dewell:

They want to make sure they haven't left any accountability on the table.

Jess Dewell:

And it's all baked in to where they're going and what they're doing.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So is your role kind of a combination of strategic and operational

David Shriner-Cahn:

or how do you describe it?

Jess Dewell:

Yes, it is very strategic and operational.

Jess Dewell:

So if a company knows where they want to go, we look at exactly where

Jess Dewell:

they're at, and the gap between where they're at and where they want to go.

Jess Dewell:

And then we start breaking down and understanding, what do you have?

Jess Dewell:

So here's the operational side.

Jess Dewell:

And sometimes it's people and sometimes it's process.

Jess Dewell:

And usually it's a mix of both.

Jess Dewell:

It what's available?

Jess Dewell:

Where are the hangups?

Jess Dewell:

What do we see happening?

Jess Dewell:

And how do we take what's working to actually leverage that, operational growth

Jess Dewell:

forward that revenue growth forward, that personal development piece forward,

Jess Dewell:

which means then at that last one, that personal development piece, what ends

Jess Dewell:

up happening is all of us get better.

Jess Dewell:

All of us, we get better at communicating.

Jess Dewell:

We get better at listening.

Jess Dewell:

We get better at understanding and remembering, oh, yeah, we set that goal.

Jess Dewell:

Oh yeah.

Jess Dewell:

That's where we're going in five years.

Jess Dewell:

Oh yeah.

Jess Dewell:

We made this initiative 18 months from now and the decisions I'm making today in

Jess Dewell:

this moment actually are affecting that when we can have that, awareness projected

Jess Dewell:

forward, I call that a true success.

Jess Dewell:

And that means a company is on their way.

Jess Dewell:

I can come in and facilitate instead of due strategy and operations.

Jess Dewell:

And then of course, add that piece back in.

Jess Dewell:

When do you need a little bit more, make sure that the company has a

Jess Dewell:

voice, make sure that the CEO is not the good cop or the bad cop, but the

Jess Dewell:

person that is guiding something that a group of people have agreed to do.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess, is there an assumption that there is good product

David Shriner-Cahn:

market fit for what the company.

Jess Dewell:

Not always.

Jess Dewell:

I would say, by the time companies come and work with me, David, they

Jess Dewell:

know how to keep the lights on and they've hit a growth plateau.

Jess Dewell:

So to the point of product market fit, that's already been

Jess Dewell:

figured out for the most part.

Jess Dewell:

If they have been trying to break into a new market there's product market fit for

Jess Dewell:

the, either the market or the product that they're trying to bring to the market,

Jess Dewell:

and there can be work done in that.

Jess Dewell:

But for the most part, we're breaking through the growth plateau and

Jess Dewell:

leveraging what they've already done and what they've already figured out.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And the way you run a company that may be, it's size today and

David Shriner-Cahn:

the way you would run it, if it's double the size or five times the size or 10

David Shriner-Cahn:

times, the size can be quite different.

Jess Dewell:

Correct.

Jess Dewell:

Oh, and you know that, I know, you know that

David Shriner-Cahn:

yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I've seen this happen many times.

Jess Dewell:

Exactly.

Jess Dewell:

Yeah.

Jess Dewell:

Yeah.

Jess Dewell:

And we have to get out of our own way.

Jess Dewell:

And sometimes we have, even with our best interests, we're in our own way.

Jess Dewell:

And we're accidentally in other people's way too.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

It's usually both.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Just tell me a little bit about your own career and how you ended

David Shriner-Cahn:

up in this particular kind of role.

Jess Dewell:

So, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, David.

Jess Dewell:

I have a lot to do, and I have a lot to figure out and I have a lot to try.

Jess Dewell:

So my first company, I was one of four owners.

Jess Dewell:

We ended up selling two years after the company had started and we sold for a lot

Jess Dewell:

of money to a publicly traded company.

Jess Dewell:

And I had just dropped outta college.

Jess Dewell:

I was 21 and here I was, needing to obtain an earn out and grow this company to get

Jess Dewell:

all of the money, which by the way we did.

Jess Dewell:

So I'll say yay to that.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Wait, so this was a company that, that you started

David Shriner-Cahn:

while you were in college, correct.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Okay.

Jess Dewell:

This is a company started while I was in college.

Jess Dewell:

We ended up dropping out and moving from Kansas to Seattle to take it

Jess Dewell:

full time, To be all in full time.

Jess Dewell:

And then a company in Minnesota bought us.

Jess Dewell:

And what I thought was the most fabulous opportunity.

Jess Dewell:

And in hindsight, the greatest gift, even though it was really crunchy during

Jess Dewell:

that time was this concept of growth.

Jess Dewell:

And I found out the things that I actually do naturally were the

Jess Dewell:

things that helped us achieve that are now, which was, we had to look.

Jess Dewell:

Okay.

Jess Dewell:

we had product market fit.

Jess Dewell:

We were attractive, we got acquired.

Jess Dewell:

So how do we grow what we have, because we really didn't have the

Jess Dewell:

time or the energy and definitely not the margin to get the earn out plus.

Jess Dewell:

So grow the company through, through new product, we had to

Jess Dewell:

leverage our existing product.

Jess Dewell:

And I was like, how do we do.

Jess Dewell:

And I just went to the clients and I looked at them and I grouped

Jess Dewell:

them and I said, Hey, the best.

Jess Dewell:

And we know this, right?

Jess Dewell:

This was something, this is, existing clients are always more

Jess Dewell:

profitable than acquiring new clients.

Jess Dewell:

So I looked at that and I said, who are my tier three companies?

Jess Dewell:

And what would it, what do they need to be solid tier threes and maybe get, a certain

Jess Dewell:

percentage of them, up into tier two.

Jess Dewell:

And then I did the same thing for our tier two clients.

Jess Dewell:

How do I get these tier two clients, super solid and growing.

Jess Dewell:

And then maybe we get another tier one client out of that.

Jess Dewell:

And that was my focus and that is what we worked on.

Jess Dewell:

And so we made tier three companies and by the way, this was an eCommerce company.

Jess Dewell:

So this was when eCommerce was brand new.

Jess Dewell:

And Nobody was really talking about how e-commerce it was like a bolt-on piece

Jess Dewell:

of a business, just like some people still look at their websites, sadly

Jess Dewell:

as bolt-on pieces to their businesses.

Jess Dewell:

It was that time.

Jess Dewell:

And my job was to make, help them think differently about it and integrate

Jess Dewell:

it from the inside instead of have it have e-commerce being bolted on.

Jess Dewell:

And that was the secret to our success at that time.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So from that point for, so you were 21 and you

David Shriner-Cahn:

sold a company, you got some cash.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yep.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And did you go back to school?

Jess Dewell:

Eventually.

Jess Dewell:

I worked for the acquiring company for a long time.

Jess Dewell:

I did, I was, I not only ran, the company that I started with the

Jess Dewell:

three other people we were acquiring, I was part of the acquiring team.

Jess Dewell:

And we would acquire companies like mine.

Jess Dewell:

And so I ran an entire portfolio of companies that were separate,

Jess Dewell:

but exactly the same underneath just different technologies.

Jess Dewell:

And so we were looking at that growth model and continuing to leverage

Jess Dewell:

that over the course of time.

Jess Dewell:

And then, yeah, I did.

Jess Dewell:

I had this calling back.

Jess Dewell:

I had made a commitment to myself to go to college.

Jess Dewell:

Neither of my parents graduated from college and, it was a big deal to me.

Jess Dewell:So I started college in:Jess Dewell:

So there was a point in time that it made sense to start having that conversation.

Jess Dewell:

And the conversation was, Ooh, I'm so excited.

Jess Dewell:

I'm going to instead of partly give my attention to school and do what I said I

Jess Dewell:

was going to do for myself and keep that particular promise to myself, I totally

Jess Dewell:

went all in and said, okay, I'm done here, I'm going to go back to school.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So that's what, that's another decade.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I know.

Jess Dewell:

the first that's exactly right.

Jess Dewell:

Oh, I love it.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So you became an expert in how to grow companies

David Shriner-Cahn:

from the very beginning, because that really, that you said that was your

David Shriner-Cahn:

focus in your first company was growth.

Jess Dewell:

That's right.

Jess Dewell:

Yeah.

Jess Dewell:

Was growth that's right.

Jess Dewell:

And growth through communication and growth through listening to be able to

Jess Dewell:

create or prioritize the solutions and the improvements to our product, that

Jess Dewell:

would drive the growth of our customers.

Jess Dewell:

So it wasn't just, how does this company that I'm running grow

Jess Dewell:

it's was a true, layered on, we need to grow and want to grow.

Jess Dewell:

And my approach was very much well.

Jess Dewell:

So how do we listen to our customers and how do we, how are they looking

Jess Dewell:

to grow and how can we really help them with our improvements,

Jess Dewell:

feature additions, and prioritizing what we put, where in the product.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And now today you're with Red Direction.

Jess Dewell:

Correct.

Jess Dewell:

That's right.

Jess Dewell:

So I left there quite a while ago.

Jess Dewell:

I did some consulting work in between and as just a consultant.

Jess Dewell:

And now what we did is we've taken all of the skills and we have packaged up a few

Jess Dewell:

offerings, like the podcast, in the Fast Track Your Business Program, like talking

Jess Dewell:

with companies and hearing what's going on and creating business management reports

Jess Dewell:

like doing this one-on-one consulting that it does have a coaching element, but it is

Jess Dewell:

small because accountability is sometimes.

Jess Dewell:

I'm not going to help you explore anymore.

Jess Dewell:

You have enough to make a decision.

Jess Dewell:

So I'm going to hold the space for you to make the decision.

Jess Dewell:

And recognizing that time is usually on our side until you

Jess Dewell:

milk it a little too much.

Jess Dewell:

And then there's that the diminishing return at which point in time that

Jess Dewell:

diminishing return is reached.

Jess Dewell:

I'll be the first to say, David.

Jess Dewell:

It's time.

Jess Dewell:

I know it's hard.

Jess Dewell:

It's you're not going to like it.

Jess Dewell:

Maybe you can like it, and it doesn't have to be hard.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess, who's your ideal client?

Jess Dewell:

A company who is at a growth plateau, who recognizes

Jess Dewell:

that the core leadership team, it might be an individual.

Jess Dewell:

It might be co-founders.

Jess Dewell:

It might be a small management team of five to 10, and there's a stuckness.

Jess Dewell:

Communication has lacked.

Jess Dewell:

People are spread too thin.

Jess Dewell:

They don't know how to get out of their own way.

Jess Dewell:

Those are the types of things that we solve, and it's not immediate.

Jess Dewell:

So these are companies that really recognize, and individuals in companies

Jess Dewell:

that understand the power of taking the time, building some really good

Jess Dewell:

habits and being able to leverage what's good without starting over.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Is there a particular industry or set of

David Shriner-Cahn:

industries, that you tend to focus on or is this very industry agnostic?

Jess Dewell:

I have worked in many industries and I am partial to

Jess Dewell:

technology and services businesses because that's of course, where I

Jess Dewell:

came from, Technology and being that eCommerce , . So I have a, an extreme

Jess Dewell:

depth and an excitement about that.

Jess Dewell:

However, I also work with retail and, electricians and plumbers.

Jess Dewell:

And it could be individuals that are ready to that have this.

Jess Dewell:

And they're like, oh, okay, so I have to go from whatever I have now, we have to

Jess Dewell:

structure differently to be able to grow.

Jess Dewell:

And so the key is, I can keep the lights on.

Jess Dewell:

I don't have time and I want more time.

Jess Dewell:

And I don't want to burn out or I'm already burning out ,and I'm willing to

Jess Dewell:

do, I'm willing to be open to the hard.

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

Okay, that makes sense.

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

Can we talk a little bit about what it takes to be successful as

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

a consultant in a role like yours?

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

Whether you're solo as a consultant or whether you're part of a conglomerate

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

of, either a small team or even a much bigger organization yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

:

Cause that's a different role than the kind of clients that you have.

Jess Dewell:

That's correct.

Jess Dewell:

So we're talking about us now.

Jess Dewell:

How does somebody know who we are, right?

Jess Dewell:

Yeah.

Jess Dewell:

Yeah.

Jess Dewell:

I want you to start, where do you, or where do you want us to start?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Let's actually start from the perspective of someone who has

David Shriner-Cahn:

developed expertise over a long career as an employee and then becomes a consultant.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah, but that's a lot of people in our audience.

Jess Dewell:

Yes.

David Shriner-Cahn:

They work for, I would say 20, 25 years, sometimes 30, 35.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And they're mid to high level inside organizations.

David Shriner-Cahn:

They're really good at what they do.

Jess Dewell:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And then they step out either voluntarily or they get pushed out.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And it's okay, I'm tired of fitting into somebody else's structure.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I know what I'm good.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I know the kinds of clients I want to work with.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I know how I can help them, but I've never run a business before.

Jess Dewell:

Oh, okay.

Jess Dewell:

here's the scoop.

Jess Dewell:

The first thing I would say is and this, by the way, this is true.

Jess Dewell:

We do this, I do this every in fact, as we're recording on a

Jess Dewell:

Monday, usually Monday's I have dedicated, they are solely work days

Jess Dewell:

and they're work days internally.

Jess Dewell:

And I, these are my present retreat days.

Jess Dewell:

I mentioned that earlier, and here's what my present retreat is.

Jess Dewell:

And I suggest every business owner solo or every person who's responsible for

Jess Dewell:

finding business, keeping business, growing business, and delivering on that

Jess Dewell:

business to do this type of a program.

Jess Dewell:

It might not be all day.

Jess Dewell:

You might not depending on what your role is, and depending on what you've got

Jess Dewell:

going on, it might not be all day, but it.

Jess Dewell:

Probably ought to be at least a couple of hours.

Jess Dewell:

And that's where I started and it's well, what am I doing?

Jess Dewell:

So I already have goals in my role, in my new business.

Jess Dewell:

I already have goals.

Jess Dewell:

I also know what I want out of this.

Jess Dewell:

So I have my immediate goals and I have this vision of what I want

Jess Dewell:

this consulting to look like.

Jess Dewell:

And People always worry about the process first.

Jess Dewell:

And I'm like, yeah, there are certain things you have to have

Jess Dewell:

that you have to check those boxes, what's what matters more.

Jess Dewell:

And what helps us even more is when we take the time to work on our business,

Jess Dewell:

which is separate from, in our business.

Jess Dewell:

So on Mondays, it's all about Red Direction.

Jess Dewell:

What are our products doing?

Jess Dewell:

How are we doing in our marketing strategies?

Jess Dewell:

What is our return so far?

Jess Dewell:

Do we have what we need?

Jess Dewell:

What are the priorities that need to be made?

Jess Dewell:

What are the new opportunities that have come up?

Jess Dewell:

And that is the day that all of that is reflected on assessed and any adjustments

Jess Dewell:

or new priorities are set on those days.

Jess Dewell:

And the rest of the week, Tuesday through Friday or whatever days you're working.

Jess Dewell:

If you take your vacation in the middle of the week, does, or your vacation,

Jess Dewell:

your, I always take a vacation, which happens to be one or two days a week,

Jess Dewell:

it could just be your days off, whatever days off you have around that, your work

Jess Dewell:

days, you get to be in the business.

Jess Dewell:

You get to be totally responsive because when you take that time

Jess Dewell:

and you're anchored, all you have to do then is in the business.

Jess Dewell:

You'll go, Ooh.

Jess Dewell:

We just talked about that.

Jess Dewell:

It fits it does not fit, oh, this might be new.

Jess Dewell:

Or I don't know if it fits.

Jess Dewell:

That is a key, you set it aside and you wait until your next present

Jess Dewell:

retreat time, and then you get to include it into your process so that

Jess Dewell:

you know what you're working on now.

Jess Dewell:

Your shiny object syndrome is reduced and.

Jess Dewell:

that the actions that you're taking in the next week align to where you want to

Jess Dewell:

be in three months, 12 months, 18 months.

Jess Dewell:

And that is to me the biggest key, because it'll also say, if these are my goals,

Jess Dewell:

here's when I need to add a process.

Jess Dewell:

Sometimes, I have a client who just sold their business and they are

Jess Dewell:

shifting gears in, into a new business.

Jess Dewell:

And they went from having a team and being part of leading an organization

Jess Dewell:

to being an individual again.

Jess Dewell:

And that's where they're starting from.

Jess Dewell:

And they were like, we have to have all these things and I'm going to have

Jess Dewell:

six months of all these processes.

Jess Dewell:

I said, you could, I asked a few questions, but the point being, you

Jess Dewell:

don't need to know the questions you need to know what the outcome was.

Jess Dewell:

Really you need your email, you need a website and you need a

Jess Dewell:

way to be able to communicate.

Jess Dewell:

And at which point in time, you have so many clients, you need to

Jess Dewell:

schedule things, get a schedule.

Jess Dewell:

At which point in time, you're spending too much time manually doing

Jess Dewell:

invoices, get invoicing software.

Jess Dewell:

That's the kind of thing that I think that we overlook and that can slow

Jess Dewell:

down the road to our success and present retreats, help that we'll know.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And you recommend doing this once a week?

Jess Dewell:

Once a week, I started out at two hours.

Jess Dewell:

Four hours is a good sweet spot for most people and I'm at six.

Jess Dewell:

And because I usually take a break and part of it would be eight.

Jess Dewell:

I take an extra long walk, typically on Monday's, and I do end up having a little

Jess Dewell:

bit of busy work that comes from it.

Jess Dewell:

So I try and have the first part of that little bit of busy work so I can

Jess Dewell:

free my head and then I can spend the whole rest of the day, in the strategy.

Jess Dewell:

In the, not only talking about and figuring out how to talk about our

Jess Dewell:

strategy so I can talk to the rest of the team about it, also how I need to

Jess Dewell:

show up and how do I want to say things?

Jess Dewell:

So I know how to prioritize the work that needs to be done for myself and set the

Jess Dewell:

goals so that other people can decide the work that they need to do for themselves.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I love that.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Jess, we've covered a lot of territory in a short amount of time.

Jess Dewell:

Oh, I know.

David Shriner-Cahn:

If somebody wants to go deeper with anything we've discussed,

David Shriner-Cahn:

or maybe you have a resource that you'd like to mention in particular, where

David Shriner-Cahn:

would be the best place for them to go.

Jess Dewell:

Sure.

Jess Dewell:

If you just want to say hi or ask a question, social media is great.

Jess Dewell:

I love LinkedIn.

Jess Dewell:

You can reach me directly through the messenger there.

Jess Dewell:

You can also come to the RedDirection.com website and use the

Jess Dewell:

contact form and, it'll get to me fairly quickly through our process.

Jess Dewell:

I did come prepared.

Jess Dewell:

One of the things that we do is we talk to businesses about what's going on in their

Jess Dewell:

world and we do a report once a year.

Jess Dewell:And so our:Jess Dewell:

And we look at business preparedness from four directions, we're Red

Jess Dewell:

Direction, we talk about stuff like that.

Jess Dewell:

And.

Jess Dewell:

There's a report that could be downloaded.

Jess Dewell:what happened from the end of:Jess Dewell:ccess and to stay focused for:Jess Dewell:

And if you want to take a look and see what that's all about, please do.

Jess Dewell:

And I know you have the link to the landing page for that.

Jess Dewell:

It's a fun read and it helps us think about things a little differently.

Jess Dewell:

So whether we're one person, whether we're a small team, whether we're part

Jess Dewell:

of a larger organization, it's one of those things, when you hear, what you're,

Jess Dewell:

and especially our audience that we're talking to here, David, when people

Jess Dewell:

understand what seems to be on our client's minds, and how they're showing

Jess Dewell:

up, it allows us to shape how we serve them and how we speak to them to get

Jess Dewell:

them to their success that much quicker.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I love that, and we will include all

David Shriner-Cahn:

these links in the show notes.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So Jess, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to join us

David Shriner-Cahn:

today on Smashing the Plateau and shareing your story and your insights.

David Shriner-Cahn:

My guest today has been the managing partner of Red Direction, Jess Dewell.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you Jess for joining us.

Jess Dewell:

Thank you.

David Shriner-Cahn:

When you visit the Smashing the Plateau website at

David Shriner-Cahn:

smashingtheplateau.com, you'll find a summary of each episode, along with

David Shriner-Cahn:

the links we mention on the show.

David Shriner-Cahn:

On today's episode with Jess Dewell, we learned how to get out of your

David Shriner-Cahn:

own way when communication is lagging and people are spread too thin.

David Shriner-Cahn:

How do you feel about your business building progress?

David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

you implement ideas that you know will help move the needle towards your goals?

David Shriner-Cahn:

As a member of the Smashing the Plateau Community you'll have access

David Shriner-Cahn:

to a structured process for growth.

David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

where inclusive, direct, active and empowering conversations are welcome.

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Inside the Smashing the Plateau Community, you'll find a range of

David Shriner-Cahn:

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If you are committed to getting your consulting, coaching, or small business

David Shriner-Cahn:

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Learn more at smashingtheplateau.com, where we have additional resources to help

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David Shriner-Cahn:

We believe you should be able to do what you love and get paid

David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm David Shriner-Cahn.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our show.

About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

Host of the podcasts Smashing the Plateau and Going Solo, David guides solopreneurs selling knowledge and creativity to build profitability and sustainability in their businesses.

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