In today’s episode we speak with Alana Tillim, who is an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial coach, about how to lead a successful business during these troubling times.
From taking care of yourself first, valuing other people around you, to not letting those past good times cloud your weaknesses, we lay out the roadmap towards
prosperity during covid.

Learn more about Alana at or email her for coaching options at: [email protected]

Listen in at:


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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of the fire and earth podcast, I’m your co host Jason method.

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kathygruver: And I am Kathy gruver and we are so excited to have another guest. I have known this woman, a very, very long time. Another Santa Barbara native. We’ve got a lot of them here today talking about resilience and leading through change welcome a lot so excited to have you.

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Alana: So excited to be here. Thank you. What an awesome crew.

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kathygruver: Oh, thanks. So tell us a little bit about you, your background how you got to this moment in time.

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Alana: Well, I have owned my business Santa Barbara dance arts for 23 years and I founded a nonprofit in 2004 that believes in supporting emerging artists and

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Alana: Often and financial support and affordable rehearsal space and access to the arts.

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Alana: But in recent years I have stepped actually out of the classroom. I used to teach and choreograph a lot and focusing more on entrepreneurial coaching. So I’ve been had the opportunity to do speaking at conferences and help small business owners.

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Alana: Grow and empower themselves and as someone who’s led through several crisis’s several changes in the world. I feel like it’s really provided me with tools.

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Alana: And I think what’s happened in the last few months of really set the stage to help have me do what I’m really enjoying which is helping others, and I think

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Alana: Kathy and I have been friends for a long time. I love her work. I followed her closely and I just feel like we share such similar values in terms of how can we help people.

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Alana: Be better for their community for themselves and I’m just really excited to be here and share, you know, maybe a little golden nugget for someone that might help them on their journey.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I think that’s important because, you know, again, as we were talking before we hit record. It’s not our first rodeo for all of us. Right. We’ve been in business for a long time.

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Jason Mefford: Not the first time we’ve seen things like this. It’s not going to be the last time, but a lot of people, you know, especially, you know, post 2008 I mean people haven’t been in business for 20 years. And so some of the things that they’re going through. Now they’re kind of like

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Jason Mefford: You know, freaking out. And so having somebody like you be able to step in and help you know share, you know, first thing

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Jason Mefford: I mean, hopefully you’ll that you’ll go through and you’ll give us some some ideas for some people to be thinking about. But, you know, one is just calm down to begin with. Right.

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Jason Mefford: But anyway, I don’t want to steal the thunder because you’ve been doing this and I’m glad that there’s people like you in the world because there’s a lot of people struggling and people need help.

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Alana: Your artist. Artists are innovators, so I feel like I think that that’s the most wonderful thing about sometimes I think the arts are treated as second class citizens.

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Alana: I live in an orphan industry, you know, we’re not a sport. We don’t have a lobby behind us like gyms, or like

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Alana: You know restaurants do so you really have to advocate for yourself. And I think Jason, you really nailed it. And I think I love having Kathy here because that self care if we don’t put that life mask on ourselves first

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Alana: We aren’t able to lead anyone, and I look at how I cared for myself. Your past prices. I was the last one on the menu. And what I realized is I needed to take care of myself first so I could lead effectively and so

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Alana: That’s why I think you guys are such a great team because you kind of touch on both those points. So, yeah.

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kathygruver: Jason always gets a life mass first

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Jason Mefford: Like fend for yourself.

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Jason Mefford: So, you know, I guess, you know, as, as people are because obviously we’ve been going through 2020 has been a year, unlike any other. Right. I mean, my dad’s almost 90

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Jason Mefford: And you know he lived through the Great Depression, the Second World War, and he’s like, I’ve never seen anything like this. Right.

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Jason Mefford: So I mean it. It is a big, big change. I mean, how do, how do you kind of help people, you know, deal with this. Because like you said you’re

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Jason Mefford: You’re in a little bit different niche because of the arts and, you know,

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Jason Mefford: I think the arts are very important for us as humans. Right. But a lot of times that really kind of gets shut out or people think of cutting those things out of their life first so

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Jason Mefford: How are you, you know, helping other business owners are helping them and kind of doing stuff different now than what you’ve done before.

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Alana: So I’d say as far as an in general opportunity that I’ve offered to those that I chat with whether they’re in the dance industry or not is to really have people

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Alana: Take a minute and I think what you really need to. I think everybody when they get into that fight or flight mode, they want to, you know, they panic, they react. They spend a lot of energy.

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Alana: Talking about all this negativity and they just don’t take that pause and not be and what I think is so important. There’s so much chatter

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Alana: Everybody is a doctor, an epidemiologist right now, a psychologist and all of those things. I think you’ve got to kind of rally. Who are the people in your corner that are experts in their field.

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Alana: I have a doctor on my text messages that I know I can call or, you know, send a message to if I really want some advice. I have a great contact at the health department. I have a great accountant.

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Alana: I have a mentor. If you don’t have a mentor know find someone who can support you and I had to seek it out.

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Alana: And I think once you get clear in each of your arenas of your business, then you have to get quiet.

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Alana: And you have to make the decision. And you have to look at it from a financial standpoint, from an operation standpoint and from a people standpoint. And what I’ll say right now. I feel like the people standpoint.

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Alana: Is actually the place where I’ve had to start because the reality is I am one person.

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Alana: And I cannot do this alone. And as someone who’s been in business for 23 years. The hardest part is letting go and empowering others when you’re so used to doing everything

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Alana: And so I think if you can really get clear with good people take care of them.

00:06:06.930 –> 00:06:16.830
Alana: All the rest will follow, but you have to be decisive. You have to be clear about what you want. After speaking to those experts, because if you let everyone in your ears. I mean, you are going to feel so

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Alana: Pulled in a million directions. And that’s again that self care isn’t just about meditation and, you know, physical exercise dancing arts. It’s also about taking time to get clearing your thoughts.

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Alana: So that’s something I definitely recommend when I sit and coach people and sit with them to help lead through this. I think that’s universal. Yeah.

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kathygruver: Well, in the challenge for that. I’m going to play. I completely 100% agree with you. And this is what I talked to my coach coaches about as well as getting that team around you and the

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kathygruver: devil’s advocate, though. Where do you find those people and how do you know which ones actually feeding you the truth.

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kathygruver: Because if you look at what happened right now with the election we just went through half the country was getting information that they thought was 100% true and we’re probably sitting here going, how did you believe that crap you know the MO whose side you’re on.

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kathygruver: So how do you discern the it’s sometimes the loudest voice is the one you listen to. But the loudest voice might not be the one that actually has your best interest at heart.

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kathygruver: So how do you distill that down without, you know, asking the Google and going with, you know, crazy Joe’s blog. How do you find those people

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Alana: I think I had a chance to listen to Mike McCallum speak not this last summer that summer so it feels like last summer.

00:07:28.650 –> 00:07:36.270
Alana: Last year, right, and he talked about, he wrote the book clockwork, and he talks about building systems in your business. And one thing he speaks about is really like.

00:07:36.540 –> 00:07:47.310
Alana: Thinking about where are the people that you admire people that you see with success. Where did they spend time. Who are they and I think once you start with that then you can start

00:07:48.420 –> 00:07:54.690
Alana: Seeking out the individuals that you have a sense of trust. So for example, I know.

00:07:55.290 –> 00:08:03.900
Alana: Some individuals in our own community that are very well respected, I kind of asked a few people and vetted them. So I think, you know, you want that long term.

00:08:04.530 –> 00:08:13.290
Alana: Relationship. You want someone who’s known someone for 20 years you want someone that has credentials and experts. I’m not going to ask my acupuncturist about accounting

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Alana: But, you know, guess what your acupuncturist might have a ton of opinions about accounting and I think you nailed it. The loudest voices are often often the ones that you actually should be listening to

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Alana: You actually have to seek out those quiet experts and vet them and go to people that you trust if someone has been successful in their business.

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Alana: You know them well enough personally to know they’re grounded. They have a good sense of mental health and balance and their own life.

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Alana: And they’re able to keep all of that in some kind of balance and usually feel like that’s a good place to start. You have to vet people and I ask people for advice and realize, wow, this is not

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Alana: This is so counterintuitive to what I’m seeing on you know reputable websites like the CDC or

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Alana: You know, I ended up finding a woman who works for the IRS she sits on the Oversight Committee and helped write the legislation for the PPP loan. You just have to dig in and find them. That’s definitely better than the lady at Trader Joe’s that had a lot of a

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kathygruver: Lot of those. Yeah, you’re right, everyone.

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kathygruver: The second and it’s so true. The second we have something wrong with us or we have an issue. Everybody has an opinion on that. My uncle said you should do. You’ll usually, you know,

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kathygruver: Everybody becomes an expert on that. So yeah, I agree with that you said before we got on air that success masks failure. Yes. Talk about that.

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Alana: Well, I think you

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Alana: Know, after 23 years like Jason was saying this isn’t my first rodeo. We were really blessed and fortunate to have a banner year and 1920 season for us. We kind of track academic seasons and

00:09:48.120 –> 00:09:56.820
Alana: You know, I thought everything was great. And what coated has helped me realize is, oh my God, if we started taking some of these more decisive spending cuts. If we were more

00:09:57.450 –> 00:10:05.790
Alana: Decisive with some of our, how would we utilizing our people, if we were having individuals with higher pay rates doing higher rate work.

00:10:06.120 –> 00:10:18.030
Alana: And really making sure we’re hiring employees at an appropriate rate for the work that they are doing well. We could have, like, move some chips around and really saved the business and money and actually had more success during our received great times

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Alana: So I think what it is is this is such an opportunity for us Cove, it is exposing those things in our businesses that maybe we would have never seen.

00:10:28.410 –> 00:10:33.690
Alana: Prior to this, you’re seeing. I think spending is a huge area of blind spot.

00:10:34.320 –> 00:10:49.260
Alana: Culture I speak a lot on culture and teams in your business and I work in the land of women and mothers and artists and it’s a beautiful group to work with. But at the end of the day, there’s lots of emotions. There’s lots of processing and I think

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Alana: Finding ways to streamline communication streamline the culture in a different way.

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Alana: And I would have never done that had we not had this opportunity to kind of crack the egg open and see the vulnerabilities on the inside.

00:11:02.490 –> 00:11:07.830
Alana: But I think if you are finding success and coven a, you know, awesome.

00:11:08.700 –> 00:11:23.130
Alana: I’m envious. But I’d still say take a pause, like, analyze, where are the areas that you can change because this is such an opportunity for us to make massive changes in our businesses to serve us to serve our customers and to serve those people that work so hard for us.

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Jason Mefford: And I think it’s interesting, a couple, a couple things that you said that. I just wanted to highlight and kind of go down a little path here is

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Jason Mefford: You know, we were talking about the loudest voices are not necessarily the ones to listen to. But it’s the more quiet and I think, you know, as we were talking to about kind of taking that pause

00:11:43.980 –> 00:11:54.570
Jason Mefford: Even internally. Right. A lot of times our monkey mind chatter is so loud, but the answers that we need, or when we get in that pause and we listen to that small

00:11:54.990 –> 00:12:00.570
Jason Mefford: You know feelings that we’re having and the things like that. And that’s really where the answers usually are.

00:12:01.170 –> 00:12:12.600
Jason Mefford: But I think you know again to with the, the success hides failures and you know that a lot of companies are finding themselves. This way where it’s like, hey, we’ve been doing great. Now all of a sudden, we’ve got a problem.

00:12:13.290 –> 00:12:32.010
Jason Mefford: And since I deal so much with corporate type people. The first thing that they want to do is just start slashing costs laying people off. Right. And I always discourage them from just doing that indiscriminately because the problem tends to be is they end up getting their business.

00:12:33.180 –> 00:12:42.690
Jason Mefford: Too far. And then when things turn around. They actually can’t come back right and and one of the points that you made before about taking care of your people first.

00:12:43.200 –> 00:12:53.640
Jason Mefford: I thought was great, and especially for people that are entrepreneurs, right, is, you know, yeah, we need to put on the oxygen mask herself, but we also need to

00:12:54.090 –> 00:13:03.570
Jason Mefford: Be taking care of our people because taking care of our people through times like this, everything else works out. Right.

00:13:04.080 –> 00:13:15.330
Jason Mefford: And so, you know, at times when everybody’s cutting. Maybe we should be hiring people maybe we should be increasing certain people’s pay are doing some other stuff because

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Jason Mefford: Like you said, it’s, it’s not us. It’s the people around us that actually create our business right

00:13:21.660 –> 00:13:32.880
Jason Mefford: Most of the time, if you’re just a solo printer, you’re still kind of have a hobby, not a business. But once you start having employees or contractors working for you. Now you’ve got some other responsibilities to write

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kathygruver: What I was just saying, I know there’s fear around that, too. And I know when everything hit with

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kathygruver: Kovac like my business stopped. I mean I in person massage hypnosis guilt. No one was loaded in my office. So for a little bit. I was not working at all. And I thought, What do I do with my assistant

00:13:51.000 –> 00:13:56.820
kathygruver: Like I don’t have errands for her to run. I don’t have things for her to do. But I made sure I gave her some things so that I was still

00:13:57.270 –> 00:14:01.890
kathygruver: Giving her income so that that could play for my virtual assistant has been working like crazy.

00:14:02.730 –> 00:14:12.120
kathygruver: Because I have all this, this back end stuff that I decided, look, now’s the time to do that sort of thing. So even if it’s a small thing, bringing somebody on to help you with

00:14:12.780 –> 00:14:19.710
kathygruver: Anything is going to help you know keep people employed keep them having purpose. You know, if you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning.

00:14:20.340 –> 00:14:29.730
kathygruver: You know, all sorts of things go awry. So I think it’s just getting over that fear. False Evidence Appearing Real and actually stepping in and making some different choices.

00:14:30.360 –> 00:14:39.330
kathygruver: Even if they’re wrong sometimes it just takes making that one choice that one step forward. So how do we get people out of that fear Ilana and moving forward.

00:14:40.320 –> 00:14:48.210
Alana: Well, I think it’s kind of like I remember early in the business like that you hear people say that old adage, you got to spend money to make money.

00:14:49.140 –> 00:14:54.120
Alana: And that’s so counterintuitive when you’re looking at your bank account and seeing really scary numbers and I mean

00:14:54.510 –> 00:15:02.520
Alana: You know I may have been in business in 23 years but you never forget that feeling. Yeah. And again, this isn’t my first rodeo. You know, I live through times

00:15:02.820 –> 00:15:11.490
Alana: You know well into my business where you looked at that scary bank account balance. And I think the reality is, is you do have to spend if you don’t buy the ad

00:15:12.090 –> 00:15:19.470
Alana: Nobody’s going to come take your class people are the same way and I lived through the years of trying to get, you know, a little

00:15:20.040 –> 00:15:25.530
Alana: Not investing the money and the resources in finding good people and

00:15:26.310 –> 00:15:31.740
Alana: Sometimes if you take that chance and you spend a little bit more you’re going to get a more credentialed individual and that

00:15:32.130 –> 00:15:38.910
Alana: That’s your freedom, like you said, like that’s the opportunity to have the talented person that’s going to have that intellect that

00:15:39.450 –> 00:15:49.050
Alana: analytical skill set that inherent drive to make choices for your business when you can’t be there and it may cost you a little more, but it’s good to see you, headaches,

00:15:49.650 –> 00:15:58.380
Alana: No boundaries boundary breaking late night test messages training. I mean, I don’t even know that statistic. I wish I had it at my fingertips, but like hiring and training new people.

00:15:59.370 –> 00:16:12.450
Alana: Is like 10s of thousands of dollars so infrequently. That’s that fly in our appointment. When we have to do that. So I think it’s just been great to know that it’s going to be hard. I mean, longevity leading through crisis. It’s all a long game.

00:16:13.410 –> 00:16:18.660
Alana: And I think to get out of the fear, you have to stop looking in the moment and look ahead, and I know there’s a cool

00:16:19.800 –> 00:16:22.860
Alana: I’ll draw it out for you guys. This is something that I use as a tool.

00:16:24.900 –> 00:16:37.170
Alana: I’m not an artist, visually, so forgive me. So I have these little steps here and I put in the top where I want to where I want to be. What’s the dream. And down here I put where I am.

00:16:38.490 –> 00:16:50.880
Alana: And then you fill in the sandwich in between. And I can tell you, it’s you. It’s worked for large high level decisions that involve massive investments or people that have worked through real estate challenges corporate clients that I’ve worked with

00:16:51.330 –> 00:16:59.160
Alana: And it works with a small decision that you’re making in terms of a staff member and it’s so rudimentary and it’s so simple but it’s so universal

00:16:59.430 –> 00:17:06.150
Alana: And I think it’s one of those things where, get out of the fear. Where do you want to be. Do you want to have an assistant. When you come out of this.

00:17:07.140 –> 00:17:16.380
Alana: You want to take care of that person who’s hurting and you think about where you are right now. I have no work and you did it, you feel be in between. What are the tasks that are going to help me in the long game.

00:17:16.680 –> 00:17:22.080
Alana: How can I invest in a human being that in the long run is going to make my life easier and bring dollars in the door.

00:17:22.980 –> 00:17:35.850
Alana: And that can be a people decision, it can be spending decision or it can be a life decision and again taking the pause to do that little analysis and you’ll feel a lot better that fear will just start melting away. Yeah.

00:17:36.120 –> 00:17:48.450
kathygruver: Well, and Jason I talk all the time about two different things. One of which is what do you really want, which is the first question you have to ask yourself if you don’t know what to put on that top tier, then you can’t fill in the blocks you don’t jump into an Uber and say, take me somewhere.

00:17:48.840 –> 00:17:49.140
Alana: Right.

00:17:49.320 –> 00:17:52.680
kathygruver: To my destination and you hope they find the most efficient route to get you there.

00:17:53.460 –> 00:18:08.610
kathygruver: And the other thing is, what are your values and if you value family, time, relationships, you don’t want to be in the office 60 hours a week when we can go into the office, you know, if you value wealth, fame, and, you know,

00:18:09.960 –> 00:18:13.050
kathygruver: Whatever the next one would be, unless it’s so not my value. I don’t even know.

00:18:13.290 –> 00:18:23.220
kathygruver: Then that’s going to look very different. So identifying your values and what you really want helps you fill in those steps, you know, and I think so often we miss asking ourselves up

00:18:23.940 –> 00:18:32.910
Alana: in a coma. You almost have to like have like a two sided, one for each one, because that’s going to move. I mean, literally, the Health Department last night told me

00:18:34.440 –> 00:18:43.650
Alana: Gym and fitness may not open. That’s the category, we’re in. We’re about to be, you know, for anybody listening to this in the future, you know, we’re facing in California where I live. Another shut down.

00:18:44.280 –> 00:18:50.190
Alana: But the website of the California Government says, I’ll be able to operate. And she said, well, don’t be surprised if it changes in five hours. Yeah.

00:18:51.090 –> 00:18:56.940
Jason Mefford: Well, and so you know that’s that’s good. As far as the flexibility, right, because again it’s the

00:18:59.070 –> 00:19:04.950
Jason Mefford: You know if you know where you kind of want to go, then you can start kind of coming up with those little steps, right. And I know a lot of times

00:19:05.430 –> 00:19:10.770
Jason Mefford: Especially entrepreneurs get overwhelmed at that point, they’re like oh my god there’s so much stuff. I have to do.

00:19:11.190 –> 00:19:17.220
Jason Mefford: You know, but it’s like, look, if you know where you’re going, what can you do for the next 15 minutes 30 minutes, whatever it is.

00:19:18.030 –> 00:19:32.310
Jason Mefford: To help you get that much closer to it right but but you bring up because especially in in uncertain times as well. Right. And I spent a lot of time in risk management. So that’s all about uncertainty. Right.

00:19:33.480 –> 00:19:45.660
Jason Mefford: Is week we can’t accurately predict the future. We don’t know the events that are going to happen, but we can focus on managing the impacts.

00:19:46.110 –> 00:19:57.570
Jason Mefford: That various things could have for us. Right. And so if you can focus more on those areas or try to come up with a couple of different solutions.

00:19:58.080 –> 00:20:08.730
Jason Mefford: Based on the impacts of whatever you think maybe coming, even if you have to change it a little bit. At least now you’ve got a couple of plans, you’re not you’re not always flat footed

00:20:09.300 –> 00:20:18.390
Jason Mefford: Every time something happens, right. So, I’m sure, again, you know, like yesterday you hear. Hey, tomorrow you might be shut down. I know this state website it says it’s okay.

00:20:18.930 –> 00:20:25.500
Jason Mefford: But, you know, in five hours, you could be shut down. I’m sure as a business owner, you aren’t going all crap. Well, that’s just too bad.

00:20:26.010 –> 00:20:40.590
Jason Mefford: You’re coming up with some sort of contingency plan to figure out, okay, if we can’t open tomorrow, what are we going to do right because you’ve got people people relying on you. You’ve got clients to serve. How are you still going to get it done.

00:20:42.420 –> 00:20:43.350
kathygruver: I dance there. I

00:20:43.650 –> 00:20:44.040

00:20:46.860 –> 00:20:54.480
Jason Mefford: I know but but what are you gonna do, you know, regardless of the of the circumstance that we find ourselves in, because we still get to choose. Right.

00:20:55.320 –> 00:21:06.840
kathygruver: It’s about adapting. It’s about adapting and pivoting and changing. And that’s very scary changes incredibly scary animals don’t like to change nature doesn’t like to change. You know, it’s we resist that. Yeah.

00:21:06.930 –> 00:21:15.120
Alana: And decision fatigue. I mean, I think there’s a fine line about having a long game I think Kathy’s question was great. I think the long game is going to help you get out of fear.

00:21:16.770 –> 00:21:22.530
Alana: But I think if you start especially leading through a crisis like we’re going through right now. But I mean, again,

00:21:22.950 –> 00:21:30.690
Alana: Life is so uncertain if you start playing out every iteration you will go mad. We’re all we’re all experiencing decision fatigue right now.

00:21:30.990 –> 00:21:43.320
Alana: So I know a piece of advice that I know that’s really helped me is, you know, my mentor had shared the quote you know you can’t build the plane, while you fly it and Cove, it has sort of forced all of us to do that.

00:21:44.490 –> 00:21:48.540
Alana: And in some ways I had learned my lessons prior to this.

00:21:49.800 –> 00:22:03.690
Alana: Really documenting as we go. So we use a project management software we use Monday, there is cello, there is a sauna and I just can’t recommend enough these types of systems to help you stay organized. Because what we have is a shutdown plan.

00:22:04.380 –> 00:22:13.170
Alana: And we dealt with it the first time, and instead of being in March. Once everything sort of got settled of what we were working with. I’m like, well, let’s start with what are the things we did

00:22:14.550 –> 00:22:24.150
Alana: And so we just started documenting it. And so now we have this living checklist and yeah you tweak one thing and you tweak. Another thing, but now that we’re on our 1234 shut down.

00:22:24.540 –> 00:22:30.210
Alana: We have a boilerplate. So all we have to do is just look back at this reassess it

00:22:31.050 –> 00:22:40.890
Alana: And we already know what to do. So I think taking that because, again, if we are just constantly going going, going, going, and we don’t take that pause after we hit a benchmark and say, hey, what did we do that worked.

00:22:41.550 –> 00:22:45.360
Alana: What did we do that didn’t work. And let’s memorializing it because we may have to do this again.

00:22:47.070 –> 00:22:51.150
Alana: And it helps so much if I didn’t have that tool yesterday, would have been a really tough day

00:22:51.930 –> 00:22:52.200

00:22:53.940 –> 00:22:54.330
Alana: Yeah.

00:22:54.540 –> 00:23:02.580
kathygruver: That’s something that’s scalable, I can think about that me as a solo printer, people can think about that in a corporation. What has worked and what hasn’t worked. And I think so often.

00:23:02.820 –> 00:23:15.000
kathygruver: We get to the end of the game and go, wait, what did we do that, actually, how did we get here, you know, we don’t look back and say, well, what route. Did we take because that was actually a really pretty route. So I’d like to do that again.

00:23:15.270 –> 00:23:16.650
kathygruver: You know, I literally I would

00:23:16.740 –> 00:23:24.000
kathygruver: When I would go down to Santa Monica to do trapeze. I would just turn on the phone and let it take me whichever way because I never knew how the traffic was going to be going to LA.

00:23:24.570 –> 00:23:27.840
kathygruver: And one day, it’s a turn here and I’m like okay

00:23:28.620 –> 00:23:40.920
kathygruver: Never heard of the road didn’t know where I was. It ended up being this ridiculously windy road through the Santa Monica Mountains. It was one way. There was nobody on it. It was the most beautiful drive

00:23:41.730 –> 00:23:42.810
kathygruver: I can’t find it again.

00:23:43.650 –> 00:23:50.460
kathygruver: I don’t know where it took me. I don’t remember where it told me to turn because I just was blindly following the instructions, rather than actually pay attention to where I was going.

00:23:50.640 –> 00:23:57.600
kathygruver: Now, I ended up where I wanted to go, but the journey that day was so spectacular. And it’s like, I want to enjoy the journey to

00:23:57.900 –> 00:24:02.640
kathygruver: Even if it’s windy. A little scary. And you’re like, I am glad this is a one way road because no one’s plummeting towards me.

00:24:02.940 –> 00:24:13.230
kathygruver: But it’s like looking back and saying, how did we get here and what worked and what didn’t work. So I think that’s phenomenal advice. I think we get to the end of our life. And we don’t know what worked and what didn’t work so

00:24:14.730 –> 00:24:17.220
Alana: Now, so now I use it for my personal life and

00:24:17.220 –> 00:24:18.300
kathygruver: Every bill because

00:24:18.450 –> 00:24:23.910
Alana: How many times are you like we do holiday cards. When day year. What was that password. Where do I go

00:24:26.970 –> 00:24:35.670
Alana: Because I like it kind of allows you to have your like sort of ways, and I’m a very methodical type a, you know, if you follow astrology. I’m a Capricorn, you know, although

00:24:35.790 –> 00:24:36.360
kathygruver: Okay, that’s

00:24:37.080 –> 00:24:37.830
Alana: Right, we’re in this

00:24:40.530 –> 00:24:50.730
Alana: Find what works for you. The reality is I have employees on my team that are so organic and sometimes I have to put my foot down and say, hey, look, I need this because, I mean, we always have to get hit by a bus litmus test. I need to know

00:24:51.210 –> 00:24:52.380
Alana: You know what, it’s happening but I

00:24:52.590 –> 00:25:02.430
Alana: Want their work to feel enjoyable to them. And I just have to honestly say while we have this opportunity. Like, I’m so fortunate I have the most amazing staff that you know allows me to be here.

00:25:03.060 –> 00:25:12.840
Alana: Today, doing projects like this in my life and and they’re really awesome. But they’re all really unique and how they learn. So again, Monday trial Asana works for me to stay organized.

00:25:13.230 –> 00:25:20.340
Alana: You have to find something that works, works for you, but sometimes again these tools can be used professionally, personally, it can be so helpful.

00:25:21.300 –> 00:25:25.140
Jason Mefford: One. I think that’s where it brings up, you know, again, that importance of kind of the pausing

00:25:25.710 –> 00:25:33.540
Jason Mefford: realizing what we did actually documenting it because, again, I mean for scalability standpoint if you’re a solo printer, everything’s up in your head right

00:25:33.990 –> 00:25:41.340
Jason Mefford: But if you’re going to have people actually doing the processes they actually have to you have to document it. You have to teach them how to do it. You have to have some sort of tool.

00:25:41.790 –> 00:25:50.790
Jason Mefford: To help them do it. And as you were talking. It just reminded me one of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes was, you know, the first 25 years of my life. I wanted freedom.

00:25:51.870 –> 00:25:54.690
Jason Mefford: The next 25 years of my life. I wanted to order.

00:25:55.710 –> 00:26:14.400
Jason Mefford: And in the last 25 years of my life. I now realize that order is freedom, right, that a lot of times we want to just be willy nilly shoot from the hip, you know, whatever you want to call it, but you don’t run a business for 23 years shooting from the hip. It just doesn’t work.

00:26:15.000 –> 00:26:24.300
Alana: No 100%. And I think sometimes articulating that I actually had that conversation with one of my I mean most integral team members sometimes

00:26:24.690 –> 00:26:37.770
Alana: You know having that structure. The documentation. It isn’t just having freedom for you or for, you know, so its freedom for you to be able to be with your child if they’re sick or it’s better for me to be able to focus on

00:26:38.190 –> 00:26:49.770
Alana: writing a grant or getting alone or building, you know, something that I need to do that nobody else can do that frees up my time. So when we have these systems in place and ultimately that’s going to serve.

00:26:50.760 –> 00:27:01.800
Alana: You, it’s going to serve everyone. So I think sometimes that concept about how all of our time is redeemed and just taking that extra five minutes to document and create that order, you’re talking about

00:27:02.190 –> 00:27:09.300
Alana: It’s five minutes now but I mean it’s hours later. You ever tried to remember something you did two years ago, and you’re digging out the email and you’re like, how did I do this.

00:27:09.780 –> 00:27:17.250
Alana: Why didn’t write down and even though old methods and procedure documents that are like 800 pages are sort of arcane and at this point. But, you know, we

00:27:18.150 –> 00:27:23.190
Alana: We have to we have to document things we have tools like loom where we can do videos.

00:27:24.000 –> 00:27:29.580
Alana: There’s so many opportunities for us to just take that minute to memorialize and it will save so much time.

00:27:30.000 –> 00:27:36.720
Alana: Down the road to starting over and remembering things is is so hard, especially with everything happening right now. I mean, it feels like

00:27:37.380 –> 00:27:45.780
Alana: Ancient history and and also Jason something that you said that really struck me as I think about where I was a year ago. And what I was you maybe

00:27:46.290 –> 00:27:53.430
Alana: You were laying track for your new year’s resolutions and you were looking at the year ahead. And what were our hopes and dreams going into 2020

00:27:54.390 –> 00:28:02.700
Alana: And what are they now. I mean, I’m sure there was a lot of people that like he had success and prosperity and now that’s all just turned into survival.

00:28:03.060 –> 00:28:11.520
Alana: But that’s still a valuable and important goal. And if we can all just get through this and survive it, and backpedal those steps and my little thing to get there.

00:28:13.110 –> 00:28:21.600
Alana: You know, that doesn’t mean there isn’t time and space to be aspirational, but like create manageable goals for yourself so you can find that order in your life.

00:28:23.100 –> 00:28:28.380
Alana: You know and I know people that are building buildings right now and opening second businesses. That’s personally not where I’m at.

00:28:29.610 –> 00:28:38.880
Alana: So I think figuring out what that top goal is what that value is and being really realistic about it is going to be helpful. Yeah. In this season of life.

00:28:40.200 –> 00:28:45.030
kathygruver: Yeah, it’s definitely an interesting season. Well, and once again, of course, we’re almost out of time because this is what we do.

00:28:46.380 –> 00:28:47.070
Alana: What we do

00:28:48.390 –> 00:28:57.450
kathygruver: This has been a fabulous conversation. It strikes me back to, and I’m blanking on her name, who’s the organizational psychologist, we had on Jason who was talking about, you know, what is your higher

00:28:59.160 –> 00:29:05.670
kathygruver: Purpose in the company and not getting lost in the weeds. You know I shouldn’t be doing my own laundry. A lot of you’ve, you

00:29:05.910 –> 00:29:13.380
kathygruver: Put out tasks to other people so that you can do what you’re best at writing grants and doing the stuff that other people can’t do. And I think that’s one of the

00:29:13.680 –> 00:29:28.740
kathygruver: One of the traps when you’re in business for yourself as you feel like you have to do everything. It’s okay to say no to things, figure out what your highest good is in that organization and then give stuff to everybody else to do. So any final thoughts, Jason, before we

00:29:29.760 –> 00:29:30.210
kathygruver: Get everyone

00:29:30.540 –> 00:29:32.400
Jason Mefford: To, you know, again, as, as the

00:29:32.910 –> 00:29:40.470
Jason Mefford: You know your whole idea of kind of the, you know, New Year’s resolutions last year. What you want 2020 to be versus what it ended up being right.

00:29:41.040 –> 00:29:49.380
Jason Mefford: Is that you know in back to the earth. The thing that you said before about success hides failure. And I think too that that

00:29:50.130 –> 00:29:57.900
Jason Mefford: What it does is, is trying times like this also really forced us back to those values.

00:29:58.770 –> 00:30:09.030
Jason Mefford: Right when things are good, you know, money’s coming in. Everything’s good. Maybe we kind of forget a little bit how important certain things are to us.

00:30:09.360 –> 00:30:17.040
Jason Mefford: And I think 2020 has done that for a lot of people you know there’s there’s a lot of people that now we’re like, hey, you know what, chasing the golden watch at the corporation.

00:30:17.550 –> 00:30:28.770
Jason Mefford: Isn’t what I want to do, right, there’s other things that are more important. So, you know, personal life business life times like this are actually an opportunity

00:30:29.400 –> 00:30:38.880
Jason Mefford: For us to kind of realign and make sure that we’re exactly where we want to be right because even, even in your life right to me. You’ve had the dance studio. The art stuff for a long time.

00:30:39.450 –> 00:30:55.410
Jason Mefford: Now, you’re kind of working more with entrepreneurs in that industry as well. Right. So you’re aligning to something else. Now that is a bigger purpose for you that that you know to help impact the world so you know anyway.

00:30:56.640 –> 00:31:08.520
Jason Mefford: Whenever we think it’s a challenge. Try to find the opportunity. I guess is the long way of kind of saying what I’m trying to say to the opportunity for us to get aligned and to make the future better than what the past actually was

00:31:08.970 –> 00:31:10.260
kathygruver: Yep, there’s a gift and everything.

00:31:12.240 –> 00:31:12.720
kathygruver: Devil.

00:31:12.750 –> 00:31:18.960
kathygruver: I was a lot of Tell everybody how they can reach you, if they want to talk to you about some coaching or ask questions or come dance with us.

00:31:20.340 –> 00:31:36.600
Alana: So you can visit my website for my studio SP dance are incredible nonprofit does incredible work with the most challenged youth and provides such healthy opportunities for them. And I can tell you right now.

00:31:37.890 –> 00:31:47.310
Alana: They need it more than ever that is AMP and if you’re interested in some coaching, you may email me at a llama LA and a SP

00:31:48.510 –> 00:31:56.550
kathygruver: Cool. This has been a phenomenal conversation. Thank you for being here and help inspiring us and giving us a couple tools and tips to get through this craziness.

00:31:58.170 –> 00:32:02.550
kathygruver: Jason will let everybody go I’m Kathy gruver I can be reached at Kathy Gruber calm.

00:32:02.940 –> 00:32:17.700
Jason Mefford: And I’m Jason Medford, I can be reached at Jason so go out, have a great week. Take some time to just pause and and listen to the small voice and quit listening to the loud ones because they’re probably not right, anyway.

00:32:20.310 –> 00:32:28.560
Jason Mefford: And I’m Jason method I can be reached at Jason method calm and with that we will see you on the next episode of the fire earth podcast. See ya.

00:32:29.070 –> 00:32:29.520
See ya.

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