Episode 38 Transcript

welcome to episode 38 of the business in
Morocco podcast. Today we're going to be
talking about a subject that Franklin
Covey does a training on called the Five
Choices the path to extraordinary
productivity but before we get to that
let's do some updates Ryan you've been
traveling around the world you are back
in Morocco what's going on tell us about
what you've been doing yeah it's good to
be home when you travel some places it
makes you really grateful for where you
live so I spent nine days in Saudi
Arabia it's my first trip over there
some of you may be aware that Saudi
Arabia has started to open up to tourism
and so they passed a law on
September 27th for 49 different
countries they can now get a tourist
visa for Saudi I fit within those 49
countries was able to take advantage
quite quickly on this business trip I
spent a couple days in a small city
called Tabuk in the North kind of west
northwest of Saudi, worked at a
university there there's some students
that are going over to the US on a
scholarship and they're gonna study
hospitality so that they can work at
NEOM. have you heard much about NEOM? this
is the city that they're building
yeah, this oasis? Exactly so I hadn't heard of
NEOM before, I'm not sure how well-known
it is but you know the the new Prince of
Saudi has issued a lot of changes in the
country and one of his initiatives is
building this new mega city almost like
a new Dubai in many ways right now
there's just this huge piece of land
that is kind of between Egypt and Jordan
and Saudi and it's just rock desert you
Mountains and it's on the border of the
ocean so they have access to saltwater
but there's nothing there and they plan
on building a mega city 30 times the
size of Manhattan 30 times the size of
New York City they're going to you know
desalinate the ocean water they're gonna
harness wind and solar energy they're
gonna you know grow food themselves and greenhouses and just build this modern
uber green city because Saudi hasn't
really had a lot of tourism there's not
a lot of people within the country that
are trained and equipped to work in the
industry so these students are preparing
for that they're going to study that as
their career and go on to work at NEOM
sounds like a great initiative I have
read some things about that city it's
very ambitious what they're trying
to do but I think they do know that
eventually their oil is going to run out
and so they need to diversify their
economy although I was reading the other
day that even with oil prices at about
fifty to sixty US dollars per barrel
Saudi Aramco the state-owned oil company in Saudi Arabia they produce more
profit every year than Google and
Facebook and Apple combined combined
unbelievable yeah can you believe that
it's unbelievable imagine if
oil prices went back to $100 yeah oh
it's just insane
I mean Saudi Arabia they discovered oil
in 1938 and so you think in less than a
hundred years that country has
completely transformed but I love the
vision like we've done a podcast on
long-term thinking so potentially
they're thinking the oil is going to run
out or they're thinking even if it
doesn't run out the world is shifting, and we
want to move towards sustainable forms
of energy and we don't want future
generations just growing up with wealth
handed to them and assuming that they
don't need to offer any value to the
world and so they're trying to diversify
their economy increase their sources of
revenue and it's admirable
it's exciting and like you said that
vision is extremely ambitious I mean, other than Elon Musk wanting to colonize
Mars I can't think of other projects
going on in the world that are anywhere
near as ambitious as this one it's good
to see I like to see Saudi Arabia
opening up welcoming people from around
the world different ideas different
opinions and diversifying their economy
after my time in Tabuk I went to Riyadh
the capital city and I spent four days doing
a training with the PIF - the public
investment fund so with all this money
that Saudi has made through selling oil
they're trying to grow it and multiply
it. Again this just fits into the
long-term thinking recognizing that even
though you've got revenue coming in you
don't want to just spend every cent you
don't want to spend a hundred percent
and it fits exactly into Rich Dad Poor
type thinking where they're taking their income and with a big
portion of it they're growing it they're
buying assets or investing in businesses
that generate more wealth for them so
they're taking their profits from oil
and creating profits from the profits
and so the guys that I was training on
what we're gonna talk about today the
five choices to extraordinary
productivity they are from the division
that works on local holdings so they're
investing in local Saudi companies could
be startups could be well-established
companies that already exist that they
invest in that they help manage and
they were interesting guys because
they're not just focused on revenue
and those aren't their only
criteria for success they're also
wanting to invest in things that benefit
the country in other areas so for
example if they were to buy a sports
team and invest in that sort of
industry or the entertainment industry
well they could generate a profit and
they could look at their return on
investment but they're also thinking
about the social benefits to the country
and you know diversifying the forms of
entertainment available to the public so
they're thinking not just about
financial criteria they're also thinking
about other ways to invest in the nation
so that was neat these guys are I think
pretty typical for most business
professionals these days where they use
Outlook and it's very very easy to just
let your inbox rule your life and just
take over your life and there's some
parts of it that are outside of our
you know when our bosses schedule
meeting typically we don't have a lot of
options we need to be there when
international calls are scheduled and
they're important we need to be there
but it's easy to build up these bad
habits where they're just spending all
day just putting out fires just replying
to emails in essence they're moving paper around but not necessarily
moving forward on their most important
goals and I think the leadership
recognize this as an issue which is why
I came in to do this training on the
five choices so which is specifically
designed to improve productivity exactly
yeah we'll get into that but I've
already done a huge long update let's
shift it back to you and and hear what's
been new for you I've mentioned in the
last few weeks starting this club the entrepreneurs Club of Casablanca I
think last week when I gave an update,
I had about 20 people who submitted
their applications and now we're up to
50 oh wow there is definitely some
interest I think I've hit a nerve here
among people who really want to start
their own business they want to be
entrepreneurs or Auto entrepreneurs they
feel like the options available to them
to meet people like them to learn to
grow there are not a lot of good options
you can go to some of these schools
you can try to get advanced degrees but
that's a lot of commitment and it's a
lot of money and often the curriculum is
outdated or it's being taught by
someone who may never have done those
types of things the goal of this club is
to bring together people who are
actually doing business who have skills
who can help each other who can learn
from each other and grow together the
goal being everyone growing their own
business in community in an encouraging
environment that can help overcome a lot
of obstacles that you face as an
entrepreneur I've had a good response I
will mention now to those who are
listening and who have not yet submitted an application I do encourage you to submit
an application but make sure you answer
all the questions and especially the
most important question is why do you
want to be a member of this club and
what do you want to do what are your
goals what are your dreams what are your
desires because this club not everybody
who applies is going to become a
member you have to be someone who
is serious about this business someone
who's willing to pay 200 dirhams a month to meet regularly someone who will
contribute to the community and be a
productive member some people fill out
the application and in the part where it
says why do you want to be a member
they left it blank well that's just not
gonna work right you really need to
convince me that you're going to be a
productive member of the club because
that's the way that the club will thrive
yes to have people who are committed to
the club who will contribute and be good
members and that's what we're
looking for you had mentioned previously that you could end up
splitting off and having two groups
or two clubs but initially what's the
total number you can accept I think 25
is the right number I have some
promotions going right now for the club
that are gonna expire in two days and
when those expire I'm going to turn off
the ads and compile all the information
I have from the applications and I'm
going to re-engage everyone who's
applied yeah because one of the first
lessons of being an entrepreneur is
timely responses to clients or
vendors being a good communicator
so if you want to be a part of the club
and you submit an application and I
reply to you and ask questions and you
never respond well that's an indication
that you're probably not going to be a
good member of the club so there's
going to be more steps more hurdles that
people are gonna have to overcome in
order to be invited to the first meeting
we're really I'm hoping that only
serious people who have a good work
ethic and a good sense of communication
will be welcomed and this almost has
nothing to do with the experience it has
to do with desire and attitude and
character character yeah you don't have
to be a successful entrepreneur you
don't have to be someone who works in a
big company you just have to demonstrate
passion and commitment
to the club we want a wide variety of
people with a wide variety of education
and backgrounds and that will create the
best environment to help everyone
succeed so if you think oh I don't have
any experience as an entrepreneur or I
don't have a lot of work experience so I
shouldn't try to join the club that's
not correct show that you're passionate
show that you can communicate and be
responsive and you'll be given a chance
so you're still thinking November yeah
the goal is late November early
December I still have a lot of work to
do in the office to make it ready to
host an event like that so time will
tell yeah time will tell I'll keep
everybody updated but I do have a goal
of November to have the first meeting
well I can say it's exciting to be
recording this in the office this is my
first time visiting seeing the space
great location and great space I'm
excited to see lots of hungry
ambitious entrepreneurs filling it and
masterminding and pushing each other
towards success and I'm really
encouraged that so many people have
applied already that there is a response
I think you you hit it that you've
struck a nerve there's a need here
in other news I've mentioned before one
of my clients is a painter I've been
trying to get a distribution deal to
sell his paintings in Duty Free and I
have delivered the paintings and
the display to the distributor I have
delivered the facture, so it's out of our
hands now, so we finally made it the
product should get delivered this week
and hopefully next week it'll be on
display in the shops and duty-free but
let's get into the topic of the
day which is the five choices - the path to
extraordinary productivity Ryan you're
the expert why don't you give us an
intro to the topic
okay well the course is based on a book
that was written by a woman named Kory
Kogon and then she had a couple other
co-authors that were with her on that
book and you can follow along on the
it matches the course you can also just
look for it on YouTube and kind of cover
the key ideas but the basic premise is
that nowadays a lot of people in the
world are creating value in the
marketplace with their knowledge they're
knowledge workers and so their brain is
what produces value for them it's what
they get paid for it's what they use as
their asset but that means that
they're making more and more and more
decisions every day so because of
Technology because we all have a
smartphone and we have a laptop and
multiple email addresses every ping
every whatsapp every email is a decision
you have to look at the incoming assess
what it is clarify whether it's
important or not and then choose how
you're going to deal with it whether
it's to ignore the message whether it's to
open it and respond right away whether
it's to file it away forward it on
you've got to make so many decisions and
we've learned so much about our brains
and the way our minds work in the last
20 years and we learned that our
willpower our decision-making ability it
depletes throughout the day and we make
better decisions when our brain is fresh
and when we're able to focus but then
over time it can get tired and we can
give less and less conscious attention
or concentration on decisions which is
why you know you can think of a lot of
people making poor decisions in the
evenings and some of our listeners will
be able to relate that they're not as
ambitious or motivated they
give in to temptations or they say yeah
tonight when I get home from my long day
of work or school that's when I'm gonna
go exercise that's when I'm gonna go
work out or I'm gonna hit the books but
how many times do we set out with that
ambition but then we'll just be we're
exhausted and we end up just tuning out
with the screen or some junk food at the
end of the day so we have all these
decisions that are wearing us down and
we have all these competing forces
trying to grab our attention trying to
capture our attention that makes it very
difficult to be productive to be
fruitful because we're distracted and we
have trouble clarifying what's really
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to the show and so the course basically
follows these areas where first you're
deciding you're really deciding you know
what? I want to be fruitful I want to
live my life with meaning I want to be
productive and so I really want to give
my time my energy my attention these are
things that are finite they're limited
we only have so much of them I want to
give these things to what's really
important to me and that might include
what's important to my employer because
keeping my job is important and I want
to please my superiors I want to do well
perform at work but I need to decide
what is important for me in my life
that's a decision that we make and then
we shift to having to give our attention
to those things that are important so in
the course we cover some of the stuff
that we've talked about in this podcast
on our episode about deep work where we
talk about taming technology and some of
the hacks that we've shared about
turning off notifications or going into
different time zones where you're really
focused on something that's at the edge
of your cognitive ability you know when
you're trying to communicate something
that's challenging you're trying to
simplify a complex idea or you're trying
to be creative these things do not
happen easily we need to really focus
and give our conscious attention to them
and if we just stop to answer a text or
quickly refresh our notifications on
social media we have that issue of
attention residue where we can't get
back to the the depth of concentration
we were in before for a significant
amount of time and people that fool
themselves into believing that they can
multitask that they can jump back and
forth between deep concentration tasks
and light simple menial tasks or even
fun social media distractions they're
really fooling themselves you can't
actually do it so you're losing
productivity rather than just devoting
blocks of time to these set activities
and keeping them separate I'm one of
those people still yeah you know episode
2 we talked about deep work and I
acknowledge that I try to multitask or I
think that it's a better way of doing it
but I do fall into these traps of
notifications and multitasking
responding to the urgent ok that's the
first choice right the first choice is
act on the important don't react to the
urgent. Urgent being something that provides you
a notification whatsapp notification on
your phone if you have a sound
associated with an email that you
receive these all convey urgency right
but not importance so what you're
saying is the first choice is you have to
actively choose between activities and
focus on them yeah when my phone is
ringing it could be crucial it could be really
important it could be a loved one that's
in need it could be my boss calling with
a crisis could be something that takes
precedence over what I'm working on or
it could be nothing it could be you know
a sales person or just a trivial friend
that wants to just call and say how's it
going it could be way down my list of
priorities to what I'm working on I
don't know but when I stop doing what
I'm doing to check that notification or to answer that call I'm
losing focus on that current task I'm
acting on the urgent I'm reacting rather
than choosing to keep my attention
on what's really important once we've
chosen our activities we've made a list
or we've prioritized the activities of
the day or the tasks are important to us
the second choice is to go for
extraordinary don't settle for ordinary
what does that mean so the basic idea
it's a bit of a motivational section of the course where we're
encouraging people that they have the
potential they have the capacity to do
great things in line with what's
important to them so not all of us are
gonna be in the headlines globally not
all of us are gonna have biographies
written about us and not many of us want
that kind of life we're not willing to
sacrifice other areas of our life to
accomplish great things in one section
but all of us have the opportunity to
influence our circles around us to give
our lives to things we deem as
worthwhile and meaningful to contribute
in a significant way. we've all got a purpose
and so the second choice is to really
inspire people to think through kind of
like mission statement type stuff where
you're thinking through what am i
all about what are the significant roles
that I play in this world and one of the
parts of the course is to help people
think not just of their work related
roles even though I'm teaching
this in a professional setting and
people are there with their company we
try to encourage them to think also
about their personal life we talk about
roles that were not just entrepreneurs
we're not just teachers or business
leaders we're also children or siblings
or parents or spouses or you know
followers of Jesus or Muslims or
community members or soccer players we
have all these different roles and
some of those might be very very
important and really close to the core
of what we think we're here to do and so
thinking through those areas can help
people create more balance and choose to
give their time and attention and energy
to the things that are really truly
meaningful to them and this is not easy
right I look at my list husband father
friend business owner podcaster yeah
Club founder neighbor son brother and I
say which of these do I get rid of or
which of these do I de-prioritize and
this is not an easy choice no but I
guess what you're saying is even if we
don't make a priority in our minds our
actions prioritize these things right
we are choosing yeah so this gets
into the third choice which is to
schedule the most important things
because we are spending our time you
can't save your time you can't store it
up you can't pause and think about what
you should do every minute that goes by
we've chosen all right so
we have a hundred and sixty-eight hours
in a week and we use it every week and
most of us feel there's more we could do
that at the end of the week there's some
stuff we didn't get to there's some
relationships we didn't invest in a
family member we didn't call an email we
didn't reply to something on our to-do
list didn't get done and the idea with
the second and third choices that you're
making sure that it's things of lesser
importance that get dropped or that get
pushed out of your schedule and so
you're establishing what's really
important to you and then you're
scheduling and to make sure it's getting
your attention for me the big rocks are
usually the things I don't want to do
right because they take a lot of time
they take effort creativity brainpower
yeah or maybe it's something involving
overcoming a fear like a sales call or returning to a sales call yeah a lot
of times in sales you're not going to
get the sale on the first meeting right
you have to follow up you have to
reengage that can even be more
difficult than the first call because
you're going in the second time to ask
about the conversation from the first
time it can be very intimidating this is
going to be one of the topics we discuss
in the club, the entrepreneurs
Club big rocks versus gravel
the important tasks versus the menial
tasks that make you feel like you've
done something productive but really you
haven't and creating a master task list
and really prioritizing those tasks and
one of the questions I'm going to ask
the club is for the long term which type
of business idea do you think you're
more likely to succeed in the idea that
you think is good or the idea that you
think is hard because
everybody has good ideas they go around
they walk around town they see people
doing things selling things offering
services and products and they think
they have a good idea a validated idea
and so they pursue their good idea
but my contention is that the hard idea
is actually more likely to succeed than
the good idea because of this exact
topic we're talking about if you feel
like something is difficult or it's a
big rock and you don't want to do it
you're not the only one so if you
can overcome these blocks if these
blockages these obstacles because the
idea is difficult you're not going to
have as much competition right now I'm
not saying choose a hard idea that is
bad but whatever you pursue it shouldn't
be that easy because if it is then
anyone can do it these are
barriers to entry and you did a good job
bringing this out in the interview with
Click Apporter when we were talking with
Harjeet. You asked him how are you making your business defensible how are you
making it hard for somebody to just
reproduce what you're doing or to just
copy and join the market after you he
has a really long head start but he even
said you can throw money at a problem
and you can build any software very
quickly and catch up. so that was an excellent
question and this is how business owners
should think I mean when I go through
the airport and I see your client's paintings for
sale I might know other painters there's
lots of people that sell paintings
there's lots of artists out there that
would love to have travelers purchasing
them taking them as souvenirs but you
had to go through this long headache
process that's why it took six months to
do and so there's a lot of painters that
might think well sure I'd love to have
my painting sold but I'm not willing to
go through that
that's just daunting and intimidating
and they won't even start and so that
gives you that advantage that's a great
example. Driss is the name of the painter he
produced 60 paintings two months ago
and he still doesn't have them
today and he's still not gonna get paid
for them best-case scenario in 30 days
so a quarter of the year he's
waiting for payment on something he
produced right this is hard this is
a huge obstacle barrier to entry this is
the type of thing you need to look at
when you're thinking about what business
do I want to do that also ties in with
episode 37 about a side hustle or a side
project if Driss had another job he
could be painting in the evenings you
know if he produced a few
paintings a week built up that 60
paintings while working another job he
wouldn't be dependent on that as a
source of income to you know feed and
clothe himself and then over time the
payments would start rolling in from
previous months and even years work and
then he could shift from his full-time
job to doing paintings so that's another
plug for that episode about side
hustles all right let's talk about
choice number four rule your technology
don't let it
rule you I mean this is something that
we've talked about several times on the
podcast we talked about turning off your
phone turning the sound off turning off
notifications not allowing yourself to
be distracted airplane mode yeah on your
phone or your computer I'm not gonna sit
here on the podcast and tell you that I
do this well but I know that it's a good
idea we're all still maturing
we're all still growing in what we're
doing and I have started actually when I
get home from work I plug in my phone I
turn it off I don't have it again until
right before bed when I check to see if
there's any important notifications and
then I leave it in the kitchen it's in
the kitchen
yeah it's not in the bedroom it's
not the last thing I do
for the day and it's not the first thing
I do in the morning and so I have
taken that step and it's allowed me to
focus on these other things that we
mentioned the roles in our lives husband
father friend yeah it allows me to focus
on those in a more intentional way yeah
those are excellent habits those are
really good the basic idea is that
technology can be a wonderful slave an
amazing tool to increase our ability to
do great things in the world or it can
be a terrible master it can be something
that hinders what we can produce in the
world because it's so distracting and
it's so tempting and it sucks us into
things that don't produce enough value
so it really comes down to how we choose
to use it and I love how your example
shows that we can create an environment
that sets us up for success so whenever
there's something that is a bad habit
it's leading us away from our goals we
try to make it as difficult as possible
we add friction between us and that
behavior and then the opposite is also
true when there's a good habit that's
leading us closer to our goals we want
to try to set ourselves up for success
by creating an environment that makes it
as easy as possible to perform that
behavior so if you deem it a bad habit
to spend all night
you know switching from your family your
wife to just checking on your phone
you've set yourself up for success where
you've put your plug in the
kitchen and so you get home you plug in
your phone now you're on the ground
playing with your kids you're reading
bedtime stories you're tucking them in
and you don't have anything buzzing in
your pocket someone I might be sending
you a message asking you about the podcast what time
are we meeting but it's not interrupting
you at all then you have a set time
later on where you can go and reply to
anything that's come up deal with any
urgencies and then you leave it in the
kitchen and you go to your room you're
reading a book you're chatting with your
wife you're going to sleep in peace
you've set yourself up for success by
making it hard to do bad habits and
making it easy to do good habits so same
thing with my phone even if I'm at the
office and I think okay I really need to
get this project done I need to create
this presentation or I need to answer
this important email I need to analyze
this data I need to do something that's
not easy and that's going to take a
chunk of time I can put my phone on
airplane mode and I can put it in the
backpack out of sight or even in another
room and then just focus in sign out of
my email just for an allotted period of
time the world will not end in 45
minutes an hour and a half I can get
those things done or make significant
progress come back up check reply deal
with any crises and then go
to that important task and in the long
run I'm gonna be far more effective
because I'm making sure I'm getting the
important things done and not just
handling little piddly messages that may
not move the needle and the results I
care about monitoring your phone all day
can be tiring distracting tiring it's
certainly not a source of energy and for
productivity having adequate amounts of
energy is essential which leads us into
our choice number five fuel your fire
don't burn out let's stick with this
example of phones our phones are capable
of doing so many great things I can
FaceTime my mom over in Canada I can
send you a whatsapp message and book an appointment I can create a YouTube video
read an email and open up an Excel Doc
all these great things I could do with
my phone but once the battery dies it's
a problem and this is crucial we
know this. Now we are that asset that can
do incredible things is very very
capable until we get burned out. until we
get depleted and we talked at the
beginning of the episode about sometimes
we get home and we have time it's not
that we don't have space in our schedule
but it's been a long day and we don't
have energy
we're worn out this fifth choice is
really about taking care of ourselves in
such a way that we can perform at our
best and it talks about we need to move
we need to eat well we need to get
enough sleep we need to have time to
relax do fun things and we need time to
connect with others and have
relationships and the idea with move
that I found really cool I even actually
shared about you in the class was I know
for a while you had like an alarm set on
your phone because you found every hour
yeah you're sitting so long at your desk
just in the zone that when that alarm
went off it reminded you
I need to move when you would do some
push-ups get up a way from your desk and
when we were at Harjeet's office from
Click Apporter he has a stand up
desk so he doesn't sit while he's at his
laptop or on his phone he's standing
which keeps those major muscles and
skeletal structures engaged it actually
increases your brain activity
scientists say your brain works 7%
better when you're standing but it just
keeps you active throughout the day
because again the majority of us are
knowledge workers and we can spend all
day in front of a screen not moving our
bodies so this is separate from exercise
this is separate from you know going to
the football club and playing a match
three times a week or going for a run
this is during the day during the
nine-to-five how can we increase the
movement the activity just even in the
office that's great right thanks for
sharing your expertise in this
training and of course if anyone in the
audience wants to have a team-building
session or learn more about the five
choices you can send us an email at
ryan@moroccopodcast.com and I'm sure Ryan
would be happy to engage you and talk
about a proposal for a team building or
training yeah can I just say that
Franklin Covey has a YouTube channel
where they shared quite a lot of free
content so you can follow up with this
and other courses that are available but
also if you know a company that would
like their employees to be more
effective they can contact us love to do
that and it can be done in French as
well you might be listening to this in
English but thinking oh we couldn't have
this at my company because people don't
have that level we can present this
content in French as well we have a
local office here in Sidi Maarouf
and we'd be happy to to come and meet
with you about possibilities for
training you've been listening to the
Business in Morocco podcast my name is
Ryan Kirk here with my co-host Ryan
Maimone. if you enjoyed this episode be
sure to subscribe and leave us a five
star review on itunes google play
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podcasts download our entire library of
podcasts on our website moroccopodcast.com
where you'll also find extra resources related to each episode
in the show notes including a transcript
of the show if you've got a question or
topic you think we should cover on the
podcast fill out the form on Morocco
podcast.com or email us at ryan@moroccopodcast.com and we'll give you
a shout-out on the show our theme music
is lovely day by bill withers used under
Creative Commons and we hope you'll have
a lovely day doing business in Morocco
we'll see you next time

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