Many people have given up or temporarily set aside their formula for success when the pandemic hit, putting a halt to their professional growth. But even with such a huge obstacle in front of you, should you really stop moving forward? Adam Robin, PT, DPT is proof that you can achieve your goals even when faced with a pandemic that threatens to derail your business. Adam recognized early in his ownership that he needed help and guidance to become a better owner, and so he focused on getting a coach and implementing the things he read about in business books. Since then, he's moved out of treating, hired more people to implement his procedure, and looking forward to expansion. In this discussion with Nathan Shields, learn how Adam's constant desire for progress allowed him to make a successful career transition.
My guest is Adam Robin, physical therapist, Owner of Southern Physical Therapy in Picayune, Mississippi. Thanks for joining me, Adam. I appreciate it.
Thanks a lot, Nathan. I’m super excited to be here. I’m looking forward to the conversation.
I brought you on because you've had a ton of success over 2020, especially in spite of the pandemic, you've been able to achieve a number of goals. Not necessarily because in your area you haven't had been hit by the pandemic, but in spite of being hit by the pandemic, you've been able to still do what you wanted to achieve in 2020. I want to pick your brain a little bit about it. What are some of the successful actions that you had, some items you can share because the whole idea behind the show is to be a resource for other PT owners? Maybe you can be an inspiration and support for the readers. Before we get into that, Adam, go ahead and share with us a little bit about what got you to this point in your professional history? How long have you been an owner?
I’m thankful to be here, Nathan. I don't know if you remember, but the first few weeks in our coaching relationship, I remember telling you, “I'm going to be on your show one day.” I put it out in the atmosphere. Here we are. I live in Picayune, Mississippi. I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana. I love to work. I'm a hard-working guy and graduated from PT school in 2017 through my passions for health and fitness. After PT school, I hit the ground running. I wanted to do more than the average bear. I didn't know what that meant at the time. It meant work harder.
That's what I did. I worked harder. I had a full-time job. I picked up a home-health job on the side, working as many hours a week as I possibly could. That work ethic carried me through to eventually opening up Southern Physical Therapy Clinic in late 2019. It was two years after graduation. After about a year into that, I quickly realized that I didn't know how to run a business. I had to work hard, but I didn't know how to gain control over the chaos that is business. A lot of my fears and insecurities built up to a place where I didn't have an option. I had to reach out and get some help. I found you through the show and the rest is history.
You've been a coaching client of mine. What was interesting about you is number one, you started early. There are very few owners that I've come across that get coaching as soon as you did into your ownership lifespan. Usually, it takes a number of years for people to get their feet underneath them and they're working hard or maybe they get to the point of burnout, a decade or two into ownership or they say, “I can't keep doing this. I want to do something else.” The cool thing about your story is that you reached out for a coach early on. Maybe you knew it from reading the show before, but that is the formula for success.
You recognizing that number one, you need to reach out and get some help. Number two, you need to get step out of treating full-time in order to run your business and number three, start networking. Since you started that path, that's when things started to align for you and you could achieve your goals. Reaching out and getting a coach, was that something that you had thought about even before getting into ownership that, “At some point, I'm going to need some guidance,” or did it take some rough patches in your ownership to recognize that you needed help?
Definitely, some rough patches. I wouldn't say they were rougher in my head than they were because everything's rough and you don't know what you're doing. You're wandering around like a chicken with your head cut off, don't know what's going on. Everything's overly dramatized. You don't have that clarity and focus that control that you need to stay composed and make strategic decisions. I was an anxious mess and I knew that I couldn't sustain it. I have a good friend of mine who is a nutrition coach. I reached out to him initially. I got his perspective on coaching, and this and that. His mentorship on that subject along with my understanding that I needed to learn more, those two things combined led me to give you the call. I called several coaches and lead to our relationship.The growth of any company is directly related to personal growth and understanding. Click To Tweet
What are some of the most successful things you've done to help you achieve your goals?
My goals have changed in 2020. I used to think that money equals success and that has been a huge mind shift for me, but I can boil it down to two things. Number one, stepping out of treatment to have a little bit of quiet time to be able to think and work on the business was helpful, and being willing to trust that process. Also, embracing the understanding that the growth of the company was going to be directly related to my personal growth and understanding. Diving into learning more about business, leadership, and developing a team, those were the two biggest things if I had to break it down.
Let's back up a little bit because I want to delve into the mindset there. What was it that changed? I’m cut from the same cloth as you are that the money is what equals success. What helped you change that mindset that you had thinking, “If I had more money then I will be successful,” and where are you now along that?
A lot of books, a lot of reading. When you and I first started, I wasn’t into reading. I listened to a lot of podcasts, watched a lot of YouTube, but I didn't grasp the power that reading books could have on your mindset. That is the biggest influencer and being intentional about placing quality information like that in front of me on a consistent basis. Over time, shifted my mindset in a way that gave me a lot of peace, clarity, focus, and understanding. Reading books was the big one.
Were there 1 or 2 books in particular that you recall being impactful?
Getting control of my team was a big one. Leadership and Self-Deception was a huge leadership book for me. Crucial Conversations was a huge leadership book for me. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The E-Myth Revisited. I can go on and on. I've read all these books. Those were huge.
Think and Grow Rich, was that on the list? Did you read that one too?
That was an older one that I've read before. Those other books helped me tie it together.
It gave you some things and tools to work with, and recognize that leads into where your personal growth equaled company growth. The episode prior to this one is a conversation with Jenna Gourlay about how to have hard conversations with your team. That's not something that we typically learn anywhere. You don't necessarily learn how to have hard conversations in college. You have to read the books, you have to find the coaches to help you have those hard conversations. Having hard conversations can be one of those things that if you improve on that personally, as a leader, then your company is going to improve within. You're addressing the important aspects of the company that needs to be addressed.
People need to be held accountable, need to be taught, need to be buy-in. You have to align purposes and values with those conversations. Your conversation here reminds me of that conversation there because as we grow as leaders and having important conversations is one example of that. Our company will grow as well as we have those hard conversations. Was that something that you had to learn how to be a leader? Is that what you gleaned from a lot of these books and how to act better or did you think that was something that came naturally?
You could call it naturally, but it wouldn't have happened without the reading. You mentioned conversations with other people, but those books also teach you how to have conversations with yourself. Those internal conversations and conflicts that you have with yourself help you organize them, prioritize them and enter your day with a level head, cool, calm, collected, and with an understanding of what you need to accomplish. Having those relationships with your team further develops the culture of your organization. It's a powerful thing.When you start to implement change, not everybody on your team will be on board with it. Click To Tweet
You said one of the other things that you realize is pulling away from treating so that you had the time to work and think about your business. That quiet time became important to you and something that you recognized that you needed. What there something that you noticed that was dramatically different in your thought processes when you weren't treating full-time? I’m wondering if there was a light bulb moment where you said, “Now that I'm not treating it. I'm thinking about these things or I have the time and energy to consider blank.” Did you have any of those light bulb moments?
It was a series of light bulb moments. Being comfortable, stepping out of treatment and quiet time takes practice. The first time you step out and you're sitting in front of your computer with a blank piece of paper, you don't know what to do. You're like, “Now what? I'm sitting in here by myself and what do I do?” Developing that skill takes practice and like anything, the more practice that you have, if you want to be a great PT, you have to practice. You have to go in front of patients, you have to fail, and you have to learn from that, stepping away from treatment and being strategic with your admin time. You have to get in there. You have to be unproductive at first. As you start to learn and develop new skills, you become exponentially better over time, especially when you use that time to learn how to leverage your team. A series of light bulbs. I still have light bulbs. Every week I'm having light bulbs.
Was there ever a time that when you were going into patient care, “Thinking this is a waste of my time?”
I wouldn't say a complete waste of my time, but I did feel that it wasn't quite aligned with my true purpose at times. I love treating and I love helping people. That is why I ultimately decided to go into business for myself. I do know that if you want to be a business owner and your purpose is to truly make a large impact, something that's larger than yourself, that you can have a sense of burnout and mental fatigue when you have too much treatment time on your plate. You're not fulfilling your purpose when you're sitting there one on one with somebody. It's fun. It's not something you want to lose contact with, but you can't truly make the impact that you want if you're stuck in that bubble.
What were some of the hardest things you had to deal with in achieving your goals in 2020?
I had to go through a few things. A lot of change in the way that I led and the way that we organized our efforts as a team. One lesson that I had to learn is that when you start to implement change, that not everybody on your team is going to be on board with it. You're going to lose people and that's a hard thing to do. I had to go through that about 2 or 3 times over the course of six months, but like everything, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
It reminds me of the old adage, “The people that got you here are not the people that are going to get you there.” The people that you have at this time served a great purpose and you appreciate them, but as you change and implement you grow and as you start implementing policy and procedures, I've seen it time and time again, it weeds people out for one reason or another. Either they act up or you find out that they're not a fit and they have to move on. As you get more clear about how you do things, and as you start creating that culture and refining it, and becoming clear about your purpose and living to the values, some people start getting weeded out, but you start attracting the right people.
Those people are the ones that are going to get you to the next level and who's to say, if they're going to get you to the next level beyond that? They're going to get you to the next level of where your company needs to go. It's an inevitable part of changes that you're simply going to lose people. Some people don't like the structure that might be put into place. They want to say, “We're becoming too corporate. You're too focused on the numbers if you start bringing up data and looking at your statistics,” but it's in the best interest of the business. Therefore, you have to remember that and move forward. I've seen it time and time again. It happens all the time. Once you become clear on your purpose and values, and you start pushing that, once you started implementing procedure, implementing structure and statistics, inevitably people start falling off that wagon. You've noticed, as you becoming a better interviewer and a better recruiter, you start finding the right people.
You found understanding and whatever it is that you're working on at a time, whether it be numbers or whatever, then you can immediately implement that in your new hire. They become exponentially better than the one that left you.
That's their normal, they don't know any different. Is there anything that you would have done differently in 2020? You achieved all these goals. You did some great things and we didn't even allude to the goals that you have achieved in 2021, but what would you have done differently?
I hadn't sat back and thought in-depth about that. Stepping out of treatment sooner is always good. “Get out of treatment. You got to.” I was a little bit resistant in that regard, finding a coach sooner.It is a huge thing to identify your biggest problems and create systems that solve them instantaneously. Click To Tweet
You can do it quickly, to begin with.
It's been such a transformation in 2021 for me and in the business that it's hard to imagine me doing anything different because it's been so rewarding. All I can say is that I wish that it would have been sooner.
You stepped out of patient care. Before we started the show, you started telling me some of the issues that you're having, pandemic related, and people falling off the wagon. Without your issues, it's not blue sky, easy sailing, but what is your focus on where you're at?
To paint a quick picture of where I was before, I was treating in the clinic full-time with a PTA. I was completely overloaded with treatment, overwhelmed, and didn't have much. I am not even on the schedule anymore. I have hired 2 PTs full-time, 3 PTA's in the clinic, 2 front office admin staff, and we're looking to hire a third. It’s a huge transformation. I work from home a lot. I work remotely. I meet with my team and my focus is on empowering them in whatever it is that they're trying to accomplish. I help them understand some of the things that I've learned to understand so that they can be better at what they do.
What does that mean to empower them? What exactly are you doing to empower your team? I agree, the next step to most people's growth as they're stepping out, developing policy and procedure, and developing leadership teams is the next step, if that's where you want to go. If you want to expand, if you want a bigger clinic, that's not dependent upon you, or if you want another clinic outside of the place where you exist, you have to get the right people in place. What are some of the tools that you're using to empower them?
Policy and procedure are huge, dialing that in and becoming obsessed with your policy and procedure to understand that's your problem-solving template, period. Identifying the biggest problems that there are in the company, the ones that give you the biggest headache, and creating systems that solve that instantaneously, is huge. Also, instilling that understanding into your team that this is the policy and why it's the policy, and then providing tools, whether that be checklists or systems or reports that they can utilize to hold themselves accountable. All the while, you’re helping them understand the purpose of why we're doing what we're doing. That is empowering the team. They become more efficient and more effective. They have a fulfilling place to work and they enjoy their work more. Results come.
I still remember that from an episode with Roland Cochrun. He is a guy in Oregon who travels the world, still checks in with his physical therapy clinics, and they are successful because his sole mindset is to create a foundation for which his employees can succeed. Whatever he does is for that purpose. That is policy and procedure, reports, statistics to monitor and what to do when they're going up, what to do when they're going down. He's got this all dialed in. It is all meant to empower his team.
That’s exactly what you said there, empower other people to do it, and the effect you can have in doing that becomes multiplied exponentially. Your effectiveness as a provider is one-on-one and it's that one patient that you work with every 30 minutes, but now if you empower a number of providers, now you've multiplied your effect. You've multiplied your purpose beyond yourself doing the work. That's the next step. Do you have them reading some of your same books as well or are you sharing YouTube snippets and inspirational things like that?
With some of the members of the leadership team, we talk about books and ideals, some of that we want to hold true to the company that is from the books. I do a lot of teaching and coaching, especially when there's a problem that I helped them solve. I use the principles that I've learned in the books. I don't necessarily reference that directly to them, but that's my understanding.
That's part of it. Empowering them is coaching them like you needed a coach, they need coaches as well. Younger and older business, the team members, the employees on your team value that. They look for someone who's going to be a mentor in one way or another, whether that's a mentor from a physical therapy standpoint or a mentor from a leadership standpoint. They want someone who's going to help them learn and grow. No one wants to stay still and continue to do the same thing they were doing, hoping that someone recognizes what they're doing and no place to go if there were any issues or concerns. That's one of our jobs as leaders is then is to focus on coaching our team underneath us. Looking forward, are there any books now that you're reading?
It makes it easier. It gives you a step-by-step process. You can into any meeting and you can ask this set of questions, almost resolving any problem that comes up against you by using that little template. The Coaching Habit is great. Thanks for sharing your time with us. Anything else you want to share with the audience?
If you're not just a physical therapist, but a young business owner, if you're feeling overwhelmed or there's something that you're missing, I would highly recommend a coach. I would highly recommend investing in your education, find somebody who has done what you want to do, and that knows more than you do, and seek their guidance, and you will come away a much happier and fulfilled business owner.
Reach out, step out, network. That's the formula. If you got it done, you would achieve some great things in 2020. Congratulations. I look forward to seeing what you're able to achieve in 2021 too because I know you have big plans. I see great things from Southern Physical Therapy. Thanks for your time, Adam. I appreciate it.
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I'm not interviewing anybody but I thought I would bring to you some of the business books that we have most referenced in the Physical Therapy Owners Club Podcast, either by myself or by those who I've interviewed. Essentially those that have been most influential in our paths to success, so that you can compare against what your library looks like. I don't have them in any particular order except for maybe the first one. I'll share a little bit about the summary of the book and what I've learned and the experiences I've had with them, and why they are so influential to me personally. I'll share some honorable mentions at the end that have also been life-changing and that are also must-reads from my perspective. Some of the main ones, seven in particular, I'm going to talk a little bit about and share with you my experiences. If you've had any experiences of your own, I'd love to know about them as well. You can always email me at Nathan@PTOClub.com.
The book that's highest on my list, and it's not just my list but one of the main books that comes up on the Most Influential Book of American CEOs is Good to Great by Jim Collins. This is the first business book that I read that touched and influenced me and got me into reading more and more business books. It came down to that first sentence. If you've read it, the first sentence in Good to Great is, “Good is the enemy of great.” Once I read that sentence, it blew my mind. I shared it with my wife. I thought this is incredible and it hooked me right off the bat. As you consider things are going well, but could they be going great? Is there another level that you can attain? That was influential in my life and sometimes as I assessed what I'm doing at any given time, I assess it against, “Am I doing good and could I be doing great?”
The other concept that I liked within Good to Great, and something that me and my partner, Will Humphreys, considered quite a bit is, “First who, then what?” Placing the importance on the people that you surround yourself with and making sure they are star players. A lot of times we have this delusion that our great ideas and some great products that we produce are going to be the thing that gets us to greatness. A lot of times, it's not necessarily that. It's not the idea, it's the delivery and the delivery is not just yourself, it's your team. You have to have a team of A-players like I talked about with Jamey Schrier in hiring those A-players to get you to a level of greatness. We went so far in our physical therapy clinics to hold group interviews on a monthly basis, whether we were hiring or not, simply so that we could find rockstars. We'd advertise for such and we'd look for such. When we did find those standout people that we wanted to bring into our company, whether we had a position open for them or not, we would hire them. We’d find a position for them and inevitably be a matter of top grading. Someone would fall out during the process and we could bring in a rockstar in their place and led to the accumulation of some star talent on our team. It came back to that concept from Jim Collins, “First who, then what?”
The one other experience that I had with Good to Great, and I remember where I was at and I remember listening to the book with my wife. It hit me like a ton of bricks because he shared within that book to consider a question. Consider one person on your team that you are having issues with or it's causing some trouble. Consider if they were gone tomorrow, how would you feel? I considered one person at the time while I was reading the book. I thought if that person was gone tomorrow, they were at the front desk, things would be so much better. In that answer to the question was the fact that I wasn't making a decision about that person. I was hemming and hawing, it wasn't confronting the issue. Immediately that changed my focus, “If I'm feeling this way about this person, I need to get rid of them,” and it led me to make that decision. Good to Great has a number of concepts within it that are well-referenced like the hedgehog concept. I highly recommend the book and that's not just me talking. Of the top 100 American CEOs, it’s one of the main books listed as the most influential. I highly recommend Good to Great by Jim Collins.
The next book that we've referenced quite a bit in my previous interviews with David Straight, Sturdy McKee, Chuck Felder, I've mentioned it also in Will Humphreys interviews, is The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. That book to me boils down to asking the question, “Do you own a business or do you own a job?” In other words, “Are you working on your company or are you working in your company?” It comes down to systematizing your business and making it a business that runs for you and without you. In The E-Myth Revisited, they pushed the franchise prototype that, at the heart and soul of every successful business is a business of systems. The importance of systems is that you can take those systems and replicate not only yourself. You can replicate the business and how you do things over and over again to see true mastery and success and growth. They asked them some key questions. Number one, and this is what you can ask of yourself, how can I get the business to run without me? Number two, how do I get people to work without my constant interference and I would add how do I get them to work without mine or other’s constant interference?
How can I systematize my business so that I can replicate it 5,000 times and each one of those times run smoothly? How can I own my business and be free of it? How can I spend my time doing what I love to do rather than what I have to do? This goes back to the heart of the reason for my podcast in general. It's in creating stability and freedom and in order to do that, you have to have systems. They're not in your head. They're written down. They're trained upon and followed by every member of the team. Every member of the team knows what they are supposed to produce and they know how to produce it. When it's not being produced, then we make sure that they're following the protocol so that it is an issue with following protocol and not the protocol itself. The E-Myth Revisited is a rather simple read and if I recall, it's rather short. I haven't read it in some time. What was important to me and my business partner in growing was the systemization of our processes. This is how we do things and that's how we were able to grow and train employees.
The third book is, and I'll say my third and fourth book because they're by the same author and one is a follow-up to the other and that is Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. I referenced this with Will Humphreys, Sturdy McKee and Neil Trickett in my interviews with them. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits is a pretty simple read and it goes down to some of the business basics that I highly recommend. If you haven't done it, you need to and that's creating a mission, vision and values and also creating the BHAG. If you've heard that acronym, the big hairy audacious goal for the company, it talks you through getting those things set up. It also talks a lot about meeting rhythms and how important meetings are and a regular routine of meetings. You can go too far and create too many meetings and we learned that by experience in our own companies that we had too many meetings going on and as we scaled back and made them more precise, then they became more influential.
Meeting rhythms are thrown out there in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and to a certain degree in Scaling Up. In Scaling Up, they talk about the stages of growth and the blueprint that is needed in each phase of growth. Every small business goes through the different phases. There's a people phase and a cash phase. It's important to know which phase you're in so that you know how to get to the next phase and that you can deal with the same issues that every other small business owners are experiencing in those phases. He also talks quite a bit about building a team of A-players. This goes back to what we were talking about in Good to Great. I talked about it with Jamey Schrier on his interview regarding hiring A-players because if you keep B and C-players around, you're going to lose your A-players. You always want to be top grading, getting rid of the B and Cs and getting in the As. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. Good reads that you can use to grow your business.
The fifth one is an oldie but goodie and I talked about it with Sean Miller in his podcast and read it quite a bit more myself and that is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book is going on almost 100 years old and the concepts are still very present and are continually referenced by business people. Napoleon Hill presents thirteen principles. I'd like to focus mainly on the first four chapters of Think and Grow Rich. It lays out the principles of desire and faith. When he says faith, he's talking about visualization and belief in the attainment of a desire, gaining specialized knowledge and organized planning. It's in those four principles that you're able to take your ideas and bring them into reality.
A couple of the other concepts that are important and one of the biggest ones that you see even now was the concept of the mastermind. A mastermind is a group of individuals, anywhere from eight to twelve. They could be from different businesses, different professions that come together and discuss the issues that they're having and maybe even the successes that they're having. They shared with each other, so they have a group of minds and not just your own mind considering your own problems and thus able to come up with creative solutions that lay outside of your perspective. I know personally, we’ve got a lot of benefit out of joining the Entrepreneurs' Organization, which is a nationwide network of business owners. They also have an accelerator group called Accelerator, for those businesses that are grossing less than $1 million. Accelerator and Entrepreneurs’ Organization were hugely beneficial in the growth of our clinics. If you have the opportunity to join one in your community, I highly recommend it or find some mastermind of your own. I know they have them out there. Google masterminds. I even believed that the APTA offers some masterminds through the PPS group.
One last concept in Think and Grow Rich that I liked a lot was he talks about procrastination, which can be an issue for all of us. He found that successful people tend to be the people that are prompt decision-makers. The more we hem-and-haw, the less likely we are to make a decision. We're essentially procrastinating and letting other outside influences and opinions affect our decision-making. Successful people see things for what they are and logically make a decision. This is related also into The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The sooner we make a decision, the sooner you can find out if it's going to fly or not. If it's going to be successful, if it's not going to be successful, then you know quickly and you can retrace your paths and start down a different path to be successful. Simply make the decision sooner, fail faster and move forward. That is a trait that Napoleon Hill recognized in Think and Grow Rich.
The sixth book a lot of you have heard about and maybe even read, not necessarily specific to business in some way it is but nonetheless is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I mentioned this one in my breakdown of the HODS Symposium when Dimitrios was talking about the cashflow quadrant. That also relates back to what we've talked about in The E-Myth Revisited. Are you an employee of your business or do you own a business? If you remember the four quadrants, his cashflow quadrants are employee, self-employed, business owner or investor. Depending on where you are in either of those quadrants, means you have different behaviors in each and also the amount of money that you're making increases as you go flow through those quadrants. You'll make less money, simply a salary as an employee. You make a little bit more if you're self-employed, but like Michael Gerber says, “You're owning a job and not a business.” Then become a business owner where the business isn't solely reliant on you, but you are responsible for the vision, mission, and values in maintaining the leadership and then being an investor in businesses that run without you and then kick you back passive income.
That's Robert Kiyosaki's big thing from what I gather is passive income and creating assets. Building your list, building your portfolio of assets and not expenses. Remember your house is not an asset. I have to constantly remind myself of that. Build these assets so that you can have passive income and then you're able to invest in more businesses, real estate, you name it. The other thing I liked about Rich Dad Poor Dad was a change in mindset. I grew up in a household where we didn't have a lot of money and a constant refrain was, “We can't afford that.” In the Rich Dad Poor Dad story, the rich dad changed the mindset going from, “We can't afford that” to “How can we afford that?” I have to do that even nowadays, “I don't know if we can afford that. If we can afford to do such and such a thing.” I have to check myself and say, “How can I afford that?” If I saved on this and I did that and did this to make a little bit of extra money, we can set that aside and purchase blank. There's a change in mindset that is incredibly valuable in Rich Dad Poor Dad. That's changing your mindset from, “I'm a victim. I can't afford that” to “How can I be powerful in this situation and present myself so that I can get the things that I want?”
The next book and the last book that I'll highlight that I wanted to reference because these have all been referenced quite a bit. This one especially so came up in my interview with Bill Dodson and that is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. In The 7 Habits, the one thing that I got out of that and I continue to use to this day is the Covey quadrant. In the Covey Quadrant, we're talking about time management. In those quadrants, we list items that are urgent and important in the top left. In the top right, things that are important. In the bottom left are things that are urgent and not important, and in the bottom right are things that are not urgent and not important. If you go through the book or if you look for the Covey Quadrant online, you'll see that in the definition, you want to be living most of your time in the top right quadrant. That is doing those tasks and responsibilities that are important but not urgent. As you're doing that, then your time runs smoothly and you don't get stressed out too much. You can use that to your advantage as you have a long list of tasks of things to do to filter out those things that you can work on and get the most important things done.
The 7 Habits, just to highlight those and that is be proactive. Begin with the end in mind, especially as you're considering goals and what you're trying to create with your business. Number three, put first things first. Most important things first, even in your daily to-do lists. Knock out those items and those tasks that will cause the greatest influence for everything else. Number four, think win-win. Number five, seek first to understand and then to be understood. This is huge in your interactions with your employees, especially those that might be acting up inappropriately or unexpectedly. First, seek to understand where they're coming from as you sit down and do one-on-ones with them, and then you can get your point across as to, “This is how I perceive what's going on.” This is how it's coming across so that they can understand you. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Next is synergize, leverage your differences for good and lastly is sharpen the saw.
Sharpen the saw can pertain to all of these books that I've talked about and that it's constant learning. It's constant growth and implementation to become a better leader, to become a better owner and attain the goals that you want to attain. Some of my honorable mentions and I have to say these first two have been not just business books. They have business aspects to them. When we're talking about it, when you look at some of these business books, there's so much of it that can be utilized within your personal life. These two, in particular, are life changing and the ones that I've referred to friends and family members that aren't necessarily business owners at all. Those two are Leadership and Self-Deception and The Outward Mindset. I highly recommend Leadership and Self-Deception to recognize where you're standing in relationship to the people that you're in relationships with and to see where you're coming from.
The other honorable mentions consist of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, Rocket Fuel by Mark Winters and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I could go on for quite a long time about these books as well, but the ones that we've referenced quite a bit and in my interviews are the seven that I highlighted here. Share with me some of your books and what you've learned at Nathan@PTOClub.com. I'd love to know which ones have been influential for you. We'll continue to have more guests that referenced these books. I know in the future, we're looking to interview Judy Cirilo who has been influenced by The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. I know I've handed out Rocket Fuel to a number of people in the past, to fellow PT business owners, especially for those who are wanting to become visionaries and have an office manager that can help them. Look at them yourself. If there are any that speak to you, I highly recommend you read them. Audiobooks are a great way to do that on your commutes. After you've listened to my podcast, throw in the audiobook of your favorite business book and let me know what you get from it. Hopefully, you find yourself positively influenced by the books that I brought up. I will see you next week.