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Jon’s Journey Episode 10: The Unexpected Journey To Spain


Click on the video to watch it (Runtime 8 minutes).

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If you’d rather read the transcript it’s here below.


Hi, it’s Jon and it’s time for the Toolbox Talk. I’m in Spain at the moment visiting my dad, and in last week’s tip, I called it the ‘Emergency Edition’ which was a quickly written message because I didn’t have anything to send on Tuesday. I’m going to revisit the same topic.

This is called Jon’s Journey Episode 10: Journey to Spain.

I wrote last week about how helpful it is to set your business up so that it can survive if you have a forced absence or even not a forced absence (holiday).

Why I went to Spain

This trip to Spain isn’t entirely unexpected. My dad has had an ‘Aortic Aneurysm’ and was diagnosed about a year ago so I’ve been on notice to come to Spain for his operation for about a year. An ‘Aortic Aneurysm’ is a big bubble in your aorta – if it bursts, that’s it, you’re f#%ked. So he’s been on notice to have his operation, and I’ve been on notice to come to support dad and to help mum while he’s in hospital, and give a bit of moral support. But it was sudden. I was on holiday in Hobart with Michelle having a lovely and relaxing time and woke up on the last day to hear loads of messages on my phone from my mum. I had a hangover, I was getting a cold and I had 2 million messages from my mum and my children, “Grandma can’t get hold of dad”. And the message was, “He’s got his date for the hospital, it’s tomorrow. He’s going in tomorrow. Get to Spain immediately, book flights and go to Spain.”

So I had to go home back to Byron from Hobart. Also, my poor dog was dying during all of this so I had to go and euthanize my dog, which was very distressing and bury him in the garden. Then I had to drive to Brisbane, fly to Spain, get a train from a trip to Almería, get to my parent’s house, wake up in the morning after a 3-hour sleep, drive to Granada where my dad’s in the hospital and see him. It was a bit stressful. There was a bit going on.

Things I worry about

I found myself in a slightly unusual emotional position that was grieving my dog (it was very sad), I was worried about my dad, was tired and stressed from the long journey, feet were swollen and I was grumpy. There was a bit happening.

I was worried about: missing Michelle, worried about not having s*x for two weeks, and worried about my business.

Would it hold up being away for two weeks like this, all of a sudden after a week of holiday?

What I was always worried about is letting people down. I was worried about not delivering the service that my customers have paid me for and didn’t want to lose momentum.

It’s been going quite well, lately. I was a bit nervous about dropping momentum. I don’t want to f*ck it up. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to not be good enough.

And that’s really what I want to talk to this time because I hear that from a lot of my customers: that emotion, that fear of not being good enough. We’re trying really hard do the best we can and for most of us, there’s always that concern that we’re not doing it right, we’re not doing well enough, we’re not good enough, and everyone else knows better than we do about what to do. We’re not measuring up.

Reassuring myself

So that’s what I want to talk to you about. I see it in my customers. I expect it’s true for you, it’s true for me, and it’s something we need to think about. I found talking myself down, “You are good enough, you set it up so it can accommodate this stuff. Dad’s going to be okay. It’s only two weeks, we’ve rearranged everybody’s meetings, everyone’s pretty cool anyway, they all understand like decent people. They’re not going to be shitty about this.” All that kind of stuff, reassuring myself, talking myself down from a little distressing moment. And that’s something I do as a coach.

I want to talk about two things briefly:

  1. Managing your stress; and
  2. Setting up your business

Stress Management

Stress management is important. If you dwell on things and ruminate and go over and over on them, or if you just put your head down and work, which a lot of tradies do, then you’re not helping yourself.

You need to manage the stress. You need to talk yourself down. It’s good to share it with someone else and that’s part of my role as a coach. It’s to be that person you share things with when you’re frustrated, already stressing, or when you’re not sure what to do. If I’m your coach I’m the person you can share those misgivings with.

Talking to someone, putting it in a wider business context, understanding that everyone else feels like this, or this is how the problem is commonly addressed, is very helpful. Not just knowing what to do, that’s not the only thing coaching is, but it’s also about managing your stress and managing your uncertainties.

If it’s not me, do it with somebody else. Have a business friend or a mentor. Get somebody. Have somebody to talk to.

Setting up your business

I find myself reassuring people that you’re good enough, that you’ve got this and can handle this, and that there isn’t some conspiracy out there where all these other people who run successful businesses are smarter. They’re really not.

There aren’t any secrets. We just need to keep going and get on with it and you’ll get there, you’ll be okay. You’ll run a successful trade business.

The points I want to emphasise are:

  1. You’re good enough.
  2. You know how to manage your stress now.

The way to set up your business so it has the best chance of operating without you is to document systems and train your people in the systems. So you’ve got people who are:

  • Competent
  • Trained
  • Empowered

Have systems for them to use so they know what to do, so they don’t have to come to you when anything happens or anything difficult happens. So:

It doesn’t have to be you writing all these systems. Your good people will help you write the systems and will help you set things up.

Recommended Reading: Small Business Vs Big Business – Are You Stuck In Between? 

So if you do just one at a time, every system you write, every process you put in place, and every delegation you make to somebody else makes your business and your job that much better. It makes your business much more able to operate when you go on holiday. Or when you go to Spain to see your dad.

Of course, I can help you build those systems and those machines.

It’s my job as a coach to help you build a:

Now, there are a few ways you can engage with me.

  1. You can register and subscribe to these emails so you get them in your inbox every Tuesday — Hover over to the form on the right side of the screen 👉
  2. You can join the Tradies Business Toolshed Facebook Group and you can participate and join in, ask questions.
  3. You can attend the Tools down Workshop.
  4. If you can’t wait for any of those things and you want to talk to me about whether coaching is the right thing for you then book yourself a 10-minute chat.

We’ll talk about whether coaching is something you should be doing now.

See you later.

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About the Author

Jon Dale

Jon likes helping business owners and especially owners of trades businesses. Life can be a bit frustrating when you run a business and a trade business can be even more so. Jon reckons this stuff is fixable and that you can fix it by making some fairly simple changes to the way you do things. In fact, he runs a free monthly webinar to help explain the process further of moving your business from manual to scalable.

You can connect with Jon Dale on:

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