CEO Micromoments - Audi Care
The title for today's micro moment is called, "Audi Care."
Audi, like the car manufacturer, care. I'm going to start with a little story to give you some context again. This weekend my family and I were heading out to Banff to celebrate Jamie's wedding. As you either know as a parent, or you can likely expect, for those who aren't parents, taking a road trip with a bunch of little ones is always a huge ordeal. The planning, the packing, the double checking, the timing. It's all quite overwhelming. It, most of the times, makes you think, "Why the hell am I even doing this, and shouldn't we just wait until the kids are 10 to take our first vacation?"
Well, Saturday, we got the SUV all packed up. You know, we're there for a day, but yet it was full, ready to go. The kids were all strapped in, movie's on in the back seat. Becky got into the car getting her last load of God knows what into the car, and she says, "Yep. We're all locked up. The front door is locked. Let's go," but she's like, "Just as a reminder, I noticed that the front power lock of our door ran out of batteries as it was locking." I'm like, "Okay. Mental note. Make sure we change the batteries when we get home."
As I was about to pull away, I looked over at my dashboard to see there was this key icon on the dashboard. Well, if you are somebody that has one of those push button style car starts, where you don't have to put the key in anymore to the ignition, this means that the key is not in the car, which means the key's still in my house. No big deal, right? You know, I'll head right back in, grab it, and then we can go. Then I realized, "Oh shit. Becky just finished saying that the power lock of the door was officially out of batteries." I stopped and I looked over at her and I said, "We're screwed." "what do you mean?"
Here we are. My car is running, with the whole family in it. The front power door lock is officially out of batteries, and my keys, which I just said, are in the house, which, if you're putting things together as I'm saying this, guys, this means my actual house key, the manual one, is on my key chain in my house. Yes, we are in a little bit of trouble. Now, I won't go into the extra details there, but luck would have it, I walked up to the front door, thinking that my magic would just help us out here. I went to go check the lock to see if I could get it to work. Becky thought she had locked the door, but the actual mechanism died before it could turn, so it actually wasn't locked. I was able to get into the house, immediately change the batteries, got my keys, and off we went. Phew! Frickety frick. We avoided a massive disaster. That would have easily led us to missing Jamie's wedding, heighten my stress levels to new-found heights, I am sure, and for sure got our family into some near fist fights as we waited in the -20 for a lock smith to arrive. That's story one, all right?
Story two happened not but five hours later when we were in Banff. There was this moment between the ceremony and reception that we decided to take the kids to the candy store on Banff Ave, because it's a must. Loaded up the car, got everything on, turned the car on. We start driving and we smelled this awful burning plastic smell in the car. Really bad. Fumes. Brutal. A warning light comes on on my dash again. Battery icon starts flashing and the note says the alternator's not working. Battery no longer continuing to charge. Here we go again.
I rush the kids out, the smell was so horrid. Get them to walk over to the candy store. I stay behind, because Becky says, "Well, I stopped the AMA last year, remember, because you told me the Audi Care was still alive and well, so we don't need to pay it twice." I said, "Okay. Go get the candy. Pick me up something. I'll make the call." I'm sitting there in the plastic burning fume filled car, and I'm calling Audi Care to get the tow truck to bring it back to Calgary. Then panic sets in a little bit. It's like, "Oh yeah. My warranty was over at four years, and I believe my Audi Care was over at four years. Now my car is just about five years old." I go, "God. We might be a little out of luck here," and I know Becky would virtually kill me, because I told her to cancel that AMA membership.
Now, I'll cut right to the chase. Long story short, Audi Care was still in effect. Tow truck from Canmore came, got my Audi, towed it back to Calgary yesterday. I was lucky enough to get the last full sized SUV between Avis, Budget, Hertz and Discount car rentals so that I could get both car seats and my third kid and all of us back yesterday. It actually happened super seamless. We beat the snow. It just worked. It just shouldn't have worked, but everything worked out really well.
Now we've got story one and story two. What do these have in common? For starters, you're probably thinking, "Darren, you got really lucky." Yeah. That's not what I'm talking about today. I sure did. For two though, for real, both of these stories speak to the idea of a backup plan. Taking this further, they speak to having a set of assurances to catch us when things don't go as planned, or in my Audi Care story, we would also use the term insurances, which helped me out. As well, guys, we would use the terms checks and balances, secondary fail safes, such as in the case of my key being the only key for the house as a manual one, and I was the only one that had it. Becky doesn't even have a secondary key. It's pretty apparent we didn't have this secondary fail safe at all.
With all this being said, I counted my lucky stars yesterday as I was writing this for you guys. I couldn't help but think of this in terms of our businesses. We've just been through all this, guys. In our businesses, I constantly, and you guys all discuss having, and the need to have a plan. We dig deep. We run our numbers. We perform analyses. We figure out our daily conversation totals. We know our why's. We break things down into daily action steps, weekly action steps. We break it down between active client and prospecting efforts and business development time. We even go as far as planning our weeks. When I tell you guys on Sundays, we strategically plan it out to maximize our energy. You know, prospecting in the mornings when your bucket's still full. We strategize the best times of the days to accomplish things like best open rates on emails or when people are going to be home when we door knock. We think all of these things through.
My question is, among all of this, what level of assurances do we all have in place? What level of insurance do you have on your ability to tackle your plan? Better yet, what level of checks and balances do you have in your life if, in your plan to catch you, when Plan A isn't working out? When Plan A gets completely wiped off the planet that day? When that out of town buyer comes in and takes everything off, or that multiple offer turns out to be three days long? We all know things don't always work out in a given week as we planned them. That's nothing new to us. When that happens, what fail safes do you have in your routine to help you ensure you get back on track, and those items that you deemed instrumental to your day, your week, your month, actually get done again once life derails you? We know that we just can't ignore those items, because if we did ... We know those items are needed to achieve your big goals that you set to achieve, and they're the reason we put the plan into place in the first place. As I quoted earlier from Jamie, time is the most precious commodity we can give. For us as individuals, time working in or on our plan we just talked about, can't be gotten back if we've lost it on a given day.
What's the solution? What can we do when life derails us? What is some options for a backup plan or fail safes to catch us to get back into your next wave? I've got a couple of suggestions. One would be very simple. Leave room in your schedule for the unknown. Leave yourself a buffer so that when things get hairy and go the wrong direction, you've got some time set aside to handle some, now I say some, of what you've missed. I say some because oftentimes when we get derailed, it's much bigger than an hour can clean up, right? Sometimes it's a whole afternoon that gets written off, or even longer. The ability to find some buffer spot, is if you can do that, to just, if all you can get done is not the actual tasks that you had missed, but it's the ability to remake the plan just a little bit, and reallocate how you're going to handle these items that we all know need to get back into the plan that's coming. Don't think of the buffer as the catch all, I'll be fully caught up, but it's a place to then wrap yourself back around and reallocate it into your world.
Now sometimes things get missed, but they're bigger than a day. It's not just that one client that came up. It's not that thing that took off your afternoon. It's not just that prospecting window or that planning session. It's bigger than this. You find yourself missing the mark on a full week, or you might even feel you've lost yourself altogether just for a given period of time. In a situation like that, when it's bigger, I'd say you need something visual. Very similar to what Jeff mentioned weeks and weeks ago about having his plan for January in front of himself, in his bathroom, in his gym, and at his office. That visual reminder, even if you went off the rails for a while, there it is. Yes. Even if it's gone off the rails for a while, it's triggering you and pulling yourself back.
Number three would be very simple. It would be an accountability group or an accountability partnership to just check in and see how you're doing and run it back to somebody that's beyond you and your head space. The last one would be some version of a daily wrap up captures everything that came up in your given day, summarizes it and ensures you've given it an allocation somehow. This might be in the form of journaling or gratitude, or just something time blocked in your day before you go to bed that allows you to just catch everything and allocate it somewhere.
Guys, if I'm leaving here this morning, my two world examples that happened this weekend really woke me back up to the idea of these secondary fail safes and these backup plans to save me when life comes at us. Our businesses, our business life, in my opinion, needs this big time as well, but it's probably something that we don't put a lot of thought into, because we always anticipate, as independent contractors with full control over our days, that things will work themselves out, and you'll find your way to get it all done. I would suggest that we won't, because we don't have mechanisms to ensure we catch all, and find ways to get it back into the plan. The big master plan, the big goals that we set out to achieve actually get done at the end of the year, or your twelve week year, or whatever methods you continue to evaluate yourself on.
I'd love to hear from you all on the Micro moments thread, guys, on ways that you've used these secondary fail safes or these backup planning to stay the course. I think this would be super important for a lot of people to hear if you've got something in your world that's worked, that you continually use to catch you when you fall or when life derails us, and where you can get you back into your plan. I'd love to hear about what worked, what you've tried, what hasn't worked. Then lastly, I think I'd love to hear most your struggles with this. I'd love to continue the dialogue around this stuff, because as we know, our beautiful plans rarely go perfectly as planned.
That's it with my Audi Care moment. Thanks. Have a killer rest of your Monday. Brokerage meeting is on Tuesday, again, at Center 70, or via Zoom. That's all guys. Have a great one.