Giving Up Your Habit


Today I want to talk with you about giving up your habit of trying to get better at something that you’re not good at.

For the last decade of working with business owners and their teams, I often come across people who are trying to get better at what they’re not good at.

Now I know, that there’s a lot of talk out in the world about “you can do anything just put your mind to it”. And yes you can gain competency in something that you’re not naturally wired, but, you will never do this.

So, Investing a whole lot of time in trying to get better at something, that you’re only ever going to just become competent in, is a huge waste of your time. Not only is it a waste of your time, there’s an experience of bouncing up against something that is a struggle and strife to try to get to that point.

As opposed to, actually investing more time, energy and joy, may I say joy, into getting better at what you are naturally wired for. The place where you’re going to resonate with what you’re working on. A place where you lose track of time.

Now, if you’re a small business, you may have to do some things that you’re not naturally wired for. But, the sooner you can begin to outsource those things, or hire someone to take those things off your plate, and begin to invest in those things that are a natural self-expression, where you are in your flow, where you have natural capacity, the happier you’re going to be.

I don’t really know why it is. Maybe it’s because of the last few hundred years of our education system where we got graded A B C D E and F, and God knows what after that, that people were left with “Oh my God. it’s not good for me to not be good at everything!” And, you’ve got these kids they’re like if they don’t get an A, they don’t even want to go home and tell their parents what their grades were. It’s really actually quite damaging.

And, our school system has not been designed for every kind of learning style that there is. It’s largely a visual learning style. Meanwhile there are six other learning styles and I can tell you that I know people, including my son, who didn’t fit into the traditional educational model.

So, as that relates to your business and what you’re learning and doing and mastering in your business and that of your team members, we use profiling all the way from the design of the role – It’s like what are the tasks this person is going to do, what is the natural wiring of a person who will be good at those tasks – through the recruitment into their training and development pathways, so that they’re naturally going to be creating value, because it’s easy for them.

And, You create an environment where people have the experience of accomplishment, of gaining.

Now, they still have to work at it, it’s not that it’s, you know, all roses, but that they have the experience of taking ground on things that they’re naturally good at. And when you build that team out in that way, everybody wins in the company.

As an example, in the org chart of a business, you’ve got the business itself and then you have three key domains. You have your admin and finance side. Then, you have your operational side and then you have your sales and marketing side. Now, you will resonate, and be most in your flow, in one of those areas.

So I have a client, who’s stellar at sales and marketing. Operationally, he’s competent. In the admin finance side, forget it it’s hopeless.

So your capacity, its not that you can’t do those things, you can probably do those things, but where you’re going to add the greatest amount of value, the place where people are going to trust you the most, is in the area of your flow.

So, stop trying to get better at something that you’re never going to get a whole lot better at, and focus on those areas where you have exponential growth.

And, make sure that the people on your team are in the right spot for them, where they’re naturally going to be adding value. And, if you find that there are gaps, then go back and look at what are the tasks that this person would need to do and then design that position and that ad and that recruitment and that training and development for the person who’s ideally suited for that.

If you got value from this video then please share it with others. And I’d love to hear your comments or questions like “Where have you struggled in your business that you just may not be in your flow?” I’d love to hear about that and to support you with it.


A Pathway To Get To Your Creativity

Today you’re going to discover a pathway to get to your creativity.

So, when we’re kids we start off being very curious, and very creative. So we’re exploring things, we’re building forts out of cardboard boxes, I mean we’re just in the world exploring and being curious. Then we go to school, and we’re taught to conform.

And inside of conforming, we’re taught to build and learn how to have a career and we go and we started our career. And, in our career, we’re taught to work really, really, really, really hard. And then, we get comfortable at that, like we’ve arrived. We have enough capacity and talent to be, you know, comfortable.

What happens to successful people often is they become complacent.

And inside of that complacency, they let down their guard. They’re no longer innovating. They’re not being competitive. They’re not out there looking for the Kaizen of constant and never-ending improvement. So then what happens. Crisis. Either the revenues start dipping we lose key employees like something happens and unfolds into complete and total chaos.

From there. How do we get out. We have to go back to being curious. And Curiosity of looking at what was the root cause of this. Being willing to take a look at ourselves our leadership where we started holding back. Being able to confront what’s working and not working in the business. Being able to go out and look in our industry, and go, hey you know there’s a lot of disrupt out here I wasn’t prepared for and become curious about how you can begin to be prepared for this next five years this next decade. And in the curiosity, comes back the creativity.

And I just finished reading a book called Rest. That builds the case for how important it is to take time to actually rest. Rest physically. Rest mentally. The importance of having a hobby, taking a sabbatical, even actually taking a nap. And, how that contributes to our capacity to be creative and to bring together disparate pieces of our lives to form something new.

Well in the keynote that I wrote on humanity transcending the digital age I talk a lot about the different ages that we’ve gone through from the Agrarian all the way up to what’s now being referred to as the imagination age and how rest is so critical.

You cannot create, not you, not anyone, not me. No, none of us can actually be as creative as we possibly can when we’re exhausted either physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually bankrupt. So the importance of bringing rest. And recognizing this pattern that I learned from Sharon Lechter, last week at Global Conference, of what stage am I at, and what do I need to do next in order for me to stay in that curious, creative space.

That will make all the difference not just for my business, but also for the quality of my life, and your life.

So I invite you to the see where are you, and then share that with me. If you’re confronted by something, or you are actually involved in the curious, creative stage, what are you doing that’s actually allowing for that. And if you’re in any of the other stages and I can support you, that would be my pleasure. So like it, subscribe to it, and share it. Thank you.


How Can You Integrate A Culture By Design

Today we’re going to discover how can you integrate a culture by design into your company.

So first of all, you’ve got your vision, you’ve got your mission, you’ve got your culture, your core values.

Are you using it in your onboarding process?

Are you using it in your performance reviews?

Is it included in your training and development pathways for your team in your career ladders?

Are you using it in every communication that goes out from your company, to a vendor, to a client, to a prospect?

Every piece of your company, every part of your company, that you can integrate it to, whether it’s business development, operations, customer service, even your I.T., your H.R., and your admin / financial functions.

The more alive you can make this in the fabric of the company. The more the culture of how we do things around here will be real for you and everyone you come in contact with.

If you like this. Please share with others, subscribe to my YouTube channel and like it on Facebook.


Creating Your Best Year Yet

Welcome! In today’s session of business SUCCESS with Doug Barra, I want to talk to you about Year-End planning.

It’s so often that I talk to business owners that are actually sitting at the beginning of December going “I just want to get through the month. I don’t want to think about anything else. I just want to get through the month. I’ve got holidays coming up. I’ve got vacations coming up. I’ve got sales coming up. I just want to get through the month.”

However, this is the critical time for you to start the planning for next year, if you haven’t already started it. Now sometimes you might have gotten it done in November rather than wait until December.

But, if you have not gotten your planning done for 2018, then now is the time to start thinking about that and start getting yourself organized around what is it that you want to create.

What is it that you were looking to produce for next year so that you can have the most successful year yet.

I would love to hear from you as to when you start your planning or what’s going on for you around your planning.

Please leave me a comment. Let me know what you’re doing. Let me know what you’re thinking.

And, if there’s any way that I can be of assistance to you please let me know.

Looking forward to talking to you soon.


Learning is Required for ___________


In today’s session of business SUCCESS with Doug Barra, I want to talk to you about learning, because learning is directly related to your planning.

“What!?!”, you might be saying to yourself, “what are you talking about? Learning is related to my planning!?! I’m planning. I’m planning on my growth. I’m planning on my sales. I’m planning on what I’m going to do. How is learning related to that?”

Well, learning is related to that, because you want to also plan what is the learning that you need. The learning that you need to understand to be able to do the plan that you’re creating.

Because – let’s look at it this way – if you’re creating a plan that’s just a list of things that you’re going to do over the next 12 months, the next month, the next 90 days, whatever, then is that really a plan? Or, is that just a list of “To Do” items that you’re going to do?

See, I see planning as creating the things that we’re not even sure how we’re going to do. We’re not even sure where we need to go to get that done, but we do know what we need to learn.

We do know what we need to get better at.

We do know all of the things that we don’t know in order to get this plan done.

And that’s where the learning comes in.

So, make sure that when you’re starting your plan for 2018, one of the topics is ‘what am I going to learn,’ so that you can have the best 2018 yet.

Looking forward to seeing you and talking to you soon. Please leave me a comment. What is it that you need to learn in order to really have your 2018 be successful? And, if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Thank you.


Effective Planning

Transcript Highlights…:
On today’s episode of business success with Doug Barra I’m going to talk to you about the how of planning.

I really want to talk about how do you go about creating an effective plan that’s going to actually have you build something great.

So let’s start with talking about how do we create the beginning of the plan. Well to create the beginning of the plan we really have to look at dreams … what is it that we want. What is it that we’ve always desired.

Dreams are maybe 10 years out and we don’t necessarily know exactly how we’re going to do them but we’re clear that there are things that we want. So we’re going to work towards them.

Now I’m going to then take my dreams and I’m going to pull those down into goals and a goal is something that’s never more than three years out.

OK. So here we’re looking at things that are a bit more precise. We’re three years out, maybe one year out, maybe 90 days out they’re more precise, we have a much better feel for how we’re going to get there and we’re going to be more clear on what it’s going to take to get there.

Then we’re going to take those goals and we’re going to pull them down into a plan. A plan is 90 days.

So we want to make sure that we’re looking at all of those things at the time when we’re creating our plan.

Finally the last piece of this is action. Actions are on the court, what you’re going to do on a day by day week by week to actually accomplish that goal.

And if you’re don’t have all of this then your planning is not going to be as effective as you would like it to be.

Once you’ve gone through that and you understand all of that you want to then actually use the Merlin process.

The Merlin principle says that I’m going to stand in the future fulfilled stand in having this future complete and I am going to then look back to look back in time and see what was it that happened that made it a done deal that I was going to be here.

Right so I’m not sitting here at the bottom of the mountain looking up going How am I going to get to the top. I’m standing at the top of the mountain looking down saying this is how I got here.

And we’re going to start with the end in mind. We’re going to stand here and we’re going to look back and we’re going to look back to some milestone.

And identify that milestone that made it a done deal that we were going to get here then you’re going to step into this milestone. And again look back towards another milestone. And say what occurred that had it be a done deal that I got here.

And we’re going to repeat this as many times as we need to, to create enough milestones that we can accomplish the goal.

Then we take each milestone and we work forward inside of the milestone.

When we’re looking at a 90 day goal, if this were 90 days and I was looking back, then in that case probably two milestones is plenty.

If I’m looking at a year I might do it based on quarters that way. I have my 90 days. 90 days is equal to one quarter. So I could do this for looking at my year goal. Breaking it up into 90 day milestones.

It doesn’t have to be based on time. It can be based purely on an event that occurred, something that happened, that when that happened, it was clearly a done deal that I was going to get here.

And, that is how you create very effective plans.

I look forward to seeing you in my next video.


5 Key Points To Building a Cohesive Marketing & Sales Strategy

Marketing and sales are two aspects of a single business task: attracting and retaining customers. A common mistake made by inexperienced entrepreneurs is viewing them as completely separate aspects of the business. Building a cohesive marketing and sales strategy is one of the most important business growth strategies for any company.

Here are five key points for building your marketing and sales strategy:

  1. Know your unique selling proposition (USP). What makes your products, your services, and your company unique from the competition? What will draw customers to your business and away from your competition? The thing that makes you unique is your strongest selling point. You need a clear selling position before you can create a successful marketing and sales strategy.
  2. Know your target audience. Before you can sell your products and services, you need to know who would have the most interest in it. For example, if you are in the business of selling video games, your target audience will include die-hard gamers and teenagers just getting started. You need to know as much as possible about your target audience. This includes who they are, what they do for a living, what pain points they have, and how your product or service can help them. This information helps you develop an effective marketing strategy. It also gives your sales staff the ability to target prospects with the right sales pitch.
  3. Know what you want to accomplish in 2018. For success, your marketing and sales strategies must align with your company’s goals for 2018. If you want to add a new product line to your company, you need to make sure that is part of your marketing and sales plans for the upcoming year.
  4. Identify the right advertising and promotional options for your business. The options depend on what kind of business you are in and what kinds of products/services you offer. It also depends on your company’s goals for 2018. These options can take on many forms. This includes giving out free samples and coupons, doing demonstrations, sending out press releases, creating content, gathering customer testimonials, putting up billboards, taking out radio/TV ads, and even having a booth at an industry trade show. Finding the ideal mix is one of the business growth strategies you cannot afford to miss.
  5. Align your promotional, advertising, and sales efforts with your company’s sales process. For example, it is a waste of time and effort to have your sales staff trying to convert leads that have not gone through a qualification process. In fact, it is a poor business decision. By concentrating their efforts only on qualified leads, you will see sales numbers going up and lead conversions increasing.

By concentrating on these five keys, you will be able to form a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy. It will be aligned with what you want to accomplish in 2018. Make sure this is one of the business growth strategies you make a part of your company in the coming New Year.


How to Make Your Team’s Goals Match Your Own

Happy New Year!

The end of the year was the perfect time for setting goals. Now, the beginning of the new year is time for new idea, new actions and making your plans happen. That goes for you, your business, and your team. Aligning all those goals is key for everyone to have success in 2018. Alignment of goals is a growth strategy that you cannot ignore.

How do you make sure that your team’s goals match the goals you have for yourself and your business?

  • Make sure you have clearly stated company, division, and department goals. You need to know what you want to do in the New Year before you can expect your team member to contribute to the business’ success. Communicate those goals with everyone before beginning any discussions of individual goals.
  • Connect each team member’s work to the goals of the department, division, and company. The work done by a salesperson in bringing in new clients and getting new orders is pretty easy to connect with overall sales goals. But, how does the work of an HR or administrative person align with company goals?
  • Set a specific time to sit down with each team member. Let that person know what you want to accomplish and how that person needs to prepare before the meeting. This gives the team member time to prepare his or her thoughts.
  • Work with the team member to develop individual goals that align with the larger organization goals. Both of you should bring suggestions to the table and work together to create the final list. By involving the team member in the goal making process, you are letting that person take ownership of those goals.
  • Ask the team member to come back with an action plan for each goal set. Setting a goal is one thing. Making sure that goal gets accomplished is another. A plan sets the stage for success.
  • Follow up throughout the quarter. Once you set goals and make plans, your work has only just begun. Set aside time every month to review progress on goals. It is a time to see what is working and if there are challenges preventing the team member from moving forward. You can make adjustments, change plans, and manage expectations.
  • Communicate department, division, and company goal progress with everyone. People need to see that their efforts are making an impact. Letting everyone know how things are going keeps them on track.

Goal alignment between you and your team is a growth strategy that sets you all up for success in 2018.


About The World Of Communication And Management

Today what I’d like to share with you is about the world of communication and management. Management, good management, is a function of the relationships you have with your team.

And the quality of the relationships that you have with your team, is a function of your ability to communicate, both the speaking, and being responsible for how it lands with that person.

And also in a way that you listen.

We have a saying, in ActionCOACH, that communication is the response you get. And it’s based on – well it’s not the truth, because maybe you’re talking to a psychopath, or something – but, it’s the idea of communication is the response you get is based on, what did you communicate, or fail to communicate that got the response that you received.

And it goes from just the words themselves, which is about 7 percent of your communication; 38 percent, the tone of your voice; And 55 percent body language. If you are on the phone, those two are reversed.

But, when you’re communicating with a team member, the best way to communicate with them is face to face. Particularly if it’s a difficult or important conversation. Because there are physical cues that you can’t necessarily get if you’re not face to face or you’re communicating through a text or an email, or in some other way such as that, that is often misunderstood.

You know I had a client the other day say they put it in caps that means they’re yelling at me. Well, maybe, maybe not. Maybe it’s just to emphasize a point. Nevertheless there was a misunderstanding.

So communication is the response you get. Meaning that you’re responsible for how your communication lands over there.

And its ever more important today because the old saying: “People don’t leave a job they leave a manager,” is more true than ever. As we go into what some are calling not just the war on talent like it’s about to go nuclear war on talent, where we will have a shortage of talent over the next two decades – that’s the prediction.

How we treat the people that are under us, and in our care, is going to be ever more important. So if you haven’t taken a course in communication. I invite you to consider taking a course in communication.

And, remember, everything communicates.

So be mindful of that and you’ll be a better manager.

If you like this, then go ahead and subscribe to my channel, or like it. And, if you’d like to have more information on how communication can impact your team in a positive way, then please reach out to me.


3 Things to Transform Low Productivity

Hi! Are you struggling with low productivity employees. If you are, it’s not unusual, many business owners are. And, if that’s the case then this video today is for you.

Hi, I’m Jody Johnson and this is another episode of coffee with Jody.

Today I’m going to share with you the three things that you can put in place this week to transform your experience of low productivity employees.

Ready to get started? Let’s go…

So the first thing that I’d love you to consider is, have you given this employee everything they need in order to win in that role?

Again, I see many, many business owners who haven’t done that, so let me share with you a story.

I had a client and she wanted to let go of her secretary. So the first thing I said to her is: “Have you given her everything that she needs to win?”

She goes: “I think so.”

I said “Well, does she have a job description?”


“Does she have key performance indicators so that she knows whether or not she’s doing a good job?”


“Do you have weekly meetings where you talk about what’s going on in the business and what your expectations of her are?”


And I go: “Okay, so how could this possibly be fair? I’m not saying you’re going to keep her. But let’s give her everything she needs to win. And then see again in three months whether or not she’s transformed into a higher performing employee.”

The second thing I’d like you to consider is, how long has this person been working for you and your business.

Many times we hire somebody because we have a big need right now and we expect them to come in and be an asset right away. And that is very rarely the case.

I’m often saying to business owners, the first nine months someone’s on your team they don’t even know what planet they landed on, much less how to be a real asset to you. It generally takes about that long to get the lay of the land, to find out who’s who in the business, who are the vendors, the systems that you use. It just takes that long.

There’ll be about two years before somebody has really been exposed to just about everything that can happen in your business and is truly an asset for you. So if you have an expectation that they’re going to be further along, then it may be an unrealistic expectation.

The third thing I’d like you to consider is, when you have an employee who’s been with you for a while, are you someone who is substituting loyalty for performance.

I had a client who had an employee that had been with her for 17 years.

And who she was when they first started the business and the skill set she brought then were sufficient for a 300,000 dollar business.

But, when they were a three million dollar business those skill sets woefully insufficient. And so they struggled with the loyalty that they had.

In another video I’ll go over some of the things that you can do when you have an employee that you feel loyal to and you want to keep for whatever reason.

Make sure that the low productivity isn’t a result of you justifying in some way, shape or form that their low productivity is okay in your business.

If you have any comments, or anything that you’d like to contribute or a question you’d like to ask me, then please put that down in the comment box.

If you got value from this video then please like, give a thumbs up, share, all of that.

The best way for you to reach me is by email: JodyJohnson at or on my phone which is 305-285-9264 extension 301.

I look forward to connecting with you.