Today we're talking with Maurice Thibodeau from Illumination Experiences about what you need to do for a personally sustainable business.
You'll learn about resilience and why if you don't have it, you'll get burned out and eventually hate your business. Instead, we want you to love your business, and listening to this episode will help you become and stay personally sustainable in your business.
Maurice Thibodeau is co-creator of the Extreme Leader Accelerator Mastermind and the Life Inventory Assessment.
He is a creator and a connector on a mission to help people live the greatest expression of themselves. He does this by helping people step into the awareness of their life opportunities, which includes illuminating their highest areas for personal growth and activating their purpose.
Narrator: Welcome to Cracking the Cash Flow Code where you'll learn what it takes to create enough cash to fill the four buckets of profit. You'll learn what it takes to have enough cash for a great lifestyle, have enough cash for when emergency strikes, fully fund a growth program, and fund your retirement program. When you do this, you will have a sale‑ready company that will allow you to keep or sell your business. This allows you to do what you want with your business, when you want, in the way you want.
In Cracking the Cash Flow Code, we focus on the four areas of business that let you take your successful business and make it economically and personally sustainable. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he's learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning, and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable and allow you to be free of cash flow worries.
Josh Patrick: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick and you're at Cracking the Cash Flow Code. And my guest today is Maurice Thibodeau. Maurice is my moderator in a study group that I'm in. He's a really interesting guy so I thought he'd be a good guest to bring on our podcast. He has a company called Illumination Experiences. And I'm sure he'll tell us more about this as we get into it. But let's get started and bring Maurice on.
Hey, Maurice, how are you today?
Maurice: I am doing-- how am I? I'm excited. And, honestly, I'm a little bit anxious because I've listened to a few of your podcasts and I know you ask really good questions. So, I hope I can deliver some value for your listeners.
Josh: Well, I'm sure you can deliver value. The question is, can I ask the good questions?
Maurice: Well, I think, if we partner together, we'll get there.
Josh: Here's where I'd like to start out because I think it's a really big deal and business owners don't really think about this a lot. And, in my experience, if you don't have it, you're never going to be successful. And that's resilience. So, I mean, that's a big thing in your world is resilience. I know you do a lot of coaching and you work with coaches and you've got-- I want to hear about your instrument a little bit later but let's start there.
Maurice: Mm-hmm, sure.
Josh: So, what are your thoughts on resilience?
Maurice: Well, I think, you know, the current time is a perfect example of how important resilience is in an ever‑changing environment. If anything I've learned about entrepreneurship and business is we can count on change. We can count on challenges. We can count on problems. So, in that, to have resilience to get through them is really, really-- it's essential.
So, when I think of like building resilient businesses, businesses that last, I think we're moving into a new era of what is needed to truly build resilience in business. And I think what worked in the past isn't going to cut it in the future. And we can look at the data to look at, hey, the businesses that were built to last aren't existing the way the authors expected them to exist. And some of them aren't existing at all. And I think that has a reflection of how we're moving and changing as a society, as people, as what our teammates and what we expect from our work lives. And, as that changes, the resilient business strategy needs to change with it. And I assume we're probably going to talk about some of that but maybe I'll cap it there.
Josh: So, when you talk about resilience-- I mean, for me, resilience is how do I handle adversity? And how do I handle change?
Josh: Because those are the two things which are constant in any business. You know, one of the things, I have a bunch of certifications and one of them is a financial transitionist and we talked about four stages of change. And the stage that requires resilience is passage because passage is really messy. You've gone through an ending. You've been anticipating. And now you're in this very messy stage where you're trying to kind of break out the chrysalis and become a butterfly.
Maurice: Mm-hmm, yeah.
Josh: That’s my friend, Susan Bradley's, metaphor and I like it a lot, so I use it.
Maurice: I love it. Yeah.
Josh: And it is really true, when I'm trying to learn how to delegate. I mean, I go to this topic almost with every guest I have and it's kind of an interesting one for me because I think it's the skill private business owners need to learn and very few ever do learn. And I think part of the reason is and I'd love to get your thoughts on this, since I have a long preamble, to the word resilience around making mistakes and learning. So, do you have any thoughts on that?
Maurice: I do. I can't help but comment on the part of your pre-- I love the chrysalis analogy and in talking about like the passage and your definition of why resilience is important.
So, I just want to comment on that because when you think of that passage experience, what it shakes up in us, as individuals, is our safety. When we experience change, then all the questions of who we are and how we're going to be, they illuminate. And that can have a very adverse effect if we don't have a solid foundation. It can be really hard to step into that.
And we see it in every change management situation and business on the planet that involves, right, teams. You're going to see breakages of performance. And you're going to see fear come in and that creates a whole bunch of problems. So, when I think of resilience. And then, I'll try to bring it back into your question of delegation.
Josh: So, in my experience, delegation is a very, very difficult skill to learn. And it's one that most business owners give up on. And I think it's a sign of why they give up is they don't have enough resilience to get through the learning that happens. They don't like making mistakes themselves. They don't like feeling dumb. They don't like being out of control. And all those things happen when you're learning to delegate. And you really need to be resilient, in my opinion, to become a good delegator. And if you ever want to have operational freedom from your business, you have to learn how to delegate. This is not an optional skill. It's a required skill.
So, you're an expert on resilience. So, what kind of things can a business owner do to make it through the very tough transition to becoming a good delegator and enjoying, you know, operational freedom from their business?
Maurice: One of the first phrases that comes to mind for me is to release a set of expectations - to release expectations and to lean into the experience. So, I think a lot of the times, when we're delegating, we have a set of expectations on either how it's going to go, how it’s to be done. And that is a lot easier to manage, when we are just managing our own world.
When we are going and delegating that and looking to expand ourselves, it's really important to release those expectations and give a room for that person to fail forward. So, giving room, what does that look like? I think the best expression of that is to actually name it. When we actually name and give permission for people to fail. So, it's like, “Hey, I'm going to give you X task or I'm trusting you for this responsibility. And, by the way, you're probably going to, like make mistakes and that's okay. And I'm going to be here for you if that happens. I don't expect you to do it perfect the first time.” So, if anything, if we're going to set expectations, let's set the expectation on the falters that are going to happen, not the expectation of a specific result the way that you are going to do it or the way that you would want to do it.
So, I think there's a-- you know, there's a release of-- okay, of timing. So, here's the other part about resilience is realizing that this is a long game. Sometimes, when we think, “This is just quicker to do it on my own,” that will kill delegation because that may be true in the short term but-- and I love your phrase, right, if we're moving towards operational freedom, that's a long game approach. Depending on what the size of the task or the operation is, it may take weeks. It might take months. It may take years. And that is just like that passage that we talked about.
It's like that passage takes time to move into the butterfly. And so, we’ve got to give our people, our teams, and ourselves that break to learn, to grow within the container that's created, to support during it, to support with compassion not expectation. And then, move through that to, eventually, operational freedom where those people can feel safe to fail, where those people can feel safe to try. And then, from that, try and learn, grow, just as the entrepreneur, the business owner likely did when they were on their own or when they were in the driver's seat.
Josh: You know something, you used a word which I always get a lot of push back on. And I like it. And the word is fail and failure. Actually, they’re two words.
Maurice: Yeah, good. Yeah.
Josh: Most people are afraid to say that word. So, why aren't you afraid to say it? Because people don't like to fail. One of my favorite terms is fail fast, fail cheap and people always push back to me on that when I say it. But, frankly, mistakes are failures. It didn't work. No big deal. But if we learn to embrace failure, at least in my opinion, the world's a lot easier to live in.
Maurice: I 100% agree. And I think you get push back. And people have an emotional reaction to failure. And that is natural because it's directly related to how most of us will evaluate our self‑worth, our significance, our adequacy. And that's really, really unfortunate. And it's part of the growth that I think needs to happen, within the corporate work cultures, of helping people and creating safe space.
So, what I said, the reason why I'm not afraid to use the word failure and I actually move towards it, failure is the one thing that, as you move towards, it gets smaller. As you move towards it, it gets smaller.
Maurice: And the reality of that is because we--
Josh: Hold on. Wait a minute. We’ve got to stop there because this is a really big deal.
Maurice: Okay. Yes.
Josh: As you move towards failure, it gets smaller. So, talk about that, please, because that's a huge big deal.
Maurice: So, I think of failure is so closely associated with fear. And fear, I look at fear from an emotional basis of not good or bad. Often, fear, common acronym is false evidence appearing real.
And as you move towards failure, you're scared of it because there's a bunch of fears in there. But, as you move towards it, it gives you the benefit to discover what's actually true about the thing that you're worried about in that failure. And most of the times, it has some personal relation to how you are in relation to the outside world.
And as we move towards it, we can say, “Okay. What if that actually happened?” I've gone through this. “What if my business fails? Does that mean that I'm not good enough?” I've shed tears on that idea. And when I felt that through and came out on the other side, it was like-- it felt like, you know, this big thing that I failed my family, and I failed this, and I failed my people. And then, actually, it's like “no.” Actually, that could happen. Maybe I'll fail in business. That doesn't mean that I'm not good enough. That might actually be a reality that I wasn't fitted for the business. Maybe I didn't have enough capital. Maybe I didn't get the right people. Whatever the reality of those reasons are, at the end of the day, I'm still okay.
So, it's really important, when we talk about failure, it's all about perspective. And I think it's so close to our fears. And walking towards our fears, they also get smaller because we can find the truth behind them.
And most people-- I think, most employers, aren't necessarily versed in how to support their teams, their people, in understanding that. And I think it's a fundamental shame. And I think it's a fundamental shift that needs to be developed within our corporations so that, related to delegation, related to scale, related to operational freedom, so that all those things can become part of our reality. We need to deal with the underbelly of the humanness of the fears towards failure.
Josh: So, there's a very simple question that I like to ask people when there's a failure or what I call a mistake or a learning experience which is what Buckminster Fuller would call a mistake or a failure. And the question also was a Buckminster Fuller question is, “What did you learn?”
Josh: So, when I have a failure-- a failure is a bad thing, if I don't learn something, in my world.
Maurice: Mm-hmm. Absolutely.
Josh: A failure is a great thing if I had some learning to go along with it because it means, next time I go around it, I won't do it again. I'll do something different. It might be another failure. It might be a success. Usually, it’s some place in between.
Maurice: My experience is the difference between the person that runs towards failure or fear and captures the learnings, harvests the learnings, whatever phrase you want to use, that person has built a level of inner confidence to know that they can run towards it and find those learnings. And it's not a reflection of themselves. And I think that you want a whole team of people like that.
Josh: Yeah, if you can get ‘em. I mean, again, our audience primary is blue‑collar business owners. And the truth is, their frontline employees are not going to run towards failure. They’re just not.
Maurice: Right. Yep. Right now.
Josh: In fact, they're going to try to bury failure and make you find it. And it takes years to get your company to a culture where they stop burying the failure anyhow.
Josh: And it's more out in the open, and we can have a discussion about it. You know, one of the things I used to tell my guys in the vending company was, “Hey, folks, bad news doesn't get better with age.”
Josh: And they learned that if I got the bad news fast, I wouldn't blow my top but, if I had to go find it, they were not going to be very happy with being on the receiving end of that.
Josh: Which is not, by the way, a great way to manage. I'll have to say that.
That was my methodology for my first six years in business. It was not a successful methodology. The change I made was not blowing my top but still letting them know it was an unacceptable experience when I had to find it and they didn't make me aware.
Josh: So, Maurice, we have about five minutes left. And I know you have an instrument you've been working on for a very, very long period of time which you would like people to do. And if you’re watching us on YouTube or Facebook, you can see the URL for that. So, let's talk about your instrument a little bit and what that does for folks.
Maurice: I absolutely want to do that and I cannot until I respond. I'm going to try to do it in 30 seconds.
I completely agree that most-- right, most of your audience are blue‑collar workers, they're not going to run towards failure. And I also feel that that is not a reason to work on the things within the business or within your yourself. And I think the primary opportunity, as a business owner, is to ask yourself, how do you deal with failure? And if you work on that first, just internal practices, that to me is leading by example. The best source of gaining that internal strength. And, over time, I think there's possibilities to change.
And I'm an internal idealist. And I want people to be fully fulfilled at work. And I believe that that is absolutely possible within the scope of the businesses that your audience is running. So, I needed to say that.
About my tool. So, I've created-- and this would be a great place to start, honestly. Like, if I had a dream, it would be every business owner that was listening to this, if they took the life inventory assessment and then booked a call with me, we would look at the entire map of their life and we would find the blind spots of where they're feeling fulfillment and dissatisfaction in the entire scope of all the things that they manage in their work, but in their lives, their families, their social life, their leisure lives.
I've been a student of personal development for many, many, many years. I grew up in the corporate world. And I never let go of my drive to learn to grow. And through all the programs I took, the leadership development programs, the personal development programs, the tools, I started to break down, what are the components? What are the most essential components that I want to look at every year to help me gain focus, to help me identify my gaps? Like, where can I gain more fulfillment? And then, apply that to my life. It's part of my goal setting process. My wife and I do it at least once a year.
When I left my corporate job, I spun around. I'll say I was in that chrysalis phase of “What's the most important thing that I can do?” And what I realized was developing this tool in a way to make it accessible to others to go through. And, in 20 minutes, you answer a bunch of questions about your life and, boom, there's a picture of how you're living, what's happening, and where your gaps are of satisfaction. And when you're open enough, when you run towards the picture of your life that you're living today and open it up like a book, you have an opportunity to-- you've taken awareness now. And now you have an opportunity to take action.
And to me, like that is purpose work. If people can look at their lives and be really honest about it, run towards it, and then say, “Okay. Where is my biggest opportunity to gain fulfillment?” And, not only that, but to have some direction on how. And this tool does both of that. And when it's assisted by a coach - my big vision is this - is coaches, HR managers, program creators, they take this tool and use it to serve their work better.
So, that's what the tool is. That's why I created it. It's the program creators and the people that I've had the benefit of working with on it. It's been described as life changing.
So many times, people are walking around and they live their entire lives without being seen or without running towards the mirror to say, “I'm ready to take a look.” And I think that's a great tragedy.
And this is a tool that helps us pull out what's happening inside and puts it in a way that we can actually look at it with. And a life map is created from it and say, “Oh, that makes sense.” And then, once that sense making is there, we move towards action and expression.
Josh: So, Maurice, I'm going to ask you an embarrassing question because the people listening, who actually use these instruments, are going to ask me that question which is Has your instrument been scientifically validated?
Maurice: It has not. This is a self‑assessment. I've built it with the great assistance of the brilliant - my partner, Dr. Douglas Tataryn, who is a psychologist. He's been practicing for over 30 years.
The reason why it's not scientifically validated is this is a self‑assessment about your interior. It's not a personality assessment. It's not a strength assessment. This is going to look at the components of your life.
So, maybe, over time, when I have thousands of these, like, there'll be a process of scientific validation. But, at the end of the day, this has given you a mirror. You know, how accurate is that mirror is as accurate as all the people that I've witnessed that go through it and say, “Oh, that makes more sense now.” And that mirror is usually showing the blind spots. And the validation of that comes from within. It comes from you, taking the instrument and be like, “Oh, I now understand that component of my life that was causing me a lot of pain and dissatisfaction” and it was either buried. Or, “I understand this component of my life that wasn't in alignment and now I know what to do.” So, that's what it does and that's how it's, I would say, different than a lot of the personality tests that are out there. It goes a layer deeper than personal development.
Josh: Okay. Cool.
So, Maurice, unfortunately, we're out of time. And I'm going to bet some people are going to want to find you and find your instrument. So, for those who are listening and not watching us on YouTube or Facebook, how do they do that?
Maurice: You can find me at illuminationexperiences.com. So, that's illuminationexperiences.com. All my programs. You can get to the instrument there. I've got some free resources, a free life health quiz. You can subscribe to my newsletter. All that stuff is right there.
And just to let you know, experiences ends with an S, not an E, for this.
Maurice: Thank you.
Josh: So, it’s www.illuminationexperiences.com/LIA for the instrument.
Maurice: Yes. Thank you.
Josh: And I've got two things I'd like you to do. First, this is something I ask every single episode and please do this. Go to wherever you're listening to this podcast and give us an honest, and I mean an honest rating and review. If you love us, say it. If you hate us, and I hope that's not true, you can say that too. I might cry a little, but I'll probably get over it.
And the second thing, which is actually really cool, is my second book is now out in the wild. And you can get it. It was a ton of fun to write. You know, writers spend a lot of time talking about or whining about how hard it is to write. This book almost wrote itself. Now, the editing didn't edit itself but the writing wrote itself. So, it was a whole lot of fun to write. It's a great story. There's a lot of good lessons. This is a business parable which means it's a novel with a message. And you can get it for free plus‑shipping which is $7.95. And along with the $7.95, you get access to nine or 10 bonuses that are in a special place for you that you can sign up for.
And to get the book is really easy, you go to www.salereadycompany.com. That's www.saleready.com and you can get the book The Sale Ready Company: What It Takes to Create a Business Someone Would Want to Own Even If You Have No Intention of Selling.
And this is Josh Patrick. We're with Maurice Thibodeau. You're at Cracking the Cash Flow Code. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You've been listening to Cracking the Cash Flow Code where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?”
If you've liked what you've heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 extension 102, or visit us on our website at www.sustainablebusiness.co, or you can send Josh an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for listening and we hope to see you at Cracking the Cash Flow Code in the near future.