What I learned from Cancer.

The day before Thanksgiving 2021, I was diagnosed Cancer.

It shook me, as you can imagine.

Upon processing this – emotionally, mentally, physically – I took action, almost immediately.

I help people solve problems for a living.

Now, I had the biggest problem of my life intruding my body. My tongue, to be exact.

So, I dug in and researched.

I read five books in two weeks.

I changed my diet from already healthy to everything being natural foods, as I had learned that cancer primarily feeds off of sugar. I added several healthy foods, spices and supplements to that healthy diet.

The actual PET scan that was given to me weeks after my surgery is, in simple terms, this:

Step 1 – pour a solution filled with glucose into your body.
Step 2 – wait to see if it binds to any cancer cells.
Step 3 – wait.

I was CLEARED.

Me and my beautiful girls

For now, I am cancer free.

I can’t control as much as I would like in this life, but I can control what goes on between my ears, what goes into my body, and how I choose to live every day.

Today, I’m reading again.

Today, it is not about cancer.

Today, it’s about the Experience Economy, a book that changed my life and drove me and my partners to start FiveFour.

For a short time after the surgery – my first ever – I learned what it’s like to live with chronic pain. That gave me a new empathy for people that live that way all the time.

It made me realize what a blessing my health has been.

Life is a beautiful thing.

My wish is for the experiences ahead to be breath taking, as I’m now acutely aware just how special those breaths are.

Should we slow down?

That was the question posed by the leadership of a highly successful business that I recently started consulting with. 

They had recently come through a period of rapid growth. 

And that growth exposed some missing systems. A few client engagements had gone off the rails. Salespeople were chasing the wrong deals. 

And the leadership team was spending a lot of time putting out fires. We’ve all been there. 

The fires started the way fires do. Not enough clarity. Lack of accountability. Poor communication brought on by different behavioral styles. 

They were particularly disturbed by the misfires with clients. The business had exploded because of what they accomplished for their customers. They took pride in their customer experience. 

It was in that context that the question surfaced, “Should we slow down?” 

They wanted to know if a pause – to let systems and people catch up – was a good idea. 

I understand where that question comes from. Many of the owner-operators I work with run back and forth between sales and fulfillment.  

Revenue’s down? Go sell.  

Sales growth hurts the customer experience? Jump into fulfillment. 

Business starts to feel like a teeter-totter. In that environment, a slowdown can sound like a great idea. 

In some circumstances, a pause may be necessary. But I don’t believe you have to stop growing to build your systems. 

It’s what I call, ‘Growing from the inside out.’ 

It starts with the culture. That’s what I talked about last week in this video.  

When a business is small, everyone can pick up the culture just by hanging around the leadersThat closeness disappears once the business starts rapidly expanding. That’s when maintaining culture requires a new level of intention. 

After the culture, the next thing you must get right to grow from the inside out is the customer experience. 

Again, when a business is small, and the owner-operator is highly involved with every customer, you can grow without defining every step of the fulfillment process. 

But without that defined process, the customer experience will suffer once you grow beyond the leader’s capacity to be involved in every step. 

Growth from the inside out requires a world-class customer experience. That’s what I talk about in this video: 

What’s the experience like for those who do business with you? Find out by taking my customer experience assessment. At the end, you’ll be able to book a strategy session with me where we will discuss the results of your assessment and the biggest opportunities for improvement. 

Your customer experience may be great today, but if that’s because you’re involved in every interaction, it will become a barrier to growth. Position your business for growth from the inside out by taking this assessment today.