“So much to do, so little time, I should not have to deal with this! “
It’s the ongoing mantra of every business owner and a lot of employees as well. You’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t have to be that way and that there is something we’ve all done that is the culprit to creating overwhelm in our lives – bundling.
I’m not just talking about the marketing kind of bundling that you find as “Happy Meals” or “Buy One, Get One Free” offers. I’m talking about a more insidious kind of bundling that we create in our businesses and in our lives.
But I’m not the expert on that kind of bundling. For that, you’ll have to turn to an interesting book that I received the other day called Unbundle It: Simplify Your Perspective to Live a Better Life an Release the Power of Your Team by C. Elliott Haverlack (@Unbundleit on Twitter), an experienced consumer products executive.
Unbundling: How to Get What You Want in Life and Business
The idea of bundling came to Haverlack as one of those epiphanies that you get after playing the same silly game once too often coupled with life experience. He defines bundling as being an:
. . .idea tied up in related, but ultimately immaterial nonsense. I found that if we could unbundle the idea or matter from all the stuff that was confounding progress, business could be more successful – and profitable.
Granted, that is a rather nebulous definition. Let me bring it home with an example Haverlack writes about early in the book – the “meeting.” You all know this meeting because you’ve been part of it. There’s a room full of people who aren’t really completely clear on why they are there. When you state the purpose at hand, at least half of them really don’t belong. Then there are a couple who actually have an answer to a simple question that they can answer in all of three minutes and leave. Then there is a much smaller core group who can probably work out the details and be done with it in less than thirty minutes. Haverlack covers simplified meetings in Chapter 6.
But the advice doesn’t stop there. Haverlack also has unbundling strategies for living a healthy life. That’s actually what he starts with, your health. He goes on to bust through the conversations you have with yourself about not having enough time to exercise, how exercise hurts and the myriad of other things we “bundle” in our heads that keep us stuck in the muck that we like to call our complicated, overwhelmed lives – as if there is some kind of reward for having the most overwhelming life.
There isn’t. And Haverlack is more than happy to burst that bubble in every corner of your life:
- Your Team: How to see through the (dare I say) BS that gets in the way of optimal team performance.
- Strategy: Strategy doesn’t have to be this complicated, overwhelming. You’ll love Haverlack’s straightforward take on how to develop a strategy that works for your business – and it only takes a couple pages.
- One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Structure your business in a way that allows unique approaches for unique people.
There are fifteen chapters in all and each one is filled with the kind of insights and short cuts you can only get by being there and buying the t-shirt.
Haverlack Shares His Business Owners Cheat Sheet
This book is nothing short of a potpourri of business owner short cuts, insights and maybe even cheat sheets on topics ranging from exercise to negotiation and all the little life lessons in between. You may not agree with Haverlack’s point of view, but that would have value as well, because just disagreeing will uncover YOUR unbundling truth.
Normally, I give a summary of the author’s biography, but today, I’m going to share Haverlack’s personal unbundling epiphany in the hopes that it will inspire you as much as it did me.
It’s June 5, 1981 and Haverlack is 23 and going to yet another job interview. But today, he decides he’s not leaving that office without the job. He just decides. And in that moment, every insecurity, every concern, every doubt simply leaves him.
After a long day of interviewing, he’s called in with the executives where they tell him that they like him. Instead of being satisfied with that, he shares his decision to get the job on that very day. And he gets it. He asks for what he wants and gets it. He decides to never lose control of who he is – to never try to make himself into something he thinks might work or that he thinks others will want to see.
You might think that Unbundle It is a list of Haverlack’s lessons – and in some ways it is. But after you read Unundle It, you will discover your strengths, your best self and be in the position to make your own decisions and to finally own your life as well as your business.