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IWF Leaderboard Sept 16, 2021
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What Now? (Part 1)

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CKCA by Sandra Wood
CMP, Executive Director, CKCA
It comes as no surprise that the kitchen cabinet industry is experiencing a surge of work in what appears to be the perfect storm for manufacturing.
Significant supply chain issues present pricing challenges on a scale not seen before. New rules, new lockdowns, new challenges are the new norm.
Everyone is feeling the pressure, stress levels are high, people are fatigued and while we know we will get through this, some days seem overwhelming.
What can you do about it?
We asked three companies working with the kitchen cabinet industry for their insights and strategies to help you deal with what’s happening now and help you prepare for what’s next. There are admittedly many issues outside your control, such as supply chain, but these experts offer some tools to help you manage what you can control. In this issue we’ll hear from just one of those experts, but be sure to also read Part 2 of this article in the next issue of Woodworking Canada for more insights.

More control over your day
CKCA partnered with POWERPODS, a company specializing in neuro coaching for business owners. We had hosted a webinar between Conny Millard, co-founder of POWERPODS 
and Gerald Van Woudenberg, owner of Van Arbour Design and a CKCA member.
This webinar discussed Gerald’s three-year journey with POWERPODS to leverage his 35 years of industry experience, combined with business coaching to help him transform his business and gain a greater sense of control and calm.  Gerald’s journey allowed him to identify strengths, prioritize goals and clear any roadblocks that got in the way in order to work on his business instead of in it.  It doesn’t mean that every day is perfect, but as Gerald says: “I have more control over my day. My business is better because I am better. It’s that simple”.
We asked Connie Millard to explain how companies and, more importantly, the people who run these companies can successfully navigate through the pressurized environment many face today.

What can a business owner do to ensure that the many hats they’re wearing, not always by choice, are being managed well?
As a business owner you will be familiar with the wearing and managing of many, and often multiple hats. So, what is exasperating your ability to manage them now?
Added stressors in your environment and the contributing factors to the ‘perfect storm’ in your industry are messing with your mind space, literally.
So, if your hats are stacked and they are in danger of toppling over, the first thing to increase is your natural bandwidth. You’ll want to look into identifying and building in restorative activities that you know work well for you. Different for each of us, you know what fuels you. Go and do that!
Now with freed up mind space, and having learned that your mind likes to predict, needs a sense of control and thrives on certainty, it’s time to tackle the hats.  
1. Start with identifying the hats you wear.
2. Clarify your own role and the responsibilities you must keep and those you want to keep.
3. Work within your strengths. Now is not the time to tackle weaknesses.
4. Delegate internally & outsource what is not in your wheelhouse.
5. Set short-term attainable goals. Write them down. Break them down.
6. Strategize possible outcomes and be prepared to pivot.
7. Focus only on what you can control and what you might be able to influence. Let go of the rest. Remember, what consumes your mind controls your life. So, what will you commit to today to take back control?

When your business is working at full speed or surpassing capacity, it’s hard to carve out time to work on the business (forest and the trees scenario). Some owners may feel they’re already sacrificing too 
much personal time for 
their business and can’t spare the time. Where do they start?
It’s not so much how one may sacrifice more (personal) time, but what is the real sacrifice to you and your business for not making the time?
Working on your business will ultimately help you work smarter and ditch the mentality of having to work harder. So, if you don’t invest time to work on the business, don’t be surprised if it will always feel like an uncontrollable possibly even anxious slog.
To us it is a no brainer necessity. And our evidence working within your industry supports our conviction. If you can agree that the value of time invested in working on your business will pay compounded dividends, and, especially over time, then all that’s left to do is to find a way of prioritizing it into your work schedule.  
We tend to recommend an initial commitment of three to six months, which constitutes a total of six to 12 hours. For a palpable shift we suggest three months and for measurable results a minimum of six months. With no contracts or minimum upfront tie-ins there is no risk and only upside.
In turn, how much time is wasted spinning wheels and feeling frustrated, anxious and exhausted? What if you no longer felt controlled by the business? What reach would those ripples have?
As Gerald says “Business coaching strengthened me and my business. It gave me an objective sounding board so I could look at my blind spots, identify my strengths and weaknesses and learn how to escape the tyranny of urgent – because urgent isn’t always the most important thing you should work on”.
Want more on the CKCA Member Advantage Program through POWERPODS? Reach out to us at info@ckca.ca or curious@powerpods.coach.

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