October 05, 2017

The Prophets of Profit: Reducing Stress and Avoiding Costly Mistakes with David Shriner-Cahn


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Reducing Stress and Avoiding Costly Mistakes with David Shriner-Cahn by Brian CalifanoWe had the pleasure to speak with David Shriner-Cahn, President of TEND Strategic Partners and host of the business podcast, Smashing the Plateau, which features leaders helping leaders break through barriers. David works with CEOs of successful companies that keep hitting roadblocks.

Below are highlights from our conversation with David where he explains how he helps successful business leaders overcome stress and obstacles to obtain more success. Click here to listen to our entire conversation with David Shriner-Cahn.

The TEND System

David uses the TEND system when working with successful entrepreneurs. He explained that he helps entrepreneurs achieve success by doing these main things:

Overcome Emotional Roadblocks: Fear, and often frustration, prevents a leader from taking action to achieve greater success. The leader of a business is a very lonely position. There aren’t many people a top executive, such as a CEO, will feel comfortable with discussing what actions to take.

Take Consistent Action: This is particularly important when things are rough. You need structure, support, and consistency in place. This will create an environment that will make it easier to take actions that will lead to changes. Many of those changes will be in the behavior of the people on your team, and in yourself if you’re a true leader.

Simplify the planning process. In today’s fast changing world, by the time you complete a major strategic or business plan, it’s out of date. TEND keeps it as simple as possible by:

– Finding a way to take action through small achievable steps;

– Becoming clear on your definition of success and not somebody else’s;

– Making sure to measure how successful you are and learning from the results; and

– Pivoting and improving for the next step when necessary.

How Does the TEND System Reduce Stress and Help Businesses Avoid Costly Mistakes?

1. TEND provides the entrepreneur with trusted counsel and advice. The mentor works best when he/she is someone outside of the company who has an unbiased opinion of what the next steps should be and places no restrictions or limitations on the potential paths to options and success.

2. TEND provides the structure that enables a business leader to take consistent actions. Consistency is often an overlooked necessity. The structure that consistency brings is like a security blanket that the entrepreneur can use repeatedly to sharpen your mental approach to life. The more consistent your actions are, the less stressed you’re going to be.

Avoid Stress and Focus on What’s Important for Your Business

Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. What’s your motivation? What’s your mission?

– Take time out to revisit the answers to make sure everything you’re doing is in-line with them. A few minutes every week, think about it; and once a month, dedicate some time to really look at your actions to make sure you’re on the right path.

Create a success list instead of a to-do list.

– In today’s age of hyperconnectivity, we’re all bombarded with communication, tasks and activities. You need to focus on what will lead to the greatest amount of success for you.

– 80% of success comes from 20% of our actions. What’s the 20% that‘s going to lead to success? Don’t get distracted by the 80%. Understand the purpose behind the actions.

– Every single day, identify one thing that will lead to breakthrough success. How can you make sure that you get that one thing done?

Track your progress.

– Every company needs to have a system to track growth. This is a common issue for smaller companies. Business comes in and out steadily, but you need to know where it’s coming from. You need to be able to identify what’s working and what’s not.

Delegate What You Don’t Know and What You Don’t Like

There was a question from the audience from a small business owner who started his company as a teenager. The problem he faces is that he has grown to hate his service-based business and doesn’t enjoy interacting with his clients. He wants to delegate but doesn’t think he has enough revenue to do so.

David asserted that it’s important to recognize that none of us are good at everything and none of us like doing everything. Even if you love why you started your business, and you love what your business stands for and produces, there will always be aspects you don’t like or are not good at doing.

You should always focus on what you enjoy and what you are good at. For the areas of your business that you don’t add value to, seek to delegate to others who are more skilled in that function. If you still don’t have enough profit or cash flow to support your family, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the business.

When Partnerships Go Bad

Another question from the audience comes from a new business owner who has a partner who is not carrying his fair share of the weight. For the past 18 months, his partner has “checked out,” working around 20 hours per week while he is working around 80. The income is still split 50/50. What are his options? Should he buy him out?

David sees this as a common issue. There are many pros to having partners. With a partner, you avoid loneliness at the top. They provide a same-level person to discuss important business issues. Partners can also keep each other accountable.

Before entering into a partnership, you should have:

– A clear, legal partnership agreement; and

– A mechanism for the partners to honestly and openly communicate with each other about what is working and what isn’t.

David offered a possible solution to the caller’s uneven partnership: Adjust the economics. You can remain 50/50 owners, but the flow of the income will be adjusted based on efforts.

Listen to our entire conversation with David Shriner-Cahn here.

If you want to continue hearing more of David Shriner-Cahn’s wisdom on entrepreneurial success…

Go to his website at tendstrategicpartners.com.

Listen to his podcast, Smashing the Plateau.

Follow him on Twitter.

Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Brian Califano & Scott MargolinBrian Califano

Scott Margolin

Co-founders & Managing Partners


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