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March 29, 2023

Attention Span and the Bottom Line: How to Boost Productivity and Profits (#216)

Attention Span and the Bottom Line: How to Boost Productivity and Profits (#216)
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"A frazzled focus leads to poor decisions. From front-line employees to your leadership team, you’ve lost your edge." - Jeffrey Feldberg

Jeffrey Feldbergis the co-founder of Deep Wealth. The M&A journey for Jeffrey began when he said "no" to a 7-figure and "yes" to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, Jeffrey said "yes" to a 9-figure offer. During the process, Jeffrey increased his company value by 10X.

How did Jeffrey increase his company value 10X and go to a 9-figure liquidity event? Jeffrey created the 9-step roadmap of preparation for a liquidity event. 

The Deep Wealth Experience has you learn the 9-step roadmap in 90-days. At the end of the 90-days, you create a blueprint to help you optimize your business value. You also have the certainty of capturing the maximum value for your liquidity event.

Please enjoy!

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Article: Having A Liquidity Event? Here's How To Capture The Best Enterprise Value

Bharat Kanodia On Everything You Need To Know About Valuations But Probably Don't (#116)

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This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth. 

Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later. 

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event. 

After all, how can you master something you've never done before? 

Are you leaving millions on the table? 

Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.  

Click here to book your free exploratory strategy session.

Enjoy the interview!


[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast, and today, we're going to do a solo episode on a really important topic: Attention span and the Bottom Line How to Boost Productivity and Profits. So, let me ask you this. I want you to think back for the past while, maybe today, last week, last month, this past quarter, this past year.

Are you feeling frazzled? Are you not only feeling frazzled but perhaps distracted as though your attention span has vanished? Some of you may be saying what attention span? Haven't had that for the longest time. So if you answered yes. Unfortunately, you're not alone. And if we're honest about it, come on. Endless screens and notifications and distractions.

They are competing for our attention span. And if you think about, okay, where is this coming from? What's happening? What has changed is how the focus is now on our time and taking control over our time and focus.

So, where is this all coming from? What's going on. Johann Harry wrote the book stolen focus. Y you can't pay attention and how to think deeply again. And I got to tell you, if you're like me, after I read that book, what I read shocked me to the core, and I really encourage you to check out the show notes, click on the link, get the book, see what's going on behind the scenes because what's happened.

Society we've become like the emperor with no clothes. We're enriching the companies that are robbing us of our attention spans. Okay, so let's go back to the beginning. Why did we lose our attention span? What's going on? Well, the good news. If there's such a thing is it's not your fault. Look around you.

Who are the Titans of business today? Well, there's a number of Titans of business, but some of the top ones are the social media companies. And these social media companies, you know who they are.

They have these incredibly powerful AI algorithms, and what these AI algorithms are doing, they are creating a model of you. That's right. Each of these social media platforms, they have a model of how you think, how you operate, what you do. And I want you to imagine all this artificial intelligence that you're hearing about in the news and how smart it is and all the things that it can figure out while those algorithms that AI in a very benevolent way.

24-7 is thinking of ways to grab your attention span. So when you think about it, the narrative, and we're all about narratives here at Deep Wealth is a very simple one. The more time that you spend on these social media platforms. The more money you're generating for them. And at the heart of this it's greed it's profits. That's the driver for the social media platforms. And let's go to a 2021, a Gallup survey.

And what they did was they took a survey from 2002 to 2016. They found that Americans read on average 15 books a year. But in 2021, the average number of books that we read a year dropped from 15 to 12. And unfortunately, there's no end in sight. As this is a downward trend. And all kinds of studies. And if you go to your favorite search engine, you can type in the benefits of reading.

All these scientific studies show the more books we read. The higher, the emotional intelligence that we have, the better communicators that we are, the better thinkers that we are. Yet we're doing the opposite. We're reading less. And one can only imagine the consequences of what that's going to do for society at large. So speaking of consequences, what are the fatal consequences of losing your attention span? And, oh my goodness. The list is endless. That's not just an episode that can be an entire series, but for starters, when you lose your attention span, while you're decreasing your productivity and as a result, the growth of your company is also going.

Down with that. So you can say goodbye to a market disruption while you're saying hello to more mistakes. And while you're at it, I want you to think, do you make your best decisions when you're frazzled or do you make your best decisions when you're focused? When you're calm when you have peace of mind when you've had time to think.

Well, a little bit of rhetorical question, a loaded question. No doubt. That said, though, we are making decisions when we're frazzled when our attention span is being shortened, and we're being pulled in all different directions. It's fair to say, we're not making the best decisions. And unfortunately, it's not just us in the leadership position from your frontline employees.

To your senior leaders. We are losing our edge every day. That goes by. And things went from bad to worse because you know, here at Deep Wealth, we're all about growing the company. And once you've grown the company to a size that you're comfortable with, it's time for a liquidity event while step five.

Of the Deep Wealth, nine-step roadmap is mindset. Welcome to the art side of business. And in step five, when it comes to mindset, there is a direct correlation in your liquidity event, the better the mindset you have, the better likelihood you have of capturing not just any deal, but the best deal.

So let's take a quick step back here. Number one we've identified and we've established that we've lost our attention span and we're losing our attention span because we have the social media companies, as well as other societal things, which we'll talk about in a moment that are all vying for our attention.

And the Canary in the coal mine is a number of books that we're reading continues to drop. It dropped from having 15 books a year in 2016. To now having only 12 books a year in 2021, and it continues to decline.

And we've also established that when we don't have our full attention span our productivity goes down. Our growth goes down. We're making more mistakes. Our businesses aren't as profitable. We're not having those market disruptions. And this is a pandemic. It's a different type of pandemic, but this is happening across societies. Worldwide. So now that we've identified this, what can we do about this? Because remember we can't change what's happening around us, but we can change how we react to things. And so these social media companies with their AI algorithms are going to get smarter and better, but we can become smarter and better in terms of how we respond and how we have our companies respond.

So, what can you do to increase your attention span, which ultimately will increase the bottom line. And when you think about it with an increased attention span, what can we do with that while we're taking our power back? We're regaining the time to think and to focus, let's go to step two of the Deep Wealth, nine-step roadmap, and those are X-Factors that insanely increase the value of your business or your enterprise value.

So when we have the time. When we have the focus. We unleash our creativity. We can create a better business model. We focus on what really counts in the business. Are we in a red ocean? If we are, how can we create some, X-Factors go into a blue ocean? How do we have our culture improve? How can we enrich it?

When we have our focus, when we have our attention, when we have our time back, we can ask that magic wand customer. We can ask that magic wand question to our clients. Hey, what's keeping you up at nights? And you'll remember if my evening company, that one question created a market disruption. And in fact, if we go to step one the Deep Wealth nine set roadmap, the big picture. In the big picture, we're looking for inflection points and inflection points. You've heard me say this, and this is why step one is so powerful. And inflection point does one of two things. And inflection point we'll either. If you miss it. We'll have your competition put you out of business, or if you pick up on the inflection point,

It'll have you put yourself out of business to go into a bigger and better business. But here's the thing, the big picture is all for, not if we don't have the time if we don't have the focus if we're not looking at the right areas of the business. So we've established that when you can increase your attention span.

You now have the time back to focus on the areas where accounts to grow the business, to increase our enterprise value. To find those nasty and dangerous skeletons in the closet and we can remove them. To go into the attic and find those hidden Rembrandts, those X-Factors that we can put out for public display to help us win new business, to keep clients, to keep on growing. So there's all these wonderful things that we can do.

But the question is, okay, we know what we want to do. How do we do it? And as you know, every episode of the Deep Wealth Podcast, we want it to be actionable. We want you to walk out and be able to take an action right away. So when you're finished this episode, don't go back to your social media apps are going to talk about that in a moment.

Think about one action that you can do from what I'm about to list that will help you and your team, get your focus back, get your time back. And so for starters, let's talk about something simple, something that low tech that perhaps you've overlooked. When you're in the office, why not put a, do not disturb sign?

Outside your office door, or if you don't have a private office or an office store, I put a do not to serve sign that people can see, or maybe it's a light that people can see that when it's on. Don't disturb you and you'll train, and you'll educate the people in the office of what not to do. Phone calls are terrific, and there's a time and place for everything. Emails are terrific and there's a time and place for everything.

Sometimes though the time that would normally take on a lengthy phone call can be saved through an email. In an email, you're asking somebody to write down exactly what they're thinking. And put it into a question and to give you any background information.

And if we're open and honest about it, we're social. So most of us, when we get on the phone, it's not just, hey, here's the question? Give me the answer. How are you what's going on? How are things? How's the family what's new and exciting?

All that adds up across many phone calls. And again, there's a time and a place for that, but we can save the time, get our focus back. And someone asks a question. You can say, you know what? This sounds like I'm going to need to think about this. Why don't you put your question in an email, you gave me whatever background information you think I need.

Please make it a one-line question. And I'll combat you with the answer. What you also asking the other person to do, whether they realize it or not. Is you're asking them to clarify their thinking, add clarity to it that they can put it down in writing. They have to think through exactly what's going on.

Again, no judgment here. Some people love to talk. They love to hear their voice. And 10 minutes later, 15 minutes later, 20 minutes later, they're still talking. When they could have said it in 30 seconds. And so all of that we can avoid, we can eliminate, Hey, tell you what, send me an email. Give me the facts, and I'll give you the answer to the best that I can. If I can't give you the answer, I'll see what I can do to refer you to someone who may be able to. And so from encouraging emails over phone calls, what about yourself?

Are you still believing the myth that you just got to burn the candle at both ends that you don't take breaks at? You're working around the clock. Or instead, are you following what the science says? Are you taking a break at least every 60 minutes to prevent burnout? Are you moving around? Are you stopping what you're doing to give yourself a break?

We charged refresh, come back. You'll have better thinking more energy. You'll have enhanced clarity. Now emails, that is a topic all on its own. And there's been books written about emails and the challenges that do come with emails, and yes, emails are a distraction. So for starters, and we'll talk about this with apps, but for your emails, please turn off email notifications. You don't need to hear every time you get an email, that's a distraction.

And one thing that you can do because you're getting emails likely around the clock and the irony with emails, the better you become at email. The faster that you respond. The more efficient that you are with email, the more emails that you get, people see how quickly you respond. Oh, look at this. Jeffrey's great at answering emails. I'm going to send them another question. He's pretty quick on answering it. I have this other question. Let me send it to all. My emails are so easy for people to send.

A lot of emails are mindless, and there's really nothing to it. It's really not even worth the time and the effort for you to read it, but they're there. So one thing that you can do is to check your emails at very specific times and what I recommend with a strategy. And again, I'll put this book in the show notes.

It's Deep Work by Cal Newport. And I got to tell you my deep work it's a ritual for me. It is sacred. First thing in the morning, I plan out my day. What are the big things that I need to knock out? And without any distractions, there's no emails. There's no calls. There's no meetings. There's no notifications. First thing in the morning, early in the morning for me, whenever that is for you, it doesn't have to be early in the morning. It can be later in the day, whatever your schedule is. But first thing in the morning, when you have the most amount of energy,

You are focusing on those big and important tasks that you're doing, you get those done. And then later on in the day, that's when you're checking emails and voicemails and calls and everything else that goes along with that. And if we're honest about it later on in the day for most people anyways,

We don't have the same amount of focus and energy and attention that we have in the morning. So in the morning, your creativity, your focus, your creative activities, do that all in the morning. Check emails later in the day. And again, just between you and me, no judgment here. Maybe some emails aren't even worth answering.

You know, it's amazing. Have you ever been in a situation where maybe you've had a technical glitch, you got locked out of your email account? Or you want to weigh on vacation, and you weren't checking emails. And you got back and to your pleasant, surprise people who had emailed you either emailed you back. Hey, didn't hear from, you got the answer anyways, or somehow magically?

Things worked out. Some emails to be quite open, aren't worth responding to. They're not worth your time and your effort. Obviously, it's situational. It's a judgment call on your part, but you're not obligated to return every email that you receive. So think about that. And again, put yourself first, your time, your health, your focus, your attention.

Okay. What are some other strategies? Let's talk about notifications, not just from email. But from your apps. Be honest with me. No judgment here. Do you have social media apps on your phone? If you do, I suggest you take them off your phone. And if you're going to say, Hey, Jeffrey, can't do that. I'm going to go through social media withdrawal.

Go through it. It's worth it. The time, the effort, the small amount of pain, chances are those apps on your phone, are they really adding value to your life, or they robbing you like the thief in the night of your time? You know, you go into one app, and they have all these AI algorithms. They want to Rob you of your time. You say, oh, you know what, I'm going to take a quick break. 30 seconds, three minutes, tops.

30 minutes later, you're still there. It's not your fault. You are playing against a system. You cannot win. The odds are against you. So one thing that you can do is take the app off your phone. And if you really have to go to the social media sites again, just like with your email set very specific times.

And do it from your notebook or from your computer. Do it later on in the day, but take it off your phone where it's so easy and accessible. The world will go on. I promise you. And if you don't get all those notifications, I promise you as well, life will continue. And let's go back to whether you're working in the office or you're working virtually, you know, whatever since the pandemic.

There has just been a tremendous growth in meetings, and meetings have a time and a place, just like a phone call and an email have a time and a place. But if we're open about this if we're trying to get back our focus and success. Chances are. And you can ask internally, do a survey, an anonymous survey.

Are you having too many meetings? I suspect the answer is yes. The really smart companies. Are now implemented. Are you ready for this? A no-meeting policy, either a certain days. Or certain times during the day, Some companies are saying, okay, in the morning, Meetings are absolutely prohibited. Unless it's with an outside client or it's something urgent and important.

Internal meetings are not happening, and even client meetings, where and when possible, put it off to later on in the afternoon. Again, going back to that deep work, the time where we can think and we can focus. Some companies, better yet, are saying, okay, you know what? We are having a no-meeting policy, and I'm just going to make this up on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Have your meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays and instead of a meeting, do it through an email or do it through a quick phone call. And we're getting back to basics here.

On this podcast, I've had different management consultants come through, and they all more or less say the same thing. Now I'm going to be a little bit off of my numbers here, but I'm not far off. The management consultants when they follow around leaders in the C-suite. Managers, supervisors, area leaders, people in leadership positions. I want you to give a guess how many minutes a day are being productive, that they're focusing on the right areas to grow the company. Take it into new areas, grow revenue, grow profits, keep clients do all the things that we want to do. How many hours, how many minutes, what do you think it is that we have per day for a leader that they're not in meetings that they're actually doing productive things.

What the management consultants tell us it's somewhere between get this seven to nine minutes a day. Think about that. Seven to nine minutes a day, some of your highest paid.

Most skilled, talented and smart leaders. Our spending the majority of their day being distracted, being in meetings and doing things that they shouldn't be doing. What can you do about that? Get their time back having no meeting policy so that they can focus on the really important initiatives.

Let's just do a quick recap. How do you focus for success?

And there we went, very low-tech. If you're in an office environment, put a, do not disturb sign either on your office door. If you have one or if you're in a cubicle or other area.

A sign or perhaps a light or some other visual indicator that you can tell people, Hey, don't speak to me. I'm busy when the visual indicator isn't there. When the signs out there, then I'm open for conversations. Or instead of a do not disturb sign, maybe you have office hours and you let that be known that on these days at these hours, I'm around. If you want to come and discuss things,

We also said where applicable, instead of The phone calls have an email because we're having people. Clarify their thoughts are putting it all down in writing. It saves your time. That you're taking breaks to prevent burnout so that even if you're not distracted, that you have the energy to focus. And speaking of email, we said check your email at certain times, preferably later on in the day, where you don't need to have your focus time and attention early in the morning when it's at its best, taken up by email.

And whether it's an email, whether it's a notification from an app, turn all notifications off so that they don't distract you. And then we also spoke about somewhat controversial, but it makes a lot of sense. Consider a no-meeting policy to reduce distractions. So now that you're doing this, what can you expect as you begin the path for you and your team to reclaim your attention span?

Well, I want to go to Gloria, mark. She is a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine. And she did this one study. It's a famous study where she studied digital distractions. Now get this one distraction for the average person takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds for that person to refocus.

So let's set this up for a moment, a quick thought experiment. You're in the flow, you're doing something really important. Maybe you're working on your growth plan for the company, or you're going through the nine-step roadmap. You're figuring out an X factor. But one of the apps on your phone. Sets off a notification. It distracts you, you check it out. It's one of those mindless, meaningless social media apps, or it's an email coming through that you didn't really need to know about at the moment.

Nonetheless, you were distracted. It doesn't matter whether it's for one second, 30 seconds, or a minute. It's going to take you 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus. Now want to ask you something. How many of those kinds of distractions, whether it's a distraction from the app? Whether it's a coworker who just happens to pop in, Hey, do you have a minute? Whether it's a meeting that you didn't need to be in, how many distractions a day are you having?

Is it 10? Is it 20? Is it 30 again, the research shows for most people, it's anywhere between 40 to 80, sometimes even higher depending on the study, but let's do some basic math here. Let's say you have 20 distractions in a day, and that is on the low side. I am being incredibly conservative. So during the Workday, you have 20 distractions and for each distraction, it takes you 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus.

Well, guess what. Your day is over before it's even begun. We all have 1,440 minutes a day. Now, some of that's going to be by sleep, which we need, and recharging. But in the workplace, if you have 20 distractions, your day is done. You're not in the optimal frame of mind to think and to do those projects and to grow and to make the progress and create that market disruption.

So be honest with yourself. How many, whether it be social media or email or other distractions, are you getting. And chances are it's, well, more than 20. So now that you know this. What are you going to do about this? The easy thing would be, well, you know what? I'm busy. Having time to focus on what you're saying. Jeffrey, I'll, I'll get to a little bit later.

The irony in that. But honestly, again, no judgment here. Can you do at least one thing and here's a suggestion for you. Why not? Right now, when this podcast is finished. Go onto your phone. Remove your social media apps, turn off all the other unnecessary notifications from your email and all those other apps that you don't really need to be notified about. Do the same thing on your notebook.

Or whether it be your tablet or your desktop computer, whatever it may be, turn it all off. Can you do that for me today? Because I promise you, if you can do that today, you'll be thanking yourself tomorrow. As you begin to get back your time and get back your focus. So let's start to wrap things up here.

We've established that a long attention span. It gives you the focus and that focus is your rocket fuel to grow the business and increase your enterprise value. And after all, isn't that why you're listening to this podcast, Deep Wealth, the nine-step roadmap, grow your business and capture the best deal instead of any deal.

Of course, it is. So your mission is to remove all the distractions, both inside and outside the workplace.

And you know what? When you're at home with your family, the most important people in your life. Are you being distracted by these mindless apps? Instead of giving your significant other or your children your full time, your focus, and attention.

Are you staring at your screen? Like there's no tomorrow and ignoring them. The same thing applies on the personal side. So in the process, when you begin to remove distractions, both on the personal side and on the business side, you begin to reclaim your attention span, you get your mental health back into a healthy place, and you begin to get boundless energy.

Never underestimate what you achieve with small actions each and every day. It's your persistence. It's your consistency that will win the days. I want you to make it your mission to remove disruptions that zap your attention span, be the change that you want to see on your team. Do it today.

Show everyone what they should be doing and what it looks like. Okay, so let's do a quick recap of attention span and the bottom line, how to boost your productivity and profits. So, what we first talked about is it's not your fault, everyone. Yourself, your team, your family, everyone in the business. We have lost our attention span because we have these powerful AI algorithms behind the scenes working 24 7 to devise ways to grab our attention.

The more time we spend on these social media platforms in these other apps, the more money they make. We established the fatal consequences of losing our attention span. Our productivity goes down. Our growth goes down. Our mental health goes down. We're not having market disruptions. We're making more mistakes. We feel frazzled. We're put into situations where we have to make critical decisions.

But we're not in the frame of mind to do it. And if you're in a liquidity event, heaven forbid. Things are going to go from bad to worse. Because we don't have the right mindset.

And one of the things that we spoke about is when we increase the attention span and we'll get to that in just a moment. We spoke about how we can focus on step number two. X-Factors that insanely increase the value of the business. Step number one the big picture to find inflection points that we can diffuse that we can leverage to put ourselves out of business into a bigger and better business.

How do we do that?

We are turning off notifications. We're putting out do not disturb signs in the office or virtually maybe we're having office hours. Where we encourage at certain times on certain days, that's when people can reach us. Instead of lane T phone calls, we're encouraging people to send emails. When it comes to emails, we're not checking emails around the clock. Certain times, certain days, preferably in the afternoon, we're doing our deep work.

In the first part of our day, where we have the most energy and the focus, and we're taking breaks to prevent burnout. We even are considering a no-meeting policy. To get us back to what we need to be doing because we know. And what we learned is every distraction takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus. And if we have 20 distractions and most people are four to five times, the number of distractions are days over before it's begun.

So there you go.

That's what you can do to increase your attention span. And the bottom line you're going to boost productivity. You're going to boost profits, and isn't that why we got into business in the first place to really make a difference, solve a painful problem?

Be the change maker out there. That's who we are. As entrepreneurs as business owners, founders solve these painful problems, make life better. Let's get back to that. And create more abundance for everyone all around us, not just ourselves but for our team and society in general.

We can do that when we have our focus back when we have our time back. So speaking of focus and time, thank you so much for your focus and time. It really appreciates it. And I have a question for you. Did you get value from this episode? Are you walking away with at least one strategy, hopefully, more, that's going to help you help your team grow the business, increase the value of the business, and I'm hoping you said yes.

And if that's the case, I'd really appreciate it. Help us spread the word. Please go to your favorite podcast channel and give us a review share with the world the value that you're getting, the more people we reach, the more people that we can help, and together, together, we are changing the social fabric of society.

One business owner at a time, a one liquidity event at a time. And with that, I'm going to wish you an absolutely terrific day. And as we like to say here at Deep Wealth, here's to you continuing to thrive and prosper and to say healthy and safe. God bless.

Click here to book your free exploratory strategy session.

Enjoy the interview!