August 3

159 FIFM – Even a Tiny Bit of Dirt Can Dull Your Business Blade

In today’s episode of Freedom In Five Minutes, I talk about the key to a thriving business despite the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The ideas that have made your business profitable may have worked in the past decade or so and being fixated on these ideas may seem reasonable. But the fact is, businesses clinging to their old way of running their business are suffering and are heavily affected by the global crisis.

Change is inevitable. Now, more than ever is the time to be open-minded to new ideas and make the necessary changes to your business and make sure that your business survives and thrives even in the face of uncertainty.

Overview & Episode Content

  • Your Business is Like a Chainsaw
  • There is More Than One Way to Run a Business
  • A Good Entrepreneur is Always Prepared to Adapt
  • A Decentralized Business System is the Future

Your Business is Like a Chainsaw

Your Business is Like a Chainsaw

The other day, I bought a STIHL MS 362C Chainsaw. That is right! Your boy Dean was cutting down some trees and it was awesome. I was nervous at first because I have never used a gas-powered chainsaw before. 

So, I logged in to YouTube to check out videos about chainsaws. That was where I found out about kickbacks and how to be as safe as possible.

After that, I got all my gear on: I got my chainsaw and safety chaps, helmet, gloves, glasses, and hearing protection.

The whole time, I thought, “Oh my gosh, what if this thing kicks back and smacks me in the leg when I’m trying to take down this tree and I have to go to the doctor because I’m bleeding out?” 

There was a ton of other stuff going on in my brain. To be honest, I was worried at first but it ended up being absolutely awesome after all. I suffered no injuries and I ended up knocking down the whole Elderberry. 

Everything was going well as I was cutting down the Elderberry tree when I dipped the tip of the chainsaw a little bit on the dirt. Of course, I did not notice it right away.

What happened was, I started to smell something a little different and that the blade was not sawing wood as great as it should. The chainsaw was really good. It was such an effective sawing tool but did I already have to stop and sharpen it? 

If it doesn’t take long to dull out, is this even worth it after all? I remember something when I bought the chainsaw from Ace Hardware. 

The guy helping me out with the purchase said, “You have to sharpen the cutters when you hit the dirt.” 

There is More Than One Way to Run a Business

There is More Than One Way to Run a Business

Obviously I hit a little bit of dirt because the cutters went dull so quickly. I was able to cut through some more wood, but barely. I could tell it just was not sawing wood nearly as well as it should.

In fact, I could hear some kind of scraping sound when I spun the chain again. I was wondering how something so powerful can be rendered ineffective with just a little dirt. How could that happen?

So, I started doing some research about chainsaws. What I found was, just a little bit of dirt can indeed dull the cutters pretty fast.

It’s amazing how something so small and insignificant can cause something so powerful to no longer work properly. I realized that it’s the same way with business. One little idea — one little way of doing business a certain way — can cause that business to go dull as well.

Today, we see this among the businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic where the business owners have fixed themselves to the idea that there is only one way to run their business.

For example, there is an idea in the restaurant space that all orders need to be made in person. Although the idea is true for a few, it is not necessarily true for most types of businesses, especially in fast-casual restaurant types.

A lot of fast-casual restaurants do not have takeout or drive-thru. The reason is that they wanted to show they have a casual dining type of restaurant and the quickness of fast food.

A Good Entrepreneur is Always Prepared to Adapt

A Good Entrepreneur is Always Prepared to Adapt

Because of this idea that they have fixated themselves, these business owners have a harder time during this pandemic. They are not open to a better way of doing business remotely such as take-outs, mobile orders, and deliveries.

Big chains that got hammered during this pandemic are ill-equipped to run their business, they are simply not prepared.

The Butterfish app is a great example. They allow people to order through the phone online and it is so easy compared to ordering food in person during this pandemic. People simply have to go online and order their food-to-go, instead of waiting in line 6 feet apart from other people which is very unwelcoming.

A reason why business owners refuse a remote setup is that they want everyone to visit their store. These business owners will defend their old way of doing business and it is exactly the same thing with other service-based industries.

I have clients who have service-based businesses where they have all of their employees coming into their office. While that sounds nice, we are at a time where the business continuity for that particular model is questionable now.

If people cannot come into the office during the pandemic, what are you going to do? You have to figure out a way to have your customers and team members work remotely. And if you did not do that before, then you are now scrambling to figure out how to help your business survive while your workers have to figure out how to protect their family during this pandemic.

A Decentralized Business System is the Future

A Decentralized Business System is the Future

There are a lot of other small ideas that can quickly dull out your business and make it vulnerable. That is why it is very important to regularly maintain your business just like you would with a chainsaw. 

If your business was a chainsaw, you will have to clean out the dust, get it oiled up, and remove even the tiniest speck of dirt. If you do not, then the cutters will quickly dull out.

This global pandemic is the perfect time to set up maintenance for your business. Clean out this dirt so that it does not build up over time and you will never find yourself stuck in a place where you become vulnerable. 

Everybody is affected by this global pandemic. However, businesses that quickly adapted to working remotely at the onset of this crisis suffered less. And that is in complete contrast to businesses who refused to adapt — they are struggling and have suffered a massive dip in their business.

Today, I challenge you to continue building a remote setup for your business so your people can work remotely. I have been telling so many businesses we work to decentralize their business system as much as possible.

Business decentralization provides a lot more opportunities in the future because it is the future. The less that a business owner can rely on staff in person, the more they will see amazing results. A business owner simply needs to be prepared for a future where things are decentralized.


Design your business systems and build your library of process documents. This is the key to grow out of being reliant on one or two staffers. Anyone can do anything in your business if armed with the right process document.

If, for whatever reason, you have to let people go then your business may still continue to run smoothly. These are the things that you must focus on, now more than ever.

For restaurants, start figuring out a way to offer to-go orders, take out, or catering. The business owners I know who offer catering services and to-go orders have been doing much better than everybody else. That is the way it is going to be and that is the way you have to start thinking.

You have to get that dirt out of your mind where it has to be one way to do business. Get all that dirt out of your business and you are going to be in a much better situation than everyone else.

Resources and Links

This has been Dean Soto, founder of and Get your standard operating procedures in order. Clean out the dirt — the idea that you can rely on yourself or some other staff member. Start going remote as much as possible and I will see you in the next Freedom In Five Minutes Podcast Episode.

Check out this episode!


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