Maximize Business Value Podcast

David Van Buskirk - Eliminating Stress to Avoid Burnout (#68)

July 26, 2021 Tom Bronson/David Van Buskirk Episode 68
Maximize Business Value Podcast
David Van Buskirk - Eliminating Stress to Avoid Burnout (#68)
Show Notes Transcript

This episode of the Maximize Business Value podcast features host Tom Bronson and guest David Van Buskirk - Financial Advisor for Edward Jones. Rather than focusing on strategic financial tactics for business owners, the two discuss the outcome of prioritizing mental health. Not only are employees more motivated to be productive, but the entire business runs more smoothly. Creating a ‘work optional lifestyle’ helps leaders avoid owner dependency and burnout, both of which devalue any business. Listen now to make sure you’re not on the path to burnout!

Truly understanding what is most important to you is the primary goal of Dave Van Buskirk’s branch team. As an experienced Edward Jones financial advisor, he provides personalized service in all areas of wealth strategies, including planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren, and estate considerations. Working closely with you, your CPA, attorneys and other professionals, he can help determine the most appropriate financial strategies for you and your loved ones. With the support of the dedicated branch office administrators, Karen Shaw and Kendra Wood, the office is able to provide the highest level of service possible. Together they strive to meet client’s needs and help them achieve the financial goals that are most important to them.

Tom Bronson is the founder and President of Mastery Partners, a company that helps business owners maximize business value, design exit strategy, and transition their business on their terms. Mastery utilizes proven techniques and strategies that dramatically improve business value that was developed during Tom’s career 100 business transactions as either a business buyer or seller. As a business owner himself, he has been in your situation a hundred times, and he knows what it takes to craft the right strategy. Bronson is passionate about helping business owners and has the experience to do it. Want to chat more or think Tom can help you?  Reach out at [email protected] or check out his book, Maximize Business Value, Begin with The Exit in Mind (2020).

Mastery Partners, where our mission is to equip business owners to Maximize Business Value so they can transition their business on their terms.  Our mission was born from the lessons we’ve learned from over 100 business transactions, which fuels our desire to share our experiences and wisdom so you can succeed.

Announcer (5s):
Welcome to the maximize business value podcast. This podcast is brought to you by mastery partners, where our mission is to equip business owners, to maximize business value so they can transition their business on their terms. Our mission was born from the lessons we've learned from over 100 business transactions, which fuels our desire to share our experiences and wisdom. So you can succeed. Now, here's your host CEO mastery partners, Tom Bronson.

Tom Bronson (37s):
Hi this is Tom Bronson and welcome to maximize business value podcast. A podcast for business owners who are passionate about building long-term sustainable value in their businesses. In this episode, I'd like to welcome our guests at Dave van Buskirk, Dave and I are old friends, and he just happens to be a financial advisor for Edward Jones, but that's not what we're going to talk about today. Today. We're going to focus on fighting stress and burnout. Dave has had massive responsibility for managing and mentoring other advisors, and he pushed himself into a very dark place. We're going to probably talk about a little bit of that, but was able to turn it around.

Tom Bronson (1m 20s):
And in my humble opinion has learned the secrets to eliminating stress and burnout, a topic he frequently speaks about. I can't count how many times that I've seen business owners face, stress and burnout. Heck, I've been there myself. So when Dave and I recently talked about it, I just knew that I had to get him on the podcast. So this is going to be a great ride. Welcome to maximize business value. Dave,

David Van Buskirk (1m 45s):
Thank you very much for having me, Tom. And I've really been looking forward to this

Tom Bronson (1m 49s):
A lot of fun. So before we get into the topic that we're going to talk about, tell us about what you do at Edward Jones.

David Van Buskirk (1m 56s):
Yeah, I'm a financial advisor with Edward Jones. I started back 20 years ago in may. So we just had our 20 year anniversary. We help families, self-employed folks, professionals not just achieve their goals, but far exceed them. And the way we do that is through a very unique process that our team takes our clients through

Tom Bronson (2m 23s):
That. That is in fact, you know, I didn't, I didn't realize it was the 20th anniversary. I think you and I met probably right around that time. If not, maybe slightly before

David Van Buskirk (2m 33s):
I believe it was right before I started with Edward Jones.

Tom Bronson (2m 37s):
So cool. I think I even remember having that conversation with you about going to Edward Jones and, and interesting. So in a real sense for our listeners, Edward Jones advisors operate independent businesses. They all have independent offices, but they get a lot of support from Edward Jones. And so how did you get your start in this business?

David Van Buskirk (3m 1s):
Well, it goes all the way back to, I don't remember the exact date, but I was 13 years old and it goes back. I know exactly where it was though. And it was, the address was 88 south side drive in this little town in upstate New York called Owego. And that was my grandparents' house. That's where my dad grew up. My grandfather worked for IBM for his entire career, and there was one time that we were visiting my grandparents and they were talking about their IBM stock that they owned.

David Van Buskirk (3m 42s):
And after I overheard the conversation, I asked my grandmother, if she would tell me a little more about it, my grandfather would have been happy to tell me too, but I believe there was a Mets game on and you couldn't get him to do anything else when the mess replying. So my grandmother, she told me that, that through my grandfather's job, that he was able to invest in IBM stock by taking a little bit of money out of every paycheck. Well, they had four kids and my grandfather knew about that for years, but never did it because he didn't think they could afford it.

David Van Buskirk (4m 22s):
My grandmother, once she got word of it, what she did was she went and got a part-time job, even though she had four kids because she saw the value in what that might do for her family. Later on, every dime that she made from the, her part-time job went toward buying that stock. And it took them several paychecks to even get their first share. She wrote down every share that they bought and a ledger. And she showed that to me and showed me the power of just put a little bit of money away every month and what that eventually did. And when he was ready to retire, in addition to his pension and their social security, they had a nice nest egg of IBM stock, and that's where it all started.

David Van Buskirk (5m 10s):
And then I started becoming interested in investing. I subscribed to money magazine when I was in high school at an undergrad at Villanova. And then for my master's at Elon university, I took every investment class I could. And then eventually when I met my wife, you know, Julie, when, when we met here, I was in the corporate world for about 10 years, but always knew I would do this. And once we knew we were going to get married, I applied to Edward Jones. Thank God they accepted me. But it all started with my grandmother.

David Van Buskirk (5m 50s):
A lot of lessons in that story. Oh

Tom Bronson (5m 52s):
My gosh. Yes. Wow. What wisdom that you got? Look there. Even if we just stop right here. I mean the power of that compound investing, right? That's, that's what Warren buffet talks about all the time. It's, it's not about, you know, making a quick buck in the stock market. In fact, I have a friend who studied to become an Edward Jones advisor and he and I were having a conversation about it. One day, he says, well, Tom, we have a saying here, it's the get rich, slow scheme. We're not going to ever be the, get rich quick guys. We're, you know, we, but we, we know how to build that longterm wealth with our clients, which I think is brilliant.

Tom Bronson (6m 33s):
I don't know if that's a saying that you use at Edward Jones or not, but, but that really stuck with me for a long time. I, you know, until I read your biography, as I was preparing for this, I didn't realize you went to Elon University. So, so I'm from North Carolina. And so I'm well familiar with, with Elon and, and that, I assume that's the right one, right? It's in, it's in North Carolina. I think it's in North Carolina, right?

David Van Buskirk (7m 0s):
Yeah. And the town is actually called Elon college, North Carolina, right by Burlington. I did that at night while I was working. Yeah. What a great little school.

Tom Bronson (7m 14s):
Oh yeah. Yeah. It has a wonderful reputation. My wife grew up in Greensboro, you know, Karen of course. And she grew up in Greensboro. So that's really not very far from where at the time it was Elon college, of course. And so, but Elon university now, so, so from the humble beginnings of your grandmother, how old were you again? 13 years old. 13. Wow. That's that is a, quite an impression that she left on you from 13 years old. Then you went on with Edward Jones. What positions have you held with the company?

David Van Buskirk (7m 48s):
Yeah, so for all of the years, I've been a financial advisor after nine years with the company, they, they asked if I would be a regional leader and what a regional leader is responsible for anywhere from 50 to maybe 80 offices, depending on the location. And it's, you know, the, the title is leader for a reason, not manager, we're really kind of a super mentors to help people grow their businesses. And we had, you know, incredible volunteerism here, a lot, a lot of people helping out. But yeah, I did that for, for 10 years.

David Van Buskirk (8m 28s):
I was wearing wearing two hats, certainly. And, and I, I had just stepped away from that position in 2020.

Tom Bronson (8m 38s):
So we'll talk about that in a second. Of course we've known each other for so long. That's a lot of responsibility. I mean, 50 to 80 offices in addition to being responsible for your own clients and your own work and your own office that you have, that there's a lot of responsibilities. I happen to know since we're old friends that you have three kids, you know, just like we do, we have three kids. So, so how did you balance all of those responsibilities with your family life?

David Van Buskirk (9m 11s):
Well, my first answer is not so well, but you, you kind of learn as you go some, sometimes the busier you are, you, you learn to be more efficient and more focused on particular tasks, but we really have an incredible support from the company. Knowing that having to balance both roles, but when it comes to the family, I mean, it's, it's got, you know, number one, incredibly supportive wife with Chile, holy cow. And with her staying home ended up being that took a lot of the load off, certainly with raising three young kids.

David Van Buskirk (9m 54s):
But you know, you really learn to manage your time, learning how to, to be really efficient with whatever you're doing. One thing that there's a lot, there's a lot of time management that I learned through through coaching. And if you, we might want to go into that later on in our talk and also the incredible volunteers that were within the region, we let a lot of people help out with, with, with region different responsibilities. And then Karen and Kendra that worked with me and the, and the different people I've had working in my office, just when incredible team and learning how to delegate and not, not taking on everything.

David Van Buskirk (10m 39s):
You know, that, that's what a lot of people in management tend to do. A lot of entrepreneurs tend to do is, is try to do everything when there's all kinds of people around you that really do want to help you if you do it the right way.

Tom Bronson (10m 53s):
Yeah. I think about for the, for the leaders that have, I like that word by the way, leaders, rather than managers, you know, managers manage processes and, and leaders lead people. And a lot of people get that mixed up. But as I think about, I mean, the, the enormity of that responsibility of, of let's say if you had 80 and you needed to spend, even as little as 30 minutes with each one of your folks that you were responsible for, you know, every other week, that's like half of your time consumed doing that, as opposed to, you know, maintaining your own business.

Tom Bronson (11m 36s):
I mean, that is a massive amount of responsibility. You mentioned a minute ago that you, you stepped away from that leadership role. Why did you do that?

David Van Buskirk (11m 48s):
Yeah. You know, there, there just became a certain time where I, well, two things happen. One, I was looking at old pictures of the family and it may have been Christmas or a birthday party or whatever, when the kids were young or younger and I was there, but I don't remember being there at all. And that, that something clicked. And I said, golly, I was there, but I wasn't present. And then it was, it was right around that same time. I was at lunch with a friend of mine and I, I thought I was having a heart attack and I went to the emergency room and it ended up just being stressed.

David Van Buskirk (12m 36s):
But I was just, I was pulling myself in a lot of different directions and I, I don't, I don't think a handle made me bad on handle stress the way some people are able to handle it. But I think just the cumulative effect of trying to do too much for all those years, I just kind of hit a wall. And it was at that point where I made the decision and Julie and I made the decision to that, that it was, it was time to step away. And I, I made a phone call to a friend of mine who, who I was kind of responsible to as a regional leader. And when I called him to let him know that the 2019 would be my last year when I got off the, the, he was great with it.

David Van Buskirk (13m 25s):
But when I, when I got off the phone, it was incredible. I, I, you know, you know, the feeling of the weight of the world on your shoulders. It, it, it was real when I hung up the phone, I could feel that whatever was on my shoulders was gone. And I felt a physical feeling of my shoulders and my whole body, like going up, like, like I was like a weight was off. It was incredible. And I,

Tom Bronson (13m 54s):
It was like a physical experience that when you hung up the phone, you just, you, you felt lighter.

David Van Buskirk (14m 0s):
Yes. And I, yeah. And I knew I made the right decision and I'm so grateful for everything for the opportunity. And I love this company. Work, love, work with all the people I worked with, but, you know, for me personally, it just got to be a little too much. And I came that realization. I needed to do something, or there might be a problem pretty soon down the road, but yeah. Stress can be a very physical thing. It was amazing.

Tom Bronson (14m 27s):
It really, he is. In fact, I'm actually, we all react to stress differently. Right. I'm, I'm very fortunate in that. My, my physiological reaction to stress is very different from almost in fact, perhaps everybody, I know most people under stress get that pressure where you had, you thought you were having a heart attack, but it was really more of a stress induced attack that, that it was a great sign to slow you down. Right. And, and a lot of people process stress that way.

Tom Bronson (15m 8s):
It puts pressure on them. And, and, you know, the statistics will tell you that, that it causes heart attacks. Right. And so that's a very real situation. Stress impacts me very differently. And I don't know why I'm, I'm incredibly thankful that it is the way that it is. But when I get stressed, I get tired. I don't get anxious. I know I don't. I get it makes me tired. And so what happens is I shut down, right? And, and I could, I could almost fall asleep in an instant when I'm super stressed.

Tom Bronson (15m 48s):
Right. And it's funny. I, I never really realized it, but it's something, you know, Karen and I have been married for 30 years and, and actually celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary a few months ago. And still, still, still a little stressed by the fact that we couldn't take a, a proper vacation because of all the COVID restrictions, but we're going to make up for it. But it barely noticed through the years that when I had something super stressful going on, I would be going to bed earlier, earlier and earlier. And I would, I'm not a napper, but I would lay on the couch and take a nap.

Tom Bronson (16m 28s):
Right. And things like, and she, she would ask me, what's going on at work? Or what, what is, are you stressed right now? And suddenly I realized, and I, and I, she kept asking these questions at the right time. I'm like, what are you picking up on? She goes, you're tired, honey. And whenever you get stressed, it basically shuts your body down. And boy, wouldn't that be a wonderful thing. If that's the way everybody reacted to stress rather than heart attacks. Right. I don't know why I'm physiologically, wired that way, but I'm thankful that I am. But I also know when I get into those periods where I can't get enough sleep and I'm exhausted, I feel like I want to go nap, or I go to bed earlier and earlier I realized, okay, there's some stress points in my life that I need to start thinking about and, and eliminating.

Tom Bronson (17m 20s):
So, and we're going to talk about that. We're going to one more quick question. We're going to talk about eliminating the stress right after the break. But, but when you, when you stepped down from that job, even though it took the pressure off didn't did you have to take a pay cut?

David Van Buskirk (17m 34s):
Oh yeah. Yeah. I did that.

Tom Bronson (17m 38s):
That would be enough to cause most people more stress.

David Van Buskirk (17m 41s):
Right, right, right. Well, you know, th th so over the years we've always lived Julie and I we've always lived very well within our means. It's hard to do. There's, there's such a temptation to keep up with the Joneses as they say, but, and we practice what we preach. That's for sure. But we, we all, we wanted to get to a point where it could be, because I love what I do. And I, I really do. And we love our clients. Oh my gosh, it's not work to us. But we wanted to get to a point where we could have a work optional lifestyle. And we got to that prior to making that decision.

David Van Buskirk (18m 23s):
We just, we, we didn't buy as big of a house as we could have. We didn't buy as expensive cars as we could have. We, we just, we stay within our means and, and saved and work hard to get to this point. And that, that, that allowed, that allowed us to be able to make this decision and make an easy decision.

Tom Bronson (18m 43s):
I wish we could drill that really into more young people. And as I hear you say that live within your means and not have to keep up with the Joneses and, and working toward the lifestyle where you don't really have to work, you can, but you don't have to. Right. How did, what was your term for that

David Van Buskirk (19m 4s):
Optional lifestyle work,

Tom Bronson (19m 5s):
Optional lifestyle? I'll, I'm going to write that down. I'm going to borrow it. I will always give credit when I borrow something. I

David Van Buskirk (19m 12s):
I'm sure I borrowed it from someone too.

Tom Bronson (19m 15s):
All right. Well, I'll give you credit, then you can always pass it down. The line, work, optional lifestyle. I love that. You know, it's one of these things that even that where I am in my life and the, and the wild success that I've had, you know, in my business, I wish that, that I had learned those lessons way younger in my life, because, because it would, it, it just really does make an enormous impact later in life of the things that you do, the habits that you get into the cutting out and, and learning how to live within your means. So many people don't live within their means.

Tom Bronson (19m 56s):
And, and certainly for a long time, I was one of them. You know, I had a massive job when I sold a company, wants to a big publicly traded company. And I had a massive responsibility for thousands of people. And, and, and, and was paid as such when, when I finally decided to leave that business. And it was over a lot of the same reasons why you stopped doing that role at Edward Jones, I finally stopped doing that. I looked back and I went, oh, my word, I made so much money. What did I do with it? Right. Where, where did it go? Right? And it's because people's income becomes like a goldfish, right?

Tom Bronson (20m 37s):
It's it, the, the, or their spending becomes like a goldfish. It will grow to the size of its environment. That's, you know what, with goldfish, and, and so they're spending outstrips there. They're earning. And man, I just wish that more young people get that through their head. This is, this is great, great advice, but that's not where we're going today. We're going back to the stress conversation. It's a good time to take a quick break. We're talking with Dave van Buskirk. We will be back in 30 seconds.

Announcer (21m 11s):
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Announcer (21m 52s):
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Tom Bronson (22m 4s):
We're back with Dave van Buskirk, and we're talking about eliminating stress and burnout. So there are a lot of entrepreneurs And business owners listening. Who, who do you have any advice for them about if they're feeling burnout, but they can't necessarily kind of step out of their role if they're feeling kind of those pressures. You know, it happens a lot with business owners. So I'd be interested to hear from you Dave, since you kind of solve this problem on your, you know, through your own decisions, what advice can you give to business owners who are feeling that burnout?

David Van Buskirk (22m 41s):
Sure. And a lot of this I learned through experience, and also I've had a lot of people that have mentored me through the company outside of the company. I've invested a lot of money in coaching over the last 20 years. And I, and I continue to. And so a lot of what I've learned have come from some really good coaches, but one of them, I would say in, in, and had, had I not done some of this stuff when I had first started, or a couple of years into having, you know, wearing both hats, it would, I would have crashed and burned a lot earlier. And one, one thing that I learned that that was very important. A lot of I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs that have a hard time letting go of some things and, and it, you know, the business is their baby and they're doing things that they're good at, but should probably be delegating that to somebody else.

David Van Buskirk (23m 39s):
And one thing I learned really about 15 years ago through a strategic coach is a coaching that I've been part of. I'm going on 15 years, yours is focusing on what they call your unique ability. She was really trying to hone in on what you are best at and what you were born to do and outsource everything else. You know, what, what is it that you were when you were born and to do that translate into that translates into your business. The more time you can spend on that, what will that do for your business? And try to find the, the team and having the right seats on the bus in order to support yourself and have good people you can collaborate with.

David Van Buskirk (24m 26s):
And, and there are people that are all their unique ability is something that we might hate doing, but we're good at it, but we shouldn't be doing it. And, and it's really, it's delegating that. That's the number one thing I also would say, finding a good time management system. There's a lot of them out there. The one that I found that that has been fantastic is trying to divide your days up into three different types of days. You may have heard of this before, Tom, maybe you've coached people on this, but there's really three, three types of days. One is a free day.

David Van Buskirk (25m 7s):
And if this comes from strategic coach, two, one is a free day. One is a focus day and one's a buffer day. So a free day, those are probably your most important days. That's, that's, that's why you work is to have those free days and have that have that time. You know, for most of it's, hopefully it's a Saturday and Sunday, but it's where it's a hundred percent of your time as I'm your family, those, those that you love doing what you really love to do and protecting that time. And it's 24 hours of no, no work hard to do, but, you know, focusing on those first and getting the, knowing what the is you want is free days.

David Van Buskirk (25m 50s):
Next are focus days and focus days, 80% of your focus day should be on business building in activities, 20% on kind of reactive stuff, software you're returning phone calls, cleaning up messes, maybe preparing for the next day, but 80% of the activity should be business building activity. And then the last type of day is a buffer day. You got it. You should be proactive at some point. So maybe 20% of the day is focused time where you're, it's about spending time with clients, building the business, growing the business. But the 80% of the time is spent on cleaning up messes, maybe working on some Jax staff meetings, those, those types of things.

David Van Buskirk (26m 37s):
Then if you have very defined free days, focus days and buffer days, instead of a couple hours here, a couple hours there just scattered all over the place we have found in our office that that has made things very, very efficient and helped us really keep up with all that we need to do for our clients. And it's really, it's really just been amazing. And so for, for our office, typically the buffer days are Monday and Friday and focus days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then a free day, Saturday, Sunday, and then free days or any vacation days that you take or any, you know, if it's a holiday that's given that you take off any way that that's a free day as well.

Tom Bronson (27m 24s):
I love that. Not heard that I've not heard the three days and I was going to ask you, but you, you already volunteered as so, so focus days right now for, for you and your office are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday now. And not only for you, but your whole staff kind of observes this. And then, and then buffer days are Monday, Friday, is it like everybody in the office works like that?

David Van Buskirk (27m 49s):
Well, that's a good question. So beat because of the work that Karen and Kendra do, they, they have to be a little more reactionary and taking incoming calls and stuff like that and preparing for appointments. So we don't necessarily have them in, in those types of days that I do. But we do know that if you are working on something and you're distracted, that it takes normally the average person, about 20 minutes to get back in the zone to get back to work and like that. So what we do do for each other is allow time where there's just focused time to be able to get done with what needs to be done.

David Van Buskirk (28m 30s):
And then the, the other other team will pick up the slack with answering phones or whatever it might be.

Tom Bronson (28m 37s):
That's a, that's a great idea. You know, I, I always said in any of my businesses, I have an open door policy come see me for any reason, but people of course think that's, that's literal, right? My door is open. My door was literally closed probably 80% of the time. And it was because perhaps I'm in there with a meeting that, that no one else needs to, to be privy to, or, or it's when I'm in my thinking time. Right. And, and, and I'm being focused and doing stuff. It it's so funny. There was a couple of people through the years on my staff that the closed door meant nothing. They would just walk in and I'm like, you know, you totally just interrupted my thought.

Tom Bronson (29m 18s):
Now it's going to take me 20 minutes to get kind of get back in the zone, get, you know, give me a, please respect the door, right. And if you need me fine, go see Kim or send me an email and we'll schedule a time, we'll get together. And I'm going to give you the time, but oh, my word, you're killing my productivity. And so, so I had not heard of, of those three days, the that's, you know, it sounds like a really wonderful time management. I use a process called Ivy Lee, that that is really there aren't different days, but it's for your workdays, you really focus on the top priorities that you need to get done.

Tom Bronson (29m 58s):
And there's a, there's a method to make it very clear what you need to work on and where the priorities are. I did it in an earlier podcast. I can't remember the number off hand, but it was around the first of this year or the very end of last year, Ivy Lee method looked for that on our podcasts. If, if you're interested in learning more about that, I do want to talk about though that, you know, something that you're talking the free days, you know, it's the free days that can mitigate the stress. I think of the work. And, but so many times, so many times I hear business owners say, I'll ask them when we're engaging with a, with a business owner when they met your last vacation.

Tom Bronson (30m 43s):
Oh, well, I, you know, I went on a long weekend to, you know, Galveston or, you know, or out to the coast or, you know, to Napa valley, I don't know, tell me about your vacation. What, what are you talking about? You know, and you probe with them and you realize that they, they really don't ever take vacation. They take long weekends or a few days off here and there because they feel like that they can't get away from their business. And that does two things, in my opinion, as a, as you know, with what we do in our business, which is, you know, building massive value in helping them design an exit plan, number one, it's really bad for their health.

Tom Bronson (31m 26s):
It's bad for that for their health. And it's bad for the health of the organization where someone to be, to not be able to step away from their business, number two, they never recharge, right. They, they're never, they're always on the go. And, and what that causes is ironically, in, in many business owners, understanding, ironically, it actually reduces the value of their business because the business becomes owner dependent, right? So probably the best thing or one of the best things that a business owner can do is learn to step away from their business and take more what you would call free days and, and totally unplug.

Tom Bronson (32m 14s):
Right. I always hear, you know, I'll, I'll talk to somebody, oh, I'm going on vacation, but just call me my cell phone and beyond no, I'm going to respect your vacation. You need to go on unplug. This is why I got into a routine many, many years ago. Haven't been able to do it for the last 18 months, but we would go on a minimum of two week vacations in one stretch, right? Two weeks off, mostly I would try to take three weeks, or when I'm feeling really bold, I would take four weeks off. So a whole month, a year after Karen and I got married, we took an entire month off. And by the way, that predated cell phones and pagers and all that stuff, and I would specifically not call the office.

Tom Bronson (33m 1s):
Right. And, and they had no way to get in touch with me. Of course, I left in the itinerary in case the building burned down, but, but it's getting away and unplugging. And, and I always found that three weeks to me is the ideal length of vacation. You want to talk about the stress reliever? So what happens when you go on vacation, you spend that first week trying to relax, right? Kevin down from all the work that you've done. It does kinda by the end of that first week, you're getting into the groove of, oh, this is nice vacation, right? That second week, you really enjoy it. You have a, if you take three weeks off, you got about two weeks of just wonderful, relaxing vacation time.

Tom Bronson (33m 46s):
Because by the middle of that, when you're in that third week, by the middle of the third week, you're starting to get anxious to come back. And that's a good sign too, right? That, that now I'm recharged. I'm ready to go. And I'm ready to jump in to the saddle and ride again. And so, so I love this organization system. I would tell business owners, figure out how to get some free days. If you you've got the freedom to do this and orchestrate your business this way, figure out how to get some free days mid week. And, and then when you go on vacation, got down the cell phone, you don't have to talk to the office every day. In fact, more autonomy that you can give your people the higher, the value of the business.

Tom Bronson (34m 32s):
So, so that is some great advice. So you've been a big fan of having coaches through your career?

David Van Buskirk (34m 39s):
Absolutely. Oh my gosh. I, I wouldn't be where I am without them. So, so incredibly grateful. And I it's, I do not look at it as a cost at all. It's an investment. The more, the more I invest, the better the business does and the more free time I end up having,

Tom Bronson (34m 58s):
Yeah, it was interesting. I was having a conversation with someone this morning and he said, he said, I've hired while I hesitate to call them this, but they're a life coach. I'm like, why do you hesitate the column that it says, it's maybe says that, I don't know. It doesn't say anything bad about you. It says that you realize that you need somebody to help you help coach you with some things. And I, I w I wish more people would get away from that stigma of, well, I hesitate to say I hired a life coach w everybody should have a life coach. Right. Or surround yourself with folks that can be those coaches. So,

David Van Buskirk (35m 38s):
Oh yeah. I have a health coach as well.

Tom Bronson (35m 41s):
Do you really? Yeah. And I, I

David Van Buskirk (35m 45s):
Wish I met him years ago. He's been on unbelievable. What a, what? A help. And again, it's, it's an investment.

Tom Bronson (35m 53s):
So what does a health coach do? So if you run, is it like riding his bike behind you on the street going run and run?

David Van Buskirk (36m 2s):
I think he would, if I asked him to he's that good, but it it's a lot. He's a former major league baseball player and, and this is what he does now, since he retired. And he helps me with supplements, he's introduced me to a longevity doctor. So he, he helps me with, with exercise. We've done. He, he has all kinds of tests that he does to see what type of composition your body is, what what's you're made of and recommends the types of exercise based on that. There's all types of things I was doing that weren't good for my body. And I, I thought, I thought they were, I wear an aura ring every day that measures my, my sleep.

David Van Buskirk (36m 46s):
It measures if I'm ready to work out or not measures my recovery. It's, it's pretty amazing that I, that they're out there. Yeah. But that, there's something else about, about reducing stress and burnout,

Tom Bronson (37m 3s):
That's it? Yeah. There's all kinds of things. And, and there's all kinds of nuggets that we have there. I use a, I use a Fitbit to measure the same thing. I want to know my sleep patterns, things like that. One of these days, I'm going to do a podcast on sleep patterns, there are, you know, there are sleep cycles that you go through. And, and, and I've always known that I'm a, I'm fascinated by the science behind sleep and how much you need. And, and, and when you feel rested, but we're not going to go into that now, but it's interesting with the Fitbit and perhaps with your device that you have, as well as a ring, I know some like apple watches or Google watches do the similar things, but I actually get to see my sleep patterns.

Tom Bronson (37m 45s):
So on my phone, I can log in and I can see when I'm at a light sleep REM sleep or deep sleep. Right. And I can see, I can see how many times I wake up during the night. And, and, but it's just another little tool to, to have me be mindful about health, because health has a lot to do with stress and eating. Right. And things like that. Why is it that when we're stressed, we go order, you know, get a six pack of beer and order a big old pizza. Right. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with pizza or beer or beer. Yeah. For sure. Definitely not the beer. So,

David Van Buskirk (38m 25s):
Yeah. But when you, when you do that, and you notice your, how your Fitbit reads that night after you ate that or drank that you didn't get sleep, that was as good. Right.

Tom Bronson (38m 35s):
That's exactly right. That's exactly right. I can see, I can tell when I've been bad to my body, what, what is going to happen to my sleep patterns? And so a really, really interesting, well, this has been a fun conversation, a couple of quick questions, and then we're going to have to wrap it up here, running out of time. One last business question. This podcast is all about maximizing business value. So Dave, what's the one most important thing you recommend business owners do to improve value in their business.

David Van Buskirk (39m 6s):
I think it's investing in their people and I, and I, and you used what you said earlier. I think you kind of started going there when, when someone takes the time off, what, what it does to the people that you to see, if you can run a self managing company without you being there, but truly investing in your people and treating them like they're owners. And I think one of the simplest ways to get started is to get the word I out of your vocabulary and replace it with we it's, this is our business. It's our clients. It's not, they're not mine.

David Van Buskirk (39m 47s):
It's not, it's not about me. It's about all of us in this cause they are as important. Karen and Kendra isn't as important part of the team as, as I am.

Tom Bronson (39m 58s):
That is great advice to invest in the people really it's the people that, that will take care of your customers and take care of your business. And it is all about them. It's funny, you, when you said, you know, stop eliminating the word, I, and, and start saying we. That's always been a part of my vocabulary. And, and it's become a long running joke with my assistant Kim who helps, of course, with this podcast and other stuff, lots of stuff with me. She has been with me for a long time. And, and, you know, I, I wish I could find a better term for assistant, but she really is kind of my, my right arm.

Tom Bronson (40m 40s):
And when we'll be talking with folks, I'll say, well, we're going to do this. And of course, when I say, we, what I mean is that Kim is going to do this and I'll be in, I'll be here to take the credit. So that's how we do it together. So that's good. So we have a great relationship. It's so much fun working with Kim. She is amazing. So, but we're at the end of our time, but I can't leave without asking my favorite question. And the question our listeners always listen for our bonus question is what personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble through the years

David Van Buskirk (41m 16s):
Being impatient.

Tom Bronson (41m 19s):
You impatient.

David Van Buskirk (41m 21s):
Yes. And here, here's the quick example. This is why I'm blanking. So we run our business a certain way. And when we say we're going do something, we do it. And when others don't, it has gotten me into a little trouble because that, that's the one that's maybe the one time where I can get angry. And I haven't always handled that so, well,

Tom Bronson (41m 48s):
I just find that to be fascinating and surprising. Like one of the most even keeled people, I know always a smile on your face always seems easygoing. I would have never known that you were a, a closet inpatient person. So

David Van Buskirk (42m 5s):
I'm glad you haven't witnessed it. Tom. My face gets very red.

Tom Bronson (42m 11s):
Yeah. Unfortunately, all too many people have witnessed my impatients here. So that's a, that is a good one. How can our listeners and viewers get in touch with you?

David Van Buskirk (42m 23s):
Probably the best way is to simply go to Edward and type in Dave van Buskirk. And all of my information comes up that way. And Dave van Buskirk on LinkedIn too, and do it.

Tom Bronson (42m 35s):
Perfect. Thank you, Dave. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I'm so hopeful that business owners will listen to this and find ways to reduce stress in their life. Thank you for being our guest today.

David Van Buskirk (42m 50s):
Thank you so much for having me, Tom,

Tom Bronson (42m 52s):
You can find Dave van buskirk Like you said, just type in his name on LinkedIn. And of course, as always, you can always reach out to me and I will make a warm introduction to my old friend, Dave van Buskirk. This is the business podcast Where we give practical advice to business owners on how to build long-term sustainable value in your business. Be sure to tune in each week and follow us wherever you found this podcast. And be sure to let us know if here's a topic that you'd like for us to explore on a future podcast until next time I'm Tom promising, reminding you to eliminate stress and the possibility of burnout while you maximize business value.

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Tom Bronson (44m 25s):
That was perfect. I wouldn't make any changes.