Qaid Jivan

Episode Description

One of the most common things in the entrepreneurial world is burnout. Especially in these  trying times, where we attempt to do as much as we possibly can in a very, very short time, while sacrificing our own health. But imagine a slightly different world... One where we don't have to do everything ourselves. Wouldn't that be nice?

In this new episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, I’m SO EXCITED to be coaching Qaid Jivan, co-founder & CEO at TalentMarketplace, an online recruitment platform that matches candidates and employers, focused primarily on staffing IT projects.

Today, Qaid and I focus on tackling entrepreneurial burnout by  remembering the importance of connecting what you really really want with your actions and behaviours. We also explore ways to reduce burnout by working smarter and more strategically, as well as finding the  problems that really light you up and get you excited to take on a new day.

Have you experienced burnout? What do you believe is true? Share your story! If there's a challenge you'd like to talk about on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at:

kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. This is Kim Ades and I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to join us and get coached live and in person right on the podcast.

Today, my guest is Qaid Jivan, and he is the CEO of a company called talentmarketplace.ca

Qaid, welcome.

Qaid Jivan: [00:00:31]
Hey, nice to be here!

Kim Ades: [00:00:33]
So you live in Vancouver, you travel to Ottawa. What do you do in Vancouver? Tell us a little bit about not only your role, but the purpose, what is a TalentMarketPlace?

Qaid Jivan:
[00:00:47]
Yeah. So, TalentMarketPlace is an online recruitment platform specific to staffing IT projects. So my background was on the IT project side. So I grew kind of tired of traditional recruitment and just how long it took, and it was impacting our project deadlines, which impacts our ability to deliver. And I was working in healthcare, so when you're not able to deliver a project, there is real world implications of that. It's not, you know, typical. Kind of like IT or building a website.

So, came up with this process where you have a pre-vetted bench of talent. We're all pre-interviewed ready to rumble. And you can basically reduce your hiring time by say, in some cases, by two months on average, which, greatly increases your likelihood of project success.
So kind of the purpose of it is to take the... From the client's side, so the people doing the hiring, make it easier for them to hire so they can focus on doing the work, and on the candidate's side, connect them more seamlessly with opportunities that match exactly who they are and what they want to do next.

Kim Ades: [00:01:55]
Okay. And how long have you been doing this?

Qaid Jivan: [00:01:59]
I've been full-time on it for four years.

Kim Ades: [00:02:01]
Okay. Quite a long time.

Qaid Jivan: [00:02:02]
I was doing it for about a year before that. Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:02:05]
Okay. And how big is your team?

Qaid Jivan: [00:02:10]
So, we're at 10 people now, which is doubled in the last three months, actually.

Kim Ades: [00:02:15]
Congratulations. So what would you say right now is your greatest challenge? And by the way, your challenge could be personal or professional in nature, whatever you choose.

Qaid Jivan: [00:02:26]
Yeah, I was thinking about this beforehand, which way I want it to go down. I'm going to go with a personal one, which is tied to the professional side of things as well.

So, what's gotten me this far as a very results oriented person. You know, very, like, focused on outcomes, which is, I think, great until things start getting complex and if you're a very neuro-typical person. So for me having, like, a goal and an outcome, no matter how hard it was, it helped me push way harder, you know, whether that was sleepless nights or getting up early or, you know, committing to things I probably shouldn't commit to cause it was getting me to my goal. I was really good at that.

Kim Ades: [00:03:09]
Okay.

Qaid Jivan: [00:03:09]
Now, as I reach a stage in the business where I've got kind of, like, multiple interests, multiple goals... Kind of a very long-term vision of growing this thing out, that mindset, it... You know, you hit these major milestones and you immediately kind of forget about them.

So like, you know, a million dollars in revenue in a year it's over, now it's about getting two or five. So it's resulting in burnout, which I know is it's something I've discussed with some of my other coaches and mentors and therapists and that kind of thing. And it's only really recently that I was like, okay, I actually do need to fix this mindset.

And I've started in a couple places. But one of the things I was hoping out of this call is just for you to just help me along down that path to figuring out how to be more process-oriented, enjoy doing the work rather than just the outcome.

Kim Ades: [00:04:11]
Okay. So let me ask you a couple of questions, ' cause this is very, very interesting.

Qaid Jivan: [00:04:15]
Sure.

Kim Ades: [00:04:16]
So you're this guy who sets a goal and knocks it out of the park. Yes?

Qaid Jivan: [00:04:23]
Yep. Historically, yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:04:24]
But in the process you're getting burnt out.

Qaid Jivan: [00:04:27]
Oh my, yes.

Kim Ades: [00:04:29]
Oh my, yes. So can you describe that a little bit for me? What does burnout sound like? Feel like tastes like? What is the experience for you of burnout?

Qaid Jivan: [00:04:39]
Yeah. So the experience for me of burnout, and I always try and liken it back to me operating in like a peak performance time. So, back... I'm going to teleport back to 2013. Super goal-oriented was basically doing a lot of courses, and I was in international competitions on SFU's behalf, and everything. Was sleeping about three to four hours a day, and hitting every single target.

After that, it was about a year and a half of brain fog, inability to concentrate, still managing to get things done somehow, but pretty miserable the entire time. Similar to kind of where I've been at for the last, like, year and a half. Still managing to get things done, but knowing I have another year and I can't... It feels like a can't quite reach it. Because I'm just going through... And, you know, I hit a milestone and I just I'm shrugging. Just fucking 10 more left.

Kim Ades: [00:05:41]
Right. So what you're saying is hitting the milestones, gives you a very, very short term high. Very short term.

Qaid Jivan: [00:05:47]
Yeah. Yeah. It feels like, you know, similar to, I was talking with another mentor of mine, he was like, "yeah, the goals it's coffee, but you're hitting... You've had already 10, 20, 30 cups of coffee. The incremental benefit of those hits is not going to do it for you".

Kim Ades: [00:06:06]
Okay, so have you... So here... I have a lot of thoughts about this.

Qaid Jivan: [00:06:11]
Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:06:11]
And I know that you want to be process-driven and enjoy the ride and all that stuff. And you're like, "how the heck do I do that?" And I want to say to you that you do have a thinking problem, but not where you think it is.

So when you have a goal and you reach it, like that's amazing. So many people struggle to do that. So you have a bit of a secret sauce. The issue is that part of the secret sauce contains a fatal flaw, which is when you have a goal, the way you go about reaching it causes burnout. And that's really a reflection of what I would call a thinking problem, as opposed to a process problem or a joy problem.

'Cause the truth is when you're in the middle of it. You're in it, you're working hard. Maybe you're tiring yourself out and you're burnt out, but you're actually really on fire in those moments. So I actually don't want to decrease the time when you're on fire, but I want you to think a little bit more strategically and say, "okay, so I've gotten myself from here to here with this strategy, but now this strategy isn't actually working anymore because it's causing me pain, it's causing me burnout".

So, I want you to think a little bit differently. Not in terms of slowing down in an increasing the... Kind of enjoying the process. I want you to think about how to actually speed up. Weird, right?

And what I mean by that is how do I actually get more done by doing less myself? So how do I maximize my resources? How do I leverage the people around me? How do I tap into expertise that isn't necessarily mine? How do I... You know, when you say the process, I want to talk about the business process. How do I improve the business process where I don't necessarily have to be the one rolling up my sleeves every time?

So right now you're working super hard and I want you to work harder at working super smart. If that makes any sense.

Qaid Jivan: [00:08:22]
It does. It does.

Kim Ades: [00:08:22]
So I want you to think about your goals differently, because I don't want to take away your secret sauce. I don't, I think that's silly. I don't want to tell you, Hey, reaching another goal isn't going to give you a high. I think reaching another goal more effectively and efficiently is going to give you another high. But you're not thinking that way. Does that make sense to you?

Qaid Jivan: [00:08:46]
Yeah, it does make sense. I mean, tell me a little bit more on the leveraging others piece. I mean, it is something that I think is kind of one of my core strengths when it comes to building and developing teams is something I've kind of always naturally done throughout my life. And yeah, just, like, pick my brain a little bit more on that. Or maybe tell me a little bit more about what you mean by that.

Kim Ades: [00:09:10]
Again, I don't exactly know all of how you operate, but based on what you're saying, you're doing a lot of the heavy lifting yourself. You're acquiring the knowledge yourself. You're doing the courses yourself. You're not sleeping yourself. Right?

Nobody can replace your sleep. You've got to do it. There's some things that you've got to do that are non-negotiable. And we know that sleep is one of them for optimal brain and body functioning, optimal emotional functioning. We know sleep is super important. That's not something you can compromise or sacrifice. Just... I'm using a basic example that you handed to me.

So if you know, you're the one who needs to do the sleeping, nobody can replace that. What are you doing in the time when you're not sleeping? Let's look at those things that you think you believe must get done, and let's see how we can do them better, more efficiently, more effectively.

And so now the task is to think more strategically. So I'm pushing you harder actually to think more strategically instead of pushing you to work harder, if that makes any sense. And so now the goal is new and I think you are driven by goals. And I think, strangely enough, when we have a goal and that goal turns us on, lights us up and engages us, it's a good goal.

It's healthy for us to have that goal. It's not a bad thing because the goal in it of itself creates an energy inside of us. It's not terrible. But understand that reaching the goal doesn't necessarily mean that you have more or less value. The question is how do you live your life maximizing your energy and your sense of being ignited?

And it's... Number one, you got to sleep more, right? You got to take care of your health. And what you're doing is sacrificing your health. But the second piece is how do I keep myself engaged? And for you slowing down will not keep you engaged. It will disconnect you. It will demotivate you. Am I right?

Qaid Jivan: [00:11:16]
Yeah, especially on the latter piece to, like, keeping myself engaged component. When it comes to... So back in those days, shortly after 2013, after that first burnout period, sleep was something I never compromise. Just as... And then the other thing was leveraging others is something that I've gotten better at over the years.

I think, like, as of right now, the work that I'm always doing and focused on, it's constantly, like, the next level of work, right? Like, instead of say doing all of the proposal writing, I'm now just there for kind of a final sign off where it's, like, you know, the shake hands, like, "Hey, we're, you know, this is what we're all about. If you have any questions, call me" kind of situation, then we're moving on to the next thing, which is fantastic.

And when I look back at... When I look at it logically, I'm like, "cool, this is where I wanted to be". But then when... It's the engagement piece that I think I'm challenged at right now, where... The outcomes are still there. I'm still doing the right stuff, but I'm feeling, like, there's a certain year that's sort of missing, and I'm not sure if it's because I've just had so many hits of coffee. So to speak, yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:12:28]
I think that you have to define the problem differently. Right? And when you define the problem differently, your engagement level changes. So when you define the problem as, "Hey, you know, like how do I reduce my burnout and enjoy the process?" What you're really doing is you're saying, "how do I disengage from this?"

Qaid Jivan: [00:12:53]
Right.

Kim Ades: [00:12:54]
And in your particular case, the question is backwards. It's how do I pick a problem that is so engaging and fun, right? That I'm on it and I'm into it. I'm driven by it. I'm ignited by it. How do I pick a problem that turns me on? And while I am doing that, how do I solve the issue of working on that problem in a way that is the most efficient, effective way?" In other words, by leveraging people. So it's turning up that dial of bringing the right people into the project.
But for you it's not defining the goal. It's defining the problem you want to be solving in the world.

Qaid Jivan: [00:13:40]
Right.

Kim Ades: [00:13:40]
Right? So it's almost like taking it up a few hundred notches so that you can't solve this problem on your own anymore. It's almost creating more complexity for you. It's weird, right? It's contradictory. It's not intuitive in the sense of, "well, here's how you experienced joy. Write in a gratitude book". Right? That's not for you. Am I right?

Qaid Jivan: [00:14:04]
Yeah. No totally. And, I mean, I think that's one of the things that's come up for me recently is like, how do I tie these kinds of, like, lofty things that get me excited down to the level of things that I'm working at today? Because then those outcomes become just more powerful and meaningful rather than just like a step down, like a fairly linear path, so to speak with no kind of like connection to the why that I accessed.

Kim Ades: [00:14:34]
Yes. Well, and I really think that you have to pick a problem that is substantial enough to keep you tied in and tuned into. And so... Or pick that massive goal, but then also say "I want to solve the problem of leverage. I want to solve the problem of this". So you're thinking in terms of strategy, instead of trying to figure out how to increase your joy, because your joy comes from problem-solving. I know that already.

Qaid Jivan: [00:15:09]
Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:15:10]
I don't want to eliminate the problems from your life. I actually want to increase them.

Qaid Jivan: [00:15:16]
Right. But just make them kind of like give them a bit reframing and give it a bit more meaning, I guess. Is that kind of the...

Kim Ades: [00:15:22]
Well, it's not just meaning. It's... Sure. I don't want to take a meaning away from anybody, but sure, it's have a goal that's meaningful to you, but also complex enough for you to not just reach it that easily and for you to move into, not just " here are the 10 things I need to do to reach that goal". Boom, finished, done. It's "how do I think about this strategically so that this goal is not only reached and then I go to the next one, but this is a goal that requires complex thinking, requires strategic thinking, requires me to bring more people in, so that I get better at that".

Qaid Jivan: [00:16:05]
Gotcha.

Kim Ades: [00:16:06]
Right?

Qaid Jivan: [00:16:07]
Okay. So then what kind of like, in terms of, like actions I can take to kind of hammer that out or fill out what that might be, what would you recommend?

Kim Ades: [00:16:20]
Yeah, so, I really think that journaling is very useful. But I'm not talking about a gratitude journal. I'm talking about a little bit of analysis for you. And what I mean by that is if you look back at your previous goals, look at what really turned you on about identifying the goal and reaching the goal. And then look at your most complex goal and look at how you solve that problem. How you achieved that goal.

And then what I would encourage you to do is say, "okay, so what is my really big vision and what makes this complex and what needs to be in place in order for me to achieve this goal again, not on my own, what do I need to do? How do I need to be thinking?" Because the way you've been thinking has gotten you here, but the way you need to think will not get you ultimately where you want to be.

Qaid Jivan: [00:17:11]
Right. No, that makes sense. And then like, and I think that's a solid next step and people keep telling me this. So eventually I'll be nudged...

Kim Ades: [00:17:24]
What do people keep telling you?

Qaid Jivan: [00:17:27]
What you're suggesting, like, yeah, like journaling would be valuable.

Kim Ades: [00:17:31]
So I want to share something with you. I don't know if you know this, but when we work with clients, the highly driven population, people just like you, we get them to journal every single day. And again, it's not just like write down what you're grateful for. It's a little bit more analysis in our journaling process, where we are asking you questions to understand your patterns.

And what we're really looking at is your patterns of thought. We're looking at where you keep getting trapped, in your case, where you keep reaching a goal and getting exhausted and then starting at zero because yeah, you got there. No big deal next.

Right? We're looking at your patterns that make you feel the way you do, make you think the way you do and get you to where you're going, and sometimes get you to where you don't want to go, which is a state of exhaustion.

What brings you there? What forces you to work so hard that you're not sleeping at night? And why do you think that's the best way to do it? Is there a better way? Is there a way to do it with greater ease that you're not thinking about? Because you're like, "no, this is the only way. I have to not sleep". Like, really? Isn't there a better way? So that's the problem I want you to solve.

Qaid Jivan: [00:18:40]
Interesting.

Kim Ades: [00:18:41]
Right?

Qaid Jivan: [00:18:41]
And like, are there kind of example questions that you would give to someone like me? Stop your head. I mean...

Kim Ades: [00:18:48]
Yeah. Well, we always start with a baseline of just understanding your view of the world today. And so we always start off with, "you know what? Just monitor your mood for a week. I want to know what triggers you, what annoys you? What turns you on? What exhausts? What conversations do you not want to have? What kind of conversations are you looking forward to having? When you look at your calendar and you see what's on your calendar, your appointments, which ones do you kind of go, 'Oh my God, I don't want to have that call'. Or which conversations do you go, 'man, I wish I had that call two years ago'". Right?

So we're examining how you feel about everything that's going on. And once you start downloading, now we start identifying areas where you do keep getting trapped and then we dig deeper, deeper, deeper. So when you're working with a coach, what happens is the coach is reading and responding to your journal every day and asking you deeper, deeper, deeper questions based on what you write in your journal upfront.

So there's someone on the other end challenging you, poking you, digging and really pulling together your patterns of thought, patterns of behavior, but also helping you identify what you want, beyond just goals. And whether or not the way you look at life, the way you operate is consistent with what you want. What we find is, oftentimes, it isn't.

Qaid Jivan: [00:20:12]
Super cool.

Kim Ades: [00:20:15]
Does that all make sense?

Qaid Jivan: [00:20:17]
That does make sense. That's some pretty good, clear kind of next steps, I guess. I mean, that's pretty consistent.

Kim Ades: [00:20:23]
Well, let me ask you this. You've worked with a lot of other coaches. What did they say?

Qaid Jivan: [00:20:29]
Yeah. I mean, the big one for me, and then one of the fellows who I've spoken to quite frequently, he was a good friend and mentor of mine.

So where, you know, it has more context than what you would have had because you just kept me in this call, which is, this is a super cool platform. I love the concept. One of his major things was probably... One of the challenges I've had is, and you touched on this as well, just in the short time, was the connection between my, like, real reasons for being and the work that I'm doing right now.

Like, the stuff that really turns me on and gets me excited. And then bringing that down to the individual tasks I have to do today. Determining whether or not they're aligned. Like, and if they're not, should I be even doing it? Or is that something I should be passing on to someone else? If it's necessary or maybe it's not necessary at all, and I'm just not thinking about it.
Which I think is probably the case for, I think a lot of executives is they're sometimes doing work, but they really don't need to be doing it all. But they're getting looped into it cause they're just going with the waves.

But that's kind of the biggest takeaway I have right now is like, how do I kind of connect those reasons from being with the work that I'm doing throughout my calendar throughout my day? That's kind of the tip, where I'm at.

Kim Ades: [00:22:03]
I would encourage you to also ask yourself one more question. If this is what I want to be doing, if this is in your words, my 'why', and I have a philosophy a little bit about the whole why thing, but anyway, we'll get to that in a moment. But if this is your purpose, right? If this is it over here, you have a set of beliefs about how to achieve your purpose and those beliefs include working yourself to the bone.

And what I would tell you is. Is that a good belief? Is that consistent with what you want? And is there a better way? And that is a question you need to ask yourself. So not only how do I reach my goal, but how do I reach my goal with energy? How do I reach my goal with consistent energy? How do I reach my goal? And not only do what I need to do, but give what I need to give, which is beyond the doing, right?

So, you know, it's not only how do I connect what I want with what I'm doing, which is a hundred percent, a very important question, but also in order to do what I want to achieve, what do I believe is necessary and are those beliefs in fact true?

And I will guarantee you that a lot of them are not.

Qaid Jivan: [00:23:23]
Right. Yeah. Really cool.

Kim Ades: [00:23:28]
I hope that gave you something to think about.

Qaid Jivan: [00:23:32]
No, it definitely does. And it's like, there's, yeah, there's like a bunch of different kinds of discussions, readings that I'm doing, that kind of stuff. So there's so many consistent themes that, you know, are helpful, which is why having these conversations is so helpful, valuable for everyone really.

Because, especially as you start dealing with bigger and bigger problems and more complex problems, the way the stuff that's between the sides of your head, this brain of yours, like can only take you so far with the same method over and over.

It might take you to one point, but to go to the next level, you kind of have to rethink your assumptions and rethink, you know, how you act, from a strategic level.

Kim Ades: [00:24:19]
And in your case, like your current formula is the bigger my goals, the more exhausted I become in reaching them and that formula isn't working and it's not going to work in the long run. Right?

Qaid Jivan: [00:24:34]
Totally. So, yeah. Thanks a bunch. I plan on working on this.

Kim Ades: [00:24:38]
Well, I thank you for being on the podcast. For those of you who are listening, I hope you walked away with something interesting to think about.

If you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

And if you have a challenge that you're not so willing to share on the podcast, but you do want to discuss. Please reach out to me as well.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Qaid, thank you so much for sharing your time and your challenges with us. And I know you're going to rock it, so I'm not even worried about you.

Qaid Jivan: [00:25:11]
Thanks, Kim. No, I really appreciate your time. Very helpful.